These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 13, 2010.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Five Muslim men planned attack on NSW army base, Supreme Court told
From the Herald Sun
FIVE Muslim men planned an armed terrorist attack on a Sydney army base to further the cause of Islam by killing as many people as possible, a Supreme Court jury heard today. Prosecutor Nick Robinson SC said the men took a number of steps in preparation for the attack, including sending one of their number to Somalia to obtain a fatwa or religious decree to permit the plan to go ahead.
Mr Robinson said members of the group used the code "the man who has gone to Perth" when talking about Yacqub Khayre's trip in search of a fatwa.
The plan was that five or six men armed with high powered weapons would enter the Holsworthy Army Base and fire at and kill as many people as possible before they were either killed or overwhelmed. They planned to use weapons that could fire at least 60 bullets.
On trial are Saney Edow Aweys, 26, Mr Khayre, 22, Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 25, and Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 33,and Nayef El Sayed, 25. They have all pleaded not guilty to conspiring with each other and persons unknown between February 1 and August 4 last year to do acts in preparation for, or planning a terrorist act or acts.
Mr Robinson said the men believed Islam was under attack from the West and that Australians and the Australian Government were oppressing innocent Muslims in Afghanistan. "The Crown case was that this was to advance the cause of Islam,"
Before the trial commenced, Justice Betty King warned the jury that the trial was about the alleged commission of a criminal offence, not about Islam. "The Islamic faith is not on trial," Justice King said. "It isn't about being a Muslim." I think she ought to hear the evidence first.
Posted on 09/13/2010 3:51 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 13 September 2010
Former minister in High Court battle over election 'dirty tricks'
If only this type of challenge was not so expensive. Although in this case the Labour Majority was sufficiently small as to make it most viable. From the Telegraph.
The Labour MP will appear at the High Court today to face allegations that he told "devastating and far-reaching" lies about his Liberal Democrat opponent as he tried to cling on to his seat, which he won with a majority of just 103 votes. Mr Woolas is the first MP for 99 years to face a challenge to his election victory on the basis of publishing false statements about an opponent.
By the time of this year's general election campaign, Phil Woolas had become more known for his gaffes than for any achievements he had made as an immigration minister.
His expenses claims, which included receipts for tampons and women's clothing, had made him something of a laughing stock in his Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency, reinforced by his inept handling of the row over UK residency for Gurkha veterans, in which he was outflanked by Joanna Lumley, the actress. Labour Party activists began to fear he was a busted flush - or, in the words of his own election agent, Joseph Fitzpatrick: "We are picking up the vibe that Phil is going to lose."
Mr Woolas and members of his election team became convinced that he would be beaten by the popular Liberal Democrat candidate, Elwyn Watkins, who had sufficient momentum to wipe out the minister's 3,590 majority. So in the weeks before the election, Mr Woolas's team allegedly hatched a plan cynically to exploit racial tension in Oldham, the scene of race riots in 2001, by portraying Mr Watkins as a candidate courting the vote of Islamic extremists.
It would culminate in the publication of two election pamphlets that contained headlines such as "Lib Dem pact with the devil" and "Targeted: militant extremists go for Phil Woolas". Other "stories" in a newspaper-style leaflet included: "Lib Dems in mosque planning permission stitch-up" and "Straight talking Woolas too fair for militant Muslims".
Mr Watkins's legal team will claim in the High Court today that Mr Woolas knowingly lied, in breach of electoral law, and that the "smears" swung the election towards Mr Woolas, who scraped through with a majority of 103. If the court finds against Mr Woolas, his political career will be over.
Legal documents submitted to the High Court, and seen by The Daily Telegraph, show that Mr Woolas was seriously concerned about his rival as early as December 2009, when he told his team in an email that "it is time to hit Elwyn in the run-up to Xmas". . . (One proposal was) a newspaper-style mailshot, called The Saddleworth and Oldham Examiner, with the alleged main aim of persuading Tory voters, many of whom disliked the fact that the Conservative candidate was Muslim, to vote Labour rather than switching to the Lib Dems.
"Tory voters are talking of voting Lib Dem," wrote Mr Fitzpatrick in an email to Mr Green on April 25. "If we can convince them that they are being used by the Moslems it may save [Woolas] and the more we can damage Elwyn the easier it will be to stop the Tories from voting for him." His team allegedly hoped that by exploiting the racial divide in Oldham they would, in an email allegedly written by Steven Green, Mr Woolas's campaign adviser, which is contained in court papers (also) seen by The Daily Telegraph, "bring out the white Sun-reading vote".
