Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/14/2014

The search for the missing Malaysian jetliner has been widened to include the Indian Ocean. American officials believe that the plane’s onboard communications systems were shut down deliberately in stages, and that the plane continued flying afterwards for up to five hours. The Andaman Islands have been suggested as one possible destination, but other experts believe the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean.

In other news, the United States gave Russia until Monday to stand down in Ukraine, or face serious consequences. Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s website was hit by a massive cyber-attack. The Russian stock market slid steeply again, losing an additional 2% in value.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, Diana West, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, 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
» 19 Signs That the U.S. Consumer is Tapped Out
» China’s Big Four Banks See $70 Billion Vanish From Stocks
» Germany Calls Renzi Economic Plan ‘Ambitious’
» Global Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion as Governments Binge, BIS Says
» Italy: Inflation at Lowest Since 2009, But ‘Trolley’ Twice as High
» Spain Hits Record 93.9% Debt-GDP Ratio in 2013
» This is the Reality of it: “We Are Factually in a Recession. Period.”
» Yet Another Trader Suicide Rocks Financial World
 
USA
» Americans Sick and Tired of Wars for the Global Elite
» Anti-Freedom Physicians, Policemen, And Pastors
» Black & Hispanic Pass Rates Drop in Elite High School Exams
» Bronx Pharmacy Busted in $10m HIV Drug Buyback Scam
» De Blasio’s War on Minority Education
» Genetic Data Suggests Convergent Evolution for Milk Digestion
» Gun Parts Manufacturer Files Restraining Order Against ATF, Avoids Raid
» High School Student Suspended for NRA T-Shirt
» Islam and the Rest of Us
» Just a Coincidence or Something Far More Sinister
» Michelle Obama Throwing Food Onto Global Warming List
» NASA Aims to Go to Europa on the Cheap
» New Robot Fish Swims Like the Real Thing
» NSA Pretends to be Facebook to Spy on the World
» Obama Threatens to Veto Bill That Would Require Administration to Enforce Laws
» Oklahoma Man Loses Insurance Due to ObamaCare, Owes $100k in Bills
» Planned Parenthood to Host Over 500 Events in 18 Cities to Push ObamaCare
» Rabbi Hausman Defends Florida ALAC Against Misinformation of ADL
» Rep. Issa Slams Lois Lerner in IRS Targeting Probe Report
» Report: U.S. Electric Grid ‘Inherently Vulnerable’ To Sabotage
» Safety is Lacking at Metro-North, U.S. Review Finds
» Some Thoughts on the Article V Issue
» The Language Trap Set for Gun Owners
» The President’s Grab for Dictatorial Power
» US Prosecutors Re-Indict Indian Diplomat in Visa Fraud Case
 
Canada
» Multiculturalism: What Happened to Responsibility?
» Revealed: Reservoir Hidden Beneath Earth’s Crust Holds as Much Water as All of the Oceans
» Who’s on Top in Canada?
 
Europe and the EU
» Aga Khan, Spiritual Leader to Muslims, Divorces German Princess After Years in Court
» Berlusconi Plans to Run in European Elections, Advisor Says
» British Muslim Couple Jailed for ‘Offensive in the Extreme’ YouTube Videos That Glorified Murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby
» France: Aga Khan Divorces German Princess After Dispute
» Germany: Man Accused of Plotting Bonn Station Bombing
» Greece: EU Elections: Pasok Alarm Over Slide in Opinion Poll
» Irish Bishops Urge Moderation for St Patrick’s Day
» Italy: Generali Reports 1.9-Bn-Euro Net Profit in 2013
» Italy: Grillo Likens Premier Renzi to Mussolini
» Italy: Cabinet Approves Measures Against Pharmaceutical Cartels
» Italy: Law Encouraging Renters to Rat on Landlords Thrown Out
» Italy: American Blackrock Becomes Unicredit’s Top Shareholder
» Italy: Neo-Fascists to Welcome Greece’s Golden Dawn in Milan
» Netherlands: Autocratic Wilders Preaches Against ‘Undemocratic’ EU
» Norway: Locals Launch Campaign to Block Utøya Memorial
» Norway: ‘Do Not Put My Daughter’s Name on Utøya Memorial’
» Paris Pogrom: Jews, Leave France Before it is Too Late
» Relentless Global Warming “Scientists” Continue Their Scams
» The Fall of Britain’s Far-Right Party
» The Mystery of Mont Blanc’s Hidden Treasure
» UK: Couple Jailed for Gloating About Lee Rigby’s Murder in Shocking Videos on YouTube
» UK: Former Guantanamo Bay Detainee Moazzam Begg Appears at Old Bailey on Terror Charges
» UK: Law Society Publishes Practice Note on Sharia Wills and Inheritance Rules
» UK: Man Charged With Syria-Linked Terrorism Offences
» UK: Martine Magnussen Murder: Scotland Yard Turns to Facebook to Launch Appeal
» UK: Police Given More Time to Interview Terrorism Suspect
» UK: Three Teaching Staff Arrested on Possession of Extreme Porn Bailed
» Walls, Floors and Rocks: England and Its Swastikas
» ‘We Can’t Rule Out a Swedish Breivik’: MP
 
North Africa
» Algerian Forces Kill 7 Gunmen Crossing the Border From Tunisia
» Egypt: ‘Noah’ To Show in Cinemas Despite Religious Ban
» Israelis Stopped From Entering Tunisia From Cruise Ship Lacked Visas, Says Minister
» Jihadist Cell Dismantled Between Spain and Morocco
» Libya Weapons Risk Landing in Terrorists’ Hands
» Libya: Armed Group Seizes 40 Egyptian Workers in the East
» Police in Spain and Morocco Break Up Alleged Terrorism Ring
» The Benghazi Difference
» Tunisia Aims to Regain Control of Radicalised Mosques
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Deceased War Hero Meir Har Tzion Praised: ‘From Bar Kochba Until Har Tzion No Warrior Came Close’
» The Obama Peace Plan Includes Permanently Dividing the City of Jerusalem
 
Middle East
» Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned: Global Terrorism Set to Ignite
» Educating Conservatives About Modern ‘Shi’ite Quietists’
» Iraq: Bombs Kill at Least 8 People in Baghdad
» Jordan: Police Clash With Protesters Near Israeli Embassy in Amman
» Lebanon: Rafehi After Aide Held: We Won’t Hesitate to Wage Jihad if Yabrud People Urge
» More Than 900 Workers Have Already Died Building Qatar’s World Cup Facilities
» Saeed Abedini, US Pastor Held in Iran, Denied Treatment After Prison Beating
» Saudi Arabia Learns the Perils of Jihad
» Syria Conflict Anniversary: Who Controls What
 
Russia
» American Diplomats Scramble to Avert Russian Annexation of Crimea
» Buzz Words Hide Ukraine’s Meaning for US and EU
» China Warns West Not to Enforce Sanctions Against Russia
» EU Undecided on Russia Sanctions Ahead of Crimea Vote
» How the Truth is Made at Russia Today
» Kremlin Website Hit by “Powerful” Cyber Attack
» Merkel: Comparing Crimea to Kosovo is ‘Shameful’
» Merkel Whores for Washington
» No Ukraine Accord in US-Russia Talks
» Obama Regime’s Hypocrisy Sets New World Record
» Red Army Masses on Ukraine Border: 80,000 Troops and Missile Launchers Spark Invasion Fear
» Russia and West on Collision Course Over Ukraine as Talks Fail in London
» Russia’s Stock Market is Tumbling Again
» The Scary Side of the Ukraine Troika
» Ukraine: The New European Bipolarity
» Ukraine: How to Hide a Nazi Army
» Watch Turkey in Crimea
» West and Russia Still Differ on Crimea, Says Lavrov
» What Difference Does Crimea Make in the Face of Russia’s — and the West’s — Demograpic Death Spiral?
 
South Asia
» India: Bomb Explodes Near Mosque, No Casualty
» India: 80 Muslims Detained Near Mumbai; Activists Complain of Police High-Handedness
» Investigators Reportedly Looking at Malaysian Jet Disappearance as ‘Act of Piracy’
» Lost Malaysia Plane ‘May Have Flown on for Five Hours’
» MH370 Search Widened to the Indian Ocean
» Nearly Two Dozen Killed in Attacks Across Pakistan Despite Talks
» Pakistan Sexual Assault Teen Dies After Self-Immolation
» Sharp Changes in Altitude and Course After Jet Lost Contact, Radar Shows
» Stay in Afghanistan: US General’s Plea Echoes in Empty Galleries
» U.S.: Malaysia Plane’s on-Board Communications Purposely Shut Down
» What Happened to Flight 370? An Analysis of What is Known
 
Far East
» From His Pakistan Hideout, Uighur Leader Vows Revenge on China
» Six Reported Slain in Knife Attack by Vendor at Chinese Market
 
Australia — Pacific
» Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt Breaks Ranks With Coalition on Racial Discrimination Laws
» Concerns Over Release of Asylum Seeker Terrorism Suspect
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Drug Trafficking Funds Terrorism in Nigeria
 
Immigration
» EU Citizenship for Sale to Non-Europeans in Bulgaria for as Little as £150,000
» Finland: Roma Arriving Early in Helsinki This Year
» Literary Sensation: The Rise of a Danish Immigrant Poet
» Schumer to GOP: Obama Will ‘Curtail’ Deportations Without Immigration Deal
 
Culture Wars
» “BanBossy” Should Remind us That Militant Feminism is Toxic
» College Group Bans White People From Diversity ‘Happy Hour’
» Hospital Imprisoned Devoted Spiritual Author by Claiming Her Prayers Are a Sign of Mental Illness
» Perversion Compounded and Children Corrupted
» The Suicidal Left: Civilizations and Their Death Drives
 
General
» When Democracy and Multi-Culturalism Collide
 

19 Signs That the U.S. Consumer is Tapped Out

You can’t get blood out of a rock. Traditionally the United States has had a consumer-driven economy, but now years of declining incomes and rising debts are really starting to catch up with us. In order to have an economy that is dependent on consumer spending, you need to have a large middle class.

Unfortunately, the U.S. middle class is steadily shrinking, and unless that trend is reversed we are going to see massive economic changes in this country. For example, in poor neighborhoods all over America we are seeing bank branches, car dealerships and retail stores close down at an alarming rate. If you didn’t know better, you might be tempted to think that “Space Available” was the hottest new retailer in some areas of the nation. On the other hand, if you live in San Francisco, New York City or Washington D.C., things are pretty good for the moment. But as a whole, the condition of the U.S. consumer continues to decline. Incomes are going down, the cost of living is going up, and debts are skyrocketing. The following are 19 signs that the U.S. consumer is tapped out…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

China’s Big Four Banks See $70 Billion Vanish From Stocks

The world’s most-profitable banks have never been so unloved by stock investors.

China’s four-biggest lenders, which reported $126 billion of earnings in the 12 months through September, sank to the lowest valuations on record in Hong Kong trading yesterday. The MSCI China Financials Index dropped to an almost decade low versus the global industry benchmark while the market value of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s largest lender, fell below net assets for the first time on March 12.

The state-controlled banks known as China’s Big Four are getting squeezed by slower economic growth and rising bad debts just as policy makers open up the nation’s financial system to non-government competitors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Germany Calls Renzi Economic Plan ‘Ambitious’

Premier to meet Merkel in Berlin Monday

(ANSA) — Berlin, March 14 — The German government on Friday called Premier Matteo Renzi’s economic-reform agenda “ambitious” and said it would be discussed at Monday’s meeting in Berlin between him and Chancellor Angela Merkel. “But I don’t want to give away the content of what they’ll reveal right afterward,” said spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Renzi, the leader of the eurozone’s third-largest economy, won early praise from Merkel on the eve of winning confidence votes to become premier and replace Enrico Letta last month. Merkel, who heads Europe’s biggest economy, called Renzi to congratulate him and to “wish him every success in his policy of reform,” Seibert, said at the time. The phone call also came with the invitation to visit Berlin. This week Renzi unveiled a major package of tax cuts and investments to revive the weak Italian economy in its slowgoing recovery from its worst recession since World War II.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Global Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion as Governments Binge, BIS Says

The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Inflation at Lowest Since 2009, But ‘Trolley’ Twice as High

Index of most frequently bought goods at 1% in February

(ANSA) — Rome, March 13 — Italy’s annual inflation rate dropped to its lowest level since October 2009 last month when it fell to 0.5%, national statistics agency Istat said Thursday, confirming its preliminary estimate.

The annual inflation rate fell from 0.7% in January.

Istat added that prices actually fell 0.1% last month with respect to January.

However, the agency said the increase in the ‘trolley’ of most frequently bought goods, such as food and fuel, was twice as much as the annual inflation rate, at 1%.

Istat revised up its preliminary estimate for the trolley for February from 0.9%. The economic crisis has dampened price rises.

A two-year run of negative growth ended in the third quarter of last year, when GDP was flat with respect to the April-June period, and was followed by a 0.1% rise in the fourth quarter, but recovery is weak.

Indeed, Istat said Venice is witnessing deflation.

