These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 7, 2013.
Monday, 7 January 2013
Border Incident: Pakistan Fires On Village in Indian Kashmir, India Responds, Pakistan Cries Victim
As reported by Australian ABC's South Asia correspondent, Michael Edwards, with additional information from AFP.
'Pakistani Soldier Killed in Kashmir Border Flare-Up'.
'Pakistan says Indian troops have killed one of its soldiers in a cross-border raid in the disputed province of Kashmir.
'Pakistan claims Indian troops raided a military post in the Haji Pir section of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, killing one soldier and wounding another.
'India says the Pakistani military fired on one of its positions and it was responding to the provocation.
'But India denies any of its forces crossed the Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the two countries.
That is: that divides majority-Hindu India, part of what Muslims regard as Dar al Harb, the Zone of War (where non-Muslims dwell and rule themselves by their own non-Muslim laws and practise their own non-Muslim faiths) from Muslim Pakistan, which forms part of what Muslims see as Dar al Islam (the region where Muslims rule, dominating and domineering over any surviving non-Muslims, and where sharia is supposed to trump all other law and custom, and which region is ultimately supposed to expand to engulf the entirety of the planet). - CM
'An Indian army spokesman in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian-administered part of Kashmir, accused the Pakistani military of firing mortar bombs into a village in the Uri district in Indian Kashmir, which faces Haji Pir in the Pakistani sector of the territory.
"At 3.51 am today Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar firing, targeting a village in Uri sector", Colonel Brijesh Pandey said, adding that the homes of some villagers were damaged.
Sounds rather like some of the reports from southern Israel, late last year. Muslims fire across a border at civilian targets in a non-Muslim country; the non-Muslim country responds to this fire; Muslims then proceed to howl, squeal and pretend that they are the innocent victims and that the other party started it. I'm not buying the Muslim story, because of the all-pervasiveness of deceit within Islam, and because in many other incidents I know of, where Muslims told one story and the Infidel side told another, and there was a third-party record of what happened, the Muslims turned out to be lying through their teeth. I'll trust the Indian version of events. - CM
"We retaliated with small arms and the exchange continued for over an hour".
'He said no Indian troops were hurt but had no information about any Pakistani casualties.
The Muslim Pakistanis started it. They fired over the border into another country's sovereign territory, damaging property; they were probably hoping to kill people, though it appears they did not manage to do so. That sounds like an Act of War, to me. They are lucky that a burst of small arms fire was, it seems, all that they suffered in return. - CM
'All of Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan and the region has been a flashpoint between them for more than 60 years.
A little research here and there will soon show one that the Muslims - of Pakistan, and elsewhere in the Ummah - don't just want Kashmir. They want all of India, in order to rule it as they once ruled most of it after invading it, pillaging it, and butchering vast numbers - tens of millions, scores of millions - of its Buddhist and Hindu inhabitants, and enslaving millions upon millions more, between the 8th and the 18th centuries. For more on what Muslims did to India, and Indians, in the process of invasion and during their rule, and the horrendous system of oppression they presided over, that pious Muslims would very much like to reimpose there by main force, see the books of K S Lal. - CM
'A ceasefire has been in place since 2003. Exchanges between the two sides are not uncommon, but rarely result in fatalities.
In other words: Muslim Pakistan - which has been badly burnt in a couple of previous wars it initiated against its powerful Hindu neighbour - keeps on pushing, pushing, pushing, testing India's resolution and responses, looking for the least sign of weakness or yielding; precisely as Muslims push, push, push against the boundaries everywhere else that the Ummah comes up against a non-Muslim entity. - CM
Posted on 01/07/2013 12:18 AM by Christina McIntosh
Monday, 7 January 2013
From an Old Book, Some Passages of Description of Kashmir the Most Beautiful
From a geographical encyclopedia entitled 'Lands and Peoples', Vol IV, 'Southern Asia and the Far East' (originally published 1929; revised and updated, 1949, 1951).
'Kashmir in the Himalayas: the Loveliest State in India'.
'"We can get the best idea of Kashmir, which lies to the north of the sun-scorched Punjab, by thinking of it as three parallel strips lying north-west and south-east.
"First comes the range of the Pir Panjal, the barrier that separates the happy valley, as the land has been called, from India;
"then the valley itself, the plain of Kashmir, which is called the nearest approach on earth to the Garden of Eden;
"and, last, the chain of sheltering hills which rise in tiers of extraordinary grandeur up to the mountain wall on the north.
"Kashmir has been likened to an emerald set in pearls, for the valley is always green, and during nine months of the year the inner circle of hills that rings it about is white.
"Further north lie the eternal snows. Nanga Parbat, 26, 620 feet, is visible from certain points in the valley, and K2, or Mount Godwin-Austen, 28, 728 feet, the second highest mountain in the world, can be seen from a spot only a day's journey distant.
"The Pir Panjal, the southern wall, through the passes of which Kashmir is entered from the plains of India, is the most delightful playground of the Himalayas. In it there are open spaces, where we can gallop over downs of short turf and through forest glades. We can look down into the green valley over meadows dotted with clumps of birch, maple and pine, and as we walk along we crush the flowers which grow so thickly.
"But it is not the flowers alone that make the land so beautiful. Nearly every mountain range in a temperate climate, given sufficient rain, is more or less a garden. It is the position of the garden that gives the Pir Panjal its unusual beauty. To say that it commands a wide view of the plains is to convey little.
"From most Indian hill stations or their neighbourhood one gets an extensive view of the plains. But the plain on which we look down from Gulmarg, in the Pir Panjal, is a mountain plain, another garden under the rock garden, quite different from the sunburnt expanse of the plains of the Punjab.
"The green and golden valley of Kashmir is over eighty miles long and from twenty to twenty-five in breadth. It lies at an elevation of some six thousand feet above the sea.
"In it are all the fruits of the earth, and there is no corner of it which is not beautiful.
"From the Pir Panjal the traveller does not look out over an endless stretch of country as he does from the southern slopes of the Himalayas.
"The Vale of Kashmir owes most of its loveliness to the fact that it is not very large. If a mist hid the lakes and mountain buttresses, it would still make a picture of unforgettable beauty and mystery. But when the mist lifts and we can see all, we understand then why the valley with its encircling hills is famous as the most wonderful natural garden in the world...
