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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky



















These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 12, 2007.
Monday, 12 March 2007
The passive-aggressive jihad

I am not fond of jargon from the world of psychology. However, I like the term "passive-aggressive". We all know people who get their own way not through strength but through weakness. David Thompson, whose articles have featured regularly at this site, has a healthy suspicion of what he and others call the "grievance culture". In this article - only short, so do read it in full - he shows how the culture of grievance is used to further Islamic jihad. 

Last week, I noted how the language of religious coercion has undergone a softening since the era of William Berkeley, and how old struggles for censorship and dominance are now routinely couched in the rhetoric of personal injury: “No-one would use words like 'authority' and 'power.' Not about Islam. Not out loud. Now we hear about much fluffier things, like 'feelings', 'prejudice' and 'sensitivity.' It's the passive-aggressive approach.” Efforts to control what can be said about Islam – and by extension what can be thought about it - have been recast in terms of supernatural sensitivity and an allergy to criticism. Or, no less shamefully, as a reaction to ‘racism.’   

As, for instance, when the Abu Bakr Jamia mosque in Cambridge invoked a “compassionate and merciful” Allah to intimidate staff and students at a Cambridge college, while describing an innocuous student newspaper as “hate speech” and an “incitement to ethnic hatred.” Or when that tragicomic convert to Islam, Yvonne Ridley, pompously declared: “My faith is my nationality and when you attack it you are being racist.” Some have resorted to other, no less tendentious, ploys; most recently with the notion of “cultural racism” – a term that's used freely in certain quarters and without clear definition, but which nonetheless imprints on the reader an unmistakable suggestion of nefarious intent.

It seems the word ‘Islamophobe’ - like its pseudo-synonym, ‘racist’ - has acquired the status of a declamatory WMD. Deploying the term, even by vague insinuation, can generally be counted on to shut down the frontal lobes of pretty much anyone on the left, like some rhetorical kryptonite. Loaded as the term 'Islamophobia' is with connotations of irrationality, those who brandish it as a talisman of virtue may suppose they’re defending the weaker party against unfair attack. In practice, they may simply be excusing the party with the weaker argument, or no argument at all.

 

I stumbled across another textbook example of this passive-aggressive pantomime, this time involving the cartoonist Doug Marlette and his “offensive” cartoon ‘What Would Muhammad Drive?’ The background for the cartoon and the “outrage” that followed – inflamed and co-ordinated by the dubious “civil rights” organisation CAIR – can be found here. The piece is worth reading in full, not least for some tips on how to deal with being denounced as a tool of Satan. 

Crudely summarised, that rhetoric runs along the following lines: “Poor us. Feel our pain. We’re victimised by words, even statements of fact. You owe us for our injury. So do as we say.” Perhaps we’ll soon have a grievance arms race on our hands, as various Tribes of Perpetual Hurt and Indignation follow the Islamic model and vie for the upper hand, with tears in their eyes and a list of unilateral demands: “Feel my pain.” “No, feel my pain!” “My pain is the greatest! Feel it! Feel it now…!” And with each exhortation to empathise and comply, a little more freedom may well be lost, perhaps irretrievably, along with a little more honesty and a little more self-respect. 

In jihad, any tactic is permissible. Terrorism is not the main weapon; demography and propaganda may prove more effective in the end. Victimhood is one lethal weapon in the jihadist's arsenal.

Posted on 03/12/2007 5:43 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 12 March 2007
Hamas says still seeks Israel's destruction
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas rejected on Monday criticism by al Qaeda's second-in-command and said it was still committed to Israel's destruction despite a power-sharing deal with the Fatah faction.
"We will not betray promises we made to God to continue the path of Jihad and resistance until the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine," Hamas said in a statement, in a clear reference to Israel as well as to the occupied West Bank.
In an audio recording posted on the Internet on Sunday, al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahri accused Hamas of serving U.S. interests by agreeing to respect past Palestinian peace accords with Israel in a recent Saudi-brokered unity government deal with moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah.
In its statement Hamas said it continued to be a "movement of resistance, seekers of martyrdom" and that its "principles will never be changed. Zawahri's recent statements were wrong ... Resistance is our strategy. How and when? This depends on the reality at the time and our corresponding view of things," Hamas said  "So be assured doctor Ayman, and all those who love Palestine like yourself, that Hamas is still the group you knew when it was founded and it will never abandon its path."
Posted on 03/12/2007 5:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 March 2007
The other polar bears

Exposed in the NY Sun:

Oscar Abolafia of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club takes

a ritual "Goodbye Winter" dip in the ocean yesterday.

Unrelated news: Polar bears defy extinction expectations.

Posted on 03/12/2007 6:20 AM by Robert Bove
Monday, 12 March 2007
On se tutoie?

