Marlowe's Shade

Friday, December 31, 2004

PA TV: Killing of Jews is Mandatory

From Arutz Sheva

Contrary to the anticipated decrease in the PA’s hate broadcasts since the demise of Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Media Watch has issued a report claiming the PA media message has not changed.

PA religious leaders have long advocated the killing of Jews as a religious necessity. Monday, PA TV broadcast the same call, advocating genocide as a historical necessity – this time from a senior PA academic rather than from a religious leader.

Dr. Hassan Khater, founder of the Al Quds Encyclopedia and a PA TV lecturer, recently appeared on PA TV, citing the Islamic tradition (Hadith) demanding genocide in the name of Islam’s founder Mohammed. Khater quoted the same verse used repeatedly in sermons by terror-supporting religious leaders in the PA. He did so as part of a lecture focusing on what he described as the war of the Jews against Arabs’ trees

About a third of the Palestinian Authority's funding comes from the US
papijoe 2:46 PM |

Thursday, December 30, 2004

WWII Pope Told Churches Not to Return Holocaust War Babies

From Ha'aretz

The Vatican instructed the Catholic church in France not to return Jewish children to their families after the Holocaust, according to a letter dated November 20, 1946, that was published Tuesday in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

The children had been placed in the church's care to save them from Nazi murder, but after the war the church was instructed to return them to surviving parents only if they had not been baptized.

The letter containing these instructions was sent by the Holy Office to Angelo Roncalli - later Pope John XXIII - who was then the papal representative in Paris.

"Please note that this decision has been approved by the Holy Father," the letter emphasizes, referring to Pope Pius XII.

The letter reveals how the controversial wartime pope sought to restrict the number of children the church returned to their families by, among other things, instructing that baptized children "may not be entrusted to institutions that are not in a position to guarantee them a Christian upbringing."

As for orphans who had not been baptized, the church must not hand them over to any "persons who have no rights over them".

The article goes on to put this in some context:

The publication of the letter to Roncalli will only add to the controversy surrounding Pope Pius XII, making it difficult for the Vatican to ignore accusations that the Vatican under his tenure did not do enough to combat Nazi persecution of Jews, and even helped Nazi war criminals to evade justice.

The latest revelations are also likely to hamper efforts by Pope John Paul II to lay the groundwork for beatifying Pius XII.

I don't recall anything that in my opinion would make Pius XII "blessed", but this revelation is sickening.

Pope John XXIII seems to be the real hero of the story.

Roncalli had a reputation when previously serving as the Holy See's envoy to Istanbul for favoring Jews.

In Paris he helped many Jews escape to Israel, and disobeyed the Vatican instructions by helping to return Jewish minors to their families.

On July 19, 1946, he sent a letter to the chief rabbi in Israel, Isaac Herzog (father of Israeli president Haim Herzog), in which he gives him permission "to use his [Roncalli's] authority so these children can return to their original environment."

John XXIII, again in my opinion, was a more "spirtit filled" pastor of the Church and he believed that only "the wind of the Holy Spirit" would bring revival to the Catholic Church. I think his position in regard to the Jews is evidence of true "blessedness".
papijoe 7:29 AM |

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

CIA Muezzin School

I won't link to them, but I have to admit I find jihadi moonbat sight to be good source of how the jihadi-on-the-street responds to the mainstream media.

Today's propaganda offering has a story about how the CIA was training agents to be muezzin, ie the mosque official who gives the traditional Muslim call to prayer.

The CIA is training its agents in the ancient art of calling Muslims to prayer in a bid to infiltrate Muslim groups both in the US and abroad, we have learned.

The man who cries out five times a day from a mosque's tower and tells Muslims when to pray, called a muezzin, holds a unique position in Muslim culture, a senior intelligence officer explained. "He is a highly respected member of Islamic society and as such almost beyond suspicion. Not only that but the towers provide a perfect vantage point for our agents to see what is going on at ground level."

It is understood that the CIA already has 10 of its agents acting as muezzins within the United States, with a further six or more working in the Middle East. The organisation refused to comment on whether any of them were currently in Afghanistan.

The CIA has run a muezzin school since 1989 – the year it first became concerned over anti-American feeling in the Middle East. That school, reportedly based on a deserted army airstrip in Virginia and equipped with six towers, or minarets, from which its agents can practice, has produced over 50 muezzins, many of who has used their skills in intelligence gathering for the agency.

I admit that I skimmed the article. But even I got suspicious when I read this:

And what about the difference in his skin colour? "Oh, that was fine, they taught us at the school how to cover our faces in boot polish so we looked darker than we really were. Then it was just a case of wrapping up real warm so nobody could see any other part of you."

It turns out that the source was a UK site that is a kind of second rate The Onion. I'll post the link for reference, but be advised that there is some content that is not safe for work.

It is amusing that the jihadi press doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between political parody and some of their other news sources like Reuters, The Guardian and AFP.
papijoe 10:58 AM |

Europe Wants to Start Arming China Again

From an article yesterday by Frank J Gaffney in the Washington Times.

France and the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, are pushing hard for lifting an embargo on arms sales to Communist China imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre. All other things being equal, the French and Germans expect, with help from a double-dealing British government, to dispense by next spring with opposition to such a step from the Netherlands, New European states like Lithuania and the European Parliament.

Gaffney cites Mark Helprin's WSJ piece posted a few weeks ago.

The implications of European weapons manufacturers joining Russia in arming China to the teeth are quite worrisome. Thoughtful observers, like acclaimed author Mark Helprin, warn of China's rising application of its immense accumulated wealth to strategic advantage. The latter include: neutralizing U.S. dominance in space and information technology (Chinese acquisition of IBM's personal computer division is not an accident); moving aggressively to dominate the world's critical minerals and other resources (especially those relevant to its burgeoning energy needs); establishing forward operations in choke-points and other sensitive areas around the globe (including, in our own hemisphere, in Cuba, the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, Brazil and Venezuela); and acquiring financial leverage by purchasing vast quantities of U.S. debt instruments.

Chirac as always is certainly one of the villians of this story, but Javier Solana's name has also been popping up as an eminence gris in a number of reports of nefarious schemes. I plan to post a profile of this little-know individual soon.

Update - China is rattling swords over Taiwan

From yesterday's Financial Times

China said yesterday its armed forces had a "sacred responsibility" to crush moves towards independence by Taiwan, whatever the cost, and described relations with the island as "grim".

The warning followed Beijing's announcement this month that it would submit an "anti-secession" bill to the National People's Congress next March.

Joseph Wu, chairman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, described the bill as "a serious provocation and an absolutely unnecessary escalation of tension".

"China has gone too far. This is an urgent call to the international community to stop China before it's too late," he said.

The defense whitepaper that contained the threat also had recommendations of how the PLA needs to become a leaner fighting force that is better equiped technologically. This fits right in with their cozy relationship with France and Europe.
papijoe 7:11 AM |

Tell the President What Kind of Judges You Want Him to Appoint

This form will allow you to send an email directly to the White House.

Click here.
papijoe 6:51 AM |

Monday, December 27, 2004

Israel's Left

From Arutz Sheva

I know little about Israel's internal politics, but if the self-loathing that is sometimes seen in America's secular Jews is shocking, this phenomenon in Israel is completely appalling and mystifying. Harry W. Weber tries to shed some light on the subject:

Mordechai Vanunu leaks top secret data on Israel's alleged nuclear facility in Dimona. Later, he converts to Christianity and refuses to ever speak in Hebrew again, calling Israel a menace to world peace.

Nachum Frankenthal, a parent of an Israeli soldier killed by Palestinian terrorists, refers to Yasser Arafat as a great national leader, worthy of the utmost sorrow at his death. Tens of his friends attended the funeral of the greatest murderer of Jews in the post-World War II era.

Tali Fahima is confined to administrative arrest after a judge is convinced that she poses a threat to the security of the Jewish citizenry of the State of Israel. She is suspected of being the mistress of the top terrorist leader in the Jenin area, and of being a conduit for the transfer of explosives used in Arab suicide-murder attacks on Jews. After being incarcerated, prison guards testified that she shouted "Itbach Al-Yahud!" - "Slaughter the Jews!"

When I was first confronted with Jews who seemed to hate themselves and their own culture at Brandeis, the cause seemed to lie in an internalized conflict with parents and other older family members. Weber describes a more complex process in Israeli Jews:

The question is: how did Israeli Jews, often grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the Zionist pioneers who settled here in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, become so anti-Zionist, so anti-Jewish? The answer lies in a four-stage process of psychological auto-brainwashing that takes place in the psyche of every Israeli Jew who is not immersed in Jewish history and Jewish religion. Being the descendants of courageous Zionistic pioneers is of no help to those who don't know why they're in Israel, and what to look for as Jews in the Holy Land.

For those Jews lacking a strong Jewish identity, the first stage on the road to being a Tali Fahima or an Udi Adiv (convicted for spying for Syria), or even an Ehud Olmert or an Ariel Sharon, is "projection". Projection is the process by which a person thinks that what he aspires to is what the enemy aspires to, as well. Many leftists believe the Arab propaganda to the world media, that they want nothing more than peace.

That's all the more remarkable after the efforts of Ehud Barak, who offered the Arabs control of ninety-seven percent of Judea and Samaria and control of the Temple Mount. Yet, the Arabs rejected it. Why? Because they insisted on the "right of return" -- i.e., the right to flood Israel with millions of so-called "Palestinians", thereby destroying Israel's identity as the Jewish state. In other words, it is more important for the "Palestinians" to destroy Israel than to establish their own state.

Despite these irrefutable facts, Jews afflicted with projection still don't understand that the "Palestinians" have a totally different mind-set; and their goal is not peace, but piece -- a piece now and a piece later. Their ultimate goal has never changed one iota since 1948: the eventual elimination of Israel as the Jewish state.

It should be noted that it takes a great deal of psychic energy to compartmentalize and adhere to contradictory beliefs, such as: (1) the Arabs are a peace-loving people; and (2) the vast majority of Arabs support suicidal attacks on Jewish civilians. But again, the Israeli Left has been doing it remarkably well for over one-hundred-twenty years. A crucial example of leftist compartmentalization is the belief that Israel can remain democratic and Jewish -- simultaneously and forever. More extreme leftists say that because of the demographic threat to the survival of Israel as a Jewish state, and because Jews can't transfer Arabs, G-d forbid, Jews have to transfer Jews. First, out of Gaza and then out of the rest of Judea and Samaria.

And what about the Arabs in the Galilee and the Negev, who threaten the long run survival of even pre-1967 Israel as a Jewish state? For the time being, Olmert-type leftists who espouse Jewish transfer have no solution. The bolder leftists already say, unabashedly -- since they can't live with the cognitive dissonance inherent in the concept of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the face of the inevitable threat of an Arab majority -- that Zionism is dead. In their view, the time has come for post-Zionism; i.e., anti-Zionism, in which Israel will cease to be the Jewish homeland. Instead, it will be a state like any other Western democracy -- a state of its citizens. These ultra-leftists buried deep inside their psyche the fact that the Arabs, if they become the majority in Israel, G-d forbid, will not treat us the way we treat them. A second Holocaust is guaranteed. To anybody who tries to convince the Israeli ultra-leftist "intelligentsia" of that, I say, good luck.

Part and parcel with projection and compartmentalization is the third stage in the conversion from Zionist to anti-Zionist: denial of reality. The PLO and the Hamas can issue the most blatantly Nazi propaganda against Jews and Israel, but you can count on the Left to explain it away, somehow. "They don't really mean it. What do you expect from an oppressed people?" - the Jewish apologists for the Palestinians are the world's experts in "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" as far as the Palestinians go. That the Internet is flooded with websites such as Palestine Remembered, in which the Arabs reveal, unabashedly, their true intent -- to return to Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa, etc. -- is one more uncomfortable fact buried deep in the Left's common psyche.

The fourth and final stage in the process of "Leftization" of Israel's mainly secular, detached-from-its-Jewish-roots sector, is identification with the aggressor. Here, the Jew is no longer torn by Jewish interests versus Arab interests or by any conflicts of dissonance. Rather, he has bought the Arab propaganda line in toto -- hook, line and sinker. Jews at this level hate their fellow Jews, see Arafat as a great national figure, experience a vicious anti-Semitism toward Jewish settlers, feel no sorrow at their deaths, call for the boycott of the produce of Judea and Samaria, and would do to their fellow Jews what the most bloodthirsty Arabs would.

I think there is a parallel to this in American leftists and Europeans in regard to the Judeo-Christian values that were at one time the core of their own culture. I think Weber's point about being cut off from a traditional religious and ethical worldview is key in all cases. Substituting that for a morally relativistic philosophy leads down the same path of self-destruction that Europe experienced in the 19th and 20th Centuries. And the poignant part is that when the smoke clears for a moment, the desolate survivors point to the carnage as evidence that, as they said from the outset, that there is no God.
papijoe 7:04 AM |

Friday, December 24, 2004

A Christmas Tale

Two Jewish children from Czechoslovakia had found refuge from the Shoah in a Catholic orphanage. Their parents had arranged this just before being sent to Auschwitz. The boy called Juri was six and his ten year old sister was Judith.

They lived in fear of the strict nuns. They lived in fear of the cruelty of the other children. They lived in fear that they would never see their parents again. But the greatest fear was that one day that the German soldiers from the local garrison would discover they were Jews and take them away.

Schlomo Breznitz's Memory Fields vividly depicts the gnawing anxiety that the children struggled with daily. When Christmas arrived along with it came the prospect of a respite for the children, the nuns became less demanding, tantalizing smells started to emanate from the kitchen. To the delight of the children a sumptuous meal, reminiscent of the days before wartime rationing, was served, and the the boy Juri began to allow himself to relax and enjoy the celebration.

The peace was soon disturbed by the arrival of the Mother Superior and a distinguished guest. The commander of the Nazi garrison had come to pay a visit to the orphanage and brought a cake for them to enjoy. The appearance of the German smothered Juri with dread. He looked to Judith and she was also anxiously aware of the Kommandant.

After they had all had their cake they began to sing Christmas carols. The Kommandant whispered something to the Mother Superior. After a pause that might have been reluctance, she asked the children if anyone could sing "Silent Night" in German. She added that it would make the guest of honor very happy.

Judith and Juri rose as if spellbound, stood in front of the Kommandant, and took each other by the hand. They began to sing the German words to the achingly beautiful song.

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
nur das traute hochheilige Paar
holder Knabe im lockigen Haar

The Kommandant mouthed the shapes of the lyrics without making a sound.

schlaf in himmlischer Ruh'

Suddenly Judith gasps and froze in shock. The song cut off, the unfinished part hung in the quiet room. After a moment of confusion, the terrible realization crashed in on Juri. In Czechoslovakia, only Jews would know the German words. They had been snared so artfully. And now the Kommandant beckoned for them to come closer.

As they stood before him he stroked Judith's head.

"Don't be afraid," he murmurred in German, "your mother and father will return."

The two children dissolved into tears as the one appointed to be their tormentor, comforted them.

A Christmas Mystery play with real children, innocent of drama and irony, for actors, opposite an sentimental Nazi, and a benevolently devious nun. And at the kernel of the Mystery is a power that stands this world on its head. The figure of a Wonderful Child Who's name is Salvation, conveyed through a celestial melody. And for those of us who yearn for a peace that is not submission to this world, who do our best in this life, all the while being homesick for Heaven, there for a brief time all that we strive against ourselves to attain is for a brief time given freely as a gift.

Here is my Christmas prayer for you, my invisible friends. May hosts of warrior angels protect our troops and those who support them while angels of comfort and song minister to their loved ones. May your spirits burn like a starry hearth in the cold winter of space. May the Heavens open above you and torrents of Peace wash away all care fear and doubt. And may your hearts become beachheads, outposts, and finally strongholds in this world for an invasion of Love.

And may God bless us all this Christmas.
papijoe 9:01 AM |

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Another Jew-hating Academic Heard From

I was reading the online Letters section of the Asian Times on a Spengler article I posted when I found a Dec 7 entry from a "Jose R Pardinas, PhD" of Miami:

Spengler then continues to say that Muslim immigrants in Europe have an inordinate influence on European political decision-making. Well, as I understand it, that's the way democracy is supposed to work: it's all about competing constituencies fighting for their own peculiar interests. Here in America we have the Jewish constituency with its agenda on behalf of Israel. No American politician (or newspaper) would dare to raise a peep against this group's disproportionate influence on American foreign policy. Should we then not say that American politicians are afraid of the American Jewish minority? Of course they are! Why, then, should it be different for European politicians dealing with their Muslim minorities?

