Amish Man Arrested for Sexting 12 Year-Old Girl

From CNN. Somehow you wouldn’t think that this would be a problem in the Amish community.

Police in Indiana say they arrested an Amish man who arrived in a horse-drawn buggy for a presumed rendezvous with a 12-year-old girl to whom he had sent sexually explicit cell phone messages.

Officers arrested 21-year-old William R. Yoder on Wednesday, June 15, after he rode up to the Takathemoke Restaurant in Milroy, Indiana, and approached an undercover agent.

“The suspect arrived, in a one-horse carriage as he said he would, was identified by the undercover officer confirming his identity and was taken into custody without incident,” said Connersville, Indiana, police Detective Craig Pennington.

It would seem that Yoder’s community did allow the use of cell phones for “professional” reasons, though the users, obviously, couldn’t charge them at home. I am not sure I follow the logic with this. Cars are forbidden but not cell phones. It would seem that to be safe from the kinds of influences and temptations that modern society offers, they ought to do the opposite, or they could use the kosher cell phones.

Back to the Future 2

I can hardly wait for the Caliphate to be established. According to Shaykh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni, I’ll be able to go right down to the slave market and buy me a slave girl whenever I feel the need.

When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the name milk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Qur’an 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point–there is no disagreement from any of them.

These are called slaves. The Prophet (PBUH) talked about them in the hadith narrated by al-Bukhari in his Book of Jihad:  “Allah is delighted at a people who enter the Garden in chains.” Also as narrated by Abu-Dawud:  “They are led to the Garden in chains.” Naturally, many people might not understand someone being jerked along in chains in order to enter the Garden. This is because all people, even the worst of the unbelievers, say the garden is for them and no others. They run to the Garden without anybody pulling them in chains.

The meaning of the hadith is this:  these slaves were in a religion other than Islam. However, when they were conquered, and defeated, and taken prisoner, they came to live in the land of Islam. Then when they witnessed the justice, compassion, and mercy of Islam, they became Muslims. These did not convert to Islam except in the chains of war. If they had not been chained, bound, and had their freedom taken from them, they would not have converted to Islam. Therefore this hadith is referring to these slaves.

I am very shocked and surprised at those who say that we permit slavery. We don’t call people to become slaves. In fact, there are vows to free the necks (i.e. slaves). The same Islam which permits us to take slaves, also urges us to free their necks.

Oh, joy. I can go on jihad and take booty and prisoners.

When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her. I choose the man I like, one with strong muscles, or if I want a boy to work in the house, and so forth. I choose one, and pay him a wage. I employ him in a variety of different tasks, then I sell him afterwards. Now, the country that I entered and took captive its men and women–does it not also have money, gold, and silver? Is that not money? When I say that jihad–offensive jihad–with the well-known conditions that I already mentioned from the hadith of the Prophet (PBUH), from the hadith of Burayda in Sahih Muslim, the coffers of the Muslims were full. Would someone who is pious and intelligent–would he say that this is a type of poverty? Or that it is a type of wealth? No–this will fill the coffers of the Muslims with riches and wealth, but as we said, with the recognized conditions. […]

I think I will avoid the rush and convert to Islam right now. Then, I’ll start to work on repealing the thirteenth amendment, against the Koran you know.

Come to think of it, so is the first amendment. How can the dhimmis feel properly subdued if there is freedom of religion. And freedom of speech only invites blasphemy. Oh brave new world…

Israel and Latin America

One might think that Israel would have little interest in Latin America, since that area is halfway around the world and Israel has enough problems close at home. According to this piece by Jaime Daremblum in Pajamas Media, Israel has been taking an interest in Latin American affairs recently, largely to counter Palestinian influence, especially in the matter of recognising a Palestinian state.

The Washington Post noted that Palestinian officials were “taking advantage of the region’s growing economic ties to the Arab world and its eagerness to demonstrate its independence from Israel’s powerful ally, the United States.” They were also taking advantage of Israeli and U.S. neglect. After being very involved in (and receiving crucial diplomatic support from) Latin America during its early history, Israel had become somewhat disengaged from the region, at a time when leaders such as Lula and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez were busy cultivating pro-Palestinian sentiment. As for the Obama administration, it has treated Latin America as a complete afterthought. Thus, the remarkable success of the Palestinian diplomatic push caught both Jerusalem and Washington by surprise.

But now, it appears, the trend of recognizing Palestinian statehood has been reversed, or at least halted. Earlier this month, citing comments from Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, the Jerusalem Post reported that “a majority of the 35 countries in Latin America are either against recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN in September, or are having second thoughts.” Ayalon told the Post that Israel had “stopped the [Palestinian] momentum in Latin America.”

There are other reasons, of course.

Beyond the Palestinian question, Israel has good reason to increase its diplomatic activity in the Western Hemisphere. Left-wing Latin American politicians have traditionally been hostile toward the United States, and they are now depicting Jerusalem as a mere puppet of Washington. Anti-Semitism remains widespread in Latin America, and especially in Argentina, a country with a deeply rooted fascist history. Unfortunately, the past few years have seen a disturbing jump in anti-Semitic violence. “Across Latin America, Jewish leaders say they are contending with a new level of anti-Semitism,” the Christian Science Monitor reported in August 2009, observing that the roots of this spike could be traced back to the December 2008 war in Gaza. “From La Paz, Bolivia, to Panama City, political expressions have turned increasingly derogatory, with graffiti and banners equating the Israel conflict with Nazism. There have been bomb threats in synagogues throughout the region.”

And, Iran is also getting into the action.

Finally, the Iranian theocracy has greatly expanded its strategic presence in the Western Hemisphere, mostly through its alliance with Venezuela but also through burgeoning partnerships with Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, all of which have left-populist governments. (Last month, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño declared that “Iran is one of Ecuador’s most strategic partners in political and economic fields and we would like all bilateral agreements and joint projects become operational.”) Meanwhile, in return for economic concessions, the Argentine government has reportedly offered to suspend investigations of two Iranian-backed terrorist bombings that struck the Israeli embassy (in 1992) and the AMIA Jewish Community Center (in 1994) in Buenos Aires. (The two attacks killed or wounded hundreds.) Iran’s economic relationships in Latin America have helped it to withstand the pain of global sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear program, which poses an existential threat to the Jewish state. Moreover, a 2009 Israeli foreign ministry report obtained by the Associated Press indicated that Venezuela and Bolivia are supplying Iran with uranium.

China has been quietly expanding its influence in Latin America for several years now. It would seem that the only country not taking an interest in Latin America is the United States of America. I wish the Obama administration would get on the ball with this. We really shouldn’t take our back yard for granted.

Brain Freeze

Strawberry Ice Cream with Strawberries
Image via Wikipedia

Here is some news we can use, namely how to prevent brain freeze while eating ice cream. It’s not a problem I often have, but it’s good to learn how to stop it.

So what causes ice cream headaches in the first place? It has to do with the nerve receptors above the roof of your mouth. When you take a bite of ice cream, some of it touches the top of your mouth, otherwise known as the hard palate. That in turn triggers the nerves above the palate to cool down — and quick. The nerves send an emergency message to the brain that it’s about to get cold up there, and the blood vessels in the brain constrict to accommodate. When the warm blood rushes through the blood vessels again — presto! You get a searing headache similar to a migraine. Ouch! But don’t worry though, this kind of headache does not signify a serious problem.

So what to do? Well if your ice cream headache has already started, chances are it’ll be over quickly. To speed things up a bit, you can touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth and hold it there, warming up your palate and calming down the brain’s reaction.

To keep yourself from getting the freeze in the first place, try eating cold foods slower than usual and keep that ice cream away from the roof of your mouth if you can.

That’s not so hard, is it? Well for me it is since I love ice cream.

Fuel for Electric Cars

Here is something amazing from MIT. Some students have learned how to store the electrons, (that provide the electricity for electric cars, and everything else for that matter), in a semi-solid “gel” that can fill up an electric car, not unlike filling up a car with gasoline.

Forgoing the traditional route of storing electrons in either nickel or lithium-ion, the MIT students have figured out a way to store electricity in semi-solid flow cells. Called “Cambridge Crude,” the charged particles are stored in an electrolyte gel that can be removed and refilled when drained, not unlike how we currently fill our cars with gasoline. The gel would move between a charging area, and dispensing area, sending electrons straight to the drivetrain. Perhaps even more importantly though, this technology can (supposedly) store 10x more electricity, at half the price of current conventional battery technology.
They are working on building a prototype in about 18  months. As the article says, this could be a game-changer that actually makes the electric car feasible.
There is one problem that I can see. If  electric cars do become common, maybe even only 10% of the cars on the road, then the demand for electricity will go up. Since we are not building many power plants, it is likely the price of energy will go up, making the electric car less economical than a regular car and sort of defeating the purpose of introducing them in the first place.
Anyway, there is more information here.

The Dalai Lama

I’ve never been much of an admirer of the Dalai Lama. This is not because he is the leader of a major sect of Tibetan Buddhism, but because I have always wondered what kind of ruler of Tibet he would have been if he were not in exile. Although I cannot condone the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet, I don’t imagine that the theocracy of the Dalai Lamas was exactly a paradise either. Tibet was a backward,  feudal country. I doubt very much of the Dalai Lama would have been a force for democracy or reform.

It would seem that his holiness is an admirer of Marxism. It might seem strange that he would have anything good to say about the ideology of the country that drove him into exile but he seems to feel that Marxism has moral ethics while capitalism is only about profits.

I will quote some of the comments of Mark Stuertz from whom I got this story.

So how can the Dalai Lama possibly square his pleas for nonviolence toward “all sentient beings” with Marxism? His answer: Marxism has moral ethics, as opposed to capitalism, which is all about profits.

Let’s chew on that for a moment. Virtually every socio-political movement has some noble ambition — some set of ethics — that can be teased from its viscera. The Nazi Party platform, for example, contains calls for equal rights, profit-sharing, national health care, pensions, education access, employment opportunities, and the rights of citizens to select political leaders and make laws.

By implication, isn’t the Dalai Lama saying these are sufficient grounds to legitimize, exonerate — even embrace — Nazism? And if not, why not?

It’s one thing to promote cooperation and egalitarianism. It’s quite another to publicly endorse a specific ideology that espouses such goals but consistently delivers a dramatically different outcome. According to The Black Book of Communism, Marxist regimes over the 20th century systematically slaughtered between 85 and 100 million people. Millions more were terrorized, tortured, and enslaved. And these atrocities were not breaches of practical Marxist orthodoxy — they were critical elements of Marxist statecraft. Terror tactics and atrocities, The Black Book’s authors point out, are found in every regime claiming to be Marxist in origin.

The Marxist-Communist record is “the most colossal case of political carnage in history.” It represents the triumph of inhumanity over compassion on an unprecedented scale. How can this Nobel Peace Prize winner embrace a political ideology in theory without any consideration of its effects in practice? Is this mindful?

Buddhism, perhaps more than any of the other major religions, places special emphasis on compassion. It is incumbent upon the Buddhist to strive for mindfulness and compassion in all circumstances. Essential to this striving is the cultivation of an awareness of how ego aggressively disrupts mindfulness and compassion while denying the impermanence of existence. These aggressive disruptions cause suffering.

There is perhaps no other realm that engorges, fattens, and unleashes the aggressiveness of ego and its handmaiden, suffering, quite like the political realm. Yet the Dalai Lama doesn’t seem to consider this. He makes no mention of Marxism’s glaring internal contradictions. He glosses over how it fails to consider humanity as it is: beset with the confusion and ignorance of ego. He disregards the critical component Marxism requires to function successfully: a mythical human, one free of self-interest.

That’s why, for all of its seductive allure — its appeal to ego — Marxism has proved impossible to peacefully implement.

He has more to say and his article is worth reading. I will just add that it is the big ideas, Marxism, socialism, Fascism, etc that have caused so much suffering in the world. That is, the idea that all of society must conform to an ideology that will, of course, make everything perfect for everyone, if only everyone does as they are told. Capitalism may indeed be all about profits, and greed, and so on, but it is also about leaving people alone to make their own lives as they see fit. What people like the Dalai Lama will never see is that that is the morally superior system.

2012 Bumper Stickers

The 2012 presidential campaign is right around the corner so it’s not too early to get your bumper stickers. Don Surber at the Daily Mail has a nice selection.

I think this is my favorite.

But then there’s this one.

And this.

You can get them at Cafepress.

Here’s one I liked that Don Surber didn’t show.

I wonder if I can get that on a t-shirt.

Man Arrested After Craigslist Pot Post

This is just dumb.

Police didn’t have to look far to find a man hoping to buy marijuana Thursday.

Michael Krebes, 31, of Vernon, put an ad on Craigslist looking to buy pot, police said.

Members of the East Central Narcotics Task Force answered the ad, and set up a location to meet Krebes.

Officers set up surveillance and waited for Krebes to arrive.

Sure enough, he showed up at the McDonald’s on Main Street in Glastonbury Thursday, where police took him into custody.

Krebes was charged with Criminal Attempt/Possession of less than 4 ounces of Marijuana.

He was released on $2,500 bond.

What kind of an idiot do you have to be to advertise your wish to buy a controlled substance in a place the whole world, including the police, can see. I wonder what other kinds of foolishness I’d find on Craigslist if I looked around.

The Elegant Universe

The Elegant Universe
Image via Wikipedia

Brian Greene’s “The Elegant Universe” is a useful introduction to the subject of string theory and the state of modern physics. I found it interesting and informative, with some reservations.

For one thing, I do not share Greene’s enthusiasm for string theory. No matter how elegant the various forms of string theory may seem to the physicist, the simple fact is that there is no experimental proof for any of it nor is any forthcoming at our present level of technology. In fact, to the best of my (limited) knowledge, I am not sure that string theory offers any testable predictions or explanations of physical phenomena that cannot also e explained with other theories.

Brian Greene generally does a good job of explaining but parts of The Elegant Universe were a little difficult to get through, probably more because of the extreme opaqueness of the subject, and not to any lack of skill of the author. The last several chapters, however, seemed to be increasingly esoteric as Greene used string theory to explore such subjects as the interiors of black holes and the very beginning if the universe, and before.

Overall, I would recommend this book, but not wholeheartedly.