These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 19, 2007.
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Hunt the quango
Those who wish to further regulate the City of London and who rail against "Fat Cats" and their bonuses would do better to direct their attention to the real greedy parasites: the quangos. City bonuses are earned by punishing long hours, flair and a willingness to take risks. The City and the high-earners who populate it generate huge tax revenues, create jobs and, above all, do not interfere in people's day to day lives. Quangos, by contrast, are a dead-weight cost, useless, bungling, profligate, interfering, undemocratic, corrupt and - worst of all - growing by the minute.
Two points, before I go any further. For American and other readers not familiar with the term, a quango may sound like a wild and dangerous Australian dog, but it is in fact a dull and dangerous British committee, specifically a Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisation. Readers should also note that, while the plural of "mango" is generally (but not always) "mangoes", the plural of "quango" is "quangos" without the "e". Unless they are based in the north of England, where nothing is without an "eee".
Today's Telegraph reports that quangos cost Britain a staggering £170 billion a year. New Labour, it says has "presided over the creation of a quango superstate." And they are worse than useless, as Alasdair Palmer argues:
Across government, monitoring systems appear designed to avoid identifying people responsible for mistakes or incompetent practice.
The consequence is that instead of being remedied, incompetence is multiplied. That is why the hiring of another tier of officials does not improve the quality of those employed by the Government. It only increases their quantity.
The growth of quangos over the past decade is a perfect example of that process.
The Milk Development Council, for instance, employs nearly eight times as many people as it did in 1998; the staff of the Agency for Training and Development in Schools has more than doubled. The pay of those who work for quangos, particularly chief executives, has ballooned: the salary of the head of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, for example, has gone up from £43,563 to a staggering £273,000.
This is the same Qualifications and Curriculum Authority that tried (unsuccessfully) to abolish Ancient History A-level and now wishes decimate - as the quangocrats might say because they don't know what it means - A-level Latin and Greek. Your average merchant banker may be a philistine, but he does not set out deliberately to destroy what is good in our education system. (In fact he may have read Greats at Oxford - I know at least two who did.)
Does any political party have the courage to root out the ever-growing bindweed of bureaucracy? John Redwood's Economic Competitiveness Group reported last week that the Conservatives could cut £14 billion worth of "waste".
Cutting state waste will not be easy or popular, because it means cutting jobs. One in five people now works for the Government; outside the South-east, the proportion goes up to one in four. The new nomenklatura of nearly six million employees is a protected block, with its own privileged pensions, early retirement age, and special employment rights, the greatest of which is not being held responsible for blunders and errors that, in the private sector, would get them sacked.
Six million voters, therefore, have a clear interest in perpetuating the growth of the state's bindweed.
We could start by pulling the plug on the largest, most tyrannical, corrupt, incompetent, blood-sucking, self-perpetuating super-quango of them all: the European Union.
Posted on 08/19/2007 6:06 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Here is a representative example of Muslim "science" writing by Hisham Zoubeir carried in Muslim Weekly (Aug. 17-23, Art and Culture section) and linked by Hugh below:
We [Muslims] were in the Americas, hundreds of years before Columbus, and of that we can be sure...
Dr. Barry Fell, a noted New Zealand archaeologist and linguist of Harvard University showed detailed existing evidence in his work, "Saga America" that Muslims were not only in the Americas before Columbus arrived, but very active there as well. The language of the Pima people in the South West and the Algonquian language had many words in their vocabulary that were Arabic in origin, and Islamic petroglyphs were found in places such as California.
In the Inyo county of the State of California, according to Fell, there is another petroglyph that states, "Yasus bin Maria" which means in Arabic, "Jesus, son of Mary". This is not a Christian phrase; in fact, the phrase is to be found in the verses and ayahs of the Holy Qur’an. This glyph, as Fell believes, is centuries older than the US. In the US he found texts, diagrams and charts engraved on rocks that were used for schooling that dated back to 700-800 C.E. The schooling was in subjects such as mathematics, history, geography, astronomy and sea navigation. The language of instruction was Kufic Arabic, from North Africa.
The German art historian, Alexander Von Wuthenau, also provides evidence that Muslims were in America, in the time between 300 and 900 C.E. This was at least half a millennium before Columbus was born. Carved heads that were described as "Moorish-looking" were dated between 300 and 900 C.E. and another group of heads dated between 900 and 1500 C.E. An artifact found in the earlier group was photographed, and when later examined was found to resemble an old man in a Fez, like the Egyptians.
Brother Mahir Abdal-Razzaaq El wrote in his account, posted on the Internet, about the Native Americans that were Muslims. He is of the Cherokee tribe; known as Eagle Sun Walker, and a Pipe Carrier Warrior of the Cherokees in New York. He tells of Muslim travellers that came to his land over one thousand years ago, and what is more important, existing evidence of legislation, treaties and resolutions that prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt that Muslims were in the Americas and very active. Although these documents have not been written after 1492, it is still interesting to note that Islam was in fact there. The Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1787 have the signatures of Abdel-Khak and Mohammed Bin Abdulla. According to a federal court case from the Continental Congress, Native Muslims helped put life into the constitution.
These are a matter of record; they cannot be disputed. Go to the National Archives or the Library of Congress and see for yourself; the Treat of 1987 show that the Natives abided by an Islamic system in commerce, maritime shipping and government. The records of the State of Carolina has the Moors Sundry Act of 1790. The Cherokee Chief of 1866 was a man called Ramadhan Bin Wati. Native clothing up until 1832 was full Islamic wear. The name Tallahassee actually means, "Allah will deliver you sometime in the future". In North America, there are no less than 565 names of tribes, villages, cities, mountains and other lands sites of Islamic or Arabic roots.
The truth of Islam and the truth of the Native American culture is one and the same; many people hundreds of years ago realised that. The protection of the land and of the animals; the non-wastage of resources and the non-pollution of nature are all Islamic concepts...
As Hugh notes, this kind of lunacy is just a matter of staking claim to land...our land.
Posted on 08/19/2007 7:29 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 19 August 2007
State Department: Islamic Propaganda Division
Several years ago Phyllis McIntosh of the State Department put out a press release: "Islamic Influence Runs Deep in American Culture." At the time there should have been a hue and cry all over America. Congressmen should have demanded not merely the front-man McIntosh be hauled up for questioning, but that all those behind her, who had thought such an obvious affront to history -- there has been no "Islamic Influence" that is "deep" in American culture, unless one wishes to call the buildup of the American navy, as prompted by the Muslim threat of the Islamic corsairs now called, misleadingly, the "Barbary pirates" (they had official sanction, and would register their intended Christian target -- see Robert A. Davis), and there is nothing about Islam's collectivism, Islam's hatred of the very idea that political legitimacy could be located in the will of the people (when it should always be located in the will of Allah), or that individuals had such rights as freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, when of course they are mere slaves of Allah, and cannot, in the Islamic view, possibly possess such rights.
Congressmen and the press should have asked for a an investigation into the participation in a monstrous, and no doubt deliberate lie, a lie that is part of other lies -- including those being spread by the Guirard/Waller school as they make their way through the corridors of power in the Pentagon, attempting to prevent an intelligent discussion of Jihad, of by sleight-of-hand ("Jihad" never to be mentioned; "hirabah" instead to be used as the Saudis wish), on the theory, not very plausible to intelligent people, that if we play Let's Pretend about Islam, the problem of Jihad will go away, if we ignore the texts, the tenets, the attitudes, the atmospherics of Islam, if we keep pretending that "Jihad" does not mean what it has meant, to Muslims, for the entire history of Islam, but something like what the sinister apologists now claim -- merely a "spiritual struggle" -- and if further we call what all the terrorists do not "Jihad" but "hirabah," that will cause Muslims everywhere to exclaim to themselves "quite right, they are all engaged in 'hirabah.'"
