Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/29/2013

The German government announced that if it is true that last year’s Bulgarian bus attack was definitely the work of Hezbollah — which is what Bulgaria believes — then the group should be classified as a “terrorist” one in the EU. The French, however, object to the proposed change.

In other news, a new wave of hundreds of sub-Saharan African refugees, including children and pregnant women, has arrived at the Mediterranean islands of Lampedusa and Malta.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, McR, 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
» CFR Boss: Cyprus Had it Coming
» Cyprus Currency Clampdown to Go on for a Month: Banks Open for the First Time in Two Weeks
» Cyprus-Style “Bail-Ins” Are Proposed in the New 2013 Canadian Government Budget!
» Greece: People Exasperated by Public Services, Ombudsman
» Is Canada the Next Cyprus?
» Italian Businesses First to Receive Govt Debt Payback
» Italy: Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena Lost 3.17 Billion in 2012
» Italy: Inflation ‘Trolley’ Prices Continue to Fall
» Jim Rogers: IMF Bank Account Looting to Go Viral
» OECD Says Italian Reforms Solid Basis for Recovery
» The Most Important Thing to Remember About America’s Food Stamp Boom
» UK: Gold-Plated Public Sector Pensions ‘Set to Cost Every Family £1,500’
» “We’ve Become Rich Plundering the Planet”: Global Environmentalism Through U. N. Agenda 21
» Finally, The Bacon Condom Has Arrived
» Former Schools Chief in Atlanta Indicted in Cheating Scandal
» Fox Drama: Constitutionalists Work for Terrorist Serial Murderers
» Homeland Security Demands “Obedience” In Message to Agents
» Man-Size Jellyfish Robot Could Ply the Seas
» Meet Stalker Behind Bieber Castration Plot
» New York Congressman Introduces Bill to Abolish Presidential Term Limits
» Obama’s Signing of Monsanto Protection Act Proves He Will Betray Progressives, Too
» Obama’s Rape and Plunder of America
» Obama Artist Equates Gun Owners With Satan; Proceeds From New Prints to Fund Gun Control Advocates
» Pat Robertson on DHS Arms Build-Up: “Who Are They Going to Shoot, US?
» Piers Morgan: Adam Lanza Was NRA Member
» Rabbi Hausman’s Letter to Florida Legislators in Support of American Law for American Courts
» States Under Republican Leadership Fall for Obama’s Carrot: The Next Generation Schools
» The Amityville Horror: The Boy Who Lived in the True-Life Haunted House Breaks His 40-Year Silence
» The Obamas’ Unending Summer Vacation: Four Lavish Vacations in Three Months
Europe and the EU
» As of Today the Shroud of Turin Yours to See
» Bulgaria Bus Attack: Berlin Wants Hezbollah on EU Terrorist Group List
» Cyprus: Press: Banks ‘Forgave’ Loans to Firms, MPs
» English Defence League Exploiting Sex-Grooming Fears, Says Report
» Italy: Marines Returned to India Willingly, Defence Minister Says
» Italy: Snowfall Throughout Val D’Aosta Region
» Italy: Ex-FM Says Not a ‘Scapegoat’ In India Marines Saga
» Italy: Berlusconi Wants Grand Coalition But PD Says No
» Italy: ‘Grillo’ Top Problem for EU, Says Goldman Sachs President
» Italy: Extreme-Right Political Group Seals Off Makeshift Mosque
» Italy: Terzi Slams Statements by Vendola in Marines Issue
» Sicily Withdraws Authorisation for Muos Satellite System
» UK: Father-of-Four Still in a Coma Three Weeks After Being Beaten Up and Left in the Street to Die
» UK: One-Man Crimewave, 19, Who Confessed to Breaking Into 250 Homes is Back in Jail 12 Weeks After His Release
» UK: Romanian Pickpocket Stole 15 Phones Worth £6,000 in Coffee Shop Distraction Thefts Lasting Just ‘Five Seconds’
» UK: Shamed Police Officer Who Stole £400 During a House Search Jailed Again for Stealing Two Smartphones
» UK: Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Why He’s So Shy About His Illustrious Looks
» UK: We Will Not Change Human Rights Law Admits Minister: Green Defies Outrage Over Qatada Ruling
North Africa
» Al Qaeda in North Africa Warns France in First Tweet
» Anti-Morsi Protests Lead to Clashes in Four Egyptian Cities
» Libya: Tripoli: Islamic Extremists Destroy 15th Century Sufi Mausoleum
» US Concerned Over Mob Sexual Assaults in Egypt
Middle East
» New Wave of Anti-Shiite Bombings Kills at Least 17
» Panel: U.S. Ignoring Increasing Christian Persecution
» Saudi Arabia Beheads Murderer… and Then Crucifies His Body
» Syria: UN Concern for Staff in Golan Heights
South Asia
» Russia Considers Returning to Afghanistan
Far East
» China 1 of Largest Producers of Bibles in World
» Kim Jong UN Reveals His ‘U.S. Mainland Strike Plan’
» North Korean Photo Reveals ‘U.S. Mainland Strike Plan”‘
» North Korea: ‘The Situation is Critical, War is Probably Just Hours Away’
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Arabs Have Black Slaves Today
Latin America
» Luis Fleischman: The Passing of Chavez and the Rise of Pope Francis I
» Mark Zuckerberg Hires Two DC Lobbyists to Help His Advocacy Group Fight for Immigration Reform
» Migrants Must Get Benefits Say EU: Brussels Threatens to Stop New Crackdown
» Obama Admin Chooses to Cut Border Security
» Three Ships With Immigrants Intercepted Off Lampedusa
» UK: ‘Frustrated’ Clegg Vows Hate Preacher Qatada Will be Deported Despite Government Losing Latest Court Battle
» Wave of African Refugees Arrives on Italian, Maltese Shores
Culture Wars
» Retailers and Entertainment Industry Aspire to Hyper-Sexualize Girls
» Same-Sex Marriage: A Convenient Distraction
» UK: Escort Posed Naked on Church Altar and in a Graveyard for Her Online Profile Pictures
» Video: Planned Parenthood Official Argues for Right to Post-Birth Abortion

CFR Boss: Cyprus Had it Coming

Talk about blaming the victim.

The president of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, told Bloomberg TV the other day the poor schmuck Cypriots had it coming, in part due to their parochialism. In other words, they didn’t fully integrate themselves into the European Union, so they deserved to be fleeced.

Haass also dismissed the looting of the country as a “one-off” deal.

Right. And I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cyprus Currency Clampdown to Go on for a Month: Banks Open for the First Time in Two Weeks

Cyprus was warned it faces another month of Draconian currency controls as its banks finally reopened yesterday after two weeks.

The clampdown, supposed to be in place for just a week, was extended until the end of April amid claims that the European Union is engineering the ‘brutal destruction’ of the country’s economy.

Billions of euros in banknotes were delivered to banks by armoured lorry in the expectation of crowds wanting to withdraw funds.

But the controls, designed to stop a run on the banks, meant customers were banned from withdrawing more than 300 euros (£250) per day. Banks also refused to cash cheques and travellers were banned from leaving the country with more than 1,000 euros (£850).

Cyprus’s foreign minister Ioannis Kasouldides said the restrictions will continue for ‘about a month’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cyprus-Style “Bail-Ins” Are Proposed in the New 2013 Canadian Government Budget!

What you are about to see absolutely amazed me when I first saw it. The Canadian government is actually proposing that what just happened in Cyprus should be used as a blueprint for future bank failures up in Canada.

The following comes from pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013” which you can find right here. Apparently the goal is to find a way to rescue “systemically important banks” without the use of taxpayer funds…


So if the banks take extreme risks with their money and lose, “certain bank liabilities” (i.e. deposits) will rapidly be converted into “regulatory capital” and the banks will be saved.

In other words, the banks will just be allowed to grab money directly out of your bank accounts to recapitalize themselves.

That may sound completely and utterly insane to us, but this is how things will now be done all over the western world.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Greece: People Exasperated by Public Services, Ombudsman

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MARCH 28 — Greeks appear to be increasingly exasperated by the country’s public administration, particularly social insurance firms and government services, according to the Ombudsman’s office, which said complaints increased 10% last year, to 1,702. In its annual report, the watchdog reported a rise in complaints about delayed pension and benefit payments, a direct consequence of the economic crisis, but also highlighted a spike in protests about violence in schools, racist attacks and instances of bigotry and social exclusion. For the second year in a row, complaints about mismanagement at the municipal level, particularly alleged offenses by mayors, were rife. The Ombudsman, Calliope Spanou, called for more inspections and disciplinary action when necessary. “The Ombudsman’s office has been stressing for years that processes are lagging and reasons are always found to avoid prosecuting offenders,” she said as reported by daily Kathimerini.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Is Canada the Next Cyprus?

Is anyone in Ottawa doing anything to protect Canadian sovereignty and resources from elected tyrants?

The concept of a Canada taking money from unknowing bank depositors is not just within the realm of hysteria and hype.

Not when Page 144 of the 2013 Canadian budget states: “The Government also recognizes the need to manage the risks associated with systemically important banks — those banks whose distress or failure could cause a disruption to the financial system and, in turn, negative impacts on the economy. This requires strong prudential oversight and a robust set of options for resolving these institutions without the use of taxpayer funds, in the unlikely event that one becomes non-viable.

Translated, Without the use of taxpayer funds means via depositor funds???’ asks one CFP letter to the editor writer.

A fair question In a world where western governments are now stealing and coveting the money of small bank depositors.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italian Businesses First to Receive Govt Debt Payback

40-billion-euro plan ‘to jumpstart demand this year’ says Grilli

(ANSA) — Rome, March 28 — The Italian economy minister on Thursday said the government’s decision to pay back 40 billion euros in public debt will go to private-sector companies before it goes to banks over the next two years and will produce positive stimulus results by mid-2013. In repaying government debt, the government foresees “a chronological order in two phases: first, non-financial institutions, then the banks,” said Vittorio Grilli before a special parliamentary committee. “Injecting liquidity into the economy will jumpstart domestic demand already by the middle of the year”.

To meet all of its commitments, including social spending, the government announced plans last week to pay back debt by 20 billion euros in 2013 and 20 billion euros in 2014, with the hope of a major stimulus for the economy. The repayment plan had been fiercely criticized by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) of Beppe Grillo, which holds the balance of power in parliament which remains divided after elections last month produced no clear majority nor consensus to compromise. On Thursday the populist M5S warmed to the plan.

“We find it favorable that the banks must wait their turn,” said M5S House Whip Vito Crimi. Grilli also said the 3% ceiling set for Italy’s budget deficit in relation to its GDP was “insurmountable” and would remain unchanged. Relaxing its budget-deficit targets was made possible after the European Commission (EC) in Brussels gave Italy more flexibility in its national debt levels despite a stability pact signed by nations including Italy that fixed those debt levels.

The measure was intended to help companies facing a credit crunch and recession. The outgoing government, led by caretaker Premier Mario Monti, has raised its deficit target for 2013 to 2.9% of gross domestic product — a dramatic increase from its earlier target of 1.8% of GDP.

It has also slashed its economic forecasts for 2013, predicting a 1.3% contraction, compared with an earlier prediction of a 0.2% fall in GDP.

Grilli predicts next year will see an improvement, with Italy’s economy expanding by 1.3%.

That’s slightly higher than a previous forecast of 1.1% growth in 2014.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena Lost 3.17 Billion in 2012

Troubled bank at centre of fraud scandal

(ANSA) — Milan, March 28 — Troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) said Thursday that it made losses of 3.17 billion euros in 2012.

Italy’s third-largest lender is at the centre of a huge fraud probe after a scandal over shady derivatives operations exploded in January.

It has since emerged that a previously undisclosed series of derivative and structured-finance deals produced losses of around 720 million euros under ex-MPS chairman Giuseppe Mussari’s watch.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Inflation ‘Trolley’ Prices Continue to Fall

March figure lowest since September 2010, Istat said

(ANSA) — Rome, March 29 — Prices in the so-called inflation ‘trolley’ of most frequently bought goods rose 2% annually in March, down from 2.4% the previous month, Istat said Tuesday.

It was the lowest figure since September 2010, the statistics agency said.

In March overall inflation stood at 1.7%, Istat added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Jim Rogers: IMF Bank Account Looting to Go Viral

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The globalist IMF and EU bankster wink and nod to Cypriot banksters giving them the go ahead to steal billions of euros is a beta test for a larger and more comprehensive criminal looting agenda, says investment banker Jim Rogers.

Get your fiat money out the banks, Rogers advises.

Can there be any doubt now about the true intentions of the bankster elite?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

OECD Says Italian Reforms Solid Basis for Recovery

Most eurozone countries in good fiscal shape, OECD says

(see related) (ANSA) — Paris, March 28 — Structural reforms in Italy and other European countries are “a solid basis for renewed competitiveness and job creation when demand reverses its current trend,” according to an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) interim assessment released Thursday. “Most of the necessary post-crisis fiscal adjustments have already been implemented in a majority of eurozone countries,” the assessment said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Most Important Thing to Remember About America’s Food Stamp Boom

The Wall Street Journal is out with a long article today exploring why the number of Americans on food stamps isn’t falling along with the unemployment rate. As of December there were 47.8 million people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, up more than a million over the year. So what’s going on?

It’s a complicated answer, and the WSJ does a good job teasing out the story’s different threads. But I want to focus on the simple part of the issue for a moment, because in the big picture, it’s also by far the most important part. So repeat after me: There are record numbers of Americans on food stamps today because there are record numbers of Americans in poverty (records begin in 1959.)

As of 2011, there were 46.2 million men, women, and children living below the U.S. poverty line. There isn’t much reason to believe that the last year of mediocre job growth has dented that number. And until it plunges, the food stamp rolls are going to stay full — plain and simple.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Gold-Plated Public Sector Pensions ‘Set to Cost Every Family £1,500’

The cost of paying gold-plated pensions to Britain’s public sector workers will double over the next six years to the equivalent of £1,500 per family, a damning report warns today.

Between April 2011 and April 2012, the net cost of paying the pensions of retired State workers was £8billion.

But this figure is set to rocket to £16.2billion in 2017/18, according to the forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury’s independent watchdog.

Experts said it makes a mockery of the Government’s claim to have tackled the problem of the ballooning cost of paying such generous pensions to the State workforce.

It comes as unions are plotting strike action over changes to their pensions as well as other grievances.

Members of the militant Public and Commercial Services union walked out on Budget Day and teachers are planning industrial action later this year.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

“We’ve Become Rich Plundering the Planet”: Global Environmentalism Through U. N. Agenda 21

I do not watch TV much anymore. There is too much propaganda and re-engineered information to advance the progressive agenda. Historical facts have fallen victim to political correctness and the war on truth is waged on all fronts by progressive liberals from academia, the main stream media, and Hollywood.

Channel surfing one day, I found a “documentary” produced in 2011 that captured my attention. The breathtaking photography, the music, the powerful narrative, and the clever editing would have made a convert out of me, had I been a low-information American who believed everything the MSM said, factoids repeated at nauseam and coated with a veneer of veracity. When Hollywood hypocritical elites are the messengers and the pop culture icons speak, millions follow what they say with blind devotion and adoration devoid of rational thought.

The theme was “addiction to money” but the subtle topic was global environmentalism through U. N. Agenda 21. Economist and author David McWilliams presented the scenario of reengineering a sustainable economy and why it was necessary.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Finally, The Bacon Condom Has Arrived

More than most other products, condoms seem to arouse people’s creative ingenuity.

There are glow-in-the-dark condoms, Scotch whiskey-flavored McCondoms, dinosaur-shaped condoms and condoms printed with ruler measurements (presumably for men who feel they have something to prove).

And now, a bacon condom. It was only a matter of time.

J & D’s Foods, whose corporate mission statement is, “Everything should taste like bacon,” has announced its latest product, a condom that’s patterned to look like a pinkish-red slab of bacon and is flavored with the company’s Baconlube, according to the New York Daily News.

The company claims the condoms are “made in America of the highest-quality latex and rigorously tested to help ensure the utmost reliability and safety for when you’re makin’ bacon,” Fox News reports.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Former Schools Chief in Atlanta Indicted in Cheating Scandal

A grand jury has indicted Beverly L. Hall, the former superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools, and other educators on charges connected to one of the largest test-score cheating scandals in the country.

A Fulton County grand jury that had been hearing testimony all week handed up the indictments Friday evening.

[Return to headlines]

Fox Drama: Constitutionalists Work for Terrorist Serial Murderers

Fox, the entertainment network founded by Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller, is working with the federal government and the Southern Poverty Law Center in a concerted effort to demonize Americans identifying themselves constitutionalists.

During an episode of “The Following,” a television drama starring Kevin Bacon, constitutionalists are portrayed as extremists in league with a group of serial murderers. The series follows an ex-FBI agent who has joined a social network of copycat killers attracted to a charismatic leader.

In the above clip featured during Infowars Night News on Thursday, two recruits are asked if they are ex-military. They respond by saying they were raised in a militia and are “constitutional extremists.”…

A successful effort to demonize and portray the patriot and constitutionalist community as criminally insane is essential if the establishment is going to effectively and definitively undermine the political opposition. Films and television shows are essential to this effort and are being used to condition the public prior to a move to attack as a terrorist threat any effective resistance.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Homeland Security Demands “Obedience” In Message to Agents

The Obama administration and its controversial Department of Homeland Security are under fire for sending what is being described as a “chilling” message to U.S. Border Patrol agents demanding “obedience,”Liberty News Network (LNN) national correspondent and law-enforcement advocate Andy Ramirez revealed in an exclusive video report (see below) calling for Congress to investigate. The word “obedience” was defined on the official TV screens as: “quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.”

