Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/17/2013

Without warning, the Cypriot government has imposed a surtax on bank accounts in Cyprus of between 6.75% and 9.9%, depending on the balance in the accounts. The unprecedented action was taken under pressure from the EU in order to raise revenue to meet the Troika’s bailout requirements.

In other news, British Prime Minister David Cameron says that he respectfully disagrees with Pope Francis I, who is on record as saying that the Falkland Islands belong to Argentina, and were improperly taken by Britain.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JLH, McR, RR, 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
» 17 Signs That a Full-Blown Economic Depression is Raging in Southern Europe — Is the U.S. Next?
» Cyprus’ House Sales Drop 44% in January-February
» Cyprus Depositors Line Up to Withdraw Funds After EU-IMF Bailout Deal Taxes Their Funds
» Email Tells Feds to Make Sequester as Painful as Promised
» EU Summit: Italy Does Not Need a Bailout, Juncker
» EU: Cyprus Under Spotlight, One More Year to Portugal
» Eurozone: ‘ECB to Hire Hundreds of Supervisors’
» Eurozone Country: Surprise! We’re Putting at Least a 6.75% Tax on Your Bank Deposits
» Italy: Unicredit Posts 865-Million-Euro Net Profit in 2012
» Italy: Banco Popolare Reports Net Consolidated Loss of 945 Million
» More Greeks Prefer to Buy Greek Products, Survey
» Socialists Ready to Make Power Grab of World Citizens’ Money
» Spain: ‘Yes: Now Stop Evictions’
» A Conservatism of Principles
» Day One of CPAC 2013
» Diana West: Why Does Obama Need 1.6 Billion Bullets?
» Education Gone Berserk
» First Victim Entrapped in New York Under Unconstitutional Gun Law
» Georgia Guidestones (Radio Interview)
» Gilmore Drops Visit to Savannah to Avoid Men Only St Patrick’s Day Dinner
» Medical Examiner Snubs Official Request for Adam Lanza Toxicology Report
» New Drone Could ‘Snatch Humans Off the Street’ (Video)
» Oregon Company to Sell Drone Defense Technology to Public
» Peril From ‘Patriots’: The U.S. Needs to Keep a Close Watch on the Growing Threat of Home-Grown Extremist Groups.
» The Hardball Realities of Obamacare
» Wrong Turn on the Road to School
Europe and the EU
» European Institutions: Grand Ideas and Empty Jargon
» Italian Export Figures 2012 Up for Country’s Islands
» Juncker Calls M5S Leader Irresponsible
» Just 8% of Italian School Children Return Home on Their Own
» One Third of Italians Think Berlusconi is Persecuted
» Pope Francis Appreciated by Jews in Rome and Jerusalem
» Renzi Will Run for Italian Premier ‘If Conditions Right’
» UK: ‘Black Death Pit’ Unearthed by Crossrail Project
» UK: 500,000 Homes in Dishwasher Fire Risk Alert: Bosch Appliances ‘May Burst Into Flames’
» UK: Did Socialist Workers Party Cover Up Nine Rapes? Kangaroo Court May Have Cleared an Official of Raping Teenage Member… But Scandal Goes Far Deeper
» UK: GP Receptionist Suspended After Telling Eight-Year-Old Girl Who Couldn’t Breathe to Wait in Line Four Times Because She ‘Wasn’t an Urgent Priority’
» UK: He Tried to Lure a Girl of 11 Into Online Sex But Was Freed by a Judge. Now the Mother Who Trapped Him Says: Don’t Let Your Child be Next
» UK: My Sister the Psychotic Killer: Tom’s Sister Knifed Their Mother to Death and Six Years Later Butchered a Stranger. Now He Reveals: I Was on Her Death List, Too
» UK: Mother Slams Council Chiefs for Allowing Her Troubled 16-Year-Old Son Set Up Home With His Blonde 33-Year-Old Care Worker
» UK: Nurse Linked to the Death of Premature Twins Killed by ‘10 Times Too Much Morphine’ Is Allowed to Keep Working
» UK: Racist Graffiti Daubed on Sign in One of UK’s Most Exclusive Communities Where Villagers Are Fighting Over Planned Sikh School
» UK: This Brilliant Surgeon Can’t Find Work in the NHS. Is it Because He Blew the Whistle on Child Deaths at a Leading Hospital?
North Africa
» Algeria: Women With Aids Helped to Find Work
Middle East
» Arab Spring Masterminds
» Asma Assad Makes Surprise Damascus Appearance
» Ten Years of Iraqi War Killed 112,000 Civilians
» What Went Wrong With Bernard Lewis?
South Asia
» Indian Opposition Slams Government on Italian Marines Case
» Italian Ambassador to India Risks Arrest Over Marines
» Italy Forces India to See the Light of Reason
Far East
» North Korea Fires Missiles Into Sea of Japan After South Flexes Military Might in Latest Tit for Tat Displays of Strength
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Fifth French Soldier Killed in Combat in Mali
Latin America
» Cameron ‘Respectfully’ Disagrees With Pope’s Falkland Stance
» David Cameron Rebukes New Pope Over Argentina’s Claim to Islands
» Stop Amnesty for Liars and Thieves — Melt the Phone Lines in DC
Culture Wars
» Facebook’s ‘Community Standards’ Only Apply to Conservatives
» Hateful School Play Mocking Bible & Religion With Blatant Homosexual Themes Attracting National Attention.
» Magazine Depicts Pope as Half-Naked Woman
» Seventeen Mag to 12-Year-Olds: Threesomes Just ‘Edgy’
» Victoria’s Secret Targets Young Girls in New Ad Campaign
» Enviro-Eugenicists Announce Mass Die-Off

17 Signs That a Full-Blown Economic Depression is Raging in Southern Europe — Is the U.S. Next?

When you get into too much debt, eventually really bad things start to happen. This is a very painful lesson that southern Europe is learning right now, and it is a lesson that the United States will soon learn as well. It simply is not possible to live way beyond your means forever. You can do it for a while though, and politicians in the U.S. and in Europe keep trying to kick the can down the road and extend the party, but the truth is that debt is a very cruel master and at some point it inevitably catches up with you. And when it catches up with you, the results can be absolutely devastating. Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal all tried to just slow down the rate at which their government debts were increasing, and look at what happened to their economies. In each case, GDP is shrinking, unemployment is skyrocketing, credit is freezing up and manufacturing is declining. And you know what? None of those countries has even gotten close to a balanced budget yet. They are all still going into even more debt. Just imagine what would happen if they actually tried to only spend the money that they brought in?

I have always said that the next wave of the economic collapse would start in Europe and that is exactly what is happening. So keep watching Europe. What is happening to them will eventually happen to us.

The following are 17 signs that a full-blown economic depression is raging in southern Europe…

#1 The Italian economy is in the midst of a horrifying “credit crunch” that is causing thousands of companies to go bankrupt

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cyprus’ House Sales Drop 44% in January-February

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, MARCH 13 — House sales in Cyprus, with the exception of the coastal city oh Pafos, plunged by 44% on an annual basis in the first two months of 2013, figures released by the Department of Lands and Survey show as Famagusta Gazette reported. Sale contracts submitted to the Department declined to 727 in January and February 2013 compared with 1,289 in the corresponding period of 2012, marking a reduction of 44%.

Cyprus-wide contracts for January 2013 declined by 53% year on year reaching 375 compared with 803 in January 2012, whereas house sales in February reached 352 compared with 486 in previous year registering a reduction of 28%. In the capital, Nicosia, sales plunged by 75% in January reaching 46 compared with 182, whereas February house sales declined to 59 compared with 148, marking a reduction of 60%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Cyprus Depositors Line Up to Withdraw Funds After EU-IMF Bailout Deal Taxes Their Funds

Nervous depositors in Cyprus rushed to ATM machines on Saturday to drain their accounts following a bailout agreement with international creditors that includes a levy on all the country’s bank accounts.

Lines formed at many ATMs as people scrambled to pull their money out after word that the €10 billion ($13 billion) rescue package Cyprus agreed with its euro area partners and the International Monetary Fund included one-off levy on deposit, an unprecedented step in the eurozone crisis.

The levy is expected to raise €5.8 billion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Email Tells Feds to Make Sequester as Painful as Promised

‘Do not contradict what we said the impact would be.’

A perfect example of White House deception when it comes to slowing the growth of government. Do not forget, despite what you hear from the state-controlled proxy media, there are absolutely NO CUTS in the sequester, just a decrease in the planned increase. It’s like getting a 3% raise from your boss, and then whining to everyone that you got a pay cut because you were expecting 5%.

Ron Paul explained it perfectly on CNBC last week.

Now, on to the story.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Summit: Italy Does Not Need a Bailout, Juncker

Monti wants flexibility, as do France, Spain and Portugal

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, MARCH 14 — On arriving at the EU summit which began Thursday afternoon in Brussels, former Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker said that he did not believe Italy would need a bailout any time soon.

On the issue of Cyprus, one of the items on the agenda of the summit which will continue Friday, Juncker ruled out a bailout plan similar to the Greek one with private sector involvement. “I am among those who do not want to undertake a second operation like the one in Greece,” the Luxembourg prime minister said, underscoring that when the ‘haircut’ was decided on Greek bonds in private hands “we said that it was an exception, not that Greek-speaking countries were an exception”. “I have only been in the government for 15 days. I have met with the troika and we are hoping for the best, fairest agreement possible,” Cypriot president Nicus Anastasiades said on his arrival at the EU summit.

The summit underway is one marked by growing demands for less austerity and more measures to stimulate growth.

Italian Premier Mario Monti arrived at the European Council early Thursday morning to prepare for a meeting in which Italy aims to achieve greater willingness to consider the ‘Golden Rule’, the possibility of separating deficit calculations from productive state investment.

Italy will ask for “a margin of flexibility” on investment as part of “budgetary discipline”, Monti said on the sidelines of the summit, adding that he was convinced “we will be listened to, both today and I hope in the future, since Italy has proved its extraordinary faith in Europe, and was able to bring about recovery to its state finances”. EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy said that “if Italy continues in the direction of the past few months, it has every chance of returning to its rightful place in the eurozone”. Other countries — such as France, Spain and Portugal — want greater flexibility on public finance recovery plans to avoid choking national economies that are already struggling, fostering unemployment and ever more explosive levels of social problems. A sharp divide may emerge during the summit with those backing austerity under Germany, which expects other EU partners to abide by similar budget rules as its own.

An anti-austerity protest called by European trade unions brought some 15,000 people to Brussels’ streets Thursday, according to union sources.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU: Cyprus Under Spotlight, One More Year to Portugal

Progress on growth, Italy earns flexibility and ‘golden rule’

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS — The bailout of Cyprus hit by a four-year-long European crisis will be at the centre of an EU summit on Friday in Brussels. In the afternoon, finance ministers of the 17 euro zone countries will meet in a special session aimed at discussing aid to be granted to Nicosia.

Meanwhile Lisbon has confirmed that Portugal has obtained one more year from the EU to meet the deficit target.

The first day of the summit ended on Thursday confirming the ideological fracture between austerity and growth though partial progress was made towards a compromise on speeding growth by slightly softening austerity policies.

‘We know that recovery requires time to give results, lowering the spread doesn’t help people in need, therefore we need urgent reforms and we are looking beyond nominal budget objectives’, said EU President Herman Van Rompuy at the end of the meeting. The summit left everybody satisfied because, as Van Rompuy said citing a well known best-seller, growth and austerity are different ‘shades of grey’.

Italian Premier Mario Monti obtained, at his first Council, what he wanted: flexibility, or the ‘golden rule’ enabling Italy to start spending public money again once in between balancing the budget and reaching the 3% deficit target. EU Commission President Jose’ Barroso, explained Monti, recognized that there are no contradictions’ between Italy’s requests and the budget discipline of the Stability and Growth Pact.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Eurozone: ‘ECB to Hire Hundreds of Supervisors’

The Wall Street Journal Europe, 15 March 2013

The European Central Bank will have to recruit 800 new staff to take charge of the supervision of Eurozone banks.

This number of staff “should be enough initially because the ECB will do the bulk of the supervision work on only about 30 of the largest banks” in Europe, explains the daily.

“For the remainder of the 150-200 banks the ECB will initially be given responsibility for, work will be split between ECB staff and national supervisors.”

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

Eurozone Country: Surprise! We’re Putting at Least a 6.75% Tax on Your Bank Deposits

People with bank accounts in Cyprus were shocked Saturday to learn that as part of an agreement reached with international creditors, the government has imposed a tax on all deposits to help bail out the nation and its banks.

While the island nation may be small, it’s an international favorite for offshore banking— particularly for wealthy Russians. The tax will range from 6.75% to 9.9%, depending on how much is in the account.

“This is a clear-cut robbery,” Andreas Moyseos, a former electrician who is now a pensioner in Nicosia, told the New York Times. Iliana Andreadakis, a book critic, further added: “This issue doesn’t only affect the people’s deposits, but also the prospect of the Cyprus economy. The E.U. has diminished its credibility.”

And indeed, following the massive run on banks in Cyprus, many are concerned that a minor panic could spread to the rest of the Eurozone. After all, it has just set a precedent for taxing private bank accounts at exorbitant rates without warning…

           — Hat tip: JLH [Return to headlines]

Italy: Unicredit Posts 865-Million-Euro Net Profit in 2012

Board proposes dividend payment of 9 euro cents per share

(ANSA) — Milan, March 15 — Unicredit posted a net profit of 865 million euros in 2012 according to results published by the Italian banking group Friday. This compares with a net loss of 9.2 billion euros due to devaluations the previous year. In light of the upturn, the board of directors proposed a dividend distribution from profit reserves of 9 euro cents per share.

Instead fourth quarter results for 2012 show a net loss of 553 million euros.

This compares to a profit of 114 million euros in the same period in 2011 and of 335 million euros in the third quarter of 2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Banco Popolare Reports Net Consolidated Loss of 945 Million

Italian lender hit by joint-venture red ink and soured loans

(ANSA) — Milan, March 15 — The northern Italian lender Banco Popolare reported on Friday a net consolidated loss of 945 million euros in 2012, clobbered by a lackluster joint venture and corrections made by Italian supervisory authority to its bad loans total. Banco Popolare’s stake in the consumer credit joint-venture Agos-Ducato — which is controlled by French lender Credit Agricole — chalked up 516 million euros of losses on Banco Popolare’s books, 400 million of which landed in the fourth quarter.

In addition, 683.5 million euros’ worth of loan-loss provisions — an allowance for bad loans — were posted in the last quarter, raising the total to 1.284 billion for the year — a number that increased thanks to Italy’s watchdog central bank, which advised Banco Popolare to adjust its books after taking a look at them in recent inspections of a sampling of banks.

Banco Popolare said its “net result, excluding (rating variations)” was a loss of 627 million euros, and its “‘normalized’ net income” for the year added up to 145 million euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

More Greeks Prefer to Buy Greek Products, Survey

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MARCH 15 — Around the 80% of Greeks said they try to buy their own country’s products over foreign goods to help support Greek businesses and workers, GreekReporter website writes citing the results of a research presented at the conference Greek Product Development and Extroversion Power of Greek Economy. “The crisis encouraged purchasers to turn to the Greek products and boost the Greek industrial and agricultural production,” stated a report from the Athens University of Economics and Business, which was presented during the conference of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) which focused on Greek products. About 50% of Greeks believe Greek commodities are of high quality and 80% said they are looking for both quality and price before choosing Greek foodstuffs and other goods. It was found that even large multinational corporations are looking for Greek products because of the high cost of raw materials otherwise and the high quality of what Greek companies produce, such as as agricultural products, beer, wine, honey, saffron, and yogurt. Greek products are being more aggressively promoted abroad, especially where there is a large Diaspora population as Greeks living in other countries said they want to buy goods from their homeland.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Socialists Ready to Make Power Grab of World Citizens’ Money

Get your money out of the banks.Due to an “emergency deal reached today in Brussels”, a one-time 9.9% tax is to be levied on Cypriot bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros effective Tuesday, March 19.

Virtually overnight and with no warning of any kind, the emergency tax deal was imposed on the people of Cyprus without vote or debate. People ran to ATM machines today only to discover that the taxed amount of their cash had already been frozen.

Monday in Cyprus is a national holiday, the first day of Greek Orthodox Easter.

Nor is this emergency only inflicted upon the so-called rich as even deposits under 100,000 euros will now be taxed at 6.7%.

