42 places in 45 years

is basically what my last post says. But if you take off the last 7 years, during which I have only lived in one place, I have lived in 41 places in 38 years. That’s less than a year a place… Sometimes I lived in three places in a year.

No wonder I was getting moving fever in 2002, when I’d lived here two years. Now, though, I’m good. Let’s just stay here forever… But fix the air conditioning and carpet.

Places I’ve lived

I dreamed that I counted all the places (not cities) I had lived and got to 50. When I woke up I tried to count them. I can’t remember all of them in my head, so let’s try writing it down.

Kingwood (7 years and you will see why that is amazing quickly)
Austin house
Austin apt
NC townhouse
NC apt
Abilene house
Abilene duplex
Indiana apt
Indiana room in a house
Abilene rental where the gas leaked
Conroe with my parents
Geneva, Switzerland studio apt
Geneva, Switzerland Manolo’s apt
Geneva, Switzerland apt that I shared with a German student — bldg was waiting till their leasees all died so they could sell/demolish and rebuild.
Abilene on the alley
Abilene on the creek with Larea
Abilene apt with Larea
McKinzie dorm
Gardner dorm with Kerri
Gardner dorm with Sheralyn
Gardner dorm the summer I met my sexy husband
Zellner dorm
Mandeville, LA with parents
dorm at Southeastern Louisiana
New York house
New York hotel (We lived there for two months.)
NC house
Corpus Christi house
Corpus hotel (At least one month)
Tyler house that we bought
Tyler house that we didn’t
Houston house
Houston apt one bedroom
Houston apt two bedrooms where I heard Santa’s sleigh
Kerrville house next to the older couple
Kerrville house that had no locks on doors
house where I pretended I was Popeye and I got stung by a bee
Austin barracks
Lubbock, wherever I don’t remember.
Flagstaff, Arizona

Okay, that’s 40 so far. So I’ve lived in 40 different places, at least. I am 45 years old. I moved a lot.

Flight 93 Memorial discussion

TBogg’s phony excuse for the deleted Flight 93 document

TBogg has posted an explanation for how Kevin Jaques’ assessment of the Flight 93 Memorial went missing from one of his comment threads. Sometime following “the Infamous Alec Rawls Comment Thread,” says TBogg:

… after I was done picking up the beer cans, cigarette butts, and the assorted discarded underwear, I switched from Blogspot comments to Haloscan. In the process, all of the previous comment threads were lost…

Fortunately through the miracle of intertubes nerdiness the Lost Commentinent has been rediscovered and you can go read them here.

TBogg insinuates that the Holoscan snafu is the reason that the restored comment thread is missing the Jaques comment, but he does not actually say it, and for good reason. The Jaques deletion had nothing to do with any comment system switchover.

A commentator at Alec’s Error Theory blog looked up TBogg’s site on the Wayback Machine. Turns out that Wayback was taking snapshots of Tbogg’s comment threads every week. Only Blogspot comments show up on Wayback, but that is all that is needed to tell the tale.

Throughout the period in question (spring and summer of 2006) all of TBogg’s Blogspot comment threads are stable except for the “infamous” one, which actually exhibits quite a bit of activity. Not only did TBogg hand delete Jaques comment, but he was apparently torn about it, changing his mind a number of times over a period of weeks.

Background, for those who don’t know what Kevin Jaques did

It is not known exactly when Kevin Jaques was asked by the Memorial Project to write an assessment of Alec Rawls’s warnings about Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the Crescent of Embrace design. Most likely he wrote it in late March of 2006, just before he posted it at the end of TBogg’s January 6, 2006 comment thread.

(If anyone wants to look, go open up the March 31st snapshot of TBogg’s site, then find the January 06 archive page. The Lunacy Abounds post is about a third of the way up from the bottom. Click on the permalink and the comment thread will appear, with the Jaques comment at the bottom. In the previous snapshot, March 28th, the Jaques comment has not yet shown up. Ditto for earlier dates.)

The Jaques comment is important because it shows the blatant dishonesty of the Park Service’s internal investigation. Jaques acknowledged that the giant Mecca-oriented crescent at the center of the design is similar to the Mecca direction indicator (called a mihrab) around which every mosque is built, then he told the Park Service not to worry because no one has ever seen seen a mihrab anywhere near this big before:

Thirdly, most mihrabs are small, rarely larger than the figure of a man, although some of the more ornamental ones can be larger, but nothing as large at the crescent found in the site design. It is unlikely that most Muslims would walk into the area of the circle/crescent and see a mihrab because it is well beyond their limit of experience. Again, just because it is similar does not make it the same.

The Park Service has released excerpts from Jaques’ comment, proving that the TBogg comment comes from Jaques, but it has never released the revealing parts, like where Jaques says not to worry because one has ever seen a mihrab this big before.

How to get rid of the body? TBogg has second, third and fourth thoughts

TBogg is THE source for the full text of Jaques’ analysis, with its blatant excuse-making for the giant mihrab. Having this analysis publicly available was a problem, both for Jaques and for the Park Service. Since TBogg had no way of knowing that on his own, it seems that somebody must have contacted him, because in the July 21, 2006 snapshot of Tbogg’s Lunacy Abounds comment thread, the Jaques comment is missing from the end.

Blogger allows blog administrators to hide and show comment threads, and it allows them to delete individual comments. Blogger also allows people who comment non-anonymously to delete their own comments. Jaques left his comment anonymously, so only a blog administrator could have deleted his comment. Unless TBogg got hacked, that would have been TBogg.

The August 21st snapshot of the Lunacy Abounds post shows shows TBogg having another thought. Here the entire Lunacy Abounds comment thread is hidden, while all the other comment threads on the archive page remain visible. (About half the posts in Wayback’s August 21st snapshot of TBogg’s January 2006 archive page do not have working permalinks, but of the pages that do come up individually, only Lunacy Abounds has the comment thread hidden.)

If “all of the previous comment threads were lost,” that was a separate incident. The archival record shows that a blog administrator went in and turned off the Lunacy Abounds comment thread by hand. Again, unless TBogg got hacked (or the Wayback Machine is wacked), that was TBogg.

Of course TBogg did not say anything about getting hacked. He insinuated that Haloscan is the culprit. Nope. Haloscan is innocent. Does TBogg want to try pointing the finger anywhere else?

On August 28, 2006, the “infamous comment thread” reappears, again without the Jaques comment. Wayback doesn’t have TBogg snapshots for 2007, but for most of this year the comment thread was again turned off (the Haloscan snafu?), until sometime recently TBogg himself retrieved the comment thread (without the Jaques comment) from the wayback machine and linked it to his original Lunacy Abounds post.

Not quite Hamlet. TBogg consistently wants the Jaques comment “not to be.” He just can’t decide how he wants it not to be.

TBogg’s Monica Lewinsky choice

To complete his Clintonian deception, TBogg makes an over the top admission, pretending it is all a joke:

So, yes. I have been busted. I’ve been getting more payoffs than Bill Bennett with a roll of nickels at Circus Circus. Between George Soros and Osama bin Laden I’ve received so many Miatas, that some of them are still sitting around in the blister packs.

At least he makes it amusing, but the joke is on the Bogglings. TBogg actually meant the “I have been busted” part.

Will TBogg’s legions of vitriolic followers take this Clintonian lie kneeling down? What’s it going to be TBoggers: spit or swallow?

TBogg will have to suffer some embarrassment for duping his readers, but so what? The man embarrasses himself every day. The important thing is that he is in a position to actually be of help in exposing the cover up of Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the Flight 93 memorial.

Who contacted him? What did they say? Did he knuckle to a plea from Jaques alone, or was he actually contacted by the government?

TBogg could well have been duped himself. Maybe someone at the Park Service told him that this was an internal government document that was not supposed to be available to the public and asked if he could please remove it. Now that he knows a) that the Park Service is accused of perpetrating a cover up, and b) how the document that he himself covered up contains clear examples of dishonest excuse making, TBogg is in the same position as his army of Bogglings. He knows that he has been used.

Is he going to swallow it, or spit it out? Spit TBogg. You’ll feel much better in the morning.

Can’t we all just be against planting a terrorist memorial mosque on the Flight 93 crash site?

There is no reason for a left-right divide over the Flight 93 Memorial. It isn’t the critics of the crescent design that politicized the issue, but the defenders of the crescent, starting with newspapers like the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that knew about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent back in 2005 and decided not to publish it. They were too busy using their editorial page to slam critics of the crescent as right wing bigots. Inconvenient facts could not be allowed to interfere with their chosen story line.

Then there are people like TBogg who politicize everything. Instead of checking the facts, he starts with his presumptions about which side he should be on, then looks for smarmy ways to characterize the opposition. That is not a rational thought process, but he can more than redeem himself if he will just stop deceiving everybody and start helping to expose the facts.

He could also give his moron brigades a chance to redeem themselves by asking them to actually check a couple factual claims about the crescent design:

Is the giant crescent is really oriented almost exactly on Mecca?

Is the 9/11 date really inscribed on a separate section of Memorial Wall that is centered on the bisector of the giant crescent, placing it in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag?

Is it true that every particle of the original Crescent of Embrace design remains completely intact in the so-called redesign?

This is what the blogosphere OUGHT to be good for. If TBogg is too busy to check the facts, why not put his minions to work?

For more on who TBogg has been covering up for, see last week’s post on Dr. Jaques 2001 article, where he argued that we should formulate our response to the 9/11 attacks in accordance with sharia law. How did this advocate for Islamic supremacism become the Memorial Project’s sole consultant on the warnings of Islamic symbolism in the crescent design during a crucial period when the Project’s dismissive posture was set in stone?

If TBogg would tell us what he knows, it might help answer that question, or pose others equally important. No more deception. Just tell the damned truth.

Reasons to have sex

Fox News says it’s good for you.

It helps with weight loss and weight control.

It gets rid of chronic back pain.

It’s an immune booster.

It helps get rid of insomnia.

It lowers the risk of breast cancer.

It helps you stay alive longer, if you have sex two times a week. (It’s all about the climax and it’s men, so I don’t know whether women live longer and if faking it is good enough.)

But if all this is true, I have the immune system of the century, I should never have insomnia, back pain, breast cancer; I should be super sexy skinny; I will never die.

Ah, the bliss.

Business news you might not have known.

“Faux fur” in Rocawear’s clothing was actually dog fur.

A working phone for little girls that resembles stripper shoes.

Johnson&Johnson gets a little sue happy and goes after the Red Cross for using its trademark. Just for giggles, I looked it up. J&J patented their trademark in 1905. But in 1905 the government passed a law saying you couldn’t use the Red Cross as a trademark, but they grandfathered in J&J. So J&J were released from a law and now they’re suing. That figures.

The EU posts a mash up of 2 dozen sex scenes from movies and then ends “Let’s Come Together. Does that mean let’s hook up or let’s cum together?

Remember Jet Blue moving its customers to the tarmac and not letting them leave in white out conditions for over 11 hours?

Fly first class and have a corpse seated next to you with British Airways.

Wikiscanner seems to be rather dangerous if you are working from work. It also doesn’t seem like that should be legal… Don’t ask me why.

Life goes on.

and major world-changing events morph and become… not much.

That’s my response to this:

Last summer, at a Theology on Tap, Mike Hayes spoke. He wrote a new book Googling God about ministering to the young. For his research, he talked with sociologists and what-not and gave us an interesting exercise. He asked those of us in the room over 40 (there weren’t many of us) to write down major world-changing events that happened when we were between 16 and 20.

And then he asked people between 20 and 30 to do the same.

It was revelatory. The young people had a long litany of horrible things that had happened and that had marked their lives very personally and dramatically — from 9/11 to Columbine to Virginia Tech to the Iraq War to Oklahoma City. Those of us who were older just had one or two things — the Reagan assassination attempt was one. Others mentioned the Challenger disaster.

His point: young people now are hungry for a spiritual and religious life that is quiet, steady, unchanging, because their lives have been so tumultuous. [Emphasis mine – admin]

from The Anchoress

If I were 20 when you asked that question, I am sure I could answer with more world-changing events- even if you asked me in 1982, when I was 20. Why? Because 1. I’d remember more of the events. 2. More would seem world-changing. 3. It would have just happened.

Ask me what happened between 16 and 20 that was world-changing and I’d say…

Smallpox was eradicated. That is certainly world-changing. But it made such a small ripple at the time, at least in my world.

First invitro birth happened. Now people all over can have babies who couldn’t before. THAT is world-changing. And we knew it at the time too. I remember I was on Judge Ely Blvd driving back to class with someone when I heard that.

The Ayatollah Khomeni came to power. The Shah was ousted and our relationship with Iran went from trash to … trash. But it did change the world. American hostages were held for over a year. That SHOULD have changed the world, but didn’t.

God bless the Canadians who hid some of our people.

MRI machines introduced. That has made a huge difference. It saved my husband’s boss’s life, accidentally.

AIDS first identified. Obviously this made changes to the world. I remember the shock of people who had transfusions were dying. A nurse at my church got it from being stuck with an infected needle.

Methods to map structure and function of DNA eventually brought about the human genome project. We are still seeing the changes from that.

Balloon angioplasty is developed. That has kept lots of people alive.

First fish cloned. That leads to other cloning and may, still, change the world as we know it.

Ronald Reagan was elected president. In my mind the attempt on his life was not world-changing. It was horrific and made at least one afternoon nap in the dorm nightmarish. But what really changed the world was his election, re-election, and his politics.

And some things we thought would change the world but didn’t.

Three Mile Island. When I talk about this in school, none of my college kids have ever heard of it, unless they were alive at the time.

Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel. Like that worked.

Air controllers strike. Government dismisses strike. I knew people involved in this. It changed their world. But it didn’t change the world.

Israel invades Lebanon over the PLO. That just keeps happening.

Jim Jones’ followers drink the flavored koolaid. That didn’t stop lots of crazy people from killing themselves. It didn’t kill koolaid. It has, however, brought a new idiom into English. That’s language-changing at least.

“We all thought we’d change the world with our great hopes and deeds. Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs…”

It doesn’t. And it won’t. The things we think are life changing often end up being like a dud firecracker. Spit, spit, nothing.

A Christmas Meme

Teacher Lady tagged herself so I am tagging me.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I love gift bags but this year I’m about half and half.
2. Real tree or artificial? Er, is this what we want or what we have? I have a real tree. And it’s very nice. But it doesn’t hold up some of my favorite ornaments, the pewter ones.
3. When do you put up the tree? We had it up the week after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime between the 27th and the 1st.
5. Do you like eggnog? No.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A red headed doll as big as I was in a brown tie dye miniskirt given to me by the elderly couple who lived next door to us. I was 4 or 5 and we had no money.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes. One handcarved out of walnut, with just the holy family. One from South America which a friend picked up for me while he was down there; the angel looks like a zombie and there is a multicolored chicken.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Me.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My husband. His wish list is always available.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever got? Never got an awful one. But it turns out I gave one. My gpa-in-law wouldn’t tell me anything he wanted for Christmas except pigs. They live in town so I knew he didn’t mean live ones. I was at a white elephant trade and saw some pig salt and peppers, so I got them and gave them to him. He hated them and I got a reprimand from my FIL later.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? I send real Christmas cards to the soldiers. I don’t send any others.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? early December, for the next year!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Candles.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turkey, mashed potatoes, and grama’s green beans.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear. I like colored ones too, but then I’d have to have one color of ornaments and I like many colors.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Mary Did You Know and a country song by the Statler brothersthat says

“There are people who are whispering, and the rumors are running wild. There’s a woman who’s not married and she’s going to have a child. She’s a virgin from down in Nazareth, now listen close. She’s going to marry a man named Joseph but the baby’s father is the Holy Ghost. Now who do you think would believe such a thing, would believe that the story is true?… Here’s hoping to heaven you do.”

No one ever plays it on the radio, but I love it.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We switch holidays every year. One year we go to Arkansas for Thanksgiving, the next year we go for Christmas. When we’re at my parents’ for Christmas we go to… Disneyworld, Belize, and North Carolina…
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? Why, yes. Isn’t that a requirement for third grade graduation? (Okay, I appropriated [nice word for stole] that answer. But yes I can.)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have a silver star. It’s not on the tree because we have too big a tree. So there’s an orange ornament that’s hanger is broken and it’s turned upside down.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve. Thankfully my hubby’s family did the same.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Traffic.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Having time off with the family.

Finally, the truth.

We have three people on this committee who want to hire G. G ranks third of four in the nine people on the committee’s opinion. But he’s the one who is scheduled to come in already. (Does that tell you that one of the three is running the scheduling?)

That same person has asked if we as a committee think that we should be able to hire someone at the end of their on site interview. Everyone figured that means, “Can we hire G?” And so everyone said no.

Today it was brought up again. So I said, “If K comes in and we like him, can we offer him the job immediately?” One of the three said No. And we knew they would. So I said, that is exactly why we are saying no. You just want an excuse to ask G. But you aren’t willing to talk to/about anyone else doing that.

I hope that means that idea is going to go away.

G lied on his application. Why do they want to hire someone who is not telling the truth? A spiritual stronghold of division already exists around this person. I am so not interested in him coming in.

Someone told me today that

“you are good with writing. Write out your objections to X.” So I sat down and spent two hours, or so, writing out a seven page document explaining why we should not hire the candidate we have already agreed to bring in for an interview.

I don’t think it will change anyone’s mind, but it will get my views on the table in a big way.

My mom is out of the hospital

and on her way to RDU for the weekend. My folks will see my siblings and pick up their RV and dog.

Then they’ll head back to SC for a week of outpatient therapy.

Then next Saturday, they will begin the drive home.

Assuming my mother hasn’t assaulted anyone in the interim.

I’m left brain dominant.

My hubby took the Right Brain versus Left Brain creativity test and ended up 50%-51%. (He is 101%! I always knew he was wonderful.) But I’m at 66%-34% with left brain dominant.

Left brain
54% verbal
47% reality-based
37% linear

Right brain
32% nonverbal

What does that mean?

[M]edium to high scores (30 – 50%) are desireable, as they show an ability to utilize a processing method without an abnormal reliance on it. Special focus should be paid to highly dominant (50% or above) or highly recessive (0 – 30%) methods, as they tend to limit your approach when learning, memorizing, or solving problems.

If you have Highly Dominant characteristics, your normal thinking patterns will naturally utilize these methods. Conscious effort is required to recognize the benefits of other techniques. Using multiple forms of information processing is the best way to fully understand complex issues and become a balanced thinker.

So my normal characteristics are verbal/reality-based/linear/nonverbal.

You are a highly verbal person. Using this method you process your thoughts and ideas with words. You use exact, technical logic for the descriptions of your thoughts and seldom use illustrations.

I remember once I gave a guy I was dating a map on how to get to my place. The closer you got to my apartment, the more exact the map was. So as far as scale went, it was very off.

I guess that is why I don’t use illustrations much.

You process information with a basis in reality, but are not limited to it. You may recognize the repercussions of you actions, but proceed to do something anyway, in the heat of the moment. You can complete projects to which you are emotionally attached as well as random tasks.

That’s a really weird set of comments. Who is not limited by reality? Does that mean I’m crazy? Who doesn’t sometimes see repercussions and do them anyway? And, please, someone tell me, who doesn’t complete projects to which they are emotionally attached?

In this process, the left brain takes pieces of information, lines them up, and proceeds to arrange them into an order from which it may draw a conclusion. The information is processed from parts to a whole in a straight, forward, and logical progression.

This is the reason that I can only see one possible solution. Too bad I don’t do more mapping or something. I’ll look at the problem and come up with a single solution. And I will keep working toward that solution even when it doesn’t matter anymore. UNLESS I talk to someone else about it, usually my husband, and he gives me other alternatives.

Honey, one of the reasons I appreciate you so much (not that you will know because this section isn’t in the RSS feed) is that you help me see the big picture and not just the road I think I’m on.

According to the site, my nonverbal processing:

Nonverbal processing is a method used by the right hemisphere to process our thoughts with illustrations. Reliance on this method is why it is occasionally difficult for right-brained people to “find the right words” in certain situations. A right-brained person cannot just read or hear information and process it, but first must make a mental video to better understand the information they have received. For example, through nonverbal processing, a person giving directions may say, “Continue going straight until you see a big, red-brick courthouse. At the courthouse turn right, and go down that street for a couple of miles until you se a gray stone church which will be on your right. Straight across from the church is the road to the left you need to take.” With nonverbal processing, the directions that are given are extremely visual compared to the exact, sequential directions that would be given by a left-brained person.

Your Nonverbal Analysis

When processing your thoughts and ideas, you use tend to use both illustrations and words. When giving directions, you probably use both visual illustrations such as, “keep going until you see a McDonalds on your right; then turn left at the Home Depot”, and technical terms such as, “travel for two miles and turn east onto First Street.”

Actually, I do give directions that way a lot. My mom says it is a consequence of being fat. Fat people give directions based on restaurants.

But I would say, “You’ll pass the railroad tracks. The next light has a gas station on the right. Then the next light has a Walgreens. The NEXT light is where you turn right. If you get to the light with the Shell, you’ve gone too far.”

So I guess I’m verbal/nonverbal dominant. Or something.

The Almighty Dollar Puts People at Risk

I’m a capitalist.

But I’ve found that my mom’s insurance, which pays willingly, quickly, and comprehensively for things like skin cancer, knee replacements, and lymphoma, has requested that the psychiatric ward “guarantee” why my mom has to be there. In other words, it is going to be a fight to keep her there.

Umm, can we take her to the people who asked that question? When she yells at them, bites them, throws things at them, and throws clothing over their heads while they are driving, then they can answer the question for themselves.

But because the psych people don’t want to have to guarantee that she needs to be there, they’re letting her out on evening passes… She’ll be staying with my dad at the hotel.

All I can say is that when someone else calls the police on her, I hope it’s the same six who already know my mom’s crazy and not a new contingent who show up.

Still violet. Nowhere near orange.

My Christmas List

The backyard cleaned up without my having to do it or oversee it.

The Annotated Mother Goose

Classic Survey of World History, though this is really for Micah’s school and not so much for me.

Bath and Body Works Brown Sugar and Vanilla moisturizer (check- the boys bought it and I wrapped it. It’s under the tree right now.)

A CHL class. I’m not sure I want to give up my weekends during a semester that is going to be kind of crazy, but I need to get it done.

An Apple iPhone. I really want one when the new edition comes out. Then I can inherit Ron’s.

Cailler chocolate… Although I can’t find anywhere with my favorite milk chocolate with hazelnut creme bar available. Note even for $75. (Noisettes in French.)

Clothes for my new job, regular looking clothes, not too nice. More like middle class clothes than UMCs.

A nice watch that won’t lose it’s color. I want one that is silver or predominantly silver. I thought of looking at pawn shops. That’s where my mom got her watch.

I thought of something else…. I did. I just can’t remember what it was.

Some people think we Americans are stupid.

Kevin Jaques: U.S. response to 9/11 should conform to sharia law

Dr. Kevin Jaques is one of the Three Mosqueteers. Of the three academics who are helping architect Paul Murdoch to plant a terrorist memorial mosque on the Flight 93 crash site, Jaques was most central to the Park Serviceís fraudulent internal investigation.

He has also left a revealing paper trail. Shortly after 9/11, Indiana University School of Law sponsored a forum on the likely legal fallout from the attacks: consequences for immigration law, civil rights, etcetera. As the universityís resident expert on Islamic (sharia) law, Jaques was invited to say something about our looming engagement with the Islamic world and their systems of law.

He chose to write a prescriptive article, urging the United States to frame its response in conformity with traditional sharia requirements:

In formulating an American response to the acts of terror, it is necessary to define them according to the provisions of Islamic law.

Whitewashing sharia

Jaques makes the basic arguments for submission that any anti-war multiculturalist might make. He offers an appeasement pitch:

If the United States wishes to approach the fight against terrorism to limit future revivalist terror groups from forming and attacking American citizens and interests, it will be necessary to craft a response that conforms to the realities of Islamic law.

And he offers a when-in-Rome pitch:

Muslim religious leaders think of the world in legal terms and will react to U.S. policies according to how these policies conflict or adhere to Islamic legal principles.

Of course we should avoid gratuitous offense, when in Rome (just as we should practice it as a pastime at home). But should we really submit to sharia law?

Nowhere does Jaques even acknowledge that world-wide submission to sharia law is the ultimate goal of the 9/11 terrorists. That is a pretty glaring omission for someone who is advocating adherence to sharia law, but Jaques does more than just elide the point. He actively misleads, going to great lengths to pretend that the terrorists reject the whole idea of sharia law:

[R]evivalist movements around the Islamic world are articulating new and exciting systems of legal interpretation that, in real terms, are similar to traditional legal norms. Only the violent fringeóapproximately 1 percent to 2 percent of Muslims worldwideówould disparage any discussion of Islamic law as being reflective of the kinds of non-Islamic ideas that they claim have contaminated Islam since the very first centuries of Islamic history.

Talk about a whitewash! To paint sharia as benign, Jaques pretends that the ìviolent fringeî is opposed to it, and this is no offhand comment. The whole first third of Jaquesí discussion is spent setting up this punch line.

Qutb did you say?

Jaques begins by describing how Islamic jurisprudence has historically proceeded by working out consensus views of the meaning of ìtexts of revelationî: the Koran and the sunnah (Muhammadís biography). He then discusses the trend toward ìrevivalism,î starting in the 14th century, which sought to purify Islamic jurisprudence by purging all influences other than Koran and biography.

The modern phase of this revivalism is the work of Wahhab and Qtub, the sources of todayís bin Ladenist doctrines of maximally aggressive conquest. Wahhab dismissed the requirement for consensus, insisting that anyone can read the Koran for themselves, and Qtub carried this innovation in a particularly violent direction:

Qutb advocated a radicalized form of Wahhabi extremism as the only means of driving foreign (meaning U.S. and Israeli) influences out of the Islamic world. His writings have become the basic texts of contemporary violent fringe movements around the Islamic world.

Jaques identifies the ìviolent fringeî with Qutb while claiming that the violent fringe ìdisparage[s] any discussion of Islamic law.î But Qutb did not shun sharia law. Just the opposite. He declared that any Muslim ruler who failed to impose sharia should be killed as an apostate.

This is detailed in Lawrence Wrightís book The Looming Tower. Flopping Aces posted an excerpt last year:

Sayyid Qutb had pointed the way by declaring that a leader who does not impose Sharia on the country must be an apostate. There is a well known saying of the Prophet that the blood of Muslims cannot be shed except in three instances: as punishment for murder, or for marital infidelity, or for turning away from Islam. The pious Anwar Sadat was the first modern victim of the reverse logic of takfir.

Jaques takes the 20th centuryís foremost advocate for imposing sharia by violent means across the entire globe and suggests that he and his followers ìwould disparage any discussion of Islamic law.î

Whitewashing Wahhabism

Pretending that the violent fringe spurns sharia allows Jaques to whitewash, not just sharia, but also the mainstream revivalist movements that, as Jaques acknowledges, fully embrace sharia:

Ö revivalist movements around the Islamic world are articulating new and exciting systems of legal interpretation that, in real terms, are similar to traditional legal norms.

The mainstream of revivalism is Saudi Wahhabism, the state sponsored doctrine of violent aggressive conquest whose ìfringeî elements attacked us on 9/11. As Jaques notes, these revivalists are thoroughly traditional in their interpretations of sharia law. All of them look backwards to the purity of 7th century Islam. Not much ìnewî there, however ìexcitingî to a person of Jaquesí evident sympathies.

Doctrinally, there is no gap between the ìviolent fringeî of bin Ladenists and the larger Wahhabi sect that spawned them. At most there are questions about whether bin Laden has been a good general, whose strategies effectively serve the Wahhabi goal of world domination. Mainstream Wahhabism completely embraces all of bin Ladenís objectives.

Honest about one thing: how sharia limits infidel responses

When he turns to the question of how we could frame a military response that is consistent with sharia law, Jaques takes the subject seriously, and is commendably forthright, acknowledging sharia as the law of Islamic conquest:

The laws of war that developed in the earliest periods divide the world into two halves, dar al-Islam, or the ìland of submissionî and dar al-harb, the ìland of war.î Dar al-Islam refers to any territory that is under the control of Muslims and thus forms an Islamic commonwealth. Legal texts imply that the term is meant to denote a political designation of submission to Muslim political authority. Ö All areas outside of Muslim political authority are considered to be in a potential state of war with the Muslim state. All relations between the areas of submission and the areas of war are regulated by the concept of jihad Ö an obligatory ìstruggleî against non-believers who are not already under Muslim rule.

Any cessation in hostilities is purely strategic, until Muslims can get back to a position of strength from which to continue to fight:

The law outlines, in most cases, rules for the cessation of struggle (hudnah) when it is deemed by the Imam or his surrogates that it is to the advantage of the Muslims to do so, or out of a need due to Muslim weakness. In cases where Muslims simply seek some advantage in the cessation of hostilities, hudnah is limited to a period of four months. If the cessation of hostilities is due to Muslim weakness, hudnah can last for a period of up to 10 years.

Jaques also acknowledges that under Islamic law, infidels have no legal rights to fight back against Muslims at all:

Öreaction by the United States becomes problematic since the rebels are still defined as Muslim and the law expressly forbids non-Muslims from attacking Muslims in a Muslim land.

Yes, well, that is the problem with conforming to the law of Islamic supremacism. Itís called ìsurrender.î

Takfir squared, or Qutbed

So we must submit to Islamic law, says Jaques, yet according to Islamic law, we are not allowed to fight back. What to do? What to do?

Jaques, expert in the nuances of Islamic law, offers us a way out. We can embrace Qutbís innovation and declare the bin Ladenists apostates! (The strategy of takfir.) Then we would be allowed to kill them. But of course we have to get Muslim jurists to okay this first:

American responses to the attacks will be greatly assisted if Muslim jurists are willing to define the attacks as riddah (apostasy) and not as bughat (rebellion), or simple homicide (qatl). In the latter two categories, the perpetrators remain Muslim and any effort by non-Muslims to punish them will expressly violate provisions in Islamic law that prevents non-Muslims from killing Muslims. Only apostates may be killed by non-Muslims, and in some interpretations, Muslims may ask non-Muslims for assistance in bringing apostates to justice.

The only way Jaques is able to make this Qutbian strategy seem like a real possibility is through his earlier deception, pretending that the ìviolent fringeî is hostile to sharia law. Since there is not actually any doctrinal divide between the bin Ladenists and the traditional Islam, there is no way for traditional jurists to declare them apostates.

Jaques himself makes clear that the complaint about bin Laden from the point of view of traditional Islam is that he acted without consensus, and that he seems to be a bad general, engaging in acts that weaken rather than strengthen the Muslim position:

Defining the acts as contraventions of ijma would not hinge just on the enormity of the acts (simple murder contravenes ijma but is not defined as apostasy), but also on the idea that they endanger the Muslim community because of what they suggest about structures of legal authority. Encouraging others to commit suicide, claiming the right to declare jihad, to kill thousands (including many Muslims) and destroy billions of dollars of property without proper consent, and to risk the lives of Muslims due to Western military and economic retaliations challenges the authority of the community of jurists and of every principle of law that, by consensus, seeks to promote the welfare of the Muslim community.

But if bin Laden is just a bad general, acting without proper authority, how exactly is he supposed to be declared an apostate? Under sharia, the terror attacks might at most be viewed as rebellion (for which infidels have no recourse), but as Jaques notes, the demise of the caliphate makes it impossible even to establish bin Laden as a rebel. Who is he rebelling against?

Defining the acts as bughat [rebellion] is complicated by the fact that there is no universally recognized Muslim leader in any area of the Muslim world and has not been for more than 700 years. Many jurists argue that since this is the case, rules for bughat are not applicable today.

The bin Ladenists are trying to rectify this lack of a recognized Muslim leader by establishing a new caliphate. That hardly makes them apostates.

First Jaques pretends that the terrorists are hostile to sharia law. Then he pretends that sharia law is hostile to the terrorists. All the while neglecting to mention that the terroristsí explicit goal is world submission to sharia law. That is quite a concatenation of strategic deception (taqiyya).

Jaques was just as deceptive in his advice to the Memorial Project

That giant Mecca-oriented crescent that forms the centerpiece of the Flight 93 Memorial? Jaques admits that it is similar to the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built, but so what:

Öjust because something is ísimilar toí something else does not make it the ísameí.

The half-mile wide crescent is much too big, says Jaques, to be recognized as the central feature of a mosque. After all, that would make it the worldís biggest mosque by a factor of a hundred! What could be sillier? But Taqiyya very much for asking.

Jaques does not name his own religious beliefs, but it seems pretty clear that he must be a Muslim, and probably of the revivalist stripe (which he finds so ìnew and excitingî). Will he deny it, as Islam allows (Koran, verse 16:106)? Feel free to ask. Please note any response in the comments.


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