Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120511

Financial Crisis
»Chinese Import-Export Drops. Doubts About Recovery
»EU Sees Italy on Track to Balance Budget
»Eurozone Fights for Its Future on All Fronts
»India: Central Bank Moves to Strengthen the Rupee
»Italy: Anti-Tax Protesters Clash With Police in Naples
»Italy: Yield Falls at Bond Auction
»Italy: Human-Sized Dummies Hung Around Rome in Protest at Suicides
»JPMorgan Chase Loses Big in Derivatives Gamble
»Meet Your Global Tax Collector
»Obama: Europe is Slow on Crisis
»CAIR Asks Pentagon to Dismiss Officer Who Taught ‘Total War’ On Islam
»Congressman Calls for Immediate Resignation of TSA Head, Calls Agency ‘Bloated, Broken Bureaucracy’
»Creating a New Vision of Islam in America
»Ex-White House Hopeful in Swiss Passport U-Turn
»Liberalism and Group-Think
»Machine Casts Phantom Votes in the Bronx Invalidating Real Ones
»Naming Street for Cop Killed at Mosque Could ‘Open Old Wounds, ‘ Locals Say
»New WTC Tower May Not be Crowned Tallest U.S. Building
»Spring Fling: Prehistoric Horseshoe Crabs Spawn on Moonlit Beach
»Stakelbeck: Anti-Semites Threaten Ahead of My Speech At Portland State
»The ‘GlobalMay Manifesto’ of the Occupy Movement
»TSA Toddler Terror: Family Marched Off Plane; 18-Month-Old on No Fly List
»US Military Court Taught Officers ‘Islam is the Enemy’
»Why Was the US Military Teaching ‘Total War’ On Islam?
»‘Occasional’ Canadian Passport Getting El-Shukrijumah Around the World
Europe and the EU
»15 Firms to Bid for Gas Drilling Rights Off Cyprus
»Caroline Glick: Professor Netanyahu’s Lessons
»Estonia to Open Maritime Museum in Seaplane Hangar
»Eurotunnel Offers to Buy Seafrance
»France’s Hollande Declares 1. 17m Euro Assets
»Germany Weighs Ban on Salafists After Clashes
»Germany: Eurozone Would Survive Greek Exit
»Germans Can’t Fathom US Aversion to Obama’s Healthcare Reform
»Greece: More Than Half Police Officers Voted Neonazi Party
»Iranian Death Threat Sends Rapper Underground
»Italy: Fliers Signed Red Brigades Found in Town Near Milan
»Norway: Victim’s Brother Hurls Shoe at Breivik
»Norway: Witnesses Relive Breivik’s Pitiless Murders
»One in Ten Swedish Teen Girls ‘Forced’ Into Sex
»The French Will Never Leave the Cafes Now
»The Non-Jewish Jews Who Became the Scholars of an Ideological Dreamworld
»UK Bans Self-Defense Expert From Entering Country
»UK: Asian Sex Gang ‘Were Acting Within Cultural Norms’
»UK: Anglo-Jewry’s Leaders Must Act
»UK: Bloodlust at the 1922 Committee
»UK: How to Avoid Airport Security: Wear a Burka
»UK: Muslim Sex Gangs Not Asian
»UK: Man Stabbed to Death in Front of His Family ‘For Asking Parents of Crying Child in Restaurant if She Was Okay’
»UK: Protesting Bigots
»UK: Starkey Makes ‘Cultural’ Link to Gang Jailed for Sexually Exploiting Girls
»UK: Schools Are Deliberately Failing to Correct Spelling Errors to Avoid ‘Damaging Pupils’ Self Esteem’
»UK: Scandal of Care Firms That Failed to Protect Girls From Grooming
»UK: The British Landscape Was Created by British Writers
»UK: You Are Going Have to Spell Out How Self-Defence Instruction Would Incite Vigilante Violence Mrs May…
»Welcome to France, Where the Anti-Israel Vote is Now Key
»Bosnia: As Ratko Mladic Trial Begins, Followers Are Poised to Take Power in Srebrenica
North Africa
»Tunisia: First Salafi Party Approved
»UN: Prisoners Still Face Torture in Post-Gadhafi Libya
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israel Facing Major West Bank Uprising Over Palestinian Hunger Strike
South Asia
»Afghan Commanders Show New Defiance in Dealings With Americans
»Bail Bid by India Marines Turned Down
»India: Moon and Venus Set Over Historic Old Delhi Mosque
»Indonesia: Police Failed to Protect Ahmadiyah Mosque From Attacks by Islamic Fundamentalist Group in Singaparna
»Man Wearing Afghan National Army Uniform Kills American Soldier, Official Says
»The Future of Islamic Intellectualism in Indonesia
Far East
»Farming Aquarium Species to Save Them
»Lack of Babies Could Mean the Extinction of the Japanese People
»Sony Slides to Three-Decade Low on Strategy Doubts
»Spain: Ancestor Giant Panda Found in Aragon
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Ethiopian Muslims Protest Government ‘Interference’
»Irish Court Says it Had to Free Man Set for Deportation
»Millions of Illegal Immigrants Are Using a Massive Scam to Get Bigger Tax Refunds Than You Are
Culture Wars
»Bad Mommy

Financial Crisis

Chinese Import-Export Drops. Doubts About Recovery

Exports grew by 4.9, but forecast increase was 8.5. Imports grew by only 0.3 compared to 5.3 in March and 11% forecast. Domestic demand in sharp decline. At the Canton Fair orders down by 2.3% compared to last year.

Beijing (AsiaNews) — Chinese exports and imports slowed in April, raising fears for a real recovery in the second world economy. Among the causes of the slowdown are the lowering of domestic demand and the European crisis.

Figures released today show that exports increased by 4.9 % in April, compared to an average annual growth of 8.5 and 8.9 in March. Imports grew by only 0.3% compared to 5.3 in March and 11% forecast.

The figures show a slowing Chinese economy which in recent years — with the credit crisis — has seen large injections of public money with inflation and high property prices. The government then attempted to correct the imbalance by restricting the volume of loans and raising the value of the Yuan. The slowdown in the month of April is one of the first signs or the knock-on effects of this policy, but experts fear in the near future there will be even more problems, with many concerned that 2012 will be one of the most negative years to date in China.

The reduction of import-export is mainly due to falling domestic demand. For example: in April crude oil imports fell to 22.21 million tons, the lowest volume since December. But the demand from abroad has also dropped. The Chinese economic model always depended on exports, facilitated by highly competitive prices. But the global crisis in the U.S. and Europe has decreased the demand from these countries. A few days ago, on May 5, the Canton Fair, a semiannual event for trade, closed. Export orders fell by 2.3% compared to last year. Even companies linked to the production of Christmas decorations and toys have seen a reduction in requests, resulting in further layoffs and plant closings.

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

EU Sees Italy on Track to Balance Budget

GDP to recover slightly in second half of 2012

(ANSA) — Brussels, May 11 — Italy is on track to balance its budget in 2013 and will not need any additional budget austerity measures, while its economy should begin to pick up in the second half of 2012, the European Union’s commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, Olli Rehn, said on Friday.

Rehn made his remarks during the presentation of the EU’s latest economic forecast which showed Italy’s GDP falling by 1.4% this year, as opposed to its prediction of a 1.3% drop in February, while the economy should expand by 0.4% in 2013, slightly less than the 0.5% indicated by the Italian government.

According to the commissioner, Italy’s economy would continue to retreat in the first half of 2012 to then see a “slight recovery” in the latter half of the year that should gain momentum next year.

Rehn said he was “very pleased with the support Italy has given to boosting investment” which he said would not only boost its economy but also that of the EU as a whole.

In its spring forecast, the EU said that Italy will balance its budget in 2013 “thanks to a supplementary budget adjustment equal to over half a percentage point of GDP”.

The EU report said Italy would have a budget deficit equal to 2% of GDP in 2013 and 1.1% in 2013. This was significantly greater than the respective deficits of 1.7% and 0.5% forecast by the Italian government.

According to the EU, Italy’s massive public debt will be 123.5% of GDP this year and 121.8% in 2013, which was in line with Rome’s prediction of 123.4% and 121.6% respectively.

Unemployment in Italy, which currently stands at 9.8%, its highest since January 2004, is expected to continue to rise this year and next by more than a full percentage point over the previous two-year period, while in the EU unemployment will hit a record 11% in 2012 and remain at the same level in 2013, the report said.

The spring report showed GDP in the euro area stalling in 2012, slipping by 0.3% to then pick up next year with an increase of 1%, while for the full 27-nation EU GDP will be unchanged this year to then climb by 1.3% in 2013.

The 17-nation euro area is also expected to see a budget deficit equal to 3.2% of GDP this year and 2.9% in 2013, while in the EU as a whole the deficit will be 3.6% in 2012 and 3.3% next year.

Looking at the EU economy as a whole, Rehn said “while a recovery is apparent the situation remains very fragile,” to then added that “without further concrete actions growth will remain slow”.

According to the EU commissioner, high unemployment will continue to depress spending in the EU, while banks will continue to keep credit tight in order to improve their own balance sheets.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Eurozone Fights for Its Future on All Fronts

The eurozone was fighting on four fronts on Friday, with deficits clouding growth, Greek membership at risk, Spanish banks in trouble, and the outlook hanging on talks between paymaster Germany and a new French president.

EU forecasts showed the eurozone heading for only a slow recovery from recession later this year and still struggling with budget deficits, limiting the options if governments want to bolster growth.

Meanwhile Greece, the epicentre of the debt crisis, was in limbo as political leaders tried to form a government after voters Sunday rejected the austerity policies agreed in exchange for a massive EU-IMF bailout deal.

Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos, who backed the debt rescue plan as finance minister, has been tasked with forming a coalition by Saturday after the largest two parties failed, with new polls a distinct possibility.

Germany, the EU’s strongest economy, insisted on Friday that whatever the outcome, Athens must stick to the terms of the bailout accord. “We want to help Greece … but Greece has to want to be helped. If they deviate from the agreed reform path, then the payment of further tranches of aid is not possible,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. “We want to keep the eurozone together. The future of Greece in the eurozone now lies in the hands of Greece,” he added.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble appeared to suggest the eurozone could cope if Greece left, noting: “Europe won’t sink that easily. “We have learned a lot these past two years and have built protection mechanisms,” Schaeuble told the regional Rheinische Post. “The danger of contamination for other countries in the eurozone has become weaker and the eurozone as a whole has become more resistant.”

