It has been a long week. It shouldn’t have seemed that way but it did. I’ve been beating the bushes trying to get conservatives involved in politics. I’ve not been very successful.
Case in point. I’m a member of several conservative political organizations. In every one, there is a small group that is active. Each group has an occasional drop-in who may visit for a meeting or two but their attendance is irregular at best. Most, pleading a busy schedule, drift off.
There is a distinct age gulf in the membership. All the active members are older—in their 50s and up. The younger crowd is too busy to bother—and that is a problem. Not for us, but for them.
We want to get younger members to join, whole families if possible. But we are rarely successful—“We’re too busy! The kids have too many activities. I have to take Junior to baseball/softball/soccer/football/basketball/swimming practice.” It is just the same for the girls. Then, during school session, add voice/band/music practice, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts/4-H, plus the kids come home with a 30lb backpack full of homework (do the kids ever do work at school anymore?).
Oh, we can still get a turnout for an isolated meeting for a cause such as Common Core or Agenda 21. But when it come to electing officials who will represent us in government, people claim they don’t have time.
It’s a cop-out. People can and will act if their private ox is being gored but politics? Heavens, no! In reality, it is a matter of priorities. What is more important. Being a helicopter parent who is determined their kids are under constant scrutiny or insuring those same children have any freedom when they become adults.
I constantly hear, “I’m not interested in politics!” and every time I remember the remainder of that quote—“but politics is interested in you.”
Need a project for your kids? Take them to the upcoming Missouri Legislature Veto Override session. There are a number of interesting issues that will be voted upon to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto.
Meet the legislators; visit your state Representative and Senator, watch the bills being discussed and voted upon from the visitor’s gallery. See your state government in action. Coordinate your activity with another group (WMSA pitch here.) Find other homeschoolers, combine resources and perhaps share costs.
When I was in grade school and later in high school, I was required to pass a test of the US and state constitutions. One test was required to graduate into high school. The other was a state requirement for a high school diploma. In my high school, we spent a complete semester being taught the mechanics of government. Anyone who failed had a second chance in summer school. There was a third chance to pass the test for a high school diploma in a night class with adults, an early form of G.E.D.
That requirement no longer exists. It should, but it doesn’t. I suppose it’s more important to be taught diversity and other social engineering agendas than for students to understand how government works.
Homeschoolers take note of this opportunity. Every year I see a number of Jeff City public and private school kids touring the Capitol. I’ve seen other homeschoolers there as well with their kids. Witnessing government in action is too good an educational opportunity to miss. Perhaps you, too, will learn something as well.
ISIS is back in the news and Obama is, as usual, ignoring that crises. “We’re not at war with ISIS,” he claims. Obama ignores the statements from ISIS that they are at war with us and the rest of the world.
We don’t have a strategy yet to attack Islamic State. But they are developing a strategy to attack us.
A laptop found by Syrian rebels last January in an ISIS hideout proved to be a goldmine of information. Foreign Policy’s Harald Doornbos and Jenan Moussa got their hands on the machine, downloaded 146 gigabytes of material, and were shocked at what they found:
The laptop’s contents turn out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organizations — and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State’s deadly campaigns. They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihadi hot spot to another.
But after hours upon hours of scrolling through the documents, it became clear that the ISIS laptop contains more than the typical propaganda and instruction manuals used by jihadists. The documents also suggest that the laptop’s owner was teaching himself about the use of biological weaponry, in preparation for a potential attack that would have shocked the world.
The information on the laptop makes clear that its owner is a Tunisian national named Muhammed S. who joined ISIS in Syria and who studied chemistry and physics at two universities in Tunisia’s northeast. Even more disturbing is how he planned to use that education:
The ISIS laptop contains a 19-page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals.
“The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge,” the document states.
The document includes instructions for how to test the weaponized disease safely, before it is used in a terrorist attack. “When the microbe is injected in small mice, the symptoms of the disease should start to appear within 24 hours,” the document says.
The laptop also includes a 26-page fatwa, or Islamic ruling, on the usage of weapons of mass destruction. “If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir [unbelievers] in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction,” states the fatwa by Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd, who is currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. “Even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth.”
When contacted by phone, a staff member at a Tunisian university listed on Muhammed’s exam papers confirmed that he indeed studied chemistry and physics there. She said the university lost track of him after 2011, however.
It is very difficult to weaponize any biological agent. You need a modern lab and a trained team of scientists to build a usuable weapon. But that doesn’t mean that the terrorists aren’t trying very hard to build one:
Nothing on the ISIS laptop, of course, suggests that the jihadists already possess these dangerous weapons. And any jihadi organization contemplating a bioterrorist attack will face many difficulties: Al Qaeda tried unsuccessfully for years to get its hands on such weapons, and the United States has devoted massive resources to preventing terrorists from making just this sort of breakthrough. The material on this laptop, however, is a reminder that jihadists are also hard at work at acquiring the weapons that could allow them to kill thousands of people with one blow.
“The real difficulty in all of these weapons … [is] to actually have a workable distribution system that will kill a lot of people,” said Magnus Ranstorp, research director of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College. “But to produce quite scary weapons is certainly within [the Islamic State’s] capabilities.”
As you can see, ISIS is not a bunch of sheepherders hiding in caves. Educated professionals are also flocking to their banner and you have to think they can accomplish just about anything any modern army does – including building weapons of mass destruction.
Islamists call us “Crusaders.” There have been many Crusades over the last millennium. Perhaps it is time for another one. It is already being fought from the Islamist’ side. If we are to survive as a people and culture, it is time to recognize that fact for what it is.
Money laundering. Says it all.