These are all the Blogs posted on Wednesday, 10, 2009.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
My Country 'Tis Of Thee
There are various oaths and slogans and sayings well-known in the Western world. They always involve the word, and the idea, of "Country."
I did it for my country. I wanted to defend my country. For God and Country. My country, Right or Wrong. Some of these slogans inspire, and some can at times be worrisome. But the word "country" comes naturally. History matters, so that we react far better to the French "la patrie" and the Italian "la patria" than we do, nowadays, for obvious reasons, to the German use of "the Fatherland" (Vaterland), and because Soviet Communism was based on the idea of a trans-national universalist appeal, the Russian word "Rodina"(possibly more accurately ranslated, because of its frequent use by 19th-century Russian poets, by a softer "Motherland" than by the harsher, goose-stepping "Fatherland").
But how infrequently, how almost never, does one hear Muslims speak in the same way of the nation-state they happen to inhabit. It happens more, of course, with the two Muslim states that have long, pre-Islamic histories to be proud of, another identity to have hovering dimly in the possible background: Egypt and Iran and Turkey. In systematically constraining Islam, Ataturk and those who followed, more maladroitly, in the same line, helped to offer the Turks a substitute theology, that of "the Turk" (who had always inhabited the Anatolian Peninsula), and after Ataturk's death, the cult of Ataturk, Ataturk as "the Perfect Man" replacing, in a sense, the cult of Muhammad. In Egypt, in the 1920s, that highly intelligent Egyptian thinker, born into Islam but aware of its defects and wanting to do what he could, Taha Hussain, was a promoter of what we call "Pharaonism" -- that is, the substitute of Egyptian nationalism for pan-Islamism or its earlier subset, pan-Arabism. In Iran, the disastrous experience, over the past 30 years, with Islam on stilts should cause thinking Iranians to want to undo or to constrain Islam by appeals to the pre-Islamic history of Iran, and it would not surprise me if, as part of that, a "search for roots" led to a rediscovery, and re-adoption, by some, of the Zoroastrianism that the Arab invaders managed to crush when they brought the "gift of the Arabs," that is to say, Islam.
Needless to say, few Muslims, almost none, can say discuss or talk about, unselfconsciously, about their devotion to their "country" when the "country" in question is not ruled by Muslims, and was formed, in every respect, by non-Muslims. This is not to say that Muslims keenly aware of a non-Muslim audience might not, for their own purposes of helping the cause of Islam, prate about "this country" or even "my country." But listen closely to how awkwardly and uncertainly those phrases are used, and see right through the camouflage, and the phony patriotism, to what is really being expressed. It isn't hard to do.
This is from International Christian Concern.
For reasons of their copyright I will paraphrase the report.
Poor Christians work on the Railway in Lahore in Pakistan. Their job is to deal with the rubbish and sewage that collect around the railway buildings. Their church is Railway St Andrews Church and were given written permission to worship there on Sundays. When the churhc began to use the bells and a loudspeaker to announce morning and evening services local Muslim leaders complainted that they were interfereing with their five times a day call to prayer.
The authorities for Pakistan Railway have confiscated the church, sealed the doors and placed a notice prohibiting anyone from entering the building. This was on 28th April. The Christians have been calling for its return, demonstrating with a hunger srtike and outside the Lahore Press Club.
Muslim officers are trying to obtain permission to demolish the church so that they can build a mosque. The Christian leaders are being threatened with prosecution under Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
ICC ask their readers to contact Pakistan Railway and ask them to reopen Railway St Andrews. The address is Pakistan Railway Headquarters, Director of Public Relations, Mrs D Shahwar. +92-042- 9201778. [email protected]
The prohibition against Christian bells under dhimmi status is well known; dhimmis using a loudspeaker as if they were a mosque must have been outrageous.
After a long period of contributory negligee, I am back in Pajamas. Today I let rip on the subject of President Obama’s betrayal of women’s rights and of what he scathingly calls “liberalism”. Obama's shameless pandering - that "liberalism" he dismisses put him where he is today - got my dander up, as you will see:
Your name is Aisha and you are fifteen years old. You live in Dearborn, Michigan, and your parents are Muslim. So were you once, but it isn’t so easy now. When you were little, you could play with your friends from school, do cartwheels — and laugh. Then, aged nine, your life changed. Your parents made you wear the hijab. At first you didn’t mind; all girls like to dress up. But you got fed up with it; it got in the way when you wanted to do cartwheels. “It’s for your own good,” they said. “It will stop the boys looking at you in a bad way. And you shouldn’t be doing cartwheels now — it could damage you.” You didn’t know quite what they meant, and you couldn’t see why boys would want to look at you — the boys at school played with other boys. But when you asked your parents, they said again that it was for your own good. More >>>
Pastor (and Ex-Muslim) Jonathan Oloyede: Christians must protect Britain from Muslims
This is from The Voice which is a newspaper aimed at the black reader in the UK. The only newspaper aimed at the white reader I can think of is published by the national front and you can't buy it in newsagents. Not that you would want to. But being a black paper The Voice can report this speech, and Pastor Jonathan can speak his mind without fear of allegations of racism.
PASTOR JONATHAN Oloyede, the church leader behind prayer initiative Global Day of Prayer London (GDOP), has called on Christians to stand up for their faith and protect Britain’s cultural heritage. Pastor Jonathan is pastor of the City Chapel in Whitechapel East London.
Speaking at a special GDOP prayer event held in the London Borough of Newham Pastor Oloyede said Muslims “want to take over” the country.
"I used to be a Muslim. The Muslims don't just want to build a mosque. They want to take over,” he said. “If you want to roll over and play dead while the legacy of your forefathers is thrown in the dust and you can't stand up and say enough is enough, then you are not fit to be a Christian."
He also stated Christians should defend their beliefs in the face of attacks from secularism, pluralism and political correctness. "All that stuff about not offending anyone is nonsense. I used to try to be nice to everyone, but God said to me: ‘You cannot be my messenger by being nice to everybody’. So are you going to just play nice or are you going to be a follower of Christ?"Soul Stirrings asked the Nigerian-born church leader what inspired him to make such bold public comments. He replied: “Basically, I spoke what I believe the Lord is saying, which is to call the UK to wake up or she’ll be run over.”
To further explain his point, he added: “If you come to my house, I should be hospitable, but you must know there are some guidelines for you to follow. Britain needs to adopt the same attitude based on its history and legacy.
The secular agenda of pushing Christianity out of the public square is political correctness turned on its head. It’s important that we are sensitive to people of other faiths, who have alternative lifestyles or are from other nations, but we should not throw the baby out with the bath water.”
We live in a security conscious age, and our leaders are more vulnerable than ever. But can those of our readers and colleagues who know about such things elaborate.
Did the Presidents Bush, the elder and the younger, President Clinton, Reagan, Carter etc all travel with a foodtaster? Does Gordon Brown? The Queen? Mrs Merkel? It must be a concern but it shrieks so much of the court of the Borgias. Chefs at a top Paris restaurant were upset when US President Barack Obama sent his personal food taster into the kitchen to test his meal.
The incident occured at the chic La Fontaine de Mars restaurant when the President was dining with wife Michelle, President Nicolas Sarkozy and French First Lady Carla Bruni.
The Secret Service agent inspected a security-conscious Mr Obama's roast lamb and seasonal vegetables, a worker at the posh eatery revealed.
Waiter Gabriel de Carvalho, who said Mrs Obama and the Sarkozys all ate fillet of beef, added: "The President arrived with someone who tastes the dishes.
"The man, who appeared to be a Secret Service protection officer, waited in the kitchen while the chef prepared the meal for Mr Obama and his wife Michelle.
"Then he took a fork and tasted a tiny part of both meals before they were sent out to the President and his wife."
He added: "It wasn't very pleasant for the cooks at first, who are obviously very proud about their cooking. But they soon understood that it wasn't to test the quality of the dish, but only to ensure the food had not been poisoned in any way.
From The Norway Post (via the Independent of South Africa) The police in Drammen have charged an imam from a local mosque of having used violence against children. He has allegedly hit children with a stick if they came late or failed to learn their assignment.
Three mosques in Drammen have been investigated by the police after a Drammen public school informed them that children were afraid to be spanked when they attended the Koran school.
- The children have reportedly been hit over the fingers or the back with a stick, says police inspector Nina Bjoerlo to Drammens Tidende. She says the police have received reports about children having been exposed to violence from as far back as 2002.
The reports have been received from anonymous sources, as parents have been afraid to come forward, fearing reprisals.
The imam in question this time has denied the charges.
But the Tripolitanian buffoon prefers to stay, with his bevy of amazonian bezonians, in a huge "tenda" or tent which has been erected on the grounds of the Villa Doria Pamphili for him by the ever-compliant Italian state.
The writers are wrong. There is no need to wait for the barbarians, in the manner of Cavafy, or Coetzee, or Dino Buzzati (Il Deserto dei Tartari). The barbarians are not only in our midst, let in by those who presume to protect us, but when one of their rulers arrives from afar, no matter how absurd he is (and Qaddafy is certainly absurd, and so was Arafat, and so is no-one-here-but-us-accountants Mahmoud Abbas, and so are all the Oriental pashas and beys and beglerbegs and sheikhs and warlords when, encouraged by our previous history of soft appeasements of them, they are given to understand that they can presume, they can arrive to tell us what it is they want, what it is they demand, what it is they require), he, that ruler, is treated with comical kid gloves, his every whim indulged, his every request -- that coastal highway Qaddafi wants, and all the other benefits that Westerners can lavish on his kingdom by the sea -- no matter how ludicrous, respectfully considered, and too often, alas, granted.
Jerry Gordon writes: This was compilation was done at the behest of Lord Pearson. As you may recall Lord Pearson was one of the co-sponsors of the aborted House of Lords meeting in January by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders of the PVV Freedom Party. Wilders was barred from entry to the U.K. by now disgraced former Gordon Brown Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.
My thanks to Bjorn Larsen who sent this, and to the co-authors of the compilation, Sam Solomon and Kathryn Wakeling of CCFOM. It would be of interest to see the results of the June 4th Debate in print in Hansard, the U.K. Parliament equivalent of the US Congressional Register.
This should receive the widest possible circulation to our colleagues in the anti-Jihad movement as ready reference, when the topic of Islamic Sharia Law comes up .
The American Bumper Sticker Society has just announced that it intends to bestow its lifetime achievement award on the Progressive Peace and Justice Society for its Outreach-To-All Bumpersticker Campaign. As some of you may already know, it was one particular bumpersticker, the brainchild of the good and progressive folks at the P.and J., as it is affectionately known by its many admirers, that convinced the Obama Administration to require all new cars in this country, beginning with the 2010 model, not only to meet ambitious mileage standards (35 m.p.h. city driving, 39 m.p.h. highway driving), but also to require that there be pre-affixed, in the factory, so it cannot be removed, a bumper sticker on the center of every rear bumper, which will read:
"High I.Q. is a right, not a privilege."
And if enough car-owners, even if they don't have new cars, choose to join in this esteem-and-consciousness-raising effort, and proudly affix a post-factory bumper sticker that proclaims the exact same thing, on their own, used bumpers, we shall go a long way toward diminishing those differences that so unnecessarily and cruelly seem to divide us. For we are all one, in the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God, and therefore we all certainly deserve to possess the same high I.Q.s. Anything less would damage the self-esteem of some. That can't be permitted in the world we are busily creating. And if some obviously biased test stands in the way of that bomfoggery -- the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God -- then it is our duty to throw out that damn test and find one that produces the results our diverse society needs, but if such a test does not exist, and for some reason cannot be constructed, then at the very least we can throw out the old definition of I.Q. and stress that there are so many different kinds of I.Q., because there are so many different definitions nowadays, aren't there, of "intelligence," so that the very idea of I.Q. tests, or thinking about I.Q., or arguing about differences in I.Q. test results, or including I.Q. testing as part of the planning of the content of school classes, and class assignments, and curricula and job training, should come to an end, as the product of a cruel and antediluvian age, before the Flood, the one that knocked down the highest buildings and made us all, as we should be, equal, in the land, the new land, we are all so busily building, the Land of Ekwilia.
High I.Q. is indeed a right. It is not a privilege.
A be-hijabbed J. Samia Mair has her taqiyyaanswer at the ready: "Green falls in the middle of the visible spectrum." And Islam is the religion of moderation and balance, it is the "midmost nation." And green represents life and concern for the environment.
Perhaps, like me, you think you don't know the answer. Of course you do! Once you realize it, it's so obvious. It's the only possible answer.
Thinking of Islam, as unfortunately we must, I naturally thought of treason. Is Islam treason? I consulted Wikipedia, as you do:
Under the law of the United Kingdom, high treason is the crime of disloyalty to the Sovereign amounting to an intention to undermine their authority or the actual attempt to do so. Offences constituting high treason include plotting the murder of the Sovereign; having sexual intercourse with the Sovereign's consort, with his eldest unmarried daughter or with the wife of the heir to the throne; levying war against the Sovereign and adhering to the Sovereign's enemies, giving them aid or comfort; and attempting to undermine the lawfully established line of succession.
