Friday, April 27, 2012
Times do CHANGE, but one constant is human nature. In many ways, the United States resembles ancient Rome. More differences are apparent than similarities. It is the things in common that I see. The recent comments made about how the Romans handled conquests got my attention. I have felt for more than 30 years now that we are going the way of the Romans. I have felt that we want to slow down that time when Caesar shows up. The best way to do that is to maintain the economic system as much as possible. One of the things that made Rome so strong and durable was it’s constant protection of property owners throughout the republican phase and both Western and Eastern Empires. The United States has been changing this fundamental strength at an accelerating pace since the Great Depression. President Obama is speeding this up, and he is doing it intentionally.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
On Sunday, April 22, 2012, I saw an interview with Joe Liberman on Fox News. A brief comment was made about the drone that was captured by Iran. Liberman did not seem to think that Iran was capable of copying the technology and dismissed any potential advances that Iran may obtain as a result of reverse engineering. What Mr. Liberman forgets is that not only is reverse engineering much easier than the original designing, but also Iran is far from being alone in the desire to obtain this technology. China and Russia (And probably a few others) would pay a nice price to be able to reverse engineer that drone. Iran will not just obtain new technology from this, but China and Russia are likely to benefit as well. I am certain that our current President is not too worried about this. After all, he changed the mission of NASA to outreach to the Muslim world in an attempt to supply Muslim countries with rocket and scientific technology. Why not this as well? I cannot prove this, but it does fit the pattern of our President not being all that concerned about preservation (Or advancement) of our technological prowess. After all, he believes that he can run our economy better than we can and the future of technological advances is ‘green energy’ sources. This is because he believes that “It is the right thing to do”. Funny, I disagree with him on this. What is important is that President Obama does not care what I (Joe Citizen) thinks. Under a representative government, President Obama is not supposed to ‘Pass a bill so that I can find out what is in it.” Just because HE believes it is the right thing to do. What if HE believed that a full-scale nuclear attack on Russia was needed? Will he go ahead and do it anyway because it is “The right thing to do”? (Hitler also thought that he knew what the ‘right thing to do’ was.)
Saturday, April 21, 2012
The U.S. Senate, for the third year in a row, is not going to pass a budget. Never mind that having a budget is a legal requirement, but as they make the laws, I suppose that they don’t have to actually OBEY. (Please note: This is not exactly new) On another issue, President Obama is constantly blaming me and the people I support because they are preventing him from passing laws that he considers to be ‘doing the right thing’. Just in case President Obama does not know this: This is EXACTLY how our system is supposed to work. When the opposing party controls the U.S. House of Representatives, you will have to work WITH them, not against them. And President Obama blames them (And me) for not being ‘moderate’ and working with HIM. Normally, I would agree. But President Obama is not a normal Democrat. A normal Democrat like President Clinton or President Carter would have understood that the loss of the U.S. House of Representatives entails a shift to the right in order to get anything done. In fact, President Clinton did just that. And President Clinton did not shove the Health Care bill down our throats when he had the chance. So we Republicans (And conservatives) could actually work WITH him. And we did. After all, we Republicans like to ‘make a deal’. I would like for our country to pass a budget. However, with President Obama in office, I would rather our country did without than work WITH him. What changed my mind? “We need to pass this bill so that YOU can find out what is in it.” This was the rationale for the passing of the Health Care bill that was being so fiercely resisted, much in the way that it was fought in 1994 and the fight against Social Security reform in the 1980’s and again under President George W. Bush. This is what President Obama does when he has enough power to do what he wants. He does it anyway simply because “It is the right thing to do”. So when the tables are reversed, what does he do? When he does not have enough power or control, does he compromise? Just look at how much his position has changed since the 2010 elections. Has he shifted to the right anything like President Clinton? (Or a host of Republicans since the 1930’s who have had to make deals with a Democrat controlled Congress AND Senate) No, he blames them and me that he can’t do what he believes “to be the right thing to do”. I thought he was going to ’reach across the aisle’ and ‘get everyone working together’. I have noticed a strange thing about accusations. They do tend to tell more about the accuser than the accused. So when President Obama calls Republicans (And me) stubborn and not moderate, he is only telling me what I already know: That is EXACTLY what he himself is. And no way will I favor ANY deal with him unless it is EXACTLY what I want. And I really don’t give a damn what he wants or what he believes to be ‘the right thing to do’. Now I am also not moderate. Just like him. (I am lucky, I will likely remain this way only until he is gone. After all, I am married to a Democrat. I am also certain that he is stuck this way for life.)
