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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 26, 2008.
Friday, 26 December 2008
Guess The Vocalists!
Posted on 12/26/2008 12:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 26 December 2008
Eartha Kitt dies, age 81

In the same week of the funeral of the actress Kathy Staff is the news that another woman I admired has died.
From The Times
A family friend says Eartha Kitt, the singer, dancer and actress has died. She was 81.
Once described as ‘the most exciting woman in the world’ by Orson Wells, Kitt was one of America’s most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and getting a third nomination. She was also nominated for two Tony Awards and a Grammy.
Eartha Kitt - I'm an Old Fashioned Girl 1962A talented singer with a distinctive voice, her hits included "Let's Do It", "C'est si bon", "Just an Old Fashioned Girl" and her most famous hit, "Santa Baby”.

This is Miss Kitt from 1962.

Eartha Kitt "Old Fashioned Girl" & "Santa Baby"And this is her more recently, showing how wonderfully she retained her voice and ability into maturity. Others have made a reasonable stab at Santa Baby, but none were her equal.

Posted on 12/26/2008 3:02 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 26 December 2008
Istanbul 1942 - Non-Muslim soldiers sent for rail construction

From Hurriyet News
ISTANBUL -In 1942, non-Muslim sons, fathers and grandfathers were enlisted for mandatory military service to work constructing roads and railroads. Researcher R?fat Bali who started looking into the matter 10 years ago, came upon photographs of the soldiers at a library.
During World War II, the fear that minority groups in Istanbul would cooperate with the advancing Nazis caused the Cabinet to enact a bylaw concerning non-Muslim men. (As many of them were Jews I doubt that this was the real reason at all!)
In 1942, non-Muslim men aged between 20 and 48 who lived in Istanbul were enlisted and forced to undertake mandatory military service. They were not given arms, but instead were given uniforms worn by garbage collectors and sent to work constructing roads and railroads in Anatolia. The bylaw called these soldiers, the "soldiers of 20 Kur’a Nafia."
R?fat Bali, a researcher and writer who started looking into the matter 10 years ago, accidentally came upon photographs of these soldiers at a library. Bali then deepened his investigation and extended his search to British and American national archives where he found information and documents on the Naf?a soldiers. Bali said he checked the Turkish national archives, but did not find any documents on these soldiers. Bali said the only resources available in Turkey on the matter was a thesis, "Turkey’s security issue in World War II," written by a chief constable who Bali did not want to name.
Bali found not only photographs and archive documents, but also letters from family archives and caricatures of the soldiers that had been published at the time. "These soldiers had many sad experiences in their lives," Bali told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. "The biggest fear a Nafia soldier faced was death. The uncertainty of where they would end up made them feel hopeless."
The media and magazines of the time featured caricatures of the soldiers. "Minorities were portrayed very badly in caricatures. The Jews especially were pictured as people that had noses like blackbirds and who spoke Turkish badly," he said.

Posted on 12/26/2008 3:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 26 December 2008
In Memoriam: Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter
That was
Catchphrase. And there's
Plenty ".............."
Where you've gone.

© E. J. Throbb, aged 17¾

Posted on 12/26/2008 4:50 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 26 December 2008
Malta to become Sharia compliant to attract Muslim investors

This is from The Times of Malta.
My family and I are friends with a lot of Maltese and part Maltese people. My uncle's friends of the older generation have been expressing concern for nearly 30 years at the increased connections that Malta has with Libya. When my husband and I once inquired what was the rather grand looking liner moored in Valletta harbour the contemptuous answer from the harbour tour guide was "That's no liner, that's the **** Libya ferry, posh and fancy ain't it?"
The beginning of the article is a general resume from the finance minister. The important bit is slipped in at the end, (although in making it the headline the paper realises its significance) and the comments. The Maltese have a proud history of suffering under and then resisting Islam and later the Axis. And they are no fools.

Mr Fenech said the past year was very successful for the MFSA because it confirmed the importance of strong regulation in Malta.
He urged students to take up courses in accountancy and financial services because these provide "good and well-paid jobs", equal in value to those of the ICT sector. Many times, the country finds itself lacking certain expertise and has to "import" people.
He added that, in light of the recent global financial crisis, Malta became a safe haven that was praised by numerous reports including the World Economic Forum and the International Monetary Fund.
Malta required no bailouts and had recently continued to grow with double-taxation treaties with Switzerland, Ireland, the United States and Singapore.
Next year, the government will focus on a global outreach programme to encourage more foreign investment and will also become Sharia compliant so as to attract Muslim investors.
lgalea (1 day, 1 hour ago)
And then Sharia civil law, then Sharia Criminal Law, then Crucifixes out of classrooms and public places, then banning of CHRISTMAS and other feasts not to offend other religions and denominations...
We do NOT need such laws in Malta.
Those who come here should observe OUR laws.
Ian Morris (1 day, 16 hours ago)All it takes is for the majority to stay silent and do nothing. Malta will lose a whole lot more than just orther foreign investors icluding the Americans. It is very short sighted (This slump will not last forever) remember there is no such thing as a free lunch and adopting Sharia law is only the beginning. Wake up before it's too late and take a look around the moslem world! Is that really the way you want to go?
J Oatmon (1 day, 18 hours ago)
Malta cannot become 'Sharia compliant' without revisions to the legal code - this must not happen in my opinion without the consent of the people of Malta.
Any adopting of Muslim sharia rules would be in conflict with Maltese law (A thief has his hand cut off under Sharia law, for instance).
If this does take place, I for one will leave Malta never to return - I do not want to live in such a backward cruel country.
Joe Tabone-Adami (1 day, 19 hours ago)
But why, can one ask, do we particularly need 'muslim investment' more than any other which we can definitely attract with our existing financial system?a.cassar (1 day, 21 hours ago)Re compliance with muslim sharia law. Is the government so strapped for cash that it is taking this drastic step? What are the constitutional implications and how are the Maltese going to be effected? This is yet another step in the erosion of our christian tradition. What do the goody goodies have to say now?
C. Busuttil (2 days ago)
For those unaware, Shariah is the term determining legislation based on Muslim Faith. This is directly derived from the Islamic Holy Book, the Qura'an and such legislation is hence based on the fact that legal and faith issues (Islamic) are interdependible.
Shariah is not to do only with finance and business but is a legal concept adorning both civil as well as criminal legislation too. This can be vouched in Muslim Countries who base their judicial settlements upon Shariah, usually followed by judgments that are seen harsher or "not appropriate" to countries which are not Shariah compliant, this often including corporal and/or capital punishment.
Whilst refraining from opining about the integrity or adaptation of Shariah legislation and compliancy in Muslim countries, as this is also based on a matter of faith, I must however ask the Maltese authorities whether any breach of the Constitution shall also come into being. This since the Constitution clearly defines the religion of Malta as being the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion.

Bertie O'Cassey (2 days, 1 hour ago)
No thanks to the Sharia. mhux hekk huwx!!! we should change the saying "when in rome do as the Muslims do".

Posted on 12/26/2008 4:56 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 26 December 2008
Americans Bribe Afghans With Viagra

Washington Post:

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills.

For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, the officials say, the agency's operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos, the officials said.

"Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people -- whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra," said one longtime agency operative and veteran of several Afghanistan tours. Like other field officers interviewed for this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity when describing tactics and operations that are largely classified.

Officials say these inducements are necessary in Afghanistan, a country where warlords and tribal leaders expect to be paid for their cooperation, and where, for some, switching sides can be as easy as changing tunics. If the Americans don't offer incentives, there are others who will, including Taliban commanders, drug dealers and even Iranian agents in the region.

The usual bribes of choice -- cash and weapons -- aren't always the best options, Afghanistan veterans say. Guns too often fall into the wrong hands, they say, and showy gifts such as money, jewelry and cars tend to draw unwanted attention.

"If you give an asset $1,000, he'll go out and buy the shiniest junk he can find, and it will be apparent that he has suddenly come into a lot of money from someone," said Jamie Smith, a veteran of CIA covert operations in Afghanistan and now chief executive of SCG International, a private security and intelligence company. "Even if he doesn't get killed, he becomes ineffective as an informant because everyone knows where he got it."

The key, Smith said, is to find a way to meet the informant's personal needs in a way that keeps him firmly on your side but leaves little or no visible trace.

"You're trying to bridge a gap between people living in the 18th century and people coming in from the 21st century," Smith said, "so you look for those common things in the form of material aid that motivate people everywhere." ...

18th century? Not even close. Even calling Islamic systems "7th century" is misleading. The Arabian peninsula resisted all the great systems of civilization and religion that sprung up all around it, from ancient Egypt to Babylon to Rome to Byzantium and retained the same way of life as nomadic herders as had existed in the time of Abraham in roughly the 18th century B.C. Though Muhammad brought monotheism to this area, he also ossified the mores of that particular time and place as relgious injunctions. Thus, as Islam spreads, it cannot help but pull civilization backwards. The Taliban of Afghanistan are living pure Islam. Civilizationally, that puts them closer to the 18th century B.C. in the Levant.

