These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 1, 2011.
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Germany hits back after Turkish PM tells immigrants to resist assimilation
From The Guardian
Germany has hit back at explosive remarks by Turkey's prime minister, who told his compatriots that they should learn Turkish before German and resist assimilation into German society.
During a visit to Germany, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told 10,000 members of Germany's large Turkish community of his "growing unease" about the way immigrants are treated in Germany.
"You must integrate, but I am against assimilation ... no one may ignore the rights of minorities," he said, adding that individuals should have the right to practise their own faith. "Our children must learn German but they must learn Turkish first,"
Though his speech reflected Turkey's unease about what many Turks perceive to be Europe's increasing xenophobia, it was also an attempt to drum up votes. There is a general election in Turkey in June and for the first time Turks abroad will be able to vote at Turkish consulates. Germany, with almost two million eligible voters, will be the fourth largest constituency after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
On Saturday, Erdogan made an even sharper criticism of German immigration policy, telling the Rheinische Post newspaper that forced integration requiring immigrants to suppress their culture and language violated international law.
Erdogan's newspaper comments were published alongside those of a senior German politician who complained of discrimination against Christians in Turkey. The Conservative parliamentary floor leader, Volker Kauder, told the same paper that land belonging to a Christian monastery in Turkey known as Mor Gabriel was being expropriated, which he said showed that the Muslim country lacked religious freedom. "I urge the EU to not open any more negotiation chapters with Turkey as long as Turkey does not guarantee full freedom of religion," Kauder said.
The seizure of the Monastery's land has also caused concern in Holland. This is from Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
Two rulings by Turkey's Supreme Court mean that municipalities near the 1600-year-old Mor Gabriel Monastery can legally seize 50 of its hectares. The monastery is the oldest and most important monastery of Turkey's Syrian Orthodox minority.
While Turkey keenly defends religious freedom for Muslims in Europe and even sends imams to the Netherlands, the Dutch Christian Democrats (CDA) argues that, at home, the Turkish government flouts all international agreements regarding religious freedom. The CDA says Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal should summon the Turkish ambassador to lodge a formal protest.
Posted on 03/01/2011 2:47 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Niall Ferguson writes in Newsweek:
Americans love a revolution. Their own great nation having been founded by a revolutionary declaration and forged by a revolutionary war, they instinctively side with revolutionaries in other lands, no matter how different their circumstances, no matter how disastrous the outcomes. This chronic reluctance to learn from history could carry a very heavy price tag if the revolutionary wave currently sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East breaks with the same shattering impact as most revolutionary waves.
Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson hailed the French Revolution. “The French have served an apprenticeship to Liberty in this country,” wrote the former, “and now … they have set up for themselves.” Jefferson even defended the Jacobins, architects of the bloody Reign of Terror. “The liberty of the whole earth was depending on the issue of the contest,” he wrote in 1793, “and was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood? … Rather than [the revolution] should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated.”
In Ten Days That Shook the World, the journalist John Reed was equally enthusiastic about the Russian Revolution of 1917, a book for which Lenin himself (“great Lenin” to Reed) wrote an enthusiastic preface. Reed’s counterpart in China’s communist revolution was Edgar Snow, whose characterization of Mao—“He had the simplicity and naturalness of the Chinese peasant, with a lively sense of humor and a love of rustic laughter”—today freezes the blood.
Time and again, Americans have hailed revolutions, only to fall strangely silent as those same revolutions proceeded to devour not only their own children but many other people’s too. In each case the body count was in the millions.
So as you watch revolution sweeping through the Arab world (and potentially beyond), remember these three things about non-American revolutions:
They begin by challenging an existing political order, but the more violence is needed to achieve that end, the more the initiative passes to men of violence—Robespierre, Stalin, and the supremely callous Mao himself.
Because neighboring countries feel challenged by the revolution, internal violence is soon followed by external violence, either because the revolution is genuinely threatened by foreigners (as in the French and Russian cases) or because it suits the revolutionaries to blame an external threat for domestic problems (as when China intervened in the Korean War).
To which an American might reply: yes, but was all this not true of our revolution too? The American Revolution was protracted: five years elapsed between the Declaration of Independence and Yorktown. It was violent. And it was, of course, resisted from abroad. Yet the scale of the violence in the American Revolution was, by the standards of the other great revolutions of history, modest. Twenty times as many Frenchmen were killed in battle between 1792 and 1815 as Americans between 1775 and 1783. And, as Maya Jasanoff points out in her brilliant new book, Liberty’s Exiles, the losers in the American Revolution were not guillotined, or purged, or starved to death. Most of them simply left the 13 rebel colonies for more stable parts of the British Empire and got on with their lives.
There were other important differences too. The people who made the American Revolution were, by 18th-century standards, exceptionally well off and well educated. People in Libya today are closer to the sans-culottes of the Paris back streets, the lumpenproletariat of the Petrograd slums, or the illiterate peasants who flocked to Mao’s standard. And that is why the likelihood of large-scale and protracted violence is so much greater in the Arab world today than it ever was in North America in the 1770s. Poor, ill-educated young men. Around 40 million of them.
Continue reading here.
Posted on 03/01/2011 8:03 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
We Have a Winner!
Congratulations to George McCallum of Georgia for sending in the winning entry to February's crossword puzzle. He will receive an autographed copy of Allah Is Dead. Honorable mention goes to David Waterhouse of Ontario.
Congratulations and keep playing everyone!
Posted on 03/01/2011 8:08 AM by NER
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Book Deals Gone Bad
Thanks to Alan for bringing this gem to our attention:
THE LSE’s decision to confer a doctorate on Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Saif, and subsequently accept a £1.5 million grant from him, is already causing the university — and its director Howard Davies — deep embarrassment.
Now it transpires that this was not the end of the story. The Oxford University Press also did a deal with Saif Gaddafi to print his thesis in book form, a great honour as the OUP is regarded as a leader in academic publishing.
Furthermore, word reaches the Londoner that Saif was said to be so pleased that he had even offered to purchase 20,000 copies of the book, an order so large that it would have put it on the bestseller lists.
The OUP confirms that it has been in negotiations with Gaddafi Jr about the book, which was accepted on academic merit. However, as to whether it was expecting Gaddafi to pick up 20,000 copies, it couldn’t quite say. “Because of recent and on-going events in Libya, the publication of this title has been halted,” says a spokesman. “There’s nothing further I can add.” So have 20,000 copies of the PhD been printed? Are they still lurking somewhere in a warehouse? The OUP deal was clearly built on sand.
So, too, it seems was Saif’s thesis, The Role of Civil Society in the Democratisation of Global Governance Institutions. The LSE, which has now been redubbed the Libyan School of Economics, has agreed to investigate claims that the work might have been plagiarised.
Posted on 03/01/2011 1:08 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Hannoying Hamericanism of the Hweek
Not Vietnam, but closer to home - I have just returned from a business trip to Nottingham. Famous for Robin Hood, this city is also known for its spoonerising un-maid Marions who will invite you and every Little John to Friar Tuck. No wonder the men are so merrie.
Speaking of hanky panky, the name of this city has a phlegmatic derivation:
When it fell under the rule of a Saxon chieftain named Snot it became known as "Snotingaham"; the homestead of Snot's people (Inga = the people of; Ham = homestead). Snot brought together his people in an area now known as the Lace Market.
I digress. The reason I mention my trip to Snot's people's homestead is that the conductor on the train would keep pronouncing the name wrong, viz:
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the 8:15 service to Notting....hhham, calling at Market Harborough, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway and Notting....hhhhhhaam."
Then a bit later: "This station is Market Harborough." Where ought it to be? I wondered. "This train will call at Leicester, East Midlands Parkway and Nottig......hhhhhaam." Then again, and again, and finally: "This is Notting.....hhhhhhaaam. Notting...hhhhhhhaaaaaam will be our last station stop."
Quite apart from the "station stop" tautology, everyone knows that Nottingham is pronounced "Nottingum", just as Birmingham is "Birmingum", unless it's in Halabama. So what's with all this haspirating? Is it an Hamericanism?
Posted on 03/01/2011 1:09 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Aussie politicians Bernardi and Morrison, who expressed misgivings about Islam, are accused of 'hate' and 'racism' in Parliament
The debate about Islam appears to be hotting up in Australia. I wonder how long it will be before Mr Bernardi is accused of 'Islamophobia'?
From the ABC, Jeremy Thompson reporting.
'Wilkie contemns 'racism eating at Liberals'.
'In an extraordinary outburst in Federal Parliament, Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie (an independent - CM), has condemned what he describes [as] the "racism that eats at the Liberal Party".
'He singled out Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison and controversial Senator Cory Bernardi and demanded they be sacked over comments they made in recent weeks.
Hmmm. So Senator Bernardi, for merely criticising certain aspects of Islamic practice, is now 'controversial'. He is in good company; people like Geert Wilders are 'controversial', too. Let's see how long it takes before he is called 'far right'. - CM.
"As the families of the victims of the Christmas Island disaster buried their dead last month, we listened in disbelief as shadow minister for immigration and citizenship Scott Morrison took politics to a new low by whining over the cost of flying mourners to Sydney, including the orphan boy who probably watched his parents drown", Mr Wilkie said.
The people on that particular boat - some of them Christian, it must be said, for not all the funerals in Sydney were Islamic - drowned because Muslim people-smugglers sent an unseaworthy boat toward Christmas Island into the teeth of seas that they surely knew were dangerous. - CM.
