These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 18, 2007.
Saturday, 18 August 2007
Greetings from Sunny Norfolk. Having a lovely time, see you when I get back.
Posted on 08/18/2007 6:44 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 18 August 2007
A recent article in the Daily Mail calls into question the accuracy of our Government’s unemployment statistics, claiming that the real figure is six times higher than the official one. However, the Government is standing by its statistics:
Employment minister Caroline Flint yesterday claimed the official unemployment figures were 'very strong'. The so-called claimant count was 855,300, down by 8,500 from the previous month and the lowest total for over two years.
Is she right? Well, how would I know? As a sub-intellectual, I am not qualified to form opinions on political matters. And if I were to get above myself and attempt to form an opinion, it would change along with my oestrogen-induced mood-swings. So naturally I must look to an intellectual – and a man – for my views. And who better than that formidable intellect Lawrence Auster? I’m sure Mr Auster, who likes to keep abreast of UK matters, knows a lot about vital statistics. So what does he think of Ms Flint’s figure? Let’s see (emphasis added):
Cleavage in the Cabinet: another ridiculous female in government
For anyone who thinks I'm wrongheaded and hateful to say that the increase in the number of females in leading government positions is a negative development for Western society, check out the Daily Mail's photo of Caroline Flint, Great Britain's Employment Minister. To an infinitely greater extent than men, women, especially contemporary women, are focused on their bodies and their looks and their vanity. In many cases (Condolezza Rice comes to mind) they make it all too clear that they don't take their jobs seriously, and that their jobs are a vehicle for the expression of their vanity; or, as in Flint's case, for the display of their breasts. Can you imagine a male cabinet officer going around in a shirt open to his mid-chest? The presence of women such as Caroline Flint in high office is an unfunny, nihilistic joke, a symbol of a civilization that doesn't respect itself and doesn't want to survive.
So Flint went into politics to bare her Bristols? And never thought of Page Three of The Sun? My goodness. She must be topless. Let’s have a look, shall we? Those of a nervous disposition are advised to avert their gaze:
Shocking. Auster has seen the crack – in our civilisation. We are doomed and must be melted down through tremendous suffering. In the Good Old Days of Victorian values, before that monstrous regiment of bosoms – sorry, women – had the vote, our female leaders knew better:
Ooops. Perhaps not. Auster’s right. Even a little cleavage is a dangerous thing. Flint’s is nothing. As I noted in this post, Jacqui Smith and Hillary Clinton wield their war chests with gay abandon. Their political failings are unimportant, bounced out of the ring by their bazoomikas. Margaret Thatcher never showed any cleavage, nor did Golda Meir. But that’s not the point. They had it to show, and it could have popped out at any time, causing untold mayhem.
Let’s be honest, mere possession of a bosom disqualifies a woman from participating in public life, even on a blog. Heavens, mine comes between my brain and my keyboard – how could I possibly type anything sensible?
In the Daily Mail article linked above, there are many things about Caroline Flint that one could focus on: her attractive, lively, intelligent face, her smart jacket, and, last but not least, her words, which I believe are inaccurate. But Auster instead homes in on, dwells on, that small, barely perceptible display of cleavage. For some reason, probably hormonal, this little joke springs to mind:
A shrink drew a circle on a piece of paper and then asked the patient. "What does this remind you of?"
The patient answered. "Sex".
The shrink drew a square. "What does this remind you of?"
"Sex". The patient replied.
Then the doctor drew a triangle.
"It reminds me of sex". The patient stated.
"You seem to be obsessed with sex". The shrink told the patient.
"I'm obsessed with sex? You're the one who's drawing the dirty pictures!"
Posted on 08/18/2007 7:38 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 18 August 2007
British TV to Air Muslim View of Jesus
The Guardian: There was no manger, Christ is not the Messiah, and the crucifixion never happened. A forthcoming ITV documentary will portray Jesus as Muslims see him.
With the Koran as a main source and drawing on interviews with scholars and historians, the Muslim Jesus explores how Islam honours Christ as a prophet but not as the son of God. According to the Koran the crucifixion was a divine illusion. Instead of dying on the cross, Jesus was rescued by angels and raised to heaven.
