Should we have a Constitutional Convention?

Should we have a Constitutional Convention? By Peter Burrows 2/23/21 elburropete@gmail.com 

A majority of the popular vote in the presidential elections of 2000 and 2016 went to the candidate who lost the election in The Electoral College, and the same was almost true in the 2020 election, where less than a million votes would have reelected Trump, who would have had 5-6 million fewer popular votes than Biden.  

Since that would have been the third time in the last 20 years, something that hadn’t happened since 1888, 132 years ago, I think we can safely conclude that the popular vote not matching the electoral vote is going to become a more or less permanent feature of presidential elections.  

This is a result of both demographic and political trends. In 1960, over twice as many people lived in urban areas vs rural (126M vs. 54M.) By 2020 this has grown to almost five times as many (273M vs, 57M.) Politically, these urban areas have increasingly become strongholds of the Democrat Party. The last Republican mayor of LA, for example was 20 years ago, and of the largest 100 cities today, 64 have Democrat mayors. 

Since the popular vote was won by the Democrat in the above elections, in no small part because of the voting in those cities, it is no surprise that Democrats are leading the charge to do away with the Electoral College.  This started in earnest following the 2000 election with the formation of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, NPVIC, something I wrote about in my last article. (Is ‘The New Republic of Texas’ just the beginning? 2/18/21.) 

The NPVIC is an attempt to change how states cast their Electoral votes, not an attempt to change the Constitution.  That would require a Constitutional amendment, which needs three-quarters of the states (38) to approve, which would be difficult to do when it comes to the Electoral College.  

(Actually, the Constitution does not use the term “Electoral College.” The electors never meet and “college” is from the Latin collegium: a group of people in a common pursuit, and Electoral collegium became Electoral College. I suspect the Founding Fathers were much better acquainted with Latin than we are today.)  

The Constitution, however, provides another way to affect changes to itself. Article V requires that Congress “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments” upon “Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States.” That would be only 34 states and could be surprisingly easy since, apparently, the states don’t have to agree on WHY they want a Constitutional convention, and because a petition is in effect until rescinded.   

Over the years, 27 states have called for a convention to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, BBA, and A5C advocates, which is shorthand for Article V Convention, make a strong case that if seven more states, for whatever reason, also call for a convention, Congress must comply. By including six petitions filed more than 100 years ago, they argue that only one more state petition is needed.  

That’s a stretch. Three of those old petitions were to call a convention to pass an amendment banning a civil war, and one was for direct election of senators, something accomplished in 1913 by the Seventeenth Amendment, so it seems doubtful that Congress would accept those as germane. Still, five of those six states are solid blue, and it is no stretch at all to assume each would quickly update their petitions. (New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon and Washington. Kentucy is the sixth.) 

This is not just hypothetical. The Georgia General assembly will soon vote on petitioning for a Balanced Budget Amendment and that would make 34 states if nothing changes.  The V5C advocates are licking their chops over this because they make a very strong case that no such Constitutional Convention can be legally limited to only one, two or any specific number of issues. It would be open season on everything. 

Critics of such a convention say this could lead to the elimination of the Second Amendment, altering the First in nefarious ways, e.g., to allow prosecution of “hate speech,” and the list goes on and on. Ironically, the complexities of a balanced budget amendment could easily derail that effort, but there’s nothing complex about eliminating the Electoral College, which is the number one target of the A5C crowd.  

Depending on how Article V is interpreted, I think such a Convention could be a good idea. It would certainly get a lot of media coverage and would be a crash course in the Constitution and its history, something American citizens are woefully undereducated about. It wasn’t always that way.  Alexis de Tocqueville in ‘Democracy in America,’ published in 1831, noted that it was “extremely rare” to encounter anyone not familiar with “the leading features “of the Constitution.  

Of course, things could go awry. Much would depend on the authority that a Constitutional Convention would have. My reading of Article V is that such a convention would have the authority only to PROPOSE amendments which would go into effect only after being “ratified by the Legislators of three fourths” of the states. Unfortunately, Article V then adds “or by Conventions in three fourths thereof.”  

Does that include the Constitutional Convention itself? I don’t think so because it says conventions, plural, IN the states, not one convention held outside the state. Pending clarification of that little detail, I would be OK with such a convention, even though it might eliminate the Electoral College, something I oppose.  

Realistically, the Electoral College is about to become irrelevant anyway. If the “For the People Act” passes, something I mentioned in “Is America starting to break apart? 2/8/21,” the Democrats will win both the popular vote and the Electoral College from now on.  Might as well make it official.  

Which finally brings me to “The New Republic of North America,” which was going to be the topic of this article until I got involved in the demographic changes that are putting the Electoral College in jeopardy, and which underlie the justification for that hypothetical new nation. Next week. Sigh.  

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Is ‘The New Republic of Texas’ just the beginning?

Is ‘The New Republic of Texas’ just the beginning? By Peter Burrows 2/18/21 elburropete@gmil.com 

Next November, Texans will vote on whether the Texas Legislature should develop a plan for reestablishing Texas as an independent country, something I wrote about in “Is America starting to break apart?”  (2/8/21.) Texas could be just the beginning if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, hereafter the NPVIC, ever becomes law. Wikipedia has a long, very thorough explanation of NPVIC from which the following two paragraphs have been lifted:  

“The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among a group of U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact is designed to ensure that the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide is elected president, and it would come into effect only when it would guarantee that outcome.[2][3] As of February 2021, it has been adopted by fifteen states and the District of Columbia. These states have 196 electoral votes, which is 36% of the Electoral College and 73% of the 270 votes needed to give the compact legal force 

“—-The project has been supported by editorials in newspapers, including The New York Times,[11] the Chicago Sun-Times, the Los Angeles Times,[15] The Boston Globe,[16] and the Minneapolis Star Tribune,[17] arguing that the existing system discourages voter turnout and leaves emphasis on only a few states and a few issues, while a popular election would equalize voting power. Others have argued against it, including the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.[18] Pete du Pont, a former Governor of Delaware, in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, called the project an “urban power grab” that would shift politics entirely to urban issues in high population states and allow lower caliber candidates to run.[19] A collection of readings pro and con has been assembled by the League of Women Voters.[20] “ 

Whether the last two words in the first paragraph, “legal force,” are a fact or a fantasy is yet to be determined. As it is now, the NPVIC is a blatant attempt to bypass the Electoral College, which in two recent presidential elections has elected a president who didn’t receive a majority of the popular vote: Bush in 2000 and Trump in 2016. It was the 2000 election that started the NPVIC movement, and in 2007 Maryland became the first state to join the NPVIC. 

The 2000 election was the first time in 112 years that the electoral vote differed from the popular vote, which was followed only 16 years later by another such outcome, and then four years later when it nearly happened again in 2020. I don’t think this is just a chance thing; it’s indicative of the new reality of a hopelessly divided America.  (I include the recent 2020 election because while Biden allegedly won by 7 million votes, he could have lost the Electoral College vote with less than a million-vote switch in swing states.)   

The 15 states now in the NPVIC include 8 East Coast states (I included Vermont); 4 West Coast (includes Hawaii); and 3 interior (IL, CO, NM.) As you might expect, all are considered “Blue” states, I.e., regularly vote Democrat. A Constitutional amendment requires approval of 75 percent of the states, which would be 38 states today, a formidable task. By contrast, the NPVIC needs only 18 to 25 states to reach its goal of 270 Electoral College votes, and they’re well over halfway there. (It’s 18 if both TX and FL join; an unlikely scenario.)  

If and when that happens, the Compact is triggered and the states are supposed to cast their votes to the candidate who won the majority of the national vote, regardless of how their state voted, if that candidate would otherwise lose the election in the Electoral College.  When that happens, the legality of the Compact will end up before the Supreme Court, where it will almost certainly be found to be unconstitutional.    

ALMOST certainly. The Constitution does not require Electors to vote according to the popular vote in their state.  Enforcement has been left to the states, where it is very lax and electors, with surprising frequency, don’t always vote as they are supposed to.  

In the 2016 election, for example, three of Hillary Clinton’s electors voted for Colin Powell and one for XL Pipeline protester, Faith Spotted Eagle.  They were fined $1,000 each and last year the Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision, upheld the fines. As Justice Kagan wrote in her opinion, supported by Justice Thomas, “The Constitution’s text and the nation’s history both support allowing a state to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee and the state voters’ choice for President.”  

If the NVPIC ever gets in front of the Supreme Court, the question would then be if a state also has the authority to direct the electors to vote in OPPOSITION to the state’s voters’ choice for president. I expect such a Supreme Court challenge long before the NPVIC hits its 270 goal. Republicans in one or more of those states will want to determine if they should bother to vote at all.  

Regardless, the Electoral College is probably doomed, one way or another. It’s always been the most contentious part of the Constitution, gathering over 700 attempts to change it over the years, and it has never had public support. Interestingly, the latest Pew poll has 55 percent of the voters in favor of abolishing it, which is down from 71 percent in 1981. I would guess that some people are starting to worry about an “urban power grab.”   

The Texas referendum will be closely watched, but it could be that it’s too late for Texas to secede. There are many new Texans from liberal states, and the Texans who live in urban areas may be just fine with an “urban power grab.” That wouldn’t be the case for The New Republic of North America. More about that hypothetical, but possible, new nation in the next article. 

Is America starting to break apart?

Is America starting to break apart? Peter Burrows –2/8/21 – elburropete@gmail.com 

Have you heard of “Texit?” It is shorthand for Texas + Exit and refers to the state of Texas seceding from the United States and becoming a separate nation, something that hasn’t happened since the Civil War. Texans will vote in a referendum next November on whether to authorize the Texas legislature to determine the feasibility of such a move. 

It’s going to be interesting following the campaign leading up to the vote, as well as seeing how the vote breaks down between urban and rural areas. In my opinion, Texit is a reaction to an increasingly dysfunctional Federal Government, which, in turn, increasingly reflects the dysfunctional, and corrupt, governments of our major cities, all run by the Democrat Party. 

The 2020 election was the eye-opener. Massive election fraud in a few of those major cities very probably swung the election to Biden, and for proof, look no further than to the Democrats themselves. Now that they control everything in Washington, D.C., they are proposing national election laws which will virtually legalize the voter fraud they used so successfully in 2020.  

The Democrat controlled House of Representatives will be voting on something called the “For the People Act,” which will ensure only Democrat “People” will henceforth have a majority in the House. This will complement their pending, permanent, control of the Senate following the addition of four new Democrat senators from the new states of Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.  

 The demagoguery justifying the “People Act” is an example of “Big Lie” politics writ large. Here’s what Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, without a shred of prof, in support of the bill:  

“House Democrats are doubling down on our longstanding commitment to advance transformational anti-corruption and clean election reforms by again passing H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Our democracy is in a state of deep disrepair. During the 2020 election, Americans had to overcome rampant voter suppression, gerrymandering and a torrent of special interest dark money just to exercise their right to vote.”  

The bill would require same-day voter registration, online registration, at least 15 days of early voting, no requirement for witness signatures or signature matching on mail-in ballots, allow felons to vote, forgives ineligible voters who are “mistakenly” registered, and essentially removes any requirement to prove citizenship. Gosh, what could go wrong? It would also mandate that 16-and 17-year-olds be registered. Pelosi has said we should allow 16-year-olds to vote, so I guess she is laying the groundwork for that.   

I read that the bill (791 pages!) would violate the states’ constitutional right to set election procedures, but I’m not so sure about that. Article 1, Section 4, says “The Times, Places and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations —.”    

The extent that Congress can “alter” is probably in the interpretation of “Manner of holding elections,” although the states’ determination of “Times” certainly would be usurped by a national 15-day early voting law. It will probably end up in the Supreme Court, and if found unconstitutional could very well trigger the court-packing implied by Biden’s commission on Supreme Court reform. 

Regardless, Democrats at the national level are well on their way to achieving one-party rule even without their proposed bill because they already are very good at stealing elections. The new bill only makes it easier to do so everywhere, not just the big cities in swing states. 

Not everybody thinks that’s a good idea, hence, Texit.  Texas, with its size, entrepreneurial tradition, long coastline and booming energy industry, would probably “thrive as an independent nation,” as the referendum’s sponsor claims. Also, people forget that Texas, unlike any other lower 48 state, had been an independent nation, The Republic of Texas, for nine years before it became a state in 1845.  Other states don’t have such a rich heritage or such bountiful natural assets.   

Critics claim such a move would be unconstitutional, which is probably correct. Article IV, Section 3, says that “no new state shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned AS WELL AS OF THE CONGRESS.” (My emphasis.) 

Some may say that “new state” could also mean “new nation,” but I don’t think that would get too far. In either case, it seems clear that the Constitution prohibits any part of the country from UNILATERALLY changing its political affiliation. 

Still, if push comes to shove, will Congress declare war to prevent an independent Texas? What moral principle would justify such a war?  It is quite possible the nation would prefer an independent Texas to a war-torn, forever alienated Texas. 

Ironically, Texas could claim it is seceding to preserve the Constitution, at least in Texas, and they would have a point. The Constitution is rapidly becoming a dead letter as the Democrats want not just to usurp the states’ Constitutionally delegated election mechanics, but also to vitiate the First Amendment with hate speech laws, chip away at the Second Amendment with national gun-registration, and the list goes on and on.  

The final nail in the Constitution’s coffin would come if an intimidated Supreme Court declares the National Popular Vote movement to be Constitutional.  I hope that never happens, but we’ll look at what effect the NPV could have on the secession movement in my next article.     

Laugh or cry?

Laugh or cry? by Peter Burrows 1/25/21 – elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityuburro.com     

One of Biden’s first acts as president, if not the first, was to implement a transgender speech code at the White House. In case you haven’t heard, the White House contact form now asks for the “preferred pronoun” by which you wish to be addressed: she/her, he/him, or they/them. Those are in addition to the conventional Mr., Mrs., and Ms.  Additional options are: Mx., other (please specify), and none.  

(I had to Google “Mx.” for a definition. Summarized from Wikipedia: “Mx (usually pronounced miks) is an English language neologistic honorific that does not indicate gender. It was developed as an alternative to common gendered honorifics, such as Mr. and Ms, in the late 1970s.” Late 70s? Unwoke me is just learning about it. Sigh.) 

The inclusion of “other (please specify)” may need a little explanation for all you unwokes out there who may be unaware of the recent proliferation of pronouns needed in our Brave New Progressive World.  Why, you say, are more pronounces needed?  Because, silly, there are now more than two genders.  

Male or female used to be one of the easiest things in the world to determine, but not anymore.  I found a site on Google, hopefully satirical, that identified 112 different genders. However, there’s nothing satirical about a $250,000 fine, is there?  

“In New York City, it is now illegal to discriminate anyone whose gender is male, female, ‘or something else entirely.’ Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office last week released a list of 31 genders approved by the New York City Commission on Human Rights — . The list is a guide for businesses, which can now be fined as much as $250,000 if establishments refuse to address someone by their preferred pronoun.” 

That’s from a June 1, 2016 news article. “Only” 31 genders back then, so perhaps 112 today is a serious number. (Facebook was up to 58 by 2018.) And if you think nothing so ridiculous can be serious, you haven’t been paying attention, mis amigos.  Newly re-elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, proving that advanced senility is all the rage in D.C. these days, has proposed that only “gender-inclusive language” be allowed on the House floor. Members are to: 

— eliminate gendered terms such as “‘father, mother, son, daughter,” and more. — the rules package would “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral.”  — Terms to be disallowed include “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin (Huh??), nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, grandson, [and] granddaughter,” to be replaced with “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin (Huh?? again.), sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, [and] grandchild.” — “  (Summarized from The Epoch Times 1/21/21, ‘Huh?s’ added.) 

If Pelosi gets her way, and she will, this will become the law in both the House and eventually the entire country, to be enforced, and not just in New York City, with jail time and fines. This is already true In Norway, where hate speech against transgenders, if said in public, can get a transphobe a fine and up to three years in jail. The law was recently stiffened to include a year in jail for something said in private. Turn off Alexa, you transphobic SOBS!  

In studying this issue, though, I’m afraid enforcement could be extremely difficult. The problem is how to “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns” when the pronouns to use are proliferating almost as fast as the genders they’re supposed to represent. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (thank you, Wisconsin taxpayers), explains the need for all these new pronouns, and adds a very helpful table.   

“A gender neutral or gender inclusive pronoun is a pronoun which does not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed. Some languages, such as English, do not have a gender neutral or third gender pronoun available, and this has been criticized, since in many instances, writers, speakers, etc. use “he/his” when referring to a generic individual in the third person. Also, the dichotomy of “he and she” in English does not leave room for other gender identities, which is a source of frustration to the transgender and gender queer communities. People who are limited by languages which do not include gender neutral pronouns have attempted to create them, in the interest of greater equality.”  

HE/SHE HIM/HER HIS/HER HIS/HERS HIMSELF/HERSELF  
zie zim zir zis zieself  
sie sie hir hirs hirself  
ey em eir eirs eirself  
ve ver vis vers verself  
tey ter tem ters terself  
em eir eirs emself  

Obviously, the above is too complex to be incorporated into any legal code written to protect our transgender brothers and sisters — pfffft! — siblings from hate speech.  Plus, using those terms is asking too much of a transphile who wishes to avoid offending zir/hir trans friends. 

Years ago, the nongender pronoun “it” was used as a flattering term for movie starlets to describe those ladies who really had “it,” the “it” being something us male pigs do not need defined. The first to enjoy this pronoun was silent star Clara Bow. (No, I’m not QUITE that old.)    

I suggest we revive that trusty old pronoun and use it to both simplify and ensure political correctness in our everyday speech.  For example, a transgender male, a female who identifies as a male, could be called and referred to as “he-it.”    

Most of us would find that relatively simple to use, e.g., “good morning, Mx. He-it,” or, “let’s ask for he-its opinion,” and so on. For transgender women, men who identify as women, the corresponding pronoun would be “she-it,” as in “good morning Mx. She-it.”  

Simplicity itself, don’t you agree? (Please, don’t thank me.  Just my humble attempt to promote peace and understanding.) 

Why do Democrats steal elections?

Why do Democrats steal elections? by Peter Burrows 12/18/20 elburropete@gmail.com silvercityburro.com 

I know some of you are thinking, “C’mon Burro, Republicans steal elections, too.” That may be true, but it seems to be relatively rare. I have three books about Democrats stealing elections,* and if you can show me ONE book about Republicans stealing elections, I’ll buy you a Don Juan Burrito.   

In fact, stealing elections is built into the Democrats’ DNA. You want proof? Just ask a Democrat if we should require a national photo-ID to vote, such as they have in Mexico: “HORRORS!! What a voter-suppression RACIST idea! Besides, there’s no proof of voter fraud — NONE! NONE! — you dirty-bastard racist Republican.”  

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Methinks they doth protest too much,” although some of them actually believe that nonsense.  Actually, photo-IDs wouldn’t do much to prevent the new ways elections are stolen, which involves falsifying mail-in ballots, corrupting voting machine software, harvesting ballots, and voting by non-citizens, to name a few biggies.  

All of which requires a good-sized organization of like-minded people, especially where more than one polling place is involved, e.g., Cook County in Illinois, Wayne County in Michigan, and Milwaukee County in Wisconsin. Sound familiar? As Hillary Clinton might say, stealing an election requires a village, so to speak. 

Furthermore, if the collusion involves numerous states, it becomes an effort to overthrow a “duly elected” national government, which is an act of treason. Democrats, of course, don’t see it that way. In fact, they’ll tell you they’re being patriotic because putting Democrats in office is obviously the best thing for America because, as everybody knows, Republicans are evil.    

This explains why Democrats cooperate to steal elections: they share the same twisted ideology. They all believe Republicans are racist, fascist, sexist morons who cling to their Bibles and their guns. Republicans will put blacks back into chains and force women to have babies. Republicans don’t care about science, people, or social justice. In a word, Republicans don’t CARE!!   

This makes them bad people, a conviction far too many Democrats hold with an invincible moral certitude. That’s why people who wouldn’t think of cheating on the golf course or stealing a candy bar have no compunction about stealing elections from Republicans:  It’s the morally correct, right thing to do. The end justifies the means, baby. 

Liberals have always thought they were morally and intellectually superior people. This is in spite of the fact that they have NO evidence to support their high opinion of themselves, and that there is OVERWHELMING evidence that the typical liberal is a self-righteous, ignorant hypocrite, far more concerned with moral grandstanding than actually doing anything good.  

Now, however, moral grandstanding has been replaced by moral crusading, and crusaders burn people at the stake. The Social Justice Warriors, SJWs, have taken over the Democrat Party, and the ‘justice’ they want most of all is to punish those evil-dirty-bastard Republicans who voted for that racist-Nazi Trump. While they’re at it, they’ll bring justice to those damned climate deniers, Islamophobes and transphobes, too.   

It wasn’t always this way. Stealing elections used to be more about money and ego. Back in 1960, when JFK’s win over Nixon was highly questionable, nobody was hyperventilating about Armageddon if the other side won. Back then there wasn’t that much difference in the two candidates.  JFK cut taxes like a good Republican, and Nixon, when he was president, sounded like a good Democrat when he declared, “We’re all Keynesians now.”   

Today, the nation cannot survive such electoral treason. The partisan divisions are too stark.  Can you imagine Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi making like Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill; kicking back with a bottle of bourbon, swapping Irish jokes and ironing out disagreements? Ha! Bipartisanship is dead.    

Soon, the two-party system could be dead, too. The Democrats learned from their mistakes in the 2016 presidential election, and they will learn from the 2020 election that they have to steal more than just the top of the ticket. We’ll see how well they learned that lesson in the 2022 elections. If those elections give the Democrats control of Congress, expect the Democrats to try to do the following, which is only a partial SJW wish list: 

-eliminate the anachronistic Electoral College;  -politicize/neutralize/pack the Supreme Court;   -confiscate guns;   -lower the voting age to 16;   -open our borders; -statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico. 

America will then become a one-party state. Fortunately, that party, the Democrat Party, has enough divisions that the country should avoid becoming a dictatorship. However, history is replete with examples of militant minorities gaining control of political movements. In fact, SJW militants aren’t a minority, but a MAJORITY in many places, e.g., Portland, OR, where the top two contenders for Mayor, the incumbent and an even more radical opponent, received 86 percent of the vote.   

Also, the Congressional elections saw AOC and three SJW Muslims (MUSLIMS!) reelected, all with comfortable majorities: AOC 72%, Illan Omar 65%, Rashida Tlaib 80%, and Andre Carson, the underachiever of the group, with ‘only’ 60%.  

If Biden is actually sworn in as president, the ‘tell’ will be to what extent the SJW succeed in persecuting their political and ideological enemies. Lenin persecuted the kulaks; Hitler the Jews, Pol Pot the urbanites, to name a few earlier Social Justice Warriors. Are Trump supporters going to have their homes burned to the ground? Are fossil fuel executives going to prison? 

You don’t think that sort of thing can happen? Sadly, history has proven Voltaire correct: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”  If this sort of “justice” is allowed free rein, it will prove that government of, by, and for the people, could not long endure.    

* If It’s Not Close They Can’t Cheat by Hugh Hewitt, 2004 

   Stealing Elections by John Fund, 2008 

   Who’s Counting? By John Fund and Hans Von Spakovsky, 2012 

Conjectures on stolen elections

Conjectures on stolen elections by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com 12/6/20 

I hate to date myself, but I first voted in a presidential election back in 1960.  In that election, Kennedy defeated Nixon, thanks in part to Chicago’s Mayor Daley, who waited to see how many votes JFK needed from Cook County to carry the state. Cook County went for Kennedy by a massive 450,000 votes, giving Kennedy the state by only 9,000 votes.  

