Thursday, 31 March 2016
Jan Gross’ Order of Merit
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Anna Bikont wrties in The Tablet:

We Poles had our presidential race last year. In a televised debate—the most important debate of the race—the two main candidates asked each other questions. The first round of these questions, posed by candidate Andrzej Duda, did not deal with the state of the Polish economy, nor relations with Ukraine and Russia. It had to do instead with a crime committed over 70 years ago in Jedwabne, a village in northeastern Poland where Polish Catholics incinerated their Jewish neighbors. This event was uncovered decades later by Polish-American historian Jan Gross, now a professor at Princeton. Duda admonished his opponent, then-incumbent President Bronis?aw Komorowski, for allowing Poles to be “wrongfully accused by others for participating in the Holocaust.” He asked why the president failed to defend the good name of Poland.

The election was won by Andrzej Duda, the candidate who resolutely rejected the painful truth of Jedwabne. The new president then proclaimed a “new historical policy strategy,” which would enhance the perception of Poland in the world. That policy is already in place. And an important component of it is a campaign against Jan Gross. In January, President Duda went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an opinion on the question of rescinding Gross’ Polish Order of Merit. According to his spokesman, the offices of the president had been inundated with letters bearing precisely this request from outraged citizens. The president could not simply ignore—or even silence—those voices.

This came across like a grim joke, given that in the freezing days that followed thousands marched in locations all over Poland to protest the president’s new policies, and yet the voices of the protesters has gone completely unheard. We were protesting the threat to democracy suggested by the president’s refusal to swear in three legally appointed judges to the Constitutional Tribunal. We protested—and the demonstrations took place in 36 cities—in the name of freedom, against the actions of a government restricting civil liberties in a variety of ways: through new surveillance regulations, new criminal procedures, the politicization of public services and the appropriation of public media by the ruling party. We write letters, too. They go unanswered. In defense of Gross, Poland’s most prominent intellectuals produced letters of protest, and historian Timothy Snyder (Yale University) announced he would renounce his own Polish order.

Gross, whose Order is now at stake, was previously decorated twice by the Polish state.

The first time was in 1996 (before he began writing the books that would upset so many Poles). He received the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his books on the underground structures of the state during World War II and Polish children sent to Siberia, as well as for his personal record of opposing Soviet rule, for his participation in the protests of 1968 and his support of the independent resistance movement after his emigration.

The second time was symbolic. It occurred on July 10, 2001, the 60th anniversary of the crime in Jedwabne. Then-President Aleksander Kwa?niewski apologized to the victims in a ceremony televised worldwide. All of this was due to a relatively slim volume written by Gross entitled Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland, which had been published the year before. A book that set off an avalanche, the biggest debate in Poland since it had regained its independence in 1989.

This second Order of Merit is what the regime now wishes to revoke from Gross and to erase from public memory. And while they’re at it, they’re also revoking the medal he received for absolutely uncontroversial service to Poland, even according to the newly imposed political criteria.

Continue reading here.

 

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Posted on 03/31/2016 1:02 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
The God You Worship
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About twenty years ago in a lecture by Dr. John Killinger of Vanderbilt Divinity School I heard him state, "We become like the God we worship." I have never forgotten this concise aphorism.

I think Dr. Killinger meant that we become in some small way like our Deity. We adopt the values of our God. In the specific Christian sense we value compassion, goodness, decency and truth. We understand that the foundation of Christianity means loving God with our entire being and loving our neighbors as ourselves. Many people in our culture who do not even think of themselves as Christians value freedom, equality of all peoples and genders, and the sanctity of human life. You can almost absorb Christianity by osmosis in Western culture.

Islam is the strangest of the world's religions. Every other major religion has some form of the Golden Rule. Islam does not have a conception of the Golden Rule. Nor does it have a concept of human equality. Actually, Islam recognizes three classes of people. The first tier is Muslim men. Muslim women and children occupy a distant second place. Literally bringing up the rear is the rest of us, non-Muslims or kaffirs. Non-Muslims or kaffirs are considered barely human and can be treated brutally or even killed.

The God of Islam is Allah. The sole interpreter of God's will  is Mohammed, the self appointed prophet of Allah. Mohammed's life must be emulated by all devout Muslims. Thus, to know Islam we must know Mohammed. The values of Mohammed are treachery, brutality, deceit. supremacy, misogyny and killing in the name of Allah. In just one day Mohammed presided over the beheading of 800 Jews. Islam is the only world religion that has an organized theology of killing; Jihad. It also has a highly effective membership retention plan called the murdering of apostates. You can join Islam, but you can never leave. All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence recognize the same penalty for leaving Islam. Apostates must be killed.

