Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120602

Financial Crisis
»EU: Berlusconi Says Italy Should Print Money, Germany Can Leave Euro if it Disagrees
»Feeble U.S. Job Growth Stokes Fears of Global Slowdown
»Ireland Has Now Passed the Point Where it Can Honestly be Deemed an Independent Country
»Irish People Grudgingly Accept EU Treaty With Referendum ‘Yes’ Vote
»Spain: Five Hundred Years of Crisis
»UK: Wealthy Europeans Flee Euro Crisis and Invest Their Cash in Upmarket London Homes
»Are Liberals Immoral?
»Dumbing Down of America Exposed in Florida Schools
»‘Morris Dees is a Con Man, Fraud’
»Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates U.S. Public Schools
»Not for Sale
»Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Honorary Chair of Socialist Organization
»One Nation Under Surveillance
»Under Allah With Sharia for All
»What Bilderberg Secrets? Just Ask…
»Why Are Americans Ignorant of ‘Agenda 21’?
Europe and the EU
»Afghanistan: SAS Free British Aid Worker Kidnapped Last Month in ‘Breathtaking and Extraordinarily Brave’ Night-Time Helicopter Raid on Cave Deep in Taliban Territory
»Britain Should Snub Obama’s Re-Election Ploy
»Brussels: Greece Ultimatum on Waste and Sewage
»Greece: Parents Spend Over 5 Bln Euros on Extra Education
»Italy: American Marine Accused of Raping 7-Year-Old, Posting Images Online
»Italy: Former Bank Head Arrested Over Loan Scandal
»UK: Family Forced to Live With Pair of Doves Who Nested on the Floor in Their Living Room Because They Are a Protected Species
»UK: Students at Top Oxford College Refuse to Hang Picture of the Queen Because Doing So Would Promote Elitism
»UK: Turkish Killer Who Slaughtered Wife and Mother in Law is Jailed for 36 Years
»Kosovo: From June 1: Cars With Serbian Number-Plates Banned
North Africa
»Algeria: Alarm Over Counterfeit Sunscreen
»Egypt’s Mubarak Gets Life in Prison for Murder of Protesters
Israel and the Palestinians
»The Patriotism of Palestinianism
»The Reign of the Fantasists
Far East
»China Arrests Top Security Official on Suspicion of Spying for U.S. In ‘Greatest Breach of State Intelligence for Two Decades’
»Eco-Guiltology and the Yeosu Declaration
»North Korea Murders Its Own Officials
»EU Report: 20.2 Million Legal Immigrants
Culture Wars
»Boobs on Display
»How Far Up at Bank of America Do They Dislike Guns?
»Ontario’s War on Religion and Parental Freedom

Financial Crisis

EU: Berlusconi Says Italy Should Print Money, Germany Can Leave Euro if it Disagrees

Rome, 1 June (AKI) — Italy should start printing money and Germany can leave the eurozone if it dosesn’t like it, ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Friday.

“Here’s the crazy idea I have in mind,” he said . “Let’s start printing euros with our mint,” he said at a Rome meeting of politicians from his centre-right People of Freedom party.

Berlusconi has called for the European Central Bank to create demand for sovereign debt by stepping in and buying bonds. Higher demand would lower the interest rates for Europe’s countries suffering a economic crisis brought on in large part by high debt levels.

Berlusconi resigned in November amid the crisis that threatened to cause an Italian default on interest payments for its 1.9 trillion-euro debt load. The People of Freedom party still has the most seats in Parliament making its support crucial for Mario Monti’s unelected emergency government.

“We have tell Europe that the European Central Bank has to start printing money, and change its mission. Otherwise we’ll have to say ciao ciao to the euro or tell Germany and France to leave the euro if they disagree,” Berlusconi said.

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

Feeble U.S. Job Growth Stokes Fears of Global Slowdown

For a third year, the economic recovery in the United States is floundering, stoking fears of a global slowdown as the European crisis escalates.

Last month, the nation’s employers added the fewest jobs in a year and the unemployment rate actually rose, the Labor Department reported Friday. May was not a fluke either. It was the third consecutive month of disappointing results.

The weakening recovery is a serious vulnerability for President Obama as he faces re-election and it provides traction to his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, who says the administration has not done enough to strengthen the economy. Because Washington remains deeply divided over how best to stimulate growth, the report increases the pressure on the Federal Reserve to take further action on its own.

The United States gained a net 69,000 jobs in May, for an average of 96,000 over each of the last three months. That is down from a 245,000 gain on average from December through February. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 in April, though largely because more people began looking for work. And there was more bad news: job gains that had been reported in March and April were revised downward.

Economists can explain away a month or two of dismal numbers, but a three-month run is difficult to ignore. The economy now seems to be following the spring slowdown pattern of the last two years — a bright spot of accelerating growth followed by a slump. The news on Friday even raised mentions of a possibility that dogged last year’s forecasts but did not come to pass: another recession.

