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Friday, November 30, 2012

Overnight Music Video - Schindler's List Soundtrack

Video - Mark Levin Blasts U.N. Vote on Palestine as Observer State: "The U.N. is Not our Friend."

Amnesty International: "Egypt’s new constitution limits fundamental freedoms and ignores the rights of women."

Amnesty International: "Egypt’s new constitution limits fundamental freedoms and ignores the rights of women."(Amnesty).A draft constitution approved by Egypt’s Constituent Assembly falls well short of protecting human rights and, in particular, ignores the rights of women, restricts freedom of expression in the name of protecting religion, and allows for the military trial of civilians, Amnesty International said.
This document, and the manner in which it has been adopted, will come as an enormous disappointment to many of the Egyptians who took to the streets to oust Hosni Mubarak and demand their rights,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
Freedom of religion is limited to Islam, Christianity and Judaism, potentially excluding the right to worship to other religious minorities such as Baha’is and Shi’a Muslims.
The constitution fails to provide for the supremacy of international law over national law, raising concerns about Egypt’s commitment to human rights treaties to which it is a state party.
Furthermore, the document fails to fully guarantee economic, social and cultural rights, such as protection against forced evictions - it also tolerates child labour.
Paradoxically demands for dignity and social justice were at the heart of the “25 January Revolution”.
“The process of drafting the constitution was flawed from the outset, and has become increasingly unrepresentative. We urge President Morsi to put the drafting and referendum process back on the right path, one that includes all sectors of society, which respects the rule of law – including the vital role of an independent judiciary – and results in a constitution that enshrines human rights, equality and dignity for all,” said Hadj Sahraoui.
Amnesty International has expressed concern that the assembly - widely boycotted by opposition political parties and Christian churches - is not truly representative of Egyptian society. The body is dominated by Freedom and Justice Party and the Nour Party. At the outset, the assembly only included seven women and their numbers have since dwindled.
Opposition political parties have withdrawn their members from the assembly, as have Christian churches, in protest at the assembly’s make-up and decisions.
They have voiced a number of concerns, including the lack of representation of young people, of a variety political parties, and the role of Shari’a law has played – including in respect of women’s rights.
The assembly also faced criticism for not doing enough to enshrine the right to adequate housing – a key concern for the estimated 12 million Egyptians living in slums.
The new constitution will guide all Egyptian institutions and it should set out the vision for the new Egypt – one based on human rights and the rule of law: a document which is the ultimate guarantor against abuse. The constitution must guarantee the rights of all Egyptians, not just the majority.” said Hadj Sahraoui.
“But the approved draft comes nowhere near this. Provisions that purport to protect rights mask new restrictions, including on criticism of religion. Women, who were barely represented in the assembly, have the most to lose from a constitution which ignores their aspirations, and blocks the path to equality between men and women. It is appalling that virtually the only references to women relate to the home and family.”
When asked about the lack of women’s rights in the draft constitution yesterday in a state television interview, President Morsi said women were citizens like all others. The President’s position mirrors the approach of the Constituent Assembly in ignoring the rights of women.
The vote to approve the constitution came ahead of a 2 December ruling on the assembly’s legitimacy by the Supreme Constitutional Court, which was widely expected to order the body’s dissolution.
President Morsi’s decree, which was announced on 22 November, prevents any judicial body from dissolving the assembly.
The decree, which also removed the Public Prosecutor, granted the president sweeping powers and stopped the courts from challenging his decisions, has sparked widespread anger and protests in Egypt.
Opposition groups plan to march to the presidential palace today (Friday), while the Muslim Brotherhood has called for a protest to support the President on Saturday.
The draft constitution now passes to a national referendum which must take place within 15 days. Any such referendum would require supervision by judges but Egypt’s Judges Club, an independent network of judges numbering some 9,500 members, has announced that its members will not take part.
Judges throughout the country are striking in protest at President Morsi’s decree, which they see as a threat to their independence.
Instead of marking a return to order and the rule of law, the adopted text of the constitution has plunged Egypt into even greater chaos and deadlock,” said Hadj Sahraoui.

In depth
Amnesty International's concerns about the draft include:
The constitution makes no reference to international law obligations, and does not provide for the supremacy of international law over Egyptian legislation. Though Egypt is a state party to a number of international human rights treaties, including the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the constitution does not explicitly set out Egypt’s obligations under each provision of those treaties, or make them directly enforceable to all individuals under Egyptian law.

•Article 33 states that citizens “are equal in public rights and duties and they shall not be discriminated against”. However, this article only protects Egyptian citizens, and not others such as refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. Furthermore, a list of specific prohibited grounds, which included sex, religion and origin, was removed in the last draft, failing to mirror the non-exhaustive formulation contained in the International Covenants, as interpreted by the Human Rights Committee and Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Amnesty International is particularly concerned that the constitution does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the grounds of gender. Article 10 says that the state will work to strike a balance between the family duties of women and their work in society. The organization is further concerned that Article 219, which defines the principles of Shari’a law as being the “fundamental rules of jurisprudence,” may impact on the rights of women, and may be used as a justification to uphold legislation which currently discriminates against women in respect of marriage, divorce and family life. Article 2 establishes Shari’a law as the primary source of legislation.

•Article 36 prohibits torture and other ill-treatment, including the use of “confessions” extracted under torture in criminal proceedings; however, Article 219 may allow for the imposition of corporal punishments that violate the prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

•Article 198 explicitly allows for the unfair trial of civilians before military courts – a provision apparently added at the insistence of the army representative in the assembly. Under the 17-month rule of the army from February 2011-June 2012, over 12,000 civilians were tried unfairly by military courts. The end of such trials had been a key rallying cry for protesters. Amnesty International opposes the trials of civilians by military courts, which are fundamentally unfair and breach a number of fair trial safeguards, including the right to a fair and public hearing before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law; the right to have adequate time to prepare a defence; the right to be defended by a lawyer of one’s choosing; and the right to appeal against conviction and sentence to a higher tribunal.

Article 43 restricts freedom of worship to “heavenly religions”, to adherents of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and therefore leaves other religions and religious groups such as Baha’is felt without protection of freedom of worship. Article 3 ties personal status laws to religious law; and, as regards religious minorities, only provides for Christians and Jews the right to regulate their religious affairs and spiritual leadership. It is also unclear the extent to which religious minorities such as Shi’a and others will be protected by the provision; in the past they have faced discrimination in their right to worship.

