These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 6, 2009.
Friday, 6 March 2009
Shirley gym club claims Muslim parents are forcing it out of school
From Croydon Today (Croydon is in south London, where London meets Surrey)
A gymnastics club claims it is being forced out of a school because Muslim parents do not want their daughters coming into contact with its male members.
Old Palace School has refused to deny the allegation about a move which has left Shirley Gymnastics Club desperately searching for a new home.
Club boss Colin Perry believes the school's commitment to multiculturalism has been compromised for fear of offending a minority of mums and dads.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "There is a group of Muslim parents with Muslim children at the school and they are the ones putting pressure on the headteacher. It makes me sad to say that."
The club, whose 250 members include 36 boys and 10 Old Palace pupils, has until April 3 to find a new home.
Mr Perry said:(of a meeting with Headteacher Judy Harris) "She said some of the parents have said their children go to an independent all girls school and unfortunately they're concerned because we have got boys in the club. She said to us that the school has got far more Muslim children than last year, so effectively we have to interpret that in our own way."
Councillor Dudley Mead is a governor at Old Palace and admitted he knew about the parents' concerns. He said: "That's the Muslim belief isn't it? They are very protective of their female children." Thats one way of putting it.
The school did offer a compromise, that the gym club could stay but start later at 6.30pm, rather than 5pm as at present, by which time pupils will be off the site.
But Mr Perry says this would be impractical as some sessions wouldn't end until 9.30pm, way too late for many of the club's young members.
Mrs Harris released a statement and refused to answer any further questions.
"It has not been a decision taken lightly but we have to consider the needs of the school and the security of the site given the very young age of our juniors."
Last year the school scrapped halal food from the menu after complaints from outraged parents.
The school also faced claims - which it denied - that a fundraising raffle was banned because it was a form of gambling which would offend Muslim parents.
Asked to deny Mr Perry's claim the decision was based on the concerns of these parents, the school said it didn't have "anything to add" to Mrs Harris' statement.
Posted on 03/06/2009 3:04 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 March 2009
'Anti-West' meeting clears scrutiny
A report in Bedford Today on the meeting of Hizb ut-Tahrir which took place on Tuesday evening.
On Tuesday evening the Hizb ut-Tahrir political party hosted a meeting at Queens Park Community Centre about a perceived bias by Western governments against Muslims.
The meeting was entitled 'The Campaign To Destroy Islam'.
Two speakers gave lectures to an audience of around 90 people.
One spoke about the abolition of the Muslim caliphate, or political leadership, in 1924. The other talked about Islamic values, and called for Muslims to reject "Western" concepts such as democracy and homosexuality.
The community centre is owned by Bedford Borough Council but is run by an indepedent committee.
A spokesman for the council said: "We have had no involvement in this meeting taking place. However, we work with all local communities to create a cleaner, greener, safer and more inclusive borough." I think that is the most stupid comment I have heard from an official since I was retired.
A Beds Police spokesman said: "This is a legal political group which has been meeting on a regular basis for some time – we are in regular contact with them and officers have previously attended their meetings.
"It is not part of the police role to have view on the political opinions of the public and the police do not have the power to ban public meetings."
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Taji Mustaffa said: "Who we are, and the work we do in the local community, is well-known. We call for Muslims to engage in debate and we address issues.
"Islam is under the spotlight and the government appears to be pursuing policies of concern to the Muslim community. People come to our meetings, they give their views, and it is part of a vibrant discussion we have in our community. I think that is something everyone would welcome."
Posted on 03/06/2009 3:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 March 2009
Terrorism trial to start for third time
I have absolutely no idea what is going on here and the national press are quiet on the subject.
From The Newham Recorder.
THE trial of eight men - including one from West Ham - accused of plotting to blow up transatlantic jets collapsed for a second time on Friday after further problems with jurors.
The first jury had been discharged for legal reasons after the case had been running for a day.
Prosecutors completed their opening speech for the second time on Wednesday and had started to call evidence when more legal issues arose.
