Category Archives: Islam

Today’s Interesting Stuff

Speecy Spiicy, Hotsy Totsy

American parents tend to feed their children bland foods to avoid potential allergies or just because that’s what Dr Spock or the latest parenting magazine told them. Easy on the stomach, and the poop ain’t so bad.

Parents in other countries tend to feed their infants whatever they are having, and their children experience the full gamut of cultural flavors from very early ages.

And yes, I’m advocating for American parents to be more like foreign parents. Look out the windows, there be pigs in the air!

First, bland doesn’t necessary mean easier for the stomach. Take ginger, for instance. A very sharp and strong flavor, nobody would call it bland. But is the natural and effective remedy for upset stomachs? Ginger. No citations here, just try this: Purchase a bottle of Reed’s Ginger Brew. If you can handle the Extra Strength, get that. Then fast, and when your stomach is most uncomfortable, usually just after the normal time for the next meal, drink the Reed’s. Instant stomach relief.

Second, you’re limiting your child’s future ability to eat and enjoy wide varieties of food, including many foods you and I take for granted.

This article chronicles the embarrassment, the worries, the challenges of being an adult picky eater. One telling comment?

Amber Scott, of Enon, Ohio, has eaten only about 10 different foods since she was 3 years old.

Not that exposing your children, when young, to significant varieties of food will totally preclude such problems, but they would take a significant bite out of them.

The Office

Empty office space keeps rising. This is not a good sign for the economy that is on the mend, according to certain people whose grand plans are fully in swing here. Corporations are using less and less office space, which means they aren’t hiring.

The really scary part?

Job growth and office-space use are closely intertwined. While some major users of offices, such as federal regulatory agencies, have been expanding, big banks and corporations have lagged behind in increasing their real-estate footprint, according to some analysts. That is a sign that these larger companies have been slow to return to their pre-recession staffing levels, a contributing factor to the persistently high U.S. unemployment rate.

Yea, that’s a sure sign of a growing and recovering economy. Regulators are gearing up for more business. Only one problem, regulators business is to keep real businesses out of business.

My Buddy Hugo

The ones really benefiting from the drilling moratorium? National oil companies. That means President Obama’s marxist buddy Hugo Chavez is loving us right now. Was this a quid pro quo? Or was it yet another unintended consequence of a short sighted and dishonestly supported policy? I’d say the latter, but wouldn’t be too surprised at the former.

Oh, and this would be the same Venezuela that just stole oil rigs from US corporations and we heard nary a peep in protest for this thuggish thievery from the government that is supposed to be supporting US interests abroad.

Muhammed In Space

Perhaps a new round of “Let’s Draw Muhammed” is in order. It would probably improve our chances of NASA actually being less irrelevant than it already is going forward.

NASA has apparently been ordered to reach out to Muslim nations in an effort to improve goodwill. And NASA is the right agency for this why?

Former NASA director Michael Griffin says sympathetic nations will be drawn to us when NASA succeeds at great things, not when they’re given an inflatable space shuttle and commemorative plaque.

Griffin said Tuesday that collaboration with other countries, including Muslim nations, is welcome and should be encouraged — but that it would be a mistake to prioritize that over NASA’s “fundamental mission” of space exploration.

“If by doing great things, people are inspired, well then that’s wonderful,” Griffin said. “If you get it in the wrong order … it becomes an empty shell.”

Griffin added: “That is exactly what is in danger of happening.”

And the coup de’ etat?

He also said that while welcome, Muslim-nation cooperation is not vital for U.S. advancements in space exploration.

“There is no technology they have that we need,” Griffin said.

Once again, why is it NASA’s job to reach out to any nation?

I’d draw Muhammed in space alongside the Muppets.

Just A Reminder

Some people still claim that Liberals are the bigger and better givers, both of time and money. They’re wrong. Badly wrong.

People who said they were “very conservative” gave 4.5% of their income to charity, on average; “conservatives” gave 3.6%; “moderates” gave 3%; “liberals” gave 1.5%; and “very liberal” folks gave 1.2%.

And this cannot be explained by religious versus secular giving:

The 2008 data tell us that secular conservatives are now outperforming their secular liberal counterparts. Compare two people who attend religious services less than once per year (or never) and who are also identical in terms of income, education, sex, age and family status — but one is on the political right while the other is on the left. The secular liberal will give, on average, $1,100 less to charity per year than the secular conservative. The conservative charity edge cannot be explained away by gifts to churches.

Or by giving of time versus giving of money:

Q. Monetary giving doesn’t tell us much about total charity, does it? People who don’t give money probably tend to give in other ways instead, right?
A. Wrong. First of all, there is a bright line between people who give and people who don’t give. People who do give time and money tend to give a lot of it. According to the Center on Philanthropy, the percentage of givers donating less than $50 to charity in 2000 was the same as the percentage giving more than $5,000. Similarly, the same percentage of people who only volunteered once volunteered on 36 or more occasions in 2000.

Second, people who give away their time and money to established charities are far more likely than non-givers to act generously in informal ways as well. For example, one nationwide survey from 2002 tells us that monetary donors are nearly three times as likely as non-donors to give money informally to friends and strangers. People who give to charity at least once per year are twice as likely to donate blood as people who don’t give money. They are also significantly more likely to give food or money to a homeless person, or to give up their seat to someone on a bus.

And it is not offset by political giving either:

Perhaps you suspect that the vast political contributions given to the Obama campaign — $742 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, versus $367 million for the McCain campaign — were crowding out charitable giving by the left. But political donations, impressive as they were this year by historical standards, were still miniscule compared to the approximately $300 billion Americans gave charitably in 2008. Adding political and charitable gifts together would not change the overall giving patterns.

Conservatives continue giving more in economically difficult times, decreasing their giving by less than their liberal counterparts:

Economists measure the “income elasticity of giving” to predict how much people change their giving in response to a particular percentage change in their income. It turns out the response in 2008 was dramatically different for left and right. For instance, a 10% decrease in family income for a conservative was associated with a 10% decrease in giving. The same income decrease for a liberal family led to a 16% giving drop. In other words, if this relationship continues to hold, the recession will almost certainly exacerbate the giving differences between left and right.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding: Modern liberal ideas are selfish ideas.

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Israel, a clear foreign policy.

And the mouth continues to blab . . .

Just to take a quick quote from the article about the Reverend Jessie Jackson.

 

He promised “fundamental changes” in US foreign policy – saying America must “heal wounds” it has caused to other nations, revive its alliances and apologize for the “arrogance of the Bush administration.”

The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where “decades of putting Israel’s interests first” would end.

Jackson believes that, although “Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades” remain strong, they’ll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

Initially ones reaction might be to think that the “Reverend” Jessie Jackson is just trying to show his support of Senator Obama. However, I have a feeling that this is Jackson’s true belief. I cannot speculate on how he arrives at this anti-semetic conclusion, but I can tell you that he lacks some basic biblical knowledge.

 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

We live a world that is larger that political differences, national pride, or international cooperation, but is defined by spiritual warfare. God has given nations a simple formula for survival, Bless My People. Genesis 12:2-3 should really be our primary international agenda and paradigm.

Reverend Jackson, you invoke power from the most high and have been working to be a difference. However, is it really so easy to forget who gave you this authority, who gave you this direction, and what he commands. I am no biblical scholar, but I see a very clear command.

I don’t know about you, but I think it would make sense for us to follow it.

Small Gods

The Greek gods were capricious and entirely human in their emotional and mental contruction, with superhuman strength and ability.

The Romans gods were the Greek’s gods renamed.

The Muslim god is angry and your past, present and future are subject to his will. Die on his bad hair day and you’re screwed.

The atheists god is nothing, himself.

The agnostics god is confused, incredulous.

How have we made our god small? Or human? And thereby limited our own ability through our god’s contained strength?

I pray that I will not be guilty of making my God small. I can do all things through God who strengthens me.

If my god is weak, I am weak.

I hope I allow God who I serve to be as strong as He truly is.

Numb3rs Blackface

Anybody remember blackface? Considered to both be the advent of black culture growing in the entertainment industry and an evidence of racism based on exaggerated racial stereotypes. In its ugly form, blackface was white people laughing at white people acting like white people thought black people acted.

Courtesy of the CBS Website, I’ve been watching Numb3rs for the past few weeks and find it an enjoyable show. It combines some of the crime drama of CSI with some different forms of character development all arranged around some seriously stretched applications of mathematical models to extremely complex systems which in reality would require super-computers hundreds of years to compute, but with Charles Epps brain, can strung together into accurate models in matters of minutes.

Reality-stretching aside, I’ve enjoyed the show for the most part.

In the season finale “When Worlds Collide” however, the show tries to be political and shows that blackface is still alive an well in America.

The show’s tag was intriguing, to say the least:

A Pakistani non-profit group is suspected to have ties to Jihadist groups and is on the FBI’s terrorist watch.

It was a decent show for the most part, rife with moral quandary, suspense, relational tensions, etc. But as the plot moved along and it became clear who the bad guy was and what his relationship was with the rest of the members of the involved groups, I was rather disturbed.

Xenophobia

A typical xenophobic perspective of other cultures, and one based in sad reality across the world, is that other cultures see themselves the same way we do.

If you don’t know many people of a particular ethnicity, it is normal for you to find it difficult to differentiate recognizable differences and unique characteristics between individual members of that group.

The standard “they all look the same” is real and normal and definitely an indicator of the perceivers lack of familiarity with the perceived.

Blackface

The writers of Numb3rs had resorted to the crudest of blackface to create their villain. The bad guy ends up being an opportunistic former member of the IRA terrorist groups seeking money and markets for this illicit weapons trade.

Using face paint and a beard reminiscent of British military officers in the far east of the last century, he transformed himself into a swarthy quasi-pseudo-Pakistani.

The assumptions were:

  • The members of the organization would not recognize this impostor as not being authentically a member of his supposed race.
  • The members of this organization would not recognize this impostor for his lack of connection to their group through relationships.
  • White people can pretend convincingly to be other races through extensive makeup and acting and survive extended contact while not being recognized.

Individually, these may be true in certain cases, and with dedication and a good makeup crew, they could indeed be accomplished. But the circumstances of the case where such that such foresight did not likely occur.

Just as in your race you are most able to recognize by look, action, and vocabulary, those who belong and those who don’t, and even more so in those groups you are involved in and even more so when those groups are primarily of one race.

So too, in the story premise, the writers of Numb3rs, in an attempt to bring the far-fetched possibility that we’re not really fighting against Muslims: after all, they’re a religion of peace, eh? But against opportunistic old-school European terrorists such as the IRA.

I know they’re not saying “all” such suspect charities are not funneling money to terrorists. I know the government in it’s dealings with Muslims right now is treading a thin line, and most likely, more often than not, abusing it’s responsibility and prerogative in it’s dealings with the same.

But our primary enemy right now, not of our own creation, but born of sheer necessity and self-preservation, is Muslim-based Islamo-Facist ideology and it’s supporters, both active and passive.