Reliable sources inside the agency confirmed to Ramirez, who also serves as president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council (LEOAC), that the controversial message demanding “obedience” was displayed for agents on TV monitors in the San Diego and Tucson sectors last week. In his explosive video for LNN exposing the scheme, Ramirez also provided a picture of the “propaganda” graphic that he obtained from a source within Customs and Border Protection (CBP) who requested anonymity (see photo above).

“This ‘Obedience’ order just continues a long recent history of intimidation going back to the 2004 ‘gag order’ by then-Chief David Aguilar,” Ramirez told The New American in an interview, referring to a controversial non-disclosure agreement purporting to bar agents from releasing important information to lawmakers and the media. “The primary point of this all is to purge the patrol of experienced agents who refuse to go along to get along.”…

According to Ramirez, both the Border Patrol and Customs have already engaged in a number of “purges” where agents close to retirement were forced to retire even though they still had room for advancement. “They want employees who are loyal to DHS and CBP, which is why the old BP logos and decals have been pretty much removed off the vehicles,” the LNN correspondent told The New American in an exclusive interview.

“Agencies like CBP, ICE, TSA, and the like were placed under DHS’ roof for command and control purposes,” Ramirez continued. “However the real purpose has been to keep the facts from reaching the public. In point of fact, DHS is a propaganda ministry in its own right, given the blatant misinformation released by top officials. In the wrong hands it could easily act in a way similar to ‘State Security’.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Man-Size Jellyfish Robot Could Ply the Seas

A giant, slimy, tentacled robot modeled after one of the world’s largest jellyfish could be a precursor to self-powered, autonomous robots that monitor the seas, map the seafloor and even reveal secrets of marine life, engineers say.

Dubbed Cyro, the newly unveiled robotic jellyfish is a scaled-up version of another mechanical swimmer, this one the size of a human hand, called RoboJelly that was developed by the same team of researchers at Virginia Tech College of Engineering.

At 5-foot-7 (1.7 meters) and weighing 170 pounds (77 kilograms), Cyro is the jelly equivalent of an average human guy.

Jellyfish make great models for self-powered and autonomous bots partly because of their relatively low metabolic rate, meaning they can move through the sea on little energy. They also come in various sizes and inhabit a range of aquatic habitats from shallow coastal areas to the deep-sea, meaning engineers have plenty to work with when looking for a mimic for particular uses.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Meet Stalker Behind Bieber Castration Plot

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

(Atlantic Wire) Would you like meet the mastermind behind the plot to kill and castrate Justin Bieber? Because he will terrify any of the Bieber haters who joked about last year’s arrest of the team involved in the assassination attempt. Indeed this stalker contends he only ever wanted to cut off the singer’s testicles — and worse — because he loves Justin Bieber.

Back in November, we heard about the uncle-and-nephew duo arrested for plotting to kill and castrate Justin Bieber. Mark Staake and his nephew, Tanner Ruane, were arrested after they took a wrong turn on the way to allegedly meet Bieber in New York City. There, the two allegedly planned to murder and castrate the singer with garden sheers. They were apparently operating under the instruction of 45-year-old Dana Martin, who is currently serving two consecutive life sentences in a Las Cruces prison for raping and killing a 15-year-old girl.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New York Congressman Introduces Bill to Abolish Presidential Term Limits

New York Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano reintroduced a bill in Congress on Friday to repeal the 22nd Amendment, which places term limits on the U.S. presidency.

The bill, which has been referred to committee, would allow Barack President Obama to become the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to seek a third term in office.

H.J. Res. 15 proposes “an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.”

The bill is a reintroduction of H.J. Res. 17, which Serrano introduced in Congress in January 2011. It was referred to the House judiciary committee, but did not make it to a floor vote.

Repealing the 22nd Amendment has been a longtime goal of Serrano’s, regardless of the sitting president’s political party. Serrano proposed similar resolutions in 1997 and 1999, during Bill Clinton’s administration, and in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007, during George W. Bush’s administration. He proposed the repeal again in 2009 after Obama took office.

None of his proposals has ever made it to a floor vote.

Democratic Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer also repeatedly proposed repealing the 22nd Amendment during both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Current Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sponsored a bill to repeal the amendment in 1995.

The 22nd Amendment was passed by Congress in 1947 and ratified by 41 states by 1951. The last president before Roosevelt to prepare for a campaign for a third term was Woodrow Wilson, who pulled out of the 1920 nominating race to avoid deadlocking the Democratic convention in San Francisco.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Signing of Monsanto Protection Act Proves He Will Betray Progressives, Too

(NaturalNews) The internet has erupted into a fury over Obama’s signing of the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act,” a rider to a federal appropriations bill that hands Monsanto the power to nullify the decisions of federal courts. If the courts decide that a genetically engineered crop is dangerous to the public or the environment, it can no longer order Monsanto (or any other company) to stop planting the crops. Instead, the law mandates the Secretary of Agriculture to issue permits and deregulation orders that allow the “continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities” even if a crop is deemed to be causing a plague or unleashing dangerous genetic pollution.

The actual language of the bill is barely-recognizable lawyerspeak, of course, but it’s not difficult to see how it will be interpreted by a federal government which routinely conspires with Monsanto and the biotech industry to sneak GMOs into the food supply. To read the bill language yourself, visit: and search for “735.” (Thanks to Anthony Gucciardi for finding this link.)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Rape and Plunder of America

All that Americans have held on to and relied on is being assaulted. Obama won’t stop until America is forced into submission to his Dictatorship plans and the rest of us locked up or killed. What survives the Obama battering rams will be taxed and redistributed to his seduced worshipers. They will be slaves and controlled like mutant little toys but they will thank Obama and give him their worship.

How many ways can a mad man in the White House attack the American people, her laws, freedoms and Constitution? Obama and his minions have favorite attack — assault weapons with very large magazines.

Executive Orders: Obama has issued at least 139 executive orders before he started his second term of horror. All are designed to fuel and support his growing and corrupt dictatorship. From the beginning of his regime he has taken over the private sector and attempted to crush state and local rights with these orders. A recent one merges the Federal Government with the private sector. He has built the Saul Alinsky reasons for his “kill lists” “emergency powers” “martial law this and that.”

These Executive Orders control literally everything you can even imagine. EVERYTHING — where you work — what you eat — when and if you travel — what you have and get to keep in the bank — when the curfew sends you home — what you say and can’t say and how you can or can’t protect yourself. Obama’s executive orders are a complete Dictatorship manual in everyway, hiding behind the ‘go switch’ of terrorism, economic collapse and other fabricated crises.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Artist Equates Gun Owners With Satan; Proceeds From New Prints to Fund Gun Control Advocates

Shepard Fairey, the graphic artist synonymous with the Obama “CHANGE” and “HOPE” images has taken aim at the Second Amendment by releasing new works that equate gun owners with Satan.

Fairey has released a new print titled “God Saves & Satan Invests” which depicts an AR15 rifle with the words “America — The Land Where God Saves & Satan Invests In Assault Weapons And High Capacity Magazines”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pat Robertson on DHS Arms Build-Up: “Who Are They Going to Shoot, US?

Televangelist Pat Robertson has become the latest prominent conservative to question why the Department of Homeland Security is engaged in an apparent arms build-up, asking if the 1.6 billion bullets purchased by the federal agency will be used against the American people.

Speaking on his CBN broadcast yesterday, Robertson characterized the DHS ammo purchase and its acquisition of armored vehicles as “like something out of science fiction: long trains of full or armored vehicles, personnel carriers with armor.”

“What are they for, the Army going into battle against the enemy?” asked Robertson. “They’re used by Homeland Security against us!”

Robertson then quoted Ronald Reagan, “The most fearful statement in the English language is ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’.”

“Imagine what Homeland Security is doing, it’s just awful,” he continued. “We’re going to talk about how much ammunition they’re stockpiling. Who are they going to shoot? Us?”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Piers Morgan: Adam Lanza Was NRA Member

British citizen and arch enemy of the Second Amendment, Piers Morgan, last night insinuated NRA members are serial murderers.

Morgan made his remark after police said they found NRA certificates at the Lanza residence in Connecticut.

On Thursday, NBC reported that the cops found an NRA guide to pistol shooting and an NRA certificate in Nancy Lanza’s name. They did not report finding any evidence that Adam Lanza or his mother were members of the NRA.

“There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association. Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory,” the NRA stated after the establishment media made it appear Lanza was a member instead of merely somebody who received a training certificate.

