Sunday, 31 August 2014
Kurdistan
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"Talk latitude, talk longitude/Say something we can comprehend."

Start with Someone told me it's worth a thousand words.

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:49 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
If She Does Say So Herself
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One more example that I just ran across, of the phenomenon that best characterizes this Iron Age -- shameless fantastic self-promotion.  There are so many of these TED-talking glossy  mountebanks, these conference organizers, these nostrum-peddlers, these doing-extremely-well-by-doing-gooders, these secrets-of-the-universe imparters, that it would take a computer, and a late-model one, to keep appalled track.

Bioneers! O Bioneers!

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Melanie Phillips: The Gaza Effect
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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:02 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
"Easy Meat": Multiculturalism, Islam, And Child Sex Slavery
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The full text here.

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Posted on 08/31/2014 3:46 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
The self-loathing of the British Left is now a problem for us all
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I'll start with Sean Thomas writing in the Telegraph and discussing George Orwell, who wrote about the left and Patriotism over 70 years ago. 

It’s often been observed that a certain type of British Lefty hates Britain – and that they reserve particularly hatred for Englishness. Back in 1941 George Orwell made this acute remark:

England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution.

So what’s new? The difference today is that this shame and self-hatred now dominates Left-wing thought, whereas it was once balanced by the decent Left: who were proud to inherit the noble traditions of radical English patriotism.

Evidence for this disease is all around us, but shows up particularly in two red-button issues-of-the-day: the independence referendum, and the appalling revelations from Rotherham.

We don’t need to rehearse the facts. We’ve all read them, and reeled away in horror. The interesting question is how and why would any country allow the racialised gang-rape of its own daughters?

Why? Because too many in that country, especially on the Left, most especially in the Labour Party, despise their own ordinary people: the white working classes.

Take this comment by Jack Straw, Labour MP for Blackburn, and Home Secretary from 1997-2001, when the Rotherham atrocities were beginning. “The English are potentially very aggressive, very violent.” It is almost unimaginable that any senior politician would say this of his own people in America, Russia or France. Yet here it comes straight out of the mouth of a very senior politician indeed – along with many other expressions of Guardianista sneering: at the white working classes with their “chav culture”, “BNP values”, “Gillian Duffy bigotry” and so forth.

What kind of message does Straw’s statement send to everyone else? It says that the English are dislikeable, that they are to be feared, and contained, to be treated with contempt. It says that the ordinary English are a nasty race who need to be diluted by mass immigration; it says, in particular, that poor white English people are especially worthless.

And thus, Rotherham.

Yes, it’s infinitely depressing. But we cannot give in to despair. Instead we could listen again to George Orwell, who once said that, however silly or sentimental, English patriotism is “a comelier thing than the shallow self-righteousness of the left-wing intelligentsia”. Orwell wrote those words seventy years ago. It is time we paid attention, and turned the tide.

Of course George Orwell attracts the contempt of the modern left himself these days. Most recently, Will Self, one of the left's most irritatingly sneery lefties wrote for the BBC today that "George Orwell was a literary mediocrity". In 70 years time George Orwell will still be read and admired. W Self may be a footnote to an essay entitled Orwellian Criticism in the early 21st century. 

Meanwhile disgraced former Rotherham MP Denis Macshane, having nothing left to lose, is singing like a canary.

The Independent on Sunday can reveal that a House of Commons committee is to investigate what Tony Blair's Home Office knew about the Rotherham scandal as far back as 2001 after more evidence emerged about his government's efforts to pacify Muslim communities.

(A) former minister claimed he was threatened with the sack by his then boss, the foreign secretary Jack Straw (him again), for calling on Muslims in the UK to choose between the "British way or the way of the terrorists" after a 24-year-old from South Yorkshire tried to bomb Israelis in a bar in Tel Aviv in 2003. Former Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane said he was forced to agree to a "grovelling climb-down" over his remarks because he was warned it risked upsetting community relations.

In a bizarre twist, it also emerged that Mr MacShane was disciplined for his remarks following protests led by one of the Muslim politicians at the centre of the child-grooming scandal in Rotherham.

Mr MacShane planned to say it was "time for the elected and community leaders of British Muslims to make a choice: the British way, based on political dialogue and non-violent protests, or the way of the terrorists against which the whole democratic world is uniting". However, there was uproar from sections of the Muslim community led by councillor Jahangir Akhtar in Rotherham, who labelled Mr MacShane's comments "absolutely disgraceful".

