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January 12, 2015

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An occupancy sensor switch is a simpler solution.
What will people more clever than me invent next?

Not sure that occupancy sensor switch was available when I came to the rescue ... it might not have made me her Hero.

I'm tuning in to hear a debate tonight at the State of the Union speeches.
If Republicans have better ideas, let’s hear them.
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2015/01/20/in-which-the-democrats-finally-get-a-clue/

"When people disagree with me about something, I know I'm dealing with knuckleheads."

atta tribesman, defend your coal-rollin, energy-wasting bretheren. they need your help cause the wicked 'viromentalists are gonna oppress em! be their useful knucklehad.

What will people more clever than me invent next?

Take it a step further. A occupancy sensor coupled with a humidity sensor and a solid state relay that won't let the fan go "off" (even if you flip the switch) until the time is right. Rig it up for odors, too....patent pending.

Sully wrote some good stuff there but, as a conservative, he is blind to the public policies that have brought us to this lamentable economic inequality pass.

The utter and complete absence of even so much as one majority Muslim state that is, not even a liberal democracy, but even moderately free, does somewhat argue for this position.

One of the more conspicuous elephants in the room here is mineral assets. As in, "they have stuff, we want it, let's install our SOB".

Why is the house of Saud dominant in Saudi Arabia?
How did a claque of fundamentalist clerics come to power in Iran?

For two fairly notable examples.

Situations typically have more than one cause. "It's because their Muslims!" seems somewhat simplistic.

Just trying to inject a tiny note of reality.

Shorter Cleek: "When people disagree with me about something, I know I'm dealing with knuckleheads."

I've seen worse heuristics.

I'm sure that Brett's extensive travels in Islam majority countries, his countless hours of discussions with muslims as well as his knowledge of Arabic make him qualified to make the absolute statements that he does.

Hey man, he lived near Dearborn!

So, basically you're going to obsess about whether it's 99% of Muslim majority countries, instead of 100%, and just blow off the point: She actually has evidence on her side.

I think you mistake "blowing off the point" with noting that what you said is factually false. By more than just a rounding error.

If you have a case to make, make it. Just making up random crap is not persuasive.

Senegal seems to be heavily influenced by Sufism which does make a less powerful counter example.

Why? Isn't Sufism Islam?

The fact that there are significant populations of Muslims who are, specifically, NOT VIOLENT as a matter of religious conviction would seem to be exactly and precisely the point. To me, anyway.

The most direct way to deal with it, long term, is not to nuke Mecca, but to make that oil as close to worthless as possible.

I invite you to do a quick back-of-envelope calculation of how much of the valuation of global equity holdings consist of untapped oil reserves.

Or, more to the point, equity holdings in US corps.

It's not a hard set of numbers to find, at least at the ballpark level.

The problem there is not Islam.

Gun nuts, I get that's a thing.

Incandescent bulb nuts ???

Same/same. It's all liberty, man.

Also, WTF is the heat lamp thing? You have a special light bulb in the bathroom to cook you like a hot dog at the 7-11 when you get out of the shower?

Don't you people have robes?

God forbid anyone should be minutely uncomfortable for, like, 3 and a half seconds. We'll by god burn every freaking dino byproduct on the planet before we let that happen.

Sully wrote some good stuff there but, as a conservative, he is blind to the public policies that have brought us to this lamentable economic inequality pass.

The thing with Sully is not that he's a conservative, in the sense that that word is used here, but that he's a Tory.

I'm not sure we really have Tories per se here anymore, I think they went out with the white-shoe born-to-rule country club set.

On second thought, considering that the (R) candidate for Prez last go-round was Willard 'Mitt' Romney, maybe we have lots of Tories.

To his credit, in the piece cited he's concerned about the social unrest and instability that can follow inequality. I note the same thing in other conservatives, e.g. Charles Murray.

I don't think Sullivan is anti-government action the way American conservatives are. I just don't think he wants the wogs driving the bus.

Why? Isn't Sufism Islam?

Not according to the fundies.
On the other hand, the Kristian(TM) Right does not consider anyone a 'true' Christian except those that don't share their particular narrow interpretation of The Faith (i.e. >90% of those that consider themselves to be Christian).
To my knowledge Sufism is the Islamic equivalent of the Mystics and the latter were also seen with at best suspicion by the religious othodoxy, so 'not true Muslims' might be an opinion about Sufis shared by not a few.

The thing with Sully is not that he's a conservative, in the sense that that word is used here, but that he's a Tory

The meaning that the word bears in the US bears little relation to what the rest of us on the planet think of as 'conservative'.

(Although, to be fair, Margaret Thatcher, one of Sullivan's icons, was hardly a conservative either.)

Not according to the fundies.

Who died and made them god?

Look, here was the thread of conversation:

Brett "Mr Binary Logic" Bellmore: there are no, zero, zip, nada Muslim majority countries that are even modestly free.

N. Vide: Senegal

Marty: Yeah, but those are the peaceful Muslims, so they don't count.

Senegal

Turkey.

A (nominally) secular democratic state with 95-100% of the population Muslim.
And a NATO ally, to boot.

Guess they don't count, either

Methinks 'muslim' might have become a synonym for 'arab' in some minds.

Hartmut: Not according to the fundies.

russell: Who died and made them god?

If the fundies have no MORE right to define a religion than the moderates do, they have no LESS of a right, either.

This opinion, smacking as it does of egalitarianism if not tolerance, may be disputed by BOTH the fundies and the moderates.

--TP

Turkey added to watchdog's list of religious liberty violators.

"Turkey.
...
Guess they don't count, either"

Especially since Turkey has just 8 more years to go before the centenary of their "secular democratic state".

Isn't there a specific term for ignoring, or refusing to accept, hard evidence that one is mistaken about something? Just at the tip of my tongue, but can't quite recall. Help, Obi-Sidi-Wan, you're my only hope.

If you make a list of "absolutely perfect democratic nations, with no flaws WHATSOEVER", you get an empty page.

IMO, go head and post your list.

russell:

Also, WTF is the heat lamp thing? [...] God forbid anyone should be minutely uncomfortable for, like, 3 and a half seconds.

Or its possible different people lead different lives, and may have different needs. The first time I saw one it was at a college girlfriend's house, and my reaction was pretty much the same as yours...a completely ridiculous appliance. It turns out it was installed for her mother, who had MS, and needed it to keep from cooling off to fast from the shower.

As for me, I now have one, and I use it. I rent an old, relatively drafty house, and its far more efficient to heat the small bathroom for the 3 minutes after I get out of the shower in the morning than it is to bring the entire house to a reasonable temp (thermostat is set to 50, which is certainly tolerable, but a mite cold when you are wet).

Also, you know, I just like burning dinosaurs.

Turkey added to watchdog's list of religious liberty violators.

It's worth noting that the targets of religious oppression in some majority-Muslim nations are folks who are the wrong kind of Muslim.

Shia in Sunni states, Sunnis in Shia states, Sufis and Amadiyya everywhere.

It's also worth noting that it's not just Muslim-majority states that are hostile to certain forms of religious practice.

It's also worth noting that, until quite recently, established religions and the suppression of non-established religious practice was dead common in most of the world. Right here in the good old USA, for example, and there is no shortage of people who would be quite happy to bring it back.

The Constitution only disallows *federal* establishment of religion, right? Good thing nobody is trying that argument on nowadays, especially right here in our Christian nation.

Oops, forgot, Judeo-Christian, sometime in the last few years the Jews have been allowed on the bus.

There are lots of reasons why many Muslim-majority states do poorly on indexes of religious and political freedom at this point in time. Many of those reasons have bugger-all to do with religion, of any stripe. To discuss the issue without recognizing and considering all of that requires some combination of bigotry and willfull ignorance.

Or its possible different people lead different lives, and may have different needs.

If you want a heat lamp, have a heat lamp. Live your life.

Where I draw the line is when we start making public policy based on imaginary god-given rights to have a heat lamp. Or incandescent light bulb, or 15mpg SUV, or whatever else floats your boat.

"The American way of life is not negotiable!" declared George Herbert Walker Bush at the earth summit in Rio, back in 1992.

As if the choice is ours, and ours alone.

If the fundies have no MORE right to define a religion than the moderates do, they have no LESS of a right, either.

Both have the complete and total right to define what *they* believe.

Just as we all have the complete and total right to define what we believe, don't believe, or are completely indifferent to, as the case may be.

So, yes, egalitarianism and tolerance sound good to me, also.

If the fundies have no MORE right to define a religion than the moderates do, they have no LESS of a right, either.

Actually, they do. If you have a religion which 1000 people espouse, you do not, as a group of 20 people, get to define what the religion is. Even if you have more money than everybody else combined, and control of the religion's holiest places. You can argue your version of what that religion ought to be, but you can not claim to define what it is.

P.S. The same applies to political philosophies. Having (partial) control of the most powerful country on earth, and pots more money than anybody else, doesn't automatically get you freedom to redefine "conservative" to suit you preferences.

Live your life.

Thanks, I appreciate your blessing.

Where I draw the line is when we start making public policy based on imaginary god-given rights to have a heat lamp.

My point is that, you, a well-meaning individual who doesn't seem interested in running other people's lives, couldn't imagine a use case from something that others find very useful. For my ex's mother, it kept her healthy. For me, it keeps me from burning more dinos. Both good things in my book.

Much as we shouldn't be making policy decisions on the god-given right to use heat lamps, we also shouldn't make policy decisions on what you think is unnecessary or wasteful.

I realize your snark doesn't rise to the level of policy, but it's a minor pet peeve of mine when people go off on: WTF is the deal with X? Why can't they do Y like me?

People live different lives. They have different needs. All of us end up doing things a way others would find wasteful or unnecessary.

I missed a lot of this thread I think but since there is a mystical tradition in Senegal that Sufism incorporates locally, meaning it is a separate philosophy from the religion, I thought it was a distinction worth noting. YMMV

to hear "conservatives" tell it, Christianity is under constant attack in the US: by public and private actors, all the time, everywhere.


I thought it was a distinction worth noting.

You were and are correct.

Most, probably all, religious traditions partake in, and are flavored by, other traditions that exist in the cultures where they are practiced.

That's true of fundamentalist varieties as well, not just the more tolerant ones.

I take your point here, but the argument being made by Brett in this thread is that there is something inherent in Islam that makes Muslim nations oppressive and intolerant of other beliefs and points of view.

In that context, the presence of a significant group of Muslims who are exactly *not that* seems worth noting.

It's true that Sufism in Senegal and elsewhere is influenced by other traditions. That's also true of fundamentalist Islamic traditions like Salafism and Wahaabism.

Sufism is actually a much older tradition than either of those.

it's a minor pet peeve of mine when people go off on: WTF is the deal with X? Why can't they do Y like me?

I take your point overall, but I'm really not interested in people doing X Y or Z like me.

If heat lamps get the job done for you, that's great. If they lower your energy consumption to boot, bonus.

Basically, my comment about them was an overreaction. I was imagining heat lamps becoming the next battlefield in the great war of kenyan muslim socialism against our freedoms, and it struck me as absurd.

My bad.

One more plug for the conservation of energy and water. Mounting a heat lamp over the shower makes taking a 'Navy Shower' on chilly mornings much more feasible.

I know little of the variety of muslim attitudes but back when Iran was holding American hostages my work partner was a student from Tehran. He was my friend and had a pacifist attitude toward our government even though policy was keeping him from receiving any help from his family back in Tehran. I lost contact with him and hope he was not later gassed by Saddam.

the next battlefield in the great war of kenyan muslim socialism against our freedoms, and it struck me as absurd

I would agree, that is absurd.

Mounting a heat lamp over the shower makes taking a 'Navy Shower' on chilly mornings much more feasible.

That's a really good idea, I might start doing that.

There are lots of reasons why many Muslim-majority states do poorly on indexes of religious and political freedom at this point in time. Many of those reasons have bugger-all to do with religion, of any stripe.

Unless my perception of it is grossly misrepresentative, I think Albania would be a good point of reference for this statement. Secular parliamentary democracy, between 60% and 80% Muslim, depending on your source, and by what I've read, all the oppression it does is rooted in Soviet-era habits of governance (with no large-scale "private oppression" going on besides that - just your typical Western-style interpersonal discrimination against gender, ethnicity (which does blur into religion; this is the Balkans, after all), and orientation). Not a shining exemplar of free and open society (though at the same time not awful by third or second world standards), but certainly not a nation whose Muslim-majority status seems to be leading it inevitably down the road to theocratic tyranny.

Paying respect to the blogger flogging House of Saud appears, however, to be a priority:
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/24/middleeast/saudi-arabia-royals-obama/

FWIW

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