Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Trump suggests conspiracy theory


Should make sense to all the MMT "neo-liberal conspiracy!" people out there; 100% exact same thought process.





134 comments:

Malmo's Ghost said...

Trump isn't alone in wondering about what goes on in Obama's head in times like these. But the simple answer is that Obama, the former community organizer on Chicago's south side, has always been in over his head. He's also a pandering extremist who tutored under some of Chicago's vilest such a Rush, Wright and Ayers.

Thus no doubt, he doesn't share with the American people what he really thinks. That's what Trump and others are getting at.

Matt Franko said...

"wondering about what goes on in Obama's head " >> "wondering about what goes on in neo-liberal heads"

Exact same thing as the MMT people going all around suggesting 'neo-liberal conspiracy!'...

Matt Franko said...

All the MMT historyonics is like one of those far right Obama-bash books that goes back and explores Ayers, Wright, etc...

Malmo's Ghost said...

Matt, the author of the piece you linked is wondering what Trump's motives are. Everyone is wondering about everyone else's motives. Pretty much politics 101.

Bob said...

Hey Matt,
Is there something in your past that might make us wonder about your motives?

Matt Franko said...

Uhhhh... I was educated in a STEM field at an accredited institution and seek not to be stupid maybe????

John said...

Matt, loads of highly educated hyper-qualified people are frankly stupid. And loads of people with no qualifications at all are smart as hell. And what, the person with the most degrees is the smartest? Keynes had one degree and Murray Rothbard had three. Qualifications, STEM as well, means little when it comes to analysing the world. Loads of highly qualified people believe all kinds of gibberish, from WMD in Iraq, Gulf of Tonkin and helping the "moderates" in Syria. They are, as the MMTers say, "out of paradigm". I prefer to say they have brainwashed themselves. Even when leaked documents make it clear that US policy was to create a Salafi jihadi state in Syria, people refuse to believe it!

Obama is no different to almost anybody else who has been in his position. Trump talks tough and thinks it makes for good policy, and some here fall for it. Was Dubya's tough talk, tough positions and recklessness a good thing? Like almost all presidents, Obama understands he has a responsibility to protect and enhance US global hegemony. As much as I despise Obama, he has gone a long way in rolling back the social democratic tide in South America, reestablished US power in the Middle East, initiated what may become a fully fledged alliance with India, and dragged Russia's economy through the mud. That's called being responsible. If he ever makes it to the White House, Trump will understand that too. Dubya didn't because he was an ignoramus.

Trump talks tough and people go weak at the knees. Dubya talked tough and Arlington is now full with thousands of innocent dead and US power near wrecked. But at least he talked tough! From the founding of the "republic" liberals have always make the best imperialists. The right hate to admit that when it comes to overseeing US power that liberals are just so much smarter and more effective. Brzezinski and crew are much smarter than Kissinger and his crew, who in turn are in a different league to the loudmouthed and ignorant Dubyas, Cheneys and Rumsfelds.

Having backed himself into a corner, Trump now has to blow hard. Reagan blew hard to get to the White House. Reagan's handlers made sure he was in bed by 5 p.m. and they ran the show. No overly reckless stuff. Some terrorist wars in South America and Afghanistan. That's it. No insane ideas about invading whole countries and or provoking your allies.

Matthew Franko said...

"Qualifications, STEM as well, means little when it comes to analysing the world."

We're not talking about "the world" here were talking about the material world... how to administer/regulate our provisioning/welfare systems... this is NOT Philosophy...

WMD in Iraq is a separate issue related to the law and 'rules of evidence'... talk to a lawyer about that not related to economics...

Try to focus....

Salsabob said...

Obama, nearly single-handedly, turned around the downward spiral of net neutrality by coming out forcible that the Internet should NOT be classified as an "information provider" but as a "common carrier." His FCC reversed the classification that the Bush Administration made.

Without that reversal, you would probably need Verizon, Comcast or another telecom to approve your comments here before those comments would be carried.

We're going to miss Barack.

John said...

Matt,

That was the very point I was making! I was talking about the material world of society and how on the whole STEM people haven't shown a great deal of usefulness to good decision making. STEM is only indispensable to a different aspect of the world, not that it can't in principle be useful in the social world.

The point about Iraq is that people will believe absurd things just as they believe absurd things about economics. It's no unrelated. Why shouldn't economics also be related to "rules of evidence"? After all, here at MNE we never hear the end about how people won't take in evidence whether it's to do with deficits or interest rates or exchange rates or a thousand other things.

That leads to Obama. He has a job to do. It makes him enemies and people think he's some sort of a dunce and a wimp. That comes with the job of running the most powerful country the world has ever seen. Thinking is part of the job. Keeping alliances, fragile or otherwise, putting in place strategies for the future and keeping USA Inc number one. It's tough to do, especially when you have a demented Republican Party making life near impossible in Congress and having inherited Dubya's numerous disasters around the world. In many respects, Obama has been a success. His foreign policy has reestablished US power and he's done whatever Wall Street and his other corporate backers have demanded. That was his job, and he's done it well.

Detroit Dan said...

I agree with John.

Greg said...

@Mal

So, you dont wonder about peoples motives too? You are above politics 101?

So how do you do 300 level politics?

And you think Trump shares with us what he really thinks? He's been on just about every side of every issue, he's no straight shooter.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Greg,

I wonder about motives too, Trump's included.

Do I think Trump shares with us what he really thinks? Yeah, for the most part, which is why so many hate him, and so many like him, no?

Kaivey said...

But lots of us still don't like him, a big disappointment. Why in elections so we only have a choice between the bad ones and the ones that would be much worse?

Malmo's Ghost said...

The truth is not bad, Kaivey, but it does hurt some peoples ears when they hear it. Trump speaks the truth, which is a far cry from most career politicians. And the truth has cost him dearly, especially with the Establishment politicians and MSM (leftists mostly) haters, who have spewed ad hominem after ad hominem about him.Tolerant left and Establishment my ass. And these same assholes critical of Trump don't give two shits about working Americans.

John said...

Kaivey,

He's a disappointment to working Americans and everybody else around the world. But those are not the people he's in power to help, contrary to all his "hopey, changey" rhetoric.

I just saw Obama say something which is what liberals like him are all about. He said that he doesn't talk tough, he acts tough. He wants tough policy, not tough talk. And that's exactly what he's done around the world and at home. He's done what he's wanted to do, not what we want him to do: Syria, China, Russia, Obamacare (more corporate welfare), QE for the rich, etc. He's of the Teddy Roosevelt school of "Speak softly and carry a big stick". That's what people don't understand about him, and go away thinking he's a pussy who's in way over his head. He's a tough bastard when it comes to defending the interests that mean a great deal to him (Wall Street and the giant corporate sectors at home, and defending and extending the empire abroad). He's also a tough bastard when it comes to ignoring the interests that mean nothing to him (the working and middle class at home, and peace abroad).

Matthew Franko said...

"He's a tough bastard when it comes to defending the interests that mean a great deal to him (Wall Street and the giant corporate sectors at home"

Well that is not what he says his interests are.... so you have to be saying he is lying or part of a larger conspiracy, "control fraud!" ,etc ... so youre doing just like Trump here...

He's a lawyer so he is trained in precedent... its an ex post pov/context that he operates within....

ie "this is the way it has always been done..." "were borrowing from the Chinese!", etc...

He has the Samuelson book on his bookshelf he can just refer to if he needs to look something up....

Saying he is lying is not helping at all if he is not lying... its not helping AT ALL....

Bob said...

Uhhhh... I was educated in a STEM field at an accredited institution and seek not to be stupid maybe????

Nerds have no business opining on politics. As for technocrats, they wish to abolish politics.
What Trump is doing is part of the game, in America at least. It's meant as show, not substance.

Matthew Franko said...

He's a builder.... what is the FIRST THING builders do when they get the deal?

Put a security fence around the construction site....

The moron left/libertarians probably look at that as the "xenophobia!"...... They probably get all nervous and worked up looking at someone who buys an otterbox for their iPhone....

Matthew Franko said...

Epidemiologists: "wear a condom!"

Looney left reply: "xenophobia!"

Matthew Franko said...

"Insulators, also called boundary elements, are DNA sequences that create cis-regulatory boundaries that prevent the regulatory elements of one gene from affecting neighboring genes."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulator_gene

These biology people are the "xenophobia!"....

MRW said...

Matt,

What’s up for hate-on for MMT people?

Ryan Harris said...

I think he doesn't care for some of our use of figurative language. Engineering and system folks despise that lax sort of imprecision.

Jeff65 said...

Ryan, that can't be the reason. If it is the reason, it would be hypocritical to use all of this metaphor: "boundary layers", "condoms".

Let's have some plain speaking here Matt: go on record without the metaphor and coded language. What do you really mean?

As for the neoliberal conspiracy, there is no conspiracy, it's all out in the open.

John said...

Matt: "Well that is not what he says his interests are.... so you have to be saying he is lying or part of a larger conspiracy..."

You think politicians tell the truth? Really? How much evidence do you want that they are pathological liars? Go over to wikileaks and compare what was said publicly with what was said privately? Or any of the freedom of information sites that similarly compare and contrast. Politicians routinely lie. Why is that hard to accept? Obama is a liar and a fraud. It doesn't take much political sophistication to understand that politicians pretty much do what their corporate sponsors expect of them unless it clashes with state power, which it very rarely does. See Thomas Ferguson's great book "Golden Rule: the investment theory of party competition and the logic of money-driven political systems"

Every four years people fall for the same old garbage. You'd think the people here at MNE would be immune to what politicians say. In 2008 people bought into the "hopey, changey" stuff. In 2016 people are buying into the "tough" stuff. And no doubt in four or eight years time, if there is a Trump administration during that time, people will go gaga at the next load of gibberish served up and bemoan that Trump was ever elected, just as they do now over Dubya and Obama. But that won't happen because in four or eight years time people will be bemoaning the fact that they voted for Hillary. Trump will be the great hero, the saviour who was spurned. A nice cottage industry will churn out JFK-style nonsense of "What If Trump Had Been Elected?"

Greg said...

Mal

"Do I think Trump shares with us what he really thinks? Yeah, for the most part, which is why so many hate him, and so many like him, no?"

If being a divisive figure is evidence of speaking what you really think then just about every politician can make the claim of being a straight shooter, which is obviously false.

Trump is feeding off anti establishment frenzy, much of it irrational and misguided. Theres a lot not to like about our system but there is also a lot that is misrepresented about our system by places like Faux News that feeds this crap. e.g every time a bill is passed someone gets out there and shows a stack of papers and complains about how thick it is as if that determines the quality of a bill, or that that the reason we cant come together is that there is just too much reading !! Its as stupid as the people who will take some big amount of govt spending and say "if you took a stack of one dollar bills as high as Mount Everest that is the amount...." blah blah blah. Most people are terribly stupid about how things are and I dont think Trump is educating anyone, he is pandering to their ignorance.

All that said, Trump is the best republican candidate by far. Mostly because he hasn't been a lifetime GOPer and he doesn't seem to be a war mongerer (I think most of his blustery hawkish talk is disingenuine). IF he were to become prez the world would not end....... same for Hillary. I lean Hillary mainly cuz 1) I really cant take Trump all that seriously, I cannot see that pout in the White House..... its cartoonish and 2) the fact that the white supremacist crowd is all in on Trump is un settling ..... I am NOT saying that all Trump supporters are racist BTW.... so dont go there.

Matt Franko said...

Jeff we always are asking "are they subversive or stupid?"

I take up the argument for "stupid" (unqualified) with evidence while 99.99999% of you others argue they are "subversive" with no evidence ....

Jeff65 said...

I don't know, Matt. When the stupidity ends up benefitting the so called stupid and their backers time after time, I think the coincidence theorists come away looking dumber than the conspiracy theorists.

What kind of evidence are you looking for? A confession?

Matt Franko said...

Ah yes... you have to provide evidence that they really do know were not "out of money!" or that "printing money causes inflation!" etc...

An email (wiki leaks?) or some form of admissible evidence... no hearsay or rationalization...

Look these people are greedy and self interested like most people so they do pretty well financially out of it... but what the "neo-liberal conspiracy!" people are saying is that they want it this way which there is NO EVIDENCE of this...

Even Schauble is complaining about NIRP harming senior savers in Germany... do you think he is lying? no way.... he's a lawyer and is just relying on precedent, etc.. to guide his economic policy decisions... cant think his way out of this he's not qualified with a JD... his qualifications need to be attacked in no uncertain terms.... but by who? Varoufakis? He's not qualified either.... so this goes on and on....

Bob said...

Schauble is worried about wealthy seniors, how touching. NIRP is not harming seniors in Greece, many of them have no savings thanks to the kind-hearted German Reichnocrats.

Bob said...

"The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

Is the statement claiming that capitalists are stupid?
Is it claiming that there is an incentive within capitalism to make the sale?
Is it making both claims?

Bob said...

Be sure to swap "Neoliberals" for "Capitalists".

Malmo's Ghost said...

"If being a divisive figure is evidence of speaking what you really think then just about every politician can make the claim of being a straight shooter, which is obviously false."

He's no more divisive than Obama or Hillary or Pelosi or Rham or Reidor Wasserman, et al.... And much of his so called divisiveness is due to outright lies propagated by the MSM. The most recent example is his call for a TEMPORARY ban on Muslims entering the country, which is common sense. The MSM, especially the NYT, omits the temporary part and then the dishonest jackals parrot the lie ad nauseum.

To my mind Trump doesn't go nearly far enough regarding Islam. As I've said here before, Islam is a backward, narrow minded, misogynistic, anti gay, anti tolerant worldview which doesn't comport with American values. Liberals have demonstrated their utter hypocrisy in not condemning it. Instead they condemn Trump. Fools all.

John said...

"To my mind Trump doesn't go nearly far enough regarding Islam. As I've said here before, Islam is a backward, narrow minded, misogynistic, anti gay, anti tolerant worldview which doesn't comport with American values."

That must explain the long US history of overthrowing the region's liberal democracies and siding with the jihadis. Although there is staggering evidence of this, it has to be put to one side because it would be "anti-American". If you had said "Wahhabis and their jihadis are backward, narrow-minded, misogynistic, anti-gay..." nobody could disagree with you. Why pick a super violent minority who we support to condemn the whole? Why pick a super violent minority who we've support for decades during their war against mainstream the Muslim world to ensure it doesn't become independent and non-aligned? Condemning the whole because of the actions of a minority (who we support) can be levelled against any group? That is not a particularly sensible approach. The US destroyed Iraq but when a tiny flicker of the fire devouring the country reaches the land that lit it, that proves the disgusting nature of the people we've brutalised, not the depraved nature of our politicians. Why side with 1.5 billion innocent people when it means accepting that our politicians are the lying sacks of shit we've always known them to be? In the US and UK, most gun, knife and drug violence is committed by black people. Ergo, all black people are violent criminals. Terrible logic, right?

"Liberals have demonstrated their utter hypocrisy in not condemning it. Instead they condemn Trump. Fools all."

They don't condemn it in the way you want because they SUPPORT it. From Indonesia in the sixties, Afghanistan in the eighties, Iraq and Syria in the 2000s. Facts are seemingly totally irrelevant. Conservatives SUPPORT it too. The US political establishment can always be relied to be bipartisan when it comes to supporting maniacs. Trump thinks he can take advantage of the population's ignorance.

Kaivey said...

It seems like a game they play, Good Cop, Bad Cop, but they are both on the same side. It's makes no difference who gets in.

Matt Franko said...

"capitalism!"

This is another figure of speech that NOBODY can define... and SHOULDNT EVEN ATTEMPT as it is a figure of speech in the first place ie vague/non-specific...

Science is specific...

Look Marx coined this figure of speech over 150 years ago when we were under the metals so it has no relevance today... at least it shouldnt...

The only people still talking about it are not qualified to be involved in economic matters imo.... they dont understand language OR science...

Malmo's Ghost said...

" If you had said "Wahhabis and their jihadis are backward, narrow-minded, misogynistic, anti-gay..." nobody could disagree with you. Why pick a super violent minority who we support to condemn the whole?"

I didn't pick a sub group of Islam to criticize. Mine was a blanket condemnation across the board, both Sunni and Shia included. My primary condemnation is that their worldview does not comport with that of the western worldview/culture, particularly America. That doesn't mean I want to invade their countries and blow them to smithereens. On the other hand I'd prefer our immigration policy severely limit Muslim migration into the states. Yes it's a religious test, apologies to Paul Ryan, but there's no constitutional problem with religious tests for foreigners seeking to become American citizens.

I'm a live and let live person, and quite tolerant of virtually all lifestyles. Where I draw the line is importing cultures that don't practice that tolerant, truly LIBERAL behavior sacrosanct in America, and actually threaten my cultural/social way of life.

I get that Muslim Americans have a right to live as they wish under the law in America, and I'd defend them from any violence from from any other American who sought to harm them in any way. I think in due course, after a generation or two, they'll drop their intolerant religious baggage and join in with America's socially liberal way of life. But make no mistake America has a culture that differs from Islamic cultures world wide. That's okay. Live and let live on a global basis then.

Bob said...

Matt, that quote is usually attributed to Lenin. Marx gave us a definition of who capitalists are and it is still useful today. If Lenin was casting a wider net, that quote would not serve as proof. Who ended up swinging from the gallows would serve as proof.

Capitalists, Neoliberals, the EU - they are sowing the seeds of their own destruction. Why? What that quote is asserting may be the answer.

Bob said...

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

Bob said...

See, it's not because they're stupid, it's because they're insane.

John said...

Malmo: "I didn't pick a sub group of Islam to criticize. Mine was a blanket condemnation across the board, both Sunni and Shia included. My primary condemnation is that their worldview does not comport with that of the western worldview/culture, particularly America."

Got it, a blanket condemnation of every Muslim in the world. Presumably you've travelled into central Africa, up through Mali and Chad, up through the Sahara and along the North African coast, crossed over into Turkey, through Central Asia and down through Malaysia and Indonesia, and found issue with every single one of them and their extremely wide cultures, not that conservative or ultra-conservative Muslims are particularly different to Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox Jews. Muslims don't have a single religious or social culture, just like Christians or anybody else (does a French Buddhist and a Chinese Buddhist share a monolithic religious and social culture?). They have national and ethnic cultures. Malaysian religious and social culture is completely different to Egyptian religious and social culture. Bangladeshi religious and social culture is completely different to Uyghur Chinese religious and social culture. Why you think every Muslim is some sort of identikit figure is unfathomable. This is the kind of thing you'd learn in the first lesson of Anthropology 101.

"Yes it's a religious test, apologies to Paul Ryan, but there's no constitutional problem with religious tests for foreigners seeking to become American citizens."

I think you'll find that it is at odds with the strict letter and spirit of the First Amendment, not that anyone cares to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights - except, that is, for the Second Amendment. But you're right, though, there is no constitutional problem because nobody cares about what the constitution states and is meant to protect, as has been made perfectly clear by the assassination of Americans without due process by Obama's executive order.

"I get that Muslim Americans have a right to live as they wish under the law in America, and I'd defend them from any violence from from any other American who sought to harm them in any way."

I'll do you the courtesy of assuming you didn't mean it in the way you put it, because it isn't for you to "get". The Constitution defends the citizen from the government and the rest of the citizenry. It'd be like saying "I get that Anglican Americans have a right to live..." It sounds peculiar because it is peculiar and it should sound just as peculiar for any other religious group. What is said of the law goes for the Constitution too: it is "a shield not a sword". It shields the citizen from everybody else and their ideas of what America should be.

John said...

continued...

"I think in due course, after a generation or two, they'll drop their intolerant religious baggage and join in with America's socially liberal way of life."

And if, like many conservative Jews and Christians, they don't? Are their values any less American? The idea of America is that nobody can impose what being an American is. The founders of the United States wanted to get away from these religious tests many reasons, these included. And what of those Muslim Americans who are in the armed forces and have fought for their country? Are those who died or are gravely wounded any less American? After all, their "culture" is allegedly not American, presumably alien although it is little different to conservative Judaism.

If people wish to be intolerant and not break the law, that is their Constitutional right. Plenty of conservative Christian Americans are homophobic and have nothing but disgust for today's America, replete as it is in their eyes with abortion, contraception, sex before marriage, pornography, tolerance of homosexuality, gender equality, sex education, science (evolution, cosmology, the supernatural, etc) and biotech. Being homophobic, like being racist, is not the same as acting on these bigotries. As Thomas Jefferson said "religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions..."

Are homophobic Christians any less American? Or the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews who are extremely similar to Muslims not American? Remember that video Matt linked to of Ted Cruz and other leading Republicans attending an extremely homophobic Christian meeting? Are these Americans any less American because they pray in a different way but otherwise hold many of the same social attitudes as conservative Muslims? Are the Christian right fanatics who murder abortionists any less American?

Let's not forget that many Muslims world did "after a generation or two drop their intolerant religious baggage" under secular democratic governments until you know who toppled them and aided the maniacs.

I'd make a great "Constitutional" American! If I ever need a reference for a green card, would you oblige Malmo?

Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

Christians are worse than Muslims? Really? Please tell me what Christians apply the Salmon Rushdie death sentence? And show me an equivalent number of Christian countries that oppress Muslims as Muslim countries do to Christians. You can't, of course:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/jul/27/where-in-the-world-is-it-worst-place-to-be-a-christian



Please tell what Christian countries are bent on global holy war? You can't. They don't exist.

It's easy for you, across the pond, to gamble with American lives in your quest to promote Islam in America. But like I said above, America has zero obligation to allow the radically intolerant Muslim world (far more intolerant than any Christian world you dream up and caricature) to emigrate here.

I get it that you don't much care that I care much more for the rights of present Muslim American citizens more than I do for those non American Muslims. It doesn't mean I don't care about non American Muslims, no matter how you distort it in your attempt to paint Christians with the same brush as Muslims. You can obviously find Christians who do abominable things, but try as you might you can't find 1/10,000th the acted out murderous intolerance in them that you find in the Muslim world. Period.

MRW said...

As Colonel Lang keeps stressing--he taught Islam at West Point--islam has no central authority like Christianity and Judaism. Islam is whatever a group of Muslims think it is.

John said...

Malmo,

Please try and engage with what I've in fact written, not what you think I have. You start by doing it in the first sentence. I would never make blanket comparisons like Christians are worse than Muslims or vice versa. I don't generalise. I try to keep to specifics, like which countries, which ethnicities, which political ideologies, which specific Christians and which specific Muslims? I make political arguments, specific arguments applicable to the situation, not blanket statements. You want to make generalised blanket statements: there are no persons, no countries, no cultures, no ethnicities, no political ideologies, just stereotypes.

"And show me an equivalent number of Christian countries that oppress Muslims as Muslim countries do to Christians."

Which countries? Very many don't. Some do. Why do they do so? Ever asked yourself that? It's because they're Muslim, right? Well, why don't other Muslim countries don't? If all Muslims have such monolithic beliefs, why do they differ so much?

"Please tell what Christian countries are bent on global holy war? You can't. They don't exist."

That's right they don't exist. Now you tell me which Muslim countries are bent on global holy war? Yes, Saudi Arabia, the country from which all this fucked up shit emanates. And who's it's protector? The United States.

"It's easy for you, across the pond, to gamble with American lives in your quest to promote Islam in America."

First of all I have no quest to promote any religion, because it's not my thing. I have no wish to gamble with any lives. Perhaps you're unaware that the UK has been subject to jihadi terrorism. The UK faces precisely the same threat as the US, but I don't accept that British or American or Belgian or French lives are more important than those, say, in Syria. Syrians face the same nutters as we do, although their deaths are staggeringly worse. Our governments support the jihadis in Syria and elsewhere but boohoo when the jihadis turn their sights at us? What the fuck did you think was going to happen? They're apocalyptic maniacs. We should be fucking killing them, not helping them in their savage wars against 1.5 billion innocent people who don't think the way they think.

"America has zero obligation to allow the radically intolerant Muslim world (far more intolerant than any Christian world you dream up and caricature) to emigrate here."

Again, the blanket statement. There are no individuals, just a "radically intolerant Muslim world". Every single one of them, including all those who've emigrated to America and have been nothing but law abiding citizens grateful to their new country.

John said...

continued...

"...no matter how you distort it in your attempt to paint Christians with the same brush as Muslims."

Why would you distort what I wrote? First, I'm making a political argument: Western violence breeds fanatics on the other side. Pol Pot in Cambodia is an example. ISIS in the Middle East is another. Do you consider that controversial? Second, what I wrote was that different nationalities and ethnicities have different religious and social cultures. You claim they're all the same. Presumably Malaysians only pretend to have a Malaysian culture. Do Americans pretend to have an American culture? No, of course they don't because American culture exists. Why do you make the absurd blanket statement that 1.5 billion or more people who live over thousands of miles are all the same? This is ludicrous. Third, what I did in fact say was that many SOCIAL attitudes that religious people have are in fact similar. Orthodox Jews, conservative Muslims and conservative Christians have the same general social attitudes towards the LGBT community, science, abortion, etc. Why claim I said that I tried to paint Christians with the same brush as Muslims, although it's interesting that you think blanket statements about one religion is acceptable but not against another. I no more think that all Christians are the same than I think all Muslims are the same.

"You can obviously find Christians who do abominable things, but try as you might you can't find 1/10,000th the acted out murderous intolerance in them that you find in the Muslim world. Period."

Why try to make this a numbers game? And yet again there is the blanket statement "the Muslim world". When was the last time Chad made the news? Or Morocco or Bangladesh or Indonesia or Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan or dozens of other Muslim countries? They don't make it because there's nothing much going on there, like Canada and Botswana. Where is there a problem? Afghanistan, which the US decided could be wiped from the face of the earth in its fight against the Soviets. Where else? Iraq, which the US decided to smash to smithereens and then pretends to be shocked when parts of this shattered country got taken over by madmen. Similarly with Syria. Malmo, try this thought experiment: imagine the US has been near annihilated by a foreign power, who do you think would come to power? Ralph Nader and Jill Stein, or some KKK-like outfit?

Your arithmetic is out. The Lord's Resistance Army, a Christian cult, have murdered 500,000 people (far more than 1/10,000th you were insisting on), more than Al Qaeda and ISIS combined. Or do these Christian fanatics not count? What to make of the rival Catholic and Protestant churches which supported the slaughter in Rwanda? In extreme situations like these, religious antagonisms can turn extremely brutal.

How about all the Christians murdering each other in Congo? Approximately six million dead there. In Congo, although the combatants are predominantly Christian they are not murdering each other because of religion. Similarly, in the Muslim world when wars break out, it is not the case that religion was the reason. Iraq didn't invade Kuwait because of religion. Pakistan didn't wage a war with Bangladesh because of religion. Neither did Morocco and Algeria. Or Libya and Chad. Or countless others. I treat issues politically. Why you wish to make everything that ever happens in one part of the world the fault of one religion in that part of the world is puzzling.

Matt Franko said...

John,

"Are homophobic Christians any less American?"

Whoa now you are opening up a can of worms bro!

I'd like to see the MSM go there... dont hold your breath...

Matt Franko said...

My thoughts on all of this is it ALL goes back to sexuality in some way.... the whole male/female thing....

Bob said...

On all of what? Religion or conspiracy theories?

Greg said...

@Mal

"He's no more divisive than Obama or Hillary or Pelosi or Rham or Reidor Wasserman, et al..."

Uhhh Mal... go back and re read my comment... keeping in mind that the comment of YOURS I responded to was claiming that Trump is a straight shooter because he has so many who hate him and so many who like him.

So now Ill add that according to you, we can claim that Obama, Hillary, Pelosi et al are all straight shooters!!! How bout that?!!

Trumps no different

Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

Let me make this easy for you. Where Islam is the majority report, those countries are invariably far more backward and intolerant relative to where Christianity is dominant. Outside of a few Christian loonies, Christianity is about broken sinners being saved by grace. Once saved it is their duty to evangelize peacefully, spreading the word of God, until; God graciously regenerates their broken hearts. The Golden Rule rules. No such animal exists in the Islamic world. In fact the comparison of these two religions is apples to oranges. And before you try to quote the Old Testament, remember that it was supplanted, legalism and all, by the New testament.



...and as an aside, homophobia is a silly leftist term. I've never met one person who's "afraid" of a homosexual. Not one. I have met, however, Christians that believe that unrepentant homosexuals will have eternal damnation, along with unrepentant sinners of other stripes. They worry about their eternal destination, but certainly are not fearful of homosexuals per se. that's simply liberal projecting.


...Oh, BTW, I'm an atheist, but I know my Christianity cold. In fact I own and have read Jonathan Edwards collected works, along with Calvin's, "The Institutes Of The Christian Religion", and Luther's , "The Bondage Of the Will"

Malmo's Ghost said...

....along with literally hundreds of other Christian works.

MRW said...

"Please tell what Christian countries are bent on global holy war? You can't. They don't exist."

Some would argue the US. Look at the insanity of NATO amassing on the Russian border for no reason. Right now.

MRW said...

The Golden Rule rules. No such animal exists in the Islamic world.

Not true. The Golden Rule goes back to Confucius, 500 BC. It’s in Islam as well. Two examples. There are lots.

“None of you has faith until he loves for his brother or his neighbor what he loves for himself.” [Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 72]

“None of you has faith until he loves for the people what he loves for himself; and until he loves a person only for the sake of Allah [God] the Exalted.”[Musnad Ahmad, Number 13463, Sahih]

Greg said...

" I've never met one person who's "afraid" of a homosexual. Not one. I have met, however, Christians that believe that unrepentant homosexuals will have eternal damnation, along with unrepentant sinners of other stripes. They worry about their eternal destination, "

You really dont get out much do you. BTW no one is claiming that someone is afraid of homosexuals per se but fear homosexuality. They see homosexuality as an idea .... that is evil. Worrying about "their" eternal destination is bunch crap, an example of NOT being a straight shooter, they use that trope to cover what they really fear, that homosexuality, if not condemned will be adopted by more and more people as if it is just an "idea" that can spread. Im not saying that there are some loving christians who take the approach you say but that is NOT a majority position. Most just fear the idea of their kids having to hear about homosexuality as something other than an evil pox on mankind. And that fear drives many to act hateful towards those who have that alternate lifestyle.

I literally heard an otherwise very intelligent vascular surgeon the other day state that the issue with gays and trans is that it takes us down a slippery slope and no society can survive if men are just marrying men and women marrying women because there will be no procreation. I was gobsmacked and I just asked him "So you really think a day might come that men would just decide not to like having sex with women enmasse, thats what you fear? And if so what "law" could prevent that?" He couldn't answer

Malmo's Ghost said...

let's stick with the tenets of Islam, as so many PC, uncritical liberals now have a new found love for the ideology it espouses:

"...As we have seen, contrary to the widespread insistence that true Islam is pacific even if a handful of its adherents are violent, the Islamic sources make clear that engaging in violence against non-Muslims is a central and indispensable principle to Islam. Islam is less a personal faith than a political ideology that exists in a fundamental and permanent state of war with non-Islamic civilizations, cultures, and individuals. The Islamic holy texts outline a social, governmental, and economic system for all mankind. Those cultures and individuals who do not submit to Islamic governance exist in an ipso facto state of rebellion with Allah and must be forcibly brought into submission. The misbegotten term “Islamo-fascism” is wholly redundant: Islam itself is a kind of fascism that achieves its full and proper form only when it assumes the powers of the state.

The spectacular acts of Islamic terrorism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are but the most recent manifestation of a global war of conquest that Islam has been waging since the days of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century AD and that continues apace today. This is the simple, glaring truth that is staring the world today in the face — and which has stared it in the face numerous times in the past — but which it seems few today are willing to contemplate...."


Malmo's Ghost said...

"...It is important to realize that we have been talking about Islam — not Islamic “fundamentalism,” “extremism,” “fanaticism,” “Islamo-fascism,” or “Islamism,” but Islam proper, Islam in its orthodox form as it has been understood and practiced by right-believing Muslims from the time of Muhammad to the present. The mounting episodes of Islamic terrorism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are due largely to the geostrategic changes following the end of the Cold War and the growing technical options available to terrorists....Islamic apologists often point out that Islam is not a monolith and that there are differences of opinion among the different Islamic schools of thought. That is true, but, while there are differences, there are also common elements. Just as Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christians differ on many aspects of Christianity, still they accept important common elements. So it is with Islam. One of the common elements to all Islamic schools of thought is jihad, understood as the obligation of the Ummah to conquer and subdue the world in the name of Allah and rule it under Sharia law. The four Sunni Madhhabs (schools of fiqh [Islamic religious jurisprudence]) — Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali — all agree that there is a collective obligation on Muslims to make war on the rest of the world. Furthermore, even the schools of thought outside Sunni orthodoxy, including Sufism and the Jafari (Shia) school, agree on the necessity of jihad. When it comes to matters of jihad, the different schools disagree on such questions as whether infidels must first be asked to convert to Islam before hostilities may begin (Osama bin Laden asked America to convert before Al-Qaeda’s attacks); how plunder should be distributed among victorious jihadists; whether a long-term Fabian strategy against dar al-harb is preferable to an all-out frontal attack; etc..."

https://www.jihadwatch.org/islam-101

No self respecting liberal will embrace this ideology in any way, shape or form.

Tom Hickey said...

Are homophobic Christians any less American?

Another paradox of liberalism.

The LGTB community argues that their right to equal treatment and non-discrimination are being violated.

Fundamentalist (in contrast to Liberal) Christians argue that their right to freedom of religion is being suppressed by LGTB rights.

John said...

Malmo: "Let me make this easy for you. Where Islam is the majority report, those countries are invariably far more backward and intolerant relative to where Christianity is dominant."

Again another blanket statement. Try living in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and tell me that they're more backward than Uganda, Rwanda, Congo or a whole host of other predominantly Christian countries in sub-Saharan Africa. But that isn't the issue at all. These sub-Saharan predominantly Christian African countries have specific, historical, political and economic problems, hence their sad reactionary state. Similarly, with predominantly Muslim countries. What all of these countries have in common, however, is that they have not been independent very long. The colonial powers left gigantic, horrible messes in each of these countries, including dictators favouring the pre-independent powers. It's interesting that when you gloss over the answers to the questions you ask and move on in some other direction. What of the Lord's Resistance Army and the church-backed massacres in Rwanda? If interested, I recommend Timothy Longman's book "Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda".

Matt: "Whoa now you are opening up a can of worms bro!"

It's an important question, though, isn't it? If Muslim Americans are allegedly at odds with "American values" because of their social attitudes, which many conservative Christians and Jews also hold, are these Christians and Jews any less American? I despise bigotry of any kind, and I hate homophobia, but people have a right to believe whatever religion they want, enshrined as it is in the Constitution (the Founders weren't dummies). If your beliefs end in violence, then that beomes a case for the criminal law. Criminals aren't any less American, or are they? Religious people aren't any less American. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are radical, beautiful documents which defend the thoughts, beliefs and religions of all and for many very good reasons. Are the many thousands of deluded souls who are members of the KKK, various neo-Nazi organisations, far right militias, etc any less American? Of course not, and I'd hope that their beliefs would be protected by the courts. The idea that Orthodox Jews and the Christian right have more enlightened beliefs than most Muslims is just ridiculous. How safe do you think homosexuals would be if the Christian right could have their way? It'd be a horror show, and you know it.

By the way, American Jews would get more than just a little hot under the collar if the US bombed Israel to smithereens. American Hindus would similarly get very agitated if the US sent India back to the stone age. Muslims get agitated when they see Muslim countries invaded and demolished on laughable pretexts. This isn't news! War brings out the worst in everyone.

Tom Hickey said...

Where Islam is the majority report, those countries are invariably far more backward and intolerant relative to where Christianity is dominant.

Not the case when it was Islam v. Christendom. Christendom got its ass kicked. The change came when it became liberalism v. Islam as the influence of Christianity waned politically in the West and Christendom collapsed into internecine warfare in Europe after the Protestant Revolution.

Liberalism and capitalism rose in that context, and didn't rise in other parts of the world, where formerly vibrant empire became sclerotic. Islam, China and India remained mired in tradition and missed the wave that was rising in the West.

This reversed the world order back to when Greece under Alexander was dominant and then Rome under the empire. But for the thousand years between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance, the West was not a major player on the world science while Islamic civilization began rising quite soon after the passing of the Prophet in 632 CE. This period lasted until the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Islam

Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

Please cease with the false equivalency between Islam and Christianity. And please get back on point that Orlando was done by an Islamic nutter alone, who was informed by his religion of jihad/hate. And stop deflecting with Christian straw men. Thanks!!

Tom Hickey said...

World Scripture — THE GOLDEN RULE

Malmo's Ghost said...

Come on, Tom, are you trying to equate the modern Christian world with that of the modern Islamic world? Can't you just admit that Islam is incompatible with Western liberal values--your values I presume--and is a serious threat to that way of life?

Tom Hickey said...

I've never met one person who's "afraid" of a homosexual. Not one.

There are many people who desperately fear homosexuals, but it is the homosexual in themselves that they cannot deal with psychologically. This includes many homophobic homosexuals in addition to homophobic straight people. This is non-controversial in psychology and psychiatry, which view sexuality as a key factor in personality.

Tom Hickey said...

the Islamic sources make clear that engaging in violence against non-Muslims is a central and indispensable principle to Islam

Islamic law requires the Islamic community (ummah) to jointly defend itself against attack — as in self-defense. This is one meaning of jihad as "holy war," but the meaning is much broader.

Jihad (جهاد) is an Islamic term referring to the religious duty of Muslims to maintain the religion. In Arabic, the word jihād is a noun meaning "to strive, to apply oneself, to struggle, to persevere".[17] A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid, the plural of which is mujahideen (مجاهدين). The word jihad appears frequently in the Quran,[18] often in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)", to refer to the act of striving to serve the purposes of God on this earth.[16][17][19][20] Jihad is sometimes referred to as the sixth pillar of Islam, though it occupies no such official status.[21] In Twelver Shi'a Islam, however, jihad is one of the ten Practices of the Religion.[22]

Muslims and scholars do not all agree on its definition. Many observers—both Muslim[23] and non-Muslim[24]—as well as the Dictionary of Islam,[16] talk of jihad having two meanings: an inner spiritual struggle (the "greater jihad"), and an outer physical struggle against the enemies of Islam (the "lesser jihad")[16][25] which may take a violent or non-violent form.[17][26] Jihad is often translated as "Holy War",[27][28][29] although this term is controversial.[30][31] According to orientalist Bernard Lewis, "the overwhelming majority of classical theologians, jurists", and specialists in the hadith "understood the obligation of jihad in a military sense."[32] Javed Ahmad Ghamidi states that there is consensus among Islamic scholars that the concept of jihad will always include armed struggle against wrongdoers.[33]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_violence

This is pretty much the same law that applied under Christendom, and which many Christians still think applies to Christians.

This is why the militants are intent on provoking a war on Islam by the West. Then they can argue that sharia requires a pan-Islamic coordinated response to an attack on the Islamic community.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Malmo's Ghost

Jihad Watch is not a credibly non-baised source.

Tom Hickey said...

And please get back on point that Orlando was done by an Islamic nutter alone, who was informed by his religion of jihad/hate.

The situation is becoming more complicated than that simplistic analysis. The guy was Islamic and also a homosexual, which is a classic double-bind that often results in cognitive-affective disorder. He was apparently a nutter who happened to be Islamic, but it likely was not driven by a misunderstanding of jihad as much as his mental illness.

The rush to judgment on this and subsequent politicization is unfortunate.

This fell into the hands of the militants as a gift that allows the hate projected at Islam and the Islam community as a whole to invoke sharia as a justification for their version of jihad.

Promoting that just aids recruitment of militants and conversion of moderates into militants.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom,

That's a cop out. Likely because you can't or won't refute the facts offered there.



...Why don't you just come clean and admit that Islam doesn't much bother you. I at least know it doesn't bother John. And apparently Christianity bothers the both of you far more.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Malmo

What is "the modern Christian world."

The contemporary West is liberal, secular and humanist.

BTW this is being criticized by Orthodox Christianity, which views the (formerly) Latin Christian world as degenerate and largely apostate. It's kind of irony because formerly the USSR was criticized as atheistic, and now that it has returned to Orthodoxly it is criticized as too dominated by religious tradition, which is opposed to liberalism.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Malmo's Ghost

Provide facts from a credible unbiased source and I'll respond.

Malmo's Ghost said...

"This is pretty much the same law that applied under Christendom, and which many Christians still think applies to Christians."


Many? BS. There you go again equating Christianity with Islam.

Deep down I'm sure you realize if you resided in majority Islamic countries and they were on to your liberalism, you'd get busted up and good. Easy to pontificate from the safety of America. Try going contrarian in Islamic countries. Anyways it's this style of hypocritical liberalism that proves my point made many times ate this site.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom, You post from biased sources all the time here on any number of subjects dear to your heart/ideology. Give me a break.

Malmo's Ghost said...

To attempt to imply the contemporary West doesn't have a strong Christian influence in it's present form is ridiculous. Please.

Andrew Anderson said...

And apparently Christianity bothers the both of you far more. Malmo's Ghost

Perhaps merely so-called Christianity? I've read the entire Bible and the Old Testament* says little about sodomy but plenty about social injustice.

*As for the New Testament, believers in Christ can be expected to eventually cease from sin so every kind of sin is rebuked there; believers are not the general population and are held to a higher standard - a standard that is not applicable to non-believers.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Paris, Brussels, Orlando, San Bernardino, 9/11 ,Christians murdered and persecuted by the tens of thousands, adulterer stonings, beheadings, homosexuals being thrown out windows and murdered, Bachi Bazi, misogyny as a matter of violent course if resisted, forced female genital mutilation, are all the works emanating out of Islam, tghe new found religion of love and peace to liberals far and wide. .

How on earth a liberal doesn't condemn strongly here is beyond me. I guess like James Burnham said years ago, liberalism is the philosophy of Western suicide.

Matt Franko said...

"Christianity is about broken sinners being saved by grace"

Mal I don't think this is a reasonable assessment... The whole thing pretty much runs off the hell doctrine still...

John said...

Malmo: "Please cease with the false equivalency between Islam and Christianity."

Anyone who has read this thread will know that I don't make generalised statements about dozens of different countries, with dozens of different cultures, histories, politics, socio-economic conditions that encompass billions of people over thousands of miles. That's what you do. Again, when faced with facts and detailed answers, you reply with more blanket statements and refuse to engage with the issues. You've made what you believe to be unanswerable questions and insights, like no Christians have in recent years engaged in the same violence as Muslims. When I point out that there are two instances, an inter-Christian genocide in Rwanda and the Lord's Resistance Army, which are comparable to what's happened within the Muslim world, you ignore it or claim that this is a "false equivalency". What's false about these instances? Nevertheless, I would never dream of making the ludicrous claim that these two instances are representative of the more than two billion Christians in the world.

Malmo: "And please get back on point that Orlando was done by an Islamic nutter alone, who was informed by his religion of jihad/hate."

If you check, you'll find that this is the first time you brought up Orlando. I replied to your comment "To my mind Trump doesn't go nearly far enough regarding Islam. As I've said here before, Islam is a backward, narrow minded, misogynistic, anti gay, anti tolerant worldview which doesn't comport with American values".

Where have I written that the Orlando shooting wasn't perpetrated by a jihadi? A gay and mentally ill jihadi maybe, but presumably a jihadi nevertheless. Was he "informed by his religion of jihad/hate"? No such religion exists. He was informed by hate and the jihad of a mentally ill homosexual jihadi. Unlike 9/11, not that much can be read into this very confused man's actions. What you haven't answered is why you consider the actions of a tiny minority (tens of thousands out of some 1.5 billion Muslims) are representative of the whole? If all Islam is as backward and violent as you claim, why have 1.5 billion Muslims not sworn allegiance to the jihadis? Why are the secular and conservative Arab and Kurdish Muslims of Syria dying trying to wipe out the ISIS nutters and other "moderates" we support?

I suspect you'll respond with more blanket statements and not engage with the facts or the detailed responses. Those who've read this thread will come to the appropriate conclusions.

John said...

Malmo, female genital mutilation is more prevalent in Christian countries than in Muslim countries. It is neither Christian nor Islamic. It is overwhelmingly a black African tradition. This is understood by everybody.

Bacha Bazi for those who don't know means nothing more than paedophilia. Malmo's trying to make it seem like an Islamic tradition or part of Islamic law. Our "moderate" allies the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan were known to be an army of child rapists? Interestingly, the Taliban passed death sentences on anyone convicted of bacha bazi. Paedophilia exists everywhere, so why make it a particularly Muslim problem?

Apparently Muslims men are the only men guilty of misogyny. Homosexuals have been murdered by jihadis in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, war zones all. Why do we not hear of pogroms against homosexuals in the dozens of other Muslim countries? Malmo seems to think war zones are springs of liberalism and social democracy.

Malmo, for every western city you can name that has been subject to these lunatics, there are countless numbers of villages, towns and cities in the Muslim world that have suffered far worse. When we support jihadis in the Muslim world, that's nothing more than "foreign policy". When we suffer a fraction of the same violence, it's the end of the world.

Tom Hickey said...

Many? BS. There you go again equating Christianity with Islam.

Deep down I'm sure you realize if you resided in majority Islamic countries and they were on to your liberalism, you'd get busted up and good. Easy to pontificate from the safety of America. Try going contrarian in Islamic countries. Anyways it's this style of hypocritical liberalism that proves my point made many times ate this site.


There you go equating your neighborhood with America.

There are plenty of places in America that I would fear for my life even though I am white. And if someone offed me there they would likely not be arrested let alone prosecuted and convicted. I have been there and survived. Some didn't or were severely beaten.

Moreover, I know Islamic people, including some who either live in Islamic countries or came from there and still go back and visit who are Sufis and liberal Sufis to boot. As long as they stay clear of fundamentalists, they are OK.

One of my Sui friends who is a cardiologist from India working in the US went on pilgrimage to the holy sites in Mecca and Medina. At the border of Saudi Arabia the officials asked him if he was a Sufi. He knew that would not let him in if he said yes. He did answer yes anyway and said to me that it was not a lie since they had no idea of what a Sufi was and he was not what they thought. At Median when he turned to the tomb of the Prophet to acknowledge him, the guard turned him toward Mecca and told I'm that expressing reverence for the Prophet was forbidden (haram).

Sufis call Al 'Arabi the greatest master (al shaykh al akbar). Fundamentalists consider him a heretic. Al 'Arabi's view is very similar to the Advaita Vedanta of Adi Shankaracharya, and nondual teachings in other traditions, based on experience of nondualism.

BTW, several years ago, I was talking to an Sufi shaykh who was from Afghanistan and was in the Bay Area at the time. I asked him what was happening in Afghanistan. He said it was all political and had nothing to do with religion other than with some using a particular interpretation of Islam for their own political purposes and economic gain.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Malmo's Ghost

Have you ever had a cross burned on your lawn?

Tom Hickey said...

False equivalence.

Jihad Watch is outright propaganda.

I post alternative viewpoints that usually don't get noticed in the Western mainstream media. I make no representation about their truth. People should be exposed to many views and then make up their own minds based on informed deliberation.

But I don't post stuff from Alex Jones, etc., either, although occasionally he does get some things right in my estimation. But that is probably a matter of luck on his part than than knowledge.

John said...

Malmo: "And apparently Christianity bothers the both of you far more."

Did I ever say that? No, I didn't. So why claim I did? You make blanket statements, ask questions which you think are unanswerable. When they are answered with facts, you rant and make wild accusations.

I have all kinds of issues with Quranic Islam itself, Sharia law, Sunni and Shia Islam, the cultural Islam of dozens of countries, etc. I don't believe religions are monolithic. I don't think 1.5 billion people are monolithic. I make the types of informed distinction I do with everything else. I have all kinds of issues with all kinds of things, but I don't make sweeping, blanket statements about what clearly cannot be explained in such a way.


John said...

Malmo,

Have you ever met a Sufi? Many of them are religious hippies, religious California surfer dudes. If all Muslims are the same, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaq Muhammad Ali, Dr Oz, Mohamed El-Erian, Aasif Mandvi, etc are no different to Bin Laden and the paedophiles of the Northern Alliance. Do you really believe that? Do you believe all the Muslims you've ever come into contact with were enemies of America, had un-American values and wanted to kill you? Why then do Muslims join the US armed forces? Why have they fought and died for their country? The "Islam" that appals you appals everybody, Muslims more than anybody.

Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

Every long thread tends to morph and digress. Since you and I have had this row before, it no doubt took on a different tangent from my initial response at this thread. Let's not play gotcha. I'm not trying to avoid arguing with all your points, but it's not always easy to multi task, as I do have other matters to tend to beyond here, and yet strike at every point you make. But I don't mind our back and forth. and i apologize if I seem to ignore your more salient points. Not trying to convert you to my way of thinking either in our exchanges.

At any rate what I did say to start the thread is that Islam is backward and intolerant relative to Western standards. I didn't claim all Muslims resorted to violence. My main point to start the thread was that Islam isn't compatible with western values and that importing hundreds of thousands, some of which might be potentially violent jihadists who can't be vetted properly without a pause would be idiotic policy.

I don't care for Islam, true. I don't want the worldview it espouses transported to my side of the pond, true. And I think there are enough violent jihadists here and abroad to raise legitimate concerns for my safety and that of others in even more vulnerable positions. Where I do agree with many Muslims is on the idea that at some point multiculturalism becomes unworkable, and a hotbed for sectarian violence and beyond. Hence most of the safest places on earth are homogeneous in culture. But I get that even that reality of living together is a nuanced one, with no scientific parameters to guide us.

But in the end, I still can't imagine how a liberal can begin to embrace Islam. even the left's standard of pas d’ennemis a gauche doesn't seem to apply on this one unless it's hatred of the West exceeds that of it's distaste for Islam.

John said...

Malmo, Jihad Watch is to information what Austrian economics is to economics. It is to information what intelligent design is to science. It is to information what Louie Gohmert is to politics. It is crackpot propaganda.

Malmo's Ghost said...

John,

Skip the SPLC, leftist talking points in general ad hominems. Tell me where Spencer is wrong?

Tom Hickey said...

To attempt to imply the contemporary West doesn't have a strong Christian influence in it's present form is ridiculous. Please.

Of course it does. Liberal secular humanists are trying to shake it off like the plague.

Liberal Christians different markedly on this from non-liberal Christians.

The so-called Christian heritage is as much a matter of controversy, as Islam also is in Islam.

There is no monolithic Christianity or Islam.

Tom Hickey said...

The West is not liberal because of Christianity but in spite of Christianity.

Matt Franko said...

This is from Franklin graham just before Orlando re the LBGT community:

"One day each of these people is going to stand before the God that they disown, and they will face an eternity in hell if they have not trusted Christ as their Savior."

This is the kind of false shit that drives people insane like the Muslim in Orlando...

Btw not a word out of graham on this topic since Orlando and won't be until it cools down... Then he'll go right back to his hell doctrine script just like the Muslims....

These people are knowing NOTHING.


Malmo's Ghost said...

Right, Tom. Liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of association--none of that came out of Christianity.

Sigh.

Certainly the liberal who cannot bring himself to criticize Islam was moved to that hypocrisy in spite of Christianity.

Matt Franko said...

Tom,

"but it is the homosexual in themselves that they cannot deal with psychologically."

YES!!!! I'm tellin ya !!! They're ALL bisexual!!!!

Matt Franko said...

Tom a lot of these guys are out there 24/7 castigating gays and then all of a sudden they are arrested in a male prostitution sting! Happens ALL the time....

Matt Franko said...

Btw I'd like to see what we are discussing here become the national discussion in the msm but I'm not holding my breath...

Malmo's Ghost said...

Dear Liberals: Your Hypocrisy On Islam Is Most Staggering Of All...


http://louderwithcrowder.com/dear-liberals-your-hypocrisy-on-islam-is-most-staggering-of-all/#.V2L-U_Q8KnM

John said...

Malmo: "Skip the SPLC, leftist talking points in general ad hominems. Tell me where Spencer is wrong?"

Are you being serious? First of all, at no stage have you answered or engaged in any of the points raised that demolish your blanket assertions. Not once. All that happens is you move on and make another outlandish claim. When these are demolished, again you make another wild accusation. Second, if you are unaware that credible, knowledgeable analysts don't take Jihad Watch and its contributors seriously and consider them to be propagandists, that's your look out. And what, if I gave you a list of those who find them crackpot propagandists and bigots, would it make any difference? You don't engage with any criticisms, answer any questions and dismiss facts as a horrible intrusion. Third, it is you who demands and demands and demands more and more evidence and then ignores all of it. Not only do you ignore it, you then make further outlandish claims. It reminds me of the mainstream economists who demand evidence from MMTers. When MMTers do just that, the mainstream ignore it all and make further nonsensical claims. Or the intelligent design propagandists who demand evidence from evolutionary biologists and then dismiss it all as impossible,

Even the partisan pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League has called Jihad Watch "anti-Muslim bigots". But then what they and other call bigotry, you'd call information. Those who read Jihad Watch have already made up their minds and are incapable of engaging with the issues, as you have shown consistently through this thread. Each detailed reply is met with more blanket statements. You yourself have repeated many of what Spencer says. Just read what I have written, For example, Spencer claims that the kind of violence we see in the Islamic world is not seen in the Christian world. I gave examples of Rwanda and the Lord's Resistance Army. Every example you gave is something Spencer has said, and every example was rebutted in detail.

Tom Hickey said...

Liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of association--none of that came out of Christianity.

Under Christianity since it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the liberalism of ancient Athens was unknown. Christianity promoted the Great Chain of Being and the divine right of kings. There was no liberty, no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of religion, and no freedom of association in Christendom.

That began to change with the Protestant Reformation, but initially it was Cuius regio, eius religio. Wars were fought over religion in the ensuing centuries, and different cohorts were persecuted in various localities. Europe was soaked with blood. Liberalism in religion did not appear until the 19th century, and pioneers were dismissed from theological faculties, ending their careers. when it finally became somewhat successful, Christian Fundamentalism arose to combat it.

Liberalism grew out of the Renaissance and the resurgence of classical Greek thought and tradition. It did not grow out of Christianity, which resisted it.

Christianity also banned usury and finance was impossible without interest. Christianity was therefore inimical to capitalism and capitalism could not thrive in environments where interest was prohibited.

The basis of liberalism was the openness to inquiry and rationalism that the rise of science was dependent upon. Liberalism destroyed the dominance of traditional Christianity and replaced with secular humanism, liberal Christianity, and freedom of inquiry.

continued

Tom Hickey said...

continuation

Arguably this arose from the Protestant Reformation and the decline of power of the institutional Church. But Protestantism was hardly liberal in most ways and Jews faired no better under it than under the status quo ante, which persisted in the Catholic regions although in modified form subsequent to the Counter-Reformation.

Even the American colonies were divined on religious lines.

In the early years of what later became the United States, Christian religious groups played an influential role in each of the British colonies, and most attempted to enforce strict religious observance through both colony governments and local town rules.

Most attempted to enforce strict religious observance. Laws mandated that everyone attend a house of worship and pay taxes that funded the salaries of ministers. Eight of the thirteen British colonies had official, or “established,” churches, and in those colonies dissenters who sought to practice or proselytize a different version of Christianity or a non-Christian faith were sometimes persecuted.

Although most colonists considered themselves Christians, this did not mean that they lived in a culture of religious unity. Instead, differing Christian groups often believed that their own practices and faiths provided unique values that needed protection against those who disagreed, driving a need for rule and regulation.

In Europe, Catholic and Protestant nations often persecuted or forbade each other's religions, and British colonists frequently maintained restrictions against Catholics. In Great Britain, the Protestant Anglican church had split into bitter divisions among traditional Anglicans and the reforming Puritans, contributing to an English civil war in the 1600s. In the British colonies, differences among Puritan and Anglican remained.

Between 1680 and 1760 Anglicanism and Congregationalism, an offshoot of the English Puritan movement, established themselves as the main organized denominations in the majority of the colonies. As the seventeenth and eighteenth century passed on, however, the Protestant wing of Christianity constantly gave birth to new movements, such as the Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Unitarians and many more, sometimes referred to as “Dissenters.” In communities where one existing faith was dominant, new congregations were often seen as unfaithful troublemakers who were upsetting the social order.


Religion in Colonial America: Trends, Regulations, and Beliefs

Tom Hickey said...

"Christianity is about broken sinners being saved by grace"

Another generalization based on cognitive-affective bias.

Tom Hickey said...

A gay and mentally ill jihadi maybe, but presumably a jihadi nevertheless.

An alternative view, which I think is probably more correct at this stage of the investigation.

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen — he’s a sociopath, not a jihadist

At least he does not fit the profile of a "typical jihadi."

It's complicated.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Give me a break, John. I've made up my mind, whatever that means, because I supposedly am ignorant to think Islam is the epitome of intolerance? And screw Jihad Watch if that's what floats your boat. I only used that quote from the site because, short of being some liberal Islamic apologist in denial, it, the passage, is dead on right, as are many other from the site, Spencer directed ad hominems notwithstanding.

But if I've made up my mind so have you. Big deal. See, I can say the same about you. Woo hoo.

You know damn well or should know that Jihad Watch is not the only source discrediting Islam. Islam does that all by itself if you've been awake the past 20+ years. And what have you rebutted relative to Islam? All you've done is repeat the same worn out canard that other than the extreme elements within Islam, most of the rest is no worse that their Christian counterparts in the intolerance and violence racket. Well with all due respect your anecdotes about Christians somehow rising to the approximate level of Islamic violence and intolerance are not very good arguments..In short, according to liberals AND YOU, Christians are as bad or worse than Muslims. That's frankly bs!

And you can write endlessly about me and my shortcomings--calling them "generalizations"-- because I think most of Islam isn't compatible with Western values if it makes you feel good. And while doing so parse my responses for what you claim are inaccuracies, and then claim because Malmo didn't' respond to all John's points in the way John demanded, it then follows Malmo is wrong about his basic contention that Islam is in the main the most extreme and violent religion on earth.

Contrary to what you might think I'm not losing any sleep over Islam and the danger it might pose to my world. Like most people I've got bigger fish to fry in my day to day life. That doesn't mean I don't view Islamic ideology as nutty. I do. But I'm happy that someone like Trump does the heavy lifting on the subject, because I get it that spineless liberals are all gummed up about offending their new found religion of peace, and won't do jackshit about it.

