Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/6/2013

A rally in support of Egypt’s military government was held today in Tahrir Square in Cairo, drawing many thousands of enthusiastic supporters. A few blocks away, police openly beat up protesters at a counter-demonstration in support of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Some Muslim Brotherhood supporters jumped into the Nile to avoid being beaten.

In other news, a primary school in Winnipeg has upset parents by cancelling Halloween and replacing an annual Christmas concert with an evening of African drumming.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, MC, 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
» Economic Crisis: Families Worldwide Hoarding Cash
» World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How the Global Elite Rule the World
» GOP: Pay Back for Ignoring Obama’s Ineligibility
» Nanoparticles Are in Your Clothes, Organic Food
» NSA Has Built Its Own, Secret, Warrantless, Shadow Social Network, And You’ve Already Joined it
» NYT Reporter: Obama Admin “Most Closed, Control-Freak Administration I’ve Ever Covered”
» Tech Executive Was Attacked by Six Bikers Who Brutally Stomped on His Head as He Tried to Crawl Away
» Why the Government Shutdown is a Welcome Development
» Winnipeg School Drops Christmas Concert for African Drumming, Cancels Halloween Celebration
Europe and the EU
» EU-Turkey: No Free Movement for Turks
» Italy: Two FAI Anarchists Arrested on 11 Bombing Charges
» New Study: Porn Addictive Like Drugs
» Nordic Noir’s Sexual Violence Attacked by British Crime Writer
» Secrets of the UK’s New FBI: Police Chief Reveals Elite Force of 5,000 ‘Super’ Agents Will Wage a High-Tech Manhunt for Britain’s Most Wanted Criminals
» Three Wounded in France Mosque Shooting
» Turkish Firm Buys Island, Hotel in Venice
» UK: Blundering Police Let 1,300 Suspects Walk Free Including ‘Rapists, Child Molesters and at Least One Murderer’ Because of Errors With Paperwork or Procedure
» UK: Gang of Heroin Smugglers Jailed After They Were Caught With Drugs Worth £306million Hidden in Vegetables and Bed Linen
» UK: Lutfur Launches a Political Party and Declares His Love for the Ife
» UK: Memo to Ed Miliband: My Marxist Father Was Wrong, Too
» UK: The Hate of the Left (Updated)
» UK: UKIP’s Supporters Are Anxious, Not Awkward
North Africa
» Egypt: Police Openly Beat Muslim Brotherhood Sympathizers in Cairo
» Film: Documentary on a ‘Revolutionary’ Moroccan Woman
» U.S. Said to Hold Qaeda Suspect on Navy Ship
Israel and the Palestinians
» Netanyahu Ties Between Palestinian Leadership, Nazis
» Vad Vashem Names 1st Egyptian ‘Righteous Among the Nations’
Middle East
» Danish Jihadi Fighting in Syria Tweets His Experiences in Jihad — Traveling to Europe and Back to Syria, Meeting Other European Foreign Fighters
» Iraq: Suicide Bombers Target Shi’ites Muslims, Kills More Than 32
» The Resurgence of Islamic Terrorism After the Arab Spring
» Arctic Forum: Moscow Begins Industrial Conquest of Polar Circle
South Asia
» 4 NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghan Operation
» Indian Democracy at Risk From Hindu-Muslim Violence
» India: Why Biometric ID Must be Resisted?
» Indonesia: Garuda in $840mln Deal With Finmeccanica Joint-Venture
Far East
» China: Bo Xilai Sham ‘Trial’ Unmasks Xi Jinping’s Thirst for Power
» In Hong Kong, Tortured Maid “Has Forgiven Her Tormentors”
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Al-Qaeda Leader Captured in U. S. Raid in Libya and Somalia
» Kenya: Assassinations of Muslim Clerics in Kenya ‘Boosting Al Shabaab’
» Italian Integration Minister Asks to Amend Immigration Law
» Kyenge Calls for Pan-European Approach to Migration
» Pope Francis Bringing Church, Western Nations, Potential Trouble
Culture Wars
» Communism and Common Core Diversion
» Pope Francis — Papal Train Wreck
» Pope Francis the Iconoclast
» The Coming Common Core Disaster
» Islamic Tolerance: Myth and Reality

Economic Crisis: Families Worldwide Hoarding Cash

Five years after U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, triggering a global financial crisis and shattering confidence worldwide, families in major countries around the world are still hunkered down, too spooked and distrustful to take chances with their money.

An Associated Press analysis of households in the 10 biggest economies shows that families continue to spend cautiously and have pulled hundreds of billions of dollars out of stocks, cut borrowing for the first time in decades and poured money into savings and bonds that offer puny interest payments, often too low to keep up with inflation.

[Comment: Even there it is not safe — remember the term “haircut”?]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How the Global Elite Rule the World

Karen Hudes is a graduate of Yale Law School and she worked in the legal department of the World Bank for more than 20 years. In fact, when she was fired for blowing the whistle on corruption inside the World Bank, she held the position of Senior Counsel. She was in a unique position to see exactly how the global elite rule the world, and the information that she is now revealing to the public is absolutely stunning. According to Hudes, the elite use a very tight core of financial institutions and mega-corporations to dominate the planet. The goal is control. They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns. Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works.

Remember, this is not some “conspiracy theorist” that is saying these things. This is a Yale-educated attorney that worked inside the World Bank for more than two decades.

[Comment: Highly recommended article.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

GOP: Pay Back for Ignoring Obama’s Ineligibility

This past week most of us have probably seen some, if not a great deal of the games played by Harry Reid and his Comrades. Name calling, hissy fits and political strategy: force the Republicans to partially shut down the government.

Not that the Republicans are any better. Both parties know the September 30 deadline date on the calendar. Instead of conducting the affairs of our nation and seriously pursuing smaller government by eliminating unconstitutional cabinets (EPA, Federal Department of Education and many others), Comrade Pelosi and her brassiere brigade insist the cupboard is bare, no place more to cut spending. And, she said it with a straight face. The cupboard is bare?

  • Obama Gives $737 Million to Solar Firm Linked to the Pelosi Clan
  • $1M NIH Grant To Reduce HIV, Domestic Violence in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • $1B to Be Spent to Promote Obamacare in ‘Normandy Invasion’ of Health System
  • U.S. Paying $25K to Make Park Benches from Garbage for Tijuana
  • Labor Department to Spend $1 Million to Increase Gender Equality in Work — in Morocco
  • State Dep’t Spending $10M to Prevent ‘Gender-Based Violence’ in War Zones
  • Feds Dig Up $98,000 to Study ‘3rd Millennium BC Mortuary Traditions’ in Oman
  • Obama Spends $20 M Helping Indonesian Kids Get College Degrees
  • Gov’t Spends $379K Texting Kids to Take a Walk
  • DOT to Spend $1.8 Million to Encourage Kids to Walk, Bike to School
  • Gov’t Spends $495-K For False Killer Whale Team to Meet
  • $2M NIH Grant to Study Effect of Cultural Stigma on Chinese Homosexual Men
  • Feds Give Smithsonian $443,010 to Study Tree Biodiversity — in China

Those illegitimate senators make over $14,500 a month and they can’t afford to pay for their own hair cut while Americans struggle as they live in their cars or working parents eating one meal a day at the end of the month so their children can have two?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Nanoparticles Are in Your Clothes, Organic Food

Are you aware of nanotechnology and nanoparticles? Nanoparticles are tiny — like really tiny. A piece of your hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide; it’s the unit of measurement that your fingernails grow in a single second, but their size isn’t the only problem. Nanoparticles are potentially toxic, according to the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), and they are found in everything from certified organic foods to clothing.

How nanoparticles ended up in organic foods requires a little bit of background…

As ANH reports, engineered nanoparticles (those that are deliberately created rather than naturally produced):

“are more reactive and potentially more toxic; are often less stable; have the potential to pass the blood-brain barrier and the placental barrier; can migrate to different tissues and organs; and can increase the bioavailability of other toxins.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NSA Has Built Its Own, Secret, Warrantless, Shadow Social Network, And You’ve Already Joined it

Soon after the very earliest reporting on Ed Snowden’s leaked documents about PRISM, the folks from Datacoup put together the very amusing GETPRSM website, which looks very much like the announcement of a new social network, but (the joke is) it’s really the NSA scooping up all our data and making the connections. It’s pretty funny. Except, of course, when you find out that it’s real. And, yes, that seems to be the latest revelation out of Ed Snowden’s leaks. The NY Times has an article by James Risen and Laura Poitras (what a combo reporting team there!) detailing how the NSA has basically built its own “shadow” social network in which it tries to create a “social graph” of pretty much everyone that everyone knows, foreign or American, and it all happens (of course) without a warrant. And, note, this is relatively new:

“ The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.”…

Somewhat amazingly, the new report notes that in 2006, the NSA asked the Justice Department for permission to do exactly this sort of thing, and was rejected, saying that a “misuse” of that kind of data “could raise serious concerns.” Indeed, it could, and does raise serious concerns, but apparently the current administration just doesn’t give a cr*p. If all of this sounds familiar, it’s almost exactly what the feds tried to setup in 2002 with the Orwellian name Total Information Awareness. Except that time (right after 9/11, when you’d think the public would be at its most receptive to such programs), as word got out about the program, the public rightly flipped out, and we were told the program was shuttered. Except, as some have been arguing for years, it was never shuttered, it was just rebuilt in secret.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NYT Reporter: Obama Admin “Most Closed, Control-Freak Administration I’ve Ever Covered”

Remember when the media rushed to talk about transparency in the Barack Obama “Hope and Change” era? Good times, good times. Leonard Downie, who once worked as the executive editor of the Washington Post and wrote a novel about Washington corruption and the Iraq War, finds a bigger and non-fictional problem in the successor to George W. Bush. Downie gives the Post a preview of his report from the Committee to Protect Journalists which outlines the Obama war on reporters and their sources:

“A memo went out from the chief of staff a year ago to White House employees and the intelligence agencies that told people to freeze and retain any e-mail, and presumably phone logs, of communications with me,” Sanger said. As a result, longtime sources no longer talk to him. “They tell me: ‘David, I love you, but don’t e-mail me. Let’s don’t chat until this blows over.’“

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Tech Executive Was Attacked by Six Bikers Who Brutally Stomped on His Head as He Tried to Crawl Away

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

The tech executive who was brutally beaten by a furious bikers in front of his wife and daughter was attacked by a gang six men who stomped on his head and body as he tried to crawl away, it has been revealed.

