Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121123

Financial Crisis
»Democrat Guru: Let the Good Indebtedness Times Roll
»Draghi Says ECB Averted ‘Disastrous Scenario’
»Italian-German Spread Dips Below 330 Points
»Monti ‘Not Satisfied’ By EU Budget Proposals for Agriculture
»‘Southern Italy GDP Back to 2000 Levels’
»A Former Spy on Life in the CIA: It’s Like Bond, With More Boredom
»Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino Celebrates Thanksgiving
»Commieblaster: Exposing Communist in US Government
»Cushing Man Gets Jail for Striking Estranged Wife With Genitalia
»Florida: Muslims Bringing Weapons and Ammunition to Mosque
»GOP Legally Barred From Fighting Vote Fraud
»Happy Thanksgiving: Unions Shut Down Traffic to LAX
»High-Tech Guard Tower to Spy on Buffalo Residents
»Homeland Security Plots Ways to Spy on Americans Through Social Media Surveillance
»How Communists Co-Opted Black America
»Latest U-Haul Index Shows Californians Leaving for Texas
»Obama’s Foreign Policy
»Plotting for America to be Ruled Under Sharia Law is Sedition
»Red Yawn: How Hollywood Butchered a Cult Classic to Appease China
»Senator Warns ‘Green’ Plan Would Include Biggest Tax Hike Ever
»Thanksgiving: Congress and Four-Star-Lies
»The Communist Takeover of the USA
»The Law Itself Says Virtually No One Has to Participate in Obamacare!
»Unions Set to Strike Against Boeing
»Canadian Islamic Group Charges Jewish School Uses Racist Textbook
Europe and the EU
»EU Investigates State Assistance to Sardinia Coal Projects
»Foster Parents ‘Stigmatised and Slandered’ For Being Members of UKIP
»Italy: Prison Chaplain Arrested for Alleged Inmate Sex Abuse
»Italy: Realtor to the Stars: PDL Candidate Probed in Italy
»Italy: Antitrust Authority Probing Insurance Cartel
»Italy: Berlusconi Campania Ex-Chief on Trial in Casalesi Case
»Italy: TV Showgirl Received 10,000 Euros From Berlusconi
»Italy: Pig’s Head Found in Islamic Prayer Center in Milan
»Spanish Send an Algerian Criminal to Live in the UK… And There’s Nothing We Can Do About it
»UK: 7 Men Charged With Child Sexual Offences After Wycombe Raids
»UK: Call a Truce, Before Centuries of Free Speech Are Brought to an End
»UK: Gang Child Sex Abuse Report ‘No Surprise’ To Lancashire Police
»UK: Go-Ahead for Mosque in Wollaton in Face of Congestion Fears
»UK: Husband and Wife’s Foster Children From Ethnic Minorities ‘Taken Away Because Couple Joined UKIP’
»UK: I Didn’t Attack Islam, Says Ilkley MP
»UK: Labour Complains to Police Over Leaflet’s ‘Closet Racists’ Claim
»UK: Mark Clattenburg, Chelsea and Racism: Why Offensive Language Offends, And Why it Always Will
»UK: Our Son Mahdi is ‘No Informer’ Say Family
»UK: Smirking Romanian Boy Who Became One of Britain’s Youngest Sex Offenders Aged Just 11 is Punished… With an Educational Course
»UK: Thug, 34, Admits Punching 16-Year-Old Girl Unconscious in Shocking Random Street Attack Which Was Caught on CCTV
North Africa
»Egypt: Morsi Defies Judiciary, New Constitutional Declaration
»Egypt: Morsi Supporters Take to the Streets
»Egypt: For Catholic Church, Morsi, Egypt’s New Dictator, Puts Country in “Grave Danger”
»Egypt: Protesters Torch Muslim Brotherhood Offices
»Egypt and President Mohammed Morsi Make a Good Impression on the West
»Egypt: Kefaya — Mursi ‘Digging His and Brotherhood’s Grave’
»Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Offices Torched, Morsi on Defensive
»Obama Swaps Pro-American Dictator for Anti-American, Radical Muslim Dictator.
»Protests Rock Egypt After Morsi Seizes New Powers
Israel and the Palestinians
»Abbas Accepts Credentials of Chinese Ambassador to PNA
»Benjamin Netanyahu Forced to Defend Gaza Ceasefire
»Caroline Glick: The Trap That Arik Built
»Gaza Déjà Vu
»Gaza: Israeli Soldiers Mock Netanyahu on the Web
»Hamas’s Victory: How Muslims See it
»Islamic Jihad: Gaza Ceasefire Not End of Battle
»Palestinians: IDF Gunfire Kills Man Near Gaza Border Fence
»Pro-Communist “Journalist, “ Julie Webb-Pullman “Reports” From Gaza
»Soldiers Spell Out Critique of Netanyahu as a ‘Loser’ For Not Using Ground Forces in Gaza
Middle East
»Video: Syrian “Rebels” Declare War on Christians
»Twin Terror Attacks Kill 3 in Russia’s Dagestan
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Bomb: ‘Two Die’ In Wardak Suicide Blast
»Emergency Aid Post Wrecked as 2 Killed by Afghan Car Bomb
»India: A Million Indians Bid Farewell to Long-Time Hindu Nationalist Leader Bal Thackeray
»India: Kashmiri Man Sets Himself on Fire to Protest Ban
»Indonesia: West Sumatra: Islamists Foment “Christianophobia”: Schools, Churches and Shops Targeted
»Lessons From Gaza for Afghanistan
»U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Celebrate Thanksgiving
»Uzbekistan: Dictator’s Daughter Raises Eyebrows With Yoga Poses
Far East
»China is Angling to Take Over a U.S. Airbase in the Azores.
»Did Cambodia’s First Lady Mock Obama With a ‘Greeting That’s Meant for Servants?’
»Japan’s Ninjas Heading for Extinction
»Man Crushed by Steamroller on Orders of Chinese Officials
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Nigeria: Blair, Others Launch Initiative to Curb Religious Acrimony
»Tony Blair, Justin Welby to Work on Reconciliation in Nigeria
Culture Wars
»Austin Journalism Prof Says Thanksgiving a “White-Supremacist Holiday”
»Leading Catholic: Let Priests Have Sex
»Netherlands: A Feminist Revolution That Cruelly Backfired …
»TV to Die for: Assisted-Suicide Comedy Coming
»UK: Homophobic Hate Preacher Due to Speak at Brunel
»UK: Parliament Has No Respect for Democracy. The ‘People Who Know Best’ Are Taking Over Our Lives
»New Social Contract; Old Strategy, Part 1

Financial Crisis

Democrat Guru: Let the Good Indebtedness Times Roll

All one has to do is read the latest op-ed from Democrat economic guru Robert Reich to see the truth: Democrats, who are Keynesian in their economic ideology, actually think government is not borrowing enough or spending enough.

“I wish President Obama and the Democrats would explain to the nation that the federal budget deficit isn’t the nation’s major economic problem and deficit reduction shouldn’t be our major goal. Our problem is lack of good jobs and sufficient growth, and our goal must be to revive both,” he writes. “Deficit reduction leads us in the opposite direction — away from jobs and growth. The reason the ‘fiscal cliff’ is dangerous (and, yes, I know — it’s not really a ‘cliff’ but more like a hill) is because it’s too much deficit reduction, too quickly. It would suck too much demand out of the economy.”

He continues: “The best way to generate jobs and growth is for the government to spend more, not less. And for taxes to stay low — or become even lower — on the middle class. (Higher taxes on the rich won’t slow the economy because the rich will keep spending anyway. After all, being rich means spending whatever you want to spend. By the same token, higher taxes won’t reduce their incentive to save and invest because they’re already doing as much saving and investing as they want. Remember: they’re taking home a near record share of the nation’s total income and have a record share of total wealth.)”

In a moment of rare candor, a prominent Democrat economist has betrayed all the lies Barack Obama has been telling for years.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Draghi Says ECB Averted ‘Disastrous Scenario’

‘Highly indebted countries more highly penalised by the markets’

(ANSAmed) — ROME — The European Central Bank (ECB) successfully managed to allay fears of a credit crunch that would have had serious consequences, bank President Mario Draghi said in Frankfurt on Friday.

The ECB chief added that the bank’s bond-buying programme, which has so far acted as a deterrent against speculation but not actually been tapped, provided a “credible brake against disastrous scenarios”. Draghi underlined that highly indebted countries “that are undergoing fiscal adjustment are always more highly penalised by the markets” — hence the need for a banking union and a cooperation mechanism mitigating the negative impact on interest rates paid by countries to service their debt.

A single supervisory body for European banks — one of the pillars of the planned European banking union — must be created quickly but above all well, said Draghi.

The ECB chief added that the credit institution is ready to intervene on behalf of highly indebted eurozone countries to lower their borrowing costs should their governments so require.

Eurozone countries must however “continue on the path of reform”, he said. In June European leaders agreed a mechanism managed by the ECB aimed at narrowing the bond spread between the benchmark German bund and those in countries unfairly punished by the sovereign markets through the use of European rescue funds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italian-German Spread Dips Below 330 Points

Lowest in one month

(ANSA) — Rome, November 23 — The spread between Italian 10-year bonds and the German benchmark bund narrowed to 329 points Friday, the lowest level since October 25. The yield, an important indicator of investor confidence in Italy’s ability to weather the euro crisis, was 4.73%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Monti ‘Not Satisfied’ By EU Budget Proposals for Agriculture

Italy’s farmers need protection, says Minister Catania

(see related stories) (ANSA) — Brussels, November 23 — Italian Premier Mario Monti said on Friday following a European leaders’ summit in Brussels that he was particularly unhappy with the agricultural reductions proposed in talks on the EU budget for 2014-2020.

“The allocation of resources and cuts in the revised proposal are not satisfactory,” Monti said.

On Thursday, Agriculture Minister Mario Catania said Italy preferred to have no deal at all on the EU’s budget rather than a bad deal.

“We need a fair solution that protects Italian taxpayers because there must be the right balance between what Italy contributes to the EU budget and what it receives,” added Catania Thursday.

“But there must also be proper protection for our farmers,” Catania said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

‘Southern Italy GDP Back to 2000 Levels’

GDP in northeast doubles south

(ANSA) — Rome, November 23 — Southern Italy has been hit hardest by the post-credit-crunch recession with GDP falling to 2000 levels, Istat said Friday.

GDP in the north was the same as 2005 and in the centre the same as 2004 last year, the statistics agency said.

Per capita GDP in northeast Italy is currently double what it is in southern Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


A Former Spy on Life in the CIA: It’s Like Bond, With More Boredom

Robert Baer is a former CIA case officer and the author of several books on the Middle East.