But of course "hirabah" is used within Saudi Arabia, by the Saudis, to convince Saudi members of Al-Qaeda or other groups now attacking the Saudi state from within, that this is wrong, that this is un-Islamic, not because such attacks by Al Qaeda are everywhere wrong, but because attacks on the nice, truly Islamic state of Saudi Arabia are directed at the wrong target.
And what do those Saudi clerics sent in to work at re-educating the prisoners tell them? Do you think they tell them that "Jihad" or violence are not part of Islam? Do they rewrite the story of Muhammad to turn him into Jesus? Do they say that it is wrong to attack Christians and Jews and Hindus and Buddhists outside of Saudi Arabia? Of course they don't. What they say -- and what the Guirards of this world, busily plying their trade in the corridors of power, where there are always some ignorant, unwary, looking-for-a-quick-solution-even-if-it-makes-no-real-sense people eager to be persuaded (in the Pentagon, in the State Department) -- is that the Saudi rulers have been misunderstood. Of course they are good Muslims. Of course they are not really collaborating with the Infidels. Of course they are working to spread Islam everywhere, paying for the land, building the mosques, maintaining the mosques, spreading that Wahhabi propaganda. Of course they are paying for Muslims conducting Da'wa around the world, and sending their own people into sub-Saharan Africa (just look at how the practice of Islam has changed, for example, in such places as Niger). Of course they are working for the final triumph of Islam. But -- but you see -- the imams in charge of the slow but steady "re-education" add -- don't you see that for now we must behave as Muhammad behaved with the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya? Don't you see that we are not yet strong enough to take on the Infidels directly, through military means? We are doing -- the Al-Saud have their tame sheiks tell those few hundred "Al Qaeda" sympathizers in Saudi jails -- the very best we can. And if you call into question the rule of the splendid princes of the Al-Saud, those benevolent rulers, all dishdashas and daggers, with those sneers of cold command -- why then you merely confuse the people, you bring "confusion" into the land. You are guilty, then, of "hirabah."
And that is how and why "hirabah" is used. Not, I repeat, not to prevent Muslims from conducting Jihad, that is warfare by all means, which may include what ordinary Infidels would clearly call "terrorism" but which many Muslims have no difficulty, when the target is Infidels, seeing as merely a perfectly acceptable version of "qitaal" (mentioned 27 times in the Qur'an) or combat, i.e. military force. And certainly not to prevent Muslims from conducting Jihad by means of all the other instruments available, including the Money Weapon, propaganda including campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest.
After all, the Saudi sheiks re-educating those prisoners can tell them -- who is the biggest financier of the Jihad in the world today? It is the government, and rich groups and individuals, within Saudi Arabia. Are they not good Jihadists? Who makes possible those mosques in Rome, in Madrid, in Paris, in London, in New York and Washington, and all the others, in a capillary movement, in cities and towns all over the apparently wide-open, helpless-to-resist Western world? Sure, the Emirates and Kuwait and Qatar and a few others provide billions. But we, the Saudis, have provided one hundred billion dollars in such spread-the-faith activities, while in its decades, the Soviet Union managed to supply to foreign Communists, and to its propaganda effort, a paltry $7 billion. Who's calling for a Jihad against us, the Al-Saud? Only those who do not know all of our good works, or who, like Bin Laden, have "personal issues" (the family, the 57 children, the sting of being the product of that Syrian not-quite-halal mother, and so on).
That is what is being done to prevent, even in the Pentagon, the emergence of some sense about what is going on.
Meanwhile, as the example of McIntosh's report about the supposedly great Islamic Influence on the history of America, the State Department, or elements within, are keen to appease Islam in every way, and perfectly willing to do violence to this country's history, to world history, in order to conduct that appeasement.
When McIntosh issued her press release, it was mocked by Robert Spencer and then by me, and then by others, and nothing more was heard about it. But the impulse remains, and the ignorance of those who, for example, on television interview Muslim spokesmen, but haven't a sufficient grasp -- have no grasp, in fact -- of either the history of Islam or the history of the United States -- makes them unable to present the withering cross-examination that they should be conducting, should be conducting so often that any appearance by an apologist for Islam becomes an occasion for a spectacle that will wake up and convince the audience, of the monstrousness of what is being suggested and even, perhaps, believed, by Muslims as they weave their case, for themselves and for others, as to why they have a "claim" on America, a "claim" that really means: 1) we are here 2) you can't get rid of us 3) this country, like the rest of those lands that are still in the hands of the Infidels, the Dar al-Harb, is legitimately ours, and we will say or claim whatever we need to to confuse you, to keep you unwary or on the defensive. "Muslims were in England in the 8th century." "Muslims are responsible for all of modern science." "Muslims are responsible for the Renaissance." "Muslims discovered, and what's more settled, America." Muslims this, and Muslims that.
Tout se tient. Everything connects, in Muslim propaganda. And those who further that propaganda, or the obvious ways that they attempt to make claims, or to use and manipulate the ignorance of Westerners (those who think the word "Jihad" can sensibly replaced by the word "hirabah" as the Saudis so smilingly, so deeply truly sincerely suggest to the light-bulb-just-came-on, bright-idea clowns, but dangerous clowns, such as Guirard and all his tribe) are furthering Jihad.
As to Phyllis McIntosh, where is she now? And who put her up to that idiotic press release? Where are they now? Still deep within the State Department, or having risen still higher in its ranks?
Posted on 08/19/2007 8:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 19 August 2007
I dislike the word "competency" and dislike even more its plural "competencies". There is a word "competence" and a word "skills". "Competencies", used to mean the skills of a competent person, is unnecessary. Increasingly "competencies" is used in the context of qualifications, in particular National Vocational Qualifications, whose requirements are couched in ugly and woolly jargon. Our culture of "pro-activity" and "dynamism" means that these requirements are always phrased in terms of doing rather than learning, even if this means twisting the meaning and syntax into something jarring and meaningless. Here, for example, is an extract from the Level 4 NVQ in Environmental Management:
A2 Manage activities to meet requirements
B4 Determine the effective use of resources
C10 Develop teams and individuals to enhance performance
D2 Facilitate meetings
D4 Provide information to support decision-making
F3 Manage continuous quality improvement
G3 Contribute to project closure
Am I alone in wondering what students of this unit will actually be learning?
A supposed advantage of this style of syllabus is that the "competencies", sometimes known as "performance criteria" or "learning outcomes", can be ticked off one by one, until the learner is supremely competent. Failure under these schemes is impossible, or rather it is merely deferred success: a student is either marked "competent" or "not yet competent". Presumably there are no hopeless cases, as in the bad old days of pass and fail.
Sadly this tick-box approach has crept into A-levels, once the gold standard of education. Mary Beard, professor of classics at Cambridge and classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, has an interesting perspective on the dumbing-down of A-levels:
It’s the ‘tick-box’ element to the marking that is the killer, and the sense that there is a range of points which have to be included to get the top marks -- rather than the open-ended essay-style intellectual exploration. (Here are the 'boxes' for the Psychology question.)
