Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Fox News’ Eric Bolling Test Drives Chevy Volt, Battery Runs Out Of Juice In Lincoln Tunnel After Only 25 Miles Two Days In A Row
Fox News’ Eric Bolling Test Drives Chevy Volt, Battery Runs Out Of Juice In Lincoln Tunnel After Only 25 Miles Two Days In A Row.
And it only costs $41,000!Source: FoxNews.
Egypt MP delivers call to prayer, gets hushed by MB speaker "if you want to call for the prayer, go to a mosque."
Egypt MP delivers call to prayer, gets hushed by MB speaker.(BM).CAIRO: As Egypt’s parliamentary session was in full swing, member of Parliament Mamdouh Ismail stood up in his chair and began reciting the call to prayer. He was silenced after 30 seconds by Speaker of Parliament Saad al-Katatny.
Ismail, an Islamist MP, is one of the majority of conservatives who have taken up positions in the first post-revolution Parliament in Egypt.
“You are not more Islamic than we are and if you want to call for the prayer, go to a mosque,” said the speaker.Ismail was forced to sit down by fellow MPs after he became increasingly agitated by Katatny’s rebuke.
It came as parliament held another day to discuss the ongoing security crisis in the country, hit by 5 consecutive days of violent clashes in downtown Cairo.
The interior ministry, supported by a majority of parliament, claims it was only using tear gas against protesters, despite the growing evidence suggesting that rubber bullets, birdshot and live ammunition was also used on protesters.Read the full story here.
From Brazil to Hurfeish: Meet the First-Ever Druze Lone Soldier.(IDF).The IDF currently has over 5,000 lone soldiers serving in its corps. Lone soldiers come from all over the world. There are French, English, American, Ethiopian, Russian, Canadian, Mexican, Australian and many, many others, but last week the IDF officially recognized the first-ever Druze lone soldier. Meet Pvt. Fadi Abad Alhallik:Fadi was born in Hurfeish, Israel, but in the fifth grade, he and his family moved to Brazil. Being raised in Brazil, he was not obligated to serve; however, just a few months shy of his 18th birthday, the IDF conscription age, Fadi decided to follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps by making Aliyah to Israel and voluntarily serving in the army. “I didn’t want to be different and I wanted to do my part for the country” says Fadi.Read ans see (Video) the full story here.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation New Zealand 5.3 ; Japan 5.1!More info here.
- President Obama reverses position on Super PACs, team urges supporters to donate to Priorities USA.(NYDN). On second thought, President Obama would like that Super PAC money after all.The Commander-in-Chief is doing a 180 and asking top fundraisers to support an independent political action committee backing his reelection.The President has previously been a staunch opponent of so-called "super" PACs because they can spend unlimited amounts of cash to influence elections.But Team Obama argued Monday night that it cannot allow for "two sets of rules" in which the GOP presidential nominee benefits from "unlimited spending and Democrats unilaterally disarm."Republicans immediately seized on President Obama's reversal, calling the move "hypocritical.""This is a brazenly cynical move by Barack Obama and his political handlers, who just a year ago had the chutzpah to call outside groups a threat to democracy," Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, told The Associated Press.Read the full story here.
- The Obama Doctrine: "Raid - Run and Announce".(Weeklystandard).By ElliotAbrams.Here is what it would look like: “I will undertake any military attack against our enemies, regardless of the risks and collateral damage, so long as it is over by the time I have to announce it.” Obama is leaning away from the old “two war” or “one and a half war” capabilities toward a new idea: American soldiers as raiders, undertaking one-day or one-hour attacks.the Obama approach requires dangerous revelations of exactly what is being done—or else the president gets no credit, looks wimpy, and might not be reelected.Not inspiring, you say? Obviously you’re one of the antediluvian defense types who wants a whole army and navy. That’s passé now. The new approach is raid, run, and announce .Read the full story here.
- Our World: Obama's rhetorical storm.(Jpost).By Caroline B.Glick.The Obama administration is absolutely furious at Russia and China. The two UN Security Council permanent members’ move on Saturday to veto a resolution on Syria utterly infuriated the US’s President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice. And they want us all to know just how piping mad they really are.Rice called the vetoes “unforgivable,” and said that “any further blood that flows will be on their hands.” She said the US was “disgusted.”Clinton called the move by Moscow and Beijing a “travesty.” She then said that the US will take action outside the UN, “with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.”The rhetoric employed by Obama’s top officials is striking for what it reveals about how the Obama administration perceives the purpose of rhetoric in foreign policy.Most US leaders have used rhetoric to explain their policies. But if you take the Obama administration’s statements at face value you are left scratching your head in wonder. Specifically on Syria, if you take these statements literally, you are left wondering if Obama and his advisers are simply clueless. Because if they are serious, their indignation bespeaks a remarkable ignorance about how decisions are made at the Security Council.We only know three things for certain about Iran. It is getting very late in the game for anyone to take any military actions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran will not stop its nuclear weapons program voluntarily. And Obama will not order US forces to take action to stop Iran’s nuclear project.What remains uncertain still is how Israel plans to respond to these three certainties. The fact that Israel has waited this long to strike presents the disturbing prospect that our leaders may have been confused by the Obama administration’s rhetoric. Perhaps they have been persuaded that the US is on our side on this issue and that we don’t have to rely only on ourselves to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.But as the foregoing analysis of the administration’s very angry words on Syria and very sober words on Iran demonstrates, Obama and his deputies use rhetoric not to clarify their intentions, but to obfuscate them. Just as they will do nothing to prevent Assad from continuing his campaign of murder and terror, so they will do nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.Read the full story here.
