Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/11/2013

According to the American railroad company that owned the train, the fiery disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec was caused by the engineer’s failure to set all the handbrakes properly when he parked his train at the top of a slope. Dozens of people were killed in the resulting fireball, and it is feared that most or all of the missing were reduced to ashes in the rubble of the town.

In other news, the Russian Supreme Court has upheld a law banning the wearing of veils in the country’s high schools.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, DP, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, 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
» Italy: Saccomanni Downplays S&P Downgrade
» Italy: Letta Promises to Speed Up Payment of 40 Billion to Business
» Italy: Treasury Sells 3.385 Billion Euros in Three-Year Bonds
» New U.S. Economy: Part-Time and Temp Jobs
» Union Disunion: ECB to Begin Inspection of Euro-Zone Banks
» Desperate Zimmerman Prosecutors Try to Get 3rd Degree Murder Added for Child Abuse
» Ear Tickling, Entertainment, And Irrelevant Exposition
» Exxon Funding? Nope, Never Got the Check?
» FBI Promotes Ultra Spy State
» Government’s “Secret Interpretation” of Patriot Act: “EVERYTHING” Is Relevant … So Spy on EVERYONE
» Horror as Patient Wakes Up in NY Hospital With Doctors Trying to Harvest Her Organs for Transplant Profits
» Imam Sirraj Wahhaj to Speak at Islamic Center of Tennessee in Antioch on Friday July 12th During Ramadan
» Islamic Relief USA With Links to Hamas Runs Ramadan Ads Powered by Google
» Meshael Alayban, Saudi Princess, Accused of Human Trafficking
» Moon Bill Would Create National Park to Protect Apollo Landing Sites
» NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope: Hubble’s Cosmic Successor
» Pack the House; Boot Boehner!
» Proposed Exoplanets May be Just Gas and Dust
» Rahm Trying to Circumvent New Il Concealed Carry Law With Bogus Gun Free Zones
» Saudi Woman Arrested in Alleged Irvine Domestic Slavery Case
» Tucson Schools Get Grant From Islamic Charity Tied to Muslim Brotherhood
» What Makes Liberals Tick?
» Who is Barack Hussein Obama, Or is it Barry Soetoro?
» Why Did the Obama Administration “Organize and Manage” Protests Against George Zimmerman?
» Employee ‘Failed to Properly Set the Brakes’ On Runaway Train That Hit Canadian Town as the Number of Missing People Jumps to 60 People and it is Thought Many Vaporized
Europe and the EU
» Greece: Season’s Arrivals to Exceed 17 Million
» Italy: Loro Piana Latest Icon to Fall Into Foreign Hands
» Italy: PdL Blocks Parliament Over Berlusconi Trial ‘Speed’
» Italy: Berlusconi Vows to Cut Property Tax IMU and Cap VAT
» Sweden: Arctic Muslims Risk Health During Ramadan
» UK: ‘It’s a Farm With Chickens… You Expect to Hear Noise’: Magistrate Refuses to Fine Farmer Who Was Taken to Court by a Council Because His Birds Squawked Too Loud
» UK: Five Schoolboys Aged Between 12 and 13 Arrested After ‘12-Year-Old Girl is Raped on Estate’
» Victims Blast Pope’s ‘Tiny Tweaking’ of Abuse Rules
» Srebrenica: Serbian Parliament Pays Homage to Victims
North Africa
» Egypt: Second Christian Killed in Sinai by Suspected Muslim Extremists
» Egypt: Three Copts Murdered in Past 24 Hours, Police Said
» Is a “Kinder Gentler” Muslim Brotherhood Ahead for Egypt After Ramadan?
» Mama Mia, More Sharia in Egypt’s “New” Constitutional Draft
» Muslim Brotherhood Booster Barack Obama Continues Artful Dodger Role in Egypt
» Ramadan: Battle Against Rising Prices Already Lost
» Supreme Court Confirmation: Prohibited to Wear Hijab in Russian High Schools
South Asia
» Italian Envoy Travels to India Over Marines Case
Far East
» 5,000-Year-Old ‘Chinese Characters’ Discovered
» Baby Stabbed 90 Times With Scissors by His Chinese Mother After He Bit Her as She Was Breastfeeding Him
» Destination UK: How 80,000 Bulgarians Plan to Move to Britain When Border Controls Are Scrapped in Less Than Six Months
» Italy: Kyenge Says She Has ‘No Problem’ With Northern League
» UK: Half a Million More EU Immigrants Arrived in the UK Under Labour Than Originally Thought
Culture Wars
» 27 Facts That Prove That the Family in America is in the Worst Shape Ever
» ‘Football for All’: Dutch Stand Up for Gay Players’ Rights
» I Am Tired of the Racists
» Solar System Has a Tail Shaped Like a Four-Leaf Clover

Italy: Saccomanni Downplays S&P Downgrade

Based on old data, economy minister says

(ANSA) — Rome, July 10 — Italian Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni on Wednesday downplayed Standard & Poor’s decision to cut its credit rating for the eurozone’s third-largest economy, accusing the US agency of basing its forecasts on outdated figures and ignoring the continuing success of Italian bond auctions.

He also criticised the role of credit agencies in general, suggesting that after a string of past bad calls including missing the signs of the US financial crash in 2007-2008, they no longer had the authority to issue verdicts that could destabilise economies. Talking to the annual general meeting of the Italian Banking Association (ABI), Saccomanni said S&P’s Tuesday downgrade of Italian sovereign debt from BBB+ to BBB, with a negative outlook, “appears to be based on a mechanical extrapolation of past data”. He also said the rating agency’s “perception of risks was only based on worst-case scenarios”.

Saccomanni added that “what will really count will be the considerations made by Italian and foreign investors” and that today’s bond issues “went pretty well” despite the downgrade.

On the status of agencies like S&P, Moody’s and Fitch, Saccomanni said “the jury is still out” on whether they can recoup the reputation that took a big dent from misreading glaring signs of recent financial bubbles and crashes.

He suggested their rulings should not be taken as “holy writ, and used to pass judgement on economies, especially those with certain difficulties”.

“The debate on the role of ratings agencies has been open for some time,” Saccomanni told ABI.

He said their decisions could have “destabilising effects” as well as “pro-cyclical ones”, meaning they could exacerbate existing trends.

One of ABI’s leading lights, Intesa SanPaolo CEO Enrico Cucchiani, said he agreed with the minister.

“Their verdicts can carry that risk,” said the head of Italy’s biggest bank by market capitalisation.

“I think their views should just be used as a spur to government policy,” Cucchiani added.

Governments should in any case “think in the long term,” the Intesa chief said, “because their time frame is different from that of the markets”.

In its downgrade statement Tuesday, S&P said Italy’s economic prospects are getting weaker despite the efforts of the recently installed left-right coalition government to revive an economy suffering its longest recession in more than 20 years.

Italian media responded to the S&P move by speculating it was linked on continuing wrangles between the unusual government partners on how far to do away with a controversial property tax and how to get the money to make up for averting a VAT hike.

The ratings agency seemed to have ignored, the Italian press said, the government’s recent success in wresting concessions and hard cash from the European Union for job-creation schemes to tackle record unemployment, especially for younger job-seekers.

Italy’s overall unemployment rate is 12% and almost 40% among 15-to-24-year-olds. The new BBB rating remains investment grade and is two notches above “junk” status. Issuing the negative outlook, S&P said it might make another downgrade later this year or in 2014.

Lower credit ratings can make it more expensive for the government to borrow money and can spook bond investors.

Italy’s huge sovereign debt of more than 130% of GDP, the second-biggest in the eurozone after Greece’s, is the main reason it is periodically exposed to investor speculation that rose to a crescendo in late 2011 and raised fears of Rome sparking a meltdown in the currency bloc.

