Friday, 22 December 2006

Diana Supine [ or not ? ]


diana supine, originally uploaded by dianayorkblaine.

Echoing not only the 1814 painting by Ingres on the flat's wall, "Grande Odalisque", but even more Manet's 1863 "Olympia" [ based on Victorine Meurent ], this delightful, tasteful, natural shot of USC Senior Lecturer, Dr. Diana York-Blaine, a confident, sexy, married 44-year-old Californian woman, manifestly comfortable both in her skin, and with men, aroused turdulous vitriol in some comments on her flickr.com site, where she posted it on Dec 7, 2005, and on her web-site, including form some disgruntled USC students, and on some other blogs. But only 5 months after she posted it.

The term "supine" of the title does not reflect the free-thinking, probing, sceptical mind revealed in her blog, where this self-declared "feminist" also labels herself a "philosopher, writer, adventurer, bon vivant and butt-kicker". Read her reflections there on her father's life, death and funeral, to find the warm humanity of this feminist academic, and her vigorous challenge to the twin extremes in US [ and indeed Western ] culture, the poles of Porn and Puritan, are an emphatic endorsement of what I would term a wholesome "eroto-filia", against the parallel [ re-in-FORCE-ing ] obsessions of those who reduce the person to un-OWN-ed parts, or equally those who promote a part-less bogus [in]-humanity. Dr. Diana is one un-abashed nude, who bares not only [ part of ] her healthily en-fleshed form, but the weak, shallow and sick foundations of the twin, de-humanizing enemies of human wholeness and joy.

Although long repelled by the historical, official framing of faith by Christian bodies in gender-slanted terms, as well as their un-historical dogmatism and literalism, she quotes her morning prayer as: "God, I surrender the people I love, the people who love me, the people I dont love, and the people who do not love me. Help us all find peace". Her restrained reaction to her vicious detractors in May, 2006, in the month of her beloved father's death, showed that she "walked the walk", and not only "talks the talk". And she is a dog-lover. And passionate, lifelong gridiron fan.

I am still perplexed by some of her challenges, such as regarding "control" or "letting go", but as Plato put it, "an un-examined life is not worth living". Or with Seneca, "As long as you live, keep learning how to live".

One of the joys of this internet age is unexpectedly discovering inspiring and challenging minds [ also OWN-ing delightful, un-mutilated bodies ]. Amazingly, Diana only ceased "DIE-ting" in 1997, at 35, ending a long period of oscillating weight and culturally-influenced obsession with her appearance. Her healthy enjoyment of good food since then has actually seen her lose weight - another encouraging parallel to Viktor Frankl's "paradoxical intention".
One constructive challenge I would pose to Diana and any feminist is to re-situate their concern for "female self-determination" in the context of not simply "auto-nomy", but what I term "log-onomy", where reasons and reasoning ground their reasonable choices. And then instead of just talking of "womens right to choose", we could all begin to focus on "peoples duty and need to decide - intelligently".

Finally, I applaud Diana's unyielding stand that regarding the vile crime of rape, only men do it, and only men can stop it. It is naive and simplistic to retort that most men do not commit that crime - like Arab suicide-bombers, or IRA car-bombers, or FARC kidnappers, they all need "safe houses" of apologisers who find excuses, or fuel the sick ideology that de-humanizes their target. Both with crimes of rape and terror against civilians, it remains true that "the absurdity breeds the atrocity". The given tribal or gender identity can become a mask - for terror. The real solidarity is a moral and human one - my Beduoin heros may wear Israeli or Jordanian uniform, but they all stand between us and the suicide-bombers, and the place for males is not hiding in some pan-male pack, but confronting and unmasking the traitors to human decency in their midst. It can be done, and it works.
It worked and eventually forced the "IRA" to end their campaign in Ireeland.
Thank you, Dr. Diana, for unmasking more than your lovely form.

Monday, 18 December 2006

The Irish Jihadi Cells Exposed

On Monday evening, Dec 18, 2006, the Irish State-owned RTE 1 TV, on its flagship current affairs investigative program, "Prime Time", after the main 9-9.30 PM evening news, broadcast a 1-hour report on the Jihadi risk within Ireland. It quoted from intelligence reports, both police [Garda ] and military [G-2] sources, and interviewed on-air recently retired US experts, such as John Brennan, 2004-05 chief of their National Counter-Terrorism Center, and Dan Coleman, ex-FBI OBL Unit, as well as many Muslim figures in Ireland. The program research seemed very thorough, balanced and comprehensive in range, and led substantial weight to the extremely disturbing conclusions which emerged.

Prime Time estalished five central and troubling issues.
Firstly, there is a Jihadi propaganda operation active in Ireland.
Secondly, there is, within the Muslim community in Ireland, high-level sympathy for Jihad.
Thirdly, there is a small [15%-19%] element in this community, which supports such terror.
Fourthly, several active Jihadi terrorists have been identified with Irish links.
Fifthly, a significant Al-Qaida figure is based in Dublin for some 25 years, and has acquired Irish citizenship.

Re 1, a British-born Pakistani Iman, Ismail Kotwal, here for 9 years, runs a Madrasa in Aungier Street, Dublin 2, in the South Inner City, and also a Mosque in the Black Pitts area of that quarter. He regards the Taliban "as a model", and holds OBL [Osama Bun Ladin] as "a good and god-fearing man", who also resembles the Prophet. Kotwal, as a Deobandi, refuses to be photographed, and is one of the recently-formed 14-strong Council of Imans, which although it includes one Shia, is Sunni-dominated. The main bastion of Sunni presence is the "Islamic Cultural Centre" at the South Dublin suburb of Clonskeagh, which has enjoyed significant Gulf funding. This Centre acts as the secretariat for Qaradawi's European Fatwa Council - he notoriously supports suicide-bombing, has been embraced by London's hard-left Mayor Ken Livingstone, and is a Gulf-based Egyptian and a major Muslim Brotherhood figure.

The encouraging aspect is that two young students walked out of a religion class given by Kotwal, in response to his pro-OBL propaganda, and their fathers, on-air, fully supported their sons. But the [Roman Catholic Church-affiliated] De La Salle School in Churchtown, Dublin, took no action. The record in Germany from 1932 of Church resistance to the Nazis is notoriously patchy - to put it very mildly. A few brave martyrs, some collaborators, but most silent.

Re 2, this Centre's Dawa [faith propoaganda] is directed by the very fluent Ali Selim, who, on-air, said he "did not know OBL", and so could neither respect nor disrespect him. And I also never met the late Herr Hitler, or the late Comrade Marshal Stalin, or the late Chairman Mao, or OBL, or Pol Pot, but I have no problem in reaching, and stating, a clear answer to the direct question of whether I respect such mass, serial murderers. We in Ireland are far too well used to such insulting equivocation from our native apologists for terror since 1970, to fall for that trick in 2006.

Re 3, an opinion poll showed that 15% overall, but 19% of those 15-26 years, sympathised with OBL. Details will be published in the daily "Irish Independent". This level is broadly similar to several UK surveys, and suggest a pro-terror base of at least 8,000 in Ireland, quite enough to generate scores of active terrorists, and hundreds of active auxiliaries.

Re 4, one Jihadi terrorist killed in Iraq with Irish links, was Abu Hafs al-Libi, closely linked to Zarqawi himself. Irish passports have also been found in Jihadi circles abroad - the Shia Iman suggested maybe 11 - although some may not belong to Irish citizens, but have been stolen or forged. Three other major Jihadi terrorists were named. One, who lived in Lucan, 10 miles West of the City Centre, is now serving 6 years in prison in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Another, an Algerian, Hamid H, has left Ireland, while a third, who lived in Enfield, County Meath, a town in the Greater Dublin commuter belt, is now in jail in Tunisia. These four Sunni men were linked to the Clonskeagh Mosque, and to the next character.

Re 5, a naturalised Irish citizen with 5 children, here for some 25 years, Ibrahim Buisir, balding, neatly- bearded, and bespectacled, fluent in English, was identified as a major player. He has worked here as a slaughter-house operative and as a journalist. He heads an NGO with some 40 offices, "Islamic-African Relief Agency", one in Dublin, and linked to "Mercy International", and to the "MK" [Maktab has had its US assetts frozen]. He has contacts with Jihadi figures across Europe, such as Spain, Italy, Germany, as well as [since 1994-5] with East African Jihadi elements, including OBL's private secretary, Wadi el-Haj. 224 were murdered in the Embassy bombings by Al-Qaida elements.
Jack Cloonan, ex-FBI [1976-2002] came to Dublin to confer with his Irish colleagues on the common Jihadi threat. Buisir was quoted as using 15 Bank Accounts for his operations. Our Garda [police] questioned Buisir for 3 days in their South Inner City "A" District HQ in Kevin Street, but he has not been charged. He is said to be under physical and electronic surveillance by our Garda Special Branch.

Interestingly, both a moderate Sunni, Sheikh Dr, Satardien, and the Shia Iman from Milltown, Dublin Mosque, both stated on-air, that there was a Jihadi presence, and influence, in Ireland.

I will return to this serious topic - this TV program may prove to be a watershed in ending the denial and toleration in Ireland regarding sinister conspirators in our midst, or their apologists.
We have all seen what happens when this kind of threat is ignored. Decent Muslims and all democrats, must stand together to expose, confront and rout the common Jihadi threat, be it their logistical and financial tools, or their explosives stores, or their ideology and propaganda.

Be Heard: Dealing with the Pain

Be Heard: I am a Strong Woman

Be Heard: Remembering the Holocaust

Be Heard: What's Worth Fighting For?

Perspective of the Former Lebanese Terrorist

Geography of Israeli-Hizballah Conflict (Part II)

Brigitte Gabriel part 1

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain A Gonna Fall (Live)

Bob Dylan - Ballad Of A Thin Man (Live)

Bob Dylan - Mr Tambourine Man (Live)

Bob Dylan - East Virginia Blues

Bob Dylan - Just Like A Woman (Live)

Bob Dylan - With God On Our Side

Bob Dylan - Knocking' On Heavens Door (Live)

Bob Dylan - Oh, Sister (Live)

Bob Dylan - It Ain't Me Babe (Live)

Bob Dylan - Blowin' In The Wind

Bob Dylan - Sara (Live)

Bob Dylan - All I Really Wanna Do (Live)

Bob Dylan - Man Of Constact Sorrow

Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street (Live)

Bob Dylan : Press Conference : San Fran 1965 Part 2

Bob Dylan : Press Conference : San Fran 1965 Part 2

Bob Dylan : Press Conference : San Fran 1965 Part 1

Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues - 1988

Chastity Rome-Chick Blues (with subtitles)

Brute Force Performs

Thrill of the Chaste Book Signing, Part 1 (Dawn Eden)

Chastening Thoughts, Part 2

Dawn Eden at Maxwell's (

Chastening Thoughts

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Saturday, 25 November 2006

War in Lebanon: Hezbollah Weapons from Iran on Display

War in Lebanon: Hezbollah Truck Carrying Anti-Aircraft Gun

War in Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Launcher in Village

War in Lebanon: Israel Attacks Hezbollah Infrastructure

War in Lebanon: Hezbollah Rocket Launcher in Village

War in Lebanon: Hezbollah's Use of Human Shields

War in Lebanon: Hezbollah Fires From Behind 3-Story Bldg

War in Lebanon: Israeli Attacks on Hezbollah

Haifa Under Attack - July 16th 2006 Israel

Haifa bombed by rockets - WAR

HAIFA - Katyusha hit near - WAR

alarm in haifa during lebanon war

Hezbolla rockets in Israel- קטיושות נופלות

Home הביתה

After the Lebanon War

The bunkers - הבונקרים ליד בינת-ג'בריל

Captives of Hizballah - שבויי חיזבאללה

הכי זבאלה

To the battle - Israel at war / אל הקרב - ישראל במלחמה

Lebanon 2006

gdud 50 in lebanon

Israeli special intelligence unit in action

Force of the Israeli air - חיל האויר הישראלי

Israel Air Force חיל האוויר הישראלי

ISRAEL POWER !

IDF - 1st Brigade, 12 Batallion

IDF tribute //

IDF tribute //

Respect the IDF // תן את הכבוד לצה

לזכר חללי צה

israel's soldiers

It's in the Koran

Osama Bin Laden and the role of women in Islam

Foster Friess' introduction to the documentary Obsession

9\11 tribute

Never before seen Video of WTC 9/11 attack

WTC site photos

September 11, 2001

Remembering September 11th

Fox News:The Threat of Radical Islam (Pt. 6 of 6)

Fox News:The Threat of Radical Islam (Pt. 5 of 6)

Fox News:The Threat of Radical Islam (Pt. 4 of 6)

Fox News:The Threat of Radical Islam (Pt. 3 of 6)

Fox News:The Threat of Radical Islam (Pt. 2 of 6)

Fox News:The Threat of Radical Islam (Pt. 1 of 6)

E.D.Hill FoxNews

Wafa Sultan - Truth About Islam (Hebrew Subtitles)

Wafa Sultan-Terrorism and Islam (New)

Wafa Sultan In First Ever English Interview (Part-II)

Amazing interview -

Friday, 24 November 2006

Why "safra ve'saifa" ?

I used a traditional Hebrew phrase in my URL - "safra ve'saifa", which means " a man of the book and a man of the sword". I spotted it in a comment by veteran Israeli political leader, Shimon Peres [9th Israeli President] about the Dublin-reared 6th President of Medinat Israel, Maj-Gen Chaim Herzog, and quoted on the cover of his candid, inspiring and courageous 1997 auto-biography, "Living History". ISBN 0 297 81941 0. US Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan described it as " a witty and fascinating memoir by one of this century's great Irishmen".

Not only do I greatly admire the life and thinking of this many-sided man, his story is also typical of the best of the Irish tradition - he wore 5 uniforms, but all in the service of freedom and democracy. On arrival in British-administered Palestine in 1935, he joined the Haganah Jewish self-defence force, then was a part-time police reservist, was in the Cadet Corps while a student in Britain, then in the British Army Intelligence Corps, and finally retired as a Maj-Gen and Director of IDF Intelligence [Aman].

Another hero is the oft-ignored Irishman among the first crew to fly the Atlantic against the prevailing winds, from East to West, from Baldonnel Military Airfield, South County Dublin, on April 12, 1928. He was the Irish Air Corps O/C, Col. James Fitzmaurice, their co-pilot and navigator, along with 2 Germans, in the "Bremen". His [363 pp] 1997 hardback biography by Teddy Fennelly -"Fitz and the famous flight" - is well worth reading. ISBN 0 86335 023 2.

Like Herzog, Fitz wore many uniforms. National Volunteers, British Army [a volunteer in WW I], Royal Air Force, and finally Irish Air Corps from 1922. Both men, Herzog the younger by 21 years, served only one cause, but in several units. As did the young Dubliner, L/Cpl Ian Malone, slain by a sniper's bullet in Basra in liberating the Shia, Kurdish and Sunni peoples of Iraq from Saddam's Baath neo-Nazi terror. Indeed, Saddam's uncle took part in the pro-Nazi "Golden Square" coup of Rashid Ali and the Palestinian leader, the Mufti of Jerusalem, in 1941. The Mufti went on to recruit Muslims in the Balkans for 2 SS Divisions. Ian was a Private in the part-time Reserve 20th Infantry Bn of the Irish Army and then joined 1 Bn, Irish Guards, in the British Army. The O/C of 1 Bn, Royal Irish Regt, Col Tim Collins, led his fellow Irishmen, from both South and North on our Island, in liberating Iraq, and his stirring speech is rightly famous. And Collins had a Dublin father, and an East Belfast mother.

That name Collins also echoes strongly for Irish ears. USAF Maj-Gen Michael Collins, the astronaut who commanded the first moon landing flight in 1969, or his fellow USAF astronaut, Col Eileen Colllins. In addition to Gen Michael Collins, 1890-1922, famed from the Irish War of Independence, and slain in an ambush by a fellow Irishman, in his native County Cork in August, 1922, there are dark recent echoes. The cowardly armed gangsters of the "Provisional IRA" shot another Collins in the back in Derry City on the banks of the River Foyle, on April 10, 1997, with a single upper-body shot, as she was on guard duty at the local Courthouse. This brave woman later died of cancer - but the woman who rushed to her aid was a civilian, also named Collins, a Southerner working in that city.

RUC Constable Collins wore the same dark bottle-green uniform and badge of Harp with Crown, which my own Great-grandfather wore when he came South from North Armagh in the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1852, to County Kilkenny in the SE of Ireland and served firstly at Kilmoganny and then at Bennettsbridge Barracks, Thomastown District, Co Kilkenny where he died at 46 in 1878. His oldest, William Lappin, also joined the RIC, serving in Limerick, before joining the Western Australia Police, being eventually promoted  Inspector, while a daughter Maria Lappin married Leixman Daniel McLoughlin, RIC Sgt in Mullinavat. This Ulster Protestant ancestor of mine, Peaden Lappin Con 15865, often came to mind when the 302 Irish policemen and women in the RUC [ and another 18 retired officers] were murdered from 1969. Various "republican" gangs also murdered almost all of our slain police in the South, our Gardai, among whose ranks my own father, South Tipperary-born in Kilfeakle, John Carew 5198, served. One of  his best friends during Border Duty during WW II, was the RUC Sgt in Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh.

I am colour-blind when it comes to uniforms stained dark by blood, and being proudly Irish also means honouring the huge Irish presence among the FDNY and NYPD dead, equally with their comrades who died to protect freedom, in Ireland, or overseas, including the 48 dead the Irish Army suffered on UN duty in Lebanon - a rate of casualty higher pro-rata than the US total in Iraq. Maybe up to 1 in 3 of the over 16,000 US Law Enforcers who gave their lives on duty were Irish, as with the US Firefighters. And New York's Sgt Dan Daly, US Marine and twice winner of the Congressional Medal of Freedom, is another brave Irish Defender of Freedom who bridges both sides of the Atlantic, not only in his origins, but with his courage and values. No other Enlisted Marine, and only 1 Officer [Gen Smedley Butler] won the Medal twice. Born in Long Island on Non 11, 1873, he served 30 years [20 on Active Duty] and died in Long Island on April 27, 1937. This small [5'6" and 132 lbs] Marine also won the Navy Cross for action in June, 1918 at Belleau Wood in WW I, and was wounded in action 3 times. The Irish Diaspora deserves as much honour and celebration as the Jewish one, and that global reach is one honourable bond both peoples can rightly cherish.

Freedom is never free, and those who refuse to stand behind our Uniformed Defenders, are free to stand in front of them.

The refusal to be stereo-typed and pigeon-holed into narrow boxes, prefabricated for us by tradition, bigotry, history, authority, media, or fashion, is at the heart of human life and freedom. My maternal grandfather, Michael Davin from Fethard, South Tipperary, was both a Cricket Captain [Sheestown, Kilkenny] and later National Vice-Chair of the Handball Council in the GAA {Gaelic Athletic Association}. The efforts of revolutionary bigots and bullies to divide and "purify" the living, in the name of dead dogmas, is an old habit, but a dying one, whose slow and eventual burial is guaranteed only by the continuing and staunch witness and resistance of those who believe in freedom and variety. I cherish that line of the great Ulster poet, Louis Mac Neice - "the drunkeness of things being various".

And one of the inspiring pictures of that vision today are the Bedouin, many badged in the Jordanian Army, others in their own **Shaked** Recon Bn in the IDF Southern Command, all of whom stand against our common enemy of the suicide-bombers. Differentiated by badge but united in courage and purpose.

I hope you enjoy some of what will be posted here, and that it may add to the sum of "things being various", and also to our determination to keep our world various and free, no matter what the threat or attacks, and no matter how many ignore or run in the face of the common enemy of the Jihadi Fanatical Fringe. The vision that moves me is the "safra ve'saifa" in the URL, that we all need to hold to both Joshua and Isaiah, to defend as well as proclaim freedom and justice, and do so unceasingly and unconditionally. And prove that we do indeed love life, not death, and know how to prevail over the new, ruthless Jihadi threats, and know how to eliminate their ideology as much as their resources and agents.
Tom,
Friday, Nov 24, 2006.