Article 44 prohibits “undermining or subjecting to prejudice all messengers and prophets.” Similar provisions have been used in Egyptian law to restrict freedom of expression, and under President Morsi, charges have been brought against a number of individuals for “defaming religion”. Article 31 prohibits insulting and defaming any person, a provision which violates the right to freedom of expression and similarly provides for defamation to remain a criminal offence. The two provisions seem to undermine Article 45, which guarantees freedom of expression and opinion, and violate Egypt’s obligation to uphold freedom of expression under Article 19 of the ICCPR.

•The constitution does little to enshrine economic, social and cultural rights although demands for dignity and social justice featured prominently in the demands of protesters who toppled Hosni Mubarak. Amnesty International is particularly concerned that Article 67, while it mentions the right to adequate housing, does not explicitly prohibit forced evictions. The organization has long documented such evictions in informal settlements, which are illegal under international human rights law.

The constitution has also failed to protect the rights of children. It does not define a child as any person under 18 years of age, as provided for in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and does not protect children from early marriage. Furthermore, Article 70 permits children who are still in primary education to work, as long as the work is “adequate for their age”. The article does not ensure children are protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous, as required by the CRC. The constitutional provisions also fail to comply with other treaties on children’s rights ratified by Egypt, including the Minimum Age Convention, and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.
Hmmm.....Obama says, Morsi is doing a good job, and thanked him.Read the full story here.

List of Nigerian Muslim 'Boko Haram' suicide jihad attacks in 2012.

List of Nigerian Muslim suicide jihad attacks in 2012.HT:  Creeping Sharia.

After Sunday’s jihad attack on another church killing 11 and wounding 30, Bill Roggio at Long War Journal compiled this list of Boko Haram suicide attacks in 2012:
Boko Haram has intentionally attacked churches on Sundays during services in order to kill as many Christians as possible. Earlier this year, Boko Haram stated that it seeks “to eradicate Christians” from areas in Nigeria. The group has repeatedly targeted Christians at churches, especially on religious holidays.
  • Nov. 25, 2012 – A suicide bomber drove an explosives-packed bus into a church at a military base in Kaduna, followed by a suicide bomber in a car outside the church; the blasts killed 11 people and wounded over 30.
  • Oct. 28, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber drove an explosives-packed jeep into a Catholic church in Kadun, killing at least eight people and wounding over 100.
  • Sept. 23, 2012 – A suicide bomber killed a woman and a child in an attack at a Catholic church in Bauchi.
  • Aug. 15, 2012 – A suicide bomber killed three civilians in a failed attempt to target a vehicle belonging to the Joint Task Force in Maiduguri.
  • Aug. 5, 2012 – A suicide bomber killed five soldiers in an attack in Damaturu.
  • Aug. 3, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber wounded several people in a failed attack outside of a mosque in Potiskum.
  • July 30, 2012 – A suicide bomber killed a policeman in an attack at a government office in Sokoto.
  • July 13, 2012 – A suicide bomber killed five people in an attack at a mosque in Maiduguri.
  • June 17, 2012 – Boko Haram killed 48 people suicide attacks on churches in Kaduna and Zaria. The terror group claimed credit for the attacks, calling them a “victory against Christian Churches in Kaduna and Zaria which led to the deaths of many Christians and security operatives.” Three other churches were bombed on June 17.
  • June 10, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed three people in an attack outside a church in Jos.
  • June 8, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed four people an attack outside a police station in Maiduguri.
  • June 3, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed 15 people an attack on a church in Bauchi.
  • April 30, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded more than 20 in an attack on a police convoy in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba state.
  • April 26, 2012 – The editor of ThisDay confirmed that a suicide bomber drove a jeep into the newspaper’s office in Abuja, killing two people.
  • April 8, 2012 – Boko Haram killed 36 people and wounded dozens more in several bombings outside of a church in Kaduna on Easter day.
  • March 11, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed three civilians in a bombing outside of a church in Jos. The suicide bomber was stopped before he could enter the compound.
  • Feb. 26, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed six Christians during an attack at a church in Jos.
  • Jan. 21, 2012 – Boko Haram killed more than 140 people during a series of blasts, including a suicide bombing, and shootings in Kano. Boko Haram claimed credit for the attacks, which targeted police and immigration buildings.
Boko Haram is not deemed a terrorist organisation by the Obama Admin only three of it's members are listed as terrorists.Hmmmm....Killing Christians doesn't seem to bother the Obama adim, but yes "The future must not belong to those that slander the Prophet"?Read the full story here.

Saudi cleric under fire for labelling Hardee’s waitresses as ‘prostitutes’.

Saudi cleric under fire for labelling Hardee’s waitresses as ‘prostitutes’.(AA).A Twitter post ignited a battle of arguments over a post tweeted by a Saudi cleric describing the newly-introduced waitress at a fast-food restaurant in Saudi Arabia as “prostitutes”.
The debated topic sparked when Saudi Sheikh Ali Al Mutairi reacted to a number of Saudi tweets calling for the boycott of popular American fast-food restaurant, Hardee’s. The reason? The burger chain had recently allowed women – for the first time – to work as waitresses at their branches across the coastal city of Jeddah.
 “At the beginning of her shift she’s a waitress. When her shift ends she becomes a prostitute. The more she’s around men the easier it becomes to get closer to her”, tweeted Al-Mutairi, whose twitter account (@4aalmutairi ) boasts more than 5,000 followers. Despite this cleric’s views reflecting an existing frustration amongst some conservative segments in Saudi Arabia which oppose women’s right to work and fear that allowing females to mix with men may lead to unwanted social behaviours, Mutari’s rather controversial tweet was deemed too extreme to many Saudis on Twitter. “Prostitution is not in working trying to survive but it is in corrupted minds that use religion to distort other’s reputation,” posted one male in response to Mutar’s tweet.
 “Prostitute? So any female employee in my country is a whore now?” wrote a female tweep by the handle of @Sulafa_97. Many commented by telling Sheikh Al Mutairi that through doubting the morality of ‘chaste’ women and describing them in the way he did, the cleric would be committing a serious vice, according to well-known Islamic teachings. As reactions mounted and a hashtag was created to discuss his tweet, Al-Mutairi replied to many of his critics saying: “In the name of God, I have seen this hashtag and some are asking to apologise because they think I have defamed Hardee’s waitresses – the truth is I warned from the dangers of sexes mixing, at the beginning she is a waitress and in the end they will want her to become a prostitute and between are the devil’s steps”, tweeted the sheikh. Hmmmmm.......If i were the Devil.......I would open a 'Hardees'?Read the full story here.

