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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 Wednesday, 14, 2008.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
RDX used in Jaipur blasts
Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Wednesday said the Forensic Science report confirmed the use of RDX in Tuesday’s serial blasts in the Pink City.
Sources in the police told CNN-IBN RDX was packed on bicycles that were used as carriers to trigger off the blasts.
So a common military explosive then and not something mixed in the kitchen and bathroom from a recipe off the internet. RDX has been used by the group Lashkar-e-Toiba in the Mumbai train bombings of 2006 and is believed to have also been used in the 1993 bombs in Mumbai. These bombs seem to have been working from timers or remote control not suicide operatives.
The Times of India believe the choice of sites indicates motive.
All the blasts that took place in Jaipur on Tuesday were in affluent and predominantly Hindu localities.
This tallies with the pattern of community targeting that, beginning with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, was evident in 2006 when terrorists attacked first-class train compartments preferred by rich Gujarati businessmen in Mumbai and crowds that had gathered in front of Varanasi's Sankatmochan temple. Those who struck in Jaipur not just chose Tuesday but also a Hanuman temple while selecting the sites to plant explosives, timing the blasts to coincide with aarti.
Recognizing this, the Centre lost no time in asking all states to step up vigil in areas with a history of communal tension, and, fearing that terrorists might take advantage of a distracted security establishment, at vital installations.
The attackers were not looking just for a higher death toll, but also wanted to advertise their religious identity as part of their diabolic plot to pit communities against each other.
The Telegraph reports that Four people have been questioned by police in connection with seven bomb blasts that killed 80 people and injured 200 in the crowded markets of Jaipur in India.
The suspects were detained as police sifted through mutilated bodies and the remains of buildings following a series of bombs, which are thought to have been planted in rickshaws, bicycles and cars by Pakistani or Bangladeshi Islamist militants.
“We have picked them up for questioning in regards to the attacks last night, but we have not booked them on any charge,” a police spokesman said.
Authorities today announced a nationwide security alert and a day of mourning across the western desert state of Rajasthan as the full extent of the carnage emerged.
Shopping bags, bloodied sandals and shoes were strewn across the popular Johri bazaar where one of the bombs exploded.
Pools of blood stained the street outside Hanuman temple, dedicated to the Hindu monkey god. A bride in a red saree still wearing marriage bangles was among the dead. As was a 10-year-old boy.
The first explosion happened in a popular vegetarian restaurant in a crowded bazaar shortly after 7.30pm.
One suspect was detained and was being questioned, police said, adding that an eighth bomb that did not explode was found attached to a bicycle and defused.
While Indian officials did not immediately openly blame Pakistan-based militants for the attack, Sriprakash Jaiswal, the junior home minister, suggested the bombings were connected to previous explosions.
"The blasts are part of a big conspiracy," he said. "Obviously, it’s a terrorist plot," said A.S Gill, the local police chief. "The way it has been done, the attempt was to cause the maximum damage to human life."
The nearly simultaneous blasts bore the hallmarks of an attack by terrorists based in neighbouring Pakistan.
Indian intelligence sources said the bombs could have been the work of Islamist radicals who have been trying to infiltrate the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistani territory in the last two days.
Posted on 05/14/2008 2:30 AM by Esmerelda WEatherwax
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Saudis to boycott Danish drugs
Saudi Arabian importers have ordered customers of Danish medicines to boycott the products due to the reprinting of the Mohammed cartoons in February.
The fallout from the media’s reprinting of the Mohammed cartoons in February has not yet subsided in the Middle East, made apparent by yet another probable boycott of Danish products – this time medicines from Danish pharmaceutical companies, according to Saudi Gazette newspaper.
Saudi Arabian importers and retailers have ordered the nation’s hospitals and pharmacies to boycott all Danish drugs, e-mailing a list containing 41 medicines produced by companies such as Novo Nordisk, Lundbeck and Leo Pharma to those facilities and to the Saudi health ministry.
Dr. Abdul Moiz Shams, one of the physicians supporting the boycott, wrote to the Saudi Gazette that boycotting insulin was the most effective means of economically hurting the Danish economy.
’I would advise the world’s Muslims to consider just one product to boycott – insulin. It earns billions of dollars in profit for Denmark and is distributed all across the Gulf region,’ he said.
Who else produces insulin? Other pharmaceutical companies should stand firm and refuse to supply Saudi Arabia on the grounds that they are not proving to be a reliable customer and one with a dubious human rights record. I expect China will supply them, but with the quality of some Chinese drugs being questionable the Saudis might come to realise their mistake. One can hope.
Posted on 05/14/2008 6:55 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Breaking news - sloths are not slothful

Not so fast, Mr Sloth. From The Telegraph:

The sloth has earned an unfair reputation for laziness and does not sleep for nearly as long as first thought, scientists have discovered.

