These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 27, 2009.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
A Small World Made Even Smaller
Hugh posted here, a lamentation for a great man, albeit a flawed man.
You know, Hugh, the world just gets smaller and smaller. Sometime in 1971, I can't remember the exact date, but I suspect that it must have been late in June in 1971 but I stand ready to be corrected, I had the privilege to meet John Kelly in Abu Dhabi. I was only nineteen years of age and he impressed me greatly – he seemed to possess some vast understanding of the Islamic world that transcended my own nascent opinions.
It wasn't until I was much, much older that I realised that even though his opinions about that Islamic world were based in a real research of it, that he no more understood the violence inherent in it than I did as a young man way back then when my father introduced us to each other. The one thing that John Kelly failed to appreciate, the one fatal flaw in all his writings, is that he never realised that violence is inherent in the Muslim faith – that violence and intolerance of difference is a fundamental Muslim characteristic born from the Islamic faith. That, I'm afraid, he never saw.
The final insult to his memory, as I see it, is that The Telegraph should place him in history alongside such an intellectually weak person as Bernard Lewis – what an insult that is! John Kelly, for all his faults, is a much better, and clearer, thinker than Bernard Lewis.
Why do I say that – well, just remember, if you're old enough and if you can, Lewis's Jefferson lecture, entitled "Western Civilization: A View from the East" back in 1990AD. That sort of thing – one sustained and grovelling apology for Western superiority – would never have been countenanced by John Kelly because, rightly, he didn't see civilisation in the same and limited way that Lewis did. John Kelly was a much, much deeper thinker than Lewis, or, come to think of it, than Keduory (that old fraud).
Prof. John B. Kelly might have seemed, might have been if one sees him that way, an apologist for resurgent Islam, if you will so have it, but he was a better scholar than most of his generation and he had a far greater understanding of the dark heart of Islam than many alive today. I only knew him for a few tens of minutes but he impressed me greatly and I value that brief meeting – I only wish that I had been old enough and wise enough to question him much more closely when we were introduced in that dim hotel!
What a difference to our world we might have made had I been older and wiser, and had my father and I not stood so much in awe of his scholarship. But then, that was a different time and different mores applied.
He was great man and I mourn his passing into the nearness of God.
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran test-fired short-range missiles as its elite Revolutionary Guards began war games on Sunday aimed at boosting the Islamic Republic's deterrent capabilities, official media reported.
The missile maneuvers coincide with increased tension in Iran's nuclear dispute with the West, after last week's disclosure by Tehran that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.
State radio said the Guards on Monday would test-fire the Shahab 3 missile, which Iranian officials say has a range of around 2,000 km, potentially putting Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf within reach. It has been tested several times before.
Iran's English-language Press TV said two short-range missiles as well as a multiple missile launcher were tested on the exercise's first day.
It showed footage of a missile launch in desert-like terrain, leaving a vapor trail...
Pseudo-sciences, such as “Marketing” and “Management”, abound with neat numbers of things: Porter’s Five Forces, Seven Habits of Effective Managers, Six Discplines of World Class Chairmen, Six Sigma and Seven S.Clearly the theorists think five, six and seven – unlike seventeen and nineteen – are memorable numbers, and fill the gaps accordingly. If ever a management guru comes up with seventeen Forces, Habits or Disciplines, then I will believe he knows what he is talking about. Otherwise his ideas belong inside the box, with all the envelopes.
As for Porter's Five Forces, reformed Management Consultant Matthew Stewart cut them down to size:
I once sat through a presentation in which a consultant, a Harvard M.B.A., showed a client, the manager of a large financial institution in a developing country, how the client company’s “competitive advantage” could be analyzed in terms of “the five forces.” [...] As it happens, the client, too, had a Harvard M.B.A. “No,” he said, shaking his head with feigned chagrin. “There are only three forces in this case. And two of them are in the Finance Ministry.”