This letter from David Scott in today’s Times is the latest in a series about the tu/vous distinction:

 

I had always understood that the ultimate French put-down to the question “On se tutoie?” (Shall we call each other “tu”?) was a very succinct “ Si vous voulez”.

DAVID SCOTT, Orpington, Kent

It’s a good job the French have on, otherwise they might have problems asking the question. I’ve heard this put-down before – was it the loathsome Chirac or the loathsome Mitterrand who said it? Either way, the tu/vous thing is a minefield, even for the French:

With some effort and application, foreigners can learn to tie a scarf like a French woman or to chew wine like a French man. But they cannot hope to master the intricacies of the tu and vous forms of address, because the French can't either.

.

There are rules, of course, based on the notion that tu is familiar, vous more formal, but in a booklet called "Dites-moi tu" (published by Horay), Claude Aubry right off the bat refers to the subject as an unwritten code, a battle within the speaker's mind. Blessed are the speakers of English, she notes, who need not make the choice. .

Quite right. I wouldn't say vous to a goose, but with intermediate ranks between a goose and the Queen, I wouldn’t have a clue. And how completely pointless this distinction is. Like inflections and gender for inanimate nouns, it is something the English are well rid of. This frees up English for more enjoyable things such as puns, where the French – or anyone else for that matter – can’t hold a candle to us.

Bernard-Henri Lévy and his wife call each other vous, as I reported here. He doesn’t say what he calls his felt tip pens.

Posted on 03/12/2007 7:13 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 12 March 2007
The SOB Factor
Apprised of the fact that the potato famine of 1846-7 may have killed a million Irish people, Lord Cardigan sniffed: “Not enough to do any good.”

Plainly Lord Cardigan was a son of a bitch. That’s the quality I want to talk about; but since the full expression offends the eyes of many, I’ll abbreviate that last noun phrase to the common “SOB” in what follows. Furthermore, since we don’t have what Prof. Jespersen called an “immaterial mass-word” to denote the quality of being an SOB, I’m just going to invent one pro tem: “SOBness.” And finally — before I get properly started on bloviating, I mean — since I think Lord Cardigan set the gold standard for political SOBness, I’m going to quantify that quality on a Cardigan Scale, with zero as utter and immaculate lack of SOBness, and Lord Cardigan at 100, and every other degree of SOBness having a Cardigan Coefficient (CC) somewhere in between. Now let us proceed.

A meme has been going around in political blogdom this past few days. I caught it myself as it fluttered by last week, and recorded my thoughts on a different website: 

If I look at my own reasons for favoring Rudy [Giuliani], part of it is my perception that Rudy is one mean, nasty son of a bitch. I like that in a President. After all, it’s highly unlikely that the meanness and nastiness will be directed at me personally. It will, one hopes, be directed at America’s enemies; and at our corrupt, dysfunctional, and costly federal bureaucracies; and (this was sure the case during his mayoralty) at the race-guilt shakedown lobbies; and at our moronic, venal, and cowardly congresscritters; and… Why on earth would anyone want a nice guy for president?

Really, seen in this light, the only question about Rudy is, does he have enough ornery meanness and nastiness to go round? Is he a big enough son of a bitch? Perhaps there’s some kind of hormone treatment we can give Rudy, to make him even more of a pitiless, sneering, devious, wife-dumping jerk. I sure hope so.

The rest is here.  

Posted on 03/12/2007 8:15 AM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 12 March 2007
Voltaire on Vous and Tu

Voltaire

Les Vous et les Tu

Philis, qu'est devenu ce temps
Où, dans un fiacre promenée,
Sans laquais, sans ajustements,
De tes grâces seules ornée,
Contente d'un mauvais soupé
Que tu changeais en ambroisie,
Tu te livrais, dans ta folie,
A l'amant heureux et trompé
Qui t'avait consacré sa vie ?
Le ciel ne te donnait alors,
Pour tout rang et pour tous trésors,
Que les agréments de ton âge,
Un coeur tendre, un esprit volage,
Un sein d'albâtre, et de beaux yeux.
Avec tant d'attraits précieux,
Hélas ! qui n'eût été friponne ?
Tu le fus, objet gracieux !
Et (que l'Amour me le pardonne !)
Tu sais que je t'en aimais mieux.

Ah ! madame ! que votre vie
D'honneurs aujourd'hui si remplie,
Diffère de ces doux instants !
Ce large suisse à cheveux blancs,
Qui ment sans cesse à votre porte,
Philis, est l'image du Temps ;
On dirait qu'il chasse l'escorte
Des tendres Amours et des Ris ;
Sous vos magnifiques lambris
Ces enfants tremblent de paraître.
Hélas ! je les ai vus jadis
Entrer chez toi par la fenêtre,
Et se jouer dans ton taudis.

