Wednesday, 30 May 2007
300,000 Supporters of Suicide Attacks
clear

Some of the results of the Pew Research Center poll of Muslims in America were startling: twenty-six percent of Muslims between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine affirmed that there could be justification in some (unspecified) circumstances for suicide bombing, and five percent of all the Muslims surveyed said that they had a favorable view of Al-Qaeda. Given the Pew Center’s estimate of 2.35 million Muslims in America, and the total of thirteen percent that avowed a belief that suicide bombings could ever be justified, that’s over 300,000 supporters of suicide attacks. And 117,500 supporters of Al-Qaeda. --Robert Spencer

One more thing. One need not be a supporter of suicide attacks, or of violence as the preferred-at-present instrument of Jihad, to be a menace. The mere swelling of Muslim ranks, of those who, that is, feel that they have a duty to participate, collectively or, under certain conditions, individually, in Jihad to spread Islam, until it "everywhere dominates" as Muhammad said that it must, and Muslims rule everywhere, is a menace to non-Muslims. Why? Because Islam uncompromisingly divides the world between Believers and Infidels. It describes the relationship between the two as one of permanent war, if not necessarily permanent warfare ("war" can be conducted without conventional "warfare"). It divides the land of this world essentially between Dar al-Islam, the House of Islam, and Dar al-Harb, the House of War. It is the duty of Muslims to work to expand the former and shrink the latter, until the latter disappears altogether. No reader of Qur'an, Hadith, and sira can deny this, and such denial constitutes an example of deliberate deception -- the "deception" that Muhammad defined as the essence of war ("War is deception") and practiced what he, the Model of Right Conduct (uswa hasana), he, the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, preached.

Even if individual Muslims may harbor secret doubts, secret misgivings, the pressure on them to conform, and to end up out of fear or filial piety or something other than rational heartfelt support,( to end up as Defenders and Thereby Promoters of the Faith) have misgivings, they still offer, in the end, their loyalty not to the Infidel nation-state or Infidels in that state, but to the collective or Community of Islam, the ummah al-islamiyyah. That is as they have been taught, and the amazing hold of Islam on its adherents, the amazing way in which the habit of mental submission is inculcated, free and skeptical inquiry not only discouraged but often severely punished (see what happens to those Muslims, even some scholars of Islam, who during the long 1350-year history of Islam have attempted to question in any way the truth of, or still worse to leave outright, that violently defensive belief-system).

Participants in, or supporters of, suicide murders can garner headlines, and cause alarm. But that alarm should then be translated into study, and that study will reveal that the instruments of Jihad are many, and that, at this point in history, not suicide bombing, but rather the Money Weapon, Da'wa, and Demographic Conquest are the most effective ways to spread Islam within the Bilad al-kufr, the Lands of the Infidels.

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 12:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
That Great British Food Tradition...
clear

...has been much enriched by mass Third World immigration.

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 11:48 AM by John Derbyshire
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
This Is Islam. You Can't Get Out.
clear

During the Cold War Russian dissidents would say to visiting foreigners:

"Yes, the Soviet Union is indeed vast. You can go 3,000 miles up and down, and 6,000 miles across. But what happens when you come to the end of those 3,000 miles down? Or those 6,000 miles across? You still can't get out. You still are stuck."

That is Islam. You can't get out. You are not allowed the mental freedom to leave. If Islam did not promote the habit of mental submission, severe limits on artistic expression, hatred of, and war-making upon Infidels, the deliberate infliction of a state of permanent humiliation, degradation, and physical insecurity on Infidels, if it did none of those awful things, but only -- only -- prevented those born into Islam from leaving Islam, that alone would entitle us to see it as a totalitarian and cruel belief-system, and to regard it with permanent wariness and worry.

Some have claimed that this prohibition on leaving has been set aside. Muslim convert Stephen Schwartz, for example, once wrote: “The Ottoman caliphate abolished death sentences for apostasy from Islam more than two centuries ago, but Western media still widely report that all Muslims believe the penalty for apostasy must be death."

