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

These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 30, 2010.
Friday, 30 April 2010
Fires and rioting after Malmö suburb unrest

The "youths" are at it again.  Just as here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.  And there's more, but you get the picture.  From The Local in Sweden:

Unrest erupted in the Malmö district of Rosengård on Wednesday evening with police forced to seal off the area before regaining control of the situation.

Some 20 police units, a total of 50 officers, were deployed to the troubled Malmö suburb to try to calm the situation as around 20 youths rampaged through the district leaving a spate of fires and vandalism.

"We have concluded that there were a total of five fires. A couple of cars, as well as a recycling station, were some of the things burning," Peter Martinsson at Skåne police told the Dagens Nyheter daily.

Police were called to the area in the vicinity of Ramels väg in Rosengård at around 9pm on Wednesday. Residents of the area had become concerned over the gangs of young people and feared that fighting would break out.

Fire fighters were obliged to seek a police escort as they were subjected to stone throwing while battling to put out the fires in various parts of the district.

The police have confirmed that they considered the situation had been brought under control during Wednesday night and were able to withdraw their units.

Posted on 04/30/2010 12:22 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 30 April 2010
Belgian MPs vote to ban the burqa

From The Telegraph

Belgium is set to become the first country in Europe to ban the burqa after the country's parliament voted on Thursday night to prohibit the wearing of the face-covering Islamic veil in public.

Not a single MP in the lower house of parliament voted against the ban on clothes or veils that do not allow the wearer to be fully identified, including full-face Muslim dress such as the niqab or burqa. There were two abstentions. Supporters said the law would help fight terrorism and grant rights to Muslim women. 

Daniel Bacquelaine, one of the liberal MPs who originally called for the ban, insisted the new law was "aimed at stopping people from not being identified".  "It's not about introducing any form of discrimination," he said.

The ban, which is thought to affect around 100 women, would be imposed in streets, public gardens and sports grounds or buildings "meant for public use or to provide services".

Those Muslims who ignore the ban could face fines of £22 and a jail sentence of up to seven days unless they have written police permission to wear the garments. President Nicolas Sarkozy has declared the burqa not welcome in France, calling it an affront to French values that denigrates women. He is pressing ahead with a bill to ban it, despite advice that such a law could be illegal.

Posted on 04/30/2010 3:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 30 April 2010
Wilders Launches Freedom Party Parliamentary Campaign in The Netherlands in the midst of his political Trial
Geert Wilders launched the PVV (Freedom Party) campaign for the upcoming June 9th Hague Parliamentary elections on April 26th with a speech in the port City of Rotterdam – symbol of anti-Islamization given the assassination of the late Dutch politician and Mayor, Pim Fortuyn.  Baron Bodissey at The Gates of Vienna (TGOA) website  has the translation of the PVV manifesto., “A Sandwich with a Spine”.   A De Telegraaf report cited by TGOA noted the symbolism in its coverage:
“Here in Rotterdam we plant our flag and begin the reconquest of the Netherlands.” Geert Wilders had a clear message on Monday evening in Rotterdam at the start of his Party for Freedom’s campaign for the parliamentary elections on June 9. He deliberately chose Rotterdam, the city of Pim Fortuyn, “the man who paid with his life for his ideals.”

Wilders again indicated that he wants to govern. “The Netherlands needs a strong PVV that can put affairs in order.” And: “Without the PVV in a new government, the Netherlands will descend further into a morass of politically correct inaction, and the problems will not be solved but only worsen.”

According to Wilders, the CDA [Christian Democrats], PvdA [Labour, Socialists] and VVD [Center-Right Liberals] have made an ever bigger mess of it in recent decades when they governed. The PVV leader warned his supporters that a vote for VVD leader Mark Rutte or CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende might just as well be a vote for Job Cohen (PvdA) and Alexander Pechtold (D66).

