Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121202

Financial Crisis
»11 Facts That Show That Europe is Heading Into an Economic Depression
»America Went Over the Fiscal Cliff Long Ago
»Merkel Does Not Rule Out Future Greek Haircut
»The Chart That Keeps Ben Bernanke Up at Night
»The Working Class and the Government Class
»Are Establishment Republicans Ready to Give in to Obama?
»Dinosaurs Might Have Once Gazed Into the Grand Canyon
»Global Governance: Pushing the Normal
»Is Obama Fowling Up Domestic Energy Production?
»Lines Blur in Texas as Industries Seek Givebacks
Europe and the EU
»DNA Imaged With Electron Microscope for the First Time
»Elections in Catalonia: Victory of the Status Quo
»Italy: Marchini Independent Candidate in Rome Mayoral Election
»Italy: Grande Sud Leader Regrets Introducing Alfano to Berlusconi
»Netherlands: Wilders to Embark on “Mosque Tour”
»Spain: Madrid Hospital Personnel Protest Against Privatization
»UK: Thousands of Robbers and Rapists Let Off With Cautions, Despite Guidelines That They Should Only be Given for Minor Offences
»UK: The Sikh Soldier Who Will be the First to Guard Buckingham Palace Without a Bearskin as He’ll be Wearing a Turban Instead
»UK: We Cheapen Justice at a Massive Cost
»UK: We Feel Cheated by British Justice, Say Parents of ‘Bad Samaritan’ Riot Victim
»Serbia: Villagers Claim to Fear a Vampire
North Africa
»Benghazi Explained: Behind the Lies
»Egypt: Youth Paint and Sing Against the Muslim Brotherhood
»Egypt’s Morsi is Laying the Bricks for an Islamic Democracy
»Muslim Brotherhood ‘Paying Gangs to Go Out and Rape Women and Beat Men Protesting in Egypt’
Israel and the Palestinians
»‘We Lost Europe’: Says Israeli Press After UN Vote on Palestine
Middle East
»Bahrain: Kim Kardashian Starts a Riot!
»Intelligence Asset Anonymous Declares Cyber War on Syria
»Kuwait Elects Its New Parliament With 39% of Enfranchised
»Convergence: Globalists Push Russia-EU Merger
South Asia
»Indonesia: Jakarta: Entrepreneurs Wage War Against the Governor Who Increased the Minimum Wage for Workers
»Suicide Bombers Attack US Base in Afghanistan
Far East
»Chinese Migrant Workers, Mutilated in the Name of Economic Growth
Australia — Pacific
»Crocodile Grabs Boy, 12, As He Swims With Friends in Australia’s Second Fatal Attack Within Two Weeks
»Pensioner Who Went Blind After Drinking Vodka Has His Eyesight Saved… By a Bottle of Whisky!
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Churches, Government Buildings Torched in Nigeria Attack
»Suspected Islamists Kill Christians, Burn Homes in Nigeria
Culture Wars
»Electronic Privacy is the New 21st Century Battleground: Why We Must Fight Back
»Europe’s First Gay-Friendly Mosque Opens in Paris

Financial Crisis

11 Facts That Show That Europe is Heading Into an Economic Depression

Europe is not just heading into another recession. The truth is that Europe is heading into a full-blown depression. The economy of the EU is actually larger than the U.S. economy, and we are watching it melt down right in front of our eyes. Things just continue to get worse in Europe, and yet somehow the authorities over in Europe just keep insisting that everything is going to be “just fine”. Well, everything is not “just fine” over in Europe right now. Unemployment in the eurozone has just hit another brand new record high. In some nations in Europe, the unemployment rate is already significantly higher than anything the United States experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Europe is a continent that is collapsing under the weight of its own debt, and this is just the beginning. A lot more pain is on the way.

Officials over in Europe are trying to hold the European financial system together with duct tape and prayers, but it could literally fall apart at any moment. Europe has a much larger banking system than the United States does, so when a financial collapse happens in Europe, it is going to be very significant for the entire globe. Sadly, most Americans do not even pay attention to much of anything that is happening in Europe. They tend to think that the United States is the center of the universe and that as long as we are fine that everything will be okay. Well, all of those people who are not paying attention need to wake up. First of all, the U.S. economy is most definitely in decline. Secondly, the European economy is imploding right in front of our eyes and Europe is going to end up dragging the entire globe down with it.

The following are 11 facts that show that Europe is heading into an economic depression…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

America Went Over the Fiscal Cliff Long Ago

I doubt that President Obama will compromise with the House Republicans on anything that might be done to avoid the January 2nd “fiscal cliff” that kicks in with higher taxes for everyone.

Obama has made it clear that increasing the tax rates on “millionaires” is his goal and he made that clear throughout the campaign. The income that would be generated from the increased rates would generate enough money to run the nation for about a week or so at most. In politics perception often trumps reality. And those “millionaires” are mostly middle class folks earning $250,000 or more.

As Chris Cox and Bill Archer, two veterans of the House, chairman of key committees, now in the private sector, wrote in a November 26 Wall Street Journal commentary, “The actual liabilities of the federal government— including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits—already exceed $86 trillion, or 550% of GDP” (Gross Domestic Product, i.e., the total the U.S. earns from the sale of all goods and services annually).

[Comment: Excellent article.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Merkel Does Not Rule Out Future Greek Haircut

(AGI) Berlin — The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has said she does not rule out the possibility of Greece’s creditors devaluing the country’s debt — carrying out what is known as a haircut — but not before the bailout package agreed by the Eurogroup and IMF has fulfilled its aims. She told the Bild am Sonntag that “If one day Greece is in a position to manage its own revenue without entering into further debt, we will have to assess the situation. This will not happen before 2014-15, if all goes according to plan.” Merkel also denied that the 2013 elections in Germany were behind Berlin’s opposition to a haircut, and stressed that Athens has gained another two years, until 2016, to fulfill its obligations. She added that were Greece to leave the Euro, it would cost more than a bailout.