These are the original lyrics, with immortally transient vers-de-societe references (e.g., to Nelson Rockefeller and Max Gordon, to Mrs. Ned McClean (Evelyn Walsh McLean) and the Russians, and to Eleanor Roosevelt's broadcasts sponsored by a mattress company), that I thought some would enjoy hearing and trying to figure out or track down.
Here's an explanation of the last one:
"Over the years, Mrs. Roosevelt also wrote a monthly question-and-answer column for the Ladies Home Journal and McCall's, and had a weekly radio show sponsored by a mattress company, among others. That led Cole Porter to write: 'So Missus R., with all her trimmin's, can broadcast a bed from Simmons 'cause Franklin knows anything goes.'"
Germany sets up no-fly zone over Oktoberfest in wake of terror threats
From Deutsche Welle German authorities have banned air traffic in the skies above Munich's Oktoberfest in response to the spate of terror threats in recent days.
Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann announced a no-fly zone over the Oktoberfest festival area on Saturday, Sept. 26. The airspace restriction came at the request of the federal Interior Ministry.
"A no-fly zone appears to be a necessity, given the current security situation," Herrmann said, referring to the multiple terrorist threats directed at Germany over the past few days.
No less than five threatening messages have surfaced recently, including a message from al Qaeda's Osama bin Laden - replete with German subtitles - demanding that Europeans leave Afghanistan.
Other video threats have been delivered, including a video discovered on Friday, which, according to the German interior ministry, had come from the Taliban
"Because of your commitment here against Islam, attacking Germany has become an attractive idea for us, the mujahedeen," a man calling himself "Ajjub" spoke in German in the video.
The footage included images of potential targets such as Munich's Oktoberfest festival, as well as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and Cologne's massive cathedral. Images of Defense Minister Franz-Josef Jung and Interior Minister Wolfgang Shaeuble were also shown.
This latest video was just another in a string of threats apparently designed to cast a pall over Sunday's national elections.
Pub signs of England - a selection of boats and ships
More pub signs, this time of boats and ships.
Bermondsey in South London was the centre of an important ship building industry from the Middle Ages. It was also one of the many towns and villages on the banks of the Thames that have been part of the river traffic since time immemorial. The Albion is in Albion Street - I know nothing about whether she was a ship of local note and importance.
Leigh on Sea is still the centre of an important trade in cockles and other seafood - Ye Olde Smack is one of several boat named pubs in town.
Mundesley on the Norfolk coast is a pleasant seaside village, not as large of busy as Cromer and Sheringham up the coast. The sign is a modern version on an old theme.
The sign for the Lifeboat in Wells-next-the-Sea in on the building which used to be the Railway Tavern but is now a private house. Whoever owns it must have wanted to preserve an item of social history and very attractive it looks.
The Tea Clipper in Knightsbridge is just a teabag throw from the famous Harrods Store. I hazard a guess that it dates from the begining of the tea trade when it was a luxury item.
If you want to see a bigger picture then clicking on the picture above will take you to flickr and a larger version.
Arthur Krystal, not to be confused with David Crystal,observes that good writers are not necessarily good speakers. He opens his essay, but not his mouth, as follows:
That’s Vladimir Nabokov on my computer screen, looking both dapper and disheveled. He’s wearing a suit and a multibuttoned vest that scrunches the top of his tie, making it poke out of his shirt like an old-fashioned cravat. Large, lumpish, delicate and black-spectacled, he’s perched on a couch alongside the sleeker, sad-faced Lionel Trilling. Both men are fielding questions from a suave interlocutor with a B-movie mustache. The interview was taped sometime in the late 1950s in what appears to be a faculty club or perhaps a television studio decked out to resemble one. The men are discussing “Lolita.” “I do not . . . I don’t wish to touch hearts,” Nabokov says in his unidentifiable accent. “I don’t even want to affect minds very much. What I really want to produce is that little sob in the spine of the artist-reader.”
