Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Imam Expelled By Force From France: It's A Start
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From lefigaro.fr:

d

Un imam antisémite expulsé
de France manu militari

Un imam antisémite expulsé<br/>de France manu militari

Dénoncé en janvier par Claude Guéant, il paie sous Valls ses prêches violents contre les Juifs et les femmes adultères.

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Posted on 10/31/2012 7:35 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Eight Bells
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by Len Krisak (November 2012)

               
                               —I.M., Allan Sullivan

“Brightwork,” said the sailor, and I see:

      Against the sky, the ship-brass vies

      With sunlight glinting off the sea.

Mere metal cannot win out, but it tries.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 12:01 PM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Limits of Con: An Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan
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by Richard Kostelanetz (November 2012)


When I read recently in the Brooklyn Rail (September 2012), a monthly to which I occasionally contribute both music reviews and fiction, about two Muslim-Americans trying to revive the “Ground Zero Mosque” that received so much press attention two summers ago, I was reminded that I drafted then the following for another monthly magazine whose contributing editor I’d been, Liberty. However, it stopped printing paper without anybody telling me. By the time I’d retrieved it, others had published about the subject, albeit insufficiently. So this essay went into the file for my next book of political criticism, tentatively titled Further, Deeper, and Behind. Those three words have also become the standards for my political criticism.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:55 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
The Culture in Kitchens
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G. Murphy Donovan (November 2012)

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ? Julia Child


There are four clear threats to the modern family and possibly civilization at large; cell phones, video games, the internet, and junk food. We allow the first three because they are cheaper than tutors, private schools, and nannies. Indeed, games and gadgets support a kind of electronic autism where neither parent nor child speaks to each other until the latter is old enough to drive. With junk food the threat is more complicated; a fusion of chemistry and culture. In combination, internet social networks and poor diets seem to be conspiring to produce a generation of pudgy, lazy mutes with short attention spans.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:49 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Growing-Up Dad: Learning To Let Go
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by Moshe Dann (November 2012)


True, things seem to happen in Israel more quickly. Perhaps it's the proximity to constant terrorism and near universal military service. Or maybe it's just the increased heat from global warming. Or the hormones.      

   "I'm getting married, Dad!" my nearly 18-yr old daughter exclaimed breathlessly one evening when she returned from her high school (Ulpana).*

   "Great," I responded, writing away on my computer, my mind somewhere else. I had heard such murmurings before. Big mistake.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:44 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
First Contact
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by Geoffrey Clarfield (November 2012)


In April 1985 I met my first Rendille twenty kilometers south of Marsabit town in Kenya’s desert northern frontier. He was no more than nineteen or twenty. He had curly hair with a bone ornament in it. He had ivory earrings in large pierced ears. He was wearing a red cloth tied around his hips, the kind you see in ancient Egyptian wall paintings. His face, neck and chest were covered with red ochre and that covered large parts of his dark brown skin. His nose was pointy and his cheek bones highly placed. Remarkably, his eyes were a greenish blue.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:35 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
In Tunisia, Protected Camps For Al Qaeda In The Maghreb
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From Marianne:

Tunisie : qui protège les camps jihadistes ?

Mardi 23 Octobre 2012

Malik Aït-Aoudia - Marianne


Dans le nord et le sud du pays, des groupes islamistes s'entraînent à la guerre sainte, pour partir combattre en Syrie ou au Mali. Et demain, en Tunisie ? Les pays occidentaux ferment les yeux pour des raisons politiques, et l'Algérie s'inquiète.


(Hassene Dridi/AP/SIPA)
(Hassene Dridi/AP/SIPA)
La Tunisie abrite des camps d'entraînement jihadistes. Deux, au moins, sont connus : l'un dans le Nord, dans la région de Tabarka, et l'autre dans le Sud, aux confins des trois frontières communes à la Tunisie, à la Libye et à l'Algérie, non loin de l'oasis libyenne de Ghadamès. A Tunis, leur existence est un secret de Polichinelle. «Nous avons informé les autorités tunisiennes, explique un diplomate européen, mais, pour le moment, il n'y a eu aucune réaction.» Pourtant, pas question pour les Occidentaux de porter le débat sur la place publique. «Cela reviendrait à dire que la transition politique en Tunisie est très mal partie et aucun pays européen ne souhaite prendre cette responsabilité», résume notre interlocuteur.

Des armes sont-elles stockées dans ces bases jihadistes ? C'est probable, et pas seulement là puisqu'on en trouve un peu partout dans le pays. En juin dernier, l'armée algérienne a ainsi transmis aux militaires tunisiens des informations qui leur ont permis de mettre la main sur un véritable arsenal enterré dans les sables du désert, à l'extrême sud du pays. Selon un haut responsable de la police tunisienne, «les combattants formés à la guérilla dans les camps sont disséminés dans tout le pays, prêts à en découdre lorsque le jihad sera déclaré en Tunisie si l'instauration de l'Etat islamique ne se fait pas par la voie légale». Ils pourraient alors récupérer les stocks d'armes sur lesquels le pays du jasmin fait semblant de dormir.

Foire aux guerriers d'Allah

En attendant, le grand voisin algérien en fait des cauchemars. A Alger, la frontière avec la Tunisie est devenue un sujet de préoccupation majeur. En quelques semaines, deux grosses opérations ont mis en lumière l'étendue du danger. A Annaba, un important réseau jihadiste venu de Tunisie a été démantelé. Près de Tébessa, les forces de sécurité algériennes auraient récupéré des missiles sol-air venus de Libye, après avoir transité par la Tunisie où le jihadisme ne prend même plus la peine de se cacher.

Une incroyable foire aux guerriers d'Allah s'est, par exemple, tenue à Kairouan, en mai dernier, sous la houlette d'Abou Iyad. L'homme fut naguère l'un des lieutenants de Ben Laden et organisa l'attentat contre le commandant Massoud en Afghanistan (lire Marianne no 805). On l'a retrouvé, il y a peu, lors de l'attaque contre l'ambassade américaine de Tunis. A Kairouan, l'homme avait donné rendez-vous à ses partisans d'Ansar al-Charia, son groupe jihadiste créé en 2011. Plusieurs milliers d'hommes venus de tout le pays, jeunes pour la plupart, en tenue afghane, en qamis (longue robe) immaculé ou en jeans, T-shirt et baskets de marque... Les drapeaux du califat islamique flottaient triomphalement alors qu'au micro Mokhtar Jebali, le président du Front tunisien des associations islamiques, s'époumonait : «Les gens ont peur des jihadistes parce que les ennemis ont massacré notre image. Mais, par définition, un musulman est un jihadiste. Le Prophète était le plus grand des moudjahidin.» La foule en délire n'attend qu'une chose : rejoindre le lieu d'affectation des moudjahidin tunisiens, dans le Nord ou dans le Sud. A la seule vue d'un ancien détenu de Guantanamo, 3 000 partisans de la guerre sainte scandent : «Obama, Obama, nous sommes tous des Oussama !» Un slogan repris le 14 septembre lors de l'assaut contre l'ambassade des Etats-Unis...

Pour montrer que la jeunesse tunisienne est prête au combat, les organisateurs avaient prévu une démonstration de zamaktel tounsi, un art martial tunisien, qu'il est désormais possible d'apprendre dans les camps d'Ansar al-Charia. Le visage camouflé, les «combattants» qui en font la démonstration fascinent les jeunes. L'opération recrutement était en route. Au grand jour. «Après la chute de Ben Ali, nous avons vécu dans l'euphorie sans faire attention aux salafistes, lâche, amer, un intellectuel laïc. Nous les méprisions et n'avons jamais imaginé qu'ils puissent être un danger pour le pays. Maintenant, ils sont là, entraînés, armés, regroupés en milices.» Obnubilés par la chasse aux membres de l'ancien régime, les Tunisiens n'ont pas voulu voir que les islamistes radicaux tissaient leur toile.

