Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/3/2013

According to Western intelligence sources, Israeli aircraft may have struck targets in Syria within the last 48 hours, possibly without actually entering Syrian airspace. It is thought the IAF may have been targeting Syrian chemical weapons facilities, or possibly the supply lines for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In other news, the mayor of Athens denounced a Golden Dawn initiative to give free food to poor people as a “soup kitchen of hatred”. His outrage was based on the fact that the party limited its largesse to Greek citizens who presented ID cards.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Diana West, Fjordman, Gaia, Henrik Ræder Clausen, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, Nick, Steen, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

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
» Budget Data Likely to Stop Italian Deficit Procedure Says EC
» Conservative Budget Bail-in Regime May Allow Banks to Confiscate Customer’s Deposits
» Italy: Letta Says Will Cut Taxes, Not How to Make Up Revenue
» Italy: Spread Steady at 258.6
» OECD Warns Italy on Deficit, Urges Labour-Tax Cuts
» Olli Rehn Cuts Slack for French, Spanish Deficits
» Ron Paul & Jim Rogers on Government: “There’s More Chaos to Come”
» They Are Murdering Small Business: The Percentage of Self-Employed Americans is at a Record Low
» U.S. Economy Adds 165,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.5 Percent
» Will the New Housing Bubble That Bernanke is Creating End as Badly as the Last One Did?
 
USA
» America Needs a Revolution — The Only Way Back
» Casual and Uninformed Indifference is the Price Tag of Our Enslavement
» Conservatism Lost a Battle, But Not the War
» Eric Holder Threatens Kansas in Letter on Gun Control Nullification Law
» FBI Places First Woman on List of Most Wanted Terrorists
» Floridians Encouraged to Report Neighbors Who “Hate Government”
» High School Student Faces 20 Years for Obama Facebook Threat
» Killed by Dems With the Help of One Republican
» Layout Appears to Single Out All Muslims
» Making Islam (Not Terrorism) Disappear
» Mock DHS News Report Depicts Gun Owners as Terrorists
» MSNBC Guest Who Attacked Infowars Exposed (Video)
» Muslims in Maryland Petition Schools to Close on Eid, Like on Christmas, Yom Kippur
» Obama Vows to Keep at Gun Control: ‘This is Just the First Round’
» Obama’s SS: Here Now
» Obama Continues His War on the Fourth Amendment
» Oregon Teachers Traumatized by Unannounced Shooter Drill
» Poll: Overwhelming Majority Oppose California Gun Confiscation
» Poll: 29% Think Armed Rebellion Might Soon be Necessary
» Report: U.S. Government and NATO Worked With Bin Laden and His Top Lieutenant 3 Months After 9/11
» South Carolina House Passes Bill Making ‘Obamacare’ Implementation a Crime
» The New York Times Erases Islam From Existence
» Unraveling the Benghazi Cover-Up
» Washington Post’s Liberal Image and Record
» Why Even “Common Sense” Gun Control Must be Stopped
 
Europe and the EU
» Athens Mayor Denounces Golden Dawn ‘Soup Kitchen of Hatred’
» David Cameron Will Ditch TV Debates in 2015 Because He is Scared of Nigel Farage Demanding a Place, UKIP Claim
» George Freeman MP: UKIP Come Knocking: What’s Going on, And How to Respond?
» Italy: Rome Mayor Says City to Leave Equitalia Tax Collector
» Italy: Strait of Messina Bridge Not a Priority, Minister Says
» Italy: Murder Suspect of 19-Year-Old Woman Near Livorno Arrested
» ‘No Good Insulting UKIP’: Cameron Vows to Show ‘Respect’ To Voters Who Backed Nigel Farage’s Party in Local Election Shockwave
» The Rise of UKIP is Very, Very Funny
» UK: Local Election 2013: Results Live
» UK: Local Elections 2013: Results Map
» UK: Muslim Leaders ‘Need to be Clear on Sharia Plans’
» UK: Operation Bullfinch: Jury Must Decide if Girls Had ‘Freedom’ To Say Yes to Sex
» UK: Reactions to the Dewsbury Convictions
» UK: Snipers Face New Enemy: Helmets
» UK: Wanted: A Leader Who Can Unite the Warring Tory Tribes
» UKIP Claims ‘Remarkable’ Surge as Tories Lose Two Councils
» UKIP is a Very British Revolution
» Vega Satellite Launcher Gets Green Light for Lift-Off
 
North Africa
» Egyptian Islamists Protest Against Security Institution
» Egypt: Comedian on Bassem Youssef’s Show Released on Bail
» Tunisia: Amina: New Topless Picture
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: Dershowitz and Tragedy
» Israel Protests Google’s Switch to ‘Palestine’
 
Middle East
» At Least 18 Killed, 36 Wounded in Attacks in Iraq
» EU Lifts Oil Embargo on Syria — Buys Directly From Al Qaeda
» Sources: U.S. Believes Israel Has Conducted an Airstrike Into Syria
» Syria: Activists: Intense Fighting Between Homs and Damascus
» UAE: UAQ Ruler Opens Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Mu’alla Mosque
 
Russia
» Inside the Ring: Russia Builds Up, U.S. Down
 
South Asia
» Afghanistan: The Camp Bastion Cover-Up
» Burma: Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims?
» Gunmen Shoot Dead Top Pakistan Prosecutor Investigating Benazir Bhutto Assassination
» Myanmar’s Muslims: Kicked in the Teeth
» Outsourcing and Minimum Wage: The Struggle for the Rights of Indonesian Workers
» Thailand: Most Thais Reject Insurgents’ Demands in Peace Talks: Poll
 
Far East
» Scottish Cultural Secretary Hails Cultural Exchanges With China
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» British Millions for New Somalian Security Forces
» Nigeria: Another Faction of Boko Haram Emerges
 
Latin America
» Activists Urge Obama to Speak Out on Mexico’s Human Rights Record
» Ecuador, Peru Recall Ambassadors Over Supermarket Brawl
» Obama Self-Criticism Over Mexico Violence
» Obama’s $2.5m Hotel and ‘Vehicle Rental’ Tab on Last Mexico Trip
 
Immigration
» ‘Greeks Only’ Soup Kitchen Sparks Protests in Athens
» Illegals Entering US Triple With Talk of Immigration Reform
» Israel Establishes DNA Database of Illegal African Migrants: Report
» New Italian Minister for Integration is Proud to be Black
» Sweden: the Realm of Silence
 
Culture Wars
» After Praising Gay NBA Player as ‘Towering Figure, ‘ NBC Dismisses Tebow as ‘Spoof-Worthy’ And ‘Lackluster’
» Americans Warned: Home Schoolers Stripped of Rights
» Gosnell Trial Reveals Much About America’s Downfall
» Missouri Moving to Protect Parental Rights From Federal Tyranny Over Medicine, Education and Discipline of Children
» Obama Trying to Take Over Public Education With ‘Common Core’ Curriculum That Teaches Socialism
» Pentagon: Christians May Face Imprisonment for ‘Sharing Faith’
» Share Your Faith to Become an ‘Enemy of the Constitution?’
» Shock Video: “We Will Not Resuscitate” Baby Born Alive After Failed Abortion
» The Slippery Slope of Gender Identity
 
General
» Star Trek: Sir Martin Rees: ‘How Post-Humans Could Colonise Other Worlds’
 

Budget Data Likely to Stop Italian Deficit Procedure Says EC

Commission still needs details from Saccomanni

(ANSA) — Brussels, May 3 — A European Commission forecast that Italy’s budget deficit will be under the mandated 3% of GDP this year “facilitates” the closure of a deficit-infraction procedure but the EC still needs to see the details of the new government’s deficit-curbing measures, the EC said Friday.

Brussels expects Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni to present that plan “in the next few weeks” so the issue can be resolved at a June 27-28 summit. The EC forecast Friday that the 2013 deficit would be 2.9% of GDP, in line with the government’s forecast.

The 3% deficit-to-GDP ratio is a key part of the EU’s stability pact.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Conservative Budget Bail-in Regime May Allow Banks to Confiscate Customer’s Deposits

There will be no warning, no appeal, and no solace… your money will simply disappear

On March 21st, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had his Finance Minister Jim Flaherty present their 2013 Budget that included a “Bail-In Regime” on page 145. The clause will allow banks to convert liabilities into capital in times of need. The recent events in Cyprus, coupled with the G20 agreement in Mexico City-2012, suggest that this so called bail-in scheme may be used to plunder the savings of Canadians.

The bank failures of 2008 were rescued by governments doling out trillions of dollars of bail-outs. The result was massive national debt for western countries. International financial discussions have recently revolved around a new option for banks to simply loot the accounts of their customers. Cyprus banks were the first to implement a “bail-in”. The Eurogroup deal on March 25th allowed the Bank of Cyprus to use 37.5 % of deposits exceeding 100,000 Euros for the initial bail-in and a further 22.5% to remain on hold. This action caused massive runs on Cyprus banks, riots, and unrest leaving citizens screaming “you took my life savings”.

Remarkably, Prime Minister Harper has implemented a similar “bail-in regime” for Canadians:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Letta Says Will Cut Taxes, Not How to Make Up Revenue

‘We’ll decide together’ he says amid Berlusconi IMU threat

(ANSA) — Rome, May 2 — Italian Premier Enrico Letta said on Thursday that the burden on taxpayers must be lightened but stopped short of spelling out how the new government will cover the costs. “Italy is under absolutely unbearable fiscal pressure in every area. In perspective the pressure must be reduced, but without fiscal relaxation,” he said.

When asked how his government would achieve the “corrective measures” to cover tax cuts announced in Parliament, Letta responded: “We will decide together as a majority”.

The new centre-left premier, who was sworn in with his cabinet on Sunday, is under pressure to reveal how his government will fund a reform of the IMU property tax. The tax was introduced by former Premier Mario Monti and has become a political battleground, with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s election campaign dominated by his promised IMU refund and a potentially terminal threat now hanging over the government if Letta does not do what Berlusconi says.

The media magnate and conservative politician says he will pull the plug on the unprecedented and unnatural left-right executive if he does not get his way. Letta has announced a suspension of the hugely unpopular housing tax for June, to an estimated cost of two billion euros, yet so far failed to announce how the government will be able to afford the measure. Letta has gained support for his new growth-seeking approach from French President Francois Hollande, following a meeting in Paris on Wednesday. “I agreed with President Hollande yesterday that the problem of the tax gap exists in both Italy and France,” he said, referring to the large gap between the sum an employer pays and that which an employee receives, after taxes. While Letta has found an ally in Hollande for his proposed tax cuts and push for growth , he is yet to gain the support of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who continues to insist on austerity within the eurozone. Merkel met Letta on Tuesday and told him that she saw no contradiction between growth and budgetary consolidation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Spread Steady at 258.6

Yield 3.75%

(ANSA) — Rome, May 3 — The spread between Italian and German 10-year bonds was steady at 258.6 points with a 3.75% yield at Friday’s opening compared to 259 at Thursday’s close.

The spread, a measure of investor confidence in Italy, has dipped since the formation of a right-left government last weekend.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

OECD Warns Italy on Deficit, Urges Labour-Tax Cuts

Berlusconi’s drive to scrap IMU property tax ‘not a priority’

(By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) — Rome, May 2 — The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Thursday warned the Italian government to be braced to take action as its deficit situation may be worse than it thinks.

The club for wealthy western countries also entered a debate over whether to drop the IMU property tax, an issue which could sink Premier Enrico Letta’s fledgling left-right coalition government. OECD Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan said Letta’s government will need to introduce corrective budget measures if, as the OECD predicts, the country’s deficit-to-GDP ratio fails to fall below 3%.

Rome is hoping this month to convince the European Commission that it has got the deficit below the 3% threshold allowed by the EU so that it ends an excessive-deficit procedure against the recession-hit country.

But the OECD forecast in a report released Thursday that Italy will have a deficit of 3.3% of GDP this year, above the 2.9% forecast by the Italian government.

“It will be necessary to do something (if the deficit is over 3%),” Padoan said. “Coming out of the infraction procedure is fundamental”. Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni said the OECD’s figures did not take account of the positive effect of the government’s plan to repay 40 billion euros that the public sector owes private firms over the next 12 months. Saccomanni added that he was still confident the European Commission would end the excessive-deficit procedure. “By the end of May, or at the start of June at the latest, the procedure should be closed,” said Saccomanni, who added that this would be an important signal for the financial markets. European Commission President Jose’ Manuel Barroso said he was “very confident that Italy will emerge from the excessive-deficit procedure,” after meeting Letta in Brussels on Thursday.

The OECD report praised the “ambitious programme of reforms” launched last year by the emergency technocrat administration of Letta’s predecessor, Mario Monti.

It said the country could emerge from its longest recession in two decades later in 2013 as the reforms “have reduced the risks of economic slowdown and could help Italy emerge from the recession in 2013”. But it revised down its gross domestic product forecast for this year, saying in the report that it expected Italy to post negative growth of 1.5%. This was 0.5% worse than the OECD predicted in its November outlook. It said Italy should return to growth in 2014, forecasting a 0.5% rise in GDP next year.

The OECD also warned that Letta’s government must implement Monti’s reforms aimed at boosting growth — including controversial measures to make the labour market more flexible by making it easier for firms to dismiss workers.

“Key 2012 reforms aimed at improving the dynamism of labour and product markets must be implemented effectively,” read a summary of the report. “This will improve Italy’s persistently weak productivity and boost the country’s international competitiveness”. It added that Letta’s government should continue with Monti’s efforts to restore health to Italy’s public finances.

“Maintaining fiscal consolidation is key to putting Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio on a downward path over the medium term,” added the summary. “Budgetary measures should concentrate on permanent spending cuts to avoid (increasing) already high levels of taxation”. The OECD also forecast on Thursday that Italy’s massive public debt will rise to 134% of GDP next year. The report said reducing this was a priority because otherwise the country would “remain exposed to sudden changes in the mood of the financial markets”. The organisation risked irking ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, by saying scrapping IMU should not be a priority for the new government. The PdL is threatening to pull its support from Letta’s executive and sink it unless the widely despised tax is abolished. Berlusconi also wants the 2012 revenues collected from IMU returned to taxpayers to respect the key pledge he made in the run-up to February’s general election. Letta, a member of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) that had been in bitter combat with the PdL for two decades before the inconclusive election result forced them to form an unnatural alliance, has said that June’s IMU payments would be suspended as part of a review of the tax.

But he has not promised to abolish it completely. “If the priorities are growth and jobs, the first thing to cut is labour taxes,” Padoan told a press conference. “Reducing labour taxes is more important than reducing IMU”. IMU was instituted among a series of austerity measures under former premier Mario Monti’s emergency technocrat government to restore health to Italy’s public finances.

Abolishing IMU and reimbursing the 2012 revenues from it would create a hole of around eight billion euros in this year’s budget.

Reducing labour taxes is seen by many as a good way to promote job creation, with almost three million Italians unemployed and close to four in 10 young people on the dole.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Olli Rehn Cuts Slack for French, Spanish Deficits

Says Italy needs growth, competitiveness

(ANSAmed) — Brussels, May 3 — European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Friday it was ‘reasonable’ to grant Spain and France another two years to rein in their deficits to under 3%, and ‘recommended’ that they postpone deficit slashing from 2014 to 2016.

Rehn warned, however, that Italy’s sovereign debt is so high, the country must work on bringing accounts under control even after any deficit reduction.

Rehn clarified that Italy especially needed to regain competitiveness and economic growth.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Ron Paul & Jim Rogers on Government: “There’s More Chaos to Come”

These are clear warnings signs that a rational person simply cannot ignore.

Three minutes of clarity…

Bottom line, Nations are going bust. And the worse things get, the more desperate their tactics become. This isn’t the first time that the world has been in this position. This time is not different. History shows that there are serious, serious consequences to running unsustainably high debts and deficits. And those consequences have almost invariably involved pillaging people’s wealth, savings, livelihoods and liberties… either directly or indirectly.

What’s happening right now is playing out in textbook fashion. More taxes, more debt, more printing, more confiscation, less freedom. I’m not talking about the end of the world here, I’m talking about difficult times ahead, and the things that go beyond economics. It’s time to face facts and look at how society will change (and has already changed).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

They Are Murdering Small Business: The Percentage of Self-Employed Americans is at a Record Low

The percentage of Americans that are working for themselves has never been lower in the history of the United States. Once upon a time, the United States was a paradise for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but now the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our society have created a system that absolutely eviscerates them. This is very unfortunate, because by murdering small business, the bureaucrats are destroying the primary engine of job growth in this country. One of the big reasons why there are not enough jobs in America today is because small business creation is way down.

As I mentioned yesterday, entrepreneurs and small businesses are being absolutely devastated by rules, regulations, red tape and by oppressive levels of taxation. If anyone doubts that small business in the United States is dying, just look at the charts below. Sadly, this is what the bureaucrats that run things want. They don’t want us to be independent of the system. Instead, they are much more comfortable when as many of us as possible are heavily dependent on the system in one way or another. If all of us have to go running to the government or to one of the big corporations for a job, then we are much easier to control. But as the control freaks continue to construct their bureaucratic utopia, they are also killing off what once made the U.S. economy so great.

The other day I came across the following two charts in an article by Charles Hugh Smith, and I was absolutely stunned by what I saw. This first chart shows that the number of unincorporated self-employed Americans has dropped back to levels that we have not seen since the mid-1980s even though our population has increased by tens of millions of people since that time…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

U.S. Economy Adds 165,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.5 Percent

The United States economy created 165,000 jobs in April, slightly more than forecasters had estimated, pushing the unemployment rate down modestly to 7.5 percent, the government reported Friday.

[Return to headlines]
 

Will the New Housing Bubble That Bernanke is Creating End as Badly as the Last One Did?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has done it. He has succeeded in creating a new housing bubble. By driving mortgage rates down to the lowest level in 100 years and recklessly printing money with wild abandon, Bernanke has been able to get housing prices to rebound a bit. In fact, in some of the more prosperous areas of the country you would be tempted to think that it is 2005 all over again. If you can believe it, in some areas of the country builders are actually holding lotteries to see who will get the chance to buy their homes. Wow — that sounds great, right? Unfortunately, this “housing recovery” is not based on solid economic fundamentals. As you will see below, this is a recovery that is being led by investors. They are paying cash for cheap properties that they believe will appreciate rapidly in the coming years. Meanwhile, the homeownership rate in the United States continues to decline. It is now the lowest that it has been since 1995.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one, there has not been a jobs recovery in the United States. The percentage of working age Americans with a job has not rebounded at all and is still about the exact same place where it was at the end of the last recession. Secondly, crippling levels of student loan debt continue to drive down the percentage of young people that are buying homes. So no, this is not a real housing recovery. It is an investor-led recovery that is mostly limited to the more prosperous areas of the country. For example, the median sale price of a home in Washington D.C. just hit a new all-time record high. But this bubble will not last, and when this new housing bubble does burst, will it end as badly as the last one did?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

America Needs a Revolution — The Only Way Back

The problem

We have a problem Houston. We have a President who long before he was elected declared his plans to transform America and change us. Over 50% of us were stuck on ‘hypnotized stupid’ — ‘the first black President’ — ‘the next Martin Luther King or Kennedy’ — ‘sick of Bush and the Iraq war’ — ‘bored and just wanted entertainment.’ Over half the country entered the ‘Obama holodeck’ and when the door slammed behind them they found it was hell and very hot.

Before Obama was elected

Obama warned that he would attack the energy industry — oil and coal for starters. He said he dreamed of $4.00 a gallon gas. At the time we were floating between $1 and $2 for gas. Going up to $4 or $5 seemed absurd, let alone a President wanting us to pay that! Well, he did want that and we do pay that and more now. Obama must be drooling with excitement.

Obama started bypassing Congress immediately with endless executive orders. He hired the most controversial and questionable czars he could find, running endless Government departments answering only to Obama. Through his czars he has placed endless controls, regulations and tax tentacles everywhere.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Casual and Uninformed Indifference is the Price Tag of Our Enslavement

Voters on both sides of the aisle complain that their chosen representatives do not perform in office according to promises made during lengthy, expensive, and exhausting campaigns.

Yet they choose time and time again the same seasoned politicians who have made a life-long career in Washington, greasing the wheels of commerce, national defense, justice, and legislation. Once elected, politicians become elitist residents of the insulated bubble of the District of Columbia.

The same voters see nothing wrong with having to produce two forms of I.D. in order to receive a 10 percent military discount in a chain hardware store but become outraged when proposals are made for voters to show I.D., to prove that they are who they say they are.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Conservatism Lost a Battle, But Not the War

Dear Patriots. We lost! Obama-supporter Gabriel Gomez beat Conservative Republican Michael Sullivan in the Massachusetts primary. Gomez will be the Republican candidate in the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry.

Without repeating all of Gomez’s two-faced actions again, I will inform you that Gomez endorsed Obama for president, contributed to his campaign and vowed to support Obama’s agenda on a host of issues. Yes, you heard me correctly; and this guy claims to be a Republican. Michael Sullivan was the real-deal character-driven constitutional Conservative in the race. But as I stated, Sullivan lost…

Folks, please do not think I am whining, I am simply sharing the facts with you. We spent numerous nights with little sleep, doing everything we could to help Sullivan win. But, in the end, it came down to money. Gomez out spent us 9 to 1. Gomez had a war-chest of over $1,000,000.

Talk about adding insult to injury, I screamed at the TV watching a Gomez TV ad in which he misrepresented himself as a Ronald Reagan style Republican. In reality, Gomez is an Obama sycophant. It is the kind of repulsive sickening deceit permeating politics today.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Eric Holder Threatens Kansas in Letter on Gun Control Nullification Law

On Thursday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback received a letter from Federal Attorney General Eric Holder threatening action against the state should it enforce SB102 which Brownback signed into law last month.

The new law states, in part:

Any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates the second amendment to the constitution of the United States is null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas

The bill also provides for criminal penalties against federal agents who attempt to enforce specific federal laws on guns manufactured in the state of Kansas and sold within the state — as the state takes the position under the new law that the federal government does not have “interstate commerce” authority over such items.

In his letter, Holder didn’t take too kindly to such a proposition. He wrote:

“In purporting to override federal law and to criminalize the official acts of federal officers, SB102 directly conflicts with federal law and is therefore unconstitutional.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

FBI Places First Woman on List of Most Wanted Terrorists

A fugitive black militant who murdered a US state trooper has become the first woman to make it on to the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists.

The reward for the capture and return of Joanne Chesimard, now living in Cuba as Assata Shakur, was doubled to $2 million (£1.3 million) on Thursday, the 40th anniversary of the bloody gun battle. “She continues to flaunt her freedom in the face of this horrific crime,” New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Rick Fuentes said at a news conference.

The US Justice Department has offered a $1 million reward for information leading to her capture. The additional money is being put up by the state of New Jersey.

Chesimard, a member of the violent Black Liberation Army, was convicted of the 1973 murder of Werner Foerster during a traffic stop. The BLA was responsible for killing more than a dozen police officers in the 1970s and 1980s, said agent Aaron Ford of the FBI’s Newark division…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Floridians Encouraged to Report Neighbors Who “Hate Government”

A new $1 million dollar program led by Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw aimed at “violence prevention” is encouraging Floridians to report their neighbors for making hateful comments about the government, a chilling reminder of how dissent is being characterized as an extremist threat.