Wilders especially turned against Cohen, leader of the PvdA, whom he blamed for having no spine. The red flag that characterizes the Labour Party has made way for a red carpet being rolled out for Islam and mass immigration, according to the PVV leader. The PVV chooses optimism and hope, he said. “We are hard where needed, and soft where possible.” Opposite Islam the PVV places “our identity” and “opposite Job Cohen more security and less immigration,” he said.

A relaxed Wilders on stage had short conversations with candidates on the list. He sat on a bar stool in front of an audience of about two hundred interested people who later were able to put forward their questions in conversations with the candidates. Afterwards Wilders’ sympathizers queued to have their picture taken with Wilders and to have a short talk.

Radio Nederland in a
press review article had this comment:
In the run-up to the June general elections all the parties have now presented their election manifestos. Bringing up the rear is right-wing populist Geert Wilders. Mr Wilders used his launch party in Rotterdam on Monday evening to lay into his biggest opponent, Labour Party leader Job Cohen. "He is a spineless man who did little for Amsterdam's original inhabitants when he was mayor of the city. Cohen is 100 percent pro Islam," Mr Wilders is quoted in de Volkskrant.
“Wilders blustered as usual about the themes his party has set as its spearheads,” comments AD. The Rotterdam-based daily points out that the Freedom Party chose the port city for its manifesto launch because of its symbolic value.
The paper reminds us that murdered anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn began his career in Rotterdam. "We'll plant our flag here and begin reconquering the Netherlands,” said Mr Wilders. “Unlike Job Cohen, we want more law and order and less immigration."
Despite his non-stop attacks on left-wing politicians, Mr Wilders is getting unexpected support from the left. Both de Telegraaf and de Volkskrant quote Femke Halsema of the Green Left party, who is accusing public broadcasters VARA (the social-democrat broadcaster) and NPS (officially neutral) of airing "a scare-mongering pamphlet" about the Freedom Party.
Sunday evening's edition of the Zembla programme – a co-production by the two organisations - presented a roundup of Geert Wilders' fieriest statements on Islam and deportation. Ms Halsema said on Twitter, "This confirms prejudices people have about public broadcasters".
Geert Wilders wants to impose sharp cuts on the publicly-funded networks. Not mincing his words, he tells de Telegraaf, "The ‘state broadcaster’ compared us to the Nazis and Milosevic. The programme was disgustingly biased. We should send the makers to Nova Zembla once we get them off the subsidy drip-feed."
Meanwhile, the Amsterdam trial court proceedings, deferred to October, continue with the completion of expert witnesses’  testimony for Wilders’ defense. The current schedule ends with the testimony of Former Muslims United co-founder, Dr. Wafa Sultan on June 28th. Testimony of Mr. S.R. Admiraal was heard on April 26th.  Professor J.J. G Jensen  will testify on May 6th. The current schedule calls for trial proceedings on October 4th, 6th and 8th with indictment on October 12th, presentation of Wilders’ defense on October 15th and rebuttal on October 19th. A verdict in this political show trial may be handed down by the Amsterdam court on November 2nd.
Given his trial, it would be ironic if Wilders and the PVV finished strong enough to be asked by Queen Beatrix, who was feted on Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, April 29th, to form a ruling coalition in the Hague Parliament. One wonders whether if that occurred would the Amsterdam trial collapse like a proverbial house of cards?  But first, let’s see what the outcome of the general elections is on June 9th.

Posted on 04/30/2010 3:15 AM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 30 April 2010
Muslim Brotherhood Intelligence Report

You can start reading around -- if you can stand it --  here.

Posted on 04/30/2010 6:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
White House Defies Subpoena Request From Congress

From  The Washington Post


"The Obama administration said Tuesday it would provide more information to Congress about the Fort Hood shootings but continued to defy a subpoena request for witness statements and other documents.

After days of negotiations, the Pentagon and Justice Department informed a Senate committee that they would not comply with congressional subpoenas to share investigative records from the Nov. 5 shootings at Fort Hood, Tex., which killed 13 people. The agencies said that divulging the material could jeopardize their prosecution of Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the accused gunman.

