Thursday, May 12, 2005

Response to "What Is Islam?"


I am writing this in response to an attempt by "Abu Hussein" to post his message “What is Islam?” (see his proselytizing text way below) to my cancercure group at Yahoo. I rejected the commentary for being off-topic. However, I address its points in this essay.

I challenge all recipients to answer the questions about the gospel to which Muhammad referred much in his Qur’an. If you cannot answer them from the teachings of Muhammad, then please refer this essay to others who are more expert than you, and ask them to forward their answers to me.


I am a student of Islam and understand its precepts quite well. While Islam provides a powerful and good encouragement toward monotheism and a charitable attitude toward one's fellow Muslims, it is still a primitive 7th century religion with roots in paganism that continue to this day. Its chief holy text, the Qur'an, is laced with comments that encourage Muslims to commit acts of murder, terrorism, torture, and social oppression. That, of course, is the main reason so many terrorists work so assiduously today to murder and maim innocent people around the world while disrupting existing governments in an effort to displace them with theocracies that impose primitive and brutal Islamic law (Shar’ia) on the populace.

A crystal clear example of what Islamic law does to a country can be seen in the sorry condition of Afghanistan when the USA invaded the place to oust the Taliban whose principals the USA had funded in an effort to oust Russia. (note: I personally believe the US Army should jail all the warlords and burn all the poppy fields too, but that is not the point of this essay.)


Although you did not address this in your screed, the entire document is an expression of YOUR views, not necessarily those of the clerics who run Islam’s various sects and local precincts, nor of the governing powers that implement their idea of Shar’ia. One of the main problems with Islam is the general view that the ordinary Muslim is too ignorant or incompetent to understand the meanings of or rightly apply the holy texts without having spent many years in concentrated study. Even the cleric experts differ widely in their interpretation, and they often issue religious edicts or fatwahs to clarify meanings, often conflicting with other fatwahs. Thus, it is impossible for any Muslim to know what Islam really is, or to feel competent to read and understand the Qur’an without having to refer to the Hadiths and Sunnahs.

And note that this is in spite of the fact that there is only one version of the Qur’an in existence, all others having been purged within a hundred years after Muhammad’s death. Muhammad’s more astute and literate students became the early clerics, and they failed to excise the most egregiously offensive and un-Godly elements of his recitals from the Qur’an. We have no way of knowing to what extent they might have edited or amended those recitals to reflect their own prejudices. There is no question, however, that they tossed out disparate and dissenting versions before settling on one version to which they could all agree.

Christianity and Judaism suffer from similar problems. To begin with, there are numerous different holy texts one could consider to be the bible, and some groups embrace scripture that others reject. Then, in regard to scripture they all accept, clerics of different sects, cults, and denominations take diverse and extreme positions with regard to the meaning of scripture, or with regard to the emphasis placed on one scripture versus another. As a result, their followers often struggle with confusion over what is the truth. The most popular confusion is that promulgated by members of the Christian cult of Paulism who teach the pagan notion that Jesus’s death on the cross was a blood sacrifice that somehow magically atones for their sins, and that if their followers don’t accept that illogical and God-insulting premise, they will burn in hell forever.

Even so, at least Christian and Jew clerics do not issue fatwahs demanding the death of some person who has offended them, as do Muslim clerics. No religion in which such fatwahs are issued and accepted as authoritative can be rightly called a benign religion, nor an accurate reflection of what a benign God wants from his believers.


While you claim that Muslims are not Arabs, Islam is very much a tool of Arab nationalist expansion, for it has been spread throughout the world by military conquest over the past 14 centuries. Muslims are required to face in the direction of Mecca (Arabia) for their daily prayers. The focal point of such prayers is the black rock that was the focus of religious worship by pagan idolators who preceded Muhammad. The religious law laid out by the Qu'ran is Arabic law, and its source is Arabia. Muslims are required, if they possibly can, to make a pilgrimage to Arabia at least once in their lives. Arabia is the world’s largest source of financial support for Islamic terrorism. So, it is irrelevant whether Muslims are Arabs by nationality and genetic origin, for they are Arabs by certain aspects of culture and by religious orientation, they honor Arabia in their manner of praying and pilgrimage, and they implicitly or explicitly support the causes of Arabia and religious rules by which Arabia is run. Given the chance, Muslims would export the Shar'ia and other horrid elements of Arabian culture to every land on earth.

