Posts by tictoc

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  • The Last Hope are The Seahawk Helicoptors: US Indonesia Aid....Good Story by a German reporter

    01/13/2005 11:05:42 AM PST · 50 of 51
    tictoc to longjack

    Thank you, longjack, for the ping and your translation.

  • German general dismissed for praising anti-Semitism

    11/06/2003 1:38:53 AM PST · 41 of 43
    tictoc to anotherview
    By 1936 the Nazis had brutally suppressed all opposition. They didn't need to. They would have won an overwhelming majority in a free election.

    I see a contradiction between your two statements.

  • German general dismissed for praising anti-Semitism

    11/06/2003 1:26:54 AM PST · 40 of 43
    tictoc to nkycincinnatikid; anotherview
    Both of you should read my #31 above.
  • Autumn of the Oligarchs?

    11/05/2003 8:09:17 AM PST · 4 of 4
    tictoc to OESY
    One set of robbers and thieves being exchanged for another.

    Ordinary Russians get shafted again.
  • German general dismissed for praising anti-Semitism

    11/04/2003 8:12:07 PM PST · 31 of 43
    tictoc to nkycincinnatikid
    How and when was the Nazi party popularly in a free elaction given governance of Germany?

    Capsule information on Nazi party election results

    The situation of Russia and Germany were really not so different. Governance was seized, opposition crushed.

    Yes and no. In 1932 the Nazi party won a plurality of the vote by a large margin, in an entirely free and legal election. They needed some shady shenanigans for their last push "over the top"; but the German people had made them the strongest party.

    By contrast, the October Revolution in which Russia's Bolsheviks seized power was a much more brutal affair.

  • German general dismissed for praising anti-Semitism

    11/04/2003 4:12:48 PM PST · 25 of 43
    tictoc to george wythe
    His speech touches many controversial subjects, such as criminal Turks getting away with a slap in their wrists, German welfare cheats living the life of Riley in Miami, people using the German "Medicaid" to buy Viagra, and other abuses of the generous German socialist programs.

    That isn't what is controversial about his speech, at least not as far as I'm concerned... leftists will of course disagree. (Though I maintain that the worst parasites are not the welfare cheats but the entrenched class of civil servants who are "managing" poverty and constantly expanding their turf; they are like an albatross hanging around the neck of taxpayers.)

    The whole speech is about asking Germans to be proud and productive, not parasitic and despondent.

    That isn't the impression I got.

    Are the Germans supposed to grovel every time the 12 years of Nazi government is discussed?

    Emphatically no. But who is bringing up the Nazi era? As a commenter on HZB's weblog remarked (a non-Jewish American living in Germany), the leaders of Germany's Jewish council, from Galinski to Bubis and now Spiegel, have been progressively milder, while anti-Jewish resentment in Germany has grown steadily worse.

    Are the Bolsheviks held to the same standard when their 70+ years of totalitarianism and butchery are discussed?

    Well see, you correctly identified the Bolsheviks as the comparison object to the Nazis. But to hold the world's Jews responsible for the actions of Jewish Bolsheviks in Russia and then equate the Jewish people as a whole with the German people during the Nazi regime is wrong on so many levels, it boggles the mind. That is what Hohmann did. Not to mention his references to Henry Ford as an authority, his recent call for reparations payments to the dwindling band of Holocaust survivors to be cut, and other offensive comments.

    At any rate, the speech was not a defense of the Nazi past, but a call to avoid the excuse of "German guilt" and look for fresh solutions to the current German economic and social troubles.

    I wish it were so, but then why did he have to drag in the Jews?

    Hohmann is simply a head case. He is a German nationalist who cannot bear the stain of the Holocaust in his nation's history. The fact that there are many German patriots who acknowledge Germany's history, yet are not crippled by feelings of inferiority or "collective guilt", does not register with him.

    No one else is "keeping Germany down", least of all "the Jews". A thriving German economy driven by optimistic, confident Germans is best for the Jews (remember the economic malaise before Hitler took power), and best for Israel.

    The man obviously has a need to identify scapegoats. You can legitimately criticize an issue such as homosexual adoption, but to blame the plummeting German birthrate on the homosexuals? Please!

  • German general dismissed for praising anti-Semitism

    11/04/2003 1:43:47 PM PST · 14 of 43
    tictoc to george wythe
    English-language weblogs referencing Hohmann's speech.

