Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/16/2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/16/2009If Indonesian voters have their way, the country will have secular rule. In contrast, not only will Pakistan’s Swat Valley be ruled by the Taliban, but accused killers among their number will be immune from prosecution.

In other news, in Saudi Arabia there is a run underway on old Singer sewing machines. It seems the machines are in great demand due to a rumor that they contain “red mercury”, which is thought to be effective in controlling djinns.

Thanks to AA, Barry Rubin, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Lexington, LN, Steen, TB, The Observer, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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USA
Big Sister is Watching You
CNN Smears ‘Right Wing’ as Nazis
Dealing With Disruptive Veterans
Furious Protest Stops Tancredo’s UNC Speech
Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request
Hedgecock Seeks Popular Uprising
Md. Guard Issues Warning to Staff About Local Tea Party Protestors
Obama Administration Targets Conservatives and War Vets
The Treason of the Congressional Black Caucus
Why Call Americans ‘Extremists?’ DHS Asked
 
Canada
Northern Discomfort
 
Europe and the EU
Church: Bishop of Mazara Del Vallo Visits Diocese in Tunis
Council of Europe on Racism: Europeans Ought to be More Self-Critical
Croatia-Slovenia: Brussels Proposes Arbitration Over Border
Denmark: Thousands Wish Queen Happy Birthday
Denmark: Treasure Trove Found on Funen
Germany to Boycott UN Anti-Racism Conference
Ireland: The Nuns Would Not Have Stood for it
Italy: Dining With Mafia ‘Not Evidence’
Italy: Migrant Loses Eyesight After Brutal Beating
Mussolini Town Bans Memorabilia
Spain: Weddings With Non-Spanish Citizens Treble in 7 Years
Spain: Church in Support of Families, Mass in Colon Square
Storm Brews as Mafiosi Let Out
The Purpose of NATO is to Prepare for War
The Turkish Bridgehead
 
North Africa
Egypt: Iran Paid Off Egyptian Officers
Islamists of the World Unite; You Have Nothing to Lose Except Any Pretext of Being Moderate
Terrorism: Tunisia, Fifty Sentenced in Court
Turin Book Fair: Egypt is Guest Country, Controversy
 
Middle East
Almost Calm Easter Celebrations in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra
Iran Says S-300 Russian Missile Deal on Track
Jordan: Alleged Hamas Spies Convicted
Saudi Arabia: Singer Mania Being ‘Cured’
Syria: Alleged PKK Activists Convicted for Separatism
Turkey: ‘Daughters of Allah’ Nets Bad Review From Officials
Yemen: Extremists Burn, Devastate House Accusing Owner’s of Blasphemy
 
South Asia
India: Election Marred by Maoist Attacks
Indonesia: Voters Favour Secular Rule
Pakistan: Militants to be ‘Protected’ Under Swat Law
We’re Sick of War: a Taleban Leader Risks His Life to Point Out a New Route to Peace
 
Far East
Chinese Satellite Earth Monitoring System Operational
Fiat- Chrysler Deal ‘50% Chance’
 
Australia — Pacific
Asylum Seekers Arrive in Darwin After Boat Explosion
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
Those Who Ignore History Are Condemned — Somali Piracy in Context
 
Immigration
Italy: Growing Number of Migrants Use Website for Job Search
Norway: Immigrants Behind Most Cases of Aggravated Sexual Assault
Spanish-Language Media Pushes U.S. Citizenship Drive
 
Culture Wars
Obama Pushing Abortion Hard at United Nations, Pro-Life Group Says
 
General
It’s Possible: Imagine No Phone, No Food, No Fuel
Ohmyrus: Lessons From the Ancients
Video: Jackie Mason: Why Should Our Ships Fear ‘Broken Down Bums’?
Why Things Are the Way They Are

USA

Big Sister is Watching You

In George Orwell’s book “1984” the slogan of the dictatorship was “Big Brother Is Watching You.” In Obama’s America, Janet Napolitano is in charge of homeland security, so the slogan could well be changed to “Big Sister Is Watching You.”

It turns out that Big Sis has just issued a report that warns against the possibility of violence by so-called “right-wing extremists.” And what does Big Sis say these right-wingers are concerned about? Illegal aliens, the increasing power of the federal government, gun grabs, abortion and the loss of U.S. national sovereignty. In other words, anyone who is worried about preserving our borders, language and culture is on Big Sis’ watch list.

But here’s something else that the headlines don’t tell you. The report says that these dangerous right-wingers engage in “exploitation of social issues such as … same-sex marriage.” What this means is that even though state after state has rejected gay marriage every time it has been put to a vote of the people, if you oppose the destruction of traditional marriage, if you oppose the gay mafia, then you are suspect. If you aren’t happy with her “lifestyle choice,” Big Sis will put you on her list.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


CNN Smears ‘Right Wing’ as Nazis

A similar report, on left-wing extremism and entitled “Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade,” received the attention of exactly zero media outlets since its release. The AP today reports that this document was released in February, although it is unclear when media outlets received it.

In point of fact, the non-classified version was published on January 26 and cited several liberal extremist groups by name, as potential security threats…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Dealing With Disruptive Veterans

Pennsylvania State University has stepped in it. In fact, they’ve stepped in it to the tops of their combat boots. A video was recently posted on the Penn State website for the ostensible purpose of helping professors deal with disruptive students. But its negative and stereotypical portrayal of veterans has provoked well-deserved outrage from citizens everywhere.

In the video, an instructor pays a visit to her department head indicating that she is still having a problem with a student. The department head responds eerily, asking whether the referenced student is “the veteran.” She indicates that, yes, it is “the veteran.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Furious Protest Stops Tancredo’s UNC Speech

CHAPEL HILL — UNC-CH police released pepper spray and threatened to use a Taser on student protesters Tuesday evening when a crowd disrupted a speech by former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo opposing in-state tuition benefits to unauthorized immigrants.

Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.

Tancredo was brought to campus by a UNC chapter of Youth for Western Civilization, a national organization of students who oppose mass immigration, multiculturalism and affirmative action.

Before the event, campus security removed two women who delayed Tancredo’s speech by stretching a 12-foot banner across the front of the classroom. It read, “No dialogue with hate.”

Police escorted the women into the hallway, amid more than 30 protesters who clashed with the officers trying to keep them out of the overcrowded classroom. After police released pepper spray and threatened the crowd with a Taser, the protesters gathered outside Bingham Hall.

Police spokesman Randy Young said the pepper spray was “broadcast” to clear the hallway. He said officers’ use of force was under investigation by the department.

Inside the classroom, several student protesters screamed curses at Tancredo and Riley Matheson, president of the UNC-Chapel Hill chapter of Youth for Western Civilization.

“This is the free speech crowd, right?” Tancredo joked.

UNC-CH geography professor Alpha Cravey joined protesters in chanting the names of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus.

But campus visitors and some faculty members in the capacity crowd of 150 urged the students to let Tancredo speak.

“We are the children of immigrants, and this concerns us,” said junior Lizette Lopez, 22, vice president of the Carolina Hispanic Association. “So we would at least like to hear what he has to say if you want to hear what we have to say.”

The protesters relented, and Tancredo began to speak, describing failed state and federal legislation aimed at providing in-state tuition benefits for undocumented immigrants.

Two women stretched out another banner, first along one of the aisles and then right in front of Tancredo. Tancredo grabbed the middle of the banner and tried to pull it away from one of the girls. “You don’t want to hear what I have to say because you don’t agree with me,” he said.

The sound of breaking glass from behind a window shade interrupted the tug-of-war.

Tancredo was escorted from the room by campus police.

About 200 protesters reconvened outside the building. “We shut him down; no racists in our town,” they shouted. “Yes, racists, we will fight, we know where you sleep at night!”

Reached by phone after his departure, Tancredo said he had never been silenced by protesters, even at American University where 400 of them recently attended one of his speeches.

“We’re very sorry that former Congressman Tancredo wasn’t able to speak,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a prepared statement. “We pride ourselves on being a place where all points of view can be expressed and heard, so I’m disappointed that didn’t happen tonight. I think our Public Safety officers appropriately handled a difficult situation.”

Police spokesman Randy Young said he couldn’t recall student protesters shutting down another campus event.

“Fascists are fascists,” Tancredo said. “Their actions were probably the best speech I could ever give. They are what’s wrong with America today. … When all you can do is yell epithets, that means you are intellectually bankrupt.”

UNC graduate student Tyler Oakley, who had organized the protest, said he regretted the broken window but not silencing Tancredo. “He was not able to practice his hate speech,” said Oakley. “You have to respect the right of people to assemble and collectively speak.”

Lopez said she had mixed emotions about how the event ended.

“We were more interested in an intellectual conversation instead of a shouting match,” she said. “Ironically, the people that are trying to get our voices heard silenced us.”

Matheson, who formed UNC-YWC this year with seven other conservative students, said he knew Tancredo would be controversial but he never expected this kind of response.

“I didn’t expect them to literally chase him out of the building,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request

(CNSNews.com) — Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”—symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the “IHS” monogram that had previously adorned the stage at Georgetown’s Gaston Hall was still covered up—when the pediment where it had appeared was photographed by CNSNews.com.

