These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 26, 2009.
Friday, 26 June 2009
Embassy attacks prevented
From The Norway Post A man with two tons of explosives in his posession has been arrested in Pakistan's capital Islamabad. According to reports the man had planned to blow up the Norwegian and Swedish embassies in the city.
In addition, the Hungarian, Czech and South African embassies were also among the targets for the man's terrorist attacks, the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports.
The newspaper quotes a central source as saying that the Swedish military presence in Afghanistan was the reason for the planned attack.Also Norway is participating in the ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
Security at the Norwegian embassy has been stepped up. This is a report also from the Norway Post this week of the activities of the Norwegian troops.
Norwegian troops and Afghan police have captured a Taliban Chief and 25 of his followers west of Maimana in northwestern Afghanistan, according to the Norwegian Defence Command.
The operations involving Afghan police supported by Norwegian troops were directed against a village west of Maimana which was occupied by the insurgents.
Play that ‘humanises’ the 7/7 bombers has London run
From The London Evening Standard
A play that empathises with the 7/7 bombers is coming to London after a string of theatres rejected it.
The show, called Pornography, follows a man from Leeds travelling to the capital to commit an act of terrorism on the Tube, and six Londoners caught up in the attack. The play . . . set in July 2005 on the backdrop of the real events. It is made up of seven “playlets”, interweaving characters' stories in the run-up to the bombings.
It was initially turned down for performance in London but Edinburgh's Traverse theatre mounted a co-production with Birmingham Rep last year and it received rave reviews at the Edinburgh Festival. Now the Tricycle theatre in Kilburn is planning a run, from 4 to 29 August.
Writer Simon Stephens, 38, of Mile End, and an Olivier award winner, said of his play: “When you start thinking of the terrorists as human beings, it allows you to think of the victims as human beings. It seemed the most dignified thing theatre could do.”
Tricycle director Nicolas Kent said: “It was such a powerful piece. The only way to prevent things like this is to get inside the minds of these people.” Actually Kent is right but not in the way he thinks. Understanding the ruthlessness of jihad and the aim of world submission is indeed the first step to defeating it. I prefer the comments ~ No way. My wife was in the tube ahead of the one blown up at Liverpool st. These terrorists are not human beings. What about a play advocating the death penalty for them?
~ God save us from bleeding heart liberals such as Simon Stephens. You don't empathise with or humanise terrorists who want to kill you. You kill them instead to stop them. Now what is so difficult about that?
Michael Jackson, King of Pop and sometime revert to Islam, has gone to join those pearly boys in the sky. The cause of death has yet to be determined. The BBC says it was a heart attack; others say he was in the children's ward and had a stroke.
Update: the cause of death is as detailed on this cerficate:
"I don't think there's a Palestinian nation. There's an Arab nation. I don't think there's a Palestinian nation. That's a colonial invention. Since when were there Palestinians? I think there's only an Arab nation. Until the end of the 19th century, Palestine was the southern part of Greater Syria."
If I had said this, I would undoubtedly be called a Jewish nationalist, a racist, and worst of all - detached from reality. Yet, note well, these words were spoken by former MK Dr. Azmi Bishara in an interview with Yaron London several years ago. Bishara is a leader of Israeli Arab citizens who openly identify with the enemy, and who was forced to flee Israel under suspicion of aiding Hizbullah in wartime.
When Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his Bar-Ilan speech, he could have used these words. He could have ripped the mask of deception from the terrible historical lie that we have taken to our hearts as if it were written on the Tablets of the Law given at Sinai. "Two States for Two Nations" has become holy dogma and anyone who challenges its validity is suspected of blasphemy.
But even if we assume that Netanyahu wished to speak in terms acceptable to Europe and the United States, rather than to fight a battle which he considered lost, still it would have been better had he not deceived his listeners with the scam known as "a demilitarized state."
When I heard the speech, my initial reaction was: "There ain't no such animal." Of course, I don't mean nano-states such as Andorra or the Vatican, which have themselves chosen not to maintain an army. There is no real state in the world defined as a demilitarized state. And Netanyahu did not make do with a misleading general statement, he went into details: the state won't have missiles and rockets and planes, and will not be able to sign treaties.
The more I listened to this and said to myself that there is no such thing, I was reminded of something quite bothersome. Was there once such a state? And then one of my friends reminded me there had been.