“Bradshaw plans to use the extra $1 million to launch “prevention intervention” units featuring specially trained deputies, mental health professionals and caseworkers. The teams will respond to citizen phone calls to a 24-hour hotline with a knock on the door and a referral to services, if needed,” reports the Palm Beach Post.

Bradshaw makes it clear that the kind of behavior which could prompt a visit from the authorities includes anti-government political statements that may be deemed a prelude to violent action…

The program has sparked concerns that the hotline could violate civil liberties or even be exploited to pursue personal vendettas, with Bradshaw acknowledging that, “anyone in a messy divorce or in a dispute with a neighbor could abuse the hotline,” and that it will prompt “frivolous complaints.”

That caveat is all the more chilling given the research of Florida State University’s Robert Gellately into how Germans under Hitler denounced their neighbors and friends not because they genuinely believed them to be a security threat, but because they expected to selfishly benefit from doing so, both financially, socially and psychologically via a pavlovian need to be rewarded by their masters for their obedience…

As we have documented, while efforts at gun control have largely failed at the legislative level, authorities are greasing the skids for wider gun confiscation by expanding the definition under which a person can be declared “mentally ill,” to the point where harsh anti-government rhetoric is now being treated as a potential precursor to terrorism.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

High School Student Faces 20 Years for Obama Facebook Threat

High school teen Cameron D’Ambrosio was arrested on terror charges and faces up to 20 years in prison for a Facebook post in which he made threats against the White House and mentioned the Boston bombings…

But while D’Ambrosio faces 20 years in jail for threatening Obama, not a single Obama supporter who threatened to assassinate Mitt Romney during the 2012 election campaign was charged with any kind of felony.

As we documented at the time, hundreds of Obama voters took to Twitter to make violent threats against Romney and his supporters with little response from the authorities.

The video below, taken from D’Ambrosio’s YouTube channel, illustrates the amateur nature of his work and how his threats were more likely the product of a bored teenager rather than a terrorist mastermind.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Killed by Dems With the Help of One Republican

Florida American Law for American Courts Bill Stymied By Procedural Votes in State Senate

The minority Democrats effectively killed the Florida version of American Law for American Courts on its third try in as many years in the final days of the 2013 Legislature in Tallahassee. SB58, Acceptance of Foreign Law in Certain Cases, was defeated on a procedural vote by the minority Senate Democrats: 25 Republicans to 14 Democrats. 27 votes were required to reach the required two-thirds margin to use the House version which passed the Florida House on April 18th, 79 Republicans to 39 Democrats. One Republican Senator Ms. Nancy Detert from Venice was absent from the floor for the vote while a Democrat who originally supported the vote requested release from a promise to vote for the House version after enormous pressure was brought on the Senator by the Democrat caucus. That fractious activity was witnessed by the House sponsor of HB351, Rep. Larry Metz. Consideration of the House ALAC version in the Florida Senate lost by two critical votes. SB58 sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, Republican of Umatilla had a list of more than 19 cases involving foreign law that had been appealed in Florida courts. Senate Rules Committee Chair John Thrasher of Republican of St. Augustine was reported by a Miami Herald Naked Politics blog as saying Thursday evening that SB58 was “effectively dead”. While opposition groups may gloat about this legislative bollix, it was more of the usual legislative politics that resulted in failure of ALAC to pass on its third try in the 2013 legislative session in Tallahassee. Our commendation to both Sen. Hays and Rep. Metz for their dogged determination endeavoring to pass ALAC in Florida.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]
 

Layout Appears to Single Out All Muslims

As horrible as the bombing at the Boston Marathon was, it is more than a little disconcerting to see a photograph of men praying in a mosque under the headline “Boston bombing” in the April 27 Dispatch, and just above the headline “Suspect now in prison hospital.” Once again, it associates the crime with religious Muslims…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Making Islam (Not Terrorism) Disappear

by Diana West

We have met the enemy and he is “self-radicalization.” No, wait: We have met the enemy and he is the Internet. We have met the enemy and he is broadband video?

“But this is hard stuff,” President Obama tried to explain in this week’s press conference. “Because of the pressure that we put on al-Qaida’s core, because of the pressure that we’ve put on these networks that are well-financed and more sophisticated and can engage in and project transnational threats against the United States, one of the dangers that we now face are self-radicalized individuals who are already here in the United States — in some cases, may not be part of any kind of network, but because of whatever warped, twisted ideas they may have, may decide to carry out an attack. And those are in some ways more difficult to prevent.”

More difficult to prevent? Ridiculous. But this is also a disgraceful thing to say under these circumstances. What Obama describes is the Keystone-Cops-case because he decided, as a matter of “Muslim outreach,” to shut his eyes to the motivation of such attacks — Islam, jihad, Allah’s law (Shariah) — and ordered our security agencies and military to shut their eyes, too.

It is a fact that in concert with the Oct. 19, 2011, demands of an array of Islamic advocacy groups, including government-identified Muslim Brotherhood front groups (the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Islamic Society of North America, for example), the Obama administration subsequently ordered the “purge” of any training materials and trainers still teaching the history and doctrine of jihad at government security agencies and throughout the military. This unconscionable act of eliminating our first line of defense — in effect, shutting down national security’s eyes and ears, and, worse, logic itself — is what accounts for the successful cycle of jihad that marks our era of decline. To be fair, it is not all Obama’s fault. The current administration’s see-no-Islam policy is an extension and amplification of the see-no-Islam policy initiated by President George W. Bush…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]
 

Mock DHS News Report Depicts Gun Owners as Terrorists

Demonization of Second Amendment accelerates

A mock news report produced by the Department of Homeland Security depicts American gun owners as terrorists in another example of how the federal agency is trying to demonize the Second Amendment while itself stockpiling ammunition.

The report depicts the arrest of “an extremist group reportedly planning a series of terrorist attacks on U.S. cities.”

Dramatic footage shows police conducting a mock raid of a house and yelling at reporters to get back while the news reporter relates how the men were arrested on charges of “illegal possession of firearms.”

Similar to previous DHS characterizations of likely terrorists, the men are played by two Caucasians in their 40s.

The video was grabbed from the DHS.gov website and appears in a file along with other documents from a HSEEP training program run in coordination with FEMA in the interests of “national preparedness.”

As we have previously documented, the federal agency’s insistence on portraying the vast majority of terrorists in its training videos as white middle class Americans has prompted charges that the DHS is attempting to demonize conservatives and big government adversaries.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

MSNBC Guest Who Attacked Infowars Exposed (Video)

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Roger Nicholson accused Infowars of being insensitive to Boston victims yet jokes on video about people being blown up.

During the interview with Bashir, Nicholson portrays himself as someone deeply sensitive to victims of violence, yet in a separate YouTube video he strikes a somewhat different tone.

“There’s homeless people with signs around their neck and you can just shoot them, it’s really funny,” said Nicholson during what appears to be a public access-style TV show.

He also makes light of murdering prostitutes, remarking, “This is what I do when I’m not working and I’m trying to unwind and decompress, I have not killed a hooker yet with that method with a molotov cocktail…but you should come and play it’s a lot of fun.”

Watch the clip below.

Nicholson then labels genuine helicopter gunship footage of Iraqis being machine gunned to death as a “great video game”.

“This is not real, these aren’t people,” snides Nicholson as he laughs at the sight of a man being blown to pieces.

“Do you see this right here, this is what used to be a person…now look at him, he’s a wet spot on the side of the road,” remarks Nicholson, adding, “I don’t know why you can’t just laugh at that and get all upset and all weepy.”

Nicholson then seems to find it hilarious that US troops are now having deformed babies as a result of being exposed to depleted uranium.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Muslims in Maryland Petition Schools to Close on Eid, Like on Christmas, Yom Kippur

Muslim activists in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public School district want schools to officially close down for two important Islamic holidays — Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

Schools are usually closed on Easter Monday and Rosh Hashanah—why not Eid al-Fitr? That’s the question Mimi Hassanein, a resident of Brinkow, Md., asks herself every time the Eids fall on a school day. The two most important Islamic holidays —Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha —are traditionally spent praying and feasting with family and friends. But Hassanein says that every year, her grandchildren and other Muslim youth in her school district are forced to choose between their religion and their grades…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Vows to Keep at Gun Control: ‘This is Just the First Round’

President Barack Obama vowed Thursday during a trip to Mexico to continue pushing for new, tighter gun control rules in the United States, saying his proposals’ recent defeat in Congress was “just the first round.”

Speaking following a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose country has been ravaged by gang violence supported in part by gun trafficking into Mexico, Obama vowed to return to the issue of gun control in the United States.

“The last time we had major gun legislation, it took 6, 7, 8 tries to get passed,” Obama said at a press conference following his meeting with the Mexican president. “Things happen somewhat slowly in Washington, but this is just the first round.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Obama’s SS: Here Now

ShutzStaffel.

The name which struck terror into the German people who still believed in freedom and wanted their nation to remain a peaceful, respectable member within the international community. Nazi Germany’s SS was a force for terror and intimidation, creating an aura of fear within the citizenry and horror for the remainder of the world watching the spectacle of a police state far more brutal than any in human history up to that time. Apparently this lesson has not been lost on the dictators of the world since that era as the communist leaders and rulers around the world learned that building an effective domestic spying and military police apparatus was the key to remaining in power.

Welcome to modern America my friends, as Obama’s SS is here now.

Think I am crazy? Let’s start by reviewing the following video:

The video created by the DHS above appears to reflect a peaceful national law enforcement agency which supports local LEO’s by hitting hard at the most difficult criminal situations and engaging with highly specialized and sometimes classified investigations in addition to a terrifyingly effective paramilitary force known as Homeland Security Investigations, Special Response Team (SRT). The HSI-SRT is not shy about their role in American society but a story in this morning’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune caught my attention and caused me to take a step back and review what other toys and roles they have taken on. In the story titled “The law enforcement agency you’ve probably never heard of” written by Shannon McFarland, a strange reference as to the size of the HSI having 6,700 plus special agents caused me to realize that this was a far more powerful group than initially indicated…

In fact the DHS website about the HSI states:

In addition to ICE criminal investigations, HSI oversees the agency’s international affairs operations and intelligence functions. HSI consists of more than 10,000 employees, consisting of 6,700 special agents, who are assigned to more than 200 cities throughout the U.S. and 47 countries around the world…

Those questions being, why does the United States government need a paramilitary force equipped with armored cars used by the military for domestic law enforcement functions? Better yet, why do they have their own fleet of proverbial “black helicopters”?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Continues His War on the Fourth Amendment

Here they go again. The Obama administration has asked its allies in Congress to introduce legislation that would permit the feds to continue their march through the Fourth Amendment when it comes to obtaining private information about all of us.

The Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right to be left alone, was written largely in response to legislation Parliament enacted in the colonial era that permitted British soldiers to write their own search warrants and then use those warrants as a legal basis to enter private homes. The ostensible purpose of doing that was to search through the colonists’ papers looking for stamps, which the Stamp Act required the colonists to affix to all documents in their possession. The laws that permitted the soldier-written search warrants and the Stamp Act were the British government’s fatal political mistakes, which arguably caused a major shift in colonial opinion toward secession from Britain 10 years before the bloody part of the Revolution began.

After the Founders won the Revolution, the Framers wrote the Constitution in large measure to assure that the new government in America would not and could not do to Americans what the king had done to the colonists. Hence the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that only judges issue search warrants and only after the governmental agency seeking the warrants presents evidence under oath of probable cause of crime. Regrettably, that was weakened after 9/11 with the enactment of the Patriot Act.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Oregon Teachers Traumatized by Unannounced Shooter Drill

Panic erupted on Friday at Pine Eagle Charter school in rural Oregon when two masked men carrying handguns burst into a teachers’ lounge and opened fire.

After the initial chaos, the terrified teachers realized the guns were firing blanks and that they were the subject of an unannounced shooter drill.

The little school in Halfway, Oregon was having an in-service day, so the children were at home at the time of the drill. The terrifying action has drawn criticism from many but Principal Cammie DeCastro has defended it, saying, “For us not to know how we were going to respond is leaving us open”…

The school administration plans to take what they’ve learned from the drill to better prepare.

The district’s Safety Committee and the School Board now will critically evaluate policies and procedures and decide what to do next, said DeCastro.

Armed teachers is one possible outcome, she said. Or the district may get armed and trained volunteers from the community to watch over the school in shifts, she said. Tougher doors and better locks are other options.

Had one of the teachers in that lounge already taken the time to prepare, the unannounced drill could have had tragic results.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Poll: Overwhelming Majority Oppose California Gun Confiscation

A recent Los Angeles Times poll reveals that most Americans would oppose expanding California’s gun confiscation program for the rest of the nation.

On Wednesday, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed a law that will confiscate guns from residents who legally purchased firearms but were later convicted of a crime or determined to have a serious mental illness.

The law allocates $24 million in “surplus funds” to hire special agents to address a backlog of 40,000 weapons owned by people the state has decided should be denied their right to own a firearm under the Second Amendment.

California suffers from a $16 billion budget deficit. Budget cuts have prevented the state Department of Justice from updating a database that cross-references a list of gun owners and adding to the list of people who will have their firearms confiscated.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Poll: 29% Think Armed Rebellion Might Soon be Necessary

Three in 10 registered American voters believe an armed rebellion might be necessary in the next few years, according to the results of a staggering poll released Wednesday by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind.

The survey, aimed at measuring public attitudes toward gun issues, found that 29 percent of Americans agree with the statement, “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” An additional five percent were unsure.

Eighteen percent of Democrats said an armed revolt “might be necessary,” as compared to 27 percent of independents and 44 percent of Republicans. Support levels were similar among males and females but higher among less educated voters.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Report: U.S. Government and NATO Worked With Bin Laden and His Top Lieutenant 3 Months After 9/11

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has been deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups.

The ACLU described Edmonds as:

The most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.

And famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says that Edmonds possesses information “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”.

Edmonds translated terror-related communications for the FBI right after 9/11. In that capacity, she read communications between terrorists and other radicals.

Edmonds said last week that Bin Laden — and his number 2 Al Qaeda lieutenant — Ayman al-Zawahiri — worked with the U.S. government for 3 months after 9/11 to coordinate destablization in the Caucasus region:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

South Carolina House Passes Bill Making ‘Obamacare’ Implementation a Crime

The South Carolina state House passed a bill Wednesday that declares President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to be “null and void,” and criminalizes its implementation.

The state’s Freedom of Health Care Protection Act intends to “prohibit certain individuals from enforcing or attempting to enforce such unconstitutional laws; and to establish criminal penalties and civil liability for violating this article.”

The measure permits the state Attorney General, with reasonable cause, “to restrain by temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction” any person who is believed to be causing harm to any person or business with the implementation of Obamacare.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The New York Times Erases Islam From Existence

by Daniel Greenfield

The media coverage of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has one theme and one tack. Like 30 of the 31 men on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, they were terrorists who just happened to be Muslim…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Unraveling the Benghazi Cover-Up

If history tells us anything, it tells us that it’s not just about the crime, it’s also about the cover-up. It’s about seeking the truth but being stonewalled at every turn, and being treated as subjects undeserving of the truth rather than citizens asking reasonable questions but being denied answers.

The same level of inquiries that unraveled the complexities of the Watergate cover-up are required to unravel the ball of lies that surrounds the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including a sitting U.S. Ambassador. Within this ball of lies, however, exists not only the covert agenda of an administration, but the fate of the world. Unraveling this ball of lies will reveal official government actions that have been and continue to be performed in our name but without our consent. It will reveal a government agenda that has have spun wildly out of control, leaving no one accountable as we stand at a very critical moment in world history. It’s about a cover-up of monumental proportions that is reminiscent of, but hardly in league with, the cover-up of a generation ago.

Today, the stakes are much higher, as we stand at the precipice of a global conflict because of deeds being done in our name under a level of unprecedented and unchecked deception. Ultimately, it’s about getting the truth, which has been kept from each of us through lies of commission and omission, clever semantics, and outright refusals to provide answers to important questions. We were force-fed a preplanned lie from day one, much like the thinly veiled cover story of the Watergate burglary, but with much greater consequences.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Washington Post’s Liberal Image and Record

The Washington Post says that Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for governor of Virginia, has an image problem because he has described sex between homosexuals as “wrong” and branded President Obama’s team as “the biggest set of lawbreakers in America.”

When one reads the front-page Post article with these assertions, it is hard not to wonder whether the paper is being serious or comical. If it is serious, then the attempt clearly is to make it appear as though Cuccinelli has an image problem that he can only solve by acting and thinking like a Democrat.

Welcome to the world of The Washington Post, which wants to influence political races across the country, but especially in neighboring Virginia.

But there’s more: “As Virginia’s attorney general, his targets have included abortion-clinic rules, climate scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency, which he has derided as the ‘agency of mass destruction.’“

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Why Even “Common Sense” Gun Control Must be Stopped

If these proposals were really as “common sense” as the administration says, wouldn’t you think that at least those who proposed them would think they’d work? And yet, Joe Biden was caught on tape by CNN saying the following:

“Nothing we are going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring … gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what it is now.”

So how can these proposals be “common sense” to the rest of us when they’re not even common sense to the man who was put in charge or selling them to Congress and the nation? Now, given, we are talking about Joe Biden again, so… Here is some common sense: if the American people hope to remain free from government tyranny, they must resist every “common sense” gun control proposal that comes from this or any other administration.

And here’s why: progressives never stop, and they’re never satisfied. One of their most powerful tools is “incrementalism.” When progressives want to take power over something, they rarely do it all at once. Instead, they take small, “common sense” steps. They assure us that each step will be the last, even as they begin to plan their next step.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Athens Mayor Denounces Golden Dawn ‘Soup Kitchen of Hatred’

Members of Greece’s far-right party Golden Dawn party clashed with police in Syntagma Square who prevented them from handing out free food in the iconic central Athens location.

Athens Mayor George Kaminis, banned the food bank, describing it as a “soup kitchen of hatred” because free food would only be given to Greek citizens with identity cards.

After being forced to move on, the anti-immigration party relocated their event to outside their headquarters, and proceeded with their “Greek-only” food handout.

The far-right group, which is also anti-corruption, has seen its popularity rise in recent years and is now the third most popular party in Greece. Golden Dawn won 18 out of 300 parliamentary seats in elections in 2012.

The free food continues to find takers. Unemployment in Greece is at 27 percent and the country is facing further austerity and cuts in order to secure much-needed bailout funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

David Cameron Will Ditch TV Debates in 2015 Because He is Scared of Nigel Farage Demanding a Place, UKIP Claim

TV debates between the party leaders will be scrapped by David Cameron, the UK Independence Party claimed today.

UKIP believe the Tories will try to pull the plug on the live debates in 2015 to prevent the Prime Minister having to go head to head with Nigel Farage.

After making gains in local and European elections, UKIP believes it would be impossible for the debates to go ahead without them.

UKIP have heaped pressure on the Tories, winning dozens of county council seats and picking up a quarter of the popular vote.

Many senior Tories blame the debates in 2010 for Mr Cameron’s failure to secure an outright majority.

He performed badly in the first encounter, while Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg benefited from being comparatively unknown.

Conservative strategists fear Mr Farage could enjoy a similar boost in the polls if he was given a platform in the debates.

“There will not be any television debates in 2015 because David Cameron refuses to debate with Nigel Farage,’ a UKIP source told The Guardian,

‘If we win the European elections next year it will be completely unjustified not to have us in the debates. Therefore they will not happen.

‘It is impossible just to have David Cameron and Ed Miliband in the debates. If you have Nick Clegg you have to have Nigel. Therefore there will be no debates.’

The warning comes after it was suggested Labour leader Ed Miliband also wants to block the UKIP from having a role in the debates.

Labour had thought UKIP would only damage the Tories’ election hopes.

But strategists now fear UKIP’s ‘brand of anti-politics could damage all three main parties in unpredictable ways,’ The Guardian reported.

Mr Clegg enjoyed a surge in the polls in the 2010 polls as a relatively unknown figure alongside Mr Cameron and Gordon Brown.

Until recently Labour had hoped to capitalise on the rise of UKIP, hoping it would split the centre-right vote and allow them to clinch crucial swing seats.

But recent polls suggest UKIP has taken support from all the main parties.

A source close to Ed Miliband insisted no final decision had been made on UKIP’s involvement.

‘We’ve got to get David Cameron to agree to it first. Without him there will be no debates, then we’ll worry about keeping Farage out.’

In the Eastleigh by-election UKIP came second pushing the Tories into an embarrassing second.

A poll by former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft found UKIP attracted the support of 22 per cent of people who voted Tory in 2010, 19 per cent of Lib Dem supporters and 17 per cent of Labour voters.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]
 

George Freeman MP: UKIP Come Knocking: What’s Going on, And How to Respond?

George Freeman is Member of Parliament for Mid-Norfolk, founder of Mind The Gap and the Positive Politics! campaign.

My constituency of Mid Norfolk is seriously small ‘c’ Conservative country. From time on the doorsteps in the last month with local councillors and candidates, it is clear that UKIPs message is resonating loudly with bedrock Conservatives. Far from chiming just with extremists or closet racists or BNP sympathisers — who they clearly are also picking up — Nigel Farage’s message is also chiming with decent mainstream Conservatives who have traditionally been the bedrock of the Conservative Party. Feedback from polling stations last night, last night’s by-election result from South Shields, and early returns from Essex and other rural counties suggest a low turnout — and that a strong UKIP surge is producing a serious breakthrough. What’s going on? How to respond?…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Rome Mayor Says City to Leave Equitalia Tax Collector

Alemanno up for re-election at end of month

(ANSA) — Rome, May 2 — Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said on Thursday that Rome will not be using Equitalia anymore to collect taxes as of July 1.

The mayor said the city government will vote Thursday “on a measure making Rome leave Equitalia starting July 1”.

Alemanno, who is running for a second term as mayor at local elections on May 26-27, has launched an online referendum asking Romans whether they prefer their taxes to be collected by an agency selected through a public tender or directly by the public administration.

Equitalia is extremely unpopular among many Italians who accuse it of using harsh methods to collect overdue taxes and fines.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Strait of Messina Bridge Not a Priority, Minister Says

Project set to stay in ice

(ANSA) — Rome, May 2 — Italian Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato said on Thursday that building a bridge across the Strait of Messina to connect mainland Italy to Sicily, an erstwhile dream of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, is not a priority for the new government given the current economic climate. Italy’s grand-coalition government, which was sworn in on Sunday, is facing huge challenges with the country in the midst of its longest recession in 20 years. Speaking to state broadcaster’s Radio 2 programme, Zanonato said that while the bridge was an interesting project, it “is absolutely not a priority for Italy”.

The planned 8.5-billion-euro suspension bridge was Berlusconi’s brainchild. Last year the technocrat government of former premier Mario Monti, who replaced Berlusconi during a peak in the euro crisis in November 2011, decided not to cancel the controversial bridge project but to extend feasibility tests for another two years.

Supporters say the bridge would create jobs and boost Italy’s image while bringing Sicily closer to the mainland. But the bridge has been opposed by environmentalists and dogged by concerns over safety and the potential involvement of the Mafia.

The 3,690-metre-long bridge has been designed to handle 4,500 cars and hour and 200 trains a day.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Murder Suspect of 19-Year-Old Woman Near Livorno Arrested

Man from Senegal probed for strangulation of Ilaria Leoni

(ANSA) — Livorno, May 3 — A man suspected for the murder of a 19-year-old woman who was found dead in an olive grove near the Tuscan port city of Livorno was arrested on Friday.

Police arrested the man from Senegal after friends of Ilaria Leoni, found strangled to death on Thursday morning, fingered him as a suspect.

Investigators have confiscated the man’s backpack and bicycle.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

‘No Good Insulting UKIP’: Cameron Vows to Show ‘Respect’ To Voters Who Backed Nigel Farage’s Party in Local Election Shockwave

David Cameron today said the Tories must ‘respect’ voters who deserted them to hand the UK Independence Party a record 147 council seats.

As UKIP leader Nigel Farage enjoyed a lunchtime pint to toast big gains, the Prime Minister effectively withdrew his claim that they were a bunch of ‘fruitcakes and racists’ and was contrite about the need to understand why the anti-EU party had done so well.

Defeated Tories tore into Mr Cameron’s ‘out of touch’ government for the losses, with Education Secretary Michael Gove taking to the airwaves to warn a challenge to the Prime Minister’s leadership was ‘bonkerooney’.

UKIP gains in dozens of councils cost the Tories seats, and control of at least two authorities.

With all 34 council election results declared in England, UKIP has won a total of 147 council seats, an increase of 139.

The Tories lost 335, but were still left with 1,116.

However Labour failed to make the 400 seen as the minimum gain needed to show Ed Miliband is on course to take power in 2015.

Labour gained just 291 seats, taking them to 538. Lib Dems were down 123 to 353.

Amid growing concern in Tory ranks about the direction of the party, Mr Cameron said: ‘We need to show respect for people who have taken the choice to support this party and we are going to work really hard to win them back.’

It was a markedly different tone to his remarks in 2006 when he branded UKIP a ‘bunch of fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists’.

The Prime Minister added: ‘It is no good insulting a political party that people have chosen to vote for.’

UKIP leader Nigel Farage’For the Conservatives I understand why some people who have supported us before didn’t support us again, they want us to do even more to work for hard-working people to sort out the issues they care about.

‘More to help with the cost of living, more to turn the economy round, more to get immigration down, to sort out the welfare system. They will be our focus, they are our focus, but we have got to do more.’

UKIP claimed second place behind Labour in the South Shields parliamentary by-election, which saw the Tories pushed into third and the Lib Dems slumping to a humiliating seventh.

Mr Farage boasted that if a by-election came up in a marginal seat, ‘we have every chance of winning it’.

           — Hat tip: Henrik Ræder Clausen [Return to headlines]
 

The Rise of UKIP is Very, Very Funny

by Iain Martin

These are early days and there are few results in from the local elections. But one first thought and something that can be said with certainty: the Ukip surge is very, very amusing. As Tim Stanley puts it, humour is important in Anglosphere politics: “For the English, wit is the way that we communicate fury, intelligence and love. There’s something funny, and thus irresistible, about Farage with a cigarette in hand, hat on head, charming the voters with his market banter.” Well, exactly.

What is even funnier is the confusion it is causing the leaders of the established political class. They are already emerging for a round of local election bingo, with the key phrases drawn from the standard issue manual used by all the major parties. “We hear what people are saying… people want to make a protest… they want us to get on with the job… people have very real concerns… it’s mid-term… we’ll be reflecting.” But this time, when they mouth the words, they look as though they know their platitudes have been rumbled.

The distress the voter rebellion causes the bigger parties does seem to be an important part of the appeal of Ukip. Voting for Farage is an entertaining way of giving the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems two fingers. Of course the longer-term implications are not necessarily funny. This is a country, not a comedy club. But large numbers of voters are so disenchanted that they see no possibility of an answer in the old parties. They are having a lot of fun trying to blow up the system.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Local Election 2013: Results Live

Live coverage of the results of yesterday’s local elections. Ukip are jubilant after winning around 26 per cent of the vote and costing the Conservatives control of two councils. Labour have held South Shields in a by-election with 50.5pc of the vote, pushing the Lib Dems into seventh place.

Latest

12.15 Labour has gained Derbyshire Council from no overall control.

12.05 Do you know your Greens from your Goldsmith? In honour of Ukip’s rise, Harry Wallop has compiled a quiz on the electoral fortunes of minor parties.

Here is Nigel Farage thanking Kenneth Clarke for calling Ukip a “bunch of clowns”, claiming it boosted the Party’s success.

11.55 The Beeb is forecasting the vote share as follows: Con -9, Ukip +18, Lab +7, Lib Dems -11, Greens -1 and the BNP up 3. One forecast, Tim Ross reports, has Ed Miliband winning a wafer-thin majority in the next election based on today’s performance.

11.50 Was Ukip’s success forecast on social media? Ukip was mentioned more than any other party on social networks in the days running up to yesterday’s elections, the research shows. James Kirkup reports: The analysts looked at more than 6,100 messages on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks that referred to the local elections this week. They found that Ukip was the party most frequently referred to, taking 33 per cent of all mentions. Labour was the second most-mentioned, with 31 per cent of references. The Conservatives were mentioned in only 22 per cent of messages, while the Liberal Democrats were named in 14 per cent…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Local Elections 2013: Results Map

Live results map from the 2013 local elections in England and Wales.

Votes for 35 local authority elections in England and Wales are currently being counted, with 2,300 seats to be decided.

The graphic above shows the overall control of the 35 councils, and whether or not there has been a change in control since the last election.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Muslim Leaders ‘Need to be Clear on Sharia Plans’

Islamic leaders “urgently” need to explain what they mean by the term Sharia to prevent “fear of the public lash,” according to a member of the Bradford Council of Mosques. Ishtiaq Ahmed feels that although the UK is generally tolerant in allowing Muslims to freely practice their faith, the ideas behind Sharia need to be better explained if the community wants to move ahead with proposed Sharia councils. He described the recent debate over the issue as “intense, fraught and multi-dimensional.”…

[JP note: Beam me up, Scotty.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Operation Bullfinch: Jury Must Decide if Girls Had ‘Freedom’ To Say Yes to Sex

THE JURY in the trial of nine men accused of child sex abuse in Oxford has been told it must decide whether alleged grooming victims had the “freedom and capacity” to agree to sex. After 50 days of hearings, Judge Peter Rook yesterday began his summing up of the main issues in the Old Bailey trial. Judge Rook told the jury that just because a complainant didn’t say “no”, it didn’t mean they were consenting to sex. Nine men are on trial accused of targeting girls aged between 11 and 15 in Oxford, giving them drink and drugs, and sexually exploiting them…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Reactions to the Dewsbury Convictions

by Sarah AB

Some commenters here didn’t care for Nick Lowles’s response to the convictions of six men who had planned to bomb EDL supporters in Dewsbury, because they felt it was making an equivalence between simply thuggish and hateful behaviour and a cold-blooded murderous attack. But, overall, it was a pretty balanced piece…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Snipers Face New Enemy: Helmets

The British Army’s snipers have built a reputation as some of the world’s best, pitting their skills against enemies the world over.

But the marksmen are now facing a new threat to their work: badly-fitting helmets. Snipers find that the British Army’s standard issue helmets cannot be worn while shooting in body armour, a soldier has revealed. The problem has forced some to abandon their headgear while shooting, while others have bought their own better-fitting helmets from private suppliers.

The concern over helmets was raised in Soldier, the official magazine of the British Army. In a letter, a serving sniper said he and colleagues have had persistent problems with the Mk 6 and Mk 7 helmets, especially while wearing standard-issue Osprey body armour…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Wanted: A Leader Who Can Unite the Warring Tory Tribes

by Iain Martin

The modernisers and the Right of the Conservative Party need one another to create a winning coalition

If the country is in the mood for radical change, claimed the Tory historian Robert Blake, “it will not vote Conservative”. Blake was writing in 1970, in the postscript to his classic account of the development of the Tory tribe from Robert Peel to Winston Churchill. The successful battles on inflation, privatisation and trade union reform lay in the future, the Beatles were about to split up and the new prime minister, Ted Heath, was only 54.

Then along came Margaret Thatcher. She did not just challenge Blake’s dictum about the inadvisability of Conservative radicalism — she smashed it to smithereens. Reform after reform was introduced, shot through with free-market zeal, and three thumping general election victories were secured for her party…

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]
 

UKIP Claims ‘Remarkable’ Surge as Tories Lose Two Councils

Grant Shapps has admitted that the Conservatives are failing to connect with voters as Nigel Farage declares that Ukip will be a “lasting” force after the party’s “remarkable” local election success.

Mr Farage, the Ukip leader, said voters were “rejecting the establishment” as the party won an average of 26 per cent of the votes in the wards where it had candidates standing. Mr Shapps, the Conservative chairman, admitted that his party was “failing” to communicate its policies to voters but some MPs fear the wrong people are in charge of the message…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UKIP is a Very British Revolution

by Tim Stanley

The results aren’t all in yet, but it’s obvious what’s happening: Ukip are the moral victors in yesterday’s local elections. A party that was just two men on a golf cart ten years ago has placed second in South Shields and won county seats across the country. A few early observations:

1.   The Lib Dems are at risk of becoming politically irrelevant. In South Shields they came seventh, a pathetic result for a governing party.
2.   Ukip have helped to smash the BNP. By providing a non-racist Right-wing alternative, they reduced the BNP’s result in the Spalding East and Moulton ward in Lincolnshire from 20.5 per cent in 2009 to just 3.9 per cent today.
3.   Labour did well but its gains were only modest. It held South Shields (the kind of seat that a donkey in a red rosette could win) but on a lower majority. Miliband is not popular in southern England and that will prove a problem in 2015.
4.   Dan Hannan’s dream of a Ukip/Conservative coalition might actually happen in Lincolnshire and Gloucestershire — a fascinating laboratory for any future pact…
 

Success breeds success, but also hyperbole and vanity.

Either way, there’s no escaping that Ukip has exploited the anger of a great many people. They’re angry at the slow pace of reform coming from the Coalition, its prioritising of social liberalism over social justice, its failure to cut taxes for the middle class, its ring-fenced foreign aid budget and its poor economic record. The perpetually furious could have turned to Labour, but memories are long of how they spent all the money in the Noughties, and contempt is deep for Mr Miliband’s student union style of politics. Many voters have reached the conclusion that the philosophical division between the parties is so narrow, that incompetence is so ubiquitous, that the personalities are so uniformly unreal that there really is no difference between the three main parties. Under those circumstances, why not vote for the anarchist fringe? Put a bit of stick about, as Francis Urquhart would say.

And then there’s the personality factor. Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are all of a type: middle class, white, male, middle aged, middle-of-the-road, posh, suited and largely lacking in real world experience. By contrast, all the scandals surrounding Ukip this week only confirmed its accidental authenticity — its refusal or inability to be anything other than crude, rude and painfully honest. It is also fun. Humour is very important in Anglosphere politics. For the English, wit is the way that we communicate fury, intelligence and love. There’s something funny, and thus irresistible, about Farage with a cigarette in hand, hat on head, charming the voters with his market banter.

Yesterday, people voted Ukip partly out of anger and partly for a laugh. It’s a very British revolution.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Vega Satellite Launcher Gets Green Light for Lift-Off

Italian technology to send three spacecraft into orbit

(ANSA) — Kourou, May 3 — A final round of technical tests have been carried out successfully on Europe’s new small satellite launcher Vega, which is scheduled to lift off three satellites in French Guiana at 23:06 local time on Friday (03:06 GMT Saturday).

The checks received the green light from a group of technicians responsible for the launch, and the countdown is expected to start at 12.21 GMT.

The Vega is a satellite launcher that was built in the Avio factory in Colleferro on the outskirts of Rome.

Vega will launch three satellites, which are tasked with collecting data on land cover and vegetation changes over the entire globe every couple of days.

The European Space Agency (ESA) mission is Vega’s second. The first took place on February 13, 2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Egyptian Islamists Protest Against Security Institution

CAIRO, May 2 (Xinhua) — Thousands of Egyptian Islamists marched in the capital Cairo on Thursday, protesting against recent arrests of ultraconservative Salafists over charges of terrorizing policemen. The protesters marched from Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque to the National Security headquarters in Nasr City in eastern Cairo, calling for purging the National Security police as well as ending their brutality and aggression…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Egypt: Comedian on Bassem Youssef’s Show Released on Bail

A prosecutor has ordered the release of Khaled Mansour, a member of the team behind Egypt’s most-watched satirical show, on L.E. 5,000 bail ($720). Egypt’s prosecutor-general had ordered the interrogation of Khaled Mansour to question him over a segment titled “Where to next Friday?” where he mocked the expenses required for President Mohamed Mursi to perform Friday prayers…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Tunisia: Amina: New Topless Picture

After Labour Day protest

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS — Amina, a Tunisian young woman who posted topless pictures of herself on her Facebook page to claim more rights for women — has once again released a naked picture of herself with a new look — short, blond hair — and the writing ‘no more moral lessons’ on her bare breasts. After weeks of silence, Amina, who is an activist of naked protest group FEMEN, staged a protest in avenue Bourghiba, Tunis, during Labour Day celebrations accusing parties in the government coalition of looking after their own interests rather than the population’s.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Caroline Glick: Dershowitz and Tragedy

There are two main reasons that many leftists who are viscerally supportive of Israel have difficulty understanding and defending the Jewish state today. First, the storyline about Israel is deeply distorted.

For instance, this week, Freedom House released its annual report on press freedom around the world. Israel’s ranking was reduced from “free” to “partly free.”

Freedom House gave three reasons for downgrading Israel’s status: the prosecution of Haaretz reporter Uri Blau for holding stolen top-secret documents; Channel 10’s difficulties getting its broadcast license renewed; and the success of the Israel Hayom newspaper. As Jonathan Tobin at Commentary noted Wednesday, all of these reasons are fraudulent.

Uri Blau received thousands of top secret documents from Anat Kamm, who stole them from the office of OC Central Command at the end of her military service. The documents were not mere intelligence analyses. They were operational plans, unit information and other highly sensitive information.

Blau lied to investigators who asked him about the documents. He fled to London for months rather than speak to investigators or return the documents.

Yet because Israel prosecuted Blau for these acts — which are felonies — Freedom House decided that Israel constrains press freedom.

Then there is Channel 10. Channel 10 is a poorly managed, unsuccessful company that has gone broke. It owes NIS 110 million which it cannot pay back, including NIS 60m. to the state…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]
 

Israel Protests Google’s Switch to ‘Palestine’

‘We follow UN lead’, Google replies

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — Internet giant Google on Friday changed the tagline on its Palestinian edition from “Palestinian territories” to “Palestine” in a move foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor called “surprising”. In November, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to upgrade the status of its Palestinian mission to that of non-member observer state.

“This begs the question of whether there is room for any political stance on controversial issues on behalf of what is basically a private Internet company”, Palmor said. “Google is not a political or diplomatic entity, so they can call anything by any name, it has no diplomatic or political significance”, he added.

“We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries”, Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said. “In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and other international organizations”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

At Least 18 Killed, 36 Wounded in Attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, May 3 (Xinhua) — At least 18 people were killed and 36 others injured in attacks on Friday in Iraq, including a car bombing near a mosque in the capital of Baghdad, Interior Ministry and police sources said. The car bomb exploded near the Sunni mosque in northern Baghdad as worshipers were leaving Friday Prayers. At least five of them were killed and 30 others wounded, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

EU Lifts Oil Embargo on Syria — Buys Directly From Al Qaeda

It was recently reported that the European Union would be lifting its oil embargo on Syria, in an effort to help fund what it calls “rebels” operating there. In the Associated Press article, “EU lifts Syria oil embargo to bolster rebels,” it states:

The European Union on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria to provide more economic support to the forces fighting to oust PresidentBashar Assad’s regime.

The decision will allow for crude exports from rebel-held territory, the import of oil and gas production technology, and investments in the Syrian oil industry, the EU said in a statement.

A recent TIME article titled, “Syria’s Opposition Hopes to Win the War by Selling Oil,” reports:

On paper, the E.U.’s idea seemed straightforward. Without an embargo, European companies can now legally begin importing barrels of oil directly from rebel groups, which have seized several oil fields in recent months, mostly around the eastern area of Deir Ezzor. That would provide the opposition with its first reliable source of income since the revolt erupted in Feb. 2011, and in theory hasten the downfall of Bashar Assad’s regime, by giving rebels the means to run skeletal local governments and consolidate their control. As part of the decision, the E.U. ministers also agreed to export technical equipment, insure the rebels’ shipments of oil and invest in the rebel oil businesses. Before the war, Syria earned about $3.6 billion a year exporting oil and gas to Europe, with its biggest customers in Germany and Italy, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Sources: U.S. Believes Israel Has Conducted an Airstrike Into Syria

(CNN) — The United States believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria, two U.S. officials tell CNN.

U.S. and Western intelligence agencies are reviewing classified data showing Israel most likely conducted a strike in the Thursday-Friday time frame, according to both officials. This is the same time frame that the U.S. collected additional data showing Israel was flying a high number of warplanes over Lebanon.

One official said the United States had limited information so far and could not yet confirm those are the specific warplanes that conducted a strike. Based on initial indications, the U.S. does not believe Israeli warplanes entered Syrian airspace to conduct the strikes.

Both officials said there is no reason to believe Israel struck at a chemical weapons storage facilities. The Israelis have long said they would strike at any targets that prove to be the transfer of any kinds of weapons to Hezbollah or other terrorist groups, as well as at any effort to smuggle Syrian weapons into Lebanon that could threaten Israel.

The Lebanese army website listed 16 flights by Israeli warplanes penetrating Lebanon’s airspace from Thursday evening through Friday afternoon local time.

The Israeli military had no comment. But a source in the Israeli defense establishment told CNN’s Sara Sidner, “We will do whatever is necessary to stop the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorist organizations. We have done it in the past and we will do it if necessary the future.”

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]
 

Syria: Activists: Intense Fighting Between Homs and Damascus

Italian La Stampa journalist disappeared in the region

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, May 3 — Intense fighting was ongoing Friday in south-central Syria along the road connecting Homs with Damascus where an Italian journalist working for Turin-daily La Stampa, Domenico Quirico, disappeared over three weeks ago, local sources were quoted as saying by the Local Coordination Committees. The sources reported armed clashes between rebels and loyalist troops in Rankus, on the eastern side of the Anti-Lebanon mountains on the border with Lebanon, 40 km north of Damascus.

Rebels are reportedly attacking a post of the 67th battalion of President Bashar al-Assad’s troops. Intense air raids by Assad’s aviation forces are reportedly ongoing in the Qusayr area, south-west of Homs, where Shite militants with Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, an ally of Assad and Iran, are allegedly fighting.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

UAE: UAQ Ruler Opens Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Mu’alla Mosque

His Highness Shaikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, opened today the Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Mu’alla Mosque in Umm Al Quwain and offered Friday prayer on the new house of worship…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Inside the Ring: Russia Builds Up, U.S. Down

As the Obama administration prepares to launch a new round of strategic nuclear missile cuts, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are undergoing a major modernization, according to U.S. officials.

Russia’s military announced last month that as part of the nuclear buildup, Moscow later this year will deploy the first of its new intercontinental ballistic missiles called the Yars-M.

Details of the missile are being kept secret, but it has been described as a fifth-generation strategic nuclear system that Russian officials say will be able to penetrate U.S. missile defenses using a new type of fuel that requires a shorter burn time for booster engines.

[Comment: Obama helping to achieve another Communist goal: unilateral disarmament of the US.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Afghanistan: The Camp Bastion Cover-Up

Benghazi isn’t the only bloody disaster being covered up by the Obama administration. As I reported in a series of columns and blog posts last fall, three days after the deadly siege on our consulate in Libya, the Taliban waged an intricately coordinated, brutal attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. Two heroic U.S. Marines — Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell — were killed in the battle. Many surviving Marines have been honored for their brave, quick-thinking actions to save their comrades and civilians caught in the crossfire…

Camp Bastion family members are hearing that U.S. and British military leaders left their loved ones vulnerable to attack by outsourcing watchtower security on the base to soldiers from Tonga, who were known to fall asleep on the job. Deborah Hatheway, aunt of Sgt. Atwell and the family’s spokesperson, is naming names and mincing no words. She says Major General Charles “Mark” Gurganus, who recently returned to the U.S. after commanding coalition forces in Afghanistan, was ultimately responsible for skimping on security patrols. “He might as well have made it easier for the Taliban by cutting the perimeter fence himself and putting out the welcome mat,” Hatheway told me.

This is the same Gurganus who ordered Marines to disarm — immediately after the failed jihadi attack on Panetta last year — because he wanted them “to look just like our (unarmed) Afghan partners.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Burma: Why Are Buddhist Monks Attacking Muslims?

By Alan Strathern Oxford University

Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?

This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean — Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Gunmen Shoot Dead Top Pakistan Prosecutor Investigating Benazir Bhutto Assassination

The lead prosecutor in the murder of Benazir Bhutto was shot dead in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Friday as he travelled to court.

Gunmen sprayed Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali’s car with bullets in a busy neighbourhood of the city. A female passer-by also died, and Mr Zulfiqar’s bodyguard was wounded. The killing will reignite conspiracy theories about who was behind the assassination of Mrs Bhutto, the charismatic former prime minister. Pervez Musharraf, the country’s former military dictator, is currently under house arrest accused of failing to provide proper security. However, Mr Zulfiqar was involved in a string of high-profile investigations — including the 2008 Mumbai attacks carried out by Pakistani-based extremists…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Myanmar’s Muslims: Kicked in the Teeth

I AM in Malaysia for the election on May 5th, and up here in the north of the country quite a lot of the political to-and-fro is about political Islam. The opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (better known as PAS) is strong up here in states like Kedah, so the ruling coalition Barisan Nacional is trying to scare people off voting for them by claiming that, if they were to be elected nationally, they would force the opposition coalition into turning Malaysia into an extremist Muslim state. It’s a lame old tactic, but still seems to find some traction.

A fellow-member of ASEAN, Myanmar, is wrestling with its own Islamic problem, but in a much more volatile and blood-soaked manner. This week saw another nasty outbreak of violence between Burman Buddhists and Muslims in central Myanmar, this time in a village called Oakka. It was sparked off by another minor incident, when a young girl apparently bumped into a monk. This set off a chain events that left one person dead and nine injured; reports say that Buddhist mobs torched 77 houses and a couple of mosques…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Outsourcing and Minimum Wage: The Struggle for the Rights of Indonesian Workers

In 2014 for the first time the country will celebrate Labor Day on a national scale. Criticism of President Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono, unable to resolve the dispute over “outsourcing” of labor by firms. Industry on a war footing for a prison sentence of a businessman behind in payment.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — A minimum wage, “outsourcing” and more recognition in the field of workers’ rights. These are the main points that characterized May 1 — Labour Day — in Indonesia, a country that in the last three years has seen growing street demonstrations (especially in Jakarta) against exploitation and for the improvement of the contractual terms. A battle that has led to the full recognition of the holiday: in fact, from next year on, as established by the recent measure signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia will also mark “May Day” as a national celebration.

Now that the struggle for recognition of the holiday has been won, the goal is to put an end to the practice of “outsourcing”, which has long been a source of conflict between business owners and workers. Outsourcing, also known as “external supply” is the term given to the practice adopted by the companies who use third parties to carry out certain stages of production. It applies both to the subcontracting of jobs, as well as for temporary employment of workers with fixed-term contracts on an annual basis.

The problem has emerged in all its magnitude three years ago and, although today there is a greater awareness on the rights of the worker, companies continue to exploit the practice to save costs. Yesterday, during the many events that have filled the streets of the capital, there was heavy criticism of President Yudhoyono and his deputy Boediono for failing to deal with the dispute.

Workers re-launched the campaign to increase the minimum wage on a regional scale (Umr), recalling the recent decision of the governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo, who ordered an increase of 40% for the weaker sections. A decision that sparked controversy and discontent among employers, who complain about a surge in the cost of production and the resulting downward spiral in profits.

Adding to the concerns of the business world, is last week’s conviction of a businessman from East Java, for falling behind in his payments. The Surabaya court judged him on default and punished him with a year in jail and a heavy fine. The Association of Indonesian entrepreneurs (Apindo), now fears a rain of sentences, resulting in the collapse of the productive system.

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

Thailand: Most Thais Reject Insurgents’ Demands in Peace Talks: Poll

BANGKOK, May 3 (Xinhua) — Most Thais rejected the conditions demanded for peace talks set by a Muslim insurgent group, a survey revealed Friday. The survey on “the BRN’s Peace Talks Demands” was conducted by Nida Poll at the National Institution of Development Administration between April 29 and May 2 to seek opinions from 1, 249 people of all education levels and a wide range of occupations nationwide, including 171 residents of the violent three southernmost provinces — Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Scottish Cultural Secretary Hails Cultural Exchanges With China

EDINBURGH, May 2 (Xinhua) — Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop on Thursday hailed cultural exchanges between Scotland and the Chinese side to promote friendship and people-to-people exchanges…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

British Millions for New Somalian Security Forces

Tens of millions of pounds will be pledged by the British and other governements for an ambitious security plan to hire army and police forces to keep the emerging peace in Somalia.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said Somalian leaders “need international support to build up” security forces, police and coastguard and will get broad international backing at a conference on Somalia in London next week. Under a plan bankrolled by international donors, Britain could be prepared to increase the £60 million it is currently spending on rebuilding the war-torn north African country…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Nigeria: Another Faction of Boko Haram Emerges

Abuja — A new insurgent group known as Nassiruddeen Li Ahlil Jihad Alal Kitab Was Sunnah, or Islamic Victors Committed to Qur’an and Sunnah, yesterday claimed that it had taken possession of a large cache of weapons following its attack on military barracks in Munguno in Borno State recently…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Activists Urge Obama to Speak Out on Mexico’s Human Rights Record

By Tracy Wilkinson

MEXICO CITY — Activists are attempting to spotlight human rights issues during President Obama’s visit this week to Mexico, urging him to publicly condemn what they describe as Mexico’s abysmal record of torture, killings and forced disappearances by security forces.

It is highly unlikely Obama would make that kind of public statement during his stay here Thursday and Friday. His meetings with Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, are expected to focus on topics the two governments prefer, such as the economy and trade, with a nod to security and the drug war.

Any discussion of human rights issues would probably occur behind closed doors.

Rights organizations say Obama is missing an opportunity to criticize Mexico’s record at a time when Peña Nieto can avoid being blamed for it. He assumed the presidency just five months ago, at the end of President Felipe Calderon’s six-year term.

Under Calderon, the government fought powerful drug cartels and arrested key criminal figures. But killings, kidnappings and other severe human rights abuses by the police and military soared, according to human rights groups, as well as testimony collected by The Times. During that period, the Obama administration repeatedly voiced its support for Calderon’s efforts.

“Presidents Obama and Peña Nieto have a golden opportunity to address issues affecting the lives of people on both sides of the border,” Frank Jannuzi, interim executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a statement Tuesday.

“Respecting human rights must be integral to any joint plan for further bilateral cooperation between the two countries — not just words during a presidential photo-op,” he added. “Do not squander this moment.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Ecuador, Peru Recall Ambassadors Over Supermarket Brawl

QUITO, May 2 (Xinhua) — Ecuador and Peru temporarily recalled their ambassadors Thursday after Rodrigo Riofrio, Ecuador’s ambassador to Peru, allegedly hit two Peruvian women at a supermarket in Lima last month…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Self-Criticism Over Mexico Violence

(AGI) Mexico City, May 3 — On his fourth trip to Mexico, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a message of hope, avoiding criticism of the country and asking, on the contrary, to banish “the old stereotypes”. He also acknowledged the growing economic relevance of the neighbouring country and made some self-criticism on firearms and drugs. “Despite the strong bonds and deep values we share, the approach, in both countries, is sometimes still bound to old stereotypes”, Obama said, speaking before a crowd of young people at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. “Some Americans know about Mexico only via news reporting violence or frontier issues, some Mexicans think America despises Mexico and that we are trying to impose our sovereignty. Well, it’s time to put that outdated attitude aside, it’s time to acknowledge the new reality, including the current, remarkable progress of Mexico”. With a death toll of about 70,000 killed since December 2008, which marked the start of the ‘war on druglords’, launched by Mexico’s former President Felipe Calderon, Obama acknowledged that “a large share of violence” in the country has been the result of the U.S. demand for illegal drugs. “We also acknowledged — Obama added — that most of the weapons used to commit violence come from the United States (the flow of firearms that end up in the hands of druglords has constantly irked the Mexican authorities, who linked the spark of the spiral of violence to the lift of the ban on assault rifles in the U.S. in 2004).

After saluting the crowd in Spanish (“Mexico lindo y querido”) Obama also touched on a domestic affair, which is very felt by the Mexicans, saying he is convinced that Congress will approve the immigration reform. After his second day in Mexico, Obama will reach Costa Rica to meet the leaders of Central American countries, to discuss about immigration, trade and counter-narcotic operations. On Thursday, Obama met Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December, to talk about trade relations between the two countries, worth 500 billion dollars. They also talked about security, with Obama endorsing Pena Nieto’s strategy, which aims to reduce the wave of homicides, kidnappings and extortions that plague the country.

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

Obama’s $2.5m Hotel and ‘Vehicle Rental’ Tab on Last Mexico Trip

As the White House first announced in March, Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Mexico and Costa Rica later this week. The trip is billed as “an important opportunity to reinforce the deep cultural, familial, and economic ties that so many Americans share with Mexico and Central America.” And at yesterday’s White House press conference, the president stated that he is “very much looking forward to taking the trip down to Mexico” this week.

But the trip won’t exactly be cheap for taxpayers, assuming the costs mirror those incurred by the American taxpayers for President Obama’s last trip to Mexico, for the G-20 summit in June 2012. According to recently discovered documents relating to the costs of that trip, taxpayers paid nearly $2.5 million for hotel and “vehicle rental.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

‘Greeks Only’ Soup Kitchen Sparks Protests in Athens

Members of Greek extremist political party Golden Dawn try to open a ‘Greeks only’ soup kitchen in Athens, as anti-immigrant feeling bubbles against a backdrop of increasing poverty.

An attempt by the extremist far-right Golden Dawn party to hand out food to Greeks only in defiance of a municipal ban degenerated into chaos on Thursday with the city’s mayor saying a party lawmaker tried to punch him and draw a gun.

The punch missed its target, landing instead on a 12-year-old girl, Greek media said. Security guards restrained the legislator, Giorgos Germenis.

The party, whose members have been repeatedly linked with violent attacks on Greece’s large immigrant population, had said it would give food to needy Greeks in Syntagma Square, opposite Parliament, ahead of Sunday’s Orthodox Easter.

Mayor Giorgos Kaminis had banned such events in the city’s central square and vowed not to allow the “soup kitchen of hate” to take place…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Illegals Entering US Triple With Talk of Immigration Reform

Arrests of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States have nearly tripled in recent months in anticipation of Congressional efforts to enact comprehensive immigration legislation, border patrol agents told CBS News Wednesday.

“Once the first group gets across, they call their family, they call their friends and let them know, ‘Hey the time is right, come on over,’“ Border Patrol agent and union representative Chris Cabrera told CBS News.

In March, 7,500 illegals were arrested in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, which includes McAllen, Cabrera told CBS News. That’s up from 2,800 in January.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Israel Establishes DNA Database of Illegal African Migrants: Report

JERUSALEM, May 2 (Xinhua) — The Israeli police have been collecting the DNA of detained African migrants for over a year, the Ha’aretz daily reported Thursday. The compilation of the DNA database began in January 2012, and there are now samples from 606 Africans, chiefly Sudanese and Eritrean nationals who infiltrated into Israel from its border with Egypt and are being detained at a desert holding facility, said the report…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

New Italian Minister for Integration is Proud to be Black

(AGI) — Rome, May 3 — Italy’s newly appointed Minister for Integration, Cecile Kyenge, said she was proud to be black during a press conference on Friday. “I think it is fitting that many people who belong to this country begin to use the right words and ways to define other persons,” she said.

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

Sweden: the Realm of Silence

by Morten Uhrskov Jensen

Karl-Olov Arnstberg and Gunnar Sandelin recently published one of the most important Swedish books to come out in many years, Invandring och mörkläggning: En saklig rapport från en förryckt tid. (“Immigration and blackout: A factual report from an age of madness”). By means of an impressive amount of data, quantitative in the form of statistics, as well as qualitative in the form of statements from politicians, media representatives and researchers, the authors have managed to paint a very convincing portrait of the catastrophe that Sweden is approaching.

So, what has the reaction been in Sweden towards such an important and well researched book? Silence, deafening silence in the traditional media. Except for Dispatch International, the book has been reviewed in no media outside the Internet. If one cannot do anything else, one can at least kill it by silence, the meme seems to be. One can, in a way, understand that the book has not been reviewed in the Swedish dailies Aftonbladet, Expressen, Dagens Nyheter and so on. Delicate issues would see the light of day in the very press that, along with politicians, is preventing Sweden from changing course away from the abyss.

If the book had been reviewed, the readers might get to know about the re-education project that Swedes have been subject to for over three decades. For instance, this piece by Pierre Schorie, a social democratic member of the Swedish parliament, who in 1997 said: “Racism and xenophobia are to be criminalized and hunted down. In a democracy, it is not acceptable to invent excuses, for instance that the immigration and refugee policy is flawed.” Well, there you have it.

In a recent survey, 64 percent of Swedes thought that the Swedish media are not telling the truth about the consequences of Swedish immigration policies. That caused the editor of the magazine for journalists, Journalisten, to respond as follows: “How can a professional group [journalists], who are of such high importance, who work so hard, and have such powerful rules of ethics, inspire such a low level of confidence among the general public?”

Since 1980, Sweden has accepted 700,000 family reunions and hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers. Of this chaos has come, well, chaos…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]
 

After Praising Gay NBA Player as ‘Towering Figure, ‘ NBC Dismisses Tebow as ‘Spoof-Worthy’ And ‘Lackluster’

While Tuesday’s NBC Today began by heralding gay NBA player Jason Collins as “a towering figure on the court” and in “sports history,” later in the 7 a.m. ET hour, correspondent Craig Melvin regarded NFL quarterback Tim Tebow as an athlete who’s “play never really matched the hype” and someone who became “spoof-worthy” due to his “well-publicized faith.”

A clip played of Late Night host Jimmy Fallon mocking Tebow with a parody song set to David Bowie’s “Ground Control to Major Tom”: “Tim Tebow to Jesus Christ.” Melvin followed: “On the field, Tebow struggled. His only season as a Jet, lackluster…His football future is uncertain. But Tebow could still cash-in on his carefully cultivated persona.”

A quick look at Collins’s career stats doesn’t exactly show him to a top player in the NBA, only averaging three points per game. Yet the phrase “lackluster” never appeared in the coverage of him coming out.

Here is a full transcript of Melvin’s April 30 report on Tebow being released from the New York Jets:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Americans Warned: Home Schoolers Stripped of Rights

Recently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that home schooling is not a parent’s right. It is a statement some are saying should frighten American parents.

Nations like Germany and Sweden show that when governments take away home schooling rights, it’s a slippery slope to no parental rights.

America the Refuge or Not

The Romeike family came to the United States from Germany five years ago hoping to find refuge. They wanted to home-school their children in freedom and a federal judge granted them asylum.

But now the Obama administration has been trying to deport them, arguing that home schooling is not a right. The case is currently before a federal appeals court.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike began home schooling in Germany because they didn’t want their children exposed to things like witchcraft and graphic sex education that are taught in German schools.

“There were stories where [school children] were encouraged to ask the devil for help instead of God and actually the devil would help (in the story),” Uwe said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Gosnell Trial Reveals Much About America’s Downfall

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

To the dismay of the political left and the counterculture, the specifics of the Gosnell case are being widely circulated throughout the alternative media. Consequently, people across the nation are slowly and perhaps grudgingly being awakened to a true horror that has been occurring in their midst on a wide scale basis for two generations. As the grisly truth continues to be revealed from that Philadelphia courtroom, the unspeakable reality of what Gosnell was perpetrating with impunity for so many years has jolted Americans into consideration of just what the abortion industry actually entails.

For starters, it is total fantasy to presume that the abortion business represents any noble effort to uplift the plight of women. The single demographic most emphatically supportive of abortion is young men who, rather than bear the costs of court-imposed child support, prefer to let women be physically mutilated in the wake of being sexually exploited. Every contrived notion that abortion somehow “liberates” women is thoroughly overshadowed by the manner in which it cheapens their role and purpose in the eyes of self-serving men. And any doubters need only recount the testimony of female witnesses regarding the maltreatment they suffered at the hands of Gosnell. Liberals have no more concern for the well-being of women than they do for minorities or any other group to which they sometimes shamelessly pander, since they will just as quickly discard and debase these constituencies the moment they become a political liability.

Of even greater significance are the ugly truths of abortion itself, which have become inescapable as the testimony in the Gosnell trial ensues. Gosnell is noted for the deliberate killing of children who survived abortions and were born alive. Yet this is hardly an isolated activity. Abortion “clinics” are designed and operated with the intention of moving as many women through them as possible, since it is on this basis that their profits are maximized. They are never set up to contend with the medical needs of premature babies, which means that unintended births are invariably dealt with in the same despicable manner as did Gosnell.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Missouri Moving to Protect Parental Rights From Federal Tyranny Over Medicine, Education and Discipline of Children

(NaturalNews) A number of Missouri lawmakers are supporting an amendment to the state constitution that essentially formalizes the fundamental right of parents to raise their children as they see fit.

In late April the House gave its approval to a measure, House Joint Resolution 26 (HJR26) that says parents have the right to make all decisions regarding the “discipline, education, religious instruction, health, medical care, place of habitation, and general well-being” for their own minor children.

The measure says, in part:

Section 35. 1. That parents have a fundamental right to exercise exclusive control over the care, custody, and upbringing of their minor children, including all decisions involving the discipline, education, religious instruction, health, medical care, place of habitation, and general well-being of such minor children.

2. Parents have the right to choose to educate their children in public schools, private schools, or in-home education to prepare them for future obligations in life.

3. Neither the state nor any political subdivision, nor any agency, entity, or person acting on behalf of the state or any political subdivision, shall act to deny or impair the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. However, the fundamental right of a parent to control and direct the care, custody, and upbringing of a minor child may be modified by a court of law when a parent has been found guilty of or pleads guilty to a crime of violence against a child, abuse of a child, kidnaping of a child, abandonment of a child, sexual abuse of a child, sexual conduct or any other sexual offense against a child, criminal nonsupport, or endangering the welfare of a child; or when a parent has been found by a court of law by clear and convincing evidence to have committed child abuse, child neglect or medical neglect; or as a result of adoption, child abandonment, mental incompetency or marital dissolution proceedings, or through the voluntary consent of the parent of a child.

The amendment would not prohibit law enforcement agencies or courts to move to protect at-risk children…

“Parental rights are under siege. Parents, in many ways, are becoming ‘second class citizens’ as lower courts elevate the power of the state to supersede the wisdom of parents,” says a 2004 issue analysis by the Home School Legal Defense Association. “Parental choice is in jeopardy. Freedom is at stake. The basic fundamental freedom of parents to raise their children hangs in the balance. Have we forgotten whose children they are anyway? They are a God-given responsibility to parents.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Trying to Take Over Public Education With ‘Common Core’ Curriculum That Teaches Socialism

Whenever he can, President Obama likes to poke fun at anyone who suggests that he’s a closet socialist because that’s what socialists do — they ridicule anyone who tries to “out” them. And yet, every policy he pursues takes a page right out of the socialist/Marxist playbook, and one of them is to ensure that the government controls all forms of education.

Right now, of course, there are thousands of private schools and institutions of higher learning in the U.S., so the government doesn’t control all education, per se. But left-wing career education bureaucrats in government, along with compliant socialists in the teachers unions, do indeed control the vast majority of primary public school education, and it is here where the Obama regime is consolidating its control through a Department of Education program known as Common Core State Standards .

‘Inappropriate overreach’

— From the Common Core website:

The standards clearly communicate what is expected of students at each grade level. This will allow our teachers to be better equipped to know exactly what they need to help students learn and establish individualized benchmarks for them. The Common Core State Standards focus on core conceptual understandings and procedures starting in the early grades…

Essentially, what Common Core consists of is a standardized block of instruction on all the major subjects — Math, English and Language Arts — per standards that government bureaucrats devised. Initially, 45 states and the District of Columbia signed on, but as more states found out the curriculum is decidedly slanted to a particular point of view (socialism), a number of states are now working on legislation to bail out. And they are designed to allow controlling statists to get their claws into your kids as early on in their academic careers as possible.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Pentagon: Christians May Face Imprisonment for ‘Sharing Faith’

Freedom of religion for soldiers? A new Pentagon statement says US soldiers can be sentenced to imprisonment under federal military law for ‘sharing their faith’.

A major slap in the face to United States military forces who are being stripped of the very rights they are supposed to be fighting to protect overseas, the Pentagon met with well known anti-Christian militant Mikey Weinstein of the laughable “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” in order to set new rules that punish Christians with imprisonment and dishonorable discharge for daring to share the Gospel in any capacity. According to the new statement by the Pentagon, as reported on by Breitbart in a piece that has now close to 1 million Facebook shares alone, Christians who dare to share the Bible or the teachings of Jesus may face court martial.

As released early this morning, the Pentagon stated:

“Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…”

SHARING FAITH ‘TREASON’, SAME AS ‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’

What’s even more concerning, however, is what the individual who worked with the Pentagon has to say about Christians who share their faith and what should happen to them. Mikey Weinstein actually has said that those who share their faith, such as even a bible verse of anything, are guilty of downright ‘treason’. In fact, Weinstein says that sharing your faith amounts to ‘spiritual rape’, which he says is the same thing as sexual assault. So not only are you a traitor accused of treason for sharing the gospel in any capacity, but you are also committing a form of sexual assault.

Weinstein, who worked closely with the Obama administration Pentagon heads to draft the procedures outlined in the Pentagon statement, even calls Christians “bloody monsters” who are raping and terrorizing the people. And this is the individual chosen to help draft the procedure for military conduct with regards to faith in the military. In response to the insanity, a petition has gone up calling upon the government to cease their relationship with Weinstein and his militaristic anti-Christian mindset that has led to the latest Pentagon announcement.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Share Your Faith to Become an ‘Enemy of the Constitution?’

Anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Only days after Barack Obama coined the phrase ‘self-radicalized’ along comes anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation with a bone jarring proposition to make criminals and worse out of any military servicemen who share their faith in Christ with others in their ranks.

Adding a new category to the ever burgeoning list of PC generated phobias, now we may add the term, ‘fundamentalist-phobia’ to help America become a nation of properly parsing phenoms who fantasize that America is under attack by mere words and phrases.

With Korea threatening to nuke us, Iran threatening to nuke everyone, and anti-American sentiment on the rise everywhere else, it seems good to know we have finally identified the real enemy — the fundamentalist Christians who share their faith. If we hurry to criminalize, prosecute and put them all in jail the nation has a fighting chance. No, I am not trying to get a job as a staff writer for Mad Magazine and no humor is intended here. This is America today!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Shock Video: “We Will Not Resuscitate” Baby Born Alive After Failed Abortion

A third shocking undercover video has been released showing abortion clinic staffers saying they will not revive babies who are born alive after failed abortions. The videos show embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell was not an anomaly.

The new video comes on the heels of abortion doctor Cesare Santangelo of Washington, D.C, who was exposed on a recent undercover video telling a 24-week pregnant woman that in the unlikely event that an abortion resulted in a live birth, “we would not help it.” Before that, the pro-life group released a video showing an abortion facility staff member saying an unborn child born alive after a botched abortion should just be flushed down the toilet.

Now, Live Action released a third undercover video exposing Phoenix, Arizona-based late-term abortion doctor Laura Mercer and an abortion center counselor who would leave a newborn, struggling for life after a failed abortion, to die.

This is the third in a series of undercover videos, found at http://www.liveaction.org/inhuman, involving the illegal and inhuman practices of late-term abortion centers, as well as describing in horrific detail what happens to the mother and baby in a late-term abortion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The Slippery Slope of Gender Identity

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Your 9 year-old daughter runs out of a public swimming pool shower, crying because a 45 year-old naked man is lounging in the sauna, “full monty.” You call the police. The police arrest you for violating the man’s rights and send both you and your daughter to “behavior modification counseling.”

Why?

Because even though the man’s “birth assignment” is male, he “identifies” as a female and you have violated his rights under your state’s “gender identity equality” laws.

If you think this is just crazy and nothing like this could possibly happen in America, stop reading now and go back to the comfort of your Doonesbury cartoon. In Washington state, half of this scenario has already played out.

Late last year, a parent called the police after her daughter walked into a locker room and observed a naked man using the sauna. According to the police report obtained by Campus Reform, the transgendered man in question, a 45-year-old Evergreen State College student named Colleen Francis, was “sitting with her legs open with her male genitalia showing” with girls as young as six years old present.

Police, however, were advised by the local prosecutor’s office that “criminal law is very vague in this area and it would be unlikely they could pursue charges.”

Oh, how quaint those days when such behavior was considered “indecent exposure.”

Evergreen State College spokesman Jason Wettstein told Campus Reform that the school must “follow a non-discrimination policy with the state.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Star Trek: Sir Martin Rees: ‘How Post-Humans Could Colonise Other Worlds’

Will we ever be able to cross the universe with the ease of the Enterprise? As ‘Star Trek into Darkness’ prepares to blast into cinemas, Astronomer Royal Martin Rees offers some answers.

The best science fiction, from H G Wells onwards, can nourish everyone’s imagination. It can widen the perspective of astronomers too — that strange breed of which I’m a member. Many of us are avid consumers of the genre — though I think we’d expect aliens, if they exist, to be far stranger, and far less humanoid, than those portrayed in Star Trek. Indeed, possibilities once in the realms of science fiction have shifted into serious scientific debate — “cyborgs” and “post-humans”, alien life, and even parallel universes…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

0 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/3/2013

  1. Hoping for a backlash?

    Just an anecdote for your readers -
    I live near several military installations and uniformed soldiers frequent my local grocery. Recently I was at the Starbucks located inside my grocery when I noticed an abandoned backpack on a chair and a very large, leather-bound, gold-tipped, square-shaped book lying on the table next to the chair. Nervous after the Boston bombing, I pointed the backpack out to the barrista and left the store. I came back 15 minutes later and the abandoned backpack was still there, along with the book. I waited 30 minutes, came back once more in hopes of coffee, and this time there was a fellow (balding caucasian, short and stout, large nose) sitting at the table, reading the book, mumbling to himself, rocking slightly back and forth, occasionally slapping the table. Walking behind him, I could see that the book was written in Arabic. So I drove to another Starbucks.
    This situation reminded me of the “flying Imams” who deliberately created fear after 9/11, then sued those who complained of their behavior. Has anyone else witnessed similar post-marathon provocations?

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