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Recent Publications from New English Review Press
Unreading Shakespeare
by David P. Gontar
Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3
edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum




















Saturday, 28 February 2015
"Frustrated" In His Attempts To Visit Libya, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau Had To Kill Nathan Cirillo
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The story of his burial in Libya, and the grotesque defense of his murder -- blaming Canadian authorities, just the way members of CAGE are now blaming the British security services for the murderous behavior of "Jihadi John," here.

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Posted on 02/28/2015 9:30 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
A Musical Interlude: You're Such A Comfort To Me (Carroll Gibbons & The Savoy Orpheans Orch., voc. Harry Bentley
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Listen here.

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Posted on 02/28/2015 9:18 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Before Bernard-Henri Levy Saves The World Again
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From the Archives at NER, 1 September 2011, here.

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Posted on 02/28/2015 9:09 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Anger as terrorism suspect linked to Jihadi John used Human Rights Act to stay in the UK
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This is the Sunday Telegraph, and it continues the information in the Guardian report earlier this evening.

An Al-Qaeda terrorism suspect closely connected to “Jihadi John” is living in London, having used the Human Rights Act to prevent the Government from deporting him. Court papers obtained by The Sunday Telegraph disclose that the man is at the centre of a terror network that included his friend and associate Mohammed Emwazi, who last week was unmasked as “Jihadi John”.

The legal documents show how the suspect, originally from Ethiopia, has resisted deportation despite being a leading member of al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate based in Somalia and responsible for a series of terrorist atrocities.

In a series of further developments following the disclosure of Jihadi John’s identity, it can also be revealed that:

• A second boy from Quintin Kynaston academy, the northwest London school that Emwazi attended, died fighting with terrorists abroad. Choukri Ellekhlifi was killed fighting for an al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group in Syria in 2013

• The academy was last night facing a government inquiry

• Emwazi was recruited by two of the world’s most notorious terrorists while on a holiday in Kuwait when he was just 19.

The Government’s inability to deport J1, who was born in Ethiopia, will bolster demands for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped.

The Government’s case against him finally collapsed in the summer after a five-year legal battle when the senior diplomat in charge of trying to deport terrorists conceded that the system was not working.

The court documents involving J1 and another terror suspect, known as CE, a father of two who was born in Iran, detail a large network of jihadists operating in west London in 2011. CE cannot be deported either, having been given British citizenship in 2004.

Emwazi, 26, who would go on to become the world’s most wanted man after the execution of Western hostages in Syria, was four years ago a member of a cell that, according to the authorities, comprised at least 10 other jihadists that security services were keeping under surveillance.

J1 is accused by the Government of being a senior organiser for al-Shabaab. Court papers disclose that “on the morning of the failed London bombings of 21 July 2005, a mobile telephone which the appellant [J1] now accepts was used by him, was in contact with a telephone used by one of the bombers, Hussein Osman”. 

The man, who can, for legal reasons, be identified only as J1, has close links not only to Emwazi but also to a number of other jihadists, including one of the July 21 plotters, who tried to blow up the London Underground in 2005, and two al-Qaeda terrorists subsequently killed in US drone attacks in Somalia. 

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Posted on 02/28/2015 4:53 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Cage: the extremists peddling lies to British Muslims to turn them into supporters of terror
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Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph

As Asim Qureshi, of the campaign group Cage, took to the airwaves to explain how Mohammed Emwazi, “Jihadi John”, was the real victim of recent events in Syria, you could almost hear the nation’s collective intake of breath.

Being turned back on his travels and questioned by the security services had, it seemed, left Emwazi with no alternative but to join Islamic State and behead seven innocent people. Further oppression by the UK’s apparatus of government terror included giving him a university education, his family a council flat and not actually arresting or detaining him for anything.

In most of Britain, these messages from Cage’s parallel universe were received with shock and contempt. But the unfortunate truth is that they have significant traction with parts of its target audience.

