A few years ago a friend of mine, a doctor working in a British prison, was asked by a member of the Parole Board why he thought so many prisoners changed religion while incarcerated. "It's for the change of diet, I expect," he replied.
In those days, of course, one took such matters lightly, and the member of the Parole Board laughed. A change of religion was either to Buddhism or to some sect with dietary requirements difficult or impossible for the prison authorities to comply with (that was the point). In my own experience as a doctor working in a prison, the new Buddhists often wore a ponytail, spoke quietly so as not to frighten the insects, and had committed crimes of the most frightful violence. With regard to the justification and necessity for such violence, they had undergone a welcome Gestalt switch.
But the specter of radical Islam in our prisons has made the matter of conversion to another religion altogether more serious. We fear that our prisons are becoming recruiting grounds of, and schools for, extremists and terrorists. A book on the subject of Islam in American prisons, therefore, could hardly fail to be of interest.
Nonethless, the author of this book has found a way to make such a book uninteresting. It is not his fault alone: a lot of the blame must attach to the publishers. It is abundantly obvious that Hamid Kusha's first language is not English, and it may not even be his second, which of course is not his fault; but the publishers, secure presumably in the number of libraries around the world that, given its title, will feel obliged to acquire it, and more or less certain that they will not be able to sell it to anyone else at such a high price, have not felt it necessary to go to the expense of using a competent editor to correct the hundreds and hundreds of grammatical errors and malapropisms in the text. "Conscientious" is used for "conscious," "mannerisms" for "manners," "canonized" for "canonical," and so forth: the list is nearly endless. But why bother with correction when it would not have increased sales?
In short, Islam in American Prisons is by far the worst-edited book put out by a reputable publisher that I have ever read.
The book might nevertheless have been redeemed had its content been worthwhile. Alas, Kusha, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of East Carolina, thinks no more clearly than he writes, and only about a third of the text is of indubitable relevance to its title. The first two thirds consists of an irrelevant, murky, disorganized, meandering history of American jurisprudence from colonial times that neither analyses nor synthesizes, but only confuses. Insofar as a consistent or fundamental argument can be made out, as through a glass darkly, from this book, it is this: the American legal system offers, theoretically, equal protection under the law. But young black males find themselves incarcerated out of all proportion to their demographic weight in the population. They experience this as an injustice; Islam is a universalist doctrine that offers such young men a way out of their existential impasse. Therefore, they convert to Islam in considerable numbers.
Kusha is not, in general, a great examiner of his assumptions. For example, he repeatedly refers to the experience of imprisonment as "criminogenic," that is to say, that criminals sent to prison become even more criminal as a result of contact with worse or more experienced criminals than they. But two lines of evidence from England, at least, suggest that prison prevents the further commission of crime rather than promotes it. First, prisoners in England have rates of recidivism inversely proportional to the length of their sentences; those sent to prison for longer have lower rates. Second, criminals in England who are sent to prison on their first conviction have half the rate of recidivism of those given other types of sentence on their first conviction. The same might not be true in America, of course, but it would have to be shown not to be true, and Professor Kusha is unaware of this.
Fresh clashes erupted Monday between groups of Christian and Muslim youths in Nigeria's central city of Jos, leaving one dead as security forces restored order, a senior state official said. "There was a clash, a very minor clash that led to the death of one youth, a Christian youth," Information Commissioner for Plateau State, Gregory Yenlong told AFP.
Police spokesman Mohammed Lerama also confirmed the attack, which appeared to have been staged on a group of Christians returning from a church rally, but he did not give any details.
The military and police swiftly moved in to stamp out the unrest which broke out around 7:00 pm (1800 GMT) in the Nassarawa Gwom area, the epicentre of the January clashes. "Unknown to the Christian youths some people just blocked their way along the road and started chanting war songs," said Yenlong. "Security forces came in and brought the situation under control. Unfortunately it was the security forces that killed the youth," he said.
GAZA CITY - A Palestinian teenager was killed and several others were wounded Tuesday as Israeli troops fired on protestors near the Gaza border while Israeli Arabs and Palestinians marked “Land Day.”
