Ah, the last amateur night for the News Feed. Tomorrow night, the Contraption will be up and running again, spitting out those news items y’all have come to enjoy. And I will be free at last! We’ll all be happy.
Thanks to C. Logan, P. Green, JD, JAK, VH, Questing Knight, C. Cantoni, Jungle Jim, and TB.
Taliban Has More Money than al-Qaida
The Taliban are in much stronger financial shape than al-Qaida and rely on a wide range of criminal activities to pay for attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, a senior Treasury Department official said Monday.
David Cohen, the department’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing, said the extremist group extorts money from poppy farmers and heroin traffickers involved in Afghanistan’s booming drug trade. The Taliban also demand protection payments from legitimate Afghan businesses, he said during a speech at a conference on money laundering enforcement.
Cohen’s assessment came as President Barack Obama and his top advisers discuss whether many more troops may be needed in the 8-year-old Afghanistan conflict. A critical part of the deliberations is whether the fight should be a more narrow one against al-Qaida or a broader battle against the Taliban-led insurgency.
According to Cohen, al-Qaida is a cash-strapped organization that is losing its clout. That condition is the product, he said, of a long-running effort by the U.S. and its allies to cut off the terror group’s sources of funding by targeting its deep-pocketed donors and interfering with its ability to move money.
In the first half of 2009, he said, al-Qaida’s leaders made four public appeals for money to bolster recruitment and training.
“We assess that al-Qaida is in its weakest financial condition in several years, and that, as a result, its influence is waning,” Cohen said at the conference, sponsored by the American Bankers Association and the American Bar Association […]
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The Feds Want to Ban Fishing
A recently published administration document outlines a structure that could result in closures of sport fishing in salt and freshwater areas across America. The White House created an Interagency Oceans Policy Task Force in June and gave them only 90 days to develop a comprehensive federal policy for all U.S. coastal, ocean and Great Lakes waters. Under the guise of ‘protecting’ these areas, the current second phase of the Task Force direction is to develop zoning which may permanently close vast areas of fishing waters nationwide. This is to be completed by December 9, 2009.
Dave Pfeiffer, President of Shimano American Corporation explained, “In spite of extensive submissions from the recreational fishing community to the Task Force in person and in writing, they failed to include any mention of the over one million jobs or the 6o million anglers which may be affected by the new policies coast to coast. Input from the environmental groups who want to put us off the water was adopted into the report verbatim – the key points we submitted as an industry were ignored.”
Recreational fishing generates a $125 billion annual economy in the United States and supports jobs in every state according to government figures. Through the Sport Fish Restoration program, anglers have provided more than $5 billion through excise taxes on fishing tackle to fishery conservation and education for decades.
In addition to the economic aspects, anglers lead the nation in volunteer conservation efforts on behalf of improving fish habitat, water quality and related environmental areas. “There was no mention of the fishery conservation efforts which anglers have led for over 50 years in every state – an environmental success story that has no equal in the world”, said Phil Morlock, Director, Environmental Affairs for Shimano. “The Task Force did not make any distinction between the dramatic differences between harmful commercial fishing harvest methods and recreational fishing, even though we spelled it out for them in detail,” added Morlock.
Claiming to be the result of a public consultation process the report states, “Having considered a broad range of public comments, this report reflects the requests and concerns of all interested parties.”
The original White House memo and not surprisingly the Task Force report contains multiple references to developing a national policy where Great Lakes and coastal regions are managed, “consistent with international law, including customary international law as reflected in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” – a 300-page treaty the U.S. has never ratified.
“We question what implications there will be for state authority and jurisdiction in the Great Lakes and coastal regions if the U.S. adopts the U.N. Treaty,” said Pfeiffer.
The report makes it clear that future authority for implementing the policy for coastal and inland waters will fall under White House jurisdiction with a new National Ocean Council comprised of over 20 federal agencies at Cabinet Secretary or Deputy Secretary level. No reference to Congressional jurisdiction is indicated.
“This significant change in U.S. policy direction is the result of a 90-day fire drill process as ordered by the President that, not surprisingly, lacks balance, clarity and quality in the end product,” said Morlock. “People who simply want to take their kids fishing on public waters deserve better from their government,” he added.
Shimano is joining with other members of the recreational fishing industry to urge anglers to contact their members of Congress and the administration to request this process be required to adopt the economic, conservation and social contributions of recreational fishing as key elements of the policy.
Tipster PG says: “I see the fine hand of regulatory commissar Cass Sunstein in this”.
UK Doctors Misdiagnose Elderly Man’s Pneumonia as Cancer
A grandfather who beat cancer was wrongly told the disease had returned and left to die at a hospice which pioneered a controversial ‘death pathway’.
Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for 76-year- old Jack Jones, and his family claim he was denied food, water and medication except painkillers.
He died within two weeks. But tests after his death found that his cancer had not come back and he was in fact suffering from pneumonia brought on by a chest infection.
To his family’s horror, they were told he could have recovered if he’d been given the correct treatment.
Yesterday, after being given an £18,000 pay-out over her ordeal, his widow Pat branded his treatment ‘barbaric’ and accused the doctors of manslaughter.
Mr Jones was being cared for at a hospice which was central to the contentious Liverpool Care Pathway under which dying patients have their life support taken away, although the hospice claims it wasn’t officially applied in his case.
The scheme is used by hundreds of hospitals and care homes, and is followed in as many as 20,000 deaths a year.
Supporters say it brings dignity to a patient’s final hours, but critics fear that some are placed into it incorrectly.
There is now a blog, National Death Service, which tracks “Examples of death and injury caused by bureaucratic rationing”. We’re next, America.
Columbus and the Jews of Spain
“So, after having expelled the Jews from your dominions, your Highness, in the same month of January, ordered me to proceed with a sufficient armament, to the said regions of India.”
Thus wrote Christopher Columbus to Queen Isabella. Indeed, she signed the expulsion decree and Columbus’ voyage order on the very same day:
“Therefore, with the council and advice of the eminent men and cavaliers of our reign, and of other persons of knowledge and conscience of our Supreme Council, after much deliberation, it is agreed and resolved that all Jews and Jewesses be ordered to leave our kingdoms, and that they never be allowed to return.
And we further order in this edict that all Jews and Jewesses of whatever age that reside in our domain and territories, that they leave with their sons and daughters. their servants and relatives, large and small, of whatever age, by the end of July of this year, and that they dare not return to our lands, not so much as to take a step on them not trespass upon them in any other manner whatsoever. Any Jew who does not comply with this edict and is to be found in our kingdom and domains, or who return to the kingdom in any manner, will incur punishment by death and confiscation of all their belongings.
We further order that no person in our kingdom of whatever station or noble status hide or keep or defend any Jew or Jewess, either publicly or secretly, from the end of July onwards, in their homes or elsewhere in our reign, upon punishment of loss of their belongings, vassals, fortresses, and hereditary privileges.”
The great Rabbi, statesman, philosopher, Bible commentator, and financier, Isaac Abrabanel, did not merely chastise her but prophesied:
We leave you with this comforting knowledge. For although you can dispose of our power, we have the higher truth. Although you can dispose of our persons, you cannot dispose of our sacred souls and the historical truth to which only we bear witness.
Listen, King and Queen of Spain, for on this day you have joined the list of evil-doers against the remnant of the House of Israel. If you seek to destroy us, your wishes will come for naught, for greater and more powerful rulers have tried to finish with us, and all have failed. Indeed, we shall prosper in other lands far from here. For wherever we go, the God of Israel is with us. And as for you King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, God’s hand will reach out and punish the arrogance in your heart.
Woe unto you, authors of iniquity. For generations to come, it will be told and retold how unkind was your faith and how blind was your vision. But more that your acts of hatred and fanaticism, the courage of the people of Israel will be remembered for standing up to the might of imperial Spain, clinging to the religious inheritance of our fathers, resisting your enticements and your untruths.
Expel us, drive us from this land that we cherish no less than you do.. But we shall remember you, King and Queen of Spain, as our Holy Books remember those who sought our harm. We Jews shall haunt your accomplishments on the pages of history… and the memories of our sufferings will inflict greater damage upon your name that anything you can ever hope to do to us.