For Cage is no collection of isolated loonies. As The Telegraph will describe here, it is part of a closely connected network of extremists relentlessly — and successfully — lying to young British Muslims that they are hated and persecuted by their fellow citizens in order to make them into supporters of terror. Cage has an active outreach programme in mosques, universities and community groups. Even more disturbingly, it continues to be treated as a credible partner by respected and respectable organisations, including Liberty and Amnesty International. 

But long before its whitewashing of Jihadi John, Cage was also, quite clearly, a terrorism advocacy group. It campaigns for actual terrorists convicted not by kangaroo courts but by juries, on strong evidence, in properly conducted trials. It even campaigns for some terrorists who actually pleaded guilty — such as Mohammed Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar, two friends from Birmingham sentenced to more than 12 years each last December after travelling to Syria. 

On Sept 25 ... Cage issued a press release attacking that day’s “cynically timed police raids” against “a group that is well known for its outspoken views on UK foreign policy”. It said the raids were part of a “coordinated campaign orchestrated by the government” to promote its “hawkish stance” on Syria. It unfortunately forgot to mention the name of the “outspoken” group which had been raided. It was al-Muhajiroun — a banned organisation formerly headed in the UK by Anjem Choudary and now linked to about a fifth of all terrorism convictions in Britain, including the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby.

Other Cage favourites include Abu Qatada, the al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — linked to at least a dozen terrorist attacks — and Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist group which abducted 275 schoolgirls (the Bring Back Our Girls campaign is a “colonial trope” and criticism of Boko Haram is about “demonising Islam”, according to the Cage website.) 

Emwazi was a student at the University of Westminster – and it is there that he may have been radicalised. The university, a hotbed of Islamist extremism in the past, has hosted at least 50 radical speakers in the past eight years, including Awlaki and Begg.

Only last week, it was due to receive Haitham al-Haddad, one of the country’s most notorious non-violent extremists, with whom Cage also has links.

Haddad, who has called Jews the “brethren of swine and pigs”, runs the Muslim Research and Development Foundation, based in the same East London street as Cage. The two organisations recently ran a joint campaign against the new Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, now passed into law.

Other partners in the campaign are the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which believes that voting is forbidden, and the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), which has links to some Syrian jihadis and sends extremist speakers around the country. Two weeks ago, IERA and Cage held a joint event on “the limits of free speech” at which large sections of the audience applauded a call for apostates to be executed, according to Dan Hodges, one of the participants.

Non-student young people are targeted, too. Cage’s managing director, Muhammad Rabbani, is a former senior activist in the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), based at the East London Mosque. Cage has held events at the mosque. Mr Rabbani was also the gang outreach co-ordinator at the Osmani Trust, another IFE front which is accused of recruiting gang members to the IFE. Cage is based in the same building as Claystone, a new Islamist group closely linked to Haddad which pushes the same themes as Cage 

But perhaps its most interesting links are with the mainstream liberal-left. Amnesty International, the human rights group, claims it has stopped working with Mr Begg after one of its key activists resigned in 2010 in protest at its links with Cage. But it is still working with Cage.

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Posted on 02/28/2015 4:30 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Isis killer Mohammed Emwazi had link to 2005 London bomb plot
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Mohammed Emwazi, the Islamic State extremist known as “Jihadi John”, was able to flee Britain and the scrutiny of the security services, despite being a member of a terror cell that was known to have links to the failed 21/7 attacks on London in 2005, the Observer can reveal.

One leading member of Emwazi’s network had a telephone conversation on the day of the attacks with Hussein Osman, who was later jailed for life for placing an explosive at Shepherd’s Bush tube station.

The security services were also aware that associates of the 12-strong west London terror group had joined the four 21/7 bombers at a training camp in Cumbria a year before the attempt to bring carnage to London’s streets.

The revelations, contained in court documents seen by this newspaper, raise urgent questions over how Emwazi was able to evade surveillance, slip out of the country in 2013 using false papers and re-emerge in Syria a year later to become the world’s most wanted terrorist.