This is, however, flatly untrue. In fact, even the so-called Tanzimat Reforms of 1839, which were designed to alleviate the condition of non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire, were not put in to effect whenever and wherever local officials could get away with dragging their feet. After all, it was only the superior power of the Western world that made the Ottoman rulers even go through the charade of easing up on non-Muslims -- the same kind of charade that can be seen today all over.

Ultimately, there were some changes in the treatment of apostasy, but only limited ones, in a few places. And today it is not only in Saudi Arabia and Sudan and Iran where one can find such a punishment still on the books. Think of the outcry over Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan, and the Qambar case in the 1990s in (choose your adjectives: tiny, pro-Western, grateful-for-its-rescue-by-America) Kuwait.

Schwartz, being a "convert to Islam" (after a bout of Trotsky, and the Summer of Love, and so on), has decided to present himself to the world as an "expert on Islam." That’s a nice title if you can get it, and you can get it if you simply write the sign yourself, and then paste it on your forehead. He can now spout off about Islam and enjoy his self-assigned role as Slayer of Wahhabi Idols.

And don't overlook the money, radix malorum. For the role of "moderate Muslim" is now a virtual ticket to government and foundation grant money, the seed money, the feed money, the keeping-up-appearances money that no one would ever think of throwing the way of the true heroes, those ex-Muslims, the articulate defectors from Islam, such as Ibn Warraq and Ali Sina, who could make scholarly mincemeat of the high-profile converts any time they bothered to notice them. But they have more important things to do.

Ibrahim Hooper, Yvonne Ridley, Adam Gadahn, John Walker Lindh et al, the Western converts to Islam, represent various types of mental disarray. In contrast, the apostates from Islam (not to be confused with the Apostles of Cambridge) represent the sanest, most humorful, interesting people who were born into Islam and mentally fought their way -- or in the Western world, if their parents had exhibited less-than-fervent belief, possibly skirmished their way -- out of the Total Regulation of Life, the Complete Explanation of the Universe, the entire cramped existence. They had the courage to no longer accept the belief-system that was inflicted upon them and their ancestors, those Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, who at some point in that distant past were forced, or in order to no longer have to endure the unendurable, decided to convert to Islam, which has proven itself to be possibly the most powerful retrograde force, as Churchill once described it, in the history of humanity -– one that has stifled so much human potential and brought so much unnecessary woe.

Perhaps they are like those Cambridge Apostles after all.

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 11:42 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Fred Thompson Will Announce On July 4th
clear

The Politico reports:

Fred Dalton Thompson is planning to enter the presidential race over the Fourth of July holiday, announcing that week that he has already raised several million dollars and is being backed by insiders from the past three Republican administrations, Thompson advisers told The Politico.
 
Thompson, the "Law and Order" star and former U.S. senator from Tennessee, has been publicly coy, even as people close to him have been furiously preparing for a late entry into the wide-open contest.  But the advisers said Thompson dropped all pretenses on Tuesday afternoon during a conference call with more than 100 potential donors, each of whom was urged to raise about $50,000.
 
Thompson's formal announcement is planned for Nashville. Organizers say the red pickup truck that was a hallmark of Thompson's first Senate race will begin showing up in Iowa and New Hampshire as an emblem of what they consider his folksy, populist appeal...

A member of Thompson's inner circle, who insisted on anonymity, said the former senator will offer himself as a consistent conservative who can unite all elements of the Republican Party. "The public is increasingly cynical and disenchanted with government," this adviser said. "Competence is at the heart of what people want from government, and they need to have a sense that government can do the things they care the most about. They want a reason to continue Republican governance. Thompson can be seen as the adult with a firm hand on the tiller."...