Last year, Mr Akhtar resigned as deputy leader of the council after The Times reported that he had been involved in a extraordinary "deal" to recover a missing pregnant 14-year-old who had been with a distant relative of his. A subsequent police investigation cleared Mr Akhtar of wrongdoing. Until recently he was Labour's local campaign manager.

In an article for HuffingtonPost.co.uk earlier this month – before the publication of the Jay report – Mr MacShane wrote that his comments on Islamic extremism caused a "great kerfuffle" in the Foreign Office.

"Jack Straw spent an inordinate amount of time cossetting his Muslim constituents in Blackburn. He had brought in an official from the Muslim Council of Britain to advise the FCO on outreach to Islamist outfits like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt," he said. "To attack their values was heresy. I was told I was close to being fired as a minister unless I signed some grovelling climb-down, which, as a coward, I did."

 . . . it is now known that a Home Office researcher was conducting an investigation into trafficking and underage prostitution by mainly Muslim gangs in Rotherham, but it was never published, and the files were seized in 2002 by the Labour-run council when she tried to blow the whistle. The researcher faced intimidation by the police and council officials, the report by Professor Jay revealed last week.

As Macshane admitted to the BBC’s World At One “there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat, if I may put it like that. Perhaps, yes, as a true Guardian reader and liberal Leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.” 

The EDL vigil outside Rotherham Police Station is now preparing for its sixth night. I am told that morale is high and local support continues, in the form last night of a cauldron of hot stew.

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Posted on 08/31/2014 2:07 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Pakistan's Hidden Shame documentary to air on Channel 4 again at 11pm tomorrow night
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From June's press release.

Pakistan is one of the world's most important Muslim nations, a nuclear power, which is allied to the West in the war against terror and a democracy. But Pakistan is also a country in denial, turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of many thousands of poor and vulnerable children.

It's estimated that over 4million children across Pakistan are forced to work from an early age due to poverty, of these up to 1.5 million live on the streets with no home to go to. This film focusses on the north-western city of Peshawar, where it is estimated 9 out of every 10 street children have been sexually abused.

In one survey alone, 95% of truck drivers admitted having sex with boys was their favourite entertainment during rest breaks. 'A woman is a thing you keep at home' says Ejaz, a bus conductor 'you can't take women out because people stare at them - they're useless things; you have to show propriety and chasteness with them. You can take boys around anywhere with you and it isn't a big deal.'

And the trailer

In England they use vulnerable white girls; in Pakistan vulnerable orphan boys. 

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Posted on 08/31/2014 1:48 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Holland: Six children taken into care over parents' jihad plans:
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From Dutch News

Officials have cancelled the passports of two couples from Huizen in Noord-Holland and taken their children into care because of fears they were planning to head to Syria, officials said on Saturday. There are strong indications the two couples, aged 30 and 31, and 32 and 34, were planning to travel to the Middle East to join the IS militia, the public prosecution department told a news conference. Both the couples’ homes were searched and in one ‘things’ were found which pointed to a speedy departure, the public prosecution department said. 

One couple had an eight month old girl, the other five boys up to to nine years in age. The children have been taken ‘to a place of safety’ but have not been kept together, the Telegraaf reported. The children were all born in the Netherlands and have Dutch nationality. Their passports have also been cancelled.  The four adults have been taken into custody and a criminal investigation is under way. 

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Posted on 08/31/2014 1:46 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
In Nice, Who Could Have Vandalised The Memorial To The Great War's Dead?
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Who?

 

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Posted on 08/31/2014 12:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
A Musical Interlude: Strange Things Happening Every Day (Sister Rosetta Tharpe)
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Listen here.

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Posted on 08/31/2014 12:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Arab War Crimes Must be Punished
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An astonishing exposition of the horrors of Arab behavior was issued on August 13, 2014 and published on August 27, by a most unlikely source -- a committee established by the UN Human Rights Council.

The committee, headed by the Brazilian diplomat Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, was set up on August 22, 2011 to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic. In its devastating report the committee portrays in detail the monstrous behavior of all the Arab parties fighting in the conflict in Syria, now a conflict involving countless actors and frontlines.

