9/11

15 Years After 9/11, Will the West Shut Itself Down To Freedom Like the Arab World Has?

The 2016 election is ultimately a fight between a future based on freedom and a bunker mentality in trade, culture, and immigration.

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Reason.com

Over at FoxNews.com, the ambassador from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, makes a bold pronouncement that "it is Arabs who have the most at stake" in the fight against Islamic jihad and that the Arab world, which supplied all of the 9/11 hijackers, needs to create a more-viable future for its inhabitants.

In the UAE, we are advancing moderation in both our schools and places of worship. Our education system is built to reinforce Islam's true values based on dialogue, tolerance, moderation, and peace. And in our mosques, we are modernizing the way Islam is taught, developing new training programs for imams and updating Koranic commentaries.

We also recognize the vital importance of skills training and job opportunities for youth at home and across the region to encourage their entrance into the workforce rather than let them fall prey to terrorist recruitment.

Fifteen years after 9/11, the long war against extremism continues. It is now a global fight against a borderless plague. While every country is at risk, today it is Arabs who have the most at stake. And it is Arabs who must lead in this fight for tolerance and humanity, with force and with ideas, where we pray and where we live, online, in the classroom and on the battlefield.

Whole piece here.

This is all well and good but it also runs up against the hard limit of how Arab governments typically rule their countries: with an iron hand. Hardly the worst of the bunch, UAE still ranks as "not free" by Freedom House and most other international watchdogs. Years after the Arab Spring, things are generally bad all over the region and unlikely to change anytime soon. How can you advance the sort of freedom and dynamism that blunts the allure of jihad while constantly cracking down on all sorts of expressive activities ranging from artistic freedom to press freedom to political freedom? The short answer is that you can't.

Yes, the Arab world has the most at stake when it comes to Islamic terrorism. The rest of the world, particularly the developed world, has in many important ways already learned to live with it (not always well, as in the case of incursions on civil liberties). Long before 9/11, the Arab world was in many ways cut off from modernity and any sense of future. In terms of trade and culture, it was and remains relatively cut off from the world (just 330 books are translated annually from English into Arabic).

Until that changes, very little else can change, and there are ultimately very few things the "West" can do. Certainly military occupation has come a cropper in terms of liberalizing politics in the region. If military intervention isn't the answer—and the past 15 years say No! in thunder—trade, diplomacy, and real cultural exchange (that is, vulgar pop culture, not state-sponsored piano recitals and the like) provides a path forward. The developed world needs to be confident in our broadly libertarian values and ways of life, not to apologize for or close ourselves off due to fear of a terrorism that is in no way an existential threat to "our way of life." We should defend ourselves forcefully and unapologetically but to the extent that both the Democratic and Republican parties push protectionism, apocalypticism, and repression in terms of expressive freedom and they both want to double down on failed and continuing military interventions, well, we're hardly giving anyone a future worth building, much less defending. To that extent, it's good to hear Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and William Weld talk about opening up our country, to immigrants (who can be legally vetted), trade, and the sort of technological and personal freedoms that are the first, best answer to death cults of any sort.

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  1. So…Hillary represents freedom to you, Nick? Because closed borders is just the most important issue of our lifetime, apparently?

    1. Did you read the last paragraph?

      1. Yes. And it really didn’t follow from anything else he said. But let’s review what is presumably his thesis:
        “The 2016 election is ultimately a fight between a future based on freedom and a bunker mentality in trade, culture, and immigration.”

        If you view this as some legitimate three way race, you may have a point. But it isn’t. Johnson is scratching and fighting for 8-9% in the polls, and even then there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical of the notion that his voters by and large are worked up over any of the three things outlined by Nick. Most of the Never-Trumpers Johnson is relying on for support had no problem endorsing Romney in 2012 who had a pretty hardline immigration stance. Hillary just drifted to the left and basically disavowed free trade agreements. So outside the immigration aspect, the Dems sure as hell don’t represent those three things.

        It’s not clear it’s about those things for much of anyone besides Nick. The two major candidates don’t stand in neat opposition on these issues at all. Hell – Bernie found himself too close to the Republicans on immigration early in his candidacy for many leftwing pundits.

        More to the point, I’d argue that Nick’s argument is wrong on another level. Trump tilting the scales away from those three things is relatively minor long term. No fundamental shift in American policy necessarily results. No institutional change to government would occur.

      2. Over 90% of voters are going to be casting a ballot for Hillary or Trump.

        1. The Egyptians had a revolution then democratically voted for people who promised to institute Sharia Law. It turns out that quite a few people worldwide, apparently including over 90% here, don’t actually want liberty.

      3. Reading is for fags

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  2. Remember that Austrian presidential election where the right-wing candidate was ahead in the polls and won on election day, but the left-wing candidate was declared the winner after postal ballots were counted?

    The court-ordered redo of the election is now being delayed due to defective glue. Certainly not due to right-wing candidate now being even further ahead in the polls.

    1. Van Der Bellen is not independent; he’s a former leader of the far-left Green Party.

      1. Far-left green party.

        Now that’s some dark green shit!

  3. Islam is not compatible with a free and open society . There is not a critical look or investigations in to it’s history,founding,the Koran or their ‘prophet’ in the Islamic world. The Bible and Jewish texts have been examined are are still being looked at through historical records and time lines.Islam is not just a religion,but,a economic and political system. It’s 14 century thinking.

    1. Islam is not compatible with a free and open society .

      I am inclined to agree.

      The kicker, see, is that I have not been able to find* a dogma or fundamentalist mindset which wouldn’t work in place of Islam just as well. This is a complication when it comes to the issue of what, precisely, we ought to do about that which is not compatible with a free and open society. Telling people they can’t do that which is incompatible with a free and open society is, itself, incompatible with a free and open society. And that the concept can be applied to ever so many bugbears of the bureaucratic mind’s creation means Islam today, climate deniers tomorrow. And then, the deluge.

      Bah. I’m beginning to think there is no solution to these complications, as solution is generally defined. Except that perhaps the fucking Beatles actually got one right.

      * To be taken as proof I have not found one, not that such does not exist.

      1. “… the issue of what, precisely, we ought to do about that which is not compatible with a free and open society.”

        Therein lies the rub.

        After some degree of barbarism is reached the solution is unpleasantly obvious. ISIS must be killed. Da’esh, or whatever similar word you want to apply is the Zoroastrian or Mithraic form of ‘devils’, and the name is richly deserved. Their version of devil is similar but not quite like ours. Their devils do nothing but evil and in the most depraved manner possible. This is why you see ISIS burning people alive, skinning and eating children, etc. They are trying to live up to the name. This lot must be exterminated.

        As for the rest, I don’t have a good solution. Maybe, like in all the rest of human history, we just have to stumble generally in the right direction. A slow, sloppy process.

        1. ‘”… the issue of what, precisely, we ought to do about that which is not compatible with a free and open society.”

          ‘Therein lies the rub.’

          Not at all. Free trade would destroy islam, just as it would any authoritarian system, if one had a defensible enclave from which to trade freely and propagate the ideology of freedom. USA could be that enclave, but it doing it’s best not to do. Nothing more is needed. Jihad has only continued into modern times because of government interference in free trade. Defensible of course demands defense from invasion, which is best accomplished by rigorous defense of property by its owners. If it weren’t for state interference in property, mujahid invasion would not be possible.

      2. Fundamentalist Jainism doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.

        “I have to be so pacifist that I can’t even eat potatoes because they damage organisms in the soil when pulled out.”

        1. Cmon, “No onions or garlic, they inflame the spirit”, can’t get much more pacile.

        2. I used to feel bad about being a Hindu and still loving any steak or burger I came across. Tried being a vegan for a couple of weeks in my freshman year at Rutgers. Then I learned about the Jains.

          So respectful of life that they sweep the ground in front of them to keep the insects from being stepped on? Screw that, all animals are getting the same treatment from me — you’re safe until I’m hungry. I’ll eat that bad karma.

        3. I studied all major religions and some minor to some depth. There is nothing remotely like islam in any of them. It’s a totalitarian playbook, the ideal that the stalinists were going for but never acheived. It’s so unlike every other religion, I’m inclined to consider it to be a member of a different category. It’s much more akin to the philosophy of totalitarian political movements than to any religious text.

      3. You’re conflating Islam with fundamentalism. They’re not entirely the same thing. While Islam has fundamentalists; they are, like all fundamentalists, a small minority. They magnify their perception of power by generally being rude, closed-minded, and in extreme cases violent. What we need to do is flood the Islamic world with translations of our best philosophers and link the best of Islamic theological thought to it like the Enlightenment philosophers did with Christianity. The problem is not insurmountable. Our main issue is that we have turned away from the philosophy of our fathers and embraced socialist thought. Until we return to a correct philosophy we won’t have much of a chance of helping the rest of the world.

        1. What we need to do is flood the Islamic world with translations of our best philosophers and link the best of Islamic theological thought to it like the Enlightenment philosophers did with Christianity.

          I think you’re approaching this backwards. What allowed the Enlightenment was Christianity. If it weren’t for the concept of Imago Dei and its support in the New Testament, equality of man wouldn’t have existed as a core tenet of the Enlightenment.

          (“Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him? a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.” – Col. 3)

          Can we point to similar bases in the Koran for the Enlightenment? I’m certainly not knowledgeable about it to answer that question, but my inclination is to say that it probably doesn’t have those bases.

        2. Also, Xtianity propagated the law of identity and cause and effect, which are explicitly denied by Islam. You can’t have Reason without these two basic principles. Some kind of logic may be possible, but I can’t figure how one would do it. It obliterates the reality principle.

        3. Man, if only somebody had thought of translating Enlightenment philosophy to Arabic at some point during the last 250 years. Now that we know the solution though, it should be easy peasy. Thanks Imperator!

    2. Neither was Christianity once upon a time. We seem to have moved passed the time of burning heretics at the stake. Islam can do the same thing. What is needed is an Enlightenment in Islam. They need a Spinoza to deconstruct their narratives and place them on the path to reason.

  4. The rest of the world, particularly the developed world, has in many important ways already learned to live with it ….

    Just like the developed world learned to live with stuff like lynching negroes, smallpox, divine right of kings and contaminated Thames drinking water?

    Jaysus wept.

    1. Nick is blissfully unaware of the rise of the anti-immigration right, apparently. My post above is not about Nick’s cosmo-ness as much as his argument is stupid. But isn’t an appeal to what the rest of the ‘developed’ world supposedly does isn’t just the most cosmo-ish thing you can do?

      1. I just gagged at the suggestion that learning to put up with terrorism is any sort of sane option for free people. A world that puts up with terrorism isn’t going to stay developed very long.

        1. You put up with it until you figure out what you can do about it, same as with lynchings, smallpox, divine kings, & contaminated water. Why can’t you just think of it as one more problem like those, which will persist for some time & eventually be solved?

          1. Because all I see from the media, academia, government and the bien pensants is denial that there is a real problem, or that we really shouldn’t try to do anything about it because racism, or we’ll do something someday.

            1. Seriously? I see terrorism played up bigger than it is.

              1. Ask the French, Belgians, Moroccans and Nigerians, for starters, if they agree with you.

        2. In the sense that after you have a terrorist attack you don’t freak the hell out and start passing legislation for the Patriot Act and other surveillance issues, he’s right.

          In the sense that you don’t actually try to prevent these actions by restricting access to the polity of those people you believe to be a threat, he’s wrong.

      2. Gillespie is the developer of the ‘Libertarian Moment’. I prefer to think he’s just a stubborn optimist who refuses to acknowledge any social or cultural change that might indicate an increasingly anti-freedom stance in the general population. It’s more kind to think than he’s an idiot.

      3. Learning to live with it is about the same as learning to live with crime. The nature of the system is such that violence is possible. There’s nothing one can do to prevent it from happening. But learning to live with it means practicing a method of responsiveness to such transgressions that alleviates the problem. Of course, I see progressives saying this and clearly meaning not learning to live with it but becoming accustomed to being a hapless victim with no recourse if someone victimises him.

  5. (just 330 books are translated annually from English into Arabic).

    And they’re all copies of the King James Koran.

    1. I hear sales of burqa wearing Veronica and Betty issues Archie comics, though, are skyrocketing!

  6. The 2016 election is ultimately a fight between a future based on freedom and a bunker mentality in trade, culture, and immigration.

    I suppose the “bunker mentality” is meant as a reference to The Don. But surely you can’t be using “Freedom” in reference to The Wicked Witch of the Midwest. Who is the “freedom” candidate, again?

  7. I’ll be in my Bunk(er)

  8. So Hillary apparently fainted today at a 9/11 memorial.

    Here’s how the script is going to play out:

    Her people are going to deny that anything happened. Claim that she was sad about 9/11 or something stupid.

    She probably has a minor medical condition. She is going to lie about it. Repeatedly.

    Several weeks later, she’ll be caught lying. What difference does it make?

    Voters will be mad.

    1. Anybody can stumble going from a raised curb to their van, you sexist shitlord.

      1. I lose my shoes all the time.

        1. In all likelihood, it won’t even be reported much what with all of the memorials going on.

          And when Trump brings it up, since apparently he was standing very near to her when it all went down, the media will vilify him for making political hay out of a national tragedy like 9/11.

        2. Oh, SHIT!

          Isn’t there a prophesy about someone wearing only one shoe, and being the new king queen?

        3. frickin slippers, ammirite people. just me, eh, nm.

    2. It’s almost noon and Drudge hasn’t picked up on this one yet. Hope he isn’t dead or anything.

      1. He doesn’t work on Sundays, usually. But I would think that he’d at least be near the computer on the anniversary of 9/11.

        1. Here’s the video

          Certainly doesn’t look like “just a stumble”

    3. I so hope someone grabbed that shoe. That way when the Clintons start lying about this, they can come forward with it and have it DNA confirmed to be hers.

      How cool would it be to end up with a Total Scandal Wardrobe? They have the Monica Dress and now the 9/11 Shoe

    4. Politico says she was just overheated* and you’re all a bunch of awful people

      (*even though its a balmy 80 degrees this AM in lower manhattan)

      Also, everyone needs a break sometime! You people are awful. And who took her shoe?! She’s going to have Huma talk to someone about this. When she wins the presidency she won’t have to do this stuff anymore and have people do it for her. She has put up with a lot and deserves a break.

      1. Yeah, I am not seeing how being overheated after just 90 minutes in some moderate weather speaks to your ability to fill the office.

        Of course, maybe this is a misunderstanding? Maybe her spokesman said Hillary is Hawt and Fox wrote overheated instead?

        1. I am not seeing how being overheated after just 90 minutes in some moderate weather speaks to your ability to fill the office.

          No one is seeing it and people who see it are awful. Everyone gets tired sometimes. So what if she wants to take a rest? I bet Donald takes rests all the time. I bet Donald does drugs too! You can’t trust his people. Hillary is super qualified and who needs to stand up in the sun all day to do their job anyway? She has people to do that for her. Once she wins she’ll make sure all these awful journalists are fired and no one will say horrible things like this anymore.

          1. who needs to stand up in the sun all day to do their job anyway

            I mean, hello, it’s the White House. Albedo, how the fuck do they work, ammiritie?!

          2. Wonder who will be the first to blame global warming? Salon? Nyt?

            1. This “overheated” nonsense is just sexist patronizing to describe Hillary being “overcome with strong emotion”, as in moved to tears, by the situation. And this just proves how hateful and sexist our media are.

              Trump would leap all over the idea of a woman crying as a sign of weakness. Trump would defend tears by a man as a sign of caring, which would be typical of his double standards and lack of respect for women. This even humanizes Hillary and shows how special and beautiful she is.

          3. What I’m worried about is that once she wins, she will begin this type of therapy to “heal” herself.

      2. Wife showed me the cell phone video that just broke. Makes the written account look understated. Move over Allepo, this is today’s story…

          1. Whoa. That looks much worse than the written account.

            1. Election 2016: YCMTSU

            2. Looks like she was dancing! FAKE SKANDUL!!!

          2. WTF happened there? She went DOWN and it looks like they were ready for it

            1. Who wait a minute. I think we are very lucky Bill wasn’t there too.

              If she really went DOWN, and he had been there, the Secret Service would have had another fainter on their hands.

            2. Well, duh, her battery light started blinking 5 mins prior

              1. Good call!

            3. It looks like she was already leaning back against the bollard with one of her aides holding her while they waited for the van.

          3. Hillary was being abducted! Summon the flying monkeys,the Queen must be saved.

            1. It may not have been Hillary at all. It moved much more like a Real Doll set free.

        1. I wish I was the beneficiary, or lawyer, of the person who took that video.

        2. You can hear her “huuuuph” or something. I’ll convert to Christianity if she dies. You listening God?

      3. Yep, it’s very pleasant weather today – I actually opened my windows for the first time in a week.

    5. I saw her press conference the other day that consisted of a short speech and 3 planted questions.
      She spoke so slowly and quietly that she was either drugged up or close to death.
      I guess after today she’ll be put into hiding for another week.

    6. With the caveat that I haven’t seen a WHOLE lot of people faint, that doesn’t look like a typical faint to me. Instead of simply slumping over/to the ground, there was some jerking going on. And no, that’s not a euphemism.

      1. well I got a neuropathology that confuxors me quite regularly with similar jerky disconcerted movements and slowed reflexes. the medical sign there is called ataxia. the only things that bring it on that severely without a gradual onset over time (that would have been unconcealable before it got to this point) are drugs (or withdrawal from certain drugs) or a few really severe medical problems. the chain between the motor and proprioceptive systems and the cerebellum is getting dicked up by something. it’s a big deal.

      2. I do have a degree in neuropsychopharmacology as well, if that means dick, which it doesn’t, except that the study demands some pretty intimate knowledge of neuroanatomy. Simply obtaining the title, however, doesn’t actually require that one indulge the demands of the actual study. I’ve disassembled a lot of heads at any rate.

  9. Can people like Nick ever just admit that Islam in general, and the violent strains of it the ME is exporting specifically, are not compatible with liberal western culture? A core pillar of their way of life* is the subjugation of all females. A second is the subjugation, socially and economically, of anybody that does not adhere to their God and worship the way they are ordered to. A third is to spread their beliefs by way of conquest.

    From the end of WW2 until it’s fall, the Soviet Union and communism were accurately described so free people never fell prey to the idiocy. Why can’t the same be done about a barbaric society that has no desire whatsoever to coexist with anybody else?

    *not just their religion, but rather their entire social and political way of life

    1. Islam and freedom do not mix. Now,I need to get all my pizza toppings ready and go to the carry out for some Heineken for the Browns game. Have a good day to you and yours y’all.

      1. go to the carry out

        This reminds me of the pop vs soda debate. What do,different parts of the country call a “carry out” or a “convenience store” or a “gas station” or the place you go to pick up a six pack or a Coke or a bag of chips when you need one?

        1. Mine is a deli, because they make a few sandwiches for the plumber next door. Most of the property consists of drink cases.

        2. Don’t you Texans have a habit of calling liquor stores, “party stores”?

          The correct terms in Minnesoda are:
          Convenience store
          Pop
          Grey Duck

          Bonus points: In Minnesoda a loan is something you get at a bank. No concept of using loan as a verb exists here. Instead we say “Borrow me some money so I can buy a beer.”

          1. I’m a transplant so I don’t ascribe to the “party store” moniker.

            But living here in Texas makes me miss one thing about California: walking to Walgreens to buy a bottle of.liquor at noon on a Sunday.

          2. I thought in Texas you buy your liquor in a drive thru

          3. Don’t you Texans have a habit of calling liquor stores, “party stores”?

            As a lifelong Texan, this is the first time I’ve heard the term. On the other hand, it might be something said in the northern half of the state – San Antonio is the farthest north I’ve lived here.

            1. My sample size were a few Texans who were in the same barracks as I at NAS Memphis. Could have been just them who did that.

            2. Nope. Not north Texas either. As a lifelong drunk north Texan, I would know.

            3. I’ve never heard of the term “party store,” but I’ve only been here 5 years. They call ’em liquor stores around me.

        3. The first time someone called a shopping cart a “buggy”, I admit to laughing more than was strictly necessary.

        4. Bodega or grocery store

          1. I just say “store”. But “deli” works too.

            “Bodega” seems outdated to me since they’re all run by middle easterners these days.

    2. Can people like Nick ever just admit that Islam in general, and the violent strains of it the ME is exporting specifically, are not compatible with liberal western culture?

      It seems people like Nick don’t think liberal western culture has any particular value. They’ve lived so long with its benefits that they’ve come to think it’s just “there” and will remain forever without attention. And so they turn their attention to stuff like pot, food trucks and Uber and forget about?even start disassembling?the cultural mechanisms that make the good life possible.

      1. Agreed. I’ve mostly concluded that libertarianism is a hot house flower. It can work for small, relatively self-sufficient and insular populations, but it doesn’t really scale universally. You might be able to have a libertarian Lichtenstein, but who needs a libertarian Detroit?

        1. who needs a libertarian Detroit?

          Yeah, socialist Detroit is working out so much better.

          1. Something, dichotomy, something.

            1. The only body with the sovereign power to impose a system of government on Detroit is Michigan, and that state is a constitutional republic. What system of government that Michigan could impose, exactly, is going to solve Detroit’s problems?

              1. Probably a fascist one. God only knows, left to it’s own devices, it ain’t doing so hot!

                1. Michigan cannot adopt a fascist government. The U.S. Constitution demands republicanism from the States and imposes fundamental restrictions on state power that would make mass executions and forced labor grounds for Federal invasion.

                  But no, please lecture me on the false dichotomy. I’m sure the rise of fascism is the best solution for Detroit. A little respect for private property would be a terrible thing. Best to start whipping people, instead.

              2. I dunno, maybe the system that works in, say, Winona, MN might work in Detroit if they wanted to give it a try.

                1. I doubt very much that Winona, MN is fascist (although I haven’t visited or lived there, so who knows?). But I would bet that it, like many small-medium towns across the country, has greater respect for personal autonomy and private property than the city of Detroit does. What is it exactly that you people think libertarianism means? It’s not “enact Nick Gillespie’s personal preferences as law”.

                  I have no doubt that most of Detroit’s problems are of its own voters’/government’s making (with some help from the Federal courts and Michigan state legislature). But libertarianism is an opinionated view of the role of government. “Do whatever the fuck you want, with the backing of a monopoly on force” is not libertarianism.

                  1. But I would bet that it, like many small-medium towns across the country, has greater respect for personal autonomy and private property than the city of Detroit does.

                    Pretty much yes. The root cause of Detroit’s problems is its government as tolerated by its citizens.

        2. Well, there is such a thing as industrial civilisation, which has its uses, obviously, and which is not entirely replaceable by smaller scale craps. The solution is not to have a capitalist nation with small libertarian enclaves, but rather a liberterian nation with small capitalist enclaves where folks can go who want to get into that kind of heavy industry. There, some measure of capitalism is needful, so long as it doesn’t veer too far into fascism, but nowhere is blatant totalitarianist system such as communism useful for anyone. Such a system would also be workable because people would have the option of leaving the industrial enclaves and entering into general free society at will, so if there was no profit in one, people would leave. So only those that didn’t get overbearingly repugnant would survive, only those who actually produced a useful product.

          1. Further, the inhabitants of the industrial centers wouldn’t have any particular say over life in general outside. No one would really, in a free society, since the rules of acceptable conduct are so bloody obvious there is no basis for legislation as it exists now. It may also be useful if some sort of privelege (such as permission to settle in a closed community whose inhabitants otherwise will not sell to outsiders) were conferred on folks who chose to go ahead and do a couple years of work in one of the industry camps. So far as a purely liberal society, I don’t see how it’s possible without a significant degradation of industrial civilisation. Certain endeavours just don’t lend themselves to a bunch of property owners all acting with total freedom; some sort of non-owner working class (as opposed to the owner working class, since they’re all working for a living) is necessary to acheive and maintain, my friends, industrial civilisation. But nothing like the collectivist totalitarian central planning yellow-belly fascist quadrupeds are doing now.

    3. I’m not religious at all, so I think I’m pretty neutral on the subject of religion. Which is why I can’t help but notice how the left, and the cosmos, extoll so much hate on Christians and Jews, yet bend over backwards to defend muslims.

      1. Quite easy. Christianity and Jew invariably lead to or give support to the basic principles of reason and the reality principle (Jew probably more consistently. With Xtian are many sect where it’s a bit obscure.). Islam totally denies it. So Islam destroys the ability of a person who accepts it to resist, since the basic tools necessary to question and to discern and imagine something better are annihilated. It’s the perfect religion for a totalitarian state. It share so many characters with communism that it’s startling. Obviously, they are not of common origin, but rather were just working toward same goal and so ended up going with similar method. Beyond that fundamental element, the destruction of logical inquiry, there is a ton of other things designed to mentally castrate everyone who can force himself into following it.

      2. Nota bene I have read a rather large amount of muslim religious texts, in English translation as a rule, though I will go back and confer with the Arabic when the English seem too outrageous to be right or when the English seems weird, rather like a lot of passages of the King James Bible where they heehawed around in all sorts of poetical euphemisms to say what was plain as day in the Hebrew. I’ve also read a lot of early Christian text, where reference to the original language is often a constant requirement for fuller understanding, and the early tradition, particularly the African and Syrian tradition, is really straight-forward, down to earth, and pretty objective. Mind-body dualism is uncommon and rarely treated as something other than a useful metaphor and freedom and non-violence are common themes. It would all be more sensible if it were built round the idea of property instead, but, obviously, that isn’t a big theme. Still, read account of some desert monks and you will see that no one escapes ownership, whether they see it as such or not. Later medi?val Latin tradition is much more variable and weird and flighty.

    4. Muslims represent a tiny percentage of the population so we haven’t heard much by way of incompatibility except from sporadic stories. They pretty much have to play by the legal and cultural rules or else they won’t advance.

      The real test would be if they hit the 10% (or thereabouts). I’m guessing, yes, incompatible. I can’t see how.

  10. Just a thought… I have lived on the Mexican border my entire life. My community is 80% Hispanic and as a white minority I had to learn at an early age to assimilate within the culture. The Mexican people are my neighbors, my friends, and my family. What I find frustrating about the immigration debate is the lack of dialogue regarding the Mexican “government”. How is it that we never discuss the corruption, oppression, and lack of humanity by the 1% that control Mexico? The people of Mexico have been shit on by their corrupt government for over a century and the United States treats them as some sort of equal? It would be refreshing to see someone within our government call out Mexico on their corrupt bullshit and actually make them suffer severe economic consequences for their behavior. One of the main barriers to a more open flow of people across our borders is the Mexican government and its lack of basic human rights. Can we please start calling out the Mexican government for being a horrific shit show that prevents the rest of North America from actually moving forward?

    1. Oh, man. What about China and the way they treat their people? We trade a lot more with them and their treatment of their citizens is a million times worse than Mexico’s.

      1. It’s almost as the American government doesn’t really give a shit how foreign governments treat their people at all, and reserves the right to be selectively outraged by nations when it is politically convenient to do so.

        1. I think they believe we can just import all of those people, and the problems associated with it, and they’ll tell their friends and family back home how free it is here and how great that is…except that almost never happens.

      2. It’s almost as if our government really identifies with corrupt statist governments consumed by elites and cronies. But then, that’s cynical. Maybe our government is just really gullible.

    2. We are the relief valve for the elite of Mexico. If there was not massive emigration from there they would have a revolution on their hands within a short time.

      1. This is an important point. Remittance money from the USA is a significant part of Mexico’s export earnings, coming back from their exported citizens.

        1. Abotut 25 billion per year, more than they get from oil revenue.

    3. If Mexico was less corrupt there would be far fewer immigration problems.

      1. If the US government weren’t so corrupt, you mean?

        1. No, I don’t mean that at all. Is speech your second language?

  11. No

  12. “How can you advance the sort of freedom and dynamism that blunts the allure of jihad while constantly cracking down on all sorts of expressive activities ranging from artistic freedom to press freedom to political freedom?”

    Yeah, two points I wish more people appreciated.

    1) Terrorism is a reaction to authoritarianism.

    Almost every terrorist group I can think of originated as a reaction to some form or authoritarianism:

    Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, Boko Haram, the Irish Republican Army, the Tamil Tigers, and, yes, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, too.

    I suspect the reason so many of my fellow libertarians are resistant to that idea fact is because it sounds so neoconservative.

    . . . but just because the neoconservatives were so wrong about so many things, doesn’t mean they were wrong about everything. Certainly, just because you’re wrong about the solution, doesn’t mean you’re wrong about the source of the problem.

    1. That’s true. People learn a method of organiz’n & operation to fight authoritarianism, then they apply it to other situations.

    2. I don’t think the FLQ or the green terrorists were a response to authoritarianism.

      1. FLQ killed almost, what, ten people?

        To the extent they were popular, wasn’t it to the extent that they were able to convince their fellow Quebecers that they were being oppressed?

        Eco-terrorism may be a little different, but animal rights people definitely use the language of oppression and liberation.

        Regardless, the movements I listed all originated in the midst of authoritarianism and repression. Some of them began as more peaceful movements that became radicalized as a result of oppression. The world works like that.

        Oppression breeds revolt. Absolute oppression breeds revolt absolutely.

    3. *Sigh*

      That is such an American view Ken. These terrorist organizations are not ‘reactions’ to authoritarianism. What you are seeing are a great many authoritarians fighting to scramble to the top of the heap, climbing over dead bodies to reach the peak.

      The Bolshevic revolution was not a reaction to the authoritarianism of the Czar. It was a war waged against the reigning authoritarian by an even worse authoritarian.

      1. Which of the organization that I listed above didn’t originate and become violent amidst some form of military occupation or authoritarianism?

        1. All of them.

        2. I remember years ago Jay Leno based a joke on a recent archaeological discovery. By examining some new site in what is now uninhabited desert they concluded that life in the middle east was very violent and brutal 15,000 years ago. Leno’s joke?

          “My, how things have changed in 15,000 years!”

          All of those groups you mention are based on tribal allegiances and the violence is directed at the same ‘other’ it has been directed at since the first time the sun came up. None of them became violent because of whoever is currently oppressing them. It is a way of life there.

          I think you are framing this in terms of western American experience. We rebelled against our mother country when the oppression became too much to bear. That is not what is going on in the ME.

  13. 2) Revolutions aren’t failures just because they don’t succeed in making a U.S. style democracy bloom like an oasis in the desert–quickly enough so that our election cycles can pass judgement on current candidates.

    I imagine British people in the early 1860s bemoaning the American Revolution because it only led to civil war and left half the country under the control of slaveholders.

    . . . and do you have any idea what a tragedy the American Revolution was for Native Americans?

    How silly and quaint does those arguments seem to us today?

    It’s even worse nowadays if and when libertarians argue that the Libyans would have been better off if only they hadn’t revolted against the vicious dictator who was oppressing them.

    1. Revolutions are failures based on how well they achieve their stated purpose. The serious intellectual elite of America fall into two camps when it comes to assessing revolutions, though:
      1. Those who naively think that anyone and everyone naturally drifts towards freedom/liberalization
      2. Those who are Marxists.

      By either framework, those revolutions were failures.

      But the real reason most of the Arab Spring revolts are failures is simply because they left little besides anarchy. Which wasn’t the aim of the forces acting against the governments.

      1. The Libyan revolution was a popular uprising to rebel against and overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

        It succeeded in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi.

        That a government hasn’t emerged there in the past four years that is either Marxist or drifting towards freedom/liberalization does not mean that the revolution wasn’t successful.

        From an American standpoint, the jury’s still out, too. Gaddafi’s oppression made Libya a huge exporter of jihadis all over the world. If getting rid of Gaddafi was necessary before that jihadi spigot could be turned off, then getting rid of Gaddafi may have been a huge net benefit to American security over the long run–even if drawing Libyan jihadis back to Libya and seeing them concentrate there presents an elevated security risk to America in the short run.

        . . . note that the short run in this case might be 10 years–and the long run even longer than that. The Middle East and North Africa weren’t jacked up in a day, and it may take longer than an election cycle or two to straighten themselves out, too. Just because the only road that goes through takes a long time and is fraught with danger doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it.

        1. “The Middle East and North Africa weren’t jacked up in a day, and it may take longer than an election cycle or two to straighten themselves out, too.”

          You are a great American Ken. You really are. That is an accurate statement, but you are wildly off in the way you are framing this.

        2. The Middle East and North Africa weren’t jacked up in a day, and it may take longer than an election cycle or two to straighten themselves out, too. Just because the only road that goes through takes a long time and is fraught with danger doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it.

          Two reasons why this statement is a little off:

          1) You assume that peaceful coexistence is the natural way of things.
          2) You ignore the centrality of religion in the conflict.

          The Middle East cannot be fixed because it is not broken. It is the natural way of things. It is us (in western culture) who live in the exception to the rule.

          1. And yet it was Western culture that colonized North Africa and subjected them to imperialism, and it was Western culture that left them with authoritarian dictatorships in the post-colonial period–often backed by their former colonizers.

            They only escaped colonialism in the 1950s and ’60s–and then they were swept up in the Cold War.

            They’ve known authoritarianism for a long, long time.

  14. Our education system is built to reinforce Islam’s true values based on dialogue, tolerance, moderation, and peace.

    “MY INTERPRETATION of a fourteen centuries old text is the only true interpretation of it, and it’s wonderful and lovely and perfect! It just so happens to line up exactly with the values espoused by the West only for the last half century or so! There is no possible other interpretation of it, and no possibility that religion can be influenced by other cultural and moral standards! And it certainly doesn’t say anything about the dysfunctions of Arabic society that every attempt at any kind of reform or improvement needs to be seen through a lens of reinforcing some mystical Islamic standard that never existed in the first place!”

    1. I should have added a #3:

      3) Of the five schools of Sunni jurisprudence, all five have unanimously issued fatwas against both Al Qaeda and ISIS.

      Listening to Al Qaeda and ISIS say they’re going to implement sharia is absurd–the sharia courts have met and denounced ISIS as heretics specifically because of things they’ve done in the name of “sharia”.

      ISIS doesn’t speak for sharia any more than I do.

      1. And again, it doesn’t say anything substantial about Arabic society that they have religious courts that sit around declaring people apostates because they fail to follow their preferred orthodoxy on a book that is rife with inconsistencies and contradictions. Note that the merit of these concepts are never discussed in the context of their actual value, but are instead discussed in the context of their Islamic validity. That certainly doesn’t show massive cultural dysfunction.

        1. Are you going to condemn sharia courts for condemning ISIS for claiming to act for them, really?!

          Maybe you should get your head around the nature of their indictment in the fatwa against ISIS first.

          Here is the 24 point indictment against ISIS:

          For what it’s worth, here is the 24 point indictment in the fatwa against ISIS from the Executive Summary:

          1) It is forbidden in Islam to issue fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. Even then fatwas must follow Islamic legal theory as defned in the Classical texts. It is also forbidden to cite a portion of a verse from the Qur’an?or part of a verse?to derive a ruling without looking at everything that the Qur’an and Hadith teach related to that matter. In other words, there are strict subjective and objective prerequisites for fatwas, and one cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Qur’anic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.

          2) It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language.

          3) It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.

          4) It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.

          5) It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.

          1. Shockingly Ken, what the sharia courts have to say on what constitutes “true Islam” is about the same as what the bishops had to say about “true Christianity” as Luther was nailing his theses to the door. Because that’s not how religion works, it’s not micromanaged from on high into the preferred system of the elites, it’s appeal is correlated to other cultural and social beliefs outside of their limited sphere of influence. Religion, despite the proclamations of many of its institutions, is not a top-down managed affair.

            The Pope may say that the historical treatment of homosexuals is terrible, but Ugandan Christians who want homosexuals dead don’t give a shit because the Pope DOES NOT SPEAK FOR THEM. And sharia courts do not speak for Sunni Islam as some monolithic identity.

            You are also entirely failing to read what I’m actually writing, which is about the very fact that they act this way and have to contextualized every concept or idea in the context of its religious validity rather than its own merit or utility is reflective of a dysfunctional culture that is inherently unlikely to embrace pluralism the moment it threatens their established order.

            1. “You are also entirely failing to read what I’m actually writing, which is about the very fact that they act this way and have to contextualized every concept or idea in the context of its religious validity rather than its own merit or utility . . . “

              “5) It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.”

              1. Yes Ken, they deliberately contextualized it in regards to what their religion supposedly says, rather than on the merit of contemporary issues itself, i.e. my exact argument. They made a deliberately vague statement that allows them to twist their logic whatever way they want in order to support what they want. That is not a good thing.

                “Islam is under threat from pluralism! Given the reality of this contemporary time we must deliberately restrict the influence of other faiths or other ideologies.”

                1. You said they were contextualizing their jurisprudence within the context of faith rather than utility.

                  That statement I quoted basically says the opposite–it says that it is forbidden to ignore the reality of contemporary times when issuing fatwas.

                  1. Yes, it’s forbidden in the context of their religion to ignore the reality of contemporary times.

                    Decreeing that one must engage in utility of the modern era in order to support the faith is contextualizing for faith, not utility. It’s not about the utility of anything in itself, but how that utility assists the faith.

                  2. this is basic islam. Anyone who read even the koran will know this. Also, it does not mean that the question of jihad will be re?valuated based on current world affairs, but rather that the means whereby jihad will be accomplished must be taylored–without stepping outside the example of the prophet–to the actuality of the current state of affairs. This is not any kind of reformation or renovation. It’s basic islam and a rule that has been applied to muslim law throughout history of the religion.

        2. 6) It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.

          7) It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.

          8) Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.

          9) It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.

          10) It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat?in any way?Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.

        3. 11) It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.

          12) The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.

          13) It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.

          14) It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.

          15) It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights.

          16) It is forbidden in Islam to enact legal punishments (hudud) without following the correct procedures that ensure justice and mercy.

          17) It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.

          18) It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.

          19) It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to God.

          20) It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.

          21) Armed insurrection is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.

          22) It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.

          23) Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.

          24) After the death of the Prophet, Islam does not require anyone to emigrate anywhere.

          http://www.lettertobaghdadi.co…..nglish.pdf

          1. That’s all so reassuring, Ken. We’ll be sure to pass it on to the next guy that’s getting ready to chuck a gay man off a grain elevator or. Ame his wife dress in a single-person tent.

            1. What I said wasn’t a counter-argument to every argument anyone will ever make on any subject forever. It was the counter-argument to one argument.

              I didn’t say the fact that ISIS isn’t really speaking for sharia means what they’re doing is right.

              I just said that ISIS isn’t really speaking for sharia, and the sharia courts have all condemned them.

          2. Those mostly seem pretty vague. What precisely are these rights women and children are promised?

            Also nice that scholars are allowed to disagree, except of course when it comes to important things.

            1. Those were the bullet points in the executive summary.

              The rights of women and children are spelled out in the Quran and elsewhere in Sunni jurisprudence, and ISIS’ abuse of the rights of women and children have been well documented in the news.

              If you want to get into the details, I gave you the link.

          3. Baghdadi: Fuck off.

            Exeunt omnes.

          4. It works kind of like the US, Soviet, and Chinese constitutions. They all look good on paper.

            1. Whether it looks good isn’t the issue.

              The fact is that the schools are all condemning ISIS and throwing cold water on any pretensions they had about interpreting or implementing sharia.

              Five schools of sharia. The verdict was unanimous.

              ISIS doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

              Incidentally, ISIS doesn’t have any authority over the U.S. Supreme Court either. The only difference is that they aren’t doing the unconstitutional shit they’re doing in the name of the U.S. Constitution, and they aren’t claiming to have the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court.

              They are claiming to do what they’re doing in the name of sharia–but since they courts have all issued fatwas against them, that’s just as ridiculous as if they were claiming to be doing what they’re doing with the authority of the Supreme Court.

              The interesting question is why people in the United States believe ISIS when they say they’re implementing sharia, and I think the interesting answer may have something to do with people in the United States wanting to believe them for whatever reason.

              For various reasons, some Americans want us to be afraid, but I think other Americans have just become so frightened over the years, and they want to rationalize their fear somehow.

          5. When did you convert?

            1. I didn’t.

              The facts would still be facts even if I had, though.

          6. It is all also basic islam and very little of it actually means what a Western Man reading these words would think it means. Go back and read one of the Soviet constitutions. They were also often quite sincere and orthodox within the confines of communist thinking. It made sense in that context because very little means what it would appear to mean to someone outside the belief system.

        4. Again, the point is that so and so claiming that ISIS isn’t really representative of sharia isn’t just a throwaway statement.

          Thousands of Sunni jurists representing all five schools of sharia law have unanimously condemned ISIS as being off their rockers as far as sharia goes.

          And this really should be better understood by more people–that were it not for the Muslim prohibition against suicide, sharia might very well require ISIS to hang themselves.

          Sharia condemns ISIS and everything they stand for. That isn’t my opinion. That isn’t the leader of the UAE’s opinion. That’s the opinion of all five Sunni sharia courts–and I’m sure the Shia courts will be happy to chime in against ISIS for their own reasons, as well.

          When it comes to sharia, ISIS is an ex-parrot. Hell, it never was a real parrot. It’s a stuffed animal that never had any life in it at all. ISIS certainly doesn’t speak for sharia just because they say so.

          1. Oh my god, the traditional established religious authority rejects the more radical grassroots movement! I could have never seen that coming and that’s such a substantial argument!

            I’ll make sure to tell the Anabaptists that they’re not really Christians while they’re murdering people in Munster because the Catholics have declared their sect a heresy.

            1. If Anabaptists claim to be speaking for the rest of Protestantism when they start murdering people for not being Anabaptists, someone should probably point out that murdering people for that reason is actually frowned on by Protestant religions everywhere, yeah.

              1. And it would serve no purpose whatsoever because the Anabaptists wouldn’t care. Every sect claims to be speaking the true will of whomever.

                There is no ‘true Islam’ and there is no ‘true Christianity’. There is only the interpretations that people make. And pretending that screaming ‘apostasy’ over this is actually a substantial ‘gotcha’ that delegitimizes their interpretation and makes it ‘not Islam’ or ‘not Christianity’ is moronic.

                1. Sharia is different that way.

                  There really are five schools of Sunni jurisprudence.

                  They have a thousand years of precedent.

                  When I talk about “the jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court”, that doesn’t mean whatever I want it to mean. I might disagree with some ruling by the Supreme Court, but their rulings and the precedents they set, when we’re talking about the Supreme Court, those are what they are regardless of whether I disagree with them.

                  Sharia is like that.

                  Sharia isn’t just whatever anybody says it is. It certainly isn’t whatever ISIS says it is just because ISIS says it.

                  Sharia as far as Sunnis are concerned is a thousand years of Sunni jurisprudence–and the judges, scholars, and jurists that really do represent that thousand year tradition of Sunni jurisprudence use sharia to condemn ISIS unanimously. You can see why they would. ISIS is using sharia as a cover to do evil that is actually condemned by sharia.

                  Why is this a big deal? So you can’t blame the rest of the Muslim world for the stupid “fatwas” ISIS releases? So what? I can think of lots of other things to hate ISIS for, can’t you?

                  Lots of Muslims despise ISIS for making Islam seem other than what it is. Hey, there’s another reason to hate ISIS maybe you never thought of before!

                  You wouldn’t want to bag on Muslims everywhere for false reason, would you? If I were doing that, I’d want someone to point out that I was wrong.

                  1. “Sharia is different that way.”

                    No it isn’t.

                    1. Oh, well if you say so, I guess I was wrong.

                      Do you have any reasons why it isn’t?

                      Not that I need any. A frilly pink thing saying so is good enough for me.

                    2. “I guess I was wrong”

                      Yup.

                  2. And those schools just leapt, fully formed, from the cultural miasma of Islam? Oh no, wait, they were different interpretations that were legitimized through the support of various groups of people. Almost like that’s how religions shift and change. It couldn’t possibly be that other schools of thought and ISIS itself are representative of this historical shifting of interpretations, could it?

                    ISIS is using sharia as a cover to do evil that is actually condemned by sharia.

                    No, ISIS has an interpretation of sharia that is different than the one espoused by the traditional schools. The schools themselves can be seen as apostasy of classical Islam due to their rejection of ijtihad, and that’s an argument everyone from ISIS to the Salafis make, but you conveniently ignore that when trying to frame their interpretation as the true one. When in reality it’s just that, an interpretation.

                    1. Tarek Fatah is just as much a Muslim as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, despite the fact that both of them disagree substantially with sharia courts for substantially different reasons. You want to be a Muslim? Pick up a copy of the Quran, read it, follow it the way you interpret it. Pick up the hadiths and maybe follow them too, that’s your choice. Practice ijtihad, an Islamic theological concept that was suppressed by those wonderful traditional schools of Islam. That’s what a Muslim is, not what some sharia court declares it so.

                      You wouldn’t want to bag on Muslims everywhere for false reason, would you?

                      Considering the only way I am ‘bagging on’ Muslims is pointing out how many are utterly obsessive about their religion having control over their culture and society, and every example you are providing reinforces that point, I don’t think you want to go there.

                    2. Are you saying that ISIS’ claim to be the arbiters of sharia is somehow legitimate despite the authoritative and accepted arbiters of sharia, for more than a thousand years, having denounced them as frauds?

                      I don’t think is about ISIS anymore. I think this is about you holding onto some false beliefs and feeling put out for it. Otherwise, why would you carry ISIS’ water for them?

                      They have no authority to interpret sharia, and they have no support for such authority coming from anywhere in the Muslim world outside of their own movement. Even Al Qaeda despises ISIS for going against sharia in their targeting of innocent Shia!

                      Are you not aware of this?

                      The only people who believe ISIS has any authority in terms of arbitrating or administering sharia are ISIS themselves and anti-Muslim propaganda victims in the West who have no idea what they’e talking about.

                      You know, there are worse things than being called out for things you don’t know. For instance, if you persisted in trying to convince people that ISIS is somehow authoritative on the interpretation and implementation of sharia–even after you knew that was false–that would be truly pathetic.

                    3. I don’t think is about ISIS anymore. I think this is about you holding onto some false beliefs and feeling put out for it. Otherwise, why would you carry ISIS’ water for them?

                      Ken. You. Goddamn. Moron. I didn’t mention ISIS at all in my initial statements, in fact they only started to be brought up when you began hyperventilating about them. I’m not the one carrying water for someone.

                      They have no authority to interpret sharia, and they have no support for such authority coming from anywhere in the Muslim world outside of their own movement. Even Al Qaeda despises ISIS for going against sharia in their targeting of innocent Shia!

                      They have support for their authority from their followers, which is all you need in the context of the validity of a religious movement. They claim they’re Muslims, their beliefs are interpretations of Islamic religious texts, and their position on sharia is based on their study of those texts. They’re Muslims. Again, learn what ijtihad is. Their interpretation is legitimate according to classical Islam.

                      Knock it off with the Top Men nonsense. Religions are not dictated from the top-down, they’re social movements that develop and assume positions of power only after their formative years. It’s not like Nestorianism isn’t a form of Christianity just because early church leaders said it wasn’t.

                    4. I note that you seem to completely avoid my point on Tarek Fatah being a Muslim despite completely disagreeing with sharia courts and instead chatter on insistently about ISIS. Probably just so you can have a shitty strawman to accuse me of Islamophobia.

                      And then there’s movements within the Islamic world that argue that the schools themselves are an illegitimate usurpation of early Islamic thought. Almost like Protestant arguments against the Catholic Church. Well, guess Protestantism isn’t really Christianity. Again, it’s almost like religion and institutions therein shift with cultural and social influence and your claims of “BUT BUT A THOUSAND YEARS” is actually entirely ignorant of Islamic development over that period of time.

                    5. You know, there are worse things than being called out for things you don’t know. For instance, if you persisted in trying to convince people that ISIS is somehow authoritative on the interpretation and implementation of sharia–even after you knew that was false–that would be truly pathetic.

                      “I’m Ken, I have a fundamentally shallow knowledge of historical religious development and even less knowledge of classical Islam, but I’m going to lecture people and accuse them of being pathetic despite constructing shitty strawmen of my opponent. I’m just going to scream “BUT THE SHARIA COURTS SAID SO” and pretend that is a winning argument that doesn’t reflect on how profoundly ignorant I am of the last three hundred years of Islamic scholarship, or Islamic history as a whole.”

                      See, I can be a cunt too Ken.

                  3. Correction, a lot of Muslims dispise Isis for showing the world exactly what true Islam is before they are full prepared to wipe out the west.

  15. For every 10,000 middle easterners we import, we probably reduce the likelihood of winning this culture war by 1%.

    And it is a culture war based on the fundamentals of each belief system (western liberalism and Islam)

    1. Nick is a cultural leftist. He can’t face the reality that all cultures are not the same and that Westerncultire values individual freedom in ways no other culture does.

      1. The irony is that they truly believe that all cultures share the same values (well maybe not icky southern whites).

        The quote of Nicks above is an example of that. He reads the cliff notes of the Koran and thinks it reads the same as something Jefferson or Burke.

      2. In ways John? Hell, half of the world doesnt recognize individuals much less even a generalized notion of freedom. The whole idea of individuals having any value at all is absurd to them.

      3. Hell, American culture values individual freedom in ways that no other culture does. Of course, recognizing that is accepting the notion of American exceptionalism.

  16. http://nypost.com/2016/09/11/h…..re=twitter

    Hillary has a “medical episode” at the 911 memorial event. She was seen with her knees buckling and had to leave the event.

    Anyone who questions her health is just a mysogynist I think we need to start seriously considering the possibility that old witch might keel over before the election.

    1. I already called Playa a sexist shitlord upthread. You want me to tag you with that as well?

      1. I was just having a conversation with a liberal buddy on Labor Day and I mentioned that Hillary would have a chance of not winning the election due to health issues. I was heartily laughed at for buying into looney conservative conspiracy nonsense. It will be interesting to see how much the media can try and ignore this one.

        1. It’s Fox and there’s only anonymous sources. All of the supposed journalists present saw and heard nothing, and they’ll testify under oath to that.

          1. Drudge has it now. Link to a CNN article about her “not feeling well”.

            1. It appears that there’s no video of the incident so we can count on the media downplaying this. If there was video of it she would be toast.

              1. AP is on it. She was just feeling a little overheated. Plus Trump left early so maybe he was overheated too.

                http://nbc4i.com/2016/09/11/cl…..verheated/

                1. EVERYONE WAS HEATED. The ones who say they weren’t were lying because they’re racists. At least half of them. They’ll say anything!

              2. video of the incident

                They’re propping her up the whole time. And she looks like she’s going into convulsions.

                (Sorry for the Twitter thing. That’s what google pulled up.

                  1. Look right behind that tree. Sure looks like her man with the diazepam injector.

                    1. Yup, I noticed Diazepam Dude as well.

                1. This might work better. She’s FINE. This humanizes her. 78 is HOT for many people!

                  1. I love how it’s all dismissed as conspiracy talk as if the media has no history of covering up the medical problems and drug use of Democratic candidates/presidents.

                  2. Even the Washington Post is lying about it now.

                    Hillary Clinton’s health just became a real issue in the presidential campaign

                    Well first off at least they recognize that it has all been a bunch of lies and conspiracy so far! But I am just furious with these people. After all Hillary did for you!? Now you kick her when she’s just taking a break? EVERYONE TAKES BREAKS. She should have their press license taken away.

                    1. “She should have their press license taken away.”

                      I think she has mentioned that sort of thing before.

                      I am shocked that after she made those comments it did not come up that Obumbles tried the same thing in 2008. IIRC they tried to keep FOX out of the whitehouse because they did not consider them to be a real news agency. IOW they didn’t tow the party lion.

                      Hillary is going to take another run at that. Bet on it.

                    2. I’m shocked, SHOCKED, thatnWaPo, doesn’t have the video imbedded in the story.

                      I’m sure it’s just an accidental oversight.

                  3. “78 is HOT for many people!”

                    Especially for people wearing wool Mao suits.

                    1. Exactly. And it’s not like they can’t fix the problem by changing our her lubricating fluids to SAE40 from the SAE30 she’s been running on for the air conditioned homes of Hollywood celebs she has spent almost all of her time in the last month.

                    2. The Democrats are going about this in the entirely wrong way. It would be much more effective to take the offense and say “St. FDR was able to service in office while afflicted with polio. Polio! It is sanist* to suggest that someone who is not well can’t provide the leadership the American people need.”

                      *Sanism, from Latin sanus (long U), usually referring to prejudice against mental illness, but will be expanded by Hillary’s spin doctors to encompass physical health.

                    3. Thank you for providing the Neuspeak translation.

                    4. Opening pickle jars is exhausting.

                  4. “78 is HOT for many people!”

                    Absolutely. You need look no further than Cloris Leachman.

        2. A year ago it was said here that her health might derail her candidacy before this point.

    2. Bo worries. She’s being held up by Nagini.

      https://youtu.be/MFtjUHezDYA

      1. No worries.

      2. I don’t like taking pleasure in the poor health of others, even those whom I intensely dislike, that would be far too progressive. I do hope that she can get all the rest that she needs and the best medical care possible as she gets the chance to spend more time with her family.

      3. YouTube video finishes her off. Karmic.

    3. I think we need to start seriously considering the possibility that old witch might keel over before the election.

      And by “seriously considering” I hope you mean “seriously praying for”.

  17. Over at FoxNews.com, the ambassador from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, makes a bold pronouncement that “it is Arabs who have the most at stake” in the fight against Islamic jihad and that the Arab world, which supplied all of the 9/11 hijackers, needs to create a more-viable future for its inhabitants

    When asked for her opinion, his wife deferred back to Al Otaibi.

    1. Eh, he’s sort of right. The middle east won’t be very viable if it happens again.

  18. ME. Gtfo and stfo.

    1. GTFO, STFO, STFU. FTW.

      1. Somebody will add DIAF.

        But it won’t be me.

  19. Yes, the Arab world has the most at stake when it comes to Islamic terrorism.

    Well, they do now. Back when they were running around punching people in the face and nobody was doing anything about it, it was lots of fun. When the people you’ve been bullying start showing some signs of fighting back, you start thinking maybe it ain’t so much fun any more. Especially when one of them is the vicious thug leader of a vicious thug country with a long history of not much caring who they kill and how they kill them and another is some crazy orange-haired clown who may very well have control of the biggest, baddest miltary on the planet and he thinks the thug is a good role model of a good leader.

    And as far as Islam being incompatible with the modern world in general and Western civilization in particular – no shit. We’re all agreed on that – the problem is that the mullahs look at it the other way around. The modern world and Western civilization are incompatible with Islam so the modern world and Western civilization have to go. There’s no compromising with somebody who thinks he has a sacred obligation to kill you lest you tempt him into not killing you. Any argument you might make to convince him not to kill you is just more justification for killing you, the more persuasive your argument the more convinced he becomes, because that’s the very reason he wants to kill you – you’re trying to tempt him into not killing you.

    1. Despite the mockery of Bush for claiming “they hate us for our freedom”, he was exactly right. That is why they hate us and refer to us as “the Great Satan” – they believe that freedom is a bad thing because freedom allows you to make wrong choices, to do wicked, sinful things. And given that most people are weak-willed and easily tempted, the West’s offer of freedom is nothing less than a seduction of the innocent and the good and the pure. It’s not enough to just turn your back on the modern world, you have a sacred duty to exterminate it because it’s nothing but a temptation to sin.

    1. “Liberalism fails to address the issue of governing a degenerate populace and, indeed, contributes to such a problem.”

      I don’t think that is true. A number of our founding fathers discussed the importance of a moral or civil society and how liberty is only compatible with such. He makes the assumption of ‘a degenerate populace’, the usual justification for putting on the jackboots.

      Fuck him.

    2. For every Charles Napier, there are a hundred degenerate psychopaths champing at the bit to be given absolute authority. I will take the failures of liberalism over the “successes” of socialism or fascism every day and twice on Sunday.

  20. Crap. I go to the store for 30 minutes and come back to find a zillion comments. I start arguing with the dead portion of the thread.

    Where were y’all at 4:00 am when I couldn’t sleep?

    1. Sleeping.

    2. Making a sandwich. I keep waking up in the middle of the night for sandwiches.

      This time: fresh baguette, tri tip with smoked salt, srirachi mayo, bean sprouts, jalape?os, and slaw. 10/10 would eat again.

      1. The nighttime snack habit has an unexpected side effect – it causes all of your clothes to shrink. I cant explain it, but that is what happens. Better watch that habit before you have to replace all of your wardrobe.

  21. The worst thing about 9/11 is that it happened during football season.

  22. “and real cultural exchange”

    If it’s real cultural exchange it must run both ways. What aspects of vulgar Arab culture do you most appreciate?

    1. Wiping my ass with my hand?

        1. FTA: The d?ner kebab, and its derivatives shawarma and gyros, served in a sandwich, came to world-wide prominence in the mid to late 20th century. The first doner kebab shop in London opened in 1966,[11] while Greek-style gyros was already popular in Greece and New York City in 1971.[12]

          So the Arabs don’t even have that.

          1. Which brings us to another point: The vertical rotisserie.

            How fucking stupid is that?

            1. It preserves the fat so that it doesnt all drip off so quickly. I understand why they do it, but goddamned does it ever give me indigestion.

              1. You’re thinking of a horizontal rotisserie, which is awesome.

            2. It’s pretty fucking ridiculous.

            3. It’s vertical to allow an easy slice by knife with the meat dropping off onto a serving dish/bread. No hands, no utensils beyond the knife,.

              Horizontally would require more handling of the meat, which in an area of the world with notoriously poor hygiene is not something desirable.

        2. That’s as silly as saying tacos al pastor isn’t a Mexican dish.

          1. I’m just saying shawarma is derivative. Personally, I prefer gyros anyway. But I’d still attribute their genesis to the Turks.

          2. Can you find me a halal version?

      1. You have not lived until you have eaten it out of a plastic sack in Baghdad. Amazing.

    2. Their numerals are a lot better than the Roman ones.

      Other than that, I’m at a loss.

      1. Their numerals are a lot better than the Roman ones.

        Unfortunately they stole them from Hindustan.

        Ibn Khaldun is pretty substantial. In the context of libertarianism he developed a version of the Laffer Curve six centuries ago.

      2. Also, Khaldun’s definition of government: “an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself.”

        1. Nice. Another definition I like, although I don’t know who thought of it first, is “government is that which fills the vacuum nature abhors”.

    3. Kibbeh? Babaganoush? Mousaka? Cucumber yogurt sauce?

      I cant really decide with so many to choose from.

      *I don’t know if those are necessarily vulgar Arab culture and not generally mediterranean.

      1. Perhaps HM will be generous enough to explain the difference between Turkish people, who originated in central asia and occupy most of the middle east, and Arab peoples who were/are centered on the Arabian peninsula. I don’t know where they came from previous to that, but they damned sure aint Turks. You can take one look at them and see the difference.

      2. “Kibbeh? Babaganoush? Mousaka? Cucumber yogurt sauce?”

        For here or to go? Would you like a Koran with that?

    4. Roast camel hump is delicious.

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  24. The problem is the the fucking Saudis spreading Wahabism for the past 4 decades. There must be an Islamic Reformation that renounces the use of force before anything changes.

    1. Every US Muslim Chaplin is a Wahabi. Camels nose under the tent sort of thing.

  25. 15 Years After 9/11, Will the West Shut Itself Down To Freedom Like the Arab World Has?

    What universe does this fucking idiot live in? Has he not been through any large airport in the last 15 years.

  26. “To that extent, it’s good to hear Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and William Weld talk about opening up our country, to immigrants (who can be legally vetted), trade, and the sort of technological and personal freedoms that are the first, best answer to death cults of any sort.”

    um…no, Nick. that is college-age idealism.

    The first, best answer to death cults is to assertively provide them the death they desire. Every follower and associate erased from the planet until the human will to further the cult is eliminated from history. That is the first, best answer and has been since the dawn of time.

    If you wish to say that your premise is the preferred “balanced” or “enlightened” approach, then fine, no argument. But it is sophomoric to ignore the extensive lessons of history.

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