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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
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Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
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These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 10, 2007.
Saturday, 10 February 2007
African amputees' cup kicks off
This ought to stop me whining abut my odd little aches and pains for a bit. From the BBC.
Africa's first amputee football cup has started in Sierra Leone, with the hosts beating Ghana 3-0 in the opening match.
Each of the five teams has six one-legged outfield players and a one-armed goalkeeper in the tournament, which is being sponsored by Fifa.
Sierra Leone civil war amputees football team
Many of the players taking part lost limbs during long-running civil wars in their countries.  Thousands of people had their arms or legs hacked off by rebels during Sierra Leone's conflict, which ended in 2002.
Some 10,000 people watched the opening game between Sierra Leone and Ghana at the National Stadium in Freetown.
Sierra Leone had been scheduled to play Nigeria in the first game, but the Nigerian players are still on the road. They have been driving all the way from Lagos and the trip will have taken them three days and three nights, our correspondent says.
The winner of the competition will qualify for the Amputee World Football Championship taking place in Turkey later this year.
The picture shows training on the beach near Freetown.
Posted on 02/10/2007 3:11 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Muslim activist charged with encouraging terrorism
I doubt he will get far because he is too well known. From the Leyton Guardian.
RADICAL Muslim activist Abu Izzadeen has been released on bail after being charged under the Terrorism Act.
Mr Izzadeen, also known as Omar Brooks, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court today, accused of an offence relating to the encouragement of terrorism.
The unemployed 32-year-old, of Brierley Road, Leytonstone. . . was ordered to surrender his passport and appear at a court hearing on March 23.
Mr Izzadeen is required to pay a £50,000 surety and report daily to police. He was also told not to attend or speak at any organised meetings.  
If he breaches that condition it should mean immediate arrest and remand back in custody.
Posted on 02/10/2007 3:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Because we let them

I still can't get this quote out of my mind, the one in Esmerelda's posting of the Times (London) story on Gina Khan: 

And now they’ve turned the bombers’ graves into shrines!

They do because they can, just as the architects of the original United Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania designed the site as a crescent, its contents as anti-heroic, almost post-human.

There is a default position many take now, many within and without government:  If we just let them take over, maybe they'll leave us alone. 

It didn't work with starlings; I don't know why people think it will with Islam. 

Posted on 02/10/2007 5:46 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Students charged for stepping on Hamas and Hezbollah flags

Whereas some are not letting the starling faith take over:

FIRE Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., February 8, 2007—In a profound display of disrespect for free speech, San Francisco State University (SFSU) is investigating its College Republicans for hosting an anti-terrorism rally on campus in which participants stepped on makeshift Hezbollah and Hamas flags. After students filed a complaint claiming they were offended because the flags bore the word “Allah,” SFSU initiated an investigation into accusations of incitement, creation of a hostile environment, and incivility. Members of the College Republicans then contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for assistance.
 
“At a public university, stepping on a flag—even burning an American flag—is without question a constitutionally protected act of political protest,” FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley said. “The right to protest is at the very heart of the First Amendment, and means nothing if only inoffensive expression is permitted.”
 
The College Republicans’ “offense” took place on October 17, 2006, when they held an anti-terrorism protest in SFSU’s Malcolm X Plaza. During the protest, several members of the group stepped on butcher paper they had painted to resemble the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah. Unbeknownst to the protestors, the flags they had copied contain the word “Allah” written in Arabic script.
 
On October 26, a student filed a formal complaint with the university against the College Republicans. By December, Director of the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development (OSPLD) Joey Greenwell notified the College Republicans in an e-mail that the complaint accused them of “walking on a banner with the word ‘Allah’ written in Arabic script,” which led to “allegations of attempts to incite violence and create a hostile environment” and “allegations of actions of incivility.” Greenwell also stated that the OSPLD had concluded its investigation and had passed the case along to the Student Organization Hearing Panel (SOHP), a panel of students, faculty, and staff members who will deliver a verdict on the charges.
 
