Saturday, September 29, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the UN

Diana West has a syndicated column up entitled The Anti-Blasphemy, Anti-First Amendment President that explores in more detail the President's UN Speech last week. Go read the article in full. She connects the dots between the Presidents speech, full of code words, and the behind the scenes action.

One of the things you need to understand about Islam is the type of reasoning used in Islam. I'll let Ms. West explain:
Of course, the Islam-Christianity comparison isn’t a perfect match, given the peculiar definition of “slander” under Islamic law (Shariah). According to such authoritative sources as “Reliance of the Traveller,” a standard Sunni law book approved by Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, “slander” in Islam includes anything Muslims perceive to reflect badly on Islam and its prophet, including the truth. In other words, any negative fact about Islam and Muhammad is, under Islamic law, deemed “slander.”
In the same way, the Koran does indeed seem to admonish Muslims to wage only defensive wars. But since not believing in Allah and Islam is sufficient to constitute aggression against Muslims, they are free to wage war on anyone anywhere at anytime. Problem solved!  Most of Islamic reasoning is like this, such that if you showed that Allah is not a god, but our Lord's opposer, then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.  They can only maintain their totalitariam system by oppression and terrorism.

In my younger days as an engineer, I considered working for a year with ARAMCO, the Arabian, American Oil Company. It was paying seemingly incredible sums for engineers to come to Saudi Arabia for a year and work. I was tempted. Then I talked to someone coming back. He told a story of an American who was driving a car, and was hit in the rear end by a Saudi driving another car. When they went to court, the Saudi won, even though at fault. It seems that since if the American had not been there (by implication, where he didn't belong) the Saudi driver would not have hit him. Therefore, it was clearly the American's fault. One can see easily enough how such "legal" reasoning will go. I decided to stay home.

So, our President is indeed endorsing Islam, and raising it above Christianity and Judaism, and presumably the Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, Wiccans and various animists as well. In the process, he is betraying our First Amendment, once so jealously guarded by our legacy media, but now, not so much. The question is why?

Sharia law and our Constitutional law are wholly incompatible.  You can have one, or the other, but not both.  Recognize how dangerous this is for Constitutionalists.  If we are to preserve the Constitution, we can not allow Muslims to reach the tipping point in the country, which has been estimated at 3% of the population.  Living in a Muslim country where Sharia is enforced is like living in Nazi Germany, only now Allah is the Fuhrer.  There are plenty of holy men around to tell you what to wear, what and when to eat, when to pray, and pretty much everything else about your daily life.  Do they sound like liberals?  And of course, Obama and company would naturally be our earthly rulers, now protected against anything that might embarrass them.  Oh, and you better go to Friday prayers whether you want to or not.  You see, it's not about what you believe, or don't believe, as long as you conform to the outward picture of a pious Muslim and shut up.

Update:  Ok, if we understand why our elites seem to like Islam, why do liberals seem to love it?  They are always yammering on about diversity, gay rights, the environment, women's rights, and so on.  In particular, you might think the women's rights movement and the gay movement would have real problems with Islam.  But not a peep. Interestingly, Muslims feel entitled to be superior to other men (remember that they consider women to be like cattle) and become infuriated when you do not recognize their obvious superiority, rather like Muhammad himself. The Pact of Umar supposedly set the standard for all future treaties between Muslims and conquered peoples, and it clearly shows that Muslims are the ones in charge. But this piece at the American Thinker makes it very clear. Because they feel entitled to respect and to be the superior ones, each apology, each appeasement, only raises their ire.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Is President Establishing Religion?

I scratch my head every time I note that the godless Left seems to be in bed with the Islamists in trying to bring down the United States of America. But I am slowly figuring it out. At first, I thought the Left believed that they could use the Islamists, and once they were done taking over, they could kill them all, and be done with it. As it turns out, they seem to look upon Islam as more to their liking than Christianity, and seem to be yearning to become Muslims themselves. Why do you think that is?

I also often wonder about the atheists who get so offended by a mere mention of God (it is not his name, but merely his title). They go around taking down crosses, no matter how much history those crosses represent. They go about demanding that the 10 Commandments not be written on courthouse walls, lest they might have to see them. Oh, and Christmas has them in a tizzy as the try to eliminate Nativity Scenes, and Menorahs, and get cities to change the name of their trees to "winter holiday tree." But so far, not a peep as the President seems to endorse Islam. Could it be they know it isn't really a religion, but a totalitarian governing system?

The President, of whom it has been said that he is a Muslim himself, made some disturbing remarks to the United Nations this week. You can find some discussion of these remarks at Hot Air. So far, so good. But then the President had to say:
"The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam!"
As reported at Hope n' Change
Really, Barry? Really...?! Let's pause a moment to chew on that - and the fact that the president was allegedly, at some point, schooled in law and the specificity of legal language.

Which is why he should know that an offensive video (or cartoon, or book by Salman Rushdie) would be an example of libel...not slander.

No, slander applies very specifically to the spoken word. Which means B. Hussein's statement isn't directed at (or limited to) editorial criticism of Islam which occurs in video or means that the president of the United States envisions a future with no room for those who dare to say bad things about the Prophet of Islam.

And it doesn't take much of a logical leap to realize that simply expressing doubt over Muhammed's status as a prophet could be seen as the most unacceptable slander of all.
In a system where we all have freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, what makes the "Prophet of Islam" so special. When an "artist" can offend millions of pious believers around the world with his blasphemous picture of Piss Christ, with no repercussions, what do the Muslims think makes them any more immune to offense than anyone else?  We Christians were surely scandalized by that picture, but we survived.