Be careful of the God you worship. For you will be molded slowly, inexorably and totally by your religion. Radical Islam is a toxic poison killing decency and finally destroying your humanity.

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Posted on 03/31/2016 12:55 PM by John Constantine
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
The Knives of Jerusalem
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by Thomas Ország-Land (April 2016)


1.

WAR WOUND

 

Do your best, mate.

I’ll survive anything  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:55 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
A Sad Day in Heaven
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by David Solway (April 2016)


The Lord said

let there be night

and there was night;  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:51 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
After Reading Arrogant Lines
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by Bibhu Padhi (April 2016)


After you have gone through

them, it is better to stand

quiet, like the hill fronting

your house, than go on  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:45 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Across Glass Windows
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by Sutapa Chaudhuri (April 2016)
 


Darkness has settled in,

diseased with death;

 

yet still the gaze backwards

across glass windows—  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:40 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Jerusalem Verses
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by P. David Hornik (April 2016)
 

                1

 

But there are those who fade

when still rather young.

For a while their articles in the paper

are the talk of the town.  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:35 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Voyage Infinite
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by Dilip Mohapatra (April 2016)


The sea has been lapping

the cables of my anchor

with its saline tongue for years

trying to devour it to its core  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:28 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
All I Need: A Dramatic Poem
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by Evelyn Hooven (April 2016)


Here, a woman in her mid-fifties meditates:
 

Jane’s off to the cemetery

Again, with her flowers,

Each day a different color.

She was wondering this morning  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:18 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Olives
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by Len Krisak (April 2016)


Sometimes a yearning for surrender comes—

                     A hunger for defeat

                                 That's pleased with crumbs

         And longs for bitter crow to eat.  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:06 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Chattel Women — Arabia, 630 AD
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by A. Human Being (April 2016)


January 25, 630 AD: The hills of Autas, east of Mecca, Arabia

An army of bandits isn’t typically comprised of overly sensitive men.

But once upon a time . . . two weeks after his conquest of Mecca . . . Muhammad had set out to hammer against the confederation of hill tribes that had banded together in defense against the intolerant army that had subjugated their city neighbors in Medina and now Mecca.  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 10:02 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
What Was “Conceptual Writing”?
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a review by Richard Kostelanetz (April 2016)


One of the curious cultural phenomena of our time is that radical epithets developed in the rather small audience for visual art acquire a prestige that gives them appeal to other arts with larger audiences. Though “Minimal Art,” coined in the early 1960s, described visual art with remarkably little surface content, often monochromic for painting or unadorned geometries for sculpture, the epithet minimal was appropriated by music publicists in the 1970s mostly to describe compositions of, say, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley that were less minimal than modular, with motifs or modules repeated in various ways.  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 9:55 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
“Trial,” Hollywood’s Prescient Film on the Left’s Playbook
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When You Can’t Find a Law to Fit the Facts, Find Some Facts to Fit the Law
by Norman Berdichevsky 
(April 2016)                                       


Although now sixty years old, the film “Trial” based on Don M. Mankiewicz’s Harper’s prize winning novel is still contemporary. It stars Glenn Ford as a dedicated idealistic law professor, seeking justice for a young Mexican-American boy, the 17 year old Angel Chavez, and his alleged victim, Marie Wilson, a 16 year old white girl.  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 8:36 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
One Cheer for Ayn
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by James Como (April 2016)


Some fifty-five years ago – I would have been fourteen: the Yankees beat the Reds in a great World Series, great, that is, if you were a Yankee fan – I began my lamentable Ayn Rand mini-jag. I found her at a local shop on Broadway in Astoria, Queens, called the Patrick Henry Bookstore. My father was along, and when we left he warned me against the shop. A man of the moderate Right, he called it “fanatical,” largely owing to the ample display of John Birch Society material and of None Dare Call it Treason, a conspiracy screed if ever there was one. I bought that book, it proved my father right (according to it my Polish grandmother was suspect), and I never returned to the store (which closed soon after).  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 8:26 AM by NER
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Thursday, 31 March 2016
Defiance
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by James Buckham (April 2016)


Three historical example of defiance –the most noble of human emotions – and how this is relevant today:

1.  The Old Believers: 

Here in the west, Russia often appears to be a fairly conservative culture. You probably imagine it as a land of onion-domed churches, folk dances and men paying the bill for dinner, and you wouldn’t be too far of the mark.  more>>>

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Posted on 03/31/2016 8:22 AM by NER
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