"We might leave Kashmir without setting foot in the Pir Panjal and still think of it as the most delightful country in the world.
"The road from the railway, at Rawalpindi, in the Punjab, to Srinagar drops into the Jhelum Valley below Murree and follows the bank of the river, cut into the edge of the cliff, until it comes to Baramula under its cedar forest and enters the Vale of Kashmir.
:In the last few miles before Baramula, the torrent becomes a wide placid stream; the valley broadens out into rich cornfields and pastureland; walnut, willow and elm enfold snug villages. At Baramula the Jhelum becomes navigable.
"Baramula is the gateway of Kashmir, and the visitor can leave the road and continue his journey to Srinagar, the City of the Sun, in a houseboat. He will be poled and towed to the Wular Lakes and Mnasbal with their mountain background.
"Women and children crowd the balconies and river steps. They wear a long garment in bright colours with loose, turned-up sleeves. The Kashmir women are pretty and the children are often beautiful, with regular features, fair complexion and large, bright black eyes. Their hair is worn in long plaits..
"Srinagar lies between two hills. On the top of the one to the north is the straggling yellow fort of Hari Parbat; that to the east is the Takht-i.-Suleimani, or "Throne of Solomon", rising a thousand feet above the plain. The Dal Lake washes the bases of both hills, and both are reflected in its clear waters. It is a spring-fed lake, and the water is as clear as crystal. The surface, five miles in length and two and a half in breadth, is broken by belts of gigantic reeds, bulrushes, floating gardens and islands.
"There are gardens of cockscombs in the dry patches between the dykes, a rich warm glow of colour, and fields of bright marigolds, which the true Hindu plucks daily to strew on the altars of the god Siva. At every turn in these creeks there is a new glimpse of the hills.
"The Nishat, Shalimar and Nasim gardens, on the shores of the lake, were made by the Moguls (that is, I would bet, they were designed and made and maintained by Hindu slaves working for the Moguls - CM) who were the rulers of India for over two hundred years.
The first Mogul ruler in India was one Babur, though Kashmir's first Muslim ruler seized power for himself - and for Islam, and Muslims - in the 14th century, by a process of infiltration and subversion. One can get an idea of what the first Mogul, Babur was like, and the process of assiduous butchery by which the Mogul rulers achieved dominance, by picking up Andrew Bostom's anthology, 'The Legacy of Jihad', and turning to pages 651-653 to read some blood-curdling excerpts - including casual references to the building of piles of heads of butchered Hindu soldiers - from 'The Jihad Campaigns of Babur', A S Beveridge's 1975 translation of the 'Babur-Nama'. - CM
"The Nasim, or garden of breezes, is famous for its chenars, or plane trees, planted by the Mogul emperor Akbar in the 16th century. All these gardens are built on the same plan. A spring-fed canal runs down the centre, dropping from terrace to terrace by a series of cascades into reservoirs in which fountains play. The walls of the canal are of marble or old limestone, and have niches for lights, which glisten on nights of festival behind the falling water.
"The Nishat garden is finer than the Shalimar. Its terraces slope down from the steep rocks behind it to the green shores of the lake, so that the last pavilion, covered with roses and jasmine, overlooks a bed of lotuses. The Pir Panjal, twenty miles beyond the opposite shore, forms the southern screen.
"From Bandipur on the Wular Lake, we may climb the zigzag path to Tragbal over the Burzil and Kamri passes to Gilgit and the Pamirs.
"Ten days out of Srinagar, camp can be ptiched under the Tarshing Glacier at the foot of Nangar Parbat.
"Or a visit may be paid to the cave of Amarnath, the natural temple of Siva under the snow.
"According to Hindu mythology, Siva is a god who forms the supreme Trinity with Brahma and Vishnu. Siva is the destroyer of this life or the re-creator of a new form of life.
"On leaving the houseboat at Ganderbal, after seven days' march one crosses Zoji-la, which is 11,300 feet high, the lowest pass in the northern wall, and is well on the road to Leh in Ladakh, a province of Kashmir which makes an ideal contrast to the barrenness left behind. Some of the pleasantest haunts of the side valleys may be reached in a morning's walk from the houseboat.
"Islamabad, at the eastern end of the valley, where the Jhelum ceases to be navigable, is a favourite camping ground. Within a circle of a few miles lie the blue springs of Bawan, the Mogul Garden of Achibal, the rock caves of Bomtzu, the monastery of Eishmakam, and Martand, the ruined Temple of the Sun.
"The valley is strewn with ancient temples. Martand is believed to date from about the eighth century AD, during the period of early Hindu civilization in Kashmir. The ruins are of a bluish-gray stone with a tinge of pink.
The article is accompanied by many wonderful old photographs, some 'colourised', some in black and white; there is a black and white photograph of Martand, captioned 'What Remains of the Once Great Temple of Martand' and underneath there is this account of it: "The ruins of the temple of Martand, once the largest in Kashmir, stand on a bleak plateau five miles from Islamabad. The temple was built in a mixture of Indian and Classical Greek styles, and is, therefore, a typical example of ancient Kashmiri architecture. It was largely destroyed by Sikander, who ruled Kashmir at the end of the fourteenth century". In other words, in the typical Mohammedan way, this 'Sikander' systematically smashed the biggest temple in the valley. - CM
"The temple stands on one of the flat ridges peculiar to the plain. In the valley on either side a river appears and disappears among villages set in poplar clumps and groves of walnut and willow and one can look down on a well-irrigated plateau, where fields of purple amaranth and the green and chocolate coloured rice crops stretch away to the yellow hills.
"The glittering waters run underneath the road, feeding the rice fields and turning little mills. Such is the valley in spring.
"In summer, Dal Lake is ablaze with tall pink lotuses, acres of them...
"By October, the air is nipping, and orchards of apples, quinces and cherries are reflected in the lake...".
"...the once famous Cashmere shawls are made from the wool found beneath the hair of the Kashmir goats. Some of these shawls...have an embroidered border. This kind of needlework is a specialty of the region around Srinagar.
"Both industry and agriculture are on a small scale. Most of the Kashmir own or rent tiny farms on which they raise rice, wheat and other cereals for their own use. Some fruit is grown for export and canning. The chief industry is sericulture - raising silkworms - which dates back to the fifteenth century. Wool and silk are spun and woven at home.
