Tag Archives: u.s. politics

Controversial Opinions

Sometimes, internet forums can be very amusing places for discussion. It is like people can say whatever they want. On one website, I came across a thread where somebody asked what was the most controversial opinion that others had. As far as I remember, almost everybody who answered with one thing that was outrageous. In one case, somebody had mentioned something to the effect of being supportive of pedophilia. And they all seemed proud of it. It was like they were trying to brag about having an opinion that was more outrageous than anything anyone they knew would agree with.

But consider the following. Imagine you have somebody who is very:

  • Pro free market
  • Pro-life
  • Anti LGBT – Supportive of banning gay marriage, for example. Believe it or not, people like that still exist.

But also:

  • Believes in climate change
  • Supports legalizing marijuana
  • Supports mass immigration.

What would you think of somebody like that? Clearly, having controversial opinions can have more to do with a combination of ideas rather than the individual ideas that you believe in.

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Migration from Syria: Not Welcome, Not Viable

The major refugee crisis over the past few years has been covered by headline after headline. While celebrities who are eager to polish their self-image and increase their popularity have been supporting the intake of refugees, many people did not and still don’t agree with them. Syrian refugees have been getting the most attention for some reason, as well as the most support. That is possibly because Syria is closer to Europe than all of the other countries that refugees are coming from, and because it borders Turkey. It is with good reason that many individuals don’t support accepting Syrian refugees into countries like the United States.

But the Syrians should not be accepted into any country far from their homelands, especially into places like the United States, Canada, Australia, and non-rural Turkey. We are better off helping them from where they are, or are supposed to be, than inviting them all to our respective countries. Syrians should be able to leave the most war torn regions. But they should definitely stay in the nearby middle eastern countries, like Jordan, and southeastern rural Turkey near their own border for the next several years. All other Syrians who are not already in that designated region should be relocated to safer areas.

A safe zone definitely needs to be established. That is something that I have conceptualized even before U.S. politicians brought it up. It is imperative that the Syrians are not only helped from where they are, but stay close to or in their homeland. Otherwise, accepting a mass number of Syrians will eventually lead to other issues affecting already prosperous countries.

The Syrians as a people have shown no signs of tenacity, loyalty, and honor. While they gloat about how “successful” their country used to be, and how much they valued education and how skilled many of them are, they immediately fled their homeland at the first sign of inconvenience. Unlike the citizens of other war-torn nations, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, they have barely put any effort into trying to save or stand up for their country. Never before has an entire population from a country with a central government left so rapidly, and in such a short amount of time. Many of them have immediately demanded full acceptance into countries like those in northwestern Europe, the United States, and Canada. Those who “settled” for nearby Turkey are snatching jobs from the same people whom they have been deriding their whole lives. And they show no signs of gratitude to the people who have accepted them, and are constantly working to feed and clothe them. There are nearly three million refugees in Turkey at the time I write this. Many of them are sent to the most populous cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya instead of remaining in the southwest near the border. Accepting millions of people into an already crowded country in such a short amount of time is no easy feat, is highly inconvenient, and no doubt had a damaging effect on the economy and the general lifestyle of the citizens. Our countries don’t need these type of people for diversity or enrichment.

Syria also has had a massive population in the first place. Accepting only a certain number of them would be incredibly unfair to those who have to stay in Syria or in less pleasant countries like the Middle Eastern countries or the eastern European countries. We don’t need to bring them to places like the United States to help them or save them from the chaos of war.

To add to the population problem, accepting Syrian refugees into developed countries like the United States, which many people already covet for immigration, can lead to future problems involving other nations. If we accept Syrians as refugees, it would only be logical to accept everybody else from future war torn countries as well. Not doing so would be racist, after all. The next thing you know, steps will be taken to squeeze the whole world into one or a few countries. No doubt many people will be less careful about the state of their own countries, given that it can provide an easy ticket to the fast lane in moving elsewhere for a “better life”.

I am definitely in favor of helping those in less fortunate situations. But bringing people into our own countries is ultimately either unviable, because we cannot evacuate entire nations into our own countries, or unfair, because we cannot accept a few people at random. It is also crucial to realize that most of the Syrian migrants were upper class in their own countries. Thus, helping them isn’t necessarily an act of humanitarianism towards the poor. It is just assisting the most well off from a country doomed for chaos for many more decades, while leaving behind the ones who never had a chance at all.

Why the Adhan Should Be Banned in Non-Islamic Countries

For those of you who don’t know, the Adhan is the call to the Islamic prayer for Muslims. I would consider myself to be someone who practices Islam with devotion. But I am also against blasting the Adhan from mosques in most non-Muslim majority countries. It has come to the point where Muslims in places like the United Kingdom and the United States are demanding to use loudspeakers for the Adhan from their local mosques. Unfortunately, there are now even places in the United States where the Adhan is blasted on loudspeakers, for everyone to hear.