And that is an important issue. I am not an Arab and do not want to pay any kind of homage to Arabia or anything Arabian. I do not want to live under the oppression of Shar'ia as Arabs and other Muslims do. I do not want our women to cover their hair or faces when they go out in public, to be forced to skulk in the back of the house when male guests visit my home, nor to be considered as virtual chattel by the men of our society. I do not want to have to make a public show of praying, for prayer is an intensely personal and private experience for me, and I certainly do not want to be required to face the loathsome state of Arabia when I pray. I do not want to be forced to pay a “poor tax,” for charity is and ought to be voluntary and discretionary. I do not want to make a pilgrimage to Arabia for any reason, particularly not for religious reasons. And, I don’t want a meteorite of pagan history to be the focal point of my worship.


Muhammad did found the religion of Islam, and many tenets of Islam are truly noble and good. Those are the things that attract people to it. The encouragement to live in harmony with others is a great one.

Muslims think he is the greatest of and to be heeded above all prophets. They even elevate him above Jesus.

However, Muhammad is anything but the ideal personal example to follow, and there is no one to corroborate his claim to having been delivered divine messages from God by Gabriel. He was illiterate and ignorant. He did not live in harmony, and he was a reprobate according to modern rules of morality. He encouraged his followers to be good to others, and at the same time, he encouraged them to maim, torture, rob, oppress, enslave, beat, and murder others. He personally led raids to murder and loot communities of Jews and others. He was the father of the militant expansion of Islam, and the standard bearer for the modern terrorists of today who kill and destroy others in phony "holy jihad", justified by Muhammad's promise of heavenly rewards of earthly treasures, fresh water, lush gardens, servants, and virgins for their pleasure. And, Muhammad's numerous wives included a 9-year-old child. That is considered scurrilously immoral in most societies today.

I'm sure you don't want me to present you with all the scriptures from the Qur'an, Hadiths, and Islamic history that prove this, for they are an embarrassment.

Fortunately, however, Muhammad did exhort his followers to embrace the gospel of Jesus, and with good reason. He claimed Jesus was a vastly superior person to himself. Here are just some of the things he claimed about Jesus, that he was/is:

  • A spiritual offspring of God
  • A miracle-worker and healer
  • Born of a virgin
  • A prophet
  • A creator
  • Resurrected from the dead
  • Ascended into heaven
  • A heavenly judge
  • The Messiah (savior of mankind)
  • The bearer of the "Gospel"

All the things Muhammad said about Jesus point to the fact that Jesus was not merely a prophet, but a divine being, a spiritual son of God. Certainly, when you compare the two people, Muhammad and Jesus, you see an enormous gulf in morality and spiritual quality. Most importantly, since Jesus was born in order to teach the Gospel to others and to inspire others by personal example to live a perfect human life, and since Muhammad reiterated that the gospel should be heeded by all Muslims, it is reasonable to expect all Muslims to embrace and promote that gospel, exactly the way Jesus taught it.


Let us therefore turn our attention to the main point of Muhammad's comments about Jesus: the Gospel. While Muhammad promised dire punishment to those who fail to heed the gospel, he never said what the gospel was. I believe that is because he did not really know what it was. My question is: do you?

Where will you learn the Gospel Jesus taught? From the Qur'an? Where is it in the Qur'an? Have you seen its points enumerated there? I haven't.

I have asked many Muslims to enumerate the points of the gospel Jesus taught, for in order to be good Muslims, they must know, heed, and embrace that gospel. However, they never enumerate them. I believe that is because they do not know. Usually they tell me that’s what the rest of the Qur’an does, but still, they do not know. Surely, they should be able to tell simply what the points of the gospel are, don’t you agree.

Can you do that? If so, please do. Please share your views about the gospel with me, and show me the Qur’an scriptures in which they are enumerated.

Without waiting for your reply, I shall address the issue with further question and discourse.

What was that "good news" Jesus brought to the world? Since it was so important that he actually took time out from his job in Heaven to come to earth on God's orders to deliver the gospel by personal example and by teachings, why didn't Muhammad say in his recitals specifically what the gospel is? Why would God's spiritual son Jesus teach that gospel at the risk of being crucified by the Temple rulers, and then God's alleged prophet fail to tell people what the gospel is?

Maybe it is because Muhammad did not know what the gospel is. He was, you have to admit, quite verbose in his recitals. Arguably, the gospel is the most important of all religious teachings. Surely, Muhammad would have recounted it had he known it.