The different parties have engaged in violence, with extremism fuelling the conflict’s heightened brutality. The fighting has engulfed civilian areas with the result that any possibility of a normal life has been destroyed. The impact has been particularly grave for women and children whose basic rights are infringed by the conduct of the parties. Human rights and international humanitarian law have been flouted. Clashes and deliberate actions have caused civilian deaths. The livelihoods of entire communities have been jeopardized.

What is appalling about the war in Syria is the inhumane conduct of the warring parties. The forces perpetrate massacres, conduct widespread attacks on civilians, systematically committing murder, torture, rape, sexual violence, hostage taking, and enforced disappearance amounting to crimes against humanity. The gross violations of human rights include not only these war crimes but also using children in hostilities and targeting civilians.

The conflict in Gaza has revealed the war crimes committed by Hamas in using civilians -- and especially children -- as human shields to prevent Israeli retaliation, and using public places, schools, mosques, hospitals from which to launch rockets and missiles. The revelations about show that this inhumane behavior is present in Syria. The warring parties have disregarded the special protection accorded to hospitals and medical and humanitarian personnel. They have engaged in indiscriminate and disproportionate air bombing and shelling that has led to mass civilian casualties. Terror has been spread by car bombings in civilian areas. The Assad regime used poison gas.

In view of the attention now given by the mass media to ISIS or ISIL, it is not surprising to learn of the torture, murder, and forcible displacement of people committed by the terrorist group, the self-styled Islamic State.

ISIS has been responsible for a great deal of this inhumane behavior by committing executions, amputations of hands, lashings of civilians in public squares, and prohibitions. Those arrested have no access to lawyers and have none of the rights of due process. The Islamic state forbids smoking, card or domino playing, alcohol, and almost all music shops. Men have been lashed for trading during hours of prayer. They have also been flogged for accompanying in public an “improperly dressed” female relative. Women are forced to cover the face with veils.

ISIS executions in public spaces are a common spectacle on Fridays. Most of the executions are by beheading. Residents, including children, are encouraged, even forced to attend. Bodies are placed on public display, sometimes on crucifixes, for up to three days, serving as a warning to residents.

The conflict in Gaza has been the subject of reports by more than 1500 journalists, and the photos of casualties have been displayed on a worldwide basis. The “international community” similarly has been concerned with and usually critical of the activities of Israel. Both the media and political leaders have been reluctant to focus in any real way on the Syrian horrors. The UN report on the behavior of the Syrian warring groups makes it essential that they do so.

It is also time that the states who still deliver shipments of arms, artillery, and aircraft, or contribute logistical and strategic assistance to the Assad regime, or those who support armed groups with weapons and funding, reconsider their actions. If not, they also can be held responsible for abetting the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of human rights.

The UN report deals with the crimes committed in a number of different ways. Considerable attention is given to the widespread attacks against the civilian population, against localities and persons. People are murdered, tortured, held in detention centers, and deprived of food and medical care. Government forces have systematically targeted the civilian infrastructure, markets, shops, hospitals, schools, places of worship, and public places. Chemical agents, especially chlorine gas, were used in various areas, including Kafr Zeita, Al-Tamana’a, and Tal Minnis.

In general, Syrians have been denied economic, social, cultural rights, and basic freedoms. They have limited access to food water, shelter, education, and health care. Humanitarian assistance has been delayed.

It is distressing to read of the treatment of children and women. Children have been killed, injured, and maimed. They have been used by the Assad regime as messengers, spies, and guards. Children between 6 and 13 have been forced into military operations. Schools have been turned into shelters. Even worse, ISIS has set up training camps to recruit children for armed roles, to give them weapons training, and to deploy them in active combat, including suicide missions.

Special violence, rape, and assaults of women are common, particularly in detention centers. By this behavior the Syrians have committed both war crimes and crimes against humanity. Moreover, women have been arrested and detained to force them to surrender male relatives.

The world has become aware of the hostage taking of American journalists. It is now clear that both the Assad regime and the anti-government forces have engaged in hundreds of such violations of international humanitarian and criminal law. It is even more horrifying that the majority of victims are women and children.

The “international community” has failed to protect the Syrian population and has done little to prevent an alarming number of atrocities committed by these Arab parties. The world must act to counter this inhumane behavior and see that the Arab parties, the Assad regime and the anti-government forces, especially ISIS, comply with human rights and international humanitarian law.

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Posted on 08/31/2014 10:58 AM by Michael Curtis
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Why Is An Attack On Galloway A "Religiously-Motivated Assault"?
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The man who belted Galloway --the result giving many a feeling of deep satisfaction-- has been charged with "religiousy-motivated assault"? But why? It was outrage, and then rage, that he felt at the Nazi-like comments of Galloway, comments that have gone on, in all their hysteria and hate,  unpunished by the state, for many years. Why is that "religiously-motivated"? Or does the government wish to impose a more severe penalty in this case than it might otherwise be able to do?

Surely many will regard Mr. Masterson, in a more subdued key, for his act against a vicious antisemite and a wartime traitor (the war being that of self-defense, against the internal Jihad, conducted so far largely through demographic conquest and incessant pressures on the laws and customs of Great Britain) as they would, if they thought about it, the two members of the Czech resistance who killed Reinhard Heydrich in Prague during the war, or the man who killed the pogromshchik Petlioura in Paris (fatidically, on the rue de Palestine) in 1926.

These may sound, to some, outlandish analogies. They will discover they are not.

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Posted on 08/31/2014 9:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Memory
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by Bibhu Padhi (September 2014)


1.

 

Each time it is awakened,

I move within myself

to find if it is there too.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:41 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Summer Love
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by Dilip Mohapatra (September 2014)

 

Short somnolent night

hangs precariously by a fragile thread

that may snap any time  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:36 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
The Wound of Manhattan: A Holocaust Poem for 9/11 by András Mezei
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Translated from the Hungarian & edited by Thomas Ország-Land (September 2014)

 

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The Horror

 

Oh – the ashes! Dissolved in the dust of the ruins

of our Twin Towers of Babel, merge forever 

the sacred remains of the slain... as well as their slayers.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:24 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Garbage Bags
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by Hannah Messinger (September 2014)


There had been far too many days when the tarnished look of cable knit sweaters and coffee cup stains sickened me, almost to the point of throwing everything away. Sure, it’d be reckless, ridiculous, insane maybe - but the thing that kept me going was the maybe not.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:20 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Crazy Crapitalism
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by Richard Kostelanetz (September 2014)


Some credit card outfits are sleazier than others. I’ve had American Express’s for decades without any serious problems; but since some lesser merchants don’t accept its plastic, no doubt for some good reason unfamiliar to me, I’ve had to get a second credit card. When Amazon.com offered me one, especially with a credit on a current order, I agreed to accept its Master Card. That was a mistake.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:16 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
On The Death of Robin Williams (1951-2014)
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by Sam Bluefarb (September 2014)


[A]ny man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind...
John Donne, from the Meditation XVII, (1623)

When the death of Robin Williams was announced last month, it came not just as a shock—which it certainly was—but something that had the force of a blow. Not only was the suddenness of it all so devastating, but the manner, a suicide by hanging, was almost impossible to accept.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:10 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
The Florida Panhandle, John Gorrie and Air-conditioning
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by Norman Berdichevsky (September 2014)


Why travel to one of the hottest regions of one of the hottest states in early August? That’s what my wife and I recently did in spite of awareness that the likelihood of cooler temperatures in the Florida Panhandle compared to where we live in Orlando in Central Florida was no better than even.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 8:04 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Oka! - The Greatest Musical Act of the Last 50,000 Years
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An Essay on a film by Lavinia Currier
by Geoffrey Clarfield
(September 2014)


Part One - The Jungle Comes to My Living Room

It is an unusual gift to have discovered a film about a marvelously remote place and its indigenous people that you have visited, and then come home and watch a drama that was filmed there on location, utilizing so many of the local people that you met on your journey, in color, on your living room screen.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 7:58 AM by NER
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Sunday, 31 August 2014
Survivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust
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a review by Zsuzsanna Ozsvath (September 2014)


Survivors: Hungarian Jewish Poets of the Holocaust, edited and translated by Thomas Ország-Land
Smokestack Books, Middlesbrough, TS5 6WA, UK. 

 

This collection of Hungarian Holocaust poems not only testifies to the suffering of the Jewish people during the Shoah, but also reminds us of the irrational compulsion of Western culture to condemn the Jews for every conceivable wicked act in the world.  more>>>

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Posted on 08/31/2014 7:48 AM by NER
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