Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/1/2013

By-election results for the Eastleigh constituency in Britain showed a surprising surge by UKIP ahead of the Conservatives, pushing the Tories into third place. After the election, UKIP leader Nigel Farage remarked that people who chose the Tory candidate had wasted their votes, since casting a ballot for the Conservative simply split the center-right vote.

In other news, the latest issue of Al Qaeda’s glossy Inspire magazine lists Geert Wilders, Terry Jones, Kurt Westergaard, Lars Vilks, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali among its “Ten Most Wanted” infidels.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Erick Stakelbeck, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, Lurker from Tulsa, Nick, Steen, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» Americans See Biggest Monthly Income Drop in 20 Years
» Consumer Spending Drought: 16 Signs That the Middle Class is Running Out of Money
» Even Germany Exposed to Eurozone Crisis, Says Napolitano
» Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan Declares Fiscal Emergency in Detroit
» Hollande Says ‘Europe Must Not be Deaf to Italy Vote’
» Michigan Governor Declares Detroit Fiscal Emergency
» 20 Years in Jail for Selling a Gun to a Pot Smoker
» Besting the White House Marxists, Dr. Ben Carson Style
» DHS Awards Contract for Utility Plant at the Kansas Biolab
» DHS Censors Information About Firearms Purchase
» Disarming America’s Heroes
» EPA. Population Control and Agenda 21 (Excerpt From Book “The Master Plan”)
» Feinstein: “Bad Things Happen” Because of 2nd Amendment and Gun Culture
» GOP House Schedules Vote on Bill That Will Strip Constitutional Rights From Americans Tried by Indian Tribes
» Gun Control
» Lt. Gen. W.G. Boykin Warns of Engineered Economic Collapse (Vdeo)
» ‘Mind Meld’ Study Leading to DARPA’s Killer Robot Army
» Obama: ‘I Am Not a Dictator’
» Obama’s Real Legacy; Lie, Blame, Attack and Destroy
» ObamaGov: The Story of a Tyrant and a Collaborative Congress
» Obama -vs- The US Constitution
» Ted Nugent: Let’s Take America Back (Video)
» Texas High-School Student Punished for Refusing to Recite Mexican Pledge
» The Obama-Media vs. Bob Woodward
» Unmasking the Grim Reaper’s Foot Soldiers
» Vietnam Vet Denied Second Amendment Right
» Woodward: White House Telling Reporters “You Will Regret Doing This” Makes Me “Very Uncomfortable” (Video)
Europe and the EU
» Austria: Investigators Update Report to Say Muslims Burned Their Own Restaurant, Leave Racist Graffiti to Induce Violence
» Austria: ‘Media Needs an Alliance With Minorities’
» Austria: Alliance Aims to Get Past Intolerance
» Austria: The UN’s Alliance of Bigots
» Belgium: Muslims in EU Await Fatwa on Fish Feed Containing Pork
» Bellamy Van Aalst: Hezbollah May be Prepared to Use Biological Weapons in Europe
» Book on Islam Ruffles Feathers in Germany
» ‘Danish Muslims Encouraged to Join the Holy War in Syria’
» EU Chief Uses Speech to Attack Britain as a ‘Grumbling Island’ And Cameron’s Plan for Clawback of Powers
» German Church Converts to Islam
» Italian Election May Have a Silver Lining
» Italy: Lombardy Centre-Right Governor Vows Weighty North
» Italy: Centre-Left Edges Regional Vote as Northern League Wins Lombardy
» Italy: Poll Losers Pick Up Huge Payments
» Italy: Grillo Says M5S Rejects Centre-Left ‘Cattle Market’
» Italy: Grillo Accuses Centre-Left Leader and His Party of Being ‘Vulgar Predators’
» Netherlands: Church Sexual Abuse Victim Takes Action Over Physical Attacks
» Odds Are Next Pope Will be Italian, Bookies Say
» Salman Rushdie Targeted in Al Qaeda Mag’s Most-Wanted
» Silvio Berlusconi Remains Italy’s Richest Politician
» UK: Abuser Did “Terrible Things” To Teenage Victim Old Bailey Hears [Bullfinch Trial]
» UK: Eastleigh by-Election: The Lesson is Clear — if the Right is Divided, The Left Will Win
» UK: Eastleigh by-Election: If You Kick Your Core Voters Hard Enough, Mr Cameron, They Might Kick Back
» UK: Sexual Predators Who Assaulted 14-Year-Old Girl for Five Days Are Jailed for 15 Years
» UK: The Medina Carta: A Manifesto for Britain
» UK: The Eastleigh Byelection: The Lessons for Labour
» Wilders on a “Resistance Tour” Though the Netherlands
North Africa
» Egypt: Two Coptic Orthodox Children Aged 9 and 10 Risk Jail on Blasphemy Charges
» Egypt: Coptic Woman MP, Vote is Urgent. Boycott Useless
» Egypt: Violence Re-Ignites at Church Over Alleged Forced Conversion
» Egypt: The Ministry of Education Must Face the Discrimination Against the Female Students Because of the Veil
» Libya Minister Says Lockerbie Case is ‘Closed’
» Morocco Toughens Terrorism Financing Laws
» Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists to Gain From Egyptian Opposition’s Boycotting
Israel and the Palestinians
» 2 Killed in Car Explosion in Central Israel
Middle East
» AQAP Inspire Magazine Calls for Jihad Against Western Figures Like Geert Wilders and Production of Bw Agent Anthrax
» Back-to-Back Car Bombs Kill 6, Injure 50 in Southern Iraq
» Ettinger: Beware Benevolent Ethnocentrism
» Israel Condemns Zionism Comments by Turkey’s PM Erdogan
» Kerry Condemns Erdogan’s Words on Zionism
» Syria: WSJ: London to Give Armoured Vehicles to Rebels
» Syria: Fiona Hodgson: Sexual Violence Has Become a Weapon of War, Reaching Unimaginable Scales
» The Lesson of the Iraq War is That Benign Intervention Can Work
» US Help Might See Syrian Rebels Form Alternate Government
» With Hagel on Side, Obama Looks Set for Middle East Scrap
» Woman Discovers Fiancé’s Affair on Russian Version of Google Maps
South Asia
» 6 Wounded in Bombing in Restive S. Thailand
» At Least 44 Dead in Bangladesh Clashes
» Bangladesh: Dozens Killed in Clashes Between Islamists and Police
» Bangladesh: East London Mosque Favourite Sayedee to Hang
Far East
» China: Mekong River Murderers Executed by Lethal Injection
» Investors Back Mongolia Despite Rio Mine Dispute
» Living in a Box: The Desperate Workers Forced to Live in Tiny ‘Coffin’ Apartments of Tokyo — Which Still Cost Up to £400 a Month to Rent
» N. Korea’s ‘Hatred of Christians’ Puts 70,000 Believers in Prison
Australia — Pacific
» £300million of Crystal Meth Seized by Australian Police After Anonymous Tip-Off ‘Unravels’ Major International Drug Ring
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria: APC Governors Venture Into Boko Haram’s Den, In Ridicule of Jonathan, PDP
» Somalia: Al-Shabaab Leader Given a Death Sentence in Absentia
» 70,000 Southern Europeans Live in the Netherlands
» Antwerp to Charge £230 for Foreigners to Live There
» The Netherlands Runs Into Dilemma in Return Policy for Asylum Seekers
Culture Wars
» Arkansas Legislators Override Democratic Governor’s Veto of Late-Term Abortion Ban
» Canada: Supreme Court Muzzles Free Speech in Canada, Rules Against Catholic Pro-Family Activist
» Canada: Supreme Court Twists the Charter of Rights in Its Haste to Limit Free Speech
» The Father Dearth Paradigm
» Authoritarians Target Internet Freedom (Video)
» Reductionism Undermines Both Science and Culture
» Stakelbeck: Al Qaeda Notices My Reporting, Quotes Me

Americans See Biggest Monthly Income Drop in 20 Years

Americans saw their income drop so dramatically in January that it marked the deepest one-month decline in 20 years.

Personal income decreased by $505.5 billion in January, or 3.6%, compared to December (on a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis). That’s the most dramatic decline since January 1993, according to the Commerce Department.

[Comment: Lowest monthly income in 20 years, and by sheer coincidence, JCPenny has the lowest retail sales in 20 years.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Consumer Spending Drought: 16 Signs That the Middle Class is Running Out of Money

Is “discretionary income” rapidly becoming a thing of the past for most American families? Right now, there are a lot of signs that we are on the verge of a nightmarish consumer spending drought. Incomes are down, taxes are up, many large retail chains are deeply struggling because of the lack of customers, and at this point nearly a quarter of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank. Considering the fact that consumer spending is such a large percentage of the U.S. economy, that is very bad news. How will we ever have a sustained economic recovery if consumers don’t have much money to spend? Well, the truth is that we aren’t ever going to have a sustained economic recovery. In fact, this debt-fueled bubble of false hope that we are experiencing right now is as good as things are going to get. Things are going to go downhill from here, and if you think that consumer spending is bad now, just wait until you see what happens over the next several years.

Even though the Dow is surging toward a record high right now, everyone knows that things are not good for the middle class. A recent quote from CPA Howard Dvorkin kind of summarizes our current state of affairs very nicely…

“The fact of the matter is that America is broke — whether it’s mortgages, student loans or credit cards, we are broke. The old rule of thumb is that people should have six months’ of savings,” Dvorkin says.”If you talk to people, most don’t have two pennies.”

These days most Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck, and thanks to rising prices and rising taxes, those paychecks are getting squeezed tighter and tighter. Many families have had to cut back on unnecessary expenses, and some families no longer have any discretionary income at all.

The following are 16 signs that the middle class is rapidly running out of money…

#1 According to one brand new survey, 24 percent of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank.

#2 J.C. Penney was once an unstoppable retail powerhouse, but now J.C. Penney has just posted its lowest annual retail sales in more than 20 years…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Even Germany Exposed to Eurozone Crisis, Says Napolitano

Italian president underlines that all EU ‘in the same boat’

(ANSA) — Berlin, March 1 — Even the “robust German economy is exposed” to heavy blows from the pan-European recession, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Friday during a State visit to Germany.

“We are all in the same boat,” Napolitano, who has voiced concern over growing populism and anti-EU sentiment in Europe, told journalists in Berlin.

“It would be legitimate to wait for expansion to be boosted by Germany as a contribution to real, not just forecast, growth and employment recovery in Europe”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan Declares Fiscal Emergency in Detroit

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan announced on Friday that the city of Detroit is so snarled in financial woes that the state must appoint an emergency manager to lead it out of disaster.

“It’s time to say we should stop going downhill,” Mr. Snyder told Detroiters in a town-hall-style meeting that was broadcast live on local television stations across the city.

He later added, “Today is a day to call all hands on deck.”

The state-appointed manager, who could be selected later this month, would ultimately wield powers aimed at swiftly turning around the municipal government’s dire circumstances — powers to cut city spending, change contracts with labor unions, merge or eliminate city departments, urge the sale of city assets and even, if all else failed, to recommend bankruptcy proceedings.

