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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 Saturday, 3, 2011.
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Advent Pub sign 3

This is no longer a pub (sob). It is in the High Street of Wells, the Cathedral town in north Somerset. Once it was a coaching inn, a cobbled covered alley between the two bars, leading to a stone flagged courtyard. In that stone flagged courtyard in the summer of 1979 I watched a local Morris side dance, which was the beginnings of my interest.

The pub is now a shopping arcade which I photographed when I visited a couple of years ago and I cannot find confirmation of the original name. It was the Star, the Star Hotel, the Old Star, the Pole Star, something similar.

I can't remember the name of the pub, or the name of the Morris men. But the beer was Wadworths6X.

Posted on 12/03/2011 3:27 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 3 December 2011
Alarming rise in Muslim honour killings as thousands of cases reported to police last year.

The Daily Mail is using the 'M' word.

Nearly 3,000 so-called honour attacks were recorded by police in Britain last year, new research has revealed. According to figures obtained by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (Ikwro), at least 2,823 incidents of 'honour-based' violence took place, with the highest number recorded in London.

The charity said the statistics fail to provide the full picture of the levels of 'honour' violence in the UK , but are the best national estimate so far. The data, taken from from 39 out of 52 UK forces, was released following a freedom of information request by Ikwro. In total, eight police forces recorded more than 100 so called honour-related attacks in 2010.

The report stated: 'This is the first time that a national estimate has been provided in relation to reporting of honour-based violence. The number of incidents is significant, particularly when we consider the high levels of abuse that victims suffer before they seek help.'

Ikwro director Diana Nammi said families often deny the existence of the attacks. She said: 'The perpetrators will be even considered as a hero within the community because he is the one defending the family and community's honour and reputation.'

Posted on 12/03/2011 4:28 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 3 December 2011
State of Victoria Australia - New clamp on Muslim haters

A rather alarming headline from Melbourne's Herald Sun

MUSLIMS are being urged to report hate crimes under a special disaster plan to deal with the fallout from terrorist attacks. Under the Muslim Emergency Management Plan, backed by the state and federal governments, Victorians will be given advice on how to react to anti-Muslim incidents, even if they are considered minor.

Muslim victims of abuse are encouraged to save evidence, take photos and report any incident to police and their local mosque or Islamic organisation. . . comes amid growing concern over inter-racial tensions in Melbourne's suburbs and against the backdrop of fears of further terrorist attacks that could strain relations further.

Comments

  • WRONG! The should not be encouraged to report crimes to a local mosque. A local mosque IS NOT law enforcement. They should be going straight to the Police.
  • Really does the Muslim Emergency Management Plan include what to do if someone decides Jihad is the way to go.
  • What about Australians democratic right to state that they find a burqa or hijab completely opressive and degrading for a woman. This is Australia, not Saudi Arabia
  • I've lived in a predominately Muslim suburb for over 20 years and I've NEVER heard or seen hate towards Muslims. I've seen ALOT of examples of hate from Muslims towards NON-Muslims. Muslims men AND women deliberately SHOUT in their language right next to non-Muslims eg. supermarkets, changing rooms in clothing stores etc.. do you notice that too? Christians on MANY occasions get SPAT AT by Muslim men AND women. I've been SPAT AT on several occasions myself and it's sickening that they also do that to little old frail elderly Greek & Italian women. I REFUSE to take off my BIG gold CROSS necklace.
  • well can i report the hate i receive from many indian, sudanese and asian people while working in dandenong?!... am a white australian female. don't appreciate being told to get back in the kitchen
  • Immigrants come to this wonderful country of ours to start a new life. part of that ideal is embracing OUR culture
  • THis is divisive policy and will only lead to greater tension. Are Muslims a protected species in this country?
  • Its amazing that muslims in the last census make up apparently 2% of our population, yet for no other minority group is there so much changing of laws, bending over backwards for and general kow-towing. God forbid when they hit 5% or 10%. If they are marginalised its because they insist on living in ghettos, by their laws, their ways and spitting on the rest of the community as we are sinners
  • Does this mean that its a 2 way street and that infidel victims can report hate and abuse crimes to local church and police as well? But then again, not much point taking photos even the police can't win against the Burka as proven in a recent case.....
  • It is very simple if the Muslims show respect to us, we will show respect to them
Posted on 12/03/2011 5:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 3 December 2011
British Ambassador To Iran Describes The Muslim Mob

From Reuters:

December 2, 2011

UK envoy tells of fear as mob rampage in Iran embassy

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's ambassador to Iran described Friday how he took refuge while a mob rampaged through his embassy in Tehran, smashing windows, tearing up portraits and starting fires, while seven staff were seized by protesters at a second compound.