The Qur’an does not recite the gospel in an enumerated form, nor does it recount Jesus’ teachings. There are only two reasonably credible sources of Jesus' teachings on this world: the bible and the Urantia Book.

The four gospel books in the bible were written from the faulty memories of old men many years after Jesus died, and they were edited considerably by people who had been influenced by the faulty teachings of Paul. Nevertheless, those four gospels do spell out the principles of the gospel.

The Urantia Book is a far more credible source than is the bible. The Urantia Book is a recent revelation written from the perfect records of beings who were present observers of the life and teachings of Jesus. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. You can see it on line at

Even if you haven't read the gospel records in the bible, it would serve you to come to grips with the question as to why Muhammad did not reveal the gospel of Jesus in his recitals. Then you might not be so quick to extol Muhammad as the great prophet you think he is. In reality, all Muhammad did was to reiterate many things Jesus and the Old Testament taught, and add rules, history, and commentary that warped Islam from a enlightened religion into a political force with primitive social regulations that are unacceptable to the modern world.

Answer for yourself these questions:

  1. what was the "good news" of the Gospel that the Jews did not already believe?
  1. Do Muslims believe that gospel today, and if not, why is it good news for them now?

I'm going to help you with the answer a bit.


The gospel consisted of three main points:

  1. God is our heavenly Father and he loves us.
  1. We are all brothers and sisters under his Fatherhood, and we should love, and lovingly and unselfishly serve our fellow humans so as to show his nature to them.
  1. We should have faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to be like God, to do his will.


Do Muslims believe that gospel today? Most of them do not, and it is still good news to them, just as it was to the Jews and Gentiles of 2000 years ago. Here's why:

  1. Muslims do not believe God is their father.

They, like the Jews of old, believe God is the most powerful being in the universe and that he will squash them, punish them, chastize them, and be hateful to them if they do wrong, even though he supposedly loves them. This of course is confusing and contradictory, for God cannot be both mean and loving at the same time.

And that is the main reason there are so many Muslim terrorists. They simply do not grasp the fact that God is their Father and the Father of all other humans as well.

Only by seeing God as a loving heavenly Father, as Jesus repeatedly referred to him, and as Jesus taught others, will Muslims begin to feel that they live in a friendly universe, not one in which God stands ready to punish them for the least infraction of his stern rules. And when they feel that the universe is friendly, they will be more inclined to become and be harbingers of that friendliness the way Jesus intended.

  1. Muslims do not believe all other humans are their brothers and sisters, nor that they must love them and deliver unselfish, loving service to all humans.

Like the Jews, who believed only fellow Jews were their "neighbors" (and many still believe that) who should be treated neighborly, Muslims believe that only fellow Muslims are their "brothers". This of course creates a mental separation between Muslims and "infidels", and that encourages Muslims to oppress, take unfair advantage of, shun, reject, and behave unbrotherly toward infidels.

That is the main reason Muslims for the past 14 centuries of militant conquest have felt entitled to force their religion on others (who embrace it so they won't be oppressed, robbed, tortured, or murdered). Muslims are still forcibly conquering other lands. Right now they are hard at work to dominate Kashmir and India, lands that were traditionally Hindu, just as they have already done in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Is this the way to treat "brothers and sisters?" I think not.

Only by embracing wholeheartdly Jesus' teaching about universal brotherhood with all humas will Muslims stop trying to conquer people of other religions, but rather start showing them by benign example the glory of their brand of monotheism.

  1. Muslims are so confused about what the Will of God is that they actually believe it is God's will for some people to reject him and do evil things.

Muhammad taught that utter nonsense in his recitals, and Muslims just can't shake it off, even though they know it is illogical and inconsistent with God's nature. God's will is and always has been, according to Jesus, that we be perfect on earth just as he is perfect in heaven. Human perfection (to the extent allowed by antecedent conditions and our individual capacities) is possible, right here on earth, during our lifetimes. It all depends on our exercise of FREE WILL. God does not force us to do his will, with very good reason. We are in training to become LIKE God, and we can’t be like him if coerced to do so. We must have the opportunity to make mistakes so we learn from them the pain of erroneous choices, and thereby embrace correct choices.

Muhammad spent an enormous amount of energy cautioning people about what bad things would happen to them, and how God (or his agents) would smite, torture, chastise, humiliate, and punish them for their wrong doings. And then he'd say that God is merciful and loving.

But at least, in the midst of this confusion, he did indicate earthly rewards would be given in heaven to the faithful who tried to live according to God's will. So, in this respect, Muslims believe the third point of the gospel.

