Light Beer, Tap Dancers, Assaulted Peanut
We have spoken to your mother. We know everything.
There is a grave and serious sadness among Jewish people in Canada and abroad. The mounting criticism of Israel, much of unjustified and often leaning toward anti-Semitic attacks, focuses on Gaza and the bitter conflict between Israel and Hamas. While this struggle certainly warrants careful consideration, it masks a broader and very worrisome development. Far too little attention is being paid to the disquieting growth of anti-Semitic comments and attacks around the world. There is even less awareness of the increasing sense of vulnerability among the Jews.Read more »
Over thirty years ago, as an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia, I stumbled into a course on Nazi Germany. Expecting a class on military tactics and warfare, I got instead an eye-opening introduction to European anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. A follow-up class on the founding of Israel and the roots of the Palestinian crisis connected the history of anti-Jewish feeling to struggles in the Middle East. One cannot study the history of the Jewish people without developing a strong understanding of their nervousness about the world, their passion for the state of Israel and the uncertainty of support from their neighbours.
If you can convince children that objective reality is an illusion; that A does not equal A; that black is white; and that good is bad; if you can make them accept that everything is subjective and relative; then you have successfully breathed new life into doctrines that by all objective measures and standards led to the death and misery of millions of people. Through the careful manipulation of language, everything can be distorted, without the messy need to resort to facts, logic, or reason.There is a reason so many 'progressives' appear to be welcoming a 'natural' Armageddon. If the world is indeed destroyed, the record of leftist perfidy and treasonous behavior will be lost forever. If we survive, they and their legacy will be reviled by the generations they have poisoned.
For the children of postmodernism, what matters is not truth or falsity--only the effectiveness of the language used. Lies, distortions, ad hominem attacks; attempts to silence opposing views--all are strategies that are perfectly satisfactory if they achieve the desired effect--i.e., furthering the collectivist agenda. Ideas and reason make way for reification of feelings; and freedom is replaced by thought control and preservation of "self-esteem" at all costs....
Even 5-year olds and younger children are not too young for collectivist propaganda to be inculcated. Destroy free will; inoculate them with political correctness; treat the "insanity" of their attachment to parents, the Judeo-Christian tradition; or their country--i.e., all traditional Western values that brought civilization, individual freedom and economic progress; achieve a "higher order" of thought by showing them there is no right or wrong; good or evil...
One very harmful result of this sorry educational situation is that there are few people--even among those who stalwartly defend the free market, who understand and appreciate the essential morality of capitalism. Certainly our children, taught by ideological purists like the ones above who are leftover from the 20th century debacle of socialist/communist tyranny--never even have a chance to rationally consider any ideas not approved by their aggressively collectivist teachers, so intent at quashing those aspects of human nature they don't like.
This is child abuse, pure and simple. It is indoctrination. It is the willful manipulation of young minds which cannot never be allowed to develop even the capability of thinking for themselves. And these perverts call it "social justice."
In fact there is nothing that is "just" about it. It represents the worse kind of oppression with the goal of enslaving the human mind. And enslavement is exactly what is required to establish their socialist utopia, since it refuses to acknowledge the reality of human nature...
Children propagandized by dogmatic tyrants like the ones above have had not only their capacity to think for themselves abrogated; they have had their capacity to make moral choices taken from them...
The truth is that neither socialism nor communism nor any kind of religious fundamentalism is compatible with morality at all.
If one's actions are coerced by the state or religion, or both; if human activity is indoctrinated, legislated, regulated and ordained down to the last minute detail--particularly to the degree we see in other countries of the world (e.g., Cuba, China, most Middle Eastern countries, North Korea, and now in Venezuela--then how can it possibly be argued that one's actions are moral? Human behavior under such systems is not voluntarily chosen, but actively coerced.
Morality, though, must always be a matter of choice, not mandate...
Taking the mind of a child and feeding it exclusively on your ideological pablum is not only the most cruel and abusive of behaviors; it also ensures that such a mind becomes cognitively stunted and morally impaired (much like the minds of the teachers who so proudly perform such oppressive acts).
"…humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith."Myra Bradwell wasn't evil or ugly enough in character to a role model for leftist oriented feminism. She never took her clothes off, she never put politics ahead of helping women and she never wanted attention for herself.
"Traditional moral codes… fail to meet the pressing needs of today and tomorrow…"
"To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas..."
Teaching school children to read was a "perversion" and high literacy rate bred "the sustaining force behind individualism."
"We can choose to use our growing knowledge to enslave people in ways never dreamed of before, depersonalizing them, controlling them by means so carefully selected that they will perhaps never be aware of their loss of personhood."
"One of the least understood strategies of the world revolution now moving rapidly toward its goal is the use of mind control as a major means of obtaining the consent of the people who will be subjects of the New World Order."
"Those of us who work in this field see a developing potential for nearly a total control of human emotional status, mental functioning, and will to act. These human phenomena can be started, stopped or eliminated by the use of various types of chemical substances. What we can produce with our science now will affect the entire society." A "utopia" could be found – providing "a sense of stability and certainty, whether realistic or not."
"If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility"
"...the pretense is made, as it has been made in relation to the finding of any extension of truth, that to do away with right and wrong would produce uncivilized people, immorality, lawlessness and social chaos. The fact is that most psychiatrists and psychologists and other respected people have escaped from moral chains and are able to think freely."
"The re-interpretation and eventually (sic) eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith… are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy. The fact is, that most psychiatrists and psychologists and other respectable people have escaped from these moral chains and are able to observe and think freely."
"The family is now one of the major obstacles to improved mental health, and hence should be weakened, if possible, so as to free individuals and especially children from the coercion of family life."
From Margaret Sanger, first goddess of feminism: "The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."
"Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race."
"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."
"Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.
One of the most tragic Holocaust era phenomena was the manipulation of some Jews by the Nazis, who were recruited as collaborators with the Reich. Community elders were called upon to form a Judenrat (Jewish Council). There were many prominent Jews who refused to participate in the sham. They saw the ‘writing on the wall’ and they refused to take part in the deceit (Not all members of the Judenrat were ‘collaberators.’ Some believed that by cooperating with the Nazi authorities, they would be in a position to help their brethren. Sadly, those efforts were to prove futile).The Judenrat in turn, formed a ‘Jewish Police’ force to maintain order in the ghettos. In the concentration camps, there were enforcers, kapos, many of whom were Jewish. These enforcers were given special privileges and status by the Nazis. It was their function to keep their co-religionists in line and docile, so as to facilitate the Nazi agenda.