Non, madame, tous ces tapis
Qu'a tissus la Savonnerie,
Ceux que les Persans ont ourdis,
Et toute votre orfèvrerie,
Et ces plats si chers que Germain
A gravés de sa main divine,
Et ces cabinets où Martin
A surpassé l'art de la Chine ;
Vos vases japonais et blancs,
Toutes ces fragiles merveilles ;
Ces deux lustres de diamants
Qui pendent à vos deux oreilles ;
Ces riches carcans, ces colliers,
Et cette pompe enchanteresse,
Ne valent pas un des baisers
Que tu donnais dans ta jeunesse.
Posted on 03/12/2007 8:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
Means and Ends
Ayman al-Zawahri, the number two leader in al-Qaeda, has accused Hamas of "submission" for agreeing to form a Palestinian national unity government.
Al-Zawahiri said Hamas had "fallen into the swamp of surrender" by accepting a Saudi-brokered deal with the US-backed Fatah faction in Mecca, in an audio recording broadcast by Al Jazeera on Sunday.

"The leadership of Hamas surrendered to the Jews, most of Palestine" in order to keep leadership of the Palestinian government, he said. --from this news item

For intelligent Infidels this should mean nothing. The unintelligent ones will breathlessly discuss with great solemnity, wondering in thousands of column inches what it could possibly mean. It means nothing. It is merely a pseudo-squabble between those who do not want any outward pretense (Al-Zawahiri and Al-Qaeda), and those who, for a very short time, in order to retrigger Infidel aid, may mouth the most trivial of phrases sufficient to satisfy those easily-pleased Infidels (Hamas), and the third group consists of the Slow Jihadists, who want to milk the West of as much aid as they can, as they continue to pressure and wage war on Israel in every way that they effectively can. They differ merely on matters of presentation and timing, not on ultimate goals, either as regards that little sliver of land called Israel, or Western Europe, or indeed all of the lands of the Infidels everywhere, nor on the legitimacy of any and all means, though they may differ, at any time chosen, on which means at that time are most effective.

Posted on 03/12/2007 9:17 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
What, at the end of the day, is a meme?

What's the bottom line on "meme"?  Is the term itself stalking horse or trojan horse?  Or neither?  Is it really 30 years old?  David B. Hart, in a discussion of Daniel Dennett:

[...] memes are culturally transmitted ideas, habits, behaviors, motifs, styles, themes, turns of phrase, structures, tunes, fashions, patterns, and in fact just about any other items or aspects of our shared social world, all of which, like genes, selfishly seek to persist and replicate themselves. That is to say, to take the obvious example, if most human beings believe in God, this has nothing to do with any sort of rational interpretation on their parts of their experience of reality. Nor is it even simply the influence of traditions that illuminate or confine their reasoning. Rather, the meme for God has implanted itself in their minds and has replicated itself through adaptation while successfully eliminating any number of rival memetic codes. We may like to think we believe because we have been convinced or awakened by-or that we have chosen or discovered-certain ideas or realities, but in fact our concepts and convictions are largely the phylogenic residue of a host of preconscious, invisible, immaterial agencies that have made our languages, cultures, and thoughts the vehicles by which they disseminate and perpetuate themselves.

Posted on 03/12/2007 9:22 AM by Robert Bove
Monday, 12 March 2007
Inflammatory Talk Successfully Stopped by Sikh Youth
Thanks to Apostate Islam for recommending the site Sikh 4 Life where I found the link to this article.
The Mission Statement of Sikh 4 Life is that
Sikh4Life aims to provide Sikh Students with the knowledge to be able to confidently answer the key challenges posed by Islamic groups whose aim is to undermine Sikhism with propaganda and ultimately converts Sikhs to Muslims’.
I found a link from Sikh 4 Life to this story from the Panthic Weekly.
London, UK - On Tuesday 1st March, a peaceful protest by the Sikh Sangat stopped an inflammatory extremist Islamic talk from taking place at London School of Pharmacy. (Part of the University of London - EW)
Up to 80 Sikh youth protested at the lecture, which was advertised to display trophy-converts, which included someone who claimed to have denounced his Sikh faith and embracing Islam. The lecture had the aim to ridicule, misinterpret and incite hatred against the Sikh faith in the hope to 'brain wash' innocent Sikh students into an extreme form of Islam. The organisers cancelled the talk by the speaker who was to publicly denounce and attack the Sikh faith and glorify Islam at London School of Pharmacy but are known to be holding them secretly at other universities
During the talk, the Dean of the University and the Student Union attempted to prevent the event from continuing. Some Muslim students attending the event clearly felt embarrassed by the actions of the Islamic Society attempting to ridicule and incite hatred against others.
One Sikh protester raised his arm to allow time to speak. He made it clear that 'Sikh' convert should not slander the Sikh Gurus, disrespect the Sikh religion and incite hatred against Sikhs in his talks and that the intended convert speaker should not speak because it the talks intention was to provoke hatred and confusion.
The Sikh Sangat left the Islamic Society event with grace and honour, which makes the Sikh community proud of them and their actions. The Sangat concluded the day at a Gurdwara Sahib where an Ardaas was offered for thanksgiving and for strength and determination to uphold the Guru's principles and serving the Guru. The whole incident highlighted that Gurmat Parchaar is needy in institutions like prisons, hospitals and schools and that every Sikhs needs to recognise his or her duty to know about their religion and defend their faith.
Posted on 03/12/2007 9:26 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 March 2007
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer

ZUTPHEN, Netherlands -- On the surface, the young Dutch Moroccan mother looked like an immigrant success story: She studied business in college, hung out at the pub with her friends and was known for her fashionable taste in clothes.

So residents of this 900-year-old river town were thrown for a loop last year when Bouchra El-Hor, now 24, appeared in a British courtroom wearing handcuffs under an all-encompassing black veil. Prosecutors said she had covered up plans for a terrorist attack and wrote a letter offering to sacrifice herself and her infant son as martyrs. --from this news article

She may have been a "normal Dutch girl." And then something changed her. It could have been any number of things. A smooth-talking fellow Muslim, who brought her back to the True Faith in every way. A personal setback -- loss of a job, loss of a boyfriend, the ennui or Durkheimian anomie of life in the lonely big world, in which the ready-made Umma of Islam can seem so bracing and embracing, and which supplies an entire Total System that Explains and Regulates Absolutely Everything, which is also a kind of comfort. Ask those hysterical Germans signing up for Nazionalsozialismus in 1928, or 1930, or 1933, or 1936.

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer.

Ein Volk: The Believers. That Umma to which all loyalty is owed, and who are so very different from the Unbelievers, or Infidels, to whom no loyalty, or friendship, or true kindness, or unfeigned gratitude, must ever be felt or shown.

Ein Reich: The Caliphate, or if not administratively yet one Caliphate, then some approximation thereof, of Muslim states working in tandem against non-Muslims. For now, that amounts to the O.I.C. (Organization of Islamic Countries) and, still more basic, the Arab League. Within those groupings there are internal problems, but that does not hide the fact of the attempt to bring together all the Muslim-ruled lands to stand, in opposition, whenever necessary, to non-Muslims. There is no other equivalent grouping, by any Infidels anywhere (no "Organization of Christian or even Post-Christian States" or "Organization of Buddhist States" and as for "Hindu" or "Jewish states" each of those sets has a membership, cantorially speaking, of one).

Ein Fuhrer. There are rivalries for that post of would-be Fuhrer. There is the mediagenic, soft-spoken Bin Laden. There is the unmediagenic, un-soft-spoken Al-Zawahiri. There are other, little fuhrers hoping to grow bigger: Khaled Meshaal of Hamas, or even a Shia candidate or two, unlikely as it appears that the Sunnis would ever acquiesce in a Shi'a-ruled quasi-caliphate: the late Ayatollah Khomeini, or Sheikh Nasrallah of Hezbollah in Lebanon,, or Moqtada al-Sadr of the Mahdi Army in Iraq. It doesn't matter whether this or that candidate is now judged the Most Likely to Succeed as the Successor to the Successors of Muhammad, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs of the first century of Islam. What matters only is that the ideal of the united Muslims (united against Infidels), within a united Caliphate, and run by a Rightly-Guided Caliph, is present in the minds, or hopes and dreams, of hundreds of millions.

It is not the likelihood of the dream being made a reality that matters, but the fact of the impulse itself. In trying to dominate all of Europe (and then, tomorrow, the world) Adolf Hitler caused the deaths of 60 million people and destroyed much of Europe. Given that the Umma is much larger, is much more populous, and commands far more resources (those ten trillion dollars that Muslim states have received since 1973 can buy a lot of weaponry, a lot of propaganda, a lot of Western hirelings) than Nazi Germany, or ten Nazi Germanys.

Ein Volk. Ein Reich. Ein Fuhrer.

"Islam is to dominate and is not to be dominated."

Posted on 03/12/2007 10:46 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
The Vous-Tu Distinction

The loss of the vous-tu distinction in France has taken place within a very few years, and the nearly-universal tutoiement among those under forty makes for one more linguistic and emotional subtlety lost, one more way of discreetly registering a distinction. That BHL and Arielle Dombasle make a thing of announcing to the world that they, at least, vouvoyer each other, shows how self-conscious and unnatural a practice it is to them, as would be a Russian émigré who chose to write, nowadays, using pre-Revolutionary orthography. 

