Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/28/2013

In the wake of the Cyprus fiasco, top financial experts believe that Slovenia is next in line to require a Eurozone bailout. However, up until now investors seem confident that the new contagion will not spread to Italy and Spain.

In other news, the first fossil of a “love-child” of a Neanderthal and a modern human may have been discovered in Northern Italy. DNA testing will eventually determine whether the 35,000-year-old bone is from a sapiens-neanderthalensis hybrid.

Also, if you’re interested in the Cadbury “halal Easter chocolate” brouhaha, see this post at Vlad’s place.

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

Thanks to Bill Keezer, C. Cantoni, Diana West, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, Lurker from Tulsa, Steen, 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
» Financial Investments in Italy Drop 36% in Past 21/2 Years
» German Finance Minister Says Cypriot Anger Will Pass
» Greece: 150,000 Graduates Went Abroad in Past 5 Year
» Is Your Bank Account Safe?
» Italy: Grilli Defends 40-Billion-Euro Debt Payback in Parliament
» OECD: Market Contagion Hasn’t Spread to Italy & Spain
» Slovenia Will ‘Probably’ Need International Aid
» Slovenian Austerity After Cyprus Fails to Stem Yield Gain
» Turkey Could Help Kick-Start Cyprus
 
USA
» Big Sis Ignores Congressman’s Demand for Briefing on Bullet Buys
» Biometric National ID Card Could be Mandated on All American Workers
» Bringing Down America With the Company You Keep
» Civil War and the Litmus Test — “Will You Shoot Americans?”
» Did Hillary Commit Perjury? (Video)
» Dropping the Baton
» Furor Growing Against Obama Over ‘Monsanto Protection Act’
» Harrison Ford Teams Up With CFR and Rockefeller Foundation to Save the Planet
» Impeaching Supreme Court Justices
» Interview With Larry Grathwohl: An Extraordinary Life From the Weather Underground to the FBI and Beyond
» Is Paula Broadwell the Only Thing David Petraeus Has to “Apologize” For?
» Leaked Email Reveals Washington State Legislature Hid Drone Demonstration From Public
» Master Violins Designed to Mimic Human Voice
» Obama Betrays America Yet Again by Signing the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Into Law
» Senate Gun Bill Vote Only the Beginning
» Ted Nugent Puts Jim Carrey in His Place
» Washington Media: Nobody Home
» Who Are Freedom’s Friends and Enemies?
 
Europe and the EU
» Arab Youths Beat Israeli Filmmaker at French Film Festival
» Athens Rejects Turkish Talk of Cypriot Partition
» First Love Child of Human, Neanderthal Found
» France: Police Arrest 16 Youths After Paris Train Hold-Up
» France: Judge in Sarkozy Corruption Case Receives Death Threat
» Germany: Chocolate Firm Lindt Loses Case Over Easter Bunny Trademark
» Italian Foreign Minister Resigns Over Return of Marines to India
» Italian Parliament Curtails Members’ Perks
» Italy: Chief of Defence Staff Promises to Stand by Marines
» Swede Gets Dream Home After 28-Year Wait
» Sweden: Woman Convicted for Hitting Bottom Grabber
» UK: Queen in Oxford — Live Blog
» UK: We Won’t Charge Him [Anjem Choudary]
» White Easter: Germany Faces Coldest March Since 1883
 
North Africa
» Green Meteorite May be From Mercury, A First
 
Middle East
» Christians Face Persecution, Extinction in Islamic Lands
» Iraq — Agony: Ordeal, And Recovery
» Iraq’s Religious Minorities Flee North
» Serbia-Emirates: Signed Agriculture Agreement With Al Dahra
» Syria-Lebanon: “Weariness and Resignation” Among the Civilians in War-Torn Aleppo
» Syria: ‘Rebels Control Daraa’, Gov’t Minister Admits
 
Far East
» China: “Poisoned” By Religion, 20 Uighurs Jailed in Xinjiang
» Japan Raises Specter of More Devastating Quake
» North Korea ‘Burning With Hatred’ For US After Stealth Bomber Missions
 
Latin America
» Brazilian Doctor Investigated Over 300 Hospital Deaths
» Mexican Vigilantes Seize Town, Arrest Police
 
Immigration
» Four Boats With 355 Illegal Immigrants Rescued Near Sicily
» More Than 100 Million Worldwide Dream of a Life in the U.S.
» Tunisian Coastguards Rescue Sicily-Bound Migrant Boat
» UK: Abu Qatada: The Same Old Problem
» UK: Close David Cameron Ally Calls His Immigration Plans ‘Unfortunate’
» UK: Government Loses Latest Bid to Deport Abu Qatada
 
Culture Wars
» Eagle Scouts Says ‘Gay’ Activists Bullying Them
» The ‘User-Friendly Really Modern Bible’
» The Deconstruction of Marriage
» Will John Roberts Betray Us Again?
 
General
» U.N. Small Arms Treaty Enters Eleventh Hour

Financial Investments in Italy Drop 36% in Past 21/2 Years

Consob report shows Italians shying away from markets

(ANSA) Milan, March 28; Financial investments in Italy dropped 36% to 1,269.9 billion euros in the past two and a half years as a result of the economic crisis and waning confidence levels in the euro zone’s third largest economy, according to a report released by Italian stock market watchdog Consob.

Meanwhile investments in Italian stocks, bonds, government debt and other securities in the period from the start of 2010 to September 2012 dropped 715 billion euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Finance Minister Says Cypriot Anger Will Pass

(AGI) — Berlin, Mar 28 — German Finance Minister Wolfgang Shaeuble said on Thursday that he understood Cypriot anger at Germany over the tough terms of its international bailout but said it would fade eventually. When times are very tough “then you look for someone to project your anger onto,” he said. But “that will pass. It is of course completely unfounded,” he added.

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

Greece: 150,000 Graduates Went Abroad in Past 5 Year

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MARCH 28 — More than 150,000 Greek graduates are estimated to have moved to more than 70 countries in the past five years in order to find work, a conference organized by the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki heard on Wednesday as daily Kathimerini reports. According to data drawn from a recent study by economic geography professor Lois Lambrianidis, the majority of those graduates are pursuing careers in Britain, Germany, France and the United States. Speaking at the conference, Lambrianidis said that 61% of expat graduates did not even apply for a job in Greece after completing their studies here or abroad. “Moving abroad may be the best thing to do on a personal level,” Lambrianidis told the conference. “This is not a problem for those young scientists, but for the state,” he added, urging officials in Greece, which has an unemployment rate of over 26%, to take action to contain the brain drain.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Is Your Bank Account Safe?

Don’t be surprised when the global elite confiscate money from your bank account one day. They are already very clearly telling you that they are going to do it. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem is the president of the Eurogroup — an organization of eurozone finance ministers that was instrumental in putting together the Cyprus “deal” — and he has said publicly that what has just happened in Cyprus will serve as a blueprint for future bank bailouts. What that means is that when the chips are down, they are going to come after YOUR money. So why should anyone put a large amount of money in the bank at this point? Perhaps you can make one or two percent on your money if you shop around for a really good deal, but there is also a chance that 40 percent (or more) of your money will be confiscated if the bank fails. And considering the fact that there are vast numbers of banks all over the United States and Europe that are teetering on the verge of insolvency, why would anyone want to take such a risk? What the global elite have done is that they have messed around with the fundamental trust that people have in the banking system. In order for any financial system to work, people must have faith in the safety and security of that financial system. People put their money in the bank because they think that it will be safe there. If you take away that feeling of safety, you jeopardize the entire system.

So exactly how did the big banks in Cyprus get into so much trouble? Well, they have been doing exactly what hundreds of other large banks all over the U.S. and Europe have been doing. They have been gambling with our money. In particular, the big banks in Cyprus made huge bets on Greek sovereign debt which ended up failing.

But what happened in Cyprus is just the tip of the iceberg. All over the planet major financial institutions are being incredibly reckless with client money. They are leveraged to the hilt and they have transformed the global financial system into a gigantic casino.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grilli Defends 40-Billion-Euro Debt Payback in Parliament

‘Stimulus effects visible by mid-2013’ says economy minister

(ANSA) — Rome, March 28 — The Italian economy minister on Thursday said the government’s decision to pay back 40 billion euros in public debt over the next two years will produce positive stimulus results by mid-2013. “Injecting liquidity into the economy will jumpstart domestic demand already by the middle of the year,” said outgoing Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli.

To meet all of its commitments, including social spending, the government announced plans last week to pay back debt by 20 billion euros in 2013 and 20 billion euros in 2014.

Grilli was addressing a special committee in parliament, where a political logjam continues as the three parties that gained the most votes in last month’s election struggle to find some way to work together to form a new government.

His plan has undergone harsh criticism from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) of Beppe Grillo, which holds the balance in the divided parliament.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

OECD: Market Contagion Hasn’t Spread to Italy & Spain

But decisive action needed on Slovenia, Chief Economist says

(ANSAmed) — ROME — “Italy and Spain have solid foundations and aren’t a cause for concern, OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan told ANSA, commenting on the Cypriot crisis.

“But Slovenia is different. It’s a small country with a banking system that needs to get back on its feet. Quick and decisive action is needed”.

In Italy, on the other hand, “debt is under control and the markets aren’t panicking — this has been reflected at auction over the last few days”. However, the economics chief did warn that “debt repayments from the public pocket to businesses need to speed up” and that “the tax wedge has to be beaten down”. Among the structural reforms he recommends “increased competition” particularly “in the energy field, which is very costly for families, businesses, and services.” “While the Italian economy has registered generally negative growth this year, recession is starting to ebb and positive growth should kick in by the end of this year, the beginning of next”, he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Slovenia Will ‘Probably’ Need International Aid

According to Standard Bank analyst

(ANSAmed) — LJUBLJANA, MARCH 28 — Standard Bank emerging markets analyst Timothy Ash has told Bloomberg that Slovenia is likely to need international aid. Ash sees the downward spiral as partially due to the confused situation in Cyprus and the fact that it took European and Cypriot leaders so long to find a solution. The Scottish bank RBS’s analyst Abbas Ameli-Renami instead feels that Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek’s words on the country being able to deal with the crisis have calmed the situation down somewhat, but that now a detailed plan for a bank bailout is required.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Slovenian Austerity After Cyprus Fails to Stem Yield Gain

Slovenia’s pledge to continue austerity measures failed to stem a rise in bond yields to record highs as investors worry the Alpine nation will follow Cyprus as the next euro-region member requiring a bailout.

Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek, in her first major policy speech since taking office, told Parliament yesterday that her week-old government would rebuild ailing banks and improve state finances that are in “bad shape” so the country won’t become the sixth euro member to need aid.

European Union officials are striving to contain a debt crisis that prompted Cyprus to join Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain in agreeing on a bailout. Bratusek’s lack of specifics on how to avoid foreign support helped push the country’s benchmark dollar-denominated bonds to an all-time high at a time when Slovenia is looking to tap bond markets.

“Developments in Cyprus have translated into concerns that Slovenia will struggle to access the Eurobond market over the coming months as it moves to recapitalize its banking sector and shift reliance for budget financing away from the domestic banking sector, with an increased risk of a haircut in deposits,” Gillian Edgeworth, chief economist at UniCredit SpA (UCG) in London, wrote in a note to clients yesterday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Turkey Could Help Kick-Start Cyprus

Turkey supports northern Cyprus while Greece backs the southern Republic of Cyprus. While Greece is bankrupt, Turkey could help the island bounce back. But only a round of extreme diplomacy could make it happen.

The financial crisis has hit the southern part of divided Cyprus with full force. While a bailout package was finally agreed on at the last minute, the Republic of Cyprus now has to begin the painful process of adapting to the economic situation — just like Greece has had to do. Yet in Cyprus’ Turkish-controlled north, the financial crisis is barely noticeable.

It’s not surprising as Turkey is booming economically, with money regularly flowing across the Mediterranean to the northern part of the island. Without these subsidies, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is not recognized by the international community, could not survive. Yet many Turkish Cypriots would like to liberate themselves from dependence on Turkey, and even voted for reunification with their island neighbors in 2004. Had Greek Cypriots not rejected the plan by a large margin, northern Cyprus would now be a part of the European Union — and thus also a part of the eurozone crisis.

The crisis in the Turkish-controlled northern part of the island can mainly be felt in the gaming sector. Since gambling if off limits to citizens of the north, they rely on income from tourists from the southern part of the island. Mesut Sahin, who owns Saray Casino, said revenues have dropped 50 percent since the start of the financial crisis. He added, with sincerity, that he hopes the south will recover quickly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Big Sis Ignores Congressman’s Demand for Briefing on Bullet Buys

Janet Napolitano has ignored a letter written by New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance calling for the Department of Homeland Security chief to attend a congressional briefing and provide an explanation as to why the DHS has committed to purchasing more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the last year.

Lance, who first promised to investigate the matter during a Tea Party event on March 15, sent a letter five days later noting how there was “growing public concern surrounding the Department’s procurement of ammunition.”

“He is not asking for Napolitano to testify but to give us a congressional briefing because Congress wasn’t aware of it. It deserves an answer,” Lance spokesman Todd Mitchell told the Daily Record.

Over a week after the letter was sent, Lance’s office has still not received a response, similar to how 15 other members of Congress were stonewalled by the DHS when they demanded to know if the huge bullet purchases were an attempt by the federal agency to restrict ammunition supplies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Biometric National ID Card Could be Mandated on All American Workers

(NaturalNews) Control — this is what fuels many Congressmen and women. Recently, two U.S. senators met with President Obama, vouching for a biometric national ID card that would force workers to submit to a fingerprint, hand, or iris scan. Any worker failing to comply with this biometric tracking mandate, would be terminated from their job.

The program would be titled the “Believe System,” an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.

The ID card would contain a digital encryption key that would be required to match work authorization databases. The micro-processing chip on the card would store the biometric identifier. The worker would be required to carry this card and the employer would be forced to scan it.

Who’s behind this controlling proposal? The two sponsors of the legislation, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) say the new identification cards will “ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs, dramatically decreasing illegal immigration.”

After meeting privately with President Obama, the senators plan was “promising,” according to Obama, and the president “welcomed” their new ID card law.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bringing Down America With the Company You Keep

My husband, Oleg Atbashian, was recently given a 24-hour deadline by Cliff Kincaid ofAmerica’s Survival to design a new book cover (above) for the re-release of Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer with the Weathermen, a 1976 fact-based story by Larry Grathwohl.

Set in 1970, this riveting narrative chronicles one year of life on the lam with leaders of America’s most infamous domestic terrorist organization, as seen through the eyes of an FBI infiltrator posing as a radical communist. Prior to the publication, Larry Grathwohl testified before several federal Grand Juries, the U.S. Senate, and at the Mark Felt/Ed Miller FBI Trial.

Kincaid’s project was urgent because of the upcoming (April 5, 2013) domestic release of Robert Redford’s motion picture, The Company You Keep, which negates Grathwohl’s documented testimony and engages in historical revisionism.

While the artistic qualities of Redford’s yet unreleased independent film are being challenged by even liberal critics, Variety magazine has already created sympathetic buzz with a barrage of articles, calling the movie an “unabashedly heartfelt but competent tribute to 1960s idealism,” adding that “[t]here is something undeniably compelling, perhaps even romantic, about America’s ‘60s radicals and the compromises they did or didn’t make.”

Redford’s film is based on the eponymous 2004 novel by Neil Gordon, the literary editor of The Boston Review and a frequent book reviewer for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Predictably, Penguin Books has just reprinted his overt romantization of leftist terrorism as a movie tie-in, with a sexy new cover featuring Robert Redford himself..

According to the publisher, “Set against the rise and fall of the radical anti-war group the Weather Underground, The Company You Keep is a sweeping American saga about sacrifice, the righteousness of youth, and the tension between political ideals and family loyalties.”

The Los Angeles Times offers this mind-boggling editorial review: “The Company You Keep works as a thriller, but the adventures … are grounded firmly in larger political and moral issues, in this case the passionate conviction that the radical opposition in the ‘60s to the Vietnam War represented the high point of American idealism, the best dream America ever had, a dream embodied in the 1962 Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society (“antiwar, antiracism, and anti-imperialism”), a dream abandoned.”

In reality, according to Larry Grathwohl, “[t]he Weather Underground was not anti-war; it was pro-war. In fact, it waged war on the United States, in close consultation with foreign enemies of the U.S. in such places as Hanoi and Havana.”

Notions like “sacrifice” and “ecstatic righteousness of youth” may sound admirable, but Grathwohl, who lived underground with the real characters, witnessed “a world of hatred, drugs, and free sex..” He saw, up close, a gang of thugs who admired the Manson killers, plotted bombings, murders, and political assassinations, and aimed to overthrow the constitutionally elected US government. There is nothing sacrificial about terrorists who shoot up a police station and boast, “Our lawyers will make fools of the pigs.”…

[…]

[NOTE: this is a great tale. Read The Rest at the URL above]

[Return to headlines]

Civil War and the Litmus Test — “Will You Shoot Americans?”

Dr. Jim Garrow is a renowned author and whistleblower who has been nominated for a Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work. He is the author of The Pink Pagoda: One Man’s Quest to End Gendercide in China.

He has spent over $25 million over the past sixteen years rescuing an estimated 40,000 baby Chinese girls from near-certain death under China’s one-child-per-couple policy by facilitating international adoptions. He is the founder and executive director of the Bethune Institute’s Pink Pagoda schools, private English-immersion schools for Chinese children. Today he runs 168 schools with nearly 6,300 employees.

