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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
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
















Saturday, 28 February 2009
When The Saints Come In In March
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by Esmerelda Weatherwax (March 2009)


February was a funny month. Thick snow, more than we have had for 10 years followed by floods. Record heat in some parts of Australia followed by unusually heavy rain in others. Geert Wilders didn’t get into the UK, Lord Ahmed threatened a wholesale riot anyway but in the event he himself went down. 


Looking forward to March which may be coming in like a lion there are two well known saints days coming up. St David patron Saint of Wales on the 1std and St Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland and Irishmen and descendants everywhere on the 17th.


But there are many more whose feast days are in March.


I bet you didn’t know that there was a St Gladys.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:50 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
It's A Dog's Life
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by John M. Joyce (March 2009)


Let me take you back in time to a very early and cold morning in late autumn eighteen years ago. In a filthy, aged, badly maintained barn deep in the English countryside a poodle bitch, old before her time, is stretched out on a disgustingly dirty heap of ancient straw. She is newly dead and surrounded by seven living puppies of about fourteen weeks. In life she had had no name for she had been a puppy-farm bitch – just like the nineteen other poodle bitches in that awful place. All she had ever known was that draughty and disgusting barn and the squalid cobbled exercise yard just outside.
  more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:47 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
An Interview with a Local Hero: Rabbi Jon Hausman
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by Jerry Gordon (March 2009)


 

Wednesday, February 25th an audience of Christians and Jews attended an event featuring Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, at Congregation Ahavath Torah in Stoughton, Massachusetts. That afternoon, Rabbi Jon Hausman spiritual leader of Ahavath Torah, was feted, called a ‘hero’ and given an ovation at a Republican Jewish Coalition New England Chapter luncheon. Many anti-Jihad activists were in the audience, among them, Charles Jacobs, founder of the David Project, Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, and Professor Dennis Hale of Boston College. Hausman had also contacted Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe columnist who interviewed Wilders, and helped to arrange a radio interview with talk show host Michael Graham. Rabbi Hausman had been one the sparkplug behind organizing the event in Stoughton.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:43 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Cease-Fire, with Whom?
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by Raphael Israeli (March 2009)
 

Until recently, armies used to launch wars from territories of states, to conquer lands or lose them, to gain dominance or to yield it, and finally to lead negotiations which settle the conflict until the next one erupts, via peace treaties or cease-fires, border agreements and spheres of influence, prisoner exchange, imposition of duties and granting of rights. That was, for centuries, the accepted pattern of conduct in international relations. But since the Muslim world has launched its war of terror against the West, new rules have been drafted, for it is no longer clear who fights against whom and in whose name, non-state groups initiate acts of hostility against individuals, groups and states, kidnap hostages and dictate terms for their release, and there is no way to bring about the termination of the conflict unless under the conditions of the terrorists. And since these belligerents are intermingled with civilian population and shielded by it, there is also no way to defend oneself efficiently against them without raising the wrath of the entire world, save the one country attempting to defend itself.  more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:27 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
The American Jewish Committee Missteps on Durban II
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Melanie Phillips, in a Spectator blog posting entitled “The Fifth Columnist in the White House”, had the following comment about Felice Gaer. Gaer was a member of the U.S. delegation attending the pre-Durban II- World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) Review Conference in Geneva, Feb. 16th to 19th.

In [Obama's] delegation at Geneva, taking part in this process of delegitimizing the Jewish state while pretending to put a brake on the process, is one Felice Gaer, a senior official of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) [and Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom] (USCIRF).   more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:24 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
A Tale of Two Partitions: India 1947 and Palestine 1948
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by Norman Berdichevsky (March 2009)


A few academics and editorial writers claiming to be scholars and quite a few liberal pundits/observers, have argued that some blame for the recent atrocious acts of terror in Mumbai should be put on India’s Hindus by stressing that the terrorist group of “disaffected Muslims” carrying out the outrage of random murder of civilians was “probably funded from outside India." They believe as Fareed Zakaria stated in Newsweek, that Indian Hindus “had it coming” because "One of the untold stories of India is that the Muslim population has not shared in the boom the country has enjoyed over the last 10 years. There is still a lot of institutional discrimination, and many remain persecuted." 
more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:15 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Jewish-Muslim Dialogue in Nashville, Tennessee
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by Rebecca Bynum (March 2009)


