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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
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














Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Today in the "Religion of Peace�"
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On September 30th, 2000, Mohammad al-Durrah was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers as he crouched with his father behind a large cement culvert.

Except that it was all a hoax.

Numerous "Palestinian" "reporters" were present and recording events at the Netzarim Junction on that day.  Highly edited snippets of the film provided by "Palestinian" "reporter" Talal Abu-Rahma showed a man and a boy hiding behind the culvert pipe.  They appeared agitated and fearful.  At some point, someone apparently fired a weapon at the wall behind them.  There was then an image of the boy laying almost motionless next to his father, at which point the France 2 reporter Charles Enderlin claimed that the boy was dead, intentionally shot and killed by the Israelis.

Muslims around the world, including Osama Bin Laden, used the iconic image of Mohammad al-Durrah to justify their jihad attacks.

But nowhere on the tape do we see al-Durrah's death;  at the end of the tape, he is seen playfully peeking out from behind his fingers to look at the cameraman, long after he has been pronounced dead.  Nowhere is any blood seen, on either father or son, or the walls or the ground.  Nowhere is either of them seen actually being hit by any bullets. All we have to rely on is the word of the "Palestinian," Talal Abu-Rahma, about what happened that day, and he has already been caught in numerous inconsistencies and prevarications.

Eight years later, France 2 has defied numerous calls to release the complete raw footage, even ignoring a direct court order.  The few who have been allowed to see the entire tape say that it does not show the death of Al-Durrah, contrary to the claims of Talal Abu-Rahma and France 2 reporter Charles Enderlin.  What the tape does show is staged scenes of "Palestinians" feigning injury.  What it does show is "Palestinians" laughing and relaxed as phony "battles" take place for the benefit of the "reporters" while passersby nonchalantly go about their lives.

Footage from other networks on the scene that day confirm the fakery.  This and other cases of "Palestinian" manipulation of the media have spawned a phrase, "Pallywood."  An entire industry exists to manufacture anti-Israeli propaganda, and our media falls for it, hook, line, and sinker.  Not only do they give a patina of respectability to the propagandists, the major news organizations actively protect the "Palestinian" "news makers" from any scrutiny.  Richard Landes documents their deception:

Pallywood
Pallywood II: Al Durah: The Birth of an Icon
Pallywood III: Icon of Hatred
Pallywood Strikes Again

From the burning tire dump, to the phony rocket attack on a Red Cross ambulance, to green-helmet man, to the wailing woman who keeps losing her house to the Zionist terrorists, there has been a litany of hoaxes perpetrated on us.

Previous Days in the "Religion of Peace™":

Sept 29: Cervantes, jihad survivor
Sept 27: Emir of Kuwait begs UN for help
Sept 25: Assassination of Aqila al-Hashimi in Iraq
Sept 24: Abbasid Caliph al-Hadi
Sept 23: Gulf Air Flight 771
 

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Posted on 09/30/2008 11:40 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
The Hollywood Blacklist Wasn't The Only One
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Hecht

"Keep those lights burning, cover them with steel, build them in with guns, build a canopy of battleships and bombing planes around them and, hello, America, hang on to your lights, they're the only lights in the world." Foreign Correspondent (1940)

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Posted on 09/30/2008 9:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Who Gets Shelf-Space In The Marketplace Of Ideas?
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At littlegreenfootballs: 

From Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, an email from a reader who works in a mainstream media newsroom:

“Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.” I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 9:26 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
A Musical Interlude: Io Conosco Un Bar (Trio Lescano)
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Posted on 09/30/2008 8:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Italy's Interior Minister, Or, Take That, Sarah Palin
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Posted on 09/30/2008 8:26 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Do Not Forward This - Not a Joke
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by Esmerelda Weatherwax (Oct. 2008)

I received this e-mail a few weeks ago  - Fwd: Important info..... NOT a joke! 
And the person who sent it to me and about 25 other women urged us to “Read right to the bottom”  more>>>

