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Monday, August 8, 2011

Is The World Going Bankrupt?

  • Is The World Going Bankrupt? By SPIEGEL Staff.
The fear is back, in the stock exchanges and in the capitals of the industrial nations. There are growing signs everywhere of a new financial crisis, and the political leaders of the West are looking helpless and out of their depth.
The United States is struggling with an enormous budget deficit. And the euro zone's central bankers and government leaders can't find a strategy to end the permanent malaise of their single currency. The White House has achieved little more than to buy some time with a new debt compromise reached after theatrical political squabbling between Democrats and Republicans. Last Friday night, rating agency Standard & Poor's lowered its rating for the US from AAA to AA+.
Muddling through, postponing, playing down -- the motto of the crisis managers on both sides of the Atlantic has sent alarm bells ringing in stock markets. Britain's Economist magazine is warning of a double-dip recession in the US, a second downturn just three years after the last one. Many economists have been pointing out that last week's panic resembled the fear that swept financial markets after the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers in September 2008.
Then as now, banks stopped lending each money. Then as now, banks' cash deposits at the central bank doubled within days. The European Central Bank reacted by assuring banks of unlimited liquidity in the coming months. It was an emergency measure that led to short-term relief but sparked anxious questions among bankers and stock market players. How long can the central bank keep up its market-soothing liquidity operations before it finally loses its credibility, the most important asset of a central bank? Is the financial crisis about to escalate? And will the world then be bankrupt?
It was less than three years ago that the global economy inched towards the abyss after the US real estate bubble burst. In order to save their over-indebted banks and insurance companies, Western governments borrowed huge sums of money themselves. They nationalized banks and implemented vast stimulus programs, while central banks flooded the economy with cheap money. As former German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück put it, "fire was fought with fire."That helped to prevent a global economic crisis of the kind that brought the world to a standstill in the 1930s. But it also set ablaze the headquarters of the world's economic fire-fighters. Who will save the saviors? That question was already being asked back in 2008, and it has gained urgency now that government debt mountains are higher than ever.
Crisis Management Obstructed by Politics
The scale of new borrowing is less of a problem than the inability of governments to find a credible strategy for reducing their debts. In the US, the government and opposition have been locked in a dispute over whether the deficit should be removed through tax hikes or cuts in social spending. In Europe, the solvent governments of the northern countries are refusing to underwrite the debt of the struggling Mediterranean countries. The West faces a dual crisis that has engulfed its most important political leaders. President Barack Obama has failed to mend a gaping rift in US society and to outmaneuver the conservative Tea Party rebels. In Europe, it has become more evident with each European Union summit that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rather than being in control of the crisis, is being driven along by it.
The West hasn't been this weak since World War II, and never before has a crisis paralyzed Europe, America and Japan at the same time. The problems of the leading industrial nations aren't just sapping the political influence of the so-called Free World, they are also threatening the global economy.There are growing fears in the US that the debt woes could drive up inflation to new record levels. In Europe, the future of the single currency is at risk.Merkel can't avoid the key decision much longer: either the euro zone will be converted into a close fiscal union with financial transfers and commonly issued Eurobonds, or Europe's most indebted nations will have to leave the currency union -- with unforeseeable consequences for the remaining members.The longer the Western debt crises smolder on, the darker the outlook for the global economy. Because the US economy is collapsing, American consumers are buying fewer goods from China and India. And because investors are piling out of euro and dollar investments, supposed islands of stability are starting to look shaky as well. In recent weeks, the Swiss franc and the Brazilian real have appreciated so strongly that exporters in those countries have been virtually unable to sell their products abroad.And so the world is at risk of sliding into a downward spiral. The debt crises are weakening economic growth, and the declining momentum in turn is making it even harder to escape the debt crisis.
Italian bank UniCredit has predicted a "synchronous downtrend in the US, Latin America, Asia and Europe." A downtrend that would also engulf the economy that has so far been getting through the crisis better than most others: Germany.If the vicious cycle is to be broken, the governments in Europe and the US must take action now, united and coordinated. No less than the world's economic stability is at stake. But so far, that particular risk doesn't seem to feature prominently in the concerns of the world's crisis managersOfficials in Berlin say the fund could cope with a bailout of Spain but wouldn't be able to handle Italy even if its resources were trebled. Worse, that assessment also applies to the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) that is due to replace the EFSF in 2013. This admission is unlikely to strengthen confidence in the euro."You can't bail out an economy like Italy," said one high-ranking government official. The financial requirement would be too huge. Italy's EU partners couldn't even provide a guarantee for the country's government debt, currently totalling €1.8 trillion, as some economists have proposed.
The alternative is simple: Eurobonds. But at present, German officials are only mentioning that possibility in whispers. The common issuance of government debt is still a taboo in top government circles -- for the time being. The German government fears that such bonds would entail major disadvantages for Europe's largest economy. The yield on them would be higher than on current German sovereign bonds, because the euro zone as a whole wouldn't be as creditworthy as Germany is on its own. If the interest rates on Eurobonds were just one percentage point higher than German government bonds, it would cost the German government an additional €20 billion per year in the medium term. That is why Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble are insisting that Italy find its own way out of the crisis by cutting government spending and enacting reform. But Berlin is under pressure, not just from the other EU member states, but from Washington. The US is pushing Germany to agree to Eurobonds. Obama is calculating that if Europe gets to grips with its crisis, his own fight to cut US debts will become easier.Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan urged Washington last week to act responsibly to deal with its debt. The state Xinhua News Agency said the political wrangling in Washington had been a "madcap farce" and it described US debt as a "ticking bomb." The Chinese economy, the world's second largest, is already at risk of overheating, with dramatic consequences for the world, because it has been the driving force behind global growth. China has been growing at double-digit rates for years -- by 10.3 percent last year alone. German firms in particular have been benefiting from the huge Chinese market, which is starting to slow. An important sentiment indicator measuring the mood of corporate purchasing managers fell in July. The Shanghai Stock Exchange has been stagnating. And real estate prices fell 13 percent year-on-year in the first half. In its latest "Global Trade Alert," the London-based Center for Economic Policy Research warns that protectionism is on the rise among industrial nations.
The world is closer to an economic crash than at any time since the outbreak of the financial crisis, even though governments are in many respects in a better position than they were in 2008. True, many Western states have amassed gigantic piles of debt. But unlike three years ago, there has been no disorderly insolvency so far that threatens to tear banks into the abyss. On the contrary: Western governments have the means to get to grips with their debt crises. However, the usual crisis diplomacy with telephone conferences and pledges of "decisive action" won't suffice to calm markets. Effective decisions are needed now, on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US, the government and opposition must agree on a sustainable plan to reduce the debt -- spending cuts will be as necessary as higher taxes, and politicians must make sure that the measures don't choke off economic growth. That isn't easy but it's not impossible either, as former President Bill Clinton showed in the 1990s. Similar plans are available today. The question is whether the divided political establishment can find the strength to implement them.
If the euro is to survive, the donor countries will have to shoulder even greater financial risks than they have already. And the debtor nations will have to surrender their sovereignty in budget matters to Brussels bureaucrats for years to come. The lesson from the latest crisis can be phrased in three words: solid state finances.It has become evident that debt-to-GDP ratios of 80, 90 or 100 percent will sooner or later cast doubt on a country's creditworthiness. Even supposed paragons of fiscal virtue such as Germany must be careful. The German debt ratio of 83 percent is too high, given the ageing population. Who is supposed to pay down that debt in the future?Scaling down debt isn't easy, as can be seen in Britain. The government of Prime Minister David Cameron has imposed more rigorous spending cuts than any other traditional industrial nation. The austerity program is coming at a high price. The cuts are hitting domestic demand and have all but wiped out economic growth. Every country that embarks on fiscal cuts faces a similar fate, and it takes years for the measures to bear fruit. States that have restored their budgets to health tend to grow faster than profligate ones. So the economic prosperity of the West hinges on whether governments are capable of thinking in new dimensions of time. They finally need to start thinking further ahead than the next election. Hmmmm......This is the "CHANGE" America voted for.Read the full story here.

