Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121113

Financial Crisis
»A Victory for Failure
»Can Cash-Strapped Italy Protect Its Monuments?
»Italian Government Denies Wealth-Tax Plan
»Italy: Lazio Audit Court Court Probes Rating Agencies
»OECD Sees Weak Euro Growth, But Signs of Stability in Italy
»Spain in Turmoil Ahead of General Strike
»American Dream of Oil Independence on Horizon
»Carbon Tax is Still Environmental Piracy
»Doomsday Preppers Reveal They’re Crazy & Brilliant
»Evidence of Massive Election Fraud Mounts: Obama Won More Than 99 Percent of the Vote in More Than 100 Ohio Precincts
»How Do We Get Rid of Obamacare? Nullify it!
»Is the 29 Hour Work Week Coming as Employers Seek to Escape the Obamacare Mandate?
»Microsoft Patents TV That Watches Back, Counts Heads, Charges Admission
»Mr. Drudge: Please Keep Telling the Truth
»New Study: Ethanol Costs One Million Jobs
»Obama to Unleash Racial-Preferences Juggernaut
»Out of the Margins Shifting Demographics Change Face of US Campaigns
»Poll Watcher Sees Romney Ballots Changed
»Private Property Rights Defined
»Prop 37 Vote-Fraud Update: 3.3 Million Votes Still Uncounted
»San Diegans Face 6 Years in Prison for Washing Their Car
»Saudi Gets Life in Jail for Texas Terror Plot
»Secretary Brown Statement on the Status of Clackamas County Ballot Fraud Investigation
»Sex, Lies and Obama Ben Ghazi
»The Decline and Fall of the American Empire
»U.S. Oil Output to Overtake Saudi Arabia’s by 2020
»Universities Welcome Muslim Students Through Interfaith Efforts
»Vaccinated Population Contracting and Spreading Disease
»W.H. Petition Calls for Stripping Citizenship and Exile for Anyone Who Signs Petition to Secede
»Welcome to the Rand Paul Evolution
»White House Website Deluged With Secession Petitions From 20 States
»UBC Researchers Advocate HPV Vaccine Scrutiny
»War Memorial Defaced With Jihadist Graffiti on Veterans Day
Europe and the EU
»Eric Clapton’s Swiss Watch Nets $3.6 Million
»EU Fund Gives Italy 18 Million Euros for Flood Response
»Hamburg, In German First, To Recognise Muslim Holidays
»Hamburg’s Deal With Muslims Sparks Concerns
»Italy: Ruby to Testify in Berlusconi Trial
»‘Potentially Disastrous’: Business Chiefs Warn Against Catalan Secession
»Tiny Engine Runs on Single Hydrogen Molecules
»Toulouse Gunman Merah Was ‘Raised to Hate Jews’
»UK: ‘Free Speech’ Row After Man is Arrested for Posting Image of a Burning Poppy on His Facebook Page on Remembrance Sunday
»UK: Abu Qatada’s Victory Proves How Low We Have Been Laid
»UK: Bin Laden’s ‘Right-Hand Man’ And Terror Suspect Abu Qatada Will be Back on Our Streets Tomorrow… And Theresa May Says It’s All Strasbourg’s Fault
»UK: Chilling Moment ‘Good Samaritan’ Leads Drunk Woman Who Passed Out in a Bar to a Taxi… Before Taking Her Home and Raping Her
»UK: Royal Navy Officer Faces Jail After Being Caught Trying to Pass Nuclear Submarine Secrets to Russians in MI5 Sting
»UK: The Hate Cleric’s Smile That Says He’s Untouchable: Terror Suspect Abu Qatada Goes Home — and it Could Take Years to Get Rid of Him
»Video Game Forebear Turns 100, Born in Spain
»Trip to the Promised Land: Balkan Roma Dream of Life in Germany
North Africa
»Anti-Sexual Harassment Squads Patrol the Streets of Cairo
»Egyptian Salafist Scholar Calls for the Destruction of “Pyramids and Sphinx”
»Egypt: Turkey Will Invest 1 Bln USD, Muslim Brotherhood Says
»Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Sharply Criticizes Israel Over Gaza Airstrikes
»Egypt: Radical Jihadist Leader Threatens to Bulldoze the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israel Will Defend Itself
Middle East
»Benghazi and Gunrunning… The Gaza Connection
»Kahlili: Iran Rejects Hotline Request Following Attack on US Spy Drone
»Turkey’s Islamist Turn, 10 Years Later
»UAE: Crackdown on Crime and ‘Online Dissent’
»UK Troops ‘May be Sent to Syria Within Months’
»Cyprus Officially Off Russia Blacklist From January 1
»Violent Jihad Group “Conducting Active Recruiting at Mosques in Moscow”
South Asia
»Afghanistan: British Soldier Killed in ‘Green on Blue’ Attack Was Shot Dead as He Played During Remembrance Day Football Match
»India: Orissa: Christian Cemetery Desecrated in Kandhamal
»Rocket Attack on Afghan Capital Kills 1
Far East
»Chinese Bloggers Criticize Party Congress
»Hanoi Mosque Symbol of Islam in Vietnam
Australia — Pacific
»High Unemployment Among Muslims Linked to War on Terror
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Kilimanjaro Ice Field Shrinks and Splits
»Labor Unrest Hits South African Vineyards
Latin America
»Brazil Aims to Clone Endangered Animals
»Italy: President of Tire Manufacturer Pirelli Charged in Data Theft
»Immigrants’ Kids to Get Local Citizenship in Italian Town
»Intractable and Cultural Poverty Create Multicultural Perfect Storm
»Momentum Builds for U.S. Immigration Reform Plan
»Obama Plans Massive Amnesty Wave
»One in Four British Babies Born to Foreign Mothers
Culture Wars
»UK: Having Babies Stops Women Being Equal to Men, Says Lib Dem Minister Lynne Featherstone
»Are Humans Becoming Less Intelligent?
»Book Review: ‘Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy’

Financial Crisis

A Victory for Failure

A majority of Americans chose to put in place the same dysfunctional government that has been incapable of addressing with a plan, let alone actually reducing, the largest national debt ever held by a government in the world, $16 trillion. They re-elected a President who, by their own account, has failed to tackle the two most important issues facing the nation: the economy and the debt. They re-elected a President who has offered nothing to reduce annual deficits exceeding $1 trillion into the foreseeable future, promising to saddle the United States with a $20 trillion plus national debt by the time he leaves office in 2016. They re-elected a President committed to implement a series of new tax increases that will reduce the capital held by the most productive elements of society and will increase unemployment and dependency on the dole. In short, on November 6, 2012, a majority of Americans produced a victory for failure.


As the Tax Foundation make clear, expiration of the Bush era cuts would also mean an end to indexing of the alternative minimum tax, higher taxes on capital gains and dividends, higher taxes for married couples, lower child tax credits, restoration of the estate tax, a loss in certain personal exemptions and itemized deductions for wealthy taxpayers. According to the Tax Foundation’s 2011 Tax Calculator, a family of four earning a combined income of $75,000 would experience a $2,143 tax increase. A family of four earning $150,000 would experience a $4,510 tax increase. A family of four earning $300,000 would experience a $11,000 tax increase.

Lest you think those taxes are the only ones about to rise, think again and remember one word: Obamacare. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is chock full of new taxes that will land atop those which occur when either part or all of the Bush era tax cuts are allowed to expire. Consider the following summary of Obamacare tax increases that I have condensed from a detailed report on those increases published by the Tax Foundation.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Can Cash-Strapped Italy Protect Its Monuments?

There are more UNESCO World Heritage sites in Italy than in any other nation, but as the financial crisis bites, will Italy’s heritage crumble to dust?

Italy’s financial woes are well reported. But there is one casualty of the shortage that gets less coverage: The reduced funding for the country’s museums and monuments.

Just a half-hour train trip from central Rome lies a little-known historical landmark, that may soon be forced to close its gates. The Castello di Giulio II or Julius the Second’s Castle, is a centuries-old structure. Overlooking the ruins of Ostia Antica, the ancient harbor city, it has always been over-shadowed by its more famous neighbor, but until recently, it had managed to thrive. Its future, however, is uncertain.

“We have a real shortage of staff lately, like all cultural heritage sites,” Castle guide Donatella Dotti says. “You can only visit the castle now on Thursdays.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italian Government Denies Wealth-Tax Plan

Monti comments appeared to suggest measure being considered

(ANSA) — Milan, November 12 — The Italian government on Monday denied planning to introduce a wealth tax shortly after Premier Mario Monti had appeared to suggest such a move was in the pipeline.

Monti said at a Financial Times event in Milan that his emergency technocrat administration would like “to introduce a general tax on wealth” but added that it did not have the “instruments” to be able to do so at the moment.

“Premier Mario Monti did not announce a tax measure on assets at the Financial Times conference,” said a statement by the premier’s office.

“He limited himself to explaining the decisions taken up to now, it was not a premise for future interventions”. A wealth tax is a levy on the value of what a person owns, such as property, shares and savings, rather than on their income from labour or capital gains.

Monti has been criticised by many for hitting the poor, and working and middle classes too hard with his emergency technocrat government’s austerity measures and not making the wealthier groups of society pay more.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Lazio Audit Court Court Probes Rating Agencies

Estimated 120bn euros damage through alleged market manipulation

(ANSA) — Trani, November 12 — Lazio’s Audit Court has opened an investigation into alleged market manipulation by two international rating agencies and has estimated damages to the Italian Treasury at 120 billion euros, the chief prosecutor in the southern Italian city of Trani said on Monday. Trani Prosecutor Carlo Maria Capristo also announced on Monday that prosecutors there had requested indictments for top management at Standard & Poor’s and Fitch agencies in a parallel investigation.

Standard & Poor’s called the Trani prosecutors’ accusations “totally unfounded” on Monday, and added that the agency will continue to work “without fear”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

OECD Sees Weak Euro Growth, But Signs of Stability in Italy

Slight rise in key index

(ANSA) — Paris, November 12 — Although some major economies are looking weaker, Italy is showing early signs of stabilization, according to the OECD’s leading indicator released Monday.

The index for September showed “weak growth in many major economies” but also indicated “signs of stabilization” in Italy, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The international agency’s leading indicator is designed to forecast changes in economic activity. For Italy, the OECD index rose to 99.0 points in September from 98.9 in August, while the measure remained unchanged at 99.4 for the euro area as a whole.

Italy’s performance stands in contrast to Europe’s two largest economies, France and Germany, which both shrank by small amounts; while the United Kingdom saw a small increase in economic growth.

Germany’s reading dropped to 98.7 in September from 99.0 the month before, while France saw its reading slip to 99.5 from 99.6. The benchmark figure is 100, which shows a long-term growth average for each country.

Canada, China, and the United States are also showing increasing signs of economic stability, said the OECD.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain in Turmoil Ahead of General Strike

Spanish trade unions have called a general strike for Wednesday. Some Spaniards fear “Greek conditions;” others are convinced the country needs radical reforms.

For 40 years, Alberto Lopez, a retired history teacher, has been trying to instill in his students the fragility of Spain’s democracy as a result of the ongoing repercussions from the civil war and the long years of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship: “I think that deep down, we all knew the situation would explode some day.”

The transition from a dictatorship to a democracy was no guarantee for prosperity and peace, Lopez told Deutsche Welle: peace came at a price. “We must completely reorganize our state and start anew,” he says.

In Madrid, on Valencia’s university campus and the squares of Barcelona, many thousands of people are braving wind, rain and cold weather almost daily as they protest and demand reforms. They include civil servants demanding more transparency, justice and secure jobs. Spain’s public administration is under fire for having too many apparently useless foundations, universities, schools and overlapping authorities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


American Dream of Oil Independence on Horizon

The US is poised to realise its cherished dream of oil independence, although not until around 2035, the International Energy Agency says in a report published this week.

US presidents going back to the 1970s have made freedom from oil imports a key target. “Most of us went away laughing when they used to say this but now it looks a real possibility,” says Paul Stevens, an energy researcher at London policy institute Chatham House.

US energy consumption has probably peaked, while oil and gas supplies have been massively boosted by the extraction of previously uneconomic deposits. This has been made possible through the new technologies of fracturing oil-bearing rocks and extracting gas from loose shale rock by drilling into it horizontally.

The IEA says the US will become a net exporter by 2030 and self-sufficient by 2035. The agency also predicts the US will overtake Saudi Arabia in the mid-2020s as the world’s largest oil producer.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Carbon Tax is Still Environmental Piracy

Democrats in Congress are eager to raise taxes and continue deficit spending to stimulate the economy. Keynesian economists, who believe it is the government’s job to smooth out the fluctuations in the economy, would choose government spending and tax breaks to stimulate the economy in bad times.

The Washington Post’s Steven Mufson has a bolder suggestion to solve the problem of out-of-control deficit spending that Congress has engaged in: pass a carbon tax to raise enough money to bring the budget deficit under control. “Climate activists hope a carbon tax would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by penalizing the use of coal, oil, and natural gas.” (Carbon Tax getting closer look, November 10, 2012)

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Doomsday Preppers Reveal They’re Crazy & Brilliant

Braxton and Kara Southwick live in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah, with their six kids. Braxton, a mechanic who prides himself on family values, once rode motorbikes professionally. He’s also training his family to prepare for an attack of weaponized smallpox that he fears will bring the country to its knees.

LiveScience sat down with the Southwicks to hear more about why they are prepping for a doomsday event, and what possessed them to stockpile more than 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms) of flour, sugar and wheat, not to mention 14 guns and eight chickens, enough to support their family of eight for more than one year.

The Southwicks star in the second season of “Doomsday Preppers,” a show on the National Geographic Channel that profiles extreme survivalists who believe the world as we know it may soon end. The show’s first season was the highest-rated on the network at the time. The second season debuts Tuesday (Nov. 13) at 9 p.m.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Evidence of Massive Election Fraud Mounts: Obama Won More Than 99 Percent of the Vote in More Than 100 Ohio Precincts

Barack Obama received more than 99% of the vote in more than 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio on election day. In fact, there were a substantial number of precincts where Mitt Romney got exactly zero votes. So how in the world did this happen? Third world dictators don’t even get 99% of the vote. Overall, Mitt Romney received 30.12% of the vote in Cuyahoga County. There were even a bunch of precincts in Cuyahoga County that Romney actually won. But everyone certainly expected that Cuyahoga County would be Obama territory. And in most of the precincts that is exactly what we saw — large numbers of votes for both candidates but a definite edge for Obama. However, there are more than 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County where the voting results can only be described as truly bizarre. Yes, we always knew that urban areas would lean very heavily toward Obama, but are we actually expected to believe that Obama got over 99% of the votes in those areas? In more than 50 different pr ecincts, Romney received 2 votes or less. Considering how important the swing state of Ohio was to the national election, one would think that such improbable results would get the attention of somebody out there. Could we be looking at evidence of election fraud hidden in plain sight?

Perhaps if there were just one or two precincts where Obama got more than 99% of the vote we could dismiss the results as “statistical anomalies” and ignore them.

But there were more than 100 precincts where this happened in the most important swing state in the nation.

Maybe there is some rational explanation for the numbers that you are about to see. If there is, I would really love to hear it.

What makes all of this even more alarming is that there were reports of voting machine problems during early voting in Ohio. It was being reported that some voters were claiming that they tried to vote for Romney but that the voting machines kept recording their votes as votes for Obama…

[Return to headlines]

How Do We Get Rid of Obamacare? Nullify it!

We are Americans. We are resourceful. When doors are slammed in our faces, we find another way. Since five (5) lawless judges on the U.S. supreme Court betrayed us by failing to declare the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“obamacare”) unconstitutional; since we may be stuck with obama for four more years; 1 and since a democrat-controlled U.S. Senate will not repeal obamacare, we must find another way. There is another way. Here it is, and it comes from Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence.


Thus, THE STATE LEGISLATURES are the ultimate bulwark of The People and The Ultimate Human Protectors of our Constitutional Republic:

“It may safely be received as an axiom in our political system, that the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Is the 29 Hour Work Week Coming as Employers Seek to Escape the Obamacare Mandate?

Businesses with 50 or more employees who average at least 30 hours of work a week will be subject to the Obamacare insurance coverage mandate.

Companies are reportedly planning large layoffs due to the implementation of Obamacare.

But, companies can potentially avoid being subject to Obamacare’s insurance requirements by limiting employees’ weekly hours to less than the 30 hour level defined by Obamacare as “full-time.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Microsoft Patents TV That Watches Back, Counts Heads, Charges Admission

Here’s a scenario for you: at some point in the the near future, you sit down in front of your Xbox 720/960/1080 and queue up a little video-on-demand from the Live Arcade selection of movies. You select a film from the menu and, before you can press the “Play” button, you are greeted with another menu giving you several price points, depending on how many people will be watching.

It sounds ridiculous, but Microsoft has applied for a patent covering a method that could make this a reality. Geekwire (via Slashdot) has the details on a patent application utilizing the Kinect (or its successor) to count noses for content providers.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Mr. Drudge: Please Keep Telling the Truth

Dear Mr. Drudge:

As the mother of a young man who was recently almost killed at the hands of black mob, I was a surprised to read a columnist pleading with you to stop reporting on racial violence.

Our family had no idea that racial violence happened so frequently — and ferociously. All over the country.

That is because it is so rarely reported.

If we would had known about it, maybe our family could have been spared almost a year of physical and mental torture.

Our trip through hell began in January. Our son was a student at Missouri State University in Springfield when, next to his off-campus house, members of an Afro-American fraternity were having a party. Also present were several members of the Missouri State University football team.

During previous — and frequent — parties there, several cars had been vandalized. So my son decided to go outside and move his. It was almost 2 a.m., and near his car a group of 20 black people gathered.

The next thing he knew, he was in the hospital with bleeding, head injuries, missing teeth and facial lacerations.

[Return to headlines]

New Study: Ethanol Costs One Million Jobs

Ethanol does little to reduce U.S. greenhouse emissions, but diverting grain from to fuel is ramping up survival costs for the poor across the world.

An economist in Indianapolis just calculated that the U.S. is losing a million jobs this year—along with $30 million in economic growth—because we shifted too much of our corn into ethanol.

Tom Elam says direct employment in the food industry would have produced three times as many jobs processing and marketing meat as making ethanol from the same corn. Elam calculates the foregone jobs at 941,000. That doesn’t even count the myriad of jobs that would have been needed to support the newly employed one million Americans.

Based on recent history, U.S. consumers got less meat and milk than they would have liked. Consumer spending on these items veered sharply down from its historic trend after President Bush radically raised the nation’s ethanol mandate in 2007. Elam predicts these problems will only get worse. The EPA’s approval of 15 percent ethanol in gasoline will likely push corn fuel use up faster than corn yields are rising.

…To add insult to injury, ethanol is expensive to make and has 35 % fewer BTU’s per gallon. The EPA approved 15% blend will melt fuel lines and burn valves in many cars. Who will pay for the repairs?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama to Unleash Racial-Preferences Juggernaut

If your organization has a policy or practice that doesn’t benefit minorities equally, watch out: The Obama administration could sue you for racial discrimination under a dubious legal theory that many argue is unconstitutional.

President Obama intends to close “persistent gaps” between whites and minorities in everything from credit scores and homeownership to test scores and graduation rates.

His remedy — short of new affirmative-action legislation — is to sue financial companies, schools and employers based on “disparate impact” complaints — a stealthy way to achieve racial preferences, opposed 2 to 1 by Americans.

Under this broad interpretation of civil-rights law, virtually any organization can be held liable for race bias if it maintains a policy that negatively impacts one racial group more than another — even if it has no racist motive and applies the policy evenly across all groups.

