Ramadan in America


A Christian reflects on why he’s fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan


I thi

dates and a glass of milk during Ramadan to br...

dates and a glass of milk during Ramadan to break fasting at sunset (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

nk his heart is in the right place, although I don’t know if I agree with the the conjugal background for  his reason but that’s for another blog.  However, Huffington Post has a blog devoted to people who are reflecting on why they are or are not fasting during Ramadan….not all of the people who write are Muslim it appears, and it’s worth a look now and then.  I chose this one for reasons of my own.

Why A Christian Is Fasting For Ramadan:

My girlfriend is Muslim, but she is also very supportive in all of my endeavors. So, I decided to do half-day fasts for six days out of the week, and one full day. We live in a pretty rural area where Muslims are few and far between. It’s the closest thing she has to fellowship, aside from her family.

The first day of Ramadan was July 19. It is now July 27, and I am starting to understand why folks fast. I do feel like my thought process changes, and I feel much closer to God. Religion is religion. Christianity and Islam have very similar underlying themes, and most don’t notice we do worship the same God. Just because we call Him a different name doesn’t mean we’re not talking to the same person.

Fasting food every day is easy, but the liquids are what really kill me. I have been very tired during my morning anatomy class, and every time I pass Arnold Palmers in the beverage section in Speedway, a little part of me dies. But, I believe I will come out of the other side of this a better man.

— Matt Schiffbauer

If you think Obama is a Muslim you shouldn’t be allowed to vote!


The idea that there is abuse or corruption among people who are allowed to vote in general elections and that reform is needed is sweeping the country.  Just about half of the states are in the process of amending their laws that prescribe what is needed for their citizens to register and vote.  Critics of this idea say that reform is not needed, that there is no wide spread abuse yet proponents of the idea are rolling up victories in states across the country. Naturally, most of the people who have signed on to this idea are Republicans who want to increase the chances that their really marginally conservative Republican nominee, Mitt Romney will have a chance to beat President Obama.

If Republicans insist on voter registration reform, then Democrats or opponents of the idea ought to insist, require the following measure  be put in place to accompany it

if you were to show up at the polls in November, and the poll worker were to ask you “Is President Obama a Muslim or a Christian?” and you answered “Muslim,” then — bzzzzzt — you’d be automatically disqualified from voting, on the grounds you’re just too dumb.

The phony war on terror just got phonier


We are now in the middle of a campaign season where President Obama is seeking a second term and the horror of George Bush’s war on terror is quickly becoming a distant memory.  Unfortunately, the illegal legacy of that war and what it has done to the fabric of America is still being revealed and this latest revelation casts a negative light on how terror suspects were interrogated and the nature of the information gained from their interrogation.

Reports have been circulating for years that US officials, and because of the very nature of these allegations accountability will be difficult if not impossible to pinpoint who they are, have been using drugs during the interrogation of people captured on various military theaters where American forces have been engaged. The very use of drugs during questioning is considered torture according to laws and conventions that we, America, used to subscribe.  Torture under these circumstances is defined as

the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality.

Detainees captured by or sold to US forces and their allies were given drugs against their will, not told what the drugs were or what their effects would be and then questioned and the legal system put in place under these circumstances presumed that any information obtained from such an interrogation was accurate.  It didn’t matter to those in charge that powerful antipsychotic drugs’  side effects included lethargy, tremors, anxiety, mood changes and an inability to remain motionless, the idea that any information gathered as a result of this type of medical intervention was acceptable as a legitimate source of intelligence. This then became another rung on the torture ladder that the government hung their treatment and handling of people during the war on terror.  What happened to our country is it engaged in illegal torture, saying it was necessary to protect America and during the course of that illegal behaviour further exacerbated it by employing drugs meant to alter a captive’s perception of reality, and skew the information passed on to officials, who then trumpeted that before we the people to justify continuing  illegal activity.  The war on terror and the information we supposedly gathered fighting that war, and even the enemy itself was all a sham a ruse, made up to justify invading countries with an expanded, bloated military.    In other words, we cooked the books…we made things up, we frightened ourselves with lies obtained through drugs from people  who were sold to us in most cases or who had nothing to do with the attacks on our country .  This is the legacy Bush’s war on terror has left us.

This is not how a law abiding gun owner should behave


Todd Canady is not a very bright individual. In fact for those of us who believe, in a practical way, in the 2nd amendment he might very well be our worse enemy.   Mr. Canady was supposedly a law abiding citizen with a concealed carry permit, but in the blink of an eye became a felon and has gone on to give those of us who own firearms a bad reputation, especially after the massacre in Aurora last week.