The violence along the tense Gaza border came as events were held across Israel and the occupied territories in an annual commemoration of Israel’s killing of six Arab citizens during a 1976 protest against land confiscations.
A 15-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed al-Faramawi, was shot dead east of the southern Gaza town of Rafah near the heavily guarded border shortly before dozens of demonstrators marched to the site.
Gaza medics and witnesses said he was killed by Israeli forces, charges denied by the Israeli military, which said it had fired warning shots at those approaching the border but had not hit anyone.
Israel’s Arab minority leads Land Day demonstrations every year to protest against discrimination and assert its solidarity with the Palestinians. Similar events are held in the occupied West Bank as well as Gaza.
Cue the swelling violins:
“Land Day has become for us a day to assert our existence and our belonging,” said Mohammed Barakeh, an Arab MP serving in Israel’s parliament.
“It’s a day to embrace our memory of Palestine and our belonging to it, our homes and schools and playgrounds which have faced a campaign of concealment. It’s a day to embrace our future,” he told AFP.
In the occupied West Bank the Palestinian Authority planted olive trees in honour of the event, and Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad used a plough near the town of Salfit in protest at Israeli control of Palestinian land.
“This is a symbol of our complete rejection of settlers’ plans and of our people’s determination to hold onto and care for their land,” Ynet news website quoted Fayyad as saying. “Our people are deeply rooted here.”
But then, a funny thing happened. The 15 year old boy showed up. Alive. He had been in custody. Of the Egyptians. From AFP:
GAZA CITY (AFP) – A Palestinian teenager who went missing near the Gaza border last week and was believed to have been killed by Israeli troops has returned home safe after being detained in Egypt, he said on Sunday.
Mohammed al-Faramawi, 15, said he had gone with some friends to Gaza's defunct airport near the borders with Israel and Egypt last Monday "for fun" when they found a smuggling tunnel to Egypt and crawled through it.
They were promptly arrested by Egyptian security forces on the other side and held for several days.
"I didn't know when they announced my death because I was under arrest," Faramawi told AFP. "I didn't find out until I returned on Saturday. When I arrived there were hundreds of people there to welcome me home."
On Tuesday, the day after he disappeared, Palestinian medics and media reported he had been shot dead by Israeli forces near the border.
No comment yet on whether he saw Mohammad Al Dura while in the custody of the Egyptians. There may be a sucker born every minute, but every minute a sucker starts to catch on to 'Palestinian' mendacity.
President Obama will today announce that he is to dramatically narrow the conditions under which the United States will use nuclear weapons, even for self-defence.
In an interview with the New York Times ahead of the unveiling of his much anticipated revamped nuclear policy, Mr Obama said an exception would be made for "outliers like Iran and North Korea" that have violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.
Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers like Russia and China.
It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war. For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.
Asked about the escalating confrontation with Iran, Mr. Obama said he was now convinced that “the current course they’re on would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities,” though he gave no timeline. He dodged when asked whether he shared Israel’s view that a “nuclear capable” Iran was as dangerous as one that actually possessed weapons. “I’m not going to parse that right now,” he said,
One of the comments to the report on the (London) Times’ website accords with my own view.
Then, despite my respect for the institution of the presidency, I can only conclude Barak Obama is an idiot.
If they have any use at all, nuclear weapons exist to scare seven shades of smelly stuff out of potential attackers. They are the ultimate deterrent and serve to focus the minds of assorted loons who would do the US harm as to what might happen if the actually go through with their plans.
Mr Obama might be a nice chap who hugs bunnies and so on and he may genuinely believe that pressing te button is wrong - fine - he's entitled to his views. But even if he does think like that, even if he has privately resolved never to use certain options at his disposal, it is the act of a madman to stand up and tell a world filled with assorted anti-western, anti-American loons that he has just weakened the nation's defences.
It seems to be official. Gordon Brown is to meet the Queen at 10.15 (half an hour's time as I write) to get her permission to dissolve Parliament ready for the General Election on 6th May. This will co-incide with the local Council elections already long fixed for that date.
