Monday, April 4, 2011
- Live broadcast info from Japan directly ! Here.
- French forces take over Abidjan airport. Here . (Al -Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan between 4.7 and 5.1 today. More info here.
- Latest official Situation Update No. 74.
- HT:TheAstuteBloggers.What do Yemen,Egypt and Libya all have in common.Answer :They are all allies in the war against Jihado-terror.Gadafi, Mubarak and now Saleh.All helped us fight Jihadists and all are opposed by Obama..Obama doesn't oppose or seek to depose Assad or Hizballah or Ahmadinejad - or Karzai,each of whom opposes us and and our interests more and more.EXIT QUESTION:
IF OBAMA REALLY WAS A CRYPTO-MUSLIM WHO WANTED TO HELP THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD AND IRAN WOULD HE BE DOING ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?....NOPE.Read the full story here.
- Egypt: Salafi Group Demands Implementation of Sharia Law, Calls on Non-Muslims to Submit to Islam.The Salafi group in Alexandria said it is seeking to implement Islamic Sharia law no matter how difficult the task.During a conference held at Amr Ibn al-Aas mosque in Giza on Friday, several of the group’s leaders called on non-Muslims to accept the rule of Islam which it argues provides sufficient protection for them.Salafi leaders also said they are holding their conference to respond to “media attacks” and “the lies of liberalism” and general “anti-Islamic” sentiment.Saeed Abdel Azeem, a Salafi leader, said that some people are waging a fierce campaign against the Salafi movement even though the group shuns violence. This began shortly after the results of the recent referendum on constitutional amendments were announced, he said, adding that the media, Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa and liberal parties consider themselves allied together against Islamists.“But no matter how strongly it is attacked, Salafism is continuously advancing, and this attack won’t affect it,” he said.Ahmed Farid, another Salafi leader, said liberal and secular attacks have become increasingly ferocious, even though Salafism represents the correct understanding of Islam, and the attackers are actually harming themselves.He said some claim that Salafis are more dangerous than Jews.Hmmmmm....The "War on Christianity" is about to get in a higher gear.Read the full story here.
- Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Calls For Establishment of Saudi-Style Islamic Morality Police.Call adds to concerns among liberals that the country is going Islamic after attacks on Muslim mystic tombs, Christians.Officials of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's leading Islamic group, have called for the establishment of a Saudi-style modesty police to combat "immoral" behavior in public areas in what observers say in another sign of a growing Islamic self-confidence in the post-Mubarak era. In the political sphere, the Brotherhood led a successful drive to get voters to approve a package of constitutional amendments. On the street level, at least 20 attacks were perpetrated against the tombs of Muslim mystics (suffis), who are the subject of popular veneration but disparaged by Islamic fundamentalists, or salafis. After some initial hesitation, Islamic leaders have publicly praised the revolution."This is incredibly worrying to many Egyptians," Maye Kassem, a political scientist at the American University in Cairo (AUC), told The Media Line. "The salafis were always undercover in Egypt and now they are emerging as a political force. They are getting too vocal."Newly freed from the political strictures of the Mubarak era, Egypt has turned into a battleground between those who envision a liberal, secular state and those who advocate various shades if Islam. The conflict mirrors those taking place elsewhere in the region. In Bahrain, unrest has evolved into a conflict between Sunni- and Shiite Muslims and the US has pulled back from supporting Libyan rebels over concerns they are dominated by Islamists.Issam Durbala, a member of the Brotherhood's Shura council, told the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Youm on Sunday, that he supported the establishment of a virtue police, or Hisbah, which had existed in medieval Islamic societies to oversee public virtue and modesty, mostly in the marketplace and other public gathering spaces. But he seemed to stop short of advocating a force along then lines of that which operates in Saudi Arabia today under the auspices of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. It enforces a dress code, separation of sexes and the observances of prayer times."The new police must have a department with limited authorities to arrest those who commit immoral acts,” Durbala told the newspaper.Nevertheless, liberal, secular Egyptians, who led the protests that brought down President Hosni Mubarak and ushered in a new but as yet undefined era in Egypt, regard the proposal as the latest sign that Islamists are emerging as the dominant force in the country.Nagib Gibrail, a Coptic attorney and head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights, said the Egyptian revolution had been kidnapped by Islamist radicals."There are areas in Egypt where Christian girls can't walk outside after eight o'clock in the evening for fear of being kidnapped," Gibrail told The Media Line. "Moderate Muslims should be more scared than Christians. It is very worrying that the military regime hasn't issued a statement declaring Egypt a secular state." Hmmmm......The youth in Egypt only has to look to Iran to see their near future.Used as cattle to force the barriers.Read the full story here.
- HT:AhmadiyyaTimes.Afghans in east protest against Quran burning.As deadly demonstrations spread across Afghanistan, American Muslim leaders condemned the violence as well as the Quran-burning by a fundamentalist Christian minister in Florida whose actions were cited as provocation for the killings.“Clearly the Islamist agenda is to use any tidbit of information out of the West to try to paint America and the West as anti-Islam and anti-Muslim,” said M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.He said the killings over the weekend in Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar were the result of extremist leaders using the burning of a Quran last month in Gainesville, Fla., as an excuse for violence.Jones did not return phone calls seeking comment. One of his group’s websites, StandupAmerica.org, posted a statement by Fran Ingram responding to what she said were calls to the church suggesting “you have the blood of the U.N. workers on your hands.”“The teaching of the Koran is to be blamed. The leaders of Islam who teach the violence and hatred it contains have blood on their hands,” she wrote. “Free speech. We still have that in America.”Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, said Sunday that his group tried to ignore Jones because he has a tiny following and is not representative of mainstream American thought.“We believe he’s just in the mode of pure publicity seeking,” Hooper said of Jones. “We’ve purposely downplayed it as much as possible.”Hooper denounced the violence as “a completely inappropriate reaction” to the Florida preacher.“Everybody has freedom of speech. In this case, even freedom to do stupid and reprehensible things. But everybody also has the responsibility to act in a way that doesn’t harm others or doesn’t lead to the harm of others,” Hooper said.Imam Shamshad Nasir, an Ahmadiyya Muslim leader with Baitul Hamid Mosque in Chino, Calif., called Jones “a foolish pastor” but said his community “rejects any killing in the name of religion anywhere even if it is done in the name of the most sacred scriptures.”Read the full story here.
- HT:BigPeace.Egypt’s ‘Save The Revolution’ Movement Splits Muslim Brotherhood.An estimated 100,000 protesters demanding to “Save the Revolution” demonstrated in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday, according to Ahram. The protesters have called for another rally next Friday.There had been no large scale demonstrations ever since the armed forces emptied the square on March 9, and it had been widely assumed that the revolution had fizzled out, but Friday’s huge crowds proved that assumption wrong.The reborn revolution fervor was triggered by a return to some of the abuses that had been common during the presidency of Hosni Mubarak, whom the January uprising forced to resign.Several people have come forward to say that they were detained and tortured by the military that had assumed power when Mubarak resigned, according to Global Post. Even Mubarak’s own National Democratic Party (NDP), widely criticized for corruption, is regrouping for a return to political prominence.Of greater concern to some young people is the potential rise in power of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist political parties.The median age of Egyptians is 24, so most Egyptians are young, and have grown up in a secular Egypt with a Muslim Brotherhood that gave up violence decades ago. Young Egyptians wish to retain their secular freedoms, and to continue to coexist with Coptic Christians and other religious groups.The result has been a serious generational rift within the Muslim Brotherhood. On Saturday, two key leaders of the Brotherhood resigned, with the intention of joining a new political party, the Hahda Party, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm. This party will be conservative, but it will uphold the freedom of its members, and will represent a strong competitor to the Brotherhood, because it will draw large numbers of Brotherhood youth.In fact, the Brotherhood has been facing a rift since the Revolution began in January, according to an analysis by Ahram.Within a few days of the overthrow of Mubarak, a Facebook event called “Brotherhood Youth Revolution” was established, calling on the Muslim Brotherhood Youth to overthrow it leaders and senior members.The rift grew when Mubarak’s police and thugs were attacking the protesters in Tahrir Square. The leaders and senior members of the Brotherhood sided with the military, but the decision to back down was rejected by the Brotherhood youth. The result was a deadly battle of Tahrir Square that killed several dozen demonstrators.Young Egyptians today have as little desire to return to the harsh practices and attitudes of the Muslim Brotherhood of the 1950s and 1960s, any more than today’s young Americans or Europeans would like to return to the attitudes and behaviors of the 1950s.However, Egyptian society, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, is going through a kind of societal identity crisis along generational lines. The young people always win these generational battles since, after all, the old people die off. We should begin to see the early resolutions to some of these disputes when elections are held later this year.Hmmmm.....Unless Egypt transformes in to a second Iran,where there are more youth in prison than there are in the universities?Read the full story here.
- Bibi’s Choice!How Israel should handle pressure for a Palestinian state.By Elliott Abrams. With the Great Revolt of 2011 shaking Arab capitals, Israel briefly seemed a Middle Eastern Switzerland when March began. There were no demonstrations, there was no dictator to protest, and there had been three years without terror. Gone were the once omnipresent security guards at restaurants, challenging you before you entered with a careful look and the question “Do you have a weapon?” Then on March 11, terrorists savagely murdered five members of a family in the settlement of Itamar, and on March 24, a Palestinian bomber brought back the old days: one dead, dozens wounded at a bus stop in Jerusalem. Israel’s short vacation from history had ended.
That vacation had been partial, to be sure. Hamas and other terrorist groups had periodically lobbed rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel, though here too the pace and range of the shots was suddenly climbing. And no doubt many terrorist attacks were foiled by steady police work. But the confrontation with the Palestinians was stalled, frozen, during the two Obama years. The leader of the PLO, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, has spent these years touring the world, avoiding any serious engagement with Israel. He has been a happy man: Travel is less stressful than the difficult work of state-building, which is left to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; the lack of negotiations means Abbas avoids the controversial compromises a genuine negotiation would entail; and his refusal to negotiate has been arranged and defended by the Obama Doctrine that “settlement activity” is the true obstacle to Middle East peace. For it has been American policy since January 20, 2009, that Palestinians need not come to the table unless there is a 100 percent Israeli construction freeze in Jerusalem and the settlements.The Obama administration abandoned that doctrine last November, and its champion, George Mitchell, ever since has been an invisible man. No policy has been proposed by the White House to replace its calamitous belief in the construction freeze delusion, at least not yet. But Israelis are sure something is around the corner and are debating whether to wait—or to act.
They fear two developments. The first is a Quartet Plan: a statement by the United States, the United Nations, Russia, and the European Union via the Middle East Quartet that proposes the outline of a final status arrangement. The Israeli nightmare has the leading nations of the world demanding terms about borders, security, and Jerusalem with which Israel cannot live—and then finding Israel further isolated and demonized. The EU is leading this Quartet effort, but every Israeli official with whom I spoke said the United States is waving the Europeans on and hiding behind them.
