Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/25/2013

The governor of Campania is warning that riots and unrest will erupt in Naples and southern Italy if the economic situation continues to deteriorate. Italy is expected to lose a total of 250,000 jobs this year, and southern Italy has been particularly hard-hit.

In other news, a bomb left behind a Sydney police station is thought to be a Muslim response to last year’s Hyde Park riots in Sydney, when Muslims clashed with police.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, McR, Nilk, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

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

Financial Crisis
» Has the Middle Class Caught on to Obama’s Hustle Yet?
» Retailers Say Real Tax Burden in Italy is 54%
» Riots, Social Unrest Could Hit Southern Italy, Governor Says
» Who Controls the Global Economy? Do Not Underestimate the Power of the Big Banks
» 98 Million Americans Were Given Polio Vaccine Contaminated With Cancer-Causing Virus, Admits CDC
» Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas
» Dem. Sheila Jackson Lee Filing Bill to Cut Federal Funding to States That Don’t Change “Stand Your Ground” Laws to “Duty to Retreat”
» Democrats Vow to Repeal Alabama’s Stand Your Ground Law
» Democratic Leaders: All Americans “May be in Communication With Terrorists”
» Detroit Council Supports Calls for Federal Investigation of Possible Civil Rights Charges Against George Zimmerman
» Foreigners From Islamic Countries Disappearing From Our U.S. Military Bases — ‘They Are the Sleeper Cells’
» Hackers Demonstrate Dangerous Stunts After Carjacking Vehicle
» Heartland Virus is Carried by Ticks — New Virulent Tick Other Than Lyme:
» Holder Seeking to Require Texas to Clear Voting Changes With U.S.
» Homeland Security’s Future Home: A Former Mental Hospital
» Move to Stop NSA Surveillance Program Defeated in House
» NC Senate Passes ‘Sharia Law’ Bill
» New Research: Average Person Exposed to Cancerous Levels of Toxins
» Oath Keepers Founder Targeted in Attempted Set Up
» ObamaCare’s Branch of the NSA
» SAC Capital is Indicted
» Stand First in Liberty
» Support These 3 Bills … Or Live Like a Slave
» The Most Honest Americans Are…
» The NSA’s New Spy Facility is 7 Times Bigger Than the Pentagon
» These Are the 217 People Who Voted to Preserve NSA Surveillance
Europe and the EU
» Agatha Christie’s Underprivileged Childhood
» Driver in Custody After 80 Killed in Spain Train Crash
» France Outlaws Two More Far-Right ‘Hate’ Groups
» Greece: ‘The Serpent’s Egg’
» Italy: No 100th Birthday Party in Public for Nazi Officer
» Italy: Court Upholds Law Making Prison Optional for Gang Rape
» License Plate Scanning Cameras Ruled Illegal in Britain
» Mission Mars: Scientists in Britain Map Out Conceptual Astronaut Landing
» Professor: Robots to Patrol Cities by 2040
» Roger Waters Tour With Inflatable Pig Bearing Star of David
» Spain Train Crash: 78 Killed
» UK: Lithuanian Tourist Sparks Seven Hour Train Delay Costing £1million and Disrupting 40,000 Passengers by Climbing on Railway Station Roof When His Ticket Wasn’t Accepted
» Wales: Taxi Driver Who Knocked Down Pedestrians ‘Like Bowling Pins’ In Central Cardiff Has Sentence Appeal Rejected
» Warning to Tourists in France After Attack by Feral Cats
» What Did Vikings Smell Like?
North Africa
» Egypt: Where Military Coups Equal ‘Freedom and Hope’
» Egypt: Rome Community Heeds General El Sissi’s Call
» Tunisia: Leftist Opposition Leader Mohamed Brahmi Shot Dead
Israel and the Palestinians
» Chief Rabbis to be Elected Amid Bitter Feuding
» Controversy Over Sons of Rabbis Elected Chief Rabbis
» Fatah Honors Terrorist for Murdering 61 Israelis
Middle East
» Agitating for an American War in Syria
» Iran: Tehran: Volleyball Sparks Protest Against Ayatollahs
» Italian Photographer Indicted in Turkey Over Protest
» Lebanon: Hezbollah-EU: Concerns for Italian UN Troops
» Turkey: Pregnant Women in Public ‘Immoral and Unpleasant’
South Asia
» Indonesia: Java: Ahmadi Mosque Shut Down
Australia — Pacific
» Explosives Found at Sydney Police Station
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Prayer for Zimbabwe
Latin America
» Luis Fleischman: Extraditing Snowden to One of the Bolivarian Countries May Badly Hurt American Interests
» ‘Reprehensible’: UNESCO Adds Works of Che Guevara to World Register
» Some 85 Egyptians, Syrians Rescued Off Italian Coast
Culture Wars
» Common Core Teaches Community Organizing for the Collective
» Weekend Camp Encourages Young Boys to ‘Freely Express Their Interpretations of Femininity’
» Global Future 2045
» Muslims Are Not a Minority

Has the Middle Class Caught on to Obama’s Hustle Yet?

Let’s start by defining a hustle. Someone is pulling a hustle on you when they constantly try to convince you they offer something that is actually illusory. The hustle can become a career for them if you keep buying it, but in order for that to happen the hustler has to very skillfully convince you that your lack of reward is because of some sinister outside force working against the hustler. If the hustler can pull this off, he can prevent you from recognizing that the offer itself is empty.

That basically describes Barack Obama’s relationship with the American middle class. He talks about them endlessly, and constantly derides his political opponents for supposedly favoring everyone but them. But as the Wall Street Journal points out, Obama’s actual policies have done nothing but decimate the very middle class they claim to favor. That’s because spreading the wealth, rather than focusing on growth, kills opportunity:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Retailers Say Real Tax Burden in Italy is 54%

Confcommercio figure excludes underground economy

(ANSA) — Rome, July 25 — Honest Italian households and businesses face a real tax burden of 54%, retailers association Confcommercio said in a report on Thursday, adding that this was the highest rate among the world’s advanced economies.

The figure comes after the underground economy was excluded from the calculations. It forecast the ‘apparent’ tax burden this year, using the official method that features the black market in its calculations, will be 44.6%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Riots, Social Unrest Could Hit Southern Italy, Governor Says

Campania regional head warns of violence due to joblessness

(ANSA) — Pompeii, July 23 — Social unrest and even rioting over the economic crisis and joblessness in Italy would likely begin in the poverty-stricken south, including Naples, Campania Regional Governor Stefano Caldoro said Tuesday.

Caldoro said he agreed with earlier forecasts of social uprisings made by Gianroberto Casaleggio, co-founder of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

“Riots and revolts will begin here in Naples and Campania,” said Caldoro, adding that he was making “a political judgment”.

He was reacting to comments by Casaleggio published during the weekend on the blog of M5S leader Beppe Grillo.

Casaleggio said that a coming economic shock to Italy would likely lead to unrest and violence, and called for significant change to the country’s leadership.

Caldoro’s comments came the same day that the association of Italian chambers of commerce (Unioncamere) and the Labour Ministry warned that Italy will suffer a net loss of 250,000 private-sector jobs this year.

Italy’s unemployment level climbed to a new record high of 12.2% in May, national statistics agency Istat said, with 3.14 million people out of work.

Joblessness is particularly bad among young Italians, with around four in 10 under-25s out of work.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Who Controls the Global Economy? Do Not Underestimate the Power of the Big Banks

Are the big banks really as powerful as some people say that they are? Do they really control the global economy? If y0u asked most people, they would tell you that governments control the global economy. But the campaigns of our politicians are funded by the ultra-wealthy, the big banks and the large corporations that they control. Others would tell you that the Federal Reserve and the rest of the central banks around the world control the global economy. But the truth is that the Federal Reserve was established by the bankers and for the benefit of the bankers. As you will see below, at the very core of the global economy there exists a “super-entity” of financial institutions that control an almost unimaginable amount of wealth and power. These financial institutions and the ultra-wealthy individuals behind them are really the ones that are pulling all the strings. In this world money equals power, and the borrower is the servant of the lender. When you follow the pyramid all the way to the top, it begins to become very clear who really is in control.

In business schools all over America today, instead of dreaming of starting new businesses and contributing something positive to society, most business students are dreaming of going to Wall Street and getting rich. But Wall Street doesn’t actually create or build anything of value for society. Instead, the bankers make most of their profits by essentially pushing money and paper around. In a recent article, Chris Martenson commented on this…

[Comment: A MUST READ article.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

98 Million Americans Were Given Polio Vaccine Contaminated With Cancer-Causing Virus, Admits CDC

(NaturalNews) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has once again been caught removing pertinent but indicting information about vaccines from its website. This time it involves the infamous polio vaccine, up to 98 million doses of which have been exposed as containing a cancer-causing virus that is now believed to be responsible for causing millions of cancers in America, according to the CDC.

The information was posted on an official CDC fact sheet entitled Cancer, Simian Virus 40 (SV40), and Polio Vaccine, which has since been removed from the CDC’s website. Fortunately, was able to archive the damning page before the CDC ultimately removed it, presumably because SV40 has been receiving considerable attention lately due to its connection to causing cancer.

You can view the link to the original CDC page on SV40 and polio vaccines, which is no longer active, here:

You can view the full archived CDC page here:

As you will notice on the archived CDC page, the SV40 virus was allegedly first discovered in monkeys back in 1960, and not long after began appearing inexplicably in polio vaccines. The SV40 virus, according to this same page, has been linked to causing a variety of human cancers, including childhood leukemia, lung cancer, bone cancer, and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas

Auburn, Alabama is home to sprawling plains, Auburn University, and a troubling police force. After the arrival of a new police chief in 2010, the department entered an era of ticket quotas and worse.

“When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” says former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners, who claims he and other cops were given directives to hassle, ticket, or arrest specific numbers of residents per shift. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully.”

Hanners blew the whistle on the department’s tactics and was eventually fired for refusing to comply and keep quiet. He says that each officer was required to make 100 contacts each month, which included tickets, arrests, field interviews, and warnings. This equates to 72,000 contacts a year in a 50,000 person town. His claims are backed up by audio recordings of his superiors he made. The Auburn police department declined requests to be interviewed for this story.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dem. Sheila Jackson Lee Filing Bill to Cut Federal Funding to States That Don’t Change “Stand Your Ground” Laws to “Duty to Retreat”

“We will … decrease the incidence of gun violence resulting from vigilantes by reducing by 20 percent the funds that would otherwise be allocated… to any state that does not require local neighborhood watch programs to be registered with a local [law] enforcement agency,” Jackson Lee said on the House floor.

She said her bill would also use the threat of less federal money to entice states to change their “stand your ground” laws. Jackson Lee said her bill would only allow states to avoid a cut if their laws are amended to include a “duty to retreat.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Democrats Vow to Repeal Alabama’s Stand Your Ground Law

A Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday there would be an effort to repeal Alabama’s version of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in the next legislative session, but acknowledged it could be a difficult fight.

Like Florida’s, Alabama’s Stand Your Ground law says a person is not compelled to retreat before using deadly physical force in self-defense.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Democratic Leaders: All Americans “May be in Communication With Terrorists”

Lawmakers Endorse NSA spying with bizarre justification

The Democratic leadership nailed its colors to the big brother surveillance state mast firmly yesterday, with many voting in favor of NSA spying. Most bizarre, however, was the party line justification for doing so.

As noted in an article at The Huffington Post, the Democratic whip Steny Hoyer, whose role is to convince party members to toe the line and vote in accordance with the Obama administration, sent around a startling message to House Democrats…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Detroit Council Supports Calls for Federal Investigation of Possible Civil Rights Charges Against George Zimmerman

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution calling for a federal investigation to see whether civil rights charges are warranted against George Zimmerman, who was acquitted July 13 of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

The resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman JoAnn Watson, sparked a discussion over the need for city leaders and others to focus more on violence in Detroit.

“We need to have that same level of outrage with respect to the black-on-black crime that takes place in our community,” Councilman Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said. “How many people were shot — maybe even shot and killed this past weekend in the city — mostly likely by folks who look just like them?”

Watson said there are many events held regularly to address violence in Detroit. “Because the so-called major media does not cover all of the expressions does not mean it does not happen,” she said. “So that’s not correct.”

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Foreigners From Islamic Countries Disappearing From Our U.S. Military Bases — ‘They Are the Sleeper Cells’

DAVE GAUBATZ — This is a two-part article. The first part pertains to American counter-terrorism experts not truly understanding the Islamic ideology and the second part pertains to the solutions we must take. The second part is also an introduction to Americans of the severity of foreign nationals working on our U.S. military bases and suddenly disappearing into underground Islamic sleeper cells.

During my counter-terrorism work I have the great opportunity to speak with Americans who understand Islam and are trying to educate others about the dangers Islam and Sharia create for our beautiful country. There are organizations such as ACT For America and FrontPage Magazine that are doing outstanding work. There are Americans who belong to no organization and they are doing outstanding work. I respect all who are educating Americans.

There is one major error many organizations and well-intended people make when discussing Islamic issues. There is hardly a day goes by that I don’t speak with someone who uses the terms ‘Radical Islam and Radical Muslims’. Using these terms causes great harm to our country and the movement by conservatives to show the dangers of Islam. I ask many of the people who use these terms if they believe the Islamic ideology itself is dangerous. Most agree that Islam and Sharia are very dangerous and America’s number one security threat. At the same time some of these people commonly use ‘Radical Islam and Radical Muslims’ in their writings and lectures to the American public. If you truly believe the Islamic ideology is dangerous and harmful to our country and children, you must at once cease from using these terms.

Let me explain why.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hackers Demonstrate Dangerous Stunts After Carjacking Vehicle

Demonstration supports theory that journalist Michael Hastings’ car was remotely hijacked

Forbes Magazine has produced a short video report demonstrating the various operations computer hackers can manipulate once they’ve assumed control of a vehicle’s critical functions, a fascinating revelation in light of theories claiming Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings may have been assassinated using remote carjacking technology already well within the government’s disposal.

Forbes journalist Andy Greenburg recently met with two hackers who re-wired a 2010 Toyota Prius to be controlled via an Apple MacBook. Once the pair of hackers attached to the correct set of ports, they were able to input commands spoofing the car’s various sensors, making it to perform a wide range of seemingly impossible stunts.

“They sent commands from their laptops that killed power steering, spoofed the GPS and made pathological liars out of speedometers and odometers,” wrote Greenberg. “Finally they directed me out to a country road, where Valasek showed that he could violently jerk the Prius’ steering at any speed, threatening to send us into a cornfield or a head-on collision.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Heartland Virus is Carried by Ticks — New Virulent Tick Other Than Lyme:

The Heartland virus, a mysterious virus first identified last year in two Missouri farmers, is indeed transmitted to people by ticks, new research suggests.

The findings, published today (July 22) in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, confirm what scientists had suspected.

The virus was first noticed in 2009, when two men in Missouri were admitted to hospitals with high fevers, diarrhea, fatigue and a severe drop in the number of their white blood cells, immune cells that fight infection. Because the disease’s symptoms looked similar to bacterial infection, doctors gave the men antibiotics but they didn’t improve. Read more…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Holder Seeking to Require Texas to Clear Voting Changes With U.S.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced on Thursday that the Justice Department would ask a court to require Texas to get permission from the federal government before making voting changes in that state for the next decade. The move opens a new chapter in the political struggle over election rules after the Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act last month.

In prepared remarks for a speech before the National Urban League in Philadelphia, Mr. Holder also indicated that the court motion — expected to be filed later on Thursday — is most likely just an opening salvo in a new Obama administration strategy to try to reimpose “preclearance” requirements in parts of the country that have a history of discriminating against minority voters.

His statements come as states across the South, from Texas to North Carolina, have been rushing to enforce or enact new restrictions on voting eligibility after the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Shelby County v. Holder case, which removed that safeguard.

[Return to headlines]

Homeland Security’s Future Home: A Former Mental Hospital

Chris Mills frequently gives tours of St. Elizabeths Hospital, a former mental institution where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is building a $4.5 billion headquarters. It’s the largest construction project in the District of Columbia since the Pentagon was completed in 1943. So there’s a lot of ground to cover. Mills prefers to chauffeur his guests around the place in a golf cart.

A cheerful 55-year-old with a neatly trimmed mustache, Mills, who is managing the project for DHS, tells visitors to look out for animals. There are loads. Herds of deer, a flock of wild turkeys, and a bald eagle reside in the fenced-in facility. They might not last long outside. St. Elizabeths is located in Anacostia, one of D.C.’s toughest neighborhoods. But they have little to fear inside the high-security fences. “It’s like the wild kingdom in here,” Mills says with a chuckle.

[Comment: Wasn’t Lubyanka formerly a mental hospital? ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Move to Stop NSA Surveillance Program Defeated in House

House lawmakers on Wednesday defeated an attempt to drastically curb a national-security program that collects the phone records of millions of Americans, after a tense debate on the balance between privacy rights and government efforts to find terrorists.

The measure was narrowly defeated, 205-217, after last-minute lobbying by the Obama administration and House members on the intelligence panel, who said the program was crucial to national security.

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), who doesn’t often cast a ballot, voted against the amendment, reflecting nervousness among opponents about whether they would be able to defeat the bill.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NC Senate Passes ‘Sharia Law’ Bill

RALEIGH — The state Senate on Friday passed a bill that would keep courts from recognizing Sharia law.While proponents of the legislation said it would keep people safe from foreign laws, critics derided the bill as sending a message of intolerance and bigotry to followers of Islam.

The Senate had already approved the measure when it was attached to a controversial measure that would impose stricter regulations on abortion providers in the state. But the foreign law provision wasn’t sufficiently critiqued because abortion overwhelmed the floor debate, said Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Democrat from Durham.Now called House Bill 522, the provision’s contents haven’t changed. It reminds judges that the U.S. and N.C. constitutions are the law of the land and no foreign law can supersede them. Sometimes international laws are used in court as evidence before a judge, or in written opinions. But this bill would stop judges from considering foreign law when it violates a citizen’s constitutional rights.”Unfortunately we have judges from time to time … that sometimes seem to forget what the supreme law of the land is, and sometimes make improper rulings,” said Sen. E.S. “Buck” Newton, a Wilson Republican and the legislation’s Senate sponsor. Though the bill doesn’t specifically mention it, Newton was clear during Friday’s session that the legislation targets Sharia law, a legal system based on the religious and moral tenants of Islam. Few Muslim countries apply the entire body of rules, instead choosing measures relevant to them. More than 60 countries use at least part of Sharia law in their governance.Its improper use has “worked to deprive” U.S. citizens and immigrants of their constitutional rights, Newton said. There have been 27 reported cases around the country in which Sharia law has been used, he added. More than 20 states have introduced legislation banning Sharia law or foreign law in state courts. Many bills — including North Carolina’s — would apply only to cases in which the application of foreign law would violate a person’s constitutional rights. Sen. Ellie Kinnaird of Chapel Hill, a Democrat, said she thinks the bill’s sponsors don’t truly mean to inform judges that foreign law is unacceptable, but rather the people of North Carolina.”I think the audience is really wider,” Kinnaird said.The N.C. Bar Association opposed the bill in its former incarnation, House Bill 695. The American Bar Association said in a resolution that the passage of such bills will have a “widespread negative impact on business, adversely affecting … economic development in the states in which such a law is passed and in U.S. foreign commerce generally.”The danger doesn’t come from the legislation’s exact wording, said Omid Safi, a professor of religious studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. He contends this wave of anti-foreign-law legislation comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of Sharia law and a “bigoted” perception of Muslims.”We would be delighted to have a conversation about what Sharia law actually is and what it is not,” he said. “It would be important, if we’re passing legislation on the topic, for (lawmakers who support the bill) to actually benefit from the expertise of people who might actually know something about the subject.”The bill wouldn’t affect only Sharia law. Jewish organizations have spoken out against anti-foreign-law legislation across the United States because the measures could negate the common Jewish practice of resolving disputes according to their religious laws, Halacha.

[Return to headlines]

New Research: Average Person Exposed to Cancerous Levels of Toxins

We know there are toxins in our foods. These toxins exist in varying levels and come from sources like pesticides, soil contamination, and even the seeds themselves. We can minimize our exposure to these toxins by eating organic and growing our own foods. But, we are all still being exposed at one level or another. A recent, frightening study indicates even the “average” person is being exposed to cancerous levels of toxins like arsenic, dioxins, and DDE.

The research comes from the University of California, Davis, where scientists looked at the diets and related toxin-levels of 364 children between the ages of 2 and 7, 446 parents of young children, and 149 older adults. What they found was not only troubling, but truly scary.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Oath Keepers Founder Targeted in Attempted Set Up

Unknown assailant impersonated Stewart Rhodes in an e-mail with child pornography attachment.

Pretending to be Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, an unknown assailant sent a child pornography e-mail to People Against the NDAA (PANDAA) founder Dan Johnson in a failed attempt to frame both Rhodes and Johnson for felony charges.

The impersonator used a anonymous e-mail account with ‘Stewart Rhodes’ listed as the sender name and even included Rhodes’ signature block.

Johnson, however, knew that Rhodes did not use Tor e-mail and did not open the attached PDFs.

PANDAA’s Internet security expert determined that the PDFs contained child pornography.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare’s Branch of the NSA

Community organizers will use a Federal Data Hub to sign up people for subsidies — and even ballots.

President Obama has had a poor record of job creation, but at least one small economic sector is doing well: community organizing.

The Department of Health and Human Services is about to hire an army of “patient navigators” to inform Americans about the subsidized insurance promised by Obamacare and assist them in enrolling. These organizers will be guided by the new Federal Data Hub, which will give them access to reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration. “The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute and Stephen T. Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor, wrote in USA Today. No wonder that there are concerns about everything from identity theft to the ability of navigators to use the system to register Obamacare participants to vote.

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius wasn’t satisfied with the $54 million in public funds allocated for navigators this year, so she tried to raise money from health-industry executives for Enroll America, the liberal nonprofit group leading the PR push for Obamacare. She had to retreat under withering criticism that she was shaking down companies that were dependent on government, a clear conflict of interest.

Because 34 states have declined to set up their own insurance “exchanges,” the job of guiding exchange enrollees in those states has been left to Washington. The identity of the groups who will get the Sebelius grants isn’t yet known, but Politico reports they are likely to include Planned Parenthood, senior-citizen advocacy organizations, and churches.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

SAC Capital is Indicted

Federal authorities announced on Thursday a raft of criminal charges against SAC Capital, the hedge fund run by the billionaire Steven A. Cohen, an unusually aggressive move that could cripple one of Wall Street’s most successful stock trading firms.

In the 41-page indictment that includes four counts of securities fraud and one count of wire fraud, prosecutors charged the fund and its units with carrying out a broad insider trading scheme between 1999 and 2010. The case seeks to attribute certain criminal acts of employees to the company itself.

The indictment also takes aim at SAC for “an institutional indifference” to wrongdoing that “resulted in insider trading that was substantial, pervasive and on a scale without known precedent in the hedge fund industry.”

[Return to headlines]

Stand First in Liberty

Nowhere in Scripture is the church seen as a denomination or corporation. It is not even described as an organization. Yet, ask the average so-called Christian today, and they will tell you unless a church has a denomination, a building, and an incorporation status, it is not a church. I have actually heard professing Christians say that if a church did not have the IRS 501c3 government incorporation status, it was not a real church. Can you imagine that? Unless the church is not officially approved and sanctioned by the state, it is not a real church.

But what were churches before 1954, when then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson introduced and successfully passed the 501c3 government corporation law in the United States? Think of it: over 1900 years of Church history, and there was never any such thing as a church being incorporated by the government; but since 1954, if a church does not have the 501c3 government corporation status, it is not a real church? Holy Cow, Margaret!

Ladies and gentlemen, the churches in the Book of Acts were not government corporations; the early churches that followed the apostles were not government corporations; the independent churches of the Dark Ages were not government corporations. The Reformation churches were not government corporations; the Pilgrim churches were not government corporations; the colonial churches were not government corporations; and the independent churches in oppressed countries today are not government corporations.

The Church can have only one Head, and it is not the government. It is Christ! To put the Lord’s Church into a place of subjugation and submission to the state is nothing short of heresy and blasphemy. And by accepting the 501c3 government corporation status, that is exactly what these modern pastors and churches in America are committing.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Support These 3 Bills … Or Live Like a Slave

Unless you are among the one-quarter of Americans who like being a slave to government surveillance and unnecessary anti-terror laws like the Patriot Act that have gutted our freedom, you should call your Congress critters and demand they support Rush Holt’s “Surveillance State Repeal Act”.

And Alan Grayson’s “Mind Your Own Business Act” to stop NSA spying.

And unless you enjoy the drastically decreased prosperity caused by the big banks manipulating more and more of our economy, you should contact your designated pimp and demand that they support Elizabeth Warren and John McCain’s “21st Century Glass Steagall Act”.

These are the 3 most important bills in Congress right now, as their passage could reverse some of the main ills in our society today.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Most Honest Americans Are…

Americans are overwhelmingly honest at their tea parties.

According to an informal test of real life-Honest Abes, 92% of Americans were honest when it came to paying for their drinks, according to beverage maker Honest Tea.

In the test, the company set up 61 unmanned kiosks offering up tea for $1 with drop boxes nearby to collect payment.

The most honest states were Alabama and Hawaii, where 100% of participants paid for their tea, while New Jersey (96%) and New York (91%) ranked in the middle of the pack.

The least honest place in the country, by far, was Washington DC where only 80% of residents paid for their tea. In fact, DC was so dishonest that someone stole Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman’s bike on the day of the test.

[Return to headlines]

The NSA’s New Spy Facility is 7 Times Bigger Than the Pentagon

He works at one of the three-letter intelligence agencies and oversees construction of a $1.2 billion surveillance data center in Utah that is 15 times the size of MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and Jets. Long Island native Harvey Davis, a top National Security Agency official, needs that commanding presence. His role is to supervise infrastructure construction worldwide for NSA, which is part of the Defense Department. That involves tending to logistics, military installations, as well as power, space and cooling for all NSA data centers.

In May, crews broke ground on a $792 million computing center at the agency’s headquarters near Baltimore that will complement the Utah site. Together the Utah center and Maryland’s 28-acre computer farm span 228 acres—more than seven times the size of the Pentagon.

During an interview with Government Executive in June, amid the uproar over leaked details of NSA’s domestic espionage activities, Davis describes the 200-acre Utah facility as very transparent: “Only brick and mortar.” A data center just provides energy and chills machines, he says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

These Are the 217 People Who Voted to Preserve NSA Surveillance

Presenting the full roll call breakdown of the Amash Amendment (as described previously) to shutter the NSA’s surveillance function.

First the Ayes, or those who voted to end the NSA’s surveillance activity. Republicans in roman, Democrats in italic, Independents underlined.

And here are the 217 for whom “protection against terrorism” is of tantamount importance. Certainly more important than the privacy of US citizens.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Agatha Christie’s Underprivileged Childhood

As a writer myself, I’m naturally interested in the life and career of the Number One best-selling author of all time. That would be Agatha Christie, with some 4 billion (!) books sold — including her own life story, An Autobiography, published in 1977, a year after her death. I’m reading it now, and am in a state of shock over the rigors and disadvantages of this woman’s childhood.