On Tuesday S&P argued that Italy’s economic output is falling and its economic prospects are getting worse after a decade of weakness. It now expected Italy’s GDP to fall by 1.9% this year, worse than the 1.4% decline it forecast in March.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Letta Promises to Speed Up Payment of 40 Billion to Business

‘We will remove obstacles’ says premier

(ANSA) — Rome, July 10 — In the next few days, the Italian government will move to pay billions of what it owes private businesses, Premier Enrico Letta said Wednesday.

“We will remove obstacles” to accelerating payments on the billions owed by government, Letta told the House, answering a question by the whip of the center-right People of Freedom (PDL) party, Renato Brunetta.

“In the coming days” the government will figure out what technical measures are needed to speed up payments to private firms that have provided service to government, he added.

The government had previously pledged to pay 40 billion euros owed to businesses between 2013 and 2014.

The payments will inject much-needed cash into the recession-plagued Italian economy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Treasury Sells 3.385 Billion Euros in Three-Year Bonds

Yield drops to 2.33%

(ANSA) — Rome, July 11 — The Italian Treasury sold 3.385 billion euros in three-year bonds at auction on Thursday.

The outcome was slightly under the 3.5-billion-euro limit, with a yield dropping slightly to 2.33% from 2.38%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

New U.S. Economy: Part-Time and Temp Jobs

The new economic reality in the United States is this: The workforce has shifted from full-timers to part-timers.

On top of that, more Americans receive food stamps than work full time, Fox News reported.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that an estimated 28 million people in America now work at part-time jobs. And as the Washington Examiner noted, a record level of workers in the nation now hold temporary positions — about 2.7 million — that are obtained through a job placement service.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Union Disunion: ECB to Begin Inspection of Euro-Zone Banks

The European Central Bank is set to begin inspecting the balance sheets of large EU financial institutions, even as disagreement between Brussels and Berlin threatens the bloc’s banking union plans.

The European Central Bank is already looking ahead. European leaders recently decided to make the ECB partially responsible for keeping tabs on the health of the Continent’s banks. And according to Euro Group head Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Frankfurt-based institution is taking the job seriously.

“Now, the ECB is going to look deep into the books and will involve external, independent experts. It is clear to the ECB that its credibility will be harmed if it doesn’t make precise checks,” Dijsselbloem said in an interview with four European newspapers on Wednesday, including the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Because as soon as the ECB takes over the central monitoring role over Europe’s banks, it becomes responsible.”

The European Union tasked the ECB with keeping an eye on banks in the bloc late last year and preparations have been underway since then. Starting in the autumn of 2014, the central bank of the common currency zone will begin monitoring the euro area’s largest financial institutions. Should they be unable to prove their financial health before then, however, unwinding them and shutting them down could be an option.

That, though, has become the most controversial element of the banking union plan. On Wednesday, disagreement flared between the European Commission and Germany over who will have the final say when it comes to restructuring wobbly banks. A proposal by Commissioner Michel Barnier, who is in charge of the financial regulation portfolio on Europe’s executive body, called for the Commission to have final decision making powers on which banks get restructured.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Desperate Zimmerman Prosecutors Try to Get 3rd Degree Murder Added for Child Abuse

A judge said Thursday that jurors in the George Zimmerman case can consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, but she denied a request for the jury also to consider third-degree murder after a defense attorney called the proposal “outrageous.”

Prosecutor Richard Mantei argued that instructions for third-degree murder should be included on the premise that Zimmerman committed child abuse when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin because Martin was underage.

But defense attorney Don West called the proposed instruction “a trick,” and he accused the prosecutor of springing it on the defense at the last minute.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ear Tickling, Entertainment, And Irrelevant Exposition

At some point, one has to wonder why America’s churches are the largest block of irrelevant, impotent, and insignificant institutions in the entire country. And make no mistake about it: when it comes to influencing societal conditions, culture, and the political philosophy of the nation, for all intents and purposes, they ARE irrelevant, impotent, and insignificant.

Think about it: according to the latest available statistics, over 75% of America’s adults classify themselves as Christians. That’s over 159 million people. Over 43% of America’s adults attend the more than 300,000 churches regularly. That’s over 90 million people. Yes, both of these statistics are WAY DOWN from just a few years ago, but those statistics still represent a HUGE block of the American population. So why do these Christians and churches have so very little influence in America’s society, culture, and politics? Asking it bluntly, why is America going to hell in a handbasket with all of these churches dotting the landscape?

There is no mistaking the fact that from before the American Revolution, after the American Revolution, throughout the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, and through the first half of the Twentieth Century, the American Church was a major voice and influence in virtually every facet and sphere of American society. However, with the exception of a temporary resurgence in the 1980s, the influence of the Church in the last half of the Twentieth Century and continuing now into the Twenty First Century is nada. Zilch…

Labor unions comprise only 11% of the adult workforce. The ACLU membership is reported to be about 500,000. And, of course, the people who belong to the SPLC could fit in a phone booth. By comparison, these groups comprise a miniscule percentage of the population as opposed to America’s churches, yet their influence is exponentially greater. So, what has happened?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Exxon Funding? Nope, Never Got the Check?

It’s almost funny to watch. The radical left “Progressives” see our Agenda 21 and Global Warming victories over their well-orchestrated plans to restructure America, and they just can’t understand how it’s happening. Their only theory is that there must be some massive source of secret money driving us. We couldn’t possibly be a true grassroots movement, doing this on our own.

So, the Progressives are using all of their impressive resources in government, the news media and the Internet to publish articles and plant their attempts to ridicule, cast doubt and spread their own creative conspiracy theories about our unexplained successes.

Here are just a very few samples. The New York Times launched a Front Page, Sunday addition, attack entitled “Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing UN Plot.” Mother Jones magazine offered its version of the anti Agenda 21 battle with this headline: “We don’t need none of that Smart-growth Communism.” Then came The Atlantic magazine’s offering under the title of “Is the UN Using Bike Paths to Achieve World Domination?” And then The Atlantic Cities publication decried “How the Tea Party is Upending Urban Planning.” And that, of course, is the center of the matter. Anti-Agenda 21 activists are scoring victories in community after community, seriously curtailing or even stopping “urban planning” which has damaged citizen’s rights to use their own bought and paid for private property. How outrageous.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

FBI Promotes Ultra Spy State

As explained today on the Alex Jones Show, the FBI publishes bulletins intended to create a compliant public which spies on their neighbors at will for the witch hunt state.

Each of these Communities Against Terrorism: Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities bulletins are written specifically for a particular type of business such as tattoo shops, hotels, storage sheds, military surplus stores, etc. to highlight behavior by customers that the FBI says should be considered suspicious and a potential terrorist activity.

Yet the activities listed are so over-reaching that no doubt all Americans at one point in their lives have done more than one of these activities at the same time.

Let’s take a look at some of the items listed as suspicious on the bulletin sent to Internet cafes:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Government’s “Secret Interpretation” of Patriot Act: “EVERYTHING” Is Relevant … So Spy on EVERYONE

Senators Wyden and Udall — both on the Senate Intelligence Committee, with full access to information on the spying program — have said that for at least 2 years that the government was using a “secret interpretation” of the Patriot Act which would shock Americans, because it provides a breathtakingly wide program of spying. And see this.

Wyden and Udall said that they couldn’t reveal to the public — or even other members of Congress who lack top security clearance — what the secret interpretation is … and that most Congress members weretotally ignorant about it.

The author of the Patriot Act and chairman on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations — Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner — says that the government has gone far beyond what the Patriot Act intended, and that the Act “was originally drafted to preventdata mining” on the scale that’s occurred.

A top NSA whistleblower told us that the secret interpretation is that the government spies on everyone.

The Wall Street Journal has just disclosed the specifics of the “secret interpretation”:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Horror as Patient Wakes Up in NY Hospital With Doctors Trying to Harvest Her Organs for Transplant Profits

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

I’ve warned Natural News readers about this several times over the last decade: Do NOT become an organ donor! Although you may wish to help others out of the goodness of your (literal) heart, the sinister truth is that doctors routinely harvest organs from LIVING patients right here in the USA.

And here’s yet more proof. This true story will astound you.

Waking up on the organ harvesting table…

A woman named Colleen Burns recently opened her eyes to find herself on an operating table in a hospital in Syracuse, NY. Looking around, she noticed that she was the subject of the operation. It turns out doctors were about to harvest her organs and send them to other waiting surgeons who would transplant them into other patients.

This isn’t fiction. It was covered by ABC News and several other news sources. It really happened.

And how did it happen? Doctors falsely pronounced her dead by fraudulently claiming she had suffered “cardiopulmonary arrest” and “irreversible brain damage.” This gave them the medical justification to start slicing away even while the woman’s heart was still beating.

This is a big “holy crap I didn’t know that” fact about organ donations: Doctors don’t wait until you’re really dead. At least not by any normal definition of “dead.”

See, you and I think “dead” means your heart isn’t beating, your brain isn’t functioning, and you’re lifeless. But hospitals — which happen to generate huge profits from the trade of transplant organs — have a strong financial incentive to declare you “medically dead” long before you’re actually lifeless.

They can, in fact, declare you “dead” even when your heart is still beating and you still have brain activity. And they often do. This is how a lot of the organ harvesting in America actually gets done: patients that are on the verge of death (but not yet actually dead) are simply “declared” dead, then their organs are quickly removed, killing them for good.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Imam Sirraj Wahhaj to Speak at Islamic Center of Tennessee in Antioch on Friday July 12th During Ramadan

As if the June 4, 2013 Manchester, Tennessee American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee event that generated attendance of 2000 protesters wasn’t bad enough, now we have none other than Imam Sirraj Wahhaj speaking Friday evening July 12th at the Islamic Center of Tennessee (ICT) in Antioch. ICT Imam Ahmedulhadi Sharif Ibrahim is a native of Mogadishu, Somalia, who studied Qur’anic and Hadith exegesis under his father Sheik Sharif Ibrahim, a prominent Islamic scholar in Somalia. A director of the ICT is the controversial Dr. Awadh Binhazim, a Kenyan immigrant with a PhD in Veternary pathology, a former adjunct Muslim Chaplain at Vanderbilt University who is also a pathologist on the staff of Meharry Medical College in Nashville. Binhazim was seen on video during a January 2010 program at Vanderbilt with his remarks about Sharia law treatment of homosexuals. This Fox News report in August 2010 on expansion of Mosques in Middle Tennessee, especially the Islamic Center of Tennessee, describes what occurred and Binhazim’s radical connections:…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Islamic Relief USA With Links to Hamas Runs Ramadan Ads Powered by Google

The other morning when I turned on my laptop, up popped an ad on Goggle for Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA). It’s Ramadan, the 30 day Muslim Holy period that began on July 8th, time to raise funds for Zakat, Muslim Charities. Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), the American Branch of the UK Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRWUK) is trolling for dollars via the internet again. IRWUK was founded in Birmingham, England in 1984 by Egyptian born Dr. Hanny El- Banna and currently has 15 affiliates worldwide. IRUSA was founded in 1993 in California as a 501 c3 charity. While providing humanitarian assistance to impoverished brethren in the Muslim Ummah, both groups have deep links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. The CEO of IRUSA Abed Ayoub is a Palestinian refugee from Jordan who immigrated to Yugoslavia, Germany and eventually settled in California. Ayoub has been appointed in 2011 to the U.S. State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group. According to Mauro, Ayoub has also been a part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid since April 2010. The group’s website has two pictures of Ayoub with Vice President Biden. Samuel Westrop in a July 2013 Gatestone dossier article on the IRWUK noted: In 2011, the website of the White House published an article which praised the charity’s work and illustrated the close relationship between the U.S. government and Islamic Relief USA. During a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama also noted his administration’s support for the charity. Westrop concluded in his Gatestone IRWUK dossier piece: The large number of links between Islamic Relief Worldwide and extremist terror groups suggests that buried beneath the cover of a charity lays a structured pro-terror group with an anti-Western agenda. Perhaps that is why an unnamed US DOJ official commented in 2011: We know that these Muslim leaders and groups are continuing to raise money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Ten years ago we shut down the Holy Land Foundation. It was the right thing to do. Then the money started going to KindHearts. We shut them down too. Now the money is going through groups like Islamic Relief …

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Meshael Alayban, Saudi Princess, Accused of Human Trafficking

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Saudi princess was charged Wednesday with human trafficking for allegedly holding a domestic worker against her will at an Orange County condominium, prosecutors said.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas identified 42-year-old Meshael Alayban as a Saudi princess who was charged with one count of human trafficking. If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison.

Alayban was arrested after a Kenyan woman carrying a suitcase flagged down a bus and told a passenger she believed she was a human trafficking victim. The passenger helped her contact police, who searched the Irvine condo where Alayban and her family were staying, authorities said.

The 30-year-old woman was hired in Kenya in 2012 and her passport was taken from her on arrival in Saudi Arabia. She was forced to work excessive hours and was paid less than she was promised and not allowed to leave, authorities said.

“This is not a contract dispute,” Rackauckas told the court during a bail hearing on Wednesday afternoon. “This is holding someone captive against their will.”

An Orange County judge set bail at $5 million for Alayban and required her to submit to GPS monitoring. He also banned her from leaving the county without prior authorization.

Alayban did not appear in court. Her attorney, Paul Meyer, said the case was a contractual dispute and argued his client shouldn’t be assigned a ransom-like bail solely because she was rich.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Moon Bill Would Create National Park to Protect Apollo Landing Sites

A new bill introduced into the U.S. Congress would establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the moon.

Called the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, the bill was introduced Monday (July 8) by Rep. Donna Edwards of (D-Md.) and was co-sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).

The bill (House Resolution 2617) was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and in addition to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope: Hubble’s Cosmic Successor

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018, will probe the cosmos to uncover the history of the universe from the Big Bang to alien planet formation and beyond.

Scientists are planning to use the infrared telescope to search for the first galaxies that formed at the beginning of the universe. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will also have the ability to look through cosmic dust clouds to find newly forming planetary systems and seek out the chemical origins of life in the solar system.

The powerful $8.8 billion spacecraft is also expected to take amazing photos of celestial objects like its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pack the House; Boot Boehner!

Et tu, Boehner? It is apparent that Speaker of the House Boehner is as much a traitor to the U. S. citizen/taxpayer as the great imposter within the White House, the entire Democrat Party, the ‘Gang’ of Eight, and the additional turncoat Republicans within the Senate!

Genuine conservatives and conservative-leaning Libertarians have two options to pursue in an attempt to pack the House so that they can boot Boehner! Ideally, the Republicans within the House would recall Boehner, but we suffer from a lack of political and principled testosterone within both Houses of Congress, so we must look to 2014 for political salvation.

U. S. citizens continue to be abused by Boehner because he continues the ruse of saving us from the monstrosity of ObamaCare with worthless attempts to repeal ObamaCare. He and low information voters know those actions have been efforts in futility, because the Democrats own the Senate. Defunding ObamaCare may not be an overly efficient way to save us from one of the ways the elites’ intend to control the great unwashed of society, but it is what we have to work with at this time.

The door has been swung wide open for dismantling the IRS, EPA and NSA, and Fast & Furious and Benghazi are ripe for ripping through the upper echelon of the puppet regime, but Boehner and his button men, Cantor and McCarthy continue to provide political mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the puppet within the White House and his Mafia.

A question that begs to be answered is, ‘Why is he selling us out?’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Proposed Exoplanets May be Just Gas and Dust

Lopsided rings around stars need not have been carved by planets.

The narrow, sharp-edged and slightly off-centre rings of dust that surround some stars may be the result of interactions between gas and dust, rather than the gravitational effects of planets, as previously proposed. The finding, published in this week’s Nature1, could dramatically affect estimates of the number of exoplanets hiding in such stellar systems.

Many nearby stars, especially young ones, are surrounded by disks of dust debris, which orbit the stars at distances roughly equivalent to that at which Pluto orbits the Sun. Embedded in some of those disks are dust rings that have unexpectedly crisp edges and slightly lopsided orbits. Wladimir Lyra, an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and co-author of the latest study, says that researchers have often attributed such irregularities to the gravitational tugs of exoplanets that are too dim to be observed directly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Rahm Trying to Circumvent New Il Concealed Carry Law With Bogus Gun Free Zones

Even before Governor Pat Quinn (D) tried to use his “amendatory veto power” to weaken the concealed carry law soon to go into effect throughout Illinois, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had been working behind the scenes to make lawfully carrying a concealed weapon as difficult as possible in Chicago.

Breitbart News first reported on June 26 that Emanuel was trying to set up new gun free zones throughout Chicago. These zones consist of certain streets that school buses travel to get to schools and certain streets that children use to walk to school. The mayor wants them to become new areas which are off-limits for firearm and ammunition possession — even if the firearm in question is possessed by a law-abiding citizen with a concealed carry permit.

This means a parent with a concealed-carry permit who wants to walk their child home to keep him or her safe will be out of luck.

But of course, the criminals who are using firearms to wreak havoc throughout the city will still carry their guns on these “gun free” streets: as they do so, they will know their law-abiding, would-be victims are defenseless. And in time, as violence rises in these areas, gun control proponents will be able to claim that concealed carry failed in Chicago.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Woman Arrested in Alleged Irvine Domestic Slavery Case

A Saudi woman has been arrested by Irvine police on suspicion of human trafficking after a Kenyan domestic worker fled an Orange County home and reported she was held against her will as a slave.

Meshael Alayban, 42, was taken into custody Tuesday by Irvine police with the help of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She was arrested at her Irvine condominium for holding the 30-year-old Kenyan woman essentially as a prisoner, police said.

Alayban was being held in lieu of $1-million bail.

In addition to the Kenyan woman, police found four other workers being held under similar circumstances at Alayban’s home, officials said.

Irvine Lt. Julie Engen said Alayban lived with a husband and children. The family owned four units in a condo complex.

The Kenyan woman — carrying a suitcase and a U.S. State Department pamphlet on human trafficking — left the condo complex Tuesday and flagged down a passing bus, authorities said.

The pamphlet had been given to her at a U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, where she was issued a travel visa, Engen said.

A woman on the bus noticed the Kenyan national was in distress and aided her in calling Irvine police to report she was being held against her will, Engen said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tucson Schools Get Grant From Islamic Charity Tied to Muslim Brotherhood

Last week, the governing board of the Tucson Unified School District asked the school board to accept a $465,000 curriculum grant from the Qatar Foundation International, a global philanthropic organization with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of the terrorist group Hamas.

The grant money is intended to implement “innovative curricula and teaching materials to be used in any Arabic language classroom,” reports the Arizona Daily Independent.

Two Tucson schools, Safford K-8 Magnet School and Cholla High Magnet School, will be the recipients of the terror-infested cash, according to Tucson News Now.

About 100 students at Cholla High Magnet School are learning Arabic. At Safford K-8 Magnet School, 125 students are learning the language.

Last year’s grant for Arabic language from the Qatar Foundation was $55,000…

           — Hat tip: DP [Return to headlines]

What Makes Liberals Tick?

Arguing with a liberal is like arguing with a bath mat or a fence-post. You won’t get anywhere. Still, there might be someone listening or reading who may profit from your argument. So we try.

For the benefit of those who have not yet made up their minds, let’s make it clear what “liberalism” or “progressivism” really is.

It is a religion. It rests on two pillars that are faith statements. Liberals will object to this, but they’ll object to anything you say, so ignore them. It’s your job to teach a youngster, or an adult who hasn’t paid much attention until now, what those two pillars are.

First, liberalism is a faith, a belief, that man is perfectible by man. If only the government is made big enough, and powerful enough; if only enough money is raised by taxation; if only the right experts (the liberals themselves) are put in charge, and everyone obeys them: well, then, everything is going to be hunky-dory. Note: because this is a faith, liberals are impervious to facts. It doesn’t matter how many examples you trot out to prove this formula has never worked. They remain committed to it.

Consider this bilge from “The Humanist Manifesto II,” one of the sacred scrolls of liberalism:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Who is Barack Hussein Obama, Or is it Barry Soetoro?

With each passing day, it becomes more evident that the United States is a “captured operation,” and has been taken over from within. At the epicenter of the tyrannical takeover is none other than Barack Hussein Obama, a man also known as Barry Soetoro.

The terrifying yet largely unreported fact is that after two elections and nearly five years, we still do not know with certainty the legal name, true legal identity or status of the man holding the highest office in America.

Equally disturbing, and something that should concern everyone, is that anyone who continues to raise questions about Obama’s eligibility status or the authenticity of his long form birth certificate is either subjected to public ridicule or worse, threats to their safety.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Why Did the Obama Administration “Organize and Manage” Protests Against George Zimmerman?

Is the Obama administration at least partially responsible for turning the George Zimmerman trial into such a huge national spectacle? Judicial Watch has obtained documents which prove that the Community Relations Service, a division of the Department of Justice, was sent to Sanford, Florida in late March 2012 “to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman”. This included spending quite a bit of money, arranging meetings between the NAACP and local leaders, and providing police escorts for protesters. Someone needs to ask Obama why the federal government was doing this. A story that should have never made national headlines now threatens to unleash a firestorm of racial fury unlike anything we have seen since the Rodney King verdict. One young man, a neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed another young man. This kind of thing happens in American cities every single night. George Zimmerman says that he did it in self-defense. He should be allowed to have his day in court and that should be the end of the matter. But instead, this thing has been hyped into a massive national spectacle and it is being used to divide us along racial lines. And it appears that we have clear evidence that the Obama administration was involved in doing the hyping.

The documents that Judicial Watch was able to obtain contain some absolutely startling information. Apparently the role of the Obama administration in these protests was quite substantial…

[Comment: Inciting a race war in the USA is one of the desires of the communists.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Employee ‘Failed to Properly Set the Brakes’ On Runaway Train That Hit Canadian Town as the Number of Missing People Jumps to 60 People and it is Thought Many Vaporized

The president and CEO of the railway’s parent company says an employee failed to properly set the brakes of the train that crashed into a town in Quebec, killing at least 15 people while another 45 remain missing.

Edward Burkhardt made the comments during a visit Wednesday to the town that was devastated by the runaway oil train four days ago.

‘It was questionable whether hand brakes were put I place at this time,’ Burkhardt said.

‘I don’t think any employees removed brakes. They failed to set the brakes.’

‘I think he did something wrong …We think he applied some hand brakes but the question is did he apply enough of them.

‘He said he applied 11 hand brakes we think that’s not true. Initially we believed him but now we don’t.’


The Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train broke loose early Saturday and hurtled downhill through the darkness nearly seven miles (11 kilometers) before jumping the tracks at 63 mph (101 kph) in Lac-Megantic, in eastern Quebec near the Maine border, investigators said. All but one of the 73 cars were carrying oil. At least five exploded.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Greece: Season’s Arrivals to Exceed 17 Million

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JULY 4 — June posted an impressive increase in air arrivals from abroad at Greece’s popular holiday destinations, confirming that 2013 will indeed be a record year as far as arrivals are concerned as daily Kathimerini reports.

