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These are all the Blogs posted on Tuesday, 9, 2009.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
a-ha, literally

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Advantage, John M. Joyce

Posted on 06/09/2009 12:00 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Peacemaking expert: Arab-Israeli conflict holds key to peace

Roll up your pant legs, it's expert time.  From the Gulf Times:

The Israel-Palestine conflict is the most important issue concerning the international community, according to leading expert on peacemaking and Nobel Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari.

In an interview to Gulf Times, the former president of Finland  said that if the major conflict in the Middle East can somehow be resolved, then both the Western and Arab worlds will be able to develop relations and concentrate on other issues.

Ahtisaari expressed his hope that with the election of Barack Obama and his new administration, the world may see a solution sooner rather than later – perhaps even before the end of the newly elected president’s first term in office.

Ahtisaari argued that “everyone now knows what the broad ideas are and there has to be a two-state solution.”

“This is the first time we see signs of hope with the new Obama administration, but we need everybody to support peace talks and then under his leadership we may be able to move forwards,” he claimed.

He also spoke about the situation in Darfur, and said he was pleased about Qatar’s efforts to facilitate peace talks, expressing his hope that the efforts are “well co-ordinated, and also receive the support from all the parties involved.”

The self-proclaimed optimist argued that the one positive thing to emerge out of the current global financial crisis is the recognition that countries and governments must communicate and collaborate to solve the serious international issues they face – something that may bode well for crises such as Darfur.

“We need to avoid the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur,” he stated, claiming support from China would be a vital aspect of any peace process there.

Speaking about his involvement in the Silatech summit, Ahtisaari said that he when he was asked to be a member of the initiative’s board, he was more than happy to join as he recognises the challenge posed by  employing the population of youth in the Arab world as an extremely serious one.

“We need to train people for specific jobs and to do this, we need to analyse each country to discover exactly what is needed,” he claimed.

Exactly.  Wise words indeed. 

Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in gaining independence for Kosovo from Serbia.  Seeing the peace that he has brought to Iraq, Namibia, and Aceh province in Indonesia, the mind swoons at the thought of the sort of peace he could bring to Israel, and thereby, the world.

Posted on 06/09/2009 12:19 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
The Times on Edwin Dyer

A surprisingly straight-forward piece on the murder of Edwin Dyer in the London Times.  Plenty of references by the jihadis to the religious justification for their acts, including a "smite at their necks" Qur'anic quotation.  The reporters, Jon Swain and Bojan Pancevski, do not make a single excuse for the jihadis.

Let's hope there are fewer Islamic beheading murders, and that there will be more of this type of honest reporting when it does occur.

The story is here.

Posted on 06/09/2009 2:19 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Brown running out of people to promote

Ahead of the election results declared on Sunday night, following the large number of resignations of ministers in the wake of the expenses scandal Gordon Brown announced a Government reshuffle on Sunday afternoon.
Having lost Shahid Malik who was caught fiddleing his expenses, and ever willing to set a good example in the area of diversity
Muslim Labour MP Sadiq Khan has been promoted to minister of state for transport in the government reshuffle.
He will attend cabinet for transport policy discussions and be the lead transport speaker in the Commons. He will also become a Privy Counsellor.
He is the most senior Muslim politician in the country and the first Muslim to join the Privy Council or attend Cabinet, his website said.
His father was a bus driver and he grew up on a council estate in London.
In 2008 an inquiry found Mr Khan was bugged on two visits to see a constituent at a jail in Milton Keynes.
The report, by chief surveillance commissioner Sir Christopher Rose, confirmed that Mr Khan was secretly recorded when he met terror suspect Babar Ahmad on 21 May 2005 and 24 June 2006.
Mr Khan made his name as a human rights lawyer before becoming an MP.
in October 2008, Mr Khan was promoted to under-secretary of state in the Department for Communities and Local Government.
He had special responsibility for community cohesion, the fire and rescue service, preventing violent extremism, the valuation and tribunal service and planning and local government.
I cannot imagine Barbara Castle popping into Strangeways to visit a constituent who just happened to be an IRA operative. But that was then, this is now.

Posted on 06/09/2009 2:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Gunmen kill 12 in attack on Thai mosque

From The Times
An imam and 11 worshippers were killed when gunmen stormed a mosque during evening prayers in southern Thailand.
Another 11 people were seriously injured in the attack, one of the worst incidents in a five year insurgency in the troubled province of Narathiwat.
Around 100 people were praying in the mosque at Ai Payae village on Monday evening when the gunmen attacked, spraying the worshippers with bullets.
Witnesses told the Bangkok Post newspaper five to six gunmen broke into the prayer hall from undergrowth behind the mosque and began firing indiscriminately.
Ten of the worshippers died instantly and two died later in hospital. The gunmen fled the scene after the shooting.
Suthep Thaugsuban, the deputy prime minister in charge of national security refused to speculate on the reason for the attack or who was behind it, although the government has blamed shadowy Muslim separatist insurgents for most of the violence in the south.
Villagers however blamed security forces for the massacre, saying that the insurgents would not attack a mosque.

Posted on 06/09/2009 3:30 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
And another

From This is Lancashire
Burnley man, 34 jailed for sex assault on girl, 15.
Muhaamad Ansari, 34, was last month found guilty of attacking a 15-year-old girl near a mosque off Hebrew Road, Burnley.
A court heard that married Ansari, of Allen Street, Burnley, had allegedly led the “vulnerable” and drunken girl away from Thompson Park and sexually assaulted her.
At Preston Crown Court, Ansari was jailed for three years and placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Afterwards, DC Leah Bennett said: “It is a good result for us and we are pleased because we have a significant number of these cases which involve young, vulnerable girls. A lot of credit also has to go to the victim. It is bad enough going to court to give evidence once, let alone twice.”
 

Posted on 06/09/2009 4:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Speak of the devil

and see his horns, as the old saying goes. I mentioned merry fiddler Shahid Malik this morning. I get back for lunch and here he is.
Breaking news from the Mirfield Reporter.
MP Shahid Malik has been cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation into rent arrangements for his constituency home.
During the inquiry Mr Malik temporarily stepped down from his role as Justice Minister, a role which he will not return to. He has now been appointed as a Minister for Communities and Local Government.
Mr Malik said: "Naturally, I am very pleased and relieved that the inquiry into allegations that I had breached Ministerial Code has cleared me of any wrongdoing. Although I along with my friends and family never doubted the outcome, it has undoubtedly been an incredibly stressful period."

