Saturday, August 30, 2014

Middle East Update

It looks like President Barack Obama is about to send troops back to Iraq, and maybe to Syria. That's "boots on the ground" — or maybe not.

There may be other factors involved, as well. That's particularly the case because of the barbarous, completely uncivilized, and subhuman behavior of the jihadists who are the Islamic State's "fighters".

It appears we should treat this cancer while we wait, however, rather than waiting for that judgment. This would be in line with a statement attributed to a U.S. Marine (paraphrased): "It's God's job to judge the jihadists. It's up to us to arrange their meeting."

In the meantime, while we are watching events there, it would also be appropriate to keep in mind who the characters in this Middle East play are.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reflections on Obama

President Barack Obama is in hot water again — this time for demonstrating his lack of actual feeling for others, including those caught up in the detritus of his policies. UPDATE: Now ISIS has beheaded a second U.S. journalist — Steve Sotloff — and President Obama couldn't even be bothered to make a statement. (end update)
UPDATE II: To be fair, Obama did finally make a statement on the Sotloff beheading. I think that's where he also made his self-contradictory statements about ISIS. (end update)

But you've got to understand a few things: Barack Obama loves his perks. Many would say they are the reason he wants to continue being President. But that's not quite right, because Obama is an ideologue. That's why he will say anyting he thinks will give him an advantage, no matter how temporary, whether it's something like his Foley statement or his statements on his decision (and campaign promise) pulling our troops out of Iraq.

All of which gives Obama a huge blind spot.
That and his (and his advisors') total inexperience in foreign affairs makes him and his team what he called another group.

Because his ideology is driving his actions, there are some areas and organizations he really has no use for. Those he disses, and dismisses, without a thought.

Obama's not dumb, though he sometimes seems so. It's just that, for example, his ideology says there are 57 states (all but two of which he has visited), so it must be so.

To me, the "bottom line" is this: Barack Obama is a failure as President, having damaged this country throughout his term.
And Jimmy Carter is no longer our Worst President Ever.

Just Because It's Funny

A new cell phone designed just for seniors.

(You younger people, have a senior explain this to you.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fundamentalist Islam Is Recent

Is the claim by fundamentalist Muslims, that they are working to re-establish the original, true Islam — as received by Mohammed — real or a is it a fraud?

Thus, Islamism represents a political ideology that claims to restore the pristine Islam of the 7th century and indeed appeals to Muslim history and sensibility, but in fact represents something new. As Roy notes, “The illusion held by the Islamic radicals is that they represent tradition, when in fact they express a negative form of westernization.”4
        4Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam, p. 20
Indeed, this claim to be restoring the "original Islam" seems to have developed at the time of the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920's, based on Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi movement (founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who was opposed by his own father and brother for his non-traditional interpretation of Islam).

This analysis may be accurate. If so, such an "originalist" cult appears to be a recurring theme within Islam, with the Assassin and Thug cults being its best-recognized predecessors. The new Islamic State is also part of this group. Other Islamic predecessors include the cult responsible for the vandalism long ago in Fatehpur Sikri, India's capital city during part of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585, some of which is pictured here. These cults insisted that images of people and/or animals violate Islamic law, just as the Wahhabis preach. But the cult that vandalized Fatehpur Sikri was not characteristic of the Muslim Mughal Empire, which commissioned the beautiful carvings in their capital city. That cult developed in Afghanistan, just as the very similar Taliban did more recently — and, oddly enough, just as did the much more moderate Mughal Empire. (The Mughal Empire also did not agree with the cults' "convert or die" theology, as shown by the fact that the Emperor in Fatehpur Sikri had three wives — one Muslim, one Hindu, and one Christian.)

There must be a reason this kind of aberration keeps coming up within Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood's extreme version of Islam may be recent, but it represents a recurring theme within this "religion".

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Obama Parties While World Burns

President Barack Obama parties, ...
... dancing nearly every dance ...

... while the world burns at home ...
... and abroad, in violence ...
... and flight, seeking at least temporary safety, ...
... especially in areas occupied by ISIS.
A little girl beheaded in Syria, executed by militants because she was of a Christian family. Allegedly, Christian children in Mosul are being systematically beheaded and their little heads placed on poles in a park as a warning to others who love their children.
Islamists killing a woman by slitting her throat and capturing her blood in a bowl, holding her firm as her life literally drains from her neck. Such forms of execution are intended to intimidate others.

Events there are so bad that Pope Francis and the Chaldean Christian Patriarch have called for an armed response in the Middle East. But it's not bad enough for President Obama to interrupt his vacation, and only barely to interrupt his golf game.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Radiation Sense

A lot of people, especially in this country, are frightened and paranoid about anything that has the words "atomic" or "nuclear" associated with it. The same goes for anything associated with the word "radiation".

It shouldn't be that way. We all get some radiation dose. Some of that is from dental and medical x-rays. More is from naturally occurring doses. Those at lower altitudes get lower doses unless they live in an area of radioactive bedrock or similar materials. The higher the altitude, the less atmosphere shielding us from radiation prodoced above us.

In fact, — Remember Three Mile Island? There was no one who was in that nuclear plant through the entire time of the crisis there. If there had been someone in the control room throughtout the crisis, however, that person would have received less radiation dose than did every person living at 1 mile altitude (such as Denver and Albuquerque) during that same time period. But, somehow, this natural dose never seems to reach anyone's consciousness.

Now there has been an item or two published in the newspaper suggesting that radiation may not be so bad, even in much higher doses than commonly considered safe.

Maybe over time more people will develop a more realistic view of radiation. One can only hope.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

More Thought Is Needed

Herewith, a few items sure to produce added thought — and perhaps a chuckle. The first two are from Sense of Events. No further comment is needed, I think, for any of them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Need This Policy Here

I received this by e-mail last week, and think it's worthy of further disseminiation. In fact, as the title says, we need to have this policy here. After all, these people are coming here because they want what we have created and built. And that's based on our environment and our culture. It's the same in Australia.

Australia says NO -- This will be the second Time Julia Gillard has done this!

She sure isn't backing down on her hard line stance and one has to appreciate her belief in the rights of her native countrymen.

A breath of fresh air to see someone lead with guts and determination. Australian Prime Minister does it again!!

The whole world needs a leader like this!

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

Separately, Gillard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying she supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote:

IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT... Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.

This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!

Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.

This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.

If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country that accepted you.

I'm informed this statement is actually a composite of statements by the Prime Minister and members of her Administration. I don't think that matters — it's still her policy and intention. And it's what every country needs to follow.