Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/8/2014

Many Australians are angry over a decision by Britain not to hold any events specifically commemorating the sacrifices of ANZAC soldiers in the Great War. During this year’s centennial, the U.K. government says it will focus on the contributions made by countries from the “New Commonwealth”, such as Nigeria, Jamaica, and Pakistan. It is hoped that by recognizing the involvement of those nations and others in World War One, “community cohesion” in Britain will be strengthened.

In other news, in an attempt to sandbag a corruption investigation into his family, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has instituted a purge of more than 600 police officers.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, Seneca III, Steen, Takuan Seiyo, 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
» Employment Recovery? 1,600 Workers Apply for Just 36 Jobs at an Ice Cream Plant in Maryland
» Foreign Investors Return to Spain
» Italian Unemployment Hits 37-Year High
» Saxo Bank CEO Warns of Collapse Into “Totalitarian” Society
» “Electronic Surveillance of Private Citizens … Subversive of Constitutional Government” Was One of the Articles of Impeachment Against Nixon
» 12 Signs of Extreme Social Decay in America That Are Almost Too Horrible to Talk About
» 1400% Radiation Hot Spot Found on San Francisco Beach
» Bradlee Dean — Who is “They?”
» Christie Says Aide Misled Him About Lane Closings
» Emails Link Top Christie Aide to Bridge Lane Closures
» Farmers File Lawsuit to Protect Themselves Against Monsanto
» Government, Media Cover Up Fukushima Radiation Wave Hitting USA
» Grocery Manufacturers Association Pushing FDA to Allow GMOs to be Labeled ‘Natural’
» International Space Station Gets Life Extension Through 2024
» Melissa Mark-Viverito is Elected Speaker of New York City Council
» NBC Skips Big Win for Second Amendment, Hypes Bigfoot Reality Show Instead
» New York Cops Among 106 Accused Over 9/11 Fraud
» No, James Madison Did Not Reject Nullification
» ObamaCare: Designed to Deny Seniors Healthcare
» Obama Underlings Propose Revisions to the Firearms Background Check System
» Obama to Prevent “Dangerous” People From Owning Guns
» Suspect Arrested Over Chinese Consulate Arson in San Francisco
» Tenant Charged After Landlord, Father Found Nearly Beheaded in Brooklyn Building
» The Incredibly Flat World of Monsanto
» The NSA is Collecting Too Much Information
» The Supreme Court: Just Another Wizard of Oz
» Unforeseen U.S. Oil Boom Upends Markets as Drilling Spreads
» Why Congress Will Never Repeal the IRS
Europe and the EU
» Cannabis Not Innocuous, Says Italian Health Ministry
» Charges Against Princess Cristina Chip Spain’s Royalty
» Former Sicily Governor, Son to be Tried for Vote Buying
» French Interior Minister Advises Ban on Dieudonné Shows
» Germany: Hamburg’s Plan to Eliminate Cars in 20 Years
» Netherlands: Local Elections: D66 Warn About Impact of PVV Rise on the Hague
» Police Want Water Cannon Ready to Use in Britain by Summer
» UK: EDL and Anti-Fascist Demonstrators Clash in Bristol
» UK: Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ Speech
» UK: Kent Police Arrest Suspects From 100 Different Countries in 12 Months
» UK: Labour Councillors Suspended From Party
» UK: Science Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Plotting Terror Attack in Syria
» UK: Tower Hamlets Council Urges Muslim Couples to Adopt Children
» UK: Video Captures Moment PCSO Who Pulled Over a Driver Was Then Arrested HIMSELF for Being Twice the Drink-Drive Limit by Police Officers He Called for Back-Up
» UK: Violence Breaks Out as Jury Rules Mark Duggan Was Lawfully Killed by Police Marksman — But Didn’t Have a Gun
North Africa
» Benghazi Victims’ Families Demand Real Investigation
» Egypt: Supermarket Owner Killed in Clashes in Damietta
Israel and the Palestinians
» Kerry’s Looney Diplomatic Agenda
» Kerry Forced Additional Israeli Concessions on Terror
» Rolling Stones in Talks Over Debut Israel Gig
Middle East
» 10 Policemen Killed in Attacks in Iraq
» Ancient Syrian Trade Routes Recreated With Google Earth
» Confidence Game: Losing American Support, The Gulf States Scramble
» Delivering the West on a Platter
» Erdogan Purge of Police Stymies Corruption Investigations While He Prepares to Visit Iran
» Syria: Al-Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Kidnapped Doctors
» Western Turkey Tops in Alcohol Consumption
South Asia
» India: Taslima Nasreen Speaks Out
Far East
» Thyroid Cancer Rates on the Rise in Japanese Children, Experts Warn Residents to Evacuate
Australia — Pacific
» Aldi Removes “Racist” Australia Day T-Shirt From Stores
» British Plan ANZAC Whitewash
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Italy and Senegal Sign 45-Million-Euro Aid Package
» Australia Sends in its Navy to Push Asylum-Seeker Boats Back to Indonesia
» Christie Signs Tuition Bill for Illegal Aliens
» Does Immigration Mean ‘France is Over’?
» Germany Offers Lessons in Islam to Integrate Muslims
» Israel: 10,000 African Refugees Rally for Rights at Knesset
Culture Wars
» Homosexual Lobby on the Attack Again
» Planned Parenthood Board Member Says Abortion is ‘A Sacred Gift,’ Claims Christianity is Dying
» Will Duck Dynasty Controversy Awaken Americans?
» Sun Goes Wild: NOAA Issues Alert: Earth Directed X-Class Flare is on Its Way

Employment Recovery? 1,600 Workers Apply for Just 36 Jobs at an Ice Cream Plant in Maryland

The stock market may be soaring to unprecedented heights, but things just continue to get even tougher for the middle class. In this economic environment, there is intense competition for virtually all kinds of jobs. For example, more than 1,600 applications were recently submitted for just 36 jobs at an ice cream plant in Hagerstown, Maryland. That means that those applying have about a 2 percent chance of being hired. About 98 percent of the applicants will be turned away.

That is how tough things are in many areas of the country today. It is now more than five years after the great financial crash of 2008, and the level of employment in the United States is still almost exactly where it was at during the worst moments of the last recession. And this is just the beginning. The next major financial crash is rapidly approaching, and once it strikes our employment crisis is going to get much, much worse.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Foreign Investors Return to Spain

Record high in November

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JANUARY 7 — Foreign investors are making their way back to Spain after last year’s fleeing of capital.

November achieved the highest monthly rise of assets in foreign hands, an increase of about 21 billion euros, and rose to an overall 273.172 billion. In absolute terms, according to the figures released on Tuesday by the Treasury and the Spanish central bank, this marked the largest volume since 2011. Foreign investment as a percentage of the total was 40% in November, 3 points higher than in October. In the portfolio of bonds coming due, the volume of foreign investment in public debt was at an all-time high of 245.646 billion.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Unemployment Hits 37-Year High

Italy is looking sick today.

According to stats that have just come out, the unemployment rate has risen to a 37-year high of 12.7% in November.

Youth unemployment jumped from 41.4% in October to 41.6% in November.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saxo Bank CEO Warns of Collapse Into “Totalitarian” Society

Saxo Bank CEO Lars Seier Christensen warns that excessive government regulation, overtaxation and a coming economic collapse are all setting the stage for a slide into an overtly “totalitarian” society.

In a blog post entitled, What is the broader relevance of Ayn Rand for society?, Christensen adeptly describes how the predictions of the author, most famous for her 1957 dystopian classic Atlas Shrugged, are now coming to pass.

The Saxo Bank CEO argues that free market capitalism and freedom in general is under constant attack by elites whose constant intrusions into the economy and people’s personal lives are predicated around the need to justify more centralization of power.

“First, the politicians assign ever greater powers to themselves, as they manage to convince the citizens of the need for even more interference, although the problems are created by interference in the first place,” writes Christensen, citing the European Union as an example of how, “one mistake invariably leads to call for even more powers, leading to new mistakes.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

“Electronic Surveillance of Private Citizens … Subversive of Constitutional Government” Was One of the Articles of Impeachment Against Nixon

Why Isn’t Obama Impeached for Mass Surveillance?

One of the crimes against the Constitution for which the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Nixon was:

The electronic surveillance of private citizens … subversive of constitutional government …

2 former presidents, a vice president and a judge all warn that the NSA’s current mass surveillance is tyranny. Top American constitutional experts say that spying by the Obama administration is worse than the spying done by Nixon.

Why isn’t Obama impeached for such tyranny?

In fact, historians say that the NSA’s spying is worse than the Stasi East Germans. They also say that NSA spying is exactly the type of oppression that the Founding Fathers launched the Revolutionary War to stop. And see this.

Where is America’s immune system?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

12 Signs of Extreme Social Decay in America That Are Almost Too Horrible to Talk About

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Hearts in America are getting colder even faster than the weather is. Sometimes it is hard to believe how twisted and deranged many Americans have become. In order for a society to function efficiently, people need to be able to have a basic level of trust in one another.

Unfortunately, we are rapidly getting to the point in America where it is becoming very difficult to trust anyone that you do not know personally. As you will see below, the United States is rapidly becoming a cesspool of liars, thieves, murderers, perverts and psychopaths. Please do not allow any young children to read this article. All of this material is from mainstream news reports, but a lot of it is too disturbing for young kids to be exposed to. The reason why I write about this stuff is because there is never going to be any hope of a turnaround in this country until we take a good, long look in the mirror and admit how far we have fallen. Yes, a lot of these things are almost too horrible to talk about, but as a nation we must understand how bad things have become. There is evidence of extreme social decay all around us, and it is steadily eating away at the very foundations of our Republic.

The following are excerpts from 12 recent mainstream news reports. Once again, let me warn you that some of these crimes are so twisted that it is very difficult to even read about them. But this is how you get an addict that has reached “rock bottom” to change. You show them how their behavior is literally destroying them and the people around them. And without a doubt, America is being systematically destroyed by all of this evil. The following are 12 signs of extreme social decay in America that are almost too horrible to talk about…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

1400% Radiation Hot Spot Found on San Francisco Beach

Following reports of abnormally high radiation readings on a beach in San Francisco, experts have discovered radiation hot spots measuring 1,400 per cent above normal background levels, although they are keen to stress there is no link to Fukushima.

As we reported on Monday, after a viral video emerged showing a man recording measurements of over 150 micro-REM per hour, 500 per cent normal background radiation, on a beach south of Pillar Point Harbor, San Mateo County officials confirmed the spike but said they were “befuddled” as to the cause.

In a new development, El Granada electrical engineer Steven Weiss, a 40 year veteran designer of Geiger counters, took his own measurements and found hot spots that were returning levels 14 times normal background radiation.

“It’s not normal. I’ve never seen 400 cpm when I just wave my Geiger around.” Weiss told the Half Moon Bay Review. “There has to be something radioactive for it to do that.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bradlee Dean — Who is “They?”

Friends, what would you think of me if I knew that the ship we were on was purposely being destroyed by a few outlaws (corruption in the government), blowing holes in the bottom of the ship in hopes of sinking it, and I sat back with a smile on my face asking others on the ship, “Who do you think blew the bigger hole?” Acting as if I were exempt from being on the same ship that everyone else was on!

As I thought on this, it came to me that the problems with our country are not the media or the government’s fault alone. The media watchdogs only stay afloat by the sponsors that support them, and the people are responsible for supporting the sponsors. In regard to government, government derives its just powers from the consent of “We the People,” and the government in this country only reflects what the people tolerate. I also realized that our rights come from the hand of God, and those rights are maintained by fighting the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), which reflects what is, or is not, being preached from the pulpits across our land.

I recently came across this quote that comes to my aid, “We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy” (Isaiah 59, Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Christie Says Aide Misled Him About Lane Closings

Gov. Chris Christie, in response to the release on Wednesday of emails and text messages showing that his office was closely involved with lane closings on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge in September, said in a statement issued in the late afternoon that he had no prior knowledge of the events.

“I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge,” he said.

“This type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better,” he said. “This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”

[Return to headlines]

Emails Link Top Christie Aide to Bridge Lane Closures

A series of newly released emails shows that Gov. Chris Christie’s office was closely involved with the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in September and that officials closed the lanes as retribution against the mayor whose town was gridlocked as a result.

Mr. Christie has insisted that his staff and his campaign had nothing to do with the lane closures, and said that they were done as part of a traffic study.

But the emails show that Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, gave a signal to the Port Authority to close the lanes about two weeks before they occurred.

[Return to headlines]

Farmers File Lawsuit to Protect Themselves Against Monsanto

Monsanto would have you believe that their seeds cause no risk to modern agriculture, that they are simply trying to provide the best products to feed the world. But, both in the lab and in the fields, we’ve seen this to be far from true. Worse, GMOs are contaminating conventional fields, and leaving some farmers with no choice as to what they grow. This has led to numerous farmers joining forces, filing lawsuits against Monsanto to protect themselves.

Recently, the Public Patent Foundation filed a brief with the high court of the land in an effort to protect these farmers. The case, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) vs. Monsanto, was thrown off track earlier this year by an Appellate Court ruling in favor of the seed giant. Now, organic and conventional family farmers are hoping the Supreme Court will grant them the right to protect their crops and their livelihood from contamination and legal action by Monsanto.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Government, Media Cover Up Fukushima Radiation Wave Hitting USA

As radiation levels spike and mutated wildlife washes ashore, government and media promote delusion.

Radiation hot spots are popping up around the United States thousands of percentages higher than ‘background radiation’, mutated wildlife is being found dead on the same West Coast beaches where increased radiation levels have been documented by independent researchers and the Fukushima TEPCO plant workers have been caught using duct tape to fix their nuclear equipment. But according to both the Japanese and United States governments, these events mean absolutely nothing.

In fact, you must be a conspiracy theorist if you fail to believe the official story that it was likely red-painted utensils that led to a spike in documented radiation levels along the California coast (yes, the government actually offered this up as an official answer). And you must absolutely be a conspiracy theorist if you have the gall to actually look back to late 2011, when researchers presented their findings regarding the impending wave of Fukushima radiation that was already being recorded within the country.

Information going back to 2011 shows that scientists were already concerned about an increase in radiation levels and the overall fallout from the delapidated Fukushima plant. We can even go back to the declaration by scientist Marco Kaltofen of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute that radioactive ‘hot particles’ had been found at 2 out of the 3 radiation monitoring stations in Boston. As you are likely aware, hot particles are microscopic pieces of radioactive material that can absolutely wreak havoc on your body via the deliverance of concentrated radiation.

And these particles, according to Kaltofen, were already being found in Boston as far back as 2011.

Now enter a new flurry of stories that have seemingly been popping up one after another as radiation levels are continually being monitored around the nation — namely the West Coast, where the bulk of Fukushima-linked scenarios have been documented. In what sounds like an apocalyptic plot for the latest thriller film, we have mutated whales now washing up dead on the West Coast in the first ever documented case of conjoined gray whale calves. We even have elevated radiation readings as far away as St. Louis, Missouri.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Grocery Manufacturers Association Pushing FDA to Allow GMOs to be Labeled ‘Natural’

(NaturalNews) Not content with just hiding unlabeled genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the general food supply, the biotechnology industry now wants to freely add GMOs to food products bearing the “natural” label as well, according to new reports. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) back in December reportedly sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking for permission to basically trick health-conscious individuals into buying transgenic foods by deceitfully hiding them behind “natural” labels…

Biotech industry claims GMOs are ‘natural’ while hypocritically insisting they are unnatural enough to be patented

This is hardly an exaggerated assessment, of course, as there is literally nothing natural about GMOs. Their entire genetic blueprint, as you probably already know, has been reorganized in a laboratory to express certain unnatural traits while subduing other natural ones. GMOs are the antithesis of natural, in other words, which is why biotech companies claim to hold patents on them.

But somehow, in the eyes of the industry, GMOs magically become “natural” when it comes to the rest of us eating them unlabeled in our food supply.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

International Space Station Gets Life Extension Through 2024

NASA and White House officials are announcing plans today (Jan. 8) to keep the International Space Station running through at least 2024 — a four-year life extension for the largest spacecraft ever built.

The NASA decision will allow scientists to use the International Space Station for at least the next 10 years, maximizing the science return on the $100 billion orbiting laboratory, Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s chief of exploration and human spaceflight operations, said in a teleconference. Previous lifetime projections for the space station called for it be shut down in 2020.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Melissa Mark-Viverito is Elected Speaker of New York City Council

Melissa Mark-Viverito, a fiery liberal who helped form the Council’s progressive caucus, was elected speaker of the City Council on Wednesday, giving Mayor Bill de Blasio a partner at the controls of the legislative branch who shares his ideology and much of his agenda.

Ms. Mark-Viverito, 44, a Puerto Rican-born lawmaker from East Harlem, becomes the first Hispanic to hold what is the city’s second-most-powerful office.

After a bitter fight, in which Mr. de Blasio played an outsized role, Ms. Mark-Viverito’s lone challenger, Daniel Garodnick of Manhattan, formally conceded on the floor of the Council chamber shortly after 1 p.m, acknowledging the tense battle but saying, “I will do my part to resolve any rifts this process may have caused among us.”

[Return to headlines]

NBC Skips Big Win for Second Amendment, Hypes Bigfoot Reality Show Instead

Both ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning on Tuesday covered a big win for the Second Amendment in the courts. But NBC’s Today couldn’t make time for the ruling by a federal judge that struck down Chicago’s ban on retail gun sales. Instead, the morning show devoted almost five minutes to a new reality show about the mythological Bigfoot monster.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New York Cops Among 106 Accused Over 9/11 Fraud

New York (AFP) — Former New York police officers and firefighters were among 106 people indicted Tuesday over a “massive fraud” worth hundreds of millions of dollars, some in connection with the September 11 attacks.

The accused allegedly collected tens of thousands of dollars a year in Social Security disability benefits — funded by taxpayers — by claiming they were completely incapacitated by serious psychiatric disorders and other ailments.

But, according to court documents, they were in fact living normal lives — one of the accused flew a helicopter, while another played blackjack in Las Vegas. One of the accused taught and performed mixed martial arts but was still claiming benefits of typically between $30,000 and $50,000 a year. In some instances, the total amount fraudulently obtained was nearly $500,000 per applicant.

Of those indicted in the decades-long scam, 80 were retired New York police officers or firefighters.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

No, James Madison Did Not Reject Nullification

For some reason, some conservative commentators keep propagating the historical lie that James Madison “rejected nullification.” James Madison did no such thing.

Even while opposing a bastardized proposal for nullification created out of thin air in South Carolina, he still supported nullification as a “natural right.”

South Carolina

In Madison’s “notes on nullification” during the later days of his life, he explicity rejected a very specific doctrine of nullification proposed by South Carolina. But during the same time period, he refered to “nullification… as a natural right”

Madison’s arguments against this doctrine are hard to dispute. Here’s what he wrote:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ObamaCare: Designed to Deny Seniors Healthcare

It’s difficult to not conclude Obamacare is a slick eugenics program

Obamacare is a Trojan horse designed to whittle away the middle class with pernicious taxes. Especially hard hit will be seniors and Baby Boomers.

The government tried to sell its taxation scheme folded into Obamacare by saying only tanning salons and so-called “Cadillac” high-end insurance plans would feel the crunch. As it turns out, many if not most of the taxes will fall on a middle class reeling from a debilitated economy.

The taxes will be hidden in levies exacted on health insurance companies, especially those with large market share. The fees will be used to compensate insurers who take on the most expensive policyholders, according to a report posted by Politico. In short, Insurance companies will pass the fees on to consumers.

Other taxes and fees on hospitals and caregivers will hit the middle class hard.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Underlings Propose Revisions to the Firearms Background Check System

Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Justice Department on Friday quietly proposed a regulation that will clarify what mental health reasons can be employed under federal law to prohibit citizens from receiving, possessing, shipping or transporting firearms.

According to officials at the Justice Department, this clarification will direct U.S. states and territories in determining what information they should share with the federal background check system known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The stated goal by Holder is to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others. However, the regulation’s language, as with many of the regulations and laws coming out of the Obama Administration, leaves room for interpretation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama to Prevent “Dangerous” People From Owning Guns

Once again, President Barack Obama has demonstrated that he considers his will to be the supreme law of the land and he alone will decide who is allowed to buy a gun.

In an executive “Fact Sheet” issued January 3 by the White House, the president purports to establish new guidelines for “keep[ing] Guns out of Potentially Dangerous Hands.”

What President Obama — a former part-time law professor — seems not to understand is that every time he issues some executive order, presidential finding, or “fact sheet,” he is exceeding the constitutional limits on his power and thereby violating his oath of office.

First, Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution grants federal lawmaking power exclusively to the Congress. Regardless of the word he uses to describe it, any time the president “tweaks” a law or issues an executive order covering something other than the narrow limits allowed to such directives, he is making law. He is uniting in his hands all the power of the executive and the legislative branches, thus becoming our Founders’ very definition of a tyrant.

Next, there is the particular usurpation on display in this latest edict.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Suspect Arrested Over Chinese Consulate Arson in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) — A man suspected of carrying out the arson attack on the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, California, has been arrested, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced Monday. The 39-year-old man suspect has permanent resident status of the United States, special Agent David Johnson, chief of the FBI’s San Francisco office, said at a press conference…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Tenant Charged After Landlord, Father Found Nearly Beheaded in Brooklyn Building

A 27-year-old man has been charged with murder after the landlord of his Brooklyn building was found nearly decapitated in the basement Tuesday, police say.

Rasel Siddiquee was arrested early Wednesday in connection with the death of Mahuddin Mahmud, a 57-year-old businessman and father of three who was found with his head nearly cut off and his face burned in the basement of a building he owned, according to the NYPD.

Police found Mahmud’s body after getting a 911 call about an assault at the building on McDonald Avenue in Kensington. Siddiquee lived in the basement, police say.

Family and friends say Mahmud, a Bangladeshi immigrant, came to the U.S. decades ago and worked hard to build a computer software training business.

A childhood friend told NBC 4 New York that Mahmud believed so much in the American dream that his wedding portrait hangs next to an American flag…

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo [Return to headlines]

The Incredibly Flat World of Monsanto

New scientific discovery reveals DNA manipulation can create mutations due to ignorance of gene control mechanism.

There was a time when science dictated that the world was flat, and that if you reached the edge, you would simply fall off. What they couldn’t see, they proposed to be non-existent. Well, we’ve come a long way since then, but the arrogance remains. In the biotech sector, what they don’t see simply does not exist, and what they claim does not exist may be responsible for a myriad of diseases we are experiencing today.

A research team led by Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, made the discovery. The findings are reported in the Dec. 13 issue of Science.

Read the research paper. Also see commentary in Science, “The Hidden Codes that Shape Protein Evolution.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The NSA is Collecting Too Much Information

President Obama’s anticipated reform of the National Security Agency’s practices needs to go beyond ending the mass surveillance of innocent Americans’ phone calls. He should force the agency to think less about the quantity of information it gathers and more about the quality.

Obama should ignore the choir of apologists singing in lamentation over the beastly way the NSA is being treated. I refer to voices such as that of Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who on Monday accused Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — and, by extension, all the agency’s critics — of “trying to create this paranoia among Americans that the NSA is spying on everyone.”

In fact, the agency is spying on everyone by keeping a detailed log of our private phone calls. This practice was sanctioned by secret court rulings that stretched the words of the Constitution and the Patriot Act beyond recognition. We couldn’t challenge these rulings because we weren’t allowed to know about them. When asked in March whether any such blanket domestic surveillance was taking place, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress and said no. In what universe is it “paranoia” to be angry about all of this?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Supreme Court: Just Another Wizard of Oz

Recently, arguments were made before the Supreme Court both for and against the constitutionality of what is known as “ObamaCare.”

You probably heard much of the screeching and shouting about this topic in the news. But I would like you to think about something that you probably didn’t hear — and maybe haven’t thought about — concerning this issue and other issues that come before the Supreme Court:

No matter what opinion the Supreme Court issues in this case, or in any case before them, that decision does NOT have the force of law.

Though a Supreme Court ruling is not unimportant, it is legally binding and enforceable only with respect to the parties in this particular case!

That means that it doesn’t affect anyone else. It doesn’t become law! With respect to the particular parties involved, it’s a ruling. But with respect to the rest of the world, it’s just an opinion!

Here’s the important implication of that truth:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Unforeseen U.S. Oil Boom Upends Markets as Drilling Spreads

The U.S. oil boom has put European refineries out of business and undercut West African crude suppliers. Now domestic drillers threaten to roil Asian markets and challenge producers in the Middle East and South America.

“I don’t really think anyone saw this coming,” said Steve Sawyer, an analyst with FACTS Global Energy in London. “The U.S. shale boom happened much faster than people thought. We’re in the middle of a new game. There’s nothing in the past that predicts what the future will be.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Why Congress Will Never Repeal the IRS

“In June, 1988 Kay Council of High Point, NC came home one night to find a note from her husband, Alex: ‘My dearest Kay — I have taken my life in order to provide capital for you. The IRS and its liens, which have been taken against our property illegally by a runaway agency of our government, have dried up all sources of credit for us. So I have made the only decision I can. It’s purely a business decision… You will find my body on the lot on the north side of the house.’ At the end of a nine-year battle over a disallowed tax shelter, the IRS claimed that the Councils owed $300,000 in taxes, interest, and penalties. When their financial resources were exhausted, Mr. Council committed suicide to provide Mrs. Council with $250,000 insurance money to continue the battle. Ironically, Mrs. Council eventually won a court ruling that she and her husband owed the IRS nothing — the IRS deficiency notice had been sent four months after the statute of limitations had expired. Mrs. Council, 48, said, ‘I was cheated of growing old with the man I love.’“ Excerpt from an article by Randy Fitzgerald, staff writer at Readers Digest, republished in the March 1991 Issue of Reason Magazine. Full story was republished by Devvy Kidd in 2003 at this link…

But let’s get back to the IRS. What better way would there be to control the behavior of the people on a grand scale than through “playing” with how the IRS collects taxes? Tax incentives, tax disincentives and wealth re-distribution all fall under the umbrella of the IRS, from laws passed by the U. S. Congress and signed into law by the President.

Each year the Congress passes law after law that are then given to the IRS to enforce, through tax policy and the infamous and ever-more complex IRS tax code, Title 26 USC, etc. As a result, the IRS has grown exponentially to implement the “social engineering” laws that Congress passes and the President signs. Obama Care is a prime example of a massive law being dumped on the IRS to enforce. It has been reported that over 16,000 new IRS employees will be required to weave Obama Care into tax law and administer its provisions. (That’s about $1,600,000,000 of your tax money to pay for those 16,000 new employees. Today, the current budget for the IRS is well over $12 Billion.)

Americans naturally blame the IRS because they are the messenger and enforcer of the tax policy. But what Americans should be doing is blaming and directing their ire, anger and ferocity on the President, the U. S. Congress and the state legislatures.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cannabis Not Innocuous, Says Italian Health Ministry

(AGI) Rome, Jan 7 — Cannabis, now used by at least one young person in five, is far from innocuous, according to a report on the Italian Health Ministry website. Political debate over liberalising the drug is in full swing. The “Our Health” report says that derivatives of cannabis, such as marijuana and hashish, are often regarded as innocuous, but actually have hugely harmful effects. They damage the respiratory and immune systems, leaving users more vulnerable to attacks by external agents. They also raise the heartbeat (tachycardia) and cause headaches.

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

Charges Against Princess Cristina Chip Spain’s Royalty

Summoned to appear in court on March 8; to appeal

(by Paola Del Vecchio) (ANSAmed) — MADRID — The royal family under King Juan Carlos has been hit hard by the latest scandal gnawing away at its popularity. Infanta Cristina de Borbòn, 48, has been charged with tax fraud and money laundering of the capital generated by the activities of her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, a former handball champion. Nine months of investigations were required to get a clear picture of Cristina’s financial and fiscal life over the past 10 years, and to come to the conclusion that there are grounds for her to be made to answer in a court of law to charges of money laundering and tax fraud.

In the 227 pages of the ordinance issued on Tuesday, Palma de Mallorca Examining Magistrate Jose Castro has summoned Juan Carlos’ second-born as 50% shareholder (with her husband) of Aizoon, a family-run company to which over a million euros in public funds was allegedly siphoned off through the Noos Institute. The prosecution claims that the company was set up expressly for the purpose of laundering money, to the tune of over 5.8 million euros that the Noos Foundation (officially a non-profit organization under the former handball champion and his partner, Diego Torres) between 2004 and 2006 through contracts with the Valencia and Balearic Islands administrations, both led by the governing Partido Popular. The daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Greece (who will have to appear before the Palma de Mallorca judge on March 8) had already been charged with complicity in her husband’s shady dealings. Urdangarin risks up to 12 years in jail. However, given a lack of evidence, the decision was made to simply investigate further. Today the prosecution tore down the central argument of the princess’s defense, since her husband would not likely have been able to avoid paying taxes “without, at least, the knowledge and acquiescence” of his royal wife, despite the fact that she, “in front of third parties, maintained an attitude of one looking the other way”. Accused of “omission”, Cristina must have been “informed” of where the funds came from, especially given her “high level of education” and the “doubts that arose on Noos Institute irregularities” in a parliamentary inquiry. The duchess will have to explain to the magistrate why she did not intervene to correct the situation. Some of the charges against her involve false invoices issued by the Aizoon company, “false contracts” to get tax deductions, and the “under-the-table” hiring of domestic staff. The latest hurricane sweeping up the royal family has come at a time when King Juan Carlos, who just turned 76, is experiencing an unprecedented loss of popularity — both at the individual level and that of the entire institution of the royal family itself — that began with an elephant hunting scandal making the headlines about two years ago.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Former Sicily Governor, Son to be Tried for Vote Buying

Among series of 2012 slush-fund scandals

(ANSA) — Catania, January 7 — Former Sicily Governor Raffaele Lombardo and his son Salvatore are being indicted for election fraud, prosecutors in Catania announced Monday. The pair were placed under investigation this summer on suspicion of promising jobs for votes in the 2012 regional elections.

Lombardo was among several governors to step down amid slush-fund scandals in 2012.

Hearings will begin in May.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

French Interior Minister Advises Ban on Dieudonné Shows

Bordeaux became the first French city to ban performances by the antisemitic comedian Dieudonné yesterday, following advice given by France’s interior minister to local officials. In a statement released to municipal leaders across France, Interior Minister Manuel Valls wrote: “The fight against racism and antisemitism is a main concern for the government and demands energetic action.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Germany: Hamburg’s Plan to Eliminate Cars in 20 Years

About 40% of the area of Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, is made up of green areas, cemeteries, sports facilities, gardens, parks and squares. For the first time ever, the city has decided to unite them together via pedestrian and cycle routes. It’s all part of the “Green Network Plan,” which aims to eliminate the need for vehicles in Hamburg over the next 20 years.

According to city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch, the project will help to turn the city into a one-of-a-kind, integrated system: “Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you’ll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot.”

[Comment: Next step would be internal passports to travel from one region of the country to another — just like the USSR. Serfs can’t be allowed to move around freely — how would elites control them?]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Local Elections: D66 Warn About Impact of PVV Rise on the Hague

Liberal democratic party D66 has kicked off its local election campaign in The Hague with a warning that international organisations might leave the city if the anti-immigration PVV comes to power.

Two opinion polls have recently predicted Geert Wilders’ party could be the biggest in the city after the March 19 vote.

D66 campaign leader Ingrid van Engelshoven said she did not believe any more international organisations in the field of peace and justice would locate to The Hague if the PVV is in charge.

‘That will not only hurt our reputation but will cost us millions of euros and thousands of jobs,’ she said.

In addition, established institutions may leave the city, she warned. ‘I can well imagine the PVV’s standpoints would conflict with international organisations’ ideals and they would consider leaving if made a good offer by another city.’

The Hague and Almere are the only cities where the PVV took part in the 2010 local elections. In The Hague the party won eight seats on the city council with 17% of the vote but was excluded from power-sharing.

Since then, the local group has been hit by several resignations and now has five seats. Labour is the biggest party in The Hague, with 10 seats on the 45 seat council.

A TNS Nipo poll for the city council a month ago said PVV support was up marginally at 18% but that support for Labour was down from 21% to 17%.