The lagoon city’s annual inflation rate was -0.5% in February.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Spain Hits Record 93.9% Debt-GDP Ratio in 2013

(ANSAmed) — ROMA, MARCH 14 — Spain’s public debt reached a new record in the fourth quarter of 2013, touching 960.64 billion euros, or 93.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP), marking a 0.6% increase compared to the previous quarter. The debt-to-GDP ratio is less than the 94.2% predicted by a government macroeconomic forecast, according to data released today by the Bank of Spain. The debt to GDP ratio climbed 8.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Since the beginning of the financial crisis, Spain’s debt to GDP ratio has gone from 40% of the GDP in 2008 to 93.9% in 2013.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

This is the Reality of it: “We Are Factually in a Recession. Period.”

You’ll often hear the media cite the U.S. Growth Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of economic growth. It measures the rate at which our economy grows.

In 2013, for example, our GDP was $17.08 trillion, up from the previous year’s $16.42 trillion. So, all of the goods and services sold throughout the United States (essentially, all of the money spent by Americans) rose about $661 billion dollars year-over-year.

Most people might look at the number, see 4% growth, and say it’s a no-brainer. How can the economy not be growing if the GDP rose?

The answer is simple. And when you look at it from the perspective Karl Denninger of the Market Ticker outlines below, you can’t help but realize that you’ve been purposely duped into believing that things are getting better. Just the opposite is true.

When looking at GDP you absolutely must account for the manufactured credit infused into the system during this same time period. When you do you’ll see just why the economy is not growing in any way, shape or form.

It is, in fact, contracting.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Yet Another Trader Suicide Rocks Financial World

At least nine sudden deaths within last 7 weeks

The financial world has been rocked by the news of yet another suicide after 47-year-old Manhattan trader Edmund Reilly jumped in front of a Long Island Rail Road commuter train on Tuesday morning.

“Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, jumped in front of an LIRR train at 6 a.m. near the Syosset train station. He was declared dead at the scene,” reports the New York Post.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Americans Sick and Tired of Wars for the Global Elite

A poll released earlier this week reveals Americans are following the advice of George Washington and Ron Paul that the United States should mind its own business and avoid getting involved in the Ukraine crisis.

“The poll reflects a war-weary American public that is still very reticent to get involved in international conflicts,” reports The Washington Post. “The American people were similarly opposed to military intervention in Syria last year, despite President Obama calling for the use of force and seeking congressional approval for action.”

56 percent of respondents to a Pew Research poll said the United States government and military should “not get too involved in the situation,” while 8 percent said the U.S. should consider “military options.” 29 percent said the Obama administration needs to take a “firm stand” against Russia’s supposed incursion into Ukraine.

On Wednesday it was reported Ukraine had conducted a surveillance flight over its border with Russia under the 1992 Open Skies treaty. The flight confirmed Russia has not amassed its military on the border. The coup government in Kyiv claims Russia moved 220,000 troops, 1,800 tanks and 400 helicopters on its eastern border.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Anti-Freedom Physicians, Policemen, And Pastors

Unfortunately, a vast number of people who are charged with protecting our liberties are often the ones who are engaged in trying to take those liberties away. And the right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as one of the most important (if not THE most important) liberties deserving protection. Without the people’s right to keep and bear arms, all of the rest of the laws protecting our liberties are only words on a piece of paper. It is the armed citizenry that protects every liberty we cherish…

According to several published reports, only about 15% of the gun owners in Connecticut have complied with the State’s new law requiring them to either relinquish or register (for future confiscation) their semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines. So, what will the State of Connecticut do now? To not comply with the new State law is a felony. Will the State of Connecticut seek to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of its citizens for failure to comply with the new gun ban? I would dare say that, if this happened, fellow citizens from all over America would descend on Connecticut to defend their fellow gun owners in a way not dissimilar from the gathering at the Concord Bridge in Massachusetts back in 1775. Does the State of Connecticut really want to start another American Revolution? We’ll see.

Obviously, the majority of lawmakers in the State of Connecticut have abandoned their oath to the Constitution and have become the instrument of those forces that would take away the people’s liberties. The same could be said for lawmakers in states such as Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and California.

But it is not only lawmakers who are guilty of breaking their oaths to the Constitution and who are working against the people’s right to keep and bear arms. It is an absolute fact that the vast majority of the mainstream media is vehemently anti-gun. The bias of the national media on this subject is documented beyond question. From sportscasters such as Bob Costas to talking heads such as Joe Scarborough to the vast majority of newscasters, commentators, editors, and pundits at CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, ad infinitum, the barrage of attacks against the Second Amendment is ubiquitous.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Black & Hispanic Pass Rates Drop in Elite High School Exams

More black and Hispanic students took the entrance exam to get into the city’s elite high schools this year, but their pass rates were as dismal as ever, officials said Tuesday. Of the 5,096 students accepted by eight specialized schools, just 5 percent were black and 7 percent were Hispanic. Nationally recognized Staten Island Tech won’t have a single black student among its incoming class of 344 freshmen. Last year, it had five.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Bronx Pharmacy Busted in $10m HIV Drug Buyback Scam

The owners of a Bronx pharmacy bilked the federal government out of nearly $10?million in the past year — by preying on cash-strapped Medicaid patients with HIV, convincing them to sell back their lifesaving drugs, officials said Tuesday.

The suspects then splurged on pricey goodies for themselves such as a Maserati, two BMWs and a Mercedes-Benz, authorities said.

“These defendants abused the fundamental trust between health-care providers and patients by putting their own greed above the health needs of the patients,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a written statement.

“This blatant theft and abuse of one of our state’s most important health-care programs is reprehensible and will not be tolerated.”

The owners and a pharmacist at 184th Street Pharmacy in University Heights recruited HIV-stricken patients by offering them $20 to $200 a pop for their anti-retroviral medication, officials said.

The pharmacy allegedly billed Uncle Sam for thousands of dollars for the same drugs.

The $9.8 million fraud began March 1, 2013, and involved at least eight illegal drug buybacks between October and February, officials said.

The fraudsters funneled money through a Citibank account to a slew of sham medical companies, authorities alleged.

The scam appears to have unraveled amid complaints to the government agencies.

Busted on felony charges Tuesday were store owners Ahmed Hamed, 37, of Bayside, Queens, and Tarek Elsayed, 48, of Elmhurst, Queens, as well as supervising pharmacist Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, 36, of Elmhurst.

All were charged with grand larceny and scheming to defraud the government. The two owners also were charged with money-laundering.

The owners could face up to 18 years if convicted on all charges. Ahmed could get up to seven years…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]
 

De Blasio’s War on Minority Education

The Democratic political machine versus the students

De Blasio, who promised to close some charter schools during his election campaign, made good on that pledge in February, when he closed three charter schools run by fellow Democrat, but arch-nemesis, Eva Moskowitz. Moskowitz’s crime? The 6,700 students at her 22 Success Academy Charter Schools scored in the top 1 percent in math and top 7 percent in English on the most recent state test. These are students who come overwhelmingly from poor, minority families, who overcame the achievement gap progressives regularly bemoan. Even “worse,” four in five charters in the Big Apple outperformed comparable schools, posing a dire threat to the aforementioned status quo of dismal results. Dismal results that would be held up as a national disgrace were it not for campaign contributions provided to Democratic politicians who continue to con New Yorkers and other Americans with promises of “reform” that never happen.

De Blasio didn’t stop with Moskowitz. Since becoming Mayor, he cut off funding for all charter school construction that was to occur after 2015, and announced a “moratorium” on co-locating charters in existing schools. He is also looking for a way to roll back 25 of those co-locations that were already approved for next year. Ten of them involve Success Academies. He did all of this despite the reality that there is a waiting list of 50,000 New Yorkers determined to get their kids in charter schools. A lottery process that literally determines the city’s educational winners and losers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Genetic Data Suggests Convergent Evolution for Milk Digestion

An international team of scientists led by Alessia Ranciaro and Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania has investigated the genetic origins of lactose tolerance in geographically diverse populations of Africans in Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan.

The research team found that the geographic patterns in which a genetic variant for milk digestion were present often correlated with historic human migrations and the spread of domestic cattle, camels, and sheep. “Our results are showing different mutations arising in different places that are under selection and rising to high frequencies and then reintroduced by migration to new areas and new populations,” Tishkoff told Science Daily.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Gun Parts Manufacturer Files Restraining Order Against ATF, Avoids Raid

For almost two years, the ATF has asked Ares Armor to turn over its customer list, but the company’s owner, Dimitrios Karras, has thus far respected the privacy of his clientele and refused to comply.

“They said either give us these 5,000 names or we’re coming in and we’re pretty much taking everything, which is a huge, huge privacy concern and something we are not willing to do,” Karras told KSWB.

The temporary injunction comes on the heels of last week’s ATF raid on EP Armory, which Karras says was carried out on spurious grounds…

He explains the events that led to the legal action in a recent post on the Ares Armor site:

During a meeting with the BATFE around the end of 2012 that was unrelated to EP Armory’s product, the Agent that was present very strongly requested that I turn over Ares Armor’s customer list. He intimidated me with the possibility of criminal charges if he was not satisfied. This was the first attempt the BATFE made to intimidate Ares Armor into turning over private customer information.

“I have been unjustly threatened with raids and criminal charges in an attempt by the BATFE to obtain information that is private and protected,” Karras stated in his filed declaration. “The BATFE has expressed interest in obtaining Ares Armor’s customer list in the past and is now attempting to strong-arm us with undue threats based on information they know to be incorrect.”

“The government invades our privacy on a daily basis and everyone seems to think that it’s OK,” Karras said to KSWB, adding he hopes “the judicial system will come in and say, ‘You know this is private information, it’s protected, and no you’re not taking it from them.’“

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

High School Student Suspended for NRA T-Shirt

A high school student in Grand Island, N.Y. received a one day in-school suspension this week after refusing to turn his National Rifle Association t-shirt inside out.

Shane Kinney, a 16-year-old sophomore at Grand Island High School, was confronted Tuesday after a teacher claimed his shirt was an “inappropriate” violation of the school’s dress code.

According to Kinney, who is an NRA member along with his parents, fellow students have done nothing but compliment him on the shirt.

“They haven’t said anything bad about it, although they don’t hunt,” Kinney told WBEN Radio. “The only people giving me trouble were teachers.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Islam and the Rest of Us

by Mark Steyn

A couple of days ago, you’ll recall, we featured current controversies over a metal cross retrieved from the rubble at Ground Zero, and a roadside cross marking a fatal accident in Lake Elsinore, California. American Atheists and the American Humanist Association are suing over both outrageous provocations.

On the other hand, as far as I’m aware, American atheists and humanists have no plans to bring any separation-of-church-and-state suits against the City of Minneapolis, for its observance at City Hall last month of “Hijab Day”. Female members of the city council wore the hijab, as did the Chief of Police, Janeé Harteau, a lesbian who recently married her “favorite sergeant”, Holly Keegel. I have no idea what Sgt Keegel wore for Hijab Day. Maybe she went as the Grand Mufti.

Hijab Day grows a little bigger around the world each year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Just a Coincidence or Something Far More Sinister

Since Obama has assumed his tyrannical throne there has been attempt after attempt to get American’s guns and ammo supply. He has tried every predictable dictatorship scheme always hiding behind the usual diversion lights. This includes, ‘protection of schools and children’ ‘evil assault weapons’ ‘practical need to register all the guns’ ‘International control and supervision to stop terrorism here and abroad.’

Obama has pushed the UN Treaty route but couldn’t get the votes in the Senate to support control of gun rights out of the UN. John Kerry even signed the UN arms treaty back on Sept 25, 2013. Thankfully the Senate was more concerned about getting re-elected and wouldn’t sign on…

One of the huge victories for Obama and his gun control goals is peppered all through Obamacare. He has targetted our vets and their second amendment rights by redefining mental illness and danger to self and others. Their guns are being stolen from them all over the place. Thank you for your service to our country…not!

Obama must have the people unarmed. Our vets are just one targetted group because they are patriotic and have a mind of their own — naughty.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Michelle Obama Throwing Food Onto Global Warming List

Who ever controls the food and water supply controls the entire population

Making the food supply subject to Global Warming through new dietary guidelines to be mandated by Congress is the latest move for control by the Obama regime. It is going down tomorrow at a closed-door meeting.

Without the loud warning bells rung by the Washington Examiner, it would appear as if the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments were only behind closed doors to update new food guidelines for publication next year.

According to their coming whitewash, food leaves as huge a carbon footprint as the cars and aircraft transporting officials to United Nations global warming get togethers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

NASA Aims to Go to Europa on the Cheap

NASA was looking to spend less than $1 billion total on a Europa mission. That would put the spacecraft in a class of missions called “New Frontiers,” a less expensive category than its bigger “Flagship missions.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

New Robot Fish Swims Like the Real Thing

Robot fish could one day be enlisted for undercover science missions. A soft-bodied robot that looks and swims like a fish was unveiled by researchers at MIT this week; they say something like it might be able to infiltrate schools of real fish and gather data about their behavior.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

NSA Pretends to be Facebook to Spy on the World

The latest Snowden leaks on the NSA reveal that the spy agency is masquerading as Facebook in order to infect millions of computers around the world with malware as part of its mass surveillance program.

Glenn Greenwald reported the latest information today, noting that the practice has been in operation for over ten years with the help of British and Japanese intelligence.