    Not reported in any of the above weblogs is the fact that Hohmann as a member of the German parliament made an official inquiry to the givernment, requesting that German reparation payments to Holocaust survivors (there aren't that many left, they are mostly in their 80s and 90s) be reduced to take into account Germany's budget difficulties.

    In the meantime, a brigadier general has been fired for having written a letter to Hohmann expressing gushing admiration for the speech.
  • Unusually heavy US bomber and fighter traffic <DEBKA>

    11/04/2003 1:08:55 PM PST · 62 of 97
    tictoc to Bon mots
    Nothing unusual at Rhein-Main Airb^H^H^H

    The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep

  • Putin's Blunder

    10/31/2003 12:46:57 AM PST · 16 of 16
    tictoc to RussianConservative
    Personally I think that condemning the Russian prosecutor may be a bit premature; at least give him a chance to present the evidence first.

    Also, my suspicions are triggered when the Christian Science Monitor, of all publications, cries glycerine tears for Khodorkovsky.

    I found the following quite amusing.

    (Gideon Lichfield is a journalist writing for The Economist.)


    [...]Russia, though it seems to
    be cosying up to Arab countries, is actually getting about as close
    to Israel as you can get without being America.

    This is no great surprise, but I also worry a bit that it might be
    used as ammunition by those who like promoting Jewish conspiracy
    theories. As a Jew I hate to admit it, but if you want to go around
    spreading the word that the Jews run the world, Russia is the perfect
    place to start. You can still get little books from wizened old
    ladies in the street detailing the Jewish stranglehold over Russia.
    Never mind all the Jewish scientists and artists - you get them
    everywhere - or the Jews in government and the media, who keep a
    fairly low profile. Back in the mid-90s when Russian business was
    ruled by a coven of seven oligarchs, six of them were of Jewish
    origin and the seventh served them as a kind of political shabbes
    goy: whenever they felt that a Jew couldn't ask the authorities for
    something, they'd get him to mediate. One of them, now the richest
    man in Russia and one of the 30 richest men in the world, Mikhail
    Khodorkovsky, is Jewish. And Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the emblem of
    Russian ultra-nationalism, the mad-dog racist who accused the Jews of
    provoking the Holocaust and selling Russian children and transplant
    organs, admitted in 2001 that he had a Jewish father (though his
    grasp of biology is a little shaky: he wanted to know why he should
    be stigmatised just because of the "one drop of Jewish blood" his
    father left in his mother). So it's not enough for us to run the
    country, we have to run the anti-Semites as well?

    Likewise, the Jewish community itself is also a more extreme version
    of what it would be elsewhere. When I went to the synagogue on Jewish
    New Year, everything was mixed together - the Hasidim were doing
    their round-the-hall dances and yodelling like Swiss farmers while
    the secular Jewish businessmen tied up loose ends on their mobile
    phones in the middle of the service. Not so long ago there was a
    power struggle for the post of Chief Rabbi of Russia, which by all
    accounts was as vicious as a typical Russian business takeover and
    was won by an Italian-born New York Hasid. One of my friends here was
    told a story by an American diplomat who had to organise George W.
    Bush's visit to the Choral Synagogue in St Petersburg. It was a great
    event, and all the rabbis of Northwestern Russia were invited.
    Unfortunately half of them were at loggerheads with the other half
    and each threatened not to come if so-and-so did; the diplomat was
    driven nearly insane trying to arrange the seating to keep deadly
    rivals apart.

    I asked the president of the Russian-Jewish Congress, the
    unfortunately-named (for English-speakers) Evgeny Satanovsky, why the
    Jews have done so well. His answer was basically evolution: the
    constant struggle to succeed against Soviet discrimination made them
    the winners once the barriers began to lift. That gives you an idea
    of how intense Soviet discrimination must have been.

    But what makes it even more remarkable is that this crowd of super-
    evolved power-mongers had to be formed out of the relatively small
    number of Jews who didn't leave Russia as soon as they had the
    chance. The Russian diaspora is about five million strong, and a good
    part of it is Jewish. There is a common belief here that Jews have a
    kind of innate radar for disaster. I met a Chechen who told me that
    the first sign that Chechnya was heading for ruin, well before the
    war started, was when the Jews started leaving. Satanovsky said that
    the RJC set up an online forum for Russian-speaking Jews abroad. They
    got contacted by people from 82 countries.

