Thursday, November 10, 2011
The Cursed Car Of Archduke Frans Ferdinand.
- The six-passenger open touring car had been custom-built for royalty. And originally it had been a vivid blood red.On June 28, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Archduchess, Sophie were gunned down by an assassin.A young fanatic armed with a pistol had leaped onto the running board of the car. Laughing in the faces of the Archduke and Duchess, he fired shot after shot into their bodies. That double assassination was the spark that touched off the first World War, with its casualty list of 20 million – a war the red car had helped to start.
- General Portiorek was the next to possess this cursed car. After a huge military defeat and a trip to Vienna for more disgrace, he began having mental problems and died in an insane asylum.
- After the Armistice, the newly appointed Governor of Yugoslavia had the car restored to first-class condition. But after four accidents and the loss of his right arm, he felt the vehicle should be destroyed.
- His friend Dr Srikis disagreed. Scoffing at the notion that a car could be cursed, he drove it happily for six months – till the overturned vehicle was found on the highway with the doctor's crushed body beneath it.
- Another doctor became the next owner, but when his superstitious patients began to desert him, he hastily sold it to a Swiss race driver.
- In a road race in the Dolomites, the car threw him over a stone wall and he died of a broken neck.
- A well-to-do farmer acquired the car, which stalled one day on the road to market. While another farmer was towing it for repairs, the vehicle suddenly growled into full power and knocked the tow-car aside in a careening rush down the highway. Both farmers were killed.
- Tiber Hirschfield, the last private owner, decided that all the old car needed was a less sinister paint job. He had it repainted in a cheerful blue shade and invited five friends to accompany him to a wedding. Hirschfield and four of his guests died in a gruesome head-on collision.
- By this time the government had had enough. They shipped the rebuilt car to the museum. But one afternoon Allied bombers reduced the museum to smoking rubble. Nothing was found of Karl Brunner and the haunted vehicle. Nothing, that is, but a pair of dismembered hands clutching a fragment of steering wheel.
I want to draw attention to an even more astounding coincidence concerning the Franz Ferdinand death limo – one that is considerably better evidenced than the cursed car nonsense. This tiny piece of history went completely unremarked on for the best part of a century, until a British visitor named Brian Presland called at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum. It was Presland who seems to have first drawn the staff's attention to the remarkable detail contained in the Gräf und Stift's license plate, which reads – as can be seen in the old photo below and the current image above – AIII 118. That number, Presland pointed out, is capable of a quite astonishing interpretation. It can be taken to read A (for Armistice) 11-11-18 – which means that the death car has always carried with it a prediction, not of the dreadful day of Sarajevo that in a real sense marked the beginning of the First World War, but of 11 November 1918: Armistice Day, the day that the war ended. Source.
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani, Former Imam of the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca: Martyrdom Operations Constitute Suicide
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: No one can deny the existence of the black-eyed virgins, and I pray that Allah grants them to you, me, and our viewers, but the issue is how one attains them. The problem is when the path to attaining a black-eyed virgin is limited to the use of explosives belts.
Interviewer: You believe that this is a manifestation of the frustration of the youth...
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: Yes. This is a hastening one's death, which reflects despair of changing the reality through prayer to Allah. Although I do not entirely agree with it, it is reported that Sheik Ibn Baz, Allah have mercy upon him, said: "Life for the sake of Allah is more difficult than death for the sake of Allah."
Interviewer: Why don't you agree with this?
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: Because it is written that death for the sake of Allah is a goal in and of itself, and that a person who dies for the sake of Allah is worthy of praise. However, this is true only when it is done for the sake of Allah, not when one considers assassinating someone or destroying a certain place, in the belief that a black-eyed virgin will be awaiting him the moment he dies, and so he dons an explosives belt and places his trust in Allah...
Interviewer: Such a person is merely seeking pleasure...
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: Yes, but in a mistaken way.
Interviewer: You consider a person who puts on an explosives belt to be committing an Islamic-style suicide?
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: Yes.
Interviewer: That is a courageous opinion.
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: It's not my opinion only. I discussed this at length with Sheik Ibn Al-Uthaymeen.
Interviewer: So you consider martyrdom operations to be suicide?
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: It is undoubtedly suicide. It is the killing of one's self. He will be judged by Allah for his intentions, but from our perspective, it is the killing of one's self.
Interviewer: What did Sheik Ibn Al-Uthaymeen say?
Sheik Adel Al-Kalbani: He said that this is suicide.Source.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Guam 5.7; Turkey 5.6; Indonesia 5.5 - 5.2 ; Russia 5.2; !More info here.
- David Axelrod's pattern of sexual misbehaviour.(Yahoo).By Ann Coulter.Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country -- Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. -- but never in Chicago.So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with David Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Herman Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).The Daley-controlled IRA works hand-in-glove with the NRA. And strangely enough, Cain's short, three-year tenure at the NRA is evidently the only period in his decades-long career during which he's alleged to have been a sexual predator.After O'Grady's name surfaced in connection with the miraculous appearance of Cain's personnel files from the NRA, she issued a Clintonesque denial of any involvement in producing them -- by vigorously denying that she knew Cain when he was at the NRA. (Duh.)And now, after a week of conservative eye-rolling over unspecified, anonymous accusations against Cain, we've suddenly got very specific sexual assault allegations from an all-new accuser out of ... Chicago.Herman Cain has never lived in Chicago. But you know who has? David Axelrod! And guess who lived in Axelrod's very building? Right again: Cain's latest accuser, Sharon Bialek.Bialek's accusations were certainly specific. But they also demonstrated why anonymous accusations are worthless.Within 24 hours of Bialek's press conference, friends and acquaintances of hers stepped forward to say that she's a "gold-digger," that she was constantly in financial trouble -- having filed for personal bankruptcy twice -- and, of course, that she had lived in Axelrod's apartment building at 505 North Lake Shore Drive, where, she admits, she knew the man The New York Times calls Obama's "hired muscle."Throw in some federal tax evasion, and she's Obama's next Cabinet pick. The reason all this is relevant is that both Axelrod and Daley have a history of smearing political opponents by digging up claims of sexual misconduct against them.John Brooks, Chicago's former fire commissioner, filed a lawsuit against Daley six months ago claiming Daley threatened to smear him with sexual harassment accusations if Brooks didn't resign. He resigned -- and the sexual harassment allegations were later found to be completely false.Meanwhile, as extensively detailed in my book "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America," the only reason Obama became a U.S. senator -- allowing him to run for president -- is that David Axelrod pulled sealed divorce records out of a hat, first, against Obama's Democratic primary opponent, and then against Obama's Republican opponent.One month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Obama was way down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader.But then The Chicago Tribune -- where Axelrod used to work -- began publishing claims that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Sexton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings.From then until Election Day, Hull was embroiled in fighting the allegation that he was a "wife beater." He and his ex-wife eventually agreed to release their sealed divorce records. His first ex-wife, daughters and nanny defended him at a press conference, swearing he was never violent. During a Democratic debate, Hull was forced to explain that his wife kicked him and he had merely kicked her back.Hull's substantial lead just a month before the primary collapsed with the nonstop media attention to his divorce records. Obama sailed to the front of the pack and won the primary. Hull finished third with 10 percent of the vote.Luckily for Axelrod, Obama's opponent in the general election had also been divorced.The Republican nominee was Jack Ryan, a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard law and business schools, who had left his lucrative partnership at Goldman Sachs to teach at an inner-city school on the South Side of Chicago.But in a child custody dispute some years earlier, Ryan's ex-wife, Hollywood sex kitten Jeri Lynn Ryan, had alleged that, while the couple was married, Jack had taken her to swingers clubs in Paris and New York.Jack Ryan adamantly denied the allegations. In the interest of protecting their son, he also requested that the records be put permanently under seal.Axelrod's courthouse moles obtained the "sealed" records and, in no time, they were in the hands of every political operative in Chicago. Knowing perfectly well what was in the records, Chicago Tribune attorneys flew to California and requested that the court officially "unseal" them -- over the objections of both Jack and Jeri Ryan.Your honor, who knows what could be in these records! A California judge ordered them unsealed, which allowed newspapers to publish the salacious allegations, and four days later, Ryan dropped out of the race under pressure from idiot Republicans (who should be tracked down and shot).With a last-minute replacement of Alan Keyes as Obama's Republican opponent, Obama was able to set an all-time record in an Illinois Senate election, winning with a 43 percent margin.And that's how Obama became a senator four years after losing a congressional race to Bobby Rush. (In a disastrous turn of events, Rush was not divorced.)Axelrod destroyed the only two men who stood between Obama and the Senate with illicitly obtained, lurid allegations from their pasts.In 2007, long after Obama was safely ensconced in the U.S. Senate, The New York Times reported: "The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece (on Hull's sealed divorce records) later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had 'worked aggressively behind the scenes' to push the story."Some had suggested, the Times article continued, that Axelrod had "an even more significant role -- that he leaked the initial story."This time, Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary, but are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist.Read the full story here.
- FEMA/FCC Takeover Test Fails In Certain Areas, Weird Noises Heard In Others.(TheIntelhub).The FEMA/FCC takeover test was scheduled to happen nationwide about 17 minutes ago. Here in Portland we got a warning about 5 minutes before 11am pacific but then the test never happened.I repeat, we got no FEMA test here in Portland. Others on different forums are reporting that it didnt happen in their area either while at the same time many are reporting they did see the test at least for a few seconds.Right now I think its safe to assume the test DID NOT fully work.In Florida, Intel Hub reporter and radio host Bob Tuskin reported strange sounds coming form his radio that he described as a possible form of mind control! Update: A station manager in Florida confirmed the weird noises and diluted voices that Bob Tuskin heard.
Update: It is confirmed that it did not happen in many of the cities throughout the United States.Many people are reporting that they saw a completely different message depending on what part of the country they were in.Others are reporting strange blinking and noises that absolutely could be interpreted as some sort of mind control. There is a high possibility that this whole test or whatever it actually is was meant to confuse the public.
A poster on GodLikeProductions reported some very interesting information out of Tennessee:
guys im not afriad to say that i think youre all fucking nuts about shit all the time BUT…im in tennessee, eastern TN to be exact and we got the first one at the scheduled time, then about 10 mins later all our power clicked off and then right back on, so i turn on the tv and a few minutes afterwards at 2:30 ANOTHER test came on…i got really nervous when the power went out, then i read about ppl in this thread turning there pc’s back on having all kinds of registry errors…
Another report from the same forum is even more interesting:
TV is on . . . I have a DVR, so I can rewind any real-time program.
The show that’s on began at 12:30 am.
I was on pc and heard the EAS alarm sounding, I immediately looked around and saw a screen of print and all I could read was Emergency Alert System and I saw the date of November 9. Then the screen changed to a map of Texas on some news station I did not recognize and the guy started speaking Spanish! Then it went right back to the show that was on.
This all took place in the space of no more than 10 seconds.
So I got the remote to rewind it back so I could read the entire screen . . . and it will not let me rewind BACK beyond the time of 12:53 when the show resumed!
Others are reporting that they actually heard Lady Gaga music playing the background!Hmmm......FEMA?We have a problem.Read and see (Videos) the full story here.
- Republican Leaders are Helping Obama Destroy America.(DocsTalk).By Lawrence Sellin.Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States as well as an historian, particularly in naval affairs.— “Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” President Theodore Roosevelt spoke those words in August 1912. They could have easily been spoken today.Under Barack Obama, the Democrat Party has been transformed into an anti-American and anti-democratic movement funded from international sources, sustained by the ideology of anti-neocolonialism and executed through socialist and dictatorial policies.Obama indeed embraced the “Dreams from his Father.” In a 1965 paper “Problems Facing Our Socialism” published in the East Africa Journal, his Muslim father, Barack Obama Sr., proposed expanding government control, wealth seizure by the state and the confiscation of foreign owned land, all policies closely resembling those eventually implemented by President Robert Mugabe of totalitarian and moribund country of Zimbabwe.As Dinesh D’Souza wrote and the Obama-supported Occupy Wall Street mobs are now violently expressing throughout the country:“From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view America’s military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his father’s position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic plunder. Obama grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America’s power in the world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe’s resources and how ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.”The rich, according to the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, Obama and the Democrat Party, aren’t paying their “fair share.” This by itself seems odd given that the top 1% of Americans pay 40% of all federal income taxes; the next 9% of income earners pay another 30%. So the top 10% pays 70% of the taxes.As D’Souza notes, Obama’s anti-neocolonialism explains his support for the U.S. Export-Import Bank offer of $2 billion in loans and guarantees to Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras to finance exploration in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro–not so the oil ends up in the U.S., but so that the oil can stay in Brazil.Coincidentally, George Soros invested nearly $1 billion in Petrobras shares for his hedge fund right before the Export-Import Bank announced the loan.Obama’s philosophy also explains why he supports a $100 million mosque near the site where terrorists in the name of Islam brought down the World Trade Center and his directive to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to improve relations with the Muslim world by finding “a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering.”It has never been clear who paid for Obama’s Harvard education, but it is possible, if not likely, that the money came from Saudi Arabia.It was Obama’s friendship with Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour and his sponsorship of Obama as a prospective Harvard law student, however, that probably helped merge Obama’s innate anti-colonialist views with those of an Islamic and black nationalist.Formerly known as Donald Warden, al-Mansour, an American, was a mentor of Black Panther founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in the early 1960s. He changed his name after studying Islam and learning Arabic. He is well known within the black community as a lawyer, an orthodox Muslim, a black nationalist, an author, an international deal-maker, an educator, and an outspoken enemy of Israel. His writings and books are packed with anti-American rhetoric reminiscent of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s disgraced former pastor. Al-Mansour has close ties to Saudi Arabia and is a personal advisor to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the world’s 19th wealthiest person.Obama’s and the goals of his anti-American fellow travelers can best be achieved by assaulting the Constitution, fostering alternative legal structures like sharia law, economically weakening America to the point of global impotence and fragmenting America into a politically-correct and multicultural society.Those goals have been incorporated into the policies of the Democrat Party, a process which continues without any significant opposition from the Republican Party, both of whose members have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes.For over three years the United States has faced its gravest Constitutional crisis since the Civil War and the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people.Yet not a single Republican at the national level has honored his or her oath of office to support and defend the Constitution by calling for an investigation of Obama’s ineligibility for the Presidency or his crimes committed both before and after occupying the Oval Office.Obama is an illegal President who violates the Constitution and openly flouts the rule of law by forging his birth documents and Selective Service registration and uses a Social Security number not issued to him.The evidence is overwhelming that Obama released a forged Certificate of Live Birth on April 27, 2011. A digital document expert has now created a forged duplicate of that long-form birth certificate describing the methodology used to deconstruct the White House document for the purpose of reconstructing the forged version and has made deductions about the alleged forger.Starting in 2008 and continuing today, Obama and the main stream media successfully intimidated the cowardly Republicans by threatening to call them names like “racist” or “birther.”Now the Republicans are complicit in a cover-up of Obama’s crimes.Instead of doing the right thing and working to shatter the unholy alliance perpetuating permanent political corruption, the Republican leadership has decided to do what is politically expedient, perform the role of useful idiots and help Barack Obama further damage the United States.Ambrose Bierce accurately described Washington, D.C. politics in “The Devil’s Dictionary” (1911): as a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles; the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.The Democrats are hopelessly corrupt, anti-American and beyond salvation. The Republicans have chosen lust for power and greed over love of country.Short of revolution against the corrupt politicians, ordinary Americans still have one remaining potent weapon; withhold their votes for Republican candidates who refuse to support and defend the Constitution by not speaking out against Obama’s ineligibility and crimes.Whether with or without Obama in 2012, if the political leadership continues to subvert the Constitution and disregard the rule of law, national chaos will ensue and armed defense by a citizenry being robbed of its life and liberty by an invisible government will be inevitable.Hmmmm......I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes. ~ Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read the full story here.
- Obama on Record: Supports Internet Regulation.(Cato).By Jim Harper.I’m perplexed by the challenge of referring neutrally to legislation moving through Congress dealing with whether or not the government should regulate Internet service. Work with me as I untangle the Standard Federal Obfuscation™ involved here.The White House has issued a “Statement of Administration Policy” that deals with S.J. Res. 6 (House companion H.J. Res. 37 passed in April.) The bill is a “resolution of disapproval” under the Congressional Review Act. The CRA allows Congress to reject federal regulations for a period of time after they have been finalized. Resolutions like this enjoy expedited procedures in the Senate, making it harder for Senate leadership to stop them moving.The Federal Communications Commission voted in December to apply public-utility-style regulation to the provision of Internet service. Congress is moving to reject the FCC’s claim of authority using the CRA, and the president has now said he will veto Congress’ resolution that does that.Well—the obfuscation continues—actually, the Statement of Administration Policy says “[t]he administration” opposes S.J. Res. 6, and, “If the President is presented with S.J. Res. 6, which would not safeguard the free and open Internet, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the Resolution.” At some point, it may be an important detail that the president hasn’t promised a veto yet. His advisers have promised to advise him to veto. OK. Whatever. They work for him. It’s a veto threat.But, but,… Would these regulations safeguard a “free and open Internet”? The statement says, “Federal policy has consistently promoted an Internet that is open and facilitates innovation and investment, protects consumer choice, and enables free speech.” In a sense, that’s true: When the engineers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency created the Internet protocol and when federal policy opened the Internet to commercial use, this made for the open Internet we enjoy today. But it’s not federal policy driving these values today. It’s the Internet itself—all of us. Tim Lee ably pointed this out some years ago in his paper, “The Durable Internet: Preserving Network Neutrality without Regulation.” The marketplace demands an open Internet. If there are deviations from the “end-to-end principle” that serve the public better, the market will permit them. The Internet is not the government’s to regulate.Now, some news reporting has things a little backward. Wired‘s Threat Level blog, for example, carries the headline, “Obama Pledges to Veto Anti-Net Neutrality Legislation.” Headlines need to be short, but it could just as easily and accurately read “Obama Pledges to Veto Anti-Regulation Legislation” because the question is not whether the Internet should be open and neutral, but who should ensure that openness and neutrality. Should neutrality be ensured by market forces—ISPs responding to their customers—or by lawyers and bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.?S.J. Res. 6 would reject the FCC’s claim to regulate the Internet in the name of neutrality. It says nothing about whether or not the Internet should neutral, open, and free. Again, that’s not the government’s call.Did you follow all that? If you didn’t, you don’t need to. Here’s the summary: President Obama has gone on the record: He supports Internet regulation.Hmmm..........Regulation by you...NO, By me ....YES!Read the full story here.
- Supreme Court Considers Constitutionality Of Having People Tracked By GPS All The Time.(Techdirt)By Mike Masnick.Last year, we wrote about a (somewhat surprising, given similar rulings elsewhere) ruling by the appeals court for DC, saying that, while law enforcement could use a GPS device to track where you go on a trip, doing long-term, always-on monitoring went beyond the "reasonable expectation" of privacy, and was a 4th Amendment violation. This week, the Supreme Court heard the appeal on that case, and wondered whether or not such 24/7 monitoring was reasonable. The government's argument is simply that when you're traveling in public, it's public, and so there's no expectation of privacy. But, it sounds like the Justices recognize a rather problematic slippery slope developing around this argument:
This argument seemed to alarm several of the justices. "If you win this case then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States," Justice Breyer said. "And no one, at least very rarely, sends human beings to follow people 24 hours a day. That occasionally happens. But with the machines, you can. So if you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like 1984.""This case does not involve 24-hour surveillance of every citizen of the United States," Dreeben countered. "It involves following one suspected drug dealer as to whom there was very strong suspicion." But he wasn't able to explain how pervasive surveillance would have to get before it became constitutionally problematic.Chief Justice Roberts asked if the government's theory would allow the police to install tracking devices on the cars of the members of the Supreme Court. Dreeben said it would. He suggested that legislatures might want to place limits on such surveillance, but argued that it didn't raise any constitutional concerns.Justice Kennedy asked whether the government's theory would allow the installation of a GPS tracking device on a suspect's overcoat. Again, Dreeben argued that it would, provided that it only report information about the suspect's movements in public places. I also have to agree with Tim Lee, who wrote the Ars Technica post linked and quoted above, in noting that the lawyer for the guy who was surveilled, Antoine Jones, seemed to focus on a rather weak point in his argument. Rather than focusing on the problem that the appeals court noted -- this "mosaic theory" that the sum total of this 24/7 surveillance violated the 4th Amendment -- Jones' lawyer focused on the question of trespassing in installing the GPS device, something that seems kind of meaningless when you consider that most such tracking can now be done remotely via mobile phones/satellites, without a direct device attached to a car. Read the full story here.
- 'Caliph' Obama to Aid Uzbek Islamic Dictatorship.(StratRisks).Source: FPiF.The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, in a move initiated by the Obama administration, has voted to waive Bush-era human rights restrictions on military aid to the Islam Karimov dictatorship in Uzbekistan, one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the planet. The lifting of the restrictions, now part of the Foreign Operations bill, is before the full Senate and appears to have bipartisan support. The Obama administration has indicated that it intends to provide taxpayer-funded military assistance to Uzbekistan once the legislation passes both houses of Congress.Torture is endemic in Karimov’s Uzbekistan, where his regime has banned all opposition political parties, severely restricted freedom of expression, forced international human rights and NGOs out of the country, suppressed religious freedom, and annually taken as many as two million children out of school to engage in forced labor for the cotton harvest. Thousands of dissidents have been jailed and many hundreds have been killed, some of them literally boiled alive.In reaction to the Obama administration’s efforts, 20human rights, labor, consumer, and other groups signed a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying “We strongly urge you to oppose passage of the law and not to invoke this waiver.” The signers encouraged the administration “to stand behind your strong past statements regarding human rights abuses in Uzbekistan” and not move toward “business as usual” with that regime.Signatories included the AFL-CIO, Amnesty International USA, and Human Rights Watch, as well as organizations with close ties to the foreign policy establishment like Freedom House and the International Crisis Group.Despite evidence to the contrary, Secretary of State Clinton, who visited Uzbekistan on October 23, has claimed that the regime was “showing signs of improving its human rights record and expanding political freedoms.” Similarly, when asked about the dictator’s claim that he was committed to leave a legacy of freedom and democracy for his grandchildren, a senior State Department official responded, “Yeah. I do believe him. I mean, he’s said several times that he’s committed to this. He’s made a speech last November where he talked about this.” In response to some skeptical follow-up questions by journalists, the official replied that “we still have some quite serious concerns about the situations on the human rights.” However, “we think that there is really quite an important opening now to work on that stuff, also work on developing civil society, which again President Karimov has expressed support for. So, yeah, I do take him at his word.”A White House official told me that Obama had spoken directly to Karimov in recent weeks about human rights concerns, noting “he said more on democracy in that call than eight years of Bush administration dealings with Karimov.” The official also insisted that the Obama administration would condition future policy on the regime’s performance and that was made clear to the Uzbek leadership.The Obama administration is making this controversial move in order to open the Central Asian nation to transit military equipment and other supplies in and out of Afghanistan, particularly after neighboring Kyrgyzstan looks likely to close its U.S. military base in Manas when the lease runs out in 2014. Potentially of greater consequence, Pakistan has threatened to cut off supply routes to U.S. forces in that land-locked country, so there is a scramble to look for alternatives. Unfortunately, as defenders of administration policy have put it, Afghanistan is surrounded by dictatorships, leaving them little choice but to provide assistance in return for transit rights.The Uzbek government has insisted that these human rights restrictions be dropped in return for providing U.S. forces with a northern route into the country. As Justin Elliotof Human Rights Watch put it, “Operation Enduring Freedom — otherwise known as the war in Afghanistan — could soon result in less freedom for the people of Uzbekistan, if the Obama administration gets its way.”To those who question whether the United States should still be fighting in Afghanistan in the first place, defenders of administration policy stress that travel through Uzbekistan may be necessary not just to supply the troops, but to get them and their equipment out of there.However, the administration has not made a convincing case as to why U.S. forces could not be supplied or evacuated by air. The U.S. military has thousands of C-130s and other huge planes designed for that very purpose. Although countries have to provide clearance for foreign aircraft to cross their airspace, it’s hard to imagine that the Pakistanis would risk war by shooting down U.S. transport planes.Karimov became leader of the Uzbek Communist Party in 1989 in the waning days of the Soviet era. He backed the unsuccessful coup by Communist Party hard liners against reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991 and personally opposed Uzbek independence. But finding himself president of a sovereign state when the Soviet Union suddenly dissolved, he quickly modified his position, changing his first name to “Islam” and morphing into an Uzbek nationalist. – President Obama called him in September to congratulate him on the twentieth anniversary of independence.As president of the newly independent Uzbekistan, Karimov quickly banned leading opposition parties and has since held onto power through the suppression of the opposition and a series of rigged elections and plebiscites, labeling virtually all opponents as Islamist radicals.When asked about the 2005 massacres during Clinton’s October visit, a senior State Department official responded, “We’ve definitely – we’ve moved on from that.”If Congress approves the waiver, it will send a message to other dictators facing pro-democracy uprisings that they can murder people by the hundreds and still receive U.S. assistance. This is nothing short of a license to kill. Other despots will likely interpret such assistance to indicate that warnings – such as those given by the Obama administration to the Egyptian military back in February that ties would be severed if pro-democracy protesters were massacred—are not to be taken seriously.Along with administration efforts to provide additional military supplies to Bahrainfollowing that regime’s brutal crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrations earlier this year, it is yet another indication of the Obama administration’s continued willingness to prop up some of the world’s most brutal dictatorships.Hmmmm........"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."Read the full story here.
- REPORT - Over 50% Of U.S. Homeowners Are Underwater.(dailyBail)By CNBC's Diana Olick.A new report on still falling home prices today highlights the fact that the lower those prices go, the more American borrowers fall into an negative equity position; that is, they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.Many of those borrowers are already behind on their mortgage payments, and some are likely already in the foreclosure process. The rest of them are in danger of defaulting, not because they can't pay their mortgages, but because they either won't want to (seeing as they will never see any real appreciation in their investment) or because any change in their economic or personal situation might force them into default (change of job, divorce).While 14.6 million might seem like a lot, it's not the real number when you consider negative equity in housing's recovery. That's because it doesn't factor in "effective" negative equity, which is borrowers who have so little equity in their homes that they cannot afford to move.Read the full story here.
- Pentagon Regrowing Soldiers’ Muscles From Pig Cells.(Wired).A few pig cells, a single surgery and a rigorous daily workout: They’re the three ingredients that patients will need to re-grow fresh, functional slabs of their own muscle, courtesy of Pentagon-backed science that’s already being used to rebuild parts of people.The research team behind the project, based out of the University of Pittsburgh, has made remarkably swift progress: Mere months after starting their first-ever clinical trial, they’ve already operated on four soldiers and are now training groups of surgeons from across the country in perfecting the approach. If progress continues at this pace, the trial will wrap in 24 months and the technique will become “a standard of care for orthopedists and trauma surgeons,” according to Dr. Stephen Badylak, head of the initiative.It isn’t quite salamander territory, but it’s astonishingly close. The Pittsburgh team’s research means that, within this decade, the thousands of soldiers who’ve suffered major muscle loss during this decade’s wars can overcome devastating impairment — a life sentence of chronic pain, disability and no viable treatment short of amputation — and experience at least a 25 percent improvement in physical function. For civilians, the impact would incalculable. The kinds of trauma and health problems that now cause amputation, from car accidents and fires to cancer or diabetic peripheral vascular disease, would no longer cause irreparable damage.Read the full story here.
- On the other hand...: Air Force morgue lost body parts from war dead.(FedNewsRad).By Robert Burns.WASHINGTON (AP) - The Air Force mortuary that receives America's war dead and prepares them for burial lost portions of human remains twice in 2009, prompting the Air Force to discipline three senior officials for "gross mismanagement."A year-long Air Force investigation reviewed 14 sets of allegations of improper handling of war remains as reported by three whistleblower workers at Dover Air Force Base, Del. That is where all war dead are received from foreign battlefields to be identified, autopsied and prepared for transfer to their families.The Air Force inspector general concluded that no laws or regulations had been violated, as alleged, but an independent agency that reviewed the probe said the Air Force failed to accept accountability for its mistakes.Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has asked for a separate investigation.The Air Force determined that the mortuary's top leadership failed over time to respond to clear signs of weakness in accounting for human remains _ a task the Air Force says it considers one of its most solemn duties.Two of the three officials who were punished are still work at Dover but not in supervisory jobs. None was fired.Read the full story here.
- 9/11/11 - Europe pushes Italy into the abyss.(TheTelegraph).By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.It has taken three trading days since the failure of the G20 summit to detonate the explosive charge on Italy's €1.9 trillion (£1.6 trillion) bond market, the world's third-largest stock of public debt.Europe's purported "firewall" to safeguard Italy does not, in fact, exist. The EU's vague plans to leverage its EFSF rescue fund to €1 trillion have come to nothing. Investors could see at once that plans to use the fund as a "first loss" bond insurer concentrates risk, dooming France's AAA rating and accelerating contagion to the core.The European Central Bank (ECB) has been buying Italian bonds, but too slowly to stop the debt spiral. The ECB's new chief, Mario Draghi, kicked off his term with a blunt warning that it would be "pointless" for the bank to try to cap the yields of struggling debtors for long. It was an invitation for frightened investors to dump their bonds.With almost nothing in place to halt contagion, the market verdict has been swift and brutal. Capital Economics said "the Rubicon may have been crossed" after yields on 10-year Italian bonds smashed through 7pc on Wednesday. Clearing house LCH.Clearnet has raised margin requirements once and will almost certainly do so again. Italy is effectively shut out of global capital markets.Rome will not be able to roll over some €300bn in debt next year and will spiral into "disorderly default" unless EU authorities immediately face up to the enormity of the crisis."It is a panic. Rome is burning. Governments need to stop the fire spreading," said Jennifer McKeown, the group's Europe economist.Wider contagion was alarmingly clear as yield spreads on French debt rose to a post-EMU record of 146 basis points over Bunds. French lenders have $416bn (£261bn) of exposure to Italian debt of various kinds. The two Latin nations are joined at the hip."It is obvious what needs to be done," said Tim Congdon at International Monetary Research. "The ECB must engineer a 'boomlet' by purchasing €1 trillion of bonds – boosting the M3 money supply by 10pc – to end all the agony. This means that Germany must put up with 4pc to 5pc inflation for while, but is that such a disaster? If they want to save the euro, they have to give some hope to the peripheral countries."Read the full story here.
- Forced Marriages in Germany More Prevalent than Thought, vast majority of victims come from Muslim families.(Spiegel).A new study has revealed that thousands of young women and girls in forced marriages seek help every year in Germany. The vast majority of victims come from Muslim families, and many have been threatened with violence or even death. The numbers involved are much higher than previously suspected.More women and girls living in Germany are being forced into marriage under the threat of violence than previously thought, according to a new study released by the German government on Wednesday. In 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 3,443 people sought help at counseling and information centers because they had already been, or were being, forced into marriage. The vast majority of those victims were women or girls, but 6 percent were young men, who, like many of the women, sought help because they were threatened with violence if they did not go through with the marriage.The new study was presented Wednesday in Berlin by Family Minister Kristina Schröder and the federal integration commissioner, Maria Böhmer, both members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union. "Those who force their children against their will to marry someone they don't love, or who is a complete stranger, are committing brutal violence against them," Schröder said in a statement. The German human rights organization Terre des Femmes had previously estimated that in Germany more than a thousand women and girls from immigrant families seek help from counseling centers each year. Schröder has called for the issue of forced marriage to be discussed more in German schools.For the current study, 1,445 different counseling centers and other institutions were asked to participate in the survey. A total of 830 responded, including schools, immigrant aid organizations and so-called integration centers, which provide language and orientation courses for immigrants. The results also provide information on the heritage, age and prior history of the victims. The report revealed that one-third of victims were threatened with death if they did not go through with the forced marriage. The vast majority -- 83.4 percent -- of the victims of forced marriage come from households with Muslim parents. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, almost two-thirds of the cases come from devout religious families.Many of the victims experienced extreme violence, and 27 percent were threatened with weapons or with death. Almost a third of those forced into marriage in Germany were 17 years old or younger, and another 40 percent were between the ages of 18 and 21.Almost all of the victims came from immigrant families, but a third of the women and girls were born in Germany. Twenty-three percent of the victims were born in Turkey, the country from which the largest share of victims came, followed by Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Iraq and Afghanistan. There are around 3 million people of Turkish descent in Germany, comprising the country's largest non-German ethnic group. On July 1, 2011, a new law went into effect in Germany in which those who force women and girls into marriage can be punished by up to five years in prison. Böhmer, the federal integration minister, said in a statement: "The study clearly shows that our new laws in the fight against forced marriage were right and necessary." Böhmer noted that in many of the cases the women were forced to leave the country after marrying. They would now have the legal right to return to Germany within 10 years, she explained. "The message is that we are not leaving girls and young women who have grown up in Germany and gone to school here on their own," she said.Read the full story here.
- Iran To Israel: "We'll Show You Hell".(ZH).While we are looking for the full IAEA report blasting Iran and specifically its nuclear program, claiming that Iran carried out work relevant for developing nuclear arms according to a UN report citing 'credible' info, as well as having information of activities in Iran specific to nuclear weapons, we already know what Iran's response is to any potential 'provocations' from Israel. To wit: "We'll show you 'hell'" UPI explains: "Israel will learn the true meaning of "hell" if it decides a military strike against Iran is worth the risk, an Iranian national security official said. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is said to have been reviewing strike plans against Iran's nuclear infrastructure as the International Atomic Energy Agency expressed concerns about Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Iranian officials have said any attack on its nuclear infrastructure would be suicidal." And the soundbites keep getting better: "If a military challenge is started against Iran in the region, the Zionist regime will definitely be faced with a hell," Javad Jahangirzadeh, a lawmaker on Iran's national security commission, told the semiofficial Fars News Agency." Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in a Tuesday interview with Israel Radio, said Israel doesn't want war. If dragged into conflict, he said, the casualties would be low. "Israel is the strongest country in the region and it will stay that way," he added." And while a few weeks or even days ago, the outcome of this event would have been easily predictable, following the just announced "microphone" gaffe involving Sarkozy, Obama and Netanyahu, suddenly the odds are far more interesting. Regardless, at this point, aside from concluding that Keynesians everywhere must be rejoicing at the imminent GDP boost driven by the military-industrial complex, we can also venture to gamble: short glass manufacturers. In a few months there may be a natural glut.Hmmmm.......Glass covered parkings?Read the full story here.
- U.S. Government Releases Report Showing Pakistan Teaches Its Students Non-Muslims Are “Enemies of Islam”.(CBS)Islamabad - Text books in Pakistani schools foster prejudice and intolerance of Hindus and other religious minorities, while most teachers view non-Muslims as “enemies of Islam,” according to a study by a U.S. government commission released Wednesday.The findings indicate how deeply ingrained hardline Islam is in Pakistan and help explain why militancy is often supported, tolerated or excused in the country.“Teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow, weakening religious freedom, national and regional stability, and global security,” said Leonard Leo, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Pakistan was created in 1947 as a homeland for the Muslims of South Asia and was initially envisaged as a moderate state where minorities would have full rights. But three wars with mostly Hindu India; state support for militants fighting Soviet-rule in Afghanistan in the 1980s; and the appeasement of hardline clerics by weak governments seeking legitimacy have led to a steady radicalization of society. Religious minorities and those brave enough to speak out against intolerance have often been killed, seemingly with impunity, by militant sympathizers. The commission warned that any significant efforts to combat religious discrimination, especially in education, would “likely face strong opposition” from hardliners.The study reviewed more than 100 textbooks from grades 1-10 from Pakistan’s four provinces. Researchers in February this year visited 37 public schools, interviewing 277 students and teachers, and 19 madrases, where they interviewed 226 students and teachers.Read the full story here.
- Egypt sheikh calls on Muslims to support Iran against Israel, US.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: A top Egyptian shiekh said that he would call on Egyptians to support Iran and defend it against any American or Israeli aggression if Israel attacks the country. He added that he would issue a fatwa in support for the Iranian government if attacked.“If Israel attacks Iran, I will issue a Fatwa to confront Israel and the US,” Head of Islamist ‘al-Azmiya’ stream Sheikh Ala Mazi Abulezam said on Wednesday, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.“In case of any attack against Iran the Azmiya Tariqat and its followers will have complete preparedness to fight hand in hand with Iran,” he added.The cleric added that Tehran is an Islamic city and thus must be defended by all Muslims from all Islamic countries.It came after Israeli President Shimon Peres on October 4 said that an attack against Iran was becoming “increasingly more likely,” which sparked worries in the region that a war was brewing.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed parliament on October 31 in an effort to garner support for a military attack on Iran over its nuclear program.Supported by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu argued that Israel should proceed with efforts to encourage the West to exert more economic and political pressure on Iran.Read the full story here.
- In A Message On Eid Al-Adha, Pakistani Taliban Chief Hakimullah Mehsud Warns Of 'Well-Orchestrated' Attacks In Coming Days, Pledges To Fight Until 'There is No More... (Kufr) On The Earth'.(Memri).In a new message on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha (the feast of sacrifice), Hakimullah Mehsud, the Emir of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), pledged to continue "fighting in the way of Allah" until the earth is cleared of infidels. Urging Muslims to unite under the leadership of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, he also said that the Western troops are facing defeat in Afghanistan and are trying to create rifts among the militant groups in various ways as an exit strategy - a reference to the U.S. efforts for peace talks with some Taliban groups.Read the full story here.
- Hackivists Anonymous to take down Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: The Anonymous organization of hackivists has leveled a new threat against Egypt’s largest political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, saying it would take down the group’s online capacity.The announcement is titled “Operation Brotherhood Takedown.” And they said it was “engaged.”In a Youtube.com video, Anonymous said that the Brotherhood is a “threat to Egyptian soveriegnty” and must not be allowed to work against the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in February.The video stated that the Islamic group was not part of the revolution and is attempting to co-opt the Egyptian population.“Ever since its revolution that shook the world, Egypt has had its fate undecided. Predators who seek to control are waiting to strike at the right moment. They are waiting to take over the country and make it so that another revolution is impossible. We cannot allow this,” said the group.Anonymous is known for taking down websites across the globe, including intelligence sites and governmental organizations online status.“The Muslim Brotherhood started as a benevolent group of people with fair and just intentions. However, as decades went by, corruption seized its mission of good and turned it into a power-hungry organization bent on taking over soverign arab states in its quest to seize power from them,” continued the statement.Anonymous said they would not allow the Brotherhood to create an Islamic state in Egypt. They likened the Brotherhood to the Church of Scientology and Freemasons, in its structure and alleged adherence to vows.“Infused with its blatant, corrupt ways, the Brotherhood is now a threat to the people,” the video said. “Therefore, Anonymous has decided to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood. We shall proceed to dismantle any form of its organization from the internet. Nothing will stop us. We will show no mercy.”Read the full story here.
- Tests Show That Most Store Honey Isn’t Honey.(FoodSafetyNews).More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn't exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled "honey."The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world's food safety agencies.The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that's been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn't honey. However, the FDA isn't checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen.Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey - some containing illegal antibiotics - on the U.S. market for years.Hmmm......Seems like Winny the Pooh has been taken over by Kung Fu Panda?Read the full story here.
Egyptian Cleric Wagdi Ghoneim in Support of Chopping Off the Hands of Thieves: Criminals Prefer It to Prison
Wagdi Ghoneim: Imagine that I go to the market, walk around there, and eventually, I find the watch I was looking for. So I pay for it, put it on, and I'm pleased with it – and then along comes someone and steals it from me, just like that?! After I went looking for it, wasted time, and paid good money, someone can simply come and take it from me?
No, this man should have his hand chopped off. That's right, we should chop off his hand!
Muslims these days are embarrassed to say: "As for the thief, cut off his hand as punishment for their crime..." But people say: "Don't say that. It's cruel." What, God is cruel to us?! God forbid.
So what exactly do they want to do? Put the thief in a correctional facility. What exactly is that? It's prison. If he stole a bicycle – when he gets out, he'll steal a car. The "heavyweights" inside will say to him: "You stole a bicycle, you dumb idiot?! A bike?! Come here, and we'll teach you to steal cars." When he gets out, he'll be more of a criminal. I saw things like that when I was in prison. By Allah, there were convicted criminals who swore by Allah that they would have preferred an Islamic punishment. I knew this guy who got two life terms. He said: "I don't know if I'm alive or dead. I don't know how my wife earns a living. She comes to visit me once a month. I don't know how she makes money. I don't know how my children will finish school." 20 years! And away from his wife. What exactly are you confining – his freedom or his urges? Don't you install a toilet in his cell so he can relieve himself? That's an urge. What about his sexual urges? Where is he supposed to relieve them? To keep a man away from his wife for 20 years? That's wrong. Chop off his hand, and let him go. I swear that he told me he would have preferred to have his hand chopped off. There was this one thief in prison with me. They would send them to clean our cells, as we were political prisoners. I was imprisoned eight times in Egypt and four times abroad, may it all have been for the sake of Allah. He was a thief if ever I saw one. I asked him: "When you have served your five years, will you go straight?" He said: "I don't want to lie to you, Sheik Wagdi. How can I possibly stop? My hand has a mind of its own. I'm on the bus, and I see wallets popping out before my eyes, and I must steal them. How much would you pay me if I stopped stealing and started working for you? In a single hit, I can make..." I said to him: "What is the bottom line? What is the solution for you?" He said: "Frankly, this hand must be chopped off. I can't control it. My hand has a mind of its own." Source.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Turkey 5.5 !More info here.
- #OccupyWallStreet Is Obama’s America.(BigGovernment).By AWR Hawkins.When Barack Obama was seeking the Democrat nomination in early 2008, warnings of his inexperience coupled with the fact that he was an ideologue were ubiquitous. Again and again, the facts were placed before us that Obama’s only claim to significant leadership was as a community organizer in Chicago. Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others repeatedly said that Obama would be a reckless President who lacked governing knowledge and who was ruled only by his desire to put America in its place.And here we are. It’s late 2011, and the Organizer-in-Chief has proven that his only strength lies in his ability to organize those who hate America—hating both the economic system embedded in her and the ideals on which she stands.To put it bluntly, “Occupy Wall Street” is Obama’s America. He has organized it, perhaps indirectly, but has done so nonetheless via his relentless venom for “the rich” coupled with his ongoing calls for more people to sacrifice and to “pay their fair share.” Of course, he doesn’t mean the hippies and freaks in the protests should pay their share. Rather, he is fostering a feeling of betrayal in them so they will continue to “rage against the machine.”Look at it, folks–Obama’s America. Ain’t it great? It’s a place where law is disparaged (you can defecate on police cars), capitalism is hated (“eat the rich”), and people are entitled to take money from others even if the takers played no role in earning the money they crave (especially if they played no role in earning it).Hippies, freaks and union goons, all together in Obama’s community, have organized to oppose everything great about America. All the little ideologues are trying their best to imitate the masters: Obama, Marx, and that Jimmy Hoffa dude who loves to tell Obama “this is your army”, “we are ready to march” and a bunch of other nonsense.Since this is Obama’s army–the community he has organized–I suppose he gets the credit for their great accomplishments. You know, the vandalism in Oakland, the sexual assault at Occupy Dallas, the policemen attacked at Occupy Denver, the drug overdose at Occupy Vancouver, the kidnapping at Occupy Cleveland, and sexual predator/Seattle Occupier who was busted for exposing himself to kids at Seattle’s classy occupation. This is what “hope and change” looks like when you flesh it out, when you take it out of the leftist playbook and apply it to the real world.Our Organizer-in-Chief has really outdone himself this time. Welcome to Obama’s America.Read the full story here.
- How the Grinch Obama Couldn’t Wait: Christmas Tree tax.(The Foundry) — President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees — the Christmas Tree Tax — to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)). And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year (7 CFR 1214.52). And, of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent Federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.Acting Administrator Shipman had the temerity to say the 15-cent mandatory Christmas tree fee “is not a tax nor does it yield revenue for the Federal government” (76 CFR 69102). The Federal government mandates that the Christmas tree sellers pay the 15-cents per tree, whether they want to or not. The Federal government directs that the revenue generated by the 15-cent fee goes to the Board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out the Christmas tree program established by the Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. President, that’s a new 15-cent tax to pay for a Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.Nobody is saying President Obama doesn’t have authority to impose his new Christmas Tree Tax — his Administration cites the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. Just because the Obama Administration has the legal power to impose its Christmas Tree Tax doesn’t mean it should do so.The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs. Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do?And, by the way, the American Christmas tree has a great image that doesn’t need any help from the government.Hmmmm......." Can the ACLU please intervene in this? This is a tax on Christians. You certainly won’t see Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists having to pay this tax. Is this not a law respecting the establishment of religion?"Read the full story here.
- No 'gutsy call' for this President?Obama faces choice on Keystone pipeline: Big Labor or Big Green.(WE).President Obama lamented recently that Americans have "lost our ambition, our -- our imagination, and -- and -- our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge." There are at least two facts that must be pointed out here. First, the Golden Gate Bridge was built by private enterprise, not government. If anything, government was the biggest obstacle to the bridge, thanks to opposition from the Department of Defense and the mistaken opinion of a San Francisco city engineer that the ground under the bay to be spanned would never support such a structure. It's also worth noting here that Bank of America founder and president A.P. Giannini, a member of the much-maligned one percent, stepped forward at a critical moment after the Stock Market Crash of 1929 to provide critically needed private financing to complete the project. The bridge was finished in 1937, 16 years after architect Joseph Strauss first began the project. He completed the project $1.7 million under its total budget of $35 million. Second, Obama is almost certainly correct in doubting that grand projects like the Golden Gate Bridge could be done today, but not for the reasons he would want to acknowledge. For proof, we need look no further than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that TransCanada first proposed in 2008. The company wants to spend $7 billion in private capital to build the pipeline. It would transport crude oil produced in Canada's Alberta tar sands region to refineries in Texas. Not only would U.S. dependence on OPEC nations for oil be significantly reduced, building the pipeline would also, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, create as many as 435,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2035.But incessant delays since 2008 caused by the cumbersome permitting process and environmental impact assessments have put the project in jeopardy.Further complicating this picture is Obama's decision to delay making a final decision until after the 2012 election. The pipeline creates opposition between two of Obama's most important groups of political supporters: environmentalists who want to force Americans to stop using fossil fuels, and Big Labor, which wants the construction jobs. These groups provide millions of dollars in campaign donors and thousands of campaign workers, and Obama needs both if he is to have any hope of winning a second term. The only way to keep both in his corner is to delay the Keystone decision till after the election. But by then, TransCanada says it may be too late.Hmmmm......Give us another Reagan instead of this 'President'. Read the full story here.
- It’s Official: Obama Administration Promotes Islamist Regimes; Insists They are Moderate.(BarryRubin).Note:let me be clear: I am in a state of shock at this speech. It isn't just what they are doing--we knew about that--but how they are doing it--no reservations, no balance, no subtlety, leaving themselves (and the rest of us) with no escape route. They are endorsing the Muslim Brotherhood! Remember to quote some of the viciously antisemitic rhetoric of that group which can now say it is U.S.-sponsored. BR.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech justifying Obama Administration Middle East policy changes everything. True, it isn’t surprising. I’ve been writing for almost three years about how the current U.S. government thinks these things.Do not underestimate this speech's importance. It isn't a reluctant acceptance that Islamists might win elections and take over coutries. It is an enthusiastic endorsement of that idea.But now there can be no doubt that Obama’s Middle East policy is engaged in what might be the biggest blunder in the history of U.S. foreign policy. Millions of people will bemoan it as delivering their countries into the grip of repressive dictatorships. The speech can be summarized as follows: Islamist regimes—at least those whose “behavior” is proper--are good. If Islamists exercise political power they will be moderate. Thus, the United States will not merely tolerate but will actually support Islamists taking power.The Obama Administration is now on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizballah, and the Taliban (“moderate” wing). It is the equivalent of an American government telling you that Communism and fascism are no threat because they can be tamed by participating in elections and being in power.Thus, the Obama Administration has openly sided with Israel’s enemies. I don’t mean the Palestinian Authority (PA) or Saudi Arabia. That would be tolerable. We’re talking here about openly genocidal, antisemitic groups.It has also sided with the enemies of the PA, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. It has sided with the enemies of democratic forces in Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon. Indeed, the U.S. government is working to empower the most dangerous enemies of democracy in the Middle East. What’s especially remarkable is that this strategy is based on no evidence. All Clinton can cite is a single case—Turkey—that proves the exact opposite of what the Obama Administration claims.Here are five examples on the other side:
- The Oslo peace process was based on the belief that the radical nationalist PLO would be moderated by being given power, guns, and money. Has the result been peace and moderation?
- The U.S. government favored the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian election. It won and then staged a coup. Today Gaza is ruled by a radical regime that foments war on Israel and openly proclaims its intention to commit genocide on Jews.
- Hizballah participated in the Lebanese elections, won, and while it cannot institute a Shia Islamist regime in a country where 70 percent aren’t Shia Muslims and its opponents are armed, it is doing all it can to make that country a dictatorship that will attack Israel when it thinks the timing is right.
- In Egypt, we have seen the descent into anarchy and violence; the persecution of Christians, the unleashing of fanaticism. Where is the debate in the Muslim Brotherhood to indicate moderation? Where is the renunciation of past extremism? Where is the reinterpretation of Islamic texts to justify a totally different worldview? These things don’t exist.
- Turkey, the great role model, is seeing democracy wane as the Islamists arrest their enemies, take over the media, and adopt an anti-Western foreign policy that backs radical Islamists elsewhere.
March of folly indeed. This is a sprint. Clinton claims:
“Not all Islamists are alike. Turkey and Iran are both governed by parties with religious roots, but their models and behavior are radically different. There are plenty of political parties with religious affiliations—Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim—that respect the rules of democratic politics. The suggestion that faithful Muslims cannot thrive in a democracy is insulting, dangerous, and wrong. They do it in this country every day.Let’s review
- True, Not all Muslims are alike but all Islamists are alike.
- By the same token, not all Russians are alike but all Communists under Lenin and Stalin were alike.
- And, not all Germans were alike but all Nazis were alike.
- Not all organizations composed of Caucasians are alike but all members of the Klu Klux Klan are alike.
- The fact that European Christian Democratic and Israeli religious parties respect the rules of democratic politics has no connection with whether the Muslim Brotherhood will do so.
Is that clear?What’s striking about the administration’s position is the lack of the most basic logic. True, a political party with religious affiliations might “respect the rules of democratic politics.” But that doesn’t mean parties favoring a Sharia state in which, say, Muslims who convert to another religion are sentenced to death, fall into that category. There is no proof that Islamist parties “respect the rules of democratic politics” except their willingness to run in elections. The Nazis and Communists also ran in elections. So what?And what is a moderate Muslim? He might be a conservative traditionalist; liberal reformer; Kurdish or Berber nationalist; tribal loyalist; etc. But that doesn’t apply to an Islamist, someone who wants to fundamentally transform the existing society into one governed by Sharia law under a hardline interpretation, wiping of Israel off the map, subordinating Christians and women; and driving Western influence out of the region.Winning an election and forming a government is only the first step. What does that government do? It passes laws that enforce an Islamist conception of society; puts its people into the bureaucracy, rewards imams who are radical and fires those who are moderate; rewrites textbooks and what appears on the media, chooses judges and the commanders of the armed forces; and sponsors terrorism against other states. It would be something else completely for the U.S. government to say: We will accept the Muslim Brotherhood in government if it takes power in an election, but we will do everything possible to stop that from happening. That would be a proper U.S. interests’ policy.Clinton did set some conditions but in no way hinted that any Islamist party might violate them:“Parties committed to democracy must reject violence; they must abide by the rule of law and respect the freedoms of speech, religion, association, and assembly; they must respect the rights of women and minorities; they must let go of power if defeated at the polls; and in a region with deep divisions within and between religions, they cannot be the spark that starts a conflagration. In other words, what parties call themselves is less important to us than what they actually do.”
Where to begin?
- The Islamists do not reject violence. The Muslim Brotherhood supports terrorism against Israel, Americans, and Iraqi Shia. It will soon be backing violence, at least covertly, against Christians, secularists, and others. That is their doctrine.
- Abide by the rule of law. Well, they will democratically change the law into a repressive dictatorship. The Communists and fascist regimes also had laws that they enforced.
- Freedom of speech. No speech that criticizes Islam, their interpretation of Islam, or themselves, as we already see in Turkey where a former general was just sentenced to prison on the charge of having criticized the judgment in conversation with a villager.
- Freedom of religion. No building or repair of churches, no equality of treatment for Christians. In Turkey a great historic church is now being converted into a mosque.
- Association and assembly. Even now, look what happens if Christians try to demonstrate in Cairo.
- Respect the rights of women and minorities. Laws will be changed to take away women’s rights because Sharia will govern.
- And what will the U.S. government do if these democratic practices don’t happen? Might it ot be too late?
- “The suggestion that faithful Muslims cannot thrive in a democracy is insulting, dangerous, and wrong. They do it in this country every day.” Can you really be that dangerously stupid? There is a difference between non-Islamists and Islamists; a difference between a group that is a tiny minority in the United States and that is—in Egypt—90 percent of the population. Clinton is suggesting that to say Islamists are not moderate democrats is to be an Islamophobe and a racist.That paragraph is thus full of careless and ignorant rhetoric. The U.S. government seems to be defining a “faithful Muslim” as someone who supports the Muslim Brotherhood. Who do you think is going to be filling the prisons of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Gaza, and Lebanon? Faithful Muslims, that’s who.She continues, “In Tunisia, an Islamist party has just won a plurality of the votes in an open, competitive election. Its leaders have promised to embrace freedom of religion and full rights for women. To write a constitution and govern, they will have to persuade secular parties to work with them. And as they do, America will work with them, too, because we share the desire to see a Tunisian democracy emerge that delivers for its citizens and because America respects the right of the Tunisian people to choose their own leaders.”Notice that she says “as they do” and not “if they do.” She assumes moderation. A proper approach would be to say: If they do we will work with them and if they don’t we will work against them. Moreover, she assumes that the Islamists “share” America’s desire for Tunisian democracy. They don’t have to prove anything or pass any tests.Who is writing these speeches? The premise Clinton employs toward the Islamists is the exact equivalent of Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize before making any peace. They are certified as moderate democrats without doing anything democratic except for participating in elections. There are so many problems with this speech that I will continue this discussion in a second article discussing Clinton’s answer to her question, “Why does America promote democracy one way in some countries and another way in others?”Hmmmm......Is it Imam Rauf or Huma who's writing her 'speeches'?Read the full story here.
- You have to see this.. DOJ Government Web site Funding the enemy!(DocsTalk).Using the stage of the federal government to advance the personal agendas. Many Government sites as well as twitter updates from Government sites are basically taking sides on issues. This is really, really wrong and has come to a head with the latest on the DOJ site. This is a clear example of the root problem that using any and all resources to promote a personal agenda is OK because "we know better". This has gone on for a long time but it seems to be so blatant and in our face as if they have no fear because they know there will be no consequences. Why does this matter? This matters because all of our tax dollars go to funding these sites so citizens have access. As you will see in the mission statement below this is to be an unbiased fair to all system, but then they put an oped advertisement up defending something that we all in this country do not agree on. They are effectively taking a side and making it obvious that they are doing so. In a free country you should not have to pay to fund your enemy, be it Ford funding GMC or you funding the opinion of the President through use of government funded sites. The government basically has unlimited resources, avenues and coercive powers because of it's nature and under no circumstances should it be allowed to pick sides and uses tax payer money to promote on side or the other.Mission Statement taken from the Department of Justice web site. http://www.justice.gov/02organizations/about.html .- OUR MISSION STATEMENT -- To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.Also on the DOJ web site is a link in nice big text stating DEFENDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. When you hit the link http://www.justice.gov/healthcare/ it takes you to a page that has this info.This is their main heading introduction and it is completely fact less and opinion based. "The Affordable Care Act was enacted on March 23, 2010. This comprehensive health care reform law makes health insurance affordable for millions of Americans and protects them against potentially catastrophic medical expenses. This law has become the subject of several lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the provision requiring Americans who can afford it to maintain basic health insurance coverage. The Department is vigorously defending the law in these cases."WE must defend the core base principals that the government does not use your money and it's power to push, promote or denounce individual businesses, movements and personal agendas or opinions. Read the full story here.
- Obama Joins the Chorus.(ElliotAbrams).If Prime Minister Netanyahu were to ask a fair-minded, balanced, sensible adviser what he could realistically do to win the confidence and approbation of President Obama, the answer would have to be “nothing.”Two examples prove the point.In May, Netanyahu moved the Likud Party considerably to the center in his speech to the opening of the summer session of the Knesset. In that speech he discussed relations with the Palestinians and called for a “long term IDF presence along the Jordan River,” and said “we agree that we must maintain the settlement blocs.” In other words, he was saying that the Israeli presence along the Jordan would be that of soldiers only, not settlers, and that it would in any event not be permanent; and he was saying that only the settlement blocs, not all settlements no matter how small and isolated, would remain with Israel.The Obama administration’s reaction to these important statements was, well, nothing. Zero. They did not commend them, or even acknowledge that they were important. They were so certain in their view of Netanyahu as a recalcitrant right-winger that they did not even pay attention to what he was saying.This week, Netanyahu has started to move on the issue of “outposts,” small and unauthorized encampments in the West Bank. Prime minister Sharon repeatedly promised president Bush that he would act to remove them—and repeatedly failed (as did prime minister Olmert). At some political cost (see this and this), Netanyahu plans now to act.
The Wall Street Journal explained it this way:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled he plans to dismantle some unauthorized Jewish dwellings in the West Bank, setting up potential clashes with extremist settlers and the hard-liners in his government who back them. Such a move could mark the largest evacuation of settlers since the 2005 Gaza withdrawal, and could boost Mr. Netanyahu’s credibility among mainstream Israelis as well as abroad.Well, apparently not “abroad.” No sooner does Netanyahu take this courageous step than he is denounced by French President Sarkozy and President Obama, in a private conversation that has now been revealed. According to press reports,
Sarkozy told Obama, “Netanyahu, I can’t stand him. He’s a liar.” Obama did not object to the characterization, and responded: “You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day.”So we return to what our wise adviser might tell Netanyahu. In the very week that he moves on outposts—something Sharon and Olmert completely failed to do—he is called names by the French and the insults are apparently accepted and approved by the Americans. The advice to Bibi would have to be “forget it. Forget the possibility that Obama will ever treat you fairly. Forget the idea that he will give you a fair shake or pay attention to what you are actually doing.”If this were only a matter of personal relations between Obama and Netanyahu, it could be left at that. But it is far more consequential, for by that comment—and especially as it was made in private and can be interpreted as his actual view—President Obama has joined the chorus of assaults on the Jewish State. We only have one president at a time and they only have one prime minister. To treat the prime minister of Israel in this way is disgraceful.Read the full story here.
- GOP Senators Demand Investigation Into Obama Admin’s $730 Million Loan To Russian Steel Company.(TheHill) — Two GOP senators want the Energy Department’s (DOE) internal watchdog to investigate a planned $730 million loan for a company to manufacture high-strength automotive steel in Michigan.Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) are asking DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman to probe whether Severstal North America — a subsidiary of Russian steel giant OAO Severstal — should receive public financing to retool and expand facilities in Dearborn, Mich.“Given the tremendous fiscal crisis that we find ourselves in today, it does not seem appropriate for the program to subsidize technologies that have already achieved commercial success through private-sector means,” their Nov. 7 letter to Friedman states.The letter follows House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu last month attacking the potential financing.Hmmmm.......Creating jobs for overseas 'sponsors'?Read the full story here.
- Republican Congressman Demands Obama Apologize To Netanyahu.(TheHill).A Republican congressman from New York is calling on President Obama to apologize to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for comments Obama made that were caught on a live mic.French President Nicolas Sarkozy said to Obama that he “cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar.”“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama responded according to a French interpreter.Sarkozy and Obama were unaware that they were speaking in the range of an open mic.In response, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) is calling on Obama to formally apologize for his remarks.“I find President Obama’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu highly offensive and call on him to issue a formal apology on behalf of the American people,” Grimm said in a statement Tuesday. “Whether the microphones are on or off, the message to our allies in Israel should always remain the same: ‘We stand with you.’Read the full story here.
- Sarkozy gaffe rekindles talk of US-J'lem tensions.(Jpost).An open microphone has stirred the waters of an Israeli diplomatic nightmare: a crisis with its staunchest ally, the US.During what French President Nicolas Sarkozy thought was a private conversation with US President Barack Obama, the French leader called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “a liar” at last week’s G-20 summit in Cannes, France. But his comments were only publicized on Tuesday.One Israeli official with a sense of humor quipped in response, “You should hear what [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel says of Sarkozy.”The Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry refused to comment, and officials who spoke with The Jerusalem Post tried unsuccessfully to focus the conversation on French-Israel relations.But while Sarkozy’s comments made for a good headline, it was Obama’s response, of being “fed up” with Netanyahu, that caught everyone’s attention in Israel.From his election campaign and until today, foes of Obama have portrayed him as bad for the Jews and bad for Israel.In an interview with the Post this summer, John Bolton, a Republican and former US ambassador to the UN, said of Obama that he was “the most anti-Israel president in the history of the state, without any question.”In contrast, just last week in Jerusalem, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro spoke of Obama’s support for the Jewish state and of the strong ties between the two countries.Israelis hope Shapiro is correct, but fear Bolton’s assessment is more accurate.“Obama’s true face was revealed, as are his cold and disrespectful policies toward Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu,” MK Danny Danon (Likud) told the Post. “Anyone who had doubts about the way Obama treats Israel doesn’t have them anymore. Obama is bad for Israel.”The possibility of bad blood between Netanyahu and Obama, as well as the specter of a crisis in US and Israel relations, comes at a critical moment between the two long-standing allies.The two countries are joined together in their battle against a nuclear Iran. It’s a fight whose significance was highlighted by the publication, on the same day, of a report by the International Atomic Energy Association which confirmed that Iran had not stopped its atomic program.The US has stood firmly with Israel in its insistence that negotiations are the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.The threat of a US veto and American lobbying efforts have been instrumental in helping to thwart the Palestinian bid at the UN Security Council to attain UN membership.The attack on Netanyahu’s diplomatic abilities also comes just one day after the prime minister faced a crisis in his party and his coalition. Those in the opposition could not help but note that there was an internal political message here for Israel as well.Labor MK Daniel Ben-Simon told the Post on Tuesday that he is “embarrassed as a citizen and as a MK” by Sarkozy’s words.“I was embarrassed to read what Sarkozy thinks about our prime minister, and I was even more embarrassed to hear that the US President agrees with him,” Ben-Simon said.“I am filled with shame that this is the way two of our greatest allies treat our prime minister,” he added. “I think this is the first time such comments have been publicized.”“If [Netanyahu] lies so easily to important officials, just imagine how much he lies to us,” Ben-Simon said.Kadima, whose last Knesset campaign slogan was “Bibi, I don’t believe him,” chose not to comment on the matter.“What Sarkozy said is more than enough,” a party spokesman quipped.One Israeli official, however, said that the ties between allies were not necessarily frayed by such side-line conversations.Relations exist between countries and not leaders.While one influences the other, ultimately nations are tied together more by their joint interest than the warm feelings between their leaders, the official said.Hmmmm......“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”Read the full story here.
- U.S. Government Confirms Link Between Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing.(BlacklistedNews).By. John C.K. Daly.On 5 November an earthquake measuring 5.6 rattled Oklahoma and was felt as far away as Illinois.Until two years ago Oklahoma typically had about 50 earthquakes a year, but in 2010, 1,047 quakes shook the state.Why?In Lincoln County, where most of this past weekend's seismic incidents were centered, there are 181 injection wells, according to Matt Skinner, an official from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the agency which oversees oil and gas production in the state.Cause and effect?The practice of injecting water into deep rock formations causes earthquakes, both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Geological Survey have concluded.The U.S. natural gas industry pumps a mixture of water and assorted chemicals deep underground to shatter sediment layers containing natural gas, a process called hydraulic fracturing, known more informally as “fracking.” While environmental groups have primarily focused on fracking’s capacity to pollute underground water, a more ominous byproduct emerges from U.S. government studies – that forcing fluids under high pressure deep underground produces increased regional seismic activity.As the U.S. natural gas industry mounts an unprecedented and expensive advertising campaign to convince the public that such practices are environmentally benign, U.S. government agencies have determined otherwise.According to the U.S. Army’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal website, the RMA drilled a deep well for disposing of the site’s liquid waste after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “concluded that this procedure is effective and protective of the environment.” According to the RMA, “The Rocky Mountain Arsenal deep injection well was constructed in 1961, and was drilled to a depth of 12,045 feet” and 165 million gallons of Basin F liquid waste, consisting of “very salty water that includes some metals, chlorides, wastewater and toxic organics” was injected into the well during 1962-1966.Why was the process halted? “The Army discontinued use of the well in February 1966 because of the possibility that the fluid injection was “triggering earthquakes in the area,” according to the RMA. In 1990, the “Earthquake Hazard Associated with Deep Well Injection--A Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency” study of RMA events by Craig Nicholson, and R.I. Wesson stated simply, “Injection had been discontinued at the site in the previous year once the link between the fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established.”Twenty-five years later, “possibility” and ‘established” changed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s July 2001 87 page study, “Technical Program Overview: Underground Injection Control Regulations EPA 816-r-02-025,” which reported, “In 1967, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) determined that a deep, hazardous waste disposal well at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was causing significant seismic events in the vicinity of Denver, Colorado.”There is a significant divergence between “possibility,” “established” and “was causing,” and the most recent report was a decade ago. Much hydraulic fracturing to liberate shale oil gas in the Marcellus shale has occurred since.According to the USGS website, under the undated heading, “Can we cause earthquakes? Is there any way to prevent earthquakes?” the agency notes, “Earthquakes induced by human activity have been documented in a few locations in the United States, Japan, and Canada.The cause was injection of fluids into deep wells for waste disposal and secondary recovery of oil, and the use of reservoirs for water supplies. Most of these earthquakes were minor. The largest and most widely known resulted from fluid injection at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver, Colorado. In 1967, an earthquake of magnitude 5.5 followed a series of smaller earthquakes. Injection had been discontinued at the site in the previous year once the link between the fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established.”Note the phrase, “Once the link between the fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established.”So both the U.S Army and the U.S. Geological Survey over fifty years of research confirm on a federal level that that “fluid injection” introduces subterranean instability and is a contributory factor in inducing increased seismic activity.” How about “causing significant seismic events?”Fast forward to the present.Overseas, last month Britain’s Cuadrilla Resources announced that it has discovered huge underground deposits of natural gas in Lancashire, up to 200 trillion cubic feet of gas in all.On 2 November a report commissioned by Cuadrilla Resources acknowledged that hydraulic fracturing was responsible for two tremors which hit Lancashire and possibly as many as fifty separate earth tremors overall. The British Geological Survey also linked smaller quakes in the Blackpool area to fracking. BGS Dr. Brian Baptie said, “It seems quite likely that they are related,” noting, “We had a couple of instruments close to the site and they show that both events occurred near the site and at a shallow depth.”But, back to Oklahoma. Austin Holland’s August 2011 report, “Examination of Possibly Induced Seismicity from Hydraulic Fracturing in the Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma” Oklahoma Geological Survey OF1-2011, studied 43 earthquakes that occurred on 18 January, ranging in intensity from 1.0 to 2.8 Md (milliDarcies.) While the report’s conclusions are understandably cautious, it does state, “Our analysis showed that shortly after hydraulic fracturing began small earthquakes started occurring, and more than 50 were identified, of which 43 were large enough to be located.”Sensitized to the issue, the oil and natural gas industry has been quick to dismiss the charges and deluge the public with a plethora of televisions advertisements about how natural gas from shale deposits is not only America’s future, but provides jobs and energy companies are responsible custodians of the environment.It seems likely that Washington will eventually be forced to address the issue, as the U.S. Army and the USGS have noted a causal link between the forced injection of liquids underground and increased seismic activity. While the Oklahoma quake caused a deal of property damage, had lives been lost, the policy would most certainly have come under increased scrutiny from the legal community.While polluting a local community’s water supply is a local tragedy barely heard inside the Beltway, an earthquake ranging from Oklahoma to Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas is an issue that might yet shake voters out of their torpor, and national elections are slightly less than a year away.Read the full story here.
- Israel believes it could carry out strikes on Iran with under 500 civilian fatalities.(TheTelegraph).Ehud Barak raised the prospect of military action with Iran once again as he hinted that splits in the international community over imposing sanctions regarded as crippling enough by Israel could leave the Jewish state with no option but to take matters into its own hands.The warning came as a report by UN weapons inspectors into Iran's nuclear activities was made public, concluding that the Islamist regime is closer to building an atom bomb than ever before.Mr Barak conceded that the price of air strikes against Iran would be high, with Iran retaliating by firing long-range missiles at Israeli cities and encouraging its allies Hizbollah and Hamas to unleash their vast rocket arsenals at the country.But he insisted that claims of huge destruction in Israel were overblown and that the country could survive the retaliation."There is no way to prevent some damage," he said. "It will not be pleasant. There is no scenario for 50,000 dead, or 5,000 killed – and if everyone stays in their homes, maybe not even 500 dead."Mr Barak said the International Atomic Energy Agency's report represents "the final opportunity" for the United Nations Security Council to punish Iran with sanctions of sufficient severity to force Iran into abandoning its nuclear ambitions. Demanding that the international community finally take action to target Tehran's vital energy sector, he called for a naval blockade to prevent Iran exploiting oil.Although such a measure would undoubtedly do serious harm to Iran's energy-dependent economy, even the United States is said to be concerned about the impact it would have on oil prices at a time of heightened vulnerability for the world economy.Mr Barak predicted that opposition by Russia and China would make it impossible to achieve consensus in the Security Council for such sanctions, leaving military action increasingly as the only option."I don't think it will be possible to form such a coalition," he told Israeli radio."As long as no such sanctions have been imposed and proven effective, we continue to recommend to our friends in the world and to ourselves not to take any action off the table."US officials said they hoped the IAEA report would increase leverage for tougher sanctions, rather than short term pressure for air strikes.The "war camp" in the Israeli cabinet is believed to be in a minority that is championed primarily by Mr Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.But many Israeli politicians will agree with the defence minister's assertion that the IAEA report represents "the last opportunity for coordinated, lethal sanctions that will force Iran to stop".Israel believes that Iran is intent on moving the bulk of its nuclear production underground within months, after which it will be harder than ever to launch effective military action.Read the full story here.
- UNSC split over Palestinian statehood bid.(Ynet).A draft report by a key UN Security Council committee, obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, declared that members could not reach consensus on whether Palestine should be accepted as a UN member state. "The committee was unable to make a unanimous recommendation to the Security Council," said the draft report of the council's committee on admitting new member states.It was circulated to all 15 Security Council members on Tuesday.The four-page draft appears to confirm that the Palestinian move to join the world body as a full member, which Western envoys said was doomed from the outset due to a US vow to veto it if it ever came to a vote in the council, is set to fail due to the council's unresolvable deadlock.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full UN membership for the state of Palestine on Sept. 23.The Palestinians can still call for a vote in the Security Council, but diplomats say it is not clear whether they will do so given that Washington will likely not need to use its veto to block it.The Palestinians would score a moral victory and force Washington to cast its veto if they are able to muster nine votes to support them in the council. A council resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes to pass.But UN diplomats say the Palestinians have so far secured only eight backers.The draft report details how the council is divided into three groups – those planning to support the Palestinian bid, those opposing it and those planning to abstain from any vote on it. It does not identify the countries.The draft may be revised before it is formally presented to the Security Council on Friday, diplomats said on condition of anonymity.Read the full story here.
- German expert indicates possible use of chemical weapons by Turkish army.(Firat).German military and secret service expert Erich Schmidt-Eenboom says chemical weapons could have been used. Following the examination of photographs of the body of HPG guerrilla Ebru Muhikancı, who was among 36 guerrillas who lost her life following the Turkish army operation in Çukurca district of Hakkari on 22-24 October, well-known German military and secret service expert Erich Schmidt-Eenboom remarked that the Turkish army could have used new chemical weapons in Kazan Valley. The white stains seen on the photographs of Muhikancı’s body are the most remarkable proof of chemical weapons, said Eenboom who spoke to ANF. Defining the photographs as “utterly terrifying”, Eenboom expressed doubts concerning chemical weapon use saying that “The plenty of white stains and marks on the photographs are absolute evidence to the use of chemical weapons since these can’t be made by standard bombs.”Mentioning the statements of HPG guerrillas who survived the bombardment in Kazan Valley, Eenboom commented the expressions of “a smell resembling the smell of fruit and milk” and “great nausea, sore throat and suffocation feeling after the bombs”. Eenboom said that “These descriptions are beyond the effects of napalm or other bombs which do not spread that kind of smell. If survivors really felt this smell, a new kind of chemical weapon was used there with a high degree of probability.”Pointing out that the Turkish army violated international conventions by using this kind of weapons, German expert commented that; “It seems that Turkey wants to display a show of force and give message to the states in the region by means of the fight against PKK.”Hmmmm......"Beware of The smell of fruit and milk in the morning"?Read the full story here.
- Turkey doubles efforts of distorting the historic facts ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.(ArmRadio).Turkey has doubled its efforts of distorting the historic facts ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Young Turkish historian Mehmed Perincek has published his recurrent masterpiece, where he presents his views on the Armenian Genocide. In” The Armenian Cause in 120 documents of Russian state archives” book published in Moscow the author tries to persuade that massacres were perpetrated by both sides, and blames the imperialistic powers and Russia for this. The Turkish historian tries to prove the authenticity of his doctrine, saying it is based on 120 Russian archive documents. “When you look through the book, it becomes clear that the author has used only 63 documents, the rest are different Soviet-era publications against the Armenian Revolutionary Federation,” Director of the Armenian National Archive Amatuni Virabyan told a press conference today. According to him, the Genocide-related materials kept in Russia archives are rather modest. There are more documents in the archives of the countries, which had diplomatic representatives in Turkey at the turn of the century. In particular, the German, American, Austrian, and even Spanish diplomats were reporting to their respective governments about the brutalities against Armenians of Turkey. Director of the National Archive has prepared an article to be translated into Russian in the near future. This is a response to Mehmer Perencek’s book, where Amatuni Virabyan has enlisted all of the above-mentioned documents. Ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide the National Archive is preparing to publish “Vshtapatum” (The Story of Sorrow) - a 1 500-page work, which presents the Armenian Genocide by the eyes of eyewitnesses, in Armenian, English and Russian, and possibly French. In the near future the National Archive will publish about 1 200 documents on the massacre of the Armenian population of Kars in 1918-1920. The documents were collected by the commission set up by Hovhannes Tumanyan in 1919 and were to be presented at the Paris Peace Conference.Hmmm.....Erdogan:" A Muslim could not commit genocide".Read the full story here.
- Kaplan: Erdoğan trying to build an empire of fear.(Firat).Holding a speech at the meeting with civil society organizations, Kaplan pointed out the painful bairam process and said the followings; “Clashes and deaths continue on one side, while the great pain and wounds of Van earthquake have still not been healed on the other side. However, we are not going through usual times since all the elected except from me in Şırnak region have been arrested and put in prison. Despite all these, we continue to do politics as usual. BDP and DTK Co-chairs are currently in Erbil and our party is also contributing to the formation of the new Constitution in the Parliament.”Responding to PM Erdoğan who unfairly insulted the BDP and asked ‘where municipalities and mayors of the BDP were for help’ in the after quake process, Kaplan said that; “The mayors of the BDP were put in prison because of the KCK operation you yourself launched. You know but you still ask where they are. Our deputy mayors and city council members gave every effort and reached the aids to Van in a timely manner. We have most recently surveyed the earthquake area for two days and the single complaint victims made was “where the government and the state was”. Kaplan also mentioned the meeting of Erdoğan and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani and underlined that Barzani gave a definite reply to Erdoğan by refusing three options of war presented by Turkey to Iraq with the intention of hitting Qandil and finishing with the PKK. Kaplan continued as follows; “The options proposed by Erdoğan all intended a war, not negotiations. However, brothers will not kill each other anymore since Barzani replied that ‘he wouldn’t be involved in this war’. Commenting Erdoğan’s most recent statement where he said that “The supporters of KCK support terror as well”, Kaplan said the followings; “In PM’s opinion, everyone thinking unlike him is a terrorist. He wants to build an empire of fear in Turkey by making an effort to suppress those who criticize him. Erdoğan’s warning to not to expect KCK investigations and operations to stop indicates that these arrests are leaded by him, not by the judiciary.”Kaplan ended his speech saying that; “There will be no peace and everybody will be considered as guilty in a place where there is no justice. However, everyone should know well that this people will spoil this game.”Hmmm......."Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty". ~ Plato.Read the full story here.
- Syrian Mufti threatens Europe with suicide bombers if Nato acts against Assad.(Spiegel).For some he is a holy man, for others he is little more than a rabble-rouser. But no one can dispute that Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, 62, is one of the most important men in Syria, a man who, as the country’s most senior religious scholar and a close political advisor to President Bashar Assad, plays a role in shaping war and peace in his country and in the entire Middle Eastern region.Sheik Hassoun, a Sunni religious scholar at Al-Azhar University in Cairo and a member of parliament for eight years, has always found conciliatory words in the West. He sharply criticized the term “Holy War” in front of the European Parliament, saying: “Only peace is holy.” At the Ecumenical Church Congress in Munich, he impressed fellow participants with his plea for interfaith dialogue and stunned German bishops with the proposal that the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) should remove the letter C from its name, for reasons of secularism.Now, in October, Hassoun has adopted a decidedly different tone in his homeland. The following passage was leaked from the eulogy he gave for his son Saria, who had been killed by militant regime opponents: “The moment the first (NATO) missile hits Syria, all the sons and daughters of Lebanon and Syria will set out to become martyrdom-seekers in Europe and on Palestinian soil. I say to all of Europe and to the US: We will prepare martyrdom-seekers who are already among you, if you bomb Syria or Lebanon. From now on, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”Hmmmm.......Riyadh under the chairmanship of Grand Mufti, Shiekh Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, to discuss issues related to financing of terrorism. Subsequently, the Board issued a Fatwa on April 12, 2010 on the issue. The Fatwa declared ‘any act of terrorism, including financial support to terrorists’, a crime, regardless of the place of its occurrence. It further classified the person providing financial aid to terrorists as a “partner” in the act. The Fatwa described terrorism as an act that involved ‘ targeting of public resources, hijacking of planes and blowing of buildings’. Read the full story here.
- Video - Iranian ex-Muslim tells her story of rape and torture.(Tundratabloids).Warning contains graphic images,not suitable for children.Read and see the full story here.
- Suffering Christians Crying Out for Prayers.(ODN).The U.S. State Department reported in October that Afghanistan now has no church buildings and no Christian schools.Can you imagine the fear and isolation that must grip the hearts of Christian men and women in places like this?More than 100 million Christians are persecuted globally, and it's getting worse every year. A recent report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found more than 2.2 billion people live in countries where social hostilities or government restrictions rose substantially from 2006 to 2009. The most powerful way Christians in the West can show their support for the small number of believers in Afghanistan and millions of other suffering Christians around the world is through prayer. Millions will be gathering in churches, small groups and homes this Sunday for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). IDOP began in 1996 and today is one of the largest prayer events in the world.“IDOP presents a tremendous opportunity for millions of people to make a difference in the lives of those faithful Christians who are literally under the gun in countries such as North Korea, Iran, Nigeria and Afghanistan,” said Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “Compass Direct News reported suspected Islamic extremists threw a grenade into the home of the guard of an East Africa Pentecostal Church congregation on Saturday, killing an 8-year-old girl and a member of the church. Three others were seriously injured. Please pray for their families. They and many more are crying out for our prayers.”The top 10 persecutors on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List include North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos.An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation.Hmmm......The American president's reaction?......"Tax the Christmas Trees!".Read the full story here.
- "The Perfect Solar Storm ?" - NOAA Warns of Monster Solar Storm Region Facing Earth for Next Two Weeks; Fully Capable of Producing X-Class Flares.(SHTF).Last Thursday the sun produced an X1.9 rated solar flare that narrowly missed Earth. Although it wasn’t aimed directly at us, about 45 minutes after leaving the sun it was still powerful enough to disrupt radio communications.Now, that same area responsible for producing the X-class flare may pose a direct threat to Earth.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center says that the region on the sun known as AR11339 and affectionately called the “Benevolent Monster” will set its sights on Earth. It will move into a position that poses the largest risk to our planet around November 9th, 2011 and remain on a direct line of sight with earth for the following two (2) weeks as it rotates: Scientists at the federal Space Weather Prediction Center say that area is the most active part of the sun since 2005. It has dozens of sunspots, including one that is the size of 17 Earths..........“It’s still growing. The size is what blows me away.”Thursday’s flare wasn’t aimed at Earth. However, this active region is now slowly turning toward Earth, and scientists say it will be directly facing Earth in about five days.That storm region will only affect Earth if it shoots off flares and they hit our planet, which doesn’t always happen with stormy areas, said prediction center space scientist Joe Kunches.The region will be facing Earth for about two weeks as it rotates, he said.Solar flares send out bursts of electromagnetic energy that can occasionally disrupt communications and electrical systems.Sourced Via The Intel Hub. We’ll be facing the monster starting sometime this evening into tomorrow. Considering that it has just recently ejected an X-class flare towards Earth and another towards Venus, we should consider the region to be active and fully capable of affecting our planet.While NOAA’s warnings fall short of any imminent ‘end of the world as we know it’ event, the risk over the next two weeks of a Carrington-like event are higher now than at anytime in the last decade. The 1859 Carrington Event, caused by a solar flare, reportedly knocked out telegraph operations around the world. It is believed that such an event, were it to occur today, could potentially take down the U.S. power grid for months or years and paralyze the entire globe: Physicist Michio Kaku:
It could paralyze the economy of the planet earth. In 1859 we had a gigantic solar storm which knocked out telegraph wires back then, 150 years ago. If that had happened today it would knock out almost all our satellites, knock out power stations, there would be food riots around the country because refrigeration would stop, airplanes would probably crash without radar.…And again, this is a once in a century, once in two centuries storm…We do have them and we have to worry about them.…We’d be thrown back 100 years. Source: Top Physicist Says Solar Flare Would Set Us Back 100 Years. Patrick Geryl of How to Survive 2012 contacted us recently and contributed a short video describing the potential fall out of such an event. The consequences would be devastating and would include everything from power grid failure and food shortages, to savage riots and, eventually, a meltdown of nuclear reactors across the globe.There would be very little warning, if any, with estimates suggesting that once a solar event is detected it could take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days to impact earth.Read the full story here.
- North Pacific 'super storm' makes its way toward Western Alaska coastline.(AlaskaDispatch).On the edge of the vast emptiness between North America and Russia, the remote Pribilof Islands -- the Galapagos of the North -- were among the possible targets for a brewing Arctic hurricane. National Weather Service officials in Alaska spent the day monitoring weather sensors as a pair of polar lows converged and began to gather strength south of St. Paul and St. George, the two biggest islands in the five-island chain some 200 miles offshore, about 750 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city.Monday evening, the weather service posted a "hurricane force wind warning (for) Tuesday." Winds built overnight from less than 20 mph to 50 mph by Tuesday morning. Storm trackers forecast winds really intensifying, up to 65 knots -- 75 mph -- by Tuesday afternoon. That's into the Force 12 hurricane range on the Beaufort Wind Scale, which warns of structural damage with winds as low as Force 9 and notes Force 10 winds are of such force they are "seldom experienced on land. (Expect) trees broken or uprooted, considerable structural damage.If the winds weren't enough, the weather service warned that seas that batter the islands were likely to build to 32 feet -- higher than many three-story buildings. Imagine walking through an average American suburb where the waves rise higher than all the houses around you. The people of the Pribilofs were getting ready as best they could. Few live there.Less than 450 people live in St. Paul, the largest community in the islands. Nearby St. George is home to but 102. Most are Alaska Natives who struggle to eke out a living from commercial fishing or tourism.Tanadgusix Corp., a village business formed after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, opened a new hotel just six years ago on St. Paul to try to house tourists who come to the island from all over the world to view its unique collection of summer bird life. The windswept island is also home to a relatively new fish processing plant, but a lot of the 175 structures in St. Paul date back to shortly after World War II, when Aleuts who had been evacuated from the islands were returned from internment in Southeast Alaska to help the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries manage fur seals. St. Paul Island is also home to a Russian Orthodox church more than a century old. Sts. Peter and Paul Church was built in 1907 and added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1980.Though the Pribilofs were shaping up as ground central for an Alaska version of The Perfect Storm, there were concerns about high winds and coastal flooding developing all over Western Alaska.Hmmmm......After the storm....A new 'Nome gold rush' on the beaches?Read the full story here.
- Canary Islands Eruption: Undersea Volcano Now Just 70 Meters from Surface, 22 pictures.(Spiegel).In the Atlantic Ocean, off the Canary Island of El Hierro, 20-meter high jets of water are being spat into the air as the sea boils amid the stench of sulfur. The undersea volcano, which is set to create new land, is growing ever-nearer to the surface -- but is the existing island at risk from the explosive eruptions?"The monster rises out of the water", screamed the Spanish newspaper La Provincia. Scientists, meanwhile, are being a bit more level-headed about the undersea volcano south of El Hierro in the Canary Islands; they now believe it is in the third phase of its eruption -- fountains of water have been shooting out of the Atlantic up to 20 meters in the air over the last few days. On Tuesday, some local residents even saw stones being catapulted out of the sea.A seething maelstrom, dozens of meters across, is bubbling away in the ocean. Measurements show that the vortices are significantly warmer than the surrounding water.So far, the volcano has only shown its explosive power beneath the water. But now the outbursts to the south of El Hierro are frothing up the surface, as if the ocean had hiccups. The lava is piling up on an underwater mountain. That the eruption is capable of firing jets of water into the air shows that this mountain is growing -- the center of the eruption is approaching the surface. Geologists believe that new land could soon emerge from the sea, and islanders are already looking for a name for the new territory. There are only 70 meters to go until the mountain reaches the surface, experts from Spain's National Geographic Institute (IGN) have reported.But how big is the risk to nearby residents? Last weekend, hundreds of people had to leave their homes in the southern part of El Hierro as streets were closed. And locals can quite literally smell the danger -- stinking sulfur fumes are drifting across the ocean. The Volcanology Institute of the Canaries, Involcan, has reported a three-fold increase in carbon dioxide levels -- a warning signal that further volcanic activity can be expected.Seismic disturbances on the seabed have also been spreading. Since July, more than 10,000 minor earthquakes have shaken El Hierro, but since Oct. 22, the tremors have become increasingly stronger with some even surpassing four on the Richter scale. The quakes are showing a pattern typical of flowing magma, the so-called harmonic volcanic tremor -- a clear sign of impending eruptions.And scientists have been warning since September that if and when those eruptions do occur, they could well happen on land. In recent days, the tremors have shifted from the south to the north of El Hierro. Because most of the quakes there had occurred at a depth of ten kilometers or greater, there was probably no immediate risk of an eruption in the area, the local authorities had said. The magma had been confined to the deep.But it has now started moving upwards -- the most recent earthquakes have been shallower.There could soon be eruptions in or near the El Golfo valley on the northern coast, the IGN has warned. And an outpouring of lava could prove dangerous not only if it happens on land, but also in shallow water, where it could result in large steam explosions, says Ramon Ortiz, scientific adviser to the local government.Most so-called hot spot volcanoes, like those in the Canaries, produce basaltic magma with a relatively small proportion of silicon dioxide (SiO2). SiO2 acts like a glue, producing very viscous magma, leading to a buildup of gases which results in an explosive mixture. The Geochemist Torrent said the El Hierro volcano, however, is feeding off two supplies of lava; a less volatile basalt magma and a much more explosive, SiO2-rich magma.The risk of large, explosive eruptions in the Canary Islands "should not be neglected," warned geoscientist Rosa Sobradelo from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Barcelona in a report in the "Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences" journal. How often such events happen is unknown. But even the most momentous explosions of the past few centuries remained localized.And there are no fears of large eruptions on land, according to the IGN. The only risk is in the immediate vicinity of the eruption site, where there may be lava flows and rocks flung into the air.Read the full story here.