These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 4, 2009.
Monday, 4 May 2009
Hackney Ups and Downs
Today’s Times has an obituary of John Kemp, headmaster – these days he would be blandly unsexed as “headteacher” - of Hackney Downs School. A grammar school boy himself, he appears to have suffered from delusional socialist ideals of equality of outcome, favouring the disastrous comprehensive system that ruined his school and countless other grammar schools. The school was also ruined by the transition of its intake from Jews – clever, well-behaved, hard-working – to Muslims. The emphasis is mine:
As the last long-serving teacher and headmaster of Hackney Downs School, John Kemp saw its successful transition from grammar to comprehensive school and then fought a losing battle to hold the school together as the social composition of the area changed and fissured.
In the six years following his retirement in 1989, after 35 years at the school, there were four heads or acting heads and seven key departmental heads left the school. The school was closed in 1995 — to the bewilderment of an earlier generation of old boys — and Hackney Downs gained the title of the worst school in Britain.
But back in the “white heat of technology” age of the 1960s, Kemp and his colleagues welcomed Harold Wilson’s Labour government policy to abolish the 11-plus exam, which divided all state pupils into bright grammar school pupils and dull secondary modern failures. While top grammar schools around the country voted to go independent rather than lose control over admissions, Hackney Downs saw the radical move as an opportunity to improve its service to the community. It voted to go comprehensive in 1969.
Kemp was acutely aware of deprivation in the borough, especially after a fire at the school in 1963 led to temporary accommodation in a rundown, half-empty secondary modern school. Appalled and embarrassed at the gulf between the two sets of pupils, idealistic staff became even more enthusiastic and optimistic about spreading the benefits of a successful school.
They were also blessed with an exceptional crop of local lads. The London Borough of Hackney, created in 1963, covered an area favoured by Jewish families as a first stage in lifting themselves out of East End penury and overcrowding. The sons of these upwardly mobile families took easily to academic education and exam success. For several decades from the 1930s, more than half the school (founded in 1876 as the Grocer’s Company’s School for practical education for local boys and known as Hackney Downs Grammar School after being taken over by London County Council in 1906) was Jewish.
By the mid-1970s, however, the character of the pool from which the children came had changed dramatically. Jewish families moved out of Hackney and West Indian families moved in [….] Vandalism was not yet a problem, and strong discipline at home translated into good manners at school.
The intake changed yet again in the 1980s with the immigrant surge from the Asian sub-continent, including the first large group of Muslims. Subsequent waves of immigrants from countries such as Vietnam, Turkey (including Kurds) and Somalia, brought in children who had to learn English before starting the curriculum. In 1990 27 different home languages were counted at the school.
Internally there were cultural battles, as young boys born and initially bred outside Europe chafed under the authority of women teachers.
Kemp used all his skills to hold the warring factions apart. But he could only watch the implosion after he left.
Notice the euphemism “young boys born and initially bred outside Europe chafed under the authority of women teachers”. Could it be that these non-Europeans followed a religion whose non-European prophet proclaimed that men were in charge of women and could beat disobedient wives? Notice, too, that the writer explains away, even excuses, the behaviour and attitudes of these boys. They are mere victims of a non-European upbringing. Yet the Jews, many of whose parents and grandparents were also non-European, and who were living in the same poverty and deprivation, mysteriously managed to use Hackney “as a first stage in lifting themselves out of East End penury”.
This obituary gives the lie to the argument that poverty is always a barrier to educational attainment: for the grammar school boy it was not. It also makes a mockery of the idea that poverty causes crime, terrorism and all the other fruits of “diversity” that the Muslim “community” has brought us. Jewish immigrants were poorer, arriving at a time when there was no coddling by the welfare state. Yet they are among our most productive and law abiding citizens. The contrast with Muslims, pandered to as they plot our destruction, could not be greater.
Posted on 05/04/2009 7:11 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 4 May 2009
Islamic Games Suspended Over Gulf Row
You say Persian, I say Arabian, Persian! Arabian! Arabian! Persian!...Let's call the whole thing off. From the Guardian (with thanks to del):
For millennia Iran has guarded the strategic waterway dividing it from its Arab neighbours as a symbol of national greatness that should be defended in name and deed.