The continued use of "vous" between husband and wife is something one might now expect to find only among certain kinds of quasi-royalist upper classes, the same small group that won't sing the Marseillaise -- say, M. De Boissieux to Mme.De Boissieux. But one would be wrong. There are many French husbands and wifes who still use the "vous" and do so for all kinds of reasons -- and the beauty of the tu-vous distinction is that there are all kinds of reasons, and not merely those of social distance, to explain their use.

The tu-vous distinction occurs in languages other than French -- in Italian, where it has been preserved better, though the usage is not quite the same, and in Russian (where Communist comradeliness naturally favored the greater use of "tu" but the "vous" never went away).

Voltaire has written a poem that plays upon, that relies on, the "tu" and "vous" and so do did Pushkin, a charming thing about a girl who slips into the "affectionate tu" from the "empty (expressionless) vous," that girl being perhaps Anna Kern, or possibly some Fifi or Mimi or Zizi, or names to that effect, the kind of family nicknames that in the kind of families that befriended Pushkin, in Odessa or in some other of his exiles, the daughters -- each more beautiful and desirable and wanton than the next -- would be called. I'll found the Voltaire and perhaps will find the Pushkin and put it up here.

Isn't it a pity, for example, that in replying to the posts of a particular poster, one cannot sometimes, approvingly, use the "tu" and when one wishes to register displeasure,  employ the "vous"? In "Andromaque" Hermione suddenly uses the "tu" on Orestes to register disgust. I can think of many times when such a distinction, in our levelling tongue, would have come in handy.

Even -- or especially -- here.

Posted on 03/12/2007 11:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
Memory Wipes

"Regrets? I've had a few, but then again...." What if we could just wash those unpleasant memories right out of our brains? They're working on it as we speak: (h/t: Jonah Goldberg)

A single, specific memory has been wiped from the brains of rats, leaving other recollections intact.

The study adds to our understanding of how memories are made and altered in the brain, and could help to relieve sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of the fearful memories that disrupt their lives. The results are published in Nature Neuroscience1.

The brain secures memories by transferring them from short-term to long-term storage, through a process called reconsolidation. It has been shown before that this process can be interrupted with drugs. But Joseph LeDoux of the Center for Neural Science at New York University and his colleagues wanted to know how specific this interference was: could the transfer of one specific memory be meddled with without affecting others?

"Our concern was: would you do something really massive to their memory network?" says LeDoux...

LeDoux's team also confirms the idea that a part of the brain called the amygdala is central to this process - communication between neurons in this part of the brain usually increases when a fearful memory forms, but it decreases in the treated rats. This shows that the fearful memory is actually deleted, rather than simply breaking the link between the memory and a fearful response.

Greg Quirk, a neurophysiologist from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico, thinks that psychiatrists working to treat patients with conditions such as PTSD will be encouraged by the step forward. "These drugs would be adjuncts to therapy," he says. "This is the future of psychiatry - neuroscience will provide tools to help it become more effective."

Conscience? Fuggetaboudit.

Posted on 03/12/2007 11:21 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 12 March 2007
Welfaristan

Across the pond on Airstrip One, they continue to push forward the frontiers of the Welfare State.  Have a baby out of wedlock, hang around on the unemployed register for long enough, and the goodies will flow.

Work?  Marriage?  Oh, those are for suckers.

Posted on 03/12/2007 11:34 AM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 12 March 2007
D'Souza Is In Over His Head

DD'S has waded out in what he took to be a pond named "Islam," thinking the bottom would remain sandy and either flat or gently sloping. But it turned out to be a subject for which generalizations and flippancy would not due, a subject that had to be written about only after careful study, and careful study did not mean spending some time with Bernard Lewis alone, but with dozens and dozens of careful Western students of Islam. There is not the slightest evidence, not bibliographical nor otherwise, that D'Souza understands what he had to do to adequately prepare himself for this task, nor any sign since, as he lashes out cheaply against his detractors, that he is willing to admit that he had not learned enough, and wrote and now speaks about things that he simply has not given enough thought, or enough study. Lucubrations by lamplight are not part of the lecture-tour, not part of the grasping for money, money, money that feeds his comically vulgar, even Veneeringly vulgar, -- existence, in the description of his San Diego Xanadu, and don't overlook the leopard-print wall-to-wall carpet in what is optimistically described as his "study."

He can't admit, forthrightly, he has been wrong, and has furthermore been dangerously misleading. He can't. It would spoil his pitch, spoil his reputation, lessen the only thing that appears to matter to him: those "best-sellers," those well-paid lecture tours, that website on which Dinesh D'Souza touts Dinesh D'Souza, and of course that Jaguar, and that pool, and that manicured lawn, and that leopard-print wall-to-wall carpet in the "study."