Canady was the victim of an accidental discharge of the weapon he was legally carrying, but unfortunately for him the errant shot injured him and others in a shopping center check out lane.  Afterwards, he limped, ran, walked away from the scene of his “accident’ whereby he was apprehended by an off duty police officer.   It appears Canady’s weapon fired when he was reaching for his wallet to pay for a purchase, which leads me to think he doesn’t know the difference between his wallet and his gun, but what’s worse is he was/is not familiar enough with his weapon to know how to carry it.  While I’m happy he followed the law and got a CCW license, he should have been equally astute enough to know the firearm he was carrying….its idiosyncrasies as well as its safety features.  Lastly, after an AD in public, don’t run….especially if you or someone else was injured by your mistake.  Make safe your weapon, own up to your mistake and wait for law enforcement officials to come to do whatever it is they do.  Running is not a good thing to do.

I guess we’re lucky that during a political season, folks running for office are not using tragedies like this one and the one in Aurora as well as countless others to score points for gun control, but with people like Canady they don’t need to say or do anything we will be disgusted enough to call for the very restrictions pols want.  If you’re ever in Dallas and see the face of the man above, run!

 

The tragedy in Aurora


Another tragedy has occurred on our shores where innocent lives were taken by a deranged killer.  No motive has been suggested for why these people lost their lives seated in a movie theater watching the latest Batman movie, but this horrendous crime happened just days after America’s blowhard, Rush Limbaugh made some really asinine comments about the  movie and politics.

A lot of people are going to see the movie, and it’s a lot of brain-dead people, entertaining the pop-culture crowd. And they’re going to hear ‘Bane’ in the movie and they’re going to associate ‘Bain’ and the thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, not Bain Capital, Romney and Bain that these people will think back to the bad man.

 

Very few people have put two and two together and associated Limbaugh’s comments with the Aurora tragedy except Big Dan.

Recall that Rush told his brain-dead, gun-loving audience that this Movie was going to be viewed by millions who would be brainwashed to avoid voting for Romney (therefor leaving Obama in office) because Americans are too stupid to distinguish Bane from Bain. Was Rush giving instructions to his listeners to take it upon themselves to frighten would-be movie-goes from seeing the movie? When Rush tells his audience that a movie can change the election results, his listeners believe it’s true. Rush is in fact the person who promoted this alleged connection of Bane to Bain in the popular media more than any human on earth.

I would wager that this gunman is a loyal Rush listener, and was compelled to take action by Rush’s conspiracy theory rant. This is the danger – when Politics becomes Reality. When these brainwashers have the power to compel their listeners to ACT based on a totally contrived and FALSE REALITY, real world events can and do result. But Rush didn’t actually tell his listeners to take guns into the Batman screening and shoot parents and children – did he?

 

Limbaugh makes inflammatory statements and rarely gets called on them but the timing of this latest criminal act of murder makes Limbaugh’s broadcasts as criminal.

Finally, to the insane right wing of America that wants to attribute all of America’s problems to immigrants, from the President on down to Muslim toting Shariah law Americans there’s this about whodunit

As tragic as a mass shooting is, it’s even worse when it’s done by a Muslim.  Not because the victims are any more dead or because it’s even worse for their families.  No, it’s that if it were a Muslim we’d see heightened public safety alerts, the mobilization of the entire security apparatus, probably some sort of mucking about with drones on the other side of the world, etc.  Especially since the shooter reportedly used some sort of gas, i.e a chemical weapon.  If a Muslim killed more than 14 people with a gun and a chemical weapon, the country would be on some sort of lock-down.

Also, if it were done by a Muslim, we’d see heightened scrutiny of people who happen to be of the same faith, or happen to be from the same part of the world, or even happen to just look like a stereotype of people from that part of the world.  When a non-Muslim shoots somebody, the cops investigate the shooter.  When a Muslim shoots somebody, the FBI wiretaps mosques nationwide.

 

That sums it up for me.

Ramadan Kareem


To all the Muslim readers of Miscellany101, Ramadan kareem.  It has been officially announced that the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar will begin fasting on Friday, July 20.  To those in other parts of the world, no matter when you begin fasting, may it be spiritually and materially rewarding for you.

What is it about people’s religious scriptures that drives other people insane?!?