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 11:34 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Malaysia's Lina Joy loses Islam conversion case
clear

From ABC News (hat tip: Michelle Malkin):

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysia's best known Christian convert, Lina Joy, lost a six-year battle on Wednesday to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card, after the country's highest court rejected the change.

The ruling threatens to further polarize Malaysian society between non-Muslims who feel that their constitutional right to religious freedom is being eroded, and Muslims who believe that civil courts have no right to meddle in Islamic affairs.

"You can't at whim and fancy convert from one religion to another," Federal Court Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim said in delivering judgment in the case, which has stirred religious tensions in the mainly Muslim nation.

He said the civil court had no jurisdiction in the case and that it should be dealt with by the country's Islamic courts.

"The issue of apostasy is related to Islamic law, so it's under the sharia court. The civil court cannot intervene."

About 200 mostly young Muslims welcomed the ruling outside the domed courthouse with shouts of "Allah-o-Akbar" (God is great), but Christians and non-Muslim politicians were dismayed...

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 10:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Is This The Part of Wright's English Dialect Dictionary That You Don't Understand?
clear

In my Islandsk-Engelsk Ordbok (2003 edition) there is no entry for "schmolfraedic" but there is such an entry for "skolfraedic." It is defined as "impudent, impertent, malapert; brash, bluff, saucy, nervy, exhibiting chutzpah."

The word is also to be found in Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, glossed or isoglossed as "chiefly northern." Could that be the part of Wright's English Dialect Dictionary that you don't understand?

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 9:56 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Genes and Tones
clear

I wrote in NRODT a year or so ago about geneticist Bruce Lahn's finding that some genes apparently involved in brain development have (a) within just the past few thousand years turned up in new varieties, which (b) seem to confer strong selective advantages to those possessing them, and (c) are not evenly distributed across all human populations, the founder group of modern humans having scattered by the time they appeared.

The actual function of these genes was, however, as I said at the time, not completely understood.  That they are connected with brain development is strongly suggested by the fact that defects in them are known to be associated with microcephaly, a congenital infant condition in which the brain fails to develop properly.  But what, in their healthy form, do these genes **do**?  That the historically-new variants Lahn turned up apparently do better?   (Based on the high rate at which they have spread through their host populations, which suggests that they confer some strong survival advantage.)

To find out, you compare population A1, in which the new variants occur at high frequency, with population B1, in which they occur with low frequency, and look for brain-related differences.  If you think you've found one, you test against different high- and low-frequency populations A2 and B2, to see if your hypothesis holds up... and so on until your research budget runs out.  Then, if you've got anything worth a damn, you publish.  Basic science.

Proceeding thus, previous researchers have ruled out direct connections to intelligence, brain size (when the genes are functioning normally) and the processing of social information.  So what the heck do they do?

Now a couple of Scottish linguists have come up with a new hypothesis:  these recent mutations may allow us to speak nontonal languages.  There is a write-up in ScientificAmerican.com here.

There are some languages—famously Chinese, in all its dialectical varieties, but there are plenty of others—in which you change the meaning of a word by changing its "tone."  That's a combination of pitch (low, medium, high) and contour (rising, level, falling).  Cantonese, for instance, has seven tones:  high-level, high-rising, high-falling, medium-level, low-level, low-rising, low-falling.  The word pronounced "yee" might, depending on tone, mean "aunt," "chair," "clothing," "idea," "two," "ear," or "suspicion."  (Or a great many other things.  Even allowing for tone differentiation, meaning-to-syllable is a many-one mapping.)  Yoking syllables together reduces the ambiguity, but not totally:  "yee-gah" means "now," but with different tones, "clothes rack."

Well, according to these researchers—their names are Ladd and Dediu—"The [newer] mutations [of these two genes] were absent in populations that speak tonal languages, but abundant in nontonal speakers." 

Why being able to speak a nontonal language gives you any survival advantage, as the genetic evidence suggests, I do not know, and the researchers don't speculate.  It may be just a side effect of some tweak in brain ontogeny that confers a more obvious advantage in perception or cognition.

