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Malignant Islam I: Diagnosis

Every now and then, I wonder why I put up with some of the more annoying trolls who infest Wizbang's comments section. And every now and then, one of them proves their worth by inspiring me. They're kind of like that grain of sand that gets into an oyster's shell (no resemblance to very welcome resident commenter Oyster) and irritates the mollusk into growing a pearl around it.

The other day, I wrote a piece about the latest example of Islam inflicting its ways on the West, under threat of violence. (It's a recurring theme with me, and I don't bring it up anywhere near as many times as it happens.) In the comments on that piece, mild pain in the ass "hyperbolist" threw out a question.

Question for all the chest-pounding cowboys: if one were to grant that Islam is the enemy of the United States, what then ought to be done about it? I don't want to hear "Democrats would bend over and take it!", because that's not a solution. If you were king of the world, what would you do? Kill Muslims until they stop hating your freedom? Build a giant wall around the Middle East? Seriously, if this is the Greatest Threat Ever, as many of you seem to think it is, what should the U.S. do to confront it? Apart from linking to really shitty Victor Davis Priapus Hanson essays on your blog, I mean.

It was a dishonestly-worded question, with the same kind of built-in presumptions that are in the "when did you stop beating your wife," but it got me thinking. What should we -- as Western society, not just as Americans -- do about Islam?

As has been repeatedly pointed out, not all Muslims are raving psychos. I believe that a majority of Miuslims are not only not a threat, but a boon to the world. I'll even go so far as to say the vast majority of them fit that category, and the psychotic militants -- the "Islamists" -- are a tiny minority.

But even granting that the dangerous ones are -- to pick a number out of the air -- five percent, that means that if the world population of Muslims is 1.1 billion, we're looking at 55 million crazies.

Here's where my thinking owes a debt of gratitude to Senator Edward Kennedy. Thanks to him, I have a ready-made metaphor I can use.

Ted Kennedy, as many have noted, is not a small figure. I'll be charitable and put his weight at 250 pounds. (Whether or not he weighs that is irrelevant; I'm assigning him that for mathematical simplicity.)

Ted Kennedy is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. The tumor is malignant and growing.

I haven't seen any reports on its actual size, but let's say that the tumor is the size of a golf ball presently. As I noted above, Ted is not a small man, and even on his large frame, his head is somewhat disproportionately large. So that tumor is a very, very small percentage of his total body mass. Even granting it weighs half a pound, that means it constitutes 0.2% of his total mass.

But that tumor holds a significance -- and a power -- far out of proportion with its physical size. Left untreated, it would kill him, and in fairly short order -- long before it grew to represent one percent of his total mass.

Let's hold that medical model a bit longer. Brain tumors are vicious things. Ted's revealed itself by triggering seizures in the senior senator. But sometimes they present other symptoms, including psychotic behavior. (One such case may have been Charles Whitman, the Texas Clock Tower sniper, who killed 17 people and wounded 31 more in Austin, Texas in 1966.)

That's my model: the Islamic faith is just an average person, no better or worse than anyone else. But deep in its brain, it has a malignant tumor called "Islamism" that is growing. And it is starting to express itself by making the person lash out in psychotic fashion.

Normally, I tend to be a laissez-faire type of guy. When it comes to medical ethics, I am a strong believer in the right to refuse medical treatment, the right to determine one's own medical fate, and -- especially -- the right to die. That last part is probably shaped by my own medical condition; I have a particular condition that inconveniences me on a daily basis that I find annoying -- but while manageable, is incurable and will eventually kill me in a manner I find extremely unpleasant. I have no intention of lingering for months and years with all the infirmities and disabilities it will undoubtedly wreak on me; when it gets unbearable, I fully intend to stop bearing it -- and I will be extremely brutal -- emotionally and verbally, if not phsically -- to any who would deny me my right to skip the inevitable final stages.

But back to my point: here's my neighbor with a malignant brain tumor. I don't particularly like this guy (here my choice of Ted Kennedy as metaphor continues to serve me well). Indeed, I think that he's caused far more problems in the neighborhood than good. But I don't want to see him die, for heaven's sake, especially in such an ugly fashion. So I would urge him to treat his condition, and even offer to help out in any way I could -- transportation to treatment, helping out around the house, even just giving him an ear to bend if that's what he needed. But should he choose to not treat the tumor, to let it run its natural course, I would respect that, too. The treatments for brain tumors are not pleasant. Radiation, chemotherapy, surgery -- all are tremendously unpleasant, and they all operate under the same principle: "we're going to do things that have the potential to kill you. We just hope that our calculations are right, and we kill the tumor first and stop before you die from it." It's more than understandable why some people might just refuse treatment.

But my moral principles would be set aside once Ted started acting psychotic from that tumor. If he started lashing out violently at those around him, making unprovoked physical attacks and issuing death threats, my moral obligation would be not to leave him be, but to stop him. Because at that point his decision to refuse treatment was posing a clear and present danger to those around him. At that point, the moral obligation of those around him are to either forcibly treat his condition, or isolate him and keep him from posing a danger to others.

And that is how I have come to see Islam: a person, much like myself, that I don't particularly like, but don't have any special hatred for. But a person with a very serious, potentially fatal growth at their core that occasionally triggers psychotic episodes where they lash out and cause grave harm on others. And I try -- very hard -- to not blame the individual for their actions caused by that tumor. I don't always succeed, and I have quite a bit of anger that their denial of their problem has caused so much harm to innocents, but I try like hell to reserve my hatred for the tumor, not the person who carries it around in their skull.

OK, that's over 1200 words, and all I've done is diagnose the problem. I'll continue this later today.


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Comments (74)

Jay Tea...you are truly, a ... (Below threshold)
DoninFla:

Jay Tea...you are truly, a Word Wizard.

Concise. Can't wait for the... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Concise. Can't wait for the rest. ww

These "malignant gro... (Below threshold)
dr lava:


These "malignant growths" can not survive without a source of nourishment.

The other day you mentioned what you thought to be the beginning of Islamic terrorism as the 1979 hostage event in Iran without mentioning that this was the blowback of the 1953 coup orchestrated by the CIA of the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh when he made moves to nationalize the oil industry.

To portray the USA as this humble gentle giant that bad things just happen to without acknowledging how some of our actions have propagated Muslim fundamentalism is dishonest.

Muslim fundamentalists need... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Muslim fundamentalists need no excuse. How far back do you want to go? Islam has been militant from its inception, but you America haters always seem to find a way to blame her. Take a break from your flag-burning and Che t-shirt laundering to investigate the foundation of Islam.

Jeff,Unfortunately... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Jeff,

Unfortunately, the 'dr lavas' have become America's own malignancy. But its our own fault for not going to the doctor sooner when we first started noticing the symptoms 40+ years ago.

-syb

Yeah, if we'd just continue... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Yeah, if we'd just continued tribute to the Barbary Pirates in 1815, instead of fighting them, all this wouldn't have happened...

Jeff, I couldn't have said ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jeff, I couldn't have said it any better. The self loathing lefties are a pitiful lot. They take no pride in anything. They are motivated by hate only. ww

I believe a better disease ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

I believe a better disease analogy for Islam is anthrax. Most people with health immune systems exposed to small amounts of bacillus anthracis won't suffer any adverse effects. After all, it's just a bacterium and the neutrophils easily kill them. However, when enough bacillus anthracis congregate together they secrete a number of toxins, one of which, oedema factor, inactivates neutrophils. Like anthrax, a few Muslims dispersed in a non-Muslim nation have minimal impact on that nation. Where they come together in significant numbers, however, they start making toxic demands as we have seen with the EU and even within some US cities. The toxin of Islam is the threat and use of violence, which eventually shuts-up all but the most ardent and organized critics. Without that toxin Islam could not compete in the marketplace of ideas.

Liberals like to think Islam is just going through a violent stage like Christianity did, but they're wrong, dead wrong. As I pointed out yesterday, the Reformation of Christianity was brought about by the publishing and translation of the Bible into the languages of the common people. That knowledge pulled down the human hierarchy who gained power and wealth from Christianity, but could only hold on to it by suppressing the truth. Once the Bible was in the hands of the people Christianity begin to conform to it's true nature. That nature flows from the works and teachings of Jesus the Christ.

No such reformation is possible with Islam as it already express it's true nature, which flows from the works and teachings of Muhammad.

The way to defeat anthrax is to kill the bacterium directly or inactivate it's toxins and let the body kill the bacterium. The way to neutralize Islam is to inactivate it's toxins, which protect it from criticism and better ideas. Without the threat of violence what is Islam?

If I were king of he world I would first require every liberal to pull their head out of their ass, open their eyes and recognize each religion (belief system) on it's own merit, including secularism, humanism, atheism, environmentalism, materialism and even capitalism. They all have histories and attributes and need to be judged by such. Lumping some together as "religion" and treating them as the same thing is ignorant at best.

I would protect free speech understanding that some kinds of speech (fraudulent, malicious) are not protected. However, hate speech would be protected because anyone who doesn't like something another person says wants to label it hate speech. There's no objective standard.

I would protect religious freedom, but only if said religions recognize and support primary human rights such as free speech, freedom of belief system, own property, etc. Those refusing to abide by that edict would be quarantined to some nation(s) where they could live in peace, but not spread. There would be safe houses in every city where any individual wanting to make another choice could come to escape out of such nations. There would be open internet access to the rest of the world without censorship other than that imposed on kids by their parents.

I would protect separation of religion and state, but with some minor changes. Public education would not be considered part of the state, nor would government money given to private organizations carry with it the stink of government. The toxin that protects evolution would be inactivated in this way. Let it compete in the open marketplace of ideas.

Sorry it's so long, but if the question is long maybe it's ok that my answer is long.

When my kids are fighting, ... (Below threshold)
goddessoftheclassroom:

When my kids are fighting, I care less about who started it than I do in 1) stopping it and 2) trying to prevent their fighting again.

Cancer may be inevitable fo... (Below threshold)
epador:

Cancer may be inevitable for some due to genetic makeup. Sometimes it is just a relative risk due to genetic make up. And sometimes it is an inevitable response to an environmental stimulus one has not ability to overcome.

Now Dr. Lava would undoubtedly assume the latter is what happened to Islam and and West.

I would lean strongly to the first operator. I believe the militant and intolerant nature of its birth, a power struggle aimed at obliterating or assimilating all opponents without mercy, is malignant in nature from the start. That portions of the beast have "matured" does not erase the malignant teratoma of religion that Islam represents on our planet. Proper treatment might lead to having the only residual portions of tumor be mature and benign. The the decision whether to leave these behind or excise them would be based on whether they were causing significant physiologic or mental distress based on their size, location, and the rest of civilization's reaction to them.

Treatment of malignant teratoma is surgery followed by chemotherapy. Radiation is rarely used curatively, but may have a palliative role if the tumor is resistant to chemo. I believe the metaphor, if not obvious enough, is that surgery = war, chemo = attempts to convert malignant to benign using cultural, economic and military means, and radiation = nuclear option.

Anthrax occurs in nature. ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Anthrax occurs in nature. It can infect the skin, the gut, or if inhaled cause a fatal systemic infection. Vaccination can prevent or blunt the effect of all three infections. Unless the anthrax is engineered to be resistant to infection, antibiotics can be used to prevent infection at exposure, and cure IF STARTED EARLY ENOUGH.

Well, I suppose this could lend itself to a metaphor here too, but I like the Malignant Teratoma better.

Dr. Lava "does not mention"... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Dr. Lava "does not mention" that British-American intervention in Iran in 1953 was in response to Soviet Communist aggression in the region. Of course, to a lib, opposition to communism is the cardinal sin.

Where else after all did Stalin more nakedly violate wartime agreements than he did in Iran--a loyal member of the wartime United Nations alliance? Whether motivated by traditional tsarist ambitions, communist imperialism, security fears, paranoia, or some combination of all of these, Stalin had clearly targeted Iran as a prize for the Soviet war effort. Russian diplomats thwarted almost every British and American attempt to reach an accommodation over Iran. From 1944 through 1947 the Soviets did periodically seek to intimidate the Iranian government into making political or economic concessions. Any historical explanation of the recurring international tensions over Iran in the postwar era must assign the Soviet Union much of the responsibility. 1


1 Mark Hamilton Lytle, The Origins of the Iranian-American Alliance, 1941-1953 (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1987) xiv

I like the part about the g... (Below threshold)
glenn:

I like the part about the giant wall. Then the lunatics would be restricted to killing each other and their fellow Muslims. Game over.

Good post Jay and good comm... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Good post Jay and good comments all - except #3 from the typical blame America firster of course.

"In the comments on that... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"In the comments on that piece, mild pain in the ass "hyperbolist" threw out a question.
....
It was a dishonestly-worded question, with the same kind of built-in presumptions that are in the "when did you stop beating your wife,""..

Well, hyper is one of those tofu-pounding Canadians who bring their citizens before the witch-hunt kangaroo courts for daring to express free speech against radical Islam..so don't expect too much from him.

I believe that a majorit... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I believe that a majority of Miuslims are not only not a threat, but a boon to the world.

You can call me a bigot, it matters not, but I totally disagree with you. Your analogy is based on a false premise: That somehow Muslims are peaceful people with a bad segment that must be dealt with, maybe a precription and some therapy to treat the tumor. But, try this exercise: Let's imagine for a moment that the patient is a white supremacist. Are we prepared to say the same thing, that's the group has a few bad guys, but the group is basically a bunch of good guys? Absolutely not! Why? Because it is their basic belief system that is flawed and has made the entire group sick. The fact is that Islam itself is the tumor.

I'm with mac lorry on this:

No such reformation is possible with Islam as it already express it's true nature, which flows from the works and teachings of Muhammad.

Until they are willing to purge their Koran and whatever the hell they call the proclamations from the clerics that are the same as the word of Allah, then it remains the belief system that is cancerous.

To take my analogy further to prognosis, here's my prescription: The patient must be quarantined. We better start drilling for our own oil yesterday. Not a penny more to OPEC than has to be spent. We take our dependency to foreign oil down to zilch and vote out every politician on either side of the aisle that has ever stood against drilling.

We make it abundantly clear that our freedoms are immune to their threats. They must understand that our freedom of speech will not be subjugated by their reverence for their beloved prophet.

That's for starters. But, you get the idea. I'm late for work. But, chew on this sampling from the Koran for a bit:

"Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! So no friend hath he here this Day. Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds, Which none do eat but those in sin." (Koran 69:30-37)
"Strike off the heads of the disbelievers"; and after making a "wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives" (Koran 47:4).
Instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers"; "smite above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them" (Koran 8:12; cp. 8:60).
"O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern against them. Their abode is Hell - an evil refuge indeed" (Koran 9:73).
"slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers, that they be expelled from the land with disgrace..." (Koran 5:34).
Women who disobey their husband will go to hell. (Koran 66:10).
"Thou mayest decline for the present whom thou wilt of them, and thou mayest take to thy bed her whom thou wilt, and whomsoever thou shalt long for of those thou shalt have before neglected; and this shall not be a crime in thee. Thus will it be easier to give them the desire of their eyes... and to satisfy them with what thou shalt accord to each of them." (Koran 33:51)

"....The self loathing left... (Below threshold)
Rawhide Rex:

"....The self loathing lefties are a pitiful lot. They take no pride in anything. They are motivated by hate only."

Only complaint I have for lefties is that they do nothing. But motivated by hate? Umm no..it comments like that truely show a shortcut to thinking. Do I need to remind you of all the hate groups that reside on the right side of the fence? Didn't think so.

Personal accountability folks....BOTH side..libs and conservatives have their fair share of issues.

Inasmuch as it's been pr... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Inasmuch as it's been proven you cannot reason or negotiate with islamic radicals, i have no problem eliminating the threat they produce.

I refuse to blame my country for the world's ills, and most especially for this latest threat. To not understand that we are at war, like it or no, is reprehensible. It concerns me not at all if this position is derided, the continued survival of the country I served and love trumps any consideration of a 7th century perversion of religion.

The other day you ... (Below threshold)
The other day you mentioned what you thought to be the beginning of Islamic terrorism as the 1979 hostage event in Iran without mentioning that this was the blowback of the 1953 coup orchestrated by the CIA of the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh when he made moves to nationalize the oil industry.

Right, and all this happened in a sealed vacuum. The Cold War and the USSR aggressively expanding its sphere of influence into the Mideast had absolutely nothing to do with this. Otherwise, I'm sure you would have mentioned it.

"...I refuse to blame my co... (Below threshold)
Rawhide Rex:

"...I refuse to blame my country for the world's ills, and most especially for this latest threat."

See..its non-thinking verbal diareha like that, that gets us into trouble in the first place.

It't not about blaming America. Its about making us accountable for our actions. Personal accountability if you will. It's that fundamental thinking that makes America such a great country. If we didnt have it..we would have been wiped of the face the earth long ago.

Consider this.. Conservatives are our backbones..and liberals are our concious. Its worked this long hasn't it?

To portray the USA as th... (Below threshold)

To portray the USA as this humble gentle giant that bad things just happen to without acknowledging how some of our actions have propagated Muslim fundamentalism is dishonest.

It's equally dishonest NOT to acknowledge Nazi Germany's influence that deeply infected the Arab/Islamic culture with its vile antisemitism and totalitarians-state political system before and during WWII, all of which are clearly present in a great number of M.E. states today and occurred years before 1953.

And where exactly is Jay Tea or any one else portraying the US as a "gentle giant". This is a red herring wrapped in a strawman inside a load of bulldung.

I just came back to review ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I just came back to review the patient's chart and, as I suspected, the doctor has a dilemma. It is my opinion that the patient has been misdiagnosed. This is not cancer, this is a highly infectious disease. To make matter's worse the patient is extremely combative and, in particular, he is violent regarding treatment.

What are you going to do, Doctor? You're risking the patient, your staff, yourself, and the outside world if you don't do the right thing...stat!

It might be time to review Aristotle, specifically his treatment of "errors of category". Good luck.

In my opinion, you have to ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

In my opinion, you have to look at the core problem of their religeion. Islam was started with Ismael the bastard son of Abraham. If Abraham would have trusted and had faith in God to keep His promise of giving Abraham a son, this could have been avoided. So, at it's core, because of Abrahams lack of belief, we are even having this problem.

When Abraham's wife, Sarah, gave birth to birth to their son, they were told by GOD to banish Ismael from the land.

Of couse the promise of GOD through Abraham brought us judaism and later Jesus Christ. So, this is a family hatred. Islam cannot accept Jews and by default Christians because of the "promise". They believe that Islam has first dibbs on the promise of GOD.

This is a very, very brief summary, but the points are noted. ww

You know, this might seem s... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

You know, this might seem silly, but I'd decided long ago the Islam was ultimately not a good religion because it deprived the world of a source of joy and beauty in the form of Cat Stevens.

You may know the story, but if you don't he was a popular singer who contracted TB (I think). While he was recuperating someone gave him a copy of the Koran. He read it and decided to convert. I actually heard him speak about this in person in the late 80's. He basically said that that he could not be a Muslim and a pop singer because pop singers are idolized and the Koran forbids a mere human to be an idol. (Sorry if I'm a little sketchy on the details, but it was many years ago.)

At the time, I thought his comments odd considering that I did not hear a single Muslim denounce Ahmadinejad's contemporaries marching in Tehran after the overthrow of the Shah with large posters of Ayatollah Khomeini. I guess there's an exception for idolizing political leaders?

I tend to see good and bad in pretty much all organized religions, I don't however see very much good at all in Islam, but a lot of bad.

Strike a nerve there, Raw... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Strike a nerve there, Rawhide? I will DEFY you to show me a nation on earth MORE accountable for it's actions. The statement I made still stands and your disagreement is duly noted.

I further would point out that liberals today have co-opted the definition of a classic liberal--they are secular progressive, masquerading as liberals. If you claim to be a liberal in the sense of Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, etc, then we may discuss further, otherwise, have a nice life.

I have to say I've been swa... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

I have to say I've been swayed to Clay's opinion.

After first accepting that Islam was not a problem, but just a few hundred thousand extremists causing problems, I am now of the firm opinion that it is Islam that IS the cancer... Sure, you can have benign members, but it is cancer all the same.

I certainly don't harbor ill-will towards those who practice this, or ANY cult//religion in a peaceful manner, but when the basic tenets are anathema to peaceful coexistence as a malignant tumor is to the body as a whole, it should be excised.

When you say "excised", SOT... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

When you say "excised", SOTG, what exactly do you mean? In reference to the >1 billion people to which you refer, that is.

Metaphors and thought experiments are fun, but they ought ultimately to be grounded in reality; and genocide on that scale is not a realistic proposition.

Is it?

Where would single malt and... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Where would single malt and an Oldsmobile fit into Islam?

Just wondering......

Is it?Oh, c... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Is it?

Oh, come now. Of course not.

Not speaking for the Godfather's Son, but in excising I mean that we cut off the food supply. It's not debatable that the money that we're sending OPEC is being used against us. So, let's get busy on the OCS and ANWR and reduce our dependence while we're encouraging laissez-faire policies to find alternative solutions. We also must cut off their ideological food supply by doubling up on protecting the Constitution to make sure that Islam remains subject to the marketplace of ideas. Let me see, who stands to lose the most in a fair exchange between the concepts of freedom and the dictates of Islam?

Our freedoms are both our most appealing attributes and our greatest strength for the prevention of tyranny. Our freedoms either attract the best and the brightest or repel those whose intention is to enslave.

Metaphors and thought ex... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Metaphors and thought experiments are fun, but they ought ultimately to be grounded in reality; and genocide on that scale is not a realistic proposition.

By the way, isn't it interesting that in Canada you couldn't say anything to the contrary, unless you were speaking under duress?

Metaphors and thou... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Metaphors and thought experiments are fun, but they ought ultimately to be grounded in reality; and genocide on that scale is not a realistic proposition.

Not unless you're an environmental extremist trying to save mother Earth from the human disease. Then 5 billon is the number to eliminate. How long before that currently unthinkable idea moves into the mainstream of modern liberalism?

The US tried countering violence with targeted violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that would work in time, but even that's too much of an emotional burden for liberals to bear. What tool will free people who want to stay free use then against followers of an inherently violent religion?

Like I said in post 8, what is Islam without violence? If the west could neutralize the violence of Islam then the ideas of Islam can be tolerated within a free society. Apart from that the two cannot exist in peace, at least not in the same place. A common sense ideas is to then separate the groups, but even that measure is too much of an emotional burden for liberals to bear. In the end Islam protected by liberalism will destroy liberalism. That makes liberals useful idiots.

I don't support restriction... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I don't support restrictions on freedom of speech in Canada, Clay, though for a lot of other reasons, I prefer living here. Ever visited Toronto or Montréal? Most of the amenities of New York at half the cost. But yeah, you can't say the n-word. It's not perfect, but it's perfectly fine.

So, we stop buying OPEC's oil. They start selling it to China. While there would be no reason to maintain bases in the Middle East anymore, that's only one reason the jihadists want to kill you (and me--not that they could find Canada on a map). They continue to recruit, train, and kill. Then what?

Mac Lorry, grant for the sa... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Mac Lorry, grant for the sake of argument that liberals will never have any influence on foreign policy ever again because all of a sudden the entire free world realized that people like me are too stupid and naive to contribute anything to any serious discussion.

So, what would the conservatives do? Targeted violence? Yeah, that's working really well in Iraq. People there are totally keen on the United States, and there are far less terrorists there than there were when a relatively secular autocratic psychopath was running the show. It's a great place to live! Nobody there would ever become so frustrated and alienated that they might consider joining Al-Qaeda!

I don't know if you can do better than "Blow up the bad guys!", but you should at least try.

When you say "exci... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
When you say "excised", SOTG, what exactly do you mean? In reference to the >1 billion people to which you refer, that is.

Fair question, rare for you, but valid.
Islam, not the misguided "peaceful" followers, but the cult itself needs to be purged.
I doubt that all >1 billion followers of *ahem* "the prophet" are maniacal splodey-tards, but Islam and the Koran are certainly planting the seeds.
If a religion threatens death to those who criticise it, it cannot stand up on its own and should not be supported, respected or capitulated to.

Unless we take the threat that is Islam seriously (and quickly), I suspect political correctness will be shown to be the bullet that silences our great nation beyond recovery.

Again, in this country, you do not have the right to not be offended... for now.

It's a great place... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
It's a great place to live!

Yes, things were much simpler in Michael Moore's kite-flying Iraq.

I don't know if yo... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
I don't know if you can do better than "Blow up the bad guys!", but you should at least try.

Yes, fanatics often respond well to diplomacy and nice-talk.

So, what would the... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
So, what would the conservatives do? Targeted violence? Yeah, that's working really well in Iraq.

It is. Thanks for agreeing.

irongrampa... I DEFY you to... (Below threshold)
Rawhide Rex:

irongrampa... I DEFY you to go back and actually read my post. I never described myself as a liberal.

If you decide to put your hatred aside for a minute..you would have noticed I was saying there was a place for both Conservatives and Liberals. I was praising both.

Extremisim is never a good thing my friend..be it Islamic or otherwise. Makes one stupid and unable to see or effectivly contemplate anothers opinions. Perhaps you hate islam so much because you took a long look in the mirror?

I don't support restrict... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I don't support restrictions on freedom of speech in Canada, Clay, though for a lot of other reasons, I prefer living here.

We have this longstanding tradition of freedom in the US. The whole "live free or die" maxim is still well-regarded. I wouldn't live anywhere at any price if my freedom was disrespected. You see, our belief is that we are not subject to the vagaries of government for our freedoms. Even in a dictatorship, freedom is the birthright of man. And even for the few minutes I would be subjected to the oppression of Islam, I would remain free. My freedom is mine to sell, but it cannot be taken.

Ever visited Toronto or Montréal? Most of the amenities of New York at half the cost.

So, the price of your freedom is half the cost of life in New York. That's good information and explains alot to me. But, are we not men?

Clay, if we ever meet, I'm ... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Clay, if we ever meet, I'm buying you a beer.

Well, your freedom isn't ab... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Well, your freedom isn't absolute, and neither is mine. We aren't anarchists. There are restrictions everywhere--price to be paid for living in a civilized, sane society--but yes, you are able to say more things in the United States than I can in Canada. But I can smoke pot with impunity, attend my gay friends' weddings, and take pride in the fact that anybody who lives here can receive pretty good medical treatment and education for free. I happily pay for that with my taxes, which are higher than yours but I don't care. So, you have more negative freedom (freedom from), but as Amartya Sen has brilliantly explicated throughout his career (most poignantly in Development As Freedom), freedom does not consist only in a lack of restriction, but also in the opportunity to pursue meaningful endeavours with a reasonable chance at success. Freedom from tyranny is a good thing, but so is freedom to flourish, which in order to be maximized, for the good of the individual and the good of society, sometimes requires restrictions and redistribution. He backs this up with a lot of empirical case studies, using a variety of quality of life indices. He didn't win a Nobel Prize in Economics for being a Marxist.

Would your quality of life really be diminished if you weren't allowed to say the n-word? Mine isn't.

And we're off-topic.

So, what would the... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
So, what would the conservatives do? Targeted violence? Yeah, that's working really well in Iraq.

Well it is working and it would have been done and over with years ago if not for the liberals giving ad and comfort to Al-Qaeda. A successful replacement of Saddam with a representative government and purging of terrorists in Iraq would have been a strong bulwark against future Al-Qaeda operations. What government would then dare allow Al-Qaeda to launch attacks from it's soil? What government short of Russia or China would dare attack the US? Liberals, in order to sooth their own emotions and/or gain political power have been the number one ally of Al-Qaeda.

I don't know if you can do better than "Blow up the bad guys!", but you should at least try.

With criminals we do the equivalent, we "lock up the bad guys!" When we do there are mistakes and even when there are no mistakes innocent people do suffer (family, employees, and friends) and it costs taxpayers lots of money. When you come up with a better solution let us know and we'll try to do the equivalent with terrorists. Until then support the only methods that can work or your first paragraph in #33 will become fulfilled prophesy.

Perhaps you hate islam s... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Perhaps you hate islam so much because you took a long look in the mirror?

I hate Islam because it violently stands against every letter and punctuation assembled in the founding documents of the United States of America. I hate it because it diametrically opposed to the fundamental notion of my natural rights as a man.

It has nothing to do with the image of the free man that I see in the mirror, but it has everything to do with the image of oppression in the dark recesses of the most devastating slavery...that of mind.

Well, your freedom isn't... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Well, your freedom isn't absolute, and neither is mine. We aren't anarchists.
Well, you've made yourself worthy of your moniker, but we both know that this isn't worthy of the time it would take to address.

But I can smoke pot with impunity,
Another one of freedom's tokens you're cashing in there?

anybody who lives here can receive pretty good medical treatment
Yeah, my wife is Canadian, but you wouldn't find her compadreship on this subject. She's watched an uncle and grandfather die of cancer while waiting. Her mother is in the hospital right now...and it ain't pretty. It's great health care if you don't need it.

Would your quality of life really be diminished if you weren't allowed to say the n-word? Mine isn't.
More hyberbole, and you know it.

And we're off-topic.
In the discussion of Islam, freedom is very much not off topic.

Clay,You are absol... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Clay,

You are absolutely on fire today!

I'll buy you beer number 2 if you're ever in Houston.

-syb

anybody who lives ... (Below threshold)
anybody who lives here can receive pretty good medical treatment

and not only that, but if they can't stand the long wait times that can sometimes occur, they can always go south to Seattle or Minneapolis. I understand that many Canadians take advantage of this alternative annually.

..anybody who lives here... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

..anybody who lives here can receive pretty good medical treatment and education for free.

That actually sounds like a good deal.
So, your taxes don't pay for medical treatment and education? How exactly does that work?

Hyperbolist, all americans ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyperbolist, all americans are guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All Americans have the opportunity to succeed. Nothing given out by government is FREE like you stated. There is a very high cost attached to medical care and education. Our educational system in america is flawed precisely because it is run by the government. The medical system will soon follow if the government takes it over. I cannot stand what some people say in this country or right, but I appreciate very much their right to do it. I do not want my government regulating speech or what I listen to or what I access on the internet. You may be happy with your life in Canada, good for you, but freedom is the thing in the south of you.

Clay, I agree. I want to buy a round also. ww

Rawhide--I gave you an oppo... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Rawhide--I gave you an opportunity to declare your leanings there and a caveat. I chose liberal because your statements dovetail neatly with the current sec-prog views.

Really, there's no point in contemplating one's opinion who desires either total subjugation or total elimination. If it didn't become clear on 9-11, then i fear it never will. We were subjected to a horrifying example of radical islam, and i wish no further demonstrations.

A long look in the mirror shows me a man who loves his country, and will resist to my dying breath those who wish it's destruction. What would a long look in that mirror show YOU?

"He didnt win a Nobel Pr... (Below threshold)
914:

"He didnt win a Nobel Prize in Economics for being a Marxist."

And Al Gore did not win the Nobel Peace Prize
for actually increasing peace either.

"Would Your quality of life really be diminished if You weren't allowed to say the n-word? Mine isn't."

What a shame! You mean even if Your really steamed You cant say Nincompoop?


Would your quality of li... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Would your quality of life really be diminished if you weren't allowed to say the n-word? Mine isn't.

Too bad it's not just the n-word that you aren't allowed to say. To suggest that it's only the n-word is disingenuous.
What other 'words' will you give up for a 'good quality of life'? Who gets to decide which words you are allowed to say?

freedom does not c... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
freedom does not consist only in a lack of restriction, but also in the opportunity to pursue meaningful endeavours with a reasonable chance at success.

Like I tell youngsters just turned 18, you're now free to do whatever you can afford. Your basic freedoms have been paid for in blood by others, but the rest you have to pay for in cash.

The US also has free higher education, but you got to earn most scholarships. Even then, the taxpayers provide money in the form of state and federal grants. In general, the more you put in the more you get out. You can even serve the nation in the military and get quite a bit of money for education. Our tax laws are set-up so that singles subsidize families while they are supporting their kids, yet those kids will work and pay for retirement benefits for older Americans .

Over 250 million Americans have near instant access to the best medical care in the world. It's already past noon, yet I could get in to see my doctor yet today, or if it's more serious (and it's me who decides) I can go to urgent care whenever I want. I pay more for prescription drugs so that Canadians and others can pay less. Those in Canada who can pay for it are free to come to the US for the healthcare they can't get in Canada.

People who are self-reliant and hard and/or smart works like the safety net low, while others like it high. The US economy is the most dynamic in the world, constantly reinventing itself, but to do that the safety net needs to be low. A concept few liberals grasp.

Oh yah, I almost forgot. I... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Oh yah, I almost forgot. I'm not in law enforcement, yet I'm free to carry a loaded pistol in public, either concealed or in plan view. History shows that free people have the right to keep and bear arms. If you can't then you're not really free.

People in Korea are free; c... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

People in Korea are free; cannot carry weapons; and enjoy a very low crime rate. It's not about the guns, it's about the culture, Mac Lorry. That's so obvious that it shouldn't have to be stated.

I'm self-reliant, work hard, earn a lot of money, and don't mind paying a lot in taxes so that I can say that I live in a country with a robust safety net. Look at Sweden, Switzerland, Japan: very high quality of life, with higher tax rates than the United States, but you think you're better off by virtue of the fact that your freedom (in the purely negative sense) is greater? Come on, it's not that simple. GDP tells part of the story. Literacy, child poverty, and other factors all must be considered if you're to rank your country against others.

People in Korea ar... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
People in Korea are free; cannot carry weapons; and enjoy a very low crime rate. It's not about the guns, it's about the culture, Mac Lorry. That's so obvious that it shouldn't have to be stated.

A government by the people and for the people does not fear the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It fact, it embraces that right as the ultimate guarantee of all other rights. The right to keep and bear arms does not by itself define freedom, but those who don't have that right won't long have rights such as free speech, freedom of religion, private property rights, due process of the law, and more. We already see those other rights eroding away in Canada.

I'm self-reliant, work hard, earn a lot of money, and don't mind paying a lot in taxes so that I can say that I live in a country with a robust safety net. Look at Sweden, Switzerland, Japan: very high quality of life, with higher tax rates than the United States, but you think you're better off by virtue of the fact that your freedom (in the purely negative sense) is greater?

You wouldn't be the first to sell their birthright for a bowl of soup. A slave in a palace may have a high quality of life, but they are still a slave.

Literacy, child poverty, and other factors all must be considered if you're to rank your country against others.

You're confusing quality of life with freedom. Freedom can be sold for scraps of food, but it can only be bought by blood.

You see my rights eroding a... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

You see my rights eroding away? Thanks for keeping an eye out. What about in Korea? Which rights have they lost, or are about to lose, because they can't bear arms? Which rights do people in England stand to lose, not being able to bear arms?

Right, I'm a slave. I vote for the party that will tax me more than any other, pay my taxes, still have a lot of disposable income, am nearly debt-free, but I'm a slave. How do you refer to the Africans brought to the United States and made to work against their will? It's like when a militant feminist says penetrative sex is inherently rape; what does that say to people who have actually been raped?

Freedom is one component to quality of life. Certainly the most important component, but not the only one; and your conception of it is limited and specious.

"He didnt win a Nobel Pr... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"He didnt win a Nobel Prize in Economics for being a Marxist."

I don't know what year he won it, but in the last several years it appears being a Marxist is a requirement for being eligible for a Nobel Prize.

You see my rights ... (Below threshold)
You see my rights eroding away? Thanks for keeping an eye out. What about in Korea? Which rights have they lost, or are about to lose, because they can't bear arms? Which rights do people in England stand to lose, not being able to bear arms?

The right to defend themselves, their families, and their homes against armed intruders. Oh, wait, you didn't think that there wouldn't be any guns just because they were outlawed, did you?

But seriously, there have been a number of sad cases in England recently of citizens being prosecuted for defending themselves against thugs. I don't think these unfortunate people consider such a right to be as inconsequential as you apparently do.

You're confusing q... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
You're confusing quality of life with freedom. Freedom can be sold for scraps of food, but it can only be bought by blood.

The way it always has been. And each ounce freedom that is sold in turn reduces the level satisfaction of building your own quality of life.

Which rights do pe... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Which rights do people in England stand to lose, not being able to bear arms?

You're not too familiar with history and why certain people split out of that country to form a new nation, are you? Then you must also not be familiar with how history repeats itself or finishes the job. Britain's military is almost non-existent now as the Muslims are making it more and more evident they want their laws enforced there.

OregonMuse, there actually ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

OregonMuse, there actually isn't any gun violence (or almost none) in Korea, despite the fact that every man over the age of 24 has been trained to fire a rifle will serving in the armed forces. It just doesn't occur to people there to kill one another. Introducing private gun ownership into the equation would benefit them how?

Well, no, LaMedusa: in parts of India that have high tax rates and heavy public investment, people live better lives, with high rates of literacy and relatively low poverty rates; and the parts of India with low tax rates have the highest crime and poverty rates in the country. Or take Chile: worse off under Pinochet than they would have been under Allende. So it's not as simplistic as you've been raised to think it is. And I'm not a Marxist, I'm a social democrat. I'm to the left of you on the same spectrum. Please don't insult me with accusations to the contrary, as I have as much in common with Mao or Stalin as you do with Mussolini or Hitler.

"And I'm not a Marxist,"</p... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"And I'm not a Marxist,"

You're the one who brought that up. The question I was addressing was the one about England.

As far as violence in other countries, why do you think we need a stronger border control against the gang violence that infiltrates this country? They leave the country of their birth to do their business here. A lot of those gangs are Korean. It's not the culture at all it's the people that can find a place to get away with their crimes with weapons.

You wouldn't be the firs... (Below threshold)
Clay:

You wouldn't be the first to sell their birthright for a bowl of soup. A slave in a palace may have a high quality of life, but they are still a slave.

Okay. Now I'm buying a round. Mac, that's beautiful.

Essau also thought it was a good trade until it was much too late. But, he still wasn't man enough to take responsibility.

Or take Chile: wor... (Below threshold)
Or take Chile: worse off under Pinochet than they would have been under Allende.

