Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Mubarak’s health ‘severely deteriorating:’ prison sources.(AA).The health condition of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is ‘severely deteriorating,’ prison sources told Al Arabiya, three days after he was sentenced to life for complicity in the murder of hundreds of protesters last year. Sources inside Cairo’s Tora prison told Al Arabiya that Mubarak collapsed following visits on Monday by his wife Suzanne, and his sons Alaa and Gamal. His wife reportedly sobbed after she saw him in a prison suit. The sons are detained pending trial in a case involving alleged share-price manipulation. Alaa was reportedly moved to a cell near his father, whose personal doctors were not allowed to oversee his health condition. Egypt’s state news agency said “the severe deterioration in the former president’s condition” prompted prison staff to bring in an Interior Ministry medical team. He was given sedatives and placed under observation, it added. It said the family visit, the first since his sentencing, caused him to suffer from depression, prompting him to stop eating. It was not possible to independently check the report. Mubarak’s health has been the subject of widespread speculation for years. During his trial, he was wheeled into court on a hospital stretcher for each hearing, though his ailment was undefined.Read the full story here.
We have 'BIG Things' in Russia - Siberian shale play 80 times larger than Bakken.(Forbes).Everyone has heard about the Bakken shale, the huge expanse of oil-bearing rock underneath North Dakota and Montana that billionaire Harold Hamm thinks could yield 24 billion barrels of oil in the decades to come. The Bakken is a huge boon, both to the economic health of the northern Plains states, but also to the petroleum balance of the United States. From just 60,000 barrels per day five years ago, the Bakken is now giving up 500,000 bpd, with 210,000 bpd of that coming on in just the past year. Given the availability of enough rigs to drill it and crews to frack it, there’s no reason why the Bakken couldn’t be producing more than 1 million bpd by the end of the decade, a level that could be maintained for halfway through the century.
Getting access to the Bazhenov appears to be a key element in both ExxonMobil and Statoil‘s big new joint ventures with Kremlin-controlled Rosneft. Exxon’s recent statement says the two companies have agreed “to jointly develop tight oil production technologies in Western Siberia.”
No wonder. The geology of the Bazhenov looks just as good if not better. Its pay zone averages about 100 feet thick, and as Clint points out, the Bazhenov has lots of cracks and fractures that could make its oil flow more readily. The couple test wells that he sites flowed at an average of 400 barrels per day. That’s in line with the Bakken average.
This Siberian bonanza might be news to most of us, but it’s old news to Big Oil. The conventional oil fields of Siberia have been producing millions of barrels a day for decades — oil that originated in the Bazhenov “source rock” then slowly oozed up over the millenia. From the looks of it, geologists have been looking at the Bazhenov for more than 20 years....Unlike the Kremlin’s much ballyhooed plan to drill for oil in ice-packed Arctic waters, the beauty of the Bazhenov is that it is onshore and it underlies an area that is already criss-crossed with pipelines serving mature, conventional fields. No need for expensive icebreakers, cold-weather drillships and subsea pipelines.Enough oil to satisfy all of current global demand for 64 years, or to do 5 million bpd for more than 1,000 yearsHmmm........... Dem :"Supply does not matter in determining the price of oil"Think again.Read the full story here.
Update - More on the Slaughtered Convert to Christianity.(MEF).By Raymond Ibrahim.
The story generated a huge number of commentaries from readers, some of them originating from Muslim Countries. They harshly dispute and deny the veracity of the facts you mention in your paper. Some argue that this abomination did not take place in Tunisia—and I do believe so—but somewhere in Iraq, that the young man is not a Christian but a Shiite, that he was not slaughtered for apostasy but for being a spy of the Americans, and so on… It's true that the facts are not properly documented : we don't know even the date of this event, the place, the name of this unfortunate young man… Do you have any additional details and data to help answering ? Many thanks for your kind and urgent attention.I responded with a quick list of facts, which I repost here, enlarged and augmented, for anyone else interested:
- Fact 1: The Egyptian TV host, who recently aired this video—which went viral on the Arabic blogosphere on Sunday, when I wrote my report—said this occurred in Tunisia. Yes, others have subsequently said that this was in Iraq, others in Syria; but, from what people have sent me, the only "evidence" is the same video—but with a title that indicates Iraq or Syria. Personally, I am inclined to believe a formal Arabic current events program devoted to the topic than an anonymous Internet posting with no further details. Either way, the issue is less which country, and more why the man was slaughtered. Read on.
