Author Archives: petervburrows

The ACLU Is Coming To A Sidewalk Near You

The ACLU Is Coming To A Sidewalk Near You by Peter Burrows 9/3/18  

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is notifying cities around the state that their local panhandling laws are unconstitutional.  Here is Silver City’s notification:   

www.aclu-nm.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/ltr_to_mayor_ladner-_silver_city.pdf 

If the ACLU has their way, and it looks like they have a very strong case, anybody walking in downtown Silver City can expect to be approached by someone who will ask for money.  The ACLU says such a person is exercising their First Amendment right of free speech, and any laws that restrict that right, such as designating certain areas as no-begging zones, are unconstitutional.     

You are probably thinking, “Whoa, Burro! What about my right to privacy?” Unfortunately, there is nothing in the Constitution about a “right to privacy,” an oversight the courts have been attempting to correct for years, usually involving cases of sexuality and marriage.  Roe v. Wade, for example, holds that anti-abortion laws violate a woman’s privacy. 

Supreme Court rulings have embodied the notion that a right to privacy is implied in the Constitution. The liberal Justice William Douglas once wrote that a broad right to privacy is found in the “penumbras” (shadows) of the specific protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. This was in a case overturning a state’s ban on contraceptives which Douglass deemed a violation of “a right to marital privacy.”    

Robert Bork argued that such reasoning deprived elected officials of the legislative power the Constitution meant for them to have. He said: “The Constitution isn’t the only law that exists. It’s only a framework for how we go about things and a list of specific things legislatures must not do. Beyond that, it’s up to the legislature.”   

As a strict constructionist, I tend to agree with Bork, yet I am in complete agreement with Justice Louis Brandeis, who wrote in a 1928 opinion that the right to be left alone is “the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”    

Whether spelled out in the Constitution or not, the right to be left alone is something I think most people would agree is a self-evident, unalienable right, to borrow a couple of phrases from the Declaration of Independence.    

I am well aware of the hypocrisies of a strict constructionist looking in the “penumbra” for an unspecified right, while the “penumbra” crowd denies such a right if it conflicts with the statutory right of a panhandler to exercise his or her free speech.  

To square this circle, I think we need to recognize that the face-to-face spoken word involves more than just the speaker.  Freedom of speech in the written word, e.g. newspapers, magazines, billboards, pamphlets; and in broadcasting, e.g. TV, radio, the Internet; does not require the targets of such speech to pay a damn bit of attention.  

A beggar approaching you on the street and making a verbal request is an entirely different proposition. You are then being placed in a situation not of your choosing and, unfortunately, you have no Constitutional “right” to be left alone that overrules the beggars right to speak to you.    

To illustrate the inherent difference in oral vs, written speech, imagine you see a beggar on the street carrying a sign that reads: “Give me some money because I need it and don’t ask what I’ll use it for because that’s none of your fucking business.”  

I would consider that a legitimate exercise of free speech, and I think you would, too. A little uncivil, but certainly not threatening. Just ignore and walk on by, or if you admire the chutzpah, part with a buck or two.  (I would.)   

Imagine that the same beggar approaches you and makes that same request verbally, perhaps even in a sweet voice. Same thing? Absolutely not.  Most people would feel threatened.  In fact, if San Francisco is any guide, threats from panhandlers will become the norm.    

Goodbye, downtown businesses.  

I’m not an attorney, but it seems to me there are three legal considerations we need to look at in this situation. One, the Bill of Rights is essentially a bunch of laws that limit what the GOVERNMENT can do to an individual. Secondly, the rights in The Bill of Rights are not unqualified. As famously noted, you have no right to falsely yell “fire” in a crowded theater.  Finally, there are legal traditions that have evolved over time in our courts and legislatures that provide protection against encroachments on our privacy by other individuals. 

These sorts of privacy protections are called torts, although torts are not confined to privacy violations. A tort is a wrong or injury caused by an INDIVIDUAL for which the victim can seek compensation.  Privacy torts, specifically, provide the legal means to seek damages when someone has violated our privacy. 

An intrusion tort involves offensive intrusion upon the privacy or solitude of a person, usually physically but also through eavesdropping or wiretaps.  It seems to me the unwanted solicitation of a beggar qualifies as an offensive intrusion.  

You’re probably thinking, “Big deal, Burro. I’m going to sue some panhandler who gets in my face and a judge will award me the poor slob’s dirty socks, if he has any socks. No thanks.”   

Not quite what I had in mind.  If the City must allow the panhandling, the City must protect the citizens from the panhandlers, not an especially difficult task.  I assume street vendors require a city license, why not those “entrepreneurs” who use our streets to make a living without selling anything?  

If the City doesn’t control the panhandlers, sue the City.  Maybe the City could then sue the ACLU.  

An even better solution would be to allow only non-verbal panhandling.  Panhandlers can carry signs or pass out written pleas, but they can neither initiate a verbal exchange nor impede the progress of those on the sidewalk or street.  Would that pass muster with the ACLU? Worth a try.  

 

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How To Read The Koran

How To Read The Koran – by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com – 8/11/18 (The following is available as a pamphlet. Address inquiries to the above email address.)

Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                                                                                            Winston Churchill and Islam                                                                                                              Fundamentals of the Koran                                                                                                                  Abrogation Simplifies Reading the Koran                                                                                        Summary: How to Read the Koran

Appendix One: Chapter Nine Also Invalidates the Religion of Islam                                        Appendix Two: Is the Abrogation Verse the Most Important Verse in the Koran?                  Appendix Three: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Muhammad                  Appendix Four: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Non-Muslims                  Appendix Five: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Women                            Appendix Six: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Christianity                        Appendix Seven: How a Devout Muslim Views the Koran                                                            Appendix Eight: Islam’s Big Lie

Conclusions                                                                                                                                           Footnotes/Bibliography

Introduction

Anyone who has read the Koran, or even parts of it, knows that it is not an easy read.  My first Koran was the venerable translation by Yusif Ali, first published in 1934.  It has no explanatory footnotes or commentary.   My second Koran came many years later and was the result of watching a You Tube lecture by Robert Spencer, one of America’s foremost experts on Islam.

The Koran Spencer used in his talk was a translation by the Pakistani Islamic scholar Sayyid Mawdudi, who died in 1979.  Mawdudi spent much of his life translating the Koran from Arabic to Urdu, the language of Pakistan, and simultaneously adding voluminous explanatory footnotes.  It was because of Mawdudi’s footnotes that Spencer recommended this translation.

I would add that Mawdudi’s explanatory notes are in everyday language and frequently reflect the ardor and passion of a devout Muslim.  These footnotes, from a contemporary, 20th Century Muslim, occasionally provide a mind boggling read for a non-Muslim, as we shall see.

Since the Mawdudi Koran is a translation from Arabic to Urdu, the language of Pakistan, and then from Urdu to English, I thought it might be useful to also have a translation that is straight Arabic to English.  By chance, I came across a translation even more helpful than Mawdudi’s.

“Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an In The English Language,” is published in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, and the translators are two Saudi Arabian scholars, Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan, and Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali.  First published in 1996 and revised in 1999, this, too, is a contemporary translation, hereafter referred to as the Khan translation.

This translation, which has an accompanying Arabic text, is also extensively footnoted.  Unlike the conversational footnotes in Mawdudi, the Khan footnotes usually cite other sacred texts or authoritative historical interpretations of the Koran.  As such, the Khan translation is much more scholastic, more of a textbook.

Both of these translations are contemporary guides to what Islam is TODAY.  Every word, including the commentaries, has been approved by Islamic authorities.  If you are a devout Muslim there is nothing – nothing — in either of these two translations that you may disagree with.

To do so would be to question accepted Islamic doctrine, and that is an apostasy. Islam treats apostasy like nations treat treason, with the death penalty.  The Reliance of the Traveller (that’s how it’s spelled) is, to quote the cover, “A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.”  On page 597 it declares it an apostasy to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus belongs to it.

“Scholarly consensus” is the key.  Over the centuries, “scholarly consensus” has become unassailable dogma. As Muhammad said, “Whoever speaks of the Book of Allah (the Koran) from his own opinion is in error.”  (Reliance of The Traveller, pg. 751. ) From the beginning, Muslims were not allowed to think, not allowed to challenge religious authority.

That remains true today.  A devout Muslim who gives you “his opinion” about a verse in the Koran is out of bounds, and knows it:  “Never explain a verse of the Holy Koran by your  own opinion, but check on as to how it has been understood by the  scholars of Sacred Law who came before you. If you comprehend something else by it and what you have understood contradicts the Sacred Law, forsake your wretched opinion and fling it against the wall.” (Reliance of The Traveller, pg. 804.)

The point I’m trying to make is that every word of the commentaries and footnotes in either of the Mawdudi or Khan translations you can trust to be infallible Islamic Gospel, so to speak.  (The Ali translation is virtually free of any input from the translator.)

For the average person who wants to buy a Koran, I would recommend Mawdudi’s. It is both smaller and easier to read. For someone who wants to get into the weeds of Islam, the Khan translation is superb.  It references a number of learned interpretations of the Koran, called tafsirs; it frequently quotes Muhammad as recorded in the “gospels” of Islam, called the Hadith; and it occasionally tells us when a verse has been abrogated by a later verse.

Hopefully, after reading this you will not feel the need to buy a Koran.  Knowing how to read it makes over 95 percent of the Koran irrelevant.

In this essay, I’ll use whichever of the three translations is the easiest to understand or has the most informative commentary. The translations will be shorthanded as “A,” “M,” or “K.”  For example, verse 106 of chapter two from Mawdudi would be (M V2:106 pg. 21). The Reliance of the Traveller will be “R of T” with the page number, e.g. (R of T pg. 751.) Chapters in the Koran are traditionally called suras, but for clarity will be referred to as “chapters.”

Winston Churchill and Islam

Winston Churchill, in the first volume of his History of World War II, “The Gathering Storm,” wrote that when Adolph Hitler came to power, Hitler’s treatise on politics and philosophy, Mein Kampf, was of such importance that “there was no book that deserved more careful study from the rulers, political and military, of the Allied Powers. All was there -– the programme of German resurrection — the concept of the National-Socialist State, the rightful position of Germany at the summit of the world. Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless but pregnant with its message.” (1)

Churchill described Mien Kampf as the NEW Koran of faith and war.  If he were around today, Churchill would tell us that there is no book more deserving of our study than the OLD Koran:  “turgid, verbose and shapeless but pregnant with its message.”

Churchill recognized the threat of Islam at an early age.  As a young officer in the British military, he fought against Muslim armies in both Pakistan and the Sudan. The latter experience led him to write “The River War,” published in 1899, in which he made this remarkable observation, in somewhat overwrought prose:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.  —  No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.” (2)

That was in written in 1899.  The only thing not true today is that Europe is no longer “sheltered in the strong arms of science.”  Muslims in Pakistan have developed nuclear weapons and Muslims in Iran will soon follow suit.  Muslim oil money buys fighter jets and AK-47s by the boatload and sponsors terrorists by the thousands, many of whom are being welcomed into Europe as immigrants.

It is a puzzle to me that Churchill had it figured out over a hundred years ago, yet the three most recent Prime Ministers of Britain have defended Islam, calling it “a religion of peace.”  Ditto Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama.

Even Pope Francis has joined the chorus. A Papal decree in 2013 said, “Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for the true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” (3)

“Disconcerting acts of violent fundamentalism” is another way of saying, “I’m confused by acts of terror committed by Muslims in the name of their religion.” Saying that “a proper reading of the Koran” reveals Islam to be “opposed to every form of violence” is akin to saying “a proper reading of the Heavens shows the Sun revolves around the Earth,” something believed by previous Popes, much to Galileo’s distress.

Popes, along with Prime Ministers and Presidents, are NOT infallible.

Muslims commit acts of violence against non-Muslims every day, and yet many Western leaders refuse to connect these acts of violence to the religion of Islam, even though the perpetrators do, sometimes quite overtly, e.g. shouting “Allahu Akbar” — Allah is Greater – while killing people.

How is it that Churchill, without daily acts of terror driving home the point, could identify Islam as a deadly threat to Western civilization, while so many contemporary Western leaders cannot? Was Churchill that smart? Yes, indeed. He studied his enemies.  He read Mien Kampf. He read the Koran!

It is time we do so, too.  I want to stress at the outset, reading the Koran is NOT difficult if you know HOW to read it, but that takes a little explaining.

Fundamentals of the Koran

Since the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, Muslim terrorists, somewhere around the world, have committed about 2,000 deadly acts of terror EVERY YEAR.(4)  We are told by all sorts of pundits, including presidents, prime ministers and Pope Francis, that these Muslims are perverting a “religion of peace.”

Really? Let me quote the Ayatollah Khomeini, the religious ruler of Iran after the fall of the Shah. An ayatollah in Shi’a Islam is something like a Cardinal in the Catholic Church, a highly respected religious authority.  He said, “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam councils against war. They are witless. Islam says kill all the unbelievers —.” He cited the Koran as having many verses “urging Muslims to value war and to fight.” (5)

The Koran? How can that be if Islam is a “religion of peace?”  Well, let’s look at the Koran, and from the perspective of a Muslim, not a president or a Pope or anybody else who “knows nothing of Islam.”

The first thing you must know is that the Koran is NOT like the Bible.  The Bible is full of Jewish history and stories about Jesus in the Gospels, but there are only a few words that Christians and Jews believe are literally from God, and they are the Ten Commandments revealed through Moses.

The Koran is just the opposite. Almost every word is the literal word of God revealed through Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad.  The few words in the Koran that aren’t from Allah constitute the first chapter, a very short prayer Muslims recite many times a day. It’s called Al-Fatiha, The Opening, and it’s discussed in Appendix Six.

Since both Islam and Christianity are “revealed” religions, the Koran is therefore a far more powerful sacred text than the Bible – if you are a Muslim.  This is something that may be difficult for non-Muslims to understand: as the literal word of God, the Koran can neither be disobeyed nor disagreed with.  Only Allah can disagree with Allah, an important point we’ll get to later.

The forward to the Mawdudi Koran, written by a devout Pakistani economist, tells us how MUSLIMS view the Koran. Paraphrasing for brevity:

“The Koran is the foundation of Islamic faith. (Its) uniqueness lies in it being the Final Revelation meant to be preserved exactly as it had been communicated to Muhammad because it (the Koran) was meant to serve as a BEACON LIGHT FOR THE GUIDANCE OF ALL HUMANITY TILL THE END OF TIME!” (M pg. (x), my emphasis.)                                                                                                                                                                                                       He goes on, “The Koran, uncreated Word of God though it doubtlessly is—” by which he means devout Muslims believe the Koran is without question the literal word of God that has existed forever, hence “uncreated.”  God just picked it up and commanded the angel Gabriel to reveal it to Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad. This is what Muslims believe happened, one revelation at a time, for the last 23 years of Muhammad‘s life.

To repeat: The first thing you must know about the Koran is that Muslims believe everything in it is the literal word of Allah-God to be obeyed forever, all but the first few sentences. It ain’t the Bible, folks.

The second thing you must know about the Koran is that there are a number of verses that are invalid because Allah changed His mind at a later date.  Remember, Muslims believe Allah made revelations to Muhammad for 23 years.  Over those years, as Muhammad’s circumstances changed, so did Allah’s revelations.

This idea of Allah changing His mind needs a little background. Muhammad began his missionary work in Mecca, where he preached for 12 years with little success. When his wife died, he lost the political protection of her family and he fled Mecca to avoid assassination.

He and his followers settled in Medina, some 300 miles away, where Muhammad built his first mosque – he hadn’t been allowed to build one in Mecca.

As he began preaching in Medina, his sermons attracted rabbis from the nearby Jewish tribes who wanted to hear this self-proclaimed prophet of God. The Jews had long prophesised the coming of a savior other than Jesus, and maybe this was the man.

Nope. This guy Muhammad often contradicted himself, something no God-sent prophet would ever do. When they pointed this out to Muhammad, he had no answer, but fortunately, Allah did.

As Allah frequently did, He came to Muhammad’s rescue with a new revelation specific to the problem at hand.  This one is called the abrogation verse, to abrogate meaning to supersede, to cancel and is a pretty sophisticated word for the supposedly illiterate Muhammad.

In my opinion, this particular revelation not only saved the day for Muhammad, it saved Islam. For our purposes of understanding the Koran, it’s the most important revelation in the Koran. It is verse 2:106:

“For whatever verse We might abrogate or consign to oblivion, We bring a better one or the like of it. Are you not aware that Allah is All-Powerful?“ (M pg. 21. Allah always speaks in the royal “We.”)

Here is Mawdudi’s footnote: “This is in response to a doubt which the Jews tried to implant in the minds of Muslims. If both the earlier Scriptures and the Qur’an were revelations from God, why was it – they asked – that the injunctions found in the earlier scriptures had been replaced by new ones in the Qur’an?”

The bottom line is that the all-knowing God of Islam would occasionally CHANGE HIS MIND, and who are you to say He can’t? As mentioned earlier, only Allah can disagree with Allah.

(Mawdudi’s footnote two verses later, to V2:108 on page 22 is both humorous and sad: “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.”  In other words, no thinking allowed for Muslims. OK for Jews, though.)

If Allah can change His mind, which Allah did frequently, this means, and this is very, very important, that the chronology of “Allah’s” revelations determines their legitimacy.  This wouldn’t be of any concern if the abrogated verses had been removed from the Koran, but they weren’t.

Defenders of Islam frequently quote the Koran out of chronological context, probably the most well-known out-of-context revelation is the one that says there is no compulsion in religion.  This was abrogated by numerous revelations that came at later dates. (6)

Why, you ask, was abrogation necessary? Because as Muhammad’s power grew, so did his despotism and egomania. The butt-kisser of Mecca became the butt-kicker of Medina and he had to figure out how to get rid of the peaceful revelations of Mecca and even those of his early days in Medina.

Hey!! Allah can change his mind!! Problem solved.

The old adage that power corrupts is on full display in Islam.  As Muhammad gained power, Allah’s abrogations almost always were from benign to malign.  I could find only one verse in which Allah showed mercy by abrogating an earlier verse, and that one verse is detailed in Appendix One.

The importance of abrogation cannot be overstated. Without abrogation, the Koran, that literal word of Allah, is hopelessly contradictory. That is why knowledge of abrogating and abrogated verses has been of fundamental importance in Islamic theology since the beginning of Islam.

Sharia law — Islamic law –requires Islamic judges to know which verses abrogate which other verses, and Sharia law even cautions the layman from discussing the Koran without knowledge of abrogation, as this would risk “discussing the Koran in error,” which is a mortal sin.  (R of T pg. 626 for clerics, pg. 752 for the lay person.)

As mentioned, the confusion caused by abrogated verses could have been avoided had those verses been removed from the Koran, BUT THEY WERE NOT REMOVED.  In lieu of that, things wouldn’t be so confusing if the abrogated verses were identified in the Koran, BUT THEY ARE NOT IDENTIFIED.

To repeat: The second thing you must know about the Koran is that because Allah changed His mind, the chronology of the verses is all important.

The third thing you must know is that THE KORAN IS NOT IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. After the very short first chapter, the Al-Fatihah prayer, it is pretty much longest chapter to shortest. For example, the very long chapter two is the 87th chapter chronologically.

Abrogation Simplifies Reading The Koran 

The chronology of the chapters, as generally agreed to by Islamic scholars, can be found on the Internet. The chronology is not some deep, dark secret.  So, to avoid wasting your time reading verses that may have been abrogated by later verses, simply read the Koran in reverse chronological order, starting with the last chapter of revelations, chapter 110.

Chronologically, chapter 110 was the last of the 114 chapters, chapter 96 was the first.  Confusing, right?

Here’s is Mawdudi’s footnote to chapter 110: “According to reliable traditions, this was the last sura (chapter) of the Qur’an that was revealed some three months before the Prophet’s demise.” (M pg. 977.) Though it is not necessary, this footnote alone would prove the Koran is not in chronological order.

Here is chapter 110 in its entirety, Allah’s final revelation: “When the help comes from Allah and victory (is granted) and you see people entering Allah’s religion in multitudes, then extol the praise of your Lord and pray to Him for forgiveness. For He indeed is ever disposed to accept repentance.” (M pg. 977.)

That’s it. Now, if you’re like me, you probably didn’t find much in there that we could call “a beacon light for the guidance of humanity till the end of time.” So, you’re probably thinking, “What is the next to the last chapter of revelations?”

Good question! The next to last is Chapter nine, and it is the most important chapter in the Koran, some 28 pages in Mawdudi, 26 in Khan.  In Chapter nine are the final, unabrogated (with one exception) revelations from Allah, to be obeyed.  Forever. It is the only chapter we need to read in the entire Koran.

Perhaps the most well-known revelation in chapter nine is the Verse of the Sword, 9:5, which some Muslim scholars say abrogates 124 peaceful verses in the Koran. (7)

The clearest version of V9:5 is in the Yusuf Ali translation, page 114: “But when the forbidden months are past, (there are four holy months in which Muslims are forbidden to initiate war) then slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)” — unless the pagans “repent” and become Muslims.

Allah commands: “Slay the pagans wherever you find them,” and you’re thinking, “Well, I’m no pagan, I’m Jewish” or “I’m Christian.” Sorry. There’s another verse in chapter nine, Verse 9:29, that specifically accounts for you: “Fight against those who do not believe in Allah—even if they are people of the book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” (Ali pg. 116.)

The “book” is the Bible, and “people of the book” are Jews and Christians; the jizya is the tax Jews and Christians pay to live in peace in Muslim ruled countries. Mawdudi’s illuminating footnote to this verse leaves no room for the Constitution’s First Amendment in the religion of Islam:

“The purpose for which the Muslims are required to fight is not, as one might think, to compel the unbelievers into embracing Islam. Rather, its purpose is to put an end to the suzerainty of the unbelievers so that the latter are unable to rule over people. The authority to rule should only be vested in those who follow the True Faith; unbelievers who do not follow the True Faith should live in a state of subordination. Anyone who becomes convinced of the Truth of Islam may accept the faith of his/her own volition. The unbelievers are required to pay jizya (poll tax) in return for the security provided to them as the dhimmis (“Protected people”) of an Islamic state. Jizya symbolizes the submission of the unbelievers to the suzerainty of Islam.”  (M pgs. 275 – 276.)

“Those who follow of the True Faith” are Muslims and therefore only Muslims should have political power. That’s the eternal word of God to guide humanity forever.  Obviously, this is totally incompatible with the Constitution’s First Amendment which prohibits government from either favoring or disfavoring a religion.

So far, in chapter nine Allah has laid down the forever law to slay or convert Pagans, slay, convert or enslave Jews and Christians and you’re thinking, “That about does it.”  Not quite. One more group to go.  Verse 9:123 says, “Believers! Fight against the unbelievers who live around you –” these being, as explained in the footnotes, “hypocrites” who are those who do not fulfill “their obligations as Muslims despite having embraced Islam.”(M ftnt. Pg. 296.)

As a practical matter, this means Muslims are to kill other Muslims with whom they have theological differences, or even those Muslims deemed to be insufficiently devout.  That’s why Shi’a and Sunni Muslims kill each other, and why Islamic law, Sharia, prescribes death for Muslims who forget to pray at the correct time, as that is an obligatory duty for devout Muslims. (R of T pg. 109.)

So, Muslims fight pagans, Christians, Jews and other Muslims, and this is not optional.  Starting with verse 9:38 and continuing through verse 9:41, Allah commands believers to: “March forth in the cause of Allah. Do you prefer the worldly life to the Hereafter?” (In other words, if you die for Allah, you will go to Heaven, a better place!) “—march forth whether light or heavy and strive in the way of Allah with your belongings and your lives.” (M pgs. 280.)

And the purpose of all this marchin’ around?  Verse 9:33 explains, and this is very important: “(Allah) has sent his Messenger with the guidance and the True Religion that He may make it prevail over all religions, howsoever those who associate others with Allah in his Divinity might detest it.” (M pg. 277.)