Nota bene:

The objection is not to ownership of a Jaguar. The objection is to someone endangering his own society, and the country to which he has come to settle, by a superficial and highly misleading treatment of Islam, and when caught out, merely flailing at his critics instead of doing the decent thing, which would be to carefully retreat into his study, do what he should have done before and not after issuing his little book, and then emerging with a mea maxima culpa to be delivered urbi et orbi. After all, all kinds of people, not all of them lying, issue all kinds of apologies for their behavior.

Dinesh D'Souza owes everyone an apology for his scholarly malfeasance. And the reasons for that malfeasance, and his inability to admit to it, is that he doesn't want to do anything that would puncture a hole in his necessary armor of Podsnapian self-satisfaction. For that would change the dynamics of Dinesh D'Souza, Bright Young Conservative and -- don't ever forget it, because he doesn't -- the author of Four, count them Four, New York Times Best-Sellers.

He has, through all of this, definitely earned one thing. He has earned our contempt.

Posted on 03/12/2007 11:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
Don't Stop Me If You've Seen These Before
If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you with only a precarious chance of survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is not hope of victory at all, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves. --Winston Churchill, Rivers of Africa (1893)

Many at this site are familiar with Churchill's comment about the menace of Islam to Western Christendom, and the fanaticism of Muslims (whom he called "Mohammedans" -- a term that, given the centrality of Muhammad to Islam, as uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil -- is hardly unfair or even, as some suggest, misleading).

It is a comment that deserves to be printed out, and placed on refrigerators everywhere, but especially on refrigerators in Georgetown, and McLean, Virgina, and Silver Spring, Maryland -- and of course at Camp David and at the White House and in those office refrigerators that Congressmen may keep.

Here is that quote, suitable for Infidel refrigerators everywhere:

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome." —Sir Winston Churchill, from The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899).

Posted on 03/12/2007 11:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
Our Friendly Visa Waver Program

Of course we want to "promote easier and more welcoming flow of people into the United States." Why wouldn't we? From WND with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

WASHINGTON – While the U.S. scrutinizes visa requests from countries known as terrorist havens, a British intelligence revelation suggests "homegrown" European jihadists could pose a far greater threat both on the continent and in America..

Last year, British authorities broke up a transatlantic plot by some 24 British citizens of Pakistani origin to detonate explosives carried on board several airliners traveling from the UK to the U.S.

Great Britain, however, is but one of 27 countries whose citizens are not required to obtain visas to enter the U.S...

Once in the U.S., a foreign visitor who has entered under VWP can make a short trip to Mexico or Canada and be readmitted into the U.S. under the VWP for the original admission period. In addition, VWP nationals residing in Mexico and Canada are generally exempt from requirements to show onward travel to other foreign destinations.

This prospect allows sleeper cells to move freely and meet with terrorist cells in Mexico or Canada to coordinate any attacks...

Posted on 03/12/2007 11:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 12 March 2007
Islam is boring

Mary Jackson welcomes your comments on a short, late arrival:

Islam is boring

But she will quite understand if you've got more interesting things to do than read her article.

