Friday, January 10, 2003

News Feed 20100920

Financial Crisis
»‘Governator’ Asks China to Bail Out California
»House GOP Wants You to Report Stimulus Signs
»Obama’s Great Leap Forward
»Principles for Economic Revival
»Sen. DeMint: ‘It’s Going to Take a Few Years’ to Repeal Obamacare
»The Number One Economic Indicator
»UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First
»Union Bosses Blow Pension Funds on Politicians — Now Want Government Bailout
»We’re in a Spending Nightmare
»Boeing Launches Search for Crucial Rare Earth Elements
»Chicago Man Charged in Plot to Set Off Bomb Near Cubs’ Wrigley Field Home
»Chuck Norris: Trigger the Vote!
»Did Ground Zero Mosque Imam Lie About Muslim Law vs. U.S. Law?
»Jimmy Carter; “I’m Probably Superior to Other Ex-Presidents”
»No Science, Fake Science, And the Destruction of the Nation
»Police Identify Individual Responsible for Qur’an Desecration
»Rx Drug Use Increasing if You Have Insurance
»Sen. Kaufman: GOP Waging ‘Holy Jihad’ To Extend Tax Cuts
»The Sword & Shield to Stop the Islamization of America
»Three New Science Envoys to the Muslim World
Europe and the EU
»Anti-Immigration Party Formed From Skinhead Movement Seizes Balance of Power in Sweden
»Denmark: Hirsi Ali Takes on Right-Wing Party
»Election Marks ‘End of an Era’: Swedish Press
»France: Bettencourt; Police, Secret Service Action Legitimate
»France Faces Imminent Terror Threat
»Greece: Deal With UAE, Germany for Sale of Shipyards
»Report Shows Almost 50% of Girls Under 18 Feel Unsafe in UK Cities
»Spain: Two Suspected Hitmen for Colombian Cartels Arrested
»Sweden: Moderates and Greens Call for Time
»UK: Freed Terror Suspects May Sue Police for False Arrest Over Alleged Plot to Attack the Pope
»UK: New Report: Debunking the “Islamisation” Myth
»UK: Now Ten Babies by Ten Women for Britain’s Most Feckless Father… And it Will Cost the Taxpayer £1.5m by the Time They’ve All Grown Up
»UK: Two Gateshead Men Arrested for Watching 9/11 Koran Burning Video
North Africa
»Applause and Tension Over Rajoy’s Visit to Melilla
»Western Sahara: Spain Caught Between Algeria and Morocco
Israel and the Palestinians
»Olmert: US Agreed to Absorb 100,000 Palestinian Refugees
Middle East
»Missing Iraqi Antiquities Located in PM Maliki’s Office
»Will Extracting US Forces From Iraq Require Going to War With Iran?
Far East
»Has China Outgrown the One-Child Policy?
»Amnesty Makes Inroads Among Evangelicals
»Drop in Illegal Immigration in Va. Due in Part to County Law Against Illegal Immigration, Demographer Says
»East German Mozambicans Campaign for Rights
»Finland Looks to Cut Income Support for Young Refugees
»Germany: De Maizière Calls for More Tolerance Towards Immigrants
»Italy-Libya: Mogavero (Cei), This is War Against Immigrants
»Senator Menendez Wants CIR During Lame Duck Session
Culture Wars
»Christianity Gets Flayed at Home of Liberty Bell
»Bloodsucking Warrior Worms Destroy and Eat the Enemy
»Former Al Qaeda: Islamist Terror Damages Islam
»Metal Smasher Makes Aluminum as Strong as Steel
»Superiority Complex: The Left, Muslims, Islam
»Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs
»U.N. Calls for Sustainable Development, Global Governance
»Why We Need a New Green Revolution to Stop Hunger

Financial Crisis

‘Governator’ Asks China to Bail Out California

Schwarzenegger begs communist nation to help state avoid bankruptcy

Is China a friend or an enemy?

With the continuing economic downturn in the United States, it’s hard to tell whether China is a major part of the problem or a central part of the solution, Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert reports.

While the Obama administration is preparing to pressure China to stop unfair trade practices, including keeping the yuan artificially low on foreign-exchange markets to boost Chinese exports, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is courting China to finance high-speed rail in the state as a way to create jobs and possibly keep the state from having to declare bankruptcy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

House GOP Wants You to Report Stimulus Signs

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) are turning to the public in their effort to find out just how many promotional signs were erected using stimulus dollars.

Known as crowd-sourcing, the effort asks the public to take pictures of promotional signs erected along roadways and at other stimulus-funded projects and submit them to the Republican committee staff.

The effort asks people to “be a citizen watchdog” and to help Republicans document what they call “propaganda signs.”

“This project harnesses the American public’s help in getting answers about why the Administration has insisted on wasting potentially $192 million taxpayer dollars on pro-stimulus advertising even as the spending splurge has failed to meet the President’s own sales pitches,” the Committee’s Republican website says.

The picture-gathering campaign is being paired with a new interactive effort by committee Republicans to document the proliferation of stimulus signs. The centerpiece of that effort is an interactive national map that plots the location of each sign — including a picture of each one.

Republicans, sensing an impending electoral wave, are using the stimulus signs to point out that the program funding them — President Obama’s signature Recovery Act — has not achieved its widely touted goals of lowering unemployment and sparking an economic recovery.

“Signs of President Obama’s failed $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — also known as the “stimulus” — are popping up all over the country,” a statement on the GOP map Web site reads.

“The White House wants Americans to believe that these taxpayer funded billboards are signs of an improving economy created by government spending instead of the cold, hard reality that more than 14.9 million Americans can’t find jobs,” the Web site adds.

The Web site criticizes the signs — which the White House has recommended be erected — as trying to distract the public from the failure of the stimulus program.

“Signs don’t put America back to work, but they are being bought and paid for with your tax dollars in an effort to help President Obama and his pro-stimulus spending allies in Washington keep their jobs. This is an outrage and we need your help to hold them accountable.”

GOP Website to which pictures can be sent here.

[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Great Leap Forward

The White House released a report entitled “100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America” to counter criticism of the stimulus as a failure. Vice President Joe Biden said,

“With Recovery Act projects like these, we’re starting to turn the page on a decade of failed economic policies and rebuild our economy on a new foundation that creates good middle class jobs for American families.”

And the Vice President is spot on. The Recovery Act has created some great jobs.

The report covers some $7.5 billion spent to create about 27,400 jobs — as best as can be gleaned from the report, including giving the projects the benefit of doubt when the jobs figures are unclear.

That works out to about $273,723 per job.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Principles for Economic Revival

George P. Shultz, a fellow at the Hoover Institution…

says the priorities that should guide policymakers as they seek to restore more rapid growth are:

First, take tax increases off the table:

Higher tax rates are destructive to growth and would ratify the recent spending excesses.

Second, balance the federal budget by reducing spending:

…begin by rescinding unspent “stimulus” and Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds, ratcheting down domestic appropriations and repealing entitlement expansions, most notably the subsidies in the health care bill.

Third, modify Social Security and health care entitlements to reduce their explosive future growth.

Fourth, enact a moratorium on all new regulations for the next three years:

…regulations should be transparent and simple, pass rigorous cost-benefit tests and on market-based incentives instead of command and control.

Direct and indirect cost estimates of regulations and subsidies should be published before new regulations are put into law.

Fifth, monetary policy should be less discretionary and more rule-like. The Federal Reserve should announce and follow a monetary policy rule…

[Return to headlines]

Sen. DeMint: ‘It’s Going to Take a Few Years’ to Repeal Obamacare


“It’s going take a few years” to repeal the health-care reform bill, DeMint told “What we can do after this election is delay the funding and implementation of the bill and then get a president in 2012 who understands this is going to ruin medicine and bankrupt our country.”

The Ryan plan, “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” has only 13 co-sponsors in the House and has not become a platform for the 2010 mid-term elections. asked DeMint if the Ryan plan should be similar to the 1994 “Contract with America,” the platform that helped Republicans retake Congress that year.

“Paul Ryan’s roadmap to the future is the only comprehensive legislation now that fixes our tax code, saves Social Security and Medicare and fixes our health care system and begins to cut spending over a long period of time,” DeMint said.

“The fact that it has been so difficult to get congressmen and senators to even have a hearing on something like this just tells you that our focus is not on the national interest, it’s on self-serving political interests that are symbolized by this earmark factory,” he added.

[Return to headlines]

The Number One Economic Indicator

Credit growth in America is broken. Since late 2008, the U.S. has seen its first deep and protracted decrease in loans outstanding in the last 40 years.

[see chart at link]

If you factor out the accounting adjustments, loans outstanding have fallen by almost $1.5 trillion in just two years. A phenomenal decrease in credit, and thus American spending power.

The most interesting thing is this indicator has not recovered. While investment inflows in many sectors this year have lifted stocks, commodity prices, and trade numbers, loans have continued to fall.

Americans are not borrowing. Even low interest rates can’t make them. Meaning the engine that drove the last few decades of growth is now broken. Without such support, it’s going to be difficult (probably impossible) for America to return to the surging economic times it enjoyed leading up to 2007.


The only encouraging point is loans haven’t been disappearing as fast as they were. Over the last three months, the trend has flattened.

This could help stabilize things. But it’s sure not a recovery. With this indicator lagging, we’re not going to get back to the good old days anytime soon.

[Return to headlines]

UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First

The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.

If the real-time information plan works, it further proposes that employers hand over employee salaries to the government first.