On October 7, 2004, a 33 year old Iraqi immigrant, Ahmed Hassan Al-Uqaily was arrested in Nashville after threatening jihad against the Nashville Jewish community and having purchased two disassembled M-16 machine guns, four disassembled hand grenades, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from an undercover FBI agent. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison and was made to forfeit $38,000 from his bank account which, though he was a recent immigrant and employed by a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, contained over $43,000. more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:12 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Apologists of Totalitarianism: From Communism to Islam, Part IV
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The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy, 9/11 And The Apologists Of Islamic Terrorism
by Ibn Warraq
(March 2009)

   
IV.1.       LEE HARVEY OSWALD, COMMUNIST
                       
          I shouted out, 'Who killed the Kennedys?' When after all, it was you and me."
                            --- The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil, 1968.   
 
The kind of attitudes revealed by Western, particularly leftist, intellectuals after the attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001, were prefigured in the responses to the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. James Piereson[1] has argued persuasively that the Liberal Left, unable to accept psychologically the, essentially simple, facts of the assassination suffered cognitive dissonance, when they tried to reconcile deeply held beliefs with evidence that clearly contradicted those beliefs. In order to eliminate this psychological tension (or dissonance) the Left denied or ignored key facts or re-interpreted the facts in such a way as to make them consistent with deeply held convictions.[2] Liberals dismissed as irrelevant the fact that President Kennedy was shot by a communist- for them threats to the nation could only come from the irrational conduct of the radical right. Thus Kennedy must be a victim of "intolerance and bigotry" ; the nation itself was to blame. [3]  more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:08 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Ex-bankers, or too much information
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From Damian Thompson's Holy Smoke. Or have they just given up for Lent?

 

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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:04 PM by Mary Jackson
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Rahamin
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by Nidra Poller (March 2009)

July 2007
A grandmother of my vintage—I was born in 1935—is the receptacle of so many additions…so many subtractions…such intricate juxtapositions…
…a woman my age is the accumulation of so many times and places, the junction of generation upon generation and, today, a person in her own right acting in the world with the full force of her individuality. A little old lady-- bubbe, babushka, granny—sits in a rocking chair deep in the heart, chewing her teeth, worrying a handkerchief. Who will accompany my generations as they skirt dangerous neighborhoods? Are the airplanes safe, the highways patrolled, the doors locked; are the young ladies fertile and the young men good providers, are the schools good, the teachers smart, the grades fair; is the future bright?  The young reply: Not to worry, grand-mère. T’inquiètes. Meaning ne t’inquiètes pas.  more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:05 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Beauty and the Beast
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by Theodore Dalrymple (March 2009)


It is more difficult to write interestingly of good people than of bad; villains are generally more memorable than heroes. A newspaper that reported only acts of kindness and generosity would be insufferably boring and would go bankrupt even faster than those that relay only disaster caused by defalcation. To adapt very slightly Tolstoy’s famous aphorism, good people are all good in the same way, but bad people are all bad in their own way. more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2009 5:00 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
The Fruits of Rage, Part I
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by Richard L. Rubenstein (March 2009)

(An excerpt from Richard L. Rubenstein's upcoming book tentatively titled, Jihad and Genocide.)
 
Sheer rage has become an important element in the behavior of a sizeable number of Muslims toward non-Muslims, especially but by no means only Jews.  Rage itself has been characterized as a “shame-based expression of anger.”[i] To experience shame, a person must compare his actions with some standard, either his own or another’s, and he must regard himself as having failed to meet that standard. Shame is the product of the very self that it condemns.[ii] In those societies in which the military caste enjoys dominant status, defeat in war can result in shame so painful that death is deemed preferable. more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 4:46 PM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
They also served
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Actress Wendy Richard died on Thursday, aged only 65. As Esmerelda pointed out, she played both the glamorous and winsome Miss Brahms - sex kitten to Mrs Slocombe's pussy - in Are You Being Served, and the miserable, hatchet-faced Pauline Fowler in Eastenders.  Are You Being Served finished, and Eastenders began, in 1985, and yet Wendy Richard seem to age fifteen years in as many weeks. Perhaps she was made up to look younger for the sitcom and older for the soap; perhaps, like Julie Walters, she was a versatile actress who could play any age.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed Are You Being Served, without quite knowing why. After all, as I pointed out some time ago, this much-loved sitcom had only a small number of jokes, which featured every week:

 

“I’m free.” Said by Mr Humphries in a screamingly camp voice.

“Menswear.” Said by Mr Humphries in a deep voice in an attempt to sound manly.

