Gates of Vienna News Feed Jan 20 2013

Don’t panic, Gates will be fine. Just give it a day or so and it will be back better than ever.

Meanwhile, here is the news feed.

“An exit somewhere is an entrance somewhere else”

-Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Financial Crisis
» Austerity-Hit Southern Europeans Flock to Switzerland
» Bank of Italy Chief Shouted Down, Expects Tough 2013
» Debt Ceiling Fear Mongering
» Lebanon: GDP in Free Fall as Gulf Arabs Pull Out
» Monti Proposes Lifting Taxes on Firms Hiring Young Italians
» Paul Moreno: Gold, Greenbacks and Inflation: A History and a Warning
» Spain: Fund for Evicted Families Constituted
» The USA’s Hollowing Middle Class
» UK ‘Workless Households’ Rate Among Highest in EU as Britons Appear to Prefer a Life on Benefits
» UK: Care Bill for Pensioners Capped at £75,000 — But Thousands Will Still be Forced to Sell Their Homes
USA
» Batmobile Sells for $4.62 Million at Classic Car Auction in Arizona
» Challengers From the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right
» Eva Longoria’s Next Role: Hispanic Activist in Washington
» Girl Who Doesn’t Grow Baffles Doctors
» How Tom Cruise’s Cult ‘Controlled His Love Life’
» New Proposal Will Force Gun Owners to Store Assault Weapons at Government Authorized Storage Depots
» Obama: Selling Out America — Literally
» Obama Could Not Pass a Background Check
» Rallies Assail Obama’s Proposed Gun Curbs
» Saudi Air Force Sergeant Accused of Child Rape in Las Vegas
» The Darkest Design of Barack Obama
Canada
» Canada’s New $20 Bill at Centre of Maple Leaf Flap
Europe and the EU
» British Paedophile Jailed for Paying Poor Bulgarians £60,000 to Sexually Abuse Their Sons
» C-Sections Overprescribed in Italy, Study Finds
» France: Student Falsely Ejected for Wearing Muslim Veil
» Greece Approves Commission to Probe Ex-Finance Minister
» Grillo Calls for End of Labor Unions in Italy
» Gun Pointed During Bulgarian Party Rally
» Heartstopping Moment Would-be Assassin Aims Gun at Bulgarian Opposition Leader’s Head and Pulls the Trigger… But Victim Survives After Weapon Misfires
» Italy: Prosecutor Requests Seven-Year Term for Ex-Berlusconi Aide
» UK: Convicts Owe £1.8billion in Fines as ‘Free Pass’ Makes a Mockery of the Justice System
» UK: How 75% of Petrol Stations Have Closed in 40 Years Forcing Drivers to Travel Further and Pay More to Fill Up Tanks
» UK: I Was Raped at 13 by Jimmy Savile in Satanist Ritual
» UK: War Hero, 85, Dies of Heart Attack Just Hours After Finding His Home Ransacked by Burglars Who Took Wife’s Ring
» UK: War on Speeding Motorists: Drivers Face More 20mph Limits and Extra Cameras
North Africa
» Algeria: Hostages Were ‘Caught in a Fireball’: Helicopter Gunships Blew Up Cars Carrying Captives Guarded by Al Qaeda
» Algeria: ‘We’re Only After the Christians…’ Minutes Later a Briton Lay Dead: Terrifying Moment Gas Plant Gunmen Rounded Up Non-Muslims and Strapped Explosives to Their Necks
» Belmokhtar Burnishes Jihadi Credentials With Algeria Attack
» Gerald Warner in the Sunday Scotsman: “Mali Myopia Blinds us to Falling Dominoes of Jihad”
» Jailing of Blind Sheikh Pushes Muslim Anger Against US, Warns Son
» Raid Was Best Option in Hostage Crisis, Says French Leader
» Siege of Algerian Gas Field Comes to a Bloody End
» Upper Egypt: Thousands of Islamic Extremists Attack a Christian Village
Israel and the Palestinians
» Netanyahu Unrivaled Ahead of January 22 Elections
Middle East
» Jailed Christian Pastor Awaits Trial in Iran
Russia
» The Espionage Malworm Red October Has Apparently Shutdown
South Asia
» Executed Lanka Maid’s Mom Refuses Financial Aid
Far East
» About 10pc of Beijing Residents Work for Propaganda Services
» As Dispute Over Islands Escalates, Japan and China Send Fighter Jets to the Scene
Sub-Saharan Africa
» France Now Has 1800 Troops Deployed in Mali
» Mali Troops Regain Control of Konna and Diabali
Latin America
» Mexico Police Arrested in ‘Organised Crime Raid’
Immigration
» Jailed: International Sham Marriage Gang Which Sent Czech Women to Pakistan to Wed Immigrants Bound for the UK
» Obama’s Amnesty Plan and What it Means
» ‘Right to Family Life’ Keeps 200 Foreign Convicts in Britain: Nine in Ten Use Laws to Cheat Deportation
» UK: Quarter of Migrants Jobless
» UK: Video: Our Town’s Like a Foreign Country and Locals Can’t Cope With the Immigrants, Says Mother After TV Clash With Academic on Question Time
Culture Wars
» The Corruption of a Generation: In a Major Mail Series, A Renowned Psychologist Argues That Our Daughters Are Facing an Unprecedented Crisis… Sexualisiation From Primary School Age
» The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to Corrupt
» The Influence of Supernatural Evil
» UK: Our Nation is on Its Knees to the Church of Human Rights
» Which STD Factory Are You Dating?
General
» Pull All Westerners Out, And Let the Camp of Islam Sink
» What Will First Photos of Black Holes Look Like?

Financial Crisis

Austerity-Hit Southern Europeans Flock to Switzerland

After losing one public sector IT job and then another in austerity-hit Spain, Thierry Perello decided to seek his fortune in one of the few remaining bright spots on the European map: Switzerland.

“I just didn’t want to stay in Spain anymore. I was really afraid the whole country would go just go up in flames,” the 41-year-old Spaniard told AFP, explaining why he had made his way to Switzerland last August.

While at the heart of a continent plunged in deep crisis, Switzerland is experiencing economic growth and enjoys a mere 3.1-percent unemployment rate, compared to 11.7 percent in the neighbouring eurozone.

“I thought Switzerland was not only a good country for finding work, but also for my kids and their future,” said Perello, whose three- and five-year-old children are still in Spain with their mother waiting for him to find work before making the move.

Perello is not alone. According to Swiss statistics, there has been a recent surge in the number of southern Europeans, especially from Portugal and Spain, settling in the country.

Alberto Gomez, a 36-year-old salesman who moved to Switzerland in May after losing three jobs in Spain over the course of as many years, has a blog for new arrivals from his country that gets more than 1,000 hits a day.

“Everyone says they have come because of the crisis… All the young people want to leave Spain. There are no jobs and virtually no unemployment benefits,” he told AFP.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bank of Italy Chief Shouted Down, Expects Tough 2013

Italian GDP expected to contract 1% this year

 

(see related stories) (ANSA) — Florence, January 18 — Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said 2013 was going to be another “difficult year” during a speech in Florence that was interrupted by protesting students.

Visco said estimates pointed to a 1% contraction in the economy this year even though Italy is set to pull out of recession in the second half of 2013. But he added that the country should stay on the path of financial rigor.

“Achieving balance in the public accounts is the precondition for success,” he said.

“The uncertainties that condition the financial markets are linked to tensions related to sovereign debts. They reduce confidence and remove incentives to invest and innovate”.

Visco’s speech at the University of Florence was interrupted by student protests, which at one point forced the dean to leave the hall where the central banker was holding his presentation to attempt to calm the demonstrators.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Debt Ceiling Fear Mongering

Hard for Americans to understand that they are being held hostage to a fear of economic Armageddon if politicians do not get their outrageous spending wishes.

Alan Blinder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, and co-author of a very popular Economics college textbook, believes that although the fiscal cliff was serious, the “debt ceiling is scarier.” Allowing the economy to go over the fiscal cliff would have resulted in a 4.5 percent contraction of GDP. The upcoming debt ceiling impasse could shrink GDP by more than 6 percent, force a 26 percent reduction in government spending, and a “swift descent into recession.”

Blinder said that “At current rates of spending and taxation, federal receipts cover less than 74 percent of federal outlays.” (Wall Street Journal, The Debt Ceiling is Scarier than the Fiscal Cliff, January 14, 2013)

The federal government just increased taxes on Americans who earn an income. The touted rich, who “must pay their fair share,” were barely touched because these new taxes do not include wealth, just earned income. Texas, Louisiana, Florida have balanced their budgets without raising taxes, they just cut spending. Illinois and California, who increased taxes, are still following the federal government’s reckless spending formula.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Lebanon: GDP in Free Fall as Gulf Arabs Pull Out

Luxury homes, hotels on sale on fears of Syria spillover

 

(ANSAmed) — BEITUT — Fearing spillover from the Syrian civil war, Gulf millionaires are putting their luxury Lebanese real estate up for sale, further deepening a two-year economic crisis there, which some are now openly calling a recession. Lebanese GDP was 1.7% in 2012, down from 3% in 2011 and a far cry from the 8% average yearly growth between 2007-2010, according to the International Monetary Fund. The main factor has been the drop in tourism, on which the Country of Cedars depends: over a year, hotel occupancy plunged -47% to 35% in November, the lowest level since 2008, L’Orient Le Jour newspaper wrote. Clashes between loyalists and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in northern Lebanon and Tripoli, the spillover of fighting from Syria into Lebanese territory, and the recent kidnappings of various foreigners induced the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council to issue Lebanon travel advisories for its citizens, which made up Lebanon’s most prestigious and affluent clientele. “If Arab tourists no longer come and the Europeans decide to do the same, what market can we work in?” asked tourism trade union federation secretary general Jean Beyrouthi.