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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:23 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To The Twenty-First Century
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by John M. Joyce (Oct. 2008)


Oh, don’t get me wrong – as centuries go the twenty-first is not too bad, so far; I’ve known worse, but I’ve also known better. Take the nineteenth one, for example. Now that was a good century. Hoi polloi knew their place and even the street urchins touched their forelocks as I walked past (well, in some cases they touched where they fondly imagined their forelocks to be). Respect was solid coin back then, something to be earned, not enforced by a sharp knife. A man knew where he stood and what he stood for – and, frequently, what he stood in, but the urchins would be soundly thrashed until they lay down and let gentlemen such as me have something clean, well cleaner, to walk on. Being as how they were proper English urchins I am sure that they enjoyed it – well, the thrashing, at any rate.
  more>>>
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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:17 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
The Long and Short of It
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by Mary Jackson (October 2008)  

 
“I am sorry this is so long. I didn’t have time to make it shorter.”
 
This apology is attributed by turns to such fine minds as Blaise Pascal, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin and even Marie Curie. Between them they must have a point. Here are some brief thoughts on length: more>>>
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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:12 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
The Jabotinsky Legacy
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Democracy and Individual Freedom for Israel

by Jerry Gordon
(Oct. 2008)


On September 14th, the 68th annual yahrzeit (memorial) for Ze’ev Jabotinsky z”l (of blessed memory) was held at the Edmund Safra Synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The event was co-sponsored by American for a Safe Israel (AFSI) and the Nordau Circle. Former Israeli Likud Defense and Foreign Minister Moshe Arens gave an impassioned yet nostalgic speech about what Jabotinsky stood for and represented.  Arens was a young member of Betar who knew Jabotinsky before his untimely death in New York in 1940. The current edition of the Jewish Press has an article by Fern Sidman about the memorial and Minister Arens speech.  more>>>

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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:07 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Women, The Olympics & Islam
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by Tina Trent (Oct. 2008)


Atlanta
, 1996

At the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics, one hypnotically hot day in July, I stood on the pavement outside Atlanta’s Olympic Stadium as two Middle Eastern men angrily snapped photographs of me. Five thousand miles from Iran, a few blocks from my home, five years before 9/11, I came face-to-face with Islamic extremism on a crowded Atlanta sidewalk.
  more>>>
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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:05 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Literature's Most Misunderstood Novel
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by Norman Berdichevsky (Oct. 2008)


No foreigner who has been in Spain more than a few days will fail to recognize them. Statues, portraits and images of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza stare out at you from tiled murals on the walls of schools, museums, shops and cultural centers. The familiar figures of the tall, lanky and gaunt knight-errant with his rusty sword, crooked lance and broken helmet, perched on his emaciated old plough horse turned charger, Rocinante, towers over the pudgy peasant Sancho Panza sitting astride his mule.  more>>>

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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:02 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Vanishing Christianity
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by Rebecca Bynum (Oct. 2008)

 
Despite what seems to be incessant criticism of Christianity today, the reality is there is really very little real criticism of specific Christian doctrine, criticism that would help to correct the course of modern Christianity. Growing ranks of militant atheists rail against religion as a whole and call for its complete abandonment. Religionists in turn find themselves forced to defend religion in its entirety and are distracted from what might be profitable religious self-criticism. In addition, many Christian congregations have taken up social causes as they have gradually abandoned the cause of religion as such. Furthermore, the general decline of religion has led to an increase in superstition even among the highly educated and more than a few congregations are directly involved in fostering superstitious thought.  more>>>
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Posted on 09/30/2008 4:59 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Neither A Lender Nor A Borrower Be
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by Theodore Dalrymple (Oct. 2008)
 

The day after I arrived in New York, Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that had been in business for 158 years, collapsed. By the time I left a few days later, Merrill Lynch had undergone a distress sale and the American government, given the choice between apocalyptic financial panic and the bottomless pit, had chosen the bottomless pit and bailed out (and taken over) the giant insurance company, AIG.
  more>>>
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Posted on 09/30/2008 4:56 PM by NER
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
A Musical Interlude: Heart And Soul (Bea Wain)
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Posted on 09/30/2008 2:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Is Al-Qaeda Winning?
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This is the intensely irritating title of a BBC Radio 4 programme, which I have nearly missed, but which will be repeated and which overseas listeners can also get. (I will explain how when Alan, who kindly told me about this, gets back to me.)