“The next step could be to use (real-time) information as the basis for centralizing the calculation and deduction of tax,” HMRC said in a July discussion paper.

HMRC described the plan as “radical” as it would be a huge change from the current system that has been largely unchanged for 66 years.

Even though the centralized deductions proposal would provide much-needed oversight, there are some major concerns, George Bull, head of Tax at Baker Tilly, told

“If HMRC has direct access to employees’ bank accounts and makes a mistake, people are going to feel very exposed and vulnerable,” Bull said.

And the chance of widespread mistakes could be high, according to Bull. HMRC does not have a good track record of handling large computer systems and has suffered high-profile errors with data, he said.

The system would be massive in terms of data management, larger than a recent attempt to centralize the National Health Service’s data, which was later scrapped, Bull said.

If there’s a mistake and the HMRC collects too much money, the difficulty of getting it back could be high with repayments of tax taking weeks or months, he said.

“There has to be some very clear understanding of how quickly repayments were made if there was a mistake,” Bull said.

HMRC estimated the potential savings to employers from the introduction of the concept would be about £500 million ($780 million).

But the cost of implementing the new system would be “phenomenal,” Bull pointed out.

“It’s very clear that the system does need to be modernized… It’s outdated, it’s outmoded,” Emma Boon, campaigner manager at the Tax Payers’ Alliance, told

Boon said that the Tax Payers’ Alliance was in favor of simplifying tax collection, but stressed that a new complex computer system would add infrastructure and administration costs at a time when the government is trying to reduce spending.

There is a further concern, according to Bull. The centralized storage of so much data poises a security risk as the system may be open to cyber crime.

As well as security issues, there’s a huge issue of transparency, according to Boon.

Boon also questioned HMCR’s ability to handle to the role effectively.

The Institute of Directors (IoD), a UK organization created to promote the business agenda of directors and entreprenuers, said in a press release it had major concerns about the proposal to allow employees’ pay to be paid directly to HMRC.

The IoD said the shift to a real-time, centralized system could be positive as long as the burden on employers was not increased. But it added that the idea of wages being processed by HMRC was “completely unacceptable.”

“This document contains a lot of good ideas. But the idea that HMRC should be trusted with the gross pay of employees is not one of them,” Richard Baron, Head of Taxation at the IoD, said in the release.

A spokesperson for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was not immediately available for comment.

           — Hat tip: Fausta[Return to headlines]

Union Bosses Blow Pension Funds on Politicians — Now Want Government Bailout

The election cycles of 2006 and 2008 cost the labor unions many, many millions of dollars to get all those liberal Democrats elected and reelected to Congress and the presidency.

Where did those bribe bucks come from? Were they in some union slush fund? Do you suppose that all those bribes came out of the pension fund money that the suckers, er, members paid into for retirement benefits? It is becoming common knowledge that the various union pension funds may not be there when Joe or Jane ‘lunch pail’ retires.

That is why the union bosses are banging on the doors of all of the liberal Democrats’ looking for payback; payback in the form of “stimulus” or “bailout” tax dollars for getting them elected plus unfair legislation that would take away the secret ballot when union strong-arm tactics are needed to increase membership numbers.


The first thing these union bosses want is the CJSBA “bailout” money that Obama can just give to them out of unspent stimulus on newly established slush-type funds. Considering the simplicity of the other bailout plans, that will be the easiest one to obtain and with the almost total absence of paper tracking and bookkeeping on those funds, these union bosses can spend it any way they want. But they know that they had better refill the pension funds and SOON.

Then comes the legislation that tells a lie just in the title of the bill: “Employee Free Choice Act” (EFCA) when in fact is will be the “Employee Forced Choice Act” by taking away the traditional American way of fairness ‘Secret Ballot’ from union members and forcing them to just sign a card that a union goon (like a Black Panther) will shove in their face and demand their signature.

However, anti forces are not sitting on their hands and a top economist is warning Congress that these bills would create a ‘Ponzi scheme as bad as Bernie Madoff’s’ as Christopher Neefus, reports on September 05, 2010 by citing Ms. Diana F. Roth, a former chief economist in the U.S. Department of Labor that “implementing card check (EFCA) would allow unions to swell their ranks with new members who would have to be signed up and pay money into failing union pension plans.

“It shouldn’t be allowed. It’s a ponzi scheme as bad as Bernie Madoff, the new union members could be entered into a multi-employer plan that is badly under-funded, and the wages they would pay into the fund would not go toward their own retirement, but would likely go to fulfill liabilities already owed to new and existing retirees.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

We’re in a Spending Nightmare

There’s an old saying that, when you are in a hole, stop digging.

The president, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat-controlled Congress are in a deep political ditch, and they won’t stop digging.

The health-care deform bill was passed by Congress and signed by the president against the will of a majority of the American people. The Cap-and-Trade-and-Tax-and-Kill bill passed the House against the will of the people, and the members who signed it did not even read it.

The $862 billion non-stimulus bill has not worked as advertised, so they passed another emergency $26 billion “jobs bill” (code for more payoffs to the unions). Last week, the Senate passed a $30 billion so-called small business loan fund that the House will pass and the president will probably sign.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Boeing Launches Search for Crucial Rare Earth Elements

Boeing has signed a deal to deploy remote sensing technology to map out U.S. deposits of rare earth elements. The rare earth family of minerals is the real-life version of the precious element “unobtanium” in James Cameron’s movie “Avatar.” They are used to make everything from military hardware to humble cell phones, but could soon be in short supply as worldwide demand outstrips mining production in China.

The aerospace and defense giant announced today that it will confirm rare earth mining claims held by U.S. Rare Earths, Inc. at locations in Idaho and Montana and also aid in the search for new deposits. “They’re very interested in finding and validating domestic reserves,” said Patrick Kennedy, public relations coordinator for U.S. Rare Earths. This marks the latest step in a global race to hunt down rare earth deposits. China currently supplies as much as 97 percent of the world’s rare earth oxides, but has recently taken steps to cut back on exports and feed the growing demands of its own industries.

New rare earth mines in the U.S., Australia, Canada and South Africa won’t start up until at least 2014, based on industry estimates. But major corporations such as General Electric and Toyota have begun quietly moving to secure their own supplies in case of a shortfall.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Chicago Man Charged in Plot to Set Off Bomb Near Cubs’ Wrigley Field Home

A 22-year-old Chicago man angry with the city’s mayor was charged by federal prosecutors with plotting to detonate a bomb near Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team.

Sami Samir Hassoun, who also discussed an assassination attempt on Mayor Richard M. Daley according to prosecutors, was arrested yesterday by members of the Chicago-area Joint Terrorism Task Force.

“He wanted to transform the City of Chicago. He wanted to make a statement,” Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Chicago office, told reporters after Hassoun appeared before a federal magistrate today. He intended to “kill as many people as he could” by planting the explosive in a neighborhood full of bars, clubs and restaurants, Grant said.

Hassoun, who is identified in an FBI statement as a Lebanese citizen living legally in Chicago, is charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and with trying to destroy real property using an explosive. The first charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, while the second has a top term of as long as five years.

Hassoun blamed Daley for “weakening” the city’s security and planned to use the attack to drive him from office, according to the complaint against him. Hassoun discussed the possibility of an assassination attempt on the mayor with the FBI’s confidential source, prosecutors said.

Daley Plaza

The location near Wrigley Field was chosen after Hassoun talked about other plots with the FBI source, including a biological weapons attack at the Richard J. Daley Plaza, the state courthouse forecourt named for the incumbent mayor’s father.

Hassoun hoped he would be paid for a sustained campaign, Grant said. Investigators believe Hassoun acted alone and isn’t affiliated with a terrorist organization, Grant said.

Lance Lewis, a spokesman for Daley, declined to comment. Daley said Sept. 7 that he wouldn’t seek a seventh term as mayor next year.

Hassoun, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and blue canvas slip-on shoes, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox. The suspect, who was accompanied by Federal Public Defender Dan McLaughlin, wasn’t required to enter a plea. Hassoun told the court he will hire a private lawyer.

Cox scheduled a bail hearing and a so-called probable-cause hearing for Sept. 22. After today’s appearance, Hassoun was remanded to the custody of federal marshals.

Trash Can

Hassoun planted an inert device in a trash can south of Wrigley Field at about 12:10 a.m. yesterday and was immediately arrested, according to the criminal complaint. The FBI informant had shown Hassoun the device, which appeared to be a bomb, prosecutors said.

The device, concealed in a backpack, had a timer that Hassoun set for 20 minutes, Grant said.

The case is U.S. v. Hassoun, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Chuck Norris: Trigger the Vote!

What are the stakes? They’re huge. Our current president has said himself that he’s more interested in accomplishing his agenda than in being re-elected. Once these midterms are over, the White House will be politically unleashed to wreak havoc by pushing the most extreme policy agenda that its self-appointed social engineers can devise. If you think Obamacare was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Consider just a few of the policy items coming up on the Second Amendment front. Since 2001, the United Nations has been working to develop a global gun-control treaty. Right at the get-go, John Bolton (Bush’s ambassador to the U.N.) poured cold water on that idea in a fiery speech that ignited world condemnation.

But the ragtag army of delegates pushing for global gun-ban “harmonization” — many representing despots, human rights violators, and tin-pot dictators, by the way — simply bided their time. In 2008 they got the U.S. president they wanted, and new Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wasted no time changing the red flag to green.

Now the U.N. cabal is back to drafting a proposed “Arms Trade Treaty” filled with global disarmament mandates, and this time it’s likely to garner the necessary “consensus” of U.N. delegates, including the United States. The president can sign treaties, but they must be ratified by the U.S. Senate. So only the Senate can keep the citizens of our unsuspecting nation from having the Second Amendment stripped from the parchment of our Bill of Rights. If you live in one of the 38 states hosting a Senate election this year, consider that when you’re deciding whom to support with your ballot.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Did Ground Zero Mosque Imam Lie About Muslim Law vs. U.S. Law?

In a jaw-dropping statement by Ground Zero Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, he claimed Muslim and American legal concepts essentially agree. He said, “America is a Shari’ahcompliant state.” Is this true? Is the US primed for Muslim law? Or, is Rauf capitalizing on how little Americans understand Islam? Perhaps, in declaring subjective propositions, Rauf believes he has little to lose, but much to gain. Maybe Rauf is employing taqiyyah, (holy deception), to sell Islam to America?

Rauf’s statements, if disproved, would badly discredit his explanation for the Ground Zero mosque’s purpose. The intent of this essay is to analyze Rauf’s idea that Muslim Shari’ah and American law agree. This is done by comparing the US Constitution in a few essential Amendments—1st, 5th & 8th—to see if Islamic and American law are in fundamental agreement.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Jimmy Carter; “I’m Probably Superior to Other Ex-Presidents”

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, former President Jimmy Carter, who has been a target of the right through the years, lauded his own post-presidency, telling Williams, “I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents.”


“The Carter Center has decided, under my leadership, to fill the vacuums in the world,” Carter said. “When the United States won’t deal with troubled areas, we go there and we meet their leaders who can bring an end to a conflict, or an end to human rights abuse, and so forth. So I feel that [I] have an advantage over many other former presidents in being involved in daily affairs that have shaped the policies of our nation and the world.”

Before Barack Obama was sworn in as president in January 2009, the living presidents (and then-President-elect Obama), gathered for an Oval Office photo shoot — with Carter notably standing off to the side, apart from the group.

[see that remarkable photo at the MSNBC link]

           — Hat tip: Joshua Pundit[Return to headlines]

No Science, Fake Science, And the Destruction of the Nation

The greatest science fraud in the history of mankind.

Any scientist who has not sold his soul to the environmental movement will tell you that the reason that greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), do not cause any warming is due to the fact that they have to conform to the laws of thermodynamics. The first law states that “energy can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only change form.”

Energy produced by coal, natural gas, oil, or nuclear is energy that has changed from one form of matter to another. The attack on these sources of energy is a direct attack on the economic success of America and it is one that is at a dangerous peak of activity generated by the Obama administration, primarily through the Environmental Protection Agency.

There is simply no such thing as “dirty energy.” The push for so-called clean or renewable energy is a fiction to advance the use of the two worst, most unpredictable and unreliable forms of energy, solar and wind. They exist solely because of government subsidies and mandates. They produce little over three percent of the energy used nationwide every day.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Police Identify Individual Responsible for Qur’an Desecration

Police have positively identified the individual responsible for the desecration of the Qur’an on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The individual voluntarily surrendered to police officials on Wednesday, Sept. 15 following the establishment of a $10,000 reward fund. None of the reward funds were paid out to obtain the information leading to the individual’s identity. The individual continues to cooperate with police and FBI officials. The investigators have determined that this was an isolated incident.

It is expected that the police investigation will be completed early next week. The case will be forwarded to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for review. No further information will be released until a decision is made about filing charges.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Rx Drug Use Increasing if You Have Insurance

Prescription drug use in the U.S. has been rising steadily in the past decade and the trend shows no signs of slowing, the CDC says in a new report.

The study, published in the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief No. 42, says the percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug rose from 43.5% in 1999-2000 to 48.3% in the 2007-2008 period.

The use of two or more drugs increased from 25.4% to 31.2% over the same decade, and the use of five or more prescription medications jumped from 6.3% to 10.7%.

The report also says that in the 2007-2008 period:

One of every five children and nine out of 10 older Americans reported using at least one prescription drug in the month prior to being surveyed.

22.4% of kids up to age 11 used at least one prescription drug.

29.9% of young people 12-19 used at least one prescription drug.

48.3% of people between 20 and 59 used at least one prescription medication.

88.4% of Americans age 60 and over used at least one prescription drug, more than 76% used two or more prescription drugs in the past month, and 37% used five or more.

People without health insurance or a regular place to go for medical problems had less prescription drug use compared to those with such benefits.

The report notes that prescription drug use increased with age, that women were more likely to use such medications than men, 53.3% to 43.2%, and the non-Hispanic white population had the highest prescription drug use at 54.3%,

compared to 42% of black non-Hispanics and 33.9% of Mexican-Americans.

The CDC also says that:

People with a regular place for health care were 2.7 times as likely to have used prescription drugs in the past month compared to those without the benefit.

People with health insurance were about twice as likely to have used at least one prescription medication in the past month as those without health insurance.

People with prescription drug benefits in their health insurance plans were 22% more likely to use prescription medications than those who did not have that benefit.

According to the 2007-2008 data, the most commonly used drugs were:

Bronchodilators for children up to age 11.

Central nervous system stimulants for youths 12-19.

Antidepressants for people 20-59.

Cholesterol lowering drugs for adults 60 and older


Among kids under age 6, penicillin antibiotics were the most frequently use prescription drugs.

The report says diuretics and beta-blockers were commonly used in adults and older Americans, with such medications used most often to treat heart problems and high blood pressure.

[Return to headlines]

Sen. Kaufman: GOP Waging ‘Holy Jihad’ To Extend Tax Cuts

Republicans are fighting to extend tax cuts for high earners with the intensity of a “holy jihad,” a Democratic senator charged Monday.

Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) said he didn’t see any room for compromise with Republicans on the extension of income tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year, blaming the GOP for being unflinching on tax rates.

“We talk about bending — it’s incredible. There’s no bending! Pick up your morning Washington Post and find out what Republicans are willing to bend on,” Kaufman said during an appearance on CNBC. “This is like a holy jihad to keep the tax cuts going.”

At issue are the tax cuts passed early in the presidency of George W. Bush, which will revert to their rates preceding the tax cuts, unless Congress acts. Democrats, led by President Obama, want to extend all the breaks except for households earning more than $250,000 per year and individuals earning over $200,000 per year.

Republicans have pushed for a permanent extension of the current tax rates, or, barring that, at least a two-year freeze on all tax rates.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian[Return to headlines]

The Sword & Shield to Stop the Islamization of America

God’s Gift of Unalienable Rights & Article VI of the Constitution.

This is an encouraging paper, because it explains the moral and constitutional justifications to stop the islamization of our country.

We face a grave threat — the Muslims are infiltrating our country and taking over. We seem powerless to resist: Our governments won’t acknowledge the threat; we are told Muslims have “constitutional rights” to come here, proselytize everywhere, build mosques, and implement shariah in their communities and in the public square; and our governments are letting them do it.

The Muslims seek to replace our Constitution with shariah — their totalitarian political, economic, military, social & legal system — with the goal of incorporating our Country into a global Islamic caliphate.

They are making progress in islamicizing our Country because we are not resisting.

And the dreadful message we are getting from all sources is that our Constitution renders us powerless to resist islamization.

But read on, and I will show you how our Constitution & Declaration of Independence — properly understood — actually give our federal, State & local governments justification and authority to stop the islamization of our Country. Once we understand two things, it becomes clear what we may — and must — do:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Three New Science Envoys to the Muslim World

Senator Richard Lugar (R—IN) has announced three new science envoys to the Muslim world: former NSF director Rita Colwell, currently at University of Maryland, College Park, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; Gebisa Ejeta of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; and Alice Gast, president of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

They will join Bruce Alberts, former president of the National Academy of Sciences and editor-in-chief of Science (publisher of ScienceInsider); former NIH director Elias Zerhouni, and Nobel Prize winner Ahmed Zewail of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The envoys program was announced last fall by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following a June speech in Cairo in which President Barack Obama called for a “new beginning” in relations with the Muslim world. The White House quoted the envoys as saying their travels have been fruitful thus far.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Anti-Immigration Party Formed From Skinhead Movement Seizes Balance of Power in Sweden

Sweden was today coming to terms with the emergence of a far right party into mainstream politics.

The anti-immigration Democrats now hold the balance of power in Sweden after the centre-right government failed to win an outright majority.

Unemployment and the flood of foreigners into the south of the country have been blamed for the rise of the group, which began life as a faction of skinheads.

Now the party will enter Parliament for the first time, with 20 seats.

Despite denials they are racist, both main blocs have ruled out working with them.

A preliminary count showed Fredrik Reinfeldt’s coalition winning 172 seats in the 349-member parliament. The Social Democrat-led centre-left opposition was set to secure 157.

The Democrats’ leader, Jimmie Akesson, won 4.6 per cent of the vote and told chanting supporters: ‘Today we have written political history together, I think that’s fantastic.’

Analysts had said before Sunday’s election that a hung parliament, with Reinfeldt’s centre-right Alliance coalition having no overall majority, would unsettle investors and the currency duly weakened in trading this morning.

‘An uncertain parliamentary situation is always negative for a currency, but the market pretty quickly goes back to focusing on other things,’ Handelsbanken analyst Claes Mahlen said.

‘I don’t think the view of Sweden will change dramatically’

‘If this outcome stands we will have a scenario that most Swedish voters wanted to avoid — that is that we have a xenophobic party holding the balance of power,’ said Ulf Bjereld, a political scientist at Gothenburg University…

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Denmark: Hirsi Ali Takes on Right-Wing Party

Danish People’s Party’s annual congress saw prominent Somali rebuking their policies

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a 40-year-old former refugee and a prominent critic of religious extremism, addressed the 15th annual party congress of the Danish People’s Party (DF) on Saturday.

She spoke about the importance of integrating non-Western immigrants in Europe and teaching boys about women’s rights and sexual morality in the West from an early age.

After building up the party faithful by suggesting that immigrants should enter into a contract to respect the conditions in Danish society, Ali stoked the fire further by saying in English: ‘I do not understand Danish, but I’ve heard rumours that your party will stop all immigration from non-western countries?’

After meeting applause again from the crowd, Ali turned on them with the rebuke, ‘I too am from a non-Western country,’ and that ‘it is wrong to say that all non-Westerners can’t be integrated into Denmark’.

The response that time was considerably less enthusiastic, but nevertheless party leader Pia Kjærsgaard remained supportive of Ali. As Kjærsgaard said to her: ‘You are many people’s idol, and you are my idol.’

DF has a tradition of inviting controversial guest speakers. In 2008, it was addressed by Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

Like Westergaard, Ali lives under a constant threat to her life and required a heavy security presence at the meeting. Ali has lived with death threats since composing the screenplay for the 2005 Theo van Gogh film Submission,

In 2005, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She now works for the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Election Marks ‘End of an Era’: Swedish Press

With the far-right Sweden Democrats headed to the Riksdag for the first time and the traditional dominance of the Social Democrats apparently broken for good, the Swedish press on Monday reflected on the consequences of a new political era.

“The (centre-right) Alliance’s victory marks the end of the Social Democrats’ long dominance of Swedish politics. The election’s unpleasant back side is the (far-right) Sweden Democrats’ advance,” leading daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) said in an editorial entitled “The end of an era”.

The Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper meanwhile said it was time for Swedes to “draw up a new national image” on Monday morning as it hammered out the three central changes to Sweden’s political landscape, “a centre-right government without a majority, a crashed social democracy and a kingmaker party with roots in the far-right”.

The paper also noted that in the absence of a majority in parliament — the exiting coalition obtained 172 seats in the 349 seat parliament — “Fredrik Reinfeldt … now has to invite in the Green Party to talks in order to build a government that is able to act”.

It predicted a “shaky ride ahead for the election’s winner”.

Swedish media seemed just as concerned with the complicated parliament ahead as with the historical defeat of the Social Democrats, which have dominated politics here for most of the century.

Recalling that the Social Democrats had been in power “for 83 percent of the time since 1932”, DN said “the time when one party was subscribed to power and could decide of everything is gladly over”.

With Mona Sahlin as their leader, this election marked the Social Democrats’ worse score since 1914 and “the party will never again feel like it owns Sweden”, Göterborgs-Posten (GP) said.

“In other countries, it’s obviously not strange for a centre-right government to be re-elected, but this is Sweden, it’s a never before seen phenomenon,” said SvD.

The paper noted that with no party sharing the Sweden Democrats’ anti-immigrant views, Sweden has also been an exception.

Tabloid Expressen meanwhile deplored that “obscure forces have taken Swedish politics hostage”, calling on Reinfeldt to immediately find an agreement with the Greens, to whom the outgoing prime minister reached out late Sunday.

Aftonbladet said “the nightmare scenario has happened”.

“Fredrik Reinfeldt is thinking of staying with his government, and it will probably be under the influence of the far-right,” it said.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

France: Bettencourt; Police, Secret Service Action Legitimate

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, SEPTEMBER 14 — French counterespionage acted “legitimately” to uncover who was the informant of daily newspaper Le Monde journalists in the Bettencourt case and discovered that at the source of the news leak was a high-level ministerial functionary. This is what has been announced in a note from the director general of the French national police, Frederic Pechenard, after the newspaper yesterday denounced a violation by the French Cabinet Office of the law regarding the secrecy of journalist sources.

Le Monde reports in particular that the counterespionage services were used by President Nicolas Sarkozy to uncover who was the informant of the newspaper’s journalists on the matter. Pechenard explains that the national police had “legitimately searched for the origin of the leaks which were reported to it”, acting in the “framework of its mission to protect the security of the institutions,” reads the note. It added: “information that reached the services indicated that the author of these ‘leaks’ was a high-level functionary, a member of the ministerial cabinet, held to professional secrecy, as well as to respecting the penal code naturally.” “There were no phone interceptions of any sort,” underlines the Interior Ministry.(ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

France Faces Imminent Terror Threat

France is at immediate risk of a major terror attack by Islamist radicals and has reinforced urgent security measures introduced last week, officials say.

Asked about reports that an attack might be imminent, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said on Monday that the threat was real and that “we have stepped up our vigilance”.

Separately, a source close to the Interior Ministry confirmed that police were investigating reports that a female suicide bomber might be preparing a strike in Paris, but added: “That’s not necessarily the most worrying thing.”

Instead, the source explained, Paris was concerned with intelligence received from an allied foreign spy agency that al-Qaeda’s North African branch, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was planning an “imminent” attack in France.

“It’s a threat which we think might target transportation,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity and without giving further details except that the warning was received on Thursday last week.

The Interior Ministry played down the specific risk to transport, insisting that the threat was “against totally undefined targets”.

Meanwhile, according to a police source, authorities have learned that two dormant Islamist networks in France have been revived to receive and host groups of jihadi radicals returning from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Separately, officials from Paris’s Grand Mosque confirmed that their rector, Dalil Boubakeur, had been placed under police protection and provided with an escort as he moves about the city.

Boubakeur is a moderate figure who has worked with France’s government on issues of Muslim integration and has been threatened by radicals.

Last Tuesday, hundreds of tourists were moved away from the Eiffel Tower as it was briefly evacuated following a hoax bomb threat.

France’s national terror warning plan, known as “Vigipirate”, was already at alert level “reinforced red” — one step down from the highest level, scarlet, which would represent a precise and imminent threat.

The warnings were the latest in a series given over the past 10 days since the head of France’s DCRI domestic intelligence agency, Bernard Squarcini, said France had never faced a greater “terrorist threat”.

They come at a time when France has been the target of violent threats on jihadi websites, including from known armed militant leaders, over its ban on the full-face Muslim veil and its overseas military operations

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Greece: Deal With UAE, Germany for Sale of Shipyards

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, SEPTEMBER 17 — The Greek government has signed a deal with German group Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems and Arab group Abu Dhabi Mar for the sale of 75% of shares in the Skaramangas shipyards, to the Arab group by the German group. So announced by the Greek Defence Minister Evaggelos Venizelos.

Amongst other things, the deal provides for the building of two submarines for the Greek Navy. The minister said that today there will be a meeting of the National Defence Council and the Inter-ministerial Commission for Privatisation to give the go-ahead to the operation. The deal will then be presented in parliament for final approval.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Report Shows Almost 50% of Girls Under 18 Feel Unsafe in UK Cities

One in five respondents to survey by children’s charity Plan UK said they felt threatened by gangs

Almost half of girls aged up to 18 feel unsafe in the UK’s biggest cities and are often scared to go out in their own neighbourhoods, research by the Plan UK children’s charity has shown.

One in five respondents said they felt threatened by gangs, and 17% said they feared someone would assault them.

More than 40% said they knew someone who had been attacked or assaulted.


The surveys showed that more than 50% of girls in London thought crime in their local area had gone up in the last few years. Ten per cent of girls living in cities in the Midlands knew someone who had been assaulted in their neighbourhood in the last six months.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Spain: Two Suspected Hitmen for Colombian Cartels Arrested

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, SEPTEMBER 14 — Spanish police, in collaboration with Colombian police, arrested two Colombians in hiding in Valencia today, who are believed to be among the worst killers in the Colombian drug trafficking cartels, accused in their country of over 200 murders, kidnapping and torture. According to legal sources cited on El Pais’ website, Mauricio Alberto Gonzalez Sepulveda, also known as “Ronco”, 44-years-old, and Henry Norberto Valdes Marin, known as “Pollo”, 36-years-old, both believed the belong to the drug trafficking cartels of Envigado and Nord Del Valle, were arrested.

Based on the accusations, they are involved with the part of the Colombian cartels that deals with extortion and collections and they continued their criminal activity in Spain. Accused of murder, illegal weapons possession, torture, drug trafficking and kidnapping, they were brought in front of the Audiencia Nacional before extradition to Colombia. Collaboration between Colombian police and European officers was key to capture the two criminals. Valdes Marin had changed his fingerprints to avoid identification. After the cartel was dismantled by extreme-right wing paramilitaries of Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, several members fled from Colombia and moved to Europe to continue collecting money on behalf of the Colombian cartels, carrying out murders, extortions and kidnapping. ‘Pollo’ is accused of involvement or carrying out nearly 200 murders in Colombia, including that of footballer Albeiro Usuriaga, known as El Palomo, in February of 2004, a crime committed in a working class neighbourhood by a 15-year-old boy.

Gonzalez Sepulveda, who was on the most wanted list for the Envigado cartel, was taken into custody in Eliana, in Valencia. He fraudulently married a Spanish citizen to obtain a residency permit. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Moderates and Greens Call for Time

The Moderate and Green parties both held press conferences on Monday afternoon calling for time to enable the election results to be completed, with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt promising an orderly process to a new Alliance government.

“We will now conduct the same process that we undertook in 2006 — that we take responsibility based on the election result that we have got,” Reinfeldt said.

Reinfeldt called for patience to enable the election results to be completed and analysed properly. He underlined the importance that time is taken to digest the result and promised that when the Riksdag reopens on October 5th, the work will be complete.

“We will do this without using words such as chaos…but instead exactly as we are — with the orderliness that is expect of us, at the pace that is outline,” he said, pointing out that he has until October 5th before the government has to be in place.

Reinfeldt addressed the issue of the entrance of the Sweden Democrats into Sweden’s parliament and observed that only 7,000 votes were the difference between the anti-immigrant party gaining mandates.

He recognised however that the support for the Sweden Democrats has not only come from the party’s “core voters” with “roots in the 1980s far-right movements”, but could also include those who have lost faith with Sweden’s direction, and perhaps politicians, in general.

Reinfeldt stated that the process of any discussions with the Green Party will be conducted between the parties and not through the media.

Reinfeldt confirmed however that discussions would be opened among the Alliance coalition partners this afternoon.

The Green Party held a press conference immediately after the Moderate Party leader.

Spokesperson Peter Eriksson opened the press conference by stating the current situation and issue a clarification on the party’s viewpoints.

Mirroring Fredrik Reinfeldt’s comments, he also argued that the vote count is not yet completed and that the Alliance could still secure a majority. He, and co-spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand, also warned of difficulties for the Alliance coalition to sustain a minority government.

“We have not bee given a mandate from our voters to open negotiations with the Alliance over whether to build a government or to join a cooperation,” Maria Wetterstrand argued, proceeding to list a series of Alliance government policy initiatives that the Green Party finds unnaceptable.

Peter Eriksson continued to express regret over the entry of the Sweden Democrats into parliament and argued that all of the “seven” parliamentary parties (thus excluding the Sweden Democrats) should take part in taking responsibility for Sweden’s governance.

“If Fredrik Reinfeldt gets in touch then we will suggest that deeper and broader contact is taken with all the Red-Green parties.” Eriksson said adding, “We think it is reasonable that the largest party in the parliament (the Social Democrats) should also take part.”

Both Fredrik Reinfeldt and the Green Party spokespersons confirmed that no contact has yet been made between the parties.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Freed Terror Suspects May Sue Police for False Arrest Over Alleged Plot to Attack the Pope

Six street cleaners arrested over an alleged plot to attack the Pope could try to sue the police after being released without charge, detectives fear.

The men were detained by counter-terrorism officers at a cleaning depot in central London after police received intelligence suggesting they were planning an atrocity against Benedict XVI.

But late on Saturday they were freed after police found no evidence to support their initial suspicions.

It was reported that the men — all of North African origin — were arrested after jokingly discussing how to harm the Pope in a work canteen.

A colleague is said to have overheard their comments and alerted counter-terrorism officers.

The concern among senior officers and counter terrorism officials is that the men could try to take legal action against the Met for unlawful arrest and detention.

For such a move to be successful, they would have to prove that the actions of officers were disproportionate and ill-informed, and the evidence available did not reach the threshold of reasonable suspicion to merit their arrests.

A security source said: ‘The intelligence which prompted these arrests was received very late in the day and detectives had only a few hours to assess the quality of it before taking action.

‘As far as the Met are concerned, the arrests were proportionate and justified, but there is a strong feeling that the legal-aid vultures will soon be circling around this case.’

Security sources dismissed reports that the men had merely had a light-hearted conversation about attacking the Pope.

One said: ‘We do not recognise this version of events. The intelligence received suggested this was a very serious situation.’

As part of the investigation, police searched eight homes in north and east London and two business premises in central London, including the street cleaning depot.

The Met said the searches had revealed no weapons or suspicious materials.

The BBC quoted Scotland Yard sources as saying that the men posed no credible threat, while the Sunday Mirror said the men had been reported after they were overheard sharing a joke in their canteen.

One of the men reportedly said: ‘It would be pretty difficult to shoot the Pope, wouldn’t it, as his car is bulletproof?’

Another allegedly replied: ‘Yeah but I bet an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) would get through easily enough.’

The six are aged 26, 27, 29, 36, 40 and 50. The 29-year-old was arrested at home in north London shortly before 2pm on Friday.

The five others had been held at gunpoint as officers swooped on their base while they were preparing to start their shift shortly before 6am.

They work for Veolia Environmental Services, a contractor which employs 650 on-street staff to keep the streets of Westminster clean.

A huge security and public order operation swung into action as the Pope arrived in Britain.

Thousands of officers were involved in the operation from forces including the Met, Strathclyde, Lothian and Borders, West Midlands and British Transport Police.

The cost of policing the papal visit, coordinated by South Yorkshire Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, will exceed £3million.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman yesterday said: ‘Six men who were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on Friday were all released without charge late on Saturday night and early this morning.’

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

UK: New Report: Debunking the “Islamisation” Myth

by Edmund Standing


In the post-9/11 West, we have seen the worrying growth of a paranoid, bigoted approach to Muslims which increasingly views them as an undifferentiated mass, as an inherent Other, and as a powerful fifth column conspiring to destroy the West and enslave it to Sharia law.


The ‘Islamisation’ myth is a dangerous myth, and a myth that must be repudiated if we are to develop as a nation and articulate a positive vision for the future.

[From the comments section]

Don’t lecture me.

20 September 2010, 8:34 am

I live in a Northen town. Over the last 20 years I’ve seen it completely transformed. I would go as far as to say that the local culture has been completely supplanted. My local Bycicle shop has become the towns Muslim forum. My Gym is now a Mosque. My local pub is now an Islamic girls School. Green grocer is now an Islamic book shop, the local butchers is now the Al Jubail hairdressers. There are eleven Mosques within a half mile radius of my house, three of which are fighting to expand. My high street now consists of a plethora of dingy halal takeaways… The local coal merchant is now a Halal meat processing plant that gets routinely busted for employing illegals. The once football hostel is now accommodation for visiting clerics and local Imams. The RAF club is now a Pakistani resurant. MY local confectioners is now another Curry house, as is the Sweet shop.Two local bookmakers are now asian boutiques and due to flight I am one of two of the original people left on my street. I was born in the house that I currently live in and I am 38 years old. I don’t recognise the local people anymore and I feel estranged to the place I grew up. Islamisation is a myth? No it isnt.

[JP note: Where do they find all these dhimmis? There is a full-scale invasion (the American historian, William Hardy McNeill, might call it a case of macroparasitism) of the UK taking place and up pops another clueless observer on Harry’s Place to tell us this is a myth. None so blind as cannot, or will not, see. Also beware of writers capitalizing the word ‘other’ — they tend to have difficulty distinguishing their elbow from their fanny. Finally, I cannot even begin to imagine what sort of ‘positive vision for the future’ Mr Standing manages to conjure up in his stupid, diminutive brain. And no, I won’t be reading his inane report.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Now Ten Babies by Ten Women for Britain’s Most Feckless Father… And it Will Cost the Taxpayer £1.5m by the Time They’ve All Grown Up

After fathering eight children by eight mothers, Keith Macdonald might have done enough to put women off him for life.

But despite his appalling track record, the 25-year-old is expecting a ninth and tenth — by two more women.

As most of the mothers and children are largely dependent on benefits, they are likely to cost the taxpayer £1.5million by the time all the children are 16.

Unemployed Macdonald — described as Britain’s worst father — had his first child at the age of 15 and has abandoned every one.

When his latest offspring are born he will have fathered ten children by ten mothers in only ten years. And there have even been claims from two former girlfriends that he may have fathered a further four.

But the binman’s son, who lives on £44 a week income support and wakes up with a can of lager each morning, contributes just £5 a week to their upkeep.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Two Gateshead Men Arrested for Watching 9/11 Koran Burning Video

In a disturbing development, Northumbria Police in Gateshead last week arrested two men after they watched and shared a video on Facebook of a man burning the Koran in the US during the recent 9/11 commemoration at Ground Zero in New York.

The men were drinking in the Bugle pub, Leam Lane, Gateshead, when they were arrested after watching and sharing the videos.

Around 30 people staged a protest outside Gateshead police station on Wednesday evening, the 15th of September, following the arrests.

The group stood outside the doors to the police station with an England flag for about three hours watched by a contingent of uniformed officers.The protesters had gathered at around 8pm after the two men were arrested earlier in the day on ‘suspicion of inciting racial hatred’.

The protest continued until around 11pm when the two arrested men were bailed pending further enquiries.

           — Hat tip: Dazed & Confused[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Applause and Tension Over Rajoy’s Visit to Melilla

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, SEPTEMBER 16 — Opposition People’s Party leader Mariano Rajoy arrived today in Melilla for a controversial visit that has rekindled tension between Spain and Morocco, disputed beforehand by Moroccan Prime Minister Abas el Fasi. Nationalist party Istiqlal’s leader Abas el Fasi called the visit a “provocation” and an “open attack on the dignity and national sentiment of Moroccans”. Received at the airport by the President of Melilla, Juan Jose’ Imbroda, Rajoy was welcomed upon his arrival to the city centre by applause and shouts of “president, president” by groups of residents, while several Muslim activists protested. In contrast to former Premier Jose’ Maria Aznar’s visit a month ago to the autonomous city, the PP leader did not go to the Moroccan border, where Moroccan activists had gathered to protest. Tensions on the borders of the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla were rekindled in June, with the appearance of banners saying “occupied city”, hung by a group that advocates for the liberation of the two cities. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Western Sahara: Spain Caught Between Algeria and Morocco

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, SEPTEMBER 17 — ‘Rabat and Algiers press Madrid over Sahara’, is today’s headline on the front page of the newspaper El Mundo. The daily writes that Morocco is preparing “a high-level offensive at the UN General Assembly, in an attempt to win the battle for the Western Sahara”. According to the article, the debate on the region that will be held next week in the UN headquarters “is causing Morocco and Algeria to put high pressure on the Spanish government, which is now trying to keep an impossible balance between the opposition views of these two neighbouring countries”. Rabat refuses to celebrate the referendum on self-determination for the former Spanish colony, approved by the UN. The country has offered an alternative, proposing a plan for autonomy, which has been rejected by the Polisario Front and by Algeria. Special UN envoy for the region, Christopher Ross, has told Morocco that any decision on the region’s future must be approved by the Sahrawi people. The Spanish Premier, Jose’ Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, will have an informal meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with the Moroccan monarch Mohamed VI. It will be the first meeting after the border tensions in Melilla. According to El Mundo, “putting more pressure” on the two autonomous Spanish cities in Morocco is part of Morocco’s “offensive” to convince Spain “to back its position and not to block its plans”.

This strategy reportedly also includes the checks which will be carried out by the Moroccan police, according to the newspaper, on inhabitants of Melilla who live outside the enclave. Algeria on the other hand “wants Spain to keep supporting the rights of the Sahrawi” and has asked to apply the UN resolution on the right of self-determination.

The article reveals that “the progressive estrangement of the two governments has caused a break of the agreements with Repsol and Gas Natural”. Gas Natural has appealed against the verdict of the international arbitration on August 16 for error of form. The company has to pay USD 2 billion to the Algerian State-controlled company Sonatrach for raising gas prices, according to the verdict. Yesterday’s visit by the number two of the Spanish Foreign Ministry to Algiers, according to the analysis, is part of an attempt to improve the ties with the North African country, which has apparently not appreciated the fact that a ransom has been paid for the release of the Spanish aid-workers who had been kidnapped by Al Qaeda.

“Spain”, the article concludes, “is looking terribly weak in front of the confrontation of Morocco and Algeria”. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Olmert: US Agreed to Absorb 100,000 Palestinian Refugees

Ehud Olmert said that during his tenure as prime minister he had reached an agreement with the Americans for them to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees as part of a peace deal, adding that he struck a deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas according to which Israel would absorb “a minimal amount” of refugees.

“The numbers discussed were below 20,000, but this would require and end to the conflict and a Palestinian announcement that they would not make any more demands,” Olmert told a Geneva Initiative conference Sunday evening.


Olmert claimed the Obama administration is not hostile towards Israel, saying, “There is no difference between (former US President George W.) Bush’s positions and (Barack) Obama’s positions.

“Obama would have been very pleased if the proposals presented by the current (Israeli) government would have been the same as those presented by us (Olmert’s government),” he said.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Missing Iraqi Antiquities Located in PM Maliki’s Office

More than 600 antiquities have been returned to the Iraqi National Museum after they were found in boxes in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office.

The missing historical artefacts, some dating back thousands of years, had been smuggled out of Iraq at various times and ended up in the US.

They were moved back to Iraq in early 2009 but went missing after that.

Antiquities Minister Qahtan al-Jubouri blamed “inappropriate handover procedures” for their disappearance.

It is not clear exactly how the artefacts disappeared from view after being returned to Iraq.

But the 638 items were found on Sunday packed in cardboard boxes in a storage room for kitchen equipment in the offices of Prime Minister Maliki.

The objects include jewellery and clay tablets as well as bronze figurines.

“It’s a very important collection,” said Amira Eidan, the director of the Iraqi National Museum.

“Some [are] from the beginning of the Islamic era, others are from [the] Sumerian period, some [are] Babylonian, Hellenistic — different periods and different cities.”

Tens of thousands of artefacts chronicling some 7,000 years of civilisation in Mesopotamia are believed to have been looted from Iraq in the chaos which followed the the US-led invasion in 2003.

Despite international efforts to track items down, fewer than half of the artefacts have so far been retrieved.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian[Return to headlines]

Will Extracting US Forces From Iraq Require Going to War With Iran?


At about the same time that Iraq was liberated from Saddam’s tyranny by US forces, reports began to surface regarding Iran’s rapidly developing program to produce weapons of mass destruction.

Now here are some points to remember:

One: If Saddam did have nukes, where are they? It’s not as though American forces did not search for them. They had detailed intelligence of the neighborhoods, street names, house numbers, and even down to the rooms where these WMDs were supposedly located.

Two: If Saddam did have nukes and knew he was going to be beaten and occupied by the Americans, and also knew he could never use his nukes against the US, he would have gotten rid of them. If so, where did they go?

Three: Saddam hated the Iranians but his hatred of Americans dwarfed his hate of Iranians. The only way he could have gotten rid of his WMDs as the US invasion began was to offer them to the Iranians or perhaps to the Syrians.

Preposterous, you say? Think again.

Saddam did send his air force, mostly MiG 29s to Iran in 1990-91, after his invasion of Kuwait. There is therefore a precedent. And according to intelligence reports at the time scores of trucks were reported to have left Iraq for Syria.

So today’s battle plans call for attacking Iran in order to get rid of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear threat. At the same time this would finally resolve the issue of Saddam’s missing WMDs, thus closing the chapter on the Iraq war.

The end result of sanctioning an attack by Israel against the Islamic Republic, it is believed in some circles, will encourage the people of Iran to rise up against the regime and install a democratic form of government.

That is wishful thinking as the opposite is more likely to occur…

[Return to headlines]

Far East

Has China Outgrown the One-Child Policy?

China’s one-child policy may have slowed population growth in the world’s most populous country. But it has also produced a rapidly aging population, a shrinking labor force, and a skewed sex ratio at birth, perils that many demographers say could threaten China’s economy and social fabric. As the most spectacular demographic experiment in history, the one-child policy is unprecedented in its scope and extremity. The measure is so sacrosanct that officials who have dared in the past to hint at its dissolution have been quickly silenced. But a growing number of experts contend that the policy, which turns 30 next week, has run its course.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Amnesty Makes Inroads Among Evangelicals

Research demonstrates that elites and the rank-and-file in many segments of society (e.g., business, religion, organized labor) are split over immigration issues.

Elites tend to manifest post-American, cosmopolitan ideologies, while their grassroots members preserve deep-seated patriotic beliefs and attitudes, including with regard to immigration.

This phenomenon has become more pronounced in recent times in religious groups. The views on immigration that are common among elites have spread among more conservative parts of American religion — at least with respect to organized religion’s leadership levels. The lobbies of more theologically (and politically) liberal institutions, such as the United Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, plus the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have long advocated mass amnesty, nonenforcement, and virtually uncontrolled immigration policies. Their biblically suspect immigration positions are now spreading… as the advocacy positions of certain evangelical denominations:

•A handful of evangelical organizations have adopted positions on immigration that approach the open-borders positions of the Religious Left.

•The shift toward promotion of mass immigration and amnesty among several evangelical leaders reflects the same disconnect between elite opinion and mass opinion within other segments of society.

•The leftward movement by the Religious Right on immigration appears driven by a few convinced leaders willing to play internal church politics to forward their cause.

•Achieving adoption of official resolutions favoring amnesty has, in notable instances, involved less-than-honest tactics.

•Liberal politicians have used the evangelical open-borders converts to serve their political purposes and to advance their amnesty/guestworker political agenda…


Leftward, Christian Soldiers…

[Return to headlines]

Drop in Illegal Immigration in Va. Due in Part to County Law Against Illegal Immigration, Demographer Says

An ordinance against illegal immigration in Virginia’s Prince William County is partly responsible for the decline in that state’s illegal immigrant population, according to a senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center, as reported in The Washington Post.

Demographer Jeffrey Passel co-wrote the Sept. 1 Pew Hispanic Center report, entitled “U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Flows Are Down Sharply Since Mid-Decade.” The report shows the number of “unauthorized immigrants” in Virginia declined substantially between March 2008 and March 2009.

Although the Pew report does not explain why the decline took place, on the day the study was released, The Washington Post reported the following: “The number [of illegals] in Virginia fell by 65,000 to 240,000, a decline that Jeffrey Passel, author of the report, attributed to the economy as well as to stricter legislation passed in Prince William County in 2007 and 2008.”…

[Return to headlines]

East German Mozambicans Campaign for Rights

A handful of tattered photos are all that remain of Mozambican Anacleto Amade’s two years in East Germany, where he worked in the 1980s under a labour scheme between the then-communist allies.

But his memories of friendships abroad and walking in the snow are scant comfort now. Like most of the 15,000 Mozambicans sent to work in East German factories, Amade said he has never been paid his full wages.

“When I see those pictures, the emotion is enormous, it is big. It is the size of the world. Because no one’s story is the same,” the 41-year-old said.

While in East Germany, the Mozambicans were paid only 40 percent of their salaries, they say. They were told the rest was sent to Mozambique for investment and pay-out upon their return.

But after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the labour pact ended and they were sent home to a nation that was still a Cold War proxy battlefield. They received only about $350 dollars (€270) each.

The Mozambicans in East Germany worked in steel, construction, manufacturing and textiles industries from 1979.

Locally they’re known as the MadGermans, meaning “those from Germany” in the Shangaan language.

“It’s pejorative,” MadGerman Association president Zeca Cossa said from their base at a park across from parliament in the Mozambican capital Maputo.

“We were there to learn these trades to build Mozambique. Then we returned and we were all unemployed. They told us ‘We don’t have money’,” said Cossa.

He believes the group was sent to repay East Germany for the weapons sold on credit to liberation party Frelimo during Mozambique’s fight for independence against Portugal from 1964 and during the civil war that ended in 1992.

“We didn’t go to train. We went there to work off Mozambique’s debt,” he said. “We were used like slaves.”

The MadGermans’ situation reflects nagging problems that remain in the country, one of the world’s poorest, after the 16-year civil war that pitted the communist Frelimo government against rebels supported by apartheid South Africa.

Despite the economy’s projected 6.5 percent growth this year, 60 percent of Mozambicans do not have work.

But the MadGermans see more sinister reasons behind their failure to build a life in their home country. They say the government, the nation’s biggest employer, refuses them work because they demonstrate for their rights.

“Most Africans don’t see. Even when they do see, they don’t speak,” said Cossa. “We who were in Europe can see.”

“But in Mozambique, if you talk, they kill you,” he said, referring to a demonstration in 2003 when police shot dead one of the group.

Every Wednesday around 300 MadGermans march through the city’s streets. Earlier this year they even attempted to storm parliament.

The labour ministry afterwards said it would make some payments to nearly 1,800 former workers, “definitely closing” the case, state radio reported.

However, the group’s reputation as troublemakers complicates finding a job anywhere. “Even when you work, when they find out you’re a MadGerman, you lose your job,” said Rose Ester Libombo, who worked in a lamp factory in Erfurt for two years.

“When they find out, they think you could make a noise, because we insist on our rights. They call us marginalised, confused,” said Libombo.

These days she sits waiting in the dusty park with other MadGermans in the shadow of a tattered German flag hanging off a tree stump, while street vendors dodge the refuse and heaps of ash as they ply their trade.

Asked about the way forward, Libombo smiles faintly. “I don’t have plans. You need money to make plans,” she says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Finland Looks to Cut Income Support for Young Refugees

The government wants to slash income support given to underage asylum seekers, reports the Seinäjoki-based newspaper Ilkka. Officials suspect that children have been sending their parents money that is intended to cover their own basic needs.

Currently, unaccompanied children receive up to 290 euros per month while their applications are processed.

The Interior Ministry proposes that unaccompanied children applying for international protection in Finland would instead receive pocket money ranging between 25 and 45 euros per month.

By the end of August, 2,700 people had applied for asylum in Finland this year, 200 of them children. Most young asylum seekers come from Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finland provides refugees arriving in the country with more direct income support than any other European Union country.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Germany: De Maizière Calls for More Tolerance Towards Immigrants

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Monday said German society needed to be more tolerant and accepting of immigrants. Meanwhile SPD boss Sigmar Gabriel suggested getting tough with foreigners unwilling to integrate.

Speaking to the daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, de Maizière said there needed to be a “culture of welcoming” in Germany that the government could not provide on its own. He said though immigrants needed to make greater efforts to integrate, Germans also needed to recognise the contributions of foreigners.

“Without immigration, combined with openness and tolerance, our country would be much poorer,” he said. “Fearmongering isn’t valid. We have to invest in building trust between people.”

The conservative Christian Democrat de Maizière also said Islam was “rooted” in Germany and there shouldn’t be neither “prejudice nor euphemisms” in the current debate about the integration of Muslims in German society sparked by former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin.

“Successful integration is determined by several factors. Most important is the personal responsibility of the immigrant,” he said. “We must demand this.”

The head of the centre-left opposition Social Democrats, Sigmar Gabriel, told the website of news magazine Der Speigel on Monday that Germany should take a tougher line with those immigrants unwilling to make an effort to integrate into society.

“Whoever continually rejects integration offers cannot stay in Germany — just like preachers of hatred in mosques paid from abroad,” he said.

Gabriel also said the country’s politicians had to take Germans’ concerns about safety seriously.

“Where there are criminal flash points, regardless of whether they are German or foreign, we need a stronger police presence on the ground,” he said, explaining that integration had to be bolstered by better language offerings, family centres, as well as all-day schools and trainee programmes.

But he also said integration success stories needed better promotion.

“Germany can be proud that so many children from guest worker families are now scientists, skilled workers, or entrepreneurs,” Gabriel said.

The SPD leader also defended the decision to kick Sarrazin out of the party because of his inflammatory rhetoric against Muslim immigrants.

“His theories are a mixture in the tradition of racial purity from the 1920s,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy-Libya: Mogavero (Cei), This is War Against Immigrants

(ANSAmed) — ROME, SEPTEMBER 14 — “What aggravates this episode even more is that one of the reasons used to justify Libya’s fire is that it was deemed to be a boat carrying immigrants. The matter does not soften the seriousness of profiles, if evolving rejections become armed attacks then we are looking at a declaration of war against immigrants”.

Speaking to ANSA, the statement was made by monsignor Domenico Mogavero, bishop of Mazara del Vallo and president of the Council of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) for legal affairs.

Mogavero emphasised that “The problem is always the same, in other words jurisdiction over the waters of the Mediterranean: Libya claims 72 miles of territorial waters for itself, international law only recognises 12 and therefore the problem remains unsolved because none of the two positions can be joined up. At this point what really worries us is the fact that there is no political initiative to deal with or even look at the situation. We are witnessing real and tangible inertia by the Italian government”. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Senator Menendez Wants CIR During Lame Duck Session

On…”Al Punto,” the Spanish-language TV network Univision’s Sunday morning news program, Sen. Robert Menendez said he will introduce “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation in hopes of getting it passed during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.

“If we are going to be ready for the opportunity that perhaps will exist during the session after the elections — where many senators are retiring and have the freedom to vote without political considerations — we have to have something so that we can make progress at that moment in November,” the New Jersey Democrat said in an interview with host Jorge Ramos.

If the bill does not pass in November, he said, he and other supporters of the legislation will be ready to move when the new Congress convenes in January.

In a separate segment of the same program, Ramos interviewed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who rejected claims that the state’s controversial new immigration law, widely known as SB 1070, is racist and anti-Hispanic.

“The Hispanic population is part of our DNA, and that’s why it’s so painful when persons think that it is based in racism,” Brewer said. (This is a translation of the program’s Spanish-language voice-over of her remarks.) She called Hispanics “a fundamental part of our culture.”

“We passed SB 1070 because we can’t accept the costs of illegal immigration,” Brewer told Ramos.

[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Christianity Gets Flayed at Home of Liberty Bell

Guide: ‘George Washington didn’t even attend church!’

A Christian chaplain has written to officials at the nation’s historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia asking them to provide a better experience for visitors after a tour guide there dissed the Christian beliefs of the Founders, saying, “Washington didn’t even go to church.”

The letter from Pastor Todd DuBord, now the chaplain for the enterprises of actor, martial arts champion and philanthropist Chuck Norris, was sent to the superintendent of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, where some of the nation’s founding documents were assembled and where the Liberty Bell now is exhibited.


Among the guide’s statements that DuBord challenged:

  • “George Washington didn’t even attend church!”
  • “While the NPS guide physically hunched over, mimicked and mocked one carrying and swinging an oversized Bible in his hand, he said to the crowd: ‘Even if I said the founders were Christians, how could we really know? Just because people carry a big ol’ Bible in their hand, they can still be atheists!”
  • “Most of these men owned slaves. How could good Christians do that?”
  • “We know that Benjamin Franklin was a deist.”
  • “We don’t really know for sure about their religion. It’s open for interpretation. You’ll have to do your own study on that.”

“In the very house in which they adopted a Creator-filled Declaration of Independence, not one positive comment was made about any one of the Founders’ Christian faiths,” DuBord wrote.

He said the group was stunned, then ordered quickly by the guide into the next room.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Bloodsucking Warrior Worms Destroy and Eat the Enemy

Parasitic worms may possess warrior castes just as social insects do — fearsome soldiers that rip and swallow enemies with their mouths to protect their colonies.

These bloodsucking worms could shed new light on how sociality evolved, researchers said.

Trematodes are parasitic flatworms commonly known as flukes. These flattened oval or worm-shaped creatures feed off their hosts’ blood using muscular, pumping mouths — as they have no anuses, their bodily wastes blurt out from their mouths as well. [Video — Watch a trematode devour its enemy whole.]

It might seem unlikely that trematodes can form complex societies, since their brains consist only of a pair of nerve cell clusters. Still, researchers now find these flatworms can form colonies with standing armies and castes of reproductive breeders, just as seen with termites.

Slow, fat breeders

Scientists focused on trematodes infecting mollusks such as marine snails. These parasites castrate their hosts and clone themselves over and over again, reaching numbers totaling up to 40 percent of their victim’s mass. Several different species of trematodes can infest a single host at the same time.

Past studies had revealed the flatworm species known as Himasthla species B, which infects the California horn snail, Cerithidea californica, had reproductive breeders roughly 1.5-to-2-millimeters long. (For comparison, a pinhead is 2 mm in diameter.) However, in addition to these “primary morphs,” the investigators discovered smaller, thinner “secondary morphs,” which possessed relatively huge mouths they used as weapons.

“These sleek, agile soldiers defend the worm colony from invaders,” said researcher Ryan Hechinger, a zoologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The other caste is comprised of reproductives, which are slow, big, fat, slug-like things that specialize on creating offspring.”

The warrior worms are each 0.5 percent to 4 percent the size of breeders in terms of bulk, yet their mouths are roughly the same size as those of their swollen compatriots. Whereas breeders barely moved, warriors were very active, wriggling about five times more…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Former Al Qaeda: Islamist Terror Damages Islam

Forget Western elite apologists and the aggressive American Muslim leadership, the Arab/Muslim heartland has little difficulty comprehending the American sensitivities about building a mosque on ground zero. 58% of the Arab world saw the mosque as “a project of folly” and even more, 63% consider America to be a tolerant country. They know that if the West is beginning to view Islams suspiciously, it is because Islamists attempts to convert the world by force to Islam is giving the religion a bad name. So, instead of demanding that the world treat Islam as if it has nothing to do with Islamism, they demand that Jihadist cease and desist their terrorist activities. Noman Benotman, A Libyan former Al Qaeda member writes:

In New York, your un-Islamic actions have caused hurt, loss, pain and anguish to thousands of innocent people and their families. One consequence is that those Muslims seeking to build a House of God in New York are today being compared to Nazis.

And now we hear that on the anniversary of your attack an American preacher is even planning to burn the Quran in revenge! Indeed Muslims living in democratic and free societies around the world are now experiencing the consequences of your irresponsible acts.


As he hoped, the letter got the attention of American Indian Muslim CNN talk show host, Fareed Zakaria. As could have been expected, Zakaria saw an opportunity to forward his contention that Al Qaeda alone is a threat…

[Return to headlines]

Metal Smasher Makes Aluminum as Strong as Steel

Snuffing out a cigarette butt with a 10-ton boot would be excessive, but using the equivalent on certain metals can yield amazing results. By smashing an aluminum alloy between two anvils, researchers have created a metal that’s as strong as steel but much lighter. If the process can be commercialized, it could yield better components for aircraft and automobiles, as well as metal armor light enough for soldiers to wear in battle.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Superiority Complex: The Left, Muslims, Islam

The people of most nations have a natural tendency to believe themselves superior because of their culture, religion and way of life. Such a belief not only makes for a healthy dose of national pride, but also serves as an immune system rallying the people to fight off invasions and maintain their way of life against the winds of change.

Today in the First World however, liberals attack such beliefs in their own countries as reactionary and dangerous. Those who do believe that their country is better or that their culture is superior, are mocked as ignorant, stigmatized as bigoted and routinely compared to Nazis. This is the liberal reductio ad absurdum which reduces all forms of pride in one’s group, any sense of cultural worth and national exceptionalism to jackboots and straight armed salutes. Pinning all the blame on the “National” half of National Socialist, while completely overlooking the “Socialist” part, which had a good deal to do with the economic problems that the Nazis decided to loot their way out of, not to mention the centuries of historical context that made Nazism what it was, was a convenient way for globalists to attack nationalists for reasons that had nothing to do with WW2. And everything to do with their ideological belief that the Nation-State was the great enemy of human progress.

But what happens when people who do believe that their culture, their nationality and their religion are superior immigrate into nations where the host population has been taught that they are no better than anyone else?

Contrary to liberal dogma, the result can never be tolerance. Only intolerance. And when the cultural and national sense of superiority of new immigrants is encouraged, while that of the native population is discouraged, conflict is inevitable. Under such conditions, assimilation and adaptation are out of the conquest. Why would you want to adapt to an inferior culture? Why would you respect people who don’t respect themselves?

Violence by new immigrants is met by appeasement which only feeds an existing superiority complex. Liberals treat every act of violence as a response to discrimination by a racist host society, that must be remedied with more benefits, apologies and kowtowing. A process that only convinces the new immigrants that they really are superior. Because for all the talk of tolerance, they are entitled to special privileges, that the natives not. New immigrants who come from cultures where there is no notion of equality, and a wide gap between the high and the low, may accept tolerance from their betters, but not from their inferiors. Tolerance and charity from your inferiors is an insult that must be answered by showing them their place.


The common denominator is that First World countries with very generous immigration policies are being depicted as monsters for trying to exercise some very limited authority over immigration. The United States is a country of immigrants, France and England are filled with refugees and their children, and their children’s children. Israel has taken in everyone from Sudanese refugees to Vietnamese boat people. But somehow it’s never enough. Because domestic liberals will always insist that immigrants from more backward parts of the world, have more rights than the country’s own citizens, particularly than those citizens who used to be immigrants and actually paid their dues. Instead liberals prefer refugees, bordercrossers and migrant workers, often with shady backgrounds and little to contribute except social problems.


The great triumph of liberalism has been to hijack a formerly optimistic culture, and transform it into a pessimistic one, feeding it nightmares about nuclear war, global poverty, pollution and global warming. Snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory, they successfully turned the American dream into the American nightmare. Liberal culture took an America which had been the symbol of commercial triumph, and forced it to see itself as its enemies saw it, glutinous, barbarous, ignorant and violent. And that pattern has held true across the First World, from Australia to Israel to Italy. Only a handful of nations with a great deal of national integrity and resistance to outside influences, such as Japan, have been able to resist being force fed this mirror history of themselves, in which everything that they valued proved to be a crime of one sort or another.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs

Dogs are the most diverse-looking mammals around

From the droopy Bassett hound to the sleek-and-slim Weimaraner, dogs show an amazing diversity in body shape. A study published in The American Naturalist in 2010 found that the differences between dog breeds’ skulls are as pronounced as the differences between completely separate mammal species. A Collie skull, for example, is as different from a Pekingese skull as a cat’s skull is from a walrus’s.

All of this diversity makes dogs a great species for studying how genes work, allowing researchers to link genes to certain traits — like what makes Shar-Peis wrinkly and dachshunds so stubby.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

U.N. Calls for Sustainable Development, Global Governance

The 65th meeting of the U.N. General Assembly kicked off this week with a call from its new president, Joseph Deiss, for the 192-nation body to reclaim the “center of global governance,” in order to achieve sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000.


The goals of sustainable development are quite worthy and can be achieved much more efficiently through free market forces. This approach, however, eliminates the need for the bureaucracy that defines, implements, and enforces sustainable development through the U.N. plan. The U.N.’s version of sustainable development requires government to define what constitutes sustainable development in a given community through the adoption of a comprehensive land use plan and related international codes. Citizens are required to comply with the plan or face serious fines, penalties, and even the loss of property.

People — especially politicians — need to step back and consider this question: is the function of government to dictate the behavior of its citizens by limiting their individual freedom? Marxists must reply with a resounding “yes.” This is precisely the effect of the U.N.’s version of sustainable development.

Many Americans, on the other hand, believe that the legitimate function of government is to do precisely what the citizens who created it and the Constitution instruct it to do — and nothing more. Many Americans believe that they should be able to live where they choose, and can afford to live. This fundamental choice is taken away from people subjected to comprehensive land use plans that dictate where, and under what conditions, people must live. Freedom and sustainable development are mutually exclusive.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Why We Need a New Green Revolution to Stop Hunger

World leaders are meeting in New York this week to discuss progress on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. The world’s nations have failed miserably in addressing one of the main goals, the fight against hunger. Researchers believe that small farmers, not large-scale farms, are the key to feeding the planet. By SPIEGEL staff.

Food was scarce for Dorca Mutua last summer. No rain had fallen for months. Mutua, 35, watched as first her calf and then her cow died. “There was no more grass,” the farmer says. What little she was able to coax from the ground was only enough to provide her family with one meager meal of corn porridge a day.

In 2004, Mutua had moved with her eight children and her mother-in-law to Vololo, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where she bought two hectares (five acres) of land. Her husband had died, and land in their home village was too expensive.

Mutua had little knowledge of agriculture and no money for expensive tools or modern seeds. Irrigation was out of the question. When the nearby river ran dry — and it ran dry often — Mutua set out with a donkey and a few canisters and walked to the next river, which was 20 kilometers away. She went there and back every two days.

She tried everything. She constructed terraces to help keep moisture in the soil, with no success. She tried planting trees to retain water, but in vain. Three small mango trees on her plot of land have borne no fruit and are slowly withering.

The Backbone of Food Production

Dorca Mutua’s family reveals the modern face of hunger. Along with the urban poor living in slums in the developing world’s megacities, small farmers often suffer the most from poverty and deprivation, laboring all day without ever having enough to eat.

Yet it is these small farmers who form the backbone of global food production. Despite miserable conditions, around 2 billion farmers produce the daily bread for most of humanity.

“More than half of the world’s grain demand is produced by small family farms,” says Carlos Seré in Nairobi, one of the leaders of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). These small farmers, Seré says, will prove crucial as the global population increases by a further 2 to 3 billion people during the coming decades.

Categorical Failure

This Monday, world leaders are gathering at United Nations headquarters in New York City to address the UN’s “Millennium Development Goals.” The fight against hunger, along with education and healthcare, tops the list.

The delegates have failed categorically on the first point. Leaders at the UN summit in New York in the millennium year 2000 declared food security their top priority, setting a goal of reducing the number of hungry in developing countries by half by 2015, compared to 1990 levels. That would involve reducing the total to around 600 million people.

No discernable progress has been made toward this goal. In fact, quite the opposite is true — the number of hungry has increased sharply in recent years, at times to over 1 billion. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 925 million people currently suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Estimates say a further billion are undernourished, suffering from so-called silent hunger. Undernourished children grow more slowly, their mental development is often delayed and they are more susceptible to diseases. One study showed that people who had received insufficient vitamins and minerals as small children later earned 40 percent less than those who had been well nourished.

If the world leaders gathering in New York are serious about changing course and reducing hunger in a sustainable way, they must answer a crucial question: What actually helps?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]