The Pentagon did budge in other areas, however, saying it had agreed to give the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs access to Hasan's personnel file, as well as part of an Army report that scrutinized why superiors failed to intervene in Hasan's career as an Army psychiatrist, despite signs of his religious radicalization and shortcomings as a soldier.

Leslie Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Senate committee, called the refusal by the Pentagon and the Justice Department to hand over all the requested material "an affront to Congress's constitutional obligation to conduct independent oversight of the executive branch."

Posted on 04/30/2010 6:46 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
War memorial: the final insult

From The Burton Mail

A BRITISH Muslim has shown ‘no remorse’ after desecrating Burton’s War Memorial with extremist Islamic slogans, a court has heard.And senior lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service have decided that graffiti proclaiming future world domination for Islam, glorifying Osama Bin Laden and calling for the assassination of the British Prime Minister “was not religiously or racially motivated”.

Tohseef Shah, 21, of Norton Road, Horninglow, admitted a charge of criminal damage to the memorial, outside Burton College, in Lichfield Street, when he appeared at Burton Magistrates Court yesterday. Shah admitted spraying the words ‘Islam will dominate the world — Osama is on his way’ and ‘Kill Gordon Brown’ on the plinth of the East Staffordshire Borough Council-owned memorial, on December 10 last year. He was given a two-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £500 compensation to the council, plus £85 costs.

During yesterdays proceedings, from which one magistrate had to withdraw himself after declaring an interest, prosecutor Andrew Bodger said information about Shah and photographs of the graffiti were sent to CPS headquarters in London, for a review by senior lawyers. They found there was insufficient evidence that the criminal act was racially or religiously motivated — which could have led to a more serious charges and a harsher sentence.

Shah, who has no previous convictions, was later identified from DNA on the spray can and admitted his actions.

Mr Bodger said: “Shah wouldn’t give an explanation as to why he had done it and had shown no remorse for this very sensitive matter. The words were cleaned off without difficulty at a cost of £500. The CPS specialist unit was sent the pictures, as well as his mobile phone records, to see if there was a racially or religiously motivated connotation. It was decided there was not enough evidence to prove this, and they decided it was politically motivated. It has caused great offence to the community.”

Defending solicitor Mumtaz Chaudry dismissed any belief that Shah held extremist views.  He said: “This is nothing to do with his religious beliefs, his family’s beliefs or his cultural beliefs. He is just an ordinary guy. He is remorseful, but at the time of his interview, he was simply answering questions and didn’t realise that was the right time to show remorse."

The CPS lost whatever credibility they started out with 20 years ago. Too much PC, diversity, agenda and indolence.

Readers may recall that when this was first reported the crime was blamed on right-wing  agent provocateurs. To recap:-

Dennis Fletcher, chairman of East Staffordshire Racial Equality Council, said he suspected someone from the far right was responsible.  “I suspect members of the far right have done this to stir things up and there are generally very good inter-cultural relations in East Staffordshire. Graffiti of any type is terrible but when it includes racist material it has to be considered utterly unacceptable.”

So it is racist when it might have written by the far right, but not so when DNA evidence and a confession show it to have been writen by a Muslim, who, one assumes, meant the statement literally. And surely calling for the death of someone is a crime over and above criminal damage. The drunken student who urinated on a war memorial only narrowly escaped a prison sentence last year because he was genuinely contrite and there was no malice in his actions; he was too drunk to know where he was. This traitors actions were deliberate.

Posted on 04/30/2010 4:06 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 30 April 2010
A Musical Interlude: Jimmy (Irene Dunne)

Listen here.



