3.24.2017

The 5th 3rd Preferred Dividend




Fifth Third Bancorp Announces Cash Dividends

Excerpt:

Fifth Third also declared a cash dividend on its 6.625% Fixed-to-Floating Rate Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series I (Nasdaq: FITBI), at the rate of $414.06 per preferred share, which equates to approximately $0.41406 for each depositary share. Each depositary share represents a 1/1000th ownership interest in a share of Series I Preferred Stock. The Series I dividend is payable on March 31, 2017 to shareholders of record as of March 29, 2017.
Comment: Buy 100 shares today ... get $ 41.40 next Friday. 5.71% yield. Preferred stock tracts like a bond so as interest rates rise, the stock will decline. Image snaps from ...

3.23.2017

Colorado United Bank Brass Coasters




My Ebay find this week. 4 nice brass United Bank coasters.

The United Bank of Colorado was the largest bank in Colorado when Norwest acquired it in 1991. Kathee was a United Bank employee.  The Cash Register Building, now the Wells Fargo Tower, was the HQ.  This building was the site of the famous Father's Day Massacre.

The United Bank logo was still on our Greenwood Village IT center when we worked there.

3.08.2017

The Social Security Spouse Benefit - 4 Helpful Articles

  • 4 Key Rules for Claiming Social Security's Spousal Benefits: "Spousal benefits can't be claimed unless the "target" spouse -- the one whose earnings will be the basis for the benefit -- has already filed to claim his or her Social Security retirement benefit"
  • A guide for couples on understanding how the spousal benefit works.: "beware the "deeming" provision. Say John applies for his benefit first. Then Mary applies for her own benefit before her full retirement age, intending to delay taking the higher spousal benefit. Not possible, says the Social Security Administration. It automatically "deems" her as taking the highest benefit she's eligible for -- in this case, the spousal benefit. To get around the deeming provision, the lower earner should apply for her retirement benefit before the higher earner applies for his. The Social Security Administration will not automatically switch her to the spousal benefit once she is eligible; the wife will have to file an application for the spousal benefit, Blair says. Having the lower earner file early could make sense for couples who want to bring in some money while the higher earner delays. But couples who regret having the wife take her own benefit early could boost her benefit by waiting to collect her spousal portion."
  • How the The Social Security Spouse Benefit Works: "If you were born on or before January 1, 1954, after you reach FRA, you can choose to receive only the spousal benefit by filing a restricted application. By doing this you delay receiving your retirement benefits based on your earning's record until a later date. For example, at age 70 you could switch from receiving a spousal benefit to receiving your own potentially higher benefit amount."
  • What Is the Maximum Social Security Spousal Benefit?: "Thanks to a rule known as "deemed filing," if you were born on or after Jan. 2, 1954, then once you apply for one type of benefit, you're deemed to have applied for them all. If you were born before that date and you have reached your full retirement age, then you may choose to collect your spousal benefit, let your own retirement benefit continue to grow, and then claim your enhanced benefit later."
Image source: Kathee reaches FRA (Full Retirement Age) in April. So we plan on her filing for the Spousal Benefit then, to commence in May

3.06.2017

It's high time we deal with North Korea

Challenging Islam as a doctrine is very different from demonizing Muslim people



The Dilemma Facing Ex-Muslims

Excerpt:

“Most Muslims are moderate, but whoever wrote the Quran, that’s not a moderate person,” he said. Rizvi devotes an entire chapter of his book to exposing what he sees as the flagrantly illiberal elements in Quranic scripture. Referring to the chapter on women, Surah An-Nisa, he writes: “It establishes a hierarchy of authority, where men are deemed to be ‘in charge’ of women. It also asks wives to be obedient to their husbands, and allows their husbands—in the most controversial part of the verse—to beat them if they fear disobedience.”

