In a report on NPR yesterday, a visitor complained that a man died trying to de-tox from Heroin with a list of re-hab centers next to him, all checked off. He had called for help, and no one came. The alternatives are apparently expensive re-hab centers and the emergency room. Why are we so slow at the obvious solutions, America? The Heroin-Oxy scam is our fault, and the same people who set this up are waiting for kickbacks from the re-hab centers. Twenty percent of this generation is presently at risk, apparently because we winked at foreign and domestic mobsters, while they set the whole thing up to fund their causes while softening America up at the same time. How is that for a conspiracy theory? Dolphins fishing, it is, go see how they do it. The oxy scandal is not the fault of these kids and these people. And if you expect me to believe that doctors are stupid enough to obver-prescribe oxy at such a rate and at such a risk, well, they clearly might be stupid enough to be pawns, but not smart enough to devise it. We’ve been snowed. But now it is time to limit the damages, and bind up our wounds. We want affordable de-tox centers with physicians to prescribe the correct drugs to ease these kids off the junk and bring some of them back from the edge of death. How can Congress even talk about the petty stuff they are talking about until this is done? Oh, I get how: “Campaign contributions.”
Month: March 2016
“Get A Warrant!” : Microsoft Adjusts the Privacy Settings
In a recent blog, we complained that Microsoft had set up a separate account for me on this computer without telling me who had set up the account. The irony was that I do not have the password for this, my own account, and so cannot use it. The extra irony is that they want information in exchange for setting up a password, information that will surely be brokered to anyone with money.
Then late last night, I discovered that the privacy settings had all been turned on, no doubt for my advantage. The computer had already taken a picture of me without my consent. It was in fact watching me through the screen and listening to conversation in the room, and so I did my best to reset these settings, if the buttons even work- Microsoft controls them. Last night this started when I almost defecated when a surprise piece of music came on all by itself, and the other night I tried but failed to make the automatic zoom stop interrupting my writing every few minutes, or to prevent the cursor from moving the page so that typing is inserted throughout the text.
President Obama, what on earth is occurring? Do we not see that this is now a national security threat of inestimable proportion? And Congress, do you not see that the voters are going to learn what you have done, to prostitute America and her citizens for campaign contributions? Microsoft, you will be held accountable, especially when your leaking of information causes deaths, as is quite obviously possible in the present political climate. How does “accessory to murder” sound, Bill Gates? And is this not so, when your profitable dishonesty and spying on U. S. citizens without warrant contributes to or assists the carrying out of a death threat? The law now charges passengers in a car for the crimes of the driver that the passenger was not obligated to know about. Prior to this, the commission of drunk driving and even petty offenses devolved into charges of murder where there was no intent to kill, rather than manslaughter, which is the true tern for a serious misdeed or negligence that results in death. Pocket that with a chuckle at my inability to play rap music on your front porch.
Our disregard of the Fourth Amendment has simply gone too far. Essential communications are becoming unusable without endangering us with identity theft or even murder. And this under the argument not of liberty but tyranny, due to our fear of terrorism. Both leading Republican candidates are prepared to suspend the Constitution in Muslim neighborhoods to catch a few hundred ISISTS. And in the long run, if not also the short, law enforcement depends upon privacy, friendship and trust, and so the very shortsighted argument that terrorist will be caught turns round to refute itself. This argument is like debating the relative virtues of the martial arts compared to Big Time Wrestling, though some, and perhaps a majority, will always be why the one is funded and on T.V. while the other is not. To argue that we will be weaker in the face of the enemy if we pursue the other rather than the one is an argument that is both obvious and useless to make. That is why we do not subject First Amendment matters to the democratic majority, and nor should we subject the Fourth and Fifth. Regarding these internet billionaire companies, we have the truth exactly backwards: We are the owners of information about ourselves, and private companies are not allowed under American principles to trade in our constitutional rights, which our government is obligated not only to observe, but to secure. “To secure these rights” is, again, the very purpose of government, according to the third assertion of the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence. This is still fundamental law, regardless of popular opinion or the meat heads and door bashers in the un-elected executive agencies. And it is still, and will always be, also the most effectual truth, the truth in proof, the best effect, the most useful or profitable or however we in this age like to state our preference for the matter and the effect when it hits the ground, and truth becomes real, the piper is paid. Machiavellianism in government is a practical disaster, though we may not believe it until we and American liberty are dead.
Next it will be Black anti-police-shooting activists. And why not also, and with far more reason, White guys from areas where the Klan or Nazis are prevalent? Does the President himself not give in to the FBI on these issues, setting aside his Constitutional scholarship? The founders are wise, and have thought these things out far better than this thoughtless generation. Can you, my reader, not hear the heroism of Rand Paul shouting, “GET A WARRANT!”
When Have Corrupt Cops And Judges Ever Been Arrested?
AG Loretta Lynch wants to let nation break law without consequences
As New York moves to decriminalize low-level offenses, arguing enforcement is “rigged against communities of color,” other large cities are coming under pressure from the Justice Department to do the same thing.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch has issued a warning to municipal and state judges across the country that their courts could lose federal funding if they don’t ease up on fines and arrest warrants for minor crimes involving poor offenders, indigent minorities in particular.
