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Fall is my favorite. The first hints of cool inspire me to get busy on outdoor tasks left aside as too tedious for hot days. Autumn is work time with my labor eased with whiffs of changes in grass, leaf, and branch getting ready for days on days dormant in vegetation hibernation. I fell into dizzy love the first time experiencing north woods autumn with so many sights and smells set free from the overpowering blanket of grassy greens. I confess feeling seeping sadness in the arrival of fall. Perhaps it is that sense of sorrow makes me appreciate the season so much more.
The date 9/11 early autumn fifteen years ago added a different kind of melancholy added to the season. Anniversaries of important events in the histories of personal and national lives so it is not impossible the planners of 9/11 did so in recognition of an anniversary of an event in 1683. Many Americans share the disconnected and inaccurate history the present administration so often relies on as fact by holding up the Crusades as cause for shameful reflection. Crusades out of the west were long past in 1683. In contrast, the Islamic form of Crusade, the Jihad, began well before the Crusader Era and continued (militarily) centuries after. 1683 was simply the last major attempt to bring the West under Islamic rule.
Middle School children in Poland know what American textbooks ignore or gloss over. Those children are also aware of facts our leaders are not. It was the Polish King, Sobieski, who on the final days of battle rallied the forces of the Holy League to route the army intent on imposing Islamic theocracy beginning with Vienna and moving on to Paris and Rome. That military plan failed and while we might ignore or forget it some have not and elected to use the same date of September 11 to renew a further campaign of Caliphate expansion. To a rational westerner this possibility seems absurd, but though centuries have past don’t we still recognize importance in July 4, 1776. Let me suggest that if that was the day Britain won and celebrated its success would we not recognize that date with venomous dislike equal to that of the 9/11 jihadists? In terms of the memory of a domination seeking ideology stretching back 1,400 years the three hundred plus years between 1683 and 2001 is a blip making no change whatever to the ultimate goal.
The religious absolutism of a theocratic system is not the product of Enlightenment, the Age of Discovery, or an establishment of Science. To apply rational comparison is essentially a waste of time. As every year the planet goes through a sequence of seasons so too does absolutism cycle back with the same intent to the same goal. It does so because absolute systems allow nothing contrary. Judaism has an absolutist side that keeps some followers visibly back in earlier times for conformity sake. Christianity has an absolutist potential that hounded Galileo and Copernicus among others for questioning dogma. Inquiring minds were often persecuted, punished, or put to death for rejecting standard or dogmatic truth. Stepping from a rational system where society thrives because rules, values, and suppositions can be openly and actively questioned to an order where doing so violates Divine Law is not easy for us. Living in a system that rose from The Enlightenment and uses representative democracy accountable to its citizens and not to a Credo we no longer think and operate according to those limits. We are free. This may result in much aimless wandering and squandering of person, but our way values individual independence. But, our appreciation for and use of freedom has no value (or is counter valued as disbelieving criminality) in systems where Creed outranks and superimposes the value of the individual. In an absolute system the individual is given this role; submit and obey. Anything less is punishable. Once an absolute system takes or is given power individual choice and personal liberty are gone, actively punished as signs of improper following of the Creed.
These are not innocent distinctions. It is the prattling of wishful, foolish, or ill-considered minds to placidly espouse false hopes in the face of an abundance of contrary evidence. The present day examples of absolutist systems in North Korea and in dozens of Islamic states show exactly what you get putting conformity and obedience ahead of individual rights. Government or religion that is enforced results in tyranny. How much compromise with that painful fact dare we risk?
Sad as the prospect of renewed ideological conflict represented by 9/11 causes me to feel there is a recent event adding to my sorrow. It is acceptable to say an act or idea is deplorable. Tough open talk on topics is OK. It is very much not OK when a term is turned to classify and to use against people. Citizens are not subjects for mass ridicule as “objectionables” or “deplorables” or any other biased discrimination. This is especially so when discriminatory bias is the very thing the speaker says they find deplorable. If this is so bad and you are so much above that would you ever trump up (I hope you enjoy that one) your own form of discriminatory bias? You do so, I think, in the belief your views are superior and above reproach or criticism. Or you do so when polls say a strategy will add traction to a campaign. But really, I expect more than naming and blaming from candidates. I’m disappointed quite often. How about you?
Feeling in a quippy mood I’m disappointed when things I’d regard as no more than a splash in a toilet bowl (a peak performance for some) is seen as worthy of newsy repetition. In too many ways both sides give me equal cause for concern running toward despair that we aren’t doing better and our media doesn’t help. Sadly I say Hillary strikes me as Trump with tits and Trump seems a Hillary figure with particularly bad hair. One of them, however, does manage facts a little better. I leave it to your bias to decide which.