Thursday, October 6, 2011
TIP Video Shows Uyghur Jihad Fighters Shopping for Guns in Pakistani Town.(Memri).
On October 4, 2011, Al-Qaeda's media company Al-Fajr released a video produced by the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), titled "The Believers on the Road." The 43-minute shows the Uyghur TIP fighters' training activities and everyday routines. Among other scenes, it shows fighters visiting a market in an unidentified Pakistani town. Strolling openly around the market with their rifles slung across their backs, the fighters buy livestock and vegetables, and also shop for guns in the gun-stores that operate in the market.Source.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Argentina 6.1 ; Micronesia 5.6 and greenland 5.4 - 5.3 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Obama, Dems Plan To Align Themselves With Occupiers And Tie GOP To Evil Capitalists On Wall Street.(US News) — The burgeoning of populist protests in New York and other cities shows that resentment over the economy is growing, and Democratic strategists are moving aggressively to show that President Obama and his party are taking steps to solve the problem while Republicans are standing in the way.The Democratic National Committee is starting what a spokesman called a coordinated attack with the Obama re-election campaign and state parties designed to link Republican presidential candidates to Wall Street. As part of that effort, the DNC this morning released a new 105-second web video called “Republicans: On the Side of Wall Street, Not Consumers”. . .The DNC also will attack Senate Republicans who have blocked Richard Cordray, the president’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.The news media have been paying increasing attention this week to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests that started in New York and have spread to other cities including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington. Democratic strategists make the point that Obama is sympathetic to the protesters’ underlying concerns. These strategists note that Obama and the Democrats are calling for legal protection for consumers and higher taxes on the wealthy and on big corporations so they pay their “fair share” while the GOP generally opposes those ideas.Hmmmm......"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."Wake up America there's a Dictatorship rising.Read the full story here.
- Obama Tax Plan Hides 2nd GM Bailout As ‘Responsibility Fee’.(BigGovernment).The White House has denied pressuring Ford to pull its ad that criticizes competitors that took and have yet to repay taxpayer dollars from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. However, the Obama administration can’t deny a new gift it showers on General Motors and Chrysler in its package of tax hikes to pay for its so-called American Jobs Act.
For all the talk about fairness and equity with the so-called Buffett Rule, there is one sneaky loophole in the Obama revenue proposal that has largely escaped notice. In doublespeak that would make even George Orwell do a doubletake, President Obama’s “financial crisis responsibility fee” would tax banks, insurance companies and brokerage houses that have paid back their bailout money — and even some firms that never took a bailout — to pay the tab of irresponsible firms, namely the auto companies that still owe the government billions.
“We also ask the largest financial firms — companies saved by tax dollars during the financial crisis — to repay the American people for every dime that we spent,” President Obama proclaimed in the Rose Garden two weeks ago. But the details of this “responsibility fee” in the 80-page plan the president submitted to the Joint Committee on Taxation makes it clear that this fee will only be on firms that have already repaid the TARP funds and likely on some firms who never took a dime of taxpayer money.
“Although many of the largest financial firms have repaid the Treasury for their TARP assistance, they continue to implicitly benefit from the TARP funds that bolstered their balance sheets during a period of great economic upheaval,” the administration states. A fee of an unspecified amount “will be restricted to financial firms with assets over $50 billion and will be imposed until all TARP costs have been recouped.”
But let’s look at the “fine print,” which Obama always talks about when making the case for his big new consumer agency, an agency created by the same “pro-consumer” Dodd-Frank law that is responsible for new monthly debit card fees due to price controls on debit card transactions that serve as corporate welfare for big retailers. (I had alerted BigGovernment readers about the dangers of the Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin’s destructive Dodd-Frank provisions last December.)Careful readers of the tax plan can see that or all Obama’s talk of “repayment,” his proposed “responsibility fee” would not be levied on recipients of TARP per se, but “financial firms” with assets of more than $50 billion.Let’s first examine the term “financial firm.” The Obama plan never exactly defines it, but appears narrow enough to exclude auto companies. Fannie and Freddie would also almost certainly be excluded, since they are now officially part of the government, and hence not private “financial firms.”Yet the term “financial firm” is also broad enough to go beyond banks and rope in broker-dealers and insurance companies, most of which have never taken a dime from TARP. Fidelity Investments, for instance, has weathered the storm relatively well and has not taken any TARP money. But since it has assets of more than $1 trillion under management, Fidelity would still likely be hit by the Obama tax.Other probable targets of this tax are well-managed insurance companies such as State Farm and USAA, which also never received taxpayer bailouts. It should also be remembered some of the TARP recipients, like BB&T Corp., hadn’t engaged in the foolish mortgage and credit practices, yet were pressured by the government to take the bailout money so that the truly insolvent banks wouldn’t be stigmatized by taking TARP money.The Obama plan argues disingenuously that “shared responsibility requires that the largest financial firms pay back the taxpayer for the extraordinary support they received.” Yet there is no responsibility, “shared” or otherwise, for the auto companies General Motors and Chrysler that still owe the taxpayer billions. In fact it gives GM and Chrysler a free ride to cave to the United Auto Workers’ demands for thousands more unionized workers, as GM recently did in sham “negotiations” with the union bosses.The White House “wants to make the nation’s largest banks pay for the losses incurred in the $85 billion auto bailout,” reports the Detroit News. And “last month, the Treasury Department raised the government’s estimate of taxpayer losses due to the auto bailout by more than $400 million to $14.33 billion,” the paper adds.What this really means is that ordinary Americans — “working-class folks” as politicians like to call them — will pay for the auto bailouts twice. Once through their tax dollars, and again when their banks and insurance companies pass on the cost of the “responsibility fee” through higher borrowing costs, higher policy premiums, and lower returns on savings and investment. For we know from the experience of the Dodd-Frank debit card price controls that when government imposes costs on business, those costs are inevitably passed on to consumers.So tell us, Mr. President and allies like MoveOn, how does Warren Buffett’s secretary benefit from that?!Read the full story here.
- Video: At National Press Club, Pigford Attorney Publicly Reveals Conspiracy to Defraud Federal Government.(BigGovernment).One of the key attorneys in the Pigford “black farmers” lawsuit has confirmed, on camera, what we at Big Government have argued for months: that the $2.7 billion Pigford settlement has been corrupted by fraud on a massive scale.On September 23, 2011, at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., attorney Faya Rose Toure (a.k.a. Rose Sanders) described a conspiracy to defraud the federal government, involving claimants, attorneys, and members of the clergy.The original Pigford plaintiffs were black farmers who sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture for racial discrimination.Sanders related how class-action lawyers later recruited claimants by sending representatives to black churches, where they allegedly told congregants that they were eligible for “reparations,” even if they had never farmed.Sanders’s claims were at least partially corroborated at the press conference by Gary Grant, President of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, who indicated that he knew of the involvement of preachers in Pigford-related fraud.What Sanders reveals in the clip below ought to be enough to cause the supervising judge, Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to suspend the settlement process.It ought to be enough to prompt the FBI to re-open investigations into the lawyers and organizations involved.It ought to be enough to encourage Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to fire up his magic investigation machine, and start issuing subpoenas–not just regarding the Pigford settlement, but also the Obama-created settlements for women, Native American, and Hispanic/Latino famers who are alleging discrimination.Watch the clip, then I’ll take you through some of the points that Pigford attorney Sanders is making.
