Thursday, August 21, 2014
The problem with Islam is that it sees itself as the final revelation that replaces and thereby supersedes the monotheistic understandings of earlier theologies (Judaism and Christianity). While Christianity went through a similar phase during the dark, medieval and early renaissance periods this initiative lost steam with the passage of the reformation, enlightenment and nationalistic phases that characterized western history. The Religious Wars, the French Revolution and Germany’s Kulturkampf negated clerical zeal replacing it temporarily with excessive nationalism and destructive socialisms that culminated in the two world wars. However it also allowed as well in the long term for the necessary growth of liberal democracy and free markets that have guaranteed the standard of living and openness to debate that we enjoy today. Islam in a sense remained frozen in time, wedded to an ideology grounded in medieval simplicity, it essentially escaped the age of reason and now struggles as an unwanted anachronism in the modern world. Unlike Judaism and Christianity, which have opened themselves up to critical intellectual interpretation, Islam continues to resist this trend. While there are a select few who have tried with an honesty to breach this barrier, the bulk of the discourse and certainly its mainstream voice is dominated by an orthodoxy not far removed from the expansionist belief that characterized Islam’s rapid ascendancy in the latter part of the first millennium. However as a belief system, Islam does bring in some positive attributes from Judaism and Christianity. It incorporated into its ethos charity and prayer both of which have origins in the Torah and it does champion equality before God. Where I think Islam deviates most from the other two religions is in its central core teaching of submission. In fact the word Islam means submission. This is a dangerous tenant, in that it discourages questioning of God, the necessary wrestling with the higher power that Abraham, Jacob and Moses exemplified. It is in this wrestling that we most exercise our free will, the philosophical notion that makes us human. The first great initiative in a real Islamic revolution would be to reject the submission notion, a necessary step towards clear thought and enlightenment.
The spread of Islamofascism will not abate so long as the world keeps pandering to the duplicitous oil regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Iran. Arabists and their ilk in the US state department have seen to it that this trend will continue and certainly have allies on Capitol Hill and the White House.The Keystone pipeline and some of the Fracking initiatives will reduce foreign oil dependency, that seem to be at the root of this overt blind spot but it is imperative that energy alternatives are looked at more comprehensively. Both Democrats and Republicans have let America down by their partisan politics in this regard. What is needed is urgent investment in super capacitors, a return to the hard science and a de-emphasis on the global warming hysteria that has poisoned debate and detracted from the here and now of practical solutions.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
One must be cautioned into believing that support for Israel is strictly a right/left issue. In the US it is convenient to break down into such a dichotomy that is expressed in the Republican/Democrat divide and there is a risk that support for Israel should be split along such a meridian. The survival of Israel as the only true democratic country in the middle east transcends such classification and hinges on a moral clarity that is expressed by members of each party and opposed by others. Those eager to champion the Republicans as bearers of the positive torch should note that many in the GOP fold viz. Eisenhower, Reagan, and Bush Sr had mixed records with respect to Israel while Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton stood out from the crowd. Granted Obama appears to be lukewarm on the issue but then Dubya was quicker to criticize Israel on the Jenin raids than Obama has been in Gaza. While there are Democrat congressmen who have been stood out with their rhetoric against Israel, Dennis Kucinich and Keith Ellinson come to mind, the Republicans have the equally vile Darrel Issa and Walter Jones to bring to this context.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The internet is awash with a cacophony of Jews who feel that they need to add to the anti-semitism of the world by spewing venom against Israel. One of the top offenders has to be the loathsome Philip Weiss, who never has a kind word to say about Israel but is full of cheer for Israel's enemies. At his cesspool of a site, Mondoweiss, Weiss trumps his bile to the approval of rabid israel haters who can barely contain their enthusiasm when Jews are killed. While Weiss likes to portray himself as an independent voice on the Middle East (something the 'critical thinkers' at Salon Ragazine have fallen for), the reality is that the only phenomenon that Weiss' one sided analysis is not dependent on is REASON. He presents an orgy of misconceptions and skewed analysis that does nothing to promote understanding and must take credit like other useful idiots such as Max Blumenthal, Richard Silverstein and Noam Chomsky for making anti-semitism acceptable again. Well done Philip...You have truely earned your spurs as a modern day Kapo.
Posted by Worldoreason at 1:21 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2014
The World Cup has had more than its fair share of twists and turns but the final features two teams whose odds of reaching the ultimate stage were high. As much as I would like Messi to shine, and earn the accolades that he deserves, the Germans seem the more likely team to walk away with the trophy. For one the Europeans are strong in every position and have an attacking zest that arises from their midfield which has proved unstoppable. While the Argentinians are better defensively than they were four years ago they are still vulnerable to a strong attack and are often too reliant on Messi for creativity up front. I am predicting a German win but we will have to wait and see.
Posted by Worldoreason at 2:16 PM
Saturday, July 05, 2014
There is a definite evil, a psychological darkness, that runs through the collective consciousness of Palestinian Society.The abduction and subsequent execution of the three Israeli teens represents a depravity that is so cold in its deliberation that it can only be described as sickening. The Itamar massacre in March of 2011 was another example of such a psycopathy as were the numerous suicide bombings directed at civilian targets throughout the last decade. As much as I would like to see a peaceful resolution to this crisis I am extremely pessimistic about such an outcome. The Palestinians seem to be driven by hatred of Jews, which seems to be in grained in their psyche from a young age. The killings are a manifestation of this cradle-to-grave loathing that seems to be impermeable to reason and despite the smokescreen of diplomacy lurks behind the actions of even the so-called 'moderates'.
I hit 7 out of 8 on the Round of 16 Projections (I erred on the Costa Rica Result) but I am predicting that both Argentina and the Netherlands will win today. It looks as though Neymar will be out for the rest of the tournament but I can still see Brazil reaching the Final. Brazil v Argentina next Sunday...if that is the case I will be cheering for the latter. It would be incredible to see Messi lift a World Cup Trophy to re-confirm his status as the Greatest Player in the History of the Game.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Round of 16 looms huge on the World Cup stage. In the pool that I am entered in I predicted that a Suarez-less Uruguay would come up short against Colombia as the brilliance of James Rodriguez continues to astound and so it was to be.The Golden Boot battle will continue to electrify the footer world with Messi, Robben, van Persie and Neymar solidly placed in the mix as well. Brazil were disappointing and I really expected them to defeat the Chileans in regular time. In fact it was Chile that was unlucky not to win after the power shot from Mauricio Pinilla rattled the cross bar. Brazil will really have to up it if they hope to beat Colombia in the quarters. Neymar had a mediocre game and Hulk was clearly their best offensive threat. For the rest of the round I believe that the Dutch will beat Mexico, Greece should see off Costa Rica, Argentina will beat Switzerland, Belgium will end the run of the US, Germany will send Algeria packing and the French will bid adieu to Nigeria.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
It appears that ISIS is being funded by sources in the Gulf States. The US State Department has been a bit hush-hush on the issue as it historically is loathe to rock the boat with the Saudis or Qataris (money talks after all). Yet the tentacles of Riyadh and Doha are not too far away. Duplicity is a key theme in Middle Eastern Politics and the Saudis/Qataris while pretending to be American 'Allies' (remember the Scorpion on the back of the frog tale) are at the same time using ISIS as an extended force to weaken Iranian influence in both Syria and Iraq. The US should back up Baghdad with arms support (not troops) if only to stave off further ISIS success. At the same time it should pressure the Saudis to come clean about their actions. The first plan of action may yet see the light of day, the latter seems unlikely.
As much as I admire Luis Suarez's goalscoring skills (he surely is one of the top five players in the world today) his biting behaviour in the otherwise dull Uruguay v Italy game must be wholeheartedly condemnded. This is the third time in his career that Suarez has been guilty of such stupidity and I hope that Liverpool (the club I support) will see fit to sell him to either Real Madrid or Barcelona. The Reds could do with the cash, especially if it is sweetened by a pot that may include Karim Benzema or Alexis Sanchez. Liverpool will also benefit by ridding themselves of the headache that characterizes the actions of this manboy and the added money could be well spent by investing in a plethora of young stars viz. Lallana, Shaw et al.