Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Back in 1980 I was the largest gold scrap dealer in New York. I bought millions of dollars every month of gold and silver, coins, currency, pearls, scrap jewelry, stamps, collectibles, antiques, ivory, and so on. Customers would bring in old gold to sell at any one of more than a dozen retail outlets in the city. I also had a number of stores in New Jersey.
Once in a while I would work behind the counter and tend to business. Here's an event that happened at least once a week: a man walks in sporting a two-carat engagement ring. He wants to sell it and asks how much can he get for it. I look at the stone for about two seconds and say $50.00. "$50.00!!!!?" He looks startled. "Isn't that a $10,000 diamond?"
I tell him no. I already know the story: Someone gave him a story about needing cash and being unable to sell the ring himself because he didn't want his ex to know he was selling the ring. The con artist was willing to accept $1,000.00 and even offered to let the mark get the diamond appraised by any local jeweler. Of course the ring would be appraised for much more than $10,000 but somewhere between that appraisal and the mark's parting of his cash the ring was switched with an exact duplicate but with cubic zirconia instead of the expensive diamond.
Now I have this fellow standing in front of me asking how I can tell so quickly that it's not a diamond, perhaps I could test it to make sure. I see his legs shaking a bit. It's bad enough not making a big score, it's even worse losing a thousand dollars. I ascertain my previous opinion with a diamond testing machine. So here's the deal. Wishful thinking made him see a diamond where there was only a fake. And in every instance no one wants to believe me unless I subject the stone to a non-human test. My expert opinion is in fact more reliable than a machine test which can, in certain instances, be fooled.
I know some of the problem is that I offer my expert analysis rather quickly, after no more than a few seconds. Perhaps if I made some show of looking closely at the ring, scratching my head, holding it up to the light at different angles and then after 5 or 6 excruciating minutes of looking up refractive indices in a big book with gold letters, if I then pronounced the stone as a fake they would have taken my expertise more seriously.
I bring this incident up for a reason. Last Friday I wrote "If Hitler ran as a Democrat Jews would vote for him" where I speculate on an interesting coincidence: the banner being held by Muslim supporters seems somewhat similar to the flag of Hamas. During the past two days there have been over a few hundred hits from a forum called Genmay wherein a few of the forum regulars skewered my blog for being bigoted and paranoid.
One of the posters wondered how there could be any relevance just because they are both green [interestingly they are not just green but both are the same shade of an unusual green]. How naive and immature these poor fools are. It could very well be that this is an outrageous coincidence of color. But I am not making any accusations that St Patrick's Day parade is a front for Hamas. The question that I posed was a legitimate one. Both the banners and Hamas flags were produced by Muslims. And not just any Muslims but those who have the audacity of imposing their religious restrictions on taxi passengers in America. If they wanted to do so in Somali I would have no problem but this is our country not theirs.
And as for being bigoted, these idiots have no idea what the term means. A bigot is a person who is strongly partial to his own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ. I am an atheist Jew. I am tolerant of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Shintos, and even Wiccans. If I were a bigot I would be intolerant of everyone except atheist Jews. I despise Islam not because every Muslim is a terrorist nor because Muslims are different than me, but because I cannot separate those who are a danger to our country from those who are not.
I am a Libertarian but I have no problem with Conservatives, Republicans and Independents. I despise Democrats but not because they are different than me, but because they are a danger to our country and I cannot separate those who are useful idiots from those that are not.
So my loathing of Islam is not because of some bigoted intolerance due to religious or political differences but precisely because of my expertise. I have read the Qur'an in Arabic. I have read extensively of the history of Islam. After 61 years of extensive traveling and living with Muslims I think I have some expertise to my view on Islam. Those who flippantly ignore the threat of Islam do so under wishful thinking. They have never read the Qur'an nor have they had any experience traveling to Muslim countries or living with any Muslims. They are just hoping that Islam is no threat. But they are deluding themselves. Just as the poor mark who got suckered with a cubic zirconia, these useful idiots have bought into the propaganda that one must be tolerant of all religions and politics, regardless. This is the same delusional thinking that permitted the Nazis to come to power. That was the great delusion of the previous century. That we must be tolerant of Muslims is the great delusion of this century.