- Live broadcast info from Japan directly ! Here.
HT: The Big Picture - Libya: UN air strikes aid rebels - 33 pictures here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world lots of seismic activity in Japan between 5.1 and 5.6 today. More info here.
- Updated : The wind directions over Japan. Here.
- Latest official Situation Update No. 60.On 25.03.2011 at 11:31 GMT+2.
Residents living between 20 and 30 km from the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are being urged to "voluntarily evacuate" amid difficulties in obtaining daily necessities and the possibility of further radiation leaks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Friday. While stressing that current radiation levels in the area do not necessitate immediate evacuation, Edano said notices have been sent out to municipalities asking them to be ready to work closely with the central and regional governments in the event an evacuation order is issued. "With the lack of business and logistics, people's lives are becoming increasingly difficult within the 20 to 30 km radius, and we cannot rule out the possibility that more radioactive material might leak and an evacuation order be issued," he said. "Based on this situation, municipalities need to expedite their living support and voluntary evacuation of residents, as well as prepare for a scenario in which an immediate evacuation order is issued." Three workers battling to stop a nuclear meltdown in Japan have been rushed to hospital with radiation poisoning after tainted water got into their suits. The men, two in their 20s and one in his 30s, were exposed to double the safe limit of radiation at the Fukushima plant’s number three reactor. A government spokesman said yesterday: “They were standing in irradiated water.” The country’s death toll stands at 9,811, with 17,541 missing. Source .
- HT:NewZeal."Responsibility to Protect" - The End of National Sovereignty As We Know It?Why Did U.S. President Barack Obama order a military attack on Libya? Why did he seek the permission of the United Nations Security Council, but not that of the U.S. Congress - as he is constitutionally obliged to do? Glenn Beck has explained President Obama's decision to attack Libya in terms of the United Nations' "Responsibility to Protect Doctrine"Mr Beck is right.
According to Radio Free Europe
Those who justify the Libyan intervention on humanitarian grounds draw much of their logic from a concept which has dramatically gained ground over recent decades. The concept is known as "R2P," shorthand for the world's "Responsibility to Protect" civilians.
But what does this catchy little phrase mean? Where did it come from? What are its implications?
The United Nations reported in July 2009;
The Obama administration is supporting moves to implement an U.N. doctrine calling for collective military action to halt genocide. In a week-long debate on implementing the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine, the U.S. joined a majority of U.N. countries, including Russia and China, in supporting implementation of the policy. The doctrine itself was approved in 2005 by more than 150 states including the U.S.
The doctrine specifies that diplomatic options such as internal conflict resolution, sanctions, and prosecution by the International Criminal Court, should be used first. If they don't work, then a multi-national force approved by the Security Council would be deployed.
In other words, if the United Nations does not approve of a certain government's behavior, and that government's leaders will not respond to sanctions and the threat of prosecution, they will be attackeded militarily.The U.S. organization supporting this concept, named unsurprisingly Responsibility to Protect is affiliated to a financial planning firm, General Welfare Group LLC, based in Oak Brook Illinois.
According to the Responsibility to Protect website
The doctrine of the responsibility to protect was first elaborated in 2001 by a group of prominent international human rights leaders comprising the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Under their mandate, the Commission sought to undertake the two-fold challenge of reconciling the international community's responsibility to address massive violations of humanitarian norms and ensuring respect for the sovereign rights of nation states.
Led by Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia, and Mohamed Sahnoun, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, the Commission issued its report in December 2001. Focusing on the "right of humanitarian intervention", this report examined when, if ever, it is appropriate for states for take coercive - and in particular military - action, against another state for the purpose of protecting populations at risk. In essence, the group concluded that when a group (or groups) of people is suffering from egregious acts of violence resulting from internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state where these crimes are taking place is unable or unwilling to act to prevent or protect its peoples, the international community has a moral duty to intervene to avert or halt these atrocities from occurring.Gareth Evans, an Australian Fabian Socialist and Mohamed Sahnoun both worked with leftist financier George Soros in the highly influential International Crisis Group.The "responsibility to protect" doctrine received renewed emphasis in 2004 when the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan created the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change. The Panel was established to "identify major threats facing the international community in the broad field of peace and security and to generate new ideas about policies and institutions aimed at preventing or confronting these challenges".Clearly, the Obama Administration has proven far more sympathetic to Responsibility to Protect's agenda than was that of President Bush.While few seem to realize the significance of the new doctrine, Responsibility to Protect convenor Richard H. Cooper fully understands its transformational potential.
