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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
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, 30 June 2007
Constable's Presser in Scotland

Latest details on the Glasgow terrorist attack, based on a press conference in Scotland just completed (at 450pm Eastern Time): 

Two men in custody—police have not identified them by name or any other pedigree information.   

One of them is in critical condition from severe burns and detained in the hospital.  There was a “suspect device” found on him, and as a result the hospital had to be partially evacuated.  Police were asked whether the device was a “suicide belt” but declined to answer beyond saying the device was “removed and brought to a safe place.”  

The other suspect is in police custody. 

The SUV used in the attack is still at the airport and still deemed very unstable.  Police will not be able to examine it until the specialists give them the high sign.  Until then, the airport is considered unstable.  The vehicle contained materials that were flammable and that continues to be the continuing concern—police are not saying there are chemical components. As a result of the instability, there are still passengers stuck on the tarmac because it is deemed to be safer to keep them where they are at the moment than to move them. 

The police do not know whether there were other conspirators in the car other than the two in custody.  There were apparently 30 or more people outside the terminal when the incident happened and police are asking them to come forward and tell police what, if anything, they saw. 

It is unclear when authorities will be able to pronounce the airport safe. 

Police are deeming today’s attack a terrorist attack that is linked to the two attacks on Friday in London.

Posted on 06/30/2007 4:09 PM by Andy McCarthy
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Antwerp Sharia court orders Belgians to burn their beer

Actually, Belgians have been doing it of their own volition for quite some time.

(This item not meant as segue from story below.  Re that flaming jeep and a few of the bystander comments I just heard on the radio: how quickly folks parrot the PC "Asian" line describing the would-be mass murderers. Re the one who was afire: hopefully he has been put on a strong pain killer that doubles as truth serum. Pray that the only injuries were suffered by the perps.)

Posted on 06/30/2007 12:56 PM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Two Held As Burning Jeep Strikes Airport
This is from Sky News
Two people have been arrested after a Jeep was driven into the terminal building at Glasgow airport and caught fire.
Witnesses reported hearing a series of loud "bangs" and saw two men - one of whom was on fire - emerge from the vehicle.
The man on fire was knocked down by a member of the public before he was arrested by police.
There are reports of several injuries. The man on fire was taken to Royal Alexandra Hospital in Glasgow. His accomplice is at a police station in the area.
The Cherokee 4x4 smashed into a glass door at Terminal One of the airport, the busiest in Scotland, which has now been closed.
Hundreds of holidaymakers were in the area at the time, and witnesses said some of them removed gas cylinders from the jeep before it caught fire.
But there are reports the occupants - described as Asian males - were trying to pour petrol on the flames. I suppose they might have been members of the Mongolian mafia (all two of them) staking their pitch in the Ice cream war, but I doubt it.  I think I have an idea what is meant.
Scott Gleeson said he saw the jeep speed up and swerve towards the terminal at an angle to hit the door.
"They were obviously trying to get through to cause as much damage as possible," he said.
Holidaymaker Stephen Clarkson said he knocked one of the men to the floor before police intervened.
He said: "There was an Asian male. He was lying on the floor and he was on fire, the Jeep was on fire as well. The fellow got up and started fighting with police. I managed to knock the Asian fellow to the ground and four police officers got on top of him." He added: "His whole body was on fire. He was quite a big fellow and was disorientated otherwise I wouldn't have been able to knock him down."
James Edgar told Sky News: "People were running past . . .  police and security were scuffling with an Asian gentleman." He added: "There was a lot of anger - if the crowds had got hold of this gentleman it would have been the end of him."
He does not sound what I would call a gentleman. The BBC has some photos here.
Below, the jeep being driven into the terminal.
An image of billowing flames from the burning car, its nose against the terminal building
Posted on 06/30/2007 11:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Soldiers get ready for goodbye

A must read piece in the LATimes:

Ft. Bragg, N.C. — THE battalion commander rose to address the families of soldiers bound for Iraq. Lt. Col. Mark Stock was responsible for the safety of 820 paratroopers and, ultimately, the life trajectories of hundreds of toddlers, spouses and parents squeezed into the pews of a base chapel.