Speaking three days after the attack by protesters on the British embassy in Iran that sparked a crisis in British-Iranian relations, Dominick Chilcott said he had feared he might be taken hostage as U.S. diplomats were in 1979.

Britain responded by shutting its embassy in Tehran and ordering the closure of Iran's embassy in London, expelling all Iranian diplomats who left the country Friday.

Chilcott told how protesters rampaged through the embassy building, removing a picture of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, mutilating portraits of previous British monarchs, damaging furniture, writing graffiti on walls and smashing up rooms in what he called "spiteful, mindless vandalism."

Protesters also took mobile phones and computers "anything that might give information about who you were talking to or what you were doing," he told Sky News.

Chilcott said Tuesday's protest was different to previous demonstrations at the embassy because the police stood back, adding that it was clear the demonstration had state support.

"It was quite frightening. In our compound we were locked in to the chancery building. We were up on the top floor in our safe area and the mob failed to get into the building," Chilcott, now back in Britain, told the BBC.

"We'd heard them trying to smash the doors and the windows down below but they couldn't get into our part of the building, except in one point where they got into one of the consular offices and started a fire. In the end it was the fire and the smoke ... which forced us out," he said.

By the time he and his staff came downstairs, the protesters had lost interest and moved to other buildings, he said.

HOSTAGE CRISIS

Asked if it had occurred to him that he might suffer the same fate as 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days by hardline students at the U.S. Embassy in Iran from 1979, Chilcott said: "It would be untrue to say that those thoughts don't go through your mind, of course, and you hope that that is not going to happen."

"We were in a completely new situation and how it was going to end was not predictable and the behaviour of the police was so strange that we weren't sure whose side they were on, if you like, and that didn't really give us much comfort," he said.

Chilcott said seven of his staff, among employees and relatives who had been sent to the embassy's residential complex in the north of Tehran for their safety, were seized by protesters.

Embassy staff at the second compound went to safe areas, known as "keeps," and locked themselves in.

"One of our staff was on his own in his keep and he barricaded the door with a heavy safe and a bed, and braced himself against the wall. And for 45 minutes he could hear people bashing down the door, smashing the windows and trying to get in," Chilcott told Sky News.

"It must have been a very frightening experience - until eventually the door gave way and they got him," he said.

"Then our staff, in the end there were seven altogether, were taken to one of the properties and they were made to sit silently, they were not allowed to talk in the room by the invaders, without really knowing what was going on."

"It must have been a troubling experience. They were quite roughly handled, one or two of them, as well."

Posted on 12/03/2011 11:52 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 3 December 2011
A Musical Interlude: It's A Good Day
Listen here.
Posted on 12/03/2011 11:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 3 December 2011
US Sens. Kirk and Menendez Lead The Way on Iran Sanctions Vote

             Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)                                                      Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

It is not often you find US Senators voting almost unanimously, as they did Thursday night, to approve sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank over the objections of the Obama Administration. Despite the White House opposition to these tougher sanctions, the votes casts made it likely the Senate has the votes to override a threatened Presidential veto of the change in policy over detention of terrorists. Credit that near unanimous tally to a bi-partisan amendment of the National Defense Appropriations Act co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The Defense appropriations measure will be reconciled with one pending in the House. See our post about Iran sanctions, here.  

We have highlighted Sen. Kirk’s perseverance on sanctions against Iran over its nuclear weapons development. He began that effort several years earlier while serving as a Representative in the US House and a key member of the Iran Working Group pushing for an embargo against foreign refineries delivery of gasoline and diesel fuel to Iran. 

On Wednesday, at a hearing on the Iran sanctions amendment, held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Menendez roundly criticized Obama Administration witnesses from Treasury and State Departments over fear that these latest sanctions would allegedly upset the world’s oil markets.

Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David S. Cohen, “warned that the wrong types of sanctions could raise global oil prices, benefiting Iran at the expense of Western economies.

"We are more likely to achieve cooperation ... if we approach this issue through an effort to coordinate action voluntarily rather than with the threat of coercion," he said.

Sen. Kirk responded to the Senate’s vote on the Amendment, “This is the right amendment, at the right time, sending the right message.”

Even the Washington Post took the Obama Administration to task in an editorial saying, “the President is no longer leading from behind on Iran. He’s just behind.” Jennifer Rubin in her Washington Post, Right Turn column,”Senate passes Iran sanctions; Obama objects (really)”, has provided us with a C-Span 3 video of Menendez castigating the Administration witnesses. This occurred at a hearing of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Watch it.

Note this excerpt from Rubin’s column :

Think about this: By [an almost unanimous] vote  the Senate passed its most stringent Iran sanctions bill to date. The administration opposed it. The vote was on the amendment by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) The measure would: 1) Prohibit the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account on foreign financial institutions engaged in non-petroleum-related transactions with the Central Bank of Iran after 60 days; 2) Impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions, including central banks, engaged in petroleum-related transactions with the Central Bank of Iran after 180 days with 180-day special exemptions tied to the availability of non-Iranian oil on the market and a country’s significant reduction in purchases of Iranian oil; 3) Provide a humanitarian exception for food, medicine and medical devices; and 4) Provide the President with an unclassified (with classified annex, if necessary) national security waiver authority every 120 days.

[. . .]

Menendez reminds us that the Administration is not even using existing sanctions. (“You have been reluctant to sanction Chinese companies for energy sanctions when there is ample evidence that they are violating our laws, and there is precedence for us sanctioning Chinese companies for nuclear and weapons proliferation concerns. Even though we’ve given you the tools, you haven’t shown us the robust effort when the clock is ticking to use that which we have given you. So that causes us — that’s why 80 members of the Senate in a time in which it is very difficult to find bipartisan agreement — 80 members of the Senate have joined in our Iran/North Korea serious sanctions act.”)

Posted on 12/03/2011 1:50 PM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 3 December 2011
All Signs Of Christmas Now Banned From Canadian Government Offices

From La Presse:

Publié le 02 décembre 2011

Pas de décorations de Noël chez Service Canada

Le contraste est saisissant entre le complexe Desjardins... (Photo: Marco Campanozzi, La Presse)

Agrandir

Le contraste est saisissant entre le complexe Desjardins (à gauche), qui abrite de nombreux bureaux du gouvernement du Québec, et le complexe Guy-Favreau (à droite), principal édifice du gouvernement fédéral au centre-ville de Montréal.

Photo: Marco Campanozzi, La Presse

André Noël

André Noël
La Presse

Les Québécois qui vont dans les bureaux de Service Canada, principal point de services du gouvernement fédéral, n'y verront pas la moindre décoration de Noël; une directive diffusée il y a trois semaines les a tout bonnement interdites.

Loin de s'en offusquer, un des responsables du syndicat y voit une mesure «tout à fait justifiée» visant à ne pas heurter les sensibilités religieuses.

Le 9 novembre, Marc Simoneau, directeur exécutif principal de Service Canada au Québec, a fait circuler ce courriel dans les 118 bureaux de service du Québec, qui s'occupent de sujets aussi divers que l'assurance emploi, la délivrance des passeports ou les prestations de retraite:

«Voici quelques orientations simples qui devraient vous guider dans vos réponses aux employés désireux de décorer leur centre de Service Canada pour le temps des Fêtes», explique M. Simoneau dans son courriel, obtenu par La Presse.

«1. Aucune décoration dans l'aire d'accueil et dans les espaces de travail accessibles à la clientèle; 2. Décoration permise dans l'aire réservée aux employés, dans la mesure évidemment où on respecte les règles élémentaires de sécurité et de bon goût.»

Surpris de ne pas pouvoir accrocher la moindre couronne de Noël à la vue des visiteurs, des employés se sont adressés à leur syndicat, en vain.

Dans un courriel, également obtenu par La Presse, Guy Boulanger, représentant du Syndicat de l'emploi et de l'immigration du Canada, explique qu'il approuve cette interdiction.

