Tuesday, June 12, 2007


There is a problem in Islam with fatwas. First came the breast-feeding fatwa. It declared that the Islamic restriction on unmarried men and women being together could be lifted at work if the woman breast-fed her male colleagues five times, to establish family ties. Then came the urine fatwa. It said that drinking the urine of the Prophet Muhammad was deemed a blessing.

Technically, the fatwa is nonbinding and recipients are free to look elsewhere for a better ruling. In a faith with no central doctrinal authority, there has been an explosion of places offering fatwas, from Web sites that respond to written queries, to satellite television shows that take phone calls, to radical and terrorist organizations that set up their own fatwa committees.

Evidently some Muslims (as well as Muslim governments) are upset at some of the fatwas that have been issued and since there is no Pope to control what is issued, there is no centralized control.

However, while I thought that some of these things seem extremely unusual, what would someone in another culture think as they watched or listened to some of the preachers on American religious media?


The New York Times reports that urbanization is destroying China's architectural heritage. Everything is being replaced by look-alike monstrosities of western architecture. One Chinese official says this is as devasting to China's past as Mao's Cultural Revolution!

“It is like 1,000 cities having the same appearance.”

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Chavez appears to be doing to Venezuela what Castro did to Cuba. Here is the latest report I received on conditions in Venezuela.

Many of you have been following the events taking place in Venezuela these past weeks in regard to the shutting down of Radio Caracas and the threats against the last remaining anti-Chavez TV station GlobovisiĆ³n. The people are very angry about the loss of free speech which is taking place here.

Tension between the Opposition and the Chavistas is rising rapidly. The people have become more hateful and aggressive. They feel sickened and hopeless about the state of their country and abandoned by the international community. The Chavistas have become more aggressive and Chavez is telling them not to let anyone stop his socialist agenda. They have taken to the streets to fight the protesters; they get braver and stronger every day.

Many people are trying to sell their investment property, such as vacation homes or apartments, because Chavez announced that if you have more than one house “we will take one and give it to a poor family without a home.” Rental property for the foreign workers is very hard to find since everyone is selling to avoid loosing property to the government. The people are buying cars to invest in instead since they appreciate in value here and no mention of confiscating cars has been made. One Chevrolet dealer in Maracaibo says he is selling 3,000 vehicles a month and still has waiting lists. There are so many cars on the road now the streets are congested with angry, aggressive drivers and traffic is very chaotic and dangerous.

There are price controls on about 35% of the food supply so those items have almost totally disappeared from the shelves and are now being sold on the black market for 2 or 3 times the price, usually by government officials who have confiscated the goods on the grounds that they are damaged. Beef, Chicken, eggs, sugar, milk, cooking oil, etc are very hard to find and go fast when they do appear. Chavez has created a crisis with the food supply and has warned that he will take over the grocery stores because of the crisis. He is also threatening to take over the banks. He has control of the phone system now since he took over CANTV and in Caracas he took the electric company. He has taken over several private hospitals and clinics and run the doctors out. He is advocating that any workers, who think the company they work for is not being run correctly, demand to see the financial records of the company; and, if they see fit, to physically take over the company and throw out the owners/managers. He has created a class of people who think the rest of the country has been stealing from them, and thugs who just want to steal instead of work for a living, that are terrorizing the country. Those are his followers. Hundreds of them are buying property in Miami with the money Chavez gives them. Look out Miami!

Democracy is dying a painful death here and it is sad to witness. Someone predicted that within 18 months the whole country will either be in riots and street violence or the people will have given up and Communism will rule.

Some South Americans, Brazilians and Argentineans that work for Petroleum Service companies are expatriates here. They have children born in Venezuela and are having problems getting passports to get out of the country because all children born in Venezuela now belong to the state. All parents must get permission from the state to take their children out of the country.

Chevron and Shell have relocated the majority of their employees out of the Country and are keeping the least amount of people they can to oversee operations here. This is a good time to be getting out.

Monday, June 04, 2007


I have been suspicious, and will continue to be suspicious, of what Sandy Berger's intentions were when he "stole" secret documents regarding the Clinton administration's handling of al Qaeda as he was preparing to testify before the 9/11 Commission. I saw where some conspiracists are confronting Giuliani and accusing him of knowing about the 9/11 plot--I wish people had the same passion to find out what exactly is missing from the archival record. Berger (and maybe Clinton) know far more about pre-9/11 than Giuliani ever did.


This is a very unusual interview. I don't know anything about this ex-PLO terrorist, but apparently is a Muslim who is critical of Islamism in American universities, in particular. According to him Muslims are trying to recruit youth just like the Nazis did in Germany before World War II. They don't allow criticism of Islam, but it is okay to criticize or attack Christianity or other religions in academia.