The College Republicans contacted FIRE, which wrote to SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan on January 23, 2007, to protest SFSU’s unlawful actions and to remind this public university of its obligations to protect students’ constitutional rights. FIRE’s letter emphasized that “incitement” and creating a “hostile environment” are legal terms that are not applicable to the College Republicans’ actions of stepping on a flag. FIRE wrote that “SFSU has a duty to uphold the First Amendment rights of all of its students, even if their expressive activity offends the religious sensibilities of some.”
 
SFSU replied to FIRE’s letter on January 29 by saying that the university is investigating the complaint “to give all parties the confidence that they will be heard and fairly treated by a panel that includes representatives of all the University’s key constituencies.” Yet students report that OSPLD has the power to dismiss baseless charges after concluding an investigation. SFSU’s student group misconduct procedures also give OSPLD Director Greenwell the option of settling the complaint with an “informal resolution of charges.” Instead, Greenwell passed the case along for trial before SOHP. If SOHP finds the College Republicans guilty, punishment could range from a letter of warning to the revocation of recognition.
 
“In a free society, neither SFSU nor any other agency of the government has the power to investigate a group simply for disrespecting a religious symbol,” FIRE’s Shibley said. “By continuing this investigation, SFSU is not just charting new territory in campus repression, but its actions come into direct conflict with the United States Constitution. The charges against the College Republicans must be immediately dismissed.”

SFSU administrators naturally see nothing wrong with torching American flags.

Posted on 02/10/2007 6:22 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 10 February 2007
When is advertising sexual services a hate crime?

I almost forgot to mention that one thing that gave us a boost walking the cold blocks from the Flatiron Bldg. to Maureen Mullarkey's opening on W 25th Street was the anti-Muslim  graffiti we noted on construction site boarding.  Can't quote it here, as this is a family friendly site, but suffice to say it managed to insult three groups of sensitive folk.

Posted on 02/10/2007 6:38 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Be Prepared

The Guardian reports:

US preparations for an air strike against Iran are at an advanced stage, in spite of repeated public denials by the Bush administration, according to informed sources in Washington.

The present military build-up in the Gulf would allow the US to mount an attack by the spring. But the sources said that if there was an attack, it was more likely next year, just before Mr Bush leaves office.

Neo-conservatives, particularly at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, are urging Mr Bush to open a new front against Iran. So too is the vice-president, Dick Cheney. The state department and the Pentagon are opposed, as are Democratic congressmen and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. The sources said Mr Bush had not yet made a decision. The Bush administration insists the military build-up is not offensive but aimed at containing Iran and forcing it to make diplomatic concessions. The aim is to persuade Tehran to curb its suspect nuclear weapons programme and abandon ambitions for regional expansion.

Robert Gates, the new US defence secretary, said yesterday: "I don't know how many times the president, secretary [of state Condoleezza] Rice and I have had to repeat that we have no intention of attacking Iran."

But Vincent Cannistraro, a Washington-based intelligence analyst, shared the sources' assessment that Pentagon planning was well under way. "Planning is going on, in spite of public disavowals by Gates. Targets have been selected. For a bombing campaign against nuclear sites, it is quite advanced. The military assets to carry this out are being put in place."

He added: "We are planning for war. It is incredibly dangerous."

Yes, indeed, dangerous for the Iranians.

Posted on 02/10/2007 6:42 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Cambridge fury at Prophet cartoon

This is very brief from The Scotsman and thus far I cannot find anything elsewhere about it.

CAMBRIDGE University's Clare College has launched a disciplinary investigation after a student magazine reproduced the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that caused an international outcry when it was printed in a Danish newspaper in 2005. A college spokesman said it was "abhorrent".

Posted on 02/10/2007 7:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Enthusiasitc Bangladeshis adapt trainspotting to local conditions

Posted on 02/10/2007 7:07 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Dozy Bints, American Style

First there was Amanda Marcotte, the over-the-top blogger for the John Edwards campaign. Iowahawk has a very funny parody of her here (profanity warning).

