Aesthetics, morals, community.

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...includes political matter.

Think Twice About That Trip To Spain!

Two items from the press of July 20, 2006:

In Spain, anti-Semitism is new leftist trend

Spanish Jews knew there were hard times ahead. Prime Minister Zapatero
has not disappointed them

By Ignacio Russell Cano

Madrid: Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain and
Secretary General of the Socialist Party, arrived to power at a time
nobody expected, not even inside the Party.

Keen on populist tirades against the United States "Dickhead Bush" and
"Ketchup Queen Kerry", his whole campaign did not bring much attention
until the moment Al-Qaeda decided to blow up Madrid trains, killing
almost 200 people and bringing to an end Spain's membership of the

From that moment on, everybody knew nothing would be the same, and
Spanish Jews knew there were hard times ahead. Prime Minister Zapatero
has not disappointed them.

Darwin Meets His Match By Tom Wolfe

Darwin Meets His Match
Tom Wolfe and 'Homo Loquax'

May 12, 2006

On Wednesday, the novelist and essayist Tom Wolfe delivered the 35th Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. The following is his speech, titled "The Human Beast":

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, this evening it is my modest intention to tell you in the short time we have together . . . everything you will ever need to know about the human beast.

Joseph Wilson's Revenge By Christopher Hitchens

Fighting Words

Joseph Wilson's Revenge
Why no special prosecutor for the latest CIA leak case?
By Christopher Hitchens

Posted Monday, April 24, 2006, at 1:31 PM ET

If Mary O. McCarthy should ever be so desperate as to need a character witness, or to require one so badly that she must stoop to my level, I declare in advance that I shall step forward pro bono. I am quite willing to accept that whatever she did or did not do or say about the surreptitious incarceration of al-Qaida suspects overseas (and let's not prejudge this), she did it from the most exalted motives.

I accept this because, however much of her hard-earned money she threw away on making a donation to the John Kerry presidential campaign, she is obviously more than a mere partisan. Back in 1998, she wrote a formal memo to President Clinton about his decision to bomb the Al-Shifa factory outside Sudan's capital of Khartoum. I wrote a slew of articles at the time to prove that this wild Clintonian action was wag-the-doggery, pure and simple. (You can look it up if you like in my book No One Left To Lie To.) At that time, I interviewed a number of CIA people, both on and off the record, and came to the conclusion that it was the wrong factory in the wrong place and had been blitzed mainly because of Clinton's difficulties with Monica Lewinsky. The clincher was the direct plagiarism of his own hysterical speech of justification from the glib speech delivered by Michael Douglas, trying to de-knicker Annette Bening in the mediocre film The American President. If George Bush had even tried to pull anything like this, he would have been impeached by now, or so I hope.

The Last Helicopter By Amir Taheri

The Wall Street Journal

'The Last Helicopter'
March 29, 2006; Page A18

Hassan Abbasi has a dream -- a helicopter doing an arabesque in cloudy skies to avoid being shot at from the ground. On board are the last of the "fleeing Americans," forced out of the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) by "the Army of Muhammad." Presented by his friends as "The Dr. Kissinger of Islam," Mr. Abbasi is "professor of strategy" at the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps University and, according to Tehran sources, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new radical administration.

An Indivisible Right By Christopher Hitchens

The Wall Street Journal

February 23, 2006


An Indivisible Right
February 23, 2006; Page A16

It is best not to mince words. The imprisonment of David Irving by the Austrian authorities is a disgrace. It is a state punishment for a crime -- that of expression and argument and publication -- that is not a legal offense in Mr. Irving's country of birth and that could not be an offense under the U.S. Constitution. It is to be hoped, by all those who value the right to dissent, that his appeal against both sentence and conviction will be successful.

Misadventures in Cloning by Pamela R. Winnick

The Weekly Standard

Misadventures in Cloning
Woo-Suk Hwang's American collaborator.
by Pamela R. Winnick
02/06/2006, Volume 011, Issue 20

ON JANUARY 12, THE renowned journal Science retracted two articles written by South Korean scientist Woo-Suk Hwang, one published in February 2004 and a related piece--this one with an American "senior author"--published in May 2005. Both papers detailed an astonishing breakthrough in cloning research: Not only had a human embryo been cloned, but--far more significantly for regenerative medicine--stem cells had been extracted from the clones. Researchers hoped that such genetically identical, patient-specific stem cells could someday be implanted in sick people to regenerate cells destroyed by Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, spinal-cord injury, and a variety of other degenerative diseases, benefiting millions.

Left Aside By Eli Lake

Left Aside

January 19, 2006

Now would be a good time for the peace community to sober up and find a conscience. After failing numerous moral tests after September 11, 2001, the academic left, the anti-war agitators have an opportunity with Iran. Here is a regime that has in the past two years stolen two elections, installed a fundamentalist president intent on making war abroad and destroying dissent at home, pursuing an atomic bomb.

A Lesson at the Old Bailey By Daniel Johnson

A Lesson at the Old Bailey

January 19, 2006

In its pathological hatred of Jews, Islamism is indistinguishable from Nazism. By reminding the world of this fact, Abu Hamza has done us all a favor.

As some readers in New York will be aware, the Egyptian-born Muslim preacher is standing trial at the Old Bailey, London's Central Criminal Court, on terrorism charges that include nine counts of soliciting to murder Jews and other non-Muslims.

Minus the prosthetic hooks that normally replace his hands - they were blown off along with one eye in a bomb-making accident before he settled in London - Mr. Hamza looks less threatening than he did in the 570 video and 2,700 audio tapes of his sermons, some of which the court has been watching and hearing. Like anybody else, he is innocent until proved guilty as charged.

But the content of those sermons leaves no doubt that Mr. Hamza's anti-Semitism is of a kind that would have fitted into the pages of Der Sturmer, the pornographic Nazi newspaper, even down to his macabre sense of humor.

'Better Than Well Said' By Pete du Pont OpinionJournal

'Better Than Well Said'
Ben Franklin understood the need for secrecy in matters of national security.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:01 a.m.

Has President Bush exceeded his constitutional authority or acted illegally in authorizing wiretaps without a warrant on calls between American citizens in the United States and people abroad who are, or are suspected of having ties to, terrorists?

Benjamin Franklin (whose 300th birthday is today) would not have thought so. In 1776 he and his four colleagues on the Continental Congress's foreign affairs committee (called the Committee of Secret Correspondence) unanimously agreed that they could not tell the Congress about the covert assistance France was giving the American Revolution, because it would be harmful to America if the information leaked, and "we find by fatal experience that Congress consists of too many members to keep secrets."

Saddam's Terror Training Camps by Stephen F. Hayes

The Weekly Standard

Saddam's Terror Training Camps
What the documents captured from the former Iraqi regime reveal--and why they should all be made public.

by Stephen F. Hayes
01/16/2006, Volume 011, Issue 17

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

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