Saturday, August 28, 2010

Perfect man

And the Sunnah, one should not forget, is at least as important as the Qur'an (comprising of 114 surah). Some Arabs even say that it is possible to imagine a guide to life with the Sunnah alone, but not with the Qur'an alone. Both matter. And what is the Sunnah? It consists of "practice" -- the customs and manners of the early Arabs, that is, of Muhammad and His Companions, that serve to gloss the Qur'an. And the Sunnah is derived from two texts -- the Hadith, the written record of the sayings and acts of Muhammad, and the Sira, the biography of Muhammad, the first version of which appeared a century-and-a-half after the historical (if he was historical) Muhammad's death. What matters is not what parts of the Sira were imagined or which Hadith were made up, and by what means, but which parts Muslims take to be the genuine details of the life of Muhammad, and what Hadith they believe to be the most "authentic" in the compilations of the most "authoritative" -- by their lights -- muhaddithin.

Hugh Fitzgerald

Taqiyya - concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies

Kitman - half-truths that mislead and deceive

Tu-Quoque - the diversionary tactic of accusing others of Muslims' own lack of "peace" and "tolerance"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Convert !


It's a "beautiful" story of two brothers, Muhayyissa and Huwayyisa:

"The apostle [Muhammad] said, ‘Kill any Jew that falls into your power.’ Thereupon Muhayyisa bin Masud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed [the Jewish merchant] Huwayyisa began to beat [his brother Muhayyisa], saying, 'You enemy of God, did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?' Muhayyisa answered, 'Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.'...[Huwayyisa] replied, 'By God, if Muhammad had ordered you to kill me would you have killed me?' [Muhayissa] said, 'Yes, by God, had he ordered me to cut off your head I would have done so.' [Huwayyisa] exclaimed, "By God, a religion which can bring you to this is marvellous!' and [Huwayyisa] became a Muslim."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Sura Al-Fatiha (Arabic: سورة الفاتحة‎, Sūratu al-Fātihah, "The Opener") is the first chapter of the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an. Its seven verses are a prayer for God's guidance, and stress His lordship and mercy. This chapter has an essential role in daily prayers; Muslims recite the Surah Al-Fatiha seventeen times a day, at the start of each unit of prayer.

The Arabic text with transliteration and translation in English is as follows: [Qur'an 1:1].

1:1 بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم

Bismillāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
1:2 الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين

Al ḥamdu lillāhi rabbi l-'ālamīn
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds
1:3 الرَّحمـنِ الرَّحِيم

Ar raḥmāni r-raḥīm
The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
1:4 مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّين

Māliki yawmi d-dīn
Master of the Day of Judgement
1:5 إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِين

Iyyāka na'budu wa iyyāka nasta'īn
To you we worship and to you we turn to in help.
1:6 اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ

Ihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm
Show us the straight path,
1:7 صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّين

Ṣirāṭ al-laḏīna an'amta 'alayhim ġayril maġḍūbi 'alayhim walāḍ ḍāllīn
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.

In the seventh verse, hadith inform us that "ġayril maġḍūbi 'alayhim" (those who earned your anger) refers to the Jews, who, according to Allah, abandoned practicing his religion; "walāḍ ḍāllīn" (those who went astray) refers to the Christians, who lost the knowledge and thus deserve less anger.[1][2][3]


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pakistan's Indus River

Like the civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, Harappa grew on the floodplains of a rich and life-giving river, the Indus.
The original cities and many of the towns seemed to have been built right upon the shores of the river. The Indus, however, is destructive and unpredictable in its floods, and the cities were frequently levelled by the forces of nature. Mohenjo-Daro in the south, where the flooding can be fairly brutal, was rebuilt six times that we know about; Harappa in the north was rebuilt five times.

©1996, Richard Hooker

For information contact: Richard Hines
Updated 6-6-1999

Also another source with tables of years, area, deaths, costs, of floods

By H Reyman and A Kamal

History lessons
Geologists are working round the clock to better understand the ancient flood history of the Indus River.

Such history lessons will help to better predict its erratic behaviour and "plan for our own uncertain future", said Professor Peter Clift of Aberdeen University, an expert on the Indus River.

His team recently used makeshift "rigs" to drill down into the sands and mud of the Indus floodplain. By precisely dating layers of flood-deposited sand, they were able to work out past changes in river flow.

Their results were startling.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
Monsoon intensity is somewhat sensitive to the surface temperature of the Indian Ocean”
End Quote
Professor Martin Gibling

Dalhousie University
During a warm period 6,000 years ago, the Indus was a monster river, more powerful and more prone to flooding than today.

Then, 4,000 years ago, as the climate cooled, a large part of it simply dried up. Deserts appeared whether mighty torrents once flowed.

Professor Clift believes that this failure of the Indus may have triggered the collapse of the great Harappan civilisation.

The city ruins of Mohenjo-daro, a relict of this lost culture, date from the time when the rivers ran dry.

BBC By Howard Falcon-Lang
Science reporter

krazykiwi (6,140) Says:

August 22nd, 2010 at 8:05 pm
Another crook (and wife of a bigger con-man) joins the warmist’s brigade – “Clinton Invokes Climate Change Debate to Explain Pakistan Floods”

I wonder if CAGW can be blamed for:
– India, 1875-78: Famine (10 million dead)
– Huayan Kou, China, 1887: Yang-tse Kiang flooding (one million dead)
– China, 1907: famine (20 million dead)
– China, 1931: Flooding (3.7 million dead)
– Worldwide, 1957: Influenza pandemic (about four million dead)

Oh, and CAGW is already blamed for increased hurricanes even when they are at 30 Year low.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Social Justice

Posted by: Concord Bridge Aug 09, 10:53 AM


Social justice sounds so good and so fair but social justice is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. Suppose someone doesn't have a car and his neighbor has two of them. Arguably, social justice taken to the extreme, would allow the one to take a car from the other. Granted, this is an extreme example but the thinking underlying social justice would encompass similar, less extreme acts.

Lady Justice is portrayed with a blindfold. This is because justice is supposed to be blind and not ruling favorably for one party or the other except based on the facts. Therefore, the term justice implies equal treatment under the law, nothing more. The term social justice is a bastardization of the concept of justice as the winner (the underdog) is known beforehand. The term "fairness" is similar as "fairness" is in the eye of the beholder. To equate "fairness" with the equal treatment under the law is merely a way to distort true justice.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Moscow Fires of Centuries

Chicken Little (731) Says:

August 15th, 2010 at 9:20 am
Specially for Pete George – reality denier extraordinare -

1298: There was a wholesale death of animals. In the same year there was a drought, and the woods and peat bogs burnt.

1364: Halfway through summer there was a complete smoke haze, the heat was dreadful, the forests, bogs and earth were burning, rivers dried up. The same thing happened the following year . . .

1431: following a blotting out of the sky, and pillars of fire, there was a drought – “the earth and the bogs smouldered, there was no clear sky for 6 weeks, nobody saw the sun, fishes, animals and birds died of the smoke.

1735: Empress Anna wrote to General Ushakov: “Andrei Ivanovich, here in St Petersburg it is so smoky that one cannot open the windows, and all because, just like last year, the forests are burning. We are surprised that no-one has thought about how to stem the fires, which are burning for the second year in a row”.

1831: Summer was unbearably hot, and as a consequence of numerous fires in the forests, there was a constant haze of smoke in the air, through which the sun appeared a red hot ball; the smell of burning was so strong, that it was difficult to breathe.

The years of 1839-1841 were known as the “hungry years”. In the spring of 1840, the spring sowings of corn disappeared in many places. From midway through April until the end of August not a drop of rain fell. From the beginning of summer the fields were covered with a dirty grey film of dust. All the plants wilted, dying from the heat and lack of water. It was extraordinarily hot and close, even though the sun, being covered in haze, shone very weakly through the haze of smoke. Here and there in various regions of Russia the forests and peat bogs were burning (the firest had begun already in 1939). there was a reddish haze, partially covering the sun, and there were dark, menacing clouds on the horizon. There was a choking stench of smoke which penetrated everywhere, even into houses where the windows remained closed.

1868: the weather was murderous. It rained once during the summer. There was a drought. The sun, like a red hot cinder, glowed through the clouds of smoke from the peat bogs. Near Peterhoff the forests and peat workings burnt, and troops dug trenches and flooded the subterranean fire. It was 40 centigrade in the open, and 28 in the shade.

1868: a prolonged drought in the northern regions was accompanied by devastating fires in various regions. Apart from the cities and villages affected by this catastrophe, the forests, peat workings and dried-up marshes were burning. In St Petersburg region smoke filled the city and its outlying districts for several weeks.

1875: While in western europe there is continual rain and they complain about the cold summer, here in Russia there is a terrible drought. In southern Russia all the cereal and fruit crops have died, and around St Petersburg the forest fires are such that in the city itself, especially in the evening, there is a thick haze of smoke and a smell of burning. Yesterday, the burning woods and peat bogs threatened the ammunitiion stores of the artillery range and even Okhtensk gunpowder factory.

1885: (in a letter from Peter Tchaikovsky, composer): I’m writing to you at three oclock in the afternoon in such darkness, you would think it was nine oclock at night. For several days, the horizon has been enveloped in a smoke haze, arising, they say, from fires in the forest and peat bogs. Visibility is diminishing by the day, and I’m starting to fear that we might even die of suffocation.

1917 (diary of Aleksandr Blok, poet): There is a smell of burning, as it seems, all around the city peat bogs, undergrowth and trees are burning. And no-one can extinguish it. That will be done only by rain and the winter. Yellowish-brown clouds of smoke envelope the villages, wide swaithes of undergrowth are burning, and God sends no rain, and what wheat there is in the fields is burning.
translation from Russian

…..and sometimes pop in a bit of science here occasionally to get the flat earthers jumping up and down….
Pete and ‘science’, do they really mix? Not when you call people flat earthers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mosques and Gay-bars

tom hunter (1,079) Says:

August 12th, 2010 at 8:32 pm
So what’s your own view Tom?

If America is big enough to apply the principles of their constitution universally to all its citizens, is that a sign that the terrorists have won (as the authors of kowtows link suggest) or a sign that America has won?

Ah, the US Constitution hoves into view. Predictable.

While there are many people who are hurt and angered by the mosque proposal – to the degree that they would be willing to forget their constitutional principals and just ban it outright – I’m not one of them. Moreover, I will bet that there are a lot (perhaps a quiet majority) of Americans who will grind their teeth at recognition of the ploy yet accept the First Amendment that keeps the government (any level of government) out of religious practice. Not to mention the whole private property aspect.

But here’s the thing RRM – that’s not what this thread and this story is really about.

In fact it is precisely the sort of people who accept your argument who are proposing this gay bar. They recognise that the Government has no right to do anything to block this, and that they have no legal right to stop it as private citizens. But they also recognise that they can use other legal means to at least try to dissuade the owners from building this mosque. Most of all they recognise the double standards being applied, which is why they came up with this delicious idea in the first place.

Previous to this I’d heard of getting unions to refuse to work on the construction, or economic protests – but I suppose that such could be cast as yet more examples of bullying intolerance. The fun of this idea is that it shows – in the clearest possible light – not just the weasel words of the people behind the mosque, but the weasel words of those who have called for peace, love and understanding over the last few weeks.

And that’s the real lesson to take away here – that you and numerous others not only don’t really get the point but you actually get angry at the people who have the temerity to make it. You are unhappy with a private, smart-ass protest such as this in a way that you’re not with the original mosque proposal. The gay-bar backers are simply demanding that the same standards of moderation, understanding, and dialog be applied to their proposal by people who are demanding it for the mosque builders.

When New Yorkers and others who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks express their hurt and anger, they’re effectively told by people like you to get over it, suck it up and get with the tolerant sensitivity program – not to mention the even loftier calls to support constitutional principles.

By contrast, when the Muslim backers of the mosque express their hurt and anger at the insensitivity of Americans who might build a gay bar next to it they’re told by people like you that they don’t have to just suck it up and get with the constitution or the diversity of America. On the contrary they’re given the message that they have special rights and that their hurts will be taken away – and since that can’t be done via the constitution it will be done by ostracising their opponents as intolerant bigots. That’s the next layer of this piece of fun, to see what happens to the voices of such ostracisers when the opposition takes the form of a gay bar, a scene not usually associated with intolerant bigots.

The mosque proposal is – like the burqa demands – a piece of political and cultural symbolism. But so is the gay bar proposal. Both may be serious. Both may be asking Americans to take a stand for the rights of “victim” groups. Both may actually be playing with the emotions of real victims. Both may be a piss-take.

But whatever they are, both these proposals are a test – not of the constitution or of the backers of the mosque or the gay bar – but of you.
tom hunter (1,080) Says:

August 12th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

The analogy isn’t right though …

No, the analogy isn’t right, but not for the reasons stated.

A more accurate analogy would have the governments of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany opening Emperor Hirohito Academies and Ein Volk High Schools in cities across Europe and America in the 1930’s, not to mention St Adolf’s Church.

Or perhaps having the Japanese obtain the negotiated end to the war in 1942 as they had planned, retaining their Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere – and then planting a Shinto shrine in Pearl Harbour around 1946 once emotions had cooled.

The reason nobody gets upset about Japanese or German Cultural Centres nowadays is that they each represent a very different people, culture and polity. The one that represented them 60 years ago was stopped and then destroyed – militarily, politically, ideologically. The beliefs might still have gone on beating in the hearts of millions but there was nothing to give them effect, and with the passing of generations that too has almost gone.

That’s not the case with Islam.

…– bombing Pearl Harbour was an official act of the country of Japan – so all Japanese were implicitly responsible.

9/11 was the work of about 100 psychopaths – the other 1.5 billion muslims had nothing to do with it.

The bombing of Pearl Harbour was an official act of a quasi-facist, militaristic, imperial government whose people had little say in the matter as a result of the very close attentions of the Kempeitai.

By contrast, on the first anniversary of the London Tube bombings the Times of London commissioned a poll of British Muslims. Some of the findings:
• 16 percent say that while the attacks may have been wrong, the cause was right
• 7 percent agree that suicide attacks on civilians in Britain can be justified in some circumstances, rising to 16 percent for a military target.

There are one million Muslims in London, officially, half of them under the age of 30. If 7 percent think suicide attacks on civilians are justified, that’s 70,000 potential supporters in Britains capital. Most of them will probably never be able to bring themselves to pull off such an act. But only nineteen men were actually needed for 9/11, and from a group of 70,000 I’d say those are good odds.

I also object to this standard, pathetic effort by Western secularists to dismiss such people as “psychopaths” because it’s the usual effort to hand-wavingly dismiss such things as some sort of rare condition, possibly one that can be medically treated. One could argue strongly that Stalin, Hitler, Beria and Himmler were psychopaths but to no purpose in actually opposing them. Within the context of their worlds they were cunning and entirely rational – as were the planners and executors of 9/11 and numerous other terrorist attacks, and the larger groups who support them. It’s actually quite an act of bigotry to assume that they were psychopaths: they were humans beings performing great acts of evil by choice in pursuit of vision that may seem silly to you but which is entirely real to them and millions of others.

In any case, a large majority of Western Muslims support almost all the strategic goals of the Islamist terrorists. According to another poll, over 60 percent of British Muslims want to live under sharia in Britain – that’s quite a basis for rationalising attacks. It also tells me that the two groups merely disagree on the means.

So yeah, it may be hard for the victims’ families to be reminded of 9/11 by seeing a mosque, but they’re visiting the site of the attack so presumably being reminded is not actually a problem.

Really? You are this obtuse? What those families will be reminded of, on every visit, will be the fact that sitting there is a place that worships the very religion in whose names their loved ones were killed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

An Israeli perspective

Benjamin Kerstein

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Socialism, = economic, epistemological moral

Monty pelerins world

4. John Cooper says:
August 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm
Mr. Pelerin– It was a great article but I believe you missed a perfect opportunity to improve it. (Perhaps you were restricted to a certain number of words?) You explained how Hayek attacked socialism on economic grounds. You explained how von Mises attacked socialism on epistemological grounds. That would have been the perfect spot to include Ayn Rand’s attack on socialism on *moral* grounds – the real Achilles heel of socialism. I would have included something like:

“Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may disposed of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.”

…or perhaps:

“Whoever claims the “right” to “redistribute” the wealth produced by others is claiming the “right” to treat human beings as chattel.”

…or even:

“When one observes the nightmare of the desperate efforts made by hundreds of thousands of people struggling to escape from the socialized countries of Europe, to escape over barbed-wire fences, under machine-gun-fire –one can no longer believe that socialism, in any of its forms, is motivated by benevolence and the desire to achieve men’s welfare. No man of authentic benevolence could evade or ignore so great a horror on so vast a scale.”



Monday, August 2, 2010

4 ways of World Economics

kaya (877) Says: From Kiwiblog comment in general debate

August 2nd, 2010 at 8:52 am
I have to admit to being a pessimist when it comes to the global economic outlook, expecting a total implosion some time relatively soon. Anyone interested in the subject might enjoy this analysis by Bill Bonner. Basically we finish up the same as Japan, no total meltdown but 20 years of nothingness.

“What does an economist think…when he adjourns to the local bar…or is hauled away to the asylum? In the dead of night or the quiet of a confessional, does he laugh sourly at having fooled most of the people most of the time? Or does he curse his trade and feel like hanging himself?

The thing economists said was nearly impossible actually happened last week. Yields on 2-year US debt hit a record low just as the Treasury prepares for another record-setting deficit. The supply of Treasury debt and the demand for it hit new highs – together. Stranger things have happened. But the strangeness of this event has caused a furor loquendi amongst economists. Usually, there are only two major ways of misunderstanding current events. Now there are at least four of them.

Party economists take the party line; whenever the party flags, get out more gin. Now, they say the recovery is proceeding, thanks to adroit demand management. Unsurprisingly, since they are the authorities, they claim that record low Treasury yields mean investors have confidence in the authorities. Deficits don’t matter, they add.

Another group – the Paul Krugman, Martin Wolf, Joseph Stiglitz wing of the neo-Keynesian faction – fear the recovery may stall, as it did in America in the ’30s and Japan in the ’90s. They say deficits do matter; they wish there were more of them. Low bond yields are cheap gin to them.

In opposition is a large group of “inflationistas.” (Marc Faber, Jim Rogers…). They believe the authorities have already added too much monetary juice. And now they’re afraid the feds will run bigger deficits and add even more monetary inflation. Along with tightened supplies and demand pressure from the emerging markets, this will cause consumer prices to rise more than expected. The dollar and bonds will be crushed.

A small group of ‘hardcore deflationists,’ meanwhile, believes falling yields prove the economy is sinking into a deep hole of debt destruction and depression. (Robert Prechter, Gary Shilling) These Jeremiahs expect the main US stock index – the Dow – to lose 95% of its value and the bond market to continue to rise.

Yet another school of thought confines itself to this Daily Reckoning. It acknowledges that nobody knows anything, but it doesn’t mind taking a guess. Herewith is its view, beginning with a critique of its opponents. Fair-minded reader, you be the judge.

Mainstream opinion is contradicted by the facts. Fewer people are employed today in the US than when the stimulus program began. Sales are down. Growth is falling. Credit is contracting. Even hairstylists and cab drivers know something is wrong.

As for the ‘inflationistas’ view, it makes sense. The feds add money. Prices should rise. But in Europe and America, the rate of consumer price inflation is generally ebbing. That’s what low bond yields are really telling us; they signal deflation, not inflation. Maybe the inflationistas will be proven right, eventually. But for the moment, prices in the developed world are going down; they should remain weak until this phase of debt reduction is largely complete.

Meanwhile, ‘hard-core’ deflationists could be right too. A big credit expansion typically gives way to a big credit contraction. The past is not prologue, it is an account payable. Now it’s due. But there’s room for negotiation. If the ‘hard-core deflationists’ are right, credit will contract back to ’70s levels and asset prices will correct as much. But a lot has happened since the Carter era. There’s much more demand, for example, coming from all over the world. China is now a bigger energy consumer than the US, and a bigger auto buyer too. Demand for just about everything is growing. This new demand is bound to boost prices.

The supply side, too, puts a brake on deflation. The easy, cheap oil has already been pumped. Other resources – including food and water – require huge new capital investments before supplies will increase. Domestic inflation rates in China and India are already increasing. It’s just a matter of time before the exporters put inflation in a shipping container and send it west.

But we don’t need to rely purely on guesswork. We have an example right in front of us – Japan. The island has been de-leveraging its private sector since 1990 – complete with ultra-low bond yields. Consumer prices fell. Between real estate and stocks, investors lost an amount equal to three years’ total output.

Economists misunderstood it completely and gave consistently bad advice. And the authorities took the advice and squandered a whole generation’s savings. But the world did not come to an end. Japan de-leveraged while the rest of the world went on a buying spree. Now, the entire developed world de-leverages, while the emerging world continues to shop.

Nobody knows anything. But readers should expect a long, soft correction just the same.”

Jimbob (22) Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 9:24 am
Kaya: The elephant in the room is DEBT. The USA is 52 trillion in the hole, that is one big hole. The stimulus by the Government in the US is like trying to fill lake Taupo with a garden hose. Deflation is happening and there will be a scramble to grab US dollars to pay off debt, because most of the debt in the World is in US dollars. So for now the US dollar will be king, but when the correction in asset prices is over, inflation WILL happen and the US bond market and the US dollar will be toast. Save your pennies until inflation hits and make yourself a nice pension.

KiwiGreg (1,351) Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 9:28 am
“The USA is 52 trillion in the hole, that is one big hole.”

You just like to make up numbers.

Fred (176) Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 10:14 am

“Basically we finish up the same as Japan, no total meltdown but 20 years of nothingness.”

I think that there are differences with Japan. Basically the Japanese real economy carried on working exporting stuff that people need carrying the dead weight of the zombie banks on their backs. If by “we” you mean us or the US (not much difference really) the same doesn’t apply, they are no longer exporters. There’s a video on this site by Michael Hudson and he basically explained the closing of the gold window was cause by French banks accumulating a lot of US $ as a result of the Vietnam war – can’t find the video but it’s there somewhere – French banks were operating in Indochina. Since then I guess US$ have been quietly accumulating as reserves everywhere which isn’t a problem because it’s always good to have them to settle trade. At some point the US$ fails the “store of value” test. That could be some time yet.
BlueDevil (71) Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 10:16 am
‘You just like to make up numbers.’

No JimBob is correct. USA Fed, State, Business & personal debt is $54 Trillion

There is also unfunded liabilities of $109T for Pensions and Medicare.
KiwiGreg (1,352) Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 10:24 am
@ bluedevil and they have no assets?
BlueDevil (71) Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 10:54 am
Follow the link
Assets equal 73.5T so debt equals around 75% of assets.