But for Morgan, the fact Lanza had nothing to do with the NRA is irrelevant. The CNN host said Lanza was a member and insinuated that other NRA members might be serial murderers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rabbi Hausman’s Letter to Florida Legislators in Support of American Law for American Courts

Recently, an open letter was addressed to the Florida State Legislators composed by David Barkey, Religious Freedom Counsel for the Florida Anti-Defamation League, (Leadership in Tallahassee must stand against intolerance, Tampa Tribune, 25 January 2013). I write to you in response as one who possesses the unique skills to plumb the sources of two traditions (Judaism and Islam) along with the requisite legal training appertaining to the US law and Constitutional governance. Mr. Barkey’s key claim is that the aforementioned legislation is a classic example of the proverbial “solution in search of a problem” could not be further from the truth. . . Mr. Barkey’s claim that the aforementioned legislation’s “supposed purpose is to counter the infiltration of our judicial and legal system by Sharia (Islamic) law” while subsequently claiming that no “Florida court decision, or any other court decision, demonstrating an actual need for this legislation” can be found is demonstrably incorrect. The pertinent question regarding Sharia is thus: Does Sharia, as a legal system act in consonance with the Constitutional legal principles so cherished by and supported by over two centuries of American case law or does it stand for a diminution of the rights of many segments of our population? The legislation presented to you in HB351/SB58, American Laws for American Courts, certainly is the surest possible way to protect our Constitutional legal system.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

States Under Republican Leadership Fall for Obama’s Carrot: The Next Generation Schools

It’s easier to understand an agenda with a picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. The following graph was used in a power point presentation about how the Innovation Lab Network will change and redesign how American schools will function in the future. This is a ‘Race to the Top’ education model. The graph was taken from a power point presentation from the Stupski Foundation, the OECD, the international Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, with a grant from the Chief State School Officers, CCSSO, about the Next Generation Schools, called the Innovation Lab Network.

These are the original states that are included in this pilot research project from Obama’s ‘Race to the Top’ -Maine, West Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, Kentucky, and Ohio. Race to the Top was funded from the Recovery Act with $400 billion dollars. Since that time waivers have been given to states that need flexibility in using their Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA) funding In the “No Child Left Behind” legislation to move toward this model since the current Congress has not passed a budget. More states are involved at this time. The most profound concept in this graph shows how the next generation school will eliminate representative government. Notice that the new system bypasses the community, governance, and finance. Draw your attention to the blue lines that are most important to this agenda. They are: your child, called human capital, assessment which is testing, technology, and any time and any place. Testing and technology become the most important part of this agenda to create the human capital of the future for the international global workforce.

How will abolishing representative government work? In order for this graph to become a reality, there are three barriers that must be removed. Community; families, parents, and churches must have no options or legal authority, only a choice of which school to send their children; Governance; your locally elected school board or other elected local or state officials that could become a hindrance will be eliminated or reduced to minor functions: parents will not have any voting power over a for-profit charter school; Finance; the neighborhood school no longer depends on your local tax base to fund schools under equality or leveling the field. The mantra that will be quoted is, under fairness and equity there should not be rich school districts or poor school districts, only schools. Your tax money will be pooled regionally or toward a county base to be distributed equally for each child. Federal funds will now fund individual students. Your elected school boards will no longer have the tax base from which to run their school. Your local neighborhood school will eventually be pushed out through academic bankruptcy and/or taken over by charter schools…

Obama unlocks data, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act OF 1974 (FERPA) is unleashed, and opens Pandora’s Box of privacy invasion, psychological manipulation, giving data for free to organizations to make a profit, and falsely using children in research unknowingly to parents, school boards, and legislators. The “learning genome,” which means testing and teaching the whole child, is not just about academics.


What is higher order and deep thinking? Most higher order questions on a test will measure “ beyond text.” Beyond text means you cannot get the answer from information provided in the story. You have to give your opinion or value judgment. Affective testing is measuring attitudes and values. This is critical thinking which sounds good to the parents or legislators. These value questions are scored to a criterion or standard set by the state. Higher order and deeper thinking and learning will be psychological intervention toward prescribed government attitudes and beliefs. Authentic affective engagement will be the psychological techniques used and needed to force the student to change their attitudes and behavior toward workforce objectives. This is the re-design of your neighborhood school.

[Comment: An insidious Orwellian slave training apparatus is being prepared. Read it all.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Amityville Horror: The Boy Who Lived in the True-Life Haunted House Breaks His 40-Year Silence

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

The house where the Lutzes in Long Island lived was site of mass murder.

They never returned, but the Amityville Horror, as their story became known, has come back to haunt — or at the very least, intrigue — us with the decision by one of the children to break their 37-year silence about what happened.

Daniel Lutz, a ten-year-old boy at the time but now a spooky-looking, middle-aged man with deep-set, piercing blue eyes and an unsettling smile, insists he was menaced by spirits in the house and that his family’s stay there has ruined his life.

And he blames the evil presence on his stepfather George, a man whose occult dabblings, says Daniel, opened the gateway to dark forces he couldn’t control.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Obamas’ Unending Summer Vacation: Four Lavish Vacations in Three Months

Every president deserves time off. Yet the unabashed luxuriousness of the Obamas’ lifestyle reflects a genuine tone-deafness with regard to the pressing concerns of millions of Americans, as well as the president’s priorities. Even as he blamed sequestration for the decision to cancel White House tours that would have cost a total of $2 million for the rest of the year, it was revealed that the known cost of Obama’s Christmas vacation in Hawaii last year was at least $4 million. That vacation was also the fourth one taken in Hawaii in four years, three of which involved separate flights First Lady Michelle Obama took to get there ahead of her husband. This year’s separate flight, necessitated by the president’s trip back to Washington to complete the fiscal cliff deal before returning to Honolulu, cost taxpayers an additional $3.24, and ran the total tab for the 2012-13 trip to more than $7 million.

The total for the four trips combined? More than $20 million.

However, holiday vacations to Hawaii hardly scratch the surface. These vacations were also interspersed with trips to locales like Florida or Southern California. In addition, the president’s “mini-vacations” have raised eyebrows. His three-day golf outing at an exclusive club in Florida, where he was joined by Tiger Woods, occurred less than two weeks before the sequester kicked in — even as the White House Blog raised the specter of “harmful automatic cuts” that are “threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cutting vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.”

Again, no one is denying that vacations are a necessary component of the First Family’s life. Yet it is a bit more than ironic that the same media who roundly criticized former president George W. Bush for what amounted to a series of working vacations at his own ranch in Crawford, Texas, is conspicuously uninterested in the lavish nature of the current president’s sojourns.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

As of Today the Shroud of Turin Yours to See

Technology is lifting the veil on the 14-ft-long linen cloth, which many believe was used to bury Christ’s body when it was lifted down from the cross after His crucifixion 2,000 years ago.

Although hundreds of thousands of the faithful flock annually to the Turin Cathedral of St. John where the relic is kept in a specially designed, climate-controlled case, right up until today, people could have only seen it five times in the last 100 years, when Popes including John Paul 11 and Benedict XV1 allowed the Shroud to go on public display.

“For the first time in history the most detailed image of the Shroud ever achieved is available to the whole world, thanks to a streaming system, which allows a precise exploration — also in the “negative” version — wherever you are, without any time or distance restriction: each detail of the cloth can be magnified and visualized in a way which would otherwise not be possible. The utmost level of display of the image shall be available in the version with fee, at 3.59 euros, whereas the free version shall however offer a suggestiveperspective of the Shroud accompanied by the Evangelic background it witnesses. (Vatican Today, March 28, 2013).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bulgaria Bus Attack: Berlin Wants Hezbollah on EU Terrorist Group List

The German Interior and Foreign ministries want Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement to be placed on the EU’s list of terrorist groups if suspicions are confirmed that the organization was behind the bus bombing in Bulgaria last year in which five Israeli tourists were killed.

The German government wants to push for Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah to be added to the list of European Union terrorist organizations. After talks with representatives of the American Jewish Committee and security experts, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he favored banning the group in Europe.

If it’s confirmed that Hezbollah was implicated in the bombing of a bus in Bulgaria last year in which five Israeli tourists were killed, there would be a strong case for adding Hezbollah to the list, said a spokesman for Friedrich. The German Foreign Ministry takes a similar view…

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

Cyprus: Press: Banks ‘Forgave’ Loans to Firms, MPs

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, MARCH 29 — A list of Cypriot companies and politicians that allegedly had millions of euros in loans written off by the three Cypriot lenders at a center of an unprecedented banking crisis on the Mediterranean island has been forward to Cyprus’s parliamentary ethics committee after its publication in Greece’s daily Ethnos newspaper. According to the revelations — as daily Kathimerini reports today — Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki) and Hellenic Bank — which were earlier this week acquired by Greece’s Piraeus Bank — has forgiven companies, MPs and local authority officials millions of euros in loans over the past five years. The list reportedly features the names of politicians from all Cypriot parties except Social Democracy (EDEK) and the Social Ecology Movement. According to Ethnos, Bank of Cyprus wrote off the 2.8 million-euro loan of a hotel with ties to the communist-rooted Progressive Party (AKEL) and forgave significant portions of many other loans. An unnamed company was forgiven 110,000 euros from a 1.83-million-euro loan, a prominent deputy of the centrist Democratic Rally (DISY) party saw 101,000 euros of a 168,000-euro loan written off and a company owned by the brother of a former minister of the conservative Democratic Party (DIKO) had 1.28 million euros of a 1.59-million-euro loan written off.

The list refers to several other MPs and the mayor of large city who allegedly had significant portions of their loans forgiven by Bank of Cyprus. As for Laiki Bank, it is said to have written off several loans taken out by MPs of AKEL and DISY. The bank also appears to have written off 5.8 million US dollars in debt from a company whose majority shareholder is said to be a well-known Cypriot politician. The ex wife of a senior ministry official and a company owned by a local ambassador also appear to have been facilitated. There is only one reference to Hellenic Bank, the smallest and healthiest of the three former Cypriot lenders. It is alleged to have forgiven 543,000 euros from the 1.65-million-euro loan of a company owned by a “small party.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

English Defence League Exploiting Sex-Grooming Fears, Says Report

EDL using concerns about gangs to fuel anti-Islam agenda and share tactics with other far-right groups, says university

The English Defence League (EDL) is exploiting concerns about sex-grooming gangs to fuel its anti-Islam agenda and help forge networks with far-right groups across Europe, according to a university report.

The EDL has used recent cases, such as that of nine Asian men jailed last year for grooming girls in Rochdale, to build support, King’s College London found.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens of KCL’s International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, one of the report’s authors, said: “The EDL has successfully exploited concerns about the sex-grooming gangs in the north of England, turning the issue into one of Islam versus the west.”

Tommy Robinson, the EDL’s leader, is considered a “rock star” by activists across Europe, Meleagrou-Hitchens said.

“They want him to help their own organisations to become like the EDL. There’s a danger that the UK will export this kind of vicious, far-right activism to the rest of the continent.”…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Italy: Marines Returned to India Willingly, Defence Minister Says

Pair returned to stand trial for homicide while on duty

(ANSA) — Naples, March 28 — Two Italian marines who were sent back to India to face homicide charges did so willingly, Italian Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola said Thursday.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were sent back to India to be tried for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates on Friday, in a U-turn after Rome had said they would not return after being allowed to come home to vote.

Rome had previously respected a pledge to return the pair after a Christmas break.

The decision to hand them back, after a diplomatic tussle in which the Italian ambassador was blocked from leaving India, split the government and Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi resigned earlier this week saying his view they should not be returned had not been listened to.

Premier Mario Monti suggested Terzi had an ulterior motive in quitting, possibly eyeing a political career with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom party, which has been strident in its patriotic stance that the marines should be kept in Italy.

Di Paola criticised Terzi for quitting and said he would not abandon “the ship or the marines”.

On Thursday he denied reports that the marines had been unwilling to return to India for trial. “It’s not true that Salvatore and Massimiliano took five hours to agree with this decision. They were not just obeying orders, but also their sense of duty and responsibility. They honored their word”, Di Paola said in a speech during celebrations for the 90th anniversary of the Italian Air Force.

“They respected their uniform in spite of their pain, pushing back their own emotions and those of their families”, the minister added. The Monti government returned Latorre and Girone after getting assurances they would not face the death penalty for allegedly shooting southern Indian fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki while guarding the oil tanker Enrica Lexie.

They are set to be tried by a special court empowered to hand out sentences no longer than seven years, and may return to Italy to serve their time if convicted. Some media outlets have linked the marines’ case to corruption allegations surrounding a $748 million deal for the purchase of 12 Italian helicopters, a contract that the Indian government is now threatening to scrap.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Snowfall Throughout Val D’Aosta Region

Below-zero temperatures to ease by Easter

(ANSA) — Aosta, March 28 — Scattered snowfall that swept into the northwestern region of Val d’Aosta overnight will ease up by Easter Sunday, Italy’s national weather service said on Thursday.

Temperatures dropped to -1 Celsius in the Alpine resort town of Courmayeur and -6 Celsius in the resort town of Cervinia.

Heavy snow hit the higher altitudes, especially on and around Mt Blanc, while the region’s capital city of Aosta got a lighter sprinkling.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ex-FM Says Not a ‘Scapegoat’ In India Marines Saga

Terzi reiterates opposition to government climbdown

(ANSA) — Rome, March 29 — Ex-foreign minister Giulio Terzi reiterated his opposition to the recent decision to send two Italian marines back to India to face homicide charges in an interview to be broadcast on a private Mediaset channel on Friday evening.

The government move followed days of diplomatic wrangling with New Delhi over an earlier decision not to return Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone for trial when a four-week parole period expired on March 22. They are accused of shooting and killing two Indian fishermen after allegedly mistaking them for pirates during an anti-piracy mission off the Kerala coast in February 2012. On Friday Terzi denied “feeling like a scapegoat” in reference to his surprise resignation over the matter on Tuesday. The resignation, made before parliament and which reportedly stunned Premier Mario Monti and President Giorgio Napolitano, crystallised the divisions over the handling of a case that has seen Italy at loggerheads with India for months and involved the international community. “I have always taken responsibility for my actions,” Terzi told the Rete4 channel. “By resigning I wanted to show a sign of confidence, motivation, strength and pride in my colleagues at the foreign ministry, who work in difficult conditions,” he explained, adding that top ministry brass had called on him to resign in a show of opposition to the government climbdown. The ex-foreign minister had earlier resisted calls to step down, arguing that the diplomatic row resulting from the decision had been “necessary” to ensure the servicemen would not face the death penalty if convicted in India.

Italy has always denied that India has jurisdiction over the case, as it took place in international waters.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Wants Grand Coalition But PD Says No

M5S hints backing for ‘pseudo-technocrat’

(ANSA) — Rome, March 29 — Centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi on Friday reiterated to President Giorgio Napolitano that a grand coalition between his People of Freedom (PdL) party and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) was the only way out of Italy’s post-election impasse.

But the PD said No, calling instead for a so-called ‘government of the president’ led by an as-yet-unnamed prestigious institutional figure. Comedian Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) hinted it might support a ‘pseudo-technocrat’ in such a short-term reform government.

A PD-led coalition got a majority in the House but not the Senate in the February 24-25 elections, where the PdL’s coalition came second and M5S rode a huge protest vote to hold the balance of power in the hung parliament.

Grillo has so far ruled out working with either party, claiming they are equal culprits in a corrupt and dysfunctional system. Ex-premier Berlusconi this week tried to persuade PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani to agree to a broad alliance given Grillo’s refusal to support the PD, but Bersani refused. Napolitano took over efforts to cobble together a government after Bersani admitted defeat in his week-long bid Thursday. On Friday Berlusconi told Napolitano that Bersani could lead an alliance to start tackling Italy’s deep economic woes after what he called the “tragic experience” of the technocrat administration of Mario Monti which imposed stiff austerity measures that pulled Italy back from a Greek-style meltdown but deepened the country’s worst recession in decades. “We told the president our position, which is the same it has always been,” Berlusconi said after talking to Napolitano.

“We have to find a way to give life to a coalition government, in the country’s interests.

“We are willing to meet with the other political forces to hammer out the urgent measures needed to tackle the extremely difficult economic situation,” said the three-time premier.

PD Senate Whip Luigi Zanda reiterated Bersani’s rejection of an alliance with the PdL, saying the two parties were “light-years apart”.

Prominent PD member Paolo Gentiloni said his party would back an institutional government led by an authoritative figure.

“We will support a government of the president but ti is premature to say who might lead it,” the former minister said.

But PdL House Whip Renato Brunetta, another former minister, said Berlusconi’s party was “not interested” in such an executive. The members of M5S, which came just behind the PD in the House, were discussing the possibility of a government “of pseudo-technocrats” but this was “not yet a clear overture”, sources close to the party said. Napolitano, who has insisted on the need to avoid fresh elections, is formally meeting the PD and M5S later Friday.

A ‘government of the president’ would aim to enact a limited platform of economic and political reforms including changing Italy’s much-criticised electoral law to produce a clear winner.