The title is irritating because it suggests that the programme will blather on about Guantanamo and how America has "squandered the world's sympathy". It is irritating, too, because it implies that Al-Qaeda, rather than Islam itself, is the problem. As long as we have Islam, we will always have Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Wahabis, "extremists", "youths" and so on.

On past form the BBC is idiotically pro-"Palestinian" and often, but by no means always, anti-American. Occasionally, however, it surprises us with a fair and balanced analysis, and sometimes important facts and arguments reach the public in spite of, rather than because of, the bias of the reporter.

This may be one such occasion. I will listen at some stage and report back.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 2:16 PM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Pseudsday Tuesday
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There is something mysterious, almost romantic, about the term “Poste Restante”. Think of Jane Eyre, alone in the world, calling at Lowton Post Office for the letter that would summon her to Thornfield Hall and Mr Rochester. Think of Jane Fairfax in Emma, picking up secret love letters from the Post Office at Highbury. Think of those lonely travellers calling for those letters that can only make them more homesick. Poste Restante – letters left on the shelf when deliveries have been made to those with homes to go to and a place in the world.

 

So much does the term smack of classic novels that I was recently surprised to discover that this service is alive and well and living in Islington. From Wikipedia:

Mail is addressed to POSTE RESTANTE (or TO BE CALLED FOR), which is written after the full name of the recipient (as appears on the identification to be presented ie. the passport, if abroad), then the name and full address of the destination post office, thus:

Mr. John Smith
Poste Restante
Islington Post Office
116 Upper Street
Islington
London N1 1AE

If only addressed to a town name, for example POSTE RESTANTE, LONDON (there are currently 115 crown offices in LONDON[1]) mail will go to the closest main post office branch.

Fancy that. Perhaps I was reading too much into a rather banal feature of Post Office life. But nothing like as much as Derek White:

 

Poste Restante is a collection of text and image fragments (postcards, if you will, sent from the subconscious) by Derek White. From the forward:

 

Whenever I dream about "home," it's never where I am residing at the time. For that matter, whenever I dream of a place, say, Maldives or the Plaza de Toros in Seville, it's never the place but an idealized concept of one, perhaps amalgamated with other places, including absurd ones I have never been to or that might not even exist. Yet. The same is true of people. Say, Madonna or Captain Beefheart. Or even elementary particles such as quarks or gauge bosons. Or the relationships in between. 

The nocturnal histories contained here were transcribed in the dark, in the wake of sleep when I couldn't always see what, in fact, I was writing. These are merely the residuals, in translated words and images, that clung to my feet as I woke up and walked across the floorboards of where I was living at the time. This is all I can say with any degree of certainty without sacrificing knowledge of place for where I was going with it. 

 

When a letter or parcel is addressed and postmarked, you are assured that it pas through human hands and physical devices to reach its intended destination. It is a validation. A proof of concept. A collapse of its wave function. Poste Restante (literally, 'post remaining' or 'residual mail') is an ad hoc destination for mail sent to recipients who are just passing through a place they do not permanently reside. It's what you say when you don't have a place you call "home." 

 

When it comes to waxing lyrical about Poste Restante, Derek White can’t hold a candle to Hélène Cixous, “insightful and unbridled” admirer of that French man of letters, Jacques Derrida:

 

What holds my attention is the taste of death in poste restante. What holds me in poste restante is the taste of death, the dream taste of death.