President Obama's Statement on Credit Downgrade

Hmmmm.......How To Tell If Someone Is Lying: Eyes.

Indirect eye contact.Even if the lie is relatively minor, it often creates a conflict between the teller's basic moral code and the benefits of the lie.Direct eye contact can betray this conflict- casual observers may notice the tension and uncertainty.Looking a friend or acquaintance directly in the eye is also an intimate act, which only compounds the emotional dilemma for a liar.His or her only solution is to avoid direct eye contact altogether.Dishonest people will look off to the left or right of the audience, or position themselves at such an angle that direct eye contact is impossible.Some honest people also have difficulty maintaining direct eye contact, but they will occasionally connect when making important points.Liars will rarely look directly in their audience's eyes for long, especially when they're in the middle of a blatant lie. Source.

London Islamist Abu Waleed: We Will Make David Cameron Get on His Hands and Knees and Pay Us the Jizya Tax; Queen Elizabeth and the "Whore" Kate Middleton Will Wear the Niqab

Abu Waleed: The nightmare on Downing Street, my dear brothers, is when one monotheist pulls a rope, and raises the banner of "There is no god but Allah" above the Big Ben. The nightmare on Downing Street is when one monotheist flies a helicopter all the way to the top of the Big Ben. He removes those numbers, and replaces them with Arabic numbers. That is the nightmare of Downing Street, my dear brothers.

As you all understand, we, as Muslims, are not those types of coconut-chocolate moderate Muslims – the ones who bow their heads down to the government. Rather, we are the ones who want to work for the sake of Allah, to establish the manifestation of Islam, and make sure that David Cameron comes on his hands and knees, and give us the jiziya – yeah, that's right – and cover up all the women and put a niqab on their faces, including Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton, the whore, the fornicator.Source Memri.

Anti-Assad Protest Song Chanted by Ibrahim Qashoush, Whose Mutilated Body Was Found Several Days Later

Anti-Assad Protest Song Chanted by Ibrahim Qashoush, Whose Mutilated Body Was Found Several Days Later .
Ibrahim Qashoush: Get out, Bashar!
Crowd: Get out, Bashar!
Ibrahim Qashoush: Our flag bears the words: "Bashar is the traitor of our homeland."
Crowd: Our flag bears the words: "Bashar is the traitor of our homeland."
Ibrahim Qashoush: Our flag bears the words: "Bashar is the traitor of our homeland."
Crowd: Our flag bears the words: "Bashar is the traitor of our homeland."
Ibrahim Qashoush: We prefer death to humiliation.
Crowd: We prefer death to humiliation.
Ibrahim Qashoush: We prefer death to humiliation.
Crowd: We prefer death to humiliation.
Ibrahim Qashoush: We prefer death to humiliation.
Crowd: We prefer death to humiliation.
Ibrahim Qashoush and crowd: The people want to topple the regime!
The people want to topple the regime!
Source Memri .

MFS - The Other News

                        Morning Posting.

  • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity in Papua New guinea and 4.7 in Japan ! More info here.

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

  • London riots Live reporting  Here.
Latest :
Further violence has broken out between police and groups of young people in Hackney.
Cars have been set on fire in Lewisham, while a bus and shop have been set ablaze in PeckhamShop windows have been smashed and looting has also taken place in Birmingham.
Home Secretary Theresa May has condemned the riots as "sheer criminality".
Acting Met Police Commissioner Tim Godwin has said the force will be publishing photos and CCTV footage of those involved.
At least 215 people have been arrested and 25 charged so far in relation to the three days of violence.
  • London on lockdown and Cameron flies home: Police face gangs armed with petrol bombs and poles on THIRD night of riots and cynical looting.(DailyMail).Read and see the full story here.

  • The Day Bank of America's Stock Fell 20 Percent.(TheAtlantic).Apple could buy Bank of America in cash right now Apple-centric thinker Philip Elmer-DeWitt took note of the plummeting Bank of America stock today and did a simple calculation. "As of June 25, Apple's holdings in cash and marketable securities stood at $76.2 billion. That's enough to buy Bank of America outright and still have more than $6 billion left over... Why isn't Apple AAAA?"This is Bank of America's 'No Good, Very Bad Day' writes Michael de la Merced at The New York Times. It isn't clear just what is behind the wave of selling that has crashed upon the banking giant. The biggest new headache that the firm must contend with is a $10 billion lawsuit by the American International Group tied to faulty mortgage-backed securities. (Read the lawsuit.)...Another major contributing factor may be a bearish analyst report by Mike Mayo of CLSA that was published on Monday. Mr. Mayo downgraded Bank of America to "underperform" on concern that the firm may need to embark on another round of capital-raising.The bank is running out of money, notes Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, speaking to Reuters. "A lot of people think the bank will have to raise capital, and any major capital raise will be massively dilutive. The bank just can't get its hands around the liabilities it's facing."Read the full story here.

  • Obama’s horrifyingly bad speech.(WashingtonPost).By JenniferRubin.He was a half hour late. His head turned from side to side as if he were attending a tennis match. He practically never looked in the camera, as if he were averting our gaze. And those were the strong parts of President Obama’s disastrous speech. It was a bit like a slow-motion car crash. After a while, one stopped listening to the blather and simply watched the stock ticker go down and down. And down some more.Obama had all weekend and the best he could come up with was a reiteration of his plea for a “balanced” approach to deficit control. That’s right. We have a tumbling stock market, over 9 percent unemployment and a flight to gold (some investment advisers say it will be at $2,500 per ounce by year’s end). All he can do is promise to raise taxes.Now that’s not exactly right. He did trot our proposals for a one-year extension of the payroll tax cut and extension of unemployment benefits. And he promised to make his own proposal to the debt committee. That’s it. It is what he has been saying for what seems like forever. He has nothing new.He did say one indisputably true thing: The downgrade was more a comment on our political dysfunction than on our ability to repay our debts. That is the dysfunction that he has presided over. That is the paralysis he perpetuated by insisting for months on tax increases. He was describing his own disastrous tenure as president.This illuminated Obama’s predicament — devoid of ideas, bitter about political opposition and completely in over his head. If the election were held today, I bet he’d lose. By a lot.Read the full story here.

