| Now that's music to MY ears!
Yes, as a Catholic, and a former theater major, I am aware that the Church dissmissed much of the arts during the Middle Ages. I am reminided of a quote from the popular cult classic Dogma, directed by Kevin Smith
Cardinal: The Catholic Church does not make mistakes!
13th Apostle: Oh Sh*T! what about it's consent of the slave trade?
Bethany: And it's policy of non-involvment during the Holocaust?
(I could add some more recent events such as gay and lesbian rights, abortion, stem-cell research, and pedophile preists).
Anyway, I guess there's always drama or ultra-conservatism associated with whatever beleif system you belong to.
But getting back to the point, the Times article has opened my eyes, and i hope it has enlightend us all by rminding us that we here in the "Free World" are not safe....there are people out there who run their governments differently then us. The best we can do is to not take our rights, freedoms and culture for granted...we have been given so many gifts from the Christian God, the Jewish god (Yahweh I belive, is that correct?), the Islamic god (Allah), or whomever or whatever you belive in.
I cannot remember the passage off hand, but in the Bible it says "He who sings prays twice". As a singer, (and a novice musician), God is a large part of my inspiration....there are so many hymns specific to Catholiscism that I love to sing, and my experience at mass singing those hymns has been heightend through the work of our chior director/guitarist playing/arranging those hymns in a jazz/gospel/rock/blues idiom.....upon hearing that kind of sound, I think the Taliban would pour molten lead into their own ears!!! (oh wait, that's if they heard the bagpipes).
| Accordian Death Metal
Edward, thanks for sending me this link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/duckmandu/
God! Could you imagine what the Taliban would do to this guy if they could catch him?!!!
| Musical Wars
Well, it's not really wisdom, but being very well read on this subject. It is really beyond belief that a government would ban instrumental music! But as you know, Cat Stevens (aka Ibrahim Joseph) has also bought into this way of thinking. It is very widespread among certain groups of Muslims, and people of other faiths must be aware of this reality.
I don't really know why Bush went into Iraq. The only reason that really makes sense to me is that he wanted to create a military base between Syria and Iran. If that was his reasoning, it is brilliant. But, of course, he can't admit that. So he said it was to remove Saddam, find weapons of mass destruction, and bring democracy to the middle east...all of which are probably true to an extent, but are difficult to justify cosidering how things have gone. So the critics attack him for not finding WMD and for not bringing a stable democracy, while probably the powers that be in the Democratic party know the real reason Bush did it (military base) but also won't admit it. So, the whole political scenario is one big game of chicken, in which both sides attack each other over things that are not real, while they both know what is.
But leaving Iraq aside for now...we have to be aware that militant Islam is opposed to music. They see it as evil. I completely understand this because in certain very Orthodox Jewish sects there is a somewhat similar belief. The belief is that music affects your soul in a deep way that the mind can't even comprehend. Therefore, you should only listen to music composed by very holy people (i.e. religious sages who compose). This is far less restrictive than the Muslim idea however, because you can play the holy melodies on any instrument, and you can even put them to a modern beat. But I remember when I was flirting with becoming Orthodox, and I actually considered quiting playing classical and rock gigs for fear that my soul could be polluted by unholy music.
Yet there was a day when I went to the study of this Orthodox rabbi who was my main "mentor", and he had a classical radio station on. I said, "How come you're listening to the radio? They play all kinds of music from all kinds of composers." He just laughed and said, "Yeah I know ideally I shouldn't listen...but even I don't go THAT far".
But Muslim extremists go way beyond that extreme. It is totally against Judaism to ban instruments! Even more anathama to Judaism is the idea that you would beat people up because they listen to music! One thing George Bush says that is correct is that they do hate us because of our freedoms. People make fun of him for saying that, but the musical situation shows how true that is. They hate the fact that we listen to the Grateful Dead...with their instruments, and their lyrics about sex, drugs and rock n' roll. They hate Reggae with its talk about rebellion and pot smoke. They hate Zappa with his satire and pushing of taboos They hate classical music with its instrumental pieces that don't even include the human voice! (By the way, the church held a similar position at the start of the Middle Ages...also known as the Dark Ages!) We must realize that they seek to create a world where all of these things are banned and people are beaten for listening! And they are indeed trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction, and they will indeed use them to try to destroy our culture and literally force us into the stone age to enforce their restrictions on the whole world. They truly believe this to be the will of God (Allah), and they have shown themselves willing to die, and kill others, to obey His will.