In other words, Allah commands Muslims to fight until Islam rules the world, period, whether non-Muslims such as Christians or Jews like it or not. Mawdudi’s footnote contains this illuminating tidbit:

“Since a Prophet is the representative of the Lord of the Universe, he seeks to make the Right Way prevail. If any other way of life continues to exist, it should be satisfied with the concessions made to it by Islam. For example, the rights granted to the dhimmis to enjoy the protection offered by Islam in lieu of jizya. The opposite of this should not happen, i.e. the unbelievers should not be dominant and the believers should lead the life of dhimmis instead.” (M pg. 277. A “dhimmi” is a Christian or Jew living in a Muslim ruled nation as very much a second class citizen, as opposed to converting to Islam or being executed.)  

Finally, still in chapter nine, verse 9:111 is the Verse of the Bargain: “–Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their belongings and in return has promised they shall have Paradise. They fight in the way of Allah and slay and are slain. Such is the promise He has made—. Rejoice, then, in the bargain you have made with Him.” (M pgs. 293-294.)

Let’s summarize what Chapter Nine tells us: In return for slaying and being slain so that Islam can rule the world, Muslims will live in Heaven forever. Nobody else. Peace will come when Muslims rule the world.  That’s Islam in a nutshell. Islam is NOT a religion of peace as non-Muslims understand the word “peace.”.  Muslims make no secret of this and haven’t for 1400 years.

Chapter nine proves that Ayatollah Khomeini was correct to say Islam commands Muslims to fight, and that Pope Francis is wrong to say “authentic Islam and a proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”   Somebody should tell the Pope to read chapter nine.  The iconic leader of Christianity should be in the vanguard of the fight against Islam, not Islam’s most useful idiot.

To avoid wasting your time with Popes and others who “know nothing of Islam,” just ask them a simple question: “Was the Verse of the Sword abrogated?” You know the answer, and they won’t know what you’re talking about.

Summary: How To Read The Koran

There are four things to know about the Koran that make it a much easier read:

(1) The Koran is the literal word of Allah, to be obeyed forever, by all mankind.

(2) Since Allah frequently changed his mind, abrogating earlier revelations, knowing the chronology of the revelations is crucial for understanding Islam, especially since the abrogated verses were neither removed from the Koran nor identified.

(3) The Koran is not in chronological order, so don’t waste your time trying to read it as published; read it starting from the last chapters revealed, 110 and 9.

(4) Chapter 110 is just a few lines of platitudes, so chapter nine is virtually the last chapter of revelations and is by far the most important chapter.  Nine is 95% of what you need to know about the Koran.

Appendix One: Chapter Nine Also Invalidates The Religion of Islam

There are many verses in the Koran that strongly suggest the Koran is the self-serving fabrication of a Seventh Century Arab warlord, not an omniscient God. Chapter nine, that indispensable chapter, has two –TWO—proofs that behind the curtain of Islam, the Wonderful Wizard of Allah was Muhammad the megalomaniac.

The first is an indirect proof found in Verse 9:41: “March forth whether light or heavy and strive in the way of Allah with your belongings and your lives. That is best for you if you only knew it.” (M pg. 280.)

When I first read this, in either Ali or Mawdudi, I thought “light or heavy” referred to how well one was armed. Light, for example, could mean having only a knife while heavy could mean having an AK-47, or, even heavier, a tank.   This is a case where having multiple Korans was invaluable, The Khan translation reads, “March forth, whether you are light (being healthy, young and wealthy) or heavy (being ill, old and poor) —.”

Well, that was a surprise. Light and heavy had nothing to do with weaponry. Just to check, I went on the Internet to the most authoritative Koranic interpretation, The Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, which not only confirmed Khan but also declared that V9:41 was ABROGATED by V9:91 which says, “There is no blame on the weak nor on the sick nor on those who have nothing to enable them to join (the struggle in the Way of Allah) provided they are sincere to Allah and to His messenger.” (8)

It is not difficult to imagine Muhammad, at the peak of his powers, arrogantly demanding that EVERYBODY join the battle lines. Then, seeing that the old, the ill and the shoeless were a liability to his army, Allah “revealed” a new verse, V9:91, that abrogated V9:41.

We are told throughout the Koran that Allah is “all-knowing, all-wise.”  Sounds to me like Islam’s Allah is pretty stupid not to foresee the problems the sick and indigent would have on Muhammad’s army.  I also think Allah was pretty stupid not to remove V9:41 from the Koran, as it offers proof to some of us unbelievers that Allah was really Muhammad.

This is reinforced by the belief that the Koran has always existed, unchanged, just like it is.  Since many verses are specific to the time of revelation, it is obvious Allah can see into the future. Surely, an omniscient Allah would have avoided this trivial mistake.

By the way, 9:91 is the only verse I could find in the entire Koran that effected a merciful change from the verse abrogated.

The other Chapter Nine proof of the Koran’s earthly origins is found in 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!” (K pg. 253.)

In researching this verse, I came across the observation that this was an “enigmatic” verse because the Jews had never worshiped any human as son of God, not Jesus and certainly not Ezra.  “Enigmatic” is hardly the word. Wrong, mistaken, erroneous, fabricated or delusional would all be more apt words.

The footnote to this verse, V9:30, in Khan refers to a sacred text that doubles down on the Islamic belief that the Jews worshiped Ezra.  It quotes extensively from something Muhammad said in the most authenticated “Gospel” of Islam, the hadith Sahih Bukari.

The hadith, stories, are collections of Muhammad’s sayings and doings as recalled by those who knew him, and are thus similar to the Gospels of Christianity. Those compiled by Imam Bukhari are the most authenticated and revered, which is what “sahih” means, and are given a status almost equal to the Koran.

Exceptions are those ahadith (the plural of hadith) in which Muhammad quotes words of Allah not found in the Koran. Those are hadith qudsi, holy hadith, and are given equal status to verses in the Koran. (9)

Paraphrased for brevity, here is the holy hadith from Sahih Bukhari: “The Prophet said, on the Day of Resurrection the Jews will be called 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 a      son.’ ”

Into Hell go the Jews. Then come the Christians. Same question, but answered, “We used to worship ‘Isa (Jesus) the son of Allah.”   Allah calls them liars too, and into Hell the Christians go. (K pgs. 123-124.)

What we have here are two of the most sacred texts of Islam, The Koran and Sahih Bukari, in which Allah claims that the Jews worshiped a human being, Ezra.  This is manifestly false. Why the critics of Islam don’t point this out at every opportunity is a mystery to me.

In my opinion, the explanation for this “enigmatic” claim that the Jews worshipped Ezra is that when it came to the “people of the book,” Jews and Christians, Muhammad found it easy to condemn the Christians to Hell because he considered the Trinity to be proof of polytheism, associating others with Allah.  No bigger sin than that, so into Hell go the Christians.

The steadfastly monotheistic Jews were a problem.  Perhaps Muhammad fabricated the worship of Ezra, but more likely he heard a story that somewhere or at some time some Jews worshipped Ezra.  We’ll probably never know.  Regardless, Muhammad created a Jesus for the Jews and into Hell they went.

Appendix Two: Is The Abrogation Verse The Most important Verse In The Koran?

I once read a supposed learned commentary that said the Koran couldn’t be taken literally because it contradicted itself so often.  It doesn’t if you are a Muslim, because the abrogation revelation reconciles the contradictions.

Muslims have lived with the idea of Allah’s abrogations since the beginning of Islam and, as mentioned earlier, it is an integral part of Islamic law.  The Reliance of the Traveller on page 626 specifies that to be a judge in Islamic societies you must know which verses of the Koran abrogate which other verses.  If you are a layman, page 752 cautions you against even discussing the Koran without knowledge of abrogation.

Abrogation has also provided the basis for an extensive rationalization of the 12 years Muhammad spent in Mecca. In Mecca, the powerless Muhammad found it prudent to temper his opposition to the local pagan rulers, and Allah’s revelations reflect that fact. It wasn’t until Muhammad arrived in Medina that he received the first revelation from Allah ordering Muslims to fight. (See K-V2:190 page 50 and the extensive footnote on jihad as a pillar of Islam.)

There are 86 chapters in the Koran that are Meccan revelations, 28 that are Medina.  To reconcile all those passive revelations of Mecca with the aggressive revelations of Medina is no problem for a Muslim who accepts the idea of a mind-changing God.

Like any True Believer, the devout Muslim will rationalize reality to fit his beliefs. Mecca? Why that was part of Allah’s plan. Before Muslims could wage war on the rest of humanity, they first had to be imbued with the True Religion, which is what happened in Mecca. Only then and only after they had achieved sufficient numbers would Allah command them to fight, which is what happened in Medina.

Furthermore, the first Medina revelations to fight were limited to defensive fighting, only later becoming offensive. Thus, Allah’s plan was to have Muslims live in peace while they achieved religious purity and gained strength, the Meccan period.

Then Allah allowed the Muslims to defend themselves, the early Medina period, and finally Allah commanded Muslims to wage war until the world was ruled by Muslims, the final and perpetual Medina period.

This progression of Muslims from aimless pagans to warriors in Allah’s Way required progressive revelations, which naturally involved abrogating a verse here and there. It was all part of Allah’s plan, you see, because Allah is All-Knowing, All-Mighty and All-Wise —  if you are a Muslim

In my opinion, the abrogation verse is the most important verse in the Koran for two reasons: it is the key to how to read the Koran, i.e. in reverse chronological order; and it proves to us infidels that the Koran was the creation of Muhammad, not Allah.  God changing HIS mind? Right.

But that is the point of view of an infidel. For Muslims, abrogation is a given. They probably can’t understand why anybody would doubt something so obvious or think it so important.

For example, neither the Mawdudi nor Khan translation give the abrogation verse any special mention.  Khan gives the first jihad revelation, 2:109, far more attention, and Mawdudi has a very long footnote on page 121 to verse 4:59, which suggests he may think 4:59 is the most important in the entire Koran:

Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those vested with authority among you; and then if you were to dispute among yourselves about anything refer it to Allah and the Messenger–.”

Here is Mawdudi’s lengthy footnote:

This verse is the cornerstone of the entire religious, social and political structure of Islam and the very first clause of the constitution of an Islamic state. It lays down the following principles as permanent guidelines: 

(1) In the Islamic order of life, God alone is the focus of loyalty and obedience. A Muslim is the servant of God before anything else.

(2) Another basic principle of the Islamic order of life is obedience to the Prophet (peace be on him).

(3) In the Islamic order of life the Muslims are further required to obey their fellow Muslims invested with authority (ulu al-amr). These include all those entrusted with directing Muslims in matters of common concern. Hence, persons “invested with authority” include intellectual and political leaders of the community, as well as administrative officials, judges of the courts, tribal chiefs and regional leaders.

(4) In an Islamic order the injunctions of God and the way of the Prophet (peace be on him) constitute the basic law and paramount authority in all matters.  Whenever there is any dispute among Muslims or between the rulers and the ruled the matter should be referred to the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Muhammad’s life and sayings) and all concerned should faithfully accept the judgement that is arrived at.

Obviously, Mawdudi considers 4:59 to be hugely important. It establishes both the fact that Islam is more than just a religion, and that Muhammad is a Jesus-like figure. This virtual divinity of Muhammad is derived from a few key verses in the  Koran, discussed below.

Appendix Three: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Muhammad

Other than the abrogation verse, there are only a few very important verses in the Koran that are not in chapter nine.  Verse 4:59 discussed above is one of them, but perhaps of even more importance are those verses in which Allah gives Muhammad His blessings.

In many verses, Allah commands Muslims to obey “Allah and His Messenger,” but the most unequivocal is verse 4:80: “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad) has indeed obeyed Allah –.” (K pg. 130.)

This revelation gave Muhammad carte blanche as a ruler, but since there is nothing in the Koran, ostensibly, that quotes Muhammad, why is that verse so important today? Because there are volumes upon volumes of stories, hadith, about Muhammad, what he said and did.  Many of these form the basis for Islamic law, sharia, today.

The Reliance of the Traveller is full of laws based on what Muhammad said. For example, on 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.’ ”

Well, that’s it for homosexuals. Goodbye, Liberace. Actually, Liberace may have slipped under the radar in Muhammad’s time because he wouldn’t have been playing a piano anywhere near where Muhammad could have heard it. On page 774, Muhammad says, “Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments—.”

And the reason you will never hear the Muslim equivalent of opera great Renee Fleming? Because Muhammad said, “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” (R of T Pg. 775.)

The musical talents of over a billion people have been suppressed because Muhammad said, “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.” (R of T pg. 775.) The Koran defines hypocrisy as insufficient devotion on the part of those who say they are Muslims, so apparently Muhammad thought listening to music could distract from one’s daily prayers, or something like that.

Not only does the Koran enshrine what Muhammad SAID, it also deifies what he DID. This is found in what I call the “verse of the ego,” verse 33:21: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting) with Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (K pg. 548.)

The Yusif Ali translations says Muhammad provides a “beautiful pattern of conduct” for Muslims. Regardless of the translation, the meaning is clear: Whatever Muhammad did was approved by God and could be emulated by Muslims with God’s approval. Forever.

Muhammad beheaded and tortured prisoners, authorized the rape of captive women, owned and sold slaves — including women he raped — and ordered the death of anyone who criticized him, amongst other niceties. He also consummated his “marriage” to a six-year-old when she was nine.

The age of marriage for brides in Iran, today? Nine. Does ISIS behead prisoners, on You Tube, no less? Yes.  Were there recently slave markets in ISIS controlled territories, where women were bought and sold? Yes.

The very long Mawdudi footnote quoted above to V4:59 puts “obedience” to Muhammad right after obedience to God.  A non-Muslim could be forgiven for thinking that Muslims worship Muhammad as much as Christians worship Jesus.  That, of course, would be what Muslims call shirk, worshiping others beside Allah, and would be a mortal sin.

However, another footnote from Mawdudi leaves no doubt that Muslims worship Muhammad in all but name. Here is V3:70 and its footnote from pages 78 and 79. “People of the book” are Jews and Christians, the book being the Bible:

“People of the Book! Why do you reject the Signs of Allah even though you yourselves witness them?” 

Footnote: Another rendering of this could be, “and you yourselves bear witness” to Muhammad’s prophethood. However it is translated, the sense remains the same. In fact, the impeccable purity of the life of the Prophet (peace be on him), the astounding impact of his teachings on the lives of his Companions, and the loftiness of the teachings of the Qur’an all constituted such illustrious-signs of God that it was very difficult for anyone conversant with the lives of the Prophets and the tenor of Divine Scriptures to doubt Muhammad’s prophethood.

This is quite a statement of belief.  To think that Muhammad led a life of “impeccable purity” is beyond comprehension. The only way anybody could think that is if they believed that non-Muslims are simply not part of the human race.  Apparently, because the acts of atrocity Muhammad committed were all against non-Muslims at Allah’s behest, they were therefore of “impeccable purity.”

This belief should send chills down the spine of every non-Muslim on earth.  Non-Muslims can be also be forgiven if they fail to detect any “loftiness” to the teachings of the Koran.

Appendix Four: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Non-Muslims 

If killing Christians and Jews can be considered acts of impeccable purity, it shouldn’t surprise us to learn that Allah has a low opinion of Christians and Jews. Sure enough, verse 98:6 says:  Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Quran and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) —will abide in the fire of hell. They are the worst of creatures. (K pg. 810.)

If Jews and Christians are “the worst of creatures,” you might guess that somewhere in the Koran Allah would prohibit his Muslims from befriending Jews and Christians. Go to the head of the class. Verse 5:51: Believers! Do not take Jews and Christians for your allies. They ae the allies of each other. And among you who takes them for allies, shall be regarded as one of them.” (M pg. 168.)

The Khan translation defines allies as “friends, protectors, helpers.” To be “one of them” is to turn your back on Islam, to be an apostate, which is punishable by death (Reliance of Traveller pgs. 109, 595.) A similar verse, 4:144 says much the same: Believers! Do not take the unbelieves as you allies in preference to the believers. Do you wish to offer Allah clear proof of guilt against yourselves?  (M pg. 141.)  

Once again, Khan expands on “allies” to mean “friends, protectors helpers, ” and says such a sin is “manifest” proof against oneself. (K pg. 142.) Essentially, what both these verses say is that it is an unforgivable sin for a Muslim to have a non-Muslim friend.

Do Muslims get any leeway in dealing with non-Muslims? A little. Verse 3:28 says, “The believers may not take the unbelieves for their allies in preference to the Believers — unless he does so in order to protect himself from their wrongdoing.” (M page 71-72.)  However, one of Mawdudi’s footnotes to this verse puts limits on how far a Muslim can go “to protect himself.”

“One may resort to prudent concealment of faith (taqiyah) in order to save one’s life. This concealment should, however, remain within reasonable limits. The most one is permitted to do is to save one’s life and property without jeopardizing either the interests of Islam or the Muslim community as a whole, and without causing loss of life and property to other Muslims. One must never allow saving one’s own life to lead to the propagation of unbelief at the expense of Islam and to the dominance of unbelievers over Muslims.”

Read that last sentence again and it should come as no surprise that at least one Islamic religious scholar considers it a sin for a Muslim to be guilty of “wanting the life of this world” more than the next. (R of T pg. 967.)

For Muslims who live in non-Muslims lands, something becoming more and more prevalent as Muslim immigrants pour into Europe, Mawdudi has another revealing footnote, this one to verse 4:100: “He who immigrates in the way of Allah will find in the earth enough room for refuge and plentiful resources.” (M pg. 131.)

Mawdudi’s footnote cautions: “It should be understood clearly that it is only permissible for a (Muslim) to live under the dominance of an un-Islamic system on one of the following conditions. First, that the believer strives to put an end to the hegemony of the un-Islamic system and to have it replaced by the Islamic system of life–. Second, that he stays in a land where an un-Islamic system prevails because of his inability to depart from that land, but he is utterly unhappy at living under such a system.”

Any country welcoming Muslim immigrants should bear the above in mind.  To “immigrate in the way of Allah” is to immigrate as a Muslim, and if that Muslim settles in a non–Islamic country, it is his duty to turn that country into an Islamic one. Should he be HAPPY living in that non-Islamic land, he has sinned.

Doesn’t that make assimilation of devout Muslims into Western societies virtually impossible?

Finally, while most interpretations of verse 3:28 above say it authorizes widespread deception of non-Muslims, Mawdudi’s restrictions make V3:28 a questionable justification for such deception. Here is where a saying of Muhammad in a hadith is of much more importance than a verse in the Koran.

In the Reliance of the Traveller, we learn Muhammad said it was permissible to lie when conducting war.  Scholarly consensus, as binding as anything in the Koran, says that it is obligatory –obligatory – for a Muslim to lie if the goal is obligatory.

Since to fight in the way of Allah, jihad, until the world is ruled by Islam is obligatory, we should not be surprised when devout Muslims lie to us.  Muslims are advised that such lies should “employ words that give a misleading impression, meaning to intend by one’s words something that is literally true, in respect to which one is not lying, while the outward purport of the words deceives the hearer –.”   (R of T pgs. 745, 746.)

The most common example: “Islam is a religion of peace.” I think many Muslims could pass a polygraph while saying that because they actually believe Islam will bring peace, but only after, of course, all the non-Muslims are converted, enslaved or warred into their graves.

Appendix Five: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Women  

Pope Francis recently wrote, “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” He apparently had not read verse 4:34. It contains a little marital advice from Allah:  “As for women of whom you fear rebellion, admonish them, and remain apart from them in beds, and beat them.” (M pg. 114.)

No actual transgression required. If a husband just “fears rebellion” from a wife, Allah says: Scold her, then don’t sleep with her, and if that doesn’t work, give her a whuppin’.

Mawdudi has this helpful footnote: “This does not mean a man should resort to these three measures at once–.” The Reliance of the Traveller on page 541 has some more helpful advice to follow when beating one’s wife: Do not break the skin, do not break any bones, and do not draw blood.  Proof positive that only compassionate wife beating is allowed under sharia law.

Verse 4:34 sounds almost like the disciplining of a child, and it could well be that one or more of a Muslim’s wives is in fact a child. I say “wives” because verse 4:3 allows Muslim men to have as many as four wives, and verses in the Koran, both directly and indirectly, permit Muslim men to marry prepubescent girls.

The direct proof is found in verse 65:4, which concerns the waiting period required prior to a divorce: “The waiting period of those of your women who have lost all expectation of menstruation shall be three months in case you entertain any doubt; and the same shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated.” (M pg. 866.)

Mawdudi’s footnote says that “those who have not menstruated” could be “because they are too young.” The khan translation reads: “—and for those who have no courses (i.e. they are still immature) their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise, –.” (K pg. 737.) Both trnslations thus leave no doubt that Allah approves of the marriage of pre-pubescent girls.

The indirect Koranic proof is in verse 33:21 in which Allah says Muhammad is a good example for Muslims to follow. Muhammad married a six-year-old and consummated the marriage when she was nine.  Lest you think that is some long-discarded tribal custom, the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Ruler of Iran after the Shah was ousted, had married a ten-year-old when he was 26. After he came to power, the legal age for brides was dropped to nine.

Iran was not an aberration. In Pakistan last year, a Senate committee rejected a bill that would have banned child marriage as “contrary to Islamic injunctions.”  In 2011, a Muslim cleric in Bangladesh said any law banning child marriage would put Muhammad’s character into question and he said that 200,000 jihadists were ready to sacrifice their lives to oppose any law restricting child marriage. (10)

From this you can safely deduce that such marriages are sanctioned by the bride’s parents. Even worse, such marriages are often arranged by the parents. The Ayatollah Khomeini called a prepubescent marriage a “divine blessing” and urged Muslim fathers to get their daughters married before they began menstruating.

Muhammad’s child bride had no say in the arrangement, and so it is today. On page 522 of The Reliance of the Traveller it states that a father can compel the marriage of his daughter, if she is a virgin, without her consent.  This is how Muslim men treat their daughters in many Islamic countries TODAY.

There are many verses in the Koran in which Allah mentions slave women, referred to as “those whom your right hand possess.”  Mawdudi’s footnote on page 102 to V2:3 says: “This expression denotes ‘slave girls,’ i.e. female captives of war who are distributed by the state among individuals when no exchanges of prisoners of war takes place.”

Such women are immediately subject to sexual exploitation, and if they are married women, raping them, or even marrying them if they are Jews or Christians, is not considered adultery. As explained Mawdudi’s footnote to V4:24:

“Women who come as captives of war, leaving their husbands behind in Dar al-Harb (Domain of War), are not prohibited, for their marriage is nullified by virtue of their entry into Dar al-Islam (Domain of Islam).” (M pg. 411.)

Reliance of the Traveller on page 604 confirms this as sharia: “When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.”

Since this is from “A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law” based on the Koran, and since the Koran is a “beacon light to guide humanity” forever, it should be no surprise that Muslim men, today, will enslave non-Muslim women when the opportunity arises.

In the last few years, Iraq and Syria have been the battleground for a new Islamic state, ISIS –Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – complete with self-appointed Caliph.  In 2014, ISIS issued a guide to its soldiers on how to treat slave women, mostly women captured when Yazidi communities, who are not Muslims, were overrun by ISIS forces.  (Google: ISIS Slave Women Manual.)

In a separate Q and A pamphlet published by ISIS we find this revealing answer to Question 13: “Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty?” (A) “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse; however, if she is not fit for intercourse, then it is enough to enjoy her without intercourse.” (11)

What does THAT mean?

It was reported last November that the retreating ISIS forces had moved their slave markets into Turkey, something not possible without the tacit approval of Turkey’s strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdoğanwho is showing signs that he would like to become Islam’s next caliph. (12)

Finally, Robert Spencer has remarked on the circular reasoning so prevalent in Islam, e.g., we know the Koran is the word of God because Muhammad says so, and we know Muhammad is God’s messenger because the Koran says so.  Similar circular reasoning is displayed in a hadith (Bukhari 1:6 :301) in which some women ask Muhammad why it is he thinks women are “deficient” in their intelligence.