Which means denial of the resurrection as well as denial of Christ's combined humanity and divinity.
The one-hour special, commissioned and narrated by Melvyn Bragg, is thought to be the first time the subject has been dealt with on British television. Lord Bragg said: "I was fascinated by the idea ... Jesus was such a prominent figure in Islam but most people don't know that."
He denies the programme will divide communities. Raised as an Anglican, he describes the documentary as thoughtful and well researched. "I hope it will provoke among Muslims the feeling they are included in television."
The director and producer, Irshad Ashraf, said the film was an attempt to shift the focus away from extremism to the spiritual side of Islam. "Jesus is loved and respected by Muslims and he's one of the most important prophets in our religion." Representatives from mainstream Anglican and Catholic organisations were invited to take part in the film, to be broadcast on Sunday, but nobody was available, Mr Ashraf said.
If Christ is so "loved and respected," then why is his teaching, as recorded in the New Testament, denied?
Philip Lewis, the Bishop of Bradford's aide on inter-faith matters, urged believers on both sides to take advantage of a "worthwhile contribution to understanding a complex issue".
However, Patrick Sookhdeo, an Anglican canon and spokesman for the Barnabas Fund, which works with persecuted Christians, accused broadcasters of double standards. Mr Sookhdeo, who was born a Muslim and converted to Christianity in 1969, said: "How would the Muslim community respond if ITV made a programme challenging Muhammad as the last prophet?"
The Koran's denial of Jesus's divinity was "unacceptable". "On the last day the Koran says Jesus will destroy all the crosses. How can we praise that?"
Indeed. The contradictions between the words of Jesus and the words of Muhammad are so many and great that anyone can see that either one or the other (or possibly both) was lying. Now, Muhammad sought to side-step this issue, because after all, his claim to legitimacy rested on his claim to being the last in the line of Hebrew prophets extending from Jesus all the way back to Abraham. The fact that he wasn't Jewish was side-stepped by claiming a lineage to Abraham through his concubine, Hagar, even though this claim was completely a-historical. The issue about Jesus' word was side stepped by Muhammad claiming that the followers of Jesus had falsified his word. So he didn't call Jesus a liar directly, rather it was his followers who were liars. That way Jesus retains his prophet status, but his word is denied by the followers of Muhammad.
Posted on 08/18/2007 9:06 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 18 August 2007
You used to be able to fail A-levels
An opinion piece by Rowan Pelling in The Telegraph confirms my view of A-level grade inflation:
I dread this time of year. It's impossible to escape from sanctimonious teenagers telling everyone how hard they've worked and how vastly they deserve their five grade-A A-levels in English, History, Astrology, Rap and Friendly Bacteria. There's always something odd in the mix, isn't there? Even if it's only the dread General Studies.
It's not that I think the poor darlings haven't worked their socks off. I'm utterly sympathetic about the number of hoops today's students have to jump through to try to differentiate their sublime grades from everyone else's merely wonderful exam results. Nor do I believe this year's crop of 18-year-olds is one iota dimmer than my own contemporaries, who picked up their results 21 years ago, but I am sceptical at the notion that they are more than twice as able, which is what current grade inflation suggests - especially when all the academics I know in my home town of Cambridge despair of the lacunae in their students' knowledge.
When I was offered a place to read Eng Lit at Oxford in 1986, only 40 per cent of undergraduates achieved a hat-trick of A grades; nowadays it's pretty much 100. Indeed, today's teenagers are appalled that I was let into one of Britain's most venerable academic institutions with a paltry tally of ABC grades.
Hugh believes that this dumbing down is a result of the emphasis on vocational training at the expense of education for its own sake. I strongly disagree. The dumbing down of education is a direct consequence of the abolition of grammar schools and the introduction of comprehensive education. Private school pupils face less competition from state schools, because in the latter gifted pupils are not stretched. So nobody is stretched, and exams must be made easier.
In fact this crop of students, with their inflated grades and degrees in Issues-ology from the "University" of Pratts Bottom are far less useful to an employer than their predecessors, whether graduates - in the days when a degree meant something - or non-graduates with a vocational qualification.
