Fathers of Daughters

This week’s edition of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits was originally posted on Fathers’ Day in 2005.

Fathers of Daughters

by Dymphna
June 19, 2005

Father’s Day is a pale feast compared to what we do in May for mothers. That’s understandable since mothering roles have changed less than fathering has in the last generation. The daddy template is broken, or if not broken, certainly skewed and bent by stress. As the job has become more thankless and more easily taken from them, fewer daddies are to be found at their posts.

The easiest piece to see of this sad situation is the animus that the previous generation’s feminists have for men. Their anti-male bias has taken its toll on men, but it has not served women well either. Feminist politics are those of resentment and victimization. The younger generation of women coming along behind them are not eager to trap themselves in this ghetto where men are vilified and condescended to.

The most damaging thing the feminist movement did to women was to push fathers to the periphery. “I’d-rather-do-it-myself” was a mantra whose end result was not stronger, happier children. Long-term studies of the children of divorce do not paint a pretty picture.

In contrast to this philosophy, I offer two anecdotal pieces of evidence of the importance of fathers for girls. We know they’re crucial for boys if they are to grow up able to strive and to maintain themselves in the world as productive adults, able — as Freud said — to work, to love, and to play. Without Dad, some of that will wither. What about the girls, then?

Here are two stories that show what a woman can only accomplish with the help of her father. These are fathers who had to buck the culture to give their daughters what they needed. They are brave and courageous and anonymous men who deserve our attention on Father’s Day.

The first story appeared this week in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal. Neo-neocon reports the serendipitous appearance at her front door of a copy of the Journal which contained an article entitled “Married at 11, a Teen in Niger Returns to School,” with Roger Thurow’s byline. Neo-neocon relates the sad story she read of the young Muslim girls of the Southern Sahara who face several horrific problems directly related to gender.

The first is genital mutilation. The second is premature marriage at wholly inappropriate ages to men much older than they. These early marriages result in pregnancy in little bodies that are not yet ready to bear babies to term. When the babies are ready to be born they cannot easily leave a womb which has no room to let them pass. The result is protracted labor in which long days of pressure on the walls of the uterus cause it to tear a hole between the uterus and vagina. The result is a fistula. The result is urinary incontinence and social ostracism for smelling so bad.

The girl under discussion here was sold by her father into marriage in exchange for a camel. Mr. Thurow gives us her story:

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No Need to Turn Off the Lights and Don’t Bother Closing the Door

This week’s selection from Dymphna’s Greatest Hits discusses the antics of the Church of England as put on display back in June of 2005. I wish I could say that the situation in the Anglican Church has improved since then, but as far as I know it has deteriorated even further.

Note: Only one of the embedded links in the original post is still live. I had to remove the rest.

No Need to Turn Off the Lights and Don’t Bother Closing the Door

by Dymphna
Originally published on June 27, 2005

The Pharisees are in the driver’s seat of the Mini Cooper that has become the Anglican Church in England. Following the map printed up for them by the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, the C. of E. is busy driving over the cliff. How could anyone with a lick of common sense believe one word coming from a “Peace and Justice” committee? Did these people sleep through the birth and (Deo gratias) death of Communism? Do they not see the bright neon socialist signage in “Peace” or “Justice” — good Lord, never mind the double whammy PEACE and JUSTICE.

Does the Anglican Communion in England have any idea how irrelevant it is? The Incredible Shrinking Church has just shriveled another centimeter or two. It’s sooo bad it’s embarrassing. You could go read the report here (it’s a PDF. You’ll need version 7), but why bother. You can recite the p.c. lines from memory by now: poor Palestinians, bad Jews. Let’s take our money away from the bad Jews and give it to the deserving Palestinians who only want peace but the Jews are too mean to let them have it. Blah. Blah.

Well, we knew it was coming; this was just a matter of waiting for the final mainstream sheep farm to sell out. The only surprise is that it took so long. Here’s Melanie Phillips’ take on this “defining moment” —

The APJN report is full of the most inflammatory lies, libels and distortions about Israel — and the fact that the amended resolution that was finally passed only welcomed part of it (a weaselly caveat to provide deniability) does not alter the fact that it provided the ammunition for a poisonous onslaught against Israel. The document uncritically reproduced the Arab propaganda version of Israel’s history and the present circumstances of the Middle East conflict, presenting the Arab perpetrators of genocidal mass murder as victims and their real victims as oppressors merely for trying to defend themselves. But then what can one expect of a report which concludes by referring to ‘the honor of meeting the President of the Palestinian Authority, the late Yasser Arafat, who so warmly welcomed us in what turned out to be one of his last days among us’?