“Inside leg please”/”That will be fine sir, fits just where it touches.”

“Don’t worry, sir, it will ride up with wear.”

“These cold mornings play havoc with my pussy/My pussy got soaking wet.” Said by blowsy old bat Mrs Slocombe, whose voice could go from posh to common in a split second. She was talking about her cat, of course. Americans did not believe this, however, and according to The Sun, suspected a double entendre. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

“Young Mr Grace” This was the younger of the two Grace Brothers. He was about ninety – that was the joke, you see - and a dirty old goat, always pinching his secretary’s hole punch.

 

When somebody dies, even somebody close, there is always an element of selfishness in my reaction: by dying they have disturbed the pattern of my life without asking my permission and reminded me, unasked, that I am getting older. I hadn’t seen Eastenders for years – since Dirty Den came back from the dead – so I really have no right to be indignant about Wendy Richard’s death. But I was. She had no business dying – she was the baby of Are You Being Served. Presumably, then, the others are long gone? I thought I would check.

 

First the bad news. John Inman, mincer extraordinaire, is now free, having measured his last inside leg two years ago. Regular readers will remember that I marked the event with an E. J. Thribb-style poem, which was promptly stolen by Private Eye. Young Mr Grace, born 1899, pinched his last bottom twenty-eight years ago. Time got the measure of Senior Menswear Assistant Mr Grainger (Arthur Brough) in 1978. Truculent maintenance men Mr Mash and Mr Harman (Larry Martin Arthur English respectively) will no longer make unauthorised appearances on the shop floor, having repaired to the great maintenance room in the sky in 1994 and 1995.

 

Now for the good news. Roguishly handsome Junior Menswear Assistant Mr Lucas (Trevor Bannister) is a sprightly 72, and guest-starred in Doctor Who in 2007. Bald, jug-eared manager Mr Rumbold is no balder or more jug-eared at 74 – like some men ill-favoured in their youth, he has changed little and looks better than those once more handsome. Pompous Floor Manager Captain Peacock was played by Frank Thornton (shortened from the singular Frank Thornton Ball). At 88, he is still walking the floor. Last but not least, Mollie Sugden, at 86, is still keeping up standards in Ladies’ Underwear. News of her pussy has not reached the wider public, but she may have had a replacement or two in the intervening years.

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Posted on 02/28/2009 12:11 PM by Mary Jackson
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Careful with those clippers mate!
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Johnny Cash-Ring of Fire 1963For Phil the barber who was dancing to this when it came on the radio yesterday afternoon.
Johnny Cash and Ring of Fire.

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Posted on 02/28/2009 4:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 28 February 2009
Panache
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by Mary Jackson (March 2009) 

Panache is the name of a perfume by Lentheric that was popular in the Seventies and Eighties. It wasn't pleasant - a sickly sweet one-noter. Still, it didn’t deserve to be, as I once overheard, mispronounced as "pan-aik", as if you'd need an aspirin for it. Panache, thus pronounced, must be even worse than toothache, as it would affect every last bit of you. more>>>
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Posted on 02/28/2009 9:20 PM by NER
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Friday, 27 February 2009
French headscarf ban not discrimination, says European Court
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From Deutsche Welle
Based in Strasbourg, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday, Dec. 4 that the school's move to expel the girls was not out of line, emphasizing that the girls had been able to continue their education via correspondence classes.
"It was clear that the applicants' religious convictions were fully taken into account in relation to the requirements of protecting the rights and freedoms of others and public order," the court said in a press release. Europe’s top courts have ruled in favor of a French school that expelled two Muslim girls for refusing to remove their headscarves for physical education classes. The ruling fuels the debate over secularism in France.
The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed a complaint by two French Muslim girls that their school violated their freedom of religion and their right to an education. The girls were expelled after repeatedly refusing to remove their headscarves for physical education classes.
The teacher had said that wearing a headscarf was incompatible with physical education classes. The girls, Belgin Dogru and Esma-Nur Kervanci, are French nationals and were 11 and 12 respectively when they were expelled from the school in the north-western town of Flers in 1999.
It only took 9 years but its a good decision.

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Posted on 02/27/2009 4:39 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 27 February 2009
Harry Potter and the Ziono-Hollywoodists:
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This is from Daniel Finklestein's blog in The Times.

This is a clip from a December 15th documentary screened by IRINN, the Iranian News Channel. Its theme is how the Jews, battling for world supremacy, are using Harry Potter as a tool.

Sample quote:

The Harry Potter film series reached the cinema  following the success of the Zionist propaganda machine which made this little known author and her book famous......It can be viewed as a compilation of secrets and of theories used by the Zionist media.....

And then there is this observation:

The Zionists support Harry Potter because he is the promised Messiah.

The You tube clip (which I have no idea how to embed here) is translated by MEMRI and is well worth the 5 minutes it will take to view.

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Posted on 02/27/2009 4:20 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 27 February 2009
Annoying Americanism of the week
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Pronouncing lingerie as lingerée, or, more accurately, lan-juh-RAY. Knickers to that.

Thanks to Paul in the comments to this post for reminding me of this annoying Americanism, which must surely annoy right-thinking Americans too.

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Posted on 02/27/2009 1:30 PM by Mary Jackson
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Friday, 27 February 2009
Great New Anti-Crime Website
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We all know people are getting away with rape and murder all over the country. There are few really well written sites documenting this phenomenon, but here is a new one that combines great sleuthing and good writing. We wish it all the best.

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Posted on 02/27/2009 11:59 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Friday, 27 February 2009
Bucks fizz
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What is it about High Wycombe?

 

“Happiness,” said Anon, “Is High Wycombe in your rear-view mirror.” Anon, who said a lot of things, was quoted by a Mark Grant about fifteen years ago:

 

High Wycombe is famous for absolutely nothing, but used to be a large producer of furniture, or was it carpets, or something else? Well, whatever it was, all the factories were closed down long ago. Today, its main product is boredom.

 

He’s wrong, though. From The Spectator:

What an odd mix of distinguished residents High Wycombe has had! Fern Britton, Benjamin Disraeli, Dusty Springfield, Karl Popper, Jimmy Carr: it’s a list that reads like a game of Celebrity Consequences in freefall.

There is not much in common between those listed above. Yet a subsection of the list displays an almost obsessive interest in sexual and gastronomic experimentation. The goggle-eyed chef Heston Blumenthal, brought up in High Wycombe, has become famous for off-beat dishes such as Snail Porridge and Egg-and-Bacon Ice Cream. Ian Dury, who went to school there, is best-known for the song ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’, a jaunty, multi-lingual (‘je t’adore, iche liebe dich!’) hymn in praise of sado-masochism. That fine artist, Eric Gill, who set up his workshop in High Wycombe, is now notorious for secretly conducting an incestuous relationship with his sister and his daughter; he was also on intimate terms with his dog.

And there are the rioters at the Wycombe Islamic Mission Mosque. And more than one Jihadist.

 

So what is it about High Wycombe? It may be the fact that it is in Buckinghamshire. Buckinghamshire still has grammar schools and is generally quite an interesting county. Comedienne Jo Brand once mentioned Buckinghamshire not unfavourably:

 

"the underwear you want people to see is black and the size of an atom. The underwear you don't want people to see is grey, and the size of Buckinghamshire."

 

Rumour has it that a young lady from Buckingham once got together with a young fellow from Twickenham. In Limerick, I think it was. What happened next is anybody's guess.

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Posted on 02/27/2009 9:29 AM by Mary Jackson
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Friday, 27 February 2009
Saudi knickers in a twist
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Salesmen "travelling in ladies' underwear" have traditionally been considered snigger-worthy; men who hang around lingerie departments even more so. Knickers and vicars are the stock-in-trade of British comedy. Take this scene from Father Ted, in which a party of Catholic priests accidentally find themselves thwarted by thongs:

As so often happens, what is pervy to Westerners is normal in Saudi Arabia. From the BBC, with thanks to Alan:

It would be bizarre in any country to find that its lingerie shops are staffed entirely by men.

But in Saudi Arabia - an ultra-conservative nation where unmarried men and women cannot even be alone in a room together if they are not related - it is strange in the extreme.

Women, forced to negotiate their most intimate of purchases with male strangers, call the situation appalling and are demanding the system be changed.

[...]

Rana Jad is a 20-year-old student at Dar al-Hikma Women's College, and one of Reem Asaad's pupils and campaign supporters.

"Girls don't feel very comfortable when males are selling them lingerie, telling them what size they need, and saying 'I think this is small on you, I think this is large on you'," she says.

"He's totally checking the girls out! It's just not appropriate, especially here in our culture."

"Totally checking the girls out"? What's with the Valley Speak?

The situation is all the more frustrating because the relevant legislation is already in place.  

In 2006, the Saudi government passed a law stating that women should be allowed to staff any shops that sell women's items, be it clothing, accessories or underwear.

But the law has still not been properly implemented.

No official reason is given for this, but one probable cause is that hiring female staff would put a lot of men out of work - not a popular move in a country where 13% of men are unemployed.

There are also Saudi Arabia's Muslim clerics to contend with.

They wield a great deal of power in the kingdom and still believe a woman's natural environment is in the home.

I wonder if the salesmen sample the products. I have a feeling - just a hunch - that many Saudi men wear a bustier beneath the bisht.

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Posted on 02/27/2009 8:35 AM by Mary Jackson
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Friday, 27 February 2009
In every suburb, across the nation . . .
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Manfred Mann sang about your "semi-detached suburban Mr Mouse" about the boredom of suburban life. Oh that it were.
AN Elm Park law student has appeared in court accused of sending emails containing terrorist material.
Mohammed Gul, 21, of Elm Park Avenue, allegedly sent two video files featuring explosions and a picture of Osama bin Laden displaying Arabic script. He is also said to have had a document containing bomb-making instructions.
The third year degree student, said to be from an academically gifted family, was arrested in Hornchurch on February 10, after a raid by anti-terror police.
District Judge Timothy Workman refused Gul bail and remanded him in custody until March 3. His lawyer indicated he would be pleading not guilty.
Gul is charged with two counts of transmitting a terrorist publication, intending that an effect of his conduct would be a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
He is further charged with possessing a document containing information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act.
A 24-YEAR-old man from East London has been charged tonight with sending bomb hoaxes to the BBC, ITN and a Government department.
He is Nasar Ahmed, who was first arrested at his home at Wooster Gardens in Poplar in October, on suspicion of communicating hoax threats.
Ahmed faces allegations of five offences under the 1988 Malicious Communications Act which include sending letters to the BBC, ITN, Channel 5 and the Department of Work & Pensions in September with false information “for the purpose of causing distress or anxiety and intending that their contents should be communicated.”
This is Luton. A 53-year-old man suffered minor injuries after he was the victim of what is thought to have been a racist attack in Bury Park last week. Four teenagers of Asian appearance approached the man from behind as he walked along Moor Path just after 5pm on Thursday, February 19.
The gang pushed the victim before kicking his feet from under him causing him to fall to the ground. They told the man that the incident had been 'racial' before fleeing towards Waldeck Road. Investigating Sgt Katherine Rivers is keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the attack. She said: "This man was making his way home minding his own business when out of the blue he has been the victim of a physical attack. . . This incident has left the victim with grazing to his hands and legs together with a cut to his lip. This sort of abuse will not be tolerated."
Police are looking for four Asian boys aged between 14 and 16.

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Posted on 02/27/2009 5:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 27 February 2009
Interior Ministry warns terror camp trainees returning to Germany
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From the German edition of The Local.
Up to 140 people from Germany have attended terrorist training camps and 60 have returned to the country, government officials told Berliner Morgenpost this week.
Head of the Interior Ministry’s anti-terrorism unit Hans-Georg Maaßen told the paper on Wednesday that those 60, who include German citizens as well as immigrants with residency permits, are currently living in the country.
Maaßen argued their return was a good reason for the German upper house of parliament to pass a controversial new anti-terrorism law in the coming weeks. The law would give officials more authority to prosecute crimes that endanger the state, such as attending terrorist training camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan. After months of arguing, the grand coalition government managed to agree on a bill, and the Bundesrat will vote on it March 6.
Should it be passed by parliament as expected, any involvement with suspected terrorist groups, including contacting them, preparing for a terror attack by collecting money, financing terrorist activities, gathering bomb materials, spending time in a terrorist training camp or publishing bomb-building instructions will be punishable by up to 10 years under the new legislation. Building a bomb, even if someone does not detonate it, could mean up to three years in jail, for instance.
The new law comes out of analysis of investigations against terror suspects in the last several years. Since 2000, at least 7 terrorist attacks have been stopped or failed,
But critics of the bill say it’s unconstitutional . . . But according to Maaßen, "There are these exceptions against whom we have to take precautions."

