These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 25, 2012.
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Judge grants Muslims the right to assault blasphemers in U.S.
From George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley:
There is a surprising story out of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania that seems the perfect storm of religious tensions. You begin with Ernie Perce, an atheist who marched as a zombie Mohammad in the Mechanicsburg Halloween parade. Then you add Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim who stepped off a curb and reportedly attacked Perce for insulting the Prophet. Then you have a judge (Judge Mark Martin) who threw out the criminal charges against Elbayomy and ridiculed the victim, Perce. The Judge identifies himself as a Muslim and says that Perce conduct is not what the First Amendment is supposed to protect.
Perce says that Elbayomy grabbed him and tried to take his sign. Elbayomy was at the parade with his wife and children and said that he felt he had to act in the face of the insult. The officer at the scene, Sgt. Brian Curtis, correctly concluded that Perce was engaged in a lawful, first amendment activity. He therefore charged Elbayomy. While it looks like an assault, he was only charged with harassment.
Any unwelcome physical contact can constitute assault, but the officer chose to only charge the Muslim attacker with harrassment.
The case, however, then went to District Judge Mark Martin who not only threw out the charge of harassment but ridiculed Perce as a “doofus.” He also proceeds to not only give an account of his own Muslim faith (and say that he was offended personally by Perce’s action) but suggests that Elbayomy was just protecting his “culture.” The judge not only points to his own Koran but his time in Muslim countries as relevant to his deliberations. Putting aside the problem of ruling in a case where you admit you have strong personal feelings, the lecture given on the first amendment is perfectly grotesque from a civil liberties perspective.
Here is part of the hearing transcript:
Well, having had the benefit of having spent over two-and-a-half years in predominantly Muslim countries, I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact, I have a copy of the Quran here, and I would challenge you, Sir, to show me where it says in the Quran that Muhammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted a couple of things. So before you start mocking somebody else’s religion, you might want to find out a little more about it. It kind of makes you look like a doofus. …
In many other Muslim-speaking countries, err, excuse me, many Arabic-speaking countries, predominantly Muslim, something like this is definitely against the law there, in their society. In fact, it could be punished by death, and frequently is, in their society.
Here in our society, we have a Constitution that gives us many rights, specifically First Amendment rights. It’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others. I don’t think that’s what our forefathers intended. I think our forefathers intended to use the First Amendment so we can speak with our mind, not to piss off other people and cultures – which is what you did.
I don’t think you’re aware, Sir, there’s a big difference between how Americans practice Christianity – I understand you’re an atheist – but see Islam is not just a religion. It’s their culture, their culture, their very essence, their very being. They pray five times a day toward Mecca. To be a good Muslim before you die, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, unless you’re otherwise told you cannot because you’re too ill, too elderly, whatever, but you must make the attempt. Their greeting is ‘Salam alaikum, wa-laikum as-Salam,’ uh, ‘May God be with you.’
Whenever it is very common, their language, when they’re speaking to each other, it’s very common for them to say, uh, Allah willing, this will happen. It’s, they’re so immersed in it. And what you’ve done is, you’ve completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very, very, very offensive. I’m a Muslim. I find it offensive. I find what’s on the other side of this [sign] very offensive. But you have that right, but you are way outside your bounds of First Amendment rights. …
I’ve spent about seven years living in other countries. When we go to other countries, it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as ‘ugly Americans.’ This is why we hear it referred to as ‘ugly Americans,’ because we’re so concerned about our own rights, we don’t care about other people’s rights. As long as we get our say, but we don’t care about the other people’s say.
The judge’s distorted view of the first amendment was magnified by Elbayomy’s counsel, R. Mark Thomas who called this lecture “a good dressing down by the judge. The so-called victim was the antagonist and we introduced evidence that clearly showed his attitude toward Muslims. The judge didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have done if I was in that position.”
I fail to see the relevance of the victim’s attitude toward Muslims or religion generally. He had a protected right to walk in the parade and not be assaulted for his views. While the judge laments that “[i]t’s unfortunate that some people use the First Amendment to deliberately provoke others,” that is precisely what the Framers had in mind if Thomas Paine is any measure.
Notably, reports indicate that Elbayomy called police because he thought it was a crime to be disrespectful to Muhammed. The judge appears to reference this by noting that in some countries you can be put to death for such an offense. Those countries are called oppressive countries. This is a free country where it is not a crime to insult someone’s religion — despite a counter-trend in some Western countries.
The last sentence is a reference to the attempted passing of "anti-blasphemy" laws in some European countries. This case is just the latest incident in which Islamic sharia law is applied in U.S. courtrooms to U.S. citizens, Muslim or not. The attempt in Oklahoma to pass an "anti-sharia" measure was ridiculed as being unnecessary, since sharia law is never used as the basis of decisions in U.S. courts, yet here we are again.
The lack of support by the legal institutions of the government for the Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech brings to mind the case of Pastor Terry Jones. In his case, the full weight of the U.S. government, from the mayor, governor, Senator, up to the President of the United States were all brought to bear to force Pastor Jones to relinquish his right to free speech, in order to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities.
Once again, judges are allowed to bring in values from other cultures and religions as the foundation for excusing actions that, if committed by native citizens, would be considered illegal. Once again, a multi-track legal system is being created, with different standards of behavior for Muslims and kufirs.
There exists video of the incident, which the judge would not allow to be presented. There were mutliple witnesses, and the Muslim attacker confessed his actions to the officer at the scene. There can be little disagreement as to the basic facts of the case; it is only the religious beliefs of the judge that caused the laws of man to be superceded by the laws of Allah.
Once Judge Mark Martin dismissed this case, I'm not sure what legal recourse the victim has, without invoking double-jeopardy. There is civil court, but other than the destruction of the sign, or whatever medical bills the victim accrued, there is little chance of monetary compensation. And so, unless a civil rights case is brought by the government, which is even less likely, this Muslim attacker is probably immune from any punishment whatsoever for his violent actions.
I'm also not sure what the possibility is in Pennsylvania for this judge to be investigated for judicial misconduct, and to be disbarred. He too may be immune from any repercussions. But one can only hope that one or two Pennsylvanians will attend his court as audience members, dressed as "Zombie Mohammad", staring at him as a silent reminder of our "unfortunate" Constitutional rights.
Posted on 02/25/2012 1:29 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Catholic Charities, Refugee Resettlement and Gateway Cities
Don Barnett writes in The Tennessean:
Reacting to public concern about the U.S. refugee program and not wanting to lose another city for its resettlement program, the U.S. State Department mounted a charm offensive in Nashville recently.
The visit from Washington consisted of a press conference preceded by small group meetings involving David Robinson, the director of the State Department’s refugee bureau; local program participants; a lobbyist; and state legislators.
Tennessee’s law allowing localities to request a “time out” from the program if social services are shown to be overly burdened was deemed compatible with federal law. Why it was needed at all was the question raised during the visit. After all, according to Tennessee’s state refugee coordinator, refugees “are financially self-sufficient within a few months and are not dependent on public welfare.” Also, “Tennessee does not provide funding for refugee resettlement within its borders.”
