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
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
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
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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