- Fact 2: The Muslim narrator who speaks while the man is being slaughtered specifically names and continually condemns "apostasy"—the crime of leaving Islam—and even calls the executed man an apostate, i.e., the man is being slaughtered for apostasy, a capital offence in Islam. If the world is not surprised that the actual "government" of a Muslim nation, Iran, is preparing to execute a man simply for converting to Christianity, are we supposed to be surprised when roaming bands of jihadis take it upon themselves to execute apostates to Christianity in their midst?
- Fact 3: The Muslim narrator specifically names and condemns al-mushrikin, and calls the executed man a mushrik—i.e., a "polytheist"; in fact, he calls him a mushrik murtadd, an "apostate to polytheism": this is the standard appellation for Christians, who are regularly called polytheists for "associating" Jesus with God. Yes, there are other religions deemed polytheistic in Islam, such as Hinduism, but one rarely if ever hears of Muslims in the Middle East converting to, and dying for, Hinduism, whereas conversion to Christianity—with all the attendant consequences—is a regular occurrence. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of apostasy cases, from one end of the Muslim world to the other, cases of attacks, imprisonments, etc., deal with Muslim converts to Christianity (see my monthly Muslim Persecution of Christians reports for an idea).
- Fact 4: My contacts in the Middle East, many well-connected with the doings of the region, regularly see and hear of such things, and are confident that he was beheaded for converting to Christianity. The reader is free to hold their opinions as biased or subjective; but if so, why hold the protests of Muslim apologists, equally biased and subjective, as more authoritative, especially in light of history, doctrine, and ongoing current events, which support the former opinion?
- Fact 5: Muslim apologists always deny anything and everything that makes Islam look bad and will, naturally, try to put the best spin on this video—turning the victim into the aggressor, portraying him as a "traitor," a "spy," etc.—just like the Iranian regime, after unequivocally stating that Pastor Nadarkhani is to be executed for converting to Christianity, began backtracking by saying he is to be executed for being a "Zionist spy," an "extortionist," etc.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shilliman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Yemen, Drones, and the Imperial Presidency.(Cato).By Malou Innocent.Based on a broad theory of executive power, President Obama, and possibly his successor, has the authority to target people for death—including American citizens—without a semblance of transparency, accountability, or congressional consent. Since 9/11, officials and analysts have touted drone strikes as the most effective weapon against al Qaeda and its affiliates. Drones have become a tool of war without the need to declare one. The latest front is Yemen, where a dramatic escalation of drone strikes could be enlisting as many militants as they execute.
- “In Yemen, U.S. airstrikes breed anger, and sympathy for al-Qaeda,” a headline blared in last week’s Washington Post. The evidence of radicalization comes from more than 20 interviews with tribal leaders, victims’ relatives, human rights activists, and officials from southern Yemen, an area where U.S. drone strikes have targeted suspected militants affiliated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The escalating campaign of drone strikes kills civilians along with alleged militants. Tribal leaders and Yemeni officials say these strikes have angered tribesmen who could be helping to prevent AQAP from growing more powerful.
According to the Post, in 2009, U.S. officials claimed that AQAP had nearly 300 core members. Yemeni officials and tribal leaders say that number has grown to 700 or more, with hundreds of tribesmen joining its ranks to fight the U.S.-backed Yemeni government. “That’s not the direction in which the drone strikes were supposed to move the numbers,” wrote the Atlantic’s Robert Wright.
These developments are troubling, as the escalation of drone strikes could be creating the self-fulfilling prophecy of helping alleged AQAP-linked militants gain ground and increasing local sympathy for their cause. As Ben Friedman wrote recently, the misperception that comes with conflating AQAP with the broader insurgency is that it “invites a broad U.S. campaign against Yemen’s southern Islamists, which could heighten their enthusiasm for attacking Americans, creating the menace we feared.” That assessment echoes the sentiment of The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill, who has done intrepid reporting in Yemen. He recently said the campaign being conducted “is going to make it more likely that Yemen becomes a safe haven for those kinds of [terrorist] groups.”
The Oval Office seems to be giving this issue of sympathy short shrift. President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, has publicly argued that the precision of drone strikes limits civilian casualties. However, the New York Times revealed last week that the president and his underlings resort to dubious accounting tricks to low-ball the estimate of civilian deaths, counting “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants” while the Department of Defense even targets suspects in Yemen “whose names they do not know.” The Times’ article recounts one of the administration’s very first strikes in Yemen:
It killed not only its intended target, but also two neighboring families, and left behind a trail of cluster bombs that subsequently killed more innocents. It was hardly the kind of precise operation that Mr. Obama favored. Videos of children’s bodies and angry tribesmen holding up American missile parts flooded You Tube, fueling a ferocious backlash that Yemeni officials said bolstered Al Qaeda.As foreign policy planners in Washington deepen our military involvement in Yemen, the American people—rather than focusing on the number of senior al Qaeda killed—should be asking whether we’re killing more alleged militants than our tactics help to recruit.Hmmmm.........."Outreach to Muslims".Read the full story here.
French Greek-Catholic Melkite Archimandrite : Syrian Soldiers Face Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries, Militants and the Muslim Brotherhood .
French Greek-Catholic Melkite Archimandrite: Syrian Soldiers Face Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries, Militants and the Muslim Brotherhood.(Fides)."Peace in Syria could be saved if everyone told the truth. After a year of conflict, the reality on the ground is far from the picture that imposes disinformation in Western media": says a testimony sent to Fides Agency by the French Bishop Philip Tournyol Clos, a greek-Catholic Melkite Archimandrite, who recently visited Syria, by traveling to different cities, like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. In Homs, called the "martyred city", "opposition forces have occupied two areas, Diwan Al Bustan and Hamidieh, where there are all the churches and bishoprics," the Archimandrite told Fides. "The picture for us – he continues - is utter desolation: the church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels. Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything.
The area of Hamidieh is still shelter to armed groups independent of each other, heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. All Christians (138,000) have fled to Damascus and Lebanon, while others took refuge in the surrounding countryside. A priest was killed and another was wounded by three bullets. Still a couple live there, but the five bishops have had to take refuge in Damascus and Lebanon.
"The Christian leader continues: "In the capital car bombs and assassinations on behalf of Islamist suicide bombers, drawn by the desire of heaven, that cradle the dream of the end of the Alawite regime are feared. Currently the country, through the bloody work of adventurers who are not Syrian is trying to be destabilized.
The former French ambassador, Eric Chevallier, reported this information, which was always rejected, while many details remain to be forged to keep the war against Syria," denounced the Bishop to Fides. In Damascus in recent weeks, there were terrible attacks that ended with a toll: of 130 deaths (including 34 Christians), 400 injured and many houses damaged. "The consternation was general, indescribable pain," notes the Archimandrite, recalling that "the Syrians are simple and playful people."
As far as Christians are concerned the Bishop says: "Christians live in peace, sharing the sufferings of all, but they are ready to admit that they have never felt so free in the past and to remember the full recognition of their rights, given to them by this government." Mgr. Philip Tournyol Clos says the key to Syrian Christian and Muslim leaders, who say: "The enemies of Syria have enlisted some of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to destroy the brotherly relations that traditionally existed between Muslims and Christians: Yet, to date,they are not able to: they have provoked a contrary reaction and the two communities are more united than before."
The Syrian soldiers in fact, continue to face foreign fighters, mercenaries Libyans, Lebanese militants from the Gulf, Afghans, Turks. "The Sunni Salafist militants - says the Bishop - continue to commit crimes against civilians, or to recruit fighters with force. The fanatical Sunni extremists are fighting a holy war proudly, especially against the Alawites. When terrorists seek to control the religious identity of a suspect, they ask him to cite the genealogies dating back to Moses. And they ask to recite a prayer that the Alawites removed. The Alawites have no chance to get out alive."
(AP). By Tony Cartalucci.
By The Bishop's comments are corroborated by over a year of evidence trickling out of the Western media itself - with admissions that Libya has been sending cash, arms, and fighters to join the so-called "Free Syrian Army," and that the Muslim Brotherhood is indeed heavily involved in the fighting, as they were in the 1980's when last they were defeated in Syria. In regards to sectarian violence directed specifically at Christians, the Bishop's narrative is confirmed by LA Times' "Church fears 'ethnic cleansing' of Christians in Homs, Syria," and more recently in USA Today's distorted, but still telling, "Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites."