Actually, a federal study of refugees who arrived in a recent five-year period shows high welfare usage among refugees. Almost 45 percent of refugees in this group ages 16 and older are on Medicaid (TennCare in Tennessee — 35 percent funded by state taxes). According to a Metro Nashville Social Services report: “More services will be needed for the refugee and immigrant population. More translation services are needed now. Currently, there is more demand for rent, utilities, medical and transportation assistance.”
During the visit, there was much talk of public/private initiatives and the work of State Department “partners” such as Catholic Charities. Tennessee’s state refugee coordinator — in what must be the oddest arrangement in modern Tennessee state governance — is also a full-time employee of Catholic Charities, the main federal contractor responsible for resettling refugees in Tennessee.
If you are thinking charity, think again. According to Robinson, writing earlier about the refugee budget of Catholic Charities’ parent organization: “The federal government provides about 90 percent of its collective budget,” and its lobbying umbrella “wields enormous influence over the administration’s refugee admissions policy. It lobbies the Hill effectively to increase the number of refugees admitted for permanent resettlement each year. ... If there is a conflict of interest, it is never mentioned. ... The solution its members offer to every refugee crisis is simplistic and the same: Increase the number of admissions to the United States without regard to budgets.”
In fact, refugee resettlement is profitable for the nonprofits. Fifty-eight percent of Catholic Charities’ budget goes to salaries, including $150,000 for its director.
A 2010 congressional report concludes that refugees “place demands, sometimes significant, on local schools, police, hospitals and social services. Local governments are often burdened with the weight of addressing the unique assistance refugees require, yet they rarely have an official role in influencing how many refugees are resettled by local voluntary agencies, and often are not even informed in advance that new residents will be arriving.”
The refugee program raises fundamental questions about states’ rights, federal unfunded mandates, church-state relations and contractor accountability. But, as a practical matter, Eric Schwartz, a former refugee bureau director, once said that the U.S. should not support “partners” and “aid providers that see themselves as contractors.”
Neither should Tennessee.
Posted on 02/25/2012 6:03 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Graves of British troops smashed and desecrated by Libyan Islamists in protest over U.S. soldiers' Koran burning
The pictures come from Reuters but I cannot find them on the Reuters website (I probably can't see for looking). The Daily Mail has the most but the Independent on line of South Africa has another. HT MfE
A furious mob has desecrated dozens of Commonwealth War Graves in a Libyan cemetery amid continuing fury in the Middle East over the burning of the Koran by U.S. soldiers.
Headstones commemorating British and Allied servicemen, killed during World War II campaigns in the Western Desert, lay smashed and strewn across Benghazi Military Cemetery.
Protesters rampaged through site on Friday, despite efforts by America to calm tensions sparked when it emerged U.S. soldiers had burned Muslim holy books in a pile of rubbish at a military base in Afghanistan.
There have been problems in Libya with Muslim graves desecrated by other Muslims. It was too much to expect them to respect the graves of the infidel when they don't respect their own. Except, people who have visited the Commonwealth War Graves around El Alamein, Tobruk and Benghazi (and probably the French and German cemeteries) say that they are well kept and tended by local workers. Australian troops were active in the capture of Benghazi from the Axis forces - this is a brief history from the Australian War Memorial site.
This is a photograph from the Commonweath War Graves Commission showing the Cemetery as it was. Not only have graves been toppled but the cross broken - it is no longer a cross.
Posted on 02/25/2012 5:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Is Islam a 21st Century Religion?
Richard Butrick writes:
Najeeb Kashgari was boarding a flight at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam when he was apprehended and detained by Interpol. His crime? He had violated the 2009 UN resolution making it a “violation of human rights” to denigrate a religion. Mr. Kashgari is a young Indian journalist and he had tweeted his friends that Hinduism is just Voodoo with a Ph.D.
Despite vigorous protest from Geert Wilders, after being detained by Interpol, he was then handed over to the Indian Religious Police who flew him back to New Delhi for trial and possible beheading for the crime of blasphemy.
Ok. Not credible. Even ridiculous. Here is the real story.
Kashgari is a Saudi Muslim and he tweeted his friends to the effect that he no longer was convinced that Muhammad was the perfect role model for Muslims. Realizing he was in trouble for daring to suggest Muhammad was not perfection personified, he fled Saudi Arabia and was boarding a plane in Malaysia for New Zealand when he was detained by Saudi authorities (with the help of Interpol?) and then flown to Saudi Arabia for trial.
What is the point? Let me quote from Dr. Salim Mansur’s new book Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism “The worm inside the doctrine of multiculturalism is the lie that all cultures are worthy of equal respect and equally embracing of individual freedom and democracy.”
Most people reading about a Hindu being abducted by Hindu authorities and threatened with beheading for “defamation” of Hinduism would regard as much as being absurd. That is because it is obvious even to the casual observer that the beliefs and internal dynamics of Islam and Hinduism are by no means on a par as regards “freedom and democracy.”
Whatever the outcome, the Kashgari case is the most recent case in which it becomes obvious that those forms of Islam in which apostasy and criticism of Islam are punishable offenses are at odds with the basic individual rights of freedom of speech and association. Punishment for leaving a religion or criticizing a religion is contrary to those two basic human rights. The UN resolution making it a violation of human rights to denigrate a religion is actually itself a violation of the individual human right of free speech and in effect gives “human” individual rights to religions. As the Canadian representative to the 2009 UN council meeting argued, "It is individuals who have rights, not religion. Canada believes that to extend (the notion of) defamation beyond its proper scope would jeopardize the fundamental right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of expression on religious subjects."
The human rights enshrined in the US constitution did not come about without a fight. Unfortunately, rights do not become institutionalized in a society just because enlightened minds declare them to be universal. They must be fought for. Countries which pay lip service to basic human rights must step up to the plate and argue that no form of Islam which regards apostasy or blasphemy as punishable offenses is acceptable as a 21st century religion. The yoke of multiculturalism inhibits such action and must be thrown off. Just reacting to such cases with the multicultural shrug will only embolden Islamists and weaken basic human rights. Nor will it do to just bemoan individual cases as they arise. Unless the core problem of doctrine is addressed there will be more cases like Rushdie and Theo Van Gogh and the less well-known cases like Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses, who was stabbed to death on the campus where he taught literature and the Italian translator Ettore Capriolo who was knifed in his apartment in Milan and William Nygaard, the novel’s Norwegian publisher, who was shot three times in the back and left for dead outside his Oslo home.
Leading European politicians have come out against multiculturalism and the most recent move by David Cameron shows real promise. His conservative government has just released a new strategy document titled "Creating the Conditions for Integration" which states: "We will robustly challenge behaviors and views which run counter to our shared values such as democracy, rule of law, equality of opportunity and treatment, freedom of speech and the rights of all men and women to live free from persecution of any kind. We will marginalize and challenge extremists who seek to undermine our society and we will neither engage with nor fund such organizations."
