Seriously dude… really?

25 02 2011

Recently I read an article claiming 5 things that people in general believed about Islam and Muslims that wasn’t true. At least that was the writers claim.

I paused as I read this and thought to myself “Really?…I’m not so sure about that.” and I started to reflect on each point he was trying to make. He had some good arguments but they were the type that just kinda glossed over the reality of history and didn’t really tell the whole story.

Here’s my take on each one…

 

#5.

If You’re a Muslim Woman, You Have to Wear the Veil
Here’s the problem, must people don’t know a lot about Islam because they’ve for the most part only been exposed to the TV News version of Islam. What is typically presented there is radical fundamentalist Islam and the burqa, or veil, IS a very large part of that. The requirement to wear the burqa (or veil) is spreading rapidly across the Middle Eastern and Asian Muslim communities (and European ones, too, for that matter). For a long while Western traditions had taken root and women had enjoyed many rights. Rights that are slowly being taken away. For example it was recently shown on the web a picture of a graduating class from a college in Egypt from back in the seventies. Out of a large contingent of women in the photo only a couple wore a burqas, while a photo from the past year showed not only fewer women there but ALL to either be veiled or wearing the burqa. Google some photos of Iran from the sixties and seventies and now… From what I’ve been told by Muslim friends (male) is that according to Islamic tradition a woman should be covered although many don’t follow that nowadays.
#4.

Our Founding Fathers Would Never Have Tolerated This Muslim Nonsense!
They most assuredly WOULD NOT have tolerated it!. Here you perhaps are misinformed about what all the “nonsense” is. Many of the traditions and tenets of Islam are very much against the views of our founders as set forth in our constitution. The very idea of Sharia Law would have them spinning in their graves.

As for as the “Treaty of Tripoli” goes it is what it is. And what it is was a treaty to make the “musselmen” quit pirating our damn ships. There are many letters written by our founders talking about Christian faith and its huge part of our countries, not only reason to be, but the necessity in it’s tradition keeping our nation strong and free. Some people try to push away from religion as it relates to the foundation of our country (Christian or otherwise) as for as our founders go but one clarifying factor is to look at what they did as our nation formed. One of the very first Acts by the first Congress was to require regular religious services be held on our Navy ships while at sea.
#3.

“Muslim” Equals “Arab”

It’s true that not all Muslims are Arab and not all Arabs are Muslim.

Again, this is related to the past and Islam’s history as a “Arab” religion. Mohammad most likely came up with it as a response to other cultures having a “stake” in a religion and wanted one for the people of Arab decent as its pretty much based on several of the other religions of the area that existed at that time. That it has spread does mitigate it’s interpretation as Arab only, however it’s tenets are based in the Arab culture and tradition without doubt. It’s just as easy (and correct) to say that Islam is a Arab religion as it is to say Buddhism is an Eastern religion.

#2.

Western Cultures Are Far More Humane Than the Bloodthirsty Muslims

They are. We were once ALL bloodthirsty and you can preach all you want but the Muslims fall right in line with it too. HOWEVER, it seems that western traditions have become far more humane over time than the Muslims have. Again this relates more to the Arab Muslim than where all it has spread in more modern times, but none the less, there are some far more barbaric practices contained within that world than outside of it… from still stoning people to death, honor killings, and loping off hands for thievery, to executing people in large public arenas for in many cases minor offences, it’s hard to argue that isn’t the case. While you may be correct with Mohammad’s “code of conduct” for his warriors, that went out the window a long long time ago. Now it’s all about stoning, loping off hands, and a head or two every now and then just to make a point. Or blowing themselves and other stuff up to get to Heaven… What’s the name of that last Jewish guy that got on that crowded bus with a vest full of T-n-T…? Oh yeah, Twasntone.

Lets just sum this one up with just one word: Jihad.
(Christians, by the way, are far more violently persecuted around the world than Muslims are and it’s typically the Muslims doing the persecuting)
#1.

Islam Is Stuck in the Dark Ages

Again, to a large extent we are back at the Arab end of the spectrum for this and it comes from a media that likes to sensationalize and shape the truth. First, see above. Then forgive me while I laugh about whatever point you thought you were making in reference to this with the evolution thing…

Science and math existed long before Islam. Perhaps you wanted to give a shout out here to the Arab world and Persia, too, (which you yourself seem to be confusing with Islam) but the Pyramids in Egypt date back about 4000 years and without science and mathematics they wouldn’t exist. Algebra is the foundation of engineering and do you think the Great Wall of China was built without it? There are ruins built by the natives in South America that defy logic with their precision and grace and I don’t think that was a Muslim amoung’em.

Yes, Islam had a fine tradition of Art, Mathematics, Engineering, and Science and I’ll even grant that it was much more advanced than the nomadic tribes that roamed Europe back in the day… but they still weren’t the Greeks, with their great tradition of philosophy nor were they the Romans who built the coliseum while Arabs were still on the small but nicely furnished side of the building boom. Where are their huge armies of clay soldiers buried in the sand? But then again we are talking Arabs, not Islam aren’t we… Islam didn’t exist then. Now that tradition in Art and Science and Math and all is pretty much gone too. Go read yourself a list of Nobel Prize winners.

After Islam came along things took a down hill turn for the worse…, the Turks and Ottomans tried with one great last gasp, but…, and they are, to a very large extent, now stuck back in the Dark Ages. Truly, there are some grand structures and other beautiful things to see “over there”… but then again they were built a long long time ago weren’t they!? Even today some of them are living in tents. But nice tents, I’ll give you that.

Seriously dude…really?

Al





The voice of the people…

16 02 2011

A democracy only gains its truth through the voice of the people it represents. To suppress the voice of the citizenry is to abdicate democracy and embrace tyranny. Tyranny needs no voice.

There is no democracy in Iran.





Jobs coming back home? Don’t count on it…

14 02 2011

One of the thing that has taken a lot of the blame for jobs leaving the country is the high cost of Union labor. Some people see that as a false flag issue and want to blame NAFTA, lack of corporate loyalty, outright greed, or some other issue as the primary cause. I tend to place a lot of the blame on the Unions myself.

Here in America one problem that I’ve noticed over the years is that union wages outrace traditional wages and will put a lot of pressure on the job market that the markets can’t handle. When you take that even further out into the world market it’s effects are multiplied greatly.

Here’s an example: I have a friend that went to work for X (a US car company) about 25 years ago and he started out at about $16 per hour. This was a time when minimum wages where what, $3.50?

 Everybody and anybody that could get a job there did so, which hurt a lot of places that couldn’t pay nearly that as they saw their trained and even long time good employees leave for those jobs. The people that replaced those lost employees wanted better than what had been starting wages beforehand because the ‘market’ demanded it. In order to survive many businesses had to cut employees making even bad jobs harder to get.

I don’t begrudge anybody making good money, but where has that $16 per hour wage gone to in the 25 years since? It’s far outpaced regular wages and you ended up having a larger and larger disparity between entry level no skilled wages and the high dollar Union wage worker. Goods became more expensive to pay the union wage but the average man on the street has less ability to pay for those expensive good. What’s a person to do? Bargain hunt. Shop cheap.

 The company my friend worked for had a choice to make between paying him $16 (on up) per hour as opposed to paying someone elsewhere the then $2 per hour. The plant, now closed, had over 2000 employees so do the math. That company has a specific loyalty it MUST cater to and that would be to the stockholders of that company. It’s hard to justify expending an extra $14 per hour per employee to a room full of stockholders that might just be from all over the world that your doing it to keep jobs in America.

With the plant closing came the layoffs and with the layoffs came the lack of good paying jobs for the laid off workers… They literally priced themselves out of the market, not to mention the jobs. And as trickle down theories tend to work more and more lower skilled low wage jobs went to people with more skills and that left the entry level unskilled worked home sitting on their hands and supporting themselves with government handouts.

At one time corporations prided themselves on number of plants and number of employees they had, but now it’s a leaner meaner world where managers look to cut to the bone to maximize profits… even to the point of giving up market share. I think it was JC Penny that just announced that they are going to do away with their catalog sales because it only accounts for 9% of their profits. I’d have thought something making up 9% of your PROFITS would have been considered a moneymaker but I guess they don’t look at it that way any more for some reason. They will give away 9% of their profits to be a leaner meaner company.

People often look at corporations as being greedy. It’s not. It’s STOCKHOLDERS that are greedy. It’s the institutionalized belief that profits must be maximized or the stockholder isn’t being served that is the problem. There is no such concept as “a fair profit” anymore, it’s maximum return on investment that is the thing.

And about that “tax” thing we‘re always hearing about, corporations (and ‘the rich’) don’t pay taxes, consumers do. Every dollar the government charges a rich person or some “wealthy” corporation will be passed right on back to the consumer of whatever it is that made them rich and wealthy in the first place as an expense. The ONLY result is a rise in the price of the goods and the services… which cause less goods and services to be sold or performed, which in turn means less taxes going to the treasury. Vicious cycle that it is…

How do you fix it? Is a conundrum. We need to do something to make these companies want to stay here in America and provide good jobs for our people. Companies don’t seem very loyal anymore because, well, they wouldn’t really know who to be loyal to? The stock market is world wide and ownership of many or these corporations are held by stockholders from everywhere now. Can we do anything about it? Well…

You can’t very well restrict the sale of shares BUT you CAN make it tax advantageous to locate and hire here in America. A company may pay no taxes by locating offshore but their workers will, that is if their workers are working here in America. It’s better to give a company a tax break than have no company at all…

A lot of people don’t understand that NAFTA and CAFTA were meant to level the playing field for our companies to compete on a level playing field as far as tariffs and such go but the actual bite from them comes on the wage scale issues involved. Open markets can only do so much when you aren’t competitive on labor costs, so short of adding tariffs and restrictions, well, it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t proposition.

The hope has always been that foreign markets would see wages rise as employment went up there, and to some extent that has been the case, but meanwhile OUR wages have skyrocketed ahead and are out of sight by comparison. Much of that is do to unions. Very little to corporate greed.

It’s easy for a corporation to relocate nowadays. We saw Halliburton do it just because of the politics involved. Others do it to take advantage of tax loopholes and easing of regulations. Which brings up another sore subject of our regulating many of our companies out of either being competitive or completely unable to do business altogether.

It can be burdensome to comply with regulations covering manufacturing, wastewater, and disposal of hazardous wastes from a cost standpoint alone, and that’s on top of labor costs. Other countries aren’t as restrictive as we are. Surely we want clean air and water, but with a population of 300 million to support we may have to make a hard choice of just how clean a air and water do we have to have?

We want our jobs staying at home but when you start layering and layering more and more costs loyalty can only take you so far and expect to realize a profit from a consumer that expects cheap prices. My dad used to have a sign in his store that said “There is nothing that someone somewhere can’t make a little bit cheaper and those that only look at the price are this mans fair game”.

That true, somebody can always make stuff cheaper. We are used to a disposable world. Example: They used to make TV’s that would last for 15 – 20+ years on average. Those televisions were comparably expensive. They started making them cheaper and the life expectancy of a television fell accordingly. Now we will go out and by a huge big screen television and pay less for it by comparison than “back then” and if it only lasts 6 or 8 years we say “oh well” and go out and get another.

Part (but only part) of that is because we are a fad driven society nowadays, always wanting the newest, biggest, best of everything. We really don’t want our televisions (or cars, or…) lasting too long because we want to be able to justify going out and getting a newer bigger better one. To make all this happen it has to be cheap. You can’t pay somebody $20+ per hour, comply with untold government regulations, run the liability risks, pay the mandated costs (union benefits/insurance/taxes) and make things cheap here in America anymore.

We are between a rock and a hard spot now. Are those lost jobs coming back home? Some might, but the rest, no. Well, not anytime soon.

-Al
 
 
 

 





Say what…?

7 02 2011

I keep seeing on various posts on Facebook, Twitter, comment boards, or elsewhere around the web different terms being used to describe people. Many times its mis-speak or exaggeration. Sometimes its just people not knowing what they are talking about or perhaps they are just parroting what they have heard others say.

If found that as a rule of thumb you can usually dismiss people that bandy about these terms as capable of adding little of value to serious discussion. Most of it is just name-calling and wanting to seem vastly more informed than they actually are.

I’ve found that some of this just goes right over the head of many, and many are starting to pick up on the mis-use of these terms and misuse them themselves. In doing so it starts to change the meanings and leads to a bit of mis-understanding, so I thought I’d hit up Wikipedia (an easy source which anybody can…) and look some of this stuff up and pass along the for real on what it is people are actually talking about with these terms.

Now I won’t go into all of them, such as Nazi (which gets wayyy too much use), or people like Che Guevara who for some strange reason some seem to want to idolize, or things like ‘Socialist’ that really do have duel meanings because the boundaries aren’t so well defined as to easily explain them here. But here are a few of the more common ones…

Trotskyites:

Followers of a Marxist theory put forth by Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia .

Trotskyism can be distinguished from other Marxist theories by four key elements.

1.Support for the strategy of permanent revolution.

2.Criticism of the post-1924 leadership of the Soviet Union, analysis of its features and after 1933, support for political revolution in the Soviet Union and in what Trotskyists term “the deformed workers’ states”.

3.Support for social revolution in the advanced capitalist countries through working class mass action.

4.Support for proletarian internationalism (universal workers rights or unionism).

On the political spectrum of Marxism, Trotskyists are considered to be on the left. They supported democratic rights in the USSR, opposed political deals with the imperialist powers, and advocated a spreading of the revolution throughout Europe and the East.

NeoCon:

Newly Conservative.

Former leftists who have moved significantly to the right. These people tended to remain supporters of social democracy. They still support the welfare state, but not necessarily in its contemporary form.

Irving Kristol described NeoCon’s as a “liberal mugged by reality”, or someone who became more conservative after seeing the results of liberal policies. And that neo-conservatives had a forward-looking approach drawn from their liberal heritage, rather than the reactionary and dour approach of previous conservatives, proposing alternate reforms rather than simply attacking social liberal reforms and take philosophical ideas and ideologies very seriously.

The main characteristics of neo-conservatism have been described as

1. A tendency to see the world in binary good/evil terms.

2. Low tolerance for diplomacy.

3. Believe in a strong military and willingness to use military force.

4. Emphasis on US unilateral action.

5. Disdain for multilateral organizations (such as the UN).

6. Focus on the Middle East.

7. An “us” versus “them” mentality.

NWO (New World Order):

Defined Politically: A period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power. [Example- GHW Bush’s calling for or declaring a new world order rising out of the collapse of the Soviet Union.]

Defined as a Conspiracy: A conspiracy theory in which a secret elite is conspiring to rule the world via world government and globalization. [Zionist seeking to dominate world banking]

Illuminati:

Properly defined as those that are “enlightened” as to the belief that Science and God can co-exist.

Technically an offshoot of the enlightenment movement formed as “The Order of Illuminati” first called the “Perfectibilists” and modeled on Freemasonry.

In modern times it is also used to refer to a purported conspiratorial organization which acts as a the unseen “power behind the throne” and allegedly controls world affairs through present day governments and corporations. Conspiracy theories have claimed that many notable people, including most U.S. Presidents, were or are members of the Illuminati.

Zionist:

From the word ‘Zion’, out of the Hebrew word Tzi-yon, meaning Jerusalem.

Defined: A Jewish political movement that supports self determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish homeland. Less commonly defined as the non-Jewish political support for the State of Israel.

Zionism was established on the basis of the association between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.

Zionism grew out of the anti-Semitism of Europe in the 18th and 19th century and sought to encourage Jewish migration to Ottoman controlled Palestine. After World War II and the Holocaust, a massive wave of Jewish refugees, mainly Holocaust survivors, began migrating to Palestine in defiance of British rules. The British either imprisoned these people in Cyprus or sent them to the British-controlled Allied Occupation Zones in Germany. This resulted in universal Jewish support for Zionism.

In 1947, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine recommended that western Palestine should be partitioned into a Jewish state, an Arab state and a UN-controlled territory around Jerusalem. This plan was adopted on November 29, 1947. The Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states rejected the UN decision, demanding a single state and removal of Jewish migrants, leading to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Now I realize that there is a lot more tossed around out there than this, but much of it is just a matter of opinion and what side of the political aisle you happen to fall. What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander and what some see as derogatory some wear as a badge of honor. Some of that applies to the above as well. Some people don’t mind at all being called a socialist and to me, as a conservative from the get go, I say the more NeoCons the better.

Is there really an “illuminati”? Look around folks. If there is they really can’t be all that smart now can they… I mean they’ve supposedly had all these years and haven’t gotten it all together yet. But hey, that’s just my opinion…

If you DO want to use some of these terms, by all means be my guest, for I will sometimes myself. Just try to know what you are talking about when you do.

I hope this has shed some light on what it is some people are talking about out there in Cyberville. It’s all confusing enough without some of the name calling by people that really don’t have a clue.

Al