- Why I want to be the values-voice in the US Congress.(JPost).By Shmuley Boteach.In 2008 I was asked to be a national co-chairman of “Rabbis for Obama.” The position might have given me access to the leader of the free world and perhaps important leverage given his testy relations with Israel.But I declined the offer. Though I am inspired by President Barack Obama’s personal story and see him as an exemplary husband and father, I disagree with the Democratic president on too many issues. And now, in the same spirit, I have cast my yarmulke into the ring by declaring my desire to seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s ninth district where I live. I am now actively exploring the viability of my candidacy and my ability to integrate existing responsibilities into the considerable effort a successful candidacy will entail.Why would a rabbi run for Congress? Because the problems we’re seeing in our great nation are not caused by an economic downturn but by a values erosion, and I intend to be the values voice that Congress so desperately needs.The values that have dominated the American political landscape for decades are the American obsession with gay marriage and abortion, to the exclusion of nearly all others, which explains why our country is so incredibly religious yet so seemingly decadent. It’s time to expand the values conversation and policy agenda.Read the full story here.
- Homeland Security Lexicon: You’re All ‘Militia Extremists’ Now.(PJM).Love the Constitution? Hate government regulations? New DHS "lexicon" brands you a "militia extremist.".A recently published “lexicon” distributed to thousands of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) targets citizens concerned about their Second Amendment rights and the steady encroachment of the federal government, categorizing such as “militia extremists.”The “lexicon,” marked Unclassified/For Official Use Only (FOUO), is dated November 10, 2011, and was sent out by email to law enforcement and homeland security agencies on November 14 by LaJuan E. Washington of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis.We have exclusively posted the DHS “lexicon” here.Its definition of “militia extremists” states:
(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who facilitate or engage in acts of violence directed at federal, state, or local government officials or infrastructure in response to their belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms and is attempting to establish a totalitarian regime. These individuals consequently oppose many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership), and often belong to armed paramilitary groups. They often conduct paramilitary training designed to violently resist perceived government oppression or to violently overthrow the US Government. (Page 2 of 3, emphasis added)So what drives militia extremism according to DHS now is “belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms.” It is demonstrated by opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership).” Would writing about those topics (as I am now) fall under “facilitation”? On its face, it’s hard to see how it could be excluded under DHS’s broad definition.But not only does the “lexicon” target constitutionally protected activity, it specifically targets groups based on race, namely “black supremacist extremists” and “white supremacist extremists.” I have absolutely no problem targeting groups promoting violence based on racial supremacist ideology, but if DHS is going to proscribe the use of such terms and promptly turn around and use such — while in the same breath targeting private citizens for exercising their constitutional rights and freedom of speech in violation of DHS’s own standards — needless to say, that’s a serious problem.It bears mentioning that an earlier incarnation of the DHS lexicon was the subject of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress for its targeting of “alternative media” and its shockingly broad definition of the “patriot movement.” A DHS spokesman later claimed that the “lexicon” was sent out prematurely.Which raises the question of why these various “lexicons” published by the federal government exist in the first place.Read the full story here.
- Armenian Americans urge Obama to fulfill campaign pledge.(NAZ).Armenian Americans expressed strong concerns regarding Clinton’s remarks on the Armenian 'genocide'.Members of Congress and the Armenian Assembly expressed strong concerns regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the Armenian 'genocide' at a town hall meeting last week, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).In a dear colleague letter circulated today, Congressmen Adam Schiff and Robert Dold, sponsors of the Armenian 'genocide' resolution, urged Members to join them in sending a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on the Secretary to “disavow her ill-considered statement.”Expressing surprise and dismay about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s recent remarks on the Armenian 'genocide', the Assembly sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting swift action.“Secretary Clinton’s response is untenable and requires immediate remedy. Mr. President now is the time to fulfill your campaign promise and unequivocally affirm the Armenian 'genocide',” the Assembly wrote in its letter. “There is no debate about the historical fact of the Armenian 'genocide',” Reps. Schiff and Dold told the Assembly.“Raphael Lemkin, a Holocaust survivor who coined the term genocide and worked tirelessly toward the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, invoked the Armenian experience as a prime example of genocide,” continued Schiff and Dold.“We welcome this bi-partisan initiative to set the record straight,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We urge human rights activists from across the country to make sure that their Member of Congress signs this important letter to Secretary Clinton,” added Ardouny.Read the full story here.