The NYPD have arrested two men and are seeking the identity of a third in connection with the broad daylight, but new cell phone video reveals there are even more suspects from last Sunday’s incident in Manhattan.

Robert Sims, 35, who turned himself in on Friday, is accused of being one of them men who stomped Alexian Lien after mobbing his black Range Rover.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Why the Government Shutdown is a Welcome Development

With the partial government shutdown now in its fifth day, the rhetoric among Democrats and among the pro-Beltway mainstream media has reached a fever pitch, with the leaders of the Republican opposition being likened to jihadists and terrorists, and pilloried for their alleged callous and irresponsible behavior. The federal government, as a Reuters story observed on October 1 — without a trace of irony — has had to divide its functions and employees between “essential” and “non-essential,” and furlough or idle the latter. Thus, we now have the federal government reduced to discharging only “essential” functions — which, it turns out, is still roughly 85 percent of what it was doing prior to October 1…

The current shutdown, involving as it does the elimination of only a small part of constitutionally non-essential government, is nonetheless a welcome development. The very fact that Washington has been forced to admit that much of what it does is “non-essential” is an important wake-up call.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Winnipeg School Drops Christmas Concert for African Drumming, Cancels Halloween Celebration

WINNIPEG — Some parents are upset at the decision by a Winnipeg school to cancel Halloween.

They’re also annoyed the annual Winter Concert has been replaced by an evening of African drumming.

Hastings School offers classes to children from Grade 1 to Grade 8.

Parent Stephen Meleck says he’s “pretty worked up” while parent Diane Traverse says it’s taking Halloween and Christmas away from the children.

She says both holidays have been celebrated before and she thinks to cancel them now implies they are wrong.

The Louis Riel School Division says it does not mandate what traditions and activities are practised at any particular school.

It says the parents should get in contact directly with the school’s administration.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

EU-Turkey: No Free Movement for Turks

Zaman, Le Temps

According to a ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on September 24, the EU is under no obligation to allow Turkish nationals without visas to enter its territory. The court dismissed a complaint filed by a Turkish citizen when she was refused a visa to visit a relative living in Germany in 2007, arguing that as a potential beneficiary of services within the EU, she could not benefit from a visa exemption.

The CJEU ruling will “establish a precedent for Turks travelling in the EU,” notes Zaman. The Istanbul daily also reports on the disappointment that greeted the verdict in Turkey, citing the minister for EU affairs, Egemen Bagis, who remarked that “the verdict had been influenced by non-legal and political considerations.” Zaman continues —

The Director of Istanbul Bilgi University’s Institute of European Relations, Ayhan Kaya, fears that support for EU accession in Turkey will now be even lower. [..] However, according to the head of the European affairs programme at Bahçesehir University, Cengiz Aktar, the CJEU decision will not have a negative impact on ongoing negotiations between the EU and Turkey on simplified procedures for visas.

“The verdict was closely followed in Ankara,” notes Le Temps. For the Swiss daily —

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken a personal interest in the case as he has done in the question of his country’s accession to the EU. He finds it incomprehensible, and even discriminatory, that the EU should grant visa exemptions to South Americans, while Turks, who are economically and geographically closer, are denied free movement. […] In June, the Commissioner for Enlargement, Stefan Füle, pledged to open negotiations on visas. A Commission spokesman confirmed [on September 24] that informal talks are ongoing.

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

Italy: Two FAI Anarchists Arrested on 11 Bombing Charges

AGI) Rome — Police arrested two anarchists belonging to the FAI group in Rome on charges of carrying out 11 bombings.

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

New Study: Porn Addictive Like Drugs

A new study from Cambridge University has been catching headlines in the United Kingdom over its finding that the same area of the brain impacted by addiction to drugs or alcohol “lit up” in people addicted to pornography.

But Judith Reisman, a dynamo who has exposed 1950s sexual revolutionary Alfred Kinsey as a fraud, said it’s the argument she’s been presenting for years: The addictive power of porn.

She even has coined a term for the chemicals that stimulate the brain under the influence of porn,”erototoxins.”

“My term ‘erototoxin’ refers to natural, endogenous chemicals associated with sexual arousal that synergistically works to induce an addictive milieu in the brain,” she told WND…

Dr. Valerie Voon, a neuropsychiatrist at Cambridge, said in the report: “We found greater activity in an area of the brain called the ventral striatum, which is a reward center, involved in processing reward, motivation and pleasure.”

The London Independent reported the Cambridge study found that MRI scans of test subjects who admitted to compulsive pornography use “showed that the reward centers of the brain reacted to seeing explicit material in the same way as an alcoholic’s might on seeing a drinks advert.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Nordic Noir’s Sexual Violence Attacked by British Crime Writer

Bestselling author Ann Cleeves condemns gruesome scenes and morbid tone of Scandinavian books and TV dramas

A leading British detective story author has criticised the treatment of women by Scandinavian crime writers, saying that they seem intent on outdoing each other when depicting graphic violence against female characters.

Ann Cleeves, creator of the Vera Stanhope and Shetland novels, said she is concerned about a trend she believes has entered ever more morbid territory following the worldwide success of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Secrets of the UK’s New FBI: Police Chief Reveals Elite Force of 5,000 ‘Super’ Agents Will Wage a High-Tech Manhunt for Britain’s Most Wanted Criminals

The most radical change to law enforcement for decades will be launched tomorrow — and The Mail on Sunday has been given the first insight into its mission to ‘attack’ Britain’s most serious and dangerous criminals.

The new £450 million National Crime Agency — already dubbed Britain’s FBI — is a 5,000-strong elite force with sweeping new powers to hunt down cyber criminals, drug barons, paedophile gangs and people-traffickers.

In an exclusive interview, Keith Bristow, the NCA’s first director-general, said: ‘I want criminals to fear coming to our attention. When our officers arrest them, I want the bottom to drop out of their world because they will know that we are going to bring them to justice and take their assets off them.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Three Wounded in France Mosque Shooting

Three people have sustained gunshot wounds when an assailant opened fire on them outside a mosque near the French capital city of Paris.

The three men, believed to be a father and his two sons, were shot as they left Friday Prayers at a mosque in Villiers-le-Bel commune, located on the northern suburbs of Paris and 17.4 kilometers (10.8 miles) from the center of the city. They were heading towards their car when the shooting occurred, the French-language newspaper Le Parisien reported…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Turkish Firm Buys Island, Hotel in Venice

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL — Turkey’s Permak Group has acquired an area covering 62,000 square meters on San Clemente Island in Venice, as well as a five-star luxury hotel, the San Clemente Palace Resort, daily Hurriyet reports today.

Permak Group, which is active in the construction, machinery, tourism, technology, chemistry and retail sectors, bought San Clemente Palace Resort, which has 205 rooms divided into four different themes, the company announced in a press release yesterday. The project, worth around 25 million euros, will restore the hotel in accordance with its originality and build new facilities such as restaurants, sports facilities, a swimming pool and a spa. Around 600 people are expected to be employed in the hotel. “We are happy to have acquired this historical island in Venice by making an important investment. We plan to open in in 2014 after completing its restoration as soon as possible. The hotel, which will be one of the Europe’s most luxurious hotels, is planned to be operated by an international hotel chain,” Permak Group Deputy Chairman Emir Uyar said. Venice, one of the world’s most popular destinations, hosts nearly 24 million tourists a year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Blundering Police Let 1,300 Suspects Walk Free Including ‘Rapists, Child Molesters and at Least One Murderer’ Because of Errors With Paperwork or Procedure

More than 1,300 suspected criminals including alleged rapists, child molesters, violent offenders and at least one murderer have escaped justice in the past five years because of police blunders over arrests.

Figures show that errors in paperwork, failure to read suspects their rights or mistakes in the way officers conducted interviews have meant at least 200 suspects a year walked free without charge.

Since 2008, these have included 262 suspected violent criminals and 21 sex offenders, three of whom were suspected rapists and one of who was accused of sexually abusing a young boy.

Only last month, a convicted killer escaped prosecution for a second murder because an officer failed to follow procedures. The official statistics, derived from Freedom of Information requests, provoked fury.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Gang of Heroin Smugglers Jailed After They Were Caught With Drugs Worth £306million Hidden in Vegetables and Bed Linen

Drugs imported from Pakistan in one of Britain’s biggest ever plots

A gang of drug smugglers have been jailed after they were caught with heroin worth £306 million concealed in vegetables and bed linen.

The international drugs ring planned to flood UK streets with the drug, imported from Pakistan, in one of the largest ever drug smuggling plots uncovered in the UK.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) traced the criminal network to the West Midlands and spent months gathering intelligence on suspected members — which included a husband and wife team — in 2009…

The intelligence-led operation started in June 2009 when a shipment of heroin hidden inside bags of chilli powder was intercepted at Leeds Bradford Airport after it arrived from Pakistan.

Officers and border officials swooped in seven different locations at Felixstowe, Tilbury Docks and addresses across Birmingham between April 2011 and August 2012…

Eventually, kingpin Mohammed Farooq, 47, was caught alongside two Pakistani associates after SOCA traced a massive 263kg load of heroin to a warehouse he owned.

Farooq, from Solihull, West Midlands., was jailed for 29 years in June after he admitted organising the 263 kilo shipment of heroin.

He was captured on undercover surveillance footage handing boxes of cash to couriers in supermarket car parks.

Wife Catherine Farooq, 51, the final member of the ring, was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday for money laundering.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Lutfur Launches a Political Party and Declares His Love for the Ife

Tower Hamlets has a brand new political party to vote for. Lucky us. It’s called Tower Hamlets First. As opposed to Tower Hamlets Last, which is the usual strategy of the people behind this new venture….the dear Mayor of Tower Hamlets and his group. It was registered with the Electoral Commission on September 19, with Lutfur Rahman as party leader (missed that party election vote), and Cllr Alibor Choudhury nominated as Treasurer and nominating officer.