Premier signal d'alerte

Le premier signal d'alerte aurait pu venir des informations faisant état de la mort d'Imad, un jeune de Bizerte, du côté de Benghazi, lors de combats contre le régime de Kadhafi. «A l'époque, se souvient Mounir, un étudiant en architecture, nous nous sommes dit que c'était juste un jeune mort pour la démocratie, alors qu'il s'agissait en fait des premiers jalons d'une internationale jihadiste appelée à combattre partout où le leur chef le demande.» Aujourd'hui, il ne se passe pas une semaine sans que l'on apprenne qu'un jeune Tunisien est «mort en martyr» en Syrie. Les jeunes jihadistes commencent leur formation en Tunisie et vont se perfectionner au combat sur les terres de jihad, comme la Syrie, le Mali ou la Libye. Signe des temps, les familles des jihadistes ne sont plus montrées du doigt. Mounir s'en est aperçu en allant présenter ses condoléances après la mort d'un ami d'enfance «sur le chemin de Dieu» à Alep : «Cette famille modeste autrefois socialement déclassée a acquis un nouveau statut et est montrée en exemple.»

Que feront les centaines de jihadistes tunisiens si la France soutient une guerre au Mali contre Aqmi et les autres groupes islamistes ? Et que feront ceux qui combattent aujourd'hui en Syrie ou ailleurs, lorsqu'ils rentreront au pays ? La diffusion d'une vidéo de Rached Ghannouchi, le leader d'Ennahda, le parti au pouvoir, expliquant à des salafistes la conduite à tenir pour que les islamistes gardent le pouvoir et instaurent la charia, a bouleversé l'opinion. A Tunis, un an après la victoire électorale islamiste, huit mois avant les prochaines élections prévues en juin 2013, veut-on ou peut-on faire face à la menace jihadiste ?

*Article paru dans le numéro 809 du magazine Marianne.
 

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:36 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
David's Sling: Is It Broken?
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by Alexander Maistrovoy (November 2012)


Henry Kissinger’s recent statement, that in 10 years Israel will cease to exist, borders on the senile. Although one of his staff members denied it, Cindy Adams from the New York Post insisted: “Reported to me, Henry Kissinger has stated - and I quote the statement word for word: 'In 10 years, there will be no more Israel '".  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:31 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
The Failed Democrat Campaign to Smear Romney and Cut the Pie into a Dozen Pieces
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by Norman Berdichevsky (November 2012)


As the election nears, it has become more and more obvious that the Democrats’ campaign mistakenly portrayed Romney as a cartoon figure – the heartless, plutocrat-capitalist-aloof-super-wealthy, bigoted, ultra-conservative ignoring all the evidence that

1.      He was the most moderate of all the Republican candidates who remained in the race (following withdrawal of Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson and Jon Huntsmen, all minor candidates who dropped out early).

2.      His outstanding record of business achievement and balancing the budgets described by former President Clinton as “sterling.”  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:26 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Resurrecting Ibn Taimiyah’s Fallacious Arguments About Christianity
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by Louis Palme (November 2012)


Back in the 13th Century, Islamic scholar Ibn Taimiyah wrote a voluminous refutation of Christian positions relative to Islam. A few years ago, that study was translated and reduced to a 406 page book, Answering Those Who Altered the Religion of Jesus Christ. The book is posted in PDF format on the Internet at: http://ahlalhadeeth.wordpress.com/books/authors/ibn-taymiyyah/  This website calls Taimiyah’s book one of the most important Islamic books in print today.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:20 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Respecting Islam
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by Joseph S. Spoerl (November 2012)


The recent violence surrounding the video “The Innocence of Muslims” is only the latest in a series of incidents in which Muslims react violently to a perceived insult to their faith and its founder, Muhammad.

To be sure, we all resent it when outsiders attack our religious tradition or culture; we prefer such criticism to be conducted, if at all, by insiders, not outsiders. However, Islam makes sweeping claims: Muslims hold their faith to be the final revelation of God’s will and insist that it abrogates all earlier revelations, in particular Judaism and Christianity, and that non-Muslims are all destined for hell.[1] Muslims accordingly hold that all people should convert to Islam. Non-Muslims therefore have every right to subject Islam to critical scrutiny.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 11:05 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
How Western Liberals Helped Create Radical Islamism
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by Emmet Scott (November 2012)

I vividly recall, just a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, seeing a photograph of the Bin Laden family, or some of the younger members of the family, on holiday in Sweden. The year, I believe, was 1971. Osama was there, as were about fifteen of his brothers (and half-brothers) and sisters. All of them were dressed in typical “gear” of the time, bell-bottomed jeans and tight pullovers. Some of the boys had long hair, as did the girls. None of these were veiled, or betrayed in her attire the slightest hint of Islamic influence. They could have been a group of youngsters from any western country.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 10:47 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
No Blinders about Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood
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An Interview with Raymond Stock  
by Jerry Gordon and Raymond Stock
(November 2012)


In December 2010, after spending two decades in Egypt as an academic and translator of the works of Egyptian Nobel Laureate, the late Naguib Mahfouz, ex-pat Detroit native, Raymond Stock was denied entry and deported by the Mubarak regime. He had apparently crossed the line when in 2009, he authored a Foreign Policy article, “Very, Very Lost in Translation,” about the anti-Semitic rants of former Mubarak cultural minister, Farouk Hosni, who was jockeying to be nominated as head of UNESCO.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 10:41 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
The Language of Decline
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by Fergus Downie (November 2012)

The Medium is the Message

                        -  Marshall McLuhan


That intellectuals have a greater influence than is commonly allowed for, is a fact attested to by the staple vocabulary of people who spend little time around books. If anyone doubted it, they need only expose themselves to an episode of the Jeremy Kyle show (Americans may be surprised to learn the UK has produced something more vulgar than Jerry Springer) or any other outlet of prole porn and listen to the Freudian psychobabble so effortlessly spouted by its degraded participants. That they ingest the words without the theory does not make the influence less profound; words shape thoughts and thoughts as Nietzsche observed are the greatest deeds.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 10:36 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
The Unfolding Self
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by Rebecca Bynum (November 2012)


Nothing is so important to a man as his own state, nothing is so formidable to him as eternity; and thus it is not natural that there should be men indifferent to the loss of their existence…
                      – Blaise Pascal Pensées #194 (emphasis added)

[T]he torment of despair is precisely the inability to die…he cannot consume himself, cannot be rid of himself, cannot become nothing. This is the heightened formula for despair, the rising fever in the sickness of the self.
                    
– Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death


It seems to me there is present in modern humanity a growing ambivalence towards living. Suicide is now the primary cause of injury-related death in the United States and this urge to embrace death is steadily rising. Parallel to this, there seems to be a growing tendency to want to remake ourselves as other people - younger, better-looking, different. Advancing technology and medicine are allowing us to play out our fantasies like never before, and yet we cannot be rid of ourselves, we cannot become different persons no matter how much we may pretend or wish to be so.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 10:29 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Martin Buber and the Holocaust: Some Reconsiderations
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by Richard L. Rubenstein (November 2012)


Author’s note: An earlier version of this essay was presented in German at the Buber Centenary Conference in West Germany, 1978, chaired by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Walter Scheel. An earlier English version was published in The Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. 17, No. 3, 1979

As we commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Martin Buber here in Wiirzburg, it is impossible not to reflect on what those years have meant in the history of Judaism, of Germany and of the western world. In 1878 the vast majority of the world's Jews were domiciled in Eastern Europe. There was a minuscule Jewish community in what is now Israel. There were no more than 300,000 Jews in the United States, almost all of whom were of German origin. In the same year on January 3, 1878, Pastor Adolf  Stöcker, the Kaiser's Court Chaplain, founded Germany's first  overtly anti-Semitic political party, renamed shortly thereafter the Christian Social Party. One year later Wilhelm Marr founded his Anti-Semite League. Stöcker's program was relatively mild compared to that of his successors.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 10:23 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Ancient and/or Modern
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by Theodore Dalrymple (November 2012)


To believe or trust in the wisdom of crowds just because crowds are composed of many people and two heads are better than one seems to me absurd; but equally it is wrong to reject an opinion merely because it is held by a crowd. We are condemned, or privileged, or both, constantly to have to make up our own minds about things: to be nonjudgmental, as the cant word has it, means not to participate fully in or of human life. And what most people probably mean when they describe themselves (almost always in a self-congratulatory way) as being nonjudgmental is that they are uncensorious – other than about people who are censorious, of course. An inadequate vocabulary can be pregnant with consequences.  more>>>

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Posted on 10/31/2012 10:15 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Go Straight To Gaol, Do Not Pass Go
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Now that the Italian seismologists have been sent to prison for six years for their criminal failure to predict correctly what was going to happen under the earth’s surface at Aquila, it is time to concentrate the minds of other types, such as central bankers, Chancellors of the Exchequer and other cabinet ministers, financial advisers, fund managers, stockbrokers, bank directors, property consultants, pension salesmen, financial journalists, academic economists, etc, who failed to predict correctly important subterranean events. Indeed, not a few Nobel Prize winners might find themselves in jug if my suggestion were adopted.

A local official in Aquila, Stefania Pezzopane, who was in favour of the court verdict against the seismologists, said quite rightly that scientists should be scientists and not buffoons. Amen to that: and likewise economists should be economists and not buffoons. Their wrong predictions may not be quite so deadly in the short term as those of seismologists, but I am quite sure that epidemiologists would have no difficulty in showing that the fatal consequences of their failure to predict and therefore prevent economic downturns were in the long run even greater. Indeed, it has already been claimed in the British Medical Journal that the economic recession has caused 1000 people to commit suicide in Great Britain alone, more than three times more than were killed by the Aquila earthquake. World-wide, the figure must by now be much greater.

Two things might be said against my proposal: first that the events that were unpredicted by the economists could not have been predicted, and second that, even if predicted, nothing could have been done to avoid their consequences.

It is simply not true, however, that the events were not predictable: they were predicted, and indeed even I, who am no economist, knew that the so-called boom in Britain was fool’s gold, and said so.

Second, an economic downturn foreseen is susceptible to alleviation, if not to total avoidance. No, the list of people I have given above are at least as guilty as the Italian sesimologists.  

While we are at it, how about preventive detention? Not long ago I read an article in the Financial Times by one of its regular columnists suggesting that the British government take advantage of the current low rates of interest at which it is able to borrow to borrow n gazillions more to spend on infrastructure and thus stimulate the economy. Go to gaol, FT pundit, go straight to gaol, do not pass Go, do not collect your £200,000,000,000,000,000,000.      

First publishedin the Salibury Review.

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Posted on 10/31/2012 6:11 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
A Musical Interlude: Lay Down Your Arms (from "Lipstick On Your Collar")
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Listen here.
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Posted on 10/30/2012 8:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Robert Benchley Turns Out To Be Vectensian By Birth
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"Robert Charles Benchley, born on the Isle of Wight, September 15, 1807. Shipped as a
cabin boy on the
Florence J. Marble, 1815. Arrested for bigamy and murder in Port Said,
1817. Released, 1820. Wrote
Tale of Two Cities. Married Princess Anastasia of Portugal,
1831. Children: Prince Rupprecht and several little girls. Wrote
Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1850.
Editor of
Godey's Ladies Book, 1851-1856. Began Les Miserables in 1870, finished by
Victor Hugo. Died 1871. Buried in Westminster Abbey."
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Posted on 10/30/2012 8:41 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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