Having alienated their core working class vote by their contempt for that group and polices designed to disadvantage them they can only hope to woo them back by lies and dirty tricks.
A twin-track approach was allegedly adopted: Mr Watkins would be portrayed as a friend of Islamic extremists, while Mr Woolas would be painted as a fearless opponent of militants. Mr Fitzpatrick suggested to Mr Green: "We need to go strong on the militant Moslem angle," and suggested the headline: "Militant Moslems target Woolas." This would send out a message, he suggested, that Muslim extremists wanted to "take down" Mr Woolas for standing up to them. Interesting how this Labour apparacknik still uses the old-fashioned 'o' spelling and not the Politically Correct 'u' spelling. Actually I use the 'u' spelling because I got fed up correcting my spell-checker.
"We need ... to explain to the white community how the Asians will take him out ... If we don't get the white vote angry he's gone." Other members of the campaign team expressed serious concerns about the "upsetting" content of the pamphlet, in particular a picture of extremists holding a sign saying "behead those who insult Islam" taken in London four years earlier.
A second pamphlet, called The Rose, was published the day before the election and contained "an even more toxic statement", Mr Watkins's legal team claim, because it falsely suggested that the Lib Dem was being backed by groups that had issued death threats against Mr Woolas. This was a "Lib Dem pact with the devil", according to the leaflet.
Posted on 09/13/2010 4:41 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 13 September 2010
Apertures Of Ecstasy, Or What A DroidX Can Do For You
From an on-line ad for a Special Offer on phones from that samaritan organization, Verizon Wireless :
"With a screen that turns your eyes into captivated apertures of ecstasy. Web-busting speed that transforms your arms into blistering, churning pistons. And intuition that manifests itself as your sixth sense. There's no end to what your device can do, it's the next generation of does."
Quaere: If he were alive today, would Richard Crashaw -- he who in "The Weeper" described the weeper's weeping eyes as "portable, and compendious oceans" -- be a Mad Man willing to be shilling for DroidX?
Anything is possible.
Posted on 09/13/2010 8:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 13 September 2010
A Cinematic Musical Interlude: Whistling In The Dark (from "Pennies From Heaven")
Posted on 09/13/2010 8:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 13 September 2010
Imam Rauf's Close Associate is 9/11 Truther
Not that this is surprising. Rauf himself has expressed similar views. IPT reports:
In his interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Wednesday, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf defended his plans to build a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero, saying "You cannot heal a trauma by walking away from it. We have to sit down. We have to talk about it. We have to dialogue about it and find a way to move through it and beyond it."
But a trove of videos and writings available on the Internet shows that a longtime partner of Rauf believes the 9/11 terror attacks were "an inside job" by U.S. government and corporate interests, the Investigative Project on Terrorism found.
Faiz Khan, a physician who claims to have been a first responder after the September 11 attacks, is a founding member of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth and is on the advisory board of the Muslims for 9/11 Truth. In an essay on the Alliance's website, he argued that "the prime factor for the success of the criminal mission known as 9/11 did not come from the quarter known as 'militant Islam' although the phenomenon known as 'militant Islamic networks' may have played a partial role, or even a less than partial role - perhaps the role of patsy and scapegoat."
In speeches, Khan says people in the Third World, where the "sleaze of governance" is more of a given, few people question whether 9/11 was an inside job.
Khan also helped form the American Sufi Muslim Association in 1997 with Rauf, a group now known as the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA). ASMA and Rauf's Cordoba Initiative are leading the mosque effort in lower Manhattan.
Khan has led Friday prayers at the Al Farah Mosque, where Rauf is the imam, for years. That practice continued at least through December - after the mosque proposal was unveiled -- when Khan was cited and photographed in an article in the German magazine Der Spiegel on the project.
Khan and Rauf also are members of the Sufi Circle, created in 2004 to promote "a Divine Love, unity and tolerance for a happy and meaningful life." In an announcement for a pending appearance, Khan's photograph on the Sufi site comes from this 2005 speech he gave explaining his beliefs about the 9/11 attacks. Cropped out is a sign behind Khan that reads "Expose the 9/11 Cover-Up."