What Muslims are still missing, however, is an understanding that we can actually become and be LIKE God simply by doing his will. And Muhammad was apparently completely ignorant of Jesus' teaching that a spirit fragment of the Heavenly Father actually indwells our minds, constantly urging us in the direction of his will. Jesus said "the kingdom of Heaven is within you."

This is indeed good news to all Muslims, for it means that if God's spirit indwells us, then we have a divine destiny. We will not merely be hanging out in heaven living in earthly luxury with virgins to attend us, but we will actually be endowed with more of God's power so as to show his nature to others. Perhaps we will even be gods of some kind ourselves, in the far distant future when our training in heaven is complete. Maybe we will be sent to other worlds to minister to and teach them the way Jesus was sent to this world. This, based on the gospel, is a reasonable hope, and it is not just good, but GREAT news!


Regardless of religions, people tend to want to behave humanely toward others, particularly when there is no pressure to do otherwise.

However, Muslims have never peacefully co-existed with non-Muslims unless one of two conditions existed:

  1. An Islamic government was in power and non-Muslims bent to its will, paid oppressive taxes, and adopted the status of second-class citizens.
  1. A benign republic governed the land and prevented Muslims from oppressing non-Muslims.

The main reason Muslims in America are relatively peaceful toward non-Muslims is that our government prevents them from behaving otherwise.

It has been said that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the USA. Where and how?

  1. First of all, there are millions of Muslim immigrants, many of whom have been temporary residents for the purpose of going to college or taking professional positions.
  1. Second, Islam is growing fastest through proselytizing in America's PRISONS.

The criminals of America are embracing Islam faster than any other groups. Muslims conceive of brotherhood as a benign relationship with fellow Muslims, but not with non-Muslims. Thus prisoners, most of whom are black, are inclined to embrace Islam because it makes them feel favored more by God, therefore superior to non-Muslims, and thereby entitled to participate in jihad against non-Muslims when they feel oppressed. In reality, the average IQ of blacks in America is 85, 15 points lower than the average IQ of whites, 70% of black children have no father at home to supervise them, and 50% of black children do not graduate from high school. As a natural consequence, many cannot compete for the better jobs or mates, and they resort to crime and welfare abuse to get by. Their problem is that they are relatively stupid and un-cultured. They wrongly believe Islam will bail them out. It won’t. It just makes them feel self-righteous.

If you focus on the news, you will notice a mountain of black rhetoric against white oppressors, much of it coming from black Mulims, many of whom have done jail time. This is a direct result of the work of black Muslim extremists like Malcom X and Louis Farrakahn who literally hate, and advocated killing, white people. This rightly makes it seem that Islam appeals readily to people who are stupid and/or harbor a grudge against society or other groups.


You could think that my comments are a demonstration of my intention to pick on you by finding fault with your religion. That is not the case. My comments are intended to encourage you to correct the failings of Islam so it can be a truly superior religion. And I have the same advice for Christians. Here’s why.

Christianity is nothing more than the cult of Paul. It is not based on the teachings or example of Jesus, even though its 2 billion adherents think it is. In reality, it is a religion ABOUT Jesus, rather than the religion OF Jesus. I am certain that Muhammad’s teachers on the subject of Jesus were not followers of the cult of Paul, for that is why Muhammad demeaned Christians for not following their own religion properly.

Christianity is based on the atonement doctrine – that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and that we have a sin nature that can make us acceptable to God only if it is washed away by sacrificial blood of a perfect creature. That, of course, has its roots in the paganism of Abraham and the residents of Palestine 4000 years ago when human sacrifice was encouraged (as is documented in Abraham’s intention to murder his firstborn son Isaac) so as to appease their wrathful and vengeful tribal deities. Since sacrifices were common among the Jews, Paul simply had to include the concept in his version of the gospel. And in so doing, he became a false prophet of the kind Jesus warned against.

The concept of atoning sacrifice is not only pagan, but also illogical and insulting to God. God, being whole and perfect, has no need for sacrifices of any kind, so a sacrifice only has the effect of depriving the sacrificer of the object sacrificed. That is illogical, to say the least (more correctly, it is stupid). It also insults God because it implies that a human can bribe him with something precious to the human (but useless to God), as though he were a petty, corrupt Mafia chief. And, in the case of Jesus, whom Christians consider to be the same as God, albeit somewhat junior to the Heavenly Father, it is absurd, for it presumes that the Father would be unjustly complicit in the murder (prohibited by the Father’s own ten commandments) of an innocent being who is nearly the Father’s equal. It’s like God demanding that he be sacrificed to appease himself.

The atonement doctrine is therefore absurd, and it would be amusing, were it not for the fact that nearly 2 billion Christians are serious as a heart attack about it. They will actually look you straight in the face and tell you that you are going to burn in hell forever unless you accept the Lord Jesus as your personal savior (through his atoning blood sacrifice on the cross) this very minute.

That’s just about as stupid as the notion that a person who dies in a holy struggle against injustice (jihad) will be guaranteed entry into heaven, and there they will be given earthly treasures, water, and houris with whom to have sex at their whim, presumably for all the rest of eternity. If you believe that, you believe there’ll be a Richard Simmons, Jr.

For all of Christianity’s faults, however, it is the one organized religion on earth that is closest to following Jesus’ teachings, closer in my opinion than Islam. Christians don’t murder in the name of God as they once stupidly did and as Muslims still stupidly do. And they do give lip service (some are devoutly close) to Jesus’ teachings about the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man.


Islam is not the wonderful religion you crack it up to be. Sure, it does have its good points, but essentially, it has a 1400-year history of extreme violence and oppression against non-Muslims (whom Muslims self-righteously label as “infidels”, in spite of their devotion to deity of some kind).

The main reason for this is the failure of Islam’s prophet Muhammad and his followers to understand, embrace, and adhere to the gospel Jesus taught. I am not referring here to the idea of accepting Jesus as personal savior that Christians so vehemently and insistently promote, but rather to accepting and living according to Jesus’ simple 3-point gospel that I enumerated above.

Overall, Islam is not a benign religion, even though many of its adherents do follow and promote the most benign of Muhammad's teachings. There are evil and vicious tenets of Islam that oppose those benign teachings, and those bad tenets lead any followers who will to commit acts of oppression, robbery, torture, and murder in the name of God or holy jihad, all the while shouting "Allah akbar" as though our great God condones their horrible acts.

Islam must be reformed, and it can only be reformed by its adherents. Islam needs radical brain surgery to excise the evil in Muhammad's recitals that rots its frontal lobe and robs it of reason and goodness. Unfortunately, the brain surgeons seem to be on a 14-century lunch break, and the operating room seems staffed by incompetent witch doctors who cannot perform the operation.

I am of the opinion that the reformation will come in the next two hundred years, that Muslims will ignore or excise the most offensive of Muhammad’s utterances, those that encourage terrorism, oppression of infidels, mistreatment of women, and ridiculous practices like physical displays of obeisance to Arabia through prayer and pilgrimage. There is much good in the hard-core monotheism of Islam, but even that is overwrought. The notions of a triune deity (Trinity) greatly simplify our approach to understanding the nature of God. In time, Islam will come to embrace expanded concepts of God, his universal Fatherhood, the universal Brotherhood of Man, and the ideal that sincere devotion to the Father’s will eventually bear fruit in making us become more like him.


Bob Hurt


"Abu Hussein" wrote
Date: Mon May 9, 2005 5:44pm
Subject: What is Islam?

I would be thankful if you give my article 5 minute of your value time. THANK YOU.


The name of this religion is Islam, the root of which is Silm and Salam which means peace. Salam may also mean greeting one another with peace. One of the beautiful names of God is that He is the Peace. It means more than that: submission to the One God, and to live in peace with the Creator, within one's self, with other people and with the environment. Thus, Islam is a total system of living. A Muslim is supposed to live in peace and harmony with all these segments; hence, a Muslim is any person anywhere in the world whose obedience, allegiance, and loyalty are to God, the Lord of the Universe.


The followers of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims are not to be confused with Arabs. Muslims may be Arabs, Turks, Persians, Indians, Pakistanis, Malaysians, Indonesians, Europeans, Africans, Americans, Chinese, or other nationalities.
An Arab could be a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew or an atheist. Any person who adopts the Arabic language is called an Arab. However, the language of the Qur'an (the Holy Book of Islam) is Arabic. Muslims all over the world try to learn Arabic so that they may be able to read the Qur'an and understand its meaning. They pray in the language of the Qur'an, namely Arabic. Supplications to God could be in any language.
While there are one billion Muslims in the world there are about 200 million Arabs. Among them, approximately ten percent are not Muslims. Thus Arab Muslims constitute only about twenty percent of the Muslim population of the world.