The number may grow far above the 17-million mark after all, offering some extra cash to Greece’s struggling economy.

Preliminary data for Iraklio, Rhodes, Corfu and Zakynthos, four of the country’s most popular airports for tourists, showed that arrivals from abroad exceeded 1 million in June, posting a 14.7% rise from the same month in 2012. Arrivals at Iraklio airport rose 19.8%, at Rhodes 18.4%, at Zakynthos 12.5% and at Corfu 8.2%. Early signs point to a significant increase of 16% on average at the airports of Kos, Myconos and Cephalonia, too. A significant number of hotel in spots that are popular with foreign tourists have stopped taking bookings for July and August as they have reached 100% occupancy rate in most cases.

Sources say that even the original target of 17 million tourism arrivals from abroad could actually prove too conservative in the end. This due to the current unrest in Egypt and recently in Turkey that has stemmed the tourism flow to these neighboring countries. Forecasts for arrivals from Russia have already been revised upward as tourism bodies have raised their expectations from 1 million to 1.2 million tourists from Russia this year. In fact the Russians were the biggest group to visit Rhodes in June, posting a 67.4% annual rise, against a 20.2% increase for the French. On Zakynthos the annual growth rate of visitors from Russia reached 156.3%, while there was also a notable rise of visitors from Belgium, by 85.3%. The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office has just instructed British travelers to avoid trips to Egypt, apart from Red Sea resorts. Since the issue of the travel advisory, several major tour operators in the UK have canceled flights to Cairo and Luxor, while cruise operators have changed their schedules as well.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Loro Piana Latest Icon to Fall Into Foreign Hands

Luxury cashmere company ‘to remain Italian’ says family

(By Christopher Livesay) (ANSA) — Quarona, July 9 — Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana say that although they have sold their cashmere brand to French luxury dealer LVMH, its heart will remain in Italy.

“Even if the property is no longer Italian, it will remain a company and a brand that is Italian,” the brothers said in a statement Tuesday. LVMH, the company that was formed by the 1987 merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with champagne producer Moët Hennessy, bought 80% of the cashmere clothing dynasty Loro Piana for 2 billion euros on Monday.

According to LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury conglomerate, Loro Piana is the largest Western manufacturer of cashmere.

The brothers say that jobs will be protected at the operation, known for tailoring some of the world’s finest suits and other fine garments. “We would not have made a decision like this if we were not convinced that it is the best for our people,” said Sergio Loro Piana. “Ours was not a random choice.

“We are convinced that in this way the identity of the brand will be protected. “The company is Italian and will remain Italian.

“(LMVH) is the guarantee that Loro Piana is the Italian representative for those who enjoy excellence”. The governor of the region of Piedmont, where the company has been based since it was established in 1924 by Pietro Loro Piana, appealed to the brothers to make sure production did not leave Italy’s northwest. “(That) would be a huge error,” said Roberto Cota on Twitter. “We’re talking about a product of extremely high quality, the fruit of a culture of homegrown craft that you can neither invent nor transfer”. Italian Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato said the acquisition was business as usual. “We go shopping, they go shopping, we all go shopping,” he said, referring to a recent flurry of French companies buying up Italian brands. The brothers will hold onto 20% of the family business and reserve their posts as directors. LVMH has acquired several iconic Italian brands over the years. Last month it purchased a majority share in Milan’s historical Cova pastry-shop brand, based in the heart of the city’s well-heeled fashion district.

In 2011 it took over the luxury Italian fashion brand Bulgari.

In the same year, fashion house Brioni went to France-based PPR and a controlling stake of Moncler was sold to French investment company Eurazeo.

France is not the only foreign investor in iconic Italian fashion houses. In 2012 the Qatar royal family bought the Valentino Fashion Group (VFG) under its holding company Mayhoola for Investments Spc. Shares for LVMH rose 2.1% at the opening of the Paris stock exchange on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PdL Blocks Parliament Over Berlusconi Trial ‘Speed’

Tension rises over fragile govt stability

(By Christopher Livesay) (ANSA) — Rome, July 10 — Outraged members of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party secured a one-day halt to parliamentary business on Wednesday to discuss its reaction to a high court decision to start hearings in just three weeks in a case where the media mogul is appealing a four-year jail term and a five-year ban from public office.

“Long and detailed discussions (are needed),” said PdL Lower House Whip Renato Brunetta. The supreme Cassation Court on Tuesday shocked the ex-premier’s defense team by scheduling the trial date on the same day the appeal was filed, to begin on July 30. The PdL had initially asked for three days to mull moves against “judicial persecution” but later scaled back after the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), who shares power with the PdL in the coalition government, rejected the call. The three-time premier is appealing a four-year term for inflating film-rights purchases at his Mediaset media empire, cut to one for an amnesty, as well as a five-year ban from public office. As he is over 70 he would not serve the year in prison if definitively convicted but have to do social work.

However the ban would kick in if, as usually happens, parliament ratifies it.

There has been some speculation that the PD may not all vote to ban Berlusconi.

As well as calling for the halt to parliamentary business, the PdL said it would no longer attend a government summit set to address thorny issues like the repeal of property tax IMU and the avoidance of a 1% hike in VAT. But the PD said the PdL was over-reacting. Its Senate whip, Luigi Zanda, said “it’s OK if a caucus needs a few hours to talk things through, but longer than that is not. “Parliament cannot absolutely suspend its work”. While not blaming the PD for the Cassation Court’s action, the PdL has said this alleged latest instance of judicial persecution against their leader could bring down the fragile coalition with their traditional foes.

After the PdL made its demands, Diehard Silvio Berlusconi loyalist and MP Daniela Santanché said that if the PdL’s request to suspend government meetings was not respected there would be consequences. “If the answer is a ‘no’ then the understanding is that there is no coalition government,” Santanché said in a radio interview. “Bringing down a government is not a political action, it is a consequence of political action,” Santanché said. Many have worried that the fragile stability of the unprecedented left-right coalition was at risk over the legal troubles of Berlusconi, who has threatened to withdraw support over other issues.

Members of his party have vowed to resign from government en masse if their leader’s ban from office is upheld.

His lawyers have called the move “beyond logic,” arguing that it does not give them enough time to prepare, while the Cassation insists the case risked timing out under the statute of limitations — something that has happened in a number of Berlusconi’s previous legal entanglements.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Vows to Cut Property Tax IMU and Cap VAT

Reiterates PdL priorities

(ANSA) — Rome, July 11 — Centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi reiterated on Thursday his party’s determination to slash or abolish a controversial property tax, IMU, and to halt any further rise in Italy’s 21% value added tax (VAT).

“We will complete the measures on IMU and VAT,” the three-time ex-premier said from the headquarters of his People of Freedom Party (PdL) in Rome, underlining his party’s priorities.

Berlusconi promised to cancel IMU and pay back last year’s take during the campaign for February’s general election.

The property tax had been reinstated by a technical government last year to address a crisis in public finances.

PdL lawmakers have staked their political reputation and support for Italy’s unprecedented right-left coalition government on the two tax measures.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Arctic Muslims Risk Health During Ramadan

Swedish Muslims north of the Arctic circle have long waited for and feared this summer. When the sun never sets, they have pondered how to observe Ramadan, when devout Muslims fast from sun up to sun down for a month.

“Kiruna is as high up as you get in Sweden, the sun never sets during this month,” Ali Melhem, 45, who has lived in Kiruna for 24 years told The Local. As the fasting month is set by the moon, Ramadan usually moves about 10 days forward in the calender each year, which means this is the first summer it has proved a 24-hour dilemma for Melhem.