But now its insistence that it be known only as the Persian Gulf threatens to torpedo ambitious plans for a sporting extravaganza intended to promote Islamic harmony.
Iran announced it was cancelling the Islamic Solidarity Games planned for October rather than bow to Arab demands that the Persian tag be dropped from the competition's medals and promotional material. Arab nations, led by Saudi Arabia, refused to compete unless the waterway was called the Arabian Gulf or simply the Gulf.
The condition was too much for Iranian officials, who said they were abandoning the games after only 28 nations agreed to take part — compared with 55 who participated in the 2005 event in Saudi Arabia...
Posted on 05/04/2009 7:16 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 4 May 2009
Kumar: Obama's Aid to Pakistan is Misguided
Vijay Kumar, whom we profiled here during his run for Congress, has an Op Ed in The Tennessean:
The brazen, unhindered advance of Taliban militants in Pakistan threatens the world once gain with the specter of universal jihad.
The consolidation of Islamic imperialism in the Pakistani heartland underscores the futility of U.S. efforts to prop up Pakistan's ruling generals with massive amounts of foreign aid. The military, riddled with Taliban sympathizers in its lower ranks and corruption at the top, has looked the other way while the militants gained strength, and has ceded swaths of territory to them.
Given Pakistan's complicity with the Taliban, it is foolhardy for the Obama administration to attempt to buy security. Money sent to Islamabad will fall into the wrong hands and come back to haunt the U.S. and its allies. It will be used in attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan; it will be used to terrorize India and Israel.
It is only a matter of time until the Taliban has imposed its ironclad will on the people of Pakistan, much as it did in Afghanistan before 9/11. U.S. bankrolling of a Pakistani regime rife with Taliban proxies will not succeed; it is like putting a Band-aid on leprosy. America needs to unite and work with nations that historically have been victims of jihad, not those that are its progenitors...
Posted on 05/04/2009 7:24 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 4 May 2009
Crooke Gone Native
Alistair Crooke is profiled in New Duranty:
TALKING to Islamists is the new order of the day in Washington and London. The Obama administration wants a dialogue with Iran, and the British Foreign Office has decided to reopen diplomatic contacts with Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group based here.
But for several years, small groups of Western diplomats have made quiet trips to Beirut for confidential sessions with members of Hamas, Hezbollah and other Islamist groups they did not want to be seen talking to. In hotel conference rooms, they would warily shake hands, then spend hours listening and hashing out accusations of terrorism on one side and imperial arrogance on the other.
The organizer of these back-door encounters is Alastair Crooke, a quiet, sandy-haired man of 59 who spent three decades working for MI6, the British secret intelligence service. He now runs an organization here called Conflicts Forum, with an unusual board of advisers that includes former spies, diplomats and peace activists.
Mr. Crooke has spent much of his career talking to Islamists. In the 1980s, as a young undercover agent in Pakistan and Afghanistan, he helped funnel weapons to jihadists fighting the Soviets. Later, he spent years working with Hamas and Fatah as a negotiator for the European Union, and helped broker a number of cease-fires with Israel between 2001 and 2003. He earned a reputation for courage and tenacity, but in person he is disarmingly polite and mild-mannered, a slight-figured man with a beaky, impish smile.
The mission of Conflicts Forum, which he founded in 2004, resembles a kind of blueprint for the Obama administration’s current outreach efforts: to “open a new relationship between the West and Muslim world” through dialogue and better mutual understanding.
Yet Mr. Crooke, who is legendary for his deep network of contacts among Islamist groups across the Middle East, is not sanguine about the prospects for mere dialogue, especially with Iran.
“I think there is a real fear there will be a process of talking past each other,” Mr. Crooke said. “The Iranians will say, ‘we want to talk about justice and respect.’ The U.S. will say, ‘are you willing to give up enrichment or not?’ ”
To get past that impasse with Iran, and with Islamist groups generally, the West will need to change its diplomatic language of threats and rewards, Mr. Crooke said, and show more respect for their adversaries’ point of view.
Mr. Crooke has spent the past few years trying to explain that to suspicious Westerners, in a stream of articles, speeches and conferences. Although not an Arabist by training, he has developed a deep knowledge of modern Islamist movements, and launches easily into analyses of Palestinian politics, or even of medieval Islamic philosophy.