Dr Garrow was recently contacted by a high ranking military official who implored him to reveal the truth about a “litmus test” that is being proposed by the Obama administration to the military asking the question “will you shoot Americans if they won’t give you their guns?”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Did Hillary Commit Perjury? (Video)

New reports may contradict former secretary’s sworn testimony

TEL AVIV — Did former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commit perjury when she claimed in a Senate hearing that she did not know whether the U.S. mission in Libya was procuring or transferring weapons to Turkey and other Arab countries?

The goal of the alleged weapons shipments was to arm the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Any training or arming of the Syrian rebels would be considered highly controversial. A major issue is the inclusion of jihadists, including al-Qaida, among the ranks of the Free Syrian Army and other Syrian opposition groups

During the recent hearings over the Obama administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Clinton was directly asked about alleged U.S. weapons shipments out of Libya.

Clinton claimed she did not know whether the U.S. was aiding Turkey and other Arab countries in procuring weapons.

The exchange took place with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky…

Clinton’s claims seem to now be unraveling.

Confirming WND’s exclusive reporting for over a year, the New York Times earlier this week reported that since early 2012, the CIA has been aiding Arab governments and Turkey in obtaining and shipping weapons to the Syrian rebels.

Last month, the New York Times reported Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus had concocted a plan calling for vetting rebels and arming Syrian fighters with the assistance of Arab countries.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dropping the Baton

I am glad my father isn’t around to see what is going on in America. He was part of The Greatest Generation; the one that overcame Hirohito, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini.

He and his generation built the most powerful economic machine that the world had ever seen.

But somewhere along the line they lost their kids. The faith of their fathers did not become the faith of their children. “Tune in, turn on and dropout became their anthem.”…

Christianity…culture…is a tag-team relay race. Each generation has the responsibility to pass the baton to the next. The baton is a set of beliefs…a way of life…that sustains a culture across generational chasms.

But my father’s generation lost the real battle…the battle for the soul of America. You remember those days…The Beatles and The Stones…LSD and Transcendental Meditation…Haight Ashbury and Charlie Manson…the Sexual revolution and Kent State.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Furor Growing Against Obama Over ‘Monsanto Protection Act’

That bill, the HR 933 continuing resolution, was mainly aimed at averting a government shutdown and ensuring that the federal government would continue to be able to pay its bills for the next six months.

But food and public safety advocates and independent farmers are furious that Obama signed it despite its inclusion of language that they consider to be a gift to Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) and other firms that produce genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds and crops.

And protesters have spent the past couple of days demonstrating in front of the White House, first calling on Obama to veto the bill, and now criticizing him for his failure to do so.

The protests come on the heels of a massive petition campaign organized by the advocacy group Food Democracy Now, which gathered the signatures of more than 200,000 people who wanted Obama to veto HR 933 in order to stop Section 735 — the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” — from being codified into law.

But Obama ignored it, instead choosing to sign a bill that effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.

[…]

[Return to headlines]

Harrison Ford Teams Up With CFR and Rockefeller Foundation to Save the Planet

Actor Harrison Ford has teamed up with the “High Priests of Globalism” to save the planet. In a video (see link below), Ford explains his role at “nature advocacy” group Conservation International, a foundation in the hip pocket of the arch globalists over at the Rockefeller Foundation. He is flanked by CEO Peter Seligmann and Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

See the propaganda video here.

It really is amazing how clueless actors and Hollywood liberals like Ford and Angelina Jolie fall for the propaganda of the global elite and allow themselves to be used as tools.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Impeaching Supreme Court Justices

Most Americans incorrectly believe Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and therefore somehow immune from public accountability, but this understanding is contrary to the Constitution and detrimental to our Republic.

Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution states, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.” Accordingly, it is for a term of good behavior our federal judges hold their office, not life, and they can be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Misdemeanors, as the founders defined them, includes attempts to subvert the Constitution through misinterpretation or other methods. George Mason explained that impeachment is for “attempts to subvert the Constitution,” and Elbridge Jerry considered “mal-administration” as grounds for impeachment. Justice Joseph Story listed, among other reasons for impeachment, “unconstitutional opinions” and “attempts to subvert the fundamental law and introduce arbitrary power.” Alexander Hamilton and Justice Story defined “misdemeanor” as “mal-conduct” and Justices James Wilson and Story described “misdemeanors” as “non-statutory”, which means they are offenses for which no legal code exists.

- — – From all these definitions and descriptions, it is clear the Constitutional framers intended misdemeanors to cover acts of political misbehavior, because the framers wanted to ensure every elected and appointed official at the national level is accountable to the people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Interview With Larry Grathwohl: An Extraordinary Life From the Weather Underground to the FBI and Beyond

Sher: Larry. this is a real pleasure for me as I have used your video exposé of the Weather Underground and their plans to kill at least 25 million Americans in several of my columns over the years. You are currently planning to re-release your 1976 book “Bringing Down America,” which seems as new today as it was over 30 years ago. The plans of the New World Order don’t seem to have changed at all over the years and its subjugation of humanity still seems to be its ongoing purpose. Do you see the plans of the Weather Underground — and the NOW for which it worked — changing at all over the decades or just getting worse? And please tell us how many portions of your book prove to be as fresh today as they were when you first wrote it.

Larry: “Bringing down America” is scheduled for release in digital format today. Hard copies will be available in a week or more.

What was new 30 years ago was the violence and the determination of individuals such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn who were part of the Weather Underground, with the sole purpose of destroying the United States of America, its Constitution and the liberties it provides us. Nothing is really changed other than the commitment to violence which was predominant 30 years ago. Today the same goal is being pursued with a certain amount of success through the means of the political process; which has manifested itself in the form of Barack Obama and his administration. Simply take note of the numerous attacks on the Articles of the Constitution and the resultant attempts on the part of Obama’s government to deprive us of the liberties guaranteed by the founding fathers. These are liberties that are now being attacked, usurped and with every means possible destroyed and eliminated from the human rights upon which this country was established.

Barack has not limited himself to merely attacking those liberties which he finds trivial but to include the very guarantee of freedom of speech by attacking any and all who oppose him. It is also important to note that Barack Obama is, without doubt, an associate, friend and fellow traveler along with Bernadine Dorn, Bill Ayers and many others who believe in the total destruction of this country. This association has been documented by people such as the mail carrier who delivered mail to Thomas Ayres home during the time that Barack Obama was an undergraduate at Occidental college.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Is Paula Broadwell the Only Thing David Petraeus Has to “Apologize” For?

CBS reports:

David Petraeus apologized Tuesday night to an audience of many veterans for the conduct that led to his resignation as head of the CIA following the disclosure of an extramarital affair.

[…]

It was clear at the time that the Broadwell affair was providing Petraeus with the perfect smokescreen to evade responsibility for lying to Congress twice about Benghazi — two apparent felonies poking out from beneath the multi-layered cover-up of the woefully under-investigated Obama administration Benghazi scandal. The Petraeus rap sheet doesn’t end there. A principle architect of the counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy executed in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus is also the author of an August 1, 2010 COIN guidance that is directly responsible for an undetermined number of US and allied deaths and dismemberments due, for example, to orders to walk the IED-laced roads of Afghanistan as an integral part of this wholly disastrous, see-no-Islam Petraeus-COIN strategy. Thus, Petraeus has more to “apologize” for than coyly referenced “circumstances” involving a sexual liaision with his biographer. Meanwhile, such “circumstances” very likely dated back to his Army career, rendering him, as his brother officers continue to be, subject to prosecution for adultery under the military code.

Back to CBS’s account of the gala evening:

He made the comments during his first public speech after his resignation, to a group of about 600 people, including many veterans at the University of Southern California’s annual ROTC dinner. The hero of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has remained largely in seclusion since resigning.

His lawyer, Robert B. Barnett, has said that Petraeus has spent much of that time with his family.

Barnett, of course, is the $875/hr image-lawyer Petraeus hired while in seclusion with his family.

Petraeus received applause and a standing ovation before he began the evening’s program by cutting a cake, a task reserved for the highest ranking person in the room.

[…]

As the military leader credited with reshaping the nation’s counterinsurgency strategy, turning the tide in the U.S. favor in both Iraq and Afghanistan and making the U.S. safer from terrorism, Petraeus expected a friendly audience at the ROTC dinner….

How these two mutli-zillion-dollar fiascos translate into the above happy talk is beyond comprehension. Ditto for the embrace of the rehabilitating ROTC audience.

CBS goes on to quote image consultants smacking their lips over the emerging market for Petraeus 2.0.

[…]

[NOTE: Be sure to read the last line on her page

- a zinger — in which Ms. West suggests a new vocational path for the General]

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

Leaked Email Reveals Washington State Legislature Hid Drone Demonstration From Public

An email circulating the Washington State Legislature revealed that a drone demonstration held at the State Capitol building Wednesday was purposely kept private from the public.

Sen. Jim Honeyford (R), the author of the email, explained that he was sponsoring four informational drone briefings for legislators, staff and select media, but was barring the public from attendance due to his concern over “demonstrations and security” issues.