Cooper writes on the Responsibility to Protect website
Yet as I write, a quiet revolution is under way. In September 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a declaration - the World Summit Outcome - whereby each and every State in the world accepted its responsibility to protect populations from genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. The declaration also emphasizes that if a State relinquishes its responsibility to protect – whether by will or lack of capacity - this responsibility must be borne by the international community that can decide to intervene as a last resort. In the face of mass atrocities, every nation and thus every people on earth have pledged to be our brothers’ keepers. Without fanfare and with little notice, the obsolete principles underlying the Westphalian ordering of world affairs have been dramatically rewritten. We can no longer hide behind State sovereignty, a 400-years old shield, to excuse the shameful reflex and ongoing practice of remaining passive in the face of the most outrageous behaviors...
"We can no longer hide behind state sovereignty."
Let that sink in reader. That is what this is all about."Responsibility to Protect" means the end of national sovereignty. It mandates the surrender of any nation state's legal authority over their own citizenry and armed forces to a supra-national body, with the power to sanction or destroy any deemed "rogue" nation - does Israel spring to mind?"Responsibility to Protect" - three little words, that should strike terror into the heart of every patriot in every free nation of the world.Hmmmm......."New World Order" anyone?Read the full story here.
- Congress Needs to RECLAIM Constitutional Authority.A week ago President Obama, without Congressional approval, committed our armed forces to an international conflict in the nation of Libya. Today Congressman Amash (R-Mich) and I are introducing the RECLAIM Act to reclaim Congressional authority to declare war that is so clearly proscribed in Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution; we urge all members to join our effort. Under the guise of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, President Obama claimed the United States must intervene to “prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat posed to international peace and security by the crisis in Libya.” While those aims are laudable, we cannot intervene everywhere we find injustice. Constitutionally, it is indisputable that Congress must be consulted prior to an act of war unless there is an imminent threat against this country. The President has not done so. Approval from the Arab League, the EU, and United Nations does not mean the American people approve.The RECLAIM Act does two simple things: ceases the use of force in, or directed at, the country of Libya by our Armed forces and halts all use of funds used in the force against the country of Libya. This bill DOES NOT allow an open-ended conflict. It DOES NOT leave us vulnerable to a “Tonkin Gulf”, “Nueces Strip” or a “Black Hawk Down” situation, meaning, it does not leave the United States armed forces in a vulnerable situation to be attacked, thus forcing our hand to retaliate. We’ve already come too close, with one plane having crash-landed—what if those pilots had died or ended up in enemy hands?Not only are these actions unconstitutional, they are unfathomable when we are facing a $14 trillion debt. The first night of this attack, we fired 112 Tomahawk missiles. Each of these missiles can cost up to $1.5 million. That’s $168 million for one night’s assault. Libya is more than four times the size of Iraq; we spent $2.1 billion a year enforcing a no fly zone there. Estimates to maintain the no-fly zone can cost $100 million to $300 million per week. We cannot afford another open ended conflict overseas.This is a bipartisan measure to RECLAIM and restore the American peoples’ faith in the balance of power, faith in the constitution, and—when trust in government is at record lows—faith in the United States Congress. Presidents have long abused their prerogative to conduct foreign affairs on behalf of the United States. From Truman intervening in Korea, JFK’s invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Reagan’s involvement in the Iraq-Iran war; George HW Bush in Panama and Somalia; Clinton in Somalia, Kosovo, Serbia; George W. Bush in Pakistan. The American people elected us to serve in a co-equal branch of the federal government. It is time we act like it.Hmmm....Finally.Read the full story here.
- HT:RobertSpencer.FrontpageMagazine.The Inquisition of Melanie Phillips.Last week British columnist Melanie Phillips wrote a blogpost at the Spectator entitled "Armchair barbarism," discussing the brutal jihad murders of the Fogel family in Israel. Her references to the "moral depravity" of the Arab "savages" who committed the crime have gotten her in hot water with Britain's hyper-PC Press Complaints Commission, which has launched an investigation.
Phillips is being investigated, ironically enough, for writing that "the moral depravity of the Arabs," as she chose to term the murderers of the Fogels and those in Gaza who celebrated those murders, "is finding a grotesque echo in the moral bankruptcy and worse of the British and American 'liberal' media." And as if on cue, the watchdog organization in Britain of that liberal media swooped down upon her.
