Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120911

Financial Crisis
»China Premier Allays Growth Fears
»Dutch Vote Hinges on Euro Crisis
»Economist: Irish People One of ‘Most Indebted’ In World
»Greece: Economic Woes Force Communist TV Station Off Air
»Moody’s Threatens to Downgrade US
»Non-Euro Countries Raise Concerns on Banking Union
»Shadow Economy in Eastern Europe Undermines Growth, Says World Bank
»Spain’s Leader Rejects Tough Bailout Terms
»Spanish PM Refuses to be Told How to Run Budget
»Troika Questions Greek Austerity Plan
»A Prayer for America in Its 11th Hour
»Bill Protects Religious Garb, Grooming in the Workplace
»Critical Bill for State Legislatures 2013 Session: Constitutional Militia
»FBI to Implement Coast-to-Coast Biometric ID System Across US Over the Next 24 Months
»Frank Gaffney: The World’s Not Better Off
»In Unusual Snub, Obama to Avoid Meeting With Netanyahu
»Supercomputer Recreates Universe From Big Bang to Today
»US Military Has ‘Taken Over’ A Small Colorado Border Town: What Are They Preparing for? The Break-Up of America?
Europe and the EU
»Airbus Superjumbo Deliveries Delayed
»Greece: Golden Dawn, Police at Loggerheads
»Greek Working Group to Decide on German WWII Reparations
»Independent Scots May Lose EU Citizenship
»Norway: Breivik Lawyers Exposed to Death Threats
»Remarque: ‘The Dutch Are Skeptical of Brussels’
»Turkey’s Cyprus Snub ‘A Sign of Disrespect to EU’
»UK Universities Ranked Best in EU
»UK: Channel 4 Cancels Islam Documentary Screening After Presenter Threatened
Mediterranean Union
»Research: EU-Med Countries Conference Soon in Jordan
»UFM: Monti, Italy Committed to Stronger Regional Cooperation
North Africa
»Egyptian Protesters Scale US Embassy Wall in Cairo
»Egypt: Court Lifts Ban on Veils for Egyptair Cabin Crew
»US Official Dies in Libya Consulate Attack in Benghazi
Israel and the Palestinians
»Intelligence Committee Chair Describes Explosive Confrontation Between Netanyahu and American Ambassador
Middle East
»Ahmadinejad Says Enemies Destroy Iran’s Rain Clouds: Reports
»Iran at the Brink
»Islam’s Ancient Divide Fuels Middle East Conflicts
»Gazprom Man Calls EU a ‘Thief’
»‘Living’ Mammoth Cells Found in Siberia, Researchers Say
South Asia
»Indonesia: Christian Leader Cries Shame as Minister, Mayor and Islamists Close the Yasmin Church
Far East
»China Asserts Sovereignty Over Contested Islands
Australia — Pacific
»Muslim Mayor Defeats Australia Rulers
Culture Wars
»Con Game Extraordinaire
»German Court: Transsexuals Have Right to Breasts
»The True Goal of School Choice
»White Protestants, Your Monopoly is Over
»Antimatter and Fusion Drives Could Power Future Spaceships

Financial Crisis

China Premier Allays Growth Fears

China’s premier Wen Jiabao has promised to take fiscal and monetary measures to boost China’s sluggish economy. Despite China’s lacklustre economic outlook, the country’s leader insists China will meet growth targets.

China’s economy was showing “signs of stabilizing” and might still reach the government target of 7.5 percent growth in 2012, the Asian country’s premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday.

Despite a slowdown in growth as a result of a global economic downturn, Chinese economic expansion was still “within the target range” set at the beginning of the year, Wen said in a speech to the World Economic Forum, presently meeting in the Chinese city of Tianjin.

In Chinese efforts to boost the economy, Wen said there was “room for more cuts” in the country’s interest rates, as well as in the amount of funds banks must keep in reserve. The two monetary policy measures have already been used by Beijing to stimulate the economy through enlarged money supply.

In addition, the Chinese premier said there were plans to “bring the potential for domestic demand into maximum play,” suggesting tax cuts for consumers and support for private sector investment.

Last week, Chinese media said that a massive infrastructure package worth more than 1.0 trillion yuan (123.1 billion euros) was in the pipeline waiting to be announced by the government.

However, the Chinese leader also urged the industrialized countries to “better coordinate” macro-economic policies, including efforts to oppose trade and investment protectionism.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Dutch Vote Hinges on Euro Crisis

As the euro crisis comes to a head, German Chancellor Angela Merkel could lose an important partner in her fight for a stable currency. Even if incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte wins Wednesday’s election in the Netherlands, he will have to make concessions in what are likely to be difficult coalition talks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Economist: Irish People One of ‘Most Indebted’ In World

Economists say the high level of household debt highlighted by the IMF is blocking Ireland’s hopes of economic recovery.

In its latest review of Ireland’s bailout, the IMF outlines the challenges posed by high household debt levels, a lack of lending to small businesses and long-term unemployment..

It also proposes cutting unemployment payments and the minimum wage as a means to get people back to work.

Dr Stephen Kinsella, senior lecturer in economics at the University of Limerick, says the scale of Ireland’s household debt crisis is unprecedented.

“The ratio of household debt to disposable income in Ireland is higher than Spain, the UK and USA by a factor of 10.

“It’s pretty grim reading, they show that we’re some of the most indebted people in the world and show it is much harder to stabilise our economy.”

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Greece: Economic Woes Force Communist TV Station Off Air

The TV station owned by Greece’s Communist Party (KKE) stopped broadcasting on Tuesday. KKE said that the operational costs for its 902 channel had become prohibitive due to last month’s switch from analog to digital broadcasting.

The party said that it did not receive enough financial support from advertisers or the state to keep going. KKE said that it would create an online news portal instead with the help of “volunteer work from party members.”

The party pledged to “help as much as possible” the employees at 902 who had lost their jobs as a result of the closure. KKE also has a radio station called 902 and publishes the daily Rizospastis newspaper.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Moody’s Threatens to Downgrade US

As the budget deficit tops $1 trillion for the fourth time, the US might lose its top triple-A debt rating unless it finds a way to decrease the debt, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

If next year’s budget negotiations fail to produce policies that would reduce the deficit, Moody’s would likely lower the rating to Aa1, which is one step below the current Aaa rating. If resulting policies would stabilize or decrease the debt, then Moody expects to keep the current rating as it is.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday said that the government ran a $192 billion deficit in the worst August on record, which brings the federal government to a $1.17 trillion deficit for the fiscal year 2012.

While the deficit is slightly lower than last year’s, the CBO predicts that the government will face another trillion-dollar shortfall next year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Non-Euro Countries Raise Concerns on Banking Union

Plans for stronger banking supervision in the eurozone are putting non-euro members in a difficult position: they want the euro-crisis to end, but they do not want to endorse a two-speed Europe.

EU ambassadors from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the UK met on Monday evening (10 September) in Brussels to share concerns regarding the European Commission’s banking union plans to be unveiled on Wednesday.

Giving the European Central Bank (ECB) the last say over which banks need to boost their capital or sell assets in order to avoid bankruptcy was Germany’s condition for accepting the future permanent bailout fund (ESM) being tapped directly by ailing banks in the eurozone.

The 10 ‘euro-outs’ each have a veto over the banking union plans, as they will require unanimity in the EU Council of ministers to pass.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Shadow Economy in Eastern Europe Undermines Growth, Says World Bank

Doing business and working outside government regulation and tax systems in eastern Europe is so widespread that it risks undermining the region’s long-term growth potential, says a World Bank report released on Monday (10 September).

“The governments of the new member states in Eastern Europe simply cannot afford a large shadow economy, neither in the short run due to fiscal concerns, nor in the long run due to the shrinking labour force,” said World Bank senior adviser, Katarina Mathernova.

The report looked primarily at Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

It found that the shadow economy made up 33 percent of Bulgaria’s GDP in 2007.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain’s Leader Rejects Tough Bailout Terms

Spain’s leader, Mariano Rajoy, has said he will not agree to harsh bailout terms for funds. That promise, coupled with Rajoy’s elusiveness over whether Spain will seek a bailout, may send nervous shivers through Europe.

Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, on Monday ruled out European bailout conditions that dictate public spending reductions and entail pensions cuts in his country.

“I could not accept that they tell us which are the concrete policies in which we have to cut or not cut,” Spain’s new leader said in his first televised interview since coming to office in December.

If there is one area I won’t touch it is pensions,” he said. Rajoy referred to Spain’s pensioners as the “defenseless” and pledged to maintain pensions in next year’s budget.

“We are not going to touch VAT any more,” the 57-year-old statesman also said. Rajoy had been compelled to increase the top rate by three percent to 21 percent as part of measures to tackle Spain’s public deficit.

Rajoy’s comments are also likely to fuel concern that Spain will try and delay a bailout or avoid one altogether.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spanish PM Refuses to be Told How to Run Budget

“I could not accept that they tell us which are the concrete policies we have to cut or not cut,” Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Spanish state television following the ECB’s conditional bond-buying offer. Rajoy pledged to maintain pension levels in the Spanish budget for 2014.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Troika Questions Greek Austerity Plan

Inspectors from the ‘troika’ in Athens Sunday have questioned parts of an austerity plan by the Greek government for cutting €2bn in public sector expenses, Financial Times Deutschland reports. Lenders want Greece to cut €12bn from the state budget over the next two years in return for further money.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


A Prayer for America in Its 11th Hour

“Eight days after terrorism declared war on America, a young state senator blamed it on “a failure of empathy” — yet another reason why Barack Obama should never be commander in chief (Business Investor’s Daily, Sept. 13, 2008).

“The July 20 issue of the New Yorker magazine got a lot of attention for its cover, which carried a “satirical” cartoon depicting Michelle and Barack Obama that Obama supporters found tasteless and offensive.

“The article reprised a piece published in Chicago’s Hyde Park Herald on Sept. 19, 2001, and written by a then-unknown and otherwise undistinguished state senator from Illinois. The senator, a former community organizer, wrote that after tightening security at our airports and repairing our intelligence networks, we “must also engage…in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness.”

“According to Barack Obama, the madness that drove terrorists to turn passenger jets into manned cruise missiles aimed at our centers of finance, government and military power “grows out of a climate of power and ignorance, helplessness and despair”.

“As if the answer to the attacks should have been food stamps for al-Qaida…”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Bill Protects Religious Garb, Grooming in the Workplace

Under AB 1964 signed by Gov. Brown, California employers face new restrictions against shunting Sikh and Muslim workers out of public view for wearing turbans, beards and hijabs.

California employers face new restrictions against shunting Sikh and Muslim workers out of public view for wearing turbans, beards and hijabs, under a bill signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The measure could affect workplaces from Disneyland to San Quentin Prison.

“This bill, AB 1964, makes it very clear that wearing any type of religious clothing or hairstyle, particularly such as Sikhs do … is protected by law and nobody can discriminate against you because of that,” Brown told some 400 Sikhs and supporters at a rally of the North American Punjabi Assn. on the steps of the Capitol. Brown also signed SB 1540, which requires the state Board of Education to consider a new history framework for schools that the governor said will include “the role and contributions of the Sikh community in California.”

A series of court cases have muddied the water on what employers must do to accommodate the religious practices of workers, said Rajdeep Singh, director of law and policy for the Sikh Coalition, a national civil rights group based in New York City. The new law will clarify the requirements.

“It’s needed because Sikhs and other religious minorities continue to experience job discrimination on account of their religion,” Singh said.

A study by the coalition found that 12% of Sikhs in the San Francisco Bay Area have been subjected to some form of workplace discrimination.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Critical Bill for State Legislatures 2013 Session: Constitutional Militia

“When evil men take office, the whole gang will be in collusion. They will keep the people in utter ignorance and steal their liberty by ambuscade. A standing army we shall have, also to execute the execrable commands of tyranny. Your guns are gone! What resistance could be made? Will you assemble and just tell them? Even if you could assemble, how will you enforce rightful punishment when due? Your guns are gone! My great objection to this government is that it does not leave us the means of defending our rights, or waging war against tyrants. Have we the means of resisting disciplined armies, when our only defense, the militia, is put in the hand of the congress?” Remarks made by Patrick Henry while he was opposing the Constitution when it was unguarded by a Bill of Rights (Courtesy of the Second Amendment Committee)

Since 9-11, our freedoms and liberties have been crushed on a regular basis by incumbents in the U.S. Congress who have overstepped their legislative authority in erecting a police state in this country comparable only to the old Soviet Union. This is becoming an everyday headline:

FBI begins installation of $1 billion face recognition system across America

“Birthmarks, be damned: the FBI has officially started rolling out a state-of-the-art face recognition project that will assist in their effort to accumulate and archive information about each and every American at a cost of a billion dollars.”

State and local law enforcement have also jumped on the bandwagon of killing the Bill of Rights because the General Government has thrown trainloads of money at them to get on board the police state:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

FBI to Implement Coast-to-Coast Biometric ID System Across US Over the Next 24 Months

The FBI is going ahead with an advanced biometric identification service that it has been testing and will phase into operation around the nation over the next couple of years. The official launch of the so-called Next Generation Identification program is part of the agency’s billion-dollar upgrade of the agency’s national fingerprint database.

The FBI’s Jerome Pender told the Senate in July that the tests involved only included mugshots of known criminals and that future searches would be subject to rules governing criminal justice agencies. Sounds nice in theory, but privacy groups still want to see the fine print. The FBI has declined to offer specifics about the algorithms it uses in the system. That was a red flag for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose attorney Jennifer Lynch raised the possibility that the FBI still could also add civilian photos to the database with nobody able to prevent it.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Frank Gaffney: The World’s Not Better Off

Eleven years after 9/11, President Obama would have us believe that, at least with respect to our national security, we are better off than we were when he came to office. Specifically, he now claims that al Qaeda — the terrorist organization that killed nearly 3,000 Americans on that terrible day — is “on the path to defeat.”

That contention is, of course, predicated in part on the laudable fact that al Qaeda’s founder, Osama bin Laden, is dead, as are a number of the organization’s other senior leaders. The President deserves credit for achieving such successes.

But they do not mean even that the group that perpetrated the 9/11 attacks are nearly defeated. In fact, its franchises are going — and growing — concerns in places like Libya, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali and Pakistan, to say nothing of the theaters We have abandoned (Iraq), or are in the process of abandoning (Afghanistan).

More importantly, even if it were true that al Qaeda is being defeated, a net assessment would clearly show that, on Mr. Obama’s watch, the world has become much more hospitable to its ideology and goals, and much less safe for America and our interests.

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

In Unusual Snub, Obama to Avoid Meeting With Netanyahu

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM, Sept 11 (Reuters) — In a highly unusual rebuff to a close ally as tensions escalated over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday President Barack Obama would not meet Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli prime minister’s U.S. visit later this month.

The apparent snub, coupled with Netanyahu’s sharpened demands for a tougher U.S. line against Iran, threatened to plunge U.S.-Israeli relations into crisis and add pressure on Obama in the final stretch of a tight presidential election campaign.

An Israeli official, who declined to be identified, said the White House had refused Netanyahu’s request to meet Obama when the Israeli leader visits the United States to attend the U.N. General Assembly, telling the Israelis, “The president’s schedule will not permit that.”

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor denied that Netanyahu had ever made such an overture — let alone that it had been spurned — insisting instead that the two leaders were attending the General Assembly on different days and would not be in New York at the same time.

With U.S.-Israeli differences increasingly laid bare and allies of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney seizing the chance to slam Obama over his Israel policy, the president phoned Netanyahu on Tuesday night.

Netanyahu has had a strained relationship with Obama, but they have met on all but one of his U.S trips since 2009. The president was on a foreign visit when the prime minister came to the United States in November 2010.

By withholding a meeting, the Democratic president could alienate some Jewish and pro-Israel voters as he seeks a second term in the Nov. 6 election. Romney has already accused Obama of being too tough on Israel and not hard enough on Iran.

Obama and Netanyahu, according to a White House summary of their call, reaffirmed a “united” determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to continue close consultations. But they mentioned nothing about the “red lines” Netanyahu wants Obama to set for Tehran…

[Return to headlines]

Supercomputer Recreates Universe From Big Bang to Today

Scientists would love to be able to rewind the universe and watch what happened from the start. Since that’s not possible, researchers must create their own mini-universes inside computers and unleash the laws of physics on them, to study their evolution.

Now researchers are planning the most detailed, largest-scale simulation of this kind to date. One of the main mysteries they hope to solve with it is the origin of the dark energy that’s causing the universe to accelerate in its expansion.

The new simulation is a project led by physicists Salman Habib and Katrin Heitmann of Illinois’ Argonne National Laboratory, and will run on the lab’s Mira supercomputer, the third-fastest computer in the world, starting in the next month or two. The program will use hundreds of millions of “particles” — elements in the simulation that stand in for small bits of matter. The computer will let time run, and watch as the particles move through space in response to the forces acting on them.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

US Military Has ‘Taken Over’ A Small Colorado Border Town: What Are They Preparing for? The Break-Up of America?

They are installing culverts, reworking the dirt roads in the town, all of them at once, and have a post at the entrance of the little town. Trinidad Ambulance District vehicles and volunteer fire department vehicles were on scene as well. It appears, the town is being reworked for quartering troops and there will probably be tents up near the small school very soon, which looks to be where the headquarters will be. This is a major operation. Every road in town is being prepared with a road base intended for heavy traffic.

The location is perfect for up river operations into the mountains or down river 8 miles to the town of Trinidad Colorado. Cokedale is at the back of Trinidad Lake and has a live stream flowing through to the lake. Water and infrastructure is provided for in this small little town. Upon entering or leaving the town, you must pass a guard shack manned by one guy sitting on his duff like he is bored out of his mind, just sitting there next to his alice pack.

On Friday of last week, the gov, military, and banks said they are prepping for collapse. Tanks, APC’s, Troops, Hum V’s, Helicopters, Camps, Drones, and Checkpoints are being reported in cities across the nation. The Department of Homeland Security has just ordered another 750 million rounds of ammunition, for a total of 1.4 BILLION rounds in the past year. That’s enough ammo for our military to fight a 14 year war.

According to Russian academic Igor Panarin back in 2009, “the U.S. will soon fall apart; an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. There’s a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur,” he says. “One could rejoice in that process,” he adds, poker-faced…

If recent accounts coming from some in the alternative media are to be believed, then Operation Fast & Furious may soon give way to an even bigger story surrounding the U.S./Mexico border. Indeed, even the notorious Mexican drug cartels might find themselves taking a back seat.

This is because claims are now being made suggesting the major presence of Chinese troops stationed inside Mexico, both along the U.S. border and the port areas.

The first question, of course, is whether or not this information is accurate. If it is, the second question immediately becomes, “why?”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Airbus Superjumbo Deliveries Delayed

European aircraft maker Airbus has said that it may fail to meet sales targets for its new A380 plane this year. The discovery of cracks in the wings of the superjumbo has made customers cautious.

Airbus was originally planning to deliver 30 of its new wide-body A380 airplanes to customers in 2012 — a sales target which Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said would, in likel have to be revised.

“We will probably have difficulties to reach this number this year,” Bregier told journalists late on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Berlin Air Show, ILA 2012, Bregier attributed the backlog in deliveries to the wing cracks that had occurred in a number of A380 aircraft in operation, indicating that the problem might not be finally resolved before 2014.

To date, Airbus has delivered 82 of its superjumbo to eight airlines, but has 257 orders for the aircraft from 20 different companies in its books.

Bregier noted that in 2012 Airbus was giving priority to fixing the wing issue, which was just a “minor thing” but upset customers for “good reasons.”

Last month, Hong Kong Airlines announced it was considering cancelling an order for 10 A380 planes, but added that no firm decision had been made yet on the deal worth 3.8 billion euros ($4.8 billion)

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: Golden Dawn, Police at Loggerheads

The Public Order Ministry was locked in a dispute with neofascist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) on Monday following a decision to revoke the party’s right to be assigned state-appointed body guards, after a spate of assaults on migrants, and a police crackdown outside the party’s offices prompted Golden Dawn to take legal action.

Early on Monday, the police issued a statement that the officers granted to Golden Dawn’s 18 MPs for protection, in line with Greek law, would be relieved of their duties to prevent the guards from facing a conflict of duty between protecting the lawmakers and stopping them from breaking the law. The statement noted that guards would continue to protect party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and Golden Dawn’s offices.

Later in the day, in an apparent attempt to underscore the authority of the police force, officers were dispatched to stand outside the party’s headquarters near the capital’s Larissis railway station, stopping visitors to check their ID cards.

The party quickly condemned the initiative as a “violation of the Constitution” and took out an injunction against Police Chief Nikos Papagiannopoulos.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greek Working Group to Decide on German WWII Reparations

Greece’s finance ministry Monday said it had set up a working group to look into how much Germany might owe Athens in WWII reparations. “The matter remains pending,” said Deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, reports AFP. “Greece has never resigned its rights.” The group’s report is due end 2012.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Independent Scots May Lose EU Citizenship

Scottish people could lose European Union citizenship if the region wins independence from the United Kingdom, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has suggested.

Nationalists believe an independent Scotland would have no problem remaining in the European Union.

Barroso has said any country winning independence from a current EU member state would have to renegotiate its membership.

“In the hypothetical event of a secession of a part of an EU member state, the solution would have to be found and negotiated within the international legal order,” he said in recent remarks.

Unionist politicians jumped on the statement, which they said meant an independent Scotland risked losing EU membership.

David Martin, a Labour MEP and the party’s spokesman on constitutional affairs, said membership was not automatic.

“An independent Scotland’s membership of the EU is far from clear, and there is no precedent to suggest membership would be automatic,” Martin said.

“President Barroso’s recent comment reflects what the European Commission has been saying for a long time,” he said, adding that the situation is “certainly not as clear-cut as the SNP would like to believe.”

Martin added the European Commission, the European Parliament and all member states would have to agree to Scotland becoming a new member.

But the Scottish Government have said there is nothing in Barroso’s response that suggests Scotland will not retain its place in the EU.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith said unionist parties were scare-mongering.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Breivik Lawyers Exposed to Death Threats

Vibeke Hein Bæra, a lawyer for Anders Behring Breivik, has revealed that she received a number of death threats for representing the convicted mass killer.

Bæra’s experiences echo those of another of Breivik’s lawyers, Geir Lippestad, who has also been subjected to hundreds of threats, broadcaster NRK reports.

Bæra said she learned at one point from friends of her children that there was a price on her head.

“It created fear for my children and felt really horrible,” she told NRK.

The lawyer said she had been threatened face to face, via text messages and on the telephone.

“It’s most honest and fair when people can say what they think face to face. A few times I’ve also had cause to explain the job I do,” she said, adding that most people she encountered understood that even the right-wing extremist who killed 77 people last July had a right to a fair trial.

Bæra said she had taken a number of steps to deal with the threats in cooperation with the police but would not say what these measures entailed.

“This was taken very seriously by the police and I have felt secure all along in the way the police have handled our safety,” she said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Remarque: ‘The Dutch Are Skeptical of Brussels’

The Dutch election campaign is dominated by the euro crisis. The people welcome Merkel’s financial strictness, but they disagree with plans for a political union, says Philippe Remarque, editor in chief of de Volkskrant.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Turkey’s Cyprus Snub ‘A Sign of Disrespect to EU’

Turkey’s decision to boycott Cyprus’s presidency of the European Union is a sign of disrespect for European norms and will do nothing to advance Ankara’s ambitions of joining the 27-member bloc, Greece said on Tuesday.

“Turkey was wrong to waste the opportunity of Cyprus’s presidency. Ankara wasted a major opportunity and, eventually, undermined its own European path,” Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos (photo) said during a visit by his Cypriot counterpart, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, to Athens.

He said the decision to break off relations with the presidency during Cyprus’s six-month term, which began in July, showed contempt for EU institutions.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK Universities Ranked Best in EU

The UK hosts all the “world class” universities in Europe according to a study by QS, a US-based firm which helps business graduates to get jobs.

The ranking, out on Tuesday (11 September), put Cambridge University at number two, University College London at number four, Oxford University at five and Imperial College London at six in its top 10.

British universities in total got 26 spots in the top 200.

The next best EU schools were France’s Ecole Normale Superieur (34) and Ecole Polytechnique (41). The top institution in Germany, the Tehcnishe Universitat Munchen, placed at 53.

This message has been removed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Channel 4 Cancels Islam Documentary Screening After Presenter Threatened

A screening of a controversial documentary on the history of Islam has been cancelled on security advice after its presenter was threatened.

Historian Tom Holland’s Channel 4 film Islam: The Untold Story sparked more than 1,000 complaints when it was broadcast.

Holland was threatened online with a torrent of abusive messages on Twitter.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “Having taken security advice, we have reluctantly cancelled a planned screening of the programme Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film which is still available to view on 4oD.”

The private screening was due to take place at the broadcaster’s London headquarters on Thursday before an audience of historians and “opinion formers”.

The documentary is due to be repeated late on Thursday night and can be viewed online.

The investigation into the origins of the religion claimed that there is little written contemporary evidence about the prophet Mohammed.

It examined claims that rather than Islam’s doctrine emerging fully-formed in a single text, the religion instead developed gradually over many years with the expansion of Arabic empires.

Holland, the writer of best-sellers Rubicon and Persian Fire, said that Islam is “a legitimate subject of historical inquiry”.

The Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) accused him of making “baseless assumptions” and engaging in “selective scholarship”.

Iranian state media suggested the broadcast was an “insult” to Islam.

One message sent to Holland read: “You might be a target in the streets. You may recruit some bodyguards, for your own safety.”

           — Hat tip: ICLA[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Research: EU-Med Countries Conference Soon in Jordan

To boost partnership and joint long term strategies

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 10 — An international conference aimed at spurring synergies and complementarities among different research and innovation projects co-funded by European Commission under the FP7 (seventh framework programme 2007–13) Capacities Programme, will be held in Amman (Jordan) on 22 and 23 October 2012.

According to the Enpi website (, the Conference, organised in the framework of the Mediterranean Innovation and Research Coordination Action (MIRA), seeks to: boost the principle of a renewed partnership and coordination of research and innovation actions; increase awareness of EU policies and opportunities in Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs); contribute to the definition of multi-annual strategies of EU-MPC in science, technology and innovation; share knowledge and best practises in managing EU projects; encourage the establishment of national/regional joint centres for technology innovation.

The two-day Conference will feature six sessions during which will be addressed how to find concrete solution to existing barriers for cooperation, explore fields of common interest, initiatives and strategies to ensure the necessary participation of industry and INNO labs representatives to projects co-financed by European Commission.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UFM: Monti, Italy Committed to Stronger Regional Cooperation

Supporting Union and forums of dialogue,as engine of integration

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 11 — Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has given his backing to the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), issuing a call for strengthened Euro-Mediterranean cooperation as a driver for economic stability.

According to the Ufm website, in a recent speech at the opening of the Fiera del Levante in Bari, Monti said: “Italy is committed to support the Union for the Mediterranean. Its existing structure constitutes an added-value that will bring immediate benefits, leverage the small and medium-sized enterprises’ sector and increase the confidence in the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation”.

The Italian Prime Minister said the Mediterranean region was at the heart of his country’s external action: “Given the transformation processes after the Arab Spring, we are currently engaged in reviewing our relations with the southern countries, and fully support the development of freedom, democracy, prosperity and growth in the entire region. Bringing the two shores of the Mediterranean together will also create opportunities to generate economic stability”. “Italy — Monti added — is strongly committed to reinforce the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation through its participation in forums for dialogue, like the Dialogue 5 +5, with five Northern countries (Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Malta) and five Southern countries (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Mauritania), which constitutes an effective and structured sectorial collaboration that intends to be an engine for the integration process of the whole area”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egyptian Protesters Scale US Embassy Wall in Cairo

Main ultraconservative Islamist protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Egypt’s capital Tuesday and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a video attacking Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.

Hundreds of protesters marched to the embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie, which was reportedly produced in the United States.

“Say it, don’t fear: Their ambassador must leave,” the crowd chanted.

Dozens of protesters then scaled the embassy walls, went into the courtyard and took down the flag from a pole. They brought it back to the crowd outside, which tried to burn it, but failing that, tore it apart. The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with the Muslim declaration of faith on it, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet.”

The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaida, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region. Almost all the embassy staff had left the compound before the protest, and the ambassador was out of town.

The protest was sparked by outrage over a video being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the U.S., clips of which are available on the social website YouTube and dubbed in Egyptian Arabic. The video depicts Muhammad as a fraud, showing him having sex and calling for massacres. Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way.

By evening, the protest grew with thousands standing outside the embassy, chanting “Islamic, Islamic. The right of our prophet will not die.” A group of women in black veils and robes that left only their eyes exposed chanted, “Worshippers of the Cross, leave the Prophet Muhammad alone.”

Dozens of riot police lined up along the embassy walls. They did not stop protesters who continued to climb up the wall and stand on it, chanting. But it appeared they were no longer going into the embassy compound.

One young member of the ultraconservative Salafi movement, Abdel-Hamid Ibrahim said, “This is a very simple reaction to harming our prophet.”

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was working with Egyptian authorities to try to restore order.

Only a few staff members were still inside, as embassy security had sent most staff home early after learning of the upcoming protest, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

It was not exactly clear who made the video that angered the protesters.

Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian in the U.S. known for his anti-Islam views, told The Associated Press from Washington that he was promoting the video on his website and on certain TV stations, which he did not identify.

He said the video “explains the problems of the Copts who suffer from Muslims,” which he blamed on the Quran itself.

For several days, Egyptian media have been reporting on the video, playing some excerpts from it and blaming Sadek for it, with ultraconservative clerics going on air to denounce it.

Medhat Klada, a representative of Coptic Christian organizations in Europe, said Sadek’s views are not representative of expatriate Copts.

“He is an extremist … We don’t go down this road. He has incited the people (in Egypt) against Copts,” he said, speaking from Switzerland. “We refuse any attacks on religions because of a moral position.”

But he said he was concerned about the backlash from angry Islamists. “They don’t know dialogue and they think that Islam will be offended from a movie.”

The embassy is located in a diplomatic area in Garden city, where the British and Italian embassies are located, only a few blocks away from Tahrir Square, the center of last year’s uprising that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The U.S. Embassy is built like a fortress, with a wall several yards high. But security has been scaled back in recent months, with several roadblocks leading to the facility removed after legal court cases by residents complaining their access to nearby streets was blocked.

[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Court Lifts Ban on Veils for Egyptair Cabin Crew

Observant male cabin crew free to grow their beards

(ANSAmed) — Cairo — State-owned EgyptAir hostesses can wear a veil and male cabin crew members can grow their beards, an administrative court ruled on Tuesday.

The airline suspended international flights for 12 hours from Cairo on Friday on a cabin crew strike over pay and conditions, including the right to wear religiously-mandated veils and beards. The company has allowed them for ground personnel but not for cabin crew.

The court ruled in favor of a dozen stewards, who appealed against the company’s long-standing regulations, air stewards’ union leader Mohmour Khairi told ANSA.

The union put wage demands aside because of the country’s grace economic crisis, Khairi said. The Friday strike cost EgyptAir 50 million Egyptian pounds (8 million euros), the union leader explained.

The court’s decision follows on the recent lifting of a similar, long-standing ban in Egyptian public media. In July, Egyptian government correspondent Lamiaa Mouafi was the first journalist to wear a veil on camera. Last week, Egyptian viewers saw the first veiled anchorwoman on public TV.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

US Official Dies in Libya Consulate Attack in Benghazi

An American has been killed and at least one other wounded after militiamen stormed the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, officials say.

It is believed the protest was held over a US-produced film that is said to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

The building was set on fire after armed men raided the compound with grenades.

Protests have also been held at the US embassy in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

In the attack in Benghazi, unidentified armed men stormed the grounds, shooting at buildings and throwing handmade bombs into the compound.

Security forces returned fire but Libyan officials say they were overwhelmed.

“One American official was killed and another injured in the hand. The other staff members were evacuated and are safe and sound,” Libya’s deputy interior minister Wanis al-Sharif told AFP.

The identity of the US official killed is not yet known. The consular worker was reported to have been shot.

Social media calls

Reports say a militia known as the Ansar al-Sharia brigade was involved in the attack, but the group has denied the claim, the BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli reports.

No-one was said to have been in the building when it was set on fire Our correspondent says many people are still armed following the conflict that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi last year.

The US said it condemned the attack “in the strongest terms” and was working with Libyan security forces to secure the compound, a statement by US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The film that sparked the demonstration is said to have been produced by a 52-year-old US citizen from California named Sam Bacile, and promoted by an expatriate Egyptian Copt.

The two men are described as having anti-Islamic views.

A trailer of the low-budget movie has appeared on YouTube translated into Arabic.

There were calls on social media networks for protests against US interests in the capital, Tripoli, but no disturbances have been confirmed, our correspondent says.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Intelligence Committee Chair Describes Explosive Confrontation Between Netanyahu and American Ambassador

Rep. Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, says that his much-discussed meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem late last month did, in fact, devolve into an sharp confrontation between Netanyahu and the American ambassador to Israel, the former National Security Council official (and former Obama campaign Jewish liaison), Dan Shapiro.

Rogers told a Michigan radio interviewer earlier this week that he had not previously witnessed such a high-level confrontation, and he described Israeli leaders as being at “wits’ end” over what they see as President Obama’s unwillingness to provide them with his “red lines” in the effort to stop Iran’s nuclear program. He also said that neither the Israelis nor the Iranians believe that Obama would use force to stop the nuclear program.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Ahmadinejad Says Enemies Destroy Iran’s Rain Clouds: Reports

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused his country’s enemies of enacting a sinister plan to create a drought by somehow destroying the rain clouds before they reach Iran, several Iranian websites reported on Tuesday.

Well-known for his anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric, Ahmadinejad has made similar remarks before and last year accused the West of devising a plot to cause drought in the Islamic republic.

“The enemy destroys the clouds that are headed towards our country and this is a war Iran will win,” Ahmadinejad said on Monday, according to several websites including the BBC’s Persian-language site and

Iran has one of the world’s driest climates and officials have warned that a severe lack of rainfall in parts of the country has created drought-like conditions.

Ahmadinejad has courted controversy in the past, not least by denying that the Nazi Holocaust — in which six million Jews were killed — ever happened, a stance that drew furious criticism from politicians across the globe.

The Iranian authorities have repeatedly accused the West of hatching plots to undermine Islamic leadership. Iran is also at odds with the United States and its allies over its disputed nuclear program which the West fears is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Iran at the Brink

Iran’s behavior has helped Obama claim an awkward position. Most U.S. diplomacy now appears to be directed at persuading Israel to hold off on a strike at least until next year, though that could mean allowing Iran’s nuclear capabilities to advance to the point where only U.S. military action would be effective.

Tehran’s refusal to negotiate seriously and its continuing buildup of nuclear capacity is nevertheless steadily increasing the danger that the Middle East will be engulfed by a new war — one that could interrupt oil supplies, damage the global economy and exacerbate the sectarian conflict already under way in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Islam’s Ancient Divide Fuels Middle East Conflicts

When representatives from around the world convened in the Iranian capital of Tehran last Thursday for the start of a Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, an annual meeting of 120 nations that view themselves as not aligned for or against any major powers, the focus was suddenly on 1,300-year-old battles, murders and power struggles. The host was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Shiite. Next to him on the dais was Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi, a Sunni.

Morsi began his opening address with a mention of the Prophet Muhammad, but then continued: “May Allah’s blessing be upon our masters Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali.” Iranian media immediately took the statement as a provocation.

Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman were Muhammad’s successors after the Prophet’s death in 632. Sunni Muslims venerate them as the first caliphs — but Shiite Muslims consider them usurpers and traitors to the faith, hated figures whose very names should not be spoken. Muhammad’s true successor, Shiites say, was Ali, their first imam, who later fought against the other three before being murdered.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Gazprom Man Calls EU a ‘Thief’

Gazprom deputy head, Alexander Medvedev, on Monday became the latest Russian heavyweight to lambast the EU’s price-fixing probe. He cited a Russian proverb “a thief’s hat tends to catch fire” and said Brussels’ head “should be burning.” He added he will hold an “eye-to-eye” meeting with the EU anti-trust chief.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

‘Living’ Mammoth Cells Found in Siberia, Researchers Say

A team of paleontologists said they have found “living” mammoth cells in remains discovered in the Far East that could be used to clone the ancient mammal.

But some scientists expressed skepticism regarding the find, saying they doubted living cells had been found and questioned why such a significant discovery had not been announced in a scientific journal.

A hundred meters under the permafrost in the Ust-Yansky district of Sakha, an international expedition called Yana-2012 found soft tissue, fatty tissue, fur and bone marrow of mammoths, expedition leader and Northeast Federal University researcher Semyon Grigoryev said Friday, according to a news report posted on the university’s website.

Head of the Korean Sooam Biotech fund Huang Vu-Souk said the “living” cells that were found could be used for cloning, the news report said. An unidentified member of the expedition team said findings from the expedition would be published in authoritative scientific journals.

A scientist from the Institute of Paleontology at the Russian Academy of Sciences said he doubted that living cells, which he described as emitting carbon dioxide and processing nutrients, had been found so deep in the permafrost.

“Thus far there haven’t been truly living cells in any of the mammoths (found) — a complete DNA sequence has not even been able to be obtained,” head of the mammals laboratory at the Institute of Paleontology Alexander Agadzhanyan told RIA-Novosti.

Agadzhanyan’s colleague at the Institute of Paleontology Alexander Markov told the news agency that in serious scientific practice, such major discoveries are announced not in the media but in research journals.

Northeast Federal University is studying the genome of ancient animals under an agreement signed earlier this year with the South Korean Center for Biotechnical Research. One of the project’s central tasks is cloning a mammoth.

Remains of mammoths, which went extinct about 4,500 years ago, are occasionally found in the permafrost of Russia’s northern regions.

Earlier this year, a team of Russian scientists led by a researcher from the Russian Academy of Sciences conducted a groundbreaking experiment in which they produced an entire plant from fruit tissues found in the permafrost. The scientists said the experiment opened the door to the resurrection of other ancient species.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Indonesia: Christian Leader Cries Shame as Minister, Mayor and Islamists Close the Yasmin Church

Meeting decides to expel the Protestant community, despite regular permits and Constitutional Court judgment. YC leaders excluded from meeting and accuse Minister for Interior. A complaint to the police, supported by the Indonesian Churches and human rights activists.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — “It’s shameful” denounces Bona Sigalingging, spokesperson for the GKI Yasmin Church, reacting to the closed-door meeting between the Minister of Internal Affairs of Indonesia, the leaders of the city of Bogor, West Java, and the leader of an Islamic extremist movement. The gathering has resulted in the expulsion of the Protestant community from their place of worship, despite the possession of regular building permits and a judgment of the Constitutional Court. In response, the leaders of the Christian movement have filed a formal complaint to the courts against the local administration and the mayor Diani Budiarto.

The meeting was held on September 8 and was atteneded by Gamawan Fauzi, Indonesian Minister of the Interior, Iman Ahmad, head of the Islamic extremist group Forkami, and the mayor of Bogor Diani Budiarto. The minister’s decision has caused confusion within the Christian community, in addition to being excluded from the bargaining table, the faithful have had to passively endure the will of both parties — the local administration and the extremist movement Forkami — who more than any other have “persecuted” the religious minority in recent months.

Interviewed by AsiaNews Bona Sigalingging, YC spokesperson, branded the decision to invite the leader of Forkami as “shameful”. This is a wellknown “radical Islamic group,” he adds, that “has fueled tension” and again “has succeeded in having us forcibly removed from our church.” The YC leader notes that the decision to close the place of worship is contrary to the judgments of the Constitutional Court and the Ombudsman and that they have filed a complaint with the police. This latest appeal to the courts of justice is supported by the Synod of Indonesian Churches (PGI) and the Working Group on Human Rights, which speaks of “double face” of the government in terms of religious freedom.

The process for building a church in Indonesia — Catholic or Protestant — is quite complicated and may take five to ten years to obtain all permits required by law. The procedure is governed by the Izin Mendirikan Bangunan (IMB), a species of written protocol that allows for construction to commence and is issued by local authorities. The story gets more complicated if it is a place of Christian worship: permission must be obtained from a number of residents in the area where the building is to be constructed and the local Group for Interfaith Dialogue. And even if the permission is granted “unspecified reasons” can come into play that will lead officials to block the projects. Often, this occurs after pressure from the Muslim community or radical Islamic movements.

In late May, the faithful of the Yasmin Church celebrated Pentecost in Jakarta in front of the presidential palace. The Christians gathered near the residence of the head of state of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono because deprived of their places of worship. For three years, they have not been able to go to church, sealed at the behest of local authorities and the Mayor Diani Budiarto, who denounce alleged irregularities in the release of IBM.

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

Far East

China Asserts Sovereignty Over Contested Islands

China has dispatched patrol ships to the East China Sea islands, which are at the center of a territorial dispute with Japan. The move comes a day after Tokyo completed its purchase of the disputed islands.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that the China Marine Surveillance ships had reached waters off the disputed islands on Tuesday. The ships, which are often lightly armed, are prepared to “take actions pending the development of the situation,” the news agency said.

China is seeking to protect its sovereignty over the island in the face of Japan’s latest bid to assert its control in the area.

On Monday the Japanese government announced that it had completed its planned purchase of the islands, which are claimed by both nations. Known to Japanese as the Senkakus and to Chinese as the Diaoyus, the islands lie in a strategically important shipping region, believed to be rich in valuable mineral resources.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Muslim Mayor Defeats Australia Rulers

“I’m a true and proud Liberal. It’s the individual who drives the prosperity of our nation,” Mannoun said

LIVERPOOL — A Muslim councilor has been elected a mayor of the western Australian suburb of Liverpool after defeating the governing Labour Party in one of its strongholds.

“I like keeping things simple,” Mayor New Mannoun told SBS on Monday, September 10.

“(I) believe in God, I am a Muslim, but religion never came up as an issue (in his campaign).”

Liberal Councilor Mannoun was elected the mayor of the Liverpool City Council after taking 43.6 percent of the vote.

“There’s certainly a big change in the air and I’m just so excited to be part of it,” the Muslim councilor said.

“I’d like to think this was the start of great things to come in western Sydney for the Liberal Party.”

Mannoun’s victory ended decades of Labour’s grip on the Liverpool council.

The Labour, which has been in control of the council over the past two decades, has been facing diminishing support in the multicultural city.

Mannoun himself started his political career with the Australian Labour Party.

“My local member at the time was Mark Latham, I got caught up in the hype that a boy from Liverpool could be Prime Minister,” he said.

“But I started analyzing my personal beliefs and I realized, ‘You know what? This isn’t for me.’“

“I’m a true and proud Liberal. It’s the individual who drives the prosperity of our nation but we need to be compassionate and helpful. Eighty per cent of Australians work for small business.”


Born in Boston to a Lebanese mother and a Sierra Leonean-born father, Mannoun takes pride in belonging to different cultures across the world.

“I’m a proud Australian/American/Arab/African,” the 30-year-old councilor said.

In Liverpool, Arabic is the second-most spoken language, and there’s a significant Serbian-speaking community.

Catholicism is still the dominant religion, but Islam comes in second.

Noticing the growing dissatisfaction with Labour, Mannoun took the decision to run for elections.

“There was a perception there: We’re Liverpool, we’re Labor voters and Liberal is for the eastern suburbs, but I asked, ‘What have they done for Liverpool?’“ he said.

On the eve of last weekend’s local elections, the wife of the new mayor went into labor.

“With the birth our son Jacob, my wife has now finished her labor pains and Liverpool might have too,” he joked.

New South Wales is home to 168.788 Muslims, about 49.6 percent of the total population, making the state a habitat to the largest Muslim population, according to the 2006 government Census.

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.

Islam is the country’s second largest religion after Christianity.

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Con Game Extraordinaire

One of the sorest subjects amongst conservatives in America is its public education system. In addition to being an ineffectual government bureaucracy, its educational model was crafted by dedicated Marxist elites in the eastern US, and had supplanting the family as one of its objectives as far back as the 1950s.

Then, there are the political games that have been played by unions, administrators, and political parties that served their varied agendas; suffice it to say that American children have suffered increasingly substandard education and experienced increasing levels of social engineering as time has worn on. There is certainly more wrong with the American educational system than this, as a feel-good curriculum replaced evidence based thought and diagnostic-prescriptive methodologies were replaced by anything goes.

The large-scale corruption that insinuated itself into the American educational system remains a significant threat to education and the future of America as an ongoing and relevant concern to be sure, but it is fairly straightforward and superficial; that is, close to the surface. Concerted efforts on the part of informed voters could substantially ameliorate this problem over a short period of time.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

German Court: Transsexuals Have Right to Breasts

Male-to-female transsexuals have a legal right to breast enlargement operations when hormone therapy fails to give them a feminine shape, a German federal court ruled Tuesday.

A transsexual may receive implants if her new breasts have not yet reached the size of an A-cup bra, the Federal Social Court in the central city of Kassel said.

“Transsexual insurance policy-holders can make a claim to treatment measures to allow them to adapt their gender, including surgical procedures on healthy organs to minimise their psychological suffering, so as to approach the appearance of the other sex that is desired,” the court said.

It said such a procedure was justified even if the patient had not yet had a sex-change operation.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The True Goal of School Choice

The end result of what Maine’s Governor Paul LePage and his Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen (and others in similar positions in ALL states) are doing will be the destruction of not only our formerly (pre-1965) excellent public education system, but, more importantly, the destruction of private education as well since once an education institution, be it public, private, home school, Christian, or charter school, accepts one penny of tax money from the federal, state, or local level, it MUST abide by ALL federal regulations and MUST take the federal test which means it must TEACH TO THE TEST which is 50% attitudinal (politically correct). THIS EQUALS TOTAL GOVERNMENT/CORPORATE CONTROL OF YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION…

The goal of school choice, unbeknownst to many, is and has always been the opposite of what we are told. The goal is the takeover of the public and private school sectors through partnerships with the corporate sector in order to implement socialist work force training, formerly found only in communist countries. Carnegie Corporation, in its little blue book entitled “Conclusions and Recommendations for the Social Studies”, 1934, called for using the schools to change our nation’s free market economy to a planned economy.

[The book] “the deliberate dumbing down of America” is a FREE download. [url]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

White Protestants, Your Monopoly is Over

By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN

(CNN) — Attention white Anglo-Saxon Protestants: Your days of running things are over. You have jumped the shark.

But there’s no need to feel bad for WASPs.

They’ve had an amazing run. Every single president in our nation’s history, except for John F. Kennedy — a Catholic — and Barack Obama, has been a white Protestant. Except for a handful of exceptions, for over 200 years the presidential nominees of both major political parties have been WASPs. WASPs had almost as many victories in a row as The Harlem Globetrotters.

But it’s over. Look at this year’s presidential tickets: A Mormon, an African-American, and two Catholics. Even some of the keynote speakers at the Democratic and Republican conventions were not WASPs. The GOP featured Italian-Irish Catholic Chris Christie and the Democrats tapped Latino-American, Julian Castro.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Antimatter and Fusion Drives Could Power Future Spaceships

Nuclear fusion reactions sparked by beams of antimatter could be propelling ultra-fast spaceships on long journeys before the end of the century, researchers say.

A fusion-powered spacecraft could reach Jupiter within four months, potentially opening up parts of the outer solar system to manned exploration, according to a 2010 NASA report.

A number of hurdles would have to be overcome ? particularly in the production and storage of antimatter ? to make the technology feasible, but some experts imagine it could be ready to go in a half-century or so.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

It is not surprising that Russia is predicting the collapse of America as this was predicted in the Zagorsk prophecy from before the Russian Revolution which predicted the path of Marxism, that spirit from hell, through the world.

Germany would be divided by it which it was and America would feed the world ( on fast food ) and then collapse. Its collapse will have been down to Marxists who overturned various immigration measures aimed at preserving the European identity of the United States. Once these were overturned then outbreeding by non-Europeans was inevitable which is what is going to happen.

And when it happens white America will go to war. So Marxism is behind this collapse. It said Britain would lose all its colonies and empire and be reduced to nothing but be saved by praying women. It is now on the path to extinction but our queen is one such woman who has never lost her faith so perhaps she should invite a few of her female friends round for a pray-in!!