There was no easy way to say what had to be said.

Stock uttered a single word: "Casualties."

The families fell silent, except for the sudden stab of a baby's cry.

"It's not something we like to talk about," said Stock, his forehead slick with sweat in the stifling heat of the chapel. "It's certainly something that makes us all uncomfortable. But it's important…. This is the down and dirty."

So he told them: how a spouse is always told face to face, never by phone or e-mail, that a soldier has died. How phone lines and e-mail servers are shut down on bases in Iraq when someone is killed. How a wounded soldier is allowed to call home, and how someone at Ft. Bragg will nonetheless read a family member the official account from Iraq describing how a soldier was injured 6,500 miles away.

And this: how everyone in Stock's battalion should have completed a will, a power of attorney, a military life insurance certificate and a DD Form 93. This form designates beneficiaries for military insurance and the "death gratuity" paid to the families of the fallen.

What thoughts occupy the minds of soldiers, and their loved ones, as they ship out for war? How does a family prepare for an endeavor in which death or disfigurement is not merely an occupational hazard, but an actuarial certainty for a small but predictable number?

How does a commander motivate his troops for a war that a majority of Americans, according to opinion polls, has written off as a lost cause built on half-truths — a war that even some retired generals who fought in it have called a calamity of historic proportions?...

Posted on 06/30/2007 10:35 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 30 June 2007
My turn to set a poser.

That's poser as in question, not poseur as in pillock.  What institution, and think laterally as to the definition of the phrase, links these four men?

 

 

 

   

Posted on 06/30/2007 9:01 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Adante mobile

Or cell, or "it."  No doubt, MJ, the thing is useful.  Skenazy is, in fact, a user who would agree with you.  As would folks confined to wheelchairs and others in similar straits.  Nevertheless, it is not a phone—at least not any longer merely a phone.  It is a piece of technology one keeps perpetually on one's person, as one might a hearing aid or contact lenses.

It can be studied from a metaphysical angle as one can study television.  In fact, it should be so studied with mastery in mind lest its ubiquity blind us to consequences of its use and bind us with invisible shackles. First, in repose, completely turned off.  Contemplate it for ten minutes.  Then, turn it on but do not respond to it.  Count the number of calls which come in per minute.  Finally, pick it up and use it.  (Follow the same procedure with TV, but study it entirely off, then with just the picture, finally with picture and sound.)  Mastery on a mechanical level isn't as necessary for illumination, but it wouldn't hurt.

Re Amish web sites: Googling produces interesting results.  The Amish rely on things like Amish.net to help sell their products but as far as I could see they do not actually run or license their own sites.  On the web but not of it, I suppose.

Posted on 06/30/2007 8:14 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Immobilised brains

Robert's post draws attention to a disadvantage of the universal cell phone, or mobile, as we say here: it stifles initiative. We are not obliged to make plans or, in some cases, think for ourselves, because others can so easily be contacted.

Children and teenagers who have grown up in a world where there have always been mobile phones are particularly disadvantaged in this respect, as Robert's piece illustrates. Then again, I must guard against old codgerdom and acknowledge that my grandparents, and parents for a time, would have said the same thing about my generation and ordinary telephones, which were around, of course, but not universal.

The advantages of mobile phones outweigh the disadvantages. I must say that I feel slightly uneasy if I forget mine, which is not often, and think it strange if somebody hasn't got one.

Thinking about this put me in mind of an episode of "Rosanne", in the days when it was funny. Becky, or perhaps Darlene, having stayed out late with her boyfriend and "forgotten" to call, tells Rosanne that she was with a friend whose family "are Amish and don't have a phone." Rosanne is not fooled for a minute, having used the same excuse herself as a teenager. No such excuse is available to today's teenagers.

I wonder if the Amish have a website. They shouldn't really, should they?

