Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/28/2015

Under a new deal reached by Central American countries, thousands of Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica will be allowed to continue their journey northwards to the United States. Under the terms of the deal, the migrants will be flown to El Salvador, where they will board buses to travel to Mexico, and ultimately to the USA.

In other news, a German man was killed by flying shrapnel after he and two accomplices blew up a condom machine in the town of Schoeppingen.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Dean, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, 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
» Italy: Savers Attack Banca Etruria in Arezzo
» Italy: MPA Opens Higher After Toxic-Loan Sale Announcement
» Author Brad Thor Calls for ‘Constitutional Warrior’ To Run for President and Fix Our Broken System
» Repubs Crazy for “Keeping Sharia Law Out of a City Near You”
» Sacramento Officials Caught Secretly Adding Cancer-Causing Chemicals to the Water Supply
» Spain: Latinos Reject Clinton Campaign, Saying: “You’re Not My Grandma”
» Welcome to the Era of ‘Micro Apartments’
Europe and the EU
» Anonymous Says it Foiled ISIS Terror Attack in Italy
» British Jails Are Becoming a Recruiting Ground for Islamist Extremists
» Germany: Man Dies After Blowing Up Condom Machine
» How EU Chiefs Will Spend Unlimited Amounts on Pro-Brussels Propaganda
» Italy: Spending on Christmas Meals Up 5%
» Seven in 10 Italians Helping the Needy
» UK Home Secretary Rejects Request for Her Browsing History as “Vexatious”
» UK: Three People Killed After Car Ploughed Into Pedestrians in Doncaster
» Croatia’s Parliament Elects New Speaker Ending Deadlock
Middle East
» Norwegian Report Determines Turkey Responsible for Buying ISIS Oil
» Syrian Journalist & Filmmaker Who Exposed ISIS Aleppo Atrocities Assassinated in Turkey
South Asia
» Fear at Christmas in Bangladesh as Two Bishops Receive Death Threats
» Grim Life for Christians in Muslim Pakistan
Far East
» China Passes Antiterrorism Law That Targets State Critics
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Dozens Dead in Suicide Blasts in Northeastern Nigeria
» Canada: What Refugees Cost for a Family of Five: But What About Our Own People?
» Deal Reached to Allow Stranded Cuban Migrants Out of Costa Rica
» Muslim Immigration is What ISIS Wants
» No Christmas Break in Migrant Flow to Italy
» Over Half of Foreigners ‘Came to Italy for Work’
» The Word ‘Refugee’ Has No Meaning Any More
» Why Comparisons of Muslim Refugees to Shoah Survivors Must Stop
Culture Wars
» Happy Kwanzaa! The Holiday Brought to You by the FBI

Italy: Savers Attack Banca Etruria in Arezzo

Screaming ‘thieves, thieves’

(see related)(ANSA) — Arezzo, December 28 — Angry savers screaming “thieves, thieves” tried to force their way into the headquarters of the troubled Banca Etruria on Monday to demand their money back, police said.

About 50 savers had gathered outside the rescued bank’s headquarters and a short time later a group of them began beating their fists on the main glass entry door, forcing their way into the hall.

However they were unable to break through a second door to get into the offices of the bank.

Police surrounded the protesters and blocked off access to the area.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: MPA Opens Higher After Toxic-Loan Sale Announcement

Lender to transfer 1bn in receivables to Deutsche Bank

(ANSA) — Milan, December 28 — Shares in Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank opened higher Monday after the lender announced it is selling one biilion euros’ worth of non-performing loans to Epicuro SpV, owned by Deutsche Bank.

Shares in the bank rose 2.09% to change hands at 1.273 euros after the lender said it is selling off some 18,000 positions worth 1.7 billion, including matured debt and other receivables.

MPS said the operation is part of its plan to transfer 5.5 billion euros in receivables under its 2015-2018 industrial plan, which calls for two billion to be transferred by the end of this year. The receivables are mostly unsecured loans to corporations which became non-performing before 2009, the bank said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Author Brad Thor Calls for ‘Constitutional Warrior’ To Run for President and Fix Our Broken System

(NaturalNews) Best-selling author Brad Thor, unquestionably the king of the modern-day political thriller, has a message for Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee: If former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush becomes the GOP presidential nominee in 2016, the party can write Thor off its list of supporters.

