11 March 2012

To be Surveilled or Colonized?

A few months after the 9/11 attacks, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) began a campaign of undercover anti-terrorism surveillance in mosques, schools, and Muslim neighborhoods, according to NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly in a recent speech given at Fordham University. That surveillance has thwarted 14 terror attacks from that time to the present. On the other hand, one reason the German Catholic and Lutheran churches failed to thwart the rise of Nazism and the deportation of millions of Jews to concentration camps was that Nazi informers infiltrated the churches. It's a question of balance.

Balance against the petrodollars funding the attempts by extremist Jihadi-Takfiris and their mullahs and imams to colonize our American mosques, schools, and Muslim neighborhoods. (As if American Islam were any less genuine or authentic than anyone else's Islam.) The Jihadi-Takfiris use methods of agitation-propaganda and provocation learned from atheistic Communism and thuggish violence learned from idolatrous Nazism in order to intimidate or eliminate their opposition within Islam. They function like an organized criminal gang, except that instead of peddling drugs, they are on a Crusade to peddle their narcissistic ideology, to which they themselves are addicted. Against such moneyed, organized, zealous criminal power, the balance of state power is sometimes needed, even welcomed.

But before we get to blasé about it, think of how you would feel if you went on a camping trip with some of your friends, only to find out, years later, that one of them, whom you trusted, to whom you bared your soul, was actually an undercover cop who was reporting your every word.

Our American Muslims need and deserve our care and respect. Maybe sometimes they also need the help of our law enforcement agencies to resist colonization by the Jihadi-Takfiris. But that help should be used  judiciously and circumspectly. Whenever possible, that help should wait for an invitation. And always, that help must respect and protect the privacy and dignity of Muslims who have given themselves to God, and not to the Jihadi-Takfiri idol of God.

09 March 2012

You Do Not Have the Right Never to be Offended

Adapted from the poisonous pen of the notorious Right Wing extremist, David Horowitz:

Last fall, a Muslim, named Talaag Elbayomy, attacked a Pennsylvania man name Ernest Perce who had dressed up like Mohammed for a Halloween parade. The attack was caught on film, witnessed by dozens of parade watchers, and verified by a policeman. 

Elbayomy was charged. But when he was brought before Cumberland County Judge Mark Martin, the judge dismissed the assault charges against the Muslim and dressed down the Pennsylvania man for being insensitive to the Muslim religion. Not only did Martin rule in favor of the Muslim attacker, he lectured Ernest Perce for insulting Islam: "Islam is not just a religion, it's their culture. It's their very essence their very being… And what you've done is, you've complete trashed their essence, their being. They find it very, very, very offensive. I find it offensive."

- End of Adaptation.

I find it offensive, and stupid, too. But in a democracy, being offended does not confer the right to commit violence. Yet Judge Martin unlawfully conceded the right to commit violent crime in the name of religion to Elbayomy, and by extension to all practitioners of the religion of Islam.

I doubt that Judge Martin would concede a right of violent redress to equally devout Catholics seeking revenge against members of the Obama Administration who are forcing Catholic organizations to provide insurance coverage for birth control. In other words, Judge Martin is just another knee-jerk, reactionary, Politically Correct "useful idiot" for Islamofacism, who desperately needs to be impeached from the judiciary, and disbarred from the practice of law. It is the job of the judiciary to defend ordered liberty, not to sell it cheap in a vain attempt to appease its despisers.

You do not have the right never to be offended, because if you do, then everyone else has no rights. The whole world must revolve around your sensitivities. And that's wrong.

03 March 2012

Birth Control is Not a Right

So Rush Limbaugh satirized Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law Student, who is advocating in favor of the Obama Administration policy that mandates employers who provide health insurance also provide coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients. I have yet to hear or read Limbaugh's remarks, or Ms. Fluke's for that matter.

What I can say, is that when my wife and I were Ms. Fluke's age, we were also living on graduate student stipends. We took care of our own birth control costs, and never thought to ask the University to help us with them. Because we assumed that birth control was not our right - it was our responsibility. Birth control is considered a right by people whose ideology confuses license with liberty.

On the other hand, the real issue is not graduate students, but the working poor. When you are bringing in such low wages that you have to count pennies, then maybe you do need a little help to make ends meet. Maybe the government should win this one. But Catholic and some other religious institutions have moral objections to birth control. At least let them have a means test, so that they will only be compelled to provide such coverage to those whom they pay wages too low to afford it.

That will at least provide those institutions a way to opt out of providing coverage for birth control by raising the wages of those lowest on the pay scale, and letting them make their own choices as to how to spend their own money.

How Dangerous is Theoretical Physics?

The String Theorists and the Loop Quantum Gravitators are busily chipping away at the problem what space-time actually is. For some time, my concern has been that if people can figure out how space-time is put together, then somebody might be able to figure out how to take it apart. In other words, the next paradigm shift in theoretical physics may have weapons implications, just like the last one, which gave us nuclear weapons. The atomic nucleus is not Nature's last word on explosive energy release.

That last word is actually the First Word - the Big Bang that began the Universe as we know it. The question is whether some yet to be discovered physics can yield intentional explosions between the intensity of a nuclear explosion and the Big Bang.

On the other hand, our astronomers are finding that planets orbiting around stars are commonplace. With all those planets out there, surely some are home to technological civilizations, and surely some of them have already discovered physics that is several paradigms beyond our own. If there were any explosive technology based on such physics, and if any extra-terrestrial civilization had used it, our astronomers would have seen it. So far, all the observable explosions and other energetic phenomena in space look natural. Or so we think.

Maybe theoretical physics isn't such a dangerous pursuit after all. Maybe.