My Counter-Islamist Grid Work So Far: 28 Articles, Photo Essays, and Reports

Here is a collection of events I’ve covered and the articles I’ve written in my work as the Southern California associate of theCounter-Islamist Grid, an initiative to monitor and counter Islamist influence at the local level.

*August 12 Update: Now expanded with some new pieces and a few I’d forgotten to include previously*

*September 25 Update: Now updated with 2 more CIG articles and 2 other recent, related pieces, one for Campus Watch and another forIslamist Watch, my first article as a fellow for the project.

* November 21 Update: My second Islamist Watch article since I began as a fellow is now included, as are two more CIG articles: my first reporting on the Institute of Knowledge’s recent convention (there are more to come…) and an article about what I saw when a group of Kurdish activists protested CAIR’s Los Angeles branch for being sponsored by Turkish Airlines.

* December 5 Update: Just added a new Daily Wire piece on another Islamist leader in Southern California whose influence is rising. Now up to 25 articles this year between the Counter-Islamist Grid, Islamist Watch, and Campus Watch.

* January 3, 2019 Update: A new article for Islamist Watch about Islamist security forces potentially receiving taxpayer money now published at the Daily Wire

* January 16, 2020 Update: A new Counter-Islamist Grid article published at PJ Media about a misguided Muslim comedian supported by Islamist influence group MPAC, and a report at the CIG website featuring expanded interviews and photographs from the Kurds’ protest against CAIR. Continue reading “My Counter-Islamist Grid Work So Far: 28 Articles, Photo Essays, and Reports”

Ending Two Seasons of Silence

As is apparent, I have neglected regular posting at the MAD TAB Blog for most of the year. For this I have often felt guilty or even hypocritical – here I am telling the novelists I edit that they should be keeping a regular blog and other social media to connect with new readers and yet I am falling short in one of the important categories myself. Continue reading “Ending Two Seasons of Silence”

A 25 Song Playlist to Energize Your Writing

Yesterday in an online writing group, one sci-fi author wrote, “I am writing a chapter where the protagonist is (finally) leading a mutiny against her spaceship Captain. I need a playlist to write to. Taking all song suggestions!”

I threw a half dozen youtube videos at him and then decided that it might be worthwhile to compile a longer, more complete list of favorite tracks and explain how they assist me. So here you go.

I believe that essential to creative writing is the ability to shift and re-focus one’s normal state of consciousness — embracing the altered state. Thus, when I’m going to seriously write for a number of hours chances are it’ll be aided by some combination of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, exercise, and yes, specific songs. The objective of these varied methods is to prevent the mind from growing distracted and wandering to non-writing subjects. Music of numerous genres can contribute toward this shifted consciousness effect. Thus, I have chosen 25 tracks from throughout history and genres — from the Baroque era on through classic rock of the ’60s and ’70s, heavy metal and rap from the ’90s, and onto this century’s often more electronic pop songs.

I hope you find at least some of these tracks both useful and entertaining.

1. Just about anything by Bach can help inspire your writing. I love the Baroque era.

2. Vivaldi was another wonderful Baroque composer.

3 and 4. While I generally prefer the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, when it comes to kick ass, high energy tracks the Stones may have an edge.

5. While I’m trying to keep this list in rough chronological order, this track from a 2001 solo Mick Jagger album, Goddess in the Doorway, is getting placed among Stones tracks. “God Gave Me Everything” has been one of my absolute favorite, mantra-like tracks for about five years now.

Continue reading “A 25 Song Playlist to Energize Your Writing”