The report on American jobs added to the global pall that has deepened with Europe’s debt crisis and slowing growth in China and India. Global financial markets, weak in early trading on Friday, sank further on the report. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 2.22 percent, or 274.88 points, wiping out its gains for the year, and the main index of the German stock market closed down 3.4 percent.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Ireland Has Now Passed the Point Where it Can Honestly be Deemed an Independent Country

Ireland’s ratification of the EU fiscal pact can only be described as abject.

There comes a point when a country has surrendered so much of its sovereignty that its claim to be a self-governing polity expires. Ireland has passed the point at which it can honestly be deemed an independent country. The Republic is in abeyance.

In approving Friday’s referendum, Ireland has voted to hand away its freedom to set its budget according to its own wishes. This absolutely basic task of government was already compromised under the terms of the country’s bail-out. This has already led to the dismaying spectacle of Irish budget details being considered in Berlin before being submitted to parliament in Dublin. Now Ireland has formally voted away its fiscal independence by submitting to Brussels’ superintendence of its future budgets.

The surrender of monetary policy occurred when Ireland resolved to join the Euro, despite Britain, its most important trading partner, wisely resolving to opt out. Ireland is now a country without independent control over its currency, its taxation policies, or its spending. Added to scant control over its borders and its air, land and sea, can it truthfully any longer be called an independent country?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Irish People Grudgingly Accept EU Treaty With Referendum ‘Yes’ Vote

Ireland’s voters gave a grudging seal of approval to an EU treaty that paves the way for further austerity measures across the continent in a desperate attempt to fight the debt-crisis that threatens the existence of the euro.

The treaty’s approval, to be declared officially later today, relieves some pressure on EU financial chiefs as they battle to contain the eurozone’s debt crisis.

But critics said the tougher deficit rules would do nothing to stimulate desperately needed growth in bailed-out Ireland, Portugal and Greece nor stop Spain or Italy from requiring aid too.


Overall, about half of Ireland’s 3.13million registered voters participated in yesterday’s referendum, typical in an officially neutral country that is constitutionally required to hold a referendum on each European treaty.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Spain: Five Hundred Years of Crisis

Süddeutsche Zeitung Munich

Spain has frittered away its chances for economic development for the second time. The first was after it discovered the Americas in 1492, and the second was after it joined the European Union in 1986. The anti-economic thinking that has dominated Spain is rooted in its history and culture. Excerpts.

Sebastian Schoepp

What’s wrong with Spain? Back in the reign of Prime Minister José María Aznar (1996 -2004), it was the poster child of the EU when it came to growth. One hundred and fifty billion euros in structural aid poured from Brussels into the fourth-largest economy in the euro area.

But instead of flourishing factories, abandoned capital spending projects scarred the barren soil of Andalusia and Castile, and now lie as dead as the castle ruins from the era of El Cid. Both times and places reveal an anti-economic social model that has distinguished Spain for half a millennium.

In modern times Spain has experienced a self-imposed isolation that ended only in the 1960s, when dictator Francisco Franco opened the borders to tourists. Spain thus stumbled late into the modern age, ‘excited and hasty like the guest who arrives last at the banquet and gorges to make up for lost time’, wrote Juan Goytisolo in his 1969 essay ‘Spain and the Spaniards’, which still rings true today.

Twenty years later, and with the same eagerness, Spain began to dispense the manna that fell from the sky in the form of EU structural aid. However, rather than investing in a productive society, it wanted to belong to the EU as quickly as possible, to modernise itself — which meant, above all, to look modern. The money was hurled into the housing market. Initially it was hurled usefully, later — fired by Aznar’s ultra-liberal land policy — in a frenzy.

The triumph of the anti-economic thought, however, had already started back in 1492. Spain had not only discovered America, it had also defeated the last remnants of Arab rule in Granada and in the coming centuries would drive Muslims and Jews out of Spain. Both those groups were responsible for trade and commerce. The Spanish noble, however, detested work, which was forbidden to him by a bizarre code of honour, and saw his God-given task only in soldiering…

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

UK: Wealthy Europeans Flee Euro Crisis and Invest Their Cash in Upmarket London Homes

The falling value of the euro has seen a surge in wealthy Europeans investing in London property.

Upmarket estate agents in smart areas such as Mayfair in central London have reported a rise in Greek, Italian, Spanish and French buyers.

The ongoing eurozone crisis has meant those with the means to buy six- or seven-figure properties are looking to safeguard their money in the UK, as it is seen as a financially stable location.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Are Liberals Immoral?

Yes, liberals are immoral. The liberal power elite are selfish, hypocritical, arrogant, self-righteous, and, worst of all, destructive of those around them. They are willing to saddle everyone else with rules and regulations that do not apply to them, and with higher taxes that they somehow escape paying. The Buffett Rule might sound like a great idea, but it would never apply to the Buffetts of this world. Or the Kerrys, Kennedys, or any other left-wing billionaire.

Scratch the surface of the liberal elite, and you will find a monstrous contempt for those “beneath” them. Liberals like Barack Obama live and breathe in a realm of utter disdain for ordinary Americans, including congressmen who hail from what the president likes to call “Palookaville.” It is not just that they are out of touch; it is that they despise what is normal and decent. They would no more live in the heartland or send their kids to a public school than they would forego an exemption engineered solely to save them money — the same tax break for the rich that they publicly decry as soooo unfair. It’s no surprise that several prominent liberal Democrats made their fortunes as slum lords and ambulance-chasers. Others just married their money.