Whatever one thinks about the middle east, if they deny this, they are not grounded in reality. First one must understand the reality of any situation. Then one can formulate plans.
| Lest molten lead be poured into their ears......
I must admit I was not aware of the taliban's music ban untill today.....
"It insists that there is a hadith (a record of the Prophet's sayings) warning people not to listen to music lest molten lead be poured into their ears on Judgment Day". Wow, that's shocking.
That reminds me of a a little blurb from a song called "West 95th Street High", by an obscure jam-band named Steel Train: "Also today, President Bush banned all music from the airwaves, stating that today's music is evil and we must do something about it".
(Check out their album "Twilight Tales from the Praries of the Sun").
I must admit I don't know what to say...the article above is shocking to say the least. I cannot imagine living under a government who puts limits on something so universal as listening to or playing music....we are very fortunate to live here in the west were such basic freedoms or instincts are guarrenteed to us. If for nothing else (and Bush really hasn't made it clear why), perhaps THIS is why we are STILL in Iraq...to make it possible for the oppressed peoples of the world to enjoy the arts and other freedoms.
Aaron, you are wise beyond distinction.
| Reality is not always what we would like
| The world without music......
The world would indeed be a dreay place without music. I don't know if I'd go as far to say that the Muslim extremists want a music-less world, though. As a world music DJ, I recieve countless new albums from the Middle East and India...I find the music over there to be haunting and soothing (all the new-age type stuff) and bouncy and sexy (The techno-sounding stuff). Arabic people do have rich musical tradtions - for percussion there is the doumbek or darabuka, perhaps my favorite hand-drum, capaple of deep, low-pitched tones and high-pitched, metallic slaps...dumbeks, are in my opinion, much more sophisticated then the African djembes that the drum circle crowd play. You also have the various frame drums such as the tar, the bendir (precursor to the modern snare drum), and the riqq or tambourine, all of which are ancesestors of the Irish bodhran drum...is it any wonder that the Celts migrated to Anncient Ireland form the Middle East and Norht Africa?
For winds you have the ney, a shrill, high-pitched wooden flute which sounds and looks a bit like the Irish pennywhistle. For strings, you have the oud, a large lute, the cumbus, a precursor to the modern banjo, and the Morroccan guembri, which is like a banjo and a bass combined. As for genres of arabic music, I don't know too many. All I'll say is that if Muslims did rule the world some day (and I never hope that happens) they would still play or sing music, as we all do everyday...I don't that music could ever die out as long as we humans inhabit this harmonius planet.
And by the way, Cat Stevens is now Yusef Islam...and I wish he'd do an Arabc cover of "Wild World". (BTW, I also wish Bob Dylan would cover Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline").
| frankly, no drugs
Hi gang. From my understanding, Frank Zappa did not do drugs. He smoked cigarettes and drank coffee, espresso really. He was anti-drugs, and yes, made fun of the drug culture. It is funny how many people assumed he was a druggie, because some of his music was "weird". But not so. Zappa also claimed he did smoke pot a few times, but never got "high", just sleepy.
| We need food, sex, shelter...but Marcus?
Interesting article. A world without music would be a bleak world for most people. I guess militant Muslims want to create a world with no music...well, only the Muslims call to prayer, sung by a male with no instrumental accompianment. In fact, Cat Stevens only performs with only males singing and no instruments except a crude hand held drum. And when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan it was a crime to play an instrument or listen to instrumental music.
It's very funny how the Muslims got so far away from the revelation in the Torah. The greatest king of Israel, the one who's line Christians believe Jesus came from, was a harpist! And there are psalms that speak of playing the trumpet, strings and percussion!
Sure, on the Sabbath Orthodox Jews do not play instruments due to restrictions about not working. But what is weird is how extremist Muslims have taken the most restrictive parts of Judaism and made them the law for all times!
Have you ever been to an Orthodox Jewish wedding? There they play every instrument and get into wild, trance-like dances that go on for an hour at a time. Surely the Jewish sages recognized the importance of music. I have heard it said that music is the highest form of communion with God short of prayer. But even prayers are sung! And the Christians created some of the most beautiful music ever written in the praise of God.
Yet even without any thought of God, music can bring people to experience emotions and thoughts that they would never receive any other way. I suppose one could live without it...but what kind of life would it be?
| we need food sex and shelter but music?
Indeed, Zappa, unlike the Dead, wrote music that made fun of people who got high. Like this lyric, "I'm completely stoned. I'm hippie and I'm trippy, and a gypsy on my own. I'll stay a week and get the craps and take a bus back home. I'm really just a phoney, but forgive me 'cause I'm stoned". There he was making fun of those who came to California in the sixties to join "the scene". Whereas the Dead were the "house band" of the scene (along with others like the Jefferson Airplane), Zappa was like this genius who stood outside and made fun of everyone.
In high school back when these groups were playing and were popular, the Dead Heads generally didn't like Zappa, and the Zappa freaks generally looked down on the Dead. The two groups represented two different views of the sixties. I was of of that rare breed that totally got into both! And you can hear in my music that I sometimes make fun of people, like in "Go To Hell", but also get into the peace and love jam vibe of the Dead in songs like "It Comes Around".
It's funny though...you can hear in Zappa's music a lack of a certain mellowness and spaciness that the Dead captured. On the other hand, they lacked the penetrating wit of Zappa's music. After a while, I came to realize that there were people out there like Beethoven and Bach whose genius was far beyond any rock musicians. So I became a classical music freak. But after a while of that I realized that it was also important to stay involved with the music being composed now. And I felt that some of the rock music better reflected what was happening at that time, than what was being written in the ivory towers by university professors and grant funded composers. What better reflects the mood of the sixties than Anthem of the Sun, Machine Gun, and Absolutely Free!
| Straight rock stars
I was under the impression that Frank Zappa never did drugs. Maybe Neal can weigh in on that. There are many great musicians who never took drugs. Many classical soloists never did. And even in rock there are some besides Zappa...like Davy Jones, and Captain and Tenille!
But drugs like alchohol cannot really do much good. Neither can downers or uppers or coke or crack. LSD is in a different category. It is more like the psychadelic mushrooms that Native Americans took for centuries to have spirtual experiences. I learned that what it actually does is bring the subconscious forward. That is why some people become more creative. It also opens the synapses between nerves for longer periods of time, letting in more information. So, whereas most drugs cloud the mind and make it take in less information, acid actually makes the mind take in more. That is why in some people it opens up creative juices, in others it makes them "flip out". I believe it brings out what is already inside. But that can be a good or a bad thing depending on someone's mental health.
That's great that you show will be on Friday's again. I'm not sure what's going to happen with Von Cello going to Vermont. I have to see what kind of pay we can get from gigging, because I'll probably have to pay the musicians at least room and gas. So, I'm sure I'll get up there again, but right now I don't know when.
The slashes appear when you preview your post. You can delete them, but if you preview again, they will come back. I think its a bug, but what I've come to do is avoid previewing.
| A new understanding of drugs fair and foul
I finally understand why the Dead sang about drug use....thanks Aaron...I see the light! (\\\"The Inner Light\\\" for all you George Harrison fans...check out a good rendition of the song on the album \\\"Concert for George\\\")
I will admit that most of my favorite rock stars took drugs at some point in their major careers: the Doors, Beatles, Hendrix, the Dead, Bob Marley (it\\\'s amazing how many t-shirts display him smoking a joint), Frank Zappa, Tom Petty, etc... When you think about it, though, I don\\\'t think there has ever been a musician or poet in the entire history of the arts who hasn\\\'t abused drugs in some form or another. I do a bit of writing myself, and as you read in my article in the Visitor\\\'s section, have hit the skins a few times with my chruch group....I am certainly not a musician on the Von Cello or Mozart level, but I can wind my voice through a song and get some good sounds out of a drum .
In college I drank alot, and who didn\\\'t? (I prefered rum and cokes to beer). I found it was in college that I started to try to be serious with my writing and poetry....I don\\\'t know if alchohol helpd me any, but just look at Jim Morrison in his overweight, \\\"blues singer\\\" days on the album \\\"LA Woman\\\". I think it\\\'s safe to say Jim was tippin\\\'the bottle more then once, but still, he never lost his knack for telling a story through music....Jim Morrison is one of my heroes.