Recently, he has taken his explanatory efforts a bit further. In a new book, “Resistance: the Essence of the Islamist Revolution,” he deliberately avoids the most controversial subjects, like Israel and the status of women in the Islamic world. Instead, he focuses on what he calls the core of the Islamist revolution, which he defines as a metaphysical resistance to the West’s market-based definition of the individual and society. He invokes European social critics like Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, endorsing their critiques of Western thinking and arguing that Islamism offers a more holistic model.
NOT surprisingly, the book has received some stinging reviews, and renewed accusations that Mr. Crooke has gone native. Even some of his fellow board members at Conflicts Forum say they are a little baffled — not by his sympathy for Islamists, but by the book’s broad philosophical themes.
Yes, we all know where his sympathies lie, which makes all the more disturbing the fact that his ideas are being taken seriously.
Posted on 05/04/2009 9:08 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 4 May 2009
Eagleton's Puzzling Last Sentence
The last two sentences in Terry Eagleton's essay here and also his new book, “Reason, Faith and Revolution, are these: "There are no guarantees that such a transfigured future will ever be born. But it might arrive a little earlier if liberal dogmatists, doctrinaire flag-wavers for Progress, and Islamophobic intellectuals got out of its way."
Yet it seems that in neither the essay nor the book, at least according to this review by Stanley Fish, is Islam discussed at all. Instead, Eagleton seems to discuss Western theology in opposition to secularism, and especially pop-atheism, which he disdains, but not Islam. So why the gratuitous final swipe at "Islamophobic intellectuals"?
If he assumes that Islam is anchored in transcendental values, he is wrong.
Posted on 05/04/2009 9:43 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 4 May 2009
Gingrich: 'Obama Endangering Israel'
In case you haven't noticed, the Gingrich 2012 campaign is already up and running. Jerusalem Post:
Former US House speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday blasted the Obama administration for setting itself on a collision course with Israel and endangering the Jewish state, ahead of his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
"They are systematically setting up the most decisive confrontation that we've ever seen," the leading Republican politician told The Jerusalem Post, referring to news reports about the administration's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"There's almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world," he said, speaking to the Post ahead of his speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual conference.
He called US President Barack Obama's program of engagement on Iran a "fantasy," and his Middle East policies "very dangerous for Israel." He summed up Obama's approach as "the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter."
If Obama is Carter, then Gingrich is...Reagan. Not very subtle, but effective. And of course, he's right on target about Israel. I thought he should have been chosen as Secretary of State over Condoleeza Rice at the time but, W. didn't take my advice. However, Gingrich is now well positioned for the next Presidential run.
Instead, he maintained, the US should be sending the message to Israel that "we are for the survival of Israel" and that "we are not going to tolerate Iran getting nuclear weapons."...
Simple, obvious, correct.
Posted on 05/04/2009 10:07 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 4 May 2009
Israelis Overwhelmingly Support Military Action Against Iran's Nukes
Even if the Obama administration doesn't like it. From the Jerusalem Post:
A vast majority (66%) of Israelis said they would support military action if diplomatic and economic efforts failed to get Iran to stop uranium enrichment, and of that number, 75% would support this action even if the Obama administration were opposed, according to a survey jointly commissioned by Bar-Ilan University's BESA center and the ADL, published on Sunday.
Gilboa noted that throughout the survey, the younger respondents, aged 18 to 41, were more hawkish in their views than the older ones.
Gilboa said that, counterintuitively, the younger respondents had less trust in Obama and were more in favor of military action against Iran, even against US wishes.
He said this represented a degree of distrust among the youth of politicians and politics as usual, and said the attitude was consistent with the fact that Israeli youth voted more heavily for Israel Beiteinu in the last elections than their elders.
Posted on 05/04/2009 12:33 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 4 May 2009
Wakefield jail on high alert after suspected Muslim extremist escape plot
From The Mirror
A top-security jail has been placed on high alert over intelligence reports of an escape plot by Muslim extremists.
Wakefield jail has turned its gym into a makeshift mosque so inmates can be better policed after its chapel was ruled too high a risk.
Up to 70 inmates - including al-Qaeda fanatic Kamel Bourgass - now hold two-hour prayer sessions there while the room is double-locked and patrolled by 12 officers with dogs.