Multiple drone lobbyists, engineers and operators including Dr. Tad McGeer, founder of the Aerovel Corporation, gave hands-on demonstrations to lawmakers and displayed onboard video from day and night drone operations in three private conference rooms.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Master Violins Designed to Mimic Human Voice

Virtuosos who describe the singing voice of a violin may be on to something. The great violin makers, such as Stradivari and Guarneri, may have designed violins to mimic the human voice, new research suggests.

The research, described in the current issue of Savart Journal, found the violin produced several vowel sounds, including the Italian “i” and “e” sounds and several vowel sounds from French and English.

Study author Joseph Nagyvary, an emeritus biochemistry professor at Texas A&M University, previously proved that the violin masters Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù had soaked their wood in brine and borax to fight a worm infestation that swept through Italy in the 1700s. Those chemicals treatments led to the unique sounds that violin makers have struggled to reproduce.

But he had also long argued that the great violin masters were making violins with more humanlike voices than any others of the time.

“It has been widely held that violins ‘sing’ with a female soprano voice,” Nagyvary said in a statement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Betrays America Yet Again by Signing the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Into Law

(NaturalNews) President Barack Obama campaigned on promises to end secret prisons, decriminalize marijuana, balance the budget, honor the Second Amendment and make health care affordable. But what really unfolded was an explosion in the national debt (now $16 trillion and climbing), the signing of the NDAA, a claimed new power to kill any American at any time, even on U.S. soil, the use of military drones to murder American children overseas, a full-on assault against the Bill of Rights, a doubling of health insurance rates and the destruction of the U.S. economy.

But that’s not all.

Now Obama has signed the “Monsanto Protection Act” into law, stabbing America in the heart yet again and proving that no matter how convincing politicians appear on the campaign trail, they are still sociopathic liars in the end.

The Monsanto Protection Act, part of the HR 933 continuing resolution, allows Monsanto to override U.S. federal courts on the issue of planting experimental genetically engineered crops all across the country. Even if those experimental crops are found to be extremely dangerous or to cause a runaway crop plague, the U.S. government now has no judicial power to stop them from being planted and harvested.

As ibtimes.com reports, the bill “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Senate Gun Bill Vote Only the Beginning

The White House has only just begun its fight against the Second Amendment, Vice President Joe Biden told New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns during a conference call on Wednesday.

“This is just the beginning. We believe that weapons of war have no place on our streets,” Biden said. “We believe there’s no rational reason why someone would need a clip that can hold 15, 20, 100 bullets, 100 rounds. We have to do more and we will do more.”

Biden said he believes Congress will ultimately force the American people to report their gun purchases to the federal government. “I think we’re on the verge of getting a serious thorough universal background check system in place,” he added.

“This so-called background check is aimed at one thing — registering your guns,” the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre said in February. “When another tragic opportunity presents itself, that registry will be used to confiscate your guns… Imagine right now your name on a massive government list.”

Biden said an upcoming vote in the Senate will not be the end of the government’s effort to restrict the Second Amendment and disarm the American people. “That doesn’t mean this is the end of the process. This is the beginning of the process,” he promised Bloomberg’s gun-grabbers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ted Nugent Puts Jim Carrey in His Place

Legendary guitarist and devoted NRA supporter Ted Nugent joins Alex in discussing firearm phobe Jim Carrey’s anti-Second Amendment music video, which blasts millions of law-abiding gun owners while also desecrating American hero Charlton Heston’s memory.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Washington Media: Nobody Home

Found myself in a group conversation that included one of the more instantly recognizable media figures — someone who personifies the phrase “mainstream media.” Since this isn’t something that happens every day, why not make the best of it? Why not ask this VIMP (Very Important Media Person) a question or two on the topics that I frequently criticize the press for not covering?

The problem was how to do so without unduly alarming the poor thing. My favorite kinds of questions might be distressing to VIMPs who never ask them, or even seem to think of them. I didn’t want to scare off her (or him) without eliciting an answer. I had to consider carefully while my VIMP remained at hand in a perpetual state of high-definition recognition.

There was no doubt about what was uppermost on my list: Had this journalistic personage ever had the curiosity to download and examine the online document posted at the White House website that purports to be President Obama’s long-form birth certificate? Had he (or she) ever weighed any analysis or investigation that concludes the online document is a digitally created forgery? Or did this exemplar of the Fourth Estate simply take the White House at its word?

Speaking of taking the White House at its word, a second subject I hoped to introduce concerned the many unanswered questions about the Benghazi attack. Did she (or he) consider the Obama administration adequately transparent about Benghazi and its many-layered cover-up? Maybe I should say many-layered “aftermath” so as not to be too shocking.

From the ongoing chatter, it became clear such topics would have the allure of stink bombs. So much conventional wisdom flowed about A-list topics such as “Obama and Boehner” and “what would Israel do about Iran?” that I felt as if I were in a rerun of a Sunday news show. At one point, the timing of the killing of Osama bin Laden came up. Why, after knowing the al-Qaida leader’s whereabouts for eight or nine months, did Obama suddenly order a strike on May 2, 2011? It was all-around baffling.

[…]

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

Who Are Freedom’s Friends and Enemies?

Without a doubt, Daniel Webster is America’s most notable jurist. And while I would not concur with all of Webster’s political positions, he was absolutely correct when he said, “God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” Thus, loving, guarding, and defending liberty is the full-time responsibility of every American. Unfortunately, not every American loves freedom enough to guard and defend it. In fact, many Americans are actively engaged in the pursuit of ideas and principles that are diametrically opposed to liberty. And sadder still is the fact that many of these people would call themselves “Christians.”

Let’s be honest: calling oneself a “Christian” means nothing. Many self-professed Christians are just as crooked and dishonest as those who make no Christian profession. Many of them are just as mean-spirited, vengeful, and hateful as any other group of people on the planet. And, just as with virtually any other group of people, not every Christian is a friend of freedom.

Not every Republican is a friend of freedom. Not every Democrat is a friend of freedom. Not every military service member is a friend of freedom. Not every pastor is a friend of freedom. Not every attorney is a friend of freedom. Not every physician is a friend of freedom. Not every civil magistrate is a friend of freedom. Not every engineer is a friend of freedom. Not every priest is a friend of freedom. Not every actor is a friend of freedom. Not every school teacher is a friend of freedom. Not every newscaster or journalist is a friend of freedom. Not every policeman or sheriff’s deputy is a friend of freedom. Not every movie producer is a friend of freedom. Not every businessman is a friend of freedom. Ad infinitum.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Arab Youths Beat Israeli Filmmaker at French Film Festival

A group of Arab youths have reportedly attacked an Israeli film director, Yariv Horowitz.

Horowitz, who directed the film “Rock the Casbah” was participating at a film festival in France when he was attacked by a group of Arab youths just before the film won the best film award.

He is reported to have lost consciousness and has been subsequently treated. Horowitz is said to have returned immediately to the festival after treatment. Authorities are estimating that the attack was racially motivated.

Horowitz, who represents Israel, was attacked immediately after the screening of the film by a group of Arab youths. The director lost consciousness and was treated at the festival. After recovering from the blows he received, he returned to the festival area in “good condition”.

After the violent incident, Horowitz’s film won the Special Prize of the Jury for Best Picture. Israeli singer and musician Assaf Amdursky also received an award for a movie he wrote music.

[…]

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Athens Rejects Turkish Talk of Cypriot Partition

Avramopoulos rebuffs Ankara suggestion for four-way talks on a settlement

Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Thursday vehemently rejected a proposal by his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu that a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem be sought if Cypriot authorities unilaterally proceed with the exploitation of oil and gas reserves off the island’s coast.

“Any insinuation of partition should be out of anyone’s mind,” Avramopoulos said in a letter to Davutoglu which was published on the Greek Foreign Ministry’s website.

Avramopoulos rejected a proposal by his Turkish counterpart that Athens and Ankara join talks with authorities in Nicosia and in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus on a settlement for the divided island.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

First Love Child of Human, Neanderthal Found

The skeletal remains of an individual living in northern Italy 40,000-30,000 years ago are believed to be that of a human/Neanderthal hybrid, according to a paper in PLoS ONE.

If further analysis proves the theory correct, the remains belonged to the first known such hybrid, providing direct evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Prior genetic research determined the DNA of people with European and Asian ancestry is 1 to 4 percent Neanderthal.

The present study focuses on the individual’s jaw, which was unearthed at a rock-shelter called Riparo di Mezzena in the Monti Lessini region of Italy. Both Neanderthals and modern humans inhabited Europe at the time.

“From the morphology of the lower jaw, the face of the Mezzena individual would have looked somehow intermediate between classic Neanderthals, who had a rather receding lower jaw (no chin), and the modern humans, who present a projecting lower jaw with a strongly developed chin,” co-author Silvana Condemi, an anthropologist, told Discovery News.

Condemi is the CNRS research director at the University of Ai-Marseille. She and her colleagues studied the remains via DNA analysis and 3D imaging. They then compared those results with the same features from Homo sapiens.