It was also reported by the New Yorker in 2007, that the West knew well in advance that the sectarian extremists they were preparing to overthrow Syria with, were indeed terrorists and would incur considerable bloodshed. It was also reported that the West, even in 2007, was fully backing the Muslim Brotherhood.
Clearly the Western-backed "freedom fighters" have turned out, as they did in Libya, to be genocidal, sectarian-driven extremists, and must not be allowed to prevail in Syria. It appears that Russia, China, and Iran have been correct from the beginning, not to capitulate in the face of armed extremists, serving as proxies not for liberating the people of Syria, but as 'battering ram' for the Muslim Brotherhood, amidst unprecedented, wide scale bloodshed. Read the full story here.
Hmmm....Time for the "Obama Hymn"? Springsteen favored to write new US anthem, WHO ordered this poll?
Hmmm....Time for the "Obama Hymn"? Springsteen favored to write new US anthem, WHO ordered this poll?(Yahoo).Twenty-two percent of Americans think veteran rocker Bruce Springsteen should compose a new US national anthem to replace "The Star-Spangled Banner," suggests an online poll released Monday. That's more than the 19 percent who think country legend Dolly Parton is up to the task, or the 18 percent who favor soulman Stevie Wonder, according to the poll for the CBS current affairs show "60 Minutes" and Vanity Fair magazine. Eleven percent named venerable singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, 10 percent favor movie soundtrack composer John Williams, eight percent voted for rapper Jay-Z and five percent named pop diva Madonna. Pollsters telephoned a random sample of 1,026 adults nationwide between April 27 and 30 for the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. Based on a poem by Francis Scott Key describing the British naval bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland during the War of 1812, "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been the official US national anthem since 1931.Hmmmm......Where there's smoke....there's fire.Read the full story here.
5 Million Farmers Sue Monsanto for $7.7 Billion.(NS).By Anthony Gucciardi.Launching a lawsuit against the very company that is responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes, 5 million farmers are now suing Monsanto for as much as 6.2 billion euros (around 7.7 billion US dollars). The reason? As with many other cases, such as the ones that led certain farming regions to be known as the ‘suicide belt’, Monsanto has been reportedly taxing the farmers to financial shambles with ridiculous royalty charges. The farmers state that Monsanto has been unfairly gathering exorbitant profits each year on a global scale from “renewal” seed harvests, which are crops planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest.
The practice of using renewal seeds dates back to ancient times, but Monsanto seeks to collect massive royalties and put an end to the practice. Why? Because Monsanto owns the very patent to the genetically modified seed, and is charging the farmers not only for the original crops, but the later harvests as well. Eventually, the royalties compound and many farmers begin to struggle with even keeping their farm afloat. It is for this reason that India slammed Monsanto with groundbreaking ‘biopiracy’ charges in an effort to stop Monsanto from ‘patenting life’.
Jane Berwanger, a lawyer for the farmers who went on record regarding the case, told the Associated Press:
“Monsanto gets paid when it sell the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again). Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production.”
The findings echo what thousands of farmers have experienced in particularly poor nations, where many of the farmers are unable to stand up to Monsanto. Back in 2008, the Daily Mail covered what is known as the ‘GM Genocide’, which is responsible for taking the lives of over 17,683 Indian farmers in 2009 alone. After finding that their harvests were failing and they began to enter economic turmoil, the farmers began ending their own lives — oftentimes drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto provided them with.
As the information continues to surface on Monsanto’s crimes, further lawsuits will begin to take effect. After it was ousted in January that Monsanto was running illegal ‘slave-like’ working rings, more individuals became aware of just how seriously Monsanto seems to disregard their workers — so why would they care for the health of their consumers? In April, another group of farmers sued Monsanto for ‘knowingly poisoning’ workers and causing ‘devastating birth defects’.
Will endless lawsuits from millions of seriously affected individuals will be the end of Monsanto?Read the full story here.
Video - "Conspiracy?" - Top Obama EPA Official Admits to Plan to Destroy the Coal Industry in America.
Video - "Conspiracy?" - Top Obama EPA Official Admits to Plan to Destroy the Coal Industry in America.(GWP).A top Obama EPA official discussed the Obama Administration’s plan to destroy the coal industry at a recent Yale University gathering of environmentalists. EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding told the Yale University gathering, “Lisa Jackson has put forth a very powerful message to the country,” that “if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem.” Spalding went on to explain that the decision was “painful” because “you got to remember if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal. And to say that we just think those communities should just go away, we can’t do that. But she had to do what the law and policy suggested. And it’s painful. It’s painful every step of the way.”Read the full story here.
