Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hate Crimes Against Muslims: Man Bites Dog

Commentary by walford

Man Who Allegedly Attacked Taxi Driver Arraigned On Hate Crime Charges

This is a man-bites-dog story; it is big news because it's so rare.

Yes, a small percentage of practicing Muslims commit acts of terrorism. An even smaller percentage of practitioners of any other religion, spiritual system or non-religion deliberately targets civilians for the purposes of intimidating them to pressure their leaders to change policies to accommodate what is in practice an expansionist political ideology.

Let us consider some Venn Diagrams to create:
  • Proportion of terrorist acts by non-Muslims vs. Muslims.
  • Proportion of how many times a Muslim is attacked for his faith vs. a Muslim attacking someone for HIS faith being characterized as a "hate crime" by the media and prosecuted as such by Western governments.
  • Proportion of Muslims deliberately attacked by other Muslims vs. those perpetrated by non-Muslims.
  • Proportion of responsibility given to Westerners who accidentally kill Muslim non-combatants because terrorists are hiding behind them vs. responsibility cast upon their co-religionists who hide behind them.
  • Proportion of Western media attention paid to Muslims killed by non-Muslims vs Muslims.
  • Proportion of Western media attention paid to such practices as honor killings, female genital mutilations, stonings, lashings, forced child marriages by Muslims in their own countries and in the West vs. how much they actually happen.
  • Proportion of Western media attention paid to such practices as hangings, stonings, lashings against homosexuals by Muslims in their own countries and in the West vs. how much they actually happen.
  • Proportion of how many times Muslims and their Western apologists qualify condemnation of terrorism with blame upon the West vs. the number of times they condemn it outright.
  • Proportion of times mainstream Muslims condemn terrorists who cite Allah as justifying their acts as blasphemy vs. number of times they keep silent.
  • Proportion of accommodation Islam gets in the West vs. the amount any other religion gets in any predominantly Muslim country.
  • Proportion of accommodation Muslims expect in Western countries vs. the amount of adjustment they are willing to make [e.g., not murdering their daughters who insist upon determining whom they marry] to the host culture.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Politics, the Environment, the Economy, etc.

[RE: calling Tea Party movement members "tea-baggers"]: I seriously doubt that those who are fond of putting scrotums on people's faces oppose mass-amnesty for people who have entered this country illegally, don't think that we can tax-and-spend our way to recovery or appease our way to security....

I think it is possible for intelligent people to have differing opinions without resorting to vulgar characterizations. Indeed, the elitist criticism of the current Tea Party movement strikes me as being very similar to that of the Tories who held similar views of the original Tea Partiers: They are an ignorant rabble who are better off being kept silent and disenfranchised by their Betters in the aristocracy.
Scary Carey
Then will the non-xenophobic, open-minded Teabaggers please stand up? The majority of assholes in that group are giving the other side all the ammo we need to be convinced they're going to drag this country down into the same pile of shit ...we were in when the country first started. Taxation's the only way we've got of pitching in to improve things around this nation. If we don't get the citizens in on it, and especially the wealthy of that bunch, then how else are we supposed to build a better, stronger America for all? I'm in the impoverished group of this country, but I'm ready to pay some taxes to get things done. Why can't people who make more money than I do also feel the same? It's not everyone for themselves, but that we're all in this together.

Not only is legislation critical in this, but we also have to be able to afford such things as implementing renewable energy sources, retraining employees for those jobs, and repairing the damage already done by climate change. There's also a very fundamental change that needs to be made but probably won't happen anytime soon, and that's the idea that we don't need material wealth to be truly happy. So many capitalists are convinced they need this product or that and are having a very dififcult time being truly happy. Ultimately, I can't help those people because they must find their own path. I just know from experience and what I've seen in my own family that stuff doesn't equal happiness. It and the craving for more stuff tend to create a neverending sensation of longing that's never satiated. True happiness comes from the simple things that don't cost a dime and yet are priceless.

I believe at this point that 3rd world countries stand a better chance of surviving in the decades to come because they can be so greatly improved in a way that's sustainable and environmentally sound. We've already got so many dams that have disrupted river flows and harmed fish populations, since being able to power our TVs and kitchen appliances and lights is more important than taking care of the rest of the natural world. This is but one example of how American entitlement has led to a very steady decline of the ecosystems that we depend on for our survival. Give me a member of the Tea party that actually gives a shit about this and I'll consider rethinking any derogatory comments I like to make about them. %^)
Government cannot spread wealth; it can only spread poverty. The purpose of socialism is not to eliminate poverty, it is to eliminate wealth.

If a shared poverty is the ideal under a collectivist state, there are other places to enjoy such a... Nirvana. It's been tried time and time again and the result has invariably been the same. Wholesale slaughter. Cataclysmic war. Abject poverty. Brutal oppression.

Insofar as the environment is concerned, we can consider regaining our innocence by going back to the upper Paleolithic. We can abolish the internal combustion engine, pesticides, fertilizers, reverting to hunter-gatherer or slash-and-burn agriculture.

Bear in mind that this would only sustain a single-digit percentage of the world's current human population. We can look upon Afghanistan under the Taliban as an example to emulate. Their equally valid alternate lifestyle destroyed what little technology they had as most of the population was ignorant, disenfranchised and impoverished.

I personally do not find that option attractive, but it could be accomplished by surrendering Western civilization to those are diligently working to destroy it -- such as those who propose to build this mosque where the ashes of their victims once fell.

We should indeed keep pollution to a minimum. Great strides have been attained in that regard. I am old enough to remember what it was like when most vehicles were burning leaded gasoline. I remember when everyone agreed that Lake Erie was dead forever.

Much work remains to be done and I support it, but not by such double-standard ridden and politically motivated schemes as the Kyoto Protocol.

The root cause of all human suffering is tyranny, not freedom. The cause of the current problems isn't too much freedom and not enough government. So long as the cancer of tyranny exists in the world, there will always be war, poverty and injustice.

The choice is whether we abide "income disparity" under freedom or "equality" under tyranny.
Scary Carey
The root of many of our problems is that there really are too many people in the world. There's too much materialism, too much inequality, too much of a lot of things. I don't think we'll ever be able to eradicate war, injustice, or pover...ty because dealing with those concepts is a very human experience. Part of this whole mess we're in right now is not that it's the end of all things and that we should surrender to the inevitable. It's simply that we have a choice to make about how to proceed into the future. Do we learn from the mistakes of the past and improve our ways before it's too late (and time IS running out whether anyone wants to accept it or not)? There are a lot of people who are stuck in the past and who claim that, if it worked for our forefathers, then it's good enough for us. Sure, slavery worked for our forefathers. So did the oppression of women and the native peoples who were here before the pilgrims ever decided to float their unhappy asses over in search of a better life. Our forefathers also thought that hacking down the forests to make room for their homes was good enough for them. Now we know what damage has been done and yet we're still continuing to do more damage as if it doesn't matter. Now we have a chance to do something different and NOT be the same ignorant, closed-minded people that started this nation.

Sadly, we already have "income disparity" under so-called freedom. Why are there so many homeless people living on the streets and in shelters, while the select few wealthy continue to drive their fancy cars and invest in oil and coal industries? This current economic way of being is obviously not working for everyone. There are more options than the two you've just mentioned. We can have equality under freedom. This is our government, after all. It doesn't belong to the oil industries or the coal industries. It's of the people, by the people, and for the people. Corporations don't run the show, you and I do. My classmates at Evergreen do. There are people who know what needs to be done and are willing to make the changes necessary, whatever the costs. Why is it, then, that so many others gripe about taxation but expect the government to step in to help out with issues like Katrina and the oil spill? Why are there teabaggers who live on social security and other forms of government aid? Taxation isn't the enemy or a representative of tyranny. It's a way that we all can pitch in to make the improvements that need to be made that will make everyone happier in the long run. If we don't have taxes, then how else are we honestly going to improve a nation that's built on the principle of the almighty dollar? How else are we supposed to be able to afford to make those improvements? Believe me, if I thought we could do it without spending a dime, then I'd be all for it. It just seems to be a horribly imbalanced country when I, an unemployed college graduate and proud liberal, am willing to put forth whatever I can manage in order to help out, while the right-wingers refuse to lift a finger to help. As I said before, it's not everyone for themselves. We are all in this together.
Birthrates go down as a society modernizes and prospers, which is only possible with freedom. Free people do not make war upon each other. Free people derive the most benefit from other people being free. We cannot appease, contain or other...wise live in peace with tyranny. There is no such thing as a benign tyranny.

With all of our technology, we are no less subject to Nature's Laws. Other organisms have overwhelmed their environments and they either changed their ways or Nature took care of it.

We therefore have two options: we can embrace and foster freedom for all mankind. Then our race will survive and even prosper. We will handle our environmental problems voluntarily. The other option is to surrender to tyranny and allow most if not all of our species to be wiped out in a series of wars, famines and epidemics that loom so long as tyranny exists anywhere on this planet.

Our civilization is going through a dangerous juvenile phase that likely every sentient species experiences wherever they may exist in the universe. We are feeling our power, but still coming to grips with the implications. Too few of us consider whether we have any responsibility for future generations or have a stake in this future. We have high technology, while our governance and social structure -- and spirituality -- has not kept up.

Whatever solutions are found, they must follow Nature, not fight Her. What is real, true and just is to be discovered, not made. We cannot force a society to conform to an Utopian ideal just because we wish it can be so.

We don't make the rules here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What of the Price of Strawberries?

Commentary by walford

If we actually began to enforce existing laws against illegal immigration, let us remember that there are currently 15 million unemployed American Citizens and 12-20 million people here illegally.

Basic economics teaches us that if you have a surplus of something, it commands a lower price -- in this case, labor. Americans would indeed be willing to do this kind of work if it paid adequately. As the labor glut is eased, wages across the board would increase and we would all be able to afford these more expensive strawberries that are picked by other Americans.

Do we really want to make a case for exploitation by encouraging -- or even tolerating -- employers to hire people who are not covered by our labor laws?