A warm welcome from the late pederast himself. How charming. Arafat was the father of terrorism, a diabolical Communist and one of the most truly evil people of his generation, so of course the Anglican Peace and Justice Network loved him. What’s not to love? Do you suppose they have a position paper on Castro, too? Another honorable sweetie-pie.

There are not words to describe the moral revulsion the name Arafat engenders. You could perhaps see why the naïve could be taken in by the man-in-the-street Palestinian: they’ve had years to work on and perfect their royal sense of resentful entitlement. And you might even decide to overlook the festering sores on a culture which produces suicide bombers who want to attack the hospital that treated them. But information on Arafat is readily available; his shameful history is there for the reading. One has to be willfully blind to refuse to acknowledge the depth and breadth of his malevolent iniquity.
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Thank Heaven for Little Girls

This week’s edition of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits discusses a case in Yemen from more than fourteen years ago. However, like so many accounts of Islam in the Middle East, it could just as well be from today.

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

by Dymphna
Originally published on May 1, 2005

Each new case further illuminates a degraded culture in which girls — little girls — are used as pawns and scapegoats. With a heavy heart, here is yet another.

The woman in Pakistan — remember the stoning last week? — was named Amina. So is this one: Amina Al-Tuahif. She’s from Yemen, though she has lived in a moral universe so far removed from ours she might as well be from another planet.

  • In 1984, Amina al-Tuahif was born.
  • In 1995 she was married off. Age eleven.
  • In 1996, when she reached her menarche, she was impregnated. Age 12.
  • In 1998, (January), her husband was killed. She was pregnant with her second child. Age 14.
  • In 1999, following a confession arrived at under torture, she was found guilty of the murder of her husband. She was sentenced to death. Age 16.
  • In the next few years, she went through a series of appeals but at each juncture the sentence was upheld. While girls her age in America were trying to decide which prom dress to wear, she was contemplating her death.
  • In 2002, she was raped by a prison guard and impregnated. Her third pregnancy. Age eighteen.
  • In May, 2003, her son was born. Shar’ia law, compassionate in every detail, commuted her sentence until he reached the age of two — old enough to be weaned.

You’d think they’d just take the baby and let someone else raise it, wouldn’t you? But in Yemen (and the rest of the Muslim world) no one wants the offspring of a condemned woman and a rapist… not even her family. So Amina got to keep her son with her. Consider this: what is it like to have a baby in prison? What do you do for diapers? Do you get enough food for a nursing mother? You think? In Yemen?

Meanwhile, what about her other children? She’s not allowed to see them. Anyway, the younger daughter died in a car crash last year.

It is now May, 2005. Time to die. Tomorrow, her lawyer will arrive at the jail to take Amina’s son away. No one wants him. Amina must travel alone with her guards back to the village where they will kill her. Her parents are not permitted to see her. Age? Twenty-one.

So we have her story now. All the usual compassionate agencies and governments are making the usual attempts at intervention on her behalf. Perhaps they will succeed. Perhaps not.

Such a short, sad life.

Do you think it might be possible to save these little girls? If they’re going to be sold off anyway, why can’t we buy them? So many people want children. All these big, empty houses over here. All those sad little girls in the desert.

There is something very wrong with this picture.

How Political Correctness Lowers IQ

This week’s installment of Dymphna’s greatest hits is from May of 2005. Like last week’s, it’s fairly timeless. Unfortunately, the website she originally linked to seems to no longer exist, so the link has been removed.

How Political Correctness Lowers IQ

by Dymphna
Originally published on May 5, 2005

Walter Williams doesn’t fly commercial airplanes much anymore. He used to, traveling to speaking engagements several times a month. But then along came 9/11. Or rather, along came Norman Mineta with his truly bizarre idea of “security”:

“While the security procedures are not based on the race, ethnicity, religion or gender of passengers, we also want to assure that in practice, the system does not disproportionately select members of any particular minority group.”

Never mind that the sentence itself is strange bureaucratese. We’ve become inured to the debasement of the language. Here’s what’s appalling: we may not speak about the reality that a particularly gendered ethnic group created the hell of 9/11. The elephant in the airport is the disproportionate self-selection of Muslim males on the “Most-Wanted” terrorist Lists.

The only group we avoid criticizing more than Muslim males are gay Episcopalian bishops.

This demand for political correctness has gone beyond the ridiculous into the regions of banal evil. There is an ugly strain of utopian idealism in our country, a virulent insistence on ‘fairness’ that undermines intelligence, merit and achievement. Not to mention virtue, the refuge of the uncool.