  • Dems Use Downgrade to Amplify Anti-Tea Party Charges.(Fox).In the wake of a bruising battle over the debt ceiling and now a first-ever credit downgrade, Democrats have launched a salvo of rhetorical attacks on the Tea Party and appear determined to blame the movement for everything from the debt crisis to the sputtering economy. "I think they're totally unreasonable and doctrinaire and not founded in reality. I think they've been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it," former Democratic presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said.The term "Tea Party downgrade" gained currency over the weekend as Democratic leaders took to the airwaves to cast Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade U.S. credit as a Tea Party-triggered event. They argue that because the rating agency cited the toxic political environment in its decision, the Tea Party is culpable. Republicans counter that Standard and Poor's also cited the country's failure to tackle its debt problem -- something the Tea Party has urged Washington to do. They accuse Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner of lacking a plan to grow the economy, and suggested he resign over his role in the latest turn of events. "When you open that refrigerator door, the lights don't come on," Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., told Fox News. "I don't think that Timothy Geithner really has a handle on the fiscal situation here."The anti-Tea Party talking points didn't start with the downgrade decision Friday. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and others have been hammering the Tea Party throughout and since the debt-ceiling debate, casting the movement as public enemy No. 1 as Washington enters the next phase of deficit-reduction talks and the 2012 campaign season gets underway. As Reid told reporters last week, he and his colleagues are worried about the "Tea Party direction of this Congress." And despite repeated calls for civility, lawmakers are using some heated rhetoric to try and neutralize the Tea Party's influence. In a fundraising email last week, Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin condemned what he described as an effort to "appease the hostage-takers," saying most Americans "have no use for the Tea Party extremists." In a widely reported conversation, Vice President Biden met last week with House Democrats who described Tea Party lawmakers as "terrorists." Then came the credit downgrade, from AAA to AA+, and the Tea Party swiftly was implicated by Democrats."The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade," Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod told CBS' "Face the Nation," where Dean also appeared. "The Tea Party brought us to the brink of a default. ... It was the right thing to do to avoid that default. It was the wrong thing to do to push the country to that point." Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., also said the Standard and Poor's decision was "without question the Tea Party downgrade" because Tea Partiers held bipartisan lawmakers back from a bigger deal. This was a reference to House Speaker John Boehner's decision to walk away from talks with the White House aimed at a $4 trillion deficit-reduction package over concerns about revenue increases.Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, floated another talking point over the weekend, blaming the downgrade on the "Roadblock Republicans" who "forced" Boehner to abandon a bigger deal with the president. On the other side, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said on his group's website that it is Democrats causing this mess. "This is the Obama depression and this is the Democratic downgrade," he said, adding that the Tea Party is also fighting "establishment Republicans" to cut spending. But Standard and Poor's Managing Director John Chambers said there's "lots of blame to go around." He agreed with several officials that the environment in Washington is "dysfunctional," and said the fact that the dysfunction put the United States within hours of hitting its debt ceiling was a driving factor in the downgrade decision. The second factor, he said, was the country's "fiscal trajectory." "The fiscal situation in the United States is not sustainable," he told Fox News. Hmmmm.....So what's the President's plan lock up the Teaparty and Republican opposition in Re - Education camps?Read the full story here.

  • When Did the President Know and Who Did He Tell?(BigGovernment).The tremendous 7% crash in stock market prices over the last five trading days serves as over-whelming evidence that the President of the United States or someone in his inner circle leaked “material non-public information” to Wall Street traders that the AAA credit rating of the United States of America would be downgraded. Leaking of such information is criminal activity for both the trader who profits and the leaker. Depending on the level of the leak in his Administration; the President may be forced to resign of face severe sanctions.Bloomberg Financial Services estimated that the stock market losses for the week prior to the S&P downgrade were $840 billion for the S&P 500 index of the largest U.S. companies and $2.7 trillion for stock prices world-wide. Most of those stupendous losses were suffered by individual and pension funds who tend to hold stocks for long term appreciation; but some traders who were “short the market” would have made significant profits. Shorting stocks is a speculative investment strategy that is perfectly legal; but the speed and severity of the recent decline indicates powerful traders “in-the-know “about the coming downgrade illegally shorted massive amounts of stock and made epic profits on insider-trading.Insider trading is subject to criminal prosecution by the Justice Department under Section 32(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Individuals face up to 20 years in prison for criminal securities fraud and/or a fine up to $5 million for each “willful” violation. In addition violators are usually charged with mail and wire fraud (which carry additional 20 year prison terms); general “securities fraud” (up to 25 years in prison); and possibly racketeering, tax evasion, and or obstruction of justice. Civil penalties from enforcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission are the greater of $1 million in fines or treble the amount of the illegal insider-trading profit.It appears that when Congress left Thursday to go home for a month recess in their home Districts; they were oblivious to the impending S&P downgrade the U.S. on Friday evening. With the humiliation of losing our nation’s AAA credit rating on top of existing fears the economy may be falling back into recession; constituent’s anger will blister their local Senators and Representatives. To deflect that anger, Congress will call for investigations. One of those investigations needs to focus on: “when did the President know and who did he tell.”Read the full story here.

  • S&P executive says it could take more than a decade to restore US credit rating.(TheHill).John Chambers, the chairman of Standard and Poor’s sovereign debt ratings, on Sunday estimated that it could take between 9 and 18 years for the nation to regain its AAA credit rating.Chambers said the credit agency could further downgrade the national rating depending on whether President Obama and congressional leaders can agree on reducing the deficit.He put the chances of another drop in credit rating at one in three.Chambers said if the nation’s fiscal scenario worsens or political gridlock becomes more entrenched, “that could lead to another downgrade.”Chambers said “it could take a while” for the U.S. to regain its perfect credit rating.“We've had five governments that lost their AAA that got it back. The amount of time that it took for those five range from 9 years to 18 years, so it takes a while,” Chambers said on ABC’s “This Week”.Hmmmmm.......It's all going as planned.Read the full story here.

  • Media and Obama Template: TEA Party Conservatives Will “Become A Violent Movement".(SwordAtTheReady).I don’t care what anyone says. The demonization war on Conservatives and the TEA Party as ‘terrorists’ is an orchestration from the highest levels of the Obama regime. It’s too convenient that the media and the sycophants for Obama and his Marxist movement are all screaming the same exact thing: that Conservatives in the TEA Party and TEA Party Congressmen are “Terrorists”, “Extremists”, “Delusional” and “Will become violent”. Heck, even Chrissy “Thrill-up-my-leg” Matthews suggested yesterday that TEA Party Conservatives are “”southern” “secessionists” who want to “kill” Obama. After a pause he quickly amended, “politically.”These charges are not by accident. They are not ‘slip-ups’ or accidental or somehow an expression of frustration. These calls are deliberate and calculated. This is now become the template set down that the media propagandists for this regime will not deviate from, even if the Democrat politicians dial down their recent demonizations. I think the Marxists are moving rapidly into their next phase of this coup. And as I have said – all Marxist revolutions require bloodshed in order to impose the rule of the iron fist. What Obama and the Marxists are doing – is setting the impression in the minds of many Americans, that Conservatives and TEA Party members are a danger to society.History teaches that anytime the Ruling Class of a society begins to classify their targets in such manner – that pogroms are not far behind.Newsbusters and CNS News report on the outrageous efforts of Socialist Soapbox MSNBC to carry the template Obama’s regime has laid down to castigate the TEA Party and it’s supporters as imminent threats to national security.MSNBC trotted out psychologist Stanton Peele who then preceded to analyze the “mind of the TEA Party” and declared TEA Party conservatives to be unruly children throwing a tantrum, who are pursuing goals that never existed and are not achievable. Stanton said Conservatives are like “addicts”, “delusional” and “psychotic” and whom he says, “will become violent”.Do we really think it a coincidence that the Democratic leadership, including the Vice President have referred to TEA Party Conservatives as “Terrorists”? I don’t. They have essentially called them enemies of the state, while the media has been running full tilt in categorizing Conservative Americans as a ‘clear and present danger’. The timing is suspicious that the Obama regime yesterday – initiated a new federal “Strategy” to counter “Domestic Terrorists” without one mention in the ‘strategy’ of Islam or Jihad terrorists? Nothing from Rep. Peter King’s (R – N.Y.) Islamic Radicalization hearings appears in this new Obama ‘Strategy’ outside of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s demand that they hold hearings on “Right Wing extremists” instead of Muslims.Obama’s new strategy calls on federal agencies to mobilize police, schools and community groups to ” identify domestic radicalism and extremism that could lead to violence”. Anyone wonder why it was that MSNBC trots out a psychologist to declare that the TEA Party will become violent?? Anyone wonder why Chris Matthews accused the TEA Party of wanting to “Kill Obama”???? Anyone really wonder why Sheila Jackson Lee demands hearings on “violent Right Wing extremists’?? The new Obama Strategy says ”government efforts to identify violent extremists BEFORE THEY ACT are underway”.Before they act???Well, since the Ruling class in our government and media have ’identified’ the ‘violent extremists’ as being TEA Party Conservatives, is there any question of whom this government intends to crack down on???Let’s call this “precrime” zeitgeist by the Marxists for what it is: prepping the battlefield in the minds of Americans to accept the wholesale criminalization and eventual round-up and elimination of Obama’s political opposition. The narrative is, If you are not an Obama supporter, you are a terrorist.Welcome to Soviet Amerika. It’s not a joke. It’s not an exaggeration. This is real. What the Ruling Class thinks of Conservative Americans is now manifest and evident. What they are charging us being, is terrorists and they are in the process of trying to validate that charge at every opportunity.This is how millions of people ended up in mass graves by similar ideologies that mirror the President’s. And for the same cited reasons.
Hitler and his National Socialists had an insane hatred of Jews.
 Stalin and his Soviet Marxists had an insane hatred of the Kulaks.
Obama and his Democrat Marxists have an insane hatred of TEA Party Conservative Americans.
The only question is – will the fate of Conservatives be the same as it was for the Jews in Germany and the Kulaks in the Ukraine?Read the full story here.

  • Jesse Jackson on Obama.(Spiegel).In an interview with SPIEGEL, civil rights activist and Baptist minister Jesse Jackson discusses Black America's frustration with Barack Obama and the president's failure to anticipate the Republicans' tenacious will to 'destroy' him.
SPIEGEL: Critics say that the Obama government is simply too close to the financial community. Princeton professor Cornel West called President Obama a 'mascot of Wall Street.'
Jackson: I would not use that kind of language. But we have some incredibly powerful forces for Wall Street in Congress. The laws are stacked for the wealthy.
SPIEGEL: In Obama's White House too?
Jackson: Just as he has an economics advisor, I wish there was a labor leader to balance that too. The poor and unemployed currently have no voice in Washington.
SPIEGEL: During the recent negotiations on the debt ceiling Obama agreed to billion dollar cuts in public spending and received no tax increases in return from the Republicans. Is he too willing to compromise?
Jackson: I think he sometimes underestimates the force of the other side, how tenacious they are in their ideology. A few weeks ago, during the debt ceiling negotiations, Obama went golfing with John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House. Afterwards, they said their differences are not ideological, not philosophical. Really? If Republicans say they want to cut public spending drastically, they want to cut social security and Medicare and the social safety net for poor and working families, and cater to the wealthiest Americans, then that is a different philosophy. If the Tea Party is determined to kill the New Deal and Great Society programs we won in the past, that is a different ideology. And if the right wing of the Republican party is determined to shield themselves from tax obligations or to fight the Civil War again by pushing voter suppression legislation to take away minority voting rights across the country, that is also a very different ideology.
SPIEGEL: So Obama needs go get tougher?
Jackson: He underestimates how ideological the other side is, and how determined they are to destroy him, even when their actions harm the nation's economy and millions of people. I think reconciliation is Obama's goal -- but the fight with the Republicans is like a fight with pit bulls, they never let go. Even worse, now the Republicans feel they can keep pushing and he will keep giving. They have not seen a stiff resistance on his part. The American people on the ground need a clearer, stronger, Lyndon B. Johnson-type voice from their president. Obama has that voice. It has to be used. For instance, I hear he will be taking a bus tour around the country now. I think that should have happened before the debt ceiling negotiations, so that people in every state know what they have to lose if the federal budget is cut even further.
SPIEGEL: Do you think Obama is more reluctant to address such issues because he does not want to be stereotyped as a 'black president?'
Jackson: In some way… Bill Clinton had certain freedoms to address blacks and their issues because he was a white president. Obama, to the contrary, has to endure insults like no other previous president. Look at the coded language the Right is using against President Barack Obama. Openly calling him a liar in Congress, saying he is 'not a Christian, he was not born here, he is not one of us.' That makes addressing such issues trickier for the first African-American in the White House.
SPIEGEL: You yourself had doubts about Obama's take on race relations, though. During the 2008 campaign, you said he was 'talking down' to black people.
Jackson: I regret a statement I made on tape that was insulting. But Obama's focus on talking about black responsibility gave the impression that our problems are based primarily on a lack of responsibility and less on a lack of resources. It gives the impression that somehow we are unemployed because we are not working as hard. And there is no evidence of that. The gap between black and white has widened in America. There is a growing health gap, a housing gap, an income gap. But this gap is not an effort gap, it is structural and institutional - the continued legacy of centuries of slavery and legal segregation. And don't forget: The black community was essential for Obama's victory. He must nurture that base if he wants to be re-elected. Hmmmm.......Makes you wonder about this new trend. It's called "Beat Whitey Day". It's also known as "Beat Whitey Night"Read the full interview here.

  • Using Osama for Obama.Obama Commissions Heroic Hollywood Pic on Bin Laden Raid With Premier Slated For... October 2012.(DougRoss)....Maureen Dowd of the New York Times [reports that t]he Obama regime has commissioned a major motion picture about the fake Bin Laden raid. The film will be released . . . October 12, 2012.Guys, we're into full-blown Leni Riefenstahl territory now.Read up... Money quotes:
The White House clearly blessed the dramatic reconstruction of the mission by Nicholas Schmidle in The New Yorker — so vividly descriptive of the SEALS' looks, quotes and thoughts that Schmidle had to clarify after the piece was published that he had not actually talked to any of them...
The White House is also counting on the ... big-screen version of the killing of bin Laden to counter Obama's growing reputation as ineffectual.
The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made "The Hurt Locker" will no doubt reflect the president's cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration.It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president's image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently — to the surprise of some military officers — at a CIA ceremony celebrating the hero SEALs.Is this why Matt Damon is currently sporting a buzzcut? Hmmmm.Gee, it's truly surprising that President Obama would attempt to synch his reelection with a Hollywood movie depicting his 'heroic' actions at Lattabatta. Or whatever the hell it's called.And may God bless our soldiers, their families and all those who help support the effort to save this republic.Hmmmmm......Will they give free Obama dolls at the exit of the screening?Read the full story here.

  • Pro-Iranian Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has threatened "military resistance" against any U.S. military personnel remaining in Iraq after December 31.(Memri).The pro-Iranian Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has threatened "military resistance" against any U.S. military personnel remaining in Iraq after December 31, even if they were to stay as trainers. A Sadrist movement spokesman characterized senior Iraqi military officers who support the retention of the trainers as "the tails of the occupiers." Another Sadrist said that opening the gate for the occupiers to remain is "treason."While al-Maliki was authorized by the major political blocs to negotiate with the U.S. about keeping a limited number of U.S. military trainers in Iraq, a decision to do so could have political consequences for the coalition government, since the Sadrists would likely leave the government, in which they hold eight ministries..On the other hand, an assistant to al-Maliki for Kurdish affairs, Adel Brawari, announced that it was the demand of the leadership of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to retain elements of the U.S. forces in Kurdistan as long as certain issues between KRG and the federal government remain unresolved (Kirkuk being an important issue). He added that the U.S. forces will deter attacks on Kurdistan by Turkish and Iranian forces.Hmmmm......The Obama administration deter attacks on Kurdistan by Turks?Good luck with that one..Read the full story here.