Japanese Premier Postpones Visit Due to Putin's Health, Reports Say.

Japanese Premier Postpones Visit Due to Putin's Health, Reports Say.(MT).Talk about Vladimir Putin's health resurfaced Friday after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reportedly said he had postponed a visit to Moscow because Putin was feeling unwell. "It's about [Putin's] health problem. This is not something that can be made public," Noda told officials on the northern island of Hokkaido about the delay of his trip, according to Reuters, which quoted Japanese news reports citing one of the officials. Noda's visit was postponed from December to January, apparently because of scheduling difficulties, Japanese media reported earlier in November.
Following the reports Friday, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov once again denied that Putin was ill. "The president's health, I can repeat for the hundredth time, is absolutely normal, and he has a very, very overloaded work schedule," Peskov said on Kommersant FM radio, according to a transcript on the station's website. Peskov added that no date had been fixed yet for Noda's visit.
He explained the reports from Japan by arguing that "rumors" from the media had reached foreign leaders whose aides "then start to operate on the basis of these rumors." Rumors have been swirling since media reports were published in late October that said Putin suffers from a back ailment and might need surgery. They were fueled by information that the Kremlin had cancelled or postponed presidential travels and public events in November, while Putin largely confined his work to his residence in the Novo-Ogaryovo suburb west of Moscow. Earlier this week, the Kremlin confirmed that Putin will resume traveling. He is expected to visit Istanbul for talks with the Turkish government on Monday and to attend a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Turkmenistan on Wednesday.
Peskov has consistently denied that Putin is suffering from a major health problem, saying merely that he pulled a muscle while exercising and that some travels had been postponed because of scheduling difficulties. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said earlier this week that Putin had injured his spine while practicing judo. "He lifted a guy, threw him and twisted his spine," Lukashenko told Reuters in an interview published Wednesday. Asked about the Belarussian leader's comments, Peskov told Komsomolskaya Pravda in an interview published Friday that Putin took them philosophically. "[Lukashenko always] needs to chat about something," he was quoted as saying. Read the full story here.

Is There a Bias at the U.N. against Israel? YOU BET THERE IS!

HT: SunNews.

Video - Solitary Confinement? Parents concerned over school's use of "Isolation Booth"

 More here

Video - Pat Condell "Ha Ha Islamophobia."

The Obama Administration's PR Campaign for Morsi and the MB.

The Obama Administration's PR Campaign for Morsi and the MB.(IPTNews).
The elected head of a nation made threatening statements toward Israel. His organization called for jihad and celebrated a bus bombing in Tel Aviv.
The United States then hailed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as a statesman and a moderate last week.
True, he did help bring about a cessation of Hamas rocket fire from Gaza. But in doing so, he wasn't trying to advance American objectives or the cause of peace.
Morsi knew avoiding a war in Gaza would help secure $1 billion in debt relief from the United States and an International Monetary Fund loan approaching $5 billion.
All of that makes the high praise Morsi received from the Obama administration unnecessary and counterproductive. And the administration's tepid response to Morsi's subsequent power grab – neutering his country's judiciary – fails to make clear whether there will be consequences if he maintains dictatorial power.
"Mr. Obama told aides he was impressed with the Egyptian leader's pragmatic confidence," The New York Times reported after the Gaza ceasefire Nov. 21. "He sensed an engineer's precision with surprisingly little ideology."
The president and his aides must not have been paying attention. Days earlier, Morsi stood in Cairo's al-Azhar mosque and offered unwavering support to Hamas and threatened Israel with violent retribution.

