Archive for July 20th, 2011

It seems there is no end to demagoguery in the emerging presidential campaign. From the suddenly non-interventionist Republican consensus, to the denial of basic religious rights, one cannot help but suspect they will say whatever they think will rally the troops (and the votes) whether or not it respects traditional American rights, of which religious freedom has pride of place. And funny how there is no outcry over Kosher law, just Sharia:

 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Sunday that communities have a right to ban Islamic mosques.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO said protests and legal challenges to a planned mosque in Tennessee city are an example of local residents pushing back.

Cain said his view doesn’t amount to religious discrimination because he says Muslims are trying to inject Shariah law into the U.S.

Shariah is a set of core principles that most Muslims recognize and a series of rulings from religious scholars. It covers many areas of life and different sects have different versions and interpretations of the code.

Asked if his view could lead any community to stand up in opposition to a proposed mosque, Cain replied, “They could say that.” He pointed to opposition to the planned mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., as an example.

“Let’s go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying that they are objecting to,” Cain said. “They are objecting to the fact that Islam is both religion and (a) set of laws, Shariah law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes.

“The people in the community know best. And I happen to side with the people in the community.”

Read the rest:


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Masters of War

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“Crazy John” was a man who lived in Athens and died in the 1990s. He worked in a bakery and cared for the poor. There are many stories of his life; Here is one, from the book Crazy John, by Dionysius A Makris:

One day, Crazy John didn’t go to work. Mister Apostoly the baker was concerned. He was never absent from work. So he sent someone to his apartment. Before arriving at the apartment, he saw the fool holding a shovel, cleaning out the storm drains in the street and emptying them of the dirt and litter that was blocking them.

–“Hey you! Have you really lost your mind?” he shouted. “Mister Apostoly is waiting for you at the bakery and you’re cleaning storm drains? Did you think the City Council would hire you that way?”

To which he replied:

–“I have been trying to find two coins that I lost, since this morning. But I can’t remember which of the five drains they had fallen into, so I opened all five of them. And, since I had opened them, I though I might as well clean out the dirt while I’m at it” the fool said, laughing. “So, go back to Mister Apostoly and tell him I will work extra tomorrow, to make up for the hours I was absent today.  Hey, they were two whole coins… that’s no small amount” he added.

One can only imagine the baker’s exasperation. As soon as he learnt of the fool’s prank, he threatened to fire him. Five hours later, John the fool had completed his mission and returned home, very pleased.

–“Well, did you find your coins?” The grocer asked him mockingly. “You should go to the Mayor and ask for them, for having cleaned the storm drains” he said, laughing at him.

But later on that afternoon, the sky began to darken.  Black clouds gathered threateningly, followed by lightning and thunder and a heavy downpour.  The streets quickly turned into rivers, sweeping away everything in their path – including cars on the street. Many catastrophes were recorded in the largest Municipality:  Houses, shops, warehouses were flooded. Properties were lost. The Fire Department couldn’t handle all the emergency calls for rescues…

The Mayor visited the stricken areas of his jurisdiction the next day, to personally gauge the damages.  All the citizens of his municipality confronted him about the blocked storm drains.  He eventually went to Crazy John’s neighborhood. There was no flood damage there.  The grocer who spotted the Mayor, went up to him and said:

–“Mister Mayor, you should go and thank Crazy John who has been cleaning out these storm drains from this morning. That fool’s craziness saved us, thanks to his persistent search for two lost coins!”

But the baker also said the same things to the Mayor:

–“It’s fortunate Mister Mayor that the madman cleaned those storm drains, otherwise we would have drowned after a rainfall like that. His madness saved us from a worse fate.”

–“It looks like madmen can be a necessity too”, the Mayor said with a smile.

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