Archive for August 3rd, 2013

Why Do Muslims Hate Us?

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Oh, bite me.

As US embassies close in the Mideast and Americans traveling abroad are put on alert, many people are asking that question. I’m writing an overly-simple answer so you can think for yourselves as events unfold.

First we must remember that few Muslims out of a worldwide billion hate us.  Al-Qaeda, the murderers at Bengazi, the Boston Marathon bombers, and the rest of extreme Islamist maniacs, represent only a small fraction of Muslims.  They can hurt us with terrorist attacks – but they are not threats to the United States as a country.  They’re not going to take over – there’s no possibility they can.

These Muslims hate America more for what we do than for who we are.  Both are relevant but our actions have immediate effects on their countries and our culture has far less. We’ve imposed our puppet governments in their countries and supported them with aid and vast military arsenals for over a half century. We continue to do it right now.

Try to think of one Mideast country which has not had  direct American involvement in its government.  Don’t think too hard because there aren’t any.  Wouldn’t you resent this Western interventionism if it were your country?  I sure would.

Why have we imposed American dominance over the Mideast?  Simply it’s necessary for our economic stability and growth.  Oil is just a part of the picture.  Our support for Israel, democratic ideals, Western decadence, etc. play well to our image of “The Great Satan” – but if we took American military interventionism out of the mix, Muslims would hate us a lot less.

I believe it’s time we did.

“There’s A Sucker Born Every Minute”

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

This quote is usually attributed to P.T. Barnum….or WC Fields. But the first person to utter these words of solid business advice was George Hull. Who?

George Hull was a devout atheist who lived in Binghamton, New York in the 1860’s. One night he got into a heated argument with a fundamentalist preacher about ‘how literal is the Bible?’  Preacher said, “every single word.” Hull thought “sucker” and came up with a scheme that would eventually bring jealous tears to the eyes of old P.T. himself.

Hull knew the Book of Genesis talked about “giants roaming the earth.” Believers were always looking for Biblical “proof.” So Hull decided to give them “proof” – for a small fee, of course.

In 1868, Hull commissioned a stone carver to sculpt a 10-foot, 5-inch “fossilized giant” for $2600.  Next, Hull buried his masterpiece at a friend’s farm in Cardiff, NY.  A year later, workers were hired to dig a well on the farm.  Instead, they “discovered” the giant.

Naturally, geologists immediately denounced the giant as a ridiculous fraud but, as Hull had guessed, fervent fundamentalists “swore” it was real – “just look at the Bible!” Hull started charging the faithful 50-cents a peek and quickly made a lot of money.

P.T. “Egress” Barnum knew a good fraud when he saw one and offered to buy the Cardiff Giant.  George Hull said “no thanks.”  And then, in what has to be one one of the funniest footnotes in American history, Barnum HAD HIS OWN CARDIFF GIANT CARVED and exhibited it across the country.  In other words, Barnum was making money from a fake of a fake!

Today the giant rests peaceably in the Farmers Museum in Cooperstown, New York.  Not surprisingly, you have to pay an additional fee to see it – just like in the old days.  However, there’s no truth to the rumors that the giant is wrapped in the Shroud of Turin or the snack bar sells “Jesus-Face Tacos” for a buck and a half.

The Best American Quirks can be found on the road: