In Praise of Pluck

I came across this Depression-era picture on Shorpy the other day and just had to grab it. Most faces tell a story. Some are an epic poem.


This photo of an unknown woman was taken in November of 1936 in a squatters camp outside Bakersfield, California. You didn’t end up in a place like that without have been run through a gauntlet of rock-hard realities and heartache. But the children of the Civil War era were made of pretty stern stuff. The photographer noted that this woman said:

If you lose your pluck, you lose the most there is in you–all you’ve got to live with.

I don’t want to lose my pluck. I need my pluck. Thirty years from now I want to be able to stare down some young punk with a glare like this:


The Problem Isn't Islamic "Extremists." The Problem is Islam.

Is Islam the violent, barbaric, irrational thing we see today because it has metastasized and mutated into something monstrous. Or has it actually always been that way, and we are only now forced to confront it because the world is smaller and information ubiquitous.

I suspect it’s the latter.

Thirty years ago we would not have heard about the 14-year-old girl who was flogged to death in Bangladesh yesterday for the crime of being a rape victim. A fatwa from the local imam decreed it must be so and the locals happily carried it out.

The reports said Hena was raped by her 40-year-old relative Mahbub on Sunday. Next day, a fatwa was announced at a village arbitration that she must be given 100 lashes. She fell unconscious after nearly 80 lashes.

Fatally injured Hena was rushed to Naria health complex where she succumbed to her injuries.

It was happening 40 year ago, and 400 years ago, and 1400 years ago. We just didn’t hear about it.

This isn’t extremist Islam. This is orthodox Islam.