Cette «simple directive» vise «à s'assurer de ne pas attirer de critiques et de plaintes reliées aux croyances religieuses et aux droits de la personne et qui, par ailleurs, me sembleraient encore tout à fait justifiées», a-t-il écrit mardi. Joint au téléphone hier, M. Boulanger a maintenu cette position.

Résultat de la directive, le complexe Guy-Favreau, principal édifice du gouvernement fédéral au centre-ville de Montréal, est dépourvu de tout signe soulignant l'arrivée prochaine de Noël. Les vastes bureaux de Service Canada, de Passeport Canada ou du Service fédéral de médiation et de conciliation sont aussi ternes que d'habitude.

Les citoyens qui attendaient d'être servis dans les bureaux de Service Canada, hier midi, se sont montrés étonnés lorsqu'un journaliste les a informés de l'interdiction de mettre des décorations de Noël.

«Bien sûr, Noël est une fête chrétienne, mais ces décorations, ça n'a rien d'hostile envers les autres religions», a dit Stéphanie Kova. «Je ne suis pas croyant, mais cette directive m'apparaît ridicule», a dit son voisin, qui a demandé de taire son nom.

La plus critique était Sherin Salem, jeune professionnelle portant le foulard. «Pourquoi cette interdiction? a-t-elle demandé. Je suis musulmane et la fête de Noël est une fête chrétienne, mais ça ne me choque pas du tout qu'elle soit fêtée, au contraire! Il faut fêter!»

De l'autre côté du boulevard René-Lévesque, au complexe Desjardins, le contraste est saisissant. La place centrale de cet édifice, qui abrite de nombreux bureaux du gouvernement du Québec, est occupée par le «village du père Noël»: les sapins vert et blanc, illuminés d'ampoules bleues, entourent «l'hôtel de ville», le renne, la glissoire et la «caisse populaire» du père Noël.

Une maquette géante d'une église complète ce village pour tout-petits. Hayat Yazine, autre jeune musulmane portant le foulard, a dit que ce symbole catholique, dressé dans un lieu public, ne l'offusquait en rien. «C'est très correct, cette église, a-t-elle dit. Pourquoi je serais contre ça?»

La Presse a tenté d'avoir des explications auprès de Service Canada, mais personne ne nous a répondu.