    And let's not even talk about the Russian Jews in Israel. When I went
    there over the holidays, my flight was five hours late. I spent the
    day in the airport talking to an old gent, and after a while he asked
    to use my mobile phone to call his relatives in Tel Aviv. His
    conversation, all in Russian, went something like this:

    [Voice answers the phone]: Hello?
    Gent: Hello, can I speak to Misha?
    Voice: He's gone out. Who is it?
    Gent: It's his brother. Can you tell him the flight is late? We'll be
    landing about...
    Voice: What? What flight?
    Gent: The flight from Moscow.
    Voice: You've got the wrong number.

    That, then, is the Russian Jewish Conspiracy. Not only do the Russian
    Jews run Russia; they run Israel too. After all, what's the sense in
    having a Jewish conspiracy if you're not prepared to do it properly?

    Shabbat Shalom!
  • Berlin's Jewish memorial halted after firm linked with supply of Nazi gas

    10/27/2003 9:29:30 AM PST · 2 of 2
    tictoc to Pikamax
    The president of Germany's association of murdered Jews, Lea Rosh

    Bizarro farce, when a person with maybe a paternal Jewish grandfather can change her surname from Rohs to Rosh and pursue her dreams of self-aggrandizement by browbeating the German government into financing a "Holocaust memorial".

    The latest tragicomedy with the Degussa company is just adding insult to injury.

    The Holocaust memorials (note the plural) already exist; they are in Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Treblinka, Majdanek... some are in poor repair and falling apart by the day.

    "Association of murdered Jews"? Is this some kind of club of zombies? Sickening. The Jewish communities of Germany have largely stayed clear of this "project", but not enough for my taste.

  • Physicists smash Internet speed record again!

    10/18/2003 5:59:11 AM PDT · 38 of 39
    tictoc to Physicist
    Would you or anyone happen to know where I can go on the Web to find out about progress in research on nuclear fusion for power generation?
  • Israel angered by Swiss sponsorship of "Geneva Initiative"

    10/16/2003 2:22:09 AM PDT · 3 of 3
    tictoc to anotherview
    Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has given his support to the effort but will not officially endorse it until the Israeli government does, said former Cabinet minister Yasser Abed Rabbo.


    Get the enemy to go on the record committing himself to yet more irrevocable concessions. Then say, "Nuh-uh, don't think so... The Israelis have to do better than that." Rinse and repeat.

    There's a Jewish word for what the leftist "negotiators" on the Israeli side lack: sekhel. It means "street smarts" or "common sense".

    anotherview, think the Israeli public is smarter this time than at the start of "Oslao"?

  • Jews rule the world: Mahathir [Malaysian PM; largest Islamic conference since 9/11 begins]

    10/16/2003 2:01:29 AM PDT · 39 of 70
    tictoc to goldstategop
    I really do rule the world by proxy

    You do, huh?

  • Explosion Near U.S. Convoy in Gaza Kills Three Americans

    10/15/2003 5:33:21 AM PDT · 9 of 44
    tictoc to budanski
    Islamic Jihad and Hamas have just claimed responsibility...

    If I were Hamas and IJ, I'd keep my mouth shut and wait for the media to invent a conspiracy theory implicating the Israelis... but no one ever said they were smart.

  • Pop-foul fan escorted out of stadium amid jeers (Follow-up on idiot Cubs fan)

    10/15/2003 5:02:12 AM PDT · 15 of 192
    tictoc to mhking
    Sucks to be him.
  • CNBC Europe: Israel Radio Reports Explosions Near US Convoy in Gaza

    10/15/2003 2:43:08 AM PDT · 37 of 93
    tictoc to Diogenesis
    Voice of America News

    American Convoy Rocked by Explosion in Gaza Strip
    Sonja Pace
    15 Oct 2003, 09:25 UTC

    A massive explosion went off in the Gaza Strip Wednesday as an American convoy passed by. There are conflicting reports of casualties, but Israel radio says at least four people have been killed and several others wounded.
    Details of the incident are sketchy. Israel radio says an explosive device went off as a U.S. diplomatic convoy believed to be carrying members of an American monitoring team passed by. The blast occurred near the Palestinian town of Beit Hanoun, south of the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

    Witnesses are quoted as saying one car, a Silver Jeep Cherokee, the kind of vehicle used by American diplomats, was completely destroyed by the blast.

    It's not known at this point who exactly was in the convoy. U.S. diplomats and CIA representatives are part of a team that is monitoring and supervising the implementation of a U.S. backed international peace plan.

  • Germans as Victims

    10/15/2003 2:35:20 AM PDT · 7 of 11
    tictoc to SAJ
    For a contrasting perspective from a German:

    hans ze beeman

    I won't lie to you. The "hans ze beemans" are currently few and far between. But it is not out of the question that more and more Germans will join him in the future.

  • Jews for Allah

    10/14/2003 4:07:01 AM PDT · 199 of 224
    tictoc to just5
    in fact, i think all muslims do condemn terrorism

    Uh-huh. Sure. Yeah, right.

  • Jews for Allah

    10/14/2003 1:01:31 AM PDT · 197 of 224
    tictoc to just5
    Thank you tictoc for your lies #1 and #2. other people on FR have been saying this for a while and people tend to beleive them. Thank you for labeling your post for what it is: LIES.

    You are either severely retarded or you are pathetically attempting irony (and falling flat).

    joe032783 had no trouble understanding what I was calling a lie, so why is that so difficult for you? Go back to my post # 71 and read it again slowly.

    Or maybe you'd like to point out to me the many synagogues in Saudi Arabia? Okay, then maybe just two? One...? When has any Israeli been allowed on Saudi soil, ever? Or any prominent non-Israeli Jew? Jewish Americans on assignment in Saudi "incognito" do not count. How many Jewish citizens does Saudi have today, how many a century ago, two centuries, seven centuries... The answer is NONE. ZERO. What happened to the populous Jewish settlements in Arabia? Are you claiming that the Jews were not all expelled from there soon after Mohammed's death (the ones that he hadn't killed or kicked out himself)?

    I am not an expert on the history of Islam but even I know that much. Are you a Muslim? How come you don't know this stuff?

    Of course, I am going by the Muslim sources themselves. Could be that they're wrong about their own history, but I haven't heard any Muslim say that.

    Joe hasn't shown up yet on, when are we going to see you there?

  • A First Look at the Geneva (Swiss) Agreement (between Israel and Palestinians)

    10/13/2003 9:24:30 AM PDT · 10 of 10
    tictoc to anotherview
    Didn't Herzl write a book set in the future in which the Israelis build the Third Temple in Jerusalem but not on the Temple Mount?

    If the modern "founding father" of Israel could envision such a compromise, then why can't we?

    I am merely asking this as an academic question. This latest "accord" is just another bait-and-switch on the part of the Palis. Already they are claiming they didn't give up the "right of return".

    It's just a game, a primitive but effective one. The Palis get the Israelis to commit themselves to an offer (every time, of course, a better one than before), then throw up their hands and say they can't do it.

    Next round, the previous Israeli offer is taken as a "baseline" on which the Israelis had better improve.

    But if there actually were a trustworthy partner on the other side, would you insist on the Temple Mount if that was the only sticking point left?

    Mind you, it's academic. If there was anyone on the Palestinian side sincerely interested in coexistence and peace, they would kill him in a heartbeat.
  • Jews for Allah

    10/13/2003 5:18:42 AM PDT · 186 of 224
    tictoc to ChicagoHebrew
    What is your opinion of this?

    And by the way could you refrain from insulting other Freepers?

  • Qorei resigns as Palestinian PM

    10/09/2003 6:46:23 AM PDT · 12 of 38
    tictoc to prairiebreeze
    How reliable is this newssource?

    Qorei quits as Palestinian PM

    It is not clear if Arafat has accepted Qorei's resignation after parliament session was delayed indefinitely.
  • Qorei resigns as Palestinian PM

    10/09/2003 6:28:20 AM PDT · 1 of 38
  • Jews for Allah

    10/08/2003 3:41:48 AM PDT · 71 of 224
    tictoc to joe032783
    Two-for-one deal today :-)

    that's basically what happened to muhammad and the muslims of the time. they were being persecuted and tortured in mekka, for saying there was one god instead of many.

    Lie #1.

    Muhammad made a pest of himself but no one tried to kill him, no one tortured him, no one even punched him in the face. Same for his few followers in Mecca.

    as a matter of fact, there were other jews at the time who did not break their alliance made with the muslims. they weren't harmed for being jewish.

    Lie #2.

    Muhammad's modus operandi, later imitated by Hitler, was simple. Wait until a Jew looks at you funny, then kill the men, sell the women and children into slavery (keeping the prettiest one for yourself and raping her that same evening), and use the assets of the Jews to finance your military expansion. In keeping with Muhammad's will, any Jews still left alive in the hijaz (the Arab peninsula) were expelled right after his death. And ever since, the hijaz has been judenrein. So much for the vaunted Islamic tolerance.

    I know you're going to come back now with a tiresome defense, and we could go on for a few more back-and-forths. But I am not best qualified to do this, nor do I have the time. If you are truly looking for a worthy opponent, then go toe-to-toe with the ex-Muslims on (if you can; the URL is blocked in many Islamic countries).

    But be warned: some of those who tried before you are now happily free apostates from Islam.

  • Jews for Allah

    10/08/2003 2:51:23 AM PDT · 69 of 224
    tictoc to joe032783
    Every single word in your post is a lie, including "is", "and", and "the".

    Tell you what. Most people on are not really well-versed in Islamic history, and I don't have the time to do a point-by-point takedown of your lies.

    Here is my suggestion.

    Ali Sina, the founder of, has an open challenge to Muslims worldwide.

    If they can debate him and convincingly argue that the Koran was given to Mohammed by G-d, and that Mohammad was not a murderous, perverted brigand, he will take down his web site and forever hold his peace.

    Fame and possibly fortune await you if you can do it.

    Go here and give it your best shot!
  • Franklin Park gorilla escapes, attacks 2

    09/29/2003 7:00:42 AM PDT · 26 of 58
    tictoc to Cincinatus' Wife
    I LOVE gorillas.

    This is Binti Jua with her daughter Koola. In 1996 a three-year old boy fell eighteen feet into the gorilla enclosure in the Chicago Zoo. Binti Jua gently picked him up and carried him to the door where he was picked up by paramedics. The boy recovered.

  • German president: UK gave in to Hitler

    09/28/2003 8:15:35 PM PDT · 73 of 171
    tictoc to longjack; All
    Thank you for digging up the link to the speech itself, longjack.

    I would have to disagree with you regarding the way that the speech is portrayed in the Scotsman article.

    The journalist quite unfairly ignored the larger themes of Rau's speech and instead focused on some rather peripheral remarks. If I had only the Scotsman article to go by, I would think that Mr. Rau was indeed a whiner and possibly a revanchist.

    A fairly nasty hatchet job by the Scotsman, if you ask me.
  • Was the Islam of Old Spain Truly Tolerant? (The Religion of Peace™ and its idea of inclusiveness)

    09/28/2003 7:28:40 PM PDT · 112 of 126
    tictoc to tictoc
    Embarrassing mistakes in first paragraph. Everybody can use an editor -- *sigh*.

    It is deeply ironic that Maimonides -- instead of the other Sephardic geniuses such as Solomon ibn Gabirol or Judah Halevi -- should have become the symbol of the Golden Age of Jewry in al-Andalus and of the tolerance practiced there. However, it shows how little this imaginative fanciful portrayal is concerned for the historical facts. At the time of Maimonides' birth in Córdoba in the year 1135, there were almost no Christian communities left in al-Andalus, and there soon would be no Jewish ones, either. In the first century of the Islamic conquest, Christians numbered some 9 percent 90 percent of the population; now, it was fast approaching zero. What accounts for this tremendous disappearance of believers, which stands in marked contrast to the survival of Christian communities in the countries east of the Maghreb? [tictoc: the Maghreb is North Africa approximately from Morocco to Libya.]
  • Was the Islam of Old Spain Truly Tolerant? (The Religion of Peace™ and its idea of inclusiveness)

    09/28/2003 6:18:24 PM PDT · 110 of 126
    tictoc to gpl4eva
    if the jews had to face expulsion, conversion or death, then which jews did the inquisition target later on?

    It's important to remember that the Andalusia ("al-Andalus") of Maimonides' time was not congruent with the Iberian Peninsula.

    Throughout the centuries of Islamic conquest and Christian Reconquista, the Jews were alternately expelled and welcomed by different Muslim and Christian rulers. (For example, in 1115 when Alphonso I reconquered Toledo, he invited back the Jews). That explains why there were Jews in Spain in 1492.