Kick Labour out. As today's Telegraph points out, it is incorrigibly old-style tax and spend Socialist and always will be. It will continue to squander your money, yes your money that you have worked for, until the country is bankrupt. That's what Socialists always do.
As the phoney war draws to a close and battle is joined, Alistair Darling deserves our gratitude for setting out with clarity what the forthcoming general election is about. In his efforts on Sunday to blunt the political impact of the Tories’ promise to reverse Labour’s planned increase in National Insurance, the Chancellor of the Exchequer claimed such a move would “take money out of the economy”.
What an illuminating assertion. In Labour’s skewed world view, allowing people to keep a little more of their own money to spend as they see fit means taking money out of the economy – whereas it actually ensures money stays within it. Whether inadvertently or not, Mr Darling has let the cat out of the bag. He believes the economy is the state and that the state knows best how to spend our money. The private sector, which will actually power the recovery, does not seem to figure in their thinking. This is unreconstructed Big Government, red in tooth and claw. It is as if the Blair revolution had never happened.
This is a fundamental ideological divide that plays direct to the Tories’ strengths. David Cameron’s landmark speech last week on the Big Society envisages a revolutionary change in the relationship between citizen and state. The Conservative leader wants people to become more self-reliant, more responsible for their own actions, more active in their communities, more involved in the running of their public services. And he wants government to get off their backs. It is an exciting vision that can only be realised if the state divests itself of many of the powers – not least over the spending of our money – that it has accrued in recent decades.
That old election chestnut that “they’re both the same” could hardly be more wrong. There is an elemental difference between Labour’s Big Government and the Tories’ Big Society and it makes this election the most important in a generation.
Change you can believe in can be step change or sea change. It can't be incremental, though; that would be too slow. Could it perhaps be excremental? Dr Alison Moore of the University of Queensland gets to the bottom of gender and cultural disparities and is clean round the bend. From Andrew Bolt, with thanks to David Thompson:
This article will show that throughout the late modern era chocolate has been repeatedly associated, both explicitly and symbolically, with excrement…
Chocolate then was the symbolic byproduct of the process by which the European consumer classes domesticated the appropriation of wealth from colonial endeavors and controlled excretory processes in construction of the urban sanitary order… Through this analysis I argue that chocolate has consistently appeared as a symbol of the primitive within the civilized, as the child-like, the sexual, the fetishized, the excremental, which European societies have harnessed, channeled, and transmuted throughout the process of urban sanitization.
Oral contact with excrement represents one of the most charged taboos in modern societies… However, this article will argue that solid eating chocolate has throughout its history been fashioned and marketed in forms visually, sensually and symbolically alike to excrement and that it hence represents a simulacrum of the waste matter that Europeans of the nineteenth century saw as so essential to cast out in the name of a clean, odorless and ordered civilization.
There's more to Moore than sh*t, however, although she doesn't seem to rise above the belt. Her other works include:
Rethinking Gendered Perversion in Visions of Sadism and Masochism, 1886-1930.
Recovering Difference in the Deleuzian Dichotomy of Masochism-without-Sadism.
Colonial Visions of ‘Third World’ Toilets: A nineteenth-century discourse that haunts contemporary tourism
Fin de Siècle Sexuality and Excretion.
Cultures of the Abdomen: Dietetics, Digestion and Obesity in the Modern World.
Last but not least:
Relocating Marie Bonaparte’s Clitoris. Australian Feminist Studies (forthcoming 2009)
It is now 2010, so presumably the forthcoming has forthcome. Here's hoping it was as good as the other three.
“Allah Akbar!” and “Death to Russians!” inscriptions appeared on the walls of the vestibule of the Planernaya station of the Moscow metro on April 3.
A woman called the police and said that she saw several young men spray-painting the inscriptions on the walls of the station. The four men looked like natives of the Caucasus, the woman said. The men wrote the above-mentioned words quickly and drove away on a silvery car. The police said that it would be difficult to find the perpetrators since there are no surveillance cameras in the vestibule of the station.