The NSA, according to the leaks, has been distributing malware “implants” which can siphon out data from computers around the globe. The agency reportedly used a fake Facebook server as a launching pad to grab information from hard drives. The malware has also been designed to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Threatens to Veto Bill That Would Require Administration to Enforce Laws

President Barack Obama would veto a GOP-drafted bill that would allow legislators to take agency officials to court if they don’t enforce laws, according to a White House statement.

The GOP is pushing the bill through the House because Obama has repeatedly declined to enforce laws he doesn’t like, say GOP legislators.

[Comment: Congress has the power to punish those violating Constitution. Why is it not not using this power?]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Oklahoma Man Loses Insurance Due to ObamaCare, Owes $100k in Bills

An Oklahoma man is facing over $100,000 in hospital bills because he lost his health insurance plan due to Obamacare.

Lenny Hubbs, a “healthy man,” as his wife describes him, is a self-employed contractor who was previously on his wife’s health insurance plan. Her employer announced that his employees would no longer be allowed to pay for their spouses’ premiums.

They could not afford to purchase health insurance. Lenny’s wife told KXII-TX that “good” health insurance would have cost them $500 a month. They do not qualify for Medicaid.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Planned Parenthood to Host Over 500 Events in 18 Cities to Push ObamaCare

Last year, President Obama said, “God bless Planned Parenthood,” a statement the abortion industry giant may be hoping to hear again as it ratchets up support for Obama’s signature legislation, ObamaCare, by hosting more than 500 events in 18 cities around the country, assisting the administration in meeting its goal of six million HealthCare.gov sign-ups by March 31.

According to a Monday press release, Planned Parenthood officials will stake out in grocery stores and indoor soccer fields to enroll people in ObamaCare. In addition, 500 canvassers will go door-to-door to sign up Americans in their homes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Rabbi Hausman Defends Florida ALAC Against Misinformation of ADL

During the 2013 Florida Legislature session, Jewish Defense group, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Civil Liberties Union declared that Florida version of American Law for American Courts legislature regarding acceptance of foreign law in certain cases did not recognize Israeli divorces granted Florida residents by Jewish Rabbinic Courts. Alone among rabbis who contested these arguments was Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, BA, MA and JD, spiritual leader of Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts.. Rabbi Hausman, who holds Orthodox Simcha (Ordination) is conversant in Hebrew and applicable Jewish Law, Halacha. Further because of additional education at the American University in Cairo, he is conversant in Arabic and Islamic Shariah law. His comments on this issue raised by Jewish defense groups were contained in letters to Florida Legislators and in articles published in both the New English Review and its blog, The Iconoclast. In 2014, the Florida version of American Law for American Courts legislation was re-introduced as Senate Bill 0386 and House Bill 903. In this video interview with Rabbi Hausman addresses:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]
 

Rep. Issa Slams Lois Lerner in IRS Targeting Probe Report

Rep. Darrell Issa issued a report Tuesday slamming Lois Lerner for her role in the IRS’ campaign to target conservative groups for heightened scrutiny, saying the former IRS official “led efforts to scrutinize conservative groups while working to maintain a veneer of objective enforcement.”

In the 141-page report, the California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also accused her of obstructing the committee’s investigation and misleading Congress, The Washington Post reports.

The panel is currently considering whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about the IRS’ screening methods, after she pleaded the Fifth Amendment for a second time last week.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Report: U.S. Electric Grid ‘Inherently Vulnerable’ To Sabotage

Electric grid compounds across the country have faced an uptick in unauthorized intrusions by unknown individuals, causing concern that the U.S. grid is “inherently vulnerable” to widespread sabotage, according to a recent oversight report issued by New Jersey’s Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC), which monitors the threat level.

Following at least eight “reports of intrusions at electrical grid facilities in New Jersey” from October 2013 until January 2014, the ROIC’s Intelligence & Analysis Threat Unit issued a report warning that the U.S. electrical grid is “inherently vulnerable” to attacks that could wipe out power across large swaths of the country.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Safety is Lacking at Metro-North, U.S. Review Finds

The Metro-North Railroad has fallen prey to a “deficient safety culture” that prizes on-time performance at the expense of protecting riders and workers, according to a blistering federal review that was ordered after a spate of rail disasters.

A review from the Federal Railroad Administration found that the commuter railroad’s operations control center pressured workers “to rush when responding to signal failures,” and that workers struggled to secure the track time needed to perform essential repairs.

The inquiry, known as Operation Deep Dive, was prompted by the fatal derailment on Dec. 1 of a Hudson line train in the Bronx; it killed four passengers and injured more than 70 others. But the scope of the analysis was far-reaching — no passenger railroad has ever been the subject of such an investigation of its safety culture — and its conclusions were withering for a system that was, less than a year ago, considered one of the nation’s most dependable.

[Return to headlines]
 

Some Thoughts on the Article V Issue

First, what is the real issue here? What is the real reason why we have to even consider trying to redefine what the Founders meant our government to be? After all, it’s all in the Constitution already. Article V advocates, and Conservative movement in general, will readily tell you that the real issue is that our government, from the White House, to Congress, to the Supreme Court, are failing or refusing to follow Constitutional Law. They ignore it. So, say Article V proponents, that’s why we must amend the Constitution to assure our freedoms are guaranteed.

But, here is my real question for Article V advocates: If government today refuses to follow the Constitution, what will change once it is amended with the Articles of Freedom? What motivation will suddenly drive the Obamas and Pelosis to say “oh, the Constitution is the law of the land and we must follow it?” Especially when they oppose those freedom amendments for the same reasons they today ignore the entire Constitution. The Progressives who are in charge simply do not believe in balanced budgets, gun rights, and control of our borders. In addition, they really don’t care what a majority of Americans want, either. So an argument that the passage of the amendments will confirm that Americans want such a government cuts no ice with them.

Frankly, I believe that if we don’t change the atmosphere and mind set in the nation to one that supports the ideas behind our Constitution (free markets, individual liberty, limited government, and private property rights), then all the amendments in the world aren’t going to change the drive toward more and more government. The place to start that effort is by working to take back control of our local school systems, out of the clutches of the Federal Department of Education. Then, if we do first succeed in changing the mind-set of the nation to accept our ideas, a convention won’t be needed, We will have the necessary support around the nation to elect the right kind or representatives to restore Constitutional law through their legislative action. That, I believe, is the real task that lies ahead of us. There is no short cut or silver bullet around it.

[Comment: Highly recommended article.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The Language Trap Set for Gun Owners

None of our sporting or hunting firearms are “weapons.”

This is a common “language error” that so many people innocently make. It is part of the brainwashing that has been happening for years. A gun is NOT A WEAPON unless it is used offensively or in a rare case, defensively. That is something Dave Tomlinson (Former President of the National Firearms Association — may he Rest in Peace) and I tried to impress upon our people way back in 1979 when C-51 came into being and the media started to use the offensive word “weapons” when referring to sports shooters, hunters, collectors and other lawful uses of firearms. “We must control weapons” was and is the mantra. We tried to educate people to use the term “firearms” but the crooked politicians and mealy mouths in the media knew then what they wanted to accomplish, and inundated us with “weapon” as the term for a useful and recreational tool called a “gun.”…

At the age of 11, an RCMP corporal stopped to talk to me as I was carrying my little .22 rifle along the road looking for a rabbit or grouse for supper. We had a very friendly and amiable talk and ended up target shooting together. Then he drove me home and had lunch with my folks and me. He left a friend and earned a tremendous respect from a young boy and his folks.

He also left with a back seat full of vegetables and raspberries from our garden and became a long time friend. Try to imagine this happening today. Not only would the young boy and his parents be in grave trouble, but the honest and sensible officer would be prosecuted and likely lose his job or worse. THAT is the final “victory” and most tragic aspect of the horror called the C-68 Firearms Act, now affectionately referred to as “Statutes Canada 1995 chapter 39.” A permanent and monstrous wedge has been driven between honest firearms owners and the police.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The President’s Grab for Dictatorial Power

The United States is at “a constitutional tipping point” and “in the midst of a constitutional crisis.” Has President Barack Obama unilaterally overturned the constitutional framework of three branches that is the basis of our unique and successful system of self-government?

That question is not just partisan bickering by Republicans and Tea Party activists. It was spoken in all seriousness in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee by a distinguished constitutional law professor who voted for Barack Obama.

Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University said that the “massive gravitational shift of authority to the executive branch” is unconstitutional and threatens the stability of our separation of powers and checks and balances. We can point to a few moves in that direction under previous presidents, but the current shift of power is proceeding at “an alarming rate” while (and just as ominous) the other branches (Congress and the courts) are “mute and passive” in the face of Obama’s unprecedented expansion of executive-branch power…

Our Constitution gives the power to go to war exclusively to Congress, but Obama thinks he can make a “unilateral commitment of our country to war.” Turley explained that Obama “funded an entire military campaign [in Libya] by shifting billions in money and equipment without asking Congress for a dollar.” He just transferred the money from another account, boasting that “he alone would define what is a war.”

[Comment: Read it all. Professor Turley lays out all the Constitutional violations.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

US Prosecutors Re-Indict Indian Diplomat in Visa Fraud Case

An Indian diplomat who was at the center of a diplomatic spat between India and the United States has been re-indicted on visa fraud charges. A previous indictment was lifted for reasons of diplomatic immunity.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Multiculturalism: What Happened to Responsibility?

by Christine Williams

Multiculturalism is engrained in the Canadian constitution—as well as in the constitutions of many European nations. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act states that all are equal under the law regardless of their race, national or ethnic origin, color, or religion. Canada was the first country in the world to legislate national multiculturalism…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Revealed: Reservoir Hidden Beneath Earth’s Crust Holds as Much Water as All of the Oceans

Scientists have discovered a vast reservoir of water under the Earth’s mantle they say could be larger than all the ocean’s combined.

Canadian researchers say analysis of a rare mineral points to the huge store of water deep in Earth’s mantle, 400-600 kilometres (250-375 miles) beneath our feet.

It echoes the hundred and fifty year old novel, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, in which French science-fiction forerunner Jules Verne pictured a vast sea that lay deep under our planet’s surface.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Who’s on Top in Canada?

In our Declaration of Independence, rights are God-given and inalienable. In our Constitution, they are enumerated in the Bill of Rights. But libs and progs have discovered a lot of new “rights” since those documents were written.

Our sister country, Canada, has neither document. What Canada has is a vague Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a government that has taken it upon itself to “balance” one group’s rights against another’s. Or, as Julius Caesar’s assassins put it, to make some groups well, they must make others sick.

So was born Canada’s “human rights” industry. A marriage of utopian thinking and cockamamie legislation begat Canada’s “human rights” commissions and tribunals.

In practice, Canada’s “human rights” laws have stratified her citizens, with white Christians at the bottom of the heap. At the very top are homosexuals and Muslims, who have a “right” never to be offended, or made “uncomfortable,” or to have their feelings hurt by anything a Christian says, writes, or does.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Aga Khan, Spiritual Leader to Muslims, Divorces German Princess After Years in Court

The Aga Khan, spiritual leader to millions of Muslims, has finalized his divorce from a German princess after years of legal dispute. Lawyers for the Aga Khan and his ex-wife, Gabriele Renate Inaara Zu Leiningen, released a statement Friday saying their marriage “ends by consent” after the Paris Court of Appeals approved a divorce settlement.

French media have reported that the Aga Khan was initially ordered to pay 12 million euros ($16.7 million) in divorce proceedings, but a higher court upped that to 60 million euros.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, a billionaire philanthropist and magnate, is leader of Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Berlusconi Plans to Run in European Elections, Advisor Says

‘Violation to democracy’ if convicted ex-premier stopped

(ANSA) — Three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi is planning to run in European elections in May despite a ban from holding office after a binding conviction for tax fraud last year, his political advisor Giovanni Toti said Friday. “Berlusconi has led (the center-right) Forza Italia (FI) party in every election. I assert he will do that again this time,” said Toti told Italian daily La Stampa. The ex-premier is ineligible to stand in elections after the the tax-fraud conviction, which he says is part of a two-decade-long campaign of persecution by left-wing elements in the judiciary who want to eliminate him from the political arena.

Berlusconi has said he was hopeful the tax-fraud verdict will be overturned and he will be able to top FI’s lists of candidates in every Italian region at the European elections.

The billionaire is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights and seeking to have the tax-fraud case reopened in Brescia.

Earlier this year a Milan court refused to grant him permission to leave Italy for the congress of the European People’s Party (EPP), of which his FI party is a member, since having his passport confiscated after the tax-fraud conviction.

The three-time premier, who faces several other legal tangles, was also denied a request to leave Italy for a meeting of the EPP in Brussels in December.

Toti said if Berlusconi is denied the opportunity to run in European elections in May, “it would be the umpteenth violation to democracy”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

British Muslim Couple Jailed for ‘Offensive in the Extreme’ YouTube Videos That Glorified Murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby

A Muslim couple were jailed today for glorifying the murder of Lee Rigby in videos posted on YouTube.

Rebekah Dawson, 22, and her husband Royal Barnes, 23, recorded and uploaded three videos shortly after the murder in Woolwich, south east London, last May.

Barnes was jailed for five years and four months at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty last month to three counts of disseminating a terrorist publication and one of inciting murder.