Posted on 06/09/2009 8:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Edu-babble

In the heyday of the grammar schools the teaching was rigorous. Few of today's state-educated sixteen-year-olds could pass a Latin or Physics O Level from twenty years ago. In contrast, the general vocabulary of school was simple: lesson, timetable, sum, blackboard, pass and fail. Today it's the other way round. GCSEs are simplified to the point where failure is impossible, but you need a PhD to understand the paraphernalia of teaching - sorry, curriculum delivery. Todays Times reports on the "edu-babble" that teachers - or facilitators - have to grapple with:

Performativity is forcing curriculum deliverers to focus on desired outputs among customers in managed learning environments.

If you struggled to understand that sentence, pity the poor teachers (curriculum deliverers) who are struggling to interpret jargon and management language rather than simply teaching their pupils (customers).

Edu-babble has become so common that it earns censure today in a review of education led by professors at the University of Oxford. Their report criticises the “Orwellian language seeping through government documents of performance management and control that has come to dominate educational deliberation and planning”.

Heads and teachers receive edicts on inputs and outputs, audits, targets, curriculum delivery, customers, deliverers, efficiency gains, performance indicators and bottom lines, it says

This language of policymakers and their advisers hinders the enthusiasm of teachers and engagement of pupils, it adds. The Nuffield Review report is the biggest independent analysis of education for those aged 14 to 19 in fifty years, taking six years to complete. It was led by Professor Richard Pring and Dr Geoff Hayward, from Oxford, and professors from the Institute of Education and Cardiff University.

It claims that ministers’ micro-management of schools and colleges has resulted in a narrow curriculum, teaching to the test, and a high number of disaffected teenagers not in education, employment or training.

The report says: “The increased central control of education brings with it the need for a management perspective, and language of performance management — for example, levers and drivers of change, and public service agreements as a basis of funding. The consumer or client replaces the learner. The curriculum is delivered. Stakeholders shape the aims. Aims are spelt out in terms of targets. Audits measure success defined in terms of hitting targets. Cuts in resources are euphemistically called ‘efficiency gains’. Education becomes that package of activities (or inputs) largely determined by government.”

It adds: “As the language of performance and management has advanced, so we have lost a language of education which recognises the intrinsic value of pursuing certain sorts of questions, of trying to make sense of reality, of seeking understanding, of exploring through literature and the arts what it means to be human.”

Professor Pring told The Times that policy language was “leading to a narrowing of the curriculum and impoverishment of learning”. He added: “We are losing the tradition of teachers being curriculum directors and developers — instead they’re curriculum deliverers. It’s almost as though they have little robots in front of them and they have to fill their minds, rather than engage with them.”

Bill Rammell, a former education minister, recently told the House of Commons about the establishment of the Centre for Procurement Performance. This had worked “proactively with the schools sector” to “embed principles and secure commitment from the front line” by “working with and through key stakeholders” and “engaging with procurement experts” to “deliver efficiency gains”.

Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “We call it edu-babble. It completely denudes education from being a human and social act.”

That last sentence isn't proper English. Perhaps education is a bousted flush.

Posted on 06/09/2009 7:50 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Save us from ourselves

I have more than once invited readers to consider the marketing campaign that went into promoting Naomi Klein's No Logo, or the money Oliver James made from Affluenza, his best-selling screed against materialism. Yet even if these writers are not consistent, I ought to be; I therefore defend their right to make money out of a gullible public under no obligation to buy their books. It's market forces at work - and at least market forces do work. There are far worse forms of preaching and hypocrisy, as David Thompson makes clear in his recent post on The Guardian's George Monbiot:

The problem at hand, at least for Monbiot, is this. Advertising is bad, you see. All of it. Very, very bad.

I believe that advertising is a pox on the planet. It is one of the forces driving us towards destruction, as it creates needs that did not exist before and promotes consumption way beyond sustainable levels. I believe that it is also socially damaging, turning ours into a more grasping, more atomised society, focused on material display rather than solidarity and community action.

Sadly, no evidence is offered to support this tangle of emphatic supposition. Though questions do spring to mind. Exactly how would one go about measuring the alleged “atomising” and “socially damaging” effect of an advert for cheap flights or a car, or for something more mundane - say, a nice pair of shoes? Exactly how much shoe advertising, or shoe consumption, constitutes wickedness? Is there a preferred, morally elevated, level of shoe ownership?

[...]

Actually, the charge of hypocrisy isn’t dependent on accepting adverts for things readers may want and for which they’re willing to pay. The prodigious hypocrisy of Monbiot’s employer, Alan Rusbridger, has previously been noted, and in Monbiot’s case there are other, more immediate, reasons to mutter “hypocrite.” Not least the amount of air travel the columnist indulged in to promote his book on the unacceptability of air travel, an activity he saw fit to equate with child abuse

 [...]

 Having aired his belief that advertising is “a pox… driving us toward destruction,” Monbiot goes on to suggest three financial models for keeping the Guardian, and himself, afloat:

1. Keep receiving income from adverts, sustaining the power and wealth of the corporations that place them.

Corporations are, of course, evil. And the dirt just won’t come off.

2. Rely on the beneficence of rich men and women to sponsor the newspapers, boosting the power of the proprietorial class.

Hissssss.

3. Go to the state.

This third option offers a small hint of the arrogance in play here – the extraordinary sense of entitlement. While Mr Monbiot frets about a great many things, including the allegedly corrosive influence of the Top Gear motoring programme, he seems untroubled by the morality of an already heavily-subsidised newspaper that still loses millions expecting the taxpayer to make up the shortfall and fund its righteousness.

Perhaps Mr Monbiot would prefer to live in a society where there was no advertising. Here, for example:

Posted on 06/09/2009 11:09 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Pseudsday Tuesday

In The Sunday Times, critic A. A. Gill writes that Tom Stoppard's plays "allow the audience to feel clever". Not that A. A. Gill needs any permission or encouragement. In his interview with Stoppard, it is difficult to decide which is the more pleased with himself:

Since Arcadia was first performed in 1993, concern about global warming and ecology has not so much changed its meaning as added another dimension to it: “Yes, it’s the elephant in the room.” Or perhaps in the garden. “Great plays have to be able to change, to be revived for each generation, with new understandings and interpretations. If a play can’t metamorphose, it dies at the end of its run.” I ask if he’s noticed that Waiting for Godot has now become a comedy. In my lifetime, it has gone from being a nihilistic examination of the futility of life to being a surreal knock­about. “Maybe it just seems funnier now; it may not be for the next generation.” He remembers seeing it a couple of years after its first performance and realising it was one of those moments, one of those plays, that changes the idea of theatre, that opens up the possibilities of what a play could be. “Chekhov did it,” he says. “Showed that drama can be about very little. Godot changed plays, what narrative had to be. Harold [Pinter] did it. He tore up the contract with the audience that said the actors would always tell the truth. Before, if they said they’d like to have tea, it was because they wanted tea. When Harold wrote it, the character might say he wanted tea because the other bloke really wanted him to have coffee.” Stoppard asks the waiter for white wine, “perhaps a burgundy. Maybe a chablis. No”, he says, “no” — as if remembering a holiday cocktail, or a medical condition — “fizzy water with ice and lemon”. I have a feeling he’d really like tea.

What about Great Anna? Or does the tea contract thing only apply to plays?

Talking of tea, there is a line in Uncle Vanya: "The temperature of the samovar has fallen significantly." What Does This Really Mean?

Posted on 06/09/2009 11:35 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Berlusconi And Fini Clash

And one must always side with Fini against Berlusconi.

Read here.

Posted on 06/09/2009 12:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
How Mahrti Ahtiisaari Knows That "The Israel-Palestine Conflict Is The Most Important Issue Concerning The International Community"

How does Mahrti Ahtisaari know that what he calls "the Israel-Palestine conflict" [the name given by the confused and ignorant West to the Jihad against the Infidel nation-state of Israel, conducted by Muslim Arabs doing what Muslim Arabs should be expected to do] is "the most important issue concerning the international community"? 

Oh, he knows it because the Arab rulers with whom he meets tell him so. It is they who, so gracious and so generous [just look at that suite they made available, just look at those little presents they never forget to give me], explain with furrowed brow and sincere look the "realities" of the Middle East and of the larger Muslim world: it is, they say, with a more-in-sorrow look, all about that little problem with Israel. If only, if only, if only the poor Palestinians could be met, not half-way, oh we are not asking for that at this point, but just a little bit of the way, with just being given a tiny fraction of their very own Palestine, just Gaza, and just the West Bank. That's all they are now asking for, that's all we are  now asking for.

And one more thing, Mr. Ahtisaari, they say. You know, there are those who are trying to stir up trouble between us Muslims and you in the West. They will exaggerate our differences. They will make up stories about our respective pasts. They will ignore the great Islamic civilization, and all of its contributions to the West. Where would the West be without the Greeks? And who kept the Greeks alive, during your Dark Ages, if not we, the Muslims? Who contributed so much to your Renaissance? Who practically founded mathematics, and science, and so muich else? 

We could go down the road that those people, who are your own version of Al Qaeda, the ones who keep saying that Islam and the West are incompatible, that people cannot together join to fight the same injustice -- the injustice of Palestine, for example -- and in so doing, find  common ground, and make common  cause. But we, who send our children to the West to study, and we, who invite so many Westerners to our countries to work, in every possible capacity -- would we do that if we, the Muslims, were really, as some claim, so "anti-Infidel" as they like to prate -- are eager not only for all the West has to offer, but we too are eager to share our great cultural bounty, which as President Obama said the other day, has contributed so much to the United States "since its founding." Yes, those were his very words: "American Muslims have contributed to America since its founding.

Yes, Mr. Ahtisaari, we Muslims and you Christians must together prove the nay-sayers and the warmongers wrong. Don't let Israel, a country that has become an aggressive Sparta making war on everyone around it - making war on every Arab state at its founding, makinjg war on Egypt, and Syria, and Jordan, bombing Iraq's nuclear reactor being built for peaceful purposes, attacking the Palestinian people in Gaza, and the Lebanese people in Lebanon, and doing everything it can to oppose the hundreds of resolutions passed, by overwhelming majority, at the U.N., and doing whatever it can, this international trouble-maker, to set off conflict between the West and its natural ally, from which ithe West had split off when it, that West, somehow went astray many centuries ago, from Islam, truly a faith that is open to the whole world, that far from shutting itself off, makes itself available to the whole world. We hope, Mr. Ahtisaari, with the great prestige of your Nobel Prize, so richly deserved, you will take the message of peace and common ground, one based on a true understanding and respect for our position, our hopes, our dreams. For Muslims, Mr. Ahtisaari – please do remember this…..Muslims are people too. 

The other day, in Cairo, the American President, Barack Obama,  made such an opening to us. He has begun a true interfaith dialogue. He has begun to talk about us, and to us, in the way that is right, the way ,that is grounded on an understanding of all that Islam has done for his countryt, and for the world. And he recognized, too, that until there has been a solution to the problem that Israel poses, no further progress can be made, no common ground will ever prove steady.  A country that is so tiny it cannot be seen on the world map cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the hopes and dreams not only of Musilms, but of all those who, in Europe and America, dream so much of once again coming together with their Muslim brothers with whom, in the past, in the age of glory, they had so much contact, so much unforgettable interaction.

We appreciate your understanding, and your boldness in speaking out, very much, Mr. Ahtisaari. If only there were many more people like you, then we Muslims would have no problems with the West. And you would not, of course, have any problem, real or imagined, with us, the Musilms. Isn't that worth thinking about? Isn't that worth acting on? 

Shouldn't we now work to achieve a peaceful world, by solving the one problemd that stands in the way of mutual respect, and a peaceful world? And isn’t world peace, peace, peace, the avoidance of open war, the attainment of peace, even a peace that passeth understanding, isn’t that what counts? And really, can we, the Christians and the Muslims, who have the benefit of hindsight, be so quick to denounce Chamberlain and Daladier? Didn’t they at least try to avoid war? Was that so wrong? Wasn’t it noble of them to attempt it? 

 

 

Posted on 06/09/2009 12:14 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Harris Park Sydney - tensions in a racial melting pot

From The Daily Telegraph

TWO people were arrested and more than 100 others were told to move on after an Indian community in Sydney's west held a protest against racial violence last night.

Up to 150 Indian people from the community stormed the streets of Harris Park at about 8 pm in protest against claims of years of racial slurs and attacks in the area.

This comes after a young Indian men and some middle eastern men clashed in the same area on Monday night.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to the protesters last night, many of whom said they would form their own vigilante-like groups to patrol the streets at night.

Harris Park local Kush Ghai, 22, said the local Indian community held the protest last night because they wanted more police protection after claims of years of racial abuse.

Sarabjot Singh, 25, said Indians living in Harris Park have been victimised for the last few years and accused police of doing nothing about it.

Within hours of another great hosedown in this city - police declaring the disturbance in Harris Park on Monday was not race-driven - groups of Indians and Lebanese again began circling each other in the suburb's streets. 

Across the road, Bhavin Jadav spoke for an Indian population feeling persecuted by young Lebanese men. He said Indian students are seen as a "soft target" by these men, who prey on their civility.

"That's why they attack Indian students, they don't believe in violence," he said.

He was robbed last year when a group of Lebanese men took mobile phones and wallets from his group of friends. Then, just the other day, a petrol bomb was launched at an Indian home on Albion St.

Posted on 06/09/2009 12:27 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
A Musical Interlude: From Me To You (Lew Stone Orch., voc. Al Bowlly)

Listen here.

Posted on 06/09/2009 2:04 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
A Madrassa Grows In Nashville

The Tennessean (or the taqiyyan as we like to call it around here) has a glowing report today on our madrassa also known as the Nashville International Academy.  Despite the fact that the article cites the desire of these Muslim children to attend Harvard, according the the Academy's website only the pre-kindergarten course is certified by the state.  It's very hard to see how these children could even attend high school by the looks of the education they receive there. Heavy emphasis on Islamic indoctrination and scant attention to anything else except computer studies is the rule. Here is an example from the third grade curriculum.

Quran
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
  • Memorize 10 Surahs (Mursalat-to-Muddathir ).

  • Understanding of Surahs (Dhuha-to-Buruj).

  • Reading of Surahs (Tahrim-to-Tagabun).

Islamic Studies
Objectives
 
Knowing the Pillars of Faith - Aqeedah
  • Reviewing the pillars of Islam & pillars of Iman
  • Exploring the ninety nine names of Allah
  • Knowing all of Allah's creations are made for us to have and enjoy
  • Knowing Allah created Jinn and Mankind to worship him
  • Knowing the meaning of Angels
  • Understanding the importance of believing in angels in Islam
  • Learning about the guardian angels
  • Knowing all the books of Allah and their names (Quranic and Biblical)
  • Believing in all prophets and messenger is part of Iman
  • Recognizing the prophets names (Quranic and Biblical)
  • Knowing that Mohammad SAW is the final prophet
  • Knowing that Mohammad's SAW message is the final message
  • Learning about the Day of Judgment through a play
  • Knowing the meaning of Alqadar (Fate)
Faith in Action (The Story of Prophet Ibrahim) – History
  • Following Prophet Ibrahim's journey towords finding the One true God (Allah)
  • Allah guides Prophet Ibrahim
  • Exploring the ninty nine names of Allah
    • Al-Razzaq (The every provider)
    • Al-Hadi (The guide)
    • Al-Haqq (The truth)
    • Al-Hafeeth (The guardian)
  • Prophet Ibrahim against the idol worshipers
  • Prophet Ibrahim confronting King Namrud
  • Prophet Ibrahim travels to Macca
  • Pointing Macca on the map
  • Prophet Ibrahim's biggest test
  • Discovering the story of building the Kabaa

 
Worshiping Allah (Hajj & Zakat) - Ebadat
  • Exposing the students briefly to all Hajj steps
  • Practicing the right way of making Wudu
  • Knowing the importance of Salat Jamaa and how to pray it
  • Knowing all the simple rules of Salat Jamaa
  • Explaining the concept of Thikr (Remembrance of Allah)
  • Memorizing different kinds of thikr and its meanings
  • Knowing the meaning of Zakat
  • Practicing giving Sadaqa (Optional Charity)
Knowing the Maccan Period - Seerah
  • Mohammad SAW becomes a prophet
  • Prophet Mohammad SAW teaches his family and friends
  • Sufferings of early Muslims
  • The boycott against Muslims
  • Al Isra & Mirage (The heavnly trip)
  • The faithfull wife – Khadija bint Khuaylid
Learning Islamic Manners – Akhlaq & Tahtheeb
  • The teacher will emphasize the following manners:
    • Cleanliness and purity
    • Cooperation in daily life
    • Respecting the parents and the eldest
    • Truthfulness
    • The importance of copying the prophets way of life - Sunnah
Arabic
Language Arts
Third grade language arts students should be quite competent at decoding one- and two-syllable words and quite able to decode multi-syllable words. The overall goal of the third grade language arts program is to enable the students to read competently. The students also practice their writing, paying attention to spelling and penmanship.
Math
Science
Social Studies
Computer
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
  • open and run appropriate software

  • demonstrate correct keyboarding techniques

  • receive an introduction to word processing

  • manipulate graphics

  • receive an introduction to Internet searches

  • create simple multimedia and HTML presentations

  • research using the computer

  • be able to use appropriate terminology

  • compose a report using word processing skills

  • sign Internet use regulations

Particularly galling to Nashvillians is the fact that Vincent Durnan, director of University School of Nashville, a highly academic private elementary school, will give the keynote address at the graduation ceremony on June 20.

Posted on 06/09/2009 2:00 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
'Huge' truck bomb strikes Pakistan hotel

From The Times
A gun and bomb attack on a five star hotel popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar killed at least 11 people and wounded 46 others tonight, local officials said.
It was the latest in a series of recent militant attacks on Pakistan’s main cities which officials say are revenge for a military offensive against the Taleban in and around the northwestern region of Swat.
Suspected militants opened fire at the Pearl Continental hotel shortly before a large explosion tore through it, starting a fire that swept through the building, according to witnesses and security officials
They described seeing a deep crater outside the four-storey building in the high-security Khyber Road area, and rescue workers carrying several wounded people, including at least two foreigners, to safety.
One of the foreigners worked for the United Nations’ children’s agency, according to a hospital official.
Some officials put the death toll as high as 11, with 46 injured. Although the death toll appeared to be smaller, the attack echoed a similar suicide bomb attack on the luxury Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the capital, that killed 60 people in September last year.
Abdul Ghafoor Afridi, a local police official, said that today's bomb was brought in a vehicle that appeared to be delivering hotel supplies.
It was the seventh deadly bombing to hit Peshawar, capital of North West Frontier Province, in a month.

Posted on 06/09/2009 2:31 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
The EU Voters Go Right: Is Eurabia Crumbling?

When we posted on Geert Wilders’ stunning win in the EU Parliamentary elections, his PVV (Freedom Party) came in second to the leading Christian Democrat Party in the current Hague Parliament coalition government, we asked a question: “Is this the beginning of the end of Eurabia?”

Now that the results are in across the EU, it might be more appropriate to ask is Eurabia crumbling?

Soeren Keren in a Pajamas media article,” EU voters lurch to the right,” had this view of what happened and the possible significance for the counter-Jihad front:

Far-right and nationalist parties also made important gains in some countries. In the Netherlands, the Eurosceptic, anti-Islam Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders won 17 percent of the vote to gain four seats at its first European election. It came in second after Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s Christian Democrats, which won five seats and 20 percent of the vote. The Labor Party  was the biggest loser, falling to three seats from seven. In Austria, the far-right Freedom Party, which campaigned on an anti-Islam platform, won 13 percent of the vote, doubling its showing in 2004. In Denmark, the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party also doubled its 2004 tally. In Hungary, the eurosceptic, anti-immigration Jobbik party won three of 22 seats; the governing Socialists won only four.

Thomas Landen writing in The Brussels Journal, “Playing Parliament in Brussels,” had this assessment:

In a television program aired on the eve of the European elections, Geert Wilders of the Dutch Eurosceptic PVV party said that his party was participating in the elections so that it could send representatives to the EP to oppose legislation that tells Dutch farmers what to do with their manure and Dutch truck drivers how many hours they are allowed to work. “These issues should be decided by the Dutch Parliament in The Hague, not the European Parliament,” he said. Mr. Wilders’ newly elected MEPs in Brussels, however, are not in a position to do anything to remedy this situation, because the EP does not have a say in legislation. The way to vote down EU legislation is to have sufficient Eurosceptics in the national parliaments who refuse to incorporate the Commission’s directives into their national legislation. In other words: Brussels cannot be defeated in Brussels, it must be defeated in national capitals, such as London, Berlin, The Hague, Copenhagen, Rome.

Landen goes on to note in conclusion:

Some parties do not want to join a group on principle, because they attach great importance to their independence and freedom. This is the reason why Geert Wilders has announced that his party will not join any group, thereby renouncing the extra speaking time, extra staff, extra subsidies and all the other advantages of belonging to a group. Mr. Wilders’ decision is a principled decision, but the EU abhors principled decisions of people who value their freedom and independence. Hence, the EP toys with the idea [pdf] to set aside half the seats in the EP for “transnational European lists”, i.e. parties belonging to a formally recognized group, in the next European elections, in 2014, “so as to give the elections a genuine European dimension”.
 
This will make it twice as hard to win a seat in the European Parliament for the so-called “far-right”, the real far-right, and those who, like UKIP, may end up without a group, or who, like Geert Wilders, wants to remain independent on principle.

All this sounds like the EU Parliament is going through the throes of a constitutional issue: federalism, that would treat each country as an independent state of something like the United States of Europe.

Wilders’ valued stand and that of similar parties in Austria, Denmark, Hungary, and even the U.K. may also translate into a reduction of Muslim immigration in the EU.

Bat Ye’or, the author of “Eurabia” should be pleased with the results of the EU parliamentary elections -the EU elitists have been sent a warning by the ‘groundlings,’ as Shakespeare would put it, that Islamization via immigration must cease.

 

Posted on 06/09/2009 3:02 PM by Jerry Gordon
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
A booooook I've got fer t'read

A fellow North Country Maid in The Smoke has just recommended Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North by Suart Maconie:

'My name is Stuart Maconie, and I am from the North Of England. Some time ago, I was standing in my kitchen, rustling up a Sunday brunch for some very hungover, very Northern mates who were 'down' for the weekend. One of them was helping me out and, recipe book in hand, asked "where are the sun-dried tomatoes?" "They're behind the cappuccino maker," I replied. Silence fell. We slowly met each other's gaze. We did not say anything. We did not need to. Each read the other's unspoken thought: we had become those kinds of people, the kind of people who had sun-dried tomatoes and cappuccino makers, the kind of people who did Sunday brunch. In other words: southerners.' A northerner in exile, stateless and confused, hearing rumours of Harvey Nichols in Leeds and Maseratis in Wilmslow, Stuart goes in search of The North. Delving into his own past, it is a riotously funny journey in search of where the cliches end and the truth begins. He travels from Wigan Pier to Blackpool Tower, the Bigg Market in Newcastle to the daffodil-laden Lake District in search of his own Northern Soul, encountering along the way an exotic cast of Scousers, Scallies, pie-eating Woolly-backs, topless Geordies, mad-for-it Mancs, Yorkshire nationalists and brothers in southern exile.

Absolutely ... er....tha's raaht, chuck. Will report back.

Posted on 06/09/2009 3:44 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Are Somali Jihadists coming to the US courtesy of the UNHCR?

 

The news out of Mogadishu confirms what we discussed at the recent Nashville Symposium: “Understanding Jihad in Israel, Europe and America.”  The Taliban-like Al Shabaab militia is engaged in a major drive to rout the latest fragile Federal Transitional Government  of President Sheik Sharef Ahmed. He was a Sufi Judge in the Islamic Courts Union.  According to an AP report , this Al Shabaab rampage  has  produced  ‘atrocities’   and displaced  more than 100,000 refugees.   Perhaps  many of these refugees may end up in  the US courtesy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.  One of  the casualties of those ‘atrocities’  may have been  17 year old  Minneapolis recruit, Burhan Hassan, allegedly murdered by Al Shabaab last Friday. 

In the presentation, published in the June edition of the New English Review, “Foot Soldiers of Islam”, we noted:

There is something more troubling looming in Somalia. Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Shabaab, (Ash-Shabaab, Hizbul Shabaab Arabic, "The Party of Youth") is dangerously close to toppling the fragile Transitional Federal Government (TFG) given recent attacks. Al Shabaab is considered an extremist Taliban militia that arose following the defeat of the Islamic Courts Union during the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia from 2006 to 2009 in support of the TFG. Our State Department designated Al Shabaab as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008 as have both the Norwegian and Swedish Security Services. Al Shabaab applies Sharia law to Somalis as witnessed by the public stoning death of 13 year old Asha Duhula, a rape victim, and reports of payments made to Somali children to become fighters and suicide bombers.

Of immediate concern are the advances of Al Shabaab forces against the shrinking TFG control in Mogadishu and the presence of foreign fighters from North America and Europe. Note this London Times report on the latest fighting in Somalia:

The insurgents’ attacks have threatened to topple the shaky Government of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed only weeks after the international community pledged $213 million to support him.


Senior security officials in the region say that the foreign fighters are behind the recent success of the extremists. More than 400 fighters from Britain, the US, Canada, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia entered Mogadishu in the past two weeks.


An intelligence report seen by The Times, which is due to be presented to the US Congress next week, states: “An estimated ten foreigners have taken the lead to command both Somali and foreign fighters in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia.”


“I have no doubt that some of the foreign fighters are British as well as North American and Scandinavian,” said Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the top Somali diplomat for the United Nations. One Western diplomat with experience in Somalia said: “These foreigners are the ones with al-Qaeda links. I would be surprised if Britons were not the leading foreign members of al-Shabaab.”

The rampaging Al Shabaab forces, according to a representative of the UNHCR,  have resulted in another humanitarian crisis in Somalia:

"It's a critical humanitarian situation, with regular atrocities being committed," UNHCR spokesman William Spindler told reporters in Geneva. "We are particularly concerned about how the fighting is affecting a population that has already endured several decades of war."

Those prior humanitarian crises in the decades-long Somali internecine wars have resulted in an estimated 200,000 Somalis  resettled in the US  that have spawned naturalized American  Jihadis  like the late Burhan Hassan and fellow Minnesotan Shirwa Ahmed , a suicide bomber, who took the lives of 29 others in an attack in Somalia.

The UN controls who gets to come to the US under the humanitarian refugee programs authorized under the Refuge Act of 1980.  The State Department, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration administers a $1 billion budget that in recent years has admitted 100,000 refugees and asylees, annually.  Some migration experts estimate that this is the tip of more than $10 billion in annual social welfare expenditures for these refugees by state and federal government agencies.

This latest bow wave of possible Somali refugees comes at a time when the State Department is thinking of lifting the suspension of the P-3 Family reunification program shut down last August in the wake of revelation of massive fraud following INS DNA tests conducted in Somali refugee camps in Kenya. 

A Live Leak report had this assessment of the magnitude of the Somali immigration fraud:

The State Department confirmed that massive immigration fraud has been perpetrated overwhelmingly by Africans claimed as close kin (parent, spouse, minor child) by legal residents in the United States. (According to a report in the City Pages in Minneapolis, this scam has been netting some unknowns along the food chain up to $10,000 per head.) Given that Somalis form the largest bloc of African immigrants to the United States, this becomes another story with Somalis playing a starring role.

How massive was this fraud? After initiating a DNA testing program among "family" members claiming P-3 status in Africa -- where 95 percent of the P-3 applications originate primarily among Somalis, Ethiopians and Liberians -- the State Department learned that out of 3,500 refugees tested it could only confirm family matches "in fewer than 20 percent of cases.

The State Department is considering re-opening the maligned Family Reunification P-3 Visa program this year because of the alleged strain it places on families with refugee dependents abroad.

Note these comments in the Houston Chronicle from a State Department program spokesman, Fred Lash, about the abuses in the Family reunification program:

After the initial findings in Kenya, the DNA testing was expanded to other African countries that participated in the program and found varying rates of fraud, said Fred Lash, a State Department spokesman.


He said final results of the testing are not yet available, but the results were troubling enough that U.S. officials suspended the program throughout the world.


Admissions have dropped dramatically since the start of the fraud investigation — from 5,090 in 2007 to 1,540 in 2008. Since October, only 139 family members of refugees have arrived through the program.


Lash said the U.S. government plans to reinstate the program by the end of this year. He said it will require more stringent biometric checks in the future, most likely through DNA testing. The State Department and DHS have not said whether that testing would include “anchor” relatives in the U.S.


Sources inform us that there have been no Congressional requests for an independent GAO investigation of the fraud in the suspended family reunification P-3 Visa program as a precondition for re-opening the program. Based on refugee processing reports from the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Somali refugees admitted to the US for the current Fiscal year through April 30, 2009 were 2,232 out of a total of 4,301 for all of Africa.

This should be a matter of immediate concern to Senator Lieberman’s Homeland Security and Government Committee, which has oversight of the INS, as well as Senator Leahy’s Judiciary Committee.

Congress and the Administration should consider resolving the recent humanitarian immigration crisis caused by Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia:  

UN control of humanitarian refugee processing on behalf of the US State Department has introduced Jihadis among the estimated 200,000 Somali immigrants in America. The Somalis have brought with them strict Islamic Sharia values that violate our Constitution and Civil Rights laws and mock our Judeo Christian values. Still worse, they have brought with them undetected contagious diseases like TB, Hepatitis and HIV that evaded health screening prior to their entry to America. Moreover, as attested to by INS DNA tests conducted in refugee camps in Kenya, there is massive fraud committed in the suspended Family Reunification P-3 Visa program. We need to enlist Homeland Security to conduct DNA testing here among alleged Somali ‘anchor’ family members. Moreover, as we stated earlier, we need Members of Congress to commission an GAO audit of the Family Reunification Visa program as a condition for reopening it.

 

Further, we need to establish more effective caps on Somali refugee quotas and negotiate possible diversion to other countries under the control of the UNHCR.

We would hope that Senator Lieberman and his HSGAC colleagues would consider these suggestions to avert another potential massive Somali immigration scandal, courtesy of our enemy, Al Shabaab

Posted on 06/09/2009 5:13 PM by Jerry Gordon
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
On The Grounds Of The Villa Doria Pamphili, The Clown Pitches His Tent

Read here.

Posted on 06/09/2009 9:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Milan Transit System Defends Its Decision Not To Hire Moroccan Electrician For Security Reasons

Would you take a plane if you knew the pilot or co-pilot was a Muslim? What if the airline were itself not American or European but, say, Egypt Airlines? Still no? Even if there were many many Muslim passengers on board? Still no? Now, why is that? 

Would you care if your busdriver were a devout Muslim, perhaps even wearing a beard? No? Yes? Indifferent? 

Would you care if your subway car, or if the entire subway, were run by a Muslim engineer? Any worries? No? What if, that very day, the Americans or Israelis had bombed Iran? Or what if, that very day, there had been a counter-attack against Muslim terrorists in some part, any part, of the world? Still wouldn't care about the worldview of that subway conductor or engineer? 

Well, the Metropolitan in Milan begs to differ -- or perhaps it doesn't have to differ. It has refused to hire a Moroccon electirician on the grounds of security. It cites a 2006 attack planned against the Milan subway, and it could also adduce the attacks on the London Underground and London busses on 7/7/2005 and the attack on the Madrid subway at Atocha Station.

One official,  Armando Spataro, is quoted as saying that "anche se personalmente trovo discriminatorio che una legge neghi possibilità di lavoro a chicchessia solo in ragione della sua cittadinanza" "{even if I personally find discriinatory a aw that denies the possiblity of employment to someone solely because of his citizenship")  he ignores the fact that even if the policy is directed at all non-citizens, the real issue here is not that of citizenship (would a non-Muslim citizen of Australia, or Japan, or Ururguay, be seen as a security risk?) but rather -- of Islam. And, indeed, if a Muslim citizen of Italy applied, should he be turned down? The answer of course is yes. For he too, by continuing to call himself a Muslim, can reasonably be held to know the contents of the Qur'an, and those contents can be read out in court, and he be asked if indeed he thinks any of those most blood-curdling of passages declaring war and commanding death to the Infidels ("smite the necks of the Unbelievers" etc. -- more than a hundred such verses of violent Jihad), and to believe them to be the immutable word of God.

And then, the lawyer for the public entity (subway, bus, train, plane, what have you) can end right there: "No further questions, your honor."

Here's the story: "Not discrimination, but a security risk: North Africans planned attacks in 2006."

 

Atm, no all'assunzione di immigrati
«C'è pericolo di attentati sulla metro»

L'azienda si oppone al ricorso di un elettricista marocchino: «No discriminazione, ma rischi sicurezza: magrebini progettarono attacchi nel 2006»

MILANO - L'Atm si difende: nessuna discriminazione verso gli extracomunitari, ma una comprensibile limitazione per motivi di sicurezza. Questo in sintesi, come riferisce l'agenzia Omnimilano, il contenuto della memoria stilata dai legali dell'azienda, gli avvocati Alberto Rho e Claudia Muro, in vista dell'udienza di mercoledì davanti al Tribunale del lavoro. Si discute del ricorso presentato da un marocchino 18enne, elettricista diplomato, che vorrebbe presentare il proprio curriculum all'azienda ma sa che è inutile perché il Regio decreto 148 del 1931, articolo 10, limita le assunzioni a chi ha la cittadinanza italiana o di altro paese dell'Unione europea. Un decreto contro il quale a fine marzo si era espresso con chiarezza lo stesso presidente e ad di Atm, Elio Catania: «Potrebbe valer la pena di rivederlo, visto che ha più di settant'anni. È superato, antistorico e totalmente inadatto a gestire aziende moderne orientate all'efficienza per erogare servizi ai cittadini».

«RISCHIO ATTENTATI» - Marcia indietro, invece, nella corposa memoria stilata dai legali di Atm, che argomentano: «Non v'è chi non veda che il servizio di pubblico trasporto involga delicati aspetti di sicurezza pubblica, ed è particolarmente esposto, ad esempio, a rischi di attentati. E' proprio di questi giorni (del 5 giugno 2009) la notizia, apparsa sulle maggiori testate giornalistiche, che cinque terroristi maghrebini avrebbero organizzato un attentato nella metropolitana milanese che avrebbe dovuto realizzarsi prima delle elezioni del 2006». Secondo loro, «si può comprendere, dunque, se il Legislatore italiano ha ritenuto di limitare l'accesso all'impiego nel settore dettando determinati requisiti, tra i quali quello della cittadinanza, ritenendo - forse - che il legame personale del cittadino allo Stato dia maggiori garanzie in relazione alla sicurezza e incolumità pubblica».

LE ASSOCIAZIONI - Il giovane marocchino, nel suo ricorso, chiede che venga dichiarato il carattere discriminatorio del comportamento della società e che venga ordinato all'Atm di esaminare le domande di assunzione presentate da extracomunitari legalmente residenti in Italia. Accanto all'operaio si sono schierate l'Associazione studi giuridici sull'immigrazione (Asgi) e Avvocati per niente onlus (Apn), che parlano di «comportamento illegittimo e discriminatorio ai sensi del Testo unico sull'immigrazione». I legali di Atm ribattono che l'azienda non ha negato l’assunzione al lavoratore, il quale non ha mai neanche presentato la domanda, e chiedono quindi al giudice di rigettare tutte le richieste e di imporre la pubblicazione della notizia di smentita del carattere discriminatorio del comportamento di Atm.

SPATARO: NESSUN RISCHIO NEL 2006 - Il procuratore aggiunto Armando Spataro, interpellato da Omnimilano, commenta: «Non intendo entrare nel merito delle argomentazioni oggetto della controversia, anche se personalmente trovo discriminatorio che una legge neghi possibilità di lavoro a chicchessia solo in ragione della sua cittadinanza, ma intendo comunque ricordare che la metropolitana milanese non ha corso alcun rischio nel 2006 poiché, più che un piano per un attentato, l'inchiesta della Procura di Milano ha posto in luce solo l'esistenza di un vago progetto, mai entrato neppure nella fase preparatoria».

ATM: FAVOREVOLI A REVISIONE COSTRUTTIVA - Atm in una nota precisa che la sua posizione «rimane sempre la stessa: disponibili ad una revisione costruttiva del Regio Decreto che possa aprire il mercato del lavoro anche a soggetti extracomunitari per dare la possibilità, ad esempio, ad un cittadino giapponese di lavorare in un Atm Point per dare supporto madrelingua agli ospiti nel periodo dell'Expo. Atm ribadisce il pieno e totale rispetto di tutte le leggi vigenti. Il ricorso e l'anticipazione sono solo strumentalizzazioni ad uso mediatico che producono pericolose distorsioni della realtà». A proposito della memoria preparata dai legali, Atm precisa: «E' un documento tecnico che ha come obiettivo quello di dimostrare l'azione temeraria contro l'azienda, rea secondo l'accusa di non aver assunto una persona senza che questa ne abbia mai fatto domanda. La memoria contiene alcuni riferimenti alla sicurezza del servizio di trasporto e cita esempi giurisprudenziali (...). Non a caso il Regio Decreto prevede che i dipendenti possano svolgere funzioni di pubblico ufficiale, strettamente legate alla cittadinanza. È il caso limite degli operatori delle sale operative delle metropolitane, chiamati a funzioni delicatissime e in siti ad alto rischio terrorismo, per i quali Atm applica criteri di selezione e controllo severissimi. A supporto della citazione giurisprudenziale, la memoria legale ha richiamato alcuni articoli di quotidiani nei quali si faceva riferimento alle metropolitane come obiettivi di attacchi».

Posted on 06/09/2009 5:16 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Perhaps Obama Thinks American Agreements Too Should Be Modelled On Hudaibiyyah

Rick Richman 06.07.2009 on Undoing the Bush Letter

Martin Kramer has suggested that Obama’s Cairo speech can be understood as an example of “Third Worldism,” given some of the themes that pervaded the address:

Some of the influences on Obama bubble to the surface. There is the Third Worldism: Muslims are victims of our colonialism (Obama has read Fanon) and the Cold War (has he been reading Khalidi again?) The primacy of the West is over: “Any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.” There is the implicit comparison of the Palestinians to black Americans during segregation, a familiar trope (Carter and Condi went for it too). Israel comes across as an anomaly. There is no appreciation of Israel as a strategic asset - its ties to the United States are “cultural and historical,” and thus not entirely rational. (That validates Obama’s other former Chicago colleague, Mearsheimer.) All of this has the ring of conviction - and of a Third Worldist sensibility.

Kramer’s reference to Rashid Khalidi is a useful clue to one of the more extraordinary incidents in the four-month old Obama administration:  the refusal, 21 times and counting, to answer whether the administration is bound by the 2004 Bush letter to Israel.

What would make a new president think he could simply ignore a written commitment to a U.S. ally - reflecting an agreement on existential issues and on which the ally acted in reliance?  Why would he treat the letter as if it were merely a prior politician’s pledge?  The answer can perhaps be found in Khalidi’s 2006 pseudo-scholarly book - “The Iron Cage: The Palestinian Struggle for Statehood” - which Obama likely read when it came out.  The book contains a discussion of the Bush letter, as well as Khalidi’s recommendation about how a subsequent president should handle it.

Khalidi acknowledged the letter is unambiguous.  It “recognized the permanence of major Israeli settlements” and “endorsed the Israeli contention that Palestinian refugees cannot return to Israel proper.”  But Khalidi followed that description with a non-sequitur, asserting that the letter “helped lay low, perhaps definitively, the increasingly dim prospects of an independent, sovereign, contiguous Palestinian state ever coming into being.”

Why would rejection of a Palestinian right of return to Israel have any effect on an “independent, sovereign, contiguous” Palestinian state - particularly since the Bush letter endorsed a Palestinian right of return to the new Palestinian state?  Why would rejection of a right of return to Israel not be simply one of the minimum requirements for a two-state solution, assuming the goal was two states for two peoples?

Similarly, why would the permanence of major Israeli settlements have any effect on an “independent, sovereign, contiguous” Palestinian state - since those settlements occupy about eight percent of the West Bank, could be compensated with land swaps from pre-1967 Israel (even assuming 92 percent of the West Bank was not itself sufficient for a Palestinian state), and are essential to the defensible borders necessary to make any two-state solution work?

Khalidi did not acknowledge, much less answer, those questions.  He simply asserted - using the language of a Third Worldist - that the Bush letter represented “effective support of settlement, colonization, theft, and occupation” that would make the U.S. look like “a superpower bully, conniving with its powerful local ally to impose its will on the weak and powerless.”  Then he gave his suggestion, which reflects precisely what the Obama administration appears to be doing:  just “undo” the Bush letter.  In Khalidi’s words, “what one politician - American or Israeli - has done, another can undo.”  Treat the letter as merely a politician’s pledge, and break it.

The strategic significance of what Obama is doing (and undoing) with respect to the Bush letter is serious.  The considerations are analyzed with remarkable clarity by J.E. Dyer in the first and second installments of her series on “The Next Phase of World War IV.”  The title reflects the forgotten fact that we are in the middle of a new cold/hot war, in which this issue is not simply a peripheral one.  On the contrary, the persistent refusal of the State Department to address the U.S. commitment reflected in the Bush letter is, as she notes, “[p]erhaps one of the most important developments.”

Posted on 06/09/2009 6:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
A Musical Interlude: Si Tu M'Aimes (Jean Sablon)

Listen here.

Posted on 06/09/2009 6:53 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
A Cinematic Interlude: Lolita (Quilty With H.H. At The Enchanted Hunters)

One more time: "I couldn't help but notice... you with your nice little normal little girl and everything."

Watch and listen here.

Posted on 06/09/2009 6:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
How American Is It?

“Rustling up a Sunday brunch” may be a phrase used all over your stomping-ground in the north of England, Mary, as you claim, but you don’t have to be Eric Partridge to know that the important part of that phrase is  just about as American a phrase as is possible to conceive. Europeans love American Westerns, and while the French loved their own composers of tales of the Peaux-Rouges et la conquête de l'Ouest américain, and the Germans prefer the more-than-slightly sinister Karl May (with his hint of race-worship), and the Russians like Westerns by the forgotten-in-America Irish-American  Mayne Reid, and the Italians never tire of fumetti about Tex Willer, the British, with whom we share a language, can go to the picture palace and see, and have for decades been seeing, the real thing – American Westerns on the screen. And that’s how the Americanism "rustle up some grub,"  the American-ness of which you appear to be trying to downplay or deny in your response to me, is – if indeed it is – so “common” over there, over there, upon which I’m not going to stop commenting till I’m over, over there.



“Rustle up” is as American as canoeing through the maples on the Squannacook,  or seeing the sunrise at Sippewissett, or riding through the sagebrush and the saguaro cactus with the Durango Kid, or riding the rails with the Little Engine That Could, right from the roundhouse bravely think-I-canning-it  in order to bring toys and good things to eat to the boys and girls on the other side of the mountain, or eating pumpkin pie on Beacon Hill, that one place in the world  where all the Brahmins are untouchable and, day after day, Officer McCloskey makes way for ducklings.

Posted on 06/09/2009 7:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald

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