Muslims believe that Allah is the name of the One and Only God. He is the Creator of all human beings. He is the God for the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the atheists, and others. Muslims worship God whose name is Allah. They put their trust in Him and they seek His help and His guidance.


Muhammad was chosen by God to deliver His Message of Peace, namely Islam. He was born in 570 C.E. (Common Era) in Makkah, Arabia. He was entrusted with the Message of Islam when he was at the age of forty years. The revelation that he received is called the Qur'an, while the message is called Islam.
Muhammad is the very last Prophet of God to mankind. He is the final Messenger of God. His message was and is still to the Christians, the Jews and the rest of mankind. He was sent to those religious people to inform them about the true mission of Jesus, Moses, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham.
Muhammad is considered to be the summation and the culmination of all the prophets and messengers that came before him. He purified the previous messages from adulteration and completed the Message of God for all humanity. He was entrusted with the power of explaining, interpreting and living the teaching of the Qur'an.


Muslims are required to respect all those who are faithful and God conscious people, namely those who received messages. Christians and Jews are called People of the Book. Muslims are asked to call upon the People of the Book for common terms, namely, to worship One God, and to work together for the solutions of the many problems in the society.
Christians and Jews lived peacefully with Muslims throughout centuries in the Middle East and other Asian and African countries. The second Caliph Umar, did not pray in the church in Jerusalem so as not to give the Muslims an excuse to take it over. Christians entrusted the Muslims, and as such the key of the Church in Jerusalem is still in the hands of the Muslims.
Jews fled from Spain during the Inquisition, and they were welcomed by the Muslims. They settled in the heart of the Islamic Caliphate. They enjoyed positions of power and authority.
Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within the Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East.

For more information about Islam :

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Eisenhower Quotes Mis-Conceived

Alan Gregory Wonderwheel, in his blog, quoted Eisenhower as a way of saying Social Security should be kept intact.

Here is my response:

Thanks for the quote. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make, but I’m guessing you are basically saying George W. Bush is stupid for pressing Congress to change the social security law so that its funding continues to be possible and practical in the future. Maybe you are even trying to say the social security law in its present and past implementations were consummately wise, and to change them at all would be stupid. If so, perhaps you should study the issues with a bit more craving for truth and less political prejudice. In any case, I have several comments to make.

  1. Eisenhower was not the great and wonderfully wise man the article implies he was, certainly not to the extent that we should hang on his every word and suggestion as though they came from God.

    1. Forty years ago the John Birch Society published a number of books and articles about the reality that Eisenhower was a politician who, because of his unwise (and perhaps ill-intended) efforts to drop all of Eastern Europe into the hands of Communist tyrants at the end of World War II. In my opinion, looking back at the 45 years of political pogroms, murders, plunder, economic destruction, and despotism that enslaved and ravaged Eastern Europe, and destroyed the work ethic of its people, Eisenhower was wrong.

    2. Ike was also wrong in asserting that the president, being the elected head of the Republican party, is the definition of what a “real” Republican is. The principles of Republicanism are not limited and condition by the nature of the president, but rather by these principles of good and wise government – that the government should not pander to people wanting handouts, that it should encourage strong business development because thereby jobs are had and the nation is enriched, and that the Central government should be limited, with more power going to the states and the people, respectively. Regardless of who is president, those principles stand firm. All presidents do is demonstrate the extent to which they support or violate those principles.

  2. The Social Security Act was ill-conceived from its inception, and its meaning has been warped as time has passed. Most Americans think there is a social security fund and their social security “insurance” premiums are what populate that fund. They are dead wrong, of course.

    1. There is no social security fund. There is merely an allocation of money from the general treasury to populate a bank account on which social security checks are written. The social security insurance premiums are nothing more or less than another abusive income tax.

    2. Social Security premiums (taxes) are not invested in any kind of interest-bearing or inflation-protected account or enterprise. They merely go into the treasury like all other government revenue does. And then the money belongs to Congress and Congress may allocate it to any desired purpose, or spend it on anything they like.

    3. On its face, Social Security taxes are a violation of the Constitution, just as are normal income taxes. They are in fact a direct tax (and are treated as such) on individuals, and income is the means of measuring how much tax is stolen from those individuals. The Constitution specifically states that the only way Congress may tax people directly is by taxing the states, using the rule of apportionment by population. So if Congress wants to raise 10 billion dollars, and California contains 10% of the population, California owes 1 billion, and the rest of the states owe according to percentages of the population that reside within them. Only the state governments have the constitutional right to go directly to individual persons and demand a Federal tax payment for Federal revenue purposes.

