Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/18/2016

The president of Croatia had to apologize after handing out packages of sweets that included chocolates made in Serbia. President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic was pressured by Croatian nationalists to apologize to children after it turned out that the packages of candy she gave them included Serbian chocolates.

In other news, seven people were killed, including a Canadian tourist, when gunmen in Jordan took hostages in the Karak castle during a shootout with police.

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

Thanks to EB, FB, Insubria, JD, Reader from Chicago, 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
» Free Cash to be Handed Out by Government in Finland
» Trump Can’t Stop it: “the People Who Have Been Orchestrating the Collapse Have Not Halted Their Agendas”
 
USA
» 9 Reasons Why Politifact is Unqualified to Label ‘Fake News’
» All the News the Editors See Fit to Print
» America Warned: Beware the Other Kind of Jihad
» Electors Under Siege: Radical Left Trying to Overturn Election
» Facebook Plans to Bury Alternative News
» LinkedIn’s Training Arm Resets 55,000 Members’ Passwords
» The Soros/Clinton Plan to Overthrow the Election
» Trump’s New World Order
» Trump Will Destroy CIA Over False Hacking Allegations
» What Can You Do With a Billion Yahoo Passwords? Lots of Bad Things
 
Europe and the EU
» Banned in Pakistan — The Muslim Cleric on Speaking Tour of UK Mosques
» British Extremist Who Guarded Hate Cleric Anjem Choudary Appears in ISIS Video
» Catalan Parliament Speaker in Court Over Secession Debate
» France Creates Multi-Agency Committee to Aid Victims of Terrorism
» Half of Swedes Avoid Mainstream Media, Get Most of Their News From Alternative Sites
» Italy: 2.5 Mn Seized From Dentistry Entrepreneur Canegrati
» Italy: Four Ex-ATAC Execs Convicted in Nepotism Case
» Macbook Seized or Stolen? But You’ve Set a Filevault Password, Right? Ha, It’s Useless Luckily, There’s a Security Fix
» UK: Authorities Fear Outbreaks of Copycat Violence After the Worst Prison Riots in a Generation… as 240 Inmates Are Bussed Out to Overcrowded Jails
» UK: Undercover SAS Troops to Protect Christmas Shoppers Against ISIS
 
Balkans
» Chocolate Bar Made in Serbia Triggers Trouble in Croatia
 
Middle East
» 10 Massive Fake News Stories Western Media Has Been Feeding You on Aleppo
» If Saddam Had Remained in Power, Rise of ISIS ‘Improbable’ — Husssein’s CIA Interrogator
» Jordan Attacks — Canadian Tourist Killed as Gunmen Take Hostages at Karak Castle
» Recep Erdogan: German Fury as Teachers Banned From Mentioning Christmas at Istanbul School
 
Immigration
» 34 Afghans Kicked Out of Germany
» Asylum Seeker Boasting About His Crimes on TV Deported From Germany
» Huffpo: ‘Women to Blame’ For New Year’s Sex Attacks
» Migrants Threaten to Kill Aid Workers in Italy After Row Over Money
» Migrant Crisis Sparks Surge in Austrian Gun Sales
» Muslim Girl Refuses to Shake German President’s Hand
» Time for Complete Halt on All Immigration
» Want to Extend Your Illegal Stay? Claim to be a Taliban Member!
 
Culture Wars
» Consciousness: Why Materialism Fails
 

Free Cash to be Handed Out by Government in Finland

Finland will soon hand out cash to 2,000 jobless people, free of bureaucracy or limits on side earnings. The idea, universal basic income, is gaining traction worldwide.

No one would confuse this frigid corner of northern Finland with Silicon Valley. Notched in low pine forests just 100 miles below the Arctic Circle, Oulu seems more likely to achieve dominance at herding reindeer than at nurturing technology start-ups.

But this city has roots as a hub for wireless communications, and keen aspirations in innovation. It also has thousands of skilled engineers in need of work. Many were laid off by Nokia, the Finnish company once synonymous with mobile telephones and more recently at risk of fading into oblivion.

While entrepreneurs are eager to put these people to work, the rules of Finland’s generous social safety net effectively discourage this. Jobless people generally cannot earn additional income while collecting unemployment benefits or they risk losing that assistance. For laid-off workers from Nokia, simply collecting a guaranteed unemployment check often presents a better financial proposition than taking a leap with a start-up in Finland, where a shaky technology industry is trying to find its footing again.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Trump Can’t Stop it: “the People Who Have Been Orchestrating the Collapse Have Not Halted Their Agendas”

There are some very somber, pragmatic articles circulating as of late that present a true snapshot of the difficulties the U.S. faces after eight years of Obama. One of these articles is a well-written, thought-provoking piece by Susan Duclos of All News Pipeline, entitled We are Facing the Most Important Battle of All at the Most Dangerous Moment in History. The piece shows what we’re up against and cautions all of us not to rely on the “magic fix” of Trump’s victory to side rail our preparations and vigilance. Here is an excerpt from that excellent article:

“We at ANP are noting a lot of optimism from investors with stocks soaring, to economic confidence reaching new highs, to small business owners, to household spending and even prepping has hit a “multi-year low,” all the articles I am reading are crediting the election of Donald Trump as reason for all this optimism, but as much as I hate to rain on everyone’s parade… now is the most dangerous time in history, not a time to assume just because one man was elected, all the wrongs will be made right, the failing economy will automatically just magically fix itself.”

Susan deserves special thanks, as well as Stefan Stanford; their coverage of developments has been spot-on and unwavering in their attempts to present objective and factual reporting, while warning readers akin to modern Paul Reveres that the battle is not over by any means. In reality, it is not even close to being over. I recommend reading the article’s section toward the beginning under “THE ECONOMY IS COLLAPSING” paragraph introduction for statistics on where we stand economically at this moment in time…

The people who have been orchestrating the collapses of national governments (Ukraine, Libya, and Egypt, for example) and have been funding the “fundamental transformations” of other areas, (such as Syria and Yemen) have not halted their agendas. And, why would they? There are hundreds of billions of dollars at stake that have already been invested in the planned collapse of all the nations of the world and the absorption into one global governance split (as written in earlier articles) into three areas to promote “homogeneity” and management along lines of ethnic, cultural, and genotypical similarities.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

9 Reasons Why Politifact is Unqualified to Label ‘Fake News’

Facebook’s decision to tout PolitiFact as a credible and independent fact checker is awfully disturbing, given the organization’s repeated smear campaign against Donald Trump throughout the 2016 election.

Facebook’s “fake news” flaggers, Politifact, et al., have a history of showing sympathy for left-wing narratives. Time and again PolitiFact published stories that favored Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, while promoting “fact checks” meant to rebut or embarrass Republicans. Below is a list of the many instances proving why Politifact is completely unqualified to be an objective judge of what’s real and “fake” news.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

All the News the Editors See Fit to Print

With the advent of television and the monopolization of print markets it seems to me we lost the ability to forensically analyze the news; we have become passive consumers and got what we deserved — propaganda, largely megaphoning the increasingly leftward tilt of the Democratic Party and various “nonprofit” organizations who promote scare stories about food, health, and the weather and challenge wars only when a Republican is in office. To be sure, there are some fine people (operating largely online) who take the time to read the accounts with a critical eye. Among the best are James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, bloggers Don Surber, Glenn Reynolds, Sheryl Attkisson, and Tom Maguire. If you read them daily you may reacquire this lost, but important art.

This week the clash between fake and real news became even more obvious.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

America Warned: Beware the Other Kind of Jihad

Plenty of Americans are wary of violent Islamic jihad — the bloody physical struggle of Muslims against the enemies of Islam. But there also exists another, much craftier form of jihad: civilization jihad.

Veteran journalist and WND news editor Leo Hohmann, during a recent appearance on “ The Larry Elder Show,” said civilization jihad is a strategy initially devised by the Muslim Brotherhood.

“ They use violent jihad, but they also use civilization jihad, which is a long-term form of sort of cultural jihad, so to speak, in which they infiltrate a country, a government from within … use the liberal immigration laws to their advantage and have their people not assimilate into the culture, but live in enclaves and sort of stick to themselves until they get enough numbers, until they build up their numbers, and then we see more violent jihad unfold at that point,” Hohmann explained to Elder.

Hohmann, author of the forthcoming book “ Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and the Resettlement Jihad,” said the Obama administration has facilitated civilization jihad by importing tens of thousands of Muslim refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. And he doesn’ t believe there’ s anything he could say to Obama that would convince the president to change his refugee policy.

“ He’ s going right down to the bitter end with pummeling our cities and towns with more and more refugees,” Hohmann noted. “ They’ re trying to get in as many as possible before he leaves office to the point where they’ re even running out of money now, I hear, at the Office of Refugee Resettlement.”

To Hohmann, it looks like Obama has accomplished exactly what he set out to do.

Said the author: “ I don’ t know what I could tell President Obama other than, ‘ A job well done! If your goal was to destroy America, to degrade America, to bring our cities down a notch and saddle them with a heavy burden, you’ ve done a good job.’“

He pointed out there have been eight bloody terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in the past 18 months.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Electors Under Siege: Radical Left Trying to Overturn Election

Soros-funded radicals want civil war

In two days, members of the Electoral College will cast their historic votes for the next president of the United States. In the meantime, they are under siege.

The nation’s 538 presidential electors have been thrust into the political foreground like never before in American history. In the aftermath of a uniquely polarizing presidential contest, the once-anonymous electors are squarely in the spotlight, targeted by death threats, harassing phone calls and reams of hate mail. One Texas Republican elector said he’s been bombarded with more than 200,000 emails.

“I never can imagine harassing people like this. It’s just f — up,” said Jim Rhoades, a Republican elector from Michigan who runs a home inspection service. “I’ve lost a bunch of business.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Facebook Plans to Bury Alternative News

Facebook has decided to make it easier for Snopes, Factcheck.org, ABC News, the Associated Press, and PolitiFact to flag “fake news.”

What this means is alternative news stories the establishment decides are fake will be pushed down in the Facebook newsfeed.

“Facebook is giving fact-checking organizations a kind of power they’ve never had before: the power to publicly brand other websites’ stories as ‘disputed’ and push them down in Facebook users’ newsfeeds,” reports Vox.

PolitiFact has been accused of bias and serious errors in judgment by critics on the right and left.

The Knight Foundation, one of PolitiFact’s largest donors, gave $200,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Knight also funds the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a journalism school owned by The Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

It was also reported the International Fact-Checking Network financed by George Soros will be involved with the Facebook effort. It is hosted by the Poynter Institute and also funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy. NED’s founder said the organization does what the CIA did in the old days, namely take down disfavored governments and produce propaganda.

Poynter also gets money from the Omidyar Network run by the billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

The Omidyar Network has teamed up with Soros’ Open Society on projects and given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides underwrites numerous progressive causes.

Facebook will soon begin relegating alternative news stories to the bottom of the newsfeed where they are less likely to be viewed on the recommendations of these biased and establishment-linked organizations.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

LinkedIn’s Training Arm Resets 55,000 Members’ Passwords

Lynda.com database accessed by ‘unauthorized third party’

Lynda.com, the training arm of LinkedIn, on Saturday issued email notices to about 55,000 members whose data it says has been persued by “unauthorized third party.”

The letter sent to members, two of whom thoughtfully forwarded it to El Reg, reads as follows:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The Soros/Clinton Plan to Overthrow the Election

Social media now Internet ghettos where information is tightly controlled

DC insider Roger Stone tells Alex Jones and his audience how socialist billionaire George Soros will try to stop Donald Trump from becoming president:

For starters, Soros wants to be the ministry of truth and decide what the American people are allowed to see on the Internet:

He’s relying on partisan “fact checkers” to prevent people from seeing alternative points of view critical of the ruling class:

Alex Jones discusses how Facebook will begin to use the same tactics used by the communist Chinese to help Soros censor so-called “fake news:”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Trump’s New World Order

The first hint of Donald Trump’s vision of a New World Order came when he said in a speech during the primaries that NATO was “obsolete.” The UK Independent wrote about that speech,

As currently constituted, he says, NATO is ill-suited to combating international terrorism, which is for him the world’s “single biggest threat”. He especially objects to the US footing so much of the bill, saying that other allies should “pay up or get out”, and refuses to see the US as the “world’s policeman”. As he told a town hall meeting in Wisconsin: “Maybe NATO will dissolve and that’s OK, not the worst thing in the world.”

As a result of that speech, NATO is currently being drastically overhauled.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Trump Will Destroy CIA Over False Hacking Allegations

Donald J. Trump is likely to decimate the CIA over its fraudulent allegations that Russian hackers influenced the U.S. elections in collusion with him.