I know of at least one A level examiner who has given up because he was forced to mark down candidates who wrote really intelligently about a subject but didn’t give the points that were demanded by his “marking criteria”.
When they get to university the hang-over of this is still horribly apparent. Students will press you to say what kind of class you think their essay would be given. If you respond “a 2.1”, their next question is likely to be, “So what have I left out that would get me a first”. As if getting a first was simply about fulfilling all the assessment criteria.
But tub-thumping about standards is a bit of a thoughtless response to all this. The sad thing is that the tick-box style of marking is an almost inevitable consequence of the very proper attempt to democratise A levels. It’s all very well thinking that the open ended intellectual essay style is what should be rewarded. But what do you do if you go to a school where they don’t know the rules for that genre? Isn’t it reasonable for you to expect to be told what you would need to do to get an A?
Mary Beard fails to address the question of whether A-levels should have been "democratised" in the first place, or indeed what "democratise" means. It seems to mean making them more widely accessible - easier in other words, for they cannot be as rigorous as they once were and widely accessible at the same time. A-levels should have been restricted to an elite minority, with accessibility to the benefits of an elite education system broad enough to include the cleverest regardless of parental income. In other words, the grammar schools should have been retained. Have I said that before?
A reader comments, rightly, that the tick box approach is evident in the workplace, as well as in education:
I think the sad truth about the 'tick box' exam is that it is actually preparing a lot of the students for life in a 'tick box' society. Too many jobs now (I was in one that went that way) are focussed on 'targets' which have to be hit, regardless of the eventual outcome. Do this job today, because we don't need to worry about that one until tomorrow. Come tomorrow - panic stations. A culture of crisis management.
I think it also extends to the arts. Writers who tick the right boxes - ethnic, female, young, photogenic - are worshipped however mediocre they may be.
Posted on 08/19/2007 8:58 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Another thing Muslims have done is attempt to force Infidels to be constantly aware of the danger of offending them, by any celebration of any event having to do with victories, in the past, over Muslims. Can Spain show any awareness, or take pride in, the Reconquista? Can the Americans openly hail the efforts of William Eaton, the American consul in Tripolitania, to go overland to free Americans held prisoners by the bey of Tripoli? Can they hail the efforts by Jefferson and the still-nascent navy to refuse to pay tribute to the Muslims who preyed on Christian shipping, unlike the European powers? Can we openly delight in the fact that near Poitiers, in 732, the Muslim Arabs were defeated by Charles Martel, and as Gibbon said, the spires of Oxford were not instead the minarets of a Total System that deplores most forms of artistic expression, and discourages the free and skeptical inquiry without which science -- as opposed to mere borrowing of the discoveries of others (see those Hindu mathematicians, those Chinese paper-makers, and of course all that Western technology -- the printing-press that a Hungarian convert to Islam, Ibrahim Muteferrika, was at long last allowed to introduce into the Ottoman empire in 1729, as one among a thousand examples -- that was appropriated, or simply accepted, as all that modern weaponry is accepted from the West as if by right, for Islam has become a Cargo Cult, which waits for the Infidel manna, in the form of goods and services, to arrive from the big birds descending god-like from the sky. Muslims still do not understand that their many failures, economic and political and social, moral and intellectual, are not the result of Infidel plotting but the result of what Islam itself imposes on Muslims, on what it encourages: that habit of mental submission, that willingness to obey a ruler if that ruler is Muslim, that inshallah-fatalism; and what it discourages and punishes, sometimes by death: above all, free and skeptical inquiry. And that is why, despite the ten trillion dollars in unmerited oil wealth, received by Muslim oil states just since 1973, not one has managed to stop being reliant on the wage-slaves from outside the Muslim world, from the lowly mistreated workers, to the Korean building contractors to, at the top, those European and American oil engineers and doctors.
Several years ago, I posted a little piece imagining how, in a Muslim-dominated Europe (and such domination does not require a Muslim majority, but only an Infidel population that has been, even if it remains a majority, sufficiently cowed to do Muslim bidding), the Battle of Lepanto, in 1571, part of the War over Cyprus, between Venice (helped by Spain and the Papacy), and the Ottomans, which was a victory in a war that ultimately the Ottomans won.
Here it is: Celebrating Lepanto, 2021
Posted on 08/19/2007 10:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Not the Lomonosov Ridge, But Something Even Better: Lomonosov
On August 19, 1739, at Khotin, fewer than 50,000 Russian and Polish troops defeated an army of several hundred thousand invading Muslim Turks. The battle of Khotin was memorialized by the polymath Mikhail Lomonosov in “Ode on the Taking of Khotin in 1739” written between September and December of that same year.
Here it is:
Ода блаженныя памяти государыне императрице Анне Иоанновнена победу над турками и татарамии на взятие Хотина 1739 года
Восторг внезапный ум пленил,
Ведет на верх горы высокой,
Где ветр в лесах шуметь забыл;
В долине тишина глубокой.
Внимая нечто, ключ молчит,
Которой завсегда журчит
И с шумом вниз с холмов стремится.
Лавровы вьются там венцы,
Там слух спешит во все концы;
Далече дым в полях курится.
Не Пинд ли под ногами зрю?
Я слышу чистых сестр музыку!
Пермесским жаром я горю,
Теку поспешно к оных лику.
Врачебной дали мне воды:
Испей и все забудь труды;
Умой росой Кастальской очи,
Чрез степь и горы взор простри
И дух свой к тем странам впери,
Где всходит день по темной ночи.
Корабль как ярых волн среди,
Которые хотят покрыти,
Бежит, срывая с них верхи,
Претит с пути себя склонити;
Седая пена вкруг шумит,
В пучине след его горит,
К российской силе так стремятся,
Кругом объехав, тьмы татар;
Скрывает небо конской пар!
Что ж в том? стремглав без душ валятся.
Крепит отечества любовь
Сынов российских дух и руку;
Желает всяк пролить всю кровь,
От грозного бодрится звуку.
Как сильный лев стада волков,
Что кажут острых яд зубов,
Очей горящих гонит страхом,
От реву лес и брег дрожит,
И хвост песок и пыль мутит,
Разит извившись сильным махом.
Не медь ли в чреве Этны ржет
И, с серою кипя, клокочет?
Не ад ли тяжки узы рвет
И челюсти разинуть хочет?
То род отверженной рабы,
В горах огнем наполнив рвы,
Металл и пламень в дол бросает,
Где в труд избранный наш народ
Среди врагов, среди болот
Чрез быстрый ток на огнь дерзает.
За холмы, где паляща хлябь
Дым, пепел, пламень, смерть рыгает,
За Тигр, Стамбул, своих заграбь,
Что камни с берегов сдирает;
Но чтоб орлов сдержать полет,
Таких препон на свете нет.
Им воды, лес, бугры, стремнины,
Глухие степи — равен путь.
Где только ветры могут дуть,
Доступят там полки орлины.
Пускай земля как понт трясет,
Пускай везде громады стонут,
Премрачный дым покроет свет,
В крови Молдавски горы тонут;
Но вам не может то вредить,
О россы, вас сам рок покрыть
Желает для счастливой Анны.
Уже ваш к ней усердный жар
Быстро проходит сквозь татар,
И путь отворен вам пространный.
Скрывает луч свой в волны день,
Оставив бой ночным пожарам;
Мурза упал на долгу тень;
Взят купно свет и дух татарам
Из лыв густых выходит волк
На бледный труп в турецкий полк.
