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«Headlines Updated Daily«
Monday September 1, 2014
Made in the USA since 1998

The Questions Aren’t
Ridiculous to Ask Anymore

Frank Salvato
Not too long ago if you supposed that President Obama was sympathetic to his Islamic experience as a child, inside the beltway Republicans would cringe and Progressives would howl. Non-engaged and no- and low-information voters would immediately call you a conspiracy theorist, an Obama-hating racist and other assorted kneejerk labels. But given the incredible inaction and indecisiveness on Mr. Obama’s part with regard to the Islamic State, this question not only needs to be braved, but has become one we all need a definitive answer to. Mr. Obama intended, from the very beginning, to bring a new perspective to the American people about the Islamic culture. His 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt, was titled “A New Beginning.” But as Victor Davis Hanson points out in his article Obama’s Hazy Sense of History: “President Obama doesn't know much about history...” Indeed, we have arrived at the moment in time when some critical questions are not only valid, but desperately need to be asked.

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Yes, Mr. Holder, Words Matter
Frank Salvato
In February of 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama spoke to a campaign rally crowd in Wisconsin and declared that “words matter.” In shaping the image that was the centerpiece of the “idea of Obama,” he ginned-up an air of intellectualism using the tactic of manipulating through emotion, a potent tool in the Progressive war chest. “Don’t tell me words don’t matter,” he said. “I have a dream. Just words. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...Just words...just speeches.” Indeed, Mr. Obama is absolutely correct, a rare point where I agree with him. The problem is this. If we hold him to his own words, then the statements of his closest ally, Attorney General Eric Holder, must be taken literally. This is where I find myself very concerned. The events in Ferguson, Missouri, are serious on many levels. We have the death of a young man and the brutal beating of a police officer at his hand. We have a community that exists on the head of a racial powder keg, begging for a spark to light the fuse. And we have perhaps the most politically motivated – and many would say, and rightfully so, divisive – US Attorney’s General in the history of our nation in Eric Holder, injecting himself into this delicate situation and making some statements where words certainly do matter.


Obama’s Hazy Sense of History
Victor Davis Hanson
President Obama doesn't know much about history. In his therapeutic 2009 Cairo speech, Obama outlined all sorts of Islamic intellectual and technological pedigrees, several of which were undeserved. He exaggerated Muslim contributions to printing and medicine, for example, and was flat-out wrong about the catalysts for the European Renaissance and Enlightenment. He also believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the "right side of history." He also chastises others for being on the "wrong side of history" -- as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot. When in 2009 millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the thuggish theocracy, they wanted immediate US support. Instead, Obama belatedly offered them banalities suggesting that in the end, they would end up "on the right side of history." Iranian reformers may indeed end up there, but it will not be because of some righteous inanimate force of history, or the prognostications of Barack Obama.

Why Reporters Get Israel
So Wrong and Why It Matters

Matti Friedman
Is there anything left to say about Israel and Gaza? Newspapers this summer have been full of little else. Television viewers see heaps of rubble and plumes of smoke in their sleep. A representative article from a recent issue of The New Yorker described the summer's events by dedicating one sentence each to the horrors in Nigeria and Ukraine, four sentences to the crazed génocidaires of ISIS, and the rest of the article--30 sentences--to Israel and Gaza. When the hysteria abates, I believe the events in Gaza will not be remembered by the world as particularly important. People were killed, most of them Palestinians, including many unarmed innocents. I wish I could say the tragedy of their deaths, or the deaths of Israel's soldiers, will change something, that they mark a turning point. But they don't. This round was not the first in the Arab wars with Israel and will not be the last. The Israeli campaign was little different in its execution from any other waged by a Western army against a similar enemy in recent years, except for the more immediate nature of the threat to a country's own population, and the greater exertions, however futile, to avoid civilian deaths.

Anxiety
Dr. Larry Panella
As a music teacher, I regularly meet students who, despite their God-given talent, find themselves unable to fully address areas of weakness, oftentimes because of fear. They persist in staying in their areas of strength, while hoping for a quick fix to any problem areas or "eureka moment" for change to occur. They seem to be afraid of confronting the areas of their skillset that require the most work, and that is disappointing for me as a teacher because, despite their talent, they never realize the level of musicianship that they are capable of. I was just such a student, and when I finally dealt with one of my areas of weakness, it not only changed my music making, it changed my life. The following is a visualization exercise for dealing with fear related to auditions, juries, and/or addressing areas of weakness in musical skills. The mental images used may be changed to suit your needs


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