Rizvi condemns this, but he reserves an almost equal contempt for reformist Muslims who, as he sees it, try to rationalize away such verses. He puts the scholar of religion Reza Aslan in this category, taking him to task for his suggestion that interpretations of scripture have “nothing to do with the text…and everything to do with the cultural, nationalistic, ethnic, political prejudices and preconceived notions that the individual brings to the text.” Rizvi is incredulous at the categorical “nothing” in this claim, and echoes the Islamic studies scholar Michael Cook’s observation that religious texts provide “modern adherents with a set of options that do not determine their choices but do constrain them.” He is skeptical, too, of reformist efforts to reinterpret scripture so as to bring Islam into line with liberal values. “You can’t sanitize scripture,” he insisted. “I think fundamentalists have a more honest approach. … They’re more consistent.”


3.02.2017

Snapchat mania and the problem of IPOs


IPO's are hype, hype, HYPE, H Y P E

Contrast with boring General Mills! They have a nearly equal Market Capitalization.

See IPOs are the shiny objects of investing Source of image below


SNAP killer

Islam vs Christianity: Claim: Jesus was a prophet of Islam


While Islam refers to Christians as "people of the book" along with Jews and Zoroastrians (as opposed to polytheists and animists), it denies that Christianity is the final and permanent revelation of God and speaks quite negatively of Christians as "the infidels" (kaffur). This is because Muhammad, "the seal of the prophets," is the last and greatest of the prophets of Allah (Qur'an 48:27-28). He alone corrects the errors of the past, including the aberrations of Christianity. Islam abrogates Christianity (Qur'an 48:27-28); it is Christianity's replacement. The argument for abrogation  is rooted in five major claims made by Islam against Christianity. This is a significant apologetic challenge that Christians today need to face intelligently, given the global reach of Islam and its growing influence in the West.

Claim 5: Jesus was a prophet of lslam. Islam teaches that Jesus' "gospel" (injil) was no different from the teaching of Old Testament prophets: one must worship Allah and obey his law. All the prophets or messengers have declared essentially the same thing, but Muhammad is the final and greatest prophet. However, this simple message of Jesus, the prophet of Allah, was lost and replaced by the Christian gospel, which is a perversion.

Our counterclaim has been made in the preceding arguments. The New Testament witness is far better established historically than the revisionism of the Qur'an. We know of no earlier documents concerning the nature of Jesus' person and message than the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. In none of these books do we find a prophet of Allah who exhorts weak humans to know and live up to the divine law. Instead, the figure that illuminates every book of the New Testament is the Lord and Savior of a deeply flawed humanity (Mark 7:20-23), who never called people to work harder at obeying the law in hopes of salvation but rather called people to himself for the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life (John 3:16-18). Jesus' message was crucially about himself self as God's Son, Savior and Lord (John 3:16-18; 14:1-6; Matthew 11:27). Only Jesus perfectly obeyed the will of God through his virtuous life and obedient death on the cross. This matchless life was crowned by his resurrection, as Paul highlights at the commencement of Romans:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 1:1-4)


Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (pp 609-610)

Islam vs Christianity: Claim: God is not triune



While Islam refers to Christians as "people of the book" along with Jews and Zoroastrians (as opposed to polytheists and animists), it denies that Christianity is the final and permanent revelation of God and speaks quite negatively of Christians as "the infidels" (kaffur). This is because Muhammad, "the seal of the prophets," is the last and greatest of the prophets of Allah (Qur'an 48:27-28). He alone corrects the errors of the past, including the aberrations of Christianity. Islam abrogates Christianity (Qur'an 48:27-28); it is Christianity's replacement. The argument for abrogation  is rooted in five major claims made by Islam against Christianity. This is a significant apologetic challenge that Christians today need to face intelligently, given the global reach of Islam and its growing influence in the West.

Claim 4: God is not triune. Islam denies that God is triune, affirming that Allah is absolutely one, without son or partner. Any other doctrine is abominated as polytheism.
Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve. (Qur'an 5:73)
The Qur'an misunderstands the nature of the Trinity as presented in Scripture. While the Bible speaks of one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) and three persons who are divine-Father, Son and Holy Spirit-the Qur'an's interpretation of the Bible leaves out the Holy Spirit and deems Mary one of the divine persons.
And when Allah will say: 0 Isa son of Marium! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); if I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it; Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Thy mind, surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things. (Qur'an 5:116)
This threesome has never been affirmed as the divine Trinity by any branch of Christianity before, during or after Muhammad. The Qur'an is simply wrong on this and thus should not be taken seriously on this issue. The Muslim, however, may press the purely logical point that God cannot be three and one (although the Qur'an does not do so). To this we respond in the same spirit and with the same logic as when the incarnation is rejected as illogical. The orthodox formulation of the doctrine is not that of a contradiction, and there are various ways of understanding God's oneness and God's triunity without contradiction. The backbone of any approach is to argue that God is one in one respect (the divine essence of substance) and three in another respect (the personhood of each member).

Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (pp 608-609)

Islam vs Christianity: Claim: Jesus is not divine



While Islam refers to Christians as "people of the book" along with Jews and Zoroastrians (as opposed to polytheists and animists), it denies that Christianity is the final and permanent revelation of God and speaks quite negatively of Christians as "the infidels" (kaffur). This is because Muhammad, "the seal of the prophets," is the last and greatest of the prophets of Allah (Qur'an 48:27-28). He alone corrects the errors of the past, including the aberrations of Christianity. Islam abrogates Christianity (Qur'an 48:27-28); it is Christianity's replacement. The argument for abrogation  is rooted in five major claims made by Islam against Christianity. This is a significant apologetic challenge that Christians today need to face intelligently, given the global reach of Islam and its growing influence in the West.

Claim 3: Jesus is not divine. Muslims are repulsed by the confession of Jesus as divine. The Qur'an affirms concerning Allah, "Say not three" (4:171) and "Allah has no son" (72:3). Thus they reject a trinitarian God by insisting that Allah has no partner.
Surely Allah does not forgive that anything should be associated with Him, and He forgives what is besides this to whom He pleases; and whoever associates anything with Allah, he indeed strays off into a remote error. (Qur'an 4:116)
According to Islam, Jesus is Allah's prophet, born of a virgin, sinless and the Messiah (in a scaled down sense from the biblical view); he will come again, but he is emphatically not divine. As the Qur'an declares:
O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector. (4:171). Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Marium; and the Messiah said: 0 Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust. (5:72)
In response, one must appeal to the most reliable documents: the New Testament. … Jesus claimed deity, and his apostles affirmed this repeatedly, as If so, the claims of the Qur'an can be dispensed with on purely historical grounds.

Muslims sometimes employ philosophical arguments against the deity of Jesus (although the Qur'an does not) by claiming that Jesus cannot be divine given that he prayed to his Father, said that the Father was greater than he was and so on. These objections have received sustained treatment in recent decades by philosophers,  … the concept of the incarnation is not contradictory and has not been affirmed as such in Christian creeds or confessions. Therefore, this charge is without bite.

Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (pp 607-608)

Islam vs Christianity: Claim: Jesus was not crucified



While Islam refers to Christians as "people of the book" along with Jews and Zoroastrians (as opposed to polytheists and animists), it denies that Christianity is the final and permanent revelation of God and speaks quite negatively of Christians as "the infidels" (kaffur). This is because Muhammad, "the seal of the prophets," is the last and greatest of the prophets of Allah (Qur'an 48:27-28). He alone corrects the errors of the past, including the aberrations of Christianity. Islam abrogates Christianity (Qur'an 48:27-28); it is Christianity's replacement. The argument for abrogation is rooted in five major claims made by Islam against Christianity. This is a significant apologetic challenge that Christians today need to face intelligently, given the global reach of Islam and its growing influence in the West.

Claim 2: Jesus was not crucified. The Qur'an states that Jesus (Issa or Isa) was not crucified.

And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure. Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise. And there is not one of the followers of the Book but most certainly believes in this before his death, and on the day of resurrection he (Isa) shall be a witness against them. (4:157-59)
While Chawkat Moucarry points out the difficulties in understanding this text in the original Arabic, this text has been taken by Muslims worldwide to mean that Jesus was not crucified but was delivered somehow how by Allah. To the Islamic mind, it is unthinkable that a true prophet should be subject to such humiliation. Thus, if Jesus was a prophet, he must not have been crucified. However, another verse from the Qur'an claims that Jesus would be killed (Qur'an 3:54-55). Most Muslims interpret pret this to mean that Jesus will die after he returns from heaven some time in the future. But when he was on earth the first time, he was taken directly back to Allah.

A quick glance at the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament indicates that the death of Jesus on the cross is the ineradicable center of the Christian message. ... the Hebrew Scriptures prophesy Jesus' death (Isaiah 53). Jesus himself spoke of his impending death with his disciples (Matthew 12:39-40; John 10:11), his death on the cross is recorded in all four Gospels, and it is either assumed or expressed in every New Testament book. These are the most ancient and reliable documents available about Jesus of Nazareth. In Paul's summary of the gospel, Jesus' death is foundational: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Moreover, contemporary historians agree that Jesus was executed through crucifixion. Even the archliberal New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann believed this. For over six centuries before Muhammad, Christians (and Jews) believed that Jesus had died on a cross. While secular historians may reject the biblical meaning of Jesus' death as atoning for human sin, they do not question the factuality of his death by crucifixion. Therefore, any claim to the contrary bears the burden of proof to refute the universal claim of the Christian church and the testimony of the vast majority of ancient historians.

Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (pp 606-607)

Islam vs Christianity: Claim: The Original Holy Book has been Distorted



While Islam refers to Christians as "people of the book" along with Jews and Zoroastrians (as opposed to polytheists and animists), it denies that Christianity is the final and permanent revelation of God and speaks quite negatively of Christians as "the infidels" (kaffur). This is because Muhammad, "the seal of the prophets," is the last and greatest of the prophets of Allah (Qur'an 48:27-28). He alone corrects the errors of the past, including the aberrations of Christianity. Islam abrogates Christianity (Qur'an 48:27-28); it is Christianity's replacement. The argument for abrogation is rooted in five major claims made by Islam against Christianity. This is a significant apologetic challenge that Christians today need to face intelligently, given the global reach of Islam and its growing influence in the West.

Claim # 1 The original holy book has been distorted. Since there are distinct differences between Christianity and Islam concerning the nature of God, humans and salvation (as well as devotional practices), Muslims need to account for these discrepancies while affirming that Moses, David and Jesus were bona fide prophets of Allah. Therefore, Muslims charge that the original revelation to the Jewish and Christian prophets (who were all prophets of Allah) has been altered and distorted. This charge takes two forms. Either it is claimed that (1) the writings of the Bible even in their original form were distorted, or (2) the original Christian documents supporting porting Islam were tampered with after the fact. The second claim provides the better argument for the Muslim since the Qur'an endorses the divine authority of the Old Testament and the Gospels (Qur'an 4:48, 136; 5:47-51, 68-71; 10:94).

But … the New Testament has been transmitted with integrity. Moreover, the Old Testament texts from Muhammad's day are substantially similar to what we read in our Bibles today. The claim that Jews or Christians had radically changed the original documents is logically unsupportable. First, the magnitude of the change would have been enormous. All references from the Bible that contradict Islam would had to have been inserted into the documents. That would have included the Trinity, the incarnation, the crucifixion of Jesus, salvation through faith alone and more. Second, given the rapid dissemination of the New Testament in the ancient world, it would have been impossible for any group to seize and alter all the texts at hand. Third, we know of no early Christian texts of the New Testament that lack these distinctively Christian doctrines.

Islam faces another obstacle in establishing its accusation that the Bible has been radically altered such that it no longer teaches the truths of Islam. The Qur'an, supposedly received from Allah by Muhammad from 610 to 632, tells the reader to consult the Christian Scriptures to corroborate the veracity of Muhammad's message and his status as a prophet.
But if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to you, ask those who read the Book before you; certainly the truth has come to you from your Lord, therefore you should not be of the disputers. (Qur'an 10:94; see also 5:47-51, 72; 19:29-30; 21:7; 29:46-47)
Gleason Archer summarizes the Qur'an's teaching by noting first that "the author of the Quran firmly believed in the full inspiration of the Old Testament and the Gospels of the New Testament as containing the authoritative Word of God, and secondly that the Hebrew-Christian Bible should be appealed to in confirmation that what is revealed in the Qur'an is the very truth of God." Yet manuscripts of the Bible from this time period are in substantial agreement with what we read in our Bibles today. Archer observes:
It is completely out of the question to discredit the text of Holy Scripture as no longer conforming to what was current in Muhammad's time, from A.D. 610-632. Complete manuscripts of the New Testament copied out in the fourth century (Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus) and the fifth century tury (Codex Alexandrinus), antedate the revelation of the Qur'an by three centuries.
Therefore, when the Qur'an says to consult the Christian Scriptures for the verification of the truth of Islam, it contradicts itself. The extant Christian Scriptures of Muhammad's day teach that God is a Trinity, that Christ is the incarnation of God, and that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ-all doctrines that Islam rejects.