"Srinagar is a centre for woodcarving, carpet weaving, silver and copper articles and papier mache as well as the embroidery mentioned above...
""The Banihal cart road, about two hundred miles long, connects Srinagar, which is the summer capital, with Jammu, the winter capital.
"Kashmir was once part of the Mogul Empire, and in the late 1700s it came under the rule of Afghans. In 1846 the former state of Jammu and Kashmir was created when a Jammu chieftain, Gulab Singh, a Hindu, acquired the Vale of Kashmir. The dynasty founded by Gulab was a benevolent one, and the people gained a measure of freedom. Nevertheless, as a large majority of the Kashmiri are Mohammedans (I observe that even this Old Book does not inquire too deeply into how they came to be Mohammedans, nor spend much time on the pre-Islamic history of Kashmir nor the bloody process of conquest by which Muslims entered and took it over and reduced its Hindus and Buddhists to a minority - CM) they have never been altogether happy under Hindu maharajas.
Of course not. No matter how decent and orderly the non-Muslim entity within which they may settle themselves or under whose rule they may come, Muslims are never happy in any situation where they are ruled by Infidels, or where Infidels are their social, political and civil equals; for "Islam is to dominate, and not be dominated", as Hassan al -Banna, founder of the Ikhwan, or Muslim Brotherhood, once wrote. - CM
"Discontent became more vocal during the 1920s and 1930s. One popular demand at that time was for a goverment by legislature rather than by royal decree.
"Thus Kashmir with a Hindu ruling house and a Mohammedan people (reality check: in 1900 there were, for example, one million Hindu Pandits living in the Valley, and though most of them have been driven out by the Muslims since the 1940s, in 2001 Hindus still comprised some 32 percent of the population, dropping further to 29 percent by 2010. - CM) became a disputed area in August 1947 when the subcontinent was divided, largely along religious lines, and the two new countries of Pakistan and India were created.
"The Maharaja was free to join Kashmir with either country. At first he hesitated, but in October 1947, as armed tribesmen (armed Muslim jihadists - CM) poured into Kashmir from Pakistan, he hastily acceded his state to India.
Sensible man. Thus ensuring that at least Kashmir had some kind of a chance of not being dragged down into the same dismal sharia hellpit into which Pakistan has been steadily descending since 1947. - CM
"Immediately the Indian Army took over the defense of Kashmir and troops were flown in.
"India placed the dispute before the United Nations in January 1948, but all during that year Kashmir was the scene of bitter strife between Indian and Pakistani divisions.
That is: during that year Kashmir was a theatre of full-on Muslim Jihad, aimed at gaining still more 'turf' for the insatiable Ummah. - CM
"In January 1949, a United Nations commission finally succeeded in bringing the undeclared war to a halt.
"Since then a number of efforts have been made to get India and Pakistan to agree on conditions whereby the people themselves could decide their own fate by popular vote..".
Unfortunately, since the Mohammedans have outbred - and systematically driven out - many of the non-Muslims, thus achieving a majority, a simple vote would see Kashmir, loveliest state of India, with its many very ancient Hindu and Buddhist shrines (not all of which the Muslims even over a period of centuries have entirely managed to erase), engulfed by the black cloud of Islam. And so the stand-off described in that paragraph from 1951, punctuated by periods of open warfare whenever Muslim Pakistan thinks itself strong enough to have another go at simply taking what it desires, continues.
I cannot reproduce, here, the many pictures which illustrated this account. The captions are a story in themselves: for example, under a picture of 'a street corner in Islamabad, once the capital of Kashmir', we learn that "Islamabad...was once known as Anant Nag, after its sulphurous holy reservoir, which still contains swarms of sacred fish...". Another photograph shows us 'a mile long wall near Leh [in Ladakh, which has since been seized and divided up by Pakistan and China], built as an act of worship', with the explanation, "The lamas, or Buddhist priests, believe that the righteous can worship Buddha constantly by means of certain devices. Here is a wall carved with repeated invocations to Buddha. This wall is one of many relics of ancient Buddhist worship that have been found throughout Asia from Ceylon to Chinese Turkestan, from Afghanistan to Korea and Japan."
Posted on 01/07/2013 12:48 AM by Christina McIntosh
Monday, 7 January 2013
The Worldwide Evolution of Life Expectancy
My father’s life expectancy at birth was 48 years. He survived to be 83, and he was by several years younger at his death than his brothers and sister at their deaths. He and they lived through what has been called “the demographic transition,” from low life expectancies to high.
A recent paper in the Lancet charts the worldwide evolution of life expectancy between 1970 and 2010. Life expectancy has fallen in only 4 of the 187 countries with populations of 50,000 or more, the four being Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Ukraine and Belarus. In the first two, AIDS was the cause; in the second two, alcohol.
Worldwide life expectancy between 1970 and 2010 rose at a rate of 3-4 years per decade, except for the 1990s, when the rate of improvement was considerably lower. In Asia and Latin America, the average age at death rose by 1 year every 2 years, a startling rate of improvement. But the greatest improvement in recent years has been in sub-Saharan Africa: life expectancy in Angola, Ethiopia, Niger and Rwanda has increased by 10 – 15 years since 1990.
According to the authors, two medical interventions account for this: first the availability of anti-retroviral drugs to treat AIDS, and second the availability of both insecticide-treated mosquito nets and artemisin-combination treatment regimes for malaria.
Of course, it is easier to produce dramatic improvements starting from a low base; where infant mortality rates are high, it is relatively easy to extend life expectancy. And in fact the worldwide death rate of children under the age of 9 has fallen by nearly two thirds since 1970. This is in complete contradiction to the gloomy prognostications of that time, when many so-called savants predicted perpetual mass famine. If freedom from mortal disease is part of the good life, the world has been improving at an unprecedented rate. In 1970, 50 percent of males born could expect to live to 65 years; by 2010, 50 percent could expect to live to 73. The figures for females were 70 and 79 respectively. Men can expect to live longest in Switzerland, Australia Sweden, Iceland and Israel; women in Japan, France, Iceland, Spain and Switzerland. Women in Japan have the longest life expectancy of all: over 85 years.