“When I first moved here, Ramadan was in the spring.”

In attendance for the day when Ramadan would run smack bang into the near three-month stretch of never-ending sun, Shia Muslim Melhem has not remained idle in doing his research.

“My wife and I couldn’t make that choice, so we’ve consulted mullahs from Iraq to Iran. They say we can wait to fast until the autumn,” he said, adding that some Sunni Muslims in Kiruna have chosen to break their fast when the sun sets over Mecca as a solution to their dilemma. Ramadan this years started on July 9th and should last until August 7th.

“I did check if I could follow the sun times in a nearby Swedish town like Luleå or Umeå, but even fasting for 23 hours a day is a bit difficult,” father-of-three Melhem said.

There is still no consensus, however, on how Muslims living in Scandinavia should observe Ramadan without jeopardizing their health, according to Omar Mustafa, president of the Islamic League in Sweden.

“Several imams and organisations have different opinions. It is up to each individual to decide, but it is not meant that you should fast around the clock. Islam provides many options,” Mustafa told the media.

Ramadan is an annual observance by Muslims who are obliged to fast from dawn to sunset for a month often in summer. Many abstain from sexual relations as well as food, drink and smoking. Islam does allow some exceptions from participating in the annual fast such as pregnant women, diabetics and the elderly.

In nearby Finland it is also a problem with up to 21 hours of daylight during the summer. A compromise has been suggested by Imam Abdul Mannan, president of the Islan Society of Northern Finland.

“The Egyptian scholars say that if the fasting days are long — more than 18 hours — then you can follow the Mecca time or Medina time, or the nearest Muslim country time,” he said.

“The other point of view from the Saudi scholars says whatever the day is — long or short — you have to follow the local time.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘It’s a Farm With Chickens… You Expect to Hear Noise’: Magistrate Refuses to Fine Farmer Who Was Taken to Court by a Council Because His Birds Squawked Too Loud

A magistrate has laughed a council out of court after they hauled a rural farmer to the dock for failing to stop his chickens crowing too loudly.

Anthony Block, 52, laughed when he first heard Braintree District Council’s plan to drag him in front of magistrates over his free range chicken farm near Finchingfield, Essex.

Mr Block is accused of falling fowl of a noise abatement order he received three years ago calling on him to prevent his chickens ‘crowing at a level likely to result in reasonable cause for complaint from occupiers of nearby residential properties’.

But despite baffled magistrates refusing to enforce a fine, Mr Block has still been left with £115 legal costs and a criminal record following the barmy conviction.

He said: ‘What next? Are they going to complain about the birds in the trees being too noisy?

‘My business has been here since 2002 and all of a sudden they are too noisy — – it just doesn’t make any sense.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Five Schoolboys Aged Between 12 and 13 Arrested After ‘12-Year-Old Girl is Raped on Estate’

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Five schoolboys aged 12 and 13 have been arrested over the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl.

The boys have all been bailed over the alleged assault, which is said to have taken place on the Field Lane estate in Rastrick, West Yorkshire, last Friday.

Police have increased patrols on the estate and have contacted local schools to make them aware of the allegation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Victims Blast Pope’s ‘Tiny Tweaking’ of Abuse Rules

‘Generates positive headlines but nothing more’ says SNAP

(ANSA) — New York, July 11 — The leading US clerical abuse protest group on Thursday dismissed Pope Francis’s crackdown on crimes against kids, saying it was a “tiny tweak” which would in any case only apply within the small confines of the Vatican City. In a statement, David Clohessy, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said: “For the Vatican’s image, this is a successful move. For children’s safety, this is another setback. “It’s a setback because it will help foster the false impression of reform and will lead to more complacency. “In the real world, this changes virtually nothing. It’s precisely the kind of ‘feel good’ gesture that Vatican officials have long specialized in: tweaking often-ignored and ineffective internal church abuse guidelines to generate positive headlines but nothing more.

“While the headlines may proclaim “Pope makes new church rules about abuse,” the fine print makes it clear that there’s just one rule, and it purportedly makes more child sexual violence illegal on the 0.2 square miles of Vatican property,” Clohessy said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Srebrenica: Serbian Parliament Pays Homage to Victims

But also remembers thousands of Serbians killed in conflicts

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, JULY 11 — The Serbian parliament on Thursday paid homage to the 8.000 innocent victims of Srebrenica’s slaughter, voicing support for their families while at the same time remembering the thousands of Serbians killed in armed conflicts in the 1990s in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the rest of ex Yugoslavia.

“Parliament expresses also pain and participation to the families of innocent Serbian civilians killed in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina’, said a statement released by the office of the presidency. ‘Serbia and its parliament will always engage in preserving the memory of victims of brutal armed conflicts in the 1990s in ex Yugoslavia’.

Belgrade’s parliament expressed ‘the hope that all populations of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as those from other countries of ex Yugoslavia, will continue in the reconciliation process and in encouraging coexistence based on the equality of nations and the full respect of freedom and human rights of minorities to make sure the crimes committed will not be repeated in the future’. ‘Only in this way it will be possible to look at the future and create peace and prosperity in the entire region’, parliament’s statement said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Second Christian Killed in Sinai by Suspected Muslim Extremists

Cairo, 11 July (AKI) — A Christian shopkeeper’s headless corpse was found in the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, the second slaying of Christian there since the military deposed Egypt’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi on 3 July.

Arabic satellite TV channel al-Arabiya cited Egyptian security sources as saying that 60-year-old Magdy Habashi had been abducted last Saturday in the city of Sheikh Zweid. His remains were found in a cemetery.

A Coptic Christian priest, Mina Abboud Sharobeen, was shot dead by gunmen on 6 July in the flashpoint city al-Arish in the northern Sinai.

Investigators suspect Islamic extremists are behind the two murders.

Egypt’s Christians make up around 10 percent of the country’s population and have frequently been targeted by Islamists.

Islamist extremists are believed to have shot dead a 28-year-old man who ran a bar selling alcohol the centre of al-Arish in May.

The ousting of Egypt’s longterm president Hosni Mubarak in a popular revolt in 2011 emboldened militant Islamists who have carried out a number of attacks in the lawless North Sinai and across the border in Israel.

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

Egypt: Three Copts Murdered in Past 24 Hours, Police Said

One decapitated in the Sinai, two more killed in Luxor

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JULY 11 — Three Egyptian Copts have been found murdered in the past 24 hours in southern Egypt and in the Sinai, police sources told ANSAmed on Thursday.

The decapitated body of Magdi Lamai was found this morning in Shaykh Zuwayyid, in the Sinai. The bodies of two relatives were found last night in the town of Dbaa in the Luxor region 600 kilometers south of Cairo. Their family had fallen out with a local Muslim family, the sources said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Is a “Kinder Gentler” Muslim Brotherhood Ahead for Egypt After Ramadan?

We turned to Dr. Mark Christian of the Global Faith Institute, whom we had interviewed on the turmoil in Egypt for his informed views about a new strategy by the Brotherhood to return them to power in any new elections. Dr. Christian is an Egyptian former Muslim and a convert to Christianity. Formally trained as a physician he was raised in the family of an influential member of the Muslim Brotherhood and knew its leaders and doctrine. He also had met several of Egypt’s leading military and political figures. He lives with his family in an undisclosed location in the heartland of America. A fatwa against him has been issued by Muslim Brotherhood clerics endangering his life.Dr. Christian went on to say, “The Brotherhood knows that nothing has changed ideologically in Egypt, and if there’s going to be an Islamist candidate, he might as well be Brotherhood.” Most Egyptians, certainly the Islamists, don’t have a beef with the Brotherhood ideologically, but they don’t like having an economy in the gutter or a Brotherhood run government stocked with their own people. When asked how the world will know that the Brotherhood is transforming, Dr. Christian said, “…watch for a new leadership to emerge, one that will remove the current spiritual leader and replace him with a more palatable version to suit the mood of the people.” Christian commented that moving forward the Brotherhood will lick its wounds and learn from its mistakes. And…they will be back. They’ll garner public support as they always seem to, portraying themselves as the underdog who gets kicked around, all the while preparing to rule over the lives of Egyptians with iron fisted authority.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Mama Mia, More Sharia in Egypt’s “New” Constitutional Draft

by Andrew Bostom

Continuing to ignore the Sharia closed circle that has stifled Egypt’s efforts since the 1820s to produce a pluralistic society, based upon a secular consensus, comes this report—accompanied by despairing outcries from Egypt’s Coptic community.

A Coptic activist group, Egypt’s Maspero Youth Union—named after the brutal Maspero massacre, during which the Egyptian military targeted and killed dozens of Coptic Christians, and injured some 300—responded with understandable anguish to the constitutional declaration issued on Monday, July 8, 2013, by interim president Adly Mansour. The Maspero Youth Union characterized as “shocking,” the 33-article document, which outlines the roadmap for the transitional period anticipated to last six months.

The declaration’s first article combines Articles 1, 2 and 219 of the suspended constitution—article 219 having been added by avowed Muslim Sharia supremacists to clarify the meaning of “principles of Islamic sharia” mentioned in the second article. Here are the aforementioned articles from Egypt’s recently suspended Constitution, which, it should be noted, had been approved, just this past December, 2012, by a total of 64.0% of Egyptians, (10,543,893/16,472,241), including 67.5% (162,231/240,224) of Egyptian expatriates…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood Booster Barack Obama Continues Artful Dodger Role in Egypt

President Barack Hussein Obama is playing ‘cute’ on the word “coup” when it comes to defining epic events in Egypt.

“US massive military aid to Cairo would have to be cut by law if the removal of the Islamist leader is determined by Washington to have been a coup.” (BBC, July 11. 2013)

This play on words is a slap in the face to every Egyptian who played a part in the ouster of Obama’s friend Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.

Obama is the expert of coups, having pulled off the biggest western coup of all time back in 2008. All identity tags for the monumentally unaccomplished senator from Illinois were scrubbed before he tossed his hat into the presidential race. The White House being captured, Obama surrounded himself with 30-40 1960s hippy-style czars, not one of them ever elected.

Now, that’s a coup!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ramadan: Battle Against Rising Prices Already Lost

Government efforts to limit hike useless

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JULY 11 — A battle in North African countries against rising food prices which usually starts before and during the month of Ramadan has been abundantly lost. During Ramadan, practicing Muslims fast during the day and then break the fast at sunset.

Trade ministries have been working to avoid the price hikes with a number of strategies to control large and small retailers. But controls and explicit threats — going as far as revoking a retailer’s license — seem to have done nothing or little to prevent a situation which is strongly influenced by a tradition which sees Muslims break up the Ramadan fast with very rich meals once the sun has set and it is finally possible to sit at the table.

Within this process — except for producers who can only marginally influence prices — the most important role is played by retailers who blame rising prices on the persistent economic crisis and the lack of tools to fight it.

For this reason Algerians, Tunisians, Moroccans and Libyans — Egyptians have other problems right now — are seeing prices literally fly up, especially for food specialties which are traditionally part of a meal breaking the fast. An example is white meat, chicken in particular, with prices growing to embarrassing levels in spite of crackdowns announced by authorities. A survey by Algeria’s general union for trade and craftsmanship, found the difference in prices between wholesalers and retailers ranged between 50% to reach 150%.

The main problem, according to institutions, is tracking down transactions between buyers and sellers given that sales receipts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Supreme Court Confirmation: Prohibited to Wear Hijab in Russian High Schools

The judges confirm the sentence of a court in Stavropol, on the basis of the “secular nature” of the Russian State. For the Muslim community it is a violation of religious freedom. Last year several girls with headscarves were banned entry into class.

Moscow (AsiaNews/agencies) — Forbidden to wear the hijab, the Islamic veil, in high schools in the region of Stavropol, in southern Russia, bordering the Muslim majority Caucasus region. This was established on 10 July by the Supreme Court, confirming the validity of a ruling issued earlier by a local court. The judges rejected the appeal filed by lawyer Murad Musayev on behalf of the local Muslim community.

According to the Stavropol regional court, which ruled to ban headscarves in schools, education in Russia is secular and such restrictions are aimed only to promote equality among students of different denominations and faiths. For the judges, the outward appearance of the students “must be secular in nature”.

The lawyer Musayev, on the other hand, contended that the hijab ban violates the constitutional right of Muslims to wear their religious symbols. “The Russian Constitution grants everyone the right to choose their religion, while only federal regulators can impose restrictions on the freedom of conscience and religion”, argued the lawyer, as reported by Interfax.

The members of the Muslim community of Stavropol, also explained that the ban on dressing in accordance with their beliefs, forced them to transfer their children to religious schools or to make them study at home.

In February, the Court had rejected a similar lawsuit on the grounds that religious freedom does not include the right to wear religious symbols.

Musayev had submitted an appeal to the same court on April 22, 2012; this appeal was then passed to the Supreme Court. The intent was to cancel directive of the regional government promulgated on October 31, 2012, which imposes a single standard in the students’ clothing. Since then, for two weeks, several schools banned entry to girls wearing the veil.

In October last year, President Vladimir Putin commented on the issue, explaining that the authorities must respect the beliefs of citizens, but must base their decisions on the secular nature of the state. (N.A.)

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

Italian Envoy Travels to India Over Marines Case

De Mistura will talk to ministers

(ANSA) — New Delhi, July 10 — The Italian government’s special envoy to India, Staffan de Mistura, travelled to New Delhi on Wednesday for a new round of talks with Indian authorities on the case of two Italian marines charged in India with double homicide, diplomatic sources told ANSA.

The diplomat will hold talks with representatives of the foreign and interior ministries on the case in which the two marines face murder charges. Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone are on trial for shooting and killing fisherman Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki in February 2012 after allegedly mistaking them for pirates while guarding a merchant ship off the Kerala coast.

Investigations by anti-terror police Nia have been delayed due to the prosecution’s request to question in India the other four marines who were on board the Enrica Lexie ship when the incident occurred. The Italian government has reportedly responded to the request with a few proposals which are being considered by the Indian government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

5,000-Year-Old ‘Chinese Characters’ Discovered

Chinese archeologists have unearthed ancient inscriptions dating back around 5,000 years that some believe could represent the earliest known record of Chinese characters.

The inscriptions were found on pieces of pottery and rock dug up from the Zhuangqiao excavation site in the eastern province of Zhejiang and could date back to one of China’s oldest civilisations, the Liangzhu.

There is still no consensus among Chinese academics as to whether the markings represent mere symbols or in fact a primitive written language from which today’s written characters originate.

The inscriptions could represent “the earliest record of Chinese characters in history, pushing the origins of the written language back 1,000 years,” according to China’s official news agency Xinhua.

Xu Xinmin, a researcher from the Zhejiang Archeological Institute, told The Daily Telegraph his team had made the discovery while sifting through items they had dug up from the Zhuangqiao site between 2003 and 2006.

“The same strokes appear repeatedly which indicates that the words were put together into a sentence,” he said, adding that it was possible to infer “meaning” from the inscriptions.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Baby Stabbed 90 Times With Scissors by His Chinese Mother After He Bit Her as She Was Breastfeeding Him

An eight-month-old boy is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed 90 times by his mother, mostly in the face, for biting her while she was breastfeeding.

Xiao Bao needed more than 100 stitches after the incident in Xuzhou, eastern China’s Jiangsu Province.

The infant lives with his mother and two uncles, who make a living recycling rubbish. It was one of the uncles who discovered Xiao Bao lying in a pool of blood in the yard of their home and rushed him to hospital.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Destination UK: How 80,000 Bulgarians Plan to Move to Britain When Border Controls Are Scrapped in Less Than Six Months

As many as 80,000 Bulgarians could move to Britain when new EU rules come into force in less than six months, it emerged today.

A new survey has revealed that nearly 20 per cent of 15 to 55-year-olds — around 400,000 — want to escape their struggling country, with the UK at the top of their list.

– From January 1, Britain will not be able to stop eastern European nationals taking up residence here…

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the figures would put a huge strain on hospitals, schools and the benefits system.

He told The Sun: ‘According to these figures, almost 100,000 Bulgarians want to come here and that number may hit a million in future years.

‘To stop them, we need to leave the EU — nothing else will do.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Kyenge Says She Has ‘No Problem’ With Northern League

Defends freedom of opinion

(ANSA) — Milan, July 11 — Italy’s Congo-born Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said on Thursday she had no issues with the strongly anti-immigrant Northern League.

“I have no problem with the (Northern) League,” Kyenge told journalists in the Lombard city of Bergamo — a Northern League political stronghold.

“Every person has the right to show their own opinion and I respect the opinions of everyone and of each person,” Kyenge added.

Regarding the request of Northern League militants to meet with her, Kyenge said, “I never refuse a meeting with anyone, (but) it must be in an institutional seat and with respect for the undertakings”. Kyenge has been subject to a number of vitriolic attacks by Northern League leaders since she became Italy’s first black cabinet minister in April.

Last month, the second-in-command of the Northern League said Kyenge’s push to decriminalize undocumented immigration to Italy has sparked a wave of incoming migrants.

Also last month, a Northern League councillor in Padua posted an invitation to “rape” the minister on a Facebook page. Mario Borghezio, an Italian member of European Parliament apologised in May for calling Premier Enrico Letta’s executive a “bonga bonga” government, claiming that Kyenge would seek to “impose her tribal traditions from the Congo” on Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Half a Million More EU Immigrants Arrived in the UK Under Labour Than Originally Thought

Half a million more immigrants arrived in Britain from the European Union than was previously believed, campaigners have warned.

It means immigration between mid-1997 and mid-2010, while Labour was in power, now totals nearly 4million, rather than the 3.4million recorded.

The number of people who went under the radar would have filled a city the size of Manchester.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) discovered the mistake in May when they compared the results of the 2011 census with the population that they had expected to find on the basis of births, deaths and official immigration figures, Migrationwatch UK said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

27 Facts That Prove That the Family in America is in the Worst Shape Ever

The family is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. If you do not have strong families, you are not going to have a strong society. Unfortunately, the state of the family in America continues to deteriorate. The marriage rate has fallen to an all-time low, we lead the world in divorce, and about a third of all children live in a home without a father. Our young people have been taught that getting married and having a family is not a priority, and many of those that would like to get married and have children are not able to get the kinds of jobs that they need to support a family. The statistics that you are about to see should absolutely shock you. American families have never been this weak, and this is an incredibly troubling sign for the future of our nation. What will future generations of Americans be like if they do not have stable homes to grow up in? Will they be even more messed up than we are right now? That is a frightening thought. The following are 27 facts that prove that the family in America is in the worst shape ever…

#1 The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to an all-time low. Right now it is sitting at a yearly rate of 6.8 marriages per 1000 people.

#2 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are married.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Football for All’: Dutch Stand Up for Gay Players’ Rights

Next month, the Dutch national football team’s coach plans to take a stand for the rights of gay players at the Amsterdam Gay Pride parade. Activitists in Germany, where no professional players are out, hope their football officials will follow his lead.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

I Am Tired of the Racists

I am proud to be what God made me, white.

There, I’ve said it. Somebody has to have the courage to speak what others are thinking. I am sick and tired of cowering in the corner, afraid to be pilloried by the PC Police.

I’ll say it AGAIN. In fact, I’ll shout it. I AM PROUD TO BE WHITE!!!

I know that makes some of you uncomfortable. You are so brainwashed and lobotomized by the culture that you can’t even recognize the prison they have you locked in.

“They” are the PC Police. They are the ones who lie in the weeds and wait for you to utter anything that anybody may find offensive. Hate speech, hate thought, hate crimes, racism, bigotry, and white guilt are the “crimes” that they have codified into PC Law that you are punished for when you exercise free thought and free speech.

Well, I am sick and tired of it, and I know I speak for millions who feel the same way. Most have been bullied into silence by the PC Police and their henchmen and one of the tragic results is the treatment of the White American as a nearly second class citizen.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Solar System Has a Tail Shaped Like a Four-Leaf Clover

Lucky us! Our solar system has a tail reminiscent of a four-leaf clover, according to new observations of the plasma bubble that shields the solar system from the rest of the galaxy. The discovery should help us better understand how our star interacts with the Milky Way, including how harmful cosmic rays from interstellar space manage to sneak through the solar system’s magnetic barrier.

The sun is currently zipping through one of the Milky Way’s spiral arms at a relative speed of about 23 kilometres per second, ploughing through thin clouds of interstellar dust and gas. At the same time, a stream of particles blowing out from the sun — the solar wind — inflates a bubble of plasma around the solar system, called the heliosphere.

Astronomers have long assumed that the sun’s motion through the galaxy squashes and spreads the heliosphere into a bullet shape, with an extended tail at the back (see image). We have seen similar tails in pictures of speeding stars elsewhere in the galaxy. But until now it has been hard to see for sure what our own sun’s tail might look like.

Using the first three years of observations from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft, astronomers were able to map this “heliotail” for the first time. “We’ve never taken a picture of it,” IBEX mission scientist Eric Christian said today in a teleconference. “This is actually the first real data we have that gives us the shape of the tail.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/11/2013

  1. The “What Makes Liberals Tick” article quotes the Humanist Manifesto as declaring that Liberals have the power to “alter the course of evolution.” And it is true. But will they alter the course of evolution for the better?
    It’s a good thing that Liberals (or Progressives, or whatever they call themselves now) weren’t around when the human species first emerged from the hominids. “Unjust privilege,” they would have cried. Then they would have devised a system of taxation so that all beneficial progress made by the humans would be immediately re-distributed to benefit exclusively the hominids. In the end, as there would have been no advantage in being human, the world would be mostly hominid to this day.

    It’s a good thing that there were no Progressives when intentional agriculture and settled villages began to emerge in the Middle East thousands of years ago. “Unjust privilege,” they would have cried. All cultures are equal and the more productive ideas of one culture must not allow it to dominate. Look, they’d say, at the tragic way the nomads are abandoning their own cultures and adopting agriculture themselves. It’s cultural genocide! So they’d devise a system of taxation to make sure that the practitioners of agriculture gained no advantage from their activities and that all the agricultural wealth was re-distributed to the hunter-gatherers. Eventually, agriculture would have died out.

    It’s a good thing there were no Progressives around when Europe was transformed by the Enlightenment. They would have been horrified by the progress that was engendered by free speech and by the use of the scientific method to establish provable truths. “Horrors,” they would have cried. “Neither the scientific method nor logic itself should be privileged above other methods of understanding the world! Using science and logic is a form of Western oppression of other cultures that value logic less! There is no such thing as objective truth. All truths are relative and all truths are equal. ” Then they would have devised a system of taxation to ensure that the Enlightenment countries profited not a whit from their great inventions and all their gains would be re-distributed to non-Enlightenment countries. And eventually, science would have died out.

    Read your college-age kids’ textbooks, folks. The Enlightenment, logic, and the concept of truth itself are even now under attack in American Universities.

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