Not only was Emwazi a “person of interest” for MI5 as a member of a London jihadi cell set up in 2007 to recruit for al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate, but at least one member of his network had a connection with one of the most infamous crimes in British history.

The failed 21/7 attacks came a fortnight after four men blew themselves up on tubes and a bus, killing 52 people and injuring more than 700, the worst terrorist atrocity committed on British soil.

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Posted on 02/28/2015 4:13 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Starovoitova, Litvinenko, Shchekochikhin, Politkovskya....Nemtsov
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Here.

I remember listening to stately, plump, driven Galina Starovoitova, the parliamentarian who investigated corruption in Russia. She gave a talk at the Russian Research Center at Harvard a year or two before she was murdered. I remember being introduced, many years ago, to Yuri Shchekochikhin, a journalist for the New Gazette, another fearless investigator of corruption in Russia,, at a party at an apartment in Massachusetts, also poisoned. I remember the Russian-American Khlebnikov, who had been an investor in Russia, and ran afoul of the biggest crooks. He had gone to Exeter and Princeton, he had powerful American connctions, nothing protected him. He was shot to death. I remember Litvinenko, as so many do, because of the circumstances of his poisoning - at a Japanese restaurant, and the photographs of his drawn-out last days, in a hospital bed. I remember the lawyer Magnitsky, and -- vaguely -- the other names on the list -- and Nemtsov. At the Russian Cemetery of the Just, the plots thicken.

 

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Posted on 02/28/2015 4:00 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Destruction of Antiquities by ISIS Militants Is Denounced
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From the New York Times:

The limestone sculptures, statues and reliefs smashed by militants in northern Iraq provided valuable historical insights into kingdoms that flourished thousands of years ago and were crucial in the formation of early Arab identity, experts say. The destruction took place in Mosul, in one of the most important museums in the Middle East.

On Friday, archaeologists and historians in Iraq and around the world studied a video posted by the Islamic State showing millenniums-old artifacts being smashed by sledgehammers, seeking to come to terms with what artistic and historical riches had been lost in an exercise clearly meant to promote the militants’ extreme beliefs and project their power.

Paul Collins, curator of the Ancient Near East at the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford, said Mosul’s treasures were mainly from two eras, the Assyrian Empire and the kingdom of Hatra, a trading city from the first and second century A.D., whose ruins are in the desert about 60 miles southwest of Mosul. “You are seeing two very significant moments in Iraqi and Middle Eastern history — from the seventh century B.C. and the second century A.D. — being destroyed at the same time,” he said.

Thomas P. Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, called it an “act of catastrophic destruction.”

In Paris, the head of Unesco, Irina Bokova, asked for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on how to protect Iraq’s cultural heritage. “This attack is far more than a cultural tragedy — this is also a security issue as it fuels sectarianism, violent extremism and conflict in Iraq,” Ms. Bokova said on Thursday.

The smashing of the antiquities — described as “idols” by an Islamic State spokesman in the video report titled “The Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice #1 — Nineveh Province” — seemed to echo the destruction of the Great Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Afghan Taliban in 2001.

The video showed destruction at two sites: inside the Mosul Museum — which was established in 1952, and looted in 2003, after the American-led invasion of Iraq — and outside, at the Nergal Gate, an entryway to Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire, which was guarded by colossal human-headed, winged bulls.

In advance of the United States-led invasion, many of the most important statuary and works from Nineveh and Hatra were moved from the museum in Mosul to the Baghdad museum, meaning important works were safe from the militants’ latest bout of destruction. But important larger objects that could not be moved were left behind, making their destruction now even more poignant.

“These artifacts are as good as those in other global museums,” said Ali al-Nashmi, an Iraqi historian. With three halls and several storage rooms, the museum contained some of the finest relics from Hatra.

According to Mr. Collins, Hatra was explored and recorded after the major European expeditions to the region — in which so many artifacts were taken back to Western museums — so the majority of its wealth of treasures remained in Hatra or in the museum in Mosul. “If you really want to understand this extraordinary period, then this collection is absolutely crucial,” he said.

