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Monday, January 25, 2016

A Preview of Manhattan Blues


Readers may have noticed I have not commented on current events in a while. I am immersed in writing the 14th Cyrus Skeen detective novel, set in New York City in March 1929.  I shall return to my commentaries once I have finished the novel. My novels are my life work, and they always come first.


From the Foreword:

It is March, 1929. Cyrus Skeen is called to New York by his father, Garnett Skeen, to attend to some trust fund affairs. Skeen’s detective agency is subsidized by a trust fund his father set up years before, but his mother, Eleanor “Nellie” Skeen, wishes to set up her own trust fund for her son. A daughter of an Oklahoma oil magnate, she is “very well situated” in terms of wealth. Skeen’s parents, however, are driving to Nags Head in the Outer Banks of North Carolina to spend the rest of the winter. The elder Skeen tells his son that he must prove his existence to for a new bank officer who will be administrating the new trust fund; therefore, Skeen must travel to New York City.
In New York, he meets an alluring and tempestuous opera singer, Brianna “Ginger” O’Quill. During one of her performances at the Metropolitan Opera, he goes backstage and kisses the diva’s hand. She interprets the gesture as an invitation to pursue him, which she does even though she knows he is married and in love with his wife, Dilys. But a rival for her attentions is jealous and attempts to murder Skeen – or O'Quill…or anyone. 