Posted on 12/26/2008 6:12 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 26 December 2008
A Musical Interlude: Usku Dara (Eartha Kitt)
Posted on 12/26/2008 8:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 26 December 2008
A Literary Interlude: Sonnet 66


As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly doctor-like controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.
Posted on 12/26/2008 9:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 26 December 2008
Route 66, Where Are You?

Route 66

And here is Route 66, fallen into desuetude:

And here is one satisfied user of Route 66, in the pre-desuetude period of its existence:

Posted on 12/26/2008 9:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 26 December 2008
Will Israel heed the lessons of the Maccabees and crush Hamas?

M.K. Arieh Eldad, lead of HaTikvah, whom we interviewed at the NER, has suggested that Kadima Cabinet Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a former Israeli PM, IDF Chief of Staff (COS) and Sayeret commando, be prosecuted by Israel’s Attorney General for treason. An Israel National News article noted Eldad’s justification for this action:

MK Arieh Eldad (HaTikvah) has requested that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz look into Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s decision to allow supplies to enter Gaza. According to Eldad, Barak should be brought to trial for assisting the enemy in a time of war.

Barak decided Friday to allow 90 trucks carrying food, medicine and fuel to enter Gaza via Israeli crossings in the western Negev. The trucks were allowed to pass despite dozens of rocket and mortar shell attacks from Gaza over the past two days.

Barak’s decision is criminal, Eldad said Friday. “There’s no way to define this other than abetting the enemy in a time of war, and whoever does so must be brought to trial,” he stated.

Barak has frequently allowed aid into Gaza despite rocket attacks, and Israel continues to supply most of Gaza’s electricity. In a controversial move, Barak recently allowed a large shipment of cash to enter Gaza as well in order to save Gaza banks, which were at risk of collapse due to the lack of currency.

The Israel project is giving a soapbox in the form of an internet news conference to PM Olmert’s spokesman, Mark Regev, on Monday, the 29th. On the RSVP to this internet news conference, I posed two questions.

Why are PM Olmert and FM Livni courting world opinion on a possible Gaza incursion as the causus belli - the near constant rain of Kassems and Grad rockets launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas fall on Southern Israeli cities like Ashkelon and Western Negev towns like Sderot and kibbutzim and the kidnapping of IDF Sgt. Gilad Shalit? What assurances can the waning Kadima led government give that IDF COS  Maj. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi won’t repeat the 2006 Southern Lebanon debacle criticized by the Winograd Commission, as well as ineffective raids in force on Northern Gaza?

Olmert seems more intent by going on Arab satellite Al -Arabiya TV to plead with Gazan Arabs to stop the PIJ and Hamas rocket onslaught, while DM Barak sends hundreds of millions of shekels, food and other humanitarian aid and forgot to turn out the power supplied by Israel from those power plants in besieged Ashkelon? Arieh Eldad is correct. Barak should be prosecuted for treason, a strange fate for a former COS and fabled Sayeret commando, but illustrative as to how low the esteem of those on the left in Israel have fallen in the run up to the February 10th general elections, given recent poll results in Israel.

They all have forgotten the historic lessons of the Maccabees in these last few days of Hanukkah. Note this from Va-yarev kavod l’amo from the Megillah Hanukkah 3:3-9 Judah Maccabee “increased his people’s glory far and wide”. As I read at the candle lighting for the Fifth night”: “Judah won many battles and secured victory for our people. In a world filled with evil, the Maccabees enabled our people to stand tall.”

If only Israeli political and military leadership would heed these timeless sentiments of resolve to protect and defend the Jewish people. The clock is ticking on a massive Gaza incursion. If only the spirit of the Maccabees could infuse the IDF leadership to strike a massive blow against The Jihadis in Gaza. We trust that all IDF soldiers, airmen and navy personnel know what is their duty to defend Israel and vanquish the enemy. It is the callowness of Israeli political leadership and some careerists in IDF that we question.  Time for Israel to heed what Shakespeare wrote in his play “Julius Caesar”,
“Cry Havoc and let loose the Dogs of War. That this foul deed shall smell above the earth. With carrion men, groaning for burial.”
Posted on 12/26/2008 10:01 AM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 26 December 2008
A Musical Interlude: Heartaches (whistling by Elmo Tanner)

Some may have forgotten Elmo Tanner's inspired but too-early-ripe run for the Presidency. Elmo Tanner may not have won, may not even have lasted into the beginning of 2008 -- only two of the candidates did -- but his memory lingers on:

Posted on 12/26/2008 4:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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