Now that I\\\'ve had the chance to talk to him, I may just add Von Cello to that list.
Just so\\\'s ya know, starting the week of the 11th, I will be airing my radio show again, \\\"Shillelagh Safari With DJ Seamus\\\". Fridays 5-8pm E.S.T. My show\\\'s format is mostly Celtic, but I play anything and everything except really obscene hip-hop and \\\"Hollywood\\\" country.
I\\\'m pllaning some special themed shows too: polka music for Oktoberfest, a Halloween show (probably going to spin \\\"Von Cello Rules\\\" quite a bit), Christmas music of course for the holidays (I try to fit in stuff for Channukah too...forgive me Aaron if I misspelled that), and whatever else I can call a \\\"theme\\\"
You can call in with requests or comments at 1-802-654-2887. Check us out at our website, the link is in my guestbook profile.
P.S. Sorry about the slashes....I try to delete them but they just come back, like a bad, Eighties hair-style.
| One Wise Soul
Getting back to Dead lyrics, here are more examples that hint at drugs (in my opinion):
1. Sugar Magnolia - "We can discover the wonders of nature, rolling in the rushes down by the riverside". Of course, rushes are those plants that grow along salty rivers, but rushes are also surges of energy that people used to get from acid. And we see the use of water, "down by the riverside" which could be symbolic of acid. And the "wonders of nature" symbolizing sex. So the words mean, "We can do acid and have sex"...but said in a much more poetic way.
2. Sugar Magnolia - "She's got everything I need. Takes the wheel when I'm seeing double, pays my ticket when I speed". Again, it could mean someone having a vision problem and speeding while driving, but I think it is really about someone so stoned out that they are seeing double and also about someone high on "speed". So the words really mean, "She's a great girlfriend who helps me deal with things when I'm wasted".
The Dead also had lyrics that warned about the dangers of drugs:
1. Truckin - "What in the world ever became of sweet Jane. She lost her sparkle, you know she isn't the same. Living on reds, vitamin C and cocaine. All her friends can say is aint it a shame". In fact, that whole song is a call to Dead Heads to "get their shit together" and move ahead in life.
2. Casey Jones - "The trouble with you is the trouble with me. You have two good eyes but you still don't see. Come round the bend, you know its the end. The fireman screams and the engine just gleams". What a great lyric! It describes the mind of a coke addict. He sees the trouble ahead, but he can't stop "the fireman screams but the engine just gleams". And here too, the Dead admit to their own addictions, "the trouble with you is the trouble with me". They were not examples of how to live a perfect life. And they admitted to that. They were sometimes as wise as sages, and other times as drunk as sailors. Ultimately, they were artists. Many artists have used drugs to futher their creativity. Even Berlioz , the great French Romantic composer, was know to use opium. But drug use has also hurt many artists.
My bottom line about drugs is that they can be helpful, but more often are harmful. But the last thing in the world someone on drugs needs is to be put in jail! That just compounds whatever problems they may or may not have. This is the position I put forth in my song, "Feelin Fine", where I ask: "Feelin fine. Is that a crime?"
wow, that von cello is one wise soul
| Wise Old Drugged Out Men
Why would you assume one can't be "drugged out" and also wise? In Anthem of the Sun the Dead sing of "Blue visions, all a seer can own". I think this is a part of American history that has become hidden. But at the beginning of the sixties revolution many people believed that drugs, especially LSD, were a very positive thing. They felt that it gave them insights and increased creativity. In fact, they believed that if everyone in the world did acid it would lead to a world at peace. After all, who while tripping would want to kill other people or conquer the world?
By the end of the sixties it became clear that not everyone reacted well to drugs, and the idea of turning on the world was idealisitic, if not dangerous. Many people fell under the wieght of the drug use. Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison and others were casualties. And there was a collective feeling that the drug thing was a mistake, and a campaign began to hide, or deny it. That's when you got the Beatles saying Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was not an anacromym for LSD, and folks like Hunter saying box of rain is the earth.