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Posted on 02/27/2009 4:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 26 February 2009
A Musical Interlude: No One But The Right Man Can Do Me Wrong (Sophie Tucker)
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Posted on 02/26/2009 4:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 26 February 2009
Read this Sen. Lieberman: "Stop the Afghan Drug Trade, Stop Terrorism"
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Rachel Ehrenfeld in this important Forbes.com commentary,” Stop the Afghan Drug Trade, Stop Terrorism” fills in the missing link in Sen. Lieberman’s ’surge’ strategy for Afghanistan that I criticized.See here. I noted that the Afghan drug trade fueled Taliban terrorism:

As Rachel Ehrenfeld author of the classic, Narco Terrorism, has written if you don’t control the heroin trade that funds the Taliban and Al Qaeda at an estimated $300 million + a year, you won’t get anywhere. Afghanistan is the heroin producer to the world.. That vast drug cash hoard is oxygen for the jihad. Look what it cost the U.S. (billions) in Colombia to finally rein in FARC, who controlled the Cocaine trade, and had support from Latin America, left extremist regimes in both Ecuador and Venezuela. Further, we achieved ‘victory’ against the Narco-terrorists in Colombia where the Uribe government was a staunch ally committed to defending his country against the drug lords, FARC and the threats of Marxist dictator, Hugo Chavez,

So, Senator Lieberman, we don’t have a quagmire in Afghanistan, as much as we do a sand trap controlled by Muslim extremist drug lords in the world heroin trade. Can we develop a winning strategy to take away that oxygen? That is the ultimate question.

Ehrenfeld in this important Forbes piece resonates our observations:

“The fight against drugs is actually the fight for Afghanistan,” said Afghan President Hamid Karzai when he took office in 2002. Judging by the current situation, Afghanistan is losing.

To win, the link between narcotics and terrorism must be severed. That is the necessary condition for a successful strategy to undermine the growing influence of al-Qaida, the Taliban and radical Muslim groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is all about money–more precisely, drug money. The huge revenues from the heroin trade fill the coffers of the terrorists and thwart any attempt to stabilize the region.

Though not traded on any stock exchange, heroin is one of the most valuable commodities in the world today. While a ton of crude oil costs less than $290, a ton of heroin costs $67 million in Europe and between $360 million and $900 million in New York, according to estimates based on recent Drug Enforcement Administration figures.

Since its liberation from Taliban rule, Afghanistan’s opium production has gone from 640 tons in 2001 to 8,200 tons in 2007. Afghanistan now supplies over 93% of the global opiate market.

“This is a source of income for the warlords and regional factions to pay their soldiers,” warned former Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalili in a May 2005 interview with Reuters. “The terrorists are funding their operations through illicit drug trade, so they are all interlinked.”

Ehrenfeld’s solution is to conduct bio-warfare on Afghan poppy production used to make the world’s heroin:

There is, however, a strategy that could reduce the cost of fighting terrorists and drug traffickers alike, while helping to establish a self-sustaining economy in Afghanistan and defusing the tensions in the region. It would also cut down on the social and economic cost of heroin use in the U.S.

The Obama Administration should implement an innovative and safe poppy eradication method that previous U.S. governments spent billions of dollars developing. Mycoherbicides are naturally occurring fungi that are used to control such illicit pest plants as the opium poppy and other noxious weeds. Unlike chemical controls now in use, mycoherbicides assail only the targeted plant, rendering its cultivation uneconomical. These fungi continue to live in the soil, preventing the future growth of the opium poppy plant, but are harmless to other crops, to humans and to the environment.

On Dec. 29, 2006, then-President George W. Bush signed Public Law 109/469, of which section 1111 requires the Department of State to fund a concluding study of the effectiveness of mycoherbicides on the opium poppy and the coca shrub. Yet the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy failed to conduct the one-year study, apparently because it prefers to use pesticides for eradication. Concluding these studies should become a priority for the Obama administration.

The use of mycoherbicides in Afghanistan, combined with adequate enforcement by the military, will mitigate the production of heroin and cut off the terrorists’ major money supply. This would free up the $150 to $200 billion now used to fight the drug trade and its byproducts–crime, addiction, diseases, accidents, etc.–in the U.S., and make these funds available to help fight terrorism directly.

Sen. Lieberman should take up hearings on Ehrenfeld’s smart strategy of poppy production eradication. It would be the moral equivalent of sending another 30,000 plus American servicemen and women into the sandtrap of Afghanistan and it would suck the oxygen from the lungs of Islamic extremists like the Taliban.

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Posted on 02/26/2009 9:31 PM by Jerry Gordon
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