“In coordinating the logistical arrangements for yesterday’s event, Georgetown honored the White House staff’s request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage,” Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications at Georgetown, told CNSNews.com.

“The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they’ve done for other policy speeches,” she added. “Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn’t high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.”

On Wednesday, CNSNews.com inspected the pediment embedded in the wall at the back of the stage in Gaston Hall, where Obama delivered his speech. The letters “IHS” were not to be found. They appeared to be shrouded with a triangle of black-painted plywood.

Pictures of the wooden pediment prior to Obama’s speech show the letters “IHS” in gold. Many photos posted on the Internet of other events at Gaston Hall show the letters clearly.

The White House did not respond to a request from CNSNews.com to comment on the covering up of Jesus’ name at Gaston Hall.

Georgetown, which is run by the Jesuit order, is one of the most prestigious Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Roman Catholics traditionally use “IHS” as an abbreviation for Jesus’ name. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. Ignatius of Loyola adopted the monogram in his seal as general of the Society of Jesus (1541) and thus became the emblem of his institute.” The Society of Jesus is the formal name for the Jesuits.

Although the monogram was covered over on the wooden pediment at the back of the Gaston Hall stage where it would have been directly above and behind President Obama as he spoke, the letters “IHS” are posted elsewhere around the hall approximately 26 times on shields representing different parts of the United States and the world.

Obama did not mention the name of Jesus during his address. However, he did mention Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.

“There is a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells a story of two men…’the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house…it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock,’“ Obama said.

“We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand,” he added. “We must build our house upon a rock.”

           — Hat tip: Lexington[Return to headlines]


Hedgecock Seeks Popular Uprising

Columnist who revealed DHS crackdown calls government report ‘un-American’

Hedgecock said he thinks it’s a government reaction to the grassroots opposition to President Obama’s nationalization and socialization plans.

“I think this has to do with the Fairness Doctrine. … Unfortunately, the MO (method of operation) of the national administration … it doesn’t like a lot that’s said at the grassroots,” he said.

He said, “I’m afraid I witnessed the first manifestation of this last Saturday in a Tea Party … in San Diego.

“I noticed a fellow taking video shots of a lot of the people.”

He said he was told the man had taken video shots of vehicle license plants, then got into a vehicle with a federal government plate and drove away.


Hedgecock suggested that may have been the type of surveillance the DHS report seeks.

“If you’re going to protest against Obama, he’s going to know who you are,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Md. Guard Issues Warning to Staff About Local Tea Party Protestors

A document issued by the Maryland National Guard on April 9 warns full-time Guard personnel to be aware of threats from local citizens protesting income taxes during grass roots events known as TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Parties — one of which was held on Solomons Island March 22. The Guard document, “Planned TEA Party Protests (FPCON Advisory 09-004),” was believed to have first been revealed by a blog called The Jawa Report. A call today to Col. Kohler, Md. National Guard Public Affairs in Baltimore, confirmed the authenticity of the document. The document was officially classified as UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (U/FOUO). (The document appears in its entirety at the bottom of this article)

The Guard document describes the TEA Party protests as a movement. “Numerous entities have formed recently to express displeasure/anger over recent federal/state government actions: more taxes, increased spending, higher deficits, a surge of borrowing to pay for it all, bailout of the financial institutions,” stated the document under the heading of SITUATION.

The document appears to treat protestors as potential terrorists. The Point of Contact is identified as “Antiterrorism Program Coordinator” and provides a redacted army.mil email address.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Obama Administration Targets Conservatives and War Vets

The Obama Administration’s new Secretary of Homeland Security recently ordered immigration agents to stop their workplace searches for illegal aliens while at the same time denigrating US war veterans and conservative or right-wing groups.

[…]

“I believe this memo is the result of the Tea Party movement, which is viewed by the Obama Administration as a rebellion against his socialist and radical policies,” said Baker.

[…]

However, many police agencies are beginning to question the priorities of this administration.

“What Obama’s minions are attempting to do is create friction between local cops and the military,” said Detective Sydney Frances (NYPD-Ret.).

“This is Obama’s first shot at dissenters who are not willing to turn their nation over to Marxism and socialism,” he said in an interview with NewsWithViews.com.


           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


The Treason of the Congressional Black Caucus

The video of the press conference made me want to throw up everything I have ever eaten. Yes, the event was sufficiently sickmaking that it actually effected a nausea so severe, it threatened to reach back through space and time.

The visit of the Congressional Black Caucus to Cuba last week was ostensibly an overture toward improving U.S. relations with Cuba. It was not a maiden voyage, but it was the first time the group had traveled to the island nation since its dictator, Fidel Castro, fell ill in 2006. He was subsequently replaced by his brother Raul (who is every bit the brutal, ruthless communist as Fidel), but remains very involved in Cuba’s government.

On its face, one might wonder why a group of congressional representatives would engage in such folly in the first place.

The Congressional Black Caucus is a collection of far-left blacks who embrace anything and everything that is socialistic, communistic, afrocentric (read “racist”) and Ameriphobic. While some are likely brainwashed unfortunates (they often come off as quite dull), others are vintage, hardened radicals who would indeed sooner see a government such as that in Cuba replace ours.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Why Call Americans ‘Extremists?’ DHS Asked

Freedom of Information Act request seeks ‘basis’ for report

The Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Mich., says it has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Homeland Security demanding why it calls Americans who oppose abortion, support 2nd Amendment gun rights and dislike lax immigration law enforcement “extremists.”

“This is not an intelligence report but a diatribe against those who oppose the policies of the Obama administration,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the organization.

“It is a declaration of war against the American people and our constitution. It is a prelude to extreme gun control legislation and hate speech laws targeting Christian churches and others who oppose abortion and same sex marriage,” he continued. “The federal government should be focusing its attention on the 35 radical Muslim compounds in the U.S. training its followers on how to kidnap and kill Americans.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Canada

Northern Discomfort

Shame on Canada’s thought police.

By Mark Hemingway

It’s hard to describe Ezra Levant’s splendid new volume, Shakedown: How Our Government Is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights, as an enjoyable read — because the book is a chronicle of injustice, with outrage on every page.

On opening this slim volume, I was transported to early last year, when I first heard that Levant — formerly the publisher of the Canadian conservative magazine The Western Standard — was being hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Commission for having the temerity to publish something a radical imam didn’t approve of.

As I began to read the facts of Levant’s case, I came to the sad realization that Canada no longer has freedom of speech. The “human rights” commissions (HRCs) all over Canada, staffed by bureaucrats and not following normal legal procedures, had originally been set up to deal with blatant cases of discrimination; they had morphed into star chambers weighing in on what the press could print, what pastors could say from the pulpit, whether certain Bible verses could be displayed publicly, and so on.

Later in the year, when National Review’s own Mark Steyn was ensnared by both Canada’s national and the British Columbia HRC for an article he published, I ended up covering Steyn’s case, as well as Canada’s kangaroo courts more broadly. (Steyn has written a foreword to Shakedown.) Every rock I turned over revealed the HRCs to be even more pernicious then they appeared, and they looked Orwellian to begin with. These commissions have the power to impose financial and legal penalties, and yet they don’t adhere to the most basic protections of due process found in a real court of law.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Church: Bishop of Mazara Del Vallo Visits Diocese in Tunis

(ANSAmed) — MAZARA DEL VALLO (TRAPANI), APRIL 15 — The bishop of Italy’s Mazara del Vallo, Domenico Mogavero, will fly to Tunisia tomorrow where he will be a guest in the Tunis Diocese that is twinned to his. The bishop explained that “I am going there to deliver the sums of money collected as a sign of solidarity in all of the churches of the Diocese during the weeks of the Advent and Lent. The money will be used to help the needs of the catholic community in Tunisia. The sum amounts to approximately 30,000 euros”. In recent weeks, thanks to the twinning of the churches, the Mazara del Vallo Diocese was host to Don Otello Bisetto, head of the schools in the Tunisian Diocese, 22 Tunisian teachers and 3 nuns. Monsignor Mogavero’s visit to Tunisia will last two days. (ANSAmed)

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Council of Europe on Racism: Europeans Ought to be More Self-Critical

Europe is not a racism-free zone. An intensified struggle against xenophobia and intolerance is acutely needed in most European countries.

Hate crimes must be stopped and action taken against discrimination in employment, education, housing, sport and other social contexts.

All this requires an honest recognition of the problems and political will to plan and enforce effective counter measures. A self-critical attitude would be the most convincing European contribution towards the efforts of the United Nations to develop a global strategy against racism.

[…]

There are also important standards to prevent racism in electronic media. The additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime outlaws acts of a xenophobic nature committed through computer systems and the internet. The European Union has adopted legislation banning the diffusion of hate speech through TV channels, and most recently, the EU countries agreed on common legislative standards to criminalise certain racist and xenophobic behaviour across the Union.