Not bad, I think, as I sit staring at the dark granular box on my YouTube screen. In fact, a damned good line to come up with off the cuff. But wait! What’s that Nabokov’s doing with his hands? He’s turning over index cards. He’s glancing at notes. He’s reading. Fluent in three languages, he relies on prefabricated responses to talk about his work. Am I disappointed? I am at first, but then I think: writers don’t have to be brilliant conversationalists; it’s not their job to be smart except, of course, when they write. Hazlitt, that most self-conscious of writers, remarked that he did not see why an author “is bound to talk, any more than he is bound to dance, or ride, or fence better than other people. Reading, study, silence, thought are a bad introduction to loquacity.”
I'm not so sure he's right in this case; it seems to me that Nabokov can't get a word in. A good conversation requires a good listener, and the other men in the clip prefer the sound of their own voice. Nevertheless, Krystal's article - isn't Krystal a good name for a writer? - makes a valid point, and one that doesn't just apply to writers. I have two friends, one neat in appearance and fluent in conversation, and the other scruffy and messy. The messy one writes clearly and well, and the neat one is hesitant and ungrammatical.
Krystal concludes with a story to dine out on:
[W]hen the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt told a friend, a Parisian doctor, that he wanted to meet a certifiable lunatic, he was invited to the doctor’s home for supper. A few days later, Humboldt found himself placed at the dinner table between two men. One was polite, somewhat reserved, and didn’t go in for small talk. The other, dressed in ill-matched clothes, chattered away on every subject under the sun, gesticulating wildly, while making horrible faces. When the meal was over, Humboldt turned to his host. “I like your lunatic,” he whispered, indicating the talkative man. The host frowned. “But it’s the other one who’s the lunatic. The man you’re pointing to is Monsieur Honoré de Balzac.”
Is This the Beginning of the End of Islamization in America?
In one of his first speeches following his appointment as Prime Minister and formation of a unity government in the dark days of May, 1940, Sir Winston Churchill said of the need to defeat Nazism:
"We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war by land, sea and air, with all our might and with all the strength God has given us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."
This Churchillian oratory was not lost on the intrepid organizers and participants in two events in Washington, DC: The launch of Former Muslims United (FMU) on September 24th and the Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) on September 25th. The threat of doctrinal Islamic Sharia compelling Muslims to bend to the will of Allah and commit Jihad here in America is a systemic threat.
Both events occurred against the backdrop of Islam on Capitol Hill Day organized by the Elizabeth, New Jersey Dar ul-Islam, Mosque President and lawyer, Hassen Ibn Abdellah. He defended, “the Constitutional Rights” of the perpetrators of the 1993 WTC bombing. Then there were the stunning arrests of al Qaeda and Hezbollah - linked perpetrators of Islamic terrorist events in New York, Dallas, Texas and Springfield, Illinois. They were "connecting the dots" of Islamic terrorism or Jihad in America according to a press release issued by North Carolina US Representative Sue Myrick.
And yet, as we shall see, the SIOA contingent was castigated as ‘fanatics’ by some in the mainstream media, in this case James Rosen, Washington reporter for FoxNews who covered the event in a House Rayburn Building small conference room.
Launch of Former Muslims United
The launch of Former Muslims United (FMU) was organized and moderated by Nonie Darwish, author of "Cruel and Usual Punishment” a personalized primer on the threat of Sharia here in America and the West, and our colleague at the New English Review, Ibn Warraq. The other co-founders include prominent American apostates, Dr. Wafa Sultan, Mohammed Ashgar, Amil Imani and new addition, Walid Shoebat. It was launched Thursday afternoon at a press conference held at a magnificent hearing room emblazoned with a 1930’s mural portraying the birth of commercial aviation in the House Longworth Office building. Among some who gathered there were anti-Jihadist stalwarts, Bob Spencer of the blog Jihad Watch, Pamela Geller of the blog Atlas Shrugs, Andrew Bostom, noted author and expert on Islamic Jihad and Islamic Antisemitism and Faith McDonnell of the Washington-based Institute of Religion and Democracy. McDonnell also attended the launch event for SIOA on Friday morning, September 25th. There were present several courageous prominent Muslim Apostate writers and advocates, including Pastor, Jamal Jivanjee who befriended teenage apostate Miss Rifqa Bary in Ohio and stood by her in the custody hearing battles in Florida. The FMU requested that the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in America needed to sign a letter pledging pledging to abjure the Sharia doctrinal fate of apostates - death. Futhermore, the FMU in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asked him to direct the US Department of Justice and the FBI to establish and monitor reporting of hate incidents against apostates here in America.
The SIOA Launch Event
Those stalwarts who attended the SIOA event heard intelligent discourse contrasting Jewish Halacha law versus Islamic Sharia, courageous examples of local civic action in neighboring Fairfax County, Virginia, background on the Jamaat ul Fuqra paramilitary camps documented by the Christian Action Network (CAN) and background on two important pieces of legislation combating Lawfare by Muslim Brotherhood fronts in America.
D.L. Adams, SIOA organizer and event moderator in his opening remarks drew attention to the date, September 25th as the 220th anniversary of Congress ratifying the Bill of Rights with important First Amendment Rights of Free Speech and Separation of Church (Mosque) and State - the latter a veritable impossibility under Islam. Adams noted the centrality of purpose and mission of the SIOA: Love of freedom and compassion extended to all who oppose Sharia - the state law of Islam. Sharia, as Adams noted, is the embodiment of 7th century Arab imperialism codifying the barbarous treatment of all non-believers, women, gays and apostates. He emphasized that the media had failed to educate Americans about the threat of Islamization. This despite the courageous efforts of Geert Wilders in Holland and groups like Stop Islamization of Europe. Adams also noted an eerie parallel; an interview with a survivor of the Nazi era White Rose resistance group, 89 year Mrs. Zeller- Hirzel. She opposed Nazism and was jailed for six months by the Gestapo. She is now an active member of anti-Jihad groups in Germany and Europe.
Adams was quoted in several news reports about both the Muslim Prayer service on the back lawn of the Capitol Building and what the threat of Islamization was about.
"They say it’s a prayer event, but it’s a political action….Folks have their own places to worship. They’re called mosques, synagogues or churches. But when you come to the Capitol of the United States, it becomes political, because it’s a demonstration."
In a WJLA ABC Eyewitness account , watch the video below, about the protests surrounding the Muslim Prayer service on Capitol Hill, Adams noted:
"They are all obligated to do jihad -- and what is jihad? It is violent war against the kaffir, which is us, the unbeliever."
Rabbi Jon Hausman gave a brilliant exposition and contrast of Halachic Jewish Law with Sharia. It is not often that you find a pulpit rabbi with a law degree, an advanced education in Middle East studies including a stint at the American University in Cairo, who speaks impeccable Egyptian dialectic Arabic and knows the width and breadth of the Quranic canon of Islam and Sharia. He is truly unique in the best sense of the word. Note this comment by Hausman:
"You peel back the layers and understand that Sharia refers both to the Islamic system of law and the totality of the Islamic way of life. It is based on the Qur’an and the Sunna (Islamic Custom or practice; particularly that associated with the exemplary life of the Prophet Muhammad, comprising his deeds and utterances as recorded in the Hadith, Hadith literally defined as "report" or "narrative" in Arabic). Whereas Judaism took the Torah and its commands as rubrics within which to live, and generations of interpretation explain a number of mitzvoth (Torah commandments) now out of existence according to the principle of Torah Lo Bashamayim Hi (Torah exists here for us, not in Heaven), Sharia holds a different view.
"The Qur’an is the direct word of Allah delivered to the last and greatest prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it is immutable, perfect, unchangeable, static, and unchanging. What can’t be derived from the Qur’an may be gleaned from the Sunna, how Muhammad conducted his life in practice, immutable for all time."
Rebecca Bynum,publisher and senior managing editor of the New English Review, spoke about the moral imperative of containment of Islam akin to the Cold War containment policy that eventually defeated Soviet Marxism Leninism. She noted America’s war against terrorism both in Iraq and Afghanistan and the likelihood that efforts following 9/11 may have perpetrated at best a pyrrhic victory, since "the flowering branch of democracy, the end result of thousands of years of Western civilizational development", is unlikely to be successfully "grafted onto an Islamic tree." Bynum noted:
"We at the New English Review propose the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and the re-orientation of our foreign policy to one of containment, just as our policy toward communism was that of containment. The central front in this struggle is not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in Western Europe, Great Britain and the rapidly Islamizing continent of Africa. Since we can clearly see the problem in Europe was caused by mass Muslim immigration, we call on Congress to sharply curtail Muslim immigration to our shores."
Catherine Martin, ACT! for America Northern Virginia chapter leader, discussed her engrossing tale as the wife of a survivor from the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and mother concerned about her children’s future. She became obsessed in learning about what drove the Jihadi perpetrators of the 9/11 event that struck her family with personal devastation. She sought further to get involved with local actions against Sharia in Fairfax County, Virginia through her involvement in the protests against the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA)-an arm of the Royal Saudi Embassy. She noted that the ISA spawned graduates who became terrorists in our midst including the 1999 ISA Valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was involved in an al Qaeda plot to assassinate former President Bush.
John Cosgrove and Catherine Martin
John Cosgrove, security consultant, Virginia President of the American Constitution and Capitalism Defense Front and moderator of Radio Free Dar al Harb blog talk radio, discussed the extensive network of Islamist institutions and environs of Wahhabi Alley in Fairfax County, Virginia. He noted intimidation of local officials and the police by Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR. This infiltration and subversion occurs within less than 20 miles of the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Cosgrove’s comments were cited by FoxNews Washington journalist, James Rosen as evidence of the fanaticism of the SIOA contingent. It was taken out of context from Cosgrove’s discussion of the history of President Jefferson’s covert war in the early nineteenth century against the Muslim Barbary pirates who had enslaved American Sailors. Cosgrove directly challenged Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) on the historical accuracy of his assertions that Thomas Jefferson owned a Qu’ran out of respect for Islam. Congressman Ellison used Jefferson’s Qu’ran to be sworn into office on January 4th, 2007. Note this from Rosen’s account:
There was also no denying that the day of prayer attracted some individuals and groups fanatical in their hatred of Muslims. At a separate event, held simultaneously in a conference room at the Rayburn House Office Building, a group calling itself Stop Islamization of America warned about the supposedly hateful, violent, and anti-Western teachings of the Koran.
John Cosgrove, who identified himself as a counterterrorism consultant, called on "Americans " to "stand shoulder to shoulder" in the battle to save America from the imposition of Sharia on American law. Sharia is a body of Islamic law used, with varying degrees of severity and harshness toward women, in many Muslim societies. At one point, Cosgrove brandished a book called The Quranic Concept of War to demonstrate the supposedly aggressive and confrontational nature of ancient and modern Islam.
Noting the arguments of some that Thomas Jefferson possessed a copy of the Koran, Cosgrove conceded this was true and added: "He had it so that he could know his enemy, so he could confront them, know them and vanquish the Islamic pirates, the scourge of the seas who were spreading tyranny abroad. After reading the Koran, founding the Marines and expanding the Navy to go after them, I think he laid the Koran down thinking perhaps he was done. Sadly, it was not the case."
Jason Campbell of the Christian Action Network (CAN) discussed the transformation of his group from its original social issues base. Campbell recounted an encounter at a Congressional meeting when told that there were 35 Jamaat ul Fuqra (JF) para-military terror camps across America, CAN founder Martin Mawyer conferred with his members and decided that stopping Jihad in America became their number one priority. JF is considered by counterterrorism experts as “the best positioned group to help al Qaeda launch an attack in the US.” Grabbing their camcorders, Campbell said, they charged off to video encounters with many of the JF camp leaders along the eastern seaboard. That effort lead CAN to produce the documentary, “Home Grown Jihad.” Campbell alerted the SIOA attendees of a forthcoming production filmed in Europe which focuses on the battle against Islamization in his native Holland by courageous Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
Jerry Gordon, senior editor of the New English Review, discussed the background to two important pieces of legislation poised to combat the Lawfare offensive of the Muslim Brotherhood in America; the See Something, Say Something Act S. 879 and H.R.2064, and S.449 and H.R. 1304, the Free Speech Protection Act of 2009.
Gordon noted the events that lead to development of H.R. 1343: First Responders Fighting Terrorism Protection Act of 2009 introduced by Rep. Sue Myrick (R- NC).
According to Gordon, a Fairfax County, Virginia police officer investigating a simple traffic infraction stopped a Muslim physician caught illegally dispensing drugs out of the trunk of his car. That police action lead to intimidation of the arresting Fairfax County police officer and the threat of litigation by the national counsel of CAIR over alleged 'profiling.’ The incident led to the development of the initial draft of an Act to Protect First Responders Against Terrorism.
Gordon was troubled by a federal Minneapolis court decision that barred FBI agents and local police from having limited immunity from litigation by Muslim Brotherhood fronts. He noted that had a chilling effect on fighting terrorism in the US.
Gordon discussed the plight of Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil and head of the American Center for Democracy. He told of her legal battle to overturn the London Law courts defamation law suit judgment brought against her by the late Saudi terror financier Sheik bin Mahfouz, a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden. Rep. King in the House and Senators Specter and Lieberman became champions of the federal version of ‘Rachel’s Law “ adopted first in New York State in April 2008 and later in Illinois. Gordon noted the hurdles that remained in enlisting co-sponsors for both pieces of anti Muslim Brotherhood legislation. He stressed the importance of a grass roots effort among concerned Americans to get the message across to their Congressional representatives and Senators that it is time to defend this country against intimidation via Sharia and ‘stealth’ Jihad.
During the Q+A the audience and panel engaged in addressing other issues for acting locally and nationally. The panel discussed the importance of getting grass roots attention on the misinformation in current World History texts purchased by major state textbook commissions. They noted the limited number of textbook publishers and insinuating role paid by Saudi- backed groups like the Council of Islamic Education who made it their business to get textbook publishers to present Muslim culture, contributions and peacefulness, while trivializing the major contributions of Western cultural values; freedom, liberty, and individual responsibility. They also addressed the importance of reining in the taxpayer funded Title VI of the Higher Education Act that funds grants to Middle East Studies programs in more than 54 major university centers in America, many praising Islam and Arab 'culture' along with anti-US and anti-Israel positions.
So the SIOA launch was successful on many levels. We caught the media's attention on this important mission to inform Americans of the threat of Islamization. The import of the SIOA event was best captured in the comments of an attendee, Clare Lopez of The Intelligence Summit when she noted:
It was a pleasure to [attend] the SIOA presentation - excellent initiative with good support from around this small but growing community of concerned grassroots American citizens.
I went out to see the Islam on Capitol Hill event in the afternoon - happy to say that it drew nowhere near the 50,000 Muslims advertised (maybe 3,000 max) - but they did make their presence--and challenge to our country's Constitution and legal system--known....which is what most people don't understand. They think it was a prayer service when it was in fact a gauntlet thrown down on the West Lawn of this nation's shrine to the rule of man-made law.
Both the FMU and SIOA events represent important beginnings in ultimately ending the threatened Islamization of America graphically on exhibit in the Muslim Jummah Prayer Service across the Capitol Hill complex on the West lawn.
William Safire, a speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist for The New York Times who also wrote novels, books on politics and a Malaprop’s treasury of articles on language, died at a hospice in Rockville, Md., on Sunday. He was 79.