News Feed 20100818

Financial Crisis
» China Drains Obama Stimulus Meant for U.S. Economy
» Foreclosures in State Hit Latino Homes Hardest
» Health Insurance Companies Dramatically Increase Premiums Due to the New Health Care Law and There is Not Much We Can Do About it
» Obama and FDR on Proposed American Paper Money Re-Design?
» The Purpose Behind Engineered Economic Collapse
 
USA
» Barack Obama: 50 Impeachable Crimes and Counting
» Conviction for Killing Al-Qaida Operative on Appeal
» Ill. Dem. Senate Candidate Being Funded by Terror Connected Financier?
» Islamic Domination and Rule on Its Way With New York Mosque
» Islamic Center Backers Won’t Rule Out Taking Funds From Saudi Arabia, Iran
» Judge Rules Attempting to Hijack US Navy Ships Isn’t “Piracy”
» Mosque Developer Rejects Moving to New Location
» New Study: 85% of Big Pharma’s New Drugs Are “Lemons” And Pose Health Risks to Users
» Phoenix Big Winner When Southwest Airlines Adjusts Schedule in 2011
» Pigford V. Glickman: 86,000 Claims From 39,697 Total Farmers?
» The Feminist Gestapo Goes Global
» The Ground Zero Mosque, And Meaningless Oaths
» Unreal. New York Officials Refuse to Allow Christians to Rebuild Church Destroyed on 9-11
» Who is Really Politicizing Ground Zero?
 
Canada
» Video: Muslim Raheel Raza Speaks Out Against Ground Zero Mosque on O’Reilly
 
Europe and the EU
» Al-Shabab Recruits in the Netherlands
» Finland: Iranian Human Rights Activist Sues Nokia Siemens Networks
» Netherlands: Wilders’ Security Beefed Up
» Swede Seeks Asylum in Denmark
» UK: Bonfire of the Middle Class Benefits: Families to Lose £13bn in Welfare Clampdown
» UK: Criminals Let Off by ‘Caution Culture’: 1 in 5 Offenders Escapes With Slap on the Wrist
» UK: Killer Doctor Daniel Ubani Dodges Hearing in Germany That Could Have Struck Him Off
» UK: Racist Taxmen Who Deliberately Under-Paid Child Benefits to Non-Nationals Are Sacked
» UK: The Madness of Offering the Mentally Disabled Sex With Prostitutes at Taxpayers’ Expense
 
Middle East
» Arab TV Chief: 9/11 Mosque Would be ‘Monument’ To Terror
» Iran Says to Unveil Array of Weapons Next Week
» Iran: Likelihood of Strike on Iran Reactor Dwindling Quickly
» U.S. Plans to Double Private Security Force in Iraq After 2011 Military Pullout
 
South Asia
» Catholic Church in Malaysia Grows, Despite Islamic Pressure
» India: Islamic Bomber of Bangalore “Last Icon of Terrorism”
» Indonesia: Terror Suspect Baasyr Refuses to Speak, Claiming Police Questions Are Haram, Prohibited
 
Immigration
» Look Who’s ‘Nativist’ Now!
» U.S. May Sue Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio for Not Cooperating in Investigation

Financial Crisis


China Drains Obama Stimulus Meant for U.S. Economy

The global economy is like fried ice cream: If you don’t act fast, it turns into a mess.

American pundits, Nobel laureates included, are predicting Japan-style deflation for the U.S. and Europe. They are urging the Federal Reserve to pursue another round of quantitative easing to stop the onset of an Ice Age for Western economies. The Fed didn’t oblige at its last meeting, but it threw a bone to the deflation crowd by promising not to pull money out of its previous round of asset purchases to stimulate a recovery.

On the other side of the world, consumer prices are surging. Emerging markets as a whole now have an inflation rate of more than 5 percent. India is registering price increases of more than 13 percent. China’s are more than 3 percent. But it surely feels a lot higher for average Chinese.

[…]

Deflation prophets in the West are in for a rude awakening. Eastern fire will turn Western ice into a mess, and 2012 looks like it will be the year of melting. The fuel for the fire is coming from deflation-fighting stimulus programs, such as that of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Stimulus is prescribed as a panacea for recession. In today’s global economy, it isn’t effective in the best of circumstances and is outright wrong for what ails the West now.

[Comments from JD: “quantitative easing” = print more money. ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Foreclosures in State Hit Latino Homes Hardest

A review of the damage wreaked on California communities by the housing bust shows that Latino households suffered nearly 50 percent of the foreclosures and that loan defaults are concentrated in the state’s Central Valley.

That area, which includes the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, features six of the top 10 California metro areas for foreclosure concentrations, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, which released a comprehensive report Tuesday.

No California communities have experienced a higher percentage of defaults than Modesto, Merced and Stockton — each of which had a foreclosure percentage of around 16 percent between late 2006 and 2009, the study found.

“The signature finding of this report, that there is a disproportionate rate of foreclosures for Latinos, is really stunning,” said Paul Leonard, director of the California office for the Center for Responsible Lending. “The data shows that high-cost loans correlate with foreclosures and that there was a big presence of subprime lending to the (Latino) demographic and in areas where there are concentrations of Latinos.”

The center, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fair lending practices, reported that minorities and remote suburbs — where incomes did not keep pace with escalating housing prices and unemployment has been high — were disproportionately represented in loan defaults.

Contradictions

While identifying the state’s hardest-hit regions and residents, the report, based on 877,173 properties foreclosed on from October 2006 through October 2009, also debunks some conventional beliefs about the foreclosure crisis.

According to the study, most defaulting borrowers were not stretching beyond their means to buy a big dream home. Instead, the report data show that the typical foreclosed property in California is relatively modest and valued below the median price for its region. It also indicates that just over half of foreclosures relate to refinanced loans.

The center hopes that the report will encourage lenders to aggressively pursue loan modifications and principal reductions and to invest in regions most harmed by the foreclosure crisis. It comes on the heels of the recent enactment of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, which includes some protections against predatory and discriminatory lending policies, including stricter underwriting rules and the creation of a bureau intended to rein in irresponsible lending practices.

The California Mortgage Bankers Association responded critically to the report. A representative said it ignores unemployment — one of the major causes of foreclosures — and argued that most of its recommendations were already under way.

“Merced, Modesto and Stockton, all in the Central Valley, were Nos. 4, 6 and 7 for unemployment in the United States in 2009, and that is not emphasized in this report,” said Dustin Hobbs, communications director for the California Mortgage Bankers Association.

Hobbs also said that home values have depreciated significantly in the Central Valley, which is an important factor for lenders when deciding whether to extend loan modifications.

In recent months, the federal and state governments have initiated programs to try to help defaulting residents stay in their homes, including incentives for principal loan reductions and extended loan payment plans.

Push for requirements

While other efforts will begin in the coming months, so far, the principal reduction initiatives have encouraged, instead of required, lenders to work with homeowners.

State legislation, SB1275, which could come up for final approval any day now, requires lenders to contact a borrower prior to filing a default notice, provide them with a loan modification application and process the application before starting the foreclosure process. Unlike the federal initiatives, it gives the borrower the right to sue if the policies are not followed.

Tuesday’s report also says that Latinos, who represent 36.6 percent of California’s population, received 29.9 percent of all mortgage loans originated between 2004 and 2008, but were subject to 48.7 percent of foreclosures.

Latinos’ share of higher-rate loans in California was 47.1 percent between 2004 and 2008, which correlates with general discriminatory lending practices at the time, the report said.

According to the study, it is well-documented that Latino and African American families disproportionately received the most expensive and risky types of loans during the subprime lending boom. In 2006, for instance, federal figures show that among consumers who received conventional mortgages for single-family homes, roughly half of African Americans and Hispanic borrowers received a higher-rate mortgage compared with about 18 percent of white borrowers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]



Health Insurance Companies Dramatically Increase Premiums Due to the New Health Care Law and There is Not Much We Can Do About it

Wasn’t the new health care reform law supposed to make health care more affordable for everyone? Well, imagine my surprise when I opened up a letter from my health insurance company recently and found out that my health insurance premiums were going up by nearly 50 percent. I am in perfect health and I have never had a single health insurance claim with this company. Unfortunately, after doing a little research, I discovered that I am far from alone. All over the United States, people are being hit with double-digit percentage increases in their health insurance premiums even as the health insurance predators continue to rake in record profits. At a time when millions of American families are barely making it from month to month, the last thing they need is to be figuratively kicked in the groin by the health insurance companies. But that is exactly what is happening.

Not that health insurance companies ever needed an excuse to raise rates, but in 2010 many of them are blaming changes in health care law for the dramatic rise in premiums.

Of course it is true that there are over a dozen new taxes on the health care industry in the “health care reform” law that Barack Obama and the Democrats rammed down the throats of the American people, and everyone should have realized that those taxes would ultimately be passed on to the consumer.

But what is also true is that the health insurance companies basically wrote large sections of the health care reform law and health insurance company stocks rose when this new law was passed.

So why is this new law so good for health insurance companies?

Well, the new health care law requires all of us to purchase health insurance from them.

We are no longer going to have the choice of opting out of their system.

We are going to be forced to buy health insurance.

And since they are all raising rates, there is no escape from the pillaging.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Obama and FDR on Proposed American Paper Money Re-Design?

A little contest called the Dollar ReDes$ign Project has been launched on the web and I have to say the dismal design offerings being foisted on the public are a wonder to behold.

But the worst ones are by Dowling Duncan. The designs offered by Dowling Duncan envision a one dollar bill featuring a giant photo of Barak Obama and the 100 dollar bill featuring a photo of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



The Purpose Behind Engineered Economic Collapse

Men like Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, Gerald Celente, Jim Rogers, and many others were able to predict long before hand that the Federal Reserve’s actions were creating an explosive mortgage and credit bubble, yet, we are supposed to believe that the Federal Reserve had “no idea” that their actions would result in a debt implosion?

Catherine Austin Fitts, former Assistant Secretary of Housing and Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the first Bush Administration stated conversely that the mortgage bubble was absolutely not an accident, and that she had witnessed outright and deliberate fraud on the part of the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve Bank in creating the bubble. The fact that disturbed her most, however, was her discovery that only a small handful of international banks were responsible for the perpetuation of toxic mortgage debt, not just in America, but around the world:

Goldman Sachs (one of the primary globalist banks involved in the igniting of the debt crisis) was caught red-handed selling toxic derivatives to investors and governments all over the planet while at the same time betting against those derivatives on the market. Goldman even bet against mortgage securities the bank itself created!

This is sort of similar to a car maker selling vehicles without brake lines, then placing bets that their clients will crash and burn. Essentially, it is blatant and sociopathic fraud! Goldman’s actions directly contributed to credit collapses in numerous countries, including Greece, and here in the U.S.

[Return to headlines]

USA


Barack Obama: 50 Impeachable Crimes and Counting

A few weeks ago I wrote an article From the White House to the Big House: 25 Impeachable Crimes and Counting that detailed 25 illegal acts committed by President Obama and his Democrat cohorts in Washington. It showed a President and political party willing to break the law at will in order to accomplish their political aims. Thanks to reader contributions and conservative writers around the country, here are 25 more for your consideration.

Whether or not any of these troubling examples will lead to Obama’s impeachment and/or imprisonment, only time will tell. Regardless, taken together they paint a picture of an out of control President who lacks basic American values and has little to no respect for the rule of law.

25 More Impeachable Crimes

1 Obama’s term as Board Chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in the mid-1990s where he and his colleague, unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, misused over $300 million in private donations meant to improve the education of minorities. Instead of spending the money on traditional learning programs, Obama and Ayers directed the funds to local community activists who wasted it on trying to “radicalize” the students. An official review of the program found that it was a complete and utter failure.’

2 As an Illinois State Senator, Obama directed tens of millions in state money to slumlords Valerie Jarrett and Tony Rezko meant to provide for housing for low income, minority tenants in return for political donations. Due to shoddy construction and nonexistent maintenance, the majority of the units, after less than 10 years of use, have been rendered uninhabitable.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Conviction for Killing Al-Qaida Operative on Appeal

Defense says prosecution in soldier’s case held back witness who agreed with defense

Attorneys representing a U.S. soldier who was convicted of killing an al-Qaida operative and sentenced to prison are telling an appeals court that multiple witnesses supported the soldier’s statement that the shooting was in self-defense.

Lt. Michael Behenna was convicted and sentenced for the death of al-Qaida operative Ali Mansur.

The appeal has been based, among other issues, on claims that a witness told prosecutors outside of the formal record that Behenna’s description of the self-defense elements of the shooting were exactly the same as what he suggested as a possible scenario based on the evidence.

But prosecutors never called the witness to the stand and never told the defense about the exculpatory information.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Ill. Dem. Senate Candidate Being Funded by Terror Connected Financier?

Daniel Halper asks a whopper of a question, one that could cause quite a lot of trouble for Democrat Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias of Illinois. Halper reveals that one of Giannoulias’ donors is a man connected with a foundation with link to terror organizations.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Islamic Domination and Rule on Its Way With New York Mosque

Pro radical, pro Hamas and Saudi money all over this project

So far we know that the large money trail emerging behind the aggressive push of this mosque is linked to Saudi Arabia, Islamic leaders who support the murderous and terrorist group, HAMAS and support other radical Islamic groups worldwide. Master private Investigator Doug Hagmann and I talked recently about the compromised money trail behind the mosque and very soon he will have more disturbing information to release on my national radio show and in print. Stay tuned. It isn’t pretty, though Bloomberg no doubt thinks we are wasting our time exploring the money trail.

What many may not realize is that since the 1970s King Fahd and other Saudi leaders issued a directive that “no limits be put on expenditures for the propagation of Islam. The Washington post talks about the endless spending regarding this goal worldwide. For example, in 1984, $130 million was put into making a printing company to produce Saudi-approved versions of the Koran. By 2000, they had distributed 138 million copies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Islamic Center Backers Won’t Rule Out Taking Funds From Saudi Arabia, Iran

The developers behind the Islamic center planned for a site near Ground Zero won’t rule out accepting financing from the Mideast — including from Saudi Arabia and Iran — as they begin searching for $100 million needed to build the project.

The religious organization and the development company behind the center declined to say how much of the $100 million needed to build the facility has already been raised.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Judge Rules Attempting to Hijack US Navy Ships Isn’t “Piracy”

The US Naval Institute recently announced that the 2010 history conference will discuss the topic of piracy.

Hopefully you’ll find this little bit of news informative if not rational.

A judge on Tuesday dismissed piracy charges against six Somali nationals accused of attacking a Navy ship off the coast of Africa, concluding the U.S. government failed to make the case their alleged actions amounted to piracy.

The dismissal of the piracy count by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson tosses the most serious charge against the men, but leaves intact seven other charges related to the alleged April 10 attack on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden. A piracy conviction carries a mandatory life term.

These pirates still face other charges, but lets just go over what has happened here a second.

For those who don’t know the details, these 6 pirates tried to attack the USS Ashland off the coast of Somalia, and the USS Ashland responded by blowing their little skiff out of the water, rescuing the pirates, and arresting them on charges of piracy. The defense for the pirates was able to argue that the actions of attacking a US Navy ship accidentally — thinking it was a commercial ship they could hijack — does not qualify as the definition of piracy.

“The court finds that the government has failed to establish that any unauthorized acts of violence or aggression committed on the high seas constitutes piracy as defined by the law of nations,” Jackson wrote in granting the defense motion to dismiss.

Attorneys for the six men had argued that the men did not seize or rob the Ashland, falling short of the centuries-old definition of piracy.

I imagine it was kind of hard for the US government to make their case considering they blew the little pirate skiff out of the water for attacking the warship. By the standards this judge is setting in US courts, someone can attack a US flagged ship and as long as they can dump their equipment overboard before they are caught — anything short of a successful hijacking doesn’t quality as the definition of piracy.

The decision is intended to protect protesters like Greenpeace from being labeled pirates (but not all NGOs are Greenpeace, just ask Israel), which means now US case law is protecting the NGO which can now take the act of “protesting” US flagged ships on the high seas to a whole new level if they are smart about it.

Thankfully, Code-Pink doesn’t have a Navy… yet. This is a pretty nasty can of worms the judge has opened up because apparently, in the 21st century we cannot find a suitable definition of piracy that distinguishes Somali’s with AK-47s attacking US warships from Greenpeace activists — at least that’s how it played out in a Virginia courtroom. You really can’t make this up.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]



Mosque Developer Rejects Moving to New Location

The developer of an Islamic cultural center that would include a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero appear to have rejected Gov. David Paterson’s offer to help them find a different site but a meeting may still be in the works.

On Tuesday, Rep. Peter King said he learned the governor planned to speak with the imam and developers of the mosque and cultural center later this week. Both King and Paterson are scheduled to discuss the issue on Larry King Live tonight.

Lead developer Sharif El-Gamal told NY1 yesterday no meeting had been scheduled yet. Since Paterson first offered to help broker a new location for the mosque last week, however, El-Gamal has insisted the subject was not up for debate, stressing the proximity of the planned center to Ground Zero was not an issue.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



New Study: 85% of Big Pharma’s New Drugs Are “Lemons” And Pose Health Risks to Users

(NaturalNews) For years, natural health proponents have been sounding the alarm about the dangers of new drugs being pushed on consumers. But is that a one-sided, inaccurate view? Not at all. In fact, new research now shows the problems with Big Pharma’s hugely hyped medications are far worse than most people have even dreamed. Independent reviewers found that about 85 percent of new drugs offer few if any new benefits — but they carry the risk of causing serious harm to users.

According to Donald Light, Ph.D., a professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who authored the study, the pharmaceutical industry is a “market for lemons” and Big Pharma spends a fortune to sell those lemons to the public.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Phoenix Big Winner When Southwest Airlines Adjusts Schedule in 2011

Phoenix will be the big winner when Southwest Airlines Co. adjusts its schedule in early 2011, with 10 extra flights added in January and February, the Dallas carrier said Tuesday.

Chicago Midway will lose the most flights, seven, and St. Louis and Pittsburgh will lose three departures each.

The new schedules, which go through March 11, do not include either of the South Carolina airports that Southwest plans to begin serving in 2011, Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg.

In a posting on the airline’s blog, Southwest flight planner Bill Owen said Southwest is not ready to announce a start date for those cities.

“What is in this schedule is a shuffling of frequencies that reflects the seasonal traffic ebb and flow,” Owen wrote. “Once again, we’re publishing different schedules for January and February — meaning that they’re optimized separately, so you’ll see a lot of departure time changes between the two.”

Southwest’s daily schedule traditionally drops around 200 flights from its summer peak to its off-season nadir.

This summer through mid-August, Southwest operated 3,370 daily weekday departures. On Sunday, the daily total was cut to 3,262.

The schedule declines to 3,166 daily departures in November before climbing back to 3,184 in January and 3,232 in February.

Also showing a nice increase in flights is Orlando, Fla., with an additional eight departures; Reno, Nev., with an additional five; and Denver, Salt Lake City, San Diego and Tampa Bay, Fla., with four each.

Owen said the only nonstop route being eliminated was its Kansas City, Mo.,-Seattle service, “although in all likelihood it will return in summer 2011.”

With the changes, Las Vegas will be the largest airport in Southwest’s system, with 213 daily Southwest departures. That will put it just past Chicago Midway, which this summer had 224 departures to Las Vegas’ 223.

Dallas Love Field, which had 131 daily departures this summer, picks up three flights, to Amarillo, Lubbock and Midland-Odessa, in January.

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]



Pigford V. Glickman: 86,000 Claims From 39,697 Total Farmers?

by Zombie I’m confused.

If there are only 39,697 African-American farmers grand total in the entire country, then how can over 86,000 of them claim discrimination at the hands of the USDA? Where did the other 46,303 come from?

Now, if you’re confused over what the heck I’m even talking about, let’s go back to the beginning of the story:

Pigford v. Glickman

In 1997, 400 African-American farmers sued the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that they had been unfairly denied USDA loans due to racial discrimination during the period 1983 to 1997. The farmers won the case, known as Pigford v. Glickman, and in 1999 the government agreed to pay $50,000 each to any farmer who had been wrongly denied an agricultural loan. By then it had grown into a class action case, and any black farmer who had filed a complaint between 1983 and 1997 would be given at least $50,000 — not limited to the original 400 plaintiffs. It was estimated at that time that there might be as many as 2,000 beneficiaries granted $50,000 each.

According to the summary of the case linked above,

[…] But I want to go back to the beginning.

Forget about Shirley Sherrod’s connection. Forget about the Senate not funding the settlement. There will be plenty of pundits commenting on those aspects over the upcoming days.

What I want to know is: How can there be 86,000 legitimate claimants?…

           — Hat tip: Zenster [Return to headlines]



The Feminist Gestapo Goes Global

Just when we thought President Obama had reached the ultimate in seizing extravagant power by appointing a health-care czar (Donald Berwick) to exercise life-and-death surveillance over Medicare and Medicaid, Congress is now trying to give him a czar with global powers. It would be a czar over worldwide women’s issues.

Based in the State Department, her statutory title will be “Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.” Her task will be to assure a “gender integration” perspective in all State Department policies and programs.

The breathtaking reach of her powers is openly stated in the bill’s first section: “The Ambassador shall coordinate and advise, and where relevant lead — (1) State Department activities and policies, including as they affect programs and funding relating to prevention and response, including gender integration and women’s development internationally as relates to prevention and response.”

And if that’s not enough, the feminist ambassador will also be responsible for the “allocation of State Department resources” to carry out the mischief.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



The Ground Zero Mosque, And Meaningless Oaths

Early in his Presidency, Obama assured the world that “Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

Well, sort of, in a way—kind of. Not really.

Names such as Anwar, Khalid, and Shabaz, are conspicuously absent from any roll-call of Revolutionary War patriots, but America did indeed have dealings with Islam, early on. Do the words “to the shores of Tripoli” ring any bells?

Muslim pirates started attacking American shipping in the Mediterranean, before the US was even a country. At first the US tried bribes and appeasement—to no avail. (Link)

Eventually, President Thomas Jefferson sent US Navy warships to defeat the Muslim pirates in 1805 (First Barbary War). President Madison found it necessary to repeat the exercise in 1815 (Second Barbary War). (Link)

In 1832, President Andrew Jackson again found it necessary to send out the US Navy to fight Muslim pirates. The US Navy paid a return visit in 1839, when Martin Van Buren was President. (First Sumatran Expedition) (Second Sumatran Expedition)

So yes, I guess you could say that Obama is somewhat correct; Islam has indeed played a part in “America’s story.” The US started out fighting Muslims, and we’re still at it, well over two hundred years later. That’s some shared history, all right.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Unreal. New York Officials Refuse to Allow Christians to Rebuild Church Destroyed on 9-11

OK… Now this ought to make your blood boil.

New York officials have killed plans to rebuild a Greek Orthodox Church near Ground Zero.

FOX reported: Greek Orthodox leaders trying to rebuild the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks expressed shock this week after learning, via Fox News, that government officials had killed a deal to relocate the church.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Who is Really Politicizing Ground Zero?

But let’s talk about who’s really been politicizing Ground Zero. The mosque’s biggest supporter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had aggressively tried to politicize Ground Zero back in 2005 with the International Freedom Center, with George Soros and the ACLU pushing exhibits on Islamophobia and the loss of civil liberties in America. Governor Pataki shut down the IFC’s plans to politicize Ground Zero over Bloomberg’s loud protests. Meanwhile the current plans for exhibits commemorating 9/11 at the site are being attacked by liberals complaining about a “lack of context”, which is their way of saying that they want to politicize the site by suggesting that America was to blame.

The New York Times has added its voice to the chorus of complaints about “politicizing Ground Zero”. But in 2005, the Times editorial complained that Campaign America’s call to refrain from politicizing Ground Zero is Un-American. The cynicism here is virtually unbelievable.

The entire “Politicizing Ground Zero” talking point is a response to the fallout from Obama’s own attempt to politicize Ground Zero by pandering to a Muslim crowd. When the polls number turned red, the media rushed to attack Republicans for politicizing Obama’s own politicization of the issue.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Canada


Video: Muslim Raheel Raza Speaks Out Against Ground Zero Mosque on O’Reilly

Raza says the building of this mosque is confrontational, in bad faith, and doesn’t help the cause of tolerance. She goes on to slam the ‘bleeding heart white liberals’ like Bloomberg for their PC attitude about this controversial mosque and surprises O’Reilly with her articulate understanding of this issue. He was almost speechless:

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU


Al-Shabab Recruits in the Netherlands

Violent Islamist group Al-Shabab is recruiting in the Netherlands, according to American journalist Mark Hosenball on his Newsweek blog. He bases his comments on official Dutch government sources.

Hosenball writes that two Dutch government officials, who requested anonimity, and Bart Stapert, an Amsterdam lawyer now representing Omar, told him Omar approached Dutch authorities in December 2008 during a stop-over at Schiphol airport.

Omar asked for political asylum and was sent to a refugee resettlement facility in Dronten in Flevoland. One of the officials told Hosenball: ‘While in Dronten it is believed he was connected with or working for Al-Shabab.’

Omar was arrested in November 2009 and the US government filed a request for his extradition. A Dutch court found in favour but Omar’s appeal of that ruling is current before the Dutch supreme court.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]



Finland: Iranian Human Rights Activist Sues Nokia Siemens Networks

An Iranian human rights activist is suing the mobile networks manufacturer Nokia Siemens Networks in the United States. The plaintiff, a journalist, accuses the company of selling technology to Iran that can be used for spying on dissidents.

The activist says that NSN technology has allowed the Iranian authorities to violate the human rights of its citizens.

According to the lawsuit, the journalist in question was arrested in Iran in the aftermath of last year’s presidential elections after authorities had monitored his use of his mobile telephone.

The journalist said through his lawyers that he had been tortured, and fell ill while in custody. It is hoped that NSN will use its contacts within the Iranian government to free the journalist.

The lawsuit in the US state of Virginia names as defendants Nokia Siemens Networks, and its parent companies, the Finnish Nokia and the German Siemens.

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]



Netherlands: Wilders’ Security Beefed Up

Security for the anti-Islam PVV in parliament is being increased, according to the Nederlands Dagblad on Wednesday.

Because of the increase in the number of MPs and weaknesses in party leader Geert Wilders’ personal security, the PVV offices are being fitted with double doors and new walls and there will be screening areas at the lifts.

The cost of the new measures is being kept secret, says the paper.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Swede Seeks Asylum in Denmark

Sent to Sandholm refugee camp after fleeing Sweden.

Life in Sweden has just got too much for one Swede who has now sought asylum in Denmark.

“He turned up at the council offices in Sønderborg after arriving there by train. I’m not quite sure of the deeper reasons for him seeking asylum, but he said he couldn’t stomach Swedes,” says Peter Andersen of the Foreigners Unit at Padborg on the Danish-German border.

“Now he’s been sent to the Sandholm Camp and they’ll try to sort out the issue,” he adds.

Andersen says that it will probably be difficult for the man to seek political asylum in Denmark, as he would have to prove that that he is politically persecuted to a degree that would justify asylum.

“Formally, everyone can see asylum and have to be taken seriously. But we probably know the result,” Andersen says.

Even though it may be difficult for the man, who became a Swede in 1998, to win asylum in Denmark, police point out that as an EU citizen, he is welcome to live here.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



UK: Bonfire of the Middle Class Benefits: Families to Lose £13bn in Welfare Clampdown

Middle-class families face losing child benefit in a £13billion slashing of the universal welfare system.

Winter fuel allowances for better-off pensioners also face the axe in plans being drawn up by Iain Duncan Smith, senior sources have revealed.

The drastic cuts would end seven decades of state handouts for all regardless of income — and cost a typical family with two children more than £1,700 a year.

Any reduction in benefits for pensioners will provoke claims of betrayal after David Cameron denounced as ‘pure lies’ Labour claims during the election campaign that he would axe payouts such as the winter fuel allowance.

[…]

Senior coalition officials say the burden will fall overwhelmingly on the middle classes. One told the Mail that the case for ending the days of universal state handouts is now ‘unanswerable’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



UK: Criminals Let Off by ‘Caution Culture’: 1 in 5 Offenders Escapes With Slap on the Wrist

A ‘caution culture’ has taken root in Britain which allows tens of thousands more criminals each year to escape with just a ticking-off, a report warned last night.

The Policy Exchange think tank unearthed government figures showing changes in the way burglars, yobs and other criminals are dealt with by the justice system.

In 1971, only 6 per cent of offenders were given a caution, which carries no sanction except a slap on the wrist.

But, by 2006, that figure had rocketed to 20 per cent. In the same period, the number of cautions leapt from around 110,000 to 350,000 a year.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



UK: Killer Doctor Daniel Ubani Dodges Hearing in Germany That Could Have Struck Him Off

The German doctor who killed a British patient has avoided a hearing that could have led to him being stripped of his right to continue practising as a GP.

The hearing into Daniel Ubani’s competence, which was scheduled to take place today, has been declared unlawful.

In a surprise decision, the Administrative Court in Muenster, northwest Germany, ruled that it is not the responsibility of the Physician’s Chamber, the German equivalent of the GMC, to decide whether he can continue as a doctor.

It said that responsibility lies with Ubani’s local government employer. The case was brought by Ubani’s lawyers.

The Physician’s Chamber had planned on testing Nigerian-born Ubani’s skills in a written examination after he accidentally killed David Gray in Britain in February 2008.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



UK: Racist Taxmen Who Deliberately Under-Paid Child Benefits to Non-Nationals Are Sacked

Seven taxmen have been sacked for deliberately underpaying child benefit to ethnic minority families.

Two other workers quit when an investigation was launched earlier this year.

All nine were based at an HM Revenue and Customs contact centre in Belfast, where they had access to computerised national benefits records.

They were accused of tampering with files to ensure a number of people from ethnic minority backgrounds were paid less money than they were entitled to.

All of the victims, who were living in various parts of the UK, have now been paid in full.

The resignations and sackings of the nine men followed an internal investigation into allegations of racially motivated conduct going back to the second half of last year.

The investigation started last January when a complaint was lodged by somebody who claimed that their records had been changed.

A detailed audit was carried out and the inquiry then widened to take in another 16 cases.

It is understood the nine men were suspended once the investigation started, but two quit immediately.

Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HMRC, said the department operates a zero-tolerance policy on racial discrimination.

He said: ‘The vast majority of our people are entirely professional and one of the ways we support that professionalism is by taking decisive action against the tiny minority who let us all down by falling far short of those standards.’

Last night Ronnie Fox, employment specialist at Fox Lawyers, said: ‘It appears as though HMRC went through the appropriate steps by holding an investigation and giving the staff concerned an opportunity to respond.

‘If the facts are as I understand them to be, it is difficult to see how the employees involved could possibly have justified their actions.’

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]



UK: The Madness of Offering the Mentally Disabled Sex With Prostitutes at Taxpayers’ Expense

Sex for those with disabilities is one of the last taboos. Most people don’t want to think about it — which is why they’ll have been doubly shocked by the news story in this week’s Mail that a young man with learning disabilities will receive state funding to see a prostitute in Amsterdam.

His social worker insists that ‘refusing to offer him this service would be a violation of his human rights’. Apparently, the unfortunate young man needs a holiday, too.

To me, this is just another reminder of how the concept of ‘human rights’ has been misinterpreted by the woolly and well-meaning. What worries me is that it could cause a backlash against the very people who most need our understanding and help.

The 21-year- old’s trip to the Dutch brothel, where he hopes to lose his virginity, will be funded through a £520million scheme introduced by the last government called Putting People First: Transforming Adult Social Care.

The original 2007 document (written in the usual tedious socio-speak jargon) sets out Labour’s ‘ambition to put people first through a radical reform of public services, enabling people to live their own lives as they wish… and promote their own individual needs for independence, wellbeing and dignity’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Middle East


Arab TV Chief: 9/11 Mosque Would be ‘Monument’ To Terror

Says world’s Muslims don’t want to give hijackers ‘source of pride’

The director of a Dubai-based, Arab television network writes that most of the world’s Muslims couldn’t care less about building a mosque near Ground Zero and that plans to do so would only create a “monument” to terrorists.

Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, director-general of Al-Arabiya TV, wrote a column in the Aug. 16, 2010, London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat arguing that President Obama was wasting his time championing construction of the proposed mosque, which Al-Rashed says the majority of world’s Muslims don’t want anyway.

“I can’t imagine that Muslims [actually] want a mosque at this particular location, because it will become an arena for the promoters of hatred, and a monument to those who committed the crime,” writes Al-Rashed in the column, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “Moreover, there are no practicing Muslims in the area who need a place to worship, because it is a commercial district. Is there anyone who is [really] eager [to build] this mosque?”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Iran Says to Unveil Array of Weapons Next Week

TEHRAN — Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Tuesday that Iran will unveil next week an array of weapons, including missiles, speedboats and a long range drone, the ISNA news agency reported.

Two missiles, Qiam (Rising) and the third generation Fateh 110 (Conqueror) would be tested next week when Iran marks the annual government week, Vahidi said in reference to the Iranian week which starts on Saturday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



Iran: Likelihood of Strike on Iran Reactor Dwindling Quickly

Officials say presence of Russian, Chinese personnel protect it

There’s been concern worldwide for many months that the United States or Israel would launch a military strike on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor before it is started up in order to prevent the radical regime from acquiring a potential route to nuclear weapons.

But the likelihood is diminishing rapidly in light of announced plans by Russia to fuel the project later this week and almost eliminated by the fact that there are numerous Russian and Chinese engineers already on site who would be in the bull’s-eye should an attack be launched.

[Comments from JD: see article for details on how the Iranians have “hardened” the site.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



U.S. Plans to Double Private Security Force in Iraq After 2011 Military Pullout

As the United States military prepares to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, the Obama administration is planning a remarkable civilian effort, buttressed by a small army of contractors, to fill the void.

By October 2011, the State Department will assume responsibility for training the Iraqi police, a task that will largely be carried out by contractors. With no American soldiers to defuse sectarian tensions in northern Iraq, it will be up to American diplomats in two new $100 million outposts.

To protect the civilians in a country that is still home to insurgents with Al Qaeda and Iranian-backed militias, the State Department is planning to more than double its private security guards, up to about 7,000, according to administration officials who disclosed new details of the plan.

[Return to headlines]

South Asia


Catholic Church in Malaysia Grows, Despite Islamic Pressure

In the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, Catholics are nearly 10% of the population. Many churches increase the number of Masses to cope with the influx of the faithful. Islam is spreading at a faster speed, especially due to social pressure: non-Muslims are considered inferior.

Kota Kinabalu (AsiaNews) — Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah, is growing where the faithful are now more than 180 thousand, nearly 10% of the population. Sabah is one of 13 states of Malaysia and is situated in the northern part of Borneo.

Many churches have increased the number of Sunday Masses, to cope with the influx of the faithful. The church of Stella Maris, for example, decided to celebrate on Sunday a third function in Bahasa Melayu, the local language, along with two others in English.

Leonard Chin, faithful of the parish, told AsiaNews that “the Catholic population is growing steadily, albeit slowly. We have built new churches and at Easter 80 people were baptized in a parish that has 5 thousand faithful”.

Alongside the Catholic community, Islam is also spreading: “There are two reasons — Chin continues — for which Muslims are growing more rapidly. On one side they have more children, one the other many members the Kazadan ethnic group, who have been Catholic since the arrival of missionaries in the 19th century, converted for political reasons”.

In Malaysia, the state religion is Islam, religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution, although there are several violations of this right. In fact, says Chin, “many people are inclined to convert to Islam” because of social pressure that is brought to bear on non-Muslims, who are considered inferior.

Out of a population of 23 million inhabitants, 60.4% in Malaysia are Muslims and only 9.1% are Christians, mostly Catholics. The vast majority of those living on the island of Borneo where the State of Sabah is located.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]



India: Islamic Bomber of Bangalore “Last Icon of Terrorism”

Abdul Nasser Madani, a Muslim political leader accused of attacks in Bangalore and Coimbatore, has announced his intention to give himself up. Indian activists: “He represents pure fundamentalism: the presence of people like this is a cancer in our politics”

Bangalore (AsiaNews) — Abdul Nasser Madani (pictured) “is the new icon of Indian political terrorism. Although he is an Islamic leader, it would be wrong to see his action as an act of religion: Madani is just a cog in the wheel of this new format of Indian political system. This trend certainly bodes ill for India”,says Syed Mujtaba Ali, journalist and founder of the Contact Group in South Asia, commenting to AsiaNews on reports that Madani is ready to surrender to justice.

Madani — founder and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party — says he, along with an unidentified group of people, is ready to surrender in the coming days. Charges are pending against him for allegedly organizing the attacks in Bangalore on 25 July 2008 — in which a woman lost her life — and those of Coimbatore in 1998, which killed 58 people.

Ashok Singhal, president of Vishva Hindu Parishad (a Hindu extremist group) has criticized the slowness of the arrest: “those not allowing him to be arrested. What do they want? They want terrorism to perpetrate”. According Mujtaba, however, the issue is more complex, “Madani is the, new icon of extremist political leader. In past Madani was charged for inflammatory speeches and suspected to have organized terrorist activities but Indian courts have exonerated him of many such charges”.

His popularity, the journalist explains, “comes from being a Muslim, which appears as a popular hero and a saviour. He leads his party with the stated aim of creating an alliance between Dalits (the outcaste Indian), Muslims and members of lower castes. In the 2009 elections he was even allied with the left, but with few results.

His figure, he stresses, “is unique and follows the trail of the notorious radical extremist leaders of Hinduism. Like them, he denies the accusations of terrorism but acts in an exaggerated way, in public and private sectors. The his story represents the down side of the Indian politics that draws its strength from the streets cashing upon the negative sentiments. It also tells the story of the mobilization of the masses based on hate and radicalizing the society”.

However, he concludes, “It would be wrong to see the Madani episode in religious terms. In fact Madani is just a cog in the wheel of this new format of Indian political system. Until and unless this whole tribe is banished from the Indian political scene, there is every chance that many such characters may loom large in the country. This trend certainly bodes ill for India.” (NC)

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]



Indonesia: Terror Suspect Baasyr Refuses to Speak, Claiming Police Questions Are Haram, Prohibited

Abu Bakar Baasyr accuses investigators of complicity with the United States and Israel. Police claims it has evidence of the cleric’s guilt. In his hometown of Solo, Muslim demonstrators clamour his arrest will “draw God’s wrath”.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Abu Bakar Baasyr (pictured), an extremist Muslim cleric accused of terrorism, is refusing to answer police questions because in his view they are “haram”, i.e. prohibited under Islamic law. Arrested on 9 August in Banjar Patroman, West Java, he has accused investigators of being accomplices of the United States and Israel.

The authorities suspect Baasyr of being the head of Al-Qaidah, a terrorist cell based in Aceh, and al-Qaeda’s top man in Southeast Asia. He has also been charged with funding a training camp for terrorists in Aceh to the tune of a million dollars.

Despite Baasyr’s refusal to answer questions, police spokesman Inspector General Edward Aritonang said that the authorities had evidence against the preacher, including video footage and records of financial transactions.

“Our information points to him as Al-Qaidah chief,” Aritonang explained. “This group of terrorists is new and includes various extremists, with members from Jemaah Islamiyah, Indonesian Islamic State, Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT) and Kompak”.

Baasyr’s lawyer, Achmad Midan, did confirm that the cleric, who heads JAT, funded paramilitary training for the al-Qaidah group, but denied that it was for terrorist purposes. Instead, he claimed it was designed to prepare men to fight in the Gaza Strip, should Israelis attack Muslims.

In Baasyr’s hometown of Solo, Central Java, Muslims took to the streets waving banners to protest against police and the Densus-88 anti-terror squad. One read, “This arrest will cause natural disaster and draw God’s wrath”.

At the same time in Malaysia, the authorities detained Mustawan Ahbab on charges of helping Baasyr raise funds to sponsor terrorist actions.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Immigration


Look Who’s ‘Nativist’ Now!

“Nativism in American politics has become so rampant that it is considered scandalous in Republican circles for a judge to acknowledge paying any attention to foreign courts and their legal rulings.” — New York Times editorial, Aug. 3, 2010

The New York Times runs this same smug editorial every few months — at least I think it’s the same editorial — to vent its spleen at conservatives who object to American judges relying on foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution.

But when it comes to anchor babies, The New York Times and the entire Democratic establishment plug their ears and hum rather than consider foreign laws on citizenship. (For more on this, see “Mexican immigration law versus U.S. immigration law.”)

Needless to say, America is the only developed nation that allows illegal aliens to gain full citizenship for their children merely by dropping them on U.S. soil.

Take Sweden — one of the left’s favorite countries. Not only is there no birthright citizenship, but even the children of legal immigrants cannot become Swedish citizens simply by being born there. At least one parent must be a citizen for birth on Swedish soil to confer citizenship.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]



U.S. May Sue Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio for Not Cooperating in Investigation

A federal investigation of a controversial Arizona sheriff known for tough immigration enforcement has intensified in recent days, escalating the conflict between the Obama administration and officials in the border state.

Justice Department officials in Washington have issued a rare threat to sue Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio if he does not cooperate with their investigation of whether he discriminates against Hispanics. The civil rights inquiry is one of two that target the man who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff.” A federal grand jury in Phoenix is examining whether Arpaio has used his power to investigate and intimidate political opponents and whether his office misappropriated government money, sources said.

[…]

Two of Arpaio’s attorneys, Robert N. Driscoll and Asheesh Agarwal, were officials in the Justice Department’s civil rights division in the George W. Bush administration. They denied that the sheriff, a Republican who has been reelected four times since 1992, has been uncooperative or has engaged in racial profiling, misusing money or targeting political enemies.

“The sheriff’s office is cooperating fully with the grand jury investigation and has complete confidence that the inquiry will clear it of any wrongdoing,” Agarwal said. “The office has always fulfilled its responsibilities truthfully, honorably, and in full compliance with state and federal law.”

Arpaio’s attorneys contend that the investigations are politically motivated, citing a news conference in March at which Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was quoted as saying he expects the inquiries to “produce results.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

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