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The Muslim Issue: Suspicious Clocks! Muslim Presidents! Refugees! Eurabia! Islamophobia!

September 24, 2015

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The New Moderate isn’t a magazine, of course. It’s not even a conventional blog. I might describe it as a column written whenever public events agitate me enough to write. But the past few weeks have showered us with a multiplicity of Muslim-themed stories that are too juicy to ignore. Instead of a long column on a single topic, I’m splitting the current offering into separate mini-articles. Welcome to our “Muslim issue.”

The Clock That Struck Terror

We all know the story by now, although few of us know all the details: in a suburb of Dallas, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, son of a Muslim activist who once ran for president of Sudan, walked into school with a pencil case that started beeping in class. The case opened to reveal (ominous drumroll, please) a circuit board and multiple wires.

Islam ahmed clock magesYIMOXITYSuspected of carrying a time bomb, young Ahmed was clapped in handcuffs and whisked away to a juvenile detention center by authorities. (He was quickly released but suspended from school for three days.)

Almost immediately, you could hear the outrage screaming across America from the Left Coast to the nation’s capital. Islamophobia! Profiling! Racism! Ignorant Texans! The boy was just a budding genius who had invented his own clock, and ’Murrica treats him like a terrorist because of his religion.

As usual, the story turned out to be a little more complicated. First of all, young Ahmed hadn’t invented anything; according to various technogeeks who analyzed photos of his contraption, Ahmed had simply removed the innards of a commercial alarm clock and mounted them inside a pencil case. It sure didn’t look like a clock. Ahmed even admitted that he tied a cable around the pencil case to make it look “less suspicious” — so he was plainly aware that his timepiece might be construed as something a little more malevolent.

But wasn’t he wrongfully arrested? Well, yes. The authorities could simply have ushered the boy outside the school and released him when they found his gadget to be harmless. If he had deliberately crafted a “hoax bomb,” as police concluded, what possible motive could he have had? To get himself into hot water? Seems unlikely.

Wasn’t he singled out on the basis of his religion? Well, yes again… but given the recent history of our times, a Muslim youth holding a homemade beeping device in a classroom will cause marginally more concern than, say, a white Methodist kid carrying the same gadget. Profiling might temporarily ruffle the feathers of a few innocent people, but it can also save lives. Imagine if the pencil case had contained more than a clock, and the school authorities had failed to act.

In the end, we don’t have to worry about young Ahmed. President Obama, MIT, NASA and even Mark Zuckerberg immediately reached out to him and pretty much guaranteed a brilliant future for the lad. Only in America.

Gentle Ben Catches Heat

That uber-calm, level-headed former pediatric surgeon and Republican presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, ignited a political firestorm that almost grilled him in return. How? By proclaiming that the U.S. should never elect a Muslim as president.

Notwithstanding the fact that numerous Republicans believe we already have a Muslim president, Carson’s quip unleashed the furies of Constitutional scholars and multicultural liberals alike. After all, our Constitution asserts that no candidate should have to pass a religious test as a qualification for office.

Islam ben-carsonCarson’s objection raises an issue that America’s progressive (and mostly nonreligious) Islamophiles need to think about: namely, that Islam isn’t simply a religion. If it limited itself to nurturing a spiritual bond between Allah and the faithful, it would be a different matter. But there’s the jihad thing, and the oppression of women thing, and the blaming the victims of rape thing, and the execution of homosexuals thing, and too many other things that interfere with personal freedom, fly in the face of Western values, and don’t exactly fall into the realm of the metaphysical.

Yes, Islam is a religion — but, if followed according to the dictates of its scriptures and customs, it’s also an aggressively authoritarian political and social system much like Soviet-style communism. It continues to mystify me that so many American liberals automatically rush to the defense of a fundamentally illiberal system.

Carson backpedaled from his inflammatory remark by saying that he’d willingly vote for a Muslim who renounced Sharia law. So would I. (Renunciation of jihad and the universal caliphate would help, too.) Once we jettison the social and political elements of Islam that are antithetical to American life, we’re dealing with a simple, unobjectionable religion once again — as millions of moderate Muslims already know.

Muslim Hordes Invade Europe!

The mass exodus from Syria continues apace, with no end in sight (although, given the finite population of Syria, it has to end sometime). We’ve seen numerous photos and moving images of the exodus that provoke our empathy and outrage: the body of a toddler washed up on a beach, the video of a Hungarian camerawoman tripping a refugee who was desperately carrying his child across the border.

We’re looking at a vast humanitarian crisis that deserves our profound sympathy, but we’re also looking at a demographic one: namely, how many more Muslim immigrants can Western Europe be expected to absorb?

Recent estimates cited in Wikipedia inform us that Paris, London and Frankfurt are already hovering around 10% Muslim… Amsterdam, Brussels and Stockholm have passed the 20% mark… and the French port city of Marseilles tops the list at 25%. But here’s the statistic that sets off my inner alarm system: in many of these cities, the under-18 population is already more than half Muslim.

I’m sure the multiculturalists will be rejoicing, but these statistics don’t bode well for the future of Europe as we know it. Europe’s Muslim enclaves are, more often than not, bastions of non-assimilation, poverty, surly demands, hostile catcalls, and city streets shut down for prayer. According to a recent poll, 80% of Dutch Turks between 18 and 34 “saw nothing wrong in jihad… against non-believers.” Anger is mounting on both sides of the divide. And of course, public figures who raise concerns about the great demographic shift, like the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders, are routinely castigated as nativists, xenophobes, Neo-Nazis and promulgators of hate speech.

Is it hateful to express concern about preserving one’s ancestral culture in the face of radical demographic change? I would hope not. My own people, the Armenians, learned the hard way: as Turks streamed into the country after waves of medieval conquest, Armenians gradually became a minority in their own ancient homeland. In the end, it was an easy matter for the Turks to dispose of them entirely.

Islam refugees untitledThe U.S. was populated and built by immigrants, but Europe is different. We’re looking at thousand-year-old nations, each with distinctive languages, cultures and customs that will be erased from our midst if the Muslim expansion continues without relief.

But who’s willing to provide relief? Turkey and Lebanon have stepped up during the Syrian crisis, each taking more than a million refugees. Jordan, Iraq and Egypt have absorbed over 100,000 apiece. And the U.S. has committed to sheltering up to 100,000 refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries over the next two years.

Well, what about Saudi Arabia, our longtime petro-pal in the Middle East with its vast expanses of empty land? How many Syrian refugees are they willing to accept? Zero. The United Arab Emirates? Ditto. Kuwait and Qatar? You guessed it.

Embattled Europe is expected to stretch itself to the seams while the wealthy Persian Gulf states calmly collect oil revenues, build half-mile-high skyscrapers and turn their backs on their ravaged Muslim brethren. I call foul. Extremely foul.

 

Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. All posts copyright 2007-2015.

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132 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2015 5:40 pm

    “So embattled Europe is expected to stretch itself to the seams while the wealthy Persian Gulf states calmly collect oil revenues, build half-mile-high skyscrapers and turn their backs on their ravaged Muslim brethren.”

    Who exactly expects this, Rick? I certainly don’t.

    If other Muslim countries can’t take in their “own” why does Europe (or the US) need to do it?

    • September 26, 2015 11:19 pm

      The more humane countries usually step up during humanitarian crises, so they’re expected to keep stepping up because nobody else will. I know, it gets tiresome. At least a few Middle Eastern countries have opened their doors, but I wonder what excuses the Persian Gulf countries are using.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 11:07 am

        To my knowledge, these countries don’t offer excuses or apologize. That is a Western thing, apparently.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2015 9:07 am

        Actually Most of Europe handles immigrants abysmally.
        The US alone in the world has “birth right citizenship”.
        If you come from elsewhere and end up in europe, you are a guest, your children are guests. You can be deported at any time. It is highly unlikely that you or they can ever become citizens. You have no vote. You have no eligibility for any of that purportedly wonderful socialist safety net.

        Europe has a population about 50% larger than the US, yet takes in a fraction of the immigrants we do.

        Those vaunted Nordic Social Democracies are not only 95% white – they are 95% people from exactly the same tribe, religion, ….

      • jbastiat permalink
        October 12, 2015 9:10 am

        Sounds like they have the right idea.

      • October 12, 2015 9:11 am

        Sounds like they are spot on. We should adopt these practices as soon as possible.’

      • October 12, 2015 10:35 am

        Dave, I don’t know where you got this information. Western European Muslims have rights and can vote… in France, for example, over 90% of Muslims voted for the leftist Hollande. I don’t know what the qualifications for citizenship are; I’d have to research the individual countries.

        The “guest” phase of Islamic Europe is long past. For example, over half the under-18 population of Amsterdam is Muslim today, and I don’t think the government has any plans to deport them.

  2. September 24, 2015 5:44 pm

    There is truthphobia , nomythology Islamphobia.when muslims subdued the poor and the sick withthe sword then there was islamphobia.when a MUSLIM woman is afraid of her husband to divorce her there is ISLAMPHOBIA otherwise its a myth faabricated by sick minded people.

  3. Pat Riot permalink
    September 24, 2015 10:16 pm

    When it comes to culture (and so many other things), too many human beings think in terms of two extremes, i.e. they think on one hand there is modern, intelligent, open-minded multiculturalism, and on the other hand there is backward, fearful, xenophobia. The truth is that cultures need to evolve at a pace that is comfortable/feasible for the culture that is evolving, and there is a big difference between a culture evolving vs. a culture being displaced.

    I think I speak for many people when I say I like growth, improvement, changes, learning, and evolving, but I am sick and tired of changes being forced upon what’s left of my culture!

    • September 25, 2015 9:33 am

      Indeed. It is even more revolting when others tell us it is their “right” to change the culture and we get to pay for it via “social programs” (handouts).

      More than appalling in my view.

    • September 26, 2015 11:26 pm

      Think of all the social and demographic changes we’ve experienced over the past 50 years (just a blip on the time scale of history), and the pace just keeps accelerating. I don’t want to see Western Europe turn Muslim any more than I want to see the U.S. become another Latin American republic… but we’re denounced as racists if we say as much. I suspect that those who are pressing for demographic change deliberately hurl these epithets at us to intimidate us. We have a right to preserve our culture (what’s left of it) without being denounced as white supremacists. There, I said it.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 11:10 am

        Absolutely spot on my friend and I know for a fact you do not have a racist bone in your body.

      • DINDUNUFFINS permalink
        October 18, 2015 12:35 pm

        I don’t want the US to turn into a backwards African continent or the murder capital of the world like SA but there you go you and weak white guilt ridden whites have allowed this country to turn into one giant black welfare ghetto.

  4. September 24, 2015 11:33 pm

    “It continues to mystify me that so many American liberals automatically rush to the defense of a fundamentally illiberal system.”

    I’m thinking it’s twofold: 1) the whole bleeding heart thing. Defending a minority, particularly one that can claim oppression by Western civilization, is a cheap way to get a cheap sense of moral superiority. 2) the “we hate Christian conservatives” thing. Many liberals and many Muslims do and it draws them together. Sure, the two groups have completely different reasons for hating the right, but the reasons pale in comparison to the satisfaction that they get from making their mutual enemy look bad.

    • September 24, 2015 11:34 pm

      **meant to say “an easy way to get a cheap sense of moral superiority”

    • September 25, 2015 9:35 am

      Priscilla,

      Islam is a religion of peace. Their followers do not hate anyone, they simply cut their heads off.

    • September 26, 2015 11:31 pm

      Bingo, Priscilla. I think you nailed it on both points. Regarding point 1, there’s also a kind of social cachet to be enjoyed when you embrace ideas that other fashionable upscale white people are embracing. I guess that applies to point 2 as well. Then, too, both Islam and American progressivism frown upon any heretical departure from Holy Writ; in some ways they’re actually kindred movements, even though their social goals couldn’t be more different.

  5. September 24, 2015 11:35 pm

    Yes, Ahmed Mohamed was unfairly treated. But how many times in the past few years have we heard of ignorant educators going way to far when disciplining students. I even think we have talked about a few on this site once or twice. The school should have been evacuated, if the clock had not been removed (I have no idea what they did in that case) and Mohamed should have been detained in the principles office until the complete picture was painted. Even if the police had been called, they are not required to arrest someone until they know that there is a good possibility that a crime had been committed. In this case, no crime, then no arrest. But who thinks educators in schools have much common sense anymore. There is no room for common sense decision making on their part like years past. And by the way, is he still invited to the White House from another Obama over reaction to something in the news that was not true again? ( Story has it he disassembled an older clock and stuffed it in another box)

    As for the Ben Carson issue, he stated on Meet the Press when asked if the presidents faith should matter “Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem.” He went on to say when asked if he thought Islam was consistent with the constitution, “No, I don’t, I do not.” He ended by saying “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” One only needs to reed the Quran to see that it is inconsistent with our beliefs. (IE 2:191-193; 3:151: 4:89; 8:12). If anyone can explain to me how the wording in these 4 references is consistent with our beliefs and constitution, I would be open to Carson’s latter statement, ” I don’t care what a person’s religion beliefs are or religious heritage is, if they embrace our Constitution and are willing to place that above their religious beliefs, I have no problem with that.” Now a true Muslim believer would never place the country before his religion, so I doubt that would ever happen.

    Last, as for the migrants from Syria and other parts of the middle east, we already have over 11 million migrants in our country from Central America and other countries where they entered and stayed illegally. If Europe wants to take a few of these and trade, then maybe we should take some of theirs. Otherwise, they need to work out their own problems as we have over 11 million of them here we have to deal with.

  6. Roby permalink
    September 25, 2015 12:29 pm

    “Irish and German Catholic immigration was opposed in the 1850s by the Nativist/Know Nothing movement, originating in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party(not to be confused with the modern Republican Party). It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to American values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Active mainly from 1854–56, it strived to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery, most often joining the Republican Party by the time of the 1860 presidential election.[27][28]”

    From the wiki article History of Imigration to the US.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_immigration_to_the_United_States#Immigration_1850_to_1930

    I’d suggest a thorough reading of this article and then it would be great if liberals and conservatives did NOT always have to stick to their expected roles, then stereotypes of either would be unnecessary. .

    I understand about 9/11, Islamic radicalism, ISIS, beheadings. But last year I did a little research on Muslims in the US and found that there are several million of them, they are better educated and more affluent on average and comit fewer violent crimes.

    Muslims in America needless to say contain a worrisome element that can emerge at times and do real harm, but so do owners of AK-47s, and honestly, other than 9/11 AK-47 owners have broken my heart in the news much more often than muslims. I’m told there is no possible way to regulate AK-47 owners, cat is out of the bag. Does the same not hold for muslims in the US?

    Where is moderate Islam going to grow if not in places that practice tolerance and religious freedom?

    • Roby permalink
      September 25, 2015 12:37 pm

      er, have broken my heart in the news much more often than muslims IN THE US.

    • September 25, 2015 12:41 pm

      Please define moderate Islam, but before hand, read some of the Quran. Then reconcile what it says to “moderate” and let me know then what moderate Islam is. I can read the Christian new testament bible and know exactly what the books within are teaching the readers and followers. Reading passages (if that is what they are called) in the Quran in the same manner leads me down paths other than moderate.

      • September 26, 2015 11:37 pm

        Moderate Islam does exist, and I actually know a few Muslims who fit that category. They’re warm and good-natured people, well assimilated, and apparently they don’t take the word of Mohammed literally. I guess you could compare them to Presbyterians or Reform Jews. They might follow the more generous-spirited elements of their religion without adhering to the more primitive and violent articles of their faith.

      • September 27, 2015 12:02 am

        Somehow I must be living in an alternate universe as I do not hear any information from any source where Islam is defended as a peaceful and forgiving religion. But then it could be the media that is not covering that part of the religion. Hard to believe that NBC or CBS would not report on some of it.

      • September 27, 2015 12:07 am

        By the way, if they do not take the word of Mohammed literally, how are they evaluated by the Imams as being a true follower of Mohammed or just a sinner that needs to be converted to a believer(Converted may not be the right word ;..some Christians call in “Born Again”)

    • September 25, 2015 12:43 pm

      “Where is moderate Islam going to grow if not in places that practice tolerance and religious freedom?”

      It isn’t. How many centuries of proof will you need before you accept that terrible fact?

  7. Roby permalink
    September 25, 2015 12:55 pm

    There are 1.3 billion muslims in the world. How many of them are beheading anyone? Islam in America for example is by far the greatest part moderate, they are not harming anyone and not planning to as far as I can tell.

    How much death, torture and destruction have been justified in the name of Christ and the Bible?

    I am not blind, the ugly faction within Islam is really a 10 on the ugly scale and not only when they are engaged in Jihad, but also when they are stoning their women etc. They disgust me and anyone other than muslim extremists. Some of them even disgust other muslim extremists. It is not all 1.3 billion that are that primitive, there are actually many branches and interpretations.

    • September 25, 2015 1:21 pm

      If that were only true. Check out what it is like to live in a Muslim theocracy like Pakistan or Iran. I assure, THOSE muslims (and there are a lot of them) are far from “moderate.”

      The reason you should check them out is that they are the model for life under that religion.

      Don’t blame me for pointing it out.

      If you want to have your head in the sand, that is your right.

    • September 25, 2015 1:21 pm

      Killing in the name of Christianity is not in the New Testament that I know of. Seems to me that Jesus preached peace and forgiveness.

      However….
      “We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve” Quran [3:151]
      “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” Quran 4:89

      I could spend a few more minutes posting many more passages, but from my perspective the Quran teaches that there are two groups, the believers (Allah) and the non-believers. And if those that are non-believers do not turn to Islam, then what are these passages telling the followers to do?

      Just want to know where I am wrong with documentation. Europe has become a continent of non-believers of all religions for the most part, so they are in much more danger of one religion becoming dominant. But America is also following in its footsteps and when a large percentage of people begin to believer certain things, then that influence begins to permeate society throughout.The question is “Is that religion going to be Christianity or Isalm?”

      • September 25, 2015 1:29 pm

        That the koran is even considered a “holy book” by these ass clowns tells you all you have to know about islam.

        Shall we add child brides, genital mutilation, killing your wife or daughter when she brings you shame to the list?

        Oh, and then there is that whole ISIS thing.

        Yup, religion of peace alright.

      • Roby permalink
        September 25, 2015 1:30 pm

        Ron, please, you cannot real believe that America is becoming or in danger of becoming islamic?

        I understand that Christ himself taught peace, all the same bloody chapters of history were written by Christians, they read their bible and acted as they thought they were told. See even queen Mary, let alone the spanish inquisition or the genocide of native heathen in the new world.

        Since there are 1.3 billion of them, I rather hope that my view is more correct than yours, or we are in deep deep shit. I’d advocate dealing with reasonable muslims reasonably.

      • September 25, 2015 1:35 pm

        You are right: We ARE in deep shit and having a muslim as POTUS has not helped either.

  8. September 25, 2015 1:59 pm

    Roby, change occurs one step at a time. In the 40’s, almost 70% of Americans said they attended church. In 2004, that was down to 40%. Looking at Europe, 12% in United Kingdom say they attend church, 12% in France and less than 5% in the Scandinavian countries. I am not saying it is in the near future that Islam will have a significant influence in America, but over a long period of time you will begin to see areas of the country begin to adhere to a more Sharia form of law, just like you are seeing in Europe where law enforcement does not enter those conclaves of Islamic life. When people who do not care and have no dog in the fight lose interest, those with an interest can become more influential without others realizing what is happening until it is too late.

    But I still have no idea what moderate Islam is.

  9. Pat Riot permalink
    September 25, 2015 2:16 pm

    ooh, religion. I think a few books have been written on the subject. Proceed with caution!

  10. September 25, 2015 8:57 pm

    JB–To your point about having a muslim POTUS–I don’t think Obama is a muslim, but if he were, is there anything he would have done differently over the last seven years?

    • September 25, 2015 9:41 pm

      No, that is exactly my point. He is a muslim through and through.

  11. September 25, 2015 11:59 pm

    Ron, you make way too much sense most of the time.

    ” But I still have no idea what moderate Islam is.”

    I only know one Muslim well. She is a 28 year old Turkish girl, a secular Muslim, raised in Istanbul, where virtually everyone is Muslim. She has lived in Germany for most of her adult life, save the 2 years that she lived here. She yearns to come back to the US, says she’ll never go back to Turkey, unless it’s to visit her parents. She believes that Islam is incompatible with democracy and freedom. I tend to agree.

    Roby, I guess I’m not sure how we find moderates among a religious group which overwhelmingly supports sharia. Even American Muslims who understand sharia as a personal religious obligation and don’t believe it is something that the American government should enforce, are highly unlikely to support the kind of freedom and liberty that Americans consider a cultural imperative.

    Bill Maher, who I generally disagree agree with , because he is a liberal through and through, has said “Now if they were beheading people in Vatican City, which is the equivalent of Mecca, don’t you think there would be a bigger outcry about it? So this is the soft bigotry of low expectations with Muslim people. When they do crazy things and believe crazy things, somehow it’s not talked about nearly as much.”http://lastresistance.com/7245/bill-maher-destroys-idea-moderate-islam/

    I mean, I have been pretty critical of this rock star pope, but seriously, he does come across as a gentle and kindly man. Is there such a leader in Islam? I think not.

  12. Roby permalink
    September 26, 2015 8:48 am

    There is a reasonable case to be made that Islam is a violent religion, by its nature, by definition. There is also a reasonable case to be made that it isn’t. For anyone who is interested in the details, here is a link to an objective article in Wiki, Quran and violence.

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

    An excerpt:

    “According to Fawzy Abdelmalek, “many Muslim scholars speak of Islam as a religion of peace and not of violence. They say that the non-Muslims misunderstand the Quran verses about Jihad and the conduct of war in Islam.”[16]
    Nissim Rejwan asserts that, “violence and cruelty are not in the spirit of the Quran, nor are they found in the life of the Prophet, nor in the lives of saintly Muslims.”[17]
    According to Feisal Abdul Rauf, “the Quran expressly and unambiguously prohibits the use of coercion in faith because coercion would violate a fundamental human right—the right to a free conscience. A different belief system is not deemed a legitimate cause for violence or war under Islamic law. The Quran is categorical on this: “There shall be no compulsion in religion” (2:256); “Say to the disbelievers [that is, atheists, or polytheists, namely those who reject God] “To you, your beliefs, to me, mine” (109:1-6)”[18]
    Charles Mathewes characterizes the peace verses as saying that, “if others want peace, you can accept them as peaceful even if they are not Muslim.” As an example, Mathews cites the second sura which commands believers not to transgress limits in warfare: “fight in God’s cause against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits [in aggression]; God does not love transgressors” (2:190).[9]
    Chiba and Schoenbaum argue that Islam “does not allow Muslims to fight against those who disagree with them regardless of belief system”, but instead “urges its followers to treat such people kindly” ([7],[8],60:8).[19] Yohanan Friedmann has argued that the Quran does not promote fighting for the purposes of religious coercion, although the war as described is “religious” in the sense that the enemies of the Muslims are described as “enemies of God” (8:57-62).[20]
    A critic has argued that in “duty to halt aggression or to strive for the preservation of Islamic principles”, fighting may be involved, where the Quran encourages them to “fight courageously and steadfastly against recalcitrant states, be they Muslim or non-Muslim.”[21][22] He also argues that the “Quranic statement is clear” on the issue of fighting in defence of Islam as “a duty that is to be carried out at all costs”, where “God grants security to those Muslims who fight in order to halt or repel aggression” (22:39-42).[23]
    According to Chandra Muzaffar, “The Quranic exposition on resisting aggression, oppression and injustice lays down the parameters within which fighting or the use of violence is legitimate. What this means is that one can use the Quran as the criterion for when violence is legitimate and when it is not.”[24]”

    • September 26, 2015 8:56 am

      Actions speak louder than printed words. Once again, I reference Iran and Pakistan. I could provide more data (ISIS and the Boku Horan) but I don’t have all day to type it up for you.

      Get out of denial please and please, for the love of God, no more words from the koran. It is simply a piece of trash.

      For a better read, there are a number of history books documenting the murder, rape, and pillage left in the wake of that muhammed fellow. Then again, that would upset the narrative.

      Terminal Victim Syndrome at play here.

      • Roby permalink
        September 26, 2015 9:49 am

        I’m guessing that you did not actually read it or the article, you already know all you need to know and its 100% black and white.

        The US sucks, I refer to Vietnam, Panama, Mai Lai, the spread of the vietnam war into Loas and Cambodia that brought Pol Pot. The war in Iraq. We are murderous ignorant arrogant bastards. Our culture is depraved, materialistic, tasteless. 1st graders are not safe from AK-47 toting madmen protected by our gun culture and an amendment. Anyhow that is how we look to many outside of the US. We are also full of kindness, fairness and the highest virtues, that is how we look to ourselves and some of the rest of the world. Shades of grey, even here at home. Are we good or evil? Depends on the day or the place.

        As to Iran, they broke all civilized conventions regarding an embassy but they did not kill our hostages. However, we did shoot down one of their civilian airliners with several hundred civilians. Unlike the Russians, we admitted it, we are an honest bunch, paid a settlement. Bush 1 refused to apologize, said he was not the type to apologize for America.

        History books are also full of the pillage and rape left by one WIlliam the Conqueror, scorched earth, no one left living. Ugly times those middle ages, everywhere. Napoleon as well, complete with beheadings, women, children anyone. Not even the middle ages but the dawn of the “Age of Reason”. In our culture.

        Perhaps I have terminal victim syndrome I’ll ask my doctor. You have terminal wooden-head syndrome. The comments section of the poorly written article you provided a link to yesterday was full of conservative posts that reinforced every negative stereotype I have about conservatives, really ugly stuff. No, that did not change my mind on anything, or at least not in the direction you intended.

        Its not the black and white world you wish, shades of grey everywhere, the Shah we supported was not such a nice fellow to his people, neither is the theocracy they have now. Foreign cultures are full of things not compatible with our values, but until the US can find a way to build a complete wall around the country we are going to have to live in that world and that means understanding it and its shades of grey.

        We ain’t gonna agree here and I am happy to let you think what you do while I will retain my own beliefs and values.

        I’m going to go play some tennis and leave this topic, I have said what I have to say. Enjoy the day.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 10:56 am

        The words bite me spring to mind. That said, since you appear to find nothing good at the US, I wonder how you manage to stay here? Perhaps its the gold.

        Hypocrite.

    • September 26, 2015 12:33 pm

      How interesting that not one “moderate Muslim” is standing before the American people and loudly speaking on the peaceful nature of Islam. If there was the outrage in the US about Christianity that there is about Islam being against American values and our constitution, would Dr Martin Luther King have stayed quite in the 60’s, would Billy Graham stayed quite in the 70’s and 80’s or would Arch Bishop Timothy Dolan be quite today? I doubt they would.

      So until the so called moderates in the Islamic faith begin to take a stand and speak up against the violence, speak up against the un-American positions of family values placed upon women and female children and all the other un-American positions this religion forces upon their members, i will continue to believe what I believe today.

      Except for an appearance now and then on a national media broadcast to discuss Islam with reporters, I hear or see no one talking about the misconceptions of Islam and how they do not agree with the leadership of their religion in the middle east. Posting something in Wiki can be done by most anyone trying to convince others of their positions. Even Osama Bin. could do that to defect criticism.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 11:01 am

        If there are all of these moderate muslims out there, they are likely too afraid to speak up. Apparently, one cannot print cartoons defaming muhammad without losing one’s life.

      • September 27, 2015 12:49 pm

        I seem to remember that you can’t write anything negative about Islam and Muslims.
        ie….Salmon Rushdie

  13. Roby permalink
    September 26, 2015 9:18 am

    Priscilla, Beheadings in Mecca are a miserable subject, but how many people has Texas executed? Some were innocent as well I believe. My not very distant ancestors in France and England were not shy about beheading, not to mention drawing and quartering. (Don’t watch Braveheart). Hanging is still common in the world, I think I’d rather be instantly beheaded if I had a choice. I am not trying to be obtuse, I may be playing the devils advocate a little.

    Moderate muslims are those who live peacefully in teh western world and elsewhere, which is the vast majority in the US. There religion is more demanding, more intense, more primitive, and I will agree, not by definition compatible with secular democracy. But they are not all radicals waging war on the infidels, not by a long shot.

    Its glaringly obvious, we have a horse in this race, the non-radical (maybe that’s a better term than moderate when talking about Islam) portion of it and we bloody well need to encourage it and hope it wins out over the radical Islam or we really will be in far deeper shit than we are.

    We have 3 million muslims in the US of the 1300 million in the world, so less than 0.25% of the worlds muslims are here. Since we have 350 million population, that means that less than 1% of us are muslim. I think we can handle it.

    I’ll be forced to live under Christian doctrine (last I heard there was a monument to the 10 commandments in the Oklahoma capital complex and in spite of the ruling of the Oklahoma Supreme court its still there. Do those particular Christian people understand and accept the separation of church and state? Do they accept that the US has a secular government? If I spend a few minutes I can easily come up with a long list of gung ho Christians telling me that I live a a Christian country that should be ruled by Christians.

    I am not among the group I call militant atheists, I would like to be able to sing Christmas carols and recognize that the US has a Christian heritage, but believe me there is a Christian element that is not satisfied with anything thing less than Christian domination of the US. That is a hell of a lot more real and present than any movement by less than 1% of our population to live under the Sharia. Lots of them live in Texas and are gungho about the death penalty and find it fully consistent with their Christian belief in spite of that little commandment, I believe its the first. But I’m wrong, its the 6th, just looked them up. The first four are utterly incompatible with my life. I am staying the hell away from Islamic countries in my travels, but the Bible belt is also not on my vacation list.

    I have met so far 4 muslims at my college, 1 staff and 3 students. The staff person works in my office, I always assumed she was Jewish. When my wife was going to Haifa I mentioned it to her, she said, Oh her father was born in Haifa. Palestinian. Forcibly removed. Not bitter, took it as an opportunity, started over in the US. She had no bitterness about her when she told me the story. As well there are 3 students, all from one family, I have tutored all 3. Friendly, normal, attractive, outgoing, not political. Assimilated, in fact I had no idea they were Palestinian when I met them.

    Yes, Ron is normally full of absolute sanity and common sense, but all the same I cannot believe that we are seriously discussing the possibility that the US is going to live by the Sharia over time. That is blunt silly.

    • Roby permalink
      September 26, 2015 9:22 am

      Started one of my parenthetical comments and never finished my thought or closed the parentheses.

      I’ll be forced to live under Christian doctrine …. long before I am forced to live under the Sharia in the US.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 10:54 am

        Yes, you are right. Legal executions are the same as ISIS beheadings. Oh, you liberals can rationalize anything to make yourselves feel better.

        Sorry pal, but you are way off the res on this one.

    • September 26, 2015 12:47 pm

      Roby, just one question and one comment. both short.
      Question: How many executions were carried out in the US based on a person being a christian or non-believer?
      Comment: In discussing politics, we can be liberals, moderates and conservatives. Liberals and conservatives take some working on to change their opinions. Moderates are more easily swayed. but when it comes to religion, especially ones views on Islam, there are few moderates that can have their views of that religion changed. Either you accept them or you do not. And we could carry on this discussion for many years and I doubt my views would change nor would yours. But that’s what makes our country great and Americans what they are. Accepting of differing views which does not exist in our cultures.

      • Roby permalink
        September 26, 2015 4:15 pm

        I also believe that America is great and my hope for it lies in the fact that I can write as I did earlier today about all of our worst behaviors, freely and without fear, that is our strength objective self analysis is part of our culture. Many many Americans of different ideologies indulge in it and do not pretend that America only has one side, the virtuous one.

        If you look seriously for them you will not have a hard time finding the people who answer your statement that:

        “How interesting that not one “moderate Muslim” is standing before the American people and loudly speaking on the peaceful nature of Islam. ”

        American Muslim groups have forcefully condemned 9/11, the Boston marathon bombing and other actions by radicals. When American muslims do speak of moderate and peaceful Islam, what kind of reaction do they receive? I guess that depends on the ideology of the listener, unfortunately.

        This is an excerpt from a WSJ article in which six well known Islamic scholars were asked about moderate Islam: A Symposium: What Is Moderate Islam?

        The entire set of six interviews is here if you are interested, the link is old 2010, it was the first suitable thing I found when looking for something of this nature and its in the WSJ so I hope that gives it some weight here:

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703369704575461503431290986

        Mystics, Modernists and Literalists.
        By Akbar Ahmed

        In the intense discussion about Muslims today, non-Muslims often say to me: “You are a moderate, but are there others like you?”

        Clearly, the use of the term moderate here is meant as a compliment. But the application of the term creates more problems than it solves. The term is heavy with value judgment, smacking of “good guy” versus “bad guy” categories. And it implies that while a minority of Muslims are moderate, the rest are not.

        Having studied the practices of Muslims around the world today, I’ve come up with three broad categories: mystic, modernist and literalist. Of course, I must add the caveat that these are analytic models and aren’t watertight.

        Muslims in the mystic category reflect universal humanism, believing in “peace with all.” The 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi exemplifies this category. In his verses, he glorifies worshipping the same God in the synagogue, the church and the mosque.

        The second category is the modernist Muslim who believes in trying to balance tradition and modernity. The modernist is proud of Islam and yet able to live comfortably in, and contribute to, Western society.

        Most Muslim leaders who led nationalist movements in the first half of the 20th century were modernists—from Sultan Mohammed V, the first king of independent Morocco, to M.A. Jinnah, who founded Pakistan in 1947. But as modernists failed over time, becoming increasingly incompetent and corrupt, the literalists stepped into the breach.

        The literalists believe that Muslim behavior must approximate that of the Prophet in seventh-century Arabia. Their belief that Islam is under attack forces many of them to adopt a defensive posture. And while not all literalists advocate violence, many do. Movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Taliban belong to this category.

        In the Muslim world the divisions between the three categories I have delineated are real. The outcome of their struggle will define Islam’s fate.

        The West can help by understanding Muslim society in a more nuanced and sophisticated way in order to interact with it wisely and for mutual benefit. The first step is to categorize Muslims accurately.

        Mr. Ahmed, the former Pakistani ambassador to Britain, is the chair of Islamic studies at American University and author of “Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam” (Brookings, 2010).

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 11:03 am

        He makes it sound like a college debate. I think the meaning of disagreement is a tad more extreme for members of this cult-like “religion.”

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 11:05 am

        How many executions are acceptable. Is it OK for a father to murder his daughter because she shamed him. That has happened here. This apparently is OK within islam. Is that a religion to you>

      • September 27, 2015 1:10 pm

        “How many executions are acceptable. Is it OK for a father to murder his daughter because she shamed him. That has happened here. This apparently is OK within islam. Is that a religion to you>”

        JB,,Was this response directed at my comment about :How many executions were carried out in the name of Christianity” or was this directed toward a previous comment by someone else? It came to me as an e-mail “in response to Ron P”.

        For clarification if it was in response to my question to Roby, Roby commented “but how many people has Texas executed” after commenting about beheadings in Mecca. My question was more parenthetical statement than really a question. I do not know of any executions performed in Texas based on Christianity (which was Roby’s point in making that statement).

        Now to answer your question of how many executions are acceptable if indeed you wanted to know. From my moral and religious point of view, absolutely none, zero, nada..and any other term used. From abortion to capital punishment, my religious and moral compass does not support any of it. But from my Libertarian leanings, I also know that I can’t force my beliefs on others, but I can force the government, with support with a majority of others, to defund any activity that takes a life.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 5:15 pm

        No, I thought I was addressing Roby.

      • September 28, 2015 9:03 am

        Roby, if Americans in general, or even just evangelical Christian radicals, are so hateful toward Muslims, why do we almost never hear of Christian on Muslim violence? It’s certainly not because of lack of firearms. Why no instances of crazy rednecks walking into peaceful mosques and shooting up the joints? Why no instances of vigilante justice, in retaliation for somewhat numerous instances of Islamist attacks on Jews, Christians, gays, the military, etc?

        I do recall one poor guy who was shot in Texas (natch) right after 9/11. He was actually from NJ, his family lived in my town, and he was a very nice man. But, otherwise, I cannot think of any, and I am sure that we would hear about them if they happened.

        We are constantly warned, after every terror attack in the US or elsewhere in the world, that we should not take out our anger and grief on peaceful Muslims. But the thing is ~we don’t! Yet the attacks keep on coming. And we keep on being told that it is the Christian right that is to be feared.

        Even with the supposed increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric by the right (and I think that most of that is directed at radicals), we see remarkably little to no violence against any Muslims, peaceful or otherwise. Some ugly rhetoric, a few protests against mosques being built, and claims of bias in schools and the workplace. We have been reduced to elevating Ahmed the Clock Boy as the symbol of Islamophobic victimhood.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 28, 2015 8:51 pm

        Don’t ask him disturbing questions. He will become upset.

  14. Pat Riot permalink
    September 26, 2015 9:59 am

    “soft bigotry of low expectations” Nice wording, Priscilla.

    One thing is for sure, human beings can distort any religion we’ve got.

    With all due respect, and I do respect religion, and faith, and spirituality, formal religion is like a set of instructions and rituals for helping people reach for something more, beyond, and bigger than our everyday physical existence, is it not? I know it’s more than that, more than a handful of words, but couldn’t ALL RELIGION be described as a WAY or METHOD toward a bigger picture of existence, and isn’t a bigger picture is more desirable than narrow-mindedness? So it pisses me off when athiests and humanists write off / reduce religion to superstition and mumbo-jumbo. Sure, just sweep aside all the charity, the thoughtfulness, the morality, the community, and reduce it to archaic practices by backward people. Yeah, that’s real helpful from the new worshipers of science. More labeling and finger-pointing is just what we need.

    And that’s a hint as to why it’s inaccurate and dangerous to lump all Muslims together. And yet it’s foolish to underestimate the danger of Muslims as a political/cultural force. Is there any question that Christianity is more accepting, kind, and open than Islam? One could say Christianity is BASED on inclusion, gentleness, and kindness, regardless of how men and politics have misrepresented it through bloody history. Is there any question that the founding of our United States was intertwined with Christianity? Are Christianity and Islam compatible? Can our Commercial Mass Media distort the realities of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and religion in general?

    Here are the 2014 numbers (from Wiki/Pew Research) for our United States:

    Christian: 70.6%
    No Religion: (Athiests, Agnostics, Humanists): 22.8%
    Judaism: 1.9%
    Islam: 0.9%
    Hinduism: 0.7%
    Other Religions: 2.7%

    • Roby permalink
      September 26, 2015 10:23 am

      Pat, another in your series of thoughtful beautifully written posts on this thread. I don’t have your way with words and I get really irate all too easily, but unless I have misinterpreted your meaning there is 99% overlap between what I am trying to say and what you just said. You say it more kindly and patiently with less or no sarcasm.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 10:58 am

        You two ought to get a room.

    • Jbastiat permalink
      September 27, 2015 10:57 am

      If we could just get that islam number to zero, we would be making real progress.

      • Roby permalink
        September 27, 2015 12:59 pm

        How do you propose to do that JB?

        I remember your plan for the border, station thousands of snipers along the border and shoot men, women, and children. Have you got something equally brilliant for ridding us of our muslim citizens?

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 5:13 pm

        Were it that easy. Let’s just say Obama is doing his best to import some more.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        September 27, 2015 4:29 pm

        jbastiat, haha on the “get a room” quip. It was a bit of love fest there for a bit. You should try some love soon. At least go get a massage somewhere and let some of those negative feelings out!

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 27, 2015 5:17 pm

        I have tons of positivity, Pat. I just don’t use much of it for islam.

  15. Pat Riot permalink
    September 26, 2015 9:15 pm

    Roby, you are passionate, logical, and certainly well-behaved enough! Without you The New Moderate ship would be consistently listing to the right! I think you are indeed a Moderate because you are not militant or extreme in your views, even if you tend to be a left-leaning Moderate, if I were to start to use labels, which I don’t like to do. There is a fun-loving aspect to your views that keeps you near the reasonable center.

    You are correct that part of America’s greatness is the diversity of opinions, diversity of voices. e pluribus unum. The sounds of freedom include the words “No, I don’t agree…”

    It is helpful for you to point out divisions of Islam and some of Islamic history. We should all be wary of slipping too quickly into “mob mentality” about groups. And yet, regarding Muslims, we must be careful not to let our guard down. I have to admit I’d love to see some of our new PC hate speech laws applied to more hardcore Muslims and to the Qur’an itself.(I don’t like our PC hate speech laws so much, but since we have them…)

    I’d also like to see a voluntary Qur’an 2.0 with the violence taken out (by loving Muslims). Seriously. How’s that for evolution? I’d like to see traditional Islam/Sharia disqualified as a religion in America. But even with these (radical? progressive?) ideas of mine regarding Islam, I certainly would never lump all Muslims together.

    Thank you for your complement about my words. That means a lot to me as I hope to pursue writing during the 2nd half of my life.

    • Roby permalink
      September 26, 2015 10:18 pm

      Thank you Pat.

      Its possible that I may have lost a friendship this week, one I valued, with an amazing Russian lady, who has performed at the highest levels all over the world. Problem is she loves Putin and has a blind love for Russia and has swallowed all of the states prepared propaganda. I finally could not take the propaganda last week and told her that she has no idea at all, and similar Russians have no idea at all, how Russian actions look to the outside world in the 20th and 21st centuries. I told her if she does not understand that she cannot understand why Russia is experiencing international condemnation and sanctions. She denied averything, Russia is pure, a victim, Putin is good.

      As I told her, many Americans DO understand how our country looks to critics abroad and it is our strength and our nature to strongly, even acidically, criticize our government, our politicians, and out actions in the world. Anyhow, as a result I am rather strongly appreciating my own freedom to speak the ugly truth (objectively, I hope) about the dark side of American actions and our culture. The idea that we are eternally pure, kind and good, or that western civilization is far far superior to other cultures is bunk as far as I am concerned. I love what is good, and there is a lot, but its not the blind love that my friend has for her Russian culture.

      Nor are those other cultures all black. I lived in Moscow for the better part of a year several years back and found that, government notwithstanding, there was a tremendously kind, warm, and beautiful side to Russian culture, that I did not expect based on media reports. I’m fairly sure I would find the same in many pockets in countries where Islam is practiced, notwithstanding the crazy primitive, brutal aspects of radical Islam. The American muslims I happened to have met thus far were good people. I am not going to go around with an outsized fear of them.

  16. September 27, 2015 1:56 pm

    Rick, nice job describing the actual facts of the Clock Boy story. I have also read that this kid’s father is a well-known activist against “Islamaphobia” and regularly returns to The Sudan to run for president, even though he is now an American citizen.

    If Ahmed had been the son of a locally well-known Tea Party activist, and his name was Bobby, and he brought his little “invention” to a school in Connecticut, would the media and the twitterverse have gone into paroxysms of outrage over this, protesting that Bobby was being profiled as a right wingnut? Would Barack Obama have invited him to the White House?

    My guess is that Bobby would have been expelled for perpetrating a bomb hoax…..which, by the way, is exactly what the police in Ahmed’s town were considering charging him with.

    We’ve really let politics get the better of common sense.

  17. Pat Riot permalink
    September 27, 2015 6:32 pm

    When I was a kid in Philadelphia we regularly played “army” during all four seasons of the year. Usually it was about a 6 against 6, but sometimes it was ten of us from one street against ten kids from a nearby street. We had wooden stock & metal barrel toy rifles, black plastic handguns that looked like Colt 1911 model .45 cals, and green plastic hand grenades that looked like the real thing. We climbed all over the porches, hid under cars, and swarmed every alley in the neighborhood. It was an “honor system” game: if you had an open clear shot, you just announced it loudly, “YOUR DEAD, TIMMY PARKER!!” When Timmy turned around and saw that you had him “dead to rights,” he would clutch his chest and crumple to the ground. We would make up rules, such as “You can’t shoot someone through a car window; it has to be out in the open.” Often afterward we’d visit one of the many corner stores carrying all our weaponry. We’d usually buy Tastykakes and a pint of milk, or candy.

    In grade school we were allowed to have “pen knives” and “pocket knives,” as long as we didn’t bring them out during class. On the way home from school we played a game in which you threw the knife as close as you could to your friend’s shoe. If you flinched you automatically lost. If the knife was ever able to make it through one of those Tom McCann leather shoes, the wound would not have been much. If the kid was a lot bigger than you then you through the knife conservatively.

    I had a fantastic, adventurous childhood. Very few people got hurt beyond the scrapes and bruises that teach good lessons about reality. I can barely comprehend this hyper-sensitive, freaked-out, spectator world we are trying to live in today!

    • September 27, 2015 9:25 pm

      Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, War, Manhunt……what do kids play these days? Nevermind, I know – they have playdates, youth sports and video games…

      What a thrill to get a clean shot at Timmy Parker and announce that he was dead ~ and, no doubt Timmy got to die as dramatically as he wanted to! I guess shooting someone in a video game must have a certain thrill, but, eh – just not the same (Not to mention too gruesomely realistic).

      I remember when my youngest was about 10 or so, I went to Toys R Us to buy him a cowboy holster and guns. Ideally I wanted cap guns (my older son had had the ones with the plastic caps, but that was in the 20th century). I looked all over the store and finally asked a guy who looked like a manager. He looked at me sternly and said “We no longer sell any guns, other than Super Soakers.” What!!?! I couldn’t believe it.

      I still can’t believe it.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        September 27, 2015 11:02 pm

        Ah yes, the dramatic death when playing “war” or “army!” There was always that one guy who liked to die. He’d run full tilt toward some hedges or a low wall, knowing full well he’d get gunned down, just so he could flip over it like a stunt man and roll on the ground in a glorious death.

        Of course there were always those few blockheads who refused to die at first. They’d hear “Frankie Devlin, I got you!” and they’d say “No you didn’t” even when it was obvious to all eye witnesses. So then those delusional immortals were not allowed to play until they came clean and learned to play fair and die. It was a self-regulating war society.

        Manhunt, “Great Escape,” and “Bells Out”–all great versions depending on where your neighborhood was in the country! How about “Hide the Belt”? The hider of the belt says “cold, cold, getting warmer, HOT!” as someone is getting closer to the hidden leather belt. You had better not be too close to the person who finds it because then it was fair to whip anyone across the butt until they got to “base”. Hide the belt was for girls and guys, whereas girls were not permitted to play war. haha we’ve become so PC and sensitive! We can’t go back, but please let there be a more relaxed and saner alternative than where we seem to be going culturally!

  18. Pat Riot permalink
    September 27, 2015 8:17 pm

    Let’s see if I can connect the following with our discussion of Muslims…

    I was called a conspiracy guy for years for saying this, and now President Jimmy Carter says we live in an oligarchy…

    you have to scroll down for the video, but this was the link without a commercial preceding the video…

    http://radiotvtalk.blog.ajc.com/2015/09/23/jimmy-carter-on-oprahs-supersoul-sunday-september-27/

    some people will pooh-pooh Jimmy Carter, as if he’s no expert, but c’mon, he hangs around at times with the other former POTUS’s…Let’s say he has some inside tracks.

    The whole Republican vs. Democrat thing is not much more than a ritual and a distraction.

    And so don’t expect the oligarchs to do the beneficial thing for the U.S., for you and me, regarding Muslims. It’s not in their best interest to keep The People strong and informed.

    Am I being too vague?

    • Jbastiat permalink
      September 27, 2015 8:18 pm

      No, and I tend to agree with you. Keep dumbing down the population and keep them scared and feeling like they need big government.

  19. Pat Riot permalink
    September 27, 2015 11:14 pm

    Yes. And the opposite of being ruled by oligarchs is being self-determining. This does not mean we go backwards to churning our own butter. At a simple level this means not having all our eggs in their baskets, not forfeiting all our power and self-determination. It means having alternatives, including alternative voices, opinions. Freedom lives at TNM!

  20. Roby permalink
    September 28, 2015 1:58 pm

    Of course, nowhere to reply Priscilla.

    “Roby, if Americans in general, or even just evangelical Christian radicals, are so hateful toward Muslims, why do we almost never hear of Christian on Muslim violence?”

    Its an interesting point but I don’t actually think I said that. Nor am I sure that facts will bear out your idea, although the vast majority of both Christians and Muslims are not going around attacking each other.

    Just doing a quick search this is the most respectable thing I found in the Washington Post:

    Anti-Muslim hate crimes are still five times more common today than before 9/11

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/11/anti-muslim-hate-crimes-are-still-five-times-more-common-today-than-before-911/

    “The murder of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is being investigated as a possible hate crime. The shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, frequently posted anti-religious quotes and cartoons on what appears to be his Facebook page. The father of two of the victims told the News Observer that his slain daughter had recently said Hicks “hates us for what we are and how we look.”

    If the incident does turn out to be motivated by anti-Islamic sentiment, (It think that it didnt, Roby) it would be one of dozens of such events that happen each year, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports program. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, the program typically recorded between 20 and 30 anti-Muslim hate crimes per year. But in 2001 that number rose more than tenfold to nearly 500. In the years since, annual hate crimes against Muslims have consistently hovered in the 100-150 range, roughly five times higher than the pre-9/11 rate.”

    I have no idea how many of the attackers were Christian, some, most, all, I do not know.

    I have a NYTimes link along the same lines I’ll post separately below.

    Perhaps they are the “lamestream media” but the statistics and comments are FBI, law enforcement etc.

    I am more likely to be killed by a homegrown non muslim nut that a muslim one, according to the FBI.

    I am more likely to be struck by lightening than either. I am not spending any time worrying about either unlikely event.

    • September 28, 2015 2:37 pm

      Heh, I’m afraid we’ve entered the “not gonna convince either side” zone here. Accusations of “hate crimes,” which, after all, can only be perpetrated against certain designated minority groups in the first place, are notoriously prone to fraud and exaggeration (I give you Ahmed the Clock Boy). I’m talking about actual violent attacks specifically targeted at Muslims because of their religious beliefs, or in retribution for the violent acts of Islamists. You can find dozens of examples of US killings committed in the name of Allah, going back a couple of decades, very few if any committed in the name of Jesus Christ. I’m just sayin’…

      And that whole “right wing extremists are more dangerous than Islamic extremists” argument is highly political and misleading. So, a kid like Dylan Roof visits a couple of nutjob websites and shoots up a church, and he’s a “right wing extremist.” But the Fort Hood shooter is proven to have clearly anti-American views, has researched jihad, shouts “Allahu Akbar” while he is shooting up a military installations, and he is NOT an Islamic extremist, but a perpetrator of “workplace violence.” Stuff like that makes the statistics on this subject worthless, I think.

      I prefer the middle ground as well, but I think that, if it weren’t for identity politics and the PC police, we’d have a clearer path to that ground. And, that is really my point….which is that, in many ways, you and I really DO want the same thing and hold many of the same values. But we have different politics, and apparently Americans have reached a point where politics trumps more important things.

      • Roby permalink
        September 28, 2015 3:56 pm

        Yep, we aren’t gonna agree. If Dylan Roof is not a right-wing extremist, I don’t know who is. The right has certain tendencies, the righter you go the more they get volitile, ugly, and dangerous (and the left as well, Black Panthers for example, though that was decades back). Dylan Roof and his actions are clearly the product of right-wing thought materialized into action, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for many conservatives to take responsibility and admit that.

        The fort Hood shooter (there have been two I assume you mean the first in 2009) is a strange case. Yes I’d call it clearly an act of Islam motivated terrorism, in spite of the mental illness of the shooter. All such shooters are mentally ill, but their ideology sets them in motion. According to Wiki:

        “The U.S. government declined requests from survivors and family members of the slain to categorize the Fort Hood shooting as an act of terrorism, or motivated by militant Islamic religious convictions.[14] In November 2011, a group of survivors and family members filed a lawsuit against the government for negligence in preventing the attack, and to force the government to classify the shootings as terrorism. The Pentagon argued that charging Hasan with terrorism was not possible within the military justice system and that such action could harm the military prosecutors’ ability to sustain a guilty verdict against Hasan.[10]”

        You may not like the concept of hate crimes, but that statistic exists and is useful in the case of a discussion like this. Five times more of Something has occurred to US muslim citizens on average since 9/11, including a much higher spike in the year after it, which does seem to suggest cause and effect. You cannot just dismiss it.

        In spite of the fact that Craig Steven Hicks was anti religion the FBI seems to have concluded that his triple murder of muslims was not a hate crime. I’d say that is evidence that they are applying the statistic with some reason. You can’t make the incidents behind the statistic on the rise of attacks on Muslims just go away because conservatives don’t like the very idea of “hate crimes.” The law is on the books, perhaps conservatives can deal with that by throwing out all of their already too extreme congresspeople and getting some more even nutier ones who will really just shut down everything until they can make hate crimes and everything else they don’t agree with go away.

        Recently there was a book published on the “11 nations” that make up the US. I think that is what we are dealing with here. There are a lot of reasons that the US would have very hard time separating into 3 semi-autonomous republics let alone 11, but there is no doubt that huge cultural and political gaps have opened and it not looking like they are going to stop widening.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 28, 2015 8:56 pm

        I do remember one particular hate crime, back on 9/11 when over 3,000 lives were lost. Does that count?

      • September 29, 2015 1:00 pm

        “Hate crimes” are committed by nutjobs on both the right and left, but I think we’re quicker to cry “hate crime” when the victim is a member of a protected minority. Protected minorities in the U.S. include blacks, Hispanics, Jews, LGBT folks and, increasingly, Muslims. Whites, evangelical Christians, WASPs and rednecks are pretty much fair game — especially if they belong to all four categories.

        It’s not easy to tease apart hate crimes from mere crimes. When a black man shot a toddler in his stroller because his mother couldn’t come up with mugging money, it was simply a crime — no nationwide front-page headlines. And there probably was no overt race hatred here — the guy was just a murderous, out-of-control thug. His victim could just as easily have been black. On the other hand, when black rioters pulled a random white man out of his truck and beat him to a pulp in L.A. back in the ’90s, that was clearly a hate crime — but I’m not sure if it registered that way in our national consciousness because the mainstream media tend to look the other way when blacks attack whites.

        George Zimmerman is an interesting case. When he shot Trayvon Martin while having his head banged into the sidewalk, it was almost universally regarded as a hate crime. (I don’t agree, even though I think Zimmerman is a world-class jerk.) The real irony is that Zimmerman was pegged as a white man, even though he’s mixed race and Latino in appearance. The narrative had to be fueled.

        Right-wing terrorists like Dylan Roof rarely (if ever) kill in the name of Jesus; their rampages spring more from hatred directed against the “other” — or the sheer paranoia that comes from fearing that our days as a majority are numbered. (Think of Anders Breivik and his murder spree in Norway.) Muslim terrorists, on the other hand, do kill in the name of Mohammed or Allah. I’ve read verses from the Quran that encourage both tolerance and bloodshed. The extremists probably cherry-pick the verses that support their lust for infidel blood.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 29, 2015 5:17 pm

        Remember, Col Hassan’s rampage was workplace violence (thanks Obama and Holder).

        And, Rick, Jews are not longer part of the victim’s clubs. They are now up there with the rest of us villains.

        Thanks, Obama.

      • September 29, 2015 5:46 pm

        jb: The Jewish issue is tricky these days. It’s fashionable on the left to criticize Israel and defend Muslims, which some see as a kind of discreet anti-Semitism. There may be some truth to that. On the other hand, there’s still a strong taboo against criticizing Jews as Jews. (Ask Mel Gibson about that.) Mention “Jewish influence” or “Jewish media control” or “Jewish bankers” — just as a cultural observation, without malice — and you’ll be in hot water.

      • September 29, 2015 5:56 pm

        On second thought, any mention of “Jewish media control” or “Jewish bankers” is usually accompanied by at least an undercurrent of malice. “Jewish influence” is a little different: there’s no arguing about their cultural influence; it’s simply stating an observable fact.

        On the other hand, it’s wrong to say that “the Jews” control the media. Even though most of the heads of the big media companies are Jewish, the vast majority of Jews are NOT heads of big media companies. (It’s important not to use “the” in conjunction with “Jews.” They’re individuals.)

      • October 12, 2015 11:21 am

        The idea of “hate crimes” is a political construct…..violence against others can generally related to some sort of intense negative emotion. If a white man shoots his black wife after discovering she is cheating on him with an Asian man, is that a “hate” crime? Perhaps so, but I would offer that it has nothing to do with the race of any of the parties involved. If we are a nation of laws, any unlawful killing should be treated in the same manner – that is equal justice.

        Hate crimes are essentially thought crimes, and have brought us closer to the 1984 dystopia into which we have been seemingly descending. (Yeah, it’s one of my dismal outlook days – Pat and Roby, come to my rescue please!)

      • jbastiat permalink
        October 12, 2015 11:51 am

        Indeed. Why does this made up concept matter? If am dead by another’s hand, I am dead. If he/she meant to do it, well, do we need to delve any deeper?

      • October 12, 2015 1:02 pm

        Exactly. The recent mass shooting in Oregon is a prime example. The perpetrator was not a white man, but all of the victims were white Christians, and, from early reports, it seems as if the shooter was targeting them specifically because they were white Christians.

        Little to no interest among the liberal media to discover what this young criminal’s political or religious beliefs are. I have read that he was known to have visited white supremacist web sites, implying that he himself was a white supremacist, although that is unlikely. He is of mixed race (black mother/white father) and looks like a light skinned black man. Perhaps he was inflamed against whites by these websites, perhaps he “identified” as white and rejected his black side? Who knows what goes on in the mind of a madman.

        But, I have no doubt, none at all, that if the shooter had been white and all of the victims had been black Christians (I think we’ve seen that recently), the “hate crime” aspect of this shooting would be front and center.

        A crime is a crime. Intentional slaughter is hateful and should be prosecuted and punished to the fullest extent that the law allows, regardless of the race or the religion or the sexual preference of the victim(s).

      • Ron P permalink
        October 12, 2015 4:31 pm

        Maybe it is time America begin looking at the moral fibers that made this country great and the ragged patchwork of social values that now exist. How many of the murders, from single males using a knife in the central cities to the mass murders using guns at places where hundreds gather, have come from broken homes or families without one parent in the picture. Blame the guns, blame the computer games, blame the schools, blame the mental health. Blame everything except the central issue. We have always had sociopaths doing bad things. Chicago, New York and LA in the thirties and forties are good examples. But they had their targets for a reason other than religion or politics. Today I blame the deterioration of the family structure due to liberal social values for many of the issues we have today.

  21. Roby permalink
    September 28, 2015 2:00 pm

    Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/us/tally-of-attacks-in-us-challenges-perceptions-of-top-terror-threat.html?_r=0

    Post more than one link in a comment and you get sent to a perpetual “awaiting moderation” box. Ironic, huh?

  22. Roby permalink
    September 28, 2015 2:08 pm

    Finally, read the link that JB provided to me to a conservative news site for the flavor of the sentiments of a not small number of conservatives regarding US muslim citizens. Read the comments section. As well, just read JBs comments.

    If I have to choose between a country that is under too much influence from the PC police or one that is too influenced by JB and the commenters in his link, I’m going to take the PC police, hands down. But, I’d rather find a middle ground.

    http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/poll-most-u-s-muslims-would-trade-constitution-for-shariah/

    • Jbastiat permalink
      September 28, 2015 8:55 pm

      You would probably like that world better. Then again, I have never been arrested, pay my taxes, and raised by son to take care of himself. I am also polite to women, love animals, and love my wife.

      I can sleep with that.

      PS-I don’t own a gun but am glad that in the USA, I can.

      • Roby permalink
        September 28, 2015 9:16 pm

        Those are all highly respectable things. Unfortunately that is not the area where you and I meet. We meet in the area where you suggest shooting men, women and children at the border and wish to rid the country completely of a peaceful muslims. That is not a respectable thing.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 28, 2015 9:20 pm

        If you say so, it must be true.

  23. September 28, 2015 3:02 pm

    Boy did Rick hit on one that could last for months.

    I am one that has a negative outlook on Muslims. Before 9-11, I had no thoughts what-so-ever about them because they were not in the news and nothing good or bad was being reported. However, since 9-11, one does not know a good Muslim from a bad Muslim. Sleeper cells and one man/woman terrorist can be sitting right beside you, they can be a military officer, they can be your kids friend in college. They can be anyone.

    But the difference in a bad Muslim and a bad Christian is the level of terror that they spread compared to those that want to see others dead for being black, brown, Jew, etc. While terror spread by a non-Muslim is normally directed at smaller numbers of people, the bad Muslims are targeting the largest number of people resulting in the largest number of casualties possible. That seems to be one of the reasons they get so much bad press coverage and when something they do good, is not reported.

    Immigrants into this country have always experienced discrimination. In the 1800’s the Irish were looked upon in negative ways to the point that an Irish Catholic and Protestant were not allowed to marry. But what happened in this country to that discrimination and other nationalities being discriminated against was their blending into the American life. I remember my grandfather telling my grand mother to “speak English Anna, your in America” when she spoke Swedish so others could not understand what she was saying. She was born here to Swedish parents, while my Grandfather was an immigrant.

    The difference today with the immigrants in America is they refuse to assimilate into the American culture. They want to live their own sheltered life in their own self protected community and follow their own laws (Sharia for Muslims) and avoid becoming “American”. They want special treatment so they do not have to follow the rules like others, such as head coverings at schools that many prohibit for various reasons. In some stores and banks people are asked to remove sun glasses for security reasons, but burkas are not required to be removed from the head.

    The point in all this? Come to America. Become American. Speak our language. Follow our laws. Don’t expect special treatment for religious or cultural reasons. And if you can’t accept being American, then go home!!!! And if you can do all this, be vocal in your support of our culture, laws and constitution.

    And then maybe many moderates will join the liberals in being more accepting of you in our society.

    • Roby permalink
      September 28, 2015 4:07 pm

      “The difference today with the immigrants in America is they refuse to assimilate into the American culture.”

      You are raising a valid issue. But can you prove this assertion with more than just anecdotes? I suspect that there is a kernal of truth in what you say but not enough to make such a sweeping generality.

      I also suspect that it would not be difficult to find quite a few lengthy books on the subject that would really dig in to the huge level of complexity that is behind your straightforward comment. Maybe we should each choose one book (an amazon search would find them easily, both ideologically and simply academically driven) that we have some faith in and then make an agreement to read my chosen book and yours and see what we learn.

      I hope I am not still commenting on this in months, I hope that I can put my commenting obsession down and get more work done on my house and property!

    • Jbastiat permalink
      September 28, 2015 8:59 pm

      Liberals reject your notion de facto. To them we must all accommodate the multi-culturalism that is so worshipped by the left.

      God is dad, diversity has arrived.

      • Roby permalink
        September 28, 2015 9:13 pm

        Liberals make the offer than we could both read some actual books on the subject and actually learn something in depth and then talk again. Conservatives hate the very idea of reading more than two pages of one sided tripe.

      • Jbastiat permalink
        September 28, 2015 9:20 pm

        Sure, you are so very open to different perspectives. That is so obvious in your posts.

      • Roby permalink
        September 29, 2015 9:59 am

        We have been multicultural since the English, French and Spanish, who were all distinct cultures with their own religions at war with each other arrived in the new world and had children with the natives. Then we imported Africans as slaves.

        Heres a bit about how the chinese got here and how they were treated:

        “The history of Chinese Americans or the history of ethnic Chinese in the United States relates to the three major waves of Chinese immigration to the United States with the first beginning in the 19th century. Chinese immigrants in the 19th century worked as laborers, particularly on the transcontinental railroad, such as the Central Pacific Railroad. They also worked as laborers in the mining industry, and suffered racial discrimination at every level of society. While industrial employers were eager to get this new and cheap labor, the ordinary white public was stirred to anger by the presence of this “yellow peril”. Despite the provisions for equal treatment of Chinese immigrants in the 1868 Burlingame Treaty, political and labor organizations rallied against the immigration of what they regarded as a degraded race and “cheap Chinese labor”. ”

        Wiki, look it up. But you won’t.

        Its a multicultural world, that is reality.

      • September 29, 2015 12:28 pm

        “God is dad” has to be one of the most illuminating typos I’ve ever read. We traditionally think of God as “father”: authoritative, somewhat stern and judgmental. But “dad” injects an element of fun into His image. I like it.

        In a world presided over by a great “dad,” maybe the human race wouldn’t be so fatally inclined toward factionalism. Let’s try not to develop our own factions here. I like to think there’s room for both Roby and jbastiat at The New Moderate. In fact, I like the idea of trading books: I learn from reading both conservative and progressive articles — it’s always valuable to see the world through the eyes of people we can disagree with but still respect. Remember that William F. Buckley and John Kenneth Galbraith were the best of friends.

      • September 29, 2015 12:54 pm

        Found your comments interesting and then began to laugh. Was thinking if god was a woman, would she allow her “children” to fight among themselves like they are today. I suspect she would not. Mothers are like that where dads ignore that sort of thing.

        So I think this seals the argument about god being a man or woman. He is indeed a man.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2015 5:26 pm

        Keynes and Hayek were also friends.

      • dhlii permalink
        October 12, 2015 9:10 pm

        I am still trying to understand what “Multi-culturalism” is ?

        My Mother’s family came from scottland and ireland, my fathers, from ireland and germany – except that when his DNA was tested there is some Ashkenazi Jew. My wife’s family was thrown out of germany. My children are chinese and korean.

        The people who made this country came from everywhere. What they mostly had in common is the dream of a better life if not for themselves then for their children and the willingness to strive hard to make that happen.

        I see the same thing in many of those who come today.

        What is this multi-culturalism ?

        Is my white male scotch-Irish/german and apparently jewish heritage not authentic ? My grandfather and great grandfather were the persecuted immigrants of their day.

        If you are from mexico, south american, Pakistan or Mumbai you are entitled to no more nor less than those who came before your.

        That american exceptionalism that our president denies, is not some gene in the chromosomes of white males of european descent.

        It is that dream that pervades this country, that we can make our lives better, if not for ourselves for our children.

        That is why the standard of living in this country is 30% higher than the EU – even though 10% of our population are first generation immigrants, who came here with little or nothing. Just as our fathers, or grand fathers, or great grandfathers.

        Wherever you came from, this country offers on thing – greater freedom than anywhere else in the world – no matter who you are.

        There is no promise to respect you, your culture, your religion, your race.
        No certainty of a job, shelter, food. Just the more freedom to try than anywhere else.

        That freedom comes at a price – the expectation that you will allow others the same freedom.

        Too many on the right seem to forget that it was not too many generations ago they were the rejected and despised new comers.

        Too many on the left seem to think there is some obligation owed beyond equal freedom owed to others, and fail to grasp that the freedom to succeed does not exist absent the freedom to fail.

  24. Roby permalink
    September 29, 2015 3:32 pm

    Hi Rick, heh, no place to respond under your comment.

    “Muslim terrorists, on the other hand, do kill in the name of Mohammed or Allah. ”

    I’m sure that some will believe that I am making excuses for muslim actions, but I will observe
    that if a muslim eats a cheese sandwich he does it in the name of allah. Whatever they do, large and small its in the name of allah. Allah permeates every action.

    Hate crimes can be against anyone:

    “In both crime and law, hate crime (also known as bias-motivated crime) is a usually violent, prejudice motivated crime that occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group. Examples of such groups include but are not limited to: ethnicity, gender identity, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, or sexual orientation.[1][2][3] Non-criminal actions that are motivated by these reasons are often called “bias incidents”.”

    Hate crime legislation is not a young idea:

    “Hate crime laws have a long history in the United States. The first hate crime laws were passed after the American Civil War, beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1871, to combat the growing number of racially motivated crimes being committed by the Reconstruction era Ku Klux Klan. The modern era of hate-crime legislation began in 1968 with the passage of federal statute, 18 U.S. 245, part of the Civil Rights Act which made it illegal to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone who is engaged in six specified protected activities, by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.” However, “The prosecution of such crimes must be certified by the U.S. attorney general.”.[69]”

    These laws also exist in nearly every state and many other countries, including all of the European ones.

    “Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of hate crimes. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have statutes creating a civil cause of action in addition to the criminal penalty for similar acts. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have statutes requiring the state to collect hate crime statistics.[72]”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime#United_States

    They can in fact be perpetrated against whites and heterosexuals. See the table in the article. Jewish, LGBT and Muslims topped the per/capita list of incidents.

    • Jbastiat permalink
      September 29, 2015 5:18 pm

      Broken record.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 12, 2015 5:16 pm

      There are cultural differences in the levels of violence accross the world.

      Like it or not more violence today is associated with muslims than any other culture of similar size.

      Muslims overall have values and intolerance levels significantly greater than is common in western culture.

      All muslims ? Certainly not. But these problems in muslim culture are still far more common than in the west.

      Some of them are of recent origin. Within the last half century the mideast and north africa have gone from diverse nations with large jewish, christian and other religion populations to almost devoid of anything but muslims. Even within islam the various sects are far more heavily engaged in sectarian violence.

      Is this inherent in Islam – not likely. But that does not matter much to those who are the victims.

      If you are black it probably makes sense to stay away from white teens driving pickups with confederate flags flying from the tailgate.

      There are reasons and contexts to be more concerned about young muslim males too.

      While that does not mean we should expel every muslim teen who brings an electronic clock to school – and BTW lots of white teens have been expelled for similar actions. Our schools are full of zero tolerance idiots who are not especially racist.

    • dhlii permalink
      October 12, 2015 5:24 pm

      The entire concept of a “hate crime” is utter nonsense.

      Hate is a motive. Crimes are acts.
      .
      Blind justice means we do not or should not care if you are white, black, or brown, rich or poor, male or female, gay or straight, chrisitan, jew or muslim, young or old.

      If you committed a crime you should receive the same sentence and consideration anyone else commiting the same crime.

      AND exactly the same is true with respect to your victim.

      If you murder someone they are dead. They are not deader if they are old, or female, or black, or gay.

      You are guilty of murder, not gay murder.

      Your motives and intent are factors in proving that you likely committed the crime.
      They are evidence. They are not the crime in and of themselves.

      Actual equal rights means expecting that justice is blind to your status – whether you are the perpetrator or the victim.

      When you decide that one group of victims or perpitrators is entitled to special status you surrender the ground to those who would grants special status to different groups.

      If we can decide that crimes against gays are worse – we can decide that crimes against the rich are worse, or whites, or men or ……
      There is not moral meaning to the differences.

      Either our govenrment is blind to these things attributes or it is racist, sexist, …..

    • dhlii permalink
      October 12, 2015 5:36 pm

      One of the problems with our society today is FAR too many laws.

      Almost the entirely of our govenrment and legal system can be address with Three legal principles. Any law that is not a subset of one of those should not exist.

      You may not initiate violence against others.
      That covers the entirety of what should be our criminal law.

      You must make whole those you actually harm.
      That covers the entirety of our torts law.

      You must keep the agreements you make.
      That covers the remainder of civil law.

      I would also note that each of those legal principles is aposterieri.

      We impose consequences for actual harmful acts after they have occured.

      We do not impose sanctions against someone for our guess as to what the consequences of something they might want to do might be.

      Justice is supposed to be blind to who we are, who our victims are.

      And government is not free to interfere in our free choices UNTIL we actually cause harm.

  25. October 8, 2015 11:53 am

    This is really awful news. It happened outside of a bar, so it may be just the result of a very violent barroom brawl. But if it turns out that this guy was targeted because of his role in preventing a terrorist attack, it will poison the well much more than it already is:
    http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/10/08/cbs-news-france-train-hero-spencer-stone-stabbed-in-critical-condition/

    • October 8, 2015 1:31 pm

      Looks like it was a drunken fight, with no connection to Stone’s previous fame as a hero. And he is in stable condition.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 8, 2015 3:38 pm

        Good to hear he is doing OK. If not a terrorist, then the next thoughts go to being in the wrong part of town late at night.. That also does not seem to be the case as the bad section of Sacramento seems to be a few miles away. This appears to be the restaurant and nightclub section of town like so many have done with downtown areas. With the high crime among Asians in California, could be he just looked at them wrong and set them off.

  26. Pat Riot permalink
    October 9, 2015 1:31 pm

    Very glad, relieved, it was not a retaliation “hit” because he had helped thwart a terrorist attack. Had that been the case, and had it been fatal (martyrdom) or permanently debilitating (essentially martyrdom), it’s conceivable it might have been a WW3 spark fanned by our pay-per-click/trick for traffic mass media matrix mess.

  27. Pat Riot permalink
    October 12, 2015 4:43 pm

    Hark! I hear a damsel in distress…woman of the order of the red rose…who is feeling the weight of “hate crimes,” and hate and crime in general, and seeing the downward spiral toward dystopia…

    First I will empathize, and acknowledge that there is much in the news to weigh us down. It seems we can’t shake a stick at all of our problems, let alone solve them! Yes, it is wise to be very concerned, Priscilla, but don’t despair!

    Things have been much bleaker and more F.U.B.A.R. before, and America got through it! In just 3 days, July 1 – July 3, 1863, in the Battle of Gettysburg, there were over 50,000 casualties (dead, wounded, missing). The madman shooting sprees of today are hideous, horrible, sickening, sad, and depressing, and we must find a way to breed/foster self-control over violence, but in comparison to the entire Civil War (over 600,000 casualties), WWI (17 million), WWII (60 million)… Now I know I’m mixing American casualties with world casualties, but it helps to not see the madman shooting sprees as a sign of End Times. In so many ways, I have to agree with dhlii-Dave on this one, things are getting better.

    If we look for bad, we will find it. If we look for good, healthy, wholesome, just, improved, inspiring, we will find it. Flowers and crops grow in excrement! Also, when a despicable act is reported in the news it is still an anomaly–that is why it is considered “news worthy”. Think of the majority of the 300 million Americans or the 7 billion people who did no such despicable act, who went to work, did their job, ate with their family, thought good thoughts…

    I challenge every TNM commentor to list three things that are better now than they were in the past!!!

    • October 12, 2015 11:31 pm

      I suspect that if one looks at material things, life today is much better than it was years ago. If you look at societal issues, one would have to be a liberal to find three things that are better.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        October 13, 2015 2:39 am

        Ron, it may be easier to see the material things that are better (many improved products, an abundance of them, and an abundance of choices), and societal ills are troubling and disturbing, but it is a fact that societal improvements are occurring right alongside all of this:

        Young Americans are much more aware of what they are putting into their bodies than previous generations. They will choose water over sugary soft drinks and other crap. Previous generations were too trusting and gullible about what was being passed off as food. McDonald’s in 2015 is closing more stores than it is opening. Americans reading the ingredients on packages is a good change. The organic movement is a wholesome change.

        Today’s positive social movements are occurring without the psychedelic drugs of the ’60s and ’70s. (That doesn’t mean there isn’t drug use, but it’s not overtly linked to the movements.) There is the LOCAL movement–recognizing it is smart to circulate money in one’s community rather than ship it out to big corporations. The LOCAL movement is not a liberal movement. It’s a wising up to where the money is coming from and where it’s going movement.

        The availability of information is an ultra-positive societal improvement not fully grasped by many. Open-source platforms like Wikipedia, and search engines, are expanding our knowledge more than many people realize. It used to be that a child could ask a question to a few people around them, often receiving an “I don’t know, honey, but that’s an interesting question.” So much information at our fingertips now. It is exciting to think of the positive ways we can learn to use knowledge and information.

      • jbastiat permalink
        October 13, 2015 7:54 am

        Pat, I admire your optimism.

        I could counter everyone of your points but I am too depressed to do so.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 13, 2015 1:28 pm

        I guess the difference in my position and yours is the time horizon. That might be due to an age difference between us and how we see history. You say kids are better off since they don’t eat and drink the crap that has been popular since the late 60’s. I look at that and see kids returning to a time when fast foods and sugary drinks were not that available and popular. But the difference today than when this was the norm is the lack of “family” time at the dinner table. And when the family does gather for dinner, many are on the smart devices and not communicating to those right across the table.

        Again you use the drug issues of the 60’s and 70’s and the decrease in the amount of drug being used. This is just a movement back to where the young operated in the years proceeding the drug generation. I do not find that an improvement. Locally circulated money, so is that why everything we buy is made in a foreign country? The few cars built in America are the foreign nameplates. GM and Ford produce many of the trucks and most of their cars in foreign countries. Toyota is ranked the “most American” of the cars sold in America today. Most clothing is Indonesian, African or Asian. Most electronics is Asian. Most electric tools are Chinese, other than the better quality ones made in Mexico. So it appears my money is going to someone in a foreign country, one way or the other.

        “Open-source platforms like Wikipedia, and search engines, are expanding our knowledge more than many people realize”. This is true, but is our education system better than before the liberals began to “tinker” with it beginning in the late 80’s when the Department of Education was established? I don’t think it is. I also do not think our higher education was better then before when it was there to foster individual thinking instead of promoting a specific agenda. Can a student today express conservative viewpoints in many of the universities and receive the same grade or higher than they did years ago. I am not a student, but I have heard from many, including my kids, that you regurgitate the liberal views of the professor to get a good grade and stand on principle to get a lessor grade.

        Give me the moral fiber, the family structure, the religious teachings, the political position debates and discussions, the children’s ability to play at a school or park without adult supervision without fear of abduction, the food produced without antibiotics, overactive kids disciplined and not given chemicals to calm them down in school and many other conditions that were present before 1970 America. That really is only 45 or so years in a much longer period of American history.

        Maybe a movement back to the war generation and a reboot might be good at this time. We can keep the technological advance. the medical advances, just like our grandparents and others before them, but maybe life’s personal advances need to be reversed where god and family were placed before anything else.

  28. Pat Riot permalink
    October 12, 2015 4:53 pm

    Things are far better in the realm of personal hygiene:

    As we know, in the days of our Founding Fathers people didn’t bathe regularly, and when they did they often shared the same tub water! They masked their bodily odors in bizarre ways. That’s just gross! Hurray for Modern Times!

    My own beloved grandfather carried around a “hankie” for blowing his nose. When he pulled it out there were…previous clumps showing. Good God we can’t go back! Back in the ’60s I received new hankies monogrammed with my initials in my Christmas stocking. Hurray for bio-degradable tissues!

    I love those little floss sticks! They make it so easy to clean one’s teeth! Believe it or not, this is extending people’s lives!!

    In what other realms/areas are things much better? C’mon, we are cheering up Priscilla and arming her with an outlook safety net for later use!

  29. Pat Riot permalink
    October 13, 2015 9:23 am

    jbastiat, it would be easier for me to make a long list of problems, examples of our cultural decay and of unsolved, complex, growing problems.

    But you know good is happening alongside the bad. An important question is how much good vs. how much bad. Will the bad overwhelm and drown out the good? The bad is magnified and broadcast by the media because train wrecks and squabbles catch our attention, turn our heads and sell products. We’ve become a nation of rubberneckers gawking at fender benders and ten car pile-ups. Yeah there’s trouble, but what activities are holding our culture together day after day?

    The commercial mass media is the #1 tool to bring us down (accidentally as a by-product and purposely), to make us shake our heads, then hang our heads, to become stuck, to resign, to give up. Young people are fed up with commercial media. They download their songs to avoid the lying commercials and the demoralizing news. They only use their TVs for Netflix for movies. They get their information online where at least there is a great variety of sources. There is a resistance growing along numerous societal fronts, and we need you, jbastiat! Feel the force within you, and step away from the dark side! ( 🙂 ) You are already making a stand somewhere, holding the line, grumbling in disgust at the decay you see. Take pride in that stand, relish it, glorify in that stand you are taking, and look around at all the other Americans who are also helping to hold things together. Focus on the positive. Pay it forward! Pick a front or two and fight with us to drown out the bad!

    It’s too easy to point at the bad. It feels far better to be part of the solutions. Your initiation into the club is to name one societal change that is good without naming any that are bad. Use the force, jbastiat! We need you!

  30. Pat Riot permalink
    October 13, 2015 9:34 am

    Who else out there can do it: name one positive societal change–something cultural that is better today than it was in the past? I’ve got three more good ones ready but I’ll hold my peace.

  31. October 13, 2015 10:36 am

    Ok, Pat, I will give it a go….after all, you rode in to keep me from surrendering to total despair (I would call you a white knight, but that might be racist 😉 ) Plus, your “hankie” story about your grandfather made me laugh out loud…….

    The phony War on Women aside, girls have it pretty good these days. Maybe better than boys, at least when it comes to jobs and the workplace. I read the other day that the technology now exists to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into pellets that can be stored – and that there are a number of companies actively developing this technology. Bionic body parts are already a reality, and more of them become available all the time. The whole Ebola scare from a year or so ago resulted in what seems to be effective treatments and perhaps a vaccine.

    Not all cultural things, perhaps, but positive ……

    • Pat Riot permalink
      October 13, 2015 6:43 pm

      Priscilla, I’m glad my memory of my grandfather’s gross hankie made you laugh. That is my gift to you! And yes why is a white knight good? Clearly you are a racist! Good positives. What happened to Ebola? Should some scientists be getting more of a pat on the back? If we can hold our societies together there will be so many technological breakthroughs!

  32. Roby permalink
    October 13, 2015 1:30 pm

    1.) The Yankees have not won a World series in quite a few years.
    2.) SUVs are now on the market (i drove a rental hyndai SantaFe recently) that get damn near 30 mpg.
    3.) Youtube is an amazing tool for musicians.

    As an aside, the reason that flossing may extend lives is that a lady I knew in the world of molecular biology at UVM, Paula Fives-Taylor, was studying the bacteria that cause tooth decay and decided to investigate whether those bacteria occur elsewhere in the body. Turned out, yes, in the heart, where they contribute to heart disease plaque. Kill them in your mouth and they will not by such a problem in your heart.

    So Science is marching on, most especially in Biology and that is a very good thing.

  33. Pat Riot permalink
    October 13, 2015 6:51 pm

    Roby I was worried you were living your life and weren’t going to help me out here, but you rode in like the cavalry with good positives! Floss sticks for all !!!

    As I said above, If we can hold our societies together there will be so many technological/scientific breakthroughs right around the corner. We already have our own printers and computers at home–who would have thought that thirty years ago–and soon we will all have our own MRI machines behind our shower tiles detecting troubles early enough, and many other wonderful things are on their way if we can learn to hold things together.

    • Roby permalink
      October 13, 2015 8:07 pm

      Its not a printer that you have at home its a source of ink revenue to some very large company. They will give you the $%#@& printer free if they have to so that they can attach their ink machine to your bank account. Hear that sucking sound? Its not jobs going to China this time, its money flowing to Epson or Hewlitt Packard. Our printer uses colored ink Even When it is printing in black and white and will not let you print in black and white unless all ink colors are available. Something about keeping the jets clean. Think you are going to print some urgent document? A pop up appears: Buy Ink from Epson. Printers are worse than a virus.

      But, you might like this, you futurist you, episodes of the Jetsons are available free online, so you can visit the future, as foreseen in 1960, any time you want. Still no personal flying saucers, but apparently if I were Japanese (in Japan that is) I could purchase a soft drink from a vending machine using my smartphone.

  34. Pat Riot permalink
    October 14, 2015 7:11 am

    Ug. Printer ink. Same BS here with Brother combo printer/fax/copier: I have to go purchase a yellow or blue cartridge already to print a black and white document???? That’s part of the sleazy side of capitalism. Still different that mid-20th century and back to be able to print a PowerPoint slide at home at 6 am for a morning presentation.

    And TNM is a civilized forum, so careful hurling f-words around such as “futurist”.

  35. Roby permalink
    October 14, 2015 11:21 am

    Oops, sorry about that Pat. Never again!

    Seriously, one way to get depressed is to take politics too seriously, or at least partisan analysis too seriously. Believing the dogma of both the most conservative and liberal sides leads one to feel that the end of the world is near, since that is the theme that is used to motivate voters. There are very serious situations in the world but one must make one’s own analysis and not swallow the BS that is spewed by politicians and partisan commentators to understand what those threats really are.

    It is a shame to see people losing their minds en masse and accepting the despair these competing left and right profiteers are sowing.

  36. Ron P permalink
    October 14, 2015 3:09 pm

    I just caught a minute or two of the Democrat debate and thought, “what happened to the party of diversity?” There was a really old white male career politician, an old female career politician and a few throw away’s on stage. What happened to the party of younger, more open minded candidates like JFK, RFK, BO and even Jimmy Carter who was relatively young when elected. You may not agree with their political positions, but they were not the standard like that set by the GOP as the party of “old white guys”. Then looking at the GOP, the party of “old white guys”, on stage at their debate was an old white businessman, a black neurosurgeon, two young Hispanic males, a middle aged white female business leader and a couple other throw in’s that may not make it to February. And add in the candidate in the undercard debate that is of Indian (India) descent and you have a very diversified field of candidates for the nomination. My first hope is we end the 35 years of a Bush or Clinton being in the White House or running for the positions (started in 81 with 41 as VP). People 35 years old and voting for 17 have known nothing but Bush/Clinton. My second hope is for someone willing to listen and talk with congressional leaders to get something done.

    • October 14, 2015 3:54 pm

      The Dem party is totally devoid of new ideas as well. The same old same old: More gov’t, more programs, more rules, more spending, more taxes.

      Oh, and yes, the Rich are to blame as well as anyone who is white.

    • October 15, 2015 7:58 am

      I watched the entire debate, although I wouldn’t really call it a debate. I thought that Anderson Cooper’s questions were good, for the most part, but, other than Jim Webb, who seemed to have wandered into the wrong room, the candidates clearly had no desire to debate policy, only to make empty campaign promises. Cooper followed up occasionally, but never held anyone’s feet to the fire, particularly not Hillary’s When Bernie had his “sound-bite moment” of declaring that he was tired of hearing about her damn emails, Cooper just let it stand. (Bernie is apparently angling for a plum ambassadorship under President HRC.)

      Journalists have an obligation to the public that almost none fulfill any more – these “debates” would be better with no moderators at all…. time keepers would suffice. Let the candidates question each other (granted, you would have to have a series of one-on-one debates in order to do that, so it will probably never happen). In the GOP debate, Jake Tapper kept trying to start “food fights” between the candidates ….arguments over petty news-cycle events and statements, rather than serious discussion of substantive policy issues. (“Ms. Fiorina, what do you think of Mr. Trump’s comments about your face?”)

      Ironically, news people, and I use the term loosely, bitch and moan about Donald Trump turning politics into a reality show, when they themselves have done far more to trivialize the political process than Trump could ever do.

      • Ron P permalink
        October 15, 2015 11:50 am

        “Ironically, news people, and I use the term loosely, bitch and moan about Donald Trump turning politics into a reality show”

        I have come to the conclusion that Trump’s, Sanders and Carson’s appeal is their non-political talk. They are a “reality” show because they talk “real”. What they think comes out of their mouths and not the sound bite crap that Cruz, Bush, Clinton and all the others speak when addressing the voters.

        There was only one other politician in modern time that did this same thing. Truman. I remember reading a story where he was addressing a group and his speech was about agriculture and improving yields. He kept using the term manure and one lady leaned over to Bess Truman and said “you need to get Harry to use the term fertilizer”. Bess’s remark to her was “do you know how long it took me to get him to use the term manure?

        Now that real.

      • Pat Riot permalink
        October 16, 2015 7:41 pm

        Great post, Priscilla. Funny sh–, Ron!

  37. October 21, 2015 10:00 am

    Epilogue to Ahmed the Clock Boy story:

    After meeting Obama and receiving multiple scholarship offers from all over the world (for essentially putting the guts of a digital alarm clock into a pencil case), our young hoaxster has chosen to move to the Muslim supremacist, Sharia-governed nation of Qatar to pursue his education.

    But, seriously, folks, it’s “Islamophobia” to blame!

    • jbastiat permalink
      October 21, 2015 10:43 am

      Our U is having a lecture next week (indoctrination really) on the evils of islamaphobia. Happily, I am out of town, so I can blow it off without coming into the office to do so.

    • October 21, 2015 7:51 pm

      I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from Ahmed the Clock Boy in the future.

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