  • Military feeding Guantanamo captives day and night in Ramadan.(MiamiHerald).For all but 46 of the 171 captives, this year marks a decade of Ramadans at Guantánamo. Military data suggest some have lost their faith.With the vast majority of the prisoners at Guantánamo now marking their 10th Ramadan in a row behind the razor wire, the military is providing food around the clock for both the faithful honoring the dawn-to-dusk fast and those Muslim captives who choose to ignore it.A prison camp spokeswoman said the U.S. military command instituted the night-and-day food distribution last year to make it easier for the captives who chose to shun the fasting ritual.Guards then tracked the results to discover that, in the course of the month, more than half the camp ignored Islam’s obligation to fast — a figure those who work with the captives find hard to fathom. “The average fasting percentage of the detainee population for Ramadan in 2010 was 55 percent,” said Navy Cmdr. Tamsen Reese in response to a question from The Miami Herald. “The percentage dropped after the beginning, but rose at the end of Ramadan,” when Muslims celebrate the feast called Eid al Fitr.The result suggests that some of the 171 captives have lost faith after a decade in captivity — a surprising turnabout from earlier years, when military commanders reported near-perfect compliance and prisoners abstained from food and drink during daylight hours.Citing Islamic sensitivities, the military also shifts to nighttime hours during Ramadan its daily forced feeding schedule of captives protesting with hunger strikes. Twice a day, guards shackle hunger strikers whom doctors consider to be malnourished into a specially designated feeding chair. They immobilize each man’s head and limbs, then a military medical staff member tethers a tube through a captive’s nose into his stomach to pump in nutritional shakes.Prison camp commanders would not explain why so many captives violated the obligation to fast last year.Visiting reporters and entertainers taken through the camps to tour the infrastructure are forbidden to question the captives.But several attorneys and other outsiders who are allowed to speak with the detainees doubt that that many Muslim prisoners are non observant.“Those people need to fast because of their situation,” said Mahmoud Khatib, an Arabic-English translator from Dearborn, Mich., who has for seven years accompanied defense attorneys to conversations with captive clients.“They are in prison, they are struggling and they miss their families. Those days bring them nearer to God.”Plus, he added, lawyers typically bring treats to the attorney-client meetings and none has agreed to eat them during the daylight hours, or asked the guards’ permission to bring the food back to their cells.Criminal defense attorney Ahmed Ghappour finds it hard to believe, but offers a different possible explanation.Muslims who are traveling or sick have never been obliged to fast during Ramadan. And, though it’s 10 years later, some of the men may have adopted this interpretation.“They’re in a state of limbo, forced transfer and imprisonment in a foreign land. They’re away from home with no intention of settling where they are. And they don’t know when they can return,” he said. “In a way, they are traveling.”Word of the new night-and-day feeding strategy seeped out of the camps after a catering contractor told a sailor accompanying a visiting reporter from Spain this summer that he would forgo interview opportunities during the holy month to keep pace with the hectic feeding schedule. Usually a central kitchen doles out three different meals a day to at least six different sites at Guantánamo.For Ramadan, Reese said, the Guantánamo food service was providing four meals and two snacks, with some captives allowed to keep the food in their cellblocks to eat after sunset.Earlier prison camp publicity has boasted that, during normal times, the kitchens prepared 5,000 calories a day for each captive in an operation that the Obama administration estimates costs $775,000 more per captive a year than it does to confine him in a federal prison. Military medical staff have noted that some captives — not the hunger strikers — are suffering from obesity.As of Friday, the prison camp reported, about 6 percent of the 171 captives were on hunger strike — a total of 11 men, but not all sufficiently malnourished to require the twice-daily tube feedings of the over-the-counter nutritional supplement Ensure.Islamic tradition says the Prophet Mohammed broke his fast with a date, then water, before other Ramadan dishes.But at Guantanamo captives shackled into a feeding chair for the tube feedings are given a choice of four Ensure flavors — Homemade Vanilla, Strawberries and Cream, Creamy Milk Chocolate and Butter Pecan. A fifth flavor, Coffee Latte, is not on offer. Read the full story here.

  • Harvard Professor's Article Against Islamic Terror Kicks Up Storm in India; Harvard Faculty Members Demand His Removal.(Memri).In a recent article against Islamic terrorism, veteran Indian politician Dr. Subramanian Swamy kicked up a political storm by articulating what is seen as a far-right Hindu nationalist agenda against Muslims in India. His article advocated the repeal of laws granting special rights to Kashmiris, the removal of hundreds of mosques from controversial sites of Hindu temples, the occupation of Bangladeshi territory in proportion to the size of migration of Bangladeshis to India, and other moves. The article was written after a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai on July 13, 2011. Dr. Subramanian Swamy is president of the Janata Party, a former Indian minister and currently a professor of economics at Harvard University. His article, titled "How to wipe out Islamic terror," was published by the Daily News and Analysis, a leading Indian newspaper.Following the article's publication, demands are being made that Dr. Swamy be sacked from Harvard's faculty for bigotry. Over 260 Harvardians – among them faculty and non-faculty members, students, and even parents – have called for Swamy's ouster. Donald H Pfister, a dean at Harvard University, said: "We will give this matter our serious attention." "Swamy breaches the most basic standards of respect and tolerance," stated a petition initiated by Umang Kumar, a Harvard Divinity School student, and Sanjay Pinto, a PhD candidate.Following are excerpts from the article:
"Islamic Terrorism is India's Number One National Security Problem; Fanatic Muslims Consider Hindu-Dominated India 'An Unfinished Chapter of Islamic Conquests'"
"Hindu Is the Target... Muslims in India Are Being Programmed By A Slow Reactive Process to Become Radical – And Thus To Slide into Suicide Against Hindus"
"Any Policy to Combat Terrorism Must Begin With Requiring Each... Hindu to Become a Virat [Committed] Hindu; The Second Lesson for Combating Terrorism Is That We Must Never Capitulate"
"Remove the Masjid [Mosque] in Kashi Vishwanath Temple [in Varanasi] – And the 300 Masjids at Other Temple Sites"
"Enact a National Law Prohibiting Conversion from Hinduism To Any Other Religion; If the Jews Could Be Transformed from Lambs Walking Meekly to the Gas Chambers to Fiery Lions in Just 10 Years...""India can solve its terrorist problem within five years by such a deterrent strategy, but for that we have to learn the four lessons outlined above, and have a Hindu mindset to take bold, risky, and hard decisions to defend the nation. If the Jews could be transformed from lambs walking meekly to the gas chambers to fiery lions in just 10 years, it should not be difficult for Hindus in much better circumstances (after all, we are 83% of India), to do so in five years."Guru Gobind Singh [the spiritual leader of Sikh faith] showed us how just five fearless persons under spiritual guidance can transform a society. Even if only half of the Hindu voters are persuaded to collectively vote as Hindus, and for a party sincerely committed to a Hindu agenda, then we can forge an instrument for change. And that is the bottom line in the strategy to deter terrorism in a democratic Hindustan at this moment of truth."Read the full story here.