Last weekend, a Maurice de Hond poll for D66 painted a similar picture. In that poll, just over half of the 600 people questioned said the PVV should not be part of the next administration.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Police Want Water Cannon Ready to Use in Britain by Summer

Britain’s biggest police force wants water cannon ready to be used on the streets of mainland Britain by this summer, official letters reveal.

The documents also show that a request for the government to fund the controversial purchase has been rejected by the home secretary, Theresa May.

Public consultations on the deployment of water cannon will begin within weeks and a formal decision made next month.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: EDL and Anti-Fascist Demonstrators Clash in Bristol

CENTRAL Bristol witnessed ugly scenes this evening as right wing protesters opposed to plans to open a mosque in Stokes Croft were confronted by counter-demonstrators. About 30 supporters of the English Defence League turned out on College Green to stage what had been advertised as a “peaceful” protest against the former Jesters comedy club in Cheltenham Road being turned into a mosque. Bristol Unite Against Fascism held a counter-demonstration, attended by about 80 people, which led to a 40-minute stand-off near the entrance to Bristol Cathedral…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ Speech

This is the full text of Enoch Powell’s so-called ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, which was delivered to a Conservative Association meeting in Birmingham on April 20 1968.

The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature.

One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: at each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future.

Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: “If only,” they love to think, “if only people wouldn’t talk about it, it probably wouldn’t happen.” Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Kent Police Arrest Suspects From 100 Different Countries in 12 Months

Details of the arrests, revealed in a Freedom Of Information Act request to Kent Police, have prompted criticism over the country’s free borders.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Labour Councillors Suspended From Party

Two Luton Labour Councillors have been suspended from the Labour party over alleged comments made on Facebook. Husband and wife Mohammad Ayub and Naseem Ayub are both councillors for the Biscot ward and Naseem is a member of the council’s executive committee.

Allegations were made about the couple before shortly Christmas concerning their use of social media sites. An East of England Labour Party Spokesperson said: “Following allegations about comments made on Facebook, Councillor Mohammad Ayub and Councillor Naseem Ayub were suspended from the Labour Party.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Science Teacher Arrested on Suspicion of Plotting Terror Attack in Syria

Jamshed Javeed, 29, from Levenshulme, was arrested by counter-terrorism officers as part of an investigation into concerns surrounding travel to Syria.

A science teacher has been arrested on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack in war-torn Syria. Jamshed Javeed, 29, from Levenshulme, was arrested by counter-terrorism officers as part of an investigation into concerns surrounding travel to Syria. Javeed, a teacher at Sharples High School in Bolton, was arrested on December 22 and has since been released on bail until March 5, pending further enquiries.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “The investigation focuses on concerns over an individual travelling to Syria for purposes that are as yet unknown, but are believed to potentially involve terrorism. “There is nothing to suggest that any of the wider community in Manchester has been under threat.”

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Tower Hamlets Council Urges Muslim Couples to Adopt Children

Tower Hamlets Council has launched a campaign to encourage more Muslim couples to become adoptive parents. The Tower Hamlets Muslim Adoption Campaign is being supported by prominent figures from the Muslim community and a leading adoption organisation. Starting today, for the next two months an advert will be shown on Bengali TV channels. It is aimed at Muslims within Tower Hamlets as well as those from across the country…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Video Captures Moment PCSO Who Pulled Over a Driver Was Then Arrested HIMSELF for Being Twice the Drink-Drive Limit by Police Officers He Called for Back-Up

This dramatic video shows how a Police Community Support Officer who pulled over a driver was then arrested himself for being twice the drink-drive limit — by officers he had called for back-up.

PCSO Andrew Seston signalled for motorist Irfan Mehrban to stop his vehicle outside a school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, then called for assistance when the driver began arguing with him.

But when his colleagues arrived they suspected 44-year-old Seston had been drinking, and breathalysed him — finding that he was over the limit, before arresting him and taking him away.

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

UK: Violence Breaks Out as Jury Rules Mark Duggan Was Lawfully Killed by Police Marksman — But Didn’t Have a Gun

Violence broke out today inside the court where the inquest concluded into the death of Mark Duggan who was shot by police.

Supporters of the father-of-six reacted angrily after the jury ruled that he was lawfully killed by officers who stopped his taxi in August 2011.

His death sparked several days of riots in London and across much of the rest of the UK, and police fear there could be further disorder following the verdict.

After a three-month inquest, the jury decided today that Mr Duggan was unarmed when he was killed but police were right to use lethal force.

There were cries of ‘murderers’ from the public gallery and the dead man’s brother was heard shouting ‘f*** them’ at the 10 jurors as they left the court after the verdict.

Outbursts continued in the corridors of the Royal Courts of Justice and some supporters smashed a door before security staff were able to get to the scene.

Outside temperatures boiled over as Scotland Yard’s assistant commissioner Mark Rowley could barely be heard as he made a statement on the steps of the court as the crowd shouted ‘murderer’ and ‘murdering scum’.

The Metropolitan Police said they have been placed at a ‘heightened state of readiness’ for fresh disorder across London tonight following the verdict…

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

Benghazi Victims’ Families Demand Real Investigation

Monday, surviving family members of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya dispatched a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) criticizing Congress’s disorganized and inadequate inquiry into the tragic incident. Approximately 75 military and conservative leaders, including Freedom Center President David Horowitz, joined in calling for the formation of a congressional select committee, equipped with subpoena authority, to provide a serious investigation into the attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Supermarket Owner Killed in Clashes in Damietta

A supermarket owner was killed late on Monday in clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and neighbors by the Salam Hospital in Damietta, a security source said. Some of the neighbors had gone to the hospital to check on activist Ahmed Awad who was recently stabbed in a Brotherhood demonstration.

The visit led to confrontations at the hospital and live shots were fired, killing Mohamed Fathy who owns a supermarket in the area. The security source suggested that Fathy may have belonged to the Brotherhood, explaining that some angry neighbors were destroying property of the group out of anger. He added that two people were also injured in the attack and some Brotherhood-owned stores were raided.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Kerry’s Looney Diplomatic Agenda

When Secretary Kerry arrived in Israel on January 3 to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, the streets of Ramallah filled with several hundred protesters chanting “Kerry, you coward, there is no place for you in Palestine!” Abbas has never expressed any opinion other than a hope for the destruction of Israel. He replaced Yasser Arafat who waged an “intifada” against Israel as the self-appointed head of the Palestinians.

Kerry is so obsessed with getting a peace accord that he has spent five months trying to negotiate it with no progress. He has made ten trips to Israel and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has had to pretend, like all the former prime ministers, that an agreement is possible. After the 1967 war, Egypt decided to sign a peace treaty that secured the return of the Sinai Peninsula. These days the Egyptian military it is fighting jihadists located there.

The Palestinians are losing ground. Abbas’ refusal to come to any agreement with Israel has resulted in the announcement by the European Union to discontinue its $1 billion annual contribution to the Palestinian Authority if a peace accord is not signed within a year. The US-EU aid packages total $1.5 billion and account for nearly all of the PA’s regular revenue. Jordan has already made it clear it does not want Palestinians providing “security” on its West Bank border with Israel.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Kerry Forced Additional Israeli Concessions on Terror

The Obama administration is very sensitive about its record on fighting terror. President Barack Obama ran for re-election in 2012 on the strength of the Osama bin Laden raid, and the fight against terrorism is one of the few areas in which the president still enjoys public approval. Yet in Israel, the Obama administration is pushing for the release of Palestinian terrorists and murderers who show no remorse and are feted for their crimes.

Last year, Secretary of State John Kerry forced the Israeli government to agree to the release of 104 long-term prisoners, including many who had killed civilians. Israelis are raising the alarm — not only because of the grave injustice being committed, not only because the releases incentivize further terror, but also because Kerry’s “peace-at-any-price” approach may be forcing Israel to make concessions to which it has not actually agreed.

In her latest column, Israeli journalist Caroline Glick describes how an concession to release 82 prisoners became 104:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rolling Stones in Talks Over Debut Israel Gig

The Rolling Stones are negotiating plans to play their first-ever concert in Israel. According to reports, the band has been offered £4.5 million by promoters Marcel Avraham and Gad Oronto to play an open-air concert at Park Hayarkon in June. It is the most ever offered to a music act to appear in the country…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

10 Policemen Killed in Attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) — At least 10 policemen were killed and five others wounded in three violent attacks in Iraq on Tuesday, police said. Unidentified gunmen attacked a police patrol near Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, killing seven policemen, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Three policemen were killed and three others wounded in another attack on a police patrol in the town of Imam Weis in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province, the source said. Two more policemen were injured in an attack by gunmen on a checkpoint in the town of Abu Saida, also in Diyala province, he added.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis were killed and more than 18,000 others were wounded in 2013.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Ancient Syrian Trade Routes Recreated With Google Earth

Google Earth may be a fun way to bring the far reaches of the present-day globe to people’s fingertips, but archaeologists are now using the high-tech software to recreate maps of ancient civilizations. The endeavor is opening a window for researchers to the political and geographical changes that have shaped history.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Confidence Game: Losing American Support, The Gulf States Scramble

by Jonathan Spyer

An increasing body of evidence has begun pointing to a major shift in American foreign policy in the Middle East. Over the course of the Obama Administration’s tenure, amid the turmoil of the Arab spring, the United States has shown itself unwilling to defend some of its traditional allies (such as the military in Egypt), or to stand by its own threats and red lines (such as punishing the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons); in many cases willing to cede significant influence to other outside powers (such as Russia); and to attempt to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran that is far more conciliatory to Iranian demands than had been the previous policy (such as allowing for uranium enrichment).

Much analysis and attention has been focused on the implications for Israel of these changes in American policy. But Israel is not the biggest loser in the region. On the contrary, Israel is far from isolated in the new Middle East. In fact, its more stable and western-oriented Arab neighbors seem to have more in common with the foreign policy perspective of the Jewish state than at any time in recent history.

Instead, those who have the most to lose are the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Delivering the West on a Platter

The consequences of the Obama administration’s frivolous malevolence over foreign policy are now starting to become clear. The inevitable result of Obama’s decision to pull all troops out of Iraq has been to create a power vacuum — into which has stepped al Qaeda. Its operatives have surged into Anbar province, where so many American and Coalition soldiers gave their lives in an attempt to secure the peace…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Erdogan Purge of Police Stymies Corruption Investigations While He Prepares to Visit Iran

Turkish Premier Erdogan has aggressively pursued a purge of police involved with public prosecutors corruption investigation in a desperate move to stave off potential losses for the AKP in the March 2014 municipal elections. His actions reflect the internecine battle between two former Islamist allies, Erdogan of the AKP and Sheikh Mohammad Fethulleh Gulen and his followers who have penetrated both police and the judiciary in Turkey. At the top of the Turkish government in the largely ceremonial post is co-founder of the AKP and current Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, a Gulenist. Gulen is being urged to exercise his powers under Turkey’s constitution that might include an independent comprehensive investigation of corruption and perhaps a call for new elections. Despite calls for Gul to act, he remains sphinx-like on the sidelines keeping a watching brief on the swirl of the corruption charges until evidence of wrongdoing by the inner circle of Premier Erdogan surfaces. We had reported on the alleged involvement of Erodan’s son, Bilal in a money laundering scheme benefitting Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria. There are reports from the New York Times and the Washington Post in the US and from Today’s Zaman and Hurriyet Daily News in Turkey on overnight developments and comments from Turkish secular political opponents of the Islamist AKP regime of Premier Erdogan.

More than 600 police were involved in the overnight purge; 350 were removed from Ankara posts, while 250 were “brought in from elsewhere”. Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) reported the removal of 16 police chiefs from provincial posts.


Erdogan is busy preparing for a trip to Iran later in January. According to Press TV, the purpose of the visit is to “upgrade relations” with the Islamic regime. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took time out from his conduct of negotiations with the P5+1 last weekend to confer with Premier Erdogan and Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. The purpose of those meetings and the upcoming one late this month is to focus on trade, now that the P5+1 sanctions regime has allegedly been lifted.


Erdogan’s Turkey cozying up to Iran, while filtering arms and funds to the latter’s opponents in Syria would appear to be opportunistic. Is it to secure natural gas for Turkish domestic and manufacturing needs in exchange for machinery sales that just might find their way to assist in making a new generation of centrifuges for uranium enrichment? In the meantime Erdogan might be in danger politically given the latest round of corruption investigations and possible retrials of jailed secular senior military officials. Either way, the Obama Administration has its hands full dealing with the metastizing Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq making hollow his 2012 campaign theme that “Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is on the run”.

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

Syria: Al-Qaeda Claims Responsibility for Kidnapped Doctors

Five abducted Doctors Without Borders staff ‘arrested as spies’

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, JANUARY 8 — Al-Qaeda in Syria on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the January 3 kidnapping of five Doctors Without Borders members in the northern part of the country.

The abducted staffers reportedly include one Peruvian, one Danish, one Swedish and one Swiss national, as well as a 30-year-old Belgian nurse. In an Arab-language communique whose authenticity has not yet been verified, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) said it has “shut down Yamdiya and Birnas field hospitals” and “arrested European doctors who were spying on jihadist combatants”.

The field hospitals were located in the Idlib and Latakia districts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Western Turkey Tops in Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is highest in the west of Turkey’s Marmara region, with 20 percent of population using alcohol and overall alcohol consumption is more common among men, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

The rate of alcohol consumption is highest in the west of the Marmara region with 20 percent, followed by the Aegean region with 18.8 percent, and Istanbul coming third with 17.6 percent of consumption, according to research conducted among 18,477 people over 15 years old in 81 provinces.

A total of 23 percent of the male population use alcohol, while this rate is lower among women, only 4 percent.

The lowest figures for alcohol use are seen in the Southeastern Anatolia with 4.7 percent of people using alcohol, the Middle Eastern part of Anatolia with 5.5 percent and central Anatolia with 6.8 percent.

The highest numbers of alcohol use in a degree dangerous to health is seen in central Anatolia with 13 percent.

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

India: Taslima Nasreen Speaks Out

by Oliver Williams

Taslima Nasreen fled Bangladesh in 1994. Raised in a Muslim family, she had written a novel entitled Shame about the violence of Bangladeshi Muslims against Hindus. Thousands protested — they burnt her books and demanded she be executed. A court pronounced that she had hurt Muslims’ feelings.

Once out of Bangladesh her ordeal continued. In 2007 she was attacked during a book launch in Andhra Pradesh, southern India. Prominent Muslim clerics in Calcutta issued a “death warrant” against her for “repeated criticism” of Islam. The army was deployed when police in that city were unable to control rioters who set cars on fire and pelted police with bricks and bottles full of acid, injuring at least 27 people. She stayed in India but was restricted to complete isolation at an undisclosed location, unable even to meet close friends. “I am like the living dead: benumbed; robbed of the pleasure of existence and experience; unable to move beyond the claustrophobic confines of my room,” she wrote at the time. “Can anybody live like this?”

In ‘secular’ India the government of West Bengal, a state with a sizeable Muslim minority, banned her autobiography and police in Uttar Pradesh have recently launched an investigation against her for tweeting innocuously that “Indians should speak up against fanatics”. And now West Bengal has banned a Television drama series she scripted. Twenty two Muslim organizations wrote to the Police Commissioner of Calcutta in order to stop the broadcast of a TV show that none of them have ever seen. “We have been told that there are some scenes in the serial that might hurt our sentiments,” said Abdul Aziz, secretary of Milli Ittehad Parishad, an alliance of Muslim groups. It is not about Muhammed or Muslims or religion- it is about the lives of women and the struggle against dowry and trafficking, yet some Muslim groups had threatened to take to the streets. Imam Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati and a member of the West Bengal legislative assembly, Idris Ali, have adopted the slogan of ‘Go Back Taslima’ — they demand that she leave India. Hoardings advertising the TV show have been torn down by the police. Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim has stated that there is no place for those who hurt the sentiments of Muslims in Calcutta. Taslima is not allowed to enter the city.…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Thyroid Cancer Rates on the Rise in Japanese Children, Experts Warn Residents to Evacuate

(NaturalNews) When Japanese Professor Toshihide Tsuda of Okayama University sat down with leaders from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, talk about citywide evacuation near the Fukushima nuclear breakdown site began. Deeply concerned about rising thyroid cancer rates in Japanese children, these leaders believe that it’s time to evacuate the city of Koriyama.

When the two spoke to Japanese government officials, their concerns were downplayed. The Japanese government remains reluctant to evacuate the city, not wanting to scare citizens, but Professor Tsuda has begun urging residents to evacuate Koriyama anyway.

The epidemiology professor reports, “An incident rate of thyroid cancer on children in Fukushima are from several times to dozens times higher than usual. This is a rash of disease. There is a possibility [it will] increase more in [the] future and we need a countermeasure.”…

As radioactive substances accumulate in the tissues and glands of the young children, the government in Japan continues to remain quiet. Japanese officials are now saying that the recent cases of thyroid cancer couldn’t have come from the disaster at the Daiichi power plant in March 2011, stating that thyroid cancer from radiation takes several years to develop.

But what the government fails to understand is that these smaller, developing bodies might not be able to handle the load of radioactive isotopes in the same way as an adult body. The smaller, younger generation could be the first to show signs of cancer. Adult thyroid cancer rates may begin spiking in a few years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Aldi Removes “Racist” Australia Day T-Shirt From Stores

SYDNEY, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) — German discount supermarket chain Aldi has announced it will remove its promotional Australian Day T- shirts and singlets from its stores in Australia after an outcry on social media, local media reported Wednesday.

A number of Twitter users on Wednesday called for the T-shirts and singlets designed with a slogan that reads “AUSTRALIA EST 1788”to be withdrawn from sale after deeming it racist and culturally insensitive to indigenous Australians…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

British Plan ANZAC Whitewash

A PC push by British politicians is threatening to downplay the role of Aussie diggers in WW1 in favour of developing nations.

The ANZAC whitewash comes despite the 62,000 Australians who died in the Great War fighting for the British Empire and another 156,000 wounded, with no 100-year anniversary events planned by Britain recognising the sacrifice.

News Corp Australia has learned in a blatant politicising of the anniversary, Whitehall officials in London have been briefed to push the efforts by the so-called “New Commonwealth” nations in a bid to win political and economic favour in multicultural Britain.

The move comes amid a heated social and political row in Britain over immigration numbers with the issue likely to determine the outcome of federal elections in Britain next year.

British government sources have confirmed internal briefings on WWI commemorations have not mentioned Australia or New Zealand once, instead staff from departments and cabinet offices have been briefed to concentrate on other British Empire contributions by soldiers from countries such as Nigeria and other dominions in West Africa, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The “new Commonwealth” is a British term to describe predominantly non-white and developing decolonised countries and is often used in debates on immigration.

The desire to push the war efforts by soldiers from these countries is now being seen as more fruitful to promote “community cohesion” and link younger generations of ethnic Britons today to the war fought by their forefathers. It’s also seen as high-level support for old colonies like India which is experiencing a booming economy.

“It’s basically to remind Britons the First World War wasn’t just soldiers from here fighting in France and Belgium but involved people from Lagos, Kingston and the Punjab,” a government insider said…

[Return to headlines]

Italy and Senegal Sign 45-Million-Euro Aid Package

For farming, small and medium businesses, gender equality

(ANSA) — Dakar, January 7 — Italy and Senegal on Tuesday signed a three-year, 45-million-euro aid package to develop farming and small and medium businesses while supporting gender equality in the African country.

Under the deal Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino and her Senegalese counterpart Mankeur Ndiaye signed in the Senegalese capital, 30 million euros will be credited and 15 million euros are being granted.

Along with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, Senegal is a priority country in terms of Italy’s foreign aid policy, receiving 292 million euros with no strings attached and another 129 million euros in credit since 1985.

A cooperation accord between the two countries, granting Senegal 60 million euros through 2013, was renewed in December 2010.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Australia Sends in its Navy to Push Asylum-Seeker Boats Back to Indonesia

Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, deploys the navy to “push” boats filled with asylum seekers heading for Australia back to Indonesian waters

Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister, has deployed the navy to force back boats carrying asylum seekers from Indonesian waters for the first time, leaving the boats to run aground on a remote island.

Indonesian sources said two boats carrying groups of about 45 Middle Eastern and North African asylum seekers were “pushed” back into Indonesian territory by the Australian navy.

Mr Abbott, elected last year after running on a hard-line pledge to “stop the boats”, would not confirm the incidents.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Christie Signs Tuition Bill for Illegal Aliens

Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday held a ceremonial signing of the NJ DREAM Act that lets eligible students who are illegal immigrants pay the lower in-state tuition at state colleges.

But just how big an impact it will have on undocumented students in South Jersey may depend on where they attend college, and if they can get some local scholarships.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Does Immigration Mean ‘France is Over’?

by Justin E. H. Smith

PARIS — It is difficult to go more than a day in France without hearing someone express the conviction that the greatest problem in the country is its ethnic minorities, that the presence of immigrants compromises the identity of France itself. This conviction is typically expressed without any acknowledgment of the country’s historical responsibility as a colonial power for the presence of former colonial subjects in metropolitan France, nor with any willingness to recognize that France will be ethnically diverse from here on out, and that it’s the responsibility of the French as much as of the immigrants to make this work.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany Offers Lessons in Islam to Integrate Muslims

by Nurguel Altuntas, who helped develop Hesse programme at state’s Ministry of Education.

For the first time, German public schools are offering classes in Islam to primary school students using state-trained teachers and specially written textbooks, as officials try to better integrate the nation’s large Muslim minority and counter the growing influence of radical religious thinking.

The classes offered in Hesse State are part of a growing consensus that Germany, after decades of neglect, should do more to acknowledge and serve its Muslim population if it is to foster social harmony, overcome its aging demographics and head off a potential domestic security threat…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Israel: 10,000 African Refugees Rally for Rights at Knesset

‘I am ashamed’ author David Grossman tells protesters

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JANUARY 8 — Award-winning Israeli author David Grossman, an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian cause, on Wednesday joined 10,000 African refugees rallying at the Knesset, or Israeli Parliament, to protest harsh new anti-immigration laws, including plans to hold migrants in a detention center in the Negev desert.

“I am ashamed and confused”, the celebrated novelist told the protesters as their nationwide strike entered its fourth day. Calling the right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu administration’s policies “obtuse and destined to fail”, the controversial writer and human rights activist went on to say that “we cannot accept that the Jewish people, which has found closed doors so many times in its history, will now shut the door on African refugees”.

“As Israelis we must remember all the times doors remained shut when we desperately needed them to open. We must remember also the few doors that did open, changing our destiny”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Homosexual Lobby on the Attack Again

The Maybe He’s Not Gay book “seeks to tell kids the truth about homosexual behavior,” Harvey says. It explains in a conversational tone why no one is born homosexual, the health risks associated with the lifestyle, and factors which may lead to same sex attractions.

Harvey asserts that the homosexual movement is revolutionary and designed to overturn traditional cultural values. “It’s a revolution, both inside the minds and hearts of today’s youth — and in our culture,” her book says…

Last June, Harvey spoke at a press conference in front of the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign, the leading gay rights lobby, to protest the organization’s inordinate influence on the public policy debate. “Their goal is nothing less than total suppression of all opposing viewpoints,” she said.

Her book argues, “At school, in the media, in books, kids are being urged to consider whether or not they are homosexual at younger and younger ages.”

She says the “You could grow up to be gay” message is being given to children even in elementary school, “creating a lot of emotional upheaval for many” and leading some to come to the false conclusion that they are homosexual.

It’s being done “to satisfy the goals of adults who want to change society through kids,” Harvey says. “Get people to accept homosexuality at a young age, and a small group of people can revolutionize the world. Trouble is, kids aren’t getting the whole story and the facts. In my opinion, they are being set up.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Planned Parenthood Board Member Says Abortion is ‘A Sacred Gift,’ Claims Christianity is Dying

Valerie Tarico is a member of Planned Parenthood’s Board of Advocates, which — according to the board’s website — is a 400-member body of individuals “united by their personal integrity and commitment to the Planned Parenthood mission.” Among other responsibilities, Board of Advocates members”writ[e] articles, blog posts, or statements in support of Planned Parenthood.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Will Duck Dynasty Controversy Awaken Americans?

Like Phil Robertson, ex-gays are subjected to demands that they apologize for their existence and views. For gay “civil rights” groups, it seems that no worse sin exists than renouncing one’s own homosexuality. For this cardinal offense, ex-gays and their supporters have to endure retaliation,public humiliation and economic loss unless they submit to public repentance,otherwise known as a gay “teaching opportunity.” Now we see that straights like Phil Robertson and his Christian family are also being subjected to homofascism…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sun Goes Wild: NOAA Issues Alert: Earth Directed X-Class Flare is on Its Way

This morning The Daily Sheeple reported that the biggest sun spot in recent history had been identified on the sun and that it had moved into position facing earth. The spot is so large that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it could swallow three earths…

These events occur quite regularly in the grand scheme. Recent observations suggest at least several occurrences in a lifetime. For the last hundred years since electronics made their way into our society we’ve been lucky, having experienced just minor disturbances.

But as the last decade shows, it can happen at any time and the after-effects would be catastrophic.

This is what prompted Senior Member of the House Homeland Security Committee Congresswoman Yvette Clarke to warn that the likelihood of a severe geo-magnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100%.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

21 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/8/2014

  1. During this year’s centennial, the U.K. government says it will focus on the contributions made by countries from the “New Commonwealth”, such as Nigeria, Jamaica, and Pakistan. It is hoped that by recognizing the involvement of those nations and others in World War One, “community cohesion” in Britain will be strengthened.

    If those people weren’t in the Empire there is no way they would have participated as they did.

    And it’s a pity the powers that be forgot all about “community cohesion” when it came to the Ghurkas, eh?

  2. Australia commemorates Anzac Day as a national day every April 25 (that is the anniversary of the Turkish landings at Gallipoli by the 1st Australian Imperial Force in 1915) in which every town and city, no matter how small, holds a dawn service for all comers at the local Cenotaph (War Memorial) and a later march after a special breakfast by military veterans and their descendants, along a designated route generally lined by the local population.

    Anzac Day is a uniquely Australian event in which the community gets to commemorate together with military veterans and their surviving descendants, one of the defining moments in Australia’s history when a newly united nation, the Commonwealth of Australia, sent its young men abroad to fight as Australians and not as individual colonies of the British Crown.

    From a tiny population of six million in 1914, Australia suffered the loss of over 60,000 dead and nearly 160,000 wounded, many never to recover from their wounds.

    The loss of all those young men was felt in every town and city and nearly every Australian family. That is why Anzac Day is so important in the Australian psyche.

    The English have their Remembrance Day which is to commemorate the Armistice of 1918. But they lack a community ceremony that involves surviving veterans and their descendants who could march together in remembering those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their family, their country and their God. Remembrance Day is a typical British institution that unlike Anzac Day, lacks a community soul, and that as a result of it being seen as a typical British institution which practises the falsehood of political correctness and expediency to placate its third world citizens, it will in time be eventually forgotten.

    And I for one could not care less!

    • The trouble with the UK these days is that it is being governed by the wrong people. The ruling class in the country are not representative of the majority and arrived at their positions by default, the voting system is terribly flawed and open to corruption. The mass media in the country are part of the problem, as they support Common Purpose and Political Correctness, tools that are used to control the masses. As for Commonwealth forces, the majority of people in the UK certainly appreciate their sacrifices and the support they have given us. It is our leaders who have failed to honour them. Incidentally, Wales with a population far smaller than Australia’s, lost some 40,000 dead in the First World War. This is a statistic rarely mentioned in British history books as is the fact that the loss, besides the terrible effect on the families concerned, had a massively detrimental effect on the Welsh language as many of the soldiers in those days were Welsh speakers. That statement is not meant in any way to detract from Australia’s contribution, but is included to emphasise the misinterpretation of facts by the ruling elite. Canadian, New Zealand and other Commonwealth forces were also greatly supportive, as they were in the Second World War.

      • TBM, most Aussies would recognize that the British Establishment is corrupt to the core and anyone who wishes to delve into history as not widely recorded, would also I believe, come to that conclusion.

        My rant above is solely aimed at those who consider themselves part of the British Establishment for which I have very little in the way of regard. The average Brit who considers their ‘Britishness’ as something unique and values British traditions will always have my respect because they are the complete antithesis to what the British Establishment holds to what they consider values.

        It is the ‘common’ people of Britain who made Britain what it once was and it is the Establishment left unchecked that have caused Britain to become what it is now, a former shadow of a once great United Kingdom.

  3. The Neo Commonwealth, a 21st Century Banana Realm of the British Isles where the indigenous low born are cast into servitude.

  4. Quote:
    Britain’s biggest police force wants water cannon ready to be used on the streets of mainland Britain by this summer, official letters reveal.

    My bet is that not one drop of said water will drench a Muslim hair.

  5. “It’s basically to remind Britons the First World War wasn’t just soldiers from here fighting in France and Belgium but involved people from Lagos, Kingston and the Punjab,” a government insider said…

    Ok I agree with that… Let’s remind the UK of the Sikhs in ww1, as they have been fearless warriors, skills honed in centuries of defending their faith from the Muslims.

  6. Re ‘Anzac Whitewash’,

    Nothing new here, all Empire soldiers were ‘British’ in victory and colonials in defeat, this whitewash is simply a variation on an old theme, with a liberal sprinkling of multi-cultism.
    Remember the UK is a nation whose citizens are under the delusion that they ‘won’ WW1 &WW2, if they can ignore the huge contributions of the US and Russia, countries such as Canada, Australia etc can easily be forgotten in the PC cause.

    • Okay.

      So a clearly Anglo-Phobic post gets through censor, but a reasonable rebuttal gets the chop? Come on.

      • Napier —

        If I approved all your comments, they would outnumber everyone else’s combined by at least three to one.

        I won’t let you become a thread hog. Any comment of yours that bothers me, is unpleasant, seems annoying, shows disrespect, or goes off-topic gets deleted. Sometimes they may get deleted for no reason whatsoever, just because I’m tired of seeing comments by you.

        It’s what you have to expect when you attempt to place 25-50 comments here every day.

        If you want to hold forth that much, start your own blog. You can leave a link here and invite readers to come and visit (but no more than once a day).

      • I cannot tell you how dispiriting your negative attitude becomes. If you remember, for a while you were banned entirely from here because of that. You appear to go into downward spirals and try to take the threads with you.

        I repeat again: please start your own blog. It would appear that people who have an opinion on everything often have the energy to maintain a website.

        If you can’t be bothered doing that, then find another outlet or three where you can scatter-shot. Breitbart has loads of posts, far more than we do, and their comments policy is more lenient; they won’t delete you.

        At any rate, you can expect to be limited in your appearances here so choose wisely what you’d like to say.

        For a full refund, send a self-addressed stamped envelope.

    • Don’t know about Wilson, but FDR made Britain pay for every penny of help. We even charged interest. And we gave Russia the best stuff first. For free.

    • Afraid of the muslim rule Assyrians in Syria did not join the opposition against Assad and are now trying ( since early 2013)to build up a selfdefense unit. Among Assyrians in Switzaland there is some discussion if this is the right thing to do. But nevertheless many do send money to help their people.

      About ten people of assyrian origin and Swiss nationality are thought to be in Syria to help to defend the Asyrian minority. This is forbidden by the Swiss military law, punishable with prison up to three years.

      Here is an article about the Christian Sutoro militia named in the text. They are tolerated by Assad as long as they do not undermine the natioal unity.

      And here wiki

      This is the first time I read about them. Thank you for the link.

  7. Re “Hamburg’s plan to eliminate cars in 20 years”- may we have the same in London. please?

    • You’re aware that such a plan would only be workable in urban areas? In rural areas the necessity for cars is absolute. Which is one reason I was hesitant to live in a rural area…

      • I am indeed aware, Dymphna. It’s one of the reasons why, as a non-driver, I live in London (and being over 60, I travel on public transport for free. Hooray for socialism!)

        Having recently travelled on the Continent, I noted that as here, the buses are slowest in cities like Rome, where they compete for road space with many cars.

        • state subsidized public transportation in the large cities of this country also offer reduced or free travel for those over 60. Private companies also offer reduced rates on merchandise for those over 60. What has socialism got to do with it?

          When the demographic bulge of oldsters of the baby boom start traveling in numbers too huge for such endeavors to support, those following after you won’t be so fortunate.

          The ignorance re economics you display will be a luxury others, now supporting you, won’t be able to afford. Or do you really believe your ride is FREE to anyone but you? How long would that bus driver show up for work if he didn’t get paid?

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