Thursday, March 30, 2017

Two Views of Islam

In recent years there has been a lot of bad blood between the Muslims and the infidels or kuffar (unbelievers). They feel that we have been attacking them, and we are equally disturbed by their efforts to turn our cities into Islamic enclaves and "no-go" zones, and by their terror attacks. Each side considers the other's legal system as invalid, improper, worthless, and terrible. Of course, it's more complicated than that, but that gives the flavor of the dispute.

With all this, it should not be surprising that derogatory things have been said on both sides. Like this one about Muslims and their Sharia Law. Some — especially the more sensitive or perpetually offended among us — would find this description rather harsh.

But that's not harsh at all compared to what they say about themselves. Like this.

This strikes me as an explicit admission, by those most heavily steeped in Islam and most knowledgeable about it, that Islam makes no sense on its own terms. That also fits with the violence and intimidation the Imams are preaching. It's what appeals to those who know they are being dumped on and respond by striking out with any actions through which they can claim some form of dominance — "honor killings", thuggery, terror attacks, jihadism.

That Western "1400 years" view is also not harsh compared to what Muslims say about us (non-Muslims), or what they intend for us. It's the same as they intended, and implemented, for every group of people they ever encountered. It was a simple mantra: "Convert or die." And once they got past that immediate threat, they learned their problems were just beginning: "If you try to leave, we will kill you." It was all a part of, and a follow-on, to the only way Islam has ever spread — conquest.

How does this problem get solved? I'm not sure, but I do look forward a world like that described in this story.

The Russian Conspiracy Theory

A far-Left portion of the Democrats has been pushing the idea that the election of President Donald Trump is somehow illegitimate because of claimed Russian interference — "Russian hacking" — of the presidential election. But just what is it the Russians are accused of having done? Not interfering in the actual voting or the vote counting, though that's what they would like to have you think. No. It's charged that the Russians changed the election results by releasing information that made the Democrats look bad. That is, they changed the election results through advertising. (Advertising executives wish they could be that effective!)

Let's step back and take a bit longer view. The main thing that has the Democrats disturbed is that they didn't win. After all, they know they are the ones who represent reality, reason, compassion, and all things good and true. They know there is no legitimate reason why people would oppose them. That being the case, the opposition must have some nefarious reason to oppose them and their policies. There's simply no other possibility.

They are especially disturbed when the opposition is successful. In effect, then, here is what really has the Democratic Left riled up. Stated succinctly,

That's right. It's their own string of failures that has them becoming so rabid.

This is just another reflection of something that's been true for roughly fifty years. It's a truism. If you understand these two statements, you understand nearly all of American politics.

      Conservatives think liberals are wrong.

      Liberals think conservatives are evil.

This was true before, but increasingly more so in the past thirty years.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Thought on the ObamaCare Repeal

It seems to me that "Repeal And Replace" should be the proper approach to dealing with ObamaCare (the horribly misnamed Affordable Care Act). The reason for this has nothing to do with any of the bill's primary provisions, the things that were why the bill was written. The reason is this: Nobody liked this bill when it was being pushed through the Congress. (That's actually not quite true. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the one or two other people allowed into the office to draft this bill must have liked it at least a little.) That's why the Democrat leadership had to add item after item to the bill to enable them to talk other Democrats into reluctantly voting for it. (The biggest single one of these items was probably the federal take-over of the entire student loan process.) None of these additional items was seriously or appropriately considered by Congressional committees or members — not even to the extremely limited degree allowed for the main bill. And, of course, the Democrat leadership couldn't allow anything like the normal amendment process or their entire house of cards would have collapsed.

The only way to get rid of all the extraneous garbage accretions that were used to bribe enough senators and representatives to vote for this turkey is to repeal the entire bill outright. Otherwise, even if all parts of ObamaCare get fixed perfectly, all the additional garbage will still be left in place and in effect.
Just a thought.

Some Wisdom on the Federal Budget

Until we stop scoring federal programs on how much money we spend on them, and begin keeping score on how well they accomplish what they were set up to do, we'll never shrink the size of government.
      — Rich Galen, Mullings

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Legislative Insanity and Stupidity

Legislators in New Mexico seem to have been going out of their way to be stupid. And nuts.

A case in point: The Legislature in our state capital of Santa Fe has decided they don't like switching onto and off of Daylight Savings Time every spring and fall. So far, so good. But their solution is to stay on Daylight Savings Time all year round. (!) The bill's sponsor claims the farmers in his district support his proposal, but he admits elsewhere that they will be in the fields based on the sun, completely independent of whatever the clocks are doing. Dumb! Just dumb!

The Legislature also demonstrates insanity, defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The Legislature's only solution to any problem is "Raise taxes and throw more money at it." (Actually, that's not true. It's really "Raise taxes and throw more money somewhere.) They haven't yet learned that this never works. I can't tell you how many tax increases have been and are being passed by this Legislature, but they amount to something close to half billion dollars a year in tax increases on this small, poor state.

The Legislature's insanity disease has also been contracted by the city council in Santa Fe — or is it the other way around? The city council this week passed a "sugar tax" that will principally affect soft drinks and other sweetened drinks like Gatorade. (The actual boundaries of this tax are not yet well publicly defined.) The tax is to be 2¢ per ounce of liquid. As opponents have noted, that means your drink will often cost you more in tax than for the drink itself. The only good news is that this proposal is going before the voters for ratification. The bad news is that the city council is a reasonably accurate reflection of the community they represent, including in its insanity.

These are just some current examples of this phenomenon. Every legislative session provides new ones. It's almost enough to suggest that those who want to run for Legislative office should be banned from serving there. But then,

¡Así es en Nuevo Mexico! That's how it is in New Mexico!