Posted on 04/30/2010 6:05 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
British taxpayer forced to fork out for Jihadi molls

If you give money to Muslim "charities" to help "families in need" you may as well cut out the middleman and buy the jihadis a bomb belt. Aid to jihadi wives and families simply frees up money for terrorism that would otherwise be spent supporting them. Give to Hamas (and, incidentally, Noraid) and you're a terrorist enabler. But at least you have a choice. The British taxpayer, on the contrary, has been forced into this invidious position. Jizyah alert from The Times:

Curbs on state handouts to wives of terrorist suspects were ruled illegal yesterday by European judges and may have to be relaxed.

The European Court of Justice ruled that Britain was wrong to restrict social security payments to the wives of three men on a list of people with alleged links to al-Qaeda, the Taleban and Osama bin Laden.

Suspects on the list, which was drawn up by a UN sanctions committee, have their funds and other assets frozen as part of attempts to cut off funding to terrorists.

Under the Treasury rules, benefits such as income support, child support and housing assistance must be paid into a bank account and the spouse can draw only up to £10 in cash for each member of her household. All other payments from the account must be

The spouses, all living in Britain with their husbands and children, must submit a monthly account to the Treasury, detailing all spending and including receipts for any goods bought and copies of bank statements so that officials can check that the purchases do not exceed “basic expenses”.

The women challenged the conditions, claiming a violation of their rights, and the case was referred to the European Court of Justice by the House of Lords. The women argued that while their husbands were subject to an asset freeze, they themselves were not, and should continue to receive social security aid such as child benefit and housing support.

Notice that these women, submissive under Islam, show no such humility when it comes to demanding money from the infidel taxpayer.

The judges agreed yesterday, ruling: “The freezing of funds of persons with suspected links to bin Laden, al-Qaeda or the Taleban does not apply to certain social security benefits paid to their spouses. The regulation ordering funds to be frozen applies only to assets that can be used to support terrorist activities.”

The Treasury’s interpretation that “by receiving state benefits, the wives indirectly make funds available for the benefit of their husbands, is not based on any danger whatsoever that the funds in question may be diverted in order to support terrorist activities”.

The judges added: “It is hard to imagine how those funds could be turned into means that could be used to support terrorist activities, for the benefits are fixed at a level intended to meet only the strictly vital needs of the person concerned.”

The British authorities had ordered that payments, such as child benefit, housing benefit and income support, should be withheld from people named on the UN list, which requires an assets freeze.

No one had argued that the wives handed over the state benefits to their husbands instead of using them for household expenses, the judges said.

They concluded that the benefits that a person on the list might indirectly derive from the social allowances paid to his spouse did not compromise the objective of the regulations.

A Treasury spokesman said that the case would be referred back to the Supreme Court for a final ruling. Yesterday's judgment is believed to affect fewer than a dozen people currently in Britain.

It's a dozen too many. Muslim wives must, by the obedience demanded under Islam, be complicit in their husbands' crimes. And their children are Jihadis in waiting. Deport the lot.

Posted on 04/30/2010 6:50 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 30 April 2010
L'escort-girl et les footballeurs

Quelque chose pour le weekend, monsieur? As well as being perfidious and unwashed, the French can't even speak French and now speak Franglais:

Elle assure également ne pas avoir dit aux footballeurs incriminés qu’elle était mineure. «J’ai toujours fait plus vieille que mon âge et, quand j’ai compris que je plaisais aux hommes, je me suis dit : "Pourquoi ne pas en profiter"», explique-t-elle.

L'escort-girl? Don't the French have a dozen far more elegant words for a slapper? The Times reports:

In Britain it would be a classic tabloid scoop — a front page featuring a blonde teenager who recounts her nocturnal adventures with football stars.

Yet when the glossy weekly Paris Match ran an interview yesterday with an escort girl who allegedly slept with three members of France’s national team it was a milestone for the Gallic media, which has traditionally scoffed at kiss-and-tell stories.

“It is the first time I have seen this here,” Renaud Revel, a media commentator for L’Express magazine, said. “It means we have turned a corner and we are on the slippery slope towards Anglo-Saxon customs. It’s sad but I think it’s irreversible.”