Posted on 03/12/2007 2:08 PM by NER
Monday, 12 March 2007
We're on our way to Wembley - da di da di da.
Demand for tickets for the first competitive match at London's rebuilt Wembley stadium has caused the Football Association's website to crash.  Sixty thousand £10 tickets went on sale at 1500 GMT for England's under-21 match against Italy on 24 March.
It is a test event which it is hoped will allow a safety certificate to be issued, enabling Wembley to stage May's FA Cup final before a 90,000 crowd.
The FA said there were early problems, but they had been fixed. A spokesman said tickets had been selling at the rate of 6,000 an hour.
But still not every attempt to buy tickets was successful. At 1830 GMT on Monday the site was still carrying this message: "Apologies, but due to massive interest in the England Under 21 match at the new Wembley Stadium, we have currently closed the queue for tickets. Please try again later."
I had been getting that plus “The network is busy please try again” on the telephone since 3.15. While the veg was cooking I idly pressed refresh and suddenly found myself in a queue.
You are place No 4991
Total number queueing 6035
Estimated time 45 minutes.
This page will automatically refresh every 2 minutes.
Hold tea, we could be in luck here. By the time I was in the last 1000 and with 10 minutes to go 10,000 others were queuing.
Finally, with meat pie, mashed potatoes and peas sitting in the oven to keep warm the page opened with “please enter your FAN number – if you do not have a FAN number register now”  
Registered now, into the site, yes we do want the family bay, yes I do accept the terms and conditions, enter name, post code, UK, then …..!
Error message ! ! ! Run time error, does not compute, insufficient data, zxerti*%~# type thing.
I said they should never have pulled the twin towers down, it’s a curse I tell you.
Hit back, yes I told you the first time that I do accept the terms and conditions,  
Then finally, your tickets will be posted to you, click here to print your details.
Shortly afterwards at 20 to 8 the queue closed again.
Wemberleeee, Wemberleeee,
Mind you my friend had tickets for Bon Jovi who were expected to be the opening concert last year. She wasn't happy having to go all the way to Milton Keynes when the building over ran.
Posted on 03/12/2007 2:59 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 March 2007
21/7 plot bombs could have repeated 7/7 carnage
From The Times
The homemade devices made by the alleged 21/7 bombers contained “a very effective high explosive” which could have caused a repeat of the carnage of 7/7, a court heard today.  The power of the improvised explosive devices was displayed to the jurors in the 21/7 trial when they were shown a film of tests carried out by government scientists in a deserted quarry.
Video still from footage of mocked-up devices exploding
Television screens around the courtroom at Woolwich Crown Court played footage of replica devices exploding in flashes of light, flames and smoke.
Four such “bombs” partially detonated on three Tube trains and a bus on July 21 2005 - two weeks after the deaths of 52 people in the July 7 suicide bombings.
Nigel Sweeney, QC, prosecuting, asked Clifford Todd, the forensic scientist who supervised the testing, what the consequences would have been if the devices had fully exploded on 21/7.  “Very similar to what they were two weeks previously,” replied Mr Todd. “Very large scale damage to the train and many deaths and serious injuries if there were people there at the time.”
The trial has previously heard that it was only “good fortune” that stopped the devices exploding.
July 2005 was the first time, Mr Todd said, that forensic laboratories in Britain had encountered hydrogen peroxide explosives. Extensive research was carried out to replicate the explosive recipe allegedly used by the defendants.
Tests were carried out on mixtures that involved different ratios of hydrogen peroxide to chapati flour - the additional fuel used on 21/7 - and with different concentrations of the chemical.
Mr Todd said that the composition of chemicals most closely resembling that which the alleged bombers tried to make exploded every time it was tested with a detonator.  He added: “The ratio makes a very effective high explosive which is readily explodable using a detonator or booster... Potentially this device, as constructed, was viable.”
Mr Todd said: “This is brand new, it has not been done anywhere else and I have had discussions with colleagues in other countries who are very interested in this series of tests.”  A mechanical arm was used to insert the detonator into the main charge for the second series of tests.  Mr Todd said: “If something goes wrong at that point, that will kill you.”  Mr Todd said he didn’t believe the claim by Muktar Ibrahim, who admits making the 21/7 devices, that they were an elaborate hoax.  He said there was a fine dividing line between the concentration of hydrogen peroxide that would have worked and the strength that would have failed to explode. 
Posted on 03/12/2007 3:36 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 12 March 2007
Demographic sinkhole
So lemme see, Kim Jong-il is doing his best to rid the world of North Koreans.  Meanwhile, the South Koreans are doing a similar thing to themselves, bu in a spirit of private enterprise.
If Koreans were a stock I'd be on the dog to my broker screaming "Sell!  Sell!"
Posted on 03/12/2007 4:57 PM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 12 March 2007
Rhyming slang

Sorry:  "dog" = "dog & bone" = "phone."  I'm not from around here.

Posted on 03/12/2007 4:58 PM by John Derbyshire
Monday, 12 March 2007
A Bad Sign

"Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people," [Barak] Obama said while on the final leg of his weekend trip to eastern Iowa.

"If we could get some movement among Palestinian leadership, what I'd like to see is a loosening up of some of the restrictions on providing aid directly to the Palestinian people," he added. --from this news item

This is disturbing, but it disturbs not merely because of his misapprehending the nature of the dispute, and his apparent ready acceptance of the notion that the local Arabs (many of them exactly one or two generations away from descendants in Egypt, Iraq and present-day Jordan who entered Mandatory Palestine, in far greater numbers, as unchecked and illegal Arab immigrants, all through the Mandate and even in the decade before the Mandate was established, drawn by the new economic activity that came from the enterprise and industry of Zionist pioneers, than did Jews for whose "Jewish National Home" the Mandate for Palestine was created in the first place (as other mandates provided for the Arabs, already bountifully provided for -- and partly as a result of which the Arab League now has 21 Arab members, and does not need another).

It disturbs because it shows an unwillingness to stand back, and take in new information about the nature of Islam, new information about the observable behavior of Muslims, not merely against the West, but against Christians in the southern Sudan (with 1.8 million victims), or against Buddhists in southern Thailand, or against Hindus in Kashmir, as well as in India itself, and within Pakistan and Bangladesh. It means that Obama apparently has not grasped the nature of Islam, the nature of the duty of Jihad, nor has he thought he has a duty to study the nature of Islam, as do all the Presidential candidates, and not to be satisfied with pious wishes, or sentimentality of the People-Are-the-Same-the-Whole-World-Over variety.