It's interesting stuff, though.  It's been known for a long time that some language features have biological correlates.  European populations whose languages have a "th" sound, for instance, like English and Greek, exhibit similar blood-group frequencies (I think that's right—I'm working from memory).  So far as I know, though, this is the first study to suggest a linguistic correlation with identified genes.

This sort of thing is the most fascinating stuff going on in science now:  the slow uncovering of human nature in all its meaty & molecular actuality—the territory formerly squabbled over by philosophy, literature, and folklore yielding to cold biological fact.  It'll be a long time happening, and it will turn up things we—liberals and conservatives both—won't like, but it's starting.

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 8:58 AM by John Derbyshire
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Tolfraedic schmolfraedic
clear

Before decimalisation in 1971, British currency used a mixed duodecimal-vigesimal system. The duodecimal (tolfraedic) component - twelve old pennies in a shilling - would have withered away because of inflation, leaving only the vigesimal (based on units of twenty), which would easily have drifted into de facto decimalisaton. Sure as eggs - half a dozen of them - is eggs.

Old pennies are small fry (equivalent to about two thirds of an American cent), hence the coinage "schmolfraedic".

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 8:00 AM by Mary Jackson
clear
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Butler shortage
clear

Dear, oh dear. There aren't enough butlers to go round. From The Telegraph:

The world faces a worrying shortage.

As the number of wealthy households expands, so does the demand for butlers. Those who keep a tally of these things say as many as two million are needed around the globe. Can there be enough suave imperturbability to go round? A butler - not to be confused with his inferior, the valet - is a multi-talented beast whose duties may range from ironing the morning copy of The Daily Telegraph to managing dozens of staff in a number of houses.

Rock stars love them, so do Russian oligarchs, and at least one Labour minister couldn't possibly function without his gentleman's gentleman. They may be redolent of a bygone age, but they are, as a species, natural-born survivors.

Whatever the modern world throws at them, they ensure that good order reigns with a murmured "very good, sir" issuing from the stiffest of upper lips.

The best - indeed the only proper - butler was Mr Hudson from Upstairs Downstairs. This was a television series set in an Edwardian town house depicting the lives of the servants (below stairs) and masters (upstairs). This was in the Good Old Days of tolfraedic coinage when everyone knew their place. Especially Ruby, the scullery maid, who was right at the bottom of the heap. She was incompetent and was continually hectored by a tyrannical Mrs Bridges. But at least she didn't have followers, unlike Sarah, who was no better than she should be.

Mr Hudson left 165 Eaton Place, Belgravia and fast forwarded into the 1970s where he played a driven and ruthless agent of the fictional CI5. (At the time I wondered - briefly -  if this was a very short cassette tape.) But he still looked and spoke like a butler. 

clear
Posted on 05/30/2007 5:00 AM by Mary Jackson
clear
Tuesday, 29 May 2007
How Much Do You Think They Get?
clear

Website of "Middle East International" -- How much on the Arab take, directly or indirectly, do you think these people are? And how do the sums they have taken in  compare with what their American cousins, similarly situated, such as James Akins, and Raymond Close, and Eugene Bird?

And is that suit over the Al-Yamamah bribes (the one that Ian Gilmour, an up-market George Galloway when it comes to "Palestine" and the "Palestinian" cause, brushed off as the price of doing business with the Saudis, though he offered no proof that rival American companies engage in such bribery) ever going to be revived? Or is al-Yamamah insabbiato forever? And while we are at it, what about the Saudi prince who, not content with tens of millions of dollars stolen from the nation's oil money, used his private plane, immune as he thought from inspection by the French police, to bring into France 66 suitcases full of cocaine and then was found out, and criminal charges brought against him? Will that suit too be thrown out? Or will the nations of Western Europe begin to behave so that the Al-Saud begin to realize that they are no longer above the law?