Иной, в последни видя зорю,
Закрой, кричит, багряной вид
И купно с ним Магметов стыд;
Спустись поспешно с солнцем к морю.
Что так теснит боязнь мой дух?
Хладнеют жилы, сердце ноет!
Что бьет за странной шум в мой слух?
Пустыня, лес и воздух воет!
В пещеру скрыл свирепство зверь,
Небесная отверзлась дверь,
Над войском облак вдруг развился,
Блеснул горящим вдруг лицем,
Умытым кровию мечем
Гоня врагов, Герой открылся.
Не сей ли при Донских струях
Рассыпал вредны россам стены?
И персы в жаждущих степях
Не сим ли пали пораженны?
Он так к своим взирал врагам,
Как к готским приплывал брегам,
Так сильну возносил десницу;
Так быстрой конь его скакал,
Когда он те поля топтал,
Где зрим всходящу к нам денницу.
Кругом его из облаков
Гремящие перуны блещут,
И, чувствуя приход Петров,
Дубравы и поля трепещут.
Кто с ним толь грозно зрит на юг,
Одеян страшным громом вкруг?
Никак, Смиритель стран Казанских?
Каспийски воды, сей при вас
Селима гордого потряс,
Наполнил степь голов поганских.
Герою молвил тут Герой:
«Не тщетно я с тобой трудился,
Не тщетен подвиг мой и твой,
Чтоб россов целый свет страшился.
Чрез нас предел наш стал широк
На север, запад и восток.
На юге Анна торжествует,
Покрыв своих победой сей».
Свилася мгла, Герои в ней;
Не зрит их око, слух не чует.
Крутит река татарску кровь,
Что протекала между ними;
Не смея в бой пуститься вновь,
Местами враг бежит пустыми,
Забыв и меч, и стан, и стыд,
И представляет страшный видВ крови другов своих лежащих.
Уже, тряхнувшись, легкий лист
Страшит его, как ярый свист
Быстро сквозь воздух ядр летящих.
Шумит с ручьями бор и дол:
Победа, росская победа!
Но враг, что от меча ушел,
Боится собственного следа.
Тогда увидев бег своих,
Луна стыдилась сраму их
И в мрак лице, зардевшись, скрыла.
Летает слава в тьме ночной,
Звучит во всех землях трубой,
Коль росская ужасна сила.
Вливаясь в понт, Дунай ревет
И россов плеску отвещает;
Ярясь волнами турка льет,
Что стыд свой за него скрывает.
Он рыщет, как пронзенный зверь,
И чает, что уже теперь
В последней раз заносит ногу,
И что земля его носить
Не хочет, что не мог покрыть.
Смущает мрак и страх дорогу.
Где ныне похвальба твоя?
Где дерзость? где в бою упорство?
Где злость на северны края?
Стамбул, где наших войск презорство?
Ты лишь своим велел ступить,
Нас тотчас чаял победить;
Янычар твой свирепо злился,
Как тигр на росский полк скакал.
Но что? внезапно мертв упал,
В крови своей пронзен залился.
Целуйте ногу ту в слезах,
Что вас, агаряне, попрала,
Целуйте руку, что вам страх
Мечем кровавым показала.
Великой Анны грозной взор
Отраду дать просящим скор;
По страшной туче воссияет,
К себе повинность вашу зря.
К своим любовию горя,
Вам казнь и милость обещает.
Златой уже денницы перст
Завесу света вскрыл с звездами;
От встока скачет по сту верст,
Пуская искры конь ноздрями.
Лицем сияет Феб на том.
Он пламенным потряс верхом;
Преславно дело зря, дивится:
«Я мало таковых видал
Побед, коль долго я блистал,
Коль долго круг веков катится».
Как в клуб змия себя крутит,
Шипит, под камень жало кроет,
Орел когда шумя летит
И там парит, где ветр не воет;
Превыше молний, бурь, снегов
Зверей он видит, рыб, гадов.
Пред росской так дрожит Орлицей,
Стесняет внутрь Хотин своих.
Но что? в стенах ли может сих
Пред сильной устоять царицей?
Кто скоро толь тебя, Калчак,
Учит российской вдаться власти,
Ключи вручить в подданства знак
И большей избежать напасти?
Правдивой Аннин гнев велит,
Что падших перед ней щадит.
Ее взошли и там оливы,
Где Вислы ток, где славный Рен,
Мечем противник где смирен,
Извергли дух сердца кичливы.
О как красуются места,
Что иго лютое сбросили
И что на турках тягота,
Которую от них носили;
И варварские руки те,
Что их держали в тесноте,
В полон уже несут оковы;
Что ноги узами звучат,
Которы для отгнанья стад
Чужи поля топтать готовы.
Не вся твоя тут, Порта, казнь,
Не так тебя смирять достойно,
Но большу нанести боязнь,
Что жить нам не дала спокойно.
Еще высоких мыслей страсть
Претит тебе пред Анной пасть?
Где можешь ты от ней укрыться?
Дамаск, Каир, Алепп сгорит;
Обставят росским флотом Крит;
Евфрат в твоей крови смутится.
Чинит премену что во всем?
Что очи блеском проницает?
Чистейшим с неба что лучем
И дневну ясность превышает?
Героев слышу весел клик!
Одеян в славу Аннин лик
Над звездны вечность взносит круги;
И правда, взяв перо злато,
В нетленной книге пишет то,
Велики коль ея заслуги.
Витийство, Пиндар, уст твоих
Тяжчае б Фивы обвинили,
Затем что о победах сих
Они б громчае возгласили,
Как прежде о красе Афин;
Россия как прекрасный крин
Цветет под Анниной державой.
В Китайских чтут ее стенах,
И свет во всех своих концах
Исполнен храбрых россов славой.
Россия, коль счастлива ты
Под сильным Анниным покровом!
Какие видишь красоты
При сем торжествованьи новом!
Военных не страшися бед:
Бежит оттуду бранный вред,
Народ где Анну прославляет.
Пусть злобна зависть яд свой льет,
Пусть свой язык, ярясь, грызет;
То наша радость презирает.
Козацких поль заднестрской тать
Разбит, прогнан, как прах развеян,
Не смеет больше уж топтать,
С пшеницей где покой насеян.
Безбедно едет в путь купец,
И видит край волнам пловец,
Нигде не знал, плывя, препятства.
Красуется велик и мал;
Жить хочет век, кто в гроб желал;
Влекут к тому торжеств изрядства.
Пастух стада гоняет в луг
И лесом без боязни ходит;
Пришед овец пасет где друг,
С ним песню новую заводит.
Солдатску храбрость хвалит в ней,
И жизни часть блажит своей,
И вечно тишины желает
Местам, где толь спокойно спит;
И ту, что от врагов хранит,
Простым усердьем прославляет.
Любовь России, страх врагов,
Страны полночной Героиня,
Седми пространных морь брегов
Надежда, радость и богиня,
Велика Анна, ты доброт
Сияешь светом и щедрот,—
Прости, что раб твой к громкой славе,
Звучит что крепость сил твоих,
Придать дерзнул некрасной стих
В подданства знак твоей державе.
