Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Good About Islam

Yes, Virginia, there is good in just about anything if you look hard enough. Just as the really positive person might find some good in the Swine Flu pandemic, there is good in the Islamic movement. (I've stopped labeling it a "religion". I'm still not sure how much of a "religion" it is because of the overt political methods and violent militarism of its most prominent adherents.) But I digress.

Several of the beliefs and practices of Islam are positives for human survival. (And yes, many of their other beliefs and practices work against human survival, but I digress again.)

These "positives" are:

Islam's moral code and their seriousness about it. Compared to Christians, most Muslims appear to be much more serious about and committed to their moral precepts. While the concept of morality may be dead or dying in the West, it is alive and well among fundamentalist Muslim, but also perverted in the manner they enforce it. While they often take enforcement too far (from a Christian and western cultural perspective), fundamentalist Muslims are no more extreme than the opposite amoral and moral relativist attitudes and behaviours of the growing preponderance of social liberals in the west, including many so-called "Christians." The Islamic moral code and amoral/immoral western behavior is the ying and yang of human existence. I understand that this moral contrast is a significant and effective recruiting/conversion tool of Islam.

Islam's commitment to their religious practices. It is a good, honest, non-hypocritcal thing to be true to what you say you believe. We have to admit that activist Muslims have become aggressive in promoting their beliefs and practices within western society. They are very dedicated to their prayer rituals. They are quite vocal, even characterized as "pushy" when it comes to imposing their customs onto the larger society, e.g. prayer rooms, no alcohol in taxis, wearing of traditional Islamic garb and other Islamic distinctives.

Islam's reproduction rate. The birth rate in Muslim-dominated countries, and in the Muslim demographic generally is several times higher than in non-Muslim countries and demographics. While the non-Muslim populations are stagnant or shrinking, Muslim populations are mushrooming. "Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth" is a universal mandate from the antiquities of most of the worlds' major religions. Not many nations populations take this mandate seriously. Muslims do, whether out of religious conviction or some other social cause.

Christianity, by contrast, appears to have lost its momentum. For the most part, its adherants seem to be indifferent, going through the motions, and not really fully engaged in or committed to the beliefs that their orgnizations proclaim. I understand there are exceptions. I speak of the apparent trend.

Islam is the new "growth industry."

All this makes me wonder why so many in our western society have been brandishing so much anti-Christian bias. At the same time, I wonder why there is so much tolerance toward a movement (Islam) whose actions have been so extreme and intolerant.

I'm wondering if there is some kind of sub-conscious sensing in the aggregate human psyche of weakness in the faith of Christians with a subsequent "piling on", much like the problem of bullying in the school yard where the confident bully goes after the recluse meek. Christians have lost their edge, their fire, their commitment to what they believe. They are being bullied and are on the run.

I am looking forward to seeing whatever might change this scenario.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obama "Respects" the Beliefs and Actions of Turkey and Muslims, Even Though He Might Disagree

Respect: Having a high regard or esteem for a person, thing, or action; A feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard.

Below is an excerpt of a speech by Barack Hussein Obama (as distinguished from Hillary Rodham Clinton, lest any take offense at my use of Barack's middle name) made to the Turkish parliament on April 6, 2009. In this speech, the President used the word "respect" several times to indicate his respect for Turkey and Islam, even though he might disagree.

Here it is:

"But I also want to be clear that America’s relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on opposition to al Qaeda. Far from it. We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. We will listen carefully, bridge misunderstanding, and seek common ground. We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. And we will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better – including my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country – I know, because I am one of them."

Mr. Obama appears to take a lot of liberties with his concept of "respect." Is there anything he doesn't respect? Any behavior, any action, any attitude?

This series of photos makes the point...

The Atlas Shrugs web site (kudos to the work of Pamela Geller) provides a vivid photographic portrayal of behaviors, actions, and attitudes that Mr. Obama respects, and wants us to respect, with regard to Turkey and Islam. Scroll down for the photos after you click here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Informing truth about Islam warrants Bigot label?

I understand that many Muslims are peace loving folk. Many Muslims have made contributions to science and medicine and art and music - I especially like the Moonshadow guy, Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens.