"It will be forbidden to Germany to maintain or build fortifications... in this territory (West of the Rhine).... It is forbidden for Germany to maintain an army.... the German army will not include more than seven infantry divisions.... It is forbidden for Germany to import or export tanks or any other military hardware.... The German naval forces will be limited and are not to include submarines. The armed forces of Germany will not include any air forces.... In the political realm, Germany is forbidden to enter into any treaty with Austria." ...
Yesterday evening I had the privilege of seeing Helen Mirren as Phèdre. How unlike the home life of our own dear Queen!
I saw the performance live on stage at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank, and managed to see both her face close up, and a panoramic view of the whole stage. Yet my seat was neither front row of the Stalls, nor in the Upper Circle – it was a comfortable armchair in The Everyman, a small cinema just a ten-minute bus ride from my home in north London.
This was courtesy of NT Live, a new project, which broadcasts live theatre performances in high definition all around the world. The advantages of this are as plain as the stage on your screen. If you live outside London, or outside England – and most people do – or the play is sold out, or you cannot get to the National easily, you can still see a live performance. At £10 a ticket, it is also cheaper than usual (apart from the limited Travelex deals).
Is it the same as being there, though, or is it just like a rather stagey film? Not the latter, certainly, although not quite the former. It isn’t like a film at all. You know you are witnessing a live performance; that it is not the same as last night’s or tomorrow night’s; that something could go wrong. This is the immediacy of the theatre, which I love and which always gives it the edge over cinema. Theatre rules apply, if unspoken: mobile phones off, no latecomers, no chatting, snogging, slurping (even of drinks) and definitely no popcorn. You concentrate harder with a play, as there are none of those interludes – sweeping panoramas, stagecoaches dashing through muddy roads - where the brain can rest. (Phèdre, more than most plays, is short on downtime.) It isn’t quite like being there, however; the atmosphere is not as intense, and the applause, from such a small audience, seemed unduly restrained.
There is nothing new under the sun, as I am not the first to point out. Live theatre broadcasts are old hat – or should that be vieux chapeau? From the no-longer-so-newfangled Wikipedia:
Théâtrophone ("the theatre phone") was a telephonic distribution system that allowed the subscribers to listen to opera and theatre performances over the telephone lines. The théâtrophone evolved from a Clément Ader invention, which was first demonstrated in 1881, in Paris. Subsequently, in 1890, the invention was commercialized by Compagnie du Théâtrophone, which continued to operate till 1932.
In 1884, the King Luís I of Portugal decided to use the system, when he couldn't attend an opera in person. The director of the Edison Gower Bell Company, who was responsible for this théatrophone installation was later awarded the Military Order of Christ.
The Théâtrophone technology was made available in Belgium in 1884, and in Lisbon in 1885. In Sweden, the first telephone transmission of an opera performance took place in Stockholm in May 1887. The British writer Ouida describes a female character in the novel Massarenes (1897) as "A modern woman of the world. As costly as an ironclad and as complicated as theatrophone."
Apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play? That’s for another post, but I bet Abraham was kicking himself that Live Theatre Broadcasts hadn’t been invented yet.
The U.S. Department of State has announced the appointment of Kashmir-born Farah Pandith as special representative to Muslim communities. According to the announcement:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has appointed Farah Pandith to serve as special representative to Muslim communities, in charge of a new office that is responsible for outreach with Muslims around the world. According to a notice published by the State Department June 23, Special Representative Pandith and her staff will carry out Clinton’s efforts to “engage with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level.” Pandith previously was an adviser on Muslim engagement at the State Department, serving as a senior adviser to the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. She has also served on the National Security Council as the coordinator for U.S. policy on outreach to Muslims, and worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development on assistance projects for Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian Territories. Pandith, who is Muslim, immigrated to the United States with her parents from Srinagar, Kashmir. She told the Italian press agency Adnkronos in 2007 that she sees her personal experience as an illustration of how Muslim immigrants to the United States can successfully integrate themselves into American society. She said that along with the importance of education, “I also learned … to balance pride in my cultural heritage with a deep attachment to the values of America.”
Ms. Pandith was one of the organizers of a March 2006 conference in Belgium called “Muslim Communities Participating in Society: A Belgian-U.S. Dialogue.” The conference brought together the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood with its Belgian/European counterparts and the participating American organizations included all of the major U.S. Brotherhood organizations- the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the Muslim Students Association of the US and Canada (MSA). A State Department Bulletin further announced that ISNA had used the conference to engage in networking with its Belgian counterparts:
Representatives of the Islamic Society of North America attended the conference and announced a package of internships, scholarships and exchanges for Belgian imams, Muslim leaders, teachers and students to visit the United States and continue their interactions with the U.S. Muslim community. Several other exchanges and projects were inspired by the conference, including a journalism study by the University of Southern California and a Belgian partner to discuss media coverage of Muslims and Islam.”