- Hollywood Urges Obama to Pardon Killer.(NewZeal).By: Cliff Kincaid.On top of the campaign to pressure New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to release terrorist killer Judith Clark from prison, the far-left is asking President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, an American Indian activist who was convicted of the execution-style murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams.February 4 has been declared “International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier,” who was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment.A group working for Peltier’s release, in an email to its supporters, says, “Several high-level meetings (some with Administration officials) are expected to occur in Washington, D.C., in early 2012.” No officials were named, however.The campaign has the support of actor Danny Glover, whose film company, Louverture Films, has taken up the cause of freeing the convicted killer. The Glover company, which has received over $19.7 million from the Marxist regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, is involved in the publicity campaign for “Wind Chases the Sun,” a film that glamorizes Peltier.Another Danny Glover project, “The Black Power Mix Tape,” features former Communist Party activist Angela Davis.While the chances of an Obama pardon of Peltier may seem far-fetched, support for Peltier does exist in the “progressive” ranks of the Democratic Party. Reps. Maxine Waters and John Conyers have been among dozens of left-wing Democrats who had asked President Clinton to give clemency to Peltier.Interestingly, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, had been a Peltier supporter when he was a left-wing congressman from California. He signed a congressional letter asking President Carter to give clemency to Peltier.The “Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights” was launched on December 18, 2011 on Alcatraz Island and will conclude in Washington, D.C. on May 18, 2012. “I plan on being in Washington on May 18,” Glover said. However, he did not say if a visit to the White House or Congress was on his agenda.Hmmmm....While you guys are busy.....why not ask for the release of Pollard as well?Read the full story here.
- Catholic League Poised To Go To War With Obama Over Mandatory Birth Control Payments.(CBS).Donohue Says 70 Million Of His Voters Ready To Alter Presidential Election. Catholic leaders upped the ante Monday, threatening to challenge the Obama administration over a provision of the new health care law that would require all employers, including religious institutions, to pay for birth control.As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, it could affect the presidential elections.Catholic leaders are furious and determined to harness the voting power of the nation’s 70 million Catholic voters to stop a provision of President Barack Obama’s new heath car reform bill that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-producing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees.“Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue.Already Archbishop Timothy Dolan has spoken out against the law and priests around the country have mobilized, reading letters from the pulpit. Donohue said Catholic officials will stop at nothing to put a stop to it.“This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions, and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets,” Donohue said.Read the full story here.
- Turkey - Erdoğan fuels ‘secret agenda’ debate.(HD).An issue held against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) by those who are uneasy about its Islamist roots is that it has a “secret Islamic agenda” it will activate once the environment is ripe. Government officials have always denied this vehemently, of course, saying they should be seen simply as just another conservative party.But it was Prime Minister Erdoğan himself who has fueled the “secret agenda” debate now. He did this with a speech to party members in Parliament last week, where he indicated that as a conservative party they wanted to raise not just conservative but also religious generations in Turkey. His remarks received rapturous applause from AKP deputies, but the response from secular quarters was hardly surprising. For them Erdoğan had let the proverbial cat out of the bag with remarks that amounted to a “confession.” “What if I don’t want my kid to be conservative and religious?” decried well-known columnists like Hasan Cemal and Can Dundar. Undoubtedly Erdoğan also provided fodder for the anti-Islamic European right wing with these remarks. Behind the consternation was the fact that Erdoğan appeared to be suggesting the desired conservative and religious generations should be raised by means of the state apparatus in general and the education system in particular. Erdoğan’s remarks also contradict what he said in Cairo last year, where he told a local network that individuals did not have to be secular but states had to be so in order to stand equidistantly to all beliefs. As it turned out, Erdoğan did not stand behind those remarks, perhaps because of the anger they caused among Egyptian Islamists and their Turkish counterparts.Read the full story here.
