OBAMA’S TOUGH LOVE
By Avi Davis
There was something for everyone in Barak Obama’s speech in Cairo on Tuesday. It hit all the acceptable notes on compassion, human dignity and peaceful coexistence and delivered its vision of a world without conflict, war or inequality with generous helpings of hyperbole. Perhaps no one should fault the President for the desire to rebuild damaged relations in the Muslim world or in calling for a nuclear weapons free world. But he can and should be faulted for presenting facts that are patently untrue and for the implicit willingness to accommodate evil in his search for an unrealizable vision of world amity.
Obama’s speech was, for all and intents and purposes, a “ hovering speech”, that is, in the great Wilsonian tradition, it hovered over conflicts, border disputes and nuclear proliferation issues, sagaciously dispensing wisdom on how those conflicts could be resolved. Taking no particular side (not really even his own) he could then expostulate that he had come to Cairo to build a new relationship between the United States and the Muslim world – one based on mutual interest and mutual respect: “ America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
Well that is well and good if you are talking to the Rotary Club of Cairo, Georgia. But the crowd in Cairo, Egypt, to which he addressed his comments, may not be quite as open to “ sharing what is in our heart” and expressing solidarity with Obama’s universalistic vision of a humanity with similar goals and aspirations.
After all, what does the United States really have in common with a culture and civilization which in the main denies human and political rights to women; has little respect for democratic government; where, in places such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and even Kuwait, an accusation of thievery can result in the amputation of hands; where a woman accused of adultery has a 70% chance, regardless of her innocence, of being stoned to death; where human rights activists such Egypt’s own Ayman Nur and other dissidents have spent years rotting in jail for the expressions of their political beliefs?
In the Cairo speech, nearly every historical allusion was nonfactual or inexact: the fraudulent claims that Muslims were responsible for European, Chinese, and Hindu discoveries; the notion that Christian Cordoba was an example of Islamic tolerance during the Inquisition; that the Renaissance and Enlightenment were fueled by Arab learning; that abolition and civil rights in the United States were accomplished without violence.
Then there were the other statements made by Obama which simply deny reality:
What to make of Obama’s statement that “ regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations — to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God.”
It seems that Obama was coloring in the picture of the Islamic world from his own palette of multicultural experience. That the two civilizations do not share “common aspirations” in that the Muslim family unit differs fundamentally from the Western model - was one of the more egregious mistakes. The kind of patriarchal structure that exists in the Muslim world, with its emphasis on honor, its absorption with shame and the apotheosis of the family head, precludes respect for individual rights and needs within the family circle.
Also why, exactly, is it Barak Obama’s responsibility, as President of the United States, “to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” Once again the comparison to Wilson is appropriate – the self appointed guardian of righteousness vowing to protect the rights and dignity of the disenfranchised. Wilson’s utopianism came to grief on the shoals of political and cultural realities. Obama should prepare himself for a similar outcome.
And what about this: “And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”
Oh, if only Palestinian leaders had ever felt the same way. The struggle for Palestinian self determination has left behind it a blood soaked trail of demagoguery, absence of statesmanship, graft, venality and terrorism. But more than that, there has never emerged in the Palestinian intellectual narrative very much support for the idea of a nation state with its own cultural and political identity. That idea is largely a Western one, foisted on Palestinians in the name of national dignity.
Today Palestinian nationalism, such as it is, largely revolves around the elimination of another state, rather than the creation of a new one. There is nothing in Palestinian circles that approximates the kind of intellectual energy which was dispensed by the founding fathers of either the United States or Israel in detailing the institutions necessary to maintain the superstructure of a new democratic state capable of living in peace with its neighbors. Nor is there is any debate or discussion of these issues.
When talking about dignity, Mr. Obama might have also referred to the demand that any people wishing to join the family of nations should be required to express dignity in their struggle for independence. Perhaps Mr. Obama and his advisors should ask themselves what have the Palestinians done to warrant statehood? Have they demonstrated a willingness to forswear violence, alter their founding documents to reflect the desire for peaceful coexistence or build institutions that would safeguard individual rights? What have they done other than strewn the streets of their neighbor with the wreckage of exploded city buses accompanied by the burning flesh of their occupants?
Obama, like many American presidents, likes to deal with complicated issues through orotund expressions of moral symmetry. The penchant for finding moral, political and cultural equivalence between competing national narratives however leads to gross distortions of historical fact. In Obama’s case it is the conflation of the Jewish people’s suffering through centuries of persecution with the so-called denial of rights to Palestinians. It is in the moral comparisons of the construction of Israeli West Bank settlements to the Palestinians’ incessant campaigns of suicide bombing; it is in drawing parallels between the extraordinary growth of highly organized civil societies such as Japan and South Korea with the chaotic and often dysfunctional economic structures of the Arab world.
When we think of other great presidential speeches abroad, we remember that they were tethered to an idea of American exceptionalism – the concept that America stood for freedom and against tyranny. John F. Kennedy’s and Ronald Reagan’s Berlin speeches were examples of unintimidated American leaders willing to talk down to brutal regimes who exhibited no respect for human rights or the principles of Western freedom. They set the high watermark of American leadership abroad and its resolve to confront evil. There was no evidence in Obama’s speech that anyone in the Arab or Muslim world has anything to fear by failing to abide by civilized norms. Rather, he imparted the strong sense that there would be no more punishment for violations of civilized conduct than mild expressions of tough love.
The United States might well need the help and support of the Muslim world in stymieing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But that does not need to mean that the United States should accept or support the abuses of civilized conduct , driven by Islamic teachings, that are found rampant in the Muslim world. In the struggle between these two civilizations, where one will and must ultimately predominate, Obama has undoubtedly given our adversaries a helping hand.
Want to comment on this article? See Avi Davis’ blog
Avi Davis is the president of the American Freedom Alliance in Los Angeles. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Heroes of Conscience Dinner Introductory speech
THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE TODAY
By Avi Davis
I know that many of you who received our invitation were expecting to be greeted by Ward Connerly as our Master of Ceremonies tonight. Well I am sorry to inform you that Ward was not able to make it. But we are blessed, with the attendance of his twin and even better looking brother, Joe Hicks , a formidable former radio talk show host and co founder of Community Advocates. And we will be meeting him in just a moment.
Tonight’s dinner comes in the midst of two of the most important anniversaries in the history of the modern world.
The first is the 65TH Anniversary of D -Day. The second is the 20th anniversary of the massacre of students in Tiananmen Square in China.
These two epochal events, one where freedom was fearlessly defended and other where it was brutally extinguished, should give us pause today when considering the challenges to freedom around the globe.
Because wherever we look on the world’s map, freedom is under assault. Not just in world capitals, such as Beijing, Moscow and Teheran - but in places far closer to home – in our universities, in our media and among many of our leaders, all who blindly ignore the reality of the world in which we live....
For more of article See Avi Davis’ blog
Islamicization of Europe
by Geert Wilders
This week exactly 65 years ago American soldiers, fought, bled and died at Normandy’s beaches for the freedom of Europe. Now Europe’s freedom is at stake once again. We are now witnessing changes that will forever alter Europe’s destiny and might send the continent in what Ronald Reagan once called ‘a thousand years of darkness’.
Mass immigration from Muslim countries, demography and the doctrine of cultural relativism are responsible for the introduction of Shariah law in Europe. Shariah banks, Shariah schools and Shariah courts are part of today’s Europe. All throughout Europe a new reality of parallel societies is rising: Entire Islamic neighbourhoods, mosques on many street corners, women wearing head scarves or burkas, in almost every European city. European governments, courts, trade unions, the media and even churches are siding with Islam. Today there are more than 50 million Muslims in Europe, it is expected that this will be doubled in just 20 years. By 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families. Europe will become Eurabia. America is losing an ally.
Europe might be in the finale stages of Islamization. But this ‘stealth Jihad’ is also a major problem in the US. Some American schools are already giving in: They are banning Halloween and Christmas celebrations and are taking pork off their cafeteria menus to avoid offending Muslim students. But there is more: At Indianapolis airport Muslim cab drivers refused to transport passengers possessing alcohol or guide dogs. Muslims demand separate housing on school grounds and separate hours for Muslim women in gyms and swimming pools. I warn the Land of the Free: This is only the beginning. The US should stop this new ‘apartheid’, the US should stop this creepy Islamization immediately.
As a loyal friend and supporter of the United States of America I want to make one other suggestion: Stop appeasing the Wahabi Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia employs one of the strictest interpretations of Shariah law in the world: Women must be under guardianship of male relatives all the time and must be completely covered in public. Beheadings, hangings, chopping of hands and feet, it all happens in Saudi Arabia, because Shariah law prescribes it. In June 1921 Winston Churchill said: “The Wahabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practise themselves they rigorously enforce on others. They hold it is an article of duty, as well as a faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children (…) Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and in bloodthirsty, in their own regions the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account”. Of course, everything should be done to prevent a nuclear Iran, but the US should not be fixated on just Iran, also Saudi Arabia is a major threat to the West. Saudi Arabia tries to export its medieval values through foundations all over the world, including the US. The Wahabis would love to see a veiled Lady Liberty. The double standard in American foreign politics should be stopped, before it is too late.
The current Islamization of the West is not a military invasion like those we have seen in the past, this time we have to deal with a ‘stealth Jihad’. This time no armies, but mass immigration and demography, this time no swords, but cultural relativism. Of course, there are a lot of moderate, law obeying Muslims, but unfortunately there is no moderate Islam; The heart of Islam is the Koran, which calls for violence, murder, terror, war and submission. We must never accept an Islamic Europe. I propose to defend our prosperity, democracy, human rights, civilization and freedom. I propose to defend our way of life with all our strength. We owe it to our children and their children. We owe it to the heroes of Normandy; they did not die for an Islamized Europe, but died for a free Europe.
Geert Wilders, MP and Chairman Dutch Freedom Party.
associate Fellow Column
Homegrown Jihad in Arkansas and Ohio
by Robert Spencer (more by this author)
Violent jihad returned to America last week. In a story that got little notice amid the flood of features on the murder of abortionist George Tiller, an American Muslim named Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad murdered Private William Long and gravely wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula outside the Army-Navy Career Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Muhammad. Deputy Prosecutor Scott Duncan said that Muhammad openly admitted that he “would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot.” Carlos Leon “Corey” Bledsoe changed his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad after he converted to Islam in 2004. He then went to Yemen hoping to study with a jihadist imam, apparently traveling to Yemen on a passport from another flashpoint of the global jihad, Somalia. When he returned to the U.S. from Yemen, the Joint Terrorism Task Force began to investigate him. Muhammad apparently had plans for a jihad larger than one that involved simply shooting up a military recruiting center: on his computer were maps to Jewish organizations and a Baptist church, as well as to a child care center, a post office and other military recruiting centers. Investigators are now looking into evidence that before Muhammad went to Yemen, he lived for awhile in Columbus, Ohio, where he apparently attended a mosque that has a noteworthy number of connections to Muslims behaving badly. Investigative journalist Patrick Poole identifies the mosque as Masjid Omar Ibn El Khattab, where Somali immigrant Nuradin Abdi worshiped before he was sentenced to ten years in prison in November 2007 for plotting, along with two other members of Masjid Omar, to blow up a shopping mall in Ohio. (Humanevents)
