Sunday, 31 January 2016
Reconsidering Literary Blacklisting
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by Richard Kostelanetz (February 2016)


Allan H. Ryskind’s Hollywood Traitors (Regnery) reminds me that literary blacklisting is a tricky subject attracting a wealth of insufficient criticism. The most publicized blacklist excluded certain sometime Communist writers prominent in the 1940s from further work in Hollywood movie-making, at least in the following decade.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 9:27 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Russian Intervention in Middle East Conflicts
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a discussion with Dan Diker and Shoshana Bryen
by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates
(February 2016)


In the waning months of the Obama Administration, its lack of effective leadership in the war against the Islamic State and the civil war in Syria created a potentially dangerous power vacuum. The White House was pre-occupied with concluding a UN-endorsed pact, hoping to rein in Iran’s quest for a nuclear capability - a capability that a number of analysts have concluded it may already have. Purported cooperative development may have been behind North Korea’s fourth nuclear test since 2006 on January 6, 2016. While official propaganda from Pyongyang suggested that the test involved elements of a possible fusion or hydrogen bomb, a few astute observers suggested it might have been a so-called boosted fission weapon.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 9:22 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
The Genius of the Multilingual Swiss and Their Confederal Republic (CH)
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by Norman Berdichevsky (February 2016)


Switzerland represents a remarkable set of opposite circumstances. It is a country with diverse peoples, languages and religions. Yet it has united all its citizens to create a unified country. Those willing to concede that the Swiss have formed a stable community and independent state for more than 700 years are usually reluctant to concede the somewhat more exalted term of a “nation” to them precisely because the country is divided into multiple ethnic and linguistic groups.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 9:19 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Isis warns UK attack ‘ will turn children’s hair white’
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From the Sunday Times and brought from before the paywall by the Mail on Sunday

This is thought to refer to a doomsday prophesy in the Koran.

The terror group has warned the UK will suffer 'the lion's share' of the slaughter it intends to wield in Europe, according to its Arabic language newspaper, al-Naba.

However, in a video released on Saturday, the millitants suggest it is Spain which will come under the strongest attack as the West is forced to 'pay dearly' for having crushed Muslim rule in Andalusia - more than 500 years ago. 

...the video released at the weekend features a long-haired jihadi, who appears to be white, who warns ISIS is going to carry out atrocities which will make the West forget the September 11 attacks against the United States, or the Paris massacre in November.  

Despite being Francophone, his wrath is turned particularly towards Spain, which he says will 'pay dearly' for having crushed Muslim rule in ancient Andalusia, the southern Spanish region where the Moors ruled from 711 AD to 1492.  He speaks of Cordoba and Toledo and says the ancient land of Andalusia is Muslim and has not been forgotten. 

At the end of the almost eight-minute video, the French-speaker and other IS fighters shoot dead five kneeling men in orange jumpsuits. The 'execution' appears to take place in the ruins of a building which destroyed in an air strike.

Isis released a separate video last week that featured nine of the Paris attackers, including the ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, preparing in Syria for their French mission. The 17-minute film, seen in full by The Sunday Times, contains a section that strongly indicates Britain will be next. Abaaoud, 28, is believed to have travelled to London ahead of the Paris attacks. Images of landmarks in Birmingham were also found on his phone after he was killed in a shootout with French police.

By examining the montage frame by frame The Sunday Times has identified a string of potential targets, including Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery and Covent Garden. British jihadists had plotted to attack the Queen at an event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day last year and have boasted about flying the black flag of Isis above Buckingham Palace.

A palace spokeswoman said: “We never comment on security matters.” 

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Posted on 01/31/2016 9:06 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Outgrowing the Past
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by Bradford Tuckfield (February 2016)


I recently read an interview with a musician I admire who described a time in his youth when he had been a devout Christian. He is no longer religious at all, or as he described it, he “grew out of religious ideas.” Upon hearing this, I thought of the other things that people often describe growing out of – old clothes, for example, for which one becomes physically too large during childhood, or youthful bad manners, for which one’s nature becomes too civil during early adulthood. Is religiosity or belief in God something that becomes too “small” for us, like the clothes we wore as children? Is it a feature of immaturity or ignorance that we should progress past?  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 9:14 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Patriotism Is Not an Optional Extra
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by Robert Henderson (February 2016)


1. What is patriotism?

By patriotism I mean the sense of belonging to a people, of owning a land, of instinctively favouring your own country’s men and women, of knowing that the interest of the “tribe” must come before everything else. By this definition patriotism is something which the vast majority of human beings can understand, – the only people who may be genuinely immune to such comprehension are the severely mentally retarded or those with a personality disorder such as  autism which reduces their ability to understand social contexts.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 9:09 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Conversions from Islam to Christianity
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by Ibn Warraq (February 2016)


In the last fifteen years, there has been a spate of books, published in the West, by Muslims who have converted to Christianity, and many anthologies of testimonies of former Muslims, and even former Muslim terrorists.[1] The internet, of course, is full of Christian sites with the testimonies of former Muslims. These personal journeys, some moving and some very sentimental, are of considerable interest but do not help us to establish the number of true conversions to Christianity in the Islamic world. Large claims are made by various Christian evengelical groups giving suspect statistics.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 9:05 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Counterterrorism Impasse: a discussion with Col. Richard E. Kemp (ret.) CBE and Dr. Sebastian Gorka
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by Jerry Gordon, Lisa Benson and Richard Cutting (February 2016)