Chapter 9: Queen of the Night


The conductor, Lawrence Hauck, who was a dead ringer, Skeen thought, for Leopold Schacht but sans the spade beard, abruptly appeared over the intricately carved black mahogany partition that separated the orchestra from the audience and that put both out of sight of each other. The audience applauded and he took a bow. Then he turned, dipped out of sight, and disappeared. There must have been steps from the podium Skeen had not noticed earlier.
The lights dimmed a little more, and then the orchestra began the Overture. The opening brass notes were intended to get one’s attention. They got Skeen’s. Then the strings weighed in, and, working with the winds, with soft, somnambulant notes, gently prepared one for the lively, joyous, almost dizzying dance-worthy main section in which the whole orchestra participated.
Skeen found the whole piece delightful. In fact, he was enchanted by it. He felt himself smiling. This was not the Mozart he had heard in Maud Skipton’s music parlor on Nob Hill in San Francisco. He wished it to go on. But in a swift reprise of the opening dancing notes it ended with a crescendo.
The two massive red velvet curtains parted majestically behind the impossibly complex gilded proscenium. Their parting revealed yet another red curtain; this one rose to reveal a stylized forest. Beyond it were flats depicting faraway mountains and a blue, cloud-dotted sky. But above it all was a kind of dome of the black night sky, the stars formed in a whirlpool whose vortex was not yet visible.
A young fellow in a blue period costume – vaguely medieval – appeared, running full tilt, armed with a swordless scabbard, and a bow with no arrow in it and no quiver of arrows. Some growling was heard and what looked like a puce-painted Chinese New Year dragon appeared from behind the “forest,” and chased the fellow around the stage. He guessed the fellow was supposed to be Tamino, the story’s love interest, the prince with no political antecedents. The dragon had about two dozen legs (the legs of cast extras), also in puce but with fur. The thing more resembled a giant centipede with a dragon’s head tacked on. The fellow in the head also blew some kind of smoke from the dragon’s open mouth, which was loaded with scimitar sized teeth.
Skeen told himself: It’s a fairy tale. There’s no rhyme or reason for anything in it. Don’t shake your head. People might notice.
Then the fellow faints. Sir Galahad, he isn’t, thought Skeen. He consulted his libretto for the scene.
The story began to pick up speed when The Three Ladies emerged from the forest. They slayed the dragon with waves of their magical wands, then ooh-and-awed in dialogue and in song over the prone body of the prince, almost as though they wanted to molest him. He could see the greed in their eyes. They wore feathery headpieces and gowns the colors of Germany’s flag: black, red, and gold. They kept nudging each other aside with unladylike elbows to ribs as they bent over the unconscious Tamino.
Skeen heard Morton Lawry groan in exasperation.
Abruptly, The Three Ladies rose and departed, singing. According to the libretto and Britannica, they couldn’t decide what to do about Tamino.
A fellow in a costume of colorful parrot feathers came onstage. Skeen consulted his libretto. This was Papageno, the birdwatcher. No, he corrected himself: the bird catcher. He carried a bird cage and panpipes. He sings his song and plays his pipes (or someone in the orchestra did). Tamino awakes, and thinks Papageno slayed the dragon. The bird catcher doesn’t deny it. The Three Ladies reappear and punish him for lying by putting a lock on his mouth. Then they crowd around Tamino and manage to show him a picture of Pamina, his future love interest. He sings his love for her; The Three Ladies collectively practically smother him with their attentions.
Again, Skeen heard Lawry groan.
And then Brianna O'Quill appeared as Queen of the Night. Her entrance was heralded by winds in the orchestra. This development took Skeen by surprise. She simply appeared out of nowhere, probably by an elevator built into the stage, sitting on a throne. He should have expected something extraordinary because the forest was suddenly enveloped in a mist. The lights dimmed a little over the stage. The whirlpool of stars above began to slowly rotate, the vortex appearing directly over the head of the Queen of the Night.
O'Quill as Queen of the Night was indeed in a modified flamenco costume, all blue satin, it seemed to Skeen, judging from the sheen of the material, with winking sequins. Generous flounces over her wrists and at the bottom of the gown gave her costume that Spanish look. Ruby earrings the size and shape of fishing anchors flailed out when she moved her head, but Skeen doubted they were lead.
She was crowned with a sparkling mantilla from which flowed a gossamer veil or train, almost invisible but for the twinkling sequins on it. Her hair was gathered behind in a kind of translucent basket the fabric of which he could not identify from where he sat. She began to sing her first aria, “O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn.” Skeen consulted the libretto. It was “Oh, tremble not, my dear son!”
Tamino approached her throne and was kneeling before it when she rose and descended the steps in mid-aria to address him. Skeen could not see Tamino’s face, but O'Quill’s was observable. He was transfixed by the multitude of convincing expressions and emotions O'Quill was able to convey. It was a lovely, moving, and pleading aria – save my daughter from the evil designs of the wizard Sarastro, and her hand is yours in marriage – but Skeen could see by her eyes and her posture and by the tone of her words, even though they were in German, that she was setting up Tamino for something other than rescuing her daughter, Pamina, from the evil wizard Sarastro. She descended the throne, bid Tamino to rise, and held him by the shoulders to complete her aria.
She telegraphed her ulterior motives so strongly that Skeen half expected Tamino to depart from the script and tell her he knew she was lying and to reject her heart-rending plea. Skeen sat mesmerized by O'Quill’s performance, sitting forward with his elbows on his knees, his hands folded beneath his chin.
But Tamino agrees to rescue Pamina. Then The Queen of the Night, with an imperious sweep of her trailing veil, disappears with her throne into the mists. The faraway mountains reappear and the forest is visible again.
The Three Ladies returned and again surrounded Tamino. They give him a long, silvery object. This is the magic flute. They so crowd around Tamino they nearly knock him over. Skeen did not think that was in the playbook.
He heard Lawry groan again.
In a comic scene they release Papageno from the mouth-padlock and give him a contraption with bells on it. He will accompany Tamino on his search for Pamina. The flute will protect Tamino from all sorts of mishaps, while the bells, if rung, will also perform magic for Papageno.
And that was the end of Scene One of Act One.
Skeen had read the whole Britannica article and so he knew that Sarastro was not the evil wizard, but some sort of benevolent wizard whose kidnapping of Pamina remained inexplicable, unexplained.
One question he wanted badly to ask Lawry was who was Pamina’s father? Was she the result of a union between the Queen of the Night and Sarastro? Were the Queen of the Night and Sarastro once “married,” but had a horrific fight and separated? Was Pamina born out of wedlock? Was there such a condition in the world of The Magic Flute?
But Skeen checked himself: this was a fairy tale, and anything odd and unanswered was to be taken literally. Too many questions would spoil the fantasy and explode the illusion.
As he watched the goings-on up on the stage, Skeen recalled that, as a child, he had never taken seriously the tooth fairy, or the Easter bunny, or even Santa Claus. He distinctly remembered now his assertion over dinner one Christmas season evening, when he was five, that not only was it physically impossible for Santa Claus to deliver overnight presents to all the children in the world so that they would have them by Christmas morning, but it was physically impossible for him to carry them. Further, he declaimed that evening over his half-eaten dinner the impracticality of “eight tiny reindeer” to pull such a load, and of a sleigh that could land on anyone’s roof.
He remembered his mother tsk-tsking and giving him a sad shake of her head. And he also remembered his father chuckling and remarking to her: “Well, at least we're not raising a Socialist, or a Progressive.” He understood the meaning of that remark years later.
Then the black slave, Monostato, appeared and figured prominently in the action. Mentally, Skeen kept renaming him “Monsanto” after the agricultural company. The singer was not only in black face but in black torso. It was disconcerting to see him and his fellow slaves cavorting around the stage wearing baggy pantaloons and vests and slippers with curled toes. A few of them wore turbans and sported organ-grinder moustaches. It was also jarring to hear them speak and sing in German.
It was while Monostato was singing that Skeen recognized the face of the hand-wringing roll-poly man he saw outside of Brianna O'Quill’s apartment the night before.
Skeen sat back and endured with a critical set to his face the rest of Act One, frequently consulting his libretto to understand the actions and dialogue on stage.
He did acknowledge that putting on even an incredible fairy tale required an enormous amount of work. The singers had to work with the orchestra and its soloists, as well, everything had to be timed and paced perfectly, everyone from the cast to the stagehands who worked the scenery had to know what he was doing, when to do it, and where he had to be every second.
He refrained from sighing with relief when the curtains closed on Sarastro’s temple and Tamino and Pamina see each other and embrace for the first time on the stage. The audience broke into applause and the principal singers came out from behind the two curtains to take their bows.     Twice, because the continuing applause called them out again.
Then the lights came back on and the hubbub behind Skeen rose. The program said there would be a half hour intermission. Skeen could hear the stage behind the curtain being prepared for Act Two, with scenery being removed and replaced and many footsteps thumping on the stage. He rose and faced Morton Lawry. “I’m going out for a smoke.”
Lawry rose. Skeen noticed that he had gray-green eyes, and they were set in anger. Something about the performance of The Three Ladies had upset him. “I would join you, Mr. Skeen, as you are probably brimming with questions I would be only too happy to answer. But I need to go backstage to knock some heads together. Please, follow me. You can smoke outside on the loading platform. Smoking is not allowed backstage, only in the dressing rooms. But you needn’t trek all the way to the lobby.” He nodded to the stream of patrons snaking up the aisles to the front of the theater.
Without further word, Lawry turned and strode along the first row of orchestra seats to the far end. Skeen followed him. There they encountered an usher who let them pass through an emergency door. He said to the man, nodding to Skeen, “This gentleman is a guest of mine. Please let him back in when the time comes.”
Inside, Lawry pointed to the door to the loading dock, then disappeared into a maze of narrow halls and corridors.
Skeen stood on the dock with a few dozen of the cast. He lit an Old Gold. It was chilly and the skimpy costumes of some of the actors and singers must not have been much protection against the cold. The dock faced the blank wall of an adjacent building. Some scenery flats were propped up against the wall behind him. More cast and stagehands emerged from a separate door further down the long stretch of cement.
He did not try to get into a conversation with any of the people standing with him.
All in all, Skeen thought, it was a saccharine story. Perhaps it was innovative in Mozart’s time. But the story has been repeated and retold in countless forms countless times since then.
He was also thinking of Brianna O'Quill.

©2016 by Edward Cline

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Words and Reality


While reading Stephen Coughlin’s seminal and all-important Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad, I frequently encountered quotations the author used to stress his many points that in terms of defending this country from Islamic incursions, or, rather, failing to defend it, the language of the defenders has been corrupted and rendered meaningless. The quotations came from Josef Pieper’s Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power (Mißbrauch der Sprache, Machtmißbrauch), first published in 1974. The quotations were so intriguing that I ordered the book, which is actually a 54-page pamphlet featuring two essays by Pieper, “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power,” and “Knowledge and Freedom.” Coughlin remarked that Pieper’s book “underlies much in what I do.”

Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was a German philosopher and a key figure in the Thomist revival. In his teens, he was initially drawn to the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard, but after being recommended a work by Aquinas, Commentary to the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel, he became a lifelong devotee to Aquinas. Ignatius Press’s Insight reveals that:   

Pieper went to the University of Münster in 1923, and later on he went to Berlin. The plan of his first book – which he ultimately submitted to the university in order to obtain his doctorate in philosophy – was born during a lecture on Goethe and Thomas Aquinas, given by Msgr. Romano Guardini at the Jugendburg Rothenfels on the Main in 1924; the lecture was entitled "About Classical Spirit." Pieper's first book, Die Wirklichkeit und das Gute (Reality and the Good; contained in Living the Truth [Ignatius Press, 1989]) based on St. Thomas' works, tries to show that the good is nothing else but what is in accordance with the reality of things.

Apparently, in 1939 or 1940, Pieper joined (or was threatened with conscription into) the German army. Where and in what capacity he served is not mentioned in any standard biographical information I have been able to locate. Much of what Pieper wanted to write or speak about – and could, privately – was not publishable in Nazi Germany. Nazism purported to have all the “official answers” to “social problems,” and a Catholic author’s thoughts on the subject were not welcome, except perhaps from the pulpit of a church that hove to the Nazi Party line. Pieper’s writings were well known in Germany at the time and already viewed with glowering circumspection by Nazi authorities.

During the first year of World War II, he brought out only a little biography of his hero, St. Thomas Aquinas, titled Guide to Thomas Aquinas.

Pieper joined the army and during the time he was in service a volume of the Summa Theologica or the Quaestiones Disputatae always accompanied him, and in the course of these years he succeeded in putting together two breviary-like collections of short sentences, chosen from the whole work of the Angelic Doctor, but they were not published until the end of World War II. One of these "breviaries," the more philosophical one, was published both in England and the United States under the title, The Human Wisdom of St. Thomas.

Given Piper’s overall philosophy, one can only assume that he was what we would call a “conscientious objector” vis-à-vis the grip Nazism had on Germany and Hitler’s war plans. But being a dissident in Nazi Germany usually earned one time in a concentration camp or a death sentence. Or dissidents on religious grounds would be assigned “mule team” duties as non-combatants, or put in the medical corps. For a vivid dramatization of the conundrum see Sophie Scholl: The Final Days. The German Catholic Church’s record on that subject is nothing less than disgraceful.

One non-standard biographical reference, in the periodical Theological Studies, contains a brief account, by Jon Vickery, “Searching for Josef Pieper,” of Pieper’s time and activities in the German army. How he served is described on page 632; he acted as a military psychologist screening candidates for the Luftwaffe.

Reading that account, which I can only treat as an apologia, leads me to conclude that Pieper, who voted against the Nazi Party in March 1933 (p. 626), was subsequently faced with the same grave moral dilemma as others were faced with in attempting to survive the iron reign of the political correctness of Nazism. One might easily conclude he committed the same error that American Christian and Jewish clerics commit today by participating in dialogue with Muslim clerics in an attempt to reach some kind of workable rapprochement between their religious principles and Islam’s. Instead, Pieper appears to have tried to reconcile Thomist Catholicism with Nazi ideology. I discuss this important section of Coughlin’s book, “Interfaith Outreach,” in “Interfaith Bridges to Islam” on Rule of Reason. Vickery’s article is available here; readers should peruse it and judge for themselves.

However, Coughlin remarked to me on January 9th:

“I would not put him in the same category as those who do interfaith. That would be the Catholic thinkers of his time who actively sought inclusion with the Nazis. From more than one source, he was clearly denied positions in the universities owing to the positions he took against the Nazis and Nazism. The interfaith crowd today, shills for the other side. 

He had to eat, he did not want to be conscripted, he provided intellectualized responses to direct questions from Nazis to get a low level position in a roving medical induction unit; a hallmark that he was seen as a dissident. Sometimes openly, sometimes in the coded language of Thomistic philosophy, as was the case with his responses to Nazis when directly questioned, his writings always opposed Nazism.” 
For what it’s worth, I think Pieper’s experiences in Nazi Germany contributed in no small way to his later, postwar thesis about the corruption of language as a stepping stone to political power, and the temptation to construct pseudorealities to endure the demands of ideological conformance, that is, to live to fight another day.

Discussing how the proper approach to understanding Islamic jihad has been rendered off limits to those charged with winning the “War on Terror,” Coughlin, for example, underscored his point with a quotation from Pieper:

Today, analysis that meets professional evidentiary standards is deemed inappropriate for use inside national security and law enforcement spaces. At the Department of Defense, its use is dismissed as “inflammatory” and even more alarmingly, condemned as harming the war effort. As shown in his classic work on ideological subversion, Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power, philosopher Josef Pieper was keenly aware of the role that the manipulation of language plays in such activities. [p. 350]

The common element in all of this is the degeneration of language into an instrument of rape….It does contain violence, albeit in latent form….This lesson, in a nutshell, says: the abuse of political power is fundamentally connected with the sophistic abuse of the word, indeed, finds in it the fertile soil in which to hide and grow and get ready, so much so that the latent potential of the totalitarian poison can be ascertained, as it were, by observing the symptom of public abuse of language…. [Catastrophic, 32, Pieper]

Coughlin frequently calls pseudorealities the imaginary scenarios devised by our “defenders” that evade identifying Islam’s Sharia law as the driving force behind not only violent jihad but by the dawah element of the concerted subversion of our efforts to combat terrorism. After all, the official policy is that we're not at war with Islam. George W. Bush said so, and so has Barack Obama. The term comes from Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power. Pieper writes:

I spoke of public discourse becoming “detached from the notions of truth and reality.” This brief characterization may still be too mild; it does not yet express the full measure of devastation breeding within the sophistic corruption of the word. It is entirely possible that the true and authentic reality is being drowned out by the countless superficial information bits nosily and breathlessly presented in propaganda fashion. Consequently, one may be entirely knowledgeable about a thousand details and nevertheless, because of ignorance regarding the core of the matter, remain without basic insight….

But, I wanted to say, something far more discouraging is readily conceivable as well: the place of authentic reality is taken over by a fictitious reality; my perception is indeed still directed toward an object, but now it is a pseudoreality, deceptively appearing as being real, so much so that it becomes almost impossible any more to discern the truth. [pp. 33-34]

Coughlin relates all through Catastrophic Failure how threat analyses can be fabricated to include “a thousand details” about individual terrorists, specific terrorist groups, timelines, methods, likely or favorite targets, and so on, yet wind up addicted to a kind of ghostly hologram that reflects neither the truth or the reality of a threat. Why? Because the threat analysts are not permitted, or are stridently discouraged from, attributing violent jihad to Islam and Sharia. It’s a “religion,” and the U.S. doesn’t wage war against any religion, even though it’s been demonstrated countless times over decades that Islam is more a political ideology than it is a religion.

While I like the fact that Pieper is pro-reality and anti-sophistry and has pointed out the dangers and evils of pseudorealities, I do have some reservations about his presentation of the value of language. Perhaps the fault lies in the translation.

First, words convey reality. We speak in order to name and identify something that is real, to identity it for someone, of course – and this points to the second aspect in question, the interpersonal character of human speech.

These two aspects of the word and of all language, though distinct, are nevertheless not separated. The one does not exist without the other. At first, we may well presume that such and such is simply a factual reality, and that all we want is to understand this reality, and, of course, describe it. Right: describe it – but to whom? The other person is already in the picture; what happens here is already communication. In the very attempt to know reality, there already is present the aim of communication….

Indeed, we can talk only about reality, nothing else. Of course, there is always the possibility of lying, of falsifying it! It is one of my favorite questions in tests, posed many times and not always answered to my satisfaction. (pp. 15-16)

In short, what is considered “real” is all in our heads, not “out there” independent of our consciousness. Pieper’s chief concern is the “interpersonal” communication of reality between men. But before the communication must come an individual acceptance that what he perceives is the “actual reality.” Novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand had not a few words on the subject. In her Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, she wrote:

There is an element of grim irony in the emergence of Linguistic Analysis on the philosophical scene. The assault on man’s conceptual faculty has been accelerating since Kant, widening the breach between man’s mind and reality. The cognitive function of concepts was undercut by a series of grotesque devices—such, for instance, as the “analytic-synthetic” dichotomy which, by a route of tortuous circumlocutions and equivocations, leads to the dogma that a “necessarily” true proposition cannot be factual, and a factual proposition cannot be “necessarily” true. The crass skepticism and epistemological cynicism of Kant’s influence have been seeping from the universities to the arts, the sciences, the industries, the legislatures, saturating our culture, decomposing language and thought.

If ever there was a need for a Herculean philosophical effort to clean up the Kantian stables—particularly, to redeem language by establishing objective criteria of meaning and definition, which average men could not attempt—the time was now. As if sensing that need, Linguistic Analysis came on the scene for the avowed purpose of “clarifying” language—and proceeded to declare that the meaning of concepts is determined in the minds of average men, and that the job of philosophers consists of observing and reporting on how people use words.

Pieper indeed does report on how people use words. Perhaps he should be called a Linguistic Analyst. Rand, on the subject of language itself, continued:

In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind.(Italics mine)

Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed. Communication is merely the consequence, not the cause or the primary purpose of concept-formation—a crucial consequence, of invaluable importance to men, but still only a consequence. Cognition precedes communication ; the necessary pre-condition of communication is that one have something to communicate. (This is true even of communication among animals, or of communication by grunts and growls among inarticulate men, let alone of communication by means of so complex and exacting a tool as language.) The primary purpose of concepts and of language is to provide man with a system of cognitive classification and organization, which enables him to acquire knowledge on an unlimited scale; this means: to keep order in man’s mind and enable him to think. (Italics mine)


In short, cognition must come first, before what is recognized can be communicated.

I discuss the destruction of language in “The Ghouls of Grammatical Egalitarianism” from October 2013, and in “Euphemisms: The Euthanasia of Words” from September 2014.

Under the Heading, “The Aggrandisement of Mediocrity,” in Usage and Abusage, originally published in 1947,  the late Eric Partridge noted:

Since the war of 1939-1945, and partly because of it, there has arisen a Do-It-Yourself cult, affecting not only the practicalities of life but also its embellishments and enhancements and consolations: music and the arts, literature and the drama, all show an undermining by the levelling process. Those for whom ‘anything goes’ have yet to learn that ultimately, for them, nothing goes….

No wonder mediocrity flourishes in literature and, indeed, at all levels of writing, for its only vehicle, language, has been slowed down by the slow-minded and the sluggish-hearted, by the dull and the indifferent. Anyone who believes in civilization must find it difficult to approve, and impossible to abet, one of the surest means of destroying it. To degrade language is finally to degrade civilization.

Language has been degraded by politically correct speech, grammatical egalitarians, government education departments, schools, and, not surprisingly, by the Modern Language Association (MLA). 

Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power, by Josef Pieper.  Ignatius Press, (1992), (trans. Lothar Krauth, Kosel-Verlag, Munich 1974). San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992. 54 pp.

The Sexual Savaging of Europe


Just a brief note: In the wake of the mass Cologne Grope/Rape assaults that were repeated in other European cities, my November 14th column, “Raping the Swedish Corpse,” has risen in page views on Rule of Reason and on edwardcline.com. Leading the page views, appearing not only for the first time in the page view statistics but leading them ahead of the U.S., Russia, France, and Germany is Norway. Significantly absent is Sweden itself. Sweden has appeared in the statistics occasionally in the past. 

A column that is a few months old on Rule of Reason usually fades into the distant past and from the statistics. But the Swedish Corpse column has rebounded in the wake of Cologne. Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna has kept up an almost 24/7 account of what is looking like a planned, ISIS-style assault on Europe. It boasted months ago that its agents were among the hundreds of thousands of “refugees” pouring into Europe’s borderless nations, and that they would strike.


Baron Bodissey on January 8th ran this column which delves into the simultaneous but not “spontaneous” assaults on European women, “The Larger Motive Behind the Groping Jihad.”

The city authorities covered up what had happened for as long as they could. They didn’t want to acknowledge that young women had been molested under the eyes of their police, and they especially didn’t want to admit that most of the gropers were recently-arrived “refugees” from North Africa and the Middle East. It wasn’t until last Sunday that the news of what happened was splashed across the headlines in Germany and the rest of Europe. And it took several more days to learn that Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, and other German cities had experienced the same sort of incidents on New Year’s Eve. Later we found out that the same thing occurred in Helsinki, Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich, Oslo, and Stockholm. I’m certain that we’ll eventually hear of incidents in other major European cities that have a significant “refugee” population.

In each city the modus operandi seemed to be the same: a large number of young men, often intoxicated and setting off fireworks, preying on young women in a coordinated fashion, as if the whole thing were planned and organized in advance. Which it may well have been — but in a distributed fashion, not with a central command structure.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not order his troops to carry out attacks. But he didn’t have to — this is Islam, and any good Muslim who has paid attention to what is preached in mosques and instructed in madrassas knows exactly what to do.

Not to mention what is preached in the Koran. The Baron indirectly adopts my own label for Islam and its cipher-like zombies: Star Trek’s the Borg.

The third layer of purpose is more subtle. To understand it, you have to understand Islam as an organism, as a hive mind that acts through many agents but with a single program.

This organism is now expanding into new territory, feeling its way as it goes, assessing the presence of the enemy and attempting to determine the strength and nature of his response to the incursion. One way to test the enemy’s mettle is to target his women.

This army of “refugees” made a statement on New Year’s Eve in Cologne (and in Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich, Oslo, Stockholm, and elsewhere: Islam is here, and we're claiming your women. After all, Verse 16.71 and other verses assert:

And Allah hath favored some of you above others in provision. Now those who are more favored will by no means hand over their provision to those (slaves) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in respect thereof. Is it then the grace of Allah that they deny?

And thousands of right hands were making their claims of possession in Cologne and other European cities that New Year’s Eve.  Probing, Fondling. Raping.

Britain’s The Daily Mail has extensive coverage of the assaults and the aftermath here.

So, we know all about German and European women. But, where are all the German and European men? Have they been castrated? Turned into eunuchs by their education and political upbringing?

One of them might answer: “That’s not fair! We're not afraid of Muslims. We know they’re bigots. But we don’t want to be called Islamophobes, or bigots, or ‘right-wingers.’ We're very upset. We don’t know what to do.”

Then, gentlemen, you can kiss your country goodbye, and your womenfolk, too.