In the new James Bond thriller, “Skyfall,” the villain is a cyberterrorist named Raoul Silva, a disgruntled former British agent who’s trying to crash the digital universe. It’s a nice touch, creating a very real, very terrifying scenario that “could paralyze the nation,” as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned just last month.

And that is about the only aspect of the movie that is likely to be accurate.

While occasionally I found myself in a Bond-like setting during my spying career, the story inevitably unfolded with a lot less panache.

One time, in pursuit of an elusive informant, the agency sent me to Monaco to troll the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The problems started before I even got on the plane. The CIA scoffed at the idea of buying me a tuxedo, and the dragon lady who did our accounting refused to give me a cent to put on the roulette table. Not surprisingly, as soon as I walked into the casino in my penny loafers, the security goons spotted me as an impostor and pulled me over for a polite interrogation. I never found our would-be informant, but I did come away with the certainty that I wasn’t James Bond.

Anyone who’s passed through Langley will tell you that a spy’s life is one of tedious endurance. It’s long hours of cubicle living, going through the same files everyone else in the office has gone through, hoping to catch a missed lead. Or it’s waiting by the phone hoping that the third secretary from the Ecuadorian Embassy will call you back. Or keeping your fingers crossed that your next three-year assignment isn’t in Chad. As CIA-operative-turned-novelist Charles McCarry said, spying is nothing more than an organized hunt for a windfall.That translates to waiting for that one “walk-in” who comes knocking on the agency’s door ready to hand over the crown jewels.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino Celebrates Thanksgiving

More than 400 people participated in a Thanksgiving potluck at The Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino. There was a mix of Thanksgiving favorites, including turkey and stuffing and traditional Muslim dishes. The dinner was followed by the regularly-scheduled Thursday prayer service led by Imam Shamshad A. Nadir. They’ve been having the dinner for the past three years, inviting the community to come join. “Thanksgving is not because of food,” Nadir said. “It’s a small part of it. Our prupose is to remember the favors God has bestowed upon us in everyday life. And it’s also to teach our children our traditions.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Commieblaster: Exposing Communist in US Government

[Comment: Very interesting.]

Commieblaster is a collection of publicly-available links to featured worldwide news articles and videos, including those from CNN, MSNBC, Drudge, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, NPR, BBC, Fox News, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Huffington Post, Forbes, BusinessInsider, Al Jeezera, Youtube and hundreds and hundreds of other sources. We don’t create this news. We just place it in groups so the evidence becomes obvious. Study the links in the categories above to understand the extent of government crime and fraud happening in America today. Our headlines are updated daily below.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Cushing Man Gets Jail for Striking Estranged Wife With Genitalia

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 62-year-old Cushing man will spend five days in jail after pleading guilty Wednesday to assaulting his estranged wife.

Fred E. Thomas pleaded guilty to 180 days in jail with all but five days suspended and was placed on probation for a year for domestic violence assault and indecent conduct. A third charge of unlawful sexual contact was dismissed.

The incident occurred in July in Warren when his wife of 39 years, who was estranged from him, stayed at his place. He offered her $20 for sex, and when she refused he took out his penis and struck her with it, according to the prosecution’s version of events to which he pleaded guilty.

Defense Attorney Justin Andrus said Thomas was tremendously upset that his marriage of 39 years was ending. He said his estranged wife was planning to go to Pakistan to meet a man she met online.

“This was not his normal conduct,” Andrus told Justice Jeffrey Hjelm during the sentencing hearing in Knox County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald asked for Thomas to serve seven days in jail while Andrus asked for just probation and no jail time.

Hjelm said a jail term was appropriate in this case.

“This was sexually aggressive conduct. This couldn’t be much more offensive,” Hjelm said.

The wife did not seek jail time for Thomas but did ask that he undergo counseling for anger management, which was ordered.

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo[Return to headlines]

Florida: Muslims Bringing Weapons and Ammunition to Mosque

According to one Muslim. Updates on the busted imam the media won’t cover. via Feds: Orange County Imam had ties to accused group in 1993 WTC… |

ORLANDO, Fla. — WFTV has uncovered an Orange Countyimam’s past ties to the so-called Blind Sheik, whose extremist group is blamed for the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

Channel 9’s Kathi Belich broke the story of Marcus Robertson’s arrest last year. On Monday, she obtained new documents in the case that detail even more disturbing information.

Federal prosecutors said Orange County Imam Abu Taubah, aka convicted felon Marcus Robertson, has murdered people, attempted assassinations, took hostages and tried to kill police officers, all to fund attacks on U.S. soil.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

GOP Legally Barred From Fighting Vote Fraud

30 years later, consent decree violation claims still threaten

Voting machines suspiciously defaulting to Barack Obama? Buses loaded with strangers appearing at polling stations? Even ballots turning out 100 percent for one candidate in precinct reports?

In short, suspicions of vote fraud?

That’s too bad, because a race-based consent decree negotiated by Democrats against the Republican National Committee a generation ago still has tied the RNC’s hands, and GOP officials could be cited for contempt — or worse — if they try to make sure American elections are clean.


No. Fact.

The case is the Democratic National Committee vs. the Republican National Committee, originally from 1982.

Democrats alleged Republicans were trying intimidate minority voters in New Jersey and brought the legal action. The RNC, inexplicably, decided to agree to a consent decree before a Democrat-appointed judge rather than fight the claims.

The judge, Dickinson Debevoise, appointed by Jimmy Carter, later retired but decided he would continue to control the case. The decision requires the RNC — but not the DNC — to “refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose.”

The rest of the agreement essentially requires the RNC to follow applicable state and federal election laws.

But the section cited above has been used for decades to warn off Republicans from any challenge to evidence of voter fraud in districts with “racial or ethnic populations.”

[Return to headlines]

Happy Thanksgiving: Unions Shut Down Traffic to LAX

Obama’s favorite union, the Service Employees International Union, is spearheading the obnoxious effort; it’s supposed to last from 11 a.m to 4 p.m., virtually the entire day.

What exactly is SEIU protesting for? They say that an airport contract is breaking the city law on living wages — which, of course, is nonsense, since that would be prosecutable. They also say that the contractor has eliminated “affordable healthcare” for over 400 workers. Which is, again, bull. After all, can’t the SEIU just rely on Obamacare?

Leave it to the unions to ruin Thanksgiving. They’ve ruined every other day of the year.

[Return to headlines]

High-Tech Guard Tower to Spy on Buffalo Residents

Downtown Buffalo residents were shocked yesterday to see that a high-tech police guard tower had been erected to spy on Thanksgiving revelers using the same technology deployed against illegal aliens on the border.

The SkyWatch command tower is elevated 30 feet above ground level to give police a panoramic view of the streets and is fitted with sophisticated surveillance equipment. The manufacturer of the device boasts that the tower can be used for “civilian security operations” and “crowd control”.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Homeland Security Plots Ways to Spy on Americans Through Social Media Surveillance

(NaturalNews) The Constitution’s once-solid privacy protections are about to take another hit under a new Department of Homeland Security initiative to spy on Americans via social media networks — all in the name of keeping us safe, of course.

Under the ruse of collecting and analyzing “health-related data,” DHS is testing whether scanning sites like Facebook, Twitter and others “could help identify infectious disease outbreaks, bioterrorism or other public health and national security risks,” GovInfo Security reported.

The department has spent $3 million in taxpayer money on a one-year contract with Accenture Federal Services, the firm that is actually providing the online spyware. Calling it a “biosurveillance” pilot project, the department says it will involve automatically monitoring social media sites to collect and analyze “health-related data” in real time, according to John Matchette, the managing director for Accenture’s public safety division (no word on Matchette’s thoughts regarding the constitutionality of the program his firm will help facilitate).

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

How Communists Co-Opted Black America

Exclusive: Mychal Massie on historical exploitation of ‘coloreds’ a la Vladimir Lenin

There’s not much in the way of praise I’m prepared to acknowledge when it comes to the late FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover. That said, I am today more convinced than at any time before that Hoover was correct to be concerned about the communist influence upon blacks when he learned Vladimir Lenin had said blacks were a revolutionary class people — albeit, I am so convinced for reasons separate from those of Hoover.

I believe Lenin was saying that blacks were ripe for exploitation by being converted into a revolutionary class — through intellectual corruption and a generational inculcation of victimology — that was/is intended to lead them further from the truth of opportunity that exists in America.

Communists prey upon dysfunction and anger, and where none exists, it is created and fomented. Leninism is built upon egalitarianism, class conflict and dialectical materialism, embroidered in a cheap synthetic fabric of social progress. And none have been led further astray and/or suffered more because of same than blacks. Communism was the perfect elixir to exploit downtrodden blacks easily blinded by resentment, ignorance and fear.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Latest U-Haul Index Shows Californians Leaving for Texas

One of the best indicators of a state’s economic health, according to John Merline, writing in Investor’s Business Daily, is the “U-Haul Index” (first publicized by economist Mark Perry) to see what people are paying to move into, or out of, the state. Renting a 20-foot truck one way from San Francisco to San Antonio, Texas, for example, costs $1,693. Going in the other direction, however, costs only $983 for the same truck.

As Perry explains:

The American people and businesses are voting with their feet and their one-way truck rentals to escape California and its forced unionism, high taxes, and high unemployment rate for a better life in low-tax, business-friendly, right-to-work states like Texas.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Foreign Policy

A complete list of how our US President and Democratic Party are Actively Supporting Communists Get Elected Abroad.

Obama Helped a Communist Gain Power in Brazil and Kenya and is Working Hard to Put a Socialist in Charge of Honduras. He used Taxpayer Money to put Sharia Law in Place in Kenya, Egypt and Libya. Syria and Iran are the Next Islamo-Communist Dominoes. One World Communism and Islamic Terrorist Support is Now America’s Official Foreign Policy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Plotting for America to be Ruled Under Sharia Law is Sedition

[WARNING: Very disturbing content.]

To work and plot to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and our state constitutions is sedition.

“As Publius Huldah correctly points out, “Not only do Muslims claim the “right” to impose Shariah in the Muslim communities springing up throughout our Country, they also claim the “right” to impose Sharia law in the public square: They demand Sharia compliant financial institutions, foot baths in public places, that wine, sausages, and the like be banned from their presence, that they be allowed to shut down public streets for “prayers”, etc.”

“So it begs the question: Do Americans have any Constitutional protection against the invasion of a foreign law being foisted upon us? Absolutely!

“Article VI, Clause 2 of our Constitution states . . .

“This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

“Did you get that? Our Constitution and Laws are authorized by the Supreme Law of this Land.

“The practice of Sharia in the United States, at any level directly violates our Constitution. Muslims who therefore seek to overthrow our Constitution or otherwise usurp or circumvent it with Sharia law are guilty of Criminal Sedition. The federal government has the duty to prosecute them for sedition, or otherwise repatriate or deport them.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Red Yawn: How Hollywood Butchered a Cult Classic to Appease China

The new Red Dawn remake is a fine example of a number of dispiriting trends in the filmmaking industry. The picture was based on a brand name instead of a heartfelt original tale. The studios mutilated it in order to placate Chinese Communists. And it was served up to audiences that studios assume will eat whatever they are served.

Why was the change made? Because the distributor didn’t want to risk alienating the potentially lucrative Chinese market.

American film studios for years have been trying to sell tickets to the Chinese film audience. Their methods are not always pretty. Several studios are under Securities Exchange Commission investigation for allegedly bribing their way into the market. Major Democratic donor Jeffrey Katzenberg set up a deal to build an animation studio in the nation after a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

American film studios have been more than willing to censor their work to secure Chinese distribution. Thirteen minutes of Men in Black 3 were censored in China because the authorities feared that a scene in which government agents erased a witness’ memory would too closely resemble Chinese censorship. (The Chinese censors who ordered the cut clearly lack a sense of irony.)

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Senator Warns ‘Green’ Plan Would Include Biggest Tax Hike Ever

Oklahoma’s Inhofe says carbon tax would cost $1 trillion-plus

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is warning Americans that if “green” agenda campaigners get their way, the biggest tax increase ever could soon be coming out of Washington.

Bigger even than the hundreds of billions of dollars Obamacare will collect. In fact, in the range of $1.2 trillion to $1.6 trillion. A year.

It was during an interview with blogger Anthony Watts of Internet channel WUWT-TV that he expressed his concern about cap-and-trade and carbon taxes.

He noted that even though Congress has refused to adopt any such program, Barack Obama during his first term spent $68.4 billion on the global warming agenda simply by executive order.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Thanksgiving: Congress and Four-Star-Lies

I think I know what David Petraeus is thankful for this week.

Even though it appears the former CIA director lied to the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 14, and may have lied again to the same committee on Nov. 16, he is starting to slip out of the inner ring of Benghazi cover-up suspects. We are losing sight of his official role in the deception as the media lens ossifies over a tawdry love triangle. For this, he must be thankful. Maybe to ensure the good fortune continues, Petraeus has hired Bob Barnett, the $975-per-hour Washington superlawyer to officials with issues and/or big book deals, to manage what reports call Petraeus’ “transition to civilian life.”

Here, for the record, is what the media and politicians are letting slip away with him.

After Petraeus appeared before the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 14 to brief members behind closed doors on the Benghazi attack of Sept. 11, the ranking Democrat on the committee, Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, gave ABC an account of the briefing.

“In the Benghazi area,” Ruppersberger said, “in the beginning we feel that it was spontaneous — the protest — because it went on for two or three hours, which is very relevant, because if it was something that was planned, they could have come and attacked right away. At this point, it looks as if there was a spontaneous situation that occurred and that as a result of that, the extreme groups that were probably connected to al-Qaida took advantage of that situation and then the attack started.”

Spontaneous protest, unplanned attack: That was Petraeus’ testimony as CIA director three days after U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya.

Within 24 hours of the attack, however, the White House and top officials at the State Department, the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies knew that no protest, spontaneous or other, had taken place. They knew the U.S. had been hit on the 9/11 anniversary by a planned attack by al-Qaida affiliates. Ruppersberger’s account, then, indicates Petraeus deceived the committee. When committed knowingly, as former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy recently pointed out, such deception is a felony.

This same phony story — that “extreme groups” took advantage of a “spontaneous” protest over a YouTube video to mount an “unplanned” attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi — would be repeated by the Obama White House for two weeks, climaxing in the president’s U.N. address on Sept. 25. There, President Obama cited the video six times and declared to the world body, dominated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (an Islamic bloc of 56 nations plus the Palestinian Authority): “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Blaming the YouTube video for the violence was, in effect, blaming free speech, which is also OIC policy. Additionally, it denied the reality of the planned jihad attack, which, by extension, denied that al-Qaida-style jihad terrorism still exists at the vanguard of expansionist Islam.

To date, the media haven’t asked President Obama and his top officials, why? Why the administration-wide cover-up? Why didn’t military help get to Battleground Benghazi? Without coming clean, President Obama has been re-elected, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned as a 2016 presidential candidate, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice floated as the next secretary of state.

And Petraeus? On Nov. 12, Fox News reported that “congressional leaders,” believing Petraeus lied to them in September, had “already considered charging Petraeus with perjury, but said they planned to withhold judgment until he testified this week.” (Under oath or not, it is a crime to lie to federal officials.) We have heard no such tough talk since.

Except, that is, from the OIC. While the administration has publicly dropped the video (although its producer is serving one year in jail for “parole violations”), the OIC nations continue to cite it in escalating calls for laws criminalizing “defamation” of Islam. And Uncle Sam continues to lend a sympathetic ear. Just this week, Anne Casper, U.S. consul general in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, spoke at an OIC symposium on “Defamation of Islam.”

Connected? You bet…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]

The Communist Takeover of the USA

[Comments: Well worth reading. Notice how much has already been — and is being — implemented.]

Communist Goals (1963) Congressional Record — Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963 Current Communist Goals EXTENSION OF REMARKS OF HON. A. S. HERLONG, JR. OF FLORIDA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Thursday, January 10, 1963 . Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman’s request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following “Current Communist Goals,” which she identifies as an excerpt from “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Law Itself Says Virtually No One Has to Participate in Obamacare!

Twila Brase,president of the Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) and one of the most educated of Americans concerning the ins and outs of Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,believes the language of the law makes it clear that the overwhelming majority of people do not have to participate in ObamaCare unless they freely wish to do so. Brase writes:

Obamacare has more chinks in its armor than a turtle without a shell. As a result,state governors and legislators can inflict great damage. The following amazing chink was discussed by a Goldwater Institute attorney during a Tennessee-based webinar on Monday (at which I was a panelist). It’s only 10 lines long in the 950-page version of the law:

‘No individual,company,business,nonprofit entity,or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall be required to participate in any Federal health insurance program created under this Act (or any amendments made by this Act),or in any Federal health insurance program expanded by this Act (or any such amendment),and there shall be no penalty or fine imposed upon any such issuer for choosing not to participate in such programs.’

I emailed Twila Brase and suggested that this language indicates that ONLY “health insurance issuers” may escape fines or penalties for not participating in Barack Obama’s signature healthcare takeover. Individuals and businesses who choose to not participate will face crushing fines and penalties obviously designed to FORCE their submission to the will of the left. Certainly,we have already heard of these punitive fines and penalties.

Ms. Brase was kind enough to respond,writing that “lawyers disagree” with my reading of this tiny portion of the law.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Unions Set to Strike Against Boeing

Backed by the power of the Obama administration National Labor Relations Board, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace union is set to strike against Boeing. The union contract expires Saturday. The new offer from Boeing slashed salary and other benefits thanks to the down economy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Canadian Islamic Group Charges Jewish School Uses Racist Textbook

TORONTO (JTA) — A Canadian Islamic organization is accusing a Toronto-area Jewish day school of using a textbook that vilifies Muslims. In a Nov. 19 letter to Jewish groups, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-CAN, charges that a textbook used at the Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School employs “inflammatory and hateful terms in describing Muslims.” CAIR-CAN alleges that the book, “2000 Years of Jewish History,” describes Muslims as “rabid fanatics” with “savage beginnings.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

EU Investigates State Assistance to Sardinia Coal Projects

Investigators looking at use of 400-million-euro project funds

(ANSA) — Brussels, November 20 — The European Commission has begun an “in depth” investigation into EU financial assistance to energy projects in Sardinia.

The investigation is focusing on the conformity with EU rules of state funds for over 400 million euros which were given to two coal-related projects in the island, the site of many of the Mediterranean’s more famous and well-frequented summertime vacation locations.

In particular EU investigators are examining the conformity of state assistance, granted since 1998, for the development of a coal mine and for the construction of a coal plant with a unit for testing carbon dioxide emissions capture and storage technologies.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Foster Parents ‘Stigmatised and Slandered’ For Being Members of UKIP

A couple had their three foster children taken away by a council on the grounds that their membership of the UK Independence Party meant that they supported “racist” policies.

The husband and wife, who have been fostering for nearly seven years, said they were made to feel like criminals when a social worker told them that their views on immigration made them unsuitable carers.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the couple said they feared that there was a black mark against their name and they would not be able to foster again.

Last night campaigners representing foster parents described the decision as “ridiculous” and warned that it could deter other prospective foster parents from volunteering.

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, described the actions of Rotherham borough council as “a bloody outrage” and “political prejudice of the very worst kind”.

Tim Loughton, the former children’s minister, said: “I will be very concerned if decisions have been made about the children’s future that were based on misguided political correctness around ethnic considerations…

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Italy: Prison Chaplain Arrested for Alleged Inmate Sex Abuse

Probes began last June and filmed priest’s modus operandi

(ANSA) — Milan, November 20 — Police arrested the chaplain of the San Vittore prison in Milan, Father Alberto Barin, on Tuesday for alleged sexual abuse and bribery involving six detainees.

Probes began last June following complaints by a prisoner that the 51-year-old chaplain had forced inmates into sexual acts in exchange for basic necessities like soap and toothbrushes. Hidden cameras placed in Barin’s office from June to October by investigators filmed the chaplain in the act of abusing inmates.

The victims were young African immigrants between 22 and 28 serving sentences for petty crimes with the exception of one man who was in prison for homicide.

A victim of earlier abuse from 2008 also came forward.

Only one of the detainees refused to talk to investigators, but surveillance cameras filmed him being abused by Barin.

Investigators said that Barin “used his position, its functions, its powers and even his daily proximity to prisoners to fulfil almost obsessively his sexual impulses”. The Milan Curia expressed “confidence in the work of the investigators,” willingness to cooperate with the investigation and expressed “confusion and pain” over the abuse.

Investigators said that many detainees spoke of Barin “with a sort of awe” and saw him as “extremely powerful and influential”.

Prosecutors and investigators are also making inquiries into the possible abuse of other inmates by the priest both in and outside of the prison.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Realtor to the Stars: PDL Candidate Probed in Italy

Alessandro Proto suspected of fraud, market manipulation

(ANSA) — Milan, November 22 — An Italian realtor to Hollywood stars and primary candidate in ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party is under investigation for alleged fraud and market manipulation in Milan. Alessandro Proto, 38, who has handled luxury Italian property purchases for Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio, is under investigation for deals at his Proto Consulting firm. Proto, a financier, made headlines in Italy recently for expressing interest along with four investors in buying up the Benetton family’s shares in the loss-making RCS publishing house. His effort has been held up by market regulator Consob over a lack of specifics in his group’s bid concerning the identities of all of the members. Currently about a dozen candidates are running in PdL primaries scheduled for January.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Antitrust Authority Probing Insurance Cartel

Major Italian companies being investigated

(ANSA) — Rome, November 22 — Italy’s antitrust authority said on Thursday it had launched investigations into possible cartel-like agreements by insurance companies to nix competition to cover local public transport.