Mr Justice Henriques was forced to discharge the second jury for reasons which are to be kept secret until the end of the case. Whenever that is.
He stressed that neither jury discharge was in any way attributable to any of the defendants.
Posted on 03/06/2009 4:20 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 6 March 2009
Does Religious Freedom in America Cover Jihad?
Dave Gaubatz writes at Faith Freedom:
...I have conducted first-hand research in Islamic Centers throughout Georgia. The Imams in many centers are telling the children to hate America, hate Israel, and to kill anyone who does not adhere to “pure Islam.” During the last two weeks I have conducted first-hand research at many Islamic Centers in Tennessee. It’s a very, very, dangerous situation. Muslim children are being encouraged by their Islamic leaders (trained in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) to follow Islamic terrorists like Ali Al Timimi (convicted and currently in U.S. prison for advocating terrorism against the U.S.) The Muslim children throughout the U.S. are being encouraged to learn how to use guns, bombs, and other weapons for the sole purpose of being utilized in Jihad Qital (physical Jihad) against their enemies in America.
In Blacksburg, Virginia, there is an Islamic scholar advocating to the students at Virginia Tech to commit treason against the U.S., instill Sharia Law, and to study the works of Islamic terrorists in order to meet these objectives.
How much do Fox, CBS, NBC, or other news (and I say this laughingly) outlets report on these incidents which threaten every child of every race, culture, and religion? Do the law enforcement officers who are our “first-line” defenders respond in force to Islamic Centers who are advocating sedition against our country? No. Why not? Simply because if an Islamic scholar tells a Muslim child to kill other students who do not follow “pure Islam,” or if the scholar tells husbands to beat their wife, or if the scholar informs Islamic Jihadists in America how to stay current on new weapons technology (such as biological and radioactive weapons) it is considered religious freedom. As an American I do not believe that when anyone tells a child to kill others and to commit treason against our country it is covered under any religion (even if told to the child in an Islamic school).
God help Islam if the best examples they can use as role models are Ahmad Sakr, Siraj Wahhaj, Ali Al Timimi, and Abul Mawdudi.
The following is a statement being streamed through the Internet to Muslims in America:
“You Islam heroes: America is falling down behind the mirage, so hit it with an iron hand so it wakes up from its dream. At last we ask Allah to grant success to the Mujahedeen, to enable them, to grant mercy on their martyrs, to cure their injured, to release their captives, to unify their efforts and enable them to defeat their enemies, Ameen.”
Posted on 03/06/2009 7:08 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 6 March 2009
Custard's last stand
From the BBC:
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has had green custard thrown over him by a protester as he arrived at the launch of a low-carbon summit in London.
The protester, Leila Deen, is a member of the Plane Stupid group campaigning against a third runway at Heathrow.
The move was a "last resort" after the democratic process failed, she said.
Lord Mandelson said security was a police matter but he did not want to "go back" to the 24-hour protection he had when Northern Ireland Secretary.
The business secretary said people should not "over-react" to the incident.
A mere trifle, you might say. Well, I might. I'm not too keen on Plane Stupid and their tactics, but it is good to see custard being thrown over Peter Mandelson for whatever reason.
In other news, the Bank of England is to save our economy by printing money. It calls this "quantitative easing". This is consistent with our Labour Government's education policy of excellence for all, or "qualitative easing".
Posted on 03/06/2009 7:57 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 6 March 2009
Powerline reports on the Brown-Obama gift scandal:
In connection with his visit to Washington this week British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave President Obama an interesting set of gifts. The Daily Mail reports:
Mr Brown's gifts included an ornamental desk pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, once named HMS President.
Mr Obama was so delighted he has already put it in pride of place in the Oval Office on the Resolute desk which was carved from timbers of Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute.
Another treasure given to the U.S. President was the framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to symbolise Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.
Finally, Mr Brown gave a first edition set of the seven-volume classic biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.
Elaborating on the history of HMS Gannet, Ted Bromund explains:
The ironies here are wonderful, though Obama doesn't seem likely to appreciate them. Of course, the reference to the anti-slavery mission is a nod to Obama's fascination, fervent but not deep, with Abraham Lincoln.