“We must avoid instability,” she said.

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

The Chart That Keeps Ben Bernanke Up at Night

What changed in the last 30 days? Did the world just wake up to the idea that the only way out of this quagmire is a twisted currency war that appears to have re-ignited thanks to Abe’s efforts? Something appears to have snapped in the American psyche as the last 30 days have seen the largest physical gold sales on record. Between the search volume for ‘bulk ammo’ and this, we fear something is afoot and while Congress fiddles as our economy burns, Bernanke going ‘back to work’ is perhaps what the physical ‘horders’ are thinking… or maybe they understand, as we noted here, that just as Kyle Bass has confirmed previously, Paper Gold is just like allocated, unambiguously owned physical bullion… until it’s not.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Working Class and the Government Class

Forget all the talk about whether we will or won’t go over the fiscal cliff. We ourselves are the fiscal cliff and have been for some time now. The real fiscal cliff is not the point at which we run out of money, our credit rating sinks lower than Enron and or everyone is fighting over jars of cat food at Wal-Mart. The real fiscal cliff is when even the dumbest person in the country is no longer able to deny what the packs of robbers and thieves he appointed to steal for him have perpetrated for their own benefit in his name. And that fiscal cliff may never come.

Soviet leaders used to promise their people that one day they would live under true Communism. Under our hybrid system, many Americans already live under Communism. And the rest of the country pays for it. As the number of people living under Communism grows and the number of people subsidizing Communism shrinks, the fiscal cliffs begin coming in faster than Wile E. Coyote on jet-powered rocket skates.

Our class warfare is not determined by paycheck size. The United States has only two classes. The working class and the government class.


Not everyone in the working class is a saint and not everyone in the government class is a parasite. There are plenty of corporations who care only about short term profit and create social problems that the rest of the country has to live with. Immigration is a classic example. And there are also plenty of government employees who perform vital and even heroic functions. Your local firefighter and member of the armed services are obvious examples.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Are Establishment Republicans Ready to Give in to Obama?

If I’ve said it once in my columns, I’ve said it a dozen or more times; and that is, “in the lexicon of the liberal Socialist-Communist Democrats, the word bipartisanship means, ‘do it our way’.”

As if providing evidence of that one-sided axiom, the head enforcer, Slippery Senate Leader Harry Reid, (D-NV) was quoted by Reuters Money News online November 29, 2012, as saying “A U.S. debt ceiling increase must be part of any deal to resolve the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax increases and spending cuts.”

That is libDem speak for ‘bipartisanship.’ Note carefully the words “must be part of any deal…” Those words shine the spotlight on what Reid and Obama and Pelosi ALL determine is needed if a bi-party agreement is to be accomplished.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Dinosaurs Might Have Once Gazed Into the Grand Canyon

Picture the scene. It’s late in the Cretaceous period, 70 million years ago. A group of dinosaurs have gathered at the rim of what will become known as the Grand Canyon. They’re gawping over the edge, just as humans will in millennia to come.

That might not be complete fantasy. It had been thought that the canyon formed 6 million years ago. But now two geologists have evidence it is actually closer to 70 million years old.

Rebecca Flowers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Ken Farley at the California Institute of Technology calculated the canyon’s age by examining helium levels in the mineral apatite in the rocks under the western part of the canyon’s floor. Apatite contains uranium and thorium, which decay into helium over time. At high temperatures, like those found deep underground, helium can dissipate. But if surface erosion brings these rocks closer to the surface, as happened at the Grand Canyon, then the cooler temperatures they are exposed to can cause the mineral to hold on to its helium.

Based on higher than expected helium levels, Flowers and Farley concluded that the erosion that shaped the canyon began 70 million years ago. That will be debated among geologists, but if there is one thing that could add to the wonder of the canyon — up to 29 kilometres wide, 446 kilometres long, 1800 metres deep and very, very old — it is the thought of it filled with dinosaurs.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Global Governance: Pushing the Normal

Obama’s goal” Destruction aimed at our Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, property ownership rights, and the Rule of Law Global Governance: Pushing the Normal.

Global control of firearms through mandatory registration and interlinked world-wide databases per the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the U.N. Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) controlling navigation, fishing, oil drilling, and all other actions on the high seas more than 200 miles off-shore, along with other efforts to funnel distribution of food and energy — and yes, even the distribution of wealth — are now considered by interested parties within the purvey of U.N. “authority” as the never-ending quest for “social justice” continues: stamp of global Progressive Marxism at its finest.


Informed readers certainly know the answer. The Progressive Marxist goal is always one of control, because without absolute control there can not exist a One World Government functioning unimpeded within a New World Order.

Mark Levin was spot on during one of his recent programs (11/29/12) — as usual — when he had Dick Morris on the air to discuss his new book Here Come the Black Helicopters!: UN Global Governance and the Loss of Freedom.


As Andy Stern — former president of SEIU and frequent visitor to the White House — has pointed out, “Workers of the World Unite” is no longer just a slogan. Matthew Vadum, writing in Front Page Magazine on October 21, 2011, revealed Mr. Stern’s true intentions as well as his ideological roots:

Andy Stern is one of the most outspoken, cocksure neo-communists of the American labor movement. ‘We like to say: We use the power of persuasion first,’ Stern said, channeling Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky. ‘If it doesn’t work, we try the persuasion of power.’“

“Stern quotes Karl Marx in television appearances. In 2007 the wannabe Bolshevik told Bill Moyers that his Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was expanding to Australia, Switzerland, England, South America, and Africa.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Is Obama Fowling Up Domestic Energy Production?