In lieu of fines and jail time, Lynch urges the nation’s 6,500 municipal courts to provide an avenue for offenders to perform “community service” or take advantage of “amnesty days,” whereby outstanding arrest warrants are cleared for nominal fees.
Failure to comply with these policies could trigger a Ferguson-style discrimination investigation. Already, Lynch says she’s “evaluating discrimination complaints against several court systems.”
A strongly worded “guidance” letter, written by her civil-rights team, warns that a local court policy of enforcing warrants for failure to pay court fines and fees can have an adverse “disparate impact” on African-Americans, who are fined and/or arrested for outstanding warrants at “disproportionate” rates versus whites.
Federal data also show that blacks tend to break both felony and misdemeanor laws at a disproportionate rate. Even if applied evenly across all races and in neutral, color-blind fashion, such policies could be found by Justice to be discriminatory.
“In court systems receiving federal funds, these practices may also violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when they unnecessarily impose disparate harm on the basis of race,” the nine-page letters states.
“It’s a slippery slope to clemency for criminals, large and small.”
This is the same dubious legal threat the administration is using to force the nation’s public schools to back off suspending unruly — even violent — black students, and to force cops to avoid stopping, frisking and arresting minority offenders.
The Supreme Court has ruled that disparate impact doesn’t violate Title VI, only “intentional” discrimination does. “The administration is quite wrong to say that Title VI incorporates a ‘disparate impact’ standard,” Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity points out. “The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that it does not.”
This new court “reform” will only exacerbate the crime problem. Studies show ignoring low-level crimes like warrant violations only leads to bigger crimes.
Under Mayor de Blasio, the NYPD has scaled back its aggressive enforcement of low-level offenses only to see both minor and serious crime rebound. Already cops have backed off public urination and other public nuisance violations, while overlooking outstanding warrants for many other misdemeanor crimes.
Even a senior Justice Department official predicts the decriminalization-cum-deincarceration movement will backfire in higher crime nationwide. “In five years the crime rate is going to be crazy again,” he said.
The official, who oversees probation of felons paroled from federal prisons and who requested anonymity, worries the new department policy will be abused.
“I don’t see liberal judges even attempting to make people pay or spending the time making an accurate determination of a person being ‘indigent,’ ” he said. “It’s another way of not holding people accountable for their actions.”
The Justice guidance defines “indigent” as anybody who might be “eligible for public benefits,” but not actually receiving them. “Jurisdictions may benefit from creating statutory presumptions of indigency for certain classes of defendants,” the source said.
The administration claims cops and courts conspire to exploit poor blacks to generate city revenue in some kind of shakedown. But data show blacks fail to pay their fines at far greater rates than whites, so why not target whites if cash extortion is the objective?
Many of the cities with the highest fines, such as Philadelphia, are run by Democrats; and the Justice Department is no piker when it comes to levying fines.
“US attorneys always want fines and restitution amounts in the millions from people who have little chance of ever paying it back,” the department official said.
Liberals are actually to blame for the trend they’re trying to reform. Court fines and fees help pay for all the new costs liberals have added to the system, such as drug counseling and home electronic monitoring. They’ve also pushed judges to assess more fines in lieu of incarceration, especially for drug offenders.
Yet now they claim the whole court fine and bail system is racist.
Former federal civil-rights attorney Hans Bader, now with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, describes the latest reforms as a “massive assault on the criminal justice system.”
It’s a slippery slope to clemency for criminals, large and small.
Paul Sperry is a former Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration.”
The Limitations of Andrew C. McCarthy on Islam, Part II
The Imprimis essay, which I answered in the first Andrew McCarthy blog just a few days ago, requires a more detailed response, and so I have written a six page essay available on the politics page of this website. I am just beginning the study of the Quran, and in a rare critique of President Obama, when he called for scholars to address the issue, we have indicated the failure of both our president and our governor to provide oil for the lamp of the liberal arts, on which, as Milton too said, the safety of my nation now depends, or “for want whereof this nation perishes.”
I have just now completed the second draft, over there on the politics page. Go to the menu at the top of the website, where the picture of the apple tree and the shed await. Then under politics, go to the sub-pages in the politics section, and the essay, From the Depths of Darkness He Will Lead Them Into Light, will be found, as well as an essay on what is needed for peace.
Well, people had trouble finding or accessing the sub-page of the politics page, so I have thought to press this as a six page blog:
From the Depths of Darkness, He Will Lead them Into Light
The following is the continuation of the discussion with Andrew C. McCarthy on the distinction between Islam and radical Jihadist terrorist “Islam.” It is based on only the beginning of a reading of the Quran, though we are sure all who can read will see immediately that to merely scratch the surface is enough to refute the arguments of Abdul Rahman and Andrew C. McCarthy if these are held to pertain not just to the doctrines of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, but also to the true teachings of Islam.
While Mr. McCarthy, like the average Muslim, does not wish to argue Muslim theology with a “doctor of Islamic jurisprudence” whose area of expertise is Sharia law, we, of course, are not frightened off by such a challenge, here on this day we call Holy Saturday, the celebration of the time between the crucifixion and the resurrection, during which Jesus is held to have addressed the souls that had died previous to his advent.
The main question is the truth of the teaching of Rahman that “Allah enjoined all Muslims to wage jihad until Islamic law was established throughout the world.” Without quoting the Quran, McCarthy writes: “The scriptures backed him up.” And “when he said Islam directed Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as their friends, the scriptures backed him up.” I am reminded of the strange teaching in the Twelfth Book of Plato’s Laws, that seems to say: “Everyone is to consider the same person a friend or enemy as the city does, and if someone should make peace or war with certain parties in private, apart from the community, the penalty is to be death in this case too” (955b-c). But there are many teachings in Plato’s Laws that are a bit strange, perhaps, to Jeffersonian modernity. But let this be as it is. A related question is whether the adherents of Islam are willing to allow the Jews and Christians, if not even the faithless, to continue to exist. For, as we think, even these and worse might one day live long enough to become faithful. If Islam will allow the Christians and the Jews to exist and admit the Jews as neighbors, Islam may be admitted to a free society, and some Islamic nations might be admitted to the free society of nations. If not: If Islam follows the teaching of Rahman about its own character or nature; if it insists upon subjecting and forbidding all others, Islam may of course not be admitted into the free society. Peace will be impossible if the leaders- as for example the elected Hamas leadership of the Palestinians- insist upon and choose war. Apparently, one cannot always choose peace, because another may choose war, and one then has apparently no alternative but to beat them in the contest. At present, the preaching of New Testament Christianity is forbidden in nations governed by any version of Islamic law, so that one suspects that persecution and martyrdom will follow any Islamic conquest.
But Let us begin a reading of the Quran, as is still possible, if occasionally risky, here in the free West. We have just begun the study, and so have just the first few chapters in any context. Still, we can assume that the rest must cohere, as blatant contradiction is not usually allowed in a holy text. We treat the text itself as well as the physical book and the translation with the respect due to a holy scripture, again at least out of respect and gratitude for the folks who provided this free, authoritative translation.
Mohammed himself would not blame us if we reject the teaching of Mr. Rahman. At 2.256, the text reads:
Let there be no force (compulsion) in religion: Sturdy truth stands clear from error; Whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has held the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.
From a brief reading of the first and second chapters of the Quran, it soon becomes clear that there is a bit of irony in the saying that “there is no God but Allah.” “Allah” is the God of Abraham, the very same as the God of Israel, the God of the Jews and Christians. 2.139 reads :
He is our Lord, and your Lord: That we are responsible for our doings, and you for yours.
Indeed, as we have said, Mohammed brought the belief in one God to the Arabs, who prior to this were “pagan.” Ancient polytheism was often conjoined with human sacrifice and many strange and pointless sexual practices. It is for us a relique of a more ancient people, and spread even to America, though the wheel did not- and so we can guess that it is much older than 3000 B.C., or 5000 years ago. Plato’s Socrates, in the dialogue called Euthyphro, refutes the Greek poetic polytheism, as piety cannot be what is dear to the gods nor obedience to the will of the gods if there are many gods and these disagree, especially about fundamental matters. What is dear to or what is intended for us by Zeus may well be different from what is dear to or is intended by Hera. When Abraham “came forth from Ur of the Chaldees,” he may well have emigrated because he had seen through the Sumerian polytheism. At any rate, it is likely that Abraham and not Ikhnaton was the world’s first monotheist, though we would have to work on these dates, beginning from Manetho and attempting the cross chronology between the Egyptian, the Sumerian and the Abrahamic. It is possible that Abraham picked up the belief in one God from Egypt during his sojourn there, or even, especially, from Melchizadek, King of Salem, who did the sacrament of bread and wine at Jerusalem before there were either Jews, Muslims or Christians, honoring “God Most High,” right there near Mount Moriah. He may have been a Shemmite, and the teaching brought through the flood by Noah, who also taught that the reason for the law against murder is “…for God created man in his own image.” Hence the reason against worshiping statues, who are in fact lesser beings than the men who produced the artifacts, or even against many Gods, as the image of God in man is a single thing, male and female (Genesis 1:26). The Creation is not a begetting in the Bible. There is, however, a mystery of the bridal chamber, and the scripture New Testament scripture ends with the divine wedding. The begetting of the sons of God though the only begotten son is in the New Testament a begetting and not a creating (John 1, 3). Hence, we say that nous, called intellect, the eye of the soul, the light in the eyes or spark of the divine is distinct from the created faculty of reason, especially when this reason is an instrument serving the ends of the body. Monotheism, then, is Shemmetic, and Socrates too, discovering that nous is begotten (Republic 490) and looking to the image of God in man in legislation (Republic 501b), has an overwhelming tendency to speak of “the God” in the singular (Plato, Apology ), whenever he thinks he can get away with it. We do not make images, then, because man or that in man is the image, the gateway to access to the contemplation of the Most High.
“Islam” means simply “surrender to God and find peace,” though Mr. McCarthy did not get around to mentioning this in the confines of a brief Imprimis essay. Mr. McCarthy rather uses his one citation of the Quran in order to demonstrate that Islam is not a religion of peace. He writes:
“Fight those who believe not in Allah,” and fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war.” These are not peaceful injunctions, no matter how one contextualizes when he writes this.
Mr McCarthy depends upon the obvious misreading that “pagans” refers also to Jews and Christians. Again, the Abrahamic legislators are indeed quite violent in their opposition to both paganism and atheism, nor do we understand Moses in this regard. Any person characterized by any one of these epithets might, at some time in the future, be one who finds the truth or is to find the true God. And so again we incline to the vow of Jefferson and the recognition that “it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket…” An old professor, though, has suggested or indicated that the purpose of Moses and indeed of the Book of Genesis, (whoever wrote this, or composed it orally) is to oppose, and then for Moses to wipe out, idolatry. Ancient idolatry is again a thing involving the worship of statues and graven images, as an outside observer might even attribute to the Roman and Greek Christians when they house and even pray before statues of Jesus, Mary and the saints, though it is clear as day to us that no one is ever worshiping the statue. Perhaps it might appear this way to outsiders who do not follow the especially Greek and Biblical distinction between image and object. Ancient Idolatry involved the abomination of human sacrifice. Where the ancient men were who first devised this disadvantageous and superstitious practice is indeed a mystery, lost in the mists of time. But like the wheel, it is not something mankind is likely to have thought of twice, and so one can reason, for example, that the Aztecs and this practice came to the new world from Asia, quite some time before 3000 B.C. Modern paganism too is different, as this involves the explicit rejection of Christianity and the Biblical teaching, and so is tinged with the revenge of a defeated cult that is quite foreign to the innocent Homeric paganism simply followed by mortals lacking the genius of an Abraham or Socrates, required to think these things through and follow what is then revealed.
The difference, as Islam presents itself, is not in the identity of the Deity, but in the adherence to the God of Abraham as distinct from certain additions made by the Jews and especially the Christians, rather than additions made by Jesus. Abraham, it is said, “joined not Gods with Allah.” Hence, the appearance to Abraham as three men cannot be a prefiguration of the trinity of God as Father, God as Spirit, and the Son. The presence of the three in the first chapter of Genesis will also be difficult, as will be any description of the difference between God himself, whose presence we would not survive, and the Holy Spirit, whose presence may revive. The trinity is very difficult, and we object to any obligation to believe a particular formulation, as did Jefferson. But the trinity is for Muslims, as for Jahova’s Witnesses, a central reason for their objection to contemporary Christendom. They read the begetting of Jesus as though we were saying something that might pertain to Zeus and Hera when they were getting along, and so we say “by all means do not believe this!” And we say the same to the Jews regarding Jesus, if you think of it as the worship of a human being, “by all means, do not accept this!” But neither of these is even what is being said by the Christians.
Abraham was, of course, neither a Jew, an Israelite nor a Christian. Nor, we must add, was he an Ismaelite nor a Muslim in the sense of a follower of the Quran and accept-er of Mohammed as the prophet of the Most High God. The beginning of the Quran presents Islam as pure Abraham, without certain later additions. But we too hold that Abraham and Moses are “saved,” though to account for this is a bit of a mystery, given certain other teachings. Melchizadek too, the King of Salem, who did the sacrament of bread and wine with Abraham near Mount Moriah, (if not on the very spot) may not have had the eucharist, if he did not somehow receive baptism (as through the flood, when as Peter says, “eight persons were saved through water.”) This, then, is a second argument for the equation of Melchizadek and Shem. That these are saved may mean indeed that “He laid down his life from the beginning of the creation,” and not only in about 0 B.C. / A.D. The way through death is always there for man in every age, though it would be a bit less manifest, more rare and more difficult to find for those like Abraham, Socrates, Melchizadek, Shem and Noah and Enoch, and perhaps Joseph, Job, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and so forth, Hosea, Zechariah. It would then be Jesus as eternal word that is the only mediator to the Father. But this is invisible, and so one would not be able to tell from the appearances in the world who even is a “Christian.”
It can surely be said, though, that according to the primary meaning of “Muslim,” Jews and Christians are Muslims, or “followers of the faith.” 2.143 reads that it is “righteousness:”
To believe in Allah, and the last day, and the Book, and the messengers; to spend from your own wealth in spite of your love for it, for your kin, for orphans, for the weak, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves, to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity, to fulfill contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and through periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, those who fear Allah.