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Stoning people to death I mention this as a cause of war because of the violent resistance that is being seen when attempting to get rid of this ‘law’. Riots occurred in Nigeria in 2006 because the court refused to have a woman who was convicted of adultery stoned to death. Nigeria is about 50% Muslim and 40% Christian. (10% ‘other’) This ‘law’ is an important one because similar problems have been seen in other parts of the world where attempts to ignore this same punishment have triggered responses similar to what Nigeria witnessed. I guess if you can’t throw rocks at someone, then it is OK to throw rocks at something else. After all, that aggressive urge has to be fulfilled somehow. The Koran specifies that the rocks must be small enough not to kill with one blow and large enough to not qualify as pebbles. This medieval concept must end. It is bad enough to still have laws that allow for people to be flogged, but this ‘law’ is about as ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment as you can get. (Flogging should be dropped as well) Yet a great risk is run when attempting to get rid of it, or ignoring it. This is another demonstration of how Islam has yet to evolve with modern ideas of human thought and dignity. The elimination of stoning and flogging is being fought with violence. This is a moral issue that is similar to that of getting rid of slavery. It will be almost impossible to stop violence without resorting to organized violence, particularly concerning issues like this. This is another case of Islamic law being a cause of war.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Jihad: Many Muslims believe that Jihad is an internal struggle. This is supposedly the ‘greater Jihad’. However, historically this has not been the case. “For most of the fourteen hundred years of Muslim history, Jihad has been most commonly interpreted as ARMED struggle for the advancement or defense of Muslim power.” (B. Lewis) This is enough time for a basic concept to actually become culturally based. Cultural change is the most difficult and turbulent of all change. Thus it would be very, very difficult to reverse. The Koran mentions Jihad in the context of ‘internal’ struggle in about 5% to 10% of the references concerning Jihad. The other 90% concern armed Jihad and warfare. No wonder Jihad was (And is by many) most commonly interpreted as armed struggle. In addition, the reward for Jihad is booty in this world and paradise in the next. Booty was generally how armies were paid until the rise of the nation-state and professional armies. This did not occur until Islam had been established for more than 700 years. The concept of booty as it was generally known is inappropriate with the concept of Jihad as an internal struggle. Jihad may have been intended to be an internal struggle, but the reward system in this world makes it a foreign policy. This can and has caused wars. Imams wield the power of a modern government. Jihad is one tool that gives Islamic leaders the powers of a nation-state. Jihad helps provide many Imams the ability to field their own personal militias. Another way of looking at it: If priests were able to form and lead armed combat units, many governments would have to go to war against the Catholic Church. As they should. The waging of war is the responsibility of governments, not ‘religion’. Naturally, wars are fought over issues like this one. The ‘terrorist’ organizations of today are in fact the Islamic ‘army’ in action. These very same organizations speak of jihad in the context of armed struggle. Many have declared war against the U.S. and Israel already. (Declaring war as if they are the leadership of a government) In fact, the ‘Nation of Islam’ is at war against ALL modern governments. Jihad is not the type of issue that negotiation can resolve. People will wage war to resist or resolve. Negotiation could not convince the South to give up slavery. It took open warfare to rid the United States of slavery. Nor will negotiation change the interpretation of jihad. Better healthcare and better economic opportunities are not going to change anyone’s mind on this issue. Economic opportunity will not revoke the authority that Imams have that enables them to field these ‘jihadist armies’, nor will it win the war against these organizations.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
When running for senator in Illinois, President Obama’s opponent had sealed records that were opened and it destroyed him. President Obama’s sealed records have remained so. Then we have the questions about where he was born. From what I have seen, the evidence of his birth in Hawaii is of a very poor quality. On top of all of this, we can find little to no information on his youth and very little to none about his early adulthood. Maybe he was just a clean boy? Sorry, but nobody who does anything worthwhile in his/her life is that clean. This has been seen by the exposure of sensitive information on his political opponents and at the same time, this same scrutiny about him has been denied to us.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
President Obama recently said that the Supreme Court should allow Health Care to remain law because Congress passed it overwhelmingly. An elected body made a law that should not be overturned by a group of people who had not been elected. This explains his actions upon his first State of the Union address when he basically snubbed the Supreme Court. He must not believe in the separation of powers that is so essential in checking the power of our government over us. President Obama is just doing what he said he was going to do: “Fundamentally Change America”. Fundamental change indeed when the Supreme Court does not judge laws based upon the Constitution, but upon whatever Congress or the President decide.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The penalty for leaving Islam is death. This ‘Law’ has been enforced for 1400 years. Part of the problem here is that the authority to execute people is supposed to be used only by a national government. Two ways that governments kill people: They execute their own citizens, or the government declares war and the professional army kills the enemy. Islam as a religion must not be allowed to retain this ability to terminate people’s lives. Islam implements the killing of others through the authority that Imams exercise. They can field their own militias. This is in conflict with the idea of governmental enforcement of the laws, not to mention government control of the armed forces. Even when governments enact this penalty for leaving Islam within the legal system, this reinforces the idea that once something is Muslim, it cannot revert back to anything else. This can be (And frequently is) applied to ‘waters’ and ‘occupation’ of land as well. This concept goes well past national boundaries. As a result, this is an international issue that modern nations have and should go to war over. In addition, this law is a major structural problem for Islam. The penalty for leaving Islam is death is one of the primary factors in the reasons why Sunni and Shiite have not been able to resolve their differences since 690 AD. (Islam was founded in 610 AD) Because the two sides differ in the line of succession of the leadership of Islam, (A major, fundamental difference) each side sees the other as having left Islam. In many of the cases where we hear of ‘sectarian’ violence, this is a major, basic cause. A number of other differences exist in the interpretation of the Koran. (It is human nature for people to differ) When any group interprets the law in any way significantly that is different from others, they see the other side as having left Islam. Very few disagreements exists with the interpretation of ‘The penalty for leaving Islam is death.’ This cannot do anything but assist violent behavior. Historically, when ‘outsiders’ or infidels are involved, Sunni and Shiite will band together to defeat the common enemy before attempting to deal with the other, which is more of an internal problem. Execution of people is the sole responsibility of a modern national government, not a ‘religion’. Once again, Islam is in direct conflict with modern governance. Imams wield the power of governments when they can implement this penalty, along with numerous others that Islamic law requires. People and nations will fight violently to resolve these types of issues. It is about the only way to resolve them. Submission is the other. No wonder it results in violence, on both sides.