America the Destructible

Beyond the Cusp

America still has her fruited plains, purple mountains majesty, amber waves of grain all from sea to shining sea. None of that has actually changed and America can still feed herself even if that would mean no morning coffee, or just for the few who could afford Hawaiian coffee. America has grand rivers and a highway system and trains and everything that made her great yet she stands about to fall. America has been missing one set of elements which had kept her great, justice, equality before the law, religion, unique sense of morality, seeking goodness over wealth, doing that which is right, foregoing expediency and a government under control. All these things which all of America had in great abundance such that it ruled even in the highest levels of business and governance are now no longer prevalent. Sure, these are still the watchwords ruling many an American household…

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“What Are My Religion? I Feel Shame on My Self because am a Muslim”

Editors’ note: To those of you who have enquired, the author is a real man living in the Middle East who sent us these pieces because he is unable to share them with anyone where he lives. At first we tried to tidy up the English, but that seemed to knock much of the soul out of his work. So we made the editorial choice to present his work basically as he sent it; what you are seeing is the result of that choice. It is the way he sees the world from his point of view, unobstructed by editors. Perhaps think of it more as a different kind of article, more as folk art but in words. It is not meant to offend anyone or any religion. It always seemed, living among people from different nations, as if wrongnesses in English were often “righter” than rightnesses. The painter Paul Gauguin reportedly said: “If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.” We apologize to anyone who may not like these postings. “Those who understand, understand.”

I open my eyes in a Islamic Family in a Islamic Country but in 23 years I do not know what is Islam? What is the purpose of Islam?

Once I ask a question to my Teacher (Mulla) in the Mosque, What is the difference in the Muslim and the Non-Muslim?

He Replied One who beleaves on ALLAH and prophet MUHAMMAD P.B.U.H is a Muslim and One who does not beleave on ALLAH and MUHAMMAD P.B.U.H is a Non-Muslim.

I ask Again, So what we do? How we teach the Non-Muslim?

He replied Just Kill him.

I ask Why we Kill him? And when I Kill him?

He replied When you Grow up then you Kill him.

Am thinking from that day Why this Teacher (Mulla) telling me this? On Next Day I ask again to Teacher (Mulla) in Mosque, Sir there are so many Groups in Islam. One Group orders to Kill the other Group because he is Non-Muslim Why?

He Replied Because he do not follow our Rules.

Am Surprised to Listen. This means One Person who do not follow our Rules we Kill him? I ask One more Question, Sir if am a Sunni or Wahabi, I Kill the Person who belongs to an Other Sect like Shia.

He Replied Yes off Course.

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Ascending God’s Mountain: A New York City Marathon Story

As with just about anything New York-related, there’s a Jewish aspect to the city’s annual marathon, the 26-mile river of humanity that gushes through the five boroughs on the first sunday of November.

For over 30 years, Shearith Yisrael, a historic congregation on Central Park West, has organized a minyan for marathon runners near the race’s start line. This year, three pre-race Shachrit services were held in a small tent next to one of the administration buildings at Fort Wadsworth, at the base of the Verrazano Bridge, where the race begins. There were tables of tefillin bags, and photos of services from years when the race fell on Rosh Chodesh, showing Torah readers decked out in their marathon bibs. A fellow racer helped me put on tefillin, something I admittedly hadn’t done for awhile. The service ended with the shir shel yom, the psalm for the day of the week, which, I noticed, includes the line: Mi ya’aleh b’har Adonei? (Who will ascend God’s mountain?) The words brought on a chill of recognition, even the suggestion of tears. Maybe it was talking about the marathon, I thought. This is a totally solipsistic reading, but those words from the Shachrit service would echo through my head for the next five hours, and longer.

The Verrazano is the only link between Staten Island and any of the four other boroughs, making it a necessary part of any five-borough marathon route. Still, while running along its top deck, soaking in the wondrous absurdity of sharing a giant suspension bridge with tens of thousands of other blissed-out people, the symbolism felt unmistakable to me, as if there were deeper messages built into the course: Up here, you run along a ribbon of light, as ethereal and infinite as Rainbow Road in Mario Kart, threading through archways that welcome you to the very heavens, with the city below unmoving and seemingly uninhabited, as if it isn’t even a real place. But soon, you descend into the disillusionment and corruption of the earth below—including your own. The race is not some out-of-body idyl. The adrenaline, and the unreality of those first few miles doesn’t morph the city into a pure, extra-sensory plane. Really, it’s something more like the exact opposite.

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Eastern Europe: The Last Barrier between Christianity and Islam

Austria’s fate is now at stake.

Perhaps it was a coincidence that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and tipped to be the next Pope, chose September 12, the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, to deliver a most dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots.

“Many Muslims want and say that ‘Europe is finished’,” Cardinal Schönborn said, before accusing Europe of “forgetting its Christian identity.” He then denounced the possibility of “an Islamic conquest of Europe.”

Konrad Pesendorfer, head of the Austrian Office of Statistics, said that by 2030, 40% of the population of Vienna will be foreign-born, thanks to internal demography and migration flows (60,000 arrivals in just one year).

Since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, much of Eastern Europe’s Christian population spent centuries under Islamic occupation, particularly under the Ottomans. It now seems that the clock has reverted to 1683, when Ottoman armies were at the gates of Vienna.

It is not a coincidence that the fierce resistance of Eastern Europeans has been the main impediment to a unified response by the European Union to the migrant crisis. It was these Eastern states that forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to halt the massive flux of migrants. Today, where there is no border, migrants keep coming en masse. In August alone, 23,000 migrants arrived in Italy.

Brussels is whipping up a propaganda war to cast the Western Europeans, who favor unvetted Muslim migration, as cosmopolitan and tolerant, and Eastern Europeans as a bunch of xenophobic bigots, if not outright neo-Nazis.

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