Searching For The Meaning And Significance Of Moderation
Should Islam be thought of as the predominant threat to Western Civilization, or as just another faith that, like most others, has some troublesome believers? That may well be the most dreadfully important single question of the twenty-first century.
The religion that was founded in the seventh century remains, nearly one thousand four hundred years later, a puzzling phenomenon. Its various sects and the many levels of commitment obvious in its adherents make it impossible to assign a single meaning to the word “Muslim.” As the West struggles to contain and discourage Islamist violence, the question of whether there is or even can be moderate Muslims continues to mock those who ask it.
A difficulty arises at once when this word “moderate” is applied to Muslims: does one assume that a moderate Christian or Jew or Buddhist will not be a lunatic who aspires to commit mass murder, while those who are immoderate members of those religious groupswill be?
Yes, Islam is unique these days, isn’t it? The rest of the world evolved, grew in spiritual insights and set aside religious strife.
You may not have thought of it that way. Face facts: it is clear from the first that so-called radical Muslims are extraordinarily, horribly savage and dangerous. They lust to slaughter the innocent. But…are they genuinely radical, or might they simply be obedient to the will of the divine creator?
While moderation in religion may seem a reasonable position to stake out, in light of all that we have (and have not) learned about the universe, it offers no bulwark against religious extremism and religious violence. – Harris, The End of Faith, page 20.
This newsletter has repeatedly insisted that Muslims who consider the Koran and hadith inerrant are the blood enemies of the West, and will have to be dealt with by whatever means necessary. The wretched record of claimed moderate Muslims in opposing these lunatics suggests, moreover, that in the inevitable conflict, the moderates will often turn out to be anything but decent. Specific instances have been cited as proof that there is a vast emptiness where peaceful, tolerant Muslims should be.
But what do Muslims say? Do they consider their faith conducive to moderation, or to bloodshed? Take a few moments to consider this collection of short responses; it will clarify the matter, though perhaps to your consternation. Press on regardless.
Another interesting resource is commentary that deals with the controversial Ground Zero mosque in New York. The speaker is an educated, urbane Muslim, and his views are significant. He may be considered representative of a modern mindset within Islam.
Having read the above resources, consider, please, these observations regarding their content and implications:
First, Muslim moderation does not imply disagreement between murderers and peaceful citizens. In the West, moderates debate and lecture and instruct and scold the crazies. Western moderates fight back because they have something they believe in, in other words. One sees nothing of that in the web pages linked to above. “Moderate Islam” appears to be a term without a referent.
In fact the most violent Muslims can often rely on their coreligionists — people Westerners would consider moderates — for help in murdering infidels. In coping with the worst elements of the Muslim population, Western law enforcement often finds itself opposed by entire communities. The bloody-handed solidarity speaks volumes, but is almost never reported.
Second, all consideration of the feelings, sensibilities and pain of the non-Muslims affected by the September 11, 2001 disaster in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania is absent from the linked documents. The sole concern of these presumed moderate commenters is the effect of events on Muslims. Never mind the thousands who did not know why they had to die. They and their families do not matter in the slightest. All sense of humanitarian concern for non-Muslims is missing; there is not even a pretense of decency.
You might wonder why this is, and even recall those quotations from the holy texts of Islam in which Muslims are enjoined by their deity to be kind, gentle and peaceful. Muslims love to quote those Christian-sounding sentiments to folks who have begun to grasp the real nature of Islam (and are probably shocked by what they see). Only persistent inquiry verging on the impolite can uncover the fact that those rules apply exclusively within Muslim communities.
Too, it would be well to remember that the innocent people in the Pentagon and World Trade Center, and those who died trying to save them, all went to hell, along with the heroes on United 93. One cannot pity people who deserve that fate. That insane view, that degenerate article of faith, is the Muslim belief.
For the Westerner, however, the lesson is harsh: he realizes his Muslim neighbors live according to rules dictated by a thoroughly evil supernatural entity. The implications of that should give the most imbecilic multiculturalist pause.
Third, one should not forget the tradition of taqiyya. This is a legal doctrine, not found in the Koran, that permits Muslims to lie when attempting to convert infidels to Islam or when defending their faith. It is sometimes attributed to a narrow range of the various schools of Islamic teaching, but its underlying deceit is certainly very widespread. After all, why should any Muslim be truthful with an unbeliever, when the faithful man has virtually no regard for that infidel’s intrinsic worth?
In dealing with the essential question of this century, the authorities quoted in the items linked here have told the Westerner more than they intended to. Do not ignore or trivialize that. The problems you and your children and grandchildren face will not arise from anything like the doctrinal disputes between Lutherans and Presbyterians. Muslims, all Muslims, are deadly serious. Your understanding of the word “moderate” may be utterly alien to your Muslim neighbors. In their world, a moderate Muslim may just be someone who would suggest you be shot, rather than slowly beheaded with a knife.
Proxies, Rings, And Numbers
The infamous fraud that is the hockey stick graph shows that recent global temperatures, as reflected in tree rings, are going up dramatically. This technique of measuring indirectly the temperature of the air in a region uses what is called a proxy. A proxy is some phenomenon that responds to temperature and leaves a record of its responses, such that they can be read and the temperatures that caused them can be determined.
The idea is simple: when it’s hot, tree rings grow differently than they do when it’s cold. Check out the tree rings in old logs, and you can calculate the temperatures of past years, decades, and centuries. The proxy allows you to detect warming and cooling trends, if any are present.
A paper has recently been prepared and will soon be published that discusses how valid this technique is. To test the proxy measurement of past temperatures, the scientists involved used random data instead of data derived from the measurements of tree rings. They learned that the tree rings were less useful in producing good results than were random numbers.
That’s right: the use of tree rings in the creation of temperature graphs is statistically invalid. It produces inaccurate results.
All believers in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will laugh at this conclusion, and deny flatly that it could be true. Most of them will refuse to read the study and examine the evidence for its conclusions. Those who do read the paper will say simply that it’s all nonsense.
That’s blinding ideology dictating understanding. Reason has nothing to do with it.
The study will be published in a highly respected journal, and the authors will commit to its conclusions. If they can be proved wrong, they will have to admit their mistakes. That’s the way genuine science works.
If they are not proved wrong and their study is necessarily upheld, that will not be acknowledged or admitted. Those who rejected the report before reading it will not admit that they were wrong. That’s the behavior of members of a cult.
AGW is an article of faith, not science. It can be demonstrated to be false only to fair-minded people.
Believers in AGW will simply continue to say, “The evidence is overwhelming, the facts are known, climate change is not disputed by scientists. Those who claim we can not do anything to control it are in the pay of large corporations that are prostituting the political system. We have to have cap-and-trade and other legislation to prevent climate change. There is no longer any debate about that.”
“Climate change” is what these liars used to call AGW.
Here is a clear explanation of what will be in the paper that continues the demolition of the AGW hoax.
Have You Forgotten What The Man Said?
It’s things like this that dismay decent folks:
…(Considering) Obama’s old statements on the surge, there is this, from January 2007: “We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war,” Obama said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “And until we acknowledge that reality, we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops. I don’t know any expert on the region or any military officer that I’ve spoken to privately that believe that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.”
A few months later, in July 2007, Obama told an audience in New Hampshire, “Here’s what we know: the surge has not worked.”
By January 2008, with the surge working, Obama revised his remarks at a debate in New Hampshire: “Now, I had no doubt — and I said at the time, when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence.”
Political Correctness, Or Maybe Liberal Guilt, Or It Could Be Multiculturalist Madness, Or Something They Ate
A weblogger says:
When even the New York Times recognizes criticism of a leftist attempt to indoctrinate students with an Arab-American victimism and anti-American book, the sole one distributed by the college to incoming students and also a reading in the required English course, we’ve surely stirred up something that resonates with many.
And how! You should follow up on this post. It’s a Lulu.
Hey, Babe, Wanna Be Objectified?
The feminists at the NYT do what they can, and get a back of the hand for their efforts:
…I give the Times gals credit — they know they are losing the battle to discredit Palin.
Yeah, you can’t do much when the swinish men and their mindless doxies gang up on you. How about a law mandating the castration of knuckle-dragging males? Well, just those who live in Flyover Country, own firearms, and are racists (easy to prove: just locate a US flag in the house).
Define, please, “human rights,” and then define “human rights violations.” If you are in the Obama administration, you automatically apply your conception of fairness to the task, and that produces some bizarre results. It’s at base a philosophical problem, and those who approach it with the idea of Utopia in mind will necessarily differ with folks who care about where the greatest violations of human rights originate. If you give it some thought, you might conclude that governments are the real source of most of the trouble. Those that offend the most are always those that proclaim they will do the most for their citizens. There is, you will recall, no more caring and concerned government on the face of the earth than Cuba’s.
This thoughtful, link-laden meditation on the mess, the media and the madness will cause conniption fits in the salons of the Bicoastal Elite. It’s a stinging, humorous and witty assault that is guaranteed to infuriate folks who have been running the show far too long.
What’s a good citizen to do? For openers, read this, and then take action. Have a cup of tea, maybe….
The nation starts trying to settle in with Obamacare. It’s not going well.
Ooh: “This is what socialism looks like in practice.”
A big tip of the hat to loyal reader GB, who passes along four interesting URLs (this one and the next three are his contributions). He’s tuned in to the sort of stuff this newsletter likes. Start with bees: the little fellows are still in distress, and that is not good news.
Says GB: “Maybe the techies are being a bit overconfident about how quickly the leak will clean itself up, but this is good news. In light of the natural leaks/seeps that exist in the Gulf of Mexico, it seems entirely plausible that Mother Nature has developed a taste for crude oil.”
Interesting development: biosynthetic corneas.
A sniper hits his target a mile away: good re-creation. Shooting through walls…!
It’s a bit early to say that Obamanomics has failed, but it’s never been too early to point out that it can’t possibly succeed. There’s empirical evidence, of course, but we did not need anything new in that department, because we had the New Deal as an example of the futility of the Keynesian fantasy. According to the True Believers, the problem was that Keynes was not taken seriously enough, and only with the advent of massive government spending because of World War II did the strategy work, ending the Great Depression. Well, it’s nonsense, and you might want to see the evidence for that assertion.
To cope with reality, we have…Hopeandchange. Obama is presiding over a catastrophe the likes of which the USA has never seen, not even in the darkest days of the Great Depression. He’s an ideologue peddling outdated nonsense that has only made things worse.
Oops! Malware in the military….
If you want to play, you have to play by the rules. That seems fair. But what if the rules stink, and are enforced by thugs? Here is a video ofwhat happened to a guy who may have ignored one rule or another — maybe he didn’t register as a sign-carrier, or something, eh? Whatever his infraction, it must have been important enough to get the police involved. It’s hard to imagine what this nut did that was so wrong, though. Look at the crowd — do they look as if they would demand his arrest? This looks like a place where people go to see the goofy signs and listen to the political wackos. See whether you can figure it out, and then think about these questions: How are law enforcement agencies reacting to people who make videos of officers performing their duties in public? How do you feel when you see a video like the one linked here? How about this guy? He’s way too upset, looks goofy, and is ranting in a way that would probably get The One pretty upset. Should this guy in the video have to register to have his say? Maybe you should ask Obama…and when you do, don’t forget that you are asking the man who told you, “Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh.” In the final analysis, how much criticism do you think Obama will tolerate?
There have been suspicions for years that Amnesty International is biased. Now the suspicions can be set aside, and AI can consider that “once candid, twice hateful” might be the outfit’s new slogan.
Doing business with China is like feeding a vampire.
If you say the federal government did not cause this crisis, you literally do not know what you are talking about. So who, exactly, is responsible for the bad policy? If you want to name just one individual as representative of the mindset that precipitated the collapse, you could do a lot worse than name Maxine Waters. And who failed to implement the goofy policies with prudence and intelligence? Start with Barney Frank and the top brass at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (people like Franklin Raines and Jamie Gorelick), and you will have snared quite a few of the rascals who have devastated millions of people — and gotten filthy rich doing it. These wiseguys saw the advantages of a system that allows the unethical and incompetent to hide behind the labyrinthine bureaucracy, and they took full advantage. In a way, you can’t blame them. Build a system in which no one is accountable, and you cannot expect it to be invulnerable to greedy parasites. Nor can you expect these exploiters to admit their role: listen to Barney Frank explain why he does not take any responsibility for the catastrophe, and you’ll realize you are dealing with fast-talking scam artists who cannot be pinned down.
ACORN carries on. You can’t keep a bad outfit down.
Related: dirty election tactics. There will be a lot more of this.
This newsletter did what it could to dismantle any notion of putting the Fairness Doctrine back into the business of censoring radio broadcasts, and Chucky Schumer was a Bad Guy in the drama. He does not believe in free speech or a free press. He’s back, unfortunately, with yet another attempt to make Big Brother a reality.
Related: More on censorship issues here.
“Progressives” target opponents of the Ground Zero mosque with fabrications. And why not? They do the same to the Tea Party Movement.
The Tea Party Movement is not a GOP puppet.
Related: Tea Party the target.
Real estate development will destroy an irreplacable botanical repositiory/research facility unless…well, of course corruption is involved; you can just smell it. Maybe Russia can be shamed into doing the right thing. TLB had no idea this sort of farm even existed; it does seem essential. A tip of the hat to JH for passing this URL along, tagged “recommended.”
What was that Glenn Beck rally in DC all about, anyway?
Related: maybe this is how and why Beck’s camp meeting mattered. Have a look — it’s thoughtful and interesting. And it will probably scare Obama dry-mouthed, because these people seem to be concerned about genuine spirituality.
Oh, how this newsletter hates Power Point presentations! They are, however, the warrior’s trusty weapon of choice, so it’s a relief to find a genuinely funny video demolishing the PPP. Watch and be convulsed.
The immigration mess just gets worse and worse. The nation has no chief executive.
A seminal thinker ruminates on anger, and those who take the time to read benefit from his words. Recommended.
The Tea Party Movement is a huge problem for the Democrats and a worry for the GOP. That’s good. But GOP infighting could ultimately help the Democrats. Ah, politics!
Related: intelligent political commentary…example quote: “The Democrats are absolutely on the run this election season, but that doesn’t mean Republicans are on the rise.” More here.
Just when people should take pride in their heritage and defend it, there is a failure of will. Tea Partiers, take note.
Is this the maladaptive, dying media struggling to wring a few dollars out of a market that will collapse because they are destroying it in any event, or is it an ideological segment of the political spectrum lashing out at its enemies? Maybe it’s a little of both. Certainly some of the motives and aims are as yet unclear. In any event it’s making waves, and you should know about it. Here’s more on Righthaven.
This tale of censorship should be of concern to the public, but…how can you be effectively concerned about something when figuring out who did it and why is so difficult? This newsletter is not at all sure this report can be taken at face value. Why would the WaPo, of all papers, practice censorship of this sort, and do it so blatantly? Is the paper trying to place blame on the CIA, on the assumption that the spooks are at odds with Obama and will be discredited if it is believed they are successfully intimidating the press? Why doesn’t the paper have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the CIA, and blow the lid off the scandal? Is the CIA threatening to reveal something the paper wants kept secret? Or is this the paper’s attempt to sink the CIA? (If so, it won’t work — it’s too convoluted.)
Foreign policy: anti-Israel bias translates into discrimination in tax matters.