To make matters worse, the wealthiest Arabs are also pulling out of the real estate market. Many Gulf elite homeowners are putting their Lebanese residences on the block, while Saudi emir Walid Ben Talal recently sold his share of the five-star Movenpick Hotel in Beirut for 138 million dollars, and Dubai-based construction mogul Khalafat al-Habtoor mentioned plans to sell two luxury hotels and a shopping center, also in Beirut. “The tendency began a year ago, and it accelerated in the past six months after the Gulf monarchies issued travel advisories against our country,” said Joe Kanaan, who heads the Sodeco Gestion real estate agency, adding that luxury housing prices have already dropped 15-20% as a result.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Monti Proposes Lifting Taxes on Firms Hiring Young Italians

Outgoing premier calls for end to nepotism

 

(ANSA) — Rome, January 18 — Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti on Friday proposed easing taxes on companies that hire young Italians as a way to counter chronic youth unemployment.

Monti, who is standing for office in next month’s general election on a reform platform backed by several centrist parties, also called for an end to nepotism in Italian public life and assistance for young people trying to buy their own house.

The former European commissioner, who took the helm of an emergency government of unelected technocrats in November 2011, said via Twitter that it was necessary to introduce “forms of detaxation for those who hire people under 30”. Well over a third of Italians aged 15 to 24 are out of work. Monti also forwarded the idea of a “family programme featuring supported mortgages for young couples for their first homes” along with tax breaks and “0 bureaucracy for startups”. He added that he would like to see a “change of generation” in the professions, politics and public institutions by making “merit” the watchword and eliminating nepotism. Monti’s new reform ticket was only fourth in an opinion poll released Friday by the SWG agency, with 13.7% of voters intending to back it.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Paul Moreno: Gold, Greenbacks and Inflation: A History and a Warning

The Federal Reserve’s 100th birthday is no cause to break out the champagne

 

The Federal Reserve, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is tasked by Congress with managing the money supply so as to preserve price stability while maximizing employment. But with the central bank having increased the money supply by 25% since the financial crash of 2008—while the federal government has borrowed $5 trillion—can inflation be far off?

It won’t be the first time. Inflation has often been popular, especially in democracies, since it benefits debtors, who are always more numerous than creditors. Inflation allows debtors to repay in money that is less valuable than the money they borrowed. This was the case after America’s Revolutionary War, when economically distressed debtors demanded that state governments ease their burdens. State after state enacted paper-money laws, so that debts contracted in scarce gold and silver could be repaid with infinitely expandable paper.

This sort of inflation was one of the principal reasons for the adoption of the Constitution, which forbids the states to “make any thing but gold or silver coin legal tender in payment of debts.” In the Federalist Papers, James Madison referred to state paper-money laws as the sort of “improper or wicked project” that the new Constitution would prevent. Chief Justice John Marshall later recalled, in the 1819 Dartmouth College v. Woodward decision, that such laws had “weakened the confidence of man in man and embarrassed all transactions between individuals by dispensing with a faithful performance of engagements.”

The adoption of an anti-inflationary Constitution was a remarkable example of democratic self-restraint, and it worked wonderfully to control inflation for the next century and a quarter…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spain: Fund for Evicted Families Constituted

Formed by 33 banks; 5891 homes made available

 

(ANSAmed) — Madrid, January 18 — A fund became operative on Friday in Spain aimed at helping hundreds of thousands of families facing eviction due to mortgage default. The social fund, underwritten by 33 banks and aimed at providing rental assistance to the evicted, is one of a series of measures planned by the Spanish government to tackle the crisis created by hundreds of thousands of families unable to pay home loans. The new social fund will provide housing for 5,891 families.

In the last four months, eight people have committed suicide due to eviction proceedings after falling behind on their mortgages. The law decree approved by the Spanish congress on November 29 called for the constitution of the fund, and was among a series of assistance measures for the evicted, including a provision that freezes provisions for two years.

According to the Spanish minister for the economy and competitiveness, Luis De Guindos, at least 120,000 families in Spain have all the requirements necessary to access the benefits foreseen by the decree, even if De Guindos says the eviction phenomenon affects 600,000 families. The deputy prime minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the fund “permits a response to the dramatic situation of many families which are suffering the hardship of an excessively long crisis.” “A lot of people, (once) had faith in the future and with two incomes bought a home,” added Saenz de Santamaria, “Then, however, the crisis arrived and there are those who lost work, and then also the home. The fund must serve also to restore the faith of the people.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The USA’s Hollowing Middle Class

For decades, the US middle class could count on a good and improving standard of living. But the financial crisis has laid bare shifts in America’s foundation, which suggest the middle class is being squeezed out.

The numbers speak for themselves: Six out of 10 American adults were middle class in 1971. 40 years later, the figure was down to just half. And most middle class Americans say that they have difficulty maintaining their standard of living.

That’s no surprise because the income of the middle class has fallen in real terms. In 2001, a family of three earned $73,000 (54,800 euros) on average. In 2010, it was just about $70,000. The assets of the average American family fell over the same period from $130,000 to $93,000 — around the same level as 30 years ago. Three decades of growth have evaporated.

Many reasons help explain why America’s middle class is shrinking. The burst of the housing bubble and the recession from the end of 2007 until mid-2009 have played an important role.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK ‘Workless Households’ Rate Among Highest in EU as Britons Appear to Prefer a Life on Benefits

Britain’s share of households where no one works is among the worst in Europe, shock figures revealed yesterday.

The finding suggests that in an economy far more resilient than those of the stricken eurozone, many Britons appear to continue to prefer a life on benefits to work.

There may be particular concern over the workless rate among UK single mothers. Only Ireland and tiny Malta among the other 26 EU states have a higher proportion without work.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Care Bill for Pensioners Capped at £75,000 — But Thousands Will Still be Forced to Sell Their Homes

Pensioners will have their long-term care bill capped at £75,000, it was reported today.

Under Coalition plans, the elderly will get state protection against never-ending care home fees for the first time, but they will have to take out private insurance to cover them up to the new limit.

Pensioners will still have to pay care bills up to £75,000 with campaigners for the elderly fearing that thousands of families will be forced to sell their homes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

USA

Batmobile Sells for $4.62 Million at Classic Car Auction in Arizona

The iconic Batmobile from the 1960s television show sold for $4.62 million at the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Saturday night sale thrilled famed car customizer George Barris, who first bought the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car for $1 from Ford. He then transformed it into the Batmobile in 15 days with a budget of $15,000, according to auction notes from Barrett-Jackson.

The car’s buyer was Rick Champagne, a Phoenix-area logistics company executive. Asked by television interviewers what motivated him to pay such a princely sum, he pointed to the woman accompanying him and said: “Her.”

He then explained that he’d had his eye on the Batmobile “ever since I was a kid. I had a toy model of it,” according to SPEED TV. Asked whether he’d keep the car in his garage, he said he’d put it in his living room.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Challengers From the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right

West Point: Author: Arie Perliger

 

In the last few years, and especially since 2007, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics. These incidents cause many to wonder whether these are isolated attacks, an increasing trend, part of increasing societal violence, or attributable to some other condition. To date, however, there has been limited systematic documentation and analysis of incidents of American domestic violence.

This study provides a conceptual foundation for understanding different far-right groups and then presents the empirical analysis of violent incidents to identify those perpetrating attacks and their associated trends. Through a comprehensive look at the data, this study addresses three core questions:

(1) What are the main current characteristics of the violence produced by the far right?

(2) What type of far-right groups are more prone than others to engage in violence? How are characteristics of particular far-right groups correlated with their tendency to engage in violence?

(3) What are the social and political factors associated with the level of far-right violence? Are there political or social conditions that foster or discourage violence?

It is important to note that this study concentrates on those individuals and groups who have actually perpetuated violence and is not a comprehensive analysis of the political causes with which some far-right extremists identify. While the ability to hold and appropriately articulate diverse political views is an American strength, extremists committing acts of violence in the name of those causes undermine the freedoms that they purport to espouse.

           — Hat tip: CS [Return to headlines]

Eva Longoria’s Next Role: Hispanic Activist in Washington

By Monica Langley

 

When Barack Obama takes the presidential oath of office on Monday, he will be joined on the platform by Supreme Court justices, former presidents—and one of the “Desperate Housewives.”