He disappoints, terribly. And if he further reveals a misunderstanding about Islam, whatever his personal appeal, he has to be opposed. For it is precisely that personal appeal, if yoked to the wrong wagon, that could make him more dangerous. Bush is also yoked to the wrong wagon -- the wagon of nonsense about a "war on terrorism" and about a "religion of peace" that has been "hijacked by extremists" and so on, and about the need for Americans to sacrifice to bring peace and prosperity -- two impossible goals, but in trying to obtain them the American government is squandering lives, money, matériel, morale -- and two goals not worth attaining, for it is the very opposite, the sectarian and ethnic fissures, that if they remain untamed are the best way, at present, to divide and demoralize the camp of Islam.

He has either been ill-advised, or has not taken the trouble to study, or perhaps that Muslim father, of whose existence one did not wish to make much, assuming that perhaps he, Barack Obama, was in fact more like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Ibn Warraq or Wafa Sultan and had thought deeply about what is wrong with Islam, and gave some promise of being able, as others might not be, to articulate the goals of those who wish not to be victims of an Islam, and a Jihad, on the march, and not only or mainly through that "terrorism" about which so many prate, and overlook the Daw'a and the demographic conquest.

It's a bad sign.

Posted on 03/12/2007 5:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
Alexandra the Great

"Remember Alexandra the Great..."-- from a reader,"UK Infidel Lover"

I certainly do. And she certainly was.

"Oh God. That should be Alexander the Great."-- "UK Infidel Lover"

Now you tell me. How do you think I feel?

Posted on 03/12/2007 5:31 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
A Pundit, Not Pandit

Mr. Fitzgerald, D'Souza like all Indian males are passive and feminine in nature. His entire persona is reacting like that of a female. Vetting of his work is now savage attacks and daggers. --from a reader

Dinesh D'Souza should not be castigated as an "Indian." That's absurd. He is an example, rather, of a universal human type, the thrusting self-promoter, crossed with the pontificating pundit who pretends he's something a bit more: a "student" or even a "scholar" of this or that.

And the word "pundit" used in the posting above is now an English word, fully naturalized, but it comes from the Sanskrit "pandita" (a learned man), via Hindi. Nehru used to be called, not entirely without reason, Pandit Nehru.

The problem is that our pundits are so seldom pandits. Vaporings are not enough now that the old self-assured (and sometimes well-educated elites) are gone.

D.D'S. is a mere pundit. Only pundits who are also pandits, from now on, will do.

Posted on 03/12/2007 5:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 12 March 2007
Theophrastus' Characters

"You'll find those strange names as universal types (the self-promoter, the ass-kisser, the perpetual dissembler, the fame-seeker, etc.) in the 17th cent. French writer, La Bruyere's, book Les Caracteres (approx. translation: The Human Types). Brilliant and true, then and now, but don't tell anyone in the humanities today, or you'll be damned as an "essentialist."" --from a reader

La Bruyere's "Characters" can be traced back to Theophrastus, who first offered his own "Characters about 2300 years ago.

At Wikipedia (to be shunned for many things, but useful for some other things) the following types in Theophrastus are listed:

The Insincere Man (Eironeia)
The Flatterer (Kolakeia)
The Garrulous Man (Adoleschia)
The Boor (Agroikia)
The Complaisant Man (Areskeia)
The Man without Moral Feeling (Aponoia)
The Talkative Man (Lalia)
The Fabricator (Logopoiia)
The Shamelessly Greedy Man (Anaischuntia)
The Pennypincher (Mikrologia)
The Offensive Man (Bdeluria)
The Hapless Man (Akairia)
The Officious Man (Periergia)
The Absent-Minded Man (Anaisthesia)
The Unsociable Man (Authadeia)
The Superstitious Man (Deisidaimonia)
The Faultfinder (Mempsimoiria)
The Suspicious Man (Apistia)
The Repulsive Man (Duschereia)
The Unpleasant Man (Aedia)
The Man of Petty Ambition (Mikrophilotimia)
The Stingy Man (Aneleutheria)
The Show-Off (Alazoneia)
The Arrogant Man (Huperephania)
The Coward (Deilia)
The Oligarchical Man (Oligarchia)
The Late Learner (Opsimathia)
The Slanderer (Kakologia)
The Lover of Bad Company (Philoponeria)
The Basely Covetous Man (Aischrokerdeia)


The English equivalent would be Sir Thomas Overbury, who limned occupational as well as character types: i.e., not only "The Miser" but also "The Merchant" or "The Maidservant." [I'm making these up, but they give an idea].

You choose one or more from the list above that you think might best fit the case of DD'S. What about "Microphilotimia" -- The Man of Petty Ambition?

Posted on 03/12/2007 5:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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