Muhammad told them the proof was in the Koran, verse 2:282, in which Allah says that written debt obligations must be witnessed by two males, and if two males can’t be found, it is permissible to have one male and two women, “so that if one of the two women should fail to remember, the other might remind her.”  (M pg. 64.)

My wife does not think there is ANY humor to be found in that timeless advice from Allah, and she, the daughter of a Lutheran minister! Verily, Allah’s work is never done.

She doesn’t care for another of my favorite Muhammad quotes: “Men are already destroyed when they obey women.” (R of T pg.672.) Also: “A people that leaves its leadership to a woman will never succeed.” R of T pg. 641.)  This is Islam’s “Sacred law.”

Sarcasm aside, how can anyone deny that women are second class citizens under Islam?

Appendix Six: Important Verses Not in Chapter Nine Concerning Christianity

I read an article recently in which a Muslim said there were 156 verses of mercy in the Koran, 65 verses of peace and 93 verses of love. (13) Mercy, peace and love. Sounds like something Christians can relate to.

He even had the audacity to list a few of them. For example, one “peaceful” verse cited was 49:9, which says, “If two parties of the believers happen to fight, make peace between them.” Believers means Muslims, nobody else. A deceiving use of the word “peace”, don’t you think?

As an example of a verse of “love” he cited verse 3:31 that says that Allah loves His followers, as any Christian would concur with. But the next verse (3:32) says, “–Allah does not love those who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.” (M pg. 73, K pg. 82.) That means that Allah loves ONLY Muslims. Literally true while deceiving the hearer.

He also didn’t mention the verse (48:29) which says Muhammad is the messenger of Allah and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. (M pg. 761, K pg. 673.) Love thy neighbor? Only if thy neighbor is a Muslim.

The Koran is full of nasty stuff like that. Muslims won’t quote those verses. Instead they will purposely quote the Koran out of chronological context confident that most infidels won’t know a damn thing about abrogation.

Muslims will truthfully tell us that Christians and Muslims have much in common: Both believe in one God, an all-powerful creator who is ever forgiving and most merciful and that believers go to Heaven. Says all that in the Koran.

What they don’t tell you is that the Allah of the Koran is forgiving and merciful only toward Muslims. Kill or enslave everybody else. In return for slaying and being slain in Allah’s way, Muslims go to Heaven. Nobody else. (M verse 9:111 pg. 293.)

Turn the other cheek? Not for Muslims: verse 2:191: “For though killing is sinful wrongful persecution is even worse than killing.” (M pg. 90.) Mawdudi’s footnote says “persecution” is when “a person or group is subjected to harassment or intimidation for having accepted what is right and rejected what is wrong.”

“Vengeance is mine” sayeth Allah? Not for Muslims. Verse 9:14 says, “Make war on them. Allah will chastise them through you–.” (M pg. 272.) Verse 9:52 says much the same thing, so in two places in the most important chapter in the Koran, Muslims are encouraged to wreak vengeance on Allah’s behalf.

That’s why Muslim sociopaths scream “Allahu Akbar” — Allah is greater — while they’re killing infidels.

Love and forgive the sinner? Hah!  Allah once commanded Muhammad to not pray or even stand at the grave of a Muslim – A MUSLIM — who wasn’t a “good” Muslim. (M  V9:84 pg. 288, K pg. 262. My emphasis.)

Muslims tell us that Islam considers Jesus a revered prophet who was born of a virgin, performed miracles and was lifted to Heaven by Allah. It’s all in the Koran. (V4:157-4:158 M pg. 143, K  pg.144.) What’s also in the Koran is Jesus denying his divinity, to Allah no less, and at the same time Allah declaring the trinity to be Jesus, Mary and Allah. Jesus, MARY and Allah?

“–Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say unto men, ‘Worship me AND MY MOTHER as two gods besides Allah?’ He (Jesus) will say ‘Glory be to You, it was not for me to say what I had no right to say. –Never did I say to them aught except what You, Allah, did command me to say: Worship Allah–.” (K V5:116 and 5:117, pg. 175.)

The translators then add: “This is a great admonition and warning to Christians of the whole world.”  That’s from a 1999 translation with a contemporary interpretation, not from a thousand years ago.

Did you know that Jesus was not crucified? “And the Jews said, “We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Mary but they killed him not, nor crucified Him but it appeared so to them (the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man and they killed that man) but Allah raised him (Jesus) unto Himself (in Heaven).” Therefore, Jesus couldn’t have been resurrected. (V4:157 – 158, K pg. 144 and M pg. 143.)

Mawdudi has this footnote: “This verse categorically states that Jesus was raised on high before he could be crucified, and that the belief of both the Jews and the Christians that Jesus died on the cross is a misconception.” That’s what devout Muslims believe BECAUSE IT IS IN THE KORAN!

It is important to note that Muhammad had to discredit the Resurrection, the foundational miracle of Christianity, in order to establish the supremacy of Islam. There could be no Holy Spirit in the Koran’s Trinity. How could Muhammad claim to be Allah’s last and most favored prophet if he too wasn’t resurrected?

Even Muhammad, someone I believe drank his own Kool-Aid with gusto, knew deep in his con-man soul he couldn’t pull that one off.

Muslims claim Muhammad was not only the last of Allah’s prophets, but that his coming was prophesized by Jesus in John 14:16: “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever,” and from John 15:26: “But when the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, he will bear witness to me –.”

I’ll leave interpretations of those verses to those more knowledgeable about the Gospels, but I find it incomprehensible to claim they prophesized the coming of a warrior prophet who would kill, torture, rape, enslave and plunder in God’s name.

Most Christians would also be surprised to learn that the Disciples were Muslims: “Then when ‘Isa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said, ‘who will be my helpers in Allah’s cause?’ The disciples said ‘We are the helpers of Allah, we believe in Allah and bear witness we are Muslims.’ ” (K V3:52 pg.86.) This was some 600 years before Muhammad was born.

There are other verses refuting Christianity, among the most important: In verse 5:72, Allah says, “They do blaspheme who say, “God is Christ the son of Mary.” In the next verse, 5:73, Allah says, “They do blaspheme who say, “God is one of three in a trinity for there is no god except One God (Allah.).” (Ali pg. 71.)

In verse 5:75, Allah delivers the coup de grace: “The Messiah, son of Mary was no more than a messenger—.” Mawdudi’s footnote says it all: “In these few words, the Divinity of Jesus is repudiated.” (M pg. 173.)

Finally, let’s look at the opening lines of the Koran, the little prayer, Al-Fatihah, that devout Muslims in the course of their five daily prayers, recite at least 17 times per day. It is very instructive, very symbolic:

In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.  

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.  

The Most gracious, the Most Merciful.  

The only Judge on the Day of Resurrection  

You alone we worship, You alone we ask for help. 

Guide us to the straight way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed your grace, not the way of those who earned your anger, nor of those who went astray. (K pgs. 11-12. Slightly edited for brevity.)

Hey! Sounds pretty good, right? Especially that part about “Guide us to the straight way, the way of those on whom You have bestowed your grace, not the way of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who went astray.”  Kumbaya!

A little problem. From the Khan translation we get this explanation of the meaning of that last line, and from Muhammad himself. When asked who were those who earned Allah’s anger, he said, “They are the Jews.” And of those who went astray? Muhammad said, “The Christians—they are the ones who went astray.” (K pg. 12, ftnt. (1).)

Muslims know what this prayer means. They pray every day to not be like Christians and Jews, and yet Muslims around America are undertaking outreach programs at which they frequently have everybody join hands and repeat this little prayer.  Deception, indeed.

Appendix Seven:  How a Devout Muslim Views the Koran

Churchill implied the Koran was “turgid, verbose and shapeless.” It is also contradictory, filled with hatred and has factual errors not consistent with an “All-knowing” Allah.  The commands to obey and emulate Muhammad, as well as the numerous times that Allah comes to Muhammad’s aid, make a skeptic wonder just who wrote the Koran, Allah or Muhammad.

A hadith even has Muhammad persuading Allah that Muslims should pray only five times a day rather than the 50 Allah had ordered, and doing so at the suggestion of Moses! (14) Well, we know Allah can change His mind.

This virtual worship of Muhammad shows the hypocrisy of Muslims accusing Christians of polytheism.  That Muhamad’s life was considered by Mawdudi to be one of “impeccable purity” is both incredible and disturbing.  True believers deny the obvious. They lie to themselves and believe the lies.  They protect themselves with what Eric Hoffer called a “fact-proof shield.” Below is Mawdudi’s paean to the Koran:

“The Qur’an itself is a strong, persuasive testimony to its Divine origin. It is inconceivable that any human being should compose discourses on different subjects under different circumstances and on different occasions and the collection of those discourses should then grow into a coherent, homogeneous and integrated work, no component of which is discordant with the rest. It is also inconceivable that such a work would be permeated throughout with a uniform outlook and attitude, a work manifesting remarkable consistency in the mood and spirit of its Author, a work so perfect that it would never require any change or revision.” (M pg. 125, footnote to V4:82.)

People who have this sort of fevered belief in a book that condemns non-Muslims to Hell and guarantees Heaven only for those who die spreading Islam, are people who should never be allowed to live and worship in America, or any other nation that rejects the idea that mankind is best ruled by a theocracy.

Appendix Eight: Islam’s Big Lie

Islam is NOT a “religion of peace.” Chapter nine is proof enough, but if you need further proof, read the footnote to verse 2:190 in the Khan translation: “Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior.” 

It continues: “Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty, or does not in his innermost heart wish to fulfill this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.”     

A few verses later, V2:216 says “Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you,” i.e. for Muslims, and is a command expanded upon throughout the following Medina revelations, especially in chapter nine.

Devout Muslims living in non-Islamic nations obviously feel it prudent to not –yet – openly admit to this jihad obligation, so they dissimulate using words that are “literally true” but in a way that also “deceives the hearer.” (R of T pgs. 745 and 746. See page 26 above.)

This is what Muslims are doing when they say jihad can also mean an “inner struggle,” and there is one – one – verse in the Koran that supports this meaning. The Meccan verse 29:6 says, “Whosoever strives (in the cause of Allah) does so to his own good.”  Mawdudi’s footnote says believers “were asked to strive in God’s cause because that was conducive to their own moral and spiritual growth.” (M pg. 589.)

That is perfectly consistent with the peaceful revelations from the Meccan period. It is also irrelevant to the operative meaning of jihad today.  A literal truth that deceives.

Conclusion

Muslims don’t make a secret of anything in this pamphlet.  All of my sources are available on Amazon, and you’re probably thinking, “Why haven’t I heard any of this before?” Part of the answer is that Muslims have done a great job of portraying themselves as victims of discrimination, screaming “RACISM” and “ISLAMOPHOBIA” whenever Islam is criticized, while simultaneously lying to us about the fundamentals of their faith.

What is very disturbing is that there is no Christian leadership against Islam, no “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Pope Francis, the iconic head of Christianity, is an apologist for Islam who knows nothing, nothing, about the religion.

Equally disturbing, nowhere do I see the political courage to deny Islam First Amendment protection. In fact, the First Amendment is in danger being “abrogated” by efforts to label speaking the truth about Islam as “hate speech.” and to give Muslims special privileges in our schools, prisons and elsewhere.

Islam also teaches that it is obligatory for Muslims to establish an Islamic theocracy ruled by a caliphate. (R of T pg. 639.)   Obviously, Islamic rule would do away with our Constitution and America as we know it, which is the stated goal of the Muslim Brotherhood: “The Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” (15)

Learning how to read the Koran is the first thing we must do to stop that from happening.

Footnotes

(1) Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War Volume 1 – The Gathering Storm, (Boston, MA, Houghton Mifflin, 1948, reprinted 1949, paperback edition), p. 50.

(2) Winston Churchill, The River War, 1899, quote via: http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/churchillislam.asp

(3) Paragraph 253, Pope Francis, EVANGELII GAUDIUM, 24 November 2013, from Stephen Coughlin, Catastrophic Failure, (Washington D.C., Center for Security Policy Press, 2015), p. 511.

