Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121001

Financial Crisis
»Eurozone Unemployment Hits Record 18.2 Million
»France Hikes Beer, Cigarette Taxes to Fund Welfare
»Greece: Draft Budget Unveiled, Sees Recession for 6th Year
»Italy’s Borrowing Requirements Drop in First 9 Months
»Slovak PM Predicts Countries to Leave Eurozone
»U.S. Households Face Tax Increase From 2013 Fiscal Cliff
»Chinese Government ‘Hacks Into White House Office in Charge of the Nuclear Launch Codes’
»Filmmakers Asking Imams to Vet Movies
»Frank Gaffney: Obama Lied After People Died
»Savage is as Savage Does
»Washington Confirms Chinese Hack Attack on White House Computer
»White House Hack Attack
Europe and the EU
»Euro Human Rights Judges Back Militant Union Strike Plea to Make it Easier to Take Industrial Action
»‘For Europe!’ Book Makes the Case for a Federal Europe
»Norway: Draft-Resister in Defence Department
»Norway: SIAN Demonstraters Confronted by Anti-SIAN Demonstraters
»Sweden: Mosque to Blast Prayer Calls From Minaret
»Sweden: Ikea ‘Erases’ Women From Saudi Catalogue
»Tyrol Students Should Learn Italian, Austrian Min Says
»UK: EDL in Walsall: Protestors Branded “A Rabble” As 28 Arrested
»UK: Hamza’s Criminal Dynasty: Five Out of Nine of Hook’s Children Convicted of Offences Ranging From Bomb Making to Attacking Police (And They Aren’t Going Anywhere!)
»UK: Nine Men Deny Involvement in Child Sex Ring
»UK: Schoolboy, 16, Risked His Life Going Into Burning House to Rescue Toddler, 2, Trapped Inside
»Up Inside Iceland’s Green Cloud
North Africa
»Egypt: Copts Return to Rafah Following Threats
»‘Sharia-Medicine’: Egyptian Clinic Treats People With Camel Urine Per Prophet’s Advice
Middle East
»Bahrain: Top Court Upholds Convictions Against Doctors
»Ikea Under Fire for Deleting Pictures of Women From Its Saudi Catalogue
»Middle East Just the Opening Act
»Nuclear Technology for Iran: German Investigators Uncover Illegal Exports
»Spy Device Disguised as Rock Reportedly Explodes Outside Iranian Nuclear Facility
»The Obscene Wealth of the Saudis
»Turkey: Erdogan to AKP Congress, My Objective is 2023
»Turkish Cypriots Wary of New “Religious School”
»Russia Bans Showings of Anti-Islam Film
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Confusion Surrounds Death of NATO and Afghan Troops
»Afghanistan: NATO Troops Among 13 Dead in Suicide Bomb Attack in Afghanistan
Australia — Pacific
»Nothing to Gain From Wilders Ban
»Greece: Neo-Nazis Golden Dawn Given ‘Police Powers’ Over Immigrants
»How President Bush Could Help President Obama Win Re-Election
»Italy: Begging Racket Busted
»Switzerland: Asylum Rules Tightened
»Dramatic Aging Trend by 2050, Warns UN Report
»What Orwell Can Tell us About the Liberal Appeasement of Islam

Financial Crisis

Eurozone Unemployment Hits Record 18.2 Million

Official jobless figures for the eurozone hit a record 18.2 million in August, new Eurostat data showed Monday, the highest since records for the bloc began in 1995 and indicating an annual rise of more than two million unemployed.

Unemployment across the 17 countries that use the euro remained at its record high rate of 11.4 percent in August, official data showed Monday, renewing concerns that efforts to slash debts have sacrificed jobs.

While European leaders have managed to calm financial markets in recent months with promises to cut spending and build a tighter union, they have been unable to solve the eurozone’s deep-rooted economic problems and the rising tide of joblessness.

In August, 34,000 more people lost their jobs in the eurozone, according to data released Monday by the European statistics agency, Eurostat. The unemployment rate — the highest since the euro was created in 1999 — is the same as July’s, which was revised up from 11.3 Monday.

Europe’s problems are dragging down the entire global economy. The region is the U.S.’s largest export customer and any fall-off in demand will hit American companies — as well as President Barack Obama’s election prospects.

The 17-country eurozone is in danger of slipping into recession this year after its economic output dropped 0.2 percent in the second quarter. Six countries — Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal — in the eurozone are already in recession.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

France Hikes Beer, Cigarette Taxes to Fund Welfare

Wealthy retirees to pay more, abortion covered 100%

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, OCTOBER 1 — The French government on Monday announced tax hikes on beer and cigarettes in an effort to reduce the welfare deficit from 13.2 billion euros in 2012 to 11.4 billion euros next year.

The beer tax hike, which translates into 5 euro cents per 25 cl., should bring the state revenue of 480 million euros. At 30 liters of beer per capita a year, France is the next to the last beer consumer in the EU.

Beginning in July 2013, cigarette taxes will rise from 64.25% to 64.7% of the price of a pack, bringing the state 125 million euros. This will probably mean a pack of cigarettes in France will cost more next year, after today’s 6.5% rise. In another cost-cutting measure, the state announced it will increase taxes for high-income retirees.

Also on Monday, the state announced it will cover pregnancy terminations 100%, fulfilling President Francois Hollande’s campaign promise.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greece: Draft Budget Unveiled, Sees Recession for 6th Year

In 2013 economy will contract by 3.8%

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 1 — Greece’s brutal recession is set to extend into a sixth year in 2013, when the economy will contract by another 3.8%, according to forecasts in the draft budget submitted to Parliament on Monday as reported by daily Kathimerini website. This year’s recession will see the economy shrink around 6.5%, the document estimated. Unemployment is predicted to rise to 24.7% in 2013 from an average 23.5% in 2012. The budget sees Greece’s government still running at a loss despite waves of spending cuts and tax hikes over the past two years, as it has struggled to meet the terms for rescue loans from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund. The deficit for 2012 is expected to stand at 6.6% of GDP, improving slightly to 4.2% — or 8 billion euros — next year, the document showed.

Greece still has a primary deficit — which excludes interest rates paid on existing debt — of 1.4% of GDP this year, disappointing earlier forecasts for a surplus. That is expected to improve in 2013, when the budget projects a small primary surplus of 1.1% of GDP. The budget includes about 7.8 billion euros worth of austerity measures for next year. They are part of a 13.5 billion euros package of spending cuts and tax hikes for 2013 and 2014 that Greeces international creditors have demanded in exchange for continued payout of the rescue loans that are protecting the country from a messy default. Of the 7.8 billion euros in measures for next year, 3.8 billion euros are to come from pension cuts and 1.1 billion euros from salary cuts. Other cutbacks include trimming costs for healthcare, education and defense. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras submitted the draft budget to Parliament after talks with debt inspection teams from the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission — known as the troika.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy’s Borrowing Requirements Drop in First 9 Months

Govt requests 13.5 billion euros less than same time in 2011

(ANSA) — Rome, October 1 — The Italian government’s borrowing needs fell dramatically in the first nine months of this year compared with the same period last year, the economy ministry said in a report on public finances Monday.

Borrowing demands by the Treasury totalled 45.5 billion euros as of the end of September — 13.5 billion euros less than the 59 billion euros required during the same period in 2011.

On a monthly measure, borrowing last month totalled 11.4 billion euros, down slightly from 11.9 billion euros in September 2011.

Italy’s labor unions have been loudly protesting deep government spending cuts and austerity measures made at the same time the country is caught in a recession.

Unemployment in Italy remains high at 10.7% in August, the country’s statistics agency Istat reported Monday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Slovak PM Predicts Countries to Leave Eurozone

Slovak PM Fico told TV channel Markiza that in future “one or maybe two countries will not be part of the eurozone in its current form.” He mentioned Greece specifically, noting that the country “is not meeting its commitments.” If Athens cannot meet expectation there should be a “co-ordinated exit.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

U.S. Households Face Tax Increase From 2013 Fiscal Cliff

U.S. households are facing an average tax increase of $3,446 in 2013 if Congress doesn’t avert the so- called fiscal cliff, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said in a study released today.

The top 1 percent of households face some of the largest tax increases in 2013 and would see their after-tax incomes fall by 10.5 percent if Congress does nothing. That would translate to an average tax increase of $120,537 for that group.

A typical middle-income household earning between about $40,000 and $60,000 would face a tax increase of about $2,000.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Chinese Government ‘Hacks Into White House Office in Charge of the Nuclear Launch Codes’

The White House revealed today that cyber attackers linked to the Chinese government attempted to hack into a computer system in the White House Military Office.

While the official statement down played the attack, saying that it was aiming for an unclassified ‘isolated’ network, one report claimed that the hackers targeted the White House Military Office which safeguards sensitive data like the nuclear launch codes.

‘This was a spear phishing attack against an unclassified network. These types of attacks are not infrequent and we have mitigation measures in place,’ a White House official told MailOnline.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Filmmakers Asking Imams to Vet Movies

‘We are even asking if we dare release anything on this subject’

A new report from the Express Tribune, with the International Herald Tribune, last week said filmmakers working on projects depicting the U.S. Navy SEAL mission to Pakistan to kill terrorist Osama bin Laden are having second thoughts.

“Filmmakers in Hollywood are terrified of inciting further retribution against America over a string of new films showing the U.S. mission,” the report said.

The report said at least “one fearful studio has asked an Islamic cleric to vet its script.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Frank Gaffney: Obama Lied After People Died

Suddenly, the President’s new clothes seem embarrassingly transparent. The contention relentlessly promoted by Team Obama, to the effect that the Commander-in-Chief’s performance with respect to foreign policy and national security was simply unassailable, is being seen for what it is: an utter fraud.

The deal-breaker has been the accumulating evidence that President Obama and his subordinates disinformed the American people — to put it charitably — about a present danger: the outbreak of violence against our diplomatic personnel and facilities and other interests in more than 30 countries around the world. Specifically, they denied that a carefully planned and executed jihadist attack against our consulate in Benghazi was responsible for the murder of the Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues on September 11, 2012…

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

Savage is as Savage Does

by Diana West

“It’s going to spark controversy, obviously, when you deem one side savages and the other side civilized.” That’s what man-on-the-street Colby Richardson says in this news clip, knitting his brows earnestly in the direction of an advertisment (above) posted in the New York subway by organizations run by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

It is indeed “controversial” to frame the war waged by the Arab-Islamic world — and, don’t forget, its Eurabian patrons — against the state of Israel as The Savage vs. The Civilized, but is it also correct? Is such a question possible to answer from the rut of moral equivalence we have dug for ourselves? Is today’s brain-washed cultural relativist even capable of conceiving of “war” — rather than the muted term “conflict” — between “savage” and “ civilized”?

The postmodern perspective is uprooted from all such concepts deriving from good and evil. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is the scrim through which we have been schooled to view the “Arab-Israeli,” or, today, the “Israeli-Palestinian” war. In the blur, there is no good and evil, so, of course, there is no civilized and savage. And Lord knows, there is no “jihad.” There is only “conflict” to be channeled into “the peace process,” by which, of course, Israel’s sovereignty and safety is chipped away until there is no more conflict — and no more Israel, either.

But the jihad will continue.

When this poster went up last week, it was attacked, physically, by a small group of “activists.” One of them was Mona Eltahawy, a well-known MSNBC and CNN commentator. The New York Post captured her spray-can assault on the poster on video, and thank goodness. It is riveting but also highly significant footage. Eltahawy, a self-described liberal, secular Muslim with an MSM soapbox, continues to spray pink paint on the poster even as a woman attempts to defend the poster, Eltahawy all the while insisting she is exercising her right of free speech by ruining the poster. What a story for “blasphemy” week — free speech, pink paint, erupting pundit … But I have yet to learn of the video running on any Big Media TV shows, and especially not Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Fox News. (For a quick reality check, imagine if Rachel Maddow were videotaped spray-painting an anti-Obama ad ….)

Eltahawy maintains the poster expresses “racism” and “hate.” These are buzz words, camouflage Elathawy uses to justify her own rather savage response to a printed political idea. But they do the trick. Over time, these words have become dependable conversation-enders to short-circut thinking itself. Here, they are designed to stop all logical consideration of the dichotomy the poster forces upon us: Savage vs. Civilized.

But let us try to evaluate the terminology at its most elementary level…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]

Washington Confirms Chinese Hack Attack on White House Computer

White House sources partly confirmed an alarming report that U.S. government computers — reportedly including systems used by the military for nuclear commands — were breached by Chinese hackers.

“This was a spear phishing attack against an unclassified network,” a White House official told “These types of attacks are not infrequent and we have mitigation measures in place.”

A law enforcement official who works with members of the White House Military Office confirmed the Chinese attack to on Monday, but it remains unclear what information, if any, was taken or left behind.

“This (White House Communications Agency) guy opened an email he wasn’t supposed to open,” the source said.

That email contained a spear phishing attack from a computer server in China, the law enforcement source told The attack was first reported by the conservative blog Free Beacon. Spear phishing involves the use of messages disguised to appear as valid; in fact, they contain targeted, malicious attempts to access sensitive or confidential information.

By opening the email, which likely contained a link to a malicious site or some form of attachment, the agency member allowed the Chinese hacker to access a system, explained Anup Ghosh, founder and CEO of security company Invincea.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

White House Hack Attack

by Bill Gertz

Chinese hackers break in to White House military office network in charge of the president’s nuclear football

Hackers linked to China’s government broke into one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive computer networks, breaching a system used by the White House Military Office for nuclear commands, according to defense and intelligence officials familiar with the incident.

One official said the cyber breach was one of Beijing’s most brazen cyber attacks against the United States and highlights a failure of the Obama administration to press China on its persistent cyber attacks.

Disclosure of the cyber attack also comes amid heightened tensions in Asia, as the Pentagon moved two U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups and Marine amphibious units near waters by Japan’s Senkaku islands.

China and Japan—the United States’ closest ally in Asia and a defense treaty partner—are locked in a heated maritime dispute over the Senkakus, which China claims as its territory.

U.S. officials familiar with reports of the White House hacking incident said it took place earlier this month and involved unidentified hackers, believed to have used computer servers in China, who accessed the computer network used by the White House Military Office (WHMO), the president’s military office in charge of some of the government’s most sensitive communications, including strategic nuclear commands. The office also arranges presidential communications and travel, and inter-government teleconferences involving senior policy and intelligence officials.

An Obama administration national security official said: “This was a spear phishing attack against an unclassified network.”

Spear phishing is a cyber attack that uses disguised emails that seek to convince recipients of a specific organization to provide confidential information. Spear phishing in the past has been linked to China and other states with sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities.

The official described the type of attack as “not infrequent” and said there were unspecified “mitigation measures in place.”

“In this instance the attack was identified, the system was isolated, and there is no indication whatsoever that any exfiltration of data took place,” the official said.

The official said there was no impact or attempted breach of a classified system within the office.

“This is the most sensitive office in the U.S. government,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the work of the office. “A compromise there would cause grave strategic damage to the United States.”

Security officials are investigating the breach and have not yet determined the damage that may have been caused by the hacking incident, the officials said…

           — Hat tip: DS[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Euro Human Rights Judges Back Militant Union Strike Plea to Make it Easier to Take Industrial Action

Human rights judges in Strasbourg are threatening to hand Britain’s militant trade unions new rights to go on strike.

The European Court of Human Rights has given its initial approval to a submission by the hard-line Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union which claims that UK laws unfairly restrict the power of union barons to take industrial action.

The RMT, headed by Bob Crow, wants to make it easier to mount strike ballots and overturn the ban on secondary action — when workers launch a sympathy strike in support of a different employer’s workers.

If successful, the legal action would seriously undermine the laws passed by the Thatcher government in the 1980s to prevent the unions from holding Britain to ransom.

It comes at a time when union bosses are threatening to hold a general strike in protest at the government’s austerity programme.

Leading Conservative figures reacted with fury at the news that Strasbourg was once again seeking to meddle in this country’s affairs.

Tory MP Dominic Raab, who is campaigning for tougher strike laws, said: ‘“Having decreed Britain give votes to prisoners and blocked Abu Qatada’s deportation, the unaccountable Strasbourg court now threatens to arm our most militant of union bosses to strike down the laws protecting the hard-working majority. The RMT, headed by Bob Crow (pictured) wants to make it easier to mount strike ballots

‘2011 saw the most working days lost to strikes in over 20 years. We need stronger not weaker laws to prevent caviar communists like Bob Crow from damaging the economy and holding Britain to ransom.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

‘For Europe!’ Book Makes the Case for a Federal Europe

‘For Europe!’ is a new book, written by two staunch pro-Europeans — Daniel Cohn-Bendit of the Group of Greens-European Free Alliance and Guy Verhofstadt, leader of Liberals in the European Parliament.

Released in six languages, the book aims to be a manifesto, spelling out the benefits of a united Europe.

“Actually this is a book which has been written in anger, in fury against the national elites who, according to Daniel and I, are incapable of dealing with the crisis we are in today.

“We very clearly state that the only way, the only realistic solution, is to create a federal union, a federal Europe,” said Verhofstadt, who is also a former Belgian Prime Minister.

Both men attempt to make the case that a unified Europe has a better chance in the face of global competition. However, closer political integration would be vital, according to Cohn-Bendit, who spoke to euronews at the book launch in Brussels.

“We do think that the European model has to be ‘parliamenterized’!

“We suggest that the Commission has to become the real government of Europe. And we think that there should be two chambers, the Parliament and a Senate. The Senate could, for instance, be formed for by the governments of the member-states or by representatives of the national parliaments. This would be a democratic model,” he said.

           — Hat tip: LH[Return to headlines]

Norway: Draft-Resister in Defence Department

by Hans Rustad

The new defence minister, Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen, has brought with her a close personal advisor that is a former draft resister. Atle Ottesen (34) filed for exemption from military service because he could not stomach weapons of mass destruction.

He says he is not a pacifist. But he resisted military service citing WMD. Norway do not have any weapon of this kind.

Parliamentarians from the conservative party with a military record is aghast that the new defence minister can employ a draft resister as her closest advisor. Ottesen says he intends to learn. Former majorgeneral Lars Myraune calls it a catastrophe. Military planning is about competence and knowledge, not about learning on the job.

           — Hat tip: JF[Return to headlines]

Norway: SIAN Demonstraters Confronted by Anti-SIAN Demonstraters

Around twenty people attended to the Stop Islamization of Norway (SIAN) demonstration in Oslo, while a counter-demonstration was held with 40 people.

Socialist youth movement, Blitz demonstrated against SIAN’s demonstration in front of the parliament building on Saturday. On one occasion, two groups attempted to confront, but police stopped them quickly and arrested four people. While 20 people turned up to support SIAN, almost 40 attended to the anti- SIAN demonstration. SIAN had announced on its website before the demonstration that the Muslim prophet would be both “insulted” and “offended” at the ceremony.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Mosque to Blast Prayer Calls From Minaret

by Soeren Kern

A mosque in Stockholm has received initial approval to begin sounding public prayer calls from its minaret, the first time such permission has ever been granted in Sweden.

A majority of the members of the city planning committee in the southern Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka voted on September 25 to repeal a 1994 prohibition on such prayer calls, thereby opening the way for a muezzin to begin calling Muslims to prayer from the top of a 32-meter (104-foot) minaret at a Turkish mosque in the Fittja district of the city.

The issue was put to a vote after Ismail Okur, the chairman of the Botkyrka Islamic Association (Islamiska föreningen i Botkyrka), filed a petition with the city in January demanding permission to allow public prayer calls at the mosque. In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagen, Okur said earlier generations of Muslim immigrants “did not dare” to press the issue, but that he represents the “new guys” who are determined to “exercise their right to religious freedom” in Sweden…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Ikea ‘Erases’ Women From Saudi Catalogue

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has removed out all the women from the version of the company’s famed catalogue to be distributed in Saudi Arabia, prompting a stern reaction from Sweden’s trade minister.

Nearly 200 million copies of Ikea’s forthcoming catalogue will be printed in 27 languages for distribution in 38 countries. And the catalogues will be nearly identical, save for those printed for distribution in Saudi Arabia, a country where women don’t get to vote, drive cars, or move freely on the streets.

In the Saudi version of Ikea’s annual booklet, all the women who appear in images featured in the catalogue in other countries have been removed via photo retouching. In the Swedish version of the Ikea catalogue, for example, a mother can be seen standing at a sink next to her child in a stylized bathroom. In the Saudi catalogue, however, there is no mother; the child stands at the sink alone.

In another image, a woman and a little girl who appear to be studying in the Swedish catalogue have been completely removed from the Saudi version, leaving an empty room. Ikea has even gone so far as to remove from the Saudi version of the catalogue the image of a female designer who helped design the company’s “PS” line of home furnishings.

While refusing to comment on any company specifically, Swedish Minister of Trade Ewa Björling made no secret of how she felt about the images.

Attorney Claes Borgström, who served as Sweden’s gender equality ombudsman between 2000 and 2007 also slammed Ikea’s decision to remove women from the Saudi catalogue. “I think the Swedish business community should uphold existing ethical principles. You can’t participate in the marketing and selling of goods in a way that discriminates against women in this way,” he told the paper. According to Borgström, Ikea would be better off “abstaining from the (Saudi) market completely”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Tyrol Students Should Learn Italian, Austrian Min Says

(AGI) Bolzano, 29 Sep — Austrian education minister Toechterle today said “I think it is appropriate that Tyrolean students learn Italian too”. Karlheinz Toechterle’s statements were issued just prior to meetings with Italian counterpart Francesco Profumo all”Innovation, at the Innovation Festival in Bolzano. Austria’s Tyrol and Italy’s South Tyrol-Alto Adige regions boast a long cooperation track record in several areas of policy, including higher education. Many Italians from Alto Adige study at Innsbruck University.

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

UK: EDL in Walsall: Protestors Branded “A Rabble” As 28 Arrested

THE English Defence League has been branded a ‘disorganised rabble’ after its Walsall protest descended into violence. Police arrested 28 people as followers of the far-right group charged officers, who used shields and batons to thwart the attackers in Leicester Street. Organisers of a rival protest set up outside the town’s New Art Gallery to highlight the borough’s proud multi-cultural heritage have attacked the EDL for failing to control its supporters. The peaceful We Are Walsall counter-demonstration, thought to have been attended by around 1,000 people, celebrated the town’s wide range of faiths and cultures, with live music and dance. MPs David Winnick and Valerie Vaz were among those turning out, along with speakers from Unite Against Fascism…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Hamza’s Criminal Dynasty: Five Out of Nine of Hook’s Children Convicted of Offences Ranging From Bomb Making to Attacking Police (And They Aren’t Going Anywhere!)

Abu Hamza, who is fighting extradition to the U.S., has nine children from two marriages, including a stepson with his second wife.

Of the seven sons, who are all over 18, only two have not been in trouble with the law. The two youngest children are daughters aged 16 and 13.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Nine Men Deny Involvement in Child Sex Ring

NINE men yesterday denied involvement in a child prostitution and sex trafficking ring based in Oxford.

The suspects face a total of 51 charges relating to the alleged rape and sexual assault of six vulnerable girls aged between 11 and 16.

It is claimed the victims were befriended, groomed, sexually abused and required to perform sexual services for others for money.

One girl was sexually assaulted with the handles of baseball bats, knives and cleavers and was subjected to an attempt to make her suffer a miscarriage, it is claimed.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Schoolboy, 16, Risked His Life Going Into Burning House to Rescue Toddler, 2, Trapped Inside

A courageous 16-year-old boy risked his own life to save a toddler trapped inside a burning home.

Nelson Fonangwan was sleeping but leapt into action after hearing the desperate screams of a neighbour and found black smoke billowing from the property in Southampton, Hampshire.

Mother-of-two Aneta Jedlikoswka, 32, was frantically trying to punch a hole in her kitchen window to reach her trapped two-year-old son, Adam, who was knocking on the glass from inside.

Nelson, a pupil at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College in the city, smashed his way into the house through the window while his mother called 999, and crawled in before carrying the child to safety.

He told the Southern Daily Echo: ‘I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The lady had punched the glass and created a perfect hole. She had cut herself and she was bleeding.

‘She was obviously hurting but all she was thinking about was her baby. She didn’t speak good English and she pointed to me inside the house and said “baby”, I knew I had to do something.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Up Inside Iceland’s Green Cloud

Its power grid is virtual emissions free and there’s plenty of cool air to keep a data center from over heating — and now Iceland wants to become the “green hard drive” of the world.

To a lot of people, cloud computing evokes an image of something clean and pristine, just hanging there in the wonderful blue sky.

But cloud computing is actually quite dirty. The data centers that host the cloud use a huge amount of energy to ensure we have constant access to our email, pictures, videos and all other forms of digital files.

In fact, it’s said that if the Internet and the data storage that’s required to keep it going were a state, it would be one of the five biggest energy consuming countries in the world.

But Iceland is taking steps to reduce our collective “footprint” in the cloud.

The small country is becoming the home of a new generation of data centers that work exclusively with renewable energy — and they are cooled with local, fresh air.

One such example is at a former NATO base at Keflavik.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Copts Return to Rafah Following Threats

“The state has abandoned us,” says teacher

(ANSAmed) — Rome — The last group of Christian families living in Rafah, north Sinai have abandoned their homes in the wake of threats and attacks by Islamic militants, and their case has become a political one. But some families are now back. Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi gave his assurance that the safety of both Christians and Muslims is paramount in the area, which has increasingly become a ‘no man’s land’.

Of the nine Copt families who recently found refuge in the region’s capital el-Arish, only a few have returned. “We are going back, but the State has abandoned us. I was at Rafah but I left because I was scared for my family’s wellbeing. Our house could have been blown up at any moment”, teacher Ehad Louis told ANSA, mentioning the case of shopkeeper Abu George: a rain of bullets against his shop sparked the last flight of Copts from Rafah. “He was forced to close is shop. The situation in Rafah is very difficult — there are threats day and night. Our children can’t go to school during the week”, continued Louis. He underlined that that before the revolution “the situation was good and relations between Christians and Muslims were better.” “All the Christians have left the city and are really angry to have been abandoned by the State”, he continued.

“We told security forces about the threats and intimidation but nobody was interested. When I brought the question to the governor we were told that we would be moved to el Arish”.

“We have come back and I hope that my children will be able to go to school. The situation has changed as a result of the effort of tribal leaders and the local population who say they will protect us. Safety is a deep seated sentiment; not an armored car patrolling the streets”, added Louis. But his predictions may prove optimistic. Of the three families who have already returned, one has already changed its mind. The other six families, who are housed in a church in el-Arish refuse to come back until the governor of North Sinai meets with them, church sources told ANSA. Bishop Kozman of North Sinai said that the only church in existence in Rafah has been repaired after it was torched in the last few days. At a meeting with the opposition party in Dostour, the religious leader blamed a lack of police presence in Rafah which he said encouraged militants to launch attacks against the shop and distribute flyers threatening to Copts. A Copts solidarity initiative is due to take place today in el-Arish.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

‘Sharia-Medicine’: Egyptian Clinic Treats People With Camel Urine Per Prophet’s Advice

by Raymond Ibrahim

A recent Egyptian TV program showed how Islamic Sharia law’s many prescriptions do not merely clash with modern-day concepts like free speech and religious freedom, but even with medicine and science.

On September 16, popular TV persona Wael El-Ibrashi hosted Dr. Zaghlul al-Naggar, a prominent Islamic thinker and Chairman of Egypt’s Committee of Scientific Notions in the Quran, on the topic of medical science and Islam. Inevitably the idea of drinking camel urine as a form of therapy-first proposed in the 7th century by Muslim prophet Muhammad-came up.

Not only did Dr. Naggar promote this practice, but he made the staggering announcement that right now in Egypt a medical center in Marsa Matrouh actually specializes in treating people with camel urine, all in accord with the prophet’s advice.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Bahrain: Top Court Upholds Convictions Against Doctors

Tensions high in the Emirate

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, OCTOBER 1 — Bahrain’s highest court on Monday upheld prison terms against nine medics convicted for “subversive” actions during the pro-democracy uprising in February-March 2011.

The sentences, which were upheld on appeal, range from one month to five years in prison. This comes amid rising tension and popular protests, in which dozens of people have been arrested and a 17-year-old boy was killed.

The longest sentence, five years, went to Ali al-Ekry, formerly the senior medic at Salmaniya Medical Complex, the largest hospital in Bahrain. He was convicted of “possession and concealment” of weapons and “illegal assembly.” Dr.

Ibrahim al-Demistani got three years, while seven other doctors were sentenced to between 1-12 months.

The only one who can now intercede in their favor is the emir of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad Bin Issa al-Khalifa.

The medics were part of a group of 20 staff arrested last year and convicted for subversion and concealing weapons by a military court. That trial ended in sentences ranging from 5-15 years, causing protests within Bahrain as well as widespread criticism from international human rights groups and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. As a result, the country’s attorney general retried the twenty medical staff in civilian court, which acquitted nine of the accused and reduced the sentences of another nine. The trials of these doctors, all Shiites in a country governed by a Sunni minority, are seen as another blow to a community the Gulf oil monarchies as well as the West view with suspicion for their alleged ties with Iran. Socially and economically discriminated against, Bahraini Shiites protested widely in last year’s Arab Spring uprisings, which were swiftly crushed with the help of Saudi Arabia. But the tensions, unresolved, still smolder under the surface.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Ikea Under Fire for Deleting Pictures of Women From Its Saudi Catalogue

Ikea has apologised for airbrushing women out of the Saudi version of its furniture magazine — which was previously identical across the world.

The Swedish manufacturer said today that it regrets the decision to delete all woman and most girls from the Saudi printed edition and website, after questions were raised over the company’s commitments to gender equality.

A comparison of the Saudi version alongside its other catalogue shows exactly the same photographs of interiors and products — but with all women erased.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East Just the Opening Act

The flames have subsided though the smoke and anger remain. The Obama administration has made it clear through its inaction that there will be no response to the murder of its ambassador. Empty threats and assurances of justice never realized do not count as deeds; nor do belated actions carried out months later for political reasons.


What happened in the Middle East is serious, but it might only be the opening act to an anti-American drama that could be unfolding for years if we do not change course; not in the Middle East but in South Asia, the land mass between Iran and China with familiar countries including India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The numbers alone are compelling: one in every five people on the planet lives in South Asia; one in every three Muslims calls it home; two nuclear powers angrily eye each other across a common South Asian border; and one of them, India, is an emerging economic giant. In comparison, the Middle East (Israel excluded): is home to only one out of 20 people and less than one in five Muslims; has zero nuclear powers, just one nuclear wannabe; and is where economic muscle is but a technological advance away from collapse.

South Asia has its own versions of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is home to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups like the Haqqani network and Lashkar e Taibi. Islamist political parties like Jamaat e Islami carry a lot of weight. And, of course there is the Taliban. The Obama drumbeat of late about “moderates” in the Muslim Brotherhood is a mere reprise of his 2009 call to “reach out” to “moderate Taliban”; and it likely will prove similarly naïve and fruitless.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Nuclear Technology for Iran: German Investigators Uncover Illegal Exports

Recent arrests suggest that Germany remains a hub for sales of prohibited supplies to Iran that are being used in Iran’s nuclear program. Illegal exports are undermining Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has pursued an embargo policy in order to prevent a possible war in the Middle East. Info

Investigators showed up at around 9:30 a.m. on a sunny Wednesday in August. They wore bulletproof vests as they entered the driveway. Their superiors had ordered them to take protective measures.

The agents held up search and arrest warrants in front of the intercom camera and waited until the gate slowly opened at this residence in the upper-middle-class Hamburg district of Poppenbüttel. They had come to arrest the building’s owner, a nondescript older man named Gholamali K., and his son Kianzad.

The two Iranian-Germans are suspected of working at the heart of a ring that allegedly supplied valves to Iran’s controversial nuclear program. At the same time, investigators searched offices in a number of German cities — in Oldenburg, Weimar and Halle — and arrested two additional men.

The four arrests are the latest blow to suspected supporters of Iran’s bid to become a nuclear power. Investigations show that Germany remains a hub for clandestine deliveries to Iran, despite wide-ranging sanctions.

           — Hat tip: LH[Return to headlines]

Spy Device Disguised as Rock Reportedly Explodes Outside Iranian Nuclear Facility

A spy device disguised as a rock reportedly exploded last month outside an Iranian facility that is believed to be a site used for nuclear weapons development.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard troops were inspecting data and telephone links to the Fordo nuclear facility in August when they found the rock, tried to move it and saw it explode, intelligence sources told the Sunday Times, according to Al Arabiya.

The ‘rock’ was able to intercept computer data from the facility, the newspaper reported on Sunday, citing those who surveyed parts of the device after the explosion.

The U.N. and western powers suspect Iran’s nuclear program is intended for the creation of weapons, but Iran insists it is for peaceful purposes.

The Fordo facility, near Qoms, is currently enriching uranium to a level close to the amount used in nuclear weapons, the Associated Press reports.

Porous Mexican Border Allows Alarming Trend in Human Trafficking into US

For most Americans, human and sex trafficking is a practice that evokes far-away lands of underdevelopment and need. But according to recent studies, it is a matter that is creeping in through the cracks of broken homes across the country and also through the porous Mexican border.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Obscene Wealth of the Saudis

Driving the Saudis: A Chauffeur’s Tale of the World’s Richest Princesses

I have been a book reviewer for more than fifty years and I keep a watchful eye for the occasional book that says more about its topic than a stack of academic or geo-political books by scholars. Such is the case with Jayne Amelia Larson’s “Driving the Saudis: A Chauffeur’s Tale of the World’s Richest Princesses (plus their servants, nannies, and one royal hairdresser).”

Larson has degrees from Cornell University and Harvard University’s American Repertory Theatre Institute. Like so many with aspirations to act in films and television, she headed for Los Angeles, but show business is a tough life to pursue and only a handful find great success. The rest often have to moonlight as Larson did, chauffering to pay the bills.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Turkey: Erdogan to AKP Congress, My Objective is 2023

Egyptian President Morsi guest of honor, Sunni power alliance

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to lead the Republic of Turkey all the way to its 100th anniversary, in 2023, at a boisterous party rally on Sunday attended by 40,000 supporters.

“A great nation, a great power, objective 2023” was the slogan at the fourth congress of his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which re-elected him chairman for the third and last time. Erdogan, 58, detailed his party’s achievements after nearly a decade in power, while also laying out a road map for what his role could be in the future. Today Turkey is the 17th world economic power, per-capita income has tripled since his 2002 election, the government has invested trillions in ambitious, country-wide development plans, and the armed forces have been brought to heel.

Several hundred officers and generals are in jail on sedition charges, but so are thousands of Kurdish separatists and dozens of journalists. While they worry Europe, these illiberal tendencies appear to leave Erdogan’s electorate undisturbed, with the AKP light years ahead of the main social-democratic opposition party, the CHP, with its 25% share of votes. With a 50% approval rating, Erdogan, 58, will likely be confirmed for another five years in the next 2014 elections. He has a good chance of delivering on his campaign promise of bringing the country into the top 10 world economic powers by 2023, pending constitutional reform allowing his mandate to continue.

This in spite of apparent policy fiascoes in Syria, where his support of the rebels in hopes of a rapid victory over Assad has proven over-optimistic, and in Turkish Kurdistan, where the secessionist bloodbath continues unabated since July. And while the press, the opposition, and off-the-record AKP sources grumble about his authoritarianism and his creeping “Islamization” of Turkish society, Erdogan has not lost an election since 2001. Turkey’s ruler now sees eye-to-eye with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who is from the Muslim Brotherhood and who was guest of honor at yesterday’s congress. Turkey has promised Egypt, the other traditional Sunni-led regional power, 2 billion dollars in aid, and the two Islamic leaderships are cooperating on the Syria question. A Sunni axis could well balance out the Shiite Iraq-Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance. “We will remain at the side of the Syrian people until this cruel regime has left the country for good,” Morsi told the AKP congress.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Turkish Cypriots Wary of New “Religious School”

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA, OCTOBER 1 — A potentially illegitimate religious school, with teachers imported from mainland Turkey, has opened its doors to students in the occupied areas, the Cyprus News Agency reported (CNA) on Friday. The Hala Sultan Theology School, named after the Hala Sultan Tekke (a prominent Muslim shrine dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad’s paternal aunt near the coastal city of Larnaca), is housed in the premises of Mias Milias’ technical college in occupied village of Trachonas.

It has already enrolled 173 students who will be taught by four ‘Education Ministry’ appointed teachers from Turkey, said CNA, quoting Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen. The decision to operate the school was taken last July. According to the Turkish Cypriot paper the students will be taught religious instruction, the Holy Quran and given Arabic lessons. But according to CNA the school’s operation has ruffled some feathers in the occupied areas with one academic quoted as saying the religious school had started working without making an announcement. He also said that “by law” no such school was allowed to operate in the occupied areas nor had any amendment been made to the law to now allow it. Cetin Ugural, head of the civil servants’ commission was also quoted by the Turkish Cypriot paper as saying that the appointment of a headmaster or teachers to the religious school had not been made by the ‘civil service’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Russia Bans Showings of Anti-Islam Film

A court in Moscow ruled Monday that an anti-Islam film that has sparked violent demonstrations around the world can no longer be shown in Russia.

Tverskoi court’s ruling follows a similar local decision taken last week by a court in Grozny, the provincial capital of Russia’s Muslim-dominated province of Chechnya.

In Moscow, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said the film was deemed extremist because it could incite ethnic and religious hatred.

Russia’s communications minister had warned that authorities would bar access to YouTube if its owner, Google Inc., failed to abide by a court order to block access in this nation to the U.S.-produced film, which mocks Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad.

Google in Russia has said it could restrict access to the video, if it received a court order outlawing it, but the company declined to discuss that issue with The Associated Press on Monday evening.

Outrage at the film has spiraled into violent protests across several countries across the Muslim world. Some two dozen demonstrators have been killed in protests that attacked vestiges of the U.S. and the West, including diplomatic compounds.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Confusion Surrounds Death of NATO and Afghan Troops

Two Americans and three Afghans have been killed in a confused clash between the allies, as the Nato coalition’s commander said the rash of green on blue killings was making him “mad as hell”.

Nato investigators were last night trying to determine what happened in the fire fight which left an American serviceman and civilian contractor dead, along with three members of the Afghan army. The incident again highlighted the badly strained relations between the allied ranks, following a spate of killings which has seen more than 50 Nato troops shot dead by their Afghan comrades in 2012 alone. The weekend deaths in Sydabad district of Wardak province came from an “exchange of fire”, officials in Kabul said, but the situation was confused by reports of a Taliban attack at the same time. Lt Gen Adrian Bradshaw, the deputy coalition commander, said the clash may have been provoked by Taliban shooting. He said: “What was initially reported to have been a suspected insider attack is now understood to possibly have involved insurgent fire. The incident occurred while [a coalition unit] was manning a temporary check point in an area near an Afghan National Army (ANA) unit…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: NATO Troops Among 13 Dead in Suicide Bomb Attack in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed at least 13 people and wounded scores more when he detonated his explosives as a joint Nato and police patrol passed through a busy square.

Three soldiers from the Nato-led coalition and their interpreter were among the dead, Afghan officials said, as were the local commander of a police reserve unit and three other police. Five civilians were killed in the blast in Khost province, eastern Afghanistan, and the death toll was expected to climb as many of the wounded were in a critical condition.

A spokesman for the Taliban movement said one of its bombers, called Shoaib, had carried out the blast. The explosion came a day after the US death toll from the 11-year-long Afghan campaign passed 2,000, according to a tally kept by the AP news agency…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Nothing to Gain From Wilders Ban

by Chris Bowen

GEERT Wilders is wrong. His views are offensive. To read his writings is to be struck by their ignorance and their wrongheaded views of other people’s beliefs.

It has been accurately reported in recent weeks that the Dutch far-right politician and anti-Islamist has applied for a visa to undertake speaking engagements in Australia.

Wilders is a provocateur who no doubt revels in the spotlight and would like nothing more than to be denied entry to Australia and garner his cause more attention.

I have decided not to intervene to deny him a visa because I believe that our democracy is strong enough, our multiculturalism robust enough and our commitment to freedom of speech entrenched enough that our society can withstand the visit of a fringe commentator.

The way to deal with extremist commentators such as Wilders is to defeat his ideas with the force of our arguments and experiences, not the blunt instrument of denying him entry into Australia.

Wilders and those who agree with him are very simply wrong in their beliefs…

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]


Greece: Neo-Nazis Golden Dawn Given ‘Police Powers’ Over Immigrants

Greek police have been accused of directing the victims of crimes allegedly committed by immigrants to seek retribution from the violent neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

Golden Dawn is increasingly taking the law into its own hands with the complicity of security forces, the Guardian reported.

Numerous Athenians told the British newspaper that police are openly advising people to seek Golden Dawn protection instead of dealing with their complaints.

“They immediately said if it’s an issue with immigrants go to Golden Dawn,” explained a US-trained civil servant who called police following an incident involving Albanian immigrants.

Support for the Neo-Nazi party is soaring in the near-bankrupt state, as are racially motivated attacks on immigrants.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

How President Bush Could Help President Obama Win Re-Election

With the help of President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama may win re-election by taking a page out of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election playbook. How? By using taxpayer funded programs that teach immigrant green card holders on how to become U.S. citizens—thereby increasing likely Democratic voters.

During the Clinton era it was called Citizenship USA (CUSA). Today, it’s the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program that’s similar to then Sen. Obama’s Citizenship Promotion Act of 2007, a bill he introduced with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) to give “$80 million” in grants to community organizers “to assist” legal “aliens” in becoming US citizens. Obama’s bill would have sped up FBI background checks. During the Clinton’s CUSA program, FBI background checks were rushed or ignored so felons became US citizens in time to vote. And thanks to President Bush, by executive order, promoting citizenship is the law of the land. Obama no longer requires congressional approval.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Italy: Begging Racket Busted

Dozens of disabled immigrants in north Italy rescued from traffickers. Victims “purchased” in Romania and forced to beg

MILAN — The tormentor and the goose that lays golden eggs. “A coin to help this poor girl”, whines the woman, pointing at her companion, who is crawling pitifully and dragging her paralysed legs behind her. The two Romanians are begging from Milan residents rushing in and out of the metro station. They are only one of the pairs sent onto the streets every day by the ruthless gang of criminals that was broken up yesterday and which exercises military-style control over metropolitan territories, particularly in the north. Cocana, 31, has severely disabled legs that make her tragically valuable. When her adoptive parents sold her two years ago to Kemal Pomak for €2,000, she was bundled into a van like an animal.

She and twenty-seven other Romanian slaves set out from Costanza, the Black Sea port where the Roman poet Ovid, author of the Metamorphoses, ended his days. Their documents were taken by the traffickers so, trapped and terrified, Cocana arrived in Milan with a group of Romanians of Roma and Turkish origin. Some had been tricked with the offer of an honest job while others had taken the conscious decision to beg. There were youngsters and 75-year-olds, acquired for a handful of euros. None of them received a cent in “pay”; just beatings if they refused to work…

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

Switzerland: Asylum Rules Tightened

Unruly asylum seekers can be put in special centres, conscientious objectors and army deserters lose guaranteed refugee status and asylum applications can no longer be filed at Swiss embassies abroad.

The measures take effect on Saturday, but discussions on Switzerland’s asylum rules are set to continue.

It took the parliamentary chambers at least seven separate debates during the autumn session to agree a package of so called urgent measures. The House of Representatives and the Senate finally succeeded in sorting out the last details of the bill on Thursday.

It allows the government to test different procedures to speed up asylum requests despite opposition by some members of the centre-left parties.

The federal authorities can also house asylum seekers for up to three years in accommodation without asking explicit permission form the local authorities and the 26 cantons — an amendment specifically welcomed by Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga in the past few days.

Both chambers voted for a fast-track introduction of these measures, curtailing the right to challenge them to a nationwide vote — a decision which triggered opposition from Social Democrats and the Greens.

Warning that constitutional rights could be undermined, Senate member Luc Recordon urged parliament “not to resort to mere political grandstanding”.

However,Thomas Minder, an independent with close ties to the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, retorted the population expected parliament to act swiftly.

“I have heard the alarm bells for some time about criminal asylum seekers. I’m sure it will get even worse, especially during the dark winter nights.”…

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]


Dramatic Aging Trend by 2050, Warns UN Report

In ten years’ time there will be over a billion people worldwide over the age of sixty, says a UN report. It also states that developing countries will face a dramatic demographic change they are ill prepared for.

The report “Ageing in the Twenty-First Century,” published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the non-governmental organisation HelpAge International on Monday to coincide with International Day of Older Persons, warns of a dramatic shift and strains on welfare and medical services.

It states that rising life expectancies will accelerate senior citizen numbers faster than any other statistical age group in the make-up of populations.

In the next ten years, it predicts, the number of elderly people worldwide will swell by 200 million taking the count beyond one billion people.

The report predicts that by 2050 senior persons 60 years and over will make up more than 80 percent of the population in developing countries. Currently, two out of three senior persons live in poorer, developing countries.

And, by 2050, the report says, there will be more people over the age of sixty than under the age of 15.

The report’s authors urge developing countries to make preparations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

What Orwell Can Tell us About the Liberal Appeasement of Islam

Suppose there were a worldwide movement which openly proclaimed its goal of taking over in your country and every country with the purpose of imposing its system on every human being on earth. Also suppose that this movement had carried out murders and terrorist attacks in your own country, that members of this group promoted violence while gaining political influence. Suppose also that is was highly unfashionable and politically incorrect to speak out against them.

I am not speaking of Islam here, but of Communism. The current wave of censorship and denial toward Islam is not a new development. It is rather a very old one. Islamophobia, like Red-Baiting, is a political term that serves the function of cutting off any discussion of the subject. It precludes any listing of the facts or debates on the issue, by declaring it to be off-limits. To raise the issue is to expose yourself as a bad person whose ideas are unacceptable for public distribution.

When George Orwell was struggling to find a publisher for Animal Farm, he was repeatedly turned down on the grounds that the book would offend the Soviet Union. One publisher wrote to Orwell that he had been dissuaded from publishing the book by an important official in the Ministry of Information (an agency that would become the Ministry of Truth in his novel, 1984) who had told him that publishing such a book would be ill-advised at this time. That official was, incidentally, a Soviet spy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Nemesis said...

On the unrest in Greece. We are now witnessing the effects of a paradigm political shift in that country.

And while Golden Dawn has been singled out by the British Guardian newspaper for encouraging violence against illegal immigrants in Greece, a nation that is now tearing itself apart, the purveyors of the left wing mantra completely ignore their own ideological involvement in bringing Greece to where it is today.

The ignorance, dishonesty and just plain lying and stupidity that has caused a major newspaper to become a shadow of what it once was should be a salutary lesson for anyone that has even a miniscule amount of observational capacity.