Gates of Vienna News Feed 6/19/2013

A Dubliner who launched an unprovoked attack on a fellow Dubliner on his way back from a take-out shop will escape jail. The assailant, who was extremely drunk at the time, broke the nose of his unsuspecting victim when the latter bade him a “good night”. Citing the fact that the attacker was now remorseful and had never been in trouble before, the judge suspended a twelve-month prison sentence.

In other news, President Hamid Karzai refused any talks with the Taliban in Qatar, and suspended talks with the United States about the status of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after 2014.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, McR, Papa Whiskey, 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
» ‘€1trn Bombshell for European Taxpayers’
» Cyprus Demands Revision of ‘Unjust’ EU Bailout
» Farewell Bernanke — Thanks for Inflating the Biggest Bond Bubble the World Has Ever Seen
» Fed: More Optimistic About Economy, Maintains Bond-Buying
» Italian Retailers Bemoan Small-Business ‘Massacre’
» Privatizations: Greece: Sell-Off Target Will Not be Met
» “This is a Glock Block” — Frustrated Homeowners All Over America Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
» CBS News: Radical Muslims in Iran Are Pretty Much Like the Tea Party
» EPA About to Raise Allowable Concentrations of Glyphosate on Food Crops, Edible Oils and Animal Feed — Comments Needed by July 1
» James Gandolfini, ‘Sopranos’ Star, Dies
» Member of Banned Jihad Group Gives Qur’an Lessons Online to Muslim Children in UK and North America
» Silver Makes Antibiotics Thousands of Times More Effective
» Vince Flynn: Political Thriller Author and Conservative Hero, Dies at 47
Europe and the EU
» Ireland: No Jail for Man Who Attacked Stranger Who Wished Him a Good Night
» Italy: Northern League Calls for Idem to Resign Over Taxes
» Letta to Meet Cameron in London, Wants Britain to Stay in EU
» Netherlands: One in 10 Firms Shifts Jobs Abroad, But Most Work Goes to the EU
» No Major Risk of Terrorist Recruitment in Italy, DIS Says
» Police Arrest Sicilian Politicians, Check Regional Assembly
» UK Has Second Go at EU Listing of Hezbollah
» UK: Cover-Up Over 16 Baby Deaths: How Health Bosses Destroyed Report Into Hospital Where All the Warnings Were Ignored
Middle East
» Cameron’s Bid to Spark Syria Coup: PM Pledges Not to Remove Assad Military if They Overthrow Tyrant
» Genoa Imam Recalls Italian Combatant Killed in Syria
» Iranian “Greens, “ Still Thirsty for Sharia, Elected Their Sharia Supremacist President, Rowhani
» Italian Killed in Syria Suspected of Recruiting Terrorists
» Kerry Called for “Immediate” Air Strikes on Syria
» Standing Still: A New Form of Protest in Turkey
» Syria: ‘Hundreds of Western Fighters Captured by Pro-Assad Forces’
» Russia May Land Probe on Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede With Europe’s Help
South Asia
» Afghanistan Rejects Talks With Taliban and the U.S.
» Afghan President Karzai Rejects Peace Talks With the Taliban, Suspends Talks With US
» Afghanistan: Experts Doubt the Taliban Will Aim for Peace
» Afghanistan: Karzai Suspends Post-2014 Talks With United States
Far East
» ‘Lost’ Medieval City Discovered Beneath Cambodian Jungle
» Dutch Pay Thousands of Euros to ‘Identify’ Failed Asylum Seekers
» Italy: Northern League Delegation Visits Crammed Immigrant Centre
» Police Escort 110 Refugees From Lampedusa to Sardinia
» Senate Debate on the Immigration Reform Bill
» Spain: Immigration Changes, More Women Than Men
Culture Wars
» The Common Core Straight Jacket
» Club of Rome Founder Proposed “Global Matrix” of Manufactured Consent
» Gonorrhea Makes a Comeback as Awareness of Sexually Transmitted Infections Drops
» Space Rovers in Record Race
» Transatlantic Trade Agreement: A Good Deal for Cameron and Obama
» When the West Falls, What Then?

‘€1trn Bombshell for European Taxpayers’

Les Echos, 18 June 2013

According to the French economic daily, the subprime crisis “is not a dead letter.” In fact, it has —

… left a bill that banks, European states, and thus taxpayers, will have to pay off over several decades.

Six years after the outbreak of the crisis, “more than €1trn of dubious or illiquid assets remain in “bad banks”. For example, at the end of March 2013, the Dexia “bad bank” still held €266bn of toxic assets, which it will take the Franco-Belgian institution “63 years to liquidate.”

For the Les Echos columnist, this amounts to —

… a formal refutation for all of those who insist that the crisis is behind us.

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

Cyprus Demands Revision of ‘Unjust’ EU Bailout

Berlin — Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has demanded a complete revision of his country’s €10 billion bailout, which imposed unprecedented cuts on large depositors. But it is unlikely his request will be approved by eurozone ministers.

In a leaked letter sent last week to eurozone leaders, Anastasiades said his country was treated unjustly for fear its problems may spread to the barely-stable Greece, the Financial Times and AFP report.

“Artificial measures such as capital restrictions may seem to prevent a bank run in the short term but will only aggravate the depositors the longer they persist,” he wrote.

“Rather than creating confidence in the banking system they are eroding it by the day,” he added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Farewell Bernanke — Thanks for Inflating the Biggest Bond Bubble the World Has Ever Seen

We have gotten ourselves into a position where the U.S. economy simply cannot afford for interest rates to go up. We have become addicted to the cheap money made available by a grossly distorted financial system, and we have Ben Bernanke to thank for that. The Federal Reserve is at the very heart of the economic problems that we are facing in America, and this time is certainly no exception.

This week Barack Obama publicly praised Ben Bernanke and stated that Bernanke has “already stayed a lot longer than he wanted” as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Bernanke’s term ends on January 31st, but many observers believe that he could leave even sooner than that. Bernanke appears to be tired of the job and eager to move on.

So who would replace him? Well, the mainstream media is making it sound like the appointment of Janet Yellen is already a forgone conclusion. She would be the first woman ever to chair the Federal Reserve, and her philosophy is that a little bit of inflation is good for an economy. It seems likely that she would continue to take us down the path that Bernanke has taken us.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fed: More Optimistic About Economy, Maintains Bond-Buying

Federal Reserve policy makers, more confident about the economic recovery, on Wednesday maintained their current pace of monetary stimulus.

Fed officials also predicted in their latest economic forecast, released Wednesday, that the unemployment rate will decline more quickly than they had previously expected, sitting between 6.5 percent and 6.8 percent at the end of 2014. They had predicted in March that the rate would sit between 6.7 percent and 7 percent.

Officials predicted that the annual pace of inflation would rebound next year, rising closer to the 2 percent rate that the Fed considers healthy.

[Return to headlines]

Italian Retailers Bemoan Small-Business ‘Massacre’

Economic development minister vows to avoid VAT hike

(By Elisa Cecchi) (ANSA) — Rome, June 19 — Each day 134 shops, restaurants and bars close in recession-hit Italy, retail association Confesercenti said on Wednesday. Confesercenti, which represents small and medium-sized businesses in the retail and tourism sectors, said 224,000 enterprises had closed their shutters since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008.

“It’s a massacre,” said Confesercenti President Marco Venturi.

“Every day five green grocers, four butchers, 42 clothes shops, 43 restaurants and 40 bars and catering business close down”. Confesercenti gave a grim outlook on the economy stressing that if the longest recession in over 20 years continues throughout 2013, Italy’s GDP will drop by another 20 billion euros, bringing to a total of 126 billion euros losses accumulated since 2008.

In the meanwhile the association says that consumption will contract by a further 60 billion euros this year from the 85 billion lost between 2008 and 2012. Presenting the association’s annual report, Venturi also said families and businesses were suffering from an excessively high tax burden and called for a comprehensive fiscal reform.

Italian households in the past five years saw their income drop by 238 billion euros, approximately 9,700 euros per family, Venturi told the association’s annual gathering. Consumption also dropped by over 145 billion in six years, with a loss of almost 6,000 euros per family. In 2013, Confesercenti said, each household will suffer an average contraction of its buying power by 4,000 euros.

Unemployment is expected to drop further, Confesercenti denounced, reaching a total of 1.6 million jobs lost since 2008.

Venturi called on the broad left-right government headed by Premier Enrico Letta for a change of strategy to kick-start a dying economy. “After five years of crisis and austerity policies, we must switch strategies”, he said. “Either the market and internal demand pick up or companies will be closing at an increasingly fast pace”.

He also spoke out against a rise in the top band of value added tax VAT and Tares, a municipal tax on waste and local services, prompting the immediate response of Economic Development Minister Flavio Zanonato who told Confesercenti’s gathering that the government would work to avert a VAT increase. “Given the very limited amount of time in which we are operating, each path will be tried to avoid increasing VAT at the end of June”, said Zanonato.

Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party (PdL) wants to avert a rise in the top band of VAT, from 21% to 22%, that is scheduled after being put in place by the technocrat administration of former premier Mario Monti. The PdL has also threatened to pull the plug from Premier Enrico Letta’s broad coalition government if it fails to scrap the unpopular IMU property tax and refund the revenues raised from it in 2012 to respect a key pledge made during the electoral campaign. Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni last week said implementing each measure would cost four billion euros and the total eight-billion-euro public cost would entail “compensatory measures of extreme severity, which at the moment is preposterous”.

On Wednesday, Zanonato also told the Confesercenti gathering that the IMU property tax would be reformed by September with tax breaks on real estate used by businesses as factories or stores although he said it was “difficult to think about a total abolition of IMU”.

Labour Minister Enrico Giovannini also addressed the assembly, stressing that “finding funding for IMU, for VAT and also to lower labour taxes, in particular to boost youth employment. is not easy”. He said the government was sounding different options to boost employment including tax breaks for new hires.

Overall, Confesercenti called for a comprehensive reform to lower taxes.

“We cannot accept a measure which lowers (regional tax) Irpef and raises VAT, scraps (real estate property tax) IMU and increases (municipal tax) Tares”, said Venturi. “We need a real reform to reduce fiscal pressure and aid companies and employment rather than annuities and estates”.

According to the association’s annual report, Italy’s tax burden on families and companies could reach 44.4% of GDP in 2013 if the ongoing economic crisis continues. The country’s overall tax burden at 44% of GDP is some 3% higher than in other European Union countries, the Bank of Italy said in March.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Privatizations: Greece: Sell-Off Target Will Not be Met

Troika gives green light to TAIPED to speed up projects

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JUNE 18 — The representatives of Greece’s international creditors and the state privatization fund (TAIPED) on Monday agreed that the country will not be able to make the 2.6-billion-euro target for revenues from privatizations this year, although they stopped short of revising it, as daily Kathimerini reports.

After the failure of the first tender for the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and the risk of a cancellation of the deal for the OPAP gaming company due to the buying consortium’s strong reaction to the firm’s conduct, TAIPED has been scrambling to find alternative sources of revenues. As a result, during the meeting between TAIPED and the representatives of the troika (European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), it was agreed that procedures for other sell-off projects would be speeded up, given that the only revenues TAIPED has managed to bring in this year was the 69 million euros from the concession of the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) to Lamda Development last summer. Regarding DEPA, a second tender will be announced as soon as possible which will be conducted at a faster pace, in just one stage, without the nonbinding offers phase. Sell-off projects initially scheduled for later will now have to be brought forward and if possible conducted by the end of the year. Among the companies in question is Public Power Corporation (PPC), which was originally going to be fully privatized by end-2015.

Now sources say that the government will be hoping to complete the PPC sell-off project within 2013. TAIPED will also attempt to accelerate the sale of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), which had been planned for early 2014, along with the last remaining state stake in OTE telecom, amounting to 6%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

“This is a Glock Block” — Frustrated Homeowners All Over America Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

All over the United States, frustrated homeowners are banding together, arming themselves and patrolling their own streets. One of the primary reasons this is happening is because police budgets all over the nation are being slashed at a time when violent crime rates in the United States are increasing and many our our largest cities are being transformed into crime-infested war zones. So instead of waiting for government to come up with a solution, many Americans are taking matters into their own hands.

For example, one community group in Milwaukie, Oregon has started posting flyers with an ominous message for potential criminals: “This is a Glock block. We don’t call 911.” You can see a photo of this flyer right here. One of the founders of the “Glock Block” is a breast cancer survivor named Coy Tolonen. She decided to arm herself after a thief stole one of her favorite statues out of her front yard while she was watching…


According to Steve Amitay, the executive director of the National Association of Security Companies, this is also happening in other high crime cities such as Atlanta and Detroit. In fact, it is being projected that the “private cop” business is going to absolutely boom in the years ahead.

But not everyone can afford to hire private cops. Those with more limited resources are trying to cope with rising crime any way that they can.

In Chicago, firefighters are actually being enlisted to provide security for public school students walking to and from school…


[Return to headlines]

CBS News: Radical Muslims in Iran Are Pretty Much Like the Tea Party

It never stops. CBS News is at it again. This time, they’ve compared radical Islamic men running for the Iranian presidency to….the Tea Party.

Ironically, CBS News anchor Scott Pelley essentially said over the weekend that his outlet needed to be objective in order to reach every audience.

DEADLINE: So for you, other outlets especially the cable news networks do center on just one segment of the political spectrum in their reporting?

PELLEY: Certainly. It’s no surprise. Fox is associated with the right and MSNBC is associated with the left and they’ve done that because it is a business model. It’s a strategy. They’ve decided to bite off one small part of the viewership and be happy with that 200,000 viewers, 300,000 viewers that they have. But when you are talking to 7 million viewers across the country, man you have got to represent everybody’s views and have got to give them the impression that you are being as honest as you know how to be.

As a side note, Fox News has millions of viewers not simply thousands as Pelley suggests. Here is Sarah Palin on Fox News’ Fox and Friends (which rakes in more than 1 million viewer per day) responding to CBS’ comparison.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EPA About to Raise Allowable Concentrations of Glyphosate on Food Crops, Edible Oils and Animal Feed — Comments Needed by July 1

(NaturalNews) This is an urgent action alert from Natural News and the Health Ranger. Public comments are due by July 1 to object to new EPA regulations which are already in place, allowing glyphosate contamination of food crops, edible oils and waterways at concentrations which are thousands of times higher than the amount needed to cause cancer.

The new regulation, which can be viewed HERE, sets the following regulations regarding glyphosate residues on crops:

  • It allows forage and hay teff to contain up to 100 ppm glyphosate (that’s over one million times the concentration needed to cause cancer according to a recent study). See PubMed source here:
  • Allows oilseed crops (flax oil, canola oil, soybean oil, olive oil, etc.) to contain up to 40 ppm glyphosate (which is over 100,000 times the concentration needed to cause cancer)
  • RAISES the allowable glyphosate contamination level of root crops (such as potatoes) from 200 ppb to 6000 ppb.
  • Allows glyphosate contamination of fruits at anywhere from 200 ppb to 500 ppb.

Importantly, the EPA says no one even commented on all this when it was initially filed! “There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.” Since then, a total of just 396 people have posted a public comment at the time of this story being published.

You can post your comments with the EPA at this page:


The following map, compiled by the USDA, shows the use of glyphosate across America:


Compare it to this map showing the rates of cancer by state:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

James Gandolfini, ‘Sopranos’ Star, Dies

James Gandolfini, the Emmy Award-winning actor who shot to fame on the HBO drama “The Sopranos” as Tony Soprano, a tough-talking, hard-living crime boss with a stolid exterior but a rich interior life, died on Wednesday. He was 51 years old.

Mr. Gandolfini’s death was confirmed by HBO. He was traveling in Rome, where he was on vacation and was scheduled to attend the Taormina Film Festival.

Mr. Gandolfini, who grew up in Park Ridge, in Bergen County, N.J., came to embody the resilience of the Garden State on “The Sopranos,” a television drama that made its debut in 1999 and ran for six seasons on HBO.

[Return to headlines]

Member of Banned Jihad Group Gives Qur’an Lessons Online to Muslim Children in UK and North America

These concerns about indoctrination from the wrong teachers is fine, but it doesn’t quite get to the heart of the problem, which is that the Qur’an’s exhortations to violence against unbelievers are plain, and don’t need “radical” instructors to tease them out. The North Carolina jihadist Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar became “radicalized” simply through reading the Qur’an on his own.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Silver Makes Antibiotics Thousands of Times More Effective

Ancient antimicrobial treatment could help to solve modern bacterial resistance.

Like werewolves and vampires, bacteria have a weakness: silver. The precious metal has been used to fight infection for thousands of years — Hippocrates first described its antimicrobial properties in 400 bc — but how it works has been a mystery. Now, a team led by James Collins, a biomedical engineer at Boston University in Massachusetts, has described how silver can disrupt bacteria, and shown that the ancient treatment could help to deal with the thoroughly modern scourge of antibiotic resistance. The work is published today in Science Translational Medicine1.

“Resistance is growing, while the number of new antibiotics in development is dropping,” says Collins. “We wanted to find a way to make what we have work better.”

Collins and his team found that silver — in the form of dissolved ions — attacks bacterial cells in two main ways: it makes the cell membrane more permeable, and it interferes with the cell’s metabolism, leading to the overproduction of reactive, and often toxic, oxygen compounds. Both mechanisms could potentially be harnessed to make today’s antibiotics more effective against resistant bacteria, Collins says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Vince Flynn: Political Thriller Author and Conservative Hero, Dies at 47

Vince Flynn, the best-selling political thriller author, died of cancer Wednesday morning at the age of 47 in his native Minnesota. The 12 novels of his “Mitch Rapp” series followed the adventures of a CIA counterterrorism agent who thwarts various attempts by terrorists (many of them based on real-life evil doers) to attack America.


Flynn self-published his first novel “Term Limits” after receiving 60 rejection letters from publishers. With its success he was able to work out a publishing deal, and his next book, “Transfer of Power,” started the Mitch Rapp series.

The war on terror served as a backdrop of the thrillers, and Flynn was particularly critical of Islamic fundamentalism — even before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. By his ninth novel, “Protect and Defend,” he had reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

[Hell of a loss. His character Mitch Rapp fights the war on terror as we’d like to see it fought — by opening up a can of whup-ass on the perpetrators of jihad and keeping it open. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Ireland: No Jail for Man Who Attacked Stranger Who Wished Him a Good Night

A man who carried out a violent and unprovoked attack on a random stranger has avoided jail today.

The ruling was on condition that he does community service and engages with the restorative justice programme.

The victim was attacked by two men as he passed them and wished them a good night on his way home from the pub.

One man grabbed a takeaway meal he was eating and attacked him with a bottle while Ian Brennan (aged 23) began kicking him on the ground.

Brennan of Marks Grove, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Paul O’Reilly at Neilstown Road Clondalkin, on September 11, 2011.

Garda Eileen Begley told Fionnuala O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that Mr O’Reilly (aged 56) had left the Arc bar in Clondalkin shortly after midnight and picked up a curry and chips.

As he passed the two attackers he wished them a good night and they turned on him.

Brennan was arrested by gardaí at the scene. Mr O’Reilly suffered bruising and a fractured nose.

Mark Lynam, defending, said his client has no previous convictions and was “utterly intoxicated” after drinking heavily and taking a large amount of tablets.

He said the evening was a blur for Brennan and he couldn’t identify his accomplice.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring accepted that a probation report concluded that Brennan was suitable for community work but was at a moderate risk of re-offending because of a lack of structure in his daily life.

She said he had demonstrated remorse and a willingness to make amends and as such was considered a suitable candidate for the restorative justice programme.

Judge Ring sentenced Brennan to 12 months in prison which she suspended in full on condition that he carry out 200 hours community service and engage in the restorative justice pro

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Italy: Northern League Calls for Idem to Resign Over Taxes

Sports minister in trouble over taxes on home, gym in Ravenna

(ANSA) — Rome, June 19 — Italy’s Northern League demanded the resignation of sports minister Josefa Idem Wednesday over news reports suggesting she evaded taxes.

The League presented a motion of no confidence in Idem, who is also minister of equal opportunities, referring as well to her birth in Germany.