And so after all of that, they are now accusing the farmers of fraud. There is a problem. There are people who are out there hustling, and taking advantage of black farmers. And some of them are our people. They are the ones that are misleading the people, making them believe they are in the lawsuit, making them believe they are eligible. I actually went to a meeting in Alabama, where these white lawyers from Texas had hired–you were there [“Yes, maʼam. And they're still calling me and trying to get me to fraud.”]–hired black people, hired black people to go into all these black churches and they literally told black people: “Oh, you didn’t have to farm. It doesn’t matter if your grandfather never farmed. If you ever thought about farming, youʼre eligible for this lawsuit.” So these people are thinking this is more of a like reparations-type lawsuit. They donʼt know any better. So when they sign up, they just donʼt know. But the government is determined to prosecute [them], and to limit this process, and that is something I think we need to be outraged about. I think we need to somehow get to the NAACP, and I have talked to the NAACP–we’ve got to have a coalition. We–frankly speaking, we’ve got to get away from some of our differences, because our needs are greater than our differences…It is no longer possible to deny the urgent need for a federal investigation of fraud in the Pigford settlement. Those who stand in the way of that investigation should know that they are helping to cover up crime on a potentially massive scale.
$2.7 billion is worth more than five Solyndras. That’s not counting the potential billions in the pending copycat lawsuits in Pigford’s wake.Hmmmmm....What or Whom do both cases have in common?.....Exactly: Barack Hussein Obama.Read and see the full story here.
- Offshore Energy Leases Fall from $10 Billion to Zero Under Team Obama.(BigGovernment).Even as the Obama administration postures on behalf of deficit reduction and job creation, it continues to advance policies that undermine energy production in the Gulf region and lower federal revenue, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has pointed out in his correspondence with top officials in Washington D.C.Most recently, in a letter addressed to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael Bromwich, warned of a severe revenue fall off attached to declining energy lease sales.“Under the Obama administration’s management, revenue from our offshore lease sale program has gone from $10 billion to nothing in just three years,” Vitter said. “Revenue cannot be generated from sales that do not happen, and jobs cannot be created on leases that private industry cannot acquire. We’re in a severe fiscal crisis and we’re facing significant economic challenges related to job creation, yet the administration continues to neglect our offshore resources.”In fiscal year (FY) 2008 revenue from bonus bids on offshore leases was approximately $10 billion, but for FY 2011 that amount is down to $0, according to Vitter’s letter. “Revenue cannot be generated from lease sales that do not occur, and jobs cannot be created on leases that private industry cannot acquire,” he continued.Without a higher volume of additional permits, the number of active oil rigs will continue to decline in the Gulf, Vitter warned in one of his earlier letters. The 2011 permitting rate is well below the historical average, Vitter observed.As of early September, “there were 19 floating units operating in the Gulf, up from four in the third quarter of 2010, but down from the average of 28 recorded in the 2007-2009 period,” he wrote.Up to 20 oil rigs could leave the Gulf, in addition to 11 that have already left, since the administration’s moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling went into effect in May 2010, according to a new report.The future could still be there for the Gulf coast with the right mix of policies, the American Petroleum Institute (AEP) has concluded in a new study.If U.S. companies were permitted to drill with fewer regulatory hurdles, they could boost government revenues by $800 billion and generate over a million new jobs by 2030, according to API.But even with a change in administration heading into 2013, the Gulf region is not likely to experience a robust recovery in the short term, Kish, the IER policy expert, warns.“It will take time to correct these policies,” Kish said. “The Obama administration has shifted the entire ground on which the Gulf of Mexico operates.”Unless, the administration reverses course, Vitter anticipates “long-term economic impacts that include lose jobs, lost royalties and lost rental fees.” Companies will be reticent to own a lease if they cannot be reasonably certain that exploration plans or permits will be approved, he added.Daniel Kish, senior vice-president of policy with the Institute for Energy Research (IER), sees an “opportunity cost” for the Gulf region that may not be recaptured anytime soon.“The Obama administration has virtually put a stop to energy development in federal waters,” Kish said. “This is like planting seeds, if the government won’t allow to the seeds to be planted now, they are preventing future production. We are talking about a lost generation of economic activity.”Hmmm....If he really wanted to destroy America would he have done anything different???Read the full story here.
- Inspector General: Green Jobs Training Program a Failure, Money Should Be Returned.(BigGovernment).From The New York Times: greenjobs_gw_03
A $500 million green jobs program at the Department of Labor has so far provided only 15 percent of current participants with jobs, leading the agency’s inspector general to recommend that the bulk of the money be returned to the Treasury.
The program, which was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aims to find employment for almost 80,000 people by providing grants for labor exchange and job training projects. With those grants expiring over the next 15 months, IG officials concluded that the program would fail to come close to that target.
More than $300 million remains unspent, according to the report (pdf). Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who requested the Labor audit when he was ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said the findings show that Congress should focus on creating jobs in all sectors of the economy.“This report paints a pretty bleak picture of the program’s effectiveness in job creation,” he said in a statement. “It’s hard to see how leaving $300 million in unused funding for the program in the hands of the Labor Department benefits either the taxpayers or the unemployed.”The report comes as the bankrupty of solar manufacturer Solyndra has reinvigorated GOP criticism of the Obama administration’s green jobs initiative. Congress is now investigating the Department of Energy’s half-million-dollar loan guarantee to the company, and the controversy has become a political issue (E&E Daily, Oct. 3, 2010).Read the full story here .
- ACORN Behind Occupy Wall Street Protest.(JW).A famously corrupt leftist community organization with deep ties to President Barack Obama is largely behind the national movement to “end economic segregation” and social injustice in the United States.Best known as Occupy Wall Street, the rowdy protests have received quite a bit of mainstream media coverage around the world. Besides New York, disruptive marches have been held in other major U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami and Boston and more are scheduled in the coming days.Among the goals is to get major banks to stop preying on the poor and people of color, according to the organizer of a Boston offshoot of an Occupy Wall Street rally. The event, promoted as Take Back Boston, was organized by dozens of local community groups that claim big banks have a pattern of pushing “bad loans on people of color and the poor.” As a result of the “predatory lending,” foreclosures have skyrocketed in urban communities, the organizers say.Among the Take Back Boston organizers is a spinoff of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Amid a massive fraud scandal and a series of criminal probes, ACORN supposedly dismantled but the reality is that it simply changed its name. In fact, Judicial Watch recently published a special report (“The Rebranding of ACORN”) about the organization’s transformation into various spinoffs and affiliated groups.In this particular case, ACORN’s Boston office simply rebranded into New England United 4 Justice. Same crooked group with the same general mission and president, but a different name. Headed by Maude Hurd, the former president of ACORN and ACORN Housing, New England United 4 Justice promotes “social justice” for “low and moderate income families.” The group also seeks to educate the general public about social justice issues and the needs of poor and middle class families. This sort of rebranding has allowed ACORN to skirt a 2009 congressional ban on federal funding, consequence of its many transgressions. A few months ago a Judicial Watch investigation found the Obama Administration gave an ACORN reincarnation called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA) a $79,819 grant to “combat housing and lending discrimination.”Read the full story here.
- Swastikas spray-painted at Joseph's Tomb.(YNet).Unknown assailants have scrawled graffiti, including swastikas, on the walks of Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Soldiers and worshippers arriving at the holy site on Wednesday night, exactly one year after the completion of its renovation, rushed to erase the graffiti. Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika placed responsibility on the "Palestinian police terrorists." Some 1,500 people visited Joseph's Tomb in a special prayer organized by the Shomron Regional Council and the Shechem Echad organization in coordination with the security forces, ahead of Yom Kippur. When the first soldiers and worshippers arrived at the site, they immediately painted the graffiti in white and the prayer began.Selichot were said throughout the night in different Jewish versions, and the sounds of the shofar were heard across the West Bank city. Participants included Samaria Rabbi Elyakim Levanon and Rabbi David Dudkevitch of Yitzhar, who hosted the Rebbe of Volbroz, visiting from the United States. Council head Mesika responded to the vandalism at the site, saying that "only barbarians could do such a horrible thing. People capable of desecrating such a holy site in a pathological manner do not deserve to be called humans."Mesika added, "The Palestinian police terrorists, who tell the media that they are allegedly guarding the gravesite when IDF forces are not around, have lost all humanity a long time ago."These are the same terrorists in uniform who murdered Ben Yosef Livnat, may God avenge his blood, and have now allowed the decoration of the Joseph's Tomb compound with graffiti of Nazi symbols." Mesika called on the IDF to return to Joseph's Tomb and resume the yeshiva activity there, in accordance with the "awful Oslo Accords". According to Mesika, "A nation must not allow the repeated desecration of its symbols and most holy sites." Rabbi Elyakim Levanon said, "About a month ago, they tried to intimidate the people of Israel with shocking accounts of an alleged 'black September', but we clearly saw that when the Israeli government demonstrates its sovereignty, all these threats disappear. "I call on the Israeli government to draw strength from the image of Joseph the Righteous and show Jewish respect and heroism toward those rising up against the people of Israel." Israel's Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar expressed their shock and disgust over the damage caused to the holy tomb. "It's unthinkable that the holiest sites serve as a target of revenge between religions," they said in a statement. The two called on all religious clerics to strongly condemn the incident and "instill in their followers feelings of respect for the values sacred to members of other religions." Hmmmm......Palestinians.....Members of UNESCO?That's like admitting Attila the Hun as chairman.Read the full story here.
- Miss Universe Cancels Trip to Indonesia Under Pressure from Muslim Group.(Vinienco).Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, who is visiting to crown the new Miss Indonesia on Friday evening, was expected to be a VIP guest at a charity night held by the West Java branch of Bhayangkari, the Association of the Wives of Policemen, next Tuesday.But after drawing the ire of the West Java branch of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI), Lopes, from Angola, told TV One on Thursday that she was canceling the trip.A spokesman for the MUI said on Thursday that beauty pageants’ process of judging women by their physical attributes was deeply offensive and damaging to women’s dignity.“But if she only wants to shop at the factory outlets, please,” he said. “Even it will be better if she brings lots of money to shop here.”He added that the council would have gladly seen the city welcome a Nobel Prize winner or world-class athlete, rather than a Miss Universe.“There are selection sessions in which the contestants were only wearing bikinis. Even their height and breast size are measured. It is banned in Islam, while it is highly adored in the process as if they have a high degree of value,” said Rafani Akhyar, general secretary of the council. ““This is the difference between Islamic and secular states,” Rafani said.Masruchah, deputy chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence Against Women, said the MUI had more substantial issues it could address.“This is just man’s way to politicize the issue using the name of religion,” she said. “Even with women wearing fully covered outfits and veils, if the man has a nasty mind, it won’t make a difference. Fix the mind, not the women.”Lopes planned visit had earlier stirred controversy when it was reported that the Bhayangkari had offered Lopes Rp 750 million ($84,000) to appear at the charity function.Hmmm....Obama :"Indonesia is an example of religious tolerance'.Read the full story here.
- Turkey - Photo of shame!(Firat).ANF Turkish page has published a very disturbing picture and distributed to many media outlets. The photo was sent to ANF. It is not clear where and when the photo was taken but the content is unmistakably an intimidation to Kurdish people. It shows the lifeless bodies of two guerrillas, tied with a rope, in front of a monument dedicated to the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The bust of Atatürk bears the slogan of the Republic, "Happy is he who can say I am a Turk". Behind there is another slogan, "A country cannot be divided".The photo is a strike and disturbing reminding that nothing has changed as far as the approach towards the legitimate demands of the Kurds is concerned.Indeed prime minister Erdoğan said: “It is impossible to have freedom and democracy if people are killed in such an atrocious way”. And he was obviously referring to the soldiers who died fighting a war which only is for the benefit of few.It is about time everyone takes a closer look to images like this and rise their voice against the brutality of war and the ongoing repression of Kurds. The photo is quite disturbing and one wonders whether to publish it or not. We have decided to publish it because we believe it deserves an answer by the highest authorities. Democracy begins with justice. Hmmmm......Erdogan "Muslims Don't Commit Genocide", as i said before the Kurds seem to go the 'Armenian way'.Read the full story here.
- Firat News Agency banned in Turkey.(Firat).Ankara 11th Heavy Penal Court banned access to the "org" extension-website of Firat News Agency (ANF). The website of the agency with “org” extension has been banned for "security" reason. When you go to the page, a note appears saying “The ruling for this web site (firatnews.org) is applied by the Presidency of Telecommunications."Since its establishment in 2005, ANF has been subjected to constant attacks while on the other side being openly targeted by Turkish government officials, including the Prime Minister. Besides Turkey-based virtual attacks, the agency is also exposed to frequent prohibitions.While applying these prohibitions on one side, the censorious mentality may also take scandal decisions from time to time. While the address www.firatnews.ws was banned in June on grounds of "pornographic content", ANF’s websites with the extensions of “.com”, “.nu”, “.eu” were also banned earlier without showing any reason. With a statement on the subject, ANF condemned the prohibition and noted that this was an open attack made on the freedom of the press and expression. ANF stated that “truths are intended to be silenced” in a process when attacks against Kurdish and all opponent circles have increased ever before and added; “The Turkish government now needs to understand that it can not prevent free thought through prohibitions. The AKP government is wrong if it hopes to suppress free media workers by means of arrests, intimidation and bans or to make them its own instruments to propaganda. Despite all prohibitions and threats, ANF is determined to not to leave this information, which belongs to the people, to dictator powers.” The statement also pointed out to the senselessness of the bans in the present communication technology through which internet users can easily reach banned websites by using a variety of programs or just by doing simple settings. The website of ANF can also be reached from the websites www.firatnews.ws and www.firatnews.tv. Turkey is today among the countries with highest levels of censorship on internet. According to OSCE, more than five thousand websites were blocked in two years, 2009-2010, while some other sources say that this number is seven thousand. In respect of internet censorship, Turkey is among the Reporters Without Borders Organization’s list of "countries under surveillance".Hmmmm....."There is nothing more 'revolting' than the naked truth?Read the full story here.
- Iran arrests more journalists, threatens families.(BikyaMasr).Two journalists, Mehdi Afsharnik of the newspaper Etemad Melli and Ali Akrami, who works for several newspapers, were arrested at their home yesterday by police who carried out a search and confiscated personal effects. A third journalist, Mohammad Hidari, was arrested at his work place. The reasons for their arrests and where they are being held are not yet known.At the same time, several other journalists have been summoned and interrogated by intelligence ministry officials in recent days.Amid allegations of corruption and hit by the international economic downturn, the Islamic Republic has been resorting to all possible means to silence its critics – censoring newspapers, controlling online content, arresting journalists and in some cases threatening their relatives.Peter Horrocks, the head of global news at the BBC, reported yesterday that relatives and friends of around 10 Iranians who work in London for BBC Persian Television had been harassed by the Iranian authorities following the broadcast of a documentary about the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Horrocks said they were summoned for questioning, passports were confiscated and some were banned from leaving the country.This is not the first time that the regime has threatened the families of exile journalists or used this kind of intimidation as a form of blackmail in an attempt to manipulate media.Reporters Without Borders knows of more than 50 cases of threats, arrests and harassment of families of journalists in Iran. In an unprecedented exodus, more than 250 journalists and bloggers have fled the country since the disputed presidential election of June 2009. The families of most of the journalists working for independent media abroad have been threatened by the regime’s various intelligence services.Read the full story here.
- Sarkozy: It is silly to talk about a Jewish state.(Ynet).Paris – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has always described himself as a true friend of Israel. However, according to unusual statements attributed to him in the French magazine Le Canard Enchaîne, he unequivocally sides with the Palestinians. The paper quotes comments made by the French leader during a cabinet meeting held upon his return from last month's UN General Assembly, Yedioth Aharonoth reported. "It is silly to talk about a Jewish state," Sarkozy said while referring to the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state. "It would be like saying that this table is Catholic. There are two million Arabs in Israel."Sarkozy is also quoted as saying that "the US has been asking (Mahmoud) Abbas for years to come to the negotiating table. He is willing to do it because he is a statesman. Netanyahu, on the other hand, never fails to disappoint us," Sarkozy said in what appears to be a cynical tone. "Only now, he announced the construction of 1,100 housing units in the Arab part of Jerusalem," Sarkozy added. According to the report, the French president told the ministers that he fully supports the establishment of a Palestinian state. "The Palestinians have been waiting for a state they deserve for 60 years now," he said. "Is it not fair that Palestine is recognized by the UN even in an observer status?" Le Canard Enchaîne is well-known for its satirical tone and exposes many controversies. However, some in Paris were surprised by the report claiming that different voices have been coming out of Sarkozy's circle as of late. The Élysée Palace did not issue a response the report.Read the full story here.
- Vatican attacks 'foolish' BBC for ditching BC and AD to be PC.(DailyMail).The Vatican has accused the BBC of an ‘act of enormous foolishness’ for dumping the terms BC and AD in case they cause offence to non-Christians.The Roman Catholic Church also severely criticised the ‘senseless hypocrisy’ of Britain’s public service broadcaster for using a false respect for other religions to purge Christianity from Western culture.‘It is by now very clear that respect for other religions is only an excuse, because those who wish to erase every trace of Christianity from Western culture are only a few secular westerners,’ said a front page editorial in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper.‘The BBC has limited itself to changing only the description, rather than the computation of time, but in doing so, it cannot be denied that it has made a hypocritical gesture - the hypocrisy of those who pretend not to know why years began to be counted precisely from that moment,’ the paper said.‘To deny the historically revolutionary importance of the coming of Christ on the earth, which is accepted even by those who do not recognise him as Son of God, is an act of enormous foolishness.‘Why not recognise that from that moment the world changed?,’ the paper added. ‘There is nothing more anti-historical and senseless.’The new guidance from the BBC asserts that the abbreviations for Before Christ and Anno Domini (the Year of the Lord) infringed its protocols on impartiality.It instructs employees to instead replace them with the non-religious phrases BCE and BC – Before Common Era and Common Era.The new phrases are numerically equivalent to BC and AD but they explicitly exclude any reference to Jesus Christ.‘As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians,’ said the instruction from the BBC’s religion and ethics department.‘In line with modern practice, BCE/CE are used as a religiously neutral alternative to BC/AD.’BBC programmes which are already regularly using the new politically-correct phrases include University Challenge, presented by Jeremy Paxman, who was recently criticised for a fawning interview with the campaigning atheist Richard Dawkins on BBC2’s Newsnight. They also include include BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, which is hosted by Melvyn Bragg.But some senior BBC employees are publicly dissenting from the edict – including Andrew Marr, one of its most high-profile presenters – in what has become a backlash.When asked on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 if he was now using the new terms, he replied: ‘No I am not.’Mr Marr said: ‘I say AD and BC because that’s what I understand. I don’t know what the Common Era is. Why is it the Common Era in 20AD and it wasn’t the Common Era in 20 BC?’John Humphrys, the presenter of Mastermind and Radio 4’s Today programme, also refused to adopt the new phrases.‘I will continue to use AD and BC because I don’t see a problem,’ he said. ‘They are terms which most people use and understand.’Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who presented a BBC television documentary on the Roman Empire, also described the guidance as ‘puerile, spineless and absurd’.He said that licence-fee payers should complain to senior executives and ‘fight this Beeb drivel now’.Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Anglican Bishop of Rochester, said he thought that the policy ‘amounts to the dumbing down of the Christian basis of our culture language and history’BC and AD emerged in the sixth century and are used in the Gregorian Calendar, which is recognised around the world.BC denotes the years before the birth of Jesus Christ and AD the years from Our Lord’s conception and birth.Read the full story here.
- Attacks Against Coptic Churches Part of a Plan to Expel Egypt's Christians.(Ania).Cairo -- Recent attacks against Coptic churches in Merinab (Aswan) and Elmadmar (Sohag) are part of a strategy promoted by Saudi Arabia to use its petrodollars to bring the country under a radical Islamic regime, sources in Cairo told AsiaNews. The latter are fearful of a mass exodus by Egypt's minority Christians.On Sunday in Merinab (Aswan, Upper Egypt), more than 3,000 Muslims, incited by their local imam, set fire to the local Coptic church after they accused Christians of building it without a permit.On Monday, a group of Muslims in Elmadmar, (Sohag province, Upper Egypt) tried to tear down Saint Mary Church, but were repulsed by police sent to rescue the Christian community. However, none of the attackers were arrested.Today, about 500 Christians demonstrated in front of the Governaorate building in Bani Suef (Aswan) demanding the reconstruction of the church of Merinab and the governor's resignation.Sources say Egypt's military is powerless against attacks by Salafis who use money and promises to turn people in the poorest regions of the country against Christians.The extremist group is spreading across the Middle East, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Iraq, and Lebanon.Salafis are taking advantage of the region's instability to get caretaker governments to impose their ideology based on Sharia and Islam's supremacy on other religions.According to a recent report cited by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), about 100,000 Christians have already left the country since Mubarak's fall."The figure is an exaggeration," sources told AsiaNews, "but many Copts are indeed leaving the country. In Upper Egypt, but also Cairo and Alexandria, many parish churches lay empty. People are afraid and believe that if the Muslim Brotherhood wins, there will be no place for Christians in the country."Read the full story here.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
SEIU Official Tells Union Meeting: We’re Getting Ready To “Terrify” DC, Advocates Economic Terrorism
Flashback: Barack Obama tells the purple people: 'SEIU's Agenda is My Agenda'!The "Revolutionary in Chief"!
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity New Zealand 5.7 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- BREAKING NEWS: Sarah Palin has just announced that she is NOT running for President.(MarkLevin).The former Alaska Governor and VP candidate sent the following letter to her supporters on Wednesday:
October 5, 2011
After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office – from the nation’s governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the “fundamental transformation” of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.From the bottom of my heart I thank those who have supported me and defended my record throughout the years, and encouraged me to run for President. Know that by working together we can bring this country back – and as I’ve always said, one doesn’t need a title to help do it.I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.Those will be our priorities so Americans can be confident that a smaller, smarter government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people can better serve this most exceptional nation.In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House.Thank you again for all your support. Let’s unite to restore this country! God bless America. – Sarah Palin.Source.
- Reid Uses Procedural Maneuver to Block Vote on Obama’s Jobs Bill, then accuse Republicans of “obstruction” and engaging in a “political stunt.”(Heritage).Senate Republicans sought to answer President Obama’s demands for a vote on his jobs plan this afternoon, but were thwarted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who used a parliamentary maneuver meant to block amendments on the Senate floor. Reid then proceeded to accuse Republicans of “obstruction” and engaging in a “political stunt.”. Reid used a procedural move known as “filling the tree” – a tactic Reid has perfected during his tenure in the Senate leadership. Filling the tree involves loading legislation with amendments until the limit is reached. Since the majority leader enjoys the right of first recognition – which means he can offer amendments before anyone else – Reid managed to fill the tree before Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could offer the president’s jobs plan as an amendment to a bill cracking down on Chinese currency manipulation.McConnell said he would vote against the measure, but that the president is “entitled to a vote on his jobs bill.” With the president suggesting that Republicans were preventing consideration of the legislation, McConnell said, “I wanted to disabuse him of the notion that somehow we’re unwilling to vote on his proposal.”Reid also confirmed during his floor debate with McConnell that Democrats would not present a unified front on the legislation – let alone capture the seven Republican votes needed for a filibuster-proof supermajority. “A majority of Democrats will support the president’s jobs bill,” Reid said, tacitly acknowledging that at least some would not.Far from having notable support among the president’s party, Obama’s jobs bill has garnered no cosponsors in either the House or the Senate. Nonetheless, the president has on at least 12 occasions called on Congress to immediately pass the legislation – though Reid insisted that “’right away’ is a relative term” – and in some cases said that Republicans were blocking its consideration.Obama’s 2012 campaign manager sent an email around the time Reid blocked consideration of the president’s plan. It had the subject line, “They won’t even vote on it.” That email mentioned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, but not Reid.The bill’s inability to gain traction even among members of the president’s own party stems from the unpopular nature of many of its proposals – and its accompanying offsets. ”In the Administration’s poorly crafted and contradictory jobs package, the American people get permanent tax hikes that would enlarge the federal government to offset the cost of temporary jobs policies that would not create any jobs,” Heritage’s Curtis Dubay explained. “In the long run, the tax hikes in this plan are more likely to destroy more jobs than the jobs policies create.”Hmmmm.....It's not about the bill, they don't care about the jobs their goal is to make people revolt against Congress and grab power.Read the full story here.
- Judicial Watch Obtains Documents from National Labor Relations Board Concerning Boeing Lawsuit.“These documents confirm that the Obama NLRB is abusing its power on behalf of a powerful union to attack a major U.S. corporation". (JW).Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has received documents from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning the NLRB’s decision to file a lawsuit against Seattle-based Boeing for opening a $750 million non-union assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, to manufacture its Dreamliner plane (Judicial Watch v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 11-1470)).The documents, obtained pursuant to Judicial Watch’s original July 14, 2011, Freedom of Information Act request and subsequent lawsuit include internal correspondence amongst NLRB attorneys discussing the Boeing lawsuit. Among the highlights:
A May 5, 2011, email from Barry Kearney, Associate General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, to colleagues at NLRB concerning a press release issued by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) attacking Boeing: “Hooray for the red, white and blue.” NLRB attorney Miriam Szapiro responded shortly thereafter, “Good. I like this part [at last they can put it to some good use]: “the NLRB's long-term professional Regional Staff, National Office of Advice and General Counsel reviewed this case for a year.…” [emphasis in original]
- A July 12, 2011, email from NLRB Regional Director Richard Ahearn to NLRB hearing officer Peter Finch, responding to an article in The Hill newspaper about a request from Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, seeking documents related to the NLRB Boeing lawsuit: “We will politely decline.” (Mr. Ahearn signed the NRLB complaint against Boeing.)
- A May 5, 2011, email from NLRB attorney Miriam Szapiro warning an unknown recipient (name blacked out) about reading a Wall Street Journal article supporting Boeing and criticizing compulsory unionism: “don’t look at yesterday’s WSJ; you’ll puke.”
- In response to an April 29, 2011, Wall Street Journal article, calling on President Obama to explain the NLRB lawsuit against Boeing, NLRB attorney Jayme Sophir issues a one word email response on May 2, 2011, to NLRB attorney Debra Willen, Division of Advice: “Ugh.”
The NLRB filed a lawsuit in April 2011, against Boeing, claiming that the company’s decision to open a Dreamliner production line in South Carolina was in retaliation against The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for a series of union strikes that reportedly slowed production of the plane in 2008 in Washington State. According to Boeing, the NLRB’s “claim is legally frivolous and represents a radical departure from both NLRB and Supreme Court precedent. Boeing has every right under both federal law and its collective bargaining agreement to build additional U.S. production capacity outside of the Puget Sound region.”Last year, President Obama bypassed the U.S. Senate and recess-appointed Craig Becker to head the NLRB’s five-member board. The Becker appointment was made after the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate refused to move forward on his confirmation. An ally of ACORN, Becker had previously worked for the SEIU and the AFL-CIO, major financial backers of Obama and the Democratic Party. Controversially, Becker has refused to recuse himself from certain NLRB decisions affecting his former union clients.“The NLRB is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of labor disputes, not a cheerleader for unions,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents confirm that the Obama NLRB is abusing its power on behalf of a powerful union to attack a major U.S. corporation. No wonder Judicial Watch had to sue the Obama administration to obtain these records.”Judicial Watch expects additional documents will be released to it by the NRLB.Read the full story here.
- Senate Democrats rewrite Obama's jobs bill.(AP).By EricaWerner.WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are scrambling to rewrite portions of President Barack Obama's jobs bill, even as Obama tries to blame Republicans for Congress' failure to act.Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell moved to call the president's bluff Tuesday by pushing for a quick Senate vote on the bill, but Democratic leader Harry Reid derailed the effort as all sides maneuvered for position in a potentially defining battle in the 2012 presidential campaign.In the Senate, Democrats made plans to jettison provisions that Obama recommended to pay for the $447 billion jobs bill, substituting them with a tax increase on millionaires, officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door developments.Reid, D-Nev., outlined plans for a 5 percent surcharge in a meeting with the rank and file Tuesday, according to participants in the session, as Obama traveled to Texas to deliver his most caustic challenge yet to House Republicans who have not allowed a vote on the legislation unveiled nearly a month ago."What's the problem? Do they not have the time? They just had a week off. Is it inconvenient?" he said in Mesquite, Texas, singling out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for special criticism.Cantor has said the White House's "all or nothing approach is unreasonable."But after three weeks of presidential demands for Congress to pass his jobs bill without delay, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said Obama was open to Reid's changes."We offered a balanced way to pay for the American Jobs Act, but if Congress has a better idea that ensures that everyone pays their fair share, we're open to it," Pfeiffer said.McConnell said he was ready for an immediate vote on the bill, even though he opposes it. Reading aloud on the Senate floor from a copy of Obama's speech, he said, "I do think the president makes an important point that he is entitled to a vote."The request was blocked by Reid, who called it a "political stunt" and said he would make sure the bill comes to the floor this month. Aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Jay Carney accused Republicans of gamesmanship.The parliamentary dance aside, the day's events underscored that, as submitted by the White House, Obama's bill would not only fail in the Republican-controlled House, but faced enough opposition from Democrats to endanger its prospects in the Senate, as well."There's the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly was $447 billion," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said of the bill's price tag.Democrats said Reid's proposed millionaires' surtax was designed to quell much if not all of the opposition from his own rank and file.To pay for his package of tax breaks, unemployment benefits and new spending on public works projects, Obama has proposed higher taxes on family incomes over $250,000 and on the oil and gas industry.The first request troubles Democratic senators from states like New York, New Jersey and California, where large numbers of families could be hit by the increase. The second has drawn opposition most prominently from Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, whose state is home to numerous oil and gas operations.The president also proposed higher taxes on hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, but those increases, too, would disappear under the changes Reid is expected to unveil as early as Wednesday.In political terms, Democrats appear to be hoping that Republicans will oppose both the higher taxes on million-dollar earners and the president's call for new spending aimed at reducing joblessness, thus leaving themselves open to a charge of protecting the wealthy at the expense of the unemployed.Reid's office declined to comment on the emerging plan for a higher tax on millionaires, but several Democrats said it was being drafted to cover the entire $447 billion cost of the legislation.Reid predicted that by the time the jobs bill comes to the Senate floor, almost all Democrats would be behind it.While Republican lawmakers appear receptive to tax cuts the president has called for, they have expressed strong opposition to his proposed new spending.Read the full story here.
- Dems Want Law To Keep Obama Records Secret.(JW).In an obvious effort to protect President Barack Obama, a group of congressional Democrats has introduced legislation to create an official process that will allow the commander-in-chief to keep presidential records secret after he leaves office.Ironically, Obama revoked a similar George W. Bush order in one of his first official acts as president. In 2001 Bush penned an executive order severely limiting public access to his presidential records. Shortly after swearing in, Obama killed it as part of his much-ballyhooed commitment to government transparency. At the time, the new president claimed that he was giving the American people greater access to “historic documents.”It was the right move. The Bush Administration did indeed demonstrate a disappointing penchant for secrecy and Judicial Watch was a frontrunner in the effort to make records public. Examples include: The Dick Cheney Energy Task Force records that JW pursued before the United States Supreme Court; Attorney General John Ashcroft’s order advising government agencies to withhold all discretionary disclosures; invoking executive privilege to block the House Government Reform Committee’s probe of the Campaign Financing Task Force. If the Democrats’ proposed measure (Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2011) becomes law, former presidents will be allowed to assert a new “constitutionally based privilege” against disclosing records of their liking. Here is how it would work; the Archivist of the United States would be required to notify the former president, as well as the incumbent, of intentions to make records public. Anything that either the former or current president claims should be kept private won’t be released.The veteran Brooklyn congressman (Edolphus Towns) who recently introduced the law in the U.S. House has yet to explain why it’s necessary. What’s certain is that Obama has failed miserably to keep his promise of running the most transparent administration in history. For examples read highlights from Judicial Watch’s testimony before Congress earlier this year. JW was invited to testify in separate House and Senate hearings during “Sunshine Week,” a national initiative by the news media, nonprofits and other organizations to promote government transparency and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).Hmmmmm.........Hypocrisy Reigns Supreme"Transparency for you , but not for me".Read the full story here.
- 'The man enrolled her in school as her father and went home every night and raped her': Harrowing tales of sex slaves in NYC.(DailyMail).A shocking nationwide survey stated that 3,000 young girls have been forced into marriage, including over 300 from New York.The new data dispels the myth that forced marriage is a foreign issue and it discovered that there were instances in 47 of the country's 50 states within the last two years. In one of the most disturbing cases, a 13 year old girl arrived in the U.S. only to be forced into a marriage where her new husband enrolled her in a school in the Washington D.C. area by saying he was her father, only to rape her every night when she came home.Compiled by the non-profit Tahirih Justice Center, the report examined cases of forced or suspected forced marriages where families often made their young daughters marry older men in order to benefit financially from the coupling or avoid 'losing face' for the family name. 'We’ve already learned enough in the survey to tell us we’re just hitting the tip of the iceberg,' said Layli Miller-Muro, executive director of the Tahirih Center. The practice differs from arranged marriages, which are common practice in some cultures, because forced marriages happen without consent from the bride, and often involve under age girls. 'I think the problem that you encounter sometimes is that people view it as cultural- so they don't really want to help,' said Yasmeen Hamza, a representative from the Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn. The practice is most common among South Asian families, the Tahirih report states, but they did find examples from families of 56 different countries. (There are 50+Islamic majority states).In addition to cultural misunderstanding, the lack of legal cover does not help advocates who are trying to get the girls out of the custody of their parents before the marriages are finalized. Ms Hamza's group has had some success working with the Administration of children's Services to take custody of the girls, but there are still many cases that are left untouched.In one such case, a 14 year old girl from the Bronx escaped to the Sauti Yetu Center for African women for help because her parents were forcing her to marry a West African man. The Centre appealed to ACS to take custody of the girl, but because there were no clear signs of abuse or imminent danger, they were unable to take custody. After returning the girl to her parents, Centre representatives never heard from her again.ACS spokesman Michael Fagan said that forced marriage cases come up 'infrequently,' but they do fall under the administration's jurisdiction because they cover all incidents that 'places a child under 18 at risk for abuse, injury, or harm'.'There is legislation that exclusively addresses this issue in developing countries, but there's an absence of similar legislation addressing this issue domestically,' said Julia Alanen, founder of the D.C.-based Global Justice Initiative.The United Nations declares forced marriage a violation of human rights and child abuse if involving girls under the age of 18. The UK is looked to as a model to follow because there is formal legal recognition of the problem.In 2007, the Forced Marriage Act was created in the UK which includes preventative legal measures, such as an order that allows anyone that suspects that a girl is in danger of being forcibly married to call in to police and have an injunction placed against the girl's family. Since the order's implementation, more than 300 cases have been reported to authorities. Hmmmm.....A case of 'too little, too late?Read the full story here.
- A Day That Will Never Be Forgotten: Anonymous Hackers Declare War; Threaten to “Erase” the NYSE On October 10th.(SHTF).The hacker group known as ‘Anonymous’ has posted a video claiming that they will attack the NYSE on October 10, 2011 in a declaration of war against the stock exchange:
Greetings, Institutions of the Media.
We are Anonymous.
The events transpiring within Wall Street have caught our eye.
It seems that the government and Federal agencies enjoy enforcing the law a little bit too much. They instate unjust laws as mindless automatons, blindly following orders with soulless precision.
We witness the Government enforcing the laws that punish the 99% while allowing the 1% to escape justice, unharmed, for their crimes against the people.
We have observed this same Government failing to enforce even the minimal legal restraints of Wall Street’s abuses. This Government who has willingly ignored the greed at Wall Street has even bailed out the perpetrators that have caused our crisis.
We will not stand by and watch the system take over our way of life.
We the people shall stand against the government’s inaction.
We the people will not be witnesses to your corruption and ill gotten profits.
We will not labor for your leisure.
We will not assist you in any way.
This is why we choose to declare our war against the New York Stock Exchange. We can no longer stay silent as the population is being exploited and forced to make sacrifices in the name of profit.
We will show the world that we are true to our word. On October 10th, NYSE shall be erased from the Internet. On October 10th, expect a day that will never, ever, be forgotten.
Vox Populi, Vox Anon.
The Voice of The People is The Voice of Anonymous.
We are Legion. We are the 99%.
We do not forgive. We do not forget.
Wall Street: Expect us.
Considering Anonymous claims October 10th, 2011 will be a day that will never be forgotten, we can only surmise that they will be attacking the stock exchange of the NYSE itself, rather than the web site of the NYSE, though no additional information about this has been provided.If it is the NYSE exchange, then we can consider this the first cyber attack of its kind (unless the day of the “fat finger” was a cyber op also), and it will be very serious in nature, the consequences of which are hard to predict at this time. A government response on the order of the internet kill switch comes to mind – though, admittedly, that may be blowing things out of proportion.Anonymous has thus far attacked the web sites of various financial institutions around the world, as well as organizations they believe to be operating against the interests of the general public, but they have yet to do any significant damage (that we know of) on the level of what may occur if they were to directly take aim at financial markets.Of note is that October 10, 2011 is Columbus Day, however, stock markets will reportedly be open for normal trading (unless of course Anonymous stays true to their word).Read the full story here.
- Only 2% Of Food Imported Into The US Inspected.(Blacklistednews).Critics, including the U.S. Government Accountability Office, say the FDA is simply not up to the task of ensuring the safety of food imports, which are entering this country in ever-growing numbers. The FDA expects 24 million shipments of FDA-regulated goods to pass through the nation’s ports of entry this year, up from 6 million a decade ago. Studies show that glass-half-empty types don't live as long as those who look on the bright side. But if you're not the happy type, what can you do? Cancer kiss-off: Getting dumped after diagnosis As farmers markets thrive, so do concerns Cancer spike in men tied to HPV from oral sex More parents think it's safer to delay vaccines About this projectThis three-part food safety series is the result of a partnership between msnbc.com and the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. The project, "How Safe is your Food?" was reported by 27 journalism students from Arizona State University, Harvard University, University of Maryland, University of Missouri and the University Nebraska.During that time, the number of FDA investigators stayed constant at about 1,350. The agency began adding investigators in 2009 and now has about 1,800 — still far short of the number required to keep up with the pace of imports.In 2010, FDA inspectors physically examined 2.06 percent of all food-related imports. The FDA expects only 1.59 percent of all food imports to be examined this year and even less — only 1.47 percent — next year, according to its Office of Regulatory Affairs.Which shipments get inspected is increasingly determined by a new computer system called PREDICT, or Predictive Risk-based Evaluation for Dynamic Import Compliance Targeting, that is now used at 70 percent of U.S. import operations at land, sea and air ports. It analyzes information such as a manufacturer’s history with the agency, lab test results and even current weather patterns, assigning a risk-based score to each shipment to direct investigators toward the riskiest ones.After a shipment is flagged, it's up to a person to investigate further. Investigators give top priority to the items with the highest scores and work their way down — at least, to the point they can with limited staff.This summer, the FDA gave News21 unusual behind-the-scenes access at its largest operating district to show the ways in which front-line operations attempt to keep unsafe food from reaching American supermarket shelves and dinner tables.Hmmmm.....Now we have warned every potential food terrorist about the poor inspections.Read the full story here.
- Report: Assad threatens to attack Tel Aviv in case of NATO strike.(YNet).Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday threatened to set fire to the Middle East, and especially Israel, if NATO attacks Syria, the Iranian Fars news agency reported.In a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Assad said: "If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv." Davutoglu reportedly conveyed a message of warning from the US to Assad. The Iranian report has not been verified by other sources. According to the Fars news agency, the Syrian president stressed that Damascus will also call on Hezbollah in Lebanon to launch a fierce rocket and missile attack on Israel, such that Israeli intelligence could never imagine."All these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the US warships in the Persian Gulf and the US and European interests will be targeted.Hmmmm.....Erdogan's reaction?Read the full story here.
- Erdogan says Israel’ s nuclear arsenal makes it a regional threat.(AlArabiya).Israel is a “threat” to its region because it owns nuclear weapons, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday. “I right now see Israel as a threat for its region, because it has the atomic bomb,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency, during an official visit to South Africa.He also accused Israel of committing “state terrorism.”Erdogan in the past has accused the West of “double standards” in the way that it has tried to ban Iran from building nuclear weapons without taking similar measures against Israel.Israel has never officially admitting to possessing nuclear weapons.Turkey downgraded relations with one time ally Israel after the latter refused to apologize for its raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla, in which its nine Turkish activists died on May 31, 2010.Last month, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and froze military ties and defense trade deals. Ankara has also threatened to send warships to escort any Turkish vessels trying to reach Hamas-ruled Gaza.Hmmmm.....Why am i not surprised?Read the full story here.
- Egypt military uses violence with Coptic Christian sit-in.(Bikyamasr).CAIRO: Egypt’s military police have fired in the air in an attempt to disperse a few hundred Coptic Christians who had entered into a sit-in on Tuesday evening after marching through the streets of Cairo demanding their rights be heard. Protesters also told Bikyamasr.com early Wednesday morning that military police and others had on a number of occasions violently attacked the peaceful protesters.According to witnesses and protesters in front of the National Television and Radio building, or Maspero, the military fired “live ammunition” into the air to force the Copts to leave the area.The protest, which began with a few thousands marching from the middle-class area of Shobra through downtown Cairo before reaching the iconic media building, has blocked off the streets leading both ways on the Nile street.“The military fired into the air and one officer threw one of the crosses we carried onto the ground,” said one witness. “We are scared it could become very, very violent.”“My family and I joined the march after the burning of the Aswan church and we will continue on protesting until change is done,” Mona, a house wife in her 50s, told Bikyamasr.com.She added that there is still doubt that “protesting will change much, but it is what we can do now.”“We are sending a message to the SCAF and the prime minister warning them from the Coptic anger,” Mina Sabet, a member of the political committee of the Maspero Youth Union told Bikyamasr.com.“The people who toppled the former regime are capable of throwing out the current one,” he added. “It is a series of attacks and we are not sure who is behind them but they have angered Copts much.”Several men held a cardboard box shaped as a coffin with one side saying it was “Egypt’s funeral.” Another held a sign that said “if a church is burned or tore down, then you are definitely in Egypt.”After arriving at the Court of Cassation in downtown Cairo, the Copts Without Borders organization decided to not continue with the march to Maspero, and said they would not participate in the planned sit in. The march stopped traffic on the streets leading to the Maspero and checkpoints were erected at both ends, similar to those that marked the entrance to Tahrir Square during the liberal activists’ sit-in during July.Several riot police trucks soon followed the protesters, but remained at the edge of the street. Priest Flopire Gamel spoke to the crowd and encouraged them to remain non-violent.“Stay calm and feel safe, it is safe here,” he told the crowd while standing on the back of a pick-up truck. He advised the crowd to not engaged with police or army. “Dont let them drag you into violence,” he said.He also announced that there would be blankets and food soon to be available for those deciding to stay and told the masses that the decision to stay is not the church’s decision but the people’s, and youth in the crowed started chanting “We are staying, we are staying, we will not leave,” in reply. The crowd then began chanting a Christian song.Gamel said the sit-ins are not just in Cairo, but there are “many happening in Sohag, Minya and Alexandria.”The crowd continued their chanting: “prosecution, prosecution”, “We are the free Copts, we don’t fear gun shots” and “why are silent, justice is not realized.”The march was not without altercations, as aggressive passersby became obviously angered at the stopping of traffic and pushed their way through the crowds with their vehicles on a number of occasions.Read the full story here.
- In a letter to Erdogan, Aram I says the Armenian people still waiting for justice.(AsiaNews). Recent steps by Turkish authorities to return properties seized from religious minorities after 1936 are “incomplete”, Catholicos Aram I Kechichian said in an open letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.For the head of the Armenian Orthodox Church, whose titular see is located in the Turkish province of Cilicia, justice for the Armenian people will come only when Turkey acknowledges the genocide of 1915 and when private and Church assets seized at the time are returned.Here is the text of his letter (translated by AsiaNews):
By way of the press, we have learnt that your government plans to return properties seized from religious minorities after 1936. Such a decision undoubtedly stems from recent rulings by the European Court of Human Rights as well as inquiries by the US Congress into Turkish pressures on Christian minorities (See Nat de Polis, “Historic decision: Erdogan returns seized property to religious minorities,” in AsiaNews, 29 August 2011).
As spiritual and lawful head of the Holy See of Cilicia (Armenian Orthodox), which was uprooted from its historic see and installed in Lebanon, and as representative of the children of the Armenian Church who were exiled from Turkey and dispersed throughout the world, we consider your decision of 27 August 2011 to be incomplete and unjust.The Holy See of Cilicia remains the lawful owner of numerous buildings, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, cemeteries and other properties that belong to the church, seized by Turkish authorities at the time of the Armenian genocide of 1915.The same is true for the children of the Armenian people, who are the lawful owners of houses, businesses, estates and other assets passed down from their ancestors and lost during the genocide planned and executed by the Ottoman Turkish government.Your government’s decision may meet the requirements of the European Union, but it may never be considered as just or legally relevant.Mr Prime Minister, although taken in the name of justice, your decision is biased and selective and denies history and democratic values and principles.Of course, international institutions like the European Court of Human Rights and the European Parliament and its parliamentary bodies are tasked with defending democratic principles and values and ensure that they are respected; however, the people is the conscience and memory of such principles and values.As League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Nobel Peace Prize winner for 1922 Fridtjof Nansen said in Armenia and the Near East that the Armenian people never lost hope, bravely working and waiting. “They continue to wait,” he wrote.Allow me to add that the Armenian people will never cease to demand justice from Turkey for the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian people will never cease to demand the restoration of their human rights.Mr Prime Minister, your attachment to justice and human rights will gain in credibility only when you recognise the Armenian Genocide.Hmmmm......Amen.Read the full story here.
- Belarus Looks to Iran, Russia for Loans.(WSJ).By William Mauldin.MOSCOW—Belarus said on Monday it is close to securing a $400 million loan from Iran as the authoritarian Eastern European nation scrambles to line up financing from its few allies amid a deepening economic crisis. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund will visit the country starting Tuesday after rebuffing requests for a loan last month, although few observers expect an IMF deal anytime soon. Iran may lend the country $400 million, while Russia's biggest state-controlled bank may lend up $1 billion backed by shares in the Naftan oil refinery, officials from President Alexander Lukashenko's government said on Monday, according to the official state news agency. Since his controversial re-election last year, Mr. Lukashenko has increasingly become isolated from the U.S., which recently toughened sanctions, as well as from Europe and even Russia. The Belarusian ruble has lost three-fifths of its value against the dollar in the past year, and foreign reserves have fallen to a level that puts the economy at risk, according to officials and analysts. The IMF will be looking for progress in reforms that might justify a loan. Belarus is seeking about $7 billion in IMF financing, but analysts have said a smaller sum is more likely, or perhaps no loan at all. Minsk should also roll back wage increases that were part of Lukashenko's re-election campaign, among other structural economic reforms, the fund said. Overall, the IMF visit is "technical," and since political tensions are running so high, there is no talk of a loan agreement any time soon, VTB Capital analyst Petr Grishin said. Meanwhile, the immediate problem of the country's large current-account deficit has been solved by the steep ruble devaluation, he said.Hmmmmm....."Belarus freezes plan to give up uranium stockpile"....now why would Iran lend them the money????Any 'educated' guess?Read the full story here.
- Iran: NATO radar in Turkey serves to protect Israel.(Ynet).Iran criticized Turkey on Tuesday for agreeing to allow NATO to station an early warning radar in the southeast of the country that will serve as part of the alliance's missile defense system. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed the defense system was meant to protect Israel against Iranian missile attacks in the event a war breaks out with the Jewish state. "The missile defense shield is aimed at defending the Zionist regime. They don't want to let our missiles land in the occupied territories (Israel) if one day they take action against us. That's why they put it there," Ahmadinejad said in an address to the nation on state TV late Tuesday. Turkey agreed to host the radar in September as part of NATO's missile defense system aimed at countering ballistic missile threats from neighboring Iran. Ankara claims the shield doesn't target a specific country and had threatened to block the deal if Iran was explicitly named as a threat. A military installation in Kurecik has been designated as the radar site, according to Turkish government officials. Kurecik in Malatya province lies some 700 kilometers (435 miles) west of the Iranian border.In September, Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said the United States hopes to have the radar deployed there by the end of the year. Ahmadinejad said his government has conveyed Iran's displeasure to Turkish officials. "We told our Turkish friends that it was not a correct job (decision) they did and that it's to their detriment," he said. "Such shields can't prevent the collapse of the Zionist regime." Turkey has built close economic ties with Iran and has been at odds with the United States on its stance toward Iran's nuclear program, arguing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff instead of sanctions. But the agreement over the radar facility comes at a time when Turkey and Iran appear to be differing on their approach toward Syria, with Turkey becoming increasingly critical of Iranian ally Syria's brutal suppression of anti-regime protests.Hmmmm......Beware of your eggs Farmer when the fox preaches the gospel.Turkey will NEVER protect Israel in case of an Iranian attack.Read the full story here.
- Archaeologist Makes a Case for Discovery of a Judean Town of the Time of King David.(ArcheologyDaily).Archaeologist at the City of David Conference in Jerusalem presents evidence that he suggests supports the identification of an ancient biblical Judean town built by a centralized authority during the time of King David.The traditional view based on the Biblical account is that in the 10th century King David ruled over a United Monarchy consisting of Judea in the south and Israel in the north. By the 9th century it had split into two kingdoms, Israel that continued to exist until the Assyrian conquest in 721BCE and Judea that continued until the Babylonian destruction in 586BCE. In contrast the Minimalist school refuted the idea of a United Monarchy and saw David as a mythical figure. The kingdom of Israel established itself first, in the 9th century (low chronology) and a monarchy developed in Judea only after the destruction of the kingdom of Israel in the late 8th century. With the discovery of the House of David stele at Dan the Minimalists had to grudgingly concede that David could exist but was a minor chieftain who ruled over a limited area, not an extensive kingdom ruled from a centralized location. With the discoveries at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site in the Elah valley Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of Hebrew University is convinced that he has uncovered a Judean town that is dated to the 10th C. To build fortifications like those at Khirbet Qeiyafa, requiring moving 200,000 tons of stone, could not have been a local initiative but would have required a centralized government.
The site is small, 23 dunam enclosed with a casement wall situated on a hill overlooking the Elah valley with human occupation for about 20 years. Garfinkel suggests that the site was destroyed by Phillistine Gath/Tel Safi a larger town only 12 km to the west (Maier who heads the excavations at Safi concurs); the Bible decribes numerous border disputes in the Elah Valley region during the 11th-10th century BCE. There are only 3 buillding strata: 1) the late Roman/Byzantine period, 4th to 6th century when it included a fortress or caravansery at the center of the site, 2) late Persian or early Hellenstic period (ca. 350-270BCE) and 3) the lowest stratum directly on the bedrock dated to Iron Age IIA, existing in the late 11th to early 10th century. The dating is based on pottery and artifacts correlated with the results of radiometric (Carbon 14) dating of 4 burnt olive pits that yield a calibrated date of 1051 to 969BCE with 77.8% probablity which supports the high chronology" of the biblical traditionalists.
Features and artifacts unearthed at the site suggest that it was a Judean settlement.
The structural style of the casemate walls was classically Judean, matching similar construction at the ancient excavated sites of Beersheva, Tell en-Nasbeh, and Tell Beit Mirsim. Thousands of animal bones were found (goats, sheep and cattle) but no pig bones, found commonly at nearby Phillistine sites like Ekron and Gath/Tell Safi. Pottery found is different than that at nearby Gath. Fragments of an almost complete pottery baking tray hinted at a culture that was unlike that of the nearby Phillistine sites. Khirbet Qeiyafa is the only archaeological site discovered in Israel so far that has two gates. Garfinkel says, "Even cities three or four times its size, such as Lachish and Megiddo, have only a single gate." Based on location, dating and the two gates Garfinkel identifies it as Shaarayim (Hebrew for two gates) mentioned 3 times in the Bible.
In the city list of the tribe of Judah it appears after Socoh and Azekah (Josh 15:36). Socoh is located 2.5 km to the southeast of Khirbet Qeiyafa and Azekah 2 km to the west.
After David killed Goliath the Philistines escaped through the ""road of Sha''arayim"" (1 Sam 17:52).
In the city list of the tribe of Simeon, Sha''arayim is mentioned as one of the cities ""until the reign of David"" (1 Ch 4:31– 32).
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