Posted on 12/03/2011 4:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 3 December 2011
$480,000 But Shipping Is Only $8
C'est la deduction du sumptueux ordre plaisantz spectacles et magnifiques theatres, dresses, et exhibes par les citoiens de Rouen ville, Metropolitaine du pays de Normandie, a la sacree Maiesté du Treschristian Roy de France, Henry secod leur souverain Seigneur, Et à Tresillustre dame, ma Dame Katharine de Medicis, La Royne son espouze, lors de leur triumphant joyeulx & nouvel advenement en icelle ville, Qui fut es iours de Mercredy & jeudy premier & second iours d' Octobre, Mil cinq cens cinquante, Et pour plus expresse intelligence de ce tant excellent triumphe, Les figures & pourtraictz des principaulx aornementz d'iceluy y sont apposez chascun en son lieu comme l'on pourra veoir par le discours de l'histoire.
HENRI II, King of France].
Bookseller: Richard C. Ramer Old and Rare Books (New York, NY, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
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Book Description: Rouen, Jean le Prest for Robert le Hoy & Jean du Gord, 1551., 1551. PRINTED ON VELLUM. 29 woodcuts, five of which are double page, including the "Figure des Brisilians". Printed music (woodcut, with typeset lyrics for 4 voices on R2v?R3r). Red ruled, yellow capital strokes, and the 43 woodcut initials entirely overpainted with illumination in blue and other colors on gilt grounds, in a contemporary hand. Roman type (verse and song in italic). 67 (of 68 leaves), lacking only A4, a blank. H5 a cancel, as in most copies. 4° (21.7 x 16.1 cm.), seventeenth-century polished tan calf (short split at lower hinge; extremities slightly scuffed; nick in front board), double fillet border on covers, spine gilt with red leather lettering piece, vellum endleaves, text-block edges rough gilded, in navy blue morocco solander case lined with red reversed leather, spine gilt. A fine copy. Eighteenth?century engraved bookplate of William, Marquis of Lothian (the 2nd through 6th Marquises were all named William), smaller oval nineteenth century version at the rear, and cursive early signature on various leaves [Earl of] "Ancram", a courtesy title of the Marquises of Lothian. Sold in New York, American Art Association Anderson Galleries, 27 January 1932, lot 81. ---- FIRST EDITION. One of only two complete copies on vellum, of four vellum copies recorded. Brunet mentions the Ambroise Firmin Didot copy on vellum (present location not known), complete, which was bound in red morocco (see Catalogue des livres precieux manuscrits et imprimes., Part II, May 31, 1879), as well as two incomplete copies on vellum. Van Praet records a copy offered by Webbe in 1752, which may very well be the present one.This important Renaissance festival book records the entry of King Henri II of France and his Queen, Catherine de Medicis into Rouen, which was celebrated with elaborate ceremonies and presentations on the first and second of October 1550. The highlight of the festivities was the construction of a Brazilian Indian village, complete with huts and hammocks, and with plants and trees decorated to imitate Brazilian fauna, presenting a tableaux of their life and customs. The village was populated by about fifty Brazilian Indians then resident in the city, brought to Rouen by Norman sailors. At the culmination of the ceremonies, the Brazilian Indians, supplemented by some native French, displayed their war dances and staged a mock battle on the banks of the Seine between the "Toupinabaulx" and "Tabageres" tribes, which ended by setting fire to the huts. A composite of all this was represented in the double?page "Figure des Brisilians," which is the earliest depiction of authentic Brazilian natives and mores. As Borba de Moraes points out, this illustration is also the first image of Brazilians diverting themselves in Europe. The Brazilians continued to be one of Rouen's attractions, and they were presented to Charles IX on his visit to the city in 1562. Montaigne witnessed the presentation, and refers to it in his Essais.The fine woodcuts depicting various participants, allegorical chariots, elephants, and theatrical events, had previously been attributed to Jean Cousin or Jean Goujon, but the are probably by an artist influenced by Goujon's designs for the account of the entry at Paris. The blocks were used again in 1557 for Du Gort's verse description of the same event.---- @European Americana 551/36. Mortimer, @French 203. Borba de Moraes (1983) I, 174?7. @Brasiliana Itau, p. 93. Brunet II, 998?9; @Supplement I, 447?8 "ce beau livre, si precieux". Van Praet III, no. 101 (the present copy?). Grässe (Suppl.), p. 276. Sabin 73458. Berlin, @Ornamentstichsammlung 2983. Brun, @Livre illustré en France au XVIe siècle, pp. 194?195. Rosenwald 1051. Vinet 473. Bookseller Inventory # 35820

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Posted on 12/03/2011 4:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 3 December 2011
US Ambassador to Belgium Blames Muslim Antisemitism on the Israel Palestinian Conflict

US Ambssador to Belgium , Howard Gutman

A hat tip to Rick G.

Is the US Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, a secret J Streeter?  You might think that after comments he made at a Brussels conference of the European Jewish Union that outraged his audience.  According to a report published on Ynet, Gutman, who is Jewish, told the audience of European Jewish lawyers and legal experts that Muslim Anti-Semitism was due to the Middle-East Conflict.

“A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism,” Gutman said, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He also argued that an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will significantly diminish Muslim Antisemitism.”

Sure sounds like the J Street line of declaring an immediate Palestinian state, doesn’t it?

German Jewish Lawyer Nathan Gelbart rebutted Gutman with these comments;

“The modern Anti-Semite formally condemns Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and expresses upmost sympathy with the Jewish people. He simply has created a new species, the “Anti-Zionist” or – even more sophisticated – the so-called ‘Israel critic,’” Germany attorney Nathan Gelbart said.

“The ‘Israel critic’ will never state ‘Jews go home’ but is questioning the legality of the incorporation of the State of Israel and therefore the right for the Jewish people to settle in their homeland. He will not say the Jews are the evil of the world but claim that the State of Israel is a major cause for instability and war in the region,” he said. “There is no other country; no other people on this planet the ‘Israel critic’ would dedicate so much time and devotion as to the case of Israel.”

“For no other country he would criticize or ask to boycott its goods or academics. And this for one simple reason: Because Israel is the state of the Jewish people, not more and not less,” Gelbart said.