Tant piss.

Posted on 04/30/2010 7:06 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 30 April 2010
A Phrase I Can't Stand

In a review by Simon Callow of Stanley Wells' new book on Shakespeare and sex I came across this: 

"Wells's concise and elegantly written book subtly and systematically illuminates Shakespeare's acknowledgment of the glory and the horror of what it is to be fully human...."

What does this phrase  -- "what it is to be fully human"  --mean? You see it a lot.  I can't stand it. Can you?

Posted on 04/30/2010 7:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
A Word Again To The Would-Be Wise In Their Generation
Posted here on Wednesday, 7 May 2008:
Stuff You Shouldn't Bother Your Pretty Little Head With
The Dark Night of the Soul. Man's Inhumanity To Man. Stuff like that.
Posted on 04/30/2010 8:12 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
For Some, Apparently, History Is Whatever They Want It To Be
Bouchareb film slammed for 'falsifying' history of French-Algerian massacre
A film picked to compete at the forthcoming Cannes Film Festival, French-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb’s Outside of the Law (Hors la loi), has caused a storm following charges of historical inaccuracy.
By FRANCE 24 (text)

A film picked to compete at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, French-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb’s "Outside of the Law" (Hors la loi), has caused a storm following charges of historical inaccuracy. The flaring tempers come on the heels of another Cannes-related controversy surrounding the inclusion of a film by pro-Putin Russian auteur Nikita Mikhalkov in this year’s selection.

Lionnel Luca, a French deputy from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right ruling party, has accused Bouchareb of “falsifying” history. "Outside of the Law" examines the legacy of the notorious Sétif massacre of 1945: the Algerian uprising against occupying French forces on the day after World War II ended -- as well as France’s suppression of the uprising -- resulted in mass deaths on both sides. Algerian casualties were estimated in the thousands and those of the Europeans, or “pied noirs”, were estimated in the hundreds.

“I don’t think Mr. Bouchareb is doing a good deed by saying in his film that on one side there were victims, and on the other there were bad guys”, said Luca, a representative from France’s south-eastern Alpes-Maritime region. Luca has not yet seen the film, but he voiced his disagreement with its portrayal of events after reading interviews with writer-director Bouchareb.

A screenplay full of ‘errors and anachronisms’

The film tells the story of three Algerian brothers – and survivors of the Setif massacres – who leave their birth country for France, where they become involved in the movement for Algerian independence. In an interview with Algerian newspaper “El Watan”, Bouchareb said one of the film’s ambitions was to “shed light on this bit of history that the two countries share” and to “restore a historical truth that has been tucked away”.

The film is an Algerian-French-Belgian co-production, but was selected for Cannes as a film representing Algeria, and not France. Luca told FRANCE 24 that he may be responsible for this decision to avoid labelling the film as French, despite the film’s French-born director, actors who are well-known in the French film world, and partial French financing.

After the interviews he read led him to suspect that Bouchareb’s account of the massacre might be inaccurate, Luca asked the Defence Ministry’s historical service to submit a “historical opinion” on the film’s screenplay.

“Mr. Bouchareb has the right to tell the story of what he thinks is true, but I didn’t want the film to be categorised as French,” Luca explained. “His truth is not France’s truth”.

The report from the Defence Ministry confirmed that the film’s screenplay indeed contained “errors and anachronisms so numerous and obvious that they could be seized on by any historian”.

Regarding the portrayal of the Sétif massacre, the report states: “The director wants to suggest that on May 8, 1945, Muslims in Sétif were blindly massacred by Europeans, whereas it’s the contrary that transpired….all historians agree on that….Europeans lashed out against Muslims in response to Muslims massacring Europeans”.

Neither director Bouchareb nor the Cannes selection committee was available for comment on the flap, or the decision to have the film compete as an Algerian entry.