This is considered to be the first major poem in Russian that attempted to apply the rules of prosody that took into account not only the number of syllables (“syllabic” verse) but also the number, and for Lomonosov but not for all of the would-be reformers (see Kantmir)of Russian prosody, the placement of accent (the “syllabotonic” or “syllabo-accentual” verse). The poem was a kind of defense and illustration of the theory, and indeed it accompanied an article by Lomonosov on prosody, his essay “On the Principles of Russian Versification.” (Four years before, Trediakovksy had gotten the reform-of-Russian prosody ball rolling, with his own essay on the same subject) Lomonosov’s ode on the taking of Khotin has thus become a useful marker, referred to by more recent Russians, when they wish to allude to Russian prosody, to the achievements made possible by this switch, into the iambic tetrameter which, Nabokov wrote in his Commentary to his translation of “Eugene Onegin,” said in Russian what the iambic pentameter said in English, or the alexandrine in French.
To a certain kind of person, of a certain education and disposition, in a certain kind of mood, making a certain kind of point, the Ode on the Taking of Khotin means far more than what happened at Khotin (given the new menace of Islam, some of those people who might have once felt that may feel it not quite in the same way, or with the same certainty, as they did just a few years ago – perhaps “what happened at Khotin and why:” is more important than Lomonosov’s ode). But here is a beautiful poem, a a twentieth-century poem by Vladislav Felitsianovich Khodasevich, one of the last he ever wrote, written as he lay dying of tuberculosis on the rue des Quatre-Cheminées:
Не ямбом ли четырехстопным,
Заветным ямбом, допотопным?
О чем, как не о нем самом -
О благодатном ямбе том?
С высот надзвездной Музикии
К нам ангелами занесен,
Он крепче всех твердынь России,
Славнее всех ее знамен.
Из памяти изгрызли годы,
За что и кто в Хотине пал,
Но первый звук Хотинской оды
Нам первым криком жизни стал.
В тот день на холмы снеговые
Камена русская взошла
И дивный голос свой впервые
Далеким сестрам подала.
С тех пор в разнообразье строгом,
Как оный славный "Водопад",
По четырем его порогам
Стихи российские кипят.
И чем сильней спадают с кручи,
Тем пенистей водоворот,
Тем сокровенней лад певучий
И выше светлых брызгов взлет -
Тех брызгов, где, как сон, повисла,
Сияя счастьем высоты,
Играя переливом смысла, -
Живая радуга мечты.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Таинственна его природа,
В нем спит спондей, поет пэон,
Ему один закон - свобода,
В его свободе есть закон.
Stanza Three, about the significance of the Battle of Khotin and the permanent significance of the Ode on the Battle of Khotin, should be held up for closer inspection:
“Из памяти изгрызли годы,
За что и кто в Хотине пал,
Но первый звук Хотинской оды
Нам первым криком жизни стал.”
Nabokov in his Commentary to “Eugene Onegin” Englished it thus:
“Years have from memory eroded,
Who perished at Khotin, and why,
But the Khotiinian ode’s first sound
For us became our life’s first cry.”
Now it is August 19, 2007, as I just happened to notice about thirty minutes ago, while in the midst of A-levels and Oakeshott, and an imaginary girl who needs to open an imaginary door, and realized this was a fitting day upon which to recognize the difference in value between the Lomonosov Ridge, and Lomonosov. It has been two hundred and ninety-eight years since the Battle of Khotin. A few months less than two hundred ninety-eight years, since Lomonosov wrote his “Ode on the Taking of Khotin.” About 68 years since Khodasevich, tubercular and dying, wrote his poem about the origins of modern Russian prosody and the debt to Lomonosov, and to others (Derzhavin, the subject of a biography by Khodasevich, is also there, standing under “that renowned waterfall” in the fifth stanza), in which Khotin, both battle and ode, appear, and appear to compete for posterity’s attention. And, come to think of it, it is now about thirty-two minutes since I first started to write this calendrically-inspired tribute, and about four minutes – if you skipped the Russian -- since you started to read it, and about ten minutes if you didn’t.
As the plummy old-school voice in those antediluvian newsreels used to say, “Time Marches On.”
Posted on 08/19/2007 11:33 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 19 August 2007
"Islam has already collapsed..."-- from a reader
Yes and no. Islam is the reason for the political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures of Muslim states and societies. But it is, for Muslims, the one thing they dare not blame for those political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures.
What they do dare to blame, and indeed must blame, are the things which have to do with Infidels. Are the Muslim rulers bad? Then don't blame the fact that Muslims lack a democratic tradition, because political legitimacy cannot easily be located in the will of the people, in a Muslim setting. Are individuals treated badly, and as slaves to Allah, who must submit in all cases to the collective, and to the need to defend, and never to weaken, Islam? Then don't blame the fact that Islam is a collectivist faith, and that individuals are not permitted to exercise any rights -- such as freedom of speech or freedom of conscience (i.e., freedom to drop Islam)-- whenever those rights get in the way of Islam.
No, it is the Infidels who, directly or indirectly, who are to blame. It is the Infidels who are responsible for every bad ruler. It is the Americans who "brought in Saddam Hussein" say some -- a charge that is utter nonsense, but one repeated by those non-Muslims in the West who now wish to blame America for the disarray in Iraq, when the only thing to blame America for is not recognizing just how permanent and awful is the effect of Islam, on the unwinnable hearts and minds of those who cannot possibly make good use of all the things the Americans tried to do for them, all the lives and money squandered by those Americans on people who did nothing to show that they merited such sacrifices and who, because of Islam, with its Victor-Vanquished world-view, cannot possibly make the kind of compromises among themselves that the naive generals and even more naive policymakers at home keep thinking somehow will be made. It won't happen. It can't happen.
No, Islam is now a Cargo Cult. It waits for the Goods and Services of the West. Economically it survives because of two developments. The first is the oil money, which is accidental, and is the only way that Arab states, with their inshallah-fatalism, could possibly become fabulously rich (there is no enterprise, no ethic of work as in the West and in East Asia).
The second is the Jizyah of foreign aid from the Infidels, who have been persuaded that they, and for some unexplained reason not the fabulously rich Arabs and other Muslims, who must support the poor Muslims -- $60 billion to Egypt from America alone, $28 billion to Pakistan in debt-relief and new aid, from America alone since 2001, $880 billion squandered to turn the sow's ear of Iraq into some imaginary silk purse of decency, that was always an ignis fatuus, a very fatuous fire indeed, and billions of course to the shock troops of the Lesser Jihad (that against Israel), those local Arabs who were carefully renamed as "the Palestinians."
So they wait. And the Big Birds fly overhead, and drop the goods either paid for with unearned oil money, or offered by way of tribute by Infidel lands. And sometimes the Big Birds land, and out come doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers -- from the Infidels, to the Muslims, in a civilizing mission that never civilizes, because while the outward form may be there, Islam prevents any inward moral and mental development. Islam stunts the moral and mental growth, and that is the one thing that Muslims will never recognize.
But we Infidels can do so, and we can begin, more and more loudly, to express that view. And if we do so, a few Muslims are going to listen, and some will see the rightness of the diagnosis, as some celebrated "defectors" or apostates from Islam already have. And what is more, by seeing Islam steadily and whole, and speaking these home truths, one helps to strengthen Infidels, especially the unwary, the ignorant, the just plain stupid, against the opportunistic infection of Islam.
A Cargo Cult. Big Birds. That's exactly what it now is.