The strategy needs to be taken a step further and claim that no religion which, in its doctrines, violates basic individual human rights, including freedom of expression and association, qualifies as a 21st century religion and hence has none of the rights and privileges bestowed on religions from tax-free status to building permits.
Posted on 02/25/2012 7:02 AM by NER
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Pregnant women have asked for terminations because they did not want their holidays spoilt
The discovery that sexually selected termination of pregnancy is available in Britain should surprise no one; and if we are surprised, it can only be because we have not been paying attention for the past 40 years. Sexually selected termination is, after all, the natural result and logical extension of the way the Abortion Act has been interpreted during all this time.
Several consultants and what I suppose we must now call their customers have been caught in flagrante committing an illegal act that most people will find thoroughly distasteful. No doubt the doctors involved will now find themselves in hot water, and the chairman of the Care Quality Commission, the Orwellianly named organisation in charge of supervising the compliance of abortion clinics with the law, has already resigned.
The Chief Medical Officer is to write to all abortion clinics to remind them of their responsibilities, but it is a fair bet that what he writes will not be taken seriously and not deserve to be taken seriously. Perhaps now is the time to remind ourselves of the terms of the Abortion Act:
“Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not be guilty of an offence under the law relating to abortion when a pregnancy is terminated by a registered medical practitioner if two registered medical practitioners are of the opinion, formed in good faith –
(a) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its 24th week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family; or
(b) that the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; or
(c) that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated; or
(d) that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.”
With this in mind, it is clear that a very large number, and quite possibly the vast majority, of abortions carried out in this country are against the spirit, if not quite the word, of the law, and that practically all the doctors in this country who sign abortion forms are every bit as guilty as the reviled consultants who have offered sexually selected abortion.
If the consultants offering sexually selected abortions should be struck off the register, so should a probable majority of British practitioners. Their only extenuation is the fact that any termination of pregnancy is safer than a continuation of it: but this is surely sophistical, and not what the framers of the law intended. Besides, the argument would also cover the case of the consultants who offered abortion on the grounds of the sex of the foetus.
More than one friend of mine in the profession has told me that pregnant women have asked for terminations because they did not want their holidays spoilt by pregnancy – and they duly signed the forms. I have signed only a few forms in the course of my career, a long time ago, and I am not sure what part the desire to avoid an unpleasant scene with the patient, understandable perhaps in a young man as I then was, played in my decision-making. In this connection, I cannot help but think of the notice in old-fashioned shops: please do not ask for credit as refusal often offends.
Of course, it is not difficult for someone to claim that the continuation of a pregnancy will harm her: all she has to do is threaten to take an overdose if it is not terminated. But if we take a latitudinarian view of what constitutes harm to mental health, there is no way of distinguishing between permissible and impermissible termination. A woman who wants a male child but not a female one can claim that a girl will harm her mental health while a boy will improve it. Anyone can ruin his own mental health if he wants to do so. Indeed, the very notion of mental health makes us ever more fragile.
The Abortion Act provides, de facto, abortion on demand, and this has been so for many years. Certain people will rejoice at this: those, for example, who argue that women have an inalienable right to dispose of their bodies as they wish, and therefore to determine whether or not they continue with their pregnancy. According to this argument, women have the right to an abortion simply because they want it, for good, bad or no reason. If this is the case, the consultants who offered the sexually selected abortions did nothing wrong, morally speaking.
The Council of Europe has suggested that women should not be told the sex of their child before birth, precisely to avoid sexually selected abortions. But this in turn conflicts with another supposedly inalienable right: that of a patient to information about his or her condition. Now that doctors are supposed to withhold nothing from their patients, why should information about the sex of a foetus be an exception? After all, the vast majority of pregnant women who are told the sex of their baby do not, and never will, want an abortion on the grounds of its sex. By what common measure of moral priority does the right of a foetus not to be aborted on the grounds of its sex trump the right of the mother to be given information about her condition?
In fact, the whole sorry story illustrates the mess we get into when two notions become culturally prominent: on the one hand of rights and on the other of consumer choice.
Whatever the law says, most people now think that abortion is a right under all circumstances and not something that is permissible if certain conditions are met, as the framers of the law surely intended. That particular slippery slope has long been slid down. And the same people now conceive of life as an existential supermarket in which they are consumers, choosing the way they live much as they choose cranberry juice or the flavour of crisps that they want. And the customer in the existential supermarket, as in Tesco, is always right.
Into this poisonous mixture we must add the notion that any form of distress, or even the slightest frustration arising no matter how self-indulgently, constitutes an impairment of mental health: for the mentally healthy person is always happy and never experiences any difficulties in life. In short, inconvenience is the greatest of all threats to our well-being, and must at all times be avoided. It is our right to avoid it.
The Abortion Act was intended as a humane response to genuine hardship: the type of hardship that drove women to back-street abortionists. I supported it, not realising that its intentions would soon be subverted by a change in the character of the population, including that of doctors, who would easily affix their names to declarations they knew or suspected to be false. But now the genie is out of the bottle, and I fear there is no getting it back.
Originally published in The Telegraph.
Posted on 02/25/2012 7:30 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 25 February 2012
The Display Of Hate And Hysteria By Primitive Muslims In Afghanistan Should Be Evidence Enough -- Leave Afghanistan To Its Own Islam-Generated Miseries
From The New York Times:
Feb. 25, 2012
2 Americans Killed as Afghan Unrest Enters Fifth Day
KABUL, Afghanistan — Two American officers were shot dead inside the Interior Ministry building here on Saturday, as outrage continued to erupt violently across the country at the American military’s burning of Korans at a NATO army base.
The NATO commander, Gen. John R. Allen, immediately ordered all military advisers withdrawn from Afghan ministries in Kabul, in a startling admission of how deep the crisis had become, with anti-American fury reaching deeply into even the Afghan security forces and ministries working most closely with the coalition.
Although there was no official statement that the gunman was an Afghan, in an e-mail sent to Western officials here from NATO headquarters the episode was described as “green on blue,” which is the military term used here when Afghan security forces turn their weapons on their Western military allies.
The killings, which happened within one of the most tightly secured areas of the ministry, add to the drumbeat of concern about a deepening animosity between civilians and militaries on both sides that had led to American and coalition forces being killed in increasing numbers even before the Koran burning ignited nationwide rioting. Now, the withdrawal from Afghan ministries suddenly calls into question the coalitions’ entire strategy of joint operations with Afghan forces across the country, although General Allen said NATO was still committed to fighting the war in Afghanistan.
"I condemn today’s attack at the Afghan Ministry of Interior that killed two of our coalition officers,” General Allen said in a statement. “The perpetrator of this attack is a coward whose actions will not go unanswered. We are committed to our partnership with the government of Afghanistan to reach our common goal of a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan in the near future."
The deaths on Saturday are only the latest events, including the killing by Afghan soldiers of French troops in eastern Afghanistan and a video, showing four United States Marines urinating on three bodies, said to be those of Taliban fighters, that have inflamed emotions here. On Thursday, two American soldiers were shot to death by a member of the Afghan Army at a base in eastern Afghanistan, as protests about the Koran burning were raging outside the base.
