Friday, May 13, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Coming to Islam
From whence Islam cometh:
Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh (Arabic: ﷴ; Transliteration: Muḥammad;[n 1] pronounced [mʊˈħæmmæd] ( listen); also spelled Muhammed or Mohammed)[n 2][n 3][n 4] (ca. 570/571 Mecca[مَكَةَ ]/[ مَكَهْ ] – June 8, 632), was the founder of the religion of Islam, and is regarded by Muslims as a messenger and prophet of God (Arabic: الله Allāh), the last law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets, and, by most Muslims,[n 5] the last prophet as taught by the Qur'an 33:40–40. Muslims thus consider him the restorer of an uncorrupted original monotheistic faith (islām) of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets. He was also active as a diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, reformer, military general, and, according to Muslim belief, an agent of divine action.
Born in 570 in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at an early age and brought up under the care of his uncle Abu Talib. He later worked mostly as a merchant, as well as a shepherd, and was first married by age 25. Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him (lit. islām) is the only way (dīn)[n 6] acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as other Islamic prophets.
From whom the story of Islam and its prophet were revealed to me:
Revalation the second:
Karen Armstrong FRSL (born 14 November 1944 in Wildmoor, Worcestershire) is a British author of numerous works on comparative religion, who first rose to prominence in 1993 with her highly successful A History of God. A former Roman Catholic nun, she asserts that, "All the great traditions are saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences." They each have in common, she says, an emphasis on the transcendent importance of compassion, as epitomized in the so-called Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Awarded the $100,000 TED Prize in February 2008, she called for drawing up a Charter for Compassion in the spirit of the Golden Rule, to identify shared moral priorities across religious traditions, in order to foster global understanding. It was unveiled in Washington, D.C. in November 2009. Signatories include Prince Hassan of Jordan, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Richard Branson.
Whom unto me did reveal knowledge of the author, Karen Armstrong, whose scholarship I could always trust.
Revelation the first:
Leonard Shlain (August 28, 1937 – May 11, 2009) was an American surgeon and writer; he authored three books.
Dr. Shlain was Chairman of Laparoscopic surgery at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and was an Associate Professor of Surgery at UCSF.
He was a speaker at such venues as the Smithsonian, Harvard University, Salk Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center and the European Union's Ministers of Culture. In 1999, he was a contributor to Academic Press' Encyclopedia of Creativity, edited by Mark Runco and Steven Pritzker.
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image is a book by Leonard Shlain, published in 1999 by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The Author theorizes pheontic alphabets transform the mind and influence the relationships between men and women. He further argues that while pre-literate and illiterate peoples venerate a Goddess, her associated images and her nurturing qualities, literate cultures venerate Gods and are characterized by patriarchy. Drawing on the history of the Israel, Egypt, Greece, Pagan and Christian Rome, The Far East, and Islam, the author examines history based his theory.
He who introduced me to the revealers
Mike Huston, professional bridge player and labor aritrater, former Professor of Englichs Literature, and the most well-read human being I know advised me of Karen Armstrong's writings. Mike also advised me the writings of and in particular, Leonard Shlain's The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image.
She who said, “Call my father.”
One evening I stopped into the only local gas station in town on the East side of Hough Street. I mentioned to the young high school woman that I was considering converting to Islam. She smiled, dropped what she was doing, picked up a pen, and wrote her telephone number. “Call my father,” she said. And I did.
And the rest, well, the rest of it is being continually revealed.
Addendum: And I must tell you this: Since my conversion to Islam, scales have fallen from my eyes and it has been revealed to me that the Lord of Hosts, the Creator of All the Worlds, loves ME, as he LOVES EVERY ATOM of HIS CREATION. Watching the well behaved Muslim children in church, discussing scripture and theory with the learned church elders, going to interfaith out reach programs, all of this has become very vivid; very much alive. And I see the hand of God and His Angels everywhere.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It only costs $281.00 to file the papers for the creation of a new political party. Care to be party to this moment?
SO ... who is gonna pony up for the We Ain't Stupid People Peoples' Party (a.k.a The WASP P's)?
Send your check for $1.00 payable to
@ 1004 S Grove Ave.
Barrington, IL 60010-5025
Rheka Basa is the finest reporter in America. She writes a bi-weekly opinion column for the Des Moines Register.
Morgan De Lac is an emmy-award winning photo journalist who is the editor of Patch, Barrington - the local online news magazine and photo journal.
I passed this along to both of them in full knowledge that should the story be pursued with strong resources, a pulitzer prize would definetly be a possible reward.
But even more rewarding would be an informed American public.
Greetings Rheka, Morgan
I pass along the tale of my recent emergency room treatment as examples both of what is right with and wrong with hospital care in the U.S.A.
Last Wednesday morning, with shortness of breath, exhaustion, hunger, cold, I asked the wonderful staff at Caribou Coffee in Libertyville to call 9-1-1 for me, which they not only did, but walked me to a chair, and got me a glass of ice water. The Emergency Tech staff came and did their thing - giving me oxygen, and putting me on an IV. The hospital intake and support staffs did their thing, finding (as always) that I had an upper respiratory infection and needed anti-biotics.
At this juncture, I need to point out that my upper respiratory thing had been festering for three weeks, but I am too febble minded to figure such things out. I should have seen my own physician after about 72 hours, and he would have prescribed anti-biotics and it would be a thing of the past. BUT ... this exemlifies one of the problems with health care in this country. My own physician treats me gratis, so I could have "afforded" to do so. But US residents not so lucky to have such a compassionate medical doctor friend would have not been able to have afforded to see the doctor, and would have followed the same course I did.
Of course, I was very lucky not to have developed walking pneumonia. So far, I have not, but no where is it written that I will always be so lucky.
After the emergency passed, and my oxygen intake was back to almost 100%, things in the hospital became much more lax. I found the staff's inability to answer my nurses requests, or meet their scheduled testing to be quite unprofessional. So much so, that I checked out, Against Medical Advice at 8:38 in the morning. Sadly, I was not able to retrieve my cigarettes, nor my beers.
But, NOW, here is the BAD BAD UGLY side of hospital care in the USA (certainly not all hospitals are as inept / corrupt as Condell, but, most assuredly, SOME are).
On Monday, I received in the mail, a bill for $15,000 for my THREE day stay at Condell.
THREE DAYS? Wait, one over night = 1
One morning after = 2
One sign out AMA the morning after still - 2.
THUS, they ripped ME off (except I have insurance now) and will rip off the insurer, unless SOMEBODY (it will be me) exercises due diligence and reports their ineptitude / corruption, to the appropriate governing bodies. And such an activity takes time, and follow through, and almost nobody has it or does it. Similar thing happened with my brother, who was billed for in-hospital services rendered on three consecutive days, each of which occurred subsequently to his death.
These are not isolate incidents, and the more the public knows, the more pressure can be brought to bear ON THE HOSPITALS to clean up their act, speaking of which, the Boston globe reported some time in the past year how local hospitals there were able to reduce their patient mortality by 75% merely by requiring that hospital personnel WASH THEIR HANDS! This, is the state of hospital care in the 21st century.
AND, this is most pathetic.