Insurers Assicurazioni Generali, Ina Assitalia, Fondiaria Sai and Unipol are all being probed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Campania Ex-Chief on Trial in Casalesi Case

Cosentino accused of pressing Unicredit to fund clan-linked mall

(ANSA) — Naples, November 20 — The former head of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party in Campania was sent to trial Tuesday for allegedly helping the Casalesi clan of the Naples Camorra mafia invest in a shopping mall near Caserta.

PdL MP Nicola Cosentino, a former economy undersecretary, denies wrongdoing in the case, whose first hearing was on Tuesday set for January 23.

Cosentino stood down as PdL coordinator in Campania, the region around Naples, in January, shortly after the House rejected a request from Naples prosecutors to arrest him on suspicion of corruption and collusion with the Casalesis.

He is accused of pressuring members of Italy’s largest bank Unicredit into providing financing for the construction of the sprawling mall, a project with alleged ties to the Casalesis.

The Casalesis, whose fugitive leader Michele Zagaria was arrested last December, became known to the international public thanks to writer Roberto Saviano’s bestselling 2006 book Gomorrah, later turned into a successful film that won second prize at Cannes in 2008.

Naples prosecutors claim Cosentino was the “national reference point” for the Casalesis, who have extensive interests in northern Italy, northern Europe, Australia and Canada.

Cosentino quit as undersecretary in July 2010 after allegations of being part of a lobby that aimed to influence high-court judges in Berlusconi’s favour.

But the former undersecretary long clung on to his post as the PdL’s leader in Campania.

Cosentino was also accused by prosecutors in 2009 of links with the Camorra but parliament rejected an arrest warrant and Berlusconi turned down his proffered resignations from both his posts.

Cosentino has been supportedby Berlusconi, who has consistently attacked prosecutors for their alleged political aims, and the ex-undersecretary went on a Berlusconi TV channel ahead of the House vote in January to reject any ties to the Casalesis.

He and other members have contended that the charges against him essentially boil down to money laundering, which he also denies.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: TV Showgirl Received 10,000 Euros From Berlusconi

Cipriani ‘asked for his help’ after sex scandal

(ANSA) — Milan, November 23 — A television showgirl and former ‘Big Brother’ reality show participant told a Milan court on Friday that she had received 10,000 euros in financial assistance from ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Francesca Cipriani was testifying in a trial against three people accused of procuring prostitutes for alleged sex parties at Berlusconi’s villa at Arcore near Milan. “I asked for his help because I have not been able to work in television since the scandal,” she said. Cipriani also said she had been given a bracelet and an envelope containing 2,000 euros after one evening spent at Arcore. “(Berlusconi) is a man who likes to give gifts,” she told the court. The three alleged pimps are former Berlusconi TV anchor Emilio Fede, Berlusconi’s former dental hygienist and ex-Lombardy regional councillor Nicole Minetti and bankrupt talent scout Lele Mora.

In a related trial Berlusconi is accused of paying a young Moroccan bellydancer called Ruby for sex when she was under age and allegedly getting police to release her from custody on an unrelated theft claim to cover it up.

Both Ruby and Berlusconi deny having sex.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Pig’s Head Found in Islamic Prayer Center in Milan

Local authorities condemn action

(ANSA) — Milan, November 23 — A pig’s head was found on Friday at the PalaSharp Arena in Milan where the local Islamic community holds weekly prayers. The head was found by delegates of the civil protection agency in an area close to where ceremonies are held every Friday. PalaSharp is an indoor arena, located in the northern Italian city of Milan. It has a seating capacity of almost 9,000 and is also used for concerts and sporting events. Local authorities have vigorously condemned the incident. Vice-Mayor Maria Grazia Guida called it “intolerable”. “It is light years away from this city of dialogue, of tolerance we are building,” she said. The matter is being closely followed by police.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spanish Send an Algerian Criminal to Live in the UK… And There’s Nothing We Can Do About it

An Algerian-born career criminal suspected of a ‘marriage of convenience’ to a British citizen has been deported from Spain to the UK.

Police said Lazhari Zemouche had been arrested 92 times in Spain over the past 25 years for crimes from theft to robbery and had used a number of fake identities.

But because he had married in the UK before his latest crime spree in Spain, he was deported to London rather than to his native Algeria.

Officials said he was put on a plane to London after his latest arrest in Majorca because he was deemed a ‘security risk’ in Spain.

Spanish police sources claimed Zemouche, whose whereabouts were unknown last night, had entered into a sham marriage to obtain a British passport.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: 7 Men Charged With Child Sexual Offences After Wycombe Raids

Police have charged two men from High Wycombe with rape and child trafficking within the UK. 21 year old Iblal Fiaz and Khasim Fiaz who’s 22, both of St George’s Close in High Wycombe are due to appear in front of Aylesbury magistrates today (Thursday). Five other suspected members of a child grooming gang, arrested following police raids on Tuesday morning, are also due in court, charged with multiple offences relating to the abuse and sexual exploitation of a child. They are: Kasam Dadd (23) from Gibbs Close; Mohammed Adnan (21) from Upper Green Street; Janaid Sharif (26) from Cambridge Crescent; Mudasser Hussain (28) from Abbey Barn Road and Mohammed Jubroin Khan (21) from Rutland Avenue. In total, the seven men have been charged with 32 offences. An eighth man, a 20 year old from High Wycombe, has been bailed until the 4th of December. All eight were arrested as part of Operation Ribbon, a Thames Valley Police operation targeting child sexual exploitation in the High Wycombe area…

[JP note: A Mohammed coefficient of 28.6%. See Mohammed Coefficient (abbreviated MC): The statistical measure, given as a decimal or a percentage, of the incidence of the name “Mohammed” among a group of perpetrators of evil deeds. ]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Call a Truce, Before Centuries of Free Speech Are Brought to an End

by Fraser Nelson

With MPs eager to take power over the press, the Prime Minister must lead them back from the cliff edge

King Hamad of Bahrain is a sensitive soul. Being rude about him is illegal in his little autocracy, a law that makes it easy to lock up journalists. But when ordinary citizens open Twitter accounts, which enable them to say anything they like, then life gets a little difficult for the royal police. They do their best to keep up. A few weeks ago, a Bahraini was jailed for six months for rudeness — a step intended to warn people that Big Brother is watching. The sentence came with an Orwellian explanation: that free speech is a precious liberty in Bahrain, and the offender had been “abusing” this freedom.

For years, Britain’s politicians have wanted to pass judgment on whether the press has been abusing its freedom, but they have encountered a basic constitutional obstacle: the newspapers are not theirs to control, and haven’t been since the Licensing Act lapsed in 1695. In the intervening centuries, our country has developed a raucous, hugely popular and uniquely disrespectful press. Jeremy Paxman tells how he was drawn into the trade after being told that the relationship between a journalist and politician should be that between a dog and lamp post. For generations, the lamp post has put up with this. Now it wants its revenge…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Gang Child Sex Abuse Report ‘No Surprise’ To Lancashire Police

LANCASHIRE police’s public protection boss is not surprised by a new report revealing that thousands of children are sexually abused by gangs in England each year. Det Supt Ian Critchley said the force and councils had been tackling the problems highlighted in yesterday’s study by the Children’s Commissioner for years…

Det Supt Critchley said: “This is a serious problem we have been aware of for more than seven years. It is about preventing grooming and child sexual abuse, horrendous crimes, and prosecuting those responsible. We recognise that some gang grooming involves Asian/Pakistani males and we work with communities to educate and prevent this. Children in care are some of the most vulnerable and they are targets — but not the only targets.”


Blackburn with Darwen council children’s chief Maureen Bateson said: “We have done a lot of work over a number of years to tackle this awful crime. We can build on that. We must never lose sight of the importance of this issue. We must all be able to spot the signs of child sexual exploitation.” Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board chairman Nigel Burke said: “We are aware of the report and will consider it carefully to see if there are specific ways in which we can improve how we do things.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Go-Ahead for Mosque in Wollaton in Face of Congestion Fears

PLANS for a mosque in Wollaton have been given the green light — despite residents’ concerns over traffic. The Karimia Institute took over a former children’s care home in Radford Bridge Road and have developed it into a prayer centre…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Husband and Wife’s Foster Children From Ethnic Minorities ‘Taken Away Because Couple Joined UKIP’

A married couple claimed yesterday they had their foster children taken away from them for being members of Ukip.

Social workers told the couple, who were caring for three children from ethnic minorities, that the party had ‘racist’ policies and that their membership of it made them unsuitable carers, it was reported last night.

The foster parents, who have been caring for children for nearly seven years and had been described as ‘exemplary’, said they were left feeling ‘stigmatised and slandered’.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: I Didn’t Attack Islam, Says Ilkley MP

Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins has been challenged by a senior local party figure for his comments in Parliament linking some British Muslims to sexual grooming. In an address to the House of Commons last week, Mr Hopkins said the British Pakistani Muslim community had to confront the fact that a small minority of its men were abusing white children. He also criticised the custom of seeking brides from Pakistan, suggesting this was motivated by a wish to have “subservient” women in the household. But earlier this week he was challenged by Zafar Ali, chairman of the Keighley central branch of the Keighley and Ilkley Conservative Association.

Mr Ali, a former Conservative district councillor, said: “Islam is a global religion and draws its congregation from around the world. To taint Islam by association with paedophile gangs and child abusers is completely wrong and Kris Hopkins should come forward within the Islamic community and apologise for this misguided generalisation. But Mr Hopkins has, unfortunately, taken away from this most important debate on how we address child sexual exploitation by muddying the waters with a number of other issues that add little to the subject of the debate.” Mosque leaders in Bradford have accused Mr Hopkins of overstepping his remit…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Labour Complains to Police Over Leaflet’s ‘Closet Racists’ Claim

Respect party claims dirty tricks over election leaflet allegedly sent to a number of Asian households in Rotherham

The Labour party has complained to the police over an election leaflet purporting to come from George Galloway’s Respect party, which refers to Labour as a “party of closet racists” who are prone to “anti-Islamic bigotry”…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Mark Clattenburg, Chelsea and Racism: Why Offensive Language Offends, And Why it Always Will

by Tom Chivers

This blog post is going to use several words that may offend people. That is, sort of, the point…

[Reader comment by sayward on 23 November 2012 at about 1:45 pm.]

Aren’t we in danger of missing the point: And the point being, whether the statement we may make is a falsehood or the truth. Accordingly we may refer to a particular “Excuse for a Man” as a: “Paki peadophile and molester of white children”. Thus the question begs itself: Are we to be “prosecuted for Paki, peadophile or molester of white children or, indeed, the whole statement.? And on what grounds: “If the statement is correct and true”.? Or does a perceived “racial remark’ [conveniently and to our shame] now take precedent over the “Truth”.

Consider then: For was it not the reluctance of the authorities to serve the “Truth” as opposed to serving a “perversion of racial tolerance” that condemned those very white English school-girls to be used, abused and handed from one “Paki peadophile and molester of white children” to the other.? ‘Tis so.! and thus the innocence and protection of “Children” was bartered like cattle rather than cause offence …. Shame on us for the betrayal of truth and more so the betrayal of our own Children.!

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Our Son Mahdi is ‘No Informer’ Say Family

A former pupil of Haverstock School is believed to be in an East African prison amid claims he could have operated as an international terrorist. The Home Office has banned Mahdi Hashi from Britain, listing him as threat to national security. But his family are demanding answers from the government after what they say is a decade of unexplained ‘harassment’ by the secret services.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Smirking Romanian Boy Who Became One of Britain’s Youngest Sex Offenders Aged Just 11 is Punished… With an Educational Course

One of the youngest sex offenders to be arrested for assaulting an adult has been sent on a sex education course.

The 11-year-old Romanian boy forced his hands between his victim’s thighs after confronting her while she was out shopping.

The boy, who has now turned 12 and cannot be named because of his age, then rode off on his bicycle.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Thug, 34, Admits Punching 16-Year-Old Girl Unconscious in Shocking Random Street Attack Which Was Caught on CCTV

A thug has admitted knocking a 16-year-old girl unconscious in an unprovoked street attack that left her with broken teeth and a split lip.

A court heard Michael Ayoade, 34, who smacked petite teenager Tasneem Kabir around the head as she was walking to college in east London, told police: ‘She started it’.

He was arrested thanks to an anonymous tip-off after police released CCTV footage of the shocking attack, which showed Ayoade casually jogging away while Miss Kabir lay unconscious on the ground.

Ayoade later told police that the petite 16-year-old ‘didn’t have a friendly face’, that he was ‘intimidated by her’ and that she ‘made me feel like a pauper with her facial gestures’.

He said he couldn’t cope with ‘taking an insult from a little person like that’.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Morsi Defies Judiciary, New Constitutional Declaration

Appoints general-prosecutor, rescues Constitutional Assembly

(ANSAmed) — Rome — Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi issued a constitutional declaration on Thursday calling for the retrial of those accused of killing and injuring protesters during and after last year’s Tahrir Square uprising, Al Ahram website repotrs ..

The retrials will also target ex-regime officials who have carried out “terrorism” against Egyptian protesters.

An article in the declaration also gives immunity to Egypt’s controversy-prone Constituent Assembly — tasked with drafting a new constitution — from a potential court verdict that may have otherwise led to its dissolution.

Another article protects the current Shura Council — the upper, consultative house of Egypt’s parliament — from dissolution, effectively pre-empting appeals against the council’s constitutionality.

The declaration also gives the president the power to appoint Egypt’s prosecutor-general for a four-year period.

The new declaration included the appointment of Judge Talaat Ibrahim Mohamed Abdullah, a former deputy head of Egypt’s Court of Cassation, to the post of prosecutor-general.

The decree also called for giving pensions to the families of the “martyrs of the 25 January Revolution” and increasing reparations to those injured.

The surprise decision came amid ongoing clashes between protesters and police on Cairo’s Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

Protests held to commemorate four days of street fighting between protesters and security forces in November of last year turned violent on Monday.

Chanting “the people support the president’s decisions,” thousands of protesters, most of them Muslim Brotherhood supporters, gathered on Thursday at the courthouse, which also houses the attorney general’s office. Many of them wore T-shirts depicting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, many others were Salafists. Also on Thursday, opposition leader Mohamed el Baradei, former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief and founder of the new al-Dostour party, wrote on Twitter that Morsi “today usurped all the powers of the state, proclaiming himself the new pharaoh.” The increased presidential powers are “a hard blow to the revolution, which could have terrible consequences,” he added. Former Egyptian presidential candidate and former Arab League secretary general, Amr Mussa, said he fears “new incidents after President Morsi’s decision to fire the attorney general. Egypt now does not need incidents, but stability, and Egyptians will not accept dictatorship,” Mussa said at the launch of his party The Congress, al-Dostour online daily reported.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Morsi Supporters Take to the Streets

‘The new pharaoh’, el Baradei; no dictatorship, Mussa

(ANSAmed) — ROME, NOVEMBER 22 — Chanting “the people support the president’s decisions,” thousands of protesters, most of them Muslim Brotherhood supporters, gathered on Thursday at the courthouse, which also houses the attorney general’s office.

Many of them wore T-shirts depicting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, many others were Salafists.

Also on Thursday, opposition leader Mohamed el Baradei, former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief and founder of the new al-Dostour party, wrote on Twitter that Morsi “today usurped all the powers of the state, proclaiming himself the new pharaoh.” The increased presidential powers are “a hard blow to the revolution, which could have terrible consequences,” he added. Former Egyptian presidential candidate and former Arab League secretary general, Amr Mussa, said he fears “new incidents after President Morsi’s decision to fire the attorney general.

Egypt now does not need incidents, but stability, and Egyptians will not accept dictatorship,” Mussa said at the launch of his party The Congress, al-Dostour online daily reported.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egypt: For Catholic Church, Morsi, Egypt’s New Dictator, Puts Country in “Grave Danger”

The president has taken over legislative, executive and judicial powers. Egypt’s Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud is dismissed because too closely associated with the Mubarak regime. The spokesman for the Catholic Church fears the application of Sharia law in a country dominated by an Islamist minority. Young protesters take to Tahrir Square.

Cairo (AsiaNews) — “Egypt is in grave danger. The Muslim Brotherhood now controls all powers: legislative, executive and judiciary. No one can stop them,” told Fr Rafic Greiche AsiaNews. The president’s recent constitutional amendments are “a move to give the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists a stranglehold over power.” For the clergyman, the Muslim Brotherhood is following a precise plan to place Egypt under Sharia.

Egypt’s polarisation was evident toady in Cairo’s streets as demonstrations got underway. In front of the headquarters of the Justice and Freedom, thousands of Islamists celebrated Morsi’s “victory” over Sharia opponents.

Pro-democracy supporters gathered instead in Tahrir Square to commemorate the massacre of Mohamed Mahmoud Street and appeal to all Egyptians for a new revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood’s stranglehold.

With the stroke of a pen, President Morsi changed the constitution by decree, placing his office above the courts, including the constitutional court. A law in June made all declarations, laws and decrees issued by the president final and binding and beyond the challenge of any state institution.

As a pacifier, the Egyptian president has a proposed to reopen trials against police officials involved in violence against Tahrir Square protesters. He also increased subsidies to the martyrs of the revolution.

According to Fr Greiche, the Islamist leader wants to distract public opinion from his real goal. Other decrees protect the now dissolved Shura Council from challenges of unconstitutionality, and place in his hands the power to dissolve the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly.

“Morsi waited for liberals and Christians to leave their seats so that only Islamists would be able to draft the constitution and no one will stop them,” the priest said. “The only way is to vote No at the constitutional referendum. However, 40 per cent of the people are poor, living in rural areas, where Islamists are strong because they buy votes by giving in exchange bags of grain, meat and rice.”

However, “Now the party that gets the most vocal support is the liberal party. In case of elections, it would win a majority of votes. Islamists are a minority and do not want a new poll,” Fr Greiche said.

Now many are asking how the Muslim Brotherhood leader could centralised so much power in an office that in his own words was merely representative.

Claiming he was defending the ideals of the Jasmine Revolution, Morsi replaced all justices and judges appointed under Mubarak with his cronies. The last holdout was Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, a Morsi opponent, who had been trying for months to dissolve the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly. In his place, Egypt’s new strongman pickled Talaat Ibrahim Mohamed Abdullah, a former vice president of the constitutional court close to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the Egyptian press, many liberals slammed the president for his action as did many ordinary citizens.

For Mohamed el-Baradei, former president of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a former presidential candidate, “Morsi today usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh. A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences.”

This afternoon, anti-Islamist demonstrators set fire to the offices of the Justice and Freedom party in Ismailiya, Suez and Port Said.

In Alexandria, violent clashes broke out between young pro-democracy party activists and the Muslim Brotherhood. (S.C.)

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

Egypt: Protesters Torch Muslim Brotherhood Offices

Protesters in Egypt have set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices in several cities, according to state TV.

They were protesting against President Mohammed Mursi’s decree granting himself sweeping new powers. The decree states the president’s decisions cannot be revoked by any authority — including the judiciary. Supporters and opponents of Mr Mursi have held rival rallies nationwide. The president said no-one could stand in the way of Egypt’s march forward…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt and President Mohammed Morsi Make a Good Impression on the West

by Jane Kinninmont

Brokering a ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas has enhanced the standing of Cairo’s new Islamist leaders

Another round of conflict between Israel and Gaza has killed more than 100 people and caused immense destruction. But there may be an unlikely winner: Egypt. A tentative ceasefire agreement was announced not at the UN — where the Security Council, already deeply divided over Syria, could not even agree on a joint statement — but in Cairo. The Egyptian government, led by President Mohammed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood, played a pivotal role in brokering this week’s ceasefire, even after a bus bomb hit Tel Aviv for the first time in several years…

Jane Kinninmont is the senior research fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Programme

[Reader comment by Gleaner1 on 23 November 2012 at 4:16 am.]

This “report” is so very typical of the uninformed soft left wishful thinking in the MSM. […] No, our MSM are SO crompromised by PC censorship and ignorance, they can be read but ignored. Atlas Shrugs — Jihad Watch — Gatestone Institute — and Gates of Vienna are all prime sources for the true picture backed up by figures and precedent, The DT is just chip wrapping these days.

[JP note: Bonkers perspective, but on a par for Chatham House, and Western elites in general. Millions times millions will probably have to die before this folly of wishful thinking is appreciated for what it is, and even then our leaders, if any are left that is, will most likely blame Western colonialism, the crusades, and the invaginated Other for this mishap.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Kefaya — Mursi ‘Digging His and Brotherhood’s Grave’

Yehia al-Qazzaz, leading figure in Kefaya Movement, described on Thursday the constitutional decree President Mohamed Mursi issued as a “a constitutional tyranny, not a constitutional declaration”. Mursi is “digging his own grave as well as the Brotherhood’s” with these decisions, al-Qazzaz stated. “We are facing Mubarak’s regime, only worse,” al-Qazzaz told al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr channel. He described Mursi as a “failed president who cannot run a cantine, let alone a country.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Offices Torched, Morsi on Defensive

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi defended his latest decree granting himself sweeping powers before supporters in Cairo as anti-Morsi demonstrators set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices in cities across Egypt on Friday.

Reacting to the decree, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, responding to calls by Egyptian opposition leaders for a “million-man march” to protest against what they called a “coup” by the Islamist president.

Reporting from Tahrir Square, FRANCE 24’s Alexander Turnbull said the crowds started pouring into Cairo’s most symbolic square in the afternoon and that the numbers kept swelling as the Friday noon prayers ended.

“They’re furious about Morsi’s new far-reaching powers,” explained Turnbull. “They accuse him of placing himself above the judiciary.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Swaps Pro-American Dictator for Anti-American, Radical Muslim Dictator.

[Comment: Check out the cartoon.]

Think of it as the worst trade since Boston sent Babe Ruth to the Yankees. New Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi yesterday issued sweeping decrees that make him the country’s first pharaoh in several thousand years. Former President Hosni Mubarak was unavailable for comment.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Protests Rock Egypt After Morsi Seizes New Powers

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party in Alexandria on Friday, throwing chairs and books into the street and setting them alight, after the Egyptian president granted himself sweeping new powers.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Abbas Accepts Credentials of Chinese Ambassador to PNA

RAMALLAH, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday accepted the diplomatic credentials for the new Chinese ambassador to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the West Bank. During an official ceremony, Abbas praised the support of China to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause as well as the Palestinian bid to gain the UN recognition of a non-member observer state…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Benjamin Netanyahu Forced to Defend Gaza Ceasefire

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, was forced to defend his decision to cease hostilities in Gaza against a public and political backlash in which he was at one point dubbed a “loser” by his own troops.

Both Israel and Hamas claimed victory after a truce brokered by Egypt and the United States brought an end to the week-long bombardment over the Gaza border. But Mr Netanyahu faced allegations he had boosted the popularity of Hamas without achieving his military goals. “Deterrence was not restored,” said Shaul Mofaz, head of the centre-right Kadima party, rival to Mr Netanyahu’s Likud. “There was no resolution. Hamas achieved exactly what it wanted. There is no security for the residents of southern Israel and of central Israel.” Mr Netanyahu’s handling of the operation was, however, praised by security experts who said it had achieved the limited objectives that the prime minister had set down…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: The Trap That Arik Built

The cease-fire agreement that Israel accepted Wednesday night to end the current round of Palestinian rocket and missile attacks is not a good deal for Israel by any stretch of the imagination.

At best, Israel and Hamas are placed on the same moral plane. The cease-fire erases the distinction between Israel, a peace-seeking liberal democracy that wants simply to defend its citizens, and Hamas, a genocidal jihadist terrorist outfit that seeks the eradication of the Jewish people and the destruction of Israel.

Under international law, Israel is not just within its rights to defend itself from Hamas. It is required to. International law requires all states to treat Hamas terrorists as criminals and deny them safe haven and financing. But the cease-fire agreement requires both the Israeli policeman and the Hamas criminal to hold their fire.

At worst, the cease-fire places Israel beneath Hamas. The first two clauses require both sides to end hostilities. The third suggests Israel is expected to make further concessions to Hamas after the firing stops.

Then there is the cease-fire’s elevation of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government to the role of responsible adult. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian President Muhamad Morsi openly supports Hamas. Morsi sent his Prime Minister Hesham Kandil to Gaza to personally express the Egyptian government’s support for Hamas’s criminal assault against Israeli civilians.

Over the weekend, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood held what the media claimed was a stormy meeting. Its members were split over what to do about Israel. Half wanted to go to war with Israel immediately. The other half called for waiting until the Egyptian military is prepared for war. In the end, the voices calling for patient preparation for war won the day…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Gaza Déjà Vu

While everyone welcomes a cease fire between Hamas in Gaza and the Israelis, no one should expect it to last very long or that relations between the two will change. In point of fact, the Israelis struck a bargain with terrorists, not a nation-state.

Reflecting on the cease fire, David Singer, a lawyer, noted that “The document is not an Agreement, but merely an Understanding” and that “the parties to the Understanding are not specifically identified, nor has the document been signed by any parties that are supposed to be bound by the Understanding.” At best, the “Palestinian factions” who have the greatest interest in attacking Israel are not a party to the cease fire, nor is al Qaeda or Iran for whom Hamas is a proxy in Gaza as Hezbollah is one in Lebanon.

Israel has merely bought some time in which to determine what it will do next. Time is running out, not just in Gaza, but with regard to Iran’s nuclear program, deemed by observers to be mere months from being able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile and send it hurtling toward Israel to kill millions of its citizens and essentially destroying it as a viable nation.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Gaza: Israeli Soldiers Mock Netanyahu on the Web

For signing ‘defeatist’ truce with Hamas

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — Israeli Premier Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanhayu came under attack Wednesday by a group of disgruntled reservists who mocked him on Facebook for agreeing to a truce with Hamas after eight days of a conflict that left 160 Palestinians dead.

While national press praised Bibi’s “responsible” leadership in getting in and out of the Strip in a week, the soldiers’ Facebook page leaves no doubt as to how they feel about being demobilized along with tens of thousands of comrades in arms, on the eve of a promised ground offensive into Gaza.

Under a slogan that says “We are all against the defeatist ceasefire”, a photo shows the soldiers lying on the ground, their bodies tracing the Hebrew words for “Bibi is a loser”.

The image soon went viral thanks to right-wing netizens, much in the same way that left-wingers mocked him after his September 27 speech at the UN, in which he used a cartoon drawing to illustrate the Iranian nuclear peril.

Among the satirical cartoons now circulating is one showing Bibi hiding in a metal trash can: his own personal Iron Dome, after the Israeli air defense system that successfully intercepted almost 300 rockets and missiles fired at urban areas.

Another cartoon, drawn in the style of a historic children’s series published by Yedioth Aronot newspaper, carries the following caption: “After Israel was under attack for eight days, our Prime Minister Bibi decided to sign a truce with terrorist organizations. Children, help Bibi find his attributes.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Hamas’s Victory: How Muslims See it

Do Americans understand the Muslim view of war? Throughout the Muslim world, there were celebrations with people singing and dancing and giving each other sweets, celebrating Hamas’s victory over the Israelis. Hamas suffered serious losses. As Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister, stated at the news conference in which he announced the ceasefire, many Hamas leaders were eliminated and their military capabilities were sharply degraded.

But Hamas was not defeated. It will clearly be able to rain down rockets on the Israeli civilian population again when it chooses. What we call terror is a legitimate tactic of Muslim warfare — terror is how the Muslim prophet Muhammad subdued his enemies. He struck fear into their hearts, coercing them to surrender. Hamas is doing nothing more than following Muhammad’s guidance…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Islamic Jihad: Gaza Ceasefire Not End of Battle

GAZA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — The armed wing of Islamic Jihad movement said Thursday that the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip does not mean an end to the conflict. “The battle with the enemy has not ended,” declared a masked gunman from al-Quds brigades. “Our choice in fighting and getting weapons to defend our people is going on,” he told at a press conference in Gaza City…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Palestinians: IDF Gunfire Kills Man Near Gaza Border Fence

Hamas accuses Israel of violating truce and says the group will complain to Cairo; IDF checking incident; Gaza medics say man hit when approaching border fence after soldier fired 3 warning shots.

IDF gunfire across the Gaza border killed one Palestinian on Friday and wounded several others, Palestinians medics said, two days after a ceasefire between the territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas and Israel took hold. A Hamas spokesman accused Israel of violating the Egyptian-mediated truce and said the group would complain to Cairo. The IDF was investigating the incident, but stated that warning shots were fired in the air…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pro-Communist “Journalist, “ Julie Webb-Pullman “Reports” From Gaza

Gaza based New Zealand “journalist” Julie Webb-Pullman is being quoted on news site STUFF, as if she is a reliable, unbiased source:


STUFF fails to mention that Webb-Pullman has a long history with radical movements and communist governments in New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Cuba and the Middle East. For a full rundown on Webb-Pullman’s radical history and affiliations, go here.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Soldiers Spell Out Critique of Netanyahu as a ‘Loser’ For Not Using Ground Forces in Gaza

In Facebook pic that goes viral, 16 men arrange their bodies to show frustration at not going into battle

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said Thursday it was looking into a photograph circulating widely on Facebook in which 16 IDF soldiers arranged their uniformed bodies on the sand, to spell out the Hebrew words “Bibi loser” — in a deft physical critique of Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s failure to send ground troops into Gaza during the just-ended Operation Pillar of Defense…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Video: Syrian “Rebels” Declare War on Christians

As if “Benghazi-gate” was not sufficiently horrific, in a cruel twist of fate, American-backed Islamic insurgents in Syria are now thought to be using their CIA-supplied weaponry to kill Christians.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Twin Terror Attacks Kill 3 in Russia’s Dagestan

MOSCOW, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Three people were killed and another one wounded Wednesday in twin terror attacks in Dagestan of Russia’s North Caucasus, local police said Wednesday. Two bombs were detonated in the same bank’s premises in the village of Shamilkala with a three-hour gap, at 09:15 and 12:10 Moscow time (0515 and 0810 GMT). Two policemen and one civilian were killed, spokesman for the Dagestan Interior Ministry Vyacheslav Gasanov told reporters…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Bomb: ‘Two Die’ In Wardak Suicide Blast

A suicide car bomber has killed at least two people and injured 40 others in Afghanistan’s Wardak province, officials say.

Police said the bomb was detonated near a security centre in the provincial capital, Maidan Shar. The victims of the attack are said to include women and children…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Emergency Aid Post Wrecked as 2 Killed by Afghan Car Bomb

Two nurses among 100 injured in police-station attack

(ANSA) — Kabul, November 23 — A first-aid post run by Italian medical NGO Emergency was destroyed in a car-bomb blast in the east-central Afghan province of Vardak which killed at least two people and injured about 100 Friday.

Authorities said the explosion occurred outside a police station in the provincial capital Maidanshahr. Two Emergency nurses were among the wounded, who included “many” women and children, authorities said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

India: A Million Indians Bid Farewell to Long-Time Hindu Nationalist Leader Bal Thackeray

Shiv Sena’s founder passed away on Saturday at the age of 86. Charismatic, the controversial leader led his party on behalf of Hindu Marathis against ethnic and religious minorities. An ally of ultranationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he played a major role in sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims and the demolition of the Babri Masjid (Mosque) in Ayodhya. He clashed with the Catholic Church over a law designed to give the state control over pre-schools.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — More than a million people crowded the streets of Mumbai for a last farewell to Balasaheb Thackeray, the charismatic and controversial founder of the nationalist Shiv Seva party who died on Saturday at the age of 86 after a long illness. To avoid disorder, police were out in great numbers in the capital of the state of Maharashtra, especially near the late leader’s home in Matoshree, a rich neighbourhood in Bandra East. In accordance with Hindu tradition, his son Uddhav lit the funeral pyre that incinerate his father’s body.

Involved in some of the most violent and racist actions against minorities in the history of India, Thackeray was remembered by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as “a consummate communicator whose stature in the politics of Maharashtra was unique,” for whom “the interests of Maharashtra were particularly important” and who “always strived to inculcate a sense of pride in its people.”

Born in 1926, Bal Thackeray began as a political cartoonist. In 1966, only six years after the creation of the state of Maharashtra, he founded Shiv Sena (Shiva’s Army), a nationalist party promoting Marathi pride and interests. Eventually, he rode a wave of support by focusing on social issues like youth unemployment and job discrimination.

With such a background, it was almost natural the party would join Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and embrace Hindutva ideology.

Between 1995 and 1999, the party governed Maharashtra. Although Manohar Joshi was chief minister, Bal Thackeray was behind all of Shiv Sena’s actions.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Ram Puniyani, an Indian intellectual and activist, said that Thackeray’s success was due to two factors. “First, he had supporters who identified with his politics of ‘son of the soil’, directed against people from other states. Second, his supporters’ violence scared many people.” For instance, in 2002 and then again in 2008, he called on Hindus to form suicide squads to attack Muslims.

In order to promote violent action, he “focused his politics totally around identity issues,” Puniyani explained. “The other facet of his politics was to support Hindutva, again based on Hindu identity, directed against the minorities. His role in the Babri Mosque demolition in 1992, and his role in Hindu nationalist violence in Mumbai in 1992-1993 show it in a clear manner.”

In more than 40 years of politics, Bal Thackeray also crossed paths with the Catholic Church. In 1996, the state government presented the Maharashtra Pre-School Centres Act for the purpose of regulating admission to kindergarten.

Under the proposal, 50 per cent of all kindergarten places would be reserved for pupils living near their closest school. This meant that school administrators would no longer be able to select students, a move the Catholic Church disapproved. For critics, the law was designed to bring prestigious Catholic schools under state control. At the time, the Church ran 136 schools.

Card Ivan Dias, then bishop of Mumbai, launched a campaign against the law, citing Article 30 of the Indian constitution, which gives minorities the right to run their own schools.

Thackeray, local sources remember, asked for a private audience with the prelate. However, the cardinal declined the request saying that he was welcome at the Archbishop’s Residence in Mumbai.

Soon after, the draft bill was shelved and never approved.

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

India: Kashmiri Man Sets Himself on Fire to Protest Ban

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A Kashmiri Indian man set himself on fire Friday to protest a police ban on religious processions marking the Muslim month of Muharram in Indian-controlled Kashmir’s main city. Police said that the man suffered minor injuries and was been detained…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Indonesia: West Sumatra: Islamists Foment “Christianophobia”: Schools, Churches and Shops Targeted

For days a violent campaign has been mounting against the Christian minority. An excuse used by the local leadership to distract citizens from problems, including justice and the fight against corruption. The work of the bishop of Padang for dialogue and “good relations” with the Muslims. A church may close due to the alleged lack of a building permit.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — In the district of West Pasaman, the Indonesian province of West Sumatra, characterized by a strong presence of Islamic extremists, some local groups — supported by government leaders — have launched a violent anti-Christian campaign. And as in the days of the Suharto regime (1967-1998), the government is feeding the ethnic and confessional divisions, in order to distract the public from the real problems of the people, including justice and rights, development policies and a serious and effective fight against corruption. Meanwhile, the bishop of Padang, worried by the growing “Christianophobia”, is trying to mediate by maintaining “good relations” with the various groups and citizens’ representatives, including the moderate Muslim wing.

The wave of “Christianophobia” in the third largest island in the Indonesian archipelago has taken on concerning contours in recent days, with the increase in protests in public squares. On November 19, a mob marched through the streets of the West Pasaman District to protest against “the growing presence” of “Catholic and Protestant schools” in the region. Leading the procession were members and leaders of Islamic extremist groups, chanting slogans and shouting at schools, churches and stores owned by the religious minority.

Among the many signs that stood out in the crowd, one reminded citizens that it is “morally obligatory for Muslim families not to send their children to school in Christian or Catholic institutions.” Another poster invoked the closure “of Christian cafe’s and stores.” And the real fear is that the campaign of hatred and ostracism could take on even darker, more violent contours.

Among the protesters’ targets was also the Catholic Church of Sumber Karya, in West Pasaman, which is why local leaders have preferred to cancel the work of expansion and renovation, to avoid new tensions. Among the reasons for the attack on the building is the alleged lack of a building permit — the infamous Izin Mendirikan Bangunan (IMB) — a pretext often used to halt Christian works, centers and places of worship in Indonesia. A priest from the area told AsiaNews that all the procedures have been followed for obtaining a permit, but the authorities are resisting.

After Aceh, the only province in which Shariah law is in effect, the province of West Sumatra has the second-highest percentage of Muslims in the population and has many affinities with the first, including practices and regulations inspired by Islam and the Qur’an. It, too, is the scene of attacks against political leaders close to the minorities, as happened last year against the Catholic leader Supri, accused of “Christianizing” the zone. In addition to throwing rocks and stones at his house, the extremists repeatedly threatened him, ordering him to convert and embrace the faith of Mohammed. His dry response: “I’ll never change religion,” said Supri.

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

Lessons From Gaza for Afghanistan

by Peter Worthington

One thing rarely mentioned by those who know about such things is the lesson to be learned about Afghanistan from the example of Gaza. When Israel ceased its occupation of Gaza and turned it over to Palestinian control in 2005, Benjamin Netanyahu was skeptical, and is on record warning that Gaza would become a refuge for terrorists and plague Israeli peace attempts in the future. Events have proved that Netanyahu knew what he was talking about, and that assurances from Gaza leaders at the time (then the Palestinian Authority rather than rival Hamas) meant absolutely nothing. It was a ploy for more violence.

The lesson for those who seek to implant democracy in Afghanistan is that if the Israelis could not effectively curb the nationalist passions of Palestinians in the sliver of land that is Gaza, what chance do Western troops have in Afghanistan of curbing the hostility of the Taliban after they leave? The answer is … no chance, so long as the Taliban thrive. One would think controlling, or curbing, violence in Gaza would be relatively simple. Gaza territory is comprised of 366 square km — a space roughly 40 km by 19 km. Put another way, Toronto’s area is 20 times as large as Gaza; Manitoulin Island is seven times the land mass of Gaza. Yet it’s safe to say that Gaza’s 1.7 million people are mindlessly hostile to Israel, and mindlessly supportive of Hamas’ terrorist leaders who don’t mind Palestinians being killed because it’s useful anti-Israeli propaganda. Sacrificed martyrs, so to speak. So Israel’s incessant struggle for peace — or at least a life secure from having rockets from Gaza fired upon it — is hopeless as long as Hamas rules Gaza…

Gaza “civilians” are pawns of Hamas — just as Muslim victims in Afghanistan are exploited for political purposes by the Taliban. It’s not fashionable to acknowledge it, but as well as power coming from the barrel of a gun so, sometimes, can peace emerge from the barrel of a gun — witness WWII as a solution to Hitler.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Celebrate Thanksgiving

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PAYNE, AFGHANISTAN — Lance Cpl. Benjamin Brannon clasped hands with his fellow Marines sitting around a table. The group prayed silently over plates of turkey and stuffing. A day earlier, their vehicle had run over a roadside bomb during a route-clearance mission. The explosion damaged their vehicle, but no one was injured. “I’m thankful for that,” said Brannon, 21, before tucking into a traditional holiday meal served to Marines at this outpost in Helmand province in southwestern Afghanistan. It was his first combat deployment. In many ways it was just another day for the 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Marines stood post, went on patrols and trained Afghan security forces. Many were unaware it was Thanksgiving until someone told them or they saw decorations in the chow hall…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Uzbekistan: Dictator’s Daughter Raises Eyebrows With Yoga Poses

Gulnara Karimova is the glamorous daughter of one of Central Asia’s most brutal dictators with her own reputation for ruthless enterprise in business, fashion and music.

Now the 40-year-old whose father is president of Uzbekistan, has raised eyebrows again by posting a series of photographs of herself in a variety of yoga positions on the internet.

The seemingly innocuous images reportedly provoked discomfort in her homeland where her father’s hardline secular government is tussling with conservative strains of Islam.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

China is Angling to Take Over a U.S. Airbase in the Azores.

On June 27, a plane carrying Wen Jiabao made a “technical” stop on the island of Terceira, in the Azores. Following an official greeting by Alamo Meneses, the regional secretary of environment of the sea, the Chinese premier spent four hours touring the remote Portuguese outpost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Wen’s Terceira walkabout, which followed a four-nation visit to South America, largely escaped notice at the time, but alarm bells should have immediately gone off in Washington and in European capitals. For one thing, Wen’s last official stop on the trip was Santiago, the capital of Chile. Flights from Chile to China normally cross the Pacific, not the Atlantic, so there was no reason for his plane to be near the Azores. Moreover, those who visit the Azores generally favor other islands in the out-of-the-way chain.

Terceira, however, has one big attraction for Beijing: Air Base No. 4. Better known as Lajes Field, the facility where Premier Wen’s 747 landed in June is jointly operated by the U.S. Air Force and its Portuguese counterpart. If China controlled the base, the Atlantic would no longer be secure. From the 10,865-foot runway on the northeast edge of the island, Chinese planes could patrol the northern and central portions of the Atlantic and thereby cut air and sea traffic between the U.S. and Europe. Beijing would also be able to deny access to the nearby Mediterranean Sea.

And China could target the American homeland. Lajes is less than 2,300 miles from New York, shorter than the distance between Pearl Harbor and Los Angeles.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Did Cambodia’s First Lady Mock Obama With a ‘Greeting That’s Meant for Servants?’

President Obama’s historic first tour of Southeast Asia ended with a questionably disrespectful exchange between the president and Cambodia’s first lady, Bun Rany.


Rany placed her hands at chest level and tilted the upper half of her body slightly, leading the editorial board at Investor’s Business Daily to believe that she was showing disrespect to the president.

“First lady Bun Rany greeted Obama with a traditional “sampeah” pressed-hands greeting reserved for servants, a little dig that was probably lost on him but not to Asians,’ the editorial board wrote.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Japan’s Ninjas Heading for Extinction

Japan’s era of shoguns and samurai is long over, but the country does have one, or maybe two, surviving ninjas. Experts in the dark arts of espionage and silent assassination, ninjas passed skills from father to son — but today’s say they will be the last.

Japan’s ninjas were all about mystery. Hired by noble samurai warriors to spy, sabotage and kill, their dark outfits usually covered everything but their eyes, leaving them virtually invisible in shadow — until they struck.

Using weapons such as shuriken, a sharpened star-shaped projectile, and the fukiya blowpipe, they were silent but deadly.

Ninjas were also famed swordsmen. They used their weapons not just to kill but to help them climb stone walls, to sneak into a castle or observe their enemies.

Most of their missions were secret so there are very few official documents detailing their activities. Their tools and methods were passed down for generations by word of mouth.

This has allowed filmmakers, novelists and comic artists to use their wild imagination. Hollywood movies such as Enter the Ninja and American Ninja portray them as superhumans who could run on water or disappear in the blink of an eye.

“That is impossible because no matter how much you train, ninjas were people,” laughs Jinichi Kawakami, Japan’s last ninja grandmaster, according to the Iga-ryu ninja museum.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Man Crushed by Steamroller on Orders of Chinese Officials

[WARNING: ** Graphic content **]

A villager in northern China attempting to resist a forced government relocation by remaining on his land was brutally crushed to death by a road flattening truck on the orders of a Chinese government official.

The story, which was censored in China’s state controlled media, has caused outrage amongst users of Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, given it’s horrifying similarity to what happened to student protesters who were crushed to death by tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

The victim, He Zhi Hua, refused to accept a paltry payment from the government which has forcefully evicted Changsha Village locals in order to re-appropriate their land for commercial use.

When Hua began a protest by lying down on the spot through which construction vehicles had to pass, the local Vice Mayor ordered workers for the state-owned company to murder Hua by driving over his body with a huge road-flattening truck…

China is routinely rocked by riots staged by residents furious at the arbitrary theft of their land by the state, which under the Communist system claims that the government owns all land and that private property rights are non-existent. However, the state-owned media ensures that news of the protests does not reach a national audience.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Blair, Others Launch Initiative to Curb Religious Acrimony

Former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, yesterday launched an initiative to improve relations between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria that is characterised by mutual suspicion and hostilities. Blair, who is collaborating with the Archbishop Canterbury designate, Bishop Justin Welby, and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan to bring people of the two religions closer, has reached out to leaders of the two groups in the country. The task is being executed under the aegis of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, founded by the former PM…

[JP note: Interfaith is the opiate of the elites.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Tony Blair, Justin Welby to Work on Reconciliation in Nigeria

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Archbishop of Canterbury-elect Bishop Justin Welby, and Prince Ghazi of Jordan have unveiled plans to work on reconciliation in Nigeria. The northern regions of the country in particular have been dogged by inter-religious violence, which has seen churches and Christian communities attacked by Islamist militants. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation today unveiled a plan of action to build sustainable co-existence between Christians and Muslims.

The programme will involve faith leaders as well as young people, and will bring them together to work on responses to issues like malaria. Young Christians and Muslims will get to learn from each other directly through the Foundation’s Face to Faith high school programme. Face to Faith is aimed at helping young people learn to respect, rather than fear difference. It is hoped that the reconciliation work will ultimately see the conflict replaced with cooperation…

[JP note: Not a good week for the Archbish-elect — first women bishops, and now hitched up with our Tony on a futile mission in West Africa.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Austin Journalism Prof Says Thanksgiving a “White-Supremacist Holiday”

Forget all that turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, today should be a day of fasting and atonement for American “sin.” That’s according to Robert Jensen, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Jensen, known for his hard-left politics, also calls Thanksgiving a “white-supremacist holiday.”

Jensen’s opinion piece “No Thanks for Thanksgiving,” appeared on the far-left, Soros-connected website Alternet on Thanksgiving eve. In it, he wrote how Native Americans suffered because of the “European invasion of the Americas.” He went on to compare the Founding Fathers to Nazi Germany. “How does a country deal with the fact that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to Nazis?” he asked.

According to Jensen, Thanksgiving is “at the heart of U.S. myth-building. “But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin — the genocide of indigenous people — is of special importance today,” he explained.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Leading Catholic: Let Priests Have Sex

Abolishing celibacy for priests would encourage more to take up the cloth, Alois Glück, president of the central committee for German Catholics argued on Friday.

“Abolishing celibacy is not a magic solution, but there would definitely be more priests,” the former Christian Social Union politician told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. “There are more and more bishops in the world church that think a change is necessary.”

But Glück admitted that since the Vatican was unlikely to change its stance on the issue in the foreseeable future, lay Catholics would hopefully play a bigger role in local parishes. “Women will have to take up more responsibilities,” he said.

He added that the Catholic Church was facing a crossroads — either centralizing decisions or distributing responsibilities among priests and lay people. But he warned that “centralisation of the spiritual guidance of the congregation will necessarily lead to alienation from the Church.”

The German Catholic lay organization is due to meet for its autumn conference in Bonn on Friday, where the further development of the Church will be one the central themes. “We have to be aware that the number of christened and people who feel connected to the church is dropping sharply,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: A Feminist Revolution That Cruelly Backfired …

Seven girls laugh together at the supper table. One talks of her sister, a fashion model signed with a famous London agency. Another mentions her married brother, an artist in the north of England. A third — 17 with blonde hair tucked under an Alice band — says she plans to become a beautician on a cruise ship. At the small house, the blinds are closed so no one can peep in. Two terriers and a bull mastiff bark ferociously if there is a footstep outside the bolted front door. For these middle-class girls, groomed into sex slavery by street gangs, have been rescued and are living in a safe house a few miles from De Wallen, the notorious red-light area of Holland’s capital, Amsterdam.

They are the lucky ones. Thousands of other young Dutch girls, some only 11 or 12 years old, are still in the power of the prowling gangs after a controversial social experiment to legalise brothels. In a chilling parallel to the scandal sweeping Britain’s towns and cities, where a multitude of girls have been lured into sex-for-sale rings run by gangs, the Dutch pimps search out girls at school gates and in cafes, posing as ‘boyfriends’ promising romance, fast car rides and restaurant meals…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

TV to Die for: Assisted-Suicide Comedy Coming

BBC program taking idea of helping-to-die to new level

The BBC, which has advocated legalization of assisted suicide and last year televised a controversial documentary on the subject, is taking the issue to a new level with a sitcom focusing on the practice.

According to a report from the U.K.’s Christian Institute, the “plot involves a group of friends who set up an assisted suicide business to help a terminally ill neighbor, and to pay off gambling debts.”

The program, described as a “controversial comedy,” will be called “Way To Go” and will air next year.

[Comments: Nothing less than “Conditioning” — disguised as “entertainment” — to “help” the public to accept the idea.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Homophobic Hate Preacher Due to Speak at Brunel

by SarahAB

There seems plenty of room for debate as to exactly what limits should be placed on free speech, and how far the context of that speech (personal blog, workplace, newspaper, YouTube) might determine where we set the bar. I sympathise with the way Student Rights articulates this difficulty:

Here at Student Rights we are reluctant to call for speakers to be barred from campuses, as the right to freedom of expression should be extended even to those whose views we find offensive.

I expect most people will agree that the University of Derby was setting the bar way too low when they no platformed a UKIP representative recently. UKIP is a populist, right wing party, with some decidedly unpleasant elements […]

[Abu Usamah At-] Thahabi has expressed his disdain for the ‘Kuffar’, asserted that homosexuals (whom he refers as to ‘perverted, dirty, filthy dogs’) should be thrown off a mountain, and called for the death penalty for apostates in an Islamic state…

[JP note: See also ]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Parliament Has No Respect for Democracy. The ‘People Who Know Best’ Are Taking Over Our Lives

by Thomas Pascoe

Our rulers hold democracy in contempt. In Parliament yesterday, Sir Tony Baldry announced that the new Archbishop of Canterbury would be summoned to Westminster in the coming weeks and told that MPs will not wait for a new vote on women bishops. He will be instructed to organise another vote ahead of the agreed five-year timetable. The Church of England will be expected to choose women bishops this time, and they will vote again and again until they get it right. The laity of the CoE have voted already, but it matters not. What matters instead is that a political class looking for the turnip ghost of a new -ism to fight have found a way of impressing a class of journalist ignorant of all but their own emotions. Caitlin Moran, for instance, who begins her bizarre Times (£) piece on female bishops thus:

Look, I know nothing about the Church — other than that, in the 1980s at least, it held the best jumble sales. I don’t know the rules of the Church, or the stories, or the history. I don’t know the 2,000 years of context… But then, this week’s vote against women bishops seemed like such a clear failing of logic that you didn’t need to know the laws, stories or history, in the same way you don’t need to know the wider context of seeing someone brutally mug someone else in the street. Whatever the whys or the wherefores, it’s just always gonna be wrong.

Ms Moran’s understanding of the issues hinges on a belief that the Church is essentially a grown-up game of let’s-pretend, with boys dressing up in silly hats and pretending to have a magic biscuit. Her view, and Parliament’s, amounts to this: if they must play, we will make them play nicely and include girls. She makes no effort to understand the theological context or the path of doctrinal development, because it never occurs to her that her gut instinct could be wrong. Our political class operates the same way. Having decided upon the desirable outcome, the Commons is now determined to impose its will on the democratic processes of the Church. After all, why should the wishes of adherents be privileged over those of 650 parliamentarians, none of whom has a mandate on this issue?


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


New Social Contract; Old Strategy, Part 1

Following the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil (Rio+20, June 2012), UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay commended its broad inclusion of human rights provisions — i.e., rights to development, adequate standard of living, food, water, sanitation, health, education, social protection, labor, justice, equality, and sexuality.

For this, the Conference’s outcome earned a nickname, “the Rio surprise.” Rio +20 rethought development strategies and business practices toward ensuring a sustainable, equitable future for all world citizens. In effect, the conference introduced a new social contract compelling folks to rethink the nature of social relationships and interactions.[1]

On the surface, social justice sounds magnanimous, even obligatory; however, sustainable development speaks to “spreading around“ the benefits of greener products and services. In the name of fairness, the new social contract purposes to “balance the global economy“ by employing the Robin Hood approach of taking from the “rich” to give to the “poor.”

The purported enemy to global social justice — namely, America’s free enterprise (or free market) system — uses private capital in business (no problem here), and profits go to private companies and individuals, rather than to the world’s needy (herein lies the problem). Today’s not-so-new global mindset is “from each according to ability; to each according to need.” You know, communism.[4]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]