But HMS Gannet was not, as a casual reader might guess, employed against the trade of slaves from Africa to the New World, and since it was built in 1878, it has nothing to do with Lincoln or slavery in the United States. It sailed the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, patrolling against Islamist slavers. In the Red Sea, the Africans it saved would have come, among other places, from Kenya. Obama has made mention of his grandfather's antipathy to Britain, stemming from his experiences in colonial Kenya. It is quite possible that grandfather's ancestors would, had it not been for the Royal Navy, have been carried away to slavery in Arabia.
The British campaign against the slave trade is instructive for another, more important, reason. By volume of business, it was the Foreign Office's most important concern for much of the 19th century. In the courts of Europe and the New World, Britain sought to negotiate effective treaties against the trade. But Britain did not restrict itself to diplomacy. Far too often, treaties were negotiated and then not enforced. Britain's first response to this was usually to negotiate again, but its patience was not infinite
Here Bromund quotes an account of one of the ship's engagements:
[In June 1850], British warships entered Brazilian ports to flush out vessels being fitted for the slave trade. The subsequent burning and scuttling of suspected slave ships, and exchanges with coastal batteries, resulted in a predictable outcry in Brazil, including a call for the government to consider war with Britain. Wiser counsels prevailed, and in the summer of 1850 new legislation placed a comprehensive ban on the importation of slaves and measures for the seizure of vessels fitted for the trade. Unlike previous acts, these provisions were rigorously enforced and within twelve months the Brazilian slave trade was effectively extinct.
In return, President Obama gave Prime Minister Brown a 25-DVD box set of classic American films. Prime Minister Brown obviously sees the gift as something of an indignity. The Daily Mail reports that "No 10 had tried to keep the present a secret, refusing to answer reporters who asked what President Obama had given to mark the reaffirmation of the special relationship." Compared to the gifts brought for Obama by Brown, the DVDs are an embarrassment. Couldn't Obama at least have thrown in an an autographed copy of The Audacity of Hope?
Posted on 03/06/2009 9:07 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 6 March 2009
A Question of Responsibility
During a schizophrenic episode, the sufferer's mind supplies a "replacement reality" and he imagines things to be real that are not. A mind on Islam is similar. Islam supplies a replacement reality and the believer may imagine himself to be engaged in a heroic battle for God when in fact he is engaged in a cowardly act of psychopathic mass murder. Islam replaces God and reality for its believers. Are the believers, then, morally responsible?
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – A Canadian judge ruled Thursday that a man accused of beheading and cannibalizing a fellow Greyhound bus passenger is not criminally responsible due to mental illness. The decision means Chinese immigrant Vince Li will be treated in a mental institution instead of going to prison. The family of victim Tim McLean said Li got away with murder.
"A crime was still committed here, a murder still occurred," said Carol deDelley, McLean's mother. "There was nobody else on that bus holding a knife, slicing up my child."
Li stabbed McLean dozens of times and dismembered his body last July while horrified passengers fled.
Justice John Scurfield said the attack was "barbaric" but "strongly suggestive of a mental disorder."
"He did not appreciate the actions he committed were morally wrong," Scurfield said.
Both the prosecution and the defense argued Li can't be held responsible because he had schizophrenia and believed God wanted him to kill McLean because the young man was evil...
Posted on 03/06/2009 9:28 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 6 March 2009
Not All On Israel's Left Remain Forever Impervious To Reality
A tragedy of misconceptions
Mar. 2, 2009
MICHAEL BAR-ZOHAR , THE JERUSALEM POST
A survey published on February 5 by the prestigious Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, a Palestinian polling institute, indicates that 46.7 percent of the Palestinians believe that Hamas defeated Israel in the recent fighting in Gaza; 50.8% (compared to 39.3% last April) believe that the rocket attacks should continue, and only 20.8% believe that they are harmful to Palestinian interests. Finally, 55% are convinced that terrorist acts should continue.
