Author Archives: petervburrows

Studies in Islam: The Self-Destructive Koran and The Man Who Would Be God, Muhammad

Studies in Islam: The Self-Destructive Koran and the Man Who Would Be God, Muhammad – PART ONE by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com. 8/20/17 (The Koran used for and referenced in this article, unless otherwise noted, is the Khan-Hilali translation published by Darussalam, revised edition, March 1999.)

After the first few lines of mortal prayer, devout Muslims believe every word in the Koran is the immortal word of their God, Allah. Muslims hold this belief in spite of the many contradictions in the Koran. Their rationalization of these contradictions should lead any moderately skeptical person to the conclusion that Islam is a fraud and that Muhammad, the greatest con man the world has ever seen, was the source of the “revelations,” not Allah.

The proof of this is found in the Koran itself, and since the Koran is the foundational sacred text of Islam, this means over a billion people believe in a fraud, a very dangerous, murderous fraud. Before reading any further, if you disagree, if you believe the Koran is in fact a compilation of revelations from God delivered through Muhammad, then stop reading. You are lost. If you are in doubt, I’m hopeful you will not be after reading this.

Muhammad was charismatic and brilliant, but nonetheless human, subject to all the foibles of humanity. He is an especially good example of Lord Acton’s famous observation that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If you follow the chronology of Muhammad’s “revelations” in the Koran, you can trace his descent into Hell as he gained more and more power.

The chronology of the revelations is of utmost importance for another reason, and that gets us to the contradictions in the Koran. These stem from the history of Islam, which began in Mecca when Muhammad believed he met the Angel Gabriel who began imparting the Koran to Muhammad.

Muhammad preached in Mecca for 12 years with little success. He fled to avoid being assassinated and settled in Medina, where his fortunes changed dramatically. When he died 10 years later, he had conquered Arabia and was absolute ruler of all he surveyed.

It was in Medina that “Allah” first commanded Muslims to wage war. In chapter two, the first chapter of “revelations” received in Medina, verse 2:190 says “fight in the way of Allah those who fight you –” which was the first revelation concerning jihad. (See page 50 of Khan-Hilali for this assertion.) Muhammad was beginning to feel the intoxication of power.

It was in Medina that revelations began to equate Muhammad with Allah. The phrase “Allah and His Messenger” is common in the Medina verses while I could only find one such in the Mecca verses. It was in Medina where Muhammad told his followers that he spoke for Allah, as in verse 4:80: “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad) has indeed obeyed Allah –.” Think about that statement!

The contradictions in the Koran, which were becoming apparent even in Mecca, came to a head when rabbis from nearby Jewish settlements attended Muhammad’s Medina sermons and noted inconsistencies in what Muhammad claimed was the word of God now versus the word of God in the past. “Allah” came to Muhammad’s rescue with a revelation that is the most important in the entire Koran, and, in my opinion, reveals the entire religion of Islam to be utter nonsense.

Here is that “revelation,” chapter 2, verse 106, one of the first revelations Muhammad received in Medina: “Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?”

To abrogate means to cancel or annul, which in this context means that the God of Islam, Allah, can change his mind because He “is able to do all things” and don’t you know that? ABROGATION SAVES ISLAM!

Consequently, every time Muhammad was caught changing his mind, he would say it was ALLAH changing HIS mind. How convenient! Defer to the ultimate authority, shut down debate, put brains in toilet, flush. It’s amazing that people believed this, even more amazing that they believe it today.

As a practical matter, this means the 86 chapters of “revelations” Muhammad received in Mecca can be ignored. Scholars have noted there are no Meccan revelations that order Muslims to spread Islam by force, while there are many such in the 28 Medina chapters, and, because of abrogation, those are the chapters that count.

I wonder if Muhammad was surprised that his abrogation “revelation” met with such acceptance. He used it over and over to abrogate not only Meccan verses but early Medina verses, something very apparent in chapter nine, which is virtually the last chapter of revelations, coming ten years after the first Medina revelations in chapter two, and not long before Muhammad’s death.

Chapter nine contains a number of warlike verses that contradict peaceful verses in Chapter Two, which are therefore abrogated. The best known example is verse 2:106 which says there is no compulsion in religion and is abrogated by verse 9:5, which says slay the pagans wherever they are found unless they become Muslims. There is also verse 2:109, which commands Muslims to “forgive and overlook” Christians and Jews who reject Islam, while verse 9:29 commands that Christians and Jews be fought until they feel “utterly subdued.”

What we have here is a God that in the ten years between the revelations of chapter two and the revelations of chapter nine, goes from commanding no compulsion and live-and-let-live, to commanding kill and utterly subdue. Those ten years saw Muhammad’s power become absolute. One has to assume Allah’s powers were absolute to begin with, so maybe it is not Allah changing His mind.

As an aside, abrogation ALWAYS goes from benign to malign, always from nice to not nice, NEVER the other. way. Muhammad did not become more compassionate as he became more powerful, and he died at the age of 62, before he had a chance to mellow with age, if he ever would have.

Knowing about abrogation is the key to understanding the Koran: Allah would change his mind which explains the contradictions in the Koran and is why the chronology of revelations is so important. Since the Koran is not in chronological order, don‘t waste your time reading it until you know the accepted chronological order, easily available on the web. Then, to avoid wasting time on abrogated verses, simply read the Koran in reverse chronological order.

The last chronological chapter of the 114 chapters is chapter 110. You can read it in ten seconds. It contains nothing of value. The next to last is chapter nine, by far the most important chapter in the Koran, containing Allah’s final revelations, revelations that were never, with one exception, abrogated and therefore must be obeyed until the end of time.

Chapter nine is replete with commands to kill and subjugate non-Muslims until the world is ruled by Islam. Nothing peaceful, nothing tolerant. That was the message of Islam then, that is the message of Islam today.

I mentioned there was one verse in this final chapter of revelations that was abrogated and it’s verse 9:41, in which Allah orders all Muslims, regardless of health or wealth, to wage war in the name of Allah. Muhammad saw this was causing a lot of difficulties, so in verse 9:91 he said that if you were too ill or too poor to wage jihad, that was OK as long as you were “sincere and true (in duty) to Allah and His Messenger.” Goodbye, 9:41. (Abrogation source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir.)

So, here we have an example of “Allah” changing his mind very quickly to correct a mistake. Seems the God of Islam is not very “all knowing” after all. Kind of short-sighted. Kind of HUMAN. Do you think, ladies and gentlemen, that this proves the “revelations” aren’t from God after all? But, this is Islam: NO THINKING ALLOWED!

I wrote earlier that abrogation saved Islam by explaining away the Koran’s contradictions. If you THINK about it, abrogation means it is Muhammad speaking, not Allah. Verse 9:91, abrogating a very recent command of Allah, shows Muhammad was not at all concerned with this manifest fact. After all, who would dare to question The Man Who Speaks For Allah? In my opinion, abrogation doesn’t save Islam, it destroys it.

Chapter nine has another verse that screams “Muhammad, not Allah,” verse 9:30: “And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime. Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!”

The problem for Islam’s “all knowing” Allah is that Judaism has never worshiped Ezra, or anyone else, as the son of God. From Wikipedia: “Modern historians have described the reference (to Ezra) as ‘enigmatic’ since such views have not been found in Jewish sources.”

Some Muslim scholars claim that the Koran does not say all Jews thought Ezra to be the son of God, just some. Reread 9:30 and tell me where it says “some” Jews. Furthermore, the footnote to verse 9:30 in the Khan translation leads to a long passage from the most respected “gospel” of Islam, Sahih Al-Bukhari, page 6/4581 (O.P.105), in which Muhammad is quoted as saying that on the Day of Resurrection Allah will first simultaneously save the Muslims and cast the pagans into Hell. Allah will then call upon the people of the scripture, Jews and Christians:

“Then the Jews will be called upon and it will be said to them, ‘Who did you use to worship?’ They will say, ’We used to worship ’Uzair (Ezra), the son of Allah.’ It will be said to them, ‘You are liars, for Allah has never taken anyone as a wife or son.”

Into Hell the Jews go. Ditto for the Christians, who are asked the same question, get the same answer from Allah concerning Jesus. What we have here is Muhammad, in both the Koran and in Sahih Al-Bukhari, declaring that the Jews worshipped Ezra as the son of God. The two most sacred texts of Islam both proclaim that utter falsehood. Why?

My interpretation is that someone told Muhammad that some Jews, somewhere, worshipped Ezra as the son of God. Maybe this was true, maybe this was a rumor or maybe this was a complete fabrication. No matter. Muhammad wanted to believe it because he wanted to cast ALL Jews as polytheists, which would doom the Jews to Hell. The Christian Trinity made Christians an easy target, but the steadfastly monotheistic Jews were a problem. Voila! Ezra became the Jews’ Jesus. Problem solved.

This is further proof that Islam is a total lie. I am puzzled that this verse hasn’t been used to ridicule the ridiculous religion of Islam.

Chapter Nine is about 95% of what you need to know about the Koran, and it is sufficient to prove Islam is an abomination and Muhammad a fraud. There are some other verses in the Koran buttressing Muhammad’s divine authority that cement the conclusion that the Koran was Muhammad‘s creation, not Allah‘s..

We’ll get to those in Part Two

 

Dear SPLC: Please add my blog to your list of Hate Groups. —

Dear Southern Poverty Law Center: Please add my blog to your list of Hate Groups. Thank you. Peter Burrows 6/2/17 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com

Rodney Dangerfield had it good. “I don’t get no respect,” he’d say. Ha! El Burro don’t even get no DISRESPECT! Let me explain.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC, is a “progressive” organization which, according to their web site, fights hate, teaches tolerance, seeks justice and battles the forces of evil, a.k.a. Republicans. (OK, I made that one up.). They have for years maintained a list of “hate groups” and a list of people they call “extremists.” Some groups and people on their lists almost all of us would agree belong on those lists, such as the KKK and Louis Farrakhan.

Started in 1971, the SPLC was formed to provide legal backing for those blacks and whites fighting to end segregation and abuses of civil rights so prevalent in the South in those days. My understanding is that they were very successful and left a legacy all Americans should be proud of.

However, like so many other institutions formed to address a specific problem, the SPLC continues to soldier-on in spite of having outlived its usefulness. One of its new missions is to silence critics of Islam. Ironically, the vitriol, hostility and animosity the SPLC directs at those who openly oppose Islam has turned the SPLC itself into one of the very hate groups it so vigorously disapproves of.

By my count, the SPLC lists 47 “Anti-Muslim” hate groups in America, which is an inaccurate description of those I am familiar with, all of whom are not anti-Muslim but rather anti-Islam, an important distinction.

The SPLC puts these groups on the same list as the despicable KKK, a weak-minded equivalence. Also, they would like us to think that the growth in “anti-Muslim” groups is an ominous sign of increasing intolerance, when it is actually a sign of increasing awareness of the threat posed by devout followers of Islam.

The following “anti-Muslim” groups listed by the SPLC are definitely NOT hate groups by any objective standard. Check them out and judge for yourself: ACT For America; Jihad Watch; The Refugee Resettlement Watch; Political Islam; Understanding The Threat; Sultan Knish, a Blog by Daniel Greenfield; The Clarion Project; and Center for Security Policy. There are many more.

By calling the above anti-Islamic groups Hate Groups, the SPLC is guilty of monumental stupidity. They are defending the religion of Islam, a 1,400 year-old cult that has been, and continues to be, the most destructive, most murderous and longest-lived hate group ever to exist.

I would be honored to join the above list of “anti-Muslim” hate groups, but so far not a peep from the SPLC. Sigh. Please, show a little disrespect, OK?

I’ve written 19 articles on the foulness that is Islam (see below). All of these articles can be found at silvercityburro.com, and all, with one exception, were posted by The Grant County Beat. (See “Columns, Libertarian Leanings” for my most recent.) The one exception was “Slandering the Prophet,” which wasn’t posted because the publisher of The Grant County Beat was worried it would cause some devout Muslim to behead me — and her too!

What does it say about our country that people are afraid to exercise their free speech rights because that might offend somebody who would then think they have the right to kill you? Offensive speech should never be condoned, but as a general rule it should be protected unless it incites violence against others. Ironically, the Koran is full of just such incitements, and from Allah, no less.

Sadly, in the opinion of some, an imam quoting the Koran in a Mosque is exercising both freedom of speech and freedom of religion, while somebody on the street corner critically quoting the same passages from the Koran could be guilty of “hate speech” and guilty of inciting violence AGAINST THEMSELVES. In other words, the victim is the criminal!

Why is it so difficult for so many people to recognize the simple truth that the First Amendment does not protect criminality? You cannot falsely yell FIRE! in a crowded theater and you cannot murder people because they reject your religion. You cannot have four wives, kill homosexuals, stone to death adulterers, flog lesbians, slay pagans and kill your children and grandchildren with impunity. All Islamic law, folks, all ALLAH’S LAW!!

Why are we continuing to allow people who believe the above to immigrate to our country? Crazy, isn’t it?

Well, enough of that. Back to my request to get on the SPLC list. I say: Keep devout Muslims out of our country because many of them will be compelled by the evil religion of Islam to murder non-Muslims.

Don’t you think that should do it? Help me out folks. Report me to http://www.splcenter.org/reporthate. Tell them I’m BAAAAD!

I need this because I don’t have much to show for my time here on earth. Lots of folks have a page or two of praiseworthy accomplishments. Me? Not even a paragraph. A sentence or two? Nope. That’s why I need the SPLC to put me on their hate list. Then, when I approach the Pearly Gates, I won’t be summarily dismissed by Saint Peter.

I can hear him now: “Burro!? What are you doing up here? Why, look at this list of sins! It goes on forever, and, and —— Whoa! Wait a minute. You were put on the SPLC’s hate list for WHAT? For calling Islam EVIL?? Well, come on in, son. JESUS WANTS TO SHAKE YOUR HAND!!”

Something like that.

Islam articles at silvercityburro.com
Monsters From The Id, 2/25/14
Groucho, Chico and Islams’s Useful Idiots 12/4/14
Islam 101, Part One 12/18/14
Islam 101, Part Two 12/27/14
Islam 101 Part Three 1/6/15
Islam For Smart Dummies 1/11/15
Islam 101 Part Four 1/18/15
Move Over, Neville Chamberlain 4/6/15
Slandering The Prophet 4/26/15
The Deadly and Suicidal Side Effects of the First Amendment 7/19/15
The Gathering Storm, 21st Century Version 8/22/15
Memo to Clueless Republicans: Start Quoting the Koran 11/29/15
Why I’m An Islamophobe 1/5/16
Hate Speech, Congress and The Prophet 1/28/16
Hate Speech, Congress and The Prophet, part 2 2/20/16
The FBI and me 7/17/16
Studies in Islam: Abrogation 9/25/16
Does the ACLU Condone Killing Homosexuals and Flogging Lesbians? 3/18/17
Manchester: A Devout Muslim Obeying Allah 5/23/17

 

Manchester: A Devout Muslim Obeying Allah

Manchester: A Devout Muslim Obeying Allah by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com 5/23/17

As this is being written, authorities have determined that a Muslim suicide bomber was responsible for killing 22 people and injuring over 100 at a concert in Manchester, England.

We should all be horrified, but none of us should be surprised.  He was merely following the Koran. Devout Muslims believe the Koran is God’s timeless guide for humanity that sets forth laws for Muslims to obey.  Furthermore, the Koran commands that God’s messenger, Muhammad, be emulated and obeyed. (See sura 33:21 and sura 4:80 in the Koran. Sura means “chapter.”)

People who think Islam is religion of peace should read sura 9 in the Koran. It is virtually the last chapter and unquestionably the most important chapter in the Koran.  It’s a chapter I’m sure the Manchester bomber read and obeyed.

For example, 9:41 commands: “March forth whether light or heavy, and strive in the way of Allah with your belongings and your lives.” The Manchester bomber could have jumped in a car or truck and driven through a crowd of  infidels, but he chose instead to get a little “heavier” and built himself a bomb, probably following directions published at least twice by al-Qaeda.

His own death would have been a “trivial” concern. Sura 9:38 says “Believers! What is amiss with you that when it is said to you: ‘March forth in the cause of Allah,’ you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the worldly life to the Hereafter? Know well that all the enjoyment of this world, in comparison with the Hereafter, is trivial.” Sura 9:39 drives the point home: “If you do not march forth, Allah will chastise you grievously –.”

The fact that the bombing occurred at concert starring a female vocalist should also not come as a surprise.  Muhammad did not like music, and he especially warned against listening to women singing.  Too seductive, don’t you know, for the weak Muslim male. The Sunni book of Islamic law, Reliance of the Traveller (sic), r40.1(2), quotes Muhammad: “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”

You might think the Manchester bomber was usurping one of Allah’s Judgment Day prerogatives, but nowhere in any Islamic text does it say something such as, “Vengeance is mine, sayeth Allah.”  In fact, I know of one verse, 9:14, there may be more, where Allah, referring to apostates,  commands: “Make war on them. ALLAH WILL MAKE WAR ON THEM THROUGH YOU and humiliate them.” (My emphasis.)

In my opinion, there is much in the religion of Islam that encouraged the Manchester bomber and nothing that discouraged him.  Apologists for Islam might want to ponder the venue the bomber chose and the lack of any musical accomplishments from, or by, Muslims. No Mozart, no Ellington, no nothing.

I’ll wager there are quite a few infidels out there like myself who have spent many a pleasant hour “listening to a songstress.”  I’ve fallen in love with quite a few, starting with June Christy (damn, I’m old!) and Joan Baez, and more recently Sissel and Rene Fleming.  Allah will need buckets of molten lead for yours truly.

Muhammad’s songstress warning is further proof that he was no “Prophet” but merely an all-too-human, evil little man, albeit one of extraordinary charisma and intellect.  In my opinion, listening to Rene Fleming cannot be a sin when her voice is manifest proof that God exists.

My Comments at the PNM Hearing

My Comments At The PNM Hearing by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 5/20/17

Last Thursday, Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) held a public meeting to get input on the company’s tentative plans to eliminate the use of coal by 2031.  There were about 60 people there, but my guess is that at least half were PNM employees or people associated with PNM’s coal operations.

Of those locals who made public comments, only three, by my count, favored PNM continuing to use coal: Chamber of Commerce Director Scott Terry; the Mayor of Santa Clara, Richard Bauch; and myself. If you read Christine Steele’s coverage of the event in The Daily Press, you will see she covered comments by Terry and Bauch, but nothing on my comments.

Ms. Steele, whom I met a number of years ago when she worked at the Sun-News, probably thought what I had to say just wasn’t worth the cost of the newsprint. Sigh. Call me Pete Dangerfield.

She did cover remarks by Tom Manning, director of Citizens for Fair Rates and The Environment, to the effect that if PNM didn’t expense writing off the coal plants, then PNM’s customers “would see the savings in the transition from coal to renewables immediately,” to quote Ms. Steel‘s article.

I spoke after Manning, and by chance my comments addressed his assumption that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, with a request that PNM publish estimates of what it would cost to go 100% renewable.  This would require lots of energy storage and the cost would be huge.

Environmentalists claim, usually in good faith, that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, right now, sans any “social cost” of carbon. They are wrong. Look at your electricity bill. You will see you a “renewable energy rider” that increases your cost, not a “renewable energy credit” that reduces your cost.

The real-world cost of renewables is something PNM apparently doesn’t want to publicize.

I wonder: If I had introduced myself as the Founder and Chairman of “Citizens For Energy Justice,” would  Ms. Steele have given me a little print space?  Hmmmm.  (Donations to the above are NOT deductible. Libertarians don’t believe taxpayers should subsidize special interest groups.  Cash preferred :~)

Below is a draft of my comments:

Thank you, My name is Peter Burrows. I have been a PNM customer for 11 years. I have a couple of requests.

First,  I urge you to continue to use coal to the extent justified by quantifiable objective costs, not highly subjective costs such as the estimated costs of carbon externalities. I realize you are being implored to eliminate coal in order to save the world, but you should put this into context. The most recent Greenpeace/Sierra Club survey of global coal-fired utilities, “Boom and Bust 2017,” shows that if India and China build no more coal plants and only 20% of the coal-fired utilities in the planning stage in the rest of the world are actually built, by 2031 new coal generating capacity worldwide –NEW capacity–will still equal 434 times PNM’s San Juan/Four Corners generation (497MW + 265MW, and 126 times as much as both plants’ total combined capacity: 1,848 MW SJGS + 770MW FCPP) While NM’s environmentalists want to save the world from coal, it appears much of the rest of the world just doesn’t want to be saved.  Even Japan is adding over 21 gigawatts of coal power.

Secondly, the claim that renewables are cheaper than coal is just plain false. I don’t have time to go into the details on why “Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE)” calculations are misleading other than to quote an MIT study from March of 2016: “ The LCOE —fails to capture the true cost of generation, and merely represents the cost of serving different parts of the load curve.” (Mapping The Economics of U.S. Coal Power and the Rise of Renewables- MIT March 2016.)

This means that solar generating costs at high-noon on a sunny day may be cheaper than coal, but in order to provide electricity at midnight, solar generation must be far greater than required at high-noon and the excess must be stored. This is very expensive.

PNM has been operating the 500KW Prosperity Energy Storage Project for a number of years now. It was once touted as “the nation’s first solar storage facility fully integrated into a utility’s power grid.” (Renewable Energy World, “New Mexico Utility Adding Wind, Solar and Geothermal to Its Power Mix, by Barry Cassell 3/2/15.)

I assume you have lots of cost data from this project and can provide us with an estimate of what our utility bills would be if PNM was 100% renewables-with-storage.  I suspect it would validate what Bill Gates said about the cost of going to all renewable electricity: “Beyond astronomical.”

And this is my second request: I would like you to publicize such cost estimates.  I would like to know what my bill would be if PNM generated electricity 100% from renewables. TYVM.

IF TIME:  Finally, PNM has a program called “Sky Blue” by which customers agree to have their bills increased to help pay for the extra cost of renewables.  Extra cost? Yes, indeed. Check your utility bills for the renewable energy rider. Participation in this program has been declining over the years, from 13,000 residents in 2011 to 3600 in 2013 to xxx today. (At the time, I had not heard back from PNM’s home office on the current number of Sky Blue customers. Within minutes of completing my comments, both a PNM representative in the audience and the home office called.  Both had the same number: 4068. Higher than I expected  but still far lower than 2011.)  This indicates demand for renewables is being driven by mandates and subsidies, not customers.

There are two things I would like PNM to do with this program. One, offer to publicize the names of participants if they agree. We want to celebrate such selfless visionaries, don’t we? Second, I’d like to see you offer a “NO Sky Blue” program where people, such as myself, can sign up to have our bills singled out for reductions of the renewable rider.  I realize most in this room think an old, evil global warming denier like myself should pay for my sins, but I, of course, only think it’s “electricity justice” if those who want renewables pay for them.  TYVM.

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Does the ACLU Condone Killing Homosexuals and Flogging Lesbians?

Does the ACLU Condone Killing Homosexuals and Flogging Lesbians?  Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 3/18/17

On Saturday, March 11, the ACLU had a national webcast to launch the organization’s “People Power” project. Our local chapter hosted about 55 people for the viewing.   Nationally, the ACLU estimated about 200,000 people had signed up to attend local meetings such as the one in Silver City.

Anybody who attended thinking they were going to receive instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails was disappointed.   The meeting was almost all about organizing citizens to pressure local officials, starting with sheriffs and police chiefs, to resist efforts by the federal government to deport illegal immigrants.

This sort of Federalism is something I wholeheartedly support.  In this case, I think the ACLU’s goal is profoundly wrong, but the tactic is one I would expect the NRA to emulate if, for example, the federal government ordered all our guns to be confiscated.

In such a case, I would hope the NRA would conduct their campaign without all the demagoguery the ACLU dished out.  President Trump, you see, has a “hate agenda” aimed at immigrants, people of color and Muslims, especially Muslims. One of the speakers even said Trump had issued a Muslim ban, which is an outright lie. Trump may have said he’d like to do that in his campaign, but the recent Presidential ban on people from certain Muslim-controlled countries was obviously not a ban on all Muslims.

No matter. Such lies get the folks all fired-up with righteous indignation and feelings of moral superiority. Besides, who gives a damn about facts? One of the speakers even called for demonstrations of support at Mosques.

How ironic.  Do these “civil liberties” people know that by demonstrating in support of Islam, they are also supporting Islamic law, sharia law?  Sharia law, which is sacred law, cannot be separated from Islam, and sharia law is not compatible with civil liberties as we know them.  Period.

I used to think that learning about Islam would suffice to turn around the thinking of the PC crowd.  Now, I’m not so sure.   Yes, the facts about Islam persuade some people to change their opinion about Islam, but many others show disbelief, even hostility toward the “Islamophobe” presenting the facts.  This is very puzzling. Islam has been preaching its message of hate for 1400 years.  Straight up, no chaser.

Here’s a quick lesson on Islam.
1. The Koran is the forever, infallible word of God.
2. Shari law is based on commands in the Koran and, by extension, the commands of Muhammad because —
3. The Koran frequently orders Muslims to obey Muhammad, meaning anything Muhammad said or did has Allah’s approval.

Much of sharia law is based on Muhammad’s life and sayings, which are not found in the Koran but in the voluminous “gospels” of Islam, called the Hadith, and the biographies of Muhammad.   What Muhammad did in addition to what he said also effects sharia law, but we’re going to just examine a couple of things he said.

If you are interested, you can go on Amazon.com and purchase the definitive book of Sunni sharia law, Reliance of the Traveller (R of T), which frequently quotes Muhammad.  To repeat, since Allah directs Muslims to obey Muhammad, what Muhammad said is therefore Allah’s command.

Most of the people I know, when it comes to the LGBT community, are live-and-let-live types.  I even support Gay marriage.  If you’re somebody like me, or especially, someone in the LGBT community, you will not want Islam to enjoy First Amendment protection.  Why?  Look at this “sacred law” in R of T, section p17.3, page 665:

“The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:  “Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets it be done to him.”