In recent days, and in response to Bush’s Dec. 16 announcement on his Facebook page that he has decided to “actively explore” the possibility of running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Thor tweeted: “Hey @Reince & @GOP — let me be perfectly clear. If Jeb Bush is the nominee, I will never vote Republican again.”

A raft of followers seconded Thor’s sentiment.

“The whole of idea of a Jeb Bush candidacy and potential Presidency is managing the country’s decline, not fixing it, not repairing it,” Thor told Breitbart News in an interview, not long after his tweet raged across the conservative blogosphere.

“At this point America doesn’t want another Bush,” Thor said in his interview. “I don’t want Jeb Bush for President and I will not vote for him.”

Conservatives — including some the conservative punditry — appear stunned by the decision that, after unsuccessfully running “moderate-centrist” Republicans like Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, the GOP establishment hasn’t gotten the message that the base — or the country — is not interested in a Democrat-lite.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Repubs Crazy for “Keeping Sharia Law Out of a City Near You”

Red Light Alert: President Barack Obama’s ally MoveOn, self-described as “one of of the most powerful—and effective—progressive groups in the nation”, wants Americans brought under the boot of Islamic Sharia law.

MoveOn lists “Keeping Sharia law out of a city near you” on a December 27 email to members as one of the reasons why “the whole Republican field just keeps getting crazier”.

MoveOn activists are in panic mode that Donald Trump could really get elected.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sacramento Officials Caught Secretly Adding Cancer-Causing Chemicals to the Water Supply

Between 2013 and 2014, the City of Sacramento began quietly adding a chemical known as aluminum chlorohydrate, or ACH, to the public water supply in a supposed effort to save money on water purification. ACH was introduced as a replacement for ALUM — another chemical that had previously been used to remove larger particulates — because it is said to be cheaper than ALUM.

ACH was never properly safety tested, an in fact was known at the time to cause cancer, miscarriages and birth defects when ingested or inhaled. But city officials decided to add it anyway, which resulted in many local residents developing these and other health problems. Some residents even developed cancer as a result of consuming the contaminated water throughout the course of the year.

It was quickly discovered, however, that ACH isn’t even an effective water treatment method. But rather than remove the chemical altogether, the City of Sacramento took things a step further by adding excess amounts of chlorine in an effort to boost the efficacy of ACH — a move that would later prove to create an even more toxic substance.

“An astonishing failure, the combination of excess chlorine and aluminum chlorohydrate ended up yielding carcinogenic toxins known as ‘DBPs’ — disinfection byproducts,” explains The AntiMedia. “Specifically, these are in the class of chemicals known as THMs, or Trihalomethanes.

If you’re at all familiar with THMs, you may already know that these chemicals are highly toxic and represent a major risk factor for cancer, especially at the levels used in Sacramento water. Even so, city officials continued to use them, harming countless individuals by flooding their bodies and lungs with cancer-causing poisons.

This community was basically looked at as a laboratory guinea pig, in that they were exposed to violation level trihalomethanes for up to one year without any proper notification whatsoever,” stated Bob Bowcock, a local Sacramento resident who grew up working in the water treatment industry, to ABC10.

Local resident Anna Marie Tomlinson, of Rio Linda, is one such individual who now suffers from a debilitating health condition as a result of consuming Sacramento’s intentionally poisoned water.

“I know [the water] gave me cancer,” she lamented to the media, noting that at least three other people on her block also developed cancer during the same year. “I drank it every day.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Spain: Latinos Reject Clinton Campaign, Saying: “You’re Not My Grandma”

Widespread condemnation on social networks of attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters

Being a grandmother was always one of Hillary Clinton’s dreams, maybe even more so than being president of the United States.

She has brought both dreams together more than once. In order to show her more human side, the Democratic candidate to the White House has not hesitated to proclaim her love and concern for her granddaughter Charlotte, who is a little over one year old, during her campaigning.

But many US Hispanics feel that Clinton has gone too far this time. When her daughter Chelsea announced earlier this week that the candidate would be a grandma for the second time, her team attempted to attract the Latino vote by comparing Hillary Clinton to Hispanic “abuelitas.”…

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

Welcome to the Era of ‘Micro Apartments’

As a lowering of living standards, take it a sign of what liberalism brings to Blue cities

In the Brave New America of downsized energy use and consumption, we had better get used to having less, if the left continues to get its way. And in coastal Blue cities — New York, Boston, and San Francisco — that means making way for micro apartments of roughly 360 square feet, smaller than a two-car garage. Jennifer Peltz of the Associated Press reports on the experimental lowering of zoning standards in Gotham to test out an anticipated wave of tiny dwellings.

[Comment: The prices are not ‘micro’. Another scam to use guilt of environment to maniulate public into paying more for less.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Anonymous Says it Foiled ISIS Terror Attack in Italy

Cyberactivists cited in British tabloid

(ANSA) — Rome, December 28 — Hackers from the Anonymous activist group said they have prevented a terror attack in Italy, British media reported early on Monday.

“This month we are working in silence. We have already foiled 1 attack #ISIS against #Italy, we hope to block others,” Anonymous wrote on a Twitter account named #OpParis reported in UK tabloid the Daily Express.

The Internet activists have vowed to destroy the Islamic State (ISIS) fundamentalist militia and hunt down the perpetrators of a November 13 massacre in Paris that claimed 130 lives.

Italian officials have yet to confirm or deny the report.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

British Jails Are Becoming a Recruiting Ground for Islamist Extremists

Mr Hardwick, who will soon to be replaced with Peter Clarke, said: ‘There are undoubtedly a small number of very dangerous men motivated by a religion.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany: Man Dies After Blowing Up Condom Machine

A 29-year-old had died after being brought in by two other men

(ANSA-AP) — BERLIN — Police in Germany say a man has died after he and two others blew up a condom machine and he was hit in the head by a flying piece of metal.

Officers were alerted to the explosion Friday in Schoeppingen, near the Dutch border, and found cash and condom packets lying on the ground apparently untouched.

A local hospital informed police that a 29-year-old had died after being brought in by two other men. They initially said he had fallen down stairs, but police said Monday one of them later admitted the victim’s injuries were related to the explosion.

They say the three men apparently got into a car after triggering the explosion, but the 29-year-old didn’t close his door and was hit by debris when the machine exploded.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

How EU Chiefs Will Spend Unlimited Amounts on Pro-Brussels Propaganda

The European Commission is set to launch a prolonged ‘information’ campaign in the lead up to the referendum in a bid to persuade voters to keep Britain in the EU.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Spending on Christmas Meals Up 5%

Over 1bn on meat and fish, 520mn on drinks

(ANSA) — Rome, December 24 — Italians will spend a little over 2.8 billion euros on Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch this year, up 5% on 2014, consumer association Codacons said Thursday. Over one billion euros will be spent on fish and meat, 520 million euros on wines and other beverages and 480 million euros on traditional Christmas desserts and sweets, Codacons said. The association said Italians are once again concentrating their Christmas spending on food products, toys and technological items.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Seven in 10 Italians Helping the Needy

Six million Italians ‘can’t afford to eat properly’

(ANSA) — Rome, December 24 — Seven in 10 Italians are giving the needy a helping hand over Christmas, a Coldiretti farmers association survey showed Thursday.

According to the poll, 26% of respondents said they are donating money, 23% donated food or are participating in food drives, 15% are volunteering and 12% are giving clothes to those in need.

Over six million Italians are below the poverty line and can’t afford to eat properly, Coldiretti said.

The number of Italians who said they can’t afford to eat meat, fish, or a vegetarian equivalent at least every other day has dropped by 25% over the past three years, the association said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK Home Secretary Rejects Request for Her Browsing History as “Vexatious”

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has introduced the Snoopers Charter, through which your ISP will be required to retain a record of everything you do on the Internet and make it available to government and police without meaningful checks and balances or privacy protection.

Ms May insists that there are no privacy concerns here because they’re only getting “metadata” — like “an itemised phone bill” — and that’s not anything you need to worry about. To test out this hypothesis, The Independent filed a Freedom of Information request for her browsing history for the last week of October, 2015. They generously allowed Ms May to redact anything of a national security nature before responding.

After stalling beyond the legal limit, the Home Office rejected the request, calling it “vexatious.”

“We have decided that your request is vexatious because it places an unreasonable burden on the department, because it has adopted a scattergun approach and seems solely designed for the purpose of ‘fishing’ for information without any idea of what might be revealed.”

Theresa May wants to see your internet history, so we thought it was only fair to ask for hers [Jon Stone/The Independent]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Three People Killed After Car Ploughed Into Pedestrians in Doncaster

Three people have died and a man is fighting for his life in hospital after a car ploughed into a group of pedestrians on Boxing Day.

A 24-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, remains in police custody.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Croatia’s Parliament Elects New Speaker Ending Deadlock

eljko Reiner (conservative Croatian Democratic Union), 88 votes

(ANSA-AP) — ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatia’s parliament has chosen a speaker, ending weeks of a political deadlock after last month’s inconclusive general election.

Lawmakers on Monday elected Zeljko Reiner of the conservative Croatian Democratic Union with 88 votes in favor, one against and 62 abstentions.

The country’s Nov. 8 election was inconclusive, with opposition right-wing and ruling left-wing coalitions winning 59 and 56 seats respectively.

The newly formed Most party, which became kingmaker after winning 19 seats, decided after weeks of negotiations to form a new government with the conservatives, ending a four-year rule of the center-left coalition.

The election of the speaker paves the way for the prime minister designate proposed by the conservatives, the little-known Canada-educated financial expert Tihomir Oreskovic, to form a new government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norwegian Report Determines Turkey Responsible for Buying ISIS Oil

While the Daily Beast busies itself with grasping at straws attempting to somehow blame Bashar al-Assad for funding ISIS by purchasing the oil the terrorist organization has stolen (from Assad), a few media outlets and researchers such as myself have documented how the oil being stolen and sold by ISIS is actually being purchased by NATO, Turkey specifically.

The claims accusing Turkey of playing the largest role in facilitating the ISIS oil industry come with vastly greater evidence than anything the State Department or the Daily Beast has ever been able to invent, even with the power of intellectual contortionism for which they are renowned.

Indeed, suggestions that Turkey purchasing much of the stolen ISIS oil is, not surprisingly, being confirmed more and more each day.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syrian Journalist & Filmmaker Who Exposed ISIS Aleppo Atrocities Assassinated in Turkey

A prominent Syrian journalist and filmmaker, who produced anti-Islamic State documentaries was gunned down by unknown assailants in broad daylight in Gaziantep, Turkey. This is the third assassination of a journalist in the country over the last three months.

Naji Jerf, editor-in-chief of the Hentah monthly, known for his documentaries describing violence and abuses on Islamic State-controlled territories (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) was shot and killed near a building housing Syrian independent media outlets in the Turkish city of Gaziantep. His death was originally reported by a group of citizen journalists he was working with.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fear at Christmas in Bangladesh as Two Bishops Receive Death Threats

Mgr Bejoy D’Cruze, bishop of Shylet, and Mgr Paul Panen Kubi, bishop of Mymenshing, received threatening text messages. Since October, 37 Christian leaders have received threats, including Nirmal Rozario, secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association. “Since Christians are a minority, their life is very vulnerable,” he said.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — Islamic radicals have texted death threats ahead of Christmas to Mgr Bejoy D’Cruze, bishop of Shylet, and Mgr Paul Panen Kubi, bishop of the diocese of Mymenshing.

Six other members of the Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA), including its general secretary Nirmal Rozario, were the victims of similar acts of intimidation.

“These incidents are very unpleasant and go against the spirit of equal rights and freedom of thought,” Mr Rozario told AsiaNews.

Increasingly, the Christian community has been living in fear, the Catholic leader noted. For months, Islamic radicals have been sending death threats to some of its members.

Since October, 37 Christian leaders have been the subject of threats to their lives, the BCA has reported. Extremists are using mobile phones as a means of sending menacing messages and spreading fear.

Mgr Bejoy said that someone by the name of Zaman Mozumder, claiming to be the coordinator of IGMB, sent him a text message, saying, “Fulfil your last dream because your life is in [its] last stage. Very soon you are going to be killed by us”.

The same individual using the same telephone number texted Nirmal Rozario. One message read, “There will be arrangements for you during Christmas.” Another said, “Let us know whether we will arrange your funeral or allow your family to do so”.

“It is really very sad what is happening to me,” he told AsiaNews. “I work to serve others, but I get death threats from Islamic radicals. Since Christians are a minority, their life is very vulnerable.”

Six other BCA members received similar threats: Fr Boniface Subrata Tolentino of Sreemangal, Fr Ujjal Rozario of Dinajpur, Brother Binoy of Dhaka, Catholic newspaper Samabarta executive director Aldrick Biswas, and Rev Edward Jagadish of Uttara, a district in the capital.

In recent months, two Christian clergymen survived separate attacks. Three criminals, later arrested along with two accomplices, attacked Rev Luke Sarkar whilst he was at home, in Pabna District.

In late November, Fr Piero Parolari, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), was seriously injured in an assault.

“Christians are very much afraid,” said Rev Aniruddha Das, general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Bangladesh.

However, “we must remember that we are children of this land and we cannot give in to threats. Most people are with us.”

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

Grim Life for Christians in Muslim Pakistan

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

In light of all this, it is high time for Pakistan to be labeled a “Country of Particular Concern” by the U.S. Department of State. Otherwise, the crucial question persists: Why is it not?

The U.S. State Department lists only nine nations as “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC)—a designation for those nations considered to be the worst violators of religious freedom. These include governments that “engage in or tolerate” systematic, ongoing, and unspeakable violations of religious freedom.

Asia Bibi and two of her five children, before her imprisonment on death row in 2010 for “blasphemy.”

According to many human rights activists, this list is far from complete: “the State Department has seemed unwilling to recognize the grave unspeakable abuses of religious freedom in a number of Muslim-dominated countries that the USCIRF [U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom] considers CPCs: Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria and Tajikistan.”

Accordingly, on October 21, the USCIRF issued a press release calling on “the State Department to further expand its CPC list to reflect the severe violations occurring in other countries, such as Pakistan, which USCIRF has called the worst situation in the world for religious freedom for countries not currently designated by the U.S. government as CPCs.”

To understand why Pakistan was highlighted, consider the following 10 accounts, all of which took place in the month of October—the same month that the U.S. State Department was being urged to include Pakistan and other countries in its list.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

China Passes Antiterrorism Law That Targets State Critics

China’s legislature approved an antiterrorism law on Sunday after months of international controversy, including criticism from human rights groups, business lobbies and President Obama.

Critics had said that the draft version of the law used a recklessly broad definition of terrorism, gave the government new censorship powers and authorized state access to sensitive commercial data.

The government argued that the requirements were needed to prevent terrorist attacks. Opponents countered that the new powers could be abused to monitor peaceful citizens and steal technological secrets.

[Comment: Obama administration has already been targeting opponents using the State apparatus.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dozens Dead in Suicide Blasts in Northeastern Nigeria

Two female suicide bombers struck a market in the northeast Nigerian state of Adamawa on Monday, an army official said, with a local community leader giving a toll of at least 30 killed.

The military chief in Adamawa state, Brigadier-General Victor Ezugwu, confirmed the twin suicide blasts in the town of Madagali but did not give a toll.

Madagali sits close to the border of Boko Haram stronghold Borno state and has been repeatedly attacked by the jihadists in their quest to establish an independent Islamic State in Africa’s most populous nation.

“The two female bombers killed at least 30 people in the twin blasts in the market,” Maina Ularamu, a community leader and former chairman of Madagali local government, told AFP…

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

Canada: What Refugees Cost for a Family of Five: But What About Our Own People?

Do refuges get more than our own people in need? Yes! Some are in hotels and getting $61 per day for food. But someone on welfare in Ontario gets just $10 per day to cover food, clothing and everything except accommodation. And tens of thousands of Aboriginal children live in conditions like what refugees are leaving, in remote settlements under boil-water advisory.

Without even considering the immense relocation costs, for 25,000 refugees here’s a pro forma for the annual ongoing costs for a family with three children of school age moving to Ontario:


Cash spending allowance—18,000 (90% more than Ontario welfare recipients get)

Schooling for children—36,000 (provincial average per student x 3)

Health care—30,000 (provincial average per person x 5)

Total annual cost per family $100,000

That’s a $3 billion cost over the next six years, not the $1.2 billion claimed by the government.

My numbers include nothing for administration, language training, special education and skills training, or any extra costs for health care, policing, justice or incarceration.

The government says refugees are supposed to become self-supporting within a year. But we have already a huge underclass of unemployed and unemployable people on welfare and desperately needing support systems that work. They need education and skills training sufficient for self-reliance. While many in the underclass of Canada’s disposable people are Aboriginals, a number of others burdensome to taxpayers are third-generation welfare recipients.

It’s inconceivable that refugees will be paying more in taxes within a year than they receive in benefits. If working at all, they’ll take jobs from native-born Canadians who need work. Heads we lose, tails those in need don’t win. Either way, the cost to taxpayers goes on forever.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Deal Reached to Allow Stranded Cuban Migrants Out of Costa Rica

GUATEMALA CITY Dec 28 — Central American countries have agreed a pilot scheme to allow thousands of Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica to continue their journey toward the United States, the Costa Rican foreign ministry said on Monday.

The agreement hammered out between officials meeting in Guatemala City will provide flights to an undisclosed number of Cubans to El Salvador, where they will then be ferried toward Mexico by bus, the ministry said in a statement.

Since mid-November, the number of Cuban migrants in limbo just inside Costa Rica’s northern border with Nicaragua has grown steadily. An estimated 8,000 Cubans are now stuck there.

The flow of migrants from the Communist-ruled island has surged as the process of a detente between Washington and Havana, announced last December, stirs fears that current U.S. asylum rights for Cubans may soon end…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]

Muslim Immigration is What ISIS Wants

Trump isn’t a threat to national security. Muslim immigration is: Muslim immigration is the Islamic State’s only hope for victory over America

To understand ISIS, you have to understand the difference between terrorists and Islamic terrorists.

Ordinary terrorists have two goals; to compel the enemy to meet their political demands and to rally their supporters to consolidate their class, race or national identity group behind them.

Islamic terrorists are not interested in the “political demands” part. They will occasionally accept concessions and even offer Hudnas, temporary truces, but no permanent separate peace can be achieved with them. It’s why Israel’s peace process with terrorists has gone on failing for decades. It’s why the attempt by Gaddafi to achieve peace with the LIFG ended in a civil war and his death. It’s why Obama’s attempts to negotiate with the “moderate Taliban” failed miserably.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are not “negative” protest movements formed in response to our foreign policy. That’s a foolish self-centered idea held by foolish self-centered Westerners. Al Qaeda and ISIS are “positive” movements that seek to achieve larger religious goals entirely apart from us. Islamic terrorists are not responding to us. They are responding to the Koran and to over a thousand years of history.

Osama bin Laden did not carry out 9/11 to inflict harm on Americans. That was a secondary goal. His primary goal was to rally Muslims to build a Caliphate by encouraging them to attack America.

The ritualistic “Why do they hate us” browbeating favored by the chattering classes is nonsense. Al Qaeda hated us because we were not Muslims. But it was only using us as the hated “other” to consolidate a collective Muslim identity. We are to Islamists what the Jews were to Hitler; a useful scapegoat whose otherness can be used to manufacture a contrasting pure Aryan or Islamic identity.

No dialogue is possible with an ideology whose virtue is premised on seeing you as utterly evil.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

No Christmas Break in Migrant Flow to Italy

Around 4,000 migrants and refugees were saved from waters between Italy and North Africa over the course of the Christmas weekend, with further rescue operations expected in the final days of an “exceptional” year, officials said Monday.

The Italian coastguard said it had coordinated the rescue of more than 3,000 people over the holiday period while Norwegian ship Siem Pilot deposited 931 rescued people, including 26 minors, at Palermo, Sicily on Monday morning.

ADVERTISINGThree suspected people traffickers, two Gambians and a Somalian, were arrested when the Norwegian boat, part of a European search-and-rescue mission, docked, according to Italian media…

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

Over Half of Foreigners ‘Came to Italy for Work’

Foreign-born workers bore brunt of recession says Istat

(ANSA) — Rome, December 28 — Over half of foreign residents, or 57%, came to Italy in search of jobs, national statistics agency Istat said Monday in a report on integration in the labor market.

The report based on 2014 second-quarter data found the second most common reason for foreigners to move to Italy was family, with 39% of respondents, most of them women, saying this was why they immigrated. As well, Istat said that as of the second quarter of last year there were 2.3 million employed foreign-born residents aged 15-74 in Italy.

Foreign-born residents make up 8.6% of the population aged 15-74, or 5.17 million people, and they suffered more from the economic crisis than natives, Istat said.

The employment rate for foreign-born residents fell by 6.3% between 2008-2014, against a 3.3% fall for the Italian-born working population, the agency said.

Foreign-born worker unemployment rates doubled between 2008 and 2014, Istat said.

The agency also found that 59.5% of foreign-born residents got jobs thanks to an informal network of relatives and friends.

Of those in work, 29.9% said they are employed at levels below their qualifications, education and training.

In related news, a report by ImpresaLavoro think tank based on Istat data showed the economic crisis destroyed 656,911 jobs between 2008 and 2014.

The job losses were especially high in the South and on the two island regions of Sardinia and Sicily where 486,000 jobs were lost, the report said.

In the North, 249,000 people lost their jobs while the central regions bucked the trend, with 78,000 new jobs created in the crisis year.

Of Italy’s 20 regions, just Lazio and Trentino Alto Adige have returned to pre-economic crisis employment levels, topping them by 20,000 new jobs.

The southern Calabria region lost the most jobs on a percentage basis (-14.83%), followed by Molise (-10.52%) and Sicily (-10.22%). The ImpresaLavoro report also confirmed that the country as a whole has added 154,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2015.

“The ongoing economic recovery is weak and may not translate into a sensible recovery of jobs lost from 2008 to the present,” said ImpresaLavoro chief Massimo Blasoni.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Word ‘Refugee’ Has No Meaning Any More

In the olden days, “refugee” or more specifically, “Convention refugee” had a specific legal meaning. That was before Western governments became enamoured with the migrants that were swarming into Europe from the Middle East.

Under the 1951 Geneva Convention, Convention refugee was defined as “someone who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”

This doctrine of international law was incorporated into the domestic law of several countries including Canada and the United States.

Under the definition, a genuine refugee must have a well-founded fear of persecution for one of the enumerated reasons. The fact there is a civil war in a person’s country of nationality does not make that person a refugee. That has now gone by the wayside.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Why Comparisons of Muslim Refugees to Shoah Survivors Must Stop

Dr. Michael Welner has spoken out against the complicit calumny of American Rabbis and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, one the voluntary agencies that stands to gain from the influx of Syrian Refugees, who compare the their plight with those Jews who survived the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust or Shoah. His Algemeiner article, We Cannot Allow Comparisons of Mideast Refugees to Holocaust Survivors is a veritable Jeremiad from this renowned Forensic Psychiatrist, Founder of the Manhattan — based The Forensic Panel, expert witness at many high profile cases of mass shootings and developer of an evidence based standard for measuring depravity and evil. He is also the son of Holocaust survivors. We have written about his remarkable mother Barbara who has a deep, abiding reality based assessment of the heinous barbaric treatment of Jews from her own experience during the Shoah and those evident in the extremism of radical Islam. See our April 2015 Iconoclast post, “On the Eve of Yom Ha Shoah a Courageous Survivor Speaks of the Islamist Threat Facing Israel and Jews”. Dr. Welner makes several valid points about why the comparison of the Jewish Holocaust survivors’ experiences versus those of the Syrian and other Muslim refugees is at best myopic.

Welner takes particular scorn of a HIAS letter signed by 139 Rabbis endeavoring to comparison the plight of the 900 Jewish souls on board the SS. St. Louis who were denied sanctuary by anti-Semitic elements in the FDR State Department in the late 1930’s, only to have one third ultimately perish in Nazi concentration and death camps during the Shoah. He writes…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Happy Kwanzaa! The Holiday Brought to You by the FBI

In what was ultimately a foolish gambit, during the madness of the ‘60s, the FBI encouraged the most extreme black nationalist organizations in order to discredit and split the left. The more preposterous the group, the better. By that criterion, Karenga’s United Slaves was perfect.

Despite modern perceptions that blend all the black activists of the ‘60s, the Black Panthers did not hate whites. Although some of their most high-profile leaders were drug dealers and murderers, they did not seek armed revolution.

Those were the precepts of Karenga’s United Slaves. The United Slaves were proto-fascists, walking around in dashikis, gunning down Black Panthers and adopting invented “African” names.

And hasn’t that been a huge help to the black community?

It’s as if David Duke invented a holiday called “Anglika,” which he based on the philosophy of “Mein Kampf” — and clueless public school teachers began celebrating the made-up, racist holiday…

Kwanzaa was the result of a ‘60s psychosis grafted onto the black community with the tacit encouragement of the FBI. Liberals have become so mesmerized by multicultural gibberish that they have forgotten the real history of Kwanzaa and Karenga’s United Slaves — the violence, the Marxism, the insanity.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

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