There be dragons!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Incomprehensible and therefore Funny

I found this on a website about the Koran:

Gerd Puin, the world’s leading specialist in Arabic calligraphy and Qur’anic paleography, studying the oldest manuscripts, speaks with disdain about the willingness of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to accept Islamic dogma. He says: “The Qur’an claims for itself that it is ‘mubeen,’ or clear, but if you just look at it, you will see that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn’t make sense. Many Muslims will tell you otherwise, but the fact is that a fifth of the Qur’an is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Qur’an is not comprehensible, if it can’t even be understood in Arabic, then it’s not translatable into any language."

It figures.

Friday, October 5, 2007

On Mercantilism

Mercantilism was the theory that gathering the limited supply of wealth in the world is vital to the survival of a nation; thus mercantilists insisted on very strict government control of trade and commerce. Well, if that's the case then the Stamp Act, Tea Tax, and all other impositions by the British government on trade in the Colonies make sense. The same taxes et alia were imposed in Britain to almost 3 times the amount they were in the colonies, yet Britain didn't revolt. Why not? B/c the colonists had discovered how wealthy they could become if the government left them the hell alone. So our entire Revolution owes a big tip of the hat to the laissez-faire economics that runs in opposition to mercantilism.

Moreover, in our century (20th) FDR tried the same trick as King George; the New Deal laid a heavy series of taxes and controls on big commerce and trade and consolidated American votes in Washington with the excuse that they were "looking out for the little guy." They weren't. It was mercantilism under another form. And the damage that FDR did to the economy and the government didn't even begin to be undone until Reaganomics in the 1980s.