The second potential disaster is a Palestinian effort at the U.N. General Assembly in September, where the “State of Palestine” would be recognized on “1967 borders” and Israel’s presence in the West Bank would become the basis for a further expansion of boycotts, demonstrations, and delegitimization campaigns. These campaigns are well underway and especially in Western Europe would gain great strength from such U.N. action, it is argued. At bottom, the article suggests that Israel should act rather than wait fearfully for possible Palestinian Authority, Quartet, or United Nations actions. If Israelis believe that separation from the Palestinian population of the West Bank is both inevitable and beneficial, they should begin that process. Israelis and Palestinians may never live together in peace, but they can live apart in peace.Hmmm.....With all due respect......You are wrong!Read the full story here.
- HT:AhmadiyyaTimes.Pakistan: 'Convert or go to hell,' Islamists tell non-Muslim patients at government hospitals.KARACHI - Twenty-three-year-old Zain, a Catholic Christian, was admitted to the emergency ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi after he was shot and wounded as a passer-by in a crossfire. While his worried parents and sister stood around waiting for the doctor’s verdict, men in green turbans and high shalwars swooped down on Zain. “Brother, you must denounce your infidel ways. Kalma parhein (recite the Kalma),” they told the young man who was barely conscious and obviously in immense pain. “Become a Muslim, and god will forgive you all your transgressions against him. Die a Muslim!” Zain’s 17-year-old sister pleaded with them once to leave the family alone. “My brother is in pain. Please, let us take care of him,” she said. In response, one of the men turned around and gruffly told her to shut up. “Do not interfere in god’s work,” she was told.Such scenes are no longer an anomaly at government hospitals in Karachi: men from various religious factions – the Tablighi Jamaat in particular – stalk the hallways of emergency wards, hoping to earn ‘savaab’ by converting non-Muslims on their deathbeds. In their quest for supposed divine rewards, they ignore the pleas of the families to be left alone with their loved one, as well as any pain that the patient might be in. Zain’s parents pulled their aside. “We know the consequences of interfering,” his father, who works as a mechanic, said quietly after the men had left when Zain, who had lost consciousness by then, did not respond.Similar scenes are repeated regularly at every government-run hospital in the city. “These people are like vultures; they do this to everyone. If we try to stop them, they will accuse us of maybe insulting their religion. We don’t want to be charged with blasphemy. It will be our word against theirs. Who will listen to us?”While security at these organisations is minimal, even the guards that are present don’t try to stop the evangelists. “Who are we to interfere in the work of god,” Saleem, a guard on duty outside the emergency ward at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre claimed, shrugging helplessly. “If someone converts to Islam this way, we will get Savaab too. These men help the patients and their families get spiritual peace.“We wish they’d leave us alone,” Zain’s father maintained. “If my son wanted to convert, he would have done so on his own. What’s the point of harassing someone who is obviously already in pain? Whose god would allow that?”Hmmmm......"The religion of Peace".Read the full story here.
- Russian escapes massacre in Afghan town.A Russian diplomat escaped with his life from angry and murderous mob in Afghanistan, after telling them he was a Muslim.Outrage flared in the normally quiet city of Mazar-i-Sharif as Friday prayers brought news that a dogmatic American pastor had burned a copy of the Koran in Florida. An irate crowd then broke into a UN compound, killing three UN workers and desecrating two bodies.The angry faithful poured out of the mosque and set off to avenge their defiled holy book. The American embassy in the region has not yet been finished yet so the rabble went to the local UN office. Ata Mohammad Nur, the province’s governor, estimated the numbers at 20,000, Kommersant reported.Afghan police standing nearby did not intervene but four Nepali guards did fire over the heads of the crowd, before firing into it, killing at least five. This only provoked the mob, who raised knives and small arms and charged into the compound. The Nepali guards paid for their defiance with their lives, next were Lt. Col. Siri Skare, 53, a Norwegian pilot and her UN colleagues, Joakim Dungel, a 33-year-old Swede, and Filaret Motco, 43, from Romania, the Associated Press reported.Two decapitated heads were then tossed into a sewage ditchThe mission chief, Pavel Yershov, got away with a beating thanks to his ability to speak Dari, he told them he was a Muslim.The unrest has spread to Kandahar in the south of the country and generally seen as the heart of Afghan insurgency. At the time of writing 100 people have died there and police are firing on the crowds with automatic weapons. It has also spread to Jalalabad in the east, where at least 20 people have died.Hmmmm......"Afghan police standing nearby did not intervene"Karzai started the unrest,wouldn't you say it's government directed,as a response to the US interventions in their drug trafficking? Read the full story here.
- NATO Troops Killed by Man in Afghan Police Uniform.Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) - A person wearing an Afghan police uniform shot dead two NATO service members Monday inside a compound in northern Afghanistan, the military alliance said.NATO stressed that it was still investigating the incident in Faryab province. Authorities said the shooter fled the scene. The military coalition did not provide further details.It was not immediately clear if the shooter was an Afghan police officer. There have been incidents of both Afghan security forces turning on their Western counterparts and of insurgents donning uniforms to infiltrate bases and attack from the inside.Officials in Faryab could not immediately be reached for comment.Turncoat attacks by Afghan police and soldiers have appeared to increase over the past 12 months as NATO and Afghan forces work more closely together. In some cases, such shootings have been a result of arguments that turned violent; in others, the Taliban has claimed that Afghan shooters were sleeper agents.In the last such incident in January, an Afghan soldier approached two Italian soldiers who were cleaning their weapons and shot both of them dead before escaping from the base.Hmmmm.....Police who doesn't act and Government hitmen?Read the full story here.
- White House West Wing Under Construction for Foreseeable Future.Washington (AP) - The West Wing of the White House is vanishing.In recent weeks, an expanding and sometimes earsplitting zone of excavation has enveloped the mansion's famous office wing. Heavy equipment and metal-and-concrete superstructures are part of the vast construction project.The front door and the Marine who guards it have disappeared behind a high green-and-white plywood fence. From Pennsylvania Avenue, all that's visible is a sliver of second-floor roofline.For years to come, the front yard at 1600 Pennsylvania will remain a noisy building site, say officials in charge of the White House's "Big Dig."The White House describes the job as an overdue upgrade of underground utilities. That includes water and sewer lines, electrical conduits, pipes for chilled and hot water and steam heat systems, and storm sewers. Heating, air conditioning and fire alarm systems are being replaced. Some systems are getting backups.A mysterious tunnel is being built, too.Crews have poured huge concrete pylons, erected retaining walls and brought in truckloads of steel I-beams. The construction site has expanded from in front of the West Wing around to the side and across a parking lot to the next-door Eisenhower Executive Office Building.Inevitably, the work has fueled speculation that what's really being built is some secret, new underground lair.The West Wing dig is but the first step in a multiphase project that will eventually progress across the White House grounds -- and last for a total of four years.Its scope can be gleaned from its hefty cost: $376 million. Of that, $86 million is just for the West Wing.Hmmmmm.........A Bunker to receive openness awards without being seen?Read the full story here.More here .
- 60% of U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan Have Occurred Since Obama Was Inaugurated.At least 858 U.S. soldiers have died in the Afghanistan war since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. That equals 60.13 percent of the 1,427 American soldier fatalities so far in the ongoing 10-year war in that country.For March 2011, there were 26 U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan, including 4 non-combat related fatalities. That brought the total combat and non-combat deaths for 2011 (January, February, and March) to 70. Those fatalities include 57 combat-related deaths and 13 non-combat deaths.For the 858 U.S. deaths since Obama’s inauguration, 791 have been combat-related. This means that for the 1,241 combat-related deaths that occurred since the Afghanistan war began in October 2001, about 64 percent happened in the two years since Obama took office.Hmmmm......It's called 'Courageous restraint'and results in more fallen soldiers?Read the full story here.
- Beware the ‘Turkish model’. The so-called Turkish model, in which an Islamist party heads an ostensible democracy, has been posited in recent weeks as a likely outcome in postauthoritarian Arab countries. Likely, maybe; but Turkey’s experience under the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, suggests that such a path may also be a slippery slope.
The AKP does not aim to create a fundamentalist state in Turkey, but the ruling party’s conservative policies might inadvertently lead to just that. For several years the AKP has been transforming Turkish society by making religion the moral compass of the country’s body politic.This does not mean that the AKP wants to turn Turkey into a theocracy.But the problem is that once narrowly-defined faith becomes a guiding principle in policy, fundamentalists claiming ideological purity become more competitive politically. Their demands for an even stricter implementation of religion-based rules and values are triggering an ideological purity race and risk pushing Turkish society toward radicalization.History teaches us that fundamentalists always defeat conservatives in any competition for ideological purity. The AKP’s embrace of religious values is not Turkish secularists’ biggest problem.
The larger threat is that, now that the AKP has centered religion within Turkish society, fundamentalists will gain carte blanche to challenge the AKP as “not Muslim enough.”Already last November, the AKP was moved to fire Ali Bardakoglu, the liberal head of Diyanet, Turkey’s official religious authority, which has historically checked fanaticism by building mosques and training imams while promoting a liberal understanding of Islam. The AKP replaced Bardakoglu with another well-known scholar, Mehmet Gormez, who has an avowedly more conservative take on Islam.The new Diyanet chief’s first act was to fire Ayse Sucu, who headed the organization’s women’s branch. Sucu’s initiatives had included suggesting that women should be able to decide for themselves whether to cover their hair. Fundamentalist media and pundits were ecstatic at her ouster, claiming that it signalled that there is no room for a personal interpretation of Islam.Internally, the AKP has promoted socially conservative values, such as wearing the Islamic head scarf for women and a disdain for alcohol. Turkish bureaucrats and businesspeople complain that embracing these practices to prove that one is a “good Muslim” has become a precondition for getting government promotions and contracts.Or take the AKP’s new Kurdish policy. In an effort to expand its base among the Kurds before June polls, the party has emphasized Islam as a common denominator between Kurds and Turks to undermine the secular Kurdish nationalist party.The plan may well help the AKP win its upcoming elections.However, it will also invite competition from religious radicals, such as from Kurdish Hezbollah – a violent Sunni group not linked to the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah, which already boasts a wide grassroots network in the southeast of Turkey.Recently, Hezbollah’s leadership, in jail since a crackdown in the late 1990s, was released from prison due to a legal loophole. The AKP’s emphasis on Islam may help replace the secular-nationalist Kurdish movement with a religious-nationalist one. Expect Kurdish Hezbollah to suggest that neither the AKP nor Diyanet are “Muslim enough” to represent Kurds.TURKEY’S SHIFT is also bad news for the US and Europe.The potential radicalization of the Turkish population is an especially pressing concern given that Turkey recently eliminated visa restrictions for a number of Muslim countries – including Iran, Syria, Jordan and Libya. Whatever happens in those countries, the move will facilitate crossfertilization among radical groups in Turkey. Washington should make contingency plans now to deal with radicals who will challenge the AKP’s cooperation with the US, particularly in Afghanistan.Turkey’s emboldened radicals will also no doubt take issue with Ankara’s European Union policy, as if Turkey’s EU accession plans did not already face enough problems.Given the large number of Turkish immigrants in Europe, the radicalization of the Turkish population, especially its Kurdish segment, will likely replicate itself in Europe.The AKP’s religious bent, disconcerting in itself, can easily spin out of control. The lesson of the AKP experience for the Arab world and likely Muslim Brotherhood governments there is that religious orthodoxy is an ideological beauty contest, in which the winner is always the ugly guy.Hmmmm.......Welcome to Turkey ...Iranian style?Read the full story here.