Each country needs to adopt a comprehensive and coherent strategy against racism, xenophobia and discrimination. The national action plans should identify the groups which are particularly vulnerable or disadvantaged and apply positive measures in their regard.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Croatia-Slovenia: Brussels Proposes Arbitration Over Border

(ANSAmed) — LJUBLJANA — Because of Ljubljana and Zagreb’s inability to reach a political agreement over maritime boundaries between the two countries, the European Commission has suggested that the controversy be solved by a panel of jurists. This information, published by Ljubljana’s Delo newspaper, was confirmed by the spokesperson for Slovenia’s foreign minister, Milan Balazic, who specified that this is a new initiative from Olli Rehn, the EC Commissioner for Enlargement. He also announced that on April 20 there will be a new meeting in Brussels between Rehn and the foreign ministers of Slovenia and Croatia. According to the newpaper, the EU Commissioner suggested that the two countries leave the issue of delineating borders in the Gulf of Piran (in the northern Adriatic) to a group comprising a president nominated by Brussels who in turn would nominate another two members, and Slovenia and Croatia then choosing one jurist apiece. If the two countries approve this form of arbitration, Rehn’s proposal provides that Slovenia remove the veto it placed last December against Croatia’s application to join the EU. The arbitration procedure should finish by the end of 2009. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Denmark: Thousands Wish Queen Happy Birthday

Queen Margrethe made her traditional balcony appearance on Thursday for her annual birthday celebration

A throng of well-wishers cheered Queen Margrethe II today at Amalienborg Palace, as the press and public gathered to celebrate her 69th birthday.

As is traditional, the Queen and the rest of the royal family appeared on the balcony of Christian IX Palace to greet the public, many of whom were proudly waving their small Danish flags.

The red and white of the Dannebrog flag also adorned public buses and businesses today in honour of the Queen’s birthday.

The Queen led the crowd of thousands in a rousing round of the Danish version of ‘Happy Birthday’, while her four grandchildren waved excitedly to the crowd. Princess Isabella, who celebrates her 2nd birthday on Tuesday, seemed initially hesitant, but eventually had to be coaxed away from waving to the crowd as the family left the balcony.

Laura and Danielle, two students from Rhode Island in the US, are studying in Denmark and were very impressed by the turnout.

‘It’s, like, really cool. This would never happen in the States,’ said one of the girls.

In 1972, Margrethe II was crowned queen after the constitution was changed to allow female royals to take the throne if they had no older or younger brothers.

A referendum is likely to be held in June to decide if another change should be made to the Act of Succession to allow the eldest royal child to inherit the throne, regardless of gender. If the change is passed, it will not affect the royal family for at least the next two generations, as Crown Prince Frederik is next in line, followed by his son, Christian.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Denmark: Treasure Trove Found on Funen

Ancient Islamic coins and silver jewellery were discovered in one of the biggest finds of its kind on Funen by a local man with a metal detector An amateur archaeologist hit the jackpot when he discovered a hidden cache of…

An amateur archaeologist hit the jackpot when he discovered a hidden cache of buried silver in a rural field on Funen earlier this year.

Odense City Museums has since taken advantage of the recent stretch of fine weather over the past few days to further unearth the unique and valuable Viking-age find.

So far, archaeologists have found 41 silver coins, a silver bracelet and half of a highly decorative Thor’s hammer. Most of the coins originate from the ancient Islamic times of the caliphs, while some are from the area covered by present-day Russia.

The bracelet and hammer are thought to be Scandinavian in design.

The find lay undiscovered in the field near Ringe for more than 1,000 years and museum curator Jesper Hansen said that is the biggest coin find of its kind on Funen.

Odense City Museums indicated that the foreign coins are ‘yet another sign of the vast connections and trading relations, which were an integral part of Scandinavia during the Viking age’.

It is likely that the treasure finder, Benny Pennerup, will receive a finder’s fee from the National Museum.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Germany to Boycott UN Anti-Racism Conference

The German government is set to boycott the United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva next week, according to newspaper.

The conference, known as Durban II, is expected to follow a 2001 meeting which was seen by many as dominated by Muslim and African countries and concluded with a resolution deemed as anti-Semitic and anti-western.

Concern has been growing that the Geneva conference will result in a similar conclusion. The US, Canada and Israel have already signalled that they will not be sending delegates to the conference.

The German absence will be the country’s first ever boycott of a UN conference.

It is expected to be followed by many if not all other European Union countries, many of which have already expressed concern about the conference.

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is set to speak at the conference. He has often provoked outrage with calls for violence against the state of Israel.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Ireland: The Nuns Would Not Have Stood for it

The lack of accountability of the HSE and of health staff is the real cause of the hospital crisis

Wherever two or more people gather to bemoan the state of our hospitals, be it about hygiene, diagnostics or patient care, sooner or later somebody will mention the nuns. In fact just about the only time you’ll hear a heartfelt lament for the decline of religious influence in Irish life is when talk turns to the chaos and filth of our public hospitals. Say what you like about the church, runs the consensus, but dying cancer patients were never sent home from hospital with a couple of aspirins when the nuns were in charge. And you could eat your dinner off the floors of the public wards.

Part of this perception is, of course, rose-tinted nostalgia for a time when hospitals were safe places, but there’s a strong element of truth there too. If the hospitals ran better when the nuns were in charge it wasn’t because the sisters read the X-rays themselves, or even that they spent their days in Marigold gloves scrubbing the loos and scouring the floors. The hospitals ran better because somebody was in charge.

The medical sisters took a fierce proprietorial pride in the institutions they ran. If standards slipped, if a dying patient was erroneously discharged or there was stale vomit in a wash basin, those responsible would be answerable to the nuns. Now they are answerable to nobody, and that lack of accountability is a black hole into which every expert report, every caring initiative and every penny of health funding inevitably disappears.

[Return to headlines]


Italy: Dining With Mafia ‘Not Evidence’

Court awards damages to contractor who attended Mob lunch

(ANSA) — Rome, April 15 — Dining with the Mafia is not evidence of a possible link to them, Italy’s highest court ruled Wednesday.

A building contractor who took part in a Mob-organised luncheon on public works contracts should receive compensation for the time he spent in jail during a subsequent police investigation, the Cassation Court ruled.

In the ruling, which overturned a lower court’s findings, the Cassation Court said attending Mob functions “cannot in itself be considered serious evidence of a possible link to organised crime,” as prosecutors argued in obtaining the contractor’s preventive detention order.

The businessman was cleared by the police investigation and promptly filed suit for the 11 days he spent locked up.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Italy: Migrant Loses Eyesight After Brutal Beating

At least 12 attacks have been reported against immigrants in the Italian capital, Rome, in less than seven months.

Rome, 15 April (AKI) — A Senegalese migrant has lost the sight of his left eye in Rome after a brutal attack which he claimed was racially motivated. Samba Sow, a 30 year-old from Dakar, was attacked with a bottle on the outskirts of the city early on Monday.

The attack took place in the outer Rome suburb of Tor Bella Monaca where previously on 30 March, a Pakistani man was severely beaten by a group of Italian youths.

According to Italian media Samba went to a coffee shop in Tor Bella Monaca at around 2 am local time to buy a telephone card. He was approached by a group of men, including the alleged attacker Mirko Blasi, who he said taunted him.

Samba claimed he was the target of racial abuse before Blasi allegedly grabbed a bottle, broke it on the pavement and stabbed Samba in the face.

He then managed to find a police patrol and was transferred to a nearby hospital where he had a delicate operation on his left eye. But doctors were unable to save Samba’s sight in the eye.

Blasi was arrested and accused of assault with aggravating circumstance of racial hatred. He now faces six to 12 years in jail.

“It is because of racism, all of it because of racism,” said Samba, quoted by Italian daily Il Messaggero.

The incident drew condemnation from Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno.

“I would like to express my full solidarity with the victim of the assault which took place in Tor Bella Monaca,” he said. “We must strongly condemn every single act of violence, especially if it is racially motivated.”

Samba is a factory worker who has been living in Italy for the past six years.

In late January, three Italian youths attacked an Indian labourer Navtej Singh Sidhu and doused him with petrol and paint and set him alight as he slept on a station bench in Nettuno, south of Rome. He is still in hospital.

The Pakistani migrant attacked on 30 March, Mohammed Basharat, is now out of a coma. He suffered a severe brain haemorrhage and is still in the intensive care unit at the Policlinico Casilino hospital.

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


Mussolini Town Bans Memorabilia

Fascist souvenirs ‘must not be visible’

(ANSA) — Predappio, April 15 — The hometown of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini on Wednesday banned the display in shops of swastikas, cudgels and merchandise bearing Fascist mottos in an attempt to spruce up the town’s image.

Currently, hundreds of tourists visiting the dictator’s mausoleum in Predappio in Emilio-Romagna each year are able to browse Mussolini memorabilia that take pride of place in many shops.

But the town council has now unanimously approved 500-euro sanctions that will come into effect in a few weeks for shops caught displaying items harking back to the Fascist era in their windows or anywhere visible from the street.

“It was an essential decision that aims to give a clear message: an end to the culture of hatred that prevents the city of Predappio from presenting itself to visiting tourists with the right image,” said local culture councillor Gianluca Barravecchia.

Souvenir hunters will still be able to browse memorabilia freely at one of several Predappio shops with Internet stores.

At one website, shoppers can pick up a ‘Dux Mussolini’ cudgel for five euros, a wide range of swastika-decorated daggers from 30 euros and a selection of beers bearing the faces of Fascist leaders for 2.6 euros each.

Born in Predappio in 1883, Mussolini led Italy from 1922 to 1943. Using his charisma, control of the media, and violence, he dismantled the country’s democratic government system and created a Fascist state.

In 1940, he made the decision to enter the Second World War in alliance with Hitler. Three years later he was deposed and arrested.

With Nazi help, he set up a Fascist mini state, the Republic of Salo, at Lake Garda in northern Italy. As the Allies advanced he tried to flee to Switzerland but was captured and shot by Italian partisans in April 1945. His body was strung upside down in Milan with that of his mistress, Clara Petacci.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Spain: Weddings With Non-Spanish Citizens Treble in 7 Years

(ANSAmed) — MADRID — About 17% of Spanish married couples contain at least one spouse of foreign nationality. This percentage tripled between 2000 and 2007 according to a report presented by the Institute of Family Policies (IPF). During this period, the number of mixed couples increased from 11,974 to 34.223, a rise of 186%. If this trend continues, in 2020 mixed couples will make up 20% of the total. According to IPF president Eduardo Hertfelder, these figures show “the vigour and the future project of matrimony”, as well as “the welcoming character of Spanish people”. Miscegenation is saving the Spanish marriage as an institution with weddings between Spanish citizens having dwindled by 10% in the past years. Statistically, Spanish men prefer Brazilian and Colombian wives: Spanish women prefer Moroccan husbands. More men (15,935) than women (10,659) plumped for a foreign partner. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Spain: Church in Support of Families, Mass in Colon Square

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, DECEMBER 17 — The Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid and President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela has called for a mass in Colon Square in Madrid for the Feast of the Holy Family, which on December 30 last year joined over 2 million people in the same square in Madrid. All of the dioceses and bishops, invited by Cardinal Ruoco Varela in the course of the last plenary assembly of the Cee were involved in the initiative, which aims to mobilise various groups and ecclesiastical movements for the protection of traditional families. About 30 bishops, according to what was reported today in Publico, will not participate in the Eucharist in Colon Square, but will organise celebrations in their own dioceses. During the celebration of the Eucharist of the Family, it is expected that Pope Benedict XVI address a message to Spanish families live during the Pope’s Angelus in St. Peter’s Square. The celebration of the Eucharist for the family, last year in Madrid, was interpreted by the Spanish media as a large mobilisation against reforms introduced by Zapatero’s government, starting with the recognition of gay marriages and also including civil education, a new subject introduced in schools which is opposed by the more conservative sectors of the Catholic Church. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Storm Brews as Mafiosi Let Out

Outcry after ‘slow justice’ frees Bari mobsters

(ANSA) — Bari, April 15 — A fresh controversy about the Italian justice system arose Wednesday after more than 20 Mafia members and drug traffickers got out of jail because a judge failed to write down why they were supposed to be there in the required legal term.

Judge Rosa Anna De Palo found the 21 members of a powerful Bari crime syndicate guilty on January 16, 2008 but hasn’t found time to write down why yet.

In Italy’s three-tier justice system, the arguments behind a verdict must be formally issued before the next phase starts — in this case, 15 months.

Eight defendants were released from prison and 13 from house arrest.

De Palo’s perceived lack of zeal could mean another 30 defendants being released in October.

Bari police have been alerted about the mobsters’ release, judicial sources said.

As a political outcry began to rise, Justice Minister Angelino Alfano was poised to send inspectors to Bari and there were calls for the judiciary’s self-governing body to be reformed.

There have been several outcries over perceived judicial slackness in recent years.

Last month a Calabrian Mafia boss walked free after magistrates who had sentenced him to jail in a fast-track trial didn’t get round to formally registering his sentence.

Last June a judge was sacked from the judiciary because he failed to write up a sentence over an eight-year period, leaving Mafia bosses roaming the streets of Sicily.

The sacking came just ten days after another case of what Italians call ‘slow justice’, when the son of Mafia superboss Toto’ ‘The Beast’ Riina walked free halfway through an eight-year racketeering sentence because judges had failed to lodge an appeal at the Court of Cassation within the statutory term.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


The Purpose of NATO is to Prepare for War

The new enemy of the West is ideological Islam. If NATO wants to be a useful instrument in defending the West against this enemy it needs to accept a new member state — Israel — and stop groveling to Turkey.

Last week, Bernard Kouchner, the powerful Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, announced that he is no longer in favor of admitting Turkey to the European Union. Mr. Kouchner changed his mind, he said, at the recent NATO summit in Strasbourg on April 4th. There, Ankara threatened to veto the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish Prime Minister, as NATO’s new Secretary-General. The Turks objected to Mr. Rasmussen because in 2005 he defended the freedom of expression of Danish cartoonists who had depicted the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Turkey is governed by the AKP, a very popular Islamic party in Central and Eastern Anatolia. The AKP’s voters feel more strongly about the Islamic law which prohibits depicting the Muslim prophet than about basic Western values such as freedom of expression. These voters already feel “hurt” by the simple depiction of their prophet, which in Islam is blasphemy. The Turkish threats in Strasbourg jolted Mr. Kouchner into realizing what the future has in store for the European Union if Turkey becomes a member. “I was very shocked by the pressure that was brought on us,” Mr. Kouchner said. “Turkey’s evolution in, let’s say, a more religious direction, towards a less robust secularism, worries me.”…

           — Hat tip: AA[Return to headlines]


The Turkish Bridgehead

By Robert Ellis

Turkey is often mentioned as the West’s bridgehead to the Middle East—but Turkey could just as well be the Islamic world’s bridgehead in Europe.

NATO’s summit earlier this month gave the European Union a taste of what it can expect if it can ever agree on Turkey’s membership. Turkey is often mentioned as the West’s bridgehead to the Middle East—but since the AKP (Justice and Development Party) came to power in 2002, Turkey could just as well be the Islamic world’s bridgehead in Europe. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO faces a new threat from militant Islam in Afghanistan and Iran, but Turkey’s stance at the NATO summit has created doubt as to which side of the fence Turkey is on.

Turkey joined NATO in 1952 and has been a loyal and stable member. NATO was established “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” In short, it was formed to defend Western values. But the recent summit, celebrating NATO’s 60th anniversary, raised the question of how well Turkey under its present government fits in.

Two cultures clashed at the summit. Turkey objected strongly (if, ultimately, unsuccessfully) to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s nomination as NATO’s new secretary-general due to his stand in 2005 regarding an uproar in the Muslim community over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in a leading Danish daily newspaper.

Shortly after the cartoons were published, 11 Muslim ambassadors, including the Turkish ambassador, wrote to Rasmussen, deploring an “ongoing smear campaign” in Denmark against Islam and warning that the drawings could cause reactions in Muslim countries and among Muslim communities in Europe. They called on the prime minister “to take all those responsible to task under law of the land” and requested an urgent meeting. The Danish prime minister also received a letter from Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), who likewise deplored “the smear campaigns conducted against Muslims and their religion” in Denmark. Rasmussen’s answer to both letters was identical: “The freedom of expression has a wide scope and the Danish government has no means of influencing the press.”

Not long afterwards, at a press conference, Rasmussen reminded Turkey that one of the criteria to qualify for EU membership is that a society complies in full with democratic principles, including the freedom of expression and the press’s unlimited right within the law to criticize both political and religious authorities.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn echoed Rasmussen when commenting on Turkey’s opposition to Rasmussen’s appointment. He found Ankara’s objection “a bit hollow.” He added, “It does not look good from a European perspective, because freedom of expression is such a fundamental value, and meanwhile Turkey is aiming to become a member of the European Union.”

Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gül, reacted that Rehn’s remarks were “unpleasant” and warned that European criticism could hamper cooperation on some of the biggest threats to European security. The country’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, explained he had been approached by the leaders of some Muslim states and asked to block Rasmussen’s nomination. And as Erdogan pointed out in a speech in London: “How can I expect him [Rasmussen] to contribute to peace when he did not do so in the past?”

Turkey’s attitude is similar to that of the majority of the members of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, which is dominated by the OIC, Russia, China, Cuba, and an African group. On March 26, the council passed a nonbinding resolution that equates “the defamation of religion” with a human rights violation…

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Iran Paid Off Egyptian Officers

Bribed to turn blind eye to terrorist infiltration

Iranian agents bribed Egyptian soldiers and officers to turn a blind eye to the infiltration of members of the Hezbollah terrorist organization into the country, according to the findings of an Egyptian intelligence investigation.

The results of the probe, which made its way to WND yesterday, came as Egypt recently announced it arrested suspected Hezbollah infiltrators accused of plotting attacks against the country’s regime.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Islamists of the World Unite; You Have Nothing to Lose Except Any Pretext of Being Moderate

by Barry Rubin*

It’s a development of tremendous importance and you probably won’t be hearing about it from anywhere but here.

Mahdi Akef, supreme guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has defied his own country’s government to ally himself with Hizballah. What makes this such a remarkable and high-risk step?

—The Muslim Brotherhood is Sunni Muslim; the Lebanese Hizballah group is Shia. Brotherhood leaders do not view Shia Islamists as brothers and in the past have been alarmed at the rising power of Shia forces in Lebanon and Iraq.

—Hizballah is a client of Iran’s regime. As a Shia and non-Arab power, Iran is not on the Brotherhood’s Ramadan greeting card list.

—Egypt’s government has just announced a major Hizballah effort to destabilize the country by staging terrorist attacks there. Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has openly called for the overthrow of Egypt’s regime. He has now acknowledged connections with the arrested terrorists, though he claims their mission was to help Hamas and attack Israel. The Egyptian government has rejected this justification. As a result, siding with Hizballah risks a government-sponsored wave of suppression against the Brotherhood.

—This step also makes the Brotherhood look unpatriotic in Arab and Sunni terms to millions of Egyptians by siding with Persian Iranians and Shia Muslims.

—Akef’s statement tears the chador off the pretension that the Brotherhood has become moderate. Of course, while not engaging in political violence within Egypt, it has long supported terrorism against Israel and the United States (in Iraq). Now, to this is added backing an Iran-Syria takeover of Lebanon and at least the image of accepting armed struggle against the Egyptian government by others.

—And most importantly of all, Akef has endorsed the strategic line of the Iran-Syria-Hizballah-Hamas axis in open defiance of not only Egypt’s government but of the country’s national interests as well.

What did Akef and his colleagues say that was so significant? The story is told in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, April 15. Put into a seemingly innocuous framework of supporting the Palestinians, the Brotherhood’s new line ends up in some shocking conclusions.

Akef said that Hamas should be supported, “By any means necessary.” The implication is, since the Brotherhood has always favored abrogation of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty that Egypt should go to war with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. A Brotherhood government would probably do just that…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin[Return to headlines]


Terrorism: Tunisia, Fifty Sentenced in Court

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, APRIL 14 — Fifty young Tunisians, accused of being members of a Salafite Jihadi group, have been sentenced by the Tunisian Court of Appeal to various prison terms ranging from fifteen months (with the possibility of early release) and seven years. The accused, all aged between 20 and 30, are from Tunis and Biserta; the arrests were made in 2007 and 2008, and the accused have all already been on trial once, as laid out in Tunisia’s anti-terrorism laws which were passed in 2003. Between the end of December 2007 and the beginning of January 2008, the Tunisian security forces arrested a Salafite group with connections to the Algerian Salafite Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). The operation came to an end with a series of clashes around Tunis which led to fourteen deaths, including two police officers. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Turin Book Fair: Egypt is Guest Country, Controversy

(ANSAmed) — TURIN, APRIL 15 — No peace among the olive trees. Such are the words spoken by the president of Turin’s Book Fair, Rolando Picchioni, who quoted the name of a famous movie by Giuseppe De Santis to comment on criticism, raised by a few pro-Palestine groups, to the fact that the upcoming edition of the Fair (May 14 to 18) will see Egypt as its guest country. This is a sort of dejà vu compared to last year’s event when the invitation extended to Israel resulted in the wrath of Free Palestine and several intellectuals. Those stirring up controversy, with the Italian section of the International Solidarity Movement on the front line, believe that Egypt is a non-democratic country that hounds the opposition and which cooperates with Israel in the “siege surrounding the Gaza strip”. But the Book fair sees it as a country that was invited to join the G8 meeting in July and that is also increasingly becoming the link that joins the Arab world to the West. The presentation of the Fair was also attended today by Egyptian consul Sherine Maher who, when asked by the press whether there really is freedom of speech in her country, replied that “In our country anybody can speak his mind, as happens in many other democratic countries”. She added that she was very pleased by the fact that Egypt was invited to the Fair, “a cultural model for integration between populations”, during the same year in which it was also invited to the fairs in New York and Tokyo. She sais that “Italy is very close to our country, and an Italian university is about to open in Egypt”. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Almost Calm Easter Celebrations in Baghdad, Mosul and Basra

After years of difficulties this is the first Easter and Holy Week that is fully celebrated. In Baghdad Patriarch Delly urges the faithful not to let attacks stop them. In Mosul about 80 per cent of the Christian community is back in town. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani releases a message of best wishes for the occasion.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) — After years of terror and fear, Easter and Holy Week were celebrated again in Iraq in relative calm. In general, parish churches were full of people, confident that the security situation would hold.

In Baghdad the anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein was marked on 9 April. Several explosions were recorded across the city with several deaths. However, this did not prevent Christians from taking part in Easter services. Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel Delly actually invited Catholics to overcome their fears and trust the police which ensured security outside churches.

In Mosul the situation appeared more relaxed as well. In the last few years priests, bishops and ordinary Christians had been targeted by terrorist groups and criminal gangs, killed, kidnapped and dispossessed of their property, pushing most to flee. This time, according to a priest, at least 80 per cent of the Christian community was back in town for Easter celebrations, confident that promises by the Iraqi government and the US army would hold.

In Basra Easter Eve was celebrated again on Holy Saturday after many years. In the recent past because of the war and anti-Christian attacks services had been cut down to a minimum or celebrated in the early afternoon. This time meetings between Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants were also held.

Before Easter Iraq President Jalal Talabani released a letter of best wishes to the Christian community, calling on the faithful to follow Jesus Christ and sow in Iraqi society the principles of tolerance, brotherhood, peace and justice, which are needed to build a democratic Iraq in which everyone’s rights are respected. He also thanked Iraqi Christians for their contribution to the development of Iraqi civilisation over the past two thousand years. (SM)

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


Iran Says S-300 Russian Missile Deal on Track

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mahdi Safari says the contract to buy Russia’s S-300 advance missile system is still on track.

“There are no problems with this [S-300] contract,” RIA Novosti quoted Safari as saying at the end of his visit to Moscow on Wednesday.

“After all, these are purely defensive weapons, and any country has the right to buy them. I believe this could only worry those states that have plans to attack others,” he said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Jordan: Alleged Hamas Spies Convicted

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, APRIL 15 — Today the Supreme Military Court for State Security has sentenced three Palestinian Jordanians to five years in prison. The three had been charged with spying for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, against the interest of Jordan, reported pan-Arab television network al-Jazeera. The three convicts were members of a group of five suspects who were arrested in 2007 by the Jordanian police under charges of “planning terrorist acts” for Hamas “against sensitive targets” in Jordan. The other two were acquitted today by the Court. In the past months Jordanian organisations and local political groups close to the Hamas-related Muslim Brotherhood launched a press campaign against the justice authorities in Amman, accusing the police of wringing a confession out of the five suspects “by force”. Jordan — the only Arab country together with Egypt that has signed a peace agreement with Israel — is a close ally of the United States. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Saudi Arabia: Singer Mania Being ‘Cured’

JEDDAH: Groups of undercover police have been deployed to monitor Jeddah’s markets following a surge in the sale of old Singer sewing machines.

Col. Misfer Al-Juaid, official spokesman for Jeddah police, said there have been reports of people coming to Jeddah from the Kingdom’s northern and central region’s to buy the machines. He added that those selling sewing machines would have their machines seized.

Al-Juaid said people are paying up to SR120,000 per machine following the spread of a rumor over the past three days of the existence of red mercury in a particular brand of old Singer sewing machines.

Al-Juaid said people are buying the machines, whose original price is only SR150, as they think the red mercury can be used to control jinns or will give them long life.

The rumor has led many people to sell their old machines with reports of frenzy at a market in Buraidah. According to one local newspaper, Riyadh’s Bin Qasim Market also saw a surge in people looking to buy Singer sewing machines. Store owners were seen cleaning dust off old second-hand machines and then selling them on for up to SR150,000.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Syria: Alleged PKK Activists Convicted for Separatism

(ANSAmed) — DAMASCUS, APRIL 15 — The Supreme Court for State Security in Syria has sentenced seven Kurdish Syrians, including two women, to seven, six and five years in prison. The seven had been charged with “separatism” and PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) membership, reported Syrian Human Rights Organisation Ondus. The organisation specified in a statement that Muhammad Rasho and Ibrahim Allush have been sentenced to seven years in prison, Saleh Mesto, Nuri Hussein and Rashad Binav to six years. And the two women, Zaynab Horo and Latifa Mannan, to five years. The Damascus-based court has adjourned the trial of six more accused until June 14: an Iranian accused of membership of an extremist Islamic organisation; a Syrian charged with membership of the Muslim Brotherhood (which was declared illegal in Syria in 1980); a Syrian dissident accused of links to the opposition abroad and three Kurdish-Syrian activists. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Turkey: ‘Daughters of Allah’ Nets Bad Review From Officials

ANKARA — A Religious Affairs Directorate high committee has severely criticized the book “Daughters of Allah” written by Nedim Gürsel and published by the Dogan publishing house.

The committee was responding to a inquiry from a reader and drafted a one-page report to express its views regarding the book’s content. The committee concluded that the book was sarcastic and said it overstepped the boundaries of criticism, reported daily Milliyet yesterday. The reader, Ali Emre Bukagili, sent two faxes to the committee in February, seeking its opinion about “Daughters of Allah.” The report, signed by the committee’s Vice chairman Professor Hamza Aktan, was sent to the reader.

“It has been found that the book was insulting and sarcastic, humiliating Allah, its prophets, divine religions, worshipping, holy books and religious principles. This cannot be explained in the scope of freedom of thought or criticism,” the report read.

Here are excerpts from the book that were found inapt…

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]


Yemen: Extremists Burn, Devastate House Accusing Owner’s of Blasphemy

Tens of bearded extremists burnt and devastated a house belongs to a citizen called Abdulmalik al-Mansour in al-Hasaba zone today morning.

The attackers accused al-Mansour and his mother of blasphemy. They hold a meeting near the victims house, got a fatwa to execute al-Mansour and his mother and destroy their house. At 5 hour morning the attackers came from al-Eman university and form other mosques in the capital to burn the house, two cars and a motorcycle belonging to al-Mansour before they brought some bulldozer and started devastating the three-storey house.

This has happened few months after the establishment of the vice and virtue committee. The attackers accused al-Mansour of tearing the Quran and walking on it in the mosque. They also accused his mother Makyah of threatening to change the mosque into a nightclub.

The government did not interfere until the attackers did the job burnt the cars , the house and the motorcycle and destroyed the house. By then the security authorities swarm the devastated house under cover. However they did not arrest the attackers they rather arrested al-Mansour, his mother, and children and rest of his family to put them all in the prison of the investigative police.

Relatives of al-Mansour denied that he torn the Koran pages at any time saying that he was a good Muslim and usually pray in the mosque. They also shed sarcasm over the story that his mother threatened to change the mosque into a night club. “There is no night clubs in the country and mother Makyah do not know what the meaning of a night club is, she is a good Muslim but she doesn’t like Salafayeen and that’s why they burnt her house,” Makeya’s relative said.

The attackers claimed they had called on Sheikh ab-Dulmajeed al-Zindani who gave them a fatwa to authorize them kill the family and devastate their house. How ever newsyemen.net website said the website called on Sheikh al-Zindani’s office which confirmed that the attackers had called on Sheikh al-Zindani but said that he did not issue such fatwa.

Last week Some extremists from the same university burgled on to top of a house in al-Khaniq zone north east of the capital where they destroyed satellite dish , stabbing and beating its owner and his son whom they accused of directing the dish to a European satellite to watch porn movies. The authorities arrested some of the attackers but later arrested the victims and put them into the investigative police prison.

The authorities have concluded an offensive targeted some jihadists militants in Ja’ar town in Abyan province where they detained 57 jihadists accused of sabotage and of attacking some governmental facilities and of assassinating some citizens whom the extremists accused of drinking alcohol or being homosexual,

Many citizens condemned these atrocities that contradict with Islam and they blamed the government for its blind eyes about the optimists acts. “Abdulkarim al-Jindary a motorbike driver said this was against Islam and Islamic rules. “There is nothing in Islam that authorize anybody to devastate others homes under any pretext,” said al-Jindary.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India: Election Marred by Maoist Attacks

New Delhi, 16 April (AKI) — At least 11 people, including nine paramilitary soldiers, were killed in India on Thursday in election day attacks by Maoist rebels in the east of the country, officials said. More than 700 million Indians are eligible to vote in the elections being held for the lower house of parliament in the world’s largest democracy.

The first round of voting is taking place in the country’s 15th general elections, amid fears of terrorist attacks.

The incumbent Congress-led coalition government is facing a challenge from the main opposition, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance.

In Jharkhand state, Maoist rebels reportedly set off a landmine and ambushed a bus carrying security forces for duty at polling stations.

Seven soldiers and two civilians died in the attack, police spokesman S.N. Pradhan told reporters from Latehar district, which has been struck by several deadly Maoist attacks in recent days.

In neighbouring Bihar state, two security personnel were shot dead and another wounded by the rebels in Gaya district, Indian media reported.

In Chattisgarh state, several gun battles were reported to have taken place in a densely forested region that serves as the main base of the left-wing rebels.

Jharkhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh are among several 124 constituencies where voters were expected to go to the polls in the first stage of a month-long general election.

Polling in areas hit by the Maoist insurgency has been staggered over several phases to enable the adequate deployment of security personnel.

Neither of India’s two main national parties — the incumbent Congress nor the BJP — is considered capable of securing an absolute majority in the five-stage polls.

Regional and local parties are expected to win half the 543 parliamentary seats, so the elections may lead to intense negotiations as the major parties seek to form a viable coalition.

[Return to headlines]


Indonesia: Voters Favour Secular Rule

Jakarta, 15 April (AKI/Jakarta Post) — Despite significant support for Islamic parties, the latest parliamentary election in Indonesia showed that voters favour secular rather than religious political parties to lead the country.

Preliminary counting for the 9 April parliamentary election by four independent survey organisations shows that four Islamist parties will be represented in the national legislature.

They are the Justice Prosperity Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP).

While each of these parties secured between five and eight percent of the national vote, together they accounted for less than 25 percent.

Nevertheless on Tuesday several of the country’s key political parties claimed that Indonesia’s parliamentary election was marred by fraud and administrative errors, while they stopped short of rejecting the poll that early counts showed the president’s Democratic Party has won.

A statement issued by party leaders said the organisation of the election, the third since former president Suharto stepped down in 1998, was the worst since Indonesia entered the reform era.

“The legislative election was marred by fraud and administrative mistakes, which were systematic,” former general Wiranto, who heads the Hanura Party, said in a statement.

The statement was also signed by former president Megawati Sukarnoputri of the main opposition PDI-P party and another ex-general, Prabowo Subianto of the Gerindra party.

All three party leaders have ambitions to run in the presidential election on 8 July.

The Democratic Party (PD) of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono polled more than 20 percent, while Golkar and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) each received around 14 percent, according to early results.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told a cabinet meeting that the election commission would be asked to look at any problems before July’s presidential ballot.

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


Pakistan: Militants to be ‘Protected’ Under Swat Law

Islamabad, 15 April (AKI/DAWN) — Sufi Mohammad, the head of the Pakistani militant group Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi on Tuesday said militants accused of brutal killings would not be prosecuted under Islamic law administered in the troubled Swat valley.

“We intend to bury the past,” the leader told a private television channel, off-camera. “Past things will be left behind and we will go for a new life in peace.”

Mohammad’s assertion highlights the dilemma facing the government as it seeks to halt 18 months of bloodletting in the Swat valley while convincing the nation, and the West, that it is not capitulating to militants.

Asked during the television interview on Tuesday whether the new courts would hear complaints from Swat residents about militant cleric Mullah Fazlullah or his followers, Sufi Mohammad said they could not.

Asked if the Taliban would enjoy such immunity, an NWFP minister only pleaded for peace.

“Everyone should understand what we have gone through and what kind of hardship people in Swat have suffered,” Wajid Ali Khan said. “We can look into any disputes and controversy at some later stage.”

A Taliban spokesman said that militants would cooperate if Islamic law was quickly implemented.

“The world will see how much peace and prosperity comes to this region,” Khan said.

Mohammad said his followers would tour all districts of Malakand, including Buner, to “ensure peace”. He also said that the courts would interpret civil rights according to Islamic strictures.

North West Frontier Province’s Malakand region encompasses the Swat valley.

“Women will have full protection and rights under Sharia (Islamic law). They will live a better life, but behind the veil,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Swat Taliban have “banned” the display of weapons in bazaars and other urban areas, saying there is no need to take up arms if ‘Shariat’ is enforced in letter and spirit.

The decision was taken after an appeal by Mohammad, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan told journalists.

He said the Taliban had achieved their goal and they were ready to cooperate for the quick implementation of Islamic law.

He also praised president Asif Ali Zardari and members of the national assembly for having quickly approved this.

He expressed the hope that Islamic law would soon be implemented in letter and spirit.

Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi is a Pakistani militant group whose objective is to enforce Sharia law in the country.

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


We’re Sick of War: a Taleban Leader Risks His Life to Point Out a New Route to Peace

Facing another bloody summer of fighting in Helmand province, the Taleban commander uttered words that could cost him his life. “We all want peace. We want to put down our guns,” he said quietly.

A powerfully built man with a flowing beard and a disarmingly soft voice, Commander Mansoor is — according to checks with Western and Afghan sources — a mid-level Taleban commander from southern Helmand, part of the bloody insurgency fighting against US and British troops in Afghanistan.

At a meeting with The Times arranged by tribal intermediaries, however, he painted a picture of war weariness and of local communities desperate to find a way to escape a war that is seemingly without end.

As the conflict enters its eighth summer Nato is hoping that it can exploit such popular disillusion. Mullah Mansoor (not his real name), however, is simply looking for a way out. “Local people do not like the Taleban or the Western forces, they even don’t like us local Taleban” he conceded. “They say to us, ‘if you want to go to Paradise fight in the desert, fight in the mountains but don’t fight in my house’. My wish is just to have peace and security in my area.”

It is hard to assess the prevalence of such feelings within the Taleban in parts of the south of Afghanistan. There are signs, however, that the insurgency is suffering internal turmoil brought on by opposition from local communities who blame all sides for the ceaseless fighting and more than 2,000 civilian deaths last year…

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Satellite Earth Monitoring System Operational

Beijing wants to build an alternative to the GPS system controlled by the United States. With the satellite launched today, it can already monitor China and the surrounding region, but plans to launch about 30 more satellites. Controversy over the possible “espionage” uses or political purposes of the systems.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) — There is a second Chinese satellite now in orbit, part of a plan to create an alternative network to the Global Positioning System (GPS), based on United States satellites. Many are wondering whether the purposes, in addition to commercial and political applications, are also of a military nature, out of the fear that Washington is using the GPS system for espionage.

China intends to create a space monitoring system called “Beidou.” It is not clear how far along China is in the project: the United States says that Beijing has already launched at least five satellites, but Xinhua says that the one launched today — shortly after midnight, from the Xichang space pad in southwest Sichuan, with a Long March 3C rocket — is only the second, and that its current monitoring system will cover only China and the surrounding region. The first satellite was launched about two years ago, and official sources say that more than 30 satellites will be put into orbit to complete the network by 2015, 10 of them being launched by 2010.

Beijing also participates in the satellite systems of other nations. It has made significant investment in the satellite navigation system Galileo, of the European Union (investing more than 200 million euros in 2003), which is also a competitor to GPS, and is negotiating participation in the Russian system Glonass.

Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of the Canada-based Kanwa Defence Review, comments that this system will also give China “more reliable and effective navigation and positioning of [military] force deployment. The Chinese military, especially its precision-guided weapons, will benefit.”

Official Chinese sources reject this interpretation, and reiterate that the monitoring network is meant only to free China from dependence on foreign systems, and has exclusively economic purposes, for telecommunications and for security. Many countries, including China, have instead accused the United States of using the GPS system for its own purposes, disseminating false information according to directives from Washington. Various sources say that the GPS system was disabled during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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


Fiat- Chrysler Deal ‘50% Chance’

Unspecified ‘Plan B’ if linkup falls through

(ANSA) — Rome, April 16 — Fiat’s proposed deal with Chrysler has a 50% chance of being sealed, Fiat chief Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said Thursday.

“The operation has a 50% chance of being realised,” Montezemolo told students at the LUISS business school here.

But if it falls through, he said, the Turin carmaker has a “plan B”.

“Let’s see if we can do it, otherwise there’s a plan B that is clearly ahead of us,” Montezemolo said, without going into details. The Fiat head was speaking a day after the group’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, said Fiat would walk away from the deal if unions at Chrysler’s American and Canadian plants fail to accept wage cuts.

Marchionne said Fiat would seek other international partnerships if negotiations with Chrysler’s unions and lenders fail.

Fiat and the Detroit No.3 are racing against the clock to strike a deal by May 1, the deadline the Washington administration of President Barack Obama set to receive federal bail-out funds which are essential for Chrysler to avoid bankruptcy.

The deal, which has Obama’s support, would give Fiat an initial 20% stake in Chrysler in exchange for its cutting-edge green and small-car technology.

The Turin automaker would also have access to Chrysler’s plants and dealerships in order to allow it to return to the American market, initially with Alfa Romeo and the trendy Fiat 500 city car.

Chrysler, in turn, would have access to Fiat’s facilities in Europe and Latin America.

However, the deal hinges on lenders accepting stock equity for debt and unions agreeing to work under the same conditions as in US plants making German and Japanese cars, located in states where union strength is lower.

Workers in these states make about 25% less than those in Detroit or Canada.

According to Marchionne, too, there is currently a 50-50 chance an accord will be struck.

If there is no deal, the Fiat CEO said Chapter 11, bankruptcy protection, would remain an option for Chrysler, but that it also faced the risk of Chapter 7, liquidation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Asylum Seekers Arrive in Darwin After Boat Explosion

“IT was like the Bali bombings”, doctors have revealed today in describing the horrific injuries asylum-seekers sustained a huge explosion tore through their boat off Australia.

First details are emerging of the explosion and its aftermath as the injured arrive in Perth and Darwin for treatment.

An Afghani asylum-seeker is fighting for his life in Royal Darwin Hospital this morning with burns to almost 100 per cent of his body.

The man, aged in his early 30s, is on life support and was operated on early today.

He has severe burns to the majority of his body, including his lungs, and he also suffered a skull fracture in yesterday’s explosion.

The critically-injured man was one of two asylum-seekers who arrived in Darwin just after midnight.

The other Afghani, also aged in his early 30s, is in a satisfactory condition with burns to 20 to 30 per cent of his body and a fracture to his upper body.

Gallery: Boat explosion and tragedy at sea

Up to 10 asylum-seekers injured when their boat exploded after allegedly being deliberately doused with petrol were flown to Darwin overnight.

They are being treated at the new trauma centre set up in Royal Darwin Hospital after the Bali bombings.

The hospital was preparing for two more aeromedical flights carrying up to a dozen Afghanis injured in the blast to arrive this morning.

Another 13 asylum-seekers are due to arrive in Darwin on a navy vessel carrying “walking wounded” around midday.

RDH general manager Len Notaras said the expected injuries were similar to those witnessed by hospital staff after the the Bali bombings.

“They’re very horrific burns, not unlike the Bali bombings,” he said.

The four Defence personnel injured in the blast suffered only minor injuries and are not expected to require hospital treatment.

Investigations are already underway into the “manner and cause” of the explosion that killed five suspected asylum seekers on the boat off the northern coast of Australia.

The investigation will be spearheaded by NT Assistant Commissioner Mark McAdie.

Three people died, two are missing believed dead, and at least 44 were injured in the blast near Ashmore Reef, 800km northwest of Darwin, early yesterday.

About 15 patients were discharged from the hospital early to make way for the asylum-seekers.

Other men hurt in the blast — some of them possibly Darwin-based sailors — were taken to Broome and Perth for treatment.

They were flown to Darwin and met by St John Ambulance crews at the airport before being ferried to Royal Darwin under police escort.

The vessel is believed to have been soaked in petrol and set alight by asylum-seekers in a bid to stop a Darwin-based patrol boat, HMAS Albany, taking them to Christmas Island. It blew up soon after bursting into flames.

A Darwin doctor and nurse flew to a temporary hospital base at Truscott airbase, north of Kununnurra, yesterday afternoon to treat the injured. They took a large stock of medical supplies.

NT Emergency Services activated the Emergency Operation Centre in Darwin and the National Critical Care and Trauma Unit at Royal Darwin was put on high alert.

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett said the boat had blown up after being doused in petrol by asylum-seekers.

“It is understood the refugees on the boat spread petrol and that ignited, causing the explosion,” he said.

“Whether they ignited it or it just ignited is unknown at this stage.”

Royal Australian Navy Rear Admiral Alan Du Toit said three or four Australian Defence Force personnel were aboard the vessel when it exploded and had been injured.

“The full extent of those injuries are still being assessed,” he said.

Rear Admiral Du Toit said the burning boat sunk.

“Some people were rescued from the water,” he said.

The boat was being escorted by the navy but not being towed

           — Hat tip: The Observer[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Those Who Ignore History Are Condemned — Somali Piracy in Context

by D.L. Adams

On April 6 in an address to the parliament of Turkey, US President Obama said that the relationship between the United States and the “Muslim world” is an important one. “In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical,” the president said. During the same address the President stated, “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better, including my own country.” Mr. Obama neglected to explain in what way(s) Islam has the shaped and improved the United States. The founding fathers of the United States did not share Mr. Obama’s appreciation for the “Islamic faith”. In fact Jefferson, Adams, JQ Adams, and Benjamin Franklin were all were deeply concerned about the dangers that Islam represented to the new nation. Our ongoing experiences with the 21st century version of the Barbary pirates off the coast of Somalia, most recently today when an American freighter captain was freed from pirate captivity by the US Navy, illustrates a great deal about our prior relations with the “religion of peace” and how our previous leaders reacted. There is little discussion in the mainstream press about the link between Somali Islamism, piracy, and jihad, but the linkage is there nonetheless.

In spite of the news media distancing the recent attack on a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia from global terrorism, intelligence experts believe this is just the latest operation initiated against the United States and the West by Al-Qaeda.

The irony perhaps is that Islam did in fact play a very important role in the early stages of the development of the United States — Islam was directly responsible for the development of the United States Navy and for the concepts that allowed for its deployment far from our coasts. The American Navy is not a river navy or coastal defense force; it is a global tool of American power whose origins can be traced directly back to an earlier American-Islam confrontation. After the American Revolution, pirates from the Barbary states (Algiers, Morcoco) attacked American shipping off the coast of North Africa in the Mediterranean and took the crews. This piracy against American shipping started in 1784 and finally ended in 1815. The Islamic rulers of these Barbary States demanded payment of tribute from the new country and it was paid, and paid. President Jefferson sent a naval force against the pirates in 1803-05. The Marine Corps were also sent in and after a long overland march, took the city of Tripoli in 1805 (thus “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Corps hymn). Is the Somali piracy of today related to the Barbary pirates of the early 19th century? When then Ambassadors Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with the Ambassador from Tripoli in 1785, to reach a solution to the attacks against American shipping and crews they were dragged into a dark world in which we are still today.

           — Hat tip: LN[Return to headlines]

Immigration

Italy: Growing Number of Migrants Use Website for Job Search

Venice, 15 April (AKI) — A growing number of immigrants are using a website for information about jobs and integration in Italy’s northeastern Veneto region. Around 1.2 million people accessed the www.venetoimmigrazione.it site from January to March, compared with some four million last year, the region said in a new report on activities from 2007 to 2009.

The website which has added new sections this year provides information on training and re-skilling programmes funded by the region for immigrants who are both employed or looking for work.

There is also information on Italian language courses, courses for immigrant entrepreneurs and a service to help immigrants find domestic work with families.

The sections of the website that received the most hits were those relating to obtaining and renewing work permits, the region said.

The industrial Veneto region has attracted the largest share of Italy’s immigrants because of abundant work in factories and farms.

About 460,000 immigrants lived in the region at the end of 2008, the region said. In some areas, such as the city of Padua, at least one in ten of the residents are immigrants.

A growing backlash against immigrants in Italy has been particularly intense in Veneto. Some locals resent the fast-growing Muslim population and oppose the building of mosques or allocation of public housing for immigrants.

The region is planning to spend almost four million euros on the integration of immigrants this year.

The largest share of these funds will go to the integration of immigrant schoolchildren (1.4 million euros), followed by training (872,000 euros).

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


Norway: Immigrants Behind Most Cases of Aggravated Sexual Assault

The Oslo Police have over the past three years investigated 41 cases of aggravated sexual assault, which resulted in rape. All of them were carried out by non-western immigrants to Norway.

The police now urge that more efforts be put into preventive measures among men with immigrant background.

The police have investigated all reported cases of aggravated sexual assault over the past three years, and have gained a clear imprssion of the offenders:

Most of the rapists have a Kurdish or African background, NRK reports. The cases of aggravated sexual assults all have one thing in common, namely the use of gross violence.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Spanish-Language Media Pushes U.S. Citizenship Drive

La Raza: ‘This road is not easy, we want to demystify the process’

Community groups and Spanish-language media organizations that helped push a record number of immigrants to become citizens last year said Tuesday that they want to build on that success.

More than 1 million immigrants became U.S. citizens in 2008, an increase of 58 percent from one year earlier, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics. The groups attributed the increase to a national citizenship campaign and an incentive to apply before a fee increase went into effect.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Obama Pushing Abortion Hard at United Nations, Pro-Life Group Says

President Barack Obama has compiled a clear pro-abortion record during his short tenure as president that has raised the ire of the majority of Americans who are pro-life. However, one group that lobbies at the United Nations says Obama is pushing abortion hard in a much less obvious way.

The machinations of the presidency and Congress receive significantly more media attention and Obama’s promotion of abortion has been evident for the public to see.

But Austin Ruse, the president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a pro-life organization that lobbies at the United Nations, says Obama is pushing abortions in ways that receive less attention but could have more far-reaching effects.

“Obama’s negotiators at the UN have already made aggressive pro-abortion and anti-family statements,” Ruse tells LifeNews.com. “Obama’s administration is gearing up to make a frightening new global attack on the unborn child.”

Ruse and other pro-life groups were at the United Nations just two weeks ago when “the Obama administration made its UN debut by supporting language that has been used by UN agencies, UN committees, radical lawyers, and judges to impose abortion on reluctant countries.”

He said he “watched in horror as the previous pro-life positions of the United States were overturned in an instant by radical feminists representing the new Obama administration.”

“The US will now join the UN bureaucracy, Canada and the European Union as the most aggressive promoters of abortion all over the world,” Ruse explained. “This new pro-abortion coalition will actively seek to impose abortion on all the countries of Latin America, Africa, the Far East and even on the few remaining pro-life countries in Europe.”

[…]

Closer to home, Ruse said Obama has buttressed his administration’s abortion push at the United Nations with executive orders requiring taxpayers to go along for the ride.

“Barack Hussein Obama is the most pro-abortion president in US history,” Ruse says.

The CFAM president points out that, in only a few months, Obama has overturned the Mexico City Policy and forced taxpayers to fund foreign groups that promote or perform abortions in other nations.

He has restored funding to the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund that advocates abortion and has been caught working hand-in-hand with the population control officials in China who have imposed forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations on women and men who violate the one-child rule.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

General

It’s Possible: Imagine No Phone, No Food, No Fuel

Book describes what reality could be after EMP attack

A new book that describes what might happen to America following an electromagnetic pulse attack, which would be expected to destroy the power grid, telephone systems and the Internet as well as food and fuel supply chains, is being used to highlight the danger the nation faces.

“As a scientist and engineer now serving my 17th year on the House Armed Services Committee, I have studied the threat of EMP with the world’s experts,” said U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. “It is real.”

[…]

“It is very disturbing that EMP is well understood and EMP capability is actively pursued by America’s potential foes, but is virtually unknown by the American public,” the congressman said.

“Imagine a world where the only person you could talk to is the person next to you, the only way you could go anywhere is to walk and the electronic grid was destroyed,” he continued. “That is the beginning of the impact from an EMP attack.”

[…]

He described the likely scenario: “There would be no electricity. … Our substations and so forth would all be gone. The large transformers would be destroyed, and we don’t make those. It would take a year and a half or so to buy them from somebody overseas who makes them. We would then be in a world — it’s my understanding — where the only person you could talk to is the person next to you, unless you happen to be a ham operator with a vacuum tube set, which is a million times less susceptible. And the only way you could go anywhere is to walk, unless you happened to have a car that had coil-end distributor and you could get some gasoline to put in it.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Ohmyrus: Lessons From the Ancients

[…]

In the Discourses, Niccolo Machiavelli wrote that there are three forms of government — monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. Monarchy is of course rule by one man. An aristocracy is the rule by a few and democracy is rule by all citizens.

According to Machiavelli, all three are flawed and will not last long. The first monarch in a dynasty usually has the competence to rule well. But later his descendents will grow degenerate and the government will fall.

This will lead to rule by a few nobles which after a few generations will also grow corrupt and oppressive. The people will revolt and the government will fall paving the way for democracy. After a few generations, democracies will fall into disorder (I call it mobocracy) which again requires the rule by a strong man to restore order and you get a monarchy again.

Democracies always lead to welfare states. Welfare states require high taxation to sustain. This means that wealth and income are being transferred from today’s elite to the lower economic classes wheras the reverse was true during the Ancien Regime. Europe has gone further ahead than the USA on this. But America now has the most Liberal President in its history and both Houses of Congress are controlled by Democrats which is basically a Socialist Party.

Will the taxpayers revolt?

[…]

…France has an Unemployment rate of 8.6 percent. For the EU as a whole, the Unemployment rate is 7.9%. As Michel Camdesssus said, they need to reform the Welfare State. He gave a list of reforms — like increasing the retirement age and reducing medical and retirement benefits. But once the Mob is used to high level of benefits, it is diffcult if not impossible to reform the system. Any votrepreneur trying to reduce the benefits will not be elected.

Making the problem worse for welfare addicted Europeans is its growing Muslim immigrants who are not assimilating and often form the underclass. But I won’t go into that or my essay will be too long.

One day a crisis will occur which makes today’s democracies ungovernable and a dictator will take over — making Machiavelli’s cycle complete.

What can be done? Probably nothing. The game must be played out.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Video: Jackie Mason: Why Should Our Ships Fear ‘Broken Down Bums’?

Comedian Jackie Mason proposes solution to piracy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Why Things Are the Way They Are

Sneaky change has been going on for decades. Most people would not approve of the New World Order management system if they had full knowledge of the management goals. But it is not easy to recognize the sneaky techniques that are being used to destroy our Constitution and national independence.

For the New World Order management system to succeed, millions of people need to be recruited as activists, community organizers, and facilitators. The system uses those who will be affected by the New World Order to help bring it about. The idea is that people who participate in the process will have little to complain about in the future. In addition to children, college students, women, workers, and executives are targeted.

[…]

The women’s conference was used to recruit programmed leaders for the WORld-Management System, to discover problems which might be used to hold groups together, and to convince women to become social activists for a System most of them did not understand or realize they were serving.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

1 comments:

islam o' phobe said...

Ancient Islamic coins and silver jewellery were discovered in one of the biggest finds of its kind on Funen by a local man with a metal detectorDoes this discovery of an ancient Islamic presence in Funen mean that Denmark is now one of the territories the ummah covets the most alongside Israel, Spain and Sicily?