In the meantime, a resident of Dagestan has claimed that he recognizes one of the women who carried out the terrorist attacks on the Moscow metro as his daughter Mariam Sharipova, RIA Novosti reports. Rasul Magomedov said that a friend sent him a photo published on the Internet of the suicide bomber, allegedly responsible for the attack at Lubyanka metro station, with the words "she was on the metro."
"My wife and I recognized our daughter immediately," Magomedov said, adding that he and his wife had not known where their daughter was for several days. "Last time my wife saw our daughter, she was wearing the same red headscarf as in the photo. . .We still can't believe it. We can't even work out what she was doing in Moscow," said Magomedov. "She was devout, but she never expressed any radical opinions. She always lived at home; we always knew what she was up to."
The Obama administration came into office promising to press the "reset" button with the rest of the world after eight years of the so-called arrogant, swaggering Texan cowboy blundering his way around the planet, offending peoples from many lands. Instead, Obama pressed the ejector-seat button: Brits, Czechs, Israelis, Indians found themselves given the brush. I gather the Queen was "amused" by the president's thoughtful gift of an iPod preloaded with Obama speeches – and, fortunately for Her Majesty, the 160GB model only has storage capacity for two of them, or three if you include one of his shorter perorations.
Yes, he has no instinctive Atlanticism. But that's not because of a childhood spent in the Pacific but because of an adulthood spent among the campus Left, from Bill Ayers to Van Jones, not to mention Jeremiah Wright. That also conveniently explains not just the anti-Atlanticism but the anti-Zionism, at least until the scholars uncover some sinister Jewish banker in Nairobi who seized the family home after the braying Brit imperialist toff tossed Grampa Obama behind bars. Perhaps a singing Mountie yodeling selections from Rose-Marie beneath his jailhouse window all night explains the president's revulsion to Canadian Arctic policy. Perhaps the Gujarati fakir sharing his cell and keeping Grampa up all night with his snake charming accounts for Obama's 18-month cold shoulder to India. And you can hardly blame him postponing his trip to Australia given the lingering resentments after Grampa was bitten by a rabid wombat down by the billabong who then ran off with his didgeridoo.
One of the oddest features of the scene is attributed to the president's "cool," which seems to be the euphemism of choice for what, in less-stellar executives, would be regarded as an unappealing combination of coldness and self-absorption. I forget which long-ago foreign minister responded to an invitation to lunch with an adversary by saying "I'm not hungry," but Obama seems to reserve the line for his "friends." Visiting France, he declined to dine with the Sarkozys. Visiting Norway, he declined to dine with the king at a banquet thrown explicitly in Obama's honor. The other day, the president declined to dine with Netanyahu even though the Israeli prime minister was his guest in the White House at the time. The British prime minister, five times rebuffed in his attempt to book a date, had to make do with a perfunctory walk'n'talk through the kitchens of the U.N. Obama's shtick as a candidate was that he was the guy who'd talk to anyone anytime anywhere. Instead, he recoils from all but the most minimal contact with the world.
Maybe he's just anorexic - he is unnaturally thin. Or, Lord 'elp us, a vegan.
The U.S. Army is clamping down in Afghanistan ... on the meager joys allowed the U.S. soldiers. By Deepa Babington for Reuters.
Fast food joints where soldiers wolf down burgers and pizza will soon be a thing of the past at bases in Afghanistan, as the U.S. military reminds soldiers they are at war and not in "an amusement park."
In the sprawling military base at Kandahar, the fast food outlets facing the axe include Burger King, Pizza Hut, and the U.S. chain restaurant T.G.I. Friday's that features a bar with alcohol-free margaritas and other drinks -- all set along the bustling "Boardwalk" area of the base.
On any given day, the giant square-shaped walkway features the surreal sight of soldiers sipping gourmet coffee and eating chocolate pastries with guns slung across their shoulders, while Canadians play ice hockey at a nearby rink and fighter jets thunder overhead.
The U.S. military says its beef with the burger joints is that they take up valuable resources like water, power, flight and convoy space and that cutting back on non-essentials is key to running an efficient military operation.
"This is a war zone -- not an amusement park," Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall wrote in a blog earlier this year.