Posted on 08/19/2007 4:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Assuming An Islamic Identity
"He [Mohammad Khatami]said in his statement to the Thirteenth Seminar of Baran Foundation that despite the fact that followers of different religions live in the Middle East, the region has assumed an Islamic identity in the course of history."-- from this news article
"[T]he region has assumed an Islamic identity." Yes, in something like the same way, had the Nazis kept their conquest, much of Western Europe would have "assumed a German identity." After their lands were conquered by the Muslims, the more advanced and settled populations conquered by Muslims had three choices: immediate death, immediate conversion, or -- if they were People of the Book, the Ahl al-Kitab, that is Christians and Jews, they could remain alive, and even continued to practice, under great constraint, their own religions, but would be forced to submit to being treated as dhimmis, people whom the Muslims like to call the "protected people" but fail to explain that they were "protected" -- if every member of their communities observed the onerous requirements inflicted on them -- from the wrath, and even the license to kill, that the Muslims had issued to themselves as a way of dealing with non-Muslims who refused to submit.
Others were not to be permitted even that possibility, but offered only two alternatives: conversion or death. However, the sheer numbers involved (the Arab conquerors were not numerous compared to the far wealthier, settled, culturally much more advanced populations they conquered through military means) required them, in the end, to offer the same kind of treatment to the Zoroastrians of Sassanian Persia. But over time, the desire the onerousness, and the great expense, of dhimmi status, and the constant worry over whether or not a member of the particular religious community, would fulfill in all respects, or for some reason – defiance, inability out of poverty – would not fulfill in all respects, the demands upon him, as a dhimmi, thus putting into danger, by arousing Muslim wrath, the entire community, caused some, and then some more, and then more and more, to accept Islam. After all, wasn’t Islam in a sense “familiar”? Did it not include among its prophets such familiar names as “Moses” and “Jesus”? Were not some of its stories already familiar, because so many of those stories and even turns of phrase, were lifted from, appropriated from, the prior existing religions – albeit in much-distorted versions. Jesus is no longer divine, the Son of God, and he certainly was not crucified, but still…he is one of those many prophets who came before the One True One, the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad. And so, many did convert – not because Islam was so wonderful, as Mohammad Khatami implies, but because most people, most of the time, if they are in a very difficult situation, one that, intermittently, threatens them with death, will do what they must to get out of that situation.
Imagine, if you will, that Muslims conquered America. Imagine, if you will, that Christians and Jews (what happens to Hindus and Buddhists is another matter) were to be theoretically “allowed” to practice their religions. But they could not build new churches and synagogues. They could not repair old ones. They would not be allowed to drive cars or take planes or trains or busses or ships, but could only use horses (just as dhimmis, in an age where the horse was the only rapid means of transportation, were denied their use, but had to make do with donkeys, and to travel, at their fastest, at a donkey’s pace). Imagine, further, that every Christian and Jew in this country had to pay, to Muslim overlords, a “Jizyah” of, say, $100,000 per head per year. Or no, let’s make it $50,000. No, let’s make it $25,000. Every year, for every single person in your family. Just how many of us would, not right away of course, but possibly in a decade, or two, simply give up, simply accept Islam? You know the answer to this.
And then, let us say, your grandchildren or great-grandchildren are not only Muslims, but have done all the things that Muslims are encouraged to do. They take Arabic first names: no longer Michael or David or Kieran or Peter or Richard or Robert or Matthew or James, but “Mohammad” and “Ahmad” and “Jihad” and “Osama” and “Omar” and “Ayman” and “Wasfi” and “Ali” and Abdul” and “Abdullah” – and the same is true for the girls, now not “Sarah” and “Mary” and “Emily” but rather “Aisha” and “Zeinab” and “Hafsa.” And they also take, as so many non-Arabs have taken, Arab names. And they turn toward Mecca five times a day. And they regard as the Model of Conduct, uswa hasana, as the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, Muhammad, and all his works and days – that is, they are taught to regard him, to regard the customs and manners, of seventh-century Arabs (for that is what Muhammad was, a seventh-century Arab), as worthy of emulation, through time and space. That is why, when Khomeini came to power, replacing the not-exactly-Kemalist-but-incompletely-Islamic Shah (who looks better and better, every day, despite the corruption of his court, and despite his own traces of absurd o’erweening pride), virtually the first law he imposed was to change the marriageable age of girls from 18 to nine, the age at which little Aisha married Muhammad, or when he “consummated” that marriage.
And as they are told, your descendants – perhaps not your grandchildren, perhaps it will take a bit longer for some, a bit shorter for other lines of descent, depending on the strength with which you insist on hewing to the old ways, or whether or not you live in some remote part of the country, in the mountains say (that is how the Maronites survived – in the high fastnesses of “Mount Lebanon”) – and are passed over. But it won’t be easy, not nearly as easy as it might have been in 800 A.D., or 1200 A.D., or 1500 A.D., because the technology exists to find people, and to destroy them.
It could not have been any different, except as to the sums involved, in the lands conquered by the Muslims. Slowly, inexorably, the non-Muslims converted. When I look at the pictures of Muslims in Iraq, at those faces reflecting minds that have endured centuries of Islamic inculcation, faces discouraged from thought, encouraged to submit to a Total System, with every free thinker killed or cowed, I see through the present, into some distant past, when the ancestors of those same Muslim Arabs were Christians and Jews, enduring conquest, and then the status of dhimmis, and at some fateful point, becoming Muslims, either because they simply could not stand it any longer, or to avoid a worse fate, for intermittently, Muslim rulers would – sometimes to celebrate the birth of a male child, or a military victory, or for no reason at all – require all the non-Muslims in a city (for example, Tabriz, under Shah Abbas II), to convert, overnight, to Islam, or face death. There are many such examples.
How do you think the Middle East and North Africa Islamized? How do you think Anatolia, or the Empire of Byzantium, with its Greeks and Armenians and Jews, became what it is today, a place where those Greeks and Armenians and Jews still exist, but now they are called “Turks” and are Muslims, and have no memory of what happened before, no awareness, no sense of what must have happened, given the small number of actual “Turks”who arrived, Seljuks and then Ottoman Turks, from out of Asia?
And what do Pakistanis or Bangladeshis think? Do they think , at all, about the circumstances which forced their own ancestors to convert to Islam? What unendurable circumstances, or what direct threats, or what examples of mass murder – 60 to 70 million Hindus were killed during the nearly three centuries of Muslim rule – caused some ancestors -- of Musharraf, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Pinky Bhutto, and the late General Zia, and the poet Iqbal, and every Muslim on the subcontinent, to convert, from being Hindus, or Jains, or (in more recent times, and not frequently) Sikhs, or Buddhists, to becoming, Muslims.
And what of Mohammad Khatami himself? Why do you think Mohammad Khatami is a Muslim? What happened to his own ancestors, the Zoroastrians who – as the great historian of Zoroastrianism Mary Boyce has noted – were so cruelly treated by the Muslims. Why do you think some of the Zoroastrians fled Persia altogether, to pre-Islamic, and therefore Hindu, and therefore tolerant, India –to become the Parsis? When Boyce, in the mid-twentieth century, went to live among the handful – no more than a few hundred thousand at that point, and today far fewer – Zoroastrians who still lived in Iran, she noted the constant, daily cruelty which the Zoroastrians endured (just as Jews did, or Yazidis, or Assyrians, or many other non-Muslim groups). Dogs are treated with great respect in Zoroastrianism, but in Islam dogs are disliked, even murderously so, and Muhammad in a famous Hadith said he would not enter a house in which there was a dog or a statue.” One wonders if, by the way, this caninophobia was a result of a desire, in early Islam, to distinguish Islam from Zoroastrianism, whether it was a hadith deliberately fabricated to reinforce Muslim hostility toward Christians (with their iconic representations) and at the same time Zoroastrians (with their dogs). Boyce reports on how very small Muslim children would delightedly torture the dogs,of the Zoroastrians, as even adult Zoroastrians had to look on, stoically enduring this, not daring to move a muscle.