Here's that Board:

MEI’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chairman

  • Sir Dennis Walters MBE - One of MEI's founders in 1971. He was a Conservative MP for many years before retiring in 1992 and has remained involved in Middle Eastern affairs. He has championed MEI tirelessly through thick and thin for 31 years.

    Vice Chairman
  • Sir James Craig GCMG - Joined the Board in 1987 after serving as Ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia. As well as his wide contacts and experience, his eagle eye has been a valuable asset to the magazine. He also contributes the occasional article.

    Directors
  • George Asseily - A Lebanese businessman, ex-chairman of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, board member of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce in London and chairman of the Board of Governors of the Centre for Lebanese Studies in Oxford. Joined the Board of MEI in 2001.
  • Crispin Blunt MP - Commissioned as an Army Officer in 1979, he served in Cyprus, Germany and the UK before resigning his commission as a Captain in 1990 in order to enter politics. Conservative MP for Reigate since 1997, he became Chairman of the Conservative Middle East Council in 2004. Joined the Board of MEI in 2004.
  • Sir Graham Boyce KCMG -
  • Brian Constant - Former director-general of the Middle East Association and retired banker who came on board in 1996. Lends his considerable expertise as director of finance.
  • Lord Gilmour - An MP until 1992, and Defence Minister in 1974, Ian Gilmour has been an active supporter of the Palestinian cause for many years. He has written five books on British politics.
  • Tom Johnson - A long-standing MEI director, he runs a London printing press which turns out, among other more prestigious journals, MEI's London edition.
  • Sir Alan Munro KCMG - Former British Ambassador to Algeria and Saudi Arabia and now vice-chairman of the British Red Cross Society. Joined the Board in 1996.
  • Ambassador Richard Murphy -
  • Lord Redesdale -
  • Dr Patrick Seale - An eminent writer and broadcaster, Patrick has established a reputation as one the English-speaking world's leading authorities on Syria. Joined the Board of MEI in 1997, and not infrequently contributes articles and advice.


    STAFF

    Editor
  • Steve Sherman - Joined the staff as Deputy Editor in 1987 after working in Palestine and Sudan and has been here ever since.

    Contributing Editors
  • Najm Jarrah - London-based Palestinian freelance journalist. Najm writes editorials, the Arab Press translations, and news stories.
  • Graham Usher - MEI's East Jerusalem correspondent. Also writes for the Economist and a number of other publications around the world and broadcasts on the radio. Graham has written two books on the Middle East.

    If you would like to see some examples of the smug faces of some involved in the enterprise above, click on this link. That should do it.

  • clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 5:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Pseudsday Tuesday
    clear

    Rough and ready Englishmen - soccer fans, perhaps, or Club 18-30 holidaymakers - who wish to cop a lustful eyeful of a lady's bits and bobs, might shout: "Get yer kit off for the lads!"

    Not so Fritjhof Schuon. A Guenonist traditionalist would never put it like that. He would put it - tee hee! - another way: 

    Sacred nudity -- which plays an important role not only with the Hindus but also with the Red Indians -- is based on the analogical correspondence between the "outmost" and the "inmost": the body is then seen as the "heart exteriorized," and the heart for its part "absorbs" as it were the bodily projection; "extremes meet." It is said, in India, that nudity favors the irradiation of spiritual influences; and also that feminine nudity in particular manifests Lakshmi and consequently has a beneficial effect on the surroundings. In an altogether general way, nudity expresses -- and virtually actualizes -- a return to the essence, the origin, the archetype, thus to the celestial state: "And it is for this that, naked, I dance," as Lalla Yogishvari, the great Kashmiri saint, said after having found the Divine Self in her heart. To be sure, in nudity there is a de facto ambiguity because of the passional nature of man; but there is not only the passional nature, there is also the gift of contemplativity which can neutralize it, as is precisely the case with "sacred nudity"; similarly, there is not only the seduction of appearances, there is also the metaphysical transparency of phenomena which permits one to perceive the archetypal essence through the sensory experience. St. Nonnos, when he beheld St. Pelagia entering the baptismal pool naked, praised God for having put into human beauty not only an occasion of fall, but also an occasion of rising towards God.

