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The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
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edited by S.B. Kelly
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Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
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The Left is Seldom Right
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Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
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by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
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These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 9, 2009.
Monday, 9 November 2009
Autumn Colours on the Wiltshire Avon

This is the River Avon in Wiltshire which flows into the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth Bristol. It is not the same river as the Warwickshire Avon, upon which Stratford on Avon stands. That joins the River Severn up stream at Tewkesbury.
Neither should be confused, although they often are, with the other Wiltshire Avon which flows through Salisbury and then through Hampshire into the English Channel at Christchurch.
Avon  (Welsh Afon) means river.
I took the photograph on holiday last month on a nice bright afternoon.


Posted on 11/09/2009 3:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 9 November 2009
Forces 'at risk' with Muslims in ranks

From The Australian
CHRISTIAN Democrat MP Fred Nile has warned of the risks of allowing Muslims to serve in Australia's armed forces.
The Rev Nile says last week's killing spree in the United States in which an army officer shot dead 13 people should cause "all associated with the free world's military forces to feel serious concern".
The NSW MP and former army officer said the Australian Defence Force could already harbour Muslim personnel who may be a threat to their comrades in arms.
"Australians would like to be assured that our defence forces have in place a system of assessment and review which would identify any person whose adherence to any alien ideology might one day override loyalty to mates and loyalty to the Crown," Mr Nile said.
"There is an argument for suggesting that the safety and morale of our troops may warrant a ban on dedicated Muslims joining the armed forces, who may be influenced by Islamic fundamentalism."

Posted on 11/09/2009 4:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 9 November 2009
'Plan to attack US embassy in Dhaka hatched in Pakistan'

From The Hindustan Times
A plan to attack the US embassy in Dhaka was hatched in Pakistan by the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Bangladeshi investigators have said.
Madrassa teacher Mufti Harun, who was arrested in Chittagong, told investigators that one LeT leader discussed the plan over telephone from Pakistan and instructed in Arabic the way to execute it.
Besides the American embassy, the high commissions of India and Britain are also believed to be the targets, media reports have said.
The three suspected militants - Mufti Harun Izahar, 33, Shahidul Islam, 26, and Al Amin alias Saiful - were picked up from Lalkhan Bazar seminary in Chittagong port town last Wednesday night.
Sanowar Hossain, assistant commissioner of the DB, told newspersons that the mobile phone, which was used to carry out the plan, was seized from the possession of Mufti Harun Izahar.
The police officials are hunting for six more suspects who were involved in the plan.

Posted on 11/09/2009 5:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 9 November 2009
Former Nashville Somali Center Back in Business

The Somali Center in Nashville was renamed as the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee due to the scandal involving misappropriation of grant money. With its new name, it is back in business and receiving grants. Despite record high unemployment rates, the government is giving grants not only to bring these people here from the Third World, but funding this discredited agency to find work for them. From The Tennesseean

...In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement awarded the Nashville-based Center for Refugees and Immigrants a $195,608 grant for each of the next three years to help refugees like Dahir overcome the kinds of language and cultural hurdles that sometimes stand between refugees and meaningful work.

(,,,)

In September, the most recent month for which data are available, unemployment in Tennessee stood at 10.5 percent, down from a high of 10.7 percent a month before.

The tough climate for jobs all but requires refugees and immigrants to draw on basic networking skills.

Since the start of the year, 1,019 individuals have been resettled in Tennessee by nonprofit agencies that partner with the federal government. More than two-thirds have been resettled in Nashville and hail from countries such as Myanmar (Burma), Bhutan, Iraq and Somalia.

The Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee was one of just 16 agencies to apply for the federal grant, and it was only one of two centers that received the full amount requested. Part of the reason may be that the center plans to use its three-year grant to do more than offer traditional refugee services

Thanks to a partnership made possible by the grant, the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Nashville and Goodwill Industries will help coach, train and try to place refugee workers in so-called "hidden jobs" — ones available largely through word-of-mouth rather than help-wanted ads.

And the center itself will try to connect with employers in an effort to establish the kind of relationship that might bring a call about a job vacancy or a request for workers with specific skills, said Foley.

"Refugees can bring a lot to the table," said Foley. "One of the things that we like to point out is that many times refugees are going to have no problem working Christmas or Thanksgiving or other holidays that may have meaning to other workers. So one of the things I'll be saying is, 'If you have a factory or a business that needs to operate year-round, here's a whole group of legal workers to consider.' "...

Posted on 11/09/2009 6:24 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 9 November 2009
More on the Fort Morgan, Colorado Somali Murder Case: the gag order has been lifted and bail set

Our colleague Ann Corcoran of the blog Refugee Resettlement Watch has a post on the lifting of the court gag order in the wake of the arrest of Somali émigré Ahmed Abdi, a resident of Greeley, Colorado and an employee of meat packer JBS Swift USA, for the stabbing murder of a Somali woman, Warsan Aden, an employee of meatpacker Cargill, Inc. in Fort Morgan.  We had posted on this when the story broke as the murder raises the question of whether this could be a possible “honor killing”, as the two had been seen together and allegedly knew one another.

Bail for the suspect in the Somali murder case has been set at $300,000, according to this Fort Morgan Times report following the lifting of the gag order by Fort Morgan County Judge Kevin Hoyer. The Times report noted:

Besides the $300,000 bond, Abdi must — if he raises bail — surrender any travel documents such as a passport or visa and must remain in Colorado.

A preliminary and bond reduction hearing has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 16. . . .

Abdi could face 16 to 48 years in prison on a second-degree murder conviction, 10 to 32 years on a first-degree assault conviction and two to 16 years on a second-degree assault conviction.

Witness Abshir Hirsi, 29, said the victim went to the door of an apartment where she and several other people were watching television and began talking to a man, and then they heard a loud noise as the victim yelled. She then grabbed Hirsi, and [s]he felt blood.

Witnesses said they saw what looked like a kitchen knife on the ground.