Whether Germany can hold the line on Greece may depend on relations with France, the second-biggest eurozone economy where an anti-austerity backlash in Sunday’s presidential poll helped put Socialist Francois Hollande in office.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly supported the loser Nicolas Sarkozy in the election and the ‘Merkozy’ power couple had appeared confident that they would continue to set the rules on resolving the eurozone crisis. Hollande, who campaigned strongly for a much greater focus on growth, meets Merkel on Tuesday for an exchange on the crisis which could be crucial.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

India: Central Bank Moves to Strengthen the Rupee

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asks exporters to convert 50 per cent of their foreign exchange holdings into rupees. They will also have to use their entire foreign exchange holdings before buying any more. Since august of last year, the rupee lost 21 per cent against the US dollar.

Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) — The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, has asked exporters to convert 50 per cent of their foreign exchange holdings into rupees within 14 days in order to boost the Indian currency. In 2011, the Indian rupee was one of ten worst performing Asian currencies.

Since August of last year, the rupee dropped 21 per cent against the US dollar. It reached its lowest point on 15 December at 54.3 rupees per US dollar.

This morning, following the RBI’s move, it stood at 53.83.

Exporters now have to use their entire foreign exchange holdings before buying any more.

This “will reduce demand for foreign currencies” and help shore up the rupee as a result, said Dariusz Kowalczyk of Credit Agricole-CIB.

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

Italy: Anti-Tax Protesters Clash With Police in Naples

At least one demonstrator hurt

(ANSA) — Naples, May 11 — Some 200 anti-tax protesters clashed with police in Naples Friday.

The demonstrators threw eggs full of red paint at an office of the tax-collecting agency Equitalia, as well as letting off firecrackers.

They then threw bottles and stones at police officers who had moved in to protect the office.

The police baton-charged the crowd and at least one protester was hurt.

Protests against taxes have been rising in recession-hit Italy as austerity bites.

A businessman held a revenue-service clerk hostage for six hours a week ago.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Yield Falls at Bond Auction

Down to 2.34% from 2.84% despite Greece fears

(ANSA) — Rome, May 11 — The yield fell at an Italian bond auction Friday despite rising fears of fresh turmoil in the eurozone because of the Greek government deadlock.

The yield on 12-month Treasury bonds fell to 2.34% from 2.84% a month ago.

The Treasury easily sold all seven million euros’ worth of bonds, with demand measuring 12.5 million euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Human-Sized Dummies Hung Around Rome in Protest at Suicides

Monti government should step down, says group responsible

(ANSA) — Rome, May 11 — Members of the far-right party La Destra, mimicking the recent wave of suicides being attributed to the economic crisis, hung numerous life-sized dummies from bridges and around the city of Rome early Friday. Party spokesperson Giuliano Castellino said that the suicides were like a “war report” and were caused by “cuts and elimination of rights from a non-elected government imposed by Europe”.

“How many people have to die before this government goes home?” said Castellino.

Premier Mario Monti took the helm of a government of technocrats in November after Silvio Berlusconi resigned amid the euro crisis. Italians who have killed themselves out of despair from the widespread economic crisis are on the rise, averaging one a day, according to the Eures think tank. La Destra has planned a protest for June 9 in Naples, calling it a day against the “government of banks and loan sharks”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

JPMorgan Chase Loses Big in Derivatives Gamble

The biggest bank in the US has squandered $2 billion (1.54 billion euros) in an investment aimed at profiting from the eurozone debt crisis. The mistaken gamble has thrust the regulation question back into the spotlight.

The huge loss had emerged over the past six weeks in an investment portfolio originally designed to help the bank control financial market risks, JPMorgan Chase announced late on Thursday.

Admitting that there were “many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment” involved in managing the portfolio, JPMorgan’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told a hastily scheduled news conference that the investment “proved to be riskier, more volatile and less effective as an economic hedge than we thought.”

“We will admit it, we will learn from it, we will fix it, and we will move on,” Dimon said, adding that the bank would seek to unload the portfolio in a “responsible manner” to limit damage to its shareholders.

However, analysts told the AP news agency they were skeptical that the investment had been designed to protect against financial market risks, and that the bank appeared to have been betting for its own profit.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Meet Your Global Tax Collector

With characters like George Soros and his self-serving institution behind the OECD, Soros having been convicted and fined for insider trading in 2002, a conviction that was more recently upheld by the European Court of Human Rights,” it would be laughable for such an enterprise to pose as international arbiters fighting financial fraud. Yet that is exactly what the OECD portends to do — and most recently announced the creation of “Tax Inspectors Without Borders.” Its name invoking the equally well-intentioned, but ultimately fraudulent “Reporters Without Borders,” another Soros-US State Department building block for what is to be a “global empire,” it aims to “to help developing countries bolster their domestic revenues by making their tax systems fairer and more effective.”

In reality it aims at imposing an international standard upon tax collection, and as each nation is financially destroyed by international bankers, IMF loansharking, and foreign-funded destabilization, the austerity measures demanded to be paid in “bailouts” and for “reconstruction” will be managed and coached by the OECD’s new tentacle to ensure every unit of currency ends up in globalist coffers.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama: Europe is Slow on Crisis

US President Obama criticised Europe’s sluggish response to the eurozone crisis. “Europe is still in a difficult state partly because they didn’t take some of the decisive steps that we took early on in this recession,” he said. The president injected $800 billion into the economy soon after taking office.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


CAIR Asks Pentagon to Dismiss Officer Who Taught ‘Total War’ On Islam

Washington, May 10, 2012 — Training suggested destroying Mecca and Medina using ‘Hiroshima’ tactics

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today called on the Department of Defense (DoD) to dismiss the instructor who taught fellow officers that only a “total war” on Islam would protect America, that they should use “Hiroshima” tactics, target civilian populations, and abandon the Geneva Conventions. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently applauded the DoD for dropping the Islamophobic training course attended by senior officers and for instituting a complete review of training relating to Islam and Muslims. CAIR is asking that the officer who taught that course at the Defense Department’s Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., be dismissed from his position at the college.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Congressman Calls for Immediate Resignation of TSA Head, Calls Agency ‘Bloated, Broken Bureaucracy’

(NaturalNews) The phrase, “bloated, broken bureaucracy” could apply to a number of federal government agencies, but without question there is no more apt description of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In fact, one could add a few more adjectives, such as inept, arrogant, self-serving and — did I say inept?

So bad is the agency’s performance and reputation that more and more lawmakers are calling for this sad experiment in government-run airport security to come to an end. The latest call comes from Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., who says that, for starters, TSA chief John Pistole should step down immediately.

Citing thousands of complaints about the agency in recent months, along with a litany of outrageous “searches” and behavior — all in the name of “just doing our job” (the same excuse the Nazi guards used in the Nuremberg trials) — Broun has basically pointed at the hulking 800-pound gorilla in the room in stating the obvious.

“It is clear that the TSA has become nothing more than a bloated, broken bureaucracy which uses its extensive power to violate traveling Americans’ civil liberties while doing little to ensure their safety,” Broun said in a letter to Pistole.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Creating a New Vision of Islam in America

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a leading moderate Muslim leader in the U.S., was once the lead cleric associated with the proposed Islamic community center some critics called the “ground zero mosque.” In late 2010, a debate over the location of the community center, now called the Cordoba House, became a contentious issue during the midterm elections.

During the debate, Rauf was called a “radical Muslim” and a “militant Islamist” by critics of the proposed community center. He was accused of sympathizing with the Sept. 11 hijackers and having connections to Hamas. “For those who actually know or have worked with the imam, the descriptions are frighteningly — indeed, depressingly — unhinged from reality,” political reporter Sam Stein wrote last August for The Huffington Post. “The Feisal Abdul Rauf they know spent the past decade fighting against the very same cultural divisiveness and religious-based paranoia that currently surrounds him.”

In his new book, Moving the Mountain, Rauf details the events in his own life that have shaped his religious philosophy. He also recounts the struggle to build the Lower Manhattan community center, which was designed to bring together Muslims with people from other religions. “That was my goal,” he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross, “because the world needs that today. Now, what happened at that time clearly wasn’t the perfect solution, and what happened did not reflect my dream or my purpose in the right way. But the dream still exists and continues to exist.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ex-White House Hopeful in Swiss Passport U-Turn

Former White House hopeful Michele Bachmann said on Thursday she has decided to withdraw from having Swiss nationality as well as a US passport, because, she proclaimed: “I am a proud American citizen.”

The Republican and Tea Party favorite, who is running for re-election in the House of Representatives, made the U-turn announcement a day after a spokesperson said Bachmann was taking up Swiss citizenship for which she has been eligible through marriage for years.

“Today, I sent a letter to the Swiss Consulate requesting withdrawal of my dual Swiss citizenship, which was conferred upon me by operation of Swiss law when I married my husband in 1978,” the Minnesota congresswoman said in a statement.

“I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen. I am, and always have been, 100 percent committed to our US Constitution and the United States of America.

“As the daughter of an Air Force veteran, stepdaughter of an Army veteran and sister of a Navy veteran, I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known,” she added.

On Wednesday, US media quoted Bachmann’s spokeswoman Becky Rogness as saying that some of the couple’s children had recently “wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Liberalism and Group-Think

As I was sitting in a restaurant eating breakfast and reading the newspaper, I perused the voting records of the nine Supreme Court justices during 2003. We had three conservative justices: Rehnquist, Thomas, and Scalia; three liberal justices: Stevens, Ginsberg, and Souter; and three moderate and/or unpredictable justices: O’Connor, Kennedy, and Breyer. The conventional wisdom is that the conservatives and liberals typically vote as a block and the moderate/unpredictable judges determine the outcomes. I decided to check to see if this was really true.

I scanned over the 5-4 and the 6-3 votes and did a quick and dirty tabulation by scribbling on the margins of the newsprint. I found that the three liberal justices voted as a block 95% of the time for the 5-4 and 6-3 votes. The three conservative justices voted as a block 60% of the time on these votes. Thus, the conservative judges seemed to have far more independence of mind than the liberal justices.

Why did the three liberal justices almost always vote the same? I brainstormed and lined up all of possible answers I could think of. I systematically eliminated most of them as inadequate or implausible. In the end, the only explanation on my list which made sense was that the three justices came from the same ideological faction. But that could only be a partial answer. Supreme Court judges are appointed for life, are very independent, and can think and write what they like. Ideological similarity of background could account for the 60% agreement among the three conservative judges. It is an inadequate explanation for the astounding 95% agreement of the three liberal judges. Something was missing. I put forward the proposition that the missing ingredient was the phenomenon of group-think.


Welles’ book lacks the craftsmanship, erudition, and brilliance of the books by Tuchman and Adizes. His forte is explaining concepts. He offers a clear explanation of group-think and fills a gap left by Tuchman and Adizes.

“What is stupidity?” Welles asks. “Stupidity promotes maladaptive behavior by denying us information” and thus corrupts learning. This is achieved through the use of an inappropriate ‘schema’ — a master cognitive plan by which each person organizes information. It provides a ‘mental set’ which provides a context for interpreting behavior and a program of behavior. We become emotionally involved with the schemas we identify with and follow them to our own detriment. The schema rationalizes the believer’s relationship to the world while defining what he considers proper behavior in it. Invariably, each schema is accompanied by an ideology…The self-deceptive aspect of human nature is due to the role the schema plays in binding people together.”


Language is manipulated by group-think and “…affects the process of perception and makes it so ambiguous that people can accept clear discrepancies between their beliefs and actions in many important ego-defining situations…With perception rendered so ambiguous and subjective, stupidity is invited, if not promoted, as people usually can find some verbal framework in which they can rationalize their behavior and (find) some scapegoat or excuse to explain away their behaviors. Thus, it appears that the verbal nature of our schemas shapes human perception by blurring the boundary between unwelcomed fact and desired fancy.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Machine Casts Phantom Votes in the Bronx Invalidating Real Ones

Tests on an electronic voting machine that recorded shockingly high numbers of extra votes in the 2010 election show that overheating may have caused upwards of 30 percent of the votes in a South Bronx voting precinct to go uncounted.

WNYC first reported on the issue in December 2011, when it was found that tens of thousands of votes in the 2010 elections went uncounted because electronic voting machines counted more than one vote in a race.

A review by the state Board of Election and the electronic voting machines’ manufacturer ES&S found that these “over votes,” as they’re called, were due to a machine error. In the report issued by ES&S, when the machine used in the South Bronx overheated, ballots run during a test began coming back with errors.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Naming Street for Cop Killed at Mosque Could ‘Open Old Wounds, ‘ Locals Say

HARLEM — Harlem community board members told NYPD representatives that they will check with imams at two Harlem mosques before deciding whether to rename a street after a cop killed 40 years ago at the Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7 — saying it might open “old wounds.” “The biggest concern is you are opening up old wounds. This was explosive. Harlem was split down the middle,” a Community Board 10 member told Inspector Rodney Harrison, the commanding officer of the 32nd precinct, Wednesday night. Harrison had come before the board in a push to name 123rd Street, between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue — near the 28th Precinct station house — after Officer Phillip Cardillo. Harrison, who was joined by several former officers at CB 10’s transportation committee meeting, countered: “We are not looking to open old wounds but to heal old wounds.” Cardillo was killed April 4, 1972, after he and four officers responded to a fake “officer down” call from Mosque No. 7, at 116th Street and Lenox Avenue. The officers were beaten and Cardillo was shot. He died six days later. A member of the mosque was acquitted at trial for the shooting death.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

New WTC Tower May Not be Crowned Tallest U.S. Building

Because of a design change and architecture semantics, the new World Trade Center tower rising in New York City may come up short as the tallest U.S. building when it is completed, the Associated Press reports. The developer is eliminating a fiberglass-and-steel enclosure around the 408-foot-tall needle atop the 1,368-foot-tall tower, saying it could not be properly maintained or repaired.

As a result, it’s not clear whether the naked needle will be considered a spire or an antenna, a key distinction to the authorities on building height: Antennas don’t count. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey describes the needle as an “antenna tower.” Without a spire designation, One World Trade Center would be shorter than Chicago’s Willis Tower, nee Sears Tower, still the nation’s tallest building at 1,451 feet.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spring Fling: Prehistoric Horseshoe Crabs Spawn on Moonlit Beach

The arthropod orgy was well underway when Breanne Preisen trudged over the low dune onto the narrow beach, where tens of thousands of horseshoe crabs were getting down to the age-old business of reproduction. “There’s a female,” Preisen said, pointing at one of the peculiar sea-things crawling along an undeveloped stretch of the Delaware Bay shoreline. “She has a male attached to her.”

Preisen inspected the cluster of horseshoe crabs more closely, then corrected herself: “Two males!” She smiled. “It’s basically a mad dash to see who can get their boys to her girls first. That’s why they always come, just to mate. That’s it. I think it’s pretty cool.”

In one of nature’s longest-running — and oddest-looking — spring flings, spawning horseshoe crabs have been coming ashore here every May and June since prehistoric times. The shoreline is the breeding epicenter of a keystone species that’s being monitored closely by environmentalists and scientists after suffering a sharp population decline.

The ancient reproductive ritual is a surreal spectacle, with the bay’s beaches becoming crowded at high tide with harmless creatures that look like flattened Army helmets on top of hairy red spider legs. The long, bayonet-like spikes on the backs of their shells only add to the otherworldly allure of the living fossils, which leave millions of fertilized eggs in the Delaware sand each year.

Of course, there’s more than mere voyeuristic value to the Limulus polyphemus species: Horseshoe crabs and their eggs are food staples for endangered sea turtles as well as migrating shorebirds, and their unique blue blood contains an agent used to test drugs and prosthetic devices for infectious bacteria and to diagnose spinal meningitis.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Stakelbeck: Anti-Semites Threaten Ahead of My Speech At Portland State

I’ll be giving a speech this Monday night, May 14th, at Portland State University on behalf of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

Already, anti-Semites on campus are making threats: they have defaced posters promoting the event with swastikas and pro-Palestinain slogans.

Needless to say, these outrageous intimidation tactics will not work. This is not 1944 Germany.

Click here for my latest blog, which has all the details.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck[Return to headlines]

The ‘GlobalMay Manifesto’ of the Occupy Movement

The global Occupy movement wants a better world. Such a world is possible, and here’s how …

We are living in a world controlled by forces incapable of giving freedom and dignity to the world’s population. A world where we are told “there is no alternative” to the loss of rights gained through the long, hard struggles of our ancestors, and where success is defined in opposition to the most fundamental values of humanity, such as solidarity and mutual support. Moreover, anything that does not promote competitiveness, selfishness and greed is seen as dysfunctional. But we have not remained silent! From Tunisia to Tahrir Square, Madrid to Reykjavik, New York to Brussels, people are rising up to denounce the status quo. Our effort states “enough!”, and has begun to push changes forward, worldwide.

This is why we are uniting once again to make our voices heard all over the world this 12 May.


[JP note: Enough already.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

TSA Toddler Terror: Family Marched Off Plane; 18-Month-Old on No Fly List

TSA agents at Fort Lauderdale Airport ordered a family to get off a plane they had already boarded, saying that their eighteen-month-old child was on a no fly list as a terror suspect.

The child’s parents said they believe they were flagged up and ordered to leave the JetBlue flight because they and their daughter are of Middle Eastern descent.

“It’s absurd. It made no sense. Why would an 18-month-old child be on a no-fly list?” the girl’s father told ABC affiliate WPBF News.

The parents, who wish to remain anonymous, are both US citizens, born and raised in New Jersey, which is where they were headed before being ejected.

The family said that after they were “humiliated, embarrassed and picked on” they were marched off the plane, and ordered to stand in the terminal for half an hour by TSA agents.

“We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab.” the father said, referring to his wife’s traditional head scarf.

The TSA agents then eventually said that the family could re-board the flight without offering further explanation as to what had occurred. The family declined the offer and left the airport, saying they felt too ashamed to get back on the plane after the incident.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US Military Court Taught Officers ‘Islam is the Enemy’

Pentagon suspends course after study materials posted online suggested that Mecca and Medina may have to be obliterated

A course for US military officers has been teaching that America’s enemy is Islam in general and suggesting that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following second world war precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Why Was the US Military Teaching ‘Total War’ On Islam?

by Mark Mardell [BBC’s North America editor]

America’s top military officer has condemned a course taught about Islam at one of America’s top military schools as “totally objectionable”. It is not surprising. The story, first broken by Wired, is fairly astonishing, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, must be furious. The course taught officers there was no such thing as moderate Islam and that they should consider the religion their enemy. It advocated “total war” against all the world’s Muslims, including possible nuclear attacks on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the wiping out civilian populations. The Pentagon has confirmed the course material found on their website is authentic.

‘Something weird’

As far as I can see this is not intended in any sense as a rather sick academic exercise in stretching the bounds of what could be thought. It is actually what the officer teaching it believes. In other words: completely nutty stuff that would disgrace the wilder fringes of the blogosphere. So, not surprisingly, Gen Dempsey has ordered a full investigation into what other US military schools might be teaching about the religion. The voluntary course aimed at senior officers was taught at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, for a year. Gen Dempsey described the course as “counter to our values of appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness” and “just objectionable, academically irresponsible”.

It came to light when one of the officers on the course complained last month. There is now an investigation into how the course was approved and why it was part of the curriculum.

A lieutenant colonel has been suspended from teaching, but for the moment keeps his job. The Pentagon hopes a full report will be out by the end of the month. What does seem rather surprising is that all those commanders, captains and colonels must have sat through the course and not felt the need to tell someone that something rather weird was going on.

[JP note: Why not? The perspective of Mark Mardell is even weirder, but this comes as no surprise given the BBC’s lamentable record.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


‘Occasional’ Canadian Passport Getting El-Shukrijumah Around the World

If Osama bin Laden had allegedly not been snuffed one year ago, would he be flying all over the world conducting al Qaeda business?

Sounds farfetched until you consider that’s exactly what his handpicked heir apparent, Adnan el Shukrijumah is doing.

“A terrorist trial in New York has revealed how a fugitive Canadian is alleged to have instructed al-Qaeda recruits how to fire AK-47 rifles, how to lob hand grenades and how to shoot shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.” (The Globe and Mail, May 6, 2012).

“The same training camp was attended by an important al-Qaeda fugitive known as “Hamad” — allegedly a pseudonym for Adnan El Shukrijumah, an alleged al-Qaeda planner of terrorist attacks and reputed to occasionally travel on a Canadian passport.”

How is it that Adnan El Shukrijumah is “reputed to occasionally travel on a Canadian passport? (Hello, Canadian authorities!).

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

15 Firms to Bid for Gas Drilling Rights Off Cyprus

Major oil and gas companies such as Russia’s Novatec, Italy’s ENI, France’s Total, and Malaysia’s Petronas are among 15 firms and consortiums that are seeking to carry out exploratory drilling for gas deposits off southern Cyprus, the island’s commerce minister said Friday, despite Turkey’s strong objections.

The minister, Neoklis Sylikiotis, said the companies that applied for a license to drill by Friday’s deadline also include ones from Canada, the UK, Norway, Israel, South Korea and the U.S., surpassing the government’s hopes.

The bids come as the small east Mediterranean island nation is reeling from Europe’s financial crisis. It economy is projected to shrink by half a percentage point of GDP this year, and unemployment is hitting record highs.

“We’ve all had great expectations from this licensing round and I can tell you not only have the results not belied those expectations, they’ve exceeded them by far,” Sylikiotis told a news conference.

He said the companies want to drill in areas close to a natural gas field that the U.S. firm Noble Energy discovered last year and which is estimated at 5-8 trillion cubic feet (140-230 billion cubic meters). That’s enough to meet this crude-oil dependent island’s energy needs for decades while leaving plenty for possible export, officials said. The Cypriot field lies close to an Israeli gas deposit that’s more than double in size.

Noble Energy was the only company that sought a license to drill inside the island’s 19,700 square mile (51,000 square kilometer) exclusive economic zone during in an initial licensing round in 2007. The zone is carved into 13 sections, or blocks, and Sylikiotis said most companies are looking to drill in blocks 9 and 2, which lie above Noble Energy’s gas find.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: Professor Netanyahu’s Lessons

In all of our many conversations that took place over the better part of the past decade, I never asked Prof. Benzion Netanyahu what led him to become an historian. Certainly it was a function of his concern for his nation and his recognition that our very existence hung in the balance. Certainly, too, it was a function of his insatiable intellectual curiosity.

I don’t know whether his decision was the function of a specific event or simply a natural progression of his life’s path. But through the lessons that he taught me both directly, and through the books he wrote, I can understand why once he embarked on his journey into Jewish history, the path he eventually took became inevitable.

Netanyahu died last week, at the age of 102.

A good place to begin a study of his long life and its impact on his actions is with his first major work, his biography of Don Issac Abravanel, the leader of the Jews of Spain at the time of Spain’s final expulsion of the community in 1492. Abravanel was an extraordinary scholar of philosophy and Jewish teachings as well as a financial genius. The former brought him renown among his people. The latter attracted the monarchs of Portugal and Spain and the leaders of Italian city states…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Estonia to Open Maritime Museum in Seaplane Hangar

Estonia will open the Baltic states’ largest maritime museum in a hangar once used by Charles Lindbergh. The main attractions at the €15 million ($20 million) Seaplane Harbor will be a British-built submarine dating from the 1930s and a life-size replica of the 184 seaplane, a British two-seater designed by Short Brothers.

The unique concrete hangar housing the museum was built in 1916-17 when Estonia was part of czarist Russia. Its most famous guest was Lindbergh, the U.S. aviator, who flew there from Moscow in 1933 as part of his tour around Europe. The hangar was a closed military zone from 1940, when the Soviet Union annexed Estonia, until 1991 when the Baltic state regained its independence.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Eurotunnel Offers to Buy Seafrance

Eurotunnel, the operator of the Channel tunnel between Britain and France, is offering to buy all assets of liquidated ferry company SeaFrance for €65 million, a lawyer said on Thursday.

The offer is designed to outmanoeuvre a rival bid by Sweden’s Stena Line and another by French shipping firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and Danish ferry company DFDS, which only want to purchase one or two ships, Jacques Tellache, a lawyer representing former SeaFrance employees, told AFP.

“Eurotunnel is offering €65 million ($84 million) for the entirety of the tangible and intangible assets,” Tellache said after a commercial court hearing in Paris. “This means the three ships but also the buildings, the counters in Britain, the stocks of oil and fuel oil, the computers.”

A Eurotunnel spokeswoman confirmed the company had made a global offer including “ships, stocks and the brand”, and said the firm would create 560 jobs.

Eurotunnel has said it would rent the ships to a workers’ cooperative of ex-SeaFrance employees, SeaFrance SCOP. SeaFrance, which employed 880 people in France and 130 in Britain, owned three of the four ships it ran across the Channel before a French court ordered it closed in January amid liquidation proceedings.

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and DFDS are offering €30 million for SeaFrance’s Berlioz ship, €25 million for sister ship Rodin or €50 million for both, a source close to the case said. Stena Line is offering €30 million euros for Rodin.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

France’s Hollande Declares 1. 17m Euro Assets

(AGI) Paris — French public disclosure laws reveal that Francois Hollande’s real-estate assets amount to 1,17m euro.

The Official Gazette has the freshly appointed French president owining property in south-east France’s Mougins (800k euro), two apartments in Cannes (230k and 140k euro respectively).

Hollande is also registered as having three bank accounts, with total deposits worth 8k euro) and a life insurance policy with a 3.5k euro premium. Upon taking office in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy declared assets worth 2m euro.

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

Germany Weighs Ban on Salafists After Clashes

Germany is considering a legal ban on ultra-conservative Salafist Muslim groups, its interior minister said on Wednesday after violent clashes with the police. Last weekend, Salafists turned on police protecting far-right anti-Islam protesters during a regional election rally in the western German city of Bonn, injuring 29 officers, two of them seriously. Police arrested 109 people. The far-right protesters had infuriated the Salafists by waving banners showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. There have been similar clashes in other German towns in the past week, including in Cologne, where around 1,000 police were mobilized on Tuesday to keep Salafists and far-right activists far apart.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Germany: Eurozone Would Survive Greek Exit

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble has said the eurozone would survive if Greece left it, with the single currency structures more robust than two years ago. “We want Greece to remain in the eurozone. But it also has to want this and to fulfil its obligations. We cannot force anyone. Europe will not sink that easily,” he said in an interview with Friday’s edition of the Rheinische Post.

“The idea that we would not be able to react quickly to something unforeseen is wrong”, he said. “We have learned a lot and built defences.” He said that the contagion risk for other euro countries had lessened and that the eurozone as a whole was more resilient.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germans Can’t Fathom US Aversion to Obama’s Healthcare Reform

In Germany, people are baffled by how hostile a country as religious as the United States can be to the principle of mandatory healthcare insurance. Not even conservatives question the system, which businesspeople say gives Europe’s largest economy a competitive advantage.

As the United States Supreme Court considers whether requiring people to have health insurance is unconstitutional, Germans are bewildered as to why so many Americans appear to be against universal coverage.

They also question the continued portrayal of US President Barack Obama and his health reform backers as socialists and communists, noting that healthcare was introduced in Germany in the 19th century by Otto von Bismarck, who was definitely not a leftist, and is supported by conservative and pro-business politicians today.

“It’s a solidarity principle,” says Ann Marini, a spokesperson for the National Health Insurers Association. “Not every ‘S’ automatically means socialism.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: More Than Half Police Officers Voted Neonazi Party

Upsetting result revealed by newspaper “To Vima”

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MAY 11 — More than half of all police officers in Greece voted for pro-Nazi party Chrysi Avgi’ (Golden Dawn) in the elections of May 6. This is the disconcerting result of an analysis carried out by the authoritative newspaper To Vima (TheTribune) in several constituencies in Athens, where 5,000 police officers in service in the Greek capital also cast their ballot.

At some polling stations Chrysi Avgi’ obtained 19 to 24% of votes.

Others, like Agios Panteleimonas and Kypseli, traditional strongholds of the party, reached 15 to 18%. According to the newspaper, at the 11 polling stations (from 806 to 816) located near the police station (Ellas), Chrysi Avgi’ received most votes, reaching 18.64% at station 813 and 23.67% at number 816.

Other polling stations situated at a short distance from the ones mentioned before, where police officers do not vote, recorded 12-14% of votes for the Golden Dawn party.

Moreover, the four polling stations located near the riot police station (MAT), used by the police, recorded percentages between 13 and 19 for Chrysi Avgi’.

These figures, To Vima underlines, are impressive, considering the fact that other polling stations close to the riot police station reached 7-10% of votes for the pro-Nazi party. Based on the electoral lists, 550 to 700 people have voted at each of these voting stations, of which 20 to 30% police officers. This means, the newspaper worked out, that 45 to 59% of police officers have voted for Chrysi Avgi’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Iranian Death Threat Sends Rapper Underground

A Germany-based rapper has cancelled his concerts and turned to the police for protection. An Iranian ayatollah proclaimed one of Shahin Najafi’s songs blasphemy, opening the door for him to be killed.

Najafi said on Friday he had cancelled concerts in Europe, but that he wanted to continue working despite the threat to his life.

“I am young, and I am an artist, and I have to perform,” the 31-year old told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, saying that he couldn’t accept the idea of living underground for a long amount of time.

Najafi’s manager said the Iranian-born musician was receiving police protection.

Iranian Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani had accused Najafi of insulting a Shiite Islam prophet in his song “Imam Naghi,” Iranian news agency Fars reported on Wednesday. The cleric’s comments can be interpreted as a call to all Muslims to kill the 31-year-old musician.

Najafi rejected the allegation his song was insulting to the prophet.

“I am just as critical of Islam as I am of Judaism or Christianity,” Najafi said in an interview with WDR radio, adding that it was not the first time he had been warned by Iranian clerics over his songs.

Before he came to Germany in 2005, Najafi was an underground musician and political activist at home in Iran. His songs and albums are available there on the black market and on the Internet. He is known for lyrics critical of Islam.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Fliers Signed Red Brigades Found in Town Near Milan

No reference to ‘kneecap’ attack of Italian executive

(ANSA) — Milan, May 11 — Four fliers harking back to the 1970s Red Brigades (BR) leftist terrorist group were found in different locations in the town of Legnano near Milan Friday morning, police said.

Investigators said that the printed messages with the distinctive five-pointed star of the BR were taped outside the offices of the the inland revenue agency Agenzia delle Entrate, national pension agency INPS, and a company and contained “political declarations”.

There was no reference to the recent ‘kneecap’ attack on the chief executive of Italian nuclear-energy company Ansaldo Nucleare, Roberto Adinolfi, in Genoa, police said.

Various groups have tried to resurrect the now-defunct Red Brigades, a network responsible for a wave of terrorist violence in the 1970s and 80s.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Norway: Victim’s Brother Hurls Shoe at Breivik

Dramatic scenes unfolded at Oslo district court on Friday morning as the brother of one of Anders Behring Breivik’s 69 Utøya shooting victims threw a shoe at him, shouting at the right-wing extremist in English to “go to hell”. While a coroner was wrapping up the autopsy reports on the victims of Breivik’s July shooting massacre on Utøya island, a man suddenly got up and threw a black shoe at the right-wing extremist seated just a few metres away from him.

The shoe attack was followed by applause, “bravos” and tears among the many survivors and victims’ family members seated in the courtroom, and led to a brief suspension of proceedings on the 17th day of the trial.

The shoe did not hit Breivik but landed on one of his lawyers, Vibeke Hein Baera, who was sitting between the accused and the onlookers. “Luckily, it was just a shoe,” Hein Baera told AFP after the incident.

The attacker, a man of Iraqi origin whose brother was one of the 69 people Breivik shot dead on Utøya on July 22, was quickly brought under control by security guards and escorted out of the courtroom as he continued to shout in English, through tears of anger, “Go to hell!”

The episode recalled a similar attack on former US president George W. Bush, who during a visit to Baghdad in December 2008 was the target of a shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist.

When the proceedings resumed a few minutes later, Breivik addressed the onlookers. “If someone wants to throw something at me, do it at me while I’m entering or leaving, and not at my lawyer,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Witnesses Relive Breivik’s Pitiless Murders

Anders Behring Breivik, who is on trial for killing 77 people in Norway last year, mercilessly murdered youths on Utøya island, ignoring their pleas for him to spare their lives, witnesses testified Thursday.

On the 16th day of the self-confessed killer’s trial, the Oslo district court heard heart-wrenching testimony from young people who saw their friends fall under the hail of Breivik’s bullets last July 22nd.

Lars Henrik Rytter Øberg, an 18-year-old high school student, told the court how — from the icy waters he had thrown himself into to escape the bullets — he had seen Breivik walk towards a boy who was trying to protect his head with his arms and had shot him.

“His face was marble,” said the young man, who had come to court wearing the traditional red trousers worn by students before during the festivities leading up to their final high school exams. “He seemed very calm,” Rytter Øberg added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

One in Ten Swedish Teen Girls ‘Forced’ Into Sex

One in ten female high school students in Sweden has been forced to take part in some sort of sexual act, according to a new study from Linköping University. And in about half of the cases, the perpetrator was the same age as the victim.

“It is easier to talk about it if it’s not someone at school, if it is someone from outside. Then you can get support. But when it happens on your doorstep it becomes a question of who to believe,” said Carl Göran Svedin, professor of child-and-youth-psychiatry at the university, to Sveriges Television (SVT).

In the study, researchers asked 3,500 students in their final year of high school (gymnasium) in 2009 a series of questions regarding sexual relations at the behest of the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs (Undomsstyrelsen), a government agency that works to ensure that young people have access to influence and welfare.

One in ten of the teenage girls stated that they had been forced to take part in penetrative sex; orally, vaginally or anally — against their will. To prosecutor Ulrika Rogland the figures were nothing new. She told SVT that the abuse rarely gets reported, especially if they have occurred at a party with alcohol involved.

“Those that you approach might say ‘what, of course you wanted to. You went with him after all’,” she told the broadcaster. This often results in the victim feeling guilty and responsible and choosing not to report.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The French Will Never Leave the Cafes Now

Socialist France moved further to the left of Putin’s Russia. The French just elected President the leftist Francois Hollande who professes to be the protector of the poor, wants more government handouts (stimulus), and rejects the austerity measures that his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had cobbled with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor.

The promise to restore generous social welfare programs brought many enthusiastic French to the polls. They were angry with Sarkozy’s vulgar demeanor, his anti-immigration and integration rhetoric, and immediate intentions to reduce the national debt which is unmanageable without austerity measures.

Hollande promised to tax the “rich,” a mirror image of our government’s rhetoric, “the rich don’t pay their fair share.” It was instantaneous music to the ears of the French work ethic. They take pride in reduced workweek, tenure on the first day of work, extended vacations paid by the state, and early retirement. “C’est la vie” and it is very self-indulgent.

Handing out more government dependence (stimulus money) means that the French will never have to leave the cafe’s now. Occupying all chairs, sipping wine, and chain-smoking, they will be looking down their noses at the inferior uncouth American tourists walking by in their dreadful tennis shoes and awful blue jeans, smiling like idiots.

Socialists have given up any pretense of preserving their national identity — Muslim immigrants who refuse to integrate into French society and remain in their self-appointed ghettos, no longer accessible to French citizens, will eventually outnumber them.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Non-Jewish Jews Who Became the Scholars of an Ideological Dreamworld

by Colin Shindler

During Jewish Book Week in February 1958, the great Marxist historian, Isaac Deutscher, gave a talk entitled “The Non-Jewish Jew”. It was later published and became required reading for the student revolutionaries of the 1960s. Deutscher tried to explain why some Jews embraced the revolutionary imperative and relegated their Jewishness to a secondary level. As an ilui (child prodigy) of the yeshiva of Chrzanow in Poland, Deutscher supplanted God with Lenin and Trotsky at an early age. Although he moved beyond the Jewish community, he never renounced his Jewishness. He believed that non-Jewish Jews symbolised “the highest ideals of mankind” and that Jewish revolutionaries carried “the message of universal human emancipation”. He regarded such figures as optimists. And yet his father, the author of a book in Hebrew on Spinoza, disappeared in the hell of Auschwitz.

Deutscher argued that such Jews existed on the borderlines of various civilisations, religions and cultures. And from there on the margins, they were able to clearly analyse societies and events — and guide humanity into more benevolent channels.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK Bans Self-Defense Expert From Entering Country

The UK government has banned self-defense expert and former US Navy Seal Tim Larkin from entering the country after Larkin planned to hold seminars instructing people how to protect themselves against rioters and criminals.

“Tim Larkin tried to board a plane from his home in Las Vegas on Tuesday, but was given a UK Border Agency letter saying “his presence here was not conducive to the public good,” reports BBC News.

The banning order reflects how the coalition government is continuing the previous Labour Party’s policy of discouraging British citizens from using any kind of self-defense whatsoever given the fact that private ownership of firearms is all but completely outlawed.

Larkin was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at The Martial Arts Show conference in Birmingham and to hold a seminar in Tottenham, two areas hit by violence during last year’s riots. Unlike many methods of so-called “self-defense,” Larkin’s program actually teaches (shock, horror), methods on how to incapacitate an attacker.

Larkin told BBC Radio 4 that the banning order was a “gross over-reaction” and said the real reason behind it was because he had publicly criticized the country’s laws on self-defense, which are ambiguous at best and leave victims completely vulnerable to criminals.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Asian Sex Gang ‘Were Acting Within Cultural Norms’

David Starkey risks fresh controversy by claiming that Asian men jailed over a major child sexual exploitation ring were “acting within their own cultural norms”.

The historian said “nobody ever explained” to the men — eight of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan — that women could not be treated in this way. Dr Starkey called for better teaching of English history to create a “common identity” and overcome the challenges of multiculturalism. But the comments are likely to prompt condemnation just a day after the men were handed sentences of between four and 19 years for the offences. Liverpool Crown Court heard the group plied five victims with drink and drugs and “passed them around” for sex. The girls were abused at two takeaway restaurants in the Heywood area of Rochdale by the men aged between 24 and 59. The takeaways are now under new management.Speaking at a conference staged by Brighton College, the private school in East Sussex, Dr Starkey said that the “only way we are going to get to be able to survive as a multi-cultural society is if we re-address the story — the real story — of English history”.

The historian, author of books including Elizabeth and The Private Life of Henry VIII, said: “If you want to look at what happens when you have no sense of common identity, look at Rochdale and events in Rochdale, where you have groups that are absolutely and mutually uncomprehending. Those men were acting within their own cultural norms. Nobody ever explained to them that the history of women in Britain was once rather similar to that in Pakistan and it had changed.” He said a “genuine approach to the teaching of English history” should look at the origins of modern feminism. “It is a fundamental story,” he said. “And it seems to me that if we are to make this highly diverse society work, and I desperately hope that we do, what we should be focusing on is the astonishing record of change without revolution in English history in which the political system of king, lords and commoners, has proved flexible enough to spread from a tiny deeply selective electorate to a wider and wider group who have been incorporated, have been brought in and made to feel welcome.”

Last year, Dr Starkey provoked controversy after blaming “black culture” for initiating the London riots, saying that in today’s society “whites have become black”.

[JP note: Muslim sex gang, not Asian.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Anglo-Jewry’s Leaders Must Act

by Geoffrey Alderman

Last month the Times of Israel carried an essay by one Shimon Cohen attacking the distinguished former leader of Australian Jewry, Isi Leibler, who is now based in Israel. In March Leibler — a onetime senior vice-president of the World Jewish Congress — had launched a blistering critique of the current leadership of British Jewry. Cohen, the head of a public-relations company whose clients include some of Anglo-Jewry’s good and great, took issue with Leibler’s exposé of the “trembling Israelites” in charge of this world. “British Jewish life,” Cohen insisted, “is experiencing something of resurgence, proud of its heritage, connected to Israel and finding its voice. Far from running for cover, British Jews are walking tall.”

Leibler is capable of defending himself. I want rather to bring to your attention two sets of developments that seem to me to warrant consideration at the highest levels of the Anglo-Jewish world. In so doing I want to assure Mr Cohen that I do not mind which particular moneyed macher addresses these matters of principle. The important thing is that they are addressed, and solutions found. And that there is no hint of a fudge. The first concerns the strange goings-on behind the closed door of the taxpayer-funded Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust. Last week the Trust was to have hosted a workshop entitled “The Role of Negotiation in Dealing with Conflict”. The session was cancelled following pressure from Unison, whose anti-Jewish inclinations drove it to object to the choice, as presenter of this workshop, of a distinguished Israeli academic who is a known authority on crisis management and conflict resolution.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Bloodlust at the 1922 Committee

“Civil war” was how one MP described Wednesday night’s 1922 Committee. The meeting amounted to what I’m told was “collective bullying of Nadine Dorries,” who called David Cameron and George Osborne “arrogant posh boys” on TV two weeks ago. The HuffPost reported on the Committee’s anger at Ms Dorries this morning — but I’m told the feeling of the group wasn’t as one-sided as it may seem. Tempers frayed during the meeting when a traditionalist was sworn at for an interjection and told to sit down for suggesting that UKIP posed a threat to the Tories. “The way they treated him was a disgrace,” an observer said. Conspiracy theories on No 10’s orchestration of the stand-off are flying from those on the Right of the party today. While unlikely, I’m told the event has left many of the old guard feeling isolated because — as Tim Montgomerie, the editor of Conservative Home, said in a Times column last week — many MPs privately agree with Ms Dorries’ view.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: How to Avoid Airport Security: Wear a Burka

White airline passengers are routinely stopped and searched unnecessarily at Britain’s airports just so staff can prove they’re not ‘racist’.

Even when customs officials have been tipped off about a black drugs mule arriving on a plane from the Caribbean, they deliberately intercept a number of innocent white passengers so they can’t be accused of discrimination.

John Vine, chief inspector of the UK Border Agency, says staff try to ensure the right racial ‘mix’ even though they have no legal right to detain people on such grounds.

This is because they are petrified about being hammered with allegations of racism every time they stop and search someone from an ethnic minority background.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Sex Gangs Not Asian

By Glen Jenvey for Asian Tribune

The recent British media reports on the Rochdale sex gang describing them as ‘Asian’ are both offensive and unfair. The use of the blanket term Asian by the media to describe these criminals’ brands all Asians as potential offenders and attributes either implicitly or often explicitly this kind of behavior to Asians in general, which is both racist and offensive to a large section of the law-abiding Asian community. Why is it that the national press can’t bring itself to use the words Pakistani or Afghan sex gangs in their reporting of these cases or more to the point Muslim sex gangs! Why is it in their efforts to be politically correct they must print headlines that not only twist and hide the truth but libel all Indians and Asians in general with racial and criminal slurs of the worst kind.

The offenders in Rochdale and previous Muslim criminal gangs were acting from a religiously inspired cultural perspective that is incompatible with British society and is not shared by the Asian community. Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Christianity all have an older religious and cultural tradition in Asia than Islam with a moral code that is compatible with British law and values. It’s disgraceful that the media should use such racial terms to link the sexual abuse crimes committed by these Muslims with all Asians. I speak as part of a Tamil family whose members fought bravely in the Second World War for the British and are proud of both their cultural heritage and the place they have earned in British society. The people in my community are all more than tired of the problems associated with Muslim drug gangs, Muslim sex gangs and Muslim supporters of terrorist groups. The funds raised by Muslims for Islamic terrorists are used to finance attacks on Indian as well as British innocents; in Mumbai and in London.

The Sikh community’s contribution to British culture and society has also been a loyal and honorable one. How unfair it is to associate them with the kind of behavior we’ve seen from Muslims? Sikhs also have a long and proud history in both the British and Indian military and as a valued part of British society. A Sikh told me today,’ the problem lies in the Muslim community and the politically correct left wing press and weak political leadership’s failure to do anything about it’. I spoke with a Christian friend from Goa in India today as well , who told me how upset his brother was at being labeled as a ‘sex beast’ by the British media. His brother had just read a British newspaper article describing all Asians as ‘sex beasts’! Buddhists are also upset with the British media calling the British Press racist in their careless and frankly reckless use of the term ‘Asian’ in reporting these criminal cases.

It not only puts a racial spin on the story which is unjustified but demonizes the whole British Asian community. British Asians are disgusted with the racist slurs and reporting in the UK media. Why do they insist on introducing a racial element where there is none? Why do you not report on the real problems within the Muslim community and Islam? I myself have already complained to the press complaints commission and urge all British Asians to do the same in an effort to put an end to these racial slurs.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Man Stabbed to Death in Front of His Family ‘For Asking Parents of Crying Child in Restaurant if She Was Okay’

A father out celebrating his daughter’s birthday was brutally knifed to death in front of his horrified family just because he asked if a crying child was alright, a court was told yesterday.

Alan Smith, 63, was stabbed at least five times as he sat with his partner, daughter and son-in-law in a cafe in east London.

His alleged killer, Matthew Quesada, became enraged when Mr Smith approached him in the BB Cafe to ask if his young daughter, who was crying, was okay, the jury heard.

Quesada responded ‘What’s it to you? What’s it got to f****** do with you?’ before storming out of the cafe.

‘Humiliated and angered’ by what happened and ‘bent on exacting revenge’ Quesada, then aged 25, ran to his girlfriend’s home to drop off the girl and grab a weapon.

With a knife concealed up his sleeve,He then raced after the family as they entered a second diner — the Roma cafe — where they had gone to eat to avoid any further trouble.

It was there that Quesada allegedly launched a ‘frenzied and wordless’ attack, stabbing Mr Smith in the head and body.

As Estelle Jenkins tried to get between her father and his attacker, Mr Smith struggled up from the bolted down table before falling to the floor where he kicked out in a vain attempt to stop the onslaught, the court heard.

Quesada only fled when the victim’s son-in law Mark Jenkins threw a chair at him, halting the attack, as Mr Smith’s horrified partner Denise Facey looked on, the court was told.

As Mr Smith’s life ebbed away an air ambulance doctor had to perform emergency heart surgery on a cafe table that formed a ‘make-shift operating table.’

He was flown to hospital where he died from his wounds, three of which were fatal.

Quesada, now 26, denies murdering Mr Smith on March 26 last year.

Roger Smart, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey jury Quesada accepts he stabbed Mr Smith and the issue will be his state of mind at the time.

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo[Return to headlines]

UK: Protesting Bigots

Once again a performance by the Jerusalem Quartet has been disrupted by bigots. Things hardly started well when the director of the Brighton Festival, Andrew Comben, in an astonishingly crass misjudgment, prefaced the concert with a warning that there was likely to be disruption. The benighted musicians must wonder whether it is worth their while performing in a country that permits these thugs to act with impunity. It is time for the Crown Prosecution Service to make it clear that, while demonstrations outside are perfectly legitimate, those which take place inside, disrupting a performance, will be met with the full force of the law.

[JP note: One law for Muslims, crumbs for the rest.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Starkey Makes ‘Cultural’ Link to Gang Jailed for Sexually Exploiting Girls

Historian calls on schools to teach English history to ethnic minorities to make them ‘English citizens and English men’

David Starkey has risked fresh criticism for describing a largely Pakistani gang jailed for sexually exploiting young girls as “acting within their cultural norms”. Speaking at a conference for private school headteachers in Brighton, the historian said the gang’s actions were evidence of “what happens when [a country like Britain] has no sense of common identity”. “Nobody ever explained [to these men] that the history of women in Britain was once rather similar to that in Pakistan and it had changed,” Starkey told his audience of more than 100 headteachers.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Schools Are Deliberately Failing to Correct Spelling Errors to Avoid ‘Damaging Pupils’ Self Esteem’

Teachers are being told not to correct more than three spelling errors at a time to avoid damaging pupils’ self-confidence, an MP revealed yesterday.

Andrew Selous highlighted the practice at a secondary school in his South West Bedfordshire constituency but fears it is widespread across the country.

The Tory MP condemned not correcting all errors in a piece of work as a ‘false kindness’ which denies pupils ‘fundamental’ skills needed in the job market.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Scandal of Care Firms That Failed to Protect Girls From Grooming

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A network of private children’s homes was under fire last night over failures to protect youngsters from street grooming gangs.

As MPs accused the firms — which charge councils over £250,000 for each troubled youngster — of letting down vulnerable girls, Ofsted launched an investigation.

It came after a 15-year-old, who was meant to be receiving around the clock ‘solo’ care, went missing 19 times in three months for up to two weeks at a time.

Instead of trying to find her, they would resort to text messages asking: ‘When are you coming back?’

Staff had no idea that she was being groomed by a group of mainly Pakistani-born men until she handed them a note. It later transpired that 25 of the men sexually abused her in a single night.

Now it has emerged that another 15-year-old, who was placed at a solo home in Rochdale run by the same firm six years earlier, died of a heroin overdose after she too was groomed for sex.

The following year the company’s founders sold it to a group of private equity investors for £26million, who in turn sold it on for an undisclosed sum last month.


Figures released last night reveal there are 343 solo care homes across England, many charging councils almost ten times more than the annual fees at Eton.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: The British Landscape Was Created by British Writers

by Harry Mount

That’s the overwhelming feeling you get after seeing the British Library’s staggering new show, Writing Britain, which opens today. Not only are you bowled over by the treasures on show — the manuscripts of Lewis Carroll, Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Auden, Brontes various, they go on and on… — but you also begin to see how, unwittingly, our views of Britain have been shaped by literature. We see northern moorland through Wuthering Heights, Picturesque ruins through the prism of Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey, industrial decline through Alan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, gloomy modern England through Philip Larkin, picturebook British countryside through Edward Thomas’s Adlestrop. To see all these writers in the flesh, as it were, on the page, is to see the creation of the British landscape in the British imagination. Worth a visit.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: You Are Going Have to Spell Out How Self-Defence Instruction Would Incite Vigilante Violence Mrs May…

Tim Larkin is not welcome in Britain because of his self-defence teachings.


There can only be one reason for the ban on Larkin, and it’s the pompous and self-serving conceit held by our criminal justice authorities that no-one may take the law into their own hands.

Their prevailing doctrine holds that no-one may fight back against an attacker. You must wait for the forces of law and order to come and do it properly. Rather than defend yourself, surrender your goods.

You have in any case provoked your assailant by advertising your wealth.

You can’t expect to drive around in a nice car without expecting someone to steal the briefcase off the back seat. Thieves only steal because you are flaunting your property in front of them.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Welcome to France, Where the Anti-Israel Vote is Now Key

In a fascinating piece on the recent presidential elections in France, French political analyst Michel Gurfinkiel contrasted the fortunes of left and right in the 18th and 17th districts in the north of Paris. The 18th voted overwhelmingly for the left; the 17th for the right. With no significant socio-economic differences, what could explain such radically contrasting voting patterns? The answer, Gurfinkiel said, was the distinct “ethnic and cultural” make-up of the two areas. In other words, the 18th district is mostly Muslim and “neo-French”; the 17th is not. Recognition of the alliance between political Islam and the ideological left is not new, of course. It was gestating as far back as the 1960s when writers such as Herbert Marcuse sought to harness the revolutionary potential of third world movements that the Western proletariat had so conspicuously failed to provide. Following the end of the Cold War, and especially after 9/11, it became clear that the anti-Western ideology par excellence was going to be Islamism. With more than a billion potential adherents, this was a force to be reckoned with. And if the price of the alliance was dropping or de-prioritising support for the rights of women, gays and, of course, the state of Israel and Jews in general, then so be it.

What is new is that this alliance is now starting to be politically significant in European electoral politics. In countries with large and growing Muslim populations — in France, Muslims make up at least 10 per cent of the population — capturing the Muslim constituency may already be a factor in determining the overall result. There are no ethno-religious breakdowns of the vote, but given the narrowness of his victory — Francois Hollande won 51.6 per cent to Nicolas Sarkozy’s 48.4 — it is quite possible that, in the absence of a sizeable Muslim population, Sarkozy would be breezing into his second term. It is a staggering thought, and the implications are vast. France’s Jewish community, for example, has largely been reasonably well-integrated into mainstream politics and society, despite a strained relationship between France and Israel for decades, more or less regardless of whether left or right held power. But if we have now reached a tipping point where it is no longer possible for left-wing parties to win elections without retaining the bulk of the Muslim vote, the future for French Jews, especially those with a strong affinity for Israel, may be bleak. This is not to say that French Muslims are only concerned about Israel. Like their non-Muslim counterparts, they vote on a variety of issues. But the Palestinian cause is clearly something that they and their communal leadership care about deeply. And if I can work out what that implies for French policy towards Israel under Francois Hollande, you can be sure that his strategists can work it out too.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Bosnia: As Ratko Mladic Trial Begins, Followers Are Poised to Take Power in Srebrenica

A ruling this week means Muslims who fled Srebrenica will no longer be able to vote there, making a Bosnian Serb mayor likely

Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb warlord of the 1990s, goes on trial for genocide next week at the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, almost 17 years after his forces sealed control of eastern Bosnia through the mass murder of more than 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica. Following a decision in Sarajevo this week, however, Mladic’s followers are poised finally to take political power in the small hilltown whose name has joined Guernica and Oradour in the horrors of history lists. Deciding on the conduct of local elections in Bosnia in October, the country’s election authority declined to make Srebrenica an exception that would have enabled native Bosnian Muslims who escaped the slaughter to vote for the mayor there.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Tunisia: First Salafi Party Approved

Tunis, 11 May (AKI) — The Tunisian government on Friday for the first time approved the formation of the north African country’s first Salafi political party, according a report.

The government licensed the Reform Front party making it Tunisia’s 118th legal party, the Al-Maghreb newspaper reported.

Mohammed Khoja, the head of the Reform Front, has said his party is committed to democracy.

Islamist parties were banned under Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali who was the Arab world’s first state leader to be toppled during last year’s Arab Spring protest movement.

The Salafi branch of Sunni Islam is closely associated with a puritanical interpretation of religion.

The moderate Islamist Ennahda party now heads the government after winning 42 percent of seats in Tunisia’s first free parliamentary election in October.

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

UN: Prisoners Still Face Torture in Post-Gadhafi Libya

The UN special envoy for Libya has called on the interim government to address allegations of torture in militia-run prisons. Rights groups, meanwhile, have criticized two new laws for resembling Gadhafi-era practices.

The United Nations reported on Thursday that thousands of prisoners in post-war Libya are still being detained in militia-controlled prisons, often in secret, and at times facing torture.

The Libyan Justice Ministry currently controls 31 detention centers housing around 3,000 detainees across the vast north African nation, according to UN special envoy for Libya Ian Martin. Another 4,000 detainees remain in militia-controlled facilities, Martin told the UN Security Council on Thursday.

The UN’s special envoy said that although the interim government has official authority over dozens of prisons, in practice it often shares control over those facilities with Libya’s revolutionary militias.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel Facing Major West Bank Uprising Over Palestinian Hunger Strike

Israel has been warned that it faces a major uprising in the West Bank after six Palestinian prisoners taking part in one of the largest and most protracted hunger strikes ever staged in its jails were said to be close to death.

Palestinian militant groups and moderate politicians alike have predicted that years of relative tranquility could be brought to an abrupt and violent end if any of the 1,600 inmates now refusing food were to starve to death. The International Committee of the Red Cross said this week that the six inmates who have declined sustenance the longest are “at imminent risk of dying”. None of the six, who have all been admitted to prison hospitals, has eaten for the past 50 days. But the greatest concern is directed at two men, Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab. By Thursday, both men had refused food for 74 days, one more than managed by Kieran Doherty, the longest surviving of the 10 Irish militants who died during the Maze Prison hunger strike of 1981. Bobby Sands, the best known of the prisoners and the first to die, succumbed after 66 days. The two men’s act of defiance, initially a largely solitary affair called to protest their incarceration without trial, has spiralled into a major crisis for Israel. The vast majority of the 1,600 inmates demanding better prison conditions and and end to the practice of detention without trial have now been on hunger strike for 24 days and an ever growing number are having to receive medial attention.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghan Commanders Show New Defiance in Dealings With Americans

Afghan commanders have refused more than a dozen times within the past two months to act on U.S. intelligence regarding high-level insurgents, arguing that night-time operations to target the men would result in civilian casualties, Afghan officials say. The defiance highlights the shift underway in Afghanistan as Afghan commanders make use of their newfound power to veto operations proposed by their NATO counterparts.

For much of the past decade, NATO commanders have dictated most aspects of the allied war strategy, with Afghan military officers playing a far more marginal role. But with the signing of an agreement last month, Afghans have now inherited responsibility for so-called night raids — a crucial feature of the war effort.

To Afghan leaders, the decisions made by their commanders reflect growing Afghan autonomy from Western forces as NATO draws down, and prove that Afghan forces are willing to exercise more caution than foreign troops when civilian lives are at stake.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Bail Bid by India Marines Turned Down

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone to stay in custody

(ANSA) — New Delhi, May 11 — A southern Indian court on Friday turned down an application for bail by two jailed Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen while guarding a tanker against pirates in February.

Earlier Friday the court extended the marines’ preventive detention ahead of trial until May 25.

The pair, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, are at the centre of a dispute over jurisdiction between Italy and India.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

India: Moon and Venus Set Over Historic Old Delhi Mosque

The moon and Venus set over an iconic monument in Delhi in this skywatcher’s photo. Skywatcher Ajay Talwar of The World At Night shot this celestial pair setting over Jama Masjid or the mosque of Jahan-Numa (meaning “the world-reflecting” in Persian) Jan. 26, 2012 . The mosque was built in the 1650s by the emperor Shah Jahan, who was also behind the Taj Mahal. Venus and the moon both appear to glow above the monument in the spectacular image. Venus, about 27.8 million miles from Earth, is one of the brightest planets in our night sky. This blazing hot planet has a high reflective quality, called albedo, which makes it shine in the sky. [Photos: Venus and Crescent Moon in April 2012] Editor’s note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you’d like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Police Failed to Protect Ahmadiyah Mosque From Attacks by Islamic Fundamentalist Group in Singaparna


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-071-2012

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -

ISSUES: Freedom of expression, Freedom of religion, Minorities, Police negligence

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the attack directed by an Islamic fundamentalist group, Islam Defenders Front (Front Pembela Islam, FPI) towards an Ahmadiyah mosque in Singaparna, Tasikmalaya, West Java. The attack took place on Friday, 20 April 2012. The police was present at the time of the attack yet it did not take any action to prevent or stop the attacks directed towards the mosque. As of the time of writing, the police have not named anyone as suspects.

Case Narrative

According to information AHRC obtained from a witness, Doni Sutriana, at around 8 in the morning two police Mass Control (Pengendalian Masyarakat, Dalmas) trucks arrived in the location where the Baitul Rahim mosque is located. One platoon of police was deployed to Baitul Rahim mosque. On the previous day, there was news received from the police, the village officers as well as the religious affairs office that the FPI would come to the mosque. The FPI said it wanted to come to the mosque to put a banner which reads that the local villagers refuse the presence of Ahmadiyah in their area.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Man Wearing Afghan National Army Uniform Kills American Soldier, Official Says

A man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform opened fire on coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, killing an American and wounding two others, officials said.

“An Afghan Army soldier turned his weapon against US soldiers inside an Afghan-US military base in Kunar Province, killing one US soldier and injuring two others,” provincial police chief Ewaz Mohammad Naziri told AFP.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Future of Islamic Intellectualism in Indonesia

In a show of force, members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) broke up a book launch and discussion featuring Canadian Muslim feminist Irshad Manji at the Salihara Cultural Center in Jakarta on May 5. It was said that the FPI accused Manji of violating a primary tenet of Islam by promoting homosexuality. Viewing the incident in a bigger picture, the unjustified action is linked to a series of efforts initiated by Muslim hard-liners in the last few decades to circumscribe and restrict the intellectual activities focusing on Islamic matters. It is not an atypical case that these vigilantes would exert physical force and violence to intimidate or dissolve public discussions, seminars, lectures and book launches. The situation is, of course, unfriendly to any intellectual and academic activity.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

Farming Aquarium Species to Save Them

Shawn Garner watches over 18 tanks of hundreds of tiny sea horses, bobbing among the artificial sea grasses and plastic zip ties provided to give their tails a hitching post. “It’s the coolest animal in the world,” he said, showing them off with a touch of both pride and awe. “It has a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey and a pouch like a kangaroo.”

Garner, supervisor of the Mote Marine Laboratory’s sea-horse conservation lab, is one of several experts across the country trying to raise ornamental fish and other wild marine species in captivity. These researchers, many working at aquariums and zoos, are engaging in the kinds of farming operations once reserved for fish sold in food markets and restaurants.

For sea horses, the stakes are high. Nearly one-fourth of the 36 sea-horse species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature are threatened with extinction.

Three factors account for the deaths of tens of millions of sea horses each year: the Chinese medicinal trade, accidental catch by shrimp trawling and other fishing operations, and habitat destruction.

“Being able to breed and raise sea horses is one part of the solution. Unfortunately, it’s not the only solution,” said Heather Koldewey, head of global conservation programs for the Zoological Society of London, adding that fishing restrictions and other coastal protections are also essential.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Lack of Babies Could Mean the Extinction of the Japanese People

Japan has a problem, a lack of children, and it seems likely there will be even fewer in the future. Japanese researchers have now warned of a doomsday scenario if it carries on this way with the last child to be born there in 3011 and the Japanese people potentially disappearing a few generations later.

Academics from the city of Sendai, which was hit hard by last year’s tsunami, calculate there are now 16.6 million children under the age of 14 now in Japan. And they say that number is shrinking at a disturbing rate of one every 100 seconds. So if you do the mathematics, as they did, then the country will have no children within a millennium.

Another study recently showed Japan’s population is expected to fall a third from its current 127.7 million over the next century. Government projections show the birth rate will hit just 1.35 children per woman within 50 years, well below the replacement rate. Now academics have created a population clock to highlight the fall and encourage public debate on the issue.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sony Slides to Three-Decade Low on Strategy Doubts

Shares in Sony Corp slumped more than 7 percent to near 32-year lows, as investors doubted the Japanese consumer electronics giant has a strategy to fix its loss-making TV business and compete in the smartphone market against Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.

The last time Sony shares were this low, in the summer of 1980, its first Walkman portable cassette player had just gone on sale in the United States. So far this year, Sony has seen more than $3 billion wiped off its market value.

The maker of Bravia TVs, Vaio laptops and PlayStation games consoles on Thursday posted a record annual loss of $5.7 billion, but forecast a first profit in five years as it looks to halve losses at its ailing TV business. The net profit forecast was below analysts’ expectations.

Japanese firms, which long dominated the global TV industry, have been overtaken by Samsung and LG Electronics, which are rolling out next-generation sets using organic light emitting display (OLED), in a reshaping of Asia’s flat panel sector. A stronger yen, which erodes the value of exports, has also not helped.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain: Ancestor Giant Panda Found in Aragon

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MAY 10 — Two upper molars have been found in a fossil bed in Nombrevilla, in the province of Zaragoza (Aragon). The find was sufficient to identify a new bear species that included the oldest giant panda known so far, that lived 11 million years ago, an ancestor of the pandas that currently live in China. The fossil of this bear, ‘Agriarctos beatrix’, are now part of the collection of the Natural Science Museum. It was identified by palaeontologist Juan Abella, first author of the article published in Estudios Geologicos, the Spanish media report. The find places the giant panda in the Miocene period and moves the group’s origins 2 million years back, from 9 to 11 million years ago, in an area in the basin to the north-east of Spain.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopian Muslims Protest Government ‘Interference’

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) — On the outskirts of Addis Ababa, a muezzin leads a solemn sermon at a mosque before thousands of worshippers stamp their feet to protest against what they say is the Ethiopian government’s interference in religious affairs. Protests are uncommon in tightly-controlled Ethiopia, and the unrest has caused concern in the predominantly Christian nation that takes pride in centuries of coexistence. The government fears hardline Islam is taking root in the Horn of Africa country, which has long been seen by the West as a bulwark against militant Islam in neighbouring Somalia. “We are observing tell-tale signs of extremism. We should nip this scourge in the bud,” Prime Minister Meles Zenawi told parliament last month. The protesters accuse Meles’ government of interfering by seeking to impose the beliefs of a little-known sect as doctrine. They say the government is promoting the Al Ahbash, an Islamic movement that opposes ultra-conservative ideology and rejects violence. The protesters broadly say they adhere to moderate Sufi-inspired values and not the ultra-conservative Salafist interpretation of Islam. “Call me a terrorist but I will defend my religion,” said the muezzin in his sermon, denouncing the Al Ahbash movement.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Irish Court Says it Had to Free Man Set for Deportation

THE IRISH SUPREME Court has said it was required by law to direct the release of an Algerian man who had so violently resisted deportation Garda (Irish police) concluded he could not be safely deported and returned him to jail.

The case of Nazih Kadri highlighted a problem with the Immigration Act that could only be addressed by legislation, all three judges agreed.

Mr Kadri, the judges believed, should not be entitled to benefit from his unlawful conduct in physically resisting deportation in “the most extreme way”, including resisting all attempts by garda to move him, shouting he would be killed and threatening to kill himself, forcing himself to vomit on garda, and butting his head against a car window and on the ground in Dublin Airport.

Mr Kadri’s “egregious” behaviour demonstrated the often appalling difficulties facing Garda immigration officers, Mr Justice Nial Fennelly said.

However, the law was clear and Mr Kadri had to be freed as he had been detained from February 8th last for an aggregate period of more than eight weeks, in breach of section 5.6 of the Immigration Act, the court found.

The court could not adopt a purposive interpretation of a provision designed to protect personal liberty, Mr Justice Fennelly said.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke agreed Mr Kadri had to be released and said the precise type of measures that could, or should, have been put in place to deal with the sort of problems that arose in this case was “not a given”.

Such measures required legislation and could not be introduced by the court via “a strained interpretation” of the law, he said.

Agreeing, Mr Justice John MacMenamin said the effect of section 5.6, as determined by the court, was Mr Kadri had benefited “as a result of his own wrongdoing”.

The judges made the comments in separate judgments yesterday outlining their reasons for freeing Mr Kadri on April 27th last after finding his detention was unlawful.

They disagreed with a High Court decision of April 13th that Mr Kadri’s detention was lawful because he had committed fresh breaches of a deportation order, giving rise to a power to make a new arrest of him and to issue a new detention notification.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Fennelly noted Mr Kadri came here in October 2006 and claimed asylum, which was refused.

In August 2009, the Minister for Justice made an order for his deportation and Mr Kadri was later notified he had to leave the State by October 8th, 2009.

He failed to do so and “very probably” took steps after that to evade deportation, including not residing at an address in Waterford where he was required to reside, the judge said.

On February 8th, 2012, Garda arrested him in Drumcondra, Dublin, and brought him to Cloverhill Prison.

On February 20th, 2012, the High Court refused to grant Mr Kadri an order restraining deportation.

Arrangements were made for deportation on March 29th, 2012. After violent behaviour at Dublin Airport that day, Garda concluded it would be impossible to deport him and that he could not travel unescorted from Gatwick to Algiers as had been arranged.

He was taken to Wheatfield Prison, where he remained until freed on April 27th last.

The Supreme Court ruled his detention was unlawful once eight weeks had expired from when he was detained in Cloverhill on February 8th.

Section 5.6 clearly provided that a person shall not be detained under this section for a period or periods exceeding eight weeks in aggregate, it held.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Millions of Illegal Immigrants Are Using a Massive Scam to Get Bigger Tax Refunds Than You Are

Did you know that illegal immigrants all over the United States are using a massive scam to receive tax refunds from the federal government that are often in excess of $10,000? It is estimated that 2 million illegal immigrants are filing fraudulent tax returns each year and that they are pulling in more than 4 billion dollars in tax refunds every year that they are not entitled to. They are doing this by abusing the additional child tax credit and the IRS knows all about it and yet they refuse to do anything to stop it. Illegal immigrants are filing tax returns that sometimes claim 10 or 12 nieces and nephews as dependents, and most of the time those nieces and nephews do not even live in the United States. So while you and I are being taxed into oblivion, many illegal immigrants are often pulling in tax refunds that are well into five figures. At a time when the federal government is absolutely drowning in debt, this is the type of fraud that desperately needs to be cracked down on, and yet the IRS refuses to take action.

[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Bad Mommy

In 1960, as a young wife living with my husband on his Ivy League campus, I had a front-row seat when the Feminist Movement made its debut. I was doing nothing, according to Obama mouthpiece, Hilary Rosen, because, after all, caring for our infant son, taking care of our home, and supporting the efforts of my equally hard-working husband, Steve, was—ala Rosen’s characterization of worthy activity—the very definition of sloth.


Today, a good number of the above-mentioned radicals make up the 70-or-more members of the Socialist Party of America, many of whom now “occupy” Congress, along with the current Secretary of State, Clinton, who wrote her thesis at Wellesley on her favorite Marxist radical Saul Alinsky, and Secretary of Defense Panetta, who has not only gutted our military but recently told Congress that any future military actions would depend on the “permission” he would seek from the corrupt cesspool on 1st Avenue in New York City known as the United Nations.

According to writer Mychal S. Massie, National Chairman of the conservative Black think tank Project 21, “The majority of Americans never understood that the antiwar demonstrators of the late ‘60s were not just college students… they were hardcore Marxists whose goals were…to take over colleges and universities by becoming administrators and tenured professors.”

“Ask yourself,” Massie adds, “how terrorists and avowed Marxists like Angela Davis, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Ward Churchill, and other members of the most violent domestic terrorist groups end up as tenured professors and chairmen of their departments.”

The result of the 1960’s tsunami-like social upheaval—especially in the leftist bastions on the East and West coasts where European nanny-state socialism was as irresistible then as it is to leftists today—were children raised on the permissive childrearing philosophy of pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, “educated” by teachers who strangely thought that feelings trumped academic discipline, and indulged by parents who were never indulged themselves. These ingredients—and the relentless drive of Communists and Socialists to topple America’s dazzlingly successful experiment in republican democracy—created the fertile environment for the decadent and violent decade of the sixties to flourish.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]