- No fried food: Health Dept. workers cringe at new rules restricting foods, fragrances, decorations.No overbearing perfume. No obscene pictures. And definitely no French fries for work lunches.That's the new edict for employees of the same city Health Department that brought you calorie-counting menus and snuffed out smoking on beaches and in parks.The updated rules - which range from what workers can serve at agency powwows to how loud they can talk in the office - come as the Health Department begins to move into its new Queens digs today.A set of guidelines for "Life in the Cubicle Village" sent to employees asks them to avoid wearing products with "noticeable odors" or posting "any displays, photos, cartoons, or other personal items that may be offensive."They also should avoid eavesdropping.If they can't - "at least resist the urge to add your comments," the cubicle rules recommend.Employees also got a bright-colored brochure stipulating what can and can't be served at meetings and parties.Tap water is a menu must when food or drinks are served. Other beverages must be less than 25 calories per 8 ounces."Cut muffins and bagels into halves or quarters, or order mini sizes. Offer thinly-sliced, whole-grain bread," the brochure states.Deep-fried foods are an absolute no-no and "cannot be served."For celebrations, cake and air-popped popcorn - "popped at the party and served in brown paper lunch bags" - are allowed.But when a "celebration cake" is served, cookies can't be offered."These standards are mandatory for meetings and events sponsored by the Health Department," the brochure states.Hmmmm......."America the policestate of the hungry"?Read the full story here.
- Oil hits 2.5-year high, nears $120.Iran oil minister says no need for Opec emergency meeting.Brent crude rose towards $120 a barrel and US crude hit a 2-1/2-year high above $108 on Monday. Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa kept the focus on oil supplies as economic growth bolstered demand.Iran's oil minister said there was no need for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to hold an extraordinary meeting, adding to price support.Iran is holder of Opec's rotating presidency in 2011. ICE Brent rose $1.05 to a high of $119.75 a barrel, its highest since Feb. 24, before slipping back to trade around $119.50 by 1223 GMT.Edward Meir, senior commodity analyst at brokers MF Global, said investors seemed to be in no mood to sell the markets despite the "less than compelling fundamental backdrop".Analysts say the loss of oil from Libya has been more or less offset by Saudi Arabia, while the Japanese crisis should also reduce oil import demand, suggesting "there likely is a statistical surplus in the system right now", Meir said."However, participants are not bothering with data for the moment, as the focus remains on headlines out of the Middle East. Moreover, the fact that global growth has yet to show any significant sign of decelerating is also keeping the "buy commodities" theme very much intact," he added.Hmmmm.....Remember last year when the so called 'experts' said next year oil at 80$/barrel, i said "Lets see once Iran is chairman of Opec"?Read the full story here.
- The Inner Logic of Evil.A Stasi Expert Advises Egypt on Secret Police Legacy.Two decades ago, Herbert Ziehm helped storm the headquarters of the East German secret police, the Stasi. Now, he is advising Egypt on how to deal with its own legacy of official abuse. History, it would seem, is repeating itself.The Egyptian secret police had approximately 100,000 full-time agents. Most of them are still on the payroll. So far, all that has changed is the name of the organization and a handful of commanding officers have been replaced. Nobody knows what the full-time agents and their estimated 300,000 informants are currently up to or what should happen to them.This was the situation when Said Abu al-Ala and his friends stormed the headquarters of the secret police in early March.
Abu al-Ala, 27, is a young lawyer who, even before the revolution, wrote a critical book about the Egyptian secret police, leading the agents to keep him under surveillance and interrogate him on a number of occasions.He was well prepared for the meeting with Ziehm, and showed him documents from the secret police archives. "Ninety percent of the files have been destroyed," said Abu al-Ala, adding that the remains lay scattered about the rooms of Amn al-Dawla -- shredded, burned or drenching wet -- and some files had already been carted away in garbage trucks. He and his friends were able to salvage some documents, however. Abu al-Ala has already divided them into a number of categories and roughly sifted through them."There is a dossier on every former minister," he says. He was able to read what the secret police thought of the homosexual minister of culture, whose job apparently included advising the first lady on her wardrobe selections. He also read about the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), which is apparently described in the files as incompetent and a "loser." The crooked deals of the elite, their sex scandals, their close relations to the officially banned Muslim Brotherhood -- all of this, says Abu al-Ala, can be found in the files.But what is to be done with them? Should everything be made public to finish off the old guard? Abu al-Ala had a lot of questions for the German expert. What is the correct way to make an inventory of the files -- and what should be included in legislation concerning secret police files? Who should safeguard the papers for the time being -- and is it right for them to be stored in the homes of activists?Read the full story here.
- Rebel leader Umarov 'alive' after Russian air strike.The leader of the North Caucasus insurgency, whom Russian officials said was probably killed in an air strike last week, is alive and unharmed, a website with links to militants said Monday.Doku Umarov, 46, who heads the Caucasus Emirate rebel group, is "alive and well. He is not wounded and could not be harmed because he was not in the area of the bombing," the Kavkazcenter.com website said.Russian security forces on March 29 carried out an air strike on a militant base in the region of Ingushetia, officials said, adding some 17 people were killed in the raid.Umarov's right-hand man Supyan Abdullayev, his wife and his doctor were among those killed, officials said.Remains will undergo DNA testing to check whether Umarov was killed along with his close allies, officials said Friday, with some sources saying that the probability that he died in the strike was about 75 percent.The leader of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, said Monday that Umarov could have gone into hiding, adding that there was no information about whether his remains had been identified."He is in hiding somewhere, that's clear. I do not rule out that he could be in Ingushetia," Yevkurov told the Interfax news agency.Kavkazcenter.com denied that a woman who was killed in the air strike was Umarov's wife and said that the number of the dead delivered to a local morgue was 10 people, not 17, citing a source.It has confirmed that Umarov's henchman Abdullayev was killed.Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Emir Supyan, Top Commander Of Islamic Emirate Of The Caucasus, Is Dead.According to an April 1, 2011 report on the kavkazcenter.com website. Emir Supyan (aka Supyan Abdullayev) was killed on March 28. The report describes Supyan as of the most experienced commanders of the mujahideen in the Caucasus, a mentor of young Muslims, and the closest companion of Emir Dokka Abu Usman (aka Dokka Umarov). Read the full story here.
- HT:JihadWatch.Obama's OIC envoy in Afghanistan: Islam is "one of the strongest tools that you can use to counter radicalization and violent extremism".A month before swarms of violent Afghans beheaded United Nations workers in the name of Islam, President Obama's top envoy to the Muslim world promoted Islam in a visit to Afghanistan, arguing it was one of the "strongest tools" against such violence.In February, Rashad Hussain, U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, gave a talk in the Afghan capital of Kabul in which he called on locals to recommit themselves to their religion:
"I am of the opinion that one of the strongest tools that you can use to counter radicalization and violent extremism is Islam itself, because Islam rejects violent extremism," Hussain told the gathering of Afghans, according to a transcript obtained by WND from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.He also said the Muslim faith is central to the administration's strategy to turn Muslims from jihadi violence:"We see that as one of the key elements of a strategy to address this type of violence," added Hussain, a former White House aide appointed last year to represent the U.S. to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 57-nation Muslim bloc, which includes Afghanistan and other terror hotspots....Hmmmm......"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"?Can we start impeachment now?Read the full story here.
- US suspends arms aid to Lebanon.Fearing weapons would fall into Hezbollah's hands, US halts arms deliveries to Lebanon. Since 2006, US provided Lebanon with $720 million in military aid, Wall Street Journal reports. WASHINGTON - The US suspended its weapon deliveries to Lebanon in January, fearing that the munitions will fall into Hezbollah hands followings, US halts arms deliveries to Lebanon. Since 2006, US provided Lebanon with $720 million in military aid, Wall Street Journal reports. WASHINGTON - The US suspended its weapon deliveries to Lebanon in January, fearing that the munitions will fall into Hezbollah hands following the collapse of Saad Hariri's government. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved the moratorium recently, but the decision was not publicized in order to avoid interfering with the forming of a new Lebanese government, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Meanwhile, the US continues to provide the Lebanese army with training and non-lethal equipment in order to preserve the good ties between the Pentagon and the Lebanese defense establishment.According to the report, the arms freeze is part of a broader inquiry into US aid to Lebanon. Spurred by pro-democracy hopes raised by the 2005 Cedar Revolution, the US upped its military assistance to Lebanon, not expecting that Hezbollah would gain political traction following the unrest.According to the Wall Street Journal, the US has provided Lebanon with more than $720 million in military assistance since 2006. The US delivered at least $18 million in ammunition to Lebabon, including antitank missiles and launchers, in 2010 alone. The article cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Israel has urged the US to stop arming the Lebanese military, for fear that the weapons "would end up in the wrong hands and eventually be used against us." The arms moratorium is expected to last until a new government is formed in Beirut, in accordance with the findings of the US inquiry.The Pentagon has expressed concern that the wave of pro-democracy protests in Lebanon and other Arab nations might eventually cause hostile and radical regimes to emerge. Hmmmmm.......Obama"The Changes in the Arab world might benefit Israel"is he really that sarcastic?Read the full story here.
- Boy, seven, beaten to death 'by Islamic school teacher for stealing £1.40'.An Islamic school teacher has been taken into custody in Malaysia for allegedly beating to death a seven-year-old boy accused of theft.Saiful Syazani Saiful Sopfideehad had been accused by the teacher at the Sekolah Agama Al-Furqan hostel in the state of Perlis of stealing seven Malaysian ringgit - around £1.40 - from a fellow student .According to reports he was allegedly tied to a window for two hours, beaten and strangled.News reports have described the tragedy as the worst known case of pupil abuse in at least 15 years.Mohamad Nadzri Hussain, a police chief in the Southern state of Perlis, said the child, who suffered multiple head injuries and internal bleeding, slipped into a coma following the beating on Thursday and died on Sunday morning.He added the 26-year-old teacher, who is also warden of the private school, could be charged with murder, which carries a penalty of death by hanging on conviction.'No one should take the law into their own hands' Hussain said. 'We do not condone beatings and torture of students.'Saiful's adoptive mother Hazirah Chin, 38, who had been raising him as her son since his own mother died in 2007, told the Malaysia Star that the seven-year-old was an 'obedient and cheerful' boy who had never had any problems at school.'I decided to send him to a religious school as he was keen on Islamic studies. I last saw him when I sent him there on March 27,' she said.She added that she found out about the incident after receiving a call from the teacher telling her that the boy had been admitted to the Tuanku Fauziah Hospital in the state capital Kangar after being injured, and seeking her permission for him to be transferred as his condition was worsening.'When I arrived at the Tuanku Fauziah Hospital, a doctor told me that he believed my son was tied up before being assaulted as there were rope marks on his wrists,' she said.Read the full story here.
- HT:Memri.Ethiopia To Challenge Egypt By Constructing Nile Dam.Ethiopia last week announced that it was planning to construct a huge dam on the Nile River, despite the long-term dispute with Egypt regarding the use of the Nile waters and the concern that it might lead to war.Ethiopia announced that the construction of the Great Nile Dam will begin soon on the Ethiopian Sudanese border, designed to generate 5250 megawatts of power. Ethiopia plans to spend $12 billion to eventually generate 15,000 megawatts of power within the next 10 years. Ethiopia will finance the construction of the dam that will cost $4.78 billion from its resources and from the sale of government bonds. Egypt has pressured donor countries and international financial institutions to refrain from extending loans to Ethiopia for the construction of the proposed dam. Hmmmm......Interesting development.Read the full story here.
- Immigration coalition pressures President Obama.A coalition of immigration activists and lawmakers has challenged Obama to use his executive powers to change U.S. immigration policy. The campaign, called Change Takes Courage, will consist of events nationwide, including in Obama’s home state of Hawaii, in the coming months. It was launched a day after the president said he’ll push Congress to pass legislation that will grant citizenship to Latinos in college or the military, but quickly added that he’ll need “a little bit of help” from congressional Republicans. White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest insists Obama is committed to immigration reform. The president’s broader agenda, Earnest said, includes a path to citizenship for undocumented residents, enhanced border security and cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers. Still, Demetrios Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute, predicts immigration reform will most likely languish for the rest of the year.“Unless the administration and Democratic part of Congress sits down and has conversations with Republicans about things on which they can agree on immigration, nothing will happen,” Papademetriou said.Hmmmm......"Democracy or Dictatorship"?Read the full story here.
- Blagojevich seeks interview notes with Obama.CHICAGO (AP) -- Rod Blagojevich asked a judge Monday to order the government to hand over notes of any FBI interviews with President Barack Obama about the ousted Illinois governor's corruption case, a request that comes less than three weeks before Blagojevich's retrial is set to begin.The request for the notes related to Obama, who has never been accused of any wrongdoing in the matter, came in a motion filed with the U.S. District Court in Chicago. Presiding Judge James Zagel rejected a similar request before Blagojevich's first trial last year.In the motion, the defense says the notes could "go directly to the heart of testimony of several government witnesses," particularly that of Chicago-based union leader and longtime Obama ally Tom Balanoff. He told jurors during the first trial that he talked to Obama about the Senate seat on the eve of the 2008 president election.Balanoff testified last year that Obama told him he preferred that family friend Valerie Jarrett continue to work with him in the White House but that she wanted to be senator and had the qualifications."I thanked him and I said I was going to reach out to Gov. Blagojevich and speak on Valerie's behalf," Balanoff testified.Defense attorneys claim Balanoff's testimony about the call appeared to contradict some other accounts and that Obama interview notes could help clarify the issue.Hmmm.....Good luck with that one.Read the full story here.
- HT:BigGovernment.Here Comes The Internet Regulatory Creep.Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, has declared that content should be free and open to all Internet users and that any variation is a violation of the principle of network neutrality. The sentiment is quite different than his explanation of net neutrality some years back.Tim Wu, the man who coined the term “Network Neutrality,” was previously the chair at Freepress, and whose favorite book is Atlas Shrugged The Master Switch, and is now a senior policy advisor at the Federal Trade Commission for consumer protection in mobile and Internet markets has recently added an addendum to his ever growing list of Internet rules as well. He recently was noted stating that the government should create “term limits” for successful technology and Internet companies. And in his comments he makes no bones about his ideology of state socialism commenting that if a “company has clearly shown that it’s corrupt” then the federal government should “just nationalize their source code.” Wu fails to explain who would be making these decisions or advocate the federal governments authority to carry out these decisions. Being a legal scholar it would seem that this would be an appropriate and rational step.Both Berners-Lee and Wu seem to be opposed to the app model now booming on many Internet devices and additionally based on their comments find services that have a pay wall to be a violation of net neutrality principles being that certain groups, i.e. those that are not subscribed, are blocked access from that service.Proponents of net neutrality regulation repeatedly proclaim the notion that regulation will improve and encourage innovation on the Internet. What we have however are two individuals who have now been caught saying two different things. Net neutrality regulation will encourage innovation, yet if the innovation is too good and uses a subscription wall then it is a violation or if it becomes too popular and ventures into a zone that, based on some arbitrary system, someone declares monopolistic and corrupt then it is in violation. The last few months have seen the opening gestures of regulatory creep on the Internet. We can (as is usually the case) look to Europe to see what we can expect soon. The creep is on its way.Read the full story here.
Talking Peace and Social Justice, the far left Development and Peace
representing other leftist groups came to Catholic Church in Canada today, elbowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ aside for a full-tilt campaign speech for the Coalition Opposition.In the last message heard before the final blessing was given, parishioners were told to “get on their computers” to spread the word that the Conservative Government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is forcing Canada into the European Union.Hmmmm......."Go in peace"?
The exact words of Susan at St. Gabriel’s Roman Catholic Church, Burlington, Ontario, who plugged the website of the Council of Canadians among others: “The Harper Conservatives are planning our country’s entrance into the European Union. Did you know this?” (go to the 1:04 mark on CFP YouTube). HT: Sodahead .
- Live broadcast info from Japan directly ! Here.
- French forces take over Abidjan airport. Here . (Al -Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan between 4.7 and 5.1 today. More info here.
- Latest official Situation Update No. 74.On 04.04.2011 at 08:31 GMT+2.
JAPAN plans to dump 11,500 tons of radioactive water at sea to free up storage space at its crippled nuclear plant for more highly contaminated water, the plant's operator said on Monday. A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said the water was only weakly radioactive. 'We have no choice but to release water tainted with radioactive materials into the ocean as a safety measure,' government spokesman Yukio Edano told a televised press conference.
Situation Update No. 73- On 04.04.2011 at 03:00 GMT+2.
Workers at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant worked to plug a radioactive leak at the site Monday after efforts failed a day earlier to stop the flow of contaminated water into the sea. By Monday morning, chemical polymers being used to block the flow of radioactive water had yet to absorb the water, the Kyodo news agency reported. The 20-centimetre crack is in a pit where cables are stored near reactor number 2. The Japanese government warned it could take months to get the leak under control following the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami that damaged the plant. Plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), has begun putting dye in the water to find the location of other possible leaks. Meanwhile, Kyodo reported officials were considering the possibility of wrapping the entire reactor in a 45-metre high sheet in an effort to contain the radiation coming from the facility. Source .
- International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War – Japan. Physicians for Social Responsibility, has prepared the following summary of events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant since March 11, 2011, when an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale struck northern Japan and created a tsunami that devastated large areas in northeastern Japan, killing thousands and leaving hundreds of thousands more stranded and without essential services.A must read !Read the full story here.
- Gaddafi envoy in Europe 'seeking solution'.Libya's acting foreign minister on mission to Greece and Turkey in apparent initiative aimed at ending fighting.Abdel Ati al-Obeidi, Libya's acting foreign minister, has told the Greek prime minister in Athens that embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is seeking an end to fighting in the country."It seems that the Libyan authorities are seeking a solution," Dimitris Droutsas, the Greek foreign minister, said. He added that Obeidi planned to travel on to Malta and Turkey.Obeidi crossed into neighbouring Tunisia and travelled from Djerba airport to the Greek capital on Sunday and met George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, later in the day. "They [Libyan government] requested to send an envoy with a message for prime minister George Papandreou and that is why he is in Athens," a senior Greek government official said.In a statement, the Greek foreign ministry said it was committed to seeking a "political, diplomatic solution" to the crisis in Libya, where government forces are battling rebels seeking to end Gaddafi's decades-old rule."We reiterated the clear message from the international community: respect for and full implementation of UN resolutions, an immediate ceasefire to stop the violence, particularly against the civilian population of Libya."In Tripoli, the Libyan capital, government officials were not immediately available to comment on Obeidi's movements. The New York Times has reported that Seif al-Islam and Saadi Gaddafi, two of the leader's sons, have created their own plan to remove their father from power amicably and negotiate an end to the conflict.Papandreou's office said Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, the Libyan prime minister, requested Obeidi's visit during a phone conversation on Saturday. Papandreou also discussed the Libyan crisis with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, on Sunday.Papandreou has been talking by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Turkey and Britain over the last two days.Read the full story here.
- Washington pulls support for Yemen's Saleh: report15 protesters killed, hundreds hurt in Yemen clashes.Yemeni soldiers shot dead at least fifteen protesters and wounded hundreds of others in a second day of bloody clashes with demonstrators in the city of Taez, south of the capital, witnesses and medical sources said. Tens of thousands of demonstrators were marching on the governorate headquarters in Taez, 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Sanaa, when the army opened fire from different directions, witnesses said.Medical sources said that there are hundreds of injured people.Earlier, police using live rounds and tear gas wounded more than 400 protesters who tried to march to a presidential palace in Yemen's Red Sea city of Hudaida, as reports said that President Barack Obama's administration has shifted position on President Ali Abdullah Saleh and now believes he should leave office. Witnesses said that armed men in civilian clothes opened fire on protesters.The New York Times reported on Sunday that the United States has concluded Saleh will not likely enact reforms demanded by opposition protesters and must be eased out of office. Washington has long supported Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, and the administration of President Obama has largely refrained from criticizing him in public.But U.S. officials have told allies that they see Saleh's position as untenable due to the widespread protests, and believe he should leave office.Negotiations over Saleh's departure began more than a week ago, the newspaper reported, citing U.S. and Yemeni officials.The United States has talked openly of its concern about who might succeed Saleh, whom it views as an ally who has helped to contain al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemen-based wing of the militant group.Hmmmm.....The whole Middle East is becoming one 'Obamination'.Read the full story here.
