LP.org: ‘Religious persecution in China … and in Arizona’

Posted at LP.org:

We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.

Many people who aspire to government power are motivated by their own idealistic view of how the world should work. The Communist Party in China holds “socialism with Chinese characteristics” as its ideal. This generally excludes religious belief, which it views as antithetical to Communist Party allegiance, so the Chinese government has often cracked down on religious communities over the years — most recently, persecuting the Muslim farmers in southern Xinjiang.

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the northwest corner of China is the largest administrative division of China, and the country’s largest producer of natural gas. The southern half of Xinjiang has historically been occupied by Turkish-speaking Muslim farmers called Uyghurs, but the percentage of Han Chinese in the population has increased since 1949 from 6.7 percent to 40 percent.

The Chinese government is now forcefully imposing the secular worldview of the Communist Party on the Uyghurs. It has targeted the Muslim observance of Ramadan by banning fasting and forcing Muslim-owned restaurants to remain open. Long beards and headscarves are now verboten, along with Islamic-sounding names and the religious instruction of children. Several hundred thousand Uyghurs have been sent to “re-education schools” outfitted with watchtowers, razor wire, guard rooms, and surveillance systems, reports the BBC, facilities that are located essentially in the middle of nowhere near the rural town of Dabancheng. Government officials have tried to justify this oppression by conflating Islam with terrorism.

Similar tactics are being employed against Buddhists and Christians, as well. Followers of the Dalai Lama in Tibet are being re-educated by the Chinese government to follow their religion only in ways prescribed by Communist Party officials. And, although there are more than 100 million Christians in China, most of them must hide their worship in underground churches. On Dec. 9, about 100 Christians were arrested in Chengdu for attending a Protestant church that was not sponsored by the Chinese government.

Religious persecution may not be as obvious in the United States, but it still happens here. Five years ago in Arizona, the Phoenix City Council adopted an anti-discrimination ordinance for businesses that offer services to the general public. The law forbids discriminating against customers based on factors that include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. For the vast majority of businesses and types of service, this causes no issue. Clashes arise, however, when some business owners find themselves required by law to create messages that violate their religious views.

Joanna Duka and Brianna Koski, the owners of Brush & Nib Studio, risk six months in prison and a $2,500 fine each day they refuse to comply with the Phoenix law requiring them to create custom-made invitations for same-sex weddings. Duka and Koski are more than happy to sell pre-made invitations to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. They are unwilling to violate their own religious beliefs, however, by creating custom invitations for same-sex weddings.

To avoid the possibility of jail and ruinous fines, Duka and Koski sued the city of Phoenix, arguing that obeying the ordinance would violate their artistic and religious freedom. Despite a 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of religious freedom in a similar case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, these business owners lost in both the Maricopa County Superior Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals. They have appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, and the case is slated to be argued there early in 2019.

Religious freedom is an inherent individual right, one that was singled out for special mention in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The establishment clause, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” restricts government officials from giving any particular religious views a favored place in American society. The free exercise clause, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” is just as important. That’s the issue at stake in Arizona.

Freedom of religious conscience and freedom of sexual orientation do not inherently conflict. The Libertarian Party has championed gay rights since its founding in 1971, running the first openly gay candidate for president of the United States in 1972 and advocating the legalization of gay marriage in its party platform decades before either Democrats or Republicans would touch the issue at all. Libertarians also champion freedom of association and individual conscience. People should live their lives as they choose without harming others. That includes both the freedom to celebrate or decline to celebrate somebody’s sexual orientation.

Libertarians believe with equal fervor that Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and other believers in China should all be allowed to practice their faiths and that religious freedom should also be sacrosanct in Arizona. Government should not use coercion to force one group of people to conform with the ideals of another group. Proselytizing for specific religious, moral, philosophical, and ideological viewpoints should always be done through persuasion, not coercion.

There is little we can do about religious persecution in China other than make our views known about the freedom of religious belief and practice. We can, however, look to China as a cautionary example about the dangers of imposing a worldview onto others. We can also urge the justices of the Arizona Supreme Court to uphold the First Amendment — or, failing that, urge the people of Arizona to replace them with justices who will.

128 thoughts on “LP.org: ‘Religious persecution in China … and in Arizona’

  1. Kevin

    Both Edmund Burke (in his Vindication of Natural Society) and Ayn Rand (in her “Faith and Force: Destroyers of the Modern World”) were prescient in recognizing the inherent threat of force in religious or secular faith.

    China is right to recognize the danger of political Islam in particular; though other religions are threats also. In the US, the Christian “moral majority” was the primary driver behind the disastrous drug war.

    Liberty does not amount to being trendy, anti-American, anti-Chinese, or oblivious to obvious threats.

  2. William T. Forrest

    They’re not just attacking Muslim terrorists, they’re attacking regular people for practicing their Muslim (and Christian and other) faith. The comment above is quite ridiculous. Some people take the Randroid cultism way, way too far. How are Uighur people and others being oppressed by the totalitarian Chinese government deserving of being treated en masse like that?

  3. Kevin

    We are faced with a threat that does not typically use conventional armies. Because Muslims tend to be so backward, they don’t have the ability to field a large conventional military. So they resort to terrorism, lawfare, welfarism, assault, rape, and so on.

    Since the Chinese don’t have perfect knowledge, they can’t identify the ones who are the most dangerous and are likely to act out their Jihadist weirdness. They blend in among the mass of Muslims who tend to support them in non-violent ways. This explains the broad brush.

    Chinese are trying to extinguish a culture that is dangerous. Similarly, the US investigated communists and Nazis when we were at war with governments identifying that way. Not all communists or nazis are violent. So, how would you identify the most dangerous? Other than assuming there is no problem.

  4. William T. Forrest

    Holy shit. You’re seriously defending oppressing 11-15 million Uighurs because what, a few hundred of them may be terrorists? And keep in mind that’s far from the only religion or ethnic minority the mass murdering Chinese regime is oppressing. Wow. I hope you relegate your violent tendencies to supporting governments acting them out for you, rather than act on such impulses yourself, otherwise I could see you being the next mosque shooter who just walks into a mosque at random and starts firing at people. But then is it really better to have governments do the job for you or just more cowardly and socially acceptable?

  5. Kevin

    You’re putting words in my mouth and this says more about you than me. If we’re going to psychologize, I could ask why you project your faith-force-apologizing. Insinuating I’m a terrorist in waiting is a low blow.

    I asked you a question: how are the Chinese supposed to know which Muslims are dangerous? What are they supposed to do about a culture within their midst, that is not assimilating and poses threats?

  6. William T. Forrest

    I feel like I need a shower just addressing this person directly. One last time, then it goes on ignore.

    “You’re putting words in my mouth and this says more about you than me.”

    Your words are above and speak for themselves. I really don’t need to add anything to them. You disgust me.

    “Insinuating I’m a terrorist in waiting is a low blow.”

    I thought I made it clear that I think you are probably too chickenshit to do your own dirty work, and would want it carried out by trained professionals under “legal” cover like a good German (or good communist Chinese, in this case, I guess).

    “I asked you a question: how are the Chinese supposed to know which Muslims are dangerous? ”

    Hmmm, let me guess. No other country has been able to ever deal with a few hundred terrorists without oppressing millions of people. Among many other groups being oppressed by the very same mass murdering regime. There’s no other solution, and it’s the fault of this one oppressed group as a whole (and possibly all the others). Right?

    I don’t know why you think such utterly disgusting, unbelievably idiotic comments should be treated seriously and replied to. They shouldn’t be, and I’m done. Goodbye, and shame on you.

  7. Chuck Moulton

    I’m not sure what this is exactly.

    I agree with what is written in this article, but I hope it isn’t a LP press release. If it is, then we really need a new press secretary. Press releases should be much shorter and they should quote our candidates or our chair — a lot of quotes. If this were a press release, it would go right in the trash of every media outlet and they would flag us as spammers.

    Hopefully instead it is just busywork or inreach designed to placate some noisy LNC members rather than accomplish anything.

  8. paulie Post author

    It’s in the features section of the website rather than the News section. But the way they divide up those articles is rather non-obvious to me. Take a look at LP.org and tell me if the breakdown is obvious to you or not.

  9. paulie Post author

    Hopefully instead it is just busywork or inreach designed to placate some noisy LNC members rather than accomplish anything.

    Could be. Pretty sure Caryn Ann specifically asked that the LP address this very issue on the LNC email list.

  10. paulie Post author

    Looks like the comment I was replying to was trashed, hopefully by the author. I won’t out who it was in case he or she does not want to be associated with the comment. If someone other than the author trashed the comment please explain why. If the author trashed it your reasons are your own and I’m OK with not knowing them.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    I’m not going to lose any sleep over my comment being trashed by someone though. It didn’t take much time to write and I’m not as passionate about ineffective press releases as other issues.

  12. paulie Post author

    I restored it, and comment history claims I trashed it. If so, that was by mistake, I may have accidentally hit that instead of copy or respond. My apologies, it is now restored.

  13. Kevin

    William still hasn’t my question, and doubles down on his rude personal attacks.

    Once again, I don’t endorse everything the Chinese are doing. But still, at least they recognize the problem and are doing something; perhaps too much, but something must be done to counter the faith-force axis. William doesn’t approve of what I say, but doesn’t say what he proposes as an alternative, other than pretending there isn’t a problem.

    There are nutritional supplements to deal with brain disorders such as dementia.

  14. William T. Forrest

    Oh good, he knows about them. Maybe Kevin should take them. Probably too late to help him at this stage but hope springs eternal.

  15. paulie Post author

    Some of us set Kevin on ignore a long time ago. That may be why his screen name no longer includes his last name, although maybe it was because he just forgot or didn’t feel like typing his. Of course mine doesn’t either but it’s pretty well known around here.

  16. Thomas Knapp

    “Because Muslims tend to be so backward, they don’t have the ability to field a large conventional military.”

    Tell that to the Turks. Or to pre-1991 Iraq.

  17. paulie Post author

    LOL. Thanks for reminding me why I skip Kevin’s comments. I gather that must have been him since no one else in this thread said anything so outlandish and preposterous.

  18. Kevin

    Turkey does have a large conventional army, but it is not very effective or efficient. My point is, Muslims tend to not employ conventional armies to achieve their objectives, which is why they use terrorism and other means instead. If Muslims could achieve their ambitions through conventional military means, why aren’t they doing that, and instead use other methods?

    Look at Saudi Arabia and how ineptly their conventional military is fighting in Yemen.

    When Jihadists conquered territory long ago, they were successful because at that time the technology was primitive. Nowadays to be effective using conventional means.

    Paulie, if you’re not going to read what i say, how can you label them outlandish and preposterous? Oh, I see, since you disagree with some comments, I must always be in the wrong. Do you know how stupid that sounds? I suppose I shouldn’t complain about Paulie, at least he does not accuse me of being a terrorist in waiting, like that other weirdo said.

    Nobody pays me to write here. If I were paid, I’d pay more attention to how I phrase things.

  19. William T. Forrest

    “LOL. Thanks for reminding me why I skip Kevin’s comments. ”

    Thanks, I’ll do the same.

  20. Jared

    “Turkey does have a large conventional army, but it is not very effective or efficient.”

    I suspect TK was referring to the Ottoman Empire, which conquered Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century and almost conquered Vienna and the Holy Roman Empire in the 17th century. Poland intervened and saved Central Europe.

  21. Kevin

    I already explained my comment referred to the effectiveness, efficiency, and use of conventional military by muslims, and why Jiahdists instead prefer terrorism. This observation of mine is common knowledge, and I’m surprised that people might think 9/11 and other attacks do not overshadow the very short list of conventional military victories by Muslim armies against infidel armies. I think we’d have to go back to the conquest of Constantinople to find such an example.

    Nit-picking wording while overlooking this issue, is a way of avoiding debate. If you don’t want to read me, don’t read me; you need not announce you are not reading me. Some of the comments appear to completely ignore my explanation and have ventured into weird territory.

  22. Jared

    “I’m surprised that people might think 9/11 and other attacks do not overshadow the very short list of conventional military victories by Muslim armies against infidel armies.”

    How did Islam come to dominate Arabia and the Middle East, North Africa, Spain and Southern France, Central Asia, and the Balkans? Military conquest. Early Muslims excelled at it.

  23. Kevin

    Yes, and as I pointed out earlier, those early conquests were before the industrial revolution and modern weapons which require intelligence to efficiently operate. For various reasons, including cultural, Muslims tend to have lower IQ. Which explains why Jews, east Asians, and Europeans are so disproportionately represented among, say, Nobel Prize recipients (in science particularly).

    Why do you think those early conquests were stopped, around the 18th century? Prior to that, Jihadists (many based in the Barbary Coast) would routinely seize merchant ships and hold for ransom, and kidnap/enslave Europeans (mostly on the coast or up river) as far away as Iceland. Then, Thomas Jefferson created the first US deep water navy, and defeated them. Heroic actions which saved the west from continued predation, which tend to not be appreciated by historically/ideologically deprived self-styled “libertarians”.

    Some people here have pounced on an off-guard imprecisely worded comment of mine like a pack of jackals, but appear oblivious to the most basic facts and reasoning. Perhaps this can be explained by government schooling, but I tend to think that IQs have been dropping after the sugar-high of the Flynn Effect.

    I had thought that people exchange views and facts here in a sincere attempt to arrive at truth. Silly me, there seems to be a lot of group-think and hysteria over dissenting views.

  24. Thomas Knapp

    ” already explained my comment referred to the effectiveness, efficiency, and use of conventional military by muslims, and why Jiahdists instead prefer terrorism.”

    Ah, there’s the conflation.

    Are you talking about Muslims, or about jihadists? The two are not the same thing.

  25. Kevin

    “Muslim” is just a six letter word and theoretically, could mean anything, including my John Deere undershorts. if on the other hand, “Islam” is defined by it’s holy texts and historical examples, we can see that Jihad is central to it’s ideology. Dr. Warner did a statistical study of the Islamic trilogy, and calculated that 98% of Jihad references are to the external Jihad against infidels, and only 2% to internal struggle (which explains the self-flagellation).

    Not all self-identified “Muslims” are Jihadists. Of course, I never denied that. By the same token, most Nazi Party members never personally engaged in the holocaust. Most probably weren’t even aware of it at the time it was happening. But still, they went along with the rhetoric and the system, for whatever reasons, whether job security, self-preservation, social pressure, or sincere belief in Nazi goals.

    Nazism is a political ideology with a religious base. Similarly, Islam is a religious faith with a base in Jihad. There are different forms of the external Jihad, at one extreme there is outright terrorism, at the other, things like lawfare and propaganda.

    The level of ignorance here is striking. Even worse than in the general US population.

  26. Kevin

    So, you deny that Islam motivates jihadism, and you call me ignorant? Of course, not all self-identified “Muslims” (whatever that means) practice the external Jihad. My own father was a self-identified “Christian” and didn’t own or read the Bible. He absorbed doctrine by haphazard church attendance and cultural osmosis.

    Islamic texts are deliberately made difficult for the layman to interpret. They are not organized chronologically like the Bible, but by length of the texts. So this requires extensive study and people have to rely on immans.

    I don’t get paid to cast pearls before swine. I calibrate the tone of my responses, in accord with what people are dishing out, but with more intelligence. I don’t simply state my opinions and resort to snide personal attacks. I actually grapple with substance. if you disagree with any factual or logical points I’m making, i invite you to refute them I have zero interest in your unsubstantiated opinions.

  27. paulie

    “World’s 10 largest militaries by number of full-time regular military include Pakistan, Iran and Egypt, with Indonesia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia among the next 10. With reserve military and paramilitary included Egypt is still in the top 10 and and Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey are still in the top 20. Per wikipedia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel

    Don’t confuse Kevin with the facts. Stopped reading here because on quick scroll it appears to be people taking Kevin seriously, quoting him and responding to him, and reading that would be pretty much the same thing as reading Kevin’s comments directly. Someone ping me here if there’s any further conversation here that does not revolve around Kevin or people replying to him.

  28. Kevin

    I’ve already explained my comments several times and I’m very well aware that some Muslim countries have large militaries. Particularly NATO member, Turkey.

    Obviously Paulie is piling on, pointing out the obvious in a vain attempt to look smart. Saying he is not paying attention to me while he talks around my comments, like a Victorian matron making a fuss at a bordello, while not actually partaking in any activities for which the establishment is known.

    Let me pose this serious question: name one significant war won by a Muslim military against an infidel military within the last 100 years or so. Or since the industrial revolution.

  29. Kevin

    William apparently fancies himself a pope, whose decrees should be believed without evidence. He’s virtue-signaling to get social support from the small band who gather here, and smugly assume their worldview correct and themselves superior for so believing. Why not just get a dog?

    I’m not interested in unsubstantiated opinions, even if I agree with them. What do you think you are accomplishing? Competing for a pissing contest? Trying to drive me off with rudeness, so my comments won’t cause you distress? This is getting a bit weird….

  30. dL

    I agree with what is written in this article,

    I don’t agree with the premise of the release at all. I don’t think banning religious observance or sending people to secular re-education schools is comparable to “bake the cake” in terms of religious persecution or libertarian violations.

  31. dL

    Let me pose this serious question: name one significant war won by a Muslim military against an infidel military within the last 100 years or so. Or since the industrial revolution.

    What the fuck does that have to do with the press release?

  32. dL

    (1) Islamic texts are deliberately made difficult for the layman to interpret. They are not organized chronologically like the Bible, but by length of the texts. So this requires extensive study and people have to rely on immans.

    (2) Similarly, Islam is a religious faith with a base in Jihad. There are different forms of the external Jihad, at one extreme there is outright terrorism, at the other, things like lawfare and propaganda.

    Those two statements don’t match, unless, of course, Bjornson has attained the honorary title of Allamah to expertly inform the ignorant laypeople of this forum on the religious foundations of Islam.

  33. William T. Forrest

    I guess he could be an imam. Doesn’t seem very likely tho. Still sticking with “crazy coot” over here.

  34. Jared

    “Yes, and as I pointed out earlier, those early conquests were before the industrial revolution and modern weapons which require intelligence to efficiently operate.”

    What does the Industrial Revolution have to do with anything? And which modern weapons do you believe Muslims are too dumb to operate? I suppose there were no military technologies and no need for tactical intelligence until the, uh, 1840s.

    “Islamic texts are deliberately made difficult for the layman to interpret. They are not organized chronologically like the Bible”

    You do realize the books of the Bible are not ordered chronologically, either by date of composition or by date of events described. One aspect of Islam that drew early converts was its simple religious requirements: lay practitioners knew what was expected of them.

    For the life of me, I can’t figure out what your point is.

  35. Kevin

    You’re seriously maintaining that the industrial revolution has nothing to do with anything? If I mimicked the in crowd here, I would harp on what is obviously careless wording on your part. I think you meant, the industrial revolution has nothing to do with the skill sets required to operate modern military equipment.

    In industry, the move capital investment, the higher skills are required of workers. Similar applies to the military. Today’s US military is highly sophisticated, technologically. This requires that soldiers have greater skills than were required in simpler times. Also, the manufacturing process is a lot more complicated and expensive.

    One of the problems with the US operations in Vietnam, is that “so many college students were avoiding military service during the Vietnam War, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara lowered mental standards to induct 354,000 low-IQ men. Their death toll in combat was appalling.” 3 Times the fatality rate of the average GI, They were called “McNamara’s morons”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J2VwFDV4-g

    This explains why the Israelis won in all their conventional military wars with Muslim militaries, in 1948, 1967, 1973, despite being vastly outnumbered and outgunned; and in any of their many incursions into Gaza. While Jihadists performed better in Lebanon, Israel and Christian allies still prevailed, until Israel withdrew (they were not militarily defeated, but withdrew for political reasons).

    This also explains why very few Muslims get Nobel Prizes in science; Jews vastly outperform them in those fields, despite being vastly outnumbered. Islam denies natural law, has faith that everything happens only if Allah wills it.

    When the Industrial Revolution had progressed sufficiently, Thomas Jefferson built the US deep water navy, and defeated the Barbary pirates despite being vastly outnumbered. and that is when the piracy stopped. Here is a history of that era, which mostly ended in the 19th century:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_slave_trade#European_texts_(16th%E2%80%9319th_centuries)

    This explains why Muslims have adopted other techniques, which are asymmetric.

  36. Kevin

    “The books of the Bible are primarily divided by the type of literature. …Within the type of literature, the books of the Bible are in basic chronological order. For example, Isaiah’s prophecies occurred before Jeremiah’s prophesies.”

    “At the beginning, the Bible is in chronological order. If you read the books of Moses in the order that they appear, you’re reading biblical history in its proper sequence. And of course, the Old Testament is chronologically before the New Testament.”

    While the Islamic texts are organized by length, not theme or chronology:

    “Except for the first surah, Al-Fatiha, the Qur’an is organized by descending length of the surah. That is the longest surah is Surah 2 and the shortest is Surah 114. This organization prevents recovery of any chronology by a simple examination of the text.”

  37. Thomas Knapp

    “So, you deny that Islam motivates jihadism”

    I never said any such thing.

    Christianity is one of the things that can motivate charity, but not every Christian is charitable.

    Islam is one of the things that can motivate wars of conquest, but not every Muslim is a jihadist.

    Religions motivate all kinds of things. And just about every religion motivates all of those things at different times and in different places.

    Targeting a specific superstition for suppression is as irrational as the superstition itself.

    I’m going to take two wild guesses here.

    Guess number one: You’ve never spent significant time in a Muslim country or for that matter embedded in a largely Muslim population.

    Guess number two: You’ve never trained Muslim troops in conventional warfare.

    Am I right?

    I’ve done both.

    I kinda sort, just barely, know a little bit about what the fuck I’m talking about.

    You know that you read a book.

  38. dL

    I kinda sort, just barely, know a little bit about what the fuck I’m talking about.

    You know that you read a book.

    pwned!

  39. dL

    Guess number one: You’ve never spent significant time in a Muslim country or for that matter embedded in a largely Muslim population.

    Guess number two: You’ve never trained Muslim troops in conventional warfare.

    Never spent time in a muslim country nor trained any troops, but I did spend a couple of years embedded in a predominantly Arab student dormitory population in a university setting. The college originated from an old WW I military academy, so that damn dorm was like a freakin army barracks. Bjornson is absolutely full of shit…

  40. Kevin

    Now Thomas seems to be implying that all religious are equal in the extent they motivate terrorism. If that were the case, then we would be reading a lot more about Confusion or Christian terrorism.

    Some might equate what the US military does, with terrorism; but the US does not deliberately target civilians, while terrorists hide among “civilians” who act as human shields, and provide a support network including family life to bring about the next generation of terrorists. They are camp followers, helping to carry stuff and do work.

    Now Thomas is citing his work with training Muslims in conventional warfare, to prove that Islam does not interfere with operation of highly technological weapons. This elides the question of why a US soldier is doing the training, and why aren’t there highly effective/efficient Muslim armies that win conventional wars. Why do the more advanced, secular, “western” style militaries almost always seem to do the training and to prevail in conventional battles? Why do Jihadists seem to prefer terrorism as a method, instead of relying on conventional warfare? Are you actually saying, that having a science-friendly culture does not help fight a high-tech war?

    Turkey is a special case, they are a hybrid culture with close proximity to the west and a powerful economy. Yet they are manufacturing tanks of US design, with US help.

    Thomas, did you train them in small arms? That’s not what makes the US military so powerful. Did you train them in how to operate advanced submarines? The Abrams tank? The F-22?

    And how has been working out, the training of Muslims in small arms (many students turn on their western teachers):
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/

    And yes, I have spent time near Iran, taught some Muslim students, and corresponded with a few afterwards. Of course, many do not like my criticism of Islam. Neither do Christians like my criticism of Christianity (not all religions are equally bad, but few appreciate being told theirs is a lesser evil).

    I helped one get a scholarship to a Liberty Camp in Georgia. One of his friends assumed I lived in Iraq, a translator who asked my help in getting him admitted into the US. I suggested he move to Georgia, which is not too far away, and they have an open immigration policy. He had not interest in moving to Georgia, even though I could have helped him do that if he were turned down.

    Now DL, in addition to scatological juvenile language, cites his dormitory experience as qualifying him to speak. As it happens, I too went to college with many Muslims. I went to a private business college in Berkeley, that was popular with Iranians (before the fall of the Shah). They stuck to themselves, and one was caught cheating in his finals; the textbook had a saying in the preface, in Hebrew. They tend to be not very bright, and Persians tend to be a lot more cultured than say, Pakistanis.

  41. Kevin

    I mis-spelled “Confucian” so now I anticipate at least half a dozen posts citing the correct spelling.

  42. Thomas Knapp

    “Now Thomas seems to be implying that all religious are equal in the extent they motivate terrorism. If that were the case, then we would be reading a lot more about Confusion or Christian terrorism.”

    And we’ve read plenty about both. Does the Boxer Rebellion ring any bells? How about the Albigensian Crusade? Or, for that matter, Eric Rudolf? I live in a town where anti-Catholic Christians abducted and castrated the local priest in the 19th century.

    Every religion gets used by bad people for bad things, in different times and places. There are more than a billion Muslims. At most a few tens of thousands of them are terrorists. If Muslims as such were at war with the west, we’d be out fighting in the streets for our lives, not debating the matter.

    I trained what was then a very formative Saudi Marine Corps unit in the use of the 81mm mortar (they were using Vietnam-era mortars, and I was one of only two people in my unit who was still familiar with that gear, so we got volunteered). I can’t say I was impressed with their performance. But then, they were late-teen naval cadets who’d been conscripted because, in the single word of explanation they used, “Saddam.” They hadn’t really been through a semblance of boot camp. They were rich kids who had been at what amounted to boarding school when shit suddenly got real on them.

    Given a week instead of a day or so, I’m confident could have made them marginally competent mortar crews. Given three months, I could have made them reasonably well-trained general infantrymen. As far as higher-level stuff is concerned, I am not IMO qualified to have an opinion on whether or not they had the stuff to e.g. lead large units or make strategic decisions.

    Almost any religion is a handicap when treated as the basis for sound decisionmaking, and almost every religious/ethnic group has had its terrorist components at times. I don’t see anything in Islam that makes it inherently more prone to that than the other Abrahamic religions.

  43. Jared

    “Except for the first surah, Al-Fatiha, the Qur’an is organized by descending length of the surah. That is the longest surah is Surah 2 and the shortest is Surah 114. This organization prevents recovery of any chronology by a simple examination of the text.”

    That’s probably for the best, as Islamic hermeneutics permits a degree of contradiction within the Qur’an. When two directives are found to be in conflict, consider the latter revelation as having superseded the former. Given that the peaceful preaching in Mecca came preceded the more bellicose passages from Muhammad’s life in Medina (before he conquered Mecca), I don’t mind that sorting out this timeline proves to be a challenge for lay Muslims.

  44. Kevin

    Considering you have virtually conceded my point that Muslims tend to be not well-suited to high tech (which explains why Jihadists tend to prefer terrorism over large-scale high-tech conventional military), let’s move on to consider the faith-force axis of evil. First we should realize the problem arises not from religion as a whole, but from the faith-force portions (which are not the same proportion in all religions).

    Concerning the Boxer Rebellion, that was over 100 years ago; they were anti-foreign, but didn’t engage in terrorism outside of China. Similarly, Christian terrorism subsided centuries ago, and even during the Crusades, was not as extensive as Jihadi wars. While Islam-inspire terrorism is currently a major threat.

    Your last sentence is mere opinion, amounting to a-priori assumption (that all members of a set must be equivalent):
    “I don’t see anything in Islam that makes it inherently more prone to that than the other Abrahamic religions.”

    This could be interpreted to mean, any association of type of religion and terrorism is mere random coincidence as all religions necessarily are equally prone to force-initiation. How do you know that? Have you done any statistical analysis (of the texts themselves, or correlations of terrorism with type of religion)?

    Because if your statement is mere axiom, then no amount of factual proof would suffice to alter your viewpoint. So, before going on a fool’s errand and providing the data, I’d like to know if your views are derived empirically from data or deductively from assumption.

  45. Thomas Knapp

    “While Islam-inspire terrorism is currently a major threat.”

    In some alternate universe, perhaps. In THIS universe, lightning strikes have killed more than three times as many people in America since 9/11 as terrorists have.

  46. Kevin

    ” lightning strikes have killed more than three times as many people in America since 9/11 as terrorists have”
    Thomas, your arguments are a fig leaf for your a-priori assumptions.
    –Even if true, your new assumption is, if terrorist plots are thwarted, they were never a threat.
    –You compare terrorist attacks (which are human-caused) with natural events like lightning; you might as well compare terrorism deaths to, say, deaths from old age; and conclude form that, terrorism is relatively benign.
    –You ignore harm that does not result in immediate death, such as maiming or economic costs.
    –You now avoid my point that even if trivial (which it is not), faith-inspired terrorism does not occur in equal proportions among all religious communities.

    Here is a chronology of post-9/11 Jihadist plots and attacks in the US:
    https://politicalscience.osu.edu/faculty/jmueller/since.html

  47. dL

    Now DL, in addition to scatological juvenile language

    Full of shit is blunt language. Whether the use is juvenile or not depends on the context.

    They stuck to themselves, and one was caught cheating in his finals; the textbook had a saying in the preface, in Hebrew. They tend to be not very bright, and Persians tend to be a lot more cultured than say, Pakistanis.

    Well, if your school was admitting dumb students, your anecdotal evidence only hints at the quality of the school you were attending. My anecdotal experience differs. A foreign student population drawn from Northern Africa, the middle east and southeast asia, all of them multilingual and every last one them(at least for the males), engineering students. Petroleum engineering to be exact. This was in a big oil and gas state.

    The arab student population was mostly muslim, but not all. Most were not all that devout. Some were, though. That was my first introduction to the daily salat prayer ritual(done in the student library). I was the drummer in the multinational dorm band(primarily b/c I owned the drums). But the best drummer in the dorm was a kuwaiti, IIRC. Always adorned in the traditional arabic thawb. But the dude had some great heavy metal chops. And he could play all the songs. The only stereotype I can up with was that they were all seemingly skilled at ping pong. And I became a pretty good ping pong player for a time.

  48. dL

    Even if true, your new assumption is, if terrorist plots are thwarted, they were never a threat.

    The question is not whether terrorism is exists or is a threat, it is whether terrorism justifies the War on Terror state. The answer is no. That is, if you are a libertarian, or even a liberal. The secondary question is whether a “war on terror” actually precipitates the very thing it ostensibly sets out to prevent. The answer to that question is empirically beyond dispute: Yes.

    Your primary way of answering those questions appears to be a diversionary claim that muslims are more or less inferior or subhuman and therefore deserve whatever they get. Of course, I would be remiss not to point out that none of this has anything to do with the original post. You show up here with your usual anti-islam rants demanding “can you prove this or can you prove that” and then whine that the board is irrational for failing to take the bait.

  49. Thomas Knapp

    “Even if true, your new assumption is, if terrorist plots are thwarted, they were never a threat.”

    You’re moving the goalposts. Before it was a “major” threat. Now it’s just a “threat.”

    But fine.

    When the FBI has to actively work to radicalize Muslims and then urge them to engage in acts of terror, and then provide the equipment for same, and then cajole them to follow through so that they can make arrests and claim “terrorist plots,” no, it isn’t a real “threat,” let alone a “major” one.

  50. Gina

    The original release wasn’t about Muslims at all, it talked about China as an *example* of a state which uses religion as one of *several* reasons to crack down on minorities – not just religious minorities but ethnic, cultural, ideological, philosophical, political, social, sexual, and indeed any deviation from the state’s attempt to create a completely uniform and compliant population. Among religious minorities, the once again increasingly totalitarian Chinese regime is going after not just Muslims but Buddhists, Christians, Falun Gong and others.

    Uighurs are a population of several million people who have been under Chinese rule for centuries; presumably Chinese regimes have managed to rule them all that time, often with less repression than lately. China isn’t the only nation that has to contend with a Muslim minority of substantial size, nor is this a new issue for many nations, and most of them have managed to handle it without such extreme repression or anything approaching it, so Kevin’s question about what else the Chinese regime could do seems rather absurd.

    Likewise absurd is his contention that Muslims are low IQ, when Muslims did a great deal to preserve classical civilization while Europe stewed in the dark ages. Arabic numerals, algebra and much else originates in the Middle East. Today, we can see numerous Muslims in graduate studies in the math, science and engineering departments of most universities, among the faculty, among doctors in many major hospitals and private medical practices, and so on.

    For some reason Kevin seems to think that guerrilla warfare is a low IQ tactic, yet many nations have used it to free themselves of colonial or imperialist rule. American colonists used it to defeat the British, as did Jewish settlers in Palestine to create what is today Israel. Many countries, including many Muslim countries, throughout Asia and Africa freed themselves of European colonial rule within the past century. Russian guerrillas did a great deal to help defeat Napoleon and Hitler. Afghan guerrillas have been defeating empires for centuries from Alexander the Great to the Brits, Soviets and perhaps the US (occupation now in 18th year). The Vietnamese have used similar tactics successfully against the Chinese, French and Americans. If it’s such a low IQ tactic why does it have such a good record against the world’s most powerful empires?

    Islamophobes often contend that Muslims are in the midst of a conquest of Europe, Russia and Israel through immigration and birth rates, and that within a few short decades all of these areas are likely to be under the iron grip of Sharia law. The more rabid islamaphobes froth at the mouth that the US, Canada and Australia are likewise in danger of soon falling to Muslim conquest despite currently having Muslim populations in the very low single digit percentages. If this has any truth to it whatsoever, how can it be that an allegedly low IQ population has outwitted the West so thoroughly since WWII, managing not only to free themselves of colonial rule in dozens of nations covering large stretches of Asia and Africa but to put themselves in position to take over the West’s remaining strongholds in Europe, the Americas and Oceania?

  51. Gina

    I don’t think anyone was saying that “bake the cake” was on the same order of level of repression as what the Chinese is doing to the Uighurs. Perhaps it was an attempt at a slippery slope argument.

  52. Kevin

    DL–the school I discussed was a business school, not engineering or STEM.

    There were many non-Muslims at Armstrong,
    the cheater was Muslim. Probably he refused to
    read the book, because it was written by a Jew.
    An Austrian economist.

  53. Thomas Knapp

    “Probably he refused to read the book, because it was written by a Jew.”

    Unlikely, seeing as how three of Islam’s four holy books (the Injil or “gospel,” the Torah, and the Zabur or “book of David”) were written by Jews.

  54. Kevin

    The Jewish author in question, was not writing at the time the Torah was written. He wrote during the 20th century. Things have changed since the Torah was written. Muslims today tend to have a negative view of Jews, they oppose the existence of Israel as a homeland for Jews, and don’t tolerate Jews in Gaza or the West Bank. In Sharia law countries, infidels are at best second class citizens.

    Further, Muslims today have three holy texts which they focus on, the Old Testament is not one of them. From Wikipedia:

    “Because he believed the Quran replaced it, Muhammad did not teach from the Torah but referenced it heavily. ”

    Thomas, are you being deliberately obtuse? You are disputing basic facts. Where is this coming from? Not from the non-initiation of force principle.

  55. Kevin

    The Old Testament includes more than the Torah. Jewish holy texts include more than the Torah. Though not identical with Christian Old Testament.

  56. George Phillies

    ” guerrilla warfare is a low IQ tactic, yet many nations have used it to free themselves of colonial or imperialist rule. American colonists used it to defeat the British”

    Not on this planet they didn’t. Our side won via orthodox land battles, though the definitive battle of the chesapeake that doomed cornwallis was between ships of the line, none of them American.

  57. Gina

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_guerrilla_warfare#American_Revolution

    “Although many of the engagements of the American Revolution were conventional, guerrilla warfare was used to a certain extent during this conflict from 1775–1783, which made a significant impact. Guerrilla tactics were first used at the Battles of Lexington and Concord by the Patriots at April 19, 1775. George Washington sometimes used some sort of unconventional methods to fight the British. During the Forage War, George Washington sent militia units with limited Continental Army support to launch raids and ambushes on British detachments and forage parties, the militia, and Continental Army support would skirmish with British detachments in small-scale battles and engagements. Throughout the Forage War, British casualties exceeded past 900. The Forage War raised morale for the Patriots as their guerrilla operations against the British were very effective. Next, there are other Americans that used hit and run raids, ambushes, and surprise attacks against the British such as William R. Davie, David Wooster, Francis Marion, Shadrach Inman, Daniel Morgan, Morgan’s riflemen, and the Overmountain Men. All these American guerrilla fighters did their part by using unconventional tactics to fight the British and loyalists. Nathanael Greene used a guerrilla strategy very effectively against Lord Cornwallis. First, Nathanael Greene would keep retreating to lure the British far from their supply lines, then send out his forces to fight in small skirmishes and engagements with British detachments to weaken them. Then fighting the conventional battle, Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis at Guilford Court House and gave him a severe blow. Although Lord Cornwallis was the victor, his victory was pyrrhic as he had too many casualties that he could ill afford. After the British surrender at Yorktown and America gaining their independence, many of these Americans who used guerrilla tactics and strategies became immortalized and romanticized as time passed. Although guerrilla warfare was frequently used when avoiding battles, the Americans fought in conventional linear formations in decisive battles against the British. The American Revolution could be seen as a hybrid war since both conventional and guerrilla warfare was used throughout its duration”

  58. dL

    DL–the school I discussed was a business school, not engineering or STEM.

    The school I discussed was not specifically an engineering or STEM institution. It was just a plain college.

    the cheater was Muslim. Probably he refused to
    read the book, because it was written by a Jew.
    An Austrian economist.

    well, who gives a flying fuck. Someone cheated on a test, what, 45 years ago, and you’re using that as a pretext to defend China state crackdowns on the muslim population. It’s not like I relish the role of being a defender of Islam; this is much more about the basic rules of logic that you duplicitously flaunt.

  59. Kevin

    In the Revolutionary War, the rebels often had prior experience, hunting with long-distance rifles that were better than muskets. There was no huge technology gap nor was the technology of either side particularly difficult or requiring of intelligence.

  60. Kevin

    DL said:
    “A foreign student population drawn from Northern Africa, the middle east and southeast asia, all of them multilingual and every last one them(at least for the males), engineering students. Petroleum engineering to be exact. This was in a big oil and gas state.”

    Then he said:
    “The school I discussed was not specifically an engineering or STEM institution. It was just a plain college.”

    The Arabs were herding sheep, and living a sparse nomadic existence until westerners discovered oil and developed an infrastructure for it. Once the amount of wealth became obvious, they increasingly nationalized it. Now they still employ a lot of westerners and send their kids to western universities. I’m not sure what DL’s point here is.

    The general trend here, with few exceptions, is to defend Muslims and minimize the threat of Jihadism; and even deny that Europe is not being taken over as we speak. Yet this does not explain Brexit and other native uprisings, in protest at the conquest and spoilation that is occurring. Apparently this is all due to racism?! Unbelievable willful ignorance and blind stupidity.

    The problem is not just with Islam; but with all faiths, including even secular faiths like communism, or neo-paganism like Nazis. Faith-based ideologies must be destroyed, intellectually, economically, and militarily; or civilization will collapse. It is collapsing as we speak, in case you hadn’t noticed, stock markets are down about 20% in the last couple of months.

  61. Gina

    “….and even deny that Europe is not being taken over as we speak.”

    So not only did “low IQ” Muslims free themselves of European colonialism in dozens of nations all over Asia and Africa within less than a century but are now taking over Europe? How can that be if the Europeans are so much smarter? Kevin’s claims just do not add up. As usual. Not even when you use Arabic numerals and algebra (or don’t).

  62. Kevin

    I’ve heard that false claim about Muslim inventing numbers or some branch of math, dozens of times. If I were paid for disproving them, that would help with my rent. Here is a brief summary of the history of algebra (Arabic numbers were invented by Indians, whom the Muslims later conquered and spread the books):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_algebra

    Another basic fact, is that cultures and peoples change over the centuries. We can’t assume that achievements of remote ancestors of present-day Muslims is relevant today. I could as easily lay a claim to superior Viking skills, though I admit I have studied the topic and view the raid on Lindesfarne as a model worthy of emulation in certain circumstances.

    Gina, I’m not sure what is your “larger point” about the American Revolution, please tell us.

  63. Gina

    The larger point was not about the American revolution. Here is that paragraph with the reference to the American revolution taken out in case someone is getting caught up on that:

    For some reason Kevin seems to think that guerrilla warfare is a low IQ tactic, yet many nations have used it to free themselves of colonial or imperialist rule. […] used it to defeat the British, as did Jewish settlers in Palestine to create what is today Israel. Many countries, including many Muslim countries, throughout Asia and Africa freed themselves of European colonial rule within the past century. Russian guerrillas did a great deal to help defeat Napoleon and Hitler. Afghan guerrillas have been defeating empires for centuries from Alexander the Great to the Brits, Soviets and perhaps the US (occupation now in 18th year). The Vietnamese have used similar tactics successfully against the Chinese, French and Americans. If it’s such a low IQ tactic why does it have such a good record against the world’s most powerful empires?

    The rest of the larger point is in the comment that paragraph is taken from and remains way outside Kevin’s grasp.

  64. Gina

    For example:

    Today, we can see numerous Muslims in graduate studies in the math, science and engineering departments of most universities, among the faculty, among doctors in many major hospitals and private medical practices, and so on.

    And:

    Islamophobes often contend that Muslims are in the midst of a conquest of Europe, Russia and Israel through immigration and birth rates, and that within a few short decades all of these areas are likely to be under the iron grip of Sharia law. The more rabid islamaphobes froth at the mouth that the US, Canada and Australia are likewise in danger of soon falling to Muslim conquest despite currently having Muslim populations in the very low single digit percentages. If this has any truth to it whatsoever, how can it be that an allegedly low IQ population has outwitted the West so thoroughly since WWII, managing not only to free themselves of colonial rule in dozens of nations covering large stretches of Asia and Africa but to put themselves in position to take over the West’s remaining strongholds in Europe, the Americas and Oceania?

    There’s more, so refer back to the original comment.

  65. Gina

    Ironically, following Kevin’s own wikipedia link and following the links therein contained to more wikipedia articles shows that Muslims contributed a great deal to mathematics and science. There are many Muslims working in mathematics and the sciences today, as well as engineering, medicine, and other pursuits which would be rather difficult to sustain with a low IQ.

  66. Thomas Knapp

    “Faith-based ideologies must be destroyed, intellectually, economically, and militarily; or civilization will collapse.”

    The ideology that calls for destroying faith-based ideologies militarily is itself a faith-based ideology. It calls for the belief, completely un-backed by any evidence, that it is possible to destroy ideas through force.

    Hint: There are still adherents of Shinto in Japan, Buddhism in Tibet, Judaism/Christianity/Bahaism/Zoroastrianism in Iran, etc.

  67. Kevin

    Ideological faith cannot exist in a vacuum or a world of pure ideas. It is nurtured and subsidized by money. Remove the oil subsidies, and other rewards, and Islam would quickly slink back to where it was in the 19th century.

    By the same token, communism collapsed after it had already spent the money gotten from looting countries Stalin seized during WW2, and could not generate sufficient funds.

    Oil export facilities can easily be destroyed through military means. As a side benefit, US frackers would profit greatly.

  68. Kevin

    Guerrilla warfare can be fought intelligently, but less IQ is required than for high tech warfare. For instance, faith can instill persistence and willingness to endure harsh conditions (required for guerrilla warfare) but is not a sign of high IQ.

    But the point Gina is trying to make is not related to my previous comments, which talked about terrorism, not guerrilla warfare. Though the same group can do both, they are not the same thing.

  69. Jared

    “Faith-based ideologies must be destroyed, intellectually, economically, and militarily; or civilization will collapse. It is collapsing as we speak, in case you hadn’t noticed, stock markets are down about 20% in the last couple of months.”

    What does the persistence of religious faith globally have to with current stock market prices? And what does a couple of bad months for the stock market have to do with the collapse of civilization? Lay off the Ayn Rand for awhile.

  70. Kevin

    US government economic policies have been irrational and are faith-based. The former Soviet Union had faith in Marxism and this caused their economic collapse.

    After the fall of the Soviet Union, most faith-based regimes are Islamist, not communist. There is a very high negative correlation between the extent of religious faith, and economic development; here is the documentation (note, Islamist regimes are lowest in development and highest in faith; while Scandinavian countries are very high in development and lowest in faith):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country

    The difficulty the US is in does not amount to a couple of bad months. Problems have been brewing for decades and we are now starting to reap the harvest. The recent 20% drop in stock prices–just tremors that precede a much more significant decline to come, soon.

    Fed QE policies have artificially propped up stock and real estate prices. Now, interest rates have to rise in order to finance the growing deficits; and this will prick the bubbles. People who have been paying attention, realize this.

  71. Kevin

    Here is an interesting documentary on how China is dealing with Islamism in their NW province, rich in natural resources but a source of terrorism that has killed hundreds of Han Chinese:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ3fG-tnzCk

    The Uighurs are a Turkic people with nomadic origins (nomadic people traditionally are foes of settlers such as farmers, whom they raid and conquer; Islam provides them with faith-based ideological justification for their traditional predations:

  72. Kevin

    Excuse me, here is the correct first link (documenting how China is dealing with Islamism in their NW province):

  73. Gina

    ” As a side benefit, US frackers would profit greatly.”

    And consequently hospitals, hospices and pharmaceutical companies too. Medical equipment suppliers, funeral homes, cemeteries…

    “But the point Gina is trying to make is not related to my previous comments, which talked about terrorism, not guerrilla warfare. Though the same group can do both, they are not the same thing.”

    There is no try, there is only do. Speaking of which, please do explain how you believe Muslims are at the same time of lower intelligence than Europeans and at the same time in the last several decades have managed not only to free most of the Muslim world of European colonialism but are now busy taking over Europe. How can that be? If they are mentally inferior how come they are outwitting the Europeans?

    “What does the persistence of religious faith globally have to with current stock market prices? ”

    Markets are at least in part faith based, as is in fact the entire economy underlaid by the US federal reserve note which is backed by the “full faith and credit of the US government,” meaning that the US regime is also faith based.

    ” Lay off the Ayn Rand for awhile.”

    Solid advice. Certainly avoid her advice regarding cigarettes and bombing Muslims too while you’re at it.

    “US government economic policies have been irrational and are faith-based. ”

    Kevin recognizes this yet still thinks “After the fall of the Soviet Union, most faith-based regimes are Islamist, not communist.” These are contradictory beliefs. If US government economic policies are faith based, so are those of all or just about all regimes in any part of the world, and most of them are not Muslim.

    I think he does finally have a good point however, regarding markets.

  74. Kevin

    Gina now seems to be floating the theory that higher oil prices would lead to more (US?) deaths. Au contraire, higher prices discourage driving of vehicles (vehicular accidents are a leading cause of death).

    Gina indirectly raises the larger question, of why do intelligent people make stupid choices. Unfortunately, people tend to specialize. Because of economic difficulties, they tend to focus on job-related skills, and neglect a liberal education. Intelligent people tend to go to college, and Liberal Arts academia tends to have a leftist bias.

    Sometimes, simpler technology is more effective. For instance, in WW2, German weapons, while manufactured to precise standards, were difficult to calibrate, particularly in sub-zero temperatures (e.g. at Stalingrad). While the Soviets used the predecessor of AK-47, which was not as accurate in test ranges but was easier to maintain and operate.

    In democracy, numbers translate into political power. In a “war of the wombs”, Muslim tend to prevail, particularly when western democracies have generous welfare programs, which they exploit, while creating more children. While liberated western women, and western couples who are burdened with taxes (that subsidize those on welfare) and this causes both to work and delay or forego child-bearing. Which explains the below than replacement levels of reproduction of native Europeans.

    Doesn’t take much intelligence to draw welfare, torch vehicles, rape infidels, steal, file lawsuits, intimidate, and/ or do terrorism. But such Jihadist actions are very costly to the host population, while enabling predators to dominate.

    Then Gina appears to quote me, but some are from others. I think Gina slightly misunderstands my point on how faith negatively affects markets. I’m not talking about faith that stocks will go up or down, but a faith process that leads people to vote in politicians who enact irrational policies which hurt the economy.

    Ayn Rand is not the issue. She didn’t invent the philosophy which underlines “Objectivism” (neither did Peikoff, whose “Analytic/Synthetic Dichotomy borders on plagiarism). She was a dramatist. There is nothing new in Objectivism, she simply wove together strands in western civilization that were previously disparate.

    Gina appears to fall prey to binary thinking, that if US policies are faith-based, they must fall into the same category as other regimes, such as the communist or Islamist; and all those in the set must be equivalent. No regime from history perfectly exemplifies any political system or philosophy; all have reasonable and unreasonable aspects, though not in the same proportions.

  75. Gina

    “Gina now seems to be floating the theory that higher oil prices would lead to more (US?) deaths.”

    No, environmental damage from fracking. We’ll get to the rest later.

  76. Thomas Knapp

    “Here is an interesting documentary on how an authoritarian hell hole’s regime is acting like an authoritarian hell-hole’s regime. Our regime should act like that too, because freedom.”

    Fixed, no charge.

  77. Chuck Moulton

    Kevin wrote:

    Apparently this is all due to racism?! Unbelievable willful ignorance and blind stupidity.

    Bingo! You’re finally getting it, Kevin! Took you long enough to do that introspection and admit the error of your views…

    I’m glad you finally said something with which I can agree. Finding common ground is much better than constantly disagreeing.

  78. Kevin

    Doubting Thomas said:
    “’Here is an interesting documentary on how an authoritarian hell hole’s regime is acting like an authoritarian hell-hole’s regime. Our regime should act like that too, because freedom.”

    Fixed, no charge.”‘

    Since I said no such thing (in fact, said to the contrary), Thomas is no longer doubting, he now has faith he can read my mind and doesn’t have to read what I write. He now appears to regret his former work for the US military, and defends his former adversaries because they are angry and rebellious.

    I said, China is going too far, but at least they recognize there is a problem. Thomas does not believe there is a significant problem, because more Americans die from lightning than terrorism. Leaving aside the fact that in some climates where terrorists operate, there are few lightning strikes and many terrorist attacks, there are basic flaws with his line of thinking.

    1. Counter-terrorism does prevent some terrorism from occurring. Does successful counter-terrorism mean, terrorism is not a big problem?
    2. Modern medicine means, many victims of terrorism who otherwise would die, do not die. They might be maimed, and the whole process is very costly.
    3. Most Jihadism doesn’t consist of armed warfare or terrorism. Such as lawfare, rape of infidels, arson of infidel cars, looting of infidel stores, and drawing welfare from infidel regimes. The “Jihad of the wombs” not only supplies numbers, votes and power, but when their children are brainwashed to become Shahids, that is also a form of Jihad.
    4. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to protect against lightning, or drunk driving, or the many other things that can cause death.
    5. There are many economic and psychological costs to terrorism.

    Thomas is not addressing the points I’m raising, instead insincerely raises red herrings in order to waste my time, and uses language designed to ridicule without providing actual reasons for ridicule.

  79. Kevin

    Paulie’s posting of irrelevant material amounts to someone plugging their ears and saying “na-na-na” to avoid debate. Paulie, if you don’t want to debate or read me, then don’t debate or read me. I don’t really care one way or the other. Your behavior just gets in the way of those who do want a serious exchange of information and ideas (silly me, I had thought that was a purpose of this group).

    I’m having difficulty deciding who Paulie reminds me of the most; Lady Bountiful bearing gifts to the unwashed masses, or a self-righteous Victorian matron making a fuss at a bordello (without engaging in the activities for which the establishment is known).

  80. Gina

    You’re once again full of crap, but I have run out of time and patience for it. If you think bombing other countries back to a pre-industrial state doesn’t damage the environment and economy your ignorance is far too profound to deal with. if fracking was economically more advantageous it would beat out oil imports in the marketplace, and if it was not damaging to the environment and human health it would not need non-consenting limited liability and we would see whether it would still be economically competitive if full risks and costs were born by those reaping the profits. Of course, having the same people reaping those profits pay for studies and puff pieces is to be expected. But anyway, this has become boring, so I think I’ll join everyone else who has stopped reading your inane comments.

  81. Kevin

    Gina said:
    ” If you think bombing other countries back to a pre-industrial state doesn’t damage the environment and economy your ignorance is far too profound to deal with.”

    (K) Gina now appears to want the US to unilaterally stop using bombs, in order to help the environment. The bombing of factories that produced war materiel was a common tactic used against the Nazis, even bombing of residential areas where factory workers lived, and bombing of whole cities. That is no longer necessary, as modern technology enables precise targeting and smaller bombs. People who have been paying attention realize this, so unless you’re proposing some form of pacifism, what is your point here?

    (G) if fracking [were] economically more advantageous it would beat out oil imports in the marketplace

    (K) Fracking technology has improved, US frackers are able to make money within the current price range. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be producing oil and the US would once again be a net importer of oil. If the full cost of middle east oil were reckoned, the price would be higher. Providing military protection for investments and trade through international costs money, in most cases, tax/debt money and not user fees. In addition, much of middle eastern oil profits go to subsidize terrorism.

    Concerning limited liability, I’m not sure if you mean they are corporations? If corporations should be abolished I’m willing to consider that, but still, oil would have to be produced so our modern economy can function; there are risks associated with any type of oil extraction. If your objective would be to outlaw oil extraction, there would be a big price to pay for de-industrialization (billions would die from the resulting economic collapse) with no way to enforce the prohibition (except by bombing the oil rigs?).

    If you don’t want to read my comments, simply don’t do so. Why make an ostentatious show of reading them and then saying you are not going to read them? If you don’t relish debate, why come here? If you don’t like bordellos, why go there and make a fuss?

  82. Kevin

    I see that Paulie is doubling-down on his noise generation intended to interfere with this thread, like a latter-day Carry Nation going into saloons in order to smash bottles. How twisted.

    If you don’t want me to post here then ban me, and we will see what the owner thinks about your juvenile behavior.

  83. William T. Forrest

    Don’t even try to confuse Kevin with facts. He’s a moral leper just looking for an excuse to bomb, starve and kill with disease millions of human beings, men, women and children, in dozens of countries on at least 2-4 continents, in the process of turning the clock of technological process by a couple of centuries for a billion and a half people. Perhaps these kinds of twisted fantasies are the only thing that can bring him sexual satisfaction anymore.

  84. Kevin

    William, your psychologizing is noted. Your certainty about facts is misplaced, as I don’t propose any of the things you claim I am guilty of, which amount to genocide and the collapse of civilization. Since Jihadists are going a long way to doing the very things I am accused of, this amounts to denial and projection.

    DL, this thread is getting very weird, as I see you have picked up the baton that Paulie wisely dropped. The weirdness does not deter me, as this simply exposes the warped psychological environment in which some people here have confined themselves. Hopefully, this will be a teaching lesson for saner heads, and possibly self-examination by the self-styled experts who seem to live in a world of their own invention.

    Wolfefan, I’m not sure what your point is about Canadian oil. I am 100% in favor of the pipeline, and purchasing oil from our Canadian brothers.

  85. Kevin

    Paulie, when you’ve dug yourself into a hole, the wisest thing is to stop digging. Your video post is clearly unrelated to this thread, and amounts to yelling “na-na-na” while plugging your ears,. You deliberately try to disrupt the conversation in an attempt to drive me away, but don’t have the balls to outright ban me, as that would probably exceed your mandate (as I haven’t violated any rules of the owner).

    Your latest post amounts to a tripling-down of your rudeness, exposing for all to see your psychological immaturity. This site is supposed to be inclusive, which is why it is for third parties and not just the LP (much less the controlling faction that has driven the LP over the cliff). This amounts to an unwritten, unacknowledged prohibition of blasphemy. I suppose I should be grateful at not being beheaded.

    There seems to be a big confusion. Being libertarian should not be confused with juvenile behavior, rebellion against western values, denial of real threats, and suicidal policies.

  86. dL

    You deliberately try to disrupt the conversation in an attempt to drive me away

    It’s called mockery, which is a proper response to your thread hijacking drivel, the substance of which amounts to little more than advocating the extermination–or military domination– of roughly 1/3 of the planet’s population b/c you think someone cheated on a test 45 years ago.

  87. Libertydave

    Keven sounds a lot like Andy but at least Keven isn’t trying to claim his bigoted views are libertarian.

  88. dL

    Keven sounds a lot like Andy but at least Keven isn’t trying to claim his bigoted views are libertarian.

    He actually does claim that label. He is–at least the last I checked he was–co-chair of the libertarian defense caucus. Bjornson maintains that his military interventionist views are not aggression according to the Roman conception of Natural Law. Sort of like Ayn Rand claiming genocide–according to Objectivist principles–isn’t always genocide.

  89. Gina

    Holy shit what a psycho Kevin is. Belongs in a fucking straightjacket and a padded room. Forget him.

  90. Kevin

    Gina, if I should be ignored by others, why don’t you simply ignore me and let others decide for themselves? You are a self-righteous busy-body. You keep posting videos that are unrelated to the thread. While my comments are related to the thread. Your critique of my psychological health verges on hysteria and amounts to projection.

    I don’t go out of my way to try to block others from talking with you, or post irrelevant music videos. That behavior is abnormal. Weird and unprofessional.

  91. Kevin

    DL: I don’t advocate genocide. I don’t advocate US intervention in China’s internal policies, which are criticized heavily here. What do you propose to do about China’s policies? I could as easily say, you want to intervene militarily in China and finish what the Uighurs have started, and wipe out Han Chinese. Or more likely, merely virtue-signal.

    I don’t endorse every possible military intervention, by the US or others. I’ve never said that nor do I think that. While you appear to favor the opposite: all military intervention is unjust. Perhaps you don’t but that is the implication, since I favor only some interventions. What type of military intervention would you favor, if any?

    Even if all military intervention were unjust, how do you propose to stop it? Besides virtue-signalling.

  92. Kevin

    Paulie, not only are your music videos off-topic, they aren’t even good music. White trash.
    This is much better:

  93. dL

    What type of military intervention would you favor, if any?

    None. In fact, I don’t even favor standing armies…

    Even if all military intervention were unjust, how do you propose to stop it? Besides virtue-signalling.

    I don’t “virtue signal.” I’m a retired libertine, lol. I’m out of the “signaling game,” but this is pretty close to what I was signaling back in the day when I was actually into signaling something. The dudes had to pay, however…

  94. Kevin

    Now DL proposes the US have no standing army. Then Paulie spams the thread. This duet combines unicorn-hunting with rude bad taste.

    1. The NIFP does not prohibit a standing army.
    2. The US constitution does not prohibit a standing army, but authorizes a two year appropriation cycle for the army. So it must stand for at least two years. That limitation has been more than met (from Heritage):
    “Despite periodic congressional efforts to move to a two-year appropriations cycle, the annual appropriations for the military are the rule”
    3. No nation in history known to me has ever not had a standing army (and survived).

  95. dL

    Now DL proposes the US have no standing army.

    As any unterrified jeffersonian democrat would do…

    No nation in history known to me has ever not had a standing army (and survived).

    ~ 23 countries today have no standing army. Liberty doesn’t survive a permanent standing army. That wasn’t a particularly controversial view two centuries ago, or even a century ago, and it shouldn’t be controversial among libertarians today.

  96. Kevin

    DL’s list of 23 countries includes the Vatican, which does have walls and also a standing army (Swiss Guards). Most of the other “countries” are small islands that do not have sufficient manpower, nor financial means, to have large armies. All of them have treaties for protection and/or small standing force.

    Here is the Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_without_armed_forces

    BTW, Thomas Jefferson was very “Jeffersonian” Though he distrusted and disliked a standing army, he recognized it’s necessity and in 1802 signed the “Military Peace Establishment Act” which created West Point and maintained a standing army.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Peace_Establishment_Act

    DL–you are basing your opinions on non-libertarian assumptions and don’t recognize the importance of facts.

  97. Jared

    Thomas Jefferson’s life was almost humorously inconsistent with his public values. Take his views on emancipation and the national debt, and then consider that he freed very few of his own slaves and was massively in debt when he died, at least partly because he had expensive taste and refused to live within his means. (Congress had passed the rather limited Bankruptcy Act in 1800, but it was repealed only three years later, so declaring bankruptcy wasn’t an option at the time.)

    “Jeffersonian democracy” has to do Jefferson’s stated principles of decentralized, agrarian, classically liberal governance, not his lifestyle or the actions he took as President.

  98. dL

    DL’s list of 23 countries includes the Vatican, blah, blah, blah

    Your assertion was that standing armies were mandatory for any county’s existence and survival. Your assertion is debunked, notwithstanding your backtracking, qualifying “but’s”.

    BTW, Thomas Jefferson was very “Jeffersonian”

    Unterrified Jeffersonian democrat is a different species than the slave owning hypocrite variety.

    DL–you are basing your opinions on non-libertarian assumptions and don’t recognize the importance of facts.

    No, facts are important, particularly when forming judgements about people…

  99. Kevin

    I believe all small “nations” have a standing police force. What matters is not the label, but the existence of a standing armed force that is employed by government and armed for the purpose of protecting the population against aggression. Theoretically, the US military could be called “police”–would that make you feel better?

    Some have arrangements whereby a larger, stronger nation’s military protects them; so they are still dependent on standing armies.

    Name one nation that is not reliant upon a standing armed force, of whatever label, their own or another.

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