 Ynet noted Gutman’s comments on Obama’s reception by Muslims:

Earlier, Gutman also presented participants with a short video clip showing him received with warm applause at a Muslim school in Brussels. While he did not mention what prompted the warm reception, his message was that this is the kind of welcome given to a Jew who supports President Obama’s policy of openness to Islam.

Approached by Yedioth Ahronoth, the US envoy was asked whether Obama’s policy did not cause America to lose its influence in the region. Gutman responded by saying that the Arab world appreciates Obama following his speech in Cairo, referring to an address delivered by the president in 2009.

Gutman is a Graduate of Columbia College, Class of 1977, and Harvard Law School, 1980. Following law school Gutman had brief stints as a clerk in the Fifth  US Circuit of Appeals with US  Judge Irving Goldberg, the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore, before obtaining a  one year US Supreme Court Clerkship with Justice Potter Stewart.  He served another brief stint as a special assistant for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence with FBI director William Webster.

In 1983, Gutman joined the Washington, DC powerhouse firm of Williams and Connelly, LLC where he spent  over 26 years  serving a broad range of corporate and other clients as a commercial litigator.  He also was a registered lobbyist for Williams and Connelly in the period from 1999-2000.

He represented Ms. Susan Rosenberg, one of the convicted Weathermen Felons and obtained a pardon for her from President Clinton just before he left office in 2001.

Note this about Ms. Rosenberg:

In 1985, former Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg (who also was implicated in the Nyack, NY robbery) and Linda Evans were apprehended while transporting 740 pounds of explosives which they both acknowledged were slated for use in additional bombings. Rosenberg was sentenced to 58 years in prison, Evans 40; President Bill Clinton pardoned both women in January 2001.

Also in 2001, AllGov.com  noted that Gutman defended “former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez De Lozada and former Defense Minister José Carlos Sánchez Berzain, who were sued in U.S. court by citizens of Bolivia for their ordering the military to squash political protests, which allegedly resulted in 67 deaths and hundreds injured.”

Gutman has been active for years in support of Democrat candidates. He was involved with the Gore for President Campaign of 2000 in Florida. 

He received his Ambassadorial nomination from President Obama in June, 2009, the old fashioned way as noted by AllGov.com:

During the 2008 presidential contest, Gutman was part of the Obama National Finance Committee and later a trustee on the Presidential Inauguration Committee. According to OpenSecrets.org, Gutman and his wife, Michelle Loewinger, had contributed at least $86,150 to Democratic candidates, parties and committees since 1989. Gutman bundled at least $500,000 for Obama’s campaign committee and another $275,000 for his inauguration committee.

Gutman has Hollywood friends like the actors Ben Affleck and George Clooney. He even appeared briefly in stints on a bust HBO series about Washington lobbyists, K-Street.

Given Gutman’s remarks at the European Jewish Union, he is clearly following the line of the Obama State Department in denial about the threat of Muslim Antisemitism and Sharia law to Jewish coreligionists in both the EU and the US.  He and his wife are pre-occupied in spreading good will and collecting mementos during his Brussels diplomatic stint.

Posted on 12/03/2011 5:26 PM by Jerry Gordon
Saturday, 3 December 2011
A French minister of Arab origin says ‘there is no such thing as moderate Islam’

From Alarabiya

A French minister said there was no such thing as moderate Islam, calling recent election successes by Islamic parties in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia “worrying” in an interview published Saturday. Jeannette Bougrab, a junior minister with responsibility for youth, told Le Parisien newspaper that legislation based on Islamic sharia law “inevitably” imposed restrictions on rights and freedoms.

Bougrab is of Algerian origin, whose father fought on the French colonial side during Algeria’s war of independence, and said she was speaking as “a French woman of Arab origin.”

“It’s very worrying,” she was quoted as saying. “I don’t know of any moderate Islam. There are no half measures with sharia,” she added. “I am a lawyer and you can make all the theological, literal or fundamental interpretations of it that you like but law based on sharia is inevitably a restriction on freedom, especially freedom of conscience.”

And she hit out at the 30 percent of Tunisians living in France who had voted for Ennahda in last month's polls. “I am shocked that those who have rights and freedoms here gave their votes to a religious party,” she said.