In the first scientific study of sleep in wild animals, researchers found the sloth only sleeps for nine and a half hours a day, six hours fewer than previously thought.

The animal, which spends much of its time hanging from the canopy of the rainforest in South and Central America and eating leaves, was believed to get at least 16 hours sleep a day.

Scientists monitored the sloth’s sleeping pattern using two sensors on a hat to pick up signals from the brain to show when the animal was sleeping and when it was chewing.

[...]

The team found that sloths in captivity slept for nearly 16 hours while those in the wild slept for just nine and a half hours.

From the leading article:

Perhaps, inside, the sloth has been seething with indignation at the calumny against its character. In which case, it might instead be called the wrath. Certainly it shows few signs to justify a redesignation as the lust. Names stick, though. To vary the proverb: give a sloth a bad name and hang it. Except, in the case of the undemanding sloth, hanging is already something of a speciality.

In other news, an octogenarian mayfly comforts an infertile rabbit.

Posted on 05/14/2008 6:50 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Who You Gonna Call?

If an aggressive Muslim mob takes over your neighborhood, these policemen won't be much help. It seems their sensitivity training has worked too well. This is posted at Brussels Journal and originally at Gates of Vienna:


Posted on 05/14/2008 7:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Re: who you gonna call?

Gates of Vienna is generally rather eager to dance gleefully on British graves. However, in the clip shown it is clear that the small number of police present thought they were dealing with a minor disturbance involving one stroppy individual, and were not expecting the huge mob that showed up within minutes.

Compare the response here, when they were prepared.

Diffusing a situation politely - as they tried to here - is usually the best response. And we don't know what happened next - were reinforcements called to quell the mob?

 

Posted on 05/14/2008 7:47 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Lebanon - double standards

Dean Godson in  The Times:

"Even the Israeli enemy never dared to do to Beirut what Hezbollah has done,” lamented Fouad Siniora, Lebanon's embattled Prime Minister, over the weekend. Yet British bien-pensant opinion - so vocal in its opposition to Israeli actions in Lebanon in 2006 - is strangely silent about the recent outrages.

Why? After all, Hezbollah is one of the world's most ruthless clerical fascist organisations - complete with ersatz Nazi salutes and Iranian-style Holocaust denial. When the legitimate, democratic Government of Lebanon dared to challenge it, Hezbollah went on a sectarian rampage, murdering scores of opponents and destroying much of the country's free media.

Yet there has been not a peep from the concerned humanitarians of the Stop the War Coalition, which boasted of putting 100,000 people on to the streets to protest against Israeli assaults. Nor has much been heard from two of Hezbollah's most high-profile and indulgent British interlocutors - the ex-MI6 officer Alastair Crooke and Michael Ancram, the former Conservative minister.

[...]

The other great myth about Hezbollah - peddled by too many of its Western apologists - is that it is an entirely indigenous “resistance” movement: if so, why have pictures gone up of the Iranian leader, Ali Khamenei, and the Syrian President, Bashar Assad, for the first time in Beirut since the Cedar Revolution of 2005? And, given the violent oppression of Sunnis by Hezbollah, why has so little been heard from the Muslim Council of Britain and the British Muslim Initiative, two predominantly Sunni organisations? Don't Lebanese Sunnis deserve a little solidarity from their brethren?

So why does Hezbollah's putsch of 2008 not excite stern criticism - as did Israel's invasion of 2006? It's simple: many “progressives” hate Israeli and Western policy far more than they love Lebanon.

And many Muslims hate Infidels far more than they love their fellow Muslims.

Posted on 05/14/2008 8:04 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Black Liberation Theology

Stanley Kurtz done a lot of reading about Reverend Wright and black liberation theology, and has two articles on the subject. .The first in the Weekly Standard is on the Trumpet (Rev. Wright's Church magazine that became a national publication):

To the question of the moment--What did Barack Obama know and when did he know it?--I answer, Obama knew everything, and he's known it for ages. Far from succumbing to surprise and shock after Jeremiah Wright's disastrous performance at the National Press Club, Barack Obama must have long been aware of his pastor's political radicalism. A careful reading of nearly a year's worth of Trumpet Newsmagazine, Wright's glossy national "lifestyle magazine for the socially conscious," makes it next to impossible to conclude otherwise...

