Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/25/2015

According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Iowa Democrats are in favor of accepting more Syrian immigrants by 81% to 13%. The opinions of Iowa voters are considered crucial in shaping the early stages of a presidential election campaign.

In other news, during a visit to Kenya Pope Frances asserted that terrorism arises out of poverty, and called for greater social justice and environmental protection to help prevent it.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Diana West, Insubria, JD, 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
» The Current Global System is Doomed … Collapse Now Inevitable
» US Consumers Hunker Down: Personal Spending Misses; Savings Rate Soars to Highest Since 2012
» Amazon is the New Ministry of Truth: An Interview With Jim Fetzer, Editor of the Sandy Hook Book Banned by Amazon.Com
» Campus Purges Accelerate as Student Leaders Who Refuse to Stand With ‘Black Lives Matter’ Now Face Impeachment
» Chicago Erupts! Laquan McDonald Protesters Attack Police, Toss Bottles, Steal Police Bikes
» Crazed Man Decapitates His Mother With a Sword, After Stopping Psych Drug Use Then Starting on Them Again
» History Proves Why FDA’s Approval of GMO Salmon is an Environmental Disaster in the Making
» Oops! Carson’s Not Actually Wrong About Jefferson: David Mastio
» Science in 1941: ‘Global Warming Caused Hitler’
» These 3 Judges Hold the Fate of the Internet in Their Hands
» University of Vermont Tells White Students to Attend Three-Day ‘Privilege Retreat’ So They Can Confront Their White Privilege
» Video: Is it Moral for the Government to Force Others to Give to the Cause of Your Choice?
» White House Now Preparing for Apocalyptic EMP Blast That Could End Human Civilization
» Deciphering Ontario’s Job-Killing Carbon Tax
Europe and the EU
» Church Shouldn’t ‘Adore Holy Kickbacks’ Says Pope
» Collapsing Christianity, National Identity, Values, Dignity — In Name of What? To Fight Islam
» EU: Overcrowded Households and Majority of Owners in Romania
» Italy: Bassolino Quotes Renzi on Not Changing Rules
» Italy: Rome Commissioner Bans ‘Centurions’ From Posing for a Fee
» Italy: Intentionally Leaving Bags in Public a Crime Says Prefect
» Italy: Custom in Rome Restaurants Fell by 25% After Paris
» Italy: Culture ‘Best Possible’ Response to Terror — Franceschini
» Italy: Pig’s Head Outside Muslim Place of Worship Near Naples
» Journalists Slam Vatican in-House Trial Over Corruption Leaks
» Pope Names Mammì New IOR DG
» Vatican Court Declines to Dismiss Fittipaldi Case
» China Confirms Construction of Belgrade-Budapest Rail Line
North Africa
» ISIS Claims Responsibility for Tunisia Bus Attack
Middle East
» Clinton Plan to Fight ISIL ‘All Rhetoric, No Strategy’ — Ex-US Ambassador
» Downed Jet: Lavrov: We Will Not Wage War Against Turkey
» Mafia Don Erdogan Retaliates for Russian Strike on Family Crime
» Russia Tourists Forgo Egypt and Turkey After Plane Incidents
» Syria is Getting the Best Air Defense Missile System Ever
» Turkey: The Country ISIS Uses as a Home Base and Where it Has Sold 800 Millions Dollars of Oil
Sub-Saharan Africa
» In Kenya, Francis Says Terrorism ‘Born of Poverty’
Latin America
» WTO Rules Against US Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labels Because They’re Unfair to Mexican Fisheries
» Belligerent News Reporter Advocates That Terrorists Target ‘Ignorant, Flag Waving’ Americans
» Importing Terrorism and Other American Values
» Iowa Democrats Overwhelmingly Support Accepting Syrian Refugees in US
» Italy to Give 281 Mn for Turkey Refugees
» Italy, Austria, Belgium Request EU Budget Flexibility
» Pressure Builds on Merkel’s Refugee Policy as Commissioner Calls for Limits
» Swedish Village Where Locals and Refugees Throw Stones and Set Fire to Cars
» Syrian Refugee Goes Missing in Louisiana After Resettlement Group Admits ‘We Don’t Track’ Any of Them
» White House Encouraging Further Terrorist Invasion of America With Emotionally Charged Hashtag Push: #refugeeswelcome
Culture Wars
» Chinese Lesbian Takes Government to Court Over Textbooks
» Feminist Teacher’s Lesson Plan: Discriminate Against Boys
» From the Vault: Scrubbing Away the West at Yale

The Current Global System is Doomed … Collapse Now Inevitable

As noted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMindsBlog, recent efforts to fix the ill-designed global financial infrastructure and change course, have been akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic: they might look great on the surface, but in the end the same thing is going to happen.

Specifically, he writes:

“We’re like the passengers on the Titanic 10 minutes after the mighty ship struck the iceberg: there is virtually no evidence to those on deck or those snug in their warm cabins that everything they reckoned was safe and secure was doomed to perish.

“Only those who witnessed the damage below the waterline and who knew the limitations of the ship’s design grasped that the loss of the ship was inevitable and could not be reversed.

“The current world-system (call it whatever you like — cartel-crony neoliberal-state capitalism, etc.) is as doomed as the Titanic, for the same reasons: the design of the system is the source of its failure.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Consumers Hunker Down: Personal Spending Misses; Savings Rate Soars to Highest Since 2012

If the US consumer is expected to carry the US economy, then something is certainly off with the US consumer… and the economy.

Moments ago the BEA reported that in October Personal Income and Spending rose at a 0.4% and 0.1% rate respectively, with the first rising as expected, but the latter missing expectations of a 0.3% increase. This was the first 2 month miss in personal spending since July 2012.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Amazon is the New Ministry of Truth: An Interview With Jim Fetzer, Editor of the Sandy Hook Book Banned by Amazon.Com

(NaturalNews) After banned his book “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook,” Jim Fetzer became famous virtually overnight for being selectively silenced by due to the political conclusions of his book. has now decided it is your Orwellian Big Brother, and it alone will now decide what you’re not allowed to read. Any book that questions the official narratives of the corrupt Obama administration may now be subject to “online book burning,” reminiscent of the actions of the Third Reich in World War II. (Ironically, is happy to continue selling “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler, which calls for genocide against Jews…)

Although Sandy Hook isn’t my area of focus these days — I spend more time investigating toxic heavy metals in dietary supplements — I was so intrigued by Amazon’s censorship that I contacted Jim Fetzer to conduct an interview.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Campus Purges Accelerate as Student Leaders Who Refuse to Stand With ‘Black Lives Matter’ Now Face Impeachment

(NaturalNews) The “Black Lives Matter” movement is getting more radical by the day, with its activists imposing their will on university system after university system, college campus after college campus, in a widening effort to force administrators to adopt policy carve-outs and special treatment for minorities.

As reported by Campus Reform, the extremism has now grown into outsized demands that anyone in school leadership or in front offices who doesn’t concur with the Black Lives Matter agenda must be forced out and replaced with a mind-numbed, subservient drone.

The news site reported:…

[Comment: Student unions have become useless hotbeds of leftist/communsitic agitators. Forced extraction of a percentage of students fees to pay for such organizations is disgusting. Mandatory funneling of money to student unions from students university fees should stop and be made voluntary. If you ask most students they will tell you that in their daily student life the student union is totally useless.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Chicago Erupts! Laquan McDonald Protesters Attack Police, Toss Bottles, Steal Police Bikes

The incident occurred in October 2014 but the footage was only released yesterday as a result of a court order.

The clip, labeled “graphic, violent, and chilling” by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, shows McDonald, who was armed with a knife, jogging towards police officers, but he then appears to walk away as Officer Jason Van Dyke opens fire.

The footage appears to contradict claims by Van Dyke that he fired the shots because McDonald lunged at him with the knife or that he was afraid for his life. The speed and ruthlessness with which McDonald was gunned down appears to be completely indefensible.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Crazed Man Decapitates His Mother With a Sword, After Stopping Psych Drug Use Then Starting on Them Again

(NaturalNews) A 40-year-old Wisconsin man stabbed and decapitated his mother with a four-foot sword after he reportedly stopped taking his prescribed medication following the discovery of the drug’s side effects online. Accused killer Matthew Skalitzky began taking them again just a few days before the vicious attack, according to his father, Joseph Skalitzky.

While horrific, the association of violence and prescription drugs is not uncommon. At, you can view an extensive database of cases where people on psychotropic medication have carried out horrific acts of violence, including school and workplace shootings, family murders and rampages on military bases.

As Skalitzky made his first appearance in court, Assistant District Attorney Corey Stephan said that Matthew Skalitzky’s mental illness “causes him to believe the people around him are clones” and are “less than human.”

After killing his mother, Stephan said, Skalitzky told his roommate that he had “hacked the clone.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

History Proves Why FDA’s Approval of GMO Salmon is an Environmental Disaster in the Making

(NaturalNews) Federal regulators recently made the unprecedented decision to unleash the world’s first genetically-modified (GM) animal life form — a transgenic salmon species that its manufacturer claims grows artificially large, and much more quickly, than natural salmon. And this mutated “Frankenfish,” known commercially as “AquAdvantage,” won’t be labeled on grocery store shelves or in your favorite restaurants, so you won’t even know you’re eating it!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its official blessing to AquAdvantage after more than five years of hesitation due to overwhelming public opposition. The agency maintains that the fake fish is perfectly safe for humans and the environment, a position that reflects the agency’s longstanding rejection of all independent and contrary science presented by scientists and investigative groups who have repeatedly warned that GM animals pose a threat not only to human health, but to environmental integrity.

Critics warn that if transgenic species like AquAdvantage begin to intermingle with native species — which they most surely will at some point in time — the genetic alterations that result will spread unmitigated throughout the ecosystems in which they live. And once this occurs, the effects will be permanent and irreversible, which is why groups like the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and others are now suing the FDA for its malfeasance in refusing to consider both scientific and public opinion on the matter.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Oops! Carson’s Not Actually Wrong About Jefferson: David Mastio

Ha, ha, ha. Boy, that Ben Carson sure made a fool of himself on C-Span the other day. He said Thomas Jefferson “tried to craft our Constitution in a way that it would control people’s natural tendencies.”

Critics pounced. Jefferson didn’t craft our Constitution, they said. He was on the other side of the Atlantic acting as the U.S. minister in France at the time of the Constitutional Convention. As Politico put it: Jefferson crafted the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

What a dope that Carson guy is. How did he ever get to be a surgeon? I’m laughing so hard, I gotta wipe tears from my eyes.

Except, wait a minute, hmmmm, here’s an interesting historical footnote to the Constitutional Convention. At the time, an early version of email was available. It was the social media of its day, called “letters.” Important people, say, the U.S. minister in France, could give pieces of paper to ship captains who’d take them by boat all the way to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, other important people would read words scratched onto the paper and respond in kind with a “reply.”

In this fashion, early Americans could discuss important matters like constitutions and other government stuff ministers would care about. This was called “correspondence.”

Guess who was writing these letter thingies? Thomas Jefferson.

And do you know who was replying? George Washington and James Madison, among the most important framers of our Constitution.

So here’s the crazy thing: Jefferson, Madison, Washington and others were discussing how the U.S. Constitution should be written.

After the Constitution Convention was over, Jefferson had this other idea called a “Bill of Rights,” which you might have heard is a part of the Constitution. Jefferson sorta played a key role in all that First Amendment, Second Amendment stuff. If you don’t believe me, go ask the American Civil Liberties Union, which is big on rights like free speech and freedom of religion.

Saith the ACLU: “The American Bill of Rights, inspired by Jefferson and drafted by James Madison, was adopted, and in 1791 the Constitution’s first 10 amendments became the law of the land.”

The ACLU even quotes Jefferson’s argument: “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”

To get the basics of Jefferson’s role in the creation of the Bill of Rights, which are, as I mentioned, a pretty important part of the Constitution, all you have to do is read the Spark Notes version. Or you can get it in easy Q&A format from the U.S. Archives.

All that laughing I did at Carson’s expense? I take it back. I guess he sorta did know what he was talking about, after all.

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

Science in 1941: ‘Global Warming Caused Hitler’

Increasing warmer temperatures throughout the world may produce a trend toward dictatorial governments in the opinion of Dr Clarence A Mills, professor of experimental medicine at the University of Cincinnati. In fact, Dr Mills believes that the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy may be due in part to the gradual warming temperature of the world.—The Mason City Globe-Gazette, 27 March 1941

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

These 3 Judges Hold the Fate of the Internet in Their Hands

At stake are the government’s net neutrality rules.

Next week, a federal appeals court in Washington will hear one of its biggest cases of the year, one whose outcome will directly affect how Internet providers can alter your experience online.

At stake are the government’s net neutrality rules banning telecom and cable companies from unfairly discriminating against new or potential rivals. Using their power in the marketplace to control what services consumers can access from their smartphones, tablets and PCs, Internet providers could be granted more latitude to favor preferred Web sites — if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit says so.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

University of Vermont Tells White Students to Attend Three-Day ‘Privilege Retreat’ So They Can Confront Their White Privilege

(NaturalNews) Vermont was not one of the 13 original British colonies that would go on to become the United States following the American Revolution, but it was close: the territory of Vermont was granted statehood on March 4, 1791, just a few years after the war ended. And while not an original U.S. state, it was inhabited mostly by former British subjects who, of course, were Caucasian.

Today, some academics and student “activists” are forcing white students to essentially apologize for being white. As reported by Campus Reform, the University of Vermont recently held a three-day retreat for white kids so they could “confront” their “white privilege,” whatever that is.

Actually, the retreat was aimed at students who “self-identify as white,” because, you know, today you can be any ethnicity or sex you want to be, no matter what genes you were born with. Talk about insanity.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Is it Moral for the Government to Force Others to Give to the Cause of Your Choice?

Charity or taxation? Is there a difference between the two. For anyone who understands freedom, liberty and economics, there is a major difference. Charity is voluntary, while taxation is force. This video asks the questions: is it moral to force others to give to the cause of your choice? And is it moral for the government to force others to give to the cause of your choice?

The video is embedded below:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

White House Now Preparing for Apocalyptic EMP Blast That Could End Human Civilization

(NaturalNews) Space weather scientists are shouting out and warning the world like never before. Earth has never been this susceptible to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could blast from the heavens above and end human civilization as we know it. The apocalyptic news even has the White House prepping. The federal government of the United States recently announced preparations to protect against a possible EMP blast.

The repercussions of the devastating solar flares would be catastrophic, taking out energy grids for months, rendering cell phones, electronic payment, and internet communication useless. The fragile $2.6 trillion economy would dissolve and everything would go dark as the desperate, unprepared masses fall into a panic.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Deciphering Ontario’s Job-Killing Carbon Tax

This article was previously published in the National Post On Nov. 13, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Environment Minister Glen Murray circulated a discussion paper to industry and business groups outlining some of their proposals for a cap-and-trade scheme. Unfortunately, the people who will ultimately bear the cost of the program — the public, which will face higher prices on everything from fuel to manufactured goods — are not part of this “discussion.” In fact, the so-called “discussion paper” is not even available on the Ministry of the Environment website.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Church Shouldn’t ‘Adore Holy Kickbacks’ Says Pope

‘There’s always temptation of corruption’

(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 20 — The Catholic Church should not adore the “holy kickback” but take strength and joy from the word of Jesus, Pope Francis said at a Vatican Mass Friday. “There is always in the Church the temptation of corruption,” he said. This happens when, “instead of being attached to faith in the Lord Jesus,” people are “attached to money and power”. Francis, who has repeatedly warned against worldly temptations, is trying to reform the Vatican Bank and rein in spending by prelates.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Collapsing Christianity, National Identity, Values, Dignity — In Name of What? To Fight Islam

“France is at war,” President Francois Hollande said after the Paris ISIS attack (as if Islamic terrorism hadn’t struck before: — 9/11; Madrid in 2004; London in 2005; Boston in 2003; the Boston Marathon bombing’; countless acts of terrorism in Israel, Russia, Kenya, Nigeria, and finally “Charlie Hebdo”). Hollande is awakening from a dream, like the West is awakening in general. Similar to carefree and capricious Olympic Gods, the West has found itself in the epicenter of the storm and now repeats the same question feverishly and desperately: “How one can fight with ISIS?”. But the question is much more complicated and deeper: “For the sake of what one should fight?”. Such is the existential question of the Western civilization (with the exception, perhaps, of the Eastern Europe and Israel). People fight for certain ideals: the Motherland, national dignity, religion (as Muslims do today), ideology — in our case, Liberal values and Democracy.

The Motherland and national dignity are no longer values for the young generation of the West. They are completely cosmopolitan; patriotism for them is synonymous with nationalism, xenophobia and prejudice. They know practically nothing and don’t even want to know anything about their country, history and roots. Cromwell and Nelson, William of Orange and Charlemagne, Sherman and Bismarck, Louis the Great and Prince Eugene of Savoy, Lorenzo de’ Medici and Alfonso the Brave don’t mean anything for them, or worse — represent something dangerous and unpleasant, associated with war and violence, alien to tolerance and pluralism (“Dead White European Males”. isn’t it so?).

Christianity has long been turned into something primitive, alien, an archaic relic of the “dark past”. In European churches you will find only a few old ladies or homeless who shelter there from bad weather. Cathedrals were long ago turned into museums, monuments of a far-away and gloomy epoch, and Christian confessions themselves carefully and diligently try to fit all the fashionable trends: from “human rights” to gay marriages and “Free Gaza! “. What one should fight for, if the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams believes that it is inevitable to recognize Sharia courts in Great Britain, if French bishops, like Monseigneur Ribadeau-Dumas, are ready to turn empty churches over to mosques voluntarily?

Liberal values?

Liberal values in the vision of Locke, John Mill, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin were based, firstly, on the foundation of the national culture, secondly, on traditional humanistic ideals, thirdly, on principles of morality, laid down by the Jewish prophets and Christian thinkers, and finally, on the concepts of Rationalism. In the contemporary post-modern society, all these four pillars are either destroyed totally, or undermined.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU: Overcrowded Households and Majority of Owners in Romania

flats are more common in Spain, Latvia, Lithuania and Greece

(ANSA) — BRUSSELS — In 2014, 1 out of 2 persons were living in overcrowded households in Romania (52.3% of the population), meaning they had a lack of space given the size of the household. According to Eurostat, Hungary (44.6%), Poland (44.2%), Bulgaria (43.3%), Croatia (42.1%), Latvia (39.8%) and Slovakia (38.6%) also registered high shares of the population living in overcrowded households, against an average of 17.1% in the EU.

Regarding tenure status, the highest shares of the population owning their dwelling were also registered in Romania (with 96.1% of owners), followed by Slovakia (90.3%) Lithuania (89.9%), Croatia (89.7%) and Hungary (89.1%), while less than two-thirds of the population owned their dwelling in Germany (52.5%) and Austria (57.2%), followed by Denmark (63.3%), the United Kingdom (64.8%) and France (65.1%). In a majority of Member States, the largest part of the population are living in houses.

Flats in 2014 were the main dwelling type notably in Spain (where 66.5% of the population were living in flats), Latvia (65.1%), Lithuania (58.4%) and Greece (56.9%).

Last year the housing cost overburden was by far the highest in Greece, where 40.7% of the population was living in a household where total housing costs represented more than 40% of total disposable household income. It was followed at a distance by Germany (15.9%), Denmark (15.6%), the Netherlands (15.4%) and Romania (14.9%).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bassolino Quotes Renzi on Not Changing Rules

‘Renzi himself is a child of the primaries’ says ex Naples mayor

(see related)(ANSA) — Naples, November 23 — Ex-Naples mayor Antonio Bassolino said Monday he agrees with Premier Matteo Renzi when he said rules musn’t change. “I agree with Renzi: you don’t change the rules — he said so October 21,” Bassolino said.

The Democratic Party (PD) has said it will introduce a rule banning ex-mayors from running for mayor, as Bassolino wants to do.

Bassolino last Saturday announced he would run in the PD primaries in the spring, and launched his campaign Monday in spite of opposition from his own center-left PD.

“If they wanted to change the rules they should have done so before and not now after the train has already left the station,” Bassolino, a veteran politician, told reporters at his first campaign appearance.

“Renzi himself is a child of the primaries,” Bassolino pointed out. “(Former PD chief Pier Luigi) Bersani, who was the incumbent, was a gentleman because he set rules that allowed Renzi to run and win”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome Commissioner Bans ‘Centurions’ From Posing for a Fee

Men dressed as ancient Roman army commanders ‘bother tourists’

(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — Rome Commissioner Francesco Paolo Tronca cracked down on the costumed centurions to be seen around the city’s ancient monuments on Wednesday with an ordinance banning them from posing for photographs with tourists.

The men in leather sandals, pleated tunics, and armored breastplates who pose with tourists for a fee can make several hundreds of euros a day from the trade. “The ban is imposed in the interests of security — in so far as the people performing such activities often behave in ways that are inappropriate, insistent and sometimes aggressive — and to protect the decency of the city’s artistic, historic and monumental heritage,” the ordinance read. In September, a TV crew from Romania’s Kanal D were attacked and insulted by a group of men dressed as Roman centurions at the Colosseum. The culprits were caught on camera while trying to extort 100 euros from one of the reporters.

When the journalist refused, the fake centurions responded with anti-Romanian racist epithets, insults, and threats.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Intentionally Leaving Bags in Public a Crime Says Prefect

‘Stressing police and public is crime of false alarm’

(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — Rome Prefect Franco Gabrielli said Wednesday that intentionally abandoning a bag or other container that could be construed as concealing a bomb in a crowded public space constitutes the crime of false alarm. Such behaviors are criminal acts “because they stress law enforcement and the general public” at a time of heightened fears of terrorism in the wake of the November 13 Islamic extremists attacks in Paris, Gabrielli said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Custom in Rome Restaurants Fell by 25% After Paris

‘Situation now rapidly returning to normal’

(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — Rome restaurants saw custom fall by an average of 25% and by 50% in central areas the weekend after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, the Rome branch of retailers’ association Confcommercio Rosario Cerra said Wednesday. Box office taking at city cinemas dropped 20% and 6% of hotel reservations were cancelled, he added.

“Now the situation is rapidly returning to normal because people are moving from the gut reaction to the head reaction,” Cerra said.

“However our appeal to Romans is not to relinquish their quality of life,” he added. Confcommercio said it would be putting up Christmas lights where possible to increase the perception of safety.

In addition, it is working on a project to create ‘sentinel shopkeepers’ specially trained to alert law enforcement to situations of concern.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Culture ‘Best Possible’ Response to Terror — Franceschini

1-bn investment ‘immediate proposition’, culture minister says

(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said Wednesday plans to invest a billion euros in security and a further billion in culture starting from next year were the “best response” the government could have made to the November 13 Paris attacks. “It is an immediate proposition, not one for the future, and I believe it is the best response the premier could give,” Franceschini said.

The measures announced by Matteo Renzi on Tuesday as an amendment to the 2016 budget bill currently before parliament mean “investing in the security of today, but also of the future. I consider it an important asset”, he said.

Culture “overcomes barriers, creates common ground between different countries, religions, languages, histories”, he explained. “It is a way of responding to those who wanted us to lower our quality of life by ceasing to go where we enjoy ourselves and follow our passions,” the minister added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Pig’s Head Outside Muslim Place of Worship Near Naples

‘Sure it was a prank’ says imam

(ANSA) — Naples, November 25 — A pig’s head was found outside a warehouse used as a place or worship by Muslims in the town of Giugliano in Campania, near Naples, ANSA sources said Wednesday. The incident appears to be a reaction to this month’s terror attacks by Islamist extremists in Paris, even though many Muslim representatives in Italy condemned the massacre and led protests to say they were not done in their name. ‘F**k Isis’ was written next to the pig’s head.

Local police recently monitored Islamic places of worship in the area and had talks with the people who run them to discuss preventing extremism and protecting the Muslims who use these sites.

The local imam, Noureddine Guediri, condemned the incident but said he was “sure it was a prank”.

Guediri said he had never had problems with intolerance. “I’ve been here for 20 years and I’m Italian, like my wife, and we’ve never had any problems,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Journalists Slam Vatican in-House Trial Over Corruption Leaks

Human rights campaigners and journalists have slammed the Vatican for going ahead with an in-house trial of five people — including two reporters — over a series of damaging leaks of goings-on within the Holy See.

Pope Francis has sanctioned the trial of the five, using a little known judicial system dating back to 1889 which does not allow for freedom of expression and journalist rights which are enshrined in Italian law.

Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi wrote two books that claim to reveal greed and corruption at the Vatican. In particular, they claim the Vatican’s vast real estate holdings are losing millions of euros in lost rental income by renting out their cast estate at below market prices and millions in missing inventory from the Vatican’s tax-free store.

The bombshell books also exposed alleged greed and mismanagement, as well as resistance to the pope’s attempt to reform the Vatican’s financial affairs.

Their sources are believed to be members of the all members of the Vatican committee advising Pope Francis on economic reforms. They have been named as the committee’s secretary, Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, Francesca Chaouqui, a public relations expert and Nicola Maio, a lay employee of the committee who was an assistant to the monsignor.

Freedom of Expression

At the heart of the trial is the question of whether the Vatican has the powers to put on trial journalists and whistleblowers, who would otherwise enjoy freedom of speech protections under Italian law.

Fittipaldi told the London Times newspaper:

“I’m amazed. It’s not a trial against me but against freedom of information. Publishing confidential documents and informing the public about the wrongdoing of the powerful is the essence of our profession. I may be naive but I thought they would investigate the people who committed the illegal acts that I denounced, rather than the person who revealed them.”

The Vatican penal code is enshrined in the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State, which allows for Vatican magistrates to undertake an investigation before handing the case to a sole judge who then serves as a member of a tribunal which hears the case.

A promoter of justice serves as attorney both at the tribunal and at the court of the sole judge.

Many see the in-house judicial system as lacking transparency and depriving Italian citizens of their human rights, which they enjoy under Italian law outside of the Vatican State.

Although the Holy See has four small cells, those convicted under Vatican law normally serve their sentence in an Italian jail. The current case could see the Vatican calling for the extradition of two journalists from Italy, a trial in which their human rights are not addressed and who then could serve their sentence in an Italian jail having been convicted under Vatican law.

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

Pope Names Mammì New IOR DG

Vatican Bank at centre of Vatileaks 2 scandal

(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 24 — Pope Francis on Tuesday named banker Gian Franco Mammì new director general of Vatican Bank Istituto per le Opere di religione (IOR). He will be helped by Giulio Mattietti pending the appointment of a new deputy director. The pope spent about 20 minutes with IOR’s governing council. IOR and the rest of the Vatican’s financial machinery are currently at the centre of a leaks scandal, Vatileaks 2, for which a trial started Tuesday. IOR, which is trying to get onto the international white list against money laundering, has been through a series of scandals.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Vatican Court Declines to Dismiss Fittipaldi Case

Journalist argues can’t defend self if no charges brought

(ANSA) — Vatican City, November 24 — A Vatican court on Tuesday rejected a defence motion to dismiss a case against journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi. The defence argued it can’t make a case for its client because the court hasn’t specified the charges. The Vatican has indicted Fittipaldi and another journalist and author, Gianluigi Nuzzi, in the so-called Vatileaks 2 case along with three others.

Monsignor Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, his former assistant Nicola Maio and PR expert Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui were charged with leaking classified Vatican documents.

Nuzzi and Fittipaldi are on trial for using the leaked material in books documenting alleged waste and mismanagement in the Vatican and lavish spending by clergymen. Fittipaldi told the court he can’t defend himself because the indictment “doesn’t contain the least description of the charges against me — not even an implicit one”. The court failed to say what leaked documents he is supposed to have used in his recently published book, Avarice.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

China Confirms Construction of Belgrade-Budapest Rail Line

Li Keqiang met with Vucic at summit in Suzhou

(ANSA) — BELGRADE — The construction of a new China-funded high-speed railway line between Belgrade and Budapest will begin by the end of the year. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang confirmed the news on the sidelines of the 5th summit between China and 16 eastern and central European countries, which opened today in Suzhou (China).

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic participated in the summit, during which he met — in addition to Premier Li Keqiang — with China’s President Xi Jinping. The new railway line, Li said, will cut the Belgrade-Budapest journey time, and will be completed within two years. Vucic has scheduled the signing of several deals with China in the energy, transport, infrastructure, agriculture and tourism sectors. Last year the Central Europe-China summit, which is held alternately in China and in a European capital, took place in Belgrade.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Tunisia Bus Attack

Attacker identified as ‘Abou Abdallah Tounsi’

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, NOVEMBER 25 — The Islamic State on Wednesday claimed responsibility for an attack on Tuesday on a bus carrying presidential guards.

The group described the attack and the attacker, a man named Abou Abdallah Tounsi.

The message ends with a threat to Tunisian police and soldiers, reported Al Jazeera and many Twitter accounts.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Clinton Plan to Fight ISIL ‘All Rhetoric, No Strategy’ — Ex-US Ambassador

US Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s plan to destroy the Islamic State, announced last Thursday, is a reheat of neo-conservative rhetoric and lacking any strategy whatsoever, former US Ambassador Chas Freeman told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On the same day Clinton offered her proposed strategy to fight the Islamic State, her chief challenger for the nomination, US Senator Bernie Sanders, offered a different plan advocating close cooperation between the United States, Russia and major Muslim nations.

“‘Hillary’s plan’ is all rhetoric and no strategy. As such, it is hard to distinguish it from the bellicose pronouncements of our nation’s neo-conservative pundits,” Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a past president of the Middle East Policy Council, said.

Clinton wanted to repeat over Syria the policies she adopted as secretary of state to topple Libya’s long-time leader Muammar Gadhafi, not realizing that conditions were very different, Freeman argued.

“Ms. Clinton essentially proposes a replay of Libya, an example of the use of force that few, if any other than she, find inspiring. As she did in Libya, she proposes airstrikes and a ‘no-fly zone’ — a purely military approach aimed at regime change with a proven record of producing disasters,” he said.

Clinton’s new plan, Freeman pointed out, does not address the factors that radicalize Middle Easterners, as well as Western, Russian and Chinese Muslims and incite them to acts of terrorism both in the region and beyond it.

“She alleges, without showing how this might be so, that her advocacy of arming moderates in Syria that no one has ever been able to identify would have accomplished something other than the further intensification of one of the world’s most appalling instances of civil strife,” he continued.

Freeman also faulted Clinton for apparently lacking any awareness of the need to involve other regional states in her plan to fight the Islamic State.

“What is particularly striking, given her service as secretary of state, is the total absence in her plan of a diplomatic strategy for engaging Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel and other regional actors as well as… the international community to eliminate the causes and end the metastasis of Islamist terrorism with global reach,” Freeman noted.

Clinton’s plan, he added, would only add to the instability and chaos of the Middle East and make it an even more fertile breeding ground to produce fanatical Islamist extremists.

“There is no reason to believe that doing more of the same, which is essentially what Ms. Clinton is proposing, will do anything other than produce more 9/11s and more Parises,” Freeman said, referring to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 and in Paris on November 13.

There was no novel or creative element whatsoever in any of Clinton’s proposals, Freeman continued.

“The world needs new thinking about how to deal with a problem that has grown to affect all the great powers as well as all of the Islamic world and that is worsening rather than retreating. Ms. Clinton shows no sign she can provide this new thinking,” Freeman concluded.

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

Downed Jet: Lavrov: We Will Not Wage War Against Turkey

It looks like planned provocation, ties seriously reevaluated,FM

(ANSAmed) — MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 25 — “We are not planning to wage a war against Turkey, our attitude toward Turkish people hasn’t changed”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday. Nevertheless, he added, Moscow will “seriously reevaluate” Russian-Turkish relations.

The Kremlin on Tuesday had already ruled out a military reaction.

“We have serious doubts that it (the downing of the Russian jet) was unintentional, it looks like a planned provocation”, Lavrov also told a televised press conference.

The minister also expressed the hope that the downing of the Russian jet will not be used to promote the idea to create a no fly zone in this area.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mafia Don Erdogan Retaliates for Russian Strike on Family Crime

Like a vengeful Mafia don Recep Tayyip Erdogan shot down a Russian plane and nudged the Middle East a step closer to all-out war.

A few hours after the attack Obama climbed up on his soap box and said Turkey has a right to protect its national sovereignty.

Erdogan’s attack, however, had nothing to do with sovereignty or airspace. It was retaliation for Russia messing with his family business.

The son of Turkey’s president is accused of making a fortune on the sale of oil stolen by the Islamic State.

“Bilal Erdogan owns several maritime companies,” writes F. William Engdahl. “He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdogan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia Tourists Forgo Egypt and Turkey After Plane Incidents

Israel and SE Asia may be new holiday destinations

(ANSAmed) — MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 25 — Closing air traffic with Turkey, after having cancelled flights with Egypt, may cost Russia its most important tourist market and shift its citizens’ holiday visions toward south-east Asia and Israel. Some 3.3 million Russian tourists fly to Turkey every year, with revenue totaling between 1.3 and 1.5 billion euros, and thus the shooting down of a Russian jet on the Syrian-Turkish border by the Turkish military may have both political and economic consequences. The price to pay may be in addition to the suspension of flights to and from Egypt — another large market, with 3.1 million tourists every year — a decision made after the October 31 terrorist attack on a Russian plane that crashed in the Sinai peninsula. Russian tour operators immediately responded to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recommendation to avoid trips to Turkey, suspending the sale of tour packages to the country. In the near future, they may have to refund 40,000 (there are 150,000 to refund for Egypt for the Christmas period alone).

Any prohibition on flights to Turkey — as suggested by Duma vice president Nikolai Levicev — would lead to a loss both for Russian airlines such as Aeroflot (which runs 28 flights every week to Istanbul and seven to Antalya) and for their Turkish counterparts. Turkish Airlines is the largest foreign company operating in Russia and had seen a 16% increase in recent months in passengers using the route. Russian holiday trends will in any case change, with Egypt (30% of the packages have been ‘rerouted’ to Turkey) out of the question and another favorite Mediterranean vacation spot not requiring a visa that may be lost. “All the eastern destinations — such as Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia — will receive our clients,” said the deputy chief of the Russian tour operators association, Dmitry Goriev.

“However, the cost of the flight for these two destinations will be at least two times higher than those for Turkey and Egypt.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria is Getting the Best Air Defense Missile System Ever

The Russian air force in Syria will be protected by the most powerful and advanced air defense system in the world, when it deploys its S-400 missile system to the Hmeymim airbase there.

Syria will have a comprehensive air defense after Russia deploys its S-400 missile systems to the Hmeymim airbase there, security analyst and US Navy veteran Mark Sleboda told Sputnik.

“It is a significant upgrade on the S-300, which was a much earlier system. The S-400 came out at the end of the Soviet period, but there have been significant upgrades in recent years.”

“It is widely regarded by experts as the most powerful and technologically advanced air defense system in the world,” and its deployment in Syria sends a powerful statement, said Sleboda.

“This is a very powerful defensive statement from Russia … very soon there will be a quite effective Russian no-fly zone over almost the entirety of Syrian territory, certainly covering all west of Syria, and very far towards the eastern border.”

The deployment of S-400 is in addition to the Pantsir-S1 air defense missile-gun system the Russian air force already had at its disposal at the Hmeymim airbase, while the Moskva guided missile cruiser was already in the area.

“There wasn’t really a need for them (the more powerful S-400 system),” said Sleboda.

“ISIL, of course, doesn’t have an air force. They were simply a standard military precaution for an air mission. But now with the threat of NATO planes taking down Russian jets out of the air, that suddenly becomes a very real necessity.”

On Wednesday the Russian defense ministry announced that the S-400 defense missile system will be deployed to its air base in Syria.

It can destroy tactical ballistic missiles at a range of up to 60 km, and air targets including cruise missiles and aircraft flying at a speed of up to 4800 meters a second, and a distance of up to 250 km. The S-400 is also capable of tracking and launching against most stealth technology.

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

Turkey: The Country ISIS Uses as a Home Base and Where it Has Sold 800 Millions Dollars of Oil

If we truly do want to get rid of ISIS, why aren’t we doing anything about the Islamic governments that are funding them, aiding them and facilitating the sale of their oil? As you will see below, ISIS fighters hop back and forth over the Turkish border with impunity, there are “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members”, and more than $800,000,000 worth of ISIS oil has been sold in Turkey. If these things are true, action must be taken. According to a recent Rasmussen Reports survey, 92 percent of Americans consider Islamic terrorism to be a serious threat to the United States, and a Washington Post-ABC News survey found that 83 percent of registered voters believe that a terror attack that causes a large amount of casualties inside the United States is likely in the near future. The American people clearly want ISIS to be dealt with, so why isn’t the Obama administration doing anything to go after the state sponsors of such terror?

At this point, most Americans have absolutely no idea what is taking place in Iraq and Syria, and the mainstream media is certainly not being straight with us. That is why I want to share with you some key excerpts from an amazing article that was written by award-winning journalist and best-selling author Dr. Nafeez Ahmed. According to his bio, he has “written for the Independent on Sunday, The Independent, The Scotsman, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Huffington Post, New Statesman, Prospect Magazine, Le Monde Diplomatique, among many others.” His recent article entitled “NATO is harbouring the Islamic State” is a must read. In particular, what he has to say about the relationship between the Turkish government and ISIS is extremely eye opening…

A senior Western official familiar with a large cache of intelligence obtained this summer from a major raid on an ISIS safehouse told the Guardian that “direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now ‘undeniable.’“


In addition, in his article Ahmed also documented the fact that ISIS has been able to sell more than 800 million dollars worth of oil in Turkey

Could it be possible that Obama never intended to win the war against ISIS?

Could it be possible that Obama simply wanted to try to “contain” them and use them as a tool to help overthrow the Assad regime in Syria?

Could it be possible that he is purposely turning a blind eye to the assistance that the Turks, the Saudis and other Arab governments in the region are giving to ISIS?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, then the entire war against ISIS is a complete and total fraud, and Obama should be immediately impeached.

Things are not as they seem, and the American people are not being told the truth.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

In Kenya, Francis Says Terrorism ‘Born of Poverty’

Pope calls for social justice, environmental protection

(ANSA) — Nairobi, November 25 — Pope Francis made an impassioned plea for social justice and environmental protection as the means to combat the poverty that is a breeding ground for extremism at the start of his first Africa tour in Nairobi on Wednesday.

“Violence, conflict and terrorism…are fuelled by fear and desperation…born of poverty and frustration,” he said in a speech at State House, the official residence of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Kenyan chief is a Catholic along with 30% of the country’s 45 million people. He said the “struggle against these enemies of peace and prosperity must be carried forward by men and women who fearlessly believe in the great political and spiritual values that inspired the birth” of Kenya.

Lawmakers must promote sustainable development, he added. Deeply rooted African values of protecting nature for future generations “must inspire leaders to promote responsible models of economic development in a world that continues to exploit rather than protect our common home” said Francis, who planted an olive tree prior to his speech. Earlier in the day, Francis was welcomed to Nairobi with traditional dances, colorful costumes, joyful songs, and an official ceremony that included hymns, military honors, and a 21-gun salute. On Thursday, Francis is slated to visit the United Nations offices in Nairobi, where he is expected to call on the international community to act on refugees and climate change. He is also set to visit Nairobi’s Kangemi slum and to attend a youth meeting at the city’s stadium in the Kasarani district. The pope’s November 25-30 Africa mission includes Kenya and Uganda, both victims of Islamist extremist terrorism, and the Central African Republic (CAR), which is being torn apart by factional strife between Muslims and Christians.

The journey is going forward despite heightened fears for security in the wake of the November 13 Islamic terror attacks in Paris. Francis is slated to travel to Uganda on Friday afternoon, and then to the CAR city of Bangui on Sunday morning. The pontiff departs from Bangui for Rome on Monday afternoon.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

WTO Rules Against US Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labels Because They’re Unfair to Mexican Fisheries

The barb in trade agreements’ tail is the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, which lets companies sue governments to repeal rules that interfere with their profitability. It’s let tobacco giants fight anti-smoking campaigns, and now it’s letting fisheries attack rules aimed at preventing the wholesale slaughter of dolphins.

Since the 1990s, non-US fisheries have attacked America’s Marine Mammal Protection Act, which bans the importation of tuna that is caught with dolphin-killing dragnets. Today, thanks to trade court actions under the WTO, the MMPA has been watered down to little more than a requirement to mark tuna with labels indicating how it was caught. Mexico has fought even this minimal requirement since 2008, and now the WTO has handed down a final ruling in Mexico’s favor that cannot be appealed, ruling that America’s labelling rules are a barrier to trade, meaning that the US has to repeal the rules or face billions in sanctions.

This is the second labelling law that’s been struck down by a WTO trade tribunal this year: both the US and Canada are set to end their requirement for country-of-origin labelling on meat, after the WTO threatened both countries with billions in sanctions if they continued the practice.

These provisions are just a preview of the expanded powers that corporations will be able to exert over national governments if the Trans Pacific Partnership is ratified. The agreement was negotiated without any democratic scrutiny — elected lawmakers from the 12 countries were not allowed to see the drafts or attend the negotiations — but with full participation from corporate lobbyists, who were the principal authors of many of the provisions and who were included in the negotiating delegations.

The WTO has ruled in Mexico’s favor on four separate occasions since 2011, most recently last Friday, in a final ruling that cannot be appealed. Though the U.S. changed its label standards several times, most recently in 2013, the WTO said that the law discriminates against tuna caught in Mexico, relative to other countries. Informing consumers of the fishing practices used to catch their tuna, the WTO concluded, represented a “technical barrier to trade.”

Tim Reif, general counsel at the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, told Reuters that the U.S. won’t have to reduce protection for dolphins or change its labeling requirements. But the U.S. must either conform its law to the WTO ruling or face Mexican retaliation against U.S. imports unless officials negotiate with Mexico to find some resolution.

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

Belligerent News Reporter Advocates That Terrorists Target ‘Ignorant, Flag Waving’ Americans

(NaturalNews) Why would a news reporter advocate that terrorists target “ignorant, flag-waving” Americans? Why would he make such a divisive, threatening statement to his fellow countrymen and women?

Bill Grimes, a news reporter for the Effingham Daily News (EDN), did just that, writing out a hard-to-swallow line of vitriol that drew immediate backlash from the people living in and around the Effingham community.

Grimes revealed the true content of his character as he posted his hatred to Facebook. The November 17 post was written while Grimes was on the job, and now the reporter’s integrity is being called into question.

Here’s what Grimes wrote for the public to see: “I am taking a break from Facebook, at least now that I am at work. The appalling level of ignorance and xenophobia is doing nothing but throwing me into a barely controllable rage. Fact is, it’s almost gotten to the point where I almost wish some of these refugees were terrorists AND TARGETED IGNORANT FLAG-WAVING JACKASSES. They shouldn’t be hard to find.” [Emphasis added]

The post has since been taken down. It was written at a time when many Americans were discussing the national security risks of bringing thousands of Syrian refugees into the country. That conversation will rightfully continue. Here’s the screenshot of Grimes original post.

[Comment: More proof many manistream reporters are communists who hate America.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Importing Terrorism and Other American Values

by Ann Coulter

Americans keep being hectored to take “refugees” from terrorist-producing countries because to do otherwise would be “a betrayal of our values,” as President Obama said on Monday.

The rise of Donald Trump reminds us of the popularity of another, long-forgotten American value: protecting Americans…

As we found out from Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI, in congressional testimony last month, there are no Syrian computer databases for our investigators to use in their famed “vetting” of refugees.

“You’re talking about a country that is a failed state, that does not have any infrastructure,” he said. “So all of the data sets — the police, the intel services — that normally you would go to seek information don’t exist.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Iowa Democrats Overwhelmingly Support Accepting Syrian Refugees in US

Most Democrats from the swing state of Iowa support resettling Syrian refugees to the United States, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The swing state Democrats are ready to welcome Syrian refugees.

“Iowa Democrats support 81-13 percent accepting Syrian refugees into the United States and support 80-14 percent accepting these refugees into Iowa,” Quinnipiac University stated.

As a contrast to the Quinnipiac University poll that covered opinions in Iowa, another poll by the Economist Group/YouGov covering the entire United States found that six in ten respondents say the US government should not allow Syrian asylum seekers to enter the country.

In September, President Barack Obama announced his plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States in 2016.

However, after the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, US lawmakers and state governors have warned they would not allow the resettlement of any Syrian refugees.

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

Italy to Give 281 Mn for Turkey Refugees

Fourth contributor after Germany, UK and France

(ANSA) — Brussels, November 25 — Italy will have to contribute more than 281 million euros to the 2.5 billion in aid the EU has pledged to refugees in Turkey via member countries’ allocations, the European Commission said Wednesday. Italy is the fourth contributor with an 11.25% quota, after Germany, the UK and France. Turkey has had to deal with a flow of refugees from neighbouring war-torn Syria.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy, Austria, Belgium Request EU Budget Flexibility

In Draft Budgetary Plans for 2016 due to migrant crisis

(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — Italy, Austria and Belgium have requested to use the flexibility clause in the EU budget rules in their Draft Budgetary Plans for 2016, due to “unusual events outside government control” — namely, the migrant crisis — Italy’s economy ministry said on Wednesday.

In the document that Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan delivered to the Schengen committee during a hearing on migrant management, the economy ministry said “Germany, Finland and recently also Slovenia provided some information, without however requesting use of the clause”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pressure Builds on Merkel’s Refugee Policy as Commissioner Calls for Limits

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing increasing internal pressure over the country’s open door approach to the refugee crisis, with German EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger saying Berlin should change its asylum law, which is acting like a “magnet for refugees.”

In an interview with Handelsblatt, Oettinger said that the influx of refugees into Germany would not stop unless changes were made to the country’s liberal asylum laws, with calls to place a limit on the number of people who have the right to stay in Germany.

“Changing the constitution would be necessary in order to establish new rules on asylum,” he said. “As long as this isn’t done, there is only one other alternative — aid to the tune of millions to Turkey and other states.”

Oettinger, who is a member of Merkel’s CDU party, said Europe needed more resources to better protect its borders.

“We need a capable border control authority in Europe. We need 5,000 border officers instead of 500.”

Germany Needs a ‘Breather’

Oettinger’s comments comes amid significant criticism of Merkel’s handling of the refugee crisis, with many arguing that the country simply cannot cope with the amount of refugees it is receiving.

German family minister Manuela Schwesig said Germany could not continue to accept refugees at the same rate as it has been over the past few months, saying the country needed a “breather.”

This followed a very public dressing down by Horst Seehofer from Merkel’s junior coalition party, the CSU, who called for an upper limit to the numbers of refugees Germany can receive.

While the government officially expects to receive up to one million refugees this year, others suggest the figure could be as high as 1.5 million.

Merkel: ‘We Can Do It’

Despite the criticism, Merkel stuck to her guns in an address to the Bundestag on Wednesday, echoing her slogan in regards to the refugee crisis: “We can do it.”

Merkel called for EU-wide solidarity on the issue of refugees, and reiterated her preference for refugee ‘hotspots’ to be built in the bloc’s peripheral countries, like Greece, where most people lodge asylum claims on their arrival.

The hotspots would be designed to act as more efficient processing centers to allow for quicker resettlement of refugees throughout EU member states.

However, in a call aimed at other EU leaders, Merkel said that countries like Greece would be unwilling to invest in processing centers, unless it was sure that fellow members were willing to be involved in refugee resettlement.

“Only when the inner-European solidarity has been secured would [a country like Greece] pursue building these hotspots,” Merkel said.

While not mentioning the introduction of upper refugee limits in her Bundestag speech, Merkel did hint at Germany’s efforts to reduce the numbers of people entering the country.

“We expect that those who are denied asylum after the normal civil procedures leave the country, so those who need our protection get it,” Merkel said.

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

Swedish Village Where Locals and Refugees Throw Stones and Set Fire to Cars

Tensions between locals in Tärnsjö, 150km north of Stockholm, Sweden, and the 20 families living in the refugee centre have reached ‘fierce’ levels — and events in this small town are not exceptional.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syrian Refugee Goes Missing in Louisiana After Resettlement Group Admits ‘We Don’t Track’ Any of Them

On the White House website, the administration attempts to assure us that it is on the case when it comes to vetting potential refugees, and that there is nothing for Americans to worry about.

“Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States, including the involvement of the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense,” the website notes in a section called “Screening.”

“All refugees, including Syrians, are admitted only after successful completion of this stringent security screening regime, which includes all available biographic and biometric information vetted against a broad array of law enforcement and intelligence community databases to confirm identity and ensure safety,” it added.

But the reality is very different, and that should not surprise Americans who are well aware of this president’s history of disinformation and untruths.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

White House Encouraging Further Terrorist Invasion of America With Emotionally Charged Hashtag Push: #refugeeswelcome

(NaturalNews) If the Obama administration is adept at one thing, it’s trivializing some of the most complex problems and issues.

The White House has once again turned to social media to push a favored issue, despite the fact that most of the American public and at least half the members of Congress are opposed to it.

Meet the latest Obama Twitter hashtag campaign: #RefugeesWelcome — even though, for many Americans, they’re really not welcome. At least certain refugees, from certain parts of the world.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Chinese Lesbian Takes Government to Court Over Textbooks

A Chinese lesbian on Tuesday took the government to court over textbooks describing homosexuality as a “psychological disorder”, a landmark case in a country where discrimination remains common.

Qiu Bai, 21, a student at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, brought the action against the ministry of education, demanding that it give her details of how it approved materials and how they could be changed.

China only officially decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, removing it from its list of mental illnesses four years later.

Qiu’s team showed AFP a manual, “Student Psychological Health”, published in 2015 by the prestigious Renmin University and distributed to students nationwide…

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

Feminist Teacher’s Lesson Plan: Discriminate Against Boys

War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. And inequality is equality—at least in the mind of Karen Keller, the Bainbridge Island Review and their enablers. Reported recently was that Keller, a kindergarten “teacher” at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary in Bainbridge Island, WA, was refusing to let the boys in her class play with Legos during free play time. As the Bainbridge Island Review (BIR) wrote:

In Karen Keller’s kindergarten classroom, boys can’t play with Legos.

They can have their pick of Tinkertoys and marble tracks, but the colorful bricks are “girls only.”

“I always tell the boys, ‘You’re going to have a turn’—and I’m like, ‘Yeah, when hell freezes over’ in my head,” she said. “I tell them, ‘You’ll have a turn’ because I don’t want them to feel bad.”

If you’re acquainted with the mental illness masquerading as teaching philosophy today, you can imagine this woman’s problem. As the BIR explained, “Keller…watched with discouragement as self-segregation defined her classroom—her boy students flocked to the building blocks while her girl students played with dolls and crayons and staples, toys that offered them little challenge or opportunity to fail and develop perseverance.” And, of course, innate sex differences evident since time immemorial cannot be allowed, so Keller’s leftist sense of equality compelled her to action. She discriminated so the girls could use the blocks “unencumbered.”

Now, this story quickly went viral, and Keller and the school have since backtracked. It was all a misunderstanding, you see

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

From the Vault: Scrubbing Away the West at Yale

by Diana West

Eight years ago — two generations of college students ago — I visted Yale to speak about my just-published first book, The Death of the Grown-Up.

What happened back then offers a little context for what is happening today.

From October 19, 2007: “Making the West Disappear.”

Earlier this week, I took a trip down memory lane to Yale, where I happily attended college almost 25 years ago in the second decade of its co-ed existence. Which meant that I was plenty old enough to be the mother of the undergraduates I was addressing in the traditionally genteel setting of a “master’s tea.” The tea, attended by about two dozen, was in beauteous Branford, one of Yale’s 12 residential colleges, all carved stone and grassy courtyard.

All power-washed carved stone and weedless grassy courtyard, that is. At least it felt that way. After a renovating overhaul, Yale’s patina of age, of passing time, of history itself no longer quite imbues this rigorously spruced-up campus the way it once did, lessening the more tangible links to Yale’s storied past.

Maybe it was the disappearance of some of the eclectic book collections from reading-room shelves that was jarring. Or maybe it was the plentiful new crop of plaques prominently advertising — I mean, attesting to — alumni generosity that gave the old place a practically nouveau feel. Or maybe it was the absence of rep-tie-and-blue-blazered old dears flapping about campus. Clearly, that once-mighty Ivy ascendancy isn’t just down, it’s out like the cuckoo. Time flies when the culture is changing.

Still, none of this completely accounts for the interplanetary gulf between myself and some of the students when it came to what, for cuckoo-me, is a bedrock notion: namely, that Western culture — for its enshrinement of liberty, freedom of conscience, equality before the law and the like — is a Good Thing.

The point of my talk — based on my new book, The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization — was to explain why perpetual adolescence is not just a cultural drag, but also dangerous to our way of life. I argued that the leveling of adult authority over the past half century or so was accompanied by a leveling of cultural authority. This brought on the age of multiculturalism, a time when Western Civ (like the adult) no longer occupies its old pinnacle atop the hierarchy of cultures. The multiculti conception of equally valuable cultures (except for the West, which is deemed the pits) depends on a strenuous non-judgmentalism. This non-judgmentalism expresses itself in a self-censoring adherence to political correctness. Such non-judgmentalism, such PC self-censorship, is infantilizing because it requires us to suppress our faculties of analysis and judgment.

Case in point: Our society’s refusal to analyze and judge the anti-Western teachings of mainstream Islam for fear of giving offense to the grandees of PC, or to Muslims, or both. This refusal, I maintained, is a brewing civilizational crisis.

Having made ourselves into a self-censoring society, I explained to the students at tea, we now find ourselves confronting an Islamic system that demands such censorship as a point of law. Look what happened to Silvio Berlusconi when, as prime minister of Italy after 9/11, he mounted a heartfelt defense of Western civilization for having enshrined liberty, freedom of conscience, equality before the law and the like — which, he also pointed out, Islam most certainly did not.

The voluble Italian was dumped upon by the world, Western and Islamic. He swiftly recanted to satisfy both the censoring dictates of PC, which outlaws non-Western critiques, and the censoring dictates of Islam, which outlaws criticism of Islam. Berlusconi’s example shows how easily an adolescent, PC society can slip under Islamic law into the hush of dhimmitude.

At this point in the presentation, I expected to hear that Islam wasn’t all bad; that I oversimplified. What emerged instead was that the West wasn’t all good; that I oversimplified. As the Yale Daily News later put it, “Some students said West blamed Americans for censoring themselves in thought but ignored the censorship she employs in her own speech by concentrating only on the positive aspects of Western civilization.”…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

8 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/25/2015

  1. While I agree with Pope Francis that “sustainable development” is key to many economic and social aspects of life, esp. in developing countries, I think an in-depth conversation with his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, would give him a clearer understanding of Islamic terrorism.

    Pope Francis’s background in South America may have led him to think that *all* guerrilla movements, like almost all of those in S.A., arise from economic pain. (This theory finds its expression in “Liberation Theology.”)

    Pope Benedict XVI, on the other hand, has actually *studied* and *observed* Islamic terrorism from Europe for many years.

    These two men have several languages in common. Surely they can converse in at least one of their mutual languages about terrorism as experienced by victims of, oh, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS/Daesh, and whatever other horrors Wahhabiism has thrust upon the world lately.

  2. Obama declares that “Muslims are like pilgrims on the Mayflower”. What does that make us.? This ignoramus is the enemy.

    • Yes, he did — the riots and deaths and fatwas and whatnot made him turn tail and run.

      Francis, however, runs TOWARDS Islam. That’s the big difference.

    • They cannot. The leader, or anyone who condemns islam for what it is, or just picks up qoran and hadiths and reads from them, will be strangled by western traitors, media, academia, and just anyone of western thinking.

      In the west vilifying Christianity and Judaism, and anything decent related to both, is legitimate, and expected by the traitors and academia and media. What is frowned upon is vilifying whose beheaders, and terrorists, whose actions are justified by western traitor.

      Western traitors should have taken serious steps and actions to destroy ISIS long ago. But they did not. Natural situations and their consequences on the ground ( e.g. Paris Massacres) forced Hollande to side and ally himself with Russia, a serious ISIS fighter. The rest, so-called 60 countries are all false. Arabia, Turkey do not like ISIS, their spitting image, with thoughts and actions like those of the Pirate to be destroyed. And USA and Britain obey their masters Arabia and Turkey.

      Why is it so frightening that every decision made by Hussein is against American people. Well because decision in the W.H. are suggested and approved by CAIR and muslim-occupiers of the W.H. Shocking.

      It has been those strict actions and extravagant treatment of non-moslims that earned them 57 countries, with no natives posing a threat.

  3. Terrorism is the equivalent of spiking the ball in a victory celebration in your opponent’s end zone.

    Urban rioting is basically the same.

    The bloodbath in Paris is Muslims partying over the corpse of the contemptible little Gauls, the bloodbath in Baltimore is a victory lap for gangbangers.

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