Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thoughts on a Garden of Alhambra

A relic of a bygone era though it may be, this garden at Alhambra in Granada, Spain continues to offer tranquility, serenity, and an oasis from the rigors and stressors of daily life, if only briefly. For certainly, as a nonMuslim, one may enjoy the serenity of the mountain side palace garden, perhaps there is a tinge of anxiety brought by the ancient, exotic, and yet threatening architecture of the palace.

There may be a chill of threat in that it was from a bygone era of a superpower which was foreign to the Judaeo-Christian "Western" civilization, at least it appeared so. Certainly stone walls and edifices weathered by time are not threatening. Yet, this "Moorish" society/state is somehow the cry of contemporaries who call for a "caliphate" and the resumption of Islam. As if these criers seek to return 600 years into the past to revive some lost civilization. To the common man, that seems a preposterous declaration which instinctly must be resisted and fought, for no people can return to some bygone era. It is against human progress and development.
So indeed, while the garden offers cool humidity from its running water, serene views of flowers, orderly shrubs, with a pastoral and scenic overlook of the entire countryside from its regal mountain side, it perhaps stirs a chill and fear.

To the devout Muslim who follows the Prophet Muhammad (saaw), the Alhambra is NOT a retrogression to anachronisms. The Alhambra represents the achievement of excellence in application of a universal way of life. To the devout and enlightened Muslim thinker, Alhambra is a palace of a caliphate which successfully implemented the Deen of Allah (Islamic system) which successfully produced an advanced, nuanced, sophisticated society which satisfied the needs of all people, and served to advance all people. Thus, though the Alhambra palace is only a historic site run by a Christian Spanish government today, it is a testament to the universal applicability and human capability to implement Islam for the betterment an advancement of all mankind.

And certainly God knows best.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ending the American Empire by Americans

In the light of day, world's collide.

As the accumulation of America's woes grows, so does one's dispair, disillusionment, and dissatisfaction with so much of what might otherwise be percieved as trivialities.

Yet when someone else speaks out about what one sees and thinks, it presents a moment of respite. A moment of respite as if the weight of the world is lifted from your shoulders, if not for only a moment.
This effect arises from the article Case for Imperial Liquidation by Chalmers Johnson:

Americans have been betrayed by the chorus of pundits and business controlled media and political sources that shape public opinion. Who cares about Britney Spears, what Hillary is wearing or what Mitt believes? It will require perhaps 40 years before your house is paid for in full, excluding terrible health costs, criminal charges, or your child goes to medical school. Gas prices will likely reach $4.00 a gallon this years, and likely $5.00 within two years. Are incomes growing at the same pace? The price of milk is, so are the prices for many things. And governments are willing to "lease" public infrastructure like highways, roads, and eventually sewer systems to private firms just to raise funds to pay for governance. The price of living is outpacing real people to the benefit and profit of corporate "persons".

Johnson proposed a list of changes that America must undertake to avoid the ruin of past empires like Rome. Included was the deconstruction of the military industrial complex, the disempowerment of the office of the presidency. These two are perhaps the most difficult. But Johnson notes that the secrecy of the Bush presidency has served to disempower the engaged, active citizenry. He assumes reversing that by shedding light on the presidency: reaffirming the FOI act, opening meetings and contacts to public scrutiny: the Sunshine effect (similar to the Florida state government 'Sunshine' provisions of making public record of all political machinations). But that is not enough.
Recently, a British journalist named Packard said in an interview that the office of the American president as the same powers that the British monarch did 200 years ago. Thus, the British people acted to dismantle the office's powers through legislative process. The American people must take similar actions and dismantle much of the power of the presidency. Can this be done? Can such executive power amendments even pass today in such a political climate where lobbying corporate powers transcend the powers of any and all political parties?
More later....

Monday, May 14, 2007

RE: Spengler's Latest Epiphany concerning Islam

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

It is interesting that Spengler, the opinionist on all things Middle East, Islamic, or Orientalist, for the Asia Times, continues to be confounded by simply comprehending the problem with the West's Civilizational War with the Muslim world. Spengler claims, based on the lamentations of an old Arab poet, that the Arab world is dead. This would in turn imply that Islam and the Muslim world is dead.

By dead, Spengler presumes that the failure of the Arab people