[Return to headlines]

Hollande Says ‘Europe Must Not be Deaf to Italy Vote’

Economic crisis has produced ‘a clear message’

(ANSA) — Rome, February 27 — French President Francois Hollande and Italian center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani said Wednesday that Europe must pay attention to Italy after elections there produced no clear majority in parliament. “The economic crisis and the suffering surrounding it are at this point so serious that even the European Union cannot and must not remain deaf to the clear message that emerged from the vote in Italy,” said a joint statement after a telephone conversation. After a disappointing performance in elections Sunday and Monday, Bersani and the center left squeaked by with a majority in the House but failed to secure a majority in the Senate and now the parliament looks poised for gridlock. The result is largely due to the surprising performance of rival populist candidates Beppe Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi, who rode on euro-skeptic, anti-austerity platforms and together won over 50% of the popular vote. Bersani on Wednesday appealed to Grillo to break the Senate deadlock but was rebuffed. “Reforming the Italian political system and relaunching measures to resolve the social problems caused by the recession are two decisive aims for Italy,” said the joint statement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Michigan Governor Declares Detroit Fiscal Emergency

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Friday officially declared Detroit in a fiscal emergency, setting the stage for a state takeover of the city’s financial management and ultimately the possibility of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The Republican governor said he agreed with a February 19 report by a six-member team of experts that concluded Michigan’s largest city is in dire financial shape and a plan put in place last April to aid Detroit was not sufficiently working.

The expert team Snyder assembled in December did not officially recommend the appointment of an emergency financial manager, leaving that decision up to the governor.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

20 Years in Jail for Selling a Gun to a Pot Smoker

New Senate bill imposes punishment for “trafficking” firearm to “prohibited person”

A draconian new gun control bill in the US Senate could see people who unknowingly sell guns to pot smokers be sent to jail for up to 20 years.

S. 54, or the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act, introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT), “would impose a 20-year prison term if you planned (“conspired”) to purchase a firearm in order to give or raffle it to a person who, unbeknownst to you, is a “prohibited person,” reports Gun Owners of America.

Under 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(3) and (g)(3), marijuana smokers are considered “prohibited persons” because it is illegal to possess a firearm if you are “an unlawful user of … any controlled substance.”

The list of “prohibited persons” would also include some 150,000 veterans because a psychiatrist appointed a fiduciary to oversee their financial affairs.

The bill would also make someone a “prohibited person” if they are barred from owning a gun under state or local law, meaning citizens of places like New York and Chicago, who have to obtain licenses to own guns, would automatically become “prohibited persons.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Besting the White House Marxists, Dr. Ben Carson Style

Bob Woodward, Lanny Davis and any others with the cojones to speak out against the anti-American policies of the Obama regime should take a page from the book of the savvy Dr. Ben Carson.

With the Marxist strategies of the regime, coupled with a complicit media at play, it is a mistake to lay bare plans, or to give any kind of heads up to in-the-tank Obama minions.

Don’t show your hands, fellas, use the kind of successful strategy employed by on-the-rise folk hero Ben Carson.

When the White House pressed Carson for a copy of his upcoming speech at last month’s National Prayer Breakfast gathering, Carson responded several times by telling them it wasn’t available.

“Dr. Ben Carson rebuffed multiple requests from the White House for an advance copy of his speech for the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, a speech in which he criticized President Barack Obama sitting just a few feet away.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DHS Awards Contract for Utility Plant at the Kansas Biolab

DHS has awarded a $40 million contract to build a utility plant at a $1.15 billion animal research lab in Kansas. The 87,000 square foot facility will replace an animal research lab on Plum Island in New York and will be used to research deadly animal diseases that affect livestock.

Funding for the National Bio-Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) has been slow because of concerns raised about — and continuous reviews of — the size, scope, and risk of the lab.

[Comment: Moving biolab research from an island to America’s heartland. What could possibly go wrong?]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DHS Censors Information About Firearms Purchase

Amidst continuing controversy over the Department of Homeland Security’s purchase of large quantities of guns and ammunition, the federal agency is getting more secretive about its activity by censoring information about a no-bid contract with Remington for firearms parts.

Despite the fact that documents pertaining to government activity are only supposed to be redacted for national security reasons or if authorized by Congress, a new entry posted on the FedBizOpps website pertaining to the DHS’ plans for a $1.5 million contract with firearms manufacturer Remington contains numerous blacked-out sections.

The document is an explanation of why the DHS has entered into a contract on a basis “other than full and open competition,” in other words a no bid contract. The contract with Remington Arms Company for firearms replacement parts is set to run for five years at a cost not to exceed $1.5 million dollars.

The first censored portion of the document blacks out the precise year by year amount in dollars that the DHS plans to purchase from Remington.

Concerns have been raised about why the DHS is buying ammunition in such large quantities — with the agency committing to purchase roughly 2 billion bullets over the course of the last year, enough to wage a near 30 year war. In September last year, the DHS also bought 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, labeling them “personal defense weapons”.

Earlier this week, former Governor Sarah Palin raised the subject, warning that the federal government is “stockpiling bullets” in preparation for “civil unrest.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Disarming America’s Heroes

How would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical or mental condition that the government says you have, it is proposing to rule that you are incompetent to handle your own financial affairs? Suppose that letter also stated that the government is going to appoint a stranger to handle your affairs for you at your expense? That would certainly be scary enough but it gets worse.

What if that letter also stated: “A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).”?

That makes is sound like something right from a documentary on a tyrannical dictatorship somewhere in the world. Yet, as I write this I have a copy of such a letter right in front of me. It is being sent by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of America’s heroes. In my capacity as Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) I have been contacted by some of these veterans and the stories I am getting are appalling.

The letter provides no specifics on the reasons for the proposed finding of incompetency; just that is based on a determination by someone in the VA. In every state in the United States no one can be declared incompetent to administer their own affairs without due process of law and that usually requires a judicial hearing with evidence being offered to prove to a judge that the person is indeed incompetent. This is a requirement of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that states that no person shall “…be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…”.

Obviously, the Department of Veterans Affairs can’t be bothered by such impediments as the Constitution, particularly since they are clearly pushing to fulfill one of Obama’s main goals, the disarming of the American people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EPA. Population Control and Agenda 21 (Excerpt From Book “The Master Plan”)

“My father and his colleague’s findings were staggering. At first, I thought he might have been mistaken, but as I studied the facts, I noticed a subtle, methodical agenda weaving its way throughout the whole affair. After thoroughly examining all of the documents, I was forced to agree with his conclusions.

“Father’s reports contained photocopies of documents and maps that came out of the United Nations conferences and the Convention on Biological Diversity. It was categorized under a project entitled Agenda 21 and the subsection, Sustainable Development. Harsh policies restricting people’s rights and liberties were ratified through international agreements and treaties. Every member of the United Nations was bound by this agreement.

“What was happening in Africa was a mirror of what was taking place all over the world, especially America. After connecting all the dots, there was an obvious plan to reduce the world’s population, seize control of large landmasses, and confine humans to designated island areas.

“America is a nation with many states, yet united under one national head. Africa is a continent, with many independent, separate countries, and according to the United Nations report, the goal regarding Africa and the Middle East was to exploit their vast resources.

“Representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were sent to the heads of countries rich in natural resources. The process involved an offer to transform the country into the modern, 21st century. Repayment for these transformation loans were in the form of natural resources and taxable labor. If a country’s leader rejected the bank’s offer of eternal indebtedness, the CIA, MI6 or a like agency was used to overthrow the leader by whatever means necessary. If those attempts failed, NATO Peacekeeping Forces were deployed to defend the hired rebels and depose the nation’s leader.

“The international media always supported the rebel forces under the banner of democracy. So out of ignorance the public also supported the rebel forces and their supposed battle for freedom. The resisting leader was dethroned and replaced with a tyrannical shill for the international bankers whose sole intent was to exploit the country and the people. This was happening all over Africa and the Middle East.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Feinstein: “Bad Things Happen” Because of 2nd Amendment and Gun Culture

California Democrat senator and dedicated gun-grabber Dianne Feinstein went on the Piers Morgan Show earlier this week and blamed the “gun culture,” the NRA and Wayne LaPierre for mass shootings like Sandy Hook.

After shamelessly exploiting dead children and grieving parents to push her anti-Second Amendment agenda, Feinstein attacked LaPierre, who said last weekend:

I’ve been amazed at how rapidly this debate deteriorated from what has proven to work to what has proven to be the political agenda of those bent on attacking the Second Amendment to our Constitution. Dianne Feinstein herself commented that she has had her gun ban legislation in her desk for over a year — waiting for the right time to introduce it. Really? Waiting for an unspeakable act to occur so the American people could be persuaded to buy into her political agenda? It’s not about making our kids or our streets safer, it’s all about their decades-old agenda.

“I don’t really expect to agree with much that Mr. LaPierre says,” Feinstein told Morgan. “Of course, he has the right to say it, and I have the right” to attack the Second Amendment.

After going after the NRA and LaPierre, Feinstein blamed the so-called “gun culture” for the alleged carnage at Sandy Hook.

“It’s gun culture… that gun culture is letting bad things happen,” she said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

GOP House Schedules Vote on Bill That Will Strip Constitutional Rights From Americans Tried by Indian Tribes

The House Republican leadership has scheduled a floor vote on Thursday on a Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act that, if enacted, would strip constitutional rights from Americans prosecuted by Indian tribes for alleged acts of domestic violence.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and opposed by the conservative bloc in the Republican Senate Conference — as well as by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate conservatives Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin all voted against it…

“The problem with the underlying bill is simple: It denies constitutional rights to certain American citizens,” said Cornyn. “I am stunned that some of my colleagues are okay with this. I am stunned that some self-proclaimed civil liberties organizations apparently have no objection to a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution. They believe somehow that Congress could legislate away constitutional rights. It cannot. The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land and no act of Congress can violate the Constitution and stand. Constitutional rights should not and are not negotiable. They are not bargaining chips in a Washington parlor game. They are permanent, and they are sacrosanct.”

“Senator Leahy’s bill, the underlying bill, would let certain U.S. citizens be prosecuted for domestic violence in Native American tribal courts without their full constitutional rights and without an ability to pursue an appeal in the federal court system,” said Cornyn. “Once again, we all understand this. Congress cannot legislate away constitutional rights. This bill, if passed in its current form, would purport to do that.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gun Control

Any public official, elected or appointed, who either advocates for or attempts to restrict personal ownership of firearms is a domestic enemy of the Constitution.

Every time a mass shooting happens in America, and before research or analysis for the actual cause can begin, many people and news outlets instantaneously clamor for national gun control as if they are following Rahm Emanuel’s dictum to “never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Such an approach speaks loudly that the issue is more about control than it is about guns.

As part of gun control advocates’ mantra and a cornerstone of their argument, they claim citizens don’t need assault weapons to hunt or to defend themselves in their homes. Although, it is true citizens can do both of these things without assault weapons, their claim misinterprets the intent of the Second Amendment and the right it was written to protect.

To understand why this claim completely misses the point of the Second Amendment, we must look at what the Second Amendment states and comprehend what it meant to those who wrote it…

Standing armies have historically been a threat to the freedom and liberty of citizens, because standing armies are controlled by people who can and perhaps desire to take freedom and liberty away. This is why Noah Webster correctly deduced, “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed;”[7] and it is for this reason every citizen must retain the right to keep and bear arms.

Every other right we hold dear depends on our right to defend ourselves, as Thomas Jefferson stated, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”[8]

Further proof of this is found in Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers. He stated, “… but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”[9] Hamilton’s point is that the arms and capabilities of citizens should never be grossly inferior to that of any standing army controlled by the national government.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Lt. Gen. W.G. Boykin Warns of Engineered Economic Collapse (Vdeo)

And Instigated state of crisis as a pretext for Martial Law and a permanent restructuring of America into a Marxist Distatorship police-state

Top general of Delta force speaks on the planned economic collapse and martial law

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Mind Meld’ Study Leading to DARPA’s Killer Robot Army

The DARPA-funded study which successfully conducted a ‘mind meld’ of two rats is a precursor to the creation of DARPA’s ultimate goal — a borg army of killer robots which will use their hive mind to hunt down and eliminate human targets.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama: ‘I Am Not a Dictator’

Says ‘dumb, arbitrary’ sequester cuts will slow economic recovery

(THE HILL) “I am not a dictator,” President Obama said Friday while defending his efforts to stop the sequester. “I’m the president.”

Obama said there are limits to what he can do to get a deal on the sequester during a press conference in which he blamed Republicans for standing in the way of a deal.

[Comment: President Not A Dictator Obama. Long title.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Real Legacy; Lie, Blame, Attack and Destroy

Obama’s entire life and career has been a daisy chain of lies and schemes designed to take over America and redirect her away from God, achievement and freedom. Obama’s handlers and the international and Muslim billions behind him (that the media has ignored from the beginning) have been grooming Obama for the take over of America since he was a little boy.

The overall agenda has always been to cut the throat and Juggler vain of America, while sucking her spirit and real energy dry. Obama has taught from and worshiped at the ground of Saul Alinsky, Cloward and Piven. These were the evil communist and social disruptors that Obama and Hillary worship to this day.

Obama has obeyed Alinsky, Cloward and Piven perfectly. There is too much change to focus on, too many distractions, and contrived crises everywhere — to manipulate gun, health and economic control. Obama has beautifully accomplished his evil goals hurling many ‘assault weapons’ on the people and Constitution. A little over half our country has been seduced and sautéed in his anti American onions twice now.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaGov: The Story of a Tyrant and a Collaborative Congress

It’s becoming harder and harder for a great number of people to make sense of what the government is doing. So, instead of actually looking to and accepting the obvious and logical reasons (aka Occam’s Razor) for what it occurring, media personnel (it has become increasingly difficult to call them journalists or reporters) continue to scratch their heads and ask ‘what is Obama doing’?

The answer is obvious to all, but the relatively brain dead. In other words, Americans — even if they are slightly dim-witted collaborative “reporters” — know precisely what he’s doing.

Despite his ill-gotten success, but raised by Communist he and she wolves, Obama is destroying the country he has been taught to hate since he was a child; the same country that gave his grandparents an excellent income and lifestyle in Hawaii and Obama a life of privilege and enrollment at Honolulu’s finest school. There is no other logical or rational explanation. He is destroying the country with vigor and prurient joy. Therefore, that was and is his intention. His early heroes were Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin. He later graduated to admiring the oft-mentioned self-proclaimed Luciferian Saul Alinsky.

Note: Obama is currently following Hitler’s plan toward gun confiscation to the proverbial “t.” Hitler began with nationwide gun registration in Germany, then began banning certain firearms, then had his controlled media ask “why do the people need guns, anyway,” asked for “voluntary” relinquishing of guns and ended with door-to-door storm-trooper gun confiscation. Yes, folks. Hitler’s private army broke down doors to grab guns and whatever else they could find in private homes. Most of us know what happened in Germany.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama -vs- The US Constitution

America has been fundamentally transformed from a constitutional representative republic to some sort of hybrid socialist society.

I’m so old I can remember when anyone who did not agree with the government of Soviet Socialist Russia (or the Soviet Union) would be arrested by the government and placed in Soviet mental institutions because, the Soviet government had determined, you see, that anyone NOT agreeing with them was obviously INSANE. Often times the mentally challenged prisoner disappeared into the Gulag system never to be heard from again.

So — where am I going with this?

I’m just trying to give you a heads-up, ‘cause it’s happening right here in America — TODAY.

Consider this from The New…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ted Nugent: Let’s Take America Back (Video)

Alex talks with rocker and Second Amendment advocate Ted Nugent about moves by the government to strip Americans of their right to own firearms.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Texas High-School Student Punished for Refusing to Recite Mexican Pledge

A Texas high-school student is suing her local school district after she was punished for refusing to stand and recite Mexico’s pledge of allegiance as part of a Spanish class assignment. The lawsuit charges that the McAllen Independent School District violated 15-year-old Brenda Brindson’s constitutional guarantees when her Spanish teacher required her to recite the Mexican pledge and sing its national anthem, and gave her a failing grade when she refused.

In the fall of 2011, Brindson entered McAllen’s Achieve Early College High School with the goal of doing well in her classes. But problems developed immediately after the high-school sophomore “refused to stand up, extend her arms straight out with palms down, and recite the Mexican Pledge of Allegiance and sing the Mexican National Anthem,” explained the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), which is representing Brindson in the lawsuit.

The activity was part of what the school’s Spanish teacher, Reyna Santos, required of all her Spanish level 3 students in order to pass the class. But when the time came for the students to pay homage to their neighboring country to the south, Brindson remained seated. It’s not that the young lady has any problem with Mexico or its people. After all, while she was born in the United States, her mother is a Mexican immigrant. “Brenda is fluent in Spanish and English and is proud of her Mexican heritage,” related the TMLC, “but she is a true blooded American. So to Brenda, the words of the pledge have a deep meaning. Her conscience and patriotism would not allow her to participate in the assignment.”

[Comment: A more appropriate assignment would be: Translate the American Pledge of Allegiance into Spanish.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Obama-Media vs. Bob Woodward

Woodward is the left’s latest whipping boy because he is endangering the carefully crafted narrative of sequestration horror.

As the result of his efforts to recount the genesis, and likely effects, of sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts slated to begin Friday, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is getting a taste of what happens to those who challenge the Obama-Democrat-media machine.

Woodward’s allegations of inappropriate pressure from the White House were not only met with attacks from high-level administration lackeys, but Obama allies in the press immediately joined the feeding frenzy before any objective evidence was available — a chilling warning to anyone who would dare defy the power structure in Washington. And while debates about the intensity of the White House’s intimidation tactics are handy for undermining the credibility of the veteran reporter, looming in the background is the real source of the Left’s mob attack: Woodward’s vocal objections to the Obama administration’s narrative on the sequester.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Unmasking the Grim Reaper’s Foot Soldiers

Now perhaps you better understand why leftists’ behavior is often so sociopathic

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo just recently bloviated about keeping people safe from imaginary “assault weapons,” but then in a later speech advocated abortion almost without restriction. He repeated passionately, “It’s her body, her choice!” — three times. Interestingly, this political tactic for manipulating the masses was recommended by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf: he said that the average person had a very short memory, so you must use pithy, catchy slogans and repeat them frequently. Hey, now we know why talk-show host Bob Grant dubbed Cuomo’s father, a former NY governor, “Il Duce.”

But Cuomo the Younger has plenty of company. When Barack Obama infected the Illinois Senate, he voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) and inveighed against it on the Senate floor — on more than one occasion. And understand this law’s purpose. It would sometimes happen that a baby was born alive during a botched abortion, and, well, a good contract killer always finishes the job. So these poor children would be left to die of exposure, perhaps in lonely, soiled storerooms. And BAIPA would have prohibited this. But Push-button Obama?

He clearly had no problem with it.

Of course, he did say during the 2008 campaign that the question of when human life begins was above his “pay grade.” But how far above? Is it that the president believes human life begins when a person can vote Democrat?

A better explanation was provided by former Obama aide Neera Tanden, who said that her ex-boss “really doesn’t like people.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Vietnam Vet Denied Second Amendment Right

Jeffrey Schrader, a Vietnam War veteran, had his Second Amendment right to own a firearm stripped in 2008 by the government.

Schrader’s crime? He was arrested for participating in a fist fight and was charged with a misdemeanor in 1968.

Schrader owned and sold firearms for over forty years before the feds decided he presented a risk to society and shut down his Second Amendment.

“They contacted me and told me. The ATF officer was apologetic about it. He said, ‘I couldn’t believe this. I looked into everything trying to figure this out because it doesn’t make any sense.’ He says, ‘I’m sorry to have to tell you this but you can’t have any guns,’“ Schrader told Fox 5 in Atlanta.

“You don’t have the right and they treat you just like a felon,” Schrader said.

In addition to ancient misdeamnorr charges, the government is attempting to deny veterans their Second Amendment rights if the Veterans Affairs Department decides they are mentally incompetent.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Woodward: White House Telling Reporters “You Will Regret Doing This” Makes Me “Very Uncomfortable” (Video)

Here’s WaPo’s Bob Woodward discussing the threat he received from the White House after calling out Obama on his “nasty” sequester “strategy”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Austria: Investigators Update Report to Say Muslims Burned Their Own Restaurant, Leave Racist Graffiti to Induce Violence

A couple of weeks ago a pizzeria owned by Albanian Muslims in Wörgl, Austria, was badly burned. A nearby building owned by a Turkish association was also set on fire. ‘Racist’ graffiti in Turkish was left on the scene, complete with swastika symbols. This immediately provoked demonstrations from Turks and Greens protesting against “right-wingers” and “racists”.

Racism isn’t an opinion! Racism is a crime — the sign of the protesters. Now investigators are reporting the Muslims set the fire themselves, use the graffiti to provoke violence and protests…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Austria: ‘Media Needs an Alliance With Minorities’

VIENNA, Feb 28 2013 (IPS) — Amid calls from world leaders for media diversity and plurality to be strengthened to combat a rising tide of extremism and intolerance, media experts have warned that change should not be expected overnight and that governments and states have a crucial role to play in the process…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Austria: Alliance Aims to Get Past Intolerance

VIENNA, Feb 27 (IPS) — A UN summit designed to promote tolerance, plurality and global inclusiveness of civilisations has opened with dire warnings of the threat of religious and ethnic intolerance — at the same time as many states that have ostensibly signed up to the UN’s ideals continue to enforce laws and practices restricting religious freedom, and implicitly marginalising communities. The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) includes more than 130 states and hundreds of thousands of NGOS across the world. It was created to foster cross-cultural dialogue and understanding in a bid to bring cultures and societies closer together…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Austria: The UN’s Alliance of Bigots

The United Nations “Alliance of Civilizations,” co-founded by Turkey and Spain, has an annual budget of approximately four million U.S. dollars. It just completed its Fifth Global Forum this past week in Vienna. The ostensible theme of the lavish two-day gathering was “Responsible Leadership in Dialogue and Diversity.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Belgium: Muslims in EU Await Fatwa on Fish Feed Containing Pork

Egyptians living in Belgium are awaiting a religious edict from Al-Azhar on whether it is prohibited for Muslims to eat fish that have been fed pork fat protein. The European Union recently approved legislation allowing EU fish farmers to use fat proteins from animals including pigs starting in June. The decision has triggered alarm among Muslim communities living in Europe and prompted Islamic organizations in Brussels, the Belgian capital, to ask religious institutions to issue an official fatwa. Islam bans Muslims from consuming port products as the mean is “unclean.” Gharib Radwan, an Egyptian driver living in Brussels, said, “It is very crucial [to have a decision] and we trust Islamic organizations in Egypt [will rule] on the matter.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Bellamy Van Aalst: Hezbollah May be Prepared to Use Biological Weapons in Europe

Dr. Jill Bellamy Van Aalst has an important article published in the current edition of Dispatch International (DI) warning that Europe could face a formidable Bio-warfare (BW) terrorist threat , “Hezbollah may be prepared to use biol ogical weapons in Europe”. As DI notes in a by-line,: The terrorist organization has already pre-designated targets across the EU. Her interviews and articles in the New English review have been prescient . This is reflected in American and Israeli concerns about the possible transfer and training of Hezbullai,enabled by Iran’s Quds Force,i n the use of non-conventional weapons such as BW given the deteriorating situation in Syriia. In the wake of revelations in Bulgaria and in Cyrpus about Hezbollah operatives scouting terrrorist targets andf perpetrating suicide bombings of Israseli tourists, the EU should be on guard about Hezbollah terrorist cells in their midst. As she notes in this article one of the primary targets for spread of BW micorbial agents might be Schipol airport in Amsterdam because of its unique location could facilitate the transmission of BW throughout the EU and even globally.. The Netherlands is one of only two EU members that have listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Dr. Bellamy van Aalst’s warning should be of concern to Dutch political leaders, especially Gerrt Wilders,leader of the PVV (Freedom) party who is listed as fourth on the Al Qaida death listed posted in AQAP, English language Inspire Magazine, according to this Dutch news report. The deteriorating situation in Syria increases the risks Hezbollah will or has acquired BW agents. Europe should be very concerned about its growing Muslim communities and its inability to comprehend the consequences a massive BW attack would have across its territory. If we fail to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, if we continue to fear reprisals, we are all at risk. Should Hezbollah decide to deploy a biological weapons next time instead of a conventional bomb, the consequences could be devastating not only to Europe but to the international community.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Book on Islam Ruffles Feathers in Germany

Some of Germany’s Muslim leaders are criticizing a book which says that belief in God is not mandatory in Islam. The author is on the defense — particularly since he heads the organization that trains Islam teachers. For an outsider, the situation sounds odd: a Turkish newspaper, “Türkiye,” prints an article in which three high-ranking functionaries of Muslim organizations in Hamburg accuse an Austrian with Palestinian roots of betraying the roots of Islam. The reason: the Austrian wrote a book in which he claimed that paradise was open to anyone who lived a good life — regardless of whether he or she believed in God. The plot thickened when it became clear that the Austrian was also a professor of Islam. Adding another layer of internationalism to the story, it turned out he works at the University of Munster in Germany, where he heads the organization responsible for training future Muslim religion teachers.

Bad form

That the criticism of his book, which was published in September 2012, reached him through a Turkish newspaper both surprised and annoyed Mouhanad Khorchide. “That is not in line with Muslim values, where it is very clear that when you criticize someone, or want to make a suggestion, it should happen privately — not in the media,” he told DW…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

‘Danish Muslims Encouraged to Join the Holy War in Syria’

Jyllands-Posten, 1 March 2013

Danish Salafists support the Al-Nusra Front, an armed group close to al-Qaeda, reports the daily, which launched an investigation following the death in Syria of Slimane Hadj, who was born to a Danish mother and an Algerian father.

In courses, videos and Internet communications, the Imam of the Quba Amager mosque, in southern Copenhagen, is encouraging young Danish Muslims to take part in the jihad in Syria.

On its website, the newspaper also reports that Salafist group Hjæ is collecting money, using a poster showing a young pistol-toting Muslim who is apparently willing to die for Allah.

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

EU Chief Uses Speech to Attack Britain as a ‘Grumbling Island’ And Cameron’s Plan for Clawback of Powers

David Cameron may not be given the chance to claw back powers from Brussels, the president of the European Council warned last night.

In a combative speech, in which he referred to Britain as a ‘grumbling island’, Herman Van Rompuy said changing the EU treaties was ‘not the priority’ for Brussels.

Mr Van Rompuy also warned that Britain would pay a high price if it voted to quit the EU in the referendum pledged by Mr Cameron.

At an event in London staged by think-tank Policy Network, Mr Van Rompuy said leaving the EU ‘doesn’t come for free’.

‘Leaving the club altogether, as a few advocate, is legally possible — we have an exit clause,’ he said. ‘But it’s not a matter of just walking out. It would be legally and politically a most complicated and unpractical [sic] affair.

‘Just think of a divorce after 40 years of marriage. Leaving is an act of free will and perfectly legitimate but it doesn’t come for free.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

German Church Converts to Islam

Churches are being sold and converted into mosques. A recent example of this trend is the evangelical church in Horn, part of the city of Hamburg, Germany.

One of the biggest Sunni Islamic associations in Hamburg, Al-Nour (the light), bought the former evangelical Kapernaumkirche with the aim of transforming it into a mosque, which will be opened for religious worship on 3 October, the day of German reunification…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italian Election May Have a Silver Lining

The Italian election results have been met with astonishment on the other side of the Alps. However, Europe’s leaders should in fact be heaving a sigh of relief: Angela Merkel and company were only a few decimal points away from coming face to face with Silvio Berlusconi at the next European summit. The resurrection of Il Cavaliere and the resounding collapse of Mario Monti, the candidate backed by Brussels and Berlin, has prompted plenty of ironic comment in the European press about the consequences of Angela’s “blessing”, which regularly turns out to be a death warrant for those who receive it. It is almost touching when you consider that just a few days before the vote, Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani and Monti were bickering over which one of them the chancellor wanted to see as head of government in Rome, without so much as a thought for the possibility that a majority of Italians, who were after all the ones to decide on the matter, would not want either of them.

Slavoj Žižek has recently drawn attention to the growing distaste for democracy, which is increasingly criticised as a danger to economic stability. Many were convinced that pressure and intimidation would be enough to convince the Italian electorate not to rock the boat and vote for the right candidates, and even mentioned the possibility of a second election if the results of the first one proved to be unsatisfactory. However, Italy is not about to hold another vote, at least not for the moment. There is a simple reason for this: in all probability, the main beneficiary of a second ballot would be the Five Stars Movement (M5S) led by Beppe Grillo, a man who, even more than Berlusconi, is now troubling the sleep of European leaders. To show that he is no less blinkered than his rival, the social democratic candidate for the German chancellery, Peer Steinbruck impulsively expressed his horror at the news that Italy had decided to elect “two clowns”.

However, on close inspection there are plenty of glad tidings in these elections. As the director of La Stampa, Mario Calabresi, recently pointed out they have remedied what was considered to be one of the major problems in an old dysfunctional country: today Italy has one of the youngest parliaments in Europe, with a high proportion and new faces, and many of those who encumbered its benches over the last 20 years have been given their walking papers. In one way or another, the enormous pressure for a renewal that has been held back since time immemorial has finally opened a breach…

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

Italy: Lombardy Centre-Right Governor Vows Weighty North

Centre-left takes Lazio in wake of PdL’s public funding scandal

(ANSA) — Milan, February 27 — The newly elected Northern League and centre-right governor of the Lombardy region, Roberto Maroni, challenged the Italian parliament on Wednesday after news of his official victory.

“The north has enough power to shape choices by Rome’s government if it will be, as it appears, a weak government,” Maroni told right-wing editor and radio host Maurizio Belpietro in a telephone call on Wednesday. “As soon as the new government is formed, we are ready to negotiate. The North has a stable, homogeneous government. As for Rome?” he replied ‘boh,’ Italian slang for “who knows”, and thus making reference to the deeply divided election results for the State parliament.

Maroni said his priority as the newly elected governor of Lombardy was to create a macro-region in the north, which would consolidate the north’s political weight.

“Mission accomplished. We saved the (Northern) League. The victory in Lombardy allows us to to open a new phase with the constitution of macro-region of the north,” Maroni declared after hearing election results, Corriere della Sera reported on Wednesday. Ex-interior minister under the last Silvio Berlusconi administration, Maroni ran on the centre-right coalition ticket in Lombardy, risking a renewed alliance with Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, after a rupture under the Mario Monti-led technical government widened into a maw when both Northern League and PdL figures suffered battering from a series of corruption scandals, including criminal investigations that toppled centre-right regional governments in Lombardy and Lazio.

Maroni’s main challenger was the centre-left’s Umberto Ambrosoli, who garnered 38.2% of the vote, compared to Maroni’s 42.8%.

Other candidates were Milan ex-mayor Alberto Albertini, who ran on a centre ticket, and Silvana Carcano of the rising populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S). Albertini and Carcano won 4.1% and 14.3% of the Lombardy vote, respectively.

In Rome’s Lazio region, the centre left succeeded in taking advantage of the demise of the last centre-right regional administration, which collapsed in September when outgoing governor Renata Polverini was forced to resign from the regional council under a widening public funds scandal.

Roman voters in particular threw their weight behind the Democratic Party’s (PD) Nicola Zingaretti, who ran on a platform of rigor and sobriety. Out of Zingaretti’s total lead of 370,000 votes, 323,000 came from Rome. Zingaretti took 40.6% of the vote versus 29.4% for centre-right stalwart and ex-minister Francesco Storace.

M5S drew impressive support in Lazio, with candidate Davide Barillari coming up third with 20.3% of the vote. Lazio’s south-central neighbor, Molise, also saw the centre-left win at its regional polls.

Paolo Di Laura Frattura took the governor’s office with 43.7% of the vote versus 26.7% for the centre-right’s Angelo Michele Iorio.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Centre-Left Edges Regional Vote as Northern League Wins Lombardy

All three major north Italian regions now chaired by Northern League. Lazio goes to PD’s Zingaretti and Molise also moves Left

MILAN — Voting in the three regions that were electing new administrations — Lombardy, Lazio and Molise — brought a partial victory for the Centre-left, which won two polls and achieved a decent result in the third, gaining five per cent more votes than in the previous election. In Lombardy, the Centre-right lost ground but since the region is a stronghold of the People of Freedom (PDL)-Northern League alliance, defeat was never on the cards. Roberto Maroni’s line-up cruised to victory, despite shedding 13% of its vote in comparison with 2010 (the legislature was interrupted halfway through by internal scandals that toppled the previous majority). In the end, the results for the two main alliances were 42.81% against 38.24%, which was enough for the new regional chair to comment: “Mission accomplished”. When the count was in from the 9,233 polling stations, the former interior minister had garnered 2,456,921 votes. Behind him, the Centre-left’s Umberto Ambrosoli had no more than 2,194,169 votes. Mr Maroni, who is the Northern League’s federal secretary, added: “We have saved the League”. The result means the Northern League has taken control of the three main regions in northern Italy — it was already in power in Piedmont and Veneto — thus laying the foundations for what the League calls the “macroregion” of the North. Mr Maroni has come out on top, even though overall the Northern League’s results across Italy were disappointing. The outgoing regional chair, Roberto Formigoni, who was forced to resign, looked on the bright side after the vote: “We all have to submit to the verdict of the ballot box. In Lombardy, the Centre-right’s good government has won. Eighteen years that voters have liked”…

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

Italy: Poll Losers Pick Up Huge Payments

Double pension for 200 privileged parliamentarians. Payout for forty unsuccessful Lazio politicos. Formigoni’s €450,000 end-of-service bonus before move to Senate

ROME — Teodoro Buontempo can afford to look on the bright side. Booted out of the Chamber of Deputies at the general election, the chair of La Destra will be taking home two pensions. A deputy with five legislatures of service, he was also a cabinet member of the Lazio regional authority when regional pensions were abolished (from the next legislature, of course) but the benefit was simultaneously extended to all cabinet members. Buontempo has had two political lives and is due two pensions. Crazy but formally correct…

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

Italy: Grillo Says M5S Rejects Centre-Left ‘Cattle Market’

Comedian says his movement is ‘not for sale’

(see related stories) (ANSA) — Rome, March 1 — Beppe Grillo, the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) that attracted millions of votes in Italy’s general election, slammed overtures from the centre left to cooperate in forming an new government as the stuff of a “cattle market” on Friday. “There’s a cattle market going on. The M5S has been continuously receiving offers, to (have a member) be speaker of the House, to head committees, even minister posts… but the M5S, its elected representatives, its activists and its voters are not for sale,” said Grillo. “The Democratic Party (PD) has already identified M5S people for the various offices,” said Grillo. “It is the usual whorish way of doing politics. To put it into practice though, there have to be people willing to sell themselves” Grillo added that PD head and centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani “is out of history and doesn’t realize it — when the abyss of Monte dei Paschi di Siena is opened, perhaps not even the memory of the PD will remain”.

The Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) is Italy’s third largest lender and the world’s oldest bank. The troubled bank has long been associated with the Italian left, and is currently creaking under the weight of failed derivatives transactions resulting in losses over 720 million euros and alleged corruption which has involved some of the bank’s top managers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Accuses Centre-Left Leader and His Party of Being ‘Vulgar Predators’

Genoa, 1 March (AKI) — Anti-establishment comedian and political kingmaker Beppe Grillo on Friday accused centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani and his party of acting like ‘vulgar predators’ by trying to persuade some of his Five Star Movement’s new senators to work with him.

Everyone who stood as a Five Star movement (M5S) candidate had agreed not to “associate with other parties or coalitions or groups except for voting on shared points,” Grillo wrote on his blog.

The Five Star movement, its elected officials, activists and voters were not for sale, Grillo wrote, adding that Bersani didn’t realise he is “out of history”. He earlier pilloried the veteran politician and ex-minister as “a dead man talking”.

In a stinging rebuttal to Bersani’s overtures, Grillo in a Tuesday post described him as a “political stalker” who for days had “been bothering the M5S with indecent proposals rather than resigning, as someone else would do in his position.”

The ex-comic has ruled out giving a crucial confidence vote in parliament to a centre-left reformist government and reiterated that the Five Star movement’s new army of MPs and senators would vote on laws on a case-by-case basis.

“If they want, they can give a vote of confidence to the first Five Star government,” Grillo suggested.

The Five Star movement is the largest in Italy’s new parliament after the February election in which voters weary of austerity and corruption deserted traditional parties in droves.

Bersani’s centre-left bloc has an outright majority in the lower house but lacks this in the senate, where Grillo has 54 senators.

In an interview with the left-leading La Repubblica daily on Friday Bersani insisted he could become Italy’s next leader without allying with Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party, which has the largest number of senators (116) in the upper house.

Bersani has drawn up an eight-point plan to govern in cooperation with Grillo’s party, which which he hopes will convince Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano at a meeting next Wednesday.

But Grillo’s caustic comments in recent days appear to deal a blow to Bersani’s hopes of forming a minority goverment with the consensus of the Five Star Movement.

Bersani’s Democratic Party lost around 3.5 million votes — about 30 percent of its support compared with the last election in 2008 — while former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s graft-tainted conservative People of Freedom party lost over four million votes or 40 percent of support in what observers say is a political earthquake.

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

Netherlands: Church Sexual Abuse Victim Takes Action Over Physical Attacks

A 59-year-old man who was sexually assaulted once by church officials while living in a Catholic boarding school in Limburg is taking legal action against the church for years of physical abuse.

In an interview with the Volkskrant, the man says he was kicked and punched as a teenager over a period of several years. ‘I was literally beaten into hospital five times,’ the man said. ‘But the church does not comment on this sort of abuse.’

The case will be heard on March 11. The paper says it is the first time a victim of church physical abuse has gone to court. The man was earlier given €25,000 compensation for the sex attack he endured.

The Catholic church’s own sexual abuse register does not include physical abuse because it is ‘outside its remit’, the paper said.

‘This is another example of the formal way some church authorities deal with victims,’ the man’s lawyer Martin de Witte told the paper. ‘They only do what is strictly necessary.’

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

Odds Are Next Pope Will be Italian, Bookies Say

‘South American, African no longer favorites’ says William Hill

(ANSA) — Rome, February 27 — British bookmakers on Wednesday said the odds were good that the new pope would be Italian and not from the developing world as previously predicted. According to William Hill bookmakers, the odds that an Italian cardinal would rise to the ranks of pontiff were four to 1.8. The numbers were taken Wednesday, when Benedict made his final public appearance before over 150,000 people at a general audience in St Peter’s Square before stepping down Thursday. The likeliest of ‘papabile’ candidates is Milan Archibishop Angelo Scola with four to one odds, followed by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone at six to one, and the head of the Italian bishops conference (CEI) Angelo Bagnasco at eight to one, William Hill said. “Betting on the next pope is one of the most international markets in history, with bets coming in from over 100 countries,” a spokesman for William Hill told betting publication Agipronews. “At this point in time, those placing bets believe the man to succeed Benedict XVI will be Italian, instead of a South American or an African, as was predicted initially”. According to the latest data, odds on an African pope are 2.88 to one, while those on South American pope are 9 to two. Odds that he will come from Canada, such as Cardinal Marc Ouellet, are seven to one. Odds on an American are 21 to one, followed by 26 to one on a Spanish successor and 34 to one on someone from France. Wherever the next pope comes from, odds are 11 to one he will not be elected after one round of voting in the conclave of cardinals, which could begin as early as next week.

(photo: Milan Archibishop Angelo Scola with Benedict XVI)

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Salman Rushdie Targeted in Al Qaeda Mag’s Most-Wanted

An al-Qaeda magazine encouraging terrorism has revealed its most-wanted list of Islam critics to kill — and it includes British author Salman Rushdie.

The shocking article reads: “Wanted: Dead or alive for crimes against Islam.”

English language mag Inspire lists Mr Rushdie and American pastor Terry Jones — who burned the Koran on a 9/11 anniversary — among its targets.

Alongside the images is the slogan: “Yes we can. A bullet a day keeps the infidel away.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Silvio Berlusconi Remains Italy’s Richest Politician

Monti second among leaders, earned 3% of Berlusconi’s total

(ANSA) — Milan, February 28 — Silvio Berlusconi remains Italy’s richest politician, with a 2011 declared income of more than 35 million euros, according to tax returns released Thursday.

Berlusconi, former premier three times over, reported an income of 35,439,981 euros in 2011 — a drop, however from his 2010 declared income of about 48 million euros.

Justice Minister Paola Severino was second highest on the list, reporting an income of 10.2 million euros in 2011, while straggling far below that in about eighth place was outgoing Premier Mario Monti with an 2011 income of 1.092 million euros.

In comparison, the income of Monti — who was appointed caretaker premier in November 2011 and is also a senator-for-life — is about 3% of that of Berlusconi. Elsa Fornero, the unpopular minister of labour, reported an income of almost 510,000 euros in 2011 while Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli earned just over 541,000 euros.

In this week’s Italian election, Berlusconi’s centre right placed second but still managed to prevent Pier Luigi Bersani’s centre-left alliance from gaining a working majority in the Senate.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Abuser Did “Terrible Things” To Teenage Victim Old Bailey Hears [Bullfinch Trial]

A TEENAGE girl cried as she told police five years ago her abuser had done “terrible things” to her, the Old Bailey heard this morning. The Oxford sex abuse ring trial also heard a social worker wanted to “foster” the girl. The jury heard statements from a social worker and police officer who dealt with the complainant known as Girl 4. She claims she was raped and sold for sex by brothers Mohammed and Bassam Karrar between the ages of 11 and 15…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Eastleigh by-Election: The Lesson is Clear — if the Right is Divided, The Left Will Win

by Toby Young

Conservatives have long argued that voting for Ukip is pointless. All it does is increase the chances of the centre-Left candidate of winning the seat, whether they’re Labour or Lib Dem. After tonight’s result in Eastleigh, Ukip supporters will be gleefully throwing that argument back in their face. In Eastleigh, they’ll argue, voting Conservative was a wasted vote. If only those backing the third-placed party had voted for Ukip, the centre-Right candidate would have won the day…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Eastleigh by-Election: If You Kick Your Core Voters Hard Enough, Mr Cameron, They Might Kick Back

by Norman Tebbit

The Eastleigh by-election was bound to have some bad news for the Tories, whatever happened. Even had they taken the seat from the Lib Dems, which would have been a triumph for David Cameron, the Lib Dems would have put the blame on Clegg and the anti-coalitionists might well have forced him out of the leadership with the strong probability that the coalition would have collapsed. In fact, that was never on the cards. The Lib Dems were deeply dug in and well organised in Eastleigh, whereas the Tory grassroots had shrivelled in the climate of contempt in which they are regarded by the Tory leadership.

However, to be pushed into third place behind the party of nutcases, fruit cakes and closet racists, as David Cameron ill-advisedly described its supporters, is a humiliating defeat. Even worse for him, it has again increased the credibility of Ukip ahead of this year’s local elections and next years European election. There was a real sting in the throwaway line of Neil Farage, who blamed the result onto the Conservatives for splitting the anti-Lib Dem vote…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Sexual Predators Who Assaulted 14-Year-Old Girl for Five Days Are Jailed for 15 Years


Two men have been jailed for a total of 15 years after plying a 14-year-old girl with alcohol and drugs in return for sex.

Raja Khan, 23, raped the victim while Adeeb Sultan, 27, abused her and passed her to another man who sexually assaulted her during a five day ordeal in Birmingham.

On one occasion the men tried to force the girl to perform a sex act on a taxi driver in a bid to get a lower fare.

Last month Khan was found guilty of rape and actual bodily harm while Sultan was convicted of two counts of sexual activity with a child and causing or inciting sexual activity with a child.

Today Khan, of Sparkbrook, Birmingham, was jailed for 10 years while Sultan, of Alum Rock, Birmingham, was jailed for five years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: The Medina Carta: A Manifesto for Britain

by Khadija Burlington Smythe

Salaam, infidels! Don’t think your earlier apathetic response to the persecution of Sheikh Mo Dawah went unnoticed. Where were the phone calls to Amnesty, the messages to Cage Prisoners? But we wish to give you another chance, particularly as the values Harry’s Place stands for — liberty, freedom of expression, justice — were all in fact invented by Islam.

Sheikh Mo Dawah is rightly famed as a community leader and all-round intellectual. And now he has written a truly seminal work — the Medina Carta — like the Magna Carta, but much better…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: The Eastleigh Byelection: The Lessons for Labour

by Patrick Diamond

Do southern voters know what one nation Labour is meant to be about? More policy grit would be welcome

As the dust settles on a historic byelection, all the major parties will be assessing the result’s implications. Eastleigh was never a seat that Labour could expect to win, having come a dismal third in 2010. But Labour has to show it is capable of getting a hearing here to have a chance of victory at a general election. The party will not win by amassing more votes in northern England and the celtic heartlands. The test in Eastleigh, as elsewhere in the south, is whether voters understand what one nation Labour is about. So how can Ed Miliband define the concept more clearly in the minds of voters?


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Wilders on a “Resistance Tour” Though the Netherlands

THE HAGUE, 01/03/13 — Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders plans to lecture the population on the squares of villages and towns. He is speaking of a “resistance tour” through the Netherlands against the government budget.

Wilders said on TV programme Nieuwsuur that he will fight less “in The Hague meeting-rooms” in the coming period, but rather he wants to lead the resistance to the cabinet policy in markets, shopping centres and local districts. Along with this, Wilders wants to collect signatures against the cabinet policy and present them to Premier Mark Rutte during a demonstration in September.

Millions of people agree with him, according to Wilders. He also considers that taxes should not go up but should actually come down, and cutbacks should be made on development cooperation, on the EU and on aid to Greece.

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

Egypt: Two Coptic Orthodox Children Aged 9 and 10 Risk Jail on Blasphemy Charges

A court in Bani Suef (Upper Egypt) rejects family’s appeal for Rzik Nagy, age 10 and Mina Fara, nine. The two charged with desecrating pages of the Koran. Arrested April 2012 they will remain in a juvenile detention center until the final sentence. Fr. Rafic Greiche denounces Muslim Brotherhood attempts to secretly control every sphere of society.

Cairo (AsiaNews) — Yet another case of violence and abuse against Coptic Christians. On 26 February, the Court of Bani Suef (Upper Egypt) dismissed the appeal of the families of the two children Rzik Nagy, aged 10, and Mina Farag, 9, accused of desecrating the Koran. They have been detained in a juvenile prison since April 2012. The case has attracted a lot of criticism in the country. Many claim the trial was illegal and devoid of any logic.

Sami Harak, a lawyer and member of the Egyptian Movement Against Religious Discrimination, points out that “the Bani Suef case is a sad precedent and in the future there may be others for religious defamation, especially against children of the Christian faith.”

On 9 April 2012 the two were stopped by a local imam who accused them of having urinated on the Koran. Before calling the police, the Muslim cleric led Nabil and Nady to the local church demanding the priest punish them. At the priest’s refusal the Imam took the two children to the local court with three other Muslims of the village. Without a trial, the judge detained the two children in a youth detention center on charges of religious desecration. Their parents’ appeals and those of the local Christian community to local authorities have proven fruitless. Nabil and Nady are both illiterate and according to the parents could not have known what was written on those pages, found in among rubbish.

If they are convicted, the case will mark a serious precedent for the country. For Saaid Abdel Hafez, a Human Rights lawyer, a double mistake has been committed. Given their age and the fact they are Christians they can not be punished under Sharia law. Local Muslims should seek compensation from parents and representatives of the local Coptic community. The second and more serious mistake was the trial by a civil court under pressure from a religious leader.

Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, launches an alarm ove rthe growing Islamization of the country. “The Muslim Brotherhood — he says — are quietly replacing all local officials in governorates with people loyal to them. Egypt is increasingly becoming an Islamic country, with serious risks especially for the Christian minority.” According to the priest these changes are occurring silently and far from the eyes of the media. Islamists are replacing second and third rank officials, which act as “advisors” to the leaders of the various sectors of the economy and Justice system. “The general population — he says — notice nothing strange. But dozens of people are being laid off and replaced with others who are openly close to the extremist establishment.” Thanks to this “infiltration of the most intransigent wing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis act without the fear of being punished.”

On 24 February, a group of Islamists had surrounded the church of Abu Maqar in the Shubra al-Kheima district of Cairo, stopping for a second time the construction of the building. The extremists raided the site undisturbed, claiming that there was no necessary permits. Last July 6, hundreds of Salafists has laid siege to the site for more than 24 hours and hoisted a banner reading “Mosque Ebad al-Rahman”, telling Christians to leave the place. Many of them were armed. (S.C.)

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

Egypt: Coptic Woman MP, Vote is Urgent. Boycott Useless

Kamal, election only way to find stability, change charter

(ANSAmed) — ROME- Egypt’s youngest lawmaker, Marianne Malak Kamal, who is in Rome to attend the first edition of the Italian foreign ministry’s Women in Diplomacy school, says boycotting upcoming national elections in her country is useless. ‘Boycotting elections does not make sense’, she told ANSAmed. ‘I don’t agree with the decision adopted by the National Salvation Front. Leaving the constituent assembly was a big mistake. Where did it lead? To nothing, apart from the approval of a constitution which divided Egypt, limits freedom and fails to protect human rights. And all this was done without the support of the secular, Christian and liberal members’.

Kamal, who is an independent candidate at upcoming national elections in Egypt, is attending the course organized by the Italian foreign ministry and SIOI, the Italian Society for International Organization together with another 19 young women from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Libya.

‘Changing this parliament is possible only by taking part in the elections, by becoming candidates and casting a ballot’, Kamal noted.’Changing the constitution will only be possible in this way’.

A Coptic and one of the few women who sat in a parliament dominated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafites, Marianne Kamal is, together with another two Coptic women, part of the group appointed by the superior council of the armed forces after the first free elections following the fall of the Mubarak regime (November 2011- February 2012). ‘I represent Christians, women and youths’, she said.

National elections scheduled by President Mohammed Morsi are vital for Egypt. ‘We must go to the vote. The economic situation is dramatic’, she said, stressing that the country is on the brink of collapse and political paralysis.

With a degree in law, a master in human rights and a Phd in international law about to be completed, this young woman was a member of the constituent assembly and of the national council for human rights. She said she succeeded in making other lawmakers accept her and find specific issues on which to dialogue with Islamists.

She describes herself as not commonplace and ‘a friend of many youths who are in the (Salafite) Al Nour party and with the Brotherhood’. ‘I represent a bridge connecting Muslims, Salafites and secular members of society. When I sit in parliament I try to defend everybody’s rights’.

She was in Tahrir square on January 25, 2011. Once she was in the lower house she decided to adopt a strategy enabling her to agree with other members on one point: ‘What drew us closer was the respect for human beings and their rights’. ‘Our common interest is for Egypt to leave this terrible phase’, she noted, in order to confront the most complex and divisive issues.

Elections will be scheduled a week before originally announced by the presidency. ‘Everybody will vote because the election will not coincide with the Palm Sunday of the Coptic Church’, she noted. There will therefore be little time for an electoral campaign. ‘I will run on my own’ as an independent candidate, she said. ‘I have many supporters not only in the Coptic community but also among young Muslims. We all want to live in a civilized country’.

The issue remains how the different souls of this country will reach this objective.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Violence Re-Ignites at Church Over Alleged Forced Conversion

Kom Ombo, 1 March (AKI) — Violence re-erupted outside a church in Kom Ombo, Upper Egypt on Friday when security forces used teargas to disperse protesters angry at a Muslim woman’s alleged kidnap and forced conversion to Christianity.

Some members of the security forces sustained head injuries when stones were hurled at them by members of the crowd, Al-Ahram daily’s Arabic news website reported.

Earlier on Friday the Saint Mar Girgis Church was attacked with Molotov cocktails by protesters angry at the Muslim woman’s alleged ordeal.

But some locals said the woman converted to Christianity of her own free will. Her whereabouts are unknown.

Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt’s population and have long complained they are the target of violence from Muslim hardliners, who have attacked a number of churches and their congregations.

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

Egypt: The Ministry of Education Must Face the Discrimination Against the Female Students Because of the Veil

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the depriving a of the female student from being honored for her excellence because she does not wear the veil. The director of the primary school in Alamriah, Alexandria, has deprived the student who has excelled in the Karate sport from joining her colleagues to in a memorial photo because she doesn’t wear a veil!…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Libya Minister Says Lockerbie Case is ‘Closed’

Libya has declared the case of the Lockerbie bombing effectively “over”, even as British and American authorities seek to launch fresh investigations into the atrocity, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

The new Libyan government has said that in its eyes the Lockerbie affair is a closed case and that now is not the time to dwell on the “past”. “The matter was settled with the Gaddafi regime. I am trying to work on the current situation rather than dig into the past,” said Salah al-Marghani, the justice minister…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Morocco Toughens Terrorism Financing Laws

Rabat — Moroccan MPs are cracking down on terror financing.

Moroccan parliamentarians sitting on the Justice Committee in the Chamber of Representatives on Tuesday (February 26th) adopted a draft law which makes the financing of terrorism a criminal offence. The law aims to bring Moroccan legislation into line with international law, Interior Minister Mohand Laenser said, adding that the country has made great efforts in the legal field to tackle terrorism and money laundering…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists to Gain From Egyptian Opposition’s Boycotting

CAIRO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The decision of Egypt’s main opposition bloc, the National Salvation Front (NSF), to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections might just serve the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, political observers said. The NSF, an umbrella group that includes more than 30 parties and political movements, announced Tuesday at a press conference that it decided to boycott the elections scheduled to kick off on April 22…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

2 Killed in Car Explosion in Central Israel

JERUSALEM, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Two people were killed after an explosive device attached to a parking car blew up in central Israel on Thursday, the Israeli Ha’aretz daily reported.

The blast occurred in a residential neighborhood in Rishon Letzion, south of Tel Aviv, the police said. The victims’ identities were not disclosed yet, as the police believed that the incident was criminally motivated and had arrested several suspects within hours, Ha’aretz said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

AQAP Inspire Magazine Calls for Jihad Against Western Figures Like Geert Wilders and Production of Bw Agent Anthrax

Calls by AQAP for Jihad against prominent Western figures like Wilders, Westergaard, Hirsi Ali, and Rushdie among others are perennial and frightening. That amounts to a call for assassination under Sharia because of their exercise of free speech criticizing Islamic Qur’anic doctrine. These AQAP and calls for targeted Jihad are credible in view of failed attacks on noted free thinkers like Geert Wilders, Danish political cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, Swedish Artists Lars Vilks and most recently, Lars Hedegaard, executive editor of Dispatch International, founder of both the Danish and International Free Press Societies. Wilders is very acutely aware of the assassinations of Dutch politician Pym Fortuyn and the murder slaughter on the streets of Amsterdam by a Dutch Moroccan of Theo Van Gogh film director and late colleague of Ms. Hirsi Ali. Wilders has been the subject of death threats from both Radical Muslims in Holland and abroad that have forced him into 24/7 arrangement s of the Dutch Royal and Diplomatic Protection Service. Inspire’s call for production of Anthrax, a potent BW agent, doesn’t surprise us. We refer to Dr. Bellamy’s most recent article on possible BW threats posed by terrorist group Hezbollah published by Dispatch International and posted on the Iconoclast today. While eternal vigilance is required to protect the security of both free thinkers and the general public against Jihad using non-conventional weapons, it comes at a personal high price, 24/7 surveillance and protection.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Back-to-Back Car Bombs Kill 6, Injure 50 in Southern Iraq

BAGHDAD, March 1 (Xinhua) — Two car bombs exploded successively in a livestock market in southern Iraq Friday, killing at least six people and wounding 50 others, a local police source said. The blasts took place in the Shiite-dominated city of Diwaniya, 180 km south of the capital city Baghdad, on Friday morning when Muslims were enjoying their weekend…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Ettinger: Beware Benevolent Ethnocentrism

Ettinger’s warning is based on a review of benighted efforts of at least one UK Prime Minister and several US Presidents seeking to impose Western values on dealing with truculent regimes in the Middle East that have led to colossal misteps weakening British and American security interests in the Middle East. Ettinger’s warning: Ethnocentrism — judging other cultures by one’s own standards — is morally wrong, especially when motivated by superiority complex or racism. Benevolent ethnocentrism — the assumption that other cultures are ready to embrace one’s own standards and worldview — is morally flawed and strategically self-destructive. The exercise of benevolent ethnocentrism — projecting one’s democratic values upon non-democratic societies — consistently is interpreted by non-democratic societies as weakness. It erodes the Western posture of deterrence, aggravating, rather than solving, regional conflicts, while undermining Western national security and economic interests. Read Ettinger’s chronicle of misguided UK and US actions over the past five decades fostered by Benevolent ethnocentrism.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Israel Condemns Zionism Comments by Turkey’s PM Erdogan

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been heavily criticised by the US, Israel and the UN for branding Zionism a “crime against humanity”.