    Ooooh, matron!

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 5:12 PM by Mary Jackson
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Islamic Society of Boston Abandons Lawsuit
    clear

    From the David Project website with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

    The David Project has announced that the Islamic Society of Boston ("ISB") and its officers have withdrawn all of their claims against all of the citizens who raised concerns about the ISB, its funding and its leadership, as well as all of their claims against the Boston Herald, Fox-TV and the various journalists whose investigative pieces about the ISB in 2003 and 2004 disclosed damaging information about the ISB and its controversial land deal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority ("BRA"). The ISB and its officers have abandoned all of their claims against all of the defendants they sued 2 years ago, without payment to the ISB or to them of any money whatsoever.

         The ISB's decision to drop all of its claims against all of the 17 defendants it sued back in 2005 alleging "defamation" and accusing them of conspiring to violate its civil rights comes just months after the defendants--who included a Muslim cleric, a Christian political science professor and the Jewish daughter of Holocaust survivors, as well as Boston civic leader William Sapers and national terrorism expert Steven Emerson--had begun through their lawyers to conduct discovery into the ISB's financial records, its receipt of millions of dollars in funding from Saudi Arabian and other Middle Eastern sources, its contributions to certain organizations and the records of certain of its officers and directors. The ISB's abandonment of its lawsuits comes only weeks after two of its original Middle Eastern Trustees, Walid Fitaihi of Saudi Arabia and Ali Tobah of Egypt, suddenly resigned as Trustees just before they were required to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts court hearing the case.

         The David Project, whose public records litigation against the BRA forced the public disclosure of evidence regarding the below-fair-market land deal between the BRA and the ISB and the role played in that deal of BRA Deputy Director Muhammed Ali Salaam, will proceed exactly as before with its litigation, seeking the remainder of the documents presently withheld by the BRA. That litigation, The David Project v. Boston Redevelopment Authority, is on file in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.

         "We were determined from the beginning to act the way citizens should, by asking questions about this matter and by refusing to be intimidated into staying silent," said David Project founder and President Charles Jacobs, "and we intend to continue as we have before. Indeed, the evidence that has emerged about the transaction, about the BRA's failure to do due diligence into those whom it chose to subsidize and about the funding and the leadership of the organization that received this public subsidy is of extremely deep concern. That evidence not only vindicates the reporting of the courageous journalists whose investigative work broke the story back in 2003 and 2004, but validates many times over the concerns expressed by the good and decent citizens—Muslims, Christians and Jews- who refused to stay silent."

         "Those citizens were vilified by the ISB for having had the courage to speak out", said Jacobs. "The ISB's abandonment of its claims without payment of one dollar to them, coming as it does as the ISB was ordered to turn over evidence, speaks more eloquently than anything else could about the truth of what these citizens said, about the validity of their concerns, and about the lack of merit to the ISB’s allegations that they had been ‘defamed’ and had been financially ‘damaged’. Above all, the ISB’s ultimate abandonment of its lawsuits speaks eloquently about the importance of refusing to be bullied and intimidated into silence."

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 4:55 PM by Rebecca Bynum
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Re: English country ha ha
    clear

    That ha ha looks a bit funny to me.

    Is that funny ha ha, you may well ask, or funny peculiar?

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 4:28 PM by Mary Jackson
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Do not sink your money into this
    clear

    Fancy topiary is not permitted, nor may funds be diverted and sunk into ditches or hahas.

    A fine example of an English country ha ha.

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 4:12 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    High Buncombe, or, Was It Good For You Too?
    clear

    "Bunkum" has its 19th century American demotic points: Petroleum V. Nasby, Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain. But "buncombe" also has its points, including the mocking ye-olde-englisshe spelling, the kind that Hyacinth Bucket would give it, if she were given to spelling it at all. The ending "kum" in "bunkum" nowadays hints at  the pornographer's deliberately rude and crude spelling of "come" as still ruder and cruder "cum." We do want to keep things clean, don't we?

    "Combe" on the other hand is high-toned, making one think of High Wycombe, and the grammar school where the soon-to-be-famous son of a St. Louis furrier once taught.

    And makes one think as well of Thomas Coryat, and his travel-tales in "Coryat his Crudities," describing himself as an "Odcombian legge-stretcher." A litotic Englishman's way of saying he'd travelled all over the place.

    So we've come, or travelled rather,  from crudity to crudity, from the first to the third short paragraph -- two very different kinds of crudities.

    The technique may be considered  a variant on that made famous by Raymond Roussel in "Locus Solus," and described by him in "Comment j'ai écrit certains de mes livres."

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 2:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    A Traitor's Demands
    clear

    From the Site Institute with thanks to Jeffrey Imm:

    Adam Yahiye Gadahn AKA Azzam the American, is featured in a 7:57 minute video produced by as-Sahab, the multimedia wing of al-Qaeda, and titled: “Legitimate Demands”. The video was issued to jihadist forums today, Tuesday, May 29, 2007. The speech, spoken in English and subtitled in Arabic, is presented as an address to U.S. President George W. Bush, Gadahn speaking in a condescending tone and accusing him of spearheading a Crusade led by his “empire of evil” against Muslims and embroiling American forces in wars without end. Reinvigoration of old fronts in Somalia, continuation of fronts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, and the region of the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan), in addition to an alleged failure in the media to tarnish the image of the Mujahideen to Muslims, are cited by Gadahn as reasons for Bush to seek escape and “prevent the number of American casualties at home and abroad from rising even higher.”

    The demands are emphatically stated by Gadahn to not be construed as negotiations, for Muslims do not negotiate with “baby killers and war criminals”. These entail the removal of American military forces from Muslim lands, cease of encroachment into the political, social, and economic affairs in these countries, and to free Muslim captives from prisons. Should these demands not be met, Gadahn states, “means that you and your people will- Allah willing- experience things which will make you forget all about the horrors of September 11th, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Virginia Tech.” Withdrawing from Iraq alone, Gadahn states, does not qualify as acceptance of terms, and he mockingly advices for Bush to stop his “futile farcical maneuvers on Capital Hill.”

    [Viginia Tech??] 

    Adam Yahiye Gadahn AKA Adam Pearlman, Azzam al-Amriki (Azzam the American), was charged with treason by a Grand Jury in an indictment filed Wednesday, October 11, 2006, in the State of California. According to the document, Gadahn has been indicted for treason, providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, and aiding and abetting terrorists. The two counts against Gadahn are based on his appearances and statements made in al-Qaeda films produced and distributed by the organization’s multimedia arm, as-Sahab.

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 2:47 PM by Rebecca Bynum
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Separationism & Its Discontents
    clear
    My assertion (last week) that the Jihadwatch website is "separationist" continues to generate 2,000-word exegeses from people who must be in dire need of something better to do.

    One more time, for the record:  Hugh Fitzgerald, the second main blogger on Jihadwatch (i.e. with Robert Spencer) is a separationist, if the word means anything.  Being highly hospitable to Hugh, Jihadwatch, if not a separationist website, sure is hospitable to separationism.  So I'm at a loss to see where I've said anything much wrong.  If you want to pick nits, perhaps instead of saying "separationist websites like Jihadwatch"  I should have said "websites hospitable to separationism like Jihadwatch."  But for heaven's sake.

    I can't even see what these people are steamed about.  If Islam is, as Spencer & Co. claim, the world's most intolerant religion, founded by a crazy pedophilic warmonger whom Muslims perversely persist in regarding as the model for humanity, separationism looks pretty sensible to me.  Why do the Jihadwatch guys so furiously disavow it?

    As to my being a left-wing Machiavellian seeking to discredit separationism:  While I'm not a separationist myself, I don't mind it.  I mean, I don't see anything immoral, deplorable or "racist" about it.  (Islam is not a race.)  I can't see why the American people should be forced to have anything to do with the Muslim nations, if we collectively decide we'd rather not.  I have made plenty of favorable references to outspoken separationists like Randall Parker.  I just don't see how separationists can, constitutionally and in good conscience, "separate" native-born Muslims who don't want to renounce their U.S. citizenship, as most surely don't.
    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 2:21 PM by John Derbyshire
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Deux Cigarettes Dans L'Ombre, or, Why Ask For The Moon When We Have The Stars?
    clear

    This piece compares the world of Islam, closed and indifferent to all that the non-Islamic world offers (save for military technology), with the West, always open to the outside world. It maintains that Said's "Orientalism" not only gets it wrong in specifics (the "Orientalists" he ignores, or those Said names but entirely miscomprehends -- matters dealt with by early on by Bernard Lewis, then by Keith Windschuttle, and, last year, by Robert Irwin who , despite his superior and growing comprehension of what Islam is about, nonetheless seems intent at the TLS in still assigning books with an Islamic theme  to the appalling likes of William "Barbara-Cartland-of-the-Moghul-Empire" Dalrymple and the hagiographic biographer of Muhammad Barnaby Rogerson) but also in its main point. Said got  it not merely wrong but completely wrong, the very reverse of right.

    This is what Scruton's article is about. His book "The West and the Rest" (it ought to have been  "Islam and the Rest" in order to make clear the identity of interests among all the non-Muslim victims of Islam) is different. Every word in this piece is instinct with what must surely be his recent reading of Ibn Warraq's as-yet-unpublished-but-widely-distributed-in-galleys book.  I know that book. And I don't forget things.

    And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to take a drag on this fine smooth Mild Seven. Have you tried them? I can't recommend them highly-paid enough.

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 1:43 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Net-Net Buncombe
    clear

    A reader:

    Sorry this isn't about the current posting but I can't find the earlier one that prompted this comment. I take issue with the affected 'buncombe' as opposed to the universally accepted bunkum. Whatever the etymological accuracy, it is the spelling equivalent of pronouncing forehead phonetically instead of idiomatically to rhyme with horrid.And while I have your attention, if I do have it, can you explain 'net-net' ?I sort of half understand it from context but whence the two nets?

    This is from a fan by the way

    "Buncombe" is a Mencken-ism, and sanctified thereby, far as I'm concerned.  And that aside, I think it's a nice word.  It's an affected writing of "bunkum," and that's a neat way to express the notion of **affected** bunkum.

    "Net-net" I first heard in the 1980s on Wall St trading floors, & always assumed it came from that subculture.  Calculating your actual revenue from a trading-floor transaction can be extremely difficult.  Typically a trade will have to compute (a) what's due to the client, to get a net, then (b) subtract what's due to the firm, to get a net-net.

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 12:44 PM by John Derbyshire
    clear
    Tuesday, 29 May 2007
    Among the Racists
    clear

    Linda Chavez says that:  "Some people just don't like Mexicans...  Unfortunately, among this group is a fair number of Republican members of Congress, almost all influential conservative talk radio hosts, some cable news anchors — most prominently, Lou Dobbs..."

    Linda might at least have noticed, as the 60 Minutes team did the other week, that Lou Dobbs' wife, Debi Segura, is of Mexican ancestry.

    clear
    Posted on 05/29/2007 12:10 PM by John Derbyshire
    clear
    clear
    Showing 21-41 of 696 [Previous 20] [Next 20]