Bouchareb vied for the Palme d’Or in 2006 with his film "Days of Glory" (Indigènes), which told the story of North African soldiers who fought for France in World War II.

Posted on 04/30/2010 8:58 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
Taqiyya And Kitman (In Finnish)

Jihad Wat­chin johtokun­nan varapuheenjohtaja Hugh Fitzgerald esittää lyhyesti, mistä taqiyy­assa ja kitmanissa, petollisuuden kahdessa eri muodossa, on ky­symys.

Taqiyya on uskonnollisesti pyhitetty doktriini, jonka alkuperä on shii­alai­suu­dessa mutta jota harjoittavat nyt myös muut kuin shiiat. Se tar­koit­taa uskon­nolli­sia asioita koskevaa tahallista valheellisuutta (tees­kente­lyä, todellisten in­ten­tioi­den kätkemistä), johon voidaan ryhtyä is­lamin ja uskovien suojelemiseksi. Toi­nen samansukuinen termi, jonka sovellusala on laajempi, on “kitman”, ja se mää­ritellään “mentaaliseksi varauk­seksi”. Esimerkkinä taqiyyasta voisi olla se, kun islamia puolusteleva muslimi väittää, että “tie­tenkin” islamissa on omantunnonva­paus, ja si­teeraa sitten Ko­raanin jaetta (2:256): “Ei uskontoon pakoteta.” An­nettu vaiku­telma on kuitenkin väärä, sillä sen yhteydessä ei mainita islamin doktriinia nask­hista eli kumoamisesta, jonka mukaan Koraanin myö­hemmin annetut jakeet, jotka ovat paljon suvaitsemattomampia ja jul­mempia, kumoa­vat sellaiset varhai­semmat jakeet, kuten “ei uskontoon pakoteta”. Historia joka ta­pa­uksessa osoit­taa, että islamin sisällä on ja on aina ollut “uskon­non­pakko” niin musli­meille kuin muillekin.

“Kitman” on taqiyyaa muistuttava käytäntö, mutta suoranaisen valeh­te­lemisen sijaan se viittaa puolittaisen totuuden kertomiseen tietyllä “men­taalisella vara­uksella”, joka oi­keuttaa loppuosan poisjättämisen. Yksi esimerkki riittää. Kun muslimi väittää, että “ji­had” merkitsee todel­lisuu­dessa “henkistä kilvoittelua”, eikä tule lisänneeksi, että tuo määri­telmä on islamissa kehitelty vasta äskettäin (hieman yli sata vuotta sit­ten), hän johdattaa harhaan salaamalla tuon tiedon ja harjoittaa täten “kitmania”. Kitmanin harjoittamisesta on kyse myös silloin, kun hän tuon arvelutta­van väitteensä tukemi­seksi esittää hadithin, jossa (tietyn to­distajaketjun eli isnadin perusteella) Muhamma­din mainitaan eräältä lukui­sista sota­retkiltään palatessaan sanoneen palaavansa pie­nem­mästä jihadista ryh­tyäk­seen suurempaan jihadiin, ja kun hän ei lisää tä­hän sitä to­deksi tietä­määnsä seik­kaa, että tämä on “heikko” hadith, jota useimmat arvos­tetut mu­haddithinit pitä­vät alkuperältään epäilyttävänä.


Posted on 04/30/2010 8:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
What's wrong with Labour?

In case any New English Review readers are wondering what my politics are, having bashed the Liberal Democrats, I will now bash Labour. But I don't need to - even its supporters at Harry's Place have gone off them. Here's why, from commenter Joseph K. Not to be confused with Joseph K, even though the confusion, indeed any confusion, might be suitably Kafkaesque:

Labour is simply no longer the party of the white working class. It has been captured by the liberal metropolitan middle-class. Labour has drifted so far from its roots that it has lost its way. It no longer understands white working class voters because its upper hierarchy has no connection with white working class voters. (Let’s be honest about this, many of them don’t really like white working class people.)