The NUS vice-president, Beth Walker, wrote in The Daily Telegraph this week that nobody should expect modern A-levels to resemble the old system, because new technologies mean that, "the skills required by society and employers are drastically changed. Do we really still need a workforce that can do long division with paper and pencil?"
With the greatest respect to Miss Walker, who presumably has never been an employer, this is cobblers. For seven years of the past decade, I scrutinised CVs. All I wanted were people who were literate, articulate, reliable, pleasant and numerate. And, by numerate, I do mean the ability to make basic computations with a pen and pencil. What is long division, if not the ability to calculate unit cost, one of the most vital skills that any business person can possess? Using a computer spreadsheet package is worse than useless unless you can also identify data-inputting errors and the resulting miscalculations by eye.
A reader's comment hits the mark, though I disagree with his use of "middle class" as a term of abuse:
The "brightest A" students differentiate themselves by their originality, cogency, knowledge and accuracy. The best universities can spot these.
For the rest, the merely "good A" (used to be a "B") will never understand why Oxbridge was not an option, while the "B" - "C" (used to be a "C" - "E") are just thrilled that they will attend "Uni".
Better to be a first class plumber than a third class sociologist you might think, except for the power of middle class "aspirations" which we used to call "snobbery".
So these mediocre students and their families are pleased to receive their inflated mediocre grades to attend a mediocre college masquerading as a University which will happily charge them for being taught by mediocre teachers and producing a "degree" without the requirements for critical thought, cognitive ability or even much knowledge.
This allows proud parents to say their children went to "Uni" - while the little darlings may occasionally wonder why they will never reach the best jobs and why they are paid less than plumbers.
Posted on 08/18/2007 12:05 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 18 August 2007
CAIR in trouble? New York Times to the Rescue
The Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial in Texas is piling up evidence showing CAIR's ties to Hamas and the Palestinian Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood. Alas, the New York Times, though doing virtually no reporting about that, is, as usual, running interference for CAIR. The Gray Lady's stories, Steve Emerson aptly observes, may as well be CAIR press releases. Steve's latest post can be found at the Counterterrorism Blog.
Posted on 08/18/2007 1:43 PM by Andy McCarthy
Saturday, 18 August 2007
Hijacking in Turkey
It's over with no casualties. Perpetrators wanted the plane landed in Iran — it was taken to Istanbul instead, and the hijackers surrendered.
The frightened passengers reported that the Arabic speaking hijackers announced, "We are Muslims," and claimed to have bombs. No word yet on whether they will be sued for civil rights violations given this blatant exhibition of Islamophobia.
Posted on 08/18/2007 2:04 PM by Andy McCarthy
Saturday, 18 August 2007
Deeds & Records
All over Arabia, especially in northwestern Arabia are to be found, especially in the desert, stones with Hebrew writing on them. They long predate any writing in Arabic, because Arabic was not a written language until the 7th century. In First-Year Property, one learns about deeds and recording of deeds, and the difference between the first-in-time and first-to-record systems. Perhaps Jews should not make merely their obvious, well-justified, and modest historical claim to the Land of Israel, but also to all of Arabia. And the Christian Copts do the same with Egypt - for god's sake, they were there long before the Muslim Arabs arrived. And the Christians to all of North Africa. And the Zoroastrians to all of Iran. And the Hindus to all of the area now split among the states of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
All very silly. But two, three, four, and more, can play this game -- and what's more, the prior claims of the non-Muslims to vast lands are in fact based on history, as the claim of an early Muslim presence in America is not.
Besides, as always Muslims demonstrate an interest in land, not in people. It is the land they claim. They have no interest in the people here, and in the legal and political institutions created over time, the art and science created over time, by such people. Infidels hardly matter, except insofar as they remain an obstacle to the spread of Islam, and must be subdued, by deception or head-on, by qitaal or terrorism or Da'wa or demographic conquest. And by nonstop deception and lies intended to keep the unwary unwary, and to keep Infidels as confused and misinformed and as on the defensive as is possible.
It will work, for a while, with some. But too many are coming to their senses. Too many are finding out.
Posted on 08/18/2007 4:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald