Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/21/2013

A well-known French essayist and historian committed suicide at the altar in Notre Dame Cathedral, forcing the closure of the building. His act was reportedly a protest at the legalization of gay marriage in France.

In other news, Lois Lerner, the IRS official in charge of tax exemption for non-profit groups, will take the Fifth and refuse to testify when she appears before Congress in the burgeoning IRS scandal.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, McR, Steen, TV, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

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

Financial Crisis
» China’s Weak Economy Will Hit These Stocks Hardest
» Eurozone: Finland Reveals the Fine Print of the Loan to Greece
» Greece: Uninsured Workers Reached 39.4%
» Italian-German Bond Spread Hovers at 252 Basis Points
» Italian Bank Profits Slump to 1.0 Billion Euros in 2012
» Italy: Letta Says EU Must ‘Accelerate or Implode’
» Italy: Letta Tells Senate That EU Must Deal With Youth Unemployment
» Italy: EU Should be More Flexible on Govt Budget Rules, Letta Says
» JPMorgan Votes to Keep Dimon in Two Top Jobs
» Nearly Nine Million Italians in Labor Difficulty, Study Says
» Over Half of Italians Under 40 Would Leave Country for Work
» Portugal: ‘Berlin Criticises Austerity and Accuses Barroso of Incompetence’
» Ron Paul and Jim Rogers: Government Confiscation of Private Bank Accounts to Happen Here, Too
» Spain: Families Supported by Pensioners Tripled
» Caught on Video: The Moment ‘Biggest Tornado in History’ Obliterated 30 Square Miles in Minutes
» Denver Cops Arrest Italian Shotgun Manufacturer as a Terrorist
» If Government Were a Business, Obama Would Already be Fired
» Indian-American Girl Esha Khare Invents Device That Charges Cellphone in 20 Seconds
» Is This Still America?
» Local School Boards Are Being Replaced, Stripped of Power
» Most Americans Believe Obama Covering Up IRS Scandal
» New York Police Defends Itself on Muslim Surveillance
» Obama’s War on Fox News Reporters
» Ron Paul: The IRS’s Job is to Violate Our Liberties
» Stupid Gun Laws in Washington, DC
» The Autocrat Accountants
» Top IRS Official Will Invoke the Fifth Amendment in Congressional Hearing About Tea Party Targeting Program
» Top IRS Official Will Invoke 5th Amendment
» Virginia’s Cuccinelli Battles Democrats, Media
» Three Toronto Brothers Charged in Alleged Club District Gang Sexual Assault
Europe and the EU
» Belgium: “Wind Turbines Pose a Bigger Threat Than Nuclear Power Plants”
» Finland: Sikh Bus Driver Fights for Right to Wear Turban
» French Essayist and Historian Shoots Himself at Notre Dame
» Hamas-Affiliated Group Hosts Hundreds in Brussels
» Italy: Emilia Farms Have Yet to See Single Euro of Relief
» Italy Offers Grim Future for Children, Says Report
» Italy: Grillo Blasts Sports Minister Idem for German Roots
» Italy: Northern League Says it Will No Longer Accept Public Funding
» Italy: Renzi Sees Centre Left ‘In State of Shock’
» Italy: Soccer: Roma Punished With Partial Ground Closure for Racism
» Italy: Politician at Center of Lazio Funds Scandal Risks 5 Years
» Italy: Berlusconi Party Proposes Slashing Penalty for a Mafia Crime
» Italy: Milan Considers Military Presence After Spate of Violence
» Italy: European Anti-Mafia Head Condemns PdL Proposal
» Spain: ‘Banker Jailed’
» Spain: Reform PA: 72% Councils Inefficient, Ministry
» Sweden: Seven Arrested Over Stockholm’s Husby Riots
» Sweden: ‘Riots Continue’
» UK: My Rent-Free House is Too Small Says Qatada: Hate Cleric Moans There is No Space for His Family’s Possessions
» UK: Thousands of Child Sex Abuse Victims, Says Minister
» Croatia: ‘Bandic Stronger Than SDP and Hdz Combined’
North Africa
» Benghazi Exclusive: State Department Denies Libya Weapons Buyback Program Exists
» Tunisa: Amina Arrested, Wrote ‘Femen’ On Mosque
Israel and the Palestinians
» Palestinian Negotiator Backs Kerry Visit
Middle East
» Covert Israeli Forces Inside Syria Within Rebel Ranks? Israeli Military Vehicle Seized
» Saudi Arabia: Five Yemenis Beheaded, Bodies Displayed
» Syria: Obama Calls Suleiman, ‘Concerned’ About Hezbollah
» Pakistan Roots Seen in Moscow Plot
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria Frees All Women Held for Terrorism
» Gang of 8 Bill Would Legalize Tens of Thousands of Illegal Aliens With Criminal Convictions
» Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Immigration Overhaul Bill
Culture Wars
» Cameron ‘F****d Things Up’ On Gay Marriage, Blasts Norman Tebbit as Latest MP Vote Clears the Commons
» ‘Swedishness Must be Split From Being White’
» United Kingdom: ‘No 10 Pleads With Labour to Save Gay Marriage Bill’

China’s Weak Economy Will Hit These Stocks Hardest

Commentary: Cars, commodities and consumer stocks vulnerable

China has long desired a high-tech, consumer-driven economy instead of a manufacturing-driven one reliant on state infrastructure projects and driven by dirty businesses that export on the cheap to the West.

But as the old model fades and the new model struggles to emerge, you can expect some serious pain for stocks with Chinese exposure.

Some observers, like Yale’s Stephen Roach, see the glass as half-full, believing that recent softness signals the first step in a long-overdue structural shift in the nature of China’s economy to a more modest but more sustainable growth trajectory. But with the U.S. stock market humming along nicely, why risk it?

Take some time and reduce your China risk while you can — if you haven’t already.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Eurozone: Finland Reveals the Fine Print of the Loan to Greece

Helsingin Sanomat

According to the Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen, “it was the Greeks who wanted to keep it secret”. However, the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court decided otherwise, and on May 14, the Government was forced to publish the terms of the contract it signed with Greece in 2012.

Under the agreement Athens pledged to provide financial collateral in exchange for a loan which formed part of the international bailout for the country.

The documents reveal that Finland and the Greece set up three bank accounts into which the money and financial securities used as collateral have since been deposited.

The matter had been referred to the court by the True Finns party and several media outlets, including Helsingin Sanomat. The daily is pleased with this “important and expected” decision —

It will strengthen the principle of the broadest possible implementation of transparency and publicity by government. The public has a right to be informed of all relevant official documents. […] Helping the weak countries of the eurozone is a naturally difficult and controversial issue in Finland. Confidential documents will only serve to undermine confidence in decisions politicians have taken in the eurocrisis.

In the course of the eurozone crisis, Finland has stood out from among the eurozone states by demanding collateral from countries in difficulty as a condition for financial aid. The deal with Greece served as model for another deal concluded with Spain in July 2012.

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

Greece: Uninsured Workers Reached 39.4%

(ANSAmed) ATHENS, MAY 21 — Uninsured work in Greece reached 39.4% according to controls carried out by the Hellenic Labor Inspectorate in the first three months of 2013, as GreekReporter writes today. In particular, among the 17,189 businesses checked, 6,765 uninsured workers were found. Out of the uninsured, 2,600 are foreigners who represent 51.3% of the total number of foreign workers (5,072).

Greek uninsured workers amount to 4,165, which is 34.4% of the total number of Greek workers in the businesses checked (12,117). The Hellenic Labor Inspectorate maintains that the undeclared employment rate in Greece is just indicative and does not reflect the true extent of the problem as the controls are targeted and carried out either after complaints or in sectors with high delinquency. In the meantime, the Greek Ministry of Labor, Social Security and Welfare’s data reveal a shift in the labor market with an increase in recruitment and in full-time contracts. Specifically, in the first three months of 2013, for the first time since 2010, there was an increase in new recruitment by 7.79% compared to the same period in 2012.

Moreover, employers chose to hire full-time employees (rise by 19.25%), employ flexible forms of employment, while the number of full-time contracts that were converted into job-rotation was decreased by 23.37% compared to the same period.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian-German Bond Spread Hovers at 252 Basis Points

Tuesday’s yield unmoved from previous closing at 3.89%

(ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — The spread between Italian and German 10-year bonds opened trading on Tuesday at 252 basis points, precisely in line with Monday’s closing.

The spread between lending rates in the two countries, considered an indication of investor faith in the Italian economy and its ability to cope with a lingering recession, has varied only slightly from last Friday’s close of 257 basis points.

Tuesday’s yield on 10-year Treasury bonds opened at 3.89%, the same as Monday’s closing.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Bank Profits Slump to 1.0 Billion Euros in 2012

Industry association report points to weakening credit quality

(ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — Italian banks’ profits have taken a heavy toll during the past year, and margins are at “historically low levels,” banking association ABI said in a report published Tuesday.

Overall, Italian banks’ combined profits in 2012 were 1.0 billion euros, a five-fold decrease from the 5.0 billion euros reported at the end of 2011.

Furthermore, excluding various one-offs, write-downs and corrections, overall the banking industry in Italy would have reported a combined 1.8 billion euro loss for 2012.

The ABI report takes into account the results of 39 banking groups.

The decrease in banks’ margins is largely due to the deteriorating quality of credit, Giovanni Sabatini, ABI managing director, said in the report.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Letta Says EU Must ‘Accelerate or Implode’

Union has dealt with problems with ‘timidness’, says premier

(see related story) (ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — Italian Premier Enrico Letta said Tuesday that the European Union risks imploding if it does not do more to address people’s problems in the midst of the economic crisis.

“I have the impression that the EU cannot keep going as it has up to today, with timidness or a lack of decisions,” Letta told the Senate.

“Either it accelerates or it risks imploding. “As things are, I don’t think it can hold up and the people will be the ones who make it implode the next time they vote”.

Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) failed to win a working majority in February’s general election after strong showings by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) lead to a virtual three-way tie.

Both the centre-left PdL and the M5S blasted European-imposed austerity policies during the election campaign.

Letta, who was sworn in at the helm of an unprecedented PD-PdL coalition government last month, wants the EU to focus more on promoting growth and has said he will present a plan to help boost job creation at a summit of European leaders in June.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Letta Tells Senate That EU Must Deal With Youth Unemployment

Credibility at risk if it fails on economic promises

(ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — The European Union must back up its words on solving youth unemployment with strong actions, Italian Premier Enrico Letta said Tuesday.

The EU must move rapidly to invest its energy into “policies for growth and jobs,” Letta told the Senate, one day before an EU summit on the issue of growth and tax policy.

Solving the crisis of rising youth unemployment must be an “absolute” priority, both for the economy and for the EU’s credibility, he added.

“The EU is in a crisis of legitimacy over the lack of results,” on previous promises to deal with joblessness among European youth, Letta said.

On Monday, Letta discussed issues of economic growth and youth unemployment in a telephone conversation with United States President Barack Obama.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: EU Should be More Flexible on Govt Budget Rules, Letta Says

‘To encourage investment, create jobs’

(ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — Italian Premier Enrico Letta on Tuesday said that the European Union should grant governments more room to maneuver within its budget rules in order to encourage investments that would create jobs. Speaking to the House, Letta said that the EU at its June summit “must recognize spaces (needed) to maneuver national public finances in order to enable member States to invest adequate resources into active labor policies, reducing taxes on labor and creating jobs for young people”. Italy recently forecast its deficit-to-GDP ratio will be 2.9% this year, taking it under the 3% threshold permitted by the EU. Letta’s left-right government is hoping to convince the EC to end the excessive-deficit procedure it has against Italy this month or early in June.

Meanwhile it is battling to reduce climbing unemployment, which is especially high among youth at over 38%, according to national statistics agency Istat. At the end of June, the labor ministry plans to unveil a package to reduce unemployment among the country’s 15-to-24-year-olds by 8%.

“European decisions will be the framework (for our national job-creation package),” Letta said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

JPMorgan Votes to Keep Dimon in Two Top Jobs

Jamie Dimon and the 10 other directors of JPMorgan Chase were all re-elected at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.

Mr. Dimon, the nation’s most powerful banker, held on to his title of chairman after JPMorgan’s shareholders defeated a proposal to split the two top jobs.

Even if JPMorgan shareholders had accepted the proposal, the bank would not have been required to act.

[Return to headlines]

Nearly Nine Million Italians in Labor Difficulty, Study Says

CGIL-Ires survey says 8.75 million unemployed or underemployed

(ANSA) — Rome, May 20 — The number of Italy’s workforce suffering from some form of labor difficulty, from underemployment to unemployment, is nearly nine million, a new study reported Monday. According to the Ires research group, who was commissioned by the CGIL labor union confederation, 4.57 million Italians are either unemployed, have given up looking for a job or are receiving unemployment benefits for temporary layoffs as of the last quarter of 2012.

In addition, 4.17 million people are employed under temporary or part-time contracts. According to forecasts released earlier this month by national statistics agency Istat, unemployment will rise to 11.9% this year, up 1.2% in 2012, and climb further still in 2014 to reach 12.3%. Youth employment reached 38.4% in March, 3.2% higher than the same month in 2012, according to Istat

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Over Half of Italians Under 40 Would Leave Country for Work

Report says young see ‘no future’ for Italy labor market

(see previous) (ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — More than half of Italians under 40 years old recently surveyed said that they are ready to leave the country to search for work opportunities, a report by the Coldiretti farmers’ association said on Tuesday.

The survey ‘Youth in Crisis’, compiled together with the Trieste-based SWG polling agency, said that due to the negative labor market, 51% of Italians under 40 feel they need to search for employment beyond the country’s borders, while 73% believe that Italy offers “no future”.

Some 64% said that they would move within the country for a job.

Instead, among the country’s young farmers polled some 45% think that Italy offers possibilities for the future.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Portugal: ‘Berlin Criticises Austerity and Accuses Barroso of Incompetence’

Público, 16 May 2013

German officials have criticised the policy of austerity and tax increases — the two economic tools favoured by the troika of international leaders — accusing the European Commission of incompetence and stiffness, reports the daily.

“Berlin considers tax increases to be a mistake, which penalises disadvantaged populations and kills economic growth,” writes Público, without identifying its sources.

“Berlin’s irritation” is particularly aimed at the European Commission and its President José Manuel Barroso, which the newspaper says paradoxical, “as many of the austerity conditions applied to countries within the rescue programme are implicitly presented in Brussels as result of German demands.”

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

Ron Paul and Jim Rogers: Government Confiscation of Private Bank Accounts to Happen Here, Too

As to the subject of wealth confiscation, as happened recently in Cyprus — where the government confiscated billions of dollars held in private bank accounts, as part of a temporary bailout deal with the European Central Bank — Rogers said he sees things a bit differently shaping up in the U.S.

“I suspect it won’t happen that way in the U.S.,” he said. “They won’t take our bank accounts, they will take our retirement accounts.” (For the record, private retirement accounts in the United States amount to a government bonanza — more than $18.5 trillion, according to a 2010 study by the Investment Company Institute).

The government will “take our 401(k)s, they will say, ‘You’ve all had such hard times earning money in your 401(k), so what we’re going to do, we’re going to save you, we’re going to give you government bonds, which are guaranteed, 30-year government bonds and you will get 3 percent, and you give us your retirement assets.’“

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Spain: Families Supported by Pensioners Tripled

In 26% of households pension is main income

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MAY 20 — The economic crisis which shows no signs of abating in Spain is leading to an unprecedented change in the ‘inter-generational solidarity’ trend as the number of pensioners supporting families where everyone is unemployed has tripled since 2007, according to a report by the May 1 foundation. The study on ‘The impact of the crisis on living conditions of the elderly’ released on Monday found that 420.000 family units are currently supported by retired public employees, some 9% of the overall number of pensioners, and almost three times the number of families needing support six years ago, 150.000.

Overall in the last ten years, on average pensions have increased by 250 euros a month to reach 975 euros, according to social security data, but one third of pensioners in Spain continued to receive a lower pension than the minimum salary.

In 2007, 3,6% of families with unemployed members were supported by retired workers while today their number has risen to 9% of the total with pensions representing the main income for 26% of Spanish family units. This shows how important pensions are to contain the risk of poverty, the report noted.

Cuts and austerity measures approved since 2010 have eroded the purchasing power of over 8 million retired workers of whom almost 5,4 million are pensioners.

The last pension hike measured on price trends as of Jan. 1 which was frozen by the government caused a 222 euro loss in buying power, according to the Union General de Trabajadores.

This occurred in spite of a 20,7% annual increase in prescription drug prices and 10.8% hike in energy bills, as denounced by another union, Comisiones Obreras, which sounded the alarm on the fact that the crisis is forcing a greater number of pensioners into poverty and social discrimination.

According to the latest social security data, three fourth of pensioners (73%) has a gross income under 15.000 euros a year — well under the lowest gross salaries in the Spanish labour market estimated around 15.479 euros , according to the most recent research on salaries by national statistics bureau published in December 2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Caught on Video: The Moment ‘Biggest Tornado in History’ Obliterated 30 Square Miles in Minutes

– From a terrifying video captured by a worker in the parking lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken to the heartbreaking scene of a rescue group searching desperately for a boy named ‘Tommy’, some of the most dramatic footage of the Oklahoma tornado has been captured by people directly in its path.

At least 91 people have been confirmed dead after a two mile-wide tornado touched down in a highly-populated suburb of Oklahoma City in one of the worst storms the area has ever seen on Monday afternoon.

The monstrous tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs obliterating entire neighborhoods with winds up to 200 mph pulverizing a 30-square-mile stretch.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Denver Cops Arrest Italian Shotgun Manufacturer as a Terrorist

Daniele Perazzi was arrested on Saturday after a cab driver turned him into police as a terrorist. The Perazzi Shotguns executive was taken into custody by Adams County Deputies outside of the Denver Merchandise Mart where the annual Colorado Gun Collectors Show was held over the weekend. The show is a noted venue for the finest collectors firearms in the world.

“He loaded prototype shotguns into the cab on the way to the Merchandise Mart,” gun rights activist and newly-elected National Rifle Association Director Steve Schreiner told Gun Rights Examiner on Sunday. “The cab driver notified law enforcement he suspected he had a terrorist in his cab, and they were waiting to intercept him, evidently oblivious to the fact that he was arriving at a highly-publicized area gun show.”

Perazzi’s lawyers told the police the gun firm executive was not a terrorist but “the owner of one of the most expensive shotgun companies in the world,” Schreiner said.

According to Fox 31 in Denver, the Italian gun manufacturer was frightened by the incident. Schreiner said Mr. Perazzi was told by the police to leave the state by Saturday night. Instead, he left the country. His lawyer said legal action against the police is possible in the future.