But it is in the belief or emphasis upon the Last Day that the Christians are especially to be considered to be followers of the faith, in contrast with the secular world and the atheistic political movements. One wonders how Islam could even consider Christians as such to be fundamental opponents, except that Mohammed rejects our subtle teaching regarding the divinity of Jesus. But the Quran even teaches that he will return, and in a way not usual for any other man. And so one might beg pardon for our difficulty in stating this paradoxical divinity in order to account for these trans-human characteristics of the messiah, not to mention that he is worshiped by the apostles in the scripture, and this too is not fitting for any other man, Moses or Mohammed or anyone. Notoriously, Moses was denied entry into the promised land because of an error regarding giving to God the credit for the water flowing out of the rock. Apparently, this error occurred in a moment when the lightening was not permanently on for him, as Maimonides says, but must have flashed just a bit. 2.62 reads:
Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who are Jews, and the Christians and the Sabeans- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and with righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; On them there shall be no fear, and they shall not grieve-
And again, at 3.52, it is clear that Mohammed himself considers Christians, namely the Apostles themselves, to be Muslims:
When Isa (jesus) found disbelief on their part, he said: “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” The disciples said, “We are Allah’s helpers: we believe in Allah, and do you bear witness that we are Muslims.
Again, a Muslim is what? A follower of the faith, and Mohammed had not yet been born when the disciples were Muslims.
And so indeed it can be said that Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Rahman are simply in error to collapse the distinction between the terrorist’s radical Islam, Islamic jihad and such, on one hand, and traditional Islam on the other. The teaching of Mohammed is (2.190):
Fight in Allah’s causes, but do not transgress the limits: Allah does not love those who exceed the rightful limits.
Islamic jihad or holy war as we now have it is simply contrary to Islam, and forbidden as a form of murder. This is so, we dare to say, despite anything Mr. Dr. Rahman might say to the contrary. Islam in fact does mean “surrender to God and find peace,” as we hope will be the case for those influenced by these false teachings to strike the Christians and the Jews as though they were pagans and infidels, or those who believe there is no God. Any Muslim in true submission and following the way of Islam, then, will join decent persons everywhere is stopping and dissolving the strange new form of Western totalitarianism that has usurped true Islam, and as George Bush even said, “hijacked the faith.”
Hey Flint, I just Collected 6 Gallons of Drinkable Rainwater!
It is very frustrating to see the people of Flint struggling to distribute bottled water even for bathing while no one seems able to consider the simplest suggestion, as I say, to immediately take 20% of the pressure off the bottled water distribution system. But now that Marc Edwards is all famous, there is no way I could ever get word to him. I tried months ago, when he was dismissed and back home in Virginia, after the University of Virginia apparently went 80 million dollars in debt trying to help the hopelessly corrupt Michigan politicians avoid electoral disaster and lose money by failing to respond to the simplest crisis. What of when we have a real crisis, and the State Police function like the other charges of the Governor, unable to act with the least concern for the good of those they are supposed to serve? And why is that, but that they are simply busy with other concerns.
My water, rain water, sits now in gallon jugs and in my 5 gallon Absopure collecting bottle. Finally I have enough to use it to make coffee as well as for drinking water. I no longer trust the ground water. We have Mount Salem nearby, and I have never seen anyone care much about dumping, say, old batteries right in with the trash. Toxic waste day is too hard to keep track of and make. Yesterday I saw a man, two men, dump something, most likely antifreeze from a collision shop, into the pond on the edge of Maybury Park. The township police and fire did respond, and took a sample, but determined only that it was not presently toxic, after the pond was cleared out by the river that flows toward the park farm, where the livestock drink from the pool. There will be no investigation, but I did call the Farm myself, knowing that the police, though told, may well neglect to do so.
Imprimis Critique: The Limitations of Andrew C. McCarthy on Islam, Part I
The Limitations of Andrew C. McCarthy on Islam, Part I
In the February edition of Imprimis, the magazine of Hillsdale College, a contribution to what is fast becoming the Republican position on Islam was submitted by Andrew C. McCarthy, the leader of the prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others in the 1993 failed attempt to bomb the World Trade Center. His thesis is that the Obama administration is wrong to distinguish between Islam and the terrorists. McCarthy suggests, quite persuasively, that the attempt to present Islam as a religion of peace distinct from the interpretation of the terrorists such as Rahman is a mistake of the simpleminded, politically correct democrats such as Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, and especially Barack Obama. In response, I will demonstrate the truth of the position of the administration. Islam and ISIS are radically distinct, and avoiding a world war depends upon the distinction.
What Mr. McCarthy thinks he learned while doing that prosecution is that Islam and these Islamic terrorists are the same. Rahman is a “doctor of Islamic Jurisprudence” whose “area of academic expertise was Sharia- Islamic law.” As we have said elsewhere, the position of both the last two administrations, of Barack Obama and George Bush, and the whole assumption of the American response to the bombing of the World trade center on September 11, 2001 has been that Islam and this fundamentalism are fundamentally distinct, and that on this distinction depends the attempt to keep this war against Al Quaeda-ISIS from becoming a World War between everyone else and Islam. Islam has some 2 Billion, or 1.5 Billion followers. The aim of Al Quaeda, though, is to present this as a war with all of Islam so that they might just win. But without the collapse of this distinction, they will probably lose. The distinction is factually true, and this is one case where the right policy and a great deal of bloodshed depend on this thing, truth. The American right, becoming extreme in a new way, is playing again into Al-Qaeda hands. They are beating us again strategically, just as they did by sparking civil war between Shiite and Sunni with terrorist bombings of their fellow Muslims after we tried to leave Iraq.
