Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120909

Financial Crisis
»Hollande to Unveil Austerity Plans, Billions in New Taxes
»Portuguese Town, Pop. 20,000 and No Ambulance
»Sacrifices Kept Italy, Europe From Falling Off Cliff, Monti Says
»Soros Will Surprise Merkel, Barroso
»Analysis of Obama’s Convention Speech Highlights His Own Weaknesses
»Catering to Islam, The Recipe of Death
»Obama’s ‘FDR’ Plan Exposed?
»Obamacare and Big Pharma
»Obama Plans to Violate the Constitution Again and Issue Yet Another Executive Order.
»U.N. Triggers Plan B on Global Gun Control
Europe and the EU
»Germany: Dozens of Injuries in Clashes at Kurdish Festival
»Italy: PD Leader Bersani: “Party is Loyal to Monti, No Tricks”
»UK: A Quarter of Women ‘Wish They’D Tried for Children Earlier’
Middle East
»French Doctor Confirms Syrian Rebels Are Foreign Terrorists
»Iraq Struggles to Contain Domestic Terrorism
»Jihadists Join Syria Fight, Eye Islamic State, French Surgeon Says
»Wave of Deadly Attacks Hits Iraq
»Russia to Produce Electricity With Former Nukes
South Asia
»Indonesia: Shia Group Wants Talks, Not Sermon
Far East
»Hong Kong Votes in Crucial Legislative Elections
»Over 20cm and You Have No Hope: Chinese Beauty Contest Seeks Out Students With the Best Spaced Nipples
»Samsung’s Chinese Subsidiaries Treat Workers Like Animals
»Asylum Seekers Refuse to Leave Boat
Culture Wars
»Diversity Spreads to All Corners of the U.S.
»My Big, Fat Internet Divorce
»Social Justice at the University

Financial Crisis

Hollande to Unveil Austerity Plans, Billions in New Taxes

French President François Hollande is set to announce spending cuts and up to €20 billion in new taxes, which include a promised 75% tax on the wealthy, in a TV interview on Sunday as he faces rising unemployment and sliding popularity ratings.

AFP — French President Francois Hollande was Sunday due to announce unprecedented belt-tightening measures of billions of euros amid mounting discontent over the flagging economy and job cuts.

Hollande, whose popularity ratings have slid less than four months after he took power, is looking vulnerable as he prepares to push through a deficit-cutting budget and face down union anger over mounting layoffs.

The Journal du Dimanche weekly warned Sunday that Hollande — who famously said he does not “like the rich” and proposed a stinging 75-percent tax on income exceeding one million euros ($1.28 million), would announce “unprecedented” austerity.

It said the president would late Sunday outline, on the private TF1 television channel, new taxes of between “15 and 20 billion euros” ($19 and 25 billion) as well as austerity measures that would save 10 billion euros.

The keenly-awaited discourse comes on the heels of the shock announcement by France’s richest man Bernard Arnault, the boss of luxury goods giant LVMH, who declared that he was seeking Belgian citizenship.

That prompted Francois Fillion, the prime minister of former right-wing president Nicolas Sarkozy, to denounce the “stupid decisions” which lead to “terrible results”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Portuguese Town, Pop. 20,000 and No Ambulance

Torre Vedras, symbol of the economic catastrophe

(by Maria Novella Topi) (ANSAmed)- ROME — A blue and yellow ambulance gathering dust in a city hospital parking lot in the town of Torre Vedras, pop. 20,000, has become a symbol of Portugal’s economic crisis. The story of the ambulance, as told by Spanish media, is that the cash-strapped city hospital subcontracted the service, but the subcontractor lowered gross wages for the emergency medical team from 21 to 18 euros an hour, without warning. The medical workers struck rather than labor under the new regime, which they called “intolerable,” and so the inhabitants of this town in Lisbon province have one less emergency vehicle to rely on.

The hospital ambulance used to work alongside the firefighters’ ambulance, which now goes out on call alone. “She goes out alone, without specialists,” said local firefighting chief Fernando Barao. “It’s a huge risk, especially for cardiac emergencies and for car crash victims, who normally start getting treatment right on the ambulance.” The wage cuts were forced on them by recent national agreements, the subcontractor said. Effective August 1, new labor regulations have imposed 5.23% salary cuts, reduction of paid holidays (from 25 to 22), and, in descending order, cuts in overtime, unemployment benefits, and compensation for unfair dismissal. In some cases, Portuguese nurses are now making as little as 4 euros an hour, according to El Pais newspaper, citing the case of Nurse Angela Mendes, who used to take home 700 euros a month, and now clears just 250 euros.

Monitored by every international economic organization, Portugal still falls prey to market vagaries, and boasts wages that are among the lowest in Europe. But the data is not all grim, according to proponents of financial rigor like Finnish Premier Jyrki Katainen, who along with Germany, is a eurozone economic hardliner. “Portugal, Spain and Italy are doing a great job on the restructuring front, thanks to numerous reforms,” Katainen has said.

“Portugal’s program is ambitious, but realistic, and the markets should take that into account,” Italian Premier Mario Monti told visiting Portuguese Prime Minister José Passos Coelho in February. Indeed, just two days ago, the 10-year bond rate fell below 9% for the first time since 2011, to 8.99%. But the outlook remains negative, according to the ratings agencies, while July data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) confirmed the recession is ongoing. Portugal’s sovereign debt will equal 114.5% of GDP in 2012, 120.3% in 2013, according to the OECD.

While some say a single ambulance doesn’t tell the whole story, others quote figures showing fewer and fewer Portuguese take the highway to save on tolls, leading to a 30% drop in revenue for restaurants along the nation’s thoroughfares. In Torre Vedras, some blame the “gang of thieves” that is pauperizing the country, while others seem resigned: “It’s getting worse and worse, we ask less and less from life,” Spanish media quoted one citizen as saying.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Sacrifices Kept Italy, Europe From Falling Off Cliff, Monti Says

Bari, 7 Sept. (AKI) — Italian had to make sacrifices to prevent a national financial meltdown that would put an end to the euro monetary union, said Italian prime minister Mario Monti.

“The measures have allowed Italy to avoid a long-term irreversible economic crash, along with Europe,” he said Friday during a speech in the southern Italian city of Bari.

Monti came to power in November as a debt crisis spiralled out of control causing Silvio Berlusconi’s government to fall. Monti and a government of un-elected technocrat ministers have passed tax increases, declared war on tax evaders and made it more difficult to retire.

The moves, designed to balance the budget and decrease the world’s fourth biggest national debt, have had the adverse effect of cutting consumer spending and boosting unemployment. The Italian economy has contracted for four straight quarters and its fourth recession since 2001 is expected to go into next year.

The Monti government seems to have recently initiated a concerted effort to put out positive messages, saying that an economic turn around is imminent.

“Italy has avoided the cliff,” Monti said.

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

Soros Will Surprise Merkel, Barroso

Tomorrow, Monday the 10th, George Soros has planned to make a major intervention in European affairs by communicating an in-depth analysis as to the causes of the current crisis, which besides economic are political, social and systemic. Soros’ analysis will be followed by suggestions and recommendations, which are unlikely to make many happy, in particular the Germans.

The situation is quite simple. The problem of Europe is political. Soros is not a politician. He represents the Markets, or to be precise, he is the Markets. Therefore the intervention of Soros will not be political but practical and will only reflect the truth of the Markets.

On Wednesday, Jose Barroso will address Europeans with a major speech where he will announce the unification of the European banking system, or in real terms he will announce the supervision of European banks. Never is late this was due to be done more than four years ago when the then French President Nickolas Sarkozy invited Angela Merkel and other leaders and proposed exactly the supervision of EU banks (October 12, 2008). If at that time European leaders had adopted and enforced the proposals of Sarkozy there would be no crisis and there would be no need for multiple rescues.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Analysis of Obama’s Convention Speech Highlights His Own Weaknesses

President Obama may have called on President Clinton to save his presidency as only a person untrustworthy enough to have been impeached could do, with a straight face. But Obama has been unable to repeat Clinton’s successes, with one exception: he is able to deliver a speech that exceeds normal time limits, just as it exceeds most records for abnormal distortions.

Actually, as this writer has pointed out in another article (Canada Free Press, September 7, 2012), the length of the speeches of both of them do not necessarily work to their advantage, because the longer they spoke, the more they exposed themselves to ridicule by thoughtful analysis, for their hypocritical or counterproductive statements.


Obama’s fundamental goal is to “change” America even though America became the world’s superpower before Obama came to power, and is on a course to cede this preeminent position to China and other countries more so than ever before as it owes more money to China and other countries than ever before, and as its debt to them increases at a faster rate, and in more dollars per year than ever before. When a country has a reputation for being number one in the world in so many categories, and when people risk their lives and give up all their worldly possessions in order to start anew in this country, legally or illegally, than changing this country fundamentally can only send it in one direction — not forward but hurtling downward.

Obama wants to compete with the scientists and engineers from China. But if their scientists and engineers are so good, why are the Chinese constantly accused of trying to steal our technology?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Catering to Islam, The Recipe of Death

This week at the Democrat National Convention we saw a very disturbing event that the Democrat National Convention listed as an “official event”. This was what is called a Jumah. This is, from what I have found, is a Muslim pray rally. Twenty thousand people were expected to attend but only a few hundred actually did attend.

What is disturbing is one of the imams that was slated to speak, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. He has called for the overthrow of the ‘filthy’ Unites States government and the installation of shariah law and for the replacing the United States Constitution with the Quran.’

At this ‘official event’ at the DNC it was stated that Muslims first discovered America and it was a Muslim that guided Columbus here. He even claimed that Muslims are indigenous to America. This is such an outright lie, which muslims are good for in efforts to promote Islam. This has made Native Americas rightfully upset as mentioned by Miki Booth at the Western Center for Journalism:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama’s ‘FDR’ Plan Exposed?

President’s promised ‘experimentation’ on economy in the works

The president did not specify which possible methods of “experimentation” he had in mind, but in the recently released book “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed,” New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott document second term plans that come right from FDR’s playbook, most prominently an updated version of the WPA within the Department of Labor.

“Fool Me Twice” documents how progressive groups tied to the White House back the 2011 21st Century Works Progress Administration Act. The legislation would “immediately put Americans to work rebuilding our nation and strengthening our communities,” according to its literature.

The 21st century reincarnation of Roosevelt’s WPA would operate under the auspices of a Works Progress Administration created within the Department of Labor and headed by the secretary of labor.


Besides the WPA, “Fool Me Twice” details second-term recommendations to Obama that aim for more government funds to the manufacturing industries, most prominently to the “green” industry.


Write Klein and Elliott: “One of the most deceptive tricks in Obama’s rhetorical arsenal is his use of the term ‘economic fairness.’ A prime example of the progressives’ use, in general, of harmless-sounding rhetoric in their advancement of radical objectives, this ‘fairness’ derives directly from the Marxist conception of economic justice.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obamacare and Big Pharma

Prices for Health care go up, services go down and lines become longer for seniors. Medicare is robbed of 750 billion by Obama and the best Health care system on earth is practically in ruins. Pray that Romney and Ryan are elected and do not play around with ObamaCare but destroy the treacherous disaster that it is. Competition, access to natural health care, herbs and generic medication is under full on attack.

Let us not forget that only in June of 2012 Republicans released documents exposing the intense collusion and deal with the White House and ObamaCare. There are too many dimensions to unravel the whole, ‘crime family’ of betrayals, but it makes cow dung smell sweet.

There is nothing healthy about ObamaCare. It is nothing but one of many Obama schemes to control a major chunk of our economy, kill off seniors with rationed care and lines while killing off babies with abortions. It controls bank accounts and health care by having the IRS (Obama’s SS) controlling it while managing forced health care and fines.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Plans to Violate the Constitution Again and Issue Yet Another Executive Order.

The latest EO would create a government program protecting vital computer networks from cyber attacks, according to Bloomberg. The Department of Homeland Security would establish cybersecurity standards that companies could “voluntarily adopt to better protect banks, telecommunication networks and the U.S. power grid from electronic attacks.”

As we have pointed out on numerous occasions, cyber attacks do not threaten the power grid in the United States. Critical infrastructure in the U.S. is rarely connected directly to the public internet. “The fact of the matter is that it isn’t easy to do any of these things. Your average power grid or drinking-water system isn’t analogous to a PC or even to a corporate network,” writes Michael Tanji for Wired.

Despite this, the government has perpetuated propaganda designed to scare average Americans into backing cyber security legislation.


In other words, the imperial presidency controlled by Obama’s globalist handlers will once again violate the Constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 1, that states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The Constitution does not say that if Congress fails to pass legislation, the president can then implement it by executive fiat. Specific bills must originate in the House and Senate and then go to the president for signature in order to become law.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

U.N. Triggers Plan B on Global Gun Control

‘What’s at stake is the entire fate of firearms in America’

Americans who thought the United Nations’ gun-grabbing agenda collapsed with the adjournment of the Small Arms Treaty meetings in July are in for a surprise.

Enter the U.N. Programme Against Small Arms, an administrative program that National Association for Gun Rights Executive Vice President Dudley Brown says wouldn’t require a vote in Congress to be enacted, but has so far flown under the radar of most gun-rights groups.

A U.N. conference called the “Second United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects) that concluded this past week drafted a 2012 report that says the body maintains its commitment eliminate small arms trade, despite the July setback.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Germany: Dozens of Injuries in Clashes at Kurdish Festival

Dozens of police officers have been injured in clashes that broke out at a Kurdish cultural festival in Mannheim. Thousands of Kurds had gathered in the south-western German city for the festival.

Police said they had to use pepper spray to bring the violent crowd of several hundred people under control. They made 31 arrests and confiscated a small number of weapons as well as flags and t-shirts bearing banned symbols.

Most of the 80 police officers injured in the clashes were hit by bricks or bottles thrown by the attackers, while 13 police vehicles were damaged.

The number of Kurds who had traveled from all over Europe for the festival was estimated at approximately 40,000.

Police said the violence broke out after a 14-year old youth carrying a flag of a banned Kurdish organization attempted to enter the market area where the event was being held. Security personnel provided by the festival’s organizers called police for assistance after they failed in their attempt to prevent the youth from bringing the flag into the market area.

A police spokesman said that when officers reached the scene, they were immediately attacked by dozens of visitors to the festival, who appeared to have interpreted their arrival as a “provocation.” These, the spokesman said, were cheered on by several thousand others attending the event.

Related events in the days leading up to the festival were also marred by violence.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: PD Leader Bersani: “Party is Loyal to Monti, No Tricks”

(AGI)Reggio Emilia-Pier Luigi Bersani is newly asserting the merit of stemming Italy’s demise and confirmed PD’s loyalty to Monti. “Our word to the Monti government was and is: loyalty,” Bersani stated. “A word that expresses the honesty of our support and the frankness of our ideas and positions, what we like and don’t like, what we would or will do differently,” PD’s leader said in Reggio Emilia. “We don’t play tricks, we don’t set up ambushes, we don’t blackmail. We are in fact asking with all our power for Monti to not give in to the daily blackmailing. We do our part and speak out as much as we possibly can. The Monti government has regiven us dignity in the eyes of the world and kept us out of the coffin,” he added.

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

UK: A Quarter of Women ‘Wish They’D Tried for Children Earlier’

One in four women wish they had tried to start a family earlier, according to a survey that illustrates the scale of those turning to IVF for a baby.

The poll of more than 3,000 women aged 28 to 45 found 24 per cent regretted having waited so long, and 17 per cent were worried about being too old to conceive.

In addition, almost one in 10 (nine per cent) had already resorted to fertility treatment because of difficulties in getting pregnant naturally.

And one in five wanted to have a child so much they said they would consider purposefully becoming a single mother, either through donor sperm or another route.

According to results of the 2012 Modern Motherhood Report, commissioned by Red magazine, more than three-quarters who had undergone fertility treatment had paid for some or all of it themselves.

Although IVF is available on the NHS, provision is notoriously patchy, with local health authorities setting their own criteria as to who is and is not eligible.

The Red survey found the average spend on fertility treatment was £7,236, with a small minority spending over £15,000.

Women’s fertility falls rapidly after 35 — although it varies from person to person — and while IVF improves the chance of conceiving in one’s late 30s and 40s, it is no guarantee of success. IVF pregnancy rates also fall fast with age. Male infertility, although less associated with age, is also a growing problem.

Brigid Moss, health director at Red, said: “It’s not surprising that nine per cent of women say they’ve had fertility treatment. “It’s becoming more common, and so more accepted. In our study a quarter of women said they’d had problems trying to conceive.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

French Doctor Confirms Syrian Rebels Are Foreign Terrorists

Foreign Islamists intent on turning Syria into an autocratic theocracy have swollen the ranks of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad and think they are waging a “holy war”, a French surgeon who treated fighters in Aleppo has said.

Jacques Beres, co-founder of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, returned from Syria on Friday evening after spending two weeks working clandestinely in a hospital in the besieged northern Syrian city.

[…]”It’s really something strange to see. They are directly saying that they aren’t interested in Bashar al-Assad’s fall, but are thinking about how to take power afterwards and set up an Islamic state with sharia law to become part of the world Emirate,” the doctor said.

[…]Assad himself has consistently maintained that the 17-month-old insurgency against him is largely the work of people he refers to as “foreign-backed terrorists” and says his forces are acting to restore stability.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Iraq Struggles to Contain Domestic Terrorism

Nine months after the withdrawal of US troops, Iraq is still unstable. Terrorism remains the country’s biggest problem, but the catastrophic conflict in Syria — of all things — provides some hope.

In August, Iraq exported more than 2.5 million barrels of oil per day — breaking a 30-year-old record. It was welcome news for the war-torn country, where such reports of success are rare. But even these figures offered only limited respite. Though the oil industry accounts for over 90 percent of Iraq’s income, it provides few opportunities for Iraqis themselves, since it employs barely one percent of the Iraqi workforce.

Agriculture comprises a disproportionate sector of the Iraqi economy — supplying a fifth of all Iraqis with a living, but only four percent of the gross domestic product, leaving those who depend on it in relative poverty.

And the Iraqi private sector has developed much less than had been hoped. The country is struggling with widespread poverty, an employment rate of 18 percent, rising illiteracy, and above all rampant corruption. And state institutions are far from adequately established.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Jihadists Join Syria Fight, Eye Islamic State, French Surgeon Says

Speaking upon return from two weeks in Aleppo, surgeon says French jihadist fighters inspired by Toulouse gunman Mohammed Merah and that Turkey is flooding parts of border to stop refugees

Foreign Islamists intent on turning Syria into an autocratic theocracy have swollen the ranks of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad and think they are waging a “holy war,” a French surgeon who treated fighters in Aleppo has said.

Jacques Beres, co-founder of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), returned from Syria on Friday evening after spending two weeks working clandestinely in a hospital in the besieged northern Syrian city.

In an interview with Reuters in his central Paris apartment on Saturday, the 71-year-old said that contrary to his previous visits to Homs and Idlib earlier this year about 60 percent of those he had treated this time had been rebel fighters and that at least half of them had been non-Syrian.

“It’s really something strange to see. They are directly saying that they aren’t interested in Bashar Assad’s fall, but are thinking about how to take power afterward and set up an Islamic state with sharia law to become part of the world Emirate,” the doctor said.

The foreign jihadists included young Frenchmen who said they were inspired by Mohammed Merah, a self-styled Islamist militant from Toulouse, who killed seven people in March in the name of al-Qaida. The seven people included three soldiers from North African immigrant families, a rabbi and three Jewish children.

Assad himself has consistently maintained that the 17-month-old insurgency against him is largely the work of people he refers to as “foreign-backed terrorists” and says his forces are acting to restore stability.

During his previous visits to Syria — in March and May — Beres said he had dismissed suggestions the rebels were dominated by Islamist fighters but he said he had now been forced to reassess the situation.

The doctor’s account corroborates other anecdotal evidence that the struggle against Assad appears to be drawing ever greater numbers of fellow Arabs and other Muslims, many driven by a sense of religious duty to perform jihad (holy war) and a readiness to suffer for Islam.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Wave of Deadly Attacks Hits Iraq

At least 24 people were killed across Iraq on Sunday. A growing number of attacks in the past few months has raised fears of a return to widespread violence amid sectarian and political tensions.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Russia to Produce Electricity With Former Nukes

Russia is planning to destroy plutonium used in thousands of soon to be decommissioned nuclear warheads by using it as fuel in a special new atomic power plant. The reactor is set to begin operating in one year, but time pressures and a vulnerable cooling system make the project a risky one.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Indonesia: Shia Group Wants Talks, Not Sermon

Jakarta, 7 Sept. (AKI/Jakarta Post) — An Indonesian Shia organization says it will accept an invitation to a transparent and neutral dialogue to resolve existing problems with majority Sunni Muslims.

“We have always been open to dialogue. I, for example, recently returned from a dialogue in Makassar,” Jalaluddin Rahmat, the chairman of the consultative council of the Indonesian Ahlul Bait Association (IJABI) told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Jalaluddin, however, was critical of the government’s point man on religious issues. “We can’t trust Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali or his ministry because Suryadharma has declared us to be heretics.”

Nor, Jalaluddin added, could the police be trusted as they have consistently backed Sunni Muslims.

“If the minister sincerely plans to facilitate a dialogue in Sampang, he must also invite academics, neutral religious figures and the media so that the process will be transparent and impartial,” Jalaluddin said.

He was responding to Suryadharma’s proposal for a dialogue in Sampang, East Java, to resolve the Sunni attacks on minority Shiites.

On Wednesday, Suryadharma said that the ministry planned to hold the dialogue as “many things can happen after a dialogue, as in, for example, the experience where the Ahmadis [in Bogor] converted to the true Islam”.

Jalaluddin, however, had a negative assessment of Suryadharma’s proposal.

“He [Suryadharma] was suggesting a monologue instead of a dialogue, because he already had an agenda to convert people through the dialogue,” Jalaluddin said.

Jalaluddin was also critical of Sur-yadharma’s view of the dialogue with the minority Ahmadhi sect in Bogor.

“We must be free of pressure to concur with any agreement achieved through a dialogue. I think that the Ahmadis that Suryadharma referred to were under threat and forced to leave their faith,” he added.

He asked the local administration in Sampang to lift its ban on the IJABI and allow its members to enter the area to help the Shiites who have been living in a local stadium after their homes were destroyed by rampaging Sunni Muslims.

Echoing Jalaluddin statements, academic Zainal Abidin Bagir said that a dialogue required a two-way interaction and not the one-way interaction suggested by Suryadharma.

“The minister is right that dialogue is the best solution to what has been going in Sampang. It is the best solution to all conflicts,” Zainal, the chairman of the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies (CRCS) at Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University, said.

However, Zainal said, it was unclear if Suryadharma was suggesting a dialogue or a sermon, as he already recommended that the Shiites convert to Sunni Islam.

“Attempting to convert people is the outcome of a sermon, not a dialogue. Converting people is not the job of the minister. A dialogue will work if the participants, as well as facilitators, can get some distance from their faiths and are willing to accept each others’ differences,” Zainal said.

Meanwhile, Joan Elga Sarapung of the Yogyakarta-based interfaith organization DIAN/Interfidei, said that Suryadharma and other government officials had to be impartial in reconciling religious conflicts across the nation.

“Government officials, including Suryadharma, have failed to uphold justice when dealing with religious conflicts because they are biased,” Joan Elga said.

“They must know that they must serve all faith groups equally despite of their personal beliefs when running the country,” she added.

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

Far East

Hong Kong Votes in Crucial Legislative Elections

Hong Kong voters are going to the polls in elections seen as a barometer of anti-China sentiment. They come after the government backed down on a plan to introduce a compulsory Chinese school curriculum.

Nearly 3.5 million of the city’s seven people were eligible to cast ballots in the polls to directly elect 40 representatives in the 70-seat legislative council.

The other 30 are chosen by business and special interest groups. Ten seats have been added to the previously 60-seat assembly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Over 20cm and You Have No Hope: Chinese Beauty Contest Seeks Out Students With the Best Spaced Nipples

A Chinese beauty contest has stirred up a storm for dictating that its college student contestants reveal their nipples are well spaced.

The contest is seeking to find the ‘ten most beautiful college students’ in Hubei Province, according to Gawker.

The pedantic organisers are looking for nipples no further than 20cm apart.

The contest, launched by the website Campus Model, also has very strict requirements for the applicant’s bust, waist, and hips.

‘We want the winners to be extremely good-looking,’ one of the organisers told the Global Times.

‘We have based our criteria both on traditional Chinese and more modern Western aesthetic values..’

A website staffer claimed research on the perfect distance was carried out on the internet.

Many locals took to social networks to criticise the contest and anyone who decides to take part in it.

‘Check out what the brain-dead college people spend all day doing, then you’ll know why China can’t produce an Oxford,’ said Sina Weibo.

Another said that the most handsome boy will soon have to have the length and width of his penis measured.

So far a handful of women have agreed to have the gap between their nipples measured in the hope of winning 10,000 yuan, or approximately £1,000.

In contrast, competitions in the United States, such as Miss America, have moved away from being purely based on physical appearance.

The swimsuit and evening wear aspects of the Miss America pageant now only count for 35 per cent of a contestant’s score, with more combined weight being given to talent, personal interviews and a candidate’s response to an onstage question.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Samsung’s Chinese Subsidiaries Treat Workers Like Animals

After getting hit by a court decision on patent violations, South Korea’s giant is embroiled in a new scandal over worker rights violations in China, a US-based labour group reported. However, “Labor violations aren’t restricted to Samsung,” it added.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) -Following a US court decision against Samsung for violating patent laws, the South Korean company is again at the heart of another controversy, this time involving workers at its Chinese plants after US-based China Labor Watch discovered “severe labor abuses” at one of its suppliers, HEG Electronics.

The Chinese subsidiary assembles mobile phones for the South Korean giant in the city of Huizhou. According to China Labor Watch, children under the age of 16 are employed. Its investigations revealed that workers are also forced to do unpaid overtime, and can had their monthly salary (US$ 250) withheld when they asked for better working conditions. They are equally subject to “verbal and physical abuse.”

In Henan province, five more plants are under investigation. For its part, Samsung said it would inspect its nearly 250 Chinese partners. It would also conduct on-site inspections by the end of this month on all 105 Chinese companies that make products solely for the company. The others would be required to show that they respect labour laws.

“We are implementing a rigorous plan to address any potential violations,” the company said in a statement. The on-site inspections will be carried out by a 100-member team by the end of September, it added.

However, working conditions in China’s plants are not much better than those in Samsung’s. In fact, “Labor violations aren’t restricted to Samsung and are a problem in the electronics industry,” said Kevin Slaten, a spokesman for China Labor Watch.

In Communist China, the authorities have banned independent trade unions and failed to look into complaints of labour law violations made over the years.

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


Asylum Seekers Refuse to Leave Boat

MORE than 50 Australia-bound asylum seekers from Sri Lanka have refused to leave their boat after it was found stranded off Indonesia’s Sumatra island a week ago, officials say.

Sikakap district police chief Surya Negara said on Friday the boat holding 53 people, including three children and four women, was found drifting near small Mentawai island off Sumatra on September 1 after it ran out of fuel.

“They refused to get off the boat, saying that they want to continue their journey to Christmas Island (Australia). They want 2000 litres of fuel to sail back to sea,” Negara told AFP.

In a letter to a local immigration office, the asylum seekers threatened to go on hunger strike, saying “we will not eat until we die”, according to the message seen by an AFP correspondent.

Negara said local authorities have been in touch with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), but as the island was so remote, it takes time to reach the location.

“Up until now, they refused food or medical treatment. But based on our observation they still have enough food on their boat,” he said.

Australia is facing a steady influx of asylum-seekers arriving by boat, many of whom run into trouble on rickety vessels in Indonesian waters after fleeing their home countries.

Indonesia has long been a transit country for illegal migration to Australia. Hundreds of boatpeople have died en route to the country this year.

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Diversity Spreads to All Corners of the U.S.

By Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY

The number of nearly all-white communities has plummeted since 1980, dramatic evidence that the nation’s growing racial and ethnic diversity has spread far beyond large metropolitan centers into smaller towns and rural parts of the heartland, new research shows.

Communities where whites are the majority are still the norm (82.6%), but those where they dominate are gradually disappearing, according to an analysis of Census data by Penn State’s Population Research Institute. In 1980, about two-thirds of all places were at least 90% white. By 2010, only a third were. The number of places where no group is a majority has more than quintupled.

“This trend is pretty geographically pervasive, and even residents of small towns and rural areas are encountering diversity face to face,” says Barrett Lee, Penn State sociologist and demographer and lead author of the study released today. “It’s not something they just read about in the newspapers anymore.”

Places that have the most balanced mix of non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, blacks, Asians and others are most prevalent in the West and South and other traditional immigrant magnets. Large cities and their suburbs — San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; New York; Los Angeles; Houston — have the greatest share of diversity.

“It’s really the kids who are driving all this,” says Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute. “As population continues to age and minority child population increases, these numbers are going to go up fast.”

The impact is striking in rural areas where white populations are shrinking as young people leave and the elderly who stay die. When Hispanics and Asians move in, minority kids are born and alter the dynamics. Many rural schools have added English-as-a-second-language classes and social service agencies have hired translators.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

My Big, Fat Internet Divorce

I’m going through a divorce . . . with modern technology. It’s has never been my way to follow the pack, to take part in trends or fads, to follow the yellow brick road simply because others were walking in the same direction.

Thus, as a start of my divorce proceedings, I’ve deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts. It was very simple . . . the click of a couple of buttons.


The popular misconception is that Facebook is about sharing, about establishing some much-glorified connection with people across the planet. A greater degree of hogwash I’ve never heard. Facebook is a business; little more than a data-mining operation functioning under the guise of something that is caring and benevolent. It claims to “bring people together.” In fact, it does nothing of the sort. It fosters the illusion of connection, attempts to convince people they are “friends” simply because they post some pictures, reveal what they had for lunch, describe the weather conditions or speak of their latest adventures.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Social Justice at the University

Ideology of social justice that infects our colleges and universities will bring in its wake suffering and disappointment, as all lies do.

Last February 20, Prensa Latina reported, “United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called to restore the global economy, build a new social contract for the 21st century and look for development leading to greater social justice.” Source

Besides encouraging students, Ban Ki-moon’s call for social justice has become a mantra repeated by many college and university faculty and administrators. Social justice is used to promote a university’s image and to recruit students. Unfortunately, what started as a marketing tool, has now become a tool for indoctrination.


Add to this warning, the words of Cardinal Francis George, the Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, and it is little wonder that social justice raises many red flags.

Cardinal George writes, “The temptation can be to work for justice apart from love, but then justice becomes itself a formula for oppression. Justice without love is destructive, as Marxist societies, founded on equality and social justice alone, teach the world.” Source


For all practical purposes, sociology at some universities has collapsed into Marxism, if not hard core Marxism, than Marxism-Lite. Weber’s emphasis on religion as a component of economic development is ignored and the alternative cultural dialectic of Pitrim Sorokin is hardly mentioned in these sociology departments.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

Kurdish Culture Enriches Europe: 80 Police Wounded in Mannheim

For hours, around 2,500 violent or violence-willing Kurds and 600 police officers confronted one another in the Maimarkt area. Mannheim university clinic initiated its emergency plan: 40 doctors and 60 carers maintained a state of readiness; five operating rooms were ready for use.

Anonymous said...

Haya El Nasser obviously thinks it is a good thing that diversity is spreading itself out across the USA. The question is will the 10% rule apply and if it does where will the Europeans go? What will happen when America has a white minority? Everybody seems to be burying their heads in the sand over that one. The same thing is happening in Europe of course and in Britain people are white flighting all over the place, now heading for Scotland. How it will end we can only guess, although a friend has told me that it is all in the Book of Revelations so perhaps it is all the precursor to the second coming. The thing that confuses me is why Europeans are handing their countries over instead of trying to ensure that the countries of origin of these people achieve the same standards as European countries and those of European settlement? Perhaps we did that in the days of the European empires and they won't want us back. My great worry is a world without Europeans and a world that is third world. I suppose that that would mean the end. But then this is all pure heresy in today's Marxist world so I had better shut up. Indeed you may choose not to print this comment.

Unknown said...

I think one of the news items has been tampered with.

It states " of the imams that was slated to speak, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. He has called for the overthrow of the ‘filthy’ Unites States government... "

But if you follow the link back to the source, the name is actually "Siraj Wahhaj" and has somehow been replaced with that of Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who of course is very ANTI Islamist. That's what drew my attention.

Some kind of smear perhaps?