There’s nothing wrong with making money, of course. Mitt Romney earned every penny of his fortune, and to his credit he has never apologized for his success. But the liberal game — the Kennedy game — is to pretend to side with the poor and, by doing so, gain political power so as to further line one’s own pockets. In all of this, the liberal elite are utterly cynical.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Dumbing Down of America Exposed in Florida Schools

It has been no secret that we are having an educational crisis in the United States. Public schools are doing worse and worse, unable to compete with private schools, homeschooled children, and for that matter the rest of the world. Some suggest that this is on purpose. By dumbing down our children we are preparing the future generations for more easily accepting authoritarian control by leftist systems of governance.

We are raising young people in our public schools that are illiterate. We are cramming them with bad information from experimental teaching techniques, political correctness, and liberal philosophies so that they will be good, obedient citizens. Informed voters think for themselves, and seek freedom. A dumbed down population is always eager to depend on the government overlords. Mind-numbed followers don’t ask questions.

History is our students’ worst subject. They can’t even answer the simplest questions about history in regards to the Revolutionary War, World War II, or the Korean War. The fault partly lies in the fact that history textbooks are poorly written, and partly because they are not being taught the information in the first place. I remember when my nephew came to me upset because in his History Class they skipped the chapter about the U.S. Constitution. When he inquired why, the teacher explained to him that the class was limited in time and had to skip unnecessary lessons.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

‘Morris Dees is a Con Man, Fraud’

Last week I wrote about what an honor it is to labeled one of the top 30 most dangerous leaders of the “radical right” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In case I didn’t adequately underline just what a corrupt extremist organization the SCLC truly is, I wanted to add a little detail about this claim: “Not only is the SPLC nasty, brutish, extremist and anti-American, but it’s also one of the biggest con games around — an anti-capitalist moneymaking machine.”

Let me take you back five years to see what Harper’s Magazine had to report about the group.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates U.S. Public Schools

A flurry of news media reports last week highlighted a Harlem public elementary school that will become the first in New York to require students to study Arabic.

Entirely unreported is that the organization that co-created and funded the Arabic language program for the New York school, WND has found, maintains close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, while the group’s founder also started the Al Jazeera television network.

The Qatar Foundation International, or QFI, a nonprofit group financed by the government of Qatar, gave Harlem’s Hamilton Heights, a K-5 public school, a $250,000 grant to support the Arabic program for three years.

The school’s Arabic language program was reportedly developed by QFI and the the Global Language Project.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Not for Sale

Our freedom and Constitution have always been priceless. Their value to most Americans is vividly clear. The cost of our Freedom and country was blood, lives, wealth and treasure. Americans know that we are the leader of the free world, unique and a Christian nation. They also know that we are under assault and dangerously compromised now.

Through out our brief and miraculous history as a country, fearless and visionary leaders have risen up to serve and protect the U.S.A. Most have not been for sale but some have given in to the seduction of power, having affairs, and committing crimes. Most, however, have fought to serve America and do what was right.


Recently Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his investigator team confirmed that the alleged, long form birth certificate shown to the nation in a press conference last April 27, by Obama, was a complete forgery. Media and leadership in Congress and America had nothing to say. These were Sheriffs and investigators confirming what known document examiners had already proven, that the presented birth certificate was a complete forgery.

On Friday, May 25th I interviewed Sheriff Arpaio’s chief investigator Mike Zullo and Dr. Jerry Corsi. Both were in Hawaii going deeper into the investigation of Obama and the long form birth certificate. They told me that with in just a few weeks Sheriff Arpaio and his Cold case Posse would have another press conference that would reveal more of what they had found and it was huge. They both told me that it was earth shattering in scope and a possible game changer. Though they did not tell me exactly what it was just yet, they did say that what they would reveal was a national security risk; involved an international conspiracy and decades of planning behind Obama. Dr. Corsi said it was so serious that the Democrat party might even have to find a different candidate.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Honorary Chair of Socialist Organization

President Barack Obama on Tuesday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, Dolores Huerta.

The Heritage Foundation notes that Huerta, 82, has in the past said that “Republicans hate Latinos” and praised Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

One Nation Under Surveillance

America prides itself in being called “the land of the free.” But, what, exactly, does it mean to be free? Does it mean owning a car and having a job? People in communist countries own a car and have a job. Does it mean going to a mall to shop? People in communist countries go to a mall to shop. Does it mean going to an amusement park to recreate? People in communist countries go to amusement parks. Does it mean going to the polls and voting? People in communist countries go to the polls and vote. In reality, many, if not most, of the things that most Americans would identify as marks of freedom are commonly practiced in the most oppressed communist countries of the world. So, what does it mean to be free?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Under Allah With Sharia for All

Last week, a white African-American friend and her husband returned to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from a European trip and observed an American-Muslim woman from their flight navigating U.S. Immigration and Customs. The couple watched attentively as the covered woman approached the immigration officer, who avoided eye contact, glanced hastily at the woman’s ID, and waved her heedlessly through. When it was their turn to be processed, the officer carefully scrutinized their faces, studied their passport photos, and then repeated the sequence a second time.

While shopping in a Washington, D.C. suburban supermarket, an Iranian-American human rights activist, who fled Iran following the Khomeini-led revolution, spied a woman in a multi-layered hijab shopping with her playful young daughter. In the parking lot, the woman struck her meandering daughter as they passed by the stunned Iranian woman. The activist reprimanded the mother for hitting her daughter and cried out, “And please don’t force her to wear a headscarf when she grows up.” Two hours later, two police officers arrived at the Iranian woman’s home to question her after the irate Muslim mother, who had recorded the activist’s license plate number, summoned them.

Are these incidents indicative of hypersensitivity to potential accusations of Islamophobia, or do they reveal an already entrenched subservience to Muslims — dhimmitude — or both? A closer examination of both leads to the conclusion that perhaps the two concepts are one and the same. Both reflect a fear of Muslims which appears to lead to special treatment. Conceivably, it’s a matter of degree, with dhimmitude being the end result of pervasive concerns about manifesting Islamophobia.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

What Bilderberg Secrets? Just Ask…

Not much really needs to be said in this particular column. For decades, Americans have been speculating about what takes place behind the closed doors of the secret meetings of the Bilderberg Group. This weekend, the group is holding its annual meeting at a Virginia Marriott Hotel. Forty-eight American citizens are named by the group as attending that meeting.

At the close of this weekend’s Virginia gathering of the global elite, all forty-eight U.S. attendees will know exactly what was discussed behind those closed doors and since those discussions directly impact the governance of the United States of America, the American people have every right to know what took place in those meetings.

In fact, the Freedom of Information Act covers the people’s right to know all information affecting their governmental policies and ultimately, every American citizen. If the American people really want to know what is taking place in those secret meetings, they need only ask.

While I’m sure there are attendees who are not listed on the Bilderberg Group official press release, here are the forty-eight American’s who are listed as attendees of this weekend’s event.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Why Are Americans Ignorant of ‘Agenda 21’?

The United Nations Agenda 21 was signed by the United States in 1992 and 14 years later, people are still in the dark. If you were to ask at random the question, “Have you heard of Agenda 21?” the answer would be an over-whelming “No,” although it is being implemented in every local community.

Agenda 21 is a 40 chapter document listing goals to be achieved globally. It is the global plan to change the way we “live, eat, learn and communicate” because we must “save the earth.”

“Its regulation would severely limit water, electricity, and transportation — even deny human access to our most treasured wilderness areas, it would monitor all lands and people. No one would be free from the watchful eye of the new global tracking and information system,” according to Berit Kjos, author of Brave New Schools.

Maurice Strong, Secretary-general of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro said, “…[C]urrent lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class — involving high meat consumption and large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and workplace air-conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable. A shift is necessary which will require a vast strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United Nations.

In other words, the Global plan is for us to live on the level of third world nations. That means no box mixes or microwave meals, limited use of fuel of any kind, no air-conditioning and very little meat. When the cost of freon skyrocketed, when mad cow disease hit, the National Animal Identification System introduced, the price of fuel soared, it has become apparent that given time, these sustainable controls will be put into place — one way or another — and the Global Governance is powerful.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Afghanistan: SAS Free British Aid Worker Kidnapped Last Month in ‘Breathtaking and Extraordinarily Brave’ Night-Time Helicopter Raid on Cave Deep in Taliban Territory

A British aid worker kidnapped in north east Afghanistan last month has been freed after a dramatic SAS rescue mission authorised by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Helen Johnston, 27, a nutritionist from Stoke Newington in London, Kenyan national Moragwe Oirere and two Afghan civilians were rescued during an early morning raid by members of the elite special forces unit.

All four hostages work for Medair, a humanitarian non-governmental organisation based near Lausanne, Switzerland and were kidnapped on May 22 in Badakhshan province.

Mr Cameron confirmed all four hostages were rescued safely, no British troops were injured and five Taliban and hostage-takers were killed.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Britain Should Snub Obama’s Re-Election Ploy

British Prime Minister David Cameron should refuse President Barack Obama’s request in the latter’s latest desperate push for re-election. Back in March, when Obama and Cameron last met, the president floated the idea of a coordinated release of oil reserves in an effort to drive down prices at the pump. This would possibly involve the Americans releasing some 700 million barrels of crude oil, and Britain reducing the amount of oil they currently demand oil companies hold in reserve, which would have the same effect on the private sector as releasing oil stocks.


Yet even if one ignores the cynical timing of this move, Obama’s request should still be refused by the American ally. Oil prices are high not due to merely bad timing, or to other international events (although these always play a part). Oil prices are particularly high in America directly because of the Obama’s administrations anti-oil, anti-business radical green agenda.

The president has fought against the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to Texas, has imposed a five-year moratorium on a majority of offshore oil-drilling areas, and has approved attacks on attempts to drill in Alaska. These are just three examples of this administration’s attitude regarding the price of oil in America, which is at best neglectful and at worst a deliberate move to raise prices in order to force green forms of energy down the throats of the American people.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Brussels: Greece Ultimatum on Waste and Sewage

Twelve areas in the country still below EU standards

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, MAY 31 — Greece risks ending up in front of the European court of justice if it doesn’t rapidly adjust to the standards of sewage management of twelve areas in the country and of its Kiato dumping ground in the Peloponnese.

The European commission has in fact sent an ultimatum to Athens today, considering that this type of violation of the rules can constitute a serious threat to public health and environment.

The Kiato waste dump operates without any authorisation and does not respect EU rules. According to a report by Greek authorities, the urban refuse waters of Prosotsani, Doxato, Eleftheroupoli and Vagia are still not being put under the treatment requested by the EU directive and in eight other districts the sewage system is inadequate. Greek authorities recognize the existence of the problem in both cases and are trying to tackle the issue, but since 2009 no necessary measures have been adopted and due to this Brussels has formally requested that the problem be solved as soon as possible.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greece: Parents Spend Over 5 Bln Euros on Extra Education

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MAY 31 — Greek families spend more than five billion euros a year on educating their children despite the fact that most children go to public schools and all universities are free, according the results of a study presented on Wednesday and published by daily Kathimerini. The research, carried out by experts working for the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), the country’s main private labor union, found that two billion euros was spent each year on private tuition schools, language and music lessons, sports and other activities. Another 3.2 billion euros was spent private schools, living expenses for university students and fees for postgraduate studies. “Shadow education is a symptom of the weakness of our education system and it puts extra pressure on Greek parents who are trying to overcome difficulties by offering their children the best possible future,” the head of the research team, Nikos Paizis, told Kathimerini. The study found that parents dig particularly deep when their children reach secondary school. Whereas they pay a total of 775 million euros for primary school education, two billion is spent on children once they are in high school. Of this, almost 1.5 billion euros goes on what is termed “shadow education,” which includes cramming schools, language classes and private music lessons. Parents also face a sizable bill once their children reach university. At that stage, about 1.5 billion euros is spent from family budgets on rent and other living expenses, so high school graduates can enter tertiary education. Another 400 million euros is spent on textbooks and writing material. The research is based on data relating to 2008 and it is not yet clear what impact the economic crisis in Greece has had on the amounts that parents are able or willing to spend on their children’s education.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: American Marine Accused of Raping 7-Year-Old, Posting Images Online

Pisa, 29 May (AKI) — An American soldier was arrested by Italian police on Tuesday after allegedly making a video of his repeated rape of a seven-year-old girl and posting it online.

The 28-year-old marine sergeant from the US state of Florida was arrested by the Italian carabinieri military police and is being held at a prison in Pisa, in northeast Italy. The United States has the right to request his extradition.

The unnamed suspect was serving at Camp Darby between Pisa and Livorno in Italy’s Tuscany region. During a search of his home and office police found child pornography on his computer. The seven-year-old victim was the daughter of a friend.

The victim was identified by a teacher in Tuscany after Italian investigators worked on clues from a video such as images of a beach in Livorno and the alligator symbol of the University of Florida’s football team.

The US marines took part in the investigation.

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

Italy: Former Bank Head Arrested Over Loan Scandal

Milan, 29 May (AKI) — The former chairman of the Banca Popolare di Milano Massimo Ponzellini was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of bribery and granting irregular loans.

Ponzelli was placed under house arrest amid an investigation that bank executives received 5.7 million euros in bribes after they granted loans to a number of companies, a police statement said.

Ponzelli, who left the bank at the end of last year, is the chairman of the Milan-based construction company, Impregilo.

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

UK: Family Forced to Live With Pair of Doves Who Nested on the Floor in Their Living Room Because They Are a Protected Species

A family have been forced to live with a pair of doves who flew in through a window nested on their living room floor because they are a protected species and cannot be removed.

David and Angela Blackburn said the birds set themselves up a home inside their four-bedroom property in Nelson, Blackburn, after flying in without them realising.

The birds arrived with two eggs which have since hatched and they have now laid a second lot of eggs.

By law the family are unable to touch the nest — even though the doves have covered their property in their waste and feathers.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Students at Top Oxford College Refuse to Hang Picture of the Queen Because Doing So Would Promote Elitism

Students at Oxford University have been branded ‘unpatriotic hypocrites’ after they refused to hang a portrait of the Queen — because she was ‘born into privilege’.

Undergraduates at Keble College wanted to spend £200 on a picture of Her Majesty to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

But college members — whose alumni include the Duke of Kent’s grandson Edward Windsor — voted against the portrait because it promoted elitism.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Turkish Killer Who Slaughtered Wife and Mother in Law is Jailed for 36 Years

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A Turkish man, who knifed to death his new bride and mother-in-law in a prolonged and vicious attack, was today jailed for 36 years.

Ensar Gol, 22, grinned in court again as he was jailed to two life sentences a day after he smirked at being told he would be going to prison for a long time.

There were cheers in court when he was told of his fate by High Court Judge Mr Justice Supperstone.

Gol repeatedly stabbed Michala, his wife of six months, as she lay sleeping in their bed in Thame, Oxfordshire, because he was unhappy in the marriage.

Michala’s mother Julie Sahin, who was watching television downstairs with a friend, rushed up to find Gol perched over her daughter repeatedly plunging the knife into her neck.

As she tried to pull Gol away, she slipped to the floor where she was set upon in a frenzied attack. A post-mortem examination revealed the two women had been stabbed around 70 times.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Kosovo: From June 1: Cars With Serbian Number-Plates Banned

(ANSAmed) — PRISTINA/BELGRADE, MAY 29 — Kosovo’s Interior Minister, Bajram Rexhepi, has today announced that as from June first this year, cars with Serbian number plates that refer to areas within Kosovo will no long be permitted to use the highways. Speaking on local television, the Minister stressed that vehicles have to be re-registered with Kosovo’s registration centre by this date. Those failing to comply will have their cars impounded by the police. There will be no further extensions, the Minister said, pointing out how the registration number provision is part of the accords concerning freedom of movement reached with Brussels over past months as part of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Initially, the deadline for new registration had been set at December 31 2011, but it has been extended several times.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algeria: Alarm Over Counterfeit Sunscreen

No protection from UV rays, harmful to skin

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, MAY 31 — The issue of counterfeit and therefore potentially harmful sunscreens being sold is taking on the contours of a true emergency in Algeria. As is only natural with the arrival of summertime, sales of this type of product increase and many (attracted by low prices and taken in by deceitful labels) buy them especially in the market stalls along the streets and on the sidewalks — where, however, most of the sunscreens are counterfeit and therefore provide no protection, even putting the health of those using them at risk. Algerian authorities have launched a number of alarms against the problem, which cannot however be dealt with effectively due to the current regulations not requiring (unlike with medicines) that the packaging report the composition of the product, making it easy to sell those entirely lacking in any sort of protection for buyers. The latter are taken in by the fact that these products offer carry the labels of widely known brands, but which have absolutely nothing in common with them. However, the real problem is that these sunscreens, or those claiming to be sunscreens, do not only not offer any protection against UV rays but are also harmful to the skin of those making even occasional use of them. And, understandably, appeals for caution fall on deaf ears if the buyer is impressed by the fact that the product is being offered at a cost which is 5-6 times lower than that of the original. The government is trying to react through its peripheral branches. For example, in Oran products like sunscreens account for 60% of counterfeited goods confiscated by customs officials, with most coming from China. It is an enormous market which sparks greediness in speculators, who of course brush off any qualms over effects to the buyers’ health. But Algeria is not equipped to handle such an emergency. One need only think of the numerous small markets of small towns, where itinerant vendors come, set out their wares and sell them without any checks, to then pack up and leave. Laboratories for analysis are especially lacking, the only facilities able to carry out the necessary checks on product quality. More in general, this type of check is not enough, as seen in a survey in which it is claimed that Algeria, along with China and Russia, Russia and China, is the country with the lowest level of anti-counterfeiting measures. The survey’s source is a highly reliable one: an agency of the US government, the USTR, tasked with fighting counterfeiting.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Mubarak Gets Life in Prison for Murder of Protesters

CAIRO — Toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for complicity in the murder of hundreds of anti-government protesters, ending a raucous trial that impassioned the Arab world and shook autocratic regimes across the region.

The verdict stunned this emotionally battered nation and spurred cheers from cities to distant villages. Mubarak and Habib Adli, his former interior minister, who was also sentenced to life, listened to their fates from behind the mesh of a defendants’ cage. Sitting on a stretcher, Mubarak, dressed in a striped shirt and beige jacket, was stone-faced behind dark sunglasses.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

The Patriotism of Palestinianism

Each century brings forth its own patriots. Once upon a time we had Patrick Henry, today we have Senator Patrick Leahy, who declared in the Senate that his opposition to an amendment that would distinguish how much of the UNRWA’s funding goes to actual refugees versus fake refugees was a patriotic act.

“I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests,” Senator Leahy stated firmly. It is of course difficult to find as compelling a national interest as the UNRWA, a refugee agency created exclusively for the benefit of five million Arabs, approximately 30,000 of whom are actual refugees, but all of whom hate the United States.

Senator Leahy, who could not discover a national interest in the Balanced Budget Amendment, drilling for oil in ANWR or detaining Muslim terrorists, all of which he voted against; finally discovered a binding national interest 5,500 miles away in Jordan, where “refugee camps” like Baqa’a (pop. 80,000), which are virtually indistinguishable from local towns and cities, complete with block after block of residential homes, stores and markets, multi-story office buildings, schools, hospitals and assorted infrastructure, must not be looked at too closely.


Senator Mark Kirk’s heretical proposal to begin reforming the UNRWA by distinguishing between people who could have some claim on being refugees from the vast majority who cannot, met with Leahy’s declaration that; “Frankly, Mr. Chairman, as a member of this committee, I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests.”


Where exactly is the compelling national interest in standing behind the UNRWA’s 1.23 billion dollar biennial budget, and not just the budget, but a refusal to reform the methodology for accounting where all that money is going to? Before Washington D.C. cuts another quarter-of-a-billion dollar check to one of the biggest wastes of money in an organization that excels at wasting money, even more than D.C., it’s entirely sensible to ask whom the money is going to and how long we will be making out these checks?

There are currently five million people living off the UNRWA dole. Sooner or later there will be fifty million. Jordan’s government has done everything possible to inflate the UNRWA welfare rolls and keep cities like Baqa’a and their people on the Western dole. One day the Jordanian government, the British-appointed monarchy ruling over the original Palestinian state, may decide to give up the farce and put all their people on the UNRWA rolls as refugees. And we’ll have to keep on paying without asking any questions—after all, it is in our “national interest”.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Reign of the Fantasists

State Department supporting a policy regarding Palestinian refugees that is both factually absurd and deeply hostile to Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has done it again. Speaking on Wednesday at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Barak warned that if Israel can’t cut a deal with the Palestinians soon, it should consider surrendering Judea and Samaria in exchange for nothing.

Even the diehard leftists in the media had a hard time swallowing his words. After all, when Barak was premier, he oversaw Israel’s unilateral surrender of south Lebanon in 2000. Barak promised that by giving Hezbollah south Lebanon, Israel would force the Iranian proxy army to disarm and behave like a Western political party.


In Obama’s fantasy world, Erdogan is a great ally of the US. The fact that Erdogan has redefined Turkey away from the West and towards Tehran and the Muslim Brotherhood; rendered incoherent NATO’s strategic mission; ended Turkey’s strategic alliance with Israel; used advanced US arms to kill Kurdish civilians, and threatens war in the eastern Mediterranean over natural gas deposits that do not belong to him is irrelevant. All that matters is the fantasy that Erdogan is America’s friend. And since Obama embraces this fantasy, he subcontracted the formation of the Turkish opposition to Erdogan.

Lo and behold, the opposition Erdogan established was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. And now, according to a report by Jacques Neriah from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Syrian opposition is dominated not only by the Muslim Brotherhood, but increasingly by al-Qaida. So whereas a year ago the US had an opportunity to build and shepherd into power a multiethnic, pro-Western Syrian opposition, in the throes of his fantasies about Iran and Turkey, Obama squandered the opportunity. As a result, today we are faced with the grim reality that the world might be safer leaving Assad alone than intervening to overthrow him.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Far East

China Arrests Top Security Official on Suspicion of Spying for U.S. In ‘Greatest Breach of State Intelligence for Two Decades’

A top Chinese state security official has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the U.S., sources have claimed.

It is a case both countries have kept quiet for several months as they strive to prevent a fresh crisis in relations.

The official, an aide to a vice minister in China’s security ministry, was arrested and detained early this year on allegations he had passed information to the U.S. for several years.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Eco-Guiltology and the Yeosu Declaration

You’ve heard it all before. In 1982, British atmospheric chemist James Lovelock expounded the basis for sustainability in an Oxford Press publication. Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis warned that, unless humans halt their technical assault on Earth, she cannot heal herself and, for that reason, faces destruction. You see, Gaia-Mother Earth (oceans included) is perceived as a living, interconnected eco-system. For damages inflicted, she deserves human apology; and a “world brain,” consisting of the United Nations and its agencies, will see to it.[1]

To this end, more than one hundred countries and international organizations are expected in Yeosu, South Korea, from May 12 to August 12 for EXPO 2012, international exposition recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE). Marine biology takes center stage at Expo 2012, where some eight million visitors are gathering to stick it to industry for ravaging the sea. By promoting a new, post-Kyoto vision of international cooperation, the Yeosu Declaration leaps previously established boundaries by advancing its own brand of eco-guiltology.


Opposed by former President Ronald Reagan as the cornerstone of a Marxist-oriented New International Economic Order, the UNCLOS establishes an international legal regime, complete with a global court to govern activities on, over, and under seven-tenths of the world’s surface. Provisions of the treaty permit international rules and regulations to govern economic and industrial activities on the remaining land area of the world in order to combat global warming and other perceived pollution dangers.[6]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

North Korea Murders Its Own Officials

Just what is a rogue, all-powerful government capable of doing to its own citizens? What about its own officials? The answer lies in North Korea, the Stalinist state that has been ruled by a succession of power-mad dictators who seem to have gotten more brutal as the lineage progresses.

Amnesty International, in a recent report on the human rights records of scores of nations, found that last year the North Korean government “purged” — that is, got rid of — at least 30 of its own government officials, while an additional 200 were rounded up by the State Security Service in January as a precaution ahead of the transfer of power from Kim Jong-il, who died of an apparent heart attack in December, and his 29-year-old son, Kim Jong-un.

And the supposed wrong-doings of these 30 officials? High crimes and treason? Planning to overthrow the regime?

Nothing so compelling or serious. They were killed because they engaged in failed talks with South Korea — talks that, by the way, would never have taken place in this authoritarian state without the permission of the “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il, himself.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


EU Report: 20.2 Million Legal Immigrants

68% believe they should enjoy same rights as EU citizens

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS — There are 20.2 million third-country immigrants legally in the European Union, equal to about 4% of the total population of the EU-27 (502.5 million) and 9.4% of the estimated 214 million recognised regular migrants worldwide. This is one of the figures of the 2011 figures on migration, asylum and freedom of movement in the EU presented today by the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom. The commission’s report underscored the importance of migration on the European agenda for the growth of a continent with an aging population. “Even with an unemployment rate of around 10%,” claims the report, “many member states do not have a sufficient labour force and capacity in a number of sectors and for different reasons.” In a Eurobarometer survey accompanying the survey, 68% of Europeans think that legal immigrants should enjoy the same rights as European citizens. However, only 42% feel that immigration should be encouraged to deal with the demographic slide and gaps in the labour force, while 46% hold the opposite opinion. Only 53% of Europeans think that immigration enrich the countries receiving it at the cultural and economic level. As concerns illegal immigration, in 2011 access to the European Union was denied to 343,000 people (-13% compared with 2010) and 468,000 were stopped after having managed to enter illegally (compared with 505,000 in 2010). In the eyes of 80% of Europeans, the EU should increase assistance to countries like Italy and Malta to deal with illegal immigration, and 78% think that the costs should be shared out among members of the EU-27.

Last year asylum requests rose to 302,000, a 16.2% increase over 2010, but still well below the peak of 425,000 in 2011.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Boobs on Display

Two members of the Washington Air National Guard are in hot water—and deservedly so, from our perspective.

Senior Airman Terran Echegoyen-McCabe and Staff Sergeant Christina Luna were recently photographed breast-feeding their young children. So the Air Guard (and the Air Force) have a problem with breast-feeding? You might say they do—but only if military women do it in uniform, and allow themselves to be photographed, in support of an organization that promotes breast-feeding. It’s not the act that landed the women in trouble—it’s using their uniform to promote a cause, as a public affairs officer told Air Force Times:…

           — Hat tip: DS[Return to headlines]

How Far Up at Bank of America Do They Dislike Guns?

In April of this year, Kelly McMillan learned that his companies had become too active making firearms. His companies are McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing and McMillan Group International.

On April 19, 2012 a Bank of America (BoA) Senior Vice President, Ray Fox, visited McMillan at his office. Fox had scheduled the meeting as an “account analysis” meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit McMillan’s companies have with BoA. Fox went on for about five minutes talking about how McMillan had changed in the last five years, becoming more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.

McMillan told him: “At this point I interrupted him and asked, ‘Can I possibly save you some time so that you don’t waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer want my business?’“

“That is correct,” Fox replied.

“That is okay,” McMillan replied. “We will move our accounts as soon as possible. We can find a Second Amendment friendly bank that will be glad to have our business. You won’t mind if I tell the NRA, SCI and everyone I know that BoA is not firearms friendly?”

“You have to do what you must,” Fox said.

“So, you are telling me this is a politically motivated decision, is that right,” McMillan asked?

Fox confirmed that BoA’s decision was based on their dislike of firearms.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Ontario’s War on Religion and Parental Freedom

It is perhaps ironic that legislation purporting to combat bullying is being advanced by the biggest bully of them all — government — as the progressives in Ontario are busy drafting Bill 13 to force Catholic schools to set-up “gay-straight alliance clubs” within their institutions.

The Ontario government already compels conscientious Christian parents to pay twice for their children’s education, but this latest attack on religious freedom signals an ever-growing and disturbing intolerance and totalitarianism which should be of grave concern to all freedom-loving Canadians.

Recall the case of Jessie Sansome, the 26-year-old Kitchener father of four who was summarily arrested and strip searched while his children were seized by family services and his home ransacked by armed police. The entire incident resulted from overzealous school officials over reacting to his four-year-old daughter drawing a man with a gun in her kindergarten class. No charges were laid and Sansome was freed and reunited with his children after being detained for several hours. As disturbing as this case is, comments and reaction from government and school officials after the fact exacerbate the seriousness of the situation.


Statists and progressives seek to utterly control and dominate every aspect of our lives, be it the cars we drive, the foods we eat, the appliances we use, how much power we consume, which doctor cares for us or who we can hire if we are an employer. Even our thoughts and speech are controlled according to whichever politically correct view suits the current and temporary upstart politician looking for re-election. But when the state imposes and interjects itself between us, our children and our God, we must draw an impassable line. To utterly submit to a state that seeks to dominate our bodies, minds and spirit — as Marxist ideology seeks to do — is to surrender our fundamental freedom, morality and spirituality to suit a superficial and ideologically driven agenda. Such a mindset runs contrary to any measure of human rights and dignity, not only on a common sense or empirical level, but also according to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; a document which purports to protect individual freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief, expression and opinion, and freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Malcolm Smith said...

A Harlem school which mandates the study of Arabic? They must be crazy!
Not every person has a flair for languages. I have, and have studied (I won't say learnt) 9 or 10. But Arabic defeated me. It is a very difficult language. Firstly, it uses a different, and very confusing, alphabet. Secondly, its pronunciation is different from that of any European language. Thirdly, as a non-Indo-European language, its grammar defies the logic of English.
I might add, that when I visited a mosque in my own country, it was clear that the members (mostly immigrants from Pakistan) could not speak Arabic.