The paper makes clear – implicitly, not explicitly – that some inequalities are more unequal than others. Throughout the 40 years under consideration, the health, or at any rate the life expectancy, of women has improved faster than that of men. The gap between the sexes in life expectancy widened from 4.8 to 5.7 years. The decline in death rates between 1970 and 2010 was lowest for males between the ages of 20 and 39, only 19.7 percent. The main reason for this relatively low rate of decline, according to the authors, was the propensity of young men to have fatal accidents, partly no doubt because of their occupations, but also because of their risk-taking behavior.
At the Women’s Conference in Peking some years ago, I heard a British government minister demand complete equality between the sexes in everything. Did this mean we should be trying to reduce the number of fatal accidents among men, or increase the number among women? From the purely egalitarian point of view, it would not matter which. From the Rawlsian point of view, I suppose, the improvements of the last forty years represent a deterioration, since the position of the worst off (males) has worsened by comparison with that of the best off (women): that is, if a longer life is better than a shorter one.
First published in PJ Media.
Posted on 01/07/2013 5:02 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 7 January 2013
Sara Ege given life sentence for murdering son over Koran studies
From the BBC
A mother who beat her seven-year-old son when he failed to memorise passages from the Koran has been given a life sentence for his murder.
Sara Ege, 33, killed Yaseen Ege at their home in Pontcanna, Cardiff, in July 2010 and set fire to his body. She was convicted in December after a five-week trial. The judge has set a minimum tariff of 17 years. Her husband Yousuf Ege, a taxi driver, was cleared of allowing the death of a child by failing to protect him.
Sara Ege was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice. She had pleaded not guilty to murder and claimed her husband was responsible for Yaseen's death.
It was initially thought Yaseen had died in a fire, but tests later revealed he had died hours earlier.
In it, (a harrowing confession later retracted) Sara Ege described how Yaseen collapsed after she had beaten him while still murmuring extracts of the Koran. "He was breathing as if he was asleep when I left him," she said. "He was still murmuring the same thing over and over again. I thought that he was just tired." When she returned 10 minutes later she said she found her son shaking and shivering on the floor.
He then died. She then used barbecue gel to burn her son's body in an attempt to hide the evidence
She and her husband had enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at their local mosque as they wanted him to become Hafiz - an Islamic term for someone who memorises the Koran. As a child Sara Ege had taken part in competitions showing her knowledge of Islam and had recited from the Koran. The court heard that she become increasingly frustrated with her son's inability to learn the passages.
The trial heard that Yaseen suffered significant abdominal injuries that were the cause of his death. They included fractures which were non-accidental. He also had numerous historical injuries.
"Sara Ege made no attempt to seek the medical attention he so obviously needed,"
Posted on 01/07/2013 7:15 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 7 January 2013
Obama's Message To Iran
The most important foreign policy matter in the next year, or possibly two, is how most effectively to prevent the Islamic Republic of iran from being able to manufacture nuclear weapons. One way that is being attempted is to impose sanctions -- sanctions that ought to have been imposed years ago, but in the heedlessness of two successive administrations, were not. And the aim is to convince the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran that these sanctions will continue to be in effect, whether or not they obtain nuclear weapons, so that the Iranian economy will necessarily sink.
A related theme should be, but is not, that of convincing the Shi'a rulers of Iran that their hope of becoming the leaders of the Islmaic world are never to be realized. If they look around the world, they will see that Sunni Muslims are attacking Shi'a in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Afghanistan, and as a widespread popular sport, in Pakistan. Do the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran not realize that while the Sunnis would be delighted -- what could be better? -- to see some kind of exchange, the more destructive the better, between hated Israel and hated Shi'a Iran - even if the Islamic Republic of Iran were to inflict great damage on Israel (and suffer terribly in return) it would not win it any points from Sunni Muslims. They would enjoy the spectacle, feel the pleasure and go on, hating Israel, and the Shi'a, as before.
Now comes Barack Obama, thinking that having initially chosen the unpleasant in all respects-- personally unpleasant, according to many former members of his staff -- Chuck Hagel, he has to demonstrate that he will not back down. In other words, he has chosen to be stubborn about appointing someone who is not only deeply unsympathetic, to put it mildly, to Israel, as his votes in the Senate, and his statements, over a long period, demostrate. Obama may think that Chuck Hagel is just fine because he was opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he was opposed for the wrong reasons. He was opposed not because there are far better, and cheaper, ways, to deal with the Camp of Islam, but because he doesn't see a problem with the forces of Islam. Perhaps he is merely ignorant, but his ignorance is likely to be wilful because no one who has strong anti-Israel feelings is going to allow himself to realize that it is Islam, the Camp of Islam, that is the problem, and that Israel is only the most visible of the victims of the world-wide Jihad. That's something a Chuck Hagel could never understand, and doesn't want to, because he's pre-programmed to dislike Israel and will not allow himself to come to a right understanding of the meaning and menace of Islam because that would require him to see Israel in a new light. He can't do it.
Now will the appointment of Chuck Hagel make the Iranians more likely to think they had better deal with the American government now, or would that appointment be taken by them as a signal that the sanctions have been imposed unwillingly by the Obama Administration, forced to act by Congress, and that they now have a friend, or at least not a relentless and clever enemy, at the top of the Pentagon.
What folly Obama has now committed. It's stupid. And it's unforgivable.
Posted on 01/07/2013 9:29 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2013
A Musical Interlude: Something To Remember You By (Helen Morgan)
Posted on 01/07/2013 9:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2013
Qatar, The Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia -- Why Don't They Pay Egypt's Bills?
The story below is about Egypt's attempts to have its debt to the U.S. forgiven. Why? Why should the long-suffering Americans pay for Egypt, a country whose population has quadrupled, heedlessly, in the last fifty years? Why should the long-suffering Americans pay to help rescue a Muslim-Brotherhood-run country?
Why can't Qatar, Kuwait, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, swimming in trillions of dollars, be asked to pay for their fellow members of the Umma, the Community of Believers? Why should Unbelievers -- Americans, British, French, the rest of the EU -- pay and keep paying to allow the Muslim Arab states to double or quadruple their populations, to build up their military (why does Egypt need vast amounts of American military aid? To be used against whom?)-- watch, helplessly, hopelessly, as their governments, not knowing what they are doing, keep shelling out money, through direct aid, and through debt forgiveness. It makes no sense. Why is the non-Muslim world keeping afloat those parts of the Muslim world that forgot to be born with oil and gas under their soil? It makes no sense.
