Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/25/2013

Five people have been killed in Egypt during clashes between protesters and police. In Ismailiya, angry mobs stormed and burned the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood and the apartment housing the movement’s Freedom and Justice Party offices. Violence also broke out in Damietta, Suez, and Cairo.

In other news, striking Greek subway workers may be thrown in jail under a new court order issued by the government. Unemployment has risen in Morocco, especially among young people. The S&P stock index, however, rose to its highest level since the economic crisis began.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, Seneca III, Takuan Seiyo, The Observer, Vlad Tepes, 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
» Europe’s Dream Becomes Its Nightmare
» Greek Subway Workers on Strike Risk Jail Time After Government Signs Court Order
» Italy: Monti Vows to Clear Up MPS Case
» Morocco: Unemployment on the Rise, Especially Among Youths
» S. &. P. 500 Closes Above 1,500
» The Fed’s Plan B: “We’re Going to Kill the Dollar”
 
USA
» A “Conspiracy Theory” Based at the New York Times
» America’s Ship of State IV: US Constitution vs the US Patriot Act
» CCHR Exposes Psychiatry’s Military Spending to Create Drugged-Out Super-Soldiers
» CDC Admits to Flu Vaccine’s Ineffectiveness as Huge Influx of Flu Victims Fills Hospitals Across the Country
» Chucky’s in Love… With Al Jazeera
» Congressman: “Obama Only Upholds the Soviet Constitution”
» Cosmo: ‘Cool’ Women Go to Strip Clubs
» Diana West: Joe McCarthy Was Right All Along
» Dianne Feinstein Declares War on Bill of Rights, Calls for American Citizens to be Disarmed or Registered
» Emails Show FBI Investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for Sleeping With Underage Dominican Prostitutes
» Everyone Who Voted for Obama Voted for More Free Stuff
» Ex-C.I.A. Officer Given 30-Month Sentence for Leaking Classified Information
» Gun Owners Refuse to Register Under New York Law
» Las Vegas Woman Reportedly Sues Match.Com for $10m, Claims Site Doesn’t Properly Scan Applicants
» Michael Bloomberg’s Twilight Zone
» Missouri Lawmakers: Parents Will Have to Notify School of Gun Ownership in 30 Days or Face Fine
» Mothers Taking Antidepressants 2x More Likely to Have Autistic Child, Study Says
» Mumbai 26/11 Plotter David Headley Sentenced to 35 Years
» No Need for Guns in America
» Obama Removing All Military Leaders From Command if They Will Not Fire on U.S. Citizens
» Rahm Emanuel Demands Banks Not Do Business With Firearms Manufacturers
» Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards (Part 1)
» Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Unconstitutional Executive Orders in Arizona County
» The America We Knew
» The Left Hates Liberty, The Right Protects it
» Unlocking Cellphones Becomes Illegal Saturday
» US Army’s Newest Enemies: Conservatives
» US Communists Cheer on Obama’s Gun Grab
 
Europe and the EU
» British Police Arrest 5 People Linked to Video of ‘Vigilante’ Muslims Patrolling East London
» Bulgaria: Gotse Delchev to Stage Protest Against Mosque Construction
» EU Ultimatum on Energy Performance of Buildings in 4 States
» Free Movement of Ambulances in the EU Hindered by France
» Gastronomy: DOP Mozzarella Poised to Conquer France
» Germany: Munich Security Conference to Focus on Global Hotspots
» Italy’s Bersani Says Won’t Drop Leftwingers for Monti
» Italy: Bersani Will Need Monti to Carry Senate, Study Finds
» Population Control Advocacy Group: Humans Equal Locusts
» UK: Clare Foges: Antiseptic Oratory
» UK: Guns and Drugs Smuggling Soldiers Jailed
» UK: Human Rights? He Isn’t Even Human: Family’s Outrage as Notorious Killer Bidding for Freedom is Granted Anonymity by Judge
» UK: Is Nowhere Sacred? CCTV Shows Thief Stealing Worshipper’s Handbag From Church Pew on Christmas Day
» UK: Mother’s Horror After Discovering Dummy Taped to Her Four-Month-Old Baby Boy’s Mouth at Scandal-Hit NHS Trust
» UK: Paedophile, 25, Had Sex With Girl, 12, As He Hid in Her Bedroom for Two Days While Her Unknowing Parents Sat Downstairs
» UK: Plans for Temporary Mosque in Leyton High Road Approved
» UK: Police in ‘Muslim Vigilantes’ Victim Appeal
» UK: Schoolboy, 11, Raped Six-Year-Old Girl After Walking With Her to Pond to Look at Fish
 
North Africa
» Algeria Hostage Drama Likely an Inside Job: Norway
» As Muslim Terrorists Threaten Attacks in Benghazi, Westerners Flee
» Egypt: Security Forces Continue to Get Away With Murder Two Years on From Start of Uprising
» Five Dead in Egypt Clashes
» Libya: France Also Calls on Nationals to Leave Benghazi
» Libya: Britons and Other Westerners Told to Leave Benghazi After ‘Imminent’ Terror Threat
» Nahlah Ayed: Rethinking Egypt’s Revolution
» Running Down the Clock on Benghazi
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» John Kerry Warns of Disaster in Failed Middle East Peace Efforts
 
Middle East
» Iran Unveils Machine for Amputating Thieves’ Fingers
» Iraq: 2 Killed, 10 Wounded During Clashes With Iraqi Army in Fullujah
» Was Israel Behind the Rumored Fordow Nuclear Enrichment Explosion in Iran?
 
Caucasus
» 2 Islamic Caucasus Emirate Leaders Reported Killed in Chechnya
 
South Asia
» Afghanistan: ‘Five Killed’ In Car Bomb Attack in Kapisa
» Indian Women Given Kitchen Knives and Chilli Powder to Protect Against Rape
» Malaysia: Cops Told to Stop Bible Burning
» Sri Lanka to Ban Maids Going to Saudi Arabia
 
Far East
» China “Sinks” US Aircraft Carrier During War Game
 
Australia — Pacific
» Katter’s Candidates Now Targeting Muslims
» New Zealand: Muslims Tackle ‘Stigma of Violence’
» Queensland Biochemist-Turned-Winemaker Claims to Have Created a Wine That is Beneficial to Drinkers’ Health
» Trillions of Dollars Worth of Oil Found in Australian Outback
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Mali: Analyst: Qatar is Funding Islamists
» Nigeria: Maulud: Ahmed Urges Muslims to Emmulate Muhammad’s Virtues
» Nigeria: Traffic Holdup as Muslims Celebrate Maulud in Kaduna
» South Africa: Headgear-Wearing Muslims Return to Class
 
Immigration
» 17,000 People to Become Citizens on Australia Day 2013
» Roger Scruton: Border Control Must be at the Heart of Any EU Renegotiations
 
Culture Wars
» A Call for Tolerance Between London’s Muslim and LGBT communities
» Australia: Insult: Offence and the Draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill
» Brave New World: Oxford Professor Says Genetically Altering Unborn Babies’ Personalities a Moral Obligation
» Dumber Than You Think You Are
» East London Mosque Condemns Homophobia, Yet Advertised Four Anti-Gay Speakers Last Month Alone
» New York Governor Pushing Bill for 3rd-Term Abortions
» Panetta: ‘Everyone Entitled to a Chance’ To be Combat Soldier in ‘Gender Neutral’ Military
» Pope Tweets in Solidarity With US Pro-Lifers
» Rotten to the Core (Part 2): Readin’: Writin’ and Deconstructionism
» Tell the Truth and Shame the Southern Poverty Law Center
» The Blood-Smeared Glass Ceiling
 
General
» Islam and Science: The Road to Renewal

Europe’s Dream Becomes Its Nightmare

European Union prosperity has now proved a phantom — one conjured up by accounting gimmickry, borrowed German money, and corrupt EU apparatchiks. Neither the EU at large nor most individual European nations can sustain their present rate of redistributionist entitlements. To end cash transfers across borders spells the breakup of the union. To embrace austerity at home ensures near anarchy in the streets of individual nations.

The worry is not that Greece will implode, but whether France can remain financially solvent. More realistic countries such as Germany, Latvia, and Sweden are quietly drifting away from the socialist model, preferring balanced budgets, lower taxes, and fewer regulations.

The EU may be worried that Obama’s United States is becoming more like the EU at the very time many in Europe are starting to take a second, kinder look at the old free-market model of the United States.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Greek Subway Workers on Strike Risk Jail Time After Government Signs Court Order

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s government announced emergency powers Thursday to force striking subway workers back to work, with those defying it risking dismissal, arrest and jail in an escalating standoff over austerity measures.

In a swift backlash, unions announced immediate strikes that halted all public transport across the capital for the rest of the day, forcing commuters to trudge through a thunderstorm or vie for taxis to get home in the evening.

The disruption was set to continue, with some declaring further labor action.

“We are protesting and if they fire people, let them come, they will take us dead from here,” said Antonis Stamatopoulos, head of the Athens metro workers’ union. “Starting tomorrow there will be a transportation blackout.”

Subway staff angered by pay cuts which they say will reach 25 percent of their salaries had defied a Wednesday night court order to return to work, pulling their strike into an eighth day. With traffic clogging the capital’s major streets, the government announced a civil mobilization order for the Athens metro.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti Vows to Clear Up MPS Case

‘Politics should keep out of banking,’ PM says as MPS meets

(ANSA) — Rome, January 25 — Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti on Friday vowed to clear up a derivatives scandal at Italy’s third-biggest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS).

“It’s a matter of achieving the maximum clarity,” he said, “also from the penal standpoint”, as the huge Tuscan lender held an extraordinary general meeting.

Monti said he had the “utmost confidence” in Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli and Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco.

The central bank has been accused of being caught off guard when it emerged that 720 million euros had been lost in derivatives deals with Japanese bank Nomura and German bank Deutsche Bank that MPS said it only recently discovered. This piled the pressure on the world’s oldest bank after it was forced to seek a 3.9-billion-euro government bailout last year, and spurred criticism from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi of political interference in its running.

MPS, through its foundation, has historically been linked to the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which has long been dominant in Siena and the rest of Tuscany.

Monti said he was “not here to point the finger at the PD but the historical phenomenon of mingling banking and politics has to be further rooted out because it is an ugly beast”.

The outgoing premier, who is running against PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani and Berlusconi in the February 24-25 elections, said he would “leave the finger-pointing up to the (other) politicians”. Visco said MPS was a “stable” bank and denied any lack of supervision by the Bank of Italy.

But he said the central bank had decided to open a probe into the case.

MPS’s extraordinary general meeting got off to a lively start with militants from the regionalist Northern League, Berlusconi allies who had to tackle a banking scandal of their own five years ago, holding up banners against the bank’s management and the former mayor of Siena, Franco Ceccuzzi, who is standing for the PD in next month’s elections.

Comedian-turned-activist Beppe Grillo accused MPS of hiding “a 14-billion-euro shortfall” in its accounts, prompting MPS Chairman Alessandro Profumo to shoot back “there is no hole here”.

Grillo, whose Five Star Movement is running a close fourth to Monti, several points behind Berlusconi and front-runner Bersani in the polls, has likened the MPS case to the Parmalat scandal, Europe’s biggest corporate bankruptcy. Profumo said the bank could not give “up-to-date figures” on the derivatives losses because an internal probe was pending.

On the Milan bourse, MPS shares clawed back 5% of the 20% they lost in the previous three sessions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Morocco: Unemployment on the Rise, Especially Among Youths

In January significant increase

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JANUARY 24 — Unemployment in Morocco significantly increased in January, especially among young workers, according to data published Thursday by the country’s Department of Treasury and External Finance. In January, unemployment rose from 13.5 to 14% in urban areas due to the high number of workers between 15 and 24 who lost their job, up 2.8%, and between the ages of 25 and 34, up 1.2%.

In rural areas, the unemployment rate went from 4.1% to 4.2% with a 0.7 increase for workers between the ages of 15 and 24 and 0.6% for 35 to 44 year olds.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

S. &. P. 500 Closes Above 1,500

After millions of people all but abandoned the market following the 2008 bust, individual investors are pouring money into stock mutual funds like they haven’t in years. The flood, fueled by fading economic threats and better news on housing and jobs, has helped propel the broad market to within a few good days of its highest level — ever.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has soared 120 percent since March 2009 and ended trading Friday above 1,500, just 5 percent shy of the record high of 1565.15 hit in 2007. This year alone, the main indexes are up 5 percent. Now, the investing public seems more afraid of missing out than of misreading Wall Street again.

[Return to headlines]

The Fed’s Plan B: “We’re Going to Kill the Dollar”

Last week, amid growing rumors of a global currency war, the Fed’s balance sheet broke the $3 trillion-mark for the first time in history. According to blogger Sober Look: “For the first time since this program was launched (QE) it is starting to have a material impact on bank reserves … which spiked last week. 2013 will look quite different from last year. The monetary base will be expanded dramatically as long as the current securities purchases program is in place. ‘Money printing” is in now full swing.’“ (“Fed’s balance sheet grows above $3 trillion, finally impacting the monetary base”, Sober Look)

Take a minute and consider the implications of the Fed’s money printing operations in relation to the above quote by market analyst Kyle Bass. Can you see what’s happening?

The Fed is acting exactly as one would expect it to act given its stated intention to increase inflation (currency debasement) while intensifying the class war at the same time.

How is the Fed waging class war, you ask?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

A “Conspiracy Theory” Based at the New York Times

The Obama Administration is facilitating the activities of foreign jihadists and al Qaeda throughout the Middle East, while claiming that it is fighting al Qaeda and that the organization has been “decimated.” This monumental deception is being carried out not only by the administration but its supporters. It is a crime that has cost four American lives in Benghazi and three in the kidnapping and hostage crisis in Algeria.

The George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) is running interference for the Obama Administration by attacking those, like Senator Rand Paul, who are trying to expose the suicidal policy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

America’s Ship of State IV: US Constitution vs the US Patriot Act

In America’s Ship of State (Part III), the first two virtual cabins of the current Ship of State were toured to see what contents might be stored in them. Now, in America’s Ship of State (Part IV), three more cabins are toured in order to verify their possible contents.

Cabin 3 contains an example of what Commander Obama could us, if he so desired, to eliminate many of the god-given, constitutional rights that the passengers of the Ship of State have cherished since its construction in 1789. Two of the more prominent examples of legislation that have already taken many rights and privileges from the passengers on the Ship of State are the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. But, what are the basic provisions of these congressional acts that would be responsible for denying passengers on board the Ship of State their constitutional freedoms?

According to the Concerned Citizens against the Patriot Act, there is a terrifying difference between the Constitution and the Patriot Act. This can be seen in a comparison of the two documents using key amendments in the Bill of Rights and how the Patriot Act basically guts them. Let’s look at Amendments I, IV, and VI and compare them with the manner in which the Patriot Act addresses them:

[…]

But, where did so many people in Congress get their training in socialism? They got their training from America’s public school system. According to Devvy Kidd in her September 21, 2012 NewsWithViews article entitled “What Do You Expect When Socialists Are Allowed to Serve in Congress,” public schools have been indoctrinating American school children to the positivism of socialism in the United States for more than 40 years.

[Comment: Also keep in mind recent things such as the “US Army’s Newest Enemies: Conservatives” (www.newswithviews.com/Duigon/lee184.htm) which labels Americans who believe in the constitution as the new extremists. Add the assault on the 2nd amendment and you can see the threads on the tapestry forming.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

CCHR Exposes Psychiatry’s Military Spending to Create Drugged-Out Super-Soldiers

The mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights announces the last in a four-part series by award-winning investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara exploring how the nation’s military forces have been used as guinea pigs for psychological and pharmaceutical experiments. This last installment looks at the long standing relationship between the military and psychiatry that has been in place since WWII and the psychiatric research being conducted on U.S. soldiers.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) announces the final article in a four part investigative series on Military Mental Health, written for CCHR by journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara. This last installment looks at how, in an effort to create the “Super Soldier,” the U.S. military spends hundreds of millions of dollars on psychiatric research programs that can only be described as science fiction-esque experimentation.

O’Meara writes, “The cozy relationship between the military and psychiatry has been in place since WWII. The pharmaceutical companies are the Yin to psychiatry’s Yang and the military has acquiesced to the pharmaceutical giants. It’s no secret that the nation’s military forces long have been used as guinea pigs for psychological and pharmaceutical experiments.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

CDC Admits to Flu Vaccine’s Ineffectiveness as Huge Influx of Flu Victims Fills Hospitals Across the Country

(NaturalNews) Untold thousands of people from nearly all 50 U.S. states have continued to flood hospital emergency rooms in recent weeks due to widespread outbreaks of flu-like symptoms. And because many of these people have already been vaccinated for the flu this season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is basically having to admit that the flu shot is not nearly as effective as we have all been told it is — but be sure to get it anyway (they continually say).

As reported by CBS News, the most recent statistics show that at least 24 states and New York City are experiencing “high activity of influenza-like illness,” and another 16 states are reporting moderate activity, despite the warmer-than-normal winter in many places throughout the country. And since it is so early into the so-called “flu season,” officials are scrambling to make sense of the situation, especially as it is becoming painfully obvious that flu shots simply do not work.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Chucky’s in Love… With Al Jazeera

The sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, Chuck Hagel and George Soros are all related as reported by Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media (AIM). If it’s bad for America, just pull on a thread and start to unravel it and eventually you’ll find George Soros.

Al Jazeera, however, is downright giddy over the prospect of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. And why not? He’s a member of Global Zero which supports a nuclear weapons-free America and has even advocated unilateral US disarmament “if necessary”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Congressman: “Obama Only Upholds the Soviet Constitution”

Georgia congressman Paul Broun hit out this week at his favourite target, President Obama, stating that he has no concept of the US Constitution.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Broun, a frequent critic of Obama noted “I think my role is to uphold support and defend our Constitution.”

“The Constitution I uphold and defend is the one I carry in my pocket all the time, the U.S. Constitution,” Broun added.

“I don’t know what Constitution that other members of Congress uphold, but it’s not this one. I think the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution, not this one. He has no concept of this one, though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer.” the Congressman also said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cosmo: ‘Cool’ Women Go to Strip Clubs

Magazine encourages young women to follow the latest strip club trend.

Hey gals, are you “cool” and “open-minded?” Then why aren’t you at the strip club? That’s where the February issue of women’s magazine Cosmopolitan says you should be.

Cosmo’s Jessica Knoll spoke with club managers across the country about the growing trend: “Women — straight women — are infiltrating the gentlemen’s club, in some cases outnumbering the male clientele.”

For Cosmo, strip clubs are harmless fun and games. But Bust Magazine (no social conservative publication) and Beauty from Ashes, a Florida organization established to aid victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, assert that strip clubs spell horror for women. They cite a study that finds that 100 percent of exotic dancers were physically assaulted in their clubs of employment.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Diana West: Joe McCarthy Was Right All Along

WASHINGTON, D.C. Most Europeans are unlikely to be familiar with the facts behind the American term “McCarthyism.” They probably know it describes something very bad in American politics — the “Communist witch hunts” of more than half a century ago. They may also know that simply uttering the term, like casting a spell, stops all debate cold by associating someone with the eponymous Joseph McCarthy. As the story goes, he was himself very bad. After all, he conducted those long ago “Communist witch hunts,” ruining his name in perpetuity. This probably exhausts general knowledge.

But here’s a secret: Most Americans know little more than this same familiar but completely false narrative. In recent years, stunning revelations from archives in Washington and Moscow have confirmed that McCarthy’s investigations — and those conducted by other officials before and after — netted not innocent and imaginary “witches,” but secret cadres of hardened Communist agents determined to bring down the American republic. Surely, this makes Joe McCarthy a great patriot and deserving “the plaudits of a grateful nation.”

So wrote M. Stanton Evans, the consensus-smashing, revisionist biographer of McCarthy in Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies (2007).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Dianne Feinstein Declares War on Bill of Rights, Calls for American Citizens to be Disarmed or Registered

(NaturalNews) US Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced her highly-anticipated gun disarmament legislation yesterday, throwing her hat in the ring as an outright traitor to the United States Constitution and a dangerous tyrant who seeks to hand the federal government a firearms monopoly. The bill would criminalize nearly all semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns while calling for nationwide gun registration of all existing firearms. It would also criminalize citizens buying ammo magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, even while the government can purchase ammo magazines of unlimited capacity.

This is red alert time for all Americans who seek to save this nation from falling into the hands of outright tyrants.

How does the federal government plan to enforce these new gun control laws, if passed? Using GUNS, of course! The threat of force is what’s used to gain your “compliance” with everything the government does.

[…]

The Bill of Rights is what has made America uniquely capable of fending off tyranny and maintaining some semblance of balance between the People and the government. The Second Amendment is the one right that protects all other rights. Without it, there would be no First Amendment, no due process, no right to remain silent, and no freedom whatsoever.

Every government inherently seeks to become a tyrannical dictatorship — it is the natural expansion of power reflected in the desires of nearly all men and women. Our Founding Fathers understood this tendency for nations to slide into tyranny, and they designed a system of separation of powers as well as checks and balances to function as firewalls against runaway oppression.

The Bill of Rights is a critical firewall that prevents the federal government from crossing the line into tyranny. Each right described in the Bill of Rights is an immutable, permanent right that cannot be revoked, nullified or infringed. Any person who attempts to actively overturn one of these sacred rights is deliberately functioning as an enemy of America and a traitor to the People.

[Comment: Good article, a must read.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Emails Show FBI Investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for Sleeping With Underage Dominican Prostitutes

Documents published online for the first time Thursday indicate that the FBI opened an inquiry into New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on August 1, 2012, focusing on repeated trips he took to the Dominican Republic with longtime campaign contributor and Miami eye doctor Salomon Melgen. The DC reported in November that Menendez purchased the service of prostitutes in that Caribbean nation at a series of alcohol-fueled sex parties.

The documents, which The Daily Caller had obtained hours earlier from an anonymous source, also indicate that Carrie Levine, research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), was alerted on April 9, 2012 to Menendez’s habit of paying for sex while outside the United States.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Everyone Who Voted for Obama Voted for More Free Stuff

The fact that our country and all its citizens suffer a $16 trillion debt and headed toward $20 trillion didn’t dissuade the majority of voters to vote for Romney who proved his ability to balance budgets and create jobs. The majority voted to add another $4 trillion in debt to the US financial nightmare.

Why? Answer: more people in this country feel entitled to a lot of free stuff. Over 47.7 million Americans love their free food via food stamps. Millions more love their government jobs where they show up to sit all day doing virtually nothing that creates anything.

This lady, with 15 kids, loves to get free stuff. You may multiply her story times 10 to 20 million single mothers sporting endless children paid for by you. She pointed to all her kids in the video by saying, “Somebody needs to pay for them.”

[…]

Blog writer Pruzansky said, “The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff. Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader” or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who — courtesy of Obama — receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate “free” health care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ex-C.I.A. Officer Given 30-Month Sentence for Leaking Classified Information

The first Central Intelligence Agency officer to face prison for disclosing classified information was sentenced on Friday to 30 months in prison by a judge at the federal courthouse here.

The judge, Leonie M. Brinkema, said that in approving the sentence, she would respect the terms of a plea agreement between the former C.I.A. agent, John C. Kiriakou, and prosecutors, but “I think 30 months is way too light.”

The judge said “this is not a case of a whistle-blower.” She went on to describe the damage that Mr. Kiriakou had created for the intelligence agency and an agent whose cover was disclosed by Mr. Kiriakou.

[Return to headlines]

Gun Owners Refuse to Register Under New York Law

After Democrats in New York rammed a sweeping assault on the right to keep and bear arms through the legislature that failed to exempt police officers from the draconian restrictions, gun owners and even some lawmakers are planning what has been dubbed potentially the largest act of civil disobedience in state history. According to news reports, gun rights activists are urging everyone to defy far-left Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new registration mandate while daring authorities to “come and take it.”

Analysts say the legislation, passed in a frenzy last week in the wake of the Newtown shooting, represents the most brazen infringement on the right to keep and bear arms anywhere in the nation. Among other points, the so-called SAFE Act seeks to limit magazines to just seven bullets, require virtually all of the estimated one million semi-automatic rifles in the state to be registered with authorities, mandate reporting of patients who express indications that they may have thoughts about hurting themselves or others by doctors, and more.

Aside from being unconstitutional, experts on gun violence also point out that the draconian schemes are a bad idea: Studies have repeatedly shown that more guns lead to less crime, and the phenomenon is obvious across America — just compare Chicago or D.C. to Alaska or Wyoming. The mandated reporting requirements for doctors, meanwhile, have come under fire from across the political spectrum. Whether it will even be possible to enforce the bill, however, remains to be seen.

[…]

Threats of imprisoning gun owners for up to a year and confiscating their weapons are already being issued by governor’s office, headed by a rabid anti-Second Amendment extremist who suggested before the bill passed that “confiscation” of all semi-automatic rifles was being considered. If tens or even hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens refuse to comply, however, analysts say New York would either have to start raising taxes and building a lot more prisons, or give up on the scheme that experts say will do nothing to reduce violence and that lawmakers say is aimed at eventual confiscation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Las Vegas Woman Reportedly Sues Match.Com for $10m, Claims Site Doesn’t Properly Scan Applicants

A potentially perfect match almost cost Mary Kay Beckman her life.

FOX 5 KVVU reports that Beckman, of Las Vegas, is suing Match.com for $10 million, alleging that the dating website doesn’t do enough to keep violent offenders off its site after she met a man who attempted to kill her.

“He broke into my garage,” Beckman told the station. “When the police arrested him, he said he wasn’t there to hurt me. He was there to kill me. His intent was to kill me that night.”

Beckman said she had been using Match.com for two months when she met Wade Ridley in September 2010. After just eight days, Beckman ended the relationship, causing Ridley to turn violent. Later, in 2011, Ridley stabbed her 10 times with a butcher knife and stomped on her head when the knife broke.

The 50-year-old real estate agent and mother of two said the attack left her hospitalized for months. She endured three head surgeries and a seizure. While she was in the hospital, Beckman said Ridley killed an Arizona woman he met on the same website.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Michael Bloomberg’s Twilight Zone

In order to sell his anti-Second Amendment campaign, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg must convince citizens — and the nation at large — that disarmament leads to lower crime rates.

“In his nationwide effort for tighter gun control, Mayor Michael Bloomberg attributes historic crime lows in New York to strict gun laws that are strictly enforced,” reports the Associated Press.

The AP lines up several “experts” who argue that taking away firearms from law-abiding citizens and Bloomberg’s widespread violation of the Fourth Amendment through stop-and-frisk have reduced crime in New York City.

The AP and Bloomberg’s apologists, however, are not looking very closely at crime statistics.

Cops in New York like to monkey with the books to shine up their reputation and fool the unsuspecting into thinking the city is something other than it really is.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Missouri Lawmakers: Parents Will Have to Notify School of Gun Ownership in 30 Days or Face Fine

If Missouri lawmakers get their way, parents in the state will have to notify the schools their children go to about their gun ownership within 30 days or face a $100 fine.

Of course it takes one drugged up incompetent person or one irresponsible parent to impose outrageous legislation such as this piece of work, SB 134.

In this legislation you will have to notify the school administrators of the district you wish your child to attend, that you own a gun. Failure to comply, even if your child attends a charter or private school, results in a $100 fine.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mothers Taking Antidepressants 2x More Likely to Have Autistic Child, Study Says

Reported statistics vary, but about 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. The condition can manifest itself as severe mental retardation or mild behavioral issues. But it’s the rate of autism and it’s steady increase over the past several decades that has researchers searching for a cause or even contributing factors. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northen Caroline may have found one cause to add to the list — mom’s antidepressant use.

Their study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at children who were diagnosed with autism and a random group of undiagnosed children. Then, they compared the mothers’ medical records.

What they found was that a pregnant mother’s anti-depressant use was linked to a higher incidence of autism. This is a correlation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mumbai 26/11 Plotter David Headley Sentenced to 35 Years

An American has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in helping Pakistani terrorists plan the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks.

David Coleman Headley, 52, had pleaded guilty to carrying out spying missions on downtown Mumbai for the Pakistani terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that was behind the attacks. He was sentenced on 12 counts in a Chicago jail but had struck a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty or extradition to India. Headley, a Pakistani American from Chicago, visited India five times between 2006 and 2008, and created maps and took video footage and GPS coordinates of several of the attack sites, including the Taj Mahal hotel, Oberoi hotel and Nariman House Jewish centre.

His surveillance work provided vital information for the 10 LeT terrorists and their handlers, who launched the attack on November 26, 2008, holding the city under siege for three days and leaving 166 people dead, including British millionaire Andreas Liveras. “I don’t have any faith in Mr Headley when he says he’s a changed person and believes in the American way of life,” said Judge Harry Leinenweber. “The sentence I impose, I’m hopeful it will keep Mr Headley under lock and key for the rest of his natural life.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

No Need for Guns in America

Tyranny is coming in America

For those of you who know me, you can pick your jaw up off the floor (after reading the title) and move on. There is a pseudo-discussion taking place all over America about gun ownership which consists of the actual “need” for firearms in citizens’ hands and limits that should be placed on American gun owners. As unlikely as it might seem, this is pure distraction.

In an earlier life — the one the press refuses to report — Obama summarily declared that he believed Americans should not own guns. That declaration seems to have been forgotten by some who are attributing to Mr. Obama scruples, morals, and decency that he does not possess — not to mention his demonstrated disregard for the Constitution of the United States in general. Reasonableness is what the American public generally displays and expects in return.

I’m sorry to burst the bubble here, but that is not what is happening on the Obama side of that ledger. Lies, obfuscation, the sweet smile, the demonization or marginalization of those who uphold the Second Amendment, assurances of faithfulness to the Constitution and a love for the children are merely diversionary precursors to his totalitarian end game. All are bogus, all staging and melodrama for the cameras.

Tyranny is coming in America, despite the fact that more than half of her citizens are too deluded, arrogant, or stupid to see it. If Obama’s policy processes continue unchecked, America will experience cataclysmic civil unrest; again, unfathomable to most Americans, this is precisely what Obama intends.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Removing All Military Leaders From Command if They Will Not Fire on U.S. Citizens

(NaturalNews) It is not a claim being made by some obscure personality who hosts a late-night “radio show” on shortwave, or by a known far-out lunatic seeking his latest 15 minutes of fame, but by none other than a Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Reports surfaced Jan. 22 that Dr. Jim Garrow, nominated for the prize in 2009, made a shocking claim on his Facebook page in recent days that he was informed by a top military vet that the Obama administration’s “litmus test” for new military leaders is whether or not they will follow orders to fire on American citizens if need be.

Later, he followed up the post by adding that the man who told him that is “one of America’s foremost military heroes” whose motivation for divulging the information was to “sound the alarm,” InfoWars.com reported.

[…]

Garrow’s news comes on the heels of other notable events currently taking place, including the “national debate” over the desire by the president and many on the political Left to impose sweeping new gun control laws — including the banning of certain military look-alike, semi-automatic rifles involved in the fewest amount of gun crimes, according to the FBI’s crime statistics.

The news also follows a report from the Washington Free Beacon that four-star Marine Gen. James Mattis, head of the United States Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East and more specifically; Afghanistan, was “given the bum’s rush out of his job as commander of” CENTCOM “and is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rahm Emanuel Demands Banks Not Do Business With Firearms Manufacturers

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking his gun control push to private banks and asking major lenders in Chicago to stop doing business with firearms manufacturers.

In a letter to TD Bank and Bank of America on Thursday, Mr. Emanuel asked the CEOs to force gun manufacturers they do business with to “find common ground with the vast majority of Americans who support a military weapons and ammunition ban.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rotten to the Core: Obama’s War on Academic Standards (Part 1)

America’s downfall doesn’t begin with the “low-information voter.” It starts with the no-knowledge student.

For decades, collectivist agitators in our schools have chipped away at academic excellence in the name of fairness, diversity and social justice. “Progressive” reformers denounced Western civilization requirements, the Founding Fathers and the Great Books as racist. They attacked traditional grammar classes as irrelevant in modern life. They deemed ability grouping of students (tracking) bad for self-esteem. They replaced time-tested rote techniques and standard algorithms with fuzzy math, inventive spelling and multicultural claptrap.

Under President Obama, these top-down mal-formers — empowered by Washington education bureaucrats and backed by misguided liberal philanthropists led by billionaire Bill Gates — are now presiding over a radical makeover of your children’s school curriculum. It’s being done in the name of federal “Common Core” standards that do anything but raise achievement standards.

[…]

In fact, Stanford University professor James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, concluded that the Common Core math scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries. In protest, Milgram refused to sign off on the standards. He’s not alone.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Unconstitutional Executive Orders in Arizona County

Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has sent a letter to Obama stating that he will not obey unconstitutional executive orders banning firearms.

Babeu criticizes Obama and the political class in Washington for exploiting the Sandy Hook massacre and other tragic events to push an unprecedented gun control agenda.

“Do you honestly feel that any criminal or someone who is mentally ill will obey an executive order made by you related to ‘gun control?’“ he writes in the letter dated January 16.

Here is the letter in its entirety:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The America We Knew

From 1940 to 1988 the United States was unquestionably the world’s greatest superpower. The beneficiary of a great free market, intellect from around the world, and civil liberty, the nation was a beacon of opportunity, progress and liberty. There was among Americans a sense of invincibility. Best characterized by ingenuity, bravery, and compassion, America and Americans were the envy of the world. Jealously hated by some, lovingly admired by others, we were undoubtedly the greatest economic and military power the world had ever seen and the only place in the world where people yearning to be free could find refuge.

[…]

Those now on the ideological ascendency in education and academia would rid every element of inequality without regard to the consequences for freedom. They seek a society in which men and women are presumed indistinguishable, where children are taught to be ashamed of America’s founding principles and values, where the physically able and the physically challenged are presumed equal, where the wealthy are taxed to reduce their wealth and the proceeds are redistributed to the poor, where the government defines what we may eat, what we may own, and what we may do to our bodies in the quest for health, and where those who succeed in the market are viewed as greedy and self-serving while those who receive welfare and food stamps are said to be deserving. They not only seek equality, they seek an enforced equality, imposed by government.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Left Hates Liberty, The Right Protects it

One of the most idiotic narratives in modern American political discourse today is the notion that those on the Left (Democrats, the mainstream media, socialists, Occupiers, and even many statist, big-government Republicans) are “pro-freedom,” “support liberty,” or are “for the little guy” while those on the Right (conservatives, liberty lovers, libertarians, Tea Partiers, small government supporting Republicans) oppose liberty and want to oppress everyone who is not a “straight white Republican male.”

Using the fact that the bulk of the American electorate could be understatedly described as “low information,” they relentlessly push this meme, trying to scare voters into supporting the leftist agenda. Typically, the building of this narrative involves a good bit of doublethink. Conservatives oppose “health care freedom” by opposing government control and wanting to let the free market actually operate in the health care field. By standing for the right of the individual to protect his or herself, liberty lovers are somehow “anti-freedom.” Typically, the Left uses its near-monopoly on media messaging to arbitrarily establish its position on an issue — whatever issue — as the “freedom” position, and then defines all opposition as “unfree.”

Yet, we see that reality is exactly the opposite of this narrative. Those on the Left are the ones trying to steal the hard-won liberties of the American people. The leftists (I don’t call them “liberals” because that term simply does not accurately describe them) are the ones who are seeking to intrude themselves into every area of our lives, controlling what we do and say.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Unlocking Cellphones Becomes Illegal Saturday

The clock to unlock a new mobile phone is running out.

In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress, who determines exemptions to a strict anti-hacking law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), decided that unlocking mobile phones would no longer be allowed. But the librarian provided a 90-day window during which people could still buy a phone and unlock it. That window closes on January 26.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Army’s Newest Enemies: Conservatives

So, what’s Uncle Sam doing with the money that used to be part of your paycheck, but isn’t anymore?

Among the goodies you’re paying for is a report entitled, “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right,” produced by the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy, West Point. Its author is a little-known academic, Arie Perliger, most of whose previous work had to do with terrorism in Israel. What he knows or doesn’t know about America is not made clear by his report. If you’re in the mood for 148 pages of drivel, you can read the whole document here.

Is this merely an exercise in wasting money, or is it something more sinister? They couldn’t be trying to teach our future army officers to view at least half the population of America as potential enemies, could they?

Oh, no, no—this is the “violent Far-Right!” You know—those lurking, scary people who believe the federal government “to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self-government.” It says so right on Page 28 of the report. Even scarier, these people have “an enduring affinity towards traditional values.” (Page 17)

That’s starting to sound a bit like you and me, isn’t it?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Communists Cheer on Obama’s Gun Grab

It should come as no surprise that the Communist Party USA is on board with President Obama’s plan to attack Americans’ right to keep and bear arms as a means to “end gun violence.” A cardinal feature of communist regimes, like all dictatorships, is the prohibition of private ownership of arms, creating a monopoly of force in the hands of the State.

In a January 18 article, People’s World, an official publication of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), declared that “the ability to live free from the fear or threat of gun violence is a fundamental democratic right — one that far supercedes any so-called personal gun rights allegedly contained in the Second Amendment.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

British Police Arrest 5 People Linked to Video of ‘Vigilante’ Muslims Patrolling East London

LONDON — British police say they’ve arrested five people linked to a video of self-proclaimed Muslim vigilantes threatening revelers on the streets of east London. One of the videos shows a group shouting anti-gay slurs at a man in dark eye makeup. Other videos show a group accosting a drink-toting man, shooing a non-Muslim couple away from a mosque and harassing a young woman in a miniskirt. At one point, the videographer identifies the group as “vigilantes implementing Islam” but its exact makeup remains unclear…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Bulgaria: Gotse Delchev to Stage Protest Against Mosque Construction

Gotse Delchev. Citizens of the Bulgarian town of Gotse Delchev will stage a protest on Friday, January 25, to express their dissatisfaction with the plan for construction of a new mosque in the town. Dimitar Serafimov with the Association against the construction of a prayer’s temple — mosque in Gotse Delchev announced the new for Radio FOCUS — Pirin. The Association has notified the local administration about the planned protest procession, which is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Around 1,000 people are expected to join the demonstration.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

EU Ultimatum on Energy Performance of Buildings in 4 States

Greece, Italy, Portugal and Bulgaria risk the EU Court ruling

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, JANUARY 24 — The EU Commission has launched an ultimatum to Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Portugal, requesting them to notify their implementation measures for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The Directive of 2010 had to be transposed into national law by 9 July 2012. Under this EU law, Member States must establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for new and existing buildings, ensure the certification of buildings’ energy performance and require the regular inspection of heating and air conditioning systems. In addition, the Directive requires Member States to ensure that by 2021 all new buildings are so-called ‘nearly zero-energy buildings’. If the four Member States do not comply with their legal obligation within two months, the EU Commission may decide to refer them to the european Court of Justice.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Free Movement of Ambulances in the EU Hindered by France

French law requires new checks, one costs 35,000 euros

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, JANUARY 24 — The free movement of ambulances within the EU is hindered by France. French rules mean that ambulances already registered in other Member States cannot automatically be used in France. According to the current rules, Paris imposes additional controls and certification requirements without taking into account any checks already carried out by another Member State. Therefore the import of ambulances in France is more difficult and costly (it costs 35,000 to test each vehicle). France is refusing to authorise the use of these ambulances for the transport of patients. According to Brussels, the fact that in other Member States there is no equivalence to the required specific French tests, and that the tests can only be carried out by only one French testing centre, means that the free movement of ambulances within the EU is hindered. The EU Commission has therefore requested France to change its laws to comply with the harmonised standards agreed at EU level, and so allow the free movement of goods in the Single Market. If France does not inform the Commission within two months of measures taken to ensure full compliance with its obligations, the Commission may decide to refer it to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Gastronomy: DOP Mozzarella Poised to Conquer France

Italian cheese consortium launches ‘Fromages d’Italie’ campaign

(ANSAmed) — CASERTA, JANUARY 24 — Protected Denomination of Origin (DOP) buffalo mozzarella from the Campania region of Italy and fellow cheeses have disembarked in France for a series of high-profile food events in Paris and Lyons. Their French tour is part of a plan by Italy’s Consortium for Safeguarding DOP Cheeses (asiago, buffalo mozzarella, gorgonzola and parmigiano reggiano) to promote these four symbols of Made In Italy excellence to the French haute cuisine and gastronomy sector. “The French market is a fundamental one for DOP buffalo mozzarella from Campania. We are betting heavily on this market, in which we see a lot of passion and also a lot of competence as far as knowledge of our product goes,” said Consortium President Domenico Raimondo. “Overall, 25% of DOP buffalo mozzarella from Campania is exported, and France is our third foreign market — after the UK and Germany — with 11% of all our foreign sales.” The first stop on the Consortium’s cheese tour, which iscalled ‘Fromages d’Italie’ (Cheeses of Italy), is the International Hotel Catering and Food Trade Exhibition (SIRHA), kicking off on Saturday January 26 in Lyons.

The Italian stand’s Cooking Space is poised to take cheese-loving fair attendees by storm with an opening day conference titled ‘Italian DOP Cheeses: A Tasting Guide to Asiago, Gorgonzola, Buffalo Mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano’, which will illustrate the characteristics of each of the four leading Italian cheeses, along with their specific cutting rituals and ways to serve them.

The four star cheeses will also participate in chef’s festivals such as Paris des Chefs and OFF Omnivore, which is taking place from March 17-19 in the French capital. The Consortium is also organizing a series of ‘gourmet weeks’ in Paris and Lyons, including seminars and meetings with media to promote and educate the public about the four cheeses, of which buffalo mozzarella is clearly a favorite among French gourmet consumers.

“We will be in Paris in the coming months with a glamorous event: we’re organizing a cheese tasting day at the Bistrot Septime, which is the leading hot-spot for French so-called bistronomy,” commented Consortium Director Antonio Lucisano.

“The Septime is currently under the reign of Bertrand Grebaut, who right now is considered to be one of the major talents among new French restaurateurs.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Germany: Munich Security Conference to Focus on Global Hotspots

MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — The 49th Munich Security Conference (MSC), to be held in the German city on Feb. 1-3, would discuss such global hotspots issues as the situation in Mali, the Syria unrest and the eurozone crisis, MSC president Wolfgang Ischinger said Thursday. This year’s event is expecting more important delegates from different countries and areas than ever, including high ranking officials from China, Russia, the United States and Germany, Ischinger told reporters, adding that “the upcoming conference will be extremely exciting.” China is playing a more and more important role on the stage of world politics, he said. Among the more than 400 attendees would be high-ranking officials, representatives of international organizations, security issue experts and economic celebrities from more than 90 countries and regions worldwide.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Bersani Says Won’t Drop Leftwingers for Monti

But outgoing premier says broad coalitions needed for reform

(see related story) (ANSA) — Rome, January 24 — Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani on Thursday dismissed the possibility that he might drop his alliance with the leftwing SEL party and form a coalition with outgoing Premier Mario Monti if he fails to win a working majority in parliament at next month’s elections.

Bersani’s alliance is in front in the opinion polls with over a third of Italians expected to vote for it, but ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition has been gaining ground in recent weeks.

It is possible that Bersani, the chief of the main centre-left Democratic Party, will win but not have enough votes in the Senate to govern effectively.

This has led to speculation that Bersani could make a post-election pact with Monti, who took the helm of an emergency technocrat government in November 2011 and is standing for office on a reform platform backed by several centrist parties.

But the SEL was fiercely opposed to Monti’s unelected government, unlike the PD which backed it, and both SEL leader Nichi Vendola and the outgoing premier have said they would not be in the same government together.

So Bersani moved to deflate speculation that SEL might be sacrificed.

“This possibility does not exist,” Bersani said when asked about the hypothesis he could replace Vendola, who is also the governor of Puglia, with Monti.

This week Monti blasted Bersani for thinking he could form a government capable of tackling Italy’s economic challenges with Vendola, saying the leftwinger was reluctant to accept change.

But Monti, whose alliance was third in polls released this week, hinted he was open to making ties with the PD on Thursday.

The former European commissioner said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that “the most difficult reforms that will have to be undertaken will require broad coalitions”.

He suggested he would be less happy to work with Berlusconi’s alliance, pointing out that the centre-right presented resistance to anti-corruption legislation proposed by his government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bersani Will Need Monti to Carry Senate, Study Finds

Berlusconi likely to win Lombardy, Veneto, Sicily

(ANSA) — Rome, January 25 — The center right led by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi is poised to win the Senate race in three key regions, while the center left is likely to require the support of outgoing Premier Mario Monti after general elections in Italy on February 24 and 25, according to new data Friday. In a poll conducted by the Piepoli Institute for Italian daily La Stampa, Berlusconi’s coalition would win the populous regions of Lombardy and Veneto in the north and Sicily in the south. In the 319-seat Senate, Pierluigi Bersani’s center-left coalition would fall 15 seats short of a majority. Given the addition of four Senators for Life, the threshold needed to win a majority is 158.

An alliance with the centrist coalition of Monti would give the center left another 38 Senators, according to predictions. In the House, Bersani and the center left can count on 340 seats, and thus have a clear majority without broadening their alliance, according to the data.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Population Control Advocacy Group: Humans Equal Locusts

The UK based population control advocacy group Population Matters felt compelled to respond to the latest controversy surrounding their patron David Attenborough, who recently stated humans are a “plague on the earth”.

In a press release posted on its website, the organization expresses support for their beloved patron’s statements, concurring that mankind may be viewed as a plague upon the planet- not to be understood as a disease as such, but rather as the way this disease spreads.

“What did he (Attenborough) mean? Surely he does not mean that we are a disease? More probably, he was thinking of a plague of locusts, which consumes all that it sees, and then dies off.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Clare Foges: Antiseptic Oratory

Clare Foges is now the Prime Minister’s speechwriter. She was a Conservative researcher and activist when this article lamenting the death of passionate political oratory was first published on this site in 2007

Friends, Readers, Conservatives: oratory is dying.

Rhetoric is always in decline; the Romans feared it had died with Cicero. But it is undeniable that in recent history we have witnessed a slow sterilisation of public debate which is impoverishing politics and perhaps endangering democracy itself.

Nearly thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher boldly launched her premiership with a quote from St Francis of Assisi: ‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony; where there is error, may we bring truth; where there is doubt, may we bring faith; and where there is despair, may we bring hope.’ It was an elevated allusion for an important occasion, grand words to portend great change. Our new Prime Minister’s first speech was rather more prosaic; a dull catalogue of platitudes delivered with auto-pilot gravity. Likewise, at the despatch box he seems to be channelling his father at the Presbyterian pulpit rather than galvanising his government for the ‘great change’ he keeps talking about.

This is no reflection on his personal charm or oratorical ability. Many have reported that Brown is a regular raconteur in ‘real life’ — a friend who met him recently testified to his wit and magnetism. But he, like every other high-profile politician, must toe an invisible line when speaking in public. They are bound by the unwritten rules of what I’ll call ‘antiseptic oratory’: political speech cleansed of anything remotely contentious, anything colourful, anything impulsive, anything that might be deemed offensive to anyone…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Guns and Drugs Smuggling Soldiers Jailed

Four British soldiers who tried to smuggle guns and drugs into the UK have been jailed.

The men, along with a fifth man, were caught after firearms, ammunition and cocaine were found in a car arriving at Folkestone from Calais in January 2012.

They were convicted of firearms and drugs charges on Monday after a six-week trial.

At Woolwich Crown Court they were given prison sentences ranging from six-and-a-half years to 14 years.

Describing it as “a carefully planned enterprise” Judge Philip Shorrock said: “The guns were intended for use by serious criminals. They would be used to kill or maim.”

Drugs in boot

The court heard the gang was caught after armed police stopped two of the men in two BMW cars arriving at Folkestone on Eurotunnel last year.

Officers discovered five handguns and three silencers, while 500g of cocaine was found in an Army issue boot covered in duct tape and curry powder to disguise the smell.

Detectives believe the guns were destined for criminal gangs in London.

Ringleader Lemar Loveless, 26, of Brydon Walk, Islington, north London, who had resigned from the army in November 2011 and was on terminal leave, was jailed for 14 years after admitting conspiring to import firearms.

Lance Laurent, a serving soldier, 26, of Gloucester Street, Battersea, south-west London, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after admitting conspiring to import firearms…

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

UK: Human Rights? He Isn’t Even Human: Family’s Outrage as Notorious Killer Bidding for Freedom is Granted Anonymity by Judge

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A family whose lives were wrecked by one of Britain’s most notorious killers last night condemned the human rights ruling which cloaks his bid for freedom in secrecy.

The man — whose own lawyer described his crimes as ‘horrific and horrendous’ — has begun a taxpayer-funded court action demanding he be released from prison.

Normally such a case would be heard in open court, but the order means his identity cannot be revealed.

If he wins the case, it would see him transferred to an open jail — one step away from him walking out on to the streets.

The Daily Mail knows his identity and the vile nature of his crime but is prevented from revealing it because of Wednesday’s ruling at the High Court.

The court said he might be in danger if other inmates at his prison learned his identity, and ordered that reports of the legal action be censored to exclude anything which might identify him.

But last night a woman member of the family devastated by his actions condemned the judge’s ruling. The close relative, who cannot be named because of the same court ruling, said: ‘He doesn’t deserve human rights, he’s not even human. He committed such a horrendous crime and should have to face up to it.

‘What about my human right to live my life without looking over my shoulder because he is roaming free or trying to get released again? Does no one care about the families and the damage that is done?’

At her semi-detached house, the middle-aged woman added: ‘I will suffer every day for the rest of my life because of what he’s done. It will never get easier for me, so why should it for him? Why should he be given the protection of anonymity so he can escape what he’s done when I can’t?’

[…]

The fear is that this order has set a worrying precedent that could apply to scores of killers in future. Perversely, it appears to suggest that the more notorious and dangerous a felon, the more likely the public will be refused the right to know about their release.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Is Nowhere Sacred? CCTV Shows Thief Stealing Worshipper’s Handbag From Church Pew on Christmas Day

This is the moment a thief calmly walked into a church on Christmas Day and stole a woman’s handbag while she was praying.

Gloucestershire Police has today issued CCTV images of the shocking crime to try and bring him to justice.

The suspected handbag thief struck in St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, London Road, Gloucester, shortly before morning mass at 10.10am on December 25.

In the footage the man is seen biding his time in the entrance area before moving into the nave, calmly picking up the handbag from a pew, hiding it under his coat and then walking away.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Mother’s Horror After Discovering Dummy Taped to Her Four-Month-Old Baby Boy’s Mouth at Scandal-Hit NHS Trust

A scandal-hit NHS Trust has been forced to apologise after a four-month-old baby boy was found with a dummy taped to its face.

Premature baby Mason Fellows was rushed to Stafford hospital — dubbed the hospital of horrors after a series of failings — with severe breathing problems.

He was taken to intensive care where a nurse allegedly used tape to force a dummy into his mouth and prevent him from crying.

Now Staffordshire Police have launched a criminal inquiry into the incident.

[…]

‘Mason had breathing problems and wouldn’t have been able to spit the dummy out. It could have killed him.

‘It’s just terrible, I’m appalled and does nothing to improve the reputation of this hospital any good at all.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Paedophile, 25, Had Sex With Girl, 12, As He Hid in Her Bedroom for Two Days While Her Unknowing Parents Sat Downstairs

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A paedophile who hid in a 12-year-old girl’s bedroom and had sex with her for two days while her unknowing parents sat downstairs has been jailed.

Leigh Arendse, 25, of Brunswick Park, Barnet, groomed the innocent youngster on an internet chat room before going from London to her Cambridgeshire home to meet her.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Plans for Temporary Mosque in Leyton High Road Approved

Plans for a temporary mosque in Leyton have been approved. The Noor Ul Islam Trust has been given permission to run the place of worship at 717 High Road, formerly the site of a builder’s supply shop, for three years. The trust is temporarily relocating while its main mosque, further down the High Road, undergoes a major refurbishment. The plans include a two storey portakabin building and linked marquees. The application was approved by officers from Waltham Forest Council under delegated powers.

[Reader comment by Isaythat on 24 January 2013 at 6:48 am.]

The mosque in Chingford is a temporary arrangement. It is still there ll years on and the owners purchased the adjoining shop and requested permission to extend it, with the ‘help’ of Cllr. Akram! What does ‘temporary’ mean exactly? Will LBWF insist these temporary buildings are closed as per contract? Seems just another way to get something passed and conveniently forgotten about.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Police in ‘Muslim Vigilantes’ Victim Appeal

Police investigating a string of attacks by a self-styled Muslim vigilante patrol gang are appealing for victims to come forward.

Officers investigating “Muslim vigilante” attacks are appealing for a victim who was abused by the gang for being “gay” to come forward. Scotland Yard says the man is crucial to their investigation into a number of incidents where a gang calling itself Muslim Patrol has harassed members of the public. Videos of the attacks in east London where the self-styled gang appear to have started to operate have been posted on YouTube. The police are appealing for the man in the footage, titled Muslim vigilantes in London harass and taunt gay male, to contact them.

In the film, the gang can been seen to abuse and intimidate the man using homophobic language, shouting: “Get out of here you **** … don’t stay around here any more.” Investigating officers from the Community Safety Unit on Tower Hamlets borough said they are unsure where and when the video took place. In a second video, posted online, men from the gang in Whitechapel, east London, tell another man “no drink in this area, it’s a Muslim area” before ordering him to pour away his alcohol. Another video posted on YouTube featured a woman wearing a miniskirt being told not to “expose” herself near a mosque. Detective Chief Inspector Wendy Morgan from Tower Hamlets borough said: “The Met takes such homophobic behaviour very seriously…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Schoolboy, 11, Raped Six-Year-Old Girl After Walking With Her to Pond to Look at Fish

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

An eleven-year-old boy has admitted the rape of a six-year-old girl near his home in North Wales.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also admitted three charges of sexual assault by touching and one of common assault on the six-year-old girl when he appeared at Llandudno Youth Court.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Algeria Hostage Drama Likely an Inside Job: Norway

Islamist commandos behind the spectacular hostage-taking at an Algerian gas field probably had help from someone inside the plant, Norway’s foreign minister said in a newspaper interview published on Thursday.

“We have reports that the terrorists had people on the inside who laid the groundwork over time,” Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide told the Verdens Gang (VG) newspaper.

“They had for example pre-positioned equipment at the site,” he added. A foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed Eide’s comments to AFP.

Citing other unidentified sources, VG said the Islamist militants had placed weapons inside the complex ahead of their January 16th attack, when they took hundreds of people hostage until a raid by Algerian security forces brought a bloody end to the crisis on Saturday.

At least 37 foreign hostages were killed, including Western and Asian nationals, according to a preliminary death toll, as well as one Algerian hostage. Several people are still missing and some bodies have not yet been identified.

The newspaper also cited hostage witness accounts as saying that the attackers knew exactly where to find the expatriate workers inside the vast complex.

An Algerian security official told AFP on Wednesday that one of the assailants had been employed as a chauffeur at the site up until last year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

As Muslim Terrorists Threaten Attacks in Benghazi, Westerners Flee

Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia urge their citizens to leave the Libyan city because of possible reprisals over French action in Mali. Various Jihadists groups have formed an alliance in North Africa with bases in southern Libya and Mali.

Benghazi (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia have urged their citizens to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi due to a “specific, imminent threat to Westerners”, linked to French action in Mali and the danger of new kidnappings by Muslim extremists.

According to British diplomatic sources, Islamists have threatened to carry out attacks against Western targets like the one on the US consulate on 11 September 2011 in which US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Over the past two years since the anti-Gaddafi war, Benghazi has been one of the main recruiting centres for Islamic extremists and al-Qaeda fighters.

A senior Algerian officer claimed that the organisers of the Benghazi consulate attack are the same who seized the gas Tigantourine field in (in In Amenas, south-eastern Algeria) that left 38 hostages and 29 Muslim extremists dead.

The group recruited by Mokhtar Belmokhtar included several Egyptian jihadists active in Libya.

Sources in Algiers said that Mohamed-Lamine Bouchneb, the militant leading the attack at the site, had purchased arms for the assault in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The kidnappers gathered, undisturbed, at the southern Libyan town of Ghat, just across the border from Algeria, before their attack.

It is becoming clear that al Qaeda is spreading in the Sahara. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Congress about the events in Benghazi, warning that Jihadist groups have formed a complex alliance in North Africa with southern Libya and Mali as their main bases.

Indeed, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the veteran militant who claimed overall responsibility for the Tigantourine attack, is believed to be based in Mali.

US State Department officials have said that some members of Ansar al-Shariah, the group that carried out the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, had connections to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, one of the militant groups now holding northern Mali.

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

Egypt: Security Forces Continue to Get Away With Murder Two Years on From Start of Uprising

Egypt must ensure the deaths of hundreds of protesters since early 2011 are independently and effectively investigated, if the country is to move away from the abuses that defined the Mubarak era, said Amnesty International in a briefing published to coincide with the second anniversary of the start of the “25 January Revolution”. The briefing, Rampant impunity: Still no justice for protesters killed in the “25 January Revolution”, details shortcomings in investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for the deaths of some 840 individuals during the demonstrations that ended over 30 years of Hosni Mubarak’s repressive rule and led to the first elected civilian President in Egypt. At least 6,600 people also sustained injuries during the protests, which were brutally suppressed by the security forces. At least 12 people have died during protest violence since President Mohamed Morsi took office…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Five Dead in Egypt Clashes

Five people have been killed in the Egyptian canal city of Suez, as protesters clashed with police and mass rallies shook Egypt on the second anniversary of the revolt that ousted president Hosni Mubarak and brought Islamists to power.

Doctors at the Suez Hospital said on Friday five people were shot in the chest and stomach with live bullets. It was not immediately clear whether the dead were civilians or police.

The health ministry said 379 people were injured in clashes in nine provinces.

The unrest came on the second anniversary of a revolution that brought to power Islamist President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a day after clashes between protesters and police.

After the seismic political changes of 2011, the Arab world’s most populous nation is struggling to find a balance between a leadership that boasts the legitimacy of the ballot box and opponents who accuse it of betraying the goals of the revolution.

Egypt is also in the throes of an economic crisis as foreign investment and tourism revenues dwindle; the Egyptian pound stands at its lowest level against the dollar and a budget deficit shows no sign of recovery.

Fierce clashes broke out between protesters and police in the canal city of Suez, while in the neighbouring province of Ismailiya, demonstrators stormed the governorate headquarters, entering the building, setting fire to a room used by security services and looting furniture and equipment.

Demonstrators had earlier set fire to the Brotherhood headquarters in Ismailiya, and black smoke billowed from the windows of the apartment housing the movement’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) offices.

In the Mediterranean city of Damietta, protesters surrounded the governorate building and blocked traffic in the area, while in the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Sheikh they stormed the courtyard of the building and clashed with officers.

In Cairo, police fired tear gas at protesters outside the presidential palace, where violent clashes between Morsi’s allies and foes in December killed several people.

Protesters outside the state television building blocked traffic as marches swarmed the capital. Army and police forces were deployed to protect the building which houses the information ministry as well as state television and radio.

Some protesters also blocked the underground metro at several stations in central Cairo, paralysing the public transport used by millions every day.

Egypt’s second city Alexandria was rocked by similar violence between demonstrators and security forces, witnesses said, reporting clashes in two neighbourhoods.

‘The smoke is black, there is a lot of gas. There are people on the ground because they can’t breathe,’ one of the protesters, who gave his name only as Rasha, said.

The opposition had called for mass protests under the same slogan that brought Egypt to its feet in 2011: ‘Bread, freedom, social justice’.

The Muslim Brotherhood did not officially call its own rallies, instead marking the second anniversary by launching a charitable and social initiative dubbed ‘Together we will build Egypt’.

Morsi urged Egyptians to spend the anniversary in a ‘peaceful and civilised way’, in a Thursday speech marking the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Libya: France Also Calls on Nationals to Leave Benghazi

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, JANUARY 25 — France on Friday called on its citizens to leave Benghazi, the major Libyan city in Cyrenaica from which other countries have also ordered their national to leave. In a statement released by the Quai d’Orsay, Paris called on French nationals to leave Benghazi ‘due to persisting tensions connected to the situation in the region and allegations of threats against citizens of western countries’.

Yesterday, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Australia also called on their citizens to leave Benghazi. Berlin, for example, asked nationals to ‘immediately leave the city and region of Benghazi’, talking about ‘information establishing the existence of concrete and immediate risks for westerners in Benghazi’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: Britons and Other Westerners Told to Leave Benghazi After ‘Imminent’ Terror Threat

Britons and all other westerners were told to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday after diplomats received warning of an “imminent” terror threat in the wake of the Algerian hostage siege.

The Foreign Office has been advising against travel to the area since last September, but stepped up its warning yesterday in response to “specific” intelligence, telling British nationals to leave “immediately”. One intelligence source told The Daily Telegraph that MI6 had picked up a “credible threat” linked to last week’s Algerian raid, in which al-Qeada militants stormed a BP gas complex and killed dozens of foreign workers. Sources in the Libyan city itself suggested the threat had been made against the British School of Benghazi, which announced it would close for a week at least, and other international “institutes”. There have already been several reports of links between Libya and the Algerian hostage takers. The weapons used by the kidnappers were said to have come from the country, while some of the militants who took part are also reported to have been involved in last year’s attack on the US consulate in Benghazi…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nahlah Ayed: Rethinking Egypt’s Revolution

Protest, not celebration, marking Tahrir Square anniversary

It isn’t immediately clear who is behind the highly produced, richly coloured ad on Egypt’s state-owned television, but the message is. “Be safe, Egypt,” it concludes. The phrase is borrowed from the Egyptian anthem, which plays softly in the background over a pensive montage of proud-looking Egyptians variously working, marching and waving flags — all of it a seemingly nostalgic echo of the revolution that erupted here in Tahrir Square two years ago today. The network’s version of a public service announcement seems an attempt to will into existence an Egypt that is very different from the current one — a country where Egyptians might celebrate, instead of protest, on the anniversary of the unplanned revolution that deposed the long-entrenched regime of Hosni Mubarak in a mere 18 days. But thousands have gathered early to protest anyway, and few of them were in any mood to celebrate…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Running Down the Clock on Benghazi

Once people understand that a full accounting of the events related to Benghazi would provide a rare glimpse into the agenda and activities of a rogue government operation of unfathomable consequence, it is easy to see why this regime is so intent on covering-up the truth. To understand the role the “special mission” in Benghazi played in providing arms to anti-Assad forces for the purposes of destabilizing Syria on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood is to see the larger geo-political picture in this high-stakes game of real-world Risk.

The attack in Benghazi ripped the curtain of secrecy, allowing the world to connect the dots into the Obama-Saudi plan for restructuring the Middle East — a plan that is being allowed to continue, compliments of an accommodating legislative branch of government and a fawning and obedient media.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

John Kerry Warns of Disaster in Failed Middle East Peace Efforts

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — U.S. Senator John Kerry, awaiting his confirmation as the country’s next secretary of state, warned on Thursday of “disastrous” consequences in the event of an eventual failure to make peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Addressing a hearing on his nomination at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the veteran lawmaker argued for moving forward the moribund peace process. “We need to try to find a way forward, and I happen to believe that there is a way forward,” said Kerry, whose quick confirmation by the Senate has been widely expected…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Iran Unveils Machine for Amputating Thieves’ Fingers

One of Iran’s official press agencies published photos showing the public amputation of a thief’s fingers on Wednesday. These show a man getting his finger chopped off with a machine resembling a rotary saw.

WARNING: These images may shock viewers.

We contacted many of our Observers in Iran to ask them about this machine. Some of them had heard about it before, but many discovered its existence through these morbid photographs, which were reportedly taken on Thursday. According to the INSA press agency, the man shown getting his finger cut off was charged with robbery and adultery by a court in the southwestern city of Shiraz. He was also accused of being at the head of a criminal organisation. On top of losing one of his fingers, he was sentenced to three years in prison and 99 whip lashes.

No independent witnesses were able to recount the circumstances under which this amputation took place. Four photos of the scene published by the press agency were widely relayed on social media networks. Strangely enough, the man’s face did not betray any signs of suffering in the photos, though it is possible that he might have been drugged…

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo [Return to headlines]

Iraq: 2 Killed, 10 Wounded During Clashes With Iraqi Army in Fullujah

BAGHDAD, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — At least two protesters were killed and 10 others injured as they clashed with the police forces on Friday morning in Iraq’s Fallujah city, medical sources told Xinhua. Local media reported that the Iraqi troops opened fire during the confrontation with Sunni protesters rallying against the Shiite-led government.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Was Israel Behind the Rumored Fordow Nuclear Enrichment Explosion in Iran?

If this latest report is independently confirmed it would mark a stunning setback in Iran’s timetable for completion of uranium enrichment to produce sufficient fissile materials to build several nuclear devices. US analysts had predicted that Iran would not achieve that objective until 2014. That assessment was before the unconfirmed destruction of the Fordow enrichment facility near Qom. Could PM Netanyahu have commissioned the covert action against the Fordow enrichment facility prior to his dramatic ‘crossing red lines’ speech before the UN General assembly in September 2012? Conduct of such special ops requires significant intelligence, planning and deployment of assets with the assurance that it could succeed. Or could the explosion at Fordow be self-inflicted, meaning the equivalent of an unforeseen ‘industrial accident’? Even if US and Israeli intelligence can evaluate confirmed reports, we may not know the outcome for weeks or months. As in the case of Israel’s dramatic IAF attack that destroyed the Syrian nuclear bomb factory on the banks of the Euphrates River in September 2007, Israel will remain mum. The US and others might disclose this stunning development. It would be a possible setback to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons poised to provide a nuclear umbrella to threaten Israel, US and Sunni antagonists in the Gulf region. If this latest report is independently confirmed it would mark a stunning setback in Iran’s timetable for completion of uranium enrichment to produce sufficient fissile materials to build several nuclear devices. US analysts had predicted that Iran would not achieve that objective until 2014. That assessment was before the unconfirmed destruction of the Fordow enrichment facility near Qom. Could PM Netanyahu have commissioned the covert action against the Fordow enrichment facility prior to his dramatic ‘crossing red lines’ speech before the UN General assembly in September 2012? Conduct of such special ops requires significant intelligence, planning and deployment of assets with the assurance that it could succeed. Or could the explosion at Fordow be self-inflicted, meaning the equivalent of an unforeseen ‘industrial accident’? Even if US and Israeli intelligence can evaluate confirmed reports, we may not know the outcome for weeks or months. As in the case of Israel’s dramatic IAF attack that destroyed the Syrian nuclear bomb factory on the banks of the Euphrates River in September 2007, Israel will remain mum. The US and others might disclose this stunning development. It would be a possible setback to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons poised to provide a nuclear umbrella to threaten Israel, US and Sunni antagonists in the Gulf region.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

2 Islamic Caucasus Emirate Leaders Reported Killed in Chechnya

Russia Today reported that Khuseyn (or Hussein) and Muslim Gakayev, two senior leaders in the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, were among 11 terrorists killed during a Russian military operation in Chechnya

[…]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: ‘Five Killed’ In Car Bomb Attack in Kapisa

At least five civilians have been killed in a car bomb attack thought to have been targeting a Nato convoy in eastern Kapisa province, officials say.

The Nato-led force, Isaf, confirmed that none of its troops were killed by the car bomb in Tagab district. But Afghan officials said that the bomb detonated after it slammed into a home, killing members of a family who were inside and a passer-by. Taliban militants said they carried out the attack…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Indian Women Given Kitchen Knives and Chilli Powder to Protect Against Rape

A political party in India is handing out kitchen knives and chilli powder to women following a gang rape in the capital New Delhi that ignited a national debate on the best way to tackle sex crimes.

The radical Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena, an ally of the main opposition BJP and which governs Mumbai, said it had handed out 21,000 knives with three-inch blades to women in the city and surrounding areas. It plans to distribute 100,000. Mumbai police said they were examining the knives and considering legal action. “This is a symbolic gesture,” said Shiv Sena spokesman Rahul Narvekar, adding that a knife shorter than six inches in length does not fit the definition of a weapon. The party also handed out small bags of chilli powder — apparently to throw into an attacker’s eyes. “It’s only to pass a signal to eve-teasers, anti-social elements and perpetrators of crime against women that women are empowered and they can take care of themselves,” Narvekar said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Malaysia: Cops Told to Stop Bible Burning

PETALING JAYA: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has asked police to stop this Sunday’s Bible-burning programme planned by Pasukan Bertindak Anti Bible Bahasa Melayu, a previously unknown group.

“I would like your cooperation to stop them and increase the security level to ensure public safety and harmony,” he wrote to Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi in a letter made available to the media.

“We hope that the police can control the situation to avoid any untoward incidents.”

Lim’s call came a day after the discovery of a flyer urging Muslims to attend what the group called a “festival” to burn Malay-language Bibles at the Bagan Luar Municipality field in Butterworth.

The flyer reads: “Our children and grandchildren will end up being apostates if you want to wait for our impotent government to act.

“To Muslims who have copies of al-Kitab, bring them over to make our Bible-burning session merrier.”

Abdul Rahim has meanwhile released a press statement saying police had received seven reports about the distribution of Bibles to Muslim students of a school in Jelutong.

He said four of the reports were made by students of the school and the rest by other members of the public.

They submitted copies of the Bible to the police, Bernama quoted him as saying.

“All the Bibles are in the English language and the word ‘Allah’ does not feature in them,” he said.

Abdul Rahim said the case was being investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code, which specifies penalties for actions that may cause disharmony, disunity, enmity, hatred or ill will on the grounds of religion. Offenders can be jailed for two to five years.

The Jelutong incident was raised last Thursday by several local residents, some of whom made a video recording of four people allegedly distributing Bibles at the gate of the school.

Abdul Rahim said the case had been referred to the Attorney-General.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sri Lanka to Ban Maids Going to Saudi Arabia

Colombo government says it will gradually phase out domestic workers in the Gulf country after beheading of Sri Lankan.

Sri Lanka will gradually stop allowing women to work as housemaids in Saudi Arabia after a Sri Lankan was executed in the country over the death of an infant in her care, the Colombo government said.

The government said it would raise the minimum age for female domestic workers to be eligible to seek employment in Saudi Arabia to 25 years from the present 21 with an eye on eventually stopping such employment altogether.

“Gradual phase-out is the idea,” government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said. “We can’t stop it overnight. It’s a gradual process and increasing the age limit is part of that.”

Colombo recalled its envoy to Saudi Arabia in response to the beheading on January 9 of Rizana Nafeek, who was sentenced to death in 2007 accused of killing her employer’s daughter while she was bottle-feeding.

A third of the two million Sri Lankan maids working abroad are in Saudi Arabia, according to the country’s foreign employment bureau.

Many households in the Middle East are highly dependent on housemaids from African and South Asian countries.

In some cases of reported domestic abuse, maids have attacked the children of their employers after they were mistreated themselves.

In the case of Nafeek, the Saudi interior ministry said, the infant was strangled after a dispute between her and the baby’s mother.

Rights groups have criticised the beheading and Saudi Arabia’s handling of the case. In a statement before the execution, Amnesty International said that it appeared Nafeek had no access to lawyers either during her pre-trial interrogation or at her trial in 2007.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China “Sinks” US Aircraft Carrier During War Game

China reportedly “sunk” a mock US aircraft carrier with a state of the art missile during a war game in the Gobi Desert recently, fueling concerns that the newly emerging superpower is increasingly eyeing the United States as a military rival.

“The People’s Liberation Army has successfully sunk a US aircraft carrier, according to a satellite photo provided by Google Earth,” reports the Want China Times,” adding that, “A satellite image reveals two large craters on a 200-meter-long white platform in the Gobi desert used to simulate the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. The photo was first posted on SAORBATS, an internet forum based in Argentina. Military analysts believed the craters would have been created by China’s DF-21D anti-ship missile, dubbed the “carrier killer.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Katter’s Candidates Now Targeting Muslims

A DAY after two of Bob Katter’s Australian Party candidates were ridiculed for making homophobic jibes, one of their colleagues came under fire for expressing his distaste for Muslim blessed meats. Greenway candidate Jamie Cavanough took to an online community forum to ask where he could buy “Guaranteed NON halal lamb for Australia Day”. He went on to say he would “prefer to always buy non-halal as proceeds of halal goes to the Muslim community”. In his defence, KAP National Director Aidan McLindon said “some Australians want crunchy peanut butter, others want smooth peanut butter, some Australians want halal meat and some want non-halal meat — these are just some of the great freedoms we enjoy in this country”. Sidelined Queensland KAP candidate Bernard Gaynor announced on Twitter: “I agree with KAP candidate Jamie Cavanough. I don’t want to buy meat that has been faced towards Mecca & blessed”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

New Zealand: Muslims Tackle ‘Stigma of Violence’

Hundreds of Ahmadi Muslims will gather in Manukau tomorrow for their 24th annual religious convention. This year’s theme is Muhammad — Peace Be Upon Him, giving prominence to the Holy Prophet of Islam’s teachings of universality, peace and harmony. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community national president Mohammad Iqbal says understanding the Prophet’s true message is critical to removing “the stigma of violence and aggression associated nowadays with Islam because of actions of a minority of fanatics.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Queensland Biochemist-Turned-Winemaker Claims to Have Created a Wine That is Beneficial to Drinkers’ Health

A QUEENSLAND biochemist-turned-winemaker claims to have created what drinkers had only dreamed of — wine that is beneficial to your health.

Greg Jardine, founder of Mt Nebo-based company Dr Red Nutraceuticals, filed a patent for Modified Polyphenol Technology in Wines late last year and said the creation would “finally give wine a real medicinal edge”.

The process involved ageing red wine for a certain period of time, which enhanced the number of antioxidants within it, made them fat-soluble, rather than water-soluble, and easier to absorb into the bloodstream.

Some studies have shown antioxidants are effective at fighting a multitude of different diseases.

Mr Jardine said he had been working on the process for 10 years but had only recently discovered a way to retain the taste while enhancing antioxidants.

“Wine has got massive amounts of antioxidants but they are quite tannic so if you put more in people would not drink it because of the taste,” he told The Sunday Mail.

“What we discovered was if we allowed them to age and stop it at the right point of time the tannic taste goes and we make it taste good.”

Biomedical Sciences Professor Lindsay Brown, from the University of Southern Queensland, found the non-alcoholic dried crystal used to make the wine successfully treated rats with arthritis.

“The results were astonishing. Right from the outset of the 14-day trial, this wine was effective … and by day four, it achieved a near-perfect recovery,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Trillions of Dollars Worth of Oil Found in Australian Outback

Up to 233 billion barrels of oil has been discovered in the Australian outback that could be worth trillions of dollars, in a find that could turn the region into a new Saudi Arabia.

The discovery in central Australia was reported by Linc Energy to the stock exchange and was based on two consultants reports, though it is not yet known how commercially viable it will be to access the oil.

The reports estimated the company’s 16 million acres of land in the Arckaringa Basin in South Australia contain between 133 billion and 233 billion barrels of shale oil trapped in the region’s rocks.

It is likely however that just 3.5 billion barrels, worth almost $359 billion (£227 billion) at today’s oil price, will be able to be recovered.

The find was likened to the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale oil projects in the US, which have resulted in massive outflows and have led to predictions that the US could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer as soon as this year.

Peter Bond, Linc Energy’s chief executive, said the find could transform the world’s oil industry but noted that it would cost about £200 million to enable production in the area.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Mali: Analyst: Qatar is Funding Islamists

Objective is supporting Doha’s influence in region

(By Alma Safira) (ANSAmed) — DOHA, JANUARY 25 — Qatar supports Mali’s Islamists as it believes the movement is potentially key in the country’s governance, according to Michael Stephens, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in Qatar cited by Doha News. ‘The main motivation behind Qatar’s support of Mali’s Islamists is to ensure its business and the growth of its influence in the Arab and Islamic world’, noted the analyst. The level of involvement of Qatar in the activities of Islamist rebels in Mali will soon emerge together with the truth on who is giving them weapons, noted the expert. Qatar denies such allegations but, if evidence proved the contrary, an end of diplomatic relations with France would be a battle which Qatar cannot expect to win, according to Stevens.

The scenario in Mali is for the country to split with a North held by Islamists indebted to Qatar and a South supported by western countries. Such a situation, according to Stevens, is part of Qatar’s long-term vision as the country aims to improve bilateral relations with Mali and expand its influence in the Sahel area which is rich with hydrocarbons and precious metal reserves.

‘The official version is that Qatar is funding for humanitarian reasons, through non-profit organizations, the areas controlled by rebels but France believes that Qatar is supporting rebels tied to Al Qaeda who are trying to seize power in Mali in order to use the country as a jihadist platform from which to launch a global initiative. The truth is nobody knows how deep relations are between Qatar and the rebels’, wrote Stevens in the article published by Doha News.

Recently the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has indicated that it means to introduce an agency monitoring humanitarian donations to make sure they do not fund terror organizations. According to the Global Financing Integrity report, Qatar is one of the world’s top 20 countries providing the highest rate of funding to illegal activities, with an average 5.6 billion dollars financing crime every year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Maulud: Ahmed Urges Muslims to Emmulate Muhammad’s Virtues

The governor of Kwara state, Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed, has urged Muslims in the country to imbibe the enduring qualities of Prophet Muhammad, whose birth is being celebrated today, by being good neighbours to all, without religious or ethnic bias. Ahmed, in a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, on the occasion of the celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, said Muslims should at all times, emulate the prophet who was an embodiment of the virtues and and exemplary leader. He said that it was imperative that Muslims see the occasion as an opportunity to reflect on what prophet Muhammed represented…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Traffic Holdup as Muslims Celebrate Maulud in Kaduna

Kaduna — There was traffic gridlock in Kaduna metropolis yesterday when thousands of Muslims thronged the Murtala Muammad Square to celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the state. From Leventis to NEPA roundabout and all major roads leading to the square, there was heavy traffic jam as Islamic school pupils matched through the roads.

As early as 9am, Islamic schools children were seen carrying banners of their respective schools and singing Islamic songs. Their procession lasted till around 3pm…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

South Africa: Headgear-Wearing Muslims Return to Class

CAPE TOWN — The Western Cape Education Department on Thursday said two Muslim pupils who were kicked out of a Kraaifontein school, allegedly for wearing religious headgear, had returned to the classroom. Last week, teachers at Eben Donges apparently asked the siblings in grade 9 and 11 to remove their headscarves and fez’. When one of them refused, their parents were called in and told the religious headgear was not part of their school uniform. But the education department’s spokesperson, Paddy Attwell, said the matter had since been resolved. “We are pleased to say that the two learners returned to class this morning, after extensive discussions with the principal. “Our district office instructed the school, in writing, to allow the learners to return.”

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

17,000 People to Become Citizens on Australia Day 2013

SYDNEY, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — About 17,000 people from 145 countries around the world will become Australian citizens on Saturday’s Australia Day, local media reported on Friday.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) that 4,964 people will make their pledge at citizenship ceremonies in Queensland on Australia Day, while 3,814 in Victoria and 3,763 in New South Wales on the most popular day of the year to become Australians.

The UK is the top nation of origin for new citizens, followed by South Africa, the Philippines and China. “Some people wait six months or more — it’s a really special day, people are just jumping out of their skin,” the spokeswoman said. The number of new citizens in NSW making the pledge on Saturday is up by nearly 800 state-wide compared with the figure in 2012, according to DIAC. The citizenship ceremonies will be held around the nation on Australia Day.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Roger Scruton: Border Control Must be at the Heart of Any EU Renegotiations

Roger Scruton is a writer and philospher.

The greatest difference between being governed by a national Parliament and being governed by a treaty is that, in the former case, law can be made immediately, in response to every change in the situation of those affected by it, and mistakes can be rectified before their full toll of destruction has been reaped. In the nature of things treaties forbid this. They exist to enforce a particular decision, made in particular circumstances, for a particular goal. And even if they include provisions for amending and adjusting as circumstances change, their immovable goal perpetuates the thinking from which they arose, long after circumstances have made it irrelevant.

Thus the Treaty of Rome included, among its four freedoms, the freedom of the labour force to move across national borders. This freedom, itself backed up by long-since exploded economic theories concerning the role played by the ‘factors of production’, seemed harmless at the time, when there was near full employment and parity of income in the member states. Everything began to change, partly as a result of the Treaty. And when the decision was taken, from which the people of Europe were, as ever, excluded, to extend membership to the newly liberated countries of Eastern Europe, the result was a mass migration from places devastated by communism to places where the rule of law, private property and representative institutions had kept in being the old spirit of Europe. Nothing could be done to stop this, we were told: at best it could be delayed. For a few years our government was able to postpone the influx from Romania and Bulgaria. Now, it seems this influx is to come, and our Parliament and our law can do nothing to prevent it…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

A Call for Tolerance Between London’s Muslim and LGBT communities

by Wais Islam

In light of recent events in east London, Wais Islam, a former Tower Hamlets Labour councillor, says it’s important to remember the area belongs to people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations and religions.

As a British Muslim I strongly condemn the vigilante patrol group that has caused national outrage by making a video in which they harass non-Muslims with homophobic remarks and by forcing them to throw away their alcoholic drinks on the street as well as calling Whitechapel a Muslim area. I am against the idea of calling the group a Muslim patrol because they do not represent us in any form or with any approval. As a former Labour councillor for Whitechapel Ward and first Tower Hamlets Olympic Ambassador, I found the cowardly actions of these individuals to be totally against the principles of Islam as our Lord, Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an “let there be no compulsion in religion”…

[Reader comment by Aaron on 24 January 2013]

So the LGBT community are supposed to be tolerant of the intolerance of certain sections of the Muslim community who will in turn tolerate the tolerance that exists for their intolerance. An intolerable situation, surely?

[Reader comment by Mark Y on 24 January 2013]

blah, blah, blah. Empty words. He might strongly condemn it, but 90% of the other muslims in east London wouldn’t. christianity and judaism is generally intolerant of us, but islam is 100 times worse. The most backward, bigoted, homophobic, misogynistic belief system to have any power in the world.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Australia: Insult: Offence and the Draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill

THE young apprentice loved to boast of his romantic conquests over the weekend. His workmates nicknamed him “Romeo”, in the true Australian larrikin tradition.

But “Romeo” took offence to their ribbing. He lodged a discrimination claim on the grounds of “lawful sexual activity”. His employer, a small auto-electrician company in rural Victoria, chose to pay thousands of dollars in compensation in a confidential settlement, to avoid the costs of fighting the claim in court.

“Employers are being held to ransom by claims of discriminatory conduct by employees,” says Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce industrial manager Bill Chesterman, who helped negotiate the “go away” payment.

New discrimination laws planned by the Federal Fovernment will extend the workplace warfare to every facet of public life. Australians’ behaviour and conversations in schools, shops, playgrounds, clubs, pubs and sporting fields will be covered by the anti-discrimination legislation drafted by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon. Hurt feelings are set to become the legal trigger for compensation claims.

           — Hat tip: The Observer [Return to headlines]

Brave New World: Oxford Professor Says Genetically Altering Unborn Babies’ Personalities a Moral Obligation

Professor Julian Savulescu, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a “moral obligation” as it makes them grow up into “ethically better children”, this based on a few genetic links to ‘personality disorders’.

He said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to “harm themselves and others”.

[Translation: Use genetics to create obedient drone population to do bidding of elites.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dumber Than You Think You Are

Programming of children’s shows are platforms for socialist propaganda

If you passed through any school system since the 1960s, you are a lot dumber than you think you are. Those of us educated in the 1940s and 50s learned the fundamentals of literacy, history, civics, mathematics, and science in ways that no system relentlessly devoted to “self-esteem” ever could.

The takeover of the educational system, traditionally the responsibility of the states and individual communities, is part of the legacy of former President Jimmy Carter who reorganized the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, establishing a cabinet-level Education Department. He signed it into law on October 17, 1979 and it began operating on May 4, 1980.

[…]

Still another factor has been popular entertainment; in particular, television. For example, the programming of children’s shows are platforms for socialist propaganda, emphasizing the usual lies about the environment and other “progressive” agendas. As often as not, programs for an adult audience, particularly on the National Geographic channel, have engaged in the same dubious “science.”

Aside from the provision of sports and entertainment, television today is filled with programs that are designed to appeal to the lowest IQs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

East London Mosque Condemns Homophobia, Yet Advertised Four Anti-Gay Speakers Last Month Alone

by Andrew Gilligan

I was offered the “Muslim patrol” story in Tower Hamlets, where self-proclaimed “Muslim vigilantes” filmed themselves verbally abusing and intimidating a gay man. Perhaps wrongly, I didn’t use it because I wasn’t sure whether a few kids on YouTube had national importance. I am glad, however, that the local police appear to be taking it seriously for once — in contrast to their lamentable attempts to ignore, downplay and cover up previous acts of “Islamic enforcement” and bigotry in the East End.

One Tower Hamlets organisation of undoubted national importance that continues to laugh up its sleeve at us is the East London Mosque, the capital’s largest. The mosque’s PR machine lost no time cranking out a statement condemning the “vigilantes” and claiming that the mosque was “committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith.” This claim has been trustingly repeated by various journalists in the coverage this week. But, as the most cursory investigation would show, it is a brazen lie…

[Reader comment by Noah on 25 January 2013 at 4:10 am.]

Jerryvernon, your view of Muslims is misinformed to say the least. What exactly do you know about Islam and what it demands from its followers — the kind of blind, total life long obedience. You may say that you know many Muslims who eat pork, drink etc. Fine, but the litmus test will be when the demographic tipping point is reached, and there are more of them than there are of us.

Islam throughout the ages teaches its children (and the Muslims you may be friendly with are no exception) that total obedience to the koran is non-negotiable. This is informed by going to mosque school where the children are indoctrinated that Islam is supreme and they must never be friends with non-Muslims (it’s in the koran). If these “modern” Muslims’ parents adhered to Islam and sent them to be indoctrinated, then parents and children slacked off and nothing was done about it, all very well. Today, however, threats of violence for Muslim who “stray” are the norm, and growing.

Given that most Muslims are herd followers and tend to stick together and resist integration — how are we to know which ones would attempt to protect us when the Muslim population overwhelms us and we are persecuted “untermenschen”? Would you like to wait until that comes until you find out whose side your Muslim friends are on? After all, when have you heard Muslim spokespeople ever UNEQUIVOCALLY condemn Muslim violence intimidation and hate speech, without trying to deflect blame on to the victims, or attempting to trivialise criminal acts by saying “it’s just a minority — Islam is a religion of peace.” Look at the Muslim paedophile rings who abuse non-Muslim girls. We’ve not seen the end of that, either because we’re scared to call this growing elephant in the room what it is — Islam and Islamism.

Being concerned (to say the least) about this is not Islamophobia, it’s pragmatism. Islam and all other religions are totally opposed to each other. You seem typical of many non-Muslims in that you believe that if we leave them alone to do their thing, then they will leave us alone to do our thing. Not so. Look how they insiduously push Shariah finance, Shariah law, and by sheer weight of numbers change the face of British education and many of the cultural things that are uniquely British by insisting on substituting their own cultural norms, demanding (not requesting) that we accept them, on pain of prosecution? This is another form of jihad, which will grow while people like you bury their heads in the sand. Recently somebody was jailed for putting a pig’s head outside a mosque.

I remember instances when bacon slices were wrapped around the handles of a main door of a synagogue — when people leaving synagogues had to have police escorts because Muslim youths threatened and intimidated them — no jail terms were ever imposed. If you feel this is an exaggeration, then do your homework. By all means sleep walk down the cul de sac of total tolerance for Muslim elitism bullying and supremacism if you want, but don’t expect those of us who’ve woken up to do the same.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

New York Governor Pushing Bill for 3rd-Term Abortions

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing a bill in the New York state legislature that pro-life advocates are aggressively opposing. They say the so-called Reproductive health bill is the “the most sweeping abortion legislation in the nation” because it would lift limits on third-trimester abortions and allow non-physicians to do abortions.

“Gov. Cuomo’s bill elevates abortion to a fundamental right and says New York state can’t discriminate on abortion in benefits or services or anything else it provides,” said Kathleen Gallagher, the New York’s Catholic Conference director of pro-life activities.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Panetta: ‘Everyone Entitled to a Chance’ To be Combat Soldier in ‘Gender Neutral’ Military

Gen. Dempsey said that it will now be up to the individual services to explain why any position — including those with Navy SEAL units or the Army’s Delta Force — should still exclude women.

“If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that women couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the Secretary why is it that high, does it really have to be that high,” Dempsey said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pope Tweets in Solidarity With US Pro-Lifers

@Pontifex supports the unborn during Roe v. Wade anniversary

(ANSA) — Vatican City, January 25 — Pope Benedict XVI tweeted in solidarity with pro-life marchers demonstrating across the United States on Friday in a week that marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal. “I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life,” he tweeted to his more than 2.5 million followers from his handle @Pontifex. Anti-abortion rallies attended by high-ranking Catholic clergy have been organized around the country.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Rotten to the Core (Part 2): Readin’: Writin’ and Deconstructionism

(This is the second part of an ongoing series on federal “Common Core” education standards and the corruption of academic excellence.)

The Washington, D.C., board of education earned widespread mockery this week when it proposed allowing high school students — in the nation’s own capital — to skip a basic U.S. government course to graduate. But this is fiddlesticks compared to what the federal government is doing to eliminate American children’s core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.

Thanks to the “Common Core” regime, funded with President Obama’s stimulus dollars and bolstered by duped Republican governors and business groups, deconstructionism is back in style. Traditional literature is under fire. Moral relativism is increasingly the norm. “Standards” is Orwell-speak for subjectivity and lowest common denominator pedagogy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Tell the Truth and Shame the Southern Poverty Law Center

“Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on…I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.” —Mark Potok, director of intelligence at Southern Poverty Law Center.

The homosexual activist group, Southern Poverty Law Center, has attempted to infiltrate the public school system with their newly designed entry-level “diversity” program called “Mix It Up” day. The goal of “Mix It Up” day is to force the acceptance of homosexuality into public schools — even at elementary and junior high levels.

They listed schools on their website who were “participants” of “Mix It Up” day. However, the SPLC was reprimanded and exposed by administrators of public schools because they falsely listed their schools as participants without authorization or permission.

How did the school systems respond? Get us off your list immediately!

[…]

The SPLC recently wrote a letter titled “FRC (Family Research Council) deserves hate group label,” in which they accused Tony Perkins of calling Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project “all part of a ‘concerted effort’ to ‘recruit’ children into the gay ‘lifestyle.’“

Look at Canada’s fallout after homosexual marriage was implemented. Their next step was to lower the age of consent for anal sex to 14 years old.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Blood-Smeared Glass Ceiling

In one of his last acts as Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta today will revoke the last of the policies that prevent women from serving in combat arms.

Make no mistake about it: this action isn’t about civil rights, equal opportunity, or any of the laudable things America has done in the past fifty years to remove false barriers within the military. This is different. It’s a purely political act that will make our military — and the military families liberals claim to venerate — much weaker than they are today.

[…]

Perhaps the worst example is what happened to the Navy after the 1990 “Tailhook Convention” scandal in which naval aviators acted like, well, every fighter pilot who ever lived. They drank too much and did dumb things such as publicly shaving the legs of some too-willing ladies they’d invited. It was a frat party worthy of Animal House, but no worse.

Liberals — led by California’s Babsy Boxer and a few others — raised a media feeding frenzy and the Navy’s pusillanimous leaders caved in to their demands. The result was that the Navy let its standards slip in order to shove women into combat roles. Lt. Kara Hultgreen was pushed through training and certified for combat, the first female naval aviator to reach that qualification. But she was certified despite the fact that her superiors knew she wasn’t ready. Hultgreen was killed when she lost control of her aircraft attempting to land on the USS Abraham Lincoln in 1994. The Navy learned its lesson, and its standards were restored.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Islam and Science: The Road to Renewal

After centuries of stagnation science is making a comeback in the Islamic world

THE sleep has been long and deep. In 2005 Harvard University produced more scientific papers than 17 Arabic-speaking countries combined. The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims have produced only two Nobel laureates in chemistry and physics. Both moved to the West: the only living one, the chemist Ahmed Hassan Zewail, is at the California Institute of Technology. By contrast Jews, outnumbered 100 to one by Muslims, have won 79. The 57 countries in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference spend a puny 0.81% of GDP on research and development, about a third of the world average. America, which has the world’s biggest science budget, spends 2.9%; Israel lavishes 4.4%…

[JP note: See also ‘A Mostly Ridiculous Article In The Economist About A Non-Existent “Revival Of Science” In The Islamic World’

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21570677-after-centuries-stagnation-science-making-comeback-islamic-world-road

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/25/2013

  1. Quote:
    Detective Chief Inspector Wendy Morgan from Tower Hamlets borough said: “The Met takes such homophobic behaviour very seriously…
    end

    Liar.
    If the Metropolitan Police took “such homophobic behavior” very seriously, it would not be attempted by the braying asses in the first place.
    Sharia law is no law.
    “Wendy Morgan’s” elevation to such a position at Tower Hamlets is another surrender to the Ummah. No wonder they’re running their own patrols!

  2. Quote:
    The result was that the Navy let its standards slip in order to shove women into combat roles.
    end

    The rationale for this policy and the policy itself are flawed. It is that equality is sameness, that men and women are basically the same, with uniform capacities.
    It’s just not true, and it will cost much in lives.
    It will also increase the opportunities for rape and sexual assault.
    And when these newly privileged women are raped, their superiors will beat them over the head with the “equality is sameness” argument and force them to repress every bit of pain and every request for justice.
    Phyllis Chesler was right.
    The “feminist” women really have internalized the competitive and cruel male-dominated society around them.
    This move is a surrender to men, it does not amount to any victory for women.
    If the standards privilege combat service more than support, and if there is a perception of injustice to those in the support roles, then the system should have been changed above and top down.
    Such a policy move would have been far less self-deceptive and dangerous.
    Shame on the Pentagon!

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