The intensifying enmity toward the American presence in Afghanistan a decade into the war is casting into doubt a central plank of the Obama administration’s strategy to end the United States’ involvement in the war: a close working relationship between Afghan forces and advisers and trainers who are working to help the Afghans become ready to defend and police the country on their own. But it is also likely to have an immediate bearing on several critical negotiations with Afghan officials.
An American official in Washington said the unrest and shootings of American personnel by their Afghan counterparts would have a “huge” impact on a slew of discussions planned for the coming weeks among officials from the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies. On the agenda of the various inter-agency meetings is the future of the main American prison in Afghanistan, the Detention Facility in Parwan, which President Hamid Karzai wants handed to Afghan control in less than a month; how to proceed with stalled negotiations over the Strategic Partnership Document that is intended to map out relations between Washington and Kabul after 2014; and the how large a pullout President Obama will announce at a NATO summit planned for May in Chicago.
The official cautioned that no one was "panicking," but that the initial reaction to the growing hostility from Afghans was to convince more officials that the pace of the American drawdown needed to be hastened, and that sooner the mission was transitioned to one of training and counter-terrorism, the better.
“You look at this as clearly and objectively as you can, what you see is that we’re in a weaker position than we were maybe two or three or four weeks ago,” said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was discussing internal deliberations. “I’m not sure anyone knows the clear way forward. It’s gotten more and more complicated. It’s fraught.”
The shootings came on another violent day, as thousands of Afghans incensed by the American military’s burning of Korans once again took to the streets in running clashes with the police that claimed the lives of another five Afghan protesters, officials said, while many more were wounded.
Chanting anti-American slogans calling for an end to NATO’s presence, the protesters also vented broader fury, storming offices of the Afghan government and the United Nations, leading to violent standoffs.
Officials said that five protesters were killed on Saturday, including four who were shot by Afghan police after a large crowd of about 5,000 attacked the United Nations headquarters in Kunduz Province in the north, wrecking public buildings and stores. Those shootings left another 51 wounded, hospital officials said.
In the east, 2,000 protesters, mainly young students from one of the main high schools, marched on the governor’s residence in Laghman Province, and 21 Afghans were wounded when the police opened fire, at least two critically. Laghman Province, a normally peaceful region, had seen earlier protests since the Koran burning and was the scene of NATO air attacks on insurgents on Thursday, when NATO seized heavy machine-guns and other firearms.
The shooting of the two American officers took place in the Interior Ministry’s command and control center, a highly restricted area within the ministry where officials monitor the entire country, according to an Afghan official in the ministry who spoke off the record because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
General Allen’s order to withdraw military advisers includes both those service members operating under the NATO flag, Americans and members of the coalition of 49 countries here, as well as specialized military advisers from Special Operations forces who are separate from the NATO chain of command. There are at least several hundred advisers embedded in almost every department of the security ministries, but a NATO spokesman would not give a number. They work on everything from logistics and weapons training to strategic planning for top level officials.
Most military advisors are in the Ministries of Defense, Interior, National Directorate of Security (Intelligence), and a few are scattered in other ministries.
American diplomats had already been withdrawn from work inside Afghan ministries because of travel restrictions imposed since Feb. 21, when the Koran burning became public, said Gavin Sundwall, the spokesman for American Embassy here.
The Taliban was quick to claim responsibility for the shooting, saying one of its members had infiltrated the ministry. But the Taliban regularly claims responsibility for deaths of NATO forces. A Taliban spokesman also claimed the shooter was carrying a suicide vest, but that detail did not agree with any other reports.
Saturday’s deaths added on to 24 Afghans people already reported killed since Tuesday, when reports first emerged about the Korans.
An apology by President Obama on Thursday has failed to keep thousands off the streets in Kabul and around the country, and the continuation of the demonstrations into their fifth day suggests that the outrage over the Koran burnings may not be about to end soon. The attacks on broader international targets and the provincial Afghan government offices as well as American military installations point to a broader frustration among Afghans.
Altogether there were protests in about six provinces, although not all were violent.
Further north in Sar-e-Pol, a crowd of about 4,000 congregated at a main mosque to hear mullahs preaching, according to Asadullah Khuram, deputy head of the provincial council, but the demonstration concluded peacefully.
There seemed to be a tension across the country where some leaders called for non-violent protest against the Koran burnings but elsewhere crowds were riled by provocateurs.
In Kunduz, for example, Ghulam Mohammad Farhad, the deputy police chief, said believes “there were some people who tried to sabotage the demonstration and turn it to violence.”
NATO is still investigating what led to the decision to burn Korans and other religious texts, and the findings of that investigation will prove highly sensitive.
Early reports said that the books had inflammatory messages written in them from detained Taliban
suspects. Most of the Korans that were rescued from the flames are still at Bagram
Air Base in a locked container. They are viewed as evidence. A few of the Korans were taken out of the base by Afghan employees.
Posted on 02/25/2012 11:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
"A Prospect Dreaded By A War-Weary Pentagon"
WASHINGTON - An Israeli pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear sites could draw the US into a new Middle East conflict, a prospect dreaded by a war-weary Pentagon wary of new entanglements.
Posted on 02/25/2012 11:33 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Because Of American Idiocy In Iraq And Afghanistan, The Israelis Should Risk Their National Survival
So American policymakers made colossal errors -- based on a failure to grasp the nature of Islam, and what Islam inculcates (you can see what Islam inculcates in the faces contorted with hatred against Infidels, all over Afghanistan today), and therefore on a failure to grasp that the internal divisions in Muslim states and societies are not to be deplored, but to be welcomed.
And all these years, with the waste, the squandering, the folly, in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the quite unnecessary billions spent on Pakistan, and Egypt, and the "Palestinians," the Islamic Republic of Iran kept building, building, building its nuclear project. Israel warned and warned and warned. It waited, and it waited, and it waited, for the Americans to do something, to do what they should. Finally, when it was too late, the Americans put in the kind of sanctions that, had they been put in five years ago, might have worked. But it's too late.
And Israel can't allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to acquire what it is hellbent on acquiring, and only a fool, or a murderer (that is, someone indifferent to the murder of Israel), would now claim otherwise.
The American government can't own up to its own folly. And those who took part in the folly --including many so-called "conservatives," can't forthrightly say that they were colossally in error, and that their error, in Iraq and Afghanistan, does not mean that every military intervention is wrong, and that one intervention -- which would not require any kind of "occupation" but could be over in a week of intelligent bombing -- makes sense. And that is an American attack to damage, and set back, the Iranian nuclear project.
What are those trillions of dollars spent on the Pentagon for? They have been used idiotically, But that is no argument for refusing to use them intelligently. Imagine what would happen if the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose leaders are not dull Soviet Politburo men, but chiliasts, with a vision akin to that of Hitler, obtained nuclear weapons? Had Hitler possessed nuclear weapons in the late spring of 1945, do you think he would not have used them? Hitler was perfectly capable of low cunning, of "negotiation" -- there was Munich, there was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact -- when necessary. But that did not make him "rational" in the sense that the Soviet leaders were rational. He would have used such weapons, even had he known that America also possessed the atomic bomb and was prepared to drop it on Berlin in response. He wouldn't have cared.