"Supplying nonessential luxuries to big bases like Bagram and Kandahar makes it harder to get essential items to combat outposts and forward operating bases, where troops who are in the fight each day need resupply with ammunition, food and water."
Allowing private companies to fly goods into the major airports in Afghanistan should be independent of driving essential combat items to remote bases by military truck convoys. This is a false dichotomy: It is not a choice between providing comfort food OR providing bullets. And I rather doubt that U.S. soldiers on their mandatory 4th or 5th tour are likely to mistake Kandahar for Disneyland.
Warning that concessions like Orange Julius, Dairy Queen and Military Car Sales were also on the exit list, Hall said less-obvious changes were coming too -- including fewer canned and bottled goods coming into the country as well as fewer first-run movie showings and some entertainment programs.
So, the dozen-or-so DVD's are crowding out boxes of ammo on the C-130's? I gotta call 'bullsh*t' on this one. This article doesn't mention it, but I suspect there were complaints from the natives, leading to an overweening desire not to "offend" the hosts' sensibilities. Our soldiers are fighting and dying to "save" the Afghan people from the Taliban, but as in Saudi Arabia, those soldiers simply MUST live by Muslim rules even while on base.
For now, fast food joints like Burger King which operate out of little shacks along the Kandahar boardwalk are still doing brisk business, with lines snaking outside their counters, but their contracts are not expected to be renewed when they expire.
A motley crew of other stores selling Afghan books, jewelry and phone cards and the busy Canadian Tim Horton's outlet that sells coffee and doughnuts will stay on.
Some U.S. soldiers privately grumble about the cutbacks, but others said they were not bothered by the new edict.
Those desperate for comfort food always have the option of the "Chef's short order" section at the dining halls, where fried calamari rings, fish fingers and burgers are free for soldiers and available in abundance.
Cafeteria fish sticks - I think our men and women in uniform deserve better, especially when they are paying for it out of their own pocket. This story smells fishier than a carton of "ZF00-2804851 FISH, STICKS, FROZEN" sitting in the Afghan sun.
Leo Rennert On The New York Times, Isabel Kershner, And How Israel Is Covered
NYT Bemoans Scrutiny of Israel-Bashing Groups
Many self-proclaimed human rights groups with anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian agendas operate freely in Israel and, thanks to lavish funding by European governments, manage to have a sizeable impact in shaping its political discourse and policies. They frequently challenge government decisions in "lawfare" campaigns and petitions to Israel's Supreme Court. In brief, they're major players.
So it comes as a bit of a shock to read in the April 6 edition of the New York Times an article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner that depicts these groups as seriously threatened by critics who have turned the tables and now demand from them greater transparency and accountability ("Israeli Rights Groups View Themselves as Under Siege -- Advocates speak of a hostile climate as Israel's leaders fight charges of war crimes" page A6).
This reminds me of the boy who killed his parents and then cried for being left an orphan. Kershner and the New York Times, however, don't see it that way. After all, they wouldn't want to question groups whose Israel-bashing pronouncements they regularly publish as true gospel. Ergo, this piece by Kershner that takes at face value their complaints of "an atmosphere of harassment" and a "climate of repression" -- just because their agendas and funding are coming under closer scrutiny.
In this battle for public opinion in Israel and abroad, Kershner resolutely lines up with Israel's critics.
For example, she quotes Human Rights Watch as charging that Israel's government is "waging a propaganda war" to discredit human-rights groups. Yet, she conveniently overlooks the fact that when it comes to Human Rights Watch, there's no need for outsiders to discredit it. Human Rights Watch discredited itself last summer when it sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia on a fund-raising mission, telling its well-heeled Saudi hosts that it's doing its best in battling "pro-Israel pressure groups in the United States, the European Union and the United Nations."
Needless to say that Kershner makes no mention of the financial link between wealthy Saudis and Human Rights Watch. That Human Rights Watch would troll for money from one of the most repressive societies in the world that disrespects the basic rights of gays, women and practitioners of other religions somehow fails to interest Kershner and the New York Times. Never mind the Saudi connection: To the Times, Human Rights Watch remains an impeccable source.