What, one wonders, are the Muslims afraid of? Could it be that inquiry into their beloved "prophet" might reveal that he was a phony, a fake? That is, if he existed at all?  The Christian church puts up with inquiries into the life of Jesus, and into biblical archeology because we have found that such inquiries lead often to the truth, and knowing the truth makes us stronger.  Never mind the Appeaser in Chief, he is not the Church, and I doubt he is a Christian either.  But really, what are Muslims afraid of?  Are they afraid that Islam will be shown up for what it is?  Namely, a system of control over the peoples of the earth?  I will have more to say after I get through studying the Koran

Update:  On a related topic, over at Way Up North. But it is not just for the Jews. He is coming for Christians too.

Update 2:  Sultan Knish has a very excellent post up over at his blog. The interesting part:
The multicultural Muslim world has imported its own competing form of multiculturalism to Europe, Australia, America and Canada. So far its multiculturalism appears to be more potent than the local secular variety because despite being a third-rate bastardized version of Christianity and Judaism, with some tribal customs and pagan elements mixed in, it's still more vital than the thin gruel that the progressives feed their people to keep them occupied while they dig deeper into positions of power.
I wish I was that eloquent.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Our Lawless Unjustice Department

I have only read excerpts so far of the long awaited IG report on the Fast and Furious scandal, but the Gun Owners of America done a more complete analysis, and their findings are interesting to be sure. Meanwhile the media is reporting that Holder has been cleared. This report from CBS is fairly typical.

I was struck that nobody seems to be holding Eric Holder to the "reasonable man" standard. In this case, the reasonable man standard would ask "what would a reasonable Attorney General do in such a situation?" Certainly, a "reasonable" Attorney General would have read any memorandums coming to him. A "reasonable" Attorney General might decide that the guns could not be reasonably traced and fired some individuals, while taking administrative action against others. A "reasonable" Attorney General would have put an immediate stop to the gun walking as soon as guns were lost, and not resumed until the guns could be traced to the ultimate buyer. A "reasonable" Attorney General"...but we are not dealing with a "reasonable" Attorney General, are we? No, in this case, we are dealing with an official who wanted to maintain "plausible deniability" for actions of his subordinates. But that brings us to the next thing.

When one is in charge of a department, one has to accept responsibility for the actions of one's subordinates, whether or not those actions were personally known. That's because as a "reasonable" Attorney General, one would be expected to have procedures in place to ensure one knows what goes on in one's department.  Even if the actions of those subordinates truly was to run a sting operation that went horrible wrong, and even if Holder knew absolutely nothing about what was going on with Fast and Furious by his subordinates, it speaks to his poor judgement and poor management skills that he appointed and allowed to operate unsupervised, people who would break the law to enforce the law.

M. Catherine Evans had it right at the American Thinker where she penned Guilty as Sin, Free as a Bird. Ms. Evans writes:
That the AG didn't know about this far reaching program before February 2011 is only believable if one concedes Holder is a bumbling novice unfamiliar with the rule of law. Holder is no rookie. He's been breaking the rules for a long time as chronicled by many writers here at American Thinker...
Skirting the rules is one thing, but this was lawlessness on a massive scale, that resulted in the murders of perhaps 300 Mexicans and at least two Federal Agents. That sort of thing can not stand.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We Live in Two Separate Countries

Much is being made of the incestuous relationship between the DOJ and Media Matters. The Daily Caller rightfully has the scoop, as they were the ones who placed the FOIA request. Some of the specific e-mails mention Mike Vanderboegh by name, one of the citizen journalists, along with David Codrea, who brought the Fast and Furious scandal to the world's attention.

Mike decided to e-mail back to Media Matters blogger Matthew Gertz. Mike Vanderboegh of the Sipsey Street Irregulars is ever a good writer, and an excellent story teller, might I even say a racontuer, and his response to Matt Gertz of Media Matters is telling. The relevant portion is here:
I note with interest your 2 November 2011 statement to the DOJ wicked witch of cover-ups, Tracy Schmaler, that I'm "about three inches away from being an insurrectionist." I think you need a new ruler. It is not insurrection to resist a nascent collectivist tyranny which is itself in insurrection against the Constitution and the Founder's Republic. I am a fighter for Restoration, not insurrection. Of course it is silly to pretend that we share a country anymore. The inhabitants of your country believe that the people should serve the government, whereas we believe with the Founders that government should serve the people. Like I said, two different countries.
The emphasis is mine.  It is possible that you might read past this little, elegant passage, and miss its importance.  One of the themes to come out of the Democratic National Convention this year was the notion that Government is the only thing we all belong to. Again, you could miss the ominousness of this slogan if you equate, as you are intended to, the government with such voluntary memberships as the Masons or the Lion's Club. But make no mistake, they are trying to suggest that you and I belong to government.  The Founders' vision, on the other hand, intended for government to belong to you and me.  The difference could not be more profound, and the stakes could not be higher.

If you and I belong to government, then government can do whatever it wants with us.  The owner of a thing can use it, or dispose of it as he pleases.  It is this notion that somehow the government owns us that led, for example, to laws on the books that permitted the sterilization of the "unfit" and of disapproved racial groups. At the link, you can go to the individual States to see the horrors perpetrated by the collectivists in your State. You can only imagine what a government who thinks it owns you might have in store when you are no longer able to work and supply the State with its mother's milk, taxes. But the President already gave you the answer, take a pain pill and go home (to die already.)

Mike speaks of a "nascent collective tyranny."  Perhaps, but it has its foot "pedal to the metal" to complete that tyranny as fast as possible.  Already, the Congress has been made somewhat irrelevant, with the help of Majority Leader Harry Reid.  The House can pass what it wants, but it will never see a floor vote in the Senate, which leaves Obama free, in his own mind, to rule by Executive Order.  One man rule may be defined as a functioning dictatorship, call it what you will.  One wonders when we will be required to give the fascist salute whenever two people meet.

The Founders left us with a Constitution that put much of the social and cultural affairs of the nation out of reach of the Federal government, leaving most of that to the States, or to the people. It was a relatively weak government of limited powers. This November we will have a choice, though not the choice I would have wanted.  On the one hand, you can continue down the path of "nascent collectivist tyranny" or you can choose to begin rebuilding the Constitution.  Of course, keep your powder dry, and your stocks of food and ammunition up.  this will be a long fight, perhaps a generational fight.  It will require more than just voting of course.  But it is a fight worth having: either the government owns us, or we own the government.  Take your pick.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The MSM, As Liberal as Ever

The liberal, leftist bias of the mainstream media (MSM) such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC is well known by now. Bernie Goldberg has written about it in his book Bias. In Goldberg's telling, the press doesn't consist of bad people, necessarily, but they are victims of group think. Because everyone around them is also liberal, the notion that ideas outside the liberal group think milieu they swim in could be true horrifies them. Rush Limbaugh yesterday espoused a similar idea when he noted that many CEOs were profoundly liberal, yet ran their lives and their businesses like a conservative. The disconnect had puzzled him for years. Then he realized that Freud had propounded late in life that the main driver of man was a need to be respected by those he considered important to him. Thus, if his wife, or members of his board of directors, or members his country club are liberal, chances are he will also espouse liberal views.

All that is very interesting, and explains why a Warren Buffet might come out and make statements that clearly go against his own interests. But more and more, people are expressing a view to me that I have felt myself. Namely, that despite the failures of this regime on so many levels, whether it be economic, foreign policy, the budget, or the numerous acts of lawlessness committed by this regime, it seems as if Obama might well win a second term. It looks for all the world that Romney/Ryan is going to lose, and I can't figure out why? In spite of running a tepid campaign, most people should be aware that a second term for Obama would leave this country so weakened, in the throws of a depression so profound that we might never recover from it. But at least half the country appears ready to bring it on. What is wrong with these people?  Could it be that the MSM has been covering up some of those failures, and making the actions of the regime seem better than they are?

The answer may lie in an article at the Patriot Update by Jan Morgan entitled Mainstream Media AGENDA driven...not TRUTH driven A quote from Ms. Morgan:
The mainstream media has a documented history of liberal slant which is understandable since a majority of their correspondents are liberals and vote democratic. In one poll, Washington correspondents declared that they voted Democratic 93 percent to 7 percent, while the nation is split about 50-50.

This statistic, in addition to the obvious bias in their coverage convinced me that many reporters for CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, and CNN write with a liberal filter. Tim Groseclose writes in his book, “Left Turn”, that this liberal slant is also have an impact on voting habits of Americans who listen depend on these media outlets for their news. Groseclose says, “Using objective, social-scientific methods, the filtering prevents us from seeing the world as it actually is. Instead, we see only a distorted version of it. It is as if we see the world through a glass—a glass that magnifies the facts that liberals want us to see and shrinks the facts that conservatives want us to see.” He adds: “That bias makes us more liberal, which makes us less able to detect the bias, which allows the media to get away with more bias, which makes us even more liberal.”
A recent example can be found in the riots taking place in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere around the middle east, in which the precipitating factor is a supposed video that apparently has been seen by about 10 people. The video was so shrouded in mystery, that the media for the first day had no idea what video the regime was referring to. Supposedly the perpetually outraged Muslims became inflamed because of this video, and like little children threw a tantrum that resulted in the death of our Libyan Ambassador and three others.

Now, anyone with the most meager of critical thinking skills will note that this all started on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, and that the date might, just might have something to do with Muslims rioting. Yet, despite more and more evidence coming out that the entire affair was preplanned, and that the killing of our Ambassador was one of the goals, the MSM continues to utter the meme that the rioting is all about a video.

In the 1950s and the 1960s, and even in the 1970s, the MSM would have gotten away with telling a lie, and repeating that lie until most of the people believed it to be the truth. With the invention of the Internet (thank you AlGore) people have more places to get their news. Some of these places do indeed express views that are hard to corroborate. But if one is careful, one can find news outlets that shape a more realistic outlook on world events. It is entirely possible that the elections will be a November Referendum on the Liberal Media (read the whole article, by Lee Cary over at the American Thinker) as much as it is a referendum on this regime. Update: I recommend reading Musings After Midnight bythe Welshman of the Liberty Sphere. Its a highly readable statement of where we are today.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Court Issues Permanent Injunction against NDAA, Regime Will Ignore Court

In an article posted at Monachus Lex, John Pierce tells us that a Judge has issued a permanent injunction against the National Defense Authorization Act. Go read the whole article. By the way, I found the article courtesy of Keep and Bear Arms, an indispensable site that should be on every one's daily reading list.

The NDAA is a bill that is passed every year, to actually authorize the spending that is approved by the appropriations process. I have no problem with authorization in general. What I find reprehensible, and lawless is a key provision of this year's bill that authorizes the indefinite detainment of American citizens anywhere in the world, including on American soil, without a warrant, without charges, and presumably without habeas corpus. The bill was passed by a majority of 86 senators, including McCain, Lindsay Grahamnesty, Marco Rubio, Burr...well, you can read it for yourself. How could so many supposedly freedom loving Republicans vote for such a monstrosity? Who were they aiming for with such a broad brush? Since the law allows individuals to be detained indefinitely, without being charged and without benefit of a lawyer, how do we know that the provisions of the NDAA have not already been used?

That the regime intends to ignore the Court's permanent injunction is yet more worrisome. Just as God's covenant with Abraham was binding on both God and man, so the Government can not exempt itself from the law. In this case, a duly authorized court has ruled against it. It may appeal to a higher court, but it can not simply ignore the ruling. Otherwise, it risks setting anarchy in motion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Biblical Case for Self Defense

Once again I find myself frustrated that after all the ink spilled by so many thoughtful people about the God given right to self defense, that someone writes drivel like today's featured letter to the editor of the Lakeland Florida Ledger, "Claim of Modern Need For Guns in Home Simply Not Supported."  I can not, for the life of me, figure out why such half baked ideas are printed by an editorial page, when there are so many erudite opinions that support gun ownership out there.  While the Bible makes abundantly clear that the act of murder is against God's purposes, self defense is an exception. Exodus 22:2 makes that pretty clear.

To the first point, that we no longer have Redcoats breaking down our doors:  So? Could our own government not decide that We the People don't matter, and that all that does matter is that they stay in power? What? It can't happen here? Interestingly, Governor Bev Purdue of North Carolina has proposed the suspension of elections as a trial balloon. She was roundly criticized, but I believe it was at the request of someone in the Administration.

Here's one scenario. Let's say we elect a House, a Senate, and a President. The new Congress sets about writing a bill that a majority of Americans oppose, and that is not within the Constitutional powers delegated to the Congress. Let's say that in the middle of this bill being debated, a Senator of the majority party in the Senate dies, and a special election is held. Let's say that the candidate for the minority party campaigns on stopping this bill, and he wins the election. But the majority party will have its way, and through kick backs and special deals to various Senators for their States, manages to pass the bill. The majority party in the House threatens to not pass the bill, reading the mood of the country, but ultimately it is deemed passed, and the President signs it. During the debate, questions of Constitutionality are waived off with "are you serious?"  The Speaker of the House even tells us they'll have to pass the bill so we can know what it contains.

The now law is taken before the Supreme Court, where at the last moment, a novel theory prevails, such that the law is declared Constitutional, despite the fact that the theory depends of the law imposing a tax instead of a mandate. But tax laws, according to the Constitution, must originate in the House, so that the theory is essentially flawed. Would you consider such a law an intolerable act? What if the people then elected one who vowed to repeal this unpopular law, but the President refused to recognize the validity of the election. Can't happen? Well, just to be sure, a lot of people will hang on to their guns.  Such a scenario was one, but only one, of the reasons the Second Amendment was placed in the Bill of Rights, and human nature has not changed in 223 years.  Defending against a government that wishes to dictate to you what you will believe, as the government is attempting to do to Catholic institutions as we speak, is self defense.

Our author then claims that she can find no text in the Bible authorizing self defense.  Hmmm.  I suspect she hasn't looked hard enough, or she would have found Exodus 22:2.  The story of Cain killing Abel, his brother, certainly tells us that God does not approve of murder.  And the Sixth Commandment plainly says "You shall not murder" (not you shall not kill.)  But then we have in Genesis 14 Abram, later to become Abraham, taking 318 men in pursuit of Lot's captors, and slaying them.  What to make of that?  I think it means that if a loved one is in danger from an attacker, and we are in a position to stop it, that we may do so with God's blessing. In the very next chapter, Abram becomes Abraham, and God makes his covenant with him.  And while Jesus did say to love your enemies and pray for them, what to make of  Luke 22:36 where he says to sell your tunic to buy a sword.  Reading between the lines here, I take it to mean that we are to defend ourselves if brought under lethal attack through no fault of our own.

God's greatest gift to us is our lives.  To fail to defend our lives is to spit on God's greatest gift.  To fail to defend others when we have the power to do so is also to spit on God's gift.  The most effective tool we have to accomplish that is a gun.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Truth about Fast and Furious

Anthony Martin at the Examiner today has an article entitled Former Agent Reveals All on ATF's Fast and Furious Ultimate Goal. And it looks like the ultimate goal of Fast and Furious was as we have said all along, to eliminate American's gun rights.  Are you surprised?  I am not.

The notion of a "botched operation" as the mainstream media would have it, has never made sense to me.  But when you add the number of agents willing to blow the whistle, I smell a rat.  Disgruntled employees rarely get together and hatch a conspiracy that involves the entire chain of command in a potentially illegal scheme that will send them to prison for life.  Indeed, I have never seen it happen.  Oh, a disgruntled employee can take up a lot of a manager's time answering to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about why you did this or that to that employee.  But having a number of them, all corroborating each other, with a grand conspiracy?  That is unheard of.

I recommend you read Anthony Martin's article, and then carefully consider whom you are going to vote for in November.  It really does make a difference.

A Lawsuit that Needs to Go Forward

I heard about this yesterday morning on the way to work, listening to Carmen and K.C. on the Morning Rush here in Raleigh, NC. Fox News has the report, written by John Lott and titled Did Colorado Shooter Single Out Cinemark Theater? The answer to the title question is "yes," for those who can't wait. But go read his reasoning.

I want to make another point however. In the article, Lott says that some are suing Cinemark for not providing armed security. Lott points out that having metal detectors and armed security at the entrance would not have done any good, since the bad guy entered from the rear. Fair enough as far as it goes. But once patrons were inside, armed security could have roamed about, and might well have been in the theater when the shooting erupted. I think the suit is much deserved.

Colorado law allows people with permits to carry into a theater, if the theater doesn't have signs saying "No Concealed Guns." Unfortunately, Cinemark does indeed have such signs. Whenever a property owner disarms citizens who otherwise would be armed, they have a moral obligation, even if there is no legal one, to provide security for their patrons and customers. Frankly, government too has a similar duty to its citizens but they hide behind Sovereign Immunity to claim no such responsibility.

I think bringing a lawsuit in this situation is entirely justified. If the plaintiffs win their case, then proprietors of business will no longer have a cost free way of keeping guns out of their establishments As it stands now, a proprietor can place a sign on his door, and put the risk entirely on his patrons' heads. If the plaintiffs win, however he will then have to calculate the risk of doing so, versus the cost of armed security to protect his patrons. But woe to the proprietor how calculates wrongly.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

For Those Just Tuning In, We Have Been Having a "National Conversation"

So, now the gun grabbers want to pretend that we haven't had "national conversation about firearms." That's the conclusion of an article at the Huffington Post by Patrick J. Charles entitled The Tale of Two Second Amendments. Now, since at least the 1960s, with the assassination of President Kennedy, and the subsequent assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, we have been having a debate. The gun grabbers asserted, without much evidence to go on, that if we gave up our guns, we all would be safer. Society initially bought the idea. After all, it seems reasonable that if guns are used to murder people, then get rid of the guns, and fewer people will be murdered. But like so many solutions to intractable human problems, the truth is more complicated.   To answer the gun grabbers, people have been working for decades now to supply us with arguments that guns are not the problem.

Let's review some of the literature that has been generated on the Second Amendment.  First up is Dave Hardy's Of Arms and the Law. Check out some of his law review articles, and purchase his documentary film In Search of the Second Amendment.   Another lawyer and libertarian writer who writes eloquently about the moral principles underlying the right to self defense is Jeff Snyder whose seminal A Nation of Cowards is required reading for those who want to escape the utilitarian box inside of which the gun grabbers always try to keep gun rights debates. Then there is Stephen Holbrook's excellent book That Every Man be Armed. Or, how about David B. Kopel, Stephen Holbrook and Alan Korwin writing about two hundred years of Supreme Court Gun Cases copyright 2004 by Bloomfield Press. The book appears to be out of print, but if you can find it, you will find there is more there than the gun grabbers want you to know. In terms of providing statistical evidence to back up what we have been arguing is John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime. Besides such scholarly works, there are literally hundreds of pro-gun sites on the World Wide Web. You can find some of them on my side bar. But I want to highlight one or two. The first is Keep and Bear Arms which finds and presents news stories of the day on all sides of the gun issue. Indeed, that's where I found the Huffington Post article. Many of the stories show the practical effect of people defending themselves with firearms, Many of these people are old or infirm, and without a gun, would have become victims of violent criminals. Instead, they were able to defend themselves, sometimes without even firing a shot. The other site is An NC Gun Blog which regularly makes the point that it is criminals using guns that is the problem, and not peaceful gun owners.

So, with that as a background, what do our gun grabbers think there is left to discuss?  Well, for one thing, they seem intent on reimposing the failed "Assault Weapon Ban" only of course this time they are sure to make it "effective." First of all, the term "assault weapon" has no real meaning. Assault rifles, selective fire for either semiautomatic, or full automatic, are generally denied to American citizens if these weapons are manufactured after 1986. So, "assault weapons" are semiautomatic only and have certain military style features which make them look scary. The term was coined by Josh Sugarman of the Violence Policy Center to scare the general public. Assault weapons could as easily have wooden furniture and suddenly they are no longer assault weapons.  For preventing crime, the Assault Weapons Ban was ineffective.  Its only value was  symbolic, to begin chipping away at gun ownership a piece at a time.  In true Alinskyite fashion, the gun grabbers had established their target, isolated it, demonized it, and now they were banning it.  On to the next class of guns.

Democrats routinely mouth the words that they defend the Second Amendment, but it is hard to take them seriously.  If the Democrats really supported the spirit of the Second Amendment, they would recognize that the security of a free State, the one reason given out of several for the Second Amendment, demands that the public be armed with the same small arms as our military carries. That would mean an actual assault rifle.  Of course if the public widely owned and used assault rifles, then the whole "assault weapon" issue would go away.  Yet, here it is again.

The other change they want to make is to close the so-called gun show loophole. Of course, there is not "loophole." If you own a piece of property, you can sell that property without permission from the State. What they want to impose is that before you sell a gun, you must get permission from the State, in the form of a background check. Now, understand that they are burdening a fundamental right with a prior restraint. It would be as if before you published an article, you would have to submit it to the government to ensure you didn't write something that in their eyes was wrong.  Please note that  Democrats don't want anyone to be required to show even a photographic identification to vote, another fundamental right. The difference treatment of these two fundamental rights is striking.

So, if we have already had the "national conversation" that the gun grabbers pretend didn't take place, what is it they really are up to? Why do they insist that we need to start over again, after nearly 50 years of failed gun control ideas? The reasons they want to grab all the guns is not to control crime, which may explain why it never worked to control crime. The reason is because without guns, the government will have a monopoly of force, to impose a Marxist, socialist society on us,.  If course, Marxism has failed everywhere it has been tried.  Because of that, those who want to impose it are fearful that we would surely revolt, unless they take all the guns. Seems outlandish? Perhaps. But ask yourself at what point do the policies of the current government cross your line in the sand?  Also ask yourself, would you rather fear the government, or have the government fear you? 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fisking a Gun Control Advocate

I was reading the news links for Thursday when I came across this letter to the editor of the University Daily Kansan by Clay Cosby entitled Gun Rights Need Regulation.  Of course, when I saw that it was written by a student, I naturally felt a need to put on some kid gloves, and pull some punches. On the other hand, anyone entering publicly into a debate on public issues should know whereof he speaks, and this student doesn't seem to know very much. Perhaps it is all those midnight candle light vigils that have him thinking that singing Kumbaya around the campfire will solve all his problems. So, let's review shall we?

Mr. Cosby writes:
When the second amendment was written, it was included because many men in our country were militia and it was necessary for them to have weapons for national security purposes. We are no longer under an immediate threat to be invaded by an enemy (unless North Korea suddenly develops sailing technology), but the amendment still stands because it is important for people to have the right to weapons if they feel they need them in their home for their protection.
Ha, Ha! Good one about North Korea developing sailing technology. But seriously, if we are under no threat, why do we need the most expensive standing military in the world? The Founders of our nation were that frightened of our maintaining a standing military because of the possibility of a military coup. Many people are still concerned that our military could be turned against the civilian population. It could happen, and while it may seem a remote possibility to you, you should not dismiss it out of hand. What would you do if it happened? The Second Amendment was written to ensure that every member of the public would have the same small arms as the military had, should they be needed. Today, that means a selective fire automatic weapon firing 5.56 NATO rounds. An M16 or variants. What they call "assault weapons" are semiautomatic guns with scary military features.

The First Amendment provides that Congress shall make no law...abridging... the press.  Certainly presses have advanced since Franklin published his Almanac using a hand operated screw press.  Does your support for a ban on so called assault weapons mean you would be in favor of a ban on high speed presses and the Internet?  Ideas ultimately have killed more people than guns have.  Don't believe me?  Read the Koran.

Cosby writes:
We have freedom of speech but it is regulated when it comes to slander. It is also regulated in schools and other locations where not all types of apparel are permitted. We regulate freedom of religion when it comes to polygamy. We are able to enjoy our freedoms as long as they do not interfere with another person’s inalienable rights.
So that means you can not slander someone? In other words, before you can speak, a government censor analyses what you intend to say, and blacks out anything that is slanderous. You can then say only what remains. Is that what you are saying here? Because I don't remember government censors. Rather, you can say whatever you want, but if you cross a certain line, you will be punished. In the same way that slander is illegal, but you can do it, murder is illegal, but you can do it too. In both cases, there is no prior restraint, rather there are consequences for doing both.
Specifically when it comes to gun control it is important to note that in the last ten years, the regulations have decreased although the technology has continued to become contrastingly more lethal. The assault weapons ban which was passed in 1994, expired in 2004. The ban outlawed the selling of assault weapons. Gun control is a right we have that needs more regulation. The second amendment does not need to be struck but it is important to distinguish the intent with which it was written, and how the meaning of the amendment at the time and how that is different from its meaning today. The second amendment was never meant to mean that individuals should be allowed to own an AK-47.
Perhaps those government censor would be of use, at least as editors. The fact of the matter is that regulations have not decreased, a pity really. The Assault Weapon Ban had no effect on crime, and since it was easy to get around, little effect on manufacturing and sales. Moreover, while the Second Amendment may not have allowed AK 47s, it would only be because these were designed in the Soviet Union and manufactured mostly in Communist Block countries. But M16s and other small arms used by our military would be well within the framework of a "well regulated militia.

Finally, a rifle of whatever type is only a tool. Like any tool, it has no purpose on its own. Its user determines its purpose. The person who decides to take innocent life has used the tool in a criminal way, and must be punished. Everyone that didn't use the tool in that fashion should be left alone.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Your Hypocrisy is showing there, Dems

Brietbart has a piece up noting that The DNC Requires IDs to Enter the Convention. The fact that the DNC requires an ID to enter their Convention, but insists that to require a State issued ID to vote is to burden the process too much is rich with irony.

Whenever, and wherever States have tried to put in place minimum standards for proving that a person is who he (or she) says he is, Democrats and the the self appointed people who purport to speak for various minority groups wail, and gnash their teeth, and practially sit in sack cloth and ashes as they claim it will cause too great a burden on some minority groups and suppress their votes. The media seem mighty incurious about who these people are, where they are, how many of them there are, and what their circumstances might be. Perhaps we can make accommodations. But since the only thing anyone will tell us is that these laws will suppress minority votes, one is left to think that they Democrats here are...well...dissembling.

A long established principle in our Republic is the idea of one person, one vote. If someone somewhere gets to vote twice, then his to votes may well disenfranchise the vote of one who followed the rules. Certainly minorities who are eligible to vote should be given access to the voting booth, but neither should anyone else be denied access by virtue of fraudulent votes. If the Democrats really wanted free and fair elections, they would propose an alternative way for voting officials to tell if someone who comes in to vote is indeed the person he says he is. Here is a video from Project Veritas showing numerous cases of voter fraud, illegal aliens voting, people voting more than once, and officials who don't seem to care. Here is a video of Mr. O'Keeffe asking for, and receiving Eric Holder's ballot. It does happen, and results is election fraud on a wide scale.

Interestingly, most States require ID to drink alcohol. Motels require it to check in. Anyone buying a gun has to show ID and not only prove who they are, but that they have no criminal background. The Second Amendment is a Constitutionally protected right. I don't think voting is.

Some people point out that both sides do it. Hmmm. Oh yes, this is the moral equivalency argument. So, if both sides do it, it must be alright, is that it? Well, no, it is not alright. First of all, the purpose of elections is to obtain a actual rendering of the peoples will. As it stands, nobody knows for sure that anybody who is elected to office actually represents the people of the district that elected him, or if instead he represents the will of fraudulent voters.

Of course, voter fraud isn't the only thing we need to ensure free and fair elections. As Fox News has pointed out, we also need to ensure that our voting machines can not be hacked, or at least that it is more difficult than this to do it We should of course do something about our voting machines, but at the same time, we also need to clean up the voting rolls and ensure equal access to the voting booth.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Two from American Thinker on Islam

Two articles today at the American Thinker discuss the dangers Islam poses to our way of life. The first is an article by Janet Levy entitled The Anti-Woman, Anti-Gay Elephant in the Room It is an interesting, no not merely interesting but alarming phenomenon that the Left has become so cozy with Islam, while embracing abortionists and so-called gay rights activists. Janet Levy writes:
The ardent protests against Republicans and the concomitant apocryphal charges that they are anti-woman and anti-gay are par for the course. In actuality, Republicans are merely advocating for the sanctity of life and traditional marriage and do not demonstrate hatred against any group. However, to hold an opinion contrary to the leftist dogma of the day is obviously enough to spur public vilification and rampant allegations of malfeasance.

The anti-woman, anti-gay allegations Democrats use to characterize Republicans are all the more astonishing in light of the tolerance and accommodations that are conferred on Islam. While Islam is given a pass on these issues, Democrats freely malign Republicans who speak out about repressive Islamic doctrine or sharia, an ideology that is truly anti-woman and anti-gay.
One's first thought is that they apparently don't realize that if Islam gains the upper hand, the godless Left will be killed before either Jews or Christians. But then I realize that the Left is only cynically embracing the Abortion industry and the gays for their votes. They don't believe in these things, and are as likely to crack down on them as the Muslims are. Just look at Obama's flip-flop on gay marriage for a good example of what I am talking about here. If he can zig one way for votes, I imagine he can zag the other if it became expedient to do so. Levy concludes:
Clearly, the peril with Islam goes far beyond a choice on abortion and the recognition of homosexual marriage. The unlikely alliance the left has cultivated with Islam, not the left's differences with the Republican Party, is the farthest departure from their espoused pro-women, pro-homosexual platform. As such, it represents a danger to all Americans.
The second article is entitled Muslim Reformer In Denial by Andrew G. Bostom. Bostom finds shocking Muslim "reformer" Dr. Mohammed Zudhi Jasser's view that Hamas's annihilationist stance against Israel was:
...a tool for Hamas [and Hamas alone] to create a faith-based conflict...Us versus. them...Collectivist thinking which exploits human rights to oppress its own [ i.e., Palestinian Arab Muslim] people.
What this ignores is that the majority of Palestinians agree with the statement, and that the Koran sanctions it. Indeed the Koran makes it a duty of Muslims to commit genocide against the Jews wherever they find them. I recommend both articles to you if you want to understand the danger the United States is in from Islam. The forces are lining up against us, and we must be prepared to maintain our way of life.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Report: Did Muhammad Exist?

I read a lot, and about a lot of things.  One of the things that has continued to bother me, and so I have begun to research it is the nature of Islam and its so-called prophet Muhammad.  It has seemed to me all along that if the Koran calls on every Muslim to slay anyone and everyone who is not a Muslim (or isn't Muslim enough) that the person speaking to the people in the Koran is not the same One who speaks to us in the Old and New Testament.  The Gospel tells us to love our enemies, and to pray for them.  The Koran apparently says to make your enemies blood run in the streets.  One of these two books is a lie.

In Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins Robert Spencer takes his audience on a journey back in time to the 7th century to find what evidence there is to support the fact that Muhammad received the Koran from the angel Gabriel. In the process, he of necessity examines the roots of the Koran itself. As Spencer noted, this book is intended for the layman, not the scholar. He presents no new evidence, and the evidence he presents is well documented 19 pages of end notes, and 2 pages of further reading material. I have yet to check out the end notes, though that is on my to do list, and to take advantage of further reading.

The first thing that Spencer notes is that when the Arabs first broke out of the Arabian peninsula and began conquering other people, there was no mention of Islam, of the Koran, of Muslims, or of the prophet who supposedly inspired them, Muhammad. Considering the later centrality of Islam, the Koran and Muhammad to Muslim faith, it does seem strange. The typical Muslim confession is "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet." You would expect them to be waving the Koran in one hand, and carrying a sword in the other. But what writings we do have seem to have come from various Christian priests and bishops. They noted the awful oppressions of the Hagarians, of the Saracens, or the Ishmaelites, but not the Muslims.  He also notes that Muhammad could as easily have been a title as a name.   Muhammad means in Arabic the "Praised One" or the "Chosen One." But these titles equally apply to Jesus, called the Christ in Greek, the Messiah in Hebrew, which means the "Anointed One," if my recollection is correct.  Thus the early inscriptions on the Dome of the Rock could as easily been Christian as Islamic.

It is now necessary to take a side trip to lay out the culture extant at the time of the Arabian conquest. Christianity had, by the 7th century, taken over the Middle East. Most of the people in the area encompassed by Turkey, the Roman Empire, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Persia, as well as outposts in Carthage and India, were one stripe or another of Christian. The Orthodox Church held that Christ was divine, being one of "three persons" or really, one of three manifestations of the One God. The doctrine is known as Trinitarian. If one is a Trinitarian, Christ is not separate from, but a part of the One who was there at the Creation, and after he leaves, he sent his spirit to remain with us and guide us until He comes again. None the less, we do not pray to Jesus, but we pray to God, in Jesus name. But many people in the Middle East were heterodox, believing that Christ was not divine, but a great prophet none the less. They were Unitarian. Up until 325, people who held these various beliefs about the divinity of Christ were constantly fighting among themselves. As you might imagine, each group wrote gospels supporting their particular beliefs. These gospels had Jesus and the disciples saying or doing things that contradicted the Synoptic Gospels, so were declared heterodox.

In 325 AD, Constantine called a Council of priests and bishops to the town of Nicaea to settle the question of the divinity of Christ. Constantine,of course, was not so interested in Church doctrine as we was in establishing a common religion for his entire empire. At the Council of Nicaea, Arius of Alexandria, a priest, was the most vociferous in holding forth for the Unitarian principle. Unfortunately for him, his views were not the majority view, and he was excommunicated. Interestingly, he was eventually re-instated, despite holding a Unitarian view, and his beliefs live on in the Christian community. He and some of his followers fled east to Syria, the Arabian peninsula and to Persia. Interestingly, they were known as Arians. Arian beliefs also spread to Europe where they were held by the elite German princes and aristocrats.   We can here see also that many early Syriac speaking Unitarian Christians could as easily confessed to the Islamic confession if they thought Jesus was the Muhammad, the Chosen One.  Thus "There is no god but God, and Jesus (Muhammad) is his prophet" could be a shorthand way of confessing their beliefs.  We now return to Spencer's telling.

The second thing that Spencer notes is that the dizzying number of Hadiths and their often contradictory content.  The Hadiths are the recounting of the sayings and the activities that Muhammad did during his lifetime.  Supposedly, the Hadiths are recounting by eye witnesses to the events or the sayings.  The Hadiths are, for practical purposes, as important to Muslims as the Koran.  The Koran contains almost no context, and says very little about Muhammad.  But since Muhammad is the perfect Muslim, other Muslims want to do as Muhammad did.  Unfortunately, a number of Hadiths, possibly all of them, are forgeries.  We know that some Hadiths were written by one faction against another, since the events and the people mentioned happened long after 632 AD, the date Muhammad supposedly died.  This situation has created a cottage industry in Islam to determine which Hadiths are most likely to be accurate, and which are faked.  While acknowledging the value of these efforts, none the less Spencer speculates that if so many are forged, they all might be at best third hand accounts.  This makes them all suspect.  But it is mostly through the Hadiths that we know anything about Muhammad at all, and if the Hadiths are suspect, we know nothing at all. 

The third thing Spencer brings up is the Koran itself.  The story goes that Muhammad was sitting in a cave on a mountain when the angel Gabriel appeared and began reciting the Koran.  Muhammad faithfully regurgitated all he had heard just as it was recited to him to his faithful secretary, who wrote it all down.  Since Muhammad spoke Arabic, in the dialect of Mecca, Gabriel evidently recited in Arabic, in the dialect of Arabic used in Mecca, and Arabic was the language in which the Koran was recorded.  The Koran was thus the Perfect word of God, faithfully transmitted to mankind in the Perfect Language of God.  It has remained unchanged, as to change even one letter of the Sacred Text would possibly change its meaning.  As a side note, remember that the printing press was not invented until 1440, so that a the Muslim faith was transmitted by oral means for at least 8 centuries before printed Korans could be made available to a wide audience.  There was one copy of the Koran, and the believers had to have faith that what they were told was the truth.

The first effort at collecting the Koran occurred supposedly under Abu Bakr, Muhammad's supposed successor.  But then no Koran was distributed.  Instead, Uthman, the second successor apparently, was supposedly asked to standardize the Koran because various believers in various regions had varying Korans.  How could this be, if there was only one copy?  Uthman supposedly directed that the standardized Koranic text be checked against the original, and that it be written in the dialect of Mecca. Again, one wonders that it was not already.  At least 3 copies were made and distributed.  But four years later, the conquerors at the Battle of Siffin, generally knew the the Koran, a miracle indeed.  And all this 8 centuries before the printing press.

Another issue with the Koran is that approximately 20% of it is simply not understandable.  No one knows what these verses actually mean.  Muslim scholars explain this by noting that some concepts that God may understand may simply be beyond us, as a man's understanding is beyond an ant's.  Maybe, but one is left to wonder that the God who created us, and understands our limits better than we do set down a verse that we can not understand.  If the Koran is supposed to be His will, and we are to submit to His will, shouldn't we be able to understand what His Will is?  Following this line of reasoning leads to the fact that the unchanging Koran has indeed changed! 

In the original text of the Koran, the diacritical marks are largely absent.  In Arabic, there are no letters for short vowels, and for some consonants.  Moreover, without diacritical marks, the dots around various Arabic letters, many consonants would look like other consonants, rendering the reading unclear.  Nobody knows when the first diacritical marks were added, but it is thought to be in the first century after the Arabian conquest began, circa 632 to 732.  The Muslim collector of Hadiths Abu Nasr Yahya ibn Abi Kathir al Yamami (d. 749) admits this happened to illuminate the Koran. But as one person I was explaining this to exclaimed, "That means you could make it say anything you wanted!"  Interestingly, if you take out the diacritical marks you have a text in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.  An example is this text, Koran 25:1 which reads "Blessed is He Who has revealed unto His slave the Criterion (of right and wrong) that he maybe a Warner to the peoples"  If you take out the diacritical marks the text is rendered as "Blessed is He who sent down the redemption on His servant that he might be a sacrifice for the peoples."  This is a Christian statement summarizing text from the Gospel of John (1:1, 1:14) Ephesians 5:1, Hebrews 10:10-14, Ephesians 1:7, and 1 John 2:2.

Interestingly, much of the rest of the nonsensical passages become clear when one takes out the diacritical marks.  Spencer concludes that the Koran was originally a Christian, Unitarian lectionary written in Aramaic for use by the Churches that dotted the landscape in the 7th century.  The polemics against Orthodox Christians represent the the battles between Unitarians and Trinitarians, taken to the extreme (kill them all wherever you find them.)  The fight with the Jews seems to be that they worship, inexplicably, Ezra or something.  Slowly, over time, various Muslim rulers and Caliphs worked the text into what it is today.  Like the Byzantines before them, they found that their new empire was easier to rule if it had a common religion, and a common language.  The emphasis in the Koran on it being in Arabic, and the need to study it in Arabic meant that slowly the other languages would die out.

And what of Muhammad?  Spencer concludes that the answer to the title question can not be answered with certainty.  Surely Muhammad did not exist as he is presented to the world today.  At the same time, if Muhammad did not exist, the Caliphs would have had to invent him.  Once invented, he seems to have taken on a life of his own.  Competing sides wrote Hadiths forcing Muhammad to take first one side, then the other.  Spencer did not say this, but I will.  Since Islamic law is based on the Hadiths, one wonders that anyone can see Sharia as any more than the codification and ossification of traditions then extant in the Islamic world.  If what I surmise is true, how the world would be different if Arius and his followers had understood that the Trinitarians were trying to reconcile the words of Jesus himself in the Gospels and the events of the first Pentacost. They did not worship three gods, but The God, who made himself known to man in three ways, because He loved us so much.

This book doesn't say it, but I will.  It appears that Islam is nothing more than the worm turning.  They lost the debate over the divinity of Christ in 325 AD.  They took their convictions, and nursed them, slowly turning them into something dark and sinister.  When they spilled out again, in the late 630s, what returned was no longer recognizable as the Christianity that went in.