I obtained the 2006 run of Trumpet, from the first nationally distributed issue in March to the November/December double issue. To read it is to come away impressed by Wright's thoroughgoing political radicalism. There are plenty of arresting sound bites, of course, but the larger context is more illuminating--and more disturbing--than any single shock-quotation. Trumpet provides a rounded picture of Wright's views, and what it shows unmistakably is that the now-infamous YouTube snippets from Wright's sermons are authentic reflections of his core political and theological beliefs. It leaves no doubt that his religion is political, his attitude toward America is bitterly hostile, and he has fundamental problems with capitalism, white people, and "assimilationist" blacks. Even some of Wright's famed "good works," and his moving "Audacity to Hope" sermon, are placed in a disturbing new light by a reading of Trumpet...

Wright is the foremost acolyte of James Cone's "black liberation theology," which puts politics at the center of religion. Wright himself is explicit:

[T]here was no separation Biblically and historically and there is no separation contemporaneously between 'religion and politics.' .  .  . The Word of God has everything to do with racism, sexism, militarism, social justice and the world in which we live daily.

In fact, for all his rousing rhetoric, Wright is a bit of a policy wonk, moving fluidly and frequently from excoriations of American foreign policy in various African countries, to denunciations of Senate votes on the minimum wage, to fulminations against FCC licensing policies and Clear Channel, and so much more. Wright is up to speed on local, national, and international politics, and it's tough to imagine him missing an opportunity to confer with Obama on his wide array of legislative crusades.

In National Review Kurtz focuses on James H. Cone and the broader context of BLT:

James H. Cone, founder and leading light of black-liberation theology, is the Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York. Wright acknowledges Cone’s work as the basis of Trinity’s perspective, and Cone points to Trinity as the church that best exemplifies his message. Cone’s 1969 book Black Theology and Black Power is the founding text of black-liberation theology, predating even much of the influential, Marxist-inspired liberation theology that swept Latin America in the 1970s. Cone’s work is repeatedly echoed in Wright’s sermons and statements. While Wright and Cone differ on some minor issues, Cone’s theology is the first and best place to look for the intellectual context within which Wright’s views took shape.

Cone credits Malcolm X — particularly his famous dismissal of Christianity as the white man’s religion — with shaking him out of his theological complacency. In Malcolm’s words:

The white man has brainwashed us black people to fasten our gaze upon a blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus! We’re worshiping a Jesus that doesn’t even look like us! Oh, yes! . . . The blond-haired, blue-eyed white man has taught you and me to worship a white Jesus, and to shout and sing and pray to this God that’s his God, the white man’s God. The white man has taught us to shout and sing and pray until we die, to wait until death, for some dreamy heaven-in-the-hereafter . . . while this white man has his milk and honey in the streets paved with golden dollars here on this earth!??

In the late 1960s, Malcolm X’s criticisms (Wright calls them “devastating”) were adopted by the founders of the black-power movement, such as Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panthers, and Ron Karenga. Shaken by Malcolm’s rejection of Christianity and taken with the movement for black power, Cone, a young theologian and initially a devout follower of Martin Luther King Jr., set out to reconcile black power with Christianity. He did not reject Malcolm’s disdain for a “blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus” — rather, he came to believe that Jesus was black, and that an authentic Christianity, grounded in Jesus’s blackness, would focus with full force on black liberation. Authentic Christianity would bring radical social and political transformation and, if necessary, violent revolution in the here and now.

Cone understood his task as both “radical” and “prophetic.” It was radical in demanding deep transformation in the structure of society and prophetic in its determinedly angry and denunciatory tone. Black Theology and Black Power, says Cone in the book’s introduction, is “written with a definite attitude, the attitude of an angry black man.” Cone demands and commends anger, criticizes contemporary theologians for the “coolness” of their writings, and notes that “there is some evidence that Jesus got angry.” In the book, Cone sometimes addresses or refers to whites as simply “the oppressor” or “Whitey.”