The militants appeared to systematically topple and destroy many of the sculptures — Unesco estimated 173 objects were contained in the museum, not all from Hatra — defacing works of art made by unknown artisans nearly 2,000 years ago.

“They represent some of the deities and actual kings and leaders” of Hatra, said Augusta McMahon, an archaeologist at Cambridge University. “Each one represents an individual. It makes them unique and irreplaceable.”

Abdulamir al-Hamdani, an Iraqi archaeologist and a visiting researcher at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, said some of the important Hatra sculptures that had been destroyed included a statue of Sanatruq, a king of Hatra; a statue of a priest of Hatra; and an important mask from Hatra.

He said a stone winged lion excavated from Nimrud dating to the ninth century B.C. had also been in the museum. It was not shown in the video, but he worried for its safety.

Some Assyrian reliefs inside the museum and shown on the video appeared to be replicas, experts said. And several experts wondered whether some of the Hatra sculptures, too, were replicas because they appeared to shatter easily under the militants’ hammers.

But Ms. McMahon said they were made from soft limestone, which breaks easily. The sight of a metal reinforcement bar in one may be evidence of how the ancient artifact was attached to its plinth in more modern times, or how an ancient broken object had been reconstituted, she said. “I would say probably 90 percent of these are originals,” she said.

Outside the museum, the militants’ video lingered on a description of the gate at Nineveh, which explained that the entrance was dedicated to Nergal, the Sumerian god of plague and the underworld in ancient Mesopotamia. The association of the winged bulls — they have a body of a bull, wings of an eagle and a human face — with this pre-Islamic god was offered by the spokesman for the militants as a justification for their destruction. Men used drills and sledgehammers to deface and pulverize three winged bulls on the site.

There are other similar ancient winged bulls in museums in the West. But they are from different periods, and other locations, experts said. And importantly, none of those now in the safety of museums are still in places where their original creators had built them.

“They have torn Iraq’s history,” said Dr. al-Nashmi, the Iraqi historian.

Adel Fahad al-Shirshab, Iraq’s minister of tourism and artifacts, called on the international community to stop the destruction by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

“This cultural genocide against Iraqi humanity has to be stopped immediately before ISIS wipes out what is left,” he said.

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Posted on 02/28/2015 3:39 PM by Geoffrey Clarfield
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Shahid King Borsen, Crazed Convert To Islam, Has Found His Reason For Being
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Urging Egyptians to undermine the enlightened despotism of Al-Sisi by attacks on foreign economic targets.

Here.

Does Egypt have agents in Istanbul? It should.

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Posted on 02/28/2015 2:32 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
The Savage And The Record Of His Rightly-Guided Savagery
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Ahmedy Coulibaly proudly recorded himself at the scene -- the kosher market -- of his crime.

Here.
 

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Posted on 02/28/2015 10:20 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Honor Thy Father
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An Essay on the Film, “Footnote” by Israeli filmmaker, Joseph Cedar

by Geoffrey Clarfield (March 2015)


“Footnote,” by film director Joseph Cedar is an Israeli film released in 2011. It is customary to write reviews of a film shortly thereafter and so I apologize to readers for this late review. However, recognizing that the Internet knows no time (as Freud once said about the unconscious) I feel compelled to write about the film once again, in the hope that those who watch Israeli films may better understand it.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 8:58 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Paper Boats
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by Dilip Mohapatra (March 2015)


Monsoon descends

and the clouds split open

the gutters running parallel

on both sides of

the narrow village gully  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 6:19 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Love Down the Millennia: Three Poems by Heinrich Heine
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Translated from the German and edited by Thomas Ország-Land (March 2015)


 

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MY BROTHER THE DREAMER

 

Trundling across this withering landscape,

I see from my stagecoach a roadside cross

and, attached to it, a fading figure.