Here's the infuriating story:
Negotiations ongoing with US to drop Egypt's debt: Planning minister
Ahram Online, Monday 7 Jan 2013
Egyptian government's negotiations with United States on debt swap are continuing, Planning Minister Ashraf El-Arabi says
Egypt is continuing to negotiate with the United States over a debt swap programme, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf El-Arabi has said.
Egypt aims to convince the US to swap foreign debt for assets, and to drop over $1 billion in "odious" debt, the minister explained.
El-Arabi dismissed reports that negotiations with the US to drop Egypt's public debt had been halted following the Egyptian government's request to postpone a $4.8 billion loan agreement with the IMF earlier in December.
"We are very close to reaching an agreement with the US on dropping $450 million worth of debt. However, our counterparts are inclined to tie this agreement to the success of the IMF loan deal," El-Arabi told Al-Ahram's Arabic website.
"The debt swap programme will also aim to substitute $550 million of sovereign debt for developmental projects," explained El-Arabi.
A ministry source noted that a US delegation would visit Egypt soon in order to negotiate terms of the proposed debt swap programme and audit Egypt's overall public debt.
Egypt had previously sealed agreements with three European countries – France, Germany and Italy – pertaining to the implementation of similar debt swap programmes.
Posted on 01/07/2013 9:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 7 January 2013
Saudi girl, 15, barricades herself in bedroom after being married to 90-year-old groom for huge dowry
On the subject of Arab men buying young girls from their parents - it still goes on - at least these days some Saudi's think it is wrong. From the Daily Mail and Al Arabia
A 90-year-old Saudi Arabian man is suing the family of his 15-year-old child-bride after she shut herself in her bedroom on their wedding night.
The terrified teen locked the door from the inside so that her new husband could not enter on their first night as a married couple, and two days later she fled back to her parents’ home.
Now her elderly husband wants his money back as he claims he paid the parents £10,767 ($17,500) for the teenager so they could wed.
In an interview, the groom insisted that his marriage was “legal and correct,” and that he paid a $17,500 (SAR 65,000) dowry to marry the girl, who is the daughter of a Yemeni father and Saudi mother
Marriage or rape? 90-year-old Saudi weds 15-year-old girl . . . activists criticized the parents of the girl for giving her to a man decades older than her.
The member of the Saudi National Association for Human Rights (NSHR), Suhaila Zein al-Abedin, urged authorities to intervene “as soon as possible to save this child from tragedy.” . . . Abedin urged the establishment of a minimum age of 18 for marrying girls, saying this would pave the way for punishing violators,
Posted on 01/07/2013 5:18 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 7 January 2013
EDL leader jailed for being illegal immigrant after entering US on friend's passport
Of course, when an illegal immigrant enters Britain on a dubious passport they is usually allowed to continue unhindered. This is from the Telegraph.
The leader of the English Defence League was today jailed for 10 months after admitting using someone else's passport to unlawfully travel to the United States.Stephen Lennon, 30, pleaded guilty to possession of a false identity document with improper intention, contrary to the Identity Documents Act 2010, at Southwark Crown Court.
Lennon used a passport in the name of Andrew McMaster to board a Virgin Atlantic Flight from Heathrow to New York, but was caught out after his fingerprints were taken by customs officials. . . He stayed just one night (for the 9/11 commemoration) and travelled back to the UK the following day using his own legitimate passport . . . Lennon, who was arrested in October, was jailed for 10 months today.
Sentencing the 30-year-old, Judge Alistair McCreath, told him "You knew perfectly well that you were not welcome in the United States. You knew that because you tried before and you had not got in, and you knew the reason for that - because, rightly or wrongly, the US authorities do not welcome people in their country who have convictions of the kind that you have. With that full knowledge, you equipped yourself with a passport. I am told that it was given you by way of a loan from your friend Andrew McMaster, to which you bore, I am told, some resemblance. And by use of that passport you did what you could to get into the United States. But you did not get in because they took your fingerprints and they worked out that you were not who you claimed to be. I am told that, by whatever means, you slipped away from the US authorities, got into the country and then very rapidly - and understandably so - got out of it."
He said Lennon had used his own passport to get out of the US, adding: "You did so, I am quite sure, in order to avoid the consequences that would have fallen upon you had you been caught by the authorities in America." The judge went on: "What you did went absolutely to the heart of the immigration controls that the United States are entitled to have. Had it been known in this country that you were proposing to leave under a false passport, you would not have been accepted on to the plane and you would not have been permitted to leave this country on a false passport. It's not in any sense trivial."
He sentenced Lennon to 10 months in prison, minus the days he has already served in custody.
Prosecutor Simon Sandford said it was the Crown's case that Lennon committed the offence while on bail for breaching an International Football Banning Order - of which the court heard he was acquitted.
In mitigation, his defence barrister, Giles Cockings, told the court that Lennon had not stolen the passport, and had only used it for a day. He told the court his client had pleaded guilty straightaway, demonstrating "a certain amount of courage".
"Perhaps what screams volumes from this particular case are two main areas," he told the court. "Firstly, this passport was not stolen, it was lent by a friend for whatever purpose. Secondly, he was only using the passport, it transpires, for a day and a half. In fact he only spent one evening in the United States of America. "I think the intention was simply to avoid a necessity for a visa into the United States. Upon realising that in actual fact it was not going to assist matters, on realising he had committed an offence, he used his own passport to come back. It is not, I would suggest, the most aggravating of cases of this kind."
With remission for good behaviour and taking into account time spent on remand his provisional date of release is 7th March. He is back in HMP Wandsworth and has the support of the men and women of the EDL who are looking forward to his release. He committed a crime which was both wrong and foolish. However I have heard no suggestion that the US authorities pressed for a prosecution for an offence committed towards them. That and the sentence (longer than many crimes of violence) show how nervous the British government is over the issues raised by the EDL. While his absence has been a setback for the EDL as a specific group the public awareness of the Islamisation of our society cannot be undone; the beginning debate cannot be stopped.
This is the picture circulating this evening. On the left Tommy Robinson. On the right Abu Qatada. Says it all really.
Posted on 01/07/2013 5:32 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 7 January 2013
'Dies Gloriae'*: From The Feast Of The Circumcision To The Epiphany
It is fairly obvious that the vast majority of our western, civilised people have forgotten much about their culture and their traditional ways of life and living. In almost all cases this can be directly traced to our own intellectual incompetence and cowardice because many of us who should have known better have encouraged the basest of behaviours amongst our peoples and have deliberately colluded with our natural enemies in order to reduce learning in the general population and to divide the upper echelons of academia by encouraging an ever increasing proliferation of specialisms and the addition of many academically spurious and worthless subjects1.
Over the last few years, in an effort to disseminate much knowledge that has been forgotten, or suppressed2, I have written several posts detailing Christian practices and how they relate to our culture, and others about Christian holy days and feast days and how they, too, relate to our culture3. It is important to realise that for Christians each and every day is holy and is dedicated to some aspect of our faith and this is all laid out in what we call our Kalendar. I have also written four short fictional stories about life and worship from an Anglican perspective which also detail some Christian practices4.
It doesn't matter if one is Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox, or Roman Catholic or some branch of any of those, one still has a meaning attached to each and every day of the year and as the centuries slide past more and more meanings accrue to each day. I know that some branches of our faith don't follow the Kalendar or choose to ignore all but a minuscule number of the festivals and holy days therein, but even such branches as those still acknowledge some of the important dates, for Christians, in the Kalendar such as Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, Lent, and so on.
So, day by day throughout the year, we Christians have people and events that we commemorate and that are relevant to the workings of the one true G-d (not Allah, which is an evil god, probably Satan, but not G-d), our faith, its founding, its history and its meaning in terms of our lives and our cultures. Of course, sometimes the meaning of a given commemoration on a given day has shifted to encompass a meaning relevant to modern man in modern societies, but sometimes the meaning of a commemoration has been deliberately tinkered with by those of us who ought to know better.
For example, January the first is always the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ - it commemorates the eighth day after Christ's birth, (counting the day of His birth in the early southern european and early Jewish way of reckoning) on which, in accordance with Jewish tradition, he was circumcised. Jesus' circumcision was the first time His blood was shed and it is has been seen since the earliest days of the Church in three related ways, viz. as the beginning of the process of the redemption of mankind, as a demonstration of the physical completeness of His humanity, and of His obedience to Biblical Law. The day of his circumcision is, traditionally, also the day that a boy is given a name and Jesus was no exception.
However, there are many in the West who downplay Jesus' circumcision and concentrate instead on Him having received a name on that day. This is done deliberately to undermine the Jewish origins of Christ's corporeal shell - His body - and arises from a profound anti-semitism and an intensely felt deep discomfort with Jesus' Jewishness. The Roman Catholic branch of the faith, in particular, has done more in this direction than one might expect.
Up to AD1960 the General Roman Calendar gave the first of January as the Feast of the Circumcision of our Lord and the Octave of the Nativity. In the 1960 rubrical and calendrical revision under Pope John the XXIII, incorporated into his 1962 Roman Missal (the continued use of which is authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum5), the first of January is called simply the Octave of the Nativity. Since 1969, the General Roman Calendar has celebrated the first of January as the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God and the Octave of the Nativity. Pope Paul the VI designated the day as a World Day of Peace in 1974 thus completing the shift away from the acknowledgement of Jesus' physical Jewishness and thereby introducing a basic error into the teachings of that part of the Church.
The Orthodox, the Anglicans and the Lutherans have, by and large, not gone down this route. However, one must note that some episcopal churches affiliated to Anglicanism - most notably the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. - have done so and that recently there has even been a general trend in Lutheranism to rename the feast as The Name of Jesus. In the more sensible parts of the Church this risible attempt to render the physical Jewishness of Christ invisible (and also to introduce a basic error into the Church's teaching) is seen for what it really is: a desperate attempt to curry favour with the Mohammedans by downplaying the Jewish origins of Christianity and also, thereby, sneakily validating the racist anti-semitism inherent in devilish Mahommedanism by not actually openly contradicting such vile racism by affirming Christianity's Jewish origins with defiance and courage.
The Feast of the Circumcision is a feast of Christ and directly related to many Biblical passages6.It has often been the subject of paintings and musical compositions; for example, J. S. Bach wrote several cantatas for this Feast [Beschneidung des Herrn (Circumcision of the Lord)] including Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (BWV 190) for the first of January, 1724 celebrations in Leipzig7.
Traditionally, in England, as New Year's Day starts, it is the custom to open the back door of one's home to let the old year out and to open the front door to let the new year in. This symbolises the expulsion of paganism and the entrance of Christ. It is also traditional to have a dark haired man be the first across one's threshhold and that he carries in bread, salt, fuel for the fire and a piece of an evergreen plant. The post-Roman empire inhabitants of England believed that Christ must have been dark haired because they were most often attacked by people who were, by and large, blond and red headed and, since they were mainly dark haired and Christ would obviously not attack them, then Christ must have been dark haired as well. The carrying into the house of a piece of an evergreen plant symbolised the introduction of life eternal in Christ and the redemption of mankind that started on this day all those years ago; the bread was brought in to symbolise the prayer for a fruitful year and no hunger; the salt symbolised money and a prayer for enough of it; the fuel symbolised the need for warmth and cooking and the prayers of supplication and thanks that go with that need.
English folk also make promises (resolutions) on this feast day. This practice actually dates back to the Babylonians8 but nowadays it has become, for Christians, part of the sanctity of the new beginning in Christ that is the real meaning of the first of January. Also, English people used to follow the custom of cleaning the chimneys on New Year's Day. This was supposed to bring good luck to the household during the coming year. Today, the common phrase is 'wiping the slate clean' (cleaning the front of the hearth which was usually a slab of slate or flat stone) rather than 'cleaning the chimney,' but the intent is the same - that is, the making of resolutions to correct faults and bad habits and the resolve to make the coming year a better one than before.
English husbands used to give their wives money on New Year's Day with which to buy pins and other small essentials for the whole year. This custom disappeared in the 1800s when machines were developed to manufacture pins cheaply, but the term 'pin money' still refers to small amounts of spending cash. The main traditional food at New Year is pork, usually in the shape of a large ham, prepared in festive fashion, with all the seasonal accompaniments. A large ham symbolised well-being and prosperity and sharing it with one's neighbours is, of course, a Christian virtue.
Many people have forgotten the Christian meaning behind the celebrations on the first of January but the traditions linger on and some of us still remember what it's really all about - some of us also still remember that New Year isn't really the first of January, that's just a modern aberration, but is actually at the end of March!
Anyway and moving on, the second of January is also, of course, a Christian day (as all days are) and Anglicans celebrate the lives of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nazianus, two of the Cappadocian Fathers who defended the faith and the early Church against superstition and heresy9. There are, naturally, many other commemorations on the second of January and the Roman Catholic Kalendar (on which most other Western Kalendars are based) lists the following: Abel the Patriarch, Acutus of Syrmium, Adelard of Corbie, Airaldus of Maurienne, Argeus of Tomi, Artaxus of Syrmium, Aspasius of Auch, Bentivoglio de Bonis, Blidulf of Bobbio, Eugenda of Syrmium, Gaspare Bufalo, Guillaume Répin, Hortulana of Assisi, Isidore of Antioch, Isidore of Nitria, Laurent Bâtard, Macarius the Younger, Many Martyrs Who Suffered in Rome, Marcellinus of Tomi, Marie-Anne Vaillot, Martinian of Milan, Martyrs of Anjou, Martyrs of Lichfield, Maximianus of Syrmium, Maximus of Vienne, Narcissus of Tomi, Odilia Baumgarten, Odino of Rot, Paracodus, Seiriol, Serafim of Sarov, Stefana Quinzani, Sylvester of Huleklosteret, Pope Telesphorus, Timothy of Syrmium, Tobias of Syrmium, Vincentian of Tulle, Vitus of Syrmium. Look any of them up and you will find that they died for and in the faith.
However, in England we Anglicans have chosen to commemorate two of the Saints, but that is not to say that any of the others should not be commemorated, of course. As English folk we are also aware that the second of February is generally regarded as the unluckiest day of the year - a belief that comes from the Saxons and persists in the superstition that anyone born on this day will die an unpleasant death.
The third of January is also a feast day for Christians. Once again, there are many saints that who can be remembered on this day such as St. Genevieve, St. Bertilia, St. Blitmund, St. Zosimus and St. Athanasius, St. Wenog, St. Theopemptus and St. Theonas, St. Cyrinus, St. Daniel of Padua, St. Finlugh, St. Fintan, St. Florentius of Vienne, and St. Narses. Perhaps the most interesting of these saints for us today is Saint Daniel of Padua who is often asked to add his prayers to ours to G-d when we are searching for lost items and feel we need G-d's inspiration in conducting our search (in this respect he is similar to Saint Anthony of Padua whose intercessions are also often sought for the same purpose).
Likewise, the fourth of January is also replete with saints and blesseds - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bl. Angela of Foligno, St. Aquilinus, Bl. Thomas Plumtree, St. Dafrosa, St. Eugendus, St. Ferreolus of Uzes, St. Hermes, St. Libentius, St. Rigobert, St. Mavilus, St. Pharaildis, St. Rigobert (Robert), St. Abraham, and Bl. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia to name just a few of them. For readers in the U.S.A. Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton will probably stand out in that list for she was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonised.
The fifth of January, too, has its saints - St. Charles of Sezze, St. Roger, St. Syncletica, St. Apollinaris Syncletica, St. Talida, St. Cera, St. Convoyon, St. Emiliana, St. Gaudentius, St. Gerlac, St. John Nepomucene Neumann, St. Lomer, St. Paula, St. Syncletica of Alexandria, St. Genoveva Torres Morales, Bl. Jacques Ledoyen, and Bl. Marcelina Darowska to name but a few - and is also the feast day for the Martyrs of Egypt. We remember two groups of Holy Martyrs who were slain for the faith by the Emperor Diocletian in and around Thebaid in upper Egypt. Approximately three hundred of the faithful were martyred and as we remember them on this day so must we remember our Coptic brethren many of whom have been persecuted and martyred by the Mohammedans in recent years and who are facing a fanatical and satanic government intent on exterminating them. Readers in the U.S.A. may care to note that this day is also the feast day of Saint John Nepomucene Neumann who was the first American bishop to be canonised and, as far as I know at the present time, is still the only male citizen of the United States to be canonised.
The sixth of January is, of course, the Feast of the Epiphany, but it also has many other saints associated with it - St. Andre Bessette, St. Melanie, St. Anastasius VIII, St. Wiltrudis, St. Schotin, St. Diman, St. Edeyrn, St. Eigrad, St. Erminold, St. Hywyn, St. John de Ribera, St. Macra, St. Melanius, St. Peter of Canterbury, and St. Erminold are amongst them. Of course, it is the Epiphany that most ordinary Christians remember about this day.
The Epiphany is the day on which the Magi visited the infant Jesus and presented Him with their highly symbolic gifts. The word 'Epiphany' means 'manifestation' in Koine Greek (New Testament Greek) and because the Magi were gentiles this is the day on which we celebrate Jesus' revelation to the gentiles and also spiritually we celebrate the revelation of G-d the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ since the travels and the presence of the Magi mean that this is so. That latter celebration is what the Orthodox churches call Theophany, from the Ancient Greek 'Τheophaneia' meaning 'vision of God'.
There are a few customs relating to the Feast of the Epiphany and perhaps one should note as well that J.S. Bach also composed, in Leipzig, two cantatas for this feast: Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen, BWV 65, in 1724 and Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen, BWV 123, in 1725. Part VI of his Christmas Oratorio, Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben, was also designed to be performed during the service for Epiphany as I state in Footnote (7 ) to this post. However, most of us will have sung, and perhaps be more familiar with, the famous Epiphany carol - 'We Three Kings of Orient Are' - that was written by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr. for the students of the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1857 whilst he was serving as the seminary's music director.
On the Feast of the Epiphany, one's priest, wearing white vestments, will bless the Epiphany water, frankincense, gold, and chalk. The chalk is used to write the initials of the three Magi over the doors of churches and homes. I will, as is traditional, scrawl above the outside doors of my house, using the blessed chalk, 20+C+M+B+13 to commemorate the three Kings Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar in 2013 and to invoke a blessing on my house for ‘C+M+B’ also stands for Christus mansionem benedicat, meaning "Christ bless this home." The names of the Magi mean ‘Master-of-Treasure’, ‘King’ and ‘Protect-the-King’, respectively. (The Syrian Church has given them Persian names – Larvandad, Hormisdas, and Gushnasaph but they’re not, to my mind, very euphonius.) Anyway, marking the lintels of doorways is an old European practice that originally had overtones of magic (protection of the house). However, the symbols are now used throughout the world and represent our Christian traditional Epiphany prayer and blessing. Why don’t you join us in using them even if you’re not particularly religious – all it takes is some chalk and little bit of effort. After all, if Muslims can occupy whole streets to pray then surely we can chalk a prayer on our own door lintels!
