Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/23/2015

Slovakia plans to take legal action against the EU in response to its vote to impose mandatory refugee quotas on member states. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, however, says that his country will comply with the directive and accept its allotted share of migrants.

Meanwhile, 7,000 new immigrants have arrived in Sweden over the past week, and 2,500 landed on the Greek island of Lesbos this morning over in space of three hours.

In other news, the FBI has reportedly recovered 30,000 deleted emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal email server.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Gilbert Sewall, Insubria, JD, Nick, Srdja Trifkovic, 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
» 13 Million Americans Expected to Spend Half of Income on Rent by 2025
» Bill Gross’ Latest: “Mainstream America is Being Slowly Cooked Alive”
» How and Why to Wage a “Personal Financial Revolution” Against the Power of the Banks
» Italy: Tax-GDP Ratio Was 43.6% in 2014, Says ISTAT
» Letter From Greece: A Meaningless Election
» S&P Says Italian Recovery Only Lukewarm, Draghi Says QE Could be ‘Amplified’
» Trapped Central Banking and Gold
» After Giving us a New Spin on Oz, Gregory Maguire Takes on Wonderland
» After a Century of Mass Government Surveillance, It’s Time for New Limits
» Ben Carson is Right, Islamic Leadership is Not American
» Clockmaker Ahmed Mohamed’s Sister Was Once Suspended From School for Threatening to Blow it Up
» Donald Trump’s Mystery Muslim Questioner a Serial Anti-Tea Party Plant?
» FBI Reportedly Recovers Deleted Emails From Clinton Server
» Federal Judge Rules ‘Happy Birthday’ Song in Public Domain
» Half of Americans Think “Government is an Immediate Threat to Liberty”
» Here’s How Politicians Stay in Power
» I Am Mourning for America
» Jorge Ramos Wannabes in the Press
» Muslim Parent Warns School Board ‘We’re Going to be the Majority Soon’ as Meeting Gets Heated and Security is Needed
» Pope Francis Canonizes 18th-Century Missionary as Part of First Mass in US
» The Islamic Mosqueing of Public Schools in America
» Video: Man Debunks “Clock Kid” By Recreating Ahmed’s Clock — in 20 Seconds!
» Volkswagen CEO Steps Down, Takes Responsibility But Denies Wrongdoing; Shares Rise
» Volkswagen Scandal Becomes “Investor’s Nightmare” As German Government Dragged in
» Will Your Vote be Counted? Aging Machines Imperil Election Fairness
Europe and the EU
» Autumn Greets Italy With Rainstorms
» ‘Harder by the Day to Protect Britain From Terror Attacks’ Says Defence Secretary
» Italy: Another Senator Leaves Berlusconi for Verdini
» Italy: Bossi Gets 18 Months for Napolitano Slur
» Italy: Doctors Threaten Strike Over ‘Useless’ Tests Clampdown
» MPs Chairman Pays ‘Courtesy Visit’ To ECB
» Netherlands: ‘Dutch No to Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Threatens Relationship With US’
» Parliament Building Evacuated in Brussels After Bomb Threat (Photos, Video)
North Africa
» Ancient Manuscript Pieced Together After Cairo Museum Find
Middle East
» 3 Female Fighters Kill 10 ISIS Jihadis a Day to Stop the Yazidi Genocide in Iraq
» Al-Jazeera Expected to Cut Hundreds of Jobs
» German Defense Ministry Says Its Top Military Officer in Iraq Passes Away
» Iran Deal Open for Debate? Tehran Presses New Ayatollah Demand
» Petra Visitors Drop by %32 in First 8 Months
» Scots ISIS Jihadi Bride in Online Hate Rant Against Syrian Refugees
» Kremlin Vows to Respond to U.S. Nuclear Arms in Germany
South Asia
» India Clears $2.5 Bn Boeing Military Chopper Deal: Source
Far East
» China: Xinjiang Coal Mine Attack: At Least 40 Victims
» Chinese Fighter Jet Makes Unsafe Intercept of Air Force Plane Over Yellow Sea, Pentagon Says
Sub-Saharan Africa
» After Attacks, Nigerian Army Bans Moving Vehicles, Horses, Camels in Borno State for Holiday
Latin America
» U.S. Priests Accused of Sex Abuse Get Second Chance in South America — USA
» Uruguay Does Unthinkable, Rejects Global Corporatocracy
» 40 EU Migrant Procedures Against 19 Countries
» About 120,000 Kosovo Albanians Went to the EU
» Croatia: 8,750 Arrivals Today, 44,000 in Total
» Croatia Closes, Serbia Sends Letter to EU Leaders
» Erdogan Says Shame to World, Quotes Tolstoy
» EU Forces ‘Voluntary’ Migrant Relocation on Eastern States
» EU Response Plans on Migration Crisis
» Europe Faces Cultural Disaster as Refugees Pour in: “A Direct Threat to Our Civilization”
» Flooding the Nation With ‘Syrian Refugees’: American Lives Matter
» Huge Increase in Migrant Arrivals on Lesvos
» Hungary’s Orban Accuses Merkel of ‘Moral Imperialism’ Over Refugee Quotas
» Italy: Piedmont Proposes Protocol for Girls at Risk of FGM
» Not the Huddled Masses
» Refugees Welcomed at Stockholm Central Station
» Slovakia Will Take Legal Action Against the EU
» U.S. Immigrant Population Hits Record 42.4 Million in 2014
Culture Wars
» “The Shack, “ With Film Pending, Called “Greatest Deception” To Church “In the Last 200 Years”
» Dalai Lama Says Any Female Successor Would Have to be ‘Attractive’
» Label, Govern, Bully and Tax the People Into Submission

13 Million Americans Expected to Spend Half of Income on Rent by 2025

There is no price inflation if you live on a bench in a park. There is no other way to put it: rents are spiking (SEE: Price Inflation: U.S. rents not slowing down, spike 3.5% in May), and there is no slowing down.

New research from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) and Enterprise Community Partners finds that rent is going to become even more unaffordable over the next decade. If you thought the rent was already too damn high then expect to be stunned.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bill Gross’ Latest: “Mainstream America is Being Slowly Cooked Alive”

Gross’ conclusion: “get off zero and get off quick. Will 2% Fed Funds harm corporate America that has already termed out its debt? A little. Will stock and bond prices go down? Most certainly. But like Volcker recognized in 1979, the time has come for a new thesis that restores the savings function to developed economies that permit liability based business models to survive — if only on a shoestring — and that ultimately leads to rejuvenated private investment, which is the essence of a healthy economy. Near term pain? Yes. Long term gain? Almost certainly. Get off zero now!”

Sure, it makes all the sense in the world… and that’s why the Fed won’t do it precisely because of the “stock prices going down” part. The Fed clearly confirmed that the stock market mandate is the only one it cares about, and as such it will let Wall Street trample over Main Street any day. Confirming this is the latest Fed Funds projection which has a December rate hike now at just 42% odds, meaning the majority of the market no longer believes the rate hike will come before 2016 (just as Goldman demanded), and is acting accoridngly.

The real question, one not addressed by Gross in this letter, is the dramatic shift in the market’s posture, one where a continuation of easy conditions no longer leads to a surge in stocks. It is this that is the biggest threat to the Fed, as the market is now confirming a major easing episode such as QE4 or NIRP may not be what the Econ PhD doctor ordered to get new all time highs.

This is why the Fed is not only trapped, but pushing on a string. And the longer it keeps rates at zero the greater the pain in the long-run.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How and Why to Wage a “Personal Financial Revolution” Against the Power of the Banks

The world is enslaved to an economic system designed to create tremendous power and wealth for those who own the system, while forcing the rest of us into mathematically insurmountable debt and the stagnation, austerity and poverty that comes with it.

Corrupt and patently unsustainable, the world’s currencies and financial markets are rigged, and an economic collapse is inevitable at some point. Sad but true, and the ongoing dramatic narrative of the interplay between engineered boom and engineered bust is a chief psychological tool in sustaining the popular belief that this monetary reality as the only monetary reality possible. The truth, however, is that as long as this economic reality is the reality then we will be slaves to debt economics, and the pursuit of endless growth is certain to consume everything on the planet.

The good news is that the task of migrating an entire civilization from one economic system to another is so enormous that as individuals we don’t have to feel encumbered by the pressure of having to come up with the one and only solution to save all of human civilization. We can instead be empowered by the knowledge that any meaningful adjustment we make in our personal lives is a contribution to the future realization of a greater shift for the better, sometime in the future. Our role is merely to be the trim tabs, and when enough momentum builds, watch the ship change its course.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Tax-GDP Ratio Was 43.6% in 2014, Says ISTAT

Agency confirms negative growth of 0.4% last year

(ANSA) — Rome, September 23 — Italy’s tax revenue-to-GDP ratio was 43.6% in 2014, Istat said on Wednesday, up 0.2 of a percentage point on the estimate the statistics agency released in March. Istat added that Italy endured negative growth of 0.4% last year, when the deficit-to-GDP ratio was 3%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Letter From Greece: A Meaningless Election

by Srdja Trifkovic

For what was widely expected to be the grand finale of the Greek snap election campaign—the country’s seventh since 2012—I drove to Thessaloniki, 400 miles south of Belgrade. Greece’smarvellous second city of half a million prides itself on being the country’s cultural and artistic capital, and its diversified economy offers a broader cross-section of opinion than Athens.

It was a disappointing experience: no buzz, no excitement. Having witnessed general elections in a dozen countries over three decades, I was struck by the public’s palpable indifference to last Sunday’s event. My interlocutors, regardless of political persuasion, were in agreement on one key point: Greece has already agreed to the troika’s stringent austerity terms (IMF-ECB-EC), which leaves the country of 11 million permanently indebted to the bankers and shackled within the eurozone. “It does not really matter what coalition supervises the surrender” was the resigned comment of Andreas, the middle-aged receptionist at my hotel. “I will vote, but for the first time I am not sure for whom . . . or whether it makes any difference,” said Isaak (57), my accountant friend. “We’ll have to stick with the euro, it seems, and we’ll have to pay the price.”

The turnout, at 56 percent, was the lowest in Greece’s modern history. It reflected voter fatigue after the previous general election last January, and (as it turned out) the meaningless referendum on rejecting austerity measures in July. A million and a half Greeks who voted in that referendum did not bother to turn up at the polling stations last Sunday. The outcome leaves the country’s political balance unchanged. Prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist Syriza won 35 percent of the vote and it will continue to rule, but being six seats short of an absolute majority in the 300-seat parliament it will maintain its unlikely coalition with the right-wing Independent Greeks. The big loser is the “conservative” New Democracy (stagnant at 28 percent), an establishment center-right party devoid of ideas and energy. The nationalist, anti-immigrant and euroskeptic Golden Dawn is a distant third (7 percent), which was a success considering its relentless demonization by the media. The once-powerful socialists (Pasok) are now the marginal fourth party, almost on par with the unreformed communists. Syriza’s diehard dissidents who opposed the deal with the troika, Popular Unity, have failed to cross the three-percent threshold…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

S&P Says Italian Recovery Only Lukewarm, Draghi Says QE Could be ‘Amplified’

Growth held back by low salaries, high unemployment

(ANSA) — Milan, September 23 — Standard & Poor’s said in a report on Wednesday that Italy was out of recession, while stressing that the recovery was not very strong. “The Italian economy is finally emerging from recession after three and a half years of contraction,” the rating agency report said.

“Nevertheless, the recovery is likely to be lukewarm because of low salary growth and the high rate of unemployment, which hold back consumer demand more than in other eurozone countries”.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told the European Parliament’s economic and monetary commission Wednesday that the ECB “will not hesitate to act to address changes in inflation prospects..the bond buying plan (QE) provides enough flexibility…to be amplified and lengthened if necessary”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Trapped Central Banking and Gold

The future direction of the planet is between the central bank’s counter-party paper Ponzi currency or the independence of real money.

Foresighted central banker John Exter is famous for his classification of risk assets. Using Exter’s Golden Pyramid the riskiest assets are those at the bottom of the pyramid and situated at the top of the apex is gold bullion — independent from the counter-party risk of central bank’s paper and electronic currency.

At the bottom of the wealth asset pyramid are over leveraged paper derivatives estimated to be a magnitude of up to six times the world’s wealth. An example of this is in Germany today where it was recently estimated that Deutsche Bank has a massive 70 trillion dollars worth of exposure to derivatives. Meanwhile, annual GDP in Germany is just 4 trillion dollars.

Warren Buffett warned of these “financial weapons of mass destruction.”

This staggering giant paper Ponzi of unpayable leveraged finance means there are multiple counter-party paper claims within complex risk structures that will bankrupt the entire counter-party paper and electronic global financial system in a derivative collapse.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

After Giving us a New Spin on Oz, Gregory Maguire Takes on Wonderland

Gregory Maguire is famous for writing grown-up stories inspired by classic children’s tales. In Wicked, he imagined the world of Oz as seen through the eyes of the Wicked Witch of the West. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister took a sympathetic perspective on Cinderella’s semi-related kin. His most recent novel, After Alice, follows Ada, who tumbles down the rabbit-hole into Wonderland after her friend, released in time for the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s much loved story. In addition to his adult novels, Maguire has written dozens of stories and novels for children and is a cofounder of the advocacy groups Foundation for Children’s Books and Children’s Literature New England, Inc. We traded emails with Maguire to discuss why kids like scary stories, the illogical logic of fantasy writing, and more.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

After a Century of Mass Government Surveillance, It’s Time for New Limits

There is something disquieting and unwholesome about telecoms feeding our communications to government agencies. It was headline news, again, last month when we learned that AT&T has had a longstanding partnership with the National Security Agency. Unfortunately, this form of private-public intelligence collusion is neither new nor, in my view, illegal. Whether it is immoral is an entirely separate question.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ben Carson is Right, Islamic Leadership is Not American

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced Sunday that it will call on Dr. Ben Carson to withdraw from the presidential race over his comments that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation” and that Islam is inconsistent with the Constitution.

For years the Ten Commandments were the moral and civil guidelines of our country and played a prominent role in our American society. These commandments, found in Exodus 20 of the Bible, can still be seen as monuments and paintings in civil buildings all over our country, especially court rooms!

The first of the Ten Commandments unequivocally states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Why acknowledge this as the Law? Because America’s founders understood that our rights came from Nature’s God, the God of the Bible, the God of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They all acknowledged this when signing the Constitution “in the Year of our Lord 1789”. They also understood that in order to protect the rights of Americans they had better have the fear of God in front of their eyes to “secure the rights of the governed, ‘so help me God.’“

Ted Cruz recently skirted the question posed to Ben Carson by stating, “You know, the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a constitutionalist…”

Yet at the time of the adoption of our constitution all the states had different forms of religious tests for individuals aspiring to public office and all states understood the federal government was not an institution to favor or alienate any Christian denomination practiced in the several states. The term “religion” referred to Christianity and there are no writings that can be found from our founders that would countenance the desire for a pagan or Muslim to be entrusted with any seat of power.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Clockmaker Ahmed Mohamed’s Sister Was Once Suspended From School for Threatening to Blow it Up

“I got suspended from school for three days from this stupid same district, from this girl saying I wanted to blow up the school, something I had nothing to do with…I got suspended and I didn’t do anything about it and so when I heard about Ahmed, I was so mad because it happened to me and I didn’t get to stand up.”

She had nothing to do with the threat and yet did nothing about being suspended? Where were her parents? If I had a child in school who was suspended over a false accusation, I’d be at the principal’s office in a matter of minutes. And would the school really suspend her on a hearsay accusation from one other girl — even in what The Daily Beast hysterically calls “a hotbed of Islamophobia”? It is unlikely, given the risk of complaints and even litigation from the parents, that they would have taken such a step without substantial evidence.

And so the plot thickens further. Why didn’t Ahmed’s father exploit this accusation in his ongoing quest to fight “Islamophobia”? Could it be because the accusation was true?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Donald Trump’s Mystery Muslim Questioner a Serial Anti-Tea Party Plant?

