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April 23rd, 2008

Talking Shit like a Shiite…

I generally make the (often incorrect) assumption that most people have at least a cursory (if not skewed) understanding of Islam. This assumption is made based on two reasons. The first reason is that I spent a few years of my military career as a chaplain’s assistant where I was exposed to the basic tenets of most of the world’s major monotheistic belief systems. The rest of my military career was spent working with large groups of soldiers who studied the Arabic language and culture. It is almost impossible to study the language without picking up at least a small understanding of the religion.

 The second reason is due to the war. A large amount of time, effort, and money has been spent on “educating” us through the media sources about the “danger” of “Militant Islamists” (AKA “Terrorists”). Now, I’m not saying that all muslims are terrorists, I’m just saying that’s what the news would have us believe. During the past decade, the media has done a good job of documenting and propagating misconceptions and generalizations about the “noble faith” of Islam in a way that is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Still, as slanted as western media portrays Islam, there are still many educated and knowledgeable people in our society who do have a basic grasp of some of the interesting quirks about Islam.

Most people who received their Islamic Jurisprudence degree from CNN can tell you that muslims generally frown upon translating the Qur’an. In fact, one of the first things that a muslim will point out to a christian is that they only have one “book” while christians have multiple “versions” of the gospel. This claim by muslims is actually true. There is only one Arabic version of the Qur’an. There are multiple translations, but none of them are considered “the word of Allah”…that is reserved for the Arabic version. How convenient for the muslims that Allah spoke Arabic, else the prophet (peace be upon him) may not have known what Allah was saying. I have often wondered if the fact that Jesus and the Hebrew prophets didn’t understand Arabic may have led to the “corruption” of their religions?

Continue reading Talking Shit like a Shiite…

April 22nd, 2008

Writing Muscles…

Dear Readers,

I have recently come to the realization that writing is like working out. the more that you do it, the more compelled you are to continue. However, once you take a day off, it gets harder and  harder to start again. I will try harder.

That is all.

April 16th, 2008

Mad Libs turn 50!

For anyone who may be questioning my existence…I am indeed still alive. I have been a little bit busy, and have not had time to write anything for the blog in several days, but I hope to correct that soon.

However, In  honor of the 50th birthday of the Mad Lib, I have decided to allow the readers to make their own blog entry today. Enjoy.

 

April 10th, 2008

Islam and the First Amendment…

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The statement above is one of my favorites of all time. Most of you know it as the “First Amendment.” Some atheists, idiots, and assholes also quote it as evidence of constitutional separation of church and state. I, for one, do not want congress passing laws regarding religion either pro or con, but the point is that this amendment protects the right of the people to practice their religion free from the government’s intervention. In other words, it protects religion from the government, not government from religion.

Either way, it’s not all about religion. The freedom of speech and of the press are also widely loved by the American people (even the non-assholes). The other freedoms guaranteed in this amendment are good too, but I’m focusing on the first three. These three freedoms are paramount to the continuation of a free society. They lead to the natural deduction that if people are free to worship as they will, and say what the want, then they must be free to think and believe in any way that they see fit.

However, if you listen to Saudi Cleric Muhammad al-Munajid, freedom of thought and freedom of belief are dangerous.
Continue reading Islam and the First Amendment…

April 9th, 2008

The Stupid Leading the Blind…

There are a couple of very common sayings which reference blind people as a symbol of ignorance. There is the very common, “The blind leading the blind,” and then there is “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” Now, I am certain that it is universally understood that “blind” in these instances refers to “lack of understanding” or “being unaware” and not being sightless. However, just in case, I’ll spell it out. I AM NOT CALLING BLIND PEOPLE IGNORANT OR STUPID!

Besides, it seems that our elected officials (Congress in particular) have a monopoly on stupidity. I was reading this article today and just couldn’t help but shake my head in disgust. Apparently,  Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns and Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns are introducing a bill into congress that would protect the blind from hybrid cars. My first thought was, “Why are blind people driving in the first place?” However, it is pretty evident that the article isn’t talking about blind drivers, but instead, blind pedestrians.

The concern is that blind pedestrians will have a difficult time hearing an approaching vehicle and may accidentally step in front of one while crossing the street. I definitely understand the concept behind this line of thinking, considering that hybrids are a helluva lot quieter than normal cars. However, if you look at this from a clear-headed, “Open-eyed” perspective, you will quickly see why this is a huge waste of time and money.

Continue reading The Stupid Leading the Blind…

April 8th, 2008

BVD’s and Two Left Boots: Part Four

A third man walked up and stood between Easton and me. He began digging in a pile of clothes that I had assumed belonged to Easton. He began to cuss…it was quiet at first…then he searched the floor. He cussed louder and then looked left and right. Easton was ignoring him. I said, “Dude, what are you looking for?” He said, “I can’t find my fucking underwear! I think someone took them.”

 

I swear that it totally flew over my head.

 

“Your underwear? Why would someone steal your underwear,” I asked. He said, “I don’t know, but I can’t find it, and I know I had left it here before I went into the shower.”

 

I swear that it still hadn’t dawned on me.

 

“I opened my backpack and said, “Maybe I put it in here by mistake with my dirty laundry, what color was it?”

 

It was at THIS moment that I looked at Easton and noticed the bulging eyes and the snapped shut mouth. He was looking at me with a strange look that I couldn’t place…and it still hadn’t dawned on me.

Continue reading BVD’s and Two Left Boots: Part Four

April 7th, 2008

BVD’s and Two Left Boots: Part Three…

Straight for the showers…I figured I had about 10 minutes max before every pathogen that had been in contact with my body was in full force. Therefore, Easton and I grabbed fresh uniforms from our tent and headed straight to the showers. Before people start making the fag jokes, I’ll just say that it was rare that anyone ever went anywhere by themselves. The shower tent was a little crowded, but luckily, there were empty showers. I placed my clean clothes on one of the free spaces on the benches, and headed into one of the showers. Easton placed his stuff next to mine and went into a DIFFERENT shower (I know you assholes out there are making jokes). I came out of the shower first and started getting dressed. It felt great to put on a clean uniform right out of the laundry.

A moment later Easton came out of the shower, came to the bench, and started getting dressed. He picked up a pair of gray underwear and said, “Hey, are these mine?” I looked at him and said, “How should I know? But, your shit was right next to mine, and I have all of my shit.” He looked at them, and said, “Then these must be mine.” He proceeded to get dressed as I cracked a joke that in a few seconds a man would walk out looking for his drawers. I made the joke, and immediately forgot all about it.

I haven’t done this since I was a kid. How did I put my boot on the wrong foot? I had grabbed my left boot and tried to put it on my right foot. It struck me as funny, I never grabbed the wrong boot, it was always the right boot first…but I shrugged it off and switched it to my left foot. Perfect. I grabbed the other boot…it didn’t go on my right foot either….what was going on? I looked down and immediately realized what I had done. In the dark of my sleep tent, I had accidentally grabbed both of my left boots. I wasn’t going to say anything…I could walk back to the tent before anyone noticed….