The malignant organism that rips the social fabric of American life, leveling differences while it pretends to celebrate them, PC everywhere insinuates itself into the crevices, using a cover of well-meaning to create vacuous, bizarre realities like “zero-tolerance” and unattended college sports programs for women (while men’s programs are eliminated).

It demands — and gets — bathrooms for the transgendered who cannot decide which restroom to use.

Pornography is our constitutional right but we shouldn’t be looking at images of the Twin Towers falling.

“Give Peace A Chance” means no dodgeball at recess.

“No Child Left Behind” means all will be mired in ignorance together. Even fewer will be able to point to Europe on the map, or know a quadratic equation from an interrogative sentence. A what??

No, ignorance is not the perceived problem. Unfairness is. The smallest infraction is insufficiently negligible to escape its notice. Yet PC has so blinded formerly normal people that children wander the school halls bent on murder and no one sees them until bodies are lying on the floor. “But he was such a nice boy.” More calls for gun control and therapy for bullies.

Political correctness has made us so stupid that some of us demand conversation with vaginas.

If we don’t rise up and call a halt to this social rot, terrorism will be irrelevant. We’ll be protozoa.

Orwell had no idea, absolutely none.

Read all of Walter Williams’ “The Sad, Stupid State of Airport Security.” It’s a three-parter at Human Events, beginning with the above link.

A Letter to the Editor of Newsweek

The latest installment of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits was first posted in the spring of 2005. The specific abomination purveyed by the Lügenpresse is no longer obvious, as it was when she posted it, but that makes it essentially timeless, since the sentiment could just as easily apply today to virtually any MSM story about Islam. If anything, the taqiyya of the press has gotten even worse in the interim.

A Letter to the Editor of Newsweek

by Dymphna
Originally published on May 16, 2005

Newsweek
251 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019-1894

Dear Sir,

If it bleeds it leads, right? So there you are, Newsweek. You have a great story to pursue. Don’t let the fact that you also have the blood of many lives on your hands get in your way. In your moral universe, that’s a small price to pay for the story. Especially if it’s a story that makes your country look bad. Just make sure you spell the names correctly:

NEWSWEEK’S IRRESPONSIBLE REPORTING USES
ISLAMIC TACTICS TO ATTRACT READERS

The ‘Islamic tactic’ you used in this case is called taqiyya. More than a millennium old, taqiyya is lying for the sake of your cause. It’s a useful tool in the quest for making America look bad, one that has been employed successfully by your fellow “journalists” Eason Jordan and Dan Rather. Not to mention the declarations of the “Afghan quagmire” crowd, or the endless lamentations of the New York Times over Abu Ghraib. You are in esteemed company. And how many people died as a result of all these machinations? Do you care?

Vietnam is over. Unfortunately, you and your ilk don’t appear to grasp this. You are stuck in a time-warp quagmire of your own making, the one you helped create back then to turn the hearts and minds of your fellow citizens against your own soldiers. But your fellow citizens aren’t virgins anymore. Having been lied to, led on, fed half-truths and canned dissembling, having been assured that gossip and rumor are fact-checked truth with a big “T”, we no longer believe anything you have to say.

And for that, for your slanted, morally obtuse search for muck and for what-might-be-so-let’s-pretend-it-is, you have made us all into fact-checkers. After all the lies and misleading, if you claimed it was raining outside, we’d still go to the window to check.

New motto for dealing with the MSM: distrust and then dig for the truth. It might not be in your version of the story; it’s surely in the steaming pile you made nearby.

Sincerely yours,
Gates of Vienna

Sheepdogs Driving the Bus

For the context of this essay by Dymphna, cast your mind back fourteen years to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which hit new Orleans during the last week of August, 2005.

Note: The domain where Bill Whittle’s “Tribes” essay was originally posted is no longer extant, so the link has been replaced with one to a mirror of the original.

Sheepdogs Driving the Bus

by Dymphna
Originally published on September 6, 2005

The blogosphere is reverberating with the drums echoing from Bill Whittle’s fine essay about the divisions of people into tribes. What follows is not exactly a summary; it’s closer to a synthesis of his ideas written for those of us with the attention span of your average Cub Scout. That being said (“that” meaning you should go read the real thing here), let’s look at Mr. Whittle’s fine images, beginning with the Pink People.

Whittle’s PPs are typified by Hollywood types, though Pink is not confined just to Hollywood — it’s simply that there are more Pink People per square inch in Hollywood and its environs than there are anywhere else, except perhaps in Washington, D.C., a place for which Pink People also have an affinity…

When you Think Pink, consider Sean Penn in his rescue boat — a four-person “rescue” boat which Mr. Penn fills with four people, one of whom is his personal photographer. A boat in which the plug had not been fastened so that there are many hilarious (or hideous, depending on your sensibilities) pictures of Mr. Penn bailing the boat with a red plastic cup. Mr. Penn, Pink Person extraordinaire, was not out to rescue anyone. This was merely his trip to Iran translated to American. He was in New Orleans to appear to be rescuing someone. No doubt he left money there also, to show he was acting in good faith (since he does not act particularly well, acting in good faith may be all he has left in his small bag of tricks). Mr. Penn may even have left some of his good-faith money with the mayor, who is definitely a Pink Person — a Pink Person appearing as a mayor. This pink-to-pink transfer allows all the Pinks to feel good, and to a Pink, feeling good is the summum bonum.

Pink people wear rose-colored glasses. They prepare for the future by grabbing as much material wealth as possible and then looking down on others, whose actions in life may originate from different motivations. Pink people do well until they are called upon to act decisively for others in situations where they themselves may be at risk. This situation does not cause a change in color. They simply scream in place until a grey person eats them or rescues them.

The grey people? Here is where I synthesize Mr. Whittle’s comments. He describes this grey as the color of concrete. Where Pink People are soft, Grey People are hard, like the graphite in mechanical pencils. They are that way on purpose because they act purposefully, wherever they are.

Some of the Grey Guys are Good Guys and some aren’t. The first group of GGs are the wolves, either those who are loners or those who run in packs. Some of the Grey Guys appear to be Good until push comes to shove and then they turn their coats and what you thought was a sheepdog, herding the rest of us, becomes a wolf, eating the rest of us. The sad misfortune of the Sheepdogs-turned-wolves in New Orleans — the police officers ‘captured’ on videotape breaking open display cases and looting stores — is that they cannot turn their coats back again. Once exposed, the wolf skin sticks tighter than mendacity does to Michael Moore. None of them may go home again because they helped demolish the place where they live and move and have their being. As the farmer says, not even an animal defecates where it eats. But those people did, ergo, they slipped below the level of animal to some subroutine in the reptilian brain we all possess.

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It’s All for Show

This week’s edition of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits is a follow-up to last week’s, which discussed Annie Jacobsen’s encounter with the Syrian trombonists. This one is a review of Ms. Jacobsen’s book.

It’s All for Show

by Dymphna
Originally published on Sept. 27, 2005

Does the accumulation of four years without further terrorist attacks make you feel safer when you fly? It shouldn’t. The Bureaucratic Bunglers are out in full force and with them in charge you don’t have a prayer. Or rather, all you do have is prayer.

According to Annie Jacobsen, we’d better do our homework on this one because there is no one watching out for us. Back in April, Gates of Vienna posted on Ms. Jacobsen’s tenacity and her willingness to follow this story wherever it led. That post, “Silence of the Sheep,” proved that the author is a sheepdog indeed. Her interviews with other passengers, with government agencies, with the House Judiciary Committee, with airline personnel, and with individual people who bear the day-to-day hazard of working in this field, have made her case. The tale of her experiences is documented well in Terror in the Skies.

This is a top-down problem. The guys in harm’s way — the pilots and flight attendants — know the problems but they have no more power to address them than you do. Less than two percent of pilots are armed. Want to know why? Because in order to actually carry a firearm on board, the firearms training must be done on the pilot’s own time and it has to be done in a place far from home, squeezed into his holiday time or vacation.

And flight attendants? Again, they have to arrange self-defense training on their own time, at their own expense and without the cooperation of the airlines themselves. Think of it this way: what if Brink’s hired drivers and gave them no training in handling attempted robberies? What if they expected their employees to get training — if any — on their own time and their own dime? How long do you think Brink’s would be in business?

That’s the situation we have in the friendly skies of America. When you add to that the cruel joke of the Federal Air Marshals, the lackadaisical behavior of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the farce we all know as the Department of Homeland Insecurity, it’s enough to make you want to stay home and do your business by long-distance and email.

Let’s take just one: FAMS. This is bureaucratese for the Federal Air Marshal program. You know the old joke that goes “you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny”? Well, for this program, the first part may or may not be the case, but for the second premise — being dressed funny — you can count on FAMS. Due to the boneheaded policies of those in charge, Federal Air Marshals are required to wear sport coats and collared shirts. Yes, that’s right: they must look like Federal Air Marshals at all times because they are a reflection of FAMS and dressing in a slovenly disguise would somehow bring disgrace to the organization. Comments about being a lovely corpse would be appropriate here.

Then there’s what they do after they’re up and dressed. Remember, they’re carrying guns, right? So obviously they can’t go through security. However, there’s a second obvious thing they can do — they can fight the current and walk through the exit lanes for deplaning passengers. How’s that for subterfuge?

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More Than One Way to Spell Stupid

This week’s installment of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits chronicles the shenanigans in our neighbor to the Frozen North, where cultural dementia — possibly cryogenically induced — perpetually reigns.

It makes me want to quote Shel Silverstein again:

Margo says that Rudy Felsh is a nasty vulgar kid.
Someday he’ll go to Hell or jail or Canada.

Once again, most of the links in this post seem to be dead. However, the links to Sissy Willis’ site still work.

More Than One Way to Spell Stupid

by Dymphna
Originally published on August 28, 2005

Remember how Adam was given the power — the permission — to name things? It’s in the story because we deeply understand that naming things bestows a kind of authority on the one passing out the labels. At least this is so if the label sticks, and this one ought to have glue all over it.

By now, we’re familiar with the Islamic idea of dhimmitude. It’s repugnant to the Western ideal of equality and brotherhood. Bat Ye’or has described only too well the dhimmitude of Eurabia. One prays that her predictions are too dysphorically tuned to be correct. Meanwhile…

…in Canada, they have dummitude, a neologism coined to meet the need to address the diminishing wits of our neighbors to the North. Sisu points out the latest hilarity (it’s hilarious if you don’t live in Toronto. If you are one of its benighted denizens, you might consider moving. If there is any safe place left. Ottawa has got another lock on the rapidly shrinking cultural IQ):

You’ve heard of dhimmitude — the denial of equal rights and dignity to infidels under Sharia law. Now there’s dummitude, the denial of human nature under Canadian law.

At issue is the presence in Canada of Natalie Glebova, this year’s Miss Universe. A nice coup, no? She’s gorgeous. She’s Canadian. What’s the problem?

Here’s the problem. In the place where feminists and Islamicists meet — and it’s obviously not any place you, dear reader, would want to visit — beauty pageants are bad. Awarding beauty for its own sake is so politically incorrect it makes the peecee meter melt. Thus, while Miss Universe does not yet have to wear the hijab, it is against the law for her to show up at any public function in Toronto wearing her tiara and sash:

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“Bless Her Heart”

This “greatest hit” from Dymphna did not actually appear at Gates of Vienna, but at Dymphna’s other blog, “The Neighborhood of God”. She set up TNoG not long after we started Gates of Vienna because she needed a place to post things that weren’t about the Counterjihad or politics. She sometimes jocularly referred to it as “my real blog”.

The future Baron suggested this selection for the Greatest Hits. It’s one of his favorites.

“Bless Her Heart”

by Dymphna

Originally published on September 6, 2012

Over at the other place I’d been discussing the latest liberal meme, one more artificial — but no less hateful — than usual. I’d mentioned Michelle Malkin’s recent essay at Townhall, “The Condensed Liberal Handbook of Racial Codewords”.

As often happens, my thoughts diverged from the main subject; in this case, the subject being quite ugly accusations against candidate Mitt Romney, claiming he used coded messages in speeches to tell purported insiders — i.e., white people — what was really going on.

I began with a great video from Bob Parks and went on to talk about Ms. Malkin’s essay and those “SEEKRIT” words.

Every single group or culture, or sub-culture within a larger one, has code words. It’s simply human nature. What makes the process poisonous is when one group is falsely accused of publicly using code to say vicious things about another group as though the second group were too stupid to catch on.

The tipping point of paper-thin-skinned black grievance neurosis may have finally been reached. I certainly hope so. By now the accusations of — as Ms. Malkin puts it so well — RAAAAAACISM!- have been done to death. For the most part, average people find the whole rage and pity-pot victimhood simply tedious. It has become like trying to reassure a child who stubbornly hangs on to his giant refusal of reassurance because he needs his anger more than he needs justice or harmony.

At any rate, that essay led me far afield, into pondering the kinds of social dog-whistle talk that exists among all groups. I often found myself in social hot water in New England because I didn’t know the rules — rules that others had long learned by heart.

However, being raised in the South, I knew most of the Byzantine rules and moves of Southern social intercourse — without even knowing I knew them until I moved back here and found myself moving within in a more familiar milieu. A fish back in her own lily-padded pond once more.

In order to truly understand it so that it’s part of your being, you have to have lived immersed in a local culture from before you could think. Being a first-generation American, I missed some of the finer points. On the other hand, being a not-quite-outsider makes one a kind of participant observer; thus you notice more than the born-and-bred folks, the people who ask, “Bless your heart, you’re not from around here, are you?”. When I studied Anthropological Methods in college, I was surprised to discover I’d been living those methods all my life. I called what I did “standing in the doorway”… less academic, perhaps, yet more evocative for born outsiders.

But I want to relate it back to the so-called dog-whistle political talk of that earlier essay, and to make the broader point that group talk always partakes of some dog-whistle undertow. Those currents are meant to carry the stuff at the bottom swiftly along without every little detail having to be brought to the surface for discussion.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Here’s an example from my own experience.

American Southern women (black and white) have a number of expressions that sound for all the world like innocuous fluff. To insiders, though, these phrases convey volumes without ever having to say anything that smells bad. It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but since one in particular has been exposed of late, let use it for the purposes of demonstrating social dog-whistle.

This one was perhaps my favorite of all until some Miz Big Lips had to go blab it to the world just to get a laugh. Some folk are desperate for attention, as I’m sure you’ve noticed: anything for a laugh, including betrayal of your own. Now it has become harder to employ this useful filler while maintaining a straight face or, more importantly, a polite fiction.

I’m talking about this all-purpose expression, used for generations by Southern women to cover a multitude of social emergencies: “bless her heart”.

I’ll give you a hypothetical situation, sans much context. The setting is a kitchen table around which three women are seated. Two of them are talking, the third is simply observing. There is a fourth woman, not present, who is the focus of this snippet of conversation:

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Blogging Will Be Light-Headed

The following essay from June 2005 is the latest in the series “Dymphna’s Greatest Hits”.

Rereading it made me nostalgic. Readers who are familiar with Dymphna’s later travails will understand how amazing it seems (a) that she was willing and able to walk out to the car in the dark, (b) that she could drive it, (c) that she could sustain such a nasty fall and get up from it all by herself, and (c) that she could come back into the house on her own.

The situation was very different ten years later, as most of you already know.

Oh, by the way — I’ll bet I got in a LOT of trouble for leaving that wheelbarrow there, but I can’t really remember it…

Blogging Will Be Light-Headed

by Dymphna
Originally published June 3, 2005

It’s a loathsome phrase: “blogging will be light.” Go on. Just tell us you didn’t pay the electric bill and promise to return after you’ve hit up your brother-in-law for another utility deposit.

We’ll wait.

Around here, at least in certain quarters, blogging will be sparse and painful. On account of tripping over a wheelbarrow in the dark. One moment you’re vertical, walking toward the car, and then WHAM! you’re horizontal, lying in a large cold puddle next to the fig tree. Some unspecified period of disorientation passes. You feel the pulse of the rain and think vaguely of the Biblical observation that it falls on the just and the unjust at moment your awareness begins to take in the scent of roses nearby.

OK. Tactile sense of rain. Olfactory nerves intact: rose fragrance. Time for a body check: chins? Check. There, but bonging. Pain? Maybe a 3. Safe enough. Shoulder? Check. OK, just taking a cold soak in a puddle. Pain? No. Hip? Check. Padded and impervious. No pain there. Head? Resounding from the effect of cranium hitting ground. Pain? A 3, with some resonance.

That leaves only one problem: A wheelbarrow handle jammed firmly up and under the ribcage on the right side. Not such a great check here. Pain? Maybe a 5. The task, as it appears from ground level, is to maneuver the overturned and now wedged wheelbarrow in such a way that it won’t inflict further damage.

Fling it off? What if it doesn’t fling far enough? This is a wheelbarrow, not a frisbee.

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The Thing With Feathers

This is the latest installment in the series “Dymphna’s Greatest Hits”. It was originally published on March 11, 2005. As previously, some of the embedded links no longer work.

The Saga of Mukhtar Mai, Continued

This week, the Canadian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Ms. Margaret Huber, has given Rs2.1 million to Mukhtar Mai for the continuation of her educational work in Punjab.

This follows the public outcry, going on for three years now, against the brutal gang rape of this village woman who was set up to take the retribution required for her young brother’s alleged dishonorable behavior. The whole ugly story was a set piece, a frame-up to distract attention from the fact that her brother was the first victim in this story: he was kidnapped and taken to a field to be sodomized by a group of men from a powerful family in his village

On June 22, 2002, three Mastoi men kidnapped Abdul Shakur, a tall boy 11 or 12 years of age. They took him to a sugar cane field. Then they took turns sodomizing him. “They asked me if I would tell my family,” Abdul recalled. “When I said yes, they beat me up. Then they locked me up in a room.”

Subsequently, Abdul was joined in the room by a young woman, Salma Naseen, from the Mastoi family. Then the police were summoned and the boy was accused by his sodomizers of having an affair with Salma. He was arrested and jailed.

It is at this point that Mukhtar Mai becomes the next victim. When the powerful Mastoi clan convened the village council to address their grievance, the outcome was never in doubt. The sentence in the case could have been the forced marriage of Abdul and Salma, but the Mastoi were hardly likely to agree to the union of one of their clan with a member of a poorer and less prominent family. Instead, Mukhtar was dragged from the village to the field where the tribal council had convened. In retribution for her brother’s ‘crime’ she was ordered to be raped by four men.

For an hour and a half, as other Mastoi people “danced in jubilation,” Abdul Khaliq and three other men raped her. Then Mukhtaran Mai was forced, before perhaps 300 people, to walk home naked.

Her father covered her with a shawl and took her in.

Usually, a woman thus humiliated simply commits suicide. There is no life left for her in her village after such an experience. Mai considered doing just that, and then…and then, in some mysterious transformation that can occur in the midst of devastation, Mai decided instead to fight back. She brought charges against the men. She stood firm against the death threats. The ostracism? What had she to lose after her long, naked walk home?

The higher court in Lahore overturned the convictions of the men who raped her, a legal decision which threatens her safety. But three years into this battle, Mai is too strong to kill. And the Islamofascists know it. Money has poured in from all over the world. She has used it to start schools, have them wired for electricity, buy textbooks and supplies, and begin to look for ways to make her projects self-sustaining.

Stories of courageous transcendence are universally compelling. Ms. Mai embodies the magic of transformation: a small woman in a remote village in Punjab is gang-raped. Just like so many before her, she is used and disposed of. Phoenix-like, she rises from the ashes of her humiliation and sets out to tell the world. Her story is proof that there is more to the news than simply bad news; there is also a desperate and overwhelming need for stories of personal redemption.

This case will go on to the Supreme Court. Given the outcry in all of Pakistan, the rapists may yet be sentenced. This excerpt from The Daily Times (Pakistan) illuminates the changing of the guard:

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No Need to Turn Off the Lights and Don’t Bother Closing the Door

Below is the second in a series of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits. There will be another one next Monday.

Note: This essay is fourteen years old, so most of the external links no longer work.

No Need to Turn Off the Lights and Don’t Bother Closing the Door

by Dymphna
Originally Published June 27, 2005

The Pharisees are in the driver’s seat of the Mini Cooper that has become the Anglican Church in England. Following the map printed up for them by the Anglican Peace and Justice Network, the C. of E. is busy driving over the cliff. How could anyone with a lick of common sense believe one word coming from a “Peace and Justice” committee? Did these people sleep through the birth and (Deo gratias) death of Communism? Do they not see the bright neon socialist signage in “Peace” or “Justice” —good Lord, never mind the double whammy PEACE and JUSTICE.

Does the Anglican Communion in England have any idea how irrelevant it is? The Incredible Shrinking Church has just shriveled another centimeter or two. It’s sooo bad it’s embarrassing. You could go read the report here (it’s a PDF. You’ll need version 7), but why bother? You can recite the p.c. lines from memory by now: poor Palestinians, bad Jews. Let’s take our money away from the bad Jews and give it to the deserving Palestinians who only want peace but the Jews are too mean to let them have it. Blah. Blah.

Well, we knew it was coming; this was just a matter of waiting for the final mainstream sheep farm to sell out. The only surprise is that it took so long. Here’s Melanie Phillips’ take on this “defining moment” —

The APJN report is full of the most inflammatory lies, libels and distortions about Israel — and the fact that the amended resolution that was finally passed only welcomed part of it (a weaselly caveat to provide deniability) does not alter the fact that it provided the ammunition for a poisonous onslaught against Israel. The document uncritically reproduced the Arab propaganda version of Israel’s history and the present circumstances of the Middle East conflict, presenting the Arab perpetrators of genocidal mass murder as victims and their real victims as oppressors merely for trying to defend themselves. But then what can one expect of a report which concludes by referring to ‘the honor of meeting the President of the Palestinian Authority, the late Yasser Arafat, who so warmly welcomed us in what turned out to be one of his last days among us’?

A warm welcome from the late pederast himself. How charming. Arafat was the father of terrorism, a diabolical Communist and one of the most truly evil people of his generation, so of course the Anglican Peace and Justice Network loved him. What’s not to love? Do you suppose they have a position paper on Castro, too? Another honorable sweetie-pie.

There are not words to describe the moral revulsion the name Arafat engenders. You could perhaps see why the naïve could be taken in by the man-in-the-street Palestinian: they’ve had years to work on and perfect their royal sense of resentful entitlement. And you might even decide to overlook the festering sores on a culture which produces suicide bombers who want to attack the hospital that treated them. But information on Arafat is readily available; his shameful history is there for the reading. One has to be willfully blind to refuse to acknowledge the depth and breadth of his malevolent iniquity.

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Let Me Tell You Something, President Bush

Note from the Baron: The following post is the first of a series of old posts by Dymphna, which I’m calling “Dymphna’s Greatest Hits”. I’ll post one every Monday unless something intervenes. They’ll be published under Dymphna’s byline and using her GoV UserID, which will otherwise no longer be seen.

The following post is from December 2005, and is from her series called “I Could Scream”. That was the title of her blog on Wretchard’s site from a few months before this one was posted at GoV. Unfortunately, Wretchard eventually had to close his umbrella site, and as far as I know all her posts from there were lost.

In those days she carried about 80% of the load here at Gates of Vienna, sometimes posting three or four times a day. In recent years she had been despondent about her declining abilities — it was hard for her to focus well enough to write like she used to. In 2004 and 2005 she was a powerhouse.

Let Me Tell You Something, President Bush

by Dymphna
Originally published on December 27, 2005

I wasn’t going to post on Nour Miyati’s suffering again. I swore I wouldn’t. Maybe I thought if I didn’t put up anything, then it would all just go away. However, being an ostrich has real limits. And if we aren’t at least willing to bear witness to another’s agony, then do we have the right to speak at all?

What the Saudis have done, what they have permitted to be done, to Ms. Miyati is so inhumane that it almost beggars description.

Let’s begin with some background from previous posts.

First of all, this woman didn’t go to the authorities — her owner dropped her bruised and battered body at the hospital, denying any responsibility for her condition:

A 25-year-old maid who came to Saudi Arabia as a guest worker will leave behind most of her fingers and toes and part of her right foot when she is repatriated to Indonesia. In addition to the amputations, necessitated by gangrene, several teeth had been knocked out and she is in danger of losing an eye as a result of severe beatings.

That was back in April of this year. I warned then that she would be under the aegis of sharia law, and thus her life — being a mere female, Muslim or not — wasn’t worth much. I also noted that the jerks who did this to her would be let go. Prince (at the time) Abdullah, busy doing a quick cover-your-a** move, stuck his big nose into it, insisting that she get good care and transferring her to the lad-de-dah King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. Abdullah even sent the Health Minister over to check on her. They both declared her experience at the hands of her employers “disgusting”.

That was then. In May, things started to go sideways. All of a sudden, it wasn’t the employers’ fault. Or if it was, they were only guilty of neglect. But the maid, she was really the guilty party. That woman had the nerve to accuse her owners employers of mistreating her. Therefore she had violated the law by making false allegations. Here are my remarks in May, followed by the hideously criminal medical report from a bunch of Saudi butchers with M.D. after their names:

Brutalization is not just a family affair in Saudi Arabia. The state is a willing and eager partner. And it can twist arms with a mighty force, especially arms with hands whose fingers are missing. On the one hand, there is the medical committee’s report:

A medical committee set up by Riyadh Governor from a number of specialists from the Ministry of Health concluded that the maid suffered wounds and bruises to her body, “suggesting she has been the victim of violence and that the gangrene could not have been caused as a direct result of beating and that it probably was caused by an inherent disease suffered by the patient.”

Her “inherent disease” is simply the grinding poverty which drove her to seek employment far from home. She wound up in Hell. The “inherent disease” of the Saud tribe is corrupt, terminally evil governance. These spawn of Stalin are unspeakable.

Now, to bring you up to date, in case you’ve managed to avoid this until now. It’s hardly “news” anymore, since it’s been floating around the blogosphere for awhile. The Religious Policeman (whose blog is dedicated “In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter”) had a few sardonic things to say about how judges arrive at their numerology when it comes to handing down lashings for false allegations:

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Mark’s Latest Mailbox

In his inimitable style, Mark Steyn looks at where the world is going and why. He sorts it all, beginning with the tradition of seat-warmers.

Enjoy:

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See also his essay on the anniversary (today) of the Grenfell Towers conflagration. His details make it come alive again, especially his observations about the Queen’s visit to the site.