America is in the throes of Shariah lunacy.  It seems US lawmakers on the state and federal level are going out of their way to promote the idea that America is in danger of being overwhelmed by “Shariah” the legal code of Islam.  The very notion has caused some to border on the verge of insanity, and almost half of the states in America have or will consider some form of anti-Shariah law for a threat that simply doesn’t exist, legally or in reality.  Or take the recent talk about the dreaded Muslim Brotherhood which has gone so viral that John McCann had to go on the Senate floor to denounce the accusations that a long-time Hillary Clinton aide is some kind of conduit for the organization which now is represented by the newly elected President of Egypt.   We have also heard a lot about the desecration of the Quran on the part of  various and sundry folks, from the deranged Florida pastor to the US military’s burning of the Quran in Afghanistan and the resulting public outcry such heresy brings.

Here now is another case of some whack job driven insane by the New Testament; unfortunately for us he is a member of our ally, Israel’s government.   Michael Ben-Ari, pictured above,  decided to make his desecration a very public act, calling in cameras to record it for all the world to see.  Evidently he thinks the existence of the New Testament is responsible for the persecution and murder of Jews all over the world.  One has to wonder if he thinks the United States, a reportedly Christian country, is also responsible for the same?  What I also found enlightening was the language used by Ben-Ari in relation to the people who sent him the copy of the Bible and the followers of it.  Taking a page out of the Iranian president’s reference to the state of Israel, Ben-Ari said the place of the book and its messengers is in the trash of history.  There’s no doubt this Ben-Ari is so radical and enraged a member of the Israeli parliament that he’s been denied a visa to come to the US twice and after this latest outrage some within the Israeli government, to their credit, have denounced his actions.  However, it’s troubling that our only ally in the region, as they like to call themselves, elects members to its government that hold such strident and racist notions about Christians and Christianity and no doubt about their benefactor, America.

The prevaricator called Karl Rove


I’m convinced this Karl Rove guy is not a very bright guy.  In a move that could only be labeled ‘the pot calling the kettle black’, Rove made this assertion about Obama

The fact of the matter is if the president continues to make this charge — this outrageous charge — that Mitt Romney is guilty of felonious activity and committed a felony, that’s a big mistake,” Rove opined. “This is gutter politics of the worst Chicago sort.

It doesn’t seem to matter to most people that Rove worked for perhaps the biggest criminal enterprise in modern time, the GWB administration or that he cut his political teeth working for the likes of the Nixon administration during its era of dirty tricks, something that Rove specialized in during his GWB tenure…Rove has always wallowed in the mire of innuendo and prevarication. If you want to know who this Rove guy is…or maybe isn’t…he is such a strange character it’s hard to tell which of the many faces he wears is really his, you can take a gander at some of his work here.

The one that gets me the most is the one with McCain.

After John McCain thumped George W. Bush in the 2000 New Hampshire primary, with 48 percent of the vote to Bush’s 30 percent, a massive smear campaign was launched in South Carolina, a key battleground. TV attack ads from third groups and anonymous fliers circulated, variously suggesting that McCain’s experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam left him mentally scarred with an uncontrollable temper, that his wife, Cindy, abused drugs and that he had an African-American “love child.  In fact, the McCains adopted their daughter Bridget from a Bangladesh orphanage run by Mother Teresa.

We all know what happened after that….Bush went on to win the SC primary with a double digit margin and eventually steal the election in 2000. However, resorting to the racist nature of America’s subconscious, Rove was able to pull out a victory for Bush in South Carolina.  I love the Palmetto state, but like my own and all of America, it’s got a problem when it comes to race, and Rove knew it and exploited it.  Why Rove is still able to get air time, after his very tawdry record, to spew his venom is beyond me…the man has no credibility at all.  A brief look at his record should be enough to make him a social outcast, the likes of Jesse Jackson, David Duke and many others, yet he continues to get face time  on the air.  We have FoxNews to thank for that, which is just one more of many  reasons to tune them out America.  That network has given Rove a home base from which to launch his false and misleading diatribes.  My reference to Rove, the pot, calling the kettle (the Obama administration and by extension Obama) black is meant to underscore his, mine and America’s obsession with and denial about race and how it keeps pushing us backwards.  Obama, with all his faults, and he has many America, was America moving forward, Rove is America at its worst.
So the next time you hear something attributed to Karl Rove, just remember who he is and where he has come from and what he’s done.  He should be as unpalatable a pundit as any you can name.  I wish Nancy Pelosi did have him arrested…..then the photo above would have real meaning.

The good news is America can now withdraw from Afghanistan


The reason is the Taliban admit they cannot win the war against the American forces and they are fed up with their alliance with al-Qaida, that is if you believe the word coming from some sources in the Taliban movement. I don’t know why anyone would think that a less than third world country could stand militarily with the largest, strongest military in the world, the Russian war notwithstanding, unless you believed in miracles.  With this admission coming from the Taliban, and I submit they’ve conceded defeat even before the war began back in 2001, the US, if it’s true to its mission of ridding the country of the Taliban and al-Qaida, has a golden opportunity  to end the conflict and withdraw honorably while getting the Taliban and the Karzai government to come to peaceful terms.  Unfortunately, the US’ track record of taking advantage of opportunities offered them by their opponents is less than sterling.

One of the Taliban‘s most senior commanders has admitted the insurgents cannot win the war in Afghanistan and that capturing Kabul is “a very distant prospect”, obliging them to seek a settlement with other political forces in the country.

In a startlingly frank interview in Thursday’s New Statesman, the commander – described as a Taliban veteran, a confidant of the leadership, and a former Guantánamo inmate – also uses the strongest language yet from a senior figure to distance the Afghan rebels from al-Qaida.

“At least 70% of the Taliban are angry at al-Qaida. Our people consider al-Qaida to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens,” the commander says. “To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama [bin Laden]. Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country.”

“The Taliban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect. Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake. Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness. To do so would undermine the morale of Taliban personnel. The leadership knows the truth – that they cannot prevail over the power they confront,” Mawlvi (the Taliban senior commander) says.

As a result, he says that the Taliban has had to shelve its dream of re-establishing the Islamic emirate it set up when it was in power from 1996 to 2001. “Any side involved in a conflict like this has decided to fight for power. If they fall short of achieving national power, they have to settle for functioning as an organised party within the country,” he admits.

He is scathing about President Hamid Karzai, who the Taliban has consistently derided as a US puppet. “There is little point in talking to Kabul. Real authority rests with the Americans,” he says. “The only other serious political force in Afghanistan is that of the Northern Alliance” – a Tajik-led coalition that led the resistance to Taliban rule and is now a powerful player in Kabul.

That sounds like nothing short of capitulation and America should jump at the chance to embrace it, negotiate and get out.  Campaign rhetoric most likely will make chances of that happening until after the elections, but whoever the winner is in November, his first priority should be getting America out of a quagmire it’s enemy has said it can’t win and with whom it can easily settle.  That the world wide community is fixated on the horrific video taped execution of a woman by a “Taliban” member, who most likely was really a family member of the victim engaged in an honor killing (have we ever maintained forces in a country because of the honor killings of some of that country’s citizens?) would really serve an injustice to the people in the Taliban movement who are clearly signalling their willingness to stand down from hostilities with American forces.  The pessimism in me anticipates seeing  more of that kind of distraction in the international media, away from this peace offering, in order to  prolong the Afghan war.

 

It’s now time to do away with the no-fly lists


The no-fly list is an instrument of state coercion that is selectively used to oppress citizens of America and in reality limit their movements among the national or international community or even force them into exile from their own country.  It is a throwback to an antiquated way of a state being heavy handed and oppressive towards its citizens in an attempt to bend them towards what government wants them to do.  Many Muslim Americans who when asked why they were not allowed to fly were told if they would become informants for the government their names would be removed from such lists.

We now have the means to know if someone is immediately a threat to the security of public transportation, not just planes, with the invention of this device, Picosecond Programmable Laser scanner.

The latest scanners acquired by the U.S. government will be able detect the most minute traces of molecular discrepancies in both individuals’ bloodstream and carry on luggage from 50 meters away……the new scanners are said to be ten million times faster and one million times more sensitive than the scanners used in airports and border patrols currently.

The company says that the Picosecond Programmable Laser scanner can ‘penetrate clothing and many other organic materials and offers spectroscopic information, especially for materials that impact safety such as explosives and pharmacological substances.’The process of scanning and downloading the information takes only picoseconds- so one-trillionth of a second- which means that security workers would be alerted to any alarming substances as you were approaching them.Because it takes such a short amount of time to use the laser technology and interpret the data, security officials will not have to discriminate among suspicious passengers and will have time to use the technology on everyone.

