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Sunday, November 13, 2011

MFS - The Other News

                    Morning Posting.

  • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Venezuela 5.0 ; Reunion 5.0 !More info here.
  • Europe - Nuclear Event in MultiCountries situation update on Friday, 11 November.Here.

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

  • Breaking: Head of Iran's missile program killed in explosions sparked by failed bid to fit nuclear warhead on Shahab-3.(Debka).Brig. Hassan Moghadam, head of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) missile development and sections of its nuclear program, was killed in one of the two consecutive explosions that hit two IRGC bases 46 kilometers west of Tehran Saturday, Nov. 12. The official fatality figure is 32. Fourteen hours after explosions blasts could still be heard and fires raged. debkafile's exclusive sources report the bases are located in Malard, a town in the Shahryar district. The Moadarres facility was the first to be hit, while the second and bigger blast occurred at Amir-al-Mo'menin.Their force was such that the Iranian Red Crescent rushed 45 ambulances to the two facilities plus 23 buses converted to first-aid vehicles and a helicopter to evacuate the critically injured.However, only six rescue workers were given access to the Moadarres base and none were permitted to enter Amir-al-Mo'menin because of the facility's sensitivity.Fourteen hours after the explosions, the blasts continued and fires raged. Surrounding streets were closed and reporters kept away from the scene.Our sources report increasing evidence that the first explosion was caused by a failed effort to mount a nuclear warhead on a Shahab-3 intermediate-range missile.It was powerful enough to shatter windows and damage shops in Tehran. People gathering on street corners wondered if Israel had attacked Iran's nuclear sites or destroyed Revolutionary Guards missile bases. They recalled Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's threat Thursday, Nov. 10 to take the war to the streets of Tel Aviv if Tehran was attacked.IRGC spokesman, Brig. Ramedan Sharif, sharply denied what he said was speculation that the military base was linked to Iran's nuclear program. "This blast is not related to any nuclear tests," he said in response to widespread rumors. He insisted the explosion had occurred at an ammo store which was part of the Guards' "self-sufficiency" system, a term they apply to their munitions plants and the factories manufacturing missile components.The Iranian authorities, after raising the fatality figure to 32, withheld information on the injured, most of which where transferred to IRGC rather than civilian hospitals. Some may have been foreign engineers or scientists whose presence Tehran is anxious to conceal.The Emergency Council which deals with extraordinary happenings liable to affect the regime's stability met in emergency session Saturday night.Hmmmm......"The Lord works in 'mysterious' ways.Read the full story here.

  • Iran admits: We were attacked by another computer virus.(YNet).Iran said on Sunday it had found a way to "control" the computer malware Duqu, which is similar to Stuxnet virus which in 2010 attacked its nuclear program and infected more than 30,000 computers."The software to control the (Duqu) virus has been developed and made available to organizations and corporations" in Iran, head of civil defense Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali told the official IRNA news agency."The elimination (process) was carried out and the organizations penetrated by the virus are under control ... The cyber defense unit works day and night to combat cyber attacks and spy (computer) virus," he added.Duqu infections have been reported in a dozen countries including Iran, France, Britain and India, US computer security firm Symantec said in mid-October.The virus takes advantage of a previously unknown vulnerability in a Windows font-parsing engine to plant malicious code in the heart of a computer system, according to Microsoft.Similarities between Duqu and a malicious Stuxnet worm have prompted speculation that the same culprits might be involved, though no links have been proven.Duqu is similar to Stuxnet but is designed to gather intelligence for future attacks on industrial control systems.The New York Times reported in January that US and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop the computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb.The report comes just a day after a mysterious explosion killed at least 17 people at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base near Tehran. Iran claims the blast was an accident but US blogger Richard Silverstein said Saturday that Israel was the mastermind. In his blog, Tikun Olam, Silverstein quotes an Israeli expert as saying that the Mossad was responsible for the explosion, in collaboration with the Iranian militant opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq.In an interview with Army Radio, Defense minister Ehud Barak said that he didn't know what caused the blast but added "the more the merrier."Hmmmm......Read the full story here.