The American people should ask themselves why the media has no interest in finding out who this man is.

Anti-Tea Party plant carrying an impeach the Muslim Marxist sign at a Tea Party event.

The unknown man who recently questioned Donald Trump about Muslims and President Obama has been featured on left wing blogs and an anti-Tea Party website for years.

When Joe the Plumber questioned Obama in 2008 and became a political problem for the campaign, within 24 hours the media had uncovered his real name, address and tax history. In the case of Trump’s mystery questioner, the media has done absolutely no investigation.

Patrick Howley of Breitbart is doing the job the media refuses to do and has discovered that the mystery man has a history of appearing on left wing websites:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

FBI Reportedly Recovers Deleted Emails From Clinton Server

Federal investigators reportedly have recovered work-related and personal emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state that the Democratic presidential front-runner claimed had been deleted from her personal server.

The recovery of the emails was first reported by Bloomberg News late Tuesday. The initial report, which cited a source familiar with the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server, was corroborated by The New York Times, which cited two government officials.

It was not immediately clear whether all 30,000 messages Clinton said she had deleted from the server had been recovered, but one official told the Times that it had not been difficult to recover the emails that had been found so far.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Federal Judge Rules ‘Happy Birthday’ Song in Public Domain

The music publishing company that has been collecting royalties on the song “Happy Birthday To You” for years does not hold a valid copyright on the lyrics to the tune that is one of the mostly widely sung in the world, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge George H. King determined the song’s original copyright, obtained by the Clayton F. Summy Co. from the song’s writers, only covered the tune’s musical arrangement and not the lyrics.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Half of Americans Think “Government is an Immediate Threat to Liberty”

Government poses a threat to liberty, that much is clear.

But what may be surprising is that almost half of Americans clearly identified government as a clear and “immediate” threat, and are obviously outraged about what is going on.

Oddly, the number of angry Americans has remained consistent in poll number ever since about 2006 during George W. Bush’s second term, maintaining around 46-49% throughout Barack Obama’s entire presidency.

And yet, things continue to get worse and worse with each political cycle, and each new president.

The vast majority of these issues happen under the mis-leadership of both parties, progressing without fail through the years.

It is time that Americans embrace their anger at government, and focus their attention past the politicians to the real problem.

Start with the bankers, follow the money, and see where it goes…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Here’s How Politicians Stay in Power

Democracy is an incredibly successful, long con.

It works because of the illusion of consent; people actually believe they are “represented,” and so, they accept impositions that would otherwise be intolerable, if imposed on them by a king or a führer or generalissimo.

But when the “people” have decided… except of course, they’ve done no such thing. It is all an illusion, a rhetorical sleight-of-hand that deftly hides the reality that it is not the “people” who decide anything but rather a small handful of individuals who wield vast — almost unlimited — power by claiming to act on their behalf.

Which is a fine-sounding literary device but as a political actuality it is an atrocity.

Have you ever consented to anything the government does to you? Been offered the free choice to accept — or decline? And not subject to violent repercussions in the event you do decide to decline? What sort of contract is it that you’re never actually been presented with but which you’re presumed to have signed — and which you are bound by whether you’ve signed — or not?

The courts have ruled that by dint of having applied for permission to travel — that is, having applied for a driver’s license — you gave given your implied consent to, well, pretty much anything the state decides to do to you. Even when in flagrant abuse of your alleged rights, as enumerated in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

I Am Mourning for America

I am mourning for America, because she is dying.

I am mourning for a nation that once knew such greatness but that has now fallen to depths that were once unimaginable. I am mourning for the death and destruction that are coming, and I am mourning for a future that our children and our grandchildren will never get to see. I am mourning for a nation that has refused to listen to the warnings and that now stands on the precipice of judgment. I am mourning for games that will never be played, for books that will never be finished, for family vacations that will never get to happen and for memories that will never be made. I am mourning for the economic depression that is coming, for the horror and suffering that friends and family will endure, and for the coming death of the country where I drew my first breath.

To many, these words will seem “over the top” and overly dramatic. After all, despite the thousands of problems facing this nation, things still seem very “normal” at this moment. Well, if you don’t “get” what I am saying right now, just bookmark this page and come back to it later. Eventually it will make sense to you.

Last week, I was invited to be a guest on a major television show that is beamed into the homes of millions of people in the United States and Canada. If you get a chance to view the shows that are being aired this week, you will noticethat I wore all black.

I wasn’t just making a fashion statement. I was doing it because I am in mourning for America. Unlike so many that talk about the horrible things that are ahead for this country, I actually love the United States. I truly wish that this nation had become everything that it could have become. I love the part of the country where I currently live, I love the amazing people that I am constantly meeting, and I love the things that I have been able to experience just because I am an American.

Unfortunately, everything is about to change.

There are many out there that believe that America is still a great nation. Well, great nations do not murder tens of millions of their own children. As Dr. Chuck Missler has pointed out, the most dangerous place to be in America today is in a mother’s womb.

Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, more than 56 million babies have been purposely destroyed in this country.

What does a nation that has murdered 56 million of its own children deserve?

I believe that we have just come out of a season of time when America has been shown exactly why it is about to be judged.

It is no accident that the undercover Planned Parenthood videos were released when they were. Now the entire world knows that we slaughter our babies, harvest their organs and sell them off to the highest bidder.

So what has the response of the American people been to the revelation of this great evil?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Jorge Ramos Wannabes in the Press

Univision’s Jorge Ramos, whose daughter works for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign, doesn’t care about fair and balanced journalism. He is only concerned about representing his people. This is what journalism has become — news coverage that casts ethnic groups and special interests as victims of the white racist capitalist power structure.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Muslim Parent Warns School Board ‘We’re Going to be the Majority Soon’ as Meeting Gets Heated and Security is Needed

The Jersey City Board of Education voted last week not to close schools for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays for Muslims.

School board members in New Jersey made their decision Thursday despite appeals from Muslim attendees who showed up to advocate that the board change the school schedule.

At one point, things became so heated that an official urged security to “take charge” of the situation. At least one person was seen on video being escorted from the meeting.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis Canonizes 18th-Century Missionary as Part of First Mass in US

Pope Francis elevated California missionary Junipero Serra to sainthood in the first U.S. canonization ceremony after spending his morning in Washington D.C. speaking on the White House lawn alongside President Obama.

Francis arrived at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the popemobile before a crowd of 25,000 after switching from his now-famous Fiat.

Several thousand of the 25,000 tickets to the event were set aside for Spanish-speaking people, many from California. A temporary sanctuary was erected outdoors for the Mass.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Islamic Mosqueing of Public Schools in America

Schools in Tennessee are attempting to force students to declare Allah to be the supreme god.

Maury County parents are expressing their outrage against a textbook’s recounting of Muhammad being a prophet inspired by Allah.

Brandee Porterfield has expressed her anger toward aspect of the textbook, saying:

“I have big problem with that. From a historical point of view, that’s a lot of history these kids are missing. … Also, for them to spend three weeks on Islam after having skipped Christianity, it seems to be that they are making a choice about which religion to discuss.”

A Christian pastor in Tennessee has gotten so upset at the Islamic indoctrination in public schools that he is now telling Christian students to fail any class that teaches Islam and not go to the side of the devil:

Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church said church families were concerned and upset about middle school students being taught “a half-page of watered down Christianity” in sixth grade and 28 pages of Islamic curriculum.


Studies have shown over 500 historical errors in public school textbooks, giving an Islamic slant to our youth.

As a result, our youth are subject to the following teachings and practices:

  • Learning to become a Muslim
  • Fasting for Ramadan
  • Learning the five pillars of Islam
  • Memorizing verses of the Quran
  • Adopting a Muslim name
  • Staging a Jihad (war against non-Muslims)

How did this happen? The ACLU, the American Muslim Council, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Clinton administration joined together to create an environment that opened the door to Muslim teaching, while attacking anyone who speaks of the Christian religion in public schools.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Man Debunks “Clock Kid” By Recreating Ahmed’s Clock — in 20 Seconds!

Video exposes “clock kid” story as a deceptive stunt.

As the story goes, Ahmed, a 14-year-old Muslim high school student in Irving, Texas, took his “homemade” clock to school to impress his engineering teacher and was arrested after another teacher thought the clock was a bomb.

“This video challenges that the clock was homemade by showing a nearly identical package being prepared in about 20 seconds,” the video’s description reads.

The clock in the video is a near-perfect clone of the clock Ahmed took to class, including the 9V battery hook-up, the wall cord and the snooze button.

In other words, Ahmed didn’t build a clock but rather ripped the guts out of a store-bought clock and shoved them into a suitcase he took to school.

Ahmed’s clock was likely a Micronta 63-765A sold by Radio Shack in the 1970s, according to Anthony DiPasquale, an electronics expert art

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Volkswagen CEO Steps Down, Takes Responsibility But Denies Wrongdoing; Shares Rise

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned Wednesday, days after admitting that the world’s top-selling carmaker had rigged diesel emissions to pass U.S. tests during his tenure.

No replacement was announced, and VW still has no easy exit from a scandal that has suddenly dented a reputation for trustworthiness that took decades to build. The smog-test trickery has wiped out billions in VW’s market value and raised the specter of criminal investigations and billions more in fines.

Winterkorn took responsibility for the “irregularities” found by U.S. inspectors in VW’s diesel engines, but insisted he had personally done nothing wrong.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Volkswagen Scandal Becomes “Investor’s Nightmare” As German Government Dragged in

Over the past two days, we’ve spent quite a bit of time documenting the emissions scandal that’s rocked Volkswagen, sending its shares down more than 30% (see here, here, and here for instance).

Far from representing an isolated, “contained” event, revelations that the company used software to game diesel emissions tests have the very real potential to reverberate throughout the German economy.

As we explained on Tuesday, Volkswagen Group is the largest automaker in Germany and it is also the largest German company by revenue. In case the implications of that for Germany’s export machine are in any way unclear, allow us to elaborate:

While banking may be the most important sector to the hyper-financialized US economy, for the export-driven German economy — whose exports account for over 40% of GDP — it is all about the car companies and their massive supply chains.

So what happened over the past 48 hours to Volkswagen, which has lost over a third of its market cap, or more than the market cap of Tesla, is nothing short of an earthshattering cataclysm to an economy where all the cogs and gears and running in a smooth, undisturbed ensemble… until everything changed overnight.

Throw in the fact that the industry is already threatened by the deceleration in China’s economy, and you have a veritable nightmare scenario in the making and for anyone who thinks we may be going overboard with the hyperbole, we present the following from Deutsche Bank (another German company that’s quite adept at gaming regulators), out Wednesday:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Will Your Vote be Counted? Aging Machines Imperil Election Fairness

Imagine the outcry if air traffic controllers were using obsolete equipment that broke all the time? And had no tech support. The problem would likely be fixed, pronto. But what happens when it is the levers of democracy — literally — that are at stake?

That is a real issue.

In many American cities and towns, next year’s election will be held with hardware and software that has become obsolete. In some cases, the equipment used is so outdated that replacement parts or tech support for the technology simply no longer exist.

For example, the software used to run many election machines is Windows 2000, an operating system that has long been discontinued and for which Microsoft has not offered tech support since 2010.

On the other hand, hackers use ever-improving, state-of-the-art equipment and methods. For them, hacking into these old machines would be child’s play. Please go here and here to see earlier WhoWhatWhy stories on this issue.

From the Brennan Center for Justice

The Brennan Center for Justice released a comprehensive report last week which details some of the problems that jurisdictions all across the US are facing in the upcoming elections.

“Unlike voting machines used in past eras, today’s systems were not designed to last for decades.

In part this is due to the pace of technological change. No one expects a laptop to last for 10 years,” the report said. “And although today’s machines debuted at the beginning of this century, many were designed and engineered in the 1990s.”

Only seven states are exclusively using machines that were purchased within the past decade. All others are, at least partially, operating much older technology.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Autumn Greets Italy With Rainstorms

Storms sweep across north and move south

(ANSA) — Rome, September 23 — Rainstorms, Alpine snowfalls and dropping temperatures greeted the advent of autumn across northern and central Italy on Wednesday. In Milan, traffic snarled as downpours caused metro service to be temporarily suspended on one of the lines, and firemen were called in to deal with flooding and fallen trees. The Seveso and Lambro rivers were being monitored in case of overflowing.

In Tuscany, Florence-bound trains between Viareggio and Lucca were disrupted due to rain and lightning. Rough seas suspended ferries to the Isola di Capraia. A small whirlwind damaged the roof of a building in Cecina, near Livorno, and water damage caused the collapse of a piece of false ceiling in a branch of the massive supermarket chain COOP.

The first snow of the season dusted the Brenner pass, on the border of Italy and Austria. Snow also fell on summits in Veneto, near Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The Atlantic storm front is expected to hit central and southern Italy late Wednesday evening, pounding the peninsula from Emilia Romagna to Calabria at various points with high winds, rain, lightning, and hail.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Harder by the Day to Protect Britain From Terror Attacks’ Says Defence Secretary

Intelligence experts have also warned that the Islamic terror threat is yet to peak.

Mr Fallon told a London think-tank the slaughter of 38 tourists, including 30 Britons, on a beach in Tunisia in June shows how difficult it is to defend “our people”.

And he warned that terrorists and other states are “catching up” with Britain, whose technological edge on the battlefield is being eroded.

Mr Fallon told the Royal United Services Institute the upsurge in terrorist activity is making it tougher for the Government to carry out its first duty — protecting the public.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Another Senator Leaves Berlusconi for Verdini

Auricchio follows Amoruso

(ANSA) — Rome, September 22 — Another Senator on Tuesday split from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party to join former FI heavyweight Denis Verdini’s new ALA caucus. Domenico Auricchio was the second Senator to defect in two days after Francesco Amoruso on Monday. ALA numbers just over a dozen.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bossi Gets 18 Months for Napolitano Slur

Called ex-president ‘terrone’ in 2011

(ANSA) — Rome, September 22 — The former leader of the Northern League party, Umberto Bossi, on Tuesday received an 18-month sentence for insulting Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in 2011.

Bossi’s offence was ruled to have been aggravated by a “racial” slur because the often foul-mouthed veteran firebrand called the Naples-born Neapolitano a “terrone”, northern Italian epithet for “dirty southerner”.

On December 29, 2011, Bossi made a rally laugh when he sent a sarcastic greeting to the Neapolitan head of State, using the Latin tag “nomen omen” (“it’s all in the name”) to criticise his provenance from the troubled southern city.

“I didn’t know he was a ‘terrone’,” he added to further chuckles.

Bossi, who stepped down as leader of the movement he founded after a string of corruption and nepotism scandals in 2012, was also charged with trying to bring Italy’s institutions into disrepute.

Sentences under two years are not served custodially according to Italy’s legal system.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Doctors Threaten Strike Over ‘Useless’ Tests Clampdown

Minister targets ‘inappropriate’ exams to save money

(ANSA) — Rome, September 23 — Italian doctors may go on strike to protest against a new government decree that seeks to reduce the number of unnecessary tests and treatments, Costantino Troise, the head of physicians union ANAAO, said on Wednesday. “Action is already taking place and this could lead to a strike of the whole Italian health world,” said Troise, who described the decree as “wrong”. The decree that the government is planning would impose fines on doctors who prescribe “useless” examinations and medical checks at an estimate cost to the national health service of 13 billion euros a year.

The left-wing Fp-Cgil Medici union and the Federation of Family doctors Fimmg called the proposed legislation “a real devaluation of the role of health professionals”.

They said that they were “sharply against” the proposed decree after meeting Health minister Beatrice Lorenzin on Wednesday.

A preliminary version of the decree puts limits on the use of 208 different types of examination.

These include limits on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which would be restricted to cancer patients and those suffering traumas, and on total cholesterol tests, which should only be for people over 40 or those with specific risk factors.

“Many tests prescribed by doctors have been cut because they are useless and cutting them will make room for appropriate diagnosis prescriptions, without those that are not necessary,” Lorenzin told Mediaset television. “We are not launching a doctor hunt. The fine would not kick in after an individual error, but after a series of cases that can be shown. “The penalty will only be applied if the doctor is unable to justify the decision”. But the unions remain on the war path, despite Lorenzin’s reassurances. “We expressed our bewilderment and opposition, especially with regard to the idea of fining doctors financially,” said FP-CGIL leader Massimo Cozza after meeting Lorenzin “This would be a mechanism that could smash the relationship between doctors and patients”.

Both unions cautioned that they will step up industrial action against the government unless the measures are dropped.

“We will widen our mobilization … against doctors being treated like criminals,” said Silvestro Scotti from the Fimmg.

Doctors also oppose the proposed law as they say it would mean patients paying for more services and because it would be impossible for regional health authorities to enforce. The doctors have won the support of patients associations.

“It is necessary to discuss joint initiatives to combat the prospect of doctors being transformed into a sort of clerk,” said Tonino Aceti of the Tribunale dei Diritti del Malato Cittadinanzattiva association.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

MPs Chairman Pays ‘Courtesy Visit’ To ECB

Tononi vows to find a buyer

(ANSA) — Siena, September 23 — The new chairman of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) traveled to the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt last week for a “courtesy” meeting. Massimo Tononi was elected to the helm of Italy’s oldest and third-largest lender on September 14, but officially instated Tuesday. Tononi replaced Alessandro Profumo, who stepped down in July. Tononi confirmed that “nothing has changed” in MPS’s strategy to pursue a buyer to salvage the ailing bank.

Tononi vowed to “put himself on the line” in the effort.

“The chairman is the guarantor for the shareholders, for the city and also for the possible partners”.

The bank leader confirmed that thus far there are no “concrete manifestations of interest”, but blamed this partly on a climate of regulatory uncertainty.

MPS in August reported its second consecutive quarter in the black in the April-June period as its turnaround efforts started to pay off.

Its Common Equity Tier 1 transitional ratio, a measure of financial strength, was 11.3% at the end of June, up from 10.9% at the end of March.

MPS, the world’s oldest surviving bank, was one of the largest to fail last year’s health checks conducted by the ECB and has been struggling in recent years after losses and the global financial crisis that hit Italy especially hard.

Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola is trying to turn the bank’s fortunes around, partly by selling assets. The ECB has said it needs to find a buyer quickly.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: ‘Dutch No to Guantanamo Bay Prisoners Threatens Relationship With US’

The Dutch government’s reluctance to take any prisoners from Guantanamo Bay is threatening the relationship between the Netherlands and the US, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Sources have told the paper the Dutch decision has been met with incomprehension and disappointment in Washington and that there is a ‘stain’ on the relationship between the two countries.

‘We have been speaking about this at a high level for months and we have been kept dangling,’ one diplomat in Washington said. The issue was also discussed by king Willem-Alexander when he met president Barack Obama in June, the paper says.

One source in The Hague said foreign minister Bert Koenders had given up trying to persuade the VVD to accept the plan in July but had not informed the US. Prime minister Mark Rutte, justice minister Ard van der Steur and parliamentary party leader Halbe Zijlstra are all totally opposed.

The US has asked the Netherlands to accept two people from the controversial prison on Cuba which Obama is attempting to close down. There are still 115 people in Guantanamo Bay, of whom 90 cannot be returned to their own country. Of them, at least 53 are deemed to be not guilty, the Volkskrant says.

The Dutch ‘no’ may have an impact on hopes to win a temporary seat on the UN security council next year, where the Netherlands hopes to be able to influence the ongoing mission to Mali, diplomacy expert Rob de Wijk of the HCSS think tank told the paper.

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

Parliament Building Evacuated in Brussels After Bomb Threat (Photos, Video)

The Belgian Federal Parliament building in Brussels is being evacuated due to a bomb alert, the Belgian media are reporting.

A large number of police officers have arrived at the scene, the Belgian broadcaster RTBF is stating, while also adding that there are still people inside the building.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ancient Manuscript Pieced Together After Cairo Museum Find

A leather manuscript more than 4,000 years old has been painstakingly reconstructed by a scholar after it was rediscovered in the Egyptian museum in Cairo.

Containing religious spells as well as colourful depictions of divine and supernatural beings, predating those found in the Book of the Dead manuscripts, the leather roll is around 2.5 metres long, with text and drawings on both sides. It is both the longest surviving leather ancient Egyptian manuscript and the oldest, according to Egyptologist Dr Wael Sherbiny, who found the roll in a mix of small and large fragments on the Cairo Museum’s shelves and announced his discovery at the International Congress of Egyptologists in Florence in August.

“The document was completely forgotten, probably because those who had direct contact with it died during or right after the second world war. Since then, it was stored among hundreds of other manuscripts and ancient papyri in the Cairo Museum,” Sherbiny said. “The moment I laid my eyes on the manuscript, I was thrilled.”…

He dates the roll to between 2,300 BC and 2,000 BC, from the late Old Kingdom up to the early Middle Kingdom, and says it contains many new religious texts, including a large pictorial-textual segment from the so-called Book of Two Ways, known from the floorboard decorations of Middle Kingdom coffins, as well as religious spells formulated in the first-person singular, probably intended for recitation by a priest.

“In the segment that was used in the so-called Book of Two Ways, the speaker is approaching an elaborate architectonic structure with a highly restricted access,” said Sherbiny. “A certain holy place that is protected by multiple gates and their powerful guardians. These latter are characterised as supernatural beings with immense magical powers. The texts in the scroll contain this specific and magical knowledge that is required to pass safely by these dangerous beings and get access to the divine restricted area behind the gates.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

3 Female Fighters Kill 10 ISIS Jihadis a Day to Stop the Yazidi Genocide in Iraq

The women left their lives in Turkey and smuggled themselves into Kurdistan, northern Iraq, to fight ISIS and stem tide of ethnic cleansing against the opressed Yazidi people killed in Mount Sinjar.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Al-Jazeera Expected to Cut Hundreds of Jobs

Surprise move could mark a reduction in state commitment to Qatari-owned media group amid falling oil prices

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Defense Ministry Says Its Top Military Officer in Iraq Passes Away

BAGHDAD — The German Defense Ministy says the head of its training mission in Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region has passed away.

In a statement, the ministry said Col. Stephan Spottel was found dead Wednesday in his hotel room in the regional capital, Irbil.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iran Deal Open for Debate? Tehran Presses New Ayatollah Demand

The Iranian government is pressing the U.S. and others to give even more ground to Tehran in the already-sealed nuclear agreement, posing a new headache as the Obama administration and others try to implement the deal.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier this month demanded that sanctions be lifted entirely, not just suspended. A top Khamenei adviser reiterated that demand over the weekend — ahead of potential informal talks on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Secretary of State John Kerry plans meet in the coming days in New York with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. According to Iran’s Fars News Agency, Iranian officials also plan to meet with all members of the P5+1 group, which negotiated the deal, in New York on Sept. 28.

These reported plans prompted one group, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), to question whether talks were being “reopened,” in order to address Khamenei’s concerns.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Petra Visitors Drop by %32 in First 8 Months

Tourists from EU down by %21

– AMMAN — Number of tourists coming to Petra has dropped by %33 during the first 8 months of 2015, pushing several businesses and hotels in the ancient city to the brink of bankruptcy.

Figures from the government-run department of tourism showed today that number of visitors to Petra took a nose dive by reaching 280.000, compared to 418.000 visitors during the same period in last year.

The political turmoil and economic difficulty have also had an impact on the number of visitors to the Roman city of Jerash as figures showed %31 decline in number of tourist during the same period.

The government says total income from tourism has shrunk by %10 during the first three months of the year. Visitors from the EU dropped by %21.3 to reach 57.000 while number of Asians visitors also dropped by %27 to reach 92.000, according to government figures.

The difficult situation of tourism industry in Petra has lead several businesses to shut down or carry out drastic downsizing as investors struggle to meet financial demands. The ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the region continue to cast a gloomy shadow on Jordan’s tourism sector, which is considered one of the main sources of national income. But a silver lining remains in the horizon for Jordan, as the kingdom remains top attraction for visitors from the gulf region who no longer are able to visit traditional destinations such as Syria and Lebanon.

The government this month said it was starting a new promotion campaign to lure foreign tourists to the kingdom, mostly in the EU and Americas, but with the war in Syria showing no sign of easing up, tourism industry could be facing a lengthy period of decline, warn observers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scots ISIS Jihadi Bride in Online Hate Rant Against Syrian Refugees

A jihadi bride who left her home in Scotland to join the Islamic State has hit out at Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe.

Aqsa Mahmood, 20, fled her Glasgow home and travelled to Syria in November 2013 where she is believed to have married an Islamic State fighter.

Ms Mahmood fled her home and university education in the city in November 2014 to join jihadists in Syria and has taken up a senior role in the terrorist organisation’s all-women police brigade.

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Kremlin Vows to Respond to U.S. Nuclear Arms in Germany

German decision ‘violates strategic balance,’ says Kremlin

(ANSA) — Moscow, September 23 — The decision by Germany to play host to American nuclear weapons violates the strategic balance and Moscow will take important security measures in response, a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, said Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

India Clears $2.5 Bn Boeing Military Chopper Deal: Source

India on Tuesday cleared a $2.5 billion deal to buy 37 military helicopters from aviation giant Boeing, on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, a government source said.

Modi’s government is in the middle of a multi-billion dollar upgrade of its Soviet-era military hardware, partly to keep up with neighbouring rival Pakistan and big-spending China.

The cabinet cleared the purchase of 22 Apache helicopters and 15 heavy-lifting Chinook choppers, a long-pending deal that was discussed during US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to India last August…

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

China: Xinjiang Coal Mine Attack: At Least 40 Victims

The alleged authors are separatist ethnic Uyghur. The province is one of the most turbulent in entire country, in the middle of a bitter campaign of control and repression by the central government. The assault carried out with knives and machetes, the police have not yet confirmed the death toll. Sogan mine in Aksu targeted.

Urumqi (AsiaNews) — A group of unidentified assailants launched an attack on the coal mine Sogan in Aksu, the northwestern province of Xinjiang. According to authorities, the authors are ethnic Uyghur — Muslim and Turkic-speaking — who aim to destabilize the province. Xinjiang has long been at the center of a bitter campaign of control and repression by the central government, which for decades has been promoting the immigration of Han Chinese (the majority in the country) to make the ethnic group a minority.

According to initial reports of the attack, provided by Radio Free Asia, there are about 40 victims: among them at least five policemen, several security guards and members of the management of the mine (all han). The attack began at 3 am on 18 September. Jamal eysa, security chief in a mine close to the area of the clashes, says: “It all started at the security entrance, usually patrolled by about 20 guards.”

According to the official, “the residence of the owner was the second target of the attack, while the police station was attacked last. I received a call from the mayor of Bay, about 20 kilometers away, calling for protection in view of another potential attack”.

An official notification sent in the course of the day says that the attack was carried out “by separatists against the police and the owners of coal mines. It was well-organized, well-prepared and on a large scale. “ Some police claim to have recognized some assailants “from among local farmers” and confirm that the group managed to “take control of dynamite kept in the mine.” It is not clear if this has been used or not, and there is no official confirmation on casualties.

The Chinese central government has made it clear on several occasions that it aims to defeat “at any cost” the “three evils” afflicting the province: terrorism, separatism and religious extremism. However, international experts believe that Beijing has deliberately exaggerated the threat, and believe that the rise of violence is the result of “heavy handed and unfair” national policies.

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

Chinese Fighter Jet Makes Unsafe Intercept of Air Force Plane Over Yellow Sea, Pentagon Says

The Pentagon said Tuesday that it was reviewing what it called an “unsafe” intercept of an Air Force reconnaissance plane by at least one Chinese jet over the Yellow Sea last week.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that the American RC-135 was intercepted by a Chinese fighter approximately 80 miles east of northeastern China’s Shandong Peninsula on Sept. 15. Cook said there was no indication that the planes came close to colliding, but the crew of the American plane reported that one of the Chinese jet’s maneuvers appeared to be unsafe.

The Wall Street Journal later reported that two Chinese JH-7 aircraft came within 500 feet of the RC-135’s nose while the American plane was conducting a routine patrol in international airspace. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy in the reported number of Chinese planes involved.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

After Attacks, Nigerian Army Bans Moving Vehicles, Horses, Camels in Borno State for Holiday

The Nigerian military has banned moving vehicles, bicycles, horses, donkeys and camels in northeastern Borno state as a security measure to try to stop Islamic extremist attacks during a Muslim holiday.

The ban follows a string of blasts that killed more than 100 people Sunday in Maiduguri and Monguno in Borno state.

No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombings but they bear the hallmark of Boko Haram, Nigeria’s extremist group which frequently uses bombings.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

U.S. Priests Accused of Sex Abuse Get Second Chance in South America — USA

The Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes in South America, a year long Global Post investigation has found.

Reporters confronted five accused priests in as many countries: Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. One priest who relocated to a poor parish in Peru admitted on camera to molesting a 13-year-old boy while working in the Jackson, Miss., diocese. Another is currently under investigation in Brazil after allegations arose that he abused disadvantaged children living in an orphanage he founded there.

All five were able to continue working as priests, despite criminal investigations or cash payouts to alleged victims. All enjoyed the privilege, respect and unfettered access to young people that comes with being clergy members.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Uruguay Does Unthinkable, Rejects Global Corporatocracy

Earlier this month Uruguay’s government decided to end its participation in the secret negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). After months of intense pressure led by unions and other grassroots movements that culminated in a national general strike on the issue — the first of its kind around the globe — the Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez bowed to public opinion and left the US-led trade agreement.

Despite — or more likely because of — its symbolic importance, Uruguay’s historic decision has been met by a wall of silence. Beyond the country’s borders, mainstream media has refused to cover the story.

This is hardly a surprise given that the global public is not supposed to even know about TiSA’s existence, despite — or again because of — the fact that it’s arguably the most important of the new generation of global trade agreements. According to WikiLeaks, it “is the largest component of the United States’ strategic ‘trade’ treaty triumvirate,” which also includes the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP).

TiSA involves more countries than TTIP and TPP combined: The United States and all 28 members of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey.

Together, these 52 nations form the charmingly named “Really Good Friends of Services” group, which represents almost 70% of all trade in services worldwide. Until its government’s recent u-turn Uruguay was supposed to be the 53rd Good Friend of Services.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

40 EU Migrant Procedures Against 19 Countries

Not Italy

(ANSA) — Brussels, September 23 — The European Commission on Wednesday opened 40 infraction procedures on migrants against 19 countries. They are accused of not fully implementing the rules of the common European asylum system, especially in regard to registration and repatriation. Italy was not among the 19.

The action came as EU leaders prepared to meet on the migrant and refugee emergency at a special Brussels summit. On Tuesday interior ministers agreed on quotas to distribute 120,000 migrants with four eastern European countries voting against.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

About 120,000 Kosovo Albanians Went to the EU

PRISTINA — About 120,000 residents of Kosovo illegally, in the last two years, emigrated towards the EU, writes Kosovo daily “Zeri”.

The number, according to the daily, is identical with the number of residents of two Kosovo municipalities such as Gnjilane and Kamenica.

According to the latest statistics, the municipality of Gnjilane has about 87,000 and Kamenica about 33,000 residents.

The biggest wave of emigration occurred in the last 10 months. According to Eurostat, about 90,000 Kosovo residents applied for asylum.

In the second quarter, Kosovo residents were the most numerous among the asylum seekers in France and Luxembourg, while in Germany they are in third place, after Syria and Albania, concludes “Zeri”.

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

Croatia: 8,750 Arrivals Today, 44,000 in Total

Zagreb interior ministry says

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, SEPTEMBER 23 — A reported 8,750 migrants and refugees have already entered Croatia today, according to the Croatian interior ministry. The ministry added that a total of 44,000 migrants have crossed into the country over the past week. Tovarnik and Ilok are the border areas used by most refugees to get into the country. Some 2,900 migrants are currently at the migrant center of Opatovac.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Croatia Closes, Serbia Sends Letter to EU Leaders

Blocking border crossings, “brutal violation”

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — Due to Croatia’ decision to close its border with Serbia, Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has sent a letter to the leaders of the European Union. The letter was addressed to the presidents Donald Tusk (European Council), Martin Schulz (Parliament), Jean-Claude Juncker (EC), the EU high representative for foreign and security policy Federica Mogherini and EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn. Vucic asked for an explanation of what he called a “brutal violation” by Croatia, since the country has closed all the crossing points, breaking the rules of the Association and Stabilization Agreement signed by Serbia and the EU. Speaking to reporters, Vucic underlined that especially the closure of the important Batrovci-Bajakovo highway, which was blocked three days ago, is causing huge economic damage to Serbia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Erdogan Says Shame to World, Quotes Tolstoy

Turkish president with Abbas at Moscow mosque inauguration

MOSCOW — The situation of “Syrian refugees and what is happening along the Mediterranean coasts brings shame to the whole world”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech in Moscow at a ceremony to inaugurate a grand mosque that is one of the largest in Europe.

Erdogan then quoted Tolstoy, saying the arson of a home risks burning an entire village.

“The flames in the Middle East must be extinguished with love and conscience, which is why we have welcomed two million refugees and have been helping people on our territory for the past four years”. Erdogan then stressed that, “the solution to the refugee issue is not closing borders but a peaceful life in their home countries”.

Among foreign leaders attending the mosque’s inauguration was also Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In his speech, he denounced attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem which, he said, “don’t favour peace in the world”.

“We ask the international community to protect holy Muslim and Christian sites”, stated the Palestinian leader.

Israel’s policies on the Al-Aqsa mosque “damages the situation” in the Middle East, echoed Erdogan.

The grand mosque, which can accommodate over 10,000 worshippers, was inaugurated in a Moscow under tight security, just two steps away from the Olimpiiski stadium where some competitions were held during the 1980 games. The mosque was built in the same location as another one dating back to 1904, for a long time the only place of worship for Muslims during the Soviet era. The old mosque was completely destroyed in 2011 to leave space for the new building which is 10 times bigger and competes with the ‘heart of Chechnya’ in Grozny and the grand mosque of Makhachkala in Dagestan. Construction work lasted 10 years and cost 170 million dollars, entirely coming from private donations. Mahmoud Abbas donated 25,000 dollars. Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov was the largest donor, giving 100 million dollars after he survived a terrible road accident in France in 2007.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

EU Forces ‘Voluntary’ Migrant Relocation on Eastern States

EU states agreed a legally binding plan Tuesday (22 September) on relocation of 120,000 refugees, in a vote which thwarted opposition from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.

The vote marks an unusual EU step, in terms of forcing a minority of EU states to take action on issues of national sovereignty.

In a sign of wider opposition, Finland abstained.

“We’ve reached an agreement with a very big majority, bigger than required by (the EU) treaty. We would have preferred unanimity, and it’s not because we haven’t tried”, Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn told press after the meeting in Brussels.

He said the EU Council decision doesn’t include a European Commission “key” on how to calculate national relocation quotas, based on population size and wealth.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Response Plans on Migration Crisis

European Union leaders meet on Wednesday, hoping to rally behind common responses to the migration crisis. Following are policies that the EU and its executive arm, the European Commission, are pursuing.

Following the drowning of some 800 people on a single boat off Libya in April, the EU effectively reversed a sharp cutback in warships conducting search and rescue operations; since June, a naval operation has been targeting people-smugglers. Plans to roam far into Libyan waters are on hold, seeking UN support.

The Commission on Wednesday said it would step up funding for the coordination agency Frontex and propose by December steps to establish a European Border and Coast Guard. At present each state manages its own section of the external EU border.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Europe Faces Cultural Disaster as Refugees Pour in: “A Direct Threat to Our Civilization”

The tide of refugees from Syria and elsewhere has already been disastrous for the people who lived there and now seek another home. But the disaster is just beginning for Western Civilization. Today, the major front is Europe. But it is happening in America, too, and someday it might be too late. A demographic shift is happening so sharply in the UK, France, Germany and other European nations that it could hardly be called anything but a takeover.

The war hawks overplayed the ‘ Muslim extremist’ card in the days after 9/11 when terrorism dominated every headline and nearly every political discussion. Hypocrisies devastated innocent lives, wasted money and ran America’s reputation and morale into the ground. But meanwhile, the cultural enemy was being brought home, through waves of immigration.

Zero Hedge warns that Europe is “heading for disaster” with regard to the immigration tidal wave:…

The crisis is truly epic when you realize that many authorities are deliberately trying to “undermine” European nations, and force them to “open up” and adopt more migration and become more subservient to EU rules and order.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Flooding the Nation With ‘Syrian Refugees’: American Lives Matter

The serially dishonest administration, represented abysmally by Haute Moron Secretary of State, John Kerry, has haughtily announced that for FY 2016, starting October 1, the administration is raising the refugee cap from its previous 70,000 to 85,000, this year, and up to 100,000 next year, all to make room for Syrian “refugees.” Two weeks ago he told members of Congress the administration wanted to bring in 10,000 Syrians. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley responded with a letter asking Kerry to clarify.

The administration initially proposed raising the cap to 75,000, but Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Ann Richard admitted they might add “more later.” The refugee resettlement industry, which makes about $1 billion/year placing refugees in our communities, is lobbying for 200,000, including 100,000 Syrians. Even has joined the campaign.

Additionally, Obama promised to use other avenues, like parole, asylum and temporary protected status to allow more Syrians. Grassley reminded them that they did not have independent authority to do this. Increasing the cap requires consultation with Congress by law. As it turns out, the law also requires hearings — which to this point Congress has never deemed necessary. Perhaps it’s time for a change.

The FBI has said it cannot vet Syrians for jihadi connections or sympathies because Syria is a “failed state.” Even Obama’s own Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has said that the threat of ISIS infiltrating America by hiding among Syrian refugees is a “huge concern.” ISIS has very publicly warned it will do just that and claims to have 4,000 fighters in Western Europe already. Even among Syrian refugees, a fifth claim ISIS is a positive influence in the world! Warnings have been issued that 2 in every 100 Syrian refugees is an ISIS fighter. Do the math, of 15,000 that would equate to 300 members of ISIS here in the U.S.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Huge Increase in Migrant Arrivals on Lesvos

More than 2,500 people, mainly Afghan refugees, arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos on Wednesday morning in the space of three hours, a Reuters photographer said, with more on the way.

About 40 rubber dinghies each carrying 60 to 70 people arrived in the rain on one beach on the island, which was covered in life jackets and rubber tubes. Some were suffering from hypothermia.

Nine more boats could be seen in the distance, he said.

“It was difficult, we were afraid,” said 18-year-old Ruhin from Afghanistan, whose younger sister collapsed on the shore.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hungary’s Orban Accuses Merkel of ‘Moral Imperialism’ Over Refugee Quotas

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday rejected what he called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “moral imperialism” in Europe’s migrant crisis.

When asked what he expected from Merkel while Europe grapples with an influx of asylum-seekers, the right-wing leader grinned and said: “I have a long list.”

Orban accused Merkel of trying to impose her vision of an open European Union on the rest of the bloc.

“The most important thing is that there should be no moral imperialism,” he said during a visit to the southern German state of Bavaria…

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

Italy: Piedmont Proposes Protocol for Girls at Risk of FGM

‘Increase in immigrants means we must tackle issue head on’

(ANSA) — Turin, September 22 — The northern Piedmont region said Tuesday it will unveil a protocol for taking into care minors at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

FGM is a painful ritual practiced on girls and women with a razor in 27 African countries, Yemen and Iraqi Kurdistan, Asia, the Middle East, and among diaspora communities around the world.

Piedmont has many women residents from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Somalia — and many of them victims of the practice, regional officials said in a statement.

“The rise in immigration has made it essential that we take this problem on in a non-sporadic way, from both the social and the public health standpoints,” the statement said.

“I am keen to reiterate our region’s commitment to preventing and fighting female genital mutilation,” regional council member Antonio Saitta said.

“Many public health operators have been involved, and this must continue in order to defeat the phenomenon”.

Piedmont two years ago signed on to an accord between regions and central government in the fight to prevent and ultimately eradicate FGM.

Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin earlier this year said female genital mutilation is a “barbaric practice” that is “unacceptable” in Italy.

While it is outlawed or restricted in most of the countries where it is practiced, the laws are poorly enforced.

The United Nations recognized FGM as a violation of human rights in 2012.

Over 150 million girls and women worldwide have experienced some form of FGM, according to the UN.

According to UNICEF, some three million girls die from the practice per year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Not the Huddled Masses

Once the moral exhibitionism runs its course, what will Europe do next?

By Gilbert T. Sewall

During the last year, facing waves of migrants and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East, Europe and its immigration policies have contrasted with the unapologetic self-interest and exclusionism of Russia, Israel, and the Gulf States.

Greece saw this flood coming, but as part of the European Union, maintained its open borders. Turkey made no effort to seize boats or break up smuggling rings. The Italian coast guard gladly assisted arrivals.

Europe has lost control of its borders, admits Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. These illegal immigrants, once inside, are essentially free to travel at will. And the influx is not abating. Thousands are pouring into Greece daily. Meanwhile, the number of genuine Syrian and Iraqi refugees is quickly being revised downward.

Even liberal Americans and Europeans are aghast. Not all, by any means. Although terrified by the prospect of social destruction, a number remain silent for fear of seeming ethnocentric or inhumane.

Moral exhibitionism runs high. To hear United Nations and EU officials talk, accepting these newcomers and many more like them constitutes a core test for humanitarian and liberal principles. The media draw pictures of desperate souls who deserve unending compassion. But few of Europe’s new immigrants are fleeing wars and persecution, bombs or bullets. Even most Syrians were already in Turkey, out of harm’s way.

Still, the U.S. is “morally bound” to accept “Syrian huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” thunders a Huffington Post editorial. “Those dreadful Hungarians with their water cannons,” my sweet, trusting neighbor who reads the New York Times as scripture declares. “And that poor little boy who washed up on shore.” …

           — Hat tip: Gilbert Sewall [Return to headlines]

Refugees Welcomed at Stockholm Central Station

Refugees continue to come to Sweden in their thousands. At Stockholm central station, volunteers have gathered to greet them, and to help with what they can.

Over the past seven days, more than 7000 refugees have applied for asylum in Sweden. Most refugees come to Malmö in southern Sweden, but some end up taking the train north to Stockholm.

There, they are greeted by police, Migration Agency staff and volunteers who help them to answer questions, to apply for asylum, or if they just want to grab something to eat and perhaps find a place to sleep before they continue their journey onwards.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Slovakia Will Take Legal Action Against the EU

But Prague will not follow. Orban, we will comply with decisions

(ANSA) — BRATISLAVA — Slovakia has officially announced that Bratislava is about to take legal action against the decision on EU migrant distribution made yesterday by a majority in the European parliament, according to Slovak premier Robert Fico.

In the meantime, the Czech Republic annuounced that the government has no intention of following in Bratislava’s footsteps. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said that “we don’t want to stir up political tensions. It is not worth pushing it too far”. Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, said that Budapest will not support the idea — which has already been announced — of asking today’s summit of the EU’s 28 countries to “review” the decision on the distribution quotas of migrants who should be relocated.

According to EU diplomatic sources, Hungary will comply with the decisions made by Europe’s justice and home affairs council and will take care of the refugees assigned to the country. “We did not agree. We do not think that is the solution, but now we want to close this chapter and then move on”, sources say.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

U.S. Immigrant Population Hits Record 42.4 Million in 2014

Last week, the Census Bureau released some data from the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS). It shows that the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) grew by 2.4 million people since 2010 and is up one million from 2013 to 2014. Last month, the Center for Immigration Studies reported on monthly Census Bureau data from the Current Population Survey, which also showed a substantial increase in immigrants.1 The CPS is released on a timelier basis, but is a smaller survey that does not cover the immigrant population as completely as the ACS. The new data from the ACS allows for more detailed analysis by country of origin and state of residence. Both data sources show that growth in the immigrant population has rebounded after increasing more slowly from 2010 to 2013 following the Great Recession.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

“The Shack, “ With Film Pending, Called “Greatest Deception” To Church “In the Last 200 Years”

(Christian Examiner, By Michael Foust) — An evangelical seminary professor is calling The Shack the “greatest deception foisted on the church in the last 200 years” and urging Christian leaders to speak out against it ahead of its release as a movie.

James B. DeYoung, professor of New Testament language and literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Ore., says controversy over the 2007 bestselling book by William Paul Young will resurface when the film — which began shooting in June — is released.

The Shack, a New York Times Best Seller has sold 25 million book copies and was printed in 41 languages.

A film release date has not been set.

Though the author, like others uses fiction “as a servant” of theology, the allegorical book has an unbiblical view of God, DeYoung said, and clearly affirms universalism — that is, that all people will be saved…

“I have known the author of The Shack, Young, for more than a dozen years. In 2004, Young wrote a lengthy document in which he rejected his evangelical faith and embraced universalism,” DeYoung wrote. “… He said then: that evangelical faith and its teaching about judgment makes God ‘grossly unjust’; that ‘Jesus is a million times more vicious and vindictive than Pharaoh, Nero or Hitler put together’; that Jesus Christ is ‘not the Savior from sins’; that Jesus died ‘a failure and in vain and never saved anyone’; thus Jesus ‘is not even a good man but a liar, a rogue and a deceiving rascal’; that ‘Calvary is a farce, a travesty and a sham.’“

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dalai Lama Says Any Female Successor Would Have to be ‘Attractive’

The Dalai Lama said in a BBC interview Tuesday that if a woman succeeds him, “that female must be attractive, otherwise it is not much use.” He did not elaborate.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, 80, a self-declared feminist, made the remarks while on a nine-day visit to London, where he is promoting the concepts of compassionate and considerate behavior, The Telegraph reports.

The Dalai Lama made the comment, which he says was not a joke, in response to BBC journalist Clive Myrie’s question about whether it was possible a woman could take over for him.

He confirmed it was, mentioning a statement he made in a 2013 interview that a female Dalai Lama would have “biologically more potential to show affection and compassion.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Label, Govern, Bully and Tax the People Into Submission

America is under blatant attack by minority forces applying the well-worn theory of conquest and submission, only this time it is a subtle culture shift brought about incrementally.

Anyone who believes they can create a positive culture shift through these tactics must study how the Left is incorporating gambits used by oppressive regimes for centuries.

This is the true LGBT acronym:

Label—those who do not agree with the morality shift are tagged with denigrating terms that quantify bigotry. Govern—allow a fractional minority (environmental lobby, illegal immigrant, homosexual, ethnic group, etc.) to influence the institution and enforcement of statutes that limit free expression of speech, religion and entrepreneurship. Bully—use the thousands of newly scripted, restrictive ordinances and regulations to pressure the majority to conform to a moral standard that sullies their individual beliefs, and rights to live by those beliefs. Tax—create and apply fines, fees and licenses (revenue) against individuals refusing to accept or indulge the new moral standard.

These are tactics that have long been used by invading forces to subjugate populations. Islam is probably the best example of application of these tools, witnessed by ISIS as it learned these ruling principles from history. As Islam swept across Arabia, Africa and Spain in the seventh century, the invaders (defined here as an aggressive group that is smaller in size than the native populace)

first labeled the indigenous people, who did not accept or agree with Islam, as infidels; Caliphates were established that instituted and enforced, by violence if necessary, unbending laws—sharia; Individuals were compelled to renounce their faith and convert to Islam—profess shahada ; The only allowances made for those who would not convert was expulsion, execution or accede to second-class citizenship and pay a tax for the privilege—jizya .

All invading armies used the same basic rulebook.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]