Posted on 12/03/2011 6:07 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 3 December 2011
The Most Fanatical Muslims Doing Well In Egypt And Tunisia

From The Telegraph:

Dec. 4, 2011

Aboud al-Zumour, Islamic Jihad mastermind of Sadat's murder, comes in from the cold after Egypt election

The young protesters who toppled President Mubarak wanted freedom, but instead they are getting Islamic radicals who want to introduce a strict new moral regime.

Aboud al-Zumour
Aboud al-Zumour, leader of the Islamic Jihad Party in Egypt Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

Aboud al-Zumour is one Egyptian prisoner over whose long incarceration by the Mubarak regime few human rights groups or American diplomats shed a tear.

Convicted of masterminding the assassination of the late President Anwar Sadat, he was a close friend of Ayman Zawahiri, the man now leading al-Qaeda. He still speaks with admiration of his former cell-mate, who he says is a "very kind and nice man".

He backs "resistance" against the "occupiers" in the Middle East - America and Israel. In his ideal Egypt, the sale of alcohol would be banned, beaches would be segregated and thieves would have their hands cut off - though, he says "it would not happen because no-one would steal".

Until last week Islamists like him were at the radical fringe, but the first results from last week's election have shown a staggering success for Islamist parties like Mr Zumour's.

Anxious liberal candidates are so worried the hardliners are now heading for a landslide that they are now making desperate appeals to Egyptians to support them in the next two rounds of voting.

Only about eight million votes have been cast so far, and the final result will not emerge for several weeks.

What has been counted so far amounts to a crushing blow for the middle-class revolutionaries, both Christians and Muslims, who filled Tahir Square in January and February to force former president Hosni Mubarak from power.

They wanted more freedom, yet are now faced with the prospect of newly-confident Islamist parliamentarians determined to enforce Sharia, ban alcohol, and banish many of the rights Egyptian women take for granted.

The cause of their fear is men like Mr Zumour, no longer just another militant but one of a string of Islamist radicals once banned and jailed who have thrown themselves into electoral politics.

The radicals' success showed they can no longer be deemed marginal figures. They now seem certain to play a role for good or ill in the new, hopefully democratic Egypt - and they are becoming deeply divisive figures, although Mr Zumour insists he is ready to share power.

"We want to join a coalition," he told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview at his modest apartment not far from the pyramids of Giza.

"People must learn to trust and be comfortable with our Islamic vision, and know that we value peace and mercy and justice and development." [said the Musilm spider to the Infidel journalist fly]

Mr Zumour spent 30 years in prison for the Sadat killing before being released after the revolution that toppled Mr Sadat's successor, Hosni Mubarak. He is now on the council of Gamaa Islamiya, another militant group previously responsible for numerous murderous attacks on tourists and civilian targets that has, like him, "gone straight".

He estimates it will win seven per cent of the seats in the parliament for which elections began this week. In results declared late on Friday from the first third of seats, the Freedom and Justice Party, created and backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, won more than 30 per cent of the vote in two regions, beating even their expectations.

The brothers were banned and persecuted for decades, yet even when they were underground they became part of the mainstream, winning massive popular support with social programmes.

Gamaa Islamiya's allied party Nour, representing Salafis who follow the puritan Saudi-style version of Sunni Islam, won more than 20 per cent of the vote. It was not clear how much of the vote Gamaa Islamiya had won last night but it appeared to be on course to win several seats.

Together the hardline parties beat the liberal Egyptian Bloc into third place, a result profoundly depressing to secular and Christian Egyptians.

If those results are repeated in the next two rounds - as most expect - the Freedom and Justice Party could theoretically form a sweeping Islamist coalition with its radical rivals, something that would send shivers of fear through western capitals.

For all the Islamist parties' professed commitment to peaceful means, co-operation against terrorism with the United States and certainly Israel, subject of vicious Islamist attack, would almost certainly never be the same again.

At home the Brotherhood has sought to portray itself as moderate and committed to personal choice, saying it would not enforce the hijab - the Muslim headscarf for women - or other hardline social codes. But that does little to reassure secular Egyptians.

"Of course we are afraid of the brothers," said Iman Shoman, a university lecturer who voted for the liberal Egyptian bloc this week.

"As a woman, I don't trust them. I won't wear hijab though I am Muslim and I am supposed to be free." And that is even before the possibility of Gamaa Islamiya's role is raised.

For Mr Zumour, the election marks an unexpected political renaissance.

Although he did not fire the gun that killed Mr Sadat in 1981, he was the mastermind of Islamic Jihad's revolutionary strategy. He has been quoted as saying he voted within the group's council against the attack; less widely publicised is his addendum that this was because he had decided that 1984 would be a better date, because by then plans would be in place for a full-scale revolution.

He now says he regrets the killing - but only because it brought Mr Mubarak to power, who he says was worse than Mr Sadat because he was both despotic and corrupt, rather than just despotic.

He also says that while he disapproves of killing civilians, Islamist militants across the Middle East, from Palestine to Afghanistan, are fighting "occupiers". "If the Americans leave this region, there is no reason for the struggle," he said. "By staying they are creating the struggle, along with much suffering." In 1984, Zawahiri, his Islamic Jihad colleague, and other members were released early, a decision which has spawned numerous conspiracy theories.

They went on to join the fight against the Russians in Afghanistan and then to the international jihad, eventually joining forces with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda.

"He is a very kind and nice man. He fasts and prays and has a merciful heart and wrote poetry," Mr Zumour said of his old friend now.

"But I also advise him publicly, and urge him, against attacks on civilians and tourists. I suggest to him that that is wrong completely." Mr Zumour was offered deals by the former regime but refused them.

Nevertheless, since walking free and joining the newly re-formed Gamaa Islamiya, he has begun to say he would not break the peace treaty with Israel signed by Mr Sadat in 1979 - though like other Islamist parties he would seek to renegotiate trade terms, probably leading in practice to a freezing of most ties.[those ties were almost entirely frozen under Mubarak, whose regime failed to live up to any of its solemn commitments -- the only things Israel asked of Egypt -- to promote friendly relations through a variety of means]

The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party has hinted it is more likely to do deals with middle-of-the-road liberal-leaning parties, than the Islamic radicals. But even so, the popularity of these groups remains alarming to many.

Mr Zumour combines what he says is respect for personal and political choice with views that sound extreme to western ears. "It is not acceptable for women in bikinis to be walking around with men not their husbands," he said. "I would have closed beaches for women only.

"Alcohol in Islam is forbidden - it's not a choice. People can drink in their own houses but I wouldn't give out licences to sell to them, or allow alcohol in hotels." As for cutting off the hands of thieves, he said it would hardly be necessary because once the threat was available theft would stop.

"If we had this policy, would Mubarak have stolen so much?" he said with a laugh.

Christians, Mr Zumour said, would be better protected by the rights accorded them by Sharia than democracy which could theoretically vote to remove them. "The Islamic vision preserves minorities as a right not a gift," he said. "In France democracy banned the niqab (full-face veil) - but here we could never ban priests or nuns." Egypt's Christians themselves, beleaguered by a string of lethal attacks both before the revolution and after, mostly beg to differ.

They were urged by their priests to vote for the liberal Egyptian Bloc put together by the country's best-known Christian businessman, Naguib Sawiris, owner of Orascom, a gigantic business conglomerate.

As the scale of the disaster at the polls became clear, the Egyptian Bloc ran large, and rather desperate sounding, advertisements in newspapers. "Don't soften your support for the civil, moderate current to achieve a balanced parliament that represents the Egyptian people, and do not give up your rights," one read.

In Tunisia, the Islamist Ennahda Party swept to victory in elections on an impeccably moderate manifesto that stressed economic policies and refused to countenance social controls that would affect the country's tourist industry.

But since then, radical parties energised by the revolution have staged aggressive rallies against television stations and universities deemed to have offended them, including over mixed classrooms.

In Egypt, even if the Freedom and Justice Party shuns them, it is hard to imagine Salafi and radical parties that may gain up to 25 per cent of the votes settling into quiet opposition. And after 30 years in prison, from which he was once told he would never be released, it is hard to see Mr Zumour going quietly either.

Posted on 12/03/2011 8:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 3 December 2011
A Musical Interlude: Love Me Tonight (Annette Hanshaw)
Listen here.
Posted on 12/03/2011 8:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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