  • Anticipating the Coming Convulsions as the Welfare State Dies.(Biggovernment).It’s already happening – the liberal dream of a perpetual social welfare state where deadbeat liberal constituencies feed off of the work of productive conservative citizens in perpetuity is dying. There’s no doubt about that; the only question left is how long and hard the process will be as the hideous leviathan the utopian liberal establishment has created convulses and dies.It’s going to die hard. And ugly.The collapse is well-underway in Europe – Greece has gone from the cradle of democracy to a cesspool of union-fueled mobs – but America faces the same trauma. As the contradictions inherent in the vision of a societal plan based on the notion that an ever-expanding pool of Democratic-voting serfs sucking the wealth away from the mostly Republican-oriented producers who labored to create it become more apparent, the reactions and rear-guard efforts of the terminal liberal elite will grow more extreme.We are already seeing the liberal elite lash out in anger and frustration at what is a perfect storm of failure. Glenn Reynolds, the legendary Instapundit, chronicles the daily disintegration, while the brilliant Mark Steyn’s cheery new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, drops on August 8, 2011 – I’ll race you to Amazon to get a copy.As the three components of the liberal establishment – the media, the unions and politicians – rage at the dying of the liberal light, the insanity meter will swing far into the red. It’s already begun. The Tea Party has dared to speak the truth, and the uncomfortable realities it has pointed out have destroyed the bogus consensus that has allowed the debt Titanic to sail giddily on toward the iceberg. That’s why the establishment response is to demonize the popular movement. We’re “terrorists” or “lunatics” or, bizarrely, “hobbits.” Our crime is telling the truth.Never mind that the Tea Party candidates were absolutely clear about their debt crisis solution when running for election – the voters spoke. Apparently, the only polls that matter get taken around the tables at Manhattan and Georgetown dinner parties – and, oddly, the results are always unanimous in favor of a “compromise” that tries to shore-up the crumbling status quo.The problem with the Tea Party is not what it does – at best, right now, it can only make a moral and political case; it does not have the numbers to make anything happen without non-Tea Partiers joining it. The problem with the Tea Partiers, in the eyes of the liberal establishment and the pet moderate GOP enablers, is that it dares to point out the indisputable truth that must be hidden at all costs: That the social welfare state is unsustainable and will collapse.But the demonization campaign does not seem to be working as expected – amazingly, the Tea Party caucus was able to provide the missing spine to the go-along/get-along gang running the House and present a primary-based incentive to the collegial Senate Republicans who have to face the voters next year and don’t want to join booted squish ex-Utah senator Bob Bennett in his new sinecure as the MSM’s go-to, slam-the-conservatives, pseudo-GOP nobody. While the resulting deal was terrible, it was still a massive humiliation for the liberal establishment. They are not in a forgiving mood, and it’s easier to hate on the Tea Party than face the fact that they’ve driven us to bankruptcy.So when demonization doesn’t work, government lifers like Senator Kerry advocate silencing the opposition. One might think that a United States senator demanding that the media refuse to report the views of his political opponents because too many people are accepting them might stir some outrage in the media. But then, if you did, you probably might believe in unicorns, leprechauns and global warming as well.It’s over. The system must crash and reboot. The choice is a hard landing or a harder landing.The prescription is clear to anyone looking at the situation, except for the establishment that will not see it because to admit what must be done and embrace it means to wave goodbye to its members’ power, prestige and position. We need to slash spending to less than the revenue we take in – the difference going to pay off the $14 trillion-plus tab. And we need to do it now, not in some hazy future where some other Congress will have to make the tough calls – though reality may just make them for it.That means a radical return to Constitutional government where the federal government goes back to what it was formed to do – those things set forth in the Constitution and nothing else. The relatively easy part will be zeroing out the cowboy poetry slams, largely unwatched government TV networks and creepy shrimp-on-a-treadmill study grants.The hard part is the entitlements all of us were promised and none of us will ever see. It means repealing Obamacare, but moreover returning the responsibility for health care to where it belongs – the individual. The same with retirement – Social Security is a ponzi scheme and everyone knows it.Government student loans, farms subsidies, corporate bailouts, food stamps, Section 8 housing – none of these are federal responsibilities. These should be eliminated not only because they are counterproductive, ineffective and soul-crushing for recipients but because if we don’t do it on our own terms fiscal reality will do it for us cold turkey. And let’s not forget eliminating vast swaths of federal regulations – something that will both free up business and have the added benefit of dumping hundreds of thousands of government loafers off of Uncle Sam’s payroll.There is a major change coming, and it could get ugly. Union members will do their masters’ bidding with the support of the MSM, threatening violence and maybe committing some. Look for well-planned and carefully-coordinated “spontaneous” mass marches on public buildings by scores of public employee union slugs demanding we keep subsidizing their retirements at full pay at age 50.The Tea Party did not cause what will be a brutal reckoning. It only pointed out the truth and said, “No more” – an unforgivable crime to the people who caused this disaster and want to keep milking the system for as long as possible. The key to getting through the coming trauma – and it will be traumatic, as the social contract the liberals unilaterally imposed is rewritten by an implacable reality – is for the productive citizens of the United States to stand firm and stand fast. In other words, just the way Americans have gotten through every other crisis we’ve faced before.America’s greatest days need not be in the past. Guided by the Founder’s vision and the principles of the Constitution, we will find that they lie ahead, over just one more hill.Read the full story here.

  • Iran Claim: Second NATO Helicopter Crash Kills 33.(PressTV).A second helicopter belonging to the US-led NATO coalition has crashed in Paktia Province in eastern Afghanistan, killing 33 US forces on board.Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mojahid claimed responsibility for the crash, which occured in Zarmat city on Monday, saying 33 American troops were killed in the downing, a Press TV correspondent reported on Monday.Separately, another NATO chopper made a hard landing in the same area in eastern Paktia province late Sunday, Afghan witnesses and officials told Press TV.The US-led NATO forces have cordoned off the scene of the incident, witnesses said.The incident has reportedly left some casualties, but there are no words yet on the exact number of the killed or injured.The main cause of the incident is not clear yet. Meanwhile, the US-led alliance issued a statement and confirmed that the helicopter made an emergency landing. The statement said no one was injured and that it has launched an investigation into the incident.The incident came in the wake of a similar incident on Saturday, which claimed lives of 31 US forces.Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday helicopter crash, but NATO said it has started an investigation into the incident.Read the full story here.