Go ahead. Think about how, over the long centuries, Christians and Jews in the Middle East and North Africa became Muslims. Think about Zoroastrians in Persia were brought by the Arabs the “gift” of Islam, and how they were forced to unwrap that unrequested-gift, and what escaped from the box once the package was opened. Think about those Pakistanis, look at them, and see the long-ago long-suffering Hindu who, at some point in the past – sometimes the very recent past (see Iqbal) – became a Muslim because, under Muslim rule, that made for many people only common sense, the sense of self-preservation. Little did they know that they were then condemning themselves, but even more those in their line of descent who would forget their own histories, become like little Arabs (arabization accompanying, or following upon, islamization), and embrace a Total System of Regulation, a Complete Explanation of the Universe, that would permanently stunt their mental and moral growth.
And here we are. In Iran, with Khatami. In Western Europe, with millions of people who think just like Khatami. And more being allowed in, or allowed to conduct subversive campaigns against the legal and political institutions of the lands within which they have been so negligently, so heedlessly, allowed to settle –to settle behind what Islam itself teaches Muslims to regard as enemy lines, the lines that delimit Dar al-Harb.
Posted on 08/19/2007 1:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 19 August 2007
“Let’s Prove the Americans Wrong”
Pat Condell's latest sharp-edged video about the Islamization of Europe.
“Peace to everyone, especially to the Mayor of Brussels, and his Muslim constituents who keep him in office… for the time being.” (hat tip Gates of Vienna)
Posted on 08/19/2007 2:05 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Say what you like about Prince Charles...
Well, I have done, here and elsewhere. In many ways he's a prize pillock and a right royal renegade. He thinks Islam is a religion of peace, talks to plants, uses coffee enemas and has sat in a dustbin in a Beckett play.
However, there are two things in his favour:
- He values the Book of Common Prayer,
- He likes, laughs at, understands and respects comedian and writer Stephen Fry, the Oscar Wilde of our time.
He cannot, therefore, have converted to Islam, as has been rumoured. I'm not sure which of the above is the more telling against this idea, but I suspect the latter.
Posted on 08/19/2007 2:50 PM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Islam and Social Justice
The business about Islam finding favor now that "socialism has failed" can be stated more accurately.
There are those in the West who are economically marginal, and also socially marginal. They have grievances against the "System." In some cases they might, in a different world, have put a Marxist cast on their grievances. They would have sought to promote, that is, a different economic system. Muslims, with their carefully-targetted campaigns of Da'wa, know exactly what to say, and what not to say, to different target audiences. To certain populations -- black prisoners, some but not all immigrants -- they hold out Islam as a vehicle for "Social Justice." It is nothing of the sort. Instead, Islam is a splendid vehicle for keeping people down and submissive, for they are taught obedience, slavish mental and political obedience, to the Ruler, as long as the ruler, no matter how much he may be skimming off the top (look at the Al-Saud, or any of the other ruling families in the rich Gulf states, or the military kleptocracies -- "stratokleptocracies" I keep calling them -- of Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Libya, and so on, or the hereditary monarchs, such as those of Morocco and Jordan, who help themselves to very large amounts, relative to the population, of what should be the national wealth.
The greatest disparities of wealth and of power exist in Muslim countries, despite all this business of everyone going to the mosque together. Look at the Saudi "royal family," and what those tens of thousands of princes, princelings, and princelettes do, how they conduct their fabulously luxurious and decadent lives, and compare that to the rest of the Saudis. Do the same for the sheiklets. For that matter, look at the Family-and-Friends plan of Mubarak in Egypt, or of corrupt Saint Sadat before him. Look at the generals who rule Algeria. Look at the alternating rule in modern Pakistan, by zamindars and generals, generals and zamindars, and see how the anglophone jeuneese doree of Pakistan -- just look at the luxe enjoyed by those rich Pakistanis in London and Washington -- and then ask yourself about "social justice" in Islam.
But just as those black prisoners subject to Muslim indoctrination (while the authorities in Infidel lands look the other way), learn nothing about the incredible level of anti-black racism, that is a given among the Arabs, learn nothing about the Arab slave trade or the continuing legitimacy of slavery in Islam and the continued enslavement of blacks by Muslim Arabs wherever they have managed to evade close examination from the outside -- in Sudan, in Mauritania, and even, one suspects, deep inside one or two other Arab-ruled states, behind palace walls, where Westerners never penetrate.
And look at Iran today. What is the chief criticism of the Islamic Republic of Iran by Iranians? It is the corruption of everything. It is the seizure of wealth by the mullahs. It is precisely the lack of "social justice" -- a lack even more pronounced under the Islamic Republic than under the late Shah, just as the cruelties and injustices of life under the Czarist regime were as nothing compared to what happened after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Islam as the new and vibrant and appealing replacement for both "capitalism" and "socialism"? Utter nonsense. As much nonsense as the "universalist" claim made by apologists for Islam, who refuse to recognize what the clear-sighted (including the most clear-sighted of non-Arab Muslims) Infidels can perceive: that despite that "universalist" claim, Islam remains, and always will remain, what it has always been: a vehicle for Arab imperialism, cultural, linguistic, as well as political and, when possible, economic.
Posted on 08/19/2007 4:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 19 August 2007
BBC Had To Be Forced To Remove Anti-Christian and Anti-Semitic Posts
Daily Mail: The BBC has been forced to remove statements from its website referring to Jesus as a 'bastard'.
It is the latest in a string of offensive comments that BBC editors have allowed members of the public to post.
The remarks have been allowed to remain for weeks, despite complaints from religious groups.
It has led to claims that the BBC is allowing its output to be hijacked by extremists while censoring anti-Muslim sentiment. ...
One website user wanted to see if BBC editors were allowing these offensive remarks to remain while blocking others. He wrote: "No one can surpass the Muslims for denial of their role in Terrorism and Suicide bombing." The remarks were almost immediately deleted.
The BBC has also been criticised for allowing allegedly anti-Semitic posts from a contributor called "Iron Naz'.
In a message left on the site for more than a month, Iron Naz says: "Zionism is a racist ideology where jews are given supremacy over all other races and faiths. This is found in the Talmud...which allows jews to lie as long as its to non-jews."
The remarks brought complaints from the Board of Deputies, the organisation that represents Britain's Jews and its Community Security Trust. They say the post draws on a discredited 19th Century text, the Talmud Unmasked, which is still distributed by neo-Nazi booksellers.
However, the BBC said the remarks did not merit removal...
Posted on 08/19/2007 5:04 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Have minds, will travel.
BOISE, Idaho: U.S. Representative Bill Sali has apologized to a Muslim colleague for remarks suggesting the United States' founders never intended for Muslims to serve in the U.S. Congress...
We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now," Sali is quoted as saying on the network's Web site. "Those are changes, and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers." --from this news item
There is no doubt that the American political and legal system flatly contradicts, and is flatly contradicted by, Islam. There is no doubt that the Founding Fathers could never have imagined that Muslims would live in this country. Indeed, it was until just a few decades ago a fantastic idea that more than a handful of Muslims -- and those of course not citizens -- would exist in Western Europe.