The Italian media have floated the names of several authoritative political and economic figures that might head such a government, but none has emerged as a front-runner. Pundits have also said another alliance between the established parties, which backed Monti’s government for a year, would boost Grillo’s polling ratings, already higher than when his ‘tsunami’ campaign ripped across the country last month. Italy currently has a caretaker government of technocrats led by Monti, who resigned after Berlusconi pulled support in December. The former EU commissioner and economist was appointed to replace Berlusconi at the height of the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone in November 2011. Since then harsh austerity measures, rising unemployment and a stagnant economy have done little to win over the majority of Italians, as demonstrated by Monti’s own lacklustre performance on a centrist reform platform in the general elections and the ascent of M5S after Grillo’s electrifying tour in which he blazed across the country, even swimming from mainland Italy to Sicily.

The House whip for Monti’s Civic Choice party, Lorenzo Dellai, said ahead of talks with the president that Napolitano’s efforts to form a government are likely to fail and fresh elections are looming.

“Unfortunately I see the vote very close,” he said, adding that he was worried because “the (political) climate in the country will get worse”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Grillo’ Top Problem for EU, Says Goldman Sachs President

Italy’s growth could be hampered if M5S leader gains ground

(ANSA) — Rome, March 29 — The biggest problem currently facing the European Union (EU) is not the struggling economy of Cyprus but the “Grillo factor” in Italy, Jim O’Neill, president of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV on Friday.

“I don’t understand how some of the these tough guys in the north are not thinking about that issue,” said O’Neill in reference to the political ascent of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) led by Genoa comic Beppe Grillo, which took over 25% of the popular vote in recent general elections.

“Italy is the third largest country in the eurozone and if they don’t start to have some growth sometime soon, these guys are going to ask questions more seriously about the benefits of staying in the euro…,” he continued.

“What is the EU doing to deal with that? The EU seems to get its decisions made for it by powerful voices in certain countries particularly Germany,” concluded O’Neill.

On Friday, President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano began a new round of talks with political parties after centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani announced that he had been unable to garner sufficient support to form a new government to replace the technocrat executive led by Mario Monti.

His failure was partly due to opposition from the M5S, which now holds the balance of power in a hung parliament.

Monti was brought in to replace ex premier Silvio Berlusconi in November 2011 at the height of the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone but his government has done little to kickstart the struggling economy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Extreme-Right Political Group Seals Off Makeshift Mosque

Forza Nuova blocks Muslim community from using gym for worship

(ANSA) — Pesaro, March 29 — Members of the neo-fascist political party Forza Nuova who sealed off a gym being used by the local Muslim community as a mosque in the Marche city of Pesaro said that they were protesting the “wild and uncontrolled immigration” choking the country.

“We’re not going to allow communities of immigrants to commit crimes that remain unpunished or open activities that take our money, especially when thousands of companies managed by Italians close every day,” Forza Nuova chapter head Christian Sanchini said.

“These places of worship can easily become meeting places for non-European criminals…Italians risk becoming a minority and confined to ghettos,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Terzi Slams Statements by Vendola in Marines Issue

(AGI) — Rome, Mar 29 — Former Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said the statements by Bologna’s Mayor Nichi Vendola about why he, Terzi, resigned “are evidence of a campaign against me, of allegations and lies about supposed political plots.” Terzi added that the support he received in parliament from political parties is evidence of their agreement of his actions that he publicly expressed against the decision to send the two marines back to India. (AGI) .

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

Sicily Withdraws Authorisation for Muos Satellite System

Opponents concerned about environmental and health impact

(ANSA) — Palermo, March 29 — Sicily’s regional environment and territory department on Friday definitively withdrew authorisation for the construction of a contested US military satellite communications system near the town of Niscemi in the southern part of the island.

The announcement came from Sicilian regional governor Rosario Crocetta on the eve of a national protest against the project, part of a global satellite defense network called the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) that should aid US and NATO military operations as well as relief efforts.

Opponents say it will be an environmental and health nuisance and threatens world peace.

In January Sicilian regional authorities moved to halt construction after protestors blocked trucks and cranes and later clashed with police near an American military base.

Since then there have been other protests predominantly involving mothers from the area.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Father-of-Four Still in a Coma Three Weeks After Being Beaten Up and Left in the Street to Die

[WARNING: ** Disturbing content ** ]

A father-of-four has been in a coma with a fractured skull for three weeks after he was beaten and left for dead in a seemingly random attack.

The family of Azeem Nawaz, 32, have kept a bedside vigil at Royal Preston Hospital, Lancashire, since he was discovered unconscious in a Burnley street with ‘horrific injuries’.

They have made emotional pleas for information and said they have been unable to explain to his four daughters where he is or when he will be home.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: One-Man Crimewave, 19, Who Confessed to Breaking Into 250 Homes is Back in Jail 12 Weeks After His Release

A teenager who was jailed for breaking into more than 250 homes before he was even 17 has been convicted again for the same crime just weeks after being released from prison.

Sean Iceton, 19, was jailed in 2011 after pleading guilty to a vast number of break-ins and stealing goods worth £740,000 while working as part of a ‘feral’ gang of young criminals.

Repentant Iceton even took police officers on a tour of Leeds in West Yorkshire to point out all the properties he had targeted and what he had stolen from them.

But just 12 weeks after being released from a young offenders’ institution, Iceton, 19, has been convicted of breaking into more homes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Romanian Pickpocket Stole 15 Phones Worth £6,000 in Coffee Shop Distraction Thefts Lasting Just ‘Five Seconds’

A Romanian pickpocket who duped coffee shop customers by using sheets of lined paper as a ‘shield’ while he stole their phones was behind bars today.

Calin-Lonel Rostas, 27, would trawl cafes and whenever he spotted a mobile phone left on table would put a A4 size piece of paper over it.

He then distracted the owners of the phones by chatting them momentarily about the weather before using his light fingers to sneak the handsets into his pocket as he picked up his piece of paper.

Victims only realised their phones were missing after Rostas left the cafe following his ‘gone in five seconds’ distraction thefts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Shamed Police Officer Who Stole £400 During a House Search Jailed Again for Stealing Two Smartphones

A shamed police officer jailed for stealing cash during a house search was sent back to prison today for stealing two smartphones.

Former PC Ian Scouler, 47, was jailed for 12 months in last November for stealing £400 left as bait during a sting operation set up to catch crooked officers.

The father-of-two was released from prison last month — only to be jailed again for 30 weeks today at Westminster Magistrate’s Court after admitting two more thefts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Why He’s So Shy About His Illustrious Looks

When actors work on set, their every need is catered for. And when Benedict Cumberbatch, the Sherlock actor who was once described as looking like a Meerkat in a Magimix, is delivered his coffee in a Styrofoam cup, he has his own sardonic way of making the experience more fun.

‘I try to get [the assistants] to write Sir Benedict on the cup,’ he says. ‘Occasionally, they oblige.’

As it turns out, he may not be a Sir but he is even posher than most of his fans previously thought…

I can also reveal that his great-grandfather, Henry Alfred Cumberbatch, was the British Consul General in Smyrna, Turkey, and ruffled feathers with his protests against the slave trade in the area at the time.

Records show that in a single month in 1872, he made seven reports to the Foreign Office on the subject — and was instructed to turn a blind eye to the issue, and leave it to local authorities instead. He was also banned from sheltering slaves at the embassy.

Later, in recognition of his diplomatic service, he was created CMG — an honour sometimes known as ‘Call Me God’, a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael & St George.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: We Will Not Change Human Rights Law Admits Minister: Green Defies Outrage Over Qatada Ruling

Ministers yesterday admitted they have no plans to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.

A humiliating court defeat for the Government over its attempts to kick out hate-preacher Abu Qatada has thrown the convention back into the spotlight.

Home Secretary Theresa May and Tory vice-chairman Michael Fabricant both want to ditch it to make it easier to deport foreign terrorists and criminals.

But Damian Green, justice minister and fellow Conservative, said no plans were being made to do so.

In reply to a question from Labour former home secretary David Blunkett, Mr Green said: ‘As set out in the Coalition agreement, the Government remains committed to the European Convention on Human Rights and has no plans to denounce or withdraw from it.’

Senior opposition figures concede that, as a result of the Qatada case, there is a growing clamour to reform human rights laws.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Al Qaeda in North Africa Warns France in First Tweet

The North-African branch of al Qaeda (AQMI) has opened an official Twitter account, immediately taking aim at France and threatening to kill French nationals it is holding hostage.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, best known by its French acronym AQMI, has opened its own Twitter account, posting five messages since March 28. Its first messages via the popular micro-blogging website have specifically targeted France, threatening to kill French hostages.

“Will the French people succeed in convincing (President François) Hollande to save the lives of the hostages?” the debut tweet from the @Andalus_Media account provocatively asked.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Anti-Morsi Protests Lead to Clashes in Four Egyptian Cities

(AGI) Cairo — Clashes and violence in at least four cities marred the protests against President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt.

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

Libya: Tripoli: Islamic Extremists Destroy 15th Century Sufi Mausoleum

The attack on the tomb of Sidi Mohamed Landoulsi divides the Libyan population. The Salafis gain acceptance among the illiterate. Many consider the Sufi mausoleums places of witchcraft. Head of the local council of Tripoli, “the assault goes against the principles of Islam.”

Tripoli (AsiaNews) — Yet another act of discriminationhas been registered against Shia Muslims in Libya. Yesterday afternoon in Tajura, a suburb of Tripoli, a group of Islamic extremists detonated explosives destroying the tomb of Sidi Mohamed Landoulsi, a 15th century Sufi mausoleum and national monument and protected by a special law. Residents have described the act as one of the most serious since the end of August 2012, when Salafis bulldozed an entire group of Sufi tombs located in the center of the capital.

According to AsiaNews sources, “the Islamists exploit the ignorance of the population, which considers the Sufi shrines places of witchcraft. Unfortunately, the Salafists are gaining acceptance among the population, increasing the climate of discrimination against the Sufi minority.” Many people have condemned the destruction of the shrine, prompting Sadat al-Badri, the head of the local council of Tripoli, to take a stand against the extremists for the first time, branding the act as “contrary to Islam.”

Two years after the death of Muammar Gaddafi, the country is still without a stable government capable of ensuring the security and control over the borders and it has become a sort of haven for Islamic extremist militias active in Algeria and Mali. Since August Islamic extremists have already destroyed 70 mosques and shrines belonging to the Sufi minority, a Shiite Muslim current considered heretical by Sunni Islam. As well as religious monuments, hundreds of tombs dating back to the colonial period and several non-Muslim libraries and cultural centers have also been destroyed. On February 15, the city revolted against the attempt to destroy the fountain statue known as “The Gazelle”, a monument dating back to the colonial period, and symbol of Tripoli. (S.C.)

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

US Concerned Over Mob Sexual Assaults in Egypt

AFP — The United States on Friday expressed concern about a rise in sexual violence and gang rapes in Egypt and condemned local politicians who have said the women are to blame.

The response came after a string of reports by AFP and other media outlets about women who are speaking out about rape and other sexual attacks inflicted by groups of men at demonstrations in the wake of the 2011 uprising.

The same reports have quoted ultra-conservative Egyptian Islamists as saying the women are asking for such attacks because they mingle with men in public.

White House deputy spokesman Joshua Earnest said President Barack Obama’s administration has seen the reports and is “deeply concerned.”

“Sexual violence, including gang rapes, has occurred during recent demonstrations in Egypt,” Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

New Wave of Anti-Shiite Bombings Kills at Least 17

(AGI) Baghdad — Only 3 weeks before the provincial elections of April 20, Iraq is witnessing a new wave of anti-Shiite bombings .

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

Panel: U.S. Ignoring Increasing Christian Persecution

State Department ‘sent a dangerous message to rogue regimes the world over’

(IPT News) Christian persecution is on the rise throughout the Muslim world, and the United States is leading from behind on the issue, according to a panel that gathered at the Hudson Institute in Washington Wednesday to discuss the book, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians.

The U.S. State Department and Western governments have been largely silent on the issue of Christian persecution because of political correctness and multiculturalism, panelists said.

“If there is a hiker … abducted in Iran, the State Department has no hesitancy to come out and make a major issue of these cases, but it seems like when Christians are involved, they shy away, “ said panelist Nina Shea. “It is found in both Republican and Democratic administrations.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia Beheads Murderer… and Then Crucifies His Body

[WARNING: ** Disturbing content ** ]

Saudi authorities have beheaded a murderer and crucified his body after he killed and raped a Pakistani national.

The kingdom’s interior ministry announced the execution, stating that the man had murdered and sodomised another male. Both actions are punishable by death.

‘The Yemeni citizen Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussain killed a Pakistani, Pashteh Sayed Khan, after he committed sodomy with him,’ said a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

Hussain was also convicted of robbery and carrying out a series of attacks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria: UN Concern for Staff in Golan Heights

Gov’t & opposition should guarantee peacekeepers’ safety

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK — Members of the UN security council expressed “grave concerns” over violations against a UN disengagement mission in the Golan Heights and over the presence of government and opposition forces in the area separating Syria and Israel, known as the UNDOF zone. A UN peacekeeping mission has operated in the territory since 1974, after the last war between the two countries ended. The UN has also expressed serious concern that activity in the separation zone could put the ceasefire in jeopardy and endanger the local population. Security risks to UN staff is also increased, as demonstrated when 21 UNDOF ‘blue hats’ were held hostage by Syrian rebel forces. UN vehicles, too, have been stolen. The UN urged the government of Damascus to respect the immunity of the members of the international organization, and urged all parties to guarantee the freedom of movement and safety of the peacekeepers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Russia Considers Returning to Afghanistan

The Soviet Union’s 10-year occupation of Afghanistan cost the country more than 15,000 lives, and an additional 50,000 were wounded. Before the USSR withdrew its forces in 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev described the Soviet efforts to fight the insurgency there as “a bleeding wound.” And yet — just over two decades after leaving what came to be considered the Soviet version of the Vietnam War — Russia is now eager to return to Afghanistan.

Russian defense officials are exploring the possibility of establishing military bases on Afghan soil after the U.S. drawdown in 2014, according to Russian press reports. Sergey Koshelev, of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Department of Cooperation, told Russia Today that the military “will look into various options of creating repair bases” to maintain the Afghan National Security Forces’s Russian-made equipment. Further cooperation is also being considered, according to Russia’s NATO envoy Aleksandr Grushko.

Russia certainly has an economic stake in post-war Afghanistan. In addition to maintaining Russian gear — from small arms to armored personnel carriers and helicopters — Russia is also considering expanding its supply routes into Afghanistan through Central Asian countries. These supply routes, often called the Northern Distribution Network, have been a troublesome logistical lifeline for ISAF troops in Afghanistan, and will likely remain important after the drawdown.

An article in the government-sponsored paper Pravda last November touted Russia’s cultural projects in Afghanistan as a prelude to new projects like those being discussed now. “It’s obvious that Moscow’s interest after the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan …will increase dramatically,” Lyuba Lulko wrote then. “The country has always been in the zone of Soviet and Russian interests.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China 1 of Largest Producers of Bibles in World

Roughly 2/3 of Scriptures printed in 2011 went overseas

(The Economist) Lu Gengsheng remembers growing up in rural Anhui province in the 1980s, where his father was pastor of a house church, an illegal congregation that refused to join with official churches it believed to be stooges of the Communist Party. His family owned the area’s only bible, and other believers would bring notebooks to copy passages of scripture to take home.

Today, Christians make up 5% of the population, some 67m people, according to the Pew Research Center, a think-tank. Unofficial headcounts say that China has more Christians than members of the Communist Party (about 82m people).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Kim Jong UN Reveals His ‘U.S. Mainland Strike Plan’

Pictures inside North Korean leader’s war room show him plotting to attack America (with a map of target cities on the wall behind him)

North Korea today released photographs of Kim Jong Un inside his military command centre signing the order to put rockets on standby to attack the U.S. mainland.

The pictures, which appeared in the state-run Rodong newspaper, show Kim surrounded by his generals, large-scale maps and diagrams during an ‘emergency meeting’ at an undisclosed location.

A chart marked ‘U.S. mainland strike plan’ appears to show missile trajectories that the NK News web site estimates targets Hawaii, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

North Korean Photo Reveals ‘U.S. Mainland Strike Plan”‘

UPDATE 1449KST: South Korean intelligence agencies have spotted increased activity on North Korean mid-t0-long range missile platforms, an unnamed official told Yonhap in Seoul: “We are closely watching for the possibility of a missile launch,” the anonymous government source said.

SEOUL — Kim Jong Un signed off on a plan to ready his forces to target the U.S. mainland and American bases in East Asia following yesterday’s U.S.-led B-2 stealth bomber runs, the KCNA reported after the North Korea

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

North Korea: ‘The Situation is Critical, War is Probably Just Hours Away’

Kim Jong Un’s chilling email to British tour boss who had ten tourists including one Brit on holiday in Pyongyang.

A British travel operator has been warned North Korea is on the brink of war after the government announced nuclear rockets are prepared to strike at the U.S.

Dylan Harris, director of Lupine Travel, which specialises in holidays to unusual places like Iran, Chernobyl and Siberia, received a worrying email from Pyongyang this morning.

The message from North Korean authorities said: ‘The situation in Korea is now very serious as the U.S. have carried out a simulated nuclear attack on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea using B52 bombers and now B2A stealth bombers.