In that speech, Khan claimed people he meets in the Middle East and North Africa take government responsibility for 9/11 as a given and ask what Americans don't understand. In the Third World, he explained "the sleaze of governance is a lot more transparent" and accepted by the public. He also urged people not to get hung up on the concept of nation states:
"There's no such thing as a Saudi nation, there is a royal sleazy family there. And there is no such thing as the American nation when it comes to 9/11 because there's a sleazy mob, if you will, in the White House that co-opts Washington, D.C. and actualizes the agendas of Wall Street. That is the way things have worked all throughout history."...
Posted on 09/13/2010 9:45 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 13 September 2010
What I Brought Back From The Book Sale
At the Library Sale this past Saturday, among the large haul of books pulled up in my net and brought home in boxes were three on turtles, Tura, and transcendentalism.
"Turtles Of North America" by Clifford H. Pope.
"Cosimo Tura, by Eberhard Ruhmer.
"Transcendentalism in New England" by Octavius Brooks Frothingham.
However, I have two complaints to register with the What's-In-A-Name Office.
One concerns a title.
Why did those running the highly-intelligent Phaidon Press some 40 years ago, with its more than a whiff of the Warburg Institute, decide that the Ferrarese painter known in Italy as Cosmè Tura should be called, as Ruhmer has it, Cosimo Tura?
One concerns an author.
Why did the parents of Octavius Brooks Frothingham give him that first name, with the mother's maiden name, "Brooks," apparently being used as his middle, rather than as his first, name? Purists will object that he should have been named Brooks Frothingham. I am a purist. I object.
But, as to the magisterial work on North American turtles, I have no complaints except that it's a little slow going. .
Posted on 09/13/2010 1:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 13 September 2010
One Imam, Multiple Messages
Journalist and author Fareed Zakaria has made some grave accusations against those who oppose the building of the Islamic center near Ground Zero, and has predicated his own approval of the project on the moderateness of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Zakaria wrote that Abdul Rauf "has said one or two things about American foreign policy that strike me as overly critical - but it's stuff you could read on The Huffington Post any day."
Yes, indeed - you are likely to read similar "stuff" on the Huffington Post, since Rauf has written there. But how can that possibly constitute a convincing defense of Rauf? Many Huffington Post writers are anti-American, and believe that the U.S. had 9/11 "coming to it." They still have not learned that 9/11 had nothing to do with U.S. foreign policy.
Rauf evidently has not learned that lesson either. On Sept. 30, 2001, 60 Minutes host Ed Bradley asked him if he thought the U.S. deserved the 9/11 attacks. Rauf replied, "I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States' policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. . . . We have been an accessory to a lot of - of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it - in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the U.S.A."
It is worth noting Rauf's words carefully. The atrocity is characterized in the passive: "a crime that happened." This allows Rauf to avoid stating that it was Islamists who committed it. In his book What's Right with Islam, Rauf even objects to the term "Islamism" - one that was actually concocted to avoid indicting Islam directly - since, he argues, it falsely implies that Islam is the source of the militancy.
The United States is accused of being an "accessory," of somehow having "created" Osama bin Laden. According to Rauf on page one of What's Right with Islam, because many Muslims around the world support Osama bin Laden, the United States is doing something wrong.
And incidentally, what Rauf wrote in the Huffington Post, soon after the rigged Iranian elections of June 12, 2009, is evidence that he is an admirer of the tyrannical theocracy in that country. After endorsing the "official results," Rauf praised the 1979 revolution: "The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was in part to depose the shah, who had come to power in 1953 after a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddeq. And in part it was an opportunity to craft an Islamic state with a legitimate ruler according to Shia political theory. . . . After the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the Shiite concept of the Rightly Guided Imam and created the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, which means the rule of the jurisprudent. This institutionalizes the Islamic rule of law. The Council of Guardians serves to ensure these principles."
Then Rauf claims that the elections in Iran were a slow-but-sure step towards democracy: "[Obama's] administration understands that what is going on now in Iran is an attempt by the Iranian people to live up to their own ideals. Just as American democracy developed over many years, the United States recognizes that this election is part of the process of an evolving democracy in Iran." I wonder what Iranians in exile, or those risking their lives to protest that hideous regime, think about Rauf's complacency about what is happening in Iran.
Here is Rauf's advice to the president: "He should say his administration respects many of the guiding principles of the 1979 revolution - to establish a government that expresses the will of the people; a just government, based on the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, that establishes the rule of law."
Rauf praises the tyrants in Iran and is apparently ready to accept their money for the Islamic center at Ground Zero, but he fails to explain the term vilayet-i-faqih to American audiences. The term, literally "the guardianship of the jurist," was developed by Ayatollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1969, and became the guiding principle of the government of Iran after he came to power in 1979. The concept is but an extension and slight modification of the Shia idea of wal?, in which Ali and the imams succeeding him were considered guardians of the community, acting on behalf of God himself. Under this concept, the people of Iran are the wards of the ayatollahs, and the people of Iran owe the guardians absolute obedience in accordance with Sura IV verse 59 ("O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you . . ."). Secondly, the exclusive right of interpretation of Islamic law belongs to religious scholars. Thus there is nothing democratic about it - its totalitarian character should be evident. Rauf's endorsement of this principle makes him the unequivocal defender of totalitarian Khomeinism.
Continue reading here.
Posted on 09/13/2010 2:01 PM by Ibn Warraq
Monday, 13 September 2010
900 World Trade Center workers dead since 2001
The number of victims of 9/11 is growing. From NewsInferno:
In the nine years since the horrific attack on New York City's World Trade Center (WTC), some 900 more people have allegedly died as a result of the toxic dust cloud that encased lower Manhattan following the collapse of the Towers. Some 3,000 people died on September 11th, 2001, said Fox News, noting that, according to the NY State Health Department, the death toll continues to rise with World Trace Center rescue and recovery workers dead over sicknesses developed due to their efforts at Ground Zero,
Based on the most recent Health Department figures-June 2009-836 workers died since the attacks, wrote Fox News. Health officials only confirm 813, citing the short study length and claiming conclusions as to cause of deaths could not be made, reported Fox News. Officials note that of the 836, over 20 percent were viewed as "traumatic," involving "exposure to harmful substances or environments, car accidents, or assaults"; "80 percent were from illness," said Fox News.
John Feal, founding president of the FealGood Foundation, an advocacy group for WTC rescue and recovery workers, calls the study defective and archaic saying it does not follow workers outside NY, wrote Fox News. The figure is closer to over 900, which is likely "conservative," said Feal, wrote Fox.
"I still think the number is low," he said, quoted Fox News. "I can guarantee over the last nine years, someone from small-town America has died from 9/11-related illnesses when that small-town doctor didn't know what he was looking at... All the undocumented workers who went home, a lot of the Spanish workers, they went home and died." According to Feal, those who die post-9/11 as a result of the attacks will soon surpass the number of those who died at the attacks, said Fox News. "The men and women who have died since, who were literally searching for their loved ones who were lost, have died or are dying because of neglect, poor leadership, and bad politics.... Our federal government, they put politics before human lives. That's unacceptable," said Feal, wrote Fox News.
We just wrote that the House is, again, looking into a bill to provide about $7.4 billion to sickened WTC rescue and recovery workers, said the Associated Press (AP); similar measures are pending in the Senate. If passed, the bill will provide the WTC workers sickened after their work at the site free health care and compensation, said the AP. The bill failed in July said the AP, over party line issues.
Posted on 09/13/2010 3:02 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Monday, 13 September 2010
Bruce Bawer writes at City Journal:
One good thing about living in Europe is that you don't feel obliged to watch the CBS, NBC, or ABC evening news. But here in Norway, we do get the CBS and NBC broadcasts, one live and the other an hour later, and you can watch them if you're willing to stay up late enough-given the time difference, they're both on after midnight. Last Wednesday, I happened to catch both. It didn't take long for my jaw to drop.
To my astonishment, both broadcasts' lead story was the plan by Terry Jones, who until recently was a deservedly obscure preacher in Gainesville, Florida, to burn copies of the Koran on September 11. The tone of the reports was grave: how would the Muslim world respond to this unspeakable act? The news had already caused significant unrest in Muslim cities. Fearing the worst, American officials, from the White House on down, had condemned Jones's plan and called on him to change his mind. Among those who'd weighed in publicly were Hillary Clinton and presidential advisor David Axelrod. Even the Vatican had issued a condemnation. On camera, General David Petraeus warned darkly that if Jones burned the Koran, the lives of GIs would be endangered.
