17 March 2017


by Andy Weddington
Friday, 17 March 2017

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. Ray Bradbury

Tuesday past, while making my way from the east coast to the heart of flyover country, I picked up a copy of USA TODAY. 

First order of business, always, work the puzzle page. 

Then turn to the "news." 

Two (related) articles in the A section (2A and 8A) caught my attention and have occupied thoughts since. 

Page 8A (excerpted and paraphrased from the article 'Muslims fear antagonism toward Islam in Holland' by Kim Hjelmgaard) ...

Ahmad Elbaghdadi, imam of the El Mouahidin mosque (The Hague, Netherlands) and long time citizen said his mother always told him he was not Dutch - as a Turkish Muslim his family's aim was to cement his identity, ethnicity, and religion. That being he held a Dutch passport and was a citizen in the Netherlands but was not Dutch. 

He went on to say that just because you may be born in the Netherlands, study, work, not rely on state benefits, and live life free of crime does not make you just like the Dutch. Ending the thought, "You will never be one of them."

Interesting. Because a day later the far-right candidate, Geert Wilders (tagged the Trump of the Netherlands), who ran on a platform of closing mosques, banning the Quran, and sealing the borders to immigrants from Muslim countries - to preserve the Dutch culture - lost his bid (though the party gained ground) for prime minister.  

Think about it. In fact, Wilders ran on that attested by Elbaghdadi. 

Page 2A (excerpted and paraphrased from the article 'King defends controversial tweet' by Jason Noble and William Petroski) ...

Akin controversy over a tweet by Representative Steve King (R, IA): "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore civilization with somebody else's babies."

And with that came outcry - especially from the chicken-hearted. 

Mr. King did not back down. He confirmed he meant what he said. 

He went on to say birth rates must be kept up with children taught (cultural) values and by so doing the population grows and the culture and way of life is strengthened. 

Is there another way to preserve a culture? Any culture?

Is not that exactly what Elbaghdadi's family taught him?

The world, civilized and not, is in a culture war with religion smack dab in the middle. 

Will the Dutch (culture) prevail? German? French? Swedish?

The Americans?

America now has a President, a serious man with a burning love of country and allegiance thereto, who understands; he, too, tweets - reality.

And the chicken-hearted squawk.

Books will be written about Mr. Trump and his Presidency. 

Americans to come best read them, others too, and teach their children. And cement identity, ethnicity, and religion. Otherwise, it's game over - culture destroyed. 

Who survives?

The fittest. 

Said Charles Darwin, Englishman. Check out his (relevant) book - On the Origin of Species. 

Alas ...

Can you imagine no more Happy St. Patrick's Day? 

Survival has little to nothing to do with luck, even if Irish. 

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