But let's cut the crap. I'll keep it simple. Do you condemn the so called mainstream Islamic ideology you claim is benign as being an intolerant ideology as described in the Quran and practiced by the faithful? Yes or no will suffice.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom,

I get you don't much like Christianity. Like I asked John above tell me what you think about the Islamic faith as practiced by their so called majority moderate wing?

jrbarch said...

Oh it’s all OK! G.O.D. has set aside a special place in heaven for all the different religions, countries, whatever divisions people’s minds can dream up, where they can all feel special without interruptions. Obviously, people are so keen to get there, they send each other faster.

Tom Hickey said...

I get you don't much like Christianity. Like I asked John above tell me what you think about the Islamic faith as practiced by their so called majority moderate wing?

That would be a wrong conclusion. Comparative religion and spirituality was my day job for many years. I distinguish between normative institutional religion as a social manifestation from spirituality as a matter of inner experience and personal revelation.

Wisdom traditions and teachers, regardless of whether they have a normative institutional aspect, are about spirituality. Normative institutional religions are generally founded on spirituality as the inner experience and personal revelation of the mystics and master, saints and seers, and prophets. This gets institutionalized over time and becomes normative as a tradition. Often the original spirit of the teaching is lost in focus on the letter through doctrine (dogma), ritual, and observances. Often some profession is required to separate the believers from the non-believers.

The major religions have a spiritual core that is represented by the "mystical "or "esoteric" aspect. The Illuminationism of Zoroastrian mysticism is similar to Illuminationism in Sufism. Shankara's Advaita Vedanta is similar to Ibn al-'Arabi's Wujudiyah.
The mysticism of Judaism is called Qabalah and it is also nondual. Christian mysticism also has a nondual aspect that is particularly evident in Meister Eckhart. Buddhism and Taoism are similar as mystical teachings based on the via negativa, which finds a complement in the anonymous Cloud of Unknowing as well as other Christian mystics. Similar teachings are found in other wisdom traditions, the Neoplatonism of Plotinus, for example. It is also found in Hellenistic Gnosticism. It is also founding the ancient "earth religions," e.g., of Native Americans.

Spirituality in this sense is based on experience of pure consciousness. It is compatible with all wisdom teaching and lies at the core of all normative institutional religions the their mystical core. Normative institutional religions have often either marginalized their mystical basis or even banned it. This has occurred mostly in the West, where mystics were often persecuted if they spoke out too freely.

Comparative spirituality is quite liberal. In the words of Rig Veda 1.164.46, "Existence (Truth) is one, the sages express
it variously (Skt: ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti).

Normative institutional religions and their sects and denominations are generally illiberal. Many proponents of each claim that their bucket contains the ocean, or at least that their bucket is superior in content to others.

The dichotomy between spirituality and religion is a general distinction that breaks down that the margin because people develop, on one hand, and, on the other hand, are conflicted in their beliefs.

The names of the great religions in the world, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism, are very high levels of abstraction and cover a lot of ground in a single concept. So generalizations about them are only marginally useful.

Tom Hickey said...

Do you condemn the so called mainstream Islamic ideology you claim is benign as being an intolerant ideology as described in the Quran and practiced by the faithful? Yes or no will suffice.

False choice and excluded middle.

If you think that is "the mainstream teaching" of Islam, you are wrong.

Do you condemn Fundamentalist Christianity as being an intolerant ideology as set forth in a literal interpretation of the New Testament and acceptance of the Hebrew scripture literally as part of Christian teaching? Do you think that intolerant and exceptionalist Christian Fundamentalism is "the mainstream teaching" of Christianity? I hope not.

These fundamentalisms are two interpretations of their respective religions by large numbers of followers but certainly not all that self-identify as Muslim or Christian, many of whom are moderate to liberal.

jrbarch said...

Hopefully, also worthwhile considering the instrument of knowledge (mind and intellect) as well as what we consider to be knowledge (discussion on the merits and demerits of different religions).

By this I mean sometimes we focus solely on the precepts being discussed, and never question the instrument hosting the discussion.

Here is a basic statement: ‘mind is not your friend’. True or false? For me, the statement is true; so how is it relevant.

Mind will beat you up, sometimes far worse than anyone else could do to you. Mind will lead you out into a desert, cajoling, flattering, ego tripping, then dump you there, and call you a fool to boot, once you realise. Mind will vigorously defend itself under attack, whether it is right or no. When you wake up first thing of a morning, there is peace (for just a few seconds); then mind jumps in and starts telling you what to do, where and when to do it, how to do it, and what an idiot you are for not doing it sooner or better. Mind can twist and distort, and think it is clever. We are slaves to the mind: ‘Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir’. We rush around all day trying to keep the mind happy (an impossible task) when it is us that wants to be happy. I see people who claim to be free, being driven by their minds all day long; no clue they are bound, head and foot. Mind is very good at binding us with concepts (like Gulliver), and ego to secure the knot. Mind gets full of emotion, hate, enchantment – and nothing can be seen clearly; intellect (as faulty as it often is) cannot function. Many groups in the world are hate groups – pure reason doesn’t go there. Pure reason, which has not been hijacked by some agenda, is very hard to find. Mind can go horribly wrong and you end up with a human being shooting down other human beings (Orlando). Mind can go off into flights of phantasy, dreaming while you are awake. For me, all destruction of human life is ‘sociopathic’ ‘phantastic’ – but mind justifies it. So, I do not think mind is our friend. Mind is imperfect so we need to be cautious.

Mind is a fire that burns cool; it can be put to good use but it can also cause widespread destruction. If I look at what is happening in the world today, I have to conclude, mind is burning wild. We need to be careful when we knit concepts together, that we are using mind, and mind is not using us. Mind is meant to warm and light, so that you can see a human being as a human being; see what is real and what is not. That is our intelligence at work, using mind.

It only begins to work properly, when the human heart awakens, and takes its hand.

I thought Tom’s link above to the Golden Rule had pretty much everything we need to know, as a basis to religion.

John said...

Malmo,

I did you the courtesy of giving detailed rebuttals. Your one reply is that these are nothing more than "anecdotes" and "canards". The Rwanda genocide which saw approximately one million dead is an "anecdote". The Lord's Resistance Army who have murdered approximately 500,000 people is an "anecdote". Congo is an "anecdote". Historical facts are nothing more than "anecdotes" or "canards". That's it. Blanket assertions and blanket dismissals of all evidence to the contrary.

"You know damn well or should know that Jihad Watch is not the only source discrediting Islam."

I've read many critical works about Islam, many of which are extremely useful and intelligent. Historically, some of the best is by Maxime Rodinson, while today people like Robert Pape, Scott Atran, Juan Cole, Jonathan Brown, etc. But of all the very many sources there are, you quoted Jihad Watch. There are lots of good criticisms of Judaism (Israel Shahak's books are very good), but I don't read what are widely considered "anti-Jewish bigots". There are lots of good criticisms of Christianity (Bart Ehrman, for example), but I don't read what are widely considered "anti-Christian bigots".

"And you can write endlessly about me and my shortcomings--calling them "generalizations" "

If you take a moment to check, that was your assertion of yourself, which I then took issue with. This is what you wrote: "I didn't pick a sub group of Islam to criticize. Mine was a blanket condemnation across the board, both Sunni and Shia included."

You're the one who was generalizing - about yourself. I tried to talk you out of it!

John said...

continued...

"But let's cut the crap. I'll keep it simple. Do you condemn the so called mainstream Islamic ideology you claim is benign as being an intolerant ideology as described in the Quran and practiced by the faithful? Yes or no will suffice."

A yes or no won't suffice, now, will it? Complex problems have complex answers. Some Muslims are ultra-violent maniacs and need to be killed. Unless I'm greatly mistakes, Shaquille O'Neal isn't one of them. Nor is Dr Oz. Nor are the 1.5 billion Muslims who have nothing to do with this apocalyptic violence.

Your great insight is what exactly, that the Quran has some nasty passages? That's it? Well, so what? Every religious text has nasty passages in it, and nothing comes close to the horrors of the Old Testament. The question then is why is there violence in some countries and not in others? Does that not give you pause for thought? Why is it that the majority of Muslim countries are at peace? Is it a coincidence that some have descend into a pit of shocking violence after Western invasions have destroyed the infrastructure and the capacity of the state to protect itself from a Saudi-led jihad? I have no idea how you have come to the perverse conclusion that wars of near annihilation, followed by a Saudi jihad are not a breeding ground for extremely nasty results, and are not an impediment to a flourishing liberal democracy.

The Quran has some violent passages, and ergo all Muslims are maniacs? Is that your logic? Why then isn't every Muslim a violent jihadi? Why out of the 1.5 billion only approximately 20,000 or so dedicated to jihad? Does that never enter your mind, or perhaps every single one of them is in fact a secret jihadi and this is a grand conspiracy to confuse wimpy lefties like me? Moreover every Muslim man is a paedophile, rapist and mutilator of female genitalia, and every woman is a birth factory manufacturing jihadis who enjoys having her genitalia mutilated, being raped as a child and raped as an adult. Perhaps all these hundreds of millions of women have been brainwashed, thus explaining their commitment to the peaceful, mainstream and relatively moderate Islam they consider their heritage and the norm?

If all Muslim men are misogynists, why is it in all Muslim democracies women have the right to vote, are elected to their parliaments and some have been elected as heads of state? In the Muslim world, there have been female presidents of prime ministers in Indonesia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Senegal, Mali, Kosovo and twice in Pakistan. Does this not give you pause for thought? And why is it very few Muslims vote for radical Islamists? Radical Islamist parties do exist, and people are allowed to vote for them, like in Pakistan, but almost nobody does. Why is it that when asked what is their ideal democracy, Muslims overwhelmingly voted for Turkey and President Erdogan as the ideal head of state. Note what is being stated: their ideal is a secular democracy with a socially conservative, not Islamist government. They could have voted for a radical Islamic Caliphate run by Al Qaeda or ISIS but they didn't. Why are mainstream Muslims fighting ISIS in order to restore the secular Syria they treasure? Perhaps it's all a gigantic pretence cooked up to delude lefty pussies. Or are all of the above facts more "anecdotes" and "canards"?

Again, note the detailed rebuttals .

Matt Franko said...

I dont see how they get out of this without eventually all the good Muslims killing all the bad Muslims...

Matt Franko said...

" an intolerant ideology as set forth in a literal interpretation of the New Testament and acceptance of the Hebrew scripture literally as part of Christian teaching?"

Tom imo you have it right on the second part here wrt the Hebrew Scriptures but what is indeed needed in the first part IS a LITERAL interpretation of the Greek Scriptures (so-called "new testament"...)

If you look at it LITERALLY, that is how you dont make the 2nd mistake wrt application of the doctrines of the Hebrew Scriptures on the ecclesia of Christ today... which is where they get this homophobia in the first place as in that old today non-applicable laws they were supposed to stone sodomites (which they more widely apply today to homosexuals, including females btw of which there is even NO mention of in the Hebrew Scriptures to begin with so they just are making that whole part up wrt Lesbians....)

There is probably a similar thing going on over in Mohammedism wrt the gay issues...

Malmo's Ghost said...

I do appreciate John's and Tom's detailed responses. Yet I'm not sure what you two are aiming at? Do you desire Malmo the atheist to be a convert to Islam? Do you want Malmo to accept the premise that on balance Islam is a good thing for the world at large? Do you want me to fall in line and accept that Islam is essentially moderate in it social/political applications? Do you want me, an American, who thrives on the secular ways of life America embodies to at the same time welcome moderate Islamic peoples and the influences they bring to become a much larger part of the permanent American mosaic? Do you want Malmo to have virtually no trepidation when it comes to Islam's influence here or abroad? Do either of you have any doubts/fears about the world going forward with a growing Islamic population and the world it might bring our way? What you want doesn't matter much to me but at least I'll get where you're coming from with all the evangelizing on tolerance for Islam your throwing my way.

You see, I am not a theist. I'm not into the "spiritual" like Tom is. I'm a pure Stirner egoist. I'm concerned with the first law of human nature which is first and foremost self preservation and then maintaining the secular life I've led in America. I;m generally indifferent to religions unless I believe they'll somehow threaten the secularly ( and sometimes religious) derived freedoms I hold dear. I have no desire to misrepresent Islam. I'm merely speaking as one person with one opinion on what I see as a potential impediment to my way of life--and there are many more potential impediments than Islam to be sure.

I'm not an adherent of so called multiculutralism either. But that's a topic for another time. What I'm getting at, however, is the GENERAL incompatibility that I see between the secular Western way of life and that of Islam--even so called moderate Islam. But before you tie your panties in knots, it's just one view, mine, so relax.

Pew Research did a wonderful survey of Muslims a few years back on global Islam. There's enough religious wacko sentiment in the broader Islamic world to me pause--like the large number of Muslims up for stoning adulterers for instance. That sure would go over well in the states. Read it for yourselves and draw your own conclusion on where this religious ideology might take us globally and or locally. As an American I have no desire to find out in some socially engineered demographic experiment here in the states:

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia/

Tom Hickey said...

What I'm getting at, however, is the GENERAL incompatibility that I see between the secular Western way of life and that of Islam--even so called moderate Islam.

I will address this generally. I am using liberalism in the philosophical sense of prioritizing individual liberty.

I am emphasizing that there are paradoxes and tradeoffs that require nuance. Using very high levels of abstraction generally miss the nuance. Liberalism itself is a nuanced concept as shown by the extensive literature and debate around it. The same is true of most philosophical positions. On the other hand, ideologies tend to be rigid and fixed as dogmatic POVs with sharp boundaries and narrow criteria.

1. Liberalism.

Most Americans and Brits are liberals, at least bi-conceptually, owing to tradition. Europe tends to be less so than the US and the UK, again owing to tradition. The ROW very much less so, if at all in many places and many mindsets, yet again owing to tradition.

There are many paradoxes of liberalism that many self-identified liberals either don't recognize or don't want to acknowledge. Some of these paradoxes are within liberalism, e.g., the incompatibility of certain concepts of social, political and economic l liberalism that don't mesh well.

There is a major paradox of liberalism wrt to illiberal mindsets. Liberalism is supposed to be about toleration of all POVs. but many so-called liberals find difficulty in doing that.

Of course, liberalism doesn't require toleration of hostile opposition because of the right of self-protection and self-defense. So the tactic of some so-called liberals is to expand the scope of "hostile opposition" to what they dislike, stretching the scope of "hostile" way beyond its reasonable limits.

Liberalism requires flexibility, and it's enemy is rigidity. Many people would like to be liberals ideally but realistically they are just too rigid to exhibit the required flexibility. Theirs is therefore a faux liberalism. Some are liberal in one or two categories but not all. for instance, one can be an economic liberal but not a political or social liberal and even oppose political or social liberalism.

2. Spirituality and religion

When it comes to spirituality and religion, most people have not really thought through this rigorously. Just as math is the language of science and accounting, the language of business; so too, logic is the instrument of rigorous thinking aka "philosophy."

For example, normative institutional religion is often based on belief assumed to be true but not approached critically. In fact, in many cases critical thinking about "faith" is ruled out. Conversely, others make the logically illegitimate jump from absence of evidence to evidence of absence, or limit the definition of evidence to rule out what they don't want to deal with.

The tipoff of persuasion based on ideology versus argument based on critical thinking based on logic and evidence is arguing for a position and especially fixing the assumptions and narrowly defining evidence, rather than beginning with open inquiry, proceeding logically, and gathering all relevant evidence, only winnowing evidence after it has been collected.

Tom Hickey said...

I'm not an adherent of so called multiculutralism either. But that's a topic for another time. What I'm getting at, however, is the GENERAL incompatibility that I see between the secular Western way of life and that of Islam--even so called moderate Islam. But before you tie your panties in knots, it's just one view, mine, so relax.

Pew Research did a wonderful survey of Muslims a few years back on global Islam. There's enough religious wacko sentiment in the broader Islamic world to me pause--like the large number of Muslims up for stoning adulterers for instance. That sure would go over well in the states. Read it for yourselves and draw your own conclusion on where this religious ideology might take us globally and or locally. As an American I have no desire to find out in some socially engineered demographic experiment here in the states:


This is a challenge the world faces owing to globalization. Previously tribalisms only interacted at the interfaces. Now they have penetrated each other owing to advances in communications and transportation technology, as well as immigration.

The challenge of globalization is to integrate different traditions having different ideologies. It's already a huge challenge and it is far from over.

One of the major problems in the world is the US neoconservative assumption that all human beings are liberal at heart and given the space will naturally adopt social, political and economic liberalism. This is an absurd assumption when the US as the most liberal country has been working on this for over two centuries with only limited success.

The debate of the day now is globalization or nationalism, owing to the breakdown in the EZ, the political division in the US presidential campaign with the rise of Donald Trump as the heir, so to speak, of Pat Buchanan's America First, and the kerfuffle over Brexit that threatens the continued existence of the EU.

The choice is not necessarily between open borders and building walls. Nuanced approaches are needed. Change is inevitable but the pace of change needs to be managed based on conditions. If the pace is too fast, then the situation becomes unstable. If too slow, then pent up demand for change may explode.

jrbarch said...

Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want ev’rybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Barry Goldwater
Move in next door and marry my daughter
You must think I’m crazy!
I wouldn’t let him do it for all the farms in Cuba”
[Bob Dylan]

John said...

Matt: "I don't see how they get out of this without eventually all the good Muslims killing all the bad Muslims..."

Absolutely right. Let's help them! Leave the head of ISIS for me, though: I haven't decided whether to throw him off a building or crucify him. As all the most respected terror experts have reiterated time and time again, this is a tiny jihadi minority versus an overwhelming mainstream majority conflict. The tiny minority thrive in extreme situations, like post-invasion Iraq, so don't allow anywhere to become a failed state and get taken over by the lunatics. The other major problem is what to do about Saudi Arabia, where all this fucked up shit emanates.

Bob said...

I'm no more a liberal than I am an aardvark.

jrbarch said...

Dylan’s take on the problem (above).

No one wants the guy moving in next door to be carrying a machete, and in the dead of the night, steal over and hack you and your family to pieces. Which is exactly what human beings have been doing to each other for millennia. But that is not our true nature.

Our true nature is we like dignity, peace and prosperity. We like joy and happiness, are programmed to love clarity. But we ignore this (which makes us incredibly ignorant and stupid) and instead, interfere. And we use religion or anything else we can lay our hands on, some CAUSE, as an excuse – to mask greed, misuse of power, human frailty etc. In our true nature, in dignity peace and prosperity is our human strength; what goes on in the world today is not an outcome of strength. When people feel fear, they feel weak, literally. An admiral, standing on the bow of a warship steaming in to an occupied land, with jetfighters screaming overhead, nuclear radiation settling over a once fertile earth, is not a symbol of human strength. It IS a symbol of human stupidity.

In the end, it is just one human being relating to another, one group relating to another, and today the group relations are the most important. Down the millennia. The basis of a good relation is respect. We should examine this.

In order to respect another human being, you have to find something inside of yourself that you like; then through experience you come to respect it - then you look around and notice exactly the same thing in others. Then it’s easy to respect yourself and admire another. We are human beings, and respect cannot be based on something external to our nature (like $money or social status or possessions or force) because respect is actually a human feeling, arising out of human nature – it is real, in our nature. Nothing to do with the externals. Mind is an interpretive faculty between our nature and the externals. It should reflect the truth between our true nature and the externals and not be a medium to be filled up with lies and hate. People have lost sight of the fact that we are human. We are not little social robots.

So how much respect is there in this world today, for a human being. How much do the guys running NATO respect the guys running Russia or China and v.v. No one respects the Muslim radicals who are used as pawns in the game. Peace is of vital importance to human beings because it is only with peace can people understand and begin to plumb, the incredible depths of human nature (where our real treasures lie). Look at our evolution over the last 200,000 years and see some of the beauty that has unfolded (and Yes, I know we are imperfect). Peace leads to prosperity and prosperity restores human dignity and dignity leads right back to even more peace, in a virtuous circle. The people of a country are much more likely to get along with the people of other countries than our so-called ‘world leaders’. How much do human beings value, or understand the value, of a human being. Who values the potential of a human being. Everything else is more important. That is because we are not able to see clearly something inside of human nature to respect. That is what has to change. Until we find out, there is nothing but conflict because we think peace is only attainable through control of everything else on the outside. This is Illusion, glamour, maya.

It is also impossible because human beings are like snowflakes, unique, diverse, on the outside; a unison on the inside.

John said...

Malmo: "Do you desire Malmo the atheist to be a convert to Islam? Do you want Malmo to accept the premise that on balance Islam is a good thing for the world at large?"

I'm an atheist too and I have no wish to convert to anything at all, even back to the Quakerish-Anglicanism that I was brought up on. I myself do not believe that religion of any description is a good thing. The question is what do you want to do about it? Make things worse or better? Military action, especially on laughable pretexts, plays right into what the jihadis want. Aiding the jihadis, as we have in Afghanistan and Syria, to name the most obvious of very many instances, is madness. I hate jihadis and their radical Islamism and I want to see them all dead. What is important to remember is that so do the other 1.5 billion Muslims.

"Do you want me to fall in line and accept that Islam is essentially moderate in it social/political applications? Do you want me, an American, who thrives on the secular ways of life America embodies to at the same time welcome moderate Islamic peoples and the influences they bring to become a much larger part of the permanent American mosaic?"

Most Islam is conservative, not violent and radical, like you see in Turkey. On the whole, although there are certain differences, it is not altogether different to Orthodox Judaism. Most Muslims want to live in a secular democracy. Why do you think so many Muslims want to immigrate to the West? They love western freedoms. They don't have these freedoms in the dictatorships, many US-backed, they are trying to escape from. The problem is that the wackos have given all Muslims a very bad name. The moderates are very different in their attitudes to the jihadis: that's why, given half a chance, they kill them as soon they can lay their hands on them.

"Do you want Malmo to have virtually no trepidation when it comes to Islam's influence here or abroad? Do either of you have any doubts/fears about the world going forward with a growing Islamic population and the world it might bring our way? What you want doesn't matter much to me but at least I'll get where you're coming from with all the evangelizing on tolerance for Islam your throwing my way."

There should be a great deal of trepidation. Unless we very quickly reverse the relationship we have with Saudi Arabia, they will spread their jihad everywhere, and a generation from now there won't be 20,000 barbarians wanting to take the planet back to seventh century Arabia, there'll be hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions: welcome to world war three and four and five.

Like most people, most Muslims only want to move to the West because of the freedoms they don't have at home. If they had these freedoms, they'd stay in the place they consider home. I'm English and I don't particularly want to live anywhere else. Those Syrians you see fleeing the maniacs don't want to leave Syria, and they'd go back if they could. They've left because of Obama's great idea to set up a Salafi jihadi state in Syria to topple Assad.

John said...

continued...

"But that's a topic for another time. What I'm getting at, however, is the GENERAL incompatibility that I see between the secular Western way of life and that of Islam--even so called moderate Islam."

I don't think that this is on the whole correct. I'm not saying that it isn't possible, but as I've said mainstream Islam is pretty much the same as Orthodox Judaism. In fact, when Islam first emerged it was considered nothing more than a heretical Christian sect, and most Christians couldn't see much that was different. That tells you how much Christianity has changed!

Malmo, if I had Mike's money, I'd love to send you round the dozens of Muslim countries there are in the world. Most are reasonable and pretty normal. They have all kinds of socio-economic and societal problems, but they're not the depraved nutters of ISIS and Saudi Arabia.

"Pew Research did a wonderful survey of Muslims a few years back on global Islam. There's enough religious wacko sentiment in the broader Islamic world to me pause--like the large number of Muslims up for stoning adulterers for instance."

I don't doubt that in extreme times of war times there are extreme results, just like in the aftermath of 9/11 the small minority of Americans who advocated nuclear strikes or the bombing of Mecca. During peacetime nobody goes nutty. War brings out the worst in people. It's an understandable reaction. As I said, if the US bombed Israel many American Jews would go fucking ballistic. Or if the US bombed India many american Hindus would go apeshit. Some people identify very strongly with their coreligionists, over and above any identity they have with their country. Again, this is not me saying this. Everything I've written on this thread comes straight out of the world's leading experts on religious violence and security studies. I have no wish to be crucified by a jihadi for my heathen nature. It's kill or be killed. Let's kill them before they kill us. When it comes to jihadis I'm an ultra-hawk. I do believe that our foreign policy is so fucked up that at best it is the best recruiting sergeant there is for radical Islam or at worst actively aids the jihadis for various geopolitical ends. And as we have seen from the leaked documents, we have been actively aiding the jihadis in many places. The foreign policy elites in the US and UK should be tried for treason, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

jrbarch said...

John – I don’t really have a political bone in my body; I stay as far away from politics as I humanly can, so don’t take this comment as anything other than a friendly, and human question, meant to tease out a point. If all of ISIS were rounded up in front of you, and you were given a sub-machine nest and told ‘OK – John, sort them out’ – I don’t think you would do it. War brings horror to the human mind (maybe not to the ***** Generals sitting in their comfortable war games rooms). We know it is wrong, useless, terrifying. There is a humanitarian John visible in all of your comments – so I don’t think you (or Malmo) would do it. I think your mind has to be in a certain dark space to do something like that. Sometimes an ignorant mind will do it from the ‘bombardier’ mentality: - thousands of miles away and they press a button, like on a video game. So what is going on?

I think of the tribal days when stories and legends were told around the campfires, reflecting the human beings of the day. Today there is one big campfire called the internet, visible in all of the countries. The elements of the human drama remain the same.

If I think broadly of humanity over our 200,000 year journey, I think of an ocean. It is an ocean that goes through cycles, and has emergent qualities.

But first and foremost it is a psychological ocean: - ‘reactive, dependent upon our thought apparatus and the physical mechanism, modes of thinking, complexes, psychoses, neuroses, instincts and intellectual fixations’ as we undoubtedly are. We are not perfect beings, even though through logic alone, perfection resides within us (and every atom of the universe).

For me, every terrorist and you and I, were once a babe in a mother’s arms, who looked into their child’s innocent eyes with love. Then we learnt the world.

We did not learn about the reality of being human; we learnt the world. In a human being, in our nature, there are two wolves: - one good, one bad. Everything depends upon which one we feed. We choose: - we understand whatever seeds we sow, will bear their fruit. Knowledge begets knowledge and ignorance begets ignorance; hate begets hate. Another analogy is the biblical sheep and goats: - the goats (intelligentsia) love hanging out on the high mountain peaks, and they know what is happening in the valleys below where bad wolves rule and roam among the sheep, vying for supremacy over the earth. These stories are told again and again on the internet campfire. It is not a conspiracy theory, it is our current reality: - the goats see (when the clouds permit) what is going on in the world, the sheep not so much. The goats know it is their duty to educate the sheep and break the rule of the bad wolves, who manipulate one group of sheep against another, turning the valleys into hell. But the goats are very comfortable, and have everything they need. They would have to descend from their beloved mountain peaks (especially good lawyers – politicians are mostly sheep dressed as goats) and take an active hand. I do not think that killing out one particular herd of sheep gone loco is a long term solution. Something made them like that. A very simple analogy I know, but we all know what it means.

We all know what turns that innocent little baby into a terrorist – any psychologist can map that. If a human being is happy, secure, given plenty of elbow room to be them, left alone, not interfered with within their culture – well, who in their right mind would take up arms against a super state. All problems on this earth are human, the perennial battle between the two wolves; the dharma of the goats and the sheep, the leadership struggle (and which ‘leader’ knows where to lead humanity or any of its individuals). These are our human expressions playing out on the stage of existence; the stuff out of which fantasy, fables, legend and history are woven and told and retold around the fire. Peace too is a reality, compassion a reality, or maybe our mums might have tossed us aside, every time threw a wobbly.

Tom Hickey said...

Recall that the same reasoning was used in the genocide of the Native Americans. They probably did so some pretty cruel stuff to the people invading their land but not without reason, especially when they were fighting against guns with spear and shield and bow and arrow. The people that are resisting contemporary incursion are not very different in having to resort to asymmetrical warfare.

Which is "worse"? Vaporing or shredding people, lots of them with bombs, or cutting off a few heads to make a point. There is no equivalence, given the numbers. It's tens or hundreds of thousands versus to a few thousand.

BTW, Osama bin Laden warned what would happen before it did if the West got involved militarily in the Middle East. The US initially reacted sanely by removing its troops from Saudi Arabia, the home of the most holy sites of Islam, Mecca and Medina (where Muhammad's body was laid to rest). Then...

Bob said...

How many believe that ISIS can be dealt with militarily?

Tom Hickey said...

How many believe that ISIS can be dealt with militarily?

Thinking in terms of a military solution is exactly what ISIS wants the West to do since it promotes recruiting. The CIA estimates that ISIS has grown over 4000% under the Obama administration's policy and strategy.

What do to? Reconfigure foreign and military policy away from neoconservatism and liberal interventionism, both being forms of foreign policy idealism, and back toward foreign policy realism. But that is not going to happen under Obama and certainly not Hillary if elected. Trump is talking foreign policy realism so it could happen if he is elected. But he has the deep state to deal with and it packed with foreign policy idealists, either neocons or liberal interventionists, the difference being that the neocons don't give a hoot about international law or the UN, while the liberal interventionists want are liberal internationalists and at least want to put up a front of acting in terms of international law and institutions.

Bob said...

The Russians are also involved in opposing ISIS. What is their solution?

Tom Hickey said...

The Russians are also involved in opposing ISIS. What is their solution?

Russia views ISIS as an insurgency in a soveriegn state whose government is an ally and has asked them for help in overcoming the insurgency and invited troops. Perfectly legal under international law for nation to do this and an other nation to respond positively.

What is not legal is providing arms and support to insurgencies without a UN resolution. Sending troops across borders against the objections of a nation's legitimate government is also a violation of natural law.

Overthrowing a legitimate government is also a violation of international law.

These matters don't bother US neocons but they do bother liberal interventionists, so the liberal interventionists concoct excuses and false narratives to justify their action by delegitimizing the sitting government. Often this involves immediately recognizing the new government after an illegal coup that the US fomented or supported. This is SOP for the US.

The obvious way to deal with ISIS and other radical insurgents in any of the countries they operate is for the national governments to use their security forces for the purpose and to call on allies or the international community for assistance if they cannot do so successfully.

Bob said...

The obvious way to deal with ISIS and other radical insurgents in any of the countries they operate is for the national governments to use their security forces for the purpose and to call on allies or the international community for assistance if they cannot do so successfully.

In other words, a military solution. Given the history of Baathist rule, this will also involve massive human rights violations following the "defeat" of the insurgents.

I see little difference between the Russian and US "solutions". The past 25 years of ME intervention have taught them nothing.

Tom Hickey said...

I see little difference between the Russian and US "solutions". The past 25 years of ME intervention have taught them nothing.

The difference is that the Syrian solution backed by Russia is the traditional, normal and legal solution that a sovereign state would be expected to undertake wrt an insurgency.

The US solution is to take out Assad and install a Sunni government favorable to Saudi Arabia. Totally illegal. Neocons are fine with that but liberal interventionists are not so the elaborate propaganda campaign to delegitimize Assad and paint Russia and Iran and interlopers even though they are invited, hence there legally.

There is simply no equivalence between Russia and Iran in Syria versus the US, UK, an Germany, which have boots on the ground, and French military participation all of which is under protest by the legitimate Syrian government.

The US tried to establish a creditable "government" among the insurgents as an alternative to Assad that it could back in a "civil war" and failed.

Now the ball is in the US court with Russia taking out US Al Qaeda allies (which the US military supports btw). We'll see what Obama decides to do about it.

Bob said...

The difference is that the Syrian solution backed by Russia is the traditional, normal and legal solution that a sovereign state would be expected to undertake wrt an insurgency.

The US is involved in that kind of a solution in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. Their respective "legitimate" governments have invited them. Doesn't mean those solutions will work, nor does it give the US the moral high ground.

There is simply no equivalence between Russia and Iran in Syria versus the US, UK, an Germany, which have boots on the ground, and French military participation all of which is under protest by the legitimate Syrian government.

The equivalence is that they are supporting their proxies in a civil war. All of these players are only concerned with what they perceive is best for them. None of them are concerned with what is best for Syria, or more importantly, what is best for the people who live in that region. This is a major reason why their efforts to shape a particular outcome will fail. The other reason is that those who are doing the actual fighting on the ground are proxies, not puppets. The outcome is unpredictable.

The moderate Muslim majority that John mentions is nowhere near the reins of power in this morass. That is, if such a majority exists at all. They have been driven, literally by necessity, to support one extreme or the other.

Now the ball is in the US court with Russia taking out US Al Qaeda allies (which the US military supports btw). We'll see what Obama decides to do about it.

He's got until November (or next January/February?), and it would be safe to assume that any steps he does take have been cleared with Hillary and her people.

Tom Hickey said...

The US is involved in that kind of a solution in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. Their respective "legitimate" governments have invited them. Doesn't mean those solutions will work, nor does it give the US the moral high ground.

1. It's a given that the solution won't work, since, as Gen Shinseki pointed out before the Iraq invasion, pacifying Iraq would take an occupation force of about 500,000. Wolfowitz went ballistic and had him fired, claiming that the Iraqs would agree the US troops with flowers as liberators. The rest is history. US voters are not going to back doing what it actually takes and politicians know it.

2. The US does more or less occupy the high ground in Afghanistan and Iraq from the legal point of view. Not so in Syria.

The Libyan "government" now that is providing legitimacy is a joke. It is totally manufactured.

Tom Hickey said...

The equivalence is that they are supporting their proxies in a civil war.

That rationale has collapsed. In was a complete boondoggle in which the US sunk 100s of millions of USD. The only players of note now are ISIS and AQ affiliates. The rebels the the US was banking in the so-called civil war have either joined the cease fire or joined AQ affiliates.

Bob said...

1. The objective is to regain control over the territory lost to ISIS, roughly the Sunni triangle. Surely that would not require anything near 500,000 US troops...

That rationale has collapsed. In was a complete boondoggle in which the US sunk 100s of millions of USD. The only players of note now are ISIS and AQ affiliates. The rebels the the US was banking in the so-called civil war have either joined the cease fire or joined AQ affiliates.

The failure of the US to damage ISIS and AQ militarily is evidence that they are being used as proxies. A NATO ally, Turkey, was caught exchanging oil for weapons. Yet ISIS continues to derive the revenue needed to wage war. Only now are operations in Iraq being stepped up...

Bob said...

What is going on here?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3315347/Watch-heart-pounding-moment-Israeli-commandos-save-Islamic-militants-Syrian-warzone-risking-lives-sworn-enemies.html

Tom Hickey said...

1. The objective is to regain control over the territory lost to ISIS, roughly the Sunni triangle. Surely that would not require anything near 500,000 US troops...

It's what happens afterward, which is what an occupation is about.

The US never left Germany and Japan after WWII, and still maintains massive troops in South Korea. Securing Central Asia (Afghanistan) and the MENA would probably take about a million troops to secure the region and hold it.

Tom Hickey said...

What is going on here?

All Sunnis are Israel's allies against Shiite Iran, on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend (temporarily).

Bob said...

Fallujah falls to Iraqi (Shia) forces:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/06/20/fall-j20.html