Most Americans do not support mass deportation, but they don't support mass amnesty either. A far simpler and economical solution is to remove the incentives. All public assistance should be for U.S. citizens only. Neither should there be drivers licenses, in-state tuition [that actually favors illegals over legal immigrants and U.S. citizens living in other states] nor other rewards for violating our sovereignty.

I invite anyone to review Mexico's immigration laws to see their hypocrisy when criticizing those of the United States.

And America is the only country I know of that allows children born to illegal aliens [if you're offended by the term, by all means review my blog on this subject] to be considered naturalized citizens. The 14th Amendment was ratified in the aftermath of the Civil War. It was meant to grant full citizenship to former slaves -- not to incentivize pregnant women to risk their lives crossing rivers and deserts.

Allowing the United States to serve as a political and economic safety valve not only causes problems here, it also perpetuates the corruption -- and resultant poverty -- in their home countries that drove them here in the first place.

If you subsidize something, you tend to get more of it.

The federal government is essentially nullifying its Constitutional responsibility by refusing to enforce our national sovereignty and protect our citizens from terrorists, drug gangs, human traffickers and economic refugees.

Elites in the Republican Party are complicit because they are beholden to commercial interests that are addicted to cheap, exploitable labor. Elites in the Democrat Party are complicit because they hope to buy their votes with taxpayer-funded benefits. Also a certain cadre welcomes the fact that these people come from places where questioning authority is hazardous to your health.

And ordinary people on both sides of the border pay the price.

Mosque at Ground Zero

Commentary by walford

Let us bear in mind that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Holocaust denier, refuses to classify HAMAS as a terrorist organization, blames the West for all Islamic terrorism, is a leader of a group that preaches murdering homosexuals and subjugating women, etc.

The name for this site, "Cordoba House" is telling. Córdoba was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate's outpost established in Spain when the Muslims conquered, Islamicized and added Iberia to an empire that expanded by force. As someone of partial Spanish descent, I find this to be particularly offensive.

Will this mosque 600 yds away from Ground Zero usher in a new age of multiculturalist Nirvana? Let us quote from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

"When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them." (Sahih Muslim, book 019, Number 4294)

For those who value freedom and pluralism, to invite those who preach intolerance and Theological Exclusivism to have a place celebrating their expansionist political ideology on the site where the ashes of their victims fell is beyond unconscionable.

Having studied their culture and religion extensively, I cannot stress strongly enough how allowing a mosque at this location will be interpreted in the Islamic world. It will be taken as a sign of surrender on our part and that their conquest is Divinely Blessed.

To expect Western-style negotiation and compromise from them therefore is dangerously naive. It is a one-way street with them because Islam has yet to undergo a Reformation. There is a reason why synagogues or churches in Islamic countries are few and far between.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ayn Rand: Serial Killer Admirer?

This allegation apparently originated on Alternet and is being regurgitated around many Leftist blogs, as well as a few religious ones that resent her rejection of organized religion.

Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer
Her works are treated as gospel by right-wing powerhouses like Alan Greenspan and Clarence Thomas, but Ayn Rand found early inspiration in 1920's murderer William Hickman.

Commentary by walford

Simma down na, babe. If you Google the quote "Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should" you will find plenty of places pouncing on this supposed admiration.

I was concerned about this and, unlike those who were looking for something to justify their pre-existing hatred, did some research.

That and the other 'damning' quotes were lifted from the Journals of Ayn Rand in reference to an unpublished novel she was researching. She was developing a character who was a "Hickman with a purpose. And without the degeneracy. It is more exact to say that the model is not Hickman, but what Hickman suggested to me."

The words of praise she offered was not of Hickman but of a character that had some elements of Hickman in him -- NOT of Hickman himself.

Another quote is always left out from the anti-Rand blogs referring to it, because it further puts the quote into context: "The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of a whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the 'virtuous' indignation and mass-hatred of the 'majority.'... It is repulsive to see all these beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal."

I have to agree with her. When you see a mob piling on or an individual condemning a heinous act so vociferously, I begin to suspect an element of voyeurism and/or that the person is trying to reassure others -- and himself -- that he would NEVER do such a thing.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recovery: Spin vs. Reality

RE: This article:

40 Bizarre Statistics That Reveal The Horrifying Truth About The Collapse Of The U.S. Economy

Commentary by walford

Of course things are getting worse. We are being given more of the poison that got us here in the first place.

We are being told that what caused this mess was too much freedom and not enough government. We are not being taxed enough. Capital is more efficiently allocated by Barney Frank rather than Bill Gates.

Their agenda is not based upon reason, thus no amount of evidence will disabuse them. When confronted with the obvious fact that their policies are not working, they say that they would if government had even wider powers.

They blame others for their failures and say -- without being challenged by the media to substantiate their claim -- that if their tax-and-spend policies had not been enacted, things would be worse.

The only thing that stands between us and ruination is the American people themselves. They know this and are doing everything they can to silence and marginalize the majority. They are even trying to demographically overwhelm us with people who come from places where questioning authority is hazardous to your health.

This is a war. A war of survival.