He told a UN forum this week: “As with Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it is inevitable that Islamophobia be considered a crime against humanity.” Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu called the comments “dark and mendacious”…

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s office said he heard Mr Erdogan’s speech through an interpreter, and called it “unfortunate that such hurtful and divisive comments were uttered at a meeting being held under the theme of responsible leadership”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Kerry Condemns Erdogan’s Words on Zionism

(AGI) Ankara — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned the words with which Erdogan compared Zionism to Fascism .

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

Syria: WSJ: London to Give Armoured Vehicles to Rebels

USA convinced enough weapons being sent from Muslim countries

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Great Britain will provide armoured vehicles, bulletproof vests and night vision devices, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday citing European and US officials.

Washington, added the WSJ, does not want to provide weapons as it fears they could end up in the hands of jihadist groups and President Barack Obama is convinced that rebels get enough military supplies from Muslim countries in the region.

On Thursday for the first time the international community gathered in Rome, and in particular the thus-far reluctant US, agreed to provide ‘non lethal’ aid to Syrian rebels including their militias. However weapons were not mentioned in fears that, as in Libya’s case, they could end up in the hands of terror groups close to al Qaida or to Iran.

On Thursday Kerry pledged in the name of President Obama an additional 60 million dollars in non-lethal aid including food and medical supplies to the Syrian oppositions in order to ease a political transition towards democracy.

Kerry left Rome on Friday morning to travel to Ankara, Turkey. The Boeing 757 plane carrying Kerry, his staff and a number of US envoys left the military airport of Ciampino at 9.20 am local time bound for the Turkish capital, the fifth leg of a trip which has already taken him to London, Berlin, Paris and Rome. Kerry’s ‘listening tour’, his first trip overseas since being appointed secretary of state, will end in Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: Fiona Hodgson: Sexual Violence Has Become a Weapon of War, Reaching Unimaginable Scales

Fiona Hodgson is the Vice-Chairman (voluntary) of the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF), a national group chaired by Oliver Letwin MP that gives its members the opportunity to discuss the major policy challenges facing Britain today. Over the coming months she and other members of the voluntary team will be writing a regular post for ConservativeHome.

The last week has brought fresh horrors in Syria, where appalling brutality continues to rage unabated. One of the less reported aspects of this terrible civil war is the rampant sexual violence that is taking place there, only known about because of the shocking number of refugees who are reporting having been raped. This highlights why the groundbreaking Initiative to Prevent Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post Conflict Countries, launched by our Foreign Secretary with Angelina Jolie last May, is so vitally important and is so desperately needed…

[JP note: Indeed. Add Ipswich, Rochdale, Rotherham, Oldham, Oxford, and countless other, conflict-beset towns in the UK to the list for this groundbreaking initiative.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Lesson of the Iraq War is That Benign Intervention Can Work

by Con Coughlin

Iraq is returning to normal, but without Western help, the dreams of Arab democracy are unlikely to become a reality

Ten years after the start of the Iraq war, it is often overlooked that Britain’s participation in the highly complex military operation to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial regime was deemed to be an unqualified success…

[Reader comment by welshtruth on 1 March 2013 at about 9:30 am.]

100% wrong and deeply patronising. We should just accept that Arabs, and muslims generally, subscribe to a violent, sexist, delusional death cult, and we should just let them get on with living as they seem to want to, in economic squalor and without the rule of law, dignity etc. Wasting our money and British lives in these ghastly countries is an utter waste, just vanity projects for Blair and his mini me Cameron.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

US Help Might See Syrian Rebels Form Alternate Government

The long-term US funding of anti-government programs in Syria has raised questions about the types of groups being supported, and the benefits and arms supplied to militant groups; establishing political stability requires considered dialogue.

It appears that the US State Department under John Kerry will soon shift its focus to helping the rebels establish a full-fledged alternative government on Syrian territory and recognize it as the legal government of Syria. Such a move would legitimize the transfer of heavy weaponry and would allow the US to directly employ air strikes or Patriot anti-missile batteries against Assad’s forces.

Some would argue that these moves could help to marginalize the notable al-Qaeda presence among rebel forces. Pumping more arms and heavier weapons into Syria is unconscionable at this point, and continuing to do so will inevitably bolster the muscle and reach of jihadi and Salafist fighters. The argument that the US and its allies have only armed the “moderate” rebels is a deeply flawed one; weapons are in high demand by all rebel factions and there is little means to effectively prevent arms from gravitating toward hardcore Al-Qaeda fighters.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

With Hagel on Side, Obama Looks Set for Middle East Scrap

by Jonathan Cummings

President Obama’s nominee for Defence Secretary, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, has been confirmed by the Senate, ending several weeks of deeply acrimonious hearings in Congress. Despite the narrow margin of the final vote, Mr Hagel’s appointment is an important political victory for Mr Obama, whose nomination of a Republican with a controversial record on foreign affairs carried some risk. After Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew her candidacy as Secretary of State over concerns about the handling of the attack on US diplomats in Benghazi, Mr Obama was not willing to allow two high-profile nominees be blocked by Congress, and stood firm…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Woman Discovers Fiancé’s Affair on Russian Version of Google Maps

A Russian woman ended her engagement after discovering her fiancé was having an affair through Russia’s version of Google’s map service.

Marina Voinova, 24, was searching for the address of her house on Yandex Maps, a service that unlike Google Maps doesn’t automatically blur recognisable faces.

But when an image of her home in Perm, Western Russian loaded, she was horrified to see her partner of five years Sasha, with his arms around a mystery brunette.

He can then be seen kissing the slender woman, who has not been named, as they walk down the road.

Miss Voinova told how she has been left devastated by the infidelity of the “love of her life” and has since called of her engagement after proving that he was having an affair.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

6 Wounded in Bombing in Restive S. Thailand

BANGKOK, March 1 (Xinhua) — One soldier and five residents were wounded in motorcycle bombing on Friday in restive southern province of Narathiwat, Thai News Agency reported.

The explosion occurred at around 6 a.m. Friday at the entrance of the Narathiwat municipality fresh market. Police said the 5-kg bomb was built in a metal box and placed inside a helmet compartment of the motorcycle. A male teenager reportedly drove the motorcycle to park behind a pickup truck from Narathiwat Special Task Force 32…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

At Least 44 Dead in Bangladesh Clashes

At least 44 people have been killed in Bangladesh in a wave of violence sparked by a special tribunal’s decision to sentence a top Islamist opposition leader to death. Reports Friday said the latest deaths took place in Gainbandha district, after two days of clashes between protesters and police. The protests were expected to continue after Friday prayers…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh: Dozens Killed in Clashes Between Islamists and Police

The violence erupted after the sentencing to death of a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic Party), accused of war crimes in 1971. More than 800 injured. Among the victims, three policemen. Explosions in several neighborhoods of the capital, temples and houses burnt the Hindu community in the southeast. The Islamic religious authority in the country calls for calm.

Dhaka (AsiaNews / Agencies) — At least 35 people have died in Bangladesh in clashes between police and supporters of the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami. Over 800 are injured. The violence erupted in the late afternoon yesterday after Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, a party leader accused of war crimes during the conflict of 1971, was sentenced to death. The verdict sparked yet another hartal (strike) by the National Jamaat and its supporters, who in a short time set several towns and villages on fire, destroyed some Hindu temples, left thousands of people wounded. Among the victims there are three police officers, beaten to death when 2 thousand Jamaat activists attacked a police station in the northern district of Gaibanda.

Riots broke out in different parts of the country. In the southeastern district of Noakhali, some Islamic fundamentalists set fire to houses and temples of the Hindu community. In Dhaka, the capital, a series of bombs exploded in the residential districts of Mirpur-1, Kafrul, Mohammadpur, Motijheel, Abdullahpur, Khilgaon and Uttara. Police have tightened security in the city for fear that violence will escalate again after Friday prayers.

The Islamic Foundation, which answers to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, has asked all imams and mosques in the country not to feed the tension in the Muslim community.

Tensions are high in the country since February 5 last, when activists and bloggers of all ages, sexes and walks of life launched a peaceful demonstration to demand the government (led by the Awami League, ed) impose the death penalty for those accused of war crimes. Supporters of Jamaat (which is in opposition, ed) have accused the protesters of blasphemy and claim the war tribunals are “politicized”. On 18 February, Parliament passed an amendment to the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, which now allows the death sentence for war criminals. Since then, activists of the Jamaat-e-Shibir (youth wing of the party) have gone on a rampage of vandalism throughout the country, escalating until yesterday’s climax.

The court found Delwar Hossain Sayeedi guilty of 19 charges, including: murder of innocent civilians; collaboration with the Pakistani army in killings and torture of unarmed people, arson, rapes. In addition, during the war, he forced some Hindus to convert to Islam, and seized assets and property belonging to this community.

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

Bangladesh: East London Mosque Favourite Sayedee to Hang

by Lucy Lips

Following his conviction, Delwar Hossain Sayedee is to hang


Sayedee has been a guest of honour at the East London Mosque.

The Department of Communities and Local Government has identified the links between the South Asian Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the East London Mosque. “The [Jamaat-e-Islami (“JI”)] helped to create and subsequently dominate the leadership of the MCB, currently the largest Muslim umbrella body in Britain, with around 500 affiliates representing a broad set of orientations. Vying for the leadership of the MCB are the Pakistani and Bangladeshi wings of JI, alongside the Muslim Brotherhood and some politicised Deobandis. The current Secretary General is the Chair of the East London Mosque, the key institution for the Bangladeshi wing of JI in the UK.”

The East London Mosque houses the Islamic Forum Europe, a controversial organisation which is also aligned with Jamaat-e-Islami, which was the subject of a recent Channel 4 Dispatches documentary. It was established by Choudhry Mueen Uddin, who is facing similar war crimes charges — but who will, of course, not be extradited to face execution…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

China: Mekong River Murderers Executed by Lethal Injection

KUNMING, March 1 (Xinhua) — Myanmar drug lord Naw Kham, who was convicted of murdering 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in 2011, was executed on Friday afternoon, a local court in southwest China said. Naw Kham and three of his accomplices, identified as Hsang Kham, Yi Lai,and Zha Xika, were executed by lethal injection in the city of Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, according to the Intermediate People’s Court of Kunming…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Investors Back Mongolia Despite Rio Mine Dispute

Renewed unease about sovereign and regulatory risk in Mongolia — triggered by a dispute between the government and mining giant Rio Tinto over the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project — is on the rise but shouldn’t erode confidence among longer term investors in the mineral-rich nation, said experts.

Rio and the Mongolian government held “productive” talks this week and agreed on a temporary budget for the $6.6 billion mine, according to statement released Friday by Rio Tinto subsidiary Turquoise Hill Resources. Talks will continue this month though both parties made “progress” on issues related to costs, operating budget, project financing and management fees.

Oyu Tolgoi — which will represent almost a third of Mongolia’s economy when in full production — is expected to reach commercial output by the end of June 2013. But development has been setback by wrangling over taxes and ownership of the project.

Fears over ‘resources nationalism’ are overshadowing the narrative with some investors fearing Mongolia’s government may be revising mining contracts and the regulatory framework to extract a greater share of the royalties. “The amber light warning is still lit regarding sovereign risk although not blinking,” said Jim Dwyer, executive director of the Business Council of Mongolia in Ulan Bator…

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

Living in a Box: The Desperate Workers Forced to Live in Tiny ‘Coffin’ Apartments of Tokyo — Which Still Cost Up to £400 a Month to Rent

They are barely large enough for a single person to squeeze into at all, let alone swing a cat.

But incredibly these tiny ‘coffin’ apartments in central Tokyo still command rents of up to £400 a month.

The Japanese capital is one of the most crowded cities in the world, and to cash in on the chronic housing problem, landlords have developed what are known as ‘geki-sema’ or share houses.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

N. Korea’s ‘Hatred of Christians’ Puts 70,000 Believers in Prison

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

SANTA ANA, Calif. (BP) — Persecution of Christians in North Korea shows no sign of abating under the country’s new leader, Kim Jong-Un, according to a report by the worldwide ministry Open Doors.

“The fanatical regime, which rules the destitute country of 24 million people with a proverbial iron fist, has a special hatred for Christians,” Jerry Dykstra of the California-based Open Doors USA noted. “North Korea is in a league of its own when it comes to persecution of Christians.”

Dykstra’s and other reports parallel incidents in North Korea chronicled in the U.S. State Department’s religious freedom assessments.

Of an estimated 200,000 prisoners in North Korea, 70,000 of them are Christians, Open Doors reported. For the 11th consecutive year, North Korea tops Open Doors’ list of the worst countries for its brutal treatment of believers.

North Korea is run like a giant religious cult, Dykstra wrote. He noted two ideologies that drive the regime: “Juche,” which asserts that man is self-reliant, and “Kimilsungism,” which is the worship of leaders.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

£300million of Crystal Meth Seized by Australian Police After Anonymous Tip-Off ‘Unravels’ Major International Drug Ring

Police in Sydney have confiscated a haul of methamphetamine worth £297million after they were tipped off by an anonymous source.

They are hailing the find, the largest shipment of crystal meth they have ever seized, as a crippling blow to a powerful drugs syndicate, reports CNN.

The shipment was intercepted as it came into port from Southern China after a call made five months ago from an anonymous tipster in New South Wales to the state’s Asian Crime Squad, police said.

They were found last week hidden in bags of chemicals for cleaning products in a container from the southern Chinese trading hub of Shenzhen, according to police.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: APC Governors Venture Into Boko Haram’s Den, In Ridicule of Jonathan, PDP

Eight Governors of the APC’s 10 were at the meeting in Borno, North Eastern Nigeria. Eight governors from the major opposition parties met on Thursday at the Government House, Maiduguri, Borno State where they continued discussion on the formation of the All Progressives Congress, APC. They also discussed the prevailing insecurity bedeviling Borno and Yobe States, both governed by the All Nigeria Peoples Party. Maiduguri is the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency and the governors appear to have ventured into the city to shame President Goodluck Jonathan who is yet to make a state visit the Borno State capital. The governors met in the troubled city in spite of reports of explosions in a part of the metropolis…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Somalia: Al-Shabaab Leader Given a Death Sentence in Absentia

A court in Puntland has passed a death sentence against Ahmed Abdi Godane “Abu Zubeir”, the leader of Al-Shabaab, for his role in masterminding the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Hajji Abdirahman in Bosasso. Sheikh Ahmed was assassinated on December 5, last year outside a mosque in Bosasso, shortly after attending Morning Prayers in the mosque. A commission of inquiry concluded Al-Shabaab was responsible for the killing…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

70,000 Southern Europeans Live in the Netherlands

Some 70,000 people from Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy now live in the Netherlands, up from almost 25,000 at the turn of the century, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

One in seven live in Amsterdam, but Rotterdam and The Hague are also popular places to live. In addition, student cities like Delft, Wageningen and Groningen have significant southern European communities, the CBS said.

The population of the Zeeland town of Reimerswaal, which has 22,000 residents, has seen its Portuguese population rise 3,000% from seven to 218 over the past 12 years.

According to a council spokesman, they have been attracted by the local mussel farming industry. ‘We are now at a maximum,’ he said.

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

Antwerp to Charge £230 for Foreigners to Live There

Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city, is to impose the equivalent of a £230 tax on all foreigners who move to live there.

Under the local law, passed this week and due to come into effect from May 1, citizens from other countries — both EU and non — will have to pay €267 to register with municipal authorities instead of €17 fee charged to Belgians.

Bart De Wever, Antwerp’s mayor, whose party, the New Flemish Alliance, advocates splitting Belgium into two states, justified the measure by saying it costs more money to process paperwork for foreigners.

Other supporters of the move however say it is designed to keep out migrants from north Africa.

“It’s nothing to do with keeping out British people,” Filip Dewinter, from the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang party, told The Daily Telegraph.. “It’s about all the non-European foreigners who come here without any income. Political refugees, migrants from north Africa with no money — that’s the kind of people we don’t want. That’s the kind of people who can’t afford to pay €246 for everybody they bring over — their children, their parents.”

Antwerp, a city of 1.2 million people, is home to hundreds of thousands of Moroccan, Turkish and Kurdish migrants, most of whom cluster in the same neighbourhoods.

Tensions between Kurds and Turks saw heavy riots in 2011. In the latest incident last September police clashed with Muslim demonstrators angry about an anti-Islamic film in the US.

A debate in Belgium’s national parliament last week saw left-wing deputies accuse Antwerp authorities of bigotry.

“In my eyes, its discrimination, pure and simple,” Freya Piryns from the Green party told the assembly.

The Workers’ Party of Belgium has lodged an appeal against it in the country’s highest court.

The European Commission is checking to see if it complies with EU laws on freedom of movement.

Belgium’s interior ministry has publicly noted that past EU decisions only forbid higher fees for different foreign nationalities, not blanket fees for all foreigners.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

The Netherlands Runs Into Dilemma in Return Policy for Asylum Seekers

THE HAGUE, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — An old and empty church in Amsterdam has become home to some 100 failed asylum seekers who have lost the right for official shelter. Most of them are not allowed to stay in the Netherlands, but the Dutch government fails to send them back successfully. What has gone wrong with the Dutch return policy for asylum-seekers?…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Arkansas Legislators Override Democratic Governor’s Veto of Late-Term Abortion Ban

Legislators in Arkansas have voted to override the governor’s veto of a late-term abortion ban that was recently passed by both houses.

As previously reported, the bill, which was introduced by Republican Senator Andy Mayberry, sought to ban abortions at 20 weeks of gestation. It passed the House 80-10 last Friday and was sent to Democratic Governor Mike Beebe’s desk for approval.

Beebe explained Tuesday following the veto that he rejected the bill because he felt that it contradicted the Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade, which claimed that babies could begin living outside of the womb at 22 to 24 weeks — approximately 5 1/2 to 6 months in gestation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Canada: Supreme Court Muzzles Free Speech in Canada, Rules Against Catholic Pro-Family Activist

Canada’s top court has released an unanimous decision today that critics say has struck a monumental blow against freedom of speech, opinion, and religion across the country. The court ordered the defendant, a Catholic pro-family activist with a reputation for intense activism, not only to pay a fine, but also to pay court costs which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“It’s a bad day,” said Bill Whatcott to in an interview. “The ruling and the reasoning [behind it] is terrible. They actually used the concept that truth is not a defense.”

“It’s worse than I expected. What it means is that my life is over, as I know it. It means that the Christian Church is going to be libel for speaking the truth,” he said.

The Supreme Court found however that with regards to hate-speech, the distinction between ‘sin and sinner’ no longer applies. No longer can Christians give the defense before courts that one ‘loves the sinner, but hates the sin’.

Landolt said that the Court has damaged freedom of religion by “manipulating and twisting” the whole intent of this freedom “to serve their own objective which is to protect homosexuals.”

She said that Christians had better take the ruling as a “warning sign” that they are going to be “pounced on” if they decide to speak about Christian sexual morality in the public square.

Ezra Levant from Sun News has predicted that the ruling will inundate Human Rights Commissions with hate-speech based complaints.

“You will see a boom in the Human Rights Commission business because the law is so vague and the Supreme Court is saying: ‘Yeah, you can go after someone if they say something hateful’. We are going to see an explosion of hate-speech complaints out there,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Canada: Supreme Court Twists the Charter of Rights in Its Haste to Limit Free Speech

by Andrew Coyne

The very first line in the Supreme Court’s calamitous decision in the case of Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott gives a clue to where it is going. “All rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” it declares, “are subject to reasonable limitations.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Father Dearth Paradigm

There is nothing from which America suffers more these past thirty-five years than the father dearth imposed by Family Law and amplified through every media channel, social sciences and government. Long ago I exposed the true nature of Family Law with the term “lawless law.” It is a serial mass murderer that kills by damage that grows over time. Like other killers the ruling cadres of our oligarchic collective empowers them while disabling or silencing any resistance to them. Culturetainment — civilization has “limitless hostility for anything that is more than itself” or shows health against its imposed disease. Power is the subtext of its digitally enhanced spectacles. It commands worship through the mind-numbed gaze through which it disseminates its stereotypes that make fiction into virtual reality mimed by people in the process of losing their humanity. This is the pattern from which all zombie films derive. Digital technology destroys “cultural conservatism’s distinctions between the genuine and artificial.”[5] The world ends in triumphant fictions mirrored in cyborg assassin films.

Of course fathers did not truly “go over to the dark side.” They have been represented as doing so by the masters of the machine whose overriding method and goal is facilitated management of generic human inventory, that is, “pod people” as I long ago termed those brainwashed and made over by screen world. The forgers of the multicultural world disorder know that by debasing the image, erasing norms and disempowering fathers they can destroy families and attach the alienated and traumatized individuals that result to the State the surrogate daddy that is a de facto hermaphrodite, the punitive ostensibly therapeutic Nanny State…

Dad deserves to die since he’s just an adolescent who can’t cook or a sexually ambiguous lumpy CIA manager, or someone who gets kicked in the crotch while the director cues the laugh track, etc. Then the State moves into the vacuum. Thus America dies of father dearth, a lack and vilification embedded in formation of the West.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Authoritarians Target Internet Freedom (Video)

Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson discuss new calls for a highly regulated Internet 2.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Reductionism Undermines Both Science and Culture

by Ramray Bhat and Nikos Salingaros


Reductionistic thinking, which is the philosophy of contracting complex systems in science and society to smaller or single causalities, is dangerous. With this contraction comes an indifference towards uncovering and appreciating complex explanations and the variability contributed by the context. In the sciences, reductionism leads to the unfortunate skewing of effort and funding towards what are promoted as “basic” questions, and the neglect of disciplines that are most likely to help humanity by acting on practical scales. The effects of reductionism in society are even more alarming. Reductionistic thinking leaves little room for variety, cultural traditions, living urban environments, or religion, thus reducing our worldview to a sterile minimalism bereft of several of the most glorious achievements of evolved human civilization. There is also the additional and more practical consequence: reductionism is responsible for leading us towards societal collapse…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Stakelbeck: Al Qaeda Notices My Reporting, Quotes Me

I’m not sure if I should be flattered or appalled.

I just learned that the new issue of Al Qaeda’s official, English-language magazine, called Inspire (and published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), features quotes from yours truly.

It seems that a CBN report from May 2012 featuring my analysis caught Al Qaeda’s attention.

Click the above link for all the details and to see the new issue of Al Qaeda’s official English-language publication.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/1/2013

  1. Maybe at least we’ll now get some UKIP people on TV & have some real discussions about topics that matter, instead of wishy-washy soundbites from the old guard.

  2. re: “Churches are being sold and converted into mosques.”

    A Church is a group of people, what is being sold in this article are “church buildings”.

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