"Let everyone know that the size of Egypt and the capabilities of Egypt, and the people of Egypt have rage, and the leaders of Egypt are enraged at what is hitting Gaza," Morsi said. "The leaders of Egypt are enraged and are moving to prevent the aggression on the people of Palestine in Gaza."
"We in Egypt stand with Gaza," he said. "[W]e are with them in one trench, that he who hits them, hits us; that this blood which flows from their children, it, it is like the blood flowing from the bodies of our children and our sons, may this never happen."
During a Nov. 19 visit to Shifa Hospital in Gaza, Saad Katatni, chairman of Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party and speaker of Egypt's dissolved parliament, continued issuing violent threats of jihad against Israel, saying:
"We are with you in your jihad. We have come here to send a message from here to the Zionist entity, to the Zionist enemy. And we say to them, Egypt is no longer. Egypt is no longer after the revolution a strategic treasure for you. Egypt was and still is a strategic treasury for our brothers in Palestine; a strategic treasure for Gaza; a strategic treasure for all the oppressed."
The Obama administration has yet to criticize the pro-Hamas, pro-jihad rhetoric from Morsi, Katatni and their Brotherhood associates.
Throughout the conflict, the Muslim Brotherhood – where Morsi had been a senior member before seeking office earlier this year – issued a series of pro-Hamas statements and celebrations of attacks on Israel, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland ducked the issue of violent rhetoric from Morsi and the Brotherhood when a reporter raised it in a Nov. 16 press briefing.
"Well, I'm obviously not, from this podium, going to characterize the Egyptian view, nor am I going to speak for them and characterize our private diplomatic conversations," Nuland said. "We all agree on the need to de-escalate this conflict, and the question is for everybody to use their influence that they have to try to get there."
The Muslim Brotherhood's hostile rhetoric against Israel continued on Nov. 22 after the cease-fire was reached. Supreme Guide Dr. Mohamed Badie—considered by Middle East intelligence sources to be the real power broker behind Morsi— issued a statement describing jihad against the Jewish state as "a personal obligation for all Muslims."
"The cause of Palestine is of considerable importance. It is not a cause of power, nor of Palestinians, nor of the Arabs, but is the basic cause of life of every Muslim," Badie said. "For the sake of its return, every Muslim must wage jihad, sacrifice; and expend his money for the sake of restoring it.
"Palestine and Jerusalem is a holy Muslim land, part of the faith of the Muslim ummah," Badie continued. "To forsake any part of it is to forsake the ummah's civilization and faith. This is a great sin."
The Muslim Brotherhood leader continued, saying that the Jews should not "establish a state for themselves" and should be content living as a minority in other nations.
"The enemy knows nothing but the language of force," Badie said. "Be aware of the game of grand deception with which they depict peace accords."
Morsi Grabs Dictatorial Powers
Cairo's streets filled with angry protesters after Morsi turned around and issued an edict making his decisions immune from judicial review just a day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised him as a peacemaker.
"I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence. This is a critical moment for the region," Clinton said during a Nov. 21 joint press conference in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr. "Egypt's new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace."
Morsi's grab for dictatorial power trampled Egypt's judiciary and gave him unchecked rule over Egypt at least until a new constitution is drafted.
At least 40 people were wounded and a teenager was killed Sunday in the Nile Delta city of Damanhoor when a group of anti-Morsi protesters tried storming the Brotherhood's local offices, the Associated Press reported.
Washington's response has been tepid at best, calling for calm but never criticizing Morsi directly. White House Spokesman Jay Carney was asked directly Monday if the administration "condemned" Morsi's unprecedented power grab.
"We are concerned about it and have raised those concerns," Carney said.
During a press briefing also held Monday, the State Department's Nuland tread lightly. Clinton spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr that morning, Nuland said, taking "that opportunity to reiterate some of the points that you saw in our statement, that we want to see the constitutional process move forward in a way that does not overly concentrate power in one set of hands, that ensures that rule of law, checks and balances, protection of the rights of all groups in Egypt are upheld, et cetera."
She repeatedly referred back to a statement issued Friday calling for calm in Egypt as a result of Morsi's decree.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called on the United States to condemn these actions and demand they be reversed. "Stop. Stop. Renounce the statement, and the move that he just made. Allow the judiciary to function," McCain said. "If the judiciary is flawed in some way, then, that's an illness that can be cured over time. But, absolutely, to assume this kind of power is unacceptable to the United States of America and, then, we can outline what actions might be taken. But, first, condemn it."
Egypt's pro-democracy groups also have called on President Obama to condemn Morsi's decree, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
"I am waiting to see, I hope soon, a very strong statement of condemnation by the U.S., by Europe and by everybody who really cares about human dignity," said prominent opposition figure Mohamed Elbaradei.
The opposition forces have formed a National Salvation Front in response to Morsi's power grab in attempt to circumvent an impending Islamist takeover of the Egyptian government, referring to the move as a "coup" and Morsi as a "pharaoh."
"I'm against the constitution and the dictatorship of Mr. Morsi," anti-Morsi protester Horeya Naguib told the Associated Press Tuesday amid protests in Tahrir Square. "He is selling his own country and looks out for the interests of his group, not the people of Egypt."
Morsi's decree is his second attempt at consolidating power in five months, first ousting military leaders and invalidating a constitutional declaration that limited his control over Egypt's army.
Egyptian opposition politician Hamdeen Sabahy said that protests would continue until Morsi's decree was reversed, stating that Egypt "will not accept a new dictator because it brought down the old one."
Morsi's Long Support For Hamas
It is worth remembering that the administration has tried to cast the Muslim Brotherhood in a false light of moderation since the early days of the Arab Spring. In February 2011, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared before a House committee and described the group as "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam."
That comment was widely derided and Clapper walked it back somewhat. But a series of Arabic translations from the Muslim Brotherhood's official website made by the Investigative Project on Terrorism shows that Morsi worked for years alongside Hamas, which began as a splinter group from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s.
As a leading Muslim Brotherhood member of Egypt's parliament, Morsi wrote a Sept. 23, 2003 letter to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh thanking God for his survival and declaring his solidarity with Hamas' goal of destroying Israel.
"We thank all of you for your courageous positions in support of our cause, the cause of Palestine – the first Qibla of the Muslims, and your continued support of your brothers on the land of encampment," Morsi wrote, according to "We send through you greetings to all our faithful brothers throughout the world, and we assure you that we are we are pledged to God, and we promise you we will continue to the path of jihad and resistance until victory or martyrdom."
In April 2004, Morsi actually led efforts in the Egyptian parliament to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.
The Brotherhood's own website reported that "Dr. Morsi" proposed "a timetable for the disposal of the alleged peace agreement signed with the Zionist entity."
Later that year, Morsi invoked anti-Semitic themes found in the Qur'an and Shariah law, saying the Jews are "the most hostile of men to Muslims" and that "Zionists are traitors to every covenant."
In 2007, he said that he and the Muslim Brotherhood actively supported Palestinian jihadism to annihilate Israel through violent jihad: "[T]he Palestinian issue for the Brotherhood is pivotal and essential, and that the Brotherhood offered and still offers full support for the Palestinian resistance to liberate the Holy Land."
A month later, Morsi participated in a teleconference with Haniyeh, saying "resistance is the right and only way to liberate the land from the defilement of the Jews."
The list goes on and on. Morsi delivered a brief respite in the rocket fire from Gaza toward Israeli civilians. That's a good thing. But pretending this one act somehow transforms him into a statesman, or a reliable international mediator is not. It's reckless.

Canada recalls diplomats from Israel, West Bank and UN over Palestinian vote.

Canada recalls diplomats from Israel, West Bank and UN over Palestinian vote.(TS).OTTAWA—Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is temporarily recalling senior diplomats from Israel, the West Bank and the UN missions in New York and Geneva.
He says he wants to get their views on the implications of the UN General Assembly vote which recognized the Palestinians as a non-member observer state at the world body. “Canada is deeply disappointed but not surprised by yesterday’s result at the United Nations General Assembly,” he said in a statement Friday.
Our government’s position is clear: the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace is through negotiations, not unilateral actions.” “To that end, Canada is bringing its heads of missions in Israel and Ramallah and its permanent representatives to the UN in New York and Geneva back to Ottawa temporarily to assess the implications of yesterday’s UN General Assembly vote and inform Canada’s response to it.
In a televised interview with the CBC, Baird said he wants to talk to the diplomats who are closest to the situation. “I want to get a sense of where we go from here,” he said. The minister said in his statement that Canada will review its whole relationship with the Palestinian Authority. The General Assembly decision is an “impediment to peace,” Baird said.
He added that his government’s biggest concern is that the Palestinian Authority will now seek membership in a variety of UN organizations, including the International Criminal Court. “I think that causes Canada big concerns. So we’ll have to review our options on how we go forward and how we deal with the Palestinian Authority,” Baird said. The Harper government has repeatedly said while it supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a Palestinian statehood should be a “by-product” of peace negotiations -- not imposed by the United Nations.Hmmm.......Don't see Barack HUSSEIN Obama doing this anytime soon. Read the full story here.

Netherlands to abolish blasphemy law.

Netherlands to abolish blasphemy law.(RT).Dutch parliament approves a motion to scrap law that made insulting God a crime. The move is welcomed by freedom of speech supporters and confirms anti-Islamists’ right to criticize religion. The blasphemy law is no longer relevant in the 21st century, a majority of Dutch parties stated. This law has not been in use for more than half a century, Dutch MPs added.
Liberal parties’ predominance in the current Dutch parliament has made the repeal of the 1930s law possible, with the same motion blocked by Christian political party’s allies back in 2008. The issue was brought to the attention of the parliament following the 2011 Geert Wilders case. Wilders, a far-right anti-Islam MP, was acquitted after facing trial on charges of inciting hatred and discriminations against Muslims. The judge ruled Wilders’ comparisons of Islam to fascism “acceptable,” allowing further criticism despite it insulting Muslims. 
The blasphemy law abolition was welcomed by freedom rights activists across the globe as a victory.However the decision was dubbed as a “painful loss of a moral anchor and a symptom of a spiritual crisis” by Dutch Christian SGP party, media reported. It is still illegal to insult police officers or the country’s monarch under the Dutch law. Many European countries still have blasphemy laws restricting freedom of expression, rights activists say. Others have replaced such laws with more general legislation criminalizing religious hatred.
The UK has annulled its blasphemy law, replacing it with the Racial and Religious Hatred Act in 2007. The new law implies a prison term of up to seven years and an unlimited fine for the intention of stirring up religious hatred. Ireland stood out by introducing a new blasphemy law in 2010, instead of abolishing it. The recent Irish Defamation Act makes “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter” punishable by a fine of up to €25,000. Although such laws have not been invoked for decades in most of Europe, there remain some countries where charges on grounds of religious hatred have often been exercised. Read the full story here.

Video - Krauthammer: "Robert E. Lee was offered better terms at Appomattox than Obama is offering Republicans."

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It's not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal. What Geithner offered, what you showed on the screen, Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War. The Democrats won by 3% of the vote and they did not hold the House, Republicans won the house. So this is not exactly unconditional surrender, but that is what the administration is asking of the Republicans.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: "Al Qaeda battle in Afghanistan to stretch for years."

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: "Al Qaeda battle in Afghanistan to stretch for years."(AA).Al Qaeda fighters are still trying to make inroads into Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday, cautioning that battling the group would be a core U.S. mission there for years to come. Panetta made the comments as the United States weighs how large a military force to keep in Afghanistan when the NATO combat mission ends in 2014, ending a war that, at that point, will have stretched for over 13 years. There are approximately 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but the residual force may number less than 10,000.
President Barack Obama could decide in the coming weeks, although no deadline has been set. Commenting on the scope of a post-2014 counter-terrorism mission, Panetta did not mention al Qaeda allies or Taliban militants battling U.S. forces. He said fighting the core al Qaeda group to prevent it from re-establishing a safe haven in Afghanistan was “going to be the fundamental thrust of the (counter-terrorism) effort.” “Although we clearly have had an impact on (al Qaeda’s) presence in Afghanistan, the fact is that they continue to show up,” Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon. “And intelligence continues to indicate that they are looking for some kind of capability to be able to go into Afghanistan as well.” A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, estimated there were still only about 100 al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan. But Jeffrey Dressler, an Afghanistan expert at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, said looking only at al Qaeda fighters - as opposed to those who ally with them - carried enormous risks. “I think the mistake that we've made all along is too narrowly defining the threat,” Dressler said. Panetta declined to offer any estimate for the size of the force, saying that is “exactly what’s being discussed” now.Hmmmm........"The War On Terror Is Over"?Read the full story here.

Egypt's Amr Mousa: "Qatar Emir offered to 'pay in full' for U.S military presence."

Egypt's Amr Mousa: "Qatar Emir offered to 'pay in full' for U.S military presence."(AA).Former Arab league Secretary-General Amr Moussa spoke out in a recent interview about Qatar “paying” to have U.S. military presence on its lands in return for protection, said a London-based Arab newspaper.
Moussa said that Qatar’s Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa told the United States he was going to fulfill all their military expenses in Qatar if they agree to establish bases in the Gulf state, according to an interview with Al-Hayat newspaper. “Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa is Qatar’s real power and Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim assists him. The prince managed the country’s affairs well and took crucial decisions very easily,” Moussa said.
When he thought of protection and saw that Americans are the only ones willing to provide it, here he thought of the American military, which forming a base in Qatar was not among its priorities. But Sheikh Hamad told Americans that he will ensure their expenses are paid in full, so now he enjoys security and has moved forward,” he added.
Qatar, the major oil and gas producer Gulf-state, hosts the largest American military base in the Arab region.During the interview, Moussa also spoke about various topics concerning the Arab region, including Qatar’s political role towards revolutions in the Arab world.
The Qatari government has backed the armed revolt in Syria, a successful NATO-backed armed uprising in Libya, and street protests that ousted rulers in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen.
When asked if Qatar backs a Muslim Brotherhood program in neighboring Arab-spring countries, Moussa said this “is not far” from Qatar’s religious culture, saying this is evident through the country’s “media coverage and money distribution.”
I do not know about the program, but what I do know is that there’s a convergence with these Islamic movements. Those Islamic movements have their own programs and will work on implementing nothing but it. This message needs to be understood by everyone, including Qatar.”Read the full story here.

Why Is The US Building A Secret $100 Million Underground Facility Outside Tel Aviv?

Why Is The US Building A Secret $100 Million Underground Facility Outside Tel Aviv?
(BusinessInsider).By Robert Johnson.
Leave it to legendary Walter Pincus from the Washington Post to flesh out a Request for Proposal construction project planned for Israel called Site 911.
The oddly named project will cost up to $100 million, take more than two years to complete, and can only be built by workers from specific countries with proper security clearances. Palestinians need not apply.
When complete the well-guarded compound will have five levels buried underground and six additional outbuildings on the above grounds, within the perimeter. At about 127,000 square feet, the first three floors will house classrooms, an auditorium, and a laboratory — all wedged behind shock resistant doors — with radiation protection and massive security.
Only one gate will allow workers entrance and exit during the project and that will be guarded by only Israelis.
The bottom two floors are smaller, according to the full line of schematics uploaded to the Army’s Acquisition Business Web Site, and possibly used for equipment and storage.
As impressive as the American design features already are, Ada Karmi-Melamede Architects will decorate the entire site with rocks it chooses, but are paid for by the contractor, and provide three outdoor picnic tables.
Pincus also found this detailed description of the mezuzahs that will adorn every door in the facility:
These mezuzas, notes the [US Army] Corps, “shall be written in inerasable ink, on . . . uncoated leather parchment” and be handwritten by a scribe “holding a written authorization according to Jewish law.” The writing may be “Ashkenazik or Sepharadik” but “not a mixture” and “must be uniform.”
Also, “The Mezuzahs shall be proof-read by a computer at an authorized institution for Mezuzah inspection, as well as manually proof-read for the form of the letters by a proof-reader authorized by the Chief Rabbinate.” The mezuza shall be supplied with an aluminum housing with holes so it can be connected to the door frame or opening. Finally, “All Mezuzahs for the facility shall be affixed by the Base’s Rabbi or his appointed representative and not by the contractor staff.”
Along with this request is another called 911 Phase 2.
Also in the $100 million range, Pincus finds the “complex facility with site development challenges” requiring services that include “electrical, communication, mechanical/ HVAC [heating, ventilation, air conditioning] and plumbing” requirements telling; and along with the fact that the contractor must posses a U.S. or Israeli Secret Security Clearance, he believes this phase to be a secure command center.
Pulitzer Prize winning, Yale grad, born in 1932 whose worked intelligence and media in D.C. since 1955 closes his piece with these shadowy words.“The purpose of Site 911 is [un] clear.”

Video - LATMA's tribal update featuring Morsy's letter from Obama and an ode to the man who fled too much.

HT: Israel Matzav.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Overnight Music Video - Alpha Blondy - Masada.

Video - Wall of Truth.

Our forces saved the remnants of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations -- an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel." ~ Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

More info:

Susan Rice has hundreds of thousands invested in TransCanada, the company trying to build Keystone XL pipeline.

Susan Rice has hundreds of thousands invested in TransCanada, the company trying to build Keystone XL pipeline.(SN).By Bryn Weese.The front-runner to replace Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State has hundreds of thousands invested in TransCanada, the company trying to build the $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline. And Susan Rice, currently America's ambassador to the UN, has millions more invested in other Canadian oil and energy companies, such as Enbridge, Imperial, Encana and Cenovus, companies that also stand to benefit financially should the controversial pipeline be approved next year.
On Earth, an environmental news website affiliated with groups that oppose the pipeline and the oilsands, first reported Wednesday that Rice owns between $300,000 and $600,000 worth of stock in TransCanada. Rice's holdings in the Canadian energy companies could be considered a major conflict of interest should she be picked as the next Secretary of State.
Keystone would cross an international border, so it would ultimately be up to the State Department and its secretary to approve or reject the company's application to build the pipeline. Reports suggest she could sell her shares or put them in a blind trust to avoid a conflict, should she be appointed as Clinton's replacement by President Barack Obama. According to a spokesperson for Rice, she has followed all of the financial reporting laws required of her as a public servant, "and is committed to continuing to meet these obligations," Erin Pelton reportedly said in a statement to reporters. Still, environmentalists who oppose the oilsands and the Keystone XL pipeline expressed concern this week at the news that Rice is so heavily invested in them, and her appointment risks angering Obama's supporters on the left.Hmmmm....."Insider knowledge?"Read the full story here.Much more here Susan Rice owns shares in companies doing business in Iran

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said there would be "consequences" if the resolution passed at the UN general assembly.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said there would be "consequences" if the resolution passed at the UN general assembly.(SN).By Mark Dunn.OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is considering his options after the United Nations voted Thursday to promote the Palestinian Authority to a non-member, non-voting observer state despite Canada's objections. Harper has said there would be "consequences" if the resolution passed at the UN general assembly, which it did 138-9 with 41 abstentions.
Retaliatory measures could include cutting funding or expelling the Palestinian Authority's representative - measures deeply opposed by the NDP, which also supported the resolution. In 2007, Canada committed $300 million over five years in support of the peace process and of Palestinian reform and development. Canada is also involved in a myriad of other programs from judicial assistance to humanitarian aid. NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said threats and ultimatums "are not the way to do diplomacy." Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae also urged Harper not to impose punitive measures or risk destabilizing the region. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was in New York Thursday to argue Canada's position in a largely symbolic speech, because the outcome of the vote was never in doubt. "This resolution will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations," he said. "Will the Palestinian people be better off as a result? No. On the contrary, this unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations while doing nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people."Hmmm.....Canada a voice of reason in the Middle Eastern desert.Read the full story here.

Video - PM Netanyahu's statement on Palestinian move at @UN.

 (click below video for English subtitles ion You tube)

UN general assembly recognises Palestinian state 138-9 with 41 abstaining.

UN general assembly recognises Palestinian state 138-9 with 41 abstaining.(AlGuardian). UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon speaks in favor of the resolution. "I believe that Palestinians have the right to its own state. I believe that Israel has the right to peace and security," he says. Ban says the resolution should be taken as an opportunity to restart the peace process. "We must give new impetus to our collective efforts" toward a two-state solution, he says.

6m ago Palestine statehood passes 138-9, with 41 abstaining UN resolution A/67/L28 granting Palestine non-member observer state status passes, 138-9 with 41 abstaining. Huge applause breaks out in the hall. Abbas is receiving hugs. A Palestinian flag is being unfolded on the floor.

CSPAN turns the camera on US Ambassador Susan Rice. She looks like she wishes she were in Benghazi. 
Hmmm.....Obama's BFF Turkey - Davitoglu: Palestinians should know that "Turkey will stand with you forever. You are not alone... We will stand by you until there is a free Palestine... with al-Quds as its capital... its capital forever."

The Canadian foreign minister is now addressing the UN. He says the resolution is a unilateral move and damages prospects for an enduring peace.
Notable in Abbas' speech was his reference to Israeli war crimes. Israel believes it is above international law and "immune from consequences," he said, a belief bolstered by "some" in the international community. Non-member observer state status could open the way for possible war crimes charges against the Jewish state at the International Criminal Court. Prosor took to the offensive, saying the Palestinians had turned their backs on peace by trying to unilaterally claim statehood. He said the resolution failed to recognize the Israeli state. He said Israeli overtures of peace have been met with Palestinian terrorism. Canada's done, and will vote against the resolution.Hooray for Canada.Read the full story here.

PA: UN vote turns terrorists into freedom fighters and disputed land into occupied land.

PA: UN vote turns terrorists into freedom fighters and disputed land into occupied land.(PW).Two Palestinian goals at UN:
Have all disputed land declared "occupied"
and have terrorists declared legitimate freedom fighters.
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik.
The Palestinian Authority wishes to achieve a number of political gains by having the UN vote today, recognizing "Palestine" as a non-member observer state. 
First, all lands that are disputed and whose future must be negotiated according to the Oslo Accords, the PA wants declared Palestinian "occupied territory." 
Second, they claim that UN recognition would change the status of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons to legitimate freedom fighters and prisoners of war.

1- Changing the status of land under Israeli administration since 1967 to "occupied territory"
PA Foreign Minister Riad Al-Maliki:
"If Palestine receives status of a non-member state in the General Assembly, there will be positive effects on all levels in the future... Israel will no longer be able to define the occupied territories as disputed lands. They will become lands of a separate, occupied state." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 24, 2012]
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:
"During a speech at a meeting of the Arab League Ministerial Council, President Abbas said: ... 'We will hand in the application and request that it be voted on this November 29... We want to establish that the Palestinian territories that were [taken] in 1967 including Jerusalem [are occupied], since Israel has a different approach. It says that the territories occupied in 1967 are disputed territories. In other words, up for negotiations'" [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 13, 2012]

2- Changing the status of Palestinian terrorists who have targeted civilians into legitimate fighters and prisoners of war.
"Minister of Prisoners, Issa Karake said that the [PA] leadership's application to the UN to wrest [from it] international recognition of a Palestinian state, which is not a member of the UN, will raise the legal status of the prisoners and will offer international protection of their rights and their honor... He said that the prisoners will become captives of a state (i.e., Palestine), hostages and detainees in another state (i.e., Israel). The state's (Palestine's) legal status will turn them into prisoners of war who are detained illegally in the prisons inside Israel." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 13, 2012]

Already last year, PA Minister of Prisoners Karake said that UN recognition would indicate that the international community retroactively legitimizes Palestinian violence:
"[PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa] Karake... explained that the international recognition of the Palestinian State changes all the imprisoned Palestinians into prisoners of a state, prisoners of war held hostage in another state... He noted that the recognition of the state means recognition of the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle that the Palestinian nation fought, in the search for freedom and independence. In addition, it [recognition of a state] indicates that the struggles (Arabic- Nidalat) of the prisoners are legitimized and legal according to UN Resolutions, international laws and the third and fourth Geneva Conventions." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 8, 2011]
Note: The Palestinian Authority uses the word nidal - literally 'struggle' - as a general term that includes all acts against Israel - including terror against civilians.
Earlier this year, Palestinian Media Watch released a bulletin explaining the Palestinian Authority strategy. Last year, the PA went to the UN requesting full statehood recognition. In the days following last year's request for statehood, official PA TV celebrated the request by playing clips that show maps of the future Palestinian state. As opposed to Abbas' declaration at the UN recognizing Israel, the maps on PA TV showed a Palestinian state replacing Israel.

US sets deadline for Iran to cooperate with IAEA.

US sets deadline for Iran to cooperate with IAEA.(JPost).VIENNA - The United States effectively set a March deadline on Thursday for Iran to start cooperating in substance with a UN nuclear agency investigation, saying it would otherwise urge reporting the issue to the UN Security Council. The comments by US diplomat Robert Wood to the 35-nation governing board of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency signaled Washington's growing frustration at the lack of results in the IAEA's inquiry into possible military dimensions to Tehran's nuclear program. Iran denies the charge. "If by March Iran has not begun substantive cooperation with the IAEA, the United States ... would urge the board to consider reporting this lack of progress to the UN Security Council," Wood said, according to a copy of his statement."Iran cannot be allowed to indefinitely ignore its obligations ... Iran must act now, in substance," Wood said.Read the full story here.

Senators threaten to cut Palestinian aid in retaliation for U.N. action.

Senators threaten to cut Palestinian aid in retaliation for U.N. action.(WT).A bipartisan group of senators said Thursday they’ll push for a vote in Congress to kick the Palestinian Liberation Organization out of its Washington offices and threaten to withhold U.S. financial assistance if the Palestinians seek to use enhanced U.N. status against Israel.
The U.N. General Assembly was expected to vote later Thursday to recognize Palestine as a “non-member observer state,” which Israel and its supporters fear would give Palestinians a chance to use the International Criminal Court against Israel.
This is a provocative, unhealthy step that will undermine the peace process,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican.
He is sponsoring an amendment along with Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, to administer what amounts to a legislative spanking for the Palestinians.
Mr. Schumer said the debate offers a good chance for bipartisanship in Congress. The senators said they’ll seek a vote as part of the defense policy bill debate, which is currently taking place on the Senate floor.
Under their legislation, the PLO would be kicked out of its Washington office until President Obama certifies that Palestinian officials are engaged in meaningful negotiations with Israel.
Potentially more damaging, though, is the threat to withhold U.S. foreign aid if Palestinians try to use the ICC to target Israelis.Hmmmm........Good luck with hoping that Obama would turn on the Palestinians.
Read the full story here.

Iranian Muslims kill Jewish woman in Iran, amputate her hands.

Iranian Muslims kill Jewish woman in Iran, amputate her hands.(UPI).A Jewish woman was stabbed to death in Isfahan, Iran, in what her family said was a religiously motivated crime. Menashe Amir, an Iranian Jewry expert, told The Times of Israel the 57-year-old woman, identified as Tuba N., was killed Monday, allegedly by her Muslim neighbors, who had been trying to drive the family from their home and confiscate their property, which is adjacent to a mosque.
"The religious radicals even expropriated part of the house and attached it to the mosque's courtyard," Amir said. "The Jewish family appealed to the courts ... despite the threats to their lives." The killing occurred while the woman's husband was in Tehran. "Thugs broke into her home, tied up her two sisters who were living with her, and repeatedly stabbed her to death," Amir said. The attackers then removed her hands.
Amir said members of the city's dwindling Jewish community fear further bloodshed. Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran, was home to some 1,200 Jews in 2009. Now, however, Amir estimates fewer than 100 families remain. The Times said Iranian authorities attempted to cover up the killing and have yet to return the woman's body to her family Read the full story here.

Obama's BFF Turkey snubs US move on gas-for-gold Iran trade.

Obama's BFF Turkey snubs US move on gas-for-gold Iran trade.(HD).
Any fresh U.S. move to cut the gold trade with Iran would not bother Turkey, as Turkey is not an EU member and is only affected by multinational agreements, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said, downplaying U.S. efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic. 
His statement came after reports that the U.S. Senate was working on a new package of Iran sanctions concerning goods including gold, which may become effective next month. The sanctions would end “Turkey’s game of gold for natural gas,” Reuters quoted a senior Senate aide as saying yesterday. Early next month, the U.S. is expected to revise an exemption scheme for its energy embargo on Iran, in which Turkey was included for six months in June. “The U.S. sanctions stand for the U.S.,” Çağlayan said at a Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) meeting held in Istanbul. “We have multilateral international agreements. These deals, which we are a party to, are binding for us. The statements by the EU are not binding since we are not a member [to the bloc],” Çağlayan said.
Hmmmm.....We are Obama's BFF......Obama.....Erdogan......Ahmadinejad.....Antisemitism.Read the full story here.

Total exports of Gold

TSA Claims It Is Above Congressional Oversight.

TSA Claims It Is Above Congressional Oversight.(PP).By Steve Watson.The TSA has refused to attend a House Transportation hearing this week, with agency head John Pistole personally refusing to appear and declaring that the Congressional Committee has “no jurisdiction over the TSA”.
The hearing, schedule for Thursday, will be held by the Subcommittee on Aviation, a part of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (TIC). It is titled HOW BEST TO IMPROVE OUR NATION’S AIRPORT PASSENGER SECURITY SYSTEM THROUGH COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS.
Headed by Rep. Thomas Petri, it will “examine the impact that the regulations and policies of the Transportation Security Administration have on aviation passenger experience and the free flow of aviation commerce,” according to a brief on the subcommittee’s website (PDF).
The TIC’s website indicates that TSA head John Pistole has been asked to testify at the hearing. However, a statement issued on the TSA’s website made it clear that neither Pistole, nor any TSA official intends to attend the hearing.
The statement reads:
By U.S. House of Representatives rules which state that the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has no jurisdiction over the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), no representative from TSA will be present at the Subcommittee on Aviation hearing scheduled for Nov. 29.TSA will continue to work with its committees of jurisdiction to pursue effective and efficient security solutions. In the 112th Congress alone, TSA witnesses have testified at 38 hearings and provided 425 briefings for Members of Congress.TSA also continues to work to enhance security screening measures and to improve the passenger experience including through the expansion of TSA Pre?™. As part of its risk-based security initiatives, TSA has modified screening procedures for passengers 12 and under and 75 and older while pursuing a multi-layered approach to security that includes behavior detection officers, explosives-detection systems and federal air marshals, among other measures both seen and unseen.
House Republicans on the TIC have made it clear that they believe the TSA is in dire need of reform. A section on the Committee’s website describes the TSA as “a massive, inflexible, backward-looking bureaucracy of more than 65,000.”
TSA is a top-heavy agency in need of reform,” the site also states.
In the next Congress, Mica will make way for Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster. When asked by reporters for a reaction on the TSA’s refusal to testify at Thursday’s hearing, and the agency’s declaration that it is not beholden to the Committee, Shuster said “I don’t think we have direct jurisdiction but when they impede commerce, when they impede the traveling public, they need to answer to the committee.
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Shuster said he “absolutely” expects TSA officials to appear at transportation committee hearings. Asked what will happen if they refuse to testify, Shuster said: “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
With public backlash against the TSA at an all time high, and given the scrutiny that the TSA has faced at the hands of the TIC and its subcommittees, it is somewhat unsurprising that agency head Pistole is no longer willing to face the music as it were.Read the full story here.

Video - Ezra Levant and Charles Krauthammer "Islam cannot, will not succeed."

Dr. Charles Krauthammer weighs in on the state of Islam and the future of Israel and liberal democracy in the Arab world.

Controversy over Erdogan's plan for new, ‘giant’ mosque in Istanbul.

“Minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks, and the believers our army.” 

Controversy over Erdogan's plan for new, ‘giant’ mosque in Istanbul.(AA).Tayyip Erdogan has described his third term as Turkish prime minister as that of a “master”, borrowing from the celebrated Ottoman architect Sinan and the last stage of his storied career after apprenticeship and graduation.
It’s a lofty allusion.
Sinan’s 16th-century creations came to define the Ottoman Empire at its apogee, the Suleymaniye Mosque, built for Sultan Suleiman, part of Istanbul’s unmistakable skyline.
Now, entering a second decade at the helm of a country reveling in its regional might, Erdogan wants to leave his own mark on the cityscape with what will be Turkey’s biggest mosque, a “giant mosque,” he says, “that will be visible from all across Istanbul.”
To be built on the highest hill on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, planners boast the structure will hold up to 30,000 worshippers and bear six minarets taller than those of the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, or the Prophet’s Mosque, in Medina.
It is symbolic of Turkey’s tilt to the east under Erdogan, who has chipped away at the founding secularism of the modern republic and presided over its emergence as a power in the Middle East.
But the Istanbul elite are up in arms.
Some have branded the proposed mosque unsightly and ostentatious, a thinly-disguised declaration of victory by Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted government over the secularists and their guardians in the military.
“On the European side, Sultan Suleiman put his mark on the city with the Suleymaniye Mosque, which could be seen everywhere from old Istanbul,” said Emre Kizilkaya, a blogger and foreign editor at the Hurriyet daily. “Now many think Erdogan wants to put his own mark on the Asian side.”
One religiously conservative intellectual called it a “cheap replica” and wrote to Erdogan imploring him not to embarrass coming generations with such “unsightly work.”
There’s a saying in Turkish – ‘You don't discover America again,’” said Oguz Oztuzcu, chairman of the Istanbul Independent Architects’ Association. “You don’t try to make another Sydney Opera House, do you? They’re competing with existing icons.” The government, meanwhile, is embracing Istanbul’s imperial past, when the Ottoman Empire sprawled across three continents.
We must go everywhere our ancestors have been,” Erdogan said on Sunday, and took aim at the makers of a hit Turkish television series, one of the country’s most famous exports, for its gaudy portrayal of Sultan Suleiman.
Those who toy with these values should be taught a lesson within the bounds of the law,” he said.
Such talk has drawn fire from critics who accuse Erdogan of behaving like a modern-day sultan, at home and abroad. Hundreds of military officers have been jailed on charges of plotting a coup against Erdogan; others including academics, journalists and politicians are facing trial on similar accusations.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, smarting from Turkey’s support for the rebels trying to oust him, told a television interviewer this month that Erdogan "thinks he's the new sultan. In his heart he thinks he’s a Caliph.”Read the full story here.
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