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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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July 18, 2005
Their Sacrificed Sons
Filed in: Current Affairs, Music, Politics, War on Terror

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the progressive rock group Dream Theater. They have emerged from almost twenty years of hard work to what looks like is going to be the metal mainstream - and not so much because they have changed - significant interest has developed in thematic music that is coupled with incredible technical ability.

Dream Theater certainly meets the ticket and even though I'm getting long in the tooth, I have really enjoyed their work and have observed their maturation for the last decade that I've been listening to them. I've often said that these guys are what would have happened had Beethoven been given modern instrumentation. They've certainly proven that modern music can be written that isn't exclusively about girls and cars, that isn't always written in 4/4 time and isn't always based on the I,IV,V chords, and they've also proven that they can hold your attention - with story - for far longer than any radio airplay will ever grant them.

What may not be well known about them is their penchant for hard hitting conservative political commentary (well, conservative from my view and interpretation). One of their best was The Great Debate from the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence double album release in 2002. This 13 minute, 43 second piece - opening with a 'newscast' set of 'interviews' from all sides - presented a very fair debate about the stem cell issue but directly confronted the moral implications with:

Are you justified?
Are you justified?
Are you justified?
Justified in taking
Life to save life?
Life to save life?
Taking life to save life?

Good questions. The full lyrics are worth the read. But, that's not what this post is about.

Dream Theater just released their latest album Octavarium last month. It's been my listening companion on and off since early June.

Their seventh cut on this album is called Sacrificed Sons and the recent bombings in London have brought home the prescient nature of its message. Sacrificed Sons is a September 11th, 2001 rock anthem that communicates with music all the terror, confusion, horror, and heroism of that fateful day.

But its lyrics directly confront what has become apparent as the details about the recent events in London unfold. First the lyrics:

Walls are closing
Channel surfing

Burning City
Smoke and fire
Planes we're certain
Faith inspired

No clues
A complete surprise
Who'll be
Coming home tonight

Heads all turning
Towards the sky
Towers crumble
Heroes die

(chorus) Who would wish this
On our people
And proclaim
That His will be done
Scriptures they heed have misled them
All praise their Sacrificed sons

Teach them
What to think and feel
Your ways
So enlightening

Words they preach
I can't relate
If God's true Love
Are acts of Hate

God on High
Our mistake
Will mankind be extinct?
There's no time to waste
Who serves the truth
For Heaven's sake

It's impossible to present the emotional impact of this song without hearing it. But the lyrics provide the message.

Last week Jeff Goldstein provided a brilliant denouement of the media call to understand the "root causes" of terrorism in the wake of the London bombings. What he said being plain spoken about it is that we need not address any more than what the terrorists do to understand the "root causes" of terrorism: TERRORISTS WHO BLOW S**T UP. They - the terrorists - are the "root cause" of terror because of what they do. This is true and simple enough. There really is no further requirement to understand their motivation to grasp the cause. But as the comment section developed on Jeff's post, it was evident that identifying terrorists before they commit their acts is a more difficult proposition. It is apparent as well that the area of fruitful pursuit is rooted in the spiritual position - the faith, the belief, the fealty - that the terrorist holds.

Today, Jeff cogently examines further the threat of multiculturism (we might as well add utopian pacifism and moral equivalence), which we can see, in the case of the London events, has provided succor to the terrorists:

I’ve been arguing for years now that a pervasive cultural fear of plain spokenness (as witnessed by the growing appeal, among those whose greatest fear is giving offense, of “tolerance” statutes and “free speech zones”—both feeble attempts to control speech, either by diluting it to the point of semiotic uselessness or by making it contingent on arbitrary logistics) is one of the greatest dangers facing liberal democracies, something now being thrown into sharp relief as British community leaders and politicians schooled on the kind of innate cultural relativism that multiculturalist dogma inevitably encourages struggle to frame the recent London terror bombings in a way that manages to negotiate both the semantic demands of their cultural philosophy and the facts on the ground. 

He continues and smashes identity politics all together. Still, we are left with, how do we link an actualized individual to acts of terror before they occur? Again, the comments to the post unfold into exploration of the death cult that we confront. What is the demarcation line between the co-religionist Muslim and the death cult to which they give implicit or facile succor?

I'm not one that often appeals to lyricists for political truth, but the plain spokenness of Dream Theater's song, after more than a few listens, provides a wake-up call. Many times lyrics written by brilliant people (like posts that are written by brilliant people) must be listened to (or read) multiple times by mere mortals for them to be really understood.

All praise their Sacrificed sons seems somewhat enigmatic on its face. It's intentional. It caused me initially to ask "Does he mean everyone, universally, did we all praise those that we lost that day?" Well, no. More than sons were lost that day. And we were suffused with our grief that day. There was no place for any praise. Not from any American heart. We would praise our heroes in days afterward.

The full meaning really hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks: In the midst of this greatest loss of American life, in the midst of this cowardly usurpation of our tools of travel that the people of our country freely used to feed their families, in the midst of outright attack on civilians going about the free execution of their pursuits, in the midst of this horror - there were many who considered that the sacrifice of one of their own was worthy of praise. We may all have retained a glimmer of the expressions of joy, the celebrations that occurred in the streets around the world of Islam. But our multicultural bent and the lie of moral equivalence (There could be some homicidal Christian bombers somewhere coudn't there? How about those Orthodox Jewish suicide terrorists that are furtherring their Zionist aims?) has dampened our memories.

In plain speaking, there is a way to divide the wheat from the chaff. It is a simple test of solidarity. Was Mohamed Atta a sacrificed son? Or was he a perpetrator of evil? Would you repudiate what he did as wholly unredeeming? Was Hasib Hussain a sacrificed son? Or did he blow up the bus in London out of his committment to an evil religious ideology? Would you say that he has a special place in hell reserved for him?

While it is certainly correct to point out that it doesn't make sense to declare outright war on Islam - we can declare war on the choices people make about who they will serve on this earth. Ask the questions. "What do you think of these men?" If it would make our dedicated multiculturalist brethren more comfortable, I would submit to the affront to my red-blooded American patriotism to answer the questions. Ask everyone. Influence our allies to ask the questions. Anyone who vacillates on whether these men were sacrificed sons or perpetrators of despicable evil must be treated as potentially dangerous to the rest of us - and isolated if necessary.

If we do not have the stomach to do this, our stomachs themselves may be spilled out with the rest of our entrails by the sacrificed sons among us. What will it take for us to throw off our cultural shame and act to preserve our families, ourselves, and our way of life?

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