Posted on 06/30/2007 7:21 AM by Mary Jackson
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Failure to detonate: Was it a dropped call?

I don't know that we'll ever know the answer to that question, but in the meantime consider the deepening dependency the cell phone creates in its users, law-abiding or otherwise, as Lenore Skenazy does here:

Cell phones turn adults into babies, constantly needing contact with their spouses, friends, children. In fact, it's possible that children in a cell-connected world make out worst of all. This morning, not five minutes after I'd left for work, my 11-year-old called from the kitchen to ask if he could have banana bread for breakfast.

Kid – I'm not there. Eat ice cream and marshmallows. Make a vodka smoothie. Go wild or be a good boy, just pretend it's 1990 and I'm unreachable. With all of us connected all the time — "Mom, I'm on the bus," "Mom, I'm two blocks from home" — independence never gets a foothold.

Young adults fare no better. I have a friend whose daughter went shopping for her first college formal and sent her mom — 1,000 miles away — a photo of each dress as she tried it on.

Grow up! Buy a dress by yourself! And while we're at it, learn to make plans, too.

"I go to concerts all the time and my network of friends, they just don't know what to do when they confront somebody without a cell," a 27-year-old holdout, Briee Della Rocca, said. "They say, ‘Call me when you get to the parking lot and we'll meet up somewhere.' I say, ‘I don't have a cell phone. Let's plan in advance'—and the record stops. It's almost like they don't even consider that this is a potential option: To plan ahead."

Cell phones also allow their users to be late ("Almost there!") and opportunistic.

"Just this weekend, I'd met a woman at a party and I was just starting to talk when she got a phone call from a friend," comic Ian Coburn said. "The friend said, ‘Oh, those guys that Patty wanted us to meet are at that bar right now!'" And off she went to the other bar.

Rudeness and cell phones go together like blue-tooth and terminal hipness, which is just another reason many holdouts refuse to buy in. They don't want to be the one shouting "I said I'M IN A RESTAURANT" in a restaurant.

Posted on 06/30/2007 7:12 AM by Robert Bove
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Lessons learned from yesterday's thwarted car bombing

Number six from Greg Gutfeld's list:

The fact that the bomb did not go off demonstrates the inequity in standards of science education for ethnic minorities.

(h/t: Ed Driscoll)

Posted on 06/30/2007 5:37 AM by Robert Bove
Friday, 29 June 2007
The Stone Merchant

Courageous American actors Harvey Keitel and F. Murray Abraham in a politically incorrect, realistic thriller portraying Islamic terror. Great performances from Jordi Molla and Jane March in this Italian/British production.

Rent it this weekend.

Posted on 06/29/2007 7:28 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 29 June 2007
Building bridges with Muslims

We are told that this is a Good Thing. But has anyone thought about the practicalities?

John Utting (AKA Infidel Dog), senior commenter, has a really good idea:

Yes, yes, build those bridges.Then, when the whining Muslim hordes are crossing, blow them up.

Hmm. Sounds good to me.  Anyone got a better idea?

Posted on 06/29/2007 6:07 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 29 June 2007
Happy birthday, Oriana

Events and exhibits are under way in New York honoring the life and work of Italian author and journalist Oriana Fallaci, who even while dying of breast cancer valiantly fought against the Islamification of Europe in her books, on television and in the courts.  Contact the Italian Cultural Institute of New York for information.

Oriana Fallaci (June 29, 1929 - September 15, 2006)

Posted on 06/29/2007 4:04 PM by Robert Bove
Friday, 29 June 2007
Bridges. Build. Greater. To. Understanding.

"More bridges need to be built to Islam."--- from a reader

Build those bridges. Every Infidel a pontifex maximus, a relentless roebling, building building building those bridges.

Muslims feel "isolated." Muslims feel "unwanted." Muslims feel "unloved." That's why they do what they do in southern Thailand, and the southern Philippines. That's why they decapitate Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia, attack Christan churches in Alexandria, or Baghdad, kill Hindus in Bangladesh and drive millions of them out, why the Taliban, those hyper-Muslims, forced Hindus in Afghanistan to wear yellow identifying robes, why they felt compelled to blow up the Bamiyan Buddhas, or destroy churches in Gaza, or drive even "Palestinian" Christians out of Bethlehem. It's why death threats were made against Danish tourists, unless and until the editors of Jyllands-Posten were punished for daring to publish a handful of anodyne cartoons. That's why bombs went off in Atocha Station in Madrid, on the Underground in London, why a Moscow theatre was seized, why Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were murdered.

"Not integrated." "Unwanted." "Unloved." Prove, Infidels, the contrary. Do everything you can to integrate those Muslims. Lavish every possible program on them -- language, culture, all the things that no other group of immigrants appears to need, lest members of that group start hating those among whom they live. Provide every conceivable benefit: education, health care, subsidized housing, all far beyond what those hundreds of thousands, say, of Somalis now living in this country could ever have dreamed of at home, living in Muslim Misrule, Muslim Malgoverno. Pile it on. Dedicate, re-dedicate those mosques. Do whatever it takes. Don't say a word against Islam, don't even hint at it. Always and everywhere denounce those who beg to point out this or that disturbing feature of Islam. Shout them down. Censor their websites. Banish those "hate-mongers" to the outer darkness.

Keep it up.

Bridges. Build. Greater. To. Understanding.

Make Muslims Happy To Be Here.

Posted on 06/29/2007 3:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 29 June 2007
Hamas TV Kills Off Mickey Mouse Double
You can't make this stuff up. AP: GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip  - A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas- affiliated children's television program was beaten to death in the show's final episode Friday.

In the final skit, "Farfour" was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a "terrorist."

"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.

The weekly show, featuring a giant black-and-white rodent with a high- pitched voice, had attracted worldwide attention because the character urged Palestinian children to fight Israel. It was broadcast on Hamas- affiliated Al Aqsa TV.

Station officials said Friday that Farfour was taken off the air to make room for new programs. Station manager Mohammed Bilal said he did not know what would be shown instead...

Posted on 06/29/2007 3:42 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 29 June 2007
Olmert's Needed Education

"A country cannot protect itself ad infinitum, because there would be no end to it."-- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

Which is worse? The offense to English, or the offense to common sense?

Israel not only can, but must, protect itself, as Olmert awkwardly and incorrectly put it, "ad infinitum" -- and the idea that it is an outrageous demand by citizens that the state protect it from unceasing bombardment is itself outrageous. It can do so, but it can do so best if it recognizes clearly that what it faces is not "Palestinian" nationalism but a Lesser Jihad, by Arabs. And by other Muslim states as well, to the precise degree that the peoples of those states have no other identity, and wish to be as "Arab" in their lineage and outlook as they can: see Pakistan. In a few cases -- Kemalist Turkey, and Iran under the Shah -- some Muslim regimes were able to cultivate relations with Israel, not least where the population was contemptuous of the Arabs, as is true in Turkey and Iran. But the war on Israel is indeed a war on an Infidel polity, on land once in Muslim hands, and the very idea that non-Muslims, even if they were there first, even if the land had been left in desolation and ruin by its various Muslim overlords, even if it was well on the way to being depopulated (see the evidence supplied by Western travellers to the Holy Land in the mid-19th century) until Jewish settlers revived it, the land still must be again in Muslim control.

Once this is clearly grasped, and not only by a group of scholars of Islam, but by the main figures in the Israeli government, and by the entirely inadequate Israeli media, and once it is further grasped that all negotiations that lead to all treaties are pointless because, given that Muslim jurisprudence regulating treaties with Infidels is clearly, unambiguously based on the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya in 628 A.D. (see Majid Khadduri, "Law of War and Peace in Islam") then, and only then, will the farcical "peace processes" be stopped, or no longer taken seriously, and the only way for Israel to protect itself and, not incidentally, to make war less likely, is through recognition that only "Darura" or Necessity -- the necessity of holding back because one is too weak and the enemy too strong -- will prevent the Arabs from again massing for attack.

And only when all of the instruments of Jihad -- of the Lesser Jihad (or, more accurately, one of the many Lesser Jihads), that against Israel and that Greater Jihad which is merely the sum of all the local Jihads -- are recognized -- the Money Weapon, Da'wa, and demographic conquest (with different effectiveness and importance in different theatres of the Jihad-war), and finally, when it is understood that Israel cannot and should not yield any further, for a glance at the map tells one - and tells the Arabs and Muslims -- why. For if the size of Israel makes no difference to the Jihad conducted against it (Israel could be ten times as large, or one-tenth as large, as it now is, and it would not matter), then Israel must think only of how best to deter, how best to force the Arab states to invoke "Darura."

And so too must those Infidels outside of Israel -- for whatever measures Israel feels compelled to take are not different from what, on a possibly different time-line, the nations of Western Europe will have to consider.

Jihad is guerre a outrance. Every "peace" treaty is in reality a "truce" treaty; hudnas are supposed to last ten years (though they may be "re-newed").

Read Khadduri. Read Antoine Fattal. Read Schacht, and Snouck Hurgronje. You'll have to educate yourself, I'm afraid -- for Muslim apologists, and their non-Muslim collaborators -- have steadily taken over many academic departments, all over the West, and with smiles and guiles and ostentatious expressions of being "interested" in the students -- those chicken-and-pita dinners, that deep interest in those students, that they might "discover the truth about Islam, behind all the fables, and the stereotypes" -- well, what do you expect the American young, aged 18 to 22, to do? They know no better -- how could they?

So auto-didacticism is now the great national undertaking -- or should be.

Posted on 06/29/2007 3:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 29 June 2007
Radio Derb
Posted on 06/29/2007 2:23 PM by John Derbyshire
Friday, 29 June 2007
Battle of Hastings

Hastings Castle founded in 1066 by William of Normandy.

The battle itself took place on Senlac Hill 7 miles away.   William founded an Abbey there and Battle Abbey gave its name to the villiage which grew up around.

Photograph by Mustrum Ridcully.

Posted on 06/29/2007 12:47 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 29 June 2007
Magistrate in veil case row

The Manchester Evening News reports as follows:

A MAGISTRATE could face disciplinary action after refusing to deal with a defendant - because she was wearing a full Muslim veil.

Ian Murray, a taxi driver who has served on the bench for 12 years, stunned the Manchester court by withdrawing from the case, saying: "I do not feel I have to give any reasons. This is my personal view."

The defendant - Zoobia Hussain, of Crumpsall - was later heard telling her solicitor that Mr Murray's behaviour had been `scandalous'.

Manchester Magistrates' Court issued a statement last night saying Mr Murray had been concerned about 'questions of identity', but accepted he acted 'unwisely' in leaving without giving his reasons.

Sources at the Judiciary of England and Wales said he could still face an inquiry - and possible disciplinary action - if Ms Hussain's lawyers made a formal complaint.

It is understood they are preparing a letter expressing `concern' about events which is expected to trigger the inquiry.

Mr Murray was sitting with two other magistrates when Ms Hussain, 32, appeared in a niqab - a veil which covers the entire face except for the eyes - to answer a charge of criminal damage, which she denies.

The story is also reported in The Sun, the BBC and Asian Image. The reporting is, I think, rather misleading, as it suggests that an investigation will definitely take place. In fact, an investigation may only take place if there is thought to be personal misconduct. My understanding from jury service is that judges and magistrates have discretion about the decisions they make in their courts. Detailed guidelines about this can be found in this post.

On the specific matter of the face veil, in my opinion there should be no question of witnesses, defendants or even jurors being allowed to wear it in court. We need to see people's faces.

Posted on 06/29/2007 12:19 PM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 29 June 2007
Car bomb: Third car searched
Police have cordoned off a 400m-stretch of Fleet Street, in the heart of the City, in a second alert hours after officers defused a bomb that "could have caused carnage" in London's West End.
Officers cleared Fleet Street between Fetter Lane and Ludgate Circus as they investigated a suspect vehicle in the centre of London's financial district.
Two hours earlier, police investigated a car near Hyde Park amid fears that it could be connected to a bomb defused by authorities hours earlier in London's West End.
The eastern side of Hyde Park was evacuated after Park Lane, which borders the park, was closed between Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner at 2.30 this afternoon, while a police robot investigated the car.
Similarities between the car bomb and Iraqi bomb plots have been highlighted by a British security official, according to the Associated Press.
Head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, Peter Clarke, said police were alerted to a silver Mercedes car by an ambulance crew who noticed smoke inside it. The crew had been called to the scene just before 1.30am for an injury at a nearby nightclub.
Officers inspecting the car found 60 litres of petrol on the back seat, gas cylinders and containers holding nails inside, which could have caused "significant injury or loss of life". The bomb was defused.
Mr Clarke said that some aspects of today's bomb attempt "resonated with previous plots" and mentioned nightclubs as a potential target.
Lots of interesting links next to this story on the telegraph site, including a description of how police officers defused the Haymarket bomb.
Posted on 06/29/2007 12:06 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 29 June 2007
Waugh-woff-wow

It is completely unacceptable to snigger at people's pispoorrnunciation of the name Waugh. The spelling of this name is misleading.

Spelling should be reformed right now, so that it is phonetic and logical, and no such misunderstandings arise. This will bring about an equality of literacy, which is for the Common Good.

Moreover, spelling irregularities encourage puns. John Derbyshire (henceforth to be called Jon Darbisher) calls his piece "Rumors of Waugh". This may confuse, and is therefore incompatible with the ideals of inclusivity and diversity which we all hold dear.

Puns and other silliness distract from the important things in life, which are...

Posted on 06/29/2007 11:58 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 29 June 2007
Bacronym

Is Stephen Fry’s excellent quiz programme, QI (Quite Interesting) shown on American television? If not, it should be. The programme is not like other quiz shows:

It is distinguished by the awarding of points not necessarily for the correct answer, but rather, for an interesting one. Many of the questions and answers are extremely obscure. Points are deducted from a panellist who gives an obvious but wrong (that is to say, boring or conventional) answer, typically one that is generally accepted as true but is, in fact, false. It is therefore possible (and quite likely) that a panellist will have a negative point score at the end of the game.

Hugh would do exceptionally well on this show. If he ever got the wrong answer, his answer would, as in the case of my quiz, be more interesting than the right one. Americans are allowed – there is at least one regular on the panel.

Because of the show's expectation that hardly anyone would be able to give a correct answer without significant prompting, it instead encourages sheer interestingness. As such, tangential discussions and even complete non-sequiturs abound on the show, for panellists are apt to branch off into frivolous conversations, give voice to train of thought, and share humorous anecdotes from their own lives.

Questions are sometimes misleading or fiendishly difficult. Providing an "obvious but wrong" answer results in a sequence of klaxons.

 

The klaxons would certainly sound if Alan Davies, the joker in the pack, answered the question: “What is the derivation of the word posh?” Alan would sound his buzzer, grinning from ear to ear, and cry: “Easy. Port Out, Starboard Home! First class cabins were shaded from the sun on outbound voyages (east) and return voyages (west). Everyone knows that.” After the klaxons had died down Stephen Fry would smile indulgently and say something like: “Dear, oh dear. This is a common misconception. The word 'posh' never stood for Port Out, Starboard Home. This is a reverse acronym formed after the original word by making the letters stand for something. It is, in other words, a bacronym.” A “quite interesting” discussion of bacronyms would follow. S.O.S., someone would say, is not an acronym meaning “save our ship” or “save our souls”. The Morse signal came first, because it is easily recognisable, and the acronym was made up later. Nor does “golf” stand for “gentlemen only, ladies forbidden”.

 

Dot Wordsworth discusses a bacronym, although she doesn’t use the word:

[A] modern tendency Hugo Williams lighted upon is the assumption that new words are mostly derived from acronyms. One true acronym he mentioned, twoc, comes from ‘taking without consent’. This he calls a ‘coy’ word for ‘steal’. Really it is a separate crime, of driving away a ‘conveyance’ under the Theft Act 1968, section 12.

But he’s right about the acronymic assumption, and gives a folk-etymology for chav as ‘council house and violent’. I’d heard ‘cheap and vulgar’ and ‘Cheltenham average’. But as Mr Williams notes, it certainly derives from the Romany for ‘boy’. He, with Michael Quinion, the online etymologist, cites the Romany word as chavi. John Sampson’s Dialect of the Gypsies of Wales (Oxford, 1929), as I noted here in 2002, lists it under cavo (where the ‘c’ would be pronounced as ‘ch’.

The Spanish form, which Mr Williams cites as cheval, is more usually chaval and, according to the big dictionary by Corominas, this comes from cavale, the vocative masculine plural of cavo. In Catalonia they write it xaval, and in Barcelona use the form xava. In Chile, they say chey. In some Spanish gipsy dialects, the feminine is chavi. None of these have the connotations of our chav, and mean instead ‘lad’, ‘lass’, ‘prostitute’, according to context.

The vogue identity of British chavdom has changed in the past five years, and in a century’s time, readers will be hard put to get the force of each example from our days precisely right.

By the way, what does BACRONYM stand for?

Posted on 06/29/2007 10:27 AM by Mary Jackson
Friday, 29 June 2007
Who Is This Evelyn Wow?

"This evening, Catholic society will discuss the works of the great Catholic novelist Mr. Evelyn Woff." -- from John Derbyshire, recalling a moment in an English refectory

In one of her letters Flannery O'Connor describes her mother Regina O'Connor (with whom she lived at "Andalucia" in Milledgeville) asking her: "Who is this Kafka? Who is this Evelyn Wow?"

Posted on 06/29/2007 10:19 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 29 June 2007
The Limits Of Melanie Phillips

Melanie Phillips still supports that "mission" in Iraq. She thinks that a less unstable Iraq, a more prosperous Iraq, where assorted lions lie down with assorted other lions, the whole held together by force of Western arms, will promote Infidel interests by bringing transformative "democracy" to "ordinary moms and dads," and that Shi'a-dominated Iraq can be a Light Unto the (Sunni) Muslim Nations. She fails to explain exactly why this makes sense; she identifies that Bush-Blair policy with a "muscularity" that she apparently admires, and does not stop to ask if the West would not do better to exploit pre-existing fissures in Iraq and in the greater Camp of Islam. And while she identifies the problem of Islam in the Lands of the Infidels, she still draws back, still will not reach certain conclusions, and continues to confuse her audience and herself, in her failure to think things through.  She has not, I think, called for a halt on Muslim immigration, has failed to discuss the un-usefulness, and even comical unhelpfulness, of the phrase or concept of the "moderate" Muslim -- who, if that word "moderate" could be defined, could still lie about his "moderation," or could be "moderate" today and "immoderate" tomorrow.

She writes about Israel, but never about the war on Israel as a Lesser Jihad, with the two camps, Hamas and Fatah, differing not on ultimate goals but only on tactics and timing: a case of the Fast Jihadists and the no-less-unpalatable and dangerous Slow Jihadists. Nor has she pointed out that the mere swelling of Muslim numbers in the West will, in democracies, with pusillanimous politicians, inevitably swell Muslim power, and cow or overwhelm those attempting to defend against that power. She has her points. But she hasn't shown a desire to have her readers grasp the whole, to make the connections, and to begin to think about the kinds of measures that are perfectly justifiable, and made sense to such advanced and tolerant representatives of High European Civilization as the Czech statesmen Eduard Benes and Jan Masaryk.

Posted on 06/29/2007 10:11 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Friday, 29 June 2007
Muslim-Jewish Doubles Pairing at Wimbledon

We'll be watching developments with interest for, despite her protests to the contrary, Sanja Mirza is treading on thin ice with the Muslim masses. From Reuters (with thanks to reader, and donor, David):

LONDON, June 28 - India's Sania Mirza hopes her decision to renew her doubles partnership with Israel's Shahar Peer at Wimbledon does not stir up another religious storm.

"We're playing tennis, we're not making statements. We're just here to play tennis and we're here to perform and be the best we can be," the Indian number one said on Thursday.

"Me and Shahar are playing just like the way me and (Eva) Birnerova played the French Open, just like the way I played with anyone else the last six weeks. It doesn't make any statement."

The last time Mirza, a Muslim, joined forces with Peer at the 2005 Japan Open, their association was short-lived.

Under pressure from militants furious over a Muslim and a Jew playing together, Mirza called for some time out.

She hopes their second stab at success will be remembered more for their on-court exploits.

"We've grown up together. We're great friends. So we said, why not?" said Mirza, who comes from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

"We were both very lucky to find each other because it's someone who suits each other's game. I have a big forehand, she has a big backhand. We've done well in the past.

"We really don't care whether she's from Israel or I'm from Pakistan. At the end of the day it matters whether we win a match or not."

From Pakistan? I thought she was from Hyderabad, India. Maybe she was trying to say Muslim without saying Muslim. Clearly she's caught between two worlds.

Posted on 06/29/2007 9:53 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 29 June 2007
Kristof and Friedman: Running Neck and Neck

The complete inability of the Western world to mention the source of Arab behavior in Darfur -- the Arab supremacism that is at the heart of Islam, whereby the "best of people," those to whom the Qur'an was given, and "in their language," to Muhammad, himself an Arab, as were his Companions, and to understand the role of Islam in the behavior of the Sudanese government both in southern Sudan (where 1.8 million Christians and animists died as a result of deliberate policies of starvation, as well as mass-murder, by the Arabs of the north), and in Darfur (where 400,000 black African -- i.e., non-Arab--Muslims, died as a result of mass murder) is quite something.

These "divest for Darfur" or "Rallies for Darfur" or "Let's Save Darfur" events, movements, campaigns, never ever mention what animates the murderers. Islam is never mentioned. But it is the texts of Islam that justified the killings of non-Muslims in the southern Sudan. And it is the attitudes of Islam -- that is the "attitude" by which Arabs are superior to non-Arabs, an "attitude" that explains the complete indifference to, or even secret support by the Arab League and all the Arabs (save for Kanan Makiya), to the Anfal campaign in which 182,000 Kurds were killed, and which explains the complete indifference as well to the cultural and linguistic imperialism of the Arabs in Algeria (and Morocco), against the Berbers, and their use of the Berber language, and attempt to preserve Berber customs and ways. Islamization is ordinarily accompanied by such cultural and linguistic imperialism -- an example of which can be found in the Arabic names, and the deep desire to be taken as having an Arabic lineage, by so many in Pakistan, where every third person appears to be a sayyid, or "descendant of the tribe of Muhammad."

Nicholas Kristof, who specializes in heart-on-his-sleeve reports, and who has gotten a lot of mileage, and a Pulitzer as well, out of his supposedly "superb" coverage -- it has been resolutely mediocre, substituting dimestore sentimentalism and cheap anguish for what would be helpful, that is an intelligent apprehension of events, no making sense of them (it's all a mystery to the likes of Nicholas Kristof, simply inexplicable, just one more damn case, apparently, of man's inhumanity to man) and, at best, mere reporting with no sense made of men and events -- of the mass murder in Darfur, has not ever understood the role of Islam as a vehicle of Arab supremacism and, indeed, hasn't the faintest idea what Islam is all about.

It's hard to beat Tom Friedman for sheer self-assured vacuity, but with Nicholas Kristof in the race, especially in his reporting on the Sudan of which he is so proud, and for which he has been so lavishly rewarded, one would have to say that they are running neck and neck.

Posted on 06/29/2007 9:43 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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