Are the Twelver-Shi'a who now run Iran more like Krushchev, and Brezhnev, or more like Hitler, in their mad visions?
Posted on 02/25/2012 11:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Why has The Spectator, normally fairly sceptical on the subject of the "Arab Spring", included this absurd and poisonous article by Avi Shlaim? Surely not because he is:
"[A]n emeritus professor of international relations at Oxford University and the author of Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations. He was born in Baghdad and grew up in Israel, where he served in the Israel Defence Forces from 1964 to 1966."
Does the Spectator editor believe that his Baghdad birth and his IDF service mean that Shlaim "sees both sides"? Please! They'll be telling us next that because he annoys everyone he must be doing something right. Anyway, here's the first, corrected, paragraph of the article. I won't bother reproducing the whole thing, because it is more in the same vein that will make me bleed red ink, a bloody useful expression which I'm in danger of overusing.
The revolutions sweeping through the Arab lands present Israel with a historic opportunity: to
become part of the region in which it is located and to join with pro-democracy forces in forging a new Middle East commit suicide. So far, however, the Arab Spring has not resonated well at any level of Israeli society. No shit, Sherlock.
Posted on 02/25/2012 2:31 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Paws for thought
From The Spectator:
It gets worse. The following week the bereaved cat owner goes to the doctor's.
Doctor: "It's bad news.You've got a terminal disease."
Cat owner: "How long have I got?"
Doctor: "Just ten,."
Cat owner: "Ten what? Ten years, months, weeks?"
Doctor: "Nine ..."
Posted on 02/25/2012 2:56 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Headline from newspaper story:
US deaths in Afghanistan raise doubts about reliability of most important US ally in war
Posted on 02/25/2012 3:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Martin Sherman On The Credulity And Foolishness Of So Many In Israel
From The Jerusalem Post:
Into the Fray: Something to worry about
All the assumptions on which Israeli policies were founded have proved groundless; all the concessions, worse than useless.
Syria is not lost. Assad is Western educated and is not a religious man. He can still join a moderate grouping – Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, Haaretz, November 13, 2009
I fear that the appalling brutality we are witnessing in Homs, with heavy weapons firing into civilian neighborhoods, is a grim harbinger of things to come – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, February 9, 2012
Seen against the backdrop of the carnage being perpetrated across Syria by the Assad regime, the magnitude of the misjudgment made by Gabi Ashkenazi, then the IDF’s chief of staff, is enough to make any self-respecting Israeli cringe with embarrassment.
None so blind
Askhenazi is not the only senior Israeli leader to articulate an appallingly inaccurate assessment of Israel’s adversaries, but in many ways his is a particularly interesting and instructive example. After all, before his appointment as chief of staff, much of his 40-year military career was spent in the IDF’s Northern Command, including as its commander. One must, therefore, presume that a large portion of his time was devoted to evaluating the Syrian threat, and to familiarizing himself with nature of the Syrian military dictatorship.
It is alarming to learn that despite the opportunity he had to gauge the true characteristics of the Syrian leader, his appraisal was so erroneous. The fact that Bashar Assad has a “Western education” – two years of medical specialization in the UK — and “is not a religious man” was somehow taken to indicate that he “can still join a moderate grouping” is at best disturbingly shallow.
As mentioned, Ashkenazi is not alone is espousing this sort of unsubstantiated nonsense.
Ever since Assad Jr. inherited the reins of power from his tyrannical father in 2000, every Israeli government has, in one form or another, explored the possibility of surrendering the Golan to the “Western educated” despot in Damascus — studiously ignoring the abundance of evidence attesting to the ruthless brutality of the regime, readily available to anyone willing to see it.
Typical of the moronic myopia displayed by many in the Israeli leadership was a pronouncement, made barely a year before revolt erupted across Syria, by Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who held the position of minister of defense in the Sharon government.
While serving as minister of trade and industry in the current Netanyahu government, Ben-Eliezer declared: “Syria is the key to regional change for us. If I was prime minister, I would put all my hopes on Syria.”
No kidding! This from the former defense minister who, one would have hoped, would have had a more informed and sober view of reality.
There but for the grace of God
Fortunately for the nation, the Israeli leadership has not been able to act on any misplaced optimism – as it did on other fronts – regarding the possibility of reaching a settlement with the Syrian regime in exchange of the total evacuation of the Golan Heights – the sine qua non for any such agreement.
One can only imagine what consternation would reign today, had such a deal been struck. For even under the highly implausible assumption that adequate security arrangements and demilitarization deep into Syrian territory had been agreed upon with Damascus, the events raging today would have clearly imperiled any such understandings. After all, in the likely event that, sooner or later, the Assad regime is toppled, it is more than plausible that any successor would not see itself bound by such an agreement.
Indeed, it is difficult to keep a straight face while reading some of the suggestions put forward by prominent Israelis regarding the nature of the relations between the countries.
Take, for example, the proposal by the Israel-Syria Peace Society, founded and chaired by the former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, Dr. Alon Liel, and whose website claims that its board includes “senior academicians, ex-diplomats, former security officials and prominent Israeli business people.” (Try as I might, I couldn’t access the list by clicking on the “Members” button.) In its “Nirvana-Now” formula for an Israeli-Syrian peace, the “star-studded” organization envisions that “the two countries will sign a peace agreement [and] a Peace Park will be established on the Golan Heights for the use of both sides. Israelis will be able to enter the park, for tourism or work purposes, without visas.”
Wow! Imagine! A Peace Park! How could any tyrannical butcher possibly resist that? Isn’t it comforting to know that those who have been charged with the design of the nation’s diplomacy have such a firm grasp on reality and can come up with such innovative ideas to ensure lasting peace?
An ongoing malaise
In many respects, the savagery in Syria should serve as a much needed wake-up call for the Israeli establishment that will dispel any delusions about setting up “normal” relations with Damascus. Given the merciless manner in which Assad has broken the social contract with his own citizens, one can only imagine how little compunction he would have in violating any other contract he might have concluded with the hated Zionists.
With the true “nature of the beast” so dramatically exposed, it is becoming painfully obvious how preposterous any idea of establishing “normal” relations with the Assad regime was.
However, given the precedents, there is scant hope that this timely warning will be heeded by Israeli decision-makers.
Time and time again they have led the nation down perilous paths, despite clear signs that the chances of success were slim and the cost of failure great. Time and time again they have fallen prey to the illusion that that they could bend the nature of our enemies to fit the chummy make-believe image conjured up by the fertile imaginations of influential intellectuals – if only Israel would acquiesce to our enemies’ demands.
One of the best examples of how detached from reality such assessments have been was provided by celebrated author Amos Oz, the guru of the bon-ton Left.