The genetic analysis shows that the individual’s mitochondrial DNA is Neanderthal. Since this DNA is transmitted from a mother to her child, the researchers conclude that it was a “female Neanderthal who mated with male Homo sapiens.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Police Arrest 16 Youths After Paris Train Hold-Up

French police arrested 16 youths Wednesday following a train invasion near the impoverished Parisian suburb of Grigny in which dozens of passengers were robbed. The local mayor said the attack “discredited the silent majority” who live in the area.

French police on Wednesday arrested 16 youths, aged between 14 and 18, after the hold-up of a suburban train near Paris earlier in March.

They are suspected of having boarded the train en masse in the run-down Grigny suburb on March 16, stopping the train by setting off the alarm, and going through the carriages robbing frightened passengers systematically of their mobile phones, cash and handbags.

After the hold-up of the train, which connects the suburb to Paris, the estimated 20 youths jumped off and disappeared before the police arrived.

Police on Wednesday said that stolen items had been recovered during dawn raids at one of Grigny’s huge housing estates, and that some of the youths arrested are suspected of having taken part in two similar robberies.

“What they did was not only serious but completely stupid,” Grigny’s Communist mayor Philippe Rio told AFP. “All they will do is increase the discrimination that already exists against people from Grigny. They discredit the silent majority of residents who just want to live their lives in peace.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Judge in Sarkozy Corruption Case Receives Death Threat

A judge overseeing the corruption probe against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy received a bullet and death threat in the post, it was revealed on Thursday. Sarkozy denies claims that he accepted illegal donations to fund his 2007 campaign.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany: Chocolate Firm Lindt Loses Case Over Easter Bunny Trademark

After more than a decade in court, Swiss chocolate maker Lindt has lost its final appeal to trademark its gold foil wrapped chocolate Easter bunny. The German court has decided similar bunny models may also be sold.

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice on Thursday rejected a final appeal by Lindt & Spruengli seeking to establish a sitting Easter bunny model wrapped in gold foil with a red bow tie as a trademark of the Swiss premium chocolate maker.

The ruling ended a 12-year-old court battle in which Lindt aimed to stop German chocolate maker Confiserie Riegelein from producing similar chocolate bunnies.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italian Foreign Minister Resigns Over Return of Marines to India

Terzi tells Chamber of Deputies: “I didn’t want them to go back to India”. President of Italy disapproves of “irregular procedure”

“I was against sending the marines back to India but my voice went unheard”. That was why at the end of the emergency session on Tuesday 26 March to discuss the incident, Italy’s foreign minister, Giulio Terzi, announced he was resigning. Mr Terzi motivated the resignation by referring to the deep divergence of opinion within the government. Later in the evening, the “dismayed” prime minister Mario Monti would issue a note to say: “Mr Terzi’s intentions were not communicated to me in advance, even though I was present at a working meeting this morning with ministers Terzi and Di Paola at the cabinet office. The views expressed to the Chamber of Deputies by minister Terzi are not shared by the government”. Mr Monti has taken over as interim foreign minister.

NAPOLITANO: “IRREGULAR” — The president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, also issued a note that referred to Mr Terzi’s resignation as “irregular” and said the head of state was “aghast and astonished”. Sources close to President Napolitano revealed that he had not been informed of the foreign minister’s intentions and was now awaiting Mr Monti’s decree accepting the resignation. The prime minister will report to Parliament on the affair on Wednesday 27 March.

TERZI “UNHEARD” — At the end of the session in the Chamber of Deputies, Mr Terzi explained how deeply he disagreed with sending the two marines back to India for the second time. His reconstruction of events, delivered almost as they happened, was that he had “expressed [his] reservations about the sudden decision to transfer them to India at the Palazzo Chigi meeting but [his] voice had gone unheard. At last, we had got our two marines home”. In response to Mr Monti’s observation that he had not been informed, despite the meeting with Mr Terzi, the now former foreign minister pointed out that “the decision to announce my imminent resignation during the session at the Chamber of Deputies took shape after the meeting with the prime minister, Mario Monti, and the defence minister”…

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

Italian Parliament Curtails Members’ Perks

(AGI) — Rome, Mar 28 — The speaker of Italy’s lower house of parliament, Laura Boldrini issued a statement saying, “by abolishing apartment privileges and more restrictive practices concerning automobile use, we have, today, achieved a first result, just two weeks from the opening of parliament.” Boldrini added, “I want to thank all those in the prime minister’s office who, with sensitivity and competence, have rapidly sent a clear signal of sobriety to the public.”.

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

Italy: Chief of Defence Staff Promises to Stand by Marines

(AGI) Naples — The Chief of Defence Staff has promised to stand by the marines accused of murder in India for as long as it takes.

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

Swede Gets Dream Home After 28-Year Wait

A 64-year-old Swedish woman has finally got the home of her dreams in central Stockholm after waiting on the city’s housing queue for 28 years, a story that experts explain is becoming all-too common.

Strandvägen is one of the grandest streets in Stockholm. The long boulevard sweeping from Berzelli park along the harbour to the entrance of the Djurgården boasts deluxe hotels and luxury homes.

One of the apartments, right by the bridge leading to Djurgården, will soon be the home to a 64-year-old woman who was more patient than most.

After she joined the queue in 1985 at the age of 36, she is set to take over the home for a monthly rent of 9,320 kronor ($1,430), according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).

According to several experts, decades-long waits for rental flats are all too common in Stockholm.

“Well, 28 years is a very long time indeed, and these kinds of stories underline that there is a problem in Stockholm,” Anders Konradsson of the Swedish Union of Tenants (Hyresgästföreningen) told The Local.

“If you want an apartment in Stockholm, especially on a street like Strandvägen, you’re in for a wait. The problem is that there simply aren’t enough apartments here.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Woman Convicted for Hitting Bottom Grabber

A 23-year-old woman who slapped a man in the face after he grabbed her rear end has been convicted of assault by a court in southern Sweden.

The 27-year-old who made the unwanted move escaped charges for the incident after a preliminary criminal investigation was dropped.

“This goes to show that it’s okay for guys to grab girls any way they want,” the 23-year-old woman told the Metro newspaper.

The woman reacted when the 27-year-old man put his hand on her buttocks at Glorias nightclub in Lund last summer.

She instinctively turned to confront the man who grabbed her and hit him in the face so hard she broke the 27-year-old’s nose.

In its ruling the Lund District Court agreed that the woman was subject to a “serious provocation”, but ultimately ruled her actions couldn’t be considered as acting in self-defence.

The court convicted the 23-year-old woman of assault, slapping her with a suspended sentence and a 2,500 kronor ($380) fine, the Sydsvenskan newspaper reported.

She must also pay 1,860 kronor in damages to the man, who had originally demanded 25,000 kronor as compensation for the injuries he suffered during the incident.

[Return to headlines]

UK: Queen in Oxford — Live Blog

9:47 am: Marshalls are on hand to escort people meeting the Queen across St Aldate’s

[…]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: We Won’t Charge Him [Anjem Choudary]

Anjem Choudary was filmed urging jihad on benefits and PM killing but won’t face action

HATE preacher who urged fanatics to live off benefits and said David Cameron should be killed will not face police action, it emerged yesterday. Anjem Choudary mocked non-Muslims who work 9 to 5, urging followers: “Claim Jihad Seeker’s Allowance.” In a sick rant taped and reported by The Sun, Choudary, 45, of East London, praised Muslims who instead of working “were busy with holy war”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

White Easter: Germany Faces Coldest March Since 1883

Complaining about the weather has reached epidemic proportions in northern Germany this “spring.” And with good reason. With Easter just around the corner, meteorologists are telling us this could end up being the coldest March in Berlin and its surroundings since records began in the 1880s.

The poor Easter Bunny deserves our sympathy. Whereas in recent years he has grown used to dodging daffodils, lilies and tulips as he carries his cargo of eggs and chocolate to homes across northern Europe, this year the rabbit will find himself confronted with ice slicks, snow drifts and bundled up humans in foul moods.

Easter, after all, may be upon us. But spring weather most definitely is not. Biologists are warning that the Easter Bunny’s wild brethren, European hares, are having trouble keeping their broods warm and healthy in the unseasonable chill. Meteorologists are keeping close tabs on thermometers to determine whether this March will go down as the coldest ever — since records began in the 1880s. And wiseacres on the streets of Berlin have not yet tired of noting that Easter promises to be colder than last Christmas.

And it’s not just the northern regions of Continental Europe where the Easter Bunny will encounter problems. Great Britain and Ireland are likewise suffering through unseasonable weather, with power outages threatening the roast lamb and snow drifts making hopping difficult. Russia and Ukraine are also suffering.

In northern Germany, the weather has been particularly notable for its persistent putrescence. Following a winter that broke all records for its lack of sunshine — with just 91.2 hours of sunshine, total, from the beginning of December to the end of February — the sun has in recent days emerged from behind the haze…

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

Green Meteorite May be From Mercury, A First

Scientists may have discovered the first meteorite from Mercury.

The green rock found in Morocco last year may be the first known visitor from the solar system’s innermost planet, according to meteorite scientist Anthony Irving, who unveiled the new findings this month at the 44th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. The study suggests that a space rock called NWA 7325 came from Mercury, and not an asteroid or Mars.

NWA 7325 is actually a group of 35 meteorite samples discovered in 2012 in Morocco. They are ancient, with Irving and his team dating the rocks to an age of about 4.56 billion years.

“It might be a sample from Mercury, or it might be a sample from a body smaller than Mercury but (which) is like Mercury,” Irving said during his talk. A large impact could have shot NWA 7325 out from Mercury to Earth, he added.

Irving is an Earth and Space Sciences professor at the University of Washington and has been studying meteorites for years. But the NWA 7325 meteorite is unlike anything found on Earth before, he told SPACE.com.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Christians Face Persecution, Extinction in Islamic Lands

by Clare Lopez

Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Islam is on the march again and Christians are marked for annihilation. In lands once known as the heartland of Christianity, where the Apostles and early missionaries spread their faith, Christianity is a faith under fire and Christians themselves are a dwindling presence.

Nowhere is the Islamic assault against Christians more intense than the killing fields of Syria, where rebel advances by both the al-Qa’eda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated militias of the Syrian Free Army (SFA), inevitably result in pogroms against Christian populations in every town they capture from the Bashar al-Assad regime that previously had protected Syria’s minority Christians.

As Nina Shea wrote recently at National Review Online, the 2,000-year-old Christian Assyrian community in embattled Syria literally faces extinction, as an Islamic “ethno-religious cleansing” targets its defenseless members with kidnappings, murder, rape and threats.

Like Iraq’s Assyrian and Chaldean communities before it (some of whose members had fled to Syria for safety), the Christians of Syria are now fleeing in droves, many to Lebanon, and some even back to Iraq. The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, reports that as many as 30,000 Christians have fled that devastated city alone.

[…]

Waves of violence, killing and forced displacement have slashed the pre-2003 number of churches in Iraq from 300 to just 57, and the number of beleaguered Christians from some 1.4 million to perhaps only half a million in 2013.

The situation in Iran is intensifying with a violent regime crackdown against Christians and other religious minorities, as well (especially Baha’is). In the March 2013 Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeld documents the shocking treatment of Christians in Iran, whose constitution describes it as an “Islamic Republic” dedicated to revolution and global jihad.

Christians increasingly are being persecuted, arrested, jailed and mistreated for the “crime” of preaching or even simply practicing Christianity in an Islamic state. The case of American pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been sentenced to eight years in the notorious Evin prison for his alleged work with Iranian Christians, has received quite a bit of media attention and is especially notable because he is a U.S. citizen.

[…]

Egyptian Copts, descendants of the original Pharaonic Egyptians, have been Christian since St. Mark, the Apostle and Gospel writer, brought the faith to North Africa in the first century after Christ. Decimated, overrun and subjugated by the 7th century Muslim invasion, the Copts today number a mere 10% of Egypt’s population of some 80 million.

Since the 2011 revolution that brought the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood to power, the plight of these Christians once again has become desperate and is spurring a massive exodus from the country.

In a March 2013 interview published by Family Security Matters, Dr. Ashraf Ramelah described vigilante attacks against Christian cemeteries, churches, property and the Coptic faithful themselves by Muslim mobs, emboldened by the certainty that the sharia-compliant Egyptian constitution protects them from retribution.

Once again, the Pact of Umar that defined the subservient status under sharia of the Ahl al-Dhimma (the conquered ‘People of the Book’ who are specifically targeted for subjugation in Quranic verse 9:29), is being enforced.

[…]

In places as far from the birthplace of Islam as the Central Asian republics, Bibles and Christian literature are confiscated and destroyed, while Boko Haram, the Nigerian al-Qa’eda franchise, has been on a Christian-slaughtering rampage since before 2012—although the Muslim conquest of West Africa itself dates to the early centuries of Islam.

Christians who may have looked to Catholicism’s new Pope Francis to champion their survival in the face of the Islamic resurgence may be disappointed. Speaking at a Vatican ceremony to greet the world’s diplomatic envoys to Rome on March 22, Pope Francis appealed instead to interfaith dialogue, particularly with Islam.

With this policy, Pope Francis follows the cautious course of his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict, who, confronted by Muslim criticism, hurriedly backtracked and apologized after a 2011 call for greater protection of Egypt’s Coptic Christians from Muslim assault.

During this Christian holiday season, the message from the world — and even from the top ranks of Christendom — to Christians facing Islamic jihad and the imposition of sharia would seem to be: “You’re on your own.”

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

Iraq — Agony: Ordeal, And Recovery

by Victor Davis Hanson

I. The Case for Invasion

Wise

The Bush administration built a broad domestic coalition and an adequate foreign alliance (more inclusive than the UN-sanctioned effort against North Korea in 1950). It made compelling arguments that in a post 9/11 climate, Saddam Hussein, who otherwise had no connection with 9/11, could no longer be adequately contained with no-fly zones or trusted not to repeat his various genocides and attacks on his neighbors.

At least initially, the professed case for invasion was not just predicated on worries about WMD. It also hinged on moral concerns over the horrific toll that Saddam had taken on his own people. These were crimes, for example, that made the present spectacle in Syria or the recent strife in Libya seem minor in comparison.

The administration won overwhelming bipartisan support in obtaining House and Senate resolutions in October 2002 (unlike Clinton for the Balkan war or Obama for the Libyan bombing). It spent a year trying to persuade the UN (unlike Clinton in 1999, who just bombed without even going to the UN).

[…]

“Nation-building” was not just some neocon wide-eyed dream (although for some it may well have been that). More likely, it was the last choice to ensure that military force led to something better, a sort of repeat of post-Milosevic Serbia rather than post-Gulf War Iraq. The result was that 70% of the American people and almost the entire liberal media were on board. They would not have been had (a) the Bush administration failed the year before in Afghanistan; (b) not gotten congressional approval; (c) not gone to the UN; (d) promised to leave as soon as removing Saddam or vowed to install a pro-Western strongman; (e) not had allies; or (f) talked of acquiring Iraqi oil.

Unwise

The Bush administration fixated on WMD — as did those in Congress like a Senator John Kerry or Hillary Clinton — when there were 23 diverse and persuasive congressional writs to remove Saddam, ranging from genocide to sponsorship of terrorism to attempts to kill a former U.S. president. When stockpiles of WMD failed to appear, and when the insurgency gained momentum, the casus belli vanished, although the U.S. Congress obviously was on record that the need to preempt in Iraq vastly transcended the issue of WMD.

Apparently WMD arouses Western publics in a way genocide does not: compare Barack Obama’s quiescence after 70,000 murdered in Syria, a million refugees, and horrific human rights violations with his assurances that Bashar Assad’s WMD usage would be a “red line” and “game changer.” [4]

The Bush administration was almost giddy after the brilliant 2001 two-month removal of the Taliban and the later easy installation of the pro-American Hamid Karzai — all in the supposed “graveyard of empires.” We had apparently done in two months what the Soviets had not in ten years…

[…]

II. Conduct of the War

Wise

Kurdistan was quickly liberated, protected, and allowed to form a consensual government, the result of which is one of the most successful and most pro-American regions in the Middle East. In unanticipated fashion, al Qaeda declared Iraq the central theater in its war against America, flocked to Anbar Province, and saw its operatives killed en masse and for three years its organization nearly annihilated and discredited.

[…]

Unwise

Abu Ghraib — enough said [5].

The questionable moves of disbanding the Iraqi army (if it did indeed disband, rather than just dissipate on its own) and de-Baathification were proven unquestionably wrong, when there was no alternative offered in their places: few jobless soldiers were immediately put to work in civilian projects or re-recruited into the army; few Baathists were rehired into the bureaucracy.

Arms dumps were left unguarded — allowing scavengers to collect ordinance that would fuel the IEDs that would come to kill and maim thousands of Americans.

When you set out to take Vienna, to paraphrase Napoleon, then take Vienna…

[…]

READ THE WHOLE THING- URL above.

           — Hat tip: Bill Keezer [Return to headlines]

Iraq’s Religious Minorities Flee North

Non-Muslims in Iraq suffer violent attacks and discrimination. Many Christians, Yazidis and Mandeans have fled the nation. Only in the Kurdish north are religious minorities safe — except when they live in ‘mixed’ towns.

Violence, kidnappings and attacks on religious minorities are a daily occurrence in Iraq, where a national patchwork of religious and ethnic groups once existed, a sense of unraveling remains.

Violence against minority religious groups had already begun before the fall of Saddam Hussein. Hussein reached the apex of his in the midst of a bloody conflict between Kurds and Arabs, Sunnis and Shiites. Caught in the crossfire of those battles were Christians; Yazidis, a Kurdish ethno-religious group; and a group known as Mandeans.

Churches are now regular recipients of bomb attacks — as they have been for years. When Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako became head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq in March 2013, security authorities in parts of Baghdad were on high alert. The patriarch, however, is the leader of a congregation in decline.

In addition to many Catholics, Christians of other denominations are leaving Iraq. From what was once a group of roughly 1 million Christians in the biblical land of Babylon, a few hundred thousand remain. Iraq’s other religious minorities have suffered a similar fate.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Serbia-Emirates: Signed Agriculture Agreement With Al Dahra

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE,MARCH 28- Serbian Minister of Finance and Economy Mladjan Dinkic and representatives of Al Dahra, leading global agro-industrial company, signed a USD 400 million joint venture agreement to invest in Serbian agriculture in Abu Dhabi Thursday.

One-third of the investment will be used to purchase assets of eight failed agricultural combines, while the rest will go into installing irrigation systems, purchasing modern equipment and current assets needed for construction and operation of at least five factories for the production of cattle feed, the Finance and Economy Ministry has said in a release.

With yesterday’s USD 400 million from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the USD 400 million worth of investment from Al Dahra, we have secured a total of USD 800 million of investment in Serbia’s agriculture; said Dinkic.

Minister Dinkic was received by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, head of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the biggest investment funds in the world that has about USD 1.3 trillion in assets.

Dinkic and Sheikh Al Nahyan discussed possible investment by the fund in several major industrial projects in Serbia, for which the Emirates showed serious interest.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria-Lebanon: “Weariness and Resignation” Among the Civilians in War-Torn Aleppo

A Syrian Christian doctor talks about the situation in the northern Syrian city. Divided between loyalists and rebels, battered by gunfire, shelling and air strikes, the city has seen a rise in poverty and crime, especially kidnappings for ransom. A “fragile” Christian minority suffers along with Muslims.

Beirut (AsiaNews) — “Aleppo residents are filled with weariness and resignation today,” said a Christian Syrian, a doctor, who has remained behind in the war-torn city. From time to time, he has written “letters” to his Lebanese friends, ‘mission reports’ on the state of this big city, home to one of the biggest and most important Christian communities in Syria.

Aleppines are resigned to seeing their city cut in two, he writes, with hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in the areas considered “safe”. Their unstoppable flow continues. Every day one can see small trucks crammed with people, furniture and mattresses, moving through the streets, in search of shelter. Still, a semblance of “normal” life goes on in the city, split in two between loyalists and rebels.

People have become accustomed to the deafening noise of gunfire and shelling, as well as to the sound of military aircraft flying over the city. But every burst of shelling heralds more violence in a city where a special security code regulates driving. Some streets have become sniper alleys; in others, people play Russian roulette with their life, haunted by car bombs that can explode at anytime and anywhere, but more so at rush hour near militarily sensitive points.

Wealthy residents are always in danger of abduction. In our doctor’s letter, kidnappings are a tale of daily occurrence as armed groups seek ways to finance their struggle or thugs take advantage of the chaos to fill up their pockets.

Allepines have still access to drinking water and electricity but they are rationed: two to four hours a day. Mobile phones and the Internet still work but are frequently cut without notice. The same goes for fixed telephone lines.

In areas deemed safe, traffic jams are a nightmare. However, war and fighting have limited the scope of movements. Sometimes, people walk home forced by local militias.

“I saw,” the doctor said, “young people carry elderly parents or grandparents on their back up to Sheikh Maksoud,” a mostly Kurdish district.

During the day, stalls and street vendors fill the sidewalks, with everything on sale for survival. Poverty is clearly on the rise and more and more beggars walk the streets.

“Aleppo becomes a ghost town as soon as the sun begins to set. Streets are empty as people lock themselves in their homes until the next morning, without much to do other watch TV or listen to the radio,” the Christian Syrian doctor says as he ends his letter.

It is unclear whether this “letter from Aleppo” is an appeal for help or a sign of hope. Undoubtedly, it is both since “life goes on” despite everything, and the people of Aleppo, Christians and Muslims, are not yet at a point of desperation. However, their new war routine is anything but normal.

Although Syrian Christians support their compatriots, their suffering is more specific since their existence is more fragile and under threat than that of Muslims.

The two tragedies, the two distinct causes, must be defended. Anyone fighting for one is fighting for the other.

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

Syria: ‘Rebels Control Daraa’, Gov’t Minister Admits

Rebels shoot down Iranian cargo plane in Damascus

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, MARCH 28 — Rebel fighters control Daraa and are blocking the passage of goods and men from Damascus, Daraa minister, Walid az Zubi admitted during a live televised parliamentary session Thursday broadcast on state TV.

His comments are a rare admission by a government official that rebel forces are beginning to advance in the southern Syrian region bordering Jordan. “The army has withdrawn and I can say that the territory from Khirbat Ghazala, north of Daraa, to Nassib, south Daraa is controlled by armed men”. “Supplies aren’t coming from Damascus — Daraa is only connected to the rest of the country from the West, where there’s still an army base.” According to local activist committees an Iranian cargo plane was shot down by Syrian rebels near the international airport of Damascus. In a statement obtained by ANSA the activists claim that the plane was carrying cargo destined for the regime. It was shot down by rebel forces who surrounded the airport and crashed on the runway, according to unverified reports.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

China: “Poisoned” By Religion, 20 Uighurs Jailed in Xinjiang

Beijing uses an iron fist in the northwestern province, homeland of minority Turkic Muslims. Courts convict “activists” for preparing “Holy war”. For exiled Uighurs, they are only guilty of talking about “freedom”.

Beijing (AsiaNews) — China’s relentless crackdown on ethnic minorities continues unabated. Despite its ongoing slaughter in Tibet, Beijing has opted for the iron fist in Xinjiang, the homeland of ethnic Uighurs in northwestern China. Courts handed down heavy sentences, including life in prison, against 20 ethnic Uighurs “poisoned by religious extremism”.

Judges in Kashgar and Bayingol ruled that the offenders had their “thoughts poisoned by religious extremism”, and that they were getting ready for a holy war, a Xinjiang government press release said.

Uighurs are a Turkic Muslim group. From the end of World War II until the 1990s, they sought independence from China. Today, they want religious and cultural autonomy.

According to exiled Uighurs, centred mostly in Germany under the leadership of Rebiya Kadeer, the Chinese government has magnified the threat of religious extremism to justify its repression against the minority.

For Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress, those convicted were guilty of no more than listening to the US-funded Radio Free Asia and using the Internet to discuss the importance of religious and cultural freedom.

Xinjiang is rich in raw materials and is located in a strategic position on the border with South Asia and Central Asia.

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

Japan Raises Specter of More Devastating Quake

The Nankai Trough extends for hundred of kilometers parallel with the Japanese coast, off heavily populated areas south of Tokyo. A new report has issued a chilling warning of what a major quake in the trough would mean.

An earthquake in the Nankai Trough could be on a scale 10 times that of the disaster that befell Tohoku in March 2011.

More worryingly, experts warn that a mega-quake is overdue.

A little over two years after vast stretches of northeastern Japan were laid waste by the worst natural disaster to strike Japan in living memory, killing close to 19,000 people, a 400-page study has warned that a far more serious threat lies brooding just off the coast.

A report compiled by the Central Disaster Management Council, as a direct result of the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake of two years ago, predicts that a magnitude-9 quake in the volatile Nankai Trough could trigger a tsunami as much as 30 meters high that could kill 320,000 people.

The disaster would destroy road and rail links the length of the country. The tsunami would pulverize buildings that had already been weakened by the tremor. Infrastructure would be wiped out for hundreds of kilometers along the coast and the projected cost in terms of the damage wrought on the country is 220 trillion yen (1.84 trillion euros).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

North Korea ‘Burning With Hatred’ For US After Stealth Bomber Missions

The deployment of the stealth bombers was clearly meant to deliver a potent message to Pyongyang about the US commitment to defending South Korea against any aggression as military tensions on the Korean peninsula soar.

It came after the North severed its last-remaining military hotline with South Korea on Wednesday and put its rocket units on combat status with a threat to target US bases in the Pacific region.

It also emerged on Wednesday that North Korea had “Photoshopped” an image of a troop landing drill as part of Pyongyang’s renewed military propaganda war.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Brazilian Doctor Investigated Over 300 Hospital Deaths

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A Brazilian doctor who has been charged with the murder of seven patients is being investigated in almost 300 other cases, according to health authorities investigating what could prove one of the world’s worst serial killings.

Virginia Soares de Souza is accused of cutting the oxygen to people on life-support systems and administering lethal doses of muscle-relaxing drugs in the Evangelica Hospital of Curitiba.

Soares, a director of the hospital, was arrested in February along with three doctors and a nurse, who are suspected of conspiracy. Three other hospital staff have subsequently been charged in the case.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mexican Vigilantes Seize Town, Arrest Police

Thousands of armed vigilantes have taken over a town in Mexico and arrested police officers after their ‘commander’ was killed and dumped in the street.

The self described ‘community police’ and arrested 12 officers and the town’s former director of public security, who they accuse of taking part in the killing of Guadalupe Quinones Carbajal, 28, on behalf of a local organised crime group.

The 1,500-strong force has also set up improvised checkpoints on the major road running through Tierra Colorado, which connects the capital Mexico City to Acapulco, a coastal city popular with tourists less than 40 miles away.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Four Boats With 355 Illegal Immigrants Rescued Near Sicily

(AGI) Palermo — Four boats with 355 illegal immigrants on them were rescued in the Strait of Sicily.

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

More Than 100 Million Worldwide Dream of a Life in the U.S.

More than 25% in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Dominican Republic want to move to the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — About 13% of the world’s adults — or about 630 million people — say they would like to leave their country and move somewhere else permanently. For roughly 138 million people, that somewhere else would be the U.S. — the No. 1 desired destination for potential migrants. The U.K., Canada, and France also rank among the top choices for potential migrants.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tunisian Coastguards Rescue Sicily-Bound Migrant Boat

Vessel carrying 65 refugees ran into difficulty

(ANSA) Tunis, March 28; Tunisian coastguards on Thursday rescued a boat carrying 65 undocumented migrants that had run in trouble on the way to Sicily. The passengers on board were of various nationalities and the boat came from Libya, according to initial reports.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Abu Qatada: The Same Old Problem

The Abu Qatada saga has infuriated the public and tarnished the image of the judiciary

It was only a month after the September 11 attacks that this newspaper first asked: “What is to be done about the Qatada problem?” This problem was the presence on British soil of Abu Qatada, an al-Qaeda sympathiser who wished this nation nothing but harm. For more than a decade, the Home Office has devoted extraordinary amounts of time and money to his case, mounting a long-running effort to expel him from the country and return him to Jordan, where he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment for alleged terrorist offences. At every turn, the state has been thwarted by the courts — as happened yesterday, when the Court of Appeal upheld the latest ruling preventing Qatada’s deportation.

This circus has not only infuriated the public, but tarnished the image of the judiciary both in Britain and Europe. There is standing up for human rights, and there is denying the repeatedly expressed wishes of a democratic Parliament. What is especially aggravating is the way in which the goalposts have been moved: no sooner did the Government deal with one objection, for example that Qatada might be tortured on his return, than another was raised.

Lord Carlile of Berriew, one of the country’s most experienced lawyers, suggests today that, to resolve the situation once and for all, Britain should send one last mission to Jordan, filled with our brightest legal minds, to craft an agreement so copper-bottomed that not even Strasbourg can object. That seems a reasonable plan. To put an end to such cases more generally, it would be well worth the Government exploring ways to limit foreign convicts’ ability to cite their right to a family life when fighting appeals, as proposed by Dominic Raab MP. But even if such efforts are successful, the Qatada saga is sure to drag on for a good while yet — along with the nation’s frustration.

[Reader comment by Boudicca_Iceni on 28 March 2013 at 04:43 am.]

The solution is to resile from the ECHR and repeal the HRA. But the EU “says no” and what the EU says goes in this country now — since it is effectively our real government.

Still…on the bright side, that even more votes and members heading towards UKIP.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Close David Cameron Ally Calls His Immigration Plans ‘Unfortunate’

David Cameron’s pledge to “control” immigrants’ access to public services has been dealt a major blow after one of his closest European allies described the plans as “unfortunate”.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, Sweden’s prime minister and a friend of the Prime Minister, hit out at Mr Cameron’s proposals for new controls on migrants’ access to health care, housing and benefits. Mr Reinfeldt’s intervention came after critics accused the Prime Minister of exaggerating the impact of immigration on UK public services and proposing sanctions that already exist…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Government Loses Latest Bid to Deport Abu Qatada

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has lost a legal challenge against a ruling which prevented her deporting Abu Qatada, the radical Muslim cleric accused of posing a grave threat to Britain’s national security.

The Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold an earlier legal victory by the Islamist preacher means it is highly unlikely that he will ever be removed from Britain. Ministers had appealed against a previous judicial ruling which said the preacher — who is also known as Omar Othman — could not be deported to Jordan on human rights grounds…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Eagle Scouts Says ‘Gay’ Activists Bullying Them

When it comes to young boys, parents have the final say on the issues of sex and politics

(FoxNews Radio) A coalition of Eagle Scouts, Scoutmasters and parents have launched a new organization vowing to keep sex and politics out of the Boy Scouts of America.

“The Boy Scouts are one of the great jewels of American culture,” said John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and the founder of OnMyHonor.net.

Representatives from more than a dozen states gathered in Florida to announce the opposition to any attempt to allow open homosexuality in the BSA.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The ‘User-Friendly Really Modern Bible’

“The trouble with the Bible is that it hasn’t been modernized. We need a Bible that’s been brought up to speed with the 21st century. And now we’ve got one.”

So says Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Jidrool, Professor of What’s Happening, Nudnick Theological Seminary. Dr. Jidrool chairs a committee of scholars that has just released for publication The User-Friendly Really Modern Bible.

“We have ironed out the conflicts between modern thinking and the Bible,” he says. “Now you can go with the flow and still be a perfectly good Christian.”

“What we’ve done is to add clarification to the Bible, to bring it into line with contemporary thought,” explains the project’s executive editor, Rev. Wanda Byaduck, Priestess of Goddess Sophia at the seminary’s chapel. “This results in some of the passages being rather longer than in the original, so we just deleted the Old Testament. I mean, who’s interested in anything that old? Besides, the OT is so sexist!”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Deconstruction of Marriage

The only question worth asking about gay marriage is whether anyone on the left would care about this crusade if it didn’t come with the privilege of bulldozing another civilizational institution.

Gay marriage is not about men marrying men or women marrying women, it is about the deconstruction of marriage between men and women. That is a thing that many men and women of one generation understand but have trouble conveying to another generation for whom marriage has already largely been deconstructed.

The statistics about the falling marriage rate tell the tale well enough. Marriage is a fading institution. Family is a flickering light in the evening of the West.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Will John Roberts Betray Us Again?

In the tortured justification for his vote to sustain Obamacare last summer, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts pointed to Congress’s authority to levy taxes — an argument not even put forward by its advocates. (They, in fact, had argued that it was not a tax.) As a direct result of Roberts’s folly, the stark reality of Barack Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America” creeps closer each day.

Will Roberts do it again? As I write this, the High Court is hearing oral arguments for and against California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which gives states the right to refuse recognition of same-sex “marriages” performed in other states. DOMA was passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Based on what I’m hearing from the justices — John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy in particular — I am not optimistic for the future of marriage in our nation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U.N. Small Arms Treaty Enters Eleventh Hour

Diplomats are expressing cautious optimism that seven years of efforts to reach an agreement on the “first treaty on weapons ranging from side pistols to combat aircraft and warships” will not collapse on Thursday, the AFP reports today.

Despite disappointment the treaty does not go far enough, the foundation-funded Amnesty International predicts it will be adopted by United Nations member nations.

The treaty, however, will encounter determined opposition in the United States.

“Disguised as an ‘International Arms Control Treaty’ to fight against ‘terrorism,’ ‘insurgency’ and ‘international crime syndicates,’ the UN’s Small Arms Treaty is in fact a massive, GLOBAL gun control scheme,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul explained when the treaty was first proposed.

According to Paul, the treaty will enact tougher licensing requirements in the United States; will lead to the confiscation and destruction of all “unauthorized” civilian firearms; will outlaw the trade, sale and ownership of all semiautomatic weapons; and create an international gun registry ahead of full-scale confiscation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/28/2013

  1. So Hanson considers Iraq a success. He wants us to expand the War Against All Terrorism even further, just like Obama and the Neocons.

    We are now five years into the Second Great Depression, our borders are wide open, and Obama plans to dump another 10-20 million illegals into Obamacare.

    Both the Democrats and the Republicans are dedicated to deconstructing our country. There is no difference between the two.

    Which side are you on?

    • I know that Russia Today is not the greatest fan of the United States but this evening they carried a piece on Iraq and the mess that the war has left the country in. People are afraid to leave their houses for fear of being the next ones to be blow to smithereens by a suicide bomber. There is constant Sunni v Shia conflict and Al Qaeda are well entrenched. Are there any members of Sadam’s family left who would like to turn back the clock? Apparently the Kurds are better off but there is wrangling between them and the rest about the oil.

      As regards deconstructing your country, this seems to have been the job of every government of former white or majority white countries like the US used to be over the last 50 to 60 years. Could it be they are all following a plan? And no I have no idea what they think they are up to in the Middle East. Today we learn that two female aid workers in Libya have been raped. It would never have happened under Ghadaffi. It strikes me these countries can’t handle democracy and need firm leadership, however undesirable. And yet the US seems determined to bring “freedom” everywhere whether it is a good idea or not.

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