My saviour brother, they got your number.  more>>>

 

 

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Posted on 02/28/2015 6:16 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
The Water Wheel of Love
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by Gopikrishnan Kottoor (March 2015)


I want to load my boat/ with those waiting, thirsty ones/Who are left behind:
And carry them by the opal pool/ of iridescent joy--

Whispers from Eternity
Paramahansa Yogananda

As the old song goes, people are the same wherever you go. In America, in Mexico, in Paris, or inside The Louvre, wherever, I have always carried with me a fascination with trying to understand the attitudes and behaviors of people I have come across. One thing is certain. People everywhere in this world are looking all around for happiness. But, are they looking in the right direction? Towards love, that comes from within?  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 6:13 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
"We’ll Always Have Paris,” Or, Thanks Is Not Enough
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by Sam Bluefarb (March 2015)


“Paris is forever…” –Ernest Hemingway

In this late fall of my life, Juanita and I--she, some twenty-plus years younger than me--flew to Paris. What were the odds of an octogenarian—even a young octogenarian--surviving a one-way, much less a round-trip? Or would I re-enact the fate of that nameless character in Ivan Bunin's story "The Gentleman from San Francisco"? In the full flush of health, on a tour of romantic Capri, he drops dead.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 6:10 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
The First Orthodontist of Secunderabad
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by David P. Gontar (March 2015)


I was straining at the oars of a wayward dinghy on Gandipet Lake. Meena, the exquisite queen of teens, was primping at the prow, delicately applying pink rouge as she gazed at her reflection in her ever-present compact mirror. Loftily from time to time she turned to confirm the performance of my unworthy labors. The late afternoon sun had emerged from cloudy confinement, and was beating down, showing me no mercy. Sweat rolled from my brow like the simmering waters of the River Musi. The luxurious chocolates I had presented her on bended knee had shriveled to a pool of dubious goo in the bilge.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 6:06 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Conclusions: Kosti’s Menck & Nat (Part II)
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by Richard Kostelanetz (March 2015)


In memory of the great American writer Benjamin de Casseres (1873-1945), who authored Mencken and Shaw (1930)

Long interested in rewriting classic American literary works, beginning with Herman Melville’s “Bartleby” and continuing with Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” (both of mine published by Bartleby & Co. in Brussels), I discovered a fugative text produced before 1920 by my critical hero H. L. Mencken in collaboration with his sometime co-conspirator (and co-editor) George Jean Nathan. Published as The American Credo (1920), it has two parts. The first, curiously mistitled “Preface,” is longer than the second part. If the former offers a critique of American society, the latter is meant to represent Americans’ ideas. The few critics thoughtfully commenting on this book judge its first part as superior to its second. Even so, the second was more inspiring to me.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 6:02 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Crisis and Creativity in Jewish History
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by Moshe Dann (March 2015)


As much as the Jewish people have been defined by faith, they have been shaped by their response to tragedies. No other group of people has been subjected to such continuous and prolonged persecution and, simultaneously, has contributed so much to civilization. The dynamic of Jewish history is unique, not only because the Jewish people have experienced periodic destruction, but because they survived and prevailed against overwhelming odds.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:59 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Skepticism Checks Its Coat at the Door of Science
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How the new secularists and skeptics do Monsanto's dirty work 

by Lorna Salzman (March 2015)


Skepticism is in short supply these days even, paradoxically, as paranoia and conspiracy theories spread. The eclipse of the trust in science and modern medicine is in full swing. Irrationality, paranormal beliefs and the ingestion of unproven folk medicine have found audiences and consumers around the world, as have all manner of spiritual and quasi-religious movements.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:54 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
The Wind and the Lion – Hollywood’s Defense of Radical Islam in the Shadow of Vietnam
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by Norman Berdichevsky (March 2015)


Anyone viewing The Wind and the Lion on Netflix might think that it was produced today by Hamas, Hizbollah, or CAIR – the Council of American Islamic Relations, so effusive is its romantic glorification of violent Islam complete with beheadings of helpless captives (other Muslims who have not sufficiently demonstrated their loyalty) whose main character, a Morrocan brigand and tribal leader, portrayed by actor Sean Connery exclaims…..”I am Mulay Ahmed Muhamed Raisuli the Magnificent, sherif of the Riffian Berbers. I am the true defender of the faithful and the blood of the prophet runs in me and I am but a servant of his will.”  The film was made in 1975 simultaneously with the fall of Saigon and the end of the hated Vietnam war which set the scene for the subsequent four decades of American mea culpas, pitiless self-flagellation and the current rush to accept American guilt for Islamophobia.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:49 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Relativism and Truth
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by Stanislav Solomovich (March 2015)


The idea that truth is a relative concept, that what is true for one person at one time in one place may not necessarily be true for another person living in completely different circumstances, is often met with bewilderment and hostility. As a student of the philosophy of William James, whose theory of truth endows the concept with a certain element of relativism, I'd like to make the case that truth is, after all, not always the same for everyone.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:46 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
I Cry for You Argentina!
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by Anónimo Argentino (March 2015)


The recent shocking revelation that the late chief Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman, investigating the terrorist bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center in July 1994 (85 killed) was found dead just days before he was slated to make accusations against the President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as responsible for a cover-up of the culprits - Iranian agents. What this did in effect was to send a message as terrible and depressing as that which emanated from the Jihadists in Paris against a free press and Jewish hostages. It put a seal of approval of the regime that Jews, no matter how fervent their patriotism and undeniable their contributions to the national culture, are EXPENDABLE!  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:41 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Virtual Hot Pots and Brain Rot
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by G. Murphy Donovan (March 2015)


“Science is becoming more pervasive and invasive” – Susan Greenfield

Who says that peers of the realm are anachronistic? Who claims that the House of Lords is a vestige of privilege and indolence? The Baroness of Ot Moor has written a book, a practical tome too, indeed a rare vessel of common sense. Susan Greenfield’s Mind Change is a courageous broadside at cyber culture, a dose of reality therapy for the Internet, social networks, video gaming, cyber gadgets, and the damage they might do to malleable, developing minds.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:38 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
Did President Obama’s Violent Extremism Conference Fail?
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by Jerry Gordon (March 2015)

 

Prelude to a Conference

A three-day Conference “Countering Violent Extremism” was held from February 17 to 19, 2015 sponsored by the Administration with venues at both the White House and State Department. The genesis for the Conference was a White House Report issued December 1, 2011, Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism  in the United States. That report was developed in the wake of the May 2, 2011 assassination by the US Navy Seal Team Six of Al Qaeda mastermind, Osama Bin Laden. The Administration’s contention was that “core Al Qaeda” had been decimated and was “on the run.” That became a 2012 Presidential re-election campaign theme. The theme of the Conference came from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisory panel reports on homegrown violent extremism. It identified possible forms of domestic “violent extremism” including right wing extremists, KKK, Aryan nation members and even returning veterans.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:32 AM by NER
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Saturday, 28 February 2015
But Wh...Wh..What about....!?: Islam and Finding Something Else to Worry About
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by Thomas Samm (March 2015)


Whataboutery is a slim quiver in the bows of adolescent debaters. High on the rush of self-importance granted by the lectern, they revert to the lexicon of debate itself in order to accuse and discredit their opponent. The young discover meta as an enthralling meter in which to argue matter. Tu quoque, ad hominen, and ad verecundiam are other supposedly fallacious objections they raise to argument, and they are preferred; the arrows of criticism threaten a deeper incision when riding on the pseudo-linguistic winds of Latinate terminology. Whataboutery, however, is their most utilized allegation. And they are often right. It doesn't require a modern day Cicero, after all, to retort "conditions in Gaza" to "rocket attacks in southern Israel"; or vice versa. As a debating tactic, whataboutery takes you into a cul-de-sac of accusation and counter-accusation so single dimensional, that, perforce, discussion dissolves into yelling, or ends only when either debater has run out of historical exempla to launch at their opponent.  more>>>

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Posted on 02/28/2015 5:27 AM by NER
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