This means that even race-neutral rules for mortgage underwriting and consumer credit scoring potentially can be deemed racist if prosecutors can produce statistics showing they tend to result in adverse outcomes for blacks or Latinos.

Already, Attorney General Eric Holder has used the club of disparate-impact lawsuits to beat almost $500 million in loan set-asides and other claims out of the nation’s largest banks.

In addition to the financial settlements — which include millions in funding for affordable-housing activists — Bank of America, Wells Fargo and SunTrust have all agreed to adopt more minority-friendly lending policies.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Out of the Margins Shifting Demographics Change Face of US Campaigns

The United States, traditionally a land of immigrants, is on the verge of historic change, with non-Caucasian Americans poised to become the majority in the coming decades. Obama’s recent victory has already shown how demographic shifts will change the political landscape.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Poll Watcher Sees Romney Ballots Changed

Up to 10 percent of the ballots cast at a polling station in Pennsylvania reverted to a default, which gave Barack Obama a vote no matter who the voter had selected, according to a poll watcher who was a witness to the proceedings.

The incident took place in the state where officials claimed Obama got a total of 19,605 votes in 59 voting divisions to zero for Mitt Romney and not far from the 100 precincts in Ohio where Obama got 99 percent of the vote, a feat not even achieved by third-world dictators, according to Market Daily News.

With evidence mounting that the vote tabulation did not reflect the true choices of voters, talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh echoed the Daily News, saying Monday: “Third-world, tin-horn dictators don’t get [these percentages]. I mean, the last guy that got this percentage of the vote was Saddam Hussein, and the people that didn’t vote for him got shot. This just doesn’t happen. Even Hugo Chavez [of Venezuela] doesn’t get 100 percent or 99 percent of the vote.”

It was in Upper Macungie Township, near Allentown, Pa., where an auditor, Robert Ashcroft, was dispatched by Republicans to monitor the vote on Election Day. He said the software he observed would “change the selection back to default — to Obama.”

He said that happened in about 5 percent to 10 percent of the votes.

He said the changes appeared to have been made by a software program.

Ashcroft said the format for computer programming has a default status, and in this case it appeared to be designating a vote for Obama each time it went to default.

[Return to headlines]

Private Property Rights Defined

As the battle to stop Sustainable Development grows, it is important that activists have clear definitions of their points as they deal with elected officials and planners who are making policy in their community. Below is a start in defining private property rights.

In a “Fifth Amendment” treatise by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders (12/10/97), he writes: Our state, and most other states, define property in an extremely broad sense.” That definition is as follows:

“Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Prop 37 Vote-Fraud Update: 3.3 Million Votes Still Uncounted

(NaturalNews) When the networks and other media outlets made the early call on election night, claiming Prop 37 had gone down to defeat, there were millions of votes still uncounted.

I just checked the California Secretary of State’s website, which is the official center for vote results, and there are 3,334,495 votes that remain unprocessed.

Reading the county-by-county reports, the last date any of them reported in with numbers was November 8, three days ago.

Why is it taking so long for California to count all its votes? Why do so many remain uncounted at this late date?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

San Diegans Face 6 Years in Prison for Washing Their Car

San Diegans could face 6 years in prison and fines of $100,000 dollars a day for washing their car in the driveway or failing to pick up dog poop under new EPA-mandated environmental regulations related to water quality.

“California’s latest experiment in faith-based policymaking is being unleashed today on the San Diego public, as regional water-quality officials begin hearings on new regulations that seem crafted to turn most owners of a car, house or dog into criminals within a decade or so. We wish we were exaggerating,” reports the North County Times.

“Under the draft rules, ordinary homeowners may face six years in prison and fines of $100,000 a day if they are deemed serial offenders of such new crimes as allowing sprinklers to hit the pavement, washing a car in the driveway, or, conceivably, failing to pick up dog poop promptly from their own backyards, let alone the sidewalk.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Saudi Gets Life in Jail for Texas Terror Plot

AFP — A Saudi national was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for plotting attacks on the Texas home of former US president George W. Bush, nuclear plants, and other targets, prosecutors said.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 22, was arrested last year after a chemical supplier became suspicious when he tried to order concentrated phenol, a toxic chemical that has legitimate uses but is also a powerful bomb-making tool.

The FBI found journal entries and emails in which he wrote about how he sought a scholarship to a Texas university in order to be able to “target the infidel Americans” and detailed how he would carry out Jihad.

One email he sent himself with the title “targets” contained the names and home addresses of three members of the US military who had been stationed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Another, titled “Tyrant’s House,” listed Bush’s address in Dallas.

The FBI also found evidence that he was looking into using dolls to conceal explosives, targeting a nightclub with a backpack bomb and had emailed himself instructions on how to convert a cell phone into a remote detonator and how to booby-trap a vehicle using household items.

Aldawsari was lawfully admitted to the United States on a student visa in 2008 and was enrolled at South Plains College near Lubbock, Texas at the time of his 2011 arrest.

“Khalid Aldawsari, acting as a lone wolf, may well have gone undetected were it not for the keen observations of private citizens,” Sarah Saldana, US attorney for the northern district of Texas, said in a statement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Secretary Brown Statement on the Status of Clackamas County Ballot Fraud Investigation

Salem, Ore — “Secretary of State Kate Brown today issued the statement below to provide an update of the investigation in Clackamas County and to correct information that reportedly was shared at yesterday’s emergency commission meeting in Clackamas County.

“To date, Clackamas County, under supervision of my elections monitors, has identified six ballots that were potentially altered by the accused temporary county elections employee. The total number of ballots potentially affected is still under investigation by the Department of Justice.” Rest at link.

It’s all over the place.

[Return to headlines]

Sex, Lies and Obama Ben Ghazi

America has never been in greater need of a “Woodward and Bernstein” effort than today. We are witnessing a cover-up of monumental proportions, with all roads leading directly to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We’ve already seen the modern day equivalent of the infamous Saturday night massacre in the form of resignations of senior officers and officials, with more to certainly follow. It’s all about the cover-up, and always about the cover-up. Yet, such an effort will not be made by a media compromised by years of infiltration, having evolved into its present incarnation as a ministry of propaganda.

When one begins pulling on the thread of Benghazi, the entire fabric covering Barack Hussein Obama, from his earliest political activities to the current operations in play begin to unravel. By pulling on this one thread, his associates and associations, compatriots and coconspirators, alliances, plans and agendas become exposed for all to see in the proper context.

The reason full disclosure about Benghazi is needed is that it will expose an agenda much larger, much deeper, and much more nefarious than any extra-judicial operation we have seen in recent history. It will reveal Obama’s contempt for the United States Congress and the rule of law. It will also reveal Obama’s ugly contempt for human life, as there are not only four Americans dead from his operational objectives, but forty thousand dead in Syria — and counting.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo — for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And fewer people voted. As I write, with almost all the votes counted, President Obama has won fewer votes than John McCain won in 2008, and more than ten million off his own 2008 total.

But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.

Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win.

That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost because the conservative virtues — the traditional American virtues — of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness — no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate. The notion of the “Reagan Democrat” is one cliché that should be permanently retired.

Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.

The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff. Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader” or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who — courtesy of Obama — receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate “free” health care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.

Imagine two restaurants side by side. One sells its customers fine cuisine at a reasonable price, and the other offers a free buffet, all-you-can-eat as long as supplies last. Few — including me — could resist the attraction of the free food. Now imagine that the second restaurant stays in business because the first restaurant is forced to provide it with the food for the free buffet, and we have the current economy, until, at least, the first restaurant decides to go out of business. (Then, the government takes over the provision of free food to its patrons.)

The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation (by the amoral Obama team) of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which “47% of the people” start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money — “free stuff” — from the government. Almost half of the population has no skin in the game — they don’t care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese. They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense. In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.

It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.

That suggests the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that, as Winston Churchill stated so tartly, “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Voters — a clear majority — are easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

U.S. Oil Output to Overtake Saudi Arabia’s by 2020

U.S. oil output is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia’s in the next decade, making the world’s biggest fuel consumer almost self-reliant and putting it on track to become a net exporter, the International Energy Agency said.

Growing supplies of crude extracted through new technology including hydraulic fracturing of underground rock formations will transform the U.S. into the largest producer for about five years starting about 2020, the Paris-based adviser to 28 nations said today in its annual World Energy Outlook. The U.S. met 83 percent of its energy needs in the first six months of this year, according to the Energy Department in Washington.

“The IEA outlook feeds into the idea of a shift in the center of influence in the world oil market,” said Gareth Lewis-Davies, an analyst at BNP Paribas SA in London. “Given Saudi Arabia is willing to shift production up and down it will retain a large degree of influence, and remain important as a price-influencer.”

The U.S. will pump 11.1 million barrels of oil a day in 2020 and 10.9 million in 2025, the IEA said. Those figures are 500,000 barrels a day and 100,000 barrels a day higher, respectively, than its forecasts for Saudi Arabia for those years. The desert kingdom becomes the biggest producer again by 2030, pumping 11.4 million barrels a day versus 10.2 million in the U.S.

“Around 2017, the U.S. will be the largest oil producer of the world, overtaking Saudi Arabia,” IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said at a press conference in London today. “This is of course a major development and definitely will have significant implications.”

An oil ministry official based in the Saudi capital Riyadh wasn’t immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by Bloomberg by phone today.

The IEA report described the U.S.’s advancement toward energy self-sufficiency as “a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy-importing countries.” The nation is developing so-called tight oil reserves including the Bakken shale formation, which are extracted by hydraulic fracturing or horizontal drilling.

Shrinking Imports

U.S. oil imports will drop to about 4 million barrels a day in 10 years from a current average of 10 million because of new production and stricter fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, which will curb demand, Birol said.

The IEA is not alone in forecasting that the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the largest oil producer. The U.S. will achieve that goal before the end of this decade, Citigroup Inc. said in a March 20 report that included biofuels and natural gas liquids in the tally.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Universities Welcome Muslim Students Through Interfaith Efforts

Many American universities-both religious and secular-have recently launched efforts to accommodate and encourage religious diversity on their campuses. Universities are fostering this diversity and strengthening interfaith respect and cooperation to better serve their students and to counter rising incidences of xenophobia and other prejudices. Colleges are taking particularly active steps to welcome Muslim students, who too often face discrimination and prejudice because of their faith.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Vaccinated Population Contracting and Spreading Disease

Recently published research in the New England Journal of Medicine1 investigated the reasons behind, and potential solutions, for mumps outbreaks reported to the CDC during the past several years. According to the authors, widespread use of the MMR vaccine had reduced the annual incidence of mumps in the US by more than 99 percent by 2005.

But then, suddenly, something changed.

In 2006, a large outbreak was reported among highly vaccinated populations in the US, and two additional outbreaks occurred during 2009 and 2010. The latter two occurred in American Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.

In 2009, more than 3,500 people got sick, and the overwhelming majority of them — 89 percent — were children, who had received the CDC recommended two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Another eight percent had received one dose, putting the total numbers of students vaccinated at 97 percent!

Matters were much the same for the 2010 outbreak. Of the more than 1,000 people who contracted mumps that year, 77 percent had received two doses of the MMR.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

W.H. Petition Calls for Stripping Citizenship and Exile for Anyone Who Signs Petition to Secede

A White House petition gathering force calls for citizenship to be stripped and exile for anyone who signs a petition in favor of a state’s secession.

“Mr. President, please sign an executive order such that each American citizen who signed a petition from any state to secede from the USA shall have their citizenship stripped and be peacefully deported,” the full petition reads.

The title of the petition is, “WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them.”

[Return to headlines]

Welcome to the Rand Paul Evolution

He’ll push to loosen marijuana penalties, legalize undocumented immigrants and pursue a less aggressive American foreign policy.

Call it the Rand Paul Evolution.

In the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection win and ahead of a possible 2016 White House bid of his own, the Kentucky Republican plans to mix his hard-line tea party conservatism with more moderate policies that could woo younger voters and minorities largely absent from the GOP coalition. It’s the latest tactic of the freshman senator to inject the Libertarian-minded views shared by his retiring father into mainstream Republican thinking as the party grapples with its future.

In an interview with POLITICO, Paul said he’ll return to Congress this week pushing measures long avoided by his party. He wants to work with liberal Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Republicans to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for pot possession. He wants to carve a compromise immigration plan with an “eventual path” to citizenship for illegal immigrants, a proposal he believes could be palatable to conservatives. And he believes his ideas — along with pushing for less U.S. military intervention in conflicts overseas — could help the GOP broaden its tent and appeal to crucial voting blocs that handed Democrats big wins in the West Coast, the Northeast and along the Great Lakes.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

White House Website Deluged With Secession Petitions From 20 States

How would Old Glory look with 30 stars instead of 50? As far-fetched as it may sound, the White House might soon be forced by its own rules to examine the question.

On Nov.7, the day after President Barack Obama was re-elected, the White House’s website received a petition asking the administration to allow Louisiana to secede.

If 25,000 people sign the petition by Dec. 7, it will “require a response” from the Obama administration, according to published rules of the White House’s online “We the People” program.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


UBC Researchers Advocate HPV Vaccine Scrutiny

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) provides evidence that Gardasil, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, may cause a type of inflammation in the brain involving brain vessels (cerebral vasculitis) that can lead to death.

As of mid-2012, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has received 119 reports of death following HPV vaccination,1 as well as:

  • 894 reports of disability
  • 517 life-threatening adverse events
  • 9,889 emergency room visits
  • 2,781 hospitalizations

Ever since Gardasil vaccine was licensed in 2006, reports of serious adverse events have included autoimmune and neurological disorders sometimes involving clinical symptoms similar to cerebral vasculitis, an often-fatal condition in which blood vessels in the spinal cord and brain become acutely and chronically inflamed.

According to the new study, many of the symptoms reported to vaccine safety surveillance databases following Gardasil shots are associated with cerebral vasculitis and that, in some cases, cerebral vasculitis may well be triggered by Gardasil vaccine,2 even though public health agencies are still maintaining that the vaccine is safe!

Researchers Prove HPV Vaccine May Trigger Cerebral Vasculitis-Like Symptoms

In the study, researchers analyzed brain tissue samples from two young women, who suffered from cerebral-vasculitis-type symptoms following Gardasil vaccinations, and subsequently died.

They found antibodies that recognize HPV-16L1, a viral antigen present in Gardasil, binding to the wall of blood vessels in the brain. Particles of the HPV-16L1 antigen from Gardasil were also detected in the arteries at the base of the brain, with some particles adhering to the blood vessel walls.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

War Memorial Defaced With Jihadist Graffiti on Veterans Day

Vandals defaced a war memorial with jihadist graffiti just hours after Veterans Day services were held at the site.

The vandal scrawled ‘Canada will burn; Praise Allah’ in black marker pen across a memorial sculpture in Coronation Park, Toronto.

It came just a few hours after anti-war protesters interrupted the two minute silence during the ceremony at Toronto’s Old City Hall Sunday morning by chanting slogans.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Eric Clapton’s Swiss Watch Nets $3.6 Million

A platinum wristwatch owned by British rock guitarist Eric Clapton sold for 3.4 million francs ($3.6 million) at a Geneva auction on Monday.

The rare Patek Philippe watch with a perpetual calendar manufactured in 1987 was sold to an anonymous Asian bidder by Christie’s at the Hôtel des Bergues.

The timepiece, described as a “synonym of style and mechanical elegance” by Aurel Bacs, head of Christie’s international watch department, was valued at between 2.5 million and four million francs.

It was made in 1987, one of only two produced of platinum to a design first introduced in 1951.

The watch was commissioned by Patek Philippe’s owner, Philippe Stern, who subsequently put it up for auction in 1989, the watchmaker’s 150th anniversary.

Clapton, its third owner, had hardly worn it, according to Bacs.

The auction house sold another platinum Patek Philippe, dating from 1952, for a record 3.77 million francs at its “Important Watches” auction.

The Geneva Observatory Watch was “made especially for J.B. Champion”, an American watch collector and successful lawyer, with those words inscribed on the watch face.

All told, the auction brought in just over 27 million francs for 310 lots of watches.

On Tuesday, Christie’s is auctioning rare jewels in Geneva, including the Archduke Joseph Diamond, named after the former archduke of Austria, its first recorded owner.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU Fund Gives Italy 18 Million Euros for Flood Response

Italy asked for ‘solidarity’ funding after October 2011 flooding

(ANSA) — Rome, November 12 — The European Commission on Monday agreed to give 18 million euros from solidarity funds for flood damage suffered a year ago in central Italy. The announcement followed a request by the Italian government for funding to pay for the emergency response to deadly flooding in Liguria and Tuscany on October 25 and October 26, 2011.

The money is to be used to pay for the restoration of electrical, water, and sewer equipment and infrastructure, as well as road repair and cleaning in damaged areas.

The area is once again at risk of further damage amid heavy flooding.

Severe storms lashed central and northern Italy over the weekend and into Monday, creating floods, damage and evacuations, especially in Tuscany and Italy’s northeast regions.

In Tuscany, where one man was killed by floods, the provinces of Grosseto, Siena, and Arezzo remained on a high state of alert after 200 mm of rain fell on the weekend.

An additional 80 mm of rain was expected Monday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Hamburg, In German First, To Recognise Muslim Holidays

Hamburg. Hamburg concluded a “historic” accord with its Muslim and Alawite communities on Tuesday becoming the first German state to recognise certain Islamic holidays as days off, AFP reported. The agreement signed by Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz and religious associations is seen as putting the northern port city’s Muslims and Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, on a more equal footing with Christian residents. Hamburg is also one of Germany’s 16 federal states. As well as handing them the right to take off some religious holidays, it allows the communities to take part in developing religious teaching in schools and the future employment of Muslim and Alawite religious studies’ teachers. Muslims for their part undertake to respect fundamental rights and support equality between the sexes. Scholz described the signing at the city hall as a “milestone” while Zekeriya Altug, chairman of the Hamburg branch of the DITIB Turkish-Islamic association, called it a “historic day” for both Hamburg and Germany.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Hamburg’s Deal With Muslims Sparks Concerns

Hamburg has become the first German state to strike an historic agreement with Muslim community groups, but the deal has riled some members of the political establishment, who claim it undermines the separation of religion and state.

The agreement was struck between Hamburg city authorities and the council of Islamic communities (Schura), the Turkish-Islamic Union (Ditib), the association of Islamic cultural centres (VIKZ), as well as the city’s Alevi community. Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz was set to sign it on Tuesday, the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper reported.

Religious instruction in schools and state recognition of Muslim holidays are among the cornerstones of the deal, which ties into existing agreements with Christian churches and Jewish communities.

In future, Muslim teachers will join Protestant pedagogues at the front of the classroom, the paper said. Moreover, Muslim holidays would be given equal status with other religious holidays, such as the Day of Prayer and Repentance celebrated by Christians.

The agreement, which was launched by the city’s former mayor Ole von Beust in 2007, also sees Muslim groups pledge to adhere to the core values set out in Germany’s constitution — including religious tolerance and gender equality.

Yet despite broad support for the deal in Hamburg’s legislative assembly, not all politicians have endorsed it.

Members of the pro-business Free Democrats have taken a critical view, with the party’s deputy in the assembly, Anna von Treuenfels, telling the Hamburger Abendblatt that such agreements “fundamentally contradict the liberal world view that calls for maximum possible separation of religion and churches and the state.”

She also warned that “imprecise” formulations in the agreement could open the city up to legal headaches — saying it does not expressly regulate the wearing of headscarves or other religious clothing, such as the burka, during school instruction.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Ruby to Testify in Berlusconi Trial

Clooney and Ronaldo on ‘stand by’ as witnesses

(see previous) (ANSA) — Milan, November 12 — Defense lawyers for Silvio Berlusconi said on Monday that Karima ‘Ruby’ El Mahroug, the underage Moroccan runaway and nightclub dancer the ex-premier is accused of paying for sex with, will be called to testify in his defense.

Berlusconi is also being tried for alleged abuse of power, regarding a telephone call he made to a police station in May 2010 to ask about Mahroug, detained over a theft accusation and who he said was a relative of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

Mahroug will be called to the Milan courtroom on December 10 or 17.

In October, Mahroug told Italian television that she would testify willingly.

“I’m the lightning rod of this trial and they should call on me. I can’t wait, and when they do, I’ll go”.

Both Ruby and Berlusconi deny having sex.

The charge of having sex with an underage prostitute carries a jail term of up to three years, and abuse of office 12 years.

Actor George Clooney and Real Madrid’s Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo are on “stand by” and may be called to testify after Ruby.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

‘Potentially Disastrous’: Business Chiefs Warn Against Catalan Secession

CEOs and bankers are warning that the Spanish region of Catalonia could wreck its economy if it decided to declare independence from Spain. But regional president Artur Mas, who favors secession and wants to hold a referendum on it, is expected to be re-elected in a vote on November 25.

Two weeks before the Spanish region of Catalonia holds an election, business leaders are warning against a secession from Spain, which is favored by the region’s president, Artur Mas, the head of the nationalist party, Convergence and Union (CiU).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Tiny Engine Runs on Single Hydrogen Molecules

Power packs don’t get much smaller than this. The random movements of single hydrogen molecules have powered a tiny, vibrating springboard, mimicking molecular machines in nature.

Heat from their surroundings causes all molecules to move randomly, but engineers tend to regard such movements as noise to be avoided like the plague. Jose Ignacio Pascual at the Free University of Berlin in Germany and colleagues took inspiration from the natural world, where random motion powers structures such as proteins that move cargo around inside cells.

They placed a quartz springboard, weighing a fraction of a milligram, next to a slab of copper coated with hydrogen molecules. When a molecule changed its orientation, the force between the molecule and the board changed, setting the board vibrating. The team could keep the board vibrating by injecting electrons that encouraged the molecules to move, one at a time, in this way.

“A single hydrogen molecule ends up pushing an oscillator 1019times more massive than itself,” says Pascual.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Toulouse Gunman Merah Was ‘Raised to Hate Jews’

Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah was raised in an atmosphere of anti-Semitism and racial hatred, according to a new book written by his brother. On Monday, it emerged Merah’s sister Souad faces possible charges of “glorifying terrorism”.

Mohamed Merah, the gunman who shot and killed a rabbi, three Jewish children and three paratroopers in the southwestern French city of Toulouse in March 2012, grew up surrounded by racial hatred and anti-Semitism, according to a book written by his older brother.

“I will explain how my parents raised (Mohamed) in an atmosphere of racism and hate before the Salafis (ultraconservative Muslims) could douse (him) in religious extremism,” 36-year-old Abdelghani Merah wrote in his book “My brother, the terrorist,” due out on Wednesday.

“I am furious with my parents for bringing him up in violence and intolerance, with my sister Souad who applauded his fundamentalist delusions, with my brother Abdelkader who actively encouraged him,” he wrote.

On Monday, police sources revealed Souad will be formally investigated by prosecutors in Paris on allegations of “glorifying terrorism” after she was secretly filmed by Abdelghani saying she was “proud” of Mohamed’s deadly acts.

The move follows the broadcasting of a report on French TV channel M6 in which Abdelghani confronted his sister and his mother in interviews that were filmed with hidden cameras.

“I am proud of (Mohamed), he fought to the very end. I told this to the police and I’m telling you too.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Free Speech’ Row After Man is Arrested for Posting Image of a Burning Poppy on His Facebook Page on Remembrance Sunday

Police have arrested a young man after a picture of a burning poppy was posted on Facebook.

Linford House, 19, was arrested on Remembrance Sunday after the image of a Royal British Legion paper poppy being held to a cigarette lighter was posted online.

Underneath was written: ‘How about that you squadey (sic) c****.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Abu Qatada’s Victory Proves How Low We Have Been Laid

by Douglas Murray

For years a collection of politicians and commentators said that the ECHR and ECtHR would have no impact on British justice. Then they said that they would have no negative impact on British justice. Then it was said that while they might have some negative impact on British justice this would be out-weighed by the good done. Now some say that though the good may be outweighed by the bad the ECHR and ECtHR are still worth something anyway.

They, and we, should be plain. It no longer matters what the British government or Home Secretary wants. It no longer matters what the British courts want. It no longer matters what the British public wants. Because the Prime Minister, Home Secretary, Parliament, British courts and British people no longer have power in this country. Of course they retain all the titles, trappings and pretence of power. But they no longer actually hold power.

There could not be a clearer open-and-shut case than Qatada. He came to this country illegally and is wanted in his native country to face terrorism charges. Yet here he stays. Because thanks to the European Convention and European Court, Britain is no longer in control of itself or its future. When you consider how this happened, how disgracefully it was dissembled, and how helpless and pointless all our politicians have become in the face of it, you do wonder what must happen before we admit the pass we have been brought to and finally divorce ourselves from this illegitimate Convention and Court.

[Reader comment by Ay]

so Tommy Robinson is in jail for “conspiracy to cause public nuisance”, — then how it might be that the bureaucrats unleashing the dangerous and universally despised terrorist to the streets — these bureaucrats are not guilty of public nuisance? the same streets where people are now denied the right of free speech to talk about this very terror threat. only explanation is that Britain is de-facto ruled by traitors on behalf of global jihad…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Bin Laden’s ‘Right-Hand Man’ And Terror Suspect Abu Qatada Will be Back on Our Streets Tomorrow… And Theresa May Says It’s All Strasbourg’s Fault

Home Secretary Theresa May today blamed the European Court of Human Rights for the Government’s thwarted attempt to deport hate preacher and suspected terrorist Abu Qatada.

Qatada today won his appeal against deportation to Jordan to face trial and will be released tomorrow after being granted bail, forcing security officials to monitor him around the clock at huge cost to British taxpayers.

She accused the body of ‘moving the goalposts’ over the deportation of dangerous criminals and has vowed to kick the hate preacher out of the UK.

It is a huge setback for the Government which has been trying to force him out of the UK for a decade.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Chilling Moment ‘Good Samaritan’ Leads Drunk Woman Who Passed Out in a Bar to a Taxi… Before Taking Her Home and Raping Her

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

These pictures show the chilling moment a sexual predator posed as a ‘Good Samaritan’ to help a drunken woman before taking her home and raping her.

Ebrima Dampha, 33, was caught on CCTV as he pounced on his vulnerable victim when she passed out in a bar at four times the drink drive limit.

The woman, who is in her thirties, was barely able to walk or talk as Dampha, a chef from Havant in Hampshire, dragged her outside to a taxi, intent on raping her.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Royal Navy Officer Faces Jail After Being Caught Trying to Pass Nuclear Submarine Secrets to Russians in MI5 Sting

A Royal Navy traitor caught trying to hand over top secret information to a rival country in an MI5 sting is facing jail today.

Petty Officer Edward Devenney, 30, wanted to damage the armed forces by passing confidential material to the Russian Secret Services.

Northern Irishman Devenney served at HMS Rake out of Plymouth and was today remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing next month.

The submariner was bent on leaking Information including details of British code-breaking technology and the movements of Royal Navy submarines.

Details of a top secret operation undertaken by HMS Trafalgar and sailing dates for other nuclear submarines were also in his hands.


At the time of his arrest Devenney had described himself as a Labour supporter and National Trust member on his Twitter page and had been prolific online.

Describing himself as a practising Catholic, Devenney was critical of government policy on health and housing. He attacks Tory MPs while praising the likes of Harriet Harman and John Prescott.

He also spoke out against the BNP and homophobia and intimate details from his personal life from what he eats for breakfast to how hungover he is at work to his love for watching Poirot, Jeremy Kyle, Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: The Hate Cleric’s Smile That Says He’s Untouchable: Terror Suspect Abu Qatada Goes Home — and it Could Take Years to Get Rid of Him

Abu Qatada returned home yesterday — as a Government terror adviser warned it could be years before he is kicked out of Britain.

The fanatic, who was granted bail by a court on Monday, was driven from his high-security prison and back to the family home.

He smirked as he stepped out of a people carrier to face chants of ‘out, out, out’ from furious protesters.


David Cameron, on a visit to Italy, said he was ‘fed up’ that Qatada was on the streets and Downing Street said the Government would appeal against the decision to block his deportation to Jordan.

But he did not respond to calls from Tory backbenchers who want Britain to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights or simply to ignore Strasbourg’s ruling in the case.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Video Game Forebear Turns 100, Born in Spain

Google conference in Madrid to celebrate creator Torres Quevedo

(ANSAmed) — Madrid, November 1 — The ‘grandfather’ of today’s video games turns 100. ‘El ajedrecista’, the chess player, was invented in 1912 by Spain’s Leonardo Torres Quevedo. The algorithmically powered machine could play an end-game of chess against a human opponent automatically.

In order to celebrate its 100 anniversary, Google is organizing a conference on November 7 in Madrid in cooperation with the superior engineering and telecommunications school of the Polytechnic University in Madrid, to celebrate the heritage of Torres Quevedo. Seminars and debates will be organized along with an exhibit on the devices invented by the Spanish scientist.

Sources with Google Spain said ‘El ajedrecista’ was a marvel for its times. The machine didn’t just calculate its moves but had mechanical arms which moved its pieces, in the form of electrical jacks, across a grid. In later models the arm mechanism was replaced by magnets and the device looked more like an ordinary chess board. Also, the machine was programmed so that it was impossible to cheat it as it could spot illegal moves so its challenger could never win.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Trip to the Promised Land: Balkan Roma Dream of Life in Germany

Since the European Union began allowing visa-free travel for Serbs and Macedonians, there has been a sharp increase in Roma from the Balkans applying for asylum. Despite the difficulties, Germany remains the promised land for those in the slums of Skopje and Belgrade.

For Orhan, the road to Germany begins in an Internet café on a side street in Shutka, the Roma neighborhood in the northern part of the Macedonian capital, Skopje. Electric cables hang from the ceiling, a white fluorescent tube illuminates dusty computer screens and a plastic tarp serves as a divider. Orhan, 27, is standing nervously behind the tarp as he lights a cigarette. His sister Fatima is sitting in front of one of the monitors, about to have her first date with Germany.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Anti-Sexual Harassment Squads Patrol the Streets of Cairo

Sexual harassment has plagued Egypt for years, and it’s getting worse. Today, more than 80% of Egyptian women say they’ve been victimized. Faced with the government’s inertia, a group of men has decided to take to the streets to stop perpetrators.

A study carried out in 2010 by the Cairo-based Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights revealed that 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women have been victims of obscene comments or inappropriate touching in public places. Only 12% of them dare involve the authorities or file a complaint. Furthermore, more than 60% of the men interviewed admitted to having sexually harassed a woman.

Victims often feel socially pressured to remain silent. Recently, however, foreign female journalists, such as Sonia Dridi of FRANCE 24 and Lara Logan of CBS, have had the courage to describe the sexual aggression that they suffered while reporting from Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

There has also been a significant rise in Egyptian women sharing their stories of harassment via the Internet, but the authorities have still not taken any measures to deal with the problem, which has created a climate of impunity. So much so that last June, a group of men sexually assaulted several protesters during a protest denouncing sexual harassment.

The revolution has not done much for women’s rights in Egypt, but it has allowed for the creation of more civil society organisations, including some, like the Basma movement (“imprint” in Arabic), that have been fighting against sexual harassment.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Egyptian Salafist Scholar Calls for the Destruction of “Pyramids and Sphinx”

For Murgan Salem al-Gohary, pro-Taliban Salafist leader, they must go the way of the Buddhas of Bamyan (Afghanistan), which were blown up in March 2001. Egypt’s tourist operators slam President Morsi and the authorities for doing nothing against the extremists. On Egypt Air, 250 stewardesses will wear the veil.

Cairo (AsiaNews) — Egypt’s tourist operators are afraid of Islamism and have attacked Murgan Salem al-Gohary,a Salafist Jihadist leader who during a TV programme, aired on privately owned Dream TV2 channel, proposed the destruction of Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx because they symbolise idolatry.

The Salafist’s statement follows dozens of threats made by Salafists against Egypt’s artistic heritage and holiday resorts, which represent one of the main sources of employment in the country.

Ihab El-Badry, leader of the Coalition to Support Tourism, said he would sue President Morsi, the prime minister and the ministers of tourism and monuments for doing nothing to control the Islamists.

He added that such statements are having a devastating effect on Egypt’s already struggling tourism industry.

“International media picked up these statements up and this will negatively affect tourism and the Egyptian economy in general,” El-Badry said, adding that tourists are now afraid to travel to Egypt.

Known for his extremist positions, Murgan Salem al-Gohary spent time in jail under the Mubarak regime for his pro-Islamic terror activities.

On TV, El-Gohary recounted proudly how he participated in the blowing up of the statues of the Buddhas of Bamyan in Afghanistan in 2001 with the Taliban. He explained that the statues and archaeological heritage of ancient Egypt could end up the same way.

“All Muslims are charged with applying the teachings of Islam to remove such idols, as we did in Afghanistan when we destroyed the Buddha statues,” he said. “God ordered Prophet Mohammed to destroy idols,” he added.

Al-Gohary’s controversial comments came one day after a large Salafist rally in Tahrir Square in favour of the introduction of Sharia law, causing not only a row with the country’s tourist operators, but also adding flue to the controversy between pro-democracy advocates and Islamists over the place of Islamic law in the new constitution.

In the wake of Egypt’s revolution, the ultraconservative Salafist al-Nour party has risen to become the second most influential force in parliament, behind the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to Egyptian author Ahmed Osman, the Salafists sympathise with Al-Gohary’s view, and have demanded that statues be destroyed or covered up to hide the parts that offend Islam.

However, Al-Gohary’s position is not shared by all Islamists. The vice president of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party, Sheikh Abdel Fattah Moro, said Al-Gohary’s interpretation of Islam is wrong.

“The Prophet destroyed the idols because people worshipped them”, he said. “But the Sphinx and the Pyramids are not worshiped;” hence, there is no need to destroy them.

Despite reassurances from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties on keeping religion and politics apart, the former is gradually creeping into the country’s institutions. Things once inconceivable are now more and more justified by the authorities.

In November 2011 for example, the al-Nour Party covered up the mermaids that embellish the fountain of Zeus in the centre of Alexandria.

Another example of the gradual Islamisation of Egyptian society is the recent decision taken by 250 Egypt Air stewardesses to wear the veil on board, like those working for the airline companies of Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Founded in 1932, Egypt’s national carrier has never enforced the Muslim veil. Under Mubarak, it was a sort of taboo. (S.C.)

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

Egypt: Turkey Will Invest 1 Bln USD, Muslim Brotherhood Says

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 13 — “In 2013, it is expected that Turkey will make one billion USD investment in Egypt,” the leader of the Egypt Muslim Brotherhood and businessman, Hassan Malek has said. Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Malek stated that they expected to see many sector agreements between Turkey and Egypt in the field of investment partnership when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a group of businessman would be visiting Egypt next week. Malek added that Turkish investors paid attention to make investments in the fields of fiber, textile, petrochemistry, agriculture and food, and said, “We expect that Turkey will invest one billion USD in Egypt in 2013.” Turkish PM Erdogan is expected to visit Egypt on November 17-18 with 12 ministers alongside him.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Sharply Criticizes Israel Over Gaza Airstrikes

Egypt’s Brotherhood slams Israel over Gaza strikes

Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood has sharply criticized Israel over its recent airstrikes that killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamist group said in a statement Tuesday that the Palestinian issue will always be a priority for Arabs and Muslims, despite those nations’ mounting domestic issues. It also called on governments in the region “to stop the Zionist war” that it accused Israeli leaders of pursuing for political points ahead of January elections in Israel.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Radical Jihadist Leader Threatens to Bulldoze the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza

The Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza are now the target of a radical Salafist jihadist leader.

Murgan Salem al-Gohary, 50, an Islamist leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, told Egyptian media that the historical landmarks are ‘idolatrous’ and must be destroyed.

The threats are being taken seriously as ten years ago Gohary helped smash a pair of giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel Will Defend Itself

Min. Moshe Yaalon says “We will put an end to this. We will not maintain restraint.”

Minister Yaalon said Sunday that Israel does not intend to maintain restraint in the face of the intense rocket attacks from Gaza. “If the terror organizations do not cease their fire we will be prepared to toughen our response as much as necessary, until they say ‘enough!’,” he said.

…He added that Mohammed Morsi’s election in Egypt and Barack Obama’s re-election in the U.S. also make the situation more difficult for Israel.


The above is the latest news out of Israel as of Sunday and it describes Israel’s situation as a civil war in Syria rages on its border, and there was an exchange of fire in the area of the Golan Heights, a military acquisition of a long ago war. Syria threatens the stability of the region to include Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.

It is noteworthy that Min. Yaalon identified the reelection of President Obama as a further complication of their military decisions, not the least of which is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Benghazi and Gunrunning… The Gaza Connection

In recent essays I have put forth the premise that the most accepted idea about the death of Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues is incorrect, They were not allowed to die to conceal Barrack Obama’s involvement in the arms trade with the rebels of Syria. Providing weapons for the overthrow of Assad was the realm of the Ambassador and the CIA. They were allowed to die to prevent those arms from reaching Syria. Their deaths opened a different path for those anti aircraft missiles and other weapons to be rerouted to Gaza and used against Israel.

Egypt is in a very unique position that allows a select few to garner great wealth under a totally immoral “religion”.. Vast amounts of weapons are being shipped into and through their country, and they have two options. Various checkpoints can either bribe those who are transporting arms to Gaza, or impound those weapons to be later used by the Egyptian government themselves. We never hear about those who pay the bribes and are allowed to proceed. Our working knowledge of the arms trade is what is announced by the Egyptian government when they seize those weapons.

While everyone is focused on the Obama, Benghazi, and Syrian connection they are overlooking the one group that continually assaults Israel, causing that tiny nation to spend vast sums of money in their immediate defense while other Islamic nations build their military and prepare for what they feel will be the final attack on the homeland of the Jews.

Here are some of the sources of funding for Israel’s continual threat. [Note from Egghead: The United Nations funded by the United States.]

Here is where the skinning of that poor cat comes in. If Obama and Hillary could, they would provide weapons straight to Hamas. Public opinion will not allow that and so the guise of “humanitarian aid” is advocated for the sake of the teary eyed. Cash is just as good as weapons as long as Obama can keep up the flow of said weapons. Thus far he has been doing a fine job. What’s an ambassador or two? …

In the final push for Israel, the members of Hamas are expendable and will be rapidly expended, but the forces of Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and other will roll over their bodies. Meanwhile they are of utmost importance in the day to day harassment of Israel. One of Obama’s most important objectives is that they remain a viable force in the unending attacks they inflict.

Everyone involved in trying to expose Obama’s efforts to arm the Syrian rebels are chasing shadows. What lies beyond those shadows is why Ambassador Stevens was sacrificed at the altar of Islam. His goal was to arm the Syrian rebels, while Obama’s wants to arm Hamas. The Ambassador stood in the way and so he died, thus allowing Hamas a steady flow of armament.

Post Script:

This essay is but the latest in a series on the Benghazi attack and the Hamas connection. All are contained in The Benghazi Conspiracy Compilation.

           — Hat tip: Egghead[Return to headlines]

Kahlili: Iran Rejects Hotline Request Following Attack on US Spy Drone

When the Iranian Revolutionary Guards naval units engaged in a provocative confrontation with US Naval units in 2011 in the Persian Gulf, the Obama Administration requested establishment of a hotline to avoid triggering a conflict. That was rejected by the Islamic Republic. Reza-Khalili reports in a World Net Daily article that following the recent attack on a US drone over the Persian Gulf that, the Obama Administration repeated its request for a hotline, only to have it rejected as a sign of weakness. A Reuters report further suggests that the MQ-1 Predator drone, attacked by two aging Iranian Soviet built Sukhoi -25s, may have collecting information on Tanker traffic at Kharg Island

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon[Return to headlines]

Turkey’s Islamist Turn, 10 Years Later

Is Turkey — due to its size, location, economy and sophisticated Islamist ideology — set to become the West’s greatest problem in the Middle East?

A tumultuous decade has passed since the Justice and Development Party was first elected to office on Nov. 3, 2002. Almost unnoticed, the country exited the pro-Western era started by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) and entered the anti-Western era of Recep Tayyip Erdogan (born 1954).

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UAE: Crackdown on Crime and ‘Online Dissent’

Jail terms for libel or incitement

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, 13 NOV — The UAE has cracked down on internet crimes but also on political dissent online with tough new laws which could result in a prison sentence. Following a decree from UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Al-Nahyan, the creation of sites which deride or damage the reputation of UAE countries — including the misuse of its flags and symbols, is punishable by 3 years in prison, according to Emirates press agency, WAM.

Prison is also on the cards for anyone who incites civil disobedience or changes to the regime or constitution. These include demonstrations, sit-ins or protests which have not been officially permitted. Thanks to a high standard of living the UAE remained untouched by the Arab Spring, which instead affected nearby Bahrain. However, criticism of the ‘system’ will not be tolerated. Almost 60 people from Islamic groups have been detained this year, despite no mention of the arrests in the politically straightjacketed press.

In 2011 organizers of a petition addressed to Sheikh Kalifa were arrested and released a few weeks later. They sought universal suffrage, as well as greater powers for the UAE parliament — the Federal National Council (FNC) which currently only has a consultative role. The government later promised to widen the electoral base and pledged suffrage in 2019, as well as agreeing to consolidate FNC powers.

The decree includes prison sentences for online prostitution, trafficking of humans or organs, narcotics trafficking — which carries a death sentence in the UAE — and adultery.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UK Troops ‘May be Sent to Syria Within Months’

Hundreds of British troops could be deployed to Syria if the humanitarian crisis worsens, our top soldier said yesterday.

General Sir David Richards said contingency plans were in place for a ‘very limited’ military response.

His admission is the most serious warning yet that Britain could deploy forces to the warzone, and will fuel fears that the UK risks being slowly sucked into a full-scale conflict.

The Chief of the Defence Staff’s comments come only days after David Cameron announced he would consider military options to remove President Bashar al-Assad.

But General Richards stressed that the international community and political leaders would need to secure support from Syrians before so-called ‘safe zones’ could be protected by foreign forces.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Cyprus Officially Off Russia Blacklist From January 1

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, NOVEMBER 12 — The Republic of Cyprus will finally be removed from the Russian blacklist of non-cooperative ‘tax havens’ from January 1, 2013, as Cyprus Mail reports. According to Moscow-based online site,, the Russian government has published an order in the country’s official gazette providing for the removal of Cyprus from Russia’s blacklist, starting next year, when a double taxation agreement signed between the two countries comes into force. The publication of the official order comes after years of negotiations between the authorities of the two countries, starting in 2008 when Cyprus was added to a blacklist of 54 countries for reportedly failing to share tax information with Russia. Many of Cyprus’ competitors in attracting Russian investment, such as Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland, lobbied hard to get off the list which dictated the rules on tax exemption for repatriated dividends from Russian subsidiaries in foreign countries. However, negotiations between Cyprus and Russia proved harder, with the latter leaning on Cyprus to provide a greater level of tax information exchange. A protocol was finally signed between the two countries in 2010 which will come into effect in the new year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Violent Jihad Group “Conducting Active Recruiting at Mosques in Moscow”

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russian police have arrested six members of a banned Islamic group on suspicion of recruiting followers in Moscow mosques and possessing weapons, the Interior Ministry said on Monday….

The Interior Ministry said the detainees were members of the Islamic Revival Party, which was designated as an international terrorist group by Russia’s Supreme Court and banned.

Police searching places where the detainees were staying found nine hand grenades and other weapons and ammunition, as well as extremist literature.

It a statement the ministry said leaders and members of the group had been “conducting active recruiting at mosques in Moscow and also distributing extremist literature and drawing other people into illegal activity.”…

Attacks on government-backed Muslim leaders in the Volga River province of Tatarstan in July added to fears of a spread of Islamist violence.

Rights activists say the violence is fuelled in part of heavy-handed police tactics and intolerance for religious beliefs outside the mainstream.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: British Soldier Killed in ‘Green on Blue’ Attack Was Shot Dead as He Played During Remembrance Day Football Match

A rogue Afghan soldier murdered a British serviceman in cold blood as he played in a Remembrance Day football game, it emerged yesterday.

The traitor opened fire as UK and Afghan forces took part in a friendly kickabout on a makeshift pitch inside a fortified military base in Helmand.

The attack was is the latest in a spate of ‘green on blue’ slayings, where allied troops are slaughtered by local forces they are training.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

India: Orissa: Christian Cemetery Desecrated in Kandhamal

A group of unknown persons removed all the crosses and cut down some trees and bushes. According to a Methodist minister in the area, the graves are at risk. In the past, the area was hit by anti-Christian violence.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — The Christian cemetery of the village of Midiakia (Kandhamal district, Orissa) has been desecrated by a group of unknown assailants. The news was released just yesterday, but Rev. Gaurango Nayak, pastor of the Methodist Church, discovered what had happened a week ago, when he went to the cemetery to pray. The authors of the act removed the crosses from every grave and felled some trees and bushes. According to the pastor, “in the next two days, all the mounds will be overturned.” For the moment, the leaders of the local churches have reported the incident to police and officials, but the authors have not yet been arrested. Police have placed the area under the art. 145 (unlawful assembly) of the Criminal Code, to prevent both sides from entering the cemetery.

The village of Midiakia is located about 15 km south of Balliguda, and is home to various Christians, Catholic, Methodist and Baptist. Several times in the past it has been targated in anti-Christian violence. During the pogroms of 2008, Hindu nationalists looted all the houses. On 26 July 2011, the Protestant pastor Michael Nayak was killed in an ambush by radical Hindus, but despite evidence the police closed the case as an accident.

Speaking to AsiaNews Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said he was “very concerned” about the “sinister, subtle and ongoing persecution against Christians in Kandhamal district.” “The GCIC — he adds — condemns the desecration of the Midiakia cemetery, and reiterates its request for further investigation into the case of Michael Nayak and other similar cases, to ensure justice to the Christian community.”

John Dayal, activist and member of the National Integration Council of the Central Government of India, presented the fact to two members of the National Commission for minorities, but has not yet received a response. “It is yet another horror story from Kandhamal — Dayal said — and as usual, the Orissa government continues to deny it.”

with the collaboration of Santosh Digal

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

Rocket Attack on Afghan Capital Kills 1

KABUL, Afghanistan — Insurgents fired four rockets into the Afghan capital early Tuesday, killing at least one person, police said.Two rockets landed near the airport and another struck near a private television station, causing no casualties, according to Kabul police. The fourth rocket landed close to an office compound used by the Afghan intelligence service, sent flying shrapnel into the car, killing one person and wounding three more.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Bloggers Criticize Party Congress

Many netizens in China’s blogosphere have expressed their disillusionment with the party leadership, despite intensified censorship. Few people expect much from the 18th Party Congress.

Many Chinese netizens have expressed their annoyance about the stepped up security measures ahead of the party congress and during it. They are also angry about the intensified censorship. “What kind of congress is this?” one user wrote on Sino Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. “There are police everywhere, but who are they supposed to be protecting? It’s awful!”

However, there is not much in terms of debate because censorship has been tightened during the party congress. Most searches will bring up official posts only.

That’s why the Internet community has had to resort to creative measures to circumvent the censors. Instead of using the Chinese characters for “18th Party Congress,” for example, they have used similar characters such as the one for the word “Sparta” or Latin script (“18big”). The codes that they use, such as “Seven dwarfs” to designate the seven upcoming new members of the Politburo, only work until the censors catch up.

In the censored forums of the big internet providers, there is only enthusiasm for the party congress. “An important day for our country and people” or “A great master plan for the country and new measures to improve our lives,” are just some of the headlines.

However, on Twitter, which can only be accessed if you are a technical whiz and thus has a much smaller community than Sina Weibo, there has been a lot of criticism.

“Many more people are recognizing that the whole thing is just a hyped-up show and the party will have to carry on playing its old-fashioned role,” the human rights activist Hu Jia tweeted. “As a taxpayer I have a right to demand that the congress be paid for by the party itself and not our taxes,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Hanoi Mosque Symbol of Islam in Vietnam

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) — “We get up at 4.15 every morning and pray for the new day,” Cuong told VietNamNet newspaper on Sunday, November 11. Cuong is taking care of Al Noor mosque, the only Muslim worship place in Hanoi in northern Vietnam. “When the sun rises, every family member starts work,” he said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

High Unemployment Among Muslims Linked to War on Terror

A NEW report paints a devastating picture of Muslim unemployment in Australia and links workplace discrimination to terrorist attacks such as the Bali bombings.

The report says that reducing the deep-seated hostility toward Muslims by a minority of Australians was hard to achieve in an atmosphere created by an open-ended war on terror.

The Newcastle University report was completed last year and quietly released on the Immigration Department’s website. Using Census data, it found that the jobless rate for Muslim men was more than double the national average and that only 57 per cent of Muslim males aged 15 and older had jobs compared with 68 per cent of all working-age men.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Kilimanjaro Ice Field Shrinks and Splits

Another ominous sign that Mount Kilimanjaro’s ice fields may disappear in 50 years has emerged.

What was once the largest remaining ice field on Kilimanjaro shrank and separated into two pieces, a research expedition discovered in September. The summit’s northern ice field now has a rift large enough to ride a bike through, Kimberly Casey, a glaciologist based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told NASA’s Earth Observatory.

The gap is visible in an image acquired by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite on Oct. 26 and in panoramic images Casey captured during the research expedition.

Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, is Africa’s highest peak — 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) — and harbors three distinct ice fields: One on its western slope and two within the summit plateau. The northern ice field first started developing a hole in 1970.

The ice cover on the volcano’s western slopes will disappear by 2020, and the ice fields in the plateau will be gone by 2040, predicts a study in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Cryosphere Discuss. Scientists generally agree the ice fields will disappear completely by 2060 if climatic conditions continue unchanged.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Labor Unrest Hits South African Vineyards

Around a dozen people were arrested in De Doorns after hectors of vineyards were set ablaze by workers demanding higher wages. The protests spread after negotiations broke down on Friday.

Thousands of vineyards workers from the area of Hex River and De Doorns in the Western Cape, who were protesting for higher wages, were dispersed by police officers fireing rubber bullets on Monday. 11 arrests were reported.

DW’s correspondent in Johannesburg, Subry Govender, says farmworkers set 30 hectars (74 acres) of vineyards ablaze early last week. They raided shops and blocked roads as they demanded their daily wages to be doubled to a minimum wage of 150 rand (13 euors, $17) per day.

Farmworkers currently earn 69 rand a day. But this dispute is not just about wages. Their concerns also include poor working conditions, a lack of electricity, illegal evictions, illegal immigrants, workers and labor brokers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Brazil Aims to Clone Endangered Animals

Conservationists in Brazil are poised to try cloning eight animals that are under pressure, including jaguars and maned wolves.

Other conservation groups have welcomed the plan, but say the priority should always be to preserve species in the wild by minimising hunting and maintaining habitats.

“While cloning is a tool of last resort, it may prove valuable for some species,” says Ian Harrison of the Biodiversity Assessment Unit at Conservation International in Arlington, Virginia. “Experimenting with it now, using species that are not at immediate risk of extinction, is important.”

Save our species

None of the targeted animals are critically endangered, but Brazil’s agricultural research agency, Embrapa, wants a headstart. Working with the Brasilia Zoological Garden, it has collected around 420 tissue samples, mostly from carcasses.

The eight species live in the Cerrado, a tropical savannah. They will be cloned and kept in captivity as a reserve in case wild populations collapse.

Within a month, Embrapa hopes to begin cloning the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), which is classed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. About 13,000 remain across South America.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: President of Tire Manufacturer Pirelli Charged in Data Theft

Tronchetti Provera charged for activities while at Telecomitalia

(ANSA) — Milan, November 12 — The president of global tire manufacturer Pirelli, Marco Tronchetti Provera, was indicted Monday on charges of receiving stolen property.

The former Telecom Italia chairman is accused of receiving illegally obtained telephone wiretaps amid a market battle between the Italian telecommunications company and Brazilian competitor Brasil Telecom almost a decade ago.

A hearing has been set for February 18 in Milan.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Immigrants’ Kids to Get Local Citizenship in Italian Town

‘Children born in Crotone are children of this city’ says mayor

(ANSA) — Crotone, November 12 — The southern Italian city of Crotone will grant symbolic citizenship to children born to immigrant parents next week, the mayor announced Monday. “We’re bringing down a cultural barrier,” said Peppino Vallone. Current law dictates that only the children of Italian citizens can automatically become citizens themselves, while those born on Italian soil to non-Italian parents become eligible on their 18th birthday. A famous example is Mario Balotelli, one of Italy’s biggest soccer stars and a forward on the national team, who was born in Italy to parents from Ghana.

The president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, has called the current system “pure folly” and a bill to change the law was submitted to the House this summer. Granting local citizenship in Crotone is scheduled for November 20. “Children born in Crotone, even if their parents are foreign, are children of this city,” said the mayor.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Intractable and Cultural Poverty Create Multicultural Perfect Storm

About half the American electorate feels freaked out by Obama’s re-election. They pray for the next four years to go as fast as possible so they can replace Obama with a republican.

But they fail to understand the direction of America. Within the next four years, somewhere between 12 and 20 million illegal alien migrants will gain full citizenship by Obama’s executive orders or Congress’ lay-down. Another 8 to 10 million immigrants will be imported through legal immigration—in the next four years. Millions of them will tap into Social Security, food stamps and assisted housing. Millions of them will be able to chain migrate their families into America. Millions will legally displace Americans from their jobs.

Millions of them will become voters and millions of them will elect another person just like Obama. In the land of milk and honey, the minority voter will become the new power in the White House—until, of course, the Fractured States of America collapse via socialism.

Great Britain’s Winston Churchill said, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Momentum Builds for U.S. Immigration Reform Plan

Two U.S. senators launched a fresh move to put together a bipartisan immigration reform plan on Sunday, restarting talks on a proposal that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country.

Since President Barack Obama was re-elected last week with overwhelming support from Hispanic voters, many Republicans have expressed a new willingness to work with Democrats to pass immigration reform after years of legislative inaction.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama Plans Massive Amnesty Wave

In his acceptance speech, Obama alluded to immigration reform.

“We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag,” he said.

While the president did not specify what kind of immigrant he was referring to, many took his statement as an ode to a future amnesty program.

According to Klein’s and Elliott’s book, progressive organizations behind White House policy have already crafted specific, second-term plans for Obama to issue amnesty to millions more illegal aliens living inside the U.S.

There are also designs to remove the caps on H-1B visas and green cards, a move that would bring in an untold number of new immigrants.

Other second-term plans include a program for government agencies to immediately register as voters the new Americans who would receive amnesty.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

One in Four British Babies Born to Foreign Mothers

Immigrants have fuelled a mini-baby boom in Britain over the last decade, with one in four children now born to a record 200,000 foreign mothers a year.

New figures show that the number of immigrants having babies has doubled since 2001, largely driven by an influx of Polish, Pakistani and Indian mothers.

This has been the main reason behind an increase in the overall UK birth rate to its highest level in decades, with 808,000 births last year, compared with 670,000 in 2001. The spike in the birth rate is biggest in London, where six in ten babies are now born to immigrants each year.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics shows the highest increase in births has been in the Polish community, since the country was admitted to the European Union. In 2001, fewer than 2,000 babies were born in Britain to Polish mothers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

UK: Having Babies Stops Women Being Equal to Men, Says Lib Dem Minister Lynne Featherstone

Men and women are not equal in Britain because women ‘still have babies’, Lib Dem minister Lynne Featherstone has claimed.

The former equalities minister said men could ‘climb the ladder faster’ while women took time off to have children.

Now a minister for international development, Ms Featherstone claimed ‘mediocre men’ reach the top of businesses because they did not take time off.


Despite progress being made, Ms Featherstone said motherhood was a major obstacle to sexual equality.

‘One of the main barriers to full equality in the UK is the fact that women still have babies.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Are Humans Becoming Less Intelligent?

Humans may be gradually losing intelligence, according to a new study. The study, published today (Nov. 12) in the journal Trends in Genetics, argues that humans lost the evolutionary pressure to be smart once we started living in dense agricultural settlements several thousand years ago.

“The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples (living) before our ancestors emerged from Africa,” said study author Gerald Crabtree, a researcher at Stanford University, in a statement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Book Review: ‘Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy’

SPRING FEVER: THE ILLUSION OF ISLAMIC DEMOCRACY By Andrew C. McCarthy Encounter Books, $17.99, 157 pages

This is a scholarly work. When you read it, prepare to focus. It is a valuable reference source, a relatively thin volume of modest page count, but huge in the volume of information. If one undertakes the process of untangling all the propaganda bombarding the West (especially the United States) defining radical Islam as mainstream, clearly documented information is a must.

Andrew C. McCarthy has on-the-ground familiarity with the plot to destroy Western civilization and the freedoms enjoyed therein and replace them with anti-freedom, anti-American Shariah law. The plan would bring about radical transformation “from within” by stealth, infiltration or, if all else fails, violence and murder. Mr. McCarthy was the lead prosecutor in the pursuit of the terrorists involved in the first World Trade Center bombing, in 1993.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

Re: High Unemployment Among Muslims Linked to War on Terror.

I made a small observation when I was in one of the big grocery stores a while back and there was a woman wearing a hijab stocking some shelves. I watched as every time she bent over she grabbed her hijab to keep it from falling out of place. Regardless of my impression of the religion/ideology, as a small business owner I thought to myself, I couldn't employ someone pre-occupied with keeping their religious garb in place (Not to mention the health and safety implications of wearing loose fitting apparel over one's head).

Nemesis said...

Regarding Newcastle University's finding on high unemployment rates amongst the Muslim population in Australia.

I live not too far from Newcastle. Newcastle University caters for a high number of foreign students which keep it financially afloat. Most of those foreigners are of course Muslim, who seem to be given priority over native Australians when it comes to placements.

Newcastle University promotes itself as a 'diverse campus' and on that description need I say more?

The university has been at the forefront of promoting multiculturalism, especially the Muslim culture, and has received many large grants from the current Labor federal government to carry out publicly, through advertising and flyers, the promotion of the 'religion of peace' that Islam to the honest observer, just plainly isn't.

I have in my possession one of those flyers that will one day, I sincerely pray to see, be used in the undoing of multiculturalism and the bringing to account those who have promoted it above their own nation's best interests.

Public money has again been wasted on a pointless exercise the results of which are just too obvious to anyone with an open mind!