I mean, the party’s idea of appealing to its traditional voters is to wheel out John Prescott, a semi-literate jibbering troglodyte whom Labour probably believes epitomises the working class male. He doesn’t. He’s an embarrassing arsehole.

Labour’s white working-class vote has collapsed in the South, and is declining in the North. The likes of Mandelson and Ed Balls, of Tristram Hunt and “BevaniteEllie” – these are the faces of the modern Labour party. Moneyed, middle-class and totally removed from life as lived by its [rapidly shrinking] core vote.


Posted on 04/30/2010 11:41 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 30 April 2010
A Musical Interlude: Kissing In The Dark (Memphis Minnie)

Listen here.

Posted on 04/30/2010 12:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
Learned Hand On "The Spirit Of Liberty"

We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion. Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. For this reason we have some right to consider ourselves a picked group, a group of those who had the courage to break from the past and brave the dangers and the loneliness of a strange land. What was the object that nerved us, or those who went before us, to this choice? We sought liberty; freedom from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. This we then sought; this we now believe that we are by way of winning. What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it. And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.

"What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. And now in that spirit, that spirit of an America which has never been, and which may never be; nay, which never will be except as the conscience and courage of Americans create it; yet in the spirit of that America which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all; in the spirit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting and dying; in that spirit of liberty and of America I ask you to rise and with me pledge our faith in the glorious destiny of our beloved country.”

Posted on 04/30/2010 12:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
Martha Minow On How Harvard Law School Is "Exposing To The Light Of Inquiry " Certain "False Views"

“Here at Harvard Law School, we are committed to preventing degradation of any individual or group, including race-based insensitivity or hostility. The particular comment in question unfortunately resonates with old and hurtful misconceptions. As an educational institution, we are especially dedicated to exposing to the light of inquiry false views about individuals or groups. [...] This sad and unfortunate incident prompts both reflection and reassertion of important community principles and ideals. We seek to encourage freedom of expression, but freedom of speech should be accompanied by responsibility. This is a community dedicated to intellectual pursuit and social justice. The circulation of one student’s comment does not reflect the views of the school or the overwhelming majority of the members of this community.”

The incident in question was a private email sent by a third-year student to a few of her friends. In that email she mused on the matter of intelligence, heredity, race without coming to a firm conclusion or even a non-firm conclusion. Her animadversions, made public, have caused a tremendous fuss and nonstop denunciations. You can read the details here. You can read what Dean Martha Minow of Harvard Law School wrote in response, or at least one ex-ungue-leonem paragraph excerpted from her response, just above.

Many things in this paragraph cry out for comment. The most obvious one is her misuse of the word "degradation." She apparently could not stop to fish up from her memory the word she wanted: it's "denigration."

I'll fill in the rest later.


Posted on 04/30/2010 12:54 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
Morality, Emotion Markers and Social Change
by Thomas J. Scheff  (May 2010)          

Experts agree that emotion and feeling are important for many reasons. However, there may be a reason little mentioned as yet: emotions can serve to distinguish what is important to the individual from myriads of cognitions that are not. (Nussbaum 2001 takes a different path but also concludes that emotions serve as markers for values.) Many basic problems arise because modern societies give emotions short shrift.  What relevance might such ideas have to the study of morality, and toward changing our society? more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2010 4:46 PM by NER
Friday, 30 April 2010
On the other hand

For those Muslims happy to risk eternal fire and no virgins by voting the British Muslim Initiative have released their list of candidates most likely to behave in the Muslim interest. HT Dominique.
Among others they reckon Margaret Hodge in Barking (not Nick Nick? Why ever not???) Gruesome Galloway, Abjol Miah and Salmonella Yaqoob for Respect in Limehouse, Bethnal Green and Birmingham Hall Green respectively. Caroline Lucas the Green in Brighton Pavillion (saw lots of her window posters on Sunday) and Shahid Malik (insh'allah) in Dewsbury.