That is all great. But what are Muslims' greatest claims to fame over the past decade or two? These great "achievements", in no particular order, are:

* Terrorisim
* Abuse of women
* Intolerance
* Violence against their own people
* Calling people who point these things out "bigots."

Take for example the first claim to fame, which is also associated with the second, third, fourth, and fifth items, I offer you the following website, The Religion of Peace.com which lists over 50 Islamic terrorist attacks worldwide just between April first and thirteenth of this year - and how many THOUSAND terror attacks since, hmmm, remember 9-11? This doesn't even include the terror piracy of the Somali Muslims.

The greatest threat to this nation, our heritage, culture, form of government, and freedom, is the seepage of Islamic supremacy into our communities. For abundant evidence of these concerns, read Robert Spencers' Stealth Jihad.

While fascist or violent-Jihadi Islam may not be practiced by most Muslims, if it is practiced by only a mere 5% of the 1.2 billion Muslims that is a "mere" 60,000,000 Muslims who support or practice violent intolerance. Many of the remaining 95% are somewhere on a continuum between passive and active sympathizers. Yes, this political movement called "Islam", disguised as a religion, is certainly making quite a name for itself.

And those who defend it will call those of us who are concerned about its ill-effects on civilization "bigots." So be it.

Muslims (and their head-in-the-sand defenders) who are truly innocent of harboring such radical sentiments would do well to either distance themselves from or speak out against the radical elements of that "religion" rather than resort to name calling. Otherwise, the namecalling sounds very much like a defense of the intolerant Islamo-fascists who appear to represent the true, historical Islam which dominates the news.

Prioritizing Security Threats in the US

The Department of Homeland Security announced to all the police agencies in the nation to be aware of a growing threat of "right-wing extremists" in the United States. The announcement specifically referenced concern about those who are opposed to abortion and illegal immigration. They also alluded to those who are concerned about higher taxes, runaway growth of our federal government, loss of states rights, loss of jobs, loss of homes, and those who are concerned about official Washington obliviousness to the growing threat of Islamists in this nation. Pissed off returning war vets are specifically targeted as potential right-wing culprits. What a freakin' slap in the face to them!

Adding up all of these "malcontents", that would make about 80% of the US population "right-wing extremists" - all of middle America, in essence.

Here is the pdf of the Homeland Security warning.

And why, exactly, wouldn't "left-wing extremists" and middle of the roaders also become troubled and write, talk, and demonstrate about the economy, loss of jobs, loss of benefits, and loss of homes? Why does this government believe that only "right-wing extremists" are concerned about these sorts of things?

Following is my "national security risk assessment." These are all priorities that should come well ahead of the bogus concerns about the threat of middle America.

1. Islamists, violent jihad version: Radicals associated with Islam, al Queda, Iran, etc. who desire to use a dirty nuclear device, high altitude EMP device, a viral contagion, or other WMD against this nation with the intent to destroy our economy, infrastructure, and government.

2. Continued dependence on foreign energy sources.

3. Left wing US-hating radicals in this nation such as Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Nancy Pelosi, most Obama appointees, and other proponents of socialism who desire to create a paternalistic, entitlement-centered, incentive-eroding, resource-sucking, mega-goverment.

4. Islamists, stealth jihad version - and their sympathizers: Stealth jihadists in US Mosques and Islamic Training Centers who desire to use this nation's liberties and legal system against itself while promoting an intolerant, oppressive Islamo-fascist (Sharia-law oriented) government and legal system. This includes those who shout "bigot" against anyone raising legitimate concerns.

5. Unabated illegal immigration that poses a four-pronged threat: to national security, to the respect for and enforcement of our laws, the draining of economic resources on entitlements granted to law-breakers, and distortion of our cultural balance well beyond any influx of legal immigrants this country has ever experienced.

If our federal government did not intend this document to be a slap in the face of patriotic Americans who don't agree with the extreme left wing agenda of our current administration, then they have a lot of explaining and kissing up to do.

The vagueness of this new "risk assessment" is strangely uncharacterisctic compared to the specificity of similar previous assessments. Is this administration becoming concerned about the discontent it is creating? Are those of us who are not thrilled with the direction of our government but who still believe we are free to express ourselves in for some big government wrist slapping and intimidation? We shall see.