- Ivory Coast braces for bloody final battle as Ouattara promises 'rapid' assault on capital.The Ivory Coast is today nervously awaiting a bloody showdown between troops loyal to rival politicians both claiming leadership of the country. Fighters backing the internationally recognised president, Alassane Ouattara, are massing in the north of Abidjan preparing for the final assault on Laurent Gbagbo, who is holed up in the presidential palace and refusing to yield power.Mr Ouattara was declared the winner of last November's election, but he has not been able to assume office because outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to yield power.Water has been cut off to much of Abidjan, where the streets are empty and residents have barricaded themselves inside their homes.The showdown comes as both sides deny responsibility for a massacre in the western town of Duekoue, where the Red Cross reported finding up to 800 bodies at the weekend.Reports that forces loyal to Mr Ouattara committed the massacre have damaged his standing despite the UN saying that he us the legitimate ruler of the Ivory Coast after elections last month. Traditional hunters fighting for Mr Ouattara are said to be responsible for the most of the killings by machete and the burning of homes. And Mr Outtara's prime minister-in-waiting today promised a 'rapid assault' on the capital. Guillaume Soro told local TV: 'The situation is now ripe for a rapid offensive. The operation will be rapid because we have discovered the exact number of operational tanks on the ground. Ivorians must trust in the Republican forces.'Read the full story here.
- Dead voters like Walter Cronkite could decide New York elections: Mix-up means Walter Cronkite still eligible to vote.He died in July 2009 but legendary newscaster Walkter Cronkite could still have an influence on U.S. politics, thanks to an electoral oversight.New York City’s Board of Elections still lists Cronkite and hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers on the city’s electoral rolls, even after they have died.And if the cost of sending forms to all those dead voters wasn’t enough, the mistake could potentially see an election rigged.Fraudsters could impersonate dead voters as a signature and confirmation of a residential address – rather than producing any form of identification – is all that is required for long-time voters to cast their ballot.Former Miami mayor Xavier Suarez was removed from office in 1997 after it was alleged ballots had been cast in the names of dead people.And in the late 90s, a flawed attempt to remove the dead from the electoral register in Florida meant thousands of legitimate voters were allegedly disenfranchised before the 2000 U.S. presidential election.Deceased celebrities like Cronkite, Angela’s Ashes author Frank McCourt and the late actress Natasha Richardson still registered to vote in New York, the city’s future elections could be unfairly contested.Aside from its political implications, the registration of dead people has financial implications for New York, with the city’s Campaign Finance Board spending $5.4million on posting voting guides to seven million homes in 2009.It was reported earlier this year that nearly a third of registered voters in Zimbabwe are dead.The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network reported 27 per cent of people on the electoral roll were dead while more than 2,000 registered voters were purportedly over 100 years old, even though Zimbabwe’s life expectancy is 43.Hmmmmm.......Liberals and fraud?Read the full story here.
- French police warned not to arrest Muslim women covering up near mosques as country prepares for 'burka ban'.Police in France have been warned not to arrest any women wearing Muslim veils ‘in or around’ mosques.The strict instructions, from Interior Minister Claude Guent, are contained in a nine page circular issued to officers prior to a full-blown burka ban coming into force next week.With tensions running high within the country’s six million strong Muslim community, people have already been warned not to perform ‘citizen’s de-veilings’.This means that members of the public will not be allowed to take the law into their own hands when they see a woman hiding her features in a public place.Instead they will have to call the police, who will in turn consider whether the offender should be fined 150 euros, 212 $ or around 132 pounds.This will apply to all garments which cover the eyes, although scarves, hats, and sunglasses are excluded.As well as at a mosque, Muslims will also be able to put on a veil in the privacy of their own homes, a hotel room, or even a car, as long as they are not driving. Police have already complained that they will have to waste time on ‘burka-chasing’, with Denis Jacob, of the Alliance police union, adding: ‘We have more important matters to be dealing with.’Hmmmmm.....More important things then uphold the law?Read the full story here.
- HT:SultanKnish.Muslims and Moral Handicaps.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants an investigation into Koran burning. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that this form of free speech could be banned. Senator Lindsey Graham is also looking for ways to limit free speech, saying, "Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war".Free speech is more than a great idea, it's a fundamental freedom untouchable by legislators. But all it takes is a few Muslim murders-- and Reid, Breyer and Graham eagerly hold up their lighters to the Constitution. Free speech has been curtailed before in the United States during a time of war-- but only free speech sympathetic to the enemy. During WW1 a suspected German propagandist filmmaker was jailed. But could anyone have imagined anti-German propagandists being jailed? The Wilson administration was behaving unconstitutionally, but not insanely. Today we aren't jailing filmmakers who traffic in anti-American propaganda in wartime. If we did that half of Hollywood would be behind bars. Instead Democratic and Republican Senators are discussing banning speech offensive to the enemy. Because even though they're killing us already-- we had better not provoke them or who knows how much worse it will become.Traditionally it's the victors who give their laws to the defeated. But massive immigration at home and nation building occupations abroad mean that the defeated of failed states are imposing their Sharia law on us. We're asked to trade in our Constitutional freedoms out of fear of Muslim violence. And so the murderers impose the terms of peace on us. And then don't abide by them.It is far more insulting to treat Muslims as if they have no ability to control themselves and have no responsibility for their actions-- than it is to burn their Koran. That is an assessment that even many Muslims would agree with. To blame Jones for their actions, we must either treat murder as a reasonable response to the burning of a book, or grant that Jones has a higher level of moral responsibility than the rioters do. There are few non-Muslims who could defend the notion that burning the Koran is a provocation that justifies bloodshed. And virtually no liberal would openly concede that he believes Muslims are morally handicapped-- but then why does he treat them that way?Now in the age of Globalism-- Muslims are the new oppressed, exempted from the norms of civilized society. The morally handicapped who cannot be expected to turn the other cheek, the way we're supposed to. But Muslims are not morally disabled-- they are immorally enabled. Muslim violence is a choice. Their choice. It is not a reflex or a reaction or a pinball bouncing off the cycle of violence. It is not something that we are responsible for. It is something that they and only they are responsible for. By pretending otherwise, we are immorally enabling them. Treating them like mad dogs or ticking time bombs just guarantees that they will play their part and fulfill our expectations by mauling or exploding.We have never held Muslims morally accountable for anything they do. Not as a religion or as countries or individuals. Instead we pretend that Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi are the problem. A handful of extremists and a few bad leaders somewhere. Not the people themselves. Never them.Treating someone as dangerous gives them power over you. They will test that power and then use it. Allowing yourself to be intimidated is the first step to being defeated. For many it is also the last step. We treated Muslims as dangerous and then we insist loudly that we love them very much and aren't afraid of them at all. Guess who we're fooling? Only ourselves. Every time there's a terror alert or American politicians talk about the wonders of the Koran-- the Muslim world sees it as evidence of their power over us. And when a Koran is burned, that just means we need further intimidating. It's a cycle of violence, but we're not the ones driving it except through our appeasement.Senator Graham wishes there was a way to hold Koran burners accountable for violence carried out by Koran readers, but what we really need is a way to hold Koran believers accountable for their own violence.Read the full story here.
- HT:CreepingSharia.Muslims kill, US politicians consider limiting Americans free speech (aka sharia).Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says congressional lawmakers are discussing taking some action in response to the Koran burnings of a Tennessee pastor that led to killings at the U.N. facility in Afghanistan and sparked protests across the Middle East, Politico reports.“Ten to 20 people have been killed,” Reid said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We’ll take a look at this of course. As to whether we need hearings or not, I don’t know.”Sen. Lindsey Graham said Congress might need to explore the need to limit some forms of freedom of speech, in light of Tennessee pastor Terry Jones’ Quran burning, and how such actions result in enabling U.S. enemies.“I wish we could find a way to hold people accountable. Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war,” Graham told CBS’ Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” Sunday.“During World War II, we had limits on what you could do if it inspired the enemy,” Graham said, adding certain speech can “put our troops at risk.”Hmmmm.....Yup that's exactly why they forbid Chaplin imitating Hitler in "The Great dictator"?Read the full story here."If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." ~ George Washington.
- Food Stamp Graph… gulp!Read and see it all Obamanomics in their natural environment here.
- Canada - Toronto "SlutWalk"Cop's slut comment 'stupid': Chief.A Toronto cop who warned women that dressing like sluts can attract sexual assault was reprimanded and underwent “further training,” Chief Bill Blair said Sunday.Blair called Const. Michael Sanguinetti “inexperienced,” adding the officer uttered “something stupid and he’s apologized.”The constable’s comment sparked outrage, prompting more than 1,500 protesters to stage a “SlutWalk” Sunday from Queen’s Park to police headquarters on College St.“I don’t think the officer meant any offence,” added Blair.Even though the police force insisted the comment does not reflect modern training or professional attitudes towards victims, protesters embarked on the “SlutWalk” to condemn the long-held belief that a woman’s way of dressing “makes you a target,” organizer Jeanette Janzen said.Sanguinetti may have had a “sincere wish to help people,” but she said “it points to a larger problem within police culture.”The officer told a York University law class on Jan. 24 that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”During the two-hour, peaceful and often light-hearted march from Queen’s Park, most participants dressed casually, others flamboyantly, with many proudly proclaiming they are “sluts.”Natalee Brouse wore a bride’s gown, walking with Stephanie Murphy in a groom’s dark gray suit over a black shirt and bright lime-green tie.Leading the march, Sierra “Chevy” Harris danced in knee-high black boots, with Magdalena “Maggie” Ivasecko sporting see-through, waist-high net stockings over white panties.Protest co-founder Sonya Barnett said victims are “never at fault.“Slut shaming needs to be addressed,” the York undergrad said.“We said an apology is not enough,” march organizer Heather Jarvis told the crowd.The University of Guelph student said some police “are good people,” but criticized the force for avoiding the rally officially and not addressing demands to cite officer education improvements.Rape victim Polly Esther, 39, said “it has nothing to do with what you are wearing.”Dragged into a stairwell at 14, “I was a child ... bundled in pants, with a long coat and gloves,” she said. What Sanguinetti said “is like a punch in the guts.”Jane Doe, a high-profile survivor who successfully sued Toronto Police for not warning residents of a home-invading attacker in 1986, said attitudes that women’s clothing invites rape are perpetuated by media, police and church leaders.Read the full story here.
- 'NYT refused to publish Goldstone retraction'.Source close to South African judge claims he initially approached liberal publication to print his letter of regret – and was rejected. New York Times says in response it does not comment on editorial process. Not only did Judge Richard Goldstone's words of regret fail to match the global resonance of his original report, it now comes to light that one of the most important newspapers in the world refused to publish his retraction.Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday that a source close to Goldstone stated that in the past few days the judge had approached the editor of the New York Times opinion pages requesting to post the article he wrote in the paper – and was told his article was rejected. The editor gave no explanation as to why the article was rejected, but the source believes this was due to the newspaper's political agenda. The letter was ultimately published in the more conservative Washington Post over the weekend. The New York Times said in response that they do not comment on the editorial or reporting process. In recent years the New York Times adopted a highly critical line of reporting towards Israel. Lately, its senior commentator Thomas Friedman has been publishing extremely aggressive articles against Israel and its current government.Hmmmm......."Change".Read the full story here.
- 14-Year-Old Suicide Bomber in Pakistan Wants to ‘Send All You Policemen to Hell’.Multan, Pakistan (AP) - His accomplices brought carnage to a Sufi shrine, but the 14-year-old suicide bomber who was captured after his explosives failed to detonate was unrepentant."Let me go, I want to be a martyr," he said as he was being led away, according to police officer Khalid Mahmood. "I want to send all you policemen to hell!"The boy, identified as Fida Hussain, was arrested at the shrine in central Pakistan shortly after Sunday's twin suicide blasts, which killed 42 people and wounded 100 others. The complex close to Dera Ghazi Khan in central Pakistan was crowded with thousands of people attending an annual festival.Another suspect was also detained at the shrine, but police gave no details about him.Mahmood said both boys were apparently from North Waziristan, one of seven tribally administered areas close to Afghanistan. All those areas are militant hotspots, but North Waziristan is considered especially so. It is under virtual militant control and is home to extremists from around Pakistan and the world.Young boys, often with little or no education, are often used by the Taliban as suicide bombers. As well as being less suspicious, terrorism analyst say their handlers find it easier to persuade them to carry out suicide missions.Mahmood said Hussain and the other attacker were at the shrine around for around one hour before striking. When Hussain's vest failed to detonate, he threw a grenade but it exploded close to him, blowing off his hand. Police then fired at him, hitting him in his other arm.He was being treated for his injuries Monday, Mahmood said.His comments to policemen offer a glimpse into the level of indoctrination he had received."You all are accomplices of the enemies of Islam who are bent upon eliminating Islam and Muslims," he allegedly said. "If I get a chance, I will again strike as a suicide bomber."Hmmmmm.......Read the full story here.
- Senator: Gulf Coast Residents ‘Galled’ by Obama’s Suggestion We Buy More Brazilian Oil.(CNSNews.com) – Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) told CNSNews.com that residents of the Gulf Coast, whom he represents, were “galled” when President Obama went to Brazil two weeks ago and suggested they ramp up energy production so the U.S. could become one of the nation’s “best customers.”Obama, Vitter said, “went on that trip and made comments encouraging Brazilian offshore development and saying we want the U.S. to be your best customer. Particularly, those of us on the Gulf Coast found that pretty galling. How about starting in the Gulf?”Meanwhile, however, Obama’s Interior Department has been in a fierce court battle over how quickly to approve new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon spill last summer.In February, Louisiana District Court Judge Martin Feldman ruled the Obama administration in contempt of court for what he said was “dismissive conduct” and their “increasingly inexcusable” refusal to approve permits that had met new standards. As of Vitter’s March 17 letter, just two permits had been granted for Gulf oil drilling.CNSNews.com asked Vitter whether he had received a response in the past two weeks. He nodded that he had not and then explained his frustration.“The day before the president went to Brazil, as you alluded to, I sent a letter to the administration asking some detailed questions about this ExIm Bank loan of $2 billion guaranteed, backed by U.S. taxpayers and it’s to develop Brazilian offshore opportunities while we’re shutting down U.S. offshore opportunities,” Vitter said.“In addition, the president went on that trip and made comments encouraging Brazilian offshore development and saying we want the U.S. to be your best customer. Particularly, those of us on the Gulf Coast found that pretty galling,” he added.“How about starting in the Gulf?” Vitter asked. “How about starting by having the U.S. be our own best customer and developing U.S. jobs right here at home?”Vitter held the press conference to announce he was introducing a bill to do just that. He is calling it a “3-D” bill, which stands for Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy and Deficit Reduction.Hmmm.....If he wanted to destroy America would he do anything different?Read the full story here.
- HT:PajamasMedia.Islamists on Welfare: Paid to Plot the West’s Demise.In 2008, the Toronto Sun reported that “hundreds of [Greater Toronto Area] Muslim men in polygamous marriages — some with a harem of wives — are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.”“Polygamy is a regular part of life for many Muslims,” Canadian Society of Muslims president Mumtaz Ali declared bluntly. “Ontario recognizes religious marriages for Muslims and others.”Government officials quickly denied the Muslim leader’s claims about immigration law and social benefits regulations. Only one public servant seemed sufficiently concerned. “This is wrong,” said city councilor Rob Ford. “They should put a stop to this immediately.”Instead, welfare abuse by Muslims appears to have metastasized across the Western world. Almost three years later, news stories about radical Muslims — often immigrants — engaged in social benefits scams emerge regularly from Europe, Canada, and Australia. Even when they are not involved in fraud, Muslims frequently are overrepresented on welfare rolls, compared with other communities. The statistics from around the globe are jaw-dropping, especially in economically uncertain times.According to one 2007 source, immigration, of which Muslims comprise a significant part, “costs Sweden at least 40 to 50 billion Swedish kroner [approximately $7 billion] every year … and has greatly contributed to bringing the Swedish welfare state to the brink of bankruptcy.” Yet two years earlier, the country’s finance minister declared counterintuitively that “more immigrants should be allowed into Sweden in order to safeguard the welfare system.”One Iranian immigrant to Sweden expressed astonishment at his new country’s policies: “In Sweden my family encountered a political system that seemed very strange. The interpreter told us that Sweden is a country where the government will put a check into your mailbox each month if you don’t work. She explained that there was no reason to get a job.”Research by Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard from 2002 reveals that mostly Muslim immigrants in Denmark “constitute five percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending.” In that country, numerous “single” women who receive social assistance are really the wives of polygamous Muslim men.Polygamy and benefits fraud go hand in hand across the continent. Last year in France, a polygamous Muslim and father of 17 children was charged with welfare fraud when authorities discovered that “two of his companions lived in Dubai for a year while continuing to receive welfare benefits worth 10,000 Euros.” The man did not exactly have a low profile, as he made news previously when one of his wives was fined for driving while wearing a niqab that restricted her vision.Meanwhile, Canada’s most famous welfare recipients — Muslim or otherwise — remain the Khadrs. Confessed war criminal Omar Khadr still resides in Guantanamo Bay, having pleaded guilty to killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. However, his extended family members, all of whom share his radical views, continue to live on welfare in a Toronto suburb.Despite the public outrage provoked by the Toronto Sun in 2008, little evidence suggests that the situation has improved in Canada. In early 2011, the Mounties charged Ahmad El-Akhal, a Quebec immigration consultant, with “providing Canadian citizenship documents to hundreds of people in the Middle East so they could collect benefits and tax refunds” to the tune of $500,000. Adding an original twist on the venerable scam, none of the individuals receiving benefits actually lived in Canada. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the scheme had been going on since 1999.This author contacted the officials originally quoted in that Toronto Sun report to ask what is being done about welfare abuse by Muslims. The office of Rob Ford, who is now Toronto mayor, never replied to inquiries. Just one individual, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Community and Social Services, responded — but only with a boilerplate email. Rebecca MacKenzie explained that the ministry is “not able to provide comment on specific cases due to privacy concerns,” adding that they “take allegations of fraud very seriously.”Seriousness is long overdue. As an Islamist Watch blog post from 2009 put it, “Only one adjective properly describes a government that funds those who seek its destruction: suicidal.”Read the full story here.
Boxing terror as undefeated female Muslim star is shot by her stepfather ahead of title fight.A top woman boxer's career is hanging in the balance after she is believed to have been shot by her stepfather.German Rola El-Halabi, 25, was allegedly shot in the hand, knee and feet before a title fight on Friday night by the 44-year-old who was also her former manager.The undefeated fighter was preparing to fight Irma Balijagic Andler from Bosnia for the vacant IBF lightweight title when the man went to her dressing room and shot her.Berlin police sources said that two security guards were also shot before the gunman was arrested.All three victims were taken to a local hospital where they underwent surgery and police said their injuries were not life threatening.El-Halabi, who was born in Lebanon, won the WIBF and WIBA world titles in 2009 and has an 11-0 career record, with six knockouts.Rola El-Halabi told the German daily: 'Papa rushed into the room. He threatened us with a gun in his hand and shouted "Everyone out," and then he shot me in the hand from three metres. I cried and screamed.'Bild reported that El-Halabi split from her stepfather as a manager in January.'When I had problems I could talk with him about anything, except when it was about boys. That was taboo,' El-Halabi said.Hmmm......Sounds like another (Dis)honor shooting?Read the full story here.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
- Live broadcast info from Japan directly ! Here.
- French forces take over Abidjan airport. Here . (Al -Jazeera).
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Japan between 4.4 and 5.2 today. More info here.
- Latest official Situation Update No. 72.On 03.04.2011 at 15:38 GMT+2.
Safety experts have said it could take months to bring Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear power plant under control. Engineers have been battling to find a way to stop highly radioactive water from pouring into the Pacific Ocean through a ruptured wall in a reactor. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has been spewing radioactivity since the March 11 tsunami carved a path of destruction along Japan's northeastern coast, killing up to 25,000 people. Nuclear safety agency spokesman Hidehikoo Nishiyama today offered the first sense of how long it might take to bring an end to the nuclear crisis. 'It would take a few months until we finally get things under control and have a better idea about the future,' he said.'We'll face a crucial turning point within the next few months, but that is not the end.' Officials said the a concrete barrier poured into a maintenance pit in Reactor 2 to seal a recently discovered eight-inch crack in the wall of the reactor had failed to stem the flow of water into the sea. It comes after the authorities revealed that two workers' bodies had been found at the plant. A 21-year-old and a 24-year-old were believed to have been conducting regular checks at the complex when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami hit on March 11.
They apparently ran into a basement turbine room, which is where they were when the massive wave swept over the plant. TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said: 'It pains us to have lost these two young workers who were trying to protect the power plant amid the earthquake and tsunami.' High levels of radioactivity at the plant made searching for the men dangerous. Their bodies were not discovered until Wednesday and had to be decontaminated. The announcement was delayed while authorities notified their families. Bringing the reactors under control will require permanently restoring cooling systems knocked out by the tsunami that prevent them from dangerously overheating. That task has been complicated by dangerous conditions at the plant that have often forced workers to evacuate. Today engineers injected a mix of sawdust, shredded newspaper and a polymer that expands in water into the crack in a bid to stop it leaking. Water is seeping directly into the Pacific Ocean, with readings several thousands times higher than the normal level detected near the plant.
News of the failed bid to seal the leak came as Japan's prime minister Naoto Kan visited tsunami-ravaged coastal areas for the first time. Frustrated evacuees have complained that the government has been too focused on the nuclear crisis that followed the massive wave. 'The government has been too focused on the Fukushima power plant rather than the tsunami victims. Both deserve attention,' said 35-year-old Megumi Shimanuki, who was visiting her family at a community center converted into a shelter in hard-hit Natori, about 100 miles from Rikuzentakata, where the prime minister stopped today. More than 165,000 people are still living in shelters. Kan's government has been frantically working with Tokyo Electric Power Co. to solve the crisis at the nuclear complex. However, a nuclear expert has warned it could be a 100 years before fuel rods at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant are safe. Dr John Price, a former member of the Safety Policy Unit at the UK's National Nuclear Corporation, said radiation leaks will continue and it could take 50 to 100 years before the nuclear fuel rods have cooled enough to be removed.
The warning comes as the mother of one of the workers who are battling to stop a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant said today that they all expect to die from radiation sickness 'within weeks'. According to ABC News, Dr Price said: 'As the water leaks out, you keep on pouring water in, so this leak will go on forever. 'There has to be some way of dealing with it. The water is connecting in tunnels and concrete-lined pits at the moment and the question is whether they can pump it back. 'The final thing is that the reactors will have to be closed and the fuel removed, and that is 50 to 100 years away. 'It means that the workers and the site will have to be intensely controlled for a very long period of time.' Source .
- Syria, the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the Obama Administration.By Anne BayefskiThe Obama administration’s effort to draw an artificial distinction between the butchers in Damascus and the gangsters in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, has taken a bizarre twist: Syria is seeking a seat on the U.N.’s top human rights body, the Human Rights Council. And, as part of the process leading up to the May 20, 2011 elections, the U.N. published a Syrian “pledge” to protect human rights on Thursday.For context, this is the same pledge system that Muammar Qaddafi’s regime used to get a seat on the Council last May. Rather than refusing to legitimize a scheme that makes a mockery of the institution, the Obama administration announced hours before that it has decided to seek a second term on the U.N. Human Rights Council. The announcement comes a whopping 14 months before the U.S. term on the Council expires, making the declaration totally unnecessary to guarantee American reelection. Instead, it seems, President Obama aims to preempt mounting criticism of his decision to participate, as well as to minimize the serious menace posed by Syria’s ambitions. The move comes at precisely the wrong moment in time.The Council was created in 2006 without any criteria for membership. The only advice given to the General Assembly says that, when electing Council members, states should “take into account the contribution of candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto.” Hence, Syria produced a pledge. Notwithstanding the current bloody campaign by Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to annihilate democracy-seekers, the Syrian pledge says: “Promotion and protection of human rights are of highest importance to Syria…Syria’s candidature to the Human Rights Council signifies its commitment to respect and to support the inalienable and indivisible nature of all human rights.”The State Department’s most recent annual report on Syria describes the situation somewhat differently. It recounts that Syrian security forces “continue to use torture frequently” and describes in gruesome detail exactly which body parts Assad’s henchmen routinely mutilate, and how. Undaunted, Syria’s pledge continues: “Syria believes that its membership on the Human Rights Council would contribute towards enriching the quality of dialogue…aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights for all peoples.” What this means is a bit of a mystery. But perhaps this example of Syrian dialogue, from a June 8, 2010 speech at the Council, might be what the Assad regime has in mind. “This is a state that is built on hatred,” a Syrian diplomat told the Council. “Let me quote a song that children on a school bus in Israel sing merrily as they go to school and I quote ‘with my teeth I will rip your flesh with my mouth I will suck your blood.’”Syria’s pledge is accurate on one count, though. It says: “Syria believes that its membership…would contribute to accomplish the objectives of the Council.” Since the Council systematically demonizes Israel – the Council has adopted the same number of resolutions and decisions condemning Israel as the rest of the 191 UN countries combined – Syria’s assistance is assured.The pledge is expected to guarantee Syria a seat on the Council because its candidacy is currently part of a fixed slate. To date, the Asian group of states have put forward exactly the same number of candidates as the spaces they have been allotted. The same gimmick by the African group last May succeeded in electing Libya, after Qaddafi pledged: “the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights principles.” 82 percent of the U.N. General Assembly thought that was good enough to welcome Libya aboard the U.N.’s idea of a human rights agency.Why, then, does President Obama share Syrian and Libyan enthusiasm for the Council? This week’s announcement that his administration wants a second term was accompanied by a list of responses to this question, each more specious than the next. The justifications include: “The Council took bold, assertive action to highlight Iran’s deteriorating human rights situation.” That “bold” step consisted of a resolution appointing one individual to “investigate” Iran’s human rights violations and report back to the Council a year from now. Then there is the stunning misrepresentation of “a strong statement on LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] rights” from “a group of 85 countries,” that the Obama team heralds as a “landmark moment” for the U.N. Joined by less than half of U.N. members, a mere statement carries with it no practical consequences. And just two days later, the Council adopted a contrary resolution over the wishes of the same coalition. When the resolution on “traditional values of humankind” was passed, the American delegate specifically lamented that it “undermine[d]…the rights of…LGBT individuals.”The administration even claims to have “end[ed] the divisive debate over the highly problematic concept of ‘defamation of religions.’” But the resolution on religion which was adopted specifically cites as a role model a “speech given by Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu,” delivered on September 16, 2010. In that same speech, not only did Ihsanoglu refer to the defamation of religions, he declared that Islamic law trumps human rights. In his words: “the holy Quran…places a premium on human dignity — a concept that transcends human rights. Furthermore, a December 2010 resolution of the General Assembly necessitates that a report on the “defamation of religions” be completed by the fall. Making reports of its demise premature, to say the least.Overall, U.S. membership on the Council has been so “successful” that, at its latest session, the U.S. lost eleven of the fourteen votes held.Most significantly, the session marked the end of the Council’s own five-year review. The administration billed membership as the golden ticket for ensuring reform “from within.” As it turned out, every serious recommendation that the Obama administration put forward on reform (39 of 42) was firmly rejected, ensuring nothing but more of the same in the years ahead.We are left with the troubling reality that both Assad and Obama are enchanted with the same U.N. Human Rights Council, to the detriment of human rights victims in Syria and around the world.Hmmmm..... “the holy Quran…places a premium on human dignity — a concept that transcends human rights", Obama :"Islam is a great religion".His Hatred for Israel determines his policies.Read the full story here.
- Israeli Apartheid Week scores condemnation from Canadian official.PM Harper: We must be uncompromising in exposing anti-Semitism for what it is; liberal leader Ignatieff: It is impermissible to compare it to South Africa.The annual Israeli Apartheid Week held last month by university students in 11 Canadian cities brought condemnation from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who called the controversial event a clear act of anti-Semitism.
“We must be relentless, relentless and uncompromising in exposing this anti-Semitism for what it is,” the prime minister told participants at a Toronto Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee conference, after the week of workshops, demonstrations, and performances to mark the seventh annual international event.“The new anti-Semitism is a global threat,” Harper warned the sold-out crowd at the Royal Conservatory of Music. “It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel, which it depicts as a source of injustice and conflict in the world perversely using a language of human rights to do so.”Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff also spoke out against the annual event, saying while one may criticize the state of Israel, “it is impermissible to compare it to South Africa.”Ignatieff had earlier released an official statement calling Israeli Apartheid Week a “dangerous cocktail” of ignorance and intolerance. “By portraying the Jewish state as criminal, by demonizing Israel and its supporters, and by targeting Jewish and Israeli students for abuse on our university campuses, the organizers and supporters of Israeli Apartheid Week tarnish our freedom of speech.”In Canada, a popular IAW workshop described the Jewish National Fund as “the perfect example of Zionist racism and ethnic cleansing.”The Canadian IAW program also featured “Won't Stop Til the Wall Drops,” an Israeli Apartheid Week hip-hop show, and a program called “Yoga for Resistance.”
Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, urged students not to participate in IAW events, which he says are often accompanied by anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation, and bullying.” He adds that IAW activities can cultivate an atmosphere that is antithetical to the “free exchange of ideas and the development of the mind with the aid of facts and logic.”Kenney argues that while criticism of Israel is not itself necessarily anti-Semitic, the selective condemnation of the only Jewish State and its right to exist can create a hateful environment.“Such scapegoating becomes yet another symptom of a worrying new acceptance of the vilification of Israel and of Jews around the world,” he warned.Hmmmmm.......In his new shadow cabinet, Ignatieff promoted the execrable Denis Coderre to the post of defence critic. Coderre proudly marched in an anti-Israel rally where Hezbollah flags were openly flown. Coderre was also promoted to be Ignatieff’s Quebec lieutenant. Mark Holland, another anti-Israel Liberal (skim through this appalling newsletter for several examples), is on the Public Safety/National Security portfolio. And Irwin Cotler, the Liberal party’s human rights expert, and an ally of Israel, was fired from the shadow cabinet altogether.Is Ignatieff backsliding? How much longer before he dusts off his 2002 proposal – that the U.S. should send in troops to force Israel to stop defending itself?Ignatieff comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa:"When I looked down at the West Bank, at the settlements like Crusader forts occupying the high ground, at the Israeli security cordon along the Jordan river closing off the Palestinian lands from Jordan, I knew I was not looking down at a state or the beginnings of one, but at a Bantustan, one of those pseudo-states created in the dying years of apartheid to keep the African population under control."Another Obama rising in Canada?Read the full story here.
- Republican Budget Plan to Cut More Than $4 Trillion Over Next 10 Years.The Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee said his party’s budget proposal for 2012 would cut deficits by more than $4 trillion over the next decade, vowing to tackle costly entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid.The proposal, set to be unveiled Tuesday, would serve as the Republicans’ official response to President Obama’s proposed $3.7 trillion budget for 2012. The White House claims its plan would cut deficits by $1.1 trillion over a decade.But Ryan, R-Wis., in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” accused Obama of “punting” and said Republicans’ plan would exceed the fiscal goals set by the president’s fiscal commission — which issued a report calling for $4 trillion in cuts. That report never made it out of committee.“We can’t keep kicking this can down the road,” Ryan said. “The president has punted. We’re not going to follow suit.”The GOP proposal coincides with the ongoing debate over the remainder of the fiscal 2011 budget. Both parties are trying to hammer out a half-year budget before the deadline for a partial government shutdown Friday. From there, they move immediately to the 2012 budget debate.Read the full story here.
- America's dying industries: List of top 10 declining business revealed.It is a telling snapshot of how our lives, and what we buy, have changed over the last 10 years.A list of the top 10 declining U.S. industries is as varied as it is predictable, encompassing everything from garment manufacturing to video post production.While traditional manufacturing features heavily, more modern businesses such as DVD and computer game rental have also succumbed to the inevitable march of technological progress.Portable media outlets have been hit hard with big name casualties such as Blockbuster video and Virgin Entertainment Group either gone or in serious financial trouble.
In perhaps one of the quickest reversals, in 2000 Blockbuster was a thriving business and the most dominant player in the $12.2 billion industry. Today, they are bankrupt, and the industry is 35.7 per cent smaller than it was a decade ago.
U.S. top 10 declining industries
Manufactured Home Dealers
Wired Telecommunications Carriers
DVD Game and Video Rental
Formal Wear and Costume Rental
Hmmmm......"CHANGE" !The Obama effect!Read the full story here.
- Mapping the 2010 U.S. CensusBrowse population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations and patterns of housing development.Read and see the full story here.
- GCC foreign ministers debate Iran ‘meddling’ in region.Gulf Arab foreign ministers meet Sunday in the Saudi capital to discuss Iranian interference in the region after a wave of unrest that has rocked the Arab world spilled over into some of the Western-backed monarchies.The extraordinary meeting comes after Tehran warned Riyadh that it was "playing with fire" by deploying troops in neighboring Shiite-majority Bahrain while Kuwait claimed it had broken an Iranian spy ring.On Saturday, the new Gulf Cooperation Council secretary general, Abdullatif al-Zayani, condemned "Iran's meddling in the internal affairs of GCC countries" saying it "threatened security and stability in the region".On Thursday Iranian parliament's national security committee said in a statement carried by state media that "Saudi Arabia knows better than any other country that in the sensitive region of the Persian Gulf, playing with fire is not in its interest," in an apparent reference to the dispatch of Saudi forces to Bahrain.Riyadh responded Friday to Iran's warning by slamming Tehran for "fuelling confessional tensions (in the region) and failing to respect the norms of good neighborliness as in the case of Kuwait where a spy cell has been uncovered."Kuwait said Thursday it was to expel an unspecified number of Iranian diplomats for alleged links to a spy ring working for Tehran, reportedly ever since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.A Kuwaiti court passed a death sentence on three members of the alleged ring, to which Tehran denied any links.The foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said his Kuwaiti counterpart would brief Sunday's meeting on the details of the alleged Iranian spy ring."Any action (against Iran) must be taken in a collective manner and after a thorough study, and must take into consideration the security and stability of the GCC," Sheikh Abdullah told Kuwaiti daily al-Qabas.He said Iranian behavior regarding the spy ring would "complicate matters between GCC states and Iran."Tension between GCC countries and Shiite Iran had heightened after Manama accused Tehran of meddling in its internal affairs when it slammed Bahrain's decision to bring in Gulf troops.The two countries recalled their ambassadors and expelled diplomats."We reject (Iran's) call to withdraw the Peninsula Shield force from Bahrain, and consider it interference in Bahraini internal affairs," said Bahraini Zayani in a statement."These forces are in Bahrain due to the uncovering of a foreign-backed criminal plot that aimed to shake the security and stability in Bahrain and overthrowing its regime," he said.Hmmmm......"Any action (against Iran) must be taken in a collective manner and after a thorough study".Read the full story here.
- The heroine of Helmand: Young military police officer makes a record 17 Taliban arrests in single DAY.She left school hoping to join the police and fight crime in her home village.But because Sophia Turner was not yet 18, she was deemed too young for her local force.So the determined teenager signed up with the Army’s Royal Military Police instead – and has become a Helmand heroine after notching up a record number of Taliban arrests in a single day. During a recent operation, 5ft 3in Lance Corporal Turner, now 20, arrested 17 male insurgents who had been plotting to murder and maim British troops and civilians in the most dangerous province in Afghanistan.The fanatics were caught near Lashkar Gah wearing stolen Afghan National Police uniforms, driving a stolen police vehicle and carrying a vast haul of weapons, ammunition and bomb-making equipment.As the Red Cap on duty, the young woman had to take command of a unit of 100 experienced soldiers.He said: ‘On the day of the operation she took command of the Quick Reaction Force, telling them what she, as a military police officer, needed them to do.‘Then she arrested all 17 of the alleged insurgents. I’ve never heard of a single military police officer making so many arrests in one day. It’s definitely a record.’Hmmmm...Can it get any worse for any self respecting Taliban?...Being busted by a women,not wearing a burka?Read the full story here.
- A Community Organizer Goes to War.Now that Benghazi has been spared what we were assured would be a massacre by Moammar Gadhafi's army, why are the U.S. Air Force, Navy, CIA and Special Forces still attacking in Libya?If our objective was to spare the defenseless people of Benghazi from slaughter, why, mission accomplished, did we not stop bombing? Why are we plunging deeper in?Did Gadhafi attack us? Did he attack a NATO country, thereby triggering Article 5 of the treaty requiring us to go to war? Have his forces carried out massacres of such magnitude in recaptured towns and cities as to morally mandate our humanitarian intervention?Where? What has Gadhafi done in any rebel city that has fallen to him to compare with what Syria's Hafez al-Assad did in Hama, when he rolled up his artillery in 1982 and slaughtered between 10,000 and 20,000 to teach the Moslem Brotherhood a lesson in loyalty?Not a decade after Hama, Assad was the welcome ally of George H.W. Bush in Desert Storm.
With Benghazi secure, by what right did we attack the Libyan soldiers defending Ras Januf, Brega and Sirte? What crimes were they committing by defending their cities from rebel attack and their government from being overthrown by force and violence? Is this not what all soldiers take an oath to do?The White House will not even concede America is at war. And understandably so. For that would trigger follow-up questions.If we are at war with Libya, who started it? What was the casus belli requiring us to go to war? Did Libyan troops attack U.S. citizens or ships in the Mediterranean? Who is the aggressor in this war?The truth: America is fighting another war of choice in Libya, and this one without any constitutional sanction. Congress not only did not declare this war, Congress was not even consulted.Yet, once begun, wars create new political realities.Now that Obama and Hillary Clinton have declared that Gadhafi must go, and U.S. military power has been put massively in on the side of the rebels, Gadhafi cannot win without Obama losing face and the United States being humiliated.
Saving Obama's face and preserving our superpower image may be the cause for which we kill a number of Libyans who did nothing to us.Obama has said we will not put boots on the ground. But if we don't put U.S. advisers in, who will train, arm and lead the rebels? The Germans and Turks want no part of this war. The most bellicose allies, Britain and France, had a hellish time in Bosnia before the Americans came and pulled their chestnuts out of the fire.As for the Arab League, Qatar has sent a few planes, but where is the Egyptian army, half a million strong and right next door? Why is Arabs fighting Arabs an American rather than an Arab problem?The truth: There is no "international community." There is Uncle Sam. He does it, or it does not get done.Hmmmm....Perhaps The truth is there's a dictator in the WhiteHouse who decides who lives and who dies?Read the full story here.
- HT:CrossroadsArabia.Pushing Women out of Work.Jobs are scarce for women in Saudi Arabia. Now, it appears they’re going to become scarcer. Arab News reports that companies employing women as cashiers are rethinking their practices in the face of a fatwa issued last year condemning women for working in positions that would put them ‘in contact with strange men’. In fact, women are anticipating a new rule from the Ministry of Labor that would exclude them from that job category. JEDDAH: The few women in Jeddah working as cashiers are still doing so, but they fear that government ambivalence to the idea of women working in the service industry won’t protect them from being fired without notice due to their employers succumbing to social pressure, especially considering an official fatwa last year condemning any job where a woman might interact with a male customer, coworker or manager. Arab News visited several Jeddah supermarkets and stores that employ women as cashiers. The sales consultant supervising the employment of women cashiers in her company said that they have so far employed 35 Saudi women in five branches and are to open three more women sections in Jeddah.The salaries of these women, she said, are SR3,000 a month. The women who are employed come through the Ministry of Labor.Another major store that had started employing women last year recently stopped recruiting more women. An official at the company told Arab News that they are not willing to employ more women and are now working on restructuring the women’s sections in their company.Meanwhile, Saudi Gazette/Okaz report that a Saudi philanthropy will be training women in cooking and nursing. I guess they don’t need to training them in how to get pregnant. The jobs for which women will be trained will fall, for the most part, in the same ‘dangerous’ category as is being prohibited to them, that is, the women will be required to interact with ‘strange men’. I do wonder why Saudi society traditionally assumes that women are the problem here. It seems rather clear that the problem is Saudi men who don’t know how to behave in the presence of unrelated women, assuming that strange women are simply dying to sexually assault them. Perhaps philanthropies could institute courses for men to teach them to respect strange women as much as they would respect their mothers or sisters. Or, perhaps, the Ministry of Education could start that training in grammar school, helping the little pashas get a better grasp of reality.Hmmmm.....Welcome to A.D. 620 revisited?Read the full story here.
- Why did my middle class brother turn into an Islamic extremist who won't be seen on TV with our mother if she's not wearing a veil?Pressing his loudspeaker tighter into his mousy-brown bush of a beard, Salahuddin's bright-blue eyes fill with hatred.'When the Taliban defeat the allies we will establish Sharia law and take the fight to the enemy,' he preaches before a baying crowd of extremist friends at a demo in Barking, Greater London.But just a year ago Salahuddin was known to his middle-class friends and family simply as Rich, a 27-year-old security guard for the BBC.Now he refuses to use his right hand to shake hands with step-brother Robb Leech from whom he was inseparable last summer on a family holiday to Cyprus.Instead he uses his 'dirty' left hand - the same one he uses after going to the toilet.Within the space of just six months he has abandoned his family and believes the UK should be run by strict Sharia law - which means cutting off the hands of thieves and stoning women for cheating.Now, in a controversial new documentary made by his brother, Robb has attempted to understand Rich's journey throughout this drastic change in lifestyle.But, during the film, he continues to shock his step-brother with a series of harrowing comments and gestures that would rile most Britons.During one visit back to his boyhood hometown, Salahuddin blasts local men for 'looking like women' - before decrying homosexuality.In another he refuses to allow his mother to appear in the documentary without a veil as it would bring him dishonour.Salahuddin states that he would be accountable for it on day of judgement despite his mother having never worn a veil in her life.And alongside this band of new white 'brothers', Salahuddin regularly takes part in angry confrontations while protesting against Western Society.Shocking images in the documentary capture him on camera condemning soldiers as 'murderers' as they march through Barking, East London, on arrival back from Afghanistan.The platoon, which had lost five men during bloody conflicts, is hit by a barrage of vitriol by the group of Islamist extremists, one of which is Salahuddin.And, with grieving relatives meters away within earshot, he takes to the megaphone and screams: 'You foolish people risk your life for these degenerate rulers - these people who continue to guide you into the hellfire.'Wake yourself up from your slumber and educate yourself, you foolish people.' During the documentary, Salahuddin meets a young, enthusiastic Muslim convert named Ben, 17, whose mother is clearly concerned by his new religion.When quizzed by Salahuddin, he admits in front of his mother he is willing to die for the Islamist cause leaving her speechless and close to tears.Hmmmm......"We don't want to take over your country"?Read the full story here.