These figures illustrate a major aspect of the confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians and, on a wider scope, of the West and the Arab world: a tragedy of misconceptions, a confrontation of two societies that do not understand each other and naively believe that people on the other side have the same way of thinking and reasoning as them. As long as both sides persist in this erroneous perception of each other, there is going to be no peace in the Middle East.
In 1997 the Four Mothers organization was founded. Its goal was the full pullout of the IDF from south Lebanon. Every year, Four Mothers said, we are losing 25 to 30 soldiers in the battle with Hizbullah. Isn't it a pity to sacrifice these young lives? Let's pull out of Lebanon, and the Lebanese will leave us in peace. The Four Mothers won and in 2000 prime minister Ehud Barak evacuated every single inch of Lebanese territory.
But the result was the opposite. Nobody in the Arab world believed that Israel had pulled out of Lebanon because of its concern for 25 casualties a year. The retreat was perceived in the Arab world as a victory by Hizbullah over the IDF, and the logical conclusion of Hizbullah and other extremist organizations was that they should continue fighting till Israel's final defeat. The late Faisal Husseini, a respected Palestinian leader, once told me openly: "Michael, if you don't agree to our demands [about Jerusalem], we'll talk to you in Lebanese." Even the sophisticated Husseini thought that the Hizbullah formula was the one that brought results.
The same misconception guided prime minister Ariel Sharon when he carried out the unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005. He was right in pulling out the settlers who shouldn't have been there in the first place. But Sharon also believed that the military pullout from the entire Gaza Strip would convince the Gazans of our goodwill. Their perception, though, was different. "Israel retreated because it was defeated by us," a Hamas spokesman said, "therefore let's intensify our battle, and we'll destroy the Zionist entity."
The United States made a similar mistake when in 2006 it insisted on carrying out free elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Washington, intoxicated with the mantra of free elections, failed to understand that Western democracy does not always work in Arab lands. The American experts wouldn't listen to the warnings of their Israeli colleagues who predicted a sweeping victory of the Hamas extremists. That was what finally happened.
Bringing democracy to Iraq also was one of the major arguments for the war against Saddam Hussein. We can only hope that the democratic regime created there will hold after the US troops' departure. The enthused American experts who promoted the idea seem to have forgotten that the only periods when Iraq's parliamentary regime worked was when strong leaders ruled the country with an iron fist.
THE MISTAKE of casting our own image on the opponent was repeated during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Israel believed that by destroying major parts of Lebanon's infrastructure - roads, bridges, power stations - it would make the Lebanese people turn against the Hizbullah that had ignited the conflict. That could be true in Israel or in America, where public opinion weighs heavily on the political scales, but not in Lebanon. In Gaza, too, the massive destruction by the IDF didn't convince the Gazans that Hamas caused the disaster; on the contrary, their support for Hamas and its operations even grew.
I often read articles by learned experts who explain how we'll get rid of the nuclear danger in Iran. "We'll tell them that if they do this to us, we'll do that to them," they say, or "the Iranian people will revolt against the mullahs," or "the Iranian economy is in shambles, they cannot feed their people if they continue their nuclear project."
Well, the threats of American pundits don't seem to bother the Iranian leaders; the Iranian people will not revolt; the only potential rebel is the army, as in all Muslim countries, and so far the army is very happy to build a nuclear weapon; as far as the poor state of the economy is concerned, the Iranian leaders couldn't care less. Iran's glory and its return to the status of a great regional power are much more important to them.
We have to understand that the Middle Eastern nations don't think the same way as the Western nations do. They have their own logic, and their perception of events is different from ours. Words and promises and commitments don't have the same meaning to them as they have for us. This is not a judgment, but a statement of fact. Therefore, we should make an effort to understand their way of thinking and of reacting to our moves before we engage in negotiations with them.
But as long as we keep trying to project our way of thinking on millions of Muslims, or analyze their words and deeds with Western logic, we'll not achieve any progress in our relations with them.