Israel's Strongest Ally Obama Signs Waiver To Keep U.S. Embassy In Tel Aviv Instead of Jerusalem, Cites “National Security”.
Israel's Strongest Ally Obama Signs Waiver To Keep U.S. Embassy In Tel Aviv Instead of Jerusalem, Cites “National Security”.(TOI).President Obama extended a waiver for an additional six months that delays moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Obama’s waiver, issued June 1, follows in the footsteps of predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who also extended the waiver every six months since a law was passed in 1995 mandating moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents are permitted to delay the move on national security grounds. Some Jewish groups have pushed for the United States to move the embassy as a way to bolster Israeli claims to the city. Those favoring the use of the waiver say that moving the embassy would anger the Arab world and put the United States in the position of taking sides on an issue that should be settled in peace talks. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, has privately told Jewish leaders he would not commit to moving the embassy as president.Hmmmm.....Just wait till he's more 'Flexible' then you'll get a Palestinian state.Read the full story here.
As Carl in Jerusalem points out:
Yes, every President since Bill Clinton has issued those waivers every six months. But if Obama's waiver this time was true to form, it's a bit different from the waivers issued by Clinton and Bush.
While this waiver was given every six months by the Clinton and Bush administrations, James Robbins points out in the Corner that the Obama administration did something slightly different.And in fact, Obama continues to omit the sentence that reflects a commitment to move the embassy to Jerusalem.Nearly identical memos like this have been issued every six months for a decade. Standard procedure, no big deal, right? Well in the Bush years the memo contained the sentence, "My Administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem." The Obama team edited that passage out.
I hereby determine that it is necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months the limitations set forth in sections 3(b) and 7(b) of the Act. You are authorized and directed to transmit this determination to the Congress, accompanied by a report in accordance with section 7(a) of the Act, and to publish the determination in the Federal Register. This suspension shall take effect after the transmission of this determination and report to the Congress. BARACK OBAMASo unlike Bush (and maybe even Clinton), Obama has no commitment to move the embassy to Jerusalem. At least he's consistent.Hmmmm................Obama: "But I’m also mindful of the proverb, “A man is judged by his deeds, not his words.” So if you want to know where my heart lies, look no further than what I have done — to stand up for Israel.".Read the full story here.
Germany will coordinate with neighbours on nuclear exit, meanwhile 'downunder' will Aussies go nuclear?
Germany will coordinate with neighbours on nuclear exit, meanwhile 'downunder' will Aussies go nuclear?(HD).German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler called Tuesday for close coordination with the country's neighbours on its nuclear energy exit over the next decade, including on expanding its electricity grid. Germany's "energy transition", which is to see the country shutter its nuclear reactors by 2022 and ramp up the use of renewable power sources, "will not work without a European perspective," Roesler told a conference. "Our neighbours, France, Poland, find it interesting what we are doing, to put it politely," he said, "but many of them are suffering the consequences without seeing the benefits. "It makes sense to work together, for example on (electricity) grids," he added.
Germany decided one year ago in the wake of Japan's disaster at its Fukushima nuclear plant to speed up its withdrawal from nuclear power -- a decision that requires it to revamp its energy strategy. In recent weeks, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has come in for criticism for what industry officials say is a cripplingly slow approach to the transition, potentially threatening the energy supply in Europe's top economy. Roesler, who is also vice chancellor, defended Berlin's efforts, noting that the "energy transition is a project of historic proportions". "It should be clear to everyone that this will not happen in a year," he said, adding that "a lot has been decided in recent months". Australia to Go Nuclear by 2030, Says Expert.Australia will become a primary user of advanced nuclear technology, says University of Adelaide scientist Professor Barry Brook, if the country is serious about cutting carbon emissions. Professor Brook, Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute, says Australia will eventually turn to nuclear power to meet our sustainable energy needs — and when we do, we will choose to focus on next-generation nuclear technology that provides major safety, waste, and cost benefits over conventional nuclear power.Speaking on the eve of World Environment Day (5 June), Professor Brook says: “Coal, oil, and natural gas are the main cause of recent global warming, and these fossil fuels must be completely replaced with clean sustainable energy sources in the coming decades if serious climate change impacts are to be avoided. “One particularly attractive sustainable nuclear technology for Australia is the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR). Although the scientific community has known about the benefits of IFR-type designs for many years, there are currently none in commercial operation because the energy utilities are typically too risk averse to ‘bet on’ new technologies. This is a wasted opportunity for Australia and for the rest of the world. “Integral Fast Reactors are much more efficient at extracting energy from uranium, can use existing nuclear waste for fuel, produce far smaller volumes of waste that does not require long-term geological isolation, and can be operated at low cost and high reliability. They are also inherently safer than past nuclear reactors due to passive systems based on the laws of physics,” Professor Brook says.Hmmmm.....At least in Australia they realize that the 'green Energy' will be too expensive to be competitive.Not mentioning the affordability for part of the population.Read the full story here.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman: "If US apologizes to Pakistan, we'll apologize to Turkey".