The black intellectual’s goal, says Cone, is to “aid in the destruction of America as he knows it.” Such destruction requires both black anger and white guilt. The black-power theologian’s goal is to tell the story of American oppression so powerfully and precisely that white men will “tremble, curse, and go mad, because they will be drenched with the filth of their evil.” In the preface to his 1970 book, A Black Theology of Liberation, Wright wrote: “There will be no peace in America until whites begin to hate their whiteness, asking from the depths of their being: ‘How can we become black?’”

So what exactly is “black power”? Echoing Malcolm X, Cone defines it as “complete emancipation of black people from white oppression by whatever means black people deem necessary.” Open, violent rebellion is very much included in “whatever means”; like the radical anti-colonial theorist Frantz Fanon, on whom he sometimes draws, Cone sees violent rebellion as a transformative expression of the humanity of the oppressed. Drawing on existential theology, Cone defends those who looted during the urban riots of the late 1960s as affirming their “being,” rather than simply grasping and destroying. Modifying Descartes, Cone explains the rioters’ implicit message as “I rebel, therefore we exist.”

While Cone asserts that blacks hate whites, he denies that this hatred is racism. Black racism, says Cone, is “a myth created by whites to ease their guilt feelings.” Black hatred of whites is simply a legitimate reaction to “oppression, insult, and terror.” Cone derides accusations of black racism as a mere “device of white liberals.”

Indeed, one of the most striking features of Black Theology and Black Power is its strident attack on white liberals. According to Cone, “when white do-gooders are confronted with the style of Black Power, realizing that black people really place them in the same category with the George Wallaces, they react defensively, saying, ‘It’s not my fault’ or ‘I am not responsible.’” But Cone insists that white, liberal do-gooders are every bit as responsible as the most dyed-in-the-wool segregationists. Well before it became a cliché, Cone boldly set forth the argument for institutional racism — the notion that “racism is so embedded in the heart of American society that few, if any, whites can free themselves from it.”

The liberal’s favorite question, says Cone, is “What can I do?” He replies that, short of turning radical and putting their lives on the line behind a potentially violent revolution, liberals can do nothing. The real liberal question to blacks, says Cone, is “What can I do and still receive the same privileges as other whites and — this is the key — be liked by Negroes?” Again, he answers, “Nothing.” To prove it, he pointedly dismisses the original bogus white liberal, Abraham Lincoln, who after all was more concerned with holding the Union together than with ending slavery.

For Cone, the deeply racist structure of American society leaves blacks with no alternative but radical transformation or social withdrawal. So-called Christianity, as commonly practiced in the United States, is actually the racist Antichrist. “Theologically,” Cone affirms, “Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.’” The false Christianity of the white-devil oppressor must be replaced by an authentic Christianity fully identified with the poor and oppressed:

The religious ideas of the oppressor are detrimental to the black people’s drive for freedom. They tend to make black people non-violent and accept only the prescribed patterns of protest defined by the oppressor himself. It is the oppressor who attempts to tell black people what is and is not Christian — though he is least qualified to make such a judgment.
Posted on 05/14/2008 7:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Boris scraps propaganda sheet to save trees

Of all the junk mail to come through my letterbox, Ken Livingstone's "free newspaper" The Londoner was the most annoying. It was not free, for a start - it cost London's council taxpayers £1 million a year. And it was not a newspaper, but a piece of advertising, telling us what a wonderful job Red Ken was doing. Boris Johnson pledged to scrap it, and to use the £2.9 million saved to plant 10,000 trees. He is true to his word. From Press Gazette:

London mayor Boris Johnson [is] axing The Londoner, the monthly newspaper published by the London Mayor's office.

The newly-elected Conservative mayor described the move as the first attempt to cut “unnecessary funding” of the Mayor’s Office's publicity budget. Johnson's office claims the Mayor's Office would have spent £2.9 million on the newspaper this year had Ken Livingstone been re-elected. The new adminstration pledged to use some of the money saved — around £1 million per year — to plant 10,000 trees in London's most deprived areas by 2012.

Johnson announced the closure of the newspaper, distributed to three million homes across Greater London, at a tree-planting scheme in Brixton.

 

Johnson said: “I believe that as many areas as possible should enjoy the many advantages that street trees bring. So today I have taken the decision to cut unnecessary funding of the Mayor’s personal publicity budget to plant 10,000 street trees by the end of my first term.

“There was little commitment of resources from Ken Livingstone to reverse the trend of decline in the number of street trees. I am taking immediate action to reverse this short-sighted decision.