  • Obama’s Cronies: The Ex-SEIU Boss, Donor Dollars, No-Bid Contracts & Testing Anthrax Vaccines on Kids.(BigGovernment).According to the Los Angeles Times, with the exception of existing in locked freezers in Russia and U.S. labs, the smallpox virus was eradicated in 1978. Yet, in a no-bid contract, the Obama administration has given $443 million of American taxpayers’ money for a “experimental smallpox drug” to a bio-defense company, Siga, controlled by billionaire Democrat-donor Ron Perleman and whose board ex-SEIU boss Andy Stern sits on. According to the Times:
When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company’s financial demands, senior officials replaced the government’s lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a “sole-source” procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation’s biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government’s specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews. [Emphasis added.]Although Siga’s questionable government deal may eventually mean $2.8 billion in revenues for the company, Siga’s profits would have to be split with its former partner in a failed merger, PharmAthene. In September, after years of litigation following a failed merger, a Delaware court ruled that PharmAthene was entitled to 50% of Siga’s profits from its ST-246 smallpox vaccines.While the Times notes that there is no credible evidence that the threat of a smallpox outbreak is imminent and that the U.S. already owns enough vaccine to treat the entire population, the Obama administration’s ties to Siga become even more questionable, considering the recent recommendation to start experimenting with an Anthrax vaccine on America’s children.A key panel of government advisers Friday recommended that the federal government sponsor a controversial study to test the anthrax vaccine in children to see whether the inoculation would protect young Americans against a bioterrorist attack.The National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB), which advises the federal government on issues related to bioterrorism, voted 12-1 to recommend that the Health and Human Services Department move forward with a study aimed at determining whether the vaccine is safe and effective in children and identifying the best dose. Patricia Quinlisk of the Iowa Department of Public Health, who chairs the panel, was the only dissenter.Nicole Lurie, the assistant HHS secretary for preparedness and response who requested the panel’s review, said officials would consider the panel’s recommendation, but she did not give a time-frame for a decision on whether to conduct the study. [Emphasis added.] Interestingly the primary producer of the Anthrax vaccine is PharmAthene. While PharmAthene has reportedly spent millions lobbying in 2011, there is at least one call for PharmAthene and Siga to consider merging again.While, according to USA Today, the Obama administration will not begin testing Anthrax vaccine on children for now while it resolves the ethical questions, it is noteworthy that the panel review for testing Anthrax vaccines on children was recommended by Dr. Nicole Lurie.Lurie, an Obama appointee, is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services.According to the LA Times, Lurie has also been involved in the negotiations over Siga’s profit margin with the smallpox vaccine:
Negotiations over the price of the drug and Siga’s profit margin were contentious. In an internal memo in March, Dr. Richard J. Hatchett, chief medical officer for HHS‘ biodefense preparedness unit, said Siga’s projected profit at that point was 180%, which he called “outrageous."In an email earlier the same day, a department colleague told Hatchett that no government contracting officer “would sign a 3 digit profit percentage.”In April, after Siga’s chief executive, Dr. Eric A. Rose, complained in writing about the department’s “approach to profit,” Lurie assured him that the “most senior procurement official” would be taking over the negotiations.“I trust this will be satisfactory to you,” Lurie wrote Rose in a letter.The Obama administration’s apparent willingness to award its cronies with no-bid contracts, as well as the seeming willingness to test questionable vaccines on children makes one wonder if this is what the President meant when he said he has the most open and ethical administration in history.Hmmm.......“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” ~ Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read the full story here.

  • "Nobel Peace Prize" President Obama seeks common ground on Iran with Russia and China.(AlArabiya).President Barack Obama engaged in high-level diplomacy with skeptical partners on Saturday, in an attempt to seek support from China and Russia to confront Iran in the face of new allegations that it has been secretly trying to build a nuclear bomb.Obama, after meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic summit, said the two nations share a goal to “move Iran to follow its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear program.” Moments later, seated with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Obama said the U.S. and China want to ensure that Iran abides by “international rules and norms.”U.S. officials said before the talks on the eve of the APEC summit in Hawaii that Obama would personally impress upon Medvedev deep U.S. concerns over a U.N. watchdog's report that Iran worked on nuclear arms.Still the statements were broad declarations that did not address the United States' push for more sanctions against Iran.Medvedev, for his part, was largely silent on Iran during his remarks, merely acknowledging that the subject was discussed. Hu did not mention Iran at all.Moscow, along with China, is cool to a U.S. desire for more sanctions on Tehran following the release of the International Atomic Energy Agency report which heightened fears of Israeli military action against Iranian nuclear sites.The two meetings presented the first opportunity for the three leaders to discuss Friday's report. Tehran has rejected the material as a fabrication by the United States and its allies, maintaining its nuclear program is purely for energy and researchU.S. officials have signaled that should U.N. Security Council permanent members Russia and China oppose further multi-lateral sanctions on Iran, Washington would seek to build support for sanctions elsewhere.They said Washington would work with “like-minded states” to tighten a sanctions regime which U.S. officials believe has brought the Iranian economy to a near standstill.Hmmmm.....What's the chances all three of them turn on Israel's nuclear capabilities ?Read and see (Video) the full story here.

  • Did Obama send last month US Predator Drones to Turkey without informing or asking permission to Congress?(TodaysZaman).The United States has deployed four Predator drones at an air base in southern Turkey, a news report said on Friday.The report, published in the Taraf daily, said a total of four drones arrived at İncirlik Air Base on Oct. 16 and Oct. 23, several days before Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed a Turkish request to purchase drones to be used in the fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in Paris.But the deployment of the US drones on Turkish territory is separate from the Turkish request to purchase drones from the US. In September, the Washington Post reported that Turkey sought the deployment of a fleet of US drones on its territory as a measure to be used against the PKK following US withdrawal from Iraq. Later in September, Erdoğan said the US has agreed in principle to the Turkish request to deploy its drones on Turkish soil. In addition to hosting US drones in its soil, Turkey also seeks to buy its own armed drones from the United States, seeking to purchase MQ-9 Reapers, a larger and more modern version of the Predator. The request, however, has been controversial, with some in Congress refusing to sell the aircraft to Turkey given Ankara's deteriorating relations with Israel, a close US ally. The US administration, on the other hand, is reportedly willing to sell Reapers to Turkey and is trying to persuade the Congress not to block the sale.Taraf said the drones, now based in İncirlik, will be used to monitor the PKK's movements, but they will not provide real-time data from their surveillance flights for Turkish authorities. Data from the drones' flights will be sent to the United States before reaching Turkish officials. No Turkish personnel will be involved in the command of the flights of the drones and no guarantee has been offered to Turkish hosts that the drones will not be used against third countries, Taraf said, citing anonymous military sources.The lack of Turkish control over flights of US drones, according to the report, means they could change their route and spy on Turkish targets, such as critical military buildings, instead of the PKK targets, without Turkish authorities even noticing.Turkey's requests to host US drones and buy its own drones from the US has surfaced as Washington prepares to withdraw its forces from Iraq by end of 2011. US drones based in Iraq as part of the Iraqi operation have been providing Turkish officials with data regarding the PKK's movements since 2007, as part of Turkish-US cooperation against the terrorist group.The US administration has also agreed to sell attack helicopters to Turkey. The administration formally notified the Congress on Oct. 28 of a proposal to sell Turkey three attack helicopters, which will reportedly replace those Turkey lost in the fight against the PKK.Under the $111-million deal, the US will take three AH-1W "SuperCobra" attack helicopters from the US Marine Corps inventory and sell them to Turkey. The sale would boost Turkey's self-defense as well as regional security and its ability to operate with US forces and other NATO members, a Pentagon notice to lawmakers said.Hmmm....I wonder if the Helicopters are already flying in Turkey also?Read the full story here.

  • Followup on yesterday's story of Obama's Saudi connection.(IsraelMatzav).By Carl in Jerusalem.I was  informed that Carl did Two years ago the following post on Obama's connection to the house of Saud.At, Amanda Carpenter unearthed a video in which New York civil rights activist Percy Sutton, who was Manhattan Borough President when I was in college in New York City, claims that he was introduced to Barack Hussein Obama by Khalid al-Mansour and asked to get Mansour into Harvard Law School. What's more interesting is that Sutton implies that Obama has received moneys from a man to whom Mansour serves as an adviser - HRH Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal.Let's go to the videotape. A partial transcript will follow and then I will discuss who Mansour and Talal are and why if Sutton is correct this relationship is so significant.
"I was introduced to him by a friend who was raising money for him and the friends name was Dr. Khalid al Mansour from Texas. He is the principle adviser to one of the world's richest men. He told me about Obama. He wrote to me about him and his introduction was 'there is a young man that has applied to Harvard and I know that you have a few friends left there becasue you used to go up there to speak, would you please write a letter in support of him?'...I wrote a letter in support of him to my friends at Harvard saying ot them I thought there was a genius that was going to be available and I sure hoped they would treat him kindly."So who is Mansour? Amanda Carpenter has three videos of Mansour (one of which runs more than an hour and a half) together with her comment. Mansour is a virulent hater of Jews and Christians and whites generally, and I urge all of you to watch the videos of this man who introduced Obama to Percy Sutton. Here's a brief biography of Mansour:
Dr. Khalid Al-Mansour, Senior Advisor, HRH Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal

Dr. Al-Mansour is an international attorney and businessman and is renowned as an intellectual, activist, author, and teacher. He co-founded the law firm of Al-Waleed, Al-Talal, and Al-Mansour and has served as a director of the Saudi African Bank and the United Bank of Africa among others.For those of you who have forgotten who HRH Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal is, please allow me to remind you. In December 2005, Georgetown University accepted a $20 million donation from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud to expand its Islamic studies department. At the same time, Harvard accepted a similar $20 million donation. Bin-Talal, a nephew of the Saudi King, has also donated $5 million to the Carter Center (former President Dhimmi Carter's think tank). But what most of you probably remember is that it was Bin-Talal's $10 million gift to New York City that was declined by then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani shortly after 9/11.What is Obama's relationship to Bin Talal and al-Mansour? I cannot say for sure. But it seems quite likely that there is one. And that would be yet another reason to vote against Obama.Read and see the full story here.

  • "Can you blame them?Hmmm......Nope!"Israel refuses to tell US its Iran intentions.(TheTelegraph).The US leader was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israelno longer plans to "seek Washington's permission", sources said. The disclosure, made by insiders briefed on a top-secret meeting between America's most senior defence chief and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's hawkish prime minister, comes amid concerns that Iran's continuing progress towards nuclear weapons capability means the Jewish state has all but lost hope for a diplomatic solution. On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran's nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon. It was with that grave possiblity in mind that Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, flew into Israel last month on what was ostensibly a routine trip. Officially, his brief was restricted to the Middle East peace process, but the most important part of his mission was a private meeting with Mr Netanyahu and the defence minister, Ehud Barak. Once all but a handful of trusted staff had left the room, Mr Panetta conveyed an urgent message from Barack Obama. The president, Mr Panetta said, wanted an unshakable guarantee that Israel would not carry out a unilateral military strike against Iran's nuclear installations without first seeking Washington's clearance. The two Israelis were notably evasive in their response, according to sources both in Israel and the United States. "They did not suggest that military action was being planned or was imminent, but neither did they give any assurances that Israel would first seek Washington's permission, or even inform the White House in advance that a mission was underway," one said. Alarmed by Mr Netanyahu's noncommittal response, Mr Obama reportedly ordered the US intelligence services to step up monitoring of Israel to glean clues of its intentions. What those intentions might be remains distinctly murky. Over the past fortnight, Israel's press has given every impression that the country is on a war footing, with numerous claims that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Barak are lobbying the cabinet to support the military option. Two weeks ago Israel tested a long-range ballistic missile capable of reaching Iran, its first since 2008. Shortly before, the Israeli airforce took part in Nato exercises in Sardinia that involved air-to-air refuelling, a key component of an aerial strike on Iran. A separate exercise in and around Tel Aviv tested civilian readiness in the event of a missile strike against the city. In a sign of the febrility of the public mood, many beach-goers apparently mistook the air raid sirens for a genuine Iranian attack and fled in panic for their cars. There were similar jitters in Iran yesterday, when a huge but apparently accidental explosion at arms dump outside Tehran killed at least 27 soldiers and shook the city.Speculation about an imminent Israeli military action has been a regular occurrence over the years, but rarely as fevered as now. Last week, a British official even suggested that an attack could come before Christmas. Hints by Mr Netanyahu that he is considering the military option may be designed to resurrect Iran's paranoia of Israel, something seen in the Jewish state as a powerful deterrent, says Yossi Melman, a leading intelligence analyst and journalist. "Meir Dagan made a laughing stock of military action," Mr Melman said. "Netanyahu believes he damaged the deterrent and he wants to repair it."Yet the fact that Mr Dagan chose to speak out - extraordinary in itself for a just-retired Mossad chief - suggests that he believes Mr Netanyahu is intent on attacking Iran. Tellingly, until last year, Israel's four most powerful military and security chiefs, including Mr Dagan, were all strongly opposed to military action. All four have now been replaced by younger men who may be less able to stand up to Mr Netanyahu, not that Israeli prime ministers are necessarily bound to heed objections from their top military advisers anyway. In 1981, Menachem Begin did just that when he bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak. Last week's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted Iran's apparent determination to build a nuclear warhead, but did not indicate how long it might take. Some in Israel, however, believe it is very close. "It is my personal opinion that, if the Iranian regime decides to do so, it can produce a nuclear explosive device within a year, plus or minus a few months," said Ephraim Asculai, a former IAEA official and leading Israeli expert on Iran's nuclear programme.According to western intelligence assessments, Tehran is preparing to move the bulk of its nuclear production to a plant beneath a mountain near the holy city of Qom that would be far harder to hit from the air. According to Ronen Bergman, senior military analyst for Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper and the author of a forthcoming book on Mossad, that makes a strike necessary well before Iran actually perfects its programme. "Today Israeli intelligence talks of what is known as the 'framework of immunity'," he said. "In other words, it is not the point at which Iran acquires a nuclear device, but the point at which the project has reached such an advanced stage that a strike any time after would be ineffective."An Israeli attack could probably manage at most a dozen targets, using more than 100 F-15 and F-16 aircraft. Three German-designed Dolphin submarines equipped with conventional cruise missiles could also be ordered into the Persian Gulf to take part, although it is thought that Israel's Jericho-3 ballistic missiles are to inaccurate to play a role.  "I think personally that if such action is taken, there will be come kind of consultation with the United States," said Ilan Mizrahi, Mossad's former deputy director and Israel's national security adviser until 2007. "If Iran breaks all the rules, then military action will be needed, but definitely not alone by a tiny country like Israel," added Uzi Eilam, a retired general who held senior positions at the Israeli defence ministry. But not everyone is so sure. Mr Obama's willingness to take on Iran militarily is openly questioned in Israel. And while many Israelis do not believe Iran has any intention of actually firing a nuclear missile at them, the the key question is whether their prime minister is one of them. In Mr Netanyahu's eyes, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is another "Hitler" whose aim is to complete what the Holocaust failed to do by wiping out the Jewish race. "People outside Israel don't understand how profound memories of the Holocaust are, and how they affect future policy making," said Mr Bergman, the military analyst. "At the end of the day, this policy of 'never again' would dictate Israel's behaviour when intelligence comes through that Iran has come close to a bomb."Hmmmm.........  " "Pour les vaincre, messieurs,il nous faut de l'audace, et encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace et la Patrie sera sauvée!" ~ Danton.Read the full story here.

  • Video - Iranian exile group claims missile explosions caused damage at base.(AlArabiya).An Iranian exile group claims that a blast at a military installation near Tehran has resulted from the explosion of rockets at a base for the missile forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.A former spokesman for the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, in Washington, citing reliable sources inside Iran, said Saturday that the explosion hit the Modarres Garrison of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps west of Tehran. Alireza Jafarzadeh said the garrison belongs to the IGRC’s missile unit and the blasts “resulted from the explosion of IRGC missiles.”Iranian officials said the blast was the result of an accidental explosion at an ammunition depot and that at least 17 soldiers were killed. The student news agency ISNA quoted Alireza Janeh, head of security issues at the Tehran governor’s office, as saying: “The sound of this blast came from outside Tehran, to the west of the province ... it was in one of the military bases there.”The blast shattered the windows of residential neighborhoods in the western suburbs of Tehran, witnesses told AFP. It was heard in the city center. The incident occurred as troops were moving munitions at the base according to the Revolutionary Guards official who was quoted by Reuters.“The number of martyrs in today’s explosion in one of our ammunition depots stands at 15,” commander Ramezan Sharif was quoted as saying.Hossein Garousi, a lawmaker from the area, said the blast occurred when “a large part of an ammunition depot exploded,” parliament's website reported.Garousi said a crisis committee has been set up to investigate the incident.The arms depot belongs to the elite Revolutionary Guards, according to a statement on their website, which did not give further details.Several other members of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission confirmed the report on the blast in Bidgoneh, saying that it took place at an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps base. Iran has been hit by several mysterious explosions in recent years but an Iranian lawmaker ruled out sabotage.Read and see the full story here.

  • Good news: central planning experts at EPA attempting to shut down "95 percent of North Dakota['s oil] drilling".(DougRoss).The Minot Daily News reports on the EPA's latest job-destroying initiative:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing Underground Injection Control Class II permitting guidance for hydraulic fracturing activities that use diesel fuels in fracturing fluids."In our opinion, this is an underhanded attempt to pick the lock on the back door and get regulatory oversight over fracturing. As I have said earlier, this could easily stop 95 percent of North Dakota drilling for 18 to 24 months and slow it to half or less of current levels after that," said Lynn Helms, Bismarck, director of the N.D. Department of Mineral Resources.The EPA is studying any potential impact of fracking on groundwater and drinking water and Helms has said also would impact drilling in the state. That study was announced earlier this year.Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracturing or fracking, is a process used to break open oil-bearing rock with pressurized fluid and sand. The process is used in about 95 percent of the wells drilled in North Dakota...."They have conducted three public meetings and the environmental community is pressing for a broad definition of diesel fuel that would define it as any petroleum distillate that is found in diesel fuel," Helms said... He said this would be a different definition than the other 163 references to diesel fuel in the Energy Policy Act 2005.Helms said the Independent Petroleum Association of America has filed a lawsuit to stop the process, with oral arguments to be heard in federal court shortly... A brief filed by IPAA legal counsel in March said, in summary, "there is no reason to believe that EPA's new interpretation of the SDWA and its implementing regulations reflects a carefully reasoned change in policy."It goes on to say, "An agency cannot do so formally or informally without engaging in a proper rulemaking when the consequence for the regulated community is complying at the cost of many thousands of dollars or potentially being subject to an enforcement action. EPA's decision should be vacated and EPA should be barred from enforcing its position until such time as EPA engages in a rulemaking that satisfies the APA and the SDWA."Should the EPA successfully shut down North Dakota's oil drilling operations, it will have contributed to President Obama's record-setting figure of nearly 3,000,000 U.S. jobs -- many of them union jobs -- destroyed by his environmental, flat-earth, no-growth Marxist bureaucrats.Hmmm......."To Boldly Go Where No U.S. President went Before:Destroy america's Superpower"?Read the full story here.

  • Free Speech Concerns Ahead of Meeting With Muslim Nations on Religious Tolerance.(DocsTalk).By Judson Berger.Reprinted from Fox News.A looming meeting with Islamic leaders hosted by the State Department has religious scholars and advocacy groups warning that the United States may “play into” the push by some Islamic nations to create new laws to stifle religious criticism and debate.The meeting on religious tolerance, which is scheduled for mid-December, would involve representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — a coalition of 56 nations which more or less represents the Muslim world. Critics describe the get-together — the first in a series — as a Trojan horse for the long-running OIC push for restrictions on speech. They note the track record of nations that want the dialogue, including Egypt, where recent military action against Coptic Christians raised grave concerns about intolerance against religious minorities.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton​ originally announced the meeting this past July in Turkey, where she co-chaired a talk on religious tolerance with the OIC. The event was billed as a way to foster “respect and empathy and tolerance” among nations. Delegates from up to 30 countries, as well as groups like the European Union, are also invited.A State Department official told this week that the meeting is meant to combat intolerance while being “fully consistent with freedom of expression.”A key worry is that the meeting could become a platform for Islamic governments to push for hate-speech laws which, in their most virulent and fundamentalist form, criminalize what they perceive as blasphemy.While Clinton has drawn a line in the sand, saying nations should not “criminalize speech,” the upcoming meeting is seen by some as a misstep on a very sensitive issue.“It’s just an astonishingly bad decision,” said Nina Shea, who sits on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and serves as director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.Shea, who joined a group of scholars specializing in religious defamation for an event last week on Capitol Hill hosted by The Federalist Society, warned that the United States is virtually alone among western nations in not having hate-speech laws. She said the Obama administration doesn’t need to delve deeper into religious speech issues with OIC nations, considering their history.Shea said she doesn’t yet fear the possibility that hate-speech laws are coming to the U.S. any time soon, “but I am concerned the culture is changing on this.”Jacob Mchangama, director of legal affairs for Denmark’s Center for Political Studies, noted that the U.S. has resisted following Europe with hate-speech laws, but the Obama administration may be willing to “relax” its approach. He noted the administration co-sponsored a resolution with Egypt in 2009 that expressed concern about “negative racial and religious stereotyping,” and said the upcoming December conference lends credibility to the OIC agenda.The push by Islamic nations, especially Pakistan, for global religious sensitivity on its surface sounds innocuous. But the debate often pits their cause against free speech, and western officials have long complained the nations spearheading the push are keen on shielding Islam specifically from criticism.In some countries, perceived protections against religious insult are used as license to threaten, bully and attack those who offend, intentionally or not. Most recently, the office of a French satirical newspaper was attacked after it published a Muhammad cartoon. That follows widespread 2006 protests over the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.And in Pakistan, whose blasphemy laws are internationally renowned for their broadness and severity, the legal protections on religious insult are used most often to protect Islam. Being charged with a blasphemy offense — or criticizing the laws themselves — can open the door to intimidation, or worse. Earlier this year, two Pakistani officials who had been critical of the laws were assassinated.The OIC, looking for international cooperation on the issue of religious tolerance, has pushed for so-called “defamation” resolutions before the United Nations for over a decade. Those resolutions were Islam-focused and called on governments to take action to stop religious defamation.Though the OIC took a pass on the resolution this year, the U.N. Human Rights Council in March approved a watered-down version that expresses concerns about religious “intolerance, discrimination and related violence.” The adoption was generally seen as a successful move by the U.S. to replace the far-tougher resolutions the OIC has pushed over the past decade.But the upcoming meeting has been hailed by some OIC officials as a way to craft a tougher approach to curbing religious criticism.An August article from the International Islamic News Agency cited OIC “informed sources” saying the meetings were meant to develop a “legal basis” for the March resolution.The State Department official noted that the Human Rights Council’s resolution does not call for limits on free speech or provide support for defamation or blasphemy laws.“Instead, the text notes the positive role that the free exchange of ideas and interfaith dialogue can have in countering religious intolerance,” the official said. “We believe that implementing the specific, appropriate steps called for in the resolution will help to undercut support for such restrictions on expression and religious freedom.”But Shea questioned why Clinton was moving to implement the non-binding measure.“It validates the OIC on speech,” she said. “It plays into their agenda.”The meeting has been set for Dec. 12-14, and is expected to be hosted by Suzan Johnson Cook, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. It’s unclear whether Clinton will attend. The meeting was announced around the same time as the Norway terror attacks, carried out by an individual said to harbor anti-Muslim views.December’s meeting is the first in a series — focusing on engaging religious minorities and training officials on religious awareness, as well as “enforcing laws that protect against” religious discrimination, according to the State Department.Lindsay Vessey, advocacy director with Open Doors USA, said her group is “cautiously optimistic” about the meetings. Vessey, whose organization advocates for persecuted Christians and has criticized the “defamation” resolutions in the past, said her organization remains hopeful the upcoming conference will turn out to be a “good thing.”The conservative Traditional Values Coalition last month sent a letter to Clinton asking that the group be included as part of the discussion. President Andrea Lafferty told her organization is “very concerned” the administration is becoming “cozy” with the OIC, which she claimed wants to “silence” voices critical of Islam.Hmmmm....."I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." ~ Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read the full story here.

  • The Black Hole of History.(Political Islam).By Bill Warner.Everybody knows that Turkey, Egypt, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and other Islamic nations (there are 57 in all) are nearly 100% Muslim. Those countries were Christian, Buddhist and Hindu. Exactly how did this change to Muslim happen?When you read history it seems that Islam came, and, magically, the countries are Islamic. But of course an event of this magnitude did not simply happen. But our schools insist that Islam “just happens.” In fact, the entire history of the rise of Islamic imperialism is denied in the curriculum of our private, state and religious schools. Our schools don’t teach how Islam transforms each and every nation it invades to pure Islam, how it happens and what the consequences are. This is the law of Islamic saturation. Our history denies the truth of the Islamification of civilizations. Actually, our history denies that Islam is even involved. It was the Turks, the Arabs, the Moors and so on. There is no Islam, just some ethnic group.Look even closer at the history and ask this question: how many Kafirs (non-Muslims) died in Islamic conquest? You may find a number of dead here and there at a particular battle, but the establishment answer of the number murdered by jihad is zero, zip, none. In fact, there was not even a category called “jihad deaths.” You see, Islam just happens.After 9/11, there was an intellectual response to the establishment intellectual vacuum about how Islam actually functioned. A revolution of new scholarship on Islam was created by those amateur scholars who are outside the brain-dead establishment academy. The minds and labors of Bat Ye’or, Spencer, Trifkovic, Bostom, Warraq, Warner, Phares and many others tackled the problem of the true nature of Islam. The new scholarship gave answers to all of the questions about Islamic colonization of the world.For the deaths caused by Sharia law, the Center for the Study of Political Islam coined the name, Tears of Jihad. There is no way to actually come up with a precise number of deaths, because Islam has written the history (after all, they were the winners) and, of course, the history is all beautiful. There is only one way to even get close to a precise answer and that is for the academy to take up this subject and treat it as a priority. Conferences would be held, papers given, journals published with peer reviews and the rest of the academic critical thought process would go on for decades and many papers.If the answer to the total jihad deaths is not zero, then CSPI proposes that 270 million Kafirs have been murdered over the last 1400 years. This figure includes 60 million Christians and 80 million Hindus. What if only 30 million Christians had been killed? Does that mean that churches should continue to ignore the Coptic murders in Egypt today and deny the million Armenians killed in the 20th century? Would Hindus have more or less courage if only 50 million, instead of 80 million had been murdered?This is a civilizational problem, not an accounting problem. It is not that we deny that 270 million have been killed by jihad; we deny that Islam is even at war with all Kafirs and Kafir civilization. A better kill number won’t erase the cowardice that blinds us today to an acknowledgment that Islam has a history of annihilating all civilization—the law of Islamic saturation.It is interesting to see people’s reaction to the numbers. The vast majority ignore them. They don’t want to know. The most political figure is the number of Africans killed in jihad for the slave trade. The establishment tells us that all slaves were brought here from the West coast of Africa by Christians. It turns out that the slave trade was also on the Mediterranean and the east coast of Africa and each and everyone of the wholesalers in Africa were Muslims. This knowledge violates the establishment dogma of Christian evil.One of the failures of the number 270 million is that it does not include the number of the Zoroastrians killed in Persia and other minorities such as the Sabians and Bahai. Who knows how many peasants died in some village without a name, simply because they did not believe that Mohammed was the prophet of Allah?So, if the number is not 270 million, then what is a better number? Use critical thought to answer this problem, and don’t tell us that the number is zero. Give us an improvement, not a denial. We have had denial for 1400 years.Facts and numbers are important but the real tragedy here is that our schools don’t teach the history that is the source the world’s greatest suffering caused by Islamic jihad imperialism. Since establishment professors and historians refuse to touch the subject of the Tears of Jihad, we must depend upon other scholarship to address the question of how we get the exact numbers. To that end, if you can improve any of the death figures with factual data, go to /blog/the-black-hole-of-history/ and give us your information.Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam.Read the full story here.