Next there is an extremely strange opinion piece written by a woman named Linda Quiquivix in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Daily Tar Heel, where you will remember a lone jihadi ran a rented SUV into a group of students last March (h/t: LGF) Here's Quiquivix:

Friends who know me weren't surprised to learn that my Zionist boyfriend and I broke up last summer shortly after Israel began dropping bombs on Lebanese children. But the friends who really knew me were surprised to learn that I had even dated a Zionist to begin with.

In my defense, I thought he was just Jewish when it all began - a progressive one who was white but had tendencies for black supremacy. Politically, we aligned well, so I figured that he'd automatically agree with my stance on Israel-Palestine. (If you don't already know: It's Israel's fault more than it is the Palestinians' - don't believe the hype.)

But my new progressive boyfriend, who was supposed to help me save the world, would stop short at any criticism of the Israeli government's racist, oppressive policies. And what's worse, he would sometimes defend them by saying things like that the land was up for grabs because the Palestinians never had an official state to begin with.

Man, you really think you know your white Jewish boyfriend with tendencies for black supremacy.

It quickly became obvious that, just the same, he didn't know his brown girlfriend with tendencies for anarchism well either. It was probably the anarchism that threw him off the most. I mean, he knew I was brown...

Tribalism, here we come.

Posted on 02/10/2007 6:56 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Homophobic chocolate bars

I hope all the diversity-conscious readers of this website would not consider eating a Snickers bar. This is a Taliban-style act of homophobia far worse than a schoolboy joke about fudge, unless the joke is made by a black gansta rapper.

David Thompson, who has written a number of articles about the grievance industry, explains why in Phantom Guilt Syndrome:

U.S. gay activist groups took umbrage at an innocuous Snickers advert. The ad in question dared to suggest that some straight men feel uncomfortable kissing other straight men, albeit inadvertently and while eating a chocolate bar. The Mars Corporation, which immediately pulled the advert, was accused of “anti-gay prejudice” and told to “correct the intolerant message they sent to millions of Americans.” Apparently, tolerance is being redefined to mean continual affirmation and any suggestion, however flippant, that not everyone is comfortable with displays of same-sex affection is to be expunged from public life...

For some commentators, innocence and guilt depend less upon personal actions than on the racial, economic or religious group a person can be said to belong to. Hence we’re often presented with a menu of Designated Victim Groups, members of which may be afforded a measure of immunity from individual responsibility, while claiming privilege on grounds that something bad happened to someone else ostensibly a bit like them. Viewed in this light, disadvantage becomes analogous to virtue, irrespective of how it came about or why it persists...

An author and blogger by the name of Theron Marshman made these effects explicit while writing under the guise of Harkonnendog on a popular leftwing website: “Rape is a crime unlike others. In any rape case, but especially in a rape case where a black woman accuses a white man, the rapist should be considered guilty until he proves his innocence. And he must prove his innocence not beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond any possible doubt… People claim this is unfair, but 400 years of slavery and countless millennium [sic] of male on female rape make this not only fair, but necessary.”

What’s striking here is the confidence with which the author insists that real-world particulars must give way to a quasi-Marxist categorisation of human beings, whereby guilt is assigned to types of people and on a fairly random basis: “Let’s just say the accusation of rape is false, that doesn’t take away the rapists’ genealogical guilt. Yes, they’re still rapists even if these particular men didn’t rape this particular woman. How many slaves have their forefathers raped? Nobody asks that question. I’ve no doubt these men would be raping slaves if they could get away with it. They are white and rich…”

Judging people on the basis of their ancestors' actions is ridiculous enough, but according to this author we are to be judged on what we would be doing if we could get away with it. Thompson gives other examples of phantom guilt syndrome, such as Decca Aitkenhead's insistence that the “precarious, overexaggerated masculinity” and murderous homophobia of some Jamaican reggae stars are in fact the results of slavery and the “sodomy of male slaves by their white owners.” Another guilt-ridden critic of the West has a radical solution to our oppression of the biosphere: "we" should put "something in the water", targeting "affluent populations first". Somehow, I don't think he means the Saudi royals. Thompson concludes:

I’ve often wondered at what point a political leaning becomes a performance, then a pantomime, and finally a mental health issue. At some point ideology can be so unmoored from external reality that it serves as little more than an expression of a person’s feelings about themselves.

Less of a mental health issue, I would say, than egotism and attention-seeking. And although it can be amusing, this misplaced guilt can be dangerous. Karen Armstrong, for example, feels so guilty about Christianity that she shamelessly whitewashes Islam at a time when, more than ever, we need to see its dangers.

Posted on 02/10/2007 6:49 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Matthew Arnold and Sadie Hawkin's Day

Have I just stepped back in time?

When an Englishman with the improbable name of Derbyshire ...

Why improbable? It's a very common name. Common as muck.

Only last night I saw a programme about Delia Derbyshire of the BBC's radiophonic workshop, grammar school and Cambridge educated musician and composer. Like so many women of her era, she was something of an unsung heroine. Then again, her male colleagues were unsung heroes; the radiophonic workshop - think Dr Who theme - was pioneering in the development of electronic music, much of which is taken for granted today. --Mary Jackson

Well, there are obviously Cornwalls too numerous to mention, not to mention Lord Cornwallis, Bernard Cornwell, and other variants on the theme. I knew a Roy Gloucestershire in the Selous Scouts. I wonder what became of him -surely he's not still in Southern Rhodesia. And my brother knew at school, may even have roomed with, a certain Henry Eastanglia, from Gibraltar, who later changed his name slightly, so that he now runs his highly successful investment fund out of a second-floor office over a souvenir-and-postcard shop on a pastel street in Hamilton, Bermuda, doing business under his new name, Henry Easton.

But I've never known a Derbyshire before. And to me Derbyshire and Damon Runyon are a stimulating, combination, something like what happens when you mix Matthew Arnold and Sadie Hawkin's Day, or Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Kenesaw Mountain Landis, or Jane Austen and Casey Stengel.

And even if the name Derbyshire is, as you rudely claim, "as common as muck," the particular Derbyshire in question most certainly is not. Ask Leibniz, ask Euler, ask Gauss, ask Reimann, ask Donner and Blitzen. And what, pray tell, is your Erdos number, Miss Jackson?

The juxtaposition, even rubbing against, of "broads" and "Derbyshire," by its unexpectedness demands of us a response, usually the one that that Forster fellow, the one who haunted Trinity Great Court, is reported to have said -- as for the very first time he plugged his brand new television set, a Phillips, the first he had ever owned, into the socket -- to his visitor, D. R. Shackleton Bailey: "Only connect."

Posted on 02/10/2007 7:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Another Englishman with the improbable name of Derbyshire
When an Englishman with the improbable name of Derbyshire ... actually spelled Darbishire this time.  As in Jennings and Darbishire by Anthony Buckeridge. I hadn’t realised the Jennings (and his friend Darbishire) books were still in print, let alone getting good reviews on Amazon.
Posted on 02/10/2007 8:08 AM by ESmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Re: Cambridge fury at prophet cartoon

So far nothing new re Esmerelda's post

FYI:  The Scotsman has a convenient five pages (and growing) of Mohammed cartoon story links, "Danish cartoon row."

If you still have a craving for these "abhorrent" cartoons, try this koldtbord.  The selection ranges from ridiculous to sublime.

Query:  Any organizations in the UK that take on student free speech cases the way FIRE does in the U.S.?

Clare Bridge over the River Cam

Posted on 02/10/2007 8:23 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Distracted walking

I've posted before about jaywalking. I think it's quite absurd to have a law against crossing the street where and when you want. Recently a professor of medieval history - British, but with the truly improbable name of Dr. Felipi Fernandez-Arnesto - was set upon and knocked to the ground by some cops in Atlanta for this bizarre "offence". He described in a plummy voice how he was transported on “a dirty, fetid paddy wagon hand-cuffed to another suspected felon,” and forced to spend eight ours in jail, with only "revolting cellophane-wrapped sandwiches" for sustenance. (Perhaps he should have taken the cellophane off before eating them.) When it comes to nanny-statism, the UK can usually knock the US into a cocked hat, which is why it strikes me as so odd that grown men and women are not allowed to judge for themselves when to cross a road.

New Yorkers face further restrictions on their right to walk in front of a bus: the "distracted walking bill", which aims to combat "iPod oblivion syndrome". From The Telegraph:

The modern condition of "iPod oblivion", which reduces people with little white headphones stuffed into their ears to a zombie-like state, could become an offence in New York.

Alarmed by a spate of deaths in the city caused by iPod wearers inadvertently stepping into oncoming traffic, a New York senator is introducing legislation this week that would make it an offence, punishable by a $100 fine, to use any electronic device while crossing a street.

Carl Kruger, a senator for Brooklyn, wants the ban proposed in his "distracted walking" bill to be extended to mobile phones, handheld emailing devices such as Blackberries and video games.

So far, the legislation is only proposed for larger cities in the state, including New York City.

The offence, which would apply to walking, jogging and cycling, would involve a criminal court summons. The offender would have to appear in court to pay the fine rather than simply posting it.

Mr Kruger said he knew of three iPod-related traffic deaths in Manhattan and Brooklyn since September.

Mr Kruger said: "We have a major public safety crisis. If you're so involved in your electronic device that you can't see or hear a car coming, this is indicative of a larger problem that requires some sort of enforcement beyond the application of common sense."

He urged iPod users to limit their activities to parks.

Activities? I'm not sure listening to your iPod counts as an activity.

No doubt New Labour will want to try something similar over here. In fact they may go one further and extend the offence of "distracted walking" to cover walking around while daydreaming, humming tunes in your head, calculating pi to 200 decimal places or trying to think of a rhyme for "orange". 

Posted on 02/10/2007 9:20 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Iran in Iraq

Iran is making war on the United States in Iraq.  The NYTimes has some of the details this morning.  It reports that the administration this weekend will release some of the intelligence on Iran's activities.

Posted on 02/10/2007 2:18 PM by Andy McCarthy
Saturday, 10 February 2007
I Wish It Ill. Don't You?

Walter Duranty was the NYTimes correspondent in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. He also won a Pulitzer Press for his coverage of the Soviet Union. This was strange, because what he reported was nonstop apologetic nonsense, and perhaps worst of all was his supposedly splendid reporting in the Soviet-induced famine in Ukraine.

The Times did a terrible job in its coverage of the Soviet Union. But that was not all. It also did a terrible job in its reporting on Adolf Hitler, the Nazis, and the persecution of Jews throughout the 1930s, and then of course, the mass round-ups ("Aktion") and murders during the war. Many things were not mentioned at all. Others were relegated to tiny paragraphs deep inside the paper. You can read all about it in excellent book by Laurie Leff (of Northeastern University).

Because of the miserable coverage of the Nazi war against the Jews, many of the readers of The Times, and readers of other less well-endowed newspapers that did not have foreign bureaus, but took their lead from The Times -- never published the truth. And many readers of The Times had relatives in Europe, and could have done things to save them, had they been properly informed, properly alarmed. And perhaps, too, those in Washington who treated the groups of Orthodox rabbis who went to Washington to implore that something be done, might have done more, might have done something, anything, instead of letting a cabal of antisemites (from Breckenridge Long, in the State Department -- see "The Truth About the State Department" by William Bendiner, a pamphlet written during the war, who was determined to keep Jewish refugees out, to John J. McCloy, that swinish "pillar of the establishment" who as Asst. Secretary of the Air Force prevented the bombing of the rail lines to Auschwitz, even though American bombers were successfully destroying targets just a few miles away -- one of the pilots on the first daylight bombing raids over Berlin, incidentally, and a recipient of the Medal of Honor, was one of my relatives, and he and those who flew with him, would have gladly bombed any rail-lines leading to death camps, had they only been given the information, and the target).