“In the last few years a third of boroughs have seen a decline in the number of street trees. Many London streets, particularly in deprived areas, have no street trees at all.

“Trees improve the street environment in which Londoners live and work so I will do all I can to save the trees we have and campaign for more trees to protect London’s open spaces.”

When it comes to trees, Boris is the tops. As London turns over new leaf, let's hope he can branch out even further.

Posted on 05/14/2008 8:12 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
The Universal Bomfoggery Of Funes The Memorable, Or, All God's Chillun Got Wings

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican's chief astronomer says that believing in aliens does not contradict faith in God.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said that the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones.

In an interview published Tuesday by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion "doesn't contradict our faith" because aliens would still be God's creatures."

"...aliens would still be God's creatures."

So those creatures flying around in the ether, their wings attached, are also God's creatures, because He covers the Universal Waterfront.

In that case, the well-known (and increasingly difficult to accept) insistence that "nothing human is alien to me" should be replaced by "nothing alien is alien to me. "

I'm having a little trouble accepting that notion, but I promise to give it the old school try.

Posted on 05/14/2008 8:47 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
. . . aliens would still be God's creatures, however 'HM Government has never been approached by people from outer space'
Is there anybody out there? The Ministry of Defence, it seems, is taking no chances. Files containing hundreds of previously classified reports are being released today in the hope of persuading ufologists that there has been no cover-up regarding the existence of visitors from outer space.
Yet the files do show that the MoD conducted a rigorous investigation of every alleged sighting of a UFO until well into the 1980s. I can vouch for that!  In a briefing note in 1979 the MoD wrote: “Her Majesty’s Government has never been approached by people from outer space.”
Preparing a draft speech for a minister who had to give the Government’s response to a debate on UFOs in the House of Lords in 1979, the MoD wrote: “There is nothing to indicate that ufology is anything but claptrap [but ]the subject will not go away.”
Lord Clancarty, who had asked for the debate, believed that a famous Norfolk regiment had disappeared into a cloud in the Gallipoli campaign in the First World War and put it down to UFO activity. The MoD briefing note had in brackets, “checking with Army Historical Branch”.
Knitted Version of Adipose
The MoD draft went on: “Not a single artefact has been produced, not a single extraterrestrial chap has dropped an extraterrestrial spanner . . . [but] Lord Clancarty has the answer — the CIA has hidden them all.”
However, the MoD acknowledged: “Intelligent life could exist elsewhere in the universe. With 100,000 million stars in our own galaxy alone, it’s probable that there are many planets capable of supporting life
Meanwhile a Dr Who fan is in trouble with the BBC for her aliens.
A Doctor Who fan who created knitting patterns for the programme’s monsters and gave them away online has been told by the BBC to stop or face the threat of court action.
The action against the licence fee-payer who had produced patterns of the squid-faced Ood and the short, fat, white Adipose for members of her knitting circle has rapidly become a cause célèbre on the internet.
The 26-year-old woman, who uses the name Mazzmatazz because she does not want to be identified, said that she was “just an ordinary person who likes knitting” who had been caught up in “a bit of whirlwind”. Lawyers argue that her case shows that trademark and copyright law should be changed.
Knitted Ood
Becky Hogge, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, which helped to publicise the case after trying to advise Mazzmatazz, said: “We need to recognise that there is a difference between selling knock-off hand-bags in the market, and fans who are making tributes and contributing to creativity in the future.”
Because of possible legal action, the knitting patterns have been withdrawn from the internet, although satisfied knitters have taken many pictures. Particularly popular is the blob-like Adipose a creature made from human fat and introduced in the current series. Actually that adipose looks crocheted to me, in plain doubles or trebles.
Andres Gudamuz, a law lecturer at Edinburgh University, believes that the act of creating a knitting pattern could be enough to give Mazzmatazz copyright, which could be a defence if she did not use the Doctor Who name. “For more than a decade fans kept Doctor Who alive when it was off air. The BBC should recognise that,” the laywer added. 
Posted on 05/14/2008 9:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Police Protection For “Mohammed Pulpit”

Thomas Landen writes at Brussels Journal:

Belgian police is protecting a 17th century pulpit in the Flemish town of Dendermonde. The pulpit in the Catholic church of Our Lady dates from 1685, two years after the battle of Vienna when the Christian armies of the Polish King John III Sobieski defeated the Turks poised to overrun Europe. The sculpted wooden pulpit, made by Mattheus van Beveren, depicts a man subdued by angels and represents the triumph of Christianity over Islam. The man is generally thought to be Mohammed. He is holding a book which is generally assumed to be the Koran...

 Dendermonde, a town in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, lies halfway between Brussels and Ghent. It is the birthplace of the famous American missionary Peter John (Pieter Jan) De Smet (1801-1873), the head of the Jesuit missions among the Indians of the Northwestern USA and a friend of Sitting Bull, Kit Carson and other heroes of the 19th century American West. On his return trips to his Flemish home town, Father De Smet used to preach from the pulpit which is currently under police protection.

Posted on 05/14/2008 9:47 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Silly words for silly things

Ufologist is a silly word.

Bomfoggery is another.

As for fomboggery - get thee behind me.

Posted on 05/14/2008 10:07 AM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
U.K Muslim Brotherhood Sponsors Pro-Palestinian Rally In London

From the Global Muslim Brotherhood Report:

A pro-Palestinian website has reported that “thousands marched through London” in a pro-Palestinian rally co-organized by U.K Muslim Brotherhood groups on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Israeli State. The report identifies a coalition of Muslim Brotherhood, trade union, religious, and antiwar groups:

The demonstration, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative and the Palestinian Forum in Britain, was supported by trade unions UNISON, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Unite the Union, Communication Workers Union, GMB, TSSA, RMT, Fire Brigades Union, and the National Union of Miners, who joined organisations such as the Association of Palestinian Community UK, Amos Trust, Friends of Al Aqsa UK, Palestinian Return Centre, War on Want, Jewish Socialist Group, Pax Christi, Stop the War Coalition, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Britain Palestine Twinning Network, ICAHDUK, Friends of Lebanon, Federation of Student Islamic Societies, and Midlands Palestinian Community Association.

Of the above groups, the British Muslim Initiative, the Palestinian Return Centre, and the Federation of Student Islamic Societies are known to be associated with the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood which often partners with far-left groups in political actions. Reported speakers at the event included, Dr Mustafa Barghouti, elected Palestinian Legislative Council member and Respect MP George Galloway who is a long-time supporter of the Brotherhood. Video messages were reported to have come from a PLC member from Gaza and from the Hamas caretaker government leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Here is Al-Jazeera:


Posted on 05/14/2008 10:49 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
New Tower Hamlets leader feared to be overly influenced by the Islamic Forum Europe
ATTEMPTS to choose a new cabinet for Labour-run Tower Hamlets council have sparked a political bloodbath.
Last night's meeting of Labour's 28 councillors was also an effective vote of 'no confidence' in the man they picked to run the Town Hall just two weeks ago, Lutfur Rahman.
A majority of 15 councillors to 13 rejected his list of proposed cabinet appointees after concerns it was not "representative" enough of the East End community.
The Advertiser understands that Cllr Rahman had proposed including Marc Francis, Alibor Choudhury, Anwara Ali, Shiria Khatun, Abdal Ullah, Rofique Ahmed, Motin uz-Zaman, Clair Hawkins and Deputy Leader Sirajul Islam in his cabinet.
Sources told the Advertiser that there was concern that Cllr Rahman's list was being influenced by the Islamic Forum Europe, an organisation based at the East London Mosque he has long had links with.
The rejection provoked uproar.
Rahman's opponents then put forward an amended list that included councillors Abbas, Jones, Heslop, Hawkins, Khatun, uz-Zaman, Abdul Asad and Josh Peck.
When that amended motion was voted through, effectively ousting Raman as leader, councillors agreed to adjourn the meeting and work towards "a negotiated solution."
Posted on 05/14/2008 11:04 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
More Early Childhood Indoctrination

See this MEMRI clip where the Hamas bunny asks "grandfather" where they used to live.  Grandfather answers they lived in Tel Al-Rabi' the "most beautiful place in all Palestine." The Jews, it turns out,  stole the city and renamed it Tel Aviv. Grandfather has the papers.

Posted on 05/14/2008 11:33 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Bomfoggery

"Bomfoggery" is a highly expressive word, not silly at all. I learned it from a friend, a supernumerary in Opus Dei who continues to overlook my little fault of atheism as I overlook his obvious little fault of believing – and how! – in God. Each of us forgives the other his trespasses and awaits patiently the sorting-out at the Last Judgment, and the Last Trump, or whatever it is that comes after Le Grand Trepas. What "bomfoggery" mocks is not the idea or ideal of the "brotherhood of man, fatherhood of God" but rather the hollow invocation of that idea, reduced to a commencement-speech banality.