    4. Although income tax is not the issue at hand, it should be addressed here. You might wonder why, if it is treated like a direct tax, Congress allows the IRS to harass people to death in order to collect income taxes. That is because the 16th amendment defined income taxes as “indirect” taxes.

      1. It is important to note that an indirect tax cannot, by definition, be a tax on one’s person, labor, or property, for numerous courts have held that such taxes are in fact, and by definition, direct. What is left to be taxed indirectly, if not one’s person, labor or property? Well, indirect taxes may be levied on activities, events, happenings, or occurrences. And normally such taxes are levied because the event or activity is intrinsically evil, dangerous, or harmful. For example, it is right that income taxes be levied on the activity of manufacturing or importing guns, cigarettes, and whiskey. Look at the damage those have done to people. And, in fact, 26USC (the Income Tax law) does in fact establish taxes on those activities.

      2. However, you should rightly ask “In what activity, event, happening, or occurrence am I involved that makes me subject to or liable for an income tax for revenue purposes?” If you look long and hard, you will find that you are doing NO such activity. Therefore, you are not under the purview of Title 26. It’s front page says “This code applies only to taxpayers.” You are not doing any taxable activity, so you are not, by definition, a “taxpayer,” and therefore Title 26 simply does not apply to you.

      3. How is it, then, that the IRS hoodwinks you into filing a W4 or 1040 form, or acceding to a 1099 form for contract work? Very simply, they do it by advertising, fraud, and deception. Once you sign any such form, you have provided the IRS and the justice department prima facie evidence that you are a “taxpayer,” and they will treat you as such. If you do not stand up for your 5th, 6th, and 14th amendment constitutional rights to due process and privacy aggressively and assertively whenever an employer, contractor, bank, IRS agent, or any other party attempts to deprive you of those rights, then you have effectively given the violator permission to violate those rights. Bottom line, it takes assiduous attention and rigorous expense of energy to safeguard your rights.

      4. You need to know the law, and you need to fight any bastard who tries to overstep authority in attempting to get you voluntarily to yield your rights. For example, if an employer demands that you sign any tax form, or attempts to report your earnings to the IRS or deduct taxes from your pay, you should inform him he is violating your rights, demand that he cease and desist, threaten him with a law suit, and then sue him. You need to do the same to any bank that honors an IRS notice of lien or levy against your account without a signed order by the judge of a court of competent jurisdiction. And you need to do the same to any IRS agent who attempts to coerce you to yield your personal information or records. And, finally, because no law requires you to have a Social Security number, it might be wise to write to the Social Security Administration and rescind you signature on any SS document that caused you to get such a number. The IRS has been known to use SSNs as evidence that a citizen is a taxpayer. As a matter of fact, the Treasury Department has modified banking regulations illegally to require Americans to show an SSN to open a bank account, even though the SSN was never intended to be used for identification purposes. The purpose of this is to make it easier for the IRS to harass people, of course, not to identify people who want to open an account. The Treasury Department claims the regulation was changed to support the Patriot Act, but the Patriot Act does not require a social security number for any purpose.

    5. The main problem with the SSA is that it is an enormous tax burden on Americans, greater now than Income tax for most people. That is because the average lifespan was 62 when the SSA was signed into law, and now it is 78. Within the next 10 years when baby boomers retire, there will be only two or three people paying SS tax for every one person receiving benefits.

    6. Another major problem include the fact that the money paid into the system is not accounted for or invested, so the money received does not actually grow at a rate greater than inflation. In fact, it is always behind the inflation curve. It is utterly stupid to allow Congress full use of that money without demanding they wisely invest it so it can produce a return for the investor.

    7. A huge problem is that the SSI recipient almost never receives back as much as he paid in, and if he dies, his family never gets that money either. This is dead wrong. When people pay into a retirement account all their working lives, they should be able to expect that the accumulated money, with interest, belongs to them and their heirs. Because they cannot expect this, you can rightly conclude that the government is criminally defrauding them out of what should rightly be theirs.

    8. There is sufficient money available to investors as a return on investment to pay a person’s maintenance and lifestyle needs for a full range of retirement years, and still to provide a surplus to help others who were for some reason unable to pay into the account.

    9. The SS program was wrongly conceived from the beginning because it did not plan to give back fairly to people who invested in it, and it was handled as just another income tax program to bilk people out of their hard-earned money so as to fund frivolous government programs.