The writer is a former member of the Knesset and the biographer of David Ben-Gurion and Shimon Peres.
Posted on 03/06/2009 9:54 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 March 2009
A Musical Interlude: River Stay 'Way From My Door (Radio Melody Boys, voc. Stan Kirkby)
Posted on 03/06/2009 10:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 March 2009
Gordon Brown's Nonsense And Lies
The speech that Gordon Brown delivered to the American Congress on 4 March 2009 contained this remarkable phrase:
"because we’ve been unable as a world to keep our promises to help, more and more children, I tell you, are being lured to expensively funded madrassas teaching innocent children to hate us."
What can Gordon Brown possibly mean by thhs? Is it because all of us, "as a world," have "been unable...to keep our promises" that "more and more children...are being lured to expensively funded madrassas teaching innnocent children to hate us"?
What are those "promises" that, "as a world," we have failed to keep? What, exactly? And when did we make those promises? And where were they made, and to whom, exactly?
And if there are all these "expensively funded madaassas" where people -- "innocent chidlren" (apparently the adults are in need of such lessons, or are they?) -- are taught to "hate us" (who constitutes that "us" -- is it everyone, is it the whole wide world, or is it, merely, the whole wide world of Infidels, of non-Muslims?)-- then where is all that money coming from that pays for those "expensively funded madrassas"? If someone, or some groups, or some states, are paying for those "expensively funded madrassas" then they must have quite a bit of money of their own, n'est-ce pas? And if they choose to spend their money, or some of it -- should Gordon Brown at this point be reminded that the oil revenues received by the Arab states, and Iran, all of them Muslim, from oil consuming nations, has amounted, since 1973 alone, to more than twelve trillion dollars, that none of this is a reward for any hard work or entrepreneurial flair but simply the result of an accident of geology, that the OPEC oligopoly has over much of that period extracted what are called oligopolistic rents, that the whole thing amounts to the largest transfer of wealth in human history, and that if the Muslim states pay for these "expensively funded" madrassas it is not because of "poverty" nor because they feel "promises" have been unkept by the Infidels, but because those Infidels, you see.....are Infidels. That's it. Islam itself, the texts of Islam, inculcate hatred of Infidels. It doesn't matter about "promises" real and imaginary. It doesn't matter whether the Muslims themselves are poor, or fabulously rich. It doesn't matter if the Infidels in question are groupies of rock groups, or deep admirers of Madonna, or happen to be Hasidic Jews or Amish. They are all Infidels, and they are all to be hated for being Infidels, and any attempt by them, or by any Infidels, to preserve the legal and political institutions, and social arrangements, of Infidel states, constitute in Muslim eyes an obstacle to the spread and then the dominance of Islam, which constiutes Infidel aggression.
Can't Gordon Brown bother to notice that all over Western Europe, and not only in Great Britain, Muslim immigrants present a unique threat to the stability and wellbeing of societies and peoples, present a unique ideological threat, for as Muslims, they may temporarily pretend to accept, but only for now, the legal and political institutions of an Infidel nation-state (how could they accept them since they flatly contradict the Shari'a in every important respect?), and that many of them present , by now too obviously for anyone to deny or pooh-pooh, a physical threat to Infidels that, because of the need to monitor Muslim populations, and to increase security everywhere, is costing Infidel taxpayers a fortune? Does Gordon Brown think that no one has noticed that non-Muslim immigrants, Chinese, Confucian and Christian, or Vietnamese, Buddhist or Christian, or Hindus from India or anywhere else, or Andean peasants, or black African Christians or animists from sub-Saharan Africa, whatever problems they encounter, and no matter make their accomodation, with the societies and peoples of the West in only Chinese and Hindus, Andean peasants, and non-Muslim black Africans, rich and poor Muslims alike are full of hostility toward Muslims? Shouldn't he ask himself what texts are used by the teachers in these madrasas? If the madrasas are places where "extremists" teach, as Gordon Brown who are quite unrepresentative of Islam in his dreamy view, then what texts do the teachers use, other than those of the Qur'an, the Hadith, the Sira? Can he, can anyone, show us a single text that the "extremists" use that are not taken from the Qur'an, the Hadith (the more "authentic" Hadith, in the collections of the most authoritative muhaddithin), the Sura? To date, no one -- not a single Western leader, prating about the "peace" and "tolerance" for which Islam is apparently so famous, and not a single Muslim apologist, trying to delay the day when a sufficient number of Infidels come to recognize the meaning, and menace, of Islam, and decide to do whatever it takes to reduce that menace, have yet produced a single scrap of paper, a single paragraph, a single sentence, offered up by the "extremists" that relies on anything other than the textual authority of Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira.
