The interviews continue today with a favorite of mine: Shamalama of Common Folk Using Common Sense...
The interview panel is ready...
Now, for the first question...
Can you explain the significance of your site's masthead?
My ancestors hail from glorious country of Scotland.
According to what I've discovered from my genealogy research my folks were stubborn Scottish Presbyterians living in lowland Scotland back in the 1500s. When England tried to impose the Church of England on my ancestors they got angry and moved to the new plantations of northern Ireland (County Antrim) around 1600. They stayed there for a generation or two until the Church of England tried to impose their beliefs there. My folks got angry again and moved to the New World - America - around 1700. Over the next several generations they helped expand the frontier into North Carolina, South Carolina, and finally into Georgia, where I live today. I am proud to have Scot blood in me, and on occasion I do wear my kilt - although carrying my broadsword in public garnishes way too much attention from the authorities. I am just a common man using what little common sense God gave me.
We've received lots of questions from students in Finland. Here's the first student today...
Hello. My name is Anne Peltola and I'm a journalism student from Finland. I would like to ask Don Singleton a couple of questions concerning the Danish cartoons and the recent events caused by them. I would appreciate an answer by the end of the week.
First I'd like to know something about you, some background information. Who are you? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?
I am a 46-year-old male living in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, USA. I am a happily-married husband, a proud father, and a very proud grandfather. I am an IT professional ($10 phrase for "geek") working for a bankrupt major international airline based in Atlanta, GA. My blog is a method I use to release tensions I have from being a voting US citizen, a frazzled father, and an overworked/underpaid geek. I consider myself a Conservative Libertarian. I have a son that recently served as a US Marine in Afghanistan, and with the Lord's grace he made it home without injury even though there were many that tried to prevent his safe return. I'll simply say that my son is an Expert Marksman, and he can drop a 60mm white phosphorus round just about anywhere he wants to.
Then to the topic: What do you think about the Danish cartoons? How do they make you feel?
People take their faiths very seriously. A cartoon that makes fun of a diety you hold dear can cause the person great anger.
With that said, the Danish cartoons are bad things. Seeing the cartoons making fun of Muhammad, the prophet Muslims worship, causes me to have sympathy for all Muslims. I would hope that people seeing mocking cartoons of Jesus would cause them to have sympathy for Christians. Andres Sarrano immersed a crucifix in urine, and Chris Ofili defamed the Virgin Mary with cow dung. To ridicule another's faith or faith icons is a hurtful thing. I just wish that the US media would have the same sensitivities towards Christianity that they do Islam, but that will never happen. Islam is the "flavor of the month" to the US media and is protected and apologized for.
Why do you think the Muslims have reacted so strongly to them?
Muhammad is the guy that God, through the angel Gabriel, spoke to, giving him the message to tell all the world. Muhammad was the final prophet, the chosen one. To have such a person ridiculed and mocked publically hurts. I understand this, because so many people have, and continue to, ridicule and mock the person I believe was chosen by God to deliver a message: Jesus. But I believe US media has covered the riots and protests in order to elicit sympathy for the Muslim protestors, something they would never to to any Christian protestors - it's part of their apologizing for and support of radical Islam. It is they that have fueled this fire, not the cartoons themselves.
What do you think should be done now?
As much as I hate seeing a person's icon of faith mocked, and hate even more the thought of common people having their voices squelched. In the US we have, as a fundamental right, the ability to speak our mind, whether it be to complain about taxes or to proclaim that the white race is superior, to informing us that the spotted owl is in danger of extinction. The right to speak is fundamental to all free people, even of some of the people say words that hurt other people. The editor who published the pictures are guilty of publishing items that could anger people. Contrast this with the people who are destroying building and calling for people to die.
There is a big difference between the publishers and the protestors.
Cartoons do not force soemone to attack or kill someone else - the person doing the act are themselves guilty. There is no cartoon that condones killing. Take your blame away from the publishers and place it on the people doing the destruction.
What do you suspect will happen in the future?
What happens in the future all depends on what Muslims do and how Muslims act. The rest of the world will form their opinions of Islam by what they perceive are the prevailing attitudes of the followers of Islam. If death and destruction continue in the wake of these cartoons then the rest of the world will see Islam as a purveyor of death and destruction.
Now the second student from Finland...
I'm a journalism student from Finland, and I'd like to ask you a few questions about the danish cartoon scandal for my school project. I'd be very thankful if you found the time to answer my questions.
How do you see the whole Mohammed cartoon episode?
This is a turning point for Islam. For decades the rest of the world has heard the phrase "Religion of Peace" coming from CAIR and other Islamic public relations groups. Christians, for centuries, have had to put up with flamable acts like the Piss Christ and the world watched as screams and protests followed. But the actions by those Christians are night-and-day different from the death and destruction that followed the Danish cartoons. Oh most certainly it is not nice for a publisher to make fun of someone's beliefs or icons, but that does not compare with a religious leader calling his people to death and destruction. If Islam is such a religion of peace, then where are the voices calling for peace? Has Islam been taken over by the radicals, or it is that Islam itself is radical? Personally I believe the latter.
What do you think about the reaction of the islamic world to the publishing of the cartoons in Jyllands Posten?
Personally I've always thought of Islam as more of a cult than a true faith. Anyone that would encourage death and destruction following the cartoons thus prove that Islam, at least their vision of Islam, is a cult of death and not a true religion of peace. Any diety that espouses death is a diety that should not be followed. It is because of this desire to kill those that simply voiced an opinion that I have included the cartoons on my blog. As much as I dislike poking fun at someone's faith, and wholeheartedly detest someone calling for another to die. If this were nothing but simple protests then I would have sided with the Muslims - but since this has become an excuse to murder innocent people I now side with the publishers and I further support them by inclusing the cartoons on my blog.
What do you think about other european newspapers publishing the pictures afterwards in the name of freedom of speech?
Freedom to speak is, I think, a fundamental right of a free and civilized person. People may say something that I wholeheartedly disagree with, something that causes my blood to boil, but the right of that person to speak should never be crushed. The only philosophies that stop a person's right to voice their opinion are the totalitarian regimes that have always proven to be evil and wrong. I may not like what the European publish, and there are many, many times I despise what the European media publishes, but I will always stand for their right to publish it. Look, European and US media and "artists" have been satirizing Christianity for centuries, and I've never liked any of it. But I don't lead a group of people to torch an innocent business or call for the killing of anyone from the publisher's country. Islam is not a faith - it is legalized barbarianism.
What would you like to say to the chief editor of Jyllands Posten?
You are looking into the face of the dragon. I hope you have both your armor and sword. If you need assistance I have a Scottish broadsword and I will stand with you.
Is this the prelude to World War III ?
World War III has already started. The US, for example, has been under attack from worldwide terrorism for the last 20 years.
The World Trade Towers were attacked perviously in an attempt to topple them. A US warship, the USS Cole, was attacked and people died. Several US diplomats have been killed over the last two decades. And the great majority of these attacks were done by those following a radical, militant, version of Islam. Militant Islam is a cancer on all of humanity and civilization. This cancer will grow unless it is contained. Only now is Europe starting to realize what radical Islam is and can do. The apologists are working overtime, and the Islamic public relations machine is working overtime, but radical Islam has a goal of worldwide domination and there are but three options in their world according to their Quran: (1) convert to their vision of Islam, (2) submit as a slave, or (3) die. And before you go spouting off to me about not understanding their texts, I have my own 800-page copy of the Quran and I do read it and study it. It is up to the rest of the civilized world which of the three options they choose, and the "day of choosing" is rapidly at hand.
Now the final Finland student...
My name is Jenni Meronen and I'm a student in the Helsinki business polytechnic Helia in Finland. I study journalism. Our English teacher gave us a class assignment, and that's why I'm writing to you. I would be delighted if you could help me do my assignment and answer the following questions:
Have you followed the events that have taken place because of the publishing of the Prophet Muhammed pictures in Denmark?
I have been following the actions of radical Islam since the day that 3000 innocent US citizens were butchered by their hands.
The Danish cartoons are simply one more chapter.
What do you think about the situation?
It bothers me to see Muhammad mocked. Personally I don't believe Muhammad to be anything other than a terrorist, a butcher, a murderer, a pedophile, and a false prophet with the only goal of brainwashing as many followers as possible to follow and support him in his goal of domination. But there are those that think Muhammad was touched by God, and as long as those people don't bother me I won't bother them. But when they start telling me I have to live by their rules, and they start killing innocent people, I suddenly lose all sympathy for them and whatever cartoons they think are offensive.
Why do you think the muslim community is so upset?
They see their highest prophet being mocked in public, and they don't like it. I can understand that because I don't like it when I see Jesus mocked in public. But when they try to resolve the issue by killing innocent people they become nothing more than common thugs and not people of faith.
What do you think Denmark or other countries should do?
They should be free to speak their minds without fear of death. The Islamic community can protest, they can boycott, they can complain. But when they shed blood they become enemies of the civilized world. I believe that Denmark, and many other European countries, should wake up and realize that radical Islam is not just "another faith to be celebrated in a spirit of diversity" but rather a cult of death that must be repelled.
If you could do something about the situation, what would it be?
Tell the leaders of Europe that radical Islam is not like the religions they have dealt with in the past, that radical Islam has, as its goal, worldwide domination, much more akin to Communism in the 1950s and Nazism in the 1930s. European leaders - wake up!
Now, the issue that reaches beyond the troubles of this small world: Why Kirk over Picard over Janeway?
Kirk used "gunboat diplomacy" whereas Janeway used the "I cherish diversity" and Picard used the "we're all one big happy family" approach. Now if I were captain of a starship I'm not saying that I would always use Kirk's approaches to conflicts and decisions, but it's so much more entertaining to watch. Janeway would never have gotten her ears re-molded to look Romulan in order to sneak abord a Romulan warship to steal their cloaking device.
And what about Sisko and Archer? Where do they fit in?
Who? Sisko wasn't too bad; I just never got into the stuck-in-an-outpost-space-station storyline. I much prefer tromping across the stars in a fast and powerful ship. As to Archer - he killed "Enterprise". He no more fit my image of a starship captain that a common garden slug. That show could have been great if they had something other than a wuss in the command chair. Even the great effects, the great history line, the great ship, and the oh-so-obvious-7-of-9-look-at-my-hot-body clone couldn't save the show from the wimp captain Archer.
What do you think of Vince Dooley? What about Michael Adams?
On the Seventh Day, when God rested, He spent the afternoon going over offensive play combinations for the opening game with Vince Dooley. Michael Adams should have recognized Dooley's history and legacy at UGA and allowed him to retire at his leisure - that would have been the southern gentleman thing to do, especially considering what Dooley did for UGA and what his name meant at UGA fundraisers and benefits. Adams couldn't stand the thought of Dooley being more powerful and better liked than him and decided, on his own, to remove his competition. In 20 years this will all mean nothing - but for now Adams has shown himself not to be a southern gentleman, and as such I hope his career fizzles out to nothing and he lives out his retirement in a two-room shack in the Glynn County swamps - alone and forgotten.
Okay, Mensa boy: What's the stupidest thing you ever did?
The stupidest thing I've even done was to join Mensa. I attended one Mensa social at a local restaurant. The other Mensans spent the next two hours complaining about how the waitresses, the cooks, the hostess, and everyone else under the sun were so stupid and worthless (as compared to them, of course). To have a mental capacity that someone has graded to be above average is a gift and should be used to help and uplift - not to berate. I was so embarassed that I never attended another social and I cancelled my subscription to their publications (which were nothing more than fund raisers). I thought this group would meet to tackle the problems and issues of mankind, not to lord it over the "common folk". Somebody, living somewhere, designed some test that supposedly tells some others what mental abilities I may or may not have, and that some score on such a test is supposed to rank me in some percentile of the rest of the world. So what?
Who do you think will be elected President in 2008? Who do you want to be elected President in 2008?
The Republicans were given a gift of a lifetime recently, and they've squandered it mercilessly. There is no border security.
The budget is out-of-hand. The lobbysts still control Washington.
Outside of repelling radical Islam the Republicans are no better than the Democrats, and the people are angry. The 2008 elections, I fear, will simply be voting against the worst candidate and not voting for the best candidate. There are no Jeffersons, no Lincolns, no Kennedys, no Reagans. We are the most powerful, richest, most free nation in all the world and we have no one to lead us. I want Condi to be on the ticket as Vice President, but, so far, there is no one I want for President. I simply pray that it is not, in this new era of worldwide terrorism, a weak-kneed New England Democrat.
What's your favorite movie of all time?
"The Natural". It's a story of a great young guy that makes a bad decision that almost destroys him. But he fights back and is able to stand tall, if but for one single event. His bad decisions haunt him and fight against him, but through it all he finds himself, finds his courage, and is able to stand before the world as a proud and able hero. There are several similarities in my life, and I look to Roy Hobbs as a role model and hero. And you didn't ask, but I'll volunteer it anyway: Favorite Book is Proverbs, Favorite Music is any good pipe and drum music along with any good Celtic stuff (and not any of the new-age-pretend-Celtic stuff).
Does Sonny Perdue deserve another term? Why/Why not?
I like several of the things he's either done or attempted. A big one was the flag issue - he stood alone against so many and yet held to his convictions, and I agreed with him. He may not be the greatest Governor of Georgia, but he ain't the worst. I'd vote for him.
In a fight between Hikaru Sulu and William T. Riker, who would win?
Sulu. Riker may be a good fighter with his fists, but Sulu is an artist with a rapier. Riker would be ground beef in under 10 minutes.
Thanks for agreeing to the interview. I appreciate your putting up with us ... and for explaining how folks like us see things.
Tomorrow, it's another favorie of mine: Tish of The World According To Tish.