We shall remember you and your vile Edict of Expulsion forever.
Abrabanel did not speak lightly. For years Jews/conversos have been searching for new lands. Indeed, cartography was pretty much a Jewish science. Jewish converso explorers named João Gonçalves Zarco and Bartolomeu Perestrelo discovered the important stepping stone island called Madeira and Porto Santo.
Columbus who spent years on the island married Felipa Perestrelo, the daughter of the late Porto Santo governor and got access to his vast collections of maps relating to the Atlantic.
For years Columbus hoped to convince the Portuguese court to finance a Western voyage. He failed. So, he went to Spain. There, Isabella’s Jewish advisers succeeded in convince her to sanction the trip in part by providing the financing. As Columbus prepared to sail, Jews prepared to leave Spain. Indeed, when Columbus set sail on August 3, 1492. He was not alone. All around him were boats of every shape and size filled with expelled hundreds of thousands of expelled Jews. For the day he sailed was also the last day Jews could leave Spain. It was also the Ninth of Av (Tisha B’av) on the Jewish calendar, a day of fasting in commemoration of the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem.
Jews were on the move again and as Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal wrote in his fascinating book,Sails of Hope, Columbus and his Jewish shipmates were scouts looking for new more hospitable land where Jews can thrive again.
It took hundreds of years before America (the “Goldene Medina) fully replaced Spain as a physical and spiritual Jewish center. But the first step was taken on that blessed/cursed day in 1492 when Columbus “sailed the ocean blue.”
And the first Jews, having fled some other persecution, landed at New Amsterdam (later New York City) well before the Revolution. The tolerant Dutch allowed them to disembark. They set up the first synagogue in Rhode Island, IIRC.
Israel fears for its alliance with Turkey
Israel is concerned about the future of its military alliance with Turkey, the only partner of the Jewish state in the Muslim world. The reason is the Turkish refusal last week to let Israel participate to U.S. ‘war games’ in Konya (Anatolia). Following the refusal by Turkey, Washington scrapped the Operation Anatolian Eagle [eleven days of air defense maneuvers] throughout.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said Monday that the Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem had called an emergency session on Sunday deliberate over the dreaded “strategic break”.
According to Turkish newspapers also Italian and (other) NATO troops were invited to the Operation. Haaretz reported that Israel already had complained to the U.S. over Turkey’s veto: the refusal violates agreements on the participations of Israeli in NATO maneuvers.
Since the Israeli military expedition in Gaza, the relations between Israel and Turkey have soured. The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had and has heavy criticism on that operation.
Assault on the Military
The nation’s armed forces are under sustained attack. Unfortunately, while the military is engaged in two conflicts overseas, the most serious fire they are taking comes from some of their fellow Americans, starting – incredibly – with their Commander-in-Chief.
In recent days, Team Obama’s hostility towards the uniformed services has been increasingly in evidence. Consider the following, illustrative examples:
Dissing his commanders: Last spring, President Obama replaced the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan with a man skilled at waging counter-insurgency operations, General Stanley McChrystal. He did so in pointed rebuke to what amounted to a “counter-terror” campaign waged by the Bush administration – trying to kill or neutralize key Taliban and al Qaeda operatives without having sufficient forces to clear or hold territory and protect the affected population.
At the time, President reinforced his contention that Afghanistan was a “necessary” war. He assigned additional forces to the theater so as to enable his new commander to engage in the sort of operations required to win the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people and defeat the insurgency.
But that was then, this is now. Gen. McChrystal and his bosses, Central Command’s General David Petraeus and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, believe that as many as 60,000 additional troops are needed to avert failure in Afghanistan. But President Obama and his key advisors, notably White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and campaign strategist David Axelrod, have evidently concluded that the public – or at least the Democrats’ base – has no stomach for such a build-up.
So the theater commander who thought Mr. Obama meant what he said five months ago has been left hanging in the wind. His request has become a political football in Washington and the President’s partisans have reviled the general for making known his professional assessment of the situation. Morale in Afghanistan has reportedly plummeted, compounded by Washington’s growing incoherence about the threat posed by the Taliban – who wants to be the last guy killed fighting an enemy it turns out we are happy to have run the place? – and by restrictive rules of engagement that are getting troops killed unnecessarily […]
Read the rest of this one. Frank Gaffney’s assessments are on target. The Norwegians win on this one. No way will Obama order the troops needed for the task he’s assigned. Can’t mess up that Nobel medal.
Italy: Libyan bomber ‘prayed with us’ says Muslim leader
The Libyan who detonated a bomb at the ‘Santa Barbara’ military barracks on Monday, Mohammed Game, prayed at Milan’s Viale Jenner Mosque, said the head of the Islamic Institute in Milan. “He is a Libyan who hung out everywhere and who even prayed with us, just like thousands of others do, but we did not know him very well,” said the institute’s president Abdel Hamid Shaari in an interview with Adnkronos.
“He prayed and then he left. He wouldn’t stay around,” said Shaari. He added that Game was last seen at the mosque over 20 days ago, towards the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
On Monday, an Italian soldier was injured after 35-year-old Game exploded a bomb hidden inside a toolbox at the entrance of the ‘Santa Barbara’ barracks (photo). The man is said to have entered the courtyard of the barracks on foot, where he was confronted by a military guard.
He then detonated the rudimentary explosives, which were reportedly made of solid nitrate.
The toolbox where the man hid the explosive device contained two more kilogrammes of explosives, and according to reports, it only partially detonated.
Authorities have said if the entire load had detonated, there would definitely have been deaths.
Early reports said the man shouted: “The army must leave Afghanistan!” which according to authorities is not true.
“After the blast, the man did say something, but according to witnesses his words were unintelligible as they were all in Arabic,” said public prosecutor Armando Spataro.
“He had a dark coloured jacket and his face was bloody. He shouted: Help me, Help me!” said a witness, Giovanni L, a sergeant major.
According to the witness, when Game was being taken to the hospital he “pointed a finger towards the sky, like a victory sign.”
Game, had been living in Italy for many years and lived with an Italian woman with whom they have three children. A train ticket from the southern city of Naples to Milan was found to be in his possession, although it is still unclear if and when he took the train and for which reason.
Italian authorities said Game lived close to the barracks and that he slept at his apartment in Milan the night before the attack.
The injured Italian soldier was hit by shards of glass and received medical treatment at the scene of the attack which took place at 7.45 am local time.
Following the attack, Game was taken to the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Milan where he was reported to be in critical condition.
The Libyan man suffered severe injuries to his face and eyesight and his hand has been amputated, according to medical sources at Fatebenefratelli hospital.
French Pedophile Leadership
“All these rituals of the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously … the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire.”
French Minister of Culture and Communication (2009), Frédéric Mitterrand’s bestselling autobiography, The Bad Life (2005).
On September 1, 2009 The Art Newspaper announced. “French cultural groups,” were elated.  Why? “Frédéric Mitterrand-TV showman, film producer, writer, gay activist and nephew of the last socialist president” was named France’s new Minister for Culture and Communication.
September 27 escaped fugitive Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police for possible extradition to the United States for his 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl. He has been denied bail. The Swiss fear he might well flee. Mitterrand said he was “dumbfounded” by the arrest of his friend, adding, he “regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them.”
On October 7, Mitterrand himself was identified as a homosexual pedophile (a pederast). Minister Mitterrand, had openly boasted of victimizing destitute, young boys in Bangkok. The Culture Minister says he knew, “the sordid details” of the sex trade. While touring Thailand he “got into the habit of paying for boys…..the market for youths, the slave market excited me enormously … the abundance of very attractive and immediately available young boys put me in a state of desire.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy knew of Mitterrand’s child sexual abuse habits when he appointed the criminal to his “rainbow cabinet.” The Independent Online reports Sarkozy had read The Bad Life and called Mitterrand’s “sex tourism book ‘courageous.’“
Polanski posed for French magazines with young girls and in his book, Mitterrand said he sought “young boys” for sex. Despite their public personas as child sex predators Polanski and Mitterrand were lionized by the French elite.
After his vocal defense of Polanski, some of the French opposition party demanded Mitterrand’s resignation. One political opponent quoted from the Minister’s autobiography in a TV debate. Even a Socialist party spokesman said it was “shocking” that the Culture Minister was a child sex tourist.
Disgusting. On a personal note, I know a woman who goes over to Thailand periodically to train child workers on rescuing these child prostitutes. She said the Thais find the work “draining”. They’re unable to do much because these foreigners pay the boys far more than they could ever earn otherwise.
Six sentenced to death by Chinese court after violent ethnic riots that left 200 dead
Six men have been sentenced to death in China, and a seventh jailed for life, following violent ethnic riots in July that left almost 200 people dead.
They were the first people to be convicted for involvement in the riots, which saw Muslim Uighurs storm the western Chinese city of Urumqi in the deadliest ethnic violence the country has seen for decades.
Abdukerim Abduwayit, Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi, Nureli Wuxiu’er and Alim Metyusup were all sentenced to death this morning by the Intermediate People’s Court.
A seventh man, Tayirejan Abulimit, was given a life sentence because he had assisted authorities in the arrest of Alim Metyusup.
The seven men, all with Uighur names, were all convicted of murder. Some were also convicted of arson or robbery according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The court heard how Abdukerim Abduwayit used a dagger and a pipe wrench to kill five people, while Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi and Nureli Wuxiu’er beat four people to death and injured another.
The Uighurs are a Muslim, Turkish-speaking ethnic group native to the far-western region of Xinjiang of which Urumqi is the capital.
Iraqis Shocked as Atheism Creeps in
Although their number remains insignificant and most of them hid their identity, the fact that some people are leaving Islam and becoming atheists is a troubling news in conservative Iraq.
“I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when my son told me that his colleague at college told him that his father had become an atheist,” Sheik Abdul-Rassoul al-Rabia’a, a religion teacher at Baghdad University, told IslamOnline.net.
Not only did the father abandon his Muslim faith, he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps.
“I suggested to my son bringing his friend home and talked with him that despite his father’s thinking, he should continue to follow his Muslim heart and never deny his God,” al-Rabia’a said.
Linking that to the non-stop violence plaguing the country since the 2003 US invasion, some Iraqis are becoming atheists.
Most of them have had personal incidents involving either themselves or close relatives.
“Iraq is a land without God or any other kind of major protective superior form,” claims one atheist who declined to be named fearing reprisal.
“We have been forgotten and it is better to think only rationally than emotionally. I left behind my old beliefs because it is the only way to protect my children from any harm that God isn’t being able to do.”
Yasser (not his real name) is grouping up with others who have also renounced their faiths.
“When we first decided to organise ourselves, we were only eight people,” he told IOL.
“And after seven months, our number has reached to 34 but many other groups are being formed countrywide according to my contacts in northern and southern Iraq.
“We believe that today in Iraq, there are at least 220 atheists linked to the groups nationwide.”
Caro (not his real name), 41, also claims their numbers are on the rise.
“Each day we are having more followers and maybe one day we will be able to have our own centre where we will be able to discuss our ideas and nature creation.”
Welcome to the nihilistic world, Iraq. Wait till the atheists are as militant as the Jihadis.
Two more Germans turn up in terror videos
Anti-terrorism authorities have identified two further German citizens in Islamist videos calling for holy war, officials confirmed Saturday.
The two men, one from Bonn and the other from Hamburg, appear to be members of the same Islamist circle as Moroccan-born brothers Yassin und Mounir Chouka, who have turned up in previous videos threatening Germany with terrorist attacks.
They are now thought to be members of the Uzbekistan Islamic Movement (IBU).
One of the men, a 22-year-old from Bonn who goes by the name Abu Safiyya, called for an armed struggle, according to news reports in Focus and Der Spiegel magazines. He is of Afghan background.
Federal prosecutors have begun investigating Safiyya for suspected membership of a foreign terrorist group.
According to Spiegel, a further German Islamist named Abu Askar has also been identified. The Iranian-born man lived in Hamburg, but flew to the Pakistan city of Peshawar in March.
With his girlfriend and others from Hamburg, he was affiliated with the German branch of the IBU, along with the Chouka brothers.
Several videos have emerged in recent weeks threatening Germany with reprisals if Bundeswehr troops were not withdrawn from Afghanistan. In the latest video, from October 3, fighters from the IBU called for a “holy war.”
These guys are Germans just like Mohammad Atta was. Stupid p.c. language.
Sarrazin wins support for integration comments
Half of Germans agree with controversial remarks by Federal Bank board member Thilo Sarrazin that most Arab and Turkish immigrants are “neither willing nor able to integrate,” a poll revealed on Sunday.
Sarrazin, the former finance minister of Berlin, said in a recent interview with the Lettre International magazine that “a great many Arabs and Turks in this city, whose numbers have grown because of the wrong policies, have no productive function other than as fruit and vegetable sellers.”
The remarks raised the strong possibility that Sarrazin might have to resign his position on the Bundesbank board after the bank’s president, Axel Weber, said the comments had caused “damage to the institution’s reputation.”
But a survey by pollsters Emnid for Bild am Sonntag found that 51 percent of Germans agreed with Sarrazin while just 39 percent disagreed.
Only voters who supported the Greens party clearly rejected Sarrazin’s comments, with 64 percent disagreeing and 24 percent agreeing.
Otherwise, support for the disparaging remarks spanned the political spectrum. Sarrazin got his strongest support from CDU-CSU voters, 59 percent of whom agreed with him. This was followed by 55 percent of Left party voters, 54 percent of Free Democrats supporters and 50 percent of Social Democrats fans.
Sarrazin also won support from the 501 people surveyed for kicking off a debate on the subject of integration, with 69 percent saying such a debate was useful and just 22 percent believing he would have been better “keeping his mouth shut.”
In the now-notorious interview, Sarrazin also said that Berliners had neither the intellect nor the talent to make Germany’s capital a great city and that the city was hampered by the fact that “40 percent of all births take place in the lower class.”
Whowee! Straight talk in Europe. Wait till the Lisbon Treaty takes effect.
Retired Flag and General Officers, National Security Experts Advise Against Closure of Gitmo, Transfer of Detainees to the US
The Coalition for Security, Liberty and the Law – consisting of dozens of former generals, admirals, and security policy professionals – has sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging, as a matter of national security, that detainees held at Guantanamo Bay (“Gitmo”) not be transferred to the United States, and that Gitmo be kept open until a more permanent and secure alternative is found.
The release of the letter comes at a time of intense deliberation in Congress over Gitmo. Although the House of Representatives recently voted against allowing detainees to be transferred to American soil, conferees to the FY 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill yesterday declined to include the measure in their conference report, making the ultimate fate of the language uncertain. Additionally, the Senate has already passed its FY 2010 Defense Appropriations bill, which also prohibits transfer of detainees to the United States, further underscoring strong bipartisan opposition to such a move in both chambers.
The letter cites numerous national security and public safety risks associated with transferring Gitmo detainees to the United States, among them:
- The prisons and nearby civilian populations would be turned into high-probability terrorist targets;
- Prison staff would be exposed to unique threats and legal liabilities;
- High-value prisoners would contribute to the radicalization of prison populations – a concern previously raised by FBI Director Robert Mueller;
- Once inside the U.S. prison system, detainees would sue for the removal of special restrictions;
- The U.S. government would be forced to choose between revealing classified evidence to secure a conviction in court and setting detainees free;
- According to the Department of Defense, many detainees released from Gitmo have returned to committing terrorism against the United States.
Among the signatories of the letter are dozens of retired flag officers who previously served in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, as well as R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, Bradford A. Berenson, former Associate Counsel to the President, and Andrew C. McCarthy, former Chief Assistant United States Attorney.
Obama is in a corner. He’s going to lose no matter which way he moves on this one. Unfortunately, his move will probably put Americans at risk.