Yet, it was LSD that led the Beatles to compose Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. It led the Dead to compose Dark Star and The Other One. Drugs led Peter Max and Andy Warhol to create psychadelic art, and Kesey and Keroac to write psychadelic books. It spread to fashion...bell bottoms, nehru jackets, bright colors and patterns, peasant dresses, sandals, beads, etc. It led to the end of the Viet Nam war. It led college kids to put flowers in the barrels of soldiers guns throughout the country. It led to health food, meditation, spiritual searching. Are all of these things bad? Are all of these things "unwise"? What is wisdom anyway?
The Dead were THE band of this movement. Much of their music has lyrics that hint at this, from Candy Man to Dark Star to Truckin to Attics of My LIfe. If you listen to the words, I think you will find a lot of wisdom mixed in with a lot of hints about drug use. Like most things in life, things are not black and white. Drugs made the Dead, but they also helped destroy the Dead. Maybe LSD is more like fire than water. It sheds a lot of light, but can burn you if you are not very careful.
I think the same could be said of religion. For some it centers their lives and helps them become better people. For others it leads them into polygamy with child brides, or orgies of death and destruction. The Dead said, "Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world". That is wise. That is similar to what I said in my song, "We are the saviours, we make the rules. We are the heroes, we are the fools". Drugs are not bad, religion is not bad. Its what people do with things that makes them one thing or another.
How's that for wisdom?
| Jokes, exotic noisemakers, and a plea for re-assurance
So here's a joke for you:
An Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman want to get in to the Olympics but they have no money for tickets. The Englishman's name is Charles, the Scotsman is MacGreggor, and the Irishman is Murphy. Charles hatches a plan to pose as atheletes to get in without paying. So Charles goes to the hardware store and gets a large, wooden dowel. He then goes up to the ticketmaster at the gate and says "Charles, England, pole vaulting", and the ticketmaster lets him in.
MacGreggor picks up an old man-hole cover off of the street, goes to the gate and says "MacGreggor, Scotland, discus". The ticket master lets him in.
Now Murphy goes to the same hardware store Charles went to and bought himself a sheet of chicken wire. He walks up to the gate and says "Murphy, Ireland, fencing".
(This joke is much more fun to recite in public, but it's my favorite nonetheless...unfortunately I don't know any good Bush-bashing jokes).
I want to thank you guys for the good comments on my essay - it was just a little silly thing I felt like writing, but I do enjoy exotic instruments, in fact it is a goal of mine to play the sitar - not master it- but hold it and play a few times before I die. Ravi Shankar just came out with a greatest hits album called "The Essential Ravi Shankar", which contains a track entitled "An Introduction to Indian Music". This track seemed to de-mystify the whole Indian genre for a westerner such as myself....I definately reccomend it .
I other news...
Aaron - Are all the Dead's songs so drug-illicit? I would like to think that Jerry and the guys had other things on their mind. I remember you describing Jerry as a "wise old man" so I hope that label is still accurite.
| speaking of jokes
George Bush goes to a primary school to talk to the kids to get a little PR. After his talk he offers question time. One little boy puts up his hand and George asks him his name.
"Stanley," responds the little boy.
"And what is your question, Stanley?"
"I have 4 questions: First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?" Fourth, why are we so worried about gay-marriage when 1/2 of all Americans don't have health insurance?"
Just then, the bell rings for recess. George Bush informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess.
When they resume George says,
"OK, where were we? Oh, that's right: question time. Who has a question?"
Another little boy puts up his hand. George points him out and asks him his name.
"Steve," he responds.
"And what is your question, Steve?"
"Actually, I have 6 questions. First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Fourth, why are we so worried about gay marriage when 1/2 of all Americans don't have health insurance? Fifth, why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early? And sixth, what the hell happened to Stanley?"
A reporter goes to the White House and he sees that Bush has three phones, a red one, a white one, and a blue one. He asks him what they are for. So Bush says, "The red one is the hotline to the Kremlin, the blue one is the hotline to Israel, and the white one is the hotline to God, but we don't use that one very often because it costs $64,000,000 a minute".
A few months later the same reporter visits Israel and ends up in Prime Minister Omert's office. He sees the same phone set up and asks Omert about it. He says, "The red on is the hotline to the Kremlin, the blue one is the hotline to the U.S., and the white one is the hotline to God." The reporter says, "Oh yes, Bush has that same line. What does it cost you?" Omert says, "Ten cents a minute".
The reporter says, "Ten cents a minute? How come so cheap?" Omert says, "For us, its a local call"!
great article by edward burke, by the way
I'm all out of chinese golf balls.
| Adding Insult to Injury
And anyway, if the "box of rain" really is the planet earth, how can you "believe it", or "need it", and how can you "pass it on"?
Clearly, it means something else.
Call me a skeptic, but if that song is about Phil's dad dying, and if box of rain is the planet earth then how do you explain these lyrics:
"Walk into splintered sunlight
Inch your way through dead dreams
to another land
Maybe you're tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted
with words half spoken
and thoughts unclear
What do you want me to do
to do for you to see you through
A box of rain will ease the pain
and love will see you through"
Here's my take:
"Dead dreams to another land" - tripping on acid
"Your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear" -
the effects of tripping
"What do you want me to do
to do for you to see you through" -
What do you want me to do? I am not a sage. I'm a rock star! I can't help you figure out your "trip".
"A box of rain will ease the pain
and love will see you through" -
Acid will ease your pain, but beyond the drug, it is love that will see you through!
"Just a box of rain - wind and water -
Believe it if you need it, if you don't just pass it on" - It's just a drug made from water, a "box of rain". If you need it, believe in it. If not, just pass the LSD on to someone else.
No matter what the guys in the Dead say, these words fit perfectly with a drug interpretation, and they used to pass out LSD at their concerts. So I find it hard to believe that the drug interpretation was not also inherint in the song, even if it may have ALSO been about Phil's father, or the planet earth, or golf balls in China.
| bachs of reign
hey von cello and all,
personally, i don't think all the lyrics are about drugs, but definitely are left up to interpretation
i was curious about box of rain, too. it's supposed to be about a man dying of cancer. in this case, phil lesh's father.
here's a quote from robert hunter: "well, I don't like to do this, since it encourages others to ask about what I had in mind when I wrote a song, and mostly you'd need to have my mind to understand even approximately what I had in it. By "box of rain," I meant the world we live on, but "ball" of rain didn't have the right ring to my ear, so box it became, and I don't know who put it there."
| Edward Burke - author
| Reading Between The Lines
Well...when I was in my teens the Dead were still very big, and trying to find the hidden meaning in their lyrics was one of those things people did. Today there doesn't seem to be that kind of thing going on. I mean, rappers sometimes create a type of poetry, but the message is usually in your face.
The Dead's lyrics, in my opinion, were often about drugs. For instance, there was a type of acid called window pane, and they had a lyric, "Look out of any window, any morning, any evening any day." Some will disagree, but I always thought that the rest of the lyrics of that song were inspired by a trip on window pane...looking our of a "window". Of course, I might be wrong. A more obvious one to me was the song Box of Rain. It had lyrics like this one, "And it's just a box of rain. I don't know who put it there. Believe it if you need it, or need it iif you dare". That goes back to my theory that water in Dead lyrics is almost always about acid. What else could they be singing about there?
Later on in life I got into studying the Bible because of all the things that are hidden in its "lyrics". There too, the sages in the Talmud state that water in the Bible almost always refers to the Torah. So, for instance, when Jeremiah states that the Jews will be redeemed "from a pit that contains no water", the sages wrote that this meant that the Jews who would resettle Israel in the future would be lacking in Torah knowledge. And, indeed, Israel was settled in 1948 by secular Jews!
This is quite amazing because I know anti Israeli people who make the case that the Israel of today is not the Israel promised to the Jews in the Bible, but is a land grab by a bunch of greedy non-religious "Zionists". But this just shows their lack of Jewish knowledge. Of course, they were non-religious, Jeremiah prophecied this 2,000 years ago!
Which brings me to another thought. Did you hear that the reporters that were kidnapped several days ago by Palestinians were finally released? But before they were released they were forced at gun point to wear robes and convert to Islam on camera! Yet I barely heard it mentioned in the press! Could you imagine if our government went into Guantanamo and forced the Muslims being held there to convert to Christianity? Could you imagine if Israel did the same? Could you imagine the riots that would break out all around the Muslim world! Could you imagine the revenge kidnappings and beheadings?! What kind of people grab hostages and force them at gunpoint to convert?! And what does this tell you about the mentality that we are facing? People in the west have to open their eyes and read between the lines of events too.