The Spine

Amnesty International Official Calls Israel A “Scum State”
August 26, 2010

Actually, almost no one should be surprised that a member in high standing of the “human rights internationale” and a Scandinavian besides resorts to such scummy language when talking about Israel. The London headquarters of the world-wide organization seemed to be in a panic, as reported by Benjamin Weinthal in yesterday’s Jerusalem Post.

I Apologize...
August 24, 2010

I apologize to my readers and to Liza Minnelli for quoting from Tunku Varadarajan's otherwise estimable column about John McCain a remark slighting to her and her gifts. Minnelli has been a talented singer and actress for several decades, and she still has the the warranted courage to perform.

The Maskings of a Mosque
August 23, 2010

The folk who planned the mosque at the World Trade Center could not have expected but that their project would be much resented, not just in New York but across America.

A (Very) Conservative and Eminent Journalist’s Judgment on John McCain: “Insecure, Reactive, Poll-Watching Hack…Tawdry, Unseemly, Yucky.”
August 23, 2010

This column in this morning’s Daily Beast is by Tunku Varadarajan. “Barnacle McCain” is the way one might characterize the senior senator from Arizona, now fused so ferociously to the tidal rocks of a fifth term that he will say pretty much anything, no matter how much the utterance is at odds with his older, saner positions, in order to secure his own reelection. All the polls indicate that John McCain will, come Tuesday, knock out J.D.

Skip The Lectures On Israel's "Risks for Peace"
August 20, 2010

I don't know whether this is George Will's title. But it certainly is his column, published in this morning's Washington Post. It doesn't need my commentary. But I can't resist one observation: it is devastating to all of those who try to be even-handed when even-handedness actually is a lie.  

"Europe's Distress In Relation To Its Immigrants"
August 18, 2010

“Les guichets du Louvre” is a French film released in 1974 in America as “Black Thursday.”  I recall every scene: they were withering, all of them.

"Muslim World Snubs UN's Pleas For $460M To Help Flood Victims"
August 17, 2010

This story is about Pakistan and the flood that has desolated so much of it. The headline appeared in this morning’s Times of London. The U.S.

Apparently President Obama's Islam Is Not The (Afghan) People's Islam
August 17, 2010

There is no gloating in my finding Barack Obama's view of Islam more than a bit fatuous. Oh, how I wish it were true... But a searing article by Rod Norland in the New York Times should put an end to the president's fantasies which he has tried to foist on the American people by the sheer even tone of his voice. How can I say this? For all his pretensions to knowledge of the faith and its peoples, he is an ignoramus. Not that I'm a man of real learning about the field.

Terrorism And The Mosque
August 15, 2010

Apparently, Muslims are also not particularly stirred by the president’s policies. They wanted him to be more forthright and more forthcoming on their issues as he had indicated he would be in his much-vaunted “new beginning” speech last year in Cairo. In a New York Times dispatch yesterday, Sheryl Gay Stolberg cites an Arab-American journalist as complaining that Obama has since left many Muslims disappointed. Well, on this count, at least, those disappointed Muslims are at one with most other Americans.

Greenwich Mean Time and the Nothingness of the Mecca Magnetic Zone
August 12, 2010

The triumph of Saudi science, as reported by the Telegraph: A standard time by which other clocks were set was needed to organise global travel and communications, but in the Islamic world the idea that it should be centred on a part of London is seen as a colonial anachronism. As Mohammed al-Arkubi, manager of one of the hotels in the complex, put it: "Putting Mecca time in the face of Greenwich Mean Time.