I wrote about all the traditional English customs surrounding the Epiphany at NER at http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/31713 some time ago, so if you want to know more just click on that link. Traditionally, the Feast of the Epiphany was also the day on which the parish priest announced the date of Easter, which, being a movable feast, has to be calculated. Many priests still observe this tradition even in the West where people could be expected simply to consult their diaries.
Well, that's the first week of the year explained in Christian terms. If I'm spared I'll outline the other fifty-one as we go along.
* The Latin words, Dies Gloriae, in this title mean 'Days of Glory' and come from Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae: Volume 30, The Gospel of Grace: q. 114 a. 8 co. 109-114: "[...] Prov. IV[:VIII], ["]iustorum semita quasi lux splendens procedit, et crescit usque ad perfectum diem["], [St. Jerome's Vulgate Latin Bible] qui est dies gloriae." ("...Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards, and increaseth even to perfect day.," [Douay-Rheims Bible] which is the days of glory.")
1) "...virtually all museums and galleries that receive public funds have been remodelled to weaken their connection with the past, or are being remodelled to make them into vehicles for contemporary propaganda.
The British Museum is a good illustration of this second purpose. Because the most celebrated of its exhibits are the products of alien and often dead races, and because the universal prestige of one of those races is such that only the boldest dare attack its works, this museum has not received the same comprehensive gutting as the National Maritime Museum. Instead, the labels to exhibits in the Greek and Roman galleries have been supplemented by written comments by black people in this country about what those exhibits mean to them.
Even classical musicians have been told to change if they want to receive continued public funding. In October 2003, the Association of British Orchestras organised a symposium on Cultural Diversity and the Classical Music Industry, and effectively required attendance from every classical music organisation in England larger than a string quartet. Among those addressing the symposium was Professor Lola Young, Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority. She said: "We must change the look of the classical music industry". She was supported by Roger Wright, head of BBC Radio 3, who confessed that everyone at the BBC now underwent "diversity training"." From: Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back by Sean Gabb; The Hampden Press, 2007, 109pp.
ISBN: 0 9541032 2 X
2) One of the most interesting pieces of knowledge that one can deduce from the bare facts in the recent Pew Research Center's reports is that Christians, who make up a third of the world's population, are also the most persecuted group of people on Earth and that Mohammedans are the people usually doing the persecuting (not just of Christians, but also of all other relegions, and that, obviously, gives the lie to the perpetual Mohammedan claims about worldwide so-called 'Islamophobia'). You can find the three full reports here at http://www.pewforum.org/Government/Rising-Tide-of-Restrictions-on-Religion.aspx , from where each report can be read and downloaded so that you, the readers, can judge for yourselves.
3) You can find the posts I am referring to at:
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/40600 on the Hours and the fightback against Mohammedan incursions in the workplace
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/39638 on Advent
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/33022 on Ash Wednesday
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/32956 on Shrovetide
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/32648 on St Valentine and his day
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/32534 on the Golden Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/32370 on Candlemas
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/32179 on one aspect of the Epiphany
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/31933 on St. Priscilla - 16th January
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/31713 on Twelfth Night and Epiphany
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/31544 on St Thomas Beckett and Sts Trophimus - 29th December
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/30832 on St Gelasius - 21st November
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/30694 on St Gregory of Palamas and hesychasm (meditation) - 14th November
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/30661 on the Venerable Bede and music (especially Christmas Carols)
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/30644 on St Justus - 10th November
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/30567 on St Efflam - 7th November
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/30552 on St Leonard of Noblac - 6th November
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/30536 on Bonfires and saints
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/24695 all of which are about Christmas Carols
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/20372 on Bright Week (Holy Week)
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/20097 on St Nicholas Owen - 22nd March
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/18803 on resolutions and Twelfth Night
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/18770 on the Archbishop of Glasgow's Great Curse
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/17972 on Martinmas (Martlemas)
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/17875 on lighting the Guy Fawkes bonfire from the Sanctuary flame
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/17874 on a Bonfire Night and a Martlemas scurrilous rhyme
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/17379 on windows in churches - letting the light out
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/17347 on God being an Englishman
http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_category.cfm/cat_id/153/sr/11 on Christianophobia
4) You can find the stories here:
http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/103385/sec_id/103385 'An Advent Tale, Or, Christmas Miracles Do Happen'
http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/111793/sec_id/111793 'Holy Water, Or, There Is An Eastertide In The Affairs Of Men'
http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/122546/sec_id/122546 'If Quires Of Angels Did Rejoice'
http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/130760/sec_id/130760 'I Call The Living - I Mourn The Dead - I Break The Lightening'
5) Summorum Pontificum (Of the Supreme Pontiffs) is an Apostolic Letter given out by Pope Benedict the XVI, and issued motu proprio (on his own initiative). The document specified the circumstances in which priests of the Latin Church may celebrate Mass according to the Roman Missal promulgated by John the XXIII in AD1962 (that containing the Tridentine Mass), and administer most of the sacraments in the form used before the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council. The document, dated the seventh of July 2007, and in force since the fourteenth of September 2007, was released along with a letter in which Pope Benedict explained his reasons for issuing it. More detail about this can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summorum_Pontificum .
6) Most often quoted in this context is Luke 2:21 - "And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the Child, His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb."
7) Amongst the others are Jesu, nun sei gepreiset (BWV 41) for the first of January, 1725; Herr Gott, dich loben wir (BWV 16) for the first of January, 1726; Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm (BWV 171) for the first of January, 1730; Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben for the first of January, 1735 (from the Christmas Oratorio Part IV - Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben - which part was composed to be sung at the Epiphany).
8) The earliest recorded festivities in honour of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year. They marked the occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring) that involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days. In addition to the new year, Atiku celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat and served an important political purpose: It was during this time that a new king was crowned or that the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed. For more about this go to http://www.history.com/topics/new-years
9) Further information on St. Basil the Great is here at
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02330b.htm and on St. Gregory of Nazianzus is here at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07010b.htm .
Posted on 01/07/2013 10:31 PM by John M Joyce