- Tactical Vs. Strategic Raid - going for strategic change by attacking enemy leadership.(Imra).The lesson to be learned is that while the majority of the IDF's air, land, and sea forces deal with the enemy's defense layout, destroy rocket launchers and their operators, and target civilian infrastructures, the potential for a strategic change during war lies in operations directed against the enemy's leadership, and in the case of Lebanon, indirectly against the Lebanese government....Today, the IDF is able to execute a difficult, large-scale raid deep into enemy territory.The IDF is establishing a Depth Corps, but the difference between a tactical raid and a strategic raid remains unclear even after the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast LeadThe IDF is establishing a Depth Corps. The command will unite the IDF's special forces units – Sayeret Matkal (special ops), Shaldag (air force commandos), Shayetet 13 (naval commandos), and 669 (airborne SAR) – into a unified command for special ops far from Israel's borders. The report raises the debate as to the status of the raid in the IDF.In general, the raid has been an aspect of combat operations since the beginning of armed conflict. It is mostly applied in offensive battles because its execution requires a concerted effort and many resources at the expense of defensive preparations.Decades ago, Liddell Hart wrote in "Thoughts on War:" "Decisive success in war is possible only through surprise, and surprise has to be a combination of several complex factors...by delivering a blow at an unexpected moment, from an unexpected direction, or concentrating unexpected strength in the blow." These words still ring true.A raid deep in the enemy's defense layout is an exceedingly intricate and challenging operation that demands special weapons and transportation. It must be comprised of soldiers and commanders with proven courage, tenacity, creative thinking, survivability, and especially, the capacity to exploit sudden opportunities.When is a raid considered strategic? It is strategic when its purpose is to exploit a major weakness in the enemy that can change the course of the war. In other words, it is strategic when it has the effect of shuffling the cards and creating a new reality.One of the most complex challenges facing commanders and staff officers is to identify an opening that can alter the direction of a campaign, or the opposite—to invite grave danger. In combat, the name of the game is spotting opportunities and threats.Hmmm........May God protect them all.Read the full story here.
- 'Israel to ask for military facility in Cyprus'.(JPost).Israel will ask Cyprus to station Israel Air Force fighter jets at a military facility on the island, news reports in Cyprus reported on Tuesday.According to the reports, Israel will make the request during Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Cyprus later this month. It is unclear if the request will be to station a permanent presence on the island or to establish a base that can provide logistical support for the IAF during operations in the region.It is possible that Israel is seeking to establish a base in Cyprus to be able to more effectively protect the growing number of gas fields it is discovering in the Mediterranean Sea.According to the report in the Famagusta Gazette, the talks are currently at an “exploratory stage” regarding the possibility of using the Andrea Papendreou airbase in Paphos, in southwest Cyprus. The base reportedly used to host Greek F-16s.Last month, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Cypriot counterpart Demetris Eliades signed two agreements aimed at bolstering defense cooperation between the countries. The agreements were signed during Eliades’s visit to Tel Aviv. The possibility of establishing the base in Cyprus, reportedly came up during their discussions.Israel and Cyprus already enjoy close ties. The Cypriot Air Force sent fire extinguishing planes to Israel to help put out the Carmel Forest fire last year and in 2009, Cyprus stopped a cargo ship suspected of carrying Iranian arms.Hmmm.....Turkish PM Erdogan going in to orbit in 3....2.....1?Read the full story here.
- Europe - A scary thought.(KV). Mary-Ellen Synon in her latest: Merkel forgets Germany's history: 'Austerity not inflation gave us Hitler'. Murray recommends that readers should study the record of Heinrich Bruning, predecessor of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor. They could discover 'the real reason for Germany's descent into Nazism.''Monetarist fetishists have helped to circulate a pernicious falsehood that the Weimar uber-inflation caused the rise of Hitler.''The wild inflation storm occured in 1924. The Weimar economy recovered from it.''The Nazis came to power only in 1933, as an immediate consequence of the deflationary spiral that resulted from what Mr Wolf [commentator Martin Wolf, in an earlier article] refers to aptly as the "catastrophic austerity" introduced by Bruning.'As Mrs. Synon notes, Greece is now sufffering from policies of similarly "catastrophic austerity".And then a thought occurs to Mrs. Synon: The three top people now forcing this catastrophic austerity on the eurozone are Angela Merkel from Germany, with its history of national socialism, ECB president Mario Draghi from Italy, with its history of fascism, and IMF chief Christine Lagarde from France, with its history of collaboration with Nazism.Read the full story here.
- Iran Unveils Several Military, Technological Achievements.(Fars).Iran on Monday unveiled 21 new home-made achievements and projects in defensive and technological fields.The projects were unveiled on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn, celebrating the victor of the Islamic Revolution back in 1979. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that nine production lines have been inaugurated, which include those for advanced laser-guided systems of a cannon type, guiding systems of an anti-armor missile, a warning apparatus of a laser defense system meant to protect sensitive and important areas in the country, three advanced radars and a powerful microwave lamp. He added that eight other products including thermal cameras, laser systems, air-defense, and electronic communications for submarines were delivered to Iran's Armed Forces. Vahidi also noted that four research projects in the field of electronic warfare have been completed, which will enter the phase of industrial production in the near future.The minister reiterated that the achievements would considerably increase Iran's defense powers.Hmmm.....That powerfull microwave lamp will help to throw popcorn at the great Satan.Read the full story here.
- Armenian Genocide denial - No power can arrest a Turkish minister, says Bağış.(HD).Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış has declared a Swiss probe into his denial of Armenian genocide claims to be "null and void" for him, daily Hürriyet reported today. "I know of no power that could arrest a Turkish minister," Bağış said. "If need be, I'll go back to Davos and say it again." Bağış had previously refused to comment on the matter but nevertheless answered reporters’ questions at the airport ahead of a scheduled visit to Belgium. "Obviously this is at the initial probe stage right now. There isn't any official documentation on it that has reached me yet. We have fought for the freedom of speech, we are fighting for it, and we will fight for it," Bağış said."I hear they're trying to confirm whether or not I said those words," Bağış said. "Let them waste no time. I said it, and I repeat it today. I will repeat it again when I'm asked in future visits to Switzerland." Read the full story here.