His wife, who insisted on wearing her veil in court, admitted charges of disseminating a terrorist publication and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

France: Aga Khan Divorces German Princess After Dispute

PARIS (AP) — The Aga Khan, spiritual leader to millions of Muslims, has finalized his divorce from a German princess after years of legal dispute.

Lawyers for the Aga Khan and his ex-wife, Gabriele Renate Inaara Zu Leiningen, released a statement Friday saying their marriage “ends by consent” after the Paris Court of Appeals approved a divorce settlement…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Germany: Man Accused of Plotting Bonn Station Bombing

A 26-year-old man has been charged with planting a pipe bomb at the main railway station in the former Germany capital of Bonn in 2012, prosecutors have announced. The bomb’s poor construction meant it never detonated.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Greece: EU Elections: Pasok Alarm Over Slide in Opinion Poll

As new party ‘The River’ makes a strong debut

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MARCH 7 — Alarm bells were ringing in the Socialist party Pasok camp on Thursday after a new opinion poll indicated that support for the Socialists ahead of May’s European Parliament elections is running at less than 4%.

According to sources quoted by daily Kathimerini, people close to Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos are advising him to adopt an open-minded approach to the naming of the party’s electoral candidates in a bid to maximize its appeal on May 25, when it will stand as part of an ‘Olive Tree’ alliance with smaller parties. Some of Venizelos’s aides have suggested that this should even involve the party leader approaching candidates that are loyal to former Pasok president George Papandreou. So far, Venizelos has found it difficult to convince candidates of any stature to stand in the May polls due to the party’s continuing dive in the polls.

A survey conducted by Alco on behalf of the NewsIt website indicated yesterday that just 3.8% of voters intend to back Pasok in May. The poll gave main opposition party Syriza a small lead over New Democracy, with the leftists garnering 20.9% against 20% for the conservatives. Neo-nazi Golden Dawn came in third with 6.9%. Surprisingly, the new party formed by journalist Stavros Theodorakis this week, ‘To Potami’ (The River), gathered 5.7% even though it does not have any candidates or concrete policies yet. The Alco survey indicated that much of the party’s support was drawn from the left and center-left. Nearly 13% of those who said they would vote for Potami previously supported Democratic Left, 8.1% Pasok and 7.7% Syriza.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Irish Bishops Urge Moderation for St Patrick’s Day

March 17 festival of patron saint of Ireland

(ANSA) — Rome, March 14 — The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has urged moderation in alcohol intake during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 17.

Drinking and driving should also be avoided, the bishops added in a post on their website.

Suggestions include refusing alcohol occasionally; avoid using alcohol as an emotional crutch; and consume alcohol only in moderation.

The bishops also urged parents to carefully watch that their children do not imbibe.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Generali Reports 1.9-Bn-Euro Net Profit in 2013

Results confirm insurance group is ‘on track’, says CEO

(ANSA) — Milan, March 13 — Insurance giant Generali closed the 2013 financial year with a net profit of 1.915 billion euros, the highest in the last six years, the Italian company said in a statement Thursday.

The group’s operating result rose by 5.3% to over 4.2 billion euros thanks largely to a new focus on its core business, the statement added. The company also saw a strong improvement in cash generation with net free surplus up 38% to 2.1 billion euros. In light of the 2013 results the board of directors will propose a dividend per share of 0.45 euros to be paid in May. “2013 has been a fundamental year for the turnaround of Generali and the results confirm that we are on track, or ahead, of the targets in our strategic plan,” Generali Group CEO Mario Greco said.

“In 2014 we estimate to improve the operating result and the net profit further,” he added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Grillo Likens Premier Renzi to Mussolini

‘Italy’s in for a new 20-year reign’

(ANSA) — Rome, March 13 — The head of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is once again likening Premier Matteo Renzi to Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. On his blog, the fulcrum of his Internet-based movement, Grillo posted a picture of a helmeted Duce next to renderings of a helmeted Renzi and three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi. While Berlusconi’s center-right Forza Italia party is in the opposition, the pair have been allies on an election reform, which they began working on even before Renzi came into office last month. Grillo, who has likened both politicians to Mussolini in the past, posted that Italy was in for “a new 20-year reign,” referring to when Mussolini came to power in 1922 and his downfall in 1943.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Cabinet Approves Measures Against Pharmaceutical Cartels

After suspected Novartis-Roche fraud case

(see related) (ANSA) — Rome, March 14 — The government on Friday approved a decree reintroducing illicit drug classifications which includes a measure to prevent pharmaceutical cartels following a suspected fraud involving Swiss pharmaceutical companies Roche and Novartis.

Rome prosecutors last week announced that Roche and Novartis are being probed for alleged market manipulation and fraud against Italy’s national health service in connection with a suspected collusion to hamper use of a cheap eye drug in favour of a more expensive one.

The decree approved on Friday “provides for legislation to sponsor the use of off-label medicines which are less expensive for the national healthcare system but equally effective from a therapeutic standpoint,” said Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin.

Meanwhile prosecutors announced Friday that the board and management of Roche and Novartis are under investigation in Rome for the alleged cartel promoting Novartis’s Lucentis over Roche’s Avastin. The Antitrust authority said last week it had fined the companies a record 180 million euros over the alleged cartel.

It said the companies’ actions had cost the Italian national health service over 45 million euros in 2012 alone and that future costs could potentially reach 600 million euros a year.

Novartis and Roche have both denied the allegations and said they would appeal to the administrative courts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Law Encouraging Renters to Rat on Landlords Thrown Out

Offered low rent if owners guilty of cheating taxman

(ANSA) — Rome, March 14 — The Constitutional Court on Friday overturned a law that encouraged renters to report landlords who were leasing houses and apartments without a contract. The law, which was introduced in 2011, allowed renters to stay in their home at a drastically reduced rate if it could be proved that the landlord was evading taxes by not offering tenants a proper lease. Renting without a contract is very common in Italy, allowing both renters and landlords to save money by dodging the taxman. But with that renters are given little legal recourse if the landlord does not provide suitable accommodations that would otherwise be stipulated in a lease.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: American Blackrock Becomes Unicredit’s Top Shareholder

U.S. investment house boosts stake in Italian bank to 5.2%

(ANSA) — Milan, March 14 — Blackrock, a US-based investment-management corporation, has increased its stake in Italy’s Unicredit to 5.2%, making it the bank’s top shareholder, market watchdog Consob said on Friday.

Investors in listed Italian companies need to notify Consob if their stake is over 5%.

The US giant has increased its holding in the bank from 4.9%, becoming its leading shareholder ahead of Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi-linked investment vehicle, and Russian-backed private equity firm Pamplona, both of which have a 5% stake.

Blackrock has also pulled ahead of Italian foundations including Cariverona, which has a 3.5% stake.

Blackrock has also recently increased to 5% its investments in another Italian bank, Unicredit’s rival Intesa San Paolo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Neo-Fascists to Welcome Greece’s Golden Dawn in Milan

Anti-Fascists sound alarm

(ANSA) — Milan, March 14 — A group of anti-Fascists were sounding the alarm Friday against a meeting of Italian neo-Fascists CasaPound to honor Greek neo-Fascist party Golden Dawn in a Milan hotel over the weekend. “Milan, which received a gold medal from the State for its role in fighting in the Resistance, is about to be scarred again,” said a statement from Rete Antifascista Milanese (Anti-Fascist Network Milan). “And no one is raising a voice of indignation or protest.

We can’t stand by and watch this sad spectacle. CasaPound, which has been linked to many armed and bloody confrontations with leftists and minorities in recent years, has unsuccessfully campaigned for seats in parliament in national elections.

Golden Dawn, its more successful counterpart in Greece with seats in parliament, will have two of its members at the meeting in Milan Saturday, devoted to “The Motives for the Greek People”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Netherlands: Autocratic Wilders Preaches Against ‘Undemocratic’ EU

Although he has never held a position in government, Geert Wilders is probably more famous in Europe than his Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Norway: Locals Launch Campaign to Block Utøya Memorial

People living near the island of Utøya have launched a campaign to block a memorial planned to the victims of far-right extremist Anders Brievik, arguing that the winning proposal amounts to a “rape of nature”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Norway: ‘Do Not Put My Daughter’s Name on Utøya Memorial’

The mother of a 14-year-old girl who was shot dead by far-right extremist Anders Breivik wants to stop her daughter’s name being used on the ‘Memory Wound’ memorial designed by Swedish artist Jonas Wahlberg.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Paris Pogrom: Jews, Leave France Before it is Too Late

Anti-Semitism lived in the French underground, in intellectual circles, until it connected with the masses. Then it became a public disease.

A pogrom took place in Paris during a week of dramatic anti-Semitic attacks. Two black men wielding a stun gun assaulted an Israeli man near a synagogue on Pavee Street in Marais, which once was the center of Jewish life in Paris. The man was knocked down by the gun. A few hours before that, teenagers hurled stones at a Jewish institution in Sarcelles and shouted “death to Jews”, while a Jewish school bus was pelted with stones…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Relentless Global Warming “Scientists” Continue Their Scams

Five years ago, emails between a group of the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia scientists and others who were generating computer models that “proved” global warming were revealed. It was quickly dubbed “climategate” for the way the emails demonstrated the manipulation of data claiming that global warming was real. They had good reason to be worried, given the natural cooling cycle the Earth has entered, but of even greater concern was the potential loss of enormous amounts of money they were receiving for their deception.

To date, not one of theirs and other computer models “proving” global warming have been accurate.

On Wednesday, March 10, The Wall Street Journal published an article, “Scientists Say Four New Gases Threaten the Ozone.” It reported on the latest effort of “scientists” at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia and it is no coincidence that the university was the center for the original IPCC data created to introduce and maintain the global warming hoax.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The Fall of Britain’s Far-Right Party

Back in June 2009, the far-right British National Party (BNP) was basking in the dubious glow of what appeared to be a significant electoral achievement.

Five years on from being the most “most successful party in the history of the extreme right in Britain”, is the BNP really “a serious contender for power”? Not exactly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

The Mystery of Mont Blanc’s Hidden Treasure

It’s a plot line that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tintin comic — a French mayor, an Alpine climber, a historian, a wealthy Jewish stone merchant from London, and their tenuous connections to a bag of lost jewels discovered on the peak of Mont Blanc.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Couple Jailed for Gloating About Lee Rigby’s Murder in Shocking Videos on YouTube

A BRITISH Muslim couple have been jailed after posting videos on YouTube saying it was “a brilliant day” when Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered

The two recorded and uploaded three videos in which they celebrated the death and laughed at those grieving for the fallen soldier. Royal Barnes, 23, and his wife, Rebekah Dawson, 22, pleaded guilty to three counts of disseminating a terrorist publication last month. Barnes has been sentenced to five years and four months in prison while his wife Rebekah Dawson was handed a 20-month sentence…

[JP note: See also here for more on Rebekah Dawson http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-25918460]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Former Guantanamo Bay Detainee Moazzam Begg Appears at Old Bailey on Terror Charges

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has appeared at the Old Bailey on terrorism charges relating to the civil war in Syria. Begg, 45, of Boden Road, Hall Green, appeared via videolink from Belmarsh prison in south east London wearing a dark jumper and trousers. He spoke only to confirm his name…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Law Society Publishes Practice Note on Sharia Wills and Inheritance Rules

The Law Society has published a practice note for solicitors to assist them in the use of Sharia law succession rules, in particular in will drafting, trust issues and disputes over estates.

This is the first time guidance has been published for solicitors to assist them with the intricacies of Sharia succession rules, which is the code of law derived from the Quran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed.

Clients in England and Wales can legally choose to bequeath their assets according to Sharia rules, providing the will is signed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Wills Act 1837.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Man Charged With Syria-Linked Terrorism Offences

A teacher will appear in court on Thursday charged with offences linked to terrorism

A science teacher has been charged with preparing to help others commit acts of terrorism in Syria. Jamshed Javeed, 29, who teaches at Sharples High School in Bolton, was charged with the intention of assisting others to commit acts of terrorism and engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention, Greater Manchester Police said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Martine Magnussen Murder: Scotland Yard Turns to Facebook to Launch Appeal

On the sixth anniversary of the rape and murder of Norwegian student Martine Magnussen Scotland Yard is using a Facebook appeal to “prick the conscience” of the suspect’s family

Scotland Yard has turned to Facebook in a bid to persuade the family of a man wanted for the rape and murder of a Norwegian student in London to hand him over to the British courts.

In what is being described as an unprecedented step by the Metropolitan Police, an ‘advert’ of Farouk Abdulhak — the only suspect in the murder of Martine Vik Magnussen — has been posted on Facebook to target social media users in his native Yemen…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Police Given More Time to Interview Terrorism Suspect

Counter-terrorism police have until Tuesday morning to interview a man arrested in Oxford on suspicion of supporting fighting in Syria. The 29-year-old man was arrested in Cowley on Tuesday morning this week and is being held in Manchester…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Three Teaching Staff Arrested on Possession of Extreme Porn Bailed

Three teaching staff arrested on suspicion of possession of extreme pornography have been bailed.

The men, aged 36, 37, and 32, were all arrested at their homes in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, West Midlands Police said. All three are employed as teachers or teaching staff at two Birmingham schools.

Officers from the force’s public protection unit had been questioning the men and they have now been bailed until early April. A police spokesman said: “One man is employed at Park View School and the other two men at Golden Hillock School in Birmingham…

[JP note: For more on the Park View Educational Trust see http://www.pvet.co.uk/ ]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Walls, Floors and Rocks: England and Its Swastikas

Swastika. The word is a potent one. For more than one billion Hindus it means “wellbeing” and good fortune. For others, the cross with arms bent at right angles will forever symbolise Nazism. Yet England is seemingly awash with swastikas. Why?

The word is derived from the Sanskrit “svastika” and means “good to be”. In Indo-European culture it was a mark made on people or objects to give them good luck. It has been around for thousands of years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

‘We Can’t Rule Out a Swedish Breivik’: MP

A high-profile Swedish MP said on Monday that “it couldn’t be ruled out” that a Swedish equivalent to Norwegian right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was behind attacks in Malmö at the weekend that left one man in a critical condition.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Algerian Forces Kill 7 Gunmen Crossing the Border From Tunisia

Algeria’s Interior Ministry says it killed seven militants attempting to sneak into the country in a four-wheel drive vehicle from Tunisia near the city of Tebessa.

Militants linked with al-Qaida are holed up just across the border in Tunisia’s Jebel Chaambi mountain and are believed to use the rough terrain to cross back and forth between the two countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Egypt: ‘Noah’ To Show in Cinemas Despite Religious Ban

Religious authority Al-Azhar opposed to representing prophets

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, MARCH 14 — The film “Noah” will be shown in Egypt despite the opposition of Al-Azhar, the main religious authority of Sunni Islam. The news was announced by the well-known Egyptian director Khaled Youssef, who chairs a committee that brings together all Egyptian directors, according to a report in the daily newspaper al-Ahram.

“The artists respect the role of Al-Azhar against extremism, but were surprised by its position on the film, which is the reason the committee has decided to show it in Egyptian cinemas, as scheduled, since this film does not represent any offenses to any of the prophets,” added Youssef.

The committee then clarified that “a ban must come from the censorship committee; and extremism can be fought even through intellectual freedom and freedom of expression”.

A few days ago Al-Azhar reiterated a ban against figures representing the prophets, saying it is “an offense against the prophets themselves and the principles of Sharia (Islamic law), and constitute a provocation toward worshippers”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Israelis Stopped From Entering Tunisia From Cruise Ship Lacked Visas, Says Minister

Tunisia’s tourism minister says the prevention of 14 Israeli tourists from entering the country was a procedural problem and shouldn’t detract from the North African nation’s openness to visitors.

On Sunday, Tunisian authorities prevented the Israelis from leaving a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, citing their lack of visas. The company said it would cancel future stops in Tunisia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Jihadist Cell Dismantled Between Spain and Morocco

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MARCH 14 — Seven people belonging to a cell that sent jihadists to the war in Syria and in other conflict zones were arrested in Melilla, Malaga and Morocco by agents of the general intelligence commissioner of the Spanish police and Moroccan security services.

The news came from interior ministry sources.

Three of the arrests were conducted in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco, one in Malaga and three in Moroccan territory. A number of the members of the cell, said to be “the most important one tasked with sending fighters,” had been members of terrorist organizations linked to al-Qaeda.

Spain continues to be a non-active base for Islamic fundamentalists, according to police reports cited by the media. From the end of 2013, at least 30 fighters are reported to have left the peninsula to go fight in the Syrian war.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Libya Weapons Risk Landing in Terrorists’ Hands

UN panel says some of Libya’s arsenal of anti-aircraft weapons have been trafficked to Chad, Mali, Tunisia, Lebanon.

UNITED NATIONS — Libya’s anti-aircraft weapons have been trafficked to neighboring countries and risk landing in the hands of terrorists, a UN-commissioned report said on Thursday…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Libya: Armed Group Seizes 40 Egyptian Workers in the East

(ANSAmed) — IL CAIRO, MARCH 14 — An armed Libyan group today seized 40 Egyptians in the eastern region of Libya, Egyptian security forces said. The Egyptian authorities said they were alerted by the families of those kidnapped after the families had received telephone calls from their kin.

The families, originating in the governorate of Fayoum, appealed to Egyptian authorities and the foreign ministry to do everything possible to free the hostages.

The 40 Egyptians, who work in eastern Libya, were taken at dawn today by masked armed men and conducted to an unknown location.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Police in Spain and Morocco Break Up Alleged Terrorism Ring

Spanish and Moroccan security officials have arrested seven Islamist fundamentalists who were allegedly in charge of recruiting volunteers to fight in the conflicts in Syria, Mali and Libya, law enforcement authorities said Friday.

At least four people have been arrested in Spain; two in Melilla and one in Málaga. In Morocco, security forces detained three people near the city of Nador.

Authorities said that all the suspects are Moroccan nationals. Some of the youths had returned to Morocco after fighting in Syria, and were considered very dangerous.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

The Benghazi Difference

We the people and the serious business of cleaning house. Insisting on hearing the truth about Benghazi would be a good place to start

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Kabuki theater performance last year of faux outrage was one for the books, no doubt. On second thought… perhaps it was not phony outrage after all: how dare the Senate question her — her. The nerve.

In any event, not only did she dutifully provide the various media propaganda outlets with an emotive performance worthy of Hitler (“The indignation. And then, the tears in her eyes…”), but along the way she managed to plant not just one, but two, red herrings designed to mislead and misdirect: that is, the Benghazi attacks were the result of (1) protests, or (2) guys out for a walk.

Alas for Ms. Clinton, neither of her red herrings stands up to much scrutiny. Perhaps if they did it would indeed not make much of a difference which one caused the attacks in Benghazi on 9/11/12 — but the real reason(s) make a great deal of difference.

Would you say that an element within the US government aiding and abetting America’s enemies during a time of war makes a difference? I would, and essentially that is what we are dealing with here.

I am not referring to the arms shipments to the Syrian rebels that were funneled from Libya via Turkey and Lebanon (although that is, or rather should be, of great concern to Congress). What I am chiefly concerned with is the aborted prisoner swap of Ambassador Stevens for “Muslim Brotherhood” icon Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman (the “Blind Sheikh”) — currently serving a life sentence in the US for his role in the deadly 1993 WTC bombing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Tunisia Aims to Regain Control of Radicalised Mosques

Senior official says around 150 of Tunisia’s 5,100 mosques are outside state’s control, which have become incubators for radical Islamist ideology.

Tunisian authorities are seeking to regain control of certain mosques they say have become incubators for radical Islamist ideology, which has spread since the 2011 revolution…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Deceased War Hero Meir Har Tzion Praised: ‘From Bar Kochba Until Har Tzion No Warrior Came Close’

“Meir Har-Tzion, one of the greatest warriors in Israel’s history is gone… from Bar Kochba until Har-Tzion no warrior came close,” said Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett in an online eulogy of his “childhood hero,” who passed away at 80 on Friday…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

The Obama Peace Plan Includes Permanently Dividing the City of Jerusalem

Barack Obama’s “two state” peace plan would not just permanently divide the land of Israel. It would also permanently divide the city of Jerusalem. It is anticipated that the “Kerry Plan”, which is expected to be revealed to the public soon, will call for a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem without specifying the exact borders.

According to some media reports, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has approached Palestinian leadership with the idea of locating the Palestinian capital in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Of course the details of any peace agreement will change as negotiations progress, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear — the Palestinians will never accept an undivided Jerusalem and the U.S. government is going to pressure Israel to hand part of the holy city over to them. But if Israel gives in and accepts a “peace plan” that includes the permanent division of Jerusalem, it will end up being absolutely disastrous for Israel, for the Palestinians and for the United States…

Most people don’t realize this, but this has actually been in the works for a very long time. In another article, I detailed how Obama has been promising east Jerusalem to the Palestinians since at least 2009.

Obama is always careful with his words regarding Jerusalem in public speeches, but what happens in private appears to be another matter entirely.

And very few people know this, but Barack Obama’s brother is actually extremely anti-Israel. The following is from a recent article by Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack…

“While in Sanaa, Yemein in 2010, President Barack Obama’s brother Malik Obama was at an event billed as the Orphans Development Fund (ODF) Conference. It’s quite the ironic title considering a group photo Malik is in that he has posted to his website. In the photo, he can be seen wearing a Hamas scarf (keffiyeh) that bears a well-known Palestinian slogan — ‘Jerusalem is ours — WE ARE COMING!’ It also includes a map of Palestine that says, ‘From the River to the Sea!’ In other words, Malik is saying, THERE IS NO ISRAEL.”

Here is that photo…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Don’t Say You Weren’t Warned: Global Terrorism Set to Ignite

by Greg Sheridan

“At the beginning of the year 2001, no one could predict or imagine what was coming with the 9/11 attacks and everything that followed. American intelligence got some information, but no one really trusted that information. We could be in the same situation right now. Who can say what will happen after Syria? I fear we are in a pre-9/11 situation.”

This is a devastating wake-up call because it comes from a man, let’s call him Ali, who is one of the most senior figures associated with Indonesia’s security policies. I met him a couple of weeks ago, early one evening, in the acrid, smoke-filled cigar bar of one of Jakarta’s five-star hotels. His judgment, which he supports with dense data and close reasoning, is informed by decades of critical experience. It is a judgment made long before a Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared over the South China Sea on Saturday, in an incident which may or may not be terrorism…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Educating Conservatives About Modern ‘Shi’ite Quietists’

by Andrew Bostom

The conservative take on Iranian theology and motives is not exactly correct

The so-called “P5 +1” interim agreement with Iran was announced on November 24, 2013, amidst great fanfare, and giddy expectations of continued diplomatic success. Putatively, these negotiations were going to eliminate Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, and constrain the regime’s hegemonic aspirations, including its oft-repeated bellicose threats to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

Less than three months later, punctuated by cries of “down with the U.S.”—and “Death to Israel”—Iranians took to the streets en masse, February 11, 2014, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic putsch, which firmly re-established Iran’s legacy of centuries of Shiite theocracy, transiently interrupted by the 54-year reign (r. 1925-1979) of the 20th century Pahlavi Shahs.

Many alarming developments since the P5 +1 deal was announced epitomize the abject failure of a delusive and dangerous policymaking mindset I have dubbed, “The ‘Trusting Khomeini’ Syndrome,” in my new book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel. This “Syndrome” is named after infamous Princeton International Law Professor Richard Falk’s February 16, 1979 essay, “Trusting Khomeini,” dutifully published in the The New York Times. The parlous denial—born of willful doctrinal and historical negationism—evident in Falk’s February, 1979 essay, now shapes formal U.S. policy toward Iran, merely updated as “Trusting Khamenei,” Iran’s current “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini. I further maintain that the sine qua non of this crippling mindset—bowdlerization of Islam—currently dominates policymaking circles, running the gamut from Left to Right.

The late Islamologist Maxime Rodinson warned 40-years ago of a broad academic campaign—which has clearly infected policymakers across the politico-ideological spectrum—”to sanctify Islam and the contemporary ideologies of the Muslim world.” A pervasive phenomenon, Rodinson ruefully described the profundity of its deleterious consequences:…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]
 

Iraq: Bombs Kill at Least 8 People in Baghdad

Iraqi officials say a string of bombings has targeted marketplaces and a commercial area in the capital, Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding 26. Police officials say the deadliest attack took place inside a market in the Shula district in northwestern Baghdad where a bomb went off on Friday morning, killing five people and wounding 16…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Jordan: Police Clash With Protesters Near Israeli Embassy in Amman

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, MARCH 14 — Security forces on Friday barricaded in front of the Israeli embassy and beat some protesters with batons to prevent demonstrators from reaching the diplomatic compound during a protest against killing of a judge by an Israeli soldier.

Several activists were arrested by police forces, including brother of a former Jordanian soldier, Ahmed Daqamseh, who is serving life for killing Israeli nationals in 1997.

Hundreds of anti-riot police used military hardware to block roads leading to the embassy, as tension escalated after angry protesters attempted to reach the heavily fortified embassy.

Angry protesters carried a symbolic coffin of Jordanian national Raid Zueiter and lifted Jordan and Palestinian flags as they chanted against the peace treaty with Israel. They also called for release of former soldier Ahmed Daqamsah who is serving life for killing Israeli nationals in 1997.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Lebanon: Rafehi After Aide Held: We Won’t Hesitate to Wage Jihad if Yabrud People Urge

Tripoli-based Salafist leader Sheikh Salem al-Rafehi stressed Friday that the northern city’s Islamists will not hesitate to go to jihad, or holy war, in support of the regime-besieged Syrian town of Yabrud…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

More Than 900 Workers Have Already Died Building Qatar’s World Cup Facilities

In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. The host city has already made some waves with its stadium shaped like a certain body part. But what you might not know is that, so far, about 900 workers have died while working on building the infrastructure for the tournament.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Saeed Abedini, US Pastor Held in Iran, Denied Treatment After Prison Beating

An American pastor being held in one of Iran’s most brutal prisons is in serious danger, after initially being refused medical treatment following a beating at the hands of his jailers, supporters of Saeed Abedini said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Saudi Arabia Learns the Perils of Jihad

Islamic nations are again learning that the jihad is a volatile instrument of war that can easily backfire on those who preach it; that “holy war” is hardly limited to fighting and subjugating “infidels” — whether the West in general, Israel in particular, or the millions of non-Muslim minorities under Islam — but can also be used to fight “apostates,” that is, Muslims accused of not being Islamic enough…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Syria Conflict Anniversary: Who Controls What

There was a brief moment, when the hastily formed rebel army stormed Aleppo in 2012, that outside observers were predicting the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad.

But committed as they were to bringing about the fall of the regime, they were unsuccessful, and three years into the civil war Assad — with support from his allies in Russia and Iran — remains secure.

As many as 140,000 people have died and millions driven from their homes. Syria is now divided — with large swathes of the country under the control of an array of competing rebel groups.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

American Diplomats Scramble to Avert Russian Annexation of Crimea

American diplomats are warning Russia that it will face “very serious” consequences by Monday if the country does not stand down on Ukraine, as they scramble to prevent Moscow from annexing the disputed Crimea region.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in a last-ditch bid to convince Russia to cooperate, met in London on Friday morning with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He spoke briefly with Lavrov over the phone in advance of the meeting, and according to the State Department reiterated the administration’s concerns about the upcoming referendum on Sunday — when Crimea residents are set to vote on whether to join Russia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Buzz Words Hide Ukraine’s Meaning for US and EU

by Diana West

Reading as widely on Ukraine as possible, I kept wondering why the story wasn’t making sense. Then I realized the buzzwords used to tell the story weren’t adding up.

Here’s what we hear: Democracy in action drove a corrupt leader, whose snipers had fired on protesters in Kiev, to flee Ukraine. Enter Russian forces into Crimea, Ukraine. The “Free World” must now take its stand against the “Russian Bear” for freedom, sovereignty and rule of law, and reject the outcome of an “unconstitutional” referendum in which Russian-majority-Crimea is expected to vote to join Russia. Meanwhile, please inject billions of Western taxpayer dollars and euros into Ukraine.

Mute the rhetoric, though, and it’s hard not to notice that last month, a violent mob and rump parliament ousted the elected Ukrainian president in another “unconstitutional” process better known as a coup. It’s a coup even if Vladimir Putin calls it one, and even if Barack Obama calls it “standing up on behalf of democracy.”

In this way, “democracy,” too, becomes another buzzword. “Democracy,” good; “Putin,” maybe worse than Soviet-era dictators who came before him. (Romanian Communist defector Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa went so far as to write online at The Blaze: “Russia’s gradual conquest of Ukraine has become the most dangerous challenge to peace and stability in the world since the end of World War II.”) If “democracy” vs. “Putin” is a struggle of the buzzwords, what is it that Washington and Brussels, capital of the European Union, are really supporting in Ukraine?

To understand this — and I feel I’m still at the beginning — it’s important to see the players for who they are, not for who they are reputed to be…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]
 

China Warns West Not to Enforce Sanctions Against Russia

“Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences,” warns China’s envoy to Germany adding that “we don’t see any point in sanctions.” On the heels of Merkel’s warning that Russia risked “massive” political and economic damage if it did not change course, Reuters reports ambassador Shi Mingde urged patience saying “the door is still open” for diplomacy (though we suspect it is not) ahead of this weekend’s referendum. Russia’s Deputy Economy Minister Alexei Likhachev responded by promising “symmetrical” sanctions by Moscow. So now we have China joining the fray more aggressively.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

EU Undecided on Russia Sanctions Ahead of Crimea Vote

BRUSSELS — Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU has appealed for European unity ahead of Sunday’s (16 March) “referendum” in Crimea.

Kostyantin Yeliseyev told EUobserver on Friday that the only hope for a diplomatic solution to the crisis is if all 28 EU countries join together in putting pressure on Moscow to hold talks with Kiev.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

How the Truth is Made at Russia Today

RT, the global English-language news network funded by the Russian government, has come into the spotlight since the Russian invasion of Crimea, which the network has defended tooth-and-nail. The invasion has led to two high-profile rebellions within the ranks: first, an on-air condemnation of the invasion by RT America host Abby Martin, followed days later by the live resignation of another host, Liz Wahl.

The public shake-up and skewed coverage of Ukraine has pulled aside RT’s curtain, exposing the network’s propaganda apparatus, which relies on a number of Western reporters and producers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Kremlin Website Hit by “Powerful” Cyber Attack

(Reuters) — Hackers knocked out the Russian presidency’s website several times on Friday and brought down the central bank website, the Kremlin press service said.

“A powerful cyber attack is under way on the (Kremlin) site,” a Kremlin spokeswoman said, adding that the attack was continuing and security experts were trying to prevent further disruptions. She did not say who was believed to be behind the cyber attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Merkel: Comparing Crimea to Kosovo is ‘Shameful’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday (13 March) told the Bundestag it is “shameful” to compare the independence of Kosovo with the referendum for independence in Crimea and called on Russia to stop its actions in Ukraine or face economic sanctions.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Merkel Whores for Washington

Washington’s mismanaged Ukrainian coup has cost Washington Crimea, which Washington wanted most of all in order to deprive Russia of its warm water naval base on the Black Sea. In addition, the mismanaged overthrow of an elected government in Ukraine is threatening to also lose the Russian cities of eastern Ukraine. Like Crimea, eastern Ukraine consists of former Russian areas that Khrushchev stuck into Ukraine in the 1950s.

In what is clearly a fruitless and pointless effort to get Crimea back, Washington is demanding that Russia interfere in Crimea and prevent Crimea from seceding from Ukraine. If the Russian government refuses to follow Washington’s orders, Washington has announced that it will inflict “damaging sanctions” on Russia. Initially, EU countries expressed an unwillingness to go along with Washington, but with bribes and threats, Washington has conquered Merkel and has its European puppets lined up following orders.

Washington understands that economic sanctions are a far less threat to Russia than the loss of its Black Sea naval base. Washington also understands that Putin cannot possibly abandon the millions of Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine to the mercy of the anti-Russian and unelected government imposed by Washington in Kiev. As Washington knows that its threat of sanctions is empty, why did Washington make it?

The answer is in order to drive the crisis to war…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

No Ukraine Accord in US-Russia Talks

Russia and the US have “no common vision” on the crisis in Ukraine, Russia’s foreign minister has said, after talks with his US counterpart. However Sergei Lavrov called his London meeting with John Kerry “constructive”.

Mr Kerry said the US was “deeply concerned” about Russia sending troops to the Ukraine border and in Crimea.

Mr Lavrov said Moscow would respect the result of Sunday’s referendum in Crimea on whether to join Russia but Mr Kerry said the US would not recognise it.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Obama Regime’s Hypocrisy Sets New World Record

From the moment that Washington launched its orchestrated coup in Kiev, Washington has been accusing Russia of “intervening in Ukraine.” This propaganda ploy succeeded. The Western presstitute media reported (nonexistent) Russian intervention to the exclusion of coverage of Washington’s obvious intervention.

Having falsely accused Russia of invading Crimea, the Obama regime now demands that Russia interfere in Crimea and prevent the referendum set for next Sunday. Unless Russia uses force to prevent the people of Crimea from exercising their right of self-determination, John Kerry declared that the Obama regime will not discuss the Ukrainian situation with Russia.

So, Kerry has given Russia the green light to send in troops to prevent Crimean self-determination.

The presstitute Western media has not noticed that out of one corner of his mouth Kerry denounces Russia for intervening and out of the other corner of his mouth Kerry demands that Russia intervene in behalf of Washington’s interest and suppress Crimean self-determination.

What is the point of such an absurd demand on Russia?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Red Army Masses on Ukraine Border: 80,000 Troops and Missile Launchers Spark Invasion Fear

Ukraine warned last night that 80,000 Russian troops were massing on its borders and could invade — as world leaders told Vladimir Putin to back off.

A senior security chief in Kiev said Moscow could launch a full-scale invasion and Russian troops would be in the Ukrainian capital within ‘two or three hours’ of the order to advance.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Russia and West on Collision Course Over Ukraine as Talks Fail in London

The Ukraine crisis has entered a new and more dangerous phase after 11th-hour talks in London between the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, broke up without resolution.

The diplomatic failure sets Russia on a collision course with the west, with Moscow ordering further military deployments on Friday and a contentious referendum in Russian-dominated Crimea set to go ahead as planned on Sunday.

The referendum, which will almost certainly result in a vote in favour of breaking away from Ukraine and union with Russia, will trigger the imposition of sanctions by the west on Monday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Russia’s Stock Market is Tumbling Again

All eyes continue to be on Russia, Ukraine, and Crimea. The world awaits Sunday’s referendum in Crimea where voters will be ask whether they want to join.

Meanwhile, Russia’s MICEX index continues its slide, fall 2% today. At it’s lowest point today, it was down 5.2%. Year-to-date, it’s down 20.4%.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

The Scary Side of the Ukraine Troika

Pepe Escobar put me onto these pictures, both taken a few weeks before the new ruling troika’s accession to power in late February. Victoria Nuland in the first, Baroness Ashton in the other. Pretty clear from these formal portraits that a formal anointment by the US and the West was underway. The three are Yarsenyi Yatsenyuk, Vitali Klitschko, and Oleh Tyahnybok.

Tyahnybok, the one least familiar to Western readers — and for very good reason, as shall be seen — is the leader of the Svoboda Party and a real piece of work, according to his Wikipedia entry:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine: The New European Bipolarity

Russia and the EU are re-entering a state of bipolarity. How can the EU continue to provide peace and prosperity in the future?

The events which have occurred in Ukraine over the past few months pose several challenges to the European security architecture, to Euro-Atlantic relations, and to the role of the European Union as a regional security actor. More fundamentally, Russia’s actions as well as the response from the United States and the EU will determine the future of their bilateral relations and the balance of power — hard and soft — in Europe in the coming decades…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine: How to Hide a Nazi Army

Blanket denials have been made across the Western media regarding the presence of Neo-Nazis among the ranks of “Euromaidan” mobs that had rioted in Kiev for months before finally executing a coup, ousting the democratically elected government of Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych. A prime example of this was the Daily Beast’s article, “Putin’s Crimea Propaganda Machine,” which disingenuously twists reality by stating:

“…Putin needed a story to spin, no matter how full of holes, and thus the neo-Nazi claims. But as it turns out, Crimea’s streets are not exactly paved with extremists — a fact that has proven troublesome for Russian state TV channels looking to find token far-right bogeymen.”

And of course, Crimea’s streets are not full of Neo-Nazis, because the population of eastern Ukraine wholly rejects the abhorrent ideology of the “Euromaidan’s” Nazi vanguard, and backs Russian forces who have been permanently stationed there for years under treaty and as a consequence, have deterred any abusive incursions by the far-right into the region.

Still, the impression the Daily Beast would like to get across to readers is that the concept of Neo-Nazis leading the so-called “revolution” in Kiev, is absurd. In fact, the truth that Kiev’s Independence Square was full of Nazis, was right under the nose of the entire world — with a handful of Western journalists even admitting as much.

The impressive pictures broadcast by the Western media of mobs filling Independence Square featured scores of large flags waving in the crisp cold air of Kiev. Prominent among them were the blue and yellow banners of Svoboda, with a peculiar 3-fingered salute stamped on each one. The odd iconography, had the Western media investigated, is in fact a revised Nazi salute, a play on the Ukrainian coat of arms and German Neo-Nazi Michael Kühnen’s three-fingered salute. Before that, Svoboda used the more obvious “Wolfsangel,” popular among Neo-Nazis and a symbol used by the Waffen SS during World War II.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Watch Turkey in Crimea

by Diana West

If you thought that in Ukraine we finally had a global crisis sans Islam, think again. My first clue was hearing “Allah Akbars” on a Youtube of some anti-Russia protestors (not in news media). Then, a Ukrainian e-pal from Kiev wrote in, noting, “The Kirimli (Tatars) can ask for help Turks and other Muslim peoples. With Hisb-ut-Tahrir or Wahhabites. It could be a new ‘hot point.’ “

The Tatars of Crimea — at least the ones who have returned to Crimea in the aftermath of Stalin’s mass deportations of nearly 200,000 Tatars in 1944, which would kill nearly half of the population — are Muslim and speak Turkish.

According to Al Monitor, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutolgu recently met in Kiev with the former speaker of the Tatar National Assembly, Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu, and declared: “If the term is appropriate, we are in ‘mobilization’ to defend the rights of our kin in Crimea by doing whatever is necessary.”

If the unnamed sources in the following story out of Turkey are correct —big if — the term is more than appropriate.

From Turkish news site Aydinlik:…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]
 

West and Russia Still Differ on Crimea, Says Lavrov

Talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have failed to resolve differences over Crimea. But Lavrov said Russia is not planning an invasion.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

What Difference Does Crimea Make in the Face of Russia’s — and the West’s — Demograpic Death Spiral?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

European Man is an endangered species. European Man is dying out. By 2050, Russia, the fourth most populous nation in 1950, will be 15th, behind Egypt, and far behind Congo and Tanzania. The only Western nation in the top 14 will be the USA. But most Americans will then trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Since 1914, all the great European empires—British, French, German, Russian, Italian—have vanished. All the great armies and navies have melted away. All are being invaded and repopulated by African, Asian and Middle Eastern peoples they once ruled. And almost all of the native-born populations of Europe are aging and dying and passing away.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

India: Bomb Explodes Near Mosque, No Casualty

MADURAI: A low-intensity bomb exploded in front of a mosque at Nelpettai here on Friday. No casualty was reported, police said, adding a two wheeler parked there was damaged in the explosion…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

India: 80 Muslims Detained Near Mumbai; Activists Complain of Police High-Handedness

The Thane Police are inquiring into a complaint by activists that 80 Muslim men were rounded up by cops from Mumbra, a suburb of Mumbai, on Wednesday night and were “illegally” detained for three to four hours…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Investigators Reportedly Looking at Malaysian Jet Disappearance as ‘Act of Piracy’

The disappearance of a Malaysian jet may have been an “act of piracy,” and more evidence suggests the plane was diverted by a skilled pilot before it vanished, U.S. and Malaysian officials familiar with the investigation said Friday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Lost Malaysia Plane ‘May Have Flown on for Five Hours’

The missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have been flying for more than five hours after it disappeared, the BBC has learned.

On Friday, US surveillance teams were sent to the Indian Ocean, much further west than the initial searches.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

MH370 Search Widened to the Indian Ocean

Malaysian officials have officially expanded the search for missing flight MH370 to the Indian Ocean. However, officials declined to comment on US reports that the plane had flown on for hours after losing contact.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Nearly Two Dozen Killed in Attacks Across Pakistan Despite Talks

(Reuters) — Attacks in the volatile Pakistani cities of Peshawar and Quetta killed a total of 19 people on Friday, frustrating hopes of a lasting peace deal with insurgents fighting to topple the government.

In Peshawar, a sprawling city on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a police vehicle, killing at least nine bystanders including a woman and a child, police said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Pakistan Sexual Assault Teen Dies After Self-Immolation

A Pakistani teenager has died a day after setting herself on fire when police dropped charges against those accused of attempting to rape her. Officials said 18-year-old Amina Bibi self-immolated outside a police station in the district of Muzaffargarh. She had accused officers of failing to investigate properly claims that she was sexually assaulted by several men on the way to college in January.

Correspondents say rape cases are rarely prosecuted in Pakistan.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Sharp Changes in Altitude and Course After Jet Lost Contact, Radar Shows

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 experienced significant changes in altitude after it lost contact with ground control, and altered its course more than once as if still under the command of a pilot, American officials and others familiar with the investigation said Friday.

Radar signals recorded by the Malaysian military appear to show the missing airliner climbing to 45,000 feet, above the approved altitude limit for a Boeing 777-200, soon after it disappeared from civilian radar and made a sharp turn to the west, according to a preliminary assessment by a person familiar with the data.

The radar track, which the Malaysian government has not released but says it has provided to the United States and China, then shows the plane descending unevenly to an altitude of 23,000 feet, below normal cruising levels, as it approached the densely populated island of Penang, one of the country’s largest. There, the plane turned from a southwest-bound course, climbed to a higher altitude and flew northwest over the Strait of Malacca toward the Indian Ocean.

The data, while incomplete and difficult to interpret, could still provide critical new clues as investigators try to determine what transpired on Flight 370, which disappeared early last Saturday carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

[Return to headlines]
 

Stay in Afghanistan: US General’s Plea Echoes in Empty Galleries

WASHINGTON: A US general’s appeal for maintaining military engagement in Afghanistan echoed in empty galleries as the Senate Armed Services Committee continued its hearing on the situation in the war-torn country.

“The room is almost empty,” observed Senator Lindsey Graham as Gen Joseph Dunford, who commands US and international forces in Afghanistan, warned that a complete withdrawal from Kabul would be a disaster…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

U.S.: Malaysia Plane’s on-Board Communications Purposely Shut Down

The latest in the investigation of the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian aircraft is that U.S. authorities say two communications systems aboard the plane were purposely shut down, 14 minutes apart — bolstering beliefs that Flight 370 did not undergo a sudden and devastating mechanical failure.

These details lead investigators to believe that the communications devices on board were “systematically shut down,” ABC reported. U.S. authorities are now “convinced there was manual intervention,” and the plane’s disappearance is not due to an accident or malfunction, The Daily Mail said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

What Happened to Flight 370? An Analysis of What is Known

Like many other people, I am following the story of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with keen interest. Much of what we’ve been told doesn’t add up, deepening the mystery.

It seems to me that we can already draw a number of conclusions from the known data by pursuing a logic-based analysis of what is possible and what can be excluded as illogical.

Let’s start with what is known:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

From His Pakistan Hideout, Uighur Leader Vows Revenge on China

DERA ISMAIL KHAN/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) — Entrenched in secret mountain bases on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, Uighur fighters are gearing up for retribution against China to avenge the deaths of comrades in Beijing’s crackdown on a separatist movement, their leader told Reuters…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Six Reported Slain in Knife Attack by Vendor at Chinese Market

BEIJING — Six people were reported dead after a knife-wielding man slashed passersby Friday morning following a fight in a market in Changsha, in China’s central Hunan province.

Initial witness reports indicated that multiple people — perhaps members of a Turkic minority from northwestern China — were involved. That raised fears of a premeditated attack because militants from that region were implicated in a knifing rampage March 1 that left 33 dead at a train station in Kunming, China.

But within hours, authorities said the incident was the result of a dispute between vendors in the Wujialing district of Changsha. Some witnesses said the assailant was a vendor who sold flat bread from a stall at the market who got into a fight with another man…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt Breaks Ranks With Coalition on Racial Discrimination Laws

Indigenous Coalition MP Ken Wyatt has spoken out against the repeal of legislation making it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate on the grounds of race or ethnicity. Mr Wyatt told Fairfax Media he fears that repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act would disempower the vulnerable or result in a hardening of intolerant attitudes…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Concerns Over Release of Asylum Seeker Terrorism Suspect

An inquiry has found communication problems involving three federal government departments led to an asylum seeker suspected of terrorism being cleared for community release.

The report from the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security has found Egyptian asylum seeker Sayed Abdel Latif was cleared despite being the subject of Interpol’s highest alert for alleged terrorism offences. The report indicates the clearance could have had serious national security implications…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Drug Trafficking Funds Terrorism in Nigeria

Significant part of the funding of terrorism in Nigeria and in other parts of the world come from money earned from drug trafficking and if the illicit movement of drugs is not urgently curtailed, terrorists would have enormous resources at their disposal to acquire the most sophisticated weapons to kill more innocent people…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

EU Citizenship for Sale to Non-Europeans in Bulgaria for as Little as £150,000

Non-Europeans can buy European Union citizenship entitling them to live and work in Britain for as little as £150,000 under a scheme operating in Bulgaria, an investigation by The Telegraph has disclosed.

Undercover reporters posing as representatives of an Indian businessman were told that a Bulgarian passport could be legally obtained without the need to live or work in Bulgaria. So long as applicants can deposit sufficient funds, they need only visit the east European country for two days to obtain all the rights of EU citizens.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Finland: Roma Arriving Early in Helsinki This Year

By mid-March, there were approximately the same number of Eastern European migrants as at the peak level last summer. A Romanian diplomat wants to see tougher legislation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Literary Sensation: The Rise of a Danish Immigrant Poet

Since his rise to fame, Islamists have threatened to kill 18-year-old Danish poet Yahya Hassan. They are angered by the portrayals in his writing of his immigrant family background, which he describes as backwards, hypocritical and blinded by religion.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Schumer to GOP: Obama Will ‘Curtail’ Deportations Without Immigration Deal

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday warned that Republicans would have to watch helplessly while President Obama curbs deportations, unless the GOP helps move a comprehensive immigration package in the House.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

“BanBossy” Should Remind us That Militant Feminism is Toxic

The facts, however, belie the cult-victim status that women and girls have claimed for themselves. According to Christina Hoff-Sommers, author of meticulously sourced books like The War Against Boys and Who Stole Feminism, “Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates.”(Source: The Atlantic, 2013)

The fact that women earn less than men has been clearly demonstrated to be a statistical anomaly caused by widely differing career choices between men and women, and not by outright discrimination. When we compare the incomes between men and women in identical professions, the income gap is essentially nil.

I doubt that the well-meaning (but completely misguided) spokespeople in the BanBossy viral videos would truly advocate putting a law on the books that would literally “ban” a word, but that isn’t the point of political-correctness. Being “PC” means that you feel a sense of shame and guilt for saying or even thinking a certain word that contradicts somebody’s political agenda.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

College Group Bans White People From Diversity ‘Happy Hour’

A group of employees at South Puget Sound Community College caused outrage after they made it clear that white people would not be welcome at a planned diversity “happy hour” event.

The event was focused around an effort “ to “build support and community” for people of color.

“If you want to create space for white folks to meet and work on racism, white supremacy, and white privilege to better our campus community and yourselves, please feel free to do just that,” stated an email which was sent out to 300 employees…

By asserting the contrived myth of “white privilege,” predominantly white liberals are attempting to rationalize the clearly ludicrous notion that it is impossible to be racist towards white people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Hospital Imprisoned Devoted Spiritual Author by Claiming Her Prayers Are a Sign of Mental Illness

A devout 56-year-old woman was held captive in a psych ward for nearly five days after a strange series of event cascaded before her.

The woman, who seeks to remain anonymous, is a self-published author who enjoys writing on spiritual topics. She was taking part in a 15-day spiritual fast at the time. By the 15th day of going without food and drinking only water, the woman began to feel delirious. On the last day of her fast, parked at a Cleveland, OH, BP gas station, the woman grew faint and called her mother for assistance.

Simple emergency room visit turns into a psych ward lockdown

The anonymous woman was promptly escorted to the emergency room of St. Vincent’s Charity Medical Center, where she was cared for primarily by Dr. Brar.

After taking blood tests, Dr. Brar determined that the woman had low sodium, potassium and electrolyte levels, due to the fast. The woman, conscious again, recovered from her woozy state. As she recovered, she prayed audibly and read from the Bible.

After observing the woman’s fervent behavior, Dr. Brar then allegedly diagnosed the woman with bipolar disorder. The complaint states that the woman was diagnosed with “bipolar disorder with psychotic features.”

Woman’s prayers were classified as sign of mental instability

The woman, clinging to her spiritual beliefs in a time of need, realized that St. Vincent’s staff had classified her religious devotion as evidence of mental instability. The woman later clarified that Dr. Brar and staff members classified her audible prayers and Bible reading as “religious preoccupation” — evidence of a mental illness.

This distorted, concocted diagnosis proves that many hospital staff members themselves need to be psychologically evaluated. The “mental illness” label can apparently be used as a weapon, to justify imprisoning people who don’t think or believe according to what’s “normal.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Perversion Compounded and Children Corrupted

There are several truths you can usually count on when we think about the culture wars. One of them is that perversion tends to generate more perversion. Those pushing a particular vice, immorality or perversion tend to push other ones as well. The more the merrier it seems.

And those into unrighteousness and degradation also seem to want to drag children into their world of filth and perversion as well. It is not enough to let immorality and filth reign supreme amongst adults, but these folks also seek out children, dragging them into their sordid world.

Examples of this are easy to come by, and they demonstrate just how far down the moral drain our Western cultures have gone. It is as if there are moral sinkholes swallowing up entire cultures and societies. Or to alter the metaphor somewhat, all over the West we find examples of moral quicksand engulfing individuals, groups and entire nations.

Two recent examples of what I am talking about are worth examining…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The Suicidal Left: Civilizations and Their Death Drives

The Left’s successes have been largely due to its takeover of the two main channels for the dissemination of knowledge and information — the media and academia. Careful to avoid positive portrayal of the West in almost any context, they abound in aspersions and criticism. In the process, the Left has devised an ingenious and effective mode of censorship to further its ends. It is called political correctness.

Death Wish: destroying the West

The West’s moral decline, the collapse of its religion, economic sluggishness, and the indifference to its own historical and cultural achievements — all this is the Left’s doing. Ominously, it has succeeded in inculcating large segments of the western population with contempt for their own culture and heritage. This is a dire state indeed, for no society that is despised by its own people can go on for very long.

Regardless of its rhetoric or avowed objective, the driving force behind the Left’s every movement is to strike against some aspect of Western society. Environmentalism, for instance, hits at the West’s economic foundation of free-market capitalism. Multiculturalism seeks to unravel its cultural coherence. The gay rights movement strikes at its moral underpinnings, and so on. The Left, of course, will deny the real reason for its actions. But to evaluate the true value of any act we need to look at its effect not the rhetoric behind it. And the effects of the Left’s actions are invariably — in one way or another — destructive to the West.

[Comment: Recommended reading. Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

When Democracy and Multi-Culturalism Collide

Imagine: You receive an e-mail from the friend of a friend, asking if he might stay with you for a week or so while visiting your town on business. “Of course,” you say, but caution him that your home can be a bit hectic: you have two children and two dogs. Your friend’s friend says he understands, and is grateful for your hospitality.

Now imagine your guest arrives and within days, informs you that his religion precludes him from living with dogs: you will have to remove yours from your home, at least for the duration of his stay. What do you do?…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

17 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/14/2014

  1. That collection of articles on the Ukraine in the above post is the best information about what is going on since the developments in Ukraine first started to appear in the news months ago.

    What many of the original authors seem to miss, is that the EU was itself a fascist plan, first outlined by Oswald Mosley in the early 1930s. Since WW2 the pro-fascist elite in the west have been able to conceal their belief in fascist ideas by creating a caricature fascism/nazism (e.g. the idea that leaders dressing in military uniform was a core philosophical trait of fascism/national socialism). The pro-fascist elite can then pretend that promoting diversity is somehow an anti-fascist policy, whilst they get on with implementing the true fascist agenda – the neutering of democracy, the promotion of corporate interests, a command economy managed by a technocratic oligarchy.

  2. Quote:
    A BRITISH Muslim couple
    end

    No such thing.
    They are either British or they are Muslim.
    And obviously, they’re not British.

  3. I’m beginning to think that the Malaysian authorities are covering up what they know or suspect was a hijacking by passengers w/ the stolen passports, the pilot(s), or both. Why else would they allow the world to search an area when their military radar indicated that the plane had turned off course and headed west? 6 or 7 days after the plane’s disappearance it finally dawned on the Malaysians that they have a non-civilian radar system that could help track the missing airliner? Please. W/ Malaysia a predominantly muslim country all of whose important office holders are probably muslim, as well, they may actually be in on the plot. Who knows?

  4. Quote:
    In other news, the United States gave Russia until Monday to stand down in Ukraine, or face serious consequences.
    end

    Yeah, right.
    I take it Belgium will be in charge of the first offensive?

  5. Re: “The Suicidal Left”. The writer tells us: …”the driving force behind the Left’s every movement is to strike against some aspect of Western society…The Left, of course, will deny the real reason for its actions.”

    The majority- not all- of those who, in the past, campaigned against slavery, or sending boys up chimneys, or for female emancipation and universal suffrage, were on the Left by the standards of their times. Were they on a mission to destroy our culture? Are those who would claim to be their heirs all devious and destructive? Or are there just some who are indeed this bad, some who are blind, wilfully or otherwise, and some of us who sincerely believe the struggle we have inherited is not over, and this civilisation is still far from perfect- indeed without continued reform it is more, not less, likely to collapse?

    • Sadly, as long as those “reforms” tend toward more ‘free’ entitlements combined with socialist authoritarian laws aimed at reducing or curtailing personal liberties, the improvements are likely to lead to a soviet state…we’re getting there.

    • I don’t know what “struggle we have inherited” you have in mind. By any standard that compares the experience of other nations, the U.S. is an extraordinarily humane, rational, and free society. Minor ameliorating adjustments will take care of any current problems, such as, for example, withdrawing subsidies to the undeserving, pathological poor and making Louis Farrakhan ambassador to Sweden, where he would feel right at home.

      If there’s any ongoing struggle we are engaged in today, it is to defeat leftist lunatics who have contempt for this nation ruled at one time by common decency and law, and who wish to raise some gruesome fascist (i.e., left-wing) Frankenstein state in its place. Like the E.U.

    • there seems to be a missing screw or two in Leftist thinking. If fighting slavery is a good – which it is, and was supported by many whose views in other areas now would be considered reactionary – it slowly becomes necessary but not sufficient to do good by eliminating slavery. Emancipation morphs into endless demands for “improvement” so that we must all think good thoughts and say only good words and in general strive for Utopia… it’s the “magic-ponies-for-all” kinds of demands that make socialism a zero-sum game even as they’re claiming it’s really just about fairness because everyone should have what everyone else has…or else. And we see where we ended up trying to be perfect, eh?

      I would vote for a politician who said he wasn’t going to improve ANYTHING.

      • Dymphna & Col Bunny- I’ll give you an example: social mobility in the US (and UK) is now less than it was a few decades ago. If the “American Dream” is a fake, and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, the system is failing most of the citizens, and needs reform- we may argue what kind would be most effective; I’d go for redistribution through the tax system as a stopgap. Danes are the most highly taxed people on the planet, and consistently top surveys of happiness, closely followed by other countries with high tax and welfare. Of course hard work and enterprise should be rewarded, but it’s getting obscene in our countries.

        Without change, the populace will become ever more apathetic with politics, and it will seek other means, as with online campaigns now, to change things.

        “Occupy” may have faded, but there will be other movements, and they may not always be peaceful. Not a prospect I relish any more than you, but as with, say, the EDL, people get stroppy when their concerns are ignored by those in authority.

        Perhaps the American and British character wouldn’t suit a Scandinavian- type egalitarianism, but is it unrealistic to demand a rewind to at least the age of Reagan and Thatcher?

        • Very happy countries have those happy populations offset by a higher than average suicide rate.

          America is losing its upward mobility due to the cancerous rate of growth of regulations for starting new businesses. It’s not Russia yet, but we’re headed in that direction.

          The population is already apathetic about politics. If you take away all the voter fraud- and that is becoming harder to do – less than half of eligible Americans vote. The Baron was telling me about a woman who died in her car in 2008 and her body was finally noticed when they removed all the tickets placed on her (windscreen). Turns out she voted twice, even though she was dead. That’s Detroit for you, and every other Dem machine-run town or city.

          [EDIT: evidently I conflated the stories of two women. The first and most recent was in Philadelphia during one of this season's snow storms. Her car was parked on the street and covered with snow. She was the one whose vehicle was repeatedly ticketed until the snow melted and people could see her body inside. Perhaps a "domestic violence" issue? In the other incident, the woman from Detroit was also in a parked car, but it was in her garage and her body had been there since ~2006. This inconvenient fact did not prevent her from voting twice in the interim between 2006 and when they found her recently. I do not care to speculate on her voting preferences out of respect for the dead.]

          Our elected ‘servants’ have less and less legitimacy with each election. “Legitimacy” is in the eye of the beholder, and in the US it’s in short supply.

          Please, please read Bastiat. He came to your country to study the Corn Laws and why they were repealed. Look at Cobham. For heaven’s sake – he saved England from itself. I’ll send you Hazlitt’s book if you’ll read it.

          It is as important to be knowledgeable about economics as it is to be numerate – and not many folks can even make change anymore. The calculator in the cash register does it for them.

          To suggest higher taxes as a fix for anything beyond a politician’s addictions is…well, it’s enough to make one weep with frustration.

          We have tried socialism here. It’s called The War on Poverty. All it did was make the poor poorer and gave the lower middle class bureaucratic middleman “jobs”…It ruined the family culture of the people at whom it was aimed. It made single parenthood and other deviant behaviors “okay”. It became permissible to sit on one’s gluteus maximus, hand extended toward the government and never work again in adult life. That is an abomination and now we have cities full of people on the dole who live in appalling conditions, with no education and a murderous resentful attitude.

          We actually DID that. Those folks ought to file a class action suit against Health and Human Services and the Education Bureaucracy. I would stipulate that the money be used for education enough to bring them to a level sufficient for training. With so many knowledgeable craftsman retiring, we could pay them for passing their skills on to the Worst Generation.

          While we’re at it, let’s put LBJ and his cronies on posthumous trial for crimes against these people. Meaning well doesn’t count in vehicular homicide; it shouldn’t count in murder by bureaucracy either.

          People will seek to change things if you interfere with their spectator sports. Armed rebellion…otherwise, don’t bother them.

          The poor EDL learned the hard way what a vicious class system and an authoritarian democracy will do if you get uppity. Our populists are learning the same thing here.

          • A lot to take in here. Can’t agree with you about excessive regulation of new businesses being the (sole) cause of lack of mobility; even in the US, not everyone wants to work for themselves. For the child of a garbage collector to aspire, say, to be a doctor, they should have the same standard of education as a doctor’s offspring, and only an excellent state system can achieve this, since the garbage collector can’t afford a private school or higher education.

            One of the few good things about Soviet communism was that everyone had a job, even if it was a made-up one (“The government pretends to pay us, and we pretend to work”). I doubt whether even a pure form of capitalism can achieve this, so there has to be a safety net for those who want to work but can’t, and this will scoop up those who’d rather not make the effort, which I believe is a price worth paying; also they may have children who should not be penalised for their parents’ fecklessness.

            Of course such people should be incentivised to stir themselves, and one way is to set a high minimum wage and income tax threshold, so they’ll be better off working.

            I daresay you know Garrison Keillor’s Radio Show (it’s on the BBC here). In his fictional home of Lake Woebegone, all the women are strong, the men good looking and the children above average (!). If such a society existed, someone would still have to collect the garbage, even if one had to toss a coin to decide which of these equally qualified people did that, and which got to operate on our brains- or run banks and countries, so unless salaries were made less unequal, I’d still want a redistributive tax system. Which is where I began…

            PS. Who’s Cobham? Wiki thinks he’s a drummer!

          • Ye olde English names…sorry, it was Cobden, Richard Cobden, that Bastiat came over from France to study with after the repeal of the odious grain tariffs – the so-called “Corn Laws” which crippled England’s economy and left the lower classes hungry because of the unfair high prices for staples. And gave us another example of why too much regulation is bad.

            That one is also a good example of the counter-intuitive thinking required to move beyond the sclerotic statism to which you would have us reduced.

            There is so much that is wrong in your logic, so much that has been refuted time and again, that I can’t attempt to answer it all. You are sadly, like many confirmed socialists, stuck in the rut of what you are so sure you know, refusing to look up and walk over to the much larger path of free market living. I do not mean unfettered greed, but simply the opportunity to pursue one’s happiness – it’s a God-given right in the US Constitution – along with the rights to life and liberty. Each of those terms were carefully stipulated by the Founding Fathers who had ever before them the vivid experience of what can happen in societies where those rights are removed by the government.

            The free market doesn’t exist anymore. It has become evanescent – as soon as an invention, a service, or an idea reaches maturity and begins to create new realms of experience, new markets, thousands of jobs…well, that’s when the government steps in for its vig. “Nice little business you have there…” As happened to Bill Gates. Out of naivete or stubbornness he didn’t play the Washington game. He didn’t have to, he was Microsoft after all – or so went his hubristic thinking. But then along came the Justice Department with its crucifix and crown of thorns in the form of anti-trust claims. In no time at all, Gates was on his knees singing the government’s song. And ever since, they’ve been BFF.

            The gray market in this country is growing at an astounding rate. The black market is exponentially bigger. An example of he latter: Every time NYC raises the taxes again on cigarettes, hundreds of huge tractor trailer rigs, each carrying thousands of cartons of untaxed ciggies start flying north on Route I-95 from Richmond. And mostly sold by Albanians, Russians, and Pakistanis, who make a killing on this contraband. Corrupt? Sure. But they understand corrupt governments; this is nothing new. Regulations? Don’t make them laugh or they’ll drop the wads of cash you taxers force on them.

            Until you read some real economic philosophy you’ll be stuck with your zero-sum game redistribution notions. And the only people you’ll catch in your net are the middle class. You don’t think the elites, or the black marketeers, or the lobbyist parasites will have to pay into your “Fairness” scheme, do you? The unintended consequences of redistribution will include the disappearance of the middle class. When that happens, we will have a functioning oligarchy just like Russia’s but with a less adept criminal in charge.

            Those plans to take away from people what they have earned and redistribute it? Have you not seen what happens afterwards? Have you not looked around in London to see where those ‘redistributions’ are going so far?? Hint: few of them go to the ethnic English – unless you count those who live their limited, ignorant lives on the dole. If you call such an existence “living”. That such things go on in supposedly developed countries like ours is a moral catastrophe that we’ll be years paying out.

            But then again, I’m a conservative so I don’t mind making judgments on how people live or calling their principles “ignorant” Tolerance is for the relativists who are afraid of being seen as not cool.

  6. Properly taxing the elites will need international cooperation. As for taking away from people “what they have earned”- IMHO, no banker or chief executive “earns” a huge multiple of what dedicated teachers and nurses are paid. But then, I hated “Atlas Shrugged”, if only because the “heroes” were so smug and self-satisfied.

    • I could never understand why her writing was/is so praised. The plots are clunky, the characters wooden. Even the economic philosophy wasn’t entirely thought out.

      I’d managed to ignore her work until our son was looking for scholarship opportunities and found one that offered good money if you could write the best essay (“best” by a high school senior in his graduating year) on her work. Since he is a relatively skilled writer, and a libertarian, he decided to give it a try…until he started reading one of the books. omg…he ranted complained cogently for weeks on end about the quality of her work and the harm done to authentic libertarian ideas, etc.

      To this day, I don’t mention “THAT woman” in his hearing.

      There will always be those who are paid more than they’re worth. You can begin with star athletes and entertainers. But *someone* is willing to pay them those sums and the payers expect to profit from the arrangement. Same goes with banksters. Some board of directors hopes to make a profit by hiring these people. Yeah, parts of that system suck. But they don’t make a noise as bad as the decision of some bureaucrat to estimate your worth…I will repeat: socialism works until you run out of other people’s money. When that happens…oh, well. Just ask Greece what goes on when the money runs out. Or any of the PIIGS, who are fast running out of Other People’s money. A hint: at that point “austerity” is simply torture by people who have more money than you. Ask the Greeks what they think of those Germans…

      • Can’t disagree with your last point, though it would have been less severe if the Greeks (and others) were less inclined to regard tax-dodging as a national sport!

        Mind you, the Nazis stole the Greek gold reserves to finance their occupation, so perhaps the Greeks are just getting their own back?

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