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Institute for Energy Research responded to today’s announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that the agency will consider the lesser prairie-chicken as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. According to FWS, the action is a part of a “comprehensive, court-approved agreement” to address “habitat loss, fragmentation, modification, and degradation within the species’ range.” Additionally, the agency noted that “land uses related to wind energy and transmission . . . present conservation challenges for the lesser prairie-chicken.” The areas affected by the action include major energy producing regions in West Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado.

IER Senior Vice President for Policy, Daniel Kish, released the following statement:

“Today’s action is the latest example of the consequences of the Obama administration’s ‘sue and settle’ strategy, in which the Administration and special interest groups negotiate friendly settlements that give both parties what they want. The lesser prairie-chicken is but one of 250 species the Administration has agreed to review for listing. The full extent of this particular listing on domestic energy production is yet unkown, but it cannot be positive. Multiply today’s action by 250, and it is easy to get the sense that the president’s “all of the above” energy plan is empty rhetoric. Under these policies, the most endangered species in the United States could become American jobs.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Lines Blur in Texas as Industries Seek Givebacks

Under Gov. Rick Perry, Texas offers more incentives to attract businesses than any other state, around $19 billion a year, an examination by The New York Times has found. Texas justifies its largess by pointing out that it is home to half of all the private sector jobs created over the last decade nationwide.

Yet the raw numbers mask a more complicated reality behind the flood of incentives, the examination shows, and raise questions about who benefits more, the businesses or the people of Texas.

In a state that markets itself as “wide open for business,” the lines are often blurred between decision makers and beneficiaries, according to interviews with dozens of state and local officials and corporate representatives.

[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

DNA Imaged With Electron Microscope for the First Time

It’s the most famous corkscrew in history. Now an electron microscope has captured the famous Watson-Crick double helix in all its glory, by imaging threads of DNA resting on a silicon bed of nails. The technique will let researchers see how proteins, RNA and other biomolecules interact with DNA.

The structure of DNA was originally discovered using X-ray crystallography. This involves X-rays scattering off atoms in crystallised arrays of DNA to form a complex pattern of dots on photographic film. Interpreting the images requires complex mathematics to figure out what crystal structure could give rise to the observed patterns.

The new images are much more obvious, as they are a direct picture of the DNA strands, albeit seen with electrons rather than X-ray photons. The trick used by Enzo di Fabrizio at the University of Genoa, Italy, and his team was to snag DNA threads out of a dilute solution and lay them on a bed of nanoscopic silicon pillars.

The team developed a pattern of pillars that is extremely water-repellent, causing the moisture to evaporate quickly and leave behind strands of DNA stretched out and ready to view. The team also drilled tiny holes in the base of the nanopillar bed, through which they shone beams of electrons to make their high-resolution images. The results reveal the corkscrew thread of the DNA double helix, clearly visible. With this technique, researchers should be able to see how single molecules of DNA interact with other biomolecules.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Elections in Catalonia: Victory of the Status Quo

La Vanguardia Barcelona

The early regional elections of November 25 marked a decline in the party of Catalonian President Artur Mas, which had focused on winning an absolute majority in order to organise a referendum on independence for the region. In the end, it was the ruling order which prevailed.

Enric Juliana

The Catalan regional elections were won by Spain. To put it in a more orthodox and precise way, it’s the Spanish status quo that won.

The victor has been the ruling order, despite growing disorder throughout the country. The order that has been established in Spain for a very long time. That is going to be very difficult to understanding, accept, and digest, for a large portion of Catalan society, which still make up a clear sovereigntist majority — albeit a sentimental one.

However, the hard reality will take hold as the days, weeks and months go by. The Alpha Party (Partido Popular) of the Spanish middle class, despite the serious challenges posed by the crisis, still has its grip on the steering wheel.

True, there is a sovereigntist majority in the new parliament, which in the coming weeks may produce a coalition government in favour of independence. Convergència i Unió (CiU) and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) together hold 71 seats, which is more than enough to cobble together a stable executive, leaving them free to make holding a sovereignty referendum a central plank of their programmes. CiU, despite the whipping it has taken, still enjoys the tactical advantage of being able to sound out another majority government with the Socialists, for a total of 70 deputies.

It could even negotiate PP support for some issues, with the two having 69 seats in total. However the government is formed, CiU will be in it, and if this leads to parliamentary deadlock, new elections could be held in the not too distant future.

Partit de Catalunya

Deeply wounded, the CiU remains the “pal de paller”, [the cornerstone] of the nationalist movement. It continues to be the most genuine political voice of the suffering Catalan middle classes. It is still the “Partit de Catalunya”, Catalan for Party of Catalonia.

Accordingly, the majority in favour of a referendum on sovereignty goes beyond the sum of the seats for the strongest and second-strongest parties. And the separatist majority, broadly speaking, is still enormous. Nothing will happen in Catalonia in the near future that will truly rock the existing order. Work will be done on forming a stable coalition, approving budgets and governing a huge administrative apparatus that depends on monthly transfers from the Ministry of Finance…

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

Italy: Marchini Independent Candidate in Rome Mayoral Election

(AGI) — Rome, Dec. 2 — Alfio Marchini, the heir of one of the capital’s best-known families of developers, expressed his intention to run in Rome’s mayoral election as an independent candidate. The announcement was made during Lucia Annunziata’s ‘In Mezz’ora’ Rai Tre TV show. “As far as Rome is concerned — Marchini explained — we intend to promote an independent list, representing the first step in a broader project to establish and found a metropolitan civic movement”.