Such an attitude was also held by Muslims. For traditionally Muslims were informed by their clerics that it was impermissible to move to non-Muslim countries and thus to endure rule by non-Muslims. Latterly that has changed. It is permissible, if in doing so those non-Muslims allow full Muslim worship and, of course, then the Muslim presence can not only be permitted but encouraged, even possibly commanded (in Islam there are two categories: the Commanded, and the Prohibited), if those Muslims are engaged in the struggle known as Jihad, that is the struggle to remove all obstacles to the spread of Islam, and to work, employing all conceivable and effective instruments including the Money Weapon, Da'wa, and demographic conquest (outright military conquest at this point is not possible, and the only kind of "qitaal" or military combat that is possible is the variant that we Infidels clearly identify as "terrorism" but that Muslims very clearly do not). For that has now been taken to justify the presence of Muslims in what are assumed to be -- and may be -- lands only temporarily in the hands of non-Muslims.
The Congressman did not need to apologize. He needed to do something that would have, however, required him to spend time. He would have had to learn a good deal more about Islam. He would have had to understand that the foundation of advanced Western democracies is the belief that political legitimacy of any government can be located, must be located, in the will expressed -- however imperfectly -- of the people. He would, if he had studied just a bit of Islam, have discovered that this principle is lacking. He would have found out that in Islam, the political legitimacy of the ruler comes from his being a Muslim, and acting according to Muslim principles. He need not have a vote, and voting makes little sense in Islamic terms. He need only hew to the will expressed by Allah, not the expressed will of the people.
That Congressman might further have noted that Islam is a Total System, that it requires of its adherents that their complete and sole loyalty be to Islam, and to fellow members of the umma al-islamiyya, and that while not all Muslims are good Muslims, and some may even be bad or non-observant Muslims (and hence, perhaps, capable of being loyal members of the American polity, though there is always the question of when a "bad" -- that is "moderate" -- Muslim is only feigning an outward show of non-compliance with the ideological dictates of Islam, and furthermore, we have no way of knowing when, even if such non-observance or non-belief in a central doctrine of Islam by some who continue to call themselves Muslims, such a "moderate" Muslim will change his views, and become a much truer True Believer, which means, for the Infidels among whom he has come to live, nothing good.
See JOHN QUINCY ADAMS ON JIHAD by Andrew Bostom
If that Congressman wishes to rethink his apology, and to learn what he, and all of his colleagues, now have a solemn duty to learn or, if they cannot learn, they should resign their positions, because only those willing and able to put in the effort (it isn't elementary particle physics, for god's sake -- more than a billion people know what Islam inculcates, because they have been so inculcated) then there is, at this website, more than one Barkis who is willin'.
Have minds, will travel.
Posted on 08/19/2007 5:28 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Vocational Training, and Education
Mass education as currently practiced is no education at all. Only a very few can be educated properly in the humanities, and those few, if they do not succeed their teachers, and if those teachers are replaced by others who are not properly educated but are levellers, the link is lost, the line goes down, "I can't hear you."
There is education that is conceived as, and becomes nothing more than, vocational training. And then there is the other sort, but that is now available only to a few, and not necessarily, by the way, in the most expensive or most prestigious prep (public) schools and universities, for these too depend on the intelligence of the faculty and especially the administration, to withstand fads and fashions.
There is Hector, of course, a figure whom Alan Bennett presents in "The History Boys" as a sympathetic hewer-to-the-useless-truly-useful best" that has been thought and said, whether by Shakespeare or Fats Waller, and whether sung by a Roman poet, or by some modern scatsinger, in a Porgy-and-Bess street, is singing to her would-be lover-boy a modern variant of that Roman poet’s paraklausithyron, where the obstacle is no longer the door-keeper or the door, but rather the girl herself, singing away “I Hear You Knocking But You Can’t Come In.” Or, in still another variant, the singer is either a man or a woman, and the person knocking has gone away and now wants to be let back in, but the person behind the locked door will not take that man or woman, depending, back.
And then there are others who had a sense of education, before access to universities was handed out like confetti, sugar-coated candies not torn-up paper, at an Italian wedding.
There is wonderful Jacques Barzun, a true scholar and a true teacher, author of, among many works, still more important, “The House of Intellect.” There are many retired and semi-retired professors, at last able to set down their qualms about, for example, the New Departments of English, and their Faculty, and Their Courses. There was Richard Hoggart. There was “The Human World” which came out of Swansea, genius domus of that short-lived, worthy enterprise being the unstoppable Ian Robinson, who has just published on important book on modern, belief-killing translations of “The Bible” (for the King James version could command belief even from non-believers, and it provided the indispensable literary, or cultural continuity that no later translation offers).
And as another example of someone who was well-educated himself and the cause of better self-education in other men, for he had some ideas about what might encourage such self-education, and multiple-choice tests, and all-shall-have-prizes examination systems, and the dilution of requirements, here is a well-known passage from Michael Oakeshott on Education as Conversation:
“In a conversation the participants are not engaged in an inquiry or a debate; there is no "truth" to be discovered, no proposition to be proved, no conclusion sought. They are not concerned to inform, to persuade, or to refute one another, and therefore the cogency of their utterances does not depend upon their all speaking in the same idiom; they may differ without disagreeing. Of course, a conversation may have passages of argument and a speaker is not forbidden to be demonstrative; but reasoning is neither sovereign nor alone, and the conversation itself does not compose an argument ...
In conversation ... thoughts of different species take wing and play round one another, responding to each other's movements and provoking one another to fresh exertions. Nobody asks where they have come from or on what authority they are present; nobody cares what will become of them when they have played their part. There is no symposiarch or arbiter, not even a doorkeeper to examine credentials. Every entrant is taken at its face-value and everything is permitted which can get itself accepted into the flow of speculation. And voices which speak in conversation do not compose a hierarchy.
Conversation is not an enterprise designed to yield an extrinsic profit, a contest where a winner gets a prize, not is it an activity of exegesis; it is an unrehearsed intellectual adventure. It is with conversation as with gambling, its significance lies neither in winning nor in losing, but in wagering. Properly speaking, it is impossible in the absence of a diversity of voices: in it different universes of discourse meet, acknowledge each other and enjoy an oblique relationship which neither requires nor forecasts their being assimilated to one another.”
Meanwhile, I’m going to try to knock that door down myself, whatever that song says. I’m going to put paid to that paraklausithyron - Roman trope or no trope -- once and for all.
Ian Robinson? Is that the New Grammarians' Funeral chappy?
Read it. Liked it. All but forgotten it. -- Mary Jackson
Yes, that Ian Robinson. I read his "The Survival of English" when it first came out in 1973. It made a deep impression. And then I read "The Human World" with great interest, but don't know where those copies are, and I never did have a whole run. And then I bought, fortunately at a library sale, "The Establishment of Modern Prose in the Reformation and the Enlightenment" -- and loved it. Puts me in touch with the Leo-Spitzer, George-Williamson side of me, and then some. And now there is "Who Killed the Bible?"
I don't know Ian Robinson. I know that ever since I read "The Survival of English" I have had a soft spot, a warm spot, for places called "Swansea" and "Aberystwyth."
Posted on 08/19/2007 6:48 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald