Religious freedom: a confined policy

Freedom of religion is an established right in the United States; the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees it to every person.  In the U.S., no person may be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.  Equal opportunity is among our most cherished tenets; it is the product of much national soul-searching, and it did not arrive without a struggle.  It has brought tranquility in a diverse nation.  In the U.S. today, it is legally irrelevant whether a person is male, female, Mormon, Jew, Christian, Muslim, White, Black or Asian.

Americans know that a human being is rightly judged on character alone, but they abandon that knowledge when they consider foreigners.  Americans have allied themselves with many governments around the world that hate American rights.  Israel, for instance, would not dream of placing the Arab and the Jew on equal footing.  Many American allies in the Islamic world treat non-Muslims as second-class citizens.  The U.S. has also supported many autocracies that discriminate against (or even exterminate) political dissidents, and it continues to reward the perpetrators of these atrocities with weapons and cash.

When we treat certain people as inferior beings based on religious differences (or condone such treatment), we give credence to the very evil we aim to suppress, and this ignorant practice has brought more wretchedness to humanity than all other evils combined.  It will continue to bring Americans trouble in the forms of anxiety, fear, terror, and war.  U.S. policy is philosophically unsound, for it is a philosophical contradiction to support religious freedom and the establishment of any religious state–Islamic, Christian, or Jewish.

All those who espouse the doctrine of religious statehood, may be included within the following descriptions: the interested, who are not to be trusted; the weak, who cannot see; the prejudiced, who will not see; and a certain set of moderates, who think better of the religious state than it deserves; and this last class, by an ill-judged deliberation, will be the cause of more calamities to this world than all the other three.

The difference is, we are all the same

From the rightfully honored pen of Thomas Paine, religious diversity is a natural and wonderful reality, and sounds like this (from Rights of Man, 1791):

“If we suppose a large family of children, who, on any particular day, or particular circumstance, made it a custom to present to their parent some token of their affection and gratitiude, each of them would make a different offering, and most probably in a different manner.  Some would pay their congratulations in themes of verse or prose, by some little devices, as their genius dictated, or according to what they thought would please; and, perhaps, the least of all, not able to do any of those things, would ramble into the garden, or the field, and gather what it thought the prettiest flower it could find, though, perhaps, it might be but a simple weed.  The parent would be more gratified by such variety, than if the whole of them had acted on a concerted plan, and each had made exactly the same offering.  This would have the cold appearance of contrivance, or the harsh one of control.  But of all unwelcome things, nothing could more afflict the parent than to know, that the whole of them had afterwards gotten together by the ears, boys and girls, fighting, scratching, reviling, and abusing each other about which was the best or the worst present.

Why may we not suppose, that the great Father of all is pleased with variety of devotion; and that the greatest offence we can act, is that by which we seek to torment and render each other miserable.  For my own part, I am fully satisfied that what I am doing now, with an endeavour to conciliate mankind, to render their condition happy, to unite nations that have hitherto been enemies, and to extirpate the horrid practice of war, and break the chains of slavery and oppression, is acceptable in his sight, and being the best service I can perform, I act it cheerfully.

I do not believe that any two men, on what are called doctrinal points, think alike who think at all.  It is only those who have not thought that appear to agree.”

Word.  Paine was–so far as I can presently tell–at least two centuries ahead of his time, if not three or four.  His objections remain untended; his solutions remain untried; his warnings remain unheeded.  Even in America, where the political winds sing his song, the politicians still refuse to dance to it.

Sifting through the crap

Crap

99.9% of everything you will ever hear from a U.S. politician or media pundit is total crap. I present to you five widely discussed issues that do not matter, so that next time you hear them on the radio or television, you can say to yourself “this is pointless conversation”:

  1. Energy policy: The energy industry is part of the economic market. It operates most efficiently on its own and requires no help from the government (unless there is a monopoly in the market). Anyone who thinks limiting our choices on energy is a good thing is delusional. Stay away from them. It is remarkable how many believe that people can be made better off by the imposition of limitations on their choices. Here’s how it works, honestly and simply: when (and only when) gas prices become too high, an alternative energy source will become dominant.
  2. Environmental issues: If your property is being damaged by another person’s (or group’s) pollution, sue them. If you can prove your case, you will win. Chances are, you’ll be one of many, and those who choose to pollute will soon stop because of the amount of expenses they are incurring from mounting lawsuits. There are no regulations necessary–just the simple legal protection of property.
  3. Illegal immigration: The leaderships of both parties have decided nothing will ever be done to stop this. In fact, they hope to someday unify Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. under a multinational government.
  4. Racism, sexism, feminism, anti-religious sentiments, and other prejudices: You are easier to control if you think along these lines at all. Whether you are practicing these or blaming others for doing so, you are falling right in line with what the status quo wants. You are focusing on an issue that does not matter, which works out perfectly for the people trying to make sure they can continue to steal money from you without your noticing.
  5. Islamofascism: This is a huge myth. If you think radical Muslims are about to take over the United States, you are wacko. You need to see a mental health professional and talk about your irrational fears.

From now on, if you hear one of these issues mentioned on the news or anywhere else, remember that someone is trying to entertain or bewilder you, and that nothing they say can swindle you out of a wise and well-reasoned vote. The list above is far from exhaustive.

Now that you know what sorts of issues don’t matter, here’s some that do: The Constitution, Bill of Rights, fiscal restraint, and sound monetary policy (the elimination of fiat currency). If your legislators are focusing more on the first list than this one, they need to be replaced.

You’re welcome.

The Iraq War, in the tradition of Jonathan Swift

Iraqi prisoners

Before reading:

Read Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. This will help you understand the title and the tone.
http://www.uoregon.edu/~rbear/modest.html
Watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFptybbietQ
Intellectuals will understand the nature of this piece without explanation, and those readers who do not will find themselves inspired to defend the Iraqi people, which the media has taught them are subhuman.
It is satirical.  It is supposed to be disgusting.  My aim is to help the disgusted American reader, by forcing the reader to view Iraqis as humans, which is what they are.

The fundamentalist factions of Islam and Christianity have such similar social goals regarding women, substances, arts, sciences, and sex, that I have often wondered why the two don’t join forces against socially liberal ideas. These factions are almost invariably better armed and more passionate than liberals, and could together defeat and rule their pusillanimous counterparts within weeks. Instead of joining forces, however, they have become brothers at arms, and because the Christian faction “represents” my nation, I submit a modest proposal, hoping it will teach U.S. rulers how to maximize the economic productivity of their otherwise wasteful war (beyond the apparent strategy of stealing oil).

By some counts, our war has extinguished more than one million souls in Iraq, many of them young and–aside from bullet and/or blast wounds–relatively healthy. A show of hands reveals that many of the million dead terrorists (or terrorist sympathizers) have suffered severed limbs or crushed skulls, but that a large percentage of their torsos remain intact.

Let us modestly assume that–subtracting infants, the aged, and the unusable–we have produced 300,000 employable human torsos in Iraq, and we have let them all decay to waste. This is tragic when we consider that many die on transplant waiting lists in the United States each year, and that there are only 107,213 Americans on all such lists today. To the list registrants and their families, there can be no sufficient reason why the bodies of our enemies should not have been harvested for useful organs. We know our enemies are evil, but we are well aware that the corruption resides in their minds–not in their hearts, livers, lungs or kidneys–so let us use their organs productively.

We know that many of those who die waiting for transplants are waiting for new livers. This is where our habit of killing Islamofascists in defense of freedom will be uniquely helpful. The backward people of the Islamic world are discouraged from consuming alcohol, and have outlawed its use in many places, which makes their livers pristine replacements for those of good, freedom-loving, beer-drinking Americans.

Many liberals–and even some weak-hearted conservative Americans–are saddened by the innocent-looking eyes of Iraqi children, but I assure you, we should feel no remorse for the children we have incidentally killed. First, we must face the reality that the people we are fighting are peculiarly wicked and–even as children–believe that freedom-loving people deserve death. Moreover, I understand that the children will be very useful to us (given that they are dead). There are certain areas of the body in which a transplant from a child is preferable to one from an adult. Corneal transplants are a perfect example.

Given that our toll of useful corpses nearly triples our conventional need for them, and that we have been assured, “my friends, there will be more wars,” it is only appropriate–for the sake of production–that some unconventional uses for dead terrorists (or terrorist sympathizers) be explored.

For example: intestine. Of the 107,213 on the organ transplant waiting list, only 236 are waiting for intestine, which naturally brings us to wonder what is to be done with all of the extra gut. Gut has a variety of productive uses, and its excess promises to be of great use to American society. It can be fashioned into a tough string for musical instruments or tennis racquets. It is a source of rennet, which is used for the production of cheese. It can be used to case sausages. With all the possible uses of gut employed, we will be able to minimize the waste of Islamic intestine.

The use of human remains is not my area of expertise, and I hope and trust it never will be, but I am sure our government’s scientists will find a number of uses–known and yet unknown–for leftover Iraqi flesh. This new resource will be undoubtedly welcomed by the struggling United States economy.

The management of the war has also given us overseas prisons filled with terrorists. Of such prisons and their occupants, we are told, “my friends, there are some bad people down there,” and this is undoubtedly true. If the people in our government’s secret prisons were not obviously guilty terrorists, they would never have been arrested and detained by our benevolent military forces.

Currently, the scoundrels in our overseas prisons are a drain on the American economy, but this effect can be reversed. Because we know that their cases will never be formally tried, and that they will remain in these prisons indefinitely, we are fools to let them age wastefully. They are terrorists. They are guilty. They are fanatics. They cannot be rehabilitated. They are not getting out, ever. They are, for all intents and purposes, already dead. It is torturous beyond measure for a person to live endlessly in confinement this way, so it is with the utmost mercy that we should kill them humanely, and harvest their remains. This is the only way for them to become productive members (or–pardoning the pun–dismembers) of society. Because of their religious beliefs, a number of them are begging for death, so I am merely suggesting that we fulfill their requests.

Given our economic strife, and the necessity for our war despite its hefty price tag (not to mention the irrefutable sense of what I have proposed), there can be little doubt that these suggestions will be taken into serious consideration by our elected deciders in Washington. I believe, through sincere reason and revelation, that the measures I have proposed will help the United States win its war against evil, and thus they will help ensure that good people always prevail.

Islamofascism, are you kidding me?

Don't fear the guy on the right.  He is harmless.

It’s 2008. Theocracy is not about to take over the United States, and if it did, it would be a safe bet that it would not be Islamic. I do not understand the level of irrational fear in this country. If you are an American who fears Islamofascism, turn off the corporate media, and please see a psychiatrist.

Iran: the bait that could hook the world’s biggest shark

Are these presidents allied?

The rhetoric coming from Tehran, whether it be anti-American, anti-Israeli, Holocaust-denying, or ambiguously nuclear, is accompanied by a confidence that one would not expect from a nation that the United States could crunch like a cockroach. We may call Ahmedinejad evil, unscrupulous, radical, or unreasonable, but it would be a mistake to think of him as a poor politician, or even an irrational leader. As a public figure and ambassador for his nation, he is much more polished than President Bush. It is unlikely that such a figure would make the sort of mistake that Saddam Hussein made, inviting a war without a plan for fighting it. One can’t help speculating that Ahmedinejad must have an ace up his sleeve, or perhaps even two or three aces, China being that of spades.

China rests on the grounded edge of an economic see-saw, using its weight to prop the United States consumers above its own. The weight on the lever, however, is beginning to shift. By simply looking at bond markets, trade imbalances, interest rates, capital flows and production trends, it is evident China’s economy must soon boom and America’s economy is likely to collapse. One event could change the economies of both countries seemingly overnight, and the beneficiary of such an event would be China. Currently, China’s money is backed by productive labor, while the U.S. Dollar is backed by the art of the press.

Since 2000, perhaps no International ties have grown stronger than those between Iran and China. Trade between the two countries has increased astronomically. China has been Iran’s most staunch ally in UN arguments about economic sanctions. If the U.S. were to make the mistake of attacking Iran, it is not inconceivable that China would immediately declare war against the U.S. for launching an unprovoked, aggressive war against one of its allies. This would be enough to tip the scales of the U.S. and Chinese economies. The loss of U.S. trade would become negligible to China, as it realized the power of its own currency, and took into account the sudden devaluation of U.S. currency. The dollar collapse that would result from war with China would haunt even some of the most pessimistic economists, as foreign dollar reserves would begin flowing back into the U.S. economy, U.S. Treasury securities would lose their appeal, and in order to support its own massive military and domestic promises, America would be forced to leave the dollar presses running constantly.

It is a pessimistic view, I realize, but it is the nature of arrogant and irresponsible empires, like the one the United States has steadily become since 1913, to fall this way. I take this view not from my own opinion, but from my plain and honest reasoning, propelled by the evidences of history and nature.

Iraqis have a voice, “but nobody listened.” Will you?

We have committed the invasion.

I have written a book; and if it cannot be refuted, it cannot be condemned. But I do not consider the prosecution as particularly leveled against me, but against the general right, or the right of every man, of investigating systems and principles of government, and showing their several excellencies or defects.” – Thomas Paine

Don’t share this with anyone allergic to truth. I have recently seen testimony that is–shocking is not the right word–horrifying. The official story we have been told about Iraq is a lie so big (though some leader, perhaps modeling for our own, once noted that people are more apt to believe a big lie than a small one), that I fear American heads will roll as a result of its telling, and perhaps justly. The big lie has officially lost legitimacy, and can now only be perpetuated through force. God bless America.

Iraqi leaders have been allowed to talk to members of Congress on CSPAN, and it should well ruin the war propaganda campaign that the Clinton and Bush Administrations, in conjunction with mainstream U.S. media (yes this includes “conservative” talk show hosts), have been orchestrating against the American and Iraqi people for the past decade. What the Iraqis are revealing, to the horror of Americans who have tuned in:

  • “The surge is working” is a lie, and always has been. Anyone who uses this phrase after the revelations of 06.04.08 is either a contemporary or a follower of Goebbels, and should be prosecuted for sedition or libel, before their efforts pave in America, a short road to Nazi Germany. Those who henceforth perpetuate the lie that the surge is working are war criminals, and perpetrate crimes against humanity, by extending an illegal, unjust and murderous war through known falsities.
  • Iraq is undeniably capable of defending itself without U.S. military aid, and has been for some time.
  • The U.S. is not defending Iraq from Iranian invasion.
  • Iraqis would rather have Saddam Hussein than what America has “given” them.
  • Most Iraqis want American forces to withdraw.
  • Continued presence of American troops in Iraq will increase the size and strength of terrorist militias there.

If we believe it too radical to suggest that the people of a nation should govern themselves, if we believe that our distant and uninformed (if not misinformed) opinions will serve the Iraqi people better than their knowledge and experience can serve themselves, if we lack (or unpardonably disregard) the God-given virtues of humility and compassion that the Scripture commands us in all of our affairs to employ, and if we disdain our own blessings so severely that we might arrogantly idolize ourselves as Rulers of the Universe, then we will care very little for what the Iraqi people think of our presence in their country.

As American republicans and good people, what I have described in the preceding stanza is not our condition, but if it were, we could rightly call ourselves evil, and if unrepentant, we would certainly deserve Hell, presuming its existence. If our intentions in Iraq are good, we must seek to remove all ambiguity from our understanding of the conflict, because, as a selfish but quotable man once wrote, “the consciousness of good intentions disdains ambiguity.” A selfless and more quotable man expressed as much in fewer words: “mystery is the antagonist of truth.” And I’m told a wise chimpanzee shared a banana. With that in mind, I leave you to the material at hand, with this advice in closing: seek truth, remove ambiguity, remain conscious of good intentions, eliminate mystery, and most importantly, share your bananas.

Why hasn’t the media been telling us that these tan-colored, robed creatures in Iraq are capable of rational thought? I feel misled, for I almost believed Iraqis were little more than cackling orangutans with bombs strapped to their torsos. Apparently this Iraq War thing Americans have been watching almost as attentively as they watched season six of Survivor–Iraqis actually care about it for some reason. You would think the Iraq War actually affected their lives. Go figure. Maybe it does. Who knows? Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to see what these surprisingly rational residents of Mess-o-potamia are saying, and I have compiled some video and quotes from my worldwide web travels.

Some quotes from a prominent Iraqi Shiite leader and a prominent Iraqi Sunni leader, sitting side by side in the Capitol Building in Washington:

“I just would like to assert that Iraq is capable to defend itself.” – Dr. Nadeem Al-Jaberi, Iraqi Parliament

“The majority of the people of Iraq are for the withdrawal, perhaps even about 70 percent.” – Dr. Nadeem Al-Jaberi, Iraqi Parliament

“The [American] Embassy in Iraq has an incredibly large amount of staff. It is certainly larger than the diplomatic mission for which it has arrived. I have information that there may be about three-thousand employees, and there certainly is another view than the one that we see … From the principle of reciprocity, would it be appropriate for the Iraqis to establish a three-thousand employee embassy in Washington?” – Dr. Nadeem Al-Jaberi, Iraqi Parliament

“There definitely is a resentment for the presence of [U.S.] military bases.” – Dr. Nadeem Al-Jaberi, Iraqi Parliament

“I would prefer if it [the invasion of Iraq] didn’t happen, because it led to the destruction of the country. The U.S. got rid of one person. It put in hundreds of persons that are worse than Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, now Iran is going into Iraq, and this is under the umbrella of the United States.” – Khalaf Al-Ulayyan, Iraqi Parliament

“Increasing the number of forces [a.k.a., the troop surge] didn’t affect the level of violence in Iraq. What led to the reduction of terrorism acts and violence was the forces of … those volunteers from the tribes of the areas where terrorists are more, and those forces managed to eliminate the terrorists, because they know them, and they know their tactics. We suggested that a long time ago for our government and for the American government, but nobody listened. I believe that the reduction of the level of violence is due mainly to the efforts of the volunteers. I believe the thing that will reduce the violence more–not a military force–but having realistic solutions to convince others to join the political process. I believe the best method to achieve that is a real national reconciliation, not only slogans, as is being done now.” – Khalaf Al-Ulayyan, Iraqi Parliament

“Many of the armed militias were established in order to fight the presence of foreign troops on their land, so their justification is to liberate Iraq from the foreign troops, so as soon as the troops have withdrawn, they have no more justification to exist, because it doesn’t make sense for them to start killing their own compatriots. It is my belief that when the troops withdraw, these groups will not bear arms any longer. And for as long as we have foreign troops on our land, these groups will actually increase in number…the presence of foreign troops is actually serving these groups. In the case of a withdrawal, we can rehabilitate them so that they can become civilians, and then include them in the democratic process in Iraq.” – Dr. Nadeem Al-Jaberi, Iraqi Parliament

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXelUuw4nWk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3eQVVe-dH0