Anyway, that's why The Times - that failed to properly cover the Soviet system, and failed to cover, and hence to warn many who might have, had they known more, worked to get their relatives out, out, out in the 1930s -- out even from Germany itself -- is called The New Duranty Times.

It has failed again, in its miserable coverage of Islam -- of what Islam inculcates, of what is in Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira (does the Times even mention the Hadith and Sira? Have you learned a single thing about any teachings about Infidels in Islam from reading The Times over the past decade? Since 9/11/2001? Since last year? No, you have not).

What a paper. What an example of so much that is wrong with America, and the Western world. The ignorance. The arrogance. The lack of sense and lack of responsibility. I wish it ill. Don't you?

Posted on 02/10/2007 2:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Jack Cornwell - local hero.
Well, there are obviously Cornwalls too numerous to mention, not to mention Lord Cornwallis, Bernard Cornwell, and other variants on the theme, says Hugh.
I should have come back earlier with this local hero, and much better person to associate with Leyton than (not very clever) Trevor Brookes aka Abu Izzadeen.
John, known as Jack Cornwell died of wounds after the battle of Jutland aged 16 years 5 months and is one of the youngest holders of the Victoria Cross our highest award for valour in combat.
He was born in Clyde Place Leyton (I used to drink in the Lord Clyde pub on the corner) but he is better commemorated in Manor Park where his family moved when he was about 10.
You can read his story here on the Scouting website.  His grave is at the entrance to Manor Park cemetery where many of my family are also buried.
While I commend his bravery, the whole idea of boys going to war so young fills me with horror.  Many boys wanting adventure lied about their age to get to the front and not all were found out and sent home.  The Navy seems to have taken boys officially younger.
Posted on 02/10/2007 2:06 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Exaggerating The Trivial

A poster at JW recently observed: "In Dubai, you see many, many Muslim teenagers of both sexes shopping like crazy and buying Western-style clothes and products. Even though beauty pageants are frowned upon in Muslim societies, they thrive in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, and Lebanon. All over North America and Europe, Muslim communities even hold their own pageants and allowing the women to wear swimsuits or bikinis. In Cote d'Azur in France and on the beaches of Spain and Italy, you see many Middle Eastern women sunbathing topless or virtually naked. When you do a search in iTunes for French or German rap music, you will see a long list of artists of Middle Eastern/Muslim persuasion."

This posting appears to suggest that the ideology of Islam somehow is breaking down, because Middle Easterners go shopping just as Infidels do, and there are beauty pageants and so on.

This is common. Many believe that American pop culture is not the cause of jihad, as Dinesh D’Souza claims, but its remedy: as soon as Muslims fall in love with Britney Spears, they will lay down their arms. But this is partly irrelevant and partly exaggerated. As for shopping -- so what? If the same frantic spending goes on in the Islamic world as in the West, or actually far more so, what does that prove? There is nothing to do in Dubai, there is nothing to do in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, except to shop, shop, shop (or go home and use your domestics, those semi-slaves from abroad, in any way you see fit) or to pray. What does that mean about attitudes toward Infidels? It means nothing. The non-stop consumerism of Arabs and Muslims shows only that they are hypocritical in their attacks on the "consumerist" West.

And the same goes for drug use, which is so widespread in Teheran, for example, or behind the hotel doors of so many rich Saudis and other Arabs. And as for prostitution and pornography, nothing in the West rivals what the Arabs are routinely involved with. Use your imaginations. You know what sums of money they possess. You have been able to experience them, in any capital of the West. Figure it out.

These beauty pageants? A handful, and only in a few places where Islam is deliberately constrained. Why this should be cause for Infidel rejoicing is unclear. And the fact that some Middle Eastern women may, here and there, behave differently when allowed to, on the European littoral of the Mediterranean, means nothing as far as the essential malevolence toward Infidels inculcated by Islam goes.