There are a constellation of Somali émigré communities across the high plains in both Colorado and neighboring Nebraska that have given rise to culture clashes about accommodation to Muslim Sharia practices during Ramadan observances. We had previously posted on protests against Sharia accommodations by JBS Swift USA in Greeley and by Michael Gale and members of Coloradans Against Sharia Task Force (CAST). See here.

Corcoran makes note in her Refugee Resettlement Watch post of the obsessive political correctness in these Colorado meat packing communities like Greeley and Fort Morgan with concentrations of Somali émigré meat packing workers:

Ft. Morgan has been, in my opinion, too naive and politically correct about the Somalis and other refugees pouring into that meat packing town see my post here last year. You can “welcome” them, but the community needs to be fully informed about the downside as well as the upside of being a resettlement city. Cargill isn’t luring them to Ft. Morgan because they care about the downtrodden or wish to give Ft. Morgan the joys of multiculturalism—they are cheap legal labor that is all.

See also this post about how Somali men would not allow Somali women to attend a mixed-gender church luncheon in Ft. Morgan.

Also you should know that the US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.

More may be revealed about the relationship between the suspect, Abdi and the victim, Aden, at the arraignment hearing on November 16th in Fort Morgan County Court.

 

Posted on 11/09/2009 7:41 AM by Jerry Gordon
Monday, 9 November 2009
Al-Awlaki: Hasan is a Hero

Anwar al-Awlaki was the imam at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque where Ft. Hood terrorist Nidal Hasan and two of the 9-11 hijackers worshipped in 2001. Al-Awlaki aslo served as imam in Denver and San Diego where he personally met with two the the hijackers. Paul Sperry wrote about the grand reception the hijackers received in mosques across America as they made their way to the East coast. "Hasan's eyes "lit up" when he mentioned his deep respect for al-Awlaki's teachings, according to a fellow Muslim officer at the Fort Hood base in Texas." After Sept. 11, al Awlaki fled to Yemen where he has a blog and has posted the following:

Nidal Hassan is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people. This is a contradiction that many Muslims brush aside and just pretend that it doesn’t exist. Any decent Muslim cannot live, understanding properly his duties towards his Creator and his fellow Muslims, and yet serve as a US soldier. The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam. Its army is directly invading two Muslim countries and indirectly occupying the rest through its stooges.

Nidal opened fire on soldiers who were on their way to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. How can there be any dispute about the virtue of what he has done? In fact the only way a Muslim could Islamically justify serving as a soldier in the US army is if his intention is to follow the footsteps of men like Nidal.

The heroic act of brother Nidal also shows the dilemma of the Muslim American community. Increasingly they are being cornered into taking stances that would either make them betray Islam or betray their nation. Many amongst them are choosing the former. The Muslim organizations in America came out in a pitiful chorus condemning Nidal’s operation.

The fact that fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty today cannot be disputed. No scholar with a grain of Islamic knowledge can defy the clear cut proofs that Muslims today have the right -rather the duty- to fight against American tyranny. Nidal has killed soldiers who were about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in order to kill Muslims. The American Muslims who condemned his actions have committed treason against the Muslim Ummah and have fallen into hypocrisy.

Allah(swt) says: Give tidings to the hypocrites that there is for them a painful punishment –
Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely. (al-Nisa 136-137)
The inconsistency of being a Muslim today and living in America and the West in general reveals the wisdom behind the opinions that call for migration from the West. It is becoming more and more difficult to hold on to Islam in an environment that is becoming more hostile towards Muslims.

May Allah grant our brother Nidal patience, perseverance and steadfastness and we ask Allah to accept from him his great heroic act. Ameen

Also from Sheik Anwar's blog:

Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, USA.
He studied the Islamic sciences of Quran, hadith, and fiqh with scholars from Yemen. Imam Anwar served as an Imam in Denver, Colorado; San Diego, California; and Falls Church, Virginia. He is the author of the audio series on “The Lives of the Prophets”, “The Hereafter”, “The Life and Time of Abu Bakr”, “The Life and Time of Umar” , “The Messenger of Allah” along with other single lectures.
Imam Anwar also holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University.
Currently he resides in Yemen.

Posted on 11/09/2009 8:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 9 November 2009
Hasan Attempted to Contact al-Qaeda

ABC:

U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.

It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.

One senior lawmaker said the CIA had, so far, refused to brief the intelligence committees on what, if any, knowledge they had about Hasan's efforts.

CIA director Leon Panetta and the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, have been asked by Congress "to preserve" all documents and intelligence files that relate to Hasan, according to the lawmaker...

Posted on 11/09/2009 8:51 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 9 November 2009
Unfashionable integrity

Author Sarah Ruden came to my attention a few weeks ago when she wrote to the editor of the New Criterion about Yale and the Danish cartoons. Her integrity stands out from the cowardly conformity of so many academics, as her clear prose stands out from the clotted variety they normally serve up:

For my own part, I have already banned the Press from bidding on further books of mine. This is, first of all, a self-protective move. I don't think there's any coffee good enough that I'd enjoy being told over it that my finished, fully edited manuscript is going to be neutered because of a report I'm not allowed to see without swearing secrecy.

[...]

Perhaps those of us already under contract with the Press should follow its own example to show the full implications of its decision. My translation of the Aeneid, which has been out for over a year, is doing well, but shouldn't this alarm me? This epic poem is arrogantly pro-Western, advocating the Roman conquest of the world in the interest of peace and justice and denigrating Middle Eastern cultures. Shouldn't I, in the “prudential” interest of “preventing violence,” stop promoting this book that could offend Muslims? Shouldn't I form my own confidential team of advisers and demand the removal of the inflammatory passages?

Such clear-sightedness is all too rare these days, and must be treasured. She needs all the treasure she can get, for she won't get any of the lavish grants bestowed on such as Cornel West - unless she commissions a gangsta rap version of the Aeneid. (There is a pop singer called Dido, so you never know.) And now her livelihood is under threat. From Standpoint:

The editor of the fourth book, my recently published Aeneid translation, which is selling well, readily agreed to have the page display removed from Google books but said that this might take a while. When I checked two weeks later, 100 per cent of the book was on display, scrollable from the now pathetic-looking copyright page to the end of the glossary — 308 pages, and the back cover. 

I cursed and gaped. I closed and reopened the web site and there it all was again, three years of work, plus debt and lack of medical care and some rather bizarre house-sitting to save on rent while I finished the manuscript on a small advance, with the promise of rewards in proportion to the book's sales. Now the book was being given away for free in Yale Divinity School Library, which is open to the general public. Unable to believe that this wasn't a special Yale subscription, I checked on my laptop, which is not registered or networked with Yale: there the book was again. Anyone with an internet connection could read the whole thing, courtesy of Google. 

[...] 

If Google wanted to sell books, as Amazon or Barnes and Noble do, it would sell books, but that would be the dumb, boring, old-economy game, with money-making limited by supply and demand in the realm of real goods. Google makes its money from selling ads. More books not sold, more people flitting between more free displays or free library orders mean more page hits and more ad revenue. For a consumer to order a book from Amazon, turn off the computer, and sit down and read it through, without any enticements in front of him to order Viagra or find out his credit rating or search for long-lost classmates, is the last thing Google wants. 

[...]

The dangers from Google to the free flow of information are obvious: the Chinese government's main partner in censorship is a scary candidate to be a monopolist in publishing. But the dangers extend to the creation of information — indeed, to the creation of all significant content. This publishing monopoly won't be motivated to sell books at all but rather to eat them. It will get more calories out of the books the more quickly it digests them, reducing their value to that of manure, or to nothing. It will get more calories from junk-food books, empty of thought and never demanding to be considered seriously and treated differently from each other. A special kind of book may evolve to meet Google's needs, a book with maximum hype on the outside and minimum cause for pause on the inside. It will be for all practical purposes an ad and Google's publishing venture will ingest itself, but not before the company directors have socked away enough cash to buy themselves a medium-sized tropical country and retire in peace, far from the wreck of the West. 

It's difficult to do this piece justice in selected extracts; Ruden doesn't waste a word, so best read it all. I am generally well disposed towards unbridled market forces; it's the State that needs a bridle. But for Google Books, I will make an exception, and it is a tribute to Ruden's eloquence that I have, exceptionally, changed my mind.

Posted on 11/09/2009 8:39 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 9 November 2009
A Pretty Bauble Always Gladdens Us, Or, One More Amazing Coincidence
"LAS VEGAS — The long Main Event of the World Series of Poker, which began in July and already has had the longest final table in its 40-year history, ends Monday night. Fittingly, two long shots will go head-to-head for the top prize of $8.5 million.

Joe Cada, a 21-year-old poker prodigy from Michigan, takes on Darvin Moon, a 46-year-old logger from western Maryland. Moon won his $10,000 entry fee by winning a $130 buy-in tournament at a West Virginia casino.

Both players are assured at least second-place money of $5.18 million, first is $8,547,042. Both sound relaxed going into the start of their showdown."  -- from a news item 

 

Last night , on NPR I started to listen to an itme about the upcoming finals in the World Series of Poker, and the name "Darvin Moon" was mentioned -- a name until then unkown to me --and that mention startled me,  made me quickly leave the room, not even bothering to hear  more about  Darvin Moon's see-you-and-raise-you exploits, his  pokerish podvigs, and I went instead on a hunt for my  yellow-jacketed copy of Nabokov's "Glory." I needed to find out  if what mention of that name "Darvin Moon" had suddenly prompted in my memory was correct. It was. I

For sure enough, in "Glory," translated from Nabokov's Russian original ("Podvig"), .Martin, the protagonist who will go back, will cross the border of Soviet Russia, is a student, as Nabokov was (living in digs I have even taken tea in,  at Trinity Great Court, at the other end from the Master's Lodge), at Cambridge, and there Martin -- not Nabokov --  has a professor, one Archibald Moon, who is  writing, interminably,  a thick one-volume history of Russia that may or may not appear, like Casaubon's famous Guide to All the Mysteries. In "Glory," the English version of the novel, the reader is offered, however, Archibald Moon's translation of Pushkin's "Ode to Autumn" into Georgian verse. 

In "Glory" the hero, Martin, has a friend, who when he becomes a rival for the affections of Sonia is also an enemy, , and that friend-enemy is named Darwin. Moon and Darwin, Darwin and Moon. That's "Glory" for you. And now, If you run around the nearest available tree fast enough, saying those names -- Darwin and Moon -- in rapid succession, you won't turn into butter as in Little Black Sambo, but you will start saying Darwin Moon, Darwin Moon. And if you keep it up, that name might become Darvin Moon, a man who clearly knows when to hold 'em, and knows when to fold 'em.

And then, since you, dear reader,  possess a well-stocked mind that a coincidence can always find, you will say to yourself, as I did:  "Why, what an amazing coincidence. "

Such coincidences possess a kind of beauty. And isn't a thing of beauty a joy forever? 

Posted on 11/09/2009 9:55 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 9 November 2009
Start-Up Nation

Bruce Kessler's review of Start-Up Nation at Maggie's Farm begins:

Every once in a while a book comes along that reveals a startling gap in our understanding of the world, our passions and desires, and ourselves. Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle is such a book.

The 236-page (plus copious footnotes) book is written in layman’s ease while delving in Harvard case-study depth, based on over 100 interviews of those who made it happen, into the question of how a tiny, imperiled nation with a relatively miniscule population came to be a leader in international hi-tech and a leading prosperous economy.

As I literally devoured the book, heavily highlighting its insights, I kept wondering why I, a student of Israel, hadn’t seen this before. The authors themselves, one an editor of the Jerusalem Post and the other a senior fellow at the US Council on Foreign Relations and member of global investment firms, finally answer: “We assumed there must be some book that explained what made the start-up scene so vibrant and seemingly impervious to the security situation. There wasn’t. So we decided to write one.” Thank you Saul Singer and Dan Senor.

Continue reading here.

Posted on 11/09/2009 9:16 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 9 November 2009
Military Justice

Joshua Stanton writes:

...The Army will want to exercise jurisdiction over Hasan’s crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It is the Army way, and it is consistent with the authority of Article 2 of the UCMJ to punish offenses by a man wearing its uniform, against its soldiers, within the boundaries of its largest post. The civilian system could try him, but it is Hasan’s good fortune — and I will soon explain why — that it probably won’t.

For those of us who play no role in Hasan’s trial, no punishment but death seems appropriate, yet the obvious justice of such an outcome is far from assured. For one thing, President Obama will have to attend and speak at these soldiers’ funerals. Silence will not be an option. How can he console without appearing to prejudge guilt and punishment? He must. Any such statement would allow defense attorneys to argue that Obama’s comments constitute unlawful command influence and demand that the charges should be dismissed, or that the death penalty must be excluded. At best, appeals alleging unlawful command influence would delay any execution indefinitely. Prepare yourself for President Obama to sound mealy-mouthed, but it is important to understand that the legal context will dictate this.

As soon as Hasan is well enough to understand them, charges will be preferred on him, and an Article 32, UCMJ hearing will be set. The lawyers will use this hearing to explore the evidence of premeditation, Hasan’s sanity, and potential evidence to mitigate punishment. The Article 32 officer will almost certainly recommend referral of the case to a General Court Martial with the authority to adjudge capital punishment, and the Commanding General is almost certain to follow that recommendation. The evidence of premeditation already seems substantial, and that is before all we will learn about Hasan’s chats, blogs, and e-mails in the coming days. Then will come numerous motions to appoint experts and consultants, conduct discovery, and dismiss charges. In less time than it would take in the civilian system, a panel — not a jury — of at least twelve officers will be selected, all of whom must outrank Hasan (that is, the lowest-ranking member must be a major with a date of rank earlier than Hasan’s). If they convict Hasan, they will proceed to adjudge a sentence.

Writing in the Military Law Review in 2006, three years after my brief stint as editor, Marine Colonel Dwight H. Sullivan wrote that of the 47 capital cases the military has tried in recent decades, just 15 have resulted in death sentences. The trial and sentencing in this case will take a year or two — much less time than it might take in the civilian system, but that is only the beginning. If Hasan is sentenced to death, the case will enter the military’s meticulous appellate system, which has reversed more death sentences than it has affirmed. There have been no military executions since 1961, and there are six men sitting in the military’s death row today. Of these, only one appears to be at all close to execution; in 2008, President Bush approved the execution of convicted serial killer Private Ronald Gray, but Gray still sits on death row for crimes he committed in the 1980’s.

The infuriating reality we are left with is that if Nidal Hasan survives his injuries, he may end up spending the remainder of his life in the company of Hasan Akbar, who also sits on death row for the murder of his comrades.

Posted on 11/09/2009 9:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 9 November 2009
Sod's Law of Pedantry

Sod, the Senior Partner in that established firm Sod, Parkinson & Murphy, gave his name to many laws. His Law of Pedantry states that when you take someone to task for a mistake, you will make one yourself. Sod's Law of Pedantry can be seen in action in the comments to my article The Pedants' Revolt, in which a number of readers pick the nits in my nit-picking.

The last refuge of pedantry and malice, it has been said, is the letters page of the Times Literary Supplement. This week is no exception. A long letter from Craig T. Mason draws attention to "at least some of the manifest errors" in Peter Martin's biography of Samuel Johnson:

Names – including those of Bertrand H. Bronson, Bertram H. Davis, Graham Nicholls, Paolo Sarpi, Katharine C. Balderston and Allen Reddick (“Alien”) – are rendered incorrectly. The notes and bibliography are marred by factual errors, typos and inconsistencies of form. On page 566, for example, information for the Hill-Powell edition of Boswell’s Life of Johnson has mischievously attached itself to a book by E. L. McAdam, Jr – whose surname appears there as “Adam”. Incorrect, inconsistent or misleading publication dates are given for at least twenty-three works, including Martin’s own biography of Boswell. Incorrect or inconsistent ....incorrect....inconsistent.....

[....]

Other slips include the following. Johnson’s date of birth is correctly given as September 7, 1709, but the reader should probably be told promptly that “this was the Old Style dating in use in Britain until 1752; after the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, this corresponded to 18 September – [Johnson’s] birthday in his own estimation” (Pat Rogers, The Samuel Johnson Encyclopedia, pp36–7). Idler essays 22 and 38, on imprisonment for debt, were published in 1758 and 1759, respectively, not the year after Johnson’s 1756 arrest for debt (p312). Oliver Goldsmith’s birth date is given as c728 (p364), but we are later told that at his death, in April 1774, “he was forty-four”

My bold, his bad - Mason's not Martin's, for you would scarcely need to give the date of death if the date of birth is so far out.

So Goldsmith was 1,046 when he died? No wonder he harped on about the past.

Posted on 11/09/2009 9:26 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 9 November 2009
JAG Officer's Account of Ft. Hood Attack

This comes from Kendra Adams of Stop Islamization of America. The officer writes:

Since I don't know when I'll sleep (it's 4 am now) I'll write what happened (the abbreviated version.....the long one is already part of the investigation with more to come).
 
I'll not write about any part of the investigation that I've learned about since (as a witness I know more than I should since inevitably my JAG brothers and sisters are deeply involved in the investigation).
 
Don't assume that most of the current media accounts are very accurate. They're not. They'll improve with time. Only those of us who were there really know what went down. But as they collate our statements they'll get it right.
 
I did my SRP last week (Soldier Readiness Processing) but you're supposed to come back a week later to have them look at the smallpox vaccination site (it's this big itchy growth on your shoulder). I am probably alive because I pulled a ---------- and entered the wrong building first (the main SRP building). The Medical SRP building is off to the side. Realizing my mistake I left the main building and walked down the sidewalk to the medical SRP building.
 
As I'm walking up to it the gunshots start. Slow and methodical. But continuous. Two ambulatory wounded came out. Then two soldiers dragging a third who was covered in blood. Hearing the shots but not seeing the shooter, along with a couple other soldiers I stood in the street and yelled at everyone who came running that it was clear but to "RUN!" I kept motioning people fast. About 6-10 minutes later (the shooting continuous), two cops ran up, one male, one female. We pointed in the direction of the shots.
 
They headed that way (the medical SRP building was about 50 meters away). Then a lot more gunfire. A couple minutes later a balding man in ACU's came around the building carrying a pistol and holding it tactically. He started shooting at us and we all dived back to the cars behind us. I don't think he hit the couple other guys who were there. I did see the bullet holes later in the cars. First I went behind a tire and then looked under the body of the car. I've been trained how to respond to gunfire...but with my own weapon.
 
To have no weapon I don't know how to explain what that felt like. I hadn't run away and stayed because I had thought about the consequences or anything like that. I wasn't thinking anything through. Please understand, there was no intention. I was just staying there because I didn't think about running. It never occurred to me that he might shoot me. Until he started shooting in my direction and I realized I was unarmed.
 
Then the female cop comes around the corner. He shoots her. (According to the news accounts she got a round into him. I believe it, I just didn't see it. He didn't go down.) She goes down. He starts reloading. He's fiddling with his mags. Weirdly, he hasn't dropped the one that was in his weapon. He's holding the fresh one and the old one (you do that on the range when time is not of the essence but in combat you would just let the old mag go).
 
I see the male cop around the left corner of the building. I'm about 15-20 meters from the shooter.) I yell at the cop, "He's reloading, he's reloading. Shoot him! Shoot him! You have to understand, everything was quiet at this point. The cop appears to hear me and comes around the corner and shoots the shooter. He goes down. The cop kicks his weapon farther away. I sprint up to the downed female cop. Another captain (I think he was with me behind the cars) comes up as well. She's bleeding profusely out of her thigh. We take our belts off and tourniquet her just like we've been trained (I hope we did it right...we didn't have any CLS (combat lifesaver) bags with their awesome tourniquets on us, so we worked with what we had).
 
Meanwhile, in the most bizarre moment of the day, a photographer was standing over us taking pictures. I suppose I'll be seeing those tomorrow. Then a soldier came up and identified himself as a medic. I then realized her weapon was lying there unsecured (and on "fire"). I stood over it and when I saw a cop yelled for him to come over and secure her weapon (I would have done so but I was worried someone would mistake me for a bad guy). I then went over to the shooter. He was unconscious. A Lt Colonel was there and had secured his primary weapon for the time being. He also had a revolver.
 
I couldn't believe he was one of ours. I didn't want to believe it. Then I saw his name and rank and realized this wasn't just some specialist with mental issues. At this point there was a guy there from CID and I asked him if he knew he was the shooter and had him secured. He said he did.
 
I then went over the slaughterhouse, the medical SRP building. No human should ever have to see what that looked like. And I won't tell you. Just believe me. Please. There was nothing to be done there. Someone then said there was someone critically wounded around the corner. I ran around (while seeing this floor to ceiling window that someone had jumped through movie-style) and saw a large African-American soldier lying on his back with two or three soldiers attending. I ran up and identified two entrance wounds on the right side of his stomach, one exit wound on the left side and one head wound. He was not bleeding externally from the stomach wounds (though almost certainly internally) but was bleeding from the head wound. A soldier was using a shirt to try and stop the head bleeding.
 
He was conscious so I began talking to him to keep him so. He was 42, from North Carolina, he was named something Jr., his son was named something III and he had a daughter as well. His children lived with him. He was divorced. I told him the blubber on his stomach saved his life. He smiled. a young soldier in civvies showed up and identified himself as a combat medic. We debated whether to put him on the back of a pickup truck. A doctor (well, an audiologist) showed up and said you can't move him, he has a head wound. We finally sat tight.
 
I went back to the slaughterhouse. They weren't letting anyone in there. Not even medics. finally, after about 45 minutes had elapsed some cops showed up in tactical vests. someone said the TBI building was unsecured. They headed into there. All of a sudden a couple more shots were fired. People shouted there was a second shooter! A half hour later the SWAT showed up. there was no second shooter. that had been an impetuous cop apparently. But that confused things for a while. Meanwhile, I went back to the shooter. The female cop had been taken away. a medic was pumping plasma into the shooter. I'm not proud of this but I went up to her and said "This is the shooter, is there anyone else who needs attention? Do them first.
 
She indicated everyone else living was attended to. I still hadn't seen any EMTs or ambulances. I had so much blood on me that people kept asking me if I was ok. but that was all other people's blood. Eventually (an hour and a half to two hours after the shootings) they started landing choppers. They took out the big African-American guy and the shooter. I guess the ambulatory wounded were all at the SRP building. Everyone else in my area was dead.
 
I suppose the emergency responders were told there were multiple shooters. I heard that was the delay with the choppers (they were all civilian helicopters). they needed a secure LZ. but other than the initial cops who did everything right, I didnt see a lot of them for a while.
 
I did see many a soldier rush out to help their fellows/sisters. There was one female soldier, I dont know her name or rank but I would recognize her anywhere, who was everywhere helping people. a couple people, mainly civilians, were hysterical, but only a couple. One civilian freaked out when I tried to comfort her when she saw my uniform. I guess she had seen the shooter up close. A lot of soldiers were rushing out to help even when we thought there was another gunman out there.
 
This Army is not broken no matter what the pundits say. not the Army I saw. And then they kept me for a long time to come. Oh, and perhaps the most surreal thing, at 1500 (the end of the workday on Thursdays) when the bugle sounded we all came to attention and saluted the flag. In the middle of it all. this is what I saw.
 
It can't have been real. but this is my small corner of what happened.
 

Posted on 11/09/2009 10:00 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 9 November 2009
A Pointed Musical Interlude: The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)

Listen here

Posted on 11/09/2009 10:32 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 9 November 2009
Eternal Americanism

And isn't a thing of beauty a joy forever? (Hugh) 

No. A thing of beauty is a joy for ever. From an old post:

[I]f Keats had been American, perhaps he would have written "a joy forever".

And if I were American,  I would probably have put the inverted commas, which I would have called quotation marks, after the full stop in the sentence above, and called the full stop a period.

All this won't matter for much longer, certainly not for ever. Soon we will all be writing 4eva, and quotation marks will go the way of all flesh.

I'm not completely sure about the "forever" business. What about "forever and ever"? That must look wrong to Americans too.

A thing of beauty is a garden is a lovesome thing. God wot rot. But it's better than some corner of a foreign field that is... er.....forever England. Forever England and England for ever. Confused? You should be.

Posted on 11/09/2009 11:11 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 9 November 2009
Muslim Demands Grow In France

France: Companies confronted by religious demands

Islam in Europe 9 November 2009

A third of French companies say they are concerned by demands from their employees regarding wearing the headscarf, holidays and prayers. "Managing Eid is a real headache,' says the manager of a transport company. "Half of the bus-drivers are Muslim. When they all ask to be absent on that day, how do you assure 100% service?"

To anticipate these pressures, certain companies now distribute a calendar of all religious festivals to their foremen. While others repeatedly oppose 'absences for religious reasons'.

"Every company puts together a place for Allah. If the Muslim employees are many, they dictate the norm. Otherwise it's very random," says anthropologist Dounia Bouzar, who today publishes the results of an extensive study of the working world ("Allah a-t-il sa place dans l'entreprise?" "Does Allah have a place at work?"). An educational book where regretfully anonymous managers tell of daily life, the increase in demands.

A third of French companies expressed concern, principally in Île-de-France but also in the north-east and south-east of France, in the trade, services and construction sectors, according to the results of an Ifop poll from April 2008. "Can you fire an employee who starts wearing a headscarf?" managers often ask when turning to Dounia Bouzar to conduct an audit. Or repeating "Should the big holidays of Islam be considered vacation days?" In order to guide the companies, the anti-discrimination authority (HALDE) published its opinion last March. In essence: religious demands can be denied only when they penalize service. Internal regulations will be annulled by the courts if they ban the headscarf for no real reason. Since then the IMS philanthropic association, where Claude Bebear united the biggest French companies, has also decided to put out a guide on the topic.

Because the requests come from beyond the industrial sector now. "In banking, where the number of managers is important, there's an increase in religious demands. And in the automotive and construction sectors, the issue is raised among the administration," says Benjamin Blevier, of IMS. This new visibility fuels fears of an escalation. "Soon everybody will arrive with kippas, crosses and display Christ everywhere in the office," an HR manager predicted to Dounia Bouzar. "If I tolerate any request, it will grow," he worries.

While the anxiety is widely shared, the rules in the field vary widely. Paradoxically, Ramadan, which is very visible, is rather well accepted in the business world, where it looks like a cultural tradition, says Lylia and Dounia Bouzar. In the construction sector HR managers are particularly concerned about the risks of accidents, because employees who do not eat are weaker. they usually adjust the schedules if they have many practicing employees, explain the authors. In retail, long breaks are provided for breaking the fast, and not in midday. According to one official, restaurants remain open longer and offer halal soup, milk and fruit, a sort of basic requirement.

However, some managers of North African origin regret the communitarian aspects. "I'm an atheist. Yet I'm constantly offered to leave earlier," protested Faycal. "It's as if we said: today we commemorate the ascent of Jesus to Heaven and so we all finish at 3pm."

While Ramadan is tolerated, prayer at work causes problem by most employees and managers. Symbolically, prayer at work seems like an act of 'proselytizing'. "Prayer is at home," repeated most of the respondents. "It's out of the question that he'll pray while the others are working," said one boss. While elsewhere an employee got upset, asking why prayer was allowed while they were refused time to pick up their child from kindergarten.

In large companies prayer rooms have been nonetheless set up. Particularly in the automotive industry. One French manufacturer even built changing rooms. Conversely, a big Japanese firm had employees sign that they will not practice their religion in the workplace, in defiance of the law, says Dounia Bouzar.

As for the headscarf, it's still not very much understood. Except for junior positions, companies would like to prohibit it. But the legal precedents are based on the criteria of general law, says the anthropologist. "Simple contact with clients doesn't allow banning the headscarf." It should be shown that it contradicts the safety rules, that it can hurt the convictions of the surroundings, or that it harms performance or commercial interests. The general administration rules apply for religious demands.

Source:

Le Figaro

(French)

Posted on 11/09/2009 10:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 9 November 2009
Establishment clause

A furniture shop in my neighbourhood boasts of being "Established since 1990". That doesn't sound very established to me; 1990 makes it positively fly-by-night. The again, to a teenager 1990 suggests time-honoured traditions; to boast of being "established" a shop should be older than you.

Perhaps I misunderstood. "Established since 1990" rather than "in 1990" suggests it has been establishing itself for the last nineteen years and is still finding its feet. Such modesty is rare in a retailer.

Shopping in Shepherd's Bush, I noticed an unusual sign for a discount store: "Everything 99p plus".  Harrods could make the same claim, though I doubt it would. They meant 99p or less, which is the latest form of oneupmanship - or onedownmanship - on the usual pound store.

Such shops often sell cheap versions of famous brands, with labels designed to look like the famous one. The logic behind the branding is not always so apparent. Why is a toilet roll called "Freedom"? Freedom from what?

Posted on 11/09/2009 11:23 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 9 November 2009
Propped Up (Foolishly) By Israel, Abbas Nonetheless Wants To Resign

Collapse Feared for Palestinian Authority if Abbas Resigns

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The prospect that the Palestinian Authority, the government in the West Bank, might fall apart loomed on Monday, as those close to its president, Mahmoud Abbas, said that he intended to resign and forecast that others would follow.

“I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state but he sees no state coming,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, said in an interview. “So he really doesn’t think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?”

Mr. Abbas warned last week that he would not participate in elections he called for January. But many viewed that as a ploy by a Hamlet-like leader upset over Israeli and American policy, and noted that the vote might not actually be held, given the Palestinian political fracture and the unwillingness of Hamas, which controls Gaza, to participate.

In the days since, however, his colleagues have come to believe he is not bluffing. If that is the case, they say, the Palestinian Authority could be endangered.

Four top officials made the same point in separate interviews. Mr. Abbas, they say, feels at a total impasse in negotiations with the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has declined to commit to a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders including East Jerusalem. Mr. Netanyahu favors negotiations without preconditions.

Azam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council, said he spoke with Mr. Abbas on Saturday and that he was likely to resign in the next month or so. “Nobody will accept to be president under this situation,” Mr. Ahmad said. “We could witness the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.”

Ali Jarbawi, the Minister of Planning, spoke in similar terms in an interview, asking, “Why do we need anybody to take his place if the whole process is failing? If the authority is going to go on forever, who needs it?” But he suggested that the crisis was aimed at persuading the United States and Europe to become more actively involved in bringing about a two-state solution.

What a collapse of the Palestinian Authority would mean is far from clear. All legal definitions in Palestinian politics have grown fuzzy since the 2007 split between the Fatah-dominated West Bank and Hamas-run Gaza. What is clear is that Mr. Abbas and those who work closely with him were shocked when the United States backpedaled on a demand that Israel freeze settlement building in the West Bank.

Mr. Netanyahu was due to meet President Obama in Washington on Monday night, and Mr. Abbas’s threat was expected to be a part of their talks. When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Jerusalem last week, she asked Mr. Netanyahu to include in negotiating guidelines specific references to the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and Jerusalem. He declined. President Obama took his time before granting the prime minister’s request for a meeting.

Mr. Abbas, who is 74, is not only the president of the Palestinian Authority but the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the chairman of the Fatah political movement. Known as Abu Mazen, he took over from Yasir Arafat upon his death five years ago and was hailed by Israeli and American leaders as a very different man.

Rather than military fatigues, Mr. Abbas wore suits. He made a point of condemning Palestinian military actions against Israel as “terrorism” and saying that the Palestinian uprising that began in late 2000 was wrong. He gained the confidence of former hardliners like Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert and he was widely admired on the Israeli left, some of whom now worry deeply about his decision, blaming the government.

As Ephraim Sneh, a former liberal cabinet minister, wrote in an opinion article in the daily Haaretz on Sunday, “The conduct of Abbas, the most courageous partner we have had, is in large measure a byproduct of our missed opportunities.”

As Mr. Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said of Mr. Abbas, “He has invested more patience into this process than anyone else. His name should be Mahmoud Patience. But he has come to the realization that it is over and there is no point in continuing.”

Not everyone regrets his expected departure, saying his problem is not Mr. Netanyahu but the fact that he does not control Gaza and has no way of gaining control of it. Those critics, even moderate Israelis, say that a year agoEhud Olmert, while still Israel’s prime minister, offered Mr. Abbas a deal that included nearly all of the West Bank, land swaps for limited settlement blocks and shared sovereignty over Jerusalem. But Mr. Abbas turned it down.

Then after first agreeing not to press the United Nations report led by Judge Richard Goldstone that assailed Israel’s behavior in the recent Gaza war, he reversed position, first upsetting Palestinians, then ruffling Israelis.

“Abbas’s tenure as Arafat’s successor has proved an unmitigated disaster,” David Horovitz, center-right editor of The Jerusalem Post, wrote on Friday . “He lost the Palestinian parliamentary elections to Hamas in 2006. He lost Gaza physically to Hamas in the coup of 2007. He lost much of Israel in spurning Olmert, and even more of Israel, right now, in leading the calls for the Goldstone-facilitated international prosecution of Israel over Operation Cast Lead. And with quite spectacular ineptitude, he has managed to simultaneously doom himself among the Palestinians over the self-same issue, for the ‘crime’ of initially agreeing not to champion Goldstone’s viciously skewed indictment.”

Mr. Abbas misunderstood the political significance of the Goldstone report, some who know him say, because like the Israelis and Americans he actually has little faith in international bodies like the United Nations. He then felt blindsided when attacked over this by some of his own aides and Arab leaders and switched positions.

Given the split with Hamas, the accusations of being an Israeli collaborator and the American reversal on a settlement freeze, the aides said, Mr. Abbas had simply lost any appetite for staying in power.

“He feels betrayed on all sides,” said Nasser al-Qidwa, a former Palestinian foreign minister.

But while aides and colleagues say they understand, they also fear his departure and many have been urging him to stay. Some thousands turned out to urge him to change his mind when he made a public appearance in Hebron and Bethlehem on Sunday. The maneuvers of the coming weeks will be complicated, and for Mr. Abbas to change his mind there will have to be clear gains.

“He understands that this is not a game where he can lose the argument and retain the position,” said Ziad J. Asali, a friend of Mr. Abbas’s and president of The American Task Force on Palestine , a nonprofit group in Washington. “We have to very carefully assess the significance of this political move on the state building project which is a very real project and should continue.”

But Martin Indyk, vice president of the Brookings Institution and an adviser to George J. Mitchell, the administration’s envoy to the Middle East, was not optimistic.

“At the end of the day, I fear that the United States, Israel and the Arabs will fall short of meeting Abu Mazen’s requirements for staying on. More than likely, we are entering a new era.”

Posted on 11/09/2009 12:20 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 9 November 2009
Errata Sheet

For "Collapse Feared for Palestinian Authority if Abbas Resign"

Read "Collapse Predicted  for Palestinian Authority if Abbas Resign"

and

Think "Collapse Devoutly Wished  for Palestinian Authority if Abbas Resign"

Let the warlords fight. Let internecine violence break out between Arab ("Palestinian") and Arab ("Palestinian"). Let it continue forever. Or for ever. Whichever. Or which ever.


Posted on 11/09/2009 12:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 9 November 2009
A Musical Interlude: Hoagy Carmichael And Jack Teagarden

Watch, and listen, here.

Posted on 11/09/2009 12:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 9 November 2009
Motivation

In her Mrs Merton guise, comedian Caroline Aherne asked tarty blonde Debbie McGee about her much older husband: "What first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?"

Mrs Merton is no more, otherwise she might, in the same spirit, ask Nidal Malik Hasan: "What motivated you to slaughter thirteen soldiers in the name of Islam?"

Posted on 11/09/2009 12:30 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 9 November 2009
Of wolves and wildlife experts

This weekend, I came across the story of Kenton Joel Carnegie.  He is a Canadian who was killed in 2005 in Saskatchewan.  According to the RCMP, he was the victim of a wolf attack.  According to wolf preservationists, the peaceful wolves were the innocent victims of prejudice and false accusations.

A few days before Carnegie's demise, two of his co-workers were followed by two aggressive wolves who were unafraid of the men, and were obviously stalking them.  The men eventually used sticks to scare away the wolves.  Luckily, one of the men took a photo of one of the wolves, since it is rare for human biologists to see documented examples of this type of behavior.

Carnegie went for a walk alone at 3:30pm.  His mutilated body was found around 7pm.  And that is where the tragic story takes an odd twist.  Wildlife experts debated the significance of the time of year of the attack, the time of day, the use claws versus teeth, the arrangement of teeth in the bite-marks, whether the body was dragged before it was consumed, whether wolf howls were heard, the order in which the internal organs were consumed, and so on, in order to determine what had killed Carnegie.  Two alternate theories were proposed, that wolves or a black bear had killed him.

The wildlife experts looked at the photo taken days earlier of the wolf, and debated the angle of his haunches, and whether that meant he was aggressive or fearful.  Perhaps he was just defending his territory.

The people supporting the theory that wolves attacked him pointed out that there were no bear tracks found at the scene, only wolf tracks.  The other side's wildlife experts suggested that perhaps a bear killed him, and then wolves moved in immediately after the kill and consumed the body, trampling and obfuscating the bear's tracks with their own.

The debate continued for a couple of years, until 2007, when it could no longer be plausibly denied that wolves had killed Carnegie.  Now, the two men who had gone for a walk and been stalked by wolves came under attack and were accused of "taunting" the wolves.  Anything to avoid putting wolves into a bad light, or allowing the resumption of a policy of wolf extirpation.

Wildlife expert Timothy Treadwell was unavailable for comment, though he would have surely refuted the theory that black bears were responsible for the act of violence that took Carnegie's life.  Treadwell was another victim of wildlife attack, and the subject of Werner Herzog's movie "Grizzly Man".  But whereas the Canadian Carnegie was simply an innocent man going out for an afternoon walk (in his case it was only wildlife experts who claimed that wolves were harmless), Treadwell took an active role in his own death.  Treadwell claimed that black bears were gentle creatures, and would camp and move among them.  He would interact with the bears, including touching them, all the while filming it to show how peaceful they were.  Treadwell's video camera was recording as he was killed and eaten by a bear in 2003.

For the record, wildlife does not follow Judeo-Christian tenets.  Wildlife does not practice the Golden Rule.  One cannot reason with or bargain with aggressive wild animals.  It is important to understand wildlife behavior, accept it for what it is, and take appropriate steps for protecting oneself.  It is important to have wildlife experts who are able to accurately describe wildlife behavior, free of their own biases and prejudices.

We no longer write fairy tales about wolves eating children, instead we make fairy tale movies about dancing with wolves. 

Wolves and bears are not evil, they are simply behaving as they have for many centuries.  Interpreting their behavior through the anthropomorphic lens of our own human values is misleading and unhelpful.  Our only goal should be to ensure the safety of people who live and work among wildlife, and make sure they are educated as to the dangers.

Posted on 11/09/2009 11:25 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Monday, 9 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
Chicago Grocery Store Owner And Immigration Counselor Tahawwur Rana

Prosecutors say Chicago man had al-Qaida video

 
CHICAGO – Two videos produced by Osama bin Laden's al Qaida terrorist network have been found in the home of a Chicago man accused of plotting an armed attack on a Danish newspaper, federal prosecutors said.

Bin Laden appears on one of the DVDs, describing the lives of four so-called martyrs "on behalf of Islam," and other footage focused on the cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad published in the Copenhagen newspaper, prosecutors said in papers filed late Friday. Those cartoons sparked outrage in much of the Muslim world.

The filings are part of prosecutors' efforts to bolster their case that Chicago grocery store owner and immigration counselor Tahawwur Rana, 48, should not be freed on bond pending resolution of terrorism charges against him and David C. Headley.

Rana's bond hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. His attorney, Patrick Blegen, has said Rana may be merely the innocent dupe of Headley. Blegen said Monday he had started to review the government's filing and the evidence.

An attorney for Headley has declined to comment.

According to federal prosecutors, Headley, also of Chicago, was in contact with terrorist leaders based in the tribal areas of western Pakistan about an attack on the Copenhagen newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, and twice scouted out the newspapers offices in that city and Arhus in preparation for an attack.

Rana allegedly made Headley's travel arrangements for the trips to Denmark.

Prosecutors said the video was found in Rana's living room on Oct. 18 and that it was produced by As-Sahab Media, which is al-Qaida's media production wing. Among those who appear in the video is Mustafa abu al-Yazid, described by prosecutors as the third-ranking member of the terrorist network.

Prosecutors said a 54-minute video focuses on the 12 cartoons that appeared in Jyllands-Posten five years ago.

Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is shown on the video and quoted as saying the cartoons were a way of fighting Islamic extremism and he doesn't regret their publication. The Danish flag is shown against a background of flames.

Prosecutors said one video hails a man who carried out a suicide car bombing of the Danish Embassy in Pakistan.

The video also includes verbal attacks on the United States and Jewish people for "a litany of perceived outrages," according to court papers.

Posted on 11/09/2009 2:10 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 9 November 2009
So ask him

President Obama solemnly told us, "We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing."

Hasan is awake and talking.  So ask him.  You're welcome, Barack.

Posted on 11/09/2009 2:19 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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