They’ve also registered a few catchy tag lines to use alongside Tower Hamlets First. Thus we have ‘Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Team’, ‘Lutfur Rahman’s Team’, Lutfur Rahman’s Progressive Alliance’, ‘The Mayor’s Team’, “Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Independents’, ‘Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s Community Alliance’ [note the use of the word ‘community’], and ‘East End Independents’. I’m not sure he’ll be able to use the word Mayor in any official tag line during an election, but let’s see.

But what’s also interesting about this is that he’s now on an official footing as as far as declaring donations go. Until now, there’s been no trace of how he’s been funded, or who his backers have been. For example, I asked his people who funded his huge iftar party to celebrate Eid in August, but answer there came none. Ditto the various leaflets and newsletters he sends out en masse. I suppose the truth is that ever since he was elected that dark night in October 2010, he’s been gearing up for re-election. And why not?

We’ve already seen his (ab)use of the Localism Act to dish out grants to friends at the borough’s many mosques and monocultural community groups. Today,another £242,000 was handed out. It includes another £18,000 to the Osmani Trust. The Osmani Trust is a major “youth” organisation in Whitechapel with links to the IFE. And it was a large group of mainly excitable young men from that organisation who turned up at the town hall for the last full council meeting in September when they spent the evening whooping, hollering and hurling insults in Bengali at Labour and Tory councillors…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Memo to Ed Miliband: My Marxist Father Was Wrong, Too

I soon realised that the humanitarian protestations of Marxists were a mask for an urge to domination.

Edward Miliband and I have something (not much) in common: we both had Marxist fathers. In my case, however, it turned me against all that my father stood, or pretended to stand, for. I saw that his concern for the fate of humanity in general was inconsistent with his contempt for the actual people by whom he was surrounded, and his inability to support relations of equality with others. I concluded that the humanitarian protestations of Marxists were a mask for an urge to domination.

In addition to the emotional dishonesty of Marxism, I was impressed by its limitless resources of intellectual dishonesty.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: The Hate of the Left (Updated)

by Paul Goodman

“Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead,” scream the protesters as they file past the Midland hotel in Manchester. It is a cruel greeting for the Conservative party as it gathers in this most un-Tory city. “Filth, you’re a waste of space, a waste of oxygen,” they shout at the shiny young delegates as they pass. I suggest to a policeman that this constitutes intimidation, especially the bloke in the “Kill Tory scum” T-shirt who is filming people as they enter the secure zone. “We have to protect people’s right to protest, but it’s a fine line,” he admits.”

Stephen Moss’s report from the opening day of the conference helps to put the row about the Daily Mail and Ralph Miliband into context. The paper and its Editor are being targeted by the Left, as another round of Leveson looms, for sacking and censorship: a headline about hate has put it in the dock, charged with being an organ of hate. But where is the hate from the right — which, after all, has been roughly the same size electorally as the right since the war and before, if one tots up the totals at each general election? Where are the demonstrators wearing “Kill Labour scum” T-shirts outside that party’s conferences each year?


[Reader comment by ex-ToryAgent on 5 October 2013.]

There is nothing new about this, Paul. It is just the way they are. I really can’t “hate” opponents in that way. I may dislike their political outlook, their policies and prejudices, but there is something inherently wrong about hating people the way the Left tend to do. It is unConservative to hate. Our energies are on building a better country for everyone. The Left tend to be more ideological too which is unhealthy. Conservatives are much more pragmatic and realistic. That’s why the Conservative Party has survived over hundreds of years — by adapting and modernising our message.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: UKIP’s Supporters Are Anxious, Not Awkward

by Ed West

I guess the ‘unite the Right’ memo has not got through to some Tories, with Michael Heseltine calling Ukip ‘a racist party’ and James Wharton saying they’re ‘an awkward group of strange people’…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Police Openly Beat Muslim Brotherhood Sympathizers in Cairo

CAIRO — Egyptian security forces on Sunday openly beat demonstrators sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, without any provocation, in a sign of how the once powerful group has become the target of official suppression.

The police reaction to the Brotherhood march stood in stark contrast to the scene blocks away, where pro-military crowds, summoned to celebrate Egypt’s war with Israel 40 years ago, hoisted soldiers and police on their shoulders and offered cheers.

The difference was apparent to two McClatchy reporters who left the pro-military demonstration to cover the Brotherhood gathering. As they witnessed police beatings, the two reporters were pounced on by security officers, who stole their cell phones and cameras and threatened to haul one away. The abuse ended only after the reporters proved they’d been at the other rally by pulling out posters of Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah El Sissi, the head of the military who engineered the toppling of President Mohammed Morsi in July.

At previous demonstrations, Egyptian security forces have said the Brotherhood, the secretive organization through which Morsi ascended to office, instigated the clashes, some of which left hundreds dead.

But on Sunday, there was no sign of Brotherhood provocation. The beatings took place well away from the huge crowds that were celebrating the military. Residents nearby also played a role, refusing to give Brotherhood sympathizers shelter as they sought to flee the security forces’ onslaught.

McClatchy reporters witnessed police officers throwing rocks at the protesters. Some protesters jumped into the Nile River to take refuge…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Film: Documentary on a ‘Revolutionary’ Moroccan Woman

The Threshold of the Desert screened in EU Parliament

(ANSAmed)- BRUSSELS — A documentary on women’s empowerment in Morocco had its premiere in Brussels Wednesday at the European Parliament. The film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and was funded by the Spanish agency for international cooperation, the UN and ACAM APIP. The film focuses on the life of the 36-year-old Najat Aziz from the Errachidia province, where only 15% of women work outside of their homes. “Revolutionary” in her own way, she managed to go to university and attend IT, business management, and training courses. She then set up her own business: a center for pre-school instruction that now teaches 50 children. Najat attended the Brussels screening, alongside the director, Spaniard Ramon Vila from Vision Films. The initial catalyst for the success of this woman entrepreneur in an extremely poor area of Morocco — where until recently girls were married off at age 14 — was a man.

“My father is illiterate but knew educated people and wanted his daughters to get their diplomas and a job,”Najat said, noting that she had to struggle instead against her mother, who wanted to keep her at home. As a result, at 7:30 in the morning Najat had to do all the housework before going to school and then to work at the market after school. Najat wears an Islamic headscarf — like all other women in her community — and got her university degree in Islamic studies in a university 45 kilometres from her home, but said that religion is an advantage for her. “Our religion is Islam, which puts a higher value on women and gives us the strength to have more,” said the protagonist of the film, who fought hard for her success and hopes that her work will enable her to provide more future opportunities for other girls — even if there is still a wide wage gap between men and women who do the same job. “It doesn’t make any sense for educated women to stay at home. They can improve their lives,” she said. Najat worked in many different jobs to pay for her activities until NGOs began to provide free books and smocks to her pupils. “I wanted to start this project to save children from a difficult situation in which their parents prefer to keep them in the streets rather than send them to school. I had to knock on the parents’ doors and hold meetings to persuade them,” Najat said, who at this point in her life is looking to get married. “When I get married, if God wills it, I want my husband to allow me to work outside the home. Otherwise he will have to pay all the expenses,” she laughs in the film.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

U.S. Said to Hold Qaeda Suspect on Navy Ship

The accused operative for Al Qaeda seized by United States commandos in Libya over the weekend is being interrogated while in military custody on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea, officials said. He is expected eventually to be sent to New York for criminal prosecution.

The fugitive, known as Abu Anas al-Libi, is seen as a potential intelligence gold mine, possessing perhaps two decades of information about Al Qaeda, from its early days under Osama bin Laden in Sudan to its more scattered elements today.

Abu Anas is being held aboard the U.S.S. San Antonio, a vessel brought in specifically for this mission, officials said.

[Return to headlines]

Netanyahu Ties Between Palestinian Leadership, Nazis

In a surprisingly powerful and frank speech, Prime Minister says conflict with Palestinians began in 1921, not 1967.[…]

The prime minister went on to list Arab pogroms against Jews in 1929 — when the Jewish community in Hevron was annihilated “with endless cruelty” — and later in 1936-39. In 1947, the Arabs refused to accept a partition plan that gave the Jews a state, he said. In 1967, again, Arab nations formed “a ring of strangulation” around Israel — but then, too, “there were no territories. There was no occupation. Unless Tel Aviv and Yafo are occupied.”

Moving on to the present day, Netanyahu noted that he recently heard Iran’s representative “muttering half heartedly” about the crimes of the Nazis, and then going on immediately to say that the Jews must not be allowed to use the Nazi issue in order to commit crimes against the Palestinians.

The historical truth is the opposite of this presentation, he said.

He then began quoting numerous historical sources showing that the Mufti was “one of the initiators of the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe,” and that he was constantly encouraging the Nazi leadership to annihilate the Jews, throughout the war. He cited evidence that the Mufti even visited the gas chambers at Auschwitz with Adolf Eichmann.

“The Mufti is still a greatly admired figure in the Palestinian national movement,” said Netanyahu. “These are the weeds that need to be uprooted,” he said. “The root of the conflict is the deep resistance among a hard core of Palestinians to the right of the Jewish people to its own state in Israel.”

           — Hat tip: MC [Return to headlines]

Vad Vashem Names 1st Egyptian ‘Righteous Among the Nations’

Mohamed Helmy, doctor who lived in Berlin during WWII

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, SEPTEMBER 30 — For the first time ever, the World Center for Holocaust Research Vad Vashem has honored an Egyptian with the title ‘Righteous Among the Nations’. The honor was bestowed on the Egyptian doctor Mohamed Helmy — who lived in Berlin during the years of Nazi rule — for helping Jewish families escape anti-Jewish persecution. Helmy was aided by a German woman, Frieda Szturmann, who has now also been recognized with the same honor. Yad Vashem has said that it is seeking to contact the relatives of Helmy, who died in 1982, in order to honor his memory in a special ceremony.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Danish Jihadi Fighting in Syria Tweets His Experiences in Jihad — Traveling to Europe and Back to Syria, Meeting Other European Foreign Fighters

On April 8, 2013, a Twitter account belonging to a Danish jihadi who describes himself as “A stranger. Currently fighting in Syria, to make the word of Allah the highest!” began tweeting. The account has tweeted nearly 1,600 times and as of this writing, it has 1,235 followers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraq: Suicide Bombers Target Shi’ites Muslims, Kills More Than 32

According to Reuters, security and medical sources have revealed that at least 32 people were killed on Saturday as two suicide bombers targeted Shi’ite Muslims in Iraq. In Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a checkpoint, killing at least 20 Shi’ite pilgrims on their way to visit a shrine in the Kadhimiya district.

Earlier on Saturday, another suicide bomber had blew himself up inside a cafe in a mainly Shi’ite town of Balad, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, killing 12 people. The cafe was targeted in an almost identical bombing 40 days ago. No group immediately claimed responsibility for either of the bombings, but such attacks are the hallmark of SunniIslamist al Qaeda, which views Shi’ites as non-believers and has been regaining momentum this year…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Resurgence of Islamic Terrorism After the Arab Spring

Christians , moderate Muslims , Shiites are strangled by terrorist violence in Syria , Egypt, Kenya , Pakistan …. This flare up is a sign of the deep crisis of Islam, which has not yet addressed the discernment of the modern world and prefers to take refuge in an outdated Islam. The Islamic world must recognize connivance with such violence. The commitment of Christians to dialogue with Islam and modernity.

Beirut (AsiaNews) — Recent events in the news have confronted us with a series of Islamic terrorist attacks: the two suicide bombers on the Church of All Saints in Peshawar , the kidnapping and killings in the commercial center of Nairobi , the agony of many Christians in Egypt , the threats to Christians in Maaloula and throughout Syria ….

The Arab Spring , which united Christians and Muslims , had raised hopes for a better future and a partnership for human rights , democracy , religious freedom . Instead it seems we have been propelled back to the past of a few years ago, during the American occupation in Iraq and internationally, with executions, beheadings, car bombs even during religious services.

The phenomenon of Islamic terrorism

In fact we have — Egypt, Pakistan , Kenya , Syria — the common point that unites them all is the phenomenon of terrorism and the fact that they are all Islamic terrorists. How can we explain that?

In some cases they are Sunnis attacking Shi’ites , sometimes attacking the police, the symbol of the order that they want to destroy, in most cases, they attack Christians . Their psychology deserves to be underlined. They are terrorists ready to risk their lives to bring death to others, without any explanation. They do this against innocents, against categories seen as enemies, Shiite Muslims or Ahmadis, but more often against Christians.

All of these people suffer a hardship. In Somalia, where al- Shabab the group behind the massacre in Nairobi originate,,the problem is among Muslims (given that there is only a small number of Christians), but they have exported the problems to Kenya , with the excuse that Nairobi is helping the Somali government to regain control of the country. The motivation is political , but whatever motivation is expressed , it is translated into violence. And the worst is that it is expressed as a violence carried out in the name of Islam.

How do Muslims react?

It is also worth evaluating the reaction of Muslims. In some cases, they say: This is unacceptable! But what does this mean? What is being done to stop these groups? To answer this question we need to understand where the violence comes from. In fact, it is the mental formation , the education received, which drives the terrorists to violence. Backed by a learned imam , who emits a fatwa (legal judgment) , they become accustomed to using violence against anyone who does not think like them.

In Pakistan, the Imam Hafiz Noman Kadir , who is against terrorists, has expressed solidarity “with our Christian brothers and sisters “, explaining that they have been affected by “terrorists who have no religion.” The same Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the suicide attack , saying, “ The terrorists do not observe any religion ..”

This is not correct: the religion of terrorists is declared, and how! They declare themselves Muslims. In fact, they claim to be the true Muslims, who faithfully apply Shari’a . Unfortunately, moderate Muslims, almost manically, attempt to water down all criticism of Islam , saying that terrorists “have no religion”, or “are not true Muslims, because Islam is a peaceful religion , the ‘ Islam is the religion of the middle ground ( dÄ”n al- wasat ) and can not be extremist . “ I would also like to believe them, but I would like to ask: What are you doing to combat this false Islam ?

Every week there are new fundamentalist groups that are born, inspired by Islam , supported by the imams who guide them and support them in using violence against Christians or against a Muslim group , or against the disbelievers ( kuffar ) .

The majority of Muslims say: “This is not true Islam !” So then we must fight against this falsehood, give precise details, ask the police to stop these massacres.

I terroristi sono guidati da veri e dotti imam fanatici

A Nairobi, lo sheikh che guida il gruppo degli Shebab somali, autori dell’attacco, è sheikh Ali Mahmoud Raji, loro portavoce. Egli ha pubblicato questo messaggio: “Autorizziamo i nostri mujāhedÄ”n ad uccidere i prigionieri in caso di attacco. I cristiani che stanno muovendo verso i nostri uomini, abbiano pietà degli ostaggi all’interno dell’edificio”.

Già l’uso del termine “mujāhedÄ”n” mostra l’origine islamica: il mujaheddin è colui che pratica il jihad, come è riportato nel Corano e nelle hadith.

La tattica che hanno usato è anch’essa islamica. Ad un certo punto hanno fatto uscire dall’edificio i musulmani. Per distinguere gli uni dagli altri, hanno chiesto a tutti: Conosci il nome della madre del Profeta? (Ä€mina). Chi ha risposto giusto ha potuto uscire e salvarsi; gli altri sono rimasti ostaggi e diversi sono stati uccisi.

The terrorists are driven by real, scholarly and fanatical imams

In Nairobi , the sheikh who leads the Somali Shabab group, the authors of the attack, is Sheikh Ali Mahmoud Raji , their spokesman . He has posted this message: “We authorize our Mujahedin to kill the hostages in case of attack . Christians who are moving towards our men, have pity on the hostages inside the building .”

Already the use of the term “mujahedin” shows the Islamic origin: mujahideen is the one who practices jihad , as is reported in the Koran and the hadith .

The tactics they used are also Islamic . At one point they let the Muslims out of the building . To distinguish from each other, they asked everyone: Do you know the name of the Prophet’s mother ? (Amine) . Those who answered correctly could leave and save themselves , the others were hostages and several were killed.

It is an Islamic fanaticism in various forms. Muslims first of all must protest against this , and not just with words. The terrorists attitude is based on the teaching of some imams who form them to Islamic disciplines, guide them , support them, educate them up to give everything in order to kill.

As long as people continue to ignore that this attitude is the responsibility of Islam, and that those who remain silent are complicit in some way, then it is useless to condemn the violence , even if you then console the families of the killed Christians.

These considerations hold true for Pakistan , Kenya , Egypt, Syria.

The Islamist trend is taking power everywhere

In some of these countries, especially Egypt and Tunisia, there was a new spirit brought by the Arab Spring : they have brought out a new vision of human rights , citizenship common to Christians and Muslims , placing religion in a secondary place, a secular style open to all religious and non religious. But this only lasted about three months. After that, they were replaced everywhere by Islamist groups : the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Salafis , in Syria all the fundamentalist bands from abroad, paid for by the Arab Gulf countries, even Western converts , in Tunisia the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood (under another name) ..

There is a desire in the Muslim world for true freedom, democracy, for an Islam open to the world today , but the awareness is not a great enough to lead to action as a counterweight to the Islamist restoration . Everywhere the Islamist trend is taking power , because the groups are well organized and know how to operate on crowds in Tunisia, in Egypt (even if it is losing ) , Libya , Syria , even if they are still unaware ….

The Muslim world is in deep existential crisis of civilization

The real issue is that Islam is in deep existential crisis of civilization. The Muslim today presents itself as a block, like a Umma that knows no geographical or political boundaries, but moves from one border to another to spread their ideas , their vision of Islam and to fight in accordance with this vision. This is not the case for the Christian world , divided by national, cultural character, etc. …

Muslims feel politically weak, militarily weak, culturally poor, scientifically weak or reduced to a flicker . This malaise is even heavier when they think about their past, in the VII — XIII centuries. It was a powerful empire, open to so many cultures, the most advanced of Europe. It was the great period of the Renaissance, our Enlightenment!

To explain this large step backwards by Muslim fundamentalists there is a simple and convincing explanation. It can be summarized as follows: as long as we faithfully followed everything that was prescribed in the Koran and tradition of our prophet, we were the best in everything, the more we strayed from this tradition, the weaker we became. Therefore, the solution is clear: let’s return to the seventh century ! This simple analysis has convinced many Muslims.

And since the Koran says of Muhammad : “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often” ( Sura 33, Faction allies , Al — Ahzab , v . 21) , imitation of the Prophet of Islam becomes an obligation. Now, he has fought against unbelievers by all means, including war (according to tradition , he made more than sixty raids ( ghazawāt ) in less than ten years). The return to the origins raises therefore the ideal of jihad (the struggle in the way of God).

Finally, with the oil windfall , it became easy to buy arms and keep groups of fighters (mujahideen). With the money they take from the West weapons , and we see as much in Syria, where weapons are pouring in from Europe, the U.S., from Arabia, Qatar. Money is needed for violence, in a vicious circle that closes in on itself without producing a way out . They kill a few thousand Christians , then — most importantly — they kill their co-religionists in droves.

The real problem is Islam’s need to confront modernity

But violence brings no solution because the urgent problem is Islam’s need to confront modernity , to discern what things in Islam need to be reviewed and what things can be accepted or rejected. It is a discernment process as individual Muslims and as a civilization. Such discernment is used to discriminate between positive and negative, then one can start building on the positive.

This idea is a simple, but very difficult, and never put into practice. Thus the struggle continues between Muslims themselves , between those who want to embrace modernity at all costs, taking and those who fight it, rejecting it en masse as atheist , as neo — paganism ( the new jāhiliyya) , inspired by Muhammad, who fought against paganism ( the jāhiliyya) . This is the theory of Sayyid Qutb , the eminent thinker and member of the Muslim Brotherhood , which was developed in his book Ê¿Maʿālim fÄ” al-tarÄ”q ( “ Milestones on the road “ ), written in prison during the years 1965-66 , shortly before being executed August 29, 1966 by hanging .

Questo islam integralista, vede la modernità proprio come un neo-paganesimo. Essi sono convinti che vinceranno se combattono il neopaganesimo che è rappresentato dall’occidente, dai cristiani visti come emissari dell’occidente[1], e dai musulmani liberali.

This fundamentalist Islam , sees modernity as a neo- paganism. It is convinced of victory if believers fight neo-paganism which is represented by the West , Christians, seen as emissaries of the West[I], and liberal Muslims .

Unfortunately, not many Muslims arrive at making this analysis, although the considerations which I summarize here are present among some Muslim authors . But out of more than one billion followers of Islam, even a thousand scholars remains lit a small number .. Tunisia, for 50 years, under Bourguiba (who was president from 1957 to 1987 ), had a critical approach that was positive, with an evolution towards modernity without creating terrorism.

Unfortunately, this modernity takes place almost always with a dictatorship. You can not propose a modernity without dictatorship. This is because the population , not having walked with the intellectuals feels they are being imposed lifestyles that they do not understand . For their part , presidents , dictators often , are forced to impose a method of modernity on the masses, which they might need in order to be educated .

In Syria and Iraq a similar thing took place with the members of the Baath party (or Baas ) , in Syria from 1963 to 1966 , then from 1970 to the present , in Iraq from 1968 to 2003 : they had introduced some important education and social reforms, but always with the strong hand of the dictatorship.

The founder , Michel Aflak , an Orthodox Christian , is a pillar of the secular party , while recognizing the predominant role of Islam in Arab “nation”. For this reason, when we started to fight the dictatorship , everything went up in smoke. By removing the dictatorship , only Islam remains, an enemy of modernity ( coming from the West ) and secularism .

For this it would be necessary that universities like Al Azhar and other Islamic universities in Tunisia, in Morocco, or outside the Arab world , such as Indonesia or Malaysia, undertook this task of discernment of Islam and modernity.

This work , which began in 1870 , lasted for 60 years, until 1930. There are texts of great thinkers , whose books were once banned , who have made these steps . An example : we compare the fatwa of a great character of Al Azhar, Mohammed Abdo (died in 1905 ) , with the fatwas issued now, on the same topics : his fatwas are much more intelligent and open to reality, a true master of Islam.

In the Islamic world today, people can either submit to the dominant Islam, stay silent, or flee to the West.

We Christians have already experienced this labor between faith and modernity, faith and reason.

For this we can help our brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith, pushing them in this work, to help Islam to respond to today’s needs of their countries.

Reconciling classical thought of Islam with modern thought is the real answer to the fanaticism of the terrorists.

Instead , a lot of the Western world believes it can help the Islamic world with military aid , or business relationships with the countries of the Middle East : these relationships are dictated only by the respective national interests and cannot bring about evolution . Instead , we need a total rethinking of Islam for the contemporary world .


[I] Here, too, there is little discernment: is the West really Christian? Is Christianity really the religion of the West?

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

Arctic Forum: Moscow Begins Industrial Conquest of Polar Circle

At a two-day forum dedicated to Arctic development and environmental safety, President Putin announces that it is time for an industrial breakthrough in the region, a treasure trove of hydrocarbons and a central route place for new shipping lanes. The authorities reassure environmentalists that only the most innovative technologies will only be used with the highest ecological standards.

Salekhard (AsiaNews) — It is time for an industrial breakthrough in the Arctic, which must take place in full respect of the environment. Russian President Vladimir Putin said. As the controversy that followed the arrest of 30 Greenpeace activists protesting against the drilling of Gazprom in the Pechora Sea continues, the Russian leader delivered his message at an International Arctic Forum titled The Arctic-Territory of Dialogue that ended yesterday in Salekhard.

Only city located exactly on the Arctic Circle, the capital of Yamalo-Nenets (Western Siberia) is considered a treasure trove for Russian hydrocarbons. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it hosted a forum with more than 370 experts, scientists, politicians and businessmen to discuss the issue of environmental security in the Arctic.

Due ice melting, the region has become important from a geostrategic and economic point of view, vetting the appetites of various countries like China, USA, Canada, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Russia. Indeed, the latter wants to play the leading role in oil and of gas development.

According to estimates by the US Geological Survey, under 22 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas lies under Arctic Circle. Climate change has made €‹€‹these deposits more accessible, and opened the so-called “northern routes”, which will cut both time and sea transport costs.

Moscow is planning an ambitious development of the Arctic coastal shelf — which, the Natural Resources Ministry says, contains more than 80 billion tons of oil and gas — and has high hopes of drawing in foreign companies to participate in the boom, those with the right skills, technologies and adequate financial support, as Putin put it.

Despite the fears of environmentalists for the possible destruction of the fragile Arctic ecosystem and the safety of indigenous peoples who inhabit these lands, the Kremlin ruler said it was impossible to stop Arctic development. At the same time, he insisted that it would take place in full respect of the environment, thanks to the use of the latest technologies.

Russia owns one-third of all Arctic territories and was the first country to begin oil and gas production in the Arctic in 1970s.In the past decade, more than 1,000 oil and gas fields have been discovered, as well as deposits of diamonds and other rare metals.

Only two state companies — Rosneft and Gazprom — are authorised to work on the Arctic coastal shelf. Whilst Gazprom mostly operates using its own resources, Rosneft is actively attracting foreign companies and already has contracts with companies like ExxonMobil and Statoil.

“The Barents Sea has huge potential,” said Jan Hegel Skogen, president of Statoil Russia, who was among the participants at the Forum in Salekhard.

In cooperation with Rosneft, “We have elaborated a programme for the large-scale exploration of this area and increased the budget for reconnaissance works by three times last year”.

“Russia hopes the Arctic shelf will open new perspectives for the country’s energy development,” Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Sergei Donskoi said.

Echoing President Putin, the minister tried to calm environmentalists, stressing that next year, some 700 million rubles (US$ 20 million) will be spent on protection next year. About 1.4 billion rubles (US$ 40 million) has already been spent on industrial waste disposal.

As evidence of Russia’s commitment to the environment, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who also heads the Russian Geographic Society that organised the forum, promised that by 2020, two national parks would be created in the Far East. In addition, a law that came into effect on 1 July requires that all oil companies working in the region to take responsibility for possible oil spills.

In view of its ambitious goals, Russia would likely ask the commission on the UN Law of the Sea to expand Russia’s territory over the areas of Lomonosov Ridge and Mendeleyev Ridge, Donskoi said. Russia had applied to the UN in 2001 but its request was declined due to a lack of proof that the two areas were a part of the Russia’s coastal shelf.

Russia will take “unprecedented measures” to encourage companies to take part in the Northern Sea Route project by slashing taxes for companies willing to get involved. “By introducing such benefits we are making it profitable to work in the Arctic region despite its severe conditions,” Donskoi said. (N.A.)

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

4 NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghan Operation

KABUL, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) — Four soldiers of the NATO-led coalition were killed early Sunday morning in operation in Afghanistan, the coalition forces confirmed in a statement.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Indian Democracy at Risk From Hindu-Muslim Violence

India’s central government releases figures concerning communal violence between the Hindu majority and the Muslim minority in the first nine months of the year. About 479 violent incidents occurred over this period with 107 dead and 1,697 injured. For Christian leader, “politicians should not take advantage of people’s religious identity.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — In 2013, 479 violent communal incidents occurred in India involving the Hindu and Muslim communities. In total, 107 people lost their lives (66 Muslims and 41 Hindus) and 1,697 were injured (794 Hindus and 703 Muslims), this according to figures released by the central government, which looked at the incidence of sectarian violence since the start of the year until 15 September.

In view of these figures, politicians “must stop using people’s communal identity because it is likely to polarise society along confessional lines,” said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC),

According to the study, Uttar Pradesh had 62 dead (42 Muslim and 20 Hindus), the highest in the country, with 219 Muslims and 134 Hindus wounded. These occurred during 93 violent communal incidents and 102 episodes of “tension”.

Maharashtra comes next with 100 registered violent incidents, followed by Gujarat with 54. In Bihar, there were 40 violent incidents and 25 episodes of tension.

In each state, a dozen of people died and hundreds were wounded from both communities.

“Democracy in India,” Sajan George told AsiaNews, “is threatened by communal politics, which could undermine the unity and integrity of the country. The GCIC and many analysts fear that the next general election [in 2014] will be the bloodiest in religious terms. It is significant that most of the states listed in the paper are (or were) ruled the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). “

The BJP is an ultra-nationalist Hindu party that is closely associated with Hindu fundamentalist movements like the Sangh Parivar, which has been responsible for acts of violence against minorities, particularly Christians and Muslims.

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

India: Why Biometric ID Must be Resisted?

The core issue is: Will efforts to undermine the fundamental right of Indians to move and transact freely around the country and to live without constantly having to prove who they are, succeed or fail? Ever wondered as to why bankers are immensely interested in biometric identification and verification of citizens? Biometric identification implies that movements of present and future generations of citizens are tracked like those of bacteria under a microscope.

This exercise of creating a centralised ‘online database’ of biometric information of Indians is unfolding under the supervision of Planning Commission’s Nandan Nilekani and Home Ministry’s C Chandramouli. The core issue here is: will efforts to undermine the fundamental right of Indians, to move and transact freely around the country and to live without constantly having to prove who they are, succeed or fail?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Garuda in $840mln Deal With Finmeccanica Joint-Venture

Rome, 1 Oct. (AKI) — Indonesian national carrier Garuda has signed a deal for 35 72-600 turboprop aircraft worth over 840 million dollars with regional aircraft-maker ATR, a joint-venture between Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica and European aerospace group EADS.

Garuda has signed a firm commitment for 25 of the planes, with options for 10 more, ATR said in a statement today.

Deliveries of the aircraft will start next month and the planes will upgrade Garuda’s regional fleet amid rising travel demand in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The turboprop planes fly more slowly than jets but are gaining increasing popularity in growth markets such as South East Asia and Latin America due to the lower fuel consumption.

The upgraded fleet will help Garuda boost its services to remote areas of Indonesia as the ATRs can land on airports with shorter runways, the carrier said in a separate statement.

“We are honoured to have been chosen by Garuda to expand its regional business and are happy to consolidate our partnership with NAC,” said ATR chief executive Filippo Bagnato.

NAC, based in Billund, Denmark, in June placed an order for 90 of the European turboprops, including the smaller ATR 42-600 model. With the addition of the new aircraft, the company will manage a fleet of about 150 ATRs.

The aircraft, which can seat up to 74 passengers, will accommodate 70 in Garuda’s configuration said ATR, which is based in the soutwest French city of Blagnac.

About a 100 ATR aircraft will be operating in Indonesia in the next two years as the planemaker has won more than 85 orders from the country since 2008, it said.

State-controlled Garuda and rival Lion Air are ordering more planes as economic growth enables more of Indonesia’s 253 million people to travel by air.

Domestic carriers flew 70 million passengers in 2012, up from 37 million in 2008, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation.

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

China: Bo Xilai Sham ‘Trial’ Unmasks Xi Jinping’s Thirst for Power

A great analyst of contemporary China dismantles the proclamations in favor of a “true rule of law,” pronounced by the new president. The cases of Bo and the former security czar Zhou Yongkang part of the ancient tradition of the Party, in which rising factions use high-sounding proclamations to get rid of competitors and opponents. Justice is and remains in the hands of Communist officials. Published courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) — As China and the whole world await the verdict in the case against Bo Xilai, disgraced former Party Secretary of Chongqing on Sunday, October 22, the focus is shifting to claims for a “fairer justice” pronounced by the national leadership. Xi Jinping and his associates, however, “are not really intent on reform”, but rather these proclamations are “a way often used by Communist leaders to consolidate their power.” Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a professor at the University of Hong Kong and one of the greatest connoisseurs of contemporary Chinese politics is convinced of this.

The same Bo Xilai has made it clear that his is a sham trial. In an open letter sent today to his family, the powerful official involved in an internal feud writes that he “will meet the verdict head-on, convinced that soon my name will be cleared,” following the path of his father, Bo Yibo, imprisoned by Mao Zedong, who later went on to become a guarantor of reforms under Deng Xiaoping. For Willy Lam, the trial of Bo Xilai “is not a proper and transparent trial as the state media would have you believe.” And among inept judges and allegiance to the Party “there is little hope” that a true rule of law can take root in China. Below the full text of his analysis.

The sensational trial of former Chongqing party secretary and Politburo member Bo Xilai-and growing speculation that former member of the Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) member Zhou Yongkang may be under investigation for corruption-related offences-has focused the world’s attention on Chinese-style rule of law. While senior cadres claimed that substantial improvements have been made to the transparency and fairness of the law-enforcement and judicial system, there is little reason to believe that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration is willing to allow due process to trump political expediency.

Beijing has touted the trial of the 64-year-old Bo last month as evidence of improvements in government transparency in general and the rule of law in particular. “The Bo trial underscores China’s resolve for rule of law,” Xinhua News Agency wrote in a commentary after the five-day court event. “With the detailed proceedings microblogged live, the trial was a direct and strong response to reports that have been bashing China’s political and legal systems,” Xinhua noted. Guangming Daily claimed that the Bo trial had showcased “a judicial system that is under the sunshine.” “The new central leadership collective is self-consciously [implementing] rule of law and anti-corruption measures,” the official paper said. “The authorities are using the mentality of rule of law and methods [consistent with] rule of law to fight corruption,” added the People’s Daily (Xinhua, August 28; People’s Daily, August 26; Guangming Daily, August 24).

Zhou Qiang, the new President of the Supreme People’s Court, has made repeated efforts to raise the low esteem with which the Chinese judiciary is held inside and outside of China. “Transparency is our general principle-and non-transparency an exception,” Zhou said at a conference of senior judges in July. He added that the courts would uphold the law with the utmost vigor and that judicial fairness would be safeguarded. “We must ensure that every case is judged well, and particular attention will be given to complex, controversial and sensitive cases,” he indicated. “Even if the courts come out with only one misjudgment out of 10,000 cases, this will result in 100 percent injustice for the people involved,” he added (People’s Daily, July 5; Xinhua July 5).

Equally significant was the pledge made by the Politburo member in charge of the Central Political-Legal Commission (CPLC), Meng Jianzhu, that his powerful organ would not interfere with judicial procedures. The CPLC is in charge of the nation’s police, prosecutor’s offices and courts. At a nationwide meeting of law-enforcement officials held earlier this year, Meng, a former Minister of Public Security, pledged that the CPLC would not interfere with individual cases, and that procuratorial and judicial units would be given full independence in enforcing the law. “China is a big country with 1.3 billion people,” Meng pointed out. “The most fundamental guarantee of clean governance, social equality and stability is the rule of law” (Southern Metropolitan News, July 14;, July 14).

Even more noteworthy were the statements made by President Xi Jinping about the rule of law with Chinese characteristics. Xi has on at least two occasions after becoming party chief at the 18th CCP Congress last November underscored the imperative of upholding the Constitution and the law. “We must seriously implement the law,” he said at a Politburo meeting devoted to legal and judicial issues. “There must be a fair judicial system, and all citizens must abide by the law.” He noted that “all organizations and individuals must conduct themselves within the parameters of the law.” And in a late 2012 speech marking the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the 1982 Constitution, Xi said that “no organization or individuals has the special privilege of overriding the Constitution and the law,” “All actions that run counter to the Constitution and the law must be held to account,” he added (Xinhua, February 24; China News Service, December 4, 2012).

A closer examination of Xi’s statements, however, shows that he is hardly an advocate of decoupling law from politics. While taking about the Constitution, Xi stressed that “safeguarding the authority of the Constitution means safeguarding the authority of the joint will of the party and the people.” Following the long-standing principle that it is the party that provides guidance in formulating the Constitution and the law, Xi ended his talk on the Constitution by indicating that “we must insist upon the correct political orientation” and “we must insist upon the Party’s leadership” (Xinhua, December 4, 2012).

The apparent contradictions between Xi’s pledges about the supremacy of the Constitution and the law on the one hand, and the imperative of party leadership on the other, can be explained by the fact that it is made clear in the preamble of the Constitution that all Chinese should observe “the leadership of the CCP and the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory.” It is also a ritual for the party leadership to state its respect for the Constitution and the law on important occasions. In December 2002, former general secretary Hu Jintao also underscored his administration’s strict adherence to the Constitution on the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the supreme charter (CCTV News, December 4, 2002; Xinhua, December 4, 2002). Despite Xi’s apparent conservatism, public protestations of respect for the law is deemed an essential element of his image building.

That the Xi leadership may not translate its rhetoric into action is evident from the fact that major party mouthpieces have in the past few months run commentaries attacking the idea of xianzheng or “constitutionalism” as the term is usually understood in the West. For example, the theoretical journal Party Building (Dangjian) recently published an article claiming that “the goal of constitutionalism is to abolish the leadership of the Communist Party and to subvert the socialist administration.” Last month, the People’s Daily ran a commentary arguing that xianzheng was a propaganda tool whereby the United States sought to “globalize American liberal economics and legal system” (People’s Daily, August 5; Party Building, May 30). “Independence of the judiciary” is one of the seven “unmentionables” or taboo subjects that, according to an internal CCP document, should not be talked about in either the classroom or the media. (See “China’s Reform Summed Up: Politics, No; Economics, Yes (Sort of…),” China Brief, May 23).

Moreover, it is clear that the downfall of Bo-as well as his show trial-was the product of political intrigue rather than an exercise in Chinese-style rule of law, as the party’s CCP spin doctors have made it out to be. Bo, who harbored ambitions of making the PBSC at the 18th Party Congress, lost a power struggle with ex-President Hu Jintao and ex-premier Wen Jiabao. He also ran afoul of then-vice-president Xi, who feared that Bo was after his job. Given the fact that Bo, the son of revered party elder Bo Yibo, enjoyed the support of party elders such as Jiang Zemin, however, the Xi administration took special care in handling his case. Thus Bo was only accused of corruption and embezzlement amounting to 26 million yuan. These ill-gotten gains were mostly provided by two businessmen-Xu Ming and Tang Xiaolin-who first got to know Bo when he was mayor of Dalian in the 1990s. The authorities chose to ignore the huge funds that Bo and his cronies allegedly confiscated from Chongqing businessmen who were arrested and tortured over dubious charges of being mafia bosses (Ming Pao, August 22; Wen Wei Po, August 22; South China Morning Post, August 21).

The way the Bo trial was conducted seems to fit a long-standing but unpublicized convention within the CCP: that serving and former Politburo members would not get a jail term of more than 20 years irrespective of the severity of their felonies. The two previous Politburo members who were incriminated after the Cultural Revolution, former Beijing party secretary Chen Xitong and former Shanghai party boss Chen Liangyu, were jailed for 16 and 18 years, respectively (Ta Kung Pao, August 22; Asian Wall Street Journal, August 20). And despite the availability of a live microblog feed, the five-day court proceedings were less transparent than official media made it out to be. For example, sensitive statements made by Bo-that he did not covet the position of prime minister and did not aspire to be “China’s Putin”-were not released to the public (Apple Daily September 30; Hong Kong Economic Journal, September 30).

How about the rumored investigations of former PBSC member Zhou, who was party secretary of Sichuan Province and general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) before becoming Meng’s predecessor as CPLC Secretary in 2007? Zhou has not appeared in public since the 18th Party Congress. Moreover, two of his cronies in Sichuan-former deputy party secretary Li Chuncheng and former vice-governor Guo Yongxiang-have been detained for alleged economic crimes. And five CNPC executives including former chairman Jiang Jiemin, who is regarded as a Zhou protégé-came under investigation for “serious disciplinary violations” last month ( September 1; South China Morning Post, September 1). Yet whether Zhou will eventually be prosecuted appears to hinge on political-not legal or judicial-considerations. There is a well-understood “mutual protection clause” for China’s most powerful politicians; serving and former PBSC members are not subject to criminal prosecution (Ming Pao, September 3; Hong Kong Economic Journal, September 2; Reuters, September 2).

The dominance of politics over the due process of the law is also evidenced by the large number of lawyers-especially rights-defense lawyers-who have been detained and prosecuted in the past year. Since the spring, at least 100 lawyers and NGO activists have been harassed or arrested for reasons ranging from publicly supporting “constitutionalism” to defending dissidents. And even as Beijing claims that it is using legal means to crack down on graft, police have arrested at least 20 lawyers and bloggers who have exposed the corrupt practices of senior cadres. These include prominent attorney and lecturer Xu Zhiyong as well as members of the New Citizens’ Movement, which has called upon Beijing to enact a “sunshine regulation” obliging senior officials to publicize their assets as well as those of their close kin (Christian Science Monitor, July 17; VOA Chinese Service, August 8; China Human Rights Defenders website, August 4).

Apart from the traditional issue of the party dominating law-enforcement processes, the judiciary has suffered from the dearth of qualified professional judges. While the current President of the Supreme People’s Court Zhou has a master’s degree from the well-regarded Southwestern University of Law and Politics, his predecessor Wang Shengjun was a career police officer who lacks any law credentials. (China Daily, July 5; South China Morning Post, April 4). The professional aptitude of many regional-level judges appears questionable. Among the presidents of the people’s high courts of China’s 31 major administrative districts, only 11 have degrees from law schools. 13 top regional judges boast diplomas from party schools of different levels-but not degrees from fully-fledged universities. Only one of them, Ma Xinfeng, the female President of the Fujian People’s High Court, is a lawyer. In terms of professional background, only ten have risen through the ranks of the judiciary. Two used to work in the procuratorate, two in the political-legal commissions and three are former police officers. The other top local judges come from a variety of backgrounds. For example, four are former cadres in regional-level party or government departments, four were specialists in “work with the masses”, and two were senior staff in the railway system (Ta Kung Pao, August 14;, February 2).

Even more debilitating an embarrassment to China’s judicial system is the venality and apparent immoral lifestyle of many judges. One of the most sensational news stories of the year was that four senior judges of the Shanghai People’s High Court, including Chen Xueming and Zhao Minghua, respectively Chief Judge and Deputy Chief Judge at the city’s No. 1 Civil Tribunal, were fired for “serious disciplinary violations” after local businessman Ni Peiguo, who thinks he was a victim of a misjudgment in the Shanghai courts, posted videos of the four cavorting with prostitutes in a local hotel. More reports on the Internet indicated that the four had also amassed huge assets through illegal means (People’s Daily, August 9;, August 4). Less than a month after this episode, Cui Yadong, the acting President of the Shanghai People’s High People’s Court was accused of assorted economic crimes when he was Head of the Police Department of Guizhou Province from 2008 until early 2013. Seventy of his subordinates in the Guizhou police force posted an Internet petition accusing Cui of misdemeanors, including embezzling more than 30 tonnes of expensive Mao Tai liquor during his tenure in the province (Radio Free Asia, August 16; Apple Daily, August 16).

According to President Xi, “running the country according to law” and a fair judicial system are integral to the realization of the “China Dream.” As the Procuratorial Daily pointed out in a recent commentary, “a just legal and judicial system provides a strong guarantee [for the attainment] of the China dream. “We must expand democracy within the judicial system,” the official paper indicated. “We must push forward judicial transparency and raise the [professional] ability of the judiciary.” (Procuratorial Daily, May 14; Xinhua, March 17) Given that Xi has fulfilled to some extent his earlier pledge that “both tigers and flies” among corrupt cadres would be nabbed, the authority and power base of the president has been consolidated. The wide gulf between what the likes of Zhou Qiang, Meng Jianzhu and President Xi have promised in terms of legal and judicial liberalization and the harsh reality seems to suggest that what the Xi leadership is interested in is not reform itself but tighter control of the legal-political apparatus now that Zhou Yongkang and his cronies have been elbowed aside. There is after all a long tradition of a CCP faction on the ascendancy-in this case the Xi-led Politburo-getting rid of its opponents-in this instance Bo and Zhou-in the name of high-sounding principles such as social justice and judicial fairness.

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

In Hong Kong, Tortured Maid “Has Forgiven Her Tormentors”

A Hong Kong couple that abused a young Indonesian for two years gets three to five years in prison. The court dismisses some allegations as “unproven”, but the weight of the evidence is enough for a conviction. Migrant rights groups pleads, “We are human beings, not animals.”

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Kartika Puspitasari, a housemaid from Indonesia, “has already forgiven” the couple from Hong Kong who tortured her for two years at their home in Tai Po District.

District Court Judge So Wai-tak sentenced Tai Chi-wai and his wife Catherine Au Yuk-shan to 39 and 66 months in prison respectively.

The two were convicted for abusing the Indonesian woman at their home, but the judge ruled that some of the latter’s allegations were “unproven”.

Puspitasari had filed a complaint against her employers for unpaid wages. During the first hearing, however, evidence indicated that the couple (with three children aged 3 to 11 years) had also tortured the domestic worker almost daily.

The housemaid’s body showed 45 visible scars. According to court-appointed expert, the marks dated back to “a few weeks before the [medical] visit.”

Puspitasari was, among other things, beaten with a bicycle chain, burnt, slapped around and denied food and water for five days when the family was on a holiday.

The judge did not accept all of the woman’s claims though, ruling out sexual violence or gender-based humiliations.

However, the victim stood by her entire story at a press conference held at the Indonesian consulate, saying that “she had forgiven her former employers but had said the truth. Now she would like to forget everything.”

The case highlights the plight of foreign workers in Hong Kong, most of whom come from the Philippines and Indonesia to work as domestic help or in janitorial services.

Their life is often very complicated as they juggle low wages, hard-to-find housing, inability to obtain citizenship and a veiled racist hostility.

For My Sumiati, who heads Migrant Komunitas Indonesia, this case can send an important message. “Migrants are human beings. If their work is unsatisfactory, just send them away. It serves no purpose to treat them like animals.”

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

Al-Qaeda Leader Captured in U. S. Raid in Libya and Somalia

(AGI) — Benoa, Oct 6 — The U.S. has successfully carried out two important anti-terrorist operations in Africa. Navy Seals landed at dawn on Saturday on Barawe beach, south of Mogadishu, Somalia to capture a leader of the al-Shebab movement, the Islamic militants that led the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. The leader was not captured but several gunmen were killed and he might have been among them. Shortly beforehand, in Tripoli, Libya, U.S. special forces captured Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaeda chief who is on the U.S. most wanted list, with a 5 million dollar bounty on his head, following the attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

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

Kenya: Assassinations of Muslim Clerics in Kenya ‘Boosting Al Shabaab’

(Reuters) — The killings of popular Muslim clerics in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa is strengthening support for Somali militants who massacred at least 67 people in a Nairobi shopping mall two weeks ago, a prominent Islamist said on Saturday.

The apparent assassination of Sheikh Ibrahim Omar on Thursday night raised religious tensions in Kenya’s commercial and tourism hub…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italian Integration Minister Asks to Amend Immigration Law

(AGI) Lampedusa, Oct 6 — Italian Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge has called for an amendment to a controversial immigration law, following the sinking of a boat carrying African migrants off the coast of Lampedusa on Thursday. “It is absurd that the survivors are to be placed under investigation for illegal immigration. We must debate this point in the coming days. Laws on immigration must be revised, particularly the provision that makes illegal immigration a crime.” The minister referred to the law pushed through by right-wing parties in 2002, the so-called Bossi-Fini law. “The Bossi-Fini law needs to be re-examined. This is not only my opinion and I’ll discuss it with several ministers in the days to come”, Kyenge said from Lampedusa.

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

Kyenge Calls for Pan-European Approach to Migration

(AGI) Lampedusa, Oct 6 — On a visit to Lampedusa, Italy’s Minister for Integration, Cecile Kyenge, said she hoped the latest tragedy would serve to change the overall approach to the migration problem. Clarity on the causes and the reasons why people were fleeing conflict was needed, she said, and Italy needed to rethink its position on its frontiers and coastal regions. “We call on Europe in its entirety to help solve this problem and find a way of guaranteeing protection and aid for refugees,” she added.

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

Pope Francis Bringing Church, Western Nations, Potential Trouble

“…Pope Francis, even though he hails from Argentina, cannot be unaware of the situations in Western Europe, Australia and the United States. Western Europe is in grave danger of losing what makes it Western Europe — a region populated by peoples whose relatively common culture, history, and even religion* have enabled them to develop along certain lines and create societies that have characteristics unlike those in any other region of the world. The Left-induced deluge of immigrants from Muslim countries has introduced an intrusive element — one that has a incredibly long history of invading and subjugating Christian-held lands, has brought places like Germany to the point in which (along with mind-boggling amounts of horrific violent crime in all of Western Europe) ethnic Germans children are now a tiny minority in some elementary schools.

These new ‘minority in the land of the ancestors’ children are, in addition to being routinely harassed, commonly called “pork gobblers” by their fellow Muslim students. The US, Canada and other daughter nations of the UK have similar foundations and, while their stations are not yet as drastic as that of Western Europe, these too are in danger of being slowly marginalized to the point of eventual nonexistence…”


NOTE:The above post concerns the callous disregard of Pope Francis for the security and prosperity of Western nations — the very same nations which themselves provided security for, and by its culture contributed to, the formation of the Church.

[Return to headlines]

Communism and Common Core Diversion

Diversion — The act of drawing the attention and force of an enemy from the point where the principal attack is to be made; the attack, alarm, or feint which diverts.

Conservatives are calling for tax-funded school choice via vouchers, and they know exactly what they’re doing. However, they fail to tell you that, “WHAT THE GOVERNMENT FUNDS, THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLS!”

They also support charter schools which are tax funded public schools WITH NO ELECTED BOARDS. The very definition of a charter school is “an alternative education system where a school receives public funding and operates privately.” This is Taxation without representation! What do you think the Revolutionary War was fought about?

We now have tax supported Fethullah Gulen charter schools, Chinese charter schools, (Chinese investors are putting millions into Florida Chinese charters) Waldorf charter schools, etc. etc. ad nauseam. Do you want to support Islamic, communist, and Rudolph Steiner’s Anthroposophical Society charters with your tax dollars, to name just a few?

Should the state legislatures accept voucher/choice proposals, ALL receiving federal, state, and local tax money, MUST conform their curriculum, etc., to FEDERAL/INTERNATIONAL standards. There won’t be any elected boards to complain to about sex, drug, and death education in the schools, or the politically correct “green” nonsense.

The words of John Chubb and Terry Moe, of The Brookings Institute and Stanford University respectively, — “Our guiding principle in the design of a choice system is this: Public authority must be put to use in creating a system that is almost entirely beyond the reach of public authority.” (Politics, Markets and America’s Schools, 1990). Please read that again slowly. Get it in your heads…they want a choice system that is beyond the reach of the taxpayer and parents!


Please understand that private schools cannot remain independent once they have accepted federal funding through vouchers/choice.

Let’s look at the federal law regarding tax funding of schools. In March, 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that private schools are subject to government regulations because they enroll students who receive tuition money from the government . Even though the checks are payable to individual students, not the school, the Court says any scholarships, loans, or grants to students “constitute federal financial assistance.” (11) Continuing in the same direction, on January 28, 1988, the U .S. Senate (July 9, 1990)…

Do you get it? The goal of this rotten government control of all education is about eliminating any and all private, religious, or homeschooled education. With one cent of tax money going to a private, religious, or home schooled child, comes all the regulations and control of the federal government!

Still don’t believe me?

The New States Constitution and Education

Let’s just take a quick look at the New States Constitution written decades ago by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and waiting in the wings to replace the 1787 Constitution. The push for a new Constitutional Convention has been exposed several times, not only by this writer, [Link] but by many other knowledgeable sources, including Publius Huldah, [Link] John Birch Society, [Link] Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, [Link] etc.

The people behind the promotion of a new Convention are mostly the phony right wing, the Goldwater Institute (Compact for America), neo-con Mark Levine, Harvard and Professor Lawrence Lessig, the Tea Party Patriots (both Jenny Beth Martin and former cohort, Mark Meckler), Judge Anthony Napolitano, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and others. [Link]

The New States Constitution is written in an “obverse” style which means “forming a counterpart.” As an example, Article I, Section 11, states, “Education shall be provided at public expense for those who meet appropriate test of eligibility.” The “obverse” of this statement is just as important as the statement itself and means, “All education shall be at public expense.” In other words, all education will be funded by taxpayer dollars, resulting in the federal control of all homeschoolers, religious and private schools. What the government funds, the government controls!

[Comment: An MUST read article. ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis — Papal Train Wreck

To sum up Francis’ comments, he used the term “conscience” in the modern secular sense. This aberration leaves out any admission that feelings that truly that arise from one’s conscience are a direct result on the Natural Law and thus cannot go against God’s will. He also made the following remark concerning the making of any effort to bring someone to Christianity:

“Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense”.

He also made what I assert is a plainly sinful claim that the greatest problems in the world today are “youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” Euthanasia, abortion, the destruction of the family, mass sexual crimes against innocents, murders, and war were left out of the Pope’s top two problems.

The Pope’s idea of Christian love is one that can safely ignore the responsibility of the believer to act as a representative of the Faith, be it primarily by word or action.

Jesus clearly loved the woman caught in adultery, but he also directed her to “go and sin no more”. No Gospel, epistle, or any great Christian writer would give the impression that love without instruction and correction is sufficient in any way.

God have mercy on us — the man who sits on the chair of Peter seems to be little more than a moral relativist who has a very low appreciation of true evil and the core message of the Gospel — sin, redemption, and a call to personal holiness.

Here before is is proof positive that Catholics are not bound by declarations of the Pope that do not concern definitive statements on faith and morals. Pope Francis is speaking as a private theologian in this case, and very badly so. He statements may and should be dismissed, but I fear that too many of the faithful of today do not have the understanding of what should be accepted when the Pope speaks and what should not.


NOTE:The above post treats the interview Pope Francis actively sought with an atheist journalist, apparently so that the Pope could severely marginalize key elements of Christian beliefs. He also wanted to tell us that the two greatest evils in our world are youth unemployment and lonely elderly people.

[Return to headlines]

Pope Francis the Iconoclast

“…I am growing quite concerned with the activities of Pope Francis. Upon his election, he deliberate avoided wearing the traditional vestments for a newly-elected Pope. Soon after that, he flippantly included a female in the solemn foot-washing portion of the Holy Thursday liturgy.

By September of this year, he was stating that we should find better things about which we should voice our concerns than abortion and the arch-aberrant gay marriage onslaught.

He moved quickly on to telling Westerners that they should open their national doors to most anyone who arrives with a request to stay. In the same interview he added the implication that Westerner’s perfectly understandable fears of loss of national identity, rise of violent crime, “loss of security”, and loss of employment to newcomers, (all of which have been plainly occurring for a long time) were not rational and thereby should be dismissed.*

Not content to rest with these remarks, Pope Francis changed gears, seeking out an atheist journalist to tell him that any attempt to bring the interviewer to Christianity was “solemn nonsense”, to speak of Christian love without any reference to correction or holiness, to use the word ‘conscience” in the modern secular sense that utterly ignores the fact that true feelings of conscience do not contradict God’s Word, and to tell is that, with all of the horrors of our world, the two worst evils are youth unemployment and lonely elderly people.**

With the revelation that early in his Papacy he ordered a moratorium on the conferring of the time-honored title of Monsignor being added to this list, I cannot help but come to the conclusion that we have a full-blown iconoclast sitting on the Chair of Peter…”

[Return to headlines]

The Coming Common Core Disaster

The new national education standards adopted by 45 States and the District of Columbia and now slipping into America’s schools are a collectivist’s dream.

Called Common Core, it is an attempt to create a Federally controlled education system designed to turn children into mind-numbed drones devoid of imagination and inculcated with a progressive culture of redistributionist economics, social justice, the mainstreaming of perverted lifestyles, secular humanism and radical environmentalism. It is a one-size-fits-all scheme that will dumb down students to the lowest common denominator.

Proponents of the program — people like radical Education Secretary Arne Duncan (champion of ridiculous zero-tolerance policies that lead to expulsions over breakfast tarts bitten into and papers torn into the shape of guns) — claim the goal is to prepare all students for entrance into community college. Never mind the fallacious logic that all children need a college education or even that a college education has much value in today’s part-time Obamacare economy, the truth is Common Core’s curriculum will create a group of students ignorant but well-prepared and well-versed in taking tests, as teachers will be evaluated on their students test scores rather than whether the children are learning anything useful…

So what about the education students will be receiving from Common Core? According to teacher and author Dean Kalahar, it is geared toward ensuring “schoolchildren believe that America has been a nation of bigots, racists, greedy collusive poverty creating capitalists, war mongering imperialists, anti-immigrant, segregating, discriminating, and disenfranchising racists and farmers; and that kids should be an anti-war peace loving through diplomacy, diversity and immigration seeking, tolerant through racial identity politicking citizens of big government spending through redistribution of wealth and regulation providing Medicare, minimum wage, civil rights and affirmative action powered by the auspices of globalization and the United Nations.

He bases that on an analysis of documents issued by the Florida Department of Education.

Stanford University professor James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation panel, concluded that the Common Core math scheme would place American students two years behind their peers in other high-achieving countries. In protest, Milgram refused to sign off on the standards. He’s not alone.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Islamic Tolerance: Myth and Reality

In a new “soft totalitarianism” in the West where truth is no longer a defence, this piece from Prof. Curtis will offend shallow, politically correct prejudice. Good!

The world today is confronted by the continuing violence by and threats from Islamists seeking to overturn existing political systems and rule on the basis of Sharia law. Some Islamists have made no secret of their ultimate objectives. Osama bin Laden called for the reestablishing the rule of Islam, beginning with the reconquest of Andalusia (Spain and Portugal). Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood issued a similar proclamation. For him “Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans, the Italian coast, are all of them Muslim Mediterranean colonies and they must return to the Islamic fold.”

Most contemporary commentators are not prepared to dispute this view as an authentic objective of Islam, nor are they willing to criticize the religion of Islam itself. Ibn Warraq, like Robert Spencer, who shares similar views, is not one of them. He is already well known for his intellectual and political courage and his strong principles and opinions, which include a critical assessment of the history and the nature of Islam. He was obliged for security reasons to adopt the pseudonym of “Ibn Warraq” when his book, Why I Am Not a Muslim, was published.

He took a public stand when violent protests occurred after the publication in Denmark of cartoons satirizing Muhammad, by signing a manifesto supporting the right of free press and publication. In earlier works, Warraq, with meticulous and challenging scholarship has been critical of Islam and of the Koranic view of government, especially because of its attitude towards women and non-Muslims. In many of his writings Warraq successfully demolished the intellectual structure created by Edward Said, which holds that all Western concepts of Islam and “the East” are predicated on colonialism, that has had a pernicious influence on the academic world.

He has elucidated the misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and imaginary fiction on which Said’s works are based. In all his writing, Warraq has been and is an unqualified defender of the democratic ideals and concepts of Western civilization.In his new book, Sir Walter Scott’s Crusades and Other Fantasies, largely composed of articles already published in Internet journals, Warraq analyses some classic British novels, particularly the writings of Sir Walter Scott and George Eliot, to establish some particular and general points…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 10/6/2013

  1. “a primary school in Winnipeg has upset parents by cancelling Halloween and replacing an annual Christmas concert with an evening of African drumming.”

    This actually made me laugh out loud!

  2. Yeah, I get what you mean. Anyone would laugh…except the parents whose kids are being targetted by this whacko mess. Another little piece of the cultural Marxism mosaic…enriching, educational, icky.

  3. Pingback: Sharia Adjustments in Canadian Schools | Gates of Vienna

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