Watch Robert spencer at Pajamas TV : Global Headlines & Defining Dhimmitude
Watch Robert Spencer on YouTube More jihad news, Home and aboard
NEWS: EUROPE AND AMERICA
Two passengers on doomed Air France jet had names linked to Islamic terror groups-Peter Allen
Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on board the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it emerged today. French secret servicemen established the connection while working through the list of those who boarded the doomed Airbus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 31. It has also emerged that the laptop and boarding pass of British oil executive Arthur Coakley have been found in the wreckage of the jet. Flight AF447 crashed in mid-Atlantic en route to Paris during a violent storm. While it is certain that there were computer malfunctions, terrorism has not been ruled out. Soon after news of the fatal crash broke, agents working for the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), the French equivalent of MI6, were dispatched to Brazil. It was there that they established that two names on the passenger list are also on highly-classified documents listing the names of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic. A source working for the French security services told highly-repected Paris weekly L’Express that the link was ‘highly significant’. Agents are now trying to establish dates of birth for the two dead passengers, and family connections. There is a possibility that the name similarities are simply a ‘macabre coincidence’, the source added, but the revelation is still being ‘taken very seriously’. France has received numerous threats from Islamic terrorist groups in recent months, especially since French troops were sent to fight in Afghanistan. Security chiefs have been particularly worried about airborne suicide attacks, similarly to the ones on the U.S. on September 11th 2001. (Dailymail.co.uk)
A Win for the Good Guys – and a Setback for Our Sharia-Adherent Enemies-Frank Gaffney, Jr., and David Yerushalmi
Last week’s news on the judicial front was dominated by the California supreme court’s ruling on gay marriage and President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Largely unremarked upon was another potentially seismic decision, one made in federal court regarding Islamic law, which is called Sharia. Eastern District of Michigan judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff handed down the decision, in a case involving an alleged violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. The issue is whether a government-owned company, AIG, can market Sharia-compliant insurance products. (To be Sharia-compliant, an investment vehicle must be created and structured in ways that do not violate Islamic law.) In a well-reasoned and cogently argued opinion, Judge Zatkoff refused to dismiss the case prior to factual discovery. (Familysecuritymatters)
Museum Gunman Is Charged With Murder-AP
WASHINGTON -- An 88-year-old gunman was charged with murder for killing the security guard who had opened the door to let him into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum, officials said Thursday.Security Guard Stephen Johns was shot to death Wednesday by Holocaust denier James von Brunn, who had left his car in a lane of traffic outside an entrance to the museum before walking in with a concealed rifle, District Police Chief Cathy Lanier said at a news conference. Mr. von Brunn, who once tried to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve, started shooting immediately, exchanging fire with guards who shot and critically injured him, stopping him from entering the museum and hurting anyone else, Ms. Lanier said. In his car, officers found a notebook with a handwritten note saying, "You want my weapons -- this is how you'll get them. The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by Jews," according to a court affidavit. The museum was closed and flags flew at half-staff Thursday in honor of Mr. Johns, 39 years old. Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said quick work by law enforcement "literally saved the lives of countless people." (WSJ)
Ahmed Ghailani Transferred from Guantanamo Bay to New York for Prosecution on Terror Charges-DOJ
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian national who had been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility since September 2006, arrived early this morning in the Southern District of New York to face criminal charges stemming from his alleged role in the Aug. 7, 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. After a thorough review of his case by the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force, Ghailani was recently referred for criminal prosecution in the Southern District of New York pursuant to a March 12, 2001 superseding indictment against him. Ghailani was transferred from the custody of the Department of Defense to the Southern District of New York by the U.S. Marshals Service. He is currently in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which has housed numerous terror suspects over the years during their prosecutions in the Southern District of New York. (USDOJ)
Obama, Sarkozy press conference in France: Iranian threat, Muslim women head covering. Transcript.-Lynn Sweet
President Sarkozy: (As translated.) Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon to all of you. Welcome. I would like to say to the President of the United States of America how proud France is to welcome him for the second time this year. This afternoon we will be talking about the ceremonies and the commemoration of the D-Day landings, but I want to say in the strongest, most sincere terms that never in the history, perhaps, of our two countries, has the United States and France been so close to one another on major issues, major questions. I said to the President that we are determined to help him in his decision to close down -- shut down Guantanamo. I told President Barack Obama to what extent we support his open, outstretched hand initiative to Russia. We approve and endorse this policy.(Chicagosuntimes)
Hijab Bullies Want Everyone to Cover Up-David J. Rusin
Lawful Islamists use two general strategies to advance their agenda: they request that Muslims be granted special privileges and, more broadly, they seek to impose their ways on others. Take the issue of head coverings. Some Muslims demand the right to wear hijabs or niqabs in situations where non-Muslim women would never be allowed to conceal themselves, such as when testifying in court or having a mug shot snapped. At the same time, more assertive Islamists abuse their authority by attempting to force other people to cover up as well. First, a British Muslim dentist named Omer Butt stands accused of requiring "that women cover their hair with a headscarf, or hijab, and that male patients remove any gold jewelry." Butt, whose practice operates under the auspices of the National Health Service, was reprimanded in 2007 for similar offenses. Here is one of the new complaints:
Netherlands: 44% of terrorism suspects charged, 13% convicted
Another 16% were not yet convicted or acquitted.
Not even a quarter of the total number of suspects arrested for terrorism in the Netherlands since September 11, 2001 were in the end convicted for it, according to data from the Public Prosecution and an inventory by NRC Handlesblad. Terrorism cases deviate from the common image. Of the about 260,000 criminal cases that the prosecution starts every year, about half get to a judge, who passes sentence in more than 90% of all cases. Since 2004 terrorism offenses are a separate criminal offense. At the end of 2008 the prosecution was handling 113 terrorism cases. But only in 27 cases did it lead to punishment for a terrorist offense. (Islamineuropeblogspot)
Bristol student pursued 'relentless study in extremism'
Bristol chemistry student Isa Ibrahim pursued relentless private study in Muslim extremism and attacks on the West, a court heard. The former Bristol Cathedral School pupil attended City of Bristol College, on College Green, but spent much of his time trawling the internet for websites which included everything from radical cleric Abu Hamza to disturbing videos of insurgents shooting and blowing up US soldiers in Iraq and bomb-making, Winchester Crown Court was told. It is claimed Ibrahim, aged 20, became indoctrinated in the mantra of hate being perpetuated by Muslim extremists and wanted to follow in the footsteps of the 9/11 and 7/7 suicide bombers. After acquiring the necessary goods to make his own explosive device, as well as suicide vest, it is alleged he had cased out The Galleries in Broadmead as his target. The Crown say he was stopped in his tracks when police raided his council flat at Comb Paddock in Westbury-on-Trym, when an explosive device found in a biscuit tin in his fridge was destroyed in a controlled explosion by the bomb squad. (Thisisbristol.co.uk)
Germany: 30-40 Islamists in terrorist training camps
According to a previous article, about 140 German Muslims received Jihadist training in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of those, 60-80 have returned to Germany. If this article is correct and there are 'only' 30-40 left, it means that there's about 100-110 of them in Germany. In the so called 'terror camps' in Afghanistan and Pakistan there are, according to terror expert Rolf Tophoven, currently 30 to 40 Islamists from Germany. The Head of the Institute for Terrorism Research and Security Policy (IFTUS) in Essen told Neuen Presse that the security services have been aware for some time that decision has been made in the inner circle of al-Qaeda to attack Germany. There is concern due to the calls in the threat videos there's movement of militant Islamists and converts in Germany in Afghan and Pakistani training camps. Tophoven says that the question is whether they train for operations against the Germany army in Afghanistan, or whether they want to commit an attack in Germany. It could be that they would want to cause a massive response in the German people through an attack, in order to influence political decision - for example, the deployment of the German army in Afghanistan. (Islamineuropeblogspot)
A University’s Decline-David Horowitz
The following is the text of a talk given by Columbia University alumnus David Horowitz at the fifty-year reunion of the Columbia Class of ’59, on a panel titled “Fifty Years Since We Graduated.” – The Editors
I’m glad to be here with you at this our fiftieth class reunion. In fact (and sorry to remind you of this) we’ve all reached that point in life where we can appreciate George Burns’ crack that at his age he was glad to be anywhere. I am especially pleased to be on a platform with my old teacher, Professor Bernard Wishy, whom I have not seen in fifty years. I have often reflected on the impact a few select teachers encountered early can have over the course of a life. Even though Professor Wishy was an instructor of mine for only a single term in my sophomore year in 1956, he is one of these influential mentors for me. I vividly recall an exchange in his class with a student who strenuously objected to Freud’s Moses and Monotheism for reasons I have long since forgotten. What I do recall is Professor Wishy’s command of Freud’s sources and the texts of his critics, in answering the student, even though it was not his own academic field of expertise. In that exchange Professor Wishy conveyed a powerful message to us -- that knowledge was a serious business and that there were no simple answers to the questions that truly mattered. But the most profound impression he left was his classroom demeanor, which exemplified Columbia’s official mission, defined in those days as “the disinterested pursuit of knowledge.” (Frontpagemag)
York University sinks deeper in the mire-NP Editor
The president of York University in Toronto has issued a statement defending his university's sponsorship of an on-campus conference entitled "Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace," scheduled to take place June 22-24. This response attempts to portray serious criticism of the event as an attack on academic freedom. However, in examining the details and the debate over the conference, and in the context of vulgar anti-Israel activities and physical intimidation of Jewish students at York, these bland words are a diversion -- a straw man aimed at deflecting criticism and blocking the important public debate over the role of university campuses as battlefields in the Arab-Israeli narrative wars that perpetuate the violent conflict. York's defence seeks to answer the public statement issued by Hershell Ezrin, head of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy. (Nationalpost)
For Shame!-Peter Wood
When students and other protesters turned out to protest former Congressman Tom Tancredo’s scheduled speech on April 14 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, they chanted, “Shame on you! Shame on you!” Tancredo is an outspoken advocate of enforcing laws against illegal immigration. If it is not immediately clear why his view should be a cause for shame, you haven’t been listening. At least not to the Indigo Girls. Their paean to illegal immigrants, “Shame on You,” featuring lines such as “La, la, la, shame on you,” indicts Caucasians for their insufficient enthusiasm for the undocumented among us: Though white folks like to pretend it’s not, their music’s in the air. The girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, make their way to “Chicano city to wash the blues away.” Their political interests don’t stop with illegal immigrants, but extend to recycling, gay rights, and the rights of Native Americans. Nor are the Indigo Girls the only ones singing about the politics of shame. Andrea Corr, an Irish chanteuse, also sings “Shame on You” as a complaint about lovers, spouses, and domestic partners who enlist in the armed forces. It is more or less an updating of Dylan’s “Masters of War,” with precious lyrics: Happy faces go to war and dance upon the mines. (NAS)
Belgium Nearer to the Brink-Paul Belien
Yesterday, apart from the European elections, Belgium also held elections for the regional parliaments in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of the country, and Wallonia, the French-speaking southern half.
These elections highlighted the fact that Flanders and Wallonia are two different nations. While the left won in Wallonia, it was crushed in Flanders. In the Walloon Parliament (75 seats) the leftist green party Ecolo won 14 seats (+11), the Parti Socialiste (PS) remained the biggest with 30 seats (-4), the liberal-conservative Mouvement Reformateur received 18 seats (-2), the centrist christian-democrat CDH won 13 seats (-1) and the Front National lost its 4 seats. The greatest surprise was that the PS was only marginally affected by the tsunami of corruption and other scandals (even one involving child pornography) in which it has been entangled. (Brusselsjournal)
Media Takes Whitewashing of Islam to a Whole New Level-Bruce Bawer
In the days since President Obama’s highly touted “speech to the Muslim world,” a number of commentators have pointed out that Obama, a self-described “student of history,” managed to serve up a pastiche of half-truths, exaggerations, and utter nonsense about Islamic history, and that even in his supposedly gutsier moments — as when he criticized the treatment of women in Muslim societies — he was hardly as forceful as the circumstances warrant. It’s no coincidence that the commentators who have made these points have done so, almost without exception, not in major media organs but in places like Pajamas Media. For the flattering account of Islam that Obama served up in Cairo — the celebration of imaginary Islamic achievements in  science and culture, the evocation of a golden-age Andalusia where Christians and Jews were treated with respect and equality, and the references to the Koran that made it sound like the Sermon on the Mount — are of a piece with the fictions about Islam found regularly in the mainstream press. This is certainly true of the New York Times, and it’s equally the case with the Washington Post — a fact that will be obvious to any reader of my new book,  Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom, in which the index includes the following entry: (Pajamasmedia)
Obama's Islam: Now he tells us-Pam Geller
If anyone thinks that Barack Obama is a Muslim now, there is no one to blame but Barack Obama. In his speech in Cairo, Obama said that he had "known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed." Obama didn't say that he had come to the region where "Muslims believe that Islam was first revealed," or where Islam "began," or was "founded." Revealed. Obama referred to "the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization [that] led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam." Yes, the West is hostile to misogyny, honor killings, racism and Jew-hatred. Obama also preached about religious freedom – speaking in a country where there is none. Yet he did find time to mention "civilization's debt to Islam." The president said that Islam "carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment," and praised "innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed." (WND)
Freedom of Speech
Obama Let Down Moderate Muslims- Ayaan Hirsi Ali
On Women's Rights:
President Obama's speech didn't do much for Muslim women. He defended their rights in Western countries to wear the hijab. He didn't touch on Muslim women being confined, being forced into marriages or being victims of honor killings: These traditions and principles in the Koran and in Islam are being practiced in the West. He didn't address that. I think he was just appeasing the Muslim world because they perceive--they have these notions that Muslim women in Western countries--are not allowed to wear the headscarf or cover themselves. I mean you can wear whatever you want in the United States. In Egypt where he spoke, women who do not wear their veil in public are subjected to very obscene remarks on the street and even sexual assault. Nowadays, even if they are covered they become victims of the same things: (AEI)
Fears of Muslim anger over religious book-Christine Toomey
'Does God Hate Women' by Jeremy Stangroom and Ophelia Benson cites attitudes to women and criticises Mohammed's marriage
An academic book about religious attitudes to women is to be published this week despite concerns it could cause a backlash among Muslims because it criticises the prophet Muhammad for taking a nine-year-old girl as his third wife. The book, entitled Does God Hate Women?, suggests that Muhammad's marriage to a child called Aisha is "not entirely compatible with the idea that he had the best interests of women at heart". It also says that Cherie Blair, wife of the former prime minister, was "incorrect" when she defended Islam in a lecture by claiming "it is not laid down in the Koran that women can be beaten by their husbands and their evidence should be devalued as it is in some Islamic courts". (Timesonline.co.uk)
U.K. Libel Laws Chill Another American Book-Rachel Ehrenfeld
The most recent casualties of Britain's pernicious libel laws are New York-based best-selling author Michael Gross and his intriguing and well-researched book Rogues Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum. It was published in May by Broadway Books, an imprint of Crown, which is owned by Random House. The unauthorized book describes, among others, a New York socialite named Anne E. de la Renta, who serves on the influential boards of trustees of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library. Mrs. de la Renta did not appreciate her portrayal. She hired an international law firm in New York with offices in London and tried to suppress publication of the book, and Random House received a letter threatening a libel lawsuit it. "When that failed," says Mr. Gross, "a credible threat of a lawsuit in England was made publicly … similar threats were issued to at least two tabloids in New York, and other major media outlets mysteriously canceled reviews of the book and interviews." Mr. Gross fell victim to the chilling effect of what has become a booming business for the British Bar: libel tourism. (Forbes)
Column One: Obama's Arabian dreams-Caroline Glick
US President Barack Obama claims to be a big fan of telling the truth. In media interviews ahead of his trip to Saudi Arabia and Egypt and during his big speech in Cairo on Thursday, he claimed that the centerpiece of his Middle East policy is his willingness to tell people hard truths. Indeed, Obama made three references to the need to tell the truth in his so-called address to the Muslim world. Unfortunately, for a speech billed as an exercise in truth telling, Obama's address fell short. Far from reflecting hard truths, Obama's speech reflected political convenience. Obama's so-called hard truths for the Islamic world included statements about the need to fight so-called extremists; give equal rights to women; provide freedom of religion; and foster democracy. Unfortunately, all of his statements on these issues were nothing more than abstract, theoretical declarations devoid of policy prescriptions. He spoke of the need to fight Islamic terrorists without mentioning that their intellectual, political and monetary foundations and support come from the very mosques, politicians and regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt that Obama extols as moderate and responsible. (Jpost)
Palestinian militants reduced to using horses laden with explosives in attack on Israel-Daily Mail Reporter
Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian militants who had planned to blast open Israel's fenced border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip using horses laden with explosives, the military said. A gun battle erupted when fighters, under cover of early morning fog, fired at an Israeli patrol near the Karni crossing on the Israeli side of the border, the Israeli military said. An Israeli army spokesman said the militants had planned to detonate the explosives carried by the horses to blast open the border fence and then kidnap soldiers. He said the gunmen used trucks to transport the horses to the border. At least two trucks were destroyed by Israeli tank and helicopter fire. The body of a horse killed in the battle lay beside the body of a dead gunman.
Palestinians said the militants fired anti-tank weapons and set off explosives. No Israelis were injured in the attack, the military spokesman said. Medical workers initially reported four gunmen killed. (Dailymail.co.uk)
Extremist Islamist group is re-launched-Leon Symons
The extremist group Al Muhajiroun, which became infamous for describing the Twin Towers attackers as “magnificent”, has re-formed under its original name. While Al Muhajiroun has never been banned in the UK, its leader, Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, was banned from Britain for his extremist preachings in 2005 while on a visit to Lebanon. As a result, the organisation changed its name several times. Speaking from Lebanon, Bakri — dubbed the Tottenham Ayatollah — denied that he was behind the decision to revive the name, saying it was the wish of members not only in Britain but in other countries to use it again. He said the leader in Britain was Anjem Choudhary and: “I will be there to deal with questions and settle differences.” News that the name was being used again has provoked concern. Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman asked the outgoing Communities Secretary Hazel Blears on Tuesday about a primary school in Harrow which had established a live link with Mohammed in March. Ms Ellman, praising Hazel Blears’s stand against terrorism, said: “Does she share my concern about the fact that al-Muhajiroun has regrouped under different names and about the fact that on March 1 this year, Islam for the UK held an event at a Harrow primary school that featured a live link with the banished Omar Bakri Muhammad? What assurances can she give me that public facilities will not be used to promote extremism in such a way in the future?” (Thejewishchronicle)
Analysis: What is the US policy on Israeli settlements?-Dore Gold
In his June 4 Cairo speech, President Barack Obama continued to focus US policy on Israel's construction practices in the West Bank, which he forcefully criticized: "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop." His secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was no less forceful when speaking on May 27 about Obama's stand on this issue: "He wants to see a stop to settlements - not some settlements, not outposts, not 'natural growth' exceptions." The Obama administration's tough, confrontational rhetoric on Israeli settlements raises the question of whether it represents a sharp break from the policies of past administrations. Moreover, Obama's assertion that current Israeli construction represents a violation of past agreements raises the question of which agreement he had in mind. Israeli settlements in the territories captured in the 1967 Six Day War date back more than 40 years. They began as military and agricultural outposts that were located for the most part in strategically significant areas of the West Bank which Israel planned to eventually claim. These settlements were also situated in areas from which Jews had been evicted during the 1948-49 war.While the US did not support the settlement enterprise, its response to the settlements has varied in intensity, depending on the overall relationship between the two countries. (Jpost)
General Petraeus’ Disturbing Statement About Hezbollah- Nicholas Guariglia
First, allow a disclaimer: Along with Gens. James Mattis and Ray Odierno, I consider Gen. David Petraeus to be our finest military leader today — indeed, amongst the best in American history. His implementation of the surge strategy in Iraq, a counterinsurgency doctrine he literally authored, was one of the greatest military triumphs in U.S. history and constituted one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the history of warfare. That is not an overstatement. After almost four years of a seemingly endless insurgency, Gen. Petraeus saved the war effort in Iraq; needless to say, he has earned his military pension when he retires — including the gratitude of all Americans and all Iraqis. Like most Americans, I take what Petraeus says very seriously. Now that he is in charge of CENTCOM, his overall responsibilities include all of the Middle East. (Pajamasmedia)
TERRORISM, security and policy
Suicide Attackers Hit Pakistan Hotel- ZAHID HUSSAIN
ISLAMABAD -- At least 11 people were killed and about 50 wounded on Tuesday in the city of Peshawar, in northwestern Pakistan, when a bomb-laden vehicle exploded at the Pearl Continental hotel, officials said. Hotel employees and witnesses said several gunmen fired at the security post at the gate of the hotel before the vehicle broke into the compound and exploded. Some gunmen also entered the premises from the back wall. The hotel was demolished in the blast. Officials said it was likely some guests remained trapped in the rubble, suggesting the death toll could rise. "Some bodies may still be buried under the debris," said Shaqat Ullah, a senior police officer in Peshawar. The hotel, popular with foreign dignitaries and international relief workers visiting the area, is in a high-security zone close to the provincial assembly building for North West Frontier Province and the residences of senior government officials. Local police chief Safawat Ghaur said some foreigners were among the injured. But their nationalities weren't given. It wasn't immediately clear how the attackers breached the zone's perimeter. "We are investigating how the explosive-packed vehicle could enter the high-security zone," said Bashir Bilour, a senior minister in the provincial government. Some reports suggested it was disguised as a delivery truck. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion quickly centered on the Taliban, who have been fighting Pakistani troops in the Swat Valley north of Islamabad in an escalating war between the government and the militants. (WSJ)
Germany Warns of al-Qaida Attacks Before September Election-Spiegel Staff
German intelligence agencies believe al-Qaida is planning attacks on Germans before the September 27 election in revenge for Berlin's military mission in Afghanistan, SPIEGEL has learned. Firms in North Africa face particular risks, but an attack in Germany is also seen as possible.
German intelligence agencies believe al-Qaida is planning attacks on Germans abroad and possibly in Germany ahead of the September 27 general election as revenge for Germany's military mission in Afghanistan and to put pressure on Berlin to withdraw its forces, SPIEGEL has learned. The assessment is based on a warning by the US government that the leadership of al-Qaida in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan has decided to attack Germany, and that the North African branch of al-Qaida -- al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb -- has been tasked with carrying it out. Germany's domestic intelligence agency (the Office for the Protection of the Constitution) and the BKA Federal Criminal Police Office believe that German company offices in Algeria and German citizens across North Africa are especially at risk. (Spiegelonline)
Material Support on the Ropes?-Andrew C. McCarthy
Will a key anti-terror tool fall victim to Obama’s Muslim outreach?
On the same day Barack Hussein Obama enthralled an Egyptian audience with his airbrushed version of Islam and its historic interactions with the United States (complete with adoption of CAIR’s grossly inflated account of America’s Muslim population), Attorney General Eric Holder echoed the president, committing the Justice Department (DOJ) to a major role in this “new beginning between the United States and the Muslim community.” A “top priority,” Holder promised, would be what he called “a return to robust civil rights enforcement and outreach in defending religious freedoms and other fundamental rights of all of our fellow citizens in the workplace, in the housing market, in our schools and in the voting booth.” Holder’s gall is sadly hilarious — and I’m not even talking about his absurd suggestion that the Justice Department (or for that matter, the whole U.S. government) has not been twisting itself in knots, for years, in cloying displays of solicitude toward Muslims: the Civil Division’s “Initiative to Combat Post-9/11 Discriminatory Backlash” (which backlash failed to materialize); the annual FBI braying about its “outreach” and aggressive investigations of “hate crimes” against Muslims (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here); the careful listing of some of the FBI’s “Arab-American Outreach Partners”; FBI Director Bob Mueller’s appearance at the American Muslim Council’s annual convention even as the AMC persisted in supporting terrorists; the FBI’s attempts to provide awards and special access to Muslims with dubious ties (see here); the DOJ’s bragging about vandalism prosecutions when the victims were Muslims (here and here — with the FBI chiming in here); the government’s publication of a CAIR press release on a Department of Homeland Security website in order to brag that our investigative agencies were being compelled to endure Islamic sensitivity training (see here); and so on. (Nationalreview)
Why Doesn't Obama Want Anyone to see Islam as it Really Is?-Andrew Bostom
When the Manchild U.S. President Barack Obama gave his address this past Thursday (June 4, 2009) in Cairo he first thanked as his one of his primary sponsors Al Azhar University, in the Manchild’s words, “a beacon of Islamic learning,” for over a millennium. Indeed, for over a thousand years, since its founding in 792 C.E., Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, has served as the academic shrine – much as Mecca is the religious shrine – of the global Muslim community. Al Azhar University (and its mosque) represents the pinnacle of Islamic religious education. John Roy Carlson traveled to the Middle East shortly after WWII to pursue his investigative reporting on Fascist/Nazi movements – he had gone undercover in the U.S. to expose domestic Nazism during the war, and the trail lead him overseas following the war. Egypt became a major sanctuary for Nazis by the mid-1950s under Nasser, but almost a decade earlier Carlson documented widespread Nazi sympathy coupled to Islamic religious fanaticism at Al Azhar itself. Carlson provided this apt description (in his book Cairo to Damascus) of Al Azhar’s “tradition” – “Every year Al Azhar graduated hundreds of missionaries who preached its fanatic doctrine throughout Asia, Africa, and the islands of the Pacific…” (Familysecuritymatters)
Iranian weapons getting through to Taliban-Ben Farmer in Kabul
Heavy weapons are continuing to stream across the Afghan border from Iran despite Barack Obama's attempts to enlist Tehran's help in fighting the insurgency, officials have said. Border police say they are regularly intercepting consignments of anti-tank mines and mortars bound for Afghan militants fighting Nato-led forces. One shipment seized on May 23 along Afghanistan's 580-mile western border contained dozens of anti-tank mines. "That's a regular occurrence," the official told the Daily Telegraph. "It tends to be heavier weapons like mines and mortars rather than Kalashnikovs".
Quantities regularly run into the hundreds and the weapons are usually brand new he added. Mr Obama has been working hard to enlist Iranian support in tackling rampant arms and opium traffic across the border. Sources said both sides were prepared for a "fresh look" at co-operation after years of hostility caused by Tehran's nuclear programme, American support for Israel, and Iranian suspicion of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Italy has invited Iran to a special summit of G8 foreign ministers being held in Trieste later this month to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan. However sources said Tehran was still "hedging its bets", with elements within the country believed to be supporting Afghan insurgents.
British troops seize £65 million of Taliban drugs-Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
British troops have made one of their biggest drug seizures in Afghanistan recovering more than £65 million in a raid on a massive Taliban drug factory. In a helicopter borne strike 450 troops from The Black Watch accompanying 100 Afghan soldiers swooped on the drugs centre in Helmand. A number of Taliban were killed during the night attack in the Upper Sangin Valley and one British soldier was shot in the arm by an enemy sniper. The operation has been hailed as a significant blow against the Taliban which uses the drugs trade to fund its insurgency. (Telegraph.co.uk)
GLOBAL GOVERNANCE & RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM
Exclusive: Should America Be an Extension of Europe?-Manda Zand Ervin
One of the problems with American foreign policy throughout the 20th century has been following Europe into their wars and disputes, even when Europeans’ interests were damaging to America’s standing and reputation. One such example is the financing of 1953 coup in Iran that was planned and carried out by the British, solely for their own benefit. By the end of WWII, the occupied Iran was devastated by a nationwide famine and in dire need of help. Iranians were barely surviving despite the $30 million agricultural support that United States had provided, over the objections by the British. Iran’s share of oil profit, 25 percent, was withheld by the Anglo Iranian Oil Company, AIOC, often to secure Iran’s compliance to the British demands.
China Forges Strategic Links with Gulf-Robert Bailey
Many believe that the growing urgency by Asian countries, particularly China, Japan, India and South Korea, to secure energy sources is beginning to shape profound changes in international relations, both economic and political. There is mounting evidence that Asia’s increasingly influential role in the global economy and energy markets is already tilting the direction of the Gulf’s strategic policies with two thirds of GCC oil exports now heading eastwards. Asian oil consumption of 23 million barrels per day now accounts for more than 30 per cent of total global oil production. This trend is set to continue with growth in demand for petroleum, particularly from the Far East, expected to rise nearly 50 per cent by 2010 and more than double by 2020.
A growing emphasis on the development of new alliances has been witnessed in the Saudi King Abdullah’s visit to China his first overseas destination after becoming King last August. Similarly, Prince Sultan, now Saudi crown prince, chose Japan for his first foreign tour since assuming office. Riyadh is making a concerted effort to enhance relations with Asia. Japan is the Kingdom’s second largest trade partner and investor and the kingdom supplies about one- third of Japan’s energy needs. For its part the Japanese government is keen to encourage the trend. (Globalarabnetwork)
"Global Warming," Painting Your Roof White, and the Chattanooga Chu-Chu-Christopher Monckton
Steven Chu, entertainingly described as an “Energy Secretary”, says we can Save The Planet from “global warming” by painting our rooftops and roads white. He says making roofs and roads paler would have the same effect as taking every automobile in the world off the road for 11 years.
The Limbaugh Question
Rush Limbaugh, entertainingly as always, but pointedly, asks –
“Now, would somebody explain to me how he knows this? … If we can do something that will effectively remove the carbon emissions of every car on the road for 11 years, then why are we doing anything else? Why are we doing cap and trade? Why are we getting rid of SUVs? … How much paint is this going to take, by the way? How much of a footprint does paint manufacturing leave? … I need a scientist to answer this for me. I understand how clouds at altitude can help reflect the heat, but I want to know … where does that reflected heat go? … Are we being told here that reflected heat is not damaging at all, but direct heat is? It seems to me that, if we had ‘global warming’, wouldn’t we want dark roofs to absorb the heat?” (Scienceandpublicpolicy)
U.N. environment chief urges global ban on plastic bags-Grace Chung
WASHINGTON — Single-use plastic bags, a staple of American life, have got to go, the United Nations' top environmental official said Monday.
Although recycling bags is on the rise in the United States, an estimated 90 billion thin bags a year, most used to handle produce and groceries, go unrecycled. They were the second most common form of litter after cigarette butts at the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, a marine environmental group. "Single use plastic bags which choke marine life, should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere. There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme. His office advises U.N. member states on environmental policies. Steiner's declaration accompanied a UNEP report that identifies plastic as the most pervasive form of ocean litter. According to the report, "Plastic, the most prevalent component of marine debris, poses hazards because it persists so long in the ocean, degrading into tinier and tinier bits that can be consumed by the smallest marine life at the base of the food web." (mcclatchydc)
Society and CULTURE
Is This a Pandemic? Define ‘Pandemic’- LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN, M.D.
After decades of warnings about the inevitability of another pandemic of influenza, it is astonishing that health officials have failed to make clear to the public, even to many colleagues, what they mean by the word pandemic. Generations of people have used the term to describe widespread epidemics of influenza, cholera and other diseases. But as the new H1N1 swine influenza virus spreads from continent to continent, it is clear that a useful definition is far more complicated and elusive than officials had thought. And what is at stake is far more than an exercise in semantics. A clear understanding of the term is central to the World Health Organization’s six-level staging system for declaring a pandemic, which in turn informs countries when to set their control efforts in motion. Dictionaries and medical journals offer little guidance. Their definitions can be too vague or too narrow, contradictory and clouded by jargon. “There is a lot of misinformation in the medical literature, and it is really quite hard to figure out what is and what is not a pandemic,” said Dr. David M. Morens, an epidemiologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has been studying the history of pandemics. (NYT)
How to understand your children's dreams-Dr. Pam Spurr
Children’s dreams — and their nightmares — can tell you how your child is coping emotionally at home and at school
I clearly recall the moment I realised how important my children’s dreams were in understanding their emotional and developmental state. It was one ordinary morning over a bowl of cereal when my son was 4 that he exclaimed, “Mum, I had the most exciting dream last night about a friendly dinosaur!” I asked him to describe his dream, admittedly paying only casual attention with the busy day ahead at the forefront of my mind. My son described riding across an open plain on the back of a baby diplodocus. There was such exuberance in his tone and detail in his description that I was caught up in the excitement and touched by the expression on his little face. I’d recently done some dream interpretation seminars, albeit aimed at adults’ dreams, but until that moment I hadn’t really thought about the potential significance of my children’s dreams. It dawned on me that merely flicking through a dinosaur book from the library had touched my son’s inner creativity, sparking his dream. This was powerful stuff knowing that his young mind had absorbed these images and played with them to yield such a sense of adventure. “Why don’t we go to the Natural History Museum on Saturday?” I suggested picking up on his enthusiasm. That idea thrilled him and he couldn’t wait to see the “friendly” dinosaurs as well as some scary ones. (Timesonline.co.uk)
Will Helen Mirren conquer Racine as Phèdre?-Rupert Christiansen
Racine's Phèdre, soon to be played by Helen Mirren, is the role of a lifetime.
Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison have collaborated on a computer game that allows music fans to play along to their favourite Beatles tracks. After three centuries of neglect, are the English finally coming around to Jean Racine? During the past two decades, London has enjoyed several successful stagings of his tragedies – most recently, Declan Donnellan’s much-admired Cheek by Jowl production of Andromaque, played in French by French actors with a surtitled translation. Hot on its heels comes the National Theatre’s Phèdre, anglicised by Ted Hughes and directed by Nicholas Hytner, with Helen Mirren in the title role. Yet, this will be only the third time Racine has been staged in the National’s 46-year history, a statistic which suggests he is still regarded as a foreign exotic, unsuited to our cultural climate. Racine’s plays are framed by strict aesthetic laws specifying a focus on high and mighty characters, the time span of one day and a single palatial setting: the variety, the humour, the fantasy, the sheer imaginative fecundity of Elizabethan drama have no place on Planet Racine, where everyone speaks in the rhyming couplets known as “Alexandrines” and behaviour is governed by a code of stern etiquette and unbending values. To the English, moulded by the generous, robust and outward-looking Shakespeare, Racine appears too tight-lipped, too black-and-white to be interesting or engaging – where are the ironies, where are the jokes? Compared with Hamlet, putting it crudely, Phèdre seems cut off from real life – a play which proposes a diagram of humanity rather than the flesh and blood. (Telegraph.co.uk)
Ulysses: A book for Dustmen as well as Dons-Declan Kiberd
Ulysses is about ordinary people, says Declan Kiberd, so that should be reflected in the way it is approached in the classroom
When a painter visited James Joyce in his Parisian apartment, the famous author pointed out the window to the son of the concierge playing on the steps. “One day,” he said, “that boy will be a reader ofUlysses.” Already the book had a reputation for obscurity as well as obscenity, but Joyce remained confident that it would reach and move many ordinary readers. On its publication in 1922 he gave a copy as a present to François Quinton, his favourite waiter at Fouquet’s. In those years he preferred not to discuss literature with experts or writers, but “loved to carry on a dialogue about Dickens with some unknown attendant at the post office window or to discuss the meaning and structure of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino with the person at the box office.” Sylvia Beach, whose bookshop published Joyce’s masterpiece when nobody else would, noted how he treated everyone as an equal, whether they were writers, children, waiters, princesses or charladies. He confided in her that everybody interested him and that he had never met a bore. The middle decades of the 20th century were the years in which the idea of a common culture was abandoned — yet Ulysses depends on that very notion. (Timesonline.co.uk)