Mr McCarthy cites Justice Robert Jackson in Jackson’s 1955 book Law in the Middle East regarding the way in which, “In its source, its scope and its sanctions, the law of the Middle East is the antithesis of Western Law.” McCarthy explains:
Sharia rejects freedom of speech as much as freedom of religion. It rejects the idea of equal rights between men and women as much as between Muslim and non-Muslim. It brooks no separation between spiritual life and civil society. It is a comprehensive framework for human life, dictating matters of government, economy, and combat…
It affirms or sanctions “Jihad in order to” “rule both believers and unbelievers.” But the question is first what kind of “antithesis” McCarthy intends, after slipping in that Jackson was also “Chief prosecutor of the war crimes trials at Nuremburg.” There are different kinds of opposites or antitheses, and the question regarding ISIS is that of the sort of beast with which are dealing.
The American principles, from the second sentence of the Declaration– the principles of the equal endowment with God given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- are the deliberate antithesis of the whole medieval world. Hence they are also the antithesis of Christianity and Judaism or Israel, and in many of the same ways as those listed by Mr. McCarthy in order to present the antithesis of Islam as a whole and the West. The fact is that Islam the normal, decent traditional world religion is similar to modern Christianity and to modern Israel. It is a fact that they worship the same God, the God of Abraham. Radical interpretations of both Christianity and Israel can be attempted, and sometimes are for both of these. The horrors of the Medieval persecutions, rivaling the Roman persecution of Christians through the first 313 years, were thought entirely scriptural, with text and verse cited to uphold these atrocities. Nor need we even raise the questions of Moses, nor the trumpet of Joshua striking terror into the hearts of the enemies of Israel. But let it be said, for those who do not read, that the religion of Moses is not a religion of peace in the literal sense. Mohammed brought the God of Abraham to the Arabs, who were once pagan, if also to the Persian Zoroastrians, who were not pagan. St. Paul was turned away when his journey would have taken him to the now Islamic parts of Asia Minor, past Troy to Bythinia, Galatia and Phrygia. He was forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia (Acts 16:6-10), and we guess that this is because these people had not yet been prepared, as by having the Abrahamic legislator. These are the same people Churchill considered corrupted, as he would the contemporary Americans (and certainly Donald Trump), if in a different way. But Medieval Christianity too is the “antithesis of Western law” in many of these exact same ways. The same is true for slavery, justified from scripture, though we of course think that the New Testament, while not aiming to end the political institution of slavery, does just that, not through a political but a spiritual movement. That Islam is the antithesis of Western law is then only because these places had not yet received the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment and then the Industrial age, as was received in the West. Non-radical Islam is simply a medieval tradition living on the modern age, in a modernity that occurred in the West but has yet been exported to the East. Western thought has been received most often in the East as tyranny. These Western tyrannies are named fascism and communism, though there are a few free nations too, such as India. Without the Western Marx, the spawn of German philosophy, there would not have been 70 million dead in Russia in 70 years, 40 million dead in China in 40 years, and 3 million dead in Cambodia in 3 years. Fascism, though, has so far not been a Western export, but a political cancer effecting Western nations alone.
Radical Islam is more than just a revenge of the medieval world. It is a kind of totalitarianism, as occurred for the first time ever in the Twentieth Century. This new kind of tyranny is different from the old Aristotelian rule of one man according to his own interests or his own advantage, as in the six forms of the Aristotelian table of regimes. These differences have been addressed in a previous blog, but there was some question lately when President Obama and John Kerry announced that the world human rights organization would now consider what is occurring to be “genocide.” We apply this word from the example of Hitler especially regarding the Jews. Paul Johnson, in his book Modern Times, demonstrates how similar is the attempt of the Bolshevik communists to wipe out an entire economic class, the “bourgeoisie,” so that the word would then be “classocide,” to balance the emphasis on the word geno- in “genocide.” Now, while ISIS takes some elements from the Nazi hatred of the Jews and all the genetically inferior, radical Islam is more properly termed “religiocide.” It is mistermed “genocide,” though at least the multitude in the West will have a chance of understanding. It is toward especially the Christians now an attempt to attain a future imagined condition through the mass murder of a certain section of humanity, this time based not on race or class exactly, but on “religion.” Religiocide, then, is what we are dealing with in radical Islam, and this is radically distinct from Islam the traditional religion that teaches justice, chastity, charity, obedience to traditional ethical law regarding these things, and so forth. It is not, of course, that we would want to live under medieval Islam any more than we would want to live under the Medieval Christianity from about 1215 through about 1776 A. D. But regarding chastity especially, one might see why traditional Islam would be a bit defensive toward the smutty contemporary West. Our Super Bowl half time shows were beginning to remind of the Roman empire of the first century, at least until the trend was turned a couple years ago. But this defensiveness of the medieval world is the chink in the wall where recruitment of traditional Islam toward radical Islam begins.
Similarly, all medieval religions are criticized from the perspective of the modern West regarding their treatment of women as property, suppression of free speech and religion, and failure to recognize the equal rights inherent in human nature. All medieval religions can also be said to aim at a picture of world-wide dominion of various sorts, and if the New Testament cannot in truth be pressed into service to uphold the war of the Conquest of Jerusalem by the Knights of the Temple, it was surely not impossible that someone construe it this way. The prophesies of the world ruled from Jerusalem in both the Old and New testaments may just now admit of being read in a way that precludes any military application. It is surely necessary to read the Koran in detail, and the Arab world, having lacked the western liberty of scholarship since the Islamic science of the 800’s, has not permitted the free inquiry that seems necessary to foster good commentary on the text. It is forbidden to preach Jesus in the Islamic world, much as it was forbidden in the medieval West, say, in the Spain of Maimonides, to preach or proselytize either Israel or Mohammed. This rejection of the freedom of religion occurred throughout the Western world, that is until Jefferson, or until Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, and in the succeeding generations, those he influenced persuaded Madison and Jefferson that such a thing as freedom to pursue happiness through the freedom of religion, was possible. The first two clauses of our First Amendment guarantee that government will neither establish a religion nor proscribe the free exercise of religion, establishing to just this extent that confusing thing called a “wall of separation” between church and state. Prior, to Jefferson, Madison and the U. S. Bill of rights, it was assumed that all public order depended on such questions being settled before they were asked. In order to violate the freedom of religion without violating fundamental U. S. law, even a majority must amend the constitution by gaining the super-majorities needed to propose and then ratify such a thing. It is like the super-majority that would be needed to set aside the Fourth Amendment and legally violate privacy without a warrant-so we see that these thing can indeed become passe, though they are illegal. Now, the free reading of the Koran is permitted perhaps ironically only in the West! But it is this free reading, indeed of all the texts, on which the world now depends to avoid a religiocide that has promised to be worse than the Nazi persecution, which was perhaps foretold to the Jews in the book of the prophet Daniel. This time it includes the Yaziti and the Christian, a religiocide effecting every form, including traditional or non-fundamentalist Islam.
That, Mr. McCarthy, is why you are wrong to collapse the distinction between traditional and radical Islam, and why the president and Jeffersonian America are right to embrace and protect traditional Islam. As with your Muslim friends that worked for the U. S. against the rabid Jihadists, perhaps they did this because they were descent and, unlike Western thought, could give an answer to the question of why murder is wrong.* (Go ahead, try to give a non-medieval answer: Western thought in fact depends upon the virtue instilled on the basis of something either ancient or medieval, or it would long ago have collapsed into the pursuit of mere self-interest, as is now occurring.)
This is why the CLC or something like it will now overtake the Republican party. Your policy, and that of the collapsing Republican party, plays right into the hands of ISIS, and leads to a third world war that America just might lose. And as the right wing here quickly sets aside the distinction between liberty and tyranny along with the religion clauses of the First Amendment, both you and Hillsdale College Conservatism will have to decide whether to go with “success” in the form of a phallus with a toupee selling soap and a used car, or rather to remember the principles, mission and meaning of American Liberty. Remember, the first nation ever founded on the principle of race, as well as the second- in the current forms of the KKK and the Nazis- these are right behind the phallus. Indeed, “you cannot serve both God and Mammon.” Let us now see what is the American way.
*When teaching American Government as an “adjunct” professor over ten years at Oakland Community College here in Michigan, I would often ask the class, “Why is murder wrong?” Here, all our principles of tolerance from History and our scientific sophistication from biology fail us completely, and we cannot give an answer at all. Why, Mr McCarthy? Why is murder wrong? Perhaps we shall apply a little fact value distinction, or get rid of that species-ist distinction between men and animals, engage our cultivated humility and remind that this is only one person’s mere opinion, while everyone of course has a right to their own opinion. The students will often on their own think of the argument that we did not make their life, and so have no right to take it away. But this argument holds good too for worms. Or, you could consider my serious suggestion: modern thought on its own cannot uphold the distinction, leading to a world where murder becomes common. TheDeclaration says we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now we are getting somewhere, in just the place where modern thought in the founding touches upon the medieval and ancient. The best reason, though, is not articulated in Aristotle on happiness, but will be approached in Plato’s Laws. The reason is best articulated in Genesis 9:6, where after the flood, there is a new creation of the human world, and the reason against murder is given: “…for God made man in his own image.” The cause of the laws is the image of God in man, and it is a violation of the sacred to strike this image of God, the light in the eyes, spark of divine or intellect, regardless of whether some animals also have this within. There are kinds of man killing that are not murder, such as in war, the defense of oneself and others, or capital punishment. But this is why murder is wrong. And this image of God in man is also the basis of the endowment of all men equally with the natural rights enshrined in our Declaration and spelled out in some detail, though not completely, in our Constitution, the purpose of which is the prevention of just what we see emerging, the prevention of tyranny.
Rainwater and Maple Syrup
Today we (myself and cats) are collecting rainwater and trying to collect Maple sap and boil it into syrup. Syrup will replace honey for coffee and pancakes during the roughest time of the year. I would tell Flint again about collecting 2 1/2 gallons just last night, with 2-3 more predicted to fall. And of course all the bathwater in Flint could be coming from roofs, but WordPress has blocked my access to the search engines, or theirs to me, and I wont be paying their extortion fee, except with a lawsuit, soon to commence. I will sue them in small claims court to set the principle, or appeal to what remains of the ACLU, or find hungry young lawyer eager enough for the percentage to consider the argument. (“Nothing? Then tis like the breath of an unfeed lawyer, / You gave me nothing for it.”) One would think integrity in business would be easier than suffering that from me! They could just knock it off, give up on the extortion way of producing value, and join the genuine model of American business, which, Mellon-wedge, is a lot more fun.
Boiling Maple syrup is a good demonstration of how much energy it takes to distill water. Those with wood stoves could boil down sap for free all day long, like the principle of my attaching a distiller to every house heater in the north in order to have an emergency five gallons of clean water always on hand for zero energy dollars. We have a Kerosene heater, and a very nice column of bricks to make an adjustable backyard bar-b-cue, with hibachi lids to keep back the wind, and walnut twigs and apple logs to burn. The Sap tastes like sugar water, and is a nice if bland beverage until boiled down into syrup. Then the alchemy takes place, and very suddenly the flavor appears. We just know the Pottawatomi boiled sap to get sugar in the woods of Michigania long age, but wonder how they worked the tap and the pot for boiling. My tap failed, but just below it, the bark of the 140 year old Maple tree made an arrow shape, so I wedged a tobacco can under it, and most of my sap has come from there. I think I have lost as much as I collected, but did get some watery stuff on pancakes yesterday. No wonder the mysterious copper Kettle was so sacred, and why the Keepers of the fire seem to have had a ceremony involving gratitude for maple syrup.
Ok, Microsoft, Who Set Up This Account?
Microsoft has, of their beneficence, set me up a separate user account on this computer. I had gone to do so a couple times, only to be met by the wall of “simply deposit your information with our honorable company here.” Eventually, Microsoft apparently set up a separate user account for me, complete with my e-mail address, probably by scanning everything I have ever done and determining that there were two users on this machine. The trouble now is that, since I did not set up the account, I do not have the password. Any attempt to contact Microsoft or access the community forum is met again with “simply deposit your information with this honorable company here.” I think I do want to know who made this account for me in my name before I give them any information, which will assuredly be used or sold.
One might want to know who set up this account before depositing one’s information, but, as with the attempt to remove the auto zoom from the cursor touchpad system or get the machine to stop moving the page beneath, me while I write, these things are just not options we are offered. Nor does a handy phone number appear, at least for we who cannot pay fees or will not pay extortion.
Once again, this whole system regarding the internet must be corrected, as it is exactly backwards. Companies once competed by serving their customers, not to mention producing value. If pressed, the companies will tell of how these things are really for our ur own good, or for the good of society, for security and such. But we think it quite clear whose interests they have in mind.
This system came to be because the United States Congress has refused to regulate commerce in exchange for kickbacks and campaign funds. Elsewhere, we have argued that the impact on the GNP is astronomical, as in employee time lost trying to erase pop up advertising. (My cursor just moved by itself again, so that half the sentence is inserted where it does not belong and cannot be moved to the correct place). Congress has also been lobbied by those paid astronomical amounts to make the weaker argument appear the stronger, probably arguing against unpaid citizens and advocates of the public interest. The same has occurred regarding the mining and marketing of information, so that now human traffickers may and can go shopping for our children, and with their internet or gang-earned billions hire kidnappers to go after particular persons.
Congress, then, has ceased to do its job, just when the new world of the internet was emerging. The world our children inherit will be a tyranny of one sort or another. We have only remaining to watch the last gasps of “history” fight it out to see which form of tyranny will win out, much like watching Google and Microsoft fight for control of my computer by disabling first Yahoo and then one another.
This author is very insightful about many aspects of poverty and the characteristicas of the poor in politics or in “society.”
Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.
Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.
Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there’s not an $800 car in America that’s worth a damn.
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Ok, Microsoft Toshiba, Google and Others: On Auto Zoom
It is time to stop changing the zoom and moving my page about, having text inserted randomly throughout where the cursor once was, and such things. The amount of time, not to mention writing, being lost is astronomical. These are not accidents, but somehow related to the issues of business and internet integrity. One finds that such things as an automatic, irreversible zoom that is so difficult to disengage it has not yet been done, these are not just flaws in the programming or construction of these devices. No techy is that stupid, and why are these bizarre features made default settings anyway? Yet one never knows: Did Bill Gates not make the first machine where, to turn it off one must just press “START”?