That's some pretty heavy-duty speculation, there, bub. How do you know that Allende wouldn't have turned Chile into a communist shithole like Castro, his idol, did to Cuba? I think that would have been the far more likely scenario, given the circumstances. The world is better off with the CIA and Pinochet having taken the bastard out.

hyperbolist: here's a quest... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist: here's a question for you.

About how long after publication of these articles would I be hauled before one of your Civil Rights Tribunals, were I Canadian?

Pardon the intemperate language, but FUCK THAT.

I'll stay here in the USA, thanks.

J.


You see my rights ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
You see my rights eroding away? Thanks for keeping an eye out.

Your right to free speech is now much more limited than before. That's erosion. You have lost the right to go to the doctor when you want and obtain the treatment you think is best. That's erosion.

What about in Korea? Which rights have they lost, or are about to lose, because they can't bear arms? Which rights do people in England stand to lose, not being able to bear arms?

The right to defend their lives and those of their family against criminals. As with you, they're beholden to the government to provide such protection. If you're seconds from being stabbed or shot it's little comfort to know help is only minutes away.

Right, I'm a slave. I vote for the party that will tax me more than any other, pay my taxes, still have a lot of disposable income, am nearly debt-free, but I'm a slave.

You said it, I didn't. My point was that quality of life and freedom are two different things. You can have either or both, but having one doesn't guarantee you have the other. The goal is to have them both.

Freedom is one component to quality of life.

No it is not. They are two separate things.

Certainly the most important component, but not the only one; and your conception of it is limited and specious.

Well your conception of freedom is completely wrong, so you're in no position to judge my conception of it.

About how long after pub... (Below threshold)
Clay:

About how long after publication of these articles would I be hauled before one of your Civil Rights Tribunals, were I Canadian?

You would have already heard the knock on the door, Jay. A few seconds later the jackboots would've breached the thin border between your freedom and...not. Of course, you'd have that fair hearing to look forward to.

Y'know, I don't like the tr... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Y'know, I don't like the tribunals either. I know people here would have a problem with how they're applied to anti-Islamic thought and not anti-Christian, and I think that's fair. So no, my country isn't perfect, but neither is yours, and I like mine more. I'm glad you like yours. I don't hate it. I just prefer mine. And again, while my freedom of speech is not unlimited (but less restrained than in certain other developed countries), there are things I'm able to do that you aren't, that you should be able to. So the "jackboots" are a bit of a stretch. Is it true that an 18 year old in Alabama can go to jail for 15 years for having >1 ounce of pot? Is that what "freedom" looks like? 1% of the population in jail--yeah, I'd say that's what freedom smells like.

Is it true that an... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Is it true that an 18 year old in Alabama can go to jail for 15 years for having >1 ounce of pot? Is that what "freedom" looks like? 1% of the population in jail--yeah, I'd say that's what freedom smells like.

Freedom in any developed nation is limited by the laws of that nation. So we're not free to smoke pot in the US, but you're not free to keep and bear the means to defend your own life. Obviously, it's more important to have the means to defend your own life, because once you have lost that you have lost all other freedoms.

The US is a dangerous nation. It was born in war, expanded in war, reformed in war, prospers in war, prepares for war, and plans war. We have a violent culture full of people who are not adverse to risk. Radical Muslims have learned that it's not in their best interest to attack such a nation. We won't knuckle under like Spain. We won't run away from a tough fight when we have a courageous and resolute president in office. The only nation that has ever defeated the US in war is Canada! What the hell has happened to Canada that it's now so wimpy that it has to give up the right to keep and bear arms? Maybe it's all the pot smoking.

The only nation th... (Below threshold)
The only nation that has ever defeated the US in war is Canada!

And not only that, Mac, but where the Canadian forces landed on D-Day (I forget where) got them in a firefight with the Germans that was actually more horrendous than the one the U.S. faced on Omaha beach. Which they won, after taking major casualties. Canadians used to be tough bastards.

I'm glad hyperbolist wasn't alive back then, though. If he were, he'd probably be lecturing us all about how WWII was really our fault because it was blowback for provoking Hitler.

Mac Lorry: Also, look at th... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry: Also, look at the difference between how two people look at freedom. One guy says, "I like freedom because it lets me exercise my God-given responsibility to defend my myself and my home and family" and another guy says "I like freedom because it lets me smoke all the pot I want."

Tells you a lot about each guy, doesn't it?

OregonMuse,Good in... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

OregonMuse,

Good info about Canada in WWII. And it's nice to see that at least some others understand what freedom means.

Nah, we're still pretty tou... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Nah, we're still pretty tough. We're doing a lot of the heavy lifting in Afghanistan. There are just certain wars that don't need to be fought (Vietnam, Iraq II) and we don't get involved. Apart from WWII, our soldiers were the bravest fighting unit in the Great War, best characterized by the success of our four divisions at Vimy Ridge. They marched behind an advancing wall of our own artillery fire into German machine gun fire and suffered only ~20% casualties, incredibly low at the time when we consider that French and British soldiers were dying by the hundreds of thousands to achieve far less.

This is what I would do, Ja... (Below threshold)
Connie:

This is what I would do, Jay Tea. I would define Islam as what it was when Muhammad founded it (and yes, it was his very own idea). Muhammad desired power. He observed Jews and Christians and devised a method to gain control over them and their lands. He studied their scriptures and retold them in such a fashion as to create distrust and hatred for them among those who followed him, thereby gaining the military strength to overcome them by force or fear of force.

Therefore, Islam began as a pseudo-religion masking its real political and military purpose. This has not changed. Islamic law must supersede all other law. As such, Islam is not a religion by the normal definition and should not be accorded the protection of the Bill of Rights or Constitution.




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