In contrast, Kershner shows no such solicitude for an Israeli group, called Tirtzu, which charged that 92 percent of anti-Israel claims in the UN's Goldstone report were provided by16 private groups financed by the New Israel Fund. Kershner disposes of that finding by dismissively calling Tirtzu an "ultra-Zionist" organization -- a label that places it squarely outside the ideological orbit of the New York Times. (The only Zionists who get a kosher label from the Times apparently are "post Zionists.")
Finally, Kershner readily reveals that NGO Monitor, which has exposed vast financial backing of anti-Israel groups by European governments, is funded by American Jewish philanthropists. But she shows no such interest in identifying funding sources for Israel-bashing groups from the European Union, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and other European countries.
Just the opposite. In her zeal to protect Israel's detractors, Kershner avers that "the most alarming sign to rights advocates was a preliminary vote in Parliament supporting a bill that called for groups that received support from foreign governments to register with Israel's political parties' registrar, which could change their tax status and hamper their ability to raise money abroad."
Imagine that! No democratic country in the world has the chutzpah to finance opposition groups in another democratic country, except when Israel is the target. Would Spain, for example, tolerate the U.S. government funneling taxpayer money to Basque separatists? Still, Israel has no intention to stop the flow of vast sums from European governments to denigrate and delegitimize the Jewish state. It only might want to insist on greater transparency and accountability of who pays the anti-Israel piper.
But that's anathema to the New York Times -- a self-professed champion of transparency and accountability. Albeit a bit selectively.
A Russian Passage For Tatiana, quondam princesse d'Arménie
To, o chem pomyanula razgovorchivaya madam Shpolyanskaya, vernulo obraz Miry s
neobychajnoj siloj, i eto vstrevozhilo Pnina. Lish' v otchuzhdenii neizlechimoj
bolezni, v ravnovesii razuma, znamenuyushchem blizkuyu smert', s etim mozhno bylo
na mig sovladat'. Chtoby zhit', sohranyaya rassudok, Pnin v poslednie desyat' let
priuchil sebya nikogda ne vspominat' o Mire Belochkinoj, -- i ne potomu, chto
pamyat' o yunosheskoj lyubvi, banal'noj i kratkoj, sama po sebe ugrozhala miru
ego dushi (uvy, vospominaniya o brake s Lizoj byli dostatochno vlastnymi, chtoby
vytesnit' kakoj ugodno prezhnij roman), no potomu, chto nikakaya sovest' i,
sledovatel'no, nikakoe soznanie ne v sostoyanii ucelet' v mire, gde vozmozhny
takie veshchi, kak smert' Miry. Prihoditsya zabyvat', -- ved' nel'zya zhe zhit' s
mysl'yu o tom, chto etu gracioznuyu, hrupkuyu moloduyu zhenshchinu s takimi glazami,
s takoj ulybkoj, s takimi sadami i snegami v proshlom, privezli v skotskom
vagone v lager' unichtozheniya i umertvili in®ekciej fenola v serdce, v nezhnoe
serdce, kotoroe bilos' v sumerkah proshlogo pod tvoimi gubami. I poskol'ku
tochnyh harakter ee smerti zaregistrirovan ne byl, v ego soznanii Mira
umirala mnozhestvom smertej i mnozhestvo raz voskresala lish' dlya togo, chtoby
umirat' snova i snova: vyshkolennaya medicinskaya sestra uvodila ee, i hrustelo
steklo, i ej privivali kakuyu-to pakost', stolbnyachnuyu syvorotku, i travili
sinil'noj kislotoj pod fal'shivym dushem, i szhigali zazhivo v yame, na polityh
benzinom bukovyh drovah. Po slovam sledovatelya, s kotorym Pninu dovelos'
razgovarivat' v Vashingtone, tol'ko odno mozhno bylo skazat' navernoe: slishkom
slabuyu chtoby rabotat' (hotya eshche ulybavshuyusya i nahodivshuyu sily pomogat'
drugim evrejkam), ee otobrali dlya umershchvleniya i sozhgli vsego cherez neskol'ko
dnej posle pribytiya v Buhenval'd, v prekrasnye lesa Bol'shogo |ttersberga,
kak zvuchno zvalsya etot kraj. |to -- chas nespeshnoj progulki ot Vejmara, zdes'
brodili Gete, Gerder, Shiller, Viland, nepodrazhaemyj Kocebu i inye. "Aber
warum" -- nu pochemu, -- stenal doktor Gagen, nezhnejshaya iz dush zhivyh, --
pochemu im nuzhno bylo ustroit' etot koshmarnyj lager' tak blizko!" ibo i
vpryam' on byl blizok (kakih-to pyat' mil') k kul'turnomu serdcu Germanii,
"etoj nacii universitetov", kak izyskanno vyrazilsya prezident vajndellskogo
kolledzha, izvestnyj svoim pristrastiem k mot juste1, delaya po sluchayu Dnya
Blagodareniya obzor evropejskoj situacii, v kotorom on ne pozhalel teplyh slov
i dlya drugogo pytochnogo zastenka -- dlya "Rossii, strany Tolstogo,
Stanislavskogo, Raskol'nikova i drugih velikih i dostojnyh lyudej".
Pnin medlenno shel pod torzhestvennymi sosnami. Nebo ugasalo. On ne veril
vo vsevlastnogo Boga. On veril, dovol'no smutno, v demokratiyu duhov. Mozhet
byt', dushi umershih sobirayutsya v komitety i, neustanno v nih zasedaya, reshayut
Nachinali dosazhdat' komary. Vremya chaya. Vremya shahmat s SHato. Strannyj
spazm minoval, on snova mog dyshat'. Na dal'nem grebne holma, na tom samom
meste, gde neskol'ko chasov nazad stoyal mol'bert Gramineeva, dve temnye
profil'nye figury risovalis' na fone ugol'no-krasnogo neba. Oni stoyali
blizko, licom k licu. S tropinki bylo ne razobrat' -- doch' li eto Poroshina s
ee uhazherom, Nina li Bolotova i molodoj Poroshin ili prosto emblematicheskaya
para, s legkim izyashchestvom pomeshchennaya na poslednej stranice uhodyashchego ot
Teen Convert Rifqa Bary Fights to Avoid Deportation
You may recall our posts about teen age Christian convert Rifqa Bary's dependency decision in Ohio and threats to her life from Sri Lanka., here and here.
Today, her Ohio counsel, Angela Lloyd, filed a request with the Franklin County Juvenile Court in Columbus to clarify her immigration status in view of the lack of reconciliation with her Muslim parents and reaching her majority on August 10th.
Read this report from the Christian Post about today's development and a future hearing in May on this important issue facing courageous Rifqa Bary.
The teen convert to Christianity who ran away from her Muslim family last summer is fighting to stay in the United States.
An attorney for Rifqa Bary asked an Ohio judge Monday to declare that the girl is unable to reunite with her parents by her 18th birthday. The order would allow Bary to apply for immigration status and avoid possible deportation to her homeland, Sri Lanka.
Though there is no move to deport Bary at the moment, her attorney, Angela Lloyd, said reconciliation is unlikely to happen by her client’s 18th birthday, which is Aug. 10. Lloyd said obtaining special status for Bary is urgent. It is feared that if the teen is returned to Sri Lanka she will be harmed or killed by Muslim extremists.
But the attorney for Bary’s parents objected. Omar Tarazi said the parents already filed an immigration application for the whole family, according to The Associated Press.
The Ohio judge overseeing the case, Elizabeth Gill, said she will not sign the order at this time. Gill said she will hold another hearing next month to discuss Bary’s immigration status.
In the meantime, Gill wants the Barys to continue counseling sessions with the ultimate goal being reconciliation.
The Barys attend counseling sessions separately and a face-to-face meeting does not seem likely in the near future.
Bary ran away to Orlando in July citing fear that her father would kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. She stayed with a pastor’s family that she met on Facebook for the first two weeks.
Then Florida authorities matched her to the girl in the missing persons report filed by her parents. After several months of court drama in Florida, it was decided that she should be returned to Ohio and her home state should take care of the case.