  • Did blast hit Iran missile base?(YNet).A military base rocked by an explosion Saturday that killed 17 soldiers and wounded at least 16 others may have taken place at a Revolutionary Guards base used to store Iran's long-range missiles.An Iranian exile group claims that a blast at a military installation near Tehran has resulted from the explosion of rockets at a base for the missile forces of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.A former spokesman for the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, in Washington, citing reliable sources inside Iran, said Saturday that the explosion hit the Modarres Garrison of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps west of Tehran. Alireza Jafarzadeh said the garrison belongs to the IGRC's missile unit and the blasts "resulted from the explosion of IRGC missiles."An Iranian opposition report dating back to 2002 revealed that the village where the blast took place, west of Tehran, is home to a Revolutionary Guards missile unit responsible for the Shihab-3 missiles with a ragne of some 1,300 kilometers (roughly 800 miles.)However, official Iranian spokesmen said the explosion was an accident and occurred while munitions were being moved in the base."My dear colleagues in the Revolutionary Guards were moving munitions in one of the arsenals at that base when, due to an incident, an explosion happened," Revolutionary Guards Spokesman Ramezan Sharif told news channel IRINN. "Some of the casualties are reported to be in a critical condition." According to Iranian opposition report, yet another missile unit was stationed at the village and held huge quantities of weapons, including missiles handed over to Hezbollah. While the report's credibility had not been confirmed yet, Iran's opposition has played a key role in uncovering secret military facilities across the country. In the past, opposition figures exposed the location of some of Iran's main nuclear sites.Earlier, the semi-official Fars news agency carried a statement by the Revolutionary Guards which said the blast happened in an arsenal at a base in Bidganeh, near the city of Karaj, 25 miles (40 km) outside the capital. The Mehr News Agency said the site was closed to reporters.Read the full story here.

  • Egypt Salafist forces presenter to veil for interview.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Egypt’s State Television requested an investigation with the staff of the TV program “youth cafe” on its Alexandria local station, after the female presenter was forced to wear a head covering in order to interview Abdel Monem al-Shahat, the spokesperson of the Salafist Dawa group, who insisted that the presenter covers her hair in order for the interview to take place.The presenter, Iman al-Ashraf wore a scarf over her hair and conducted the interview that was aired on Saturday night after she did most of the show with her hair uncovered.Egyptian state TV bans its female presenters from appearing on screen with a higab, preserving the secular look that it has taken since it was founded in the early 1960s.The episode, which was about the upcoming parliamentary elections, featured other guests from other political groups, including Nageh Abou al-Khal, a Coptic candidate.“We had a message to deliver to our viewers through the the views of al-Shahat and because I recognize the viewers right to know the though of an important political group, I agreed to his terms,” al-Ashraf told state-owned al-Ahram newspaper.“Al-Shahat told the crew that he has no problem dealing with a non-higabi woman outside of the studio, but upset some of them when he joked saying let her put it on now by choice before its mandatory,” she added.The political Islamic Salafist groups in the country are clear about their vision for Egypt if they take over power, and it includes a mandatory “Islamic dress” for women.Read the full story here.

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