It turned out that Kennedy might have won even without Illinois. However, also throw out Texas and Nixon would have won. Kennedy won Texas with 50.52 percent of the vote, and by only 46,000 votes, “pocket change,” so to speak, for his running mate, Lyndon Johnson, who knew a thing or two about stealing elections in Texas. 

Nixon didn’t think he had much chance of overturning the results in both states, so he quickly conceded and put on his statesman mantle, although behind the scenes he encouraged efforts to challenge the results. In hindsight, he should have raised Hell and taken both Texas and Illinois to court.  Texas may have been a dry hole, but Illinois could have seen some convictions.  

William Rodgers, then Attorney General, was both a friend of Nixon’s and an experienced criminal prosecutor. (He would later become Nixon’s Secretary of State.) He certainly would have been a valuable ally had Nixon thought the fight was worth the effort. Then-president Eisenhower, who didn’t especially like Nixon, even urged him to openly contest the results, but Nixon didn’t.   

Regardless, Kennedy won the election and no Democrat ever paid a penalty for stealing votes, a precedent that seems to be continuing today.  In my opinion, that is the real negative legacy of Nixon, a RINO I voted for because the alternatives were always worse.  

It wasn’t long before JFK charmed the socks off the nation (and Marylyn Monroe, amongst other damsels,) which I think helped his unqualified younger brother, Ted, win a seat in the Senate in 1962, where he did damage to the nation for the next 47 years, long after his brother’s assassination.  

In hindsight, Kennedy’s assassination was a turning point in American politics, one from which the nation has never recovered. That’s because it made LBJ the president, and LBJ was one smart operator; unprincipled, but smart.  He knew how to use a “crisis” to his Party’s advantage: in came Medicare for the older voters and The Great Society welfare programs for the poor voters, especially the black voters.  

Allegedly, he famously said, “I’ll have them niggers voting Democrat for 200 years.” Some 50+ years later, it looks like the old bastard knew what he was doing. To illustrate, Trump got over 12 percent of the black vote in the latest election, and while that was up from the 8 percent he received four years ago, it was nowhere near the 32 percent Nixon got in 1960. That’s right: 32 percent. 

(I should note that even though LBJ commonly used the “n” word, he did not allow his racism to override his political judgement. https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/lyndon-johnson-civil-rights-racism-msna305591,)  

Even then, the Democrats were winning a majority of the black vote, in spite of being the party of some pretty blatant, politically well-entrenched racists, such as Senators Willliam Fulbright and Robert Byrd. This may have been what inspired the “Southern Strategy” of the Republican Party, which sought to appeal to the Southern white voter, much as the Democrats were doing.  

LBJ, being smarter than the Republicans, turned the tables on them and implemented a nation-wide strategy that has delivered huge majorities of the black vote for the Democrats ever since.  LBJ may not have been the father of identity politics, but he turned Uncle Sam into its rich uncle.  

He may have also been responsible for setting in motion the anti-Americanism so prevalent in our youth today. After The Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964, he turned Vietnam into an American war, which radicalized young adults all over the country, especially on college campuses.  Some of those kids went on to become college professors, where they propagated their disillusionment with America. 

(Ironically, all the campus unrest disappeared in 1973 when NIXON eliminated the draft.) 

Consequently, patriotism has joined the evils of racism, sexism and genderism as something to be eradicated, along with all the other sins of America. If, like the election of 1960, the Democrats are allowed to steal what votes they can, they will open the final chapter to the end of America:   

The Supreme Court will be expanded to reflect political realities, not outdated principles; the anachronistic Electoral College will be done away with, to be replaced by popular vote totals; the racist-inspired Constitution will be rewritten to provide social justice for minorities; laws will be passed to bring to justice Islamophobes, climate deniers, gun owners and other enemies of the people; and on and on. 

I hope I’m wrong.. My two-bit analysis is pretty superficial, but I think the slide into totalitarianism is as undeniable as a facemask law. If this keeps up, someday the Progressives will build statues honoring thier revolutionary heroes, Mayor Richard Daly and Lee Harvey Oswald.     

Covid Virus: “Tests” vs. “Cases”

Covid virus “tests” vs. “cases,” by Peter Burrows 11/30/20 elburropete@gmail.com – Note to readers: The following is a summary of: www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/11/the_covid_case_con_continues.html 

The COVID Case Con Continues By Brian C. Joondeph, M.D. 11/30/20 American Thinker                                                                                                                                          As many Americans recover from their “virtual Thanksgiving,” the media is pushing the narrative that COVID cases are once again surging. The Washington Post claims that cases are “skyrocketing” while the New York Times wails that “It has hit us with a vengeance.” Yet the media is oblivious, either ignorantly or deliberately, to the reality that positive tests are not the same thing as cases.                                          

The CDC provides a specific “case definition.”  A case is NOT just a positive test.  What is needed is “presumptive laboratory evidence AND either clinical criteria OR epidemiologic evidence.”  Notice the AND, meaning not simply a positive test. The current COVID surges are positive tests, and even those are suspect, without regard to whether those who test positive are actually sick or not.  

Given the sensitivity of the COVID PCR test, it is likely that some of those being tested, without any symptoms or exposure, will be reported as test positive and added to the case tickers running constantly on Fox News and CNN. Saying someone with a positive COVID test is a “case” is fraudulent.  

COVID is tested using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) which amplifies any viral fragments found in the nose repeatedly until the test is positive. This is called the amplification cycle and the higher that number the more likely a positive test, even if it is clinically insignificant. From the New York Times

“The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus. Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time.” 

The amplification cycle is the problem:  

The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.” 

With too high an amplification cycle, the PCR test is hyper-sensitive. Most commercial tests set this threshold at 40 cycles, whereas it would be more clinical meaningful if much lower, say at 30. Otherwise as the NY Times notes:  

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left.” 

The CDC admits the test is too sensitive:  

The CDC’s own calculations suggest that it is extremely difficult to detect any live virus in a sample above a threshold of 33 cycles. In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90 percent of people who tested positive in July with a cycle threshold of 40 would have been deemed negative if the threshold were 30 cycles.”                 

With an overly sensitive test, almost 90 percent of the so-called surge is fake news. This is easily understandable basic science. If the CDC and NY Times can figure it out, other “journalists” can as well and should be providing caveats to their surge reporting rather than their typical hair on fire reactions. 

When we look at deaths, we see the same 3-card monte. Death counts are back in vogue.  Johns Hopkins University recently published a study which found: “In contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.” (Not surprisingly John Hopkins deleted the study from their website.) 

Case numbers are simply positive tests, perpetuating the con that things are far worse than they really are.  

Great Barrington Declaration Summary

A Sensible and Compassionate Anti-COVID Strategy 10/9/20 by Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. The following is a summarized version of an article that appeared in the October issue of Imprimus, a publication of Hillsdale College. The full article can be found at hillsdale.edu. 

The COVID-19 Fatality Rate – In early March, the fatality rate was estimated at roughly three percent—I.e., three out of every hundred people who were identified as “cases” of COVID died from it. Today, we know the fatality rate is closer to 0.2 or 0.3 percent. The reason for the inaccurate early estimates is simple: in early March, we were not identifying most of the people who had been infected by COVID. The majority who are infected have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. These people weren’t identified in the early days, which resulted in a highly misleading fatality rate that continues to drive public policy. 

Last April, I ran a series of studies to see how many people in California’s Santa Clara County, where I live, had been infected. About 1,000 COVID cases had been identified, but our antibody tests found that 50,000 people had been infected—i.e., there were 50 times more infections than identified cases. This was enormously important, because it meant that the fatality rate was not three percent, but closer to 0.2 percent; not 30 in 1,000, but 2 in 1,000. —there are now 82 similar studies from around the world, and the median result of these 82 studies is a fatality rate of about 0.2 percent—exactly what we found. 

Who Is at Risk? The single most important fact about COVID-19 is that it is not equally dangerous for everybody. There is a thousand-fold difference between the mortality rate in older people, 70 and up, and the mortality rate in children– for young children, this disease is less dangerous than the seasonal flu. This year, in the United States, more children have died from the seasonal flu than from COVID by a factor of two or three. 

Whereas COVID is not deadly for children, for older people it is much more deadly than the seasonal flu. If you look at studies worldwide, the COVID fatality rate for people 70 and up is about four percent: 40 in 1,000 vs. 2 in 1,000 in the overall population — this huge difference in the danger of COVID to the young vs. the old is the most important fact about the virus. Yet it has not been sufficiently emphasized in public health policies. 

Lockdowns and Where to Go from Here – Last week I met with two other epidemiologists—Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard – in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The three of us come from very different parts of the political spectrum, yet we arrived at the same view: the widespread lockdown policy has been a devastating public health mistake. In response, we wrote and issued the Great Barrington Declaration, which can be viewed online at www.gbdeclaration.org. The Declaration includes the following points: 

 1) As public health scientists we have grave concerns that lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health —e.g., lower childhood vaccinations, fewer cancer screenings, etc., etc.                        

2) Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. For children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than influenza.    

3) Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable elderly should be the central aim, e.g., nursing homes should perform frequent testing of staff and visitors, retired people living at home should have groceries delivered, etc.    

4) Everybody else should immediately resume life as normal with some additional hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick. Schools and universities should be opened and extracurricular activities should be resumed, low-risk adults should go back to work and restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sports, and other cultural activities should resume. 

To date, the Great Barrington Declaration has been signed by over 43,000 medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners. It does not represent a “fringe” view within the scientific community.  

(A three-minute news show covering the above can be found at: /www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8CbDCjYsxE&t=83s ) 

Islam and Judaism: A Tragic Irony

Islam and Judaism: A tragic Irony by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – 11/14/20 

Muslims believe the Koran is the literal word of God, and in the Koran God commands Muslims to hate just about everybody, especially Jews. There are a number of verses, a.k.a., revelations, that make this hatred of Jews VERY clear. Two verses even say that Allah turned Jews into apes and pigs when they broke their sabbath. (2:65 and 5:60) 

Muslims believe this is the literal truth, that it actually happened and could happen again. Therefore, if you’re Jewish you’d better get your affairs in order. Any second now you could be rooting around out in the garbage or swinging around town on utility poles.   

You have to be a religious fanatic to actually believe something as ridiculous as that, and it doesn’t make you an “Islamophobe” or a “racist” to point that out.  I note that it’s only the Jews who are honored with this “apes and pigs” stuff; not Christians, pagans, agnostics, atheists or anybody else. Damn. I was hoping to wake up someday and REALLY surprise my wife. Oh, well — 

What I find ironic is that the Jews themselves may have been responsible for this Jew-hatred, this special enmity that goes back to the start of Islam, some 1,400 years ago. Let me explain: 

Muhammad spent the first 12 years of his “calling” preaching his message of monotheism and prophethood in Mecca, which was both a commercial hub and a center of pagan worship. He proved to be very good at alienating just about everybody; not so good at gathering converts.  He aroused such hostility with his in-your-face message of monotheism or damnation that the Meccans finally decided they would kill him. 

He and his followers wisely fled to Medina, some 300 miles away, where he was welcomed as just who he said he was: A Prophet sent by God.  The reason he was accepted in Medina is because the people of Medina WANTED TO BELIEVE HIM. Why? Because he was an ARAB prophet. This, in turn, needs a little explaining. 

Some of the Arab leaders in Medina, who were mostly illiterate and pagan, had heard of Muhammad, this person in Mecca who said he was a prophet sent by God, and they made an effort to meet him when they travelled there for commercial and religious events.  They had been told for years to expect the coming of such a prophet.  

And from whom did they hear this? The Jews of Medina.  The Jews? Aye, there’s the rub, Hamlet. The Jews claimed this future prophet was going to be a JEW who would lead the JEWS in a mighty kick-ass war against the oppressor du jour, and anybody else the Jews didn’t like. 

I think this was a typical belief of the times:  An Almighty God was going to send a savior to earth who would grab a sword, mount a steed and lead his people to victory over the Romans — or the Egyptians, or the Persians, etc., etc. Jesus? He didn’t count. “Turn the other cheek?” How silly. That wasn’t going to kill anybody.   

Furthermore, the Arabs in Medina had been told that they would not escape the wrath of this future Jewish savior. In Ibn Ishaq’s biography of Muhammad, a Medina Arab made this telling observation: 

“What induced us to accept Islam, apart from God’s mercy and guidance, was what we used to hear the Jews say. We were polytheists worshipping idols, while they were people of the scriptures with knowledge which we did not possess. There was continual enmity between us, and when we got the better of them and excited their hate, they said, ‘The time of a prophet who is to be sent has now come. We will kill you with his aid —.’ We often used to hear them say this. When God sent His apostle (i.e. Muhammad) we accepted him when he called us to God and we realized what their threat meant and joined him before them.  We believed in him but they denied him.” (Ibn Ishaq pg. 93, my emphasis.)  

This turned the tables on the Jews. Now the Arabs had a prophet and the Jews didn’t. Any hostility the Jews showed toward Muhammad was thus easily explained: “About this time the Jewish rabbis showed hostility to the apostle in envy, hatred and malice because God had chosen His apostle from the Arabs. — It was the Jewish rabbis who used to annoy the apostle with questions and introduce confusions so as to confound the truth with falsity.”  (Ibn Ishaq pg. 239, my emphasis.) 

In the Mawdudi translation of the Quran, there is a footnote to verse 2:108 that refers to those annoying questions: “The Jews, who were addicted to hair-splitting arguments, instigated the Muslims to ask the Prophet (peace be on him) a great many questions. God, therefore, cautioned the Muslims against following the example of the Jews in this matter and admonished them against unnecessary inquisitiveness.” 

God also saved Muhammad from his own contradictions with the abrogation verse, 2:106, but that’s another topic. For our purposes, the Jews earned Muhammad’s undying hatred because they questioned his revelations and disputed his self-proclaimed prophecy, something I think Muhammad truly believed in. Once he achieved the military prowess to avenge his “annoyance,” he proceeded to destroy the three Jewish tribes of Medina.    

It didn’t stop there. The very first verse of the Quran is a little prayer for Muslims to say many times a day. It has Muslims praying not to be like those who earned Allah’s anger, who are, according to Muhammad, “The Jews.”  

Muhammad also said about The Day of Judgement: “The hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”  (Sahih al-Bukhari book 52 Hadith 177.) 

That’s hatred on steroids. In retrospect, it all sounds a little childish; the Jews taunting the Arabs, who, when the chance arose, were happy to return the favor: “My prophet is bigger and badder than yours,” or something like that. Unfortunately, since both the Quran and what Muhammad said are eternal verities, Muhammad’s hatred of Jews 1400 years ago became a part of Islam, where it remains today and forever. 

It’s a fruitless speculation, but if the Jews of Medina had not threatened their polytheist Arab neighbors with talk of an imminent Jewish warrior-prophet who was going to kill them, maybe the Arabs wouldn’t have been so receptive to Muhammad. Maybe they would have also tired of this fanatic who kept telling them they were going to Hell unless they changed their ways. Maybe they would have finished the job the Meccans wanted to do. We’ll never know.    

So you want to learn about Islam —

So, you want to learn about Islam — by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com 11/5/20 

The study of Islam can be a daunting task. There is so much canonical literature that it would take a LONG lifetime to read it all. To complicate things, the two major branches of Islam, Sunni and Shi’a, each have their own libraries, full of holy interpretations of the Koran and Muhammad’s guidance, and they are often in disagreement.  

Since the Sunnis are 85 percent of all Muslims, and since Sunni literature is widely available and Shi’a literature isn’t, we’ll stick to “just” the Sunnis’.  

While both branches use the same Koran, Islam’s holiest book, even there I would strongly recommend two different translations, detailed below, each of which has extensive explanatory and complementary explanations of various verses.  

The problem with a “straight,” unannotated Koran is that in spite of describing itself as a book in which “there is no doubt” (Verse 2:2), and which offers “a clear proof” (Verse 6:157) of its divinity, it’s full of contradictions and verses that are difficult, if not impossible, to understand.  

Over the centuries, this has motivated many of Islam’s devoted scholars to write extensive Tafsirs, a tafsir being a Koranic exegesis. (An exegesis is “critical explanation or analysis of a text.” My apologies to those of you who knew its meaning. El Dummy had to look it up.) 

Of the 30 or so tafsirs, the most respected is the Tafsir al-Tabari, written by an Islamic scholar named al-Tabari in the Ninth Century. A 30-volume edition was published in Cairo in 1903. If you find it inconvenient to travel to Cairo’s Al Azar University to enjoy all 30 volumes, you can buy a 13-volume set on Amazon, 8,000 pages, $300.   

Next would be the Tafsir Ibn Kathir, written in the 14th Century. Ibn Kathir relied on al-Tubari, added other sources and, I am told, is relatively easy to read. Ibn Kathir’s is probably the most relied upon tafsir.  Amazon has a 10-volme set, 6,600 pages, $208. 

Rivaling Ibn Kathir in popularity, is the Tafsir al-Jalalya. The work of two scholars who shared ‘Jalal’ in their names, it was published in 1505 and, wonder of wonders, is only one volume, a mere 675 pages; $40 at Amazon, paperback. 

Tafsirs are important because they embody scholarly consensus, which over the years has solidified into unassailable dogma, from which there can be NO disagreement. Any credible Islamic scholar should have all three of the above tafsirs. They total over 15,000 pages. 

You think that about does it? Oh, no-no-no, mon ami. We’re just getting started.  

The other problem with the Koran is that it specifically deifies the sayings and doings of Muhammad, Allah’s “Messenger.” Since the Koran does not, ostensibly, have anything in it that was said or done by Muhammad, we need to refer to the biographies of Muhammad, called the “sira”, and recollections of what Muhammad said and did, called the “hadith.” 

Unsurprisingly, there is some overlap between the two. Combined, the sira and hadith are called the “sunnah,” the way of Muhammad.   

The most important biography of Muhammad, and the only one I’ve ever seen referenced, is “The Life of Muhammad,” a translation by Alfred Guillaume, an Oxford professor, of Ibn Ishaq’s biography written in the Eighth Century, some of which has not survived. Guillaume supplemented his translation with numerous additions from other early sources, and the result is an 800-page scholastic tour de force.  

I hesitate to call an 800-page book “trivial,” but compared to the thousands of pages of hadith, stories about Muhammad, this biography/sira is trivial.   

Since the Koran says that Muhammad spoke for Allah, it is understandable that after his death, some Muslims fabricated self-serving stories about Muhammad. To sort the wheat from the chaff, a number of Islamic scholars set about determining which stories were true.  

The most respected scholar of hadith narrations was Muhammad al-Bukhari (810 AD – 870 AD). He spent 16 years traveling throughout lands ruled by Islam, and collected almost 600,000 hadiths. That’s right, 600,000! (For you pedants, the plural of hadith is ahadith, not hadiths.) 

Bukhari condensed these down to 7,500 in total, or about 2,600 if we take out repetitions and different versions of the same story. Amazon has a 10-volume set, 4,050 pages, for $220. The next most authentic hadith collection was by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, also known as Imam Muslim (822 – 875).  You can buy a seven-volume set, 4,000 pages, for $134 on Amazon.   

Those two collections of hadith are called “Sahih,” meaning, roughly, most authenticated, and have a status almost equal to the Koran. There are four other collections of hadith that are considered canonical by Sunni Muslims, and these are called “Sunan,” short for sunnah, the way of Muhamad.  From Wikipedia:  

The Six Canonical Books of Hadith: 

  1. Sahih al-Bukhari 
  2. Sahih Muslim 
  3. Sunan Abu Dawood 
  4. Sunan al-Tirmidhi 
  5. Sunan al-Nasa’i 
  6. Sunan ibn Majah 

You can find all of them on Amazon. I tried to get a total page count but Amazon was out of the four-volume set of al-Nasa’i and didn’t offer any details, e.g., number of pages. Abu Dawood’s three-volume set was “only” 1,200 pages; ibn Majah’s 5-volume set was 2,678 pages; al-Tirmidhi’s one-volume was 936 pages, and was probably an abridged version. 

As a rough guess, the above six total at least 15,000 pages and represent the principal “Gospels” of Sunni Islam. To these we must add some lesser but still important collections. Wikipedia lists 34 of these, which we’ll save for another lifetime. 

At this point, we’re somewhere over 30,000 pages of tafsir, sira and hadith. Before you shop for more bookshelves, you should check the Internet, where all of the above mentioned tafsirs and collections of hadith are available. I have Googled up “Tafsir Ibn Kathir” for specific verses on numerous occasions, and you can find all six of the above hadith collections at https://sunnah.com.  

The Koran, sunnah and tafsirs form the basis for Islamic law, sharia. The Sunnis have four schools of Sharia jurisprudence: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali, named after the jurists associated with each. The Shafi’i book of law is The Reliance of the Traveller (sic), over 1,200 pages and available on Amazon for $55. I believe it is the best-known and most quoted book of Sharia law in Western nations. 

The Hanafi book of jurisprudence is the Al-Hidayah (The Guidance) and is available on Amazon, two volumes, for $65; about 1,000 pages.  The Maliki book is Al-Muwatta of Iman Maliki; 1,164 pages, $46. The best I could find on Hanbali was “The Mainstay – A Handbook of Hanbali Fiqh (law) for 456, only 347 pages. (I couldn’t find any of these posted on the Internet.)  

It is my understanding that these schools of jurisprudence are in total agreement on the basics of sharia law but differ on details. For example, zakat, charitable giving, is a basic requirement for Muslims, and there are eight groups of designated recipients, all Muslim, by the way. The Hanafi school allows the donor to designate amounts to each, the other schools require equal amounts to each, i.e., one-eighth.    

So, we must add at least 3,000 pages of “law book” to our total, which now stands at roughly 33,000 pages. (15k tafsirs + 15k hadith + 3k law.) That’s about as many pages as are in The Encyclopedia Britannica, and I’ve left out the most important text of all: The Koran.  

The shortest translation I have is by Yusif Ali and is 423 pages, first verse to last, no commentary. My favorite translation is by the renowned Pakistani Islamic scholar Sayyid Mawdudi and is 1,006 pages, Introduction to last verse. The Introduction and Forward are very important reads, so I’ve included those pages. Also, the text is extensively footnoted, with very clear interpretations.  

This translation is frequently given away to mosque visitors in England, which is how the Islamic expert Robert Spencer received his. I even have a photo of an imam presenting one to a visitor in a mosque in London. 

In very close second-place on my favorites list is “Interpretations of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an In the English Language” by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan and Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali. It’s almost 900 pages and is also extensively footnoted. Adding to its length is an accompanying Arabic text.   

Which reminds me: before you undertake all of the above, if you really want to do it right, you should take the time to read and understand Arabic. If you take care of that little detail, then you will be able to say to someone who disagrees with you, “You can’t read Arabic, so you don’t know what you’re talking about.” That’s what the Muslims do. 

By now, most of you are thinking, “Enough, Burro, enough! What’s your damn point?” 

My point is that all of the above is unnecessary. Understanding Islam does not require much effort at all. A couple of bites is all you need to get the essential flavor. A different metaphor, one I bury at the end of long blogs because it might provoke devout Muslims to kill me, is that Islam is like a septic tank: once you pop the lid, you don’t need to dive in to know what it’s full of.  

My recommended “lid-popper” is my “How To Read The Koran (and understand Islam.)” It’s only 40 pages, but the gist is in the first 22 pages, through Appendix Two. For $5.00 I’ll send you a copy. I’d do it gratis but the Post Office charges me $4.00 because they say it is a “package.” Or, you can go to my blog site, silvercityburro.com, where it is a 23-page CRT read. Here’s a direct link: 

https://silvercityburro.com/2020/10/26/how-to-read-the-koran-and-understand-islam/(opens in a new tab)