Review of Questioning Islam by Peter Townsend

The blind spot of the West in regards to Islam has been going on since the rise of the Muslim invaders in the 7th century. Muslims attacked and captured Jerusalem from the Byzantines even while they debated whether they were, in reality, a new cult of Christianity. There is little doubt that the ambivalence and uncertainty of the West have served Islam well in its many military campaigns over the last 1400 years.
Peter Townsend is attempting to arm us, protecting us from the misinformation and disinformation which have plagued our political institutions, most recently, from the fall of the last caliphate in Istanbul over a century ago. The Ottomans fell, probably more of a century-long dwindle, when the sultan retreated from the path demanded by the prophet: conquer until all submit.
Questioning Islam is a valuable tool in the education of the culture. Townsend, rather than engaging in a polemic for the West, examines the claims and the basic documents of the Muslim faith itself. Without reference to other belief systems he looks at what teachings are basic to Islam and how the Muslim believer formulates his world view.
It is not pretty. The Qur’an is held out to be the faithful as the very words of the creator deity, pure and “perfect in (its Arabic) language,” complete in its conceit and execution, and unsullied in its transmission. However, despite an empire-wide effort to burn all deviant copies in the eighth century, the fundamental document of Islam is revealed to be a hodge-podge of plagiarized sentiments (primarily Jewish), self-serving and convenient “revelations” to benefit only Mohammad in his venereal pursuits, and a high degree of plain old-fashioned bloody-mindedness. It is enough to make an Arab blush and apparently did. There are multiple examples where the companions of Mohammad wished to reduce, or at least limit, the rapine only to be urged back into the carnage by Mohammad.
Rather than being in the “purest Arabic” there are many words taken from the patois of seventh-century trade. Some words are completely indecipherable, yet supposedly sent from God via Mohammad as the end and culmination of all wisdom. Whole sections are known to be missing due to the dietary indiscretions of a family goat. Instead of being the highest form of literature the Qur’an amounts to a rag-tag assemblage of political and self-serving edicts. It documents not so much eternal verities as it does the rise of Islam from a despised minority, requesting tolerance, to a military Ponzi scheme demanding submission or blood.
The hadiths, i.e. traditions, providing the basic framework of what is now Islam, are obviously critical in understanding the faith. It is an inconvenient fact that none of the hadiths were written down within two hundred years of Mohammad’s death. Moreover by that time, the great schism had occurred, dividing Islam into the Sunni and Shi’a traditions. Hadiths conflict with each other both with and without each community. Mohammad, held out to be a “perfect example of conduct,” can only be glimpsed via these hadiths and what is shows of him is grasping, vacillating, and sanguinary religious tyrant.
Questioning Islam is extensively documented, with long passages from the original documents reproduced within the endnotes. Author Townsend has done a remarkable job in organizing a difficult subject topically. This leads to some redundancies which may, at time, strike readers are being overdone. Despite that, it is a very fast read. This should be required reading for anyone who is exposed to Islam. Today, that includes us all.

“Bully”: the New “Nazi”- All the Rant and Half the Content

Bullying

The use of the term bullying” has increased in the USA by over 3-fold since 1990 (Google nGram to 2008 the last year listed). No doubt this is due to a real uncovering of previously concealed activity.

No doubt.

But, come on, folks!

Bullying has now become degraded to mean just about anything.

Like Nazi, fascist, racist, misogynist, conservative, alt-anything, fake-whatever, and ‘low-down-mean,’ the word has become to mean merely: “I don’t like you.”

The last ten years, a time hallmarked in America by the triumph of political correctness, safe-places, adult coloring books, micro-aggressions, shrieking professors calling for death in the name of life, and blocking political speech in the name of the freedom of political speech, have seen people embrace “bullying” as an iron-clad way of castigating those of whom it disapproves.

It used to have a meaning: “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” https://www.stopbullying.gov

That definition specified two things: 1) youth and/or powerlessness, 2) abuse of power.

How has the term been morphed?