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman: "If US apologizes to Pakistan, we'll apologize to Turkey".(HD).Israel does not have to apologize for the killing of nine Turkish activists on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 unless the United States apologizes for the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a mistaken drone strike last November, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said during a recent speech. “The Pakistanis asked the U.S. to apologize, and the Americans said, ‘No way.’ So when [the U.S.] comes to us and pressures us to apologize over the Mavi Marmara, because of this or that constraint, sometimes even to best friends you must say, ‘No,’" Lieberman was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post. "Otherwise, no one will respect you," he added. The Israeli minister said his country’s stance on the Mavi Marmara had not changed and defined the Israeli use of force as "a legitimate right for self-defense." "We were right," Lieberman said. "And you don't apologize over something right, regardless of the pressure." During a conference in Tel Aviv last week, a top U.S. official underlined the importance of fixing Israeli-Turkish ties and "hinted that Israel should apologize." A NATO cross-border air raid accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26, 2011.Hmmmm........."all military-age males in a strike zone are combatants".Read the full story here.
Illinois: No pension reform but guide horses approved…for Muslims?HT: CreepingSharia.The article doesn’t specify this was for Muslims but Quinn is tight with the Islamists and we know Islam forbids dogs, so blind Muslims use miniature horses.
h/t I Hate the Media with this comment:
As the state slides toward bankruptcy because of out-of-control public pensions, it’s nice that lawmakers found the time to cater to a tiny religious minority stuck in a 7th-century time warp where dogs are considered unclean but horses are welcome inside.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Illinois lawmakers may have gotten stymied on the issue of pension reform, a multi-billion-dollar mess affecting every taxpayer in the state.
But at least they managed to pass a bill involving miniature horses.
You heard that right. Under a measure the House sent to Gov. Quinn Thursday night – the evening members were supposed to consider a cost-saving pension bill – people with disabilities could use miniature horses as service animals in public places, much like guide dogs are used.
The vote was near-unanimous.
“I have no concerns that we’re gonna see any stampede in grocery stores or anything like that,” Chicago’s WBEZ quoted sponsoring Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, as saying. “This is an issue that pertains really to the disabled community, and it’s something that puts us in compliance to the federal law.”
An overhaul of future state pension benefits for retired public employees was the centerpiece of the spring legislative session, but it collapsed late Thursday just before the deadline to adjourn. Illinois government has underfunded pensions by tens of billions of dollars.Hmmmmm...........How come i NEVER saw a 'guide horse in an Islamic country?Read the full story here.
Record Number Of US Households On Foodstamps, 79K increase in the month of March.(ZH).Last month, when the USDA released the latest foodstamps numbers for the month of February, there was some hope that following a third month of declines, we may just have seen the peak of US foodstamp usage and going forward we would only see the number decline.
Sadly, the latest numbers refutes this: in March a total of 46,405,204 persons were at or below poverty level and thus eligible for foodstamps, a 79K increase in the month. Yet while many individuals have learned to game the system, and this numbers at the peak may fluctuate, when it comes to the far more comprehensive and difficult to fudge “households on foodstamps” number, there was no confusion: at 22,257,647, the number of US households receiving the “SNAP treatment” rose to an all time high, even as the benefit per household dropped to the second lowest ever. At least all these impoverished believers in hope and change have FaceBook IPO profits to look forward to. Oh wait.Read the full story here.
Syria declares Western envoys as personae non gratae.(AA).Syria’s government declared on Tuesday that the ambassadors and staff of several Western countries as well as Turkey were personae non gratae. “Some states recently informed heads of our diplomatic missions and embassy staff that they are unwelcome,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding Syria was now designating the ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and Turkey, among others, as personae non gratae. The ambassadors of Canada, Italy and Spain were also named in the statement, as well as various embassy staff members from Belgium, Bulgaria and Germany. “The Syrian Arab Republic still believes in the importance of dialogue based on principles of equality and mutual respect,” a ministry statement said. “We hope the countries that initiated these steps will adopt those principles, which would allow relations to return to normal again.” “We hope that those countries which initiated this step will adopt the same principles, allowing for relations to be normalized,” it added. Syria has been mired in bloody conflict for over a year as security forces seek to crush a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. The United States, France, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Bulgaria and Switzerland coordinated a move to expel Syrian diplomats in response to a massacre of 108 people in the city of Houla in late May. Nearly half those killed were children, one of the worst atrocities in the country since an uprising broke out in March 2011.Read the full story here.
Another "The Juice Did it" - Israel suspected of seeking to ‘steal’ ancient Iraqi manuscripts transferred to U.S.
Another "The Juice Did it" - Israel suspected of seeking to ‘steal’ ancient Iraqi manuscripts transferred to U.S.(AA).The Iraqi minister of culture has said that the United States is delaying the return of original copies of ancient manuscripts that were illegally smuggled out of Iraq and reportedly sold to Israel. The manuscripts are part of the Jewish archive that was found in the basement of the Iraqi intelligence building following the 2003 American invasion. The archive was reportedly transferred to the United States for “maintenance purposes” provided that it would be returned to the Iraqi government by mid-2006. The archive, however, has not yet been transferred back to the Iraqi Archeology and Heritage Association. Iraqi media reports suggest that Israel was behind the stalling of the delivery of the archives and that the Jewish state was planning to obtain the historic manuscripts from its ally the United States.
Arab League Deputy Secretary General Ahmed ben Helli has confirmed attempts by Israel to steal ancient Iraqi archives. “Iraq has been subjected to the biggest theft of its manuscripts and historic treasures,” he said. “Israel is accomplice to this.” According to archeologists, the Iraqi Jewish archive contains almost 3,000 documents and 1,700 antiques that chronicle the eras in which Jews were enslaved in Iraq during the first and second eras of Babylonian captivity. The collection also comprises belongings of Jews who lived in Iraq. Among the most important items in the collection are the oldest copies of the Talmud and the Old Testament.
That is why, experts argue, the former Iraqi regime kept the collection guarded in the intelligence building.Experts add that Israel is keen on obtaining the manuscripts in order to prove their claim that the Jews had built the Tower of Babel as part of its attempt to distort the history of the Middle East for its own interests. According to Saad Bashir Iskander, head of the Iraqi Books and Manuscripts Authority, the United States intentionally transferred ancient manuscripts that date back to several eras from Iraq. “The manuscripts filled 48,000 boxes and containers,” he said. “The United States has 90 percent of Iraq’s historic archives in its possession. American researchers and universities use it illegally.”“Based on the information we have at the ministry of culture, 70 percent of the archive is in Hebrew, 25 percent in Arabic, and 5 percent in other languages,” he told Al Arabiya.Read the full story here.
The Shabiha: Assad's goons.HT: IsraelMatzav.London's Daily Telegraph has a feature on Bashar al-Assad's Shabiha, which is the Syrian equivalent of Nazi Germany's Gestapo.
Initially the Shabiha were a mafia clan, making money through racketeering. Selma, the Alawite with Shabiha family, said her cousins were "filthy rich" through smuggling in diesel, milk and electronics. "Anything to Lebanon that is cheaper in Syria, and whatever is needed in Syria from Lebanon," she said.The ruling Assad family turned a blind eye to their criminal behaviour and violent methods. In return, the Shabiha became the Assads' fiercely loyal defenders and enforcers.
"They are fuelled by this belief that they are fighting for their survival," said Dr Azzawi. "Assad tells them that they must defend the government or else they will be destroyed; it's kill, or be killed."
Dr Azzawi, who now runs the Syrian Network for Human Rights from London, showed The Sunday Telegraph a video of the Shabiha in action.
An enormous man, identified on the video as Areen al-Assad – a member of the president's family clan – posed with his gun, grinned from the steering wheel of his car, and flexed his muscles. His huge bicep bulged with a tattoo of the president's face.
At the end of the video, the posturing Shabiha militants proclaim: "Bashar, do not be sad: you have men who drink blood.""It is their motto," explained Dr Azzawi, who said that many of the men were recruited from bodybuilding clubs and encouraged to take steroids. "They are treated like animals, and manipulated by their bosses to carry out these murders. They are unstoppable."Read the full story here.
An examination of Obama’s use of hidden hypnosis techniques in his speeches.(TOF).This document contains over 40 pages of evidence and analysis proving Barack Obama’s use of a little-known and highly deceptive and manipulative form of “hack” hypnosis on millions of unaware Americans, and reveals what only a few psychologists and hypnosis/NLP experts know.
Barack Obama’s speeches contain the hypnosis techniques of Dr. Milton Erickson, M.D. who developed a form of “conversational” hypnosis that could be hidden in seemingly normal speech and used on patients without their knowledge for therapy purposes.
Obama’s speeches intentionally contain:
Obama’s techniques are the height of deception and psychological manipulation, remaining hidden because one must understand the science behind the language patterns in order to spot them. This document examines Obama’s speeches word by word, hand gesture by hand gesture, tone, pauses, body language, and proves his use of covert hypnosis intended only for licensed therapists on consenting patients. Obama’s mesmerized, cult-like, grade-school-crush-like worship by millions is not because “Obama is the greatest leader of a generation” who simply hasn’t accomplished anything, who magically “inspires” by giving speeches. Obama is committing perhaps the biggest fraud and deception in American history. Obama is not just using subliminal messages, but textbook covert hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming techniques on audiences that are intentionally designed to sideline rational judgment and implant subconscious commands to think he is wonderful and elect him president. Obama is eloquent. However, Obama’s subconscious techniques are shown to elicit powerful emotion from his audience and then transfer those emotions onto him, to sideline rational judgment, and implant hypnotic commands that we are unaware of and can’t even consciously question.Read this comprehensive analysis (it's long) here.
Black ministers skeptical on Elizabeth Warren, want candidate meetings.(BG).Dogged by weeks of questions about whether her claims of Native American heritage helped advance her career, Elizabeth Warren now faces skepticism from some of Boston’s black ministers whose appearance with Scott Brown just after his 2010 election to US Senate helped shape Brown’s image as a different breed of Republican. “It will take more than an impromptu endorsement by Governor Patrick to make an intellectually compelling case why Elizabeth Warren deserves to be the next senator,” said the Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, referring to the state’s governor, Deval Patrick, who is black.
Rivers said he will ask Warren and Brown to meet with the black community to address its concerns. “The support she receives should be earned.” The pressure comes at a difficult time for Warren, a white Harvard Law bankruptcy professor who has spent five weeks deflecting criticism for identifying herself as having Native American heritage. Warren, a nationally known consumer advocate who led a federal oversight committee on bank bailout funds, has been unable to provide proof of her heritage and has been hounded by the suggestion that her minority status brought her a hiring preference, though Warren and some of her past employers have denied that. As a result, a hot-button issue of past decades — affirmative action — has taken center stage in a recession-era campaign that Warren had hoped to focus on defending the middle class. [...] But Rivers said the questions are legitimate and could affect Warren’s image in the black community and the public at large. “It is within bounds to raise the question of whether or not a white woman used the minority card for her professional advantage,” said Rivers. “Ancestry is not the issue,” Rivers added, saying that Warren’s handling of the controversy raises questions beyond her heritage.
“Did you tell the truth? Because you marketed yourself as the good-guy, straight-shooting-populist, representing-poor-people candidate.” “Affirmative action — that issue becomes important because it points to who you are,” added the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, executive director of the TenPoint Coalition, who pointed to an assertion that she is 1/32 Cherokee. “I’m thinking to myself, if I was 1/32 white, or of European descent, would I be able to put on an application that I was white? And if you look at a picture of me, you see what I’m talking about. The question is not a trivial one, or one that can just be dismissed as a Republican tactic. And I say this as someone who campaigned for Martha Coakley and I’m independent in terms of my political status.”Read the full story here.