Conspiracy

The question was posed this way:

Is it true The Muslim Brotherhood has extensive operations inside the government…?

Yes.

The question divides into two portions: (a) Are Muslim organizations extensively influential over the US government?, and (b) Are those Muslim organizations fairly considered as part of the Muslim Brotherhood?

To (a), this is uncontroversial. And sadly, the integration of CAIR and ISNA and others into the government’s decisions is blatant and the result is troubling. CAIR (the Council on American Muslim Relations) and ISNA (the Islamic Society of North America) are regular invitees to the White House, are participants in various influential committees, and their demands are heeded.

This unfortunately began during the Bush administration, and was already beginning at the time of 9/11. Muslims demanded that the US government’s output (from military and intelligence training manuals to White House press releases) absolve Islam from blame and never mention it during discussions of jihadism — a word which they demanded not be used.

These demands were part of the discussion of Muslim leaders who were to meet with White House staffers on a date that could be considered bad timing: September 11, 2001. That meeting was delayed somewhat by the events of jihadists taking down the World Trade Center buildings and killing people in airliners and the Pentagon. But when Bush spoke about the attacks, he began by holding Islam blameless and praising it. In his speech on 9/20, and his introduction of the PATRIOT Act, he used what is now common language:

Sep11

The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are some of the murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.

Al Qaeda is to terror what the Mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money, its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.

The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.

The terrorists’ directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children.

This group and its leader, a person named Osama bin Laden, are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

During the Obama administration, this practice of tiptoeing around Islam’s involvement in jihad was readily accepted and amplified, and the meetings with and participation of CAIR/ISNA and other Muslim leaders became ever larger. It is official US policy not to mention Islamic involvement in jihad, an absolutely absurd policy. As you’ve seen, various leaders from Obama on down now insist that the Islamic State is not Islamic.

As to Ikhwan’s involvement (“Ikhwan” is “brotherhood” in Arabic), CAIR and ISNA were founded by Ikhwan leaders, and the documents unearthed (during a raid about terrorism support) revealed that CAIR and ISNA and many others were specifically part of a plan to overturn the secular US government and replace it with sharia law. The revolving door between these organizations’ leaders and Ikhwan leadership is further evidence, as is the convicting of a number of those Muslim leaders on terrorism charges.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Confiscation

Another commenter, on gun rights and Obama:

Yes, Obama is gonna take away your arsenal! The President can’t confiscate anything, even a B-B gun.

Continue reading Confiscation

Browbeating

A commenter asked why the slaughter of blacks in South Carolina recently was not used for browbeating like the Orlando slaughter and all the others. Here was my reply: Continue reading Browbeating

Nontoxic

Carbon dioxide is continually referred to as a “poison” or a “toxin” which must inevitably be irreversibly damaging the Earth. The case is actually the opposite of this. Continue reading Nontoxic

Climates

This started out as a short comment in a friend’s blog, but got out of control.

It is easy to get timescales mixed up, and associate the gradual movement of continents with the rise of sea levels.

Continental drift takes place over tens of millions of years. It is a very slow-moving process. the various pieces move apart into separate small continents (as they are now) and come back together into supercontinents, and this cycle is a few hundred million years long. This affects climate, producing effects seen here for the last half-billion years or so, representing the time of spreading across the continents. At the beginning of that time, there were “forests” along the ocean edges — but they were only an inch tall: Continue reading Climates

Flooding

Paris and hundreds of smaller river towns in France are experiencing two kinds of massive flooding. The first is of immigrant refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, almost entirely young male Muslims. But the second is the more traditional flooding; it has museums and other places scrambling to protect valuables. The worst seems to be over now.

In the US, we have many areas that flood frequently, and we insist on building on those sites. When we get a flood every decade or so, the catastrophists call it a “thousand year flood” or “unprecedented” — you’d think they could check their own newspapers.

And although it’s been a while, the US does get hurricanes… Continue reading Flooding

Principles

A friend made an observation that got me thinking. It follows, along with my reply (lightly edited and formatted a bit better):

What we devote our lives to — the principles we honor [and] uphold — is our god.

This strikes me as a rather peculiar formulation. You state it as a given, but such semantic games seem to devalue your own God, relegating that God to simply a set of “principles.” Have you really devoted your life to those principles? Have all Christians who nominally state their faith, even though it seems to exert little control over their lives, really devoted their lives completely to the “principles” of a Christian God?

The God of Everyday Lives?

It seems to me that this effort to make certain that people like me (or like non-believing Progressives) have a “god” is pushing the semantics a bit far.

Most Christians, I would guess, go through their lives with their faiths playing a small or even negligible role in how they conduct themselves day to day. There are exceptions, some of whom are noble indeed. Other beliefs are likely much the same; a discussion of Islam in this context seems worth a post.

Atheists/non-believers/agnostics go through their lives with religious faith playing no role at all. In many cases, it would be hard to tell the difference from nominal Christians, or sometimes even very devout Christians, merely by their actions.

Guiding Principles

So what does guide our actions and thoughts? It seems to me that each person initially absorbs from their societal surroundings a set of principles that unconsciously guide them. We in the West call these “morals,” and the effects of conflicts between them and our actions our “conscience.” I don’t object to the names.

In the US, these guiding principles in the larger society initially came from the Judeo-Christian-influenced Enlightenment, with a large dose of influence from this country’s excellent founding documents and early leaders like the highly admirable George Washington. Note that it would not have mattered if Washington were really a devout believer, or an atheist who put on a show of piety for an audience that expected it. His actions would still have been impressive and sometimes astounding, and he was a worthy man to look to for guidance.

Local Society

These national influences are merely a canvas, it seems to me, though a good one in America’s case. More local societal influences can vary widely from this, and add their own color to spots on the canvas, sometimes hiding it completely. And the canvas has discolored with time; it needs a restoration.

Even if a young man in a Washington DC ghetto and a young woman in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown might both be Christians with the same family income, they will nevertheless likely start out their young adult lives with very different principle sets indeed. Individual family differences can play a large role here as well. Two young men of the same age and ethnicity from adjacent homes can emerge with very different core guidance.

Breaking the Mold

As we grow, we reach a point where we start consciously thinking about our guiding principles, and we have the option of modifying them. We’re not forever trapped in the mold in which we were initially cast. It is not easy to change, as habits become our masters all too soon. And it involves actively thinking about, and then acting upon, a part of us that normally gets no real thought at all.

Religious_symbols

Religions generally come with prepackaged sets of guiding principles to adopt. Conversion to a different religion often provides a set of guidelines that will often be at least somewhat different from the ones one had previously, together with a strong rationale (for the new believer) for adopting them. Many people are at least partially successful in updating their core principles, though I suspect that few can make changes that match the newly offered set completely. Some profess to very radical changes, which seems to me a rather extraordinary feat. I imagine that this happens less often than is bragged about.

The Honest, Insightful Donald Trump?

This topic was, interestingly, a rare moment of speaking the truth for Donald Trump. He described with some insight that, growing up in New York City, he would have different “values” than would someone who had grown up in Iowa. This led, later, to Ted Cruz’s comment on New York values, but the expression came from Trump himself. Trump’s comment about his values and Cruz’s observation about them were both correct. But it still cost Cruz a lot, perhaps the election, because of Trump’s and the media’s portrayal of it.

(I confess that “honest” and “insightful” do not usually come readily to my mind when I think of Mr. Trump. But he will win the election, and then we’ll see what results.)

That’s What I’m Talking About

To me, these “values” were the internalized guidance I’m talking about. And even in New York City, there will be much variation between individuals, largely from more local “societal” influences — just as will be true in Iowa. The “averages” of these in the two locales, though, will be clearly different, and that was Cruz’s point.

I’d be very careful indeed to suggest that, without Christianity (or some religious belief) one cannot have a useful set of internalized guidance. And I’d be more careful yet about suggesting that such internal guiding principles make up a “god” that non-believers worship. They are not even the God of Christianity for believers, though in the best of cases that Christianity has helped the believer to update the core guidance in good ways.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Memorial Tribute

This piece has a bit of history. It was written during a time of soldiers being accused of horrific misdeeds. And it was personally approved by LtCol Oliver North. I was privileged to have dinner with Col. North several times in 2006 and 2007. An amazing and admirable man. Continue reading Memorial Tribute

Races

A commenter on Citizen Tom’s blog makes a point against “liberals.” In so doing, he enlisted Darwin as supporting their idea. His quote is below, followed by my response: Continue reading Races

Plurality

One commenter was stumping for Trump, announcing that he had the plurality. Donald Trump was able (with the eager help of leftist and statist and establishment media) to achieve the largest small share among 17 initial possibilities. Now that he is the only choice left, he’s very likely to get a majority,and sort of has it now, although there are problems. Trump is the presumptive nominee, but he is not yet the nominee. Continue reading Plurality

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