…virtually all the classical literature that has survived into modern times did so through the good offices of Christian monks, not Arab philosophers. And, as I will now argue, the real ideological impression of Islam was not the enlightened thinking of Avicenna and Averroes, who were in any case rejected and expelled from the Muslim canon, but the darker thinking found in the Koran and the Haditha: the doctrines of perpetual war against non-believers; of holy deception (taqiyya); of death for apostates and heretics; of judicial torture; of slave and concubine-taking as a legitimate occupation.
Trying To Sign Up For Obamacare Can Be Dangerous
Begin by finding out what John McAfee has to say about Obamacare, fraud, and privacy.
Follow up by learning more on the dangers of applying for Obamacare. The government has no measures in place to protect you from criminals who target people trying to get medical insurance, even though the mandated signup procedure presents a golden opportunity for identity thieves. Evidently Sebelius never thought of what might happen.
McAfee claims that a lot of the Obamacare website was written in India by second-rank programmers (to keep costs down), and the initial integration of all the parts of the complex software could only be expected to fail. He also insists that the job was rushed, when in fact lengthy testing and de-bugging were required.
The claims in the paragraph immediately above were gleaned from a radio interview of McAfee; if his remarks are on line, this newsletter is unaware of where they can be found.
Can you avoid Obamacare? Some say it’s possible.
If you want to know what happened and why, you have two fundamental choices: you can see what the politicians and ideologically motivated observers are saying (here, for example), or you can consider John McAfee’s explanation.
As a follow-up, you might find it interesting to listen to McAfee talk about John McAfee. Watching him as he talks can be tiring, because he’s in constant motion — twitching, scratching, gesturing, shifting, wiggling…(heavy sigh). Geniuses get a pass for annoying quirks, though.
Computer Virus Warning
A particularly dangerous virus is seeking victims. It appears to infect only computers that use Microsoft operating systems, but that might be incorrect (if you use Linux or Apple, “…currently it is only a concern if you have network shares accessible to Windows computers or virtual machines…” Source). Information is available here.
Since early 2008, this newsletter has intermittently scolded Canada for its inhumane, censorious refusal to permit free speech and press. Why the problem should be so stubborn is a puzzle. What about Canadians makes them so insensitive to fundamental, intuitive principles of Liberty? It’s an enduring question.
Given current information, one can reasonably speculate that Canadians are simply not interested in being full, genuine participants in Western Civilization. Indeed it is that serious. Though they speak English and French, though they appear to be scarcely distinct from their cousins to the south, Canadians do not resonate to the theme of freedom of expression.
Without that core value, no society can resist tyranny.
Death As The End, And Ends As Deaths
Yes, conclusions — for it’s best to begin this item with a concise statement of the contentions presented in the text.
First, don’t be afraid of death. Second, most people don’t want to die. Third, understand that people who have found a stratagem to make themselves invulnerable to death remain frightened of it, just as a sky diver is frightened of falling without his parachute. Fourth, remember that those are the people you have to watch. They often have nefarious plans for everybody else, because they understand how scary it is to be afraid of being killed, and they know the lengths to which people will go to reduce their fears.
Death is an end
Consider — just for a few dark moments — the significance of death as both fact and metaphor. Begin with some seminal ruminations from Christopher Hitchens, whose concerns about survival were heartfelt, provocative, and at times appallingly error-laden. Here are remarks taken (and edited) from a video you might want to watch:
It is not my career (to advocate atheism) but it has become a major preoccupation of my life, though, in the last eight or nine years, especially since September 11, 2001, to try and help to generate an opposition to theocracy and its depredations …. To help people in Afghanistan, and in Somalia, in Iraq, in Lebanon and in Israel to resist those who sincerely want to encompass the destruction of civilization, and sincerely believe they have God on their side in wanting to do so.
….I will take a few minutes just to say something that I find repulsive about especially monotheistic messianic religion. With a large part of itself, it quite clearly wants us all to die. It wants this world to come to an end. You can tell the yearning for things to be over whenever you read any of its real texts, or listen to any of its real, authentic spokesmen — not the pathetic apologists who sometimes masquerade. …there was a famous spokesman for this in Virginia until recently…about the rapture; “those of us who have chosen rightly will be gathered to the arms of Jesus, leaving all of the rest of you behind. If we’re in a car, it’s your lookout — that car won’t have a driver any more. If we’re a pilot, it’s your lookout, that plane will crash. WE will be with Jesus, and the rest of you can go straight to hell.” The escatological element that is inseparable from Christianity, if you don’t believe that there is going to be an apocalypse, that there is going to be an end, a separation of the sheep and the goats — a condemnation, a final one — then you are not really a believer…. It’s well put in an old rhyme from an English exclusive Brethren sect that says, “We are the pure and chosen few, and all the rest are damned; there’s room enough in hell for you, we don’t want Heaven crammed”.
You can tell it when you see the extreme Muslims talk — they cannot wait for death and destruction to take and overwhelm the world…. They cannot wait for what I would call a final solution. You look at the Israeli settlers, paid for, often, by American tax dollars — deciding that if they can steal enough land from other people, and get all the Jews into the Promised Land, and all the non-Jews out of it, then finally the Jewish people will be worthy of the return of the Messiah; and there are Christians in this country who consider it their job to help this happen so that Armageddon can occur, so that the painful business of living as humans and studying civilization, and trying to acquire learning, and knowledge, and health and medicine — and to push that — can all be scrapped, and the cult of death can take over.
That, to me, is a hideous thing in escatological terms and in “end times” terms. On its own, a hateful idea, a hateful practice, and a hateful theory — but very much to be opposed in our daily lives, where there are people who sincerely mean it…who want to ruin the good relations that could exist between different peoples, nations, races, countries, tribes, ethnicities, who say, who openly say they love death more than we love life, and who are betting that with God on their side, they are right about that.
So when I say, as the subtitle of my book, that I think religion poisons everything, I’m not just doing what publishers like and coming up with a provocative subtitle…. …we can’t be moral without Big Brother, without a totalitarian permission; that means we can’t be good to one another… we must be afraid; we must also be forced to love someone whom we fear…(that’s) the essence of sado-masochism. The essence of abjection. The essence of the master-slave relationship, and that knows that death is coming, and that can’t wait to bring it on. I say this is evil. And though I do some nights stay home, I enjoy more the nights when I go out and fight against this ultimate wickedness and ultimate stupidity.
Hitchens, a rock-ribbed atheist, neither understood nor correctly rated religious attitudes toward death. He completely missed (or ignored) the point that Muslims and Christians and Jews regard death as a terrible fate. Not one of the three major religions defines death otherwise.
That should mean that Hitchens could convince the religious to abandon their practices and beliefs that he finds horrifying. The slaughter of unbelievers by Muslims, the hope that a mass extinction will occur (the Christian rapture), the purification of the Holy Land by messianic Jewry — all can be halted by sheer resort to reason. Hitchens has arrived, and all will be well.
Religions are immune to such arguments. All three major faiths begin by agreeing with Hitchens that death is horrible, and then claim to give their adherents reliable instructions on how the worst of all possible fates can be evaded. That generates a distinct definition of reality. One’s death and the deaths of others now have meanings that Hitchens can not comprehend; further, what is obvious to the atheist missionary is unseemly nonsense to the faithful Christian, Muslim, and Jew.
In order to demonstrate the evil of religion, Hitchens would first have to prove its fraudulent nature. One can sense his exasperation, for he can’t make the simplest ethical contention meaningful to his audience. (See footnote.)
An end as death
One can refer to the death of an empire or civilization or practice, though a better term would be “end”. Slavery in the USA died, or was killed, or was ended; the terms might be synonymous, to at least some degree. Today worried “wingnuts” warn that Liberty is dying under Obama, and Marxists urge the death of capitalism. People do think of death as an end, so they think of an end of something as its death. There is, of course, a distinction; when the Confederate States of America ceased to exist, their “death” was metaphorical.
That fact must be viewed in context. Surely the Confederates who volunteered to lay down their lives to save their customs and laws felt their literal deaths were less significant than the possible death of their government. Fear of death — the death of a way of life — inspired the rebels to make the ultimate sacrifice. In that sense, the end of something of great value is a death in all significant and consequential respects. The fact that no biological organism perishes does not negate the horror with which the death of a civilization, culture or institution can be viewed.
Death is an end to be feared, and ends, terminations, can be at least as undesirable as biological deaths.
Faith is one strategy mankind employs to dispel that horror. What Hitchens perceived was the evil of welcoming a negative result; he fulminated against the theological concept of the Rapture because it postulates an event that, though many insist will forever remain entirely imaginary, expresses a sadistic delight at the murder of billions of people who will then suffer eternally in hell. That fantasy suggests a sociopathic mentality.
Religion’s horrors are not all fantasy, unfortunately. Of course the final war in human history, in which The Twelfth Imam is expected to oversee the extermination of Islam’s enemies, may well be initiated by a nuclear-armed Iran. That could easily be the most homicidal conflict in human history. The fact that it is being planned is of insufficient concern. The world should be terrified by the mullahs’ theology — terrified enough, certainly, to prevent those mad dreams from becoming reality.
Faith in Utopia: longing for the end/death of history
Marxists and their political offspring envision an end to history, which they misinterpret as an evolutionary process that naturally increases in sophistication and fairness until it achieves Utopia. When perfection has been attained and misery is banished, there will be no need for hope or for change. That terminal stasis is what Obama offers as the cure for the world’s ills. His view is that at present, society is disorganized and dismissive of humanity’s needs and suffering. He believes that once a sane reconstruction has been accomplished, no one will feel the need to cling to guns, religion, prejudice or fractious political fantasies about so-called Liberty. Everyone will be safe — except, of course, for any remaining “extremists”, who might be classified as mentally ill and institutionalized.
The real horror behind a fear of The End
Proponents of anthropogenic global warming, along with other alarmists and many doom-sayers, are also obsessed with The End. Sea levels will rise as the polar ice melts, and the sacred environment will change in unexpected, certainly dangerous, ways. Crops will fail, weather will become more troublesome, and the life people enjoy today will pass away (die).
Rational observers might be reminded of the Y2K bug that was going to kill virtually all computers, or the crackpot predictions made on “Earth Day” in 1970 (see NTG Number 299, here; scroll down to “Misanthropic Faith, Part Three”). Then there was the supposed Mayan view that there would be no need for a calendar past 2013, because there would be no world. Other worriers in the USA will ask how long Social Security can survive. Will the crushing debt end the nation’s security and comfort? Earthquakes…floods…hurricanes! Preppers and survivalists increase their ranks because an end is possible, if not probable, and it’s all as scary as hell itself.
In the political realm, Senators Cruz and Lee are worried about the deaths of multiple systems due to the impact of Obamacare. Distress of similar intensity but distinct in its specific fears is not unique; frantic with worry, Washington becomes addicted to reading other people’s mail, lest events catch Uncle Sam by surprise and bring death, either literal or metaphorical. The measures taken to control the public conversation result in a press in thrall to the US administration, even as the ruling elite trembles at the prospect of the death of its ability to dictate the definitions and limitations of the debate. Fear of loss of control is anxiety about an end to order, system, protocol and credibility. If dread of ends haunts the halls of power, desperate measures to reassert order, stability, predictability and obedience will be employed.
That’s because leaders know instinctively that the enemy, chaos, is the slayer of systems. When the systems do break down, as they did when Obamacare was exposed to public participation, the assurances of the ruling elite take on a hysterical note, and the eyes of the leaders remind of the trite “deer in the headlights” expression.
The fell progression is easily understood: a concern with ends, with death, is only human, and when the unwanted termination of present circumstances is considered inevitable, there is a tendency to resort to absurdities. If one can improve one’s chances of getting through a major earthquake, then practical measures are likely to be employed, but when the very mention of ends is made, humans are also likely to wax incoherent, lunatic, and even superstitious. When desperate faith enters, reason flees. Thus it is that the unscientific dogma of the anthropogenic global warming cult survives in spite of its definitive refutation, and people still worry about carbon emissions.
Beware a frightened governing class. Its obsession with death, with ends, can be extraordinarily dangerous. If threatened with extermination however metaphorical, The Powers That Be can and often do misbehave badly. Consider, for example, whether Obama’s promotion of a national civilian security force as well-funded and supplied as the military was an expression of his fear that the populace would resist his leadership. Why else make such a drastic proposal?
As insane as it sounds, a fearful ruling elite might even employ literal magic. This book claims the Nazis did exactly that. German National Socialism as a post-Christian cult that resorted to supernatural tactics has been ignored by most historians, but there are indications that the prevailing account is incomplete. That there might be an occult aspect to the Thousand Year Reich should surprise no perceptive researcher.
The same holds for today’s threats to peace. The villains lusting to destroy the West and the West’s native factions plotting to impose a “fair” and properly organized society are more similar than is generally appreciated. In both camps, obsession with death is both curse and promise, for…the striving for a Utopia made possible by the death of history is anything but sane.
Footnote: one is reminded of Sam Clemens’s tale of the fervent Christian missionary who journeyed to darkest Africa and preached to the locals. The Africans paid rapt attention to the sermon, fascinated by every word and gesture. “Then,” Clemens reported, “they ate him.”
All right, now do you US types feel that The One deceived you?
If you live in the USA, don’t skip this eye-opening information on the nation’s health care; it includes hints to help you stay alive if you are caught up in a system that kills over two hundred thousand patients every year simply by making mistakes. — While you are visiting the site, do note in particular the item on vitamin D.
Here he comes.
The problem: if the federal government of the US wants an investigative reporter’s papers, the agency concerned takes them — without a warrant if that’s how it has to be done, and sometimes with a warrant. Then the reporter has to fight the system to regain his/her rights under the constitution; that’s an expensive process, and very time-consuming. The solution: reporters, make backups of your notes and documents immediately (scan to .pdf), and transmit the resulting files as securely as possible to multiple recipients, making it virtually impossible for Obama’s thugs to locate and confiscate everything. Don’t simply take your notes and documents home, under the naive assumption that they will be safe from confiscation when the heavily-armed cops beat on your door at 4:30 AM. — Standard Moonie alert: the newspaper quoted is owned by a church headed by a felon who has claimed to be Jesus Christ.
Steyn on Obamacare.
Here’s an account of a skirmish in the never-ending war between governments and free markets. Why don’t governments side with the public? Because the public does not exercise its franchise in order to see to its best interests. If people voted out the politicians who shelter politically connected businesses — that is, if corruption were punished — prices overall would be lower and the quality of goods and services would be higher.
In case somebody asks you: here’s a list of headlines, with links to the articles, that outlines most of the things the US National Security Agency did not want revealed about its activities. Then there’s a review of the basics that explains how NSA snoops on you and everybody else. Are those activities doing any good? The next list is an attempt to evaluate how much violence and damage NSA has prevented. If you think all this is very naughty of Uncle Sam, consider that in a sense, China is at war with the USA. Does that make any difference? Finally, what in the world got into the man from AP? Those guys used to be as gullible as Homer Simpson.
Speculation about what Israel is up to — such as bombing Hezbollah’s new weapons, maybe.
Senator Cruz and the “dependency class”. The commentary may surprise you.
Related: a hat tip to the Dean for passing on this under-reported but critically important news: the USA’s “progressives” have their majority. There are more people receiving government benefits than there are working full time. The US Census Bureau confirms it, as these two web pages (One and Two) show. Check it and you will find 108,592,000 people receiving benefits, while 101,716,000 worked full time through 2011.
Here’s a guy who says, “The time-worn liberal-progressive wisdom is simple: See a problem, create a government program to fix it.” Then he claims that no longer works. Not many people in the USA’s Bicoastal Elite agree with him….
Hopeandchange: “Just make stuff up“.
Obamacare, “fairness”, the rural poor, and — hang on tight — the NY Times. Yes, a mess.
Related, in a way: a weblogger says of this newspaper article about disillusioned West Virginia voters who are moving away from the Democratic party, it “tries to make them sound like ungrateful peasants”. Yes. That’s the skill that makes a journalist worth his salary in the era of the predominantly Obamoid press.
Bogus fact? “‘…perhaps a million or more’ listeners that night in 1938 were ‘plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly Martian attack.'” Probably.
Doesn’t it seem disingenuous, even hypocritical, of nations to complain about NSA’s eavesdropping? Yes. A commentator tells the USA’s critics, “Grow up!” You might disagree, but at least have a look at the reasoning behind the cheeky rejoinder. Then: ponder the decision made by Hillary when she was running the Foggy Bottom Primate Shelter. Was she wrong?
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