The only "right wing extemism" they can cite is the Timothy McVeigh Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, 14 years ago. Ol' Tim has since been executed. Using Tim as the only right wing poster child is like using Osama bin Laden as the only Muslim example of violence, when in fact, there have been literally THOUSANDS of acts of Muslim violence since 9/11 2001! Get real!

Update: Here is the DHS half-assed explanation of their rant against middle America.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Difference Between FOX and CNN, Illustrated

How do the editorial slants of CNN and Fox News differ from one another?

Here are the top headlines on CNN and Fox news websites at 10:30am, Eastern Time:

CNN: Pirates vow to kill U.S., French sailors

FOX: U.S. Mulls Strike on Pirates

This is the impression I get from these news source reporting priorities:

The CNN headline highlights the consequences of our actions, an emphasis on the reactions of the pirates to what we did. Like an "oh oh, maybe we shouldn't have freed our folks from the pirates - now look what will happen." Bottom line: a negative, hopeless feeling spin.

The Fox headline highlights our possible future additional actions, an emphasis on additional steps we might take toward eliminating the piracy threat. To me, this is headline provides a feeling that we are in control, not at the mercy of the pirates - a feeling of hope and optimism.

This contrast in reporting reveals the nature of CNN reporting, which caters to liberals, whiners, and the pessimistic souls, and the nature of Fox reporting which caters to conservatives, the optimists, and the self-reliant among us.

CNN attracts those with negative feelings about our nation, and believe we are too smug (i.e. overly self-confident).

Fox attracts those with positive, hopeful feelings about our nation, and believe we are too negative and critical of our nation.

While not all readers accept the credibility of this simplistic comparison, these differences in editorial emphasis have been noticed and commented on by the general public over the years. These distinctions are significant enough for advertisers to tailor their marketing to the different demographics these networks attract. This is just the first time I've taken the time, personally, to document a specific instance that highlights these distinctions.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Congratulations Seals, Captain - and President

Well, the President, too, sort of.

We can be proud of our nation and all who participated in the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from the Islamic Somali pirates. The Seals performed flawlessly. The Captain served as a parable of the Easter season in his self-sacrifice and subsequent rescue. The President ordered what needed to be done (after early attempts at tying the hands of those in the best position to take action in the field). We celebrate this victory while we mull over both the consequences and what we do next.

I agree with John Bolton, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, who argues that we need to go after the ports and home bases of the Somali pirates militarily. I agree with him that it is a mistake for our response to revert to some sort of reactive police action - an after the fact attempt to rescue ships and people from tyranny on the seas. That approach allows piracy to continue for years to come. I agree that we need the cooperation of other nations. But we must not allow our mission to be driven or subverted by other nations.

Now there are folks who call for "nation-building" of places like Somalia to solve problems of bad behavior. Yes, once the nation is built, that tends to reduce this sort of irresponsible behavior. But that certainly requires multi-national involvement and not primarily by the United States. And it typically takes decades to achieve.

In the meantime, the big stick approach, and using it, is the thing we must do. Consequences, yes. Criticism from others, yes. Loss of innocent lives. Probably. They live in a bad neighborhood. For those who believe in evolution; the survival of the fittest: that will occur here. For those who believe in divine mercy, pray for those people. Once the bad behavior stops, nation building becomes more likely. But piracy is not Somalias only "bad behavior." There is much for them to overcome, including their addiction to violent Islamic teaching and tribal anarchy.

If they respect nothing else, they respect power adminstered with a clear and resolute hand. Residents of Harardhere, a port and pirate stronghold, were gathering in the streets after news of the captain's release, saying they fear pirates may now retaliate against some of the 200 hostages they still hold.

Here is the Somali reaction: "We fear more that any revenge taken by the pirates against foreign nationals could bring more attacks from the foreign navies, perhaps on our villages," Abdullahi Haji Jama, who owns a clothes store in Harardhere, told The Associated Press by telephone.

That is a very good fear. They must understand what we mean by "Don't Tread on Me."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Somalia: Islamic backwater...