“If it can happen in Cyprus, it can happen anywhere,” worried British correspondent Anna Grayson told Canada Free Press (CFP) in an overseas telephone call today.

“Is this why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has purchased millions of hollow point bullets, is this why rumors of an underground bunker being built for Obama are circulating?”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Spain: ‘Yes: Now Stop Evictions’

El Periódico de Catalunya, 15 March 2013

The European Court of Justice ruled on March 14 that harsh property repossession laws in Spain, which have led to 400,000 evictions since the beginning of the country’s deep recession and crisis, are “abusive” and violate Directive 93/13 on consumer protection.

Activists said the decision could lead judges to halt thousands of bank foreclosure proceedings and experts believe that illegally evicted people may be eligible for compensation.

Last November, the Barcelona daily launched a campaign to ask for an end to the evictions.

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

A Conservatism of Principles

A bended knee is not and nor shall it ever be a conservative tradition.

Conservatism is not defined by CPAC. It’s defined by you. You either see yourself as a conservative or you don’t. And I would encourage Robert Spencer to reject CPAC’s pandering to Islamists on conservative terms.

When Progressives and Internationalists hijack what being Conservative means, they are attacking an idea by trying to displace it and replace it with something else. And they cannot be allowed to get away with it.

I support Robert Spencer on a number of grounds, and one of them is that the Internationalists should not be able to hijack Conservatism to promote Islamism.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Day One of CPAC 2013

The Honorable Allen West, former U.S. Representative and 22-year Army veteran, LTC Allen West took the podium under thunderous applause. He recognized all the veterans in the house, the defenders of our freedom. As conservatives, we must not change our message to fit the times, it is “malarkey,” he said. “A bended knee never was and shall never be a conservative tradition.”

The power that binds poor and rich alike is the power of compassion, freedom, and the opportunity of poor and rich alike to grow. Nobody believes that America, with its opportunity to succeed for all, was built by rich men “dipping their hands in the pockets of the poor.” We believe in humility, independence, “the magnificence of freedom,” compassion, integrity, and “are bound together under God.” We have a Constitution that was written “to control and regulate the government, not the people.”

We should not ask what “freebies” our country can give to us but what we can do for our country. LTC West uses California as an example of depression, from which citizens flee to escape confiscatory taxation that enslaves them to the state. We were told that “Compassion comes not from generosity but from compliance.” “We are tired of these insufferable lessons from progressivism — compassion comes from a choice, not the liberal definition of choice.”

“We are tired of liberals dividing this country into little groups,” setting them up at odds with the majority, and “accusing conservatives of hate.” Conservatives give more to charity than liberals although their paychecks may be smaller. Conservatives volunteer their time to churches, hospitals, organizations, and other groups, while liberals whine about their “fair share.”

[Comment: see article for more highlights of CPAC.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Diana West: Why Does Obama Need 1.6 Billion Bullets?

Dear Mainstream Media,

Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama went off his teleprompter and added a couple of sentences to the text of a speech about expanding the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. Over rolling applause, the soon-to-be president of the United States said: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

At the time, Joseph Farah of wrote a column calling on you to help shine a light on what this shocking statement really meant. In a permanent state of vapors over Obama’s candidacy, you were of no use when it came to extracting anything but press releases from Team Obama.

Nearly five years later, it hardly matters that candidate Obama’s promise to double the Peace Corps and the rest has come to naught. But the president’s unscripted determination to empower a civilian national security force is a different story. As far as you’re concerned, though, it’s also a nonstory.

This complacency or complicity has to stop. During the last 10 months, the Department of Homeland Security has purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, including millions of hollow-point bullets. The department also has purchased 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, and it has overseen the retrofitting of more than 2,000 light tanks, which, of course, were originally designed to resist the mines and ambushes of the battlefield. Why does DHS need such offensive and defensive firepower?

Remember, DHS stands for Department of Homeland Security, and “homeland,” just to be extremely clear, means the USA. Obama must be asked against which domestic enemy he is arming nonmilitary forces. It sounds incredible, to be sure, but are we watching administration battle plans take shape against American citizens on the streets of Your Town, USA?


Government spokesmen, when they’re not trying to make 1.6 billion bullets sound like a frugal, Costco-style bulk purchase, will tell you it’s all about target practice. Really? I hear that U.S. Army newbies soon to deploy to Afghanistan are training with blank cartridges. Why the priority for arming domestic forces, not military ones?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Education Gone Berserk

A grade school in Michigan banned plastic soldiers decorating cupcakes. A seven year old was punished for biting his pop tart in the shape of a gun. I suppose there will be a ban on wooden toy guns next. Boys will no longer be able to play Cowboys and Indians. On second thought, the game may have been outlawed already as racist and insulting to Indians.

But it’s perfectly fine to mock the Bible by replaying the Genesis with “Adam and Steve” in South Hadley, Massachusetts at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA), “A public school dedicated to academic and artistic excellence,” grades 7-12.

As Caitlin Canty was quoted, “It’d be good for business, why not; maybe they’ll have a full audience. I really don’t see why it could be a problem and who would be offended. I’m surprised around here too, such a strong pretty liberal leaning community.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

First Victim Entrapped in New York Under Unconstitutional Gun Law

Benjamin Wassell of Silver Creek in upstate New York was arrested on Thursday and charged with violating the most restrictive gun law in America passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre in neighboring Connecticut.

Wassell was reportedly entrapped by a New York cop who “told Wassell at one meeting that he had a prior felony conviction,” the Associated Press reports today. The Silver Creek man sold two semi-automatic rifles — a DelTon DTI-15 rifle and an Armalite AR-10 Magnum rifle — and 300 rounds of ammunition to the undercover officer. The sale is a felony under the recently enacted law. Wassell faces up to seven years in prison.

The frame-up was the “result of a joint investigation between the Attorney General’s Office and the New York State Police,” reports WBNG 12 Action News in Binghamton, New York.

New York’s Attorney General Schneiderman was quick to exploit the undercover sting for all of its propaganda potential.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Georgia Guidestones (Radio Interview)

Caryl Matriciana discusses the origins and purpose behind this mysterious monument. (

[Comment: one of the goals on listed on the “monument” is to keep the world population under 500 million.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gilmore Drops Visit to Savannah to Avoid Men Only St Patrick’s Day Dinner

Event is traditional St Patrick’s Day stop for Irish government ministers

Tánaiste (Assistant Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore dropped a visit to Savannah in the state of Georgia on his St Patrick’s Day trip to the United States because he would have had to attend a men-only dinner.

Savannah, which has one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the southern United States, was not on the itinerary for his week-long trip, even though the Minister for Foreign Affairs visited nearby Atlanta.

A visit to Savannah would have required Mr Gilmore’s attending the anniversary dinner of the Hibernian Society of Savannah tonight.

This is an exclusively male event and one of the city’s main St Patrick’s Day events.

Hibernian Society

Savannah was excluded from Mr Gilmore’s itinerary for his US trip before any formal invitation was issued for the Hibernian Society dinner or before any arrangements regarding his attendance were put in place.

In Atlanta yesterday on his second day in Georgia, the Tánaiste said he understood that his attendance at the dinner was to be a major part of a trip to Savannah so he had decided not to visit the city.

Mr Gilmore will instead visit New Orleans today for St Patrick’s Day events before travelling on to Washington DC.

Mr Gilmore said he would decline to attend any men-only event as part of any foreign travel programme.

“Not doing it”

“Count me out — I’m not doing it,” the Tánaiste said. “I don’t believe in segregation either on a gender basis or on any other basis.”

Traditionally one of the stops for ministers visiting Georgia over recent years, Savannah has one of the biggest Irish populations in the American southeast.

Savannah holds the second- largest St Patrick’s Day parade in the United States, with in excess of 500,000 people attending the event every year.

“It is not a case of me not wanting to go to Savannah but there is no point in bringing me to Savannah if one of the major parts of the programme is going to be a men-only event,” he added.

The Hibernian Society’s president, William Bruggeman, said: “We are not aware of any politician, Irish or US, that has ever declined an invitation to attend our anniversary dinner held [on] St Patrick’s Day evening due to disagreement with any of our traditions.”

Past visitors:

Government ministers have been regular visitors to Savannah for St Patrick’s Day.

Fianna Fáil ministers John O’Donoghue and Noel Dempsey travelled to the city in 2009 and 2010.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Medical Examiner Snubs Official Request for Adam Lanza Toxicology Report

While state and federal lawmakers frantically push for massive mental health reform and sweeping gun control laws, two Connecticut mothers recently took to the streets of Newtown, connecting with local residents and gathering signatures on a petition that asks a simple but essential question — did prescription psychiatric drugs play a role in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting?

Seems like an easy and obvious question that, remarkably, has escaped the consideration of legislators who seem hell-bent on legislating increased mental health services without first having all the necessary information to make thoughtful, fact-based decisions.

To back up the need for full disclosure of Lanza’s records, the petition points out certain undisputed facts, such as, at least 31 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 162 wounded and 72 killed…

The mothers sent the petition to lawmakers and hand-delivered a letter to the State’s Medical Examiner, H. Wayne Carver II, M.D., requesting that Lanza’s autopsy/toxicology and medical/psychiatric history be publicly released. The request literally cites two full pages of federal and state law supporting the request.

Despite the fact that, under Connecticut law, Carver is statutorily required to respond to the request, to date, the Medical Examiner has refused to even acknowledge receipt of the request, let alone release the requested information.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New Drone Could ‘Snatch Humans Off the Street’ (Video)

A new flying drone developed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania could one day be used to snatch humans off the street.

Justin Thomas and his colleagues at the GRASP Lab have produced an “avian-inspired” claw drone that mimics the way an eagle uses its talons to grab a fish out of the ocean.

A video clip of the drone shows the UAV swooping down at high speed to snatch an object using its 3D printed mechanical claw. By mimicking how a bald eagle sweeps its legs and claws backwards to aerodynamically close in on its prey without the need to slow down, the drone is able to grasp a stationary object with precise efficiency.

“The optimistic view of this development offers a vision of an emergency situation in which a drone could rapidly fly in and save a person from a perilous situation, but it’s also fairly easy to imagine law enforcement and the military using this development to grab human targets in coming years,” writes Strange, reporting for

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Oregon Company to Sell Drone Defense Technology to Public

Do you want to keep drones out of your backyard?

An Oregon company says that it has developed and will soon start selling technology that disables unmanned aircraft.

The company, called Domestic Drone Countermeasures, was founded in late February because some of its engineers see unmanned aerial vehicles — which are already being flown by law enforcement in some areas and could see wider commercial integration into American airspace by 2015 — as unwanted eyes in the sky.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Peril From ‘Patriots’: The U.S. Needs to Keep a Close Watch on the Growing Threat of Home-Grown Extremist Groups.

There are, in increasingly frightening numbers, cells of angry men in the United States preparing for combat with the U.S. government. They are usually heavily armed, blinded by an intractable hatred, often motivated by religious zeal.

They’re not jihadists. They are white, right-wing Americans, nearly all with an obsessive attachment to guns, who may represent a greater danger to the lives of American civilians than international terrorists.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been tracking hate groups for 30 years, released its latest report on the growth of these organizations this week. Its findings were, to say the least, alarming. The center divides its subjects into militias, which are mostly groups of weekend warriors who train for combat against imaginary foes; hate groups, which target minorities; and “patriot” groups, whose beef is with the U.S. government.

The typical patriot acts within his free-speech and 2nd Amendment rights, and in fact most patriot activity consists of venting steam by meeting with like-minded Neanderthals and firing off blog posts threatening civil war. Yet such blather tends to get under the skin of the Timothy McVeighs of the world. These groups should be closely monitored, with resources adequate to the task, even if it means shifting some homeland security money from the hunt for foreign terrorists.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Hardball Realities of Obamacare

However, a picture of the mammoth regulations — a 20,000 page, 7-foot tall stack — might lead some to hesitate about the changes that the federal government is making to the health care sector. Not only do the regulations fundamentally alter the relationship between the federal government, health care providers, and citizens (namely, placing the federal government in the middle of all health care processes), but it also dampens economic activity through the massive amount of uncertainty that these piles of regulations bring. “I was fat, dumb and happy,” said Mike Ruffer, Owner and Franchisee of Eight “Five Guys” Restaurants in North Carolina, at a recent Heritage event to discuss how Obamacare affects businesses and employees. “I’m not happy anymore.” He said that each time he goes through a webinar or seminar on Obamacare, “there’s more that makes me uncomfortable” as a business owner. “…

Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) has published an editorial in which they show how Obamacare has vastly grown in other ways than the number of pages of regulations. The original estimates of taxation and the costs of various aspects of Obamacare have doubled and in some cases tripled.

[Comment: Check out the picture of the Obamacare document.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Wrong Turn on the Road to School

If a “conservative movement” exists, it became lost on the way to school. What can explain its having become the cheering section for the euphemism, “School Choice”, masquerading as a means to escape deliberately dumbed down government t schools? The promotion of charter schools, vouchers, opportunity scholarships, etc. on the part of conservatives is a contradiction in terms coming from folks who distribute copies of the Constitution, participate in and cheer T-Party activities, register Republican or Libertarian.

This writer has contended elsewhere that the post WWII generation assumed institutions would continue as they were known before their lives were interrupted by WWII followed by the Korean War. The assumption was wrong, but they went about their private lives oblivious to forces at work with an agenda to systematically “Unfreeze” existing systems. Post WWII conservatives didn’t question their heroes or political idols and with a few exceptions, failed to look beneath the surface of the rhetoric…

The exposure to two things was the catalyst for this article. One was a written document, the other a live panel discussion. The written document, another of the never ending strategy papers spilling from government instigation, prepared by a commission made possible by legislation by Congressman, Mike Honda (D-California). The fifty page document submitted as advice to Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education carries the title: FOR EACH AND EVERY CHILD, A STRATEGY FOR EDUCATION EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE”, prepared by a commission of twenty eight commission member and six ex officio members. It acknowledges the support of the Broad Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Bill and Melina Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and others.

The report is a lot of nothing new, but with emphasis on schools to be more concerned with “social and education equity,” technology’s role in that agenda and the necessity for increased Federal role to achieve it. Ideas familiar to education researchers are all there…Common Core Standards, charter schools, early learning (Birth to Post Secondary oversight). Interested parties can access the fifty page report by accessing the U.S. Department of Education web site or typing the title of the report into a search engine.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

European Institutions: Grand Ideas and Empty Jargon

Revue Politika Brno

Each year the EU produces thousands of pages of reports, speeches and legislation designed to move the European project forward. They have one thing in common: a pompous language worthy of a regime lost in its own dogma, writes a Czech political scientist in Revue Politika.

Tomáš Brichácek

Every week, European Union institutions and their leaders churn out dozens of documents and public utterances of all kinds. Legal regulations, legislative proposals, green and white papers, reports, resolutions, statements, speeches, etc. It piles up. One of their peculiar properties is the very distinctive language in which they are written or spoken.

The language of the European Union, at first glance, attains an extraordinary density using fixed constructions — various phrases, slogans, sayings — that are, with minor variations, endlessly recycled. Some of them are encoded in the primary legislation, part of which originates in key programme documents adopted, for example, in connection with the so-called Lisbon Agenda and Europe 2020. They are words that seem to have hardened into solid slabs, which using the cut-and-paste crane of the computer keyboard allows the quick erection of any kind of structure in writing or speech.

Among the most popular pre-fab “panels” is that concerning sustainable development based on a highly competitive social market economy aiming at full employment and social progress, the fight against social exclusion and discrimination, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and the European social model…

Hackneyed, platitudinous rhetoric

Even in places where the most hackneyed platitudes are absent, the language of the EU excels at a considerable stiffness and is stamped by rhetoric. For example, the Commission document entitled the Single Market Act (2011) contains a noteworthy sentence: “The common market — which has now become the internal market — has for over 50 years woven strands of solidarity between the men and women of Europe, whilst opening up new opportunities for growth for more than 21 million European businesses.”…

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

Italian Export Figures 2012 Up for Country’s Islands

Sicily and Sardinia see increase compared to 2011

(ANSA) — Rome, March 13 — The Italian regions that contributed most to the nation’s 2012 export growth are the country’s two main islands of Sicily and Sardinia, a report by statistics agency Istat said on Wednesday.

The northern region of Lombardy increased exports by 3.7% compared to 2011, Tuscany 6.9%, Emilia-Romagna 3.1%.

Exports from the island of Sicily rose 21.2% and Sardinia 21.5% from the previous year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Juncker Calls M5S Leader Irresponsible

‘Italians believe in fairy tales,’ says ex-Eurogroup head

(ANSA) — Brussels, March 15 — The leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), Beppe Grillo, has made “extremely irresponsible promises”, ex-Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday.

Results from the Italian elections demonstrate a “clear rejection of EU policy” and “a massive rejection of the political class in Italy by Italians who believe in people who pretend to love them but instead are simply cunning,” Juncker said.

Grillo, whose M5S rocked the political establishment with a stunning show in the elections, has proposed holding a referendum on whether Italy should stay in the eurozone.

Juncker criticised Grillo for promising Italians that they could “work 20 hours a week and that all of their problems would be solved by leaving the euro,”. “Italians believe in fairytales,” he said.

He also pointed to ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s grapple for power by “promising to return taxes imposed by outgoing Premier Mario Monti”, if need be out of his own pocket, as indicating Italians’ “superficial evaluation” of the political situation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Just 8% of Italian School Children Return Home on Their Own

Compares to 25% of British, 76% of German children, study finds

(ANSA) — Rome, March 13 — Only 8% of Italian school children return home on their own, compared to 76% and 25% of their German and British counterparts, respectively, Italy’s national research council (CNR) revealed on Wednesday.

Italian children’s already limited freedom of movement continued to shrink in recent years, dealing a significant blow to their psycho-physical development, concluded CNR in a study promoted by London’s Policy Studies Institute with the collaboration of Germany and 15 other countries. “Children’s freedom of movement has gone from 11% in 2002 to 7% in 2010,” said Antonella Prisco, a researcher at CNR’s Institute of Cognition Science and Technology (ISTC-CNR).

Meanwhile, young children’s use of public transport is low in all three countries: 3% for Italy, 3% for Britain and 8% for Germany.

However, by secondary school the percentage of children taking public transport leaps to 25% in Britain and 64% in Germany, whereas in Italy it remains 3%.

Italian boys are more autonomous than Italian girls, researchers found.

“The possibility for children to move autonomously permits a fundamental play experience, helps prevent obesity and excess weight, helps them acquire confidence, self-esteem and the capacity to interact, reinforces ties with people who live in their own neighborhood, develops a sense of identity and responsibility, and reduces the sense of loneliness during adolescence,” Prisco said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

One Third of Italians Think Berlusconi is Persecuted

Many centre-right voters believe leader targeted by magistrates

(ANSA) — Rome, March 15 — Some 37% of Italians believe the legal problems of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi are the result of judicial persecution according to the results of an SWG poll released Friday. This figure rises to 92% among centre-right supporters, the same source said. The survey comes just five days after a demonstration by members of Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party demonstrated outside a Milan courthouse, sending shockwaves across Italy’s political scene. The media magnate is implicated in various cases including an appeal against a four-year conviction for tax fraud in the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset group and a first-instance trial on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute. Earlier this week he also received an order for immediate judgment in Naples due to allegations related to graft.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis Appreciated by Jews in Rome and Jerusalem

Pontiff, dialogue now. On March 19th inauguration of pontificate

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Pope Francis is well liked by Jews in Rome as well as in Jerusalem. Well wishes and appreciation for the new pontiff have poured from both the Italian capital and the holy city. The new pope has chosen to present himself to the Jewish community in Rome with a letter to Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni. ‘In the day of my election as Bishop of Rome and universal pastor of the Catholic church, I send you my warm greetings, announcing that the solemn inauguration of my pontificate will take place on Tuesday, March 19’. In a brief but significant letter, the pope said: ‘Confiding in the protection of the Almighty, I sincerely hope to be able to contribute to progress in relations between Jews and Catholics made since the Second Vatican Council’.

Di Segni welcomed the words and replied to thank the pontiff, renewing his ‘well wishes for this election which will require a huge dose of strength and wisdom’. The rabbi told ANSA he was ‘pleased’ with the letter. ‘I see that the line traced by Benedict XVI is continuing’, he told ANSA. ‘The Second Vatican Council has set the base for all progress made by the Catholic Church in the past few years. I imagine and hope this will be an indication not to renounce to these principles’.

Francis also invited Di Segni at the papal inaugural ceremony on March 19, when some 200 delegations of heads of state and government from around the world are expected. The Rabbinate of Jerusalem, Sefardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger also wished the pope well and called for continuity with the two previous pontificates. ‘In the last 12 years, a rich and fruitful dialogue was conducted between the Rabbinate of Israel and the Vatican on issues of great significance like a ban on invoking God to justify terror actions: the sanctity of life: the sanctity of the family unit, and so on’, they said in a statement. We have reached significant success in this dialogue’, also thanks to the encouragement of the two previous popes. ‘The Rabbinate is sure that Pope Francis, whose good relations with Jews are well known, will move forward with the same spirit’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Renzi Will Run for Italian Premier ‘If Conditions Right’

Florence mayor seen to have broad, cross-party appeal

(ANSA) — Rome, March 13 — Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi says he is interested in running for premier if Italians have to go back to elections after an inconclusive vote last month. “If the conditions are right, I would,” he told Italian weekly l’Espresso. Renzi, from the center-left Democratic Party (PD), lost in a primary election to PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani, who went on to lead a center-left coalition in general elections where no clear winner emerged. Political pundits have speculated that Renzi, who is younger and more moderate than Bersani, would have had a broader appeal in the general elections, which saw huge gains by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of comedian Beppe Grillo and a surprising comeback by center-right former premier Silvio Berlusconi. Together Grillo and Berlusconi, both of whom campaigned on euro-skeptic platforms, earned over 50% of the popular vote. Despite losing in the primary, the Florence mayor remained a team player, making campaign appearances with Bersani. “I stayed in the PD and with Bersani not just because I’m loyal to the company, but also because I think it helps Italy to have two big parties,” he told l’Espresso.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Black Death Pit’ Unearthed by Crossrail Project

Excavations for London’s Crossrail project have unearthed bodies believed to date from the time of the Black Death.

A burial ground was known to be in an area outside the City of London, but its exact location remained a mystery.

Thirteen bodies have been found so far in the 5.5m-wide shaft at the edge of Charterhouse Square, alongside pottery dated to the mid-14th Century.

Analysis will shed light on the plague and the Londoners of the day.

DNA taken from the skeletons may also help chart the development and spread of the bacterium that caused the plague that became known as the Black Death.

Charterhouse Square lies in an area that was once outside the walls of London, referred to at the time as “No-man’s Land”.

The skeletons’ arrangement in two neat rows suggests they date from the earliest era of the Black Death, before it fully developed into the pandemic that in later years saw bodies dumped haphazardly into mass graves.

Archaeologists working for Crossrail and the Museum of London will continue to dig in a bid to discover further remains, or any finds from earlier eras.

The £14.8bn Crossrail project aims to establish a 118km-long (73-mile) high-speed rail link with 37 stations across London, and is due to open in 2018.

Because of the project’s underground scope, significant research was undertaken into the archaeology likely to be found during the course of the construction.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: 500,000 Homes in Dishwasher Fire Risk Alert: Bosch Appliances ‘May Burst Into Flames’

Hundreds of thousands of faulty Bosch dishwashers — which may be a fire risk — are sitting in family homes.

The company issued an alert in July 2011 about a problem with 632,000 machines, sold under the Bosch, Siemens and Neff brands.

Despite efforts to contact customers, the owners of 479,000 machines have not responded and so their dishwashers have not been repaired.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Did Socialist Workers Party Cover Up Nine Rapes? Kangaroo Court May Have Cleared an Official of Raping Teenage Member… But Scandal Goes Far Deeper

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

The scandal first came to light earlier this year and involved an allegation of rape against a senior figure in the party by a junior colleague.

Instead of calling in the police, the party set up what can only be described as a kangaroo court, comprised mainly of the alleged attacker’s friends, to investigate the complaint, and effectively act as judge and jury.

The spurious justification for this charade was that the SWP did not recognise Britain’s ‘bourgeois’ system of justice. That’s the law of the land, to you and me. The official in question, a middle-aged, full-time activist, who has a long-term partner, was subsequently exonerated.

The girl, on the other hand, just 17 when she began a relationship with the veteran party apparatchik, and just 19 when she claims she was assaulted, was subjected to embarrassing questions about her sexual history and made to feel like a ‘slut who asked for it’, to quote someone who knows her. Precisely the kind of behaviour the SWP has frequently accused the State of…

Yes, that’s right. Nine occasions where amateur justice has been dispensed in circumstances that could hardly be more controversial. The SWP vehemently denies the fact — but you can judge the veracity of that denial when you have finished reading what follows.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: GP Receptionist Suspended After Telling Eight-Year-Old Girl Who Couldn’t Breathe to Wait in Line Four Times Because She ‘Wasn’t an Urgent Priority’

A mother has described how she thought her critically ill daughter was going to die after a GPs’ receptionist ignored her four times as she begged for a doctor.

Sam Burgess, 33, spoke out as the receptionist was suspended and an investigation into the incident was launched.

Mrs Burgess, of Ipswich, Suffolk, took eight-year-old Sophie to the out-of-hours GP service at Ipswich Hospital at 5.40pm on March 3, because she thought her daughter had tonsillitis.

However, on arriving at the clinic, which is run by private healthcare provider Harmoni, Sophie’s condition deteriorated rapidly.

Mrs Burgess said: ‘Within half-an-hour Sophie started to go downhill. I knew something wasn’t right.

‘She was struggling to breathe.

‘I told the receptionist four times that Sophie was deteriorating and was told we were not an urgent case and that there were people of higher priority.’

Sophie was finally seen by a GP at 7.30pm and a paediatrician at the hospital was called.

Mrs Burgess says that within 20 minutes her daughter was rushed into theatre, where doctors inserted a tube into her airways.

Sophie was diagnosed with tracheitis — a potentially deadly condition causes the trachea to swell, meaning patients to struggle to breathe.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: He Tried to Lure a Girl of 11 Into Online Sex But Was Freed by a Judge. Now the Mother Who Trapped Him Says: Don’t Let Your Child be Next

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

The name Matthew Jenart began to circulate among parents in Teesside last October. Word had got round that the 28-year-old had been contacting schoolgirls as young as ten on Facebook and seeking to engage them in online chat.

Parents were determined to do something about the internet predator in their midst, but were unsure how to go about it.

That was until the 11-year-old daughter of a woman we shall call Sarah received a message from him. She told her mother, who resolved to discover exactly what he had in mind, and to stop him doing it.

So she set a trap. Posing as her daughter, she instigated a conversation with him on Facebook. Within minutes, she had got the result she was after.

Jenart, claiming to be 15, suggested he and the young girl should engage in some ‘naughty fun’. Asked what he meant, he was explicit: ‘Naked fun,’ adding: ‘It’s only fun, try it you will like it.’

Sarah was sickened by the conversation but was satisfied that she had ‘nailed’ this man for seeking to sexually abuse innocent children. She felt confident that if she went to the police, Jenart would be jailed and the threat to schoolgirls around the area of Thornaby and beyond would be removed.

But she was wrong. Even though Jenart admitted attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, Teesside Crown Court Recorder Robert Adams allowed him to walk free on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: My Sister the Psychotic Killer: Tom’s Sister Knifed Their Mother to Death and Six Years Later Butchered a Stranger. Now He Reveals: I Was on Her Death List, Too

One childhood memory stands out in Tom Edgington’s mind. He’s four years old and lying, scratched and bleeding, in a rose bush in the garden. His six-year-old sister Nicola has violently pushed him into the thorns.

As their father Harry hurries over to rescue him, she says blankly: ‘It’s gone.’ As a child, Nicola never used Tom’s name. She called him ‘It’ and this was not the first time she had wanted rid of him.

When he was two, Nicola wheeled her brother in his pushchair towards the cellar steps of their North London home.

Their father stopped Nicola just before she pushed Tom down the flight of stairs. ‘Everyone thought that it was just normal sibling rivalry and that she’d grow out of it, but Nicola never did, she just grew worse,’ says Tom.

‘For as long as I can remember, there was something not quite right about Nicola. She had no empathy with others at all.’

Today, 30-year-old Tom has nothing to do with his older sister. Not since the night on November 11, 2005, when she killed their ‘loving, caring’ mother Marion, 60, stabbing her nine times in a psychotic rage, leaving the knife embedded in her body.

It was Tom, then 23, who found his mother lying in the study next to the kitchen of her East Sussex cottage when he returned home with his younger sister Sara from an evening in the pub. Sick with shock, he knew instinctively that Nicola was responsible.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Mother Slams Council Chiefs for Allowing Her Troubled 16-Year-Old Son Set Up Home With His Blonde 33-Year-Old Care Worker

The mother of a troubled 16-year-old boy has slammed council officials for allowing him to set up home with his blonde 33-year-old care worker.

The mother said she was furious after nothing was done to prevent her son moving in with Vicky Callaghan, who was one of his support team at his residential school.

Mrs Callaghan, who has two children under five, resigned from her job as mental health practitioner at the school for boys with severe emotional and behavioural problems after the affair came to light.

Police and social workers have visited the pair as part of a council child protection investigation and a report has concluded: ‘Technically both parties are able to be in a relationship with each other regardless of how “appropriate” this is.’

But the boy’s mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has described the situation as ‘absolutely disgraceful’. She said: ‘I knew my son was close to Vicky, but I didn’t realise just how close.

‘I have seen a lot of pictures of them together, but you wouldn’t dream they’d go off together.

‘I can’t believe the council allowed it and I can’t understand how this woman has been allowed to get away with it.’

[Return to headlines]

UK: Nurse Linked to the Death of Premature Twins Killed by ‘10 Times Too Much Morphine’ Is Allowed to Keep Working

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

A nurse who helped treat twins who died from a huge overdose of morphine at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has been allowed to keep working.

Joanne Thompson admitted a series of charges before a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise hearing in London this week.

But the panel ruled her fitness to practise ‘was not impaired’.

An inquest into the deaths of the twins, Alfie and Harry McQuillan, who died on November 1, 2010, heard that they were given an ‘excessive’ dose of morphine hours after their birth at Stafford Hospital.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Racist Graffiti Daubed on Sign in One of UK’s Most Exclusive Communities Where Villagers Are Fighting Over Planned Sikh School

A race row has erupted in one of Britain’s wealthiest villages after offensive graffiti was plastered on the site of a proposed Sikh school.

If the Khalsa Secondary Academy is built it would see more than 1,000 people flock into Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, from as far afield as West London.

Tension in the village has grown over the past fortnight with angry locals venting their anger online and at parish council meetings.

Now one racist hooligan has daubed ‘NO P*** SCHOOL’ and ‘DON’T SELL TO P*** SCHOOL’ on a sign at the proposed site.

Residents in Stoke Poges have condemned the thugs responsible for the graffiti, claiming their objections to the school have nothing to do with race.

But they feel the Slough Sikh Education Trust (SSET), which is behind the proposed faith school, could be fuelling rumours it is a race issue by circulating images of the graffiti.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: This Brilliant Surgeon Can’t Find Work in the NHS. Is it Because He Blew the Whistle on Child Deaths at a Leading Hospital?

As a paediatric surgeon, Edwin Jesudason knew his job treating some of the country’s sickest and most vulnerable children carried onerous responsibilities.

His father, also a surgeon, had brought him up to believe that patients are always a consultant’s first and foremost priority.

He also took very seriously the General Medical Council’s instructions that clinicians who suspected that patients’ lives were being put at risk in hospitals had a moral and professional duty to raise the alarm.

So when he expressed his concerns about the standards of care he said he had witnessed while working at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital, one of most famous children’s hospitals in Britain, he expected the authorities to investigate — not least because he claimed two young children had died as a result of professional misconduct.

Instead, says Mr Jesudason, an associate professor and award-winning paediatric surgeon, the authorities turned a blind eye after he and a colleague called for a review of ‘unnecessary’ fatalities among children who had undergone surgery at the hospital.

He not only claims that Alder Hey tried to stop him making his concerns public, but also now fears he has been blacklisted as a troublemaking whistleblower — and that he will never work again for the NHS.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Algeria: Women With Aids Helped to Find Work

Assisted in starting small companies from home

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS — In spite of progress made in treating Aids after the great number of deaths in the 1980s and 1990s, Aids remains a major issue in Algeria, a country which is still minimizing its entity for cultural and religious reasons.

However the problem exists and is heartfelt, especially as far as women, the weakest members of society, are concerned. However Algeria has lately appeared to have taken action against an illness described as the ‘plague of the 20th century’ by becoming aware of its vast implications, starting with the marginalization of those involved.

In particular, a new project has been started for women with HIV to help them find work. Women are helped to start small companies from home. The programme, created internationally in 2005, sees the cooperation between the Aids Solidarity association, the Direction of social action and national solidarity in Algiers and Pnud, the UN development programme.

A first step has been the creation of some 50 companies operating in crafts, agriculture, retail, training and bakery.

The head of the Direction of social action and solidarity in Algiers, Abderahmane Tigha, said the project helps women with Aids find a job as they have very few economic resources.

According to official figures, 7,509 people have Aids in Algeria. These numbers might not be exhaustive as there is only one agency in Algeria which is authorized to make these certifications. However, the path to help people with Aids has been started and though so far only women are assisted, soon men — who are the majority with Aids — could be helped out the spiral of emargination created by the lack of a collective conscience.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Arab Spring Masterminds

by Badrya Darwish

What a long and boring Arab Spring! I wish it was a spring. I do not mind spring to last forever and ever. My point is not related to the season of spring at all. I wonder why it was given such a wonderful name for a season. Have you seen tranquility or peace in any of the countries in the region? Let’s start with Tunisia. It is not that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali left or his extravagant wife Laila Tarabusi left.

The woman left behind a collection of very expensive jewellery. It was all shown last night on TV. I was amazed. Maybe in the rush she didn’t have time to wrap it and take it with her. Don’t worry about her. I do not worry about people like her. People with a lot of money are accepted everywhere, even if their presence is incognito.

Move on to Egypt. Just look at the ongoing daily demonstrations, the opposition and everyone accusing the other of corruption. The opposition is not accepting even the referendum for the constitution. Things on Tahrir Square are like the time when the people rose against Mubarak. Yemen is not in a better position. Jordan had its share of Arab Spring turmoil…

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Asma Assad Makes Surprise Damascus Appearance

(AGI) Damascus, Mar 17 — Asma Assad, wife of the Syrian president, made a surprise public appearance in Damascus on Saturday. Mrs Assad’s office said that she and her three children took part in a fundraising initiative “on Mothers’ Day at the Damascus Opera House” for the mothers of soldiers killed in the two years since the start of the revolt. She was born and raised in London, where she met her husband, Bashar Assad.

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

Ten Years of Iraqi War Killed 112,000 Civilians

(AGI) Baghdad — A study estimated that at least 112,000 Iraqi civilians were killed since the invasion of Iraq ten years ago .

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

What Went Wrong With Bernard Lewis?

By Andrew G. Bostom

I spent an hour with my colleague, the prolific author Robert Spencer, discussing Bernard Lewis, nonagenarian doyen of Islamic Studies. The entire interview, conducted as a segment for Robert’s outstanding weekly series of Jihad Watch programs on the Aramaic Broadcasting Network, is embedded at the bottom of this posting. Please read the summary assessment of my concerns before watching the interview. A more detailed analysis of Lewis’s analytic pitfalls can be read here.

Accrued over a distinguished career of more than six decades of serious scholarship, Bernard Lewis clearly possesses an enormous fund of knowledge regarding certain aspects of classical Islamic civilization, as well as valuable insights on the early evolution of modern Turkey from the dismantled Ottoman Empire. A gifted linguist, non-fiction prose writer, and teacher, Lewis shares his understanding of Muslim societies in both written and oral presentations, with singular economy, eloquence, and wit. Now 96 years old and still active, these are extraordinary attributes for which Lewis richly deserves the accolades lavished upon him.

I began expressing my concerns with the less salutary aspects of Lewis’ scholarship in a lengthy review-essay (for Frontpage) on Bat Ye’or’s seminal book Eurabia—The Euro-Arab Axis, published December 31, 2004. Over the intervening years—in the wake of profound US policy failures vis a vis Islamdom at that time, and subsequently, till now—this disquietude has increased considerably…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Indian Opposition Slams Government on Italian Marines Case

(AGI) New Delhi — India’s opposition has accused its government of colluding with Italy to ensure the marines’ safe passage home .

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

Italian Ambassador to India Risks Arrest Over Marines

(AGI) New Delhi — The Italian Ambassador to New Delhi risks arrest after the two marines facing trial will not return to India .

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

Italy Forces India to See the Light of Reason

Indian federalism is indeed taking a grotesque turn. The issue of the Italian marines becomes the third issue where Indian diplomacy is going to be buffeted by electoral politics. India’s ties with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are already reeling under the assault of the Dravida parties and the Trinamool respectively.

All indications are that this is going to be a recurring phenomenon in Indian politics in the coalition era. Agitational politics comes handy, in particular, when a crucial parliamentary election looms ahead, which is the case now. Any, every issue holds the potential to be exploited for electoral advantage. How this charade is going to play out and how the Indian political class finally acquires the maturity to rise above theatrical antics remains to be seen.

On the Sri Lanka issue the Left parties have been in and out of the Dravida camp from time to time, while on the Italian Marines issue they have instinctively surged to the barricades. That is understandable because the public gallery back in Kerala is watching and the Marines issue is a good controversy to pour scorn at the ruling UDF government.

Of course, a vanity fair is going on between the UDF [United Democratic Front] and the rival left alliance known as LDF [Left Democratic Alliance] and the high probability is that an ugly verbal brawl will ensue over the Malayalam television channels shortly — that is, till the erudite Malayali gets fed up with all this grandstanding and moves on and the excited politician gets the message that there is no more scope to exploit the Italian Marines issue for political mileage.

However, that point is some considerable way off. There are two reasons for that. One, the country involved here is ITALY and Congress President Sonia Gandhi also happens to be an Indian of Italian origin. A CPM MP seems to be already smelling a political conspiracy on this score, perhaps, at the highest level of the Indian government!…

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

North Korea Fires Missiles Into Sea of Japan After South Flexes Military Might in Latest Tit for Tat Displays of Strength

North Korea has tested short-range missiles in the Sea of Japan today in an attempt to counter-act joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises close to its borders.

South Korea had begun flexing is military muscle today in response to threats from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate.

But the North has hit back by testing missiles in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. Kim Jong Un also accused South Korea and the U.S. of being behind a cyber attack which led to a two-day Internet blackout.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fifth French Soldier Killed in Combat in Mali

(AGI) — Paris, Mar 17 — A fifth member of the French contingent in Mali has been killed in combat with Salafi rebels in the north of the country, reported the office of President Francois Hollande. No further details were available. The press release also praised the French troops engaged in “the conclusive and most difficult phase of their mission”.

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

Cameron ‘Respectfully’ Disagrees With Pope’s Falkland Stance

Islanders voted to stay British territory in recent referendum

(ANSA) — Brussels, March 15 — British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday that he “respectfully” doesn’t agree with the newly elected pontiff’s previous comments about the Falkland Islands.

Pope Francis has been quoted as describing the Falkland Islands as Argentine soil that was “usurped” by Britain.

In a recent referendum, Falkland islanders overwhelmingly voted to remain an overseas British territory.

“The Falkland Islanders have spoken so clearly about their future, and now other countries right across the world, I hope, will respect and revere this very, very clear result,” Cameron said on Tuesday.

Argentina occupied the islands, which it calls Las Malvinas, in 1982 but Britain retook them after a brief but fierce war.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

David Cameron Rebukes New Pope Over Argentina’s Claim to Islands

David Cameron clashed with the new Pope yesterday over his claims that the Falkland Islands had been ‘usurped’ by the British.

Pope Francis, the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires, believes the South Atlantic territories are ‘Argentine soil’.

But the Prime Minister said yesterday that he ‘respectfully’ disagreed with him and called on him to accept the result of the recent Falklands referendum.

In 2010, the Pope, as Cardinal of Buenos Aires, declared: ‘The Malvinas are ours’.

Argentina regards the Falklands as their territory even though Britain took control before Argentina existed as a nation.

They say the population is implanted, even though Argentina’s population is mainly descended from Spanish settlers who largely wiped out the native Americans.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Stop Amnesty for Liars and Thieves — Melt the Phone Lines in DC

[WARNING: Disturbing Content]

Once again, the Democratic/Communist Party USA, headed up by an impostor playing president, are pushing hard to reward individuals who sneak into OUR house. As we did the last time a few years ago, we MUST stop it from happening.

Ronald Reagan, darling of the GOP, signed a so-called immigration reform bill in 1986 that is the direct cause of the massive invasion of illegal aliens for the past 27 years. If this one goes through, it will be hell for all of us. It will be no different this time around only on a larger scale. Realistic estimates put the number of liars and thieves who smuggled themselves across our borders at around 38 million. The millions who received amnesty, thanks to Ronnie, had children; the numbers simply continued to multiply. Children born of illegal aliens are NOT U.S. citizens:


In 2011, a measly 400,000 liar and thieves were deported: “Of the convicted criminals deported last year, 1,119 were convicted of homicide, 5,848 of sexual offenses, 44,653 of drug-related offenses and 35,927 of driving under the influence, according to the Homeland Security figures.” Those are just the ones caught. How many more haven’t been caught that have murdered Americans, violence from drugs, drunk drivers and sex crimes against minors and even infants?

– — Illegal alien charged with sexually assaulting an infant in Pennslyvania — a six month old baby — – Illegal alien raped stepdaughter, age 9, in front of 7-year-old in South Dakota — – Illegal alien found guilty of horrific child sexual assault — “A violent assault in July 2008 in which Perez used a toy light saber to sodomize a 9-year-old boy and forced another child to sexually assault the victim.” — – Recent border arrests show problem of child molesters entering from Mexico — – “In a little more than a week, U.S. Border Patrol agents working out of the El Centro station in California arrested six illegal alien sex offenders. Five of them are convicted child molesters.” Those animals are on the prowl. Will your little one be the next victim?

Illegal aliens steal $1 BILLION dollars a year from natural born citizens and naturalized citizens in the State of Michigan.

[Comment: According to Mexican Law: children of Mexicans are Mexican citizens EVEN IF the child is born in a foreign country.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Facebook’s ‘Community Standards’ Only Apply to Conservatives

Social site censors pro-life, pro-family pages but ignores vulgar images on pro-abortion group’ s page.

Facebook revealed it’s bias again this week by allowing graphic images of nudity on a pro-abortion page to stay up amid complaints of it violating the social network’s “community standards.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hateful School Play Mocking Bible & Religion With Blatant Homosexual Themes Attracting National Attention.

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Recently we reported about the “transgender” agenda coming into Massachusetts schools by way of a state mandate. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The depths of depravity into which school officials are actively leading kids seem to have no bounds. Watch for this to spread around the country if not confronted.

This weekend a charter public school in South Hadley, Massachusetts is presenting a play that is so depraved and offensive that it’s already gotten national attention.

The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) in South Hadley, Massachusetts describes itself as “A public school dedicated to academic and artistic excellence” and includes grades 7-12.

The school is performing the play, “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” by Paul Rudnick. It’s billed as a “comedy.” But it’s described by many as “blasphemous and hateful.” The play retells stories from the Bible using homosexual characters in a pornographic and mocking fashion.

The play begins with a retelling of Genesis using a homosexual couple, Adam and Steve, instead of Adam and Eve, along with other homosexual characters who are are very sexually explicit in their speech and actions. As one review puts it, this re-telling of Genesis “gets so specific as to be a gay how-to sexbook.”

It includes a depiction of Steve having a sexual relationship with an animal during the Noah’s Ark scene. After several other hideous defamations of Bible stories, the first act ends with Adam and Steve being two of the wise men at the Nativity. The second scene appears to be a modern-day depiction of the birth of Jesus in a New York apartment with the “wise man” Steve now being HIV-positive and the pregnant Mary being a lesbian who (among other things) exclaims: “I’m not supposed to be pregnant, I’m a bulldyke!”…

Of course, many have observed that these same “progressives” would never put on a play that in any way denigrates Islam or Mohammed. That’s because Muslims react very strongly, as we all know. Or imagine if a school produced an “anti-gay” play. The leftists would be vicious and unrelenting in their response. But our side tends to be passive and “reasonable” in our objections.

But if good people don’t stand up to this, things will not only continue but get worse.

[Comment: Parents must realize schools have become cultural brainwashing centres run by communists. Your kids are there for 40 hrs/week getting indoctrinated. Protesting or letter writing to these communist organizers is useless — they laugh at such things. The proper response of parents who object should be to pull the kids out of such schools and homeschool or transfer to another school.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Magazine Depicts Pope as Half-Naked Woman

Loaded magazine owner sneers that Church ‘held itself up to ridicule.’

Talk about edgy comedy. A daring magazine has depicted Mohammed as a sexy, topless woman wearing a turban and holding Muslim prayer beads while staring inquisitively into the clouds. On the front cover.

Just kidding. It’s actually another boring attack on Catholicism. Lucy Pinder, a 29-year-old U.K. model who can’t seem to keep her clothes on, graced the April issue cover of Loaded, a young men’s magazine that boasts a 1.4 million monthly readership. She stood provocatively in the picture, baring her chest with white robes and a priest’s stole hugging her shoulders. She stared into the sky while wearing one cross around her neck and holding another in her hand.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Seventeen Mag to 12-Year-Olds: Threesomes Just ‘Edgy’

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

To be bold and edgy while building character, young girls should spice up their lives with nudity, drugs, and maybe even a threesome — or that was the story in the April issue of teen girl magazine “Seventeen.”

The latest issue of “Seventeen” showed a smiling 23-year-old Ashley Benson modeling patriotic-themed clothing to a target audience of 12 to 19-year-old girls. The cover read that the Disney star “opens up about her edgy new movie” — a movie which earned an R rating for language, nudity, drug use, violence, and a sex scene featuring Ashley Benson with co-stars Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Victoria’s Secret Targets Young Girls in New Ad Campaign

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Sexy underwear might be on your 13-year-old daughter’s wish list this Spring. Popular lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret recently launched a spring line aimed for pre-teens and young teenagers. The risqué brand is no stranger to using sex to sell, but this new move is causing many parents to question whether this is appropriate for young girls.

The company currently has a line called “Pink” aimed for the college market, but this new campaign called “Bright, Young Things” would be aimed at a much younger crowd. SF Gate reports that the collection includes, “lace back cheeksters with the word “Wild” on the back, to a lace trim thong with “Call Me” on the front, to green-and-white polka-dot hipsters reading “Feeling Lucky?”

Not exactly age-appropriate messages.

Victoria’s Secret chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer admitted in January that the line was aimed for teens saying, “When somebody’s 15- or 16-years-old, what do they want to be?” They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at Pink.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Enviro-Eugenicists Announce Mass Die-Off

In a report published in April of 2012 by the Royal Society titled People and the Planet, the elitist UK-based society calls for massive population reduction and de-industrialization of the west. However drenched in euphemisms, the report cannot conceal its ominous undertones. Listed among its “key recommendations” the report proposes several measures similar to the one put out recently by MIT in which a drastic reduction of the population is called for in the name of “modelling” and predictions.

Immediately after the Royal Society released its call for more death and mega-cities, none other than Paul Ehrlich weighed in to regurgitate his own eugenic fancies. The Guardian reported that Ehrlich, who contributed to the report, eagerly endorses its conclusions. In regards to redistributing wealth, Ehrlich is quite upfront about his opinion on the matter:


For those who think that the entire population reduction-mantra is somehow the end result of rigorous scientific thinking, the calculated, incremental and synchronized move toward a brave new world should inform them about its true origins. UNESCO’s founder, Vice President of the Eugenics Society and foremost transhumanist Julian Huxley, explained why global governance is crucial in his UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy:

“Even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/17/2013

  1. @ Peril From ‘Patriots’: The U.S. Needs to Keep a Close Watch on the Growing Threat of Home-Grown Extremist Groups.

    Take a look at the readers vote in this article 🙂

  2. From what I understand, that ‘tax’ on deposits has been postponed. Makes sense. I guess that they don’t believe what our Democrat leaders do: “We need to pass this bill so that YOU can find out what is in it.” The problem is that the potential fallout from this can be so disastrous that they need to think a little more about “What is in it.”

  3. Someone should give Pope Francis a history lesson. He claims that
    the Brits took the Falkland Islands from Argentina. Since South
    America has been carved up for years, if Brazil, Chile and
    Paraguay would give back what they took from Bolivia, then possibly
    Argentina would have a case.

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