Wednesday, November 16, 2011
(Shoebat.Com).The brand new TV show featured on Cable TV channel TLC tries to depict Muslims as "ordinary patriotic" Americans but fails to deliver in its very first episode by featuring a radical Shia Imam Husham Al- Husainy. In the first episode the Imam is featured marrying a male convert to Islam to a secular Muslim women. The Imam was exposed on the Sean Hannity Show back in February 2007. I remember listening to the actual interview live in which it was obvious the Imam supports Hezbollah a terror entity listed by the State Department. The Imam hates the the USA and Israel. You can hear in the interview what a nut job the Imam is and his gymnastics and crazy attacks in order to avoid answering simple questions.The main stream media continues to propagate the illusion of a moderate Islam and moderate Muslims. The only moderate Muslims that can exist and based on the way the show is presented are the Muslims who act in a very secular way and the Muslims who follow the faith closely are a major problem when it both comes to sympathizing with terror or actually supporting it. Even the "secular" Muslims still have tribal instinct to side with the tribe rather than side with righteousness. We will continue to monitor the show as it progresses through the season.More here.
According to the Weekly Standard, the man featured in the clip above, Egyptian candidate for president Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, "may well follow Mubarak as Egypt's first Islamist president." If so then this video clip--which was posted on YouTube on 4 August, and later reported on in several Arab media outlets--might give us a frightening glimpse into what kind of partner in the War on Terror the new Egyptian regime will be.
Subtitled video is above, full transcript below:
And Usama bin Laden—may Allah be pleased with him—may Allah take great mercy upon him. I ask Allah to accept him with the righteous and the martyrs, O Lord. Do not imagine that a martyr is only someone with whom you've always agreed throughout your life. If you had a different point of view from him, and then he was killed, this would not negate his martyrdom. Now this man (i.e. bin Laden) had religion wealth, and he was able to spend millions in the path of Allah, and speak the word of truth with power. However, he preferred to sacrifice his flesh, his offspring, his family, and his wealth, and go to the front lines to work in the path of Allah. The most glorious among us are always the martyrs. May Allah have mercy on him. The testimony which he obtained was a great fortune. I suppose that he—and Allah is his judge now—is among those of whom it is said, “If only my people knew,” Allah-willing. May Allah take great mercy upon him, and I ask Almighty Allah that the Muslims may soon be able to avenge him, as well as all of the martyrs of Islam, such as ‘Abdallah ‘Azam, Ahmad Yasin, and others, O Lord. Source.
"Hi, Congressman Dennis Kucinich here. I just got off the phone with a very well-known talk show host from Cleveland, Mike Trivisonno, who told me about calls that he is getting from people who are concerned that there is an Al Qaeda flag flying over the courthouse in Benghazi in Libya. It was put there by the same group that we helped to oust the Gaddafi regime.
What is going on in America? On the one hand, we have soldiers dying in Afghanistan fighting Al Qaeda. On the other hand, we just helped a group of people take over Libya and the Al Qaeda flag is flying over their capital city headquarters.
What are we doing? It is time for America to get its story and its priorities straight about what we stand for as a nation. Its time to get out of all these wars and all of these conflicts where we think we can play both sides against the middle and it usually ends up with U.S. soldiers getting killed.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Tonga 5.6 - 5.5; Japan 5.4 - 5.3 !More info here.
- Europe - Nuclear Event in MultiCountries situation update on Wednesday, 16 November..Here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Canary Islands - El Hierro earthquake and volcano eruption – Update 21. here , Live webcams here and here.
- "The 'War' on Christianity" - The Red Cross bans Christmas because it could offend Moslems.(DailyMail).Christmas has been banned by the Red Cross from its 430 fund-raising shops. Staff have been ordered to take down decorations and to remove any other signs of the Christian festival because they could offend Moslems. The charity's politically-correct move triggered an avalanche of criticism and mockery last night - from Christians and Moslems. Christine Banks, a volunteer at a Red Cross shop in New Romney, Kent, said: 'We put up a nativity scene in the window and were told to take it out. It seems we can't have anything that means Christmas. We're allowed to have some tinsel but that's it. 'When we send cards they have to say season's greetings or best wishes. They must not be linked directly to Christmas. 'When we asked we were told it is because we must not upset Moslems.' Mrs Banks added: ' We have been instructed that we can't say anything about Christmas and we certainly can't have a Christmas tree. ' I think the policy is offensive to Moslems as well as to us. No reasonable person can object to Christians celebrating Christmas. But we are not supposed to show any sign of Christianity at all.' Labour peer Lord Ahmed, one of the country's most prominent Moslem politicians, said: 'It is stupid to think Moslems would be offended. 'The Moslem community has been talking to Christians for the past 1,400 years. The teachings from Islam are that you should respect other faiths.' He added: 'In my business all my staff celebrate Christmas and I celebrate with them. It is absolutely not the case that Christmas could damage the Red Cross reputation for neutrality - I think their people have gone a little bit over the top.' The furore is a fresh blow to the image of what was once one of Britain's most respected charities. The British Red Cross lost friends this year over its support for the French illegal immigrant camp at Sangatte and its insistence on concentrating large efforts on helping asylum seekers. Yesterday officials at the charity's London HQ confirmed that Christmas is barred from the 430 shops which contributed more than £20million to its income last year. 'The Red Cross is a neutral organisation and we don't want to be aligned with any political party or particular philosophy,' a spokesman said. 'We don't want to be seen as a Christian or Islamic or Jewish organisation because that might compromise our ability to work in conflict situations around the world.' He added: 'In shops people can put up decorations like tinsel or snow which are seasonal. But the guidance is that things representative of Christmas cannot be shown.' Volunteers, however, said they believed the Christmas ban was a product of political correctness of the kind that led Birmingham's leaders to order their city to celebrate 'Winterval'. Rod Thomas, a Plymouth vicar and spokesman for the Reform evangelical grouping in the Church of England, said: 'People who hold seriously to their faith are respected by people of other faiths. They should start calling themselves the Red Splodge. All their efforts will only succeed in alienating most people.' Major Charles Heyman, editor of Jane's World Armies, said: 'There is really nothing to hurt the Red Cross in Christmas, is there? Would the Red Crescent stop its staff observing Ramadan? 'In practice, the role of the Red Cross is to run prisoner- of-war programmes and relief efforts for civilians. Those activities require the agreement of both sides in a conflict in the first place. Celebrating Christmas in a shop in England could hardly upset that.' Major Heyman added: 'Moslems are just as sensible about these things as Christians. The Red Cross is just engaging in a bit of political correctness.' British Red Cross leaders have, however, not extended the ban to their own profitable products. Items currently on sale include Christmas cards featuring angels and wise men and Advent calendars with nativity scenes. The spokesman said: 'The Red Cross is trying to be inclusive and we recognise there are lots of people who want to buy Christmas cards which they know will benefit us.' The charity's umbrella body, the Swiss-based International Red Cross, has also had politically-correct doubts about its famous symbol. But efforts to find an alternative were abandoned in the face of protest and ridicule five years ago. Hmmmm......I guess i'll find another Charity to donate.Read the full story here.
- "The Most Transparent Administration EVAH!"White House Restricts Ability to Search Website.(WhiteHouseDossier).By KeithKoffler.With an election on the way and Congressional probes of the administration’s inner workings heating up, the White House has made its website more difficult to search, eliminating features that formerly allowed users to easily hone in on the target of their inquiry.The newly user-unfriendly White House search function is doubtless an attempt to make conducting research on the site more arduous. Obama’s young, tech-savvy aides are unlikely to have accidentally made a routine but important website feature worse. To the contrary, it took effort and technological know-how to downgrade the search function.The previous version of White House search allowed visitors to narrow their focus in more than three dozen different ways, including by various types of posts like “pages” or “videos;” issue tags such as “economy,” “foreign policy,” “health care,” or “defense;” and offices within the White House.The new White House search offers a total of four ways to narrow the search: “Blog posts,” essentially White House propaganda hyping various events and presidential activities; “Press articles,” which appears to include official White House press releases; “videos;” and “photo galleries.”The old search also allowed filtering of results in typical search function ways, by “relevancy” “title,” “type,” and “author.” And one could also limit the search to Obama’s speeches, the press briefings, or various types of presidential statements and memoranda.These options are no longer available.Searchers could formerly choose to get results from the latest entry to the earliest or from the earliest to the most recent, and could narrow the search all the way to the month or date of the post.Now, searchers can only choose to call up “everything” or limit their search to the past day, week, month or year.Which is really not what one might have expected from the “openness administration.”Read the full story here.
- Obama's dark vision of America.(Politico).By Keith Koffler.America, in the view of President Barack Obama, is not a happy place. It is a dark region where people cheat each other; corporations brutalize the public, and opportunity is out of reach.Obama’s relentless reelection focus on America’s demons is a communications error that could haunt his bid for a second term.Americans want to be told the truth. They don’t want their president to pretend that the economy is thriving.But what they probably won’t abide is a message that there is something fundamentally wrong with the nation that Obama, like some prophet preaching through Gomorrah, was sent to fix.The last Democratic president to win reelection, Bill Clinton, mimicked Ronald Reagan’s feel-good “Morning in America” theme to coast to a second term.But Obama is trying out a reelection model that posits a broken country which needs him to “finish the job” he started.America, in Obama’s view, is an unfair place, where “our school system” is working “for just some children;” where immigrants live “in second-class status.”The wealthiest — who do pay most of the federal income taxes — are unscrupulous cheats who would have their secretaries fork over a bigger percentage of their income to Uncle Sam than they do.Corporations and their henchmen on Washington’s K Street have fixed the system so they can rip it off at will.“Tell these members of Congress,” Obama instructed North Carolina high school students last month, in a pessimistic civics lesson, “that they don’t work for special interest, they don’t work for lobbyists. They work for you.”Corrupt corporate interests are grabbing for themselves and lying to the public. “I did not run for office,” Obama said, “to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,”As for insurers, Obama has charged that they used “deceptive and dishonest” methods to advertise their opposition to his health reform plan.Together, the wealthy and corporations are assailing the middle class.“The only class warfare I’ve seen,” Obama said in September, “is the battle that’s been waged against the middle class in this country for a decade.For too many, Obama suggests, the American Dream is dead or dying.Read the full story here.
- "Solyndra Gate" - Blockbuster: Obama administration pressured Solyndra to delay layoffs for political gain.(HotAir).The Washington Post broke this story earlier this morning. Does anyone want to argue that Solyndra isn’t a scandal now?The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show. …Solyndra’s chief executive warned the Energy Department on Oct. 25, 2010, that he intended to announce worker layoffs Oct. 28. He said he was spurred by numerous calls from reporters and potential investors about rumors the firm was in financial trouble and was planning to lay off workers and close one of its two plants.But in an Oct. 30, 2010, e-mail, advisers to Solyndra’s primary investor, Argonaut Equity, explain that the Energy Department had strongly urged the company to put off the layoff announcement until Nov. 3. The midterm elections were held Nov. 2, and led to Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives.“DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,” a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. “They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd – oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.”Yeah — that’s odd, isn’t it? The DoE requested that a privately-held corporation withhold important financial information from investors until the day after a national election. But that’s just a coincidence … right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.This means that the DoE knew that Solyndra had begun to fail, and that the cash they provided as part of Barack Obama’s job stimulus wouldn’t actually create jobs. In fact, it wasn’t even going to save jobs. And yet the DoE not only succeeded in pressuring Solyndra into hiding that fact from the public and their investors, this sequence makes it look as though the Obama administration used the $40 million in loans as a bribe to keep Solyndra from making its layoff announcement in a timely manner. [See update.]Guess where this thread leads? Right to the White House:
On Oct. 25, 2010, Solyndra chief executive Brian Harrison e-mailed the energy department’s loan staff to explain that Solyndra “has received some press inquiries about rumors of problems (one of them with quite accurate information) and we have received in bound calls from potential investors. Both of these data points indicate the story is starting to leak outside Solyndra.”
Harrison went on to state that he would “like to go forward with the internal communication [to employees regarding layoffs] on Thursday, October 28.”
Harrison’s e-mail was forwarded to program director, Jonathan Silver, who then alerted White House climate change czar Carol Browner and Vice President Biden’s point person on stimulus, Ron Klain. Browner asked for more information about the announcement, and Chu’s chief of staff explained he had left a voicemail message on her cellphone.So who ordered Solyndra to keep quiet? Was it the “climate-change czar”? Was it the Vice President? Or did it go higher than that? It’s time to start getting all of these people under oath in Congress and start preparing a criminal investigation.Update: Solyndra is not a publicly-traded company, which means that there would be no legal requirement for the company to disclose the layoffs in terms of selling stock. However, Solyndra and the DoE were actively seeking investors at this time to keep the company from failing, as earlier documents have disclosed. In the end, they got George Kaiser and his investment group to put another $75 million into Solyndra by illegally subordinating taxpayers in the event of collapse.Hmmm.....The most transparent administration EVAH!Read the full story here.
- COP: Obama: A Prophet Without Honor in His Own Land.(DocsTalk).By Peter Wehner.President Obama has decided to go for the hat-trick.In September, Obama told an interviewer Americans have “gotten a little soft.” That was followed by a fundraiser in San Francisco where Obama said that “we have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge.” And over the weekend at an APEC conference in Honolulu, speaking to CEOs, President Obama said this: “But you know we’ve been a little bit lazy I think over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken it for granted – ‘Well, people will want to come here’ — and we’re not out there hungry selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.” Set aside the fact that Obama bears a good deal of the responsibility for making America unattractive to new businesses. Set aside the fact that Obama’s opinion of America seems to track with America’s opinion of Obama. (When Obama was elected president by a comfortable margin in 2008, we were the ones we had been waiting for; today, with Obama’s public approval ratings at dangerously low levels, we’re a little soft, a little bit lazy, and lost our ambition and imagination). And set aside the political wisdom of taking monthly jabs at the American people.What we’re learning about Obama, I think, is that the most authentic words he uttered during the 2008 campaign were words he wanted to keep private.In April of that year Obama, speaking at what he thought was a private fundraiser in San Francisco,was trying to explain his troubles winning over some working-class voters, saying they have become frustrated with economic conditions. “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”It’s all there, in a single sentence. The barely concealed disdain for the American people. The reflexive need to explain his lack of popularity based on the unenlightened views and moral defects of the masses. The insufferable moral superiority. Obama seems to believe the attitude of the American people to him should be the same as Wayne and Garth (of “Wayne’s World” fame) toward Alice Cooper: “We’re not worthy. We’re not worthy.”It must be frustrating to be president of a nation of people whom you look down on and for whom you have contempt. The good news for Obama is this problem may well be rectified round about a year from now. And if the president is rejected by the public after his first term and judged to have been a failure, we can already anticipate the title of his third autobiography: “A Prophet Without Honor in His Own Land.”Read the full story here.
- TransCanada to alter Keystone route.(TheHill).TransCanada Corp., the company behind a $7 billion proposed pipeline that would carry oil sands crude from Alberta to Texas, agreed Monday to alter the route of the project.Top officials at the company threw their support behind legislation to reroute the Keystone XL pipeline around the Sand Hills of Nebraska, an environmentally sensitive area that has become the epicenter of opposition to the pipeline in the state in recent months. “I am pleased to tell you that the positive conversations we have had with Nebraska leaders have resulted in legislation that respects the concerns of Nebraskans and supports the development of the Keystone XL pipeline,” Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada’s president of energy and oil pipelines, said in a statement. “I can confirm the route will be changed and Nebraskans will play an important role in determining the final route.”The announcement comes several days after the State Department announced it would evaluate alternative routes to avoid the Nebraska Sand Hills, which includes a vital aquifer in the state. The decision to evaluate alternative routes will delay a final verdict on the project until after the 2012 election, a move that spares President Obama from having to weather the backlash of the politically thorny decision.TransCanada said Monday the company will work with the State Department and Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality to determine a new pipeline route. A new environmental review will be required as well, which the State Department said last week could take until early 2013.Monday’s announcement could lessen opposition to the Keystone XL project in Nebraska. The state legislature is in midst of a special session to consider legislation to reroute the project. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R), for example, has said he isn’t opposed to the pipeline in theory, but objects to the route.Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who has also said he opposes the pipeline route, hailed the agreement Monday.“This is a win for Nebraskans,” he said in a statement. “The pipeline will be moved out of environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska with TransCanada proposing a new route. The pipeline will be built, bringing jobs to Nebraska.”The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries in Texas.While many in Nebraska praised the agreement to change the pipeline route, the move likely will not appease environmental groups. They have long called on President Obama to reject the project, raising concerns about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil sands production and the potential for oil spills.Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said Monday night in the Capitol that the agreement resolves concerns for Nebraskans.“It resolves the issue for those that were sincere about their feelings that it could harm the Sand Hills and potentially damage the aquifer," Terry said. But he said it leaves environmental groups with less backing for their opposition to the project."They are out there alone now," Terry said.The announcement came on the same day that Alberta Premier Alison Redford met with lawmakers and the State Department in Washington.In the Capitol Monday night, Redford said the announcement makes her more optimistic that the project will ultimately be approved.“I think it’s good news today,” she said. “It’s different circumstances than we had last week. It’s something I can be more optimistic about now than I would have been this morning.”Redford met with State Department Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones, as well as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Sen Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas.).Echoing comments by Prime Minister Stephen Harper this past weekend, Redford said earlier Monday that Canada will continue to explore opportunities to sell its oil to Asia.“As we move through the process, we need to make decisions with respect to economic development as a result of circumstances that are not within our control,” Redford said Monday, echoing Harper’s comments. “At some point in time if we were to see an outcome that was disappointing, we may need to make other decisions.”But Redford insisted that Canada’s plans to examine the possibility of selling its oil to Asia should not be perceived as a threat to the United States.“The reality is that Canada and Alberta will build markets and we will go where there are markets that are available to us. I don’t think that we’re looking at an either/or and I never thought that we were,” she said.Hmmmm.....Obama wants America depending on Middle East oil, Canada could better sell it right away to the Chinese....Why bother?Read the full story here.
- Debate tomorrow night: Robert Spencer versus jihadists on democracy versus theocracy.(JihadWatch).I doubt it will be nearly as much sheer fun as my debates with Marvelous Moustafa Zayed (here and here), but tomorrow night on ABN I'll be debating the Britain-based jihadists Anjem Chaudary and Abu Izzadeen. Tune in here at 4PM PST, 7PM EST.Read and see the full story here.
- Saudi Arabia seeks U.N. condemnation of plot to kill its Washington envoy.(AlArabiya).Saudi Arabia’s U.N. delegation said on Tuesday it will submit a draft resolution to the General Assembly soon that condemns an alleged plot to assassinate its U.S. envoy and urges Iran to follow the law. According to an Al Arabiya correspondent, the draft is expected to be adopted by the United States, the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council.The draft resolution would have the 193-nation assembly say it “deplores the plot to assassinate the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America,” according to Reuters.It also condemns “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations” and “strongly condemns acts of violence against diplomatic and consular missions and representatives.”Abdul Mohsen Alyas, the Saudi U.N. mission’s spokesman, said his delegation would circulate the draft resolution to the assembly on Wednesday and was aiming to put it to a vote on Friday. U.S. authorities said last month they had uncovered a plot by two Iranian men linked to Tehran’s security agencies to hire a hit man to kill ambassador Adel al-Jubeir. One man, Manssor Arbabsiar, was arrested in September while the other is believed to be in Iran.Iran has denied the charges and expressed outrage, saying the allegations threaten stability in the Gulf, where Saudi Arabia and Iran, the biggest regional powers, are fierce rivals and Washington has a huge military presence.The draft resolution does not directly accuse Iran of being responsible for the plot or call for a condemnation of Tehran.It does, however, urge Iran “to comply with all of its obligations under international law ... and to cooperate with states to bring to justice all those who participated in the planning, sponsoring, organization and attempted execution of the plot to assassinate the (Saudi) ambassador.”The Saudi delegation expects that many U.N. member states will ask to jointly sponsor the non-binding General Assembly resolution, Alyas said. “It’s a clear signal that terrorist acts and acts of violence against any country, its citizens and its representatives should not pass without a proper response,” he said.Failure to condemn such acts would be tantamount to condoning them, he added.Several diplomats told Reuters that Washington would probably be among the resolution's co-sponsors.Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the U.S. said Tuesday there was “ample and heinous” evidence that Iran was behind the alleged plot to kill the current Saudi envoy to Washington, The Associated Press reported.Prince Turki al-Faisal, who also once served as Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, told reporters that if Tehran failed to prosecute Iranians linked to the plot, Riyadh may take the case to the United Nations.“We have seen ample and heinous evidence in the uncovering of an assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States,” he said, adding the evidence “indicates the depths of depravity and unreason to which the Ahmadinejad regime has sunk. Fortunately, this plot was foiled.”The Saudi prince is no longer a government official and said he was speaking as a private citizen. But he is an influential member of the royal family and serves as chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.Turki called the plot “the tip of the iceberg,” saying Iran was “meddling” in the affairs of many other countries, including Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan and especially Iraq, according to AP. The Saudi government has also accused a terror cell linked to Iran of plotting to blow up its embassy in Bahrain, as well as the causeway linking the island kingdom to Saudi Arabia.Read the full story here.
- "You Got To Be kidding?" EU wants to ban its own film on Afghan women in prison.(AlArabiya).Two female Afghan prisoners want to tell their stories. One is serving 12 years in jail for being raped; the other is in prison for running away from an abusive husband. With the help of the European Union, a London-based filmmaker made a documentary in late 2010 that exposed the plight of abused women in Afghanistan but the EU has now backtracked on the project. It wants to block the release of the film “In-Justice: The Story of Afghan Women in Jail” as it might upset “relations with the justice institutions.”Clementine Malpas, who was given financial aid for making the documentary to highlight the lives of battered wives and rape victims convicted of “moral crimes” in Afghanistan, has also been accused of breaching her contract after claims that the film has already been screened to outside viewers. Malpas says it was the women’s choice to share their stories and EU officials are in fact silencing the women against their will.The filmmaker had written consent to interview Gulnaz, a 19-year-old Afghani woman, who was raped and impregnated by her cousin. She was sentenced to 12-years in prison for having extra-marital sex. The judge gave Gulnaz the option of foregoing a jail sentence if she agreed to marry her rapist, who bribed his way out of a jail term. She refused and gave birth to a daughter in prison and now expects that she will have to raise her there.Malpas also filmed Farida, a 26-year-old woman jailed after escaping her abusive husband.She ran off with a young man whom she says she loves but has never had sex with. She was arrested and imprisoned nonetheless. Police said she was guilty of “the crime” because she was not a virgin, ignoring the fact that she was already married. She was sentenced to six years. Her boyfriend is locked up in an adjoining men’s prison. A wall keeps them from seeing each other, but they pass messages to each other through prison guards.In a patriarchal society such as Afghanistan, both women risked their personal safety by speaking out against the country’s judicial system for the documentary. Gulnaz is heard saying on tape: “I have to do the film because when everyone sees this, it will be a lesson for them and these things won’t happen in Afghanistan.”The EU, however, insists that it is protecting the women by trying to hide their identities.“The women and their families must be protected, which means their identities can under no circumstances be revealed ... the film in its current form does not conceal the persons in question,” an unnamed EU spokesman said to the London Evening Standard on Nov. 15. Malpas believes otherwise. “It is not for us to veto their voices,” she said, adding that, “it is the women’s choice to tell their stories and I admire their clear-eyed courage.”Vygaudas Usackas, head of the EU mission in Afghanistan, wrote to Malpas threatening legal action: “We have been approached by several individuals who claim to have been shown the documentary. In addition, members of your team have said themselves they have screened it to outside viewers.“This is in breach of your contractual obligations. The EU reserves the right to consider legal action,” Usackas wrote according to the Evening Standard.But an email sent by an EU official to the filmmakers and a number of EU staffers in March 2011 expresses another concern: a suggestion that it could create problems with the Afghan government.“The EU delegation also has to consider its relations with the justice institutions in connection with the other work that it is doing in the sector,” according to the email from Zoe Leffler, the EU official overseeing the project, obtained by the Associated Press.In June the EU decided against showing the film completely.“The EU decided to withdraw the film only because there were very real concerns for the safety of the women it portrayed. Their welfare was and continues to be the paramount consideration in this matter,” the EU said in a statement provided to the AP. Some of the most severe restrictions women faced under the Taliban, like a ban on attending schools and needing a male escort in order to venture outside the home, were abolished when the Islamists was driven from power in 2001 by U.S.-led NATO forces. But 10 years later, Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative and male-dominated society, meaning women are still sold to husbands and rights enshrined in law are often ignored in practice.About half of the 300-400 women jailed in Afghanistan are imprisoned for so-called “moral crimes” such as sex outside marriage, or running away from their husbands, according to reports by the U.N. and research organizations, even though the latter is not even a crime under Afghan law.The 19-year-old rape victim in the EU-funded film told the AP that she had hoped the attention might help her get released. Now she said she is losing hope and considering marrying her rapist as a way out.In the human rights community there is now a sense that an opportunity to draw attention to an important issue is being lost.Georgette Gagnon, who directs human rights policy for the United Nations in Afghanistan, said it’s particularly urgent to raise the issue of women being wrongly imprisoned now, before international resources directed at Afghanistan dwindle as foreign troops draw down.“It's now or never. We've got a couple of years until the money and the leverage and the support are greatly reduced,” Gagnon told the AP.Read the full story here.
- Schwartz: Stuck in the Middle on Islamophobia.(IPT).Islamophobia is a real and dangerous phenomenon, but not to the degree that American Muslim Brotherhood organizations claim, argues Muslim writer Stephen Schwartz for the site Islamicpluralism.org. False, racist images of Islam do not protect non-Muslims from extremists or even the appeal that Islam has to its converts, he adds, but only strengthens bigots on both sides."The foundation of Islamophobia is, then, the will of the Islam-hater to claim authority to define Islam for the Muslim," says Schwartz. Real Islamophobia may manifest itself in forms unique to the hatred of Islam, or may reassign racial or religious stereotypes about other minorities to Muslims.Those who condemn all of Islam as extremist, characterize its existence as a problem for the world, and demand inauthentic theological changes, reassign hatred previously cast on Jews. Accusing all Muslims of having superior loyalty to a Muslim super state is merely a repetition of bigotry previously used against Catholics and their adherence to the Vatican.Critically, non-Muslims cannot and should not deny hate against Muslims, which is seen as a real issue by practicing Muslims of many streams. So anti-radicalism narratives proposed by Muslims or non-Muslims cannot ignore the existence of stigma or hate directed at Islam. Moderate Muslims compete best against radicals by proving that they both more knowledgeable and more authentic to traditional sources, and by dealing with real social problems like hate and ignorance.However, calling out Islamophobia does not mean bending to false and manipulative interpretations of the idea."The Wahhabi lobby, and especially CAIR, has been grossly irresponsible and, in traditional terms, un-Islamic, in loudly and prolifically comparing the current situation of American Muslims with those encountered in the past by indigenous Americans, Black slaves, or the ethnic Japanese relocated in camps during the second world war," Schwartz argues. He also laments that this lobby "still monopolizes the American Muslim voice in the halls of government and in the pages of media."CAIR has traditionally used false images of hate to manipulate the relationship between moderate Muslims and law enforcement, harming counterterrorism efforts. The Associated Press recently cited CAIR officials instructing young Muslims "not to speak with police even if their parents, imams, or Muslim clerics urge them to cooperate."Read Schwartz's full column here.Read the full story here.
- B-2 Bomber Gets Boeing’s New 30,000-Pound Bunker-Buster Bomb a.k.a. Massive Ordnance Penetrator.(Bloomberg).The U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of a new 30,000-pound bomb from Boeing Co. (BA) that’s capable of penetrating deeply buried enemy targets. The huge bunker buster, dubbed the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, is built to fit the B-2 stealth bomber. The Air Force Global Strike Command started receiving the bombs in September, Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miller said in a short statement to Bloomberg News. The deliveries “will meet requirements for the current operational need,” he said. The Air Force in 2009 said Boeing might build as many as 16 of the munitions. Miller yesterday had no details on how many the Air Force plans to buy. Boeing in August received a $32 million contract that included eight of the munitions. Command head Lieutenant General James Kowalski told the annual Air Force Association conference in September the command “completed integration” of the bunker-buster bomb with the B- 2, “giving the war-fighter increased capability against hardened and deeply buried targets.” The bomb is the U.S. military’s largest conventional penetrator. It’s six times bigger than the 5,000-pound bunker buster that the Air Force now uses to attack deeply buried nuclear, biological or chemical sites. Chicago-based Boeing is manufacturing the bomb,which was successfully demonstrated in March 2007.The B-2, developed by Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC), has a shape and skin capable of evading radar. It’s the only U.S. bomber designed to penetrate air defenses such as those believed in use by North Korea and Iran. It’s also the only aircraft currently capable of carrying the new bomb. The B-2 has bombed targets in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Three in March flew round-trip, non-stop missions from Missouri to Libya in the opening hours of U.S. air strikes, dropping 45 bombs. Little authoritative information has been published about the capability of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. A December 2007 story by the Air Force News Service said it has a hardened- steel casing and can reach targets as far down as 200 feet underground before exploding. The new, 20.5-foot-long bomb carries more than 5,300 pounds of explosives and is guided by Global Positioning System satellites, according to a description on the Web site of the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The Pentagon in July 2009 formally asked Congress to shift funds in order to accelerate by three years fielding the weapon.Authorities in Tehran announced recently that they’re moving some uranium enrichment from a more vulnerable site at Natanz to a location at Qom that is 90 meters (295 feet) under rock, said David Albright, who is founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington. Read the full story here.
- Army to test ‘global strike’ technology this week.(StratRisks).The U.S. Army on Wednesday will test missile technology that could eventually be incorporated into the development a conventional “prompt global strike” weapon, according to Defense Department officials .Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command will conduct a flight test of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, which is to use an advanced-technology glide body built to endure high-speed flight in the upper atmosphere en route to a target.“This test is designed to collect data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test-range performance for long-range atmospheric flight,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan told Global Security Newswire last week by e-mail.She said the test scenario would focus on “flight performance of aerodynamics; navigation, guidance, and control; and thermal protection technologies.”The test vehicle is slated to be launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, and is to fly to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, located more than 2,000 miles southwest on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.The launch had been slated to take place on Tuesday but was delayed one day “due to scheduling conflicts with other events in the Pacific,” according to Morgan, who did not elaborate.The data gleaned from the test will be used by the Defense Department to develop future capabilities for conventional prompt global strike, she told GSN.The Pentagon is interested in developing a nonnuclear, prompt-strike capability to attack a target anywhere around the world with just an hour’s notice. This type of weapon might be used in the event that U.S. naval vessels or land-based aircraft are not located close enough to strike a target under urgent conditions, such as prior to an impending North Korean missile launch.AHW technologies, if proven successful, might be incorporated into the Air Force Conventional Strike Missile, which could be the first such prompt-attack capability to be fielded.Read the full story here.
- Anti-Hacking Law Criminalizes Most Computer Users, Former Prosecutor Says.(Wired).The nation’s premier anti-hacking law poses a threat to the civil liberties of millions of Americans who use computers and the internet and could lead to the arrest and prosecution of many users who violate the law on a regular basis, says a former federal prosecutor who wants the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act revised.“In the Justice Department’s view, the CFAA criminalizes conduct as innocuous as using a fake name on Facebook or lying about your weight in an online dating profile. That situation is intolerable,” says Orin Kerr, George Washington University law professor and a former federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the Criminal Division.Currently, the law punishes anyone who “intentionally … exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains information from any protected computer.”Kerr is testifying on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and is asking Congress to amend the law to narrow how prosecutors can interpret what it means to exceed authorized access on a computer.In arguing that the statute needs to be revised, Kerr is calling on Congress to follow the Senate’s lead. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved an amendment to a pending bill that would limit the interpretation of exceeding authorized access under the CFAA. Per the amendment, it would ‘‘not include access in violation of a contractual obligation or agreement, such as an acceptable use policy or terms of service agreement, with an Internet service provider, Internet website, or non-government employer, if such violation constitutes the sole basis for determining that access to a protected computer is unauthorized.”Kerr says this would still allow prosecutors to pursue cases against government employees for misusing sensitive government databases, but would not sweep in an entire class of other people for merely violating a contractual agreement with a web site or their ISP.Read the full story here.
- France recalls Syria ambassador, violence grows.(YNet).France recalled its ambassador to Damascus on Wednesday as Syrian President Bashar Assad came under increasing pressure from home and abroad, with army defectors killing at least eight soldiers in a daring attack on the military. French Ambassador Eric Chevallier was ordered home in the wake of recent attacks against diplomatic missions and increasing violence stemming from Syria's 8-month-old uprising. Pro-regime demonstrators have stormed the diplomatic offices of France, the US and other countries critical of the Syrian government. Syrian forces fired tear gas Wednesday to disperse demonstrators outside the Qatari and United Arab Emirates embassies in Damascus.French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said "the vise is tightening" around the Syrian regime. "I'm convinced the Syrian people will keep up their fight, and France will continue to do everything possible to help," he told the lower house of parliament. The move comes as the Arab League met in Morocco, where the 22-member group was expected to formally suspend Damascus over its bloody crackdown. France, Syria's former colonial ruler, has been increasingly critical of Assad's regime in recent weeks, urging him to step down and meeting with opposition figures. French government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse said Paris is working with the Syrian opposition "to try to develop a political alternative" to Assad's government. Assad, who inherited power 11 years ago from his father, is facing a swiftly escalating challenge to his rule. Syrian army defectors attacked military and intelligence bases near the capital and an army checkpoint in Hama province on Wednesday. Attacks on regime forces by renegade troops have been growing in recent days as the country's political crisis appears to be spiraling out of control. Although activists say the anti-government protesters have remained largely peaceful, an armed insurgency has developed in recent months, targeting Assad's military and security forces.Wednesday's deadliest attack was in the central province of Hama, where army defectors killed at least eight soldiers and security forces in an assault on a checkpoint in Kfar Zeita village, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Syrian army defectors also said they launched several attacks on Assad's military and intelligence bases near the capital before dawn Wednesday. The Free Syrian Army said in a statement that its main pre-dawn attack targeted a compound run by Air Force Intelligence in the Damascus suburb of Harasta. Defectors also hit military checkpoints in the Damascus suburbs of Douma, Qaboun and Arabeen and Saqba. Wednesday's attacks could not be independently confirmed, and the Free Syrian Army released no details about the fighting or possible casualties. A Syrian opposition figure said the operation in Harasta was carried out by defectors who attacked the compound from three sides with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. He added that the administrative building was damaged, and the attackers made sure not to hit a nearby building where detainees were being held. The opposition figure, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations, said all the defectors' troops returned safely. He quoted residents in the area as saying that ambulances rushed to the military compound after the attack. Attacks by army defectors have been rare near Assad's seat of power in Damascus, although there have been growing reports of the clashes in the northwestern province of Idlib, the central region of Homs and the southern province of Daraa. The Syrian government has largely sealed off the country, barring most foreign journalists and preventing independent reporting. Details gathered by activist groups and witnesses, along with amateur videos, have become key channels of information. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 people were killed elsewhere Wednesday, including seven in the central province of Homs. It said that four others, including three defectors, were killed in the central province of Hama after they were ambushed by troops loyal to Assad. The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said six people have been so far killed on Wednesday, three in Homs, two in Idlib and one in the Damascus suburb of Zabadani.Also, the observatory said Syrian security forces stormed the University of Qalamoon, north of Damascus, where students were holding an anti-regime sit-in. Dozens were reported to have been detained. Violence has continued unabated, even after Syria agreed on Nov. 2 to an Arab-brokered peace deal that called for the regime to halt violence against protesters, pull tanks and armored vehicles out of cities, release political prisoners and allow access to journalists and rights groups. On Monday, defectors killed 34 of Assad's soldiers and members of the security in Daraa, on one of the bloodiest days of the 8-month-old uprising. The UN says that more than 3,500 people have been killed since Assad launched his crackdown on the protesters in mid-March. Read the full story here.
- Palestinian Authority in time of hardships: Salam Fayyad to step down, PA to dissolve?(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Salam Fayyad stated that he is ready to step down from his post in an effort to better the prospects of a unity deal between Gaza bound Hamas and West Bank located PA.This would be a clear concession to Hamas from President Mahmoud Abbas, in what might look like an attempt to revive a struggling Palestinian Authority. Facing tough times, Abbas’ PA seems to be facing opposition from all sides.Since elections in 2006 led to a crucial split between Hamas and Fatah and the 2007 Hamas take-over of Gaza, Fayyad was appointed leader of the interim unity government by President Mahmoud Abbas that same year.From that point on neither elections, nor formal unity of the factions have been close. Both are pre-conditioned by a unity deal of April 2011 that Hamas does not want to enter as long Fayyad holds the PM seat.Fayyad has long been a Western media darling, credited with revitalizing the West Bank economy and building institutions needed to set the Palestinian Authority on the path to full statehood. But Hamas has maintained accusing him of helping Israel to blockade the Gaza Strip and has never recognized him as legitimate Palestinian leader.Only recently the two factions came closer to unity talks, as they met up in Cairo to discuss the famed prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel.Fayyad’s proposal is welcomed in a time of general hardship for Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. Conditions have been hardening for the West Bank based government since its bid to the UN for recognition as a member state.As the first bid, which went to the UN Security Council, will certainly fall due to a US veto, the second one to the Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was more successful.Palestine was admitted a member state by the agency’s General Conference with a favorable vote of 107 to 14, with 52 abstentions.In the meantime though, and in spite of this relative victory for the PA, the renowned Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal had prompted a serious fall in PA popularity with the Palestinian public in favor of Hamas.At the UN, Abbas have had to navigate in a hostile climate, as he has been subject to fierce political pressure from Washington and other western powers to drop the bid. The Quartet (the UN, the US, the EU and Russia) have stressed that the Palestinians forget the plea for statehood, and turn back to direct peace talks with Israel.As a consequence of the UNESCO recognition of Palestine, Israel’s cabinet last week decided to withhold the handover of tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA, as well as cutting all funding to the UN cultural body.The tax revenues including duties on goods being imported to the Palestinian territories, amount to about $100 million each month.On Monday, a narrow majority in the Israeli cabinet voted in favor of continuing the revenue freeze. This was done in spite of reports that Israeli security officials were in favor of doing the opposite.PLO official Saeb Erekat was quoted by Ma’an News Agency calling the revenue freeze “blackmailing, bullying and stealing.”“This money belongs to the Palestinian people,” Erekat told Ma’an.While the Israeli cabinet was not particularly one-sided on withholding the freeze, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in particular pressed to freeze the revenues as a punishment to the PA for the UN bid.In the light of recent hardships, the PA faces doubts of its legitimacy as an actual vehicle for independence and the establishment of a Palestinian sovereign state.Saying that the PA neither succeeded to end the split between Hamas and Fatah, nor to obtain actual recognition within the international community, the blogosphere has been swirling with statements that the UN bid has utterly failed, and that the PA is at the end of its road.Critics say the function of the PA is limited to running the West bank at the best as an autonomous area and, in parallel, relieving the Israelis from the burdens of their occupation.Reports this week stated that Abbas was opting to hold elections for a Palestinian Authority this coming May, elections in which he would not himself be a candidate.Abbas reportedly said he would propose the elections at his next meeting with Hamas political bureau head Khaled Meshal, this week or next week.In spite of denial from a number of Fatah officials, the London-based newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on the 30 Oct. that sources had confirmed that Abbas was planning to dissolve the PA sometime after these elections.“President Abbas intends on reverting the situation in the Palestinian territories to what it had been before the creation of the PA in 1994, handing over the management affairs of the West Bank to the administration of the Israeli occupation…in other words, dissolving the PA,” the report red.Read the full story here.
- Fabricated Statements Attributed to Former Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin Cited as Proof Israel Is Behind Tensions between Egypt's Copts, Muslims; Antisemitic Cartoons Portray Jews as Being Behind Bombing of Coptic Church.(Memri).By: B. Chernitsky.The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has accused Israel of being behind clashes, beginning October 9, 2011, between Coptic protestors and military and police forces outside the Maspero television building in Cairo, in which 24 were killed, including soldiers, and hundreds were wounded. This claim is based on a story which appeared in late 2010 on numerous Arabic-language websites, according to which the former head of Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman), Major-Gen. Amos Yadlin, boasted that Israel had implemented a plan to instigate political and social tensions in Egypt and other Arab countries.This is not the first time that accusations have been made against Israel based on Yadlin's alleged statements. Similar claims were made following the bombing at Alexandria's Al-Qiddissin Church on January 1, 2011. Many of the Arab writers who covered the bombing claimed that Israel was responsible, citing Yadlin's purported statements. This accusation against Israel appeared primarily in the Egyptian media, both governmental and non-governmental, but also in the Syrian and Qatari media, and, unprecedentedly, in the Saudi media. As far as the Arab public was concerned, the fact that Israel did not deny the story about Yadlin, and in fact ignored it, only served to strengthen the credibility of the accusations.An examination of several dozen reports on this subject (out of the thousands published) suggests that the story was fabricated by Syria and Hizbullah in anticipation of the publication of the indictment regarding the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri (which was ultimately published only in June 2011), with an aim to clear Hizbullah and Syria of involvement in the assassination and to implicate Israel. The Yadlin story was cited by others in the Arab world, especially in Egypt, as evidence of Israel's involvement in various incidents in the region, in order to avoid addressing the real causes of these events.The following are excerpts of articles that appeared in the Arab press regarding Yadlin's purported statements, following the attack on the Al-Qiddissin Church and the October 2011 Maspero demonstrations.Read and see the full story here.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Indonesia 5.8 - 5.9 - 5.1 !More info here.
- Europe - Nuclear Event in MultiCountries situation update on Monday, 14 November..Here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Canary Islands - El Hierro earthquake and volcano eruption – Update 21. here , Live webcams here and here.
- BREAKING: Court Order Allows #OccupyWallStreet Back Into Zuccotti Park.(BigGovernment).The Occupy movement’s professional victims were about to have the worst day ever thanks to a few pesky things called law and order, but thankfully, rich One-Percenter lawyers stepped in to save the debt-beguiled squatters. You know what that means: ready your pens for more Rap Sheet entries.NEW YORK (AP) – The National Lawyers Guild says it has obtained a court order that allows Occupy Wall St. protesters to return with tents to a New York City park.The guild says the injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules on Occupy Wall Street protesters.Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city knew about the court order but has not seen it. He says the city plans to go court immediately.Zuccotti Park was cleared overnight so that crews could clean it. Bloomberg says that was done “to reduce the risk of confrontation.”He says the city had planned to allow the protesters back in the park after it was cleaned. Under the city’s plans, protesters would not be allowed to use tents, sleeping bags, or tarps and would have to follow all park rules.Hmmm.....Just let the firebrigade hoose it down with water every hour of the night.Read the full story here.
- NYPD Clearing Occupy Wall Street From Zuccotti Park in Surprise Raid.(BigGovernment).Just hours after local residents protested against Occupy Wall Street, New York Police Department officers are moving into Zuccotti Park, clearing activists (temporarily) and their tents (permanently) from the site.Police have donned riot gear and have apparently prepared special equipment, including a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), for possible use in confrontations with activists.
Live feed at Breitbart.tv, and another live feed below:
Hundreds of police officers, some in riot gear, descended on Zuccotti Park after midnight Tuesday in a surprise sweep of the Occupy Wall Street headquarters.It comes just two days ahead of a massive planned demonstration Thursday marking the movement’s two-month anniversary.Police handed out letters to protesters ordering them to temporarily evacuate the park. Police said the eviction will improve health conditions.Campers were ordered to remove all their tents. Police claimed it was a health issue.Protesters were told they will be allowed to return to the park in several hours, after the park is inspected, but without their property, which will be brought to a sanitation garage.On Twitter, stunned activists are calling for crowds to descend to the park to confront police and protest.
UPDATE (2:16 am EST): Activists gather their property and leave, as police remove remaining tents and equipment. An onlooker accuses officers of “complete disregard for personal belongings.”
UPDATE 2 (2:24 am EST): Twitter users claim media have been barred from the area of Zuccotti Park; the Occupy Wall Street live feed above may be one of the only sources of live images. Here is another nearby live feed:
UPDATE 3 (2:40 am EST): Thus far the NYPD’s careful tactics have apparently succeeded in clearing Zuccotti Park. Activists are regrouping in nearby streets, and may attempt to return tomorrow or to court arrest, but for many of the activists, the party seems over.Read the full story here.More pictures here.
- The Same Old 'Emperor' Obama.(RightWingNews).By David Limbaugh.President Obama’s various remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO business summit in Honolulu over the weekend show he is simply incapable of growing in office. In just a few short statements, we saw many of the familiar practices through which he has alienated such a large percentage of the American people and damaged the economy.Away from his teleprompter, he treated us to further insults of Americans, his unfriendly attitude toward business and the private sector, his narcissism, and his refusal to accept responsibility for his own actions.In his Monday evening press conference from APEC, Obama showed that he can’t shake his narcissistic impulses. One would think that with all that has been written about Obama’s “me, myself and I” fixation, he would at least try to pretend to be other-directed on occasion, to show he has the capacity to think of his position as something larger than himself.In his opening remarks, he didn’t say that “we” or “Americans” want other nations to buy American-made goods, but “I want them to,” and so “I’ve been doing everything I can to make sure” we stay competitive. He didn’t say, “The United States was honored to host APEC this year,” but “I’ve been proud to host APEC this year.”When NBC’s Chuck Todd asked him to clarify his “hot mic” conversation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in which they both insulted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he refused to comment, which means he refused to deny, much less apologize for offending the leader of our staunch ally, Israel, when he told Sarkozy, “You’re fed up with (Netanyahu), but I have to deal with him even more than you do.”Two days earlier — on Saturday — Obama had modified his comment in September that Americans had “gotten a little soft” in competing in international markets. At APEC, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney asked him to consider the Chinese perspective and their concern about impediments to investment in the United States. How, wondered McNerney, would he address their dissatisfaction over these obstacles?Rather than addressing the question directly, Obama deflected any responsibility for the situation and said, “We’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted – well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.”I happen to believe that comment is absurd on its face, as even my small hometown in Missouri has made great efforts to bring foreign businesses into the community, sometimes successfully. Other communities throughout the United States daily engage in a competitive effort to attract businesses into their cities and states, and for the president to characterize them as “lazy,” demonstrates he is as out of touch with Americans as he is disdainful toward them.He might consider responding to the question next time, which involved impediments to doing business that often put American companies and communities at a competitive disadvantage in attracting foreign businesses. Doesn’t Obama owe us all an answer to that question?But to answer would require Obama to account for his own deplorable economic record and his hostility toward business, the private sector and the free market. A fair, reasonable response would have included his acknowledgment of how much damage his policies have caused to the American business climate, instead of an indictment of every American besides himself.With his accelerating mounds of regulations, his imposition of Obamacare, his increased taxes, his incessant spending and the resulting jobs-challenged economy, why would foreign companies be any more excited about the Obama business climate than American businesses are?Obama’s aptly titled “Regulatory Czar,” Cass Sunstein, protests, “the annual cost of regulations has not increased during the Obama administration.” But the Heritage Foundation has called Sunstein out on that, just releasing a study showing that the administration is churning out regulations at a significantly faster pace than previous administrations. Obama recently announced reforms to eliminate burdensome, obsolete rules, but they were more hype than substance. Our regulatory costs are continuing to increase with no end in sight.While little austerity was practiced in the regulatory area during the George W. Bush era, Obama has easily outpaced his predecessor. Through the end of March 2011, Obama had piled on $40 billion in new costs to the economy, more than doubling Bush’s additions. In fiscal year 2010, Obama added $26.5 billion in costs, making it the record year for increased regulatory costs.With Obama at the helm, in economic terms, among others, we’ve got the worst of all possible worlds: a rigid commitment to policies that harm rather than help, and personality traits that prevent him from admitting, learning from and correcting his mistakes. We’ll just have to wait a little longer.Hmmmm.....America 'burns' the Emperor Golfs.Read the full story here.
- Obama Declares War On Mousepads And Coffee Mugs In Bid To Trim Government’s Excessive Spending On Swag.(DailyMail).Barack Obama is taking a scythe to souvenirs.The President has begun a war against mousepads, coffee mugs and other commemorative items in a bid to curb unnecessary government spending and tackle America’s $14trillion deficit.This week he signed an executive order directing government agencies to cut back on ‘extraneous promotional items’, which the White House says cost taxpayers billions of dollars a year.The action means the purchase of pens, cell phones and laptops will all come under investigation, with departments being urged to put together plans on how to reduce wasteful spending and increase efficiency.Mr Obama’s goal is for the executive branch to reduce expenditures by 20 per cent in areas covered by the executive order. The administrative step does not require action by Congress.‘At a time when families have had to cut back we thought that it was entirely appropriate for our governments and our agencies to try to root out waste, large and small, in a systematic way,’ Mr Obama said when signing the order which directs federal agencies to ‘limit the purchase of promotional items’ such as plaques, clothing, and commemorative gifts.He said agencies must root out waste large and small, adding that the weak economy makes those efforts even more important and requires tough choices.From logo-emblazoned baseball caps and T-shirts to branded key rings and backpacks, almost every agency has storerooms full of ’swag’ ready to be handed out to staff and visitors.In his order, Mr Obama said the stocking of such gifts must be limited, ‘in particular where they are not cost-effective’. Travel decisions, IT purchasing and printing must also be reassessed.From the education and health departments to the American Battle Monuments Commission and the CIA, all parts of the government must submit a plan with specific cost reductions within 45 days.If agencies heed the call, the administration estimates $4billion worth of savings can be made. But this equates to just 0.1 per cent of the federal budget.Already the Department of Energy has said it can save $16m by cutting back on travel, while Nasa plans to cut $17m by sending fewer workers to meetings and asking employees to share rental cars when they do go, the Financial Times reported.Some branded items are, however, excluded from the cuts, such as the jackets FBI agents wear on a raid - that is work-related, the administration says.Hmmmm.....It's still OK and highly promoted to sell objects with anything on it related to Obama's reelection.Read the full story here.
- Obama golfs with friend who was arrested in prostitution sting.(TheHill).President Obama golfed on Monday with his long-time friend Robert Titcomb, who in May plead no contest to soliciting a prostitute, according to the White House pool report.“The president’s fourball at the Mamala Bay Golf Course includes his long-time friend Robert “Bobby” Titcomb who was arrested and plead no contest in May to soliciting a prostitute, Marvin Nicholson, and White House advance man Pete Selfridge,” the report read.In April, Titcomb was arrested in Honolulu and charged with a misdemeanor for soliciting a prostitute after he approached an undercover police officer. Titcomb's attorney, William Harrison, said at the time that Titcomb did not fully agree with the facts of the case, but plead no contest because he wanted to take responsibility.He was fined $500 and the conviction was expunged from his record in October, following six months without further incident.Obama and Titcomb have been friends since attending the Punahou School together in Honolulu, according to Hawaii News Now. The two are long-time golf partners as well.Hmmm......“When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.” ~ Japanese Proverb.Read the full story here.
- Who is Obama’s Favorite Middle East Leader? An Anti-American Radical Who Loathes America and Israel.(DocsTalk).By Barry Rubin.Suppose that during the Cold War years, the American president’s favorite leader and guide to Latin America was Fidel Castro. That would worry you, right? But such a notion is ridiculous, isn’t it? Not today it isn’t. President Barack Obama can’t stand Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a recent statement to French President Nicholas Sarkozy, caught by a microphone both men thought was off, Obama said: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!"There is, however, a man who Obama loves to deal with, if not every day at least as often as possible: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.As Turkish expert Soner Cagaptay put it, “The United States and Turkey are on a honeymoon, with President Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan having formed what is probably the best relationship between a U.S. president and a Turkish prime minister in decades…. Obama and Erdogan seem to have really hit it off…. The two leaders speak often… and frequently agree on policy.” I would also stress that Erdogan is Obama’s tutor on Middle East affairs:
--When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama Administration officials claim that Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood are really moderate and will be further moderated by being in power, the only example provided was that Erdogan’s regime is moderate.
--The U.S. government announced last September 11 its self-described main initiative for the tenth anniversary of the attacks on America. It was an international counterterrorist organization with Turkey as the sole co-chair. Israel was not invited to join.
--When the U.S. government wanted to put together anti-Israel tirades, which Turkey’s opposition leader has called going to the verge of war with Israel, has brought no U.S. criticism, pressure, or lessening of the Obama-Erdogan love affair.
--Despite the Turkish government’s opposition to additional sanctions on Iran last year and Erdogan’s effort to sabotage U.S. efforts by cutting a separate deal with Tehran, Obama was not perturbed.
--Erdogan’s close and supportive relationship with Hizballah and Hamas have not brought any U.S. negative reaction.
--Erdogan has publicly stated that he believes Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons and that Iranian President Ahmadinejad was his friend. Lately they haven’t been getting along so well. Why, Turkish moderation? No, Erdogan wants a Sunni Islamist regime in Syria; Ahmadinejad wants the current Damascus government which is his ally.
--The regime’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu wrote a book in Turkish saying that his plan was to move from alliance with the West to one with the Islamist world in order to fight the West. The book has never been translated and the regime has bought up copies. No Western news media has written about it. Recently, he wrote a book in English saying the regime wanted to be friends with everyone and loved the West. This has been widely reviewed and favorably discussed.
--Far from being a moderate Muslim or even a moderate Islamist, Erdogan has been carrying out the fundamental transformation of Turkey into an Islamist dictatorship.
--Under the guidance of Erdogan's regime, much of the Turkish media has been generating anti-Americanism. Polls show a huge rise in anti-American public opinion which Erdogan has augmented, not combatted.
--Among Erdogan's past statements was his famous remark that democracy is like a streetcar and you just must decide where to get off. The Turkish model is inspiring Islamists elsewhere not toward moderation but merely toward patience in implementing their programs. They participate in elections not because they believe in democracy but because they know they will win the elections and then can consolidate power and irreversibly transform their societies along the lines they wish.
--U.S. embassy reporting from Ankara, as we can see from Wikileaks, showed the radical Islamism of Erdogan’s regime on many occasions. Obama simply ignored it.He has certainly not arrived at that destination but he is well on the way. The independent power of every Turkish institution has been broken. Thousands of dissidents have been arrested and thrown into jail for years on flimsy charges. Turkey has more journalists in prison than any other country in the world. The list of oppression, repression, and Islamization goes on and on.In other words, Erdogan tells Obama that there’s nothing to fear from Islamists in places like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and elsewhere. They are really moderates or soon will be. Of course, Erdogan doesn’t care a Smyrna fig for U.S. interests or democracy or moderation. He only wants to promote Islamism in general and Turkish leadership of the Middle East in particular.But, they say, Erdogan is now opposed to Iran. Sure, though their economic relations continue to be very strong, but only about which country would be the Islamist power in the region. If it serves his purpose, Erdogan will guide Obama into siding with the Sunni Islamists (the Muslim Brotherhood and himself) against the Shia Islamist bloc (Iran and the Syrian regime).If so, we will soon be told that the Sunni Islamists are really moderate. Just as backing them is the “best” way to combat al-Qaida, it will also be portrayed as the “best” way to defeat Iran.Erdogan is a con-man in this regard; Obama is his sucker we are their victims. As a result, nations will be enslaved (or further enslaved); the prospects for real democracy will recede, Israel will face tremendous dangers, and U.S. interests will suffer greatly.Let us, then, summarize the situation:
The president of the United States adores a radical, anti-American Islamist who supports radical terrorist groups, seeks to overthrow U.S. allies and replace them with other radical Islamist governments, and wants (no, he doesn’t say it publicly, but what do you think?) Israel wiped off the map. This is a formula for disaster. And it is precisely what we are seeing every day.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.
- 'All Muslims should be kicked out of the military', claims leading Tennessee Republican.(DailyMail).A Republican politician has sparked religious fury by demanding all Muslims be forced out of the U.S. military.Tennessee State Representative Rick Womick claimed serving Muslims posed a significant threat and needed to be kicked out of the armed forces because their religion commands them to lie.Interviewed on Veteran's Day by the Think Progress website he said: 'Personally I don't trust one Muslim in our military because they're commanded to lie to us.'And if they really are a devout Muslim and follow the Koran and the and the Sunnah, then I feel threatened because they're commanded to kill me.'Mr Womick was attending the 'Preserving Freedom Conference hosted by the controversial group, the Sharia Awareness Action Network.Asked if he felt that serving Muslims should be 'forced out' he replied: 'Absolutely yes.'He later reasserted his opinions in an interview with the Murfreesboro Daily News adding: 'Who are we at war with?'We are at war with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, who are Muslims. It's a Catch-22. They are not allowed to kill their fellow Muslims, we're at war with Muslims. 'The only solution I see is that they not be allowed in the military.'Womick, a Baptist and member of the National Rifle Association, served as a pilot in the Air Firce during the first Gulf War.The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) demanded the Tennessee General Assembly rebuke Womick for his comments. But he described them as a 'radical Islamic group'.He added: 'Whatever they have to say, I choose to ignore.'Saleh Sbenaty of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro told the Tenneseean: 'It's really sad to see Mr. Womick's comments coming on Veterans Day,' said Sbenaty.'He needs to be reminded that there are thousands of Muslims who serve and are serving (in the U.S. military), and there are many of them who gave up their lives to preserve the freedom of this country and the freedom that he is enjoying.'There are an estimated six million Muslims living in the U.S. with around 3500 serving the military and many seeing action in Iraq and Afghanistan.Mr Sbenaty added: 'Al-Qaida doesn't believe in freedom of religion.'They want to rule the world according to their views. And Mr. Womick wants to rule the United States according to his narrow vision.'In 2009 13 people were killed at Fort Hood in Texas after a Muslim officer allegedly went on a rampage yelling 'Allahu Akbar', weeks before he was due to serve in Afghanistan.Major Nidal Malik Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of murder and 32 counts of attempted murder.He is due to stand trial in March 2012.Read the full story here.
- Interview With Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi,'We Are Prepared for Everything'.(Spiegel).In an interview with SPIEGEL, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, 62, dismisses accusations that Iran is building a nuclear bomb as Western propaganda and accuses Tehran's enemies of waging a secret war against it. Read the full 'standard denial' story here.
- Israel - Israel's giant UAV becomes operational.(YNet).Dubbed 'world's most advanced UAV' and weighing five tons, Eitan unmanned aerial vehicle to begin operations in several months.The Air Force's largest unmanned aircraft is scheduled to begin operations within several months after eight years in development, Ynet learned. In the past it was reported that the Eitan UAV (“strong” in Hebrew) the size of a Boeing 737 was developed to reach Iran and Sudan. Several Eitan UAVs are scheduled to begin operations in the various combat sectors including Gaza and Lebanon. Eitan is 14 meters long and has 26 meter-long wings. It is able to fly for 20 hours straight at a maximum speed of 143 Knots and reach a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet. It weighs five tons and can carry up to one ton.Eitan is meant to be utilized in complex intelligence gathering missions. It has already been dubbed "the most advanced UAV in the world."The "heavy UAV," as it has been called, will also attempt to distinguish between terrorists and civilians in sensitive combat regions. "For the first time in military history we have a combatant who takes part in intercepting military targets with no direct threat to his life," Lieutenant-Colonel Ido Frumer said. "This requires a very solid ideal system and that is why we have arranged for an ethics workshop during the training course." Lieutenant Dudi, an IAF instructor added that "UAV operators are able to make life and death decisons away from the battlefield and we have taught them how to make the right decisions under pressure. On the one hand they will stick to IDF values which emphasize persistence and on the other we have stressed the importance of morality."Read the full story here. Video Here.
- IDF chief says 'major Gaza offensive' needed.(YNet)."The recent escalation and loss of life – as well as the disruption of the southern residents' daily routine – will eventually make it necessary for the army to launch a major offensive in Gaza," IDF Chief Benny Gantz told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday. Gantz said a terror cell which was recently targeted by Israeli aircraft in Rafah was conducting tests for the development of an advanced rocket-firing system. "The attack on the cell managed to delay the development of Islamic Jihad's rocket-firing system," the army chief said.Addressing the Palestinians' "frustration" over the stalled bid to win full membership of the United Nations, Gantz said "the prospect of a violent flare-up still exists." As for the plan to cut the Defense Ministry's budget, Gantz said Israel cannot allow any budget decrease to affect the army's level of preparedness.In the next conflict, he said, the army "will have to shorten the duration of the fighting as much as possible. This swiftness must be based on quality intelligence and on operating at a fast pace."The chief of staff also mentioned the August terror attack on the road to Eilat, in which eight Israelis were killed, saying the IDF's activity along the western border between Israel and Egypt has shifted from preventing infiltrations to focusing on being prepared for terror attacks. "Sinai has become an area in which the many infrastructures allow for hostile terrorist activity – both from Gaza and global Jihad – while undermining Egyptian sovereignty," he said.Gantz said he has instructed the 30 contractors working on the security fence along the Israeli-Egyptian border to pick up the pace and complete the job by the end of 2012.Read the full story here.
- Breakthrough: Israel Develops Cancer Vaccine.(DocsTalk).By Rivka Borochov.Vaxil’s groundbreaking therapeutic vaccine, developed in Israel, could keep about 90 percent of cancers from coming back.As the world’s population lives longer than ever, if we don’t succumb to heart disease, strokes or accidents, it is more likely that cancer will get us one way or another. Cancer is tough to fight, as the body learns how to outsmart medical approaches that often kill normal cells while targeting the malignant ones.Hadassah HospitalIn a breakthrough development, the Israeli company Vaxil BioTherapeutics has formulated a therapeutic cancer vaccine, now in clinical trials at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. If all goes well, the vaccine could be available about six years down the road, to administer on a regular basis not only to help treat cancer but in order to keep the disease from recurring. The vaccine is being tested against a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. If the substance works as hoped — and it looks like all arrows are pointing that way — its platform technology VaxHit could be applied to 90 percent of all known cancers, including prostate and breast cancer, solid and non-solid tumors.“In cancer, the body knows something is not quite right but the immune system doesn’t know how to protect itself against the tumor like it does against an infection or virus. This is because cancer cells are the body’s own cells gone wrong,” says Julian Levy, the company’s CFO. “Coupled with that, a cancer patient has a depressed immune system, caused both by the illness and by the treatment.”The trick is to activate a compromised immune system to mobilize against the threat.A vaccine that works like a drug. A traditional vaccine helps the body’s immune system fend off foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, and is administered to people who have not yet had the ailment. Therapeutic vaccines, like the one Vaxil has developed, are given to sick people, and work more like a drug.Vaxil’s lead product, ImMucin, activates the immune system by “training” T-cells –– the immune cells that protect the body by searching out and destroying cells that display a specific molecule (or marker) called MUC1. MUC1 is typically found only on cancer cells and not on healthy cells. The T-cells don’t attack any cells without MUC1, meaning there are no side effects unlike traditional cancer treatments. More than 90% of different cancers have MUC1 on their cells, which indicates the potential for this vaccine.“It’s a really big thing,” says Levy, a biotechnology entrepreneur who was formerly CEO for Biokine Therapeutics. “If you give chemo, apart from the really nasty side effects, what often happens is that cancer becomes immune [to it]. The tumor likes to mutate and develops an ability to hide from the treatment. Our vaccines are also designed to overcome that problem.”For cancers in an advanced stage, treatments like chemo or surgery to remove a large tumor will still be needed, but if the cancer can be brought down to scale, the body is then able to deal with it, Levy explains. ImMucin is foreseen as a long-term strategy — a shot every few months, with no side effects — to stop the cancer from reoccurring after initial treatments, by ensuring that the patient’s own immune system keeps it under control.In parallel, the company is also working on a vaccine that treats tuberculosis, a disease that’s increasing worldwide, including in the developed world, and for which the current vaccine is often ineffective and treatment is problematic.cancerours cellBased in Ness Ziona, Vaxil was founded in 2006 by Dr. Lior Carmon, a biotechnology entrepreneur with a doctorate in immunology from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. In June, Vaxil signed a memorandum of understanding to merge its activities into Sheldonco, a company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.Read the full story here.
- Iran versus Israel travelers.(YNet).Iranians traveling to Israel could go to prison for up to five years instead of only three months, after Iran's parliament revised an existing ban for such trips.The measure apparently reflects Tehran's security concerns over archenemy Israel. Iran claims to have dismantled several purported Israeli spy rings in recent years and arrested Iranians with alleged links to Mossad.Iranian state TV on Monday reported that parliament passed a new amendment, expanding the current prison term for travel to Israel to between two and five years. Under a 1972 ban imposed by US-backed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, offenders faced possible imprisonment of up to three months.At the time, the law was designed to mostly avert travel to communist countriesThe Iranian decision comes two days after a mysterious blast rocked a military base outside Tehran, killing 17 people including a senior Revolutionary Guards officer. A Western intelligence source told Time Magazine on Monday that he estimates that the Mossad was behind Saturday's explosion at the Iranian missile base. "Don't believe the Iranians that it was an accident," the official said.Read the full story here.
- Turkey has lost faith in Syria: Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan.(HurriyetDaily).Turkish FM: We gave last chance to Syrian leadership but they did not seize it.Turkey has abandoned hope that Syria will respond to international demands to halt violence and initiate democratic reforms, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today."We no longer expect the Assad government to show honest, persuasive, brave and determined leadership," Erdoğan told his party's lawmakers. "No one expects him to respond to the demands of the international community anymore." Erdogan, once a close political ally and a personal friend of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, has for months expressed frustration at Assad's failure to listen to his people."The Syrian government is on a very dangerous and narrow path, like the edge of a knife," he told the weekly meeting. "It is our common desire for him to turn back from this path, which has a cliff at the end." Erdoğan slammed Assad over weekend attacks on Turkey's diplomatic missions in three Syrian cities."It is the honour of every country to protect foreign citizens and diplomats. Syria should understand that trying to send a message through those attacks shows weakness and ignorance," he said.Thousands of pro-regime protestors armed with knives and batons attacked Turkish diplomatic missions in the Syrian capital Damascus as well as Aleppo and Latakia on Saturday over Turkey's support for an Arab League decision to suspend Syria.Around 5,000 demonstrators smashed the windows of Turkey's honorary consulate building in Latakia and burned a Turkish flag.Turkey hailed the Arab League decision as "timely and one of common sense." On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu met with representatives of the Syrian opposition movement, the Syrian National Council, which was founded in Turkey in August.The council, the country's largest and most representative opposition grouping, sought permission to set up an office in Turkey. A Turkish diplomat who declined to be named said Ankara was considering the request.Read the full story here.
- "Blame it on the VODKA?" - Mystery of the 'alien corpse' woman stored in her fridge for two years (why do they all turn up in Russia?).(DailyMail).If the aliens really are landing, this latest picture seems to confirm that their first port of call on Earth will be Russia.After other claims of extraterrestrial life in Siberia, the latest reported sighting has seen a Russian women claiming to have kept a frozen alien corpse in her fridge.The mysterious 'lifeform' was reportedly kept in Marta Yegorovnam's freezer in western Russia's Petrozavodsk city for two years, while she took five pictures to prove its existence.The body, the third alien sighting in Russian in recent months, was reportedly spotted after crashing near to her summer house in 2009. She approached what appeared to be a crash site with flaming wreckage and crumpled metal which she described as 'unbearably hot'.Near the twisted hulk that Marta Yegorovnam claims was a crashed UFO lay the dead body.The being is two feet long, has an enormous head, large bulbous eyes and an appearance somewhere between a fish and a humanoid.The small creature also appears to have what looks like a string-like arm protruding from its body.Naturally, she did what most would in the same situation and stored the alien in her fridge for two years, according to Unexplained Mysteries.The website reported that two men have since turned up at her home a few days ago and confiscated the corpse for investigative purposes, claiming to be from the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.'The incredible footage was unearthed by noted paranormal writer and expert 40-year old Michael Cohen.He said: 'This could be an elaborate hoax, however the possibility that this might be a genuine alien should not be discounted,' said Michael.'Russia is a hotbed of UFO activity and possible alien craft has been tracked by both military and civilian agencies. 'In all likelihood most alien beings would look strange to us, much like this specimen.'The latest alien claim to come out of Russia comes after footage filmed in August the remote Irkutsk region of Siberia, appears to show a strange glowing craft and five aliens walking about in the snow.Hmmmm......На здоровье!Read the full story here.