The Jews who chose to participate in the Judenrat were told by the Nazis that as ‘prominent,’ ‘enlightened’ or ‘intellectual’ Jews, they would be spared the fate of those ‘lesser’ Jews. Eager to save themselves- and to distance and distinguish themselves from their ‘lesser’ cousins, members of the Judenrat and the ghetto police gave the Nazis everything they asked for, and then some. Many believed that by cooperating with the Nazis, they could ‘prove’ their worth and prove to the Nazis that Jews were really no threat to German Reich or volk.
The Nazis did not dispel those Jews of that notion. All too often Judenrat members were told that the anti Jewish measures were the result of ‘politics.’ They were told that talk about a ‘final solution’ was just that- talk. The Germans were an educated and enlightened people, they were told. Germans would never engage in such barbaric behavior. When the war was over, all this ‘Jewish’ talk would be forgotten. It was regrettable that it had begun, but war is war and politics is politics.
Members of the Judenrat were always happy to hear what they wanted to hear. They went on their way, redoubled in their belief that if they could fill the trains that came to provide ‘labor’ to the German war efforts and do so with the minimum amount of disruption in the ghettos, it would all work out in the end. They believed that resisting the Nazis and fighting against them was wrong. They believed that if they appeased the Nazis, they and their co-religionists would be spared.
Judenrat-type organizations and ‘police forces’ managed large numbers of people and keep them docile. Millions ended up marching to their deaths. Only as the end approached did they abandon their belief that evil, when cloaked as ‘reasonableness,’ is somehow less than evil and can be dealt with, reasonably.
The denial was complete. Even as members of the Judenrat were hauled off themselves, they continued to believe that they would be spared if they only were to prove to ‘useful’ to the Nazis.
Today, it is the progressives that have authored the newest version of totalitatianism. So notes Tobias Jones of the Guardian:
There’s an aspiring totalitarianism in Britain which is brilliantly disguised. It’s disguised because the would-be dictators - and there are many of them - all pretend to be more tolerant than thou. They hide alongside the anti-racists, the anti-homophobes and anti-sexists. But what they are really against is something very different. They - call them secular fundamentalists - are anti-God, and what they really want is the eradication of religion, and all believers, from the face of the earth.
We wish to talk about ‘religious progressives,’ that group of people who claim to be adherents of particular faith and at the same time adopt the kind of radical progressive agenda alluded to by Tobias Jones. We are in no way implying that all religious progressives are cut from the same cloth and share the same ideologies.
Having said that, to be a radical ‘religious progressive’ that adopts the radical leftist agenda, faith has to be dispensed with. A believer who wants to espouse progressive ideology must accept that his religious beliefs and values are worth less than progressive beliefs and values. Believers must find a way to rewrite faith to accommodate progressive ideology, even if that means upending the very beliefs, values and principles of the faith they profess to be a part of.
In the end, all radical ‘religious progressives’ are the Judenrat and kapos of their respective faiths and of our time.
By accepting and ascribing to beliefs and ideologies of Leftism, ‘religious progressives’ have made a deal with the very devil that would destroy them. Disagree with a ‘religious progressive,’ and like their progressive masters, tolerance goes out the window because dissent cannot be tolerated- because the ‘emperor has no clothes.’
The Left has gone from supporting liberal ideologies that were inclusive and universal, to supporting ideologies that are fascist. There is no way any observer can come to any other conclusion. A lot of the moral capital earned by Liberalism, has been squandered by Leftists in the support of causes that are clearly bankrupt and by ignoring causes that go begging.
The Left watched as Rwanda paid with the blood of over a million men, women and children. The Left stands idly by as Darfur unfolds, in slow motion, as testimony to the cruelest nature of man. In Algeria, the GIA raped and dismembered children as the left watched. The list goes on and on, as atrocities from Sierra Leone to East Timor to the oppression and repression dispensed by Middle East despots and religious zealots are ignored.
Radical and not so radical progressives, religious and otherwise, barely pay lip service to FGM that has impacted over 100 million women, according to UN figures. Honor killings, acid attacks, the harvesting of human organs for profit and a litany of other horrors go on. With the regularity of the New Moon, new atrocities by regimes and ideologies supported by the left surface each month. Those stand up to the tyranny in opposition to the regimes that have a boot at their neck. put themselves at risk as they demand more freedom and human rights. Predicatably, the progressives are found supporting the regimes and tyrants that persecute those who stand up.
The radical ‘religious progressives’ always remain silent in the face of true evil, focusing their attention on America or Israel, always forces for good, no matter how flawed they might be.
Any ideology that demands truth be abandoned is an ideology that God be abandoned. ‘Religious progressives’ have traded away God for false piety and a new religion of narcissitic selflessness.
When it comes to hatred of Israel, radical ‘religious progressives’ say that the Jews have “brought it upon themselves.” They ignore the truth that Israel is not a slave to a particular ideology or state sponsored hate. They ignore the truth that Israel is acting in response to dysfunctional regimes that for decades have made the cry of ‘ITBACH AL YAHUDI!‘ (SLAUGHTER THE JEW!) as an acceptable form of religious and political ideology. To the progressives, Jews defending themselves is an outrage. This of course, is not new.
A diary entry by Joseph Goebbels, as he took note of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, wrote (h/t Seraphic Secret):
“This is what happens when Jews get hold of guns.”
To the radical ‘religious progressives’ the world would be right if Jews weren’t so Jewish, or insisted on defending themselves and just allowed the themselves to be ‘blessed’ victims. Religious progressives must somehow distinguish themselves from their anti semitic secular brothers, you see.
In the same way the Judenrat believed the Germans were a ‘civilized’ nation, many ‘religious progressives’ have deluded themselves. In the end they believe, their secular progressive brothers in arms are ‘enlightened’ and ‘intellectual.’
Of course there is never good news when it comes to human and religious rights in nations ruled by despots and identified as the left’s ‘comrades in arms’. The enthusiastic support for dysfunctional and repressive Islamic and Middle Eastern regimes, is perhaps the most disturbing- and another truth that cannot be denied. These regimes make no excuse for their politics or their support for terror, nor do they even attempt to hide their hate and bigotry, broadcast in media, taught in schools and preached from the pulpit.
That these regimes have used religion as justification for their barbarism is cynically exploited by the left. One the one hand, says the Left, ‘we must respect their religion and their politics,’ and on the other hand, they point to religion and say, ‘This is the evil religion represents. We must separate ourselves and our politics from religion.’
All the while the erstwhile kapos of the left, the ‘religious progressives,’ remain silent.
Despite witnessing the out of control and barbaric behaviors of whole societies, the radical ‘religious progressives’ have turned a the blind eye to evil. They have come to accept and tolerate the most evil kind of behavior and remain silent. They and their secular brothers have aligned themselves with some of the most evil and dysfunctional tyrannies on the face of this earth.