His pronouncements on matters political are eagerly received by the mainstream media, which always gives them great prominence, and invariably portrays his prescriptions of how Israel should conduct itself in dealing with its Arab foes as the epitome of “sagacious sanity.”
The wise wizard Oz?
Several months before the unilateral retreat from Lebanon in 2000, Haaretz’s Ari Shavit conducted an interview with Oz on the importance of “emotional sensitivity in politics.”
In the interview, bizarrely entitled “Try a little tenderness,” Oz was introduced by Shavit as “a concerned Israeli author who worries that he may be seeing something that others, blinded by office, do not see; that he may be hearing things on a frequency that others, deafened by the noise of government, do not hear. For that reason he cannot remain silent, and seeks to make his voice heard on the eve of fateful decisions.
He asks for the right to speak.”
And what did Oz’s finely tuned ear discern that others could not? The message conveyed on the rare frequencies to which Oz allegedly had exclusive access was reassuringly unequivocal. He informed Haaretz readers with total confidence that “The minute we leave South Lebanon we will have to erase the word Hezbollah from our vocabulary, because the whole idea of the State of Israel versus Hezbollah was sheer folly from the outset. It most certainly no longer will be relevant when Israel returns to its internationally recognized northern border.”
It is difficult to conceive of a prognosis that proved much more fallacious than this, as events – including the Second Lebanon War of 2006 – later proved.
However, this massive error in judgment has done nothing to undermine the status of the man or to diminish the influence of the kind of message he conveys.
The failure of foresight
Ever since the late 1970s – but particularly since the 1990s – Israeli strategic decision-making has been disastrously misguided.
Spectacular tactical and technological successes cannot mask huge strategic failures.
It makes no difference whether one looks at the 1993 “peace process” with the Palestinians, the 2000 retreat from Lebanon, the 2005 “disengagement” from Gaza or even the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt that now appears to be hanging by a thread, with its abrogation – in one form or another – appearing more likely than not.
All of the assumptions on which Israeli policies were founded have proved groundless.
All the concessions and withdrawal have proved useless – worse, detrimental.
Hezbollah effectively controls Lebanon.
Hamas rules Gaza and now, united with Fatah in the “West Bank,” is well poised to take power there as well. Sinai is descending into a pit of anarchy and unspeakable cruelty and has become a cauldron of crime and terrorism that cannot but spill over into southern Israel.
The noble dreams of regional peace and prosperity, of mutual understanding and good neighborliness lie in ruins.
All of this represents an immense lack of foresight on the part of the Israeli establishment.
There is not a single mainstream institution or major think-tank across the nation that can say in good faith, “We told you so.
We foretold the debacle. We warned not to concede, to withdraw, to retreat.”
To varying degrees, they were all complicit, either fully endorsing government policy or voicing only faint-hearted, partial reservations.
But none – not one – voiced full-blooded and persistent opposition. None dared to challenge the basic tenet that by relinquishing land Israel could buy lasting peace. None warned that concessions would not satiate Arab appetites but merely whet them.
Something to worry about
There were, of course, more sober dissenting voices, but they were dismissed and disregarded.
They were excluded from the mainstream discourse, from the universities, from major conferences. They were passed over for appointments and deprived of resources.
No matter how accurate their assessment proved, no matter how unequivocally they were vindicated, their counsel was not sought, their advice not heeded, their warnings sidelined.
It is difficult to overstate the damage that this has wrought. The reasons are clear. By adopting unrealistic assessments of the enemies ranged against the country, policy-makers have precluded any possibility of convincingly conveying to the world Israel’s security concerns and of gaining any understanding for measures needed to address them.
After all, it matter hugely if you are facing “a Western educated” ruler capable of “joining a moderate grouping,” or a homicidal despot who has no qualms about butchering his own citizens.
It matters hugely if once Israel withdraws to some internationally agreed upon line, its enemies will be placated; or whether they will merely use any withdrawal as a platform to continue to relentlessly harass it when the opportunity arises.
Every Israeli must ask: Can our leaders really be so out of touch with reality regarding the nature of our enemies? Or are they merely hobbled by the dictates of political correctness that prohibit them from articulating, and acting on, an accurate assessment of Israel’s Arab adversaries? And in the final analysis, are they more concerned about incurring international disapproval than about adopting measures that endanger the lives and limbs of Israeli citizens? That is something to worry about.
Posted on 02/25/2012 3:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
"To The Noble People Of Afghanistan, Salaam Aleikum"
General John Allen four days ago, attempting to dampen the hate and hysteria of Afghan mobs, hellbent on kililng Infidels, addressed "the Noble People of Afghanistan" and offered his cravenly sincere. and sincerely craven, apologies for any hurt that "it" [the burning of a few Qur'ans, believed to have been used to convey secret messages, or possibly to have simply been used to whip up anti-Infidel fervor by this or that passage being pointed out for special note] may have caused to the President of Aghanistan [corrupt Karzai], to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, offering "my apologies to the Noble People of Afghanistan."
Watch General John Allen here.
I trust General John Allen's career in the army is over. If it isn't, it should be. And so should the careerrs of all those who persist in ignoring the nature of Islam, and in continuing to urge the squandering of men's lives, and taxpayer's money, in wretched and primitive Afghanistan.
When Churchill, deciding to pull British troops out of Mesopotamia, described it as an "ungrateful volcano," he was describing every Muslim country where non-Muslims have gone to help, thinking that by lavishing large sums of money, and creating the semblance of national unity (by bribing groups to collaborate with each other, or diluting their mutual hatreds in oceans of Infidel aid) and prosperity (again, that aid, that knowhow, that goodhearted attempt to do what cannot be done -- which is save Muslims from the effects of Islam itself), we might dry up the sources of their hatred of Infidels, and thus deprive the Taliban, or Al Qaeda, or a hundred other groups and groupuscules, from waging open war on the West. This foolish policy can never succeed, because it is based on ignoring the main thing in the lives of Muslims: Islam itself.
Iraq was --for the British 80 years ago, and for the Americans in the last nine years -- the same "ungrateful volcano." And Afghanistan is another "ungrateful volcano." And Pakistan, despite the tens of billions given to it. And Egypt, despite the nearly $70 billion given it by the American government. And Libya, despite the fact that it was American planes that weakened Qaddafy's forces sufficiently for him to be overthrown. And Yemen, where tribe fights tribe, faction faction, and region region. Would-be volcanoes all.
O fill up the page printer with the names of other Muslim states I may have overlooked. .There are so many to choose from.
Posted on 02/25/2012 3:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Half a sleep
Early to bed and very early to rise and early to bed again makes a man -- normal. From the BBC:
We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night - but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.
In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month.
It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects had settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep.
Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.
In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a seminal paper, drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.
His book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, published four years later, unearths more than 500 references to a segmented sleeping pattern - in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, from Homer's Odyssey to an anthropological account of modern tribes in Nigeria.
Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
"It's not just the number of references - it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge," Ekirch says.
During this waking period people were quite active. They often got up, went to the toilet or smoked tobacco and some even visited neighbours. Most people stayed in bed, read, wrote and often prayed. Countless prayer manuals from the late 15th Century offered special prayers for the hours in between sleeps.
And these hours weren't entirely solitary - people often chatted to bed-fellows or had sex.
Posted on 02/25/2012 3:56 PM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 25 February 2012
A Musical Interlude: Lawd You Made The Night Too Long (Paul Whiteman Orch., voc. Bing Crosby)
Posted on 02/25/2012 4:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
The Noble People Of Afghanistan
Posted on 02/25/2012 4:40 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Dmitri Nabokov Dies
From The New York Times:
February 25, 2012
Dmitri Nabokov, Steward of Father’s Literary Legacy, Dies at 77
By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK
Dmitri Nabokov, the son of Vladimir Nabokov, who tended to the legacy of his father with the posthumous publication of a volume of personal letters, an unpublished novella and an unfinished novel that his father had demanded be burned, died on Wednesday in Vevey, Switzerland. He was 77.
Mr. Nabokov was hospitalized for a lung infection in January and never recovered, Andrew Wylie, the agent for the Nabokov estate, said.
In contrast with his father, who was said to focus on literature and lepidoptery to the exclusion of all else, Dmitri Nabokov was a bon vivant, a professional opera singer, a race car driver and a mountain climber.
He was also devoted to the full range of his father’s work, including the early Russian writings like “King, Queen, Knave,” the English-language masterpiece “Lolita” and the unfinished novel “The Original of Laura.” He translated his father’s early Russian works, including the novel “The Gift” and the short story collection “Tyrants Destroyed.”
He also wrote a memoir, “On Revisiting Father’s Room,” which explored their relationship as well as his father’s life and work. Mr. Nabokov also countered the widely held perception of his father as cool and distant, describing a “trusting, gentle nature.”
“If there is a quality overlooked in his writing by some of the more obtuse commentators,” he wrote, “it is that gentleness, coupled with a total honesty on every plane and an utter freedom from anything cruel, cheap or mean.”
In his book, Mr. Nabokov described an unpublished manuscript that he said “would have been Father’s most brilliant novel, the most concentrated distillation of his creativity, but whose release in incomplete form he expressly forbade.” Vladimir Nabokov’s widow and Dmitri’s mother, Véra, never burned the handwritten notecards that made up the novel, and in 2009 the younger Mr. Nabokov published it. The volume included a text of the book, in the order that the younger Mr. Nabokov believed his father had intended, but also facsimiles of the notecards, which could be detached and arranged in whatever order the reader preferred.
In an introduction, he wrote that his “father’s shade” would not “have opposed the release of ‘Laura’ once ‘Laura’ had survived the hum of time this long.”
In “Laura,” Mr. Nabokov “imagines the death of his protagonist, a writer and neurologist named Philip, as a sort of Nietzschean act of will, as an exercise in self-erasure conducted body part by body part, beginning with his toes,” Michiko Kakutani wrote in a review for The New York Times. “It is the ultimate fantasy of a writer who wants to exert complete control over the narrative of his own life.”
Ms. Kakutani said the book did “a disservice to a writer who deeply cherished precision and was practiced in the art of revision,” but she said it would “beckon and beguile Nabokov fans.”
Dmitri Vladimirovich Nabokov, an only child, was born May 10, 1934, in Berlin. In 1937, the family fled Germany for France and by 1940 had made its way to New York.
Mr. Nabokov concentrated on history and literature at Harvard and graduated in 1955. He also began training for the opera at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.
In the late 1950s, Mr. Nabokov helped his father translate his novel “Invitation to a Beheading.” In 1959 he traveled to Italy and began training with a singing coach at La Scala in Milan. He later made his operatic debut in “La Bohème” alongside Luciano Pavarotti, then a novice tenor. An imposing presence onstage at well over six feet tall, he continued to sing professionally until 1982.
He also raced cars competitively until 1965.
In 1986, he published his translation of “The Enchanter,” a never-published 1939 novella by his father widely considered a forerunner of “Lolita.”
After his mother died in 1991, Mr. Nabokov moved into her apartment in Montreux, where he oversaw the Nabokov estate and where he lived at his death. He never married and has no immediate survivors.
In his memoir, Mr. Nabokov recalled one of his last exchanges with his father, who died in 1977. They spoke of butterflies, and of a bucolic valley near their home in Switzerland that they had always meant to explore.
“Tears suddenly welled in Father’s eyes,” Mr. Nabokov wrote. “I asked him why. He replied that a certain butterfly was already on the wing; and his eyes told me he no longer hoped that he would live to pursue it again. Nor would he ever visit that enchanted mountain valley on the far side of the lake. But perhaps, in Father’s memory, I shall.”
Posted on 02/25/2012 5:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Posted on 02/25/2012 5:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
An Interview With Dmitri Nabokov (In Russian)
From www.svobodanews.com (Radio Svoboda):
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– Ð‘Ñ‹Ð», Ð±Ñ‹Ð» Ñ�Ð²Ð¾Ð¹ Ñ�Ð°Ñ‡Ð¾Ðº. Ð¥Ð¾Ð´Ð¸Ð» Ñ� Ð¾Ñ‚Ñ†Ð¾Ð¼. Ð”Ð°Ð¶Ðµ Ð±Ð»Ð°Ð³Ð¾Ð´Ð°Ñ€Ñ� Ð¾Ñ‚Ñ†Ñƒ Ð²Ð¼ÐµÑ�Ñ‚Ðµ Ð¿Ð¾Ñ�Ð²Ð¸Ð»Ð¸Ñ�ÑŒ Ð½Ð° Ð½ÐµÐºÐ¾Ñ‚Ð¾Ñ€Ñ‹Ñ… Ñ�Ñ‚Ð¸ÐºÐµÑ‚ÐºÐ°Ñ… Ð³Ð°Ñ€Ð²Ð°Ñ€Ð´Ñ�ÐºÐ¾Ð¹ ÐºÐ¾Ð»Ð»ÐµÐºÑ†Ð¸Ð¸. ÐŸÐ¾Ð´Ð°Ñ€Ð¸Ð» Ð»Ð¾Ð·Ð°Ð½Ð½Ñ�ÐºÐ¾Ð¼Ñƒ Ð¼ÑƒÐ·ÐµÑŽ Ñ‚Ð¾, Ñ‡Ñ‚Ð¾ ÐºÐ°Ð·Ð°Ð»Ð¾Ñ�ÑŒ Ð¼Ð°Ð»ÐµÐ½ÑŒÐºÐ¾Ð¹ ÐºÐ¾Ð»Ð»ÐµÐºÑ†Ð¸ÐµÐ¹, Ð° Ð¾ÐºÐ°Ð·Ð°Ð»Ð¾Ñ�ÑŒ Ñ‡ÐµÑ‚Ñ‹Ñ€ÑŒÐ¼Ñ� Ñ‚Ñ‹Ñ�Ñ�Ñ‡Ð°Ð¼Ð¸ Ñ�ÐºÐ·ÐµÐ¼Ð¿Ð»Ñ�Ñ€Ð¾Ð². ÐÑ‚Ð¾ Ð¿Ð¾Ñ�Ð»ÐµÐ´Ð½Ñ�Ñ� Ð¿Ð°Ð¿Ð¸Ð½Ð° ÐºÐ¾Ð»Ð»ÐµÐºÑ†Ð¸Ñ�, Ð¾Ñ�Ñ‚Ð°Ð²ÑˆÐ°Ñ�Ñ�Ñ� Ð¿Ð¾Ñ�Ð»Ðµ ÐµÐ³Ð¾ Ñ�Ð¼ÐµÑ€Ñ‚Ð¸. Ð¡Ð¾Ñ…Ñ€Ð°Ð½Ð¸Ð»Ð¸Ñ�ÑŒ Ð¸ Ð¿Ð°Ð¿Ð¸Ð½Ñ‹, Ð²Ð¿Ñ€Ð¾Ñ‡ÐµÐ¼, Ð±Ñ‹Ð²ÑˆÐ¸Ðµ Ð´ÐµÐ´ÑƒÑˆÐºÐ¸Ð½Ñ‹ Ñ‚ÑƒÑ€Ð½Ð¸Ñ€Ð½Ñ‹Ðµ ÑˆÐ°Ñ…Ð¼Ð°Ñ‚Ñ‹, Ð° Ñ‚Ð°ÐºÐ¶Ðµ Ð¿ÐµÑ€Ñ‡Ð°Ñ‚ÐºÐ¸, Ð² ÐºÐ¾Ñ‚Ð¾Ñ€Ñ‹Ñ… Ð¾Ñ‚ÐµÑ† ÑƒÑ‡Ð¸Ð» Ð¼ÐµÐ½Ñ� Ð±Ð¾ÐºÑ�Ð¸Ñ€Ð¾Ð²Ð°Ñ‚ÑŒ. Ð�Ð¾ Ñ�Ð½Ñ‚Ð¾Ð¼Ð¾Ð»Ð¾Ð³Ð¾Ð¼ Ñ� Ñ‚Ð¾Ð¶Ðµ Ð½Ðµ Ñ�Ñ‚Ð°Ð».
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Posted on 02/25/2012 6:19 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 25 February 2012
On Being Brought Up
Mulling over, as one does, Theodore's post here at http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/40792 about public displays of affections (or grief, or any other emotion apart from mild pleasure) I was reminded irresistibly of my late grandfather who gave me some useful tips for life.
"First", he said to me, "gentlemen don't manhandle ladies in public; they don't hug them, they don't kiss them and they most certainly do not pat or fondle them. A gentleman upon meeting, or meeting again, a lady merely takes her hand lightly in his and shakes it ever so slightly whilst making the tiniest movement of his hand and head as if to indicate that he would, as in earlier and more courtly times, have kissed her hand had modern manners thought it correct to do so."
He was full of such advice - "Motor cars, like gloves, must be either black or white" was another one of his dictums. "Gentlemen's shoes are black, gentlemen's country shoes may be of another colour as long as it is deep brown verging on black" was another.
A constant stream of his injunctions punctuated my teenage and early adult years ------
"If you are escorting a lady you may take her arm in yours. No other physical contact is necessary unless one is dancing with the lady in question. After dancing she will indicate just how much privacy and how much further contact she desires!"
"One does not wear a belt in order to hold one's trousers up, that is what braces [suspenders] are for. A good belt is purely for ornament and for sundry corrective uses. If you wish to go around looking like a badly tied hessian of potatoes then that is your affair but you will not do so in my company, young man".
"Double-breasted suits should only be worn in town [London], and then only seldom, and never in the country. Only royalty can really carry them off - everyone else just looks like a spiv stuck in a barrel".
"When buttoning your jacket, my boy, just remember it's 'sometimes, always, never'. On a two button jacket one fastens the top button when one stands up. On a three buttoner one fastens the middle button. One never, never, never, never, never, fastens the bottom button on a jacket or a weskit [waistcoat] and one always undoes one's jacket button when seated."
"Only an American man ties his tie with a Shelby knot. A gentleman always ties a full or a half Windsor".
"Good grief boy! What is that thing in your hand? A gentleman wet shaves and achieves a perfect finish - he does not, I repeat he does not, apply spining metal dervishes contained behind some sort of grille to his face and hope for the best!"
"Heavens above! What do you look like? A gentleman wears a French collar [classic straight point], or an HRH [stand-up, very narrow straight point created by Charvet for Edward VII] if they must, or, of course, winged, as needed, in the evenings, but that button down abomination round your neck is only worn by people of uncertain parentage. Get it off at once!".
"What on earth are you wearing? Call that rag a shirt? A gentleman's shirt is white, do you hear me? White, I say."
"A gentleman's tie is either club or discreet. The only excuse for a tie such as you are wearing is that it was a present from either your mother or your wife. No other excuse is acceptable. So, which is it?"
"No, 'mistress' is only acceptable if you are a member of the Royal family".
"Why are you wearing that thing, young man; it is obviously not a weskit but it is a satanic abomination. How often do I have to tell you: white tie means white marcella weskit and black tie, as tonight is, means black barathea weskit. It may be alright for young colonial officers and Americans but we'll have none of that cummerbund nonsense in my house!"
"What is that platypus bill thing upon your head?"
"No, it is not a hat! It is a badge of shared ignorance worn by underprivileged youths who can barely put a sentence together in English. A hat, sir, is a bowler, a trilby, a homburg, a fedora if need be. A hat can be a cap in the country, or a topper or a panama as appropriate but that excrudescence can not, and never will be able to, lay claim to being a hat."
"American men may wear jeans - they suit them. English gentlemen know better".
"A Frenchman is for buying one's wine and one's cologne from not for talking to. It really doesn't do to get friendly with the continental types - they don't know when to stop, you know, and they encroach."
"I like Russia [in 1972]. The servants know their place and don't dare answer back."
"Never, never trust an Arab. It's all that nonsense they believe in. It makes them completely untrustworthy, don't you know."
"All Americans are mealy mouthed - apart, obviously, from your great grandmama, my blessed mother, who could swear like a trooper - so don't swear in front of them. You'll frighten the poor dears if you do and you know how skittish they can be."
"Italians can be wonderful people sometimes. I suppose that one day we'll find out why the good Lord created them."
"All Germans always tell the truth. No English gentleman would dream of being so rude."
"Spaniards are all very well in their own way, I suppose, but what do they actually do?"
"Britain is ghastly - India more so and with insects."
"I am sure that there is something we Englishmen have forgotten about Australia, and I'm equally sure that we had better not remember what it was!"
"South America only exists because it's a warning to the United States about what it could become if it stopped concentrating."
"What did we do in the sight of the Lord that was so wrong he saddled us with Canada?"
"Scotland is great. It's full of targets that don't stand still and great places to shoot from."
"They don't stand still? Which, the people or the animals?"
"People live there?!"
Posted on 02/25/2012 11:54 PM by John M Joyce