Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dan Quixote: A Glimpse of an Heroic TSA Agent

A caller named Dan called in to the Michael Berry radio show to take issue with Michael's past criticism of the agents of the Transportation Security Administration. The caller is allegedly a former radio host and attorney who has since become a proud agent of the TSA, and for his sacrifice, he demands the respect often reserved for our armed forces, police, and firefighters. He's saving lives- putting his life on the line, he says, and he's tired of people not giving him the due credit. After all, when we're running out, "he's running in."

Not sure how much truth is in that. I can't imagine that the two week training he cites gave him much practice in disassembling or defusing a bomb, so if a bomb is found in a piece of luggage in a particular airport terminal, I doubt that Dan will be rushing in to save the day.

When we pass by Dan at the security checkpoint, we see a man with plastic gloves and a badge sifting through people's personal belongings and familiarly touching strangers. Dan, however, sees himself as heroic guardian who valiantly keeps us safe. And as such, out of gratitude, the passengers he protects should understand any perceived rudeness to be a result of exhaustion and the stress that comes with "putting your life on the line."

Personally, I have yet to encounter a particularly rude TSA agent. Sure, I've been taken aside for enhanced screening and had my belongings taken away, but in these instances, the agents were almost apologetic in doing so. So I've always respected the fact that TSA agents can put up with so many irritable travelers, and continue doing that job day in, day out. I'm just not sure that I have the patience to do that job, and if I did, I cannot imagine I'd be happy. Of course, I have similar respect for restaurant waitstaff, so Dan should probably not expect me to go out of my way to praise him for tilting at windmills.

I would certainly much prefer a system of efficient profiling to a wasteful government agency that gropes passengers willy-nilly and blasts them with radiation. But since we have not yet amendeded this problem, we should understand that there are two types of TSA agents- those who understand that they are employed in a job, and those who think that they are on an heroic quest.

And we should understand that the latter group, to which Dan belongs, is simply delusional. And in the above clip, Michael Berry flawlessly deconstructs that delusion.

William Sullivan

Monday, November 21, 2011

Regarding Butterhalal Turkeys

To Butterball Representative Stephanie Styons:

My name is William Sullivan, and I am a financial advisor and author that frequently contributes to online magazines such as RedState, WorldNetDaily, and American Thinker. I am writing to you in regard to a recent piece at American Thinker by Pamela Geller asserting that all turkeys distributed by Butterball are "certified halal."

The implication of this that is each turkey is ritualistically slaughtered while invoking Allah, the god described by Islam's prohet Muhammad.

Though I am not overtly religious, millions of Christians might not like this. But apparently, your company feels that this should not matter on a holiday memorializing a Christian celebration. I know, I know. It's completely justified for Muslims to practice a self-imposed mandate to only eat this food that that has been sacrificed to their god, but it's utterly ridiculous that Christians might want to avoid eating food that was sacrificed to a god other than their own . But if I could pose just a simple question to you: Wouldn't it make more sense for Butterball to simply offer some turkeys labeled clearly as "halal" for the American minority of Muslims? Why have you instead chosen to force millions of Americans to do something they that they normally would not with this "stealth halal" ploy? I am generously assuming your company to be capable of reason, and you have to have known that Christians would not knowingly purchase food that has been slaughtered according to Islamic ritual. So why have you chosen to holistically do this with your product?

Unless I hear otherwise from you, I will do all I can to urge my family, friends, and readers to boycott all Butterball products until you offer a non-halal option. (Honestly, the fact that I must make this request in a nation that has a very limited Islamic population makes your practices seem utterly absurd) Please know that I and my family have loyally purchased your products in the past. But until you can meet this incredibly simple request, you will receive not one dime from us. And I will not be alone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With the utmost sincerity,

William Sullivan

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Deconstructing Islam's Template of Perfection

When I was young, I devoted quite a bit of study to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.  The reason for my fascination is now certainly clear, if it was even the slightest bit murky then.  My efforts were to answer that one question that haunts us all in our attempts to deconstruct such depravity and horror: "How could this have happened?"  How had one man created such an ideology of militant proselytism, and how could that one man mold a legion of followers ready to sacrifice themselves to meet its dark ends?

In the Western World today, Nazi Germany stands as the textbook example of fanaticism.  For us, there is no more recognizable instance where the human tendency to follow has been more exploited to commit such crimes against humanity.  But as I have argued before, it is not the only example.

On September 11, 2001, America was shaken when nineteen men hijacked four planes, and then used those planes as weapons, robbing thousands of our innocent brethren of their lives.  Men, women, children; Jew, Christian, Muslim; black, white, brown- the hate exceeded all such boundaries we've come to know as potential dividers among men.  The perpetrators' barrel billowed smoke, and the motive could not be any clearer.  These attackers were devout Muslims, soldiers of Allah, and followers of his prophet Muhammad.  And the America that I had grown up to love was worthy of the bitterest hate by such men- worthy of indiscriminate and large-scale murder.

And I had to know: "How could this have happened?"  How had one man created such an ideology of militant proselytism, and how could that one man mold a legion of followers ready to sacrifice themselves to meet its dark ends?

However, I found the research to be quite a different process in this endeavor.  Where every Tom, Dick, and Harry gladly offered their two cents to the fray to deconstruct the mind of Adolf Hitler, Muhammad's critics seemed far fewer.  As I found, two distinct reasons exist for this.  First, historical records are difficult to find regarding Muhammad's life, so the Quran and the Hadith (Islamic traditions) serve as the most reliable sources for the events of the prophet's life.  Second, and most importantly, is the well-noted observation that Islam has a peculiar means of dealing with its critics, which tends to make otherwise outspoken naysayers quickly adhere to Mother's old adage: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Luckily, Muhammad and his successors were not of the mind that there was any wrong in the actions of Allah's prophet and his new seventh century army of Muslims that ravaged Arabia, so they apparently didn't feel the need to airbrush the content we are left with.  Complete among the texts of modern Islamic jurisprudence are tales of polygamy and pedophilia, pillage and plunder, torture and terror, misogyny and mendacity, and widescale murder and mayhem.  Much of this has been highlighted in the works of certain bold critics such as Robert Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel, Andrew Bostom, and Pamela Geller to name just a few.  (Particularly, Spencer's The Truth About Muhammad provides an extremely detailed description of Islam's ideal man.)

Yet despite these efforts, many Americans still don't know a thing about it.  To be honest, few of us felt the need to care about such things before that clear September morning of 2001, despite the fact that violent, armed jihad had for years been a viable tactic for extremist Muslims worldwide.  But now, knowing full-well the magnitude of damage a small number of extremists can cause, it is imperative that the roots of Islam be examined, as it is these very roots that sprout the toxic fruit of Islamic fundamentalism that we call "jihad."

And in examining those roots, some things are undeniable.  Among these is the fact that Muhammad's primary source of income was earned by piracy and theft, plundering the caravans of tradesmen as if it were his divine right.  He had many wives and countless lovers, and consummated the marriage with the child Aisha at the age of nine.  He had his critics (often poets of Arabic tribes) murdered by his followers in the dead of night.  And apart from ordering the stoning of adulterers, he ordered the beheading of hundreds of males in the Jewish Qurayza tribe upon their defeat at Muslim hands, which is but one instance of these mass executions.

Pertinent to note is that none of these claims are commonly refuted by scholars on either side of the argument.  As such, Muhammad's defense primarily consists of condemnation for opposing critics- for having the audacity to look at these seventh century events through a modern Western lens.  And, of course, this condemnation is laced with ample accusations of "Islamophobia."

But it must be asked, as Muhammad is the ideal man in Islam- the template for emulation by all good, righteous Muslims- should it be a wonder when an Islamic Iranian regime lowers the legal marrying age for women to nine? Or when Islamic villages religiously sanctify the stoning of adulterers? Or when men like Theo van Gogh are murdered for their criticism of Islam? Or when vast numbers of men and women are beheaded in the name of Allah and his prophet?

Submitted for the consideration of the readers of Political Palaver is the slideshow below, which details the information I discuss above, complete with sourcing identical to that I have found elsewhere in my study.  Please note, if you choose to read these presented slides- know that there are extremely graphic images, and that the content is politically charged with a harsh tenor against Islam.  Unmistakable is the Christian slant of the presentation, which in some cases goes beyond the necessary criticism in this author's opinion, as there are allegations that Muhammad was given to homoeroticism, incest, cross-dressing, and that he had suicidal tendencies. However, what cannot be denied is the heavily sourced nature of the content, cited directly from the holy texts of Islam and various critiques. In this regard, I will leave the merit of the slideshow to be assessed by each who may view it, who may then take from it what he may. 

And please know that I do not mean to offer this as an indictment upon all Muslims, as I am fully aware that most contemporary Muslims practice their faith in a manner conducive to peaceful existence in Western culture.  Most Muslims live their lives adhering to the Five Pillars of Islam and practicing in peace while rejecting the more misogynistic and violent aspects of the seventh-century iteration of the faith. And some of these Muslims are my friends. But as I have friends who are staunchly critical of my Christian faith (and considering Christian history is certainly not above scrutiny and condemnation), this is merely meant to be a critical analysis, albeit an extremely harsh one, of Islam's foundation, its model, and an explanation for the "why" of what we call Islamic "radicalism."  There is merit in such efforts, and though such things may be unpleasant to think about, it does not mean that such considerations should be absent from constructive discussion.  And to understand the enemy we face in Islamic fundamentalism, we must understand why some followers of the faith feel their murderous jihad to be divinely ordained.

And to try and understand that, one must try to understand Muhammad.  Perhaps this slideshow will give added context to some, and for other Americans it may just be a start.  And whether that start is an attempt to prove or disprove the assertions of the presentation, it will hopefully be of value.

William Sullivan

The Perfect Man of Islam

Thanks to CrossMuslims blog for this PowerPoint.  Original can be found here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Crazily Increasing Wealth of the 1%

"This week, a new economic report confirmed what most Americans already believe to be true: over the past three decades, the middle class has lost ground while the wealthiest few have become even wealthier. In fact, the average income for the top one percent of Americans has risen almost seven times faster than the income of the average middle class family. "
-President Obama, October 29, 2011.



Sometimes lies make for a better story than the truth, I guess. Courtesy of Randall Hoven's brilliant observation, Graph of the Day on American Thinker.

William Sullivan

Saturday, November 5, 2011

John Quincy Adams' One Paragraph Lesson on Islam

In today's world, any critic of Islam is labeled an Islamophobe and marginalized by society at large. But it was not always so.  Here, abolitionist, scholar, and sixth President of the United States John Quincy Adams delivers the most concise, yet deeply analytical assessment of the "why" of Islam.

Please read on.

In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab [Muhammad] of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE [Adams' capital letters]… Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant… While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and goodwill towards men...The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.

Profoud, undeniable truths.  Yet largely hidden today- they are glossed over in efforts to present Islam in a more favorable light.  Thanks to Traeh of the JihadWatch forum for posting this marvelous quote.

William Sullivan