Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/21/2013

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/21/2013This is the first news feed under the new system; we’ll see how well it works. Note: as of this writing, there are still issues associated with DNS propagation (I think), and you’ll see 404 errors on permalinks. I expect this to be resolved within the next few hours.

Back to the news… There are more stories about the debacle in Algeria, and of course the inauguration of our Dear Leader for his second and final term.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to Diana West, DS, Fjordman, JD, Kitman, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.


Financial Crisis
» Economist Calls for Higher Taxes on Expats
» Germany to Bring Gold Reserves Back Home
» Obama’s New Economy: Hundreds of Thousands of Phds, Masters Graduates Now on Food Stamps, Some Work as Janitors
 
USA
» Bill O’Reilly Comments on a New GAO Report
» Criminal Impostor Who Usurped the Office of President Sworn in, Again
» DHS Looks to Install Microphones in “Urban Areas” That Can Listen to Conversations
» Era of Thought Crimes Now Here as Psychiatrists Given ‘Judge Dredd’ Authority to Strip Citizens of Their Constitutional Rights
» GAO Report: Federal Spending is ‘Unsustainable’
» GOP Rebel Rises to Challenge Party Establishment
» Gun Bill Suicide for Dems Seeking Re-Election
» Homeland Security Hoarding Ammo, Depriving Police
» In Second Inaugural, Obama Says ‘We Are Made for This Moment’
» Kindergartner Suspended for “Bubble-Gun Terrorism”
» Like Alfred Kinsey, Obama HHS “Grooming” Children for Sex
» Obama Takes Oath Again, Flubs it (A Little)
» Put Not Your Trust in Federalized Sheriffs
» Reflections on Current Events
» Second Amendment Advocate Rep. Markwayne Mullin Target of Death Threats
» Texas Gun Shop Owner Calls for Groupon Boycott After Deal is Nixed
» The Lies of Chuck Schumer: NRA is Extreme Fringe Group
» This Metamorphosis Will Require a Permit: Sandy Wrecked Our House, But Bureaucrats Are Keeping it Broken.
» Toward a Conservative Foreign Policy
» TSA Toys With the Serfs
» US the Real Roots of School Violence
» Video: Rapper Has Set Cut Short at Inaugural Event Following Anti-Obama Rant
» Video: Obama’s Target is Not Just Republicans, But the Constitution Itself
» Video: Michelle Obama is Not Impressed: First Lady Rolls Her Eyes Twice at Political Foe John Boehner as He Speaks to Her Husband During the Inaugural Luncheon.
 
Europe and the EU
» 70 Years on, Nazi Soldier Sues UK Over ‘Torture Jail’ Where Hundreds of German Prisoners Were Held Suspected of Being Communist Spies
» Chief Rabbis Ask Van Rompuy for Help
» France: ‘Our Goal is the Total Reconquest of Mali’
» The Sovereign Debt Bubble Will Continue to Expand Until — Bang — The System Implodes
» UK: Aspirin ‘Triples Chance of Leading Cause of Blindness’
» UK: Heathrow’s Snow Horror: Blame Flaky Politicians
» UK: Until We Learn to be as Single-Minded as the Fanatics — At Home and Abroad — We’re All Hostages
 
North Africa
» Algeria: Were French Jihadists Among Hostage-Takers?
» Prime Minister Says Fight Against Islamist Terrorism in North Africa Will Last for Decades
» Two Al Qaeda Gunmen Found Dead Inside Algeria Gas Plant Were ‘Canadians’
» War Against Al-Qaeda in Africa Could Last Decades
 
Middle East
» Audio: Rand Paul: Obama in Guns-to-Jihadists Cover-Up?
 
South Asia
» Prince Harry: I’ve Killed in Afghanistan. But Dad Wants Me to Act Like a Prince
» Private Cities & Public Morality: Are Non-State Founded Communities Wrong?
 
Far East
» Japan Warns it May Fire on Chinese Aircraft Over Disputed Islands
» Japan Should Let Elderly ‘Hurry Up and Die’: Finance Minister Taro Aso
» South Korea Makes Billion-Dollar Bet on Fusion Power
» Space Explosion to Blame for Tree Ring Mystery, Astronomers Say
 
Immigration
» UK: Mother Who Dared to Tell the Truth About Immigration on the BBC
» UK: Migrant Baby Boom Triggers Midwife Crisis: Half of Wards Being Forced to Turn Expectant Mothers Away
» UK: Thanks for Great Life on Your Easy Benefits Says Migrant Mother
 
Culture Wars
» Congressman: ‘Older White Guys the Most Insecure’ Part of Society
» Florida Atheists Plan to Distribute ‘An X-Rated Book’ To Students to Counter Bible Giveaway
» How Big Business is Stealing Our Little Girls’ Childhoods
» Russia Moves to Enact Anti-Gay Law Nationwide
 
General
» Captain Kirk’s Predecessor: Star Trek Was Rand Corporation Predictive Programming
» Physicists Disagree Over Meaning of Quantum Mechanics, Poll Shows
» Quadruple DNA Helix Discovered in Human Cells

Financial Crisis

Economist Calls for Higher Taxes on Expats

Saying immigration is too high, an influential Swiss economist is calling on the federal government to levy higher taxes on foreigners in Switzerland.

Reiner Eichenberger, head of the centre for public finance at the University of Fribourg, believes profits from the higher taxes could be distributed to the benefit of Swiss citizens.

Eichenberger made the controversial recommendations in an interview published online by Tages Anzeiger, the German-language newspaper, on Monday.

The economist said that immigration at the current level — a net increase of 80,000 people a year — “impinges on natural and policy-made boundaries”.

It added demands to transportation, energy consumption and housing prices, he said.

Eichenberger acknowledged that Swiss universities benefited from immigration.

“Our children need the best education possible, so the best professors, and these are often foreign,” he said.

But overall, he said the federal government was “whitewashing” the true impacts of immigration to play up their benefits.

He advocated abandoning bilateral agreements with the European Union and targetting immigrants to fill positions as needed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany to Bring Gold Reserves Back Home

BERLIN — Germany, the world’s second largest holder of gold reserves after the US, on Wednesday (16 January) decided to repatriate part of its gold bars stored in New York and all of those kept in Paris by 2020.

“The German Bundesbank from 2020 on will store half of the German gold reserves in its own vaults inside the country. The other half will stay with partner central banks in New York and London,” the Bundesbank said in a press release.

Currently, the Frankfurt-based central bank only holds 31 percent of the more than 3,391 tonnes of gold which Germany owns, worth €137.5 billion. The rest is stored in New York (45%), London (13%) and Paris (11%).

The Bundesbank made clear that the move from Paris is not some kind of snub, but is instead linked to the fact that both countries have the same currency, the euro, so that the main reason for storing gold abroad — quick access to a foreign currency in case of crisis — is no longer valid.