Whenever I see an anti-American or anti-semitic screed by someone with a doctorate, my first thought is that the chances are excellent that this individual is funded by government grants, as they would never survive in the marketplace otherwise. And indeed I was able to find a prominent researcher via Google with that exact name degree and initial. I'll hold off on conclusively linking this person with the Jew-hating POS who posted the AT letter until I am absolutely sure they are one and the same. However there is little doubt that the same person also made the following posts:

From a BBC article on Iranian nukes:

The Iranians would be crazy to abandon their nuclear programme. In the end the world would be a safer place and there would be greater justice, if powers are balanced in the Middle East. I personally hope they get their nukes.
Jose R. Pardinas, Miami, USA

Here's a more recent one in AT:

I really enjoyed Professor Kaveh L Afrasiabi's lucid analysis of the way Iran might deal with an American/Israeli attack on its military and industrial infrastructure [How Iran will fight back, Dec 16]. If this level of clear-headedness and intelligence pervades the Iranian leadership, Iran will be an enormously influential country in the not very distant future. Anyhow, I'm confused on one aspects of his analysis. Given the anomalous (indeed bizarre, if one factors in the Christian-Zionists) influence of Israeli-Jewish interests on American foreign policy, why would Iran not target predominantly, or even exclusively, Israel during such a confrontation? The way I see it this strategy would have the following psychological and practical consequences: It would mobilize the vast influence of well-endowed political lobbies and their surrogates in the mainstream American media (eg the Wall Street Journal, Fox and others) in averting a conflict in which Israel may actually get fatally mauled. After all, while the limited conventional and nuclear capabilities of Iran are unlikely to provide much deterrence against a rampaging superpower like the USA, how many nuclear strikes (in theory, of course) could a small country like Israel sustain before it passes forever out of history? One, two? It's unfortunate, but it has to be admitted that the current American leadership is a clear and present danger to world civilization. Other countries will have to sooner or later face it down using its own chosen weapons.

I've set up a Google Alert for Dr Pardinas. I have reason to suspect he is currently unemployed, but if he is as eminent a person in his field as I believe he is, when he lands a job I'm sure I'll be aware of it. And if it turns out to be government funded, I'll see what I can to to make his employer aware of the Doctor's views on how terrorist enablers should have weapons of mass destruction so they can "face down" the US.
papijoe 11:00 AM |

Shameless Christmas Tear-jerker

My good friend Donna from Texas sent me this. I couldn't find a source for this anywhere on the Net.

Frankly I don't care if it's true or not. Neither will you.

If this doesn't make you're a jerk.

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.

Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood---the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "Why?" "I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."

That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.

When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes. They're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning, I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?

Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp. "We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.

She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children---sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out. "We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too".

In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us." In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you Brother Miles. I don't have to say, "'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunnysacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

papijoe 7:35 AM |

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Are Marine Suicides News?

From Reuters

Suicides of U.S. Marines have reached their highest level in five years, prompting a Defense Department effort to encourage Marines to seek mental health services, a Marine Corps spokesman said on Tuesday.

Sounds awful, huh? Things must be pretty bad if our toughest troops are killing themselve, right?

There have been 32 confirmed or probable suicides among 178,000 Marines this year, surpassing the 28 who killed themselves in 2001 as the United States invaded Afghanistan

It turns out that the average is about 25 per year. I would question how many of those occur in boot camp. I never finished boot camp on Parris Island due to an injury, but there were many suicide attempts from those who didn't want to go back into training and an equal number for those who didn't want to go home. I may have even witnessed one myself. Eighteen year old men, who make up the bulk of recruits are emotionally volatile when away from their loved ones, but that has been fact of military life since time immemorial.

Every suicide is a tragedy. But shame on Reuters for exploiting this for a thinly veiled propaganda piece.
papijoe 4:01 PM |

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

ISB PR Blitz: Part III

The Boston Globe is really pulling out the stops with the third puff-piece in less than a week related to the Islamic Society of Boston. Today's involves an Islamic school located at their Cambridge site. The title, "Finding a Haven Amid the Storm", speaks for itself. This tone is echoed throught the article.

In the past three years, Muslim families increasingly have chosen such schools as Al Bustan, hoping that they will be havens from anti-Muslim sentiment their children might encounter in public schools, parents and Muslim educators say.

Clearly the efforts of the public schools to eradicate any trace of our Christian heritage and promote Islam are unsatisfactory. So perhaps we should just give up on trying to appease Muslim sensibilities altogether?

Each morning, the students sit in a circle in a brightly lit classroom, decorated by colored letters in English and Arabic, singing: ''If you meet a little Muslim, say Assalamu alaikum [Peace Be Upon You]."

I can't help but wonder what the children are taught to say if they meet a little Jew or kuf'r.

''If you could possibly lose your job, or be hurt or killed because of your religion, you tend to find out more about your religion," said Karen Keyworth, director of the Islamic School's League of America, which runs a website and database for Muslim parents and Islamic schools.

This country is so hostile to Islamic education that Karen's League of America site to aid Islamic schools has this helpful tip:

With the new presidential commitment to a tighter relationship between government and private schools, outside resources are likely to be more plentiful than ever in the form of services through your local education agencies or LEA's. Find out about the E-Rate program where your school could receive government grants for 10% - 90% of your telephone, internet connection, and connectivity costs. Finally, learn about possible grants (state, federal and private) that your school might be eligible to apply for...The days of asking overseas countries to bankroll our Islamic schools are over.

I propose that the vague sense of menace alluded to in the article does not actually orginate from a tangible outside threat. The real spectre looming over the school is it's landlord:

Al Bustan, though, opened on a cautious note, following a controversy over the school's landlord, the Islamic Society of Boston, which had been questioned by authorities about whether radical Islamic groups overseas were funding its mosque and a school building project in Roxbury.

The society's board of directors has denied receiving money from extremist groups. But the allegations have disturbed people at the school: Many Muslims involved in Al Bustan also pray at the mosque run by the Islamic Society.

If the tone of this post is a little more sardonic than usual, I apologize in advance, but the hypocrisy that The Globe has been enabling this week is really beginning to chap my hide.
papijoe 4:36 PM |

More Temple Mount Tsuris

From Ha'aretz

The Jerusalem Municipality is demanding that an embankment leading from beside the Western Wall, via the Mughrabi Gate, to the Temple Mount be demolished immediately, for fear of its collapse.

The city engineer, Uri Shitrit, has demanded that the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and the police deal with the issue before the rainy season starts in earnest, in order to prevent casualties.

Shitrit said that he had approached all concerned several weeks ago but that nothing had been done. He noted that part of the embankment collapsed last February and that it was a miracle no one was hurt. Damage from last year's earthquake and snow had further contributed to the dangers, he said.

Shitrit said that the wall of the embankment is made up of stones and sand and held together by some sort of cement, with arches that give additional support. "The supporting wall is cracked, it is not straight and it is showing signs of collapse," he said. "Because of this, the embankment has started to give way and is likely to collapse when the heavy rains come."

papijoe 7:41 AM |

Spengler: "Santa Clausewitz"

From the Asian Times

In his latest thought-provoking column, Spengler is at odds with Mark Helprin's view of China which was posted here recently. His main thesis is that the economic relationship between China and the US is so symbiotic that a direct confrontation is unimaginable

Something like a folie a deux unites US neo-conservatives who fear China with America-haters who hope that China will undermine US world influence. Before radical Islam appeared on the radar, the likes of William Kristol and Robert Kagan warned in 1996 of the "emergence of China as a strong, determined, and potentially hostile power". As recently as December 13, Mark Helprin complained in that "China is now powerful and influential enough ... to make American world dominance inconceivable". Nonsense. It is China's success that is inconceivable without US world dominance. If US financial markets were to break up, China would go into a tailspin.

The neo-conservatives take exception to China's political system, which no one will mistake for Anglo-Saxon democracy. By the same token, the anti-imperialists claim that China offers an alternative to the US model, proof that economic success does not depend upon the Anglo-Saxon legal template. Ideology overwhelms reason in both arguments. China's success leans upon US financial markets, which cannot exist without Anglo-Saxon law. The Chinese are willing to take risks in China precisely because they can share local risk with international investors, while keeping their own savings safe in the United States.

The Chinese are famous for caution with respect to core savings, and just as famous for gambling with money they can afford to lose. No nation saves more of its income; if one believes the official numbers, Chinese salt away nearly half their earnings. The United States makes it possible for Chinese to take risks and stay safe at the same time.

China's half-trillion dollars of foreign-exchange reserves, according to the same critics, display China's strength and the United States' weakness. On the contrary: the reserves are there because the government of China knows that the Chinese trust US banks rather than Chinese ones, and wisely keep a hoard of rainy-day savings in US funds. China cannot invest its savings at home until such time as Chinese laws, regulations, and politics give rise to a banking system as strong as America's, that is, until China's legal system looks a lot more Anglo-Saxon.

War and revolution have destroyed the savings of generation after Chinese generation. It may seem disadvantageous for Chinese to sell goods to the US in return for paper assets, but beauty is in the eye of the bondholder. People who just have struggled up from poverty place great value on knowing that their children never will know what it is to be poor. Once they have made themselves secure, Chinese business people take risks on a scale that astonish their counterparts in other countries.

China is successful because Americans are willing to take the risk of letting foreigners break the rice-bowl of its own citizens. Chinese imports have wiped out entire industries in the United States, notably electronics, toys and textiles. The US has imposed upon its own citizens the risk of finding alternative employment. It allows foreign students to compete for places in its top universities on equal terms with natives, and protects foreign businessmen under the same laws.

Spengler makes a great case for the economic realities influencing China. But I'm not convinced. We are dealing with a country that was willing to sacrifice a third of it's troops in the Korean conflict. Helprin pointed out how economics can be a weapon, Spengler sees it as an end in itself. Either could turn out to be correct, and it depends on who is the victor in the internal struggle for the soul of China, the economists, or the ideological founder of Communist China. I'll leave you with some quotes from Chairman Mao.

papijoe 7:06 AM |

Monday, December 20, 2004

"A Jew says 'Merry Christmas' "

A great column from the most excellent Jeff Jacoby in Townhall that scaramouche spotted.

I enjoy Christmas decorations -- and Christmas music, and the upbeat Christmastime mood -- and I say that as a practicing Jew for whom Dec. 25 has no theological significance at all. I have never celebrated Christmas, but I like seeing my Christian neighbors celebrate it. I like living in a society that makes a big deal out of religious holidays. Far from feeling threatened when the sights and sounds of Christmas surround me each December, I find them reassuring. They reaffirm the importance of the Judeo-Christian culture that has made America so exceptional -- and such a safe and tolerant haven for a religious minority like mine.

Unfortunately, it isn't only nativity scenes and Santas that make an appearance every Christmas. The holiday season also heralds the annual return of Scrooge and the Grinch. Or, as they're known in Bellevue, Wash., these days, Sidney and Jennifer Stock.

The Stocks are atheists who want Bellevue's city council to remove the Christmas tree from the lobby of City Hall. Since "it is impossible for everybody's religious belief to be displayed and non-religious belief to be displayed," Sidney Stock told reporters last week, "no religious beliefs [should] be displayed."

Never mind that Christmas trees themselves have no religious significance. In Bellevue, as it happens, they don't even call it a Christmas tree. They call it a "giving tree," because its purpose is to stimulate gifts to the poor. In addition to tinsel and gold ribbon, the tree is hung with requests from needy families, and passersby are encouraged to help the less fortunate by making a donation. According to KOMO-TV in Seattle, the giving tree generates nearly $25,000 in contributions.

Most Americans, whatever their faith, would regard Bellevue's tree as a beautiful demonstration of true Christmas spirit. But to the Stocks, its presence on city property is a matter of "injustice and inequality." That is the voice of anti-religious fanaticism -- what Rabbi Daniel Lapin, the Orthodox Jewish founder of Toward Tradition, calls "secular fundamentalism."

Every year these fundamentalists renew their assault on Christmas and its Christian meaning. Sometimes they claim the Constitution bars any expression of religion in government venues (it doesn't). Or they speak of "sensitivity" to those of other faiths. Or they couch their censorship in the language of "tolerance" and "diversity." Or they simply oppose any reference to Christmas at all. One way or another they end up demanding that America's vast Christian majority keep its religious feelings to itself. It's an outrageous demand, and it leads to outrageous results:

    In Maplewood and South Orange, N.J., the school board has banned all Christmas carols, even instrumentals, from holiday concerts.

    In Denver, the city's annual Parade of Lights included German folk dancers, a gay and lesbian Indian group, and belly dancers -- but a Christian-themed float was banned because it would have included a message reading "Merry Christmas."

    In Southwest Florida, the rule against celebrating holidays is so rigid that one middle school principal told the Sarasota Herald Tribune: "You won't see any Christmas trees around here. We keep it generic."

    In New York City, official school board policy authorizes displays of "Christmas trees, menorahs, and the [Muslim] star and crescent" -- which it describes as "secular holiday symbol decorations" -- but prohibits depictions of the nativity.

    In Franklin, Mich., the annual Holly Day celebration has been renamed the Franklin Winter Festival. "Holly Day," the sponsors decided, sounded too Christmassy. "We wanted to try to make it more inclusive."

But there is nothing inclusive about silencing the 90 percent of Americans who celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christians, after all, have freedom of religion, too -- and that freedom shelters my faith no less than it does theirs. Christmas is a blessing for all Americans. May yours be filled with joy.

I've been waiting all morning for Gregg and Kevin at Pundit Review to post the archived interview with Jeff Jacoby that was scheduled for this weekend. No doubt they were delayed by a snowy commute.

papijoe 11:39 AM |

La Shawn and Rusty on NRO

Congrats to Rusty Shackleford from My Pet Jawa for getting a mention on NRO, and of course La Shawn herself for the by-line
papijoe 9:39 AM |

ISM PR Blitz: Part II

From The Boston Globe Dec 18

Condemning past statements of anti-Semitism by one of its trustees, top officials of the Islamic Society of Boston yesterday pledged to screen teachers and prayer leaders at a new mosque and cultural center it is building in Roxbury in order to prevent any statements of extremism or religious hatred from being espoused.

Board member Anwar Kazmi said at a news conference yesterday that the society would review the background and beliefs of all teachers and would screen literature disseminated at the $22 million mosque and cultural center, which is scheduled to open in June, to ensure that instruction is free of hatred or extremism.

"We are very, very concerned about bigotry of any form against any religious group or ethnic group, period. We stand totally against it," Kazmi said at the Roxbury Crossing construction site of the facility, which will be New England's largest mosque when completed. "We have guidelines that have been prepared for speakers or any other literature that is circulated at the institution. They will be carefully screened."

Concern about the society's teachings arose during the fall when it was learned that Dr. Walid Fitaihi, a former director and current trustee of the society, wrote an article for an Arabic-language newspaper that called Jews "murderers of prophets" who should be punished for their "oppression, murder, and rape of the worshipers of Allah."

It also seems that something went amiss with the orchestration of the press conference.

The news conference was scheduled to allow leaders of several groups and community organizations to offer their support to the society and voice concern about possible acts of violence or hatred toward Muslims. Although officials said last week's arson at Springfield's Al-Baqi mosque was not a hate crime, the fire was cited often by speakers who stressed the need for religious tolerance.

Two of the city's largest religious organizations, however, decided against attending the news conference. While expressing support for the Islamic Society of Boston, the Archdiocese of Boston and the Massachusetts Council of Churches said in a joint letter to Abou-Allaban that they were concerned that a news conference "whose tenor you cannot control" would not serve "your interests or positive interreligious and civic relations."

Both the Catholic Church and Teh MCC have a strong "ecumenical" agenda, and it is significant that they seem to be distancing themselves from the ISB.

While any attempts of the ISB to purge themselves of radical elements, I think that the ISB is continuing to whitewash this story. At the press conference, ISB board members Anwar Kazmi and Yousef Abou-Allaban say that Fitaihi had been repremanded, but in a response to the charges on their website, they continue to justify his comments are not being anti-Semitic. And according to the article, he is still on the board of trustees.

And they still host an article on their site with derogatory references to non-Muslisms and Jews that also advocates wife beating.
papijoe 7:27 AM |

Friday, December 17, 2004

Clinton Promotes Chinese State Company

I missed this earlier this week from Pundit Review.

Apparently Bill Clinton is continuing to shamelessly work for the People's Republic of China.

Former president Bill Clinton on Monday helped launch a new Internet search company backed by the Chinese government which says its technology uses artificial intelligence to produce better results than Google Inc.

"I hope you all make lots of money," Clinton told executives at the launch of Accoona Corp., which donated an undisclosed amount to the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Gee, how did the MSM miss this one?

Now can we question his patriotism?
papijoe 1:41 PM |


Jack Engelhard writes like a dream. While the tone of this meditation is an emotional one, it has a strong logical backbone and is powerfully persuasive:

Right this minute leading universities around the United States are discussing something called divestiture, or divestment. This means that universities doing business with Israel, directly or indirectly, should stop doing so – divest. The timing for all this could not be more perfect as we approach the 60th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, a meeting held in Berlin to organize and implement the ‘Final Solution.’ Beginning with Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler’s top goons were there, January 20, 1942, to set in motion the murder of an entire people.

Although the killing of Jews was already under way, the Wannsee Conference made genocide official – and these goons were not subtle. Their talk was about train schedules for deportation to death camps, and they talked about the most efficient gasses to poison millions of men, women and children. These were not honorable men. They were vile, wicked, evil, cruel and corrupt. They were the worst humanity has to offer.

Not so, these university activists, students and professors who are in hysteria about Israel - that tiny democracy surrounded by 22 dictatorships, a nation outnumbered 150 million to five. No, these academics are good people – in their own eyes. They want to do good, and destroying Israel is good. They will deny that is their intention, for they are so good and liberal and educated. So they will deny that divestiture is a means to an end. They will deny that they are anti-Semitic. Even professor and poet Tom Paulin denies that he is anti-Semitic despite his calls for the murder of Jews in the "West Bank." Tom Paulin, an acclaimed Oxford don, now lecturing at Columbia, has said that Israel has no right to exist. Here´s a thought: Given its bloody history, going back centuries, perhaps Europe has no right to exist.

Other professors, and students, likewise share Paulin´s view, and some, even many, insist that Israel must be dismantled, but they are not ant-Semitic, being so good and righteous and all. They love to compare Israel to South Africa when that nation was all about apartheid, dismissing the fact that the million-plus Arabs living in Israel proper are free citizens, freer than in any other part of the Arab world. That´s not good enough for our elite, who demand that Jews be ethnically cleansed from the Land of Israel in favor of a 23rd Middle Eastern Islamic state that oppresses women and suppresses freedom of any kind. They will not say so in so many words, for they are honorable people, honorable and good.

They are also subtle. The men at the Wannsee Conference were not subtle, and that is the difference. That is all the difference there is. The men at the Wannsee Conference did not hide behind pretense. They said, openly, that they were motivated to destroy the Jewish people. Our university elite, gathering this minute within their own Conferences at Columbia, Harvard and many other higher places of learning, would never be so brazen. Tom Paulin, the poet, the professor, is an honorable man, as are other like-minded poets and professors and students, in whom radical Islam has found a new furnace to stoke the fires of a new anti-Semitism; the motto being, "Get them while they´re young." They are all honorable men and women, and they want to do good. Israel is bad because it wants to survive. The Arabs are good because despite the fact that they sit on 99.8 percent of the Middle East – they don´t have enough land. They need more land. They need Israel. Israel is the problem.

If they could get their hands on Israel, the world would be safe, safe for another Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Iran...

Thank God academicians and intellectuals don't, at least for the next four years, hold the reins of government in this country or command regiments. But they are using what power and influence they have to the fullest. This give a clear indication what they would do if they had more power.

At these university conferences, unknowingly modeled on Wannsee, our elite do not discuss train schedules or poison gasses. That was Germany. Today, they discuss the same business, but call it "divestiture" – or, some might say, "How can we sock it, again, to the Jews." But that language would never be used, for these are poets, professors and students. Such people favor diversity, as long as Jews take no part. Diversity includes everyone, certainly radical Islam, but it excludes the Jews. Jewish students, especially those with a conservative bent, and even more especially those who love Israel, are permitted no voice, and when they speak up, they are shouted down. Liberals – and most of our elite are liberals – believe in a diversity of opinion only if it squares with their point of view. All others are bigots.

Our poets, professors and students are not bigots. Gosh, no. They do favor ethnic cleansing, they do favor genocide, but they have a better word:


Englehard concludes by saying that the Nazis never actually used the word genocide either, and speculates that they probably used similar terms to the liberal elite. To be fair, they didn't. But he makes a good case that their intentions in denying the right of Israel to simply exist are echoed in the term they did use.

The Final Solution.
papijoe 7:20 AM |

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Liberal Larry ChristmasHolidayParty

From BlameBush!

The folks here at Seattle Hemp Products are all in a titter over the holidays. There will be no tittering in my cubicle this year, though. As chairman of the company's morale committee, I've been charged with the dreaded task of planning an office "holiday party" that is both festive, and inclusive of all people of all faiths.

Except Christians. In past years, we've had problems with Christian extremists going nuts and wishing people a "Merry Christmas" despite being strictly warned not to, so we decided to exclude them entirely from this year's event. I had a cunning and quite hilarious plan to issue bogus invitations with phony dates and locations to any suspected Christian employees, but CEO Tony "Sherm" Sherman nixed it. Too risky, he said. Some clever Jesus freak might get wise to the scheme and crash the party. They might start singing "Christmas Carols" or mention Christ - a clear violation of the Separation of Church and State. So we all agreed it would be best to simply fire the Christians rather than risk them ruining anybody's Christmas.

I put human resources diva Christina Draper in charge of refreshments, provided she change her first name to something less offensive. Teena suggested we go potluck, but that never works because everyone always brings corn chips and twinkies. A few bad apples might even bring religiously-themed food, such as christmas tree cookies or egg nog, and then all hell would break loose. So after weighing the risks and costs, I decided to scrap the food this year. If anyone is hungry, there's a Denny's right across the street.

Entertainment posed another problem. We hired a lounge singer one year, but he freaked out in the middle of Bob Seger's "Hollywood Nights" and spontaneously segued into "O Holy Night". Several non-Christian employees were seriously offended before we were able to tackle the bastard to the ground and toss him out of the building. So no entertainment, either. Thanks, biblethumpers, for sucking even more joy out of the hoilidays!

Gone also is the traditional, yet highly offensive, arrival of Santa Claus and gift exchange portion of the evening. I can't begin to list all the religious connotations regarding jolly ol' "Saint Nick". So instead of Santa arriving on his "sleigh" and passing out presents to all the employees' children, I thought it would be neat to have a homeless person stagger in, lay a guilt trip on everybody, and then pass out. The boss put a kibosh on that one as well, unfortunately. What if the bum turned out to be a Christian? In his drunkeness, he might start proselytzing to the kiddies. They might get weird ideas into their heads. They might start voting Republican and beating up gays. So with heavy heart, we agreed to ban children from the party altogether for their own safety.

Lastly, and most importantly, was what to name the event. "Christmas Party" was out of the question for obvious reasons. "Holiday Party" implied that there was a holiday to celebrate, which pointed a gnarled finger right back at Christmas. So after much deliberation, we all agreed on "Mandatory Staff Meeting". It's simple, politically correct, and has the ACLU's seal of approval.

Rankin/Bass needs to bring on Liberal Larry to create a "Winter Celebration" special. I'm already picturing a musical schtick with the "Hemp Miser"
papijoe 7:18 AM |

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

ISB's Latest PR Campaign

From the Boston Globe

Back in November I posted on the attention the Islamic Society of Boston was receiving due to its construction of a new mosque and its ties to radical jihadists.

In todays article in the Globe, the newly reconstituted board of the ISB is refuting those charges:

In an effort to quell concern that the group has ties to extremist individuals, several board members offered assurances of its moderate views and links. The society is building a mosque and cultural center in Roxbury on land provided by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

''We are trying to create a moderate, middle-of-the-road position," said Salma Kazmi, one of three members of the board of directors of the Islamic Society of Boston who met with Globe editors and reporters.

The board has embarked on an outreach program with media outlets and other religious organizations, particularly leaders in the Jewish community, to convey similar assurances, said Dr.Yousef Abou-Allaban of Walpole, chairman of the Islamic Society's board.

''We have to allay concerns that some people may have unfortunately have gotten about the society," he said.

In March, local leaders of the Anti-Defamation League sought explanations from the society about anti-Semitic articles written by one of its trustees, Walid Ahmad Fitaihi, that included statements that Jews ''perpetrated the worst of evils," ''brought the worst corruption to the earth" and ''killed prophets."

Fitaihi remains a member of the society's board of trustees, but in June that board turned over all of its control and power in running the society to a new, seven-member board of directors, Abou-Allaban said. He said the group wanted more local control over the society. ''Unlike before, all the board members now live here or have business interests here," Abou-Allaban said.

While we certainly want to encourage the ISB to break with its jihadi past, the difficulty is one that those who have been in recovery programs will recognize. In order to address a problem you have to admit that you have one. The ISB is in denial and this is easily seen from the statements on their website that address the charges made by the Globe's rival, the Boston Herald.

In the statement the ISB responds to the following charges:

Of the charges against Fitaihi, the statement says the matter is under investigation and appropriate action will be taken. Todays article states he is still a member of the board of trustees.

It addresses the report concerning Osama Kandil by saying there is no court record of any proceeding against him. This sidesteps the question of an investigation by merely stating no charges have been filed.

What I find most disturbing is that although the Herald caught the ISB in a boldfaced lie when they had earlier claimed that Qaradawi never played a role in the ISB, in the statement they actually defend him as some kind of icon of Muslim moderation:

That Dr. al-Qaradawi endorsed the ISB Cultural Center proiect was never intended to be a secret. We clarified in past statements only that Dr. al-Qaradawi has not served on our board and has had no input in governance of our organization; we stand by that position.
In characterizing Dr. al-Qaradawi as "anti-Western", the Herald has ignored the following:
Dr. al-Qaradawi is recognized world-wide as a leading Muslim scholar and cleric and Chairman of Europe's Muslim Religious Council.
On February 14, 2002, an article in the Washington Post called Dr. al-Qaradaw "one of the most celebrated figures in the Arab world" and said that, in the Middle East, "the Egyptian cleric is seen as a voice of moderation."
Dr. al-Qaradawi was among the major panelists at the second annual US-Islamic Conference opened on January 10, 2004 in Doha, Qatar, and organized by the Washington based Brookings Institution.
Former US ambassador to the UN, Richard Holbrooke, the chief negotiator for the historic 1995 Bosnian peace accord (the "Dayton Peace Accord'), spoke after Dr. Qaradawi on the first day of the conference. Former President Bill Clinton, delivered a speech at the conference on January 13.
According to the logic of the Herald, the reputations of President Clinton and Ambassador Holbrooke are now tarnished because they participated at meetings with al-Qaradawi. If Qaradawi were as the Herald has sought to portray him, why would he be invited to such a high level conference, organized by the prestigious Brookings Institute and attended by the likes of Holbrooke and Clinton?

Why indeed. How the leaders of the ISB must long for those halcyon days of the Clinton administration!

To set the record straight let's review some of the facts about Qaradawi:

It is also worth mentioning that the Jew-baiting, wife beating article is still posted on their site as noted earlier.

Although the Globe seems to be willing to be a kind of PR newswire for the ISB without challenging any of the their statements, the evidence in plain view continues to justify deep concerns of the true nature of the ISB.

papijoe 6:55 AM |

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Iran Wants to Execute Another Teenaged Girl

From Eursoc via grayp at LGF

Iran's supreme court is considering whether or not to execute a teenage girl with a mental age of nine for prostitution.

The girl, known as Leyla M, is being held in prison while the court decides whether she is guilty of "crimes contrary to chastity:" One of the most serious offenses on Iran's admittedly insane rulebook. Leyla was convicted and sentenced to death in November by a lower court in her city of Arak.

Under Iran's laws, girls as young as nine can be executed; for boys, the legal age is fifteen. In Leyla's case, the court ordered that she be flogged before she is executed. She received 100 lashes aged 14 when she was convicted of falling pregnant.

The prisoner claims to have been forced into prostitution by her mother as an eight year old. She was, she says, repeatedly raped and bore a child at nine. Iran's press reports counter that she ran a brothel, had sex with relatives and had an illegitimate child.
papijoe 8:33 AM |

China Crisis

Thanks to scaramouche for spotting this Mark Helprin piece in WSJ.

China is methodically following the example of Meiji Japan in moving from a position of inferiority to one of military equality with far superior rivals, by deliberate application of a striking phenomenon of economics that is to the military relation between states what the golden section is to architecture. Consider a hypothetical country of 10 million people, and a $1 billion GNP, that devotes 10% of its $100 per capita GNP to defense. The people are left with $90/year, suffering one day in 10 to support a $100 million military outlay. But after 18 years of 8% economic growth and 2% population increase per annum, it becomes a hypothetical country of 14 million souls, a GNP of $4 billion, and a per capita GNP of $285. If the people retain only three-quarters of this, they are still almost two and a half times richer than they were before, and the military budget can safely rise to $1 billion. Thus, the GNP increases by a factor of four, per capita GNP more than doubles, and defense outlays swell by a factor of 10.

...With its new economic resources China has embarked upon a military traverse from reliance upon mass to devotion to quality, with stress upon war in space, the oceans, and the ether--three areas of unquestioned American superiority. China is establishing its own space- based assets and developing the means to counter others. It would neutralize American strategic superiority as the aging U.S. arsenal is reduced and it augments its own. Its submarine program is directed to the deployment of its strategic force and denial of successively greater bands of the Pacific--eventually reaching far out into blue water--to the safe transit of American fleets. It sees America's advantage in informational warfare both as something to be copied and as a weak link that, by countermeasure, can be shattered. In short, it harbors major ambitions.

Helprin doesn't traffic in speculation and points out a recent example of the cunning way China is positioning itself in the world.

An example of China's growing power to interfere with crucial U.S. interests is the new Sino-Persian $100 billion trade agreement, the perfect complementarity of which--manufactures and military goods in exchange for oil and Islamic endorsement--is echoed by the fact that, at present, the chief American counter to Iranian nuclear weapons development is the threat of a trade embargo, which China need not observe, through the Security Council, over which China has a veto. A clue to how the world may yet divide is China's willingness, like America's in the Cold War, to take less-than-perfect states under its wing without a care for their moral improvement. In fact, China must be delighted (what rival would not be?) that America's war aims in the Middle East are conditioned upon reordering the Islamic world, the most inconvertible of all divisions of mankind. Although U.S. intervention is obviously required, the nature and scope of the enterprise as stated is a gift to China worth many years of effort.

Anyone who has played the ancient Chinese game of Go will recognize this gambit.
papijoe 8:29 AM |

Some New Links

I've come across some blogs that are worthy of note.

I've been enjoying someguy's wit and wisdom on LGF for ages, but never knew about his blog Mystery Achievement. Snooping around his blogroll I found the excellent cuanas and the stylish yet numinous coffeehouse at the end of days.

Update - It has just come to my attention that LGF's Glen Wishard also has a blog: Canus Iratus
papijoe 6:54 AM |

Monday, December 13, 2004

France Makes the Japanese Suicidal

Thanks to grayp on LGF for spotting this on Expatica

A strange illness has descended on Japanese living in Paris, tipping many of them in a state of profound culture shock after realising their ideals about the French capital were unrealistic, a study published in Monday's Liberation newspaper said.

More than a 100 expatriates a year are sinking into a state called "the Paris syndrome" which is characterised by feelings of persecution or suicidal tendencies, according to the mental health facilities of city hospitals.

Part of their clinical depression stems from having to reconcile their romanticism about Paris with reality, psychiatrists said.

"Magazines are fuelling fantasies with the Japanese, who think there are

models everywhere and the women dress entirely in (Louis) Vuitton," Mario Renoux, the head of a French Japanese Society for Medecine was quoted as saying.

After a relatively short period of only three months or so, Japanese immigrants expecting to find a haven of civilisation and elegance instead discover a tougher existence with many problems dealing with the French.

"They make fun of my French and my expressions", "they don't like me" and "I feel ridiculous in front of them" are common refrains heard by the doctors.

The need to forcibly express one's self to be noticed - seen as vulgar in Japanese society - and exposure to a humour sometimes seen as offensive adds to the unhappiness.

"However, not wanting to give up their Paris dreams, the patients refuse to go back to Japan," the newspaper noted.
papijoe 4:35 PM |

Speaking of Radio

Pundit Review Radio had Don Luskin on this week for a very interesting discussion of social security reform. Don from the blog Poor and Stupid makes creating retirement accounts seem like a no-brainer.
papijoe 1:35 PM |

Channukah Journey

I took a drive in the country this weekend to get my daughter to conk out in the carseat, as some days that's the only way she will nap. Sometimes when the signal to my Christian music station fades, the receiver in the minivan will automatically tune into one of the 3 NPR stations nearby. This is not as lame an excuse as it sound for listening to NPR, here in MA you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a public radio station, every college town has one or two and they all cluster around the same part of the dial.

Instead of the usual tripe, they were broadcasting Chanukkah in Story and Song, narrated by Leonard Nimoy. It was one of the most exquisite Chanukkah experiences I've had, listening to haunting melodies in Ladino, Yiddish and Hebrew, while twilight fell on the timeless New England countryside.

However the same nagging thought always comes up whenever NPR runs this kind of very worthwhile Jewish programming. How do they reconcile the celebration of Jewish culture to their blatant antagonism to the State of Israel?

It's a shame, because NPR occasionally has some terrific programming, which at this point I will only be exposed to by sheer accident.
papijoe 8:57 AM |

Saturday, December 11, 2004

French Jews Protest Anti-Semitic TV

from Arutz Sheva.

French Jews have launched a national campaign against the French government's decision to allow the Hizbullah terrorist organization's satellite television station to broadcast in France.

The decision to allow Al Manar, the Hizbullah station, to broadcast was "a shock for the French Jewish community," French Jew Roger Cukierman told CNN Saturday. Cukierman is president of CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France), a French Jewish umbrella organization.

"[The Hizbullah station] espouses the merits of terrorism," Cukeirman told CNN. A French governing agency, the CSA, admitted last week that Al Manar broadcasts were a threat to the public and contrary to an agreement to bar anti-Semitic broadcasts it had signed last month. The CSA rejected a government recommendation to stop Al Manar transmissions in November and granted the terrorist organization a new license to continue.

A November 23 broadcast accused "Zionists [of] transmitting dangerous diseases such as AIDS through exports to Arab countries," according to Cukierman. Other broadcasts have showed "actors dressed as rabbis slitting the throats of children to get blood for matzos [unleavened bread eaten by Jews on Passover - historically a tradition target for infamous blood-libels against Jews - ed.]," he told CNN.
papijoe 6:26 PM |

Friday, December 10, 2004

Chanukkah Music

Three hours of just about every musical styling in honor of Chanukkah. I haven't heard the whole thing yet, but I'm sure Adam Sandler is in there.

papijoe 2:00 PM |

Hanson on Euro-Ents

Thanks to Motti at LGF

What gives with all these brilliant pundits quoting Tolkien? First Spengler, now Victor Davis Hanson, who in today's column compares the Euros to the apathetic dwindling Ents.

More specifically, does the Ents analogy work for present-day Europe? Before you laugh at the silly comparison, remember that the Western military tradition is European. Today the continent is unarmed and weak, but deep within its collective mind and spirit still reside the ability to field technologically sophisticated and highly disciplined forces — if it were ever to really feel threatened. One murder began to arouse the Dutch; what would 3,000 dead and a toppled Eiffel Tower do to the French? Or how would the Italians take to a plane stuck into the dome of St. Peter? We are nursed now on the spectacle of Iranian mullahs, with their bought weapons and foreign-produced oil wealth, humiliating a convoy of European delegates begging and cajoling them not to make bombs — or at least to point what bombs they make at Israel and not at Berlin or Paris. But it was not always the case, and may not always be.
The Netherlands was a litmus test for Europe. Unlike Spain or Greece, which had historical grievances against Islam, the Dutch were the avatars of the new liberal Europe, without historical baggage. They were eager to unshackle Europe from the Church, from its class and gender constraints, and from any whiff of its racist or colonialist past. True, for a variety of reasons, Amsterdam may be a case study of how wrong Rousseau was about natural man, but for a Muslim immigrant the country was about as hospitable a foreign host as one can imagine. Thus, it was far safer for radical Islamic fascists to damn the West openly from a mosque in Rotterdam than for a moderate Christian to quietly worship in a church in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Algeria. And yet we learn not just that the Netherlands has fostered a radical sect of Muslims who will kill and bomb, but, far more importantly, that they will do so after years of residency among, and indeed in utter contempt of, their Western hosts.

I as much as anyone would like to see our European cousins wake up and join the fight against the jihadis. But there is an unsettling tendency of Europeans to swing from one bad extreme to the other, such as the way anti-communists so easily morphed into Nazis in post-WWI Germany. But it would be infinitely better if they at least tried.

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papijoe 1:25 PM |

Our Christian-Baiting Media

patrickafir of Clarity and Resolve found this incredible exchange between a reporter and the president's press secretary Scott McClellan.

Q Scott, on the Middle East, many evangelical Christians are supporting right-wing Jews in Israel who want to rebuild the temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They believe this is a prerequisite for Christ's return to Earth. They believe when Christ returns to Earth -- they call this "the Rapture" -- he will take back with Him the true believers, and the rest, the non--believers, Jews and Muslims, will be left behind to face a violent death here on Earth. My question is, as a born-again Christian, does the President support efforts to rebuild a temple on the Temple Mount?

MR. McCLELLAN: Russ, we can sit here and talk about religious issues, but I'm not -- I will be glad to take your question and if there's more, I will get back to you on it.

Q Is he a born-again Christian?

MR. McCLELLAN: Thank you.

END 1:36 P.M. EST

Try to imagine this same dialog with a world leader of any other faith.
papijoe 7:48 AM |

Spencer on the Persecution of Christians


Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch reports on how attacks on Christians are increasing in the Muslim world. And it isn't Christian missionaries trying to make inroads into Dar ul Islam, but indigenous Christians like the Egyptian Copts, whose beleaguered communities have existed for centuries.

The latest outrage in Egypt has been, like all the others, almost universally ignored by the international media and human rights groups. Wafaa Constantine Messiha, wife of a Coptic priest in Egypt, was abducted by jihadist Muslims and forced to convert to Islam. The Mubarak regime has done nothing. This is no isolated incident: Wilfred Wong of the Jubilee Campaign, a Christian human rights group, notes that “the attempts to force Christians to convert to Islam in Egypt are on the increase and the methods are getting increasingly varied and well organized. Some of these forced conversions are carried out by Muslim individuals, with the help of their friends, while others are being conducted by well funded groups.”

The situation has gotten so bad for Copts in Egypt that Pope Shenouda III, the leader of the Coptic Church, recently spoke out boldly about one common method of abduction and forced conversion: “I have received so many letters about what’s happening to the Christian girls who go to supermarket stores to shop. At the store they tell them that they have won and have to go upstairs to receive their award or prize. After that we don’t know what’s happening to these girls upstairs. There is a lot of talking going on about this matter, and I see that what’s happening will create a religious clash in the country. I’m urging the police to take a serious action against what’s happening.”

Even Christians in "secular" Arab states where their religious freedom is supposed to be guaranteed are not safe.

This is just one manifestation of the discrimination and harassment that Christians and other non-Muslims still face all over the Islamic world. Even though the laws of many Muslim-majority nations guarantee equality of rights and freedom of conscience, in practice Christians face discrimination and harassment — and even, on occasion, penalties derived from Sharia, Islamic law. Sometimes the secular law gives way to Sharia even if Sharia is not on the books. One notorious example was the case of Robert Hussein Qambar Ali, a Kuwaiti who converted from Islam to Christianity in the 1990s. He was arrested and tried for apostasy, even though the Kuwaiti Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion and says nothing about the traditional Islamic prohibition on conversion to another faith. One of Hussein’s prosecutors explained: “With grief I have to say that our criminal law does not include a penalty for apostasy. The fact is that the legislature, in our humble opinion, cannot enforce a penalty for apostasy any more or less than what our Allah and his messenger have decreed. The ones who will make the decision about his apostasy are: our Book, the Sunna, the agreement of the prophets and their legislation given by Allah.”

While the world press trumpets bogus charges of atrocities committed against Muslims on a daily basis, not a word is mentioned about the plight of indigenous Christians.
papijoe 7:07 AM |

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Another Fine French Whine

From Jerusalem Post

In an interview with Army Radio Thursday, French Ambassador to Israel Gerard Araud took a far less conciliatory stance than he took just a couple of days ago in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

"I think you have an anti-French neurosis," Araud told Army Radio.

"You just love to hate France," he declared.

Welcome to our world, Gerry.

On Thursday however, Araud claimed that Israeli taxi drivers, upon discovering that their passengers are French, immediately eject them from their cabs.

Araud criticized Israeli journalists in general and singled out comedian Eli Yatzpan in particular, whose mission, according to the ambassador, is to ridicule France.

"Everyone knows that Yatzpan has chosen France as his usual target, and he is always making fun of the people of France," he protested.

So when Israeli cabbies purge their vehicles of unwanted Frenchmen, do they do it manually or is some type of James Bond ejection seat employed? Do they stop the vehicles first? How many Frenchmen are we talking about here and what's the environmental impact?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Thanks to zulubaby who posted this on LGF
papijoe 10:44 AM |

Springfield MA Mosque Fire Being Investigated

In The Boston Globe

Arson investigators were on the scene of a fast-moving fire that destroyed a city mosque on Wednesday.
Authorities had not been able to determine whether the fire that destroyed the Al-Baqi Islamic Center was suspicious because the remains of the brick building were not safe to enter, said Lt. Neil Hawley of the Springfield Fire Department.

No one was in the building when the fire started.

A passer-by reported fire coming from the second floor of the mosque on Union Street at about 5 p.m., Hawley said. When firefighters arrived a few minutes later, fire was showing from the second and third floors.

"Fifteen minutes after that, it was through the roof," Hawley said, explaining that a stiff wind made it impossible to fight the flames from inside the three-story building, a former school.

It was quite windy yesterday in MA, but should it prove to be arson, hopefully authorities will find those responsible.

Thanks to Raven1 at LGF
papijoe 8:24 AM |

Sanhedrin Re-Convenes after 1600 Years, Ascends Temple Mount

From Arutz Sheva

I found this article fascinating and from a spiritual and historical perspective this feels like an important event.

In a dramatic but unpublicized move Monday, members of the newly established Sanhedrin ascended the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

Part of the event seems to have been marred by politics

Close to fifty recently ordained “samuchim,” members of the Sanhedrin, lined up at the foot of the Temple Mount Monday morning. The men, many ascending the Temple Mount for the first time, had immersed in mikvaot (ritual baths) that morning and planned to ascend as a group. Despite prior approval from the Israeli police who oversee entry to the Mount, the officers barred the group from entering the Mount together, saying they could only ascend in groups of ten.
Many of the samuchim refused to ascend under the restrictive conditions, especially as a group of over 100 gentile tourists filed past the waiting rabbis and up onto the holy site. “It is unconscionable that on the eve of Chanukah, which celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple, we should once again be barred from worshipping – by our own people,” Rabbi Chaim Richman of Jerusalem’s Temple Institute told IsraelNN’s Ezra HaLevi.
papijoe 6:41 AM |

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

French Winemakers Whine

From the AP

France's wine industry, which employs about 500,000 people, says exports through Aug. 31 dropped by more than 5.5 percent in volume and 9.6 percent in value. Experts say Bordeaux was particularly hard hit, with foreign sales of its signature reds down 25 percent.

Vintners say overproduction worldwide, and especially in France — which harvested a bumper crop of grapes this year — has glutted a market where French wines already face fierce competition from vintages from California, Chile and Australia.

I used to enjoy some good cheap French table wines, but I started boycotting before the start of the war and I've never looked back.

"We are a sector in crisis," said Jean-Michel Lemetayer, the head of France's main farmer union, urging the state to bail out an industry awash in a sea of Chablis and Bordeaux.

This is so gratifying.
papijoe 4:51 PM |

Republicans in Hollywood

Here's a cool piece by the witty Ben Stein on being a conservative in Tinsel Town.

The man at the Christmas tree tent in Malibu kept winking at me and nodding when no one else was looking. I smiled and kept looking at the trees. (In Malibu, we Jews have Christmas trees.) Finally, he motioned to me to come over to is table. He cupped his hand over his mouth and took my hand. "We won," he said. "We won."

I knew exactly what he meant. "You can talk about it," I said. "This is America."

"Yes, but it's also Malibu and I don't want people yelling at me."

Thanks to Discarded Lies, orginally in The Spectator

papijoe 11:27 AM |

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Happy Channukah!

As Sammy Davis Jr used to say, "Hag Sameach, you beautiful happenin' cats!"
papijoe 6:03 PM |

Psst! Jheka's back

After a short hiatus due to technical tsuris, my blogfather is once again posting up a storm. Go pay Don Jheka your respects.
papijoe 5:47 PM |

Over 50% of Germans Equate Israeli Army With Nazi army

Pooh from LGF spotted this.

Here is yet another justification for writing off Europe.

Six decades after the mass extermination of six million Jews in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany, more than 50 percent of Germans believe that Israel's present-day treatment of the Palestinians is similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews during World War II, a German survey released this weekend shows.

51 percent of respondents said that there is not much of a difference between what Israel is doing to the Palestinians today and what the Nazis did to the Jews during the Holocaust, compared to 49% who disagreed with such a comparison, according to the poll carried out by Germany's University of Bielefeld.

The survey also found that 68 percent of Germans believe that Israel is waging a "war of extermination" against the Palestinians, while some 32% disagreed with such a statement.

Clearly they haven't learned enough about their own history or Israel's.

papijoe 5:38 PM |

Is Secularism the Solution to a Religion of Terror?

I've come across two pieces that have stirred up a line of thought concerning what a global and personal exit strategy out of Islam might be.

Sam Harris wrote a particularly clear-eyed op-ed in the Washington Times called Mired in a Religious War I don't agree with the pessimistic tone, which I suspect is due to a very secular view of events. But he makes many excellent points about the nature of the enemy.

It is time we admitted that we are not at war with "terrorism." We are at war with Islam. This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims, but we are absolutely at war with the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran. The only reason Muslim fundamentalism is a threat to us is because the fundamentals of Islam are a threat to us. Every American should read the Koran and discover the relentlessness with which non-Muslims are vilified in its pages. The idea that Islam is a "peaceful religion hijacked by extremists" is a dangerous fantasy — and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge.

MEMRI has published 2 excerpts from some recent articles by the Kuwaiti progressive scholar Ahmad Al-Baghdadi, a political science lecturer at Kuwait University.

There is no Islamic country in which a Christian or a Jew could reveal a cross or a skullcap, and get away with it peacefully. In addition, members of [other] human religions, like Buddhism and Hinduism, are prohibited from conducting their ceremonies in public, even with governmental approval, without people harming them, as happened at the Hindu place of worship in Kuwait. In contrast to this religious persecution [in Islamic countries,] of which the [Islamic] religious stream boasts, there is no secular country that prohibits the construction of mosques, even in the event that the government does not finance them. Moreover, there is no secular country that prevents the Muslim from praying in public…

"There is no church in the secular Christian world in which a priest stands and curses anyone who disagrees with his religion or prays for trouble and disaster to befall them, as do the preachers in our Friday sermons. [Moreover,] our religious thought has no parallel to the message recently pronounced by the present Pope regarding the importance of peace for all. Contrary to the ease with which a mosque is built in secular Europe and America, the construction of a church [in a Moslem country] is carried out only with the approval of the country's president, [and even then] it is rare.

The issue I have with Al-Baghdadi is that he projects his issues with Islam on other religions:

...Secularism as a [world] view and as a way of life was not formed in a vacuum, but is the outcome of the painful life experience of human beings which has continued for close to a millennium and in the course of which the religious thought of the Church, devised by the religious clergy, was abolished… During this experience, Western man lived in intellectual darkness and [endured] devastating wars in a period called 'the Dark Middle Ages.'

For the person educated in sciences, industry, finances, politics, and culture there was only one solution, which constitutes a refuge for the poor societies. That [solution] is: distancing the man of the cloth from life… From that moment on, the Western world became the only world to develop, progress, and flourish in all spheres of life.

I would point out to Mr Al-Baghdadi that Europe is not exactly flourishing under secularism. But I do wonder if secularism is a necessary ideological decompression from Islam for apostates.

Any comments or viewpoints on this are very welcome.
papijoe 10:33 AM |