Joint initiatives between FEMYSO and MSA were also announced at a follow-up to the conference. FEMYSO is the youth organization of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) which essentially comprises the European Muslim Brotherhood.
At the time, U.S Ambassador to Belgium Tom C. Korologos testified about how the U.S. participants were selected, designating the U.S. Brotherhood organizations to be “moderates”:
Our next challenge was to agree on a list of participants. We vetted, checked and rechecked those we invited. Some of the organizations whose members participated in the Conference have been accused of being extremist. It is possible that some individual members of those organizations have made statements that have been termed extremist. Our view however, was to base our selection on the stated policies and specific actions of organizations and individuals today with regard to harmonious Muslim integration into American and European society. We wanted them to hear and participate in our dialogue with fellow moderates.
The State Department further announced that the conference was part of an effort intended to promote networking between the U.S. and European organizations:
The United States hopes to spark an international network that allows mainstream Muslims in Europe and North America regularly to discuss issues of alienation and extremism, a U.S. diplomat told Congress on April 5. The new approach connects previously isolated Muslim groups in an effort to “mobilize the moderates and marginalize the militants,” said Tom Korologos, U.S. ambassador the Belgium, where the concept was launched in a two-day meeting in November 2005. The initiative is “a model for generating not just a conference or two, but an entire movement of mainstream Muslims across Europe to ease alienation and combat extremism….Four or five more conferences like this can lead to a network of moderate Muslims,” Korologos said.”
In August 2008, based on information first reported by the GMBDR, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama campaign had appointed Mazen Asbahi, an individual with ties to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, as campaign outreach coordinator. Subsequent to the resignation of Mr. Asbahi, the Obama campaign apologized for its newly appointed replacement Muslim outreach coordinator having attended a meeting which also featured two leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Since becoming President, Mr. Obama has appointed Dalia Mogahed, another individual with ties to the U.S. Brotherhood, as one of two Muslims serving as his faith advisors.” It should also be noted, as discussed in a previous post, that long-time Muslim Brotherhood supporter John Esposito also appears to be returning to a position of influence in the Administration after having lost considerable stature following his pre-911 denials that Islamism posed a threat to the U.S.
(Further biographical information on Ms. Pandit can be found here.)
Propped up in his bed, for all the world the quintessential fin-de-siècle invalid, Marcel Proust listened to the perplexing sound of music far away. He heard it from beyond the walls of his room, through a connecting tube: the famous théâtrophone, a permanent subscription telephone line that could connect Proust's apartment in the boulevard Haussmann to a number of Parisian theatres, opera houses and concert halls. The operatic scenes that succeeded in penetrating those walls were not scenes at all: they were disembodied voices, issuing instructions for the visual imagination. Those moments that progressed further — onto the pages of A la recherche du temps perdu — were of course even less corporeal: both invisible and soundless. In the passage from opera house to author to novel, who can say how much was lost? All that remains are words, hundreds of thousands of them, pouring noiselessly into a space where the music has sunk without trace; the fevered patient added reams more supplementary material (inflations, substitutions, emendations) as fast as the opera came in through the wall, papering — soundproofing — the room with words.
Competence? How very singular. Proust once exclaimed (in French): "I heard that Debussy number, Pelléas et Mélisande, sitting here in my room. It's a corker."
This old man, he played one
He played knick knack on my drum.
With a knick knack paddy whack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.
There are lots of children's versions out there, some by real children and posted by doting grannys. This version from 1991 reminds us that the song is old and traditional. Plus the harmonica sounds much better than my accordion.
Ladiez and Chenlemen -
I give you - -
Muslim policeman awarded damages from West Midlands force
From The Birmingham Post
A Muslim police officer who claims his boss compared him to Osama Bin Laden, mocked his beard and referred to his prayers as “shouting and wailing”, has won £11,000 in damages against West Midlands Police.
An employment tribunal upheld PC Dost’s allegations that he had been treated with religious and racial discrimination and awarded the figure of £11,000 based on a psychiatric report measuring the scale of his hurt. Employment judge Hughes said: “The remarks made were offensive and more so because PC Dost is a very religious man.”
But PC Dost, who was himself disciplined by West Midlands Police over his attitude towards women, had further allegations of victimisation rejected.
He claimed his punishment for remarks made towards a female colleague where he boasted about his sexual performance and use of Viagra was harsher than that doled out to Mr Yates.
PC Dost was fined 13 days’ pay and removed from his post as positive action officer, where he mentored ethnic minorities and women to apply to the police force, after discussing the sex drug with colleagues and telling one she wouldn’t be able to walk when he’d finished with her.
Mr Yates, acting recruitment manager, was stripped of his acting title but kept on in recruitment and given a final written warning that would stay on his file for two years.
But the tribunal accepted the force’s explanation that as PC Dost was a serving police officer, rather than Mr Yates who was a member of staff, he was subjected to different misconduct procedures.
A police spokesman said: “West Midlands Police are pleased the tribunal has found in favour of the force and PC Dost’s claims of victimisation and unfavourable treatment have not been substantiated.” Still £11,000 is a lot of money for hurt feelings. I don't have a beard. I don't have a job anymore either but I could handle a payout of £11,000 for one of the numerous occasions the office weightwatchers brigade expressed their disapproval that, unlike them, I have never aspired to gauntness or felt the need to diet .
Rampant Dhimmitude at Inauguration of Boston Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center
The controversial Islamic Society of Boston Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center (ISB-ICC) was inaugurated in ceremonies today. Dhimmitude was rampant given comments by Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Governor Patrick cancelled his appearance at today’s event because of his commitment to attend funerals of servicemen killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s funeral was for Kevin DuPont of Templeton, Massachusetts killed by a bomb in Iraq. Nevertheless, Governor Patrick had prepared a video message to be played at the ISB –ICC inaugural event.
These Comments from the Boston.com blog by Michael Paulson evince the fawning Dhimmitude by both officials.
Patrick has agreed to tape a video tribute to be played at the breakfast, and his deputy press secretary, Kimberly A. Haberlin, just sent me the following statement from the governor:
"As the President stated so eloquently during his address in Cairo earlier this month, the United States is entering a new era of partnership with our Muslim brothers and sisters, both abroad and here at home, and the Center will play a vital role in that partnership in Massachusetts. I congratulate the Islamic Cultural Center on their commitment to enriching our community life."
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is still planning to attend the ribbon-cutting, and I called him up this afternoon to ask why. Here's what he said:
"When you're mayor, you're mayor of all the people, not some of them, and the folks who are part of the mosque, and Muslims, are part of the city.'
I asked the mayor what he made of all the controversy that has surrounded the mosque. His reply:
"It has been controversial, and there is controversy when you have a religion from those countries. But we've got to start building those bridges. Yes, The David Project has been objecting, but I can't pick and choose. This is the religion they believe, the religion they practice. Are there some extremists in Islam? No question. But do I have some in my religion? Yes, there are. We have to get beyond that.'
This Dhimmi-like deference flies in the face of the extremist leadership of the ISB-ICC. At yesterday’s Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) news conference -see this video- APT President Charles Jacobs, formerly with the David project, Professor Dennis Hale of Boston College and reformist Egyptian Sheik Mansour cited graphic evidence of the Islamic Anti-Semitic, Anti-Christian and Anti-US statements by the ISB-ICC trustees. Jacobs called such behavior by both government officials and mainstream media “Islamophobiaphobia.”
The Boston Globe had a large spread including a ‘summer school’ propaganda video from the ISB Mosque on its website, today, see here. One activist who participated in yesterday APT news conference had these observations :
It's a bit frustrating (but not surprising) that the Globe once again was selective in which of our claim they would report on. So they included Saudi money and had someone call us racist. They included the ugly sermon but implied it was an isolated incident-like one of the crazy uncles everyone had.
So we are painted as somewhat unreasonable, over critical. Of course the Globe counters our claims with three attacks on us--calling us not just racist, but fear mongers and without sufficient evidence- (Gordis).
The major case we presented was about the leadership--they did not mention any of the evidence re the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Muslim Brotherhood, the current Trustees, Badawi, Kandil, and Fitahi.
So the net effect is that-while we have evidence about them-they-the other side, without evidence accuse us of all sort of bad things.--This is the Globe's idea of balance.
We agree that this ISB inaugural ceremony is one more example of ‘stealth jihad’ and intimidation by Muslim extremists abetted by feckless state and local officials and the press.
One good note, our colleague, Tom Trento of the Florida Security Council, is in Boston filming this ISB ceremonial opening. When he completes his video commentary, we’ll bring that to your attention. At least that will tell the truth about the taqiyya spread around by ISB and its Muslim Brotherhood sponsor, the MSA.