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

Italy: Grande Sud Leader Regrets Introducing Alfano to Berlusconi

(AGI) Palermo, Dec. 2 — Grande Sud leader Gianfranco Micche’ has told the “Telecamere” programme on RaiTre that “now that Alfano is trying to pull a fast one on Berlusconi, I wish I had never introduced them. He’s clearly trying to do the dirty on Berlusconi, and I am sorry, but I don’t feel responsible.” He also said that he did not regard himself as being responsible for the Centre-Right defeat in Sicily: “I refuse to say that it was my fault. If that were true, Crocetta should give me four councillors. As it happens, I wanted to forge an alliance with the Centre-Right, but they weren’t interested, and I’m referring to Alfano. Who else?” .

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

Netherlands: Wilders to Embark on “Mosque Tour”

The PVV will go around the country to help with the prevention of the building of mosques. According to party leader Geert Wilders the party has gotten hundreds of messages from people who complain about Islamic places of worship which are being planned in their neighborhood.

“We will go along to all of them and attempt to prevent there being built and at the very least to keep them outside of built up areas” says Wilders.

Changes in the laws

On the PVV -website tips have been put for how to file an objection against new mosques by the municipality and provinces.” And we will also give the complaints to ministers and see if we can get further changes in the laws”.

[Return to headlines]

Spain: Madrid Hospital Personnel Protest Against Privatization

(AGI) — Madrid, Dec. 2 — The protest against the regional Government’s privatization plan took the peculiar shape of a human chain. Thousands of citizens joined doctors and paramedics in order to symbolically enclose the hospitals of the Spanish capital in an embrace formed by a human chain. The protest was called by the ‘Mesa per la Sanidad Publica’ against the local Government’s plan to outsource the management of 6 of Madrid’s 27 hospital facilities. Reiterating that there is no going back on the decision, the Councillor for Public Health Javier Fernandez-Lasquetty said that he was very satisfied with the protest because “it is an expression of fondness” for the hospitals and their personnel.

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

UK: Thousands of Robbers and Rapists Let Off With Cautions, Despite Guidelines That They Should Only be Given for Minor Offences

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

More than half a million criminals have been let off with warnings for serious offences including rape, burglary and arson.

Official figures revealing the full scale of the problem show more than 400 sex offenders who admitted rape or attempted rape over the past 15 years walked free after being given a caution by police.

Over the same period more than 90,000 burglaries, almost 8,000 serious assaults and 7,000 robberies were dealt with by cautions, along with more than 500,000 acts of vandalism and arson attacks.

The out-of-court penalty does not count as a conviction, does not have to be disclosed to employers and means their victim does not see justice done in court. Thousands are still being handed out each year despite senior politicians, legal figures and watchdogs repeatedly calling for serious offenders to be taken to court.

The Lord Chief Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary have all expressed concern at the number of out-of-court penalties being handed out and the drop in cases going before juries. The Magistrates’ Association has also warned that it risks police enforcing the law and deciding on the punishment as well.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: The Sikh Soldier Who Will be the First to Guard Buckingham Palace Without a Bearskin as He’ll be Wearing a Turban Instead

The British Army is embroiled in a damaging row after the first Sikh soldier allowed to wear a turban rather than a bearskin on ceremonial duties suffered abuse from his colleagues.

Guardsman Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, 25, who joined the Scots guards this year, has been given permission to wear a turban outside Buckingham Palace, breaking hundreds of years of tradition.

The decision by Army bosses has proved controversial with Bhullar’s fellow soldiers. The Army’s Sikh chaplian has told The Mail on Sunday that Bhullar has endured taunts about his turban and his refusal to cut his hair and his beard.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: We Cheapen Justice at a Massive Cost

There is a place for cautions and on-the-spot fines in any criminal justice system. They can be used to close minor cases, and to deal with petty offenders who are prepared to accept a fine rather than costly and time consuming court case.

But most people will be dismayed to find they applied to criminals who admit to serious and violent offences, including rape, burglary, assault and robbery.

Evidence suggests that police are resorting to this technique to make it look as if they are dealing with these crimes, when in fact they have lost control of them.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: We Feel Cheated by British Justice, Say Parents of ‘Bad Samaritan’ Riot Victim

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

The parents of a Malaysian student robbed by thugs posing as Good Samaritans have described how they feel cheated by British justice after the men convicted of the attack were acquitted by an Appeal Court judge.

Ashraf Rossli, 21, was robbed by two men who tried to ‘help’ him to his feet as he lay on the ground having had his jaw shattered by a thug during last summer’s London riots. The robbery, filmed on a mobile phone and uploaded on to YouTube, caused outrage.

Within weeks, Reece Donovan and John Kafunda, both 23, were arrested and charged for the offence and, in March, were each sentenced to four years in jail. But their convictions were overturned on Thursday.

Mr Rossli’s father, retired army officer Rossli Harun, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This is not justice. This is not fair. We are all very upset.’

Mr Harun, 50, is angry that neither the police nor the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) informed his son or the family about the High Court’s decision. He and his son learned about the judgment after being contacted separately by The Mail on Sunday.

Horrified by the ruling, Mr Harun, said: ‘What happened to my son would never have happened in Malaysia. In Malaysia, people are taught from an early age that they will be punished if they do something that is against the law. They would be afraid to behave like this. They would never dare do it.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Serbia: Villagers Claim to Fear a Vampire

Depending on which version of “history” you subscribe to, vampires originated in Egypt, China or, most infamously, Romania, where the real Romanian prince Vlad Tepes (1431-1476) is thought to have been at least a partial model for the decidedly fictional Dracula of Bram Stoker’s imagination.

Or, if you’re to believe officials in the village of Zarozje, Dracula is alive and well in Serbia. Yes, fear is said to be spreading.

The fears revolve around Serbian vampire Sava Savanovic who is, it should be noted, acknowledged locally to be a fairy tale character. Still, villagers are packing around hawthorn stakes and garlic and putting holy crosses up over doorways.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Benghazi Explained: Behind the Lies

Author’s note: This is a special supplement of a multi-part interview with a government insider intimately familiar with the events that took place in Benghazi. It is important to note that the information contained in this series was developed from interviews that spanned over 100 hours. My source requested that the following information be written separately due to its importance.

DH: You told me that you wanted to talk about the lies behind Benghazi, said it is critical for everyone to understand the reason for the lies. and asked that we do this separately. Go ahead.

II: It’s about the lie, and once you understand it, it becomes extremely revealing. It’s about what the public has been told from the very beginning. Do you realize that a lot of people, especially Obama’s associates and supporters do not believe that they’ve been lied to? Do you understand that much of the public does not believe that they were lied to? Like a lot of us, you’re in this thing so deep that we forget not everyone even believes they’ve been lied to. They’re certainly not going to hear about it in the media. To understand how deep this goes, how important it is, and why it is so important, we’ve got to go back to the very beginning.

Think back to when we were first told that Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Dougherty, Tyrone Woods were killed in Benghazi….

[Comment: HIGHLY recommended reading.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Youth Paint and Sing Against the Muslim Brotherhood

Street artists in Tahrir to defend freedom of thought

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 30 — “They beat us and they stop us from expressing our ideas. They say they are our brothers, but of brotherhood they have absolutely nothing”: that is, except for the name by which the movement founded by Hassan Al-Banna is known.

Young graffiti artists in Tahrir Square refuse to give up, despite a law banning the use of spray paint issued after the January 25 revolution. They continue fearlessly expressing their thoughts through what they paint on the walls around and in the square. They draw on the walls, but the authorities waste no time in sending someone to paint over their work. Or at least they try to.

Those in power consider the words accompanying the pictures on the graffiti to be offensive. After the swearing-in of President Mohamed Morsi, the graffiti on the walls of the square symbolising the 2011 uprising and the surrounding streets was removed. However, in these days of high tension, in Mohamed Mahmoud Street (where security forces and protestors clashed violently) the walls are once again full of their drawings. “We are constantly beaten,” said Hana Maged, a 20-year-old film student at Cairo’s October 6th University. Her friends are a bit more wary, but also join in a moment later. Saiko and Kim are roughly the same age, and also claim to spend a good deal of their time in the streets. Since January 25, 2011, many artists and intellectuals have supported what they call the “Art Revolution”, and many people have passed by Tahrir Square to see them and show their support, including such well-known journalists such as Yosri Fouda, Galal Amer and Reem Maged, as well as the poet who has become the symbol of the revolution with his “O Egypt, It’s Close”, Tamim El Barghouti. Even politicians — such as El-Baradei — have put their ‘stamp of approval’ on it.

Cairo’s International Film Festival, which is currently being held in the Egyptian capital, has offered them a space inside of the Opera House. “They asked us to go slowly,” Hana said. And so no frontal attacks on specific politicians and only graffiti expressing such concepts as freedom and justice through visual arts and music.

Ramy Essam, the most famous of the ‘revolutionary singers’, was entirely unknown before the revolution, he told ANSAmed. “I was playing with a group of friends called Mashakel (problems).” What brought him to the limelight were the 18 days that led to the fall of Mubarak. Essam studies engineering and at the age of only 25 he has become a hero for Egyptians. In November 2011 he received the Freemuse Award in Stockholm, an award given every year to a musician struggling for freedom through his music. His winning song was ‘Erhal’, which translates as ‘go’ or ‘leave’ — an imperative addressed to Mubarak. Many production companies (for the most part British and American) later tried to get him to sign on with them.

“But I turned down their proposals,” he said, “I prefer to stay independent.” According to a ranking compiled by the London magazine Time Out, among the songs that have changed the world ‘Erhal’ comes just after John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and Public Enemey’s ‘Fight the Power’. And this evening, once again, Essam will be in the middle of the protest called by opposition groups against the presidential decree with which Mohamed Morsi took on sweeping new powers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Morsi is Laying the Bricks for an Islamic Democracy

President Morsi’s leadership is analogous to the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, at least in the eyes of his opposition figure ElBaradei. He meant it as an insult to Mr. Morsi in light of the Presidents greed for power. Truthfully, it is an insult to world history but no worse than claiming Mr. Morsi is a broker for peace in the Middle East or that his objective for Egypt is to fulfill the aspirations of the January 2011 uprising.

Mr. Morsi’s November 22nd Amendment to Egypt’s constitution is illegitimate and concretes his authority. With it he places himself above Egyptian law and the legal system and grants himself the last-word on his decrees. Morsi has unilaterally altered Egypt’s constitution to concentrate power in his own hands. This facilitates Egypt’s move in the direction of an Islamist Shariah state.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood ‘Paying Gangs to Go Out and Rape Women and Beat Men Protesting in Egypt’

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

Egypt’s ruling party is paying gangs of thugs to sexually assault women protesting in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against President Mohamed Morsi, activists said.

They also said the Muslim Brotherhood is paying gangs to beat up men who are taking part in the latest round of protests, which followed a decree by President Morsi to give himself sweeping new powers.

It comes as the Muslim Brotherhood co-ordinated a demonstration today in support of President Mohamed Morsi, who is rushing through a constitution to try to defuse opposition fury over his newly expanded powers.