(4) Updated terrorist attack totals and MUCH more from: religionofpeace.com.

(5) Robert Spencer, Islam Unveiled, (San Francisco, CA, Encounter Books, 2003, paperback edition), p. 35, which references the quote from Amir Taheri, Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism (Adler & Adler, 1987), pp.241-243.

(6) Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And The Crusades), (Washinton D.C., Regnery Publishing, 2005), p. 27.

(7)  ibid, p. 25.

(8) https://archive.org/stream/TafseerIbnKathirenglish114SurahsComplete/009Tawbah#page/n85/mode/2up

(9) Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And The Crusades), p. 33.

(10) Robert Spencer, “Pakistan: Senate body rejects ban on child marriage as “un-Islamic,” 10/12/17-https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/10/pakistan-senate-body-rejects-ban-on-child-marriage-as-un-islamic

(11)  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-releases-abhorrent-sex-slaves-pamphlet-with-27-tips-for-militants-on-taking-punishing-and-9915913.html.  Easier to Google the general subject, “ISIS slave manual.” Etc.

(12) https://clarionproject.org/isis-opens-sex-slave-market-turkeys-capital/

(13) https://www.jihadwatch.org/2017/11/hugh-fitzgerald-john-hamed-jr-and-the-misrepresentation-of-islam)

(14) Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol 3 – 213.

(15)  An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, pg. 7, by Mohamed Akram of the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood, May 22, 1991. See footnote 84 Pg. 637, Catastrophic Failure, by Stephen Coughlin, Center for Security Policy Press, 2015.

Bibliography of Sacred Texts

The Qur’an Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc., Publishers and Distributors of Holy Qur’an, Elmhurst, New York. Sixth U.S. Edition, 2001.

Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an in The English Language, Translated by: Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D., and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, DARUSSALAM Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Revised Edition: March 1999. This is also referred to as the Al-Hilali translation. The introduction says this is a summarized version of a nine volume work.

Towards Understanding the Qur’an, Abridged version of Tafhim al-Qur’an, by Sayyid Abdul a’la Mawdudi.  Translated and edited (from Urdu to English) by Zafar Ishaq Ansari, UK Islamic Mission Dawah Centre, Birmingham, UK, 2001.

This is an abridged, English language version of Mawdudi’s six-volume translation of the  Koran from Arabic to Urdu.  While none of Mawdudi’s extensive footnotes are referenced, we can be sure that all of his interpretations are well-grounded in Islamic traditional theology.  Otherwise, this translation would never have made it out of the Muslim nation of Pakistan.

Reliance of the Traveller, A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices. Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, amana publications, Beltsville, Maryland. Revised edition 1994, reprinted 2015.

Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigrants Part Three

Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigrants, Part Three 8/4/18 – Peter Burrows – elburropete@gmail.com- Blog: silvercityburro.com. 

Mexican drug cartels had estimated 2016 revenues from the sale of illegal drugs in the U.S. of as much as $50 billion.  They’ve used that money to corrupt local and state police forces, political parties, businesses and ordinary citizens.  What this means is that there are many Mexicans who are not directly involved in the illegal drug trade who profit from it.  

The same can be said of the United States.  Drug dealers spend money on cops, politicians, real estate and legitimate businesses.   How big the penumbra of legitimate economic activity that emanates from the illegal drug business is a big unknown.   

Add to that the livelihoods of all those employed in the war on drugs, from cops to judges, and there is a perfectly understandable constituency to maintain the status quo.  Legalizing drugs would upset a lot of apple carts, and not just those of the drug dealers and everybody who works for them.  

That said, most people oppose legalizing drugs in principle, regardless of whether it would affect their livelihood.  Nonetheless, one of the benefits of legalization would be a big reduction in the government bureaucracies dedicated to the war on drugs.  These bureaucracies will oppose legalization efforts. 

For legalization of drugs such as heroin and cocaine to occur, the public has to support it, which they don’t now.  Whether this will change or not is a big question. The legalization of marijuana that is now underway, state by state, has been instructive. Pew Research reports that in 2000 only 31% of those surveyed approved legalizing pot vs. 61% in 2018. 

A 2016 survey (Vox) showed a similar result with 59% approval. That same survey showed only about 15% approval for legalizing heroin, cocaine, or meth.  That may change if synthetic drugs become the problem I think they will. More on that later.  

As of today, eight states plus D.C. have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, and another 22 have legalized medical marijuana.  Those states with total legalization have seen price reductions of as much as eighty percent versus the pre-legalized price.  Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a fifty percent reduction in the amount of marijuana seized at the border.  If the trend continues, the cartels will soon be out of the marijuana business.   

Pot smokers in legalized states get not only lower prices, they also get higher quality, more choice and no hassle from the cops.  I wouldn’t be surprised to someday see competing brands of marijuana cigarettes.  “Competing” is the key word.  Competition drives down prices and drives up quality.  

The same effects would apply if heroin and cocaine were legalized.  Prices would drop, quality would increase, deaths from accidental overdoses would drop, incarcerations would drop, as would violence and corruption.  The farmers around the world who grow poppies and cocoa would stay in business but their customers would change, e.g. drug companies instead of cartels.  

Like other commodities, drug demand is influenced by price, fads, marketing, consumer preference and substitution.  The latter is important, as opioid overdose deaths are lower in states with legalized marijuana.  The cravings experienced by opioid addicts whose prescriptions have expired are alleviated by marijuana, a rational choice if marijuana is legal and non-prescription opioids aren’t.    

Opioid addiction, which stems from the over prescription of Oxycontin, Vicodin, etc., is the latest example of a government created drug problem.  I recently filled a prescription for 30 generic Vicodin pills at a dollar a pill.  Should I need refills, (I won’t) I would risk becoming dependent on the drug and suffer withdrawal symptoms.  I would be unable to get my prescription renewed to treat that problem.     

The black market would charge me $5 a pill, if I could find them, and even then, I wouldn’t know if I was getting the real drug.  Why not allow me to register as an opioid addict and thereby get the drug for, e.g. $2 a pill along with consoling or something?  As an aside, I don’t think it works as well as advertised, but it works well enough for me to prefer addiction to the pain I experienced.  If I can’t get more Vicodin, please, Great God government, give me permission to smoke a legal joint.  

Similarly, methamphetamine might not be as bad a problem if alternative drugs, especially cocaine, were legal and cheap.  Drug consumers make rational choices when they can. 

Meth is a good example of the Whack-A-Mole nature of the illegal drug market.  The Mexican cartels have compensated for the loss of their marijuana business by pushing sales of other drugs, especially meth. The DEA says about 90 percent of the meth trade is controlled by the cartels, and the use of and deaths from meth are growing rapidly. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention puts 2015 deaths from stimulants, mostly meth, at almost 6,000, a 255% increase from ten years ago.  

This is the second time meth has become a national problem. Back in the 1980’s, biker gangs began making meth from ephedrine, found in many cold medicines. By 2005, meth seemed to be everywhere, along with the very dangerous labs that produced it.  In 2004, near the peak of the meth problem, police in Portland, Oregon, destroyed 114 meth labs. One city! 

When the government shut down the supply of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, the meth labs disappeared here and production shifted to Mexico.  There the cartels set up labs, imported the chemicals they needed and got really, really efficient at making the stuff.  The meth sold today is nearly 100% pure and sells for as low as $5 a hit.   

“We’re seeing a lot of long-time addicts who used crack cocaine switch to meth,” said Brendan Combs, a Portland police officer.  “You ask them about it, and they’ll say: ‘Hey, it’s half the price and it’s good quality.’“(The New York Times, 2/13/18: “Meth, the Forgotten Killer Is Back, And It’s Everywhere.”)  

Cocaine and meth are both stimulants, unlike the opioids such as heroin, and the meth producers compete against both cocaine and other meth producers and they do so on the basis of price and quality.  It is conceivable that legalizing cocaine may be the most effective way to reduce the danger of meth. If we added the death penalty – and used it! — for meth dealers, that might eliminate the meth problem altogether.  

War on drugs, my ass. We’re having a pillow fight on drugs. 

The meth resurgence illustrates another trend that has huge implications in the war on drugs: illegal synthetic drugs could well become the number one drug problem in America. Opioids and cocaine are derived from plants that are grown. Meth and other synthetics are produced from chemicals readily available throughout the world, no farmers needed, just chemists.  

Fentanyl is the best known synthetic. It is a heroin synthetic that is 50 times more potent than Nature’s version.  It is used most frequently as a skin patch for cancer patients and in post-op recovery.  (I recently had a dose. It was very effective, but I hope I never need one again.)  It costs pennies and small amounts can be sent through the mail in regular envelopes. Small amounts yield a large number of doses. It’s coming in from labs in both China and India, and there is no way to stop it. 

The good news is that Fentanyl and its myriad analogues could put the cartels out of the heroin business.  Even if the cartels set up their own labs to produce Fentanyl et al, there’s eventually not going to be much profit in something so cheap and so readily available from a number of suppliers. 

The bad news is that the synthetic is so powerful that accidental overdoses are becoming a big problem.  Overdoses stemming from over-prescription of analgesic opioids such as Oxycodone are getting all the publicity but the real problem is illegal Fentanyl. According to the CDC (www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm), overdose deaths in America are running at a 70,000 per year rate, up from 50,000 in 2015.  Most of that increase is from Fentanyl deaths, up from 3,000 in 2015 to over 20,000 today.    

The problem is that only 2 milligrams constitutes a deadly dose.  Since the drug is being mixed in with street heroin and used in fake prescription pills with little dose control, we can expect the death toll to continue to rise.   

What to do?  The safest course of action would be to legalize Fentanyl as an over the counter drug which then puts the dosage in the hands of the drug companies, e.g. Merck or Pfizer. That way, somebody who purchases the drug will know what the dosage is. There is nothing we can do if that purchaser then overdoses.  

In addition to synthetic heroin, synthetic cocaine and cannabis are also available and becoming more like the real stuff as chemists around the world compete to make “better” products.  All of this must add to the business woes of the Mexican cartels.  Are they headed to the dust bin of history? Beats me, but I hope so.  

Last year saw a record 28,710 homicides in Mexico, an estimated one third related to illegal drugs, and this year is on track to be over 30,000. The violence is spreading into Central America. Throughout the region, decent people are trying to escape the violence by going to America. Sadly, when they cross into Mexico, they are at the mercy of the cartels.  Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently estimated that human smuggling brings the Mexican cartels over $500 million a year.   

Some of this “business” will dry up as the illegal drug business disappears, but not all. People want to get to America for reasons other than to escape drug violence.  This means we’ll still need a wall, virtual or otherwise.   

If it were up to me, anybody caught facilitating illegal immigration/invasion would be executed.  Any illegal in America would forever be denied citizenship and public benefits of any kind.  Any cost of incarcerating illegal immigrant criminals would be sent to the Mexican government.   

At the same time, “racist” me would pay Mexican doctors, nurses, electricians, plumbers etc., to immigrate to America.  A million dollars tax free for a Mexican heart specialist? Sounds about right.  I wonder how long it would be before Mexico began cooperating in controlling our mutual border?   

Illegal Drugs and Illegal Immigrants, Part Two

By Peter Burrows 7/13/18 elburropete@gmail.com

In 2012, the U.S. White House Office of Drug Control Policy asked The RAND Corporation to estimate the market size of four drugs: cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine (meth). Their report, released in 2014, estimated that, “drug users in the United States spend on the order of $100 billion annually on all four drugs (in 2010 dollars),” a figure they estimated to have been constant for a decade, with big shifts in the drugs purchased, e.g. meth up, cocaine down.

The report did not add the expense of police, judges, prisons and street crime associated with illegal drugs. Of course, there is no way to put a price on the hundreds of deaths associated with drugs, from cops to gang-bangers to innocent bystanders.

Neither did the report add the cost of the chaos and carnage our appetite for drugs causes in Central and South America. This is a national disgrace. Those of us who want absolute control of our borders must realize we have a moral obligation to people escaping the violence that we are responsible for. These people should be granted asylum, at least temporarily.

The problem is that then EVERYBODY trying to enter America will claim drug cartel hit-men are chasing them. The solution is to legalize the sale of marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

This is NOT a new idea. Nobel economist Milton Friedman made the case for legalization decades ago. Here are excerpts from an interview he gave in 1991 on “America’s Drug Forum,” a PBS talk show. (Available on You Tube. You will understand why Friedman didn’t like being called “conservative.” Questions and answers paraphrased for brevity.)

Question: How would America be changed for the better if drugs were legalized? Friedman: I see America with half the number of prisons, half the number of prisoners, ten thousand fewer homicides a year, inner cities in which there’s a chance for these poor people to live without being afraid for their lives, citizens who might be respectable who are now addicts not being subject to becoming criminals in order to get their drug, being able to get drugs for which they’re sure of the quality.

Question: What is the proper role of the government in this? 
Friedman: The proper role of government is exactly what John Stuart Mill said in the middle of the 19th Century. The proper role of government is to prevent other people from harming an individual. Government, he said, never has the right to interfere with an individual for that individual’s own good. The case for prohibiting drugs is exactly the case for prohibiting people from overeating. We all know that overeating causes more deaths than drugs do. If it’s in principle OK for the government to say you must not consume drugs because they’ll do you harm, why not that you must not overeat? (Friedman then made a similar case against skydiving, skiing, i.e. where do you draw the line on personal behavior.) 

Question: Is the drug problem an economic problem? 
Friedman: No, it’s a moral problem. It’s a problem of the harm which the government is doing. The prohibition of drugs produces, on average, ten thousand homicides a year. It’s a moral problem that the government is going around killing ten thousand people. It’s a moral problem when the government turns people into criminals for doing something we may not approve of but which harms nobody else, e.g. being arrested for smoking marijuana, being thrown in jail, having their lives destroyed.

If you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. What do I mean by that? In an ordinary free market, potatoes or beef, anything you want, there are thousands of importers and exporters. Anybody can go into the business, but it’s very hard for a small person to import drugs because our interdiction efforts make it enormously costly. The cartels can afford fleets of airplanes, sophisticated methods and so on. By keeping goods out and arresting, for example, local marijuana growers, the government also keeps the prices high. What more could a monopolist want? He’s got a government who makes it very hard for his competition and who keeps the price of his product high.

Legalization is a way for us, as citizens, to stop our government from using its power to engage in the immoral behavior of killing people, taking lives away from people in the U.S., in Colombia and elsewhere, which we have no business doing. Right now, Uncle Sam is also taking property without due process of law. The drug enforcers are expropriating property, in many cases of innocent people. That’s a terrible way to run what’s supposed to be a free country. ——–

I urge interested readers to explore Dr. Friedman’s thinking on the many You Tube clips that are available. Sometimes he goes a little over the top, as when he said the government was “going around killing ten thousand people,” but if confronted, I’m sure he’d smile and say, “Does it make any difference to the victims who pulls the trigger?”

The question to ask is: Will we be worse off with legalized drugs than we are now? I want to emphasize that nobody who favors legalization thinks recreational use of these drugs is a good thing. There will be costs involved, and they will be very visible, but it’s a matter of choosing the lesser evil.

With legalization, we will need to spend a great deal more on rehabilitation and education, but that cost should be compared to what we now spend on incarcerating drug users and purveyors. Plus, rehab needs will probably expand as drug usage grows in response to both lower prices and the removal of legal penalties. How much? Beats me.

Marijuana legalization by different states gives us some insight on what happens to prices and demand after legalization. The website Marijuanally.com recently discussed pricing and they noted that an entrepreneur could buy a pound of marijuana in legal California and make about five times his cost by selling it in illegal New York. From this it would appear that, so far, legalizing marijuana results in about an 80% drop in price.

The price drop has led to an increase in demand in legal states, but nobody knows by how much since nobody knows how big the black market was. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a substantial increase in marijuana use, but I note that at one time almost 50% of the adults in America smoked cigarettes. Now, less than 15% do. Hopefully, marijuana use will eventually be lower than that.

The biggest obstacle to legalization in the past may have been that there were too many people benefiting from the status quo. I’ll cover that in Part Three, plus look at how synthetic opioids are disrupting the illegal drug business, both for good and for ill.

          

 

Illegal Drugs and Illegal Immigrants

Have you heard of political newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez? You will. The 28-year-old just won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District, beating an incumbent Democrat who had held the seat for 20 years — 20 years! — and who outspent her by a factor of eight. And it wasn’t even close: she beat him by 15 points.

How did she do it? It doesn’t hurt that she looks a little like Julia Roberts. She’s also an articulate campaigner who exudes warmth and self-confidence. She’s very likable, but the secret to her success may be that she’s a Hispanic who sounds like Bernie Sanders. She wants Medicare for all, tuition-free college, a guaranteed Federal job for everybody, and she’d abolish ICE and impeach Trump. Democrats around the country are enthralled.

However, before the lovely Ms. Ocasio-Ortiz becomes the Democratic nominee for President, they might want to consider the demographics of her district, as laid out by Star Parker in her July 4 column. The Census Bureau breaks down the demographics as 50% Hispanic, 9% black and 16% Asian; 45.8% are foreign born and 67.8% do not speak English at home.

This is not the demographic profile of America —-yet. Some of us horrid deplorables think that the Democratic party would like to see an America that looks like that. In fact, deplorable me thinks that if given the power, the Democrats would like to have open borders, instant citizenship, ballots in Spanish and a voting age of 10. (“If you’re old enough to go to the bathroom by yourself, you’re old enough to vote.”)

It wouldn’t be long before there would be a Constitutional Convention to do away with that pesky checks-and-balance BS that was imposed hundreds of years ago by a bunch of racist white men. No more First Amendment, no more Second Amendment and, Thank You God, no more Twenty Second Amendment. That’s the one that limited Presidents to two terms.

Barrack Obama would run again, and the vote would be so overwhelming that future elections would be considered a waste of time. Caudillo for li —-I mean, President for Life. Then we could fulfill the dream of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has said that it would be great if America could “be like China for a day, so we could do what’s right.” A day?? Don’t be such a piker, Tom. FOREVER!

Changing the demographics of America has been the long-range plan of the Democratic party for over 50 years, starting with the 1965 Immigration Reform Act. Here’s what Democratic consultant Patrick Reddy wrote in 1998:

“The 1965 Immigration Reform Act promoted by President Kennedy, drafted by Attorney General Robert Kenndy, and pushed through the Senate by Ted Kennedy has resulted in a wave of immigration from the Third World that should shift the nation in a more liberal direction within a generation. It will go down as the Kennedy family’s greatest gift to the Democratic Party.”

Hello, Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez. Note that Reddy did not say this would be the Kennedy family’s greatest gift to AMERICA. Finally, a few of the stupidrepublicans (one word) are starting to wake up to what’s going on. I’m hoping the near-hysterical reaction to the Trump Administration’s pathetic border control efforts will wake up a few more.

On July 1, open borders advocates held over 700 rallies and marches around the country, one right here in Silver City, to protest the Trump Administration’s treatment of illegal immigrant families apprehended at our border with Mexico. The protesters don’t want children separated from their parents at detention centers.

In the short run, this is to protect children from predators in the general population of detainees. In the long run, incarcerated criminals are of course not accompanied by their families. Regardless, Trump caved to the pressure and ordered the military to prepare detention facilities that would accommodate family units. That’s OK by me. Very expensive, but no one likes to see children separated from their parents if it can be avoided.

Unfortunately, the response to this will be more illegal immigrants posing as “families” and the problem will be worse than before.

What to do?

The first step I would take would be to eliminate the asylum option. Today, anybody can walk up to our border and request asylum. The reason for the request doesn’t have to be that you are escaping political or religious persecution, the intended purpose of our asylum laws. For example, women can claim they are escaping domestic abuse, or men that they are escaping gang violence.

Typically, after a brief detention, most are given a date for an asylum hearing and then released, free to go Anywhere, USA. Over half don’t show for the hearing. After all, mission accomplished. Of those who do show, very few are granted asylum, e.g. less than 12% of requests from Hondurans, Guatemalans and El Salvadorans are actually granted. Those lucky folks get cash, medical care and a housing allowance.

Better than a green card, baby.

Predictably, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the law did not include domestic abuse as sufficient grounds for asylum to be granted, he was attacked by Democratic Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi for his “staggering cruelty.” But as Sessions said, the asylum law “is not a general hardship statute.” If it was, every poor person in the entire world would qualify, PRECISELY WHAT THE DEMOCRATS WANT.

Ironically, the poverty these people are escaping is for the most part due to the political/economic realities of socialism and other totalitarian governments that inhibit individual economic freedom, the very thing the left-wing, open-borders crowd wants for America.

However, there is one class of asylum seekers who deserve our help: people escaping the consequences of America’s War on Drugs. Again, the problem is that every asylum seeker will claim to be fleeing the violence attendant to illegal drugs – and there is a Hell of a lot of violence.

Please read an article by Daniel Davidson in The Federalist, June 26, 2018: “With Cartels In Control, There Are No Easy Answers To The Border Crisis.” http://thefederalist.com/2018/06/26/cartels-no-easy-answers-border-crisis/

Davidson wrote: “Violence in Mexico is out of control – and getting worse. National elections in Mexico are set for July 1, and so far, 121 political candidates, most of them running for local office have been assassinated, along with dozens of their family members. …across Mexico drug cartels have infiltrated local and state police forces, political machines, and major industries. Candidates who speak out against corruption …are especially in danger.”

Because of the Gringoes’ insatiable appetite for drugs, Mexicans are being murdered by the hundreds, many of them the very best people in their society. I don’t know why every decent human being in Mexico doesn’t hate our guts.

In 2014, the Rand corporation estimated the size of the illegal drug business in America at $100 billion. That is a BIG business. The irony is that it wouldn’t BE a big business without the war on drugs. The basic materials are cheap. The drugs are expensive because they are illegal. Legalize the drugs and most of the profit goes away, and so does most of the drug violence.

Therefore, the second step I would take to alleviate the border/illegal immigrant problem would be to end the war on drugs by legalizing the drug cartels’ big money makers: heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Some states have already legalized marijuana.

This is a discussion worth having, don’t you think? My next article will continue the topic.

Thoughts On The PRC Election

Thoughts on the PRC Election by Peter Burrows, elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 5/18/18 

I attended the forum last week for the two Democrats running in the primary for Public Regulations Commission, District 5, Stephen Fischmann and incumbent Sandy Jones.  The Grant County Beat and the Daily Press covered the meeting with excellent articles. 

 

As would be expected at any forum of Democrats, both candidates made ritual genuflections at the alter of “the little guy” and then proceeded to defend a program, net metering, that favors wealthy electricity users at the expense of all other rate payers. (See my recent article, “What is ‘Net Metering’ and Why Should You care.”)

 

When asked if net metering was a good thing, my question, both said it was a good thing — wrong answer — but both also said it was something that needed to have a cost-benefit review.  We can hope such a review would look at Vermont, where the Public Utility Commission recently estimated that net metering costs rate payers $21 million a year, most of which subsidizes homeowners wealthy enough to afford solar panels. 

 

As an aside, earlier this month I asked two of the Republican candidates, Ben Hall and Chris Mathys, the same question: Is net metering a good idea.  Neither one knew what I was talking about. Hall tried to tell me it was some sort of Federal program, and he was a PRC commissioner from 2010 to 2014! 

While Fischmann showed an impressive familiarity with all of the issues discussed, several things he said made my BS Meter go off.  The first was something he said about electricity storage, which is the big bottleneck to using more solar and wind-generated electricity.    

Fischmann made the incredible statement, as reported in the Beat article, that such storage was “substantially cheaper” than natural gas-generated electricity, currently the cheapest fossil fuel-based electricity.  

  

Jones correctly said that there is no storage technology that can supply large scale electricity at reasonable prices. 

 

Fischmann doubled down, claiming there was a large-scale storage project underway in New Hampshire that subsidizes homeowners because it saves the utility moneyA quick Internet search revealed the “large-scale” project to be a pilot program that would install Tesla Powerwall batteries in about 300 homes initially and up to 1000 homes if the project proves economical. (Liberty Utilities Proposes Battery Program for Lebanon, Valley News 4/4/18.)

  

There are 7,500 homes just in little Grant County, so the above project is hardly large scale. Furthermore, the Tesla batteries are subsidized to the tune of about 80 percent, something that wouldn’t be needed if it made economic sense for homeowners to buy their own batteries. The project will test the assumption that distributed storage makes more sense, somehow, than centralized electric storage.   

 

Regardless, it’s a little premature to herald this as proof that electricity from storage is cheaper than electricity from natural gas plants. A recent article in Forbes favorably commented on two small storage projects in Arizona, but also noted that they benefited from the 30% Federal investment tax credit that all solar projects get. (“Energy Storage is Coming But Big Price Declines Still Needed,” Joshua Rhodes, Forbes, 2/18/18.) 

 

Fischmann also cited a recent Colorado case where bids to provide power from wind and solar plus storage were “substantially cheaper than the cheapest natural gas.” Once again, Fischmann hadn’t done his homework. 

  

The utility, Xcel Energy, received proposals to provide electricity from wind-plus-storage and solar-plus-storage that, to quote an article in Carbon Tracker, “highlight the incredible cost reductions in renewable energy with storage.” The article cited the median for wind-and-storage as 21 cents per kWh and that for solar-and-storage as 36 cents per kWhneither of which compares favorably with the 11-12 cents you and I pay here in New Mexico.

 

What is absolutely mind blowing is that the article then states: “Details on the bids are sparse. Crucially, the amount of storage is unknown. The combination of renewables plus storage bids are $3-$7/MWh higher than standalone wind and solar bids, suggesting a limited amount of storage.”

  

How can the bids show “incredible cost reductions in renewable energy with storage” if the amount of storage involved in the bids is unknown?  If Tesla dropped the price of an electric car from $35,000 to $10,000 but only had a 12-volt battery in the latter model that would get you to the corner before it died, would that be an incredible cost reduction in the cost of electric powered transportation? 

 

The Investment banking firm Lazard, a BIG backer of “alternative energy technologies,” mainly solar and wind, had this to say in their latest annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, November 2017, emphasis mine: “Although alternative energy is increasingly cost-competitive AND STORAGE TECHNOLOGY HOLDS GREAT PROMISE, alternative energy systems WILL NOT BE CAPABLE OF MEETING THE BASE-LOAD GENERATION NEEDS OF A DEVELOPED ECONOMY FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.”

   

Fischmann also claimed that San Antonio, Texas, was getting cheap energy from Austin Energy, “which is 50 percent renewable.” That is wrong on two counts: San Antonio doesn’t buy electricity from Austin. Each city has its own municipally owned utility, and neither is 50 percent renewable, although San Antonio’s CPS Energy plans to be 50 percent by 2040. 

 

(The cost per kWh in Austin is 10.7 cents, in San Antonio, 10.8 cents, about what we pay here in Silver City.) 

 

To Fischmann’s credit, he did acknowledge that renewable energy is subsidized, but claims that renewables are cheaper even without subsidies. He also told me privately that Renewable Portfolio Standards are not needed if renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, something I would agree with. 

 

The problem with Mr. Fischmann is his uncritical acceptance of renewable energy claims.  He wants a PRC that is “passionate about fact-based renewable energy” but wants his own facts. He also appears to have his lips firmly planted on the derriere of Mariel Nanasi, the director of New Mexico’s most intransigent environmental group, New Energy Economy, in Santa Fe.  

 

I think he would make decisions that favor environmentalists at the expense of the rest of us. He would say there is no conflict, but some of us would strongly disagree.  The only way I MIGHT vote for him is if he was running against Republican Ben Hall next November.  

 

At the moment, Sandy Jones has got my vote. He knows the issues, knows how to listen, works hard and is not a “true believer” environmentalist.  He is not a fan of Mariel Nanasi, either. That’s a big plus in my book.  

 

I’ve requested that the editor of the Grant County Beat give both Jones and Fischmann the opportunity to comment on this article should they care to.      

 

Correction to my article on the PRC election by Peter Burrows 5/19/18 elburropete@gmail.com 

My subconscious has been grinding away for couple of days about something I wrote in my article on the PRC elections.  I rechecked, and sure enough, I had made a big mistake when I wrote that Xcel Energy had received bids for wind-plus-storage electricity and solar-plus-storage electricity at 21 cents and 36 cents per kWh respectively.   

The proper numbers should have been 2.1 cents and 3.6 cents per kWh, which explains the enthusiasm those numbers generated in the press, as they are far lower than what would be expected of bids that included storage, even after the 30% investment tax credit.   

Regardless, since the amount of storage included in those bids was not disclosed, and since the bids were only 15-20% higher than stand-alone solar and wind, one commentator wisely noted that there was probably only “a limited amount” of storage involved. 

I should have caught my decimal point error – too many zeros! –and used 2.1 cent and 3.6 cent per kWh to illustrate a larger point: Even if solar and wind electricity was free, the current cost of storage makes 100% reliance on wind and solar prohibitively expensive.  

Tesla has just completed a $50 million battery project in Australia that can provide electricity to 30,000 homes for one hour.  Since there are 7,500 homes in Grant County, one of these Tesla “batteries” would give us four hours, and we would need three to get through the night, nothing to spare.  That’s $150 million capital cost, and at 5% interest and 5% depreciation/debt reduction, we would have a bill of $15 million per year.   

That would add about $167 per month to the electricity bill for each of the 7,500 homes.  That’s just for storage, zero cost for the electricity.  

Someday storage costs may be low enough to lower our electricity bills, not increase them, but that is not the case today.    

Ethanol’s Lessons for New Mexico

Ethanol’s Lessons for New Mexico by Peter Burrows 5/10/18  elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com              

Last March, New Mexico’s Senator Tom Udall introduced a bill that would revise the Renewable Fuel Standards to virtually eliminate blending corn ethanol into gasoline.  It would drop the current 10 percent standard to 9.7 percent and begin a ten-year reduction of the required use of corn ethanol from 15 billion gallons in 2018 to 1 billion by 2029. The Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation strongly support the bill.    

This is very good news.  The evidence has been piling up for over 20 years that using corn as a biofuel source has been wasteful, unnecessary and counter-productive.  Here’s what Michael Bruce, Executive Director of the Sierra Club said about the proposed bill and its supporters:   

“The Sierra Club applauds Senator Udall, Congressman Welch, and all the members of Congress who are putting common sense first rather than continuing to permit a dirty and destructive policy to remain intact. Instead of continuing to play political games with our environment and public health, these legislators are moving policies that will help undo the damage caused by the ethanol mandate. We urge Congress to pass this legislation immediately rather than continuing to push false theories about ethanol.”  

As the saying goes, “Strong letter to follow.”  The above statement could have been made 10 years ago, but hey! Better late than never.     

One of the “false theories about ethanol” was that its use would reduce CO2 emissions. Study after study has shown just the opposite: producing and using corn ethanol actually increases CO2 emissions.  Furthermore, using corn has increased the world-wide cost of food by billions of dollars while increasing, not decreasing, the cost per gallon of gasoline.   

The conclusion that ethanol increases CO2 emissions is what has earned the environmentalists’ wrath. In the Church of Global Warming, to increase CO2 emissions is to sin. The fact that it is also very costly is of no concern. After all, they have a world to save.   

To that point, Udall’s bill maintains a cellulosic biofuel mandate.  Cellulosic biofuel uses waste organic plant material, from corn stalks to grass clippings. In theory, it’s a good idea, but the reality is that It is ridiculously expensive.  The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 mandated a goal of 9 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2017. The actual production: 540,000 gallons.   

This lack of cellulosic ethanol didn’t deter the EPA from attempting to punish refiners of gasoline for not using the mandated cellulosic feed stocks that did not exist!!  Fortunately, that EPA effort was struck down by a federal court.     

To Udall’s credit, his bill eliminates the ridiculous cellulosic ethanol mandated by EISA, which rises to 21 billion gallons in 2022, and replaces that with a cap of “only” two billion gallons, which doesn’t have to be reached until 2037, at which time the mandate ceases to exist.  I think this is essentially a small concession to the ethanol “true believers” to get their support for the overall bill.   

Regardless, Udall’s bill is a big first step toward curbing an industry, ethanol, that would not exist in anything near its present size without government mandates and subsidies.  Will Udall’s bill get through Congress? It will face opposition from the owners of the over 200 distilleries that have been built to produce ethanol, and opposition from thousands of corn farmers.    

Even if Congress can overcome the millions that will be spent to stop Udall’s bill, President Trump, wearing his RINO hat, has said he will “protect” the corn farmers. “Corn farmers” of course means Iowa, and Iowa means “first primaries,” which in turn means, “Kiss those corn farmers’ tractors, cows and asses.” A wag once noted that if Florida had the first primaries, we’d be making ethanol out of orange juice.     

You’re probably thinking, “OK, Burro, what’s all this got to do with New Mexico.”  Here’s the answer: Every politician in New Mexico, regardless of party, top-to-bottom, thinks that New Mexico has a great future with renewable energy.  All the winners and losers in the upcoming primaries, all the winners and losers next November, all of them, will tout solar panels and windmills as great businesses for New Mexico’s future. If you know of one who doesn’t think that, please tell me who.  Please.  

You’re thinking, “Well, what’s wrong with that?”  What’s wrong is that, like the ethanol industry, windmills and solar panels are almost wholly dependent on government mandates and subsidies.  I would guess that solar is about 90% dependent on government, and wind 100%.    

The second or third largest owner of windmill farms in America is Berkshire Hathaway. The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway is life-long liberal and mega-billionaire Warren Buffett, who is famous for his blunt-spoken opinions. Without tax credits, he said, wind-generated electricity “doesn’t make sense.”    

Without those tax credits, New Mexico has no wind farms and no future as a big producer/exporter of windmill electricity.   

At this point, some of you are saying, “But Burro, New Mexico is so sunny! We should encourage people to put solar panels on their roofs, in fields, on buildings, along the road sides, everywhere! And then we could export all that solar electricity which would save the world from global warming and we’d get rich in the process!”  

The problem with that fantasy is the hard reality of costs.  Even if solar electricity was free, which it isn’t, the cost of storing solar electricity so it can light your house at night is very expensive.  Tesla, the electric car company, is a leader in battery technology and recently completed a project Tesla’s owner, Elon Musk, called the “world’s largest battery.”   

It is a $50 million electric storage facility in Australia that will power 30,000 homes for —-Drum roll please ––one hour.  There are about 7,500 homes in Grant County, so Musk’s “battery” would provide us four hours of electricity.   If we only occasionally had a cloudy day and never had two cloudy days in a row, we would need 36 hours of storage. (No sun from 6 PM through 6 PM the next day is 24 hours, and until 6 AM the next morning is an additional 12 hours.)  

That means we would need nine of Tesla’s batteries at a cost of $450 million.  Financed at 5% and depreciated over 20 years, or 5% per year, means this “battery” will cost Grant County $45 million per year. The cost per 7,500 households would be $6,000 per year, or $500 per month.  

How does $500 per month compare to your current electricity bill?  This is with only 36 hours of storage when at least triple that would be needed. This is with zero cost electricity, i.e. free solar panels that last forever, producing electricity with no transmission costs on free land that is not taxed.    

Last year, a couple of New Mexico’s legislators proposed that 80 percent of NM’s electricity be from renewables by 2040, a huge increase from the 20 percent mandated by 2020.  Some environmentalists want to be 100 percent by 2035. Either option would require massive amounts of storage and a massive increase in your electricity bill.      

Someday, I don’t know when, even in New Mexico it will be recognized that renewable energy is ridiculously expensive. When that day comes, and it will, wind and solar will face a “Udall bill” that will end mandates and subsidies.  Does New Mexico really want to invest its future in industries that depend on subsidies and mandates that will someday end?