  • Was the Islam of Old Spain Truly Tolerant? (The Religion of Peace™ and its idea of inclusiveness)

    09/28/2003 5:58:01 PM PDT · 108 of 126
    tictoc to gpl4eva
    I'm going to translate a few paragraphs from the article by Siegfried Kohlhammer referenced in #76 above. (My translation)

    It is deeply ironic that Maimonides -- instead of the other Sephardic geniuses such as Solomon ibn Gabirol or Judah Halevi -- should have become the symbol of the Golden Age of Jewry in al-Andalus and of the tolerance practiced there. However, it how little this imaginative portrayal is concerned for the historical facts. At the time of Maimonides' birth in Córdoba in the year 1135, there were almost no Christian communities left in al-Andalus, and there soon would be no Jewish ones, either. In the first century of the Islamic conquest, Christians numbered some 9 percent of the population; now, it was fast approaching zero. What accounts for this tremendous disappearance of believers, which stands in marked contrast to the survival of Christian communities in the countries east of the Maghreb? [tictoc: the Maghreb is North Africa approximately from Morocco to Libya.]

    Answers must rely on speculation, based on varying levels of factual support. However, this much appears certain to me: the policies of the Almoravids and Almohads concerning the non-Muslims, up to and including expulsions, forced conversions and massacres, were a factor. Maimonides himself was born in a time of persecution by the Almohads, and by the end of the century in Andalusia and in the Maghreb, there was no synagogue (or church) left, nor did any Jews (or Christians) openly professing their faith remain. In 1148 al-Andalus became part of the Almohad empire. Maimonides was thirteen years old then. It appears that as the persecution of Jews picked up steam, the family left Córdoba and fled "from town to town". While most Jews sought refuge in the Christian countries to the North, or in the Islamic countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Maimonides family remained in Spain as late as 1160, the year for which the presence of the father and his two sons in Fes is documented -– strangely enough, in the capital of the Almohad movement. The reasons for their move there are not known.

    Scholars have long and ingeniously debated whether or not Maimonides underwent (forced) conversion. In any case, forced conversion was an ever-present threat at the time. In other words, three and a half centuries before the Catholic kings, the Almohads forced the Jews to choose between conversion, expulsion or death. "We are almost completely sunk," wrote the father from Fes, "but we still cling to something. We are overwhelmed by humiliation and contempt, surrounded by the ocean of captivity, and we are sunk in its depths, and the water is up to our faces." In 1165 large numbers of Jews were executed by a court of inquisition, among them the famous Rabbi Judah ha-Cohen, who was burned at the stake. It is unclear whether the Jews had refused to convert to Islam or had "relapsed" after a conversion. The Maimonides family, which was also threatened, managed to escape with the assistance of a Muslim friend, first to Palestine, later to Egypt. There Maimonides settled down, wrote his famous works, and served his patron al-Fadhel, the vizir of Saladin, as a court physician.

    However, it is doubtful that this marked the achievement of a state of inter-religious harmony. In his reply to the Jews of Yemen on the occasion of the anti-Jewish pogroms there, he wrote: "Consider, my brethren in faith, that G-d hurled us, on account of our large burden of sin, into the midst of this people, the Arabs, who persecuted us mightily and who have passed deleterious and discriminating laws against us . . . Never has there been a people to burden us, abase us, humiliate us, and hate us as much as they . . . We have been dishonored by them intolerably." And in the last of his preserved letters he wrote that life among the Arabs "casts darkness on the rays of the sun." Now if you ask me, a "Golden Age" this was not!

    [ . . . ]

    The complaints voiced in the letters written by Maimonides and his father over the humiliation and contempt meted out by the Muslims is a common theme in the Jewish descriptions of Andalusia, even for the most successful and most powerful Jews, such as Hasdai ibn Shapruts, vizir of the greatest of the Caliphs of Córdoba, Abd al-Rahman III. The fact that Jews and (rarely) Christians could rise to high positions in government as vizirs and counselors of the ruler is often cited as evidence of the tolerant climate and the harmony between religions in al-Andalus. However, it would be an anachronistic misunderstanding to assume that this tolerance was tolerance as we understand it today, or that the aim was to implement equality for all citizens, regardless of religion etc., before the law. In fact, the infidels emphatically were not equal before the law!

    In al-Andalus the Malikite school of law, oldest of the four orthodox Islamic schools of law, was the only one recognized. According to Islamic law, no infidel may wield power or command over a Muslim, but this was inevitable if they were in elevated positions in government. A ruler who appointed Jews or Christians to high office (or even tolerated them in it), was not enforcing the law but openly breaking it. Thus the infidels owed their elevated position solely to the arbitrary exercise of the unlimited power of the ruler. This ensured that they would be highly loyal to him, for if he fell, often his "court Jews" would fall with him. The interest of the ruler in such a precarious illegal situation (the ulema, i.e., Islamic clerics, theologians and legal scholars, were a significant power in politics and society) was to a great extent due to the fact that the infidels were not integrated into the tribal and family relationships threatening the rulers.

    A ruler led a hazardous life, not only in medieval Islam [ . . . ] No matter how high a Jew or a Christian might climb and how much power he might have amassed, he could never hope to become a ruler himself. On the contrary, he had to fear the ruler's end, for it might mean that nothing and nobody would protect him from the anger and resentment of his former subordinates, the ulema, and the people. No matter what the thoughts of the rulers of Andalusia might have been concerning non-Muslims and how they should be tolerated and what rights should be granted to them, as rulers they could have been interested in their political careers only to the extent that they benefited the government by their excellent competence while helping to secure the rulers' reign on account of their precarious, illegal position.

  • Superbomb ignites science dispute (Got Hafnium?)

    09/28/2003 4:39:42 AM PDT · 42 of 55
    tictoc to NormsRevenge
  • Was the Islam of Old Spain Truly Tolerant? (The Religion of Peace™ and its idea of inclusiveness)

    09/28/2003 12:31:23 AM PDT · 76 of 126
    tictoc to All
    »Ein angenehmes Märchen« -- Die Wiederentdeckung und Neugestaltung des muslimischen Spanien

    A Pleasant Fairy Tale -- The Rediscovery and Redesign of Muslim Spain

    I wish you all could read German. The article by Siegfried Kohlhammer, a German scholar of Islam, makes the NY Times article appear like very small beer.

    A few choice morsels (in my translation):

    "The rediscovery of the culture of Muslim Spain, and recognition of its meaning for European culture, as well as its idealization as a Golden Age of Tolerance, took place in the western World -– in the 18th and 19th centuries."

    "In the 18th century Europeans began to believe in Islamic tolerance and superior humanity, in the 19th century the Muslims followed suit, and in the 20th century the Islamic scholars finally joined them."

    It's too bad that the article is so long, otherwise I'd love to translate it for FreeRepublic.

  • Political Islam. A Conversation with Gilles Kepel and Jeffrey Goldberg (Long read)

    09/26/2003 12:14:12 AM PDT · 3 of 3
    tictoc to Sir Gawain
  • German States Move To Enact Headscarf Bans

    09/25/2003 4:41:14 PM PDT · 6 of 14
    tictoc to gg188
    The Turks ban headscarves and turbans in their institutions of learning. Should we in the West do the same? Sort of goes against our principles, doesn't it?

    It's messy and ugly, whichever way the government goes. Banning the Muslim headscarf begs the question, why not also ban yarmulkes for Jews (never mind that Jews in Germany already refrain from wearing yarmulkes in public, out of fear for their lives).

    Your analogy between Islam and the Nazi ideology is not entirely wrong. After all, Islam is a political system every bit as much as a religion, a system that spreads destitution and misery wherever it rules.

    On the other hand, Nazism was not a religion at all. So the analogy breaks down there. After all, many many millions of Muslims don't give a d*mn about jihad, their religion is just a cultural thing for them.

    I fear that there is no other way than to deal with the Muslims on a case-by-case basis. They should have the right to wear headscarves even as teachers working for the government. But they will also have to accept especially close scrutiny of what they say and do.

    The same goes for every Muslim organization and every imam in every mosque. We need them to know that they are under a magnifying glass from now into the foreseeable future.
  • India seeks pictures from Israeli Ofek 5 spy satellite

    09/25/2003 4:21:02 PM PDT · 3 of 6
    tictoc to Prodigal Son
    Israel has avoided giving India a definitive answer regarding leasing Ofek 5


    At the very least, some Indian spooks will be invited to a "closed screening" in Israel.

  • Hot -Tempered Clark in Conference Tantrum Meltdown

    09/25/2003 4:12:24 PM PDT · 21 of 47
    tictoc to kattracks
    In strict compliance with FR's rules and regulations, which state that whenever a conservative major news babe is mentioned, a picture shall be posted, I give you Monica Crowley:

  • Swedish police release man held for the past week on suspicion of murdering Foreign Minister

    09/24/2003 10:42:04 AM PDT · 19 of 41
    tictoc to Mark Felton
    Mega weird.

    And we still don't know who killed Swedish prime minister Palme.
  • TET II: An American Recessional?

    09/24/2003 10:28:00 AM PDT · 16 of 26
    tictoc to FlameThrower
    Thank you for posting this.

    Are you the author?

    Is this essay available on the Internet?

    What is "NoHoldsBarred"?
  • GOTTA SEE THIS-WarEndur.Freedom 09/24/03-Tikrit,Baghdad,Fallujah,Najaf

    09/24/2003 8:30:10 AM PDT · 12 of 62
    tictoc to Diogenesis
    Thank you so much, Diogenesis.

    Wonderful work.
  • Freep MSNB Poll (France)

    09/24/2003 1:50:23 AM PDT · 1 of 2
  • France favours India's entry into Security Council

    09/24/2003 12:59:19 AM PDT · 6 of 13
    tictoc to Nonstatist
    India in, France out.

    But then who will represent the Arabs on the Security Council?

  • Millions Without Power in Denmark, Sweden

    09/23/2003 1:06:46 PM PDT · 20 of 25
    tictoc to Brian S
    I live in Germany.

    The local power plant just completed a very expensive fortification program.

    10 foot tall steel fence anchored in concrete foundation around the perimeter has replaced 6 ft. wire mesh fence.

    New surveillance cameras installed all over the place.

    At night, security guards are permanently on duty, instead of scheduled visits from a private security company.

    I wonder why.
  • 'Giant' passenger tried to open plane door (I don't care how big he is - beat him anyway!)

    09/21/2003 1:32:09 PM PDT · 55 of 65
    tictoc to HoustonCurmudgeon; Admin Moderator
    three rolls of quarters and a pair of gym socks

    Sounds good. Any other ideas? I wonder if a guitar string would make for a good improvised garrotte? (Step up behind the hijacker, wrap around neck once, and pull tight.)

    Moderator, please remove if inappropriate.


    09/21/2003 9:23:12 AM PDT · 22 of 37
    tictoc to Coleus
    Absolute 24-carat, unadulterated bilge.

    G-d preserve Steve Dunleavy and his liver.

  • Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population (Israel)

    09/19/2003 11:23:10 AM PDT · 82 of 107
    tictoc to Duan
    Ah forget it, I'm not going to bother with you again.
  • Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population (Israel)

    09/19/2003 11:03:31 AM PDT · 80 of 107
    tictoc to Duan
    The CIA think their numbers are good. Don't you believe the numbers you posted?

    What? Please re-read my #57. According to the notes from the CIA World Factbook on "GDP methodology": "In developing countries with weak currencies the exchange rate estimate of GDP in dollars is typically one-fourth to one-half the PPP estimate."

    In other words, if you convert Egypt's GDP into dollars at the official exchange rate, it might turn out to be as low as $70 billion instead of $268 billion. That's all.

  • Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population (Israel)

    09/19/2003 10:03:19 AM PDT · 65 of 107
    tictoc to All
    A bit off-topic, but this smackdown of Arab whiners on an Arab message board is priceless.

    I'm debating whether or not to post it up here on FR as a new thread.

  • Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population (Israel)

    09/19/2003 9:53:24 AM PDT · 62 of 107
    tictoc to Duan
    Please see my #57 above.
  • Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population (Israel)

    09/19/2003 9:46:10 AM PDT · 57 of 107
    tictoc to tictoc
    Regarding the GDP figures for Egypt, the CIA Factbook notes:

    "In developing countries with weak currencies the exchange rate estimate of GDP in dollars is typically one-fourth to one-half the PPP estimate."
  • Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population (Israel)

    09/19/2003 9:28:51 AM PDT · 56 of 107
    tictoc to Duan
    According to CIA World Factbook:
    ISRAEL (pop. 6,116,533 (July 2002 est.) 
    Gross domestic product, purchasing power parity: $122 billion (2002 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:  -1.1% (2002 est.)
    GDP - per capita:  (PPP): $19,000 (2002 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):  5.7% (2002 est.)
    Unemployment rate: 10.4% (2002 est.)  
    EGYPT pop. 74,718,797 (July 2003 est.) 
    GDP, purchasing power parity: $268 billion (2002 est.) 
    GDP - real growth rate:  1.7% (2002 est.)
    GDP - per capita:  (PPP): $3,900 (2002 est.)  
    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.3% (2002)
    Unemployment rate: 12% (2001 est.)