One protestor, Yasmine, told the newspaper how she had been in the square filming the demonstrations for a few hours when the crowd suddenly turned.

Before she knew what was happening, about 50 men had surrounded her and began grabbing her breasts. She said they ripped off her clothes, starting with her headscarf and for nearly an hour, indecently assaulted her with their hands.

A few men tried to help her but they were beaten away. Eventually some residents who had seen the attack from their windows came to her aid and an elderly couple pulled her into their home. She suffered internal injuries and was unable to walk for a week.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

‘We Lost Europe’: Says Israeli Press After UN Vote on Palestine

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Israel intends to authorise 3,000 new housing units for settlers in the Occupied Territories.

Reports were on the Ynet website, which said that the decision had already been made yesterday evening by the Netanyahu government’s National Security Cabinet. The announcement of the decision has come the day after the UN vote on Palestine.

The new housing units should be built in Maleh Adumin and in East Jerusalem, Ynet reports.

On Friday the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot’s banner headline was “The World Has Decided For A Palestinian State”, going on to say that yesterday at the United Nations Israel suffered a “political debacle”.

It reported that Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu has not “been able to accurately assess the extent of the rage against Israel in the world”. Haaretz (which summed the situation up in its headline “The World Has Decided”) also spoke of a “political domino” set in motion against Israel which enabled Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to rake in 138 votes in favour, compared with only 9 against.

“Yesterday we lost Europe,” the paper claims a high level figure in the foreign ministry has said. On the front page are photos of Palestinians celebrating in the central square of Ramallah and among the Palestinian delegation in the UN. A right-wing newspaper, Makor Rishon, published a caricature of Mahmoud Abbas with the features of a Trojan horse just outside of the UN’s New York headquarters, while inside Hamas militants celebrate.

The paper claims that once the Palestinian Authority president has achieved an independent state, Hamas will immediately take it over. One of the most likely candidates for the Likud party in the next general elections and a representative of the settlers movement, Moshe Feiglin, urged Israel to react by immediately extending Israeli sovereignty to all of the West Bank, by taking exclusive control of Temple Mount (where 2,000 years ago the Temple of Jerusalem was located) and by leaving the UN.

“If Switzerland can manage without being in the UN, then so can we,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Bahrain: Kim Kardashian Starts a Riot!

She is certainly not everybody’s cup of tea but never before has Kim Kardashian’s presence started a riot.

Just hours after the reality TV star gushed about her impressions of Bahrain, riot police were forced to fire tear gas at an angry crowd.

More than 50 hardline Islamic protesters had gathered to denounce the 31-year-old’s presence in the Gulf kingdom.

The clashes took place just before Miss Kardashian opened the Bahrain branch of her Millions of Milkshakes shop.

Protesters were seen chanting ‘God is Great’ near the shopping complex in Riffa, about 12 miles south of the capital Manama.

The demonstrators were cleared before Miss Kardashian appeared late today.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Intelligence Asset Anonymous Declares Cyber War on Syria

The Anonymous hackster collective has announced it will attack Syrian websites outside the country in response to the Syrian government shutting down the internet in that country.

Aonymous’ declaration of war follows a story published in the New York Times on November 28 reporting that the U.S. is ready for direct intervention in Syria.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the shadowy group admitted it “has been working with Syrian activists for well over a year.”

As exhaustively documented by and others, the Syrian opposition is run by the CIA, MI6, and Mossad and funded by the authoritarian monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and largely composed of elements associated with al-Qaeda.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Kuwait Elects Its New Parliament With 39% of Enfranchised

(AGI) Kuwait — Kuwait elected a new Parliament although with only 39% of the voters compared to 60% in the previous elections.

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


Convergence: Globalists Push Russia-EU Merger

An op-ed column appearing in the November 25, 2012 Gulf News, entitled, “Need for Europe-Russia institutional integration,” by former Russian Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov is one of the latest globalist paeans to East-West “convergence.”

“Without a fundamental reset,” argues Ivanov, “relations between Russia and Europe will continue to decay, eventually becoming characterised by benign neglect.” To avoid this undesirable situation, Ivanov avers, “Russia and Europe must identify where their interests converge” and work toward “partnership,” “political cooperation,” and “political integration.”

“Convergence” is a key theme of policy elites the world over, especially those associated with the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), World Policy Conference (WPC), Trilateral Commission (TC), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), and Bilderberg Conferences (BC). Mr. Ivanov, who was an apparatchik in the Soviet diplomatic corps and head of the Russian Security Council under Vladimir Putin, has been associated with all of the above-named organizations. He is a member of that growing body of “former” Communists who now unabashedly wear the globalist label and hobnob with billionaire Russian oligarchs, western corporate CEOs, Wall Street bankers, heads of the giant tax exempt foundations, and denizens of the elite think tanks.

Globalists march under a number of banners and code words to identify themselves and the global political-economic transformation they desire: globalism, globalization, global governance, internationalism, and new world order. In moments of candor and/or daring, some globalists unblushingly blurt out their true goal: world government.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Indonesia: Jakarta: Entrepreneurs Wage War Against the Governor Who Increased the Minimum Wage for Workers

The new minimum wage — to go into force in 2013 — will be about $230, a more than 40% increase over the previous wage. Companies, supported by the central government, have announced they will challenge it in court; and the flight to areas where labor costs are lower.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — The trade association of entrepreneurs in Jakarta, joined at the national level under the abreviation “Apindo”, announced they will fight against the recent decision by the new governor Joko Widodo, who has arranged for a 44% increase in the minimum wage for workers. A move welcomed with joy and satisfaction by workers and social partner organizations, who for days have been in the streets requesting that salaries be adjusted to meet the cost of living, a move strongly opposed by manufacturers and small and medium size enterprises. The latter have been flanked by even the central government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has expressed solidarity with the businessmen and promised “support” for the appeals presented in court to invalidate the measure.

Thousands of underpaid and exploited workers have taken to the streets in recent days, asking for an increase in the minimum wage, paralyzing traffic and commercial activities. Their protest has been heard and accepted by “Jokowi” — the nickname of the new governor of the capital, a moderate Muslim and liberal — who has decided to set the threshold at 2.2 million Indonesian rupiahs (about $228). The measure will cover next year and will come into force in January 2013.

The previous JRU limit (Upah Minimum Regional, the minimum wage at the regional level) was 1.5 million rupees; the increase exceeds 40% and has sparked anger and discontent among entrepreneurs, industrialists and businessmen. Some see reduced earnings prospects, while others fear the closure of businesses as a result of soaring prices, or mass layoffs decided by entrepreneurs no longer able to bear the cost of labor. Many instead are thinking of moving to other parts of the archipelago, where the minimum wage controversy has not yet taken on confrontational tones and revenue prospects are far superior.

What is certain is that the governor, while on the one hand having satisfied workers, will now be forced to face the barrage of local entrepreneurs, who have already announced they will challenge the law in court and undertake a fierce legal battle. Noteworthy was the furious reaction of Sofjan Wanadi, the Apindo President, who spoke of a “bad day” for entrepreneurs and pointed the finger at Jokowi, the only one “responsible” for the consequences of the decision, especially for smaller firms, craft enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Meanwhile, the Industry Minister MS Hidayat expressed the government’s support for the entrepreneurs. The Ministry and small and medium-sized enterprises have allegedly reached an agreement, according to which they would not have to apply the minimum wage law. The same should also go for the industry giants, which employ hundreds of workers. Widodo commented, “it is their [i.e., the companies’] right” to oppose the decree.

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

Suicide Bombers Attack US Base in Afghanistan

Taliban suicide bombers attacked a US-Afghan base with explosives and gunfire sparking a two hour battle with American forces.

Militants detonated a car bomb at the gate of Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan before American helicopters fired down at militants, defeating them.

Local police officials said a dozen bodies in Afghan police and military uniforms were scattered around the entrance.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claim they stormed the base but a spokesman for the Afghan Defence Ministry, General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, said none of the militants were able to enter.

The NATO military coalition also described it as a failed attack.

Lt Col Hagen Messer, a spokesman for the international military coalition, said in an email: “We can confirm insurgents, including multiple suicide bombers, attacked Jalalabad Airfield this morning.

“None of the attackers succeeded in breaching the perimeter.”

He said that the fighting had ended by mid-morning and that reports showed one member of the Afghan security forces was killed.

Several foreign troops were wounded, but Messer did not give any numbers or details…

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Migrant Workers, Mutilated in the Name of Economic Growth

In Guangdong, the rich southern province that is driving the gross domestic product of the “world’s factory”, every year more than 60,000 workers are involved in work-related accidents. Between employers refusing to pay compensation and local governments conniving with industrialists, this silent army pays with the lives of its members China’s prominence on the world economic stage.

Guanzghou (AsiaNews) — The Communist Congress which just ended proclaimed impressive slogans in favor of the labor force in China, which according to leadership is the “true hero” of the national economic miracle. Yet the situation of internal migrants, a silent army that across the nation comprises between 250 and 300 million workers, is dramatic. Between work-related accidents, mutilations and social discrimination, these workers are paying for everone.

One of the most dramatic cases of recent times, reported the South China Morning Post, is that of Ou Changqun: while working at a heavy metal factory two years ago she was involved in an accident that tore off her arm. After 7 operations what remained was a disabled right arm and a hospital bill to pay: “Immediately after the accident I went into a coma due to excessive bleeding, and stayed in an intensive care unit for three days. I had not signed a labour contract with the factory owner, so my expenses were not paid by the company.”

Her employer even went so far as to suspend her medical treatment for the first emergency interventions: “I was forced to petition the local government for a year before getting justice.” She worked six days a week, 9 hours a day for four years, earning 2,000 yuan per month (about 190 euro). But the cost of her operations reached 120,000 yuan, paid by her employer only after a year and a half of continuous legal battles. Now she does not know what will happen, because with she is unable to work with only one arm.

He Xiaobo is a trade unionist who lost three fingers in an industrial accident in Foshan in 2006: “Ou’s story is typical of millions of migrant workers who have been disabled working in the cities of Guangdong in the last 30 years. Dongguan and Foshan are the cities with the highest incidence of serious cases, and for this reason have huge surgical departments, especially for hand and arm reattachment surgery. Each year in Foshan alone there are at least 50,000 violent incidents, three times the government’s estimate.”

Liu Kaiming, director of the Institute for Contemporary Observation in Shenzhen, has done field research according to which at least 60,000 migrant workers — out of a total of 30 million in the province — are disabled every year on the job: “The number of new disabled workers in Shenzhen is around 12,000 per year, plus those of other industrial cities. But even experienced labour rights experts have underestimated the serious work injury situation in Guangdong.”

According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, in China there are presently 8.2 million persons disabled as a result of workplace accidents. Official figures show that the majority of them live in the southern province, which last year furnished 2.9 million of them with medical and living expense subsidies. In 2009, according to the government, 175,602 migrants were wounded: 18% of the national total.

According to trade unionists in Hong Kong, however, these numbers are incorrect because they include only those who have reached an agreement of some kind with the employer for compensation after being injured. Chris Chan King-chi, a sociologist at the University of Hong Kong City, says that in the “black factories” — those unregistered, illegal or too small to be considered by the government — the incidents are not reported.

The hospital numbers confirm this terrible trend. Yu Wenxue, director of the private Nanhai hospital of Foshan, explains that he receives each day between 100 and 200 workers who have been injured in the assembly lines. All available beds were fully booked for the entire year: “99% of our patients are immigrants.” In seven years, the Shunde Heping surgical hospital has increased the number of its beds from 30 to 660; in 2004 it operated on the fingers or hands of 3,000 people, and the number grows by 25% every year.

The cost of the operations, however, risks distancing many migrants from the possibility to return to a normal life. Reattaching a finger costs between 20-30,000 yuan, while for more difficult cases requiring several operations, the cost comes to 150,000 yuan. Most migrant workers earn at most 1,800 yuan per month, which includes the several hours of overtime every day; in addition, most employers refuse to provide compensation for injuries.

Zhou Litai, a lawyer, has been fighting for the rights of migrants since the mid-90s and has taken part in more than 3,000 lawsuits against companies that refused to pay what was due: “More than 10,000 migrant workers lose their fingers and hands in Shenzhen’s Baoan and Longgang districts each year. In the late 1990s, the labour laws only required factory owners to pay 33,000 yuan as compensation.” Since then the price has gone up to 500,000 yuan for the most serious cases, but the workers have to wait an average of 1,074 days before getting their due.

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

Australia — Pacific

Crocodile Grabs Boy, 12, As He Swims With Friends in Australia’s Second Fatal Attack Within Two Weeks

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A 12-year-old boy was grabbed by a crocodile which swam off with the child in its mouth today in the second fatal attack within two weeks in Australia’s tropical Northern Territory.

Although teams of police and rangers will continue the hunt for the youngster on Sunday they privately fear that the boy is well beyond help.

Less than two weeks ago a seven-year-old girl was killed by a crocodile in the Northern Territory, with what are believed to be her remains being found in a reptile that was later shot in the area where she went missing.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Pensioner Who Went Blind After Drinking Vodka Has His Eyesight Saved… By a Bottle of Whisky!

As any hardened drinkers know, too much alcohol can severely impair your sight.

But for one man in New Zealand, a whole bottle of whisky actually led to his eyesight being saved.

Denis Duthie suddenly went blind after vodka he had been drinking reacted with his diabetes medication.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Churches, Government Buildings Torched in Nigeria Attack

(AGI) — Kano (Nigeria), Dec. 2 — At least two people were killed when three churches and border posts were attacked by armed men, possibly Boko Haram militants, in Gamboru Ngala, on Nigeria’s north-eastern border with Cameroon at 8:30 a.m. Local sources report that about 50 armed men shouting “Allah Akbar!” (God is great!) in cars and on motorcycles, opened fire on police officers. Immigration, customs, secret police headquarters and a building used for quarantine were set on fire. Sani Kani, a local inhabitant, said, “I saw two bodies of policemen in uniform not far from the police station. One was in the street and the other was on the seat of a van.” The town of Gamboru Ngala is about 40 km from the Boko Haram stronghold of Maiduguri.

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

Suspected Islamists Kill Christians, Burn Homes in Nigeria

(AGI) — Maiduguri (Nigeria), Dec. 2 — Suspected Boko Haram militants killed 10 Christians and burned their homes in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria, police sources report.

The massacre is not directly linked to the burning of three churches in Gamboru on Saturday night in Bornu State, which caused the death of two police officers. These attacks are aimed at increasing tensions between Christians and Muslims.

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

Culture Wars

Electronic Privacy is the New 21st Century Battleground: Why We Must Fight Back

With the advent of the Electronic Age mankind has seen increasing breakthroughs of communications and entertainment utterly unthinkable a century ago. Along with these advances though comes the ability of government to increasingly track the emails, cell calls, and online activities of countless Americans with increasing ease. In fact, we are being spied on routinely—a fact which is occasionally noted but hardly ever protested in our increasingly complacent, civil-rights illiterate and government-trusting populace. But is our reaction wise? Could not these new government “duties” backfire upon us? And whatever happened to America’s rich history of civil liberties advocacy which routinely aimed the gimlet eye at government power grabs and was not afraid to call out usurpation of protections under the Bill of Rights?

What are the actual rights to privacy Americans hear of, especially regarding such topics as medical records or to abortion? Outside of procreative activities, where else is the doctrine of a constitutional Right to Privacy detailed? Or are such rights, as Alasdair MacIntyre states in After Virtue, just like witches and unicorns—all a mirage? If so, how can Americans hope to fight back against such entities as Homeland Security, Echelon surveillance network, drones, constant Google and Gmail scans, and other privations of privacy? In fact, we must now demand our rights to privacy against the burgeoning government intrusions before our society becomes mirror of Brave New World meets Nineteen-Eighty-Four, if it is not already too late.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe’s First Gay-Friendly Mosque Opens in Paris

(ANSAmed) — Paris, November 30 — The first mosque in Europe to welcome homosexual and transsexual worshippers opened in the outskirts of Paris on Friday.

The gay-friendly mosque is an initiative of Ludovic-Mohammed Zahed, 35, a French national of Algerian origin and the founder of HM2F, the association for gay Muslims of France. He has long called for an “open Islam”. The place of worship is located on property belonging to a homosexual Buddhist monk near Vincennes park in the Val-de-Marne department southeast of the French capital. The address has not been made public for fear of attacks.

The first prayer service was held on Friday evening and led by an imam belonging to the HM2F association. News of the opening had to be removed from Facebook due to offensive comments.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]