The alarm was triggered by reports of an escape bid similar to the one foiled at Sutton jail, East Yorks, last month in which nine inmates - including convicted terrorists - planned to escape by helicopter. A Wakefield insider said: "The Governor is not taking any chances.
"Inmates usually pray alone in cells but are allowed to come together for religious services once a week. Muslims meet an Imam and read the Koran as in the ordinary chapel, but the gym is bigger and more secure. All eyes are on them during prayer time, more so now than ever."
The switch to the gym was introduced two weeks ago, shortly after details of the Sutton plot emerged.
Wakefield holds some of the most dangerous prisoners in the penal system, with about two-thirds of the 740 male inmates serious sex offenders.
A Prison Service spokesman said: "Security procedures in prisons are dynamic and intelligence-led. Every establishment is made aware of potential threats to security and action is taken as necessary."
Posted on 05/04/2009 3:36 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 4 May 2009
Assaults on young women cyclists in Gouda
So far as I can tell these are two separate incidents occuring a day or two apart in Gouda, the Netherlands.
This is Atlas Shrugs' precis of a translation of an article in Dutch in Algemeen Dagblad.
In the city of Gouda, which is already known for the attacks of muslim youth on bus drivers, ambulance helpers, fire workers and police officers, now 2 Moroccans are arrested because of stoning Dutch girls.
Monday afternoon, two girls riding on their bicycles were first verbally attacked and called "cancer-ho" and other insulting illnesses by islamic youth. They started bicycling faster to get away from that area, but the muslims followed them and caused them to stop. They then started throwing stoned at them, hitting the heads of the girls. They also took the bicycles from the girls and threw these on the girls.
At least 5 muslim boys were involved, but only 2 young ones were arrested by the police in the age of 13 and 15.
This incident took place on Monday 27th April and was reported on Thursday 30th.
The original Dutch language report is here, with the Google translation into English here. I was trying to find a report in one of the English language Dutch newspapers but what I found was this which looks to be a separate incident in the same area by a similar sounding group of boys.
From Expatica.com on Tuesday 28 April about a crime committed during the weekend 25/26 April. Confirmed by Dutch News.
Five boys aged between seven and 12 have been arrested on suspicion of assault in Gouda.
Over the weekend, the five boys are alleged to have stopped an 18-year-old woman as she was cycling on a narrow bike path behind the football field and handled her indecently.
The woman eventually managed to break loose and called the police, who soon after rounded up all five attackers aged seven, eight, nine, 10 and 12.
This is the first time a boy of seven years old has been arrested for assault in the Netherlands.
The incident took place in the afternoon as hundreds of spectators were watching a football match between Ajax and Jodan Boys.
The boys, who have since been sent home, will not be prosecuted legally because of their age. The case is now in the hands of the juvenile court.
These two reports do not say that the boys were Moroccan but I would put money on the boys being the same gang.
Posted on 05/04/2009 3:58 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 4 May 2009
The AIPAC Case Needs Answers: AMCHA Will Make Sure We Get Them
In the wake of the government dropping its four year long case against former AIPAC lobbyists, Ken Rosen and Steve Weissman, the decision has raised serious questions about why the FBI and the Federal prosecutors pursued an obvious scam based on a hoary 1917 Espionage law. We had written about the case against the two former AIPAC lobbyists for over four years and posted our comment on the government’s decision, here. The Wall Street Journal in a Weekend edition editorial, “The AIPAC Case Fallout” noted:
But Washington is not a normal world, and this prosecution needs to be understood in the context in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and the swirl of conspiracy theories about "neocon" and Jewish influence over U.S. policy. In this bizarro reading of events, President Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice chose to invade Iraq due to the influence of Jewish officials such as Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby and Richard Perle. One sign of those times: In the immediate aftermath of Mr. Franklin's arrest, CBS's Lesley Stahl asked whether "Israel [used] the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?" In other words, the AIPAC case resembled a political hit more than a legitimate "espionage" case.
The same goes for the recent fallout involving Ms. Harman. Late last month, Congressional Quarterly reported that Ms. Harman and a person described as a "suspected Israeli agent" had been wiretapped by the government sometime before the 2006 election in which she allegedly agreed to intervene with the Bush Administration on behalf of Messrs. Weissman and Rosen.