'He accused Senator Bernardi of "rants whipping up the fear of Islam" and quoted him as saying, "I, for one, don't want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth-century brutality and is an anathema to my own values".
Mr Wilkie: how would you describe an ideology that permits adult men to wed and bed prepubescent girls? an ideology that primes Egyptian Muslim soldiers with tanks and rifle fire to attack unarmed Coptic monks whilst howling 'allahu akbar!'? - CM.
'Mr Wilkie compared the Senator's remarks to former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's maiden speech in which she claimed Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians.
This comparison is wrong-headed. Hanson, if I recall correctly, was genuinely racist - and Islam wasn't even a blip on her radar screen (the 'Asians' she feared were East Asians - Vietnamese, Chinese and Koreans - most of whom are hard-working, intermarry with other Australians, and a good few of whom are Christian). Bernardi by contrast is not objecting to people's ethnicity; he is objecting to ideas and practices that are manifestly cruel and barbaric. One might accuse him of 'intolerance' or 'bigotry' - though what is intolerant or bigoted about objecting to Islam, one of the most bigoted and intolerant belief systems humans have ever come up with? - but not of racism. - CM.
"I say to Mr Morrison and Senator Bernardi, you are a disgrace - a disgrace to the high office you hold and the people you represent", Mr Wilkie said.
'Senator Bernardi told ABC News Online that Mr Wilkie was a hypocrite.
"Nick Xenophon criticsed Scientology, Bob Brown wanted a register of businesses run by the Exclusive Brethren, and Kevin Rudd said he had concerns about some religious practices.
Bravo, Senator Bernardi! That's socking it to them. - CM.
"How can you be called a racist for questioning a religious practice?
'My comments were all in regard to religious practice, not in regard to race or ethnicity.
'I've been a defender of people's rights to practice religion".
You need to clarify here, Mr Bernardi. Why not adduce the example of the suppression of the Thuggee cult, or the suppression of Sati, or the suppression of Mormon polygyny in the USA, in order to get people to realize that the right to 'practice religion' cannot be absolute? Any ' religion' that prescribes and permits gross abuse - up to and including, in certain circumstances, rape and murder - of children, women, and non-members ought not be be allowed to practise its abuses, no matter how noble and 'sacred' and lawful its adherents may believe those abuses to be. - CM.
'Mr Wilkie, however, called for the dismissal of Mr Morrison and Senator Bernardi.
"And i say to Mr Abbott, you must lance this boil once and for all", he said.
"It is not good enough to dismiss the hate inhabiting the dark corners of the Liberal Party and the widespread concern it engenders by just noting your most senior operators go a little too far.
"Some politicians are as much to blame as the thugs themselves for episodes like the Cronulla riots (which were, my dear Mr Wilkie, precipitated by months or years of thuggish Muslim behaviour toward non-Muslims on the beach, behaviour which included, as the final straw, the violent bashing of an off-duty Surf Lifesaver who had remonstrated with some Muslim men about their thuggery - CM), and the hate crimes which continue on our streets."
Mr Wilkie: do you count the violent Muslim gang rapes of teenage Aussie girls - which were accompanied by gross verbal abuse of the girls for their being non-Muslim Australians - and the rantings of Sheik al-Hilaly, who blamed the girls for having been raped, and compared unislamically dressed Australian women to meat left out for the cats to eat, as hate crimes? And what do you say of the Muslim women and men who insult un-Islamically dressed Aussie girls in the street? The Muslim men on the Gold Coast beaches who hiss at Aussie girls in bikinis and tell them to 'cover up!'? Or the Muslim boys who, in a primary school, bullied a Greek-Australian Christian boy for daring to eat a salami sandwich in front of them in the school playground, during Ramadan? - CM.
'But Senator Bernardi said, "criticism only hurts when you have high regard for the people who criticise you".
'ABC News Online was unable to contact Mr Morrison'.
Posted on 03/01/2011 6:06 PM by Christina McIntosh
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Supplies From Israel Into The Gaza Strip For The Week Ending Saturday 19th. February
Just thought that I should keep you all up to date on the Gaza Strip land crossingsso here's the figures for the week Sunday, 13th. February to Friday, 18th. February, 2011
1087 truckloads (28,788 tons) of goods entered the Gaza Strip via the crossings. In addition there were also exports from the Gaza Strip.
Kerem Shalom crossing was closed on Tuesday due to construction work conducted at the crossing as part of the plan to expand the crossing capacity. The crossing operated on Friday instead.
Heavy-duty diesel for the power plant is now delivered directly from Egypt; therefore, no diesel is transferred from Israel anymore.
At the Erez crossing there was a 23% increase in the number of people who crossed:
198 international organization staff members entered Israel.
164 international organization staff members entered the Gaza Strip.
385 patients with accompanying individuals crossed into Israel.
At the Kerem Shalom crossing there was a 2.64% increase in the number of truckloads delivered into the Strip:
779 truckloads (16,372 tons) were sent into the Strip.
There was no heavy-duty diesel transferred for the power plant (see above).
576 tons of gas for cooking stoves was transferred.
At the Karni Conveyor there was a 50% increase in the number of truckloads delivered into the Strip:
308 truckloads (12,416 tons) were sent into the Strip.
In addition to the goods sent into the Strip goods were also sent out:
6 truckloads of flowers
4 truckloads of strawberries.
Comparison of the private sector with the international organisations:
931 truckloads of goods were sent into the Strip by the private sector
156 truckloads were imported into the strip by the various international organisations operating in Gaza.
Details, in truckloads, of goods delivered to the Gaza Strip:
5 of Milk Powder and Baby Food
28 of Rice
59 of Wheat
24 of Cooking Oil
46 of Produce (Fruits and Vegetables)
16 of Meat, Chicken and Fish Products
3 of Sal
24 of Dairy Products
27 of Flour
4 of Legumes
6 of Sugar
123 of Mixed or Additional Food Products
Total Food Products: 365
204 of Aggregates
56 of Cement
30 of Glass, Aluminum and Wood Profiles
5 of Iron
Total Construction Materials: 295
Assorted Other Products:
50 of Animal Food
50 of Ceramics and Plumbing
31 of Electrical Products
46 of Inputs for Agriculture
21 of Hygiene Products
3 of Medicine and Medical Equipment
31 of Clothing and Footwear
140 of Essential Humanitarian Products
23 0f Mixed or Additional Products
22 of Transportation essentials
10 of Textiles (blankets, mattresses, sheets)
Total Assorted Products: 427
Total Truckloads: 1,087
Total Weight (tons): 28,788
Posted on 03/01/2011 7:51 PM by John M. Joyce
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Still Keeping Count - Attacks On Israel In January, 2011
The broad data regarding terrorist attacks against Israel launched from the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip by Arabs in January 2011 are as follows:
There were 30 attacks launched from the Gaza Strip (as opposed to 38 in December). There were 12 rocket attacks comprising 17 launched rockets (15 in December), 13 mortar shell attacks comprising 26 shells in all (38 shells in December), 3 small arms shootings, one AT launching and one explosive device
There were 33 attacks launched from the West Bank (as opposed to 18 in December). The attacks comprised one explosive device, 2 grenade throwings, one small arms shooting, 29 Molotov cocktail throwings
There were 20 attacks in Jerusalem (as opposed to 18 in December). There were 2 grenade attacks and 18 Molotov cocktail throwings.
In Jerusalem and the West Bank most of the attacks executed in January (47 out of 53) were in the form of firebombs (December had 33 out of 36).
What follows is a daily account of attacks launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip that can be researched through several different sources including The Jerusalem Post, Ynet News, Haaretz, UPI, Associated Press, BBC News, Christian Science Monitor, Gulf News, Walla News (Hebrew), AFP, CBN, Aurora News (Spanish), the IDF, Kuwait News Agency, Irish Times, CNN, Indian Express, JTA, Ma’an News, Reuters (various divisions), Nana (Hebrew), The Palestine Telegraph and other news sources and Wikipedia.
1st. January 2011 - Four mortar shells
2nd. January - a Projectile of an unknown type hit in the Eshkol Regional Council area
4th. January - One Qassam rocket
5th. January - Seven mortar shells. One Qassam rocket
6th. January - One mortar shell
7th. January - a Projectile of an unknown type was fired into Israel
8th. January - Five mortar shells. Two Qassam rockets
At about 2:20 pm on Saturday, 8th. January, 2011, Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip fired four 181-millimeter mortar shells at Israel, all of which landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council area. One of the shells hit a residential area within an agricultural community. Three Thai foreign agricultural workers were injured, one seriously, one moderately and one lightly, all by shrapnel. A number of other people suffered from shock. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, saying that it had fired six mortar shells at an Israeli military post near Nahal Oz. Towards the evening, an additional Palestinian mortar shell landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported. After nightfall, Palestinians fired a Qassam rocket which landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported. Palestinians fired a second Qassam rocket into the Eshkol Regional Council. Truck driver Yitzhak Zaafrani was lightly wounded in the face and his truck was damaged.
9th. January - One Qassam rocket
10th. January - Four Qassam rockets
11th. January - One rocket
16th. January - Three mortar shells
17th. January - One Qassam rocket
18th. January - Four mortar shells
21st. January - One mortar shell
25th. January - Two Qassam rockets
31st. January - Three rockets (one Qassam and two Grads)
Just imagine living in a free, open and democratic country and having to put up with these sort of attacks in these sort of numbers day after day after day. The surprising thing is that Israelis are still a nice and tolerant people - I know that I wouldn't be!
Posted on 03/01/2011 10:50 PM by John M. Joyce