...best known for Black Hawk Down and Pirates.

How much do you know about Somalia? Two web sites are enlightening:

CIA Fact Book
Wiki (sponsored by pro-Somalians)

Here is an interesting example of "spin". The pro-Somalian Wiki site, under the category of "health" states "Somalia has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in all of Africa. This is attributed to the Muslim nature of Somali society and adherence of Somalis to Islamic morals.[52]" That all it says under Health.

The CIA site lists a variety of facts including "death rate" and "major infectious diseases". The death rate is 20th from the highest out of 224 nations. This probably results from the Islamic morals killing off the gay Somalians to keep the aids rate low.

"Black Hawk Down" is more specifically the Battle of Mogadishu (capitol and largest city with 2 million) in 1993. In short, the US had good intentions, but the whole sordid affair is appropriately filed under the heading "no good deed goes unpunished."

Several understated "lessons learned" include:

The Somalian folks are different from us in numerous ways
They have a different morality
They have a different form of government (tribal anarchy)
Their communication systems, while nearly stone age except for the requisite number of cell phones used for rallying the folks and blowing up things, achieves their animalistic objectives.
They gather and fight like wolf-packs.

And they are Muslim.

Piracy is their other claim to fame. It began during their civil war in the early 1990's and really came to world attention only within the past two years. And now with the first US-flagged ship to be pirated in 200 years - wait, here is breaking news from a press conference now taking place at the White House. I'll quote what I hear - the President is speaking...

"and, mmm, this is the tenth time in three days you folks have asked me about the pirates. Look. And this is all I will say. We are in discussion with our friends in Somalia. That's it. Back to the economy. As I was saying..."

Yes, a President sympathetic to Muslims, declining to confront an Islamic nation in the face of an ongoing atrocity. I hope I'm wrong, but I see another bailout about to occur. Billions to AIG - why not two million to Somali pirates?

Some current news suggests that the pirates might back down and simply agree with the release of the Captain of the Alabama and free passage of the group of four pirates without holding out for ransom. That would be nice, but would not end the ongoing national Somalian pastime. The reason I am not President of the US is shortly after all our folks have been safely retrieved, I would pound the tar out of every port and mother (f-----g) ship the Somalians were ever known to use. And if our folks are not immediately returned or are harmed, I would do the same thing and probably more.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is still deliberating. They are wondering whether a preemptive strike is warranted. Officials say that U.S. intelligence has no evidence it is planning attacks outside Somalia. WHAT? Another intelligence failure? This "failure of intelligence" this time is of both types: Information gathering and common sense. On-going state-sponsored piracy in international waters isn't an attack outside Somalia?

Another twilight zone moment.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Capt. of US Ship Held Hostage by Somali Pirates

...and Obama negotiates.

First time in 200 years an American ship has been pirated - just like it is the first time an American President bowed to a Muslim king.

Solution...

Since Obama feels it is his duty to chat with our enemies, repel him down from Helo 1 onto the lifeboat to negotiate with his new found Somalian buds.

Am I being too cynical?

This Puts Campaign Rhetoric to Rest


No, no no. He's not REALLY bowing. Ha!

The "kick me" sign couldn't be more appropriate.
Now for you doubters out there - do you still question Husseins respect for and allegience to the Islamic faith?

T H E - F I R S T - P R E S I D E N T - I N - H I S T O R Y.

Change indeed.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Obama Misleading The World About Nature of Islam

Obama in a speech in Muslim Turkey today proclaimed "...our partnership with the Muslim world is critical ... in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject."

Obama conveys his "deep appreciation for the Islamic faith." He may as well express deep appreciation of Hitler, aids, and 9-11. His full statement: "We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country." Gack. Ya gotta be kiddn'. Barack, you mean especially lately, which pretty much is all that counts right now?

Obama misleads the world, especially us "infidels", about Islam in making this sort of statement. Islamic violence and quest for dominance is NOT a fringe ideology. It is at the heart of the Islamic faith. The Muslims who ignorantly cling to the passive nature of Islam and ignore its violent, supremacist core doctrines are the fringe ideology - the "apostate" Muslims as declared by the dominant body of Islamists in today's world.

Obama's national policies and defense of our national security will certainly fail if he cannot accurately identify the beliefs of the folks who have vowed to destroy our civilization. Connect the dots, Barack! See Robert Spencer's analysis of Obama's statement here for more insight.

Ironically, a few days prior to the President making his remarks, "Prime Minister [of Turkey] Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan rejected attempts to call Turkey the representative of moderate Islam. "It is unacceptable for us to agree with such a definition. Turkey has never been a country to represent such a concept. Moreover, Islam cannot be classified as moderate or not."

Erdogan continued, making several false analogies between the "tolerance" of Muslim versus the tolerance of Christians, here.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Wisdom About Our Recession

After reviewing several books on our current recession, I discovered one that is spot on: "Contagion" by John R. Talbott publish in January 2009.

Mr. Talbott wrote three other books of note where his predictions were accurate at least a year before the events he predicted actually occurred:

"The Coming Crash in the Housing Market" - 10 Things You Can Do Now to Protect Your Most Valuable Investment: April 2003

"Sell Now" - The End of the Housing Bubble: January 2006

"Obamanomics" - How Bottom Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle Down Economics: July 2008


I don't concur with several of his philosophies and opinions, namely, that global warming is man-made and we can do something about it, we are wasting money on the war on terror, and seeking pro-life candidates results in unqualified legislators.

But when he remains in his zone of expertise, as opposed to his zone of unsubstantiated opinion, what is says is very compelling.

Here are several eye-opening observations discussed in Contagion which I believe are accurate:

* A corrupt alliance between big business and congress in the form of lobbying and campaign contributions created the lack of regulation and oversight that led to our economic debacle. Only sweeping reform to prohibit this self-serving relationship will correct the legislative and regulatory lapses that result.

* This recession will deepen over the next 3 to 5 years (2011 to 2013) - best case - if our government institutes major reforms ending the influence of big business over congress. If not, our problems will become deeper and last indefinitely. He is doubtful reforms will occur.

* A "perfect storm"-like scenario has been created by a myriad of events and circumstances that in many ways will cause our current economic problems to be worse than those during the Great Depression. Among them are:

- The retiring "productive and investing" segment of our population who will consume social security assets while producing nothing and saving and investing less.
- The younger, more productive, cheaper cost-of-production nations such as India and especially China who will continue to out produce us.
- Excessive per capita consumption in the form of over-sized housing and other consumer items that we haven't paid for and can't pay for.
- Our lack of savings and investing compared to other nations.
- The vast, unregulated morass of derivative markets and credit default swaps that were trillion dollar Ponzi schemes.
- Expected continuing incestuous relationship between big business, special interests, congress, and the regulators.

He concludes that we are a nation of self-absorbed folk compared to a generation or two ago. In part he blames this situation on the growing income disparity between the owner/executive class and the worker class. Yes, I know, he is beginning to sound like a socialist here. But the data bear this out. Income for most workers has been flat relative to the gross domestic product over the last four decades or so while income for the owner/executives has sky-rocketed. It is true that only since the 60's did most families feel the need for women to work outside the home to "make ends meet", or to consume what the ads convinced us we had to consume. In any event, he argues, we have felt less secure financially and less relevant psychologically to the point that we have drawn ourselves inward, refusing to be as altruistic as we were a few decades earlier. We have become more selfish, and obviously, less moral.

A word about Ayn Rand and "enlightened self interest." It doesn't work yet. We humans have not reached the required state of perfection needed for this concept to to be put into practice. In the meantime, "Atlas Shrugs" thinking only results in greed, corruption, screwed up government, and a screwed up economy.

A couple of other books on this topic I considered but declined to purchase were these:

"Meltdown": A Free Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, etc. by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. and Ron Paul. This is the libertarian perspective. This is the perspective that too much government interference was the cause of the meltdown. I don't buy it and I didn't buy it.

"The Great Depression Ahead": How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History by Harry S. Dent - January 2009. This book sounded promising until I learned that in 2005 Mr. Dent wrote "The Next Great Bubble Boom: How to Profit from the Greatest Boom in History: 2006-2010." His timing was way off with this earlier book. I couldn't trust his new one.