The transport of 300 tonnes of the precious metal from New York and 374 tonnes from Paris will be done “gradually,” with the Bundesbank keeping the dates of the shipments secret.

Its strategy to acquire gold abroad and store it there was developed during the Cold War, when West Germany feared possible invasion by the Russians. Before German reunification, 98 percent of its gold was in foreign vaults.

In choosing the locations abroad, the Bundesbank considers three criteria: central banks with the best international reputation, stable democratic structures in the host country and very high security standards.

Last October, when hurricane Sandy was rampaging along the US west coast, the Federal reserve was quick to say that its vault in New York, where Germany’s and other countries’ gold reserves are stored, is safe. “The bank’s security arrangements are so trusted by depositors that few have ever asked to examine their gold,” it noted.

The same month, he German court of auditors complained that many of the gold bars have never been checked by independent experts to see if they are genuine and to check how much they really weigh.

A member of the Bundesbank board, Carl-Ludwig Thiele, who presented the decision on Wednesday, told reporters the move is “independent” of the auditors’ report.

“In Germany, a lot of emotion is attached to the topic of gold reserves. To hold gold as a central bank creates confidence,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama’s New Economy: Hundreds of Thousands of Phds, Masters Graduates Now on Food Stamps, Some Work as Janitors

(NaturalNews) Once upon a time in America, employment prospects and the chance to become much more successful in life were far better for those who had put forth the extra effort required to obtain higher levels of education. But in today’s economy, where the new normal is anemic annual growth rates of one to two percent — rates that cannot lower overall unemployment but which President Obama has nonetheless tried to pass off as “moving in the right direction” — a higher level of education is no longer a guarantee of future accomplishment.

In fact, even some people who have earned PhD’s are either unemployed or pathetically under-employed, which is pretty sad for the world’s number one economic power.

“When job hunting in one’s field turns rough,” says a graphic developed by OnlineColleges.net, “college graduates may return to school for another degree. But for some Americans, multiple degrees won’t guarantee a job in their field — or even keep them above the poverty level.”

5,000 janitors with PhD’s

Because of declining job prospects, which is tied to slow job private-sector job growth and sustained high unemployment, “more and more highly educated people” have been forced onto government welfare and food-stamp rolls, the site noted.

The figures are disturbing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

USA

Bill O’Reilly Comments on a New GAO Report

Bill O’Reilly comments on a new GAO report which says the U.S. economy will collapse if federal government spending and borrowing policies are not changed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Criminal Impostor Who Usurped the Office of President Sworn in, Again

“Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States John Roberts scheduled a case by attorney Orly Taitz dealing with Barack Hussein Obama’s use of forged IDs to be heard in conference before the full Supreme Court. The case titled Noonan, Judd, MacLeran, Taitz v Bowen provides a mountain of evidence of Barack Obama using a last name not legally his, forged Selective Service application, forged long form and short form birth certificate and a Connecticut Social Security number 042-68-4425 which was never assigned to him according to E-Verify and SSNVS. Additionally, this case provides evidence of around one and a half million invalid voter registrations in the state of California alone.

“Please, keep in mind, Richard Nixon was reelected and sworn in, but later was forced to resign as a result of Watergate. over 30 high ranking officials of Nixon administration including Attorney General of the United States and White House Co-counsel were indicted, convicted and went to prison. Obama Forgerygate is a hundred times bigger then Watergate. More corrupt high ranking officials, US Attorneys, AGs and judges were complicit, committed high treason by allowing a citizen of Indonesia and possibly still a citizen of Kenya Barack Hussein Obama, aka Barack (Barry) Soebarkah, aka Barack (Barry) Soetoro to usurp the U.S. Presidency by use of forged IDs and a stolen Social security number.”

So, on February 15, 2013, three weeks after the usurper is “sworn” into office, once AGAIN justices on the U.S. Supreme Court will look at the evidence millions have already seen! Is this not incredible?

[…]

During the fake presidential election race in 2008, Barry Soetoro, solicited campaign funds via the Internet, boob tube and radio to the tune of about $700 million dollars. There have been several indepth articles about hundreds of millions being illegal foreign donors and no one, not the FEC or the gutless cowards in the Outlaw Congress has done anything about it. Barack Hussein Obama, aka Barry Soetoro, aka Barry Obama, aka Barack Dunham, aka Barry Dunham, is in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1343, wire fraud. The Criminal-in-Chief did the same thing this last fake election; $1.6 billion. Wire fraud is a federal felony. For those crimes alone, if convicted, he would serve the rest of his miserable life in a federal prison where he belongs. Let’s not forget using the U.S. Post Office to solicit campagn funds: mail fraud. Also a federal felony.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DHS Looks to Install Microphones in “Urban Areas” That Can Listen to Conversations

The Department of Homeland Security is looking to install “gunshot detector” microphones that are capable of listening to conversations throughout “urban areas” of Washington, DC.

According to a Request for Information (RFI) posted on the FedBizOpps website on January 18 (PDF), the DHS, in tandem with the Secret Service, “Is seeking information on commercially available gunshot detection technologies for fixed site surveillance applications. Typical coverage areas are expected to be from 10s to 100s of acres per site, located within urban areas. Due to the secure nature of these sites, a high gunshot detection rate (>95%) is strongly desired while daily, operational monitoring of the system by external parties is undesirable.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Era of Thought Crimes Now Here as Psychiatrists Given ‘Judge Dredd’ Authority to Strip Citizens of Their Constitutional Rights

(NaturalNews) Most Americans operate under the assumption that your thoughts are your own private business and that they cannot be used against you to forfeit your rights and freedoms. It’s only actions that matter when it comes to being judged, right? Merely thinking something doesn’t mean you’re going to act on it, right?

Enter Barack Obama and his 23 executive orders issued last week. (And don’t forget New York mafia Governor Cuomo and his new “psychiatric police” law.) Suddenly merely thinking about doing something violent or dangerous can cause all your constitutional rights to be stripped away by the state. Here’s how it works:

If you’re seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist and you say something that might be considered violent — “I can’t stand my boss and I wish he would just die!” — under Obama’s executive orders the psychiatrist must now report you to the government as a possible danger to society. This is done in complete violation of doctor-patient confidentiality, of course.

Once the government receives this information, it then conducts a raid on the home of the person in question, seizes his or her firearms, and places that person on a “no gun buy” list maintained by the FBI, completely outside of law and due process.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

GAO Report: Federal Spending is ‘Unsustainable’

A newly released GAO report finds that “…absent policy changes…the federal government continues to face an unsustainable fiscal path.” The Government Accountability Office completed its annual audit of the government and the news is just sad. It is no surprise, and it won’t be reported by the mainstream media [properly], but it is sad nonetheless.

The report gives a jab at those in the government who do not seem capable of providing accurate financial information. The report said that the federal government “must have ready access to reliable and complete financial and performance information.” This information is needed when audits are done. The “weaknesses” cited in the report are astonishing, and abundant.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

GOP Rebel Rises to Challenge Party Establishment

A Virginia Republican is working to take back the GOP from establishment insiders he says conducted a major “ power grab” at the party’ s 2012 national convention in Tampa, Fla.

Republican National Committeeman Morton Blackwell is rallying his colleagues behind a motion to cancel GOP rules put into place by the Mitt Romney camp in Tampa that some have said were a slap in the face to Ron Paul supporters, tea partiers and grassroots Republicans alike.

In Tampa, the Convention Rules Committee, influenced by Romney consultant Ben Ginsberg, shocked the convention by amending the Party playbook to include a series of sweeping, power-condensing new rules — including a measure that enables the RNC to make decisions without approval of the full convention and another ensuring that a candidate who wins a statewide caucus or primary controls the state’ s delegates. The latter move was interpreted as retaliation over states that elected Ron Paul-backing delegates instead of delegates pledged to the caucus or primary winners.

Zeke Miller of BuzzFeed Politics got national attention for reporting the change “offers the Republican Establishment a new tool to keep at bay tea-party initiatives that threaten to embarrass or contradict party leadership.”


           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gun Bill Suicide for Dems Seeking Re-Election

Clinton told a joint meeting of the Obama National Finance Committee and a group of business leaders that passing the 1994 federal assault weapons ban took out over a dozen Democrats in the 1994 midterms and sent then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley packing.

“Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them,” Clinton warned Democrat activists and financiers. “A lot of these people live in a world very different from the world lived in by the people proposing these things. I know because I come from this world.”

“A lot of these people … all they’ve got is their hunting and their fishing,” he said. “Or they’re living in a place where they don’t have much police presence. Or they’ve been listening to this stuff [advocacy for the Second Amendment] for so long that they believe it all.”

[Comment: “believe it all”? Is Clinton actually referring to the Constitution? — is he saying that people shouldn’t take it literally? Wow.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Homeland Security Hoarding Ammo, Depriving Police

Cops scramble for bullets while DHS stockpiles 1.2 billion rounds

Will the U.S. soon face a critical situation in which the federal government— primarily the Department of Homeland Security — possesses an ammunition surplus while local and state authorities face ammunition shortages and backlogs in purchasing more rounds?

Current trends could find the federal government with a strong ammunition advantage over local police and sheriff departments.

Earlier this week, a Georgia TV station reported that police officers training at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Gun Range were holding back on some live-range ammunition training due to shortage concerns.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

In Second Inaugural, Obama Says ‘We Are Made for This Moment’

After renewing his oath of office on Monday, President Obama said in his second inaugural address, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still.”

“My fellow Americans,” Mr. Obama said, “we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.”

[Return to headlines]

Kindergartner Suspended for “Bubble-Gun Terrorism”

Now obviously, anyone with any common sense would react to this story with immediate shock and disbelief. The 5 year old child merely discussed “shooting bubbles” with a bubble gun she didn’t even have with her, and she is immediately suspended? How does this compute? Have school districts gone completely insane? Actually, I believe they are quite aware and cognizant of what they are doing…

“A 5-year-old girl was suspended from school earlier this week after she made what the school called a “terrorist threat.”

Her weapon of choice? A small, Hello Kitty automatic bubble blower.

The kindergartner, who attends Mount Carmel Area Elementary School in Pennsylvania, caught administrators’ attention after suggesting she and a classmate should shoot each other with bubbles…”

[…]

This is not just a “zero tolerance policy” on the part of school officials. This is a concerted and directed effort to frighten children away from the whole of American gun culture using negative reinforcement. Like Pavlov’s Dog, which was taught to salivate at the sound of a bell, America’s youngest generation is being taught to cringe at the mention of a firearms.

[Comment: the child was talking about a plastic gun that creates soap bubbles.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Like Alfred Kinsey, Obama HHS “Grooming” Children for Sex

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

But even more troubling is a recent discovery by Dr. Reisman. She found that the Obama administration, which fully embraces the debunked Kinsey sex-education model, has begun pushing a curriculum that, in many ways, eerily mirrors the “FBI Molester Grooming Paradigm.”

In short, she found that both Obama’s HHS and many public sex-education programs are doing to children, constructively, what pedophiles do to “groom” them for sex:

According to the FBI, child molesters:

  • Demonstrate sex acts to children. Offenders commonly use pornography to teach or give instructions to naïve children about how to masturbate, perform oral sex and/or engage in sexual intercourse.
  • Lower the sexual inhibitions of children. Some children naturally fear sexual activities. Some offenders show pictures of other children engaging in sexual activities to overcome these fears, indicating to their intended victims that it is all right to have sex with an adult because lots of other boys and girls do the same thing.
  • Desensitize children to sex. Offenders commonly show child pornography to their intended victims to expose them to sexual acts before they are naturally curious about such activities.
  • Sexually arouse children. Offenders commonly use pornographic images of other children to arouse victims, particularly those in adolescence.

During her lecture, Dr. Reisman shocked the 50-plus in attendance by illustrating that today’s Kinseyan-based sex education — as promoted by Obama’s HHS — does much of what the FBI describes above.

Graphic sexual images and explicit “values neutral” talk of sex and sexuality are rampant throughout classrooms across America, effectively desensitizing children and numbing their natural inhibitions. These inhibitions help protect children from potential predators.

According to Dr. Reisman, “the brain data fully support [the] finding” that such “sex education” literally changes the neural pathways of a child’s brain. There is mounting scientific evidence to support this hypothesis.

Whatever its motive, the Obama administration is guilty of employing these grooming techniques on children.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Takes Oath Again, Flubs it (A Little)

(NEWSER) — President Obama has been publicly sworn in for his second term— though he actually took the oath yesterday. Today the oath, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, went off a little more smoothlythan it did during Obama’s first inauguration, though the AtlanticWire points out it wasn’t error-free. And the flub this time was Obama’s. While reciting the phrase “The office of the president of the United States,” he effectively choked on the last word, saying just “Sta—,” and making a little face after doing so.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Put Not Your Trust in Federalized Sheriffs

“I will not enforce an unconstitutional law against any citizen of Smith County,” insisted Sheriff Larry Smith. The sheriff wants his constituents to believe that he would refuse to participate in a federally mandated gun grab, or permit one to be carried out by federal officials within his jurisdiction.

[…]

Like most gun owners in Eastern Texas, Smith can remember where he was the morning of April 19, 1993, when the Mt. Carmel refuge went up in flames. He was on the scene as an agent of the ATF, which he had joined in 1989. Smith believes that the initial ATF raid on the Davidians was justified, and that the entire operation was at least a partial success. It’s doubtful that his assessment is shared by many gun owners in his jurisdiction.

Larry Smith is among dozens of sheriffs who have gone on record in opposition to the Obama administration’s impending firearms restrictions. All of them have promised to intervene to protect their counties from federal tyranny. And all of them are active collaborators in the same.

[…]

What this means, in principle, is that any police agency that receives a dime of federal Homeland Security money is effectively an appendage of the Department of Homeland Security.

The ranks of the refuseniks will continue to expand, and they will feed gun owners a steady diet of bold talk about their willingness to interpose on behalf of their constituents if the Feds come for their guns. Some of them may be sincerely committed to do so. But until they stop actively collaborating in existing federal abuses, why should we assume they would be willing to take the side of the public against the Feds when the Regime decides to come for our guns?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Reflections on Current Events

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice recently has been criticized for not being more forthcoming about Obama administration foreknowledge of possible Al-Qaeda attacks on our U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya. What many do not realize is that Rice has been through this before. Almost immediately after the Al-Qaeda attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7, 1998, she (as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs) told PBS’s Elizabeth Farnsworth: “We had no telephone warning or call of any sort like that, that might have alerted either embassy just prior to the blast.” While that was technically correct, Rice did not tell PBS that in the spring of 1998 Prudence Bushnell, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, “sent an emotional letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright begging for the secretary’s personal help “for more embassy security,” and “a close examination of the events in the year before the assaults…shows her concerns were more intense, more well-founded, more specific, and more forcefully expressed than has previously been known” (THE NEW YORK TIMES, January 9, 1999). Remember, Susan Rice is a Rhodes scholar. In 1891, Cecil Rhodes formed the secret Society of the Elect to “take the government of the whole world,” in Rhodes’ own words.

Regarding the current Congressional gun control initiatives, the problem with bans is that they apply to all law-abiding people. For example, we hear gun control proponents saying, “No one needs a clip of more than 10 rounds in a gun.” Oh, really? So what does a man in a high crime neighborhood do when a gang of 12 carrying illegally obtained guns breaks into his home to steal and rape his wife and daughters? Does he say, “Wait a minute fellas while I load another clip”? What Congress should look at is the effect of medication on these shooters. For example, the Newtown, CT shooter, Adam Lanza, was taking the controversial antipsychotic drug, Fanapt, which has the following side effects: hostility, aggression, delusion, mania and paranoia. Similarly, the Columbine school shooter in Colorado, Eric Harris, was on Fluxoxamime, which has side effects including extreme irritability, agitation, hostility, aggression, hallucination, and thoughts of suicide!


           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Second Amendment Advocate Rep. Markwayne Mullin Target of Death Threats

Death threats have been made against 2nd District Congressman Markwayne Mullin, his wife and children, Mullin’s chief of staff Karl Ahlgren said in a statement released Saturday.

Ahlgren said that local and federal authorities are investigating and consider the issue to be a “serious matter due to the content and nature of the threatening letters which were received.”

Precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of Mullin’s wife and three children, Ahlgren said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Texas Gun Shop Owner Calls for Groupon Boycott After Deal is Nixed

In what may prove to be a detrimental move for the deal giant, Internet coupon retailer Groupon.com has reportedly decided to snip any deals related to guns, and one Texas gun shop owner is hell-bent on calling them out on it.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Lies of Chuck Schumer: NRA is Extreme Fringe Group

Democrat gun-grabbers will do almost anything to get the American people to surrender their right to own firearms.

For instance, New York senator Chuck Schumer, during an interview with the liberaleoisie at AOL’s Huffington Post, called the NRA a “fringe group” of extremists.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

This Metamorphosis Will Require a Permit: Sandy Wrecked Our House, But Bureaucrats Are Keeping it Broken.

by Roger Kimball

Like many people whose houses were badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy, my family and I have been living in a rented house since the storm. Unlike some whose houses were totalled, we could have repaired things and been home toasting our tootsies by our own fireplace by now. What happened?

Two things: zoning (as in “Twilight Zone”) and FEMA.

Our first exposure to the town zoning authorities came a couple of weeks after Sandy. We’d met with insurance adjusters, contractors and “remediation experts.” We’d had about a foot of Long Island Sound sloshing around the ground floor of our house in Connecticut, and everyone had the same advice: Rip up the floors and subfloors, and tear out anything—wiring, plumbing, insulation, drywall, kitchen cabinets, bookcases—touched by salt water. All of it had to go, and pronto, too, lest mold set in.

Yet it wasn’t until the workmen we hired had ripped apart most of the first floor that the phrase “building permit” first wafted past us. Turns out we needed one. “What, to repair our own house we need a building permit?”

Of course.

Before you could get a building permit, however, you had to be approved by the Zoning Authority. And Zoning—citing FEMA regulations—would force you to bring the house “up to code,” which in many cases meant elevating the house by several feet. Now, elevating your house is very expensive and time consuming—not because of the actual raising, which takes just a day or two, but because of the required permits.

Kafka would have liked the zoning folks…

           — Hat tip: DS [Return to headlines]

Toward a Conservative Foreign Policy

by Diana West

Below is the text of a speech I presented to the Maryland Conservative Action Network, January 12, 2013, in Annapolis. It was published yesterday at The American Thinker.

What might a “conservative” foreign policy look like?

In the post-9/11 era, it’s fair to say we have mainly followed a “neoconservative” foreign policy. This policy has been based on the rock-solid belief that there exist universal values that all peoples everywhere share and indeed yearn for if they don’t already enjoy them. Our neoconservative foreign policy, then — our war-fighting policy, too — has been a matter of spreading such universal values.

This has been a disaster. Think of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan — policies predicated on this denial of the existence of cultural difference. Certainly in this decade since 9/11 we should have learned that cultures, the West and Islam, namely, are different and that such universalism is a fantasy. The West enshrines the liberty of the individual, while Islam, like other totalitarian systems, enforces a collective will. Still, to this day, we don’t permit this simple reality to be discussed let alone reflected in any meaningful policy way.

The main dissent to neoconservative foreign policy on the Right comes from the libertarian point of view, most popularly expressed by Ron Paul — and not too dissimilarly expressed by President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, Sen. Chuck Hagel. This is the policy of “Come Home, America.”

I, too, subscribe to coming home, America, but with a difference. What I hear from our libertarian friends is that the way to fill the resulting vacuum is with a foreign policy that seeks negotiation and accommodation with Islam. Such a policy, exactly like that of the neconservatives, fails to take into account Islamic realities that make such negotiations worse than fruitless, and such accommodations quite dangerous to our liberty.

So, what should a conservative foreign policy that is neither neoconservative nor libertarian look like?…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

TSA Toys With the Serfs

Media in all its guises — mainstream, alternative, print and broadcast — has been agog the last few days over the TSA’s retiring some of its porno-scanners from airports. Indeed, you might assume from all the hype that the TSA itself is disappearing; hard to believe the press can spare that much space and energy from its war on the Second Amendment and its ecstasy over the inauguration.

In reality, the TSA is merely dislodging one type of gizmo that peers through your clothing while leaving another that does so in place. (And even then, it threatens to “reintroduce” its vacationing Peeping Toms someday.)

[…]

Well, only if you trust the TSA. Millimeter-wave scanners also photograph travelers naked; software transforms those pictures into gingerbread men. But software can fail, whether from a glitch or sabotage — if it’s installed at all. And despite the TSA and the media’s claims, millimeter-waves are as inimical to our flesh, if not more so, than X-rays; the technology is new enough that no one understands its precise effects on us, but evidence indicates it “unzips” DNA.[url]


           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US the Real Roots of School Violence

In the brave new world of the very near future, children will enter their public schools passing police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners and warrantless physical searches. Parents will relax, knowing their child is now “SAFE.” No violent evil doers will be able to get past that wall of security.

But what none of the checkpoints, scanners and cameras will detect is the child who walks right past, armed to the teeth with a hidden weapon actually enforced on him by the school itself. The weapon comes in many names and varieties: Ritlin, Luvox, Prozac, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Paxil, and more. Each weapon lovingly loaded into their child by concerned parents before they send them off to their “safe” school. And while the child’s backpack and pockets are checked by the armed force on the way in, the pharmaceutical poison is building up in his blood system, racing to the brain like a lit dynamite fuse.

As communities reel from one massive act of student violence after another, most recently in Newtown, Connecticut, the nation looks for answers. How many are looking at the schools themselves as the conduit through which millions of students are drugged with mind-altering drugs?

[…]

To date, there has never been issued a single peer- reviewed scientific paper officially claiming to prove ADD/ ADHD exists. Nor has there ever been a single bit of physical evidence to confirm the disease exists. So-called experts on the subject have refused to answer the simple question, “is ADD/ ADHD a real disease?” Medical researchers charge that ADHD does not meet the medical definition of a disease or syndrome or anything organic or biologic.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Rapper Has Set Cut Short at Inaugural Event Following Anti-Obama Rant

Here’s what happens in America under Obama when a musician exercises their First Amendment rights; they get surrounded by men in black suits and kicked off the stage.

Grammy-nominated rapper Lupe Fiasco was performing at a pre-inauguration concert Sunday night in Washington DC, when his set was cut mid-way through following the use of negative lyrics directed toward the president.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Obama’s Target is Not Just Republicans, But the Constitution Itself

President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address has been described as one of the most partisan ever given, heralding a sweeping left-wing agenda and demonizing his opponents. But President Obama’s target is not simply the Republican Party: it is the Constitution itself, and the values of liberty that it enshrines.

In the address itself, President Obama made the case that liberty is not timeless; that it must adjust to the times, and that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action”—not to defend those freedoms from infringement, but to give them “meaning” through government regulation and redistribution.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Michelle Obama is Not Impressed: First Lady Rolls Her Eyes Twice at Political Foe John Boehner as He Speaks to Her Husband During the Inaugural Luncheon.

Michelle Obama was clearly not impressed by House Speaker John Boehner at the inaugural luncheon on Monday, as a camera caught her twice rolling her eyes at the congressman as he tried to engage her in conversation.

Mr Boehner, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, was seated to Mrs Obama’s left and President Obama was on her right as they dined.

Boehner made a remark to the First Couple and tapped Mrs Obama’s arm, as if to engage her, but she refused to make eye contact with him, according to a video recording of the exchange that unfortunately did not capture the audio of the conversation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

70 Years on, Nazi Soldier Sues UK Over ‘Torture Jail’ Where Hundreds of German Prisoners Were Held Suspected of Being Communist Spies

A former Nazi soldier is to demand compensation at the High Court claiming he was tortured by British interrogators using ‘Gestapo methods’ after the Second World War.

Gerhard Menzel, 89, was arrested in Hamburg in June 1946 by British intelligence officials who suspected he was a Communist spy.

He was taken to the British-run Bad Nenndorf prison near Hanover where he claims to have been tortured with thumb and shin screws seized from a Gestapo cellar.

Mr Menzel says he was also punched in the face, had his hands chained behind his back for up to 16 days at a time and was drenched in iced water every half an hour, according to magazine Focus.

He said he is taking legal action now, almost 70 years after the event, because he is the jail’s last surviving prisoner.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Chief Rabbis Ask Van Rompuy for Help

Israel’s chief rabbis, Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar, have written to EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy asking for help with a “growing wave of anti-Semitism” in Europe, the Jerusalem Post reports. The plea comes after a Jewish man was beaten unconscious in central Venice.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: ‘Our Goal is the Total Reconquest of Mali’

While blowback from Libya is felt in Mali, and from Mali in Algeria, recent comments from British and French leaders lay bare western powers’ perception of conflict in Islamic lands through the lense of the war on terror that sees “terrorists” that must be stopped through military force with little thought given to the price that will be paid for the involvement.

As France continues to drop bombs on its former colony of Mali, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian left no doubt of his country’s goal there.

“The goal is the total reconquest of Mali. We will not leave any pockets” of resistance, Le Drian said Sunday on France 5 television.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Sovereign Debt Bubble Will Continue to Expand Until — Bang — The System Implodes

Why are so many politicians around the world declaring that the debt crisis is “over” when debt to GDP ratios all over the planet continue to skyrocket? The global economy has never seen anything like the sovereign debt bubble that we are experiencing today. The United States, Japan, and nearly every major nation in Europe are absolutely drowning in debt. We have heard a lot about “austerity” over in Europe in recent years, but debt to GDP ratios continue to rise in Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal. In general, most economists consider a debt to GDP ratio of 100% to be a “danger level”, and most of the economies of the western world have either already surpassed that level or are rapidly approaching it. Of course the biggest debt offender of all in many ways is the United States. The U.S. debt to GDP ratio has risen from 66.6 percent to 103 percent since 2007, and the U.S. government accumulated more new debt during Barack Obama’s first term than it did under the first 42 U.S. presidents combined. This insane sovereign debt bubble will continue to expand until a day of reckoning arrives and the system implodes. Nobody knows exactly when that moment will be reached, but without a doubt it is coming.

But if you listen to the mainstream media in the United States, you would be tempted to think that this giant bubble of debt is not much of a concern at all. For example:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Aspirin ‘Triples Chance of Leading Cause of Blindness’

Regular use of aspirin can almost triple the chance of developing a condition that causes more older people in Britain to lose their sight than any other, researchers are warning.

Scientists have found those who take aspirin on a regular basis are much more likely to develop ‘wet’ age-related macular degeneration (‘wet AMD’) than those who do not.

The disease, in which one’s central vision becomes progressively more blurred, affects a quarter of a million mainly elderly people in Britain.

Now scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that aspirin — taken by millions to ward off heart attacks, strokes and cancer — appears to greatly increase the chance of developing wet AMD, which is irreversible.


           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Heathrow’s Snow Horror: Blame Flaky Politicians

Everyone in Britain talks constantly about the weather, observed an American visitor, who added: ‘But no one does anything about it.’ Good joke, but no one’s laughing.

How can a smattering of snow cause the cancellation of hundreds of flights and the temporary homelessness of thousands when, in countries with winters more harsh than our own, aviation continues without difficulty?

No one can explain it. Each year, we greet snow as if it was falling for the first time. Good lord, what is that cold, wet, slippery white stuff?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Until We Learn to be as Single-Minded as the Fanatics — At Home and Abroad — We’re All Hostages

The immediate response to the Sahara atrocity must be revulsion, and deep sorrow for the families of those British and other hostages who were murdered in cold blood or killed in the rescue attempt.

Condemnation of the Algerian authorities for the loss of those hostages’ lives, in what has been termed a ‘bungled’ operation against the Islamist terrorists who stormed the Algerian gas complex, is nevertheless inappropriate.

The Prime Minister yesterday struck a more supportive note than his earlier reported fury that the Algerians had gone in with all guns blazing without even informing the UK government.

A measure of common sense thus seems belatedly to have broken through the panic in Whitehall.

For it is not just that the Algerians’ response in that hideously complex situation cannot be judged without understanding precisely what they thought the hostage-takers were about to do. It is also that the ruthless Algerian approach acknowledges a reality on the ground that the West seems incapable of grasping.

The Algerians refuse to negotiate because they know that the Islamists’ position is simply non-negotiable.

Unlike other hostage-takers, they usually have no interest in getting out alive; they intend to die as ‘martyrs’, and of course have no compunction about killing their captives. Moreover, the purpose of taking hostages is either to kill ‘infidels’, or to extract ransom money for them — which will merely finance more kidnappings and terrorist atrocities.

Such terrorists thus regard with contempt all negotiation as a sign of weakness. And in the world of Islamic fundamentalism, weakness is an incentive to further violence.


           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algeria: Were French Jihadists Among Hostage-Takers?

Suspicions increased on Monday that ‘at least one’ of the terrorists behind the deadly hostage crisis at a gas plant in Algeria was a French national.

Although France’s Interior Minister Manual Valls has not confirmed any of his countrymen were among the kidnappers, sources in the country’s intelligence services have indicated to media in France that there were French jihadists involved.

The four day hostage siege, which left 81 dead including at least 48 hostages, was finally brought to an end on Sunday after an operation by Algerian armed forces.

The jihadist group, run by a former leader of the regional Al-Qaeda franchise Mokhtar Belmokhtar, attacked the In Amenas gas plant as revenge for France’s decision to interene against Islamist rebels in Mali.

There have been unconfirmed rumours in France for several days that the jihadist group contained French nationals.

And after apparently being handed information from their Algerian counterparts, sources among France’s intelligence services and anti-terrorism units confirmed those reports to French daily Le Parisien on Monday.

“The name that they have given us did not appear on any of our files or in any database,” a source in France’s anti-terrorism unit (DCRI) was quoted as saying in the paper.

“He must have been in Algeria for a long time otherwise he would have been picked up,” a well-placed judicial source added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Prime Minister Says Fight Against Islamist Terrorism in North Africa Will Last for Decades

Britain and the West face a decades-long battle against Islamist terrorism in North Africa, a grim-faced David Cameron warned today.

The Prime Minister said the attack was a ‘stark reminder’ of the threat from the region, which he likened to that from Afghanistan and Pakistan — and vowed to use Britain’s chairmanship of the G8 group of leading nations to shape the international response.

Government sources played down the prospect of British ‘boots on the ground’ in support of a French-led intervention against terrorists in Mali but said a new approach was needed to address Africa’s ‘huge, lawless, ungoverned spaces’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Two Al Qaeda Gunmen Found Dead Inside Algeria Gas Plant Were ‘Canadians’

Two dead Islamist militants found inside the Algerian gas plant were Canadians, an Algerian security source said today.

Algerian special forces discovered the bodies at the In Amenas facility, where the combined death toll of hostages and insurgents rose to 89 today.

The source said documents found on them had identified the two militants as Canadians as forces scoured the plant following Saturday’s bloody end to the crisis.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

War Against Al-Qaeda in Africa Could Last Decades

Britain faces a battle against Islamic extremism in North Africa and the Sahara that could last for decades, David Cameron warned on Sunday.

The Prime Minister said that countering the rise of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in the Sahel region will require an “iron resolve” and greater military, diplomatic and economic engagement with the region.

He spoke as it was confirmed that six British citizens had died after extremists took scores of hostages at a gas plant in eastern Algeria.

France on Sunday night called the hostage-taking “an act of war”. Some of the dead were “executed” by their captors as Algerian forces stormed the In Amenas complex, William Hague confirmed.

One witness described how a Briton was forced to call out to colleagues to lure them out of hiding, then shot dead.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Middle East

Audio: Rand Paul: Obama in Guns-to-Jihadists Cover-Up?

‘A kind of international Fast and Furious in Benghazi’

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., raised questions during a radio interview today about whether the Obama administration was smuggling guns to jihadist rebels in a possible “international Fast and Furious” that the White House has tried to cover up.

Speaking on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio, Paul said the guns scheme could help explain the reason for the coordinated attacks against the U.S. special mission and CIA annex in Benghazi last September.

Stated Paul: “There is also some concern about whether or not Libyan arms are being ferried through Turkey into Syrian rebels and whether or not that had something to do with the cover-up that came out of the administration when the administration was saying that, ‘Oh, this attack in Benghazi had something to do with a film.’

“Maybe that was to cover up that there was some kind of gun smuggling going on over there, some kind of international fast and furious was going on in Libya and that this was a cover-up,” Paul continued. “These are some of the questions that we are going to have for Hillary Clinton when she comes before our committee.

“I am very concerned about the president giving arms to Syrian rebels,” Paul told Klein.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Prince Harry: I’ve Killed in Afghanistan. But Dad Wants Me to Act Like a Prince

At end of four-month tour, Captain Wales describes his time at Camp Bastion and frustration with sections of the media

Prince Harry has flown out of Afghanistan at the end of a four-month tour, during which he admitted killing insurgents while piloting his Apache helicopter and spoke in rare depth about the tensions and frustrations of being a royal (video) who craved life out of the spotlight.

He also revealed his disdain and distrust of some sections of the media and described how his father constantly reminded him to behave more like a member of the royal family.

A commander of the army’s most sophisticated attack helicopter, the prince said he had fired on the Taliban during operations to support ground troops and rescue injured Afghan and Nato personnel. His remarks may be seized upon by insurgents to stir anti-British sentiment, but the prince said he was only doing his job. Most of the time the helicopter acted more as a deterrent, he said.

“If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game, I suppose,” he said. “Take a life to save a life … the squadron’s been out here. Everyone’s fired a certain amount.”

In a series of interviews during his time based at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, he hinted at the difficulty of reconciling the different roles in his life. The prince, known as Captain Wales in the army, explained his “three mes”. “One in the army, one socially in my own private time, and then one with the family and stuff like that. So there is a switch and I flick it when necessary.”

He admitted he sometimes “let himself down” with his laddish behaviour, which he put down to “probably being too much army, and not enough prince”, but he said he was entitled to privacy, too.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Private Cities & Public Morality: Are Non-State Founded Communities Wrong?

In Honduras, a novel undertaking has been constructed—private cities whose purpose is to maximize safety and happiness (Also referred to as “Free Cities”, “Charter Cities”, “Model Cities”, or in Spanish, “RED—Regiones Especiales de Desarollo”, and “Ciudades Modelo”.). This idea is a capitalist’s dream, but a liberal’s nightmare. And in a most fascinating manner, the idea of a privately owned commons has brought to the surface the multifarious contradictions of the modern age—with our continual demand for “liberty” while the deified state grows into a malignant colossus.

While the charter for building three private cities in Honduras has been ruled unconstitutional, the idea is not yet dead as the full 18-member Honduran Supreme Court must still rule on President Lorbo’s agreement. But even if the idea does die in Honduras, private cities—like those modeled in early colonial America, Singapore and India’s old British empire, are still an option for virtuous, libertarian minded souls. In fact, Paul Johnson, in the Foreward to The Voluntary City, gives a rich history of the development of government growth slowly taking over self-governance in the West.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Far East

Japan Warns it May Fire on Chinese Aircraft Over Disputed Islands

China Retorts: “There Will Be No Second Shot”

A week ago we reported that following what China said was a response to counter “Japanese military aircraft disrupting the routine patrols of Chinese administrative aircraft” over the East China Sea, the world’s most populous country (and one which has the largest, 2.25 million strong, standing army) scrambled several jets and put its military on high alert. Now, it is the turn of Japan, and its brand new militant and nationalistic government, to “retaliate” and escalate tensions by one more notch, in the process crashing any hope that Chinese imports of Japanese goods may resume, and obviating the ongoing temporary plunge in the yen (which while doing nothing to boost exports to this 20% trading partner, has made imports so expensive, inflation in the past two months has already soared well above the 2% target for various key goods as previously reported).

Moments ago, Japan says it may fire warning shots and take other measures to keep foreign aircraft from violating its airspace in the latest verbal blast between Tokyo and Beijing that raises concerns that a dispute over hotly contested islands could spin out of control.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Japan Should Let Elderly ‘Hurry Up and Die’: Finance Minister Taro Aso

Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso said the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die” instead of costing the government money for end-of-life medical care.

Aso, who also doubles as deputy prime minister, reportedly said during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms: “Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. You cannot sleep well when you think it’s all paid by the government.

“This won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

South Korea Makes Billion-Dollar Bet on Fusion Power

Reactor to be built in 2030s represents a step towards commercial use.

South Korea has embarked on the development of a preliminary concept design for a fusion power demonstration reactor in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in New Jersey.

The project is provisionally named K-DEMO (Korean Demonstration Fusion Power Plant), and its goal is to develop the design for a facility that could be completed in the 2030s in Daejeon, under the leadership of the country’s National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI).

South Korea is already developing the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (K-STAR) project and contributing to ITER, the €15-billion (US$20-billion) experimental reactor being built in Cadarache, France, under the auspices of an international collaboration. K-DEMO is intended to be the next step toward commercial reactors and would be the first plant to actually contribute power to an electric grid.

“It is a very smart strategy to take advantage of the experience gained in constructing ITER and to immediately proceed to construct a fusion power plant like K-DEMO,” says Stephen Dean, president of Fusion Power Associates, an advocacy group in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

K-DEMO will serve as prototype for the development of commercial fusion reactors. According to the PPPL, it will generate “some 1 billion watts of power for several weeks on end”, a much greater output than ITER’s goal of producing 500 million watts for 500 seconds by the late 2020s.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Space Explosion to Blame for Tree Ring Mystery, Astronomers Say

More than 1,200 years ago, some mysterious event was recorded in tree rings in a Japanese cedar forest.

While one study suggested a solar flare was to blame, a new group of researchers are pointing toward a gamma-ray burst, a powerful space explosion.

The ancient cedar trees record a rare event around 774 or 775 A.D. This shows up in a sharp rise in the amount of radioactive carbon-14 and beryllium-10 recorded in the trees’ rings, which can be created by incoming particles from space.

But what caused an influx of radiation?

According to astronomers Valeri Hambaryan and Ralph Neuhauser of the Astrophysics Institute of the University of Jena in Germany, the most likely culprit was a gamma-ray burst.

These bursts can be caused when two compact objects, such black holes or neutron stars, slam into each other and release a flood of high-energy gamma-ray radiation.

Such an interpretation, the scientists argue, fits the tree ring mystery, because a gamma-ray burst would be powerful enough to cause the uptick in carbon-14 and beryllium-10. It also fits with the fact that no rare celestial event was observed that year on Earth, at least according to records available now.

The researchers calculated that a gamma-ray burst at a distance of 3,000 and 12,000 light-years from Earth best fits the data.

“If the gamma-ray burst had been much closer to the Earth it would have caused significant harm to the biosphere,” Neuhauser said in a statement. “But even thousands of light-years away, a similar event today could cause havoc with the sensitive electronic systems that advanced societies have come to depend on.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Immigration

UK: Mother Who Dared to Tell the Truth About Immigration on the BBC

Granddaughter of a Polish airman explains why she HAD to speak up and reveal how her High Street has become a ‘foreign country’.

At first, 35-year-old Mrs Bull listened quietly to the panellists discussing issues such as the future of the High Street and the scandal of supermarket burgers contaminated with horse meat.

But when the topic shifted to immigration in her family’s home town, Boston in Lincolnshire, she found she could remain silent no longer.

After hearing Cambridge University professor Mary Beard airily dismissing claims that migrant workers were overwhelming the market town, office manager Mrs Bull almost leapt from her seat, waving her hand frantically in the air until she caught the attention of presenter David Dimbleby.

‘Boston is at breaking point. All the locals can’t cope any more,’ she said, her voice trembling with emotion and outrage. ‘You go down to Boston High Street and it’s just like you’re in a foreign country. It’s got to stop. The services are at breaking point.’

When she finally finished speaking, there was a moment’s silence and then rapturous applause.

In less than a minute, this ordinary working mother had given a snapshot picture of a town at the end of its tether and voiced the fears of huge swathes of the population.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Migrant Baby Boom Triggers Midwife Crisis: Half of Wards Being Forced to Turn Expectant Mothers Away

Women in labour are being turned away from maternity units as midwives are overwhelmed by record numbers of births.

With immigrants helping push birth rates in England to their highest level for 40 years, more than half of maternity wards admit shutting their doors an average of seven times a year when the strain on midwives becomes too great.

Expectant women who then turn up are sent away to other hospitals.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Thanks for Great Life on Your Easy Benefits Says Migrant Mother

OUTRAGE over Britain’s ­benefits free-for-all system erupted yesterday after a ­European migrant branded our system “strange” for letting her claim £14,500 a year in ­handouts.

Natalija Belova, 33, has milked £50,000 of taxpayers’ cash from a blizzard of benefits which are available to most ­foreigners who are entitled to stay in the country.

The Lithuanian said she was only taking what was on offer to her under Britain’s soft-touch benefits system which means it is not worth her working full-time.

She uses some of the money to spend on Spanish holidays and designer clothes.

She said: “It’s a strange s­ystem in this country. ­Basically, the fewer hours I work, the more I can earn on benefits. But that’s the way it is and it’s not my fault.

“I simply take what is given to me. British benefits give me and my daughter a good life. It’s important to have nice things and good holidays.”

The graduate, who became a single mum after she arrived here, rakes in more than £1,000 a month in handouts — £14,508 a year.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Congressman: ‘Older White Guys the Most Insecure’ Part of Society

Virginia Representative Jim Moran has taken PC, pop psychology to its logical extremes by claiming that “older white guys” are the “most insecure” part of American society . And where else but on MSNBC?

Moran, one of the nation’s most extreme, left-wing Congressmen, appeared on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show on January 16 and went into an aspect of the next election cycle that seemed to trouble him. It was during this discussion that he found what is wrong with our nation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Florida Atheists Plan to Distribute ‘An X-Rated Book’ To Students to Counter Bible Giveaway

Atheists in the Sunshine State say that they plan to distribute literature about the Bible being “an x-rated book” and other humanist publications at local public schools within its district to counter a Bible giveaway organized by a Christian group earlier this week.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How Big Business is Stealing Our Little Girls’ Childhoods

Dolls in micro-skirts, make-up for girls aged four… psychologist Steve Biddulph on the corruption of a generation. (part 2 of a series of articles.)

Fifteen years ago, psychologist Steve Biddulph wrote a landmark book on the difficulties of raising boys. Back then, he believed girls weren’t a problem. In this major Mail series, he argues everything’s changed — and our daughters are facing an unprecedented crisis. On Saturday, he described how girls are becoming sexualised at a younger and younger age. Today, he examines why girls are increasingly insecure — and how big business preys on them for profit…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia Moves to Enact Anti-Gay Law Nationwide

Kissing his boyfriend during a protest in front of Russia’s parliament earned Pavel Samburov 30 hours of detention and the equivalent of a $16 fine on a charge of “hooliganism.” But if a bill that comes up for a first vote later this month becomes law, such a public kiss could be defined as illegal “homosexual propaganda” and bring a fine of up to $16,000.

The legislation being pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church would make it illegal nationwide to provide minors with information that is defined as “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism.” It includes a ban on holding public events that promote gay rights. St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities already have similar laws on their books.

The bill is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and church see as corrupting Russian youth and by extension contributing to a wave of protest against President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

General

Captain Kirk’s Predecessor: Star Trek Was Rand Corporation Predictive Programming

In a rare and recently unearthed interview from 1965, the actor who preceded William Shatner as first captain of the Enterprise, stated that the series was based on the RAND Corporation’s “projection of things to come”.

Actor Jeffrey Hunter, who played captain Christopher Pike in the Star Trek pilot “The Cage” told a Hollywood columnist in January of ‘65 that he hoped the pilot-episode would be picked up as a series because he was intrigued by the fact that the series was based on the RAND corporation’s “projection of things to come.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Physicists Disagree Over Meaning of Quantum Mechanics, Poll Shows

“Anyone who claims to understand quantum theory is either lying or crazy,” physicist Richard Feynman once said, according to legend.

That situation hasn’t changed much in the roughly 90 years since quantum mechanics was first introduced, as evidenced by a new poll, detailed online this month, showing that physicists are still divided over the theory’s meaning.

The 16-question poll was given to 33 physicists, philosophers and mathematicians at a conference on “Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality” in Austria in July 2011. The poll probed the experts’ thoughts on fundamental tenets of the theory, such as the randomness of nature and the impact of outside measurements on quantum systems.

Though the pollsters admit the sample size is small and the test not completely scientific, they found a striking divide among the experts on some of the most basic principles of quantum mechanics.

“Nearly 90 years after the theory’s development, there is still no consensus in the scientific community regarding the interpretation of the theory’s foundational building blocks,” the authors of the poll, led by physicist Maximilian Schlosshauer of the University of Portland, wrote in a paper describing the results posted on Jan. 6 on the preprint site arXiv.org. “Our poll is an urgent reminder of this peculiar situation.”

For example, experts were nearly split over the question: “Do you believe that physical objects have their properties well defined prior to and independent of measurement?”

While slightly more answered “yes, in some cases” (52 percent), just under half responded “no” (48 percent). (Respondents were allowed to check multiple answers and write in responses; 3 percent said “yes, in all cases,” while 9 percent were “undecided.”)

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Quadruple DNA Helix Discovered in Human Cells

Sixty years after James Watson and Francis Crick established that DNA forms a double helix, a quadruple-stranded DNA helix has turned up.

Quadruple helices that intertwine four, rather than two, DNA strands had been made in the laboratory, but were regarded as curiosities as there was no evidence that they existed in nature. Now, they have been identified in a range of human cancer cells.

The four-stranded packages of DNA, dubbed G-quadruplexes, are formed by the interaction of four guanine bases that together form a square. They appear to be transitory structures, and were most abundant when cells were poised to divide. They appeared in the core of chromosomes and also in telomeres, the caps on the tips of chromosomes that protect them from damage.

Because cancer cells divide so rapidly, and often have defects in their telomeres, the quadruple helix might be a feature unique to cancer cells. If so, any treatments that target them will not harm healthy cells.

“I hope our discovery challenges the dogma that we really understand DNA structure because Watson and Crick solved it in 1953,” says Shankar Balasubramanian of the University of Cambridge, UK.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

10 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/21/2013

  1. Quote:
    “The goal is the total reconquest of Mali. We will not leave any pockets” of resistance, Le Drian said Sunday on France 5 television.
    end

    I approve highly. We must do a Richelieu and “humble the pride” of the people who are great only in their own estimation.
    Where is the good Cardinal’s influence when we need him so much?

  2. Back in the saddle again. Whoo hoo. I was truly concerned this past couple days, but wasn’t totally unexpected that Google would succumb to the political pressure.

    WordPress is a much better venue than Blogger anyway.

  3. Very heartening to read the comments section discussing Ms. Bull’s description of her hometown on the BBC. There may be hope for the UK after all…..

  4. Hi Baron and Dympna

    Congrats with new host – I have been waiting for Blogger to chicken out for years now. About time you moved out ;)
    One question – what about letting us comment via Disqus? It is a superior comment solution in my mind. I think that it could improve the dialogue at GoV a lot…

    Best regards A

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