"Levying war against the Sovereign and adhering to the Sovereign's enemies, giving them aid or comfort" is what Islam commands British Muslims to do, so yes, Islam is high treason. Until 1998 the death penalty, abolished for murder in 1965, was still mandatory unless the offender was pardoned.The last execution of any kind for high treason was that of William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) by hanging in 1946.
Diana, Princess of Wales died in 1997, but nothing happened to her lovers James Hewitt and Squidgy. Prince Charles said James Hewitt should be well hung for his sins. Diana said he already was.
Nor did anything happen to the Duke of Edinburgh's mistresses, of whom he is rumoured to have had quite a few. I wonder if he kept his hands behind his back, as he does when talking to commoners. Either way, knowing you could be for the chop must give the encounter one hell of a frisson.
Anyway, I will try to avoid grinning as I imagine the following happening to Captain Hook, or Abu Qatada
The form of execution once suffered by traitors was often (though not invariably) torturous. The condemned could not walk or be carried to the place of execution; the sentence required that they were to be drawn: they might be dragged along the ground, but were normally tied onto a hurdle which was drawn to the place of execution by a horse. A man would then be hanged by a noose around the neck, but not so as to die: there would be no "drop" to break the neck. Whilst still alive, he would be cut down and allowed to drop to the ground,stripped of his clothes, his genitals cut off, his viscera pulled out and burnt before his own eyes, and other organs would be torn out of his body. The body would be decapitated, and cut into four quarters. The body parts would be at the disposal of the Sovereign, and generally they would be gibbeted or publicly displayed. This torturous sentence was amended in 1814 so that the offender would hang to death; the disembowelling, beheading and quartering were carried out posthumously.
Readers were invited to find the allusion to a line of Yeats in the long paragraph below:
"Berlusconi is on the left. Colonel Qaddafi is on the right. And on Qaddafi's right breast (which you can dimly see)is affixed a photograph, one that shows a Libyan religious leader who led a revolt against the Italians and, after his capture in 1931, was executed. He is surrounded by Italian military men and civilian officials in what was then Italian-ruled Libya. The point of the photograph on Qaddafi's chest is to underline Qaddafi's contention that the Italians were brutal colonizers, etc. etc. and that, therefore, some 78 years later, though Italy built whatever buildings and roads there are of note in Libya, not only during its period of rule but for many decades after, and whatever civilization Libya can be said to possess comes from the period of Italian rule (the same can be said for Somalia, though not for Christian Ethiopia), Italy still "owes" Libya all kinds of recompense for that "colonialism" of which the photograph is meant so obviously to remind us."
The correct answer is: "And on Qaddafi's right breast (which you can dimly see) is affixed a photograph..."
This is an allusion to the line "white breast of the dim sea" in "Who Goes With Fergus?" a short poem of his youth, when Yeats had a great interest in what James Joyce liked to call the Cultic Twalette.
Here is that poem:
Who will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.
And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all disheveled wandering stars.
In the very first part of Ulysses, known as the "Telemachus" episode, Stephen Dedalus ponders that very line of Yeats:
"Woodshadows floated silently by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed. Inshore and farther out the mirror of water whitened, spurned by lightshod hurrying feet. White breast of the dim sea. The twining stresses, two by two. A hand plucking the harpstrings, merging their twining chords. Wavewhite wedded words shimmering on the dim tide.
A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly, shadowing the bay in deeper green. It lay beneath him, a bowl of bitter waters. Fergus’ song: I sang it alone in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen: love’s bitter mystery.
Stephen ponders prosody: "the twinning stresses, two by two." He conceives, not quite accurately, of "white breast" and "dim sea" as a pair of spondees bookending "of the," the pyrrhic placed between.
The appearance of Stephen Dedalus may remind some of the Latin sentence (in the Senecan sense, but without his amble): Natura daedala rerum. " Nature Is The Designer of Things" says Lucretius, always rerum to go. Well, yes and no. Nature may be the Designer of Things. But men can make up quizzes, for other men to answer. And so I did this ack emma.But I would not and indeed could not stay for an answer any further. And that is why I've posted the correct answer right now, and right here, for your profit and my pleasure.