  3. There are too many idle loafers in America who are receiving undeserved money from the government. For this reason, there should be a prime condition for anyone who receives money in excess of what he should rightly expect as return on investment, and that include people who get more SSI than they should, people who receive unfunded medical treatment, and people on any kind of welfare from cash to government food to food stamps to job training. That condition is: they should be required to put in a minimum of 4 hours per day in organized community service, at least half of which requires them to do personal work for others who cannot or will not do it themselves. Personal interaction between service givers and service recipients should be mandatory. Even people on welfare should be required to devote such time to helping others. Eventually, this program will get people off welfare, all except for the most wretchedly needy. For some reason our Federal and State Congresses seem oblivious to the benefit of such a program. Where is the wisdom for which we elected those greedy, spendthrift derelicts?

Monday, May 09, 2005

A Cool Baking Stone

Ever wanted a cool-looking baking stone to go into your oven? They're wonderful for baking things, especially bread. I've found a way to get a cheaper, better one than you'll find at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Go to an Italian marble and granite importer or distributor, one that manufactures kitchen counter tops. Out in the stone yard, somewhere around all those gorgious giant slabs of mountainsides, you will find a pile of small pieces that were cut from kitchen counters to make the holes for the kitchen sinks. They are rectangular, with rounded corners, and tpically an inch or more thick. If you talk nicely to the salesperson, you might be able to buy one or two for 20 Canadian dollars or less each. My two cost $10 each. They are 15 x 17 x 1.2 inches, and weigh 28 pounds each. One side is rough and the other side is polished.

You will find that the kitchen sink hole slabs fit perfectly in your oven. If you get two, you'll have one to set on each wire rack. That way, you can bake a full oven of loaves.

With such huge stones, you need to preheat your oven for about an hour. I'm guessing it takes at least that long to bring them to 450 degrees, but I don't know for sure. One thing I do know is that if you set a loaf onto the cold stone, the bottom will not brown properly by the time the rest of the loaf is done.

After sprinkling the stone with a little buffer to keep it from sticking, you can set the dough directly on the stone. I use corn meal or coarsely ground rye for a buffer.

If you bake on the polished, shiney side of the stone (it is almost as smooth as glass), the dough will not stick to it, even without a buffer. I prefer using the shiney side because it is very easy to clean. Once the oven cools down, I can wipe it with a wet sponge to remove almost anything that drips onto it (like the egg-milk wash I brush onto the loaves during baking to make the tops shiney). I seldom need a spatula to loosen the baked-hard drops.

The rough side of the stone will more easily absorb moisture than will the shiney side. Although it is rough, it is still flat, and therefore, you can bake bread on that side too. I have done that a couple of times, using a buffer sprinkle both times without incident. However, I do not want to risk dropping egg-milk wash onto it because it would be too hard to remove, and eventually it would gum up the stone.

A conventional store-bought baking stone is porous on both sides, so it absorbs any and everything that gets on it. Oils, egg-milk washes, pie fillings, pizza toppings, cheeses, and so on, soak in and turn the surface black, building up a crust that is exceedingly hard to remove if you don't clean it religiously. It is only half an inch or less thick, so it does not retain the heat like a 1.25-inch-thick granite slab does.

I far prefer my granite slabs to the store-bought baking stones, for the following reasons:

1. I like having a choice of baking on the porous or polished surface.

2. The granit slabs retain heat much better, so you do not upset the baking process as much by opening the oven door to spritz the walls, change the placement of the loves, or brush the tops of the loaves with a wash.

3. The polished surfaces of the granite slabs are very easy to clean.

4. The granite slabs are gorgeous, much more aesthetically pleasing.

5. The polished surface of the cold granite slab is perfect for working fudge. The slab fits easily onto a refrigerator shelf for cooling it down, and it tends to hold the cool fairly well, certainly long enough to work a batch of buttery fudge.

Here's a question for the thermodynamics engineer. How long does it take to raise 56 pounds of 15 x 17 x 1.2-inch granite from 75F to 450F starting in a 75F 20 x 18 x 16.25-inch oven that normally takes 15 minutes to preheat to 450F?

Oven Dimensions = 20 x 18 x 16.25 = 5850 cubic inches = 95,864 cm3
Slab Dimensions = 15 x 17 x 1.2 = 306 cubic inches = 5014 cm3
Slab Weight = 28 pounds = 12.7 kg
Slab Density = 1.464 ounces per cubic inch = 2.533 g/cm3
Number of slabs = 2