They refuse to condemn the atrocities and hate and they will not condemn others who support the evil. Like the Judenrat before them, ‘religious progressives’ have come to believe the script. They openly encourage and even demand dysfunctional and self destructive behaviors that will inevitably lead to destruction, all in the name of healing and enlightenment. The ‘religious progressives,’ more than anyone, have embarked on the newest crusade. Join us they say, do it our way, or you will be destroyed. Plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme.
Dr Sanity noted in When Karl Met Sigmund that
Simply put, totalitarian systems–whether from the left or the right… whether religious or secular… actively promote the most negative, primitive, and immature aspects of human nature. In fact, they give a societal/institutional blessing to such behavior; and thrive on the resulting projection, paranoia, distortion, and denial of reality.
There are no ‘religious progressive’ voices on FGM, or religious persecution in China and other nations. There are no ‘religious progressive’ voices outspoken against the orchestrated and visceral hatred directed at Jews in most Arab countries. Instead, the ‘religious progressives’ save their vitriol for America, Israel and western democracies- nations that have at their center, religious freedoms.
When free and democratic states overcome tyranny, the result is the establishment of a free and democratic state. Enemies become friends.When tyranny overcomes freedom, that tyranny remains hated.
It is also true that no amount of ‘love’ can cure the dysfunctions that result in evil. Love of any kind, without a moral foundation fixes nothing. That knd of love is fickle, temporary and easily abandoned when the next object of infatuation or desire comes along.
If the left hated the atrocities and slaughter directed at innocents with as much hatred as they have for real freedom, America and Israel, there would be no more slaughters and there would be no more atrocities. Instead, the left and ‘religious progressives,’ choose the kind of perverted love that results in death over the kind of love that results in life.
Real faith is not measured by standing still and staying quiet as freedom and lives are taken. Real faith is measured by bringing freedom to others and saving lives.One can no more claim to be a radical ‘religious progressive’ anymore than than one can claim to be a ‘Christian Nazi.’
Shrill leftists speak of Israel, America and the Holocaust (”and as a Jew I have some personal interest in this myself obviously”) as if somehow, being Jewish gave their words added credibility. The fact that most Jews do not share those kind of politics is of little concern. They are kapso, better than those other kinds of Jews. They would Jew into the crematoria if they were asked to. They are after all, ‘progressives,’ for whom there are no moral absolutes.
Like other ‘progressives,’ they is compelled to sacrifice the truth on the altar of deceit.
Modern progressives deceive with ease. Like the accursed kapo they know the truth- and deliberately refuse to warn others. They focus on the secret activities of some pre war American and British banks, as if those conspiracy theories fertilized the Nazi evil. What they will not acknowledge that some few scant years after the Holocaust, the Arab mantra of ‘We’ll finish what Hitler started’ became part and parcel of what passes for Arab world media, educational and religious priorities.
The progressives minimize the participation of many Muslims during the Holocaust. Amin Husseini, mufti of Jerusalem, met with Hitler and offered his enthusiastic support for the ‘final solution.’ In fact, Husseni was to complain that Jews weren’t being killed fast enough. Husseini’s support wasn’t only rhetorical- he raised an army of Bosnian volunteers that directly supported and participated in the Nazi war efforts from an office provided for him in Berlin by the Nazis.
As far as the progressives are concerned, that part of history is of no import. The Arab world has legitimized the hate- and for them, that is enough. 'We'll finish what Hitler started' is a perfectly acceptable form of expression.
Today's progressives are nothing more than a modern day equivalent of member of the Judenrat or kapo, perfectly willing to help the leftists sell out Israel so that they might maintain their ‘progressive’ bona fides. They aren't like those ‘other Jews.’ They are ‘enlightened’ and ‘intellectual’ Jews. They are part of an elite- or so they believe.
Progressives speak of ‘neocon’ conspiracies to invade Iran and make other outrageous claims. To them, sources and credibility matters little. It is the agenda only that matters. They are of the belief that government is answerable to them and their agenda.
Nowhere do the radical ‘religious progressives’ state the obvious truth: If the Arab world were to recognize Israel’s right to exist and abandon their stated desire to slaughter Jews, peace would be a Middle East reality in days.
Of course, not everyone sees it that way. Amotz Asa-El, in the Jerusalem Post, sees through the radical ‘religious progressives’:
SOME AMERICAN Jews - many in fact - no longer care about their own Jewishness and Israel’s vulnerability. To them, we calmly wave goodbye as they sail into the sunset; they have made a conscious choice and, much as we lament it, we must also respect it. Our plea goes to those who do care.
A destroyed Israel and the corpses of Jews will not be the mountain that the radical ‘religious progressives’ will stand upon, any more than corpses and Auschwitz are monuments to the kapos and the Judenrat.
The progressives want to wave their hands and make the truth disappear. They want their opinions and beliefs to be accepted as truths, simply because of who they are. Just like the Judenrat.
Of course, simply walking upright and having an opinion does not make that opinion valid or equal to other opinions. Holocaust denial, for example, is not a valid or equal belief because Mahmoud Ahmadenijad says it is. The beliefs (and silence) of radical ‘religious progressives’ are not universal truths, no matter how much they would like that to be.
One of the accepted hallmarks of civilized society is an accepted code of moral behavior. No matter one’s prejudices, biases or beliefs, we are all expected to behave in a certain way. We are all expected to treat others, regardless of their religion, lack of religion, culture or creed, in the same way we ourselves expect to be treated. If that accepted code of moral behavior is not present in a particular society, that society cannot be counted as civilized.
When the internal behavior of a society or segments of a society cannot be clearly categorized as civilized, it is safe to say that society or segment of that society, will not behave in a civilized way toward other nations or groups.
The silence of the radical ‘religious progressives’ brings to mind the words of the words of Martin Neimoller:
When you attack without being provoked, you are a resistance movement. When you sacrifice a country for your agenda, you are righteous.
So, you cross into a sovereign nation, kill some of their soldiers and kidnap others. Of course you’re justified, they’re soldiers. That’s what they’re there for. What, the nation wants retribution? Murderers! Imperialists! Zionists! Leave me alone, I don’t want to play anymore. Wait, how about I trade you my soldiers for yours? That’s fair? No? Maaaaaaaa! The big bad zionist doesn’t want to let me play… Maaaaaa!
So, you want your soldiers back? Why? They’re cowards? Aren’t they? I mean… no, they’re not cowards. They’re willing to die. Right? No? Jihaaaad! (oops, sorry), no let’s talk. This is a fun game, I sneak in and hurt you every once in a while, then you say ok let’s negotiate. No? You want to hurt me back? You’re invading? Maaaaaa! Invador!!!! You’re not allowed…. I am, of course… I’m still a baby.
What is tworisem? What is an ehkonomi? What is a cuntry? Who is nay-sean? What is a low?
Syria? Oh, they have prisoners as well? No. We can’t fight Syria. They’re not dirty Jews. They’re Muslims. That’s haram. The Lebanese prisoners there? Oh, it’s not important, they’re Christians.
You can’t criticize me, I’m a religious figure. Kaboom. We are fighters, we are politicians. What? Don’t criticize me, I’m a religious figure. If you express an opinion different from mine, you’re a traitor Zionist dog. What? Shush, I’m a religious figure. I will cut your arms and gouge your eyes. Because I’m a religious figure. I’m a religious figure, yes i’m the real religious figure. What? Eminem? Shut up, I’m a religious figure. whatever.
Let’s be blind-sighted, selective and subjective for a minute here. What’s wrong with you people? So we invaded israel first and kidnapped soldiers. That’s history. Let’s forget about that and start analysing WHY they’re fighting back. Come on, let’s say that we didn’t kidnap anyone. Ok? Israel might have still attacked for some other reason. It’s possible? Can you deny it completely? No. See!? Haha, I win! Maaaaa… I won! Let’s assume that we didn’t do anything, and that they attacked for no reason. It’s more fun to come up excuses and crazy theories than to be evolved creatures for a minute.
(And now, Ahmad, for the grand finale….) Why?
1- Hizbullah reduces the pressure on the Palestinians, allowing them to blow up more busses.
2- Hizbullah captures the world’s attention, diverting the pressure from Iran and it’s continued terrorist attempts at obtaining nuclear weapons.
3- Hizbullah acts on Syrian orders to destabilize Lebanon, to pay Lebanon back for kicking Syria out, and to promote the idea that Lebanon is unable to govern itself.
4- Little baby Assaad was frightened by the planes buzzing his summer crib. The saddest thing: Idiots who try to justify or condone this.
Portions of this post were previously piblished.
First of all, contemporary Western culture continually encourages groups that perceive themselves as victims to inflate the wrongs perpetuated against them. As a result, we are always being told that racism is more prevalent than ever before, or that homophobia and Islamophobia are rising, or that sexual discrimination is more powerful than in the past. It is unthinkable today for advocacy groups to concede that prejudice and discrimination against their members have decreased, and that the status of their community or people has improved. Such groups are acutely sensitive to how they are represented in the media, and to the language in which they are discussed and described. And this identity-based sensitivity is shared by Jewish organisations, too, which in recent decades have often been all-too-willing to interpret what are in fact confused and ambiguous references to their people as expressions of anti-Semitism...
...the defenders of Zionism have developed the unfortunate habit of labelling criticisms of Israel as a form of anti-Semitism. The aim of these rhetorical attacks is to devalue the moral standing of Israel’s critics, and thus avoid having to deal with their often difficult, persuasive arguments. The cumulative impact of this very defensive response to criticism of Israel is to undermine the moral weight of charges of anti-Semitism. Those who are anti-Zionist are often able to accuse Israeli politicians and their supporters of ‘hiding behind’ the charge of anti-Semitism. Worse still, the pro-Israel movement’s propagandistic association of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism has encouraged others to erode the conceptual distinction between Zionism and Jews.
The third complication comes with the sanctification of the Holocaust. In Europe, the Holocaust has in recent years been institutionalised as a moral absolute. In education, culture and public life, the Holocaust has been turned into a marker of evil. Many countries in the European Union have instituted laws against Holocaust denial. Sanctifying the Holocaust in this way has allowed European officialdom to claim moral authority on matters of good and evil, right and wrong, in relation to the present and the past...
Because in contemporary Europe there are many and various obstacles to the expression of anti-Semitic sentiments in their traditional form, prejudice towards Jews is now likely to be expressed indirectly, through other issues. Although criticism of Israel can and should be conceptually distinguished from prejudice towards Jewish people, in recent years there has been a significant erosion of the distinction between these two phenomena. As a result, some people have embraced the anti-Israeli cause as a way of making a statement about their attitude towards Jews. As a sociologist, I am well aware of the danger of attributing a sentiment to a statement that is not explicitly stated – which is why this discussion needs to be handled with care, and why such interpretative statements about today’s anti-Israeli/anti-Semitic outlook need to be clearly justified...
There is considerable evidence that in recent years anti-Semitism has acquired greater visibility and force in Europe. Over the past decade, and especially since the eruption of the conflict in Gaza, anti-Israeli sentiments have often mutated into anti-Jewish ones. Recent events indicate that in Europe the traditional distinction between anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish sentiment has become confusing and blurred.So recently, during a demonstration against Israel’s actions in Gaza, the Dutch Socialist Party MP Harry Van Bommel called for a new intifada against Israel. Of course he has every right to express this political viewpoint. However, he became an accomplice of anti-Semites when he chose to do nothing upon hearing chants of ‘Hamas, Hamas, all Jews to the gas’ and similar anti-Jewish slogans. Many people who should know better now keep quiet when they hear slogans like ‘Kill the Jews’ or ‘Jews to the oven’ on anti-Israel demonstrations. At a recent protest in London, such chants provoked little reaction from individuals who otherwise regard themselves as progressive anti-racists – and nor did they appear to be embarrassed by the sight of a man dressed as a racist Jewish caricature, wearing a ‘Jew mask’ with a crooked nose while pretending to eat bloodied babies...
Increasingly, protesters are targeting Jews for being Jews. They have agitated for the boycott and even harassment of certain shops, and in practice this has translated into boycotting and harassing Jewish-owned shops, such as Marks & Spencer (some of whose stores have been barricaded by anti-Israel protesters) and Starbucks (a number of whose coffee shops have been attacked in London and elsewhere). Giancarlo Desiderati, spokesman for the trade union Flaica-Cub, has explicitly called for a boycott of Jewish businesses in Rome. A leaflet issued by his union informed Romans that anything they purchase in Jewish-owned shops will be ‘tainted by blood’.
Here, there is an almost effortless conceptual leap from criticising Israel to targeting Jews. Desiderati pointed out that his organisation had already called for a boycott of Israeli goods before taking the logical next step of demanding a boycott of Jewish shops. He said that his union was drawing up a list of Jewish shops, ‘though it might be better to publish a list of streets in which a majority of the shops are Jewish and ask people to avoid those streets when shopping’ (2).
Anti-Semitism in Europe is not simply a rhetorical pastime of Islamists or pro-Palestinian protesters. In Britain, Jewish schoolchildren have been castigated for belonging to a people with ‘blood on their hands’. Their elders sometimes face intimidation and regularly report being subjected to verbal abuse. What is most disturbing about these developments is the reluctance of European society to acknowledge and confront acts of anti-Semitism. Take the riots that broke out in Paris on 3 January. If you relied upon mainstream media reports, you would never have known that groups of youngsters were shouting ‘death to the Jews’ while throwing stones at the police. In this instance, expressions of anti-Semitism were not even properly reported, much less confronted and challenged in public debate...
…felt that the domestic violence and death threats easily fulfilled the “hardship” criteria necessary for such an accelerated split.Dr Sanity succinctly remarks:
In January, though, a letter arrived from the judge adjudicating the case. The judge rejected the application for a speedy divorce by referring to a passage in the Koran that some have controversially interpreted to mean that a husband can beat his wife.
NOTE TO FEMINISTS: This is a case of multicultural relativism at its finest! You should be proud! Keep up the good work.The origins of this latest incarnation of misogyny came about a lot more recently than you might imagine. The modern day acceptance of hijab, niqab, abaya and other forms of religious garb are actually more recent expressions of politics and culture.
Real religion encourages and demands that we upset the status quo and challenge the current state of affairs. In our response, we see new horizons. As we noted, ‘Like the School of Paris painters at the beginning of the 20th century that forced us to look at the world in a way that wasn’t necessarily representational, religious thinkers provide the chaos we need to grow. God may be in Mozart and Rembrandt, but he is no less in Picasso and Coltrane.
NYT Interview with Dambisa Moyo:
Q: As a native of Zambia with advanced degrees in public policy and economics from Harvard and Oxford, you are about to publish an attack on Western aid to Africa and its recent glamorization by celebrities. ‘‘Dead Aid,’’ as your book is called, is particularly hard on rock stars. Have you met Bono?
I have, yes, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last year. It was at a party to raise money for Africans, and there were no Africans in the room, except for me.
What do you think of him?
I’ll make a general comment about this whole dependence on “celebrities.” I object to this situation as it is right now where they have inadvertently or manipulatively become the spokespeople for the African continent.
You argue in your book that Western aid to Africa has not only perpetuated poverty but also worsened it, and you are perhaps the first African to request in book form that all development aid be halted within five years.
Think about it this way — China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.
Maybe that’s because they have so much money that we here in the U.S. are begging the Chinese for loans.
Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from? They built that, they worked very hard to create a situation where they are not dependent on aid.
What do you think has held back Africans?
I believe it’s largely aid. You get the corruption — historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty — and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship. You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people.
If people want to help out, what do you think they should do with their money if not make donations?
Microfinance. Give people jobs.
But what if you just want to donate, say, $25?
Go to the Internet and type in Kiva.org, where you can make a loan to an African entrepreneur.
Do you have a financial interest in Kiva?
No, except that I’ve made loans through the system. I don’t own a share of Kiva.
You just left your longtime job as a banker for Goldman Sachs in London, where you live. What did you do there, exactly?
I worked in the capital markets, helping mostly emerging countries to issue bonds. That’s why I know that that works.
Which countries sought your help?
Israel, Turkey and South Africa, primarily.
Why didn’t you get a bond issue going in your native Zambia or other African countries?
Many politicians seem to have a lazy muscle. Issuing a bond would require that the president and the cabinet ministers go out and market their country. Why would they do that when they can just call up the World Bank and say, “Can I please have some money?”
I keep reading about a new crop of African presidents who are supposedly free-market guys, including Rupiah Banda, the president of Zambia.
There are lots who are nominally free market, but they haven’t been aggressive about implementing those policies.
What do your parents do?
My mother is chairman of a bank called the Indo-Zambia Bank. It’s a joint venture between Zambia and India. My father runs Integrity Foundation, an anticorruption organization.
For all your belief in the potential of capitalism, the free market is now in free fall and everyone is questioning the supposed wonders of the unregulated market.
I wish we questioned the aid model as much as we are questioning the capitalism model. Sometimes the most generous thing you can do is just say no.
A year or so before the passing of my grandmother the two of us spent a whole day together, enjoying each others company.
We went to lunch after taking in a movie (she scolded me for taking her to a place that was "too nice" and wanted to know "How they could get away charging such prices!") and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. After I insisted that she must absolutely have any dessert she wanted ("Goodness! The price for such a small piece of cake is so dear!"), she selected a piece of chocolate cheesecake. Her eyes literally danced, in anticipation of that delight. It was as if she were a small girl, waiting for the birthday cake to arrive, baked especially for her. I like to say I didn't know if that were the case because she really wanted that special treat (a treat she would never indulge in by herself), or if she was delighted that her first grandchild treated her so generously. Of course, I knew better. For my grandmother that small piece of cake was equivalent to a crown jewel given to her by me, another one of her crown jewels.
My maternal grandparents were very poor. They were both very educated people, but they were never people of means. My grandfather was a teacher- and in fact, never aspired to more. The guaranteed weekly paycheck was a security blanket. My grandmother stayed home and raised three daughters and a son. When her children were in school and the never ending housework and cleaning and laundry were at a lull, my grandmother would read. She read for 50 plus years, every day. More about that, later.
My paternal grandparents were far more established. Indeed, my father's father was a very well to do man. He started life in Whitechapel, in the east end of London. He shoveled coal before dawn every morning and after dusk in the evening, so as to help feed his family.
He was eight years old at the time he was first sent to work. My grandfather never went back to school.
His family needed the money he brought into the household. Soon, that coal shoveling money was augmented by 2 paper routes, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. My grandfather was proud of that- he used to say that he was one of the first newspaper delivery boys in all of London. At the time, most papers were sold by young boys, standing at a street corner.
My grandfather fought in the 'war to end all wars.' He saw battle at Passchendaele and elsewhere and he saw friends succumb to mustard gas. Many died and some ended up in veterans hospitals, at 18 years of age. They would live out their lives hidden away, their grotesque figures forgotten and never to be seen. He visited some of those friends for over 60 years, till they were gone.
My grandfather never set foot in a German car or owned anything made in Germany, his whole life. It was the mustard gas, he said. The devil's breath, he called it. He said the same thing about the Nazis and their use of gas. As refugees spilled all over Europe like a dropped glass of milk after the war, my grandparents took in some of those wretched survivors into their home. My father shared his room with a young boy his own age until 1949.
My grandfather had started his own business and after a few years of the back breaking work a one man show requires, he was to find much success. His family never went without again. My father's family were to distinguish themselves by giving charity and helping all who asked. My grandfather used to whisper to us all that 'you never forget going to bed without dinner and knowing there would be no breakfast.'
When my parents first met, both sets of grandparents were against the marriage (there was a time when parents had a say, hard as that is to believe).
My mother's parents were upset because my father's family was well to do, and of another, more respected class. My mother's were poor, simple people. They scolded my mother for 'aiming to high.'
My father's family were against the marriage because my mother's family was so educated. Her family was comprised of teachers and professors, and there was even a lower court judge and a few other distant relative notables. They had a house full of books, all read, or about to be read. My father's father said that he was outclassed. My mother's parents were 'educated and well read. Not like us.'
Even though my fathers parents made sure all their children were university educated, my grandfather remained ashamed of his own perceived inadequacies. To be clear, he too, spent 50 plus years, reading, ever so slowly. In fact, he was to become an extraordinary man.
As our dessert appeared, my grandmother and I were engrossed in conversation. So much had changed in her lifetime, she said. She recalled growing up in a world of horse drawn wagons with wooden wheels. Now, jets crossed oceans in hours and a space shuttle circled the earth with the regularity of a clock. Miracles, she said.
She grew up with paraffin lamps, later to see nuclear energy provide electricity. Computers, fax machines, refrigerators and men walking on the moon were to be a reality for the little girl that had a goat for a pet and for whom a simple ribbon and a few buttons was a cherished birthday treat. She recalled, how she, as young girl, was more impressed with the running water that went directly into a wringer washing machine without have to pump the water, than the washing machine itself. The changing world was full of much wonder for that girl in the little village, so far from the city.
There were a thousand and one other differences that she noted. She was of the generation for whom God revealed himself, she said, because she was to see antibiotics as common place. She said she recalled the never ending sadness of her mother, who witnessed the death of three of her children to diseases now easily cured. There was a time when burying children was a part of life.
Then she said that life was about change- and that whether we wanted life to change or not, it always did. She went on to say that those who fought change were never happy. She said that change was like moving. There are those that take their valuables and cherished possessions and pick up where they left off and there are those whose who leave it all, to start all over again, as if the past didn't matter. Those were the saddest people, she said.
My grandmother, and her generation, were well qualified to talk about change.
This nation, like her inhabitants, has seen much change. Our domestic policy and our foreign policy have changed and will change again. We will see more technology and become even further removed from the days our grandparents and great grandparents knew.
We are no longer the America we were before September 11, 2001. We, and our children, face horrors that were unimaginable just a few years ago. We cannot pretend who we are as a nation has not changed. Nevertheless, we are a nation that has an important history and an even more important legacy. Lots may have changed but there is lots we must preserve.
We are the nation that eschews tyranny in all it's forms for freedom. That cannot change. We cannot turn a blind eye to those that would hurt us, as if pretending they weren't there would make them go away. We cannot pretend that there is no difference between us and those for whom bigotry, hate and are a part of life and violence threats of violence are an acceptable form of expression. Those people are not our equals in any way, shape or form.
We cannot pretend that this nation was not founded on the principles of religious tolerance. The freedom of religious tolerance is meant to be celebrated and not simply endured.
We cannot forget who we are. We cannot forget that it was the plurality of ideals that made this nation great- a plurality that included all kinds of divergent ideas and patriots. We cannot forget that there are times we must fight for the principles of freedom. We cannot be self congratulatory as others are kept in the cold and dark. Freedom is not ours to keep for ourselves only, any more than life saving antibiotics are meant to be hoarded and kept from those who are ill.
Mostly, we cannot forget who we are, a nation of diversity. E pluribus unum- out of many, one.
If we forget that, we are exactly who our enemies say we are.
The state of the nation is how we define our nation as a whole. We are measured not by those we agree with, but rather with how we get along with those we disagree.
A couple of years ago, on an outing with my daughter, she remarked that the new computer cam she wanted was much too expensive. I smiled and thought of my grandmother. Much has changed (my daughter once asked if I knew how to use an 'antique' rotary phone)- and much of who we are, thankfully, has not. There really is a season for all things.
As the new Obama administration and Iran feel each other out, it can be difficult to understand and determine if there really is a new dynamic our relationship with Iran. Realities on the ground often force us to reassessour position and direction. Today, theUN oday acknowledged that Iran now has enough uranium for a bomb. Previously, it was believed that Iran was 3-5 years away from that capacity.
See Dr Sanity today for a look at more of what the Obama administration is facing.
Conjecture 1: Terrorism has Lowered the Nuclear Threshold -----> is there anyone who doubts that the nuclear threshold has been lowered? Remember the exploits of A.Q. Khan , just recently released?
Conjecture 2: Attaining WMD's Would Destroy Islam------> Let's get real. Islam already has nuclear weapons (Pakistan, remember? ) and we are simply waiting for the most fanatical elements of a religion that no longer has any control over its extreme message, to develop the capability of delivering them. Does anyone doubt that? Remember that Iranian clerics have already issued a fatwa approving the use of nuclear weapons against the enemies of Islam. They have all their ducks in a row. Or, if you downplay nuclear WMD, consider this news from yesterday.
Conjecture 3: The "War on Terror" is the Golden Hour -- the final chance------> What? You haven't heard? The "war on terror" is no more--it's so....yesterday, dude. We have entered an age of golden rhetoric. We are going to engage our enemies with words and compassionately listen to them. I predict that soon, the Democrats will tire of "the good war", i.e., Afghanistan; which they "supported" in contrast to Iraq, where they said we could never win. In fact, Harry Reid famously announced the war in Iraq was "lost". Now that the antiwar left can't whine about Iraq, we will see them turn their bottomless desire to appease and surrender to the Afghanistan front.
In short, if our "golden hour" is not completely over with the changing of the guard in Washington, then there are only a few seconds at most left on the clock.
One of the tools used by policy and political analysts to help navigate and chart the course of clarity is a device known as 'Decision Tree.'
There are certain rules for using a Decision Tree, but rather than go into them, we will illustrate how the DT works, using the events of the day as an example.
Do we wish to see an Iran armed with nuclear weapons? Yes or No?
If the answer is yes, we do nothing, and move on.
If the answer is no, we do not wish to see Iran with nuclear weapons, we have to ask ourselves another question.
Do we act after Iran has acquired those weapons, or do act prior to Iran acquiring those weapons?
If we decide to wait until Iran has nuclear weapons, we are under no pressure to act.
If we decide that it is better to to act before Iran has nuclear weapons, our time to act is limited. If we decide that it is indeed better to act before Iran acquires nuclear weapons, there are more questions.
How should we deal with Iran- diplomatically or militarily?
European and US diplomatic efforts have a well documented record of failure going back to 1979. For over two decades, diplomats have failed to reach a rapprochement with the Iranian mullahs. There is no reason to believe that will dramatically change in the immediate or even foreseeable future. In fact, diplomacy is becoming less of an option for the Europeans as well.
Given that diplomatic efforts are unlikely to produce results, we have to look at military options- and that means more questions.
Do we need to invade Iran, or will missiles intended to destroy the Iranian weapons program and facilities be enough?
We have no need to invade Iran. Indeed, there is no need to for any American soldier to set foot in that country. Between bunker buster bombs and submarine fired missiles, we can more than make our point. Action against Iran will not resemble the Iran-Iraq war. That of course, brings up another question.
What if the Iranians retaliate?
Of course, that is a real option. In the event the Iranians retaliate, that leadership must understand that we will return with more bunker buster bombs and more missiles- this time, not necessarily targeting nuclear sites. Intelligence can identify and locate where the Iranian leadership might be at any give time. That invites another question.
What if the Iranians retaliate by attacking Israel or American interests?
Chances are, Israel will be attacked by Iran, sooner or later. Under the circumstances, sooner might be better. The Hamas election win has opened up a new door of terror. Hamas and Hizbollah have close ties to Tehran and Damascus. The possibility of Hamas acquiring a WMD is very real. Given the announced threats of Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas- each seeking the destruction of Israel- we have no reason to disbelieve their intentions.
There is no single example of a leader, anywhere, that threatened Jews or Israel, that did not go out and attempt to implement that evil when given the chance.That of course, invites more questions- lots more questions, all which bring us back to the same point:
Further, responsible nations and leaders cannot fall back and claim 'that is just bluster' every time they are called on uttering racist, bigoted and hateful remarks. When leaders and nations espouse views that are clearly dysfunctional and out of the normal parameters of civilized behavior, when they use their own government controlled media to propagate hate and other outrages, they must be marginalized. There are consequences for inappropriate behavior, not the least of which is the forfeiture of a seat at the table of civilized nations. Just as Iran and other nations in the region would be outraged at media, school curriculum's and 'official' religious doctrine that repudiated and excoriated their own religious and ethnic identities, so too must they understand they get no free pass if they choose to exercise their hatred and bigotry.
This will only be settled, and can only be settled, by war. There's just too much blood on the ground. The Arab/Israeli conflict isn't a political or geographical or economic or religious "dispute." This is a blood feud, pure and simple and brutal. It will end in simple brutality. The side that can be the most brutal the quickest will win.
If the Israelis win, the Palestinians and every Arab state that comes to their aid will have to be reduced to an utter and crushing defeat. If the Palestinians win, the Israelis will simply be slaughtered wherever they can be found. One side is crushed or the other side is annihilated. It is a simple choice, but it is clear we are dealing -- as today's election results underscore -- with a simple people.
What will happen here will not look like peace. It will look like, for one side or the other, victory.We either deal with this or we don't. We will vanquish or we will be vanquished. If you aren't sure about that truth, use a Decision Tree of your own.
Last year, the Anchoress wrote Lent: The Searing Lesson, a post in which she self examines. We were taken by her remarks. We responded in a post titled with her own words, "Love cannot exist without pain."
Her post startled us- and made us think about faith, belief and the daily struggle that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. As humans, our focus goes way beyond mere survival and reproduction- we want to be better people. We want to elevate ourselves and those around us.
People of faith who engage in the pursuit of the elevated self often engage in prayer or meditation, exercises long associated with the pursuit of Holiness. They ask God to help them in their journey. For many, prayer and meditation are more than a bit comforting. For them, those activities are the signs along the map of life that keeps them headed in the right direction.
People who are not so religious might say, 'Why do I need to go to a House of Worship to be elevated?' This is not a rejection of faith. Americans are only too happy to refer to themselves as 'spiritual.' They are less comfortable identifying with a particular religion.
Churches and Houses of Worship have been grappling with an often asked question: If God is everywhere, why go to a house of worship? The question is fair and the answer most often given talks about community, family and like minded people who share similar beliefs. When all is said and done, the response to the question usually given does not really answer the question. If it did, the matter would have been put to rest long ago.
The real reason to go to Churches and Houses of Worship is because with their confines, Holiness can be found.
We're jumping the gun a bit, so we'll answer the question, 'What is Holiness'?
Holiness is many things. We assign Holiness to time, as in Remember to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. We assign Holiness to objects. There are sacred vessels, sacred scrolls and sacred relics. We also assign Holiness to places. Jerusalem and Temple Mount immediately come to mind as do other shrines, tombs and monuments.
Once assigned, the Holy designation stands.
People of course can be Holy too, but there is a difference. Humans, by our very nature, also pursue very mundane pursuits. We are not always engaged in sacred activities. We live very mundane lives and we must engage in very mundane efforts if we are to survive.
Holiness for human being can be defined as the state that is separate from the mundane. Holiness is the state of spiritual awareness.
To be engaged in the mundane, is to be in a state that lacks Holiness. This is not a bad thing any more than darkness, the absence of light, is a bad thing. The absence of light serves an important and critical restorative purpose for most of Creation. We sleep and rejuvenate ourselves, we find new strengths and each day, we are enabled to seek new opportunities to elevate ourselves and those around us. The absence of daylight only serves to help us appreciate what is possible when we have the light.
The absence of light is not valueless. Understood, it is a very precious commodity indeed. Think of it this way. Daylight is 24 carat gold, night time is 18 carat gold. Not as perfect perhaps, but valued and used wisely, 18 carat gold is precious indeed.
Most of us are not meant to live in an always Holy state. We each live in a world clearly defined by the sacred and the mundane. Our lives are lived in a dynamic and vast range of being- Holy when we commune with God and very mundane and further from God when fix the car or pick up the dry cleaning. That is how it is supposed to be. Had God created us as He did the angels, in a permanent state of Holiness, we would be deprived of His greatest gift- free will. We are meant to earn Holiness every day, over a lifetime.
Our potential for Holiness is derived in how we see and understand Holiness. If we see Holiness in purely spiritual terms and the result of a direct connection to God, then very few of us will ever be Holy. If we see God in the same way we see light, a reflection of the sun through the atmosphere that envelopes all of us, then Holiness is ours for the taking. All we need to do is go outside to fully benefit from the sun's rays. Once we accept our potential for Holiness, the purpose of prayer and Houses of Worship become clear. Those places we pray serve as a bright illumination for the path we must walk down, the path that allows us to reflect our unique Holiness.
It is true that we don't need a Houses of Worship to find God or Holiness.
A House of Worship does not exist for God. A House of Worship exists to facilitate our potential. In the effort to regain Holiness after the 'darkness' of our mundane existence, a House of Worship offers us a place to remind us of God's words and to reconnect with His commandments that serve as guideposts on the path that will elevate us.
It is also true that Houses of Worship are places that make our individual journeys easier. We embark on a trek with a sacred place, and sacred prayers objects behind us, acting a light filled mirror, illuminating the first steps of our journey. We can take those steps with confidence because of the light that comes from within that House of Worship.
Darkness does not mean light is forever absent. There are places filled with light. Seek them out.
What does it take to neutralize extremism? Not a lot and a whole lot, according to a former terrorist Ghaffar Hussain, former radical and member of Hizb ut Tahrir. He is now associated with the Quilliam Foundation, a British think tankdedicated to combating extremism.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: As we speak, around three dozen German Islamists are supposedly living in terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some of them have radicalized very quickly, within months. You yourself were a radical Islamist at one time and are now an expert in the field. What is it that makes some young Muslims tick?
Hussain: Primarily they buy into a certain narrative, and a specific world view, which seems to be particularly appealing for young Muslims in Europe. Quite a few of them feel marginalized, they don't feel they fit into society and they can't connect with their parents' generation. So they look for something they can belong to and some of them feel very attracted by the Umma concept, the idea that all Muslims form a unity. This is then where your allegiance lies and nothing else matters. From there, they develop an urge to do something good, and then they are sometimes confronted with what I call shock tactics: graphic images of Muslim victims, for example. They reach the conclusion that they have to do something about it. Plus there is the scriptural side: They are being told that they have to fight, that fighting is a duty.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Some of those who have become radicalized have not been very succesful in their former lives. It's like they are losers who seek to transform themselves into winners...
Hussain: Yes, and the elite factor definitly plays a role as well. I have met many radical people who wouldn't want to discuss their ideas with someone knowledgable, because they knew they would not win that debate. But for them their mindset is very comfortable. They are the vanguard, everything makes sense for them. They have a network, a group of friends. It can be very attractive to suddenly be convinced that you alone now know what's really going on. You are a real Muslim, the others have been infiltrated by the West and are corrupted. Certainly you are better than your parents so you don't have to listen to them anymore...
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Radicalization is a process. It's not like you are a moderate on Monday, but wake up on Tuesday as a would-be-terrorist. Can this process be stopped once it has started?
Hussain: Yes, the process can be stopped, if these people are exposed to alternative points of view before it's too late. Before they will only socialize with people who supply them with radical answers to the questions that drive them. Basically these people are looking for answers and they often find radical answers most convincing because they seem to explain everything. This is the point where they need to be confronted with information that contradicts the Islamist narrative. There's also a scriptural aspect to this: You have to show to them that Islam as such does not support many of the Islamists' arguments.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Generally, what role does religious knowledge play in the process of radicalization? A lot of jihadist leaders for example talk a lot about faith without having much in the way of a theological education. Even Osama Bin Laden and Aiman al-Zawahiri fall into that category.
Hussain: Religion is not what motivates people. They don't pick up the Koran and say: Ah, this is what I've got to do! They are motivated by politics. But when Islamists show their world view they always provide some scriptural justification. As a rule, 90 percent of their speeches are political, but they will also say: And the Koran supports this, and the Prophet supports this, so as to make the argument look Islamic...
See the video for Hamas Department Of Justice guidelines.
Fascinating article on the economic crisis by Richard Florida in this month's edition of The Atlantic.
How The Crash Will Reshape America
Read it all.
The crash of 2008 continues to reverberate loudly nationwide—destroying jobs, bankrupting businesses, and displacing homeowners. But already, it has damaged some places much more severely than others. On the other side of the crisis, America’s economic landscape will look very different than it does today. What fate will the coming years hold for New York, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas? Will the suburbs be ineffably changed? Which cities and regions can come back strong? And which will never come back at all?
No place in the United States is likely to escape a long and deep recession. Nonetheless, as the crisis continues to spread outward from New York, through industrial centers like Detroit, and into the Sun Belt, it will undoubtedly settle much more heavily on some places than on others. Some cities and regions will eventually spring back stronger than before. Others may never come back at all. As the crisis deepens, it will permanently and profoundly alter the country’s economic landscape. I believe it marks the end of a chapter in American economic history, and indeed, the end of a whole way of life...
It is possible that the United States will enter a period of accelerating relative decline in the coming years... What’s more certain is that the recession, particularly if it turns out to be as long and deep as many now fear, will accelerate the rise and fall of specific places within the U.S.—and reverse the fortunes of other cities and regions...
But another crucial aspect of the crisis has been largely overlooked, and it might ultimately prove more important. Because America’s tendency to overconsume and under-save has been intimately intertwined with our postwar spatial fix—that is, with housing and suburbanization—the shape of the economy has been badly distorted, from where people live, to where investment flows, to what’s produced. Unless we make fundamental policy changes to eliminate these distortions, the economy is likely to face worsening handicaps in the years ahead...
...The ability of different cities and regions to attract highly educated people—or human capital—has diverged, according to research by the Harvard economists Edward Glaeser and Christopher Berry, among others. Thirty years ago, educational attainment was spread relatively uniformly throughout the country, but that’s no longer the case. Cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Raleigh, and Boston now have two or three times the concentration of college graduates of Akron or Buffalo. Among people with postgraduate degrees, the disparities are wider still. The geographic sorting of people by ability and educational attainment, on this scale, is unprecedented...
...the economy is different now. It no longer revolves around simply making and moving things. Instead, it depends on generating and transporting ideas. The places that thrive today are those with the highest velocity of ideas, the highest density of talented and creative people, the highest rate of metabolism. Velocity and density are not words that many people use when describing the suburbs. The economy is driven by key urban areas; a different geography is required...
The foreclosure crisis creates a real opportunity here. Instead of resisting foreclosures, the government should seek to facilitate them in ways that can minimize pain and disruption. Banks that take back homes, for instance, could be required to offer to rent each home to the previous homeowner, at market rates—which are typically lower than mortgage payments—for some number of years. (At the end of that period, the former homeowner could be given the option to repurchase the home at the prevailing market price.) A bigger, healthier rental market, with more choices, would make renting a more attractive option for many people; it would also make the economy as a whole more flexible and responsive...
On 2/7/09 at approximately 6:35 PM a suspicious incident occurred at Hilltop Apartments, in the parking lot between the Beard and French buildings. A male approached a female from the opposite direction and came up within several feet of her personal space. The female turned around and left the area. The male walked away in the opposite direction. The male did not say anything or make physical contact with the female. The intention of the male is unknown. Description as follows: a white male 6’ 0” with shoulder length brown hair wearing a red or brown cloth jacket and jeans. Male described as older than college age. The male had a round face and large build.
If you have any information or witnessed the incident please call the UConn Police at 486-4800. As always, you are encouraged to travel in groups at night and in well lit areas. Please notify police of any suspicious activity immediately.
Suspicious Occurrence Update – 02/09/2009
As a result of information received subsequent to issuance of the safety alert on 02/07/2009, UConn Police are confident that the male involved in the incident on Saturday evening has been identified. Accordingly, the immediate safety concern is mitigated. The police investigation of the matter will continue toward resolution. UConn Police appreciate the positive comments and information received from the community.