‘The DPRK has now ordered its rockets to standby to destroy U.S. bases if the DPRK is attacked. The situation is now critical with the outbreak of war probably only hours away.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Arabs Have Black Slaves Today

Dr. Charles Jacobs: ‘Anti-Israel propagandists have inverted reality in minds’ of Westerners

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content ***]

Israel Apartheid Week has come and gone this year on many American campuses. It was, of course, a hoax: However much one says that Arabs in Israel suffer, and whoever is to blame for that alleged suffering, there is no apartheid in Israel.

Meanwhile, however, in Sudan and Mauritania, racist Arab societies enslave blacks. Today. Most of the slaves are African Muslims. Yet there is no Arab Apartheid Week on American campuses. Why not?

One might think American student activists would be upset about Mauritania, the West African country with the largest population of black slaves in the world — estimates range from 100,000 to more than a half-million. In Mauritania, slaves are used for labor, sex and breeding. The wholly owned property of their masters, they are passed down through generations, given as wedding gifts or exchanged for camels, trucks, guns or money.

Surely, life is not so good in a Palestinian Arab refugee camp — no matter who is to blame, but it’s undeniably a whole lot worse for Mauritanian slaves.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Luis Fleischman: The Passing of Chavez and the Rise of Pope Francis I

Following the spirit of the constitution, the next elections in Venezuela are scheduled for April 14th.

Nicolas Maduro will be the candidate of the PSUV while Henrique Capriles Radonski will be the candidate of the united opposition (MDU).

Chavez’s death has left a legacy in Venezuela similar to that of Peron: a mythical figure that will be remembered by those who have materially benefitted from Chavez’s years as president and by those who see him as a symbol of redemption and independence regardless of any concerns for constitutional democracy.

We have seen these mythical signs of his legacy when Maduro placed Chavez in the same light as “Jesus the Redeemer”. He pointed out that Chavez is the Christ of the poor of Latin America.

Maduro is now trying to imitate Chavez’s style. The day Chavez died, he expelled two American diplomats. Later he accused enemies of injecting cancer into the body of Hugo Chavez, replicating the Palestinian hallucinating claim that PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, might have been poisoned. Likewise, he continues to accuse Bush Administration figures such as Ambassadors Otto Reich and Roger Noriega of plotting to kill opposition leader Capriles Radonski in order to indict Mr. Maduro and create chaos in Venezuela…

[Return to headlines]

Mark Zuckerberg Hires Two DC Lobbyists to Help His Advocacy Group Fight for Immigration Reform

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hired two lobbying firms in Washington, DC to help lead his new issue advocacy group, called TechNet, to help its fight for immigration reform. According to Politico, lobbyists Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart along with Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock have joined the group’s list of consultants.

With the hiring of these lobbyists, Zuckerberg gains two firms who have experience petitioning Congress to advance their clients’ issues. As Politico notes, both are K Street veterans (the part of Washington, DC home to dozens of well-known lobbying firms) and have lobbied on immigration reform issues in the past. Interestingly, John Michael Gonzalez of Peck, Madigan, Jones & Stewart previously represented Facebook in 2012 in an issue before the Senate.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Migrants Must Get Benefits Say EU: Brussels Threatens to Stop New Crackdown

Meddling European officials threatened to block David Cameron’s crackdown on benefits for migrants yesterday.

Minutes after the Prime Minister announced a purge on benefit tourism, the Eurocrats said they would “scrutinise” them for fairness.

They warned that his proposals — including restrictions on housing, health and unemployment support — must comply with EU free movement rules.

The row pitches Mr Cameron into another battle with the European Commission, the legislative arm of the EU, and fuels growing demands for Britain to quit the EU altogether.

Tory MP Stewart Jackson warned the EU to “show some respect”. He insisted that decisions on immigration must be decided by the British parliament. Using a major speech on

He promised to “strengthen” tests to ensure only those who pay into the system are able to receive handouts. And he vowed to end Britain’s “something for nothing” reputation.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of pressure group Migration Watch UK, said: “It is surely only fair that everybody should contribute to the welfare system before they can draw benefits.

“This speech sets out a broad agenda for tightening access to the welfare state.”

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Obama Admin Chooses to Cut Border Security

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican who serves on both the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees, has expressed “outrage” over Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano’s response to sequestration — including the overtime cuts and the furlough notices to Border Patrol agents, which he said could leave “portions of our borders unmanned for hours at a time.”

In a letter this month, he asked Ms. Napolitano to explain why the department is targeting CBP law enforcement personnel instead of nonsecurity personnel for furloughs. Mr. Cornyn, who is ranking member of the Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, refugees and border security, said the furloughs “call into question the department’s commitment to its core missions and raise serious concerns about the judgment of DHS leadership.”

Mr. Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general, said Homeland Security’s ongoing effort to identify $3.1 billion in cuts for fiscal 2013, a 5.1 percent reduction of total discretionary spending, would result in a reduction of more than 5,000 Border Patrol agents. He said border security and the detention of those who violate U.S. laws are at the core of Homeland Security’s mission.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Three Ships With Immigrants Intercepted Off Lampedusa

Over 250 people taken to Imbriacola center on Sicilian island

(ANSA)- Lampedusa, March 29 — Three ships carrying 260 immigrants were intercepted off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa overnight, police said on Friday.

All of the immigrants were taken to the Imbriacola detention center on the island.

Authorities said that many of the immigrants were from North Africa.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Frustrated’ Clegg Vows Hate Preacher Qatada Will be Deported Despite Government Losing Latest Court Battle

The British government is to secure fresh assurances from Jordan in an attempt to finally kick hate cleric Abu Qatada out of the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today revealed ministers will work ‘flat out’ to deport the radical preacher after the government lost its latest court challenge to have him removed.

Appeal court judges yesterday rejected a plea from the UK government to eject Qatada, despite accepting that he is ‘very dangerous’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Wave of African Refugees Arrives on Italian, Maltese Shores

Some 342 African migrants landed in Italy and Malta after their vessels were intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea, officials said on Friday. Many North Africans have fled the continent since the Arab Spring of 2011 brought instability to the region.

Four boats carrying a total of 342 migrants have landed in Italy and Malta, officials said Friday, as improved weather conditions in the Mediterranean herald more arrivals from Libyan shores.

Three of the boats with 260 people on board were intercepted by Italian coast guards and taken to an immigration centre on the tiny island of Lampedusa, which is closer to north Africa than to the Italian mainland.

Maltese armed forces rescued a dinghy packed with 82 migrants 68 nautical miles south of the island.

The migrants, who said they were from Somalia, had sent out a distress signal when the dinghy’s engine failed.

The group included 10 women, one of whom is pregnant, and a toddler.

Tens of thousands of migrants have arrived on Italian shores since the Tunisian revolution in January 2011 set off a chain reaction across north Africa, bringing tumultuous political change and severe economic hardship.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Retailers and Entertainment Industry Aspire to Hyper-Sexualize Girls

Victoria’s Secret (VS) has sunk to a new low — and I didn’t think that was possible. Recently the retailer introduced a line of intimate apparel that they’re calling “Bright, Young Things.” The new line is designed to appeal to teen and tween girls. Get a load of this:

In the spring line, you’ll find an array of panties, from 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? (Source)

So — the decision makers at VS see nothing wrong with targeting middle and high school girls for the purpose of purchasing lace trimmed thongs with “Call me” emblazoned on the front? Do these people not comprehend that this new line exploits girls? Have they no sense of decency?

Apparently not.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Same-Sex Marriage: A Convenient Distraction

The greatest threat to Americans is not that we will become a nation of pigs, but that we will become a commonwealth of slaves.

As far as our statist politicians go, they are well aware that having attained this dubious milestone, the door will open to advocates for all manner of unions petitioning to be similarly recognized, increasing moral ambivalence in general. It’s a slippery slope, and they know it.

But here’s the insidious part: The issue of “gay marriage,” as well as the issue of gun control of late, are merely political distractions. Though one is banal and one a grave proposition, both engender passionate responses, and so are easy issues upon which the press can get us to fixate.

However, while the masses adroitly monitor activists scrambling to preserve our rights under the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court hearing specious arguments for and against same-sex unions, the Obama administration is coalescing its plans for the long-term. While it’s true that gun control and homosexual unions play a part in this, they pale in terms of scale compared to the myriad machinations Americans are being encouraged not to scrutinize.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Escort Posed Naked on Church Altar and in a Graveyard for Her Online Profile Pictures

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Christian leaders have been scandalised after an escort took naked pictures of herself inside a church and posted them online.

The explicit images show a sex worker known as ‘Gemma’ straddling the altar holding a crucifix and spreading herself over a grave while nude.

She later uploaded the photographs, which were taken without the permission of church officials, onto a website used by punters looking for an escort.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Planned Parenthood Official Argues for Right to Post-Birth Abortion

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion.

Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.

“So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I’m almost in disbelief,” said Rep. Jim Boyd. “If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?”

“We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician,” said Planned Parenthood lobbyist Snow.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]