‘From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you’, that’s how sensitive and extensive this machine is.  Now that the government is able to in real time know whether any one is a threat before boarding a plane, they should immediately abolish the no fly lists.  Even if a person is a terrorist, the government can know whether he is mission capable at the time he/she gets on the plane, i.e. whether they possess the tools necessary to take down an airplane.  Add to this really fancy wizadry, the full body scanners in use in airports around the world, and federal air marshals, those steroid pumped, accurate shooting human machines, there should no longer be any need to prevent American citizens from flying.  If the federal government is reluctant to stop using these lists to keep people off planes it could mean only one thing and that is it’s not a security instrument but rather a coercive or punitive one.

Another example of citizens taking control of their safety


I’m not a big fan of the “police state”.  It is often time abusive and tramples on the rights of citizens.  The story of the cops blasting into the house of someone they thought was issuing internet threats against the local police department is just one very small example of a police force out of control.  Of course excessive policing is about control over the citizenry not about protecting them.  Diligent, aware citizens are generally able to protect themselves; police only need to mop up what’s left.

This story is an excellent example of the ability of a homeowner to defend himself and his family and the keystonesque inability of the local police force to pick up where the homeowner leaves off.  Awakened late at night by noise, the homeowner, Joe Pacetti found this whacked out individual, Jeremiah Haughee (pictured above) sitting on Pacetti’s roof, and otherwise invading his property.  The homeowner  confronts the naked trespasser with a legally owned firearm and a struggle ensues.  The property owner joined by his son is able to subdue  Haughee and in the course of the struggle is smart enough to give his firearm to his wife in order to avoid injuring himself, his son or even the trespasser!!  Evidently he realized he didn’t need to shoot him.  Wow….what a guy!  Unfortunately, the police have to get involved and they do, in a blundering sort of way.  Where a single homeowner and his son and wife are able to subdue Haughee, it took 5 police officers to get him into their car.  Oh, and we forgot to mention the number of times they  tasered  him before doing so.  Five officers and repeated tasing to do what it took one man and his son to do.  I would have preferred the homeowner take Haughee down to the police station himself.

I can’t speak for the property owner…no doubt he was glad to have the police come and help him out, but I can say that he’s an excellent model of how to do things right!  He’s a responsible firearms owner who recognized the danger of engaging  someone with his weapon in his hand at the same time realizing that the weapon was not the appropriate way to deal with the situation, (Remember Rodriguez in Texas that we wrote about yesterday??) was able to safely secure the weapon and deal with the situation so that the invader was no longer a threat to him or his family.  Bravo!!  The Pacetti family needs to be given the keys to the city where they live.  I’m not trying to be funny here….I applaud that kind of diligence and competence.  We need more of it from our citizens.  It shows we can protect ourselves, without the oppressive and abusive powers of police departments; unfortunately it also shows that those who are supposed to protect and serve usually get in the way!  Citizens 1, police 0.

Texas ain’t so bad after all


texas our texas

texas our texas (Photo credit: jmtimages)

I’m not a fan of Texas’ governors Rick Perry or former governor George Bush.  Their shoot from the hip attitude probably contributed a lot to Raul Rodriguez’s belief that he could confront someone on their property, and then shoot and kill them while claiming he had no obligation to retreat from his victim’s property because he was in fear for his life.

What senor Rodriguez wanted to do was a police action of sorts that would end up with a result that he wanted but instigating a fight, recording it and killing someone is not the way to win friends and influence people, and especially the jury of his trial.  He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.  He will have to serve 20 years of that sentence before he is eligible for parole.  That’s a good thing.  No one should be able to pick a fight with you because of a personal dislike they have for you or for what you are doing that is not a violation of the law,  then kill you when you try to defend yourself or your property from their intrusion.  (Perhaps Rodriguez went too far in considering himself a member of the police department of his town, since it appears police are usually the ones  who carry that attitude of unlimited trespass upon personal property and unaccountable murder of the owners of that property when they respond.)

But if you don’t know where I’m going with this, the point is this case has implications in the Martin/Zimmerman case in Florida where George Zimmerman is using basically the same right to ‘stand his ground’ after he followed, pursued, encountered a completely innocent up to that point Trayvon Martin and then shot and killed him when Martin did, what to most accounts will probably show, a pretty good job of defending himself against Zimmerman. It’s people who are legally armed and make such arguments as Zimmerman and Rodriguez who scare me and give other law abiding gun owners a bad name.  I cringe at examples like those two, knowing that the chorus for gun control will do doubt ring out calling for  ever more strict laws against gun ownership.  The Zimmermans and Rodriguezs of the world  are just as criminal as they people they arm themselves to defend against.  Thankfully, the jury in Texas got it right!

*Don’t mess with Texas*