- Opposition being silenced in Turkey.(WP).Many in Washington have been debating whether Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) could be a model for the Arab Spring , as our neighbors in the Middle East aspire to get rid of totalitarian regimes and become true democracies. But the reality in Turkey makes clear that the AKP model does not hold. On Nov. 9 I visited the Silivri prison where hundreds of journalists, publishers, military officers, academics and politicians are being held. Trials were opened in 2007 on charges that an ultranationalist underground organization had plotted for years to overthrow the government. Many of those indicted have been detained for years without trial. There has not been a single conviction to date. Justice is at stake — and, so far, has been flagrantly denied. At work is an insidious attack on the rule of law by Turkey’s governing party. These trials could have been an occasion for Turkey to achieve a much-needed catharsis for correcting past wrongs, but they have been turned into instruments to silence the opposition and suppress freedoms.Among those being held are eight opposition members of parliament. Turkey’s high election board declared that these people were qualified to stand for elections, and all won seats in parliament. That they are incarcerated violates their rights under Turkish law as elected representatives of the people. A universal norm of the rule of law is that one is innocent until proven guilty. Another is that evidence leads to the arrest of a suspect. In today’s Turkey, however, people are treated as guilty until proven innocent. One gets arrested; then authorities gather evidence to establish an infraction. Presumed guilt is the norm. Sadly, all opponents of the government are viewed as potential terrorists or plotters against the state. The AKP is systematic and ruthless in its persecution of any opposition to its policies. Authoritarian pressure methods such as heavy tax fines and illegal videotaping and phone tapping are widely used to silence opponents. Even more disturbing is the AKP’s claim that such things are being done in the name of democratic progress. The latest government target is the primary vestige of our democracy, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which I lead.It all boils down to this: In today’s Turkey, when one criticizes the justice system, one is prosecuted. When one appeals to the courts, one is penalized. But here is why I stand behind my words: I have the right and duty to be critical of all that is wrong in my country. It is my inalienable right to point to injustices and to ask for justice. If the courts are not performing their duty, one can, and should, stand up and say so. I do not ask for forgiveness. Rather, I want my own immunity as a member of parliament to be lifted so that I can be tried in a court for all to witness the outcome. Righteousness is the ultimate immunity. Turkey today is a country where people live in fear and are divided politically, economically and socially. Our democracy is regressing in terms of the separation of powers, basic human rights and freedoms and social development and justice. Citizens worry deeply about their future. These points are, sadly, reflected in most major international indexes, such as Human Rights Watch, which rank Turkey quite low in terms of human rights, democracy, freedoms and equality.Tactics such as oppression, preying on fear and restricting freedoms can help sustain a government’s rule for only so long. Never in history has a government succeeded in ruling permanently through authoritarian measures. Oppression does not endure; righteousness does. Turkey will be no exception.Hmmmm......Obama's 'buddy' Erdogan.A man is known by the company he keeps.Read the full story here.
- Video - Maldives President Resigns Amid Public Protests.(RN).Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed resigned on Tuesday, following weeks of public protests over his controversial order to arrest a senior judge. The announcement came as soldiers fired rubber bullets and clashed with police officers who were defying a presidential order to end a protest against what they perceive as illegal orders by authorities.Read and see the full story here.
- Google and Facebook pullout content in India.(E24/7).Internet giants Google Inc and Facebook removed content from some Indian domain websites on Monday following a court directive warning them of a crackdown "like China" if they did not take steps to protect religious sensibilities.The two are among 21 companies ordered to develop a mechanism to block material considered religiously offensive after private petitioners took them to court over images deemed offensive to certain communities.Two cases have been brought by individuals against internet companies in India, stoking fears about censorship in the world's largest democracy."(Our) review team has looked at the content and disabled this content from the local domains of (Google) search, Youtube and Blogger," Google spokeswoman Paroma Roy Chowdhury said.At the heart of the dispute is a law that India passed last year making companies responsible for user content posted on their websites, and giving them 36 hours to take down content if there is a complaint.Last month, the companies said it was not possible for them to block content. Google's Roy Chowdhury declined to comment on what had since been removed, and a Facebook representative said only that the company would release a statement later.A New Delhi lower court hearing one of the cases, a civil suit brought by a scholar, told the companies on Monday to put in writing the steps they had taken to block offensive content, and submit reports within 15 days."Microsoft has filed an application for rejection of the suit on the grounds that it disclosed no cause of action against Microsoft," a spokesperson for the company said. "The matter is sub judice and no further comments can be given."That suit was brought by scholar, Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasm, who runs a website called fatwaonline.org that gives answers to moral questions.Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft have appealed in the Delhi High Court against a separate criminal case successfully brought by journalist Vinay Rai.Read the full story here.
- Monsanto Forced Out of UK by Activists.(PA).By Anthony Gucciardi.
NaturalSociety.It has been a truly rough week for Monsanto. After being slammed with a lawsuit by concerned farmers over their GMO crops and thrown out by China, now the corrupt juggernaut is being thrown out of the United Kingdom. In an unprecedented announcement, Monsanto announced a major departure from the UK due to “intense opposition” to genetically modified foods from activists.As a result, the company is now closing its genetically modified wheat growing operation based in Cambridge. Monsanto officials even went on record stating that the move was a result of opposition against their own ‘Frankenstein Foods’.Furthermore, the company is even looking to liquidate their GMO crop facilities based in Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. Monsanto is making a run for it, and food good reason. Nations have been openly voicing their opposition against the biotech mammoth, with officials and individuals nationwide taking a stand. France is one of many nations to call out Monsanto’s crimes, citing health concerns among the many reasons to reject Monsanto’s GMO crops.India has also joined the conglomerate of nations directly opposed to the agricultural corruption brought upon by bloated biotechnology giant Monsanto, declaring legal action against the corporation for a crime dubbed ‘biopiracy‘. Peru even went as far as to pass a monumental 10 year ban on genetically modified foods.It seems that the United States officials are among the few who still swear allegiance to Monsanto, even allowing their genetically engineered hormone RBGH to run rampant in the U.S. despite being banned in 27 nations. Shockingly, the synthetic hormone (RBGH) is actually created using molecules and DNA sequences that are a result of molecular cloning. Are U.S. officials truly convinced that Monsanto’s GMO crops are truly safe, or does it have to do with the fact that many Monsanto employees are at the heart of the U.S. government? Read the full story here.
Gingrich derides trial of Egypt NGO workers“This is intolerable. This resembles Jimmy Carter and the Iranian hostage crisis.”
Gingrich derides trial of Egypt NGO workers“This is intolerable.This resembles Jimmy Carter and the Iranian hostage crisis.”.(AlArabiya).White House hopeful Newt Gingrich likened Cairo’s apparent plans to put 19 Americans on trial over charges of illegal funding of aid groups to the Iran hostage crisis, as an Egyptian military delegation abruptly cancelled its scheduled meetings with U.S. lawmakers in Washington.“The Obama administration is appeasing the elements that oppose us,” Gingrich said, deriding the Arab Spring for bringing “radical” Islamists to power in Egypt after the overthrow of U.S.-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak. “In Egypt you now have Americans being held hostage,” told a rally in Minneapolis ahead of Republican nominating caucuses there Tuesday, according to AFP.“This is intolerable. This resembles Jimmy Carter and the Iranian hostage crisis.”
Some 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days after the U.S. embassy in Tehran was stormed and occupied during the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
The crisis undermined the presidency of Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and the hostages were not released until moments after President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, was inaugurated.
Gingrich, who often compares himself on the campaign trail to Reagan, said Obama’s foreign policy mirrored Carter’s “weakness.”“If I were president, the message to the Egyptian government this evening would be quiet, firm, unequivocal; and I suspect that by sometime tomorrow morning all the hostages would be on an airplane coming home,” the former House speaker said.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian military delegation abruptly cancelled its meetings with U.S. lawmakers to return to Cairo on Monday after warnings from both Congress and the White House that Egypt’s crackdown on NGOs could threaten the annual U.S. military aid.
A spokesman for the Egyptian Embassy confirmed that the delegation had cancelled its meetings this week with U.S. lawmakers, but gave no reason, according to Reuters.
The U.S. senator who wrote the conditions placed on U.S. military aid to Egypt this year warned that “things will be a lot worse” for Egypt when Congress makes aid decisions for 2013 if Cairo does not demonstrate a commitment to democracy.
Senator Patrick Leahy, Democratic chairman of the Senate foreign aid subcommittee, suggested that he would not favor continuing U.S. military aid to Egypt, even with conditions, if it continued its crackdown on local and U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups.
“I’m not going to ... say, keep on funding this, funding money that reflects the assumption that they are committed to democracy, if they are not,” Leahy told Reuters at the Senate.Leahy said he had to “really fight the administration” of President Obama to get those conditions placed on the aid for fiscal 2012, which began last October and ends Sept. 1.“Now everybody is glad it was done that way because it gives us, to the extent we have any leverage, that's where the leverage is,” Leahy told Reuters.Read the full story here.
Genocide a Moral Obligation - "The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers, It began with words!"
"The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers, It began with words!" ~ Irwin Cotler. JPost.
Genocide a Moral Obligation.(INN).
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday endorsed a new doctrine explaining why it would be ‘legally and morally justified’ to commit genocide and wipe Israel off the map.
The article was written by Khameini’s close adviser Alireza Forghani and endorsed by the Supreme Leader whose writings played a critical role in its drafting.
The article has since appeared on numerous Iranian government and military websites.
“Israel is a cancerous tumor in the Middle East,” the article in the ultraconservative Farsi-language Alef news site. “Israel is a satanic media outlet with bombers. Every Muslim is required to arm themselves against Israel.”
“I have already noted the usurper state of Israel poses a grave threat to Islam and Muslim countries. Islam and Muslim states must not lose this opportunity to remove the corruption from out midst. All of our problems are because of Israel – Israel of America.”
“The first step should be the absolute destruction of Israel. To this end, Iran could make use of long-range missiles. The distance between us is only 2,600 KM. It can be done in minutes.”
The crux of the piece says Iran would be justified in launching a pre-emptive strike against Israel because of the threat the Jewish state’s leaders are posing against its own nuclear facilities.
However, during a lengthy discussion of the ‘jurisprudence of Jihad,’ the article makes it clear that an Israeli strike ‘isn’t required’ and would ultimately serve as a pretext for genocide.
Instead, he says ‘defensive Jihad’ justifies annihilating Israel and targeting its civilian population because Israel has “spilled Muslim blood” and “oppresses” its Muslim neighbors.
“With regard to the fake state of Israel in Palestine, which is included in the first Qibla of Muslims, we must defend the sacred blood of Muslims in Islamic Palestine using any means necessary,” it goes on to explain.
“If the enemy should invade Muslim lands and spill Muslim blood, it is obligatory upon the Muslim masses to use every means possible to defend the lives and property of their brothers. It does not require a judge’s permission.
“But regardless of the Israeli aggression against Palestine and the Muslims, it is clear the heads of this fake regime seek to dominate other Islamic lands on its borders and to develop hegemony over the region,” it reads.The article makes it clear Iran sees no place in the Middle East for the Jews.
“Political subdivisions of states and political boundaries between units are not relevant and what is important is to divide the nations and territories based on beliefs and religions groups, blood and blood. Muslim blood must be separate from Infidelblood,” it says, citing Khameini’s writings.
The document then cites statistics saying 5.7 million of Israel’s 7.5 million citizens are Jewish – as a justification for attack. It then proceeds to break down Israel by region and demographic concentrations in order that the most Jews possible would be killed.
It specifically states that Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa ,contain more than 60 per cent of the Jewish population, which could be hit by Shahab 3 ballistic missiles to “easily kill everyone.”
The publication of the doctrine comes after Khamenei announced on Friday that Iran would support any nation or group that attacks the ‘cancerous tumor’ of Israel.
Since its publications several Iranian officials have called for a strike on Israel “within the year.”Read the full story here.
Egypt’s Salafi cleric says football prohibited in Islam, stadium riot victims not martyrs.(VOC).(AlArabiya).A prominent Egyptian cleric has stirred controversy for saying that victims of the stadium massacre that took place Wednesday are not martyrs and that football is forbidden in Islam.Spokesman of the Salafi Preaching Movement (al-Dawaa al-Salafiya) in Egypt, Sheikh Abdul Moneim al-Shahat, who failed to secure a seat in the first parliament after the Jan. 25 revolution, said those who died at the Port Said stadium in northern Egypt, mostly members of the Ultras football fan group, did not sacrifice their lives for God.
“They were not in a war fighting for God, they were just having fun. This fun distracts Muslims from worshipping God,” he said in a sermon he gave Monday in a mosque in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.
Shahat added that the “fun” which victims sought when they went to the stadium is forbidden in Islam in the first place.“Only three sports are allowed in Islam: shooting, swimming, and horseback riding. Other sports are forbidden.”
Shahat added that football is a sport imported from the West and criticized football players who join foreign clubs.“Unfortunately, like in the West, football players play in foreign clubs and get very high salaries while many scholars are struggling to make ends meet.”Money spent on football, Shahat argued, should go instead to Quran competitions.
Shahat is known for issuing controversial statements especially ones about covering statues, which he considered “idols,” with wax and describing the writings of Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz as “prostitution literature.”Read the full story here.
Offshore Free-Fire Zone Everywhere: The Plan to End National Sovereignty as We Know It.(Stratfor).Make no mistake: We’re entering a new world of military planning. Admittedly, the latest proposed Pentagon budget manages to preserve just about every costly toy-cum-boondoggle from the good old days when MiGs still roamed the skies, including an uncut nuclear arsenal. Eternally over-budget items like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, cherished by their services and well-lobbied congressional representatives, aren’t leaving the scene any time soon, though delays or cuts in purchase orders are planned. All this should reassure us that, despite the talk of massive cuts, the U.S. military will continue to be the profligate, inefficient, and remarkably ineffective institution we’ve come to know and squander our treasure on.
Still, the cuts that matter are already in the works, the ones that will change the American way of war. They may mean little in monetary terms—the Pentagon budget is actually slated to increase through2017—but in imperial terms they will make a difference. A new way of preserving the embattled idea of an American planet is coming into focus and one thing is clear: in the name of Washington’s needs, it will offer a direct challenge to national sovereignty.
For Washington, “offshore” means the world’s boundary-less waters and skies, but also, more metaphorically, it means being repositioned off the coast of national sovereignty and all its knotty problems. This change, on its way for years, will officially rebrand the planet as an American free-fire zone, unchaining Washington from the limits that national borders once imposed. New ways to cross borders and new technology for doing it without permission are clearly in the planning stages, and U.S. forces are being reconfigured accordingly.
Think of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden as a harbinger of and model for what’s to come. It was an operation enveloped in a cloak of secrecy. There was no consultation with the “ally” on whose territory the raid was to occur. It involved combat by an elite special operations unit backed by drones and other high-tech weaponry and supported by the CIA. A national boundary was crossed without either permission or any declaration of hostilities. The object was that elusive creature “terrorism,” the perfect global will-o’-the-wisp around which to plan an offshore future.
All the elements of this emerging formula for retaining planetary dominance have received plenty of publicity, but the degree to which they combine to assault traditional concepts of national sovereignty has been given little attention.
And keep in mind that when drones are capable of taking off from and landing on aircraft carrier decks, they will quite literally be offshore with respect to all borders, but capable of crossing any. (The Navy’s latest plans include a future drone that will land itself on those decks without a human pilot at any controls.)
War has always been the most human and inhuman of activities. Now, it seems, its inhuman aspect is quite literally on the rise. With the U.S. military working to roboticize the future battlefield, the American way of war is destined to be imbued with Terminator-style terror.
Along with those skies filled with increasing numbers of drones goes a rise in U.S. special operations forces. They, too, are almost by definition boundary-busting outfits. Once upon a time, an American president had his own “private army”—the CIA. Now, in a sense, he has his own private military. Formerly modest-sized units of elite special operations forces have grown into a force of 60,000, a secret military cocooned in the military, which is slated for further expansion. According to Nick Turse, in 2011 special operations units were in 120 nations, almost two-thirds of the countries on Earth.
By their nature, special operations forces work in the shadows: as hunter-killer teams, night raiders, and border-crossers. They function in close conjunction with drones and, as the regular Army slowly withdraws from its giant garrisons in places like Europe, they are preparing to operate in a new world of stripped-down bases called “lily pads”—think frogs jumping across a pond to their prey. No longer will the Pentagon be building American towns with all the amenities of home, but forward-deployed, minimalist outposts near likely global hotspots, like Camp Lemonnier in the North African nation of Djibouti.And don’t forget the Navy, which couldn’t be more offshore to begin with. It already operates 11 aircraft carrier task forces (none of which are to be cut—thanks to a decision reportedly made by the president). These are, effectively, major American bases—massively armed small American towns—at sea. To these, the Navy is adding smaller “bases.” Right now, for instance, it’s retrofitting an old amphibious transport docking ship bound for the Persian Gulf either as a Navy Seal commando “mothership” or (depending on which Pentagon spokesperson you listen to) as a “lily pad” for counter-mine Sikorsky MH-53 helicopters and patrol craft. Whichever it may be, it will just be a stopgap until the Navy can build new “Afloat Forward Staging Bases” from scratch.
Onshore, American power in the twenty-first century proved a disaster. Offshore, with Washington in control of the global seas and skies, with its ability to kick down the world’s doors and strike just about anywhere without a by-your-leave or thank-you-ma’am, it hopes for better. As the early attempts to put this program into operation from Pakistan to Yemen have indicated, however, be careful what you wish for: it sometimes comes home to bite you.Hmmmm..........."No more war only 'kinetic military action' at the order of a President?"No need for Congress.Read the full story here.
Diplomat Says Pakistan Will Retaliate if Israel Attacks Iran.(YNet).
Is the world counting down to "D-Day"? After US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta estimated that Israel would attack Iran by June, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned government officials against "Iran chatter," A European diplomat based in Pakistan said that if Israel attacks, Islamabad will have no choice but to support any Iranian retaliation. The diplomat's statement raised the specter of putting a nuclear-armed Pakistan at odds with Israel, which is widely believed to have its own significant nuclear arsenal.
To some, the greatest risk of an attack was to the moribund world economy. Nick Witney, former head of the EU's European Defense Agency, said "the political and economic consequences of an Israeli attack would be catastrophic for Europe" since the likely spike in the price of oil alone "could push the entire EU, including Germany, into recession."He said this could lead to "messy defaults" by countries like Greece and Italy, and possibly cause a collapse of the already-wobbly euro.
Witney, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, added that "the Iranians would probably retaliate against European interests in the region, and conceivably more directly with terrorism aimed at Western countries and societies."Meanwhile, Iran continued to raise the bar, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander on Sunday warned that the Islamic Republic will target any country where an attack against it is staged. Read the full story here.
Video: Obama Blames “Founding Fathers” For Making It Difficult For Him To “Bring Change”But..."I will keep plotting"
“Our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes.”Hmmm..... "I will keep plotting"?