Rifqa Bary has been staying in foster care after returning to Ohio in October.
Kondracke: Obama disses Israel but gives Arabs a pass
Morton Kondracke, seasoned Washington commentator had a CQ column chastizing President Obama for stiff arming Israel, while giving the Arabs a pass:"Obama Constantly Puts Mideast Blame On Israel, Not Arabs". Kondracke presents a tawdry picture of failure by the Obama Administration in the Middle East and Afghnaistan. As we have posted the Obama Administration has done little to deter the Islamic Republic from producing its first operative nuclear weapons in 2011. Kondracke suggested, in a speech he gave last year here on the Gulf Coast, that Obama's lassitude in confronting the Mullahs in Tehran would leave Israel no alternative but to attack the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities. Watch Kondracke's Pensacola Tiger Bay Club You Tube presentation, here.
Note these excerpts from Kondracke's CQ column:
On all fronts, President Barack Obama ’s policies in the Middle East are failing. So what is the president doing? Taking it out on America’s closest ally, Israel.
The administration’s top priority in the region should be to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. That’s clearly not happening.
Obama’s second-biggest priority — if not his first, given the president’s campaign pledges — is to get U.S. troops out of Iraq.
That plan was going along nicely until Iraq’s elections — a tribute to Bush administration policy, but claimed as a success by Obama officials — produced a political deadlock that may lead to violence and extend the U.S. troop presence.
And third, Obama wants to be the president who finally produces a two-state peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But that’s not happening, either, largely because of mistakes made by the administration itself.
(Afghanistan is South Asia, not in the Mideast, but the administration’s courageous policy isn’t going very well there, either, with Afghan President Hamid Karzai entertaining Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, abetting rampant corruption and accusing the United States of trying to dominate his country.)
Obama gives every indication of believing the “Arab narrative” of what blocks Middle East peace — namely, Israeli (not Palestinian) intransigence.
His animus isn’t into Jimmy Carter territory yet — Carter likens Israel to apartheid South Africa — but Obama is given to outbursts of rage at Israeli “provocations,” but none to those committed on the Palestinian side.
Contrast the reaction of the administration to the March 11 dedication of a square in Ramallah, interim capital of the Palestinian Authority, honoring a terrorist. with the Israeli announcement March 9 of construction of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem.
The square in Ramallah now honors Dalal Mughrabi, leader of a Palestinian terror squad that killed 38 Israelis aboard a bus in 1978, 13 of them children.
When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on March 22, she said that the dedication “insults families on both sides of the conflict who have lost loved ones.”
But she incorrectly blamed the action on “a Hamas-controlled municipality,” when it was not authorized by that terrorist group, but by Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. She did not condemn him.
By contrast, on Obama’s personal orders, the administration fired every verbal gun in its arsenal at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Jerusalem announcement — even though it knew he was blindsided and embarrassed by right-wingers in his own government.
It was, as the administration said, “an insult” to visiting Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. , who “condemned” it. That was a reasonable reaction.
Obama has been publicly pounding on Israel for concessions but never publicly leans on the Palestinians.
Meantime, the administration is leaning on Iran, but ineffectually. Clinton said at AIPAC that “the United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” and if Iran persists, “our aim is not incremental sanctions, but sanctions that will bite.”
Obama said he anticipated that the U.N. Security Council would agree to sanctions within “weeks,” but the truth is that China and Russia are blocking them and, if finally persuaded to impose some, will see that they are weak.
Obama should be doing what Bill Clinton did to prevent Serbia from committing genocide in Muslim Kosovo: go outside the United Nations, form a European “coalition of the willing” and cut off Iran’s gasoline.
Iran may have enough highly enriched uranium to test a simple Hiroshima-style bomb in 2011. It would be a huge embarrassment to Obama a year before he seeks re-election.
It would also be a dire threat to Israel, whose existence Iran has vowed to end. Israel will be sorely tempted to attack Iran to prevent its developing a bomb.
Obama surely doesn’t want that. It could create chaos in oil markets and the world economy, not to mention the Mideast.
But Obama’s persuasive power with Israel? It’s fading fast — and it’s his own fault