So whom should we believe? Should we believe what the Muslims themselves appear to believe, the texts they read? Should we believe what John Wesley, John Quincy Adams, Alexis de Tocqueville, Winston Churchill, Jacques Ellul, and many others in the intelligent and uninhibited past, concluded about Islam? Should we believe what Joseph Schacht, C. Snouck Hurgronje, Arthur Jeffreys, Sir William Muir, Henri Lammens, St. Clair Tisdall, K. S. Lal, Samuel Zwemer, and another hundred celebrated Western scholars of Islam, concluded, or should we listen to the farcical karen-armstrongs, and the bought-and-paid-for espositos?
And what does Gordon Brown think we should make of all of the apostates from Islam, of Wafa Sultan and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq and Ali Sina and hundreds of others, Iranians and Pakistanis and Arabs and Malays? Does he think these highly-articulate people, who so obviously are calmly making sense, with nothing of the fanatic about them, should be ignored?
What causes a man like Gordon Brown to say such things? What makes him think he can get away with it? What makes him conclude we are willing to let this kind of thing pass by without comment, to join in this conspiracy of misstatement, of nonsense and lies?
Posted on 03/06/2009 11:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 March 2009
Peeling The Onion That Won't Touch Islam
Here is another sign of the times, from The Onion: :
Rock Bottom Loser Entertaining Offers From Several Religions:
"FINDLAY, OH—Local resident Owen Pritchard's recent downward spiral into drug addiction, unemployment, and complete and utter hopelessness has sparked the intense interest of several top world religions, each of which is vying for his services as a devotee, the 39-year-old uncommitted prospective convert reported Monday.
"I've finally reached a point in my life where all the big religions want me," said Pritchard, whose two failed marriages and mounting gambling debts have left him penniless and in a state of blind despair. "Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism—you name it, they've come to me. I have no job, no family, no direction whatsoever. So right now, I'm totally in the driver's seat."
Pritchard has been showered with gifts as the religious institutions attempt to curry favor and sway his decision. He has received a free Book Of Mormon from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a 2008 wall calendar from the Christians, and was even visited at his home by two representatives from the Jehovah's Witnesses, which Pritchard said was flattering, but "came off as a little too desperate."
"The Catholic Church has been wining and dining me," said Pritchard, who was personally invited to attend a spaghetti supper at a local rectory last Tuesday. "If I'm getting free Italian dinners today, just think what they'll give me when I tell them that Islam is promising me lofty mansions, lush gardens, and 4,000 virgin companions in the afterlife. I'll be eating like a king!"
Pritchard has recently visited a number of churches, synagogues, and tabernacles.....
"Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism"
"free Book of Moromon...wallcalendar from the Christians...two representatives from the Jehovah's Witnesses....'Catholic Church has been wining and dining me.... churches, synagogues, and tabernacles...."
You think about the world today, and the kinds of people, in the prisons of Western Europe and North America, and among the psychically marginal (Richard Reid, David Hicks, Jose Padilla, John Walker Lindh, Yvonne Ridley), are converted to Islam, and ask if this story manages, as clever humor of this kind must, the verisimilar?
What's wrong with this picture? You know. I know. Do the writers for The Onion know?
Posted on 03/06/2009 1:28 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 March 2009
Khatami: Our Support For "Palestinians" Based On Qur'an And Hadith
From the report in MEMRI on the khutba (sermon) delivered by Khatami at Friday Prayers on March 6:
"Khatami noted that Iran, based on Islamic teachings, considers it a duty to support the oppressed, whether Lebanese, Iraqi, Palestinian, or even Saudi. He said, 'Our support for the Palestinians is based on the Koran and the Hadith, and is not [merely] a slogan.'"
Posted on 03/06/2009 3:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 March 2009
Hank Greenberg in Space and AIG in Pieces
by Jerry Gordon and John Haldi (March 2009)
Last October in an NER article, “The AIG Rescue: Does It Portend Re-Regulation of Financial Markets?” we noted this about Hank Greenberg’s role in the looming dissolution of the fabled globe girdling insurance empire he built at AIG over more than three decades.
Witness these comments from a former Wall Streeter:
The concept that keeps coming up is what was done with CIGNA years ago -- splitting the firm into a good bank and a bad bank. The good bank is all the insurance operations, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), and the asset management operations. The bad bank is United Guaranty Mortgage and the Financial Services operations plus some other pieces with the toxic subprime exposure. The only problem with this solution is that nobody wants the bad bank. At least when CIGNA was split there was Warren Buffet and Ace, Ltd. willing to take on the asbestos risk. Right now there are no buyers at all for subprime mortgages. more>>>
Posted on 03/06/2009 4:13 PM by NER
Friday, 6 March 2009
Rupert Murdoch On Antisemitism's Resurgence in Europe
Murdoch: Europe is ‘poisoned’ by anti-Semitism
(JTA) -- Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said Europe was “poisoned by an anti-Semitism we thought had been dispatched to history’s dustbin.”
Murdoch made his remarks Wednesday evening in New York upon receiving the National Human Relations award from the American Jewish Committee.
Murdoch also said of Israel: “In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace… who reject freedom… and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb and the human shield.”
“These are men who can't abide by the idea of freedom, tolerance and democracy, they hate Israel, they hate us," the 77-year-old media baron, who owns News Corporation, said. "No sovereign nation can sit by while a civilian population is attacked."
Joking that some of his enemies think he is Jewish and that some of his friends wish he was Jewish, Murdoch said: “Let me set the record straight: I live in New York. I have a wife who craves Chinese food. And people I trust tell me I practically invented the word ‘chutzpah.’”
The AJC award recognizes Murdoch’s professional and philanthropic work.
Posted on 03/06/2009 8:47 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 6 March 2009
Murdoch's Heart, But Not Always His Mind, Is In The Right Place
Murdoch's wrong, of course, to say during the ceremony of recognition by the American Jewish Congress that "we thought [antisemitism] had been dispatched to history's dustbin." No one of sense would ever think that antisemitism, that has such deep roots, and that comes out, ultimately, from the fight for market share among potential adherents, first in early Chrstianity (where Judaism was the rival, and Jews the first Christians), and then in early Islam (where both Judaism and Christianity were the rival monotheisms). Antisemitism will always be with us, as will Nazis, and Communists, and all sorts of people. The trick, or the task, is to keep the disease under control, to keep the numbers of those infected down, and the power to do harm limited.
And then Murdoch, in a clear reference to Israel's attempts to defend itself, uses the kind of language Bush used to use, about how "the Israeeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace...who reject freedom...and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb and the human shield."
No, that won't do. It is not ony the "cold-blooded killers" who are the enemy, but all those engaged in Jihad to make sure that everywhere Islam dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere -- in the Land of Israel, and in Western Europe, and in North America, and in South America, and....everywhere. They are just as much enemies if they do not use suicide vests and car bombs, but the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and the most important weapon of all, demographic conquest.
And Murdoch sounds a Bushian note when he describes these people, these Muslims who are carefully not described forthrightly as Muslims, as people who "can't abide...freedom, tolerance, and democracy." That's not the way to put it. We are hated because we are Infidels, we are not Muslims. End of story.
Nonetheless, Murdoch's heart, if not always his mind, is in the right place. At least on this matter.
Posted on 03/06/2009 9:03 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald