Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/24/2013

After spending several months making large profits by shorting the yen, George Soros is reportedly now considering shorting the pound sterling. The pound has declined against the dollar over the past quarter, and Mr. Soros is evidently betting that it will drop even further.

In other news, in the middle of the most severe economic crisis in its history, the Egyptian government is purchasing 140,000 new canisters of teargas costing €2 million, in anticipation of a new round of rioting. Meanwhile, Iran announced that it has discovered extensive new deposits of uranium ore, and says it is planning 16 additional nuclear power plants.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Diana West, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, Nick, 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.

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
» George Soros May Revisit His Famous British Pound Short
» German Politician Slams France as Eurozone’s ‘Problem Child’
» Italy: Monti Responds to ‘Grillo Risk’ Question
» Spanish Police Arrest 45 in the Wake of Madrid Rallies
 
USA
» About That SOTU: Did Anyone Realize Obama Was Working Off a New Constitution?
» All the President’s Neuroscientists
» ARGUS: The Technology That Takes Video Surveillance to Another Level (Video)
» Armstrong’s Cheating Won Record Riches of More Than $218 Million
» Cop Harasses Couple for Ohio Buckeye Leaf Bumpersticker
» DOJ Memo: Outlaw and Confiscate All Guns
» Incapable of Real Humor, Bill Maher Aims Racist Nonsense at Me
» John Dewey: Bosom Serpent of American Education
» Obama’s Dr. Ben Carson Problem
» Obama is Setting Us Up
» The Rocket’s Red Glare: Excerpts From Book “The Diary”
 
Europe and the EU
» Italy: Court Upholds EasyJet Rome-Milan Decision
» Italy: Bus Driver Poll Watchers May Affect Rome Bus Service
» Italy: Femen Activists Risk Resisting Arrest
» Killer Robots Must be Stopped, Say Campaigners
» Rain in Central and Southern Italy, Snow in the North
» Tens of Thousands Gather for Pope’s Last Prayers
 
North Africa
» Egypt Spends 2 Mln Euro on Tear Gas Amid Economic Crisis
» Emboldened Islamists Condemn Egypt’s Grand Mufti
 
Middle East
» Found! Iran’s Secret Ballistic Missile Base
» Iran Discovers Uranium Deposits, Plans 16 Nuclear Plants
» Kahlili: Iranian Regime Concerned About Radiation Leak From Fordow Blast
» West Pours Arms Into Syria as Al Qaeda Mass Slaughters Civilians
 
South Asia
» Al-Qaida Alive and Well, Ready to Attack West
 
Far East
» Arms Race Builds in South-East Asia, To Counter Chinese “Imperialism”
 
Australia — Pacific
» US Gov’t to Air-Drop Toxic Mice on Guam Snakes
 
Immigration
» Holland Wants to Impose Good Citizenship Contracts on EU Migrants
» UK: Daniel Ubani Inquest: NHS Failings Allowed Killer Doctor to Work
» UK: Hospital Beds Blocked by Mentally Ill Migrant Criminals
 
Culture Wars
» Massachusetts Forces Schools to Let ‘Transgender’ Boys Use Girls’ Restrooms, Lockers
 
General
» Eugenics Movement Calls for Eco-Dictatorship Under UN Rule
» Facebook Violated My Privacy and May be Spying on You

George Soros May Revisit His Famous British Pound Short

Shorting the yen has earned George Soros more than $1 billion in profits since November.

Now Soros has set his sights on the second-most-shorted currency in the world — the British pound.

And he may have company, as the Financial Times reports: Along with Soros Fund Management, Tudor Investment Corp., Caxton Associates and Moore Capital — some of the best global macro traders — “see similarities in UK’s predicament to that of Japan” and are interested in shorting the pound.

This adds to worries about the pound, which has already fallen 5% this year. And with exports falling, productivity low, and gross domestic product shrinking last quarter, Britain’s economic outlook is foggy at best.

“There could be a dramatic weakening of the pound this year,” one of the world’s top macro hedge fund managers, who declined to be named because he does not want his firm’s positions becoming public, told the FT.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Politician Slams France as Eurozone’s ‘Problem Child’

Michael Fuchs, a leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats party, said Friday that France is the eurozone’s “problem child”, adding that the country must scrap its 35-hour work week and hike the age of retirement.

A leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said Friday that France was a “problem child” in the eurozone and must scrap its 35-hour work week as well as push back its retirement age.

“The French must save to become more capable of acting. They must of course also make economic reforms,” Michael Fuchs, deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats’ parliamentary group told public radio.

“They must change the working hours. You know that the French still have the 35-hour week. That can’t work when in Switzerland people work 42 hours, in Germany 40 hours,” he complained on Deutschlandfunk radio.

He was speaking before the European Commission announced that France’s public deficit was set to be worse than expected in 2013 and 2014, veering up to 3.7 percent of output this year and 3.9 percent next year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti Responds to ‘Grillo Risk’ Question

Speaks of threat of plunging back into sovereign debt crisis

(ANSA) — Florence, February 22 — Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti indicated on Friday that the Genoa comedian Beppe Grillo’s political movement had the potential to toss Italy back into sovereign debt crisis once again. Responding to journalists’ questions about what risk Grillo’s populist and anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) posed should it garner substantial voter support in parliamentary elections on Sunday and Monday, Monti said, “We had the risk of (becoming like) Greece in November 2011 and we managed to thwart it with all the understanding and sacrifice of the Italian people. “It would be terrible to fall back into it. I hope not,” said Monti.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spanish Police Arrest 45 in the Wake of Madrid Rallies

(AGI) — Madrid, Feb 24 — Spanish police arrested 45 people on Sunday night in the wake of anti-austerity demonstrations in Madrid. With tens of thousands voicing their opposition to the conservative Rajoy government’s budget and public sector cuts, a small group of demonstrators lingered on the streets at the end of the day’s rallies, taking on anti-riot police. The clashes led to some 40 injured, among whom 12 police officers.

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

About That SOTU: Did Anyone Realize Obama Was Working Off a New Constitution?

by Diana West

“Checks and balances” to be replaced by “the greater good”

WASHINGTON, D.C. President Barack Obama opened his 2013 State of the Union (SOTU) address to Congress by quoting John F. Kennedy. Fifty-one years ago, JFK told assembled government leaders in the same ornate House chamber — the president’s cabinet, members of Congress, the twelve justices of the Supreme Court — that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress”.

Such rhetoric, then and now, couldn’t be more at odds with the “checks and balances” that America’s founding fathers built into the Constitution when they created three co-equal branches of government: the executive (the president), the legislative (Congress) and the judicial (the courts).

In 1962, Kennedy was addressing Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, which, one could argue, were more likely to be political (if not constitutional) partners than rivals. Today, however, Obama faces a divided Congress: a Democrat majority in the Senate but a Republican majority in the House of Representatives. In order to be “partners” in Obama’s idea of “progress”, House Republicans would have to surrender all remaining political and constitutional powers.

The presidential address that followed, in effect, laid out how they could do exactly that as President Obama ahistorically re-conceived the country’s core concepts in a manner best described as revolutionary. He further re-imagined the powers of the presidency itself.

Obama declared: “It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country — the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who [sic] you love.”

Even the most rudimentary study of US history reveals the “basic bargain that built this country” was between We, the People, and the Creator, not the government. There was absolutely no quid pro quo in which government was supposed to facilitate the exchange of “hard work” for “getting ahead.” (Meanwhile, implying that homosexual union — “no matter … who you love” — has an 18th century pedigree is beyond ludicrous.) Obama, however, sets himself up as the arbiter of such a bargain. “We gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded,” he said, underscoring this theme of widespread, unmet expectations. Meanwhile, as he put it, “corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs”.

Another item that has skyrocketed to all-time highs is the national deficit…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

All the President’s Neuroscientists

President Obama’s proposed Brain Activity Map Project could lead to cures for Alzheimer’s, autism, and schizophrenia. But members of Congress should read the fine print when the $3 billion proposal hits their desks next month — because the project might also provide the first viable means of remotely controlling the human mind.

In 1973, during a panel discussion on the ethics of brain surgery, a Yale neurophysiologist named Jose Delgado argued that the time was ripe for the widespread use of corrective neural implants. “The question,” said Dr. Delgado, “rather than, What is man? should be, What kind of man are we going to construct?” Dr. Delgado was fond of publicity stunts, and had earlier used a remotely activated neural implant to stop a charging bull in its tracks…

The technologies required to map the brains of lower life forms won’t cut it with us. Our brains are too big, too complicated. While nanoprobes and other extensions of existing technology might get us part of the way, in order to get deep inside we’ll have to invent an entirely new class of what the Neuron paper calls Wireless and Synthetic Biology Approaches. “We think that it will ultimately become feasible to deploy small wireless microcircuits, untethered in living brains, for direct monitoring of neuronal activity,” the paper’s authors write. A little later, they add that “potential options for a human BAM Project include wireless electronics, safely and transiently introducing engineered cells to make tight (transient) junctions with neurons for recording and possibly programmable stimulation, or a combination of these approaches.”

Two things should leap out from reading the above quote. First, the redundant and distracting use of the words “transient” and “transiently,” a heavy-handed way to assure us that these untethered, internal brain monitors don’t have to be permanent, trust us. Second, note the reference to “possibly programmable stimulation.” Let’s be clear about what that means: These probes they envision injecting into human brains will not only be able to record the firing of vast networks of individual neurons, but will possibly be able to control the firing of those individual neurons as well. Later in the paper, they come back to a variant of this same point, writing that they anticipate the project will foster the “development of novel devices and strategies for fine control brain stimulation.”

[Comment: Borg.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ARGUS: The Technology That Takes Video Surveillance to Another Level (Video)

Argus Panoptes is the name of a giant of Greek mythology who had a hundred eyes and who was said to be “all-seeing”. What an appropriate name for DARPA’s latest wide area monitoring system, described as the “next generation of surveillance”. When mounted on a drone, ARGUS (which stands for Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System) has a 1.8 Gigapixels video system that allows the constant video surveillance of a small city, complete with the tracking of moving objects and incredible zoom-in capabilities.

Here’s a short video describing the basic (and non top-secret) capabilities of this technology. As you’ll see, the guy in the documentary refuses to say where this system is used. One thing, it is used and most probably on civilians.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Armstrong’s Cheating Won Record Riches of More Than $218 Million

Lance Armstrong is the richest cheater to be stripped of a championship or Olympic medal for using performance-enhancing drugs. It isn’t even close.

A compilation of the 41-year-old American cyclist’s earnings by Bloomberg News, using public documents, interviews, court testimony and marketers’ comments, shows part of Armstrong’s business ventures and profit centers. A record seven-time Tour de France winner from 1999 to 2005 before being stripped of the titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in August, Armstrong made more than $218 million in a career he later told Oprah Winfrey was “one big lie.” He said he used testosterone, erythropoietin and blood transfusions.

There’s no comparison in terms of wealth between Armstrong and other individual-sport athletes penalized for doping, a group that includes sprinters Ben Johnson and Marion Jones and cyclists Alberto Contador and Floyd Landis, according to Matt Fleming, a senior director at Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based brand consultant.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Cop Harasses Couple for Ohio Buckeye Leaf Bumpersticker

A Texas couple were on a return trip from Ohio when a cop pulled them over and ordered them to remove a bumpersticker. He thought the bumpersticker image of an Ohio buckeye leaf — the state symbol and a term of endearment for the pioneers on the Ohio frontier — was a marijuana leaf. He ordered them to remove the bumpersticker, although there is no law against displaying such an image.

The incident once again underscores how control freak and power tripping cops think they are entitled to tell citizens what they can do. It also reveals that a lot of cops have no clue about the First Amendment and the Constitution they are supposedly sworn to uphold.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DOJ Memo: Outlaw and Confiscate All Guns

The National Rifle Association has obtained a Department of Justice memo calling for national gun registration and confiscation. The nine page “cursory summary” on current gun control initiatives was not officially released by the Obama administration.

The DOJ memo (downloadable here as a PDF) states the administration “believes that a gun ban will not work without mandatory gun confiscation,” according to the NRA, and thinks universal background checks “won’t work without requiring national gun registration.” Obama has yet to publicly support national registration or firearms confiscation, although the memo reveals his administration is moving in that direction.

The memo stands in stark contrast to the administration’s public stance on so-called gun control. White House spokesman Jay Carney said last month that laws proposed by Obama would not “take away a gun from a single law-abiding American.”

The NRA declined to explain how it obtained the document. The memo was written by the acting director of the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, Greg Ridgeway. It is dated January 4, two weeks before Obama mounted his attack on the Second Amendment following the Sandy Hook massacre. Ridgeway came to the Justice Department from the RAND corporation.

[Comment: Gun Confiscation IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE a top priority of the Communists. Classic communist strategy: lie and deny until desired result is achieved.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Incapable of Real Humor, Bill Maher Aims Racist Nonsense at Me

Congratulations to Bill Maher for mastering his own game so well. That is to get attention for himself by being a complete jerk, and in this case, a racist jerk, Bill Maher is a racist

Maher, who uses racist crudities as a substitute for actual wit, tweeted the following about me on Thursday: “Man, Herman Cain is making a comeback — says he likes working with the Fox team, especially some of them fine-# white women they got there.”

I don’t know if Bill pays much attention to real facts, so maybe that’s where the “comeback” nonsense comes from. He’s missed the fact that I never went anywhere. But as we can see from the rest of the tweet, facts are not his thing. He’s perfectly happy to just make things up, like the statement he attributes to me — which of course I never said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

John Dewey: Bosom Serpent of American Education

The American education system is built from a model designed by Dewey, one which rejected the classics, any emphasis on rhetoric and logic, or rote memorization. Instead, the pragmatist Dewey valued experience over facts, logic or debate. In fact, the deeply progressive and anti-traditional Dewey held Marxist presuppositions. In John Dewey: An Intellectual Portrait, Sidney Hook describes his impact:

In America’s intellectual coming of age, no person has played a more important role than John Dewey. There is hardly a phase of American thought to which he has not made some contribution, hardly an aspect of American life which he has left uninterpreted. His influence has extended to the schools, the courts, the laboratories, the labor movement, and the politics of the nation.

But what has been the impact of Dewey’s ideas? As Dewey was not so much interested in individual student learning, but instead the child’s adaptation to a state-dominated society, we can well-guess the effect has been catastrophic…

It was John Dewey’s work as education innovator that earned him lasting fame. He claimed to have sought to free children from slavish adherence to the past. Yet Dewey’s impact has been a horrific assault against the notion of an educated, independent society of free-thinkers trained to understand the arguments of others and make one’s own. Instead, Dewey’s model focuses upon guiding children to be more group and state oriented while sacrificing the old curriculum of the classics and rhetorical Triumvirate.

[…]

Dewey accepts all of what one thinker, Robert Heilbroner, describes as the elements of Marxism which define the adherents, four in number, listed as follows:

1. The dialectical approach to knowledge. 2. The materialist approach to history. 3. A general view of capitalism starting from Marx’s socio-analysis. 4. A commitment to socialism or a belief in the unity of theory and practice.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Dr. Ben Carson Problem

In the case of Barack Obama, the thing that can bring him down, make him falter in mid-air, and drop him miserably to his political knees, is anyone that is willing to articulate American values, and do it in his face.

While the Republicans run around in circles trying to figure out a way to co-exist with the democrats, and their presidential messiah, Dr. Ben Carson took a stab into the side of Barack Obama, and his ultra-liberal policies, with a single speech at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. Obama’s balloon began to whistle as the air came rushing out of his ego. How dare this man embarrass our king, err, uhh, messiah, err, uhh, president like this. How dare he!

Dr. Ben Carson is not your typical (as the liberal left sees the world) white, racist, right-wing, extremist, religious-nut, gun clinging, Bible-thumping, conservative maniac. In fact, Dr. Carson isn’t even a white republican. He, to the amazement of the democrats, is an honest, God-fearing, common sense American that was willing to simply take Obama to the mat, and expose Barack Obama for the leftist ideologue, and coward, that he really is.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama is Setting Us Up

Seen in this context, the moves by Obama and the Marxist Democrats to disarm We, the People, the law-abiding American public, takes on an even more sinister caste.

Every day, new outrages are proposed, all aimed at destruction of the Middle Class and America as a free, capitalist, constitutional republic. However, in our efforts to recognize and combat the internal attacks — the tax increases, the land grabs, the granting of citizenship to illegal invaders, the undermining of private property rights, etc. ad nauseam — we are failing to notice the external threats that Obama’s policies are abetting. The re-militarization of Russia and their much more aggressive and threatening attitude is of great concern, but there are other, much less publicized ones we need to be aware of.

China has made trillions of dollars off us, thanks to massive interest payments on the uncontrolled borrowing by the Obama administration, and from a huge and ever increasing trade deficit, where they export to us way, way more than we export to them. During the Obama “presidency,” China surpassed America as the world’s leading economic power. They have used this money to radically increase the size and sophistication of their military, to the point where it is very questionable whether we could do anything should they move to start taking over other Asian countries, like the Philippines, Japan, or South Korea.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Rocket’s Red Glare: Excerpts From Book “The Diary”

“It wasn’t just the United States in revolution. There were dozens of countries around the world in revolt against their ruling classes, and it was costing billions of dollars for the U.N. to finance all of the peacekeeping forces. Even in China — there was a growing insurgency against the communist regime. The world was on fire against their ruling classes.” — Jerry Oliver “The Diary”…

Increased passive resistance by “we the people” will result in the passing of increasingly Draconian laws, which will feed increased resistance, resulting in harder and harsher laws, and so on in an ever-escalating Mexican standoff. Eventually, and inevitably, such a standoff will spill over into violence — and when TSHTF all bets are off. Martial law will sooner or later be declared by the feds, and then it’s “Katie bar the door.”

At this point I will turn to “The Diary,” and take a look at some of the scenarios that Oliver posits. One of the more important probabilities that he writes about is the splitting of the US military along ideological lines. Many in our military (most, IMHO) will choose to honor the oaths they took to “protect and defend” the US Constitution, rather than act as attack dogs for tyranny. How that scenario plays out will have far-reaching effects.

According to Oliver (and a number of others, I might add), the reality of so many US troops refusing to fire upon their fellow citizens will “force” the feds to call upon the UN for assistance. I put the word “force” in quote marks, because far from being “forced” to call in the UN, many believe that the feds are counting on it, and have been planning on introducing UN troops onto American soil for some time. Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers has likened such a move to being “like bringing the Hessians [German mercenaries] in during the days of the Founders.”

[…]

Without being “Pollyannaish,” Oliver’s book is hopeful and optimistic, in that at the end of the day the Patriots defeat the globalists, and are able to restore the American republic (at a high cost in “blood, sweat, and tears” it should be noted). “Happy ending” aside, I pray that America is spared the bloody horror of a chaotic civil war.

No sane person wants to start a war, but I will never accuse the global elitists of being sane — power-hungry, arrogant, amoral, and duplicitous, yes… but sane; not so much. They may be quite clever, in a Machiavellian sort of way, but they are sorely lacking in any true wisdom. The global elitists have, with great success, implemented an agenda of “Luciferian Inversion,” where what’s good is bad and what’s bad is good, and everything is turned on its head (e.g. God is bad; Lucifer good). It is the antithesis of sanity; it is narcissistic insanity. (Alinsky did not dedicate “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer just for grins).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Court Upholds EasyJet Rome-Milan Decision

Ryanair appeal rejected

(ANSA) — Rome, November 22 — An Italian court on Friday upheld an October decision by the Italian competition authority AGCM to award low-cost carrier EasyJet the rights to fly on the key route between Rome and Milan, breaking an Alitalia monopoly.

The Lazio regional tribunal turned down an appeal by Ryanair against the October 25 ruling.

EasyJet has hailed the decision as a “milestone” for the free market.

Until now Italy’s flagship carrier Alitalia has had the monopoly on services between the country’s political capital and its financial and economic centre.

The decision to award the low-cost carrier rights on the Rome-Milan route came after ACGM found there to be “a lack of proper competition between rail and air transport” and that Alitalia was running a monopoly.

The authority ordered the Italian flag carrier to give up seven of its slots.

EasyJet has said it will operate five services a day between the two airports from early 2013.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bus Driver Poll Watchers May Affect Rome Bus Service

(AGI) Rome — A sizable number of bus drivers acting as poll watchers for the elections may cause a reduction in Rome bus service.

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

Italy: Femen Activists Risk Resisting Arrest

(AGI) Milan — The three ‘Femen’ activists that contested Berlusconi showing their breast risk being accused of threatening a public official .

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

Killer Robots Must be Stopped, Say Campaigners

A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban “killer robots” before they reach the production stage is to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel peace prize laureates. Robot warfare and autonomous weapons, the next step from unmanned drones, are already being worked on by scientists and will be available within the decade, said Dr Noel Sharkey, a leading robotics and artificial intelligence expert and professor at Sheffield University. He believes that development of the weapons is taking place in an effectively unregulated environment, with little attention being paid to moral implications and international law.

“Giving machines the power to decide who lives and dies on the battlefield would take technology too far,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. “Human control of robotic warfare is essential to minimising civilian deaths and injuries.”

[Comment: Initially, these robots will be akin to the spider like robots in the 1980s movie Runaway (starring Tom Selleck, story by Michael Crichton) and Minority Report (Starring Tom Cruise). ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rain in Central and Southern Italy, Snow in the North

(AGI) Rome, Feb 24 — Central and southern Italy will be covered in clouds and rain as voters go to the polls to elect a new government. Sunday’s forecast was for snow in the north of the country.

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

Tens of Thousands Gather for Pope’s Last Prayers

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the Vatican City’s St Peter’s Square on Sunday, to witness an emotional Benedict XVI deliver his last Sunday prayers as Pope before stepping down on Thursday.

Pope Benedict XVI delivered an emotional last Sunday prayer in St Peter’s Square, saying God had told him to devote himself to prayer but assuring supporters he would not “abandon” the Church.

Tens of thousands of supporters turned out for the historic prayers ahead of the pope’s formal resignation on Thursday, often interrupting the pope with their clapping, cheering and chanting.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt Spends 2 Mln Euro on Tear Gas Amid Economic Crisis

(AGI) — Cairo, Feb 24 — In preparation for new mass protests and despite the worst economic crisis in its history, the Egyptian government has ordered 140,000 tear gas canisters worth slightly under 2 million euros from the U.S. The news was revealed by several NGOs quoted by the British newspaper The Guardian.

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

Emboldened Islamists Condemn Egypt’s Grand Mufti

Whenever Islamists grow in strength and influence, non-Muslims — and even Muslims not deemed Islamic enough — bear the brunt. This is the history of Islam. In weakness, it is tolerant and “inclusive,” in strength, it is aggressive and demanding of conformity — just as its prophet’s career suggests: when he was in Mecca outnumbered, Muhammad preached tolerance; when he went to Medina and became a warlord, he preached war. Compare the Mecca verses of the Koran to the Medina verses for an idea.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt, empowered Islamists have become less bashful and hesitant about showing their true face. Even once well-respected and authoritative Muslim scholars are under attack. Ali Gomaa, the outgoing grand mufti of Egypt — often described as one of the world’s leading authorities on Islam — was the latest to experience this phenomenon.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Found! Iran’s Secret Ballistic Missile Base

Weapons in silos armed with microbial warheads

WND has learned of the existence of a secret ballistic missile base in Iran’s Semnan Province to which the Islamic regime has moved missiles armed with microbial warheads.

The Badr base, a center for air defense which has about 50 underground missile silos housing Iran’s Shahab 3 ballistic missiles, serves as Iran’s second-largest missile-launching site, and is under the control of the Revolutionary Guards.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Iran Discovers Uranium Deposits, Plans 16 Nuclear Plants

(AGI) Tehran, Feb 23 — Iran announced that it has discovered large uranium deposits and identified the location where it will build 16 nuclear power plants. The news was reported by the Irna agency 48 hours before the 5+1 talks on its nuclear programme in Kazakhstan.

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

Kahlili: Iranian Regime Concerned About Radiation Leak From Fordow Blast

The Iranian regime persists in a cover up of the Fordow blast, while panicked about radiation leaks that may spread to major cities. New details have emerged identifying the names of Iranian and North Korean scientists among the more than 76 killed of the 219 trapped underground when the blast allegedly occurred at enrichment facility near Qom on January 21st. Moreover, new information indicates that the IAEA had not visited the Facility since early December 2012, giving rise to doubts about statements by their official spokesperson in late January which were used by Iran as part of the continuing cover-up. The issue is will these latest revelations penetrate the discussions between Iran and the P5+1 delegates at another meeting with Islamic regime negotiators in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, February 26th. According to sources cited in a new World Net Daily (WND) article by Reza Kahlili, ex-CIA Spy who had infiltrated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the regime has “ordered millions of antidote iodine pills from Russia and Ukraine amid fears the radioactivity will spread.”Kahlili’s latest report has the ring of authenticity. Will that be enough to jar the P5+1 meeting in Almay, Kazakhstan on Tuesday, February 26th? Somehow we doubt it as these reports have not been picked up by the mainstream media. News from Tehran about new uranium deposits and installation of new generation IR2M centrifuges at Natanz may have been part of the cover up to give the impression that the Islamic Republic will achieve its goal of nuclear enrichment of fissile materials by this spring. The Islamic Regime has demanded the lifting of international sanctions. The P5+1 is reported to have offered to lift restrictions on trade in precious metals. This would facilitate Turkey’s and other countries continuing purchases of Iranian natural gas. When Vice President Biden possible direct talks with Iran at the Munich Security Conference, that was dismissed as ‘deceitful’ by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei in an official statement on the 34th Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution Lee Smith, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writing in Tablet Magazine on “Why Iran Already has the Bomb”, in the wake of the North Korean atomic test , made this provocative statement: If North Korea has the bomb, then for all practical purposes Iran does, too. If that’s so, then Obama’s policy of prevention has failed, and containment—a policy that the president has repeatedly said is not an option—is in fact all Washington has. Smith in conclusion noted this with regard to Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel in March: If this is the case, Obama will go down in history as the American president who presided over global nuclear proliferation, including rogue regimes. After four years of restraining the Israelis, he may now be going to visit them next month for a good reason: to apologize. Our comment: don’t hold your breath.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

West Pours Arms Into Syria as Al Qaeda Mass Slaughters Civilians

The Washington Post in particular, sets the tempo for this coordinated propaganda campaign, claiming in their report, “In Syria, new influx of weapons to rebels tilts the battle against Assad,” that:

“A surge of rebel advances in Syria is being fueled at least in part by an influx of heavy weaponry in a renewed effort by outside powers to arm moderates in the Free Syrian Army, according to Arab and rebel officials.”…

In reality, Al Qaeda and the “Moderates” are One in the Same

While the Washington Post tries to claim Al Qaeda is somehow a separate entity from the “Syrian opposition,” the West’s own opposition front openly defends and supports Al Qaeda’s ongoing violence, which most recently manifested itself in a car bomb targeting scores of civilians, including school children.

As the West simultaneously accuses Saudi Arabia and Qatar (and here) of being the primary financiers of Al Qaeda, it itself has admitted years before the so-called “Syrian uprising” began that it was itself funding and arming extremist groups with direct ties to Al Qaeda with the goal of fostering the very violence now taking place in Syria and along its peripheries. The purpose of now repeatedly lying about arming only “moderate” militants in Syria, is to cover up both past admissions that the West planned to overthrow both Syria and neighboring Iran by arming and funding Al Qaeda since at least 2007, as well as obvious evidence that they are in fact doing just that in Syria now.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Al-Qaida Alive and Well, Ready to Attack West

Training camps in Iran preparing terrorists for violence

In an agreement between al-Qaida and the Islamic regime, three camps have been set up within Iran to train terrorists, WND has learned.

Al-Qaida members are trained to attack NATO forces in Afghanistan and collaborate with the Islamic regime on terrorist activities against Israel, the United States and some European countries, according to a source within the Revolutionary Guards intelligence division.

The camps are in the Sistan and Baluchestan provinces of Iran bordering Pakistan, where the al-Qaida members are trained in terrorism and guerrilla-warfare tactics.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Arms Race Builds in South-East Asia, To Counter Chinese “Imperialism”

Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia in race for weapons. Experts note the growing market in the region. The goal is not to challenge Beijing militarily, but constitute a “deterrent”. Rising demand for nuclear submarines and missile batteries.

Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The nations of Southeast Asia have launched an arms race, to “counterbalance” the expansionism of China and the political and economic dominance of Beijing in the Pacific region and internationally. Recent reports on the international network of the arms trade have described an “expansion” in trade, which sees Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia in the forefront of the race to buy weapons. The objective of governments, according to well-informed sources, is not to openly “challenge” Beijing “militarily,” but to create a “strategic deterrent” that will force the Land of the Dragon to “think long and hard” before embarking on a conflict of regional scale. Among the issues at the centre of recent controversy and the source of a possible military confrontation, are territorial claims in the South China Sea and East Africa.

Recently, Hanoi has secured two Russian-made submarines, asking for help from technical experts from New Delhi to train Vietnamese soldiers. The Philippines instead is looking to the sky, with Manila ready to sign the purchase of a squadron of jet fighters from South Korea and three helicopters from Italy. This race is explained by experts in military matters as an “international” strategic plan, which exceeds the territorial disputes in the Pacific and South-East Asia remains an “open market” compared to the restrictions in the Middle East.

In this arms race, Vietnam is looking in the direction of Moscow, its mentor and protector during the Cold War, for the purchase of jets and war ship. It is seeking anti-missile batteries from India, while talks are under way with several European countries — including France — for ships and radars. Despite the tensions over a possible war, the government is also in touch with the United States and hopes that Washington will soon loosen restrictions on arms sales.

The same applies to the Philippines, who had long ignored the need to modernize its forces, relying on the protection and support — including material — of the United States. However, since his rise to power President Aquino Benin has increased funding for the army. Hence the agreement (to the tune of almost 500 million dollars) with Seoul for some light combat aircraft, also a perfect training platform for more advanced F-16s from the US — another deal in the frame. Added to this, 10 coastguards vessels from Japan, but Moscow seems to have discovered the business opportunity and may soon sign a deal with Manila.

Finally, Indonesia, the largest among the nations of Southeast Asia, is also looking to expand its military. Jakarta has bought South Koreans submarines, Chinese missiles, U.S. F16s and Russian jets. In the past decade the defence budget has grown by 200%, hitting six billion dollars, and is in the running to become the best equipped country in the region in terms of weapons.

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

US Gov’t to Air-Drop Toxic Mice on Guam Snakes

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AP) — Dead mice laced with painkillers are about to rain down on Guam’s jungle canopy. They are scientists’ prescription for a headache that has caused the tiny U.S. territory misery for more than 60 years: the brown tree snake.

Most of Guam’s native bird species are extinct because of the snake, which reached the island’s thick jungles by hitching rides from the South Pacific on U.S. military ships shortly after World War II. There may be 2 million of the reptiles on Guam now, decimating wildlife, biting residents and even knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.

More than 3,000 miles away, environmental officials in Hawaii have long feared a similar invasion — which in their case likely would be a “snakes on a plane” scenario. That would cost the state many vulnerable species and billions of dollars, but the risk will fall if Guam’s air-drop strategy succeeds.

“We are taking this to a new phase,” said Daniel Vice, assistant state director of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands. “There really is no other place in the world with a snake problem like Guam.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Holland Wants to Impose Good Citizenship Contracts on EU Migrants

The Dutch government wants to impose good citizenship contracts on all foreigners, including European Union citizens, taking up residency in Holland ahead of the lifting of migration restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians next year.

The proposal to make all people seeking residency in the Netherlands sign a “participation contract” before they are allowed to live there follows an increasingly heated debate about immigration in the crowded and small country.

Moves to make people sign a legally binding, good behaviour agreement in which they commit to uphold Dutch values, the country?s constitution and the rule of law could become a template for other countries such as Britain as fears grow over the impact of increased immigration from EU countries.

Lodewijk Asscher, the Labour social affairs minister in a Dutch coalition government that is frequently an ally of Britain on EU issues, has written to the country?s parliament suggesting the contracts as a means of ensuring people abide by “clear and tough” integration rules.

“If we don’t take steps, we will pay an enormous price,” he told the Volkskrant newspaper on Wednesday. “Cultural integration is breaking down.”

Over the last decade, Holland has furiously debated Muslim immigration and was the first European to propose legislation banning the burka but in recent years, as in Britain, the debate has moved on to the impact of migration from Eastern European EU countries.

EU citizens are currently exempt from integration contracts or language exams but, as in Britain, the Dutch government is known to be concerned that large numbers of Romanian and Bulgarians will move to the Netherlands when borders are opened on 1 January 2014.

“The free movement of people without paying attention to the problems it can bring will lead to a more antisocial Europe,” said Mr Asscher.

In order not to fall foul of EU free movement rules, which outlaws discrimination against Europeans on the basis of nationality, the Dutch government will apply it universally to all foreigners.

EU citizens and Turkish nationals are currently exempt from compulsory integration exams and measures that are required of non-European immigrants in Holland.

“We’re going to find out what is legally possible,” said Mr Asscher…

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

UK: Daniel Ubani Inquest: NHS Failings Allowed Killer Doctor to Work

Systemic failings in the way the National Health Service provides out-of-hours care led to the death of a pensioner at the hands of “incompetent” German locum Daniel Ubani, a coroner ruled.

Inherent “weaknesses” in the vetting procedures meant that Dr Ubani was allowed to treat patients despite the fact he had failed an English language test and had no experience of the NHS, an inquest found.

On Feb 16, 2008, working his first out-of-hours shift and “tired out” after only arriving in the country the day before, Dr Ubani gave 70-year-old David Gray up to 20 times the recommended amount of diamorphine to treat pain in his kidneys.

The pensioner died at his Cambridgeshire home just a few hours later.

Dr Ubani escaped prosecution in Britain after police missed two chances to arrest him. He was prosecuted in Germany where he never had to appear in court and was given a fine and a nine-month suspended sentence.

After a 10-day inquest into Mr Gray’s death, which has highlighted serious concerns over the standard of out-of-hours GP care provided by the NHS, William Morris, the coroner for Cambridgeshire North and East, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

He said Dr Ubani was not of an “acceptable standard” and had committed “gross negligence manslaughter”.

He also called on Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, to introduce 11 measures designed to make sure such a “tragic situation” did not arise again.

After the verdict, Mr Gray’s family condemned the “serious failings” at the primary care trust that employed Dr Ubani…

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

UK: Hospital Beds Blocked by Mentally Ill Migrant Criminals

Criminal illegal immigrants, including killers, are blocking British mental hospital beds because laws prevent them being released into the community or deported, the Appeal Court has heard.

Dr Mark Swinton, a leading forensic psychiatrist, said illegal immigrants like Imtiaz Ahmed, a patient with schizophrenia who strangled his landlady six years ago, could block hospital beds indefinitely.

It has “proved very difficult” to discharge mentally ill patients who were not entitled to be in the UK, he warned, as they were not legally entitled to any post-release support in the community.

Dr Swinton, who has worked on high-profile cases including that of Cumbrian gunman Derrick Bird, urged the Appeal Court judges to make an order which would see Ahmed returned to prison — from where he could be deported — once his mental illness has been effectively treated.

But the three judges ruled they could not allow flaws in the system to influence their decision and ordered his release to be decided by medical professionals.

Lord Justice Elias said he accepted Dr Swinton’s comments regarding the difficulties around Ahmed’s discharge, which could see him remain in a hospital bed and may be “damaging to the appellant and to the wider public”.

He added: “If Dr Swinton is right about this — and we have no reason to suppose he is not — it is indeed a most unhappy state of affairs and the authorities must look at it speedily.

“But we cannot allow it to play a part in deciding the proper disposal in this case.”

The court heard Ahmed, now 25, was lodging with Ms Hullah and her partner at their home in Galsworthy Avenue, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, when he killed her in front of her 15-month-old son in December 2006.

He had been allowed to stay at his victim’s house as an act of kindness because her partner, Muhammed Farhan Akhter, was asked to look after him by relatives in Pakistan.

However, Ahmed was so ill that he was found unfit to enter a plea and it was not until July 2011 that he admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He was handed imprisonment for public protection and ordered to serve at least five years and three months behind bars, although that minimum term was later cut to three years and three months on appeal.

The court heard medical experts were of the view he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the killing and therefore his responsibility was significantly diminished.

By the time he was finally jailed in 2011, he had already served 15 months in custody on remand and three-and-a-half years in a secure hospital.

The Appeal Court overturned Ahmed’s indefinite jail term and replaced it with a hospital order so that his release date will be fixed by clinicians rather than the Parole Board…

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Massachusetts Forces Schools to Let ‘Transgender’ Boys Use Girls’ Restrooms, Lockers

BOSTON, February 19, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) — Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester has issued orders to the state’s K-12 public schools requiring them to permit “transgender” boys and girls to use the opposite sex’s locker rooms, bathrooms, and changing facilities as long as they claim to identify with that gender.

Many elementary schools in smaller Massachusetts towns include children from kindergarten through eighth grade, making it possible for boys as old as 14 to share toilet facilities with girls as young as five.

Under Chester’s leadership, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released an 11-page document on Friday outlining this and other new guidelines giving “transgender” students special status and privileges in Massachusetts schools. Some family advocates are calling the document, which was prepared with assistance from homosexual and transgender advocacy groups, “the most thorough, invasive, and radical transgender initiative ever seen on a statewide level.”

The policy does not require a doctor’s note or even parental permission for a child to switch sexes in the eyes of Massachusetts schools. Only the student’s word is needed: If a boy says he’s a girl, as far as the schools are concerned, he’s a girl.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Eugenics Movement Calls for Eco-Dictatorship Under UN Rule

In a peer-reviewed paper by the American Institute of Biological Sciences titled “Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges” (available ahead of print), to be published in the march 2013 edition of the Institute’s yearly journal BioScience, a group of well-known scientists calls on government and scientists to start with the planned social engineering of “norms” and “values” in regards to environmental policies. In addition, they propose putting into effect all sorts of environmental fines and regulations in the spirit of Agenda 21 to hasten the social acceptance of increased governmental control. Also, they propose that the scientific community as a whole should align itself with government “through a concerted effort to change personal and social norms”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Facebook Violated My Privacy and May be Spying on You

What Happened: Earlier this week I noticed that, when I arrived home from work, the battery life on my phone was down to between 30 — 40 percent, when normally it would be between 60 — 70 percent. I started to investigate and what I found was that the Facebook app was running 50+ MB in the background and every time I tried to stop it, it started back up.

I also found that somehow the app had been updated and now had permission to record me at any time and without my knowledge. Feeling upset and violated by this, I completely removed the Facebook app from my phone. Guess what happened? My battery life went back to normal.

What was Facebook doing in the background of my phone that was causing massive battery drain and what gives them the right to grant themselves permission to violate my privacy?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]