The irony was compounded by a further statement in Phillips' column: "Overwhelmingly, the media have either ignored or downplayed the atrocity -- or worse, effectively blamed the victims for bringing it on themselves, describing them as 'hard-line settlers' or extremists." In this case, however, they were not blaming the victim, but blaming the columnist who spoke forthrightly about the nature of the murderers.
After the column was published, the P.C. Commission received two complaints about it: one from Engage, a group that is dedicated to advancing Muslim participation in British society, and from one of Britain's most prominent Muslim leaders, Inayat Bunglawala, the chairman of Muslims4UK. Bunglawala fumed that Phillips' words "went far beyond just denouncing the killings. It was a far more generalised racist outburst against Arabs as a whole."
Ignoring the fact that Arab Muslims commit jihad terror attacks on a virtually daily basis, and that there is no equivalent among Jews, Bunglawala claimed that "if you insert the word 'Jew' or 'Jewish' where she has referred to Arabs then I am sure she would have no doubt that those words would be antisemitic. Just as she abhors antisemitism it is important that she maintains the same vigorous anti-racist stance against Arabs. It is just unacceptable to use that kind of language."Yet Bunglawala and Engage were ignoring one undeniable fact: the Islamic jihadists who murdered the Fogel family were savages, as were those who celebrated their murders in Gaza. I would say this while standing in the middle of Trafalgar Square, and if Britain's PC Commission had any residual sense of shame, it would drop its investigation of Phillips immediately.
It is also worth noting, however, that it may have been a lingering politically correct impulse on Phillips' part that played into the hands of the Islamic supremacists who complained about her piece. For she referred to "Arabs" again and again, when the murderers of the Fogels were killing not because they were Arabs, but because they were Muslims, and Islamic jihadists. So many Western analysts will call jihadists anything -- anything -- so as to avoid calling them what they are, devout and observant Muslims. They just can't bear the idea that religious teachings might really have something to do with this conflict. Yet to characterize the Itamar murderers again and again as "Arabs" may have made it easier for the execrable Bunglawala to characterize what she wrote as a "generalised racist outburst."
On the other hand, since resistance to jihad violence and Islamic supremacism is routinely described as "racism" also, if she had referred to the killers as jihadists or Muslims it may not have made any difference.
In any case, note the moral inversion from the complaining Muslims -- a moral inversion that is now so common that we may not even notice it. Bunglawala and the other complainers are full of righteous indignation against Melanie Phillips for her words, but where is the indignation of these supposed "moderates" against the jihadists who murdered the Fogels? Which is worse? Phillips's allegedly "racist" remarks, or the cold-blooded killing of a family sleeping in its home?
And if Bunglawala and co. had issued some pro-forma condemnation, deploring the attacks, admonishing the West that "Islam forbids" such murders and similar eyewash, what were they doing to back it up with real action? What programs have they instituted in mosques and Islamic schools in Britain to teach against the beliefs and assumptions that led Muslims to believe that it would be a good and righteous act to murder the Fogels in the first place?Such questions are the ones British authorities really ought to be investigating.Source .
- Islamic bloc drops 12-year U.N. drive to ban defamation of religion.Islamic countries set aside their 12-year campaign to have religions protected from “defamation”, allowing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to approve a plan to promote religious tolerance on Thursday. Western countries and their Latin American allies, strong opponents of the defamation concept, joined Muslim and African states in backing without vote the new approach that switches focus from protecting beliefs to protecting believers.Since 1998, the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) had won majority approval in the council and at the United Nations General Assembly for a series of resolutions on “combating defamation of religion”. Critics said the concept ran against international law and free speech, and left the way open for tough “blasphemy” laws like those in Pakistan which have been invoked this year by the killers of two moderate politicians in Pakistan.They argued that it also allowed states where one religion predominates to keep religious minorities under tight control or even leave them open to forced conversion or oppression.But Pakistan, which speaks for the OIC in the rights council, had argued that such protection against defamation was essential to defend Islam, and other religions, against criticism that caused offence to ordinary believers. Islamic countries pointed to the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed in Denmark in 2005, which sparked anti-Western violence in the Middle East and Asia, as examples of defamatory treatment of their faith that they wanted stopped. However, support for the fiercely-contested resolutions — which the OIC had been seeking to have transformed into official U.N. human rights standards — has declined in recent years.The new three-page resolution, which emerged after discussions between U.S. and Pakistani diplomats in recent weeks, recognises that there is “intolerance, discrimination and violence” aimed at believers in all regions of the world. Omitting any reference to “defamation”, it condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that amounts to incitement to hostility or violence against believers and calls on governments to act to prevent it.The U.S.-based Human Rights First campaign group said the new resolution was “a huge achievement because…it focuses on the protection of individuals rather than religions” and put the divisive debates on defamation behind. However, diplomats from Islamic countries have warned the council that they could return to campaigning for an international law against religious defamation if Western countries are not seen as acting to protect believers.Hmmmmmm........And who's going to protect the 'non believers'?Read the full story here.
- It's not Islamophobia ,it's reality in Egypt.Islamist Group Is Rising Force in a New Egypt.CAIRO — In post-revolutionary Egypt, where hope and confusion collide in the daily struggle to build a new nation, religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment. As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it. “There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “It makes sense if you are the military — you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.” There is a battle consuming Egypt about the direction of its revolution, and the military council that is now running the country is sending contradictory signals. On Wednesday, the council endorsed a plan to outlaw demonstrations and sit-ins. Then, a few hours later, the public prosecutor announced that the former interior minister and other security officials would be charged in the killings of hundreds during the protests.Egyptians are searching for signs of clarity in such declarations, hoping to discern the direction of a state led by a secretive military council brought to power by a revolution based on demands for democracy, rule of law and an end to corruption. “We are all worried,” said Amr Koura, 55, a television producer, reflecting the opinions of the secular minority. “The young people have no control of the revolution anymore. It was evident in the last few weeks when you saw a lot of bearded people taking charge. The youth are gone.” The Muslim Brotherhood is also regarded warily by some religious Egyptians, who see it as an elitist, secret society. These suspicions have created potential opportunities for other parties. About six groups from the ultraconservative Salafist school of Islam have also emerged in the era after President Hosni Mubarak’s removal, as well as a party called Al Wassat, intended as a more liberal alternative to the Brotherhood. In the early stages of the revolution, the Brotherhood was reluctant to join the call for demonstrations. It jumped in only after it was clear that the protest movement had gained traction. Throughout, the Brotherhood kept a low profile, part of a survival instinct honed during decades of repression by the state. The question at the time was whether the Brotherhood would move to take charge with its superior organizational structure. It now appears that it has. “The Brotherhood didn’t want this revolution; it has never been a revolutionary movement,” said Mr. Zarwan of the International Crisis Group. “Now it has happened; they participated cautiously, and they realize they can set their sights higher.” But in these early stages, there is growing evidence of the Brotherhood’s rise and the overpowering force of Islam. When the new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, addressed the crowd in Tahrir Square this month, Mohamed el-Beltagi, a prominent Brotherhood member, stood by his side. A Brotherhood member was also appointed to the committee that drafted amendments to the Constitution.Hmmmm......These are the people "They don't trust me because of my middle name" pledged 1,57 Billion Dollar to in 2012.In a few years Egypt will be another Iran!Read the full story here.
- Will Egypt's Youth Movement Be Pushed Aside?Egyptian voters overwhelmingly approved a set of constitutional amendments in last weekend's referendum, paving the way for parliamentary and presidential elections in the next four to six months. But many liberal reformers and youth activists oppose that swift timetable, arguing that early elections would give an extraordinary advantage to Mubarak's old political party and the Muslim Brotherhood, which have strong organizational structures and would move to centralize power. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who met with Egyptian military leaders in Cairo on Thursday, urged them to give new political groups more time to organize.Can the youth movement and those pushing for greater reforms be fairly represented in the upcoming elections? What does that movement need to do to form a viable coalition?Hmmmm.....The Egyptian Youth will go the same way as the Iranian youth!Read the full story here.
- Iran Eyeing Power-Grab in Iraq.Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is so worried that his country could descend into another round of civil war, and that Iran could ratchet up its power-grab plans, that he has dispatched an adviser to Washington, D.C., to ask Obama to reconsider the withdrawal of U.S. troops later this year.“Everyone is now preparing for the division of Iraq,” Talabani adviser Wrya Saeed Rwandzi told Newsmax in an interview late last week. “In practical terms, Iraq is already divided,” with Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds living in geographically distinct areas and encouraging internal migration to create more ethnically pure regional entities.Already, the main Sunni and Shiite political parties in Iraq are controlled by Islamist elements, he said.“If the U.S. withdraws its troops as scheduled at the end of this year, it will trigger the splitting up of Iraq. There will be civil war, maybe even a regional war. Iran will come in. So will Turkey and Syria. And they will all try to pull Israel in as well. We are very, very worried about foreign interference,” Rwandzi said. “None of our neighbors have an interest in a stable Iraq.”Talabani is especially worried that Iran will step in to fill the power vacuum created by the U.S. troop departure. Obama made the troop pullout a centerpiece of his 2008 election campaign and has repeatedly promised he will carry it out on schedule by the end of 2011.“Iran is now the main base of all the terrorist groups in the region,” Rwandzi said. “All the top leaders of al-Qaida are based in Iran. So are many top Taliban leaders. Iran is publicly claiming to lead the terrorist movements of the world. They are seeking to create a Shiite crescent from Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon to Gaza. Now they are penetrating the Gulf countries, as you can see in Bahrain.”Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki clearly doesn’t share Talabani’s worries about Iran. Since his new government took power last year, al-Malaki has invited Iran to play an increasingly open role in Iraq’s internal security affairs. Members of his own government have accused him of packing the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry, which al-Malaki controls directly, with Iranian agents.Just last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Iraq not to go through with a long-planned purchase of American fighter jets.“I can say that Iran now fully controls our parliament and our government,” Rwandzi said. “Iran is competing with the United States for the future of the entire Middle East.”Iran has also infiltrated Iraqi Kurdistan, and has extensive intelligence and terrorist networks operating there. “They are putting pressure on our leaders, bombarding our border areas, and sending in terror cells,” Rwandzi said. “They threaten us in public.”And Iran will not be alone in seeking to exploit Iraq’s increasing vulnerability should U.S. troops withdraw as is currently planned. Turkey, Russia, and even China have expanded their commercial, diplomatic, and intelligence operations in Iraq.“All of them are moving ahead because they see how weak the United States has become and how the United States hesitates in the region,” Rwandzi said. “These foreign players are all anti-democratic.”Turkey alone has more than 1,000 commercial companies operating in Iraq, generating bilateral trade with Iraq worth tens of billions of dollars every year. But Talabani sees Turkey as much less of a threat than Iran since it is using dialogue not violence to resolve problems, whereas Iran is trying to impose on Islamic Shariah through coercive means and terror. “Iran is openly fighting the secular democratic forces in the entire region,” Rwandzi said. “They are more dangerous than al-Qaida.”The Iranians see Obama as weak, because he has done nothing to counter their aggressive expansion into Iraq, Rwandzi argued. “Obama is doing nothing. The U.S. has no clear policy, and is sending contradictory messages. Often this administration can’t seem to distinguish between their friend and their enemy, especially in Iraq.”He said the U.S. has been backing Sunni leaders who are anti-American, and who continue to preach anti-American hate in their mosques and in their schools. Talabani felt particularly slighted because the Obama administration was lobbying hard to replace him with Ayad Allawi, as a means of breaking the impasse that followed the tied elections last March.Hmmmm.....The Obama doctrine of 'Change' Makes the world a whole deal 'different?Read the full story here.
- Turkish base to be center of NATO operations in Libya.Once-reluctant Turkey is now gearing up to play a critical role in NATO operations in Libya, which will have their command center at the alliance’s air base in the Aegean city of İzmir.The announcement of the base’s selection as the center for operations monitoring the no-fly zone in the crisis-hit North African country followed the lifting of Turkey’s previous opposition to any kind of NATO involvement in Libya.Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced late Thursday that Turkish concerns about the mission had been resolved and that the government would join the international coalition intervening in Libya, an operation for which NATO would assume command.Many observers said the selection of the base in İzmir for the Libya operation clearly demonstrated that Turkey had used its leverage during NATO meetings in Brussels. The base was one of two headquarters, along with the one in Larissa, Greece, that NATO was considering shutting down last year as part of plans to tighten its command structure.“İzmir is the most suitable air base for a NATO operation in the Mediterranean,” a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Friday.According to NATO officials, 48 hours are needed to ready the İzmir base to undertake the mission. It was not yet clear at press time which country would be in charge of the operation, but a NATO spokesman reportedly said the alliance could appoint a commander from Turkey, the United States or any other member state.“We are very glad that allies reached a consensus in Brussels on the no-fly zone as well as the arms embargo. Turkey is a member of NATO. We have been very close to Turkey in this process, communicating well at all levels,” a Western source told the Daily News.Turkey has already contributed five warships and a submarine to the international operation in Libya; the vessels are to be used solely for humanitarian and defense purposes. The country may additionally offer F-16 jets and its tanker aircraft in the Central Anatolian province of Konya were said to be ready for any NATO request.One of the key factors that angered Ankara was the way France has taken control of the situation in Libya.“Paris has begun to be excluded, which is a positive development,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday in Istanbul, reflecting his government’s initial uneasiness.Turkey will attend a Libya summit in London on Tuesday, following France’s failure to invite Ankara to a meeting in Paris on March 19.The French plans to establish a contact group or a steering committee that includes broad-based participation at the London summit are being considered by some as an attempt by Paris to maintain a lead role in the Libya operation and divide the political leadership from the NATO military command. “It has been observed that Paris will maintain its political ambition,” said a diplomatic source.Hmmmm....Why do i get the feeling that Obama is pushing his buddy Turkey as leader in all this?Read the full story here.
- Canada: Gaza rocket strikes 'criminal'.Canada 'vigorously condemns' Palestinian attacks, says Israel has right to defend itself.Strong support from North American ally: Canada "vigorously condemns" a spate of rocket fire by Gaza groups against Israel, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said Friday."Canada vigorously condemns the rocket attacks on Israel launched from the Gaza Strip. These terrorist attacks, which indiscriminately target civilian areas, are abhorrent and criminal," he said in a statement."Israel has a right to defend itself against such terrorist acts," the statement added. "Terrorism is never justified. We call on all parties in Gaza to cease these criminal attacks. Those responsible should be brought to justice."Meanwhile, Canada's pro-Israel government was defeated in a no-confidence vote Friday.The defeat by Canada's minority Conservative government sets the scene for a federal election in early May.Legislators in the House of Commons voted by 156-145 to back the motion, which was presented by the main opposition Liberal Party.Hmmmm.......You can always count on Canada to do the right thing.How many Americans these days envy Canada for this?Read the full story here.
- HT:BigGovernment.Obama’s Anti-Energy Policy Is Destroying American Jobs.President Obama’s hometown of Chicago is nearly 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexicont Obama’s hometown of Chicago is nearly 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. But like many other communities across the country, it is suffering the consequences of his Administration’s anti-drilling agenda. Illinois accounted for $376.2 million in shallow-water drilling expenditures over the past three years, according to an analysis by 14 oil and gas companies that spend money on vendors and subcontractors. The bulk of that money—$242.2 million—was spent in the Chicago district represented by Representative Danny Davis (D–IL).It’s fresh evidence that Obama’s anti-drilling agenda is having a ripple effect across America since last year’s oil spill, claiming jobs not just in Louisiana and Texas but also in communities far removed from the shipyards in the Gulf of Mexico.The study from the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition paints a picture of the nationwide economic ramifications. Obama can’t even be blamed for playing politics. Five of the states that benefit most from shallow-water drilling backed him as a candidate in 2008. And Democrats represent many of the congressional districts that stand to lose millions.The cost in jobs is startling. A new analysis by Louisiana State University professor Joseph Mason projects national job losses at 19,000 from the drilling moratorium, with wage losses at $1.1 billion. About one-third of those jobs are located outside the Gulf region.Nearly a year after imposing his anti-drilling agenda, it’s quite clear that Obama is carrying out misguided policies causing widespread harm.And job losses aren’t the only consequence. The Obama Administration’s deliberate delay in issuing permits for both deepwater and shallow-water drilling has led to a sharp decline in oil production for the Gulf of Mexico this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration puts the figure at 240,000 fewer barrels every day.With gas prices hovering around $3.56 per gallon nationwide, now is not the time to lower production. The only way to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil is to produce more of it here at home.The recent approval of new drilling permits for the Gulf of Mexico is a welcome and long overdue move by the Administration, but it’s nothing to celebrate. The pace of permitting is far below the historical average, and there’s no indication that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has any desire to return production to a pre-spill level.Until that happens, expect more grim news like the unfortunate circumstances facing Seahawk Drilling, which was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a direct result of the bureaucratic delays at BOEMRE. Seahawk’s president and chief executive Randy Stilley, writing in The Washington Post, painted a dire picture:The government’s drastic slowdown in the issuance of permits for shallow-water drilling operations—in which companies work in familiar geological formations, typically in less than 500 feet of water, mostly seeking to produce natural gas—has all but crippled the industry. The survivors (for now) like Hercules are staying afloat largely thanks to revenue from operations outside U.S. waters. Put another way, a once-proud industry born in the gulf during the Truman administration can no longer survive on operations in its own back yard.Unless things change soon, Seahawk Drilling won’t be alone. Businesses located in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California, and New York—top recipients of shallow-water drilling spending—will all face economic consequences as well.It’s time for lawmakers to take notice. Representative John Sullivan (R–OK), who represents a district with $87.2 million in shallow-water expenditures over the past three years, recognizes the impact. He told us: “Continuing to keep American sources of energy under lock and key by failing to issue drilling permits only serves to place American jobs at risk, drives up costs at the pump and deepens our dependence on foreign oil.”Things don’t have to be this way. The House of Representatives must continue to conduct rigorous oversight of the Obama Administration, challenging the Administration’s excuses and applying pressure when necessary. America’s energy future depends on it.Hmmmm.....Chicago politics..... give drilling permits to the Brazilian (Soros) owned oil compagny and get re-elected?Read the full story here.