Posted on 04/30/2010 4:43 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 30 April 2010
Confucius: Disorder In Words Must Not Be Tolerated

Theodore Dalrymple mentions the passage in the Analects where Confucius talks  of  confusion -- or rather, "disorder" -- in words. In an article  he posted on Jan. 1 2008 o he made mention of the same passage, and at the time I posted  a comment which,  instead of putting up again at his article this month, I will raise to the level of a posting, as below: 

1 Jan 2008
Hugh Fitzgerald

Confucius  is mentioned, and allusion made to his preoccupation with words, in the article above.

Frederick Ungar, in his introduction to Karl Kraus' book, "The Last Days of Mankind," writes that Kraus often quoted Confucius:

"If concepts are not right, words are not true; if words are not true, works are not achieved; if works are not achieved, morality and the arts do not thrive; if morality and the arts do not thrive, justice miscarries; if justice miscarries, the nation does not know where to put its feet and hands. Therefore, disorder in words must not be tolerated."


Posted on 04/30/2010 4:50 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 30 April 2010
Muslims and Westerners: The Psychological Differences

by Nicolai Sennels (May 2010)

February 27th 2008. On a cold and windy Wednesday (for cyclists like myself), I took a deep breath, grabbed the microphone and did something that changed my life. more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2010 4:51 PM by NER
Friday, 30 April 2010
Brother Tariq and the Muslim Hoods: Towards a Taxonomy of Islamic Subterfuges

by Ibn Warraq (May 2010)

Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan

By Caroline Fourest, Foreword by Denis MacShane
New York & London, Encounter Books, 2008
Notes, Index. xv + 262 pp.

Faith, here's an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to Heaven. Oh, come in, equivocator.
             -- William Shakespeare Macbeth, II.3


Posted on 04/30/2010 4:57 PM by NER
Friday, 30 April 2010
Kati Comes Home: East European Jewry Confronts Its Holocaust Secrets

by Thomas Ország-Land (May 2010)

Kati Marton, an award-winning American foreign correspondent, was researching a book on the Holocaust when a chance remark by a survivor changed her life. The book was about Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands of Hungarian Jewish lives during the Second World War. “What a pity, my dear,“ the old woman told the visiting journalist, “that this man arrived too late to save your own grandparents from the gas chambers...” more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2010 5:07 PM by NER
Friday, 30 April 2010
Implacable Muslim Hatred of Jews
by Jerry Gordon (May 2010)

Al-Yahud: Eternal Islamic Enmity & the Jews
By Elias Al-Maqdisi & Sam Solomon
ANM Publishers
PO. BOX 5303
Charlottesville, Virginia 22905

Sam Solomon and the late Elias Al-Maqdisi have produced in Al-Yahud an indictment of the implacable Islamic hatred towards Jews and Christians. The authors present the exegesis of primal hatred at the core of the Quranic Canon, but they do something more. They make the connection between the doctrinal hatred of Jews and denial of ancient Biblical claims to the Holy Land of Jews and Christians. more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2010 5:11 PM by NER
Friday, 30 April 2010
Baltic Rebirth and the Zionist Staging Ground for a Jewish State

by Norman Berdichevsky (May 2010)

ike the Jews, the Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians maintained a distinct and isolated cultural heritage stemming from pre-Christian times, suffered the persecution of militant Crusaders (the Teutonic Knights considered it a holy task to Christianize or exterminate them from the 12th to the 14th centuries); were victims of the intolerant designs of the Russian and German empires to assimilate "peculiar" minorities; enjoyed a late flowering national renaissance based first and foremost upon the ancestral languages, sustained a far flung Diaspora (for the Balts in Scandinavia, Canada, Australia and the United States); and strove to bring about reborn national states committed to democratic ideals but surrounded by aggressive and hostile neighbors. more>>>

Posted on 04/30/2010 5:18 PM by NER
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