Bullying used to be abuse of the weak (physically) by the strong (physically) specifically in an educational situation. The strong were usually the stupid, socially inept, and frustrated. The weak were anyone who could be made a victim.

Now, it may mean mere words: people being physically assaulted by others because their words were labelled “verbal assaults.” No, no hypocrisy there! Heaven forbid. Even, virtual words, arrangements of electrons, as evanescent as the wind, are blamed for a child committing suicide, salving, no doubt, the realization of failure by a parent and society which has shoveled isolation, alienation, and lack of consolation upon the child; distant sentiments of mere acquaintances becoming more real to the victim than immediate love and acceptance.

It does not hold together. Our new concept of bullying is incorrect.

We have all been littler, weaker, smaller, slower, more alone, and less aware of consequences than some other. All of us, even bullies, have been potential, if not actual, victims.

It is how we respond to that threat, real or imagined, which is a central part of our path from childhood to adulthood.

We may, seeing the immediate success of our own humiliation, embrace bullying when we can do so to our own benefit. It is reported that 90% of schoolyard bullies have been victims themselves. (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/aug/29/bullying.schools)

We may, seeing the injustice of it, step-in to prevent it. (I have a few stories about that, some remembered bruises and a broken tooth, but that at another time.)

We may, seeing that weakness and righteousness inevitably coincide at times, attempt to change the dynamic: might does not always make right. We call that attempt “government.” It has been a dubious experiment.

We may, in our selfishness, merely build up our defenses, stand behind the bulwarks of strength, age, prestige, education, and success, to throw bon mots at the little schoolyard tyrants of our youth and remembered powerlessness. This, I think, the most popular. The schoolyard bully is a favorite object for disdain in literature. In my own experience, I have to admit, I have found it so. The sixteen-year-old boy, cursed with early puberty, a dull wit, and intemperance, who attacked me on the last day of 9th grade (his last day of academic endeavor, as it turned out) after sucker-punching me from behind was himself seized from behind and dragged off, summarily. Very Satisfactory. I have forgotten his name, which is a pity.

So we have, all of us, been the victim or potential victim of bullying. We have all had the chance to bully; some of us, some of the time, have embraced that.

Let’s explore the other aspect of bullying: the abuse of power. This is more difficult. Particularly difficult because in life, we are not equal.

Please don’t. It is tiresome.

But, the truth is just that. We are not equal.

Some of us are employees. Some of us are bosses. Some are wiser. Some are defective in body, spirit, soul or intellect. Some have been elevated to levels of authority.

Get over it.

The fool who rants that their tenth-grade teacher doesn’t like him may have a point, but he has no standing. He can learn or not learn from the teacher and the experience. Ranting will improve neither his education nor the teacher’s affection for him. The boss that alienates the underling will get what he wants: grudging compliance and no more. The great dictator, whether bombastic and amorphous, or short, fat, xenophobic, and a super-annuated adolescent, will both fail in the long run with a greater or lesser body count.

Lastly, what are we to do with the disembodied use of the term for, bullying for situations where neither of the two conditions exist. If anyone is neither a weak victim, and is, in fact, possessed of all the weapons of the other, and is not at the mercy of the other’s authority, can bullying occur? When it is all reduced to words, facts, and ideas, can anything be said to be bullying?

Words, facts, and ideas are not equal. Words have meanings, qualities, and can be related to each other by sentiments and logic.

A family member, currently suffering from Post-Trump-Progressive-Psychosis (PTPP) made a statement: “Conservatives are selfish.” Turns out that is kind of a lie. Self-identified (doncha love that non-useful term?) liberals GIVE THEIR OWN MONEY AWAY far, far, LESS than those terribly selfish conservatives (based on IRS data, which with Lois Lerner still on the loose should tell you something). And the CONSERVATIVES give away money voluntarily. Just to put it into perspective, the great philanthropist, ex-VPUSA Joseph Biden (D-DE) and his wife (a childhood schoolmate, as it happens) donated to charity $627, for the BOTH of them for TWO years total (2008), working out to less than $15/month (or two venti lattes on the Starbuck Coffee Standard).

In contrast, progressives are touted as generous for using the absolute, and potentially brutal, power of the state to coerce payment from OTHER PEOPLE to fund their charity.

When did blackmail become synonymous with charity?

Socialism, as my fam-mem finally admitted to embracing, was preferable to capitalism, also because “capitalists are selfish.” I asked her who was more selfish: Man A, who risked his own money with no possible chance of recovery, hired people, and paid those people his money, on the chance, that he would make a profit OR the Man B, who demanded that Man A pay (on threat of imprisonment or worse) Man B to make him appear to give the unemployed what they had never earned and thus allow Man B to remain in power? If A has his way, his workers will make money; he might make money. If B has his way, A will lose money and his workers may become unemployed. Non-workers make no money beyond that stripped from the bones of A’s business. B is confirmed in his folly and to his political subpremacy.

As Margaret Thatcher observed, “Socialism works wonderfully until you run out of other people’s money.”

My fam-mem would not answer with anything other than insults and shortly accused me of bullying her.

By most standards, the woman in her eighth decade, is, intelligent, accomplished, and self-sufficient. While she is older, and for many years was larger, faster, more clever, and rather more diabolical than I, she has never been, and certainly is not now, in my power (where is a D-minor organ chord when you need one?) In her advanced years, she has taken to waving the red flag of socialism and shouting obscenities at public meetings and on Facebook.

I have not seen her in a number of years so any putative bullying on my part, had I wanted to attempt it, must have been accomplished trans-continentally, using mere words, ideas, and logic, one must presume.

Words and ideas are not equal.

Some words, ideas are indeed stupider than others.

Some logic is flawed.

Some ardently held opinions are wrong morally, politically, and rationally.

Those ideas should be ridiculed and those who hold them should be righteously embarrassed for having done so.

No bullying necessary.

[A word of disclaimer: Currently, I am a private contractor, sole proprietor of my own services, and an author. Prior to that, I was an employee. Other than some teenagers I have hired to do yard-work; I have never been an employer. I have been under authority and have had people under authority to me. I, like Will Rogers, belong to no organized political party.

In 2016, for the first time in almost fifty years, I could not hold my nose hard enough to vote for either the Crook, or the Creep. Just so’s you know]

Contraceptives and the Man-Price

Less than a year ago the Little Sister of the Poor case was suffering under the formidable displeasure of Barrack Obama and his contemptible Department of Justice. At the time, I mentioned that health care choices, are, in fact, choices. Those goods and services

Those goods and services will be paid for whatever the voter is told. As an example, free birth control (meaning oral contraceptives, OCP) are a

As an example, free birth control (meaning oral contraceptives, OCP) are a choice, and not one with universal appeal. “Free” OCP means that all the people in the USA pay for each prescription whether you agree, disagree, wish the money to be spent on relief of the mentally deficient or for more nuclear devices. We all pay for a portion of the population.

I was taken to task by a young lady of my acquaintance and her sister. What I said was apparently Horrible. It transpired that I was unaware that it was a woman’s right to get free stuff to prevent her pregnancies, of which I nor any mere man, had not much to say about it. (a mere ellipsis here on the argument of necessity:  no man is to have any voice in reproductive decisions, yet it is frequently proclaimed as being self-evident that reproduction is a right. Nevertheless, there is currently no alternative for human male reproduction than the willing agency of the female of the species. Thus by the argument of necessity, the male has an authentic voice in this discussion, but I digress).

What the argument, of course, comes down to is an entitlement: women, due to their gender alone, should get an entitlement which, I have been assured by young friend, neither I nor any man may have any vote, argument or opinion.

Okay

Let’s take that a little further.

If we assume that a woman uses an average OCP from 14 to 50 years at $30/month and also assuming no pregnancies or, heavens, no breastfeeding, that amounts to $12,240/lifetime. Given that there are about 150 million females of this ilk, the cost is $540billion dollars in US taxes a year. Considering what the taxes are already, perhaps this is inconsequential.

Now, ladies. Have you ever considered the cost of being a man?

I am not talking about the outrageous cost of razor blades, ER visits after bar fights, extra luggage fees for heavier clothes or the usurious cost of paying for a pick-up truck.

No

I am talking about food.

Men out mass women on average. By weight, the muscle mass is greater. Even for the same muscle mass, the caloric necessity is greater.

Now given that we are not all (insert name of your favorite muscled stud-muffin), neverthless, we men have to pay the piper.

On average, men must eat 8% more per day than women. Moreover, the caloric requirement does not disappear at fifty or so. The numbers decrease but only in proportion.

Doing the same sort of math, a man, merely due to his gender, is now spending about $25,200+ per life time for keeping up his end of the war of the sexes. That would generally, given man’s shorter lifespan, mean slightly over $1 trillion in the man-price per year.

So, to sum up: if all Americans must pay for about a half trillion dollars for OCP for the nations’ women then it seems only apt that the girls pony up the trillion and a half for the boys’ daily tofu stir fry, doesn’t it?

What goes around comes around.

America, Psychiatrist for the World

GreenCardUp until recently, say the 20th of January, there was no questions about who set and who enacted the immigration laws.

NONE ZIP NADA ZERO

Congress passed the law, and the executive upheld it.
Over the last eight years, there’s been remarkably little of the upholding, of course. Illegal aliens, caught at the border, are given a ticket (for a federal felony?) and told to show up at a court. Imagine how many show? There is a reason it is called “Catch and Release.”
“Pro Bono” legal firms know that if they keep pushing, “the alien always wins.” They seem to have bottomless pockets. I wonder why?

Yet, it cannot be that the USA is legally obligated to take and support all foreigners who wish to come here, surely.
Historically, it never was. There have always been limits on immigration; it is actually in the constitution. Opening up a big and unpopulated country in the 19th century with that labor intensive level of technology DID require manpower. So men (i.e., male humans) were encouraged to come. Eventually, families did come after the man had established a home. (examples: Chinese and Irish for Union Pacific RR, Germans, Scots, and Swedes to farm the hinterlands. (Generally missing from the list are Muslims, btw, no matter what BHO contends).

It is an axiom of medicine that any cell that has no rigid control of its cell membrane is dead. If stuff flows in and out, infectious agents invade, poisons pervade, you may soon be unable to tell the inside from the outside. Go too far down that road and you are dead, honey.

Now, every jumped up media personality (there are no longer and newspeople) rail against the passing of any law that discomforts, disenchants, discommodes or displeases any foreigner who might wish to enter the USA, legally or otherwise

National Public Radio, supported by taxpayer dollars, this morning 3 March, had a commentator bemoan the supposed fact that some unnamed immigrants from the infamous (and Democratically designated) mostly Muslim countries after SUCCESSFULLY arriving in the USA did not feel welcome. Welcome? WELCOME? 

Apparently, America in accepting the Statue of Liberty from France over a century ago has a contractual agreement to admit anyone who wants to come here legally or not and we are obliged to make them feel welcome!

Immigrants, such as my mother, were admitted to this country on the basis of their ability to advance the benefit of America, NOT the good that America could do for her.

Now we are burdened with the additional task of adjusting the mental and emotional condition of people who make no attempt to benefit this country (the so-called family exemption for green-card holders).

Moreover, NPR last week has reported that since the election, visits to mental health counselors have increased, suggesting darkly that “Anything that happens now is due to Donald Trump.”

Really?

Since when is any individual contractually obligated to eviscerate their country for the emotional health of an alien, a condition I myself am neither able to measure nor alter.

It is just this sort of creepy, new-age, muddy thinking, acted out large in the country as a whole over the last eight years, which prompted a revolt by people who work their own jobs, pay their taxes, give to charity (voluntarily), and take care of their own emotions without demanding federal assistance.