Furthermore, Jesus, whom the Qur'an esteems as a prophet, endorsed the Old Testament as God's revelation (Matthew 5:17-20; John 10:35). He deemed his own teaching to be in accordance with that previous disclosure from God. Yet, as we will see, Islam denies crucial claims about Jesus.

Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (pp 604-606)

3.01.2017

Basic Muslim Doctrine and Practice - Divine decrees and predestination



Six key doctrines constitute the worldview of Islam, which are found in sura 2:177 of the Quran:
  1. Divine decrees and predestination. Allah is absolutely sovereign and views humans as his slaves, not his friends or his servants (Qur'an 17:16; 59:23; 74:31; 35:8). While Christianity and Judaism stress the providence of God, Islam does so to the extent that petitionary prayer is excluded. Prayer involves reciting parts of the Qur'an and invoking Allah's power, but does not include personal requests to affect his will.
On these six doctrines are placed the five pillars that make up the practices of Islam.


  1. The first is the confession of Allah as God and Muhammad as his prophet (shahada). On the basis of this belief one is considered a Muslim-that is, one who submits to Allah. This act does not change the being of the person, however. One has simply confessed a belief, which implies a commitment to live accordingly. 
  2. Second, Muslims must engage in five daily prayers, facing Mecca (salat). These prayers are highly ritualized and physical, and require ablutions and proper postures. There is little sense of spontaneous prayer and no personal petition. 
  3. Third, Muslims are required to give alms (zakat), which amount to 2.5 percent of their profits to an Islamic charity. 
  4. Fourth, a yearly monthlong long fast during daylight is required (Ramadan). 
  5. Fifth, if at all possible every Muslim is to make one pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Islam (hajj).


Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Kindle Locations 6516-6523). Kindle Edition.

Basic Muslim Doctrine and Practice - The judgment of God



Six key doctrines constitute the worldview of Islam, which are found in sura 2:177 of the Quran:
  1. The judgment of God. Nearly every chapter of the Qur'an speaks vehemently of the last judgment of Allah, and speaks far more often of hell than of paradise. If a person's good deeds outbalance the bad deeds (the score is kept by angels), he or she may hope for paradise as a reward. However, since Allah is regarded as utterly sovereign and free, an individual cannot know whether he might receive mercy or severity in the afterlife (Qur'an 36:54; 53:38). However, it is certain that a man cannot be certain of his eternal condition-unless he dies in a genuine jihad. Then his destiny is certain: endless life in the company of multiple, heavenly virgins.
Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Kindle Locations 6512-6515). Kindle Edition.

Basic Muslim Doctrine and Practice - The holy books



Six key doctrines constitute the worldview of Islam, which are found in sura 2:177 of the Quran:
  1. The holy books. Muslims believe that some of the prophets received divinely inspired books. Thus they accept the Torah (Taurat) as from Moses, the Psalms (Zabur) from David, the Gospel (Injil) from Jesus and the Qur'an from Muhammad as divinely revealed holy books. The Qur'an, however, is deemed the final and ultimate authority, having been directly revealed to Muhammad and flawlessly preserved since its inception. Where the Bible contradicts the Qur'an-as it often does-the Qur'an is deemed to be correct and the Bible in error.
Douglas Groothuis. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (Kindle Locations 6509-6512). Kindle Edition.

Basic Muslim Doctrine and Practice - Prophets


Six key doctrines constitute the worldview of Islam, which are found in sura 2:177 of the Quran:
  1. Prophets. Allah inspires prophets to declare his message of submission to humanity. The first prophet was Adam, the first human. There are many others, including Moses, David, John the Baptist and Jesus (Qur'an 3:84), who is also known as the Messiah, sinless and a worker of wonders. About twenty-five prophets are named in the Qur'an, but Muslim tradition affirms as many as 124,000 prophets. However, the last prophet, "the seal of the prophets" (Qur'an 33:40), is Muhammad, who received God's final and perfect revelation, the Qur'an. This was received by Muhammad over about a twenty-two-year period (A.D. 610-632)  and was collected and edited after his death. Another large group of writings, known as the Hadith, record events from the life of Muhammad. While these are not as authoritative as the Qur'an, they are consulted for doctrine and practice by Muslims and are thus very important for Islam. 
Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, pp 601-ff

Basic Muslim Doctrine and Practice - Angels and Demons


Six key doctrines constitute the worldview of Islam, which are found in sura 2:177 of the Quran:
  1. Angels and demons. Islam affirms the reality of finite, immaterial beings. These are angels who are under Allah's control. Two angels list all the deeds of humans, both good and bad, and these deeds are produced on the Day of Judgment (Qur'an 50:17-18; 53:5-10; 81:20). In addition  to angels, there are spirits known as jinn, both good and evil. The Qur'an itself was supposedly revealed through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. Muslims also believe in the existence of a chief evil spirit known as Satan.
Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, pp 601-ff

Basic Muslim Doctrine and Practice - God



Six key doctrines constitute the worldview of Islam, which are found in sura 2:177 of the Quran:
  1. God. Islam insists that there is but one God, whose name is Allah. Allah, a personal God, is the creator, lawgiver and judge of the universe. In Arabic, Allah is grammatically incapable of the plural construction: Allah is the one and only God. The utter transcendence and oneness of God is repeatedly and militantly affirmed by Islam. Islam thus insists that God has no son or cohort. Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Marium; and the Messiah said:  Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust. Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve. (surah 5:72-73)
Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics, pp 601-ff

2.27.2017

The Immigration Continuum - Time to End "the Shrill"




Comments:
  • The yellow - green - yellow continuum is my creation. Click on it to enlarge.
  • The Libertarian view is here: "Libertarians believe that people should be able to travel freely as long as they are peaceful. We welcome immigrants who come seeking a better life. The vast majority of immigrants are very peaceful and highly productive. Indeed, the United States is a country of immigrants, of all backgrounds and walks of life…some families have just been here for more generations than others. Newcomers bring great vitality to our society. A truly free market requires the free movement of people, not just products and ideas. Whether they are from India or Mexico, whether they have advanced degrees or very little education, immigrants have one great thing in common: they bravely left their familiar surroundings in search of a better life. Many are fleeing extreme poverty and violence and are searching for a free and safe place to try to build their lives. We respect and admire their courage and be proud that they see the United States as a place of freedom, stability, and prosperity. Of course, if someone has a record of violence, credible plans for violence, or acts violently, then Libertarians support blocking their entry, deporting, and/or prosecuting and imprisoning them, depending on the offense."
  • The Phase down mass migration view is here: "Phase Immigration Down so we can Phase Americans Back In! Immigration is an optional program that is supposed to respond to the needs and desires of the American people. Our government can and should determine admission levels based on what’s best for America, but that's not happening.
  • The Constitutional view is [duh] from the Constitution
  • Observations:
    • Even the Libertarian view is not an absolutist view: "f someone has a record of violence, credible plans for violence, or acts violently, then Libertarians support blocking their entry, deporting, and/or prosecuting and imprisoning them, depending on the offense". It's not anti-Constitutional! It's not the John Lennon - "Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for" - view!
    • I tend towards the Libertarian view on many things - I can say that I personally do not hold this view (but I am close to it) and I've never met a true Libertarian who has expressed this view
    • On the other extreme, I personally have never met anyone who has exposed this view
    • On the extremes: The "yellows" are over-represented in size in my continuum chart for the sole purpose of having enough space for the text!
    • Back to the Constitutional view - note the text: "The Congress shall have the power ..."
    • We have a crisis today because the Congress has punted! We have laws on the books that have not been followed, exacerbating the immigration crisis
    • On the "shrill": Trump's position is not substantially different than Bill Clinton's
  • Notable attempts at reform: