question circumcision

what circumcision does not do

Allegedly a panacea, or at least an effective preventive measure, for everything from masturbation caused epilepsy * to cervical cancer to now the spread of AIDS (HIV), circumcision has nothing to do with any of these things as the foreskin’s presence or absence does not affect cervical cancer rates **, has nothing to do with masturbation habits or practices, and does not play a significant role in transmission of HIV (we have looked over some of the “studies” purportedly showing circumcision as a factor in reducing transmission of HIV and these studies have some serious limitations and flaws).  Amputation of the foreskin (and that is what circumcision in the US is) is not medically necessary nor justified.

 

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Why do we allow this?

If you or I strap down a cat or dog and then proceed with a wrench or industrial size pliers to rip or tear off its limbs and crush its skull, if found out, we would be arrested and prosecuted on various criminal charges in all 50 states of the USA.

Yet, what we just described above is done to very small human children in their mothers’ wombs each and every day throughout the US.  It is called abortion.  For the politically correct and the “progressive”, this grisly practice is called “a woman’s right”, or simply her “choice”.

Why do we allow this?

 

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Sharia Law is not compatible with American freedoms

Sharia Law is not compatible with the US Constitution.  Thus, if someone claims that he/she is a Muslim and also asserts that he/she is a good American – that person cannot have it both ways.  If he or she is not advocating for the adoption and/or application of Sharia Law in the US, then he/she is a lax Muslim.  If an individual is a “good” American, then that person knows that religious law cannot be applied in the country (it cannot be binding within the Muslim community as our courts will not recognize it as valid).  As well, truth be told, Sharia Law is in stark contradiction to our Constitution, our values, and our traditions as it does not recognize nor acknowledge many of our Constitutional rights.  Sharia Law is alien and antithetical to Western civilization.  Beware those that are attempting to introduce this Trojan Horse into our society.

copyright 2015 – larrysmusings.com

circumcision: dialog with a pediatric nurse

There are many myths surrounding routine infant male circumcision in the United States.

What is rarely thought about by parents when they consider letting the doctors and/or interns circumcise their son(s) is the child’s right to bodily integrity.  And, too many Americans (including US pediatricians) are woefully ignorant as to the function of the foreskin.

We thought we would share this recent exchange between us and a circumcisionist over on YouTube (the link to the video with comments is below).

 

circumcision in the US

 

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remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 

Hyatt lobby 2

 

For purposes of our essay, the above metal figure will serve as a cenotaph for the nameless dead.

As we mark the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August), what are we to think?  What lessons, however painful, can we draw from these truly terrible actions?  Between the 2 atomic bombings, more than one hundred thousand people died in the first hours, and many thousands more died in the days and weeks after.  Many of the dead and dying and horribly maimed were women, children, and old people.

It is wrong, in fact it is criminal, to wage war on non-combatants and on civilian population centers.  At least, that is what we read in the indictment for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials held after the end of the war in Europe.  However, for that prohibition to mean anything it must be applied to all parties to an armed conflict.  If it is not wrong for the victors to wage (or have waged) war on non-combatants, then we have sunk to the law of the jungle where might makes right.

Immoral means are not morally licit in the prosecution or conduct of a “just” war.  (One of our earliest essays addressed this.  See link below.)

Before continuing, let us add here that we vehemently condemn the barbaric and gruesome experiments conducted on human beings in occupied Manchuria by the Japanese Imperial Army in the 1930s and 1940s (the infamous unit 731).

We are familiar with the argument that the use of the atomic bombs saved many US lives. The assumption here is that Japan would not have surrendered otherwise and thus a US military invasion of Japan’s home islands would have been necessary.  However, this is something that can be debated back and forth without reaching certainty.  Around the same time in August, 1945, the Soviet Union’s military forces were moving into Manchuria and quickly defeated the Japanese forces there leaving Japan without many military assets left with which to continue the war.  Did the US really know the Japanese thinking at the time?  It is likely that the Japanese realized that a US invasion, although it would give the Japanese a final opportunity to inflict heavy losses on the Americans, would ultimately succeed and lead to many more Japanese losses as well.  Japan was already blockaded, the country already depleted from several months of heavy Allied conventional bombing, and would not have been able to resist for very long.

Some history students may speculate that the atomic bombs were used in part to intimidate the Soviet Union after its recent victory and conquest of eastern and central Europe.  The use of the bombs showed the world that the US not only possessed such terrible weapons but also had the will to use them.

Some readers may now say that the previous 2 paragraphs actually make the case that dropping the bombs was justified.  However, this ends justifies the means conclusion is still very troubling to many people.  This argument becomes less abstract when one views the old news reels filmed in the days immediately following the atomic bombings.  One realizes more tangibly what the effect was on human beings on the ground.  And, we are talking here about human beings, civilians of another country who had very little say in their government’s policies.  These civilians were not responsible for earlier Japanese aggression.

But the issue of threats to civilians and civilian casualties in wartime is larger than the atomic bombings on Japan.

In November, 1969, President Nixon ordered the US to dismantle its offensive biological weapons program (begun during World War II by order of Franklin Roosevelt).  The Soviet Union, however, ignored this gesture and continued its biological warfare program until 1990.  The USSR is responsible for, among other biological agents, the remaining existence of small pox, and the development of a more virulent strain of bubonic plague (known to history as the Black Death in the mid 1300s in Europe).  We also note the use of Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant, in the Vietnam War by the US no doubt led to many birth defects and cancers among the civilian population of that country.

The individuals – scientists and technicians – who work to develop biological weapons, which if used could (likely would) spread far beyond the war zone or area of conflict, are doing evil work.

We must be vigilant and work to oppose those who insist that resources be used to develop additional deadly means of conducting war where the impact of such means cannot be limited to an enemy’s armed forces.  We are now stuck with nuclear weapons, whose effects are widespread with nuclear fall-out.  These cannot be uninvented and realistically can never be eliminated completely.  Humanity would be better served if we do not invent nor develop more such weapons (such as new biological plagues) whose deadly effects cannot be limited to the battlefield.  One wonders about the deterrent effect of additional and new “doomsday” weapons.  For the nation states that possess a nuclear arsenal, if that existing nuclear capability is not sufficient deterrent, how are new biological or chemical weapons going to deter potential enemies?

Mankind will not be “civilized” until the killing and abuse – in all their forms – of innocent human beings stops.

Helpful links:

https://larrysmusings.com/2012/06/21/wars-just-causes-war-crimes-civilian-non-combatant-casualties-world-war-ii-moral-philosophy/

http://www.virtualbiosecuritycenter.org/blog/op-ed-the-biological-weapons-program-of-the-soviet-union

Thanks for reading.

How do you effectively condemn the violence without contributing to counter hatreds?

How do you effectively condemn the violence without contributing to counter hatreds?

 

flowers 2

 

The genesis of this essay is from some recent interactions and discussions over on Facebook.  I, along with others, have been adamant in condemning the unprovoked violence being committed by Muslims around the globe.  However, such unequivocal condemnations may potentially give rise to, or encourage, hatred of Muslims.  We do not want our opposition to the violence and hatred coming from some Muslims to serve to provoke hatred of Muslims on the part of non-Muslims.  Resistance to Muslim violence, yes, but not hatred.

Before continuing with our thoughts, a brief and partial listing of current Muslim outrages is appropriate so as to remove our very valid concerns with this ongoing violence from the abstract for our readers, and place these concerns in a real world context.  As well, one must keep in mind that most of this violence is independent of, and unrelated to, Muslim anger over Israel’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians (approximately 70% of whom are Muslim), and independent of US actions in the Middle East.

Women are being raped by Muslim immigrants in Europe.  This is occurring on the Continent, in the UK, and in Scandinavia (recent news on rapes in Norway).  This behavior is not limited to Europe.  In Indonesia (formerly the Dutch East Indies), the very small Chinese (largely Christian) minority is subject to frequent abuse by the Muslim (Javanese, Sundanese and Malay) majority.  The women and girls are raped so as to humiliate and degrade them.  After these girls are so humiliated and thus “lose face”, they sometimes commit suicide.  This is no exaggeration.  (Back in 2001, when reports of this were in the international news. I spoke with a (at that time) coworker who was from Indonesia and she confirmed that the Chinese Christian minority is abused frequently there.)  Rapes of Christian girls occur every day in Pakistan (as household or domestic servants they are often raped by their Muslim employers).  Such unconscionable behavior demonstrates that Muslims do not respect women and girls.

The killings of gays by Muslims in many Muslim countries.  Opposition to homosexuality on moral grounds does not excuse, justify, or allow for the murders of gays.  Case closed.

Lastly, we mention the current (and ongoing) violent and murderous persecutions of Christian minorities in Pakistan, Iraq, and in Egypt.  Christians are beaten and killed by Muslim mobs.  Churches, homes, schools, and places of business are destroyed.  (And, Muslims have trouble getting along well with Hindus in India and with Buddhists in southern Thailand.)

Muslims frequently deny that such violence is occurring, or claim that it is condemned in Islam.  However, in the Muslim countries listed above, there is not much de facto legal protection or legal recourse available for non-Muslims who have been victimized by violent crimes.  The civil authorities (often corrupt themselves) usually do not care when the victims of violence are non-Muslims (“infidels”, non believers in Islam).

(One wonders why Muslims are so militantly intolerant as regards other faiths or belief systems.  Could it be that they feel threatened by the existence of other faiths?  If so, why so?  Could it be, that deep in their hearts, Muslims are unsure as to the “truth” of Islam.  It does make one wonder.  Muslims are not allowed to learn about other religions in the schools in Muslim dominated nations.  You will not find any thing like a comparative religions course offered in their colleges or universities.)

So, the thought came to me, how can we condemn such violence and injustice committed by Muslims, and not incite nor contribute to hatred of Muslims?  This is a very real risk and thus a valid concern.  There may not be an easy answer here.  Muslim violence naturally causes anger in the innocent victims and their loved ones.  Anger can lead one to hate.  (If only Muslims could alter their attitudes towards others.  If only Muslims could reject their patterns and habits of violence.)  However, as an escalating, vicious cycle of violence is not conducive to peace, justice, and harmony among peoples, we must not adopt hateful attitudes.  Rejecting hateful attitudes is not a sign of weakness, but rather an indication of character strength and maturity.  As well, the danger of falling prey to hate (a strong and destructive emotion) is that hatred makes it very difficult to achieve and maintain objectivity (and rationality) in one’s thought processes.  One’s thinking becomes warped by harboring hatred.

Consciously be on guard and do not let hate take root inside you.  We see too many people driven by hate in this world.  Hate is not going to solve our many problems.

As we condemn the violence, and work to end it, let us also caution one another not to give in to the impulse to hate the victimizers.  Do not cultivate hate in your heart.

We wish to stress the following.

1.  People have a fundamental right (often violated, sorry to say) to religious freedom.  We condemn religious based hate and the persecutions of religious minorities.

2.  Human beings have a right to be free from violence and intimidation.  They have a right to their personal security and safety.  A right to live in peace.

3.  Human beings – both individually and collectively – have a right to self-defense.

In closing, an observation and a few words to the Muslims.  It is clear to most people that much (read: most) of the non-Muslim world is really not interested in converting (either voluntarily or by force) to Islam.  You Muslims need to accept this fact.  Your violence and violations of human rights are serving to increase the resistance to you and your religion.  Why not try living in peace with your neighbors?!  A radical thought.