She was born Agatha Miller in 1890 and had to spend her entire infancy without a car seat. I mean, what were her parents thinking? How can you have a baby and not have a car seat, into which you can strap the baby and put her conveniently out of the way so you can watch eight hours of football? Little Agatha never knew the security of being confined in a car seat until it made her head flat. Instead, she had to suffer the indignity of being handed around like a puppy by her mother and father, and even a nurse.

Worse, the poor little tot was never enrolled in day care. Imagine being raised by your mother and father! Mr. and Mrs. Miller were exceedingly lucky that there was no Child Protective Services they could be reported to by a cranky neighbor.

[Comment: Good article.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Driver in Custody After 80 Killed in Spain Train Crash

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, July 25 (Reuters) — Police took the driver of a Spanish train into custody in hospital on Thursday after at least 80 people died when it derailed and caught fire in a dramatic accident which an official source said was caused by excessive speed.

The eight-carriage high velocity train came off the tracks just outside the pilgrimage centre of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain on Wednesday night. It was one of Europe’s worst rail disasters.

The source had knowledge of the official investigation into a crash which brought misery to Santiago on Thursday, the day when it should have celebrated one of Europe’s biggest Christian festivals. Authorities cancelled festivities as the city went into mourning.

The Galicia region supreme court said in a statement that the judge investigating the accident had ordered police to put the driver in custody and take a statement from him. He was under formal investigation, the court said.

Dramatic video footage from a security camera showed the train, with 247 people on board, hurtling into a concrete wall at the side of the track as carriages jack-knifed and the engine overturned.

One local official described the aftermath of the crash as like a scene from hell, with bodies strewn next to the tracks.

The impact was so huge one carriage flew several metres into the air and landed on the other side of the high concrete barrier.

Some 94 people were injured, of whom 35 were in a serious condition, including four children, the deputy head of the regional government said.

“We heard a massive noise and we went down the tracks. I helped get a few injured and bodies out of the train. I went into one of the cars but I’d rather not tell you what I saw there,” Ricardo Martinez, a 47-year old baker from Santiago de Compostela, told Reuters.

The train had two drivers, the Galicia government said, but it was not immediately clear which one was in hospital and under investigation.

Newspaper accounts cited witnesses as saying one driver, Francisco Jose Garzon, who had helped rescue victims, shouted into a phone: “I’ve derailed! What do I do?”.

The 52-year-old had been a train driver for 30 years, a Renfe spokeswoman said. Many newspapers published excerpts from his Facebook account where he was reported to have boasted of driving trains at high speed. The page was taken offline on Thursday and the reports could not be verified.

Train Hit Bend at Speed

El Pais newspaper said one of the drivers told the railway station by radio after being trapped in his cabin that the train entered the bend at 190 kilometres per hour (120 mph). An official source said the speed limit on that stretch of twin track, laid in 2011, was 80 kph.

“We’re only human! We’re only human!” the driver told the station, the newspaper said, citing sources close to the investigation. “I hope there are no dead, because this will fall on my conscience.”

Investigators were trying to urgently establish why the train was going so fast and why security devices to keep speed within permitted limits had not worked.

The train, operated by state-owned company Renfe, was built by Bombardier and Talgo and was around five years old. It had almost the maximum number of passengers.

Spain’s rail safety record is better than the European average, ranking 18th out of 27 countries in terms of railway deaths per kilometres travelled, the European Railway Agency said. There were 218 train accidents in Spain between 2008-2011, well below the European Union average of 426 for the same period, the agency said.

Eve of Festival

Firefighters called off a strike to help with the disaster, while hospital staff, many operating on reduced salaries because of spending cuts in recession-hit Spain, worked overtime to tend the injured.

The disaster happened at 8.41 p.m. (1841 GMT) on the eve of a festival dedicated to St. James, one of Jesus’s 12 disciples, whose remains are said to rest in the city’s centuries-old cathedral.

The apostle’s shrine is the destination of the famous El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across the Pyrenees, which has been followed by Christians since the Middle Ages.

Instead of a joyous festival, masses were held every hour in the cathedral. “The main mass was transformed from a mass of joy into a mass of mourning,” said Italian pilgrim Irene Valsangiacomo.

One U.S. citizen died in the crash and five were injured, the State Department said in Washington. Mexico said one of its nationals was among the dead.

At least one British citizen was injured, a British embassy spokesman said. Several other nationalities were believed to be among the passengers.

Neighbours ran to the site to help emergency workers tend to the wounded. Ana Taboada, a 29-year-old hospital worker, was one of the first on the scene.

“When the dust lifted I saw corpses. I didn’t make it down to the track, because I was helping the passengers that were coming up the embankment,” she told Reuters. “I saw a man trying to break a window with a stone to help those inside get out.”

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was born in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia region, visited the site and the main hospital on Thursday. He declared three days of official national mourning for the victims of the disaster.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia also went to Santiago and visited the injured in hospital.

Passenger Ricardo Montesco told Cadena Ser radio station the train approached the curve at high speed, twisted and the carriages piled up one on top of the other.

Passengers Squashed

“A lot of people were squashed on the bottom. We tried to squeeze out of the bottom of the wagons to get out and we realised the train was burning. … I was in the second carriage and there was fire. … I saw corpses,” he said.

Both Renfe and state-owned Adif, which is in charge of the tracks, had opened an investigation into the cause of the derailment, Renfe said.

Clinics in Santiago de Compostela were overwhelmed with people flocking to give blood, while hotels organised free rooms for relatives. Madrid sent forensic scientists and hospital staff to the scene on special flights.

The train was travelling from Madrid to Ferrol on the Galician coast when it derailed, Renfe said in a statement. It left Madrid on time and was travelling on schedule, a spokeswoman said.

Allianz Seguros, owned by Germany’s Allianz, owns the insurance contract for loss suffered by Renfe passengers, a company spokeswoman told Reuters. The contract does not cover Renfe’s trains. The company had sent experts to the scene, she said.

The disaster stirred memories of a train bombing in Madrid in 2004, carried out by Islamist militants, that killed 191 people, although officials do not suspect an attack this time.

Spain is struggling to emerge from a long-running recession marked by government-driven austerity to bring its deeply indebted finances into order.

But Adif, the state railways infrastructure company, told Reuters no budget cuts had been implemented on maintenance of the line, which connects La Coruna, Santiago de Compostela and Ourense and was inaugurated in 2011.

It said more than 100 million euros a year were being spent on track maintenance in Spain.

Wednesday’s derailment was one of the worst rail accidents in Europe over the past 25 years.

[Return to headlines]

France Outlaws Two More Far-Right ‘Hate’ Groups

France continued its crackdown on far-right extremist groups on Wednesday by banning two “violent” organisations accused of glorying Nazi collaborators. The move comes after an anti-fascist activist died during a street brawl in Paris.

France continued its crackdown on far-right extremist groups on Wednesday by banning two “violent” organisations accused of glorying Nazi collaborators. The move comes after an anti-fascist activist died during a street brawl in Paris.

France banned two extreme-right groups on Wednesday who were active and sometimes violent during anti-gay marriage protests and have been accused of glorifying the country’s war-time collaboration with the Nazis.

The dissolution of Nationalist Youth and the “Oeuvre francaise” comes two weeks after the government disbanded three other similar groups implicated in the death last month of a left-wing student in a Paris street brawl.

The death of 18-year-old Clement Meric at the beginning of June sent shockwaves across France amid concern over the rise of extreme-right groups that some say are becoming increasingly violent and brazen.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday described the “Oeuvre francaise” — founded in 1968 — as “an association that propagates a xenophobic and anti-Semitic ideology, racist and revisionist theories, which glorifies collaboration and the Vichy regime.”

Pierre Sidos, who founded the association, is the son of a man who was executed in 1946 for collaborating with the Nazis during the Second World War under the aegis of France’s Vichy regime, which cooperated with Adolf Hitler.

Valls said the organisation — whose red, white and blue logo looks like a gun target — “is organised like a private militia with training camps of a

paramilitary nature.”

Valls said Nationalist Youth, the other organisation to have been banned, “propagates hate and violence, glorifies collaboration, pays tribute to militiamen or to Waffen SS (the armed wing of the Nazi party), with some of its members also (doing) Hitler salutes.

The group is close to the “Oeuvre francaise”.

The French government has disbanded far-right groups like these before, but new ones spring up almost immediately.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece: ‘The Serpent’s Egg’

Eleftherotypia, 25 July 2013

In an attempt to prevent the organisation of a soup kitchen “for Greeks only” by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, the Greek government and police, on July 24, banned all gatherings in the centre of Athens for 24 hours.

This move is “anti-democratic,” bemoans Greek daily Eleftherotypia, adding that the “egg” was produced by the behaviour of the anti-democratic “serpent”, Golden Dawn. The paper notes that the measure was taken on the 39th anniversary of the return of democracy to Greece [following military rule from 1967-74].

Food was nonetheless distributed with the official Nazi hymn, the Horst Wessel Lied, playing in the background, the paper reports. It also notes the absence of Golden Dawn in parliament on the same day during a vote on cooperation with the International Tracing Service, a centre for documentation, information and research on Nazis and their victims.

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

Italy: No 100th Birthday Party in Public for Nazi Officer

‘I will personally make sure’ says Rome mayor

(ANSA) — Rome, July 23 — The mayor of Rome said Tuesday he would “personally make sure” that a former Nazi officer about to turn 100 here would not have any kind of celebration in public. “No one should celebrate someone responsible for massacres,” added Ignazio Marino. Erich Priebke, who turns 100 on Monday, was extradited from Argentina in 1995 and sentenced to life for his part in a 1944 reprisal outside Rome that killed 335 men and boys including many Jews.

Priebke is now under house arrest in Rome. Jewish groups and Holocaust survivors had appealed to the city to prevent any birthday parties similar to his 90th, which was celebrated in grand style at an agriturismo restaurant.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Court Upholds Law Making Prison Optional for Gang Rape

Ruling stems from February 2012 case of group rape of a minor

(ANSA) — Rome, July 23 — Prison time should remain optional in gang-rape convictions, Italy’s Constitutional Court said Tuesday.

If alternatives to prison are applicable, they should be used, the court said.

It was weighing a challenge to current Italian law which makes prison sentences optional rather than mandatory in gang-rape cases.

The challenge came before Italy’s Supreme Court in February 2012, in the form of a case involving three young men accused of raping a minor outside pub in the province of Frosinone near Rome.

Critics from all political parties have condemned what they call a dangerous precedent, saying it shows too much leniency to perpetrators and will make victims less likely to report incidents of gang rape.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

License Plate Scanning Cameras Ruled Illegal in Britain

Police could be forced drastically to scale back their use of ‘Big Brother’ road cameras which record the movements of millions of motorists every day.

In a landmark ruling, the privacy watchdog declared that a ring of cameras installed around the quiet market town of Royston in Hertfordshire was unlawful and excessive.

Privacy campaigners said yesterday’s ruling would affect every police force in the country and would make them carry out a full audit of the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system, a network of 10,000 cameras across the UK.

Every day, these record the detailed movements of some 16million motorists. The cameras record the number plate of every vehicle that passes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mission Mars: Scientists in Britain Map Out Conceptual Astronaut Landing

Scientists at London’s Imperial College say they’ve mapped out the means of landing a three-person crew of astronauts on Mars — but that they’re still a far cry from moving the plan from its concept stage to implementation.

Their scenario includes a three-person crew aboard a two-part spacecraft that can generate artificial gravity and shield itself from solar flares with a sturdy heat shield, BBC reported. The scientists also envision the crew returning from Mars via another craft, fueled by ice from the planet’s surface.

The concept plan was aimed at generating debate abut the possibilities, BBC reported.

“Every part of this mission scenario has been demonstrated one way or the other,” said Professor Tom Pike, who headed up the design team, BBC reported. “There are big, big jumps between a demonstration at one level and putting together the engineering systems for a mission, but they are engineering challenges. They are not fundamentally about making new discoveries.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Professor: Robots to Patrol Cities by 2040

“What is your ID number? What are you doing here?”

In an article entitled 2084: Big robot is watching you, Sharkey, a robotics professor at the University of Sheffield, forecasts a world in which the jobs of surveillance, security and law enforcement have largely been handed over to artificial intelligence.

WIthin the next 30 years, Sharkey asserts that, “Humanoid walking robots would be more in use for crowd control at games, strikes and riots. Robots will patrol city centres and trouble spots where fights are likely to break out.”

“Robots will have reasonable speech perception and be able to ask questions and respond to answers. What is your ID number? What are you doing here? Move along.” They may work in teams of tracked robots with non-lethal weapons (e.g. Tasers or nets) and be on call for diffusing difficult situations and arresting people,” adds Sharkey.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Roger Waters Tour With Inflatable Pig Bearing Star of David

Accusations of antisemitism from Israeli press

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — A black inflatable pig with a Star of David and symbols associated with totalitarianism displayed during a recent concert by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in Belgium has led to accusations of antisemitism from Israeli media outlets. The concert is part of the international The Wall tour. Waters, a 1970s rock star, criticized Israel numerous times in the past after the country built a separation barrier along the line of demarcation with the West Bank. Yediot Aharonot says that he has gone beyond criticizing Israel to a form of antisemitism. Another star, the septuagenarian Burdon of the Animals and ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ fame, was to have taken part in a sold-out concert in Israel in the coming days. On Tuesday, however, he announced that he would be staying home. Haaretz reports that the singer made the decision after receiving threats from pro-Palestinian activists, as he did not want to put his safety at risk.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain Train Crash: 78 Killed

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

The advised train speed for making the curve was 49 mph, however the conductor was traveling 118 mph

The number of people dead after a train derailed in one of Spain’s worst rail disasters has reportedly risen as high as 77.

Many more are said to be critically injured and Spanish media reported emergency services were attempting to rescue several people still trapped inside carriages.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Lithuanian Tourist Sparks Seven Hour Train Delay Costing £1million and Disrupting 40,000 Passengers by Climbing on Railway Station Roof When His Ticket Wasn’t Accepted

Mantas Badauskas, 25, triggered the expensive seven-hour confrontation with police as he tried to dodge a fare in Ipswich, Suffolk, by climbing on to a railway station roof.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Wales: Taxi Driver Who Knocked Down Pedestrians ‘Like Bowling Pins’ In Central Cardiff Has Sentence Appeal Rejected

Majid Rehman was jailed after driving his car at six rail workers and two bystanders outside Cardiff Central train station in March 2012

A taxi driver who deliberately knocked down eight pedestrians “like bowling pins” in Cardiff city centre has had an appeal against the length of his sentence rejected.

On March 27 last year Majid Rehman drove his car at six rail workers and two “innocent bystanders” injuring them all.

One man was dragged under his cab and had to have skin grafts for burn and friction injuries to his body.

Following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court in November last year the 30-year-old married man was unanimously convicted of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, one count of wounding with intent and five charges of intending to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

He had already pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving.

Judge Philips Richards subsequently jailed him for 15 years saying the lengthy term should act as a warning to any other person who considers using a car as a weapon.

Today, at the same court, three High Court judges listened to his appeal to have his sentenced reduced.

Lord Justice Pitchford QC, Mr Justice Macduff and Mr Justice Jeremy Baker were told by Rehman’s barrister the sentence was “simply too long”.

Nicholas Gareth Jones admitted there were aggravating factors which could have led the original judge to hand out the 15 year term — including that Rehman had a previous conviction for criminal damage after he rammed his car into his employers over a dispute over wages — but added there were also mitigating factors.

“It was a single act, it was in isolation and there was a lack of any significant premeditation,” he said.

Rehman’s trial head how he had been provoked after he was involved in a dispute with the rail workers in which he had suffered racial abuse and had been punched in the chest moments before mowing down the eight men.

Mr Jones also cited a case from 2001 in which a man who rammed his car into a number of police patrol cars, injuring six officers, was jailed for five years.

But the panel of High Court judges rejected the appeal saying while the 2001 case had similarities, it was significantly different.

Mr Justice Macduff said: “There was, albeit to a limited extent, premeditation as there was a gap in time between the attack and the offence.”

He added: “It could have easily been the case that one person, if not more, could have died in this act. That is the measure of how serious this case was.”

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Warning to Tourists in France After Attack by Feral Cats

Visitors to one of France’s most beautiful tourist areas were today warned to be on their guard after a pack of feral cats launched an attack on a young woman.

About six cats pounced on the unnamed dog owner as she walked her poodle in the city of Belfort, in the popular Franche-Comte region, on the Swiss border, dragging her to the ground and mauling her.

She was bitten repeatedly and left with a torn artery which could have proved fatal, while the dog was also badly hurt.

It is thought that particularly high summer temperatures may have made the cats far more aggressive than usual.

Josette Galliot, the mother of the 31-year-old victim, said: “They jumped on her and managed to knock her over.

“The feral cats bit her on the leg and on her arms. They even pierced an artery,” Mrs Galliot told l’Est Republicain newspaper, adding that her daughter had been “living a nightmare” since Sunday’s attack.

The woman was rushed to hospital where she received treatment for her wounds, and a number of injections including one against Rabies. The poodle was treated at a nearby veterinary clinic.

A local police spokesman meanwhile suggested that the attack was “very unusual” and therefore “a cause of great concern”.

He added: “Tourists from countries like Britain should certainly be wary — they should certainly not approach these cats, or try to feed them.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

What Did Vikings Smell Like?

Despite what many think, people a thousand years ago were not totally filthy.

“We know they took baths during the viking era,” says Lena Elfvinge Nixon,”there were saunas in the gardens, people had bathtubs.”

She is one of many people in Sweden interested in the viking era, and this week there is a major festival in a field in southern Sweden, where enthisiasts are recreating some of the elements of medieval life.

Lena Elfvinge Nixon says to Swedish Radio Malmö that during the later middle ages public baths were set up, and both men and women used them. But she says there was “not just bathing going on” in these public facilities, and so when the more prudish renaissance times began, about 500 years after the viking years, these bath houses were closed for “moral reasons”, and this means people in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were much dirtier than the viking period.

But what about the smell?

Lena Elfvinge Nixon says that the wood fires that everyone used to keep warm would have definitely given people a rather smoky smell, and the close contact with livestock would have added to the odor, plust few people owned many changes of clothes, since cloth was so expensive.

But she says the viking era Swedes were very careful about their appearance, leaving behind many ancient combs and tweezers as proof. And they could have just taken off their shirts and washed them on a regular basis.

Also at the festival is Mia Westlund, who is making a medieval harp out of birch wood, using only viking era tools. She says that posessions during this era were often decorated, since they were so expensive and had taken so long to make.

The viking festival is organised by the Vikinga Tider, Viking Times, group, taking place between the southern towns of Löddeköpinge and Kävlinge, and it will close on Saturday with a market

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Where Military Coups Equal ‘Freedom and Hope’

by Andrew G. Bostom

Pundits have lauded Egypt’s “Second Revolution,” in reality a military coup which ousted the economically and socially failing regime of the country’s first freely elected President, Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Muhammad Morsi. One expert has even declared that Morsi’s removal reflects a larger contemporaneous series of “internecine” events which indicate that his chimerical construct of “Islamism” (which is simply traditionalist, normative Islam, as this same analyst’s writing used to acknowledge) is somehow “doomed.”

, Egypt’s “interim President,” Adly Mansour — installed by a military putsch — gave a speech of great significance, although little noticed by Western commentators. Mansour’s words put the lie to glib formulations that willfully ignore how traditional Islamic authoritarianism, regardless of pseudo-secular veneers, remains, as it has for 13 centuries, the most potent force shaping authoritarian governance in Muslim Egypt, and the greater Muslim Middle East. Mansour, in a televised speech commemorating the 61st anniversary of the 1952 revolution — also a military coup — praised the leaders of that putsch, Mohamed Naguib, Anwar El-Sadat and Gamal Abdel-Nasser, thusly:…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Rome Community Heeds General El Sissi’s Call

Egyptians in Italy to rally tomorrow at Rome embassy

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JULY 25 — Egyptian residents of the Italian capital will rally outside their country’s embassy at 11am local time on Friday in support of Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah El Sissi, organizers said. Also serving as deputy premier and defense minister, El Sissi yesterday called for demonstrations on Friday to give the military a mandate to confront “violence and potential terrorism”.

“Tomorrow we will be united in our demonstration against violence and terrorism”, said Hanan, an activist member of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox community in Rome. “This is the third time we rally alongside our friends and brothers of the Muslim faith. Religion has nothing to do with this. We are all Egyptians”.

The local Egyptian community mobilized yesterday as soon as the general issued his call. “We tried to contact as many people as possible. Friends, neighbors, colleagues”, said Hanan. “Given the short notice, we should have a turnout of at least 200-250 people”, added Egyptian architect and community leader Adel Amer.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Leftist Opposition Leader Mohamed Brahmi Shot Dead

Leader of secular Movement of the People party killed at home

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JULY 25 — Tunisian leftist opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi was shot dead in front of his house on Thursday, sources said.

A member of the National Constituent Assembly, Brahmi was the former secretary general of the nationalist and secular Movement of the People Party.

He was reportedly felled by 12 gunshots at his home in the Cite’ El Ghazala district in the northeastern coastal town of Ariana in the greater Tunis area.

He was a member of the Popular Front leftist electoral alliance, which also included leftist politician Chokri Belaid who was assassinated by multiple gunshots on February 6.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Chief Rabbis to be Elected Amid Bitter Feuding

Sephardic, Ashkenazi religious leaders chosen Wednesday

Israeli Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger (archive)

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — After a stormy and emotionally-charged campaign, 150 people will be called to Jerusalem on Wednesday to elect the two new chief rabbis of Israel: the Sephardi rabbi, from communities of Arab origins, and the Ashkenazi rabbi, from communities with origins in Eastern Europe and the Western world.

The seven candidates (three Ashkenazis and four Sephardi) have courted — not hesitating to engage in ‘below-the-belt’ blows and insults — the favors of the 150 electors, who include rabbis, judges of rabbinical courts, mayors, two ministers and five Knesset members. Ten of the electors are women.

The history of the Grand Rabbinate of Jerusalem dates back to the 1920s, when British Mandate authorities decided the Jews of Palestine should have two religious leaders. The distinction is one seen as outdated by many in Israel today, but remains in force through a tight web of links — not all of a spiritual nature — between the political sphere and religious institutions. The Rabbinate of Jerusalem is now at its lowest-ever popularity, disliked by secular Israelis and considered utterly insignificant by Orthodox Jews.

In June, Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger was put under house arrest after a police investigation found serious suspicions of bribery, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and breach of trust. The candidates themselves later enlivened the campaign as well, calling each other a variety of names. One candidate was criticized for taking part in a Buddhist ritual, while another compared the election campaign with publicity for Coca-Cola. Drawing more negative attention is the candidature of the rabbi of Safed (Galilee), Shmuel Eliahu, known for his severely anti-Arab statements. After much thought, the government legal advisor allowed the candidature but noted that if he were to be elected and the matter taken to the Supreme Court, he would not be represented by a state attorney. Ashkenazi rabbis arriving in the final round include David Lau and David Stav. The first is considered more open-minded and the second more conservative, though Stav seems determined to build bridges between secular society and the rabbinate, which manages weddings, funerals, and the supervision of food processing.

Among Sephardi rabbis, the challenge is more of a personal nature and — reminiscent of a soap opera — has brought into question the religious-economic empire under Rabbi Ovadia Youssef, the 90-year-old leader of the Shas party. If his son, Yitzhak Youssef, wins, then the empire will be safe. If one of his rivals wins — Zion Buaron or Shmuel Eliahu — the Sephardi community will experience major upheaval.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 150 electors will meet in a Jerusalem hotel and will be handed two voting cards. The results are expected to be announced Wednesday evening.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Controversy Over Sons of Rabbis Elected Chief Rabbis

They are David Lau and Yitzhak Yossef

(ANSAmed) — JERUSALEM, JULY 25 — After a heated electoral campaign, a gathering of 150 Jewish religious and political leaders elected two new chief rabbis who will lead the country’s influential religious establishment for the next ten years.

The Sephardic communities — originally from Arab countries — will have as leader the radical Yitzhak Yossef, 61, son of the 90-year-old ex rabbi chief and supreme leader of the religious Shas Ovadia Yossef party.

The Ashkenazi Jews — from Eastern Europe and part of the West — will be led by David Lau, 47, son of Meir Israel Lau, also a former chief rabbi and a Shoah survivor and president of the memorial Yad Vashem museum. Both won with 68 out of 147 votes.

The first reports noted that they are both supported by Orthodox Jews and that their success is a burning defeat for candidates close to nationalist-religious settlers. In particular, the defeat of controversial rabbi Shmuel Eliahu was significant. The rabbi has made some extremely strong statements against Arabs.

In his first statements after being elected, rabbi Lau said he wasn’t only close to Orthodox Jews but also to secularists and said he would work on a more open Rabbinate so it can gain back the prestige it has lost in the past few years, according to some observers.

Chief rabbis in Israel are very influential in the daily lives of citizens — in marriages (in a country where civil marriages don’t exist), divorces, funerals, conversions, the supervision of Kosher food and, in general, the management of rabbinical courts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Fatah Honors Terrorist for Murdering 61 Israelis

As “peace talks” approach, PA President’s party honors terrorist responsible for multiple atrocities against Israeli civilians

As western leaders push for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, urging Israeli concessions — including the release of convicted terrorists — the PA leadership is continuing in its longstanding tradition of honoring terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians, report Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik of Palestinian Media Watch.

PMW points to a picture that appeared on an official Fatah Facebook page, glorifying five of the suicide bombings for which Barghouti prepared explosives, which killed 61 “Zionists.”

The graphic was posted by the administrator of the official Facebook page of the Enlistment and Organization Commission of Fatah. Terrorist Barghouti was honored as the “brave prisoner” and his attacks as “self-sacrificing activity” and “Martyrdom-seeking operations.”

“Martyrdom-seeking operations” is the Palestinian euphemism for suicide bombings.

Barghouti is serving 67 life sentences for preparing explosives for terror attacks in which 67 people were murdered — Sbarro restaurant (15 killed, Aug. 9, 2001), Sheffield Club (15 killed, May 7, 2002), Moment Café (11 killed, March 9, 2002), triple attack at Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall (11 killed, Dec. 1, 2001), Hebrew University (9 killed, July 1, 2002), and Bus 4 in Tel Aviv (6 killed, Sept. 19, 2002)…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Agitating for an American War in Syria

by Shoshana Bryen

Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, wants to go to war in Syria — not with Syria, necessarily, but in Syria. And it’s not really war, although it involves weapons and American troops (in the air — Sen. Levin has been very explicit about “no boots on the ground,” as if American bombs are less war-ish than American infantry). He and Senators John McCain and Robert Menendez aren’t looking for victory, and they don’t want the military to remove Assad from power. But they’re pretty sure that weapons could be useful somehow, used by someone — maybe by barefoot Americans (no boots). All this appears in their letter to President Obama urging “American leadership” in Syria.

It is a stunning mess.

“We are concerned that conditions on the ground are deteriorating rapidly and significantly,” they write, cataloging the truly horrendous carnage, detailing government successes against the rebels, and placing the war in the context of American interests. But then they do not make the case for regional security based on ousting Assad, beating the Iranians, or decimating Hezb’allah. Instead, “we … urge you to take specific steps to change the military balance of power in Syria against the Assad regime and its foreign supporters.”

This suggests that the fighting will go on, but with different people doing larger shares of the killing. It is unclear why we or the Syrian civilians should prefer that.

Levin, McCain, and Menendez remind the president that “[t]he Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted with an overwhelming bipartisan majority to authorize lethal assistance to vetted opposition units in Syria. We urge you to take this essential step.” They “urge,” but they quickly acknowledge that what they urge is not enough. “The conflict in Syria is deteriorating so dramatically that providing arms to the opposition alone is unlikely to shift the military balance of power against Assad.”…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Iran: Tehran: Volleyball Sparks Protest Against Ayatollahs

The national women’s team participates for the first time in the World Federation Cup and, surprisingly, does well. State television decides to broadcast the games live, but the religious protest against “immorality” of athletes (opponents) kits and clothes of female fans. And manufacturers respond in kind.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) — While the Iranian National men’s volleyball surprisingly defeats Cuba, the women’s team has sparked a furious debate in the country between conservatives supported by the ayatollahs and moderates supported by the general public. The decision to broadcast World Cup matches live for the first time has sparked a series of protests by religious leaders.

The weekly ultraconservative Ya Lessarat yesterday published an editorial attacking the broadcaster IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting), guilty of scandalous conduct: “The rules are clear. Television must delete or crop out images of women clad in un-Islamic clothes in movies or news reports. This conduct must stop as soon as possible. “ Ali Motahari, Teheran’s Conservative MP, has joined the chorus calling for a parliamentary investigation on the incident.

The question, however, is complex. On the one hand there is the fact that the competition is being held in Sardinia in summer, and so the female audience is dressed in a light summer clothes and on the other the fact that Tehran can not demand foreign nationals dress according to the Koran. Finally, it is unthinkable that the broadcaster can air a game without showing the opposing team. The victories won by the Iranians — dressed according to Islamic precepts (see photo) — against Serbia and Italy did the rest: Iranians began to follow their team with enthusiasm.

Ezzatollah Zarghami, head of IRIB, responded today to criticism: “In (live) situations, it is out of our hands. The only solution would be not to broadcast the game at all. If we do that, the viewership will turn to satellite (dishes).” In addition, this weekend there is the decisive game against Cuba, “If the ayatollahs want — said Zarghami — I can try to negotiate with our Cuban cultural counterparts to dress the spectators in tracksuits to resolve this problem.”

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

Italian Photographer Indicted in Turkey Over Protest

‘I risk seven years in prison’

(ANSA) — Venice, July 23 — An Italian photojournalist jailed then released in Turkey earlier this month for participating in an unauthorized demonstration says he is now being indicted there. “Turkish judges want to try me for resisting a public official and participating in an illegal march,” said Mattia Cacciatori. “I risk seven years in prison”.

The 25-year-old was arrested July 6 in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and detained for two days before the Italian foreign ministry intervened and secured his release. Cacciatori was the second Italian photographer arrested in Turkey’s anti-government demonstrations.

Last month Daniele Stefanini, 29, was struck in the head by Turkish police who then detained him and released him three days later.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lebanon: Hezbollah-EU: Concerns for Italian UN Troops

UNIFIL area stronghold of Shiite ‘terrorist organization’

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, JULY 23 — The calm reigning in southern Lebanon is not enough to quell concerns for the over 1,000 Italian UNIFIL peacekeeping troops deployed along the border with Israel. The region is a stronghold of Hezbollah militias, declared a ‘terrorist organization’ on Monday by the EU. “The situation is calm. We continue to carry out our work and our activities as normal,” ANSA was told by Nadette Miday, spokesperson for the United Nations force that includes 12,000 soldiers from 37 countries under the command of the Italian general Paolo Serra. “Our strategic partner on the ground is the Lebanese Army, with whom we continue to coordinate activities and with whom we have good relations.” But it cannot be ignored that this part of Lebanese territory is one of the strongholds of the Shiite militia allied with Iran and Syria. Hezbollah’s armed wing, considered by many to be stronger than Lebanese government forces, could retaliate against the soldiers of the 12 European countries taking part in the mission. “Of course this is of concern, since we are on the front lines,” said an authoritative Italian observer in Lebanon who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But at the same time I have to ask myself what interest Hezbollah would have in reacting, while its fighters are already engaged in Syria and against a European Union that has left the possibility of dialogue with the political wing of the Shiite movement open, and given the Italian humanitarian aid that continues to be sent.” Aid to the population of southern Lebanon are one of the main activities of the Italian Cooperation and several Italian NGOs working in the country, and are one of the ways to maintain good relations with local residents and authorities. There are currently 16 projects, from demining operations to rural community development in the Tyre province, the restoration of the castle of Shamaa, where the Italian troops are headquartered, and fisheries development in Naqoura, where the UNIFIL headquarters are located. These activities cost several million euros and require constant cooperation with mayors, who in this region are almost all members of Hezbollah and the allied Shiite movement Amal.

“Town council administrators,” the Italian observer said, “are excluded from the sanctions decided on by the EU, and therefore the collaboration will continue.” On Tuesday Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam, who has been trying to form a national unity government for four months, criticized the decision taken by Brussels. The decision may further complicate his task, as with its ministers and those of its allies, Hezbollah was the largest group in the outgoing government. The head of the EU delegation in Beirut, Angelina Eichhorst, has sought to reassure the Lebanese by saying that the EU would work with any government that represents all of parties, even if Hezbollah is part of it.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Pregnant Women in Public ‘Immoral and Unpleasant’

Islamic thinker sparks protests with comments on public TV

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, JULY 25 — Islamic thinker Omer Tugrul Inancer in a TV program exhorted pregnant women not to show themselves in public, sparking protests from secular Turks and opposition politicians, Hurriyet online reported.

“It is against our civilization to use fanfare to announce a pregnancy. Pregnant women also should not go around in public with those bellies. It’s not aesthetic”, Inancer said on public TRT 1 TV channel. “After seven or eight months, future mothers should only leave the house by car with their husbands to get some fresh air, and only in the evening. Instead we see them all over television. It’s unpleasant. This is not realism, it’s immorality”. The program presenter thanked him with “May God listen to you”. Secular Turks immediately took to social media, with #Omer Tugrul Inancer trending instantly. Activists have called for a protest on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, near Taksim Square, with a pillow under their clothes in solidarity with pregnant women. “They must stop interfering with women in this country. If they could, they would rule on the very air they breathe”, thundered Aylin Nazliaka, a Social Democrat.

“Inancer says it is unpleasant to see pregnant women on the street. But isn’t it unpleasant hearing the premier say women must have at least three children?” protested secular nationalist Mehmet Oktay, accusing TRT of having become a mere mouthpiece of the Islamic government. Islamist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has more than once called on Turkish women to have at least three children in the name of national growth, berating abortion and cesareans. The Grand Mufti, who heads the Religious Affairs Directorate, intervened.

“Religion does not call for the isolation of women, pregnant or otherwise. Becoming a mother is a gift from God”, he said. “However, pregnant women should dress carefully, as all women should, and not wear garments that reveal the belly or the lower back”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Java: Ahmadi Mosque Shut Down

A well-known Islamic fundamentalist forces Regencyâ€(tm)s community — considered “heretical” by Muslim extremists — to close the doors of a place of worship. The author of the order worked for years with a government group in charge of “monitoring” religious activities in the country. It is the fourth mosque to close in 4 months.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — With the complicity of the central government, an Islamic Indonesian cleric forcibly closed an Ahmadis mosque in Cilimus, a village about two kilometers from one of the major Ahmadis centers of Cianjur Regency (West Java). This is the fourth place of worship of the Muslim minority to be forcibly shut down in the area since last April.

The material author of the gesture is known as “guru Yiyi”. He is well known in the area because of his long collaboration with the Bakorpakem, a body that monitors religious activities and is part of the Office of the Attorney General and National Intelligence Service. When the cleric arrived at the mosque to order its closure, the police did not intervene despite the protests of the Ahmadis faithful.

The Muslim minority is considered heretical because it does not recognize Muhammad as the last prophet and is often the victim of persecution and abuse from orthodox Sunni Islam. For a long time the presence of Ahmadis has been a source of inter-islamic intolerance in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation. The climate of hostility became even more acute after the declaration of the most important Islamic groups in the country — including the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and the National Council of Ulema (MUI) — that the community is not part of the “original “and pure faith.

Just the Regency of Cianjur has been the scene of violent clashes between Ahmadis and some Islamic fundamentalists, who in 2005 set fire to 4 villages in the area. In recent years, moreover, the Islamists have launched a campaign to boycott the products and services offered by the Ahmadis, trying to force them to leave the area.

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

Explosives Found at Sydney Police Station

A BOMB found behind a Sydney police station and linked to last year’s Muslim riots could have been deadly if it had detonated, police say.

Officers are following a number of “very strong leads” as they investigate online threats against police that refer to the explosive device.

Counter terrorism commander Peter Dean said the threats seemed to link the bomb to last year’s Islamic protests in Hyde Park.

           — Hat tip: Nilk [Return to headlines]

Prayer for Zimbabwe

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

Steve Chadenga’s cover story on Canada Free Press (CFP) about upcoming elections, media-dubbed the ‘Make or Break polls’, takes me back through time to the utter, largely ignored tragedy that is Zimbabwe.

Chadenga’s story about the real hope of next Wednesday’s general election takes me back to an August 16, 2002 Toronto meeting, at a Canadian media press conference, where I was one of only two reporters to show up for a meeting with Zimbabwean MP Roy Bennett.

A hard-working farmer by trade, Bennett was so popular among local people, he was dubbed with the nickname “Pachedu” — “one of us”. It was the local masses that convinced him to stand in 2000 Zimbabwe elections. And that he did, winning an overwhelming majority in what had been a stronghold of Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party.

“The heartbreak that came from his election will haunt his supporters all the way to their graves.” (Canada Free Press, Dec. 13, 2004). “It was only two months later when Charleswood, his coffee farm was for the first time invaded by self-professed “war veterans”. Bennett’s wife, Heather, who was almost four months pregnant, was held hostage at knifepoint and made to dance and sing ZANU PF songs in the rain. Two of the farm’s workers were brutally killed in front of her. When it was finally over, she had miscarried what was never to be their third child.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Luis Fleischman: Extraditing Snowden to One of the Bolivarian Countries May Badly Hurt American Interests

Four members of the Bolivarian Alliance, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua have offered asylum to the National Security Agency (NSA) leaker, Edward Snowden.

Snowden is believed to be in Russia where he has repeatedly asked for asylum that has not been conceded by the Russian authorities. Meanwhile, Snowden has not responded to the offer by the four Latin American countries. At the same time that the United States was applying pressure on them not to provide the requested asylum, the South American common market (Mercosur) adopted a resolution in support of Venezuela’s, Bolivia’s and Ecuador’s right to provide asylum to Snowden while rejecting American pressure on these countries not to do so.

The Snowden case has had an impact not just because of the sense that the U.S. is bullying these Latin American countries not to accept Snowden but also because of the espionage activities that the NSA carried out in the continent…

[Return to headlines]

‘Reprehensible’: UNESCO Adds Works of Che Guevara to World Register

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced that it has included “The Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara” in this year’s additions to the Memory of the World Register.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, blasted the “reprehensible” decision Monday, saying the organization is making “a mockery of its own ideals.”

“This decision is more than an insult to the families of those Cubans who were lined up and summarily executed by Che and his merciless cronies but it also serves as a direct contradiction to the UNESCO ideals of encouraging peace and universal respect for human rights,” she said in a statement.

The collection added to register is comprehensive, including 431 manuscripts and 567 written documents, from Guevara’s adolescent “Motorcycle Diary” days to his campaign in Bolivia where he was executed in 1967.

According to its website, items included in the Memory of the World Register are endorsed by UNESCO’s director-general and are selected based on “world significance and outstanding universal value.” The collection is now recognized as world heritage and will be protected under the United Nations.

Guevara’s widow, Aleida, daughter and son attended a ceremony in Havana on Friday to celebrate the inclusion of the documents in the register, reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Some 85 Egyptians, Syrians Rescued Off Italian Coast

‘In good condition’ says Coast Guard

(ANSA) — Roccella Ionica, July 25 — Some 85 Egyptian and Syrian migrants were rescued overnight off the coast of Calabria Thursday. The Coast Guard said they were in good condition after being found 90 miles from land aboard a fishing vessel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Common Core Teaches Community Organizing for the Collective

Social justice, activism, and community organizing for the socialist collective

Few parents actually know what Common Core Education is. Teachers who are finding out do not seem to care, let the state fight it out. For teachers, it is a means to an end; the end translates into keeping their jobs and a paycheck coming in this tough economy which the current administration celebrates as a “recovery” from a self-induced coma.

Although touted as a means to improve education standards, the Brookings Institution said, “The empirical evidence suggests that the Common Core will have little effect on American students’ achievement. The nation will have to look elsewhere for ways to improve its schools.”

The Department of Education paid two Washington, D.C., organizations, the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices and The Council of Chief State School Officers, to come up with the Common Core national standards. (Pioneer Institute)

According to Lance Izumi, author of Obama’s Education Takeover, the President “strong-armed the states into adopting these Common Core standards through a number of devices, principally through the Race to the Top competition through federal grants.”…

All students will receive the same diploma but for “unequal” work in mathematics and reading and for “unequal” achievement.

Furthermore, a video surfaced that shows that wrong answers in math are acceptable under Common Core standards as long as students can explain how they got the wrong answer and feel good about it.


…They learn to develop a Democracy Plan in which they develop ways to help people in need.” My six-year olds thought about recess and play, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Is this what first graders do now, they think about ways to organize people in their communities to fix social problems? This is community organizing; this is communism, not literature and writing.

In the same series of books, educators are directed to teach first graders about emotional words of anger and fear in order to accomplish their social justice goals. The workbook gives the following example, “My mom_____ (tells) (nags) me to clean my room.” Students are supposed to choose “nags” because it is an emotional word of anger. If a student chooses “tells,” the answer is incorrect.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Weekend Camp Encourages Young Boys to ‘Freely Express Their Interpretations of Femininity’

A controversial family camp for boys who wish to identify as girls is generating discussion as it was recently discovered documented in an online photo album.

Photographer Lindsay Morris, whose website covers a variety of photo shoots and subject matter, has caught the attention of a number of outlets in recent days in regard to a collection of photos entitled “You Are You.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Global Future 2045

Part 1: The Avatar Project

Whether by economic or political upheavals, armed conflicts, breakdown of the earth’s ecosystem, pandemics, lawlessness, acts of terror, or rampant religious deception and persecution, “a whole lot of shaking” is going on.[1] While earth groans under obeisance to the second law of thermodynamics, its inhabitants face irreversible aging and certain physical death.[2] In response, trans humanist movements are gaining momentum under the watchful eye of an international social network of scientists, scholars, researchers, financiers, and managers.Who better than they to intervene on behalf of humanity? Bio-design is, after all, the wave of the future.

Global Future 2045 Congress (15/16 June 2013)[3]

This June, participants in the Global Future 2045 congress included scientists, philosophers, public figures, business leaders, representatives of different religions, and philanthropists. Their charge is to solve many of society’s problems by mapping a new trajectory for civilization whereupon nationally focused ideologies bow to cosmic citizenry. They purpose to overcome biological limitations and, then,fashion a new civilization with high ethics, high culture, high spirituality, high technology and science.[4]

To this end, the 2045 congress launched a science mega project that offers an innovative evolutionary strategy for humanity.In time, android robots will serve people in their homes and replace them in industry. Beyond creating “a new mankind” that no longer wastes resources, futurists expect to develop manageable matter and new energy sources. Flying cars and artificial intelligence round out their vision that culminatesintransferring an individual’s personality into a more advanced, non-biological carrier.[5] Focusing on nano-, bio-, info-, cognitive-, genetics-, and robotic- technologies, GF2045 neuro-scientists, neuro-engineers, and futurists call upon the U.N. General Assembly to facilitate transition to what’s dubbed “neo-humanity.”[6]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Muslims Are Not a Minority

The most persistent myth of the Western Dhimmi narrative is that Muslims are a minority and must receive special protection and accommodation. But Muslims are not a minority. There are 1.5 billion Sunni Muslims worldwide, outweighing Catholics as the next largest religious faction at 1.1 billion and Hindus at 1 billion. They are still a minority of the overall population in Western countries, but a demographically trending majority.

In the UK more people attend mosques than the Church of England, that makes Muslims the largest functioning religious group there. Mohammed was the most popular baby name last year, ahead of Jack and Harry. In France, in this generation, more mosques have been built than Catholic churches and in southern France there are already more mosques than churches. Mohammed-Amine is the most popular double name, ahead of Jean-Baptiste, Pierre-Louis, Leo-Paul and Mohammed-Ali.

In Belgium, 50 percent of newborns are Muslim and empty Belgian churches are being turned into mosques. The most popular baby name is Mohammed and of the top 7 baby names, 6 were Muslim. A quarter of Amsterdam, Marseilles and Rotterdam and a fifth of Stockholm is already Muslim. The most popular baby name in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague is… Mohammed.

Europe’s Muslim population doubled in the last generation, and is set to double again. By 2025, (a decade and a half away), a third of all births in the EU will be Muslim.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/25/2013

  1. Taking the pink out of Floyd – Roger Waters has become a parody of the grammar school meritocracy, a system that shaped the guilt-ridden politics of the UK and the post war elites.

    The grammar school boys had their revoulution, the counter-revolution is being scored by the comprehensive school boys.

  2. The grammar school and its technical brother the secondary modern were excellent, something the failed secondary (how aptly named) or comprehensive (1984 speak!) could never claim, so kindly don’t fall in to that ersatz classist talk! Just because someone is a talented musician why would they know squat about real life, its not as though the media is even handed about Israel is it?

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