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The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky
















Friday, 31 January 2014
Illegal mosque finally shut down
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From the Southend Standard

NEIGHBOURS are delighted an illegal mosque has been closed down after a four-year battle.

Workmen have finally begun converting the Jaafriya Islamic Welfare Centre, which saw up 150 people cram into an old bungalow in Fairfax Drive, back into a residential property after a legal wrangle. 

A wrecking crew was on site yesterday knocking down a huge rear extension the owners built without planning permission as a hall for worshippers. Workmen must also change the building, which had separate toilets for men and women and was used to teach children and hold services, back into dwelling.

The bungalow will then be sold as the Shia Muslims look for a new centre. Planning officers met the owner, who insists no services have been held there since December 23, to thrash out what work is needed a fortnight ago. 

Southend Council has received hundreds of complaints about noise, parking and rubbish since the group began using the bungalow as a place of worship without planning permission in 2010.

Nasser Hussein, chairman of the centre, said: “We haven’t been a problem to anyone. The council says there have been 200 complaints, but there aren’t 200 houses around here. . . "

There are, plus flats and small businesses. The EDL did a flash demo there early last year and I took some photographs. 

First is the extension from the back.

Second is the bungalow from the front. You can see the height of the extension above the original roof line, and how high it is compared with the neighbouring bungalow. You can also see the neighbours. And yes, it was snowing. Not everybody had arrived at that point.

I could not report on this small demo at the time. The front wall (missing in the most recent photograph taken by the Southend Standard yesterday) was so flimsy that affixing the England flag to the wall was enough for it to topple over. While the police accepted that this was an accident (indeed I said that the Mosque should be liable for retaining a structure which was dangerous to public safety) while there was a possibility of a charge of criminal damage it was wise to say nothing. 

There are two large legal mosques in Southend and Westcliff, below, both in former churches, one of which has also bought the Nelson pub opposite to use as accomodation. (As you have probably guessed from the blue sky and leafy tree I took the lower photograph a few months later after friends had leafleted the area giving the contact details of those local councillors) 

Spacious and substantial buildings, ummah for the use of, both.

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 31 January 2014
A Sibyl by Rainer Maria Rilke
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Translated by Len Krisak (February 2014)

      Once, long ago, they called her old. But she

lived on, and down the same street, every day,

she came, until they had to change the way

they told her age, counting each century,  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Not Being Able to Return
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by Bibhu Padhi (February 2014)

The tea joint where our gossip

touched the high clouds just

under heaven, has now turned

into a “Foreign Liquor Shop.”  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
The Germans’ Mercenaries by György Faludy
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ranslated from the Hungarian & edited by Thomas Ország-Land (February 2014)

The historical setting of this poem – published anonymously in 1937 in protest against Hungary‘s alliance with Nazi Germany – was intended to deflect the wrath of the authorities. György Faludy (1910-2006) is a towering figure of Europoean literature described throughout his long and prolific writing career as the reigning king of Hungarian poetry. He spent much of his life in exile. During World War Two, he served as honourary sectetary of the Free Hungary Movement in America and fought with the US Air Force in the Far East. He returned to Hungary afterwards to be imprisoned and tortured by the Communists. He remains an enduring source of controversay in his homeland where his work is adored by a doggedly loyal public and loathed by the ultra-Conservative government and its servile literary/cultural establishment. This translation will appear inSurvivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust translated by Thomas Land, to be published by Smokesatack Books, England, in June.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
The Last Days of My Father
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by Mark Anthony Signorelli (February 2014)


Five years ago this month, my father died of lung cancer. Several months after his passing, I sat down to record the events of the days leading up to his death, convinced that what had transpired was of some significance, and that by writing down these events I might be able to comprehend their meaning better. What follows is that record as I wrote it at that time.  

About two weeks before the death of my father, my sister and I, with our spouses, were visiting him at his house. He looked quite weak and weary, and there was much concern because his blood-pressure had been extremely low for several days, and was not going up. He had recently completed a round of chemotherapy; in the past, these treatments had always left him debilitated for many days afterwards, and I believed his condition on this day was simply a reprise of that adverse reaction, over which he had prevailed numerous times already. In retrospect, I can see how obvious were the signs of my father's approaching end, but whether due to optimism, or due to the incomparable newness of the experience, it was quite a while before I understood – or allowed myself to understand – what in fact was happening.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Ex Gratis
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by Moshe Dann (February 2014)


Pulling the covers up around his head, Mendy opened one eye against an onslaught of sunlight. Noise of traffic three floors below bounced off the cobwebbed, mold-speckled ceiling. Windows rattled against the wind in his one-room roof-top apartment. Glancing at his alarm clock balanced on the edge of an old wooden chair, he curled tightly into himself trying to avoid the inevitable beginning of this day.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
The Master Navigator
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by Geoffrey Clarfield (February 2014)


Highest good is like water. Because water excels in benefiting the myriad creatures without contending with them and settles where none would like to be, it comes close to the way.
 -- Tao te Ching, Book VIII

If you are as lucky as I have been, you grew up within a secure nuclear family, embedded in a larger network of grandparents on both sides and large numbers of cousins with whom you shared your childhood. And only, almost suddenly, when you wake up and find yourself married with grown children, and you are on the edge becoming a grandparent yourself, inevitably your emotional ties disengage from this former network of cousins, uncles and aunts, as your own extended family of nieces and nephews become the new center of your emotional attention. So it was with some surprise when I thought of my late uncle today. It was probably triggered by a documentary preview that I saw about Florida, that unique state which always appears as if it is more water than land.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
How The NRA Resembles The CPUSA
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by Richard Kostelanetz (February 2014)


Let me suggest unfamiliarly that in crucial respects the current National Rifle Association resembles the Communist Party USA of decades ago. Both were essentially puny organizations barely earning support from those they purportedly represented. Scarcely a few percent of the 100 million American gun owners belong to the NRA, which routinely tries to scare up new members. At the apex of its membership during WWII, the CPUSA collected dues from less than ninety thousand of the available American citizens of voting age. Of course, both the NRA and CPUSA benefitted from innumerable sympathizers who for various reasons declined from paying dues.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Radical Feminists’ War on Churches
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by Enza Ferreri (February 2014)

The similarity between Muslims on one hand and feminist and homosexual activists on the other may superficially seem shocking, but in fact it is normal, indeed predictable.

Their enemy is the same: the decency and morality deriving from Christian civilisation.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Master of Lost Chords
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by Thomas J. Scheff (February 2014)


For many years I have been wondering why a book by my teacher, the sociologist Erving Goffman (1922-1982), has been so popular. His scholarly text, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), has sold well over a million copies, and is still selling. According to Amazon.com, its rank today, 54 years later, is surprising (#6,448). What is it about this book that is so highly appreciated?  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Socialist Globalization
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by Robert Wolfe (February 2014)


When I was young growing up in New York in the 1950s socialism was still considered a respectable political philosophy. Communism was more or less banned and socialists were accused of an affinity with Communism but the socialist concept still had many advocates. There were socialist governments in Western Europe and many industries there had been nationalized in the wake of the Second World War. Socialism in the United States was no longer a mass movement but the idea that government should play some kind of role in economic life was not seen as strange or unusual. Socialists differed on just how extensive this role should be but all agreed that “natural monopolies” like the railroad, phone service and electricity should be nationalized.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Jewish Myopia Towards Islam
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by Jerry Gordon (February 2014)
with Lisa Benson and Charles Jacobs 


American Jews have themselves to blame for not recognizing the threat from Radical Islam. They are obsessed with Muslim outreach in the naive hope that doing so will help them understand another religion which espouses hatred of them and advocates the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. They trust rabbinic leaders of the various denominations, Reform, Conservative and even Orthodox, when they espouse Abrahamic Religions programs with Christian and Muslim groups (see Dr. Mark Durie’s essay on "The  Abrahamic Fallacy" in this edition). They are unwary of the tactics of Da’wa - the call to Islam - to purposefully mislead them through religious condoned dissimulation portraying Islam as a religion of peace.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Have the Grievance-Mongering Taqiyya-Artists at TellMamaUK Finally Lost the Plot?
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by Catstrangler101 (February 2014)


If there was any confirmation needed that the mendacious, grievance-mongering taquiyya-artists at TellMamaUK have finally lost the plot, it is to be found in an analysis of the latest target that they have in their cross-hairs – Liberty GB. See this link -http://tellmamauk.org/liberty-gb/  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
The Rise of Erdogan’s Islamist Tyranny
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by Jerry Gordon (February 2014)


Can you have a one party tyranny in a parliamentary system, especially one in which you have competing Islamist parties? The answer maybe a decided yes, when it comes to Turkey. The actions over the past  few  months, bespeak of the Jeffersonian definition, “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.”  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Esperanto and Modern Hebrew –“Artificial” Languages that Came to Life
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by Norman Berdichevsky (February 2014)


The originator of the international language Esperanto, Dr. Lazar Ludwig Zamenhof, was a Jew whose knowledge of Hebrew undoubtedly played a role in the successful development of the only devised language to make the transition from a desk project to a living tongue. Although the Esperanto vocabulary is largely derived from the Romance, Germanic and Slavic families, it is likely that Zamenhof’s profound knowledge of Hebrew contributed to the logical structure of what most linguists will agree is the easiest language to learn.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Is there a Future for French Jews? An Interview with Michel Gurfinkiel
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by Jerry Gordon (February 2014)


In September 2006 I attended a lecture at the Davenport residential college at Yale University given by Michel Gurfinkiel. Gurfinkiel is the founder of the conservative Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris. He is a member of the board of Crif-Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France, the central French Jewish representative council. Gurfinkiel is a much sought after commentator on French, American, and European Jewish communities, as well as, Israel issues of the day. He is also a Fellow of the Middle East Forum. Articles by him have appeared in Commentary MagazineMosaic, TheThe Wall Street JournalPJ MediaThe New York SunPolitique InternationaleLe FigaroThe TimesThe Middle East Quarterly and The Jerusalem Post among others.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Christie in the Crosshairs
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by G. Murphy Donovan (February 2014)

“My father was a statesman, I'm a political woman. My father was a saint. I'm not.”
                                                                                        -  Indira Gandhi

The 2016 US Presidential Campaign is underway. Not underway officially of course, but interest groups and pundits are already taking sides and stirring the political pot. Presumptive front runners seem to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and New Jersey governor Chris Christie for the Republicans. There are no third party spoilers on the horizon for the moment.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
William Shakespeare, Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford and the ‘Still-Vexed Bermoothes’
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by Keith Hopkins (February 2014)


It is, no doubt, a truism that the subject of William Shakespeare is, nowadays at least, a matter of the authorship controversy. For the supporters of Edward de Vere, earl of Oxford, the Young or the Old Pretender, there is a wrong to be righted. The Stratfordians, who hold to the Party line that the Stratford man was indeed the author of the plays that bear his name, remain unmoved though whether unmoveable, in the light of the fierce debate raging around them, is anyone’s guess. The war rages on a number of fronts, the textual being perhaps the most hotly contested. But what is looking increasingly clear is that the Stratfordians  - to whom I give my guarded assent – need to start raising their game pretty soon or the game may very well be up.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Shakespeare’s Sweet Poison
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by David P. Gontar (February 2014)


"I am a soldier and now bound to France."   -- Queen Eleanor

"Stay, stay thy hands!  Thou art an Amazon, and fightest with the sword of Deborah."
          -- Charles, Dauphin of France to Joan of Arc

In an article in The Shakespeare Institute Review, Vol. 1, June, 2012,  titled "Murther Most Foul: poison as a gendered weapon in Shakespeare," Dara Kaye's lead sentence is this:

"Shakespeare's characters use poisons or potions in six plays, but in only one, Hamlet, is poison wielded by a man." (Kaye, 18) A few sentences later that individual is identified as King Claudius ("the outlier"). (Kaye, 18)  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Something Rotten in the Art of Denmark
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by Theodore Dalrymple (February 2014)


Ever since I first encountered it, nearly fifty years ago, I have liked Danish painting of the Nineteenth Century, particularly of the first half commonly known as Danish art’s Golden Age. As artistic golden ages go, and compared with, say, Spain or Holland’s, Denmark’s was modest. Købke was no Velasquez and Eckersberg was no Vermeer. But in the long run accomplished modesty seems to me better than failed ambition, which is much more frequently encountered in the history of art (though not as it is generally written, of course).  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Minefield of Dreams: The Good Intentions that Harm Society
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by Ben Irvine (February 2014)

In politics as in medicine, first do no harm. - Theodore Dalrymple

1.

The first duty of any worthy campaigner is to provide a lesson in terminology. After all, a worthy campaign is one which has significant consequences for society, and anything significant that needs to be campaigned for implies an insufficiently discerning public to whom suitable distinctions must be pointed out.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
The Abrahamic Fallacy
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Introduction

The Abrahamic Fallacy is the belief that Abraham is a figure of unity for Islam, Christianity and Judaism. 

The phrase “Abrahamic Religions” has become very popular as a cover-term for these three faiths. It is particularly popular among Jewish and Christian progressives on the one hand, and Muslim apologists on the other. The term implies a kind of unity or brotherhood across the three faiths.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Faith, Reason and a Call to Spiritual Arms
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by Rebecca Bynum (February 2014)


In an article entitled “Defend Christendom” published in National Review, Conrad Black wrote:

“Our secular leaders, whatever their own religious views, should cease to appease these forces of the anti-Christ; should unsheathe the great moral sword in their scabbards, and have some thought for the more than 1.5 billion practicing Christians whose votes they seek, while pretending that any acknowledgment of Christianity is an affront to all other faiths and a forced march on seven-league boots back into the Dark Ages.”

The only problem I see with the statement is that secularity in and of itself has no moral sword which to unsheathe and therefore secular leaders are very unlikely to fully engage in moral battle especially involving opposition to what is supposed to be a religion, namely the system of Islam. They must have the moral guidance of true religion as well as the guidance of reason and common sense. They can act in concert with the churches but they cannot act for the churches. Our churches have a role to play that cannot be replicated by any other institution.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Give Death Its Due
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by Theodore Dalrymple (February 2014)


Ever since I was born about half a million people a year have died in Britain alone, making more than thirty million of them in my lifetime; yet until quite recently I hardly noticed this holocaust around me. Death played no more than a very minor part in the jejune drama of my life; I lived as if exclusively among immortals, where death, if it occurred at all, seemed almost a moral judgment on the lives of the departed rather than a purely natural event in those lives. They must have done something wrong to die.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by NER
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Friday, 31 January 2014
Alumni (Wrong) Notes From All Over
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From "Alumni News" published by the History Department at a major university:

"She got to take students on a May Term trip to Holocaust Memorial sites in Germany and Poland, and is gleefully planning future trips."

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Posted on 01/31/2014 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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