In exchange, the unnamed "agent" is said to have promised Ms. Harman lobbying help in her effort to chair the Intelligence Committee, where she was then the ranking minority member, if Democrats won Congress. The Democrats did win the House, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed over Ms. Harman in favor of Texan Sylvestre Reyes.
As for the charge of influence peddling, Ms. Harman told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that she "didn't contact the Justice Department or anybody in the Administration, ever, asking for lenient sentences for anybody." Ms. Harman has also written Attorney General Holder demanding that he release the full transcript of the wiretapped conversation. We're told Mr. Holder hasn't responded.
A JTA report today discussed the reaction of mainstream Jewish organization about the government dropping the case against the former AIPAC officials.
“I'm relieved and happy” for Rosen and Weissman and “happy for the community,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of President of Major American Jewish Organizations, but “I think there are a lot of questions that need to be addressed."
Hoenlein questioned “the justification” for the case and the decision to bring charges under a law that had barely been used in more than 90 years.
“You don't want to reopen the whole case, but you have to look at the damage that was done,” Hoenlein said.
Alone among Jewish groups, the Washington arm of AMCHA - a Jewish civil and human rights group founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss in New York - headed by Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld did something. They filed an amicus brief in 2007 requesting that the trial be public. None of the mainstream Jewish groups did that. AMCHA is doing more now that the case has been dropped. It is filing a Federal Freedom of Information Act (FFOIA) request to try and get to the bottom of why this case was brought.
Note what Rabbi Herzfeld said in the JTA report:
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, vice president of AMCHA -The Coalition for Jewish Concerns, says his organization will file a Freedom of Information Act on Monday in an effort to “get some answers” to questions such as “who approved the investigation.”
“We are very, very happy this has been dismissed,” said Herzfeld, but “for us this is not over, this is the beginning.”
“The government should not be able to get away with this,” he said.
AMCHA was the only Jewish group that filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the case. The 2007 submission, in response to a government request that the trial be closed to the public, argued that it was in the interest of the U.S. Jewish community for the trial to be open and compared the case to the Dreyfus affair.
Herzfeld called the failure of many in the Jewish community to speak out on Rosen and Weissman's behalf until recently “disappointing,” but said the focus should now be on the government.
Rosen, one of the AIPAC former officials accused in the matter, has filed a multi-million dollar action against his former employer, AIPAC, for essentially abandoning them and throwing them under the bus. While the ADL, AJC and Malcolm Hoenlein of the COPMAJO pontificate about finding answers, none of them showed up at the proceedings to defend Rosen and Weissman against a patent scam. A scam perpetrated by a cabal of anti-Semites at COUTERINTELL in the FBI and federal prosecutors. We had written about this fairly early in the four year saga and watched the same federal cabal zero in on a Jewish CIA lawyer and press ahead with conviction of an Army engineer in his 80's and others in federal employment. Herzfeld and AMCHA were spot on in characterizing the Rosen Weissman AIPAC case as the equivalent of the Dreyfus trial in the 21st Century.
Ken Timmerman describes the vicious way in which the FBI and federal prosecutors 'got' Franklin to cooperate in his book, "The Shadow Warriors". Franklin got nailed because of his habit of taking classified documents for review at his West Virginia home. So the Feds gave him the option of providing the bread crumbs of alleged Iran nuclear threat information and war plans to Messrs. Rosen and Weissman. For his cooperation, Franklin pled guilty to a single charge of inappropriate handling of confidential materials and got sentenced to 12 years for essentially a misdemeanor.
Yes, there are lots of questions that need to be answered in the AIPAC case. Perhaps the FFOIA request by AMCHA will be the beginning of the unraveling of this nasty affair and abuse of federal prosecution authority and power. Rosen and Weissman deserve a special bill by Congress to bring a cause of action against the government for wrongful prosecution. Further, Larry Franklin’s sentencing deserves a Justice Department review and commutation of his current sentence to time served and released from Federal imprisonment. The Harman matter needs immediate investigation, as it bespeaks of another out of control move by the same Federal FBI and prosecutorial cabal.
Posted on 05/04/2009 4:57 PM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 4 May 2009
A Musical Interlude: Daddy Won't You Please Come Home? (Annette Hanshaw)
Posted on 05/04/2009 11:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald