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.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.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.