Why is such trivia constantly brought up, as if to divert Infidel attention from the main thing? The main thing is not whether Muslim men allow, here and there, Muslim women to do this or to do that. The main thing is how, in Islam, a division between Believer and Infidel is inculcated, and a state of permanent war between Dar al-Islam and dar al-Harb is mandated. And Muslims are keenly aware of the duty, collectively or sometimes individually, to support the Jihad fi sabil Allah, Jihad in the path of Allah, to remove all obstacles to the spread of Islam wherever they may exist, and to work for this using whatever instruments are available and effective. The goal is that Islam dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere.

There are differences in the means chosen or preferred (terrorism, the money weapon, Da'wa, demographic conquest). There are differences in the time frame -- see the Slow Jihad of Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah (they want that Western money, they want that Jizyah faucet turned on again), and the Fast Jihad of Meshaal and Hamas (they don't want to pretend for one minute, even to get that Jizyah from the Infidels, that they have a goal other than the ultimate destruction of Israel or, for that matter, any other Infidel state or power that might exist in what was once a Muslim possession -- and of course, ultimately there is no different treatment to be meted out to those parts of the world that were never part of dar al-Islam).

Why exaggerate the trivial, as if it were of some comfort? If there is a topless beach, for the Christians no doubt, in Lebanon -- so what? What does that have to do with the beliefs and consequent menace of the primitive masses of Muslims, in the Middle East, and now in Western Europe as well?

Posted on 02/10/2007 2:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Making Music Together

"There are a few signs of intercultural dialogue but his isn’t one of them. A genuine sign? Something like the orchestra Daniel Barenboim founded, comprised of a mixture of young Israeli and Arab musicians."-- from a reader

The supposedly heartwarming spectacle of young Jews and Arabs in that Edward Said-Barenboim orchestra is in fact completely an instrument of Said's views-- now carried on by his equally sinister wife Mariam, and of course with Barenboim as the most useful of plump musical idiots -- to convince the Jewish donors that this is a Good Thing, allowing "Jews and Arabs to come together playing music." But the Orchestra is in fact a vehicle for avoiding the real subjects that matter. Instead, it's all FeelGood but FeelGood with a heavy dose of the poor naive Israeli members having to agree either to a series of implied or explicit mea-culpas ("yes, we are in the wrong") as the political atmosphere is heavily weighted -- what else would it be, as it was a product of Said and fellow-travelling Daniel Barenboim, and is now a tool of Said's widow and the same, utterly-ignorant-of-Islam-and-the-Lesser Jihad Barenboim-- in favor of, at best, moral symmetry (which itself is absurd), or at worst, a complete taking of the Arab side.

It's not the music that matters in that orchestra. It's the politics. It's what that orchestra, that "making music" by "Arabs and Jews" -- sorry, "Palestinians" and Israelis-- that the whole thing is transparently about.

Don't fall for it. Not a bit of it.

Posted on 02/10/2007 2:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 February 2007
I'll See You and I'll Raise You

Hugh, Keep your hair on. I meant the name, not the person, as I think is obvious. I've personally known three or four Derbyshires and a Darby and heard of quite a few more. One famous Derbyshire is Eileen, who plays Emily Bishop in Coronation Street. What sounds very English and perhaps rather classy to Americans sounds ordinary to us.

I imagine my Erdos number is infinity. What's yours? --Mary Jackson

I'd be happy with 1.

I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales. --MJ

I could change the verb in your sentence, flip the sexes, even remove one of the degrees of separation, and thereby see you, and even raise you -- raise you right to the roofbeam, carpenter. But I won't.

Posted on 02/10/2007 3:07 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Saturday's celestial suds

Combining two recurrent Iconothemes, the cosmos and quaffing, this illustration of an ale gone by.

Posted on 02/10/2007 3:46 PM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 10 February 2007
Global warming fails one New York community

 Al Gore wary of litigation-happy New Yorkers: "They want me to fly up there and see for myself.  Sure, I'm crazy.  Everybody knows it.  Just not that crazy."

Dave Chase and Ken Capstraw clear 10 feet of snow from a roof in Parish, N.Y.

Posted on 02/10/2007 5:06 PM by Robert Bove

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