The GOP Dumbass Bigot Caucus

GOP precinct in Texas is working on removing a high-ranking officer…

Because he’s Muslim :

 Republican leaders in one of the most populous counties in Texas want to remove a party vice chairman because he’s Muslim, according to emails between party leaders.

The emails delivered anonymously to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram indicate the Tarrant County GOP executive committee plans to vote Jan. 10 on whether to remove Shahid Shafi from his leadership position.

Some in the party say Shafi, a surgeon and city council member in a Fort Worth suburb, may be more loyal to Islamic law or not supportive enough of the party’s pro-Israel platform.

Shafi counters that he supports American laws and the court system, and says he has no affiliation to “any terrorist organization,” as some have alleged. Shafi, who became a U.S. citizen in 2009 and shortly after joined the Republican Party, says he supports the Second Amendment and has never promoted Sharia, or Islamic, law.

Members of the Republican Party’s burgeoning “Dumbass Bigot Caucus” would respond by claiming “every Muslim in the universe obeys every “Hadith” in the Koran to the letter, including the ones about deceiving infidels”, implying that Muslims, regardless of sector or even observance (25% of ethnic/cultural Muslims are non-observant) adhere to their holy texts absolutely, without question and all in the same way, in a way that no other faith does (or perhaps you’ve noticed how not a single Catholic gets divorced or get an abortion, no evangelicals ever root for Notre Dame, and no Jews ever, ever eat pork).

Radical Islam – Wahhabism and radical Shia – and attendant Muslim laws are a threat to western civilization – or at least to weak, fundamentally corrupt and decaying ones, like in Europe. The United States is still, despite the best efforts of progressives, a vibrant, strong, resilient nation, the kind of place people want to come to. We cannot, and will never be, defeated by an external threat – List of all by one that wants to drag humanity back to the seventh century A.D.

Progressivism, on the other hand, is a clear, present, immediate threat to this nation and everything that made it strong, vital and resilient. And this kind of bigotry drives pro-life, pro free market, pro second amendment, pro constitutional, people who happen to be Muslim straight into the arms of the progressives.

It is – I’ll be diplomatic – cripplingly shortsighted, and the kind of thing that needs to be expunged from the party.

Rena Moran And The Pro-Mutilation Lobby

In the last session, legislation that would have added penalties to parents for subjecting their daughters to “female circumcision” – more accurately called “genital mutilation” – passed by a near-unanimous margin in the House, but stalled in the Senate.  The DFLers who opposed the bill carried out the wishes of the far-left “there are no bad cultural traditions in a multicultural society!” crowd, who believe that further regulating the practice of forever crushing a young female’s chance of enjoying sex would keep families from going to the doctor, lead to troubles with immigration authorities, and push the barbaric practice even farther underground.

Not sure I remember having the same deference to Christian parents who were also snake-handlers.  I’ll have to look into that.

The practice is illegal in Minnesota – but taking children to one of the 23 states where it’s not is currently a loophole under Minnesota law.

Mary Franson, the author of the last bill, is back – and pushing it into the face of the multi-culti majority in the House:

Rep. Mary Franson, an Alexandria Republican, said Friedman’s ruling underscores the need for her bill, which passed the House 124-4 in 2017, but never got a vote or hearing in the Senate in the 2017 or 2018 sessions. The Michigan case was the impetus for her bill.

“I will never stop fighting for the safety of little girls, and will keep working to put an end to this barbaric practice and punish parents who subject their daughters to these horrors,” she said in a statement.

Franson is asking for hearings on the bill with the House Health and Human Services Committee.

The committee is chaired by Rena Moran – one of the four DFLers who voted against the bill in the house during the last session.

So the question becomes:  will Rena Moran be standing up for the rights of parents to mutilate their children?

Logic Akbar

SCENE:   Mitch BERG is browsing for saw chains at Menards’ in the Midway, when Fudd GLUNK, vice chair of the Ramsey County chapter of “Sharia is Coming!  Sharia is Coming!”, walks around the corner.

GLUNK:  Merg!

BERG:  Er…hey, Fudd…

GLUNK:  Islam’s goal is to impose Sharia Law on all of us!

BERG:  [Looking as if he knows he’ll regreat asking] And we know this how…

GLUNK:  Because the Koran say so!

BERG:  And because Muslims, like all the the world’s major faiths, always follow their holy texts to the absolute word, in exactly the same way.

GLUNK:   Yes!

BERG: Which is why you will never, ever find a Catholic gettng divorced, a Jew eating bacon, an Evanglical protestant fornicating, or a Hindu eating beef, ever.

GLUNK:  They’re different.

BERG:  Different how?

GLUNK:  Because the Koran tells them exactly what to do.

BERG:  As opposed to the BIble, the Torah…

GLUNK:  Their goal, every last one of them, is to impose Sharia on the world.  By force if needed, by guile if possible.  They Koran allows no exceptions.

BERG:  So Muslims, unlike all the world’s faiths, are unanimously diligent in obeying their various holy texts.

GLUNK:  Yes.  The Koran says so.  There is only one Koran.

BERG:  That’s pure baked wind.  There are six major branches of Islam, and probably six dozen minor ones – they may be more fragmented even than Christianity with its 3-4 major divisions.  And one of the things they fragment over is waht “Jihad” actually means.  To radical fundamentalist Sunni like ISIS, and radical fundamentalist Shi’a like the Iranians, it means “impose Islam by all means necessary”, while Sufis are downright pacifistic, and have gotten clobbered through the centuries by their Sunni and Shi’ite neighbors for the trouble.

And pretty much any imam can tack on his own interpretation beyond that – which was why the Imam at exactly one mosque in Minneapolis decided that touching pork, not eating it, and being in the presence of dogs rather than owning and being in contact with them, was a sin, thus becoming the only Muslims in America to actually practice such beliefs.

GLUNK: Haha, Merg. The Koran says that all apostates must be killed!

BERG: And among the acts that qualify as “apostasy” in purist Islam are living in a non-theocratic country – Muslim or not – much less voting for a government, since the only non-apostatic government is the Caliph. And all those Muslim girls in our public school systems? They and their parents are all in biiiiiig Koranic trouble, since educating girls is trayf.

GLUNK: Trayf?

BERG: Never mind.

GLUNK: The Koran allows Muslims to deceive the infidel! It’s called tak…er, takk…

BERG: Taqqiya.

GLUNK: Yeah!

BERG: So every Muslim in a non-theocratic Muslim country is a sleeper agent?

GLUNK: The Koran says so!

BERG: You’re aware that the Christian churches of Europe, after decades of free fall, have finally plateaued, almost entirely from Muslims converting?

GLUNK:  They are just laying low until they get their opportunity.

BERG:  Yeah, that must be it.  Interesting fact; the first mosque in the United States was in Ross, North Dakota; the Syrian/Lebanese community that built it pretty much intermarried with the local Swedes and Germans, and is pretty much indistinguishable from the locals 120 years later – in fact, I went to high school with some of their descendants and didn’t even know about it.

If they’re sleeper agents, they’re pretty dang effective.

GLUNK:  You must be some kind of Muslim accomodationist!

BERG:  Not at all.  I’m a Christian, a conservative, and an American nationalist and exceptionalist.    I’d never convert to Islam, and I can argue articulately exactly why.    Our nation needs to accept immigrants – and insist that they assimilate.  Which is why when we get a Muslim coming to the GOP, I welcome them – because “going to a Republican party event” is as assimilatory as buying a house in Burnsville with a freaking white picket fence.

GLUNK:  You’re just a useful idiot for Sharia Law!

BERG:  About half a percent of Minnesota’s population is Muslim.  If we get Sharia imposed on us by half a percent of the population, we’ll probably deserve it.

But think about this for a moment.  Radical Islam – the Wahhabi, the Shi’ite fundies in Iran – that is most definitely a danger.

But progressivism is a danger to this country right now – and if we take every single new immigrant to this country and, via ignorant intolerance, turn them into Democrat / “progressive’ voters, we’ll be doing for our enemies what they could never do for ourselves.

GLUNK:  I suppose now you’re going to come up with some clever punchline to end this sketch?

BERG:   At this point, it’d be redundant, wouldn’t it?

And SCENE

Get Woke, Go Empty

So if you have a church that softpedals the Jesus stuff to focus on social-justice scolding, you’re telling me people will take their spiritual quests elsewhere?

Who’da thunk it?

This article from the Strib doesn’t call out “social justice warfare masquerading as a church” directly.   But…:

The Mainline Protestant churches are emptying the fastest, according to the Star Tribune.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has nearly 200,000 fewer members in Minnesota than it did in 2000. It’s lost around 150 churches. More than 1,000 of the churches still in existence have fewer than 50 members… Since 1990, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and United Church of Christ have lost nearly half their national members. The ELCA has lost a third. The Catholic church still shows membership growth, but has 2,000 fewer parishes today, according to Catholic studies.

While fewer Americans are going to church, the Strib’s article focuses on the complete collapse of “mainline” – which may as well be “code for ‘co-opted by progressivism”” Protestant churches.

(And the Catholics have their own problems).

The article doesn’t talk a  lot about evangelical Protestants – probably for good reason.

I was about to write “…it’s a theological, not partisan, issue” – but of course, that’s the rub; the fact that the mainline protestant sects – including the Presbyterian church I grew up in, whose book of worship puts less temporal BS between man and God than any other, and whose traditions (traditionally) better facilitate at least my own personal faith than any other – have been so completely cheapened and debased by facile, frivolous progressism – is a huge net loss to this nation’s faith community.

 

 

Epic Fail

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This guy lacks the intellectual rigor to preach Christian morality.  “If it feels good, do it” appears nowhere in the Gospels and that’s the basis of the abortion problem.

If we encourage young people to have sex, some will get pregnant.  If we make marriage optional and divorce a matter of whim, there’s low probability a pregnant young woman can look forward to a stable future with the baby’s father helping her raise their child.  If we insist young women must go to college to have careers, the pregnant ones facing an unstable family life burdened with a child, will feel compelled to terminate the pregnancy by abortion.  At that point, it does no good to say “abortion is a matter of personal choice” because the deck already is stacked to create the predictable outcome.

The chain of moral failures started in the backseat of the boyfriend’s car.  That’s where the preacher ought to focus.  He’s abdicating his moral responsibility to the unwed mother and to her unborn child.  He’s not an evangelist, he’s a hedonist.  Oh, and he’s against Trump.  How could I have predicted that?

Joe Doakes

It’s pretty much a 1:1 correlation.

Grab A Hammer

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A Jew turned Christian turned Evangelical says Christians “sold” their principles in supporting Trump.  Time to move beyond social battles and forsake the politics of hate, fear and violence.  Time to embrace gun control.  Time to be like Episcopalians.

In other words, Never Trump.

He’s not alone.  Catholic bishops in the United States have embraced Open Borders, climate change, gun control . . .

In other words, Never Trump.

I don’t understand the New World Order.  I’m stuck in the Old World, the world in which the purpose of religion was to save my immortal soul from eternal damnation, a risk posed by my personal moral failings.  Hellfire and damnation were the punishment for sin, not the result of global warming caused by greenhouse gasses emitted by the engine in my car. I was admonished to live in the world, but not be of it, that I might someday be worthy of salvation and heaven.

Either everybody has been doing it wrong for the last 2,000 years or modern religion has completely lost its way.  I’m beginning to think it’s time to write out a few theses and find myself a hammer.

Joe Doakes

When progs finally get around to rewriting the Bible, Christ will work for a non-profit that sought justice for carpenters.

Faith-Based

As I’ve pointed out in the past, few things annoy me more than the “people” who, when people respond with “thoughts and prayers” after some sort of tragedy or another, bellow “F**K YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS – WE’VE GOT TO DOOOOO SOMETHING!”, where “SOMETHING” invariably means “some emotion-driven knee-jerk response that will do nothing to deal with the problem, but will serve Big Let’s agenda nicely”.

So it’s interesting to note that we, in fact, are right:

Prayer might make people feel better, but, as some critics have argued, does it direct their attention away from problems that need to be addressed? In other words, is prayer a distraction? Recent behavioral science experiments suggest that it isn’t, that prayer helps people focus their attention. In one study, research participants with varying levels of religiosity completed cognitive tasks that assess attention. After finishing these tasks, they were instructed to bring to mind one concern in their lives. One group of participants was then asked to spend ten minutes praying about that concern. Another group was asked to spend ten minutes thinking about that concern. A final group spent that time working on a puzzle. Then they repeated the attention tasks. Researchers looked for changes in their performance and found that among highly religious individuals, praying about a life concern, compared with thinking about it or being distracted with a puzzle, improved cognitive performance. No differences were observed among the less religious. These findings are consistent with the researchers’ proposal that prayer frees up cognitive resources needed to focus on mental tasks by reducing the extent to which people are distracted by negative emotions.

I’ve found that metaphysics and theology aside, it helps put emotional turbulence in context and free up mental resources for the rational thought actually needed after a crisis.

Which is another weapon Big Left thinks only the government really needs…

 

An App I’m Working On

Earthquake

Americans who are weary of Muslim excuses ask “so when will ‘moderate Muslims’ take a stand against the radicals?”

Here you go; one of them is taking a stance against the radicals:

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invited Egypt’s Coptic Christians to visit Saudi Arabia after a rare meeting in Cairo’s main cathedral.

Speaking to Egyptian media after the visit the head of the Egyptian church, Pope Tawadros II said: “In the name of the Coptic Orthodox church we welcome Prince Mohammed’s visit to his second country Egypt.

“Prince Mohammed spoke a lot of his affection for the Copts,” the Pope said, adding that the kingdom’s heir to the throne invited him and all Copts to visit Saudi Arabia.

The two men walked together through St Mark’s Cathedral, in what Egypt’s state news agency described as the first tour of its kind.

The visit came on the second day of the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Egypt – his first foreign visit since he became heir to the throne. …

He also met Egypt’s top Islamic official, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb at Al-Azhar, the foremost seat of learning in Sunni Islam.

Thomas Lifson notes in AmThinker:

Simply stated, MbS is seeking to defang Muslim extremists who seek to destroy Christianity in Arab- and Muslim-majority countries. Garnering support from the most respected source of Islamic scholarship (no doubt accompanied by the offer of funds from the Saudi treasury) is the carrot to be used in persuading Wahhabi clergy to change their preaching, with the denial of Saudi funds to recalcitrant advocates of armed jihad supplying the stick.

This is potentially huge.

So why is it getting zero reporting in the Big Media?

Blame Truimp!

American media mostly are clueless about religion and lack any understanding of the momentous changes underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the full support of the Trump administration. The fact that MbS is reputed to be close to Jared Kushner seals the deal: the mainstream media have little interest in extolling the world-historical transition underway in the nation that is pre-eminent in Sunni Islam, the Guardian of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, and which has been the moneybags for radical jihadists for three generations.

Bin Salman is taking a huge risk – the Wahhabi aren’t going to be happy, being cut off from all that oil money.

But if it goes right, this – and the very quiet Saudi discussions with the Israelis –  could be an epochal change the religious war in the middle east.

And if it’s tied to Trump, Big Left will deny, or scupper, it.

Billy Graham

He may have been the greatest evangelist in history, claiming to have preached to over 200 million in person over the years.  Billy Graham passed away yesterday at age 99.

Like Charlton Heston, he broke a lot of Big Left’s narratives:

In the 1960s, he ardently opposed segregation, refusing to speak to segregated audiences.

“The ground at the foot of the cross is level,” he once said, “and it touches my heart when I see whites standing shoulder to shoulder with blacks at the cross.”

He was incredibly influential:

Graham also was noted for consulting and praying with every U.S. president from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, who in April 2010 visited Graham at his mountaintop cabin in North Carolina. He also met with President Harry Truman in what was initially a contentious meeting after Graham spoke to the press, but the two men later viewed the episode as a humorous incident.

Modern times tangent;  I’ll be staying away from Twitter today.  I can imagine the left’s comments about Graham will be down to their usual standard.

What’s The Fastest Way For An Obscure Republican To Get Famous Instantly?

Republicans aren’t much for celebrity.  We don’t care much about them, and we tend not to be them.     Even among ourselves.

But if you are a Republican – and, redundant to say, obscure – there still are a few ways to become famous.

The big one?   Express any view that is grossly out of whack with society at large, to say nothing of the GOP (which, outside most metro areas, reflects “society at large” pretty completely).

For example, you could be like this fellow in Illinoiis,who is running for. Congress in the greater Chicago area:

Arthur J. Jones, 70, of Lyons, is the lone candidate on the March 20 Republican primary ticket for the seat that includes Western Springs, La Grange and parts of southwestern Chicago. Jones, a former member of the American National Socialist Workers Party, has run for political office several times in the past but has never made it past the primary stage in the 3rd District.

He may get on the ballot as a “Republican” because there’s no other GOP challenger in the Illinois’ stultifyingly blue 3rd District.  The IL GOP has been fighting against the guy for years; I have no idea what the rules are to run as any given party on a ballot in Illinois, and it’s for damn sure the Chicago Tribune isn’t going to explain them; they got their headline:  Holocaust denier likely to appear on ballot for GOP for Chicago-area congressional seat”.

And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

Of course, the issue strikes a bit close to home for me; last week, the chairman of the Fourth CD GOP – Republicans in Ramsey and parts of Washington county – made a posting on the district’s Facebook page that went (hold on to your hats, here)  viral – at least among people who are watching an obscure GOP official in an utterly blue district.

Or this fella in Coon Rapids who’s become perhaps the most famous caucus attendee  in Minnesota.

A thousand of us could descend on Cedar Riverside and plaster the place an inch deep in “All People Are Created Equal” flyers and it wouldn’t get a second on the news, anywhere.  And I’m tempted to try it, if only to cover an entire neighborhood in paper.

Oh Grouse All Ye Faithful

I left the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) a few years ago because of the relentless politicization of their services,

But on Christmas even, I went back to a local PCUSA congregation for their Christmas Eve concert service; the church has a choir and chamber orchestra and they do a really really excellent musical service. Given how awful Presbyterian choirs usually are, it’s doubly surprising; it’s one of my favorite ways to spend Christmas Eve.

Musically, anyway. Which is a wonderful thing.

But the pastor’s homily was kind of jarring. He asked why we were there – which is far from an unusual Christmas sermon theme, and the pastor asked it far from unusual; we might be there, he speculated, because we were seeking the familiar, or because it was something our loved ones who were no longer with us might have loved, or even because it was our home congregation.

Or maybe, he said, it was out of fear. Fear of the craziness of today’s politics. Fear for some amorphous group he called “the dispossesed”. Fear of the “very real threat” of nuclear war breaking out.

And after almost asking out loud “where WERE you during the Cold War?”, I thought to myself; here’s a minister of a *very* well-off congregation, full of people who gave off visible signs of not just “privilege”, but that self-assured sense people have when they have several generations of assurance that Their Opinions Matter in this world; legislators and city councilpeople return their calls, their agendas find their way into the halls of power, and they were very, very well-represented in Saint Paul’s and Minnesota’s political class.

And this on top of the fact that, for the vast majority of this world – especially in its less tony quarters, far removed from green leafy Crocus Hill – *things have never been better*. For the first time in the history of the world, obesity is a bigger problem to the people of this world than malnutrition. While there are some ugly situations around the world, more of the world has been at peace longer than at virtually any time in history. Outside of a few flashpoints, fewer people per capita are dying violently in this world than at any time in history I can think of.

The minister was talking less about “fear” than about “lingering anger about the wrong person winning the last election”. Which is indistinguishable from fear in some people.

If I were inclined to be bothered by, well, anything on Christmas (and I am not), it would have put an ugly blot on an otherwise beautiful service.

(Which makes it an ugly blot that doesn’t bother me, I guess)

Virtue Preaching

The Methodists, like the Presbyterian Church in the USA that I grew up in (and, it’d seem much of American Catholicism to boot) is slowly spinning itself into an institution that observes a holy trinity; social justice the mother, political correctness the other mother, and virtue-signaling the spirit.

Witness the United Methodists’ bishop, Dr, Karen Oliveto – herself a virtue signal, as the UMC’s first Lesbian Bishop.

Oliveto was elected with a flurry of virtue-signalling glee a few years ago – and has spent her term basically turning the United Methodists into even more of a pseudo-Unitarian cult than it was before:

“Too many folks want to box Jesus in, carve him in stone, create an idol out of him. But this story cracks the pedestal we’ve put him on. The wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting one, prince of peace, was as human as you and me. Like you and me, he didn’t have his life figured out. He was still growing, maturing, putting the pieces together about who he was and what he was supposed to do. We might think of him as the Rock of Ages, but he was more like a hunk of clay, forming and reforming himself in relation to God.

As one person put it: ‘Jesus wasn’t a know-it-all, he was also learning God’s will like any human being and finally he changed his mind…if Jesus didn’t have to know it all innately, but rather could grow into new and deeper understanding through an openness to God’s people [even those he formerly discounted], maybe if Jesus could change his mind then maybe so can we!”

When it comes to the Christian Trinity, it’s said that Catholics obsess over God the Father, the dealer of punishment and guilt, shorting the whole “Salvation” via the Son and Spirit bit.  Evangelicals, on the other hand, focus on the spirit, sometimes to the detriment of the authority, and often to the shorting of the humanity, of Christ.  And mainline American protestants?  They focus on the Son – the redemption, the forgiveness – sometimes shorting the authority and the spirit.

But other than gutting the traditional understanding of who and what Christ was…

…well, she’s LGBTQ…

Nice Try, Snowflake

A guy named Richard Lindsay, a professed Christian writing on “Patheos” – a “progressive” Christian megablog – “renounces” his right to keep and bear arms:

I hereby renounce my right to bear arms.I will not keep guns in my house, in my car, or on my person. I will not rely on guns for self-protection. I do not believe owning a gun is a fundamental human right like freedom of speech or freedom of religion. I do not believe owning a gun is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy. I am capable of functioning in society without resorting to the threat or use of lethal force.

Isn’t that special?

Sorry, Rich.  Your rights are endowed to you by your creator.  You can choose not to exercise them.  You can even choose not to value them, or fight to allow government to illegitimately strip them away from us if you’d like.

But you can’t “renounce” your actual human rights any more than you can renounce the species you were born as.  You can tell everyone you want that you’re a dog; you can even lobby to have the law classify you, and all humans, as dogs if you’d like.  It doesn’t make you a dog.

You’re a human.  With a miserably subservient view of human rights.

I’m a Christian too – rather militantly so, actually – and there are few things in this world that nauseate me more than “Christian” gun control activists.

Appearances

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Somebody threw an improvised explosive from a moving van onto the lawn at a mosque in Minneapolis at 5:00 a.m. last Saturday.  Blew out some windows, nobody injured.  Governor Dayton is all over this ‘act of terrorism’ which is part of a massive upsurge in violence against Muslims nation-wide, all caused by Trump, no doubt.

Except . . .

Most Minnesotans couldn’t identify a mosque if they were standing in front of one.  Most Minnesotans couldn’t identify an imam if they were standing next to one, nor would they know his daily schedule to target him. Minnesota has no history of violence against Muslims (Catholics, yes; Muslims, no).  IEDs are not a weapon commonly used in Minnesota crimes.  It doesn’t feel like a Minnesota crime.

You know who could identify a mosque, uses terror as a weapon and is familiar with IEDs from the Old Country?  Muslims.  You know who blows up buildings all over the world?  Muslims. You know which Minnesota minority has contributed the most new members to Islamic terror groups?  Muslims. You know which religion has sects utterly devoted to killing each other?  Shia and Sunni Muslims.  This feels like a Muslim crime.

 

If the bombing was a real act of terror, how does the Governor know this was Minnesotans persecuting Muslims?  How does he know it’s not ordinary Islamist sectarian violence?

And what if it wasn’t a real crime at all?  The bombing was carefully timed to avoid hurting people and to do only cosmetic damage. Nobody has claimed responsibility.  There are no suspects.  What if this is another in a long string of hate crime hoaxes? You know who has the most to gain from a hate crime hoax?  I’ll give you a hint: remember the ‘flying imams’ fake hate crime at the airport and who benefitted from that?  Muslims.

The Governor insists this is an act of terrorism committed by cowardly Minnesotans.  I’ve been skeptical since day one and now, we have more evidence it may have been a publicity stunt.  Muslims are complaining Trump hasn’t dropped everything to rush to Minnesota to condemn the bombing.  “He has to come here and at least express his feelings and say this is bad.”

No, that’s precisely what Trump does NOT need to do.  Amazingly, he’s sharp enough to know it.  The press secretary got it right.  It’s a local crime, if it’s a crime at all.  There are no national security implications. There is no federal government component that is being ignored.  This is not a matter for the President.

Listen up, guys. You are not the boss of him.  You don’t get to tell him where to go and what to say.  Acting like you’re so special that the President himself is at your beck and call . . . is the attitude that got him elected in the first place.  And Muslims setting off bombs in America is the reason his ban on travel from war-torn Muslim countries ban is entirely justified.

Joe Doakes

We don’t know much about the bombing – which was nearly two weeks ago – yet.

But Joe articulated a few points that I felt, but couldn’t quite put my finger on.

“Terrorism”

Earlier this week “Governor” Dayton declared the firebombing of a Bloomington mosque “terrorism” – notwithstanding the fact that no investigating agency has released any conclusions about motive.

Which is a little strange, given that tis’ been five days, now.

Make no mistake; there is a xenophobic minority in this state.  Eventually, one of them could – or may have – done something stupid.

But on Monday, I pointed out that if I were a betting man (and I’m not), I’d put at least a little money on the idea that the Bloomington attack was a hoax.   Too much says “contrived” to me:

  • The “firebomb” was tiny; it scorched the floor and burned some drapes.  Not that there’s such a thing as a good firebomb, but still.
  • It landed in an unoccupied room.  Now, that could have been blind happenstance.  But…
  • …the actual sanctuary of the mosque was full of people conducting morning prayers – who would, of course, be “witnesses” to this hate crime.

I could very well be wrong – but I say even money it was a hoax.

Oh, yeah – one other factor.  Nearly every other “hate crime” since November 8 has been a hoax as well.  By my unscientific but focused count, it’s not even close; among “hate crimes” that’ve gotten any publicity, it’s been overwhelmingly hoaxes.

Seems like people think being a victim includes victimizing oneself.

And there is, unfortunately, precedent; the vandalism at a Saint Cloud mosque two years ago, which was trumpeted far and wide as a sign of gathering xenophobia, turned out to be a parishioner – who, to his dubioius “credit”, turned out to be operating less from misplaced political victimology-mongering than from being, from the press report, kind of an impulsive idiot.

Which didn’t stop Minnesota’s Big Left from trying to pin that attack on, well, you and me.

Blast From The Past

Robert Fisk – the gassy far-left Brit columnist upon whose oeuvre the term “fisk” was launched – is back with a bit of virtue-signaling…

…that actually has a point, although I’m not sure Fisk knows it.

The headline – “When you watch Dunkirk, remember that it’s a whitewashed version which ignores the bravery of black and Muslim soldiers” – set off a bit of a teapot-tempest on social media over the weekend.

He’s got about a third of a point.

About a third of the French Army in 1940 was from France’s overseas colonies; black troops from Guinea and Cameroon, Muslim Arabs from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, and Black Muslims from Senegal and Chad.    They were among France’s best troops, too – solid fighters who didn’t bother much with hardships in the field.  They were a significant part of the French First Army, the vanguard of the French armed forces which had joined with the Brits in advancing into Belgium, only to be cut off by the Blitzkrieg through the Ardennes.

And when Churchill decided to evacuate the “British Expeditionary Force” – the British Army in France and Belgium – with the original stated intent of sending them back to Franch to continue the battle – it was the French First Army that held the Germans off long enough to carry off the evacuation (and then, long enough to get about half of its own troops evacuated).

And among those troops – among the best and bravest of them – were the colonials.

Fisk:

A justly cynical revue of Nolan’s Dunkirk by Francois Pédron in Paris Match points out, correctly, that 18,000 French troops paid with their lives to hold the Dunkirk perimeter and 35,000 were made prisoner – almost 140,000 French soldiers were rescued from Dunkirk – but that not only do the victors write history. Filmmakers write the “history” too, Pedron wrote. He is right. The true story of the Algerian and Moroccan units has still to be filmed. It would make a terrifying drama. The Germans threw raw meat into the prison cages of Algerian and African troops – to show cinemagoers how they fought for the food and tore it to pieces like animals. Algerians were massacred by the Nazis on racial grounds – an act which strongly supports the suspicion of some intellectual Arabs today: that Hitler, after destroying the Jews of Europe and the Middle East, would have next turned his exterminating fury against their Semitic Arab brothers.

All true enough.

(SPOILERS FOLLOW)

But if you remember the movie, there really was exactly one filmic depiction of the French Army holding the line; the squad of metropolitan French holding the roadblock in the town of Dunkirk, in the first two minutes of the show.  That’s it.

So yes – Christopher Nolan, in telling the story of three British people at Dunkirk, neglected the stories of black and Muslim French soldiers.

Also those of the rest of the French Army – Catholic, atheist, and otherwise.

It’s the French as a nation, stupid.

And just to show that Robert Fisk is still the fisk-worthy fella he’s been for a decade and a half:

Much has been made, inevitably in The Guardian, of Nolan’s failure to acknowledge the presence of Muslim troops at Dunkirk – Muslim Indian Commonwealth soldiers (from what is now Pakistan)

Which may be because Christopher Nolan is a racist.

Or, perhaps, because the British Expeditionary Force included no “Bengali” (what they called Pakistani) troops – or, for that matter, any of the much more numerous Indian Hindi troops that also served the Brits in the millions.  While the British military included millions of troops from colonies like India and Hong Kong, like the French, colonial troops served in colonial units.  The Indian and Bengal troops served in large numbers in North Africa, the Middle East, and southeast Asia – including defending India itself from a Japanese invasion – but only rarely did they serve in Northwest Europe during /world War 2.

While PC virtue signaling is easy, facts are hard.

Numbours

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Canadian Mormon convicted of polygamy, faces 5 years in prison.  Isn’t having 25 wives punishment enough?

 

It’s Canada, so American law doesn’t apply; but I wonder how this case would come out using the principles of law explained by Justice Kennedy in the gay marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges.  I’ve excerpted his analysis, changing ‘gay’ to ‘plural.’

 

“The first principle is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.  The second is that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a union unlike any other in its importance to committed individuals.  The third principle is marriage protects children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation, and education.  Finally, the nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of the nation’s social order.

 

The interlocking nature of these constitutional safeguards means a law against plural marriage abridges the central precepts of equality.  The marriage laws at issue are in essence unequal: plural marriage partners are denied benefits afforded to dual marriage partners and are barred from exercising a fundamental right.  Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial works a grave and continuing harm, serving to disrespect and subordinate [religions that celebrate polygamy such as Mormons and Muslims].”

 

Seems to me that the ‘legal reasoning’ adopted by the Supreme Court in striking down all laws preventing gay marriage, apply with equal vigor to striking down all laws preventing plural marriage.

 

Aside from the court precedent, I object to this case as a violation of sound societal organizational principles.

 

The prohibition on polygamy stands in mocking contrast to the reality that the same guy can have sex with all those women and conceive all those kids out of wedlock and, under the modern welfare system, the state will pick up the tab for every kid and the baby mommas too.  The anti-polygamy law doesn’t stop fornication, adultery or bastardy; it spreads the cost of those societal ills across all of society.

 

So on the one hand, we can have the father donating seed to 25 baby mommas while taking zero responsibility for the kids or the breeders, and the state will provide for all of them and that’s perfectly acceptable to Liberals.  It’s his right.

 

Or we can have the man who, under the tenets of his sincerely held religious belief, is allowed to marry as many women and have as many kids as he can support; but he has a moral and binding obligation, enforced by his peers and answerable to God, to actually support all of them.

 

As a taxpayer, I find Option B more appealing.

 

Joe Doakes

Wait – moral obligations are binding?

Dhim And Dhimmer

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is pumping gas at the corner Superamerica when Polly LITTELL – proprietor of the Facebook page “Makeng Minnessota GRAET AGEN” page, pulls up to the next pump. 

LITTELL:  Merg!

BERG:  Oh, hey, Pollly.  (Eyes the meter on the pump, shakes the handle in a futile effort to get it to pump faster).

LITTELL:  So a MUSLIN cop, Mohammed NOOR, murdered a white woman in South MInneapolis!   It’s terrorism!

BERG:  Er, OK – why do you say that?

LITTELL:  Because it’s in the Koran that THEY are supposed TO attack us when THEY CAN.

BERG:  OK, Polly.  So it was terrorism.

LITTELL:  Yes.  Just like they are told to do IN THE Koran.

BERG:  So this “act of terrorism” involved shooting one woman.  Not his partner.  Not every other bystander, and every cop that responded.  And then, surrendering and apparently following the standard post-shooting process that a non-Muslim, non-terrorist cop would follow.

LITTELL:   Why do you hate America?

BERG:  Naturally

(And SCENE)

The Religion Of Environmentalism And Health Insurance (UPDATE: Ooops)

The fact that Ben Carson got mocked in the media, while Maxine Waters isn’t considered a national laughinstock, will be prime evidence when we finally have Nuremberg-style tribunals about media bias:

Image may contain: 1 person, text

And yet she’s taken seriously.

UPDATE:  Ooops.  Parody account.

I plead “long day at Grand Old Day”.

To be fair, the measure of great satire is that it could be the real thing…

The Ark

I saw this story a few years ago, and put it aside until today – the fortieth anniversary of the dedication of the more unusual Catholic churches in the world, Kosciol Arka Pana in Novy Huta, Poland.

Which is interesting in and of itself; Nowy Huta is a district in Krakow that was built as a “Socialist Realist” experiment, an entire community built from the ground up to reflect the ideals of Stalin-era communism.

Including absolute, suffocating atheism.

Poles are, of course, obstreperously Catholic – so the battle between Socialist Atheism and Faith seesawed across the city.  In 1960, a wooden cross was erected with aa permit, prompting police response; violent demonstrations ensued.  The future pope, then-bishop Karol Wojtyla, who began holding annual outdoor Christmas Eve Masses in Nowy Huta in 1959 – and saw to it that ever time the cops removed the cross, another one replaced it.

It took seven years to secure a permit – and, literally, nothing else.  In a society where all resources were officially allocated by the government – picture a government where everyone is Alondra Cano – they did it all with volunteer labor and scrounged material.

With no outside help it was down to the locals to mix cement with spades, and find the two million stones needed for the church’s facade. The first corner stone was laid in 1969 by Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who would later assume fame as Pope John Paul II, but the discovery of a WWII ammunition dump delayed work, as some 5,000 mines and shells had to be carefully removed. Finally, on May 15th 1977, the church was consecrated. Built to resemble Noah’s Ark, with a 70 metre mast-shaped crucifix rising from the middle, the church houses an array of curious treasures, including a stone from the tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican, a tabernacle containing a fragment of rutile brought back from the moon by the crew of Apollo 11, and a controversial statue of Christ that shows him not on a cross, but about to fly to the heavens. If you think that’s odd, check out the statue dedicated to Our Lady the Armoured – a half metre sculpture made from ten kilograms of shrapnel removed from Polish soldiers wounded at the Battle of Monte Cassino. In the early 1980s, the church became a focal point during anti-communist protests, not least for the shelter it afforded the locals from the militia. Protesting during the period of Martial Law was dangerous business, as proven by the monument dedicated to Bogdan Włosik opposite the church. Włosik was shot in the chest by security services, and later died of his injuries. His death outraged the people, and his funeral was attended by 20,000 mourners. The monument commemorating the site of his death was erected in 1992 and is a tribute to all those who died during this period. As recently as September 2012, Kraków City Council awarded Arka Pana the ‘Cracoviae Merenti’ silver medallion for its significance to the city’s history.

Apropos not much, other than historical interest.

More Or Lesch

First, the good news:  Rep. Mary Franson has introduced a bill that would expose parents who subject their children to ritual genital mutilation to felony charges and potential loss of custody.  It’s currently illegal for a doctor to perform the procedure; if passed into law, Franson’s bill would spread the onus to the parents.

This is a good thing – especially if you are remotely familiar with the procedure:

Farhio Khalif of Minneapolis…described in horrific detail how she was forced as a little girl in Somalia to undergo a ritual mutilation.

Farhio Khalif, with Rep. Franson. Photo courtesy Tim Pugmire at Minnesota Public Radio.

“My legs were tied each side. My hands were tied each side. I was blindfolded, and the ritual took place and it was painful. It was so painful I think I died or maybe I passed away,” Khalif recalled. “I don’t know what happened. But I remember waking back up, and I see blood all over the place.”

And awful as that sounds, that’s really only the half of it.  The law seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?

[“No-brainer” joke referencing Rep. John Lesch of HD 66A deleted – if only that were the problem].   Rep.  Lesch – representative from perhaps the least politically engaged district in the state, and a candidate for Attorney General – played for the cameras by…accusing Franson of playing for the cameras:

Despite bipartisan support for the bill, some Democrats suggested that parents could already be prosecuted without a new law…Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, raised concerns that only Republicans had signed on as co-authors of the bill. Lesch said criminal law bills have traditionally been bipartisan.

The current law, to which Lesch and Somali DFL representative Ilhan Omar referred, makes abetting female circumcision a gross misdemeanor – like throwing a rock at a train.  Like, not really that much of a crime.

Several Republicans on the committee criticized both Omar and Lesch for questioning the motives of their colleague.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with the cameras in the room, with the headlines in the paper,” Franson said. “This is about saving children’s lives.”

With Lesch, and his bid for Mayor State Senate to go to Iraq Attorney General, it’s always about the cameras.

This needs to follow him through the AG race, assuming it actually gets to the starting gate.

 

Unwarranted Sanctimony

The Evanglical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), aka “Unitarians with Lutefisk” (Keillor said it, not me!), are the far-left-leaning wing of American Lutheranism.  The people who gave us “ELCA hair” are headquartered in Minneaopolis, and often seem to spend more time on politics than faith; among certain ELCA circles, “faith” seems to be little but a common theme for (inevitably leftist) politics.  (Most mainline Protestants and Catholics in the Metro are no better).

One of their less-informed stances, like that of most of the dogmatist American left, is on civilian firearms and the Second Amendment.

And they’ve been taking some heat on the issue – because while, like my own former Presbyterian organization (the Presbyterian Church in the USA), the leadership is about as ideologically diverse as a the crowd at the Whole Foods in Berkeley, the folks in the pews on Sundays are all over the place politically (or were: the ELCA, like the PCUSA and other American liberal denominations, is hemorrhaging membership faster than the Gary Glitter fan club).

Anyway, some of the folks in those pews are law-abiding citizens who value the right to keep and bear arms, and they’re not shutting up and taking it from their self-appointed betters.  And  it seems to be rankling the ELCA; someone wrote a post on the ELCA’s “Engage” website responding to some of the flak they’ve gotten.

Well, not so much “responding”.  But we’ll come back to that.

I have received several angry replies to my “Stomping Stand Your Ground” blog. The writers deserve a response.

Although they don’t get a “Response” so much as getting “tut-tutted” by someone who really doesn’t know much about the issue.

One writer called the blog “shameful and disgusting…politically motivated crap. If my church supported this, I would be looking for a real church.” Another wrote “What load of crap! This Lutheran group ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

The ELCA has been supporting this “crap” about actions in support of gun violence prevention (GVP) since 1989.

Since the right to keep and bear arms is one of the things that separates a “citizen” from a “subject”, then yes – the ELCA should be ashamed of their pro-authoritarian stance, and anyone who believes that we, The Peoplle (of all faiths) are supposed to be citizens, not subjects, in our secular, political life, should have some pointed, acerbic questions for the ELCA’s temporal leadership.  (And so should you Catholics and PCUSA Presbyterians and Episcopals and Methodists, too).

Churchwide Assembly action happened in 1989, 1993, 2013 and 2016. Furthermore, the Church Council acted in 1994, the Social Statement “For Peace in God’s World” calls for the need to create peaceful environments, and the St. Paul Area Synod passed two strong GVP resolutions in 2013 and 2016. The ELCA must be a “crappy” church.

If you believe that the best way to secure Peace in God’s World is to keep authoritarianism, dictatorship and tyranny at bay – and I do – then yes.  Those resolutions, as they relate to disarming the law-abiding citizen – are prima facie evidence of a church that is, if not “crappy”, at least more suited to life under an authoritarian regime than a pluralistic democracy founded on the idea of self-government.

I would argue that the will of God and the ethics of Jesus are unabashedly nonviolent in focus. Violence is the result of the Fall and not God pulling the triggers of violence.

And it’s here that the writer – knowingly or not – gets insidious.

All violence is not the same.  Invading Normandy to free Europe is not the same as invading France to enslave Europe.  Freeing a concentration camp through force of arms is not the same as driving people into a camp via force of arms.   Shooting someone who is threatening to kill you or your family is not the same as threatening to kill someone or their family.  To slop them all together under an intentionally-vague label is rhetorically shoddy – and morally repugnant.

The gun in the hands of the law-abiding citizen deters violence; the gun in the hands of the would-be victim of violence turns them, often, into non-victims.

Jesus’ disgust at weapons is clear in his words “Enough!”, “No more of this!” and “Those who live by the [gun] shall die by the [gun].” The Sermon on the Mount is his “magnus opus” on nonviolence.

The Sermon on the Mount decried revenge killing; some religious leaders at the time were preaching that the doctrine of “an eye for an eye” meant that revenge killing was acceptable.  Jesus corrected those false teachings and put the kibosh on that with his sermon.  (Too bad Mohammed never had such a sermon, huh?).  It was not a foreclosure of self-defense.

God and Jesus must be crappy.

No, but the writer’s interpretation of scripture is a tad, er,  fecal.

The Bible also endorses self-defense in several places:  in Exodus 22:2-3 we are told “If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”.  Which reads a lot like Minnesota’s case law on self-defense; you can defend yourself from an immediate threat to your life and health.  If you do it later, as revenge, then you are in huge trouble.

Proverbs 25:26 says “A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.”   Allowing wickedness – whether street crime or political tyranny – to oppress the faithful is wrong.   LIfe – ours, and those of our fellow humans – is a gift from God; to allow the wicked to destroy them is an affront to His creation.

Anyway – you gotta figure that even if the learned scribe from the ECLA can’t do theology, they’ll at least have some Old Testament evidence and logic on their side.

Right?

You actually read this blog, right? What do you think?

Another called the article “misleading and false.” The sources for my comments are Protect Minnesota,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

As I’ve shown in this space for the past fifteen years, “Protect” Minnesota has never – not once – made a substantial, true, original statement about guns, gun owners, gun laws, the Second Amendment and its legal history, the law-abiding gun owner’s affect on crime, or anything else.

Among the informed, using “Protect” Minnesota as a source is tantamount to admitting you know nothing about the subject.

…The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, State Health Facts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Center for Health, plus Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities. I will trust these sources immensely more than those quoted by the gun lobby.

Let’s ignore for a moment the “Appeal to Authority”  – the logical fallacy of using the provenance of your sources as evidence, rather than the actual facts.  Saying “my sources are better than your sources!” are the mark of the seventh-grader who hasn’t learned debate, or logic, yet.

Leaving aside the risible “Protect” Minnesota, the other sources – I’m familiar with all of them – have deep flaws in the information they present.

What are those flaws?  We could go through them point by point, study by study, and systematically refute their applicability and authority.    Indeed, we have, and do, do that; it’s one of several reasons the good guys have been winning this debate for the past twenty years; the facts are on our side.

But I suspect we won’t be going through the with the anonymous writer, because the pro-criminal-safety movement – including the ELCA’s Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, the false-witness-bearing head of “Protect” Minnesota – have told their various adherents not to “engage” with Human Rights activists.

Seems exposure to the facts has caused the Kool-Aid to wear off with some of the less zealous disciples.

One hopes the writer of this piece is made of sterner stuff – more below – but this next bit casts doubts:

I am pleasantly surprised that no one criticized the references to the Second Amendment nor to our nation’s Founding Documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It is nice knowing they are not “crappy.”

Fourth Grade called.  They wanted their big finish back.

Speaking of “big finishes”:

Stand Your Ground escalates the probability of gun violence.

No, it doesn’t – the statement relies on turning a dubious correlation into a  specious causation – but let’s take it at face value for a moment.

If someone shoots someone wrongly – as an aggressor, in commission of a robbery or a gangland shootout – then “Stand your Ground” is irrelevant.   If someone is not the aggressor, and shoots a rapist, a robber, a burglar, a kidnapper, an attacker, then you can say an act of “gun violence” has happened.  But you’d be portraying an act of self-defense – where, by legal definition, someone legitimately feared for their life and health – into an evil act.

And that, itself, is downright evil.

Not “crappy”.  Evil.

Note to readers:  I’m going to try, in a spirit of respect, inquiry and attempt for mutual understanding,  to send a link to this story to the people from “Engage” to see if they will, y’know, engage.  Please feel free to do the same; tell ’em I sent you.

I’d very much like to invite the people behind “Engage” on my show for a rational, factual debate on the subject.   I doubt they’ll do it; I don’t think they have the confidence in their command of the issue, legally, theologically, morally or factually.

But hope, as they say, springs eternal.

Continue reading

Juxtaposition

Islam.

For 90-odd percent of its adherents, it may well be a religion of peace.

But they seem to have other attitudes that bear some examination.

For example:

This hatred of early’80’s country-pop star Judy Kay “Juice” Newton…

…is perplexing to outsiders.