In the United States, the most famous indulger in Bomfoggery was the priapic plutocrat, and non-Catholic, Nelson Rockefeller. The notion long ago became a fixed formula, thixotropically treacly, the rhetorical maple syrup on the pancakes at the pancake breakfast to which the politician dutifully shows up, amd where he says a few words about This Great Land Of Ours, and about the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God, and extends his hand to as many well-wishers as he can reach, asking each of them “hi, how ya doin’” before going in for the but-enough-about-everything-else-what-about-me kill: “I’m X, and I’d like your vote.”

Posted on 05/14/2008 12:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
A Musical Interlude: I Still Get A Thrill Thinking Of You (Hal Swain Band)
Posted on 05/14/2008 12:25 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Fomboggery

"Bomfoggery" is a highly expressive word, not silly at all.

You say that because you're American, and therefore don't have the words "bum" and "bog" buggering around in your head.

It isn't your fault.

Posted on 05/14/2008 1:11 PM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Internal Struggle for Personal Betterment Alert

Fox reports an Israeli shopping mall has been struck by a rocket fired from Gaza.  Palestinian Islamic [INSENSITIVE TERM DELETED] has claimed responsibility.  No word yet on when the peace-loving Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank will rise up in condemnation against this handful of criminals that is perverting the true Islam.

Did I mention that recent polling indicates that 50 percent of Palestinians openly support terrorist attacks against Israel?  On the bright side, this compares favorably with the 93 percent of young Palestinian adults (aged 18 to 25) who deny Israel’s right to exist — a figure that plummets to a mere 75 percent when the total population is factored in.  Obviously, this has nothing to do with Islam and is caused by foolish Americans who enhance the self-esteem of terrorists by referring to them as you-know-what-ists. 

Posted on 05/14/2008 1:32 PM by Andy McCarthy
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
What's Wrong With Conservatives?

For all of conservatism's evident virtues, it can have one furtive, seedy vice: A justified suspicion of government can degenerate into an anti-government ideology — rigid, stingy and indifferent to human suffering. --Michael Gerson

Conservatism is not the problem, it's conservatives like Gerson.

When Katrina struck, I was horrified by the reports.  Of course the voice in my head that said (a) why didn't these people leave when they had the chance, and (b) these people elected the likes of Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco, what did they expect?  But like millions of other Americans, I felt an obligation to help less fortunate people who were in need.  So I sent money to the Red Cross because the Red Cross is a reputable outfit with a good reputation help to the people who need it. 

Afterwards, I got so angry at the boondoggle government spending, which inevitably rewarded (and continues to reward) the worst tendencies, I ended up annoyed at myself for contributing — in the name of "compassion," the government is going to spend goo-gobs of your money anyway, and waste aplenty.

Why does Gerson think that the measure of compassion is whether the government moves when people are hurting?  Look at our experience:  Katrina, 9/11, or name your overseas catastrophe.  Americans pony up more dough than any people on the planet.  Government activism causes the dysfunction we saw in Katrina and, at best, it stands in the next Katrina to depress the charitable impulse.  That's compassion?

Posted on 05/14/2008 4:05 PM by Andy McCarthy
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
“Then I would rape you.”

A very revealing little blog posting at the New Duranty blog, The Lede:

For privacy and a little sense of freedom, Saudi youths often go out to the desert. So when I wanted to talk to some young men, a friend suggested we drive outside of Riyadh. At the edge of the city, I sat with the friend and a female Egyptian journalist I was traveling with to talk to six Saudi men, ages 19 to 26. They all worked for the Saudi military.

The sun was setting as a shadow began to blanket the rolling sand dunes. Dry wood crackled on a bright orange fire, a blackened coffee pot sat by the glowing coals and sweet dates, sticky to the touch, were passed around. It was a beautiful, peaceful scene, soon to be interrupted.

“You’re reckless,'’ one of the young men said to me.

He said that it was dangerous to drive into the desert with a group of Saudi men we did not know well. He said we were lucky to have been invited by someone who was honest and trustworthy. Otherwise he said, we might have been attacked.

“The way a Saudi would think is ‘What is this girl doing here alone?’ If you are with a man, you better be his sister or his wife.”

That was Fahd’s explanation. He was 26 years old. He was seated on one side of the fire, the glow of the flames dancing across his face.

“Quiet, you are scaring them,'’ said the friend who took us to the desert.

Perhaps this was a bit of male bonding, of young guys showing off to the foreigners. But the tone was casual, the looks casual, the whole conversation amazingly casual. The Egyptian woman asked how he would treat us if we had not been introduced by our friend.

“What would you do if we were with someone else?'’ she asked.

“I would get rid of him and try something with you,'’ he replied. “Not rape, I would try to do something, to get you to do something.”

“And if I said no?” she asked.

“Then I would rape you.”

That was it. None of the other young men seemed surprised, or sounded an objection.

The reporter pooh-poohs the whole thing and interjects:

Would he really do it? Probably not. And neither would the other young men there, the ones who quietly nodded. But no one said “just kidding.” What they said was that this was a serious possibility we needed to be aware of.

One can imagine the reporter saying something to the effect, "but isn't rape immoral in Islam?"

They acknowledged that rape was against their religion, but as a sin, they put it in the same category as a woman working with a man in the desert trying to understand young Saudi men.

Raping kafir women is allowed. This woman was Egyptian and probably Muslim, thus the equivocation.

‘Ninety percent of Saudis would think it is not right,'’ Fahd said. “An Egyptian girl with an American man, or a girl alone, what is she doing.

It the woman's fault, you see.

Posted on 05/14/2008 4:29 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
International "Anti-Zionist" Conference In Jakarta

Where Islam goes, there goes antisemitism (hat tip: LGF):

JAKARTA (AFP) - Israel is carrying out "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians, a top Indonesian politician said Wednesday in the lead up to celebrations and protests marking the Jewish state's 60th anniversary.

"There is nearly no day without the blood of innocent people being spilled in Palestine," Agung Laksono, the speaker of Indonesia's parliament, told an international anti-Zionist conference here marking the anniversary.

"Israeli soldiers, in a planned manner, murder and destroy the Palestinians. Villages are bombed, homes are destroyed and their fields and burned," he said.

"We condemn the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israel."

Laksono delivered the opening speech at the conference after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono withdrew his participation. A spokesman for the president could not be reached for comment...

Posted on 05/14/2008 4:43 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Re: 'Then I would rape you'

The attitudes of Saudi Muslim men differ in degree, but not in kind, from those of Heather Mac Donald:

"You’re reckless,'’ one of the young men said to me.
He said that it was dangerous to drive into the desert with a group of Saudi men we did not know well.

Mac Donald says women should be told by rape counsellors that it is "dangerous" to get drunk and be alone with a man.

In both cases, boys will be boys, and rape is the woman's fault. At least the Saudi man calls it rape. Mac Donald says it isn't rape if the woman is drunk or "slutty" - a word very loosely defined and used exclusively of females. And a woman should be "advised" to "be careful" - again loosely defined and combined with a reflexive disbelief of rape victims who are not "careful".

Thus Mac Donald embraces a double standard and ingratiates herself with those men who long for the days when they could screw around with impunity and marry a virgin. But at least the Saudi man is honest, and doesn't pretend to be concerned for women's welfare.

If most Muslims were white, Mac Donald would approve of Islam.

Posted on 05/14/2008 5:11 PM by Mary Jackson
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
What "Conservatives"? Where?

The word "conservative" as used in America today has been almost emptied of meaning.  It has nothing to do with Burke or Bonald or Bagehot, nothing to do with Pieper or Polanyi or Popper. It has, instead, everything to do with "low taxes," with the defense of privilege, with the growth of the GDP as the measure of all things, with free-market fundamentalism, with a race to the goddam bottom, with the most st short-sighted, most disruptive, and, for the preservation and transmission of culture, most dangerous forms of economic behavior. That's what these "conservatives" are all about, along with their well-heeled book deals, lecture tours, think-tank sinecures, self-promoting websites, and all the rest.

"Conservatives" or rather "conversatism" in America now means, in foreign policy, meddling messianism and the crazed following of Bush, with lemming loyalty, right off the cliff, the one labelled "Iraq."

What "conservatives"? Where?

Posted on 05/14/2008 7:37 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
A Musical Interlude: Pennies From Heaven (Arthur Tracy)
Posted on 05/14/2008 7:45 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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