Trump does not suffer fools gladly, and this last ditch desperate attack from the current administration via rogue elements within the intelligence community will not go unpunished…

Rather than keeping their heads down for the next four years, even trying to exercise some subtle influence on the president’s decisions, these infantile flunkies within the CIA and mass media have thrown themselves into the open in this last ditch desperate attack which definitively condemns them to the president-elect’s coming wrath.

They apparently have no idea that they have just kicked open a hornets’ nest.

Donald J. Trump does not take prisoners. He will not forgive, or forget. And the massacre coming to halls of Langley and to anybody and anywhere else in the executive branch involved in this is going to beggar belief.

Trump, who was a protege of the infamously ruthless attorney Roy Cohn, has made it very clear over the years how he deals with his enemies. In “Think Big” he detailed how to handle traitors:

“I always get even…I go out of my way to make [their] life miserable.”

“When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades” and “Go for the jugular so that people watching will not want to mess with you.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

What Can You Do With a Billion Yahoo Passwords? Lots of Bad Things

Now, Yahoo user data could be behind scores of spear-phishes or other breaches.

In October of 2013, as a result of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, we learned the National Security Agency tapped straight into the connections between data centers at Yahoo and Google as part of a program called MUSCULAR. A month later, Yahoo announced it would encrypt all of its internal networks between data centers and add Secure Socket Layer encryption and secure (HTTPS) Web connections to all its services.

That move, however, failed to prevent two major breaches of user data: a breach affecting user data from more than 500 million user accounts late in 2014 (revealed in September) and the breach revealed yesterday involving data from more than 1 billion accounts. The recent break took place in August of 2013-before the barn door was closed. In addition, Yahoo’s chief information security officer, Bob Lord, said that the parties behind the 2014 breach had stolen some of Yahoo’s code and used it to forge Web “cookies” that gave access to users’ accounts without the need to use login credentials.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Banned in Pakistan — The Muslim Cleric on Speaking Tour of UK Mosques

A MUSLIM cleric dubbed a “firebrand” by authorities is conducting a speaking tour of mosques here in the UK despite having been banned from preaching in Pakistan.

Authorities in Pakistan consider Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri and have banned him from preaching his extreme views.

In Karachi he has been labelled by law enforcement “prejudicial to public safety and maintenance of public order”.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

British Extremist Who Guarded Hate Cleric Anjem Choudary Appears in ISIS Video

A British extremist who guarded hate cleric Anjem Choudary has appeared on camera beheading a terrified victim in cold blood.

Mohammed Reza Haque, 36, is described as ‘the new Jihadi John’ after killing in the same manner as the infamous Islamic State murderer who beheaded five Western hostages in propaganda videos.

Haque, a follower and bodyguard of Choudary since at least 2011, is dressed in black from head to foot and uses a serrated hunting knife to behead a prisoner against a bleak desert backdrop — just like the chilling videos featuring ‘Jihadi John’ Mohamed Emwazi, 27.

Emwazi was responsible for the deaths of Britons David Haines, 44, and Alan Henning, 47, as well as Americans James Foley, 40, Steven Sotloff, 31, and Peter Kassig, 26, before being killed by a US drone strike on Raqqa in November 2015.

Haque, from Bethnal Green, East London, was previously photographed and filmed in countless UK demonstrations with extremist preacher Choudary, jailed in September for inciting support for IS…

Dr Shiraz Maher, an IS expert at the department of war studies at King’s College, London, said: ‘Some people dismissed the radical network that surrounded Anjem Choudary as clownish. Yet scores of individuals, like Haque, from that cluster have travelled to Syria from Britain and now pose a very significant security risk. They’re not there to take a back seat.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Catalan Parliament Speaker in Court Over Secession Debate

Hundreds of Catalan pro-independence supporters rallied Friday in support of regional parliament speaker Carme Forcadell as she appeared for questioning for allowing a debate on secession from Spain.

The crowd, which included some 400 pro independence mayors, waved red and yellow Catalan independence flags, sang the regional anthem, and chanted “You are not alone” as she arrived at the Barcelona court.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

France Creates Multi-Agency Committee to Aid Victims of Terrorism

A new French committee aimed at providing co-ordinated administrative support to victims of terrorist attacks and their families was inaugurated Friday in Paris by a broad group of government agencies.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Half of Swedes Avoid Mainstream Media, Get Most of Their News From Alternative Sites

The results of the study, for which a representative sample of 4,000 people were interviewed, make “grim reading” for Sweden’s media establishment, the news and marketing industry magazine Resumé notes.

Researchers at the Stockholm School of Economics and market researcher company NEPA said the country is becoming increasingly divided with regards to where people get their news.

Half of those surveyed get their news primarily from sources other than the established media, and people in this group “are also very active in sharing content with others online via social media”. Twenty-one per cent of Swedes said they distrust the mainstream media altogether.

Local media reports that the gender distribution between the different groups is fairly evenly split, and that confidence in the establishment media is lowest in people between the ages of 35 and 54.

[Comment: People world wide increasingly realize that mainstream media is really fake-stream-media.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: 2.5 Mn Seized From Dentistry Entrepreneur Canegrati

Case concerns bribes to get public contracts in Lombardy

(ANSA) — Milan, December 15 — Carabinieri police in Milan and Monza on Friday seized 2.5 million euros worth of assets from Maria Paola Canegrati, a leading dentistry entrepreneur in the Lombardy region who has been sentenced to four years and two months in prison for corrupting public officials to win major public contracts for the local hospital of Desio and Vimercate.

Monza prosecutors ordered the seizure of the assets from Canegrati, her accountant in Bergamo as well as two companies operating in the dentistry sector of which she was sole administrator after further investigations carried out since the entrepreneur’s arrest in February.

The probe revealed, according to investigators, that Canegrati had fraudulently declared nonexistent operations, stating she had performed more medical services to get money from the regional healthcare service and had used the companies’ credit cards for personal use.

The probe that has led to the arrest, among others, of Canegrati and a Northern League Lombardy regional councilor who chaired the regional health commission, Fabio Rizzi, concerns a series of public contacts for the outsourcing of hospital dentistry services estimated to be worth over 400 million euros.

The contracts were won illegally by a group of entrepreneurs headed by the businesswoman with the complicity of public officials, according to investigators.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Four Ex-ATAC Execs Convicted in Nepotism Case

Hired almost 50 friends, relatives

(ANSA) — Rome, December 15 — Four former executives at Rome public transport company ATAC were convicted Thursday of abuse of office in the nepotistic hires of almost 50 friends and relatives in 2008-2010.

Among them was a woman whom ATAC hired as a technical specialist at 30,000 euros a year, in spite of the fact that she only had a high school degree and her previous job experience consisted of waitressing and being a hostess in a night club.

Former ATAC CEO Adalberto Bertucci was sentenced to three years seven months in prison, his successor Antonio Marzia got two years three months, former computer services manager Luca Masciola was sentenced to three years one month and manager Vincenzo Tosques got one year eight months. Charges against former Trambus SpA general manager Tullio Tulli timed out, and former city cabinet member for the environment Marco Visconti was acquitted.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Macbook Seized or Stolen? But You’ve Set a Filevault Password, Right? Ha, It’s Useless Luckily, There’s a Security Fix

Until earlier this week, Apple’s FileVault 2 disk encryption could be defeated in the time it takes to reboot a Mac, given a few hundred dollars in hardware and physical access to the computer.

Apple on its website claims that FileVault 2 uses “XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key to help prevent unauthorized access to the information on your startup disk.”

However, Ulf Frisk, a security researcher based in Sweden, found that he could plug an assembled device running software called PCILeech into a Mac and obtain the FileVault 2 encryption password using a direct memory access (DMA) attack during the reboot process.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Authorities Fear Outbreaks of Copycat Violence After the Worst Prison Riots in a Generation… as 240 Inmates Are Bussed Out to Overcrowded Jails

Hundreds of inmates were moved out of HMP Birmingham last night after the worst prison riots in a generation, amid fears unrest will spread to other jails.

Two hundred and forty prisoners were put in vans and transferred to other prisons after four wings at the privately-run institution were trashed during more than 12 hours of violent disorder on Friday.

In chaotic scenes captured on illegal phones, offenders started fires, destroyed offices, damaged cells and donned riot gear before using tins of paint and fire hoses to attack dozens of specially trained guards known as Tornado Squads who were rushed in to seize control.

It is believed the chaos, which will cost millions of pounds to repair, was sparked on N-wing when a crowd surrounded a guard who was arguing with one prisoner over a cancelled X-ray. They stole the keys from his belt and unlocked cells before taking over entire wings.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Undercover SAS Troops to Protect Christmas Shoppers Against ISIS

Elite troopers will operate undercover in major British cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. They will work closely with MI5 intelligence officers to identify terror suspects.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Chocolate Bar Made in Serbia Triggers Trouble in Croatia

Nikolic, I’m unaware that Croatia has declared a war on us

The president of Croatia has issued a public apology for handing out packages of sweets that included Serbia-made chocolate to children in Dubrovnik, the ancient Adriatic Sea resort attacked and damaged by the Serb-led Yugoslav army in 1991.

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic’s made the apology under pressure from Croatian nationalists.

But Serb politicians responded with anger to her gesture, calling for a boycott of Croatian goods in Serbia. Some even demanded cutting ties between the two neighboring countries.

Grabar Kitarovic said she was “unpleasantly surprised” to learn the packages distributed in Dubrovnik this week included the Serbian chocolate product after the children’s parents complained.

“We will apologize to parents and replace the chocolate with Croatian products,” Grabar Kitarovic said Wednesday. “Products that were not Croatian-made and which are sold in the Croatian market found their way into that package … that will not happen again.” An investigation has shown the Serbian-made sweets were “planted” inside the treat packages by a Croatian company with a supermarket chain in Serbia, Croatian media reported.

Although the row triggered humorous and ironic comments on social media in both countries, Serbian officials were not amused.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said the Croatian president’s apology was “a clear sign that Croatia does not want good relations with Serbia” and that talk about reconciliation has “crumbled.” “The countries that are at a war do not buy products from each other,” Nikolic said. “I’m unaware that Croatia has declared a war on us.” The Serb-led Yugoslav army and Croatia’s pro-independence rebels fought a bloody war in the 1990s. After a peace deal was reached, relations slowly normalized between the two former Yugoslav republics. However, tensions have returned since recent elections that brought nationalists back to power in both countries.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

10 Massive Fake News Stories Western Media Has Been Feeding You on Aleppo

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has secured control of Aleppo city after more than 4 years of fighting in what is Syria’s most strategically important city, second to the capital Damascus. Western media has chosen to explain this victory to the world as bad news for the interests of peace and humanity in Syria, claiming that thousands of civilians will now die from government retaliation.

The reason the battle for Aleppo is so significant in the Syrian proxy war is because of its strategic importance to the country of Syria as a whole. Controlling Aleppo would give opposition groups leverage in a situation where Syria is broken into pieces. It is also part of the geopolitical concerns over competing natural gas pipelines which would be built partially in Syria.

The battle for Aleppo has been described inaccurately for years and what follows is an explanation of 10 common lies or omissions which still continue today…

The most unbalanced part of Western news reporting on Aleppo is the deliberate effort to not report the war crimes committed by opposition groups, while confirming unverifiable claims about atrocities by the Syrian Army or from Russian airstrikes. Reporters have brought up this concern multiple times with U.S. officials and specifically when making the claim that Russian airstrikes hit hospitals in Syria but refusing to give evidence, twice.

In April 2016, Jaysh al-Islam admitted to using chemical weapons in the city of Aleppo. They have consistently used civilians as human shields, sometimes locking them in metal cages on the back of trucks.

The US also defended Ahrar al-Sham after they recently massacred an unknown number of people and kidnapped over 100 from the small village of Zaara in May 2016. State Department officials were confronted about specifically on May 24 with one reporter asking “Is this a yellow card? How many villages do they have to massacre before they become bad guys?” in relation to removing them from the protection of being declared a moderate group.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

If Saddam Had Remained in Power, Rise of ISIS ‘Improbable’ — Husssein’s CIA Interrogator

Islamic State would not have enjoyed the success it did if Saddam Hussein had remained in power, John Nixon, the former CIA agent who grilled him, claims. Nixon says the West should deal with leaders it “abhors” to have a stable Middle East.

Nixon was the first to debrief Saddam after his capture in December 2003, 13 years ago. His book, entitled “Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein,” is a first-hand account of what the invasion of Iraq and the execution of Saddam Hussein have entailed.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Jordan Attacks — Canadian Tourist Killed as Gunmen Take Hostages at Karak Castle

A heavily armed gang opened fire after taking hostages at the castle in Karak, which was built during the Crusades and is popular with Western tourists.

Officials said that a Canadian woman, four members of the Jordanian security services and two local civilians were killed in the atrocity.

According to police the gang launched gun attacks in several different parts of the ancient city, before fleeing to the medieval castle being pursued by police.

Once inside they took tourists there hostage and engaged in a gun battle with security services.

Police have freed 10 people from the ancient stone fortress, including a number of foreign tourists, but others are still being held captive by the gunmen.

According to reports police responding to fake reports of a house fire in the city were ambushed by the group of gunmen, who opened fire on them as they entered the property.

After two officers were wounded the gang fled by car and attacked another security patrol, but nobody was injured in that skirmish.

They then fled to Karak castle, where they holed up and took the terrified tourists hostages…

           — Hat tip: EB [Return to headlines]
 

Recep Erdogan: German Fury as Teachers Banned From Mentioning Christmas at Istanbul School

A German school in Istanbul has banned celebrating Christmas.

Berlin expressed complete dismay at the draconian ruling apparently made by officials in Istanbul, saying it was an example of how the country is turning into an “Islamic dictatorship” under president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In an internal email, sent out by school management and reported by German media, teachers were allegedly ordered not to put up Christmas decorations in classrooms or teach their pupils anything about the festive season.

The instructions were reportedly so severe that teachers are banned from mentioning the topic of Christmas altogether. According to Deutsche Welle, the email told teachers there must be “no sharing of Christmas traditions and Christian festivals in lessons, Christmas must not be treated as a subject and you must not sing Christmas songs”…

           — Hat tip: EB [Return to headlines]
 

34 Afghans Kicked Out of Germany

The German government has forcibly deported 34 Afghan invaders back to their home country-including at least 11 convicted murderers, rapists, and robbers-and hopes to send back 500 more per week from January. The deportations serve as final confirmation that there is no justification at all for Afghans to seek “asylum” anywhere-because if their country was “not safe,” return deportations would not occur.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Asylum Seeker Boasting About His Crimes on TV Deported From Germany

AN ARROGANT asylum seeker who boasted about his criminal lifestyle on TV has been deported after he was identified by a woman he had sexually assaulted over New Year.

After the victim’s complaint, the migrant’s status as a criminal was upgraded from being a petty pickpocket and violent thug to being a sex attacker, making him eligible for deportation.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Huffpo: ‘Women to Blame’ For New Year’s Sex Attacks

A Syrian refugee columnist for the Huffington Post has said that women are mostly to blame for the New Year’s Eve sex attacks across Germany last year. Aras Bacho, 18, tweeted that women should not be out alone at night.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Migrants Threaten to Kill Aid Workers in Italy After Row Over Money

The men, one from Nigera and two from Gambia, sparked outage when they turned against the voluntary helpers.

The shocking incident erupted in at a refugee centre in the southern Italian town of Potenza.

According to local reports the men were given food, clothes and their daily allowance of £3.30 but became angry and shouted: “If you don’t give us more money and better food, we will kill you”…

           — Hat tip: EB [Return to headlines]
 

Migrant Crisis Sparks Surge in Austrian Gun Sales

THERE has been a surge in firearm sales in Austria since the migrant crisis in Europe, with some citizens now reporting they “feel like foreigners” in their own country.

Gun stores have reported a quadruple growth in the sales of firearms, with some owners attributing the sales to a spike in violent crime.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Muslim Girl Refuses to Shake German President’s Hand

An attempt by the German President to praise a school for integrating migrant students went embarrassingly wrong after a Muslim student refused to shake his hand.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Time for Complete Halt on All Immigration

Immigration today, immigration tomorrow, immigration forever? In recent times there has been much controversy over President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign-trail suggestion that we temporarily halt immigration from Muslim nations (which has been modified). The Left claims such a notion is “discriminatory,” un-American and even, most ridiculously, unconstitutional. Yet there’s a simple way to avoid this debate altogether:

Institute a moratorium on all immigration.

This is a serious proposal — and a necessary one. Consider: with the U.S. having a replacement-level fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman, immigration is the only reason our population is increasing. As to this, our numbers have swelled from 100 million people in 1915 to 200 million in 1968 to 320 million today. And it’s projected they will reach approximately 400 million just after 2050.

Obviously, such growth involves strain on natural resources, social services and infrastructure. Yet while the Left purports to care about the environment, it also pursues open-border policies with jihadist-like zeal. But when will enough population be enough? When it stands at 450 million? A half billion? A billion? The Left likes to push “family planning.” But what about national-family planning?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Want to Extend Your Illegal Stay? Claim to be a Taliban Member!

AFGHAN migrants are using a new trick to stay in Germany as the country tries to deport asylum seekers who don’t have a right to be there.

But their risky strategy could end up causing them major issues in the long run after using a scheme known as the ‘Taliban trick’ effectively claiming to be a terrorist to enter the criminal justice system.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Consciousness: Why Materialism Fails

[The following are my selection of ‘teaser quotes’ — it is a long article. — FB]

Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), the author, poet, playwright and diplomat who was the first president of the Czech Republic, saw a hell looming in our world and had the guts to say so on the international stage. As a potential solution, he said, “It seems to me that one of the most basic human experiences, one that is genuinely universal and unites — or, more precisely, could unite — all of humanity, is the experience of transcendence in the broadest sense of the word.” Havel endorsed what he called “responsibility to something higher.”

What does physicalism actually look like? It is a multifaceted view in which, as astrophysicist David Lindley has said, “We humans are just crumbs of organic matter clinging to the surface of one tiny rock. Cosmically, we are no more significant than mold on a shower curtain.” Spirituality, the sense of connectedness with something that transcends the individual self, is equated in this view with self-deception, fantasy or hallucination.

The dogma of physicalism suffers from two fatal defects: the sheer poverty of evidence that brains produce consciousness, and the enormous human costs of a world that is sanitized of a spiritual outlook, which the dogma forbids.

The implication that there might be room in science for a spiritual component is met with derision. Special contempt is reserved for the possibility that humans might survive bodily death, for this would be the death knell for the mind-equals-brain assumption on which the physicalist doctrine rests. This is particularly obvious when physicalists themselves have near-death experiences suggesting survival following physical death. When they describe these experiences publicly, they have been bullied by their physicalist colleagues into publicly retracting any implication that something might survive the death of the body.

Many physicalist skeptics consider the idea of survival of bodily death so dangerous that it must be put down at all costs. These efforts can shade into a deliberate cover-up that masquerades as an effort to protect science. Harvard psychologist William James reported that a leading biologist once told him,

“Even if such a thing were true, scientists ought to band together to keep it suppressed and concealed. It would undo the uniformity of Nature and all sorts of other things without which scientists cannot carry on their pursuits.”

The human cost of a failed belief in immortality, which has helped sustain human hope for perhaps the entire span of human history, is not admitted within physicalism. The public stance of many physicalists, as mentioned, is to keep a stiff upper lip, flex one’s intellectual muscle, and deny any desire or need for such a belief. Yet the old channels within the psyche run deep, and merely declaring immortality undesirable or unnecessary does not make it so.

           — Hat tip: FB [Return to headlines]
 

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/18/2016

  1. I think the lead in story says much about why there will never be any lasting peace in the Balkans. A few years ago at the Australian Open (Tennis) in Melbourne, some Croat ‘youths’ took to rioting against the reigning Serb champion whose name eludes me. Old enmities will live forever it seems.

    • As a Croation I hang my head in shame. These idiots are making us the laughing stock of Europe.
      I for one will be going out of my way to bye Serbian Chocolates for the kids this year.
      It’s just so embarrassing to be associated with such a clown show.

      • You can be my friend if you don’t mind associating with Hungarian (maybe more) lineage. 🙂

  2. Another OT post from yours truly (sorry):

    While viewing Youtube videos for techniques on quarterstaff work, I found *this* video. It focuses on a topic that’s been discussed here at GoV several times in the past and which directly applies to the terrorization of young German women at the hands of Muslim attackers.

    “Lindybeige,” the speaker in the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSX7iT0n65Q), explains to people who STILL don’t “get it” why young women are valuable and (alas…) men are expendable.

    I’m still stunned at the forthrightness of his approach. It may be helpful for anyone who doesn’t understand the underlying motive of terrorizing young women in their own country: to make them LESS valuable–to themselves, to their families, and even to their country.

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