The New Year marks the 14th year in the conflict in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan with the Taliban. Following 9/11, a victory against the Salafist Taliban was achieved in less than six months with special operators of the US and cadres of Afghan war lords. Fast forward to the fall of 2015, the Taliban has undertaken stunning attacks against NATO-ISAF forces. There was the brief Taliban takeover of the northern regional capital of Kunduz in September 2015 culminating with the mistaken USAF bombing of a Medicins sans Frontiere hospital with 26 dead.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:55 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
See Something, Say Something
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(About Benghazi)
by G. Murphy Donovan
(February 2016)


Clandestine Intelligence agents meet with the press for one of three reasons: to betray, to leak in support of policy, or spin the narrative when policy fails. Hard to know what was in play the other day when the former CIA Benghazi station chief, cover name “Bob,” met with two Washington Post reporters, Adam Goldman and Greg Miller. When an administration yarn needs to be spun on the front page, there’s no better venue than the Washington Post.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:51 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Daesh Jr. Strikes a Jew in Marseille
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by Nidra Poller (February 2016)


Yusuf, the young Turkish-Kurd who tried to kill a Jew in Marseille recently, was a baby when the al Dura blood libel triggered the plague of genocidal Jew hatred that besets us to this day. Back then they were avenging the “cold-blooded murder of a Palestinian youth by Israeli soldiers.” Today, fifteen years later, Yusuf X. proudly explains he saw that Palestinians were stabbing Jews in Israel and decided to follow suit in Marseille.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:40 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Notes From The Lower Education: The Looters and the Looting
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by Samuel Hux (February 2016)


Undergrads at Amherst College post signs calling for suspension of free speech; you never know who may say something hurtful. Probably-well-fed students at Oberlin are hurt that the college food service is weak in serving up authentic ethnic food; after heart-rending protests, reforms are promised.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:36 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
Who Can Save Us From Western Civilisation?
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by Fergus Downie (February 2016)


Vanity made the revolution. Liberty was only a pretext.  -- Napoleon

For the poor, every meal is a triumph and to struggle for your daily existence is to live without the brooding sense of futility that haunts intellectuals, and, for all the lip service paid to the Proletarian spectre, it has always paled beside the mass expansion of higher education as a revolutionary force.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:32 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
'Jihadi Jack' Letts interview: Former Oxford schoolboy calls on British people to convert to Islam as he brands David Cameron an 'evil creature'
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Exclusive: Mr Letts tells The Independent that he is not a member of Isis but says he fears arrest if he returns to the UK

In his first interview since reports accused him of becoming the first white British man to travel to Syria and join the jihadist group, Jack Letts insists he has travelled to the so-called Islamic State to spread the word of Allah and help "take down" the government of Bashar al-Assad.

"I can speak Arabic and English," he said. "That’s like my only skill. I’ve spent efforts to take down the Syrian government."

In the interview, conducted over messaging app Telegram, Mr Letts, who has been widely dubbed "Jihadi Jack", confirms he is still in Syria and admits he will probably be put in prison if he tries to return to the UK.

He also calls on British people to convert to Islam and says David Cameron is "f not actually mentally ill… [then] an evil creature". 

"If Britain stopped bombing Muslims in Syria, the Muslims in Syria would stop attacking them... is that hard to understand?" he says. 

On Sunday, Mr Letts was named as having joined the jihadist group. The reports were accompanied by a picture of him seemingly giving the one-fingered salute many associate with Isis.

Mr Letts, who attended Cherwell School in Oxford, converted to Islam as a teenager and left his home more than a year ago. He was accused of admitting to his parents that he was with the group in September 2014.

He subsequently posted private messages to hisFacebook account - also seen by The Independent - in which he accused the press of telling lies about him because of his Islamic faith. His Facebook account appears to have since been suspended.

There is no way of corroborating the accuracy of Mr Letts’ claims.

In order to confirm his identity, The Independent asked Mr Letts to provide a sound recording of his voice, which was then verified with two unrelated people who know him. They both said it was Mr Letts' voice. 

While there is no indication Jack Letts was speaking while under duress during the interview, it has not been possible to verify for certain that his answers were given with no immediate influence from other parties.

Mr Letts' parents have not responded to The Independent's request for comment.

There is a transcript. 

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:26 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
American Injustice
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by Conrad Black (February 2016)


Two relatively recent articles in respected publications have piercingly reminded me of what a rotting carcass much of the American legal system has become. The articles were a piece in The Weekly Standard of October 26 by retired attorney Paul Mirengoff and Georgetown law professor and former prosecutor William Otis, and a fawning profile of Judge Richard Posner by Lincoln Caplan (the Truman Capote visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, if such a position can be imagined) in the current issue of Harvard Magazinemore>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:29 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 January 2016
A Hornets' Nest of Morality
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by Theodore Dalrymple (February 2016)


I was in bed the other night reading Chekhov, my wife asleep beside me, when a specimen of Haematopota pluvialis flew into the interior of my bedside lampshade and started to clatter about in it before settling down on the lamp-stand. I looked at this creature both fascinated and horrified: for Haematopota pluvialis is the common horsefly, the female of the species being a bloodsucker, usually of horses and cows but sometimes of men.  more>>>

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Posted on 01/31/2016 8:25 AM by NER
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