If you are supportive of Muslims immigrating to this country AND being allowed to freely practice their religion as protected by the First Amendment, you are saying Muslims have a religious right, a command from their God, to kill homosexuals. We have laws against that, but they are manmade laws. The devout Muslim feels no obligation to obey those laws. He must obey Allah’s laws.

Remember the Pulse night club massacre last June?  A Muslim killed 49 people at the gay night club and a month later the FBI issued a statement saying they had no evidence the Muslim targeted the club because it was gay.  NO EVIDENCE!?!?  OMG.

R of T p17.3 has this further quote by Muhammad:  “Lesbianism by women is adultery between them.”

The punishment for this is something I’m a little confused about. As I read it, if a lesbian is married, which in the context of Islam could only be to a man, she is guilty of adultery and is stoned to death. (See R of T o12.2 and o4.17.) If not, she is “scourged one hundred stripes” to be administered as described in o12.5, i.e. with neither a new nor worn-out whip, and sitting down. (Men are scourged standing up.)

Perhaps the ACLU can get their lawyers to look into this and make a determination as to what exactly the punishment for lesbians should be. After all, if we are to be a multicultural society that welcomes immigrants of all religions because “that’s who we are,” details like this have to be worked out.  It would also be nice, I know, to ban guns because we don’t want homosexuals to defend themselves against people exercising their religious rights.  That might be a hate crime.

Sarcasm aside, the ACLU should not be protesting a Trump ban on Muslims that wasn’t a ban on Muslims, but instead be protesting precisely because it WASN’T a ban on Muslims.

Personally, I would welcome all Muslims seeking religious asylum FROM THEIR OWN RELIGION. You see, the penalty for apostasy in Islam is death. Muhammad said: “Whoever leaves his religion of Islam, kill him.”  Unfortunately, “apostasy” has grown to mean all sorts of transgressions, some quite minor, that are defined as “leaving the religion.”  Don’t pray on time?  Argue about the Koran?  Question what Muhammad said? Bye, bye.

The list is long.

I recently read a Pew poll taken in England that showed nine percent of the Muslims living there STRONGLY OPPOSED the imposition of shari law in England.  These are brave people who deserve our support.  There must be millions of decent people trapped in Muslim societies who want to escape that medieval madness. Those Muslims we should help.

That same Pew poll showed almost two-thirds of the Muslims DID want sharia law to be the law of England. Those Muslims can stay home.  Ooops! I speak only for myself. Maybe the ACLU wants those sharia Muslims to immigrate here, build mosques, and practice their beliefs. If that‘s the case, isn’t the ACLU tacitly accepting that homosexuals be killed and lesbians whipped? Shame on them.

Ladies and gentlemen, this nonsense about Islam being protected by the First Amendment has got to stop. Common sense has long dictated that First Amendment rights do not protect criminality. As famously noted, you do not have the right to falsely scream “fire”‘ in a crowded theater, nor do Mormons have the right to practice polygamy, nor do Muslims have the right to kill homosexuals, not in this country, not in any country.

For that matter, neither Muslims nor ANYBODY ELSE has the right to stop me from criticizing their abominable religion.  That’s my First Amendment right.  Hmmmm. I wonder:  Will the ACLU defend my First Amendment right or accuse me of hate speech?

Crony Socialism, From Santa Fe to Silver City

Crony Socialism, from Santa Fe to Silver City 1/19/17 by Peter Burrows, elburropete@gmail.com , silvercityburro.com

Everybody is against crony capitalism but crony socialism doesn’t get much attention, probably because it’s a relatively new term or maybe because it‘s so ubiquitous we don‘t notice it. Crony socialism is the government sponsoring and/or favoring government controlled enterprises and their employees, and it is hugely more expensive than crony capitalism.

For example, politicians and public unions have colluded to pay government workers much more than comparable workers in the private sector, especially when retirement benefits are included. In fact, some states and municipalities will soon be declaring, or attempting to declare, bankruptcy in order to rewrite employment contracts for public workers that simply cannot be paid.

Perhaps the most common, everyday example of crony socialism is public education, especially K-12. Any attempt to introduce school choice, particularly involving vouchers, is met with fierce resistance from politicians and educators. Gotta keep those unionized teachers on the job and payin’ dues.

In the world of tangibles, government owned Amtrak has for years been the poster child for wasteful crony socialism. If you Google “Amtrak” you’ll find the railroad has been operating in the red for 40 years, posting a $307 million operating loss in fiscal 2015, which doesn‘t include depreciation or any cost of capital. I cite Amtrak because New Mexico has its own socialized railroad, the Rail Runner.

Like Amtrak, the Rail Runner has supporters on both sides of the aisle. Politicians in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area like the Rail Runner because they have constituents who use it, many of whom I suspect are state workers who live in Albuquerque and work in Santa Fe.

The Rail Runner FY 2016 revenues of $26.8 million included $8.7 million in Federal grants, $13 million from a four-county .125 GRT, and only $3 million from fares. The NMDOT web site claims a Rail Runner rider going between downtown Albuquerque and downtown Santa Fe saves $1,210 A MONTH instead of driving. That’s over $14,500 per year! No wonder so many riders like the Rail Runner. (Round trip, Albuquerque-Sana Fe: $10.)

The web site says the Rail Runner receives “$0 from State Funds,” which is not quite the whole truth. You see, “operating” results by accounting definition do not include interest on debt, which cost the NMDOT $18.35 million in FY 2016. (The NMDOT, as we all know, gets its money from the Tooth Fairy. There was also a debt payment of $6.8 million the Tooth Fairy picked up.) The bottom line is that for commuters to each save $14,500 a year, taxpayers, somewhere, shelled out over $40 million, before debt payments.

Here in Grant County our version of the Rail Runner is Corre Caminos, hereafter “CC,” the bus service that has been operating since 2001. I wasn’t around in 2001, so maybe somebody can tell me if there were any taxis operating in the city back then. There aren’t any now.

FY 2017 funding for CC of $1,100,000 is estimated to be about sixty percent from Federal grants funneled through the NM Department of Transportation, a little over ten percent from fares, and about thirty percent from Silver City, Deming and the counties of Grant and Luna.

In 2016, Silver City spent $75,000 to support CC, and Grant County $80,000, according to CC manager Kim Dominguez. The per capita cost for residents of Silver City, population 10,500, was therefore about $7.15, and Grant County, population 29,500, had a per capita cost of $2.70.

The combined cost for us Silver City folks was about $10 apiece. That’s less than a buck a month in local taxes and some might say it’s a small price to pay for the entertainment of screaming at a CC bus carrying only one passenger. (If you live in Silver City and haven’t seen that wonderful example of your tax dollars at work, you are not paying attention.) This ignores, of course, the Federal Government subsidy which the aforementioned Tooth Fairy pays.

Defenders of CC cite the reduction in DWI tickets thanks to CC being on call to take drinkers home, and that’s a good thing, a very good thing. The same thing could be achieved at far less cost if the city or county paid a taxi company the fare resulting from a bartender-issued drunk driver voucher, or something like that. Ditto for people who can’t afford to pay cab fare, and I think private charities should be in charge of both efforts.

The bottom line, if all that government subsidy CC money were given to proven entrepreneurs, e.g. the Silver City folks who run Little Toad Creek or W&N Enterprises, I bet they’d do a better job and even make a profit, probably a BIG profit.

Profit? PROFIT!?!? OMG! You Progressives out there are probably breaking your fingers in your haste to get to another web site. I expect to see indignant letters to the editor critical of allowing anyone to post an article with the “P” word where children might see it. Calm down. CC will never be turned over to private operators, which is too bad. It would sure save us some tax dollars.

Another Grant County enterprise that will be unveiled in the next few months is the newly refurbished Grant County Convention Center. In August of 2015, the Grant County Commissioners approved spending $2.4 million on the project, and Commission President Bret Kasten said he’d be keeping close tabs on the work because the Convention Center was “my baby.” I’m sure you’ll agree that “my baby” is not the same thing as “my money.”

Commissioner Gabe Ramos seconded Kasten’s vow to follow this project closely, saying they would be watching it “like hawks,” which is very comforting to know. (Those guys sitting in the back of pickup trucks in the Convention Center parking lot, binoculars trained on the Convention building? Yep, Gabe and Bret.)

One of the nominal REPUBLICANS running for Grant County Commissioner in the recent election approved of spending tax dollars on the Center, saying, “If we build it, they will come.” Econ 101 from The Field of Dreams, or maybe from the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who famously said, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”

No, the world will not beat a path up 180 or across 152 unless somebody goes out and sells the convention center as the place to go, in spite of Silver City’s isolation. I hope the Convention Center is a success, but I suspect that any success will come at the expense of local businesses also looking for convention customers, e.g. The Murray Hotel, or the Flame Convention Center. .

Wouldn’t it be nice if the politicians who propose a government enterprise be compelled to pony up their own money if the idea failed? A few years ago I explored the idea of requiring politicians to purchase a surety bond to indemnify taxpayers if their “babies” came a cropper. I talked to a banker and an insurance executive about this brilliant concept. Both thought the idea was, as a practical matter, really, really stupid. Sigh.

I guess the best we can do is vote such politicians out of office, although the next batch will assuredly go down the same path. Power, especially with OPM, is very corrupting. At the very least, we should name such projects after their sponsor, e.g. The Bill Richardson Spaceport, or The Brett Kasten Convention Center. I think success, or failure, deserves to be recognized, don’t you?

ATTENTION EARTHLINGS: BURN COAL OR DIE!!!

ATTENTION EARTHLINGS: BURN COAL OR DIE!!! By Peter Burrows 2/11/17 elburropete@gmail.com silvercityburro.com

Occasionally in life, circumstances align in such a way as to make even an atheist say,  “Hmmmm. Looks like the Hand of God at work.”

Such an epiphany will bless any disinterested soul who views Patrick Moore’s 40 minute speech, “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?” available on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0Z5FdwWw_c.  The speech was delivered October 14, 2015, to a meeting of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a London-based think tank. You can also find a transcript at http://www.thegwpf.org/patrick-moore-should-we-celebrate-carbon-dioxide/.

It’s a remarkable speech with an absolutely stunning, irrefutable conclusion: We shouldn’t be limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, WE SHOULD BE INCREASING THEM.  In fact, had not humans begun adding CO2 to the atmosphere by burning hydrocarbon fuels, all life on earth could have ended in less than two million years, which geologically speaking, is damn near right now. As Moore says, “– if the Earth were 24 hours old we were at 38 seconds to midnight when we reversed the trend toward the End Times.”

As I will explain, this was the second time in the history of the world that something stepped in to reverse a cataclysmic decline in atmospheric CO2.  First, a little bit about Moore.  While getting his PhD in ecology in 1971, he joined a group of environmental activists that became Greenpeace, now one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. In the mid 1980s he found himself the only Greenpeace director with a formal science education, and being a man of principle, he resigned when the organization began to ignore science in favor of whatever the emotional “cause du jour” was. (My interpretation, accurate though.)

Moore’s comments on CO2 and climate reveal that over the past 540 million years there has been no positive correlation of temperatures to CO2 levels and a couple of glaring examples of inverse correlation.  A similar conclusion can be reached looking at only the last 120 years.   The importance of CO2 is not in its influence on climate, which is negligible, but its importance to life itself.

The accepted estimate of CO2 levels in the atmosphere at the beginning of the industrial revolution some 200 years ago is 280 parts per million, ppm, or about one-quarter of one percent of the atmosphere. This was not much above the 180 ppm that occurred during the peak of the last ice age about 18,000 years ago, which Moore says was, “ –extremely likely the lowest level CO2 has been in the history of the earth. This is only 30 ppm above the level that plants begin to die.”

Plants begin to DIE? Yep. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is an essential plant food. No CO2 equals no plants equals no life. Period.  Even at today’s 400 ppm, plants are relatively starved for CO2 and need, Moore says, an optimum level of 2000 ppm.

Moore shows that the last 150 million years have seen a steady drawdown of CO2 in the atmosphere, on average 37,000 tons per year, as declining volcanic activity has meant volcanic emissions of CO2 have not been enough to replace the CO2 consumed by, and removed forever from the atmosphere by —shellfish!

About 500 million years ago, soft-bodied sea creatures began to evolve the ability to capture CO2, combine it with calcium, and form a shell. As trillions of these creatures of many, many forms would die and settle, they formed huge deposits of carbonaceous sediments. The white cliffs of Dover are perhaps the best known example.

The carbon that has been removed from the atmosphere by these critters is astounding.  The amount of carbon on the surface of the earth is estimated as follows: 850 billion tons in the atmosphere, 2,000 billion tons in plants and soil, 5,000 to 10,000 billion tons in fossil fuels, and 38,000 billion tons dissolved in the oceans.   The total, rounded up to the max, is about 50,000 billion tons.  The amount tied up in fossilized sea shells, a.k.a. carbonaceous rock?  100,000,000 billion tons, or about 2000 times the rest of the earth’s surface combined.

Carbonaceous sedimentation and rock formation is ongoing today, and only the introduction of man-made CO2 has reversed the inevitable extinction of life on earth.  As Moore, says, “It is ironic that life itself, by devising a protective suit of armour, determined its own eventual demise by continuously removing CO2 from the atmosphere.”  But, “Thank God,” as even an atheist might say. along came coal-burning man to save the day.

Coal itself is the second great irony in the history of CO2 on earth. The formation of coal, like carbonaceous rock, could have wiped out life on earth as it sucked up CO2 by the billions of tons with no end in sight. The coal story begins some 400 million years ago when plants evolved to produce lignin which combined with cellulose equals —  Voila! — TREES.  There was a problem though. As Moore puts it:

“As vast forests spread across the land, living biomass increased by orders of magnitude, pulling down carbon as CO2 from the atmosphere to make wood.  Lignin is very difficult to break down and no decomposer  species possessed the enzymes to digest it. Trees died atop one another until they were 100 meters or more in depth.  This was the making of the great coal beds around the world as this huge store of sequestered carbon continued to build for 90 million years.  Then, fortunately for the future of life, white rot fungi evolved to produce the enzymes that can digest lignin and coincident with that, the coal-making era came to an end.

“There was no guarantee that fungi or any other decomposer species would develop the complex of enzymes required to digest lignin.  If they had not, CO2, which had already been drawn down for the first time in Earth’s history to levels similar to today‘s, would have continued to decline as trees continued to grow and die. That is until CO2 approached the threshold of 150 ppm below which plants first begin to starve —-. This was only the first time that there was a distinct possibility that life would come close to extinguishing itself due to a shortage of CO2, which is essential for life on earth.”

The second time, of course, is the carbonaceous rock formation that is continuing today.  Thanks to the evolution of a wood eating fungi which conveniently took 90 million years to evolve, we humans now have huge amounts of coal to burn, both to generate the elixir of modernity, electricity, and to save the world again from too little CO2. A win-win.

Think of that: It took 90 million years for that fungus to show up.  I suppose if it had taken “only” nine million years we wouldn’t have very much coal today. On the other hand, if it had never shown up, life would have probably come to an end on earth and WE would never have shown up. Hand of God?  You decide.

In the meantime, global warming “deniers” have scientific proof  that the CO2 climate-change crowd is not just wrong, but totally, completely, 180 degrees wrong.  The whole climate change industry is built on the assumption that we must reduce CO2 emissions when just the opposite is true. Billions of dollars are being wasted on renewable subsidies and carbon regulations, while environmental elitists would deny cheap electricity  for billions, all done in the pursuit of a suicidal goal.

Watch the speech. Tell your friends to watch it.  Maybe, maybe, you can even get an environmentalist to watch it.