The Adhan should be banned in countries that Muslims are not native to, especially if loudspeakers are used.

a) Loudspeakers are not a part of the Islamic tradition. Long ago, the imams recited the Adhan from the minarets (towers) of the masjids in Islamic civilizations. That was before loudspeakers were invented. Most people could probably hear the Adhan from outside, a good distance away from the masjids. But it almost certainly wasn’t nearly as loud then as it is now.

b) Loudspeakers are invasive, and last at least several minutes. The sound can often easily be heard from everywhere.

c) If a Muslim really demands to hear the Adhan, then he or she can just move to his or her own country. If that is not possible for whatever reason, there are many other options such as Egypt, Kuwait, Algeria, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and many more.

d) Muslims are not small kids. Thus, they should be able to keep track of prayer times without having somebody else remind them that it is time for prayer. The call to prayer is only a superfluous thing appropriate for an Islamic majority nation (not county, town, or neighborhood). It is not a requirement to practice Islam.

Many Muslims bring up the ringing of church bells as a justification for blasting the Adhan. But the sound of church bells usually lasts for no more than a minute or two. Also, the adhan is much louder when loudspeakers are used.

There is no “Islamophobia” associated with banning loudspeakers. They create an annoyance that can only escalate disdain for Muslims. Forcing people to listen to the adhan will also not force them to like Islam or to dislike it less. Or to put it shortly, you cannot make people like something through forced exposure.

It is worth noting that Islam majority countries and countries where Muslims have later migrated to aren’t the only ones where the Adhan is publicly recited. There are few countries with large Muslim countries, like India and Israel, that also allow the local mosques to recite the Adhan for the general public to hear. I don’t see a major issue with the public recitation of the call to prayer in these cases. That’s because those countries are old world countries with very large Muslim populations native to those lands. The Muslim populations in those areas have been around for just about as long as, if not longer, than the non-Muslim populations.

Toddlers and Hypocrites

While this blog is not a place for political issues, I felt like I just have to talk about this one. Katie Rich, a writer for Saturday Night Live, posted a joke about Donald Trump’s ten year old son, Barron. The joke proclaimed that he will be America’s first homeschool shooter, probably playing on the fact that he appears to be very sheltered. The factual accuracy enthusiasts have pointed out that he is not even homeschooled. But what bothered people most was that she was making fun of a ten year old. Being younger than the age of eighteen means he is still a child by American standards. And given the “right” situation, we all know how referring to a minor unsolicited can be the ultimate berserk button for most people. And there is an important reason why I quoted “right.” It is because the protection of being younger than the age of eighteen isn’t always a protection from bullying, harassment, or even infringement of rights.

A lot of people have good points.

“Children of politicians and other famous people are off limits. People don’t choose their parents, after all.”

“Hating a child’s parent isn’t a justification for bullying that child.”

But I realized that, for some weird reason, the general public seems to have some intense desire to protect this particular kid. To be honest, he doesn’t even look like a kid that much. He is ten, but he can almost pass off as sixteen. At this point, he must be at least 5’8 or 5’9, which is crazy tall for a ten year old. I am not saying any of this as an insult. Anyway, the amount of protection he gets is from all points on the spectrum, from those who love his dad to those who hate him, is immense. If every single child below the age of eighteen was unconditionally respected and protected, that would be totally fine. It would be awesome. I myself felt that I benefitted from this protection when I was a minor, and am so thankful for it. But unfortunately, there are many kids in the United States who are publicly ridiculed. Unlike myself or our little friend Barron, they have virtually no one protecting them from the mockery they face in their most vulnerable years.

Does the show “Toddlers and Tiaras” ring a bell? It is a show about young children who are often forced by their histrionic mothers into these tawdry beauty pageants. Most of the children are below the age of ten, with many of them in their toddler years. The vast majority are girls, and they have to cake their faces in makeup. In at least one episode, a child was taken by her mother to get botox.

Aside from the cosmetic procedures, the children are essentially ridiculed for their “bad behavior”. A young four year old girl throws a tantrum not because her mom wants her to go to bed or go to grandma’s house, but because her mom is forcing her to apply makeup and perform at a pageant. Then she is filmed and laughed at on the show, for all the world to insult her and laugh along. Did any of these children choose their parents? No. Do any of these children inherently deserve negative treatment for having terrible parents? No. Then why is it totally ok to not stand up for these kids, let alone make fun of them?

America seriously needs to wake up. Our people go crazy over a mild joke directed at a preteen probably because he happens to be the first son. But at the same time we have children being bullied, sometimes on reality tv or on youtube, but nobody cares about their well being.

Katie Rich shouldn’t have been fired. Maybe it was wrong for her to break the American code of satirizing a minor. But in a country that will easily violate that same code of honor to a much worse extent, the punishment was a lot more than just harsh.