Fox reported that Denver taxi drivers were honored last week for reporting incidents while on duty. The awards are part of a program called Taxis on Patrol (TOPS) that encourages cabbies to report suspicious activity.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

If Government Were a Business, Obama Would Already be Fired

Let’s begin by stating the obvious. If government were a business, and subject to economic realities and the consequences of its ignoring them, it would have been liquidated long ago — its remaining assets of value would have been reclaimed by its creditors and shareholders (both of which are the American taxpayer), and its market share of consumers (also the American taxpayer, and those they are gracious enough to financially support) would be sought by other, more efficient businesses.

But let’s pretend for a moment that it is a business. And let’s pretend that this business had engaged not only in unethical practices, but illegal practices, completely betraying the trust of its shareholders and customers and and disavowing the very foundational principles upon which its business is predicated.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Indian-American Girl Esha Khare Invents Device That Charges Cellphone in 20 Seconds

NEW YORK: Google and other tech giants are wooing 18-year-old Indian-American whizkid Esha Khare who has revolutionized cellphone technology by creating a device that can charge a cellphone super fast in 20 seconds.

Called super-capacitor, the device can do up to 10,000 cycles, as against 1,000 that conventional battery chargers do..

Khare, who is from Saratoga in Santa Clara in California, has been conferred this year’s Young Scientist Award from the Intel Foundation for her invention. The award carries a cash of $50,000.

In an interview with NBC, she said she is ready to “set the world on fire” as she gets ready to study at Harvard.

Khare said she invented the device after she was frustrated by her cellphone battery dying quickly.

She said she started working on the energy-storage technology as a solution.

Her specialization in nanochemistry, she said , helped her scale down the size of the device.

“It is also flexible, so it can be used in roll-up displays and clothing and fabric. It has a lot of different advantages over batteries in that sense,’’ the 19-year-old said.

Khare explains her project like so: “To improve supercapacitor energy density, I designed, synthesized, and characterized a novel core-shell nanorod electrode with hydrogenated TiO2 (H-TiO2) core and polyaniline shell,” So, uh, it’s …. really fast.

Khare now heads to Harvard.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Is This Still America?

Texas Republican Congressman Kevin Brady asked during the IRS hearings last week: “Is this still America?”

Good Question. It is a question we have asked with great frequency for a number of years now.

As much as I despise having to say it, we are witnessing an America in decline today. We can sugar-coat it, we can parse it, we can ignore it, all at our peril.

To fix it, we must face it. And it is a painful thing to look, objectively, at our country today.

For so many of you who have been born and have attained maturity in America since the 1950s, I can understand your wondering what I’m prattling on about.

See, you have never experienced a free America. You have never experienced that “shining city on a hill” as Ronald Reagan so loved to describe America. Reagan knew THAT America. He had experienced that America. Many of America’s so-called senior citizens living today also remember that America. I do.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Local School Boards Are Being Replaced, Stripped of Power

Dr. Shirley McCune, senior director of the federally funded Mid-Continent Regional Education Laboratory was involved in a planning workshop in Millard, Nebraska, July 21, 1983. She presented a plan for systematic change for our total society. One paper stated that we are moving from “party politics” to “policies of the radical center.” The radical right and the radical left appear to have met in mid-center on several issues: Goals 2000; School-to-Work; NAFTA and GATT.

The New American Schools Development Corporation’s radical design teams have been selected to “break the mold” away from basic-traditional education in order to train children for the global workforce. Privatizing education through Charter Schools allows these radical design teams, and other private entities such as The Edison Project, Educational Alternatives, Inc., and Disney World (Mickey Mouse Schools) to rob American citizens of their own tax-supported schools. This plan is being supported by both the right-wing and the left-wing political groups who appear to have met in the radical mid-center on education, social control and a global economy.

Dr. Shirley McCune appears with former Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander at the Kansas Governor’s Summit on Education in 1989. She made the following statement:

“…what we are into is a total restructuring of the society. What is happening in America today…is not simply a change4 situation and the usual winds of change. What it amounts to is a total transformation of our society…The whole ball game in this particular change society is that there are only two things that really matter. One of those is the information capitol that we can put together…Secondly, to produce Human Capital…we have to prepare students not for today’s society, but for a society that’s 20, 30, 40, 50 years down the road…That’s called Social Change Function of schools.”…

Holland quoted the kit as saying: “Only by changing the attitudes and behavior of community members will it be possible to reach the National Education Goals.”…isn’t such a government directed propaganda campaign unprecedented in America’s history?” Mr. Holland quotes some of the topics in the kit which tells how to identify “Allies and Opponents: avoid the term Outcome-Based Education; Choosing a Facilitator” all designed to lead to group-think or conformity. (Ed. Note: The tool used is known as the Delphi technique; the facilitator insures everyone in the group that a consensus has been reached, and none dare question the “group”. The opposition is silenced, if there is any, through lies, smears, labeled conspiracy kooks and you name it. I always advise citizens to never join a group with a facilitator…

Local school boards are being replaced or stripped of power. Representative government is becoming obsolete. Appointed councils now are taking the place of elected representatives in all endeavors across the USA. “No Child Will Be Left Behind”. All children are to be trained for the global one-world planned workforce using the scientific method of behavioral psychology now attached to computer software. Citizen owned property is now being sold and some leased back. The current governor sold our State Capitol, House and Senate buildings to a private group. Unless we pay off the loan in twenty years, the private investment company will own the citizens property. We are now leasing this property back that was completely debt free. I could find nothing in our Constitution that allows this. The same people are working hard to privatize public schools)…

They are now promoting “The Common Core Standards” and the performance-based test, aligned to the standards. The almost same identical legislation is appearing state by state and is in all probability written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) or The Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) who have now joined with the right political organizations trying to convince citizens that our country is in danger of collapse due to children not being trained for the global workforce). The conference at Arizona State University lists the following:

[Comment: Two part article is a MUST READ for every American.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Most Americans Believe Obama Covering Up IRS Scandal

A majority of Americans have clearly indicated that they believe the IRS intentionally targeted Tea Party groups. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday, 56 percent said they believe increased IRS scrutiny on conservative groups was deliberate, with only 31 percent saying they believed it was an “administrative mistake.”

In addition, 74 percent, described the tactics as inappropriate, with 51 percent saying they feel actions are criminal. Just 20 percent said they felt the IRS actions were appropriate, with 44 percent believing the agency acted within the law.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New York Police Defends Itself on Muslim Surveillance

The New York Police Department is defending itself in a federal civil rights lawsuit over its surveillance of Muslims.

It says in a new court filing that nothing it has done violated surveillance guidelines imposed by a federal judge in a previous case.

In the legal papers, a detective told the judge that he never asked an informant to get Muslims to make incriminating comments. But text messages obtained by The Associated Press show that the detective never told the informant to stop, either.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s War on Fox News Reporters

In a stunning sequences of events that unfolded yesterday, it was revealed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) efforts to intimidate the media went beyond targeting reporters and editors at the Associated Press. Early in the day, the Washington Post reported that the DOJ not only seized the phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen, but used his security badge to access records tracking his movements at the State Department, traced the timing of his calls with a Department security advisor suspected of giving him classified information, and obtained a search warrant to access his personal emails.

Later in the afternoon another bombshell was dropped: two more Fox staffers, reporter William La Jeunesse and producer Mike Levine, were also targeted by the DOJ…

The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald explains the implications of targeting Rosen. “Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information,” he explains. “That fact, along with the First Amendment’s guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ — that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for ‘soliciting’ the disclosure of classified information — is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself.”…

Last week, in an interview with Democracy Now, James Goodale, former general council for the New York Times, revealed the likely motive for the administration’s determination to criminalize reporting of classified information. “Obama has classified, I think, seven million in one year, classified seven million documents,” he explained. “Everything is classified. So that would give the government the ability to control all its information on the theory that it’s classified…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ron Paul: The IRS’s Job is to Violate Our Liberties

Considering the type of power the IRS excises over the American people, and the propensity of those who hold power to violate liberty, it is surprising we do not hear about more cases of politically-motivated IRS harassment. As the first US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy” — and who better to destroy than one’s political enemies?

The US flourished for over 120 years without an income tax, and our liberty and prosperity will only benefit from getting rid of the current tax system. The federal government will get along just fine without its immoral claim on the fruits of our labor, particularly if the elimination of federal income taxes are accompanied by serious reduction in all areas of spending, starting with the military spending beloved by so many who claim to be opponents of high taxes and big government.

While it is important for Congress to investigate the most recent scandal and ensure all involved are held accountable, we cannot pretend that the problem is a few bad actors. The very purpose of the IRS is to transfer wealth from one group to another while violating our liberties in the process, thus the only way Congress can protect our freedoms is to repeal the income tax and shutter the doors of the IRS once and for all.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Stupid Gun Laws in Washington, DC

Finally a little common sense is prevailing, but why did it take this long. The man who used his gun to save a boy who was being attacked by three pitbulls will not be facing criminal charges after all. Well, he will still need to pay a $1,000 fine and register his guns, but that’s the how things go in our nation’s capital.

Back in January, GOPUSA reported on Benjamin Srigley, a 39-year-old man who lives in Washington, DC. Srigley saw three pitbulls attack 11-year-old Jayeon Simon as the boy rode his bike. Srigley ran into his house and grabbed his handgun. He shot one of the three dogs. A nearby police officer heard the shots and once arriving on the scene, shot the other two.

Rather than being treated as a hero, an investigation was opened into Srigley’s “offenses.” As reported by the Washington Times, “Possession of an unregistered firearm or ammunition in the District is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, and prosecutors said Mr. Srigley could have faced up to seven criminal charges in the case.” Seven criminal charges? For saving a boy’s life?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Autocrat Accountants

Once government is ensnared in every aspect of life, a bureaucracy grows increasingly capricious.

Speaking at Ohio State University earlier this month, Barack Obama urged students to pay no attention to those paranoid types who “incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity.” Oddly enough, in recent days the most compelling testimony for this view of government has come from the president himself, who insists with a straight face that he had no idea that the Internal Revenue Service had spent two years targeting his political enemies until he “learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.” Like you, all he knows is what he reads in the papers. Which is odd, because his Justice Department is bugging those same papers, so you’d think he’d at least get a bit of a heads-up. But no doubt the fact that he’s wiretapping the Associated Press was also entirely unknown to him until he read about it in the Associated Press.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Top IRS Official Will Invoke the Fifth Amendment in Congressional Hearing About Tea Party Targeting Program

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday afternoon that Lois Lerner, who heads up the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-exempt division, plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs.

The Fifth Amendment provides that U.S. citizens may not be compelled to offer testimony if telling the truth would incriminate them.

Lerner’s defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III, wrote to the committee on Tuesday that his client would refuse to answer questions related to what she knew about the extra levels of scrutiny applied to conservative nonprofit organizations that applied for tax-exempt status beginning in 2010.

She also will decline to say why she didn’t disclose what she knew to Congress, according to the LA Times.

Lerner ‘has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation,’ Taylor’s letter read, ‘but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course.’

He is asking the oversight committee to excuse Lerner from testifying, claiming that calling her in a congressional hearing would ‘have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her’ since members would not expect her to answer questions.

Ahmad Ali, a committee spokesman, told MailOnline that ‘Ms. Lerner remains under subpoena from Chairman Issa to appear at tomorrow’s hearing — the Committee has a Constitutional obligation to conduct oversight.’

‘Chairman [Darrel] Issa remains hopeful that she will ultimately decide to testify tomorrow about her knowledge of outrageous IRS targeting of Americans for their political beliefs.’

The IRS applied special criteria to conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status, putting them on a ‘Be On The Lookout’ (BOLO) list, based on the groups’ names and political philosophies.

President Barack Obama has said he was unaware of the program until May 10, when excerpts of an IRS Inspector General Report on the practice were leaked to reporters.

But Jay Carney, the president’s chief spokesman, confirmed Monday that senior White House staff, including White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, knew about the IRS’s habits as early as April 24, and chose not to tell Obama.

The Inspector General report found that Lerner and other IRS were notified in or before June 2011 that some staff in the agency’s Cincinnati, Ohio office were using ‘tea party,’ ‘patriots’ and other key words to add applicants to the BOLO list.

Once on that list, the groups were subjected to additional auditing of their financial practices, their membership and their political activities.

Despite knowing about the program, Lerner and other senior IRS staffers withheld the information from Congress despite receiving several requests from House committees whose members heard from constituents that their tea party groups’ tax-exempt approvals were taking as long as two years to be resolved.

The House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee was among those that specifically asked the IRS whether it was inspecting tea party groups more closely than other applicants, including those on the political left.

[Return to headlines]

Top IRS Official Will Invoke 5th Amendment

A top IRS official in the division that reviews nonprofit groups will invoke the 5th Amendment and refuse to answer questions before a House committee investigating the agency’s improper screening of conservative nonprofit groups.

Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening — or why she didn’t disclose it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III. Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Vista). The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Virginia’s Cuccinelli Battles Democrats, Media

The Washington Post apparently doesn’t care how ridiculous it looks as it embarks on the process of destroying Ken Cuccinelli and other Republican candidates for top statewide offices in Virginia.

After Cuccinelli won the gubernatorial nomination, the Post stories looked like press releases from the Democratic Party. The front-page online Washington Post headline proclaimed, “Virginia GOP leans far to the right, nominating staunch conservatives.” The summary of the story by Laura Vozzella said, “After election losses, state Republicans are largely resisting advice to move to the middle.”

“Democrats made it clear that they view the GOP ticket as too extreme,” the Post reported, in a follow-up story. This is the way the Post views the GOP ticket. And this is the way the Post wants readers to view it, too.

The extreme rhetoric apparently includes Cuccinelli’s statement, “Our country was founded on the belief that our rights don’t come from the government, they come from our Creator. The Constitution was set up to limit the size and scope of government, not the liberty of individuals.”

There is nothing new here, in terms of the paper’s coverage of politics. But despite losing readers and money, the paper still carries some clout among those unaware of how media bias works and how the paper demonizes conservative Republicans. It is important to document this bias as it is taking place so that the Post is aware that the public understands these media tricks.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Three Toronto Brothers Charged in Alleged Club District Gang Sexual Assault

Three brothers are facing charges in a gang sexual assault investigation after a woman was allegedly repeatedly assaulted in an SUV early on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, police say, a group of friends were at a nightclub near Richmond Street and Spadina Avenue when a 22-year-old woman was approached by a man who struck up a conversation with her.

Not long after, police say, the woman and her friends were followed outside the club by the same man and two other men who offered to drive them home.

The woman accepted the offer and was then led to a nearby parking garage. Police allege she was forcibly confined in an SUV and sexually assaulted by two of the men.

Concerned for her safety, the woman’s friends searched the area near the nightclub and found her in the underground parking garage, and then called police.

The three men were arrested not long after.

Hewad Ahmadzai, 26; Omeed Ahmadzai, 24; and Nazeef Ahmadzai, 30 all of Toronto have been charged with forcible confinement and gang sexual assault.

Police believe there may be other victims.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Belgium: “Wind Turbines Pose a Bigger Threat Than Nuclear Power Plants”

Michael Torfs Jan Bens, the head of the nuclear watchdog FANC, claims that a nuclear disaster in Belgium is impossible. “The nuclear sector is safe and secure.” And there is more. Speaking in the daily De Morgen, he says that wind turbines are potentially more a bigger danger for public health than nuclear reactors.

“Yes, wind turbines involve risks”, argues Jan Bens. “They are stuffing the port of Antwerp with wind turbines, next to our chemical industry. If an accident would occur there, let’s say a wing that breaks, then this is the guillotine. If the piece hits a chlorine pipe, then this would have a bigger impact than something that could go wrong in (the nuclear plant of) Doel.” This allows Mr Bens to draw the conclusion: “Wind turbines are more dangerous than nuclear power plants.”

A remarkable quote, as the safety of wind turbines is hardly being questioned. Mr Bens’ predecessor at the FANC, Willy De Roovere, had a completely different opinion. He said in his farewell speech that the risks posed by nuclear energy can no longer be justified towards society.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Finland: Sikh Bus Driver Fights for Right to Wear Turban

Managing diversity in Finnish workplaces is raising new issues for employers, unions and workers themselves. One Sikh bus driver in Vantaa is currently fighting to set a precedent allowing him to wear a turban.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Essayist and Historian Shoots Himself at Notre Dame

(AGI) — Paris, May 21 — A famous French essayist and historian, Dominique Venner, has committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth in Notre Dame Cathedral. A few hours earlier, he had referred in his blog to a “symbolic and spectacular” gesture in opposition to the law on gay marriage. The 78 year-old had written various works on “European civil war” and was a former extreme right-wing activist, as well as being head of the history magazine “Nouvelle Revue d’Histoire” and a supporter of French anti-gay movements.

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

Hamas-Affiliated Group Hosts Hundreds in Brussels

Appeal by European Jewish Parliament fails to prevent meet by Palestinian Return Centre, a British NGO that denies being a ‘front’ for Hamas

JTA — Hundreds attended an anti-Israel event that an association with allegedly close ties to Hamas organized at one of Brussels’ most prestigious public venues.

Some 300 people showed up on Saturday at the Belgian capital’s well-respected Jesuit-sponsored Collège Saint-Michel for an event organized by the Palestinian Return Centre, a British nongovernmental organization which has denied allegations by the Israeli government and other bodies that it is “a front” for Hamas.

An urgent appeal by the European Jewish Parliament to the mayor of Etterbeek — one of the municipalities that make up the Belgian capital — failed to prevent the event, advertised as the “11th Palestinians in Europe Conference.”

“The circumstances do not permit me to legally ban this event,” Deputy Mayor Vincent De Wolf wrote to European Jewish Parliament co-chair Joel Rubinfeld on May 17.

“The fact that a façade for an organization like Hamas is allowed to speak at all in Belgium, a country where Hamas is considered a terrorist organization, is deplorable,” Rubinfeld told JTA. “That one of Brussels’ most distinguished venues has rented out its space for this encounter adds insult to injury and shows that when it comes to Israel, some feel the rules simply don’t apply.”

One of the speakers at the event in Brussels was Michel Collon, a journalist who called Israel “the most racist country in the world.”

According to a 2011 report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Israel, “senior PRC figures send flotillas and convoys to the Gaza Strip and transfer funds to Hamas.” Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh spoke via satellite uplink at the seventh PRC annual conference, held in Milan in 2009.

One article on the PRC website reads: “It is a lie to speak of ‘democracy’ when fair elections in 2006 had Israel and the world denying Hamas the right to govern. It is a charade to accept ‘internal security’ when arming and training Palestinians to police their own people covers for Israel’s and America’s divide and conquer scheme.”

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

Italy: Emilia Farms Have Yet to See Single Euro of Relief

One year following quakes, still no money, says Coldiretti

(ANSA) — Bologna, May 20 — One year to the day after the first of two earthquakes devastated the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, the zone’s shattered agrobusinesses and farms have yet to see a single euro of relief funds, an agricultural business association complained on Monday.

The “enemy” has been bureaucracy, said the Emilia-Romagna regional branch of Coldiretti in a note.

The “survey of damage and allocation of funds” was mired by “an extremely fragmented and complex bureaucracy” of rules and public administration that have made it impossible for funds to reach the people and businesses who need them “at a pace appropriate to the seriousness of the event”. The May 20 and May 29 of last year, quakes claimed 26 lives, left thousands homeless and brought the northern region’s economy to its knees, with the damage estimated to amount to five billion euros.

Coldiretti said the quake caused a billion euros worth of damage in agriculture alone, hitting farmhouses, animal sheds, warehouses and equipment at roughly 6000 businesses.

Producers of the region’s world famous hard cheese Parmigiano Reggiano suffered losses worth 200 million euros.

The European Commission on December 19, 2012 gave Italy the green light to extend 2.66 billion euros in aid to farms and food processing plants in Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and the Veneto region, for the earthquake damage suffered in May 2012.

The measure included compensation for material and economic damages, and was aimed at “returning stricken businesses to their state prior to the natural disaster, allowing them to pick up where they left off without giving them an unfair advantage,” the Commission made known.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Offers Grim Future for Children, Says Report

Country rates low in EU in Save the Children survey

(By Kate Carlisle) (ANSA) — Rome, May 20 — Italy ranks low among European Union countries when it comes to providing a bright future to its children, Save the Children reported Monday as it launched a national awareness campaign.

Trailing behind Greece and Bulgaria, Italy is seventh to last in the 27-member EU according to the NGO’s “poverty of future” list, which includes criteria such as offering education and work opportunities to children and adolescents.

To raise awareness, Save the Children is launching a series of events and stunts in 16 cities, chiding the country for “robbing children and families of funds, a lack of resources, and the low level of education and work available”.

The name of the campaign is ‘Allarme Infanzia’ (Childhood Alarm).

In Rome and Milan, cardboard cutouts of children were installed around the historic centers, with phrases such as “they robbed my fresh air”, “they robbed my school lunches” and “they robbed my house”.

The theft “committed at the expense of our young human capital…has resulted in the lack of resources for a dignified life. That includes food, clothing, vacations, sports, books, hot meal programs and school programs,” Save the Children said.

Nearly 29% of Italian children under six years (approximately 950,000) live on the edge of poverty, placing the country 21st in Europe for risk of poverty and social exclusion among children aged 0-6 years.

Save the Children used 12 indicators outlined by the European Commission to compare opportunities for Italian children to those of their peers in Europe.

On Monday, Labour Minister Enrico Giovannini said that formulating a package by the end of June to tackle the country’s high youth unemployment will be a priority for the Italian government.

The goal is to reduce unemployment among the country’s 15-to-24-year olds by 8%, bringing it down to 30%, the minister told the Italian daily La Repubblica in an interview.

To create the package, the government will be meeting with business associations and trade unions “to listen and think through (solutions) together,” Giovannini said.

The minister said that the government will invest between 10 to 12 million euros, “if not more” to “maintain” the program outlined by ex-Labour Minister Elsa Fornero, defined during the previous Mario Monti administration.

Among the possibilities to ease the rampant youth unemployment is a shift for older workers from full-time to part-time leading up to retirement, without penalizing the employees’ previously accumulated benefits by adding State subsidies, to make room in the market for younger workers.

Another “idea” is to make way for early retirement with “proportional penalties,” Giovannini said.

Youth employment in Italy reached 38.4% in March, 3.2% higher than the same month in 2012, according to national statistics institute Istat.

Young adults who are not studying or working are draining as much as 2% off of Italy’s GDP, an employment report said in October.

Young people aged 15 to 29 and classified as NEETs — not in education, employment or training — are costing the Italian economy as much as 32.6 billion euros, said the report by Eurofound.

NEETs — are much more present in the southern regions than in the rest of Italy, according to a report by economic think tank Censis in March.

Some 32% of youth in Italy’s Mezzogiorno qualify as NEETs, compared with 22.7% for the national average.

The situation is so bad in Campania and Sicily, where NEETs as a proportion of the overall population reach 35.2% and 35.7%, respectively, that Censis warns of a “social emergency”.

A situation that would appear to contradict expenditure on education: the south spends much more on education than the rest of the country: 6.7% of GDP, or 1,170 euros per student, compared with 3.1% of GDP, or 937 euros per student, in Italy’s center-north.

However, some 21.2% of school-age youths abandon school in the south, compared with 16% in the center-north and the learning levels are considered “decidedly worse” in the south, according to the Censis.

Flows of students seeking better educational opportunities are also imbalanced, Censis figures show, with some 23.7% of university students in the south transferring to universities in the center-north, compared with only 2% of center-north students transferring to south-based institutions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Blasts Sports Minister Idem for German Roots

Kyenge rallies to defence

(ANSA) — Rome, May 20 — An Italian cabinet minister came to the defense Monday of her German-born colleague who was mocked on the weekend by the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), Beppe Grillo.

“I want to express my solidarity with Minister Josefa Idem for the unjustified attacks by Beppe Grillo,” Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said in a statement Monday”.

She was referring to comments made by Grillo, who complained about the former Olympic canoeist Idem, minister of equal opportunity, youth and sports.

Writing on his blog on the weekend Grillo, an outspoken comic, suggested that Idem’s background as an athlete as well as her German birth meant that she was a poor fit for an Italian government.

That offended Kyenge, who has also faced verbal abuse because of her roots in Congo. Idem is making “a valuable contribution as a professional dedicated to youth policy and sports and a woman politically and humanly sensitive to gender issues,” said Kyenge.

She noted that Idem also has a background in Italian regional government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Northern League Says it Will No Longer Accept Public Funding

Regionalist party hit by financial scandals attempts cleanup

(ANSA) — Milan, May 20 — The Northern League political party, which has been rocked by major financial scandals, announced Monday that it would not longer accept public funding but rely instead on donations.

“The principle is self-financing, we do not want money from anyone except party members,” said League Secretary and Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni.

He made the announcement at the end of a party meeting in which it approved a “severe” draft budget that did not feature public money.

The anti-migrant party, which lobbies for greater autonomy for Italy’s wealthier northern regions, has been under intense scrutiny after a big financial scandal.

Last month, Milan prosecutors took measures to seized a yacht allegedly purchased by the son of Northern League party founder and former leader Umberto Bossi, as part of a wider investigation into the alleged misuse of public funds which earlier saw the former treasurer of the political group arrested.

Former League treasurer Francesco Belsito was arrested in April on charges of alleged criminal association and aggravated fraud.

He had been under investigation since a probe into alleged misuse of public funding to the party broke last year in a scandal that led Bossi to quit.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi Sees Centre Left ‘In State of Shock’

Florence mayor says IMU concessions price of PdL alliance

(By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) — Rome, May 20 — Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi on Monday described his centre-left Democratic Party (PD) as being in “shock” after a tumultuous post-election period that led to an unprecedented left-right government. “The PD is a bit in a state of shock,” he said, adding that it needed to determine if it were capable of making new proposals or “if its just grinding along”. Renzi, a rising star of the PD who has been compared to the young Tony Blair, ran and lost to then PD chief Pier Luigi Bersani in last year’s primaries to select the centre-left’s premier candidate.

Bersani went on to squander a sizeable lead in opinion poles with a colourless campaign and February’s election ended in a virtual three-way tie between the PD, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) of comedian Beppe Grillo. Analysts said that the more centrist Renzi would have had better chance than former Communist Bersani of winning a working majority rather than the inconclusive outcome ultimately led to two months of gridlock, the resignation of Bersani as PD secretary, and a coalition government led by Premier Enrico Letta of the PD that includes high-ranking center-right figures in key posts, such as Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, the PdL secretary. Many see the bipartisan makeup of the current administration as highly volatile, with Berlusconi threatening to bring it down if further measures are not made to eliminate the contested IMU property tax, for example. Speaking at the Turin Book Fair, Renzi said “I hope Letta does well” and shot down suggestions that he will run to lead the PD at a party congress later this year, although he has made no secret of the fact that he wants to become premier one day. Renzi described Letta’s concessions on IMU property tax as a political compromise the PD must shoulder to keep the current right-left government coalition together. “Acting on the IMU is the price paid for the alliance with Berlusconi,” Renzi said on Italian radio.

Letta’s cabinet on Friday approved a decree to suspend the June payment of the controversial IMU property tax after weeks of threats from Berlusconi.

The PdL has said it will pull its support and sink Letta’s executive if it does not scrap IMU and repay 2012 revenues from the tax to respect a key pledge it made in the run-up to February’s general election.

Letta has not promised to go this far, although he has said the tax will be reformed by September. Although Renzi is Italy’s most popular politician after President Giorgio Napolitano, according to opinion polls, he is viewed with suspicion by many within his own party. Some see his drive for the old guard of the Italian politics to be “scrapped” as motivated more by personal ambition than by a desire for real change.

PD Secretary Guglielmo Epifani, who is in charge of the party until a permanent leader is selected at the congress, rebutted Renza’s comments on IMU. “It is not a gift to anyone but common sense,” said Epifani, referring to the fact that reforming IMU was a part of the centre-left platform.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Soccer: Roma Punished With Partial Ground Closure for Racism

Fans punished for chants against Balotelli

(ANSA) — Rome, May 20 — AS Roma will have to play a future home match with part of the Stadio Olimpico closed to the public as punishment for racist chants by their fans targeting Mario Balotelli in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Napoli, the last match of the Serie A season.

Serie A’s sporting judge said the Olimpico’s ‘Curva Sud’ end stand, where Roma’s hardcore ultra fans watch home matches, will be shut because of “expressions of racial discrimination” directed at the Italy and AC Milan forward.

The punishment is severe as Roma fans were guilty of a number of previous incidents of racist abuse, including the chants against Balotelli and other black Milan players that caused their side’s 0-0 draw at the San Siro stadium to be briefly suspended earlier this month.

Roma were also fined 50,000 euros, as were Inter Milan for racist chants by their fans in Sunday’s 5-2 defeat to Udinese.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Politician at Center of Lazio Funds Scandal Risks 5 Years

Franco Fiorito banned from public office

(ANSA) — Rome, May 20 — A Rome prosecutor on Monday requested five years in prison for Franco Fiorito, the former head of Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party (PdL) for the central Italian region of Lazio.

Fiorito is accused of embezzling 1.4 million euros in party funding, and is at the centre of the corruption scandal that brought down the previous centre-right governor Renata Polverini’s regional government late last year.

Fiorito agreed in April to return 1.09 million euros to the Lazio regional government. In Monday’s sentencing request, the prosecutor also asked that Fiorito be banned for life from public office.

Fiorito’s sentencing is expected May 27.

Fiorito is being tried under a fast-track trial, which allows for sentence reductions in case of conviction.

Fiorito’s two ex-secretaries, Bruno Galassi and Pierluigi Boschi, have asked to plea bargain their sentences to 16 and 14 months, respectively.

They are accused of conspiracy.

The scandal sparked by the alleged misappropriation of funds by Fiorito and others led to the resignation of the PdL governor of Lazio, Renata Polverini, late last year.

She was replaced in recent elections by Nicola Zingaretti of the centre-left Democratic Party.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Party Proposes Slashing Penalty for a Mafia Crime

Bill on ‘external involvement in mafia association’

(ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — A Senator for ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party on Tuesday presented a bill that would slash the punishment for a form of mafia collusion.

The bill presented by PdL Senator Giacomo Caliendo to the Upper House’s justice committee would reduce the maximum possible jail sentence for the crime of ‘external involvement in mafia association’ to five years.

At the moment this crime can be punished with a jail sentence of up to 12 years.

Marcello Dell’Utri, a former close aide of Berlusconi’s and a former PdL Senator, is appealing to the supreme Court of Cassation against a seven-year conviction for this crime. The bill would also remove the possibility of prison sentences being handed to people found guilty of aiding people involved in a mafia association if no financial advantage was gained from this assistance.

The draft legislation would prevent prosecutors from wiretapping the conversations of people suspected of doing this too.

Dell’Utri is the former head of the media magnate’s advertising arm who is credited with creating the three-time premier’s first party, Forza Italia, in 1993, a year before it swept to victory in general elections.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan Considers Military Presence After Spate of Violence

Interior Ministry says 140 extra agents there ‘indefinitely’

(ANSA) — Milan, May 21 — Some 140 police and Carabinieri agents have been added “indefinitely” to existing forces in Milan and authorities are considering a military presence in the city following a recent spate of violence, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Tuesday.

“Safety in Milan is a national priority,” Alfano said following a meeting with a specially-formed security committee that included Milano Mayor Giuliano Pisapia, National Deputy Police Chief Alessandro Marangoni, Milan Prefect Camillo Andreana and Milan Police Superintendent Luigi Savina.

“We believe that if the city is not free from fear, then its citizens are not free,” Alfanco said. Tuesday’s meeting was spurred by recent wave of violent crimes in Milan including a pickaxe rampage by a Ghanian immigrant two weeks ago that left three dead and a midday Molotov-cocktail robbery on Tuesday in the city center that injured two.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: European Anti-Mafia Head Condemns PdL Proposal

‘Shameful example of criminals influencing politics’

(ANSA) — Rome, May 21 — A proposal by ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party to slash the penalty for mafia collusion is “shameful” and would encourage serious crime, an anti-mafia official said Tuesday.

Sonia Alfano, president of the European Anti-Mafia Commission, said the proposal by a PdL senator shows how criminals seem able to influence politics.

“Once again, the party of Silvio Berlusconi reveals its objectives with boldness and in the total absence of modesty,” said Alfano.


Earlier Tuesday, PdL Senator Giacomo Caliendo presented a bill to the Senate’s justice committee that would reduce the maximum possible jail sentence for the crime of “external involvement in mafia association” to five years.

At the moment this crime can be punished with a jail sentence of up to 12 years.

The bill comes as Marcello Dell’Utri, a former close aide of Berlusconi’s and a former PdL Senator, is appealing to the supreme Court of Cassation against a seven-year conviction for this crime.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: ‘Banker Jailed’

El Periódico de Catalunya, 17 May 2013

Miguel Blesa, the former chairman of Caja Madrid, the main savings bank in Spain’s largest nationalised banking operation, Bankia group, was taken into provisional custody on May 16 in Madrid.

Blesa is charged with “dishonest management, falsifying official documents, and misappropriation and abuse of corporate assets” in connection with Caja Madrid’s purchase of the City National Bank of Florida in 2008. According to El Periódico, the deal resulted in €500m of losses for Caja Madrid.

The judge took the view that the former banker represented a “flight risk” and ordered him to post bail of €2.5m if he wants to be released from custody.

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

Spain: Reform PA: 72% Councils Inefficient, Ministry

Service costs triple, new practices take effect tomorrow

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MAY 21 — More than two-thirds of Spain’s councils — 72.69% — are inefficient, according to a study conducted by the ministry of finance and public administration.

The study found 5,900 of the 8,116 councils are inefficient as the ministry plans to introduce a new law to reform the sector tomorrow. If approved the new law would produce savings worth 7.1 billion euros.

According to a study by the ministry, the reason behind the inefficiency is the cost of services which is higher than normal in many areas.

The annual cost per resident is 1,219.98 euros in cities with fewer than 5,000 residents while the rate falls to 445.44 per resident in cities with more than 100,000 residents.

Most (5,583 or 92%) are represented by councils where there fewer than 5,000 residents, and 344 between 5,000 and 20,000 while the rest are larger.

Calculating a standard cost for services that municipalities must pay is at the core of the government reforms to be presented to the National Committee of Local Administration.

The text will then be examined by the government before being presented to parliament but the reforms are expected to be introduced by January 2014.

Once the legislation is approved, councils will have to review services in conjunction with the ministry.

They will have five years to become efficient under the proposal.

The reforms also provide for changes to officials’ salaries: Treasury sources said they want to introduce a “salary scale” to avoid salary disparities.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Seven Arrested Over Stockholm’s Husby Riots

Seven people were arrested on Tuesday following the Husby riots in northern Stockholm, with Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt warning that the unrest may continue. Four of the suspected rioters arrested were detained, two were later released and a third person turned out to be under 15, the age of criminal responsibility in Sweden, according to local police chief Jörgen Karlsson.

The men are between the age of 15 and 19, and are suspected of violent rioting and assaulting a public official.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt commented on the matter in a press conference at the Riksdag on Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ve had two nights with great unrest, damage, and an intimidating atmosphere in Husby and there is a risk it will continue,” he said.

“Now everyone, including parents and adults, needs to help restore the calm. Husby residents must get their neighbourhood back,” he added.

“We have groups of young men who think that that they can and should change society with violence. Let’s be clear: This is not okay. We cannot be ruled by violence.”

Between 50 and 100 people took part in the rioting on Tuesday, and up to 300 people were estimated to have been on the streets, which was “probably more than on Sunday”, police chief Karlsson said.

“We know that some of those who participated came from other parts of the country,” he added.

Witnesses estimated that around 100 vehicles were torched during Sunday’s rioting, together with a garage that left an apartment block evacuated for most of the night. Rioters threw stones at the police officers on hand, and even at fire-fighters attempting to quell the blazes. Several properties and stores in the area had their windows smashed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: ‘Riots Continue’

Dagens Nyheter, 21 May 2013

A second night of rioting swept across the Stockholm suburb of Husby, which is home to a mainly immigrant population, on May 20. Several cars were burned while masked youths threw stones at police.

The riots have been sparked by the May 13 death of a 69-year-old man, who was killed by police whom he allegedly threatened. But segregation and unemployment have also contributed to these events, argues Dagens Nyheter.

Members of the police force have been accused of using racist language in their dealings with the people of Husby. “They call us ‘negroes’ and ‘monkeys’“, complains Rami Al-Khamisi, a spokesman for Megafonen, a group that works with young people in the Stockholm suburbs.

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

UK: My Rent-Free House is Too Small Says Qatada: Hate Cleric Moans There is No Space for His Family’s Possessions

Abu Qatada has complained that his taxpayer-funded house isn’t big enough for his wife and their five children.

A lawyer for the Al Qaeda hate preacher, who has finally agreed to leave the country, told a court his four-bedroom home in London did not have enough storage space for all the family’s possessions.

Yesterday Qatada was denied bail and told he must remain in prison. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission heard he is likely to be on a plane back to Jordan, where he faces terror charges, within weeks.

The radical cleric, once described as Osama Bin Laden’s ‘right-hand man in Europe’, had been hauled back to prison after a ‘serious’ breach of his bail conditions, when police found memory sticks containing jihadist propaganda and internet-enabled mobile phones in the property.

Officers also found £5,000 in cash.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Thousands of Child Sex Abuse Victims, Says Minister

More than 2,400 children and young people were confirmed to have been victims of sex abuse gangs in just 14 months, a Home Office minister has revealed.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach said the figure — which he described as “dramatic” — hinted at the true scale of organised sex abuse in Britain.

The minister said police forces must “lend a positive ear” to complaints from children in the future, in a bid to avoid a repeat of sexual abuse which has been exposed in a series of recent criminal trials.

“This has been perhaps the point of failure in the system that these allegations have not been listened to or taken seriously by the authorities in the past,” he told peers.

Police found 2,409 children and young people had been confirmed as victims of sexual exploitation in gangs or groups between August 2010 and October 2011, said Lord Taylor.

Lord Morris of Aberavon, the Labour former attorney general, told the House of Lords that more than 50 alleged child grooming gangs were being investigated.

He asked: “Is it collective amnesia that has blinded us to the underlying circumstances, whereby at least 27 police forces are investigating 54 alleged child grooming gangs?

“Why has investigating and prosecuting in so many different parts of the country taken so much time?

“Is it the fear of racialism, or is it the fact that many of these vulnerable girls come from care homes?”

An Old Bailey jury heard earlier this month that six girls were drugged and suffered sadistic abuse while aged between 11 and 15.

The court heard victims were plied with alcohol and drugs before being forced to perform sex acts. Some had also been beaten, burnt and threatened by an Oxford-based paedophile ring.

Lord Taylor said agencies were now on the alert and “trying to recover a situation which should never have got to this point”.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Croatia: ‘Bandic Stronger Than SDP and Hdz Combined’

Vecernji list, 20 May 2013

Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandic has emerged as the major winner in the first round of municipal elections, which took place in Croatia on May 19, reports Vecernji list.

Support for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which leads the ruling coalition, declined throughout the country, while the nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) succeeded in gaining ground.

With 47.3 per cent of first round votes, the populist and former SDP MP, Bandic, is in a good position to obtain a fifth mandate in Zagreb City Hall.

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

Benghazi Exclusive: State Department Denies Libya Weapons Buyback Program Exists

Danger. Danger. Al Qaeda’s Syrian wing also known as “rebels” bent on overthrowing Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (mirroring the Saudi, the Obama administration and Republican Senator John McCain’s position), have taken over the oilfields that once belonged to Assad.

If that wasn’t bad enough it gets worse. We are a hair trigger away from World War III. Reportedly Assad is preparing missile strikes against Tel Aviv if Syria is attacked again.

Meanwhile, back in Obama’s America, don’t call Libya’s weapon recovery program “buyback” that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton funded using $40 million of your tax dollars after the Obama — Clinton regime toppled Col. Muammar Gaddafi because if you do, the State Department will deny it exists. You can however refer to it as the MANPAD program — Man-Portable-Air-Defense Systems or shoulder-fired-anti-aircraft missiles that the U.S. is “helping” Libya to recover and secure among its weapon stockpiles.

Yes, we have entered the smoke and mirror stage of the absurd by playing word games with the State Department now.

Why is getting the status and inventory of Libya’s weapons recovery program so critical? Because arms from Libya have shown up in Syria. As the Wall Street Journal reported: “The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation,” and the State Department presence in Benghazi “provided diplomatic cover” to conceal weapon transfers from Libya to Syria.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Tunisa: Amina Arrested, Wrote ‘Femen’ On Mosque

Woman not nude, high tension with 200 Salafites arrested

Young activist Amina Tyler was arrested as she challenged Islamic fundamentalists in Kairouan

(By Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) — TUNIS — Tensions are high in Tunisia after Sunday’s clashes in which the young activist Amina Tyler was arrested as she challenged Islamic fundamentalists.

Tyler, 19, was detained in the city of Kairouan, 150km south of Tunis, after staging a protest outside a mosque during violent clashes between police and hardline Islamists.

She was found in the midst of police scuffles with the Salafist group Ansar al-Shariah in the central Tunisian city of Kairouan on Sunday.

Tyler had previously described herself as a member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, which uses nudity in protests.

Police arrested the member of the radical feminist movement after she spraypainted the Femen name on a wall outside the Great Mosque of Kairouan, also known as Oqba ibn Nafa mosque.

Amina had not stripped nude in front of the Salafites as the governor of Kairouan had previously said but her decision to write ‘Femen’ on the wall of the most important mosque of the city was no less shocking.

She has been accused of defacing a tomb and possessing a spray can which may have been used to write on the wall of the mosque.

The woman’s actions are somewhere between a great act of courage and madness because she is challenging the Salafites in their stronghold. Kairouan is the ‘capital’ of the radical Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia and her actions seem inconceivable within the confines of Islam.

So there was no sudden strip tease but an insult to those who want to put Tunisian women in positions that were abandoned 50 years ago. The video that was circulating on websites yesterday showed another aspect of this complex case because Amina, who was immediately recognised in front of the mosque, has captured people’s attention and the reaction of the most orthodox Muslims.

Tyler, who has short dyed hair and wore jeans and a T-shirt, faced her adversaries in silence.

“Women can enter the mosque but you can’t because you are a whore,” one man shouted at her.

Tunisia is not only about Amina because on Sunday the country witnessed a wave of violent demonstrations in which one protester was killed and 200 people were arrested.

Salafites were looking to challenge the state for banning Ansar al Sharia meetings and had used stones, knives, swords and Molotov cocktails during the demonstrations.

But perhaps they were not expecting such a strong reaction from the security forces who had yelled “Allah akbar” to show they were faithful Muslims as they took on the demonstrators with plexiglass shields.

Police officers went to war with their brothers as seen in a photograph in which a counter revolutionary officer was shown wearing a Salafite bandana. So they were sending a message — I am with you but I am also here for Tunisia.

Yesterday special police units smashed a group of alleged terrorists accused of preparing attacks against security forces and the army in Kairouan.

One young man was arrested and two others fled.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Palestinian Negotiator Backs Kerry Visit

(ANSAmed) — Ramallah, 21 May — Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has declared his support for US secretary of state John Kerry and his efforts to restart the Middle East peace process.

“We are making every possible effort into making John Kerry’s initiative a success,” Erekat said during a meeting of the United Nations’ committee for the rights of the Palestinian people.

“No-one more that the Palestinians would benefit from the success of the American secretary of state and no-one more than the Palestinians would have more to lose if he fails”. Kerry is due to visit the Middle East later this week on his fourth visit in two months in a bid to relaunch peace talks.

Erekat said that freezing settlements and freeing Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons were not conditions to return to negotiations but “obligations” that Israel should honour, apart from fresh dialogue.

Israel appeared to interpret these words as a relative softening in the Palestinian position.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Covert Israeli Forces Inside Syria Within Rebel Ranks? Israeli Military Vehicle Seized

Media sources confirm the seizure of an Israeli military vehicle in Al Qseir inside Syrian territory.

The vehicle’s licence plate corresponds to that of the Israeli military with a black background and the letter Tsade (צ) (see image below)

Al Qseir is a strategic border town on the Northern frontier of Lebanon. Occupied by rebels, it was taken back by Syrian forces on Monday.

Al-Qseir controls the highway which runs from the Lebanese border to Homs. It is through this border city that weapons and foreign mercenaries have entered Syria.

According to SANA, quoting (unconfirmed) media source:

“The seizure of an Israeli military vehicle which terrorists had been using in al-Qseir refutes the allegations made by Israel to justify its aggression on Syria and proves the scale of Israel’s military and intelligence involvements in the events in Syria.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Five Yemenis Beheaded, Bodies Displayed

(ANSAmed) — Dubai, 21 May — Saudi Arabia today executed five Yemenis and publicly displayed their bodies, local media reported. The five men, among them three brothers, were accused of a number of robberies in several different areas of the country and of killing a Saudi.

Their deaths take the number of executions in Saudi Arabia to at least 45 since the beginning of the year with six this week.

On Monday a Syrian was beheaded after being found guilty of drug trafficking.

Saudi Arabia has the third highest execution rate after China and Iran and it is carried out for crimes including murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and apostasy.

The method of execution is usually decapitation with a saber.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: Obama Calls Suleiman, ‘Concerned’ About Hezbollah

And its ‘active and growing role’ in the country at war

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK — US president Barack Obama has expressed concern about the role of Hezbollah in Syria in a telephone call to Lebanese president Michel Suleiman.

A statement released by the White House said that Obama “stressed his concern about Hezbollah’s active and growing role in Syria, fighting on behalf of the Assad regime”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pakistan Roots Seen in Moscow Plot

Suspected militants targeted this week in a deadly raid outside Moscow as they purportedly plotted an attack on the city received training in the troublesome border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, law enforcement said Tuesday — an allegation that experts called a reminder of the threat posed by Russian radicals coached and sometimes financed from abroad.

Special forces officers killed two men and detained a third in Orekhovo-Zuyevo, about 80 kilometers from Moscow, in the raid Monday, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.

The officers came under fire when they surrounded a house where the suspects were staying and demanded that they surrender. In the ensuing firefight, the officers shot and killed two of the suspects, and captured another, the committee said.

One special forces officer suffered a light wound. There were no civilian casualties.

“The decisive actions of law enforcement agencies foiled an effort to commit a terror attack in the capital,” the committee said in a statement late Monday.

The suspects are Russian citizens who returned from Afghanistan or Pakistan, where they received battle training and prepared to carry out terror attacks, the statement said.

The Federal Security Service briefed President Vladimir Putin about the operation and kept him updated about its progress, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Nigeria Frees All Women Held for Terrorism

(AGI) — Abuja, May 21 — Nigeria has announced that all women held in connection with terrorist activities will be released.

“The measure, which is in line with presidential magnanimity to enhance peace efforts in the country, will result in freedom for suspects, including all women under custody,” read a statement issued by the Defence Minister. The decision was taken to enhance peace efforts while the army conducts an offensive against militant Islamist group Boko Haram in north of the country. The group had previously demanded the release of women prisoners, though the defence statement made no mention of this.

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

Gang of 8 Bill Would Legalize Tens of Thousands of Illegal Aliens With Criminal Convictions

According to Center for Immigration Studies, if the amnesty bill proposed by Senators Schumer and Rubio should pass as it stands, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal convictions will automatically become full-fledged United States citizens. Who knows? One of them might become your neighbor.

Jessica Vaugh, Center for Immigration Studies, examined the most recent data from ICE’s Secure Communities program. This program alerts ICE when a non-citizen with a record in the DHS databases is arrested by a local or federal law enforcement agency.

“I found that nearly half of the criminal aliens who were removed under this program in the last six months are offenders who would qualify for legal status under the terms of the Schumer-Rubio bill. This amnesty would significantly curtail ICE’s interior enforcement programs, benefiting tens of thousands of criminal aliens.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Immigration Overhaul Bill

In a bipartisan vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws Tuesday evening, sending the legislation onto the floor, where the fight is expected to last through June.

The move came as the committee reached a deal on one of the final snags threatening the legislation — and agreed to hold off on another particularly controversial amendment, which would have added protections for same-sex couples.

[Return to headlines]

Cameron ‘F****d Things Up’ On Gay Marriage, Blasts Norman Tebbit as Latest MP Vote Clears the Commons

Norman Tebbit has launched a foul-mouthed attack on David Cameron, claiming the Tory leader has ‘f***** things up’ by pressing ahead with gay marriage laws.

The former party chairman’s extraordinary public criticism of the current leadership emerged after the Prime Minister was forced to rely on Labour support to rescue same-sex weddings.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Swedishness Must be Split From Being White’

Sweden needs a new story better equipped to deal with and include today’s demographic diversity and create a new Swedishness that is separate from whiteness, write representatives from the Multicultural Centre (Mångkulturellt centrum) in Botkyrka near Stockholm.

Why is it that the notion lives on about what a Swedish appearance looks like? The radio programme Studio 1 asked this question in March during a debate about racism in Sweden today. The question of Swedishness is a loaded one and the debate heats up when race becomes an ever-more central concept in order to understand racist practices in every-day life in Sweden.

Our thoughts and our actions are affected by history and by society’s structures and norms. Society and its different shapes existed before each and every one of us alive today were born. In other words, we are born into a web of thought patterns and values that influence how we treat and regard each other and ourselves. We are quite simply greatly affected by structural power hierarchies that came about during a period in history marked by racism and colonialism. Of course there is development over time, but when it comes to norms and stereotypes it takes a long time.

Swedes do not stand apart from the world and its history of racism and colonialism. Our way of dealing with this has so far been to deny that race exists, while we have also wanted to affirm the unknown and the new. Most Swedes will claim they are colour blind, and only see a human before them when they meet someone new. This denial risks hiding from view the discrimination and the segregation that is so tangible and evident for the many who are not seen as Swedes, and whose stories make up a painful testament to the state of things in Sweden.

Several articles and debates have recently criticized Multicultural Centre’s exhibition Warning For Race and our anthology Race And Whiteness In Contemporary Sweden. We have read twenty-odd texts that object to our choice to use the term race. We know that the word race is taboo today, but at the same time it is related to a history that we still have not managed to come to terms with…

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

United Kingdom: ‘No 10 Pleads With Labour to Save Gay Marriage Bill’

The Guardian, 20 May 2013

Plans to legalise gay marriage must overcome a new hurdle with some MPs seeking to derail the bill by adding an amendment to the existing law allowing gay couples the right to form civil partnerships, to be extended to also include heterosexual couples.

The Marriage Bill, which was approved by MPs when it was first debated in February, will return to the House of Commons for its report stage today after being debated by the UK parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords.

Should the amendment extending civil partnership rights to heterosexual couples be passed, the government claims this would delay the law’s introduction by two years and cost an extra £4bn (€4.7bn).

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

12 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/21/2013

  1. Dominique Venner’s suicide must be seen as a wake-up-call to the European peoples and an ultimate protest to the replacement of the European peoples who have our common memory from Homer onwards

    Essay to be published by “my” editor Jean-Guillaume Roux
    – “…who has not been informed about my decision”

    “A samurai of the West
    A breviary of the non-subjugated”

    – From Dominique Venner’s declaration

  2. Edit

    Essay to be published by “my” editor Pierre-Guillaume de Roux
    – “…who has not been informed about my decision”

  3. Declaration of Dominique Venner : The Reasons for a Voluntary Death (Personal translation)

    I am of sound body and mind, and am spoiled by my wife and kids. I love life and expect nothing beyond but the perpetuation of my race and spirit. However, in the evening of my life, facing the huge perils to my French and European fatherland, I feel the duty to act while I still have the strength to. I believe necessary to sacrifice myself to break off the lethargy that overburdens us. I give what remains to me as a life in a goal of protestation and foundation. I choose a very symbolic place, the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, that I respect and admire, that was built by the genius of my ancestors over older places of worship, reminding us of our immemorial roots.

    While so many people are the slaves of their own lives, my act is a intend of an ethic of will. I give myself death to awake the sleeping consciences. I rise against fatality. I rise against the poisons of the soul and the invasive individual desires that destroy our identity roots and especially the traditional family, intimate plinth of our multi-millenary civilization.

  4. Second part :

    As I defend the identity of every people on their own soils, I also rise against the crime of the replacement of our populations.

    The prevailing speech cannot get out of its toxic ambiguities : it is up to the Europeans to draw the consequences of what I’ve done. If we have no common religion of identity to bind ourselves to, at least we have in share since Homer a common memory that contains all the values out of which we can found our future renaissance, that will disrupt with the metaphysic of the unlimited, deadly root of all the modern drifts.

    I apologize to all the ones my death will cause to suffer, and first of all to my wife, children and grandchildren, as well as my friends and followers. But once the hurt has faded, I have no doubt they will understand the meaning of my act and will turn their pain into pride. I hope these will unite to last longer. They will find in my most recent publications the prefiguration and the explanation of my act.

    For any information, talk to my publisher, Pierre-Guillaume de Roux. He wasn’t aware of my decision, but he knows me since a long time.

  5. 40-50 years ago any same sex relationship was looked-down upon. Almost all countries had some or the other form of “unnatural-relationship” laws, if not laws directly forbidding same-sex relationships.

    Cut to the present, it is the in-thing with even “tri0-marriages” solemnised to sustain individual preferances and rights by the society, whichever society it is.

    We are the same society, forbidding beastility (same as 5 decades ago we looked-down at same-sex relations) with various laws and punishments. Are we planning to cross that barrier too in the near future ?

  6. Monsieur Venner was correct in deploring the West’s suicide, but personal suicide isn’t the way to turn things around, IMHO. But at least he had family and grandchildren.

    The Bible endorses the common sense life-plan for most, saying “be fruitful and multiply”.

    Christophobic Moonbatism, the modern West’s contrary zeitgeist, defies common sense, telling us to be ‘gay’, or to be ‘liberated’ no-family women, or to just get stoned and not bother with having children. Instead, we’ll bring in mobs of Mohammedans to take their place, what could go wrong?

    Well, God may just let us get chastised by the consequences of such folly. But those who are not asleep or brainwashed shouldn’t give up. Despair is a sin too. Keep trying to arouse common sense.

  7. Previous: No EDL homepage reachable.

    Since days two major Islam critic blogs in Germany “shut down”.

    “Michael Mannheimer info” and “”.

    So Barroso “thinks” this would work…. is he really that dull ?
    Possibly he is !

    Barroso….one of the leaders of a new lieing “Elite” which is fighting against plain simple truths and thus is siding murderings.

  8. Lois Lerner forfeited her Fifth Amendment rights when she proceeded to enter a plea of innocence — and read her statement into the record.

    So Darrell Issa is calling her back to testify.

    Non-attorneys are almost uniformly unaware (cop Hollywood) that to plead the Fifth one must shut up promptly — and entirely.

    On this point, the statues and case law are long established.

    You can’t straddle the mark.

    Issa was criticized for letting Lerner walk all over him — and getting off lightly.

    Such is public ignorance. Issa was letting her hang herself.

    She’s lost her Fifth Amendment shield.

  9. Worryingly, like Mr Venner, I am beginning to sink deeper and deeper into depression as I see my fellow ethnnic English replaced by the third world and we are powerless to change anything. I do not think I would have the courage to follow him into oblivion however and if I were wonder where I would choose to make the maximum impact? How about St Edmunds Cathedral the shrine of England’s first patron saint, St Edmund. However, with the way things are in Britain today I doubt if it would even make the msm, just a paragraph in the local rag with no reasons given. I look at people my age and older and think, you and I are some of the last to remember England before mass immigration. It is truly frightening. I want to go up and hug them like the last members of my family after so many have gone to their maker.

  10. Regarding Dominique Venner’s suicide; this is a very significant event, as well as a for-shadowing of grave events to come. Serious blogs would do well to engage in a serious analysis of just what this means. This suicide must not be reduced to a simple protest of gay maraige rites. Were Monsieur Venner’s message and vision ignored, then the implications would only mean one thing.

    • It is part of our Western culture to see suicide as a act of despair, a refusal of life, much as abortion is a refusal of new life. Suicide is a prime mark of Islam – as long as one takes a few infidels along for the journey.

      Sadly, M. Venner’s final and complete denial of hope is not one I would want to see discussed as a serious response to the current mess. It is a final refusal, an eternal silence. We can best respect it by responding in kind: with silence.

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