 

- In post resisting. In post-resistance.

 

In the USA, Poste Restante is called General Delivery, a prosaic term that puts paid to Post Office posturing.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 11:30 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
A Musical Interlude: Let's Face The Music And Dance (Adam Aston)
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Posted on 09/30/2008 8:51 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Waiting For The EESA
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In the wake of the worst financial panic since the Great Depression, Americans and the world are anxiously awaiting passage of the allegedly vital Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA)of 2008. An act of Congress that might maintain confidence and liquidity in our tattered banking system until the next train wreck occurs.

 At its core is a simple fact about this latest financial debacle. Government created a moral hazard in the housing bubble culminating in the sub prime mortgage credit crisis. It did that by eliminating customary underwriting standards for mortgages made to normally unqualified applicants to purchase homes. These applicants couldn't possibly repay the mortgages. The originators of these sub prime mortgages were betting that escalating housing prices would bail them out. Disaster followed naturally in the wake of this human folly. The magnitude of that moral hazard can be seen in the more than 18 million 'new home owners' created during the peak of the bubble. Not so long ago President Bush and those low income housing advocates in the Congress trumpeted 'the great home ownership society.' Scam artists like Countrywide and other mortgage origination companies and the corrupt leaders of Fannie and Freddie Mac made sure they got paid off handsomely, while exploiting the moral hazard. The old dictum: "bulls make money, bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered' has been proven once again by this latest disastrous caper.
 
Then, where were Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission doing nothing to control the ballooning derivatives and credit default swap markets trading trillions of dollars every day? Back in 2003, Buffet called these complex, not very well understood financial instruments, 'financial weapons of mass destruction.'
 
One illustration of that is the demise of AIG because of the trading in this toxic stuff out of the unregulated London market. Just imagine that a group of less than 377, out of 120,000 employees were able to generate one quarter of AIG's income through these virtually naked trades. Amazing! Then they got greedy a few years ago and succumbed to the siren-like suggestions by both Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase about underwriting credit default swaps (CDS). Poof went AIG. The major international insurance group was saved from extinction by an $85 billion dollar bridge loan the proceeds of which will be used to cover the losses of the defaulted CDS trades. Witness this comment from Joseph Cassano, the head of the AIG derivatives trading unit at an August, 2007 industry forum in a front page story on the AIG demise in the Sunday New York Times
 
“It is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing one dollar in any of those transactions.”
 
What's the line from the novel and film Forest Gump?: 'stupid is, as stupid does."
 
Markets are not perfect. However markets are generally better than governments at setting asset prices. In this crisis the markets can't price defaulted mortgages, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps - a toxic brew. On top of that we lack transparency, accountability and oversight. What's the old saw - "who is watching the watchers?" No one was watching the watchers in this debacle.
 
Stock markets, as Warren Buffet said last week, are very emotional in the short run. However, Buffet said that they may in the long run enable one to weigh values. Buffet learned well from the fabled Ben Graham at Columbia Business School, that value investing, not gambling on earnings forecasts, pays off. That insight was the product of the Great Depression. It has minted a veritable fortune for the 'wizard of Omaha' and some others who follow the dictates of the 'bible', "Security Analysis,” originally authored back in 1933 by Graham and Dodd. 
 
Watching the folks down here on the Gulf Coast scrambling this morning after Wachovia 'merged' with Citigroup, another winner, has got to make them all very uneasy about who and what will be next on the list of 117 'troubled' banking institutions being watched by the FDIC.
 
One of them may be BB&T a middle-Atlantic and Southeastern regional depository institution with 138 billion in assets, 1,500 branches and a troubled $8.6 residential mortgage and construction lending book. The chairman, John A. Allison, IV had the ultimate chutzpah of sending the bank's depositors a blitz email via the branch heads excoriating the subsidizing of failed major banks under the proposed EESA, while trumpeting his group as being allegedly well run and well capitalized. That was Friday morning. Friday afternoon, I received a Bloomberg.com news alert indicating that Merril Lynch had downgraded BB&T because of its questionable loan book. Go figure.
 
There is an old industry joke that was I fond of retelling at moments like this when "schaden freude" (joy at the anguish of others) occurs in the Calcutta of Wall Street (I lived through black Tuesday in October, 1987 just after a number of us had purchased via an LBO, a regional broker dealer and small investment bank) comes to mind.
 
The scion of a wealthy New England family graduates from Harvard College with what we called a 'gentleman's C average'. In a family wainscoted drawing room speaking in quiet anguish with his dad, a Harvard alum, he says: "I can't get into the law school, business school, even the graduate school of education-what am I going to do, dad???”
 
His father attired in a quilted smoking jacket, hands curled around a brandy snifter turned to his son and said: “Don't worry, there's always banking and insurance.”
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Posted on 09/30/2008 9:05 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
The Law May Not, But We Do, Care For Trifles
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The phrase "de minimis non curat lex"  appears in a libidinous limerick of the kind famously collected by Gershon Legman  ("There was a young maid from Pawtucket"):
 
There was a young law student named Rex,
· Who had very small organs of sex.
· When charged with exposure,
· He said with composure:
· De minimis non curat lex

And there are others that exploit both the same lex-sex rhyme and the implied rhythm imposed on the Latin tag.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 8:57 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Exploding custard lorry
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The incident described in Esmerelda's post happened on the A382 near Changford, Devon. It was therefore a lorry - let's have no truck with these Americanisms.

The case came to court, but the judge said: "De minimis non curat lex," or, "The law pays no attention to trifles."

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Posted on 09/30/2008 6:04 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Same old scapegoat
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It gives me no pleasure to learn of the rise of far right parties in Austria, even if they oppose mosque building. Nigel Jones comments in The Times:

By and large the Germans have faced up to and faced down their Nazi past. The Austrians have not, hence why, unlike Germans, a third of them are willing to vote for xenophobic parties.

Until this decade, Austrian schools continued to teach that the country was “Hitler's first victim”, rather than his earliest collaborator. The 1938 newsreel films showing the delirious Viennese crowds welcoming Hitler back give the lie to that particular piece of special pleading. As well as Hitler, many of the worst Nazi war criminals - including two of those hanged at Nuremberg, the SS leader Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Arthur Seyss-Inquart, overlord of the occupied Netherlands - were Austrians; as was Otto Skorzeny, reputed leader of the postwar Odessa organisation of former SS men.

The Times carries another disturbing report:

A Muslim cemetery in Austria was desecrated in the same weekend that elections established the far-Right as the largest political bloc in the country.

More than 90 graves were severely damaged at the cemetery in Traun, near Linz, in what police believe was an organised action of far-Right extremists.

According to a Linz police spokesman, the incident happened between Friday night and Monday morning. The offenders have sprayed Jewish symbols such as the Star of David over some of the graves, but police believe that it was a bid to distract attention from far-Right offenders.

The descration of Muslim cemeteries is a despicable act in itself. To do so with Jewish symbols compounds the crime. I suspect that Jewish symbols would not have been chosen but for a belief that enough Austrians will be ready to blame the Jews.

BNP supporters take note: opposition to Muslims is not enough. Not if it is being used as a tool of racism - not the manufactured racism of "Islamophobia" but the real racism of Jew-hatred.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 5:35 AM by Mary Jackson
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Today in the "Religion of Peace�"
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On September 29th, 1547, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born near Madrid, Spain, or as the Muslims refer to it, Al-Andalus.  Cervantes was not a Muslim, as the "Moors" (Muslim invaders) had been driven back out of Spain a few generations before his birth.  Cervantes' connection to Islam would come later in his life, when he battled, and when he was taken prisoner by, Muslim pirates.

Cervantes joined the Spanish army at the age of 23, and fought against the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate in the Battle of Lepanto.  In this naval battle, the fleet of the Christian Holy League decisively defeated the Muslims, ending the Islamic invasion of Europe, and curtailing Islamic slave-raiding in southern and central Europe.  In the battle, Cervantes was badly injured, and permanently lost the use of his left hand.

After finishing his military service, he began the sailing journey back to Spain, when he was captured by Islamic Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean Sea.  He was taken to Algiers, where he served as the slave of Benedikli Hasan Pasha for five years, until the Christian Trinitarian friars paid his ransom.

Just as Eskimos (Inuit) supposedly have a multitude of words for types of snow, Muslims have a multitude of words for types of slaves.  Cervantes was a Saqaliba, which is a transliteration of Greek "Sklavinoi", for "Slavs".  It specifies slaves taken from Italy and Spain, and refers to their light skin tone.  Saqaliba served as servants, eunuchs, craftsmen, and soldiers, and were highly prized by their Muslim captors for their relatively high level of education.  They were similar to the Mamluks, who were also white slaves taken from the Caucusus and conscripted as soldiers.

According to Robert Davis, over 1 million Europeans were taken as slaves by Muslim slave-raiders between 1530 and 1780.

This paper by James William Brodman gives some detailed description of Islamic slave-raiding in Europe, and contains some quotes describing the conditions of the lives of the slaves:

Bougie and the other western ports became crowded with captives, the roads rang with the noise of their chains, especially when the unfortunates, bound with irons and chains, poured out of their quarters to work at their daily tasks.  (Ibn Khaldun, Muslim scholar and historian)

Muslim emirates armed and sent forth their fleets with the sole intention of capturing kufirs' booty:

They arrived by surprise and took off all they could get their hands on; they also attacked the ships of the infidels [i.e., the Christians], very often seizing them and returning with them filled with booty and prisoners.  (Ibn Khaldun)

Treatment of the slaves was harsh:

For he who has been captured by the Saracens is led to Lérida bound in iron chains, and afflicted with hunger and thirst and various sufferings, and is at last to be imprisoned as a slave.  (Bishop Gaufred)

And yet modern revisionists such as Harold Cox and Edward Rothstein (h/t Hugh Fitzgerald) have the audacity to re-interpret Cervantes' work as being pro-Islamic, based on some very unconvincing and unsound reasoning.  Imagine the outcry if revisionists attempted to claim that black slaves in America enjoyed slavery and admired their slave-owners, based on a literary device that Frederick Douglass used in one of his books.

His ransom paid to the Muslim warlords, Cervantes returned to Spain where he served in the government and began his literary career.  His most famous novel was Don Quixote de la Mancha, the story of a confused and naive man who sets off on a series of journeys to uphold an idealized and childish version of chivalry, to rescue non-existent damsels in non-existent distress, and to save persons who are not actually in need of saving.  All his "good deeds" end in failure and humiliation, in a story not without some resonance today.  Don Quixote regains his sanity and lucidity before his death, and spends time philosophizing about deception and self-deception.  Will the modern Don Quixote, with his Iraqi Light Unto the Islamic Nations project, regain his sanity?  The answer is irrelevant at this point.  It's too late, we'll be paying for his follies for the rest of our lives.

As for Cervantes, he continued his writing, finishing The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda just four days before his death at the young age of 68.

Previous Days in the "Religion of Peace™":

Sept 27: Emir of Kuwait begs UN for help
Sept 25: Assassination of Aqila al-Hashimi in Iraq
Sept 24: Abbasid Caliph al-Hadi
Sept 23: Gulf Air Flight 771
Sept 22: Iran-Iraq War

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Posted on 09/30/2008 2:59 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Exploding custard truck sends driver running
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I missed this from The Telegraph last week. As no one was hurt my silly imagination was able to take flight.
A lorry driver has been forced to flee after the 60,000 tins of custard and rice pudding he was transporting began to explode.
The cans of dessert exploded "like fireworks" after the a blaze broke out on his HGV.
The driver was unaware that his lorry, carrying 26 tonnes of Ambrosia custard and rice pudding to a local supermarket, was on fire and motorists were forced to flag him down.
I frequently burn cooking as well so I know the feeling. I get engrossed in reading and then . . .
Fire crews raced to the blaze but the desserts were too well alight and the whole lorry was consumed in just 20 minutes.
A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said the road was closed for six hours while debris was cleared.
He said: "On arrival the crews found the lorry carrying rice pudding to be well alight on the highway. The incident was believed to be accidental."
It is quite hard, even for me to burn custard. I have had some custard disasters in my time; when serving I would ask one lump or two? Once it was so solid it was suggested that I put it out in the garden for the hedgehog. This was before it was widely appreciated that milk is not good for hedgehogs and that if you are going to feed them cat food is the better option.
The hedgehog didn’t fancy it either but walked across the bowl in disgust. Next morning, like some suburban Grauman’s Theatre, the row of tiny claw prints was set as stone.

Exploding custard truck sends driver running  

    Picture - makes one realise how insignificant a burnt saucepan and a brillo pad are.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 3:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Pirates shoot each other on hijacked ship
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From The Australian
RIVAL Somali pirates arguing over what to do with a hijacked Ukrainian ship and its cargo of 33 tanks engaged in a shootout on board, killing three of their number, a maritime group said today.

Pirates seized the MV Faina off the Somali coast last week and have demanded $US20m ($24.9m) in ransom.
US navy ships are within sight of the boat, whose capture has sparked controversy over the destination of its military cargo and thrown an international spotlight on rampant piracy in one of the world's busiest shipping areas.
Andrew Mwangura, of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, said rival factions among the roughly 50 pirates guarding the Faina had argued over whether to give in to international pressure to free the cargo and 20-man crew.
"There was a misunderstanding yesterday between the moderates and the radicals on board who do not want to listen to anyone," said Mr Mwangura, whose Kenya-based group is monitoring the saga via relatives of the crew and the pirates. The moderates want to back-peddle. The Americans are close, so everyone is tense. There was a shootout and three of the pirates were shot dead."
With US and French military bases in the area, and the UN Security Council having promised to take steps against the pirates, many are unhappy with the lack of international action.
"If civil aircraft were being hijacked on a daily basis, the response of governments would be very different," top shipping trade bodies and transport unions said in a joint statement today. “Yet ships, which are the lifeblood of the global economy, are seemingly out of sight and out of mind".
Not much yo ho ho and a sauce bottle of gin here.

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Posted on 09/30/2008 2:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 29 September 2008
Swing Low, Sweet Dow Jones Index
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by Policywatcher:

Swing low, sweet Dow Jones Index
Coming for to carry off my home
Swing low, sweet Dow Jones Index
Coming for to carry off my home

I looked over Wall Street and what did I see
Hoping for to own my own home
A panic engulfing the banking industry
Hoping for to own my own home
 
Chorus
 
Sometimes its up and sometimes its down
Hoping for to own my own home
But still the economy is claimed to be sound
Hoping for to own my own home
 
Chorus
 
The brightest sign that I can claim
Hoping for to own my own home
Warren Buffet investing in the Goldman Sachs name
Hoping for to own my own home
 
Chorus
 
If a rescue plan is not passed soon
Risking for to carry off my home
The Dow Jones Index will suffer from the gloom
Risking jobs and lots of peoples’ homes
 
Chorus
 
If ever I pay off before you do
Hoping for to own my own home
I’ll pray that the bank lasts long enough for you
Hoping they don’t carry off your home
 
Chorus
 
If ever you pay off before I do
Hoping for to own my home
Tell all the bankers I’m saving too
Hoping for to own my own home.
 
Chorus
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Posted on 09/29/2008 3:49 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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