God’s Wife: Islam and its take on religious ‘edits’

30 Mar

 

I AM A GOLDEN GOD!

According to some theology scholars, there is evidence that God had a wife named Asherah in the Old Testament. Asherah, the fertility Goddess, and God were apparently worshiped as a pair. As the religion evolved (as they tend to do), scholars argue that the increasingly paternal characterization of God along with a movement towards transcendental monotheism led to the Goddess’ demise. Is this really all that surprising? For any of you that has spent a considerable amount of time learning about the Old Testament, you know that it chronicles a long history from Adam, to Abraham, from the exodus to the exile, and from David to the Diaspora. Is it surprising to anybody that as time passed, the people’s understanding of God and their religious practices changed? It has always been about the synthesis of people and their ideas. Monotheism was likely adopted by the ancient Hebrews after they came in contact with the Zoroastrians. If this is true, does it make the Old Testament a sham? Absolutely not.

It is human tendency to become fixated on the words of the parable instead of the understanding behind it. In ancient times, people understood religion only when explanations were tied to everyday experience. Perhaps the ancient Hebrews needed a more personal explanation of their religion before advances in intellectualism allowed for a more nuanced oneness of God. Hindus, for example, have many deities. But in Hinduism, it is the ultimate oneness, the monism, that any Hindu scholar will tell you to focus on. To add a Muslim twist on the eternity of heaven, wouldn’t it be easier for a man to understand that it’s like having 72 virgins jockin’ you (but even better than that)?

In the Christian faith, during the time of Constantine, the First Council of Nicaea was formed more than 300 years after Jesus’ death to put together a new testament and establish a more formalized religion. Up until that point, Christianity was basically a rallying cry of good news and a way for the underclass to organize and rise up against their oppressors. Until Constantine “found God,” the Gospels weren’t universalized and they certainly weren’t uniform.

So after all these advances were made and after Christianity rose up and usurped power from the Roman Empire, Islam came along (7th Century anno domini). Muslims believe that the only true miracle during the time of the Prophet was the revelation of the Qur’an to him by God (via Archangel Gabriel). So right off the bat, an oral tradition was born where the followers of the Prophet would memorize the revelations. This practice was very sacred. Muslims believed that the other religious texts that came before it (via the long line of prophets in Judaism and Christianity) were corrupted via poor preservation and the influence of man. Considering that scholars now believe God’s wife was edited out of the Old Testament, is this such a ridiculous tactic?

About 40 years after the Prophet died, the memorized verses were put on to paper. Since that point, historians have verified that the Qur’an is still in the exact form from that time. It should come as no surprise that the purity of the Qur’an’s verses are very important to Muslism.

So… Here comes the tricky part in explaining things to cherry-pickers who like to focus only on the warring parts of the Qur’an…

It’s all about context. How do we validate the discrepancies between God’s laws in the Old Testament from the laws that govern us in the United States? For the quick-to-judge Islam crowd, ask yourself, why is that question so simple and why is balancing the Qur’an and modern law so difficult?

Tides change. When Christendom couldn’t find its way out of a paper bag during the dark ages, Islamic philosophy, arts, culture, and technology were flourishing. Through the cultural exchanges via trading and the Crusades (along with establishing a foothold on the Iberian peninsula), the torch of advancement was passed along to Europe (yes both by war and peace… it’s a real world with real histories). As Europe peaked upward, the Muslim empires that encompassed many lands, people, and cultures started to splinter and decline. After much of the Muslim world was conquered via colonialism, we’ve finally reached a point where the influence of Islam is at a crucial juncture. But as Christendom and multiculturalism progressed into western-style democracy, it now carries the torch…

So perhaps the discrepancies between the Qur’an as the literal word of God and American notions of Freedom and democracy aren’t all that incompatible after all. The torch of human progress just hasn’t illuminated the pages. Unfortunately, I fear that impatience on the part of the beholders might lead to conflagration instead of synthesis.

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Companies Putting Food In Small Packaging to Hide Inflationary Cost Increases

29 Mar

It's okay. Recessions happen to lots of guys!

What a great way to hide increased costs. Though different companies have different strategies, one thing is certain: customers don’t notice small variations in size as much as they  notice differenes in price. My favorite tactic:

“Proctor and Gamble is expanding its “Future Friendly” products, which it promotes as using at least 15 percent less energy, water or packaging than the standard ones. They are more environmentally friendly, that’s true — but they’re also smaller,” said Paula Rosenblum.”

In all honesty, the US could probably use smaller serving sizes. Instead of legislation-driven obesity awareness, how ’bout we tighten the belt by tightening the belt?

To read more about some of the inflation-related tactics that businesses are employing, see the NYTimes article by clicking here.

Tim Pawlenty: Obama Was Born in the US, Birthers Are Conspiracy Theorist Looons

29 Mar

Oh hey ya Ger that's a fish dontcha know?

Former Minnesota Governor and presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty seems to be setting up his platform. By stating what the rest of us already know, Gov. Pawlenty is signaling that his campaign will be about the issues and that he will not allow it to be dictated by radical birthers who clearly operate on the fringe.

Viable and capable candidates should bring the issues back on the table. Otherwise, we’re in for a long 2 years liberal media drive Tea Party bashing… The Tea Party needs to continually denounce fringe elements within (and without) our ranks. It will be heck of a lot harder to tarnish our true American grassroots movement when we’ve made it clear that we’re serious about our platform.

Are Hugo Chavez and Michelle Obama best friends?

28 Mar

Looks like Hugo is Advising the First Lady from Venezuela

This Boston.com article was reposted on Fox nation with the side-by-side picture (at the top of the article) of President Hugo Chavez and Mrs. Obama. Really… trying to paint the First Lady as a true socialist by putting her next to Hugo Chavez? Granted, there are certainly arguments to be made regarding health care reform and opening the door for the federal government to enact personal-liberty-strangling legislation, but this is just out of hand.

As we all know very well, Mrs. Obama’s pet-project as First Lady is to reduce childhood obesity. For those of you that aren’t familiar, First Lady’s traditionally have a noncontroversial cause. Lady Bird Johnson focused on beautification/environmentalism (before it was cool to be green), Nancy Reagan had her ‘Just Say No’ program to combat illegal drugs, and former librarian Laura Bush championed literacy.

To be clear, obesity is completely out of control in the US. Aside from politically correct gluttons who are too sensitive to have a conversation about their weight, it’s universally agreed that children should get more physical exercise and eat healthier. Obesity is proven to lead to heart disease and diabetis, it affects our overall produtivity and GDP output, national security is weakened by having a less military ready population, and it drives up the cost of healthcare.

Now, if Mrs. Obama was jamming organic foods and garnola down our throats and if Hubby-in-Chief was passing legislation to ban Fast Food, they’d have a Tea Party fight on their hands. But in all honesty, this is just about fatty awareness. As Tea Party patriots, we should be committed to the concept of parental personal responsibility that is necessary when responsibility feeding one’s children. Let’s be honest with ourselves… too many of us (yes… both Republican and Democrat) are disgustingly FAT and LAZY. Enough with the PC sensitivity about obesity.

Here is some message board fodder from the Fox Nation article:

“How easy it is for lefty radicals to discard the Presidential guidelines and anything to do with the Constitution for that matter, when it’s in support of their side. I can’t imagagine how they’d howl if this was a Republican Pres who was lying.”

“Both need to lose weight”
 
“moochelle, another mooslim, racist, traitor that belongs in prison”
 
“why don’t you liberals worry about your own dinner plate,and leave every one else alone?!first of all their are more people eating healthier food today than there used to be.secondly,when i want advise on diet and exercise i go to my doctor,not the white house!and thirdly,even the experts can’t agree on whats truly healthy food.until the obamas show me a medical degree,they can bite me!when politics gets involved in medicine thats when people pay the price with their health!and remember not all liberals are slim healthy people either,i’ve seen just as many jumbo liberals,as i have conservatives.stick that in your hash brown and eat it!”

New TV Ads questioning Obama’s Birth Certificate (ugh)

28 Mar

Check out the new TV ad questioning President Obama’s Birth Certificate.

Seriously? As a member of the Tea Party, I strongly denounce members of the movement that are focusing on the conspiracies and the birther craze. The President responded to these allegations in 2008 and FactCheck.org even debunked the conspiracies. Instead of focusing on unemployment, health care, taxes, and personal freedoms, birthers are wasting their time buying into these whacky theories that are being pushed by opportunistic “scholars” like Jerome Corsi who are just trying to make a buck. Also, by having a significant portion of the Tea Party seemingly hell bent about something that has repeatedly been proven to be untrue, it gives fuel to the left wing media to tarnish our noble cause by painting us as wingnuts.  

Here are some Message Board highlights from the Fox Nation link to the video clip:

“Oh for Goodness sake. Just present the birth certificate already”

“Rather than seeing his occupancy of the Office of President legitimized, as impeachment would, I’d prefer to see the SOB ousted as illegitimately occupying the office due to his lack of qualifying citizenship. But for that to happen we would need members of our courts to actually support Constitutional Principles were his eligibility not be upheld by evidence. Corsi has spent a number of years researching. He is outlining all the facts in a book that I can’t wait to see. I will gladly pay the price for his book.”

“Laugh it up if you think it’s funny but if you were a true independant then you too would demand that the Constitution be adhered to instead of grabbing at straw to cover for this massive fraud.”

“Been trying to tell all these worthless liberals that the illegal Kenyan needs to be executed for treason …portraying an American president !”

Modern Libyan History: Western Involvement

28 Mar

It's this big! I swear!

The BBC published an excellent article that retraces foreign influence in Libya since 1911. Nothing is ever as black and white as it seems.

Here are some highlights:

  • Italy’s Mussolini-led Fascist regime invaded Libya in 1911 to destabilize the Ottoman Empire’s hold on the territory. This led to over 2 decades of rebellion against the Italians. Over 100,000 Libyans were sent to concentration camps as a result. Thousands were killed.
  • After WWII, there was a plan in place that would have allowed Britain, France, and Italy (yes, the same country that oppressed Libya for decades). The U.S. intervened to prevent this from happening. Instead, the US used it’s influence to form an Air Force base outside of Tripoli. The based was deemed to be strategically necessary to combat the Soviet influence
  • From 1950 to 1969, Libya was ruled by a King though still considered a British Protectorate. UK and US controlled Libya’s defense and foreign policies
  • Col. Qadaffi seized power in 1969. The Brits wanted to send in 007 to take out Qaddafi. Even though he nationalized oil production, the United States was okay with him in power because they felt he would be a reliable leader to counter Soviet influence.
  • The US abandoned its Libyan based in 1970

Are Socialists Using Peanuts to Take Over?

28 Mar

Give me PBJ or give me... death?

 

In Volusia County, Florida, Parents are picketing a girl with peanut allergies to withdraw from a local elementary school. Though peanut allergies are fairly common (the allergy affects 1 in 50 children), this student’s allergy is so severe, even trace amounts remaining in another child’s mouth can set off her allergy if she is breathed on too heavily. As a result, the school requires children to repeatedly wash their hands during the day and rinse out their mouths right when they come to school and right after lunch time (the school has also gone peanut free).

In effect, the whole school has to make sacrifices so a student with a hypersensitive peanut allergy can attend the public school. Also, various medical opinions have come out and said that the forced mouth-washing practice is overkill. At what point are sensitivities so extreme that we must bend over backwards to make accommodations? Isn’t it already bad enough that children are being forced to give up All-American staples like the PBJ sandwich?

Let me be clear… peanut allergies are very serious and it saddens me that this little girl will have to live the rest of her life in fear of coming in contact with even trace elements of peanuts. But at the same time, what is going to happen once this girl leaves school? Her parents are in for a rude awakening if they think they can create a peanut-free utopia. What’s next, requiring that all windows in elementary schools remain closed because one child in the school has a severe reaction to bee stings? (There are two recurring themes here: large-scale collective sacrifice and questionable effectiveness)

Clearly, there are certain distinctions that should be held in higher esteem then others. For example, life threatening ailments should require additional collective sensitivity to abnormal and unreasonable religious practices, i.e. kosher dietary options vs. complete kosher kitchen. Interested to see how this plays out.

To read more about the situation, click here.

Will Tech Advances Destroy American Values?

26 Mar

 

NYT published an article today regarding cell phones and privacy. After a German politician took his cell phone company to court (T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom), he found out that over a 6-month span, the company recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates 35,000+ times.

Already, in the US, law enforcement uses phone records, locations, and saved conversations for cases ranging from drug trafficking to terrorism. Now combine that information with closed circuit TVs, traffic cameras, automated toll payment systems, and IP addresses, and you can learn a lot about someone; both useful and intrusive.

So what’s the big deal? If you have nothing to hide, what’s the problem? If you keep on sending pictures of your penis to strangers, do you think you really have the right to complain about privacy?

Here’s the thing… we rely on data mining technology companies for cell phone service and internet access. Of course there is going to be some sacrifice of privacy when a private company handles sensitive data.  But here is what I fear:

Technology induced police laziness How many of you have gotten a traffic camera ticket for running a red light? At what point will computers and surveillance systems be able to police our every move? If they have the sound and video records for EVERYTHING you do, how difficult will it be for the government to satisfy its burden of proof? As private companies expand on these technologies, won’t there be an incentive to bolster this kind of policing due to profit motive?

Doctoring of data Photoshop, video editing, and splicing can make people appear to be doing or saying something that they aren’t doing. As these kinds of programs are getting more and more complicated, how can we be sure that Google or whoever else isn’t planting data to suppress their competitors or political opponents? If the police subpoena AT&T for my cell phone records or longitudinal whereabouts, how can we authenticate that information reliably?

Revolution to stop tyranny With the widespread unrest in Arabia, I can’t help to think what would happen if a truly tyrannical regime or party were able to take power in the United States. To be clear, revolution would be clearly justified to restore the US Constitution and our form of governance. But how would patriots on the righteous side of the fight be able to overtake a government that knows exactly who you are, what you are saying, and where you are? Maybe it wouldn’t be that direct… What’s to stop the tyrannical regimes propaganda wing from feeding the masses lies about their opponents?

AT&T and T-Mobile Merger May Get Derailed by Government Intervention

25 Mar

Government: Economies of scale? What's that? Now pay us our higher-than-private-sector salaries!

 

Some officials in the FCC are hinting that this deal might not happen.

So let me get this straight… We have been told that high-speed internet access, mobility, and infrastructure upgrades will help us compete with emerging economies in the 21st century. If this merger goes through, AT&T’s network will be vastly improved and upgraded immediately. T-Mobile uses the same GSM network and has already spent billions on upgrades for its 4G LTE network. More importantly, T-Mobile has focused its upgrades in smaller cities and remote areas. This goes hand-in-hand with President Obama’s plan to provide high-speed internet access to ALL Americans. Perhaps Mr. Obama meant that he wants inefficient government employees and contractors to do the work at a high cost to taxpayers?

We know the arguments. The economic leftists are worried about a lack of competition. Last time I checked, the only mobile companies that are keeping each other in check are Verizon and AT&T. Though T-Mobile and Sprint are technically competitors, they get the table scraps and hardly break even. Mobile phones and internet connectivity are becoming mainstays in our lives. With the launch of successful tablet computers, there is going to be a staid demand for virtual access. While T-Mobile will try to chip away at a segment of its larger rivals’ base, they will always be one step behind and will ultimately have to rely on Verizon and AT&T to supplement its own coverage (for a considerable fee).

By merging, AT&T will be able to supplement an already growing 4G LTE network with T-Mobile’s existing small-city and rural centered infrastructure. Can you imagine the savings? Putting up cell phone towers sounds easy enough. Add property costs, zoning, environmental assessments, fake health concerns, and b-list celebrities in Brooklyn, and the next thing you know, AT&T is paying much more money than it projected for upgrades. The lefties will say that AT&T can afford to pay for it from their profits. For those of use that actually have the ability to pay our phone bills, we know that the cost will be passed on to us.

Drawing the Line: When Criticizing an American Soldier is Acceptable

24 Mar

Despicable and Inexcusable

“The plan was to kill people…” — Corporal Jeremy Morlock to the Judge

Corporal Jeremy Morlock, of Wasilla, Alaska admitted to killing for fun in Afghanistan and admitted that they were neither accidental nor justifiable. Morlock only got 24 years with the possibility of parole. Personally I think he should be executed by firing squad but he was likely given a deal so he can testify against other soldiers that were involved.

Situations like this should remind us what the costs of war include. The American Military is the most capable and ethical fighting force in the world. But as we know all too well, there will always be a few rotten apples in the bunch. It is a shame that innocent people were killed at the hands of American soldiers, and I hope that these people are brought to justice. With that said, acts like this should not bring down the integrity of our brave young men and women who put their butts on the line every day.

Unfortunately, this case will certainly have long term repercussions for the US and our PR campaign in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. For all the security, stability, and opportunities for freedom the US has brought, incidents like this fuel the extremist groups that are hell bent on imposing their draconian ideologies in any regime that takes power. As Patriots, it is important for us to find that balance of supporting our troops while making sure we show zero tolerance to monsters like Jeremy Morlock and his murderous comrades.

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