A retired international athlete, Idem won five Olympic medals as a sprint canoeist including the gold she won in Sydney in 2000.

According to media reports, she maintained two residences in the Ravenna area, one apparently fitted out as a commercial gym, but avoided paying all the relevant taxes.

Idem referred questions to her lawyer.

Although Idem is new to cabinet, she has some political experience.

From 2001 to 2007 she served as Ravenna city councillor delegate for sports, as member of the centre-left Olive Tree alliance.

She then became a member of the Democratic Party (PD), and was tapped as a parliamentary candidate for the Senate after winning the party’s 2012 primary elections.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Letta to Meet Cameron in London, Wants Britain to Stay in EU

Union would be ‘worse’ without UK

(ANSA) — Lough Erne, June 18 — Italian Premier Enrico Letta said at the G8 summit that he will be in London July 16-17 to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron with the UK’s membership of the European Union among the issues to be tackled.

Cameron has said he wants Britain to stay in the EU, but only if it is reformed, and plans to hold a referendum on membership if he is re-elected at the next general election.

“It’s a good thing that Great Britain stays on board,” Letta said. “The main issue (at the London meeting) will be how to tell the English that it’s important for us that Great Britain remains in the EU. “The EU would not be better without Britain, on the contrary, it would be worse”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: One in 10 Firms Shifts Jobs Abroad, But Most Work Goes to the EU

One in 10 of the Netherlands’ larger firms relocated work overseas between 2009 and 2011, largely to other EU countries, according to new figures from national statistics office CBS.

Lower wage costs played a major part in the decision to offshore services, often IT and administration tasks, the CBS said on Tuesday. Company strategy was another main reason to relocate work abroad, followed by other cost cutting reasons.

In total, offshoring has led to the loss of 18,000 Dutch jobs over the three year period.

Manufacturing companies accounted for the bulk of the lost jobs. Much of the work was shifted to other European countries with 42% opting for an ‘old EU’ country and 25% for a new member state. India was the most popular non-EU destination, the CBS said.

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

No Major Risk of Terrorist Recruitment in Italy, DIS Says

‘Just a few individuals’ like Italian combatant killed in Syria

(see related) (ANSA) — Rome, June 18 — Italy’s Security Intelligence Department (DIS) said Tuesday there was no major risk of terrorist recruitment in country following the death of an Italian in Syria who was fighting with extremist combatants. “There is not a concentration of recruitment, just a few individuals,” said DIS Director Giampiero Massolo. He was responding to fears of a terrorist-recuitment network in Italy after reports that Giuliano Delnevo, a 20-year-old Muslim convert from Genoa, had been under investigation for extremist links at the time he was killed fighting against the Syrian government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Police Arrest Sicilian Politicians, Check Regional Assembly

Probe into corruption, illegal party financing

(ANSA) — Palermo, June 19 — Police on Wednesday ran checks on documents at the Sicilian regional assembly after arresting 17 people earlier in the day, including two former executive councillors, as part of a corruption probe. The arrested people are suspected of corruption and illegal party funding in relation to public tenders that were allegedly rigged. Former Sicilian regional environment councillor Gianmaria Sparma and public works councillor Luigi Gentile were among those arrested.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK Has Second Go at EU Listing of Hezbollah

The UK will have a second go at persuading sceptics to blacklist Hezbollah at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (19 June).

Britain in May filed a proposal to designate the military wing of the Lebanese group as a terrorist entity.

France, Germany and the Netherlands back the idea, even though The Hague would prefer to list Hezbollah’s political bureau as well.

Several other countries — including Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary — are willing to “go with the flow” if a consensus comes together.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Cover-Up Over 16 Baby Deaths: How Health Bosses Destroyed Report Into Hospital Where All the Warnings Were Ignored

[WARNING: Disturbing Content. ]

Health bosses are today accused of covering up their failure to investigate a hospital where up to 16 babies died through neglect.

Despite multiple warnings about Morecambe Bay hospitals, a Care Quality Commission inspection gave the trust the all-clear in 2010.

Even when a CQC official produced a dossier showing the inspection was flawed, bosses told him to destroy it to protect the commission’s reputation.

In the accounts of a discussion between officials about what to do with the findings one senior manager said: ‘Are you kidding me? This can never be in the public domain nor subject to a freedom of information request — read my lips.’

Incredibly, the CQC has insisted a damning report into the scandal today should contain no names — so individuals can escape blame.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cameron’s Bid to Spark Syria Coup: PM Pledges Not to Remove Assad Military if They Overthrow Tyrant

David Cameron last night made an appeal to Syria’s military and security leaders in an extraordinary attempt to spark a coup against Bashar al-Assad.

The Prime Minister said the future of the country’s army and security forces would be guaranteed were Assad’s regime to fall…

Russian president Vladimir Putin, however, refused to agree to an explicit demand that Assad should go, and claimed that arming the Syrian opposition could deliver weapons into the hands of the sort of people who slaughtered Drummer Lee Rigby on the streets of London.

Mr Putin also defended Russia’s supply of arms to the Assad regime, saying it was fulfilling ‘legal contracts’ made with the ‘legal government of Syria’.

In a reference to the ‘brutal killing’ of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich last month, the Russian president added: ‘Clearly the [Syrian] opposition is not composed all of this but many of them are exactly the same as the ones who perpetrated the killing in London.

‘If we equip these people, if we arm them what is going to control and verify who is going to have these weapons, including in Europe as well.

‘So we call all our partners, before making this dangerous step, think about it very carefully.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Genoa Imam Recalls Italian Combatant Killed in Syria

‘He dressed like a sufi’

(see related) (ANSA) — Genoa, June 18 — The imam of Genoa said he remembers Giuliano Delnevo, the Italian Muslim convert who was reported killed alongside extremist rebels in Syria on Tuesday. “He didn’t come to pray in our center, but I remember seeing him a some of our events, because he was dressed like a sufi,” Salah Hussein told ANSA, noting a long white tunic and a Qizilbash, a traditional crimson hat. Delnevo, 20, reportedly converted to Islam four years ago. Investigators say he was in touch with militants in Syria as soon as mid-2012 and joined them at the end of last year. In addition to Koranic verses, his Facebook page contained a photograph of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, known as the ‘Father of Global Jihad’ who inspired Osama bin Laden to take up fundamentalist offensive jihad.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Iranian “Greens, “ Still Thirsty for Sharia, Elected Their Sharia Supremacist President, Rowhani

by Andrew Bostom

During the summer of 2009, much ink was spilled over the “secular” revolution allegedly taking place in Iran. Indeed, President Obama has been excoriated ever since by conservatives for his failure to unabashedly support the so-called “Green revolution,” which I argued at the time (here , here , here , and here )—and still maintain—was not a mass movement of true Western freedom aspirants against Sharia totalitarians (i.e., in their Shiite incarnation), but merely a power struggle between rival Sharia supremacist factions.

Iran’s retrograde “revolution” in 1978-1979 simply returned Iranian society to its longstanding status as a Shiite theocracy, (i.e., from 1502 to 1925; interrupted by a period of Afghan invasion and internecine struggle, from 1722-1795), following a relatively brief flirtation with Westernization and secularization under Pahlavi rule from 1925 to 1979. Moreover, as my colleague Alyssa Lappen and I discovered in early July of 2009, upon interviewing the leader of a true Western-oriented, secular (and non-Communist!) Iranian political party, Roozbeh Farahanipour , this courageous man and his followers unfortunately represent only a small minority of Iran’s overwhelmingly traditionalist Shiite Muslim masses…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Italian Killed in Syria Suspected of Recruiting Terrorists

‘Brought in three North Africans, one Muslim convert’

(ANSA) — Genoa, June 19 — The Italian Muslim convert killed fighting the Syrian government was suspected of recruiting terrorists in Italy, prosectors in Genoa said Wednesday. Giuliano Ibrahim Delnevo, 24, allegedly recruited three North Africans and one Italian Muslim convert using means such as online sermons and a blog. All five men were under investigation for terrorism. Italy was shocked to learn of Delnevo’s case on Tuesday when reports surfaced he had been killed in Syria fighting along extremist rebels. A student from Genoa, Delnevo was born to Italian parents with no reported links to Islam.

After converting to Islam in 2008, Delnevo took the name Ibrahim, posting passages of the Koran on his Facebook page along with a photograph of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, known as the ‘Father of Global Jihad’ who inspired Osama bin Laden to take up fundamentalist offensive jihad.

On Wednesday, Italian Defense Minister Mario Mauro said the military was keeping track of Italians heading to fight in Syria. “We are aware that someone who leaves Italy to fight in Syria is a phenomenon that needs to be monitored,” he said. Between 45 and 50 people including one woman are thought to have left Italy to join the ranks of rebel groups in Syria, ANSA was told by the Communities of the Arab World in Italy (COMAI).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Kerry Called for “Immediate” Air Strikes on Syria

Joint Chiefs of Staff rejected ludicrous rush to war

US Secretary of State John Kerry called for “immediate” air strikes on Syria last week following the Obama administration’s claim that President Bashar Al-Assad had used chemical weapons, a rush to war that was soundly rejected by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

After Kerry called for Syrian airfields to be attacked, the “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey “threw a series of brushback pitches at Kerry, demanding to know just exactly what the post-strike plan would be and pointing out that the State Department didn’t fully grasp the complexity of such an operation,” reports YNet News.

According to the report, Kerry seemed ignorant of the fact that Syria has a sophisticated air defense system that would have to be neutralized — with almost inevitable loss of life — before any air strikes could be conducted.

Kerry was told by Dempsey that the US Air Force could not simply “drop a few bombs” on Syria without first carrying out some 700 sorties to disable the country’s integrated air defense, and that without any kind of exit strategy the Pentagon would not back the plan.

Kerry’s ludicrous rush to war — which experts have warned could ignite world war three — underscores the fact that the Obama administration is acting wildly and against the national security interests of the United States itself by embroiling the nation in a dangerous and unnecessary conflict while handing over heavy weaponry to Al-Qaeda terrorists who have vowed to attack the US and Israel once they are finished with Assad.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Standing Still: A New Form of Protest in Turkey

Thousands of people are now expressing their anger with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan by standing silent and motionless in streets and squares — a new tactic that they hope will deter police violence.

The aggressive police response to anti-government protests in Turkey in recent weeks has left four people dead and many injured. Many more have been arrested. Demonstrating for greater freedom and civil rights, the protesters have marched through the streets of Istanbul, smeared walls with anti-government graffiti, and chanted slogans calling on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step down.

Istanbul’s Gezi Park became the focus of the protest movement. Thousands camped out there, eating, dancing, and singing songs. Police put an end to that last weekend (15.06.2013) when they cleared the park by force.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria: ‘Hundreds of Western Fighters Captured by Pro-Assad Forces’

Damascus, 18 June (AKI) — Damascus, 18 June (AKI) — Several hundred westerners including Italians have been captured fighting alongside rebels seeking to overthrow president Bashar al-Assad, government sources told Adnkronos on Tuesday.

“We are holding 300 westerners, of whom six or seven are Italian, according to the information I have. They are all converts to Islam,” the source said.

“The case of Giuliano Delnevo, the 20-something from Genoa, killed fighting on the side of the rebels is not an isolated case,” the source told Adnkronos.

The source was referring to the reported death in Syria of a radicalised Italian Muslim convert who allegedly went to Syria to wage holy war or Jihad.

Italian daily Il Giornale on Tuesday reported Delnevo’s death citing unnamed intelligence and interior ministry sources. The paper stated Delnevo’s age as between 20 and 23. It did not say where or when he died in Syria and for which rebel group he was fighting.

Prosecutors in his home city of Genoa in Italy’s northwest said they had been probing Delnevo and other jihadist suspects elsewhere in the country for some time.

Anti-terrorism sources told Adnkronos they had been closely monitoring several dozen radicalised Muslims and converts to Islam in Italy.

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

Russia May Land Probe on Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede With Europe’s Help

PARIS — A Russian probe being designed to land on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, could launch toward the gas giant with a European spacecraft being developed to explore Jupiter’s icy ocean-covered satellites, according to European space officials.

The benefits of such a joint launch arrangement, including sharing reconnaissance and mapping from Europe’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), are not lost on scientists. But more Earthly concerns, such as government finances and the realities of technical developments, could thwart the proposal.

“It all depends on if the Russians are ready to fly at the same time as us,” said Alvaro Gimenez Canete, director of the European Space Agency (ESA)’s science and robotic exploration programs.

JUICE is scheduled to launch in 2022 and arrive at Jupiter in 2030, entering orbit around the huge planet and making repeated flybys of three of its largest moons — Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

In September 2032, the European spacecraft will arrive at Ganymede, becoming the first probe to enter orbit around the moon of another planet. Equipped with radar, a mapping camera and other instruments, JUICE will measure the thickness of global ice sheets covering Jupiter’s moons and produce terrain and mineral maps of Ganymede.

Such data will prove to be a rich resource not only for researchers, but also for engineers planning missions to explore Ganymede’s surface and study what lies beneath the moon’s crust of ice, Gimenez told here at the Paris Air Show this week.

“Russia’s plan is to implement a Ganymede Lander, which is a very ambitious mission,” said Fabio Favata, head of ESA’s science planning and community coordination office, which oversees the strategic direction of the space agency’s space science programs.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Afghanistan Rejects Talks With Taliban and the U.S.

Less than 24 hours after the Taliban opened an office for peace talks in the Gulf emirate of Qatar, the Afghan government backed away on Wednesday from even starting discussions with its adversaries and broke off talks on future military cooperation with the United States.

In one statement, signaling his anger at how the Americans had negotiated the opening of the Taliban office, President Hamid Karzai suspended talks on a bilateral security agreement with the United States which would allow American troops to stay after 2014.

It was at best a rocky prelude to peace talks with the Taliban, which have collapsed repeatedly in the past. American officials have long pushed for such negotiations, believing that they are crucial to stabilizing Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Western forces next year.

[Return to headlines]

Afghan President Karzai Rejects Peace Talks With the Taliban, Suspends Talks With US

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he will refuse peace talks with the Taliban in a new office in Qatar unless only Afghans are involved and violence stops, after the militant group claimed responsibility for an attack that killed four American troops.

On Tuesday, after months of delays, the Taliban opened an office in Doha, Qatar, where representatives from the U.S. and the Taliban will hold peace talks on Thursday, senior U.S. administration officials and a Taliban spokesman said.

Karzai’s High Peace Council was expected to follow up with its own talks a few days later, but it is now unclear whether or not those talks will happen.

Karzai is making the moves to protest the way the U.S. is reaching out to the Taliban in efforts to find a political solution to the war.

Karzai said his High Peace Council would “neither attend nor participate in the talks” until the process is “completely” in the hands of Afghans, according to a statement from his office.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: Experts Doubt the Taliban Will Aim for Peace

Afghan security forces have taken control over the security of their country. The Taliban have announced plans to continue carrying out attacks, even as they prepare for peace talks with the US.

Afghanistan has reached a turning point. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) formally handed over control of the last 95 districts to Afghan forces at a ceremony attended by President Hamid Karzai and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a military academy outside Kabul on Tuesday, June 18. Most of those districts are located in the volatile south of the country. The approximate 100,000 NATO soldiers still stationed in the country will now only be called upon if needed.

On the same day as the handover, the Taliban made a show of strength by carrying out attacks. A bomb explosion in Kabul killed at least three people and injured 24 others. Two rockets fired at the US airbase Bagram, just north of the capital, later on killed four US soldiers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: Karzai Suspends Post-2014 Talks With United States

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suspended talks with the United States about the role of foreign troops in Afghanistan after 2014, following US and Taliban announcements that they would soon pursue talks in Qatar.

Announcements that the US and Taliban will meet in Doha, Qatar, initially without the Afghan government, drew a terse reaction on Wednesday from the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“In view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process, the Afghan government suspended the negotiations, currently underway in Kabul between Afghan and US delegations on the bilateral security agreement,” Karzai said in a statement issued by his office.

The BBC reported on Wednesday that US Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken by phone with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to try to defuse tension.

Karzai had previously said his government cannot be sidelined during any peace talks with the Taliban. Since 2001, the Islamist militia has waged a campaign against his government and US-led international forces.

The Taliban opened an office in Doha on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Lost’ Medieval City Discovered Beneath Cambodian Jungle

A lost city known only from inscriptions that existed some 1,200 years ago near Angkor in what is now Cambodia has been uncovered using airborne laser scanning.

The previously undocumented cityscape, called Mahendraparvata, is hidden beneath a dense forest on the holy mountain Phnom Kulen, which means “Mountain of the Lychees.”

The cityscape came into clear view, along with a vast expanse of ancient urban spaces that made up Greater Angkor, the large area where one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed — Angkor Wat, meaning “temple city” — was built between A.D. 1113 and 1150.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Dutch Pay Thousands of Euros to ‘Identify’ Failed Asylum Seekers

The Netherlands has paid at least 32 foreign delegations to organise identity papers for asylum seekers who have been refused permission to stay in the Netherlands but cannot be deported because they don’t have valid ID.

The Volkskrant has obtained a document from the deportation service DT&V which shows at least €60,000 has been paid in basic fees to the delegations, which are brought in to source travel papers when diplomatic missions are unwilling or unable to help.

For example, visits by a delegation from Guinea cost at least €117,000, the documents show. On top of €16,200 in daily fees, this was made up of travel, food and hotel costs as well as ‘clothes and ear drops’, the paper said.

Cost unknown

The total cost of the practice of paying outsiders to establish identity and provide documents is unknown, the paper says. The information is ‘not fully digitalised’ and costs are ‘not included in the financial administration’, the paper quotes the DT&V as saying.

Delegates are paid €100 a day in cash, plus €500 per investigation, €50 for a successful indentification and €60 per travel document. Countries which have sent delegations to identify their nationals include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Nigeria, Liberia, Nepal and Sierra Leone.

The paper points out there have been problems with the papers supplied by the Guinea delegation and at least three people have been refused admittance to the country. The most recent group of 20 deportees were supplied papers by the Guinea embassy in Brussels instead.

DT&V told the paper it was not expecting any more visits from delegations in the near future and there have been none since March this year.

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

Italy: Northern League Delegation Visits Crammed Immigrant Centre

Accomodation made for 300 people filled with 1,000 in Lampedusa

(ANSA) — Palermo, June 19 — A delegation of Northern League parliamentarians on Wednesday travelled to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa for a surprise inspection of an immigrant holding centre. “After the many landings of illegal immigrants yesterday and this morning we want to check the situation”, said deputy House whip Matteo Bragantini, who will be visiting the centre with another four MPs with the Northern League, a conservative party which often adopts extreme stances on migration issues. “According to the latest press reports, there are allegedly over 1,000 people at the holding centre which is made to accommodate no more than 300”.

The Lampedusa centre was holding 1,150 people on Wednesday after another 97 immigrants arrived during the morning. Hundreds of immigrants in the past few days have been rescued or landed along Lampedusa’s coast as warm weather has brought calmer seas. Reports on Wednesday said 200 immigrants who arrived in Lampedusa in recent days will be flown from the southern island to a centre in Cagliari, Sardinia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Police Escort 110 Refugees From Lampedusa to Sardinia

New wave of immigrants crowding facilities in southern Italy

(ANSA) — Cagliari, June 19 — Police escorted 110 refugees that landed on Italy’s southernmost shores to a facility on the island of Sardinia Wednesday.

Another 110 refugees are expected to land on Thursday at the airport in Cagliari, authorities said.

In recent days, hundreds of immigrants have been rescued or landed along Lampedusa’s coast off the tip of Sicily as warm weather has brought calmer seas.

However, that has led to overcrowding at the immigrant centre — earlier Wednesday, as many as 1,150 people were there leading authorities to announce plans to begin moving some further north.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Senate Debate on the Immigration Reform Bill

The Senate has begun debate on the proposed immigration reform bill. If this bill becomes law, there is one likely outcome for low-skilled West Virginia workers: Disaster.

The assurances of the bill’s proponents that the bill will somehow help the economy obscure copious evidence that the bill will wreak enormous damage to the employment prospects of American workers who have already seen their wages and employment rates plummet over the last several years.

Indeed, it is no secret that the employment picture for low-skilled workers is abysmal. The national unemployment rate has been above 7.5 percent for more than four years and millions have dropped out of the workforce entirely. Among those without a high school diploma, the unemployment rate in May reached 11.1 percent, and for blacks without a high school diploma, it is more than 24 percent. The labor-force participation rate is at historic lows and long-term unemployment is the worst since the Great Depression. The workweek is shrinking, as well as wage rates. Barely one in two adult black males has a full-time job. A record 47 million people are on food stamps.

The immigration reform bill has the potential to make things even worse. Not only will the bill grant amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants, it will act as a magnet for future illegal immigration and substantially increase the number of legal immigrants. It is conservatively estimated that the bill will result in 30 million to 33 million additional immigrants over the next 10 years.

The bill is structured so that most of the immigrants will be low-skilled. These immigrants will compete with Americans in the low-skilled labor markets. The competition is most fierce in some of the industries in which blacks historically have been highly concentrated, such as construction, agriculture and service. Since the supply of low-skilled workers already exceeds the demand, the massive influx in low-skilled immigrants bodes ill for all such workers, but particularly black males. Evidence adduced before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights shows that immigration accounts for 40 percent of the 18-point percentage decline in black employment rates over the last several decades — the bulk of the decline occurring among black males. That’s hundreds of thousands of blacks thrown out of work; hundreds of thousands who can’t support their families without taxpayer assistance.

The evidence adduced by the commission shows that not only does illegal immigration depress the employment levels of low-skilled Americans, it drives down the wages for available jobs. For example, an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimated that as a result of the growth of undocumented workers, the annual earnings of actual documented workers in Georgia in 2007 were $960 lower than they were in 2000. In the leisure hospitality sectors of the economy, the wages were $1,520 lower.

Recent history shows that a grant of legal status to illegal immigrants results in a further influx of illegal immigrants who will crowd out low-skilled workers from the workforce. Contrary to the mythology promoted by some supporters of the bill, this isn’t because low-skill Americans — regardless of race — are unwilling to work. It’s because they’re unwilling to work at the cut-rate wages (and often substandard conditions) offered to illegal immigrants — a cohort highly unlikely to complain to the EEOC, OSHA or the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. This inexorably increases the number of low-skill Americans depending upon the government for subsistence, swells the ranks of the unemployed and reduces the wages of those that do have a job.

Before the federal government grants legal status to illegal immigrants, serious deliberation must be given to the affect such grant will have on the employment and earnings prospects of low-skilled Americans. History shows that granting such legal status is not without profound and substantial costs to American workers.

Does Congress care?

[Return to headlines]

Spain: Immigration Changes, More Women Than Men

More qualified, good integration. 900,000 lost job

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JUNE 18 — The crisis has changed the profile of immigrants in Spain, the destination of choice of Latin Americans with no apparent integration issues, according to a research released on Tuesday. The study by the Barcelona council, CIDOB Foundation and Ortega-Maranon Foundation called ‘Immigration and crisis: continuity and change’ noted that the effects of the recession have been affected foreigners. Some 900,000 lost their jobs in the past five years, half of them over the last two years.

More women than men move to Spain; the age group goes from 35 to 64 years and immigrants are professionally more qualified, the study said. Most are employed in the services sector.

Compared to a few years ago, men were more and younger — 16 to 34 years old — and mainly worked in construction. Most arrive from Latin America — many from Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia — and the integration process has not created particular problems. Over a population of 46,8 million in Spain, the foreigners registered are 5,2 million, 11,96% of the total.

However, the research indicated that just 5,2% of Spanish healthcare is spent on immigrants.

Money sent back to home countries has decreased compared to the past and in particular the peak registered in 2008 with 8,5 billion. A 20% drop has now been registered for a value of around 6,8 billion euros a year.

The research also looked at Spanish emigration: experts said it is difficult to quantify but stressed that over 120.000 Spanish nationals have left the country since 2008. Most of them are between 25 and 35 years of age, with a medium to high education and have chosen mostly to move to Britain, Germany and the United States.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Common Core Straight Jacket

American education was based on some very fundamental principles and, from the 1640s until the 1840s, they were, in the words of Joseph Bast, the president of The Heartland Institute, “real civics, real economics, and real virtues.”

Bast is the co-author of “Education and Capitalism” and in a recent speech at the Eighth annual Wisconsin Conservative Conference took a look at the way an education system that produced citizens who understood the values that existed before “progressives” took over the nation’s school system, turning it into a one-size-fits-all system of indoctrination.

“One-size-fits-all is easier for bureaucracies, but it’s not good for kids. No two kids learn the same way, and no two teachers teach the same way”, but Common Core not only makes this assumption, but enforces it.

The good news is, as Bast notes, that “since the early 1960s, parents and activists have been fighting to return to the country’s education system to what had worked so well for 200 years.”

In a Wall Street Journal commentary by Jamie Gass and Charles Chieppo, they called Common Core “uncommonly inadequate” and documented the way it destroys student academic achievement. Gass directs the Center for School Reform at the Boston-based Pioneer Institute where Chieppo is a senior fellow.

The brain child of Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education, and spelled out in a letter to Hillary Clinton following Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, Gass and Chieppo quoted its stated intention “to remold the entire American system” into “a system of labor-market boards at the local, state, and federal levels” where curriculum and ‘job matching’ will be handled by government functionaries.”

Common Core is not a plan to produce a new generation of citizens who understand the values on which the nation was based and built, but rather one that focuses on job skills to the detriment of civics, economics, history, the arts, and traditional values. It is a system for serfs, not citizens. It is yet another example of how progressives view people as mere instruments of the state and how they have used the schools to indoctrinate and train them for that purpose.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Club of Rome Founder Proposed “Global Matrix” of Manufactured Consent

Environmental think tank aspired to global matrix of manufactured consent

Recently unearthed documents from the private collection of former diplomat and Bilderberg regular George C. McGhee have revealed (among other things) that the Club of Rome in 1970 wanted to create a “global matrix approach”, or G-Matrix approach, as a means of bringing people into an enviro-eugenicist mindset globally.

The Club of Rome was an influential think tank, advocating among other things worldwide population reduction and global environmental governance.

The author of the uncovered manuscript from 1970 was Italian industrialistAurelio Peccei, who founded the Club of Rome in 1968. Peccei wrote that any acceptance of the Club’s conclusions “relies heavily on a global matrix approach”. Furthermore he writes that these conclusions by the infamous Club (which includes advocacy of worldwide population reduction) can only be generally accepted “through […] an iterative, global and substantive process”. Through such a comprehensive process, writes Peccei, mankind can “gradually attain a value-base consensus, and avoid the prospects of a critical future situation.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gonorrhea Makes a Comeback as Awareness of Sexually Transmitted Infections Drops

Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, commonly known as “the clap,” were thought to be a thing of the past. But a steep rise in infection rates indicates that people need to be made aware of the dangers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Space Rovers in Record Race

Revised data show Soviet Union’s 1970s lunar vehicle outdistanced NASA’s Opportunity — for now.

Alexander Basilevsky always wanted to stop driving. As a planetary geologist working with the Soviet Union’s remotely controlled lunar rovers — Luno­khod 1 and Lunokhod 2 — in the early 1970s, Basilevsky was constantly asking mission chiefs to halt the rolling explorers for scientific studies, fascinated by the buffet of rocks and soil captured by the vehicles’ cameras. But the bosses in the Soviet space programme were having none of it. “It is Lunokhod, not ‘Lunostop’!” they told Basilevsky as they kept the rovers driving, intent on covering as much ground as possible.

Now it seems that the second rover, Luno­khod 2, went even farther than many back then had thought. New calculations, using images from orbit that trace the rover’s 40-year-old tracks far below, show that Lunokhod 2 travelled some 42 kilo­metres in its lifetime — 5 kilo­metres more than the distance recorded in the official mission logs. And that means that NASA’s Opportunity rover, inching up to the 37-kilometre mark after nearly a decade on Mars, has a long way to go to break the record for the distance driven by a wheeled vehicle on another world.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Transatlantic Trade Agreement: A Good Deal for Cameron and Obama

The Wall Street Journal Europe, Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Tageszeitung

The EU-US trade deal mostly benefits David Cameron and the United States: for the UK prime minister, it’s a crucial part of his plan to win support to keep Britain in the EU. For the Obama administration, it’s an economic victory that will boost jobs and exports, believes the Wall Street Journal and the German press.

For The Wall Street Journal, the announcement of trade talks is the result of months of backroom wrangling by British diplomats, both to secure support for the trade deal and in order to ensure a diplomatic coup for UK Prime Minister David Cameron, as he hosts the G-8 leaders in Northern Ireland. The economic daily writes —

For Mr Cameron, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) is far more than just a trade deal. It is central to his campaign to reconcile the UK to its membership of the EU before his promised referendum in 2017. […] Mr Cameron is betting that a successful TTIP will substantially reduce the pressure on him to deliver a comprehensive renegotiation of the terms of British membership before 2017. […] The TTIP offers a politically palatable way for Mr Cameron to put the UK squarely at the heart of Europe, his enthusiastic backing for such an ambitious project helping to undo some of the mistrust caused by his past mishandling of key European relationships.

For Die Welt the agreement on a free-trade zone between the EU and the United States will “mainly be of benefit to the US.” According to a study commisioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation and conducted by the Ifo Institute, which probes the consequences of the the implementaion of a free-trade agreement on 126 states —

for the United States the creation of such a zone will generate 1.1m extra jobs and increase per capita GDP by 13.4 per cent. However, it could be detrimental to non-member countries, because member countries would import less from them. This would harm traditional US trade partners, such as Canada and Mexico, which could see a decline in average per capita income of 9.5 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung points out that a further result of an agreement would be reduced trade within the EU —

The volume of trade would decline by 30 per cent between Germany and the countries of southern Europe […] and by 23 per cent between Germany and France […] while increasing by a factor of two with the United States. [As a result] the customs union [established by the EU in 1968] would be devalued….

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

When the West Falls, What Then?


In the US, we are tripping over each other to add another 10-11 million illegal aliens (Primarily Latin American) to our voter rolls. It is unfortunate that far too many of our fellow citizens from Latin America are perfectly fine living their entire lives in the US without making any real effort to learn English or to identify themselves as Americans . With the additional influxes of large numbers of Haitians, West Africans, East Asians, South Asians, and others who do not share a common cultural or religious culture, the US is poised to go in the same direction as that of Western Europe. When fewer and fewer people can recall childhoods in which attending Memorial Day ceremonies and other classic American observances were an integral part of their lives, the sense of American identity will wither away. Canada and Australia are heading in the same direction.


The Western variant of Socialism, softer on the totalitarian side but all-controlling nonetheless (And much filthier, uglier, and immoral), is advancing steadily towards its fruition.

Are the people of these nations helpless to stop this march of events? Not all, but I fear that they will fail to admit that something must be done until it is too late to stem the tide. Even the thought of a political fight that a preservation of national and cultural identity would require seems to be too much for Westerners, and neither do they want to start having big families again. In solitary protests, many Catos will be spilling their guts in their individual Uticas as societies deteriorate into the darkness of Western Socialism.

I also cannot rule out the possibility that, Western Europeans and some of those of related cultures will opt to leave their countries, reforming and coalescing in a region or nation chosen to become a place in which Western Culture can be restored and reshaped; not American, French, German etc, but something that includes the best of all of these without any of their weaknesses, such as that which the Left exploited to fully destroy the American electorate by creating generations of dependence on welfare.


[NOTE: Read the rest]

[Return to headlines]

6 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 6/19/2013

  1. I see David Cameron is trying to prolong his political life by throwing in his lot with Obama. He is trying very hard to get out of holding an in out referendum on the UKs EU membership. He is hoping to hold this in 2017. I am not sure why he has chosen this date. He will have been out of Parliament for two years by then and will have no influence at all on how or what the UK electorate chooses to vote for.

  2. @When the West Falls, What Then?

    Indeginous declining birthrates can be turned around far quicker than the socioeconomic indoctrination that contributed to the demographic deficit of Western Europe. That indoctrination placed procreation at the lower end of the socioeconomic status scale, a scale in the U.K. that demonised indeginous single mothers in social housing and low income families. That left inspired demonisation is now corralling low income families(stock) into economic oblivion, the conservative chant is the “the right crowd and not too crowded” – a socioeconomic elitism of C3 demographic culling.

    There is a small window for action concerning demographic meltdown in Europe, that action compels reconfiguration of employment status and structures along with the redistribution of access to wealth to promote the generation of indeginous families and ensure there socioeconomic status and security.

    • Paul’s speech will probably be featured on GOV soon. Here it is anyway…

      Here’s a link to a 7 minute speech by Paul Weston. This guy has got balls. However I fear for his safety or at least his liberty. He really is pushing out on a limb. I hope he has powerful backers.

    • I will agree that the indoctrination to which we have been subjected is the far greater sin and that it has had effects that are harder to reverse.

    • I will agree that the indoctrination to which we have been subjected is the far greater sin and that it has had effects that are harder to reverse.

  3. hi Baron,

    Can you please convey to Eeyore/VladTepes that commenting on his site has not been possible for a number of days now? They were hacked just recently but they may not be aware that comments keep getting rejected…

    error message on firefox – “Error establishing a database connection”

    error message on IE – This error (HTTP 500 Internal Server Error) means that the website you are visiting had a server problem which prevented the webpage from displaying.

    much obliged, -g

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