The network reporters speculated about whether anything could be done to stop Jones. Both CBS and NBC interviewed Gainesville officials, who insisted that local ordinances forbade book-burning and promised that if Jones carried out his plan, there would be consequences. But it was also noted that the First Amendment made it difficult to punish the preacher, though the planned burning plainly constituted a terrible provocation. Implicit on both CBS and NBC was that Jones was inviting major international calamity and that it was unfortunate that nothing could be done to stop him.
As if all this weren't enough, President Obama himself weighed in on Thursday morning. "If he's listening," Obama told Good Morning America, "I hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans." Obama reminded Jones that America was "built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance" and that "this stunt . . . could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform." The president expressed his hope that Jones would listen to his "better angels" and call off his "destructive act."
It's clear, of course, that Jones-who at the last minute canceled the bonfire, declaring that "God is telling us to stop"-is a nut. He's apparently made a career of spewing hate at Jews, gays, and just about everybody else who doesn't belong to his tiny church, which seems to be some kind of wacky cult.
But that's neither here nor there. The real story here isn't about Jones but about the rest of us and what we've allowed to happen to our civilization since 9/11. Who would have imagined, on the day the Twin Towers fell, that nine years later we'd be so scared of Muslim reactions that the plan of some crank to burn a few copies of the Koran would become the lead story on the evening news and cause the president himself to plead with the guy to call it off? Imagine a modern-day Rip Van Winkle who'd fallen asleep before 9/11 and awakened to all this nonsense. For such a person, the degree of attention accorded to Jones would have been nothing less than incomprehensible. What in God's name, Rip would ask, had happened to America? How could we have become so timid, so terrified, so quickly? How could an American president, in the middle of war and economic crisis, give so much as a moment's notice to such a piddling non-story?
Needless to say, the truly important things went unsaid on those network news reports. Nobody pointed out that we wouldn't be fretting like this if there weren't something very special about Islam. You could announce plans to burn a stack of Bibles, or the Bhagavad-Gita, or the Dhammapada, or the Book of Mormon, or Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, or a truckload of copies of The Watchtower, or any other non-Muslim religious text without making the White House and Pentagon call emergency meetings and put embassies around the world on alert. How little time it's taken for us to get used to paying Islam a unique degree of "respect"!
One of the network news reports-I don't remember which-showed an anti-American demonstration by Muslims in Kabul reacting to Jones's planned Koran-burning. The demonstrators were burning an American flag and stomping on it. Neither the reporter nor the anchorperson commented on this fact. Plainly, in their view, the burning of an American flag was not worth remarking upon. After all, in recent years Muslims around the world have burned countless American flags, not to mention the flags of pretty much every other Western democracy. Since 9/11, we've grown used to seeing the revered symbols of Western democratic values routinely desecrated in the Muslim world.
And we've also grown used to the fact this is most assuredly not a two-way street. American flags can be burned by the hundreds, by huge crowds, in the major squares of Muslim capitals, and that's apparently hunky-dory with us. But when a guy in Gainesville whom nobody ever heard of decides to burn a few Korans, everybody from the president on down begs him to reconsider. Obama to the contrary, this isn't about "our values as Americans"; it's not about "freedom and religious tolerance." It's about fear. Nine years after jihadists murdered 2,977 people on American soil, the sight of American leaders quaking in their boots at the thought of some clown's offending the Muslim world is nothing less than obscene.
Posted on 09/13/2010 6:00 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 13 September 2010
A Musical Interlude: And Her Mother Comes Too (Jack Buchanan)
Posted on 09/13/2010 7:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 13 September 2010
The Return Of Hyman Kaplan
On the nightly news with somebody or other (either Brian Williams or Mike Nichols' wife, I forget which), fresh-faced pert perky simple-minded Christine O'Donnell, she of tomorrow's Delaware Republican primary and the recipient of a Palin endorsement, was being interviewed. She said something about someone --Mr. Castle, her Republican primary opponent ? the Democrats? the Mainstream Media? -- being in "lock, step, and barrel" with some other terrible something or someone.
"Lock, step, and barrel."
Made my day, in Return-of-Hyman-Kaplanish fashion. Isn't it nice that in the United States, English is now spoken as a second language by practically everyone, and Leo Rosten will never die?
Yes, Christine O'Donnell made my day. But I still would never vote for her. Some might call that ingratitude.
Posted on 09/13/2010 7:13 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald