Wednesday, 21 January 2009
GERALD WARNER: THE UK GRINCH SPEAKS
As millions journey home from the Obama inaugural and the media complete
their 180 degree turnaround to unconditional praise instead of criticism, a few
journalists remain unimpressed.
One of them is the UK's Gerald Warner, who writes for the London Daily
Telegraph. Here is an excerpt from
his latest column. I assure you that it has opinions you would be
hard-pressed to find in US mainstream media today:
To anyone who kept his head, the
string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on
Washington's National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall
the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing "those who seek to advance
their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents" comes ill from a man
whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion,
including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union. It seems the era
of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents.
Obama's American Recovery and
Reinvestment Plan is like one of those toxic packages traded by bankers: it
camouflages many unaffordable gifts to his client state. With a federal deficit
already at $1.2 trillion, Obama wants to squander $825 billion (which will
undoubtedly mushroom to more than $1 trillion) on creating 600,000 more
government jobs and a further 459,000 in "green energy" (useless wind turbines
and other Heath-Robinson contraptions favoured by Beltway
It is frightening to think there is
a real possibility that the entire world economy could go into complete meltdown
and famine kill millions. Yet Western - and British - commentators are cocooned
in a warm comfort zone of infatuation with America's answer to Neil Kinnock***.
We should be long past applauding politicians of any hue: they got us into this
mess. The best deserve a probationary opportunity to prove themselves, the worst
should be in jail.
It is questionable whether the
present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution,
teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The
most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the
leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no
experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a
These are frank, even ungracious,
words: they have the one merit that, unlike almost everything else written today
about Obama, they will not require to be eaten in the future.
Ok, he's angry and bitter. But is he right? That's the question
that honest people - people who are not completely under the spell of Obama -
ought to be asking themselves.
And it is a question that media should always be asking. But
now that their superhero, Saint Barack, is in the oval office, I wonder if they
***That reference to Neil Kinnock is particularly delicious in view of the
fact that Joe Biden's 1988 run for the Democratic presidential nomination ended
after he plagiarized from one of Kinnock's speeches.
Kinnock himself was the leader of Britain's Labour Party for years - rocky,
controversial years. The opposition party nicknamed him
WHY WE FIGHT
Periodically, I put up information from www.islamqa.com, a web site which answers
questions posed by Muslims about shari'a (fundamentalist
Islamic) law. Anyone who wants real insight into what shari'a is all
about would do well to read this site's questions and answers.
Here is a q and a I read there just now. See how you feel about it:
He does not
allow his wife to appear in front of his brothers
My brother got married approximately two years ago,
and during this time he has forbidden his wife to appear in front of his
brothers, even in hijab, or to speak to them when they visit him. Until now we
have no idea what she looks like and we have not spoken a single word to her. Is
this permissible according to shareeah or is it
Praise be to Allaah.
A woman has to cover her entire body, including the face,
from men who are strangers to her (i.e., non-mahrams). She should observe hijab
even more strictly in front of her husbands male relatives who are not mahrams
for her than in front of strangers. This is the opposite of what most careless
people do nowadays. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said, when one of his companions wanted an exception to allow the husbands
relatives to enter upon his wife: The in-law is death. So we must be more
cautious with regard to the husbands relatives including his brothers
because of the carelessness that exists with regard to this matter.
Your brother has done well by not allowing his wife
to appear in front of you, and she has done well by obeying the command of
Allaah and of her husband. This is not extremism at all; rather it is obedience
to the command of Allaah. There is no need for the husbands brothers to see his
wife, let alone sit with her and talk to her.
Those scholars who said it is permissible for a woman to
sit with her husbands relatives only allowed it on condition that there is no
suspicion attached to that and that she does not sit alone with one of them, or
there is no listening to songs or watching haraam things on the part of either
of them. Unfortunately such things happen in most peoples gatherings. If the
gathering is free of the above-mentioned evils and haraam things and the woman
observes full hijab, then it is permissible for her to sit with them and speak
to them, so long as she is not soft in speech. But it is still better and more
on the safe side for her not to do that, and this is what your brother has done,
so that hearts may remain pure and free of the traps by which the Shaytaan
What your brother has done should not have any effect on
your relationship with him or on the relationship of your wives with his wife.
They are doing something good and acting in accordance with Islam. You should
try to get close to them and learn from them in the way they deal with people.
You should note that your brothers criticizing their brother for concealing his
wife from them and not letting her sit with them makes one have suspicions about
them. In sha Allaah they are not that type of people, but the Shaytaan may make
something appear attractive to a man so that what is good becomes bad to him,
and what is bad becomes good, so he regards covering and modesty as extremism
and laxity as trust and progress.
We ask Allaah to purify our hearts and bodies, and to bring
you together in a good way, and to reconcile between you, and to make you a good
example to other people.
See also the answers to questions no. 21363 and 13261
And Allaah knows best.
a quick glossary for you:
mahram - a mahram is a blood relative or in-law who could not be married
under Islamic law and with whom sexual relations would be considered
hijab - the state of dress in which everything but the eyes are covered
haraam - forbidden under shari'a law
shaytaan: The enemy, the devil.
So the learned opinion expressed here is that it is perfectly fine and dandy
for your brother to marry a woman and keep her entirely hidden from you.
It's not extreme, Allah likes it that way.
Of course she can sit among her relatives --- provided that they aren't listening to songs,
doing anything "forbidden" (your guess is as good as mine as to what the range
of "forbidden" is), she is in full hijab (so you won't be seeing her anyway) and
she doesn't speak softly (presumably because she might be offering some kind of come-on,
Please note that at no time does the woman have any say at all
I also am intrigued by the line that "...what your brother has done should
not have any effect on your relationship with him or on the relationship
of your wives with his wife". Wives? As in plural? Does
that sound like gender equality to you?
Now there are people for whom shari'a law makes sense. And if they want to
live that way, that's their business.
But I know I don't. And I surely do not want any group of religious
fanatics trying to end western civilization so they can force me to live
Do you agree?
If you do, then you understand why we fight the taliban, al qaeda and their
many kindred pals.
THE OBAMA CONCEPT OF "UNIFYING"
This is a "unifier"?
Here, from www.politico.com, via www.sweetness-light.com, is the
current (at least until they're embarrassed into removing it) White House web
page on hurricane Katrina:
January 20th, 2009
From the Politico:
(Click images to enlarge)
New White House site slams Bush
By ANDY BARR | 1/20/09
The new White House website unveiled by
President Barack Obamas team Tuesday includes a shot at former President
Bushs response to Hurricane Katrina.
Under the agenda portion of the site regarding
Katrina, it reads: President Obama will keep the broken promises made
by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice
President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will
never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and
response to occur.
President Obama swiftly responded to
Hurricane Katrina, the statement on the site continues. Citing the
Bush Administrations unconscionable ineptitude in responding to Hurricane
Katrina, then-Senator Obama introduced legislation requiring disaster
planners to take into account the specific needs of low-income hurricane
The site also points out that Obama
visited thousands of Hurricane survivors in the Houston Convention Center and
later took three more trips to the region and worked with the Congressional
Black Caucus to help rebuild in the aftermath of
So much for Mr. Obamas post-partisan politics.
The man is such a unifier.
Of course this entry, like most of the agenda
items on the White
House site, has just been copied and
pasted from the Obama campaign site.
(By the way, Mr. Obama is still promising to hold
direct negotiations with Iran without
Still, what a crass thing to do. Not to mention
that it also has the benefit of being completely mendacious.
But what else can one expect from a Chicago
machine politician thug? Lies are mothers milk to him.
(We have posted the screen capture from the White
House site, in case the Obama people decide to disappear it, as they have
done it the past.)
Barack Obama won the election and is now President. Is
it really necessary to be this insulting towards his predecessor - not
to mention dishonest?
George Bush does not deserve this. He has shown Barack Obama nothing but
kindness and deference during the entire transition period.
Compare that with what the Clinton people did when Bush took office.
Maybe they are Mr. Obama's role models - he certainly has brought enough of them
in to fill his own administration.
And this is not the only example of meanspiritedness and partisan bile from Mr.
Obama. In his inaugural address, Mr. Obama inserted a comment that the people
"chose hope over fear".
What the hell was that for? It is a straight-out political attack of
the kind used against an opponent during a political campaign. Does he
think he is still running for the presidency?
Hmmm, now that I think of it, maybe he does. Since Mr. Obama has
virtually no political accomplishments other than running for, and winning,
higher office, maybe he figures it's still not time for him to stop
running and start doing something.
On the other hand, if this is how he is going to behave as President, maybe
we'd be just as well off if he did spend the four years doing little
other than running for the next four.
THE NEW YORK TIMES' PACT WITH THE DEVIL
First off, I apologize to Carlos Slim for that title. Personally, I do
not know whether or not he should be called a devil.
But, ironically, the New York Times apparently thinks it does. Read
this article from the Boston Herald (which competes with the New York
Times-owned Boston Globe and has to be loving every minute of this).
You'll see why:
New York Times
strikes pact with billionaire
By Christine McConville | Wednesday,
January 21, 2009 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Media & Marketing
for a life-saving loan, but the New York Times [NYT] Co.s decision
to do business with controversial Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu is seen
by some as a deal with the devil.
He has a mixed reputation on his best day,
Douglas A. McIntyre, editor of 24/7 Wall St., a financial commentary service,
said about Slim, one of the worlds richest men.
Borrowing money from a man that the Times called a
robber baron and a thief in 2007 shows that finding someone to invest in the
newspaper must have been very, very hard, McIntyre said.
Late Monday, the Times Co. said it reached a $250
million loan deal with Slim. The money will help the struggling company pay back
some of its $1.1 billion in debt.
The loan will also give the company time to find
buyers for some assets - such as the Boston Globe and Times Co.s stake in the
Red Sox [team stats] - or to
figure out new ways to raise money, after having significant drops in
But the loan comes at a very steep price: The
family-controlled Times Co. will pay 14 percent interest on the money and give
Slim the opportunity to become one of its largest shareholders.
Poynter Institute media analyst Rick Edmonds said
the deal shows the seriousness of (the Times) financial situation.
Slim, the owner of the Mexican communications
company Telmex, has been dogged by reports of being extremely cozy with Mexican
presidents and politicians, who have given him preferential treatment, McIntyre
Hes never gone to prison, but it comes up over
and over again, he said.
Even in The New York Times.
On Aug. 27, 2007, Times editorial writer Eduardo
Porter called Slim a robber baron on a very grand scale.
In the article, Mexicos Plutocracy Thrives on
Robber-Baron Concessions, Porter wrote, The momentous scale is not the most
galling aspect of Mr. Slims riches. Theres the issue of theft.
This reminds me very much of when Rupert Murdoch bought the New York
Most people, I suspect, are unaware of the fact that, before Murdoch took
it over, the New York Post was a
liberal-socialist leaning newspaper. It was published by the decidedly left
wing Dorothy Schiff.
When I started reading The Post, its senior editors were hard
leftists like (former communist) James Wechsler and Paul Sann.
Its columnists included (former communist) Murray Kempton and others with
similar political leanings.
Understandably, much of The Post's readership was outraged by
Murdoch's obviously different direction. But it has survived very well and is now one of the
ten best-selling papers in the US.
We'll see how the New York Times progresses (or regresses) once Carlos Slim
makes his presence felt; which, as any Mexican can tell you, he always
Like they say, the devil is in the details.
WHY ISRAEL HITS "CIVILIAN" AND "INFRASTRUCTURE" TARGETS
Here's one that you won't see much in our wonderful "neutral" mainstream
The following video was just posted at www.littlegreenfootballs.com
(and, I would think, many other places on the internet). It
shows an al-Arabiya TV reporter being advised that a missile was fired
FROM THE BUILDING IT IS BROADCASTING FROM.
Remarkable? See it with your own eyes:
Video: Al Arabiya Studio Used As Rocket Launching
East | Mon, Jan 19, 2009 at 11:48:27 am PST
Al Arabiya reporter Hannan al-Masri is live on the
air in Gaza when she is told that Hamas has just fired rockets from inside the
Al Arabiya studio building, news which apparently strikes her as quite
(Turn on closed captions for English
As you can see and hear, the reporter finds this highly amusing.
I wonder how amused she would be if Israel fired back at the launch site -
otherwise known as the building she was in.
And if Israel did, what would media say? That Israel is systematically
destroying Gaza's infrastructure and killing media which report favorably about
This is the problem Israel faces every time attacks are launched from "civilian" sites
in Gaza (which is to say every day). Israel either...
...does not fire back, which means the enemy has a continuing free shot at
killing its citizens, or...
...does fire back, which means Israel will be portrayed as a barbaric
country committing genocide against the Gazan people.
I understand why the brain-deficient idiot at al-Arabiya
would not report this. She is not there to be objective and seems
intellectually incapable of connecting the shooting of missiles from her building with the
prospect that Israel might then shoot back.
But why don't our own, supposedly neutral media report it?
Maybe they have the same problem I just
described about the al-Arabiya reporter.
MORE OF WHY WE FIGHT
A couple of blog entries ago I discussed how women are treated under shari'a law.
While I tried to write it in something of a light tone, in truth it is pretty
But there are far worse facets of fundamentalist Islam. And my good
friend Bob just sent me a link to one of them. Here are the key excerpts
an Associated Press article which provides the specifics --- and should
scare you to the bone:
Taliban demands end to music on Pakistan
PESHAWAR, Pakistan Bus drivers in northwest Pakistan have begun removing audio and video equipment
from their vehicles after Taliban
militants threatened suicide
attacks against those who played music or movies for their passengers, an
industry official said Tuesday.
Transport workers in Mardan town received letters
this week from militants saying that buses offering such entertainment were
guilty of spreading "vulgarity and obscenity," Walid Mir, general secretary of
the town's transport union, told The Associated Press.
The militants said they would check the buses and
that suicide attacks would be carried out against vehicles that still had audio
and video equipment prompting union members to act quickly, Mir
The Taliban letter complained that traveling in buses that
provide audiovisual entertainment was a "source of mental agony for pious
people," according to a text obtained by AP.
"It is obligatory on us to stop such violations.
We request you to remove the vulgar systems ... otherwise suicide bombers are ready," the letter
Elsewhere in northwest Pakistan, extremists have
targeted girls' schools, police posts and other symbols of authority.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime that was forced from
power in late 2001 banned art, secular music and television, vandalized the
national museum and destroyed artwork or statues deemed idolatrous or
Local police said they had no knowledge of the
"We did not report it to police because it is a
matter of human lives. What can the police can do? It involves the lives of
hundreds of passengers, and we do not want to put them in danger," Mir
This is the world of radical Islam. Listen to music, and be blown to
smithereens by suicide bombers who are convinced that killing innocent people on
a bus gets them a one-way ticket to Allah.
I wonder if any of these human drones think to ask why, if this is such a
great path to eternal glory, the person who recruited them doesn't do it
himself. On the other hand, if they do, they'll probably be
dispensed with right then and there. Fundamentalists don't like questions,
In his inaugural speech President Obama said the following:
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual
interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow
conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West--know that your people
will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling
to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that
you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you
are willing to unclench your fist.
"...we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench
your fist". That is a very clever turn of phrase.
But does Mr.Obama seriously believe the lunatics described above are going to
do that? Would he be naive enough to believe them if they said they
He damn well better think about those two questions, because
they have a huge, even decisive, effect on our safety and well
ALBERT DADON ON ISRAEL'S ACTION IN GAZA
Albert Dadon is many things. He is executive chairman of the Ubertas Group,
an Australian development company. He created Le Concours des Vins du
Victoria", a highly popular, successful competition of Australian and French
wines. He is an accomplished jazz guitarist, composer and producer.
Mr. Dadon also is the founder and chairman of the Australia Israel Cultural
Exchange (AICE). It is in this capacity that he wrote the following
about Israel's three week attack on Gaza.
His commentary is so well worth reading that I thought I would post it
The facts and logic are Mr. Dadon's. The bold print is mine:
MANY friends have berated me
about Israel's "crimes" in Gaza during the conflict between Hamas and Israel. I
understand how they felt. When I saw the images of women and children, victims
of that war, I couldn't help, still can't, but feel a profound sense of loss.
At the same time, however, my friends only saw the international media
hysteria against Israel, which was predictably exactly the same as in past
conflicts. But consider this: it was Hamas that formally declared all
peace agreements with Israel null and void, which formally ended the ceasefire
on December 19, 2008, after having violated it with the firing of thousands of
rockets on the southern Israeli populations prior to Israel's invasion of Gaza.
I did not notice any media hysteria about these attacks on
southern Israel, in fact, barely a mention. What country in the world
would allow 3500 missiles to be fired during a 12-month period on its civilian
populated areas and not retaliate?
Some commentators have said
that the rockets fired by Hamas claimed only a few Israeli victims, as if this
somehow justified the attacks.
I was in the southern Israeli town of
Sderot last June when the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange screened the
opening film of our annual Australian Film Festival there as a mark of
solidarity with the local population.
Given its proximity to Gaza,
Sderot had until recently been the main target for Hamas's rockets. The reality
on the ground there is this: the population had stopped breathing for over a
year. In order to protect civilian life from the Hamas rockets, extraordinary
measures are taken. Shopping is planned like a military operation and taking
kids to school becomes an operational nightmare.
The siren alarm system
gives people less than 30 seconds to reach the nearest shelter. The people of
Sderot, and now Ashkelon, Ashdod and Be'er Sheva, observe this rule with great
discipline. This duty of care to protect civilian life by the Israeli state and
their local civic leaders explains why there are so few casualties on the
The psychological trauma of living with the anticipation
of the next rocket attack and the threat of danger, day in day out, is the real
definition of the word "terror" for these people.
What is so
galling and paradoxical to average Israelis, is the consistent call for Israel
to be apologetic for the fact that it puts the welfare of its citizens first and
seeks to minimise civilian casualties on both sides, despite the thousands of
rockets hurled at its towns by Hamas. In contrast, Hamas's stated aim is to kill
Israeli civilians, yet they are virtually exempt from criticism in regards to
these acts. Some media outlets even go so far as to justify Hamas's targeting of
civilians as a legitimate form of resistance.
Sure enough, some
television programs did invite a token Israeli guest who tried to explain
Israel's case. But the answers given seemed to be presented as propaganda, and
the implication was that the only story to be believed was the Hamas narrative.
If Israel has learned the lessons of the 2006 war against Hezbollah in
Lebanon, Hamas has learned from that war too. Hezbollah was able to use the
southern Lebanese population as human shields, and get away with it.
would think that such a crime would be denounced by humanitarian groups, by the
UN and by Western media.
Alas, the strategy has worked for Hamas: it
produced the images that screamed from the front pages of newspapers and TV
screens, pushing the buttons of people across theworld.
the context; the result is a circus. It is mind-boggling that barely any
media outlet outside Israel has consistently denounced Hamas for using
Palestinian women and children as human shields.
the context, voluntarily or not, much of the Western commentators have implied
this: it is permissible for terror groups to use civilians as human shields, but
not for a legitimate country to mistakenly kill civilians in the course of
The latter is being portrayed as a crime against
humanity. However harsh it is to lose civilians, this logic is absurd.
French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy said recently that you must not
confuse the intentional act of shooting rockets on civilian populations with the
clear intention of killing them (a crime against humanity) and the fire that is
aimed at the enemy combatant that mistakenly kills civilians (however
unacceptable and heartbreaking the loss of civilians always is).
all, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Hamas has built an
infrastructure of bunkers and tunnels that were located under the most populated
areas of Gaza. These were not for the benefit of the civilian population, but
for Hamas's own leaders to smuggle arms and hide.
leadership had even taken refuge at the Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza, and
at the UN Relief and Works Agency, which normally provides humanitarian and
health services. There has been a lot of ranting by the UN regarding the attacks
on UNRWA. It is interesting to note how the UN places the blame on Israel but
does not place any responsibility on Hamas.
shootings against southern Israel take place from the buildings where civilians
live. Mosques and schools are used as ammunition caches and arms depots. Hamas
combatants had taken off their military fatigues from the start of the Israeli
invasion and were wearing civilian clothes, surprising Israeli soldiers by
mixing with civilians.
In such an environment, it is no wonder civilians
were caught in the crossfire. The only surprise is the low number of civilian
casualties in an area where 1.4 million Palestinians live. This is a result of
the care with which Israel has operated.
Israel says 12 per
cent of casualties are civilians, Hamas say 40 per cent. Whatever the
percentage, it is a tragedy. But citing numbers and showing images while
forgetting the context creates one more casualty: the truth.
Immediately after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
unilaterally declared a ceasefire on Sunday, accepting the Egyptian plan, Hamas
fired eight rockets on southern Israel.
That is the
enemy Israel is confronted with; an enemy with the stated purpose of killing all
Jews (civilians every bit as much as military) which uses its own women and
children as shields in the course of trying to accomplish this purpose.
What kind of cowardly, sub-human scum would be so depraved? Why, hamas.
And hezbollah. That's who.
I urge you to remember this when you watch or read coverage of what Israel
did in Gaza. Your memory will be very important, because it is unlikely
these facts are going to be prominently featured. Or even mentioned at
CHIRAC & THE KILLER POODLE
Does this look like a story right out of one of those supermarket tabloids,
But it comes to us from the London Daiyl Mail and apparently is real.
Make of it what you will:
Former French President Chirac hospitalised after
mauling by his clinically depressed poodle
By Ian Sparks
Last updated at 5:45
PM on 21st January 2009
Former French president Jacques Chirac
was rushed to hospital after being mauled by his own 'clinically depressed' pet
The 76-year-old statesman was savaged by his white
Maltese dog - which suffers from frenzied fits and is being treated with
The animal, named Sumo, had become increasingly
violent over the past years and was prone to making 'vicious, unprovoked
attacks', Chirac's wife Bernadette said.
Former French President Jacques
Chirac pictured in his car with his pet, Sumo, the white Maltese Poodle (file
photo). The president has been bitten by his dog
The former president, who ruled France for 12
years until 2007, was taken to hospital in Paris where he was treated as an
outpatient and sent home, VSD magazine reported.
Mrs Chirac said: 'The dog went for him for no
'We were already aware the animal was
unpredictable and is actually being treated with pills for
'My husband was bitten quite badly, but he is
certain to make a full recovery over the coming weeks.'
The former French First Lady did not reveal where
on his body Chirac was bitten.
Maybe, in its depressed state, the poodle mistook Chirac for a large
truffle. Or a milk-bone. Or maybe it thought chirac was shaped like
one of the French Alpos.
I just wish I knew where Sumo sank his teeth....
CAROLINE KENNEDY SCHLOSSBERG WITHDRAWING????
Is Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg withdrawing her name from consideration as
New York's senate replacement for Hillary Clinton?
Here's what the New York Times just posted, less than ten minutes ago:
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and DANNY
Caroline Kennedy told Gov. David
Paterson that she no longer wanted to be considered for the New York Senate seat
vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a person who was told of her
Considering this comes from the New York Times, I'll wait for
I'll also wait to find out if Ted Kennedy's health has anything to do with it
- because I don't begin to understand why it would. No one is expecting
Ms. Kennedy-Schlossberg to tend to Senator Kennedy. He's got a wife
and more money than Croesus - plus, they don't live anywhere near each other and
haven't for decades.
If the story is true, there is one excrement-load more to it than Uncle
Ted. You can take that to the bank.