- HT:BarracudaBrigade.Sheriff Arpaio: Obama and the ACLU Are Targeting Me.
Dear Concerned Citizen:
Did you hear that the Obama Justice Department worked hand-in-hand with the far-left ACLU to bring a lawsuit against Arizona for passing a tough anti-illegal immigration law?That’s right. Obama’s liberal lawyers at his Justice Department are in full collusion with the ACLU to do everything they can to stop Arizona’s SB1070 from becoming law. This new law would have strengthened law enforcement’s ability to identify, arrest and detain those who are in this country illegally.
Several emails were obtained between Justice lawyers and their friends at the ACLU. In one exchange, a government lawyer tells his ACLU buddy that it’s a “real pleasure to be on the same side.”Same side of what? Aren’t these federal employees supposed to be acting in the best interest of the citizens of the United States? If the Justice Department and the ACLU are on the same side, where does that leave the rest of us?
The ACLU collaborated with several far-left extremist organizations to file a lawsuit to block Arizona’s tough illegal immigration law. But who would have thought they’d be teaming up directly with theDepartment of Justice.This is an outrage! But it also may clear up why the Department of Justice has had a “civil rights” investigation against me for almost two years now. They’re probably taking direction from the ACLU, one of my worst enemies.
Because I have taken the lead over the years by enforcing existing state and federal laws against illegal immigration, I have become the target of attack by radical, left-wing, open-borders extremists.I’ve been sued, picketed, burned in effigy and even had the Reverend Al Sharpton come to Phoenix – TWICE! – to march on my headquarters. Some have even gone so far as to call for my assassination! And, the Mexican Drug Cartels have put a $1 MILLION BOUNTY on my head.
What these extremists really want is a Sheriff who will look the other way, be silent and allow the charade to continue, while ignoring the laws of our land. That, I promise, will never happen.I won’t back down. I won’t surrender to politicians, thugs or drug dealers! And I certainly won’t back down to the far-left ACLU!But I desperately need your help. It's going to take a lot of resources to combat the attacks and false allegations against me and my deputies — as well as the latest talk about a recall campaign to remove me from office. We anticipate the hardest campaign in history to remove me due to my unyielding stance on illegal immigration enforcement.Hmmmm......As i warned 'the patriots of today seem to become the terrorists of tomorrow' in the eyes of this regime!Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Saudi Daily: Hizbullah, Iranian Snakes Striking In Gulf.In an editorial, the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah stated that the recent events in Bahrain, the Houthi uprising in Yemen, and the unrest in several Arab countries shows that the "snakes" in the form of Hizbullah – which instead of "the party of God" should be called "the party of the Devil" – had left their nests and bared their fangs so as to spread their venom and harm the social infrastructure of the Gulf states. The paper said that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states must fight against the Shi'ite plots of Iran, Hizbullah, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, and remove these snakes' venom. Source .
- Canada vows to hold Iran to the fire over human rights abuses.UNITED NATIONS — Canada pledged on Thursday to maintain its annual "diplomatic" assault on Iran at the United Nations — even though the world body's Human Rights Council earlier Thursday resumed direct scrutiny of the Islamic republic after a nine-year hiatus.Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon told Postmedia News there would be no let-up in Canada's successful multi-year bid to push through resolutions in the UN General Assembly deploring abuses in Iran that include public executions and arbitrary arrests."Canada will continue to take Iran to task for their egregious human rights abuses," Cannon said from Ottawa. "We will do this at every opportunity, and in every appropriate forum, including in the General Assembly, until the situation improves dramatically."Canada's drive annually infuriates Iran, which invariably lobbies against the measure — one year by issuing a book documenting what it described as human rights abuses committed by the Canadian government.Ottawa launched its attacks after the Geneva-based council's predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, went mute over Iran in 2002 as human rights "rogue" states came to dominate the body. At the same time, the European Union quit tabling resolutions in the General Assembly criticizing Iranian practices as it focused on a human rights "dialogue" with Iran.But what specifically spurred Canada was the 2003 torture and murder in an Iranian jail of the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. The first Canadian-led resolution on Iran emerged that year.Canada, though not a council member, was among the "sponsors" of the resolution, which calls on Iran to "fully co-operate" with the investigator. It also speaks of "regretting" Iran's "lack of co-operation" with requests in the most recent Canadian-led resolution in the General Assembly. That document included calls for Iran to end flogging, amputations, and executions by stoning and suspended strangulation.Cannon was among a number of international players calling for the establishment of a special investigator, doing so most recently in a speech last month before the council.Members of the international Baha'i community, which is 30,000-strong in Canada, were among groups who welcomed the council move as they continued to campaign for an end to persecution of Baha'is in Iran. The faith began there, but Iranian authorities consider those practicing it to be apostates."They've been abusing the human rights of Baha'is for many decades, but for some time they've also been doing the same to the Muslim population," Bani Dugal, the community's chief representative at the UN, said from Geneva. "The international community is indicating they have had enough," she added, highlighting that "even Malaysia," a Muslim state, abstained instead of opposing the resolution — in defiance of traditional Muslim solidarity.But the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch on Thursday warned against interpreting the Iran resolution as a signal of wider change within the council."Regrettably, it is only one of the few exceptions to the rule that the vast majority of the world's ruthless dictatorships, such as China, Syria and Zimbabwe, get a free pass from the council," said Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director."The anti-Israel obsession continues, with an unprecedented six resolutions this week (against that country), and with the sham five-year reform package, which perpetuates the special agenda item on Israel," he added, citing measures that result in a disproportionate focus on Israeli actions compared to those of other countries.Hmmmmm......Canada the Number ONE in the world when it comes to defending human rights.Read the full story here.
- "The War on Christianity".Thousands of Christians Displaced in Ethiopia After Muslim Extremists Torch Churches, Homes.Thousands of Christians have been forced to flee their homes in Western Ethiopia after Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes.At least one Christian has been killed, many more have been injured and anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 have been displaced in the attacks that began March 2 after a Christian in the community of Asendabo was accused of desecrating the Koran.The violence escalated to the point that federal police forces sent to the area two weeks ago were initially overwhelmed by the mobs. Government spokesman Shimelis Kemal told Voice of America police reinforcements had since restored order and 130 suspects had been arrested and charged with instigating religious hatred and violence.Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the Islamist group Kawarja is believed to have incited the violence."We believe there are elements of the Kawarja sect and other extremists who have been preaching religious intolerance in the area,” he said at a Saturday press conference. “In previous times, we have cracked down on Kawarja because they were involved in violence. Since then they have changed their tactics and they have been able to camouflage their activities through legal channels."One of those areas is Besheno where, on November 9, all the Christians in the city woke up to find notes on their doors warning them to convert to Islam, leave the city or face death, a Christian from Besheno told FoxNews.com on condition of anonymity.“Under the Ethiopian constitution we are supposed to have freedom of religion, but Muslim leaders in our town don’t allow us that right,” the source said.Later that month three Christians in Besheno were assaulted in religiously-motivated attacks and three others were forced to flee the city after being told that Muslim leaders had commissioned hit men to kill them, one of the exiled Christians told FoxNews.com.“We were told by some Muslims that live in the city that there was already a plan to kill us and that the people who were assigned to kill us had already come from another city to do it.” A witness to the three attacks was then assaulted in January after testifying about them in court, International Christian Concern (ICC), an organization that aims to fight Christian persecution, reported.In the southern town of Moyale, a Christian was sentenced to three years in prison in November for allegedly writing "Jesus is the Lord" in a copy of the Koran, Compass Direct News reported. Christians from the area told the website he had actually written the phrase on a piece of cloth."The violence against Christians in Ethiopia is alarming because Ethiopian Muslims and Christians used to live together peacefully. Besides, it’s extremely disconcerting that in Ethiopia, where Christians are the majority, they are also the victims of persecution," Jonathan Racho, ICC's Regional Manager of Africa and South Asia, told FoxNews.com.Meles said that the government is doing everything it can to stop religious violence.Hmmmm.......“Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity. On the contrary, it is a favorite instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious motivation may be,” Pope Benedict XVI . Read the full story here.