Actress Eva Longoria, the 37-year-old star of the hit television show and twice Maxim magazine’s Hottest Woman of the Year, is taking on a challenging new role as a Hispanic activist and power player in Washington, D.C. One of her primary aims is to make the case that “Latinos aren’t a drain on the economy or criminals crossing the border,” she says. “Most are hardworking people who are America’s emerging market.”

Ms. Longoria is the most prominent among Latino leaders who are gaining political sway from the 2012 election, in which the Hispanic vote was a critical force in delivering victory to Mr. Obama…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Girl Who Doesn’t Grow Baffles Doctors

Little Brooke Greenberg has shining eyes that twinkle when her mother takes her clothes shopping, pushing her stroller through the infant wear department of their local stores, where Brooke gets her clothes.

But Brooke is 20 years old this year, and she hasn’t grown an inch since she was 4 or 5 years old. Her story is a medical mystery that has baffled some of the finest doctors in the world, according to the Daily Mail.

“Many of the best-known names in medicine, in their experience … had not seen anyone who matched up to Brooke,” pediatrician Lawrence Pakula of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore told ABC News. “She is always a surprise.”

Because no doctor has ever been able to provide a formal diagnosis for Brooke’s condition, her condition has been labeled “Syndrome X.” Weighing just 16 (7 kilograms), she is estimated to have the mental capacity of a toddler.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

How Tom Cruise’s Cult ‘Controlled His Love Life’

They grew him a wild flower meadow in the desert where he and Nicole Kidman could frolic hand-in-hand.

They salute him and call him ‘sir’.

And when he needed a new woman in his life, they ‘auditioned’ dozens of actresses for the role.

The extraordinary lengths to which the Church of Scientology has allegedly gone to woo Tom Cruise are detailed in a controversial new book which contrasts his demi-god status in the organisation with the miserable existence of its rank-and-file devotees.

To outsiders, it has always seemed odd that the squeaky-clean Hollywood superstar has lavished praise on the ‘church’ as a force for good in the world, when a growing number of ex-members have portrayed it as a ruthless and exploitative cult that rules its brainwashed flock with a rod of iron.

Now a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer Lawrence Wright — published in the U.S. yesterday — has painted a withering portrait of an organisation which has always seen celebrity endorsement as essential to its mystique.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New Proposal Will Force Gun Owners to Store Assault Weapons at Government Authorized Storage Depots

Because you can never have too many laws, regulations and mandates, Massachusetts State Representative David Linsky has filed a new bill that would, among other things, force gun owners to undergo mental health background checks, acquire liability insurance, pay an additional 25% taxon all forms of ammunition, and require firearms categorized as “assault weapons” to be stored outside of their homes and only at government approved storage depots.

Bills such as this one are being filed by irrationally driven anti-gunners all over the country.

They are targeting every aspect of firearms in an effort to first reduce ownership, and then to ultimately ban it altogether.

They’ll expand the definitions for mental health to include basic forms of stress and normal human mood fluctuations and designate these as mental health conditions that would disqualify you from owning a gun.

They’ll tax gun purchases and ammunition like they’ve done with cigarettes (tripling the cost over a decade) and require huge insurance premiums, making ownership unaffordable for most Americans.

They’ll track the sale and transfer of all firearms through registration, with unjust punishments for anyone engaging in black-market trading.

And, eventually, another crisis — likely one that purports to threaten the very security and stability of the government of the United States — will be used in an attempt institute a complete roundup of the majority of modern firearms.

A full out assault on the Second Amendment is underway.

[Return to headlines]

Obama: Selling Out America — Literally

Exclusive: Erik Rush warns of reported deal with China to take over U.S. lands

Let me share that which was related to me via one international business interest with strong ties to the nations highlighted in the following scenario:

According to this source, President Obama had a mid-level U.S. official meet with a Chinese officer in 2011 to find out if the Chinese were open to a land and resource swap for debt forgiveness. The upshot of this is that the Chinese are now engaging in experimental “farming” and “scientific” studies in several locations in the U.S. (in various states). The personnel involved are all Chinese military, and the plan is to use these as the base for the expansion of “land settlements” in payment of the U.S. debt to China.

So Obama has sold America out — literally — which will come as little surprise to many readers, this plan apparently being the brainchild of Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, and members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee.

[Comment: Every American MUST read this article.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Could Not Pass a Background Check

The mainstream media has failed us and we only hope the courts will not fail us.

President Barack Obama could not pass a background check if he was applying for a gun permit or a job. Why has this man been allowed to remain in office or take the oath for a second time?

During the 2008 campaign, it was known that:

  • His official, long form birth records were SEALED.
  • His Occidental College records were SEALED.
  • His Columbia College records were SEALED.
  • His Harvard College records were SEALED.
  • His College thesis — SEALED.
  • His Harvard Law Review articles — SEALED.
  • His Indonesian adoption records — SEALED.
  • His passport file — SEALED.
  • His medical records — Unavailable
  • His baptism records — Unavailable
  • His papers from his service in the Illinois legislature — Unavailable
  • His Illinois State Bar Association records — Unavailable

The birth certificate that the White House released is reputed by document experts to be false.

The Social Security number he has used was issued to someone else. He could not pass an E-Verify test. The first three numbers of his Social Security ID are reserved for applicants with Connecticut addresses, 040-049. The number was issued between 1977 and 1979. Obama’s earliest employment reportedly was in 1975 at a Baskin-Robbins in Oahu, Hawaii.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rallies Assail Obama’s Proposed Gun Curbs

(Reuters) — Pro-gun activists who say the right to own firearms is under attack from President Barack Obama’s proposals to reduce gun violence held “high noon” rallies across the United States on Saturday in support of gun ownership rights.

The U.S. debate over gun control flared in mid-December when a man armed with an assault rifle killed 20 first-graders and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut — the deadliest of a string of U.S. shooting sprees last year.

“We are law-abiding citizens, business owners, military, and we are not going to be responsible for other people’s criminal actions,” former Marine Damon Locke said to applause at a Florida rally he had helped organize.

Some in the crowd of about 1,000 in Brooksville, about an hour north of Tampa, hoisted signs that said “Stop the Gun Grabbers” and “Gun control isn’t about guns, it’s about control.”

Obama and gun control advocates have begun a push to reinstitute a ban on assault weapons in the wake of the Connecticut school massacre. A number of other states have taken up gun legislation, and New York, which has among the strictest gun control laws in the country, broadened its assault weapons ban on Tuesday.

Obama also called for a ban on high-capacity magazines and more stringent background checks for gun purchasers.

“Until we enforce gun laws on the books against the bad guys, I think it’s hypocritical to discuss more laws against law-abiding citizens,” Gary Schraut, a Brooksville real estate agent, told Reuters.

Across the country at a rally in Denver, the mood was defiant as about 500 people, including families with children, gathered in unseasonably warm weather outside the state capitol.

“I have earned the right to have my guns,” said Don Dobyns, an Air Force veteran and former police officer from Colorado Springs, who was among the rally organizers.

Sporting a shirt that read, “Girls with guns,” 31-year-old Jennifer Burk said: “My parents didn’t raise a victim and the government shouldn’t try and make me one.”

Gun control advocates say U.S. civilians have no justifiable need for assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, and they say more background checks will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals…

[Return to headlines]

Saudi Air Force Sergeant Accused of Child Rape in Las Vegas

Jan 18 (Reuters) — A Saudi Air Force sergeant in the United States for training has been arrested on child sexual assault charges over accusations he raped a 13-year-old boy in a Las Vegas hotel, and bail was set on Friday at just over $1.2 million, authorities said.

Mazen Alotaibi is accused of raping the boy on New Year’s Eve at the Circus Circus hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where both Alotaibi and the boy were guests, according to a criminal complaint.

Police said that Alotaibi, 23, had been visiting Las Vegas while temporarily stationed at Lackland Air Force base in Texas.

The man’s defense lawyer said his client had been in Las Vegas with a group of Saudi military friends ahead of the impending end of his U.S. training, and had spent the hours before the incident drinking.

“He was two weeks from graduating. He came to Las Vegas to celebrate. It was New Year’s Eve,” the attorney, Don Chairez, told Reuters, complaining that Alotaibi was intoxicated when he was interrogated by police and that he admitted he may have had sexual contact with the boy only under aggressive questioning.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Darkest Design of Barack Obama

For some time, there have been unsubstantiated reports of the Obama administration engaging in clandestine negotiations with China toward satisfying America’s debt to that nation via exchanges of land and resources. Such an arrangement would be illegal and treasonous of course, but given its deportment to date, that would not likely deter this administration.

Also, in the face of having trillions of dollars in debt called by China, and the economic catastrophe that would ensue, it is entirely possible that Obama might request and be granted some manner of dispensation from Congress to legitimize this pact.

This week, I presented substantiation [url] to the aforementioned reports, much to the fear and consternation of most people who became apprised of this phenomenon. Referencing sources that have proven reliable in the past, I cited such things as Chinese military operatives engaging in clandestine “research” within U.S. borders, and assessments of land and resources having been conducted by China in recent years, all with the administration’s approval.

[…]

Thus — which came as an outrage, but no surprise to many — it is the Chinese government that is lobbying Obama to disarm the American public. They foresee a time when there will be widespread anger against them for their role in this obscene arrangement, and would rather not have to militarily engage armed Americans over land or resources that they will control, some of which is in America’s heartland. Some perceive Obama’s spirited pursuit of gun control after the Sandy Hook massacre as typical knee-jerk liberal opportunism, but it is far more than that.

[Comment: This is no fairy tale. America’s resources are secretly being pledged to cover the debt. It is the States who should be enforcing the control of resources. Natural resources belong to the States and NOT for use by the Federal machine in an unconstitutional manner.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Canada

Canada’s New $20 Bill at Centre of Maple Leaf Flap

Botanists say it’s a Norway maple, not Canadian maple, though Bank of Canada denies error

 

Some botanists are shaking their heads at the new polymer bills because they say the money features a maple leaf from Norway, and not Canada, although that’s not how the Bank of Canada sees it.

The Norway maple came to North America in the 18th century, imported by a Philadelphia merchant and peddled as a garden adornment. But lately it has been turning up in all kinds of places, including the official logos of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., and the FIFA under-20 World Cup of Soccer.

The Canadian Television Fund and the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada have also made maple leaf errors, according to botanists.

Sean Blaney, senior botanist of the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre, said he never expected to see the Norway maple leaf on a $20 bill.

“It’s a species that’s invasive in Eastern Canada and is displacing some of our native species, and it’s probably not an appropriate species to be putting on our native currency,” Blaney told CBC News.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

British Paedophile Jailed for Paying Poor Bulgarians £60,000 to Sexually Abuse Their Sons

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A British paedophile who paid impoverished parents in Bulgaria £60,000 to sexually abuse their young sons has been jailed for four years.

Paul Renouf’s victims were just 11-years-old and were handed over to him for weekends and holidays, a Bulgarian court heard.

The parents had increasingly relied on the divorced dad-of-three’s money for food and he even bought them a house.

Neighbours tipped off police, and officers caught the 63-year-old in a sex act with one of the boys when they raided his home in the central city of Veliko Tarnovo.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

C-Sections Overprescribed in Italy, Study Finds

‘Over 40% of operations unnecessary’

 

(ANSA) — Rome, January 18 — Italian women giving birth in public hospitals are subjected to caesarean sections in 29% of cases, of which 43% appear retroactively not to have been medically justified, according a report released on Friday.

The data was compiled based on hospital dismissal medical reports of patients in 2010, and a common anomaly was the erroneous indication that the foetus was badly positioned, which led the surgery to be executed. Births in Italy totalled 482,195 in 2010.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France: Student Falsely Ejected for Wearing Muslim Veil

A university student in France has reportedly lodged a complaint with police after being mistakenly told to leave a lecture for wearing a Muslim veil.

According to regional news website Press Ocean, the Tunisian student was asked by her science lecturer at the University of Nantes in western France to remove her hijab when she arrived for the course.

The 24-year-old refused, at which point she is believed to have been asked to leave the lecture. The student went immediately to complain to officials in the Faculty of Sciences.

A controversial 2004 law prohibits the wearing or open display of religious symbols in all French schools and colleges, but it does not apply to universities. A similarly contentious law was introduced in 2010 banning the wearing in public of the full Muslim face veil, the niqab. It did not however forbid the wearing of the hijab headscarf.

Realizing the embarrassing mistake, faculty bosses quickly returned the student to the lecture, where the teacher made an apology.

It is believed the stand-in lecturer may have made the error because he is usually employed in a lycée college, where the hijab headscarves are banned.

Police sources confirmed to Presse Ocean that the student had lodged an official discrimination complaint.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece Approves Commission to Probe Ex-Finance Minister

Papaconstantinou suspected of doctoring tax evasion target list

 

(ANSAmed) — Athens, January 18 — In one of the most tempestuous meetings in recent years, the Greek parliament voted 265 to 35 in favor of instituting an parliamentary commission to investigate allegations that ex-Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou may have helped relatives avoid scrutiny for tax evasion.

The proposal to form the commission was put forward by the three parties that sustain Greece’s current government — the centre-right party New Democracy (ND), the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), and the Democratic Left (DIMAR). The allegations against Papaconstantinou regard the so-called “Lagarde List”, named after International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief and ex-finance minister of France, Christine Lagarde.

Papaconstantinou is suspected of having removed his relatives’ names from a list of Greek citizens owning Swiss bank accounts — with deposits worth a total of roughly two billion euros — and who are suspected of tax evasion.

In the same session, the Greek parliament rejected proposals to launch criminal probes into the roles of other politicians in the same affair. The radical left party Syriza wanted an investigation ex-finance minister and current Pasok leader, Evangelos Venizelos.

The rightwing Independent Greeks and the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party proposed probes into ex-premiers Giorgos Papandreou and Lucas Papademos.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Grillo Calls for End of Labor Unions in Italy

‘They’re antiquated, like the political parties’

 

(ANSA) — Bari, January 18 — Italian comic and political gadfly Beppe Grillo called for the end of labor unions at a meeting of his anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) on Friday. “I want a State with balls. Let’s throw out the unions, which are an antiquated structure like the political parties,” he said. “Companies need to be made up of those who work”. Grillo, who has slipped from second to fourth in the election race amid claims of an autocratic leadership style, is on what he calls his “tsunami” political tour for the February vote.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Gun Pointed During Bulgarian Party Rally

A veteran Turkish minority party leader in Bulgaria has escaped unharmed after a gunman took aim during a televised conference in Sofia. Guards tackled the 25-year-old assailant who did not fire a shot.

Television footage on Saturday showed the assailant emerge from the audience and point a gun into the face of Ahmed Dogan, the leader the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF).

It was a junior partner in Bulgaria’s previous Socialist-led cabinet.

The liberal MRF party represents ethnic Turks and other Muslims who comprise 12 percent of Bulgaria’s population.

Dogan’s deputy Lyutvi Mestan said the MRF leader was not injured.

“Ahmed Dogan is in good health. Everything is under control,” said another MRF official, Ceyhan Ibryamov.

Police said they had arrested the gunman, who is from the Black Sea town of Burgas. He was also carrying two knives, they said.

Gas pistol

 

The handgun was a gas pistol, according to the news agency AFP.

The motive for Saturday’s incident during the MRF national party conference was unknown.

Dogan, who has led the MRF for 25 years, had been widely expected to announce Saturday that he was stepping down.

Although attacks on politicians are rare in Bulgaria, in 1996 former prime minister Andrei Lukanov was found shot dead near his home in Sofia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Heartstopping Moment Would-be Assassin Aims Gun at Bulgarian Opposition Leader’s Head and Pulls the Trigger… But Victim Survives After Weapon Misfires

A Bulgarian politician today survived an extraordinary assassination attempt when a man stormed the stage and held a gun to his head as he was giving a speech.

Fortunately for Ahmed Dogan, leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the weapon misfired giving him time to react and hit the would-be assassin’s hand out of the way.

Before he could attempt a second shot the unidentified suspect was tackled to the ground by security guards and delegates attending the conference in Sofia…

The liberal MRF party represents ethnic Turks and other Muslims who make up about 12 per cent of Bulgaria’s 7.3 million-strong population.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecutor Requests Seven-Year Term for Ex-Berlusconi Aide

Dell’Utri accused of allegedly helping mafia

 

(ANSA) — Palermo, January 18 — Palermo’s chief prosecutor on Friday requested that Marcello Dell’Utri, a former business and political ally of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, be sent to prison for seven years for allegedly helping the Mafia. Italy’s supreme Court of Cassation ordered a retrial in March, saying Dell’Utri’s legal rights had not been respected in the appeals trial against the original conviction. Marcello Dell’Utri was sentenced to nine years in jail in the first trial. Dell’Utri is a Senator in the ex-premier’s People of Freedom party, which he is credited with helping to create in late 1993 in its original form, Forza Italia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Convicts Owe £1.8billion in Fines as ‘Free Pass’ Makes a Mockery of the Justice System

More than £140million is owed to the taxpayer by criminals who have been kicked out of Britain, lost or who have died.

The shambolic management of court fines and compensation orders means foreign criminals have been deported despite owing vast amounts to the taxpayer.

The sum is part of a colossal £1.8billion which has not been collected in court fines and compensation orders.

Critics said the figures showed criminals were being given a ‘free pass’ to ignore financial penalties.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: How 75% of Petrol Stations Have Closed in 40 Years Forcing Drivers to Travel Further and Pay More to Fill Up Tanks

Three in four petrol stations have closed in the last 40 years, leaving drivers with longer journeys to fill up their tanks.

An official report ordered by ministers also warns that less competition is driving up prices as motorists hit with the highest prices at the pumps in history.

With prices still soaring as family incomes are squeezed, more and more people are now driving further in search of cheaper fuel.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: I Was Raped at 13 by Jimmy Savile in Satanist Ritual

A VICTIM of Jimmy Savile’s satanic abuse told yesterday of her sheer terror as she was tied to an altar and raped by the depraved star during a black mass.

The girl, who we will call Paula Bennett to protect her true identity, was just 13 at the time of the sickening attack in 1975.

Now aged 50, Paula still suffers horrific flashbacks and cannot sleep properly. She decided to come forward after we revealed last week how Savile raped two women during satanic ceremonies in the Seventies and Eighties.

Recalling her torment, Paula described how Savile was sitting on a throne wearing a mask and robes, clutching a trademark cigar.

As he raped her, she described smelling stale smoke on his breath. During her horrific ordeal, one of the devil worshippers sneered: “You definitely fixed this one, Jim!”

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: War Hero, 85, Dies of Heart Attack Just Hours After Finding His Home Ransacked by Burglars Who Took Wife’s Ring

A war hero who fought the Japanese died after discovering burglars had ransacked his home and stolen his treasured campaign medals.

Second World War veteran Raymond Grinyer, 85, shook with shock, wept and struggled to breathe after finding his house had been repeatedly raided.

The great-grandfather was taken to hospital but had a heart attack only hours later, surrounded by his distraught family.

The burglars stole the medals Mr Grinyer had risked his life to earn and a diamond eternity ring he had given his wife Ann, 83, to mark their 60th wedding anniversary.

Mr and Mrs Grinyer were staying with relatives over Christmas when their home in Romford, Essex, was broken into…

Mr Grinyer’s son, Raymond Junior, 55, of Romford, was with his parents when they discovered the break-in.

He said: ‘It was sickening. They had gone through everything. My dad sobbed his heart out. He was very agitated. Then he began to look unwell. When the paramedics came they could hardly find a pulse. The shock of it killed him.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: War on Speeding Motorists: Drivers Face More 20mph Limits and Extra Cameras

Drivers will be confronted with a further speed camera onslaught as part of a raft of measures to slow them down, a report revealed.

Lower limits and more road humps, chicanes and other ‘traffic calming’ measures are also among the guidance given to councils.

Ministers are calling for many more 20mph limits in residential and urban areas, and for the riskiest rural roads to be slashed from 60mph to 40mph.

They also signalled a significant role for a new generation of ‘average’ or ‘time over distance’ cameras, particularly on rural roads.

Unlike traditional speed cameras, which capture a driver at a specific spot, these devices take a photo of a car and its number plate in one location and then, up to a mile or so down the road, take a second picture and work out the average speed between the two points.

If this is higher than the limit, a speeding ticket is automatically issued to drop through the driver’s letterbox.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algeria: Hostages Were ‘Caught in a Fireball’: Helicopter Gunships Blew Up Cars Carrying Captives Guarded by Al Qaeda

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

Through the telescopic sights of their sniper rifles the marksmen of Algeria’s Special Forces watched as exhausted, frightened foreign hostages were pushed through the wooden doorway of the block where they had been sheltering towards a fleet of jeeps.

Some would have had a clear shot at the Jihadist kidnappers from the ‘Blood Battalion’ but no order was given to open fire when the convoy started moving.

Instead, heavily armed gunships opened fire on the speeding vehicles — hitting and destroying four and causing a fifth to spin over and to crash.

‘There were bodies everywhere,’ one witness said, ‘the Algerian forces were firing at anything that moved.’

One was blown several feet into the air. Few, if anyone, could have survived, witnesses said.

Dozens of desperate foreign and Algerian workers had found hiding places when the kidnappers had stormed the complex in what appeared a well planned operation — their ease of movement and familiarity with the vast complex suggestion an ‘inside knowledge.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Algeria: ‘We’re Only After the Christians…’ Minutes Later a Briton Lay Dead: Terrifying Moment Gas Plant Gunmen Rounded Up Non-Muslims and Strapped Explosives to Their Necks

A British security guard was murdered in cold blood just minutes into the siege at the Algerian gas plant, an IT worker caught up in the hostage crisis has told The Mail on Sunday.

The Algerian employee, who managed to escape, has given the most detailed account so far of how Islamist terrorists rounded up foreign workers during the four-day stand-off and placed explosives round their necks.

Following his escape, the IT worker contacted a friend who remained in the camp and witnessed yesterday’s final onslaught by Algerian troops.

Speaking under condition of anonymity after the Algerian army told him not to talk, he said: ‘The terrorists arrived at 5.10am on Wednesday in three vehicles and began firing at a bus. A guard was shot and then another guard got out of a car and was instantly shot dead. I believe he was the first Briton to die.’

The IT worker recalled how the Islamists systematically targeted Western employees.

‘The terrorists went to the alarm station, switched off the alarms, and forced the deputy manager to show them where the expats were. They rounded up the expats, making them all wear explosives around their necks while standing in a circle.

‘The attackers were carrying Kalashnikovs and bombs and went throughout the complex, seeking out expats hiding, and forcing them into the circle.’

He said more than 20 British workers — whom the terrorists called ‘kuffar’, meaning non-Muslims — were rounded up.

He added: ‘Us Algerians were rounded up separately and were treated with kindness. We were told that because we were Muslim we would not be killed, and it was only the Christians they were after.

‘The terrorists allowed the Algerians to send texts and make phone calls, but to stop the expats communicating, they forced an Algerian telecommunications man to cut network connections for mobile, internet and power. But a back-up system kicked in, which allowed some Brits to send text messages.

[Return to headlines]

Belmokhtar Burnishes Jihadi Credentials With Algeria Attack

Mokhtar Belmokhtar lost an eye fighting in Afghanistan, swears allegiance to al Qaeda and named his son after Osama bin Laden.

As the assumed mastermind behind the seizure of foreign hostages at a gas plant in the Sahara, he has put Algeria back on the map of global jihad 20 years after its civil war made the country the theatre of a bloody Islamist struggle for power.

He has also burnished his jihadi credentials by showing that al Qaeda remains a potent threat to Western interests despite the death of its leader in Pakistan in 2011. And he has proved that a French military operation against his fellow Islamists in neighboring Mali will not be contained within one country.

“He is a true believer in the cause,” said Aaron Zelin, an al Qaeda expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

A statement from Belmokhtar’s Mulathameen group claiming responsibility for Wednesday’s hostage-taking — which Algeria said its forces had ended on Thursday in an assault on the plant — demanded that France stop its military operations in Mali.

It also cited the battle being waged by al Qaeda-linked insurgents against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and condemned Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika — highlighting the many fronts on which al Qaeda is now fighting, despite the erosion of its central leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Gerald Warner in the Sunday Scotsman: “Mali Myopia Blinds us to Falling Dominoes of Jihad”

In 2011, in Ivory Coast, which borders on Mali, France intervened militarily to depose the legitimate president Laurent Gbagbo and impose a foreigner from Burkina Faso, Alassane Ouattara, and a Muslim whose militia butchered Christians on its march to the capital. The principal motive was to preserve the CFA franc, a synthetic currency circulating in 12 former French colonies which are each required to deposit 85 per cent of their foreign currency reserves in the French treasury. The notion of France as anti-Islamist crusader in Mali, or anywhere else, lacks plausibility. The reason the jihadists are so well armed is that they are sporting the late Muammar Gaddafi’s weaponry. . .The only force, short of a nuclear strike, that can halt jihadists in Africa and the Middle East is secular dictatorships. Those existed in Iraq, Egypt and Libya and the Western powers considerately facilitated their removal; today, in Syria, the West is sawing through the bough on which it is sitting. Even now, carping critics are questioning the “democratic” credentials of the government of Mali. When the dominoes eventually fall, from Algeria to Syria, and the idea (more dangerous than an organization) that is al-Qaeda sweeps down through Africa, perhaps those idiots will prefer the Caliphate.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Jailing of Blind Sheikh Pushes Muslim Anger Against US, Warns Son

Ahead of President Morsi’s planned visit to Washington, the son of Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted for planning the 1993 World Trade Centre, asks the US to free his father and warns of Muslim anger

 

Abdullah, the son of the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, writes to request the US release his father, who has been serving a life sentence for allegedly planning the 1993 World Trade Centre attack in New York.

In the press statement released in Arabic on Saturday, Abdullah says: “The American administration’s arrogance and stubbornness towards one of the Muslim world’s scholars, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, is putting the lives of its people at risk and costing them a lot.”

Abdullah goes on to justify violent attacks and the kidnapping of Americans by Islamist militants, such as Al-Qaeda, explaining that it is the US administration’s treatment of his father that “has pushed the Muslim youth to anger for the cleric.”

The murder of US ambassador Christopher Stevens to Libya in September during an attack by unknown armed men on the consulate in the city of Benghazi is one example Abdullah cites.

The attack on the US consulate in Libya took place on 11 September 2012 in the wake of massive, world-wide protests organised by Islamists to denounce a US-made film mocking the Prophet Mohamed.

Abdullah warns in his statement that although his family has chosen to protest peacefully others have seen that “the arrogance of the US is not to be dealt with in any other way except through violence and the killing of Americans.”

The Sheikh’s family, he claims, had demonstrated peacefully and held sit-ins at the US embassy in Cairo for almost 16 months.

“We had already warned the US from the anger of the Muslim world,” reads his statement.

“We hope that the US understands the Muslim world’s psyche, especially towards its Islamic scholars.”

“We further hope that the US responds to President Mohamed Morsi’s request to release Omar Abdel-Rahman during his coming trip to the US,” Abdullah adds.

Morsi, who is expected to visit the US before the end of March, vowed during his presidential campaign to pressure for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman.

During his campaign Morsi called Abdel Rahman’s case a “responsibility on his shoulders” and that he would lobby for his release.

On 8 January, Morsi again repeated his promise during a recent interview with CNN where he stated that he planned to raise the issue of the jailed Sheikh with his American counterpart during his coming visit to the US.

Abdel Rahman is considered the spiritual leader of the radical Gama’a Al-Islamiya group.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Raid Was Best Option in Hostage Crisis, Says French Leader

(AGI) — Paris, Jan 19 — The Algerian forces’ raid on a desert gas plant where hostages were being held was the best option, French President Francois Hollande has said. It had been impossible to negotiate with the terrorists who were linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, he added.

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

Siege of Algerian Gas Field Comes to a Bloody End

The hostage crisis in the Algerian desert reached a bloody conclusion Saturday as the army carried out a final assault on the gas field taken over by Islamist militants, killing 11 of them, but only after the militants had killed seven hostages, the official Algerian news agency reported.

French, British and American officials said the Algerian government had told them the military operation was over, but a senior Algerian government official said security forces were “doing cleanup” to make sure no kidnappers were hiding in the sprawling industrial complex.

In keeping with the Algerian government’s relative silence throughout the crisis, there were few details Saturday about how the final act unfolded.

But the provisional death toll, even by the government’s reckoning, was heavy. Out of dozens taken hostage on a sprawling site that employed hundreds of workers, 23 were dead while 32 kidnappers were killed, according to the government news service.

[Return to headlines]

Upper Egypt: Thousands of Islamic Extremists Attack a Christian Village

The second case in less than a week. The attack took place yesterday in el-Marashda, predominantly Christian, in the province of Quena (Upper Egypt). Muslims burned at least six homes of Coptic Christians and tried to demolish the local church. Wrath unleashed at the alleged rape of a Muslim girl by a Christian. Village Iman calls on youth to protect Christian shops.

 

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) — More attacks against the Coptic minority in Upper Egypt. A thousand Muslims attacked the predominantly Christian village of el-Marashda (province of Quena, Upper Egypt). Incited by outside religious authorities, extremists burned down homes and shops and tried to demolish the local church. The attack, which took place yesterday, was interrupted by the arrival of the police, who arrested 10 Muslims. Since yesterday evening, a crowd of radical Islamic hav eblocked access to the city, to prevent the police from taking those arrested away. The police responded by firing tear gas. For safety, the authorities ordered the Christian population not to leave their homes and the local parish has canceled the celebrations for the Coptic Orthodox epiphany. In solidarity with christian community, the Iman of the village calls on muslim youth to protect Christian shops.

Anba Kyrollos, Coptic Orthodox bishop of Nag Hammadi, said the group of extremists, including many Salafis, attacked the village in revenge for a Christian accused of abusing a Muslim girl of 6. The rumors about the pedophilia case had emerged in recent days, sparking tension between the two communities, but police investigations have cleared the man. The girl did not suffer any kind of violence. The Salafis have attacked the Christian village all the same, in spite of outcome of the inquiry.

Local sources say that the representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities, met this morning for a reconciliation. However, the police continue to patrol the town for fear of attacks.

Yesterday’s was the second attack in less than a week. On 15 January, hundreds of Islamists demolished a building owned by the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George Taymah in the diocese of the Fayyum (Egypt central 133 km south of Cairo).

After the fall of President Mubarak and the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists, attacks against churches and Christian buildings have increased. In the poorest areas of the country, but also in the capital, cuts to public security and the army have left them powerless in the face of these attacks instigated by Salafis. With their money and their promises, the extremists urge residents to drive Christians out to take over their lands, taking advantage of the absence of a clear law that regulates the construction of religious buildings.

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

Israel and the Palestinians

Netanyahu Unrivaled Ahead of January 22 Elections

Premier key figure. Contenders and future alliances in the mix.

 

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV — In spite of a recent drop in opinion polls for his joint ticket with resigning Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is under investigation on corruption charges, Premier Benjamin Netanyahu remains the key figure in the January 22 elections.

What is not a given is what alliances Netanyahu might have to forge in the post-electoral Knesset, or Israeli parliament.

Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich, who wants to steer the country towards a more markedly social-democratic agenda, is second in the polls. With a state deficit that doubled in 2012 to 39 billion shekels (approximately 40 billion euros), Yachimovich criticized Netanyahu for ignoring Israel’s growing economic crisis and the needs of citizens, who have been protesting in recent months.

Yachimovich also attacked the premier on foreign policy, accusing him of isolating Israel by continuing his settlement expansion policy after the recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN, by not building bridges with US President Barack Obama and by allowing the peace process, which has been stalled since September 2010, to languish.

Media and pundits point to two new faces: former military officer, software tycoon and free market champion Naftali Bennett, from the religious nationalist Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Hearth) party, and center-left renowned former journalist Yair Lapid from Yesh Atid (There is a Future), campaigning on a moderate reform platform with a more open foreign policy. Lapid advocates extending military service to yeshiva students, and social issues such as housing. Another contender is former foreign minister under Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, who founded the Hatnua (Movement) party with the declared objective of gathering centrist forces. Among its recruits are former Labor defense minister Amir Peretz and some members of his former party, Kadima (Forward). Now led by Shaul Mofaz, Kadima appears to be losing ground. Charismatic and well-liked internationally, Livni opposes Netanyahu on foreign policy, on the settlements, and on the lack of dialogue with Palestinians.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Middle East

Jailed Christian Pastor Awaits Trial in Iran

Judge he’ll face is infamous for sending defendants to the gallows

(Fox News) As her husband’s trial and possible death sentence looms, the wife of an American Christian pastor imprisoned in Iran for evangelizing clings to hope and prays for a miracle.

Naghmeh Abedini has been told by attorneys for her husband, Saeed, to expect the worst at Monday’s trial, where the 32-year-old husband and father faces the capital charge of compromising national security. Supporters believe the charges are directly related to Abedini’s work nearly a decade ago starting a house church movement in Iran, and the judge he’ll face, Abbas Pir-Abassi, is infamous for sending defendants to the gallows.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia

The Espionage Malworm Red October Has Apparently Shutdown

This week witnessed disclosures about another espionage malworm that was given the name of the famed Tom Clancy book and film, Red October. News about Red October surfaced on Monday, January 14, 2013 with a report by the anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab in Russia. By Friday, January 18, 2013, the plug had allegedly been pulled by its developers. However, the damage had already been done with information phished over five years from a plethora of allegedly secure sources and more than 55,000 computers.So who developed Red October and for what purpose? Was it the notorious hacktavist collaborative Anonymous who invaded Mexico’s Defense Ministry recently. Or was it a group of talented Ukrainian hackers known for their phishing prowess, Chinese hackers working for government cyber warfare echelons, or Iranian cyber jihadis of the I.R.G.C. who have attacked US financial institutions? Perhaps the famed Israeli SIGINT Unit 8200 or US Cyber Warfare Command specialists may know. Red October may have vaporized for now. However, the information it collected is still in the possession of the espionage malworm masters. Stay tuned for developments.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Executed Lanka Maid’s Mom Refuses Financial Aid

COLOMBO — The mother of a Sri Lankan maid beheaded in Saudi Arabia for murder has rejected offers of cash from Saudi well-wishers, a local newspaper said Friday.

“I will not accept any gifts from the Saudis or the Saudi government which murdered my daughter,” Rizana Nafeek’s mother, Saiyadu Farina, told the Lankadeepa newspaper according to an excerpt of an interview on its website Friday.

Sri Lankan newspapers say she has received cash offers exceeding two million rupees ($16,000) following the execution which was carried out on Jan. 9 in Riyadh.

The local Daily Mirror said earlier this week that an advisor to the Saudi royal family had offered one million dollars to the family out of his own pocket during a visit to Sri Lanka last week.

The impoverished family lives in a make-shift home in the eastern village of Muttur.

Nafeek had falsified her age and gone to Saudi Arabia as a maid to earn money to build a proper house for her family, according to family associates.

Nafeek was found guilty of smothering an infant in her care after an argument with the child’s mother in 2005 when she was 17 years old, the Saudi Interior Ministry has said.

This week Saudi authorities strongly warned against interference in the country’s judicial system. A government official asserted that the Kingdom’s judiciary acts independently without any bias or coercion.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Far East

About 10pc of Beijing Residents Work for Propaganda Services

One in 10 Beijingers could be working for the city government’s publicity and propaganda services, city media reported yesterday.

At a conference on Thursday attended by propaganda department heads in the city, Beijing vice-mayor and propaganda chief Lu Wei asked every propaganda worker in the city — around 60,000 directly employed by the government’s propaganda offices and two million others off the official payroll — to promote “positive attitudes” on the internet, The Beijing News reported.

He told propaganda workers to “read microblogs, open microblogs, post microblogs and study microblogs”. An official from the Beijing Information Office confirmed the existence of two million extra propaganda workers, but said some worked for enterprises engaged in propaganda.

On Sina Weibo, one of the mainland’s leading microblogging platforms, Lu’s comments sparked widespread concern.

“What would weibo become, if 2 million users are Beijing’s propaganda workers?” one microblogger asked.

Another seemed to answer the question: “Yes, we now have 2 million internet police.”

The municipal government came under fire on microblogging platforms for a range of problems last year, including the capital’s traffic congestion and its handling of devastating flooding that killed at least 79 people.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

As Dispute Over Islands Escalates, Japan and China Send Fighter Jets to the Scene

BEIJING — The action in the skies over the East China Sea started simply enough.

Last week, the Chinese government sent a civilian surveillance plane, a twin propeller aircraft, to fly near the uninhabited islands at the heart of a growing feud between China and Japan. Tokyo, in response, ordered F-15 fighter jets to take a look at what it considered Chinese meddling. The Chinese then sent their own fighters.

It was the first time that supersonic Chinese and Japanese military fighters were in the air together since the dispute over the islands erupted last year, significantly increasing the risk of a mistake that could lead to armed conflict at a time when both countries, despite their mutual economic interests, are going through a period of heightened nationalism that recalls their longstanding regional rivalry.

The escalation comes amid a blast of belligerent discourse in China and as the Obama administration has delayed a visit to Washington requested by Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister of Japan, the United States’ main ally in Asia. After the rebuff, Mr. Abe announced that he would embark on a tour of Southeast Asia intended to counter China’s influence in the region. On Friday, as Mr. Abe cut short his trip to return to Tokyo to deal with the hostage crisis in Algeria, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Washington that Mr. Abe would meet with President Obama in the second half of February.

For Japan and China, what began as a seemingly minor dispute is quickly turning into a gathering storm, military analysts and Western diplomatic officials warn, as each country appears determined to force the other to give ground.

“What is really driving things is raw nationalism and fragmented political systems, both on the Japanese and even more so the Chinese sides, that is preventing smart people from making rational decisions,” said Thomas Berger, an associate professor of international relations at Boston University. “No Chinese or Japanese leader wants or can afford to be accused of selling out their country.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

France Now Has 1800 Troops Deployed in Mali

(AGI) Lorient — France has a total of 1800 troops deployed in Mali, without counting airmen said its Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves le Drian, following a meeting with a unit of special forces in the port of Lorient. Another 400 soldiers were sent to Mali over the past 24 hours, meaning that the contingent of land troops which departed France has almost reached three-fourths of its full count of 2500 soldiers.

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

Mali Troops Regain Control of Konna and Diabali

(AGI) Diabaly — Mali government troops have regained control of Konna and Diabali .

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

Latin America

Mexico Police Arrested in ‘Organised Crime Raid’

More than 150 police officers have been arrested in northern Mexico on suspicion of having links with organised crime.

The director of public security in Gomez Palacio and his counterpart in the city of Lerdo were also detained.

Soldiers cordoned off the police stations of the two cities in simultaneous raids.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has made the fight against corruption one of his government’s priorities.

Buses took those detained to the state capital for interrogation.

Durango state Prosecutor Sonia Yadira de la Garza Fragoso said the raid followed a long investigation.

She said the officers detained had had their duty weapons taken off them, so that they could be sent for testing to determine if they had been used in crimes committed in the state.

The military has been left in charge of security in the two cities, while the police officers continue to be investigated.

Corruption within Mexico’s police force, especially the municipal police, is rife, with officers often offered money or threatened by the country’s powerful drug gangs to work for them and tip them off about upcoming raids.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Immigration

Jailed: International Sham Marriage Gang Which Sent Czech Women to Pakistan to Wed Immigrants Bound for the UK

A father-of-five who ran a massive international sham marriage operation from his suburban family home has been jailed for six years.

Immigrant Talib Hussain, 42, was the ring-leader of a gang that flew Eastern European women to Islamabad for bogus weddings with Pakistani men, who could then apply to live in the UK under European open borders laws.

The scam — which Hussain orchestrated with the help of his ex-wife from his home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire — ‘struck at the heart of the British immigration system’, said a judge, as she sentenced 17 members of the gang for a combined total of more than 27 years at Sheffield Crown Court

udge Coe said: ‘This was a very large, well organised, professional operation involving very many people.

‘At the very hub of this conspiracy and running the operation was Talib Hussain and others.’

Seventeen members of the gang were jailed for a total of 27 years and eight months at Sheffield Crown Court including nine fake brides — four Czech, four British Asian and a Slovak.

Judge Coe told them deterrent sentences were needed as the scam ‘struck at the heart of the British immigration system.’

She said: ‘Participating in sham marriages is a very serious matter. It is an abuse of the marriage ceremony itself and an abuse of the immigration system.’

- they’ll be claiming ‘right to family life’ for sure!

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Amnesty Plan and What it Means

It’s 2013, and President Obama, about to start his second term, is getting ready to start a new push to grant an amnesty to illegal aliens. According to the New York Times:

“President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, senior administration officials and lawmakers said last week.”

Of course the “11 million illegal immigrants” figure is the lowest estimate, others put it much higher. The point is, Obama wants an amnesty.

….the government is importing a new people who will help transform this country and make it even more socialist and much less free. Many constitutionalists, libertarians and conservatives just don’t get this, but it’s a reality.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Right to Family Life’ Keeps 200 Foreign Convicts in Britain: Nine in Ten Use Laws to Cheat Deportation

Almost every foreign criminal who cheated deportation last year did so by claiming a human right to a ‘family life’ in Britain.

Figures released by the Home Office show the notorious Article 8 of Labour’s Human Rights Act is now responsible for nine out of every ten victories for overseas rapists, muggers and other convicts.

Last year, an estimated 200 criminals were granted permission to remain in the UK in this ‘spurious’ way.

They add to the stock of 4,000 overseas convicts who the government wants to boot out of the country — but is being banned from doing so by human rights legislation.

Until two years ago, the main claim brought by migrants fighting deportation was under article 3, which offers protection from ill-treatment or torture in their homeland.

In 2011, it emerged that, for the first time, the right to family life had become the key factor in a ‘majority’ of cases.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Quarter of Migrants Jobless

NEARLY a quarter of all European nationals living in the UK are not working, new figures show.

According to the Conservative Fresh Start group, more than 551,000 out of 2.3million are economically inactive and 146,000 have never worked in this country.

Worryingly, the figure of those who have never worked has risen by 30 per cent since 2008, says the group. It warned that the European Commission was continuing to challenge rules restricting the rights of some EU nationals to claim jobseeker’s allowance and child benefit.

It urged the Government to seek amendments to the Free Movement Directive to limit social security assistance for unemployed immigrants. Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “The potential number of economic migrants seeking welfare is very worrying.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Video: Our Town’s Like a Foreign Country and Locals Can’t Cope With the Immigrants, Says Mother After TV Clash With Academic on Question Time

A mother who tackled a leading historian on live television about immigration insisted last night that her family’s home town has become like a ‘foreign country’.

On BBC1’s Question Time, Professor Mary Beard dismissed stories about the number of migrant workers overwhelming Boston as ‘myths’ and said ‘public services can cope’.

But Rachel Bull, an office manager in Boston, who was in the audience, immediately challenged the Cambridge University classics professor, claiming hospitals and schools are struggling to cope in the Lincolnshire agricultural town.

She told the panel, which was sitting in Lincoln: ‘I have a business in Boston, I have family that live in Boston and we’ve got land at Boston and we’ve had major issues with workers who’ve got nowhere to go, camping on our land and we can’t move them off because the police aren’t interested. Boston is at breaking point. All the locals can’t cope any more — the services, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals.

‘I have a family member that’s a midwife at Boston Pilgrim Hospital. The facilities are at breaking point because of these people coming into the country and nothing is being done. You go down to Boston High Street and it’s just like you’re in a foreign country. And it’s got to stop.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

The Corruption of a Generation: In a Major Mail Series, A Renowned Psychologist Argues That Our Daughters Are Facing an Unprecedented Crisis… Sexualisiation From Primary School Age

These days, there’s a new grumble among women who ply the so-called oldest profession in the world. Their clients, they say, are finding it increasingly hard to identify them. Why? Because ordinary 17-year-old girls are dressing just like prostitutes.

Fifteen years ago, when I published my book Raising Boys, I wrote about boys for just one reason — they were a disaster area. Back in those days, girls were doing just fine.

But about ten years ago, that started to change. We began to see a sudden and marked plunge in girls’ mental health.

Problems such as eating disorders, binge drinking and self-harm were soon to be found in every classroom. But more than this, the average girl was stressed and depressed in a way we hadn’t seen before.

Girls aren’t born like this. Something has been happening to poison their lives.

As a child psychologist, I see the signs that are familiar to every parent: the eight-year-olds who are already worried about their figures; the ‘too-sexy too-soon’ 12-year-olds who won’t go out without make-up; the magazines aimed at 10 to14-year-olds that discuss oral sex.

Over the past few years, I’ve discussed the issue of modern girlhood with numerous friends and colleagues, and everyone has observed the same phenomenon: girls are simply growing up too fast.

To put it bluntly, our 18 is their 14. Our 14 is their 10. Never before has girlhood been under such a sustained assault — from ads, alcohol marketing, girls’ magazines, sexually explicit TV programmes and the hard pornography that’s regularly accessed in so many teenagers’ bedrooms.

The result is that many girls effectively lose four years of crucial development, which may take years in therapy to retrieve. Meanwhile, these girls are filling our mental clinics, police stations and hospitals in unprecedented numbers.

[…]

A multi-billion-pound industry — larger than sport, larger than Hollywood — now exists to sell porn, and young people are its main target.

Facebook is plastered with porn. So is Google Images. And cynical pornographers have deliberately created sites based on popular children’s cartoon characters, such as Dora The Explorer. Girls often stumble on porn by typing an innocuous word into a search engine while doing their homework. Or boys at school show it to them on their phones.

Just looking at this stuff amounts to an unprecedented assault on a girl’s sexual development, which in turn shapes her behaviour and her image of herself. She may even start dreaming of having breast implants as soon as she can afford it.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to Corrupt

Basically, the Frankfurt School believed that as long as an individual had the belief — or even the hope of belief — that his divine gift of reason could solve the problems facing society, then that society would never reach the state of hopelessness and alienation that they considered necessary to provoke socialist revolution. Their task, therefore, was as swiftly as possible to undermine the Judaeo-Christian legacy. To do this they called for the most negative destructive criticism possible of every sphere of life which would be designed to de-stabilize society and bring down what they saw as the “oppressive” order. Their policies, they hoped, would spread like a virus” “continuing the work of the Western Marxists by other means” as one of their members noted.

To further the advance of their “quiet” cultural revolution — but giving us no ideas about their plans for the future — the School recommended (among other things):

1. The creation of racism offences. 2. Continual change to create confusion 3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children 4. The undermining of schools” and teachers” authority 5. Huge immigration to destroy identity. 6. The promotion of excessive drinking 7. Emptying of churches 8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime 9. Dependency on the state or state benefits 10. Control and dumbing down of media 11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family

One of the main ideas of the Frankfurt School was to exploit Freud”s idea of “pansexualism” — the search for pleasure, the exploitation of the differences between the sexes, the overthrowing of traditional relationships between men and women. To further their aims they would:

“ attack the authority of the father, deny the specific roles of father and mother, and wrest away from families their rights as primary educators of their children. “ abolish differences in the education of boys and girls “ abolish all forms of male dominance — hence the presence of women in the armed forces “declare women to be an “oppressed class” and men as “oppressors” Munzenberg summed up the Frankfurt School”s long-term operation thus: “We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.’

The School believed there were two types of revolution: (a) political and (b) cultural. Cultural revolution demolishes from within. “Modern forms of subjection are marked by mildness”. They saw it as a long-term project and kept their sights clearly focused on the family, education, media, sex and popular culture.

[Return to headlines]

The Influence of Supernatural Evil

Exclusive: Erik Rush perceives much more at work today than people and policies

If one examines history, it is a no-brainer that the course upon which America is currently set will prove ultimately disastrous, and that those among us who embrace it are operating within a state of deep delusion. In fact, we can readily see this in action; as America careens over the edge, liberals vigorously deny that we are doing so.

This is why the political left saw an imperative in compromising America’s educational system, of course. If one fails to examine history, it is impossible for them to draw correlations between historical cause and effect. Fundamentally, liberals don’t even understand that progressivism is actually retrogressive in that it is returning us to rule rather than governance, the opposite of what America’s founders intended. The abysmal level of knowledge on the part of so many Americans, coupled with the religious adherence to liberal ideology among a large segment thereof, has developed a decidedly eerie quality.

Aside from the political and economic upheaval that is now taking place, aspects of the deleterious cultural transformation have become quite surreal. Transvestites, vulgarity, foul-mouthed children, promiscuity, criminality and other forms of sociopathy now permeate our broadcast airwaves. One needs but watch an hour or two of television at any period of the day to affirm this. In particular, the television programming targeting children and young adults is clearly calculated to engender moral ambivalence, narcissism, opportunism and predation. It was gratifying, if too long in coming, when this week Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow reported that “We are raising a generation of deluded narcissists.” One wonders why parents haven’t been screaming this from the rooftops for years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Our Nation is on Its Knees to the Church of Human Rights

By Peter Hitchens

 

Human Rights are the State religion of Europe, the unpleasant new country in which we are now trapped. These supposed rights have expelled and replaced Christianity. They have shrunk the human conscience and vastly increased the power of the State.

That is why it was no use anyone going to the Strasbourg Court to win back Christianity’s lost status as the dominant faith of Britain. The Church has been humiliated. Britain no longer exists.

True, you can now wear a cross while working for British Airways. But you have that freedom because you are now just another protected minority, which has no more rights or standing than other faiths, such as Atheism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism or Hinduism.

This country’s official faith, as people are slowly discovering, is a code of ideas called ‘Equality and Diversity’, based on several European Directives but put into law in Britain mainly through the Equality Act 2010.

The continued existence of a few rather wet bishops in the House of Lords, and various other baubles and trinkets in odd corners of the constitution, means nothing against the Equality and Diversity bulldozer, enacted by Harriet Harman with the willing help of her Tory counterpart, Theresa May. Its demands are written into the contracts of public employees, and supported by the politically correct public-sector unions.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Which STD Factory Are You Dating?

Many can remember the ad with the slogan, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

America’s culture has come a long way since the 60s. For decades it has resembled a filthy sewer and shows no signs of returning to decency. Children are being sexualized with markets targeting little girls as young as kindergarten age. Cable television (which includes ABC, CBS, NBC) has become nothing more than a purveyor of soft porn. Sexual imagery is everywhere. The filth used to be confined to porn channels like HBO, Cinemax and others which I have never had in my home. Now, it’s the ‘big three’ (ABC, CBS, NBC) and all the other networks that consistently pump sin and sex into households every night of the week.

I always wonder how any parent can allow their child or teen to watch what’s offered up by the stupid tube? I suppose it’s actually rather simple. Yesterday’s children and teens become parents. They also sat in front of the sex machine (TV) and apparently see nothing wrong with their children being indoctrinated into the world of sex and sin at 10 or 12. Is it any wonder preteens and teens get pregnant? Those teen mothers grow up and have teens that get pregnant. It’s a vicious cycle that has brought horrible consequences for girls and boys right through adult hood…

But even more troubling is a recent discovery by Dr. Reisman. She found that the Obama administration, which fully embraces the debunked Kinsey sex-education model, has begun pushing a curriculum that, in many ways, eerily mirrors the “FBI Molester Grooming Paradigm.”

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

General

Pull All Westerners Out, And Let the Camp of Islam Sink

By Hugh Fitzgerald

 

Don’t work in Muslim countries, don’t help them. Let them try to extract the gas and oil themselves, or pay extravagantly — five, ten, twenty times what they now pay — to the implacable Chinese, who will bring their own troops and their own ways of protecting themselves. Don’t supply the rich little Arab sheiklets with doctors and nurses, with engineers and teachers. Don’t let them rent bits and pieces, local phony succursales, of Western civilization — the Louvre, for example, or well-known universities — which allows them to pretend to themselves and to the world that, indeed, civilization is rentable, and they’ve got the money. Let their primitive condition be uncamouflaged from view.

They are helplessly dependent on the West. Remove those Westerners. Don’t send tourists, who will only be targets, sooner or later, for Muslim terrorists as they are, as of now, targets for baksheesh-demanders of every kind.

Separation. The would-be natural victim will cease to help his natural victimirzer. The advanced non-Muslim world right here, and Islam — the Camp of Islam — over there. Why should the pontential victim help his potential — or actual — implacable enemy (see Qur’an, see Hadith, see Sira) in any way?

Mr. McFaul’s mother says “he’ll not be back!”

Many others should follow his example.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

What Will First Photos of Black Holes Look Like?

A giant black hole is thought to lurk at the center of the Milky Way, but it has never been directly seen. Now astronomers have predicted what the first pictures of this black hole will look like when taken with technology soon to be available.

In particular, researchers have found that pictures of a black hole ? or, more precisely, the boundaries around them ? will take a crescent form, rather than the blobby shape that is often predicted.

By modeling what these pictures will look like, scientists say they are preparing to interpret the photos that will become available from telescopes currently under construction.

“No one has been able to image a black hole,” said University of California, Berkeley student Ayman Bin Kamruddin, who presented a poster on the research last week in Long Beach, Calif., at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society. “So far it’s been impossible because they’re too small in the sky. Right now we’re just getting some details about the structure, but we don’t have an image yet.”

Black holes themselves are invisible, of course, as not even light can escape their gravitational clutches. However, the boundary of a black hole — the point of no return called the event horizon — should be visible from the radiation emitted by matter falling into the black hole.

“A black hole’s immediate surroundings have a lot of really interesting physics going on, and they emit light,” Kamruddin said. “Technically speaking, we aren’t exactly seeing the black hole, but we are effectively resolving the event horizon.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic
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