  • Anti-Semitism: The Same Old Lies Since 200 B.C.(Pajamasmedia).When it comes to Israel and the Jews, the defamatory impulse never dies. The Iranians and their supporters claim there was no Holocaust. The Jews just made it up. Or if some magnanimously concede that the Holocaust did take place, then the death toll was unconscionably exaggerated for political and financial gain. Arabs and Muslims insist that the Jews have no lien on the Holy Land and are recent interlopers. Indeed, in clear violation of the historical muniments and the canonical texts, it would appear there never was a Temple in Jerusalem, as the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque categorically states.Anti-Zionists falsely contend that the Palestinians are an indigenous people displaced by European Jews who colonized the territory by force and that the Israeli war machine ethnically cleansed the original inhabitants during the 1948 so-called Nakba. There is no recognition of the fact that the Arabs were the instigators of the conflict and were mainly responsible for the flight of their own people, as attested in Mitchell Bard’s Myths and Facts and many other authentic sources.* There is no awareness or acknowledgment of the 4000 year-old Israelitic connection to the land, the continuous settlements even after the Roman expulsion, and the Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews who together outnumber their European Ashkenazi cousins.PA President Mahmoud Abbas, dismissing the Jews as “incidental in history,” absurdly asserts descent from the Canaanites, a people who long ago disappeared from the historical record. Popular opinion in many Muslim countries blames the Israeli Mossad for 9/11. “Israel Apartheid Weeks” abound on university campuses, targeting the only true democratic and non-apartheid nation in the entire Middle East. Suppressing most of the relevant context and playing fast and loose with the facts, the notorious Goldstone Report and the UNHRC accuse Israel of human rights crimes in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. According to a Swedish newspaper, Israelis harvest the bodies of Palestinian youths for the lucrative trade in organs — the contemporary form of the ancient blood libel. The litany of lies, slanders and fabrications continues to proliferate without end as part of the “Palestinian narrative,” which has now become the anabolic locus of the campaign against the Jewish state. But such libels and denunciations are as old as the Judean hills. The ecstatic crusade against both Judaism and Zionism remains a historical constant.In effect, the Palestinians and the antisemitic left have merely revived the ancestral libels going back at least as far as 200 B.C. when, as Raymond Scheindlin documents in A Short History of the Jewish People, “Egyptian writers circulated distorted and insulting accounts of Jewish history,” claiming that the Jews “originally came to Egypt as alien conquerors, set fire to Egyptian towns, destroyed their temples, and mistreated their inhabitants.” As usual, history proves otherwise. These putatively conquering Israelites who were said to have despoiled Egypt in fact constituted a slave population, notably under the Pharaoh Ramses II (c. 1290—1224 B.C.)The obloquy didn’t stop there. The Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem in 167 B.C., was the first historical figure to persecute the Jews for their religion as such, and the antisemitic virus has been gathering momentum ever since. Josephus tells us in Against Apion of a certain first century A.D. grammarian of that name who apparently started the hoary blood libel on its global career. Apion writes that “at a set time every year [the Jews] used to catch a Greek foreigner…and kill him, and sacrifice with their accustomed solemnities, and taste of his entrails.” Josephus comments: “Now this is such a most tragical fable as is full of nothing but cruelty and impudence.”Certainly with respect to Israel and the Jewish people, the animus, irrational and unfounded as it may be, goes too deep, it seems, to be disinterred by scholarship, genuine attention, and plain common sense.An “argument from knowledge is better than an argument from ignorance,” writes Richard Fernandez. “Yet there are some,” he continues, who hold the view “that a lot of knowledge, not just a little, is supremely dangerous.” The reason for this mental allergy is not hard to discern, for knowledge might prevent or at least inhibit such people from investing in and promoting an obscene agenda. The truth would not set them free, as the Gospel promised; it would shackle them and demand restitution for the culture of epistemological aversion they have nurtured and served. It would exact an indemnity they cannot afford. Clearly, knowledge is not a guarantee of right action in the case of the most devious and unscrupulous of Israel-haters, for whom truth is not an obstacle to villainy. But, ideally at any rate, it can operate as an antidote or remedy for the merely deluded, who therefore instinctively avoid it.It has been said that truth is the first casualty of war. It is also the first casualty of hatred wedded to ignorance and confirmed by intellectual laziness. And yet history is an open book. The voice that Augustine heard in the garden, as he tells us in Book VIII of The Confessions, tolle, lege — “take, read” — can still be heard, if we would only listen. The truth is readily available to anyone who prides himself on moral probity and intellectual rigor, who is willing to see with his own eyes, consult real documentation, examine evidence, and check the facts against the agitptop and disinformation that floods the zeitgeist. Intelligent people with a strong ethical commitment should have no trouble penetrating a fraudulent narrative. Thankfully, such people can still be found. Regrettably, there are too few such honorable individuals amongst us.Hmmmm......."Truth has become hatespeech".Read the full story here.

  • Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Spokesman Wants Mubarak Executed (Beheaded) According To Sharia Law.(The Australian) — The spokesman for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which portrays itself as a moderate Islamic movement, has called for execution and hand amputations if the Mubaraks are found guilty of murder and corruption.“If a man has stolen millions of the state’s money, the penalty is that I must cut off his hand,” said Mahmoud Ghuzlan, a professor of biochemistry at Zagazig University. “There is no argument. These are God’s words.”The group, banned for half a century, was legalised only after the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak.Professor Ghuzlan said the penalty of amputation, mandated under sharia law, should apply to his sons Gamal — the younger, who was being groomed as heir — and Alaa, a businessman.In a scene that transfixed the nation last week, the two brothers, both charged with profiteering, stood in court as their father lay on a trolley next to them.The senior Mubarak, charged with responsibility for the deaths of about 850 protesters killed by his security forces, periodically craned his neck forward to peer from the defendants’ cage out at the court.Professor Ghuzlan had no sympathy. Mr Mubarak should be hanged if convicted, although “beheading by the sword” would be more traditional, he said.He sought to paint sharia as a merciful alternative to Egypt’s current legal system, saying a thief who stole only to feed his family would not suffer amputation.Despite his words, Muslim Brotherhood rule would evidently be harsh. Adulterers would be whipped, alcohol banned, men and women separated in university classes and pre-marital sex and same-sex relationships would be forbidden.Hmmmm.......Thanks to President Obama efforts?Read the full story here.

  • Obama's only policy - Degrading Israel.(CarolineGlick).What makes Obama's Israel policy notable is not simply that it involves betraying the US's most steadfast ally in the Middle East. After all, since taking office Obama has made a habit of betraying US allies.Obama's Israel policy is notable because it is a policy. Obama has a clear, consistent goal of cutting Israel down to size. Since assuming office, Obama has taken concrete steps to achieve this aim.And those steps have achieved results. Obama forced Netanyahu to make Palestinian statehood an Israeli policy goal. He coerced Netanyahu into temporarily abrogating Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. And now he is forcing Netanyahu to pretend the 1949 armistice lines are something Israel can accept.Obama has not adopted a similarly clear, consistent policy towards any other nation in the region. In Egypt, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and beyond, Obama has opted for attitude over policy. He has postured, preened, protested and pronounced on all the issues of the day.But he has not made policy. And as a consequence, for better or for worse, he has transformed the US from a regional leader into a regional follower while empowering actors whose aims are not consonant with US interests.Acting under a UN Security Council resolution and armed with a self-righteous doctrine of "Responsibility to Protect" Obama went to war against Qaddafi five months ago. But once the hard reality of war invaded his happy visions of Lone Rangers riding in on white stallions, Obama lost interest in Libya. He kept US forces in the battle, but gave them no clear goals to achieve. And so no goals have been achieved.Meanwhile, Qaddafi's son feels free to meet the New York Times and mock America just by continuing to breathe in and out before the cameras as he sports a new Islamic beard and worry beads.If nothing else, the waves of chaos, war and revolution sweeping through Arab lands make clear that the Arab conflict with Israel is but a sideshow in the Arab experience of tyranny, fanaticism, hope and betrayal. So it says a lot about Obama, that eight months after the first rebellion broke in Tunisia, his sole Middle East policy involves attacking Israel.Hmmmmm.......How 'great' is his 'love' towards Israel?Read the full story here.

  • Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to deliver harsh message to Damascus.(TodaysZaman).At a time when those questioning the legitimacy of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule have started to be heard by the international community, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is scheduled to depart Tuesday for Damascus for a one-day visit during which Syrian officials will receive a blunt message from Turkey as Ankara has run out of patience against the crackdown on protesters.“A true friend tells the bitter truth” is a popular Turkish proverb which has been regularly been applied by Turkey's leaders when a warning message has had to be sent to a country with which Turkey has good relations.“In the case concerning neighboring Syria, the Damascus administration will be personally given a harsh message instead of a bitterly worded message from a country ally,” a senior Turkish diplomat told Today's Zaman on Monday. “The issue is basically a matter of principle for us,” the same diplomat, who spoke under customary condition of anonymity, added, referring to the intensifying government crackdown on protesters that has so far left more than 1,700 unarmed protesters dead since March, according to activists and human rights groups.“The message from Turkey will from now on be more strict, tough and clear,” the Turkish diplomat reiterated, emphasizing that Foreign Minister Davutoğlu will deliver only's Turkey's message to Damascus and is not going there to convey a message from a third country or the international community.Davutoğlu's visit was announced by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday during a speech at an iftar event in İstanbul, which drew a harsh response from Syria. The prime minister indicated the end of Turkey's patience with the Syrian administration due to their constant refusal to initiate democratic reforms.The diplomatic row between the countries on Sunday is further evidence that relations between the two countries have cooled since Turkey's call for a peaceful initiation of democratic reforms, which has been met with more bloodshed by Syria.An article published in the Sunday Guardian, a leading UK newspaper, argued that Turkey may consider punitive steps ranging from diplomatic and economic measures targeting the regime to the setting up of some kind of safe haven inside northern Syria policed by the Turkish military. “If such a risky intervention were undertaken, Turkey would be within its rights, following the Libyan model, to call on fellow NATO members, including Britain, for support,” the Guardian said.Nevertheless, officials in Ankara told Today's Zaman that it is “early” to talk about measures, while one official ruled out setting up a safe haven.According to Osman Bahadır Dinçer, of the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), the Ba'ath regime is not rational so one cannot expect to see it reacting rationally.“While Syria is struggling with a matter of life and death, fighting for its life with no regards to rules or rationality is the last thing you would expect from it. Turkey's initiative, as late as it is, is significant for the region but it is hard to believe it will change anything in Syria. I think it is pretty much a stillborn project that will not be able to push Syria, although we all wish it could,” Dinçer, a Middle East expert, told Today's Zaman on Monday.“Turkey says it will send a warning, but it has been met with various interpretations in the Arab world. A last warning to Assad also means cutting the leader slack in the expected reform process. But if Turkey is visiting Syria to deliver a personal ‘enough is enough, I am out' message, then it means increased pressure on the Ba'ath Party. Any green light to Assad will be in Turkey's disadvantage,” he added.“The reason why Turkey has toughened its stance is clear: Turkey believes Syria has come to a point that cannot be cured by reforms. The message will possibly be ‘Do not rely on us when you do as you please, we are about to take steps that will hurt you, unless you immediately stop the violence.' Syria needs to speak with harsh rhetoric to uphold its reputation with Assad sympathizers and the general public. I do not think Turkey is at the stage to militarily intervene in Syria, although many are trying to push Turkey towards this. Turkey would rather use its soft power on Syria, as Syria depends on Turkish electricity for power. Turkey's support in future decisions to be passed in the UN Security Council against Syria is also one big loss for Syria,” he said.The first senior diplomat told Today's Zaman that Turkey is principally against any external intervention in the region, when asked about the prospects of a military intervention into Syria.Hmmmmm.......How far is Turkey willing to go vis - a - vis Iran is the Real question that should be asked!Read the full story here.

  • Top Sunni cleric Al-Azhar : End Syria's tragedy.(Ynet). Cairo-based Al-Azhar, considered top Sunni Muslim authority, says bloodshed in Damascus has 'gone too far'. The Arab world's patience with Syria is wearing thin: The Cairo-based top Sunni Muslim institutions Al-Azhar called Monday for an end to the "tragedy" in Syria, saying that the bloodshed in Damascus has gone too far."Al-Azhar was patient for a long time and avoided talking about the situation in Syria because of its sensitive nature... but the situation has gone too far and there is no other solution but to put an end to this Arab and Islamic tragedy," the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, said in a statement.Al-Azhar "asks Syrian leaders to work immediately to end the bloodshed and to respond favorably to the legitimate demands of the Syrian masses," the statement, carried by Egypt's State-run news agency MENA, said. The censure from the Sunni Islam's top center of religious learning, came on the heels of another diplomatic blow to Syrian President Bashar Assad: Earlier Monday Arab heavyweight Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Damascus, and the move was quickly echoed by Kuwait and Bahrain. On Sunday, the Arab League issued an offical censure of the brutal crackdown in Syria and urged Damascus to cease its actions against pro-democracy protesters immediately.The Arab world's growing concern over the unrest in Syria comes in tow with mounting international condemnation for Assad's regime. Assad claims the unrest is the act of "domestic terrorists" and that it is the regimes "duty" to quell them. Meanwhile, Damascus' security forces have raided the town of Deir ez-Zor again on Monday. According to Syrian human rights activists, several people have been killed. The raid came in wake of a new official appointment in Damascus, as Assad named General Daoud Rajha as his new defense minster.Hmmmmm.......And Iran is appointed as the "Puppet Master"?Read the full story here.

  • Anonymous hacks Syrian ministry website, posts images of slain protesters.(HurriyetDaily).Internet activist group Anonymous hacked Syrian Defense Ministry's website on Monday, posting messages to the Syrian people and the country's military along with images of dead protesters.The message from Anonymous read as follows:
To the Syrian people: The world stands with you against the brutal regime of Bashar Al-Assad.
Know that time and history are on your side - tyrants use violence because they have nothing else, and the more violent they are, the more fragile they become.
We salute your determination to be non-violent in the face of the regime's brutality, and admire your willingness to pursue justice, not mere revenge. All tyrants will fall, and thanks to your bravery Bashar Al-Assad is next.
To the Syrian military: You are responsible for protecting the Syrian people, and anyone who orders you to kill women, children, and the elderly deserves to be tried for treason.
No outside enemy could do as much damage to Syria as Bashar Al-Assad has done.
Defend your country - rise up against the regime!- Anonymous.Read and see the full story here.

  • Christian charity to fight Britain’s ‘slide into Islam’.(IslamVersusEurope).A charity for persecuted Christian minorities facing execution and bombings in Pakistan and Iraq has decided to campaign against what it perceives as the growing “Islamisation” of Britain.The Barnabas Fund, which runs aid projects in up to 60 countries, claims some of the hardships faced by oppressed Christians abroad are now reflected in the UK because of a rise in militant Islam.Its move comes amid new evidence that Muslim extremists are flexing their muscle around the country by regularly blacking out posters featuring scantily clad women.Adverts for underwear and bikinis by the HandM fashion chain have been targeted in Birmingham, London and Derby. In some attacks, models have been covered up with a spray-painted burqa.The Barnabas Fund, whose supporters include Lord Mawhinney, a former Tory party chairman, and Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, has distributed 125,000 copies of a booklet, entitled Slippery Slope: The Islamisation of the UK, to churches and followers.It portrays the advance of Islam in mainstream society, citing the incorporation of aspects of sharia in Britain’s civil courts; the increasing number of Muslim schools; and the widespread use of halal meat by supermarkets.Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, the charity’s international director, writes in the booklet: “More radical elements want Britain to be a fully Islamic society and are striving to bring it under the rule of sharia.”This weekend Mark Green, the charity’s deputy director, said: “Some of the issues Christians face in countries where they are clearly under pressure — in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan — we have been seeing in the UK in small ways.”Green pointed to the case of Gary Smith, an RE teacher who was beaten up by a gang who did not approve of him teaching Muslim girls. Four men were jailed in May for leaving Smith, 38, unconscious after the attack in Bow, east London.Nazir-Ali caused an outcry three years ago by saying parts of Britain had become “no-go” areas for non-Muslims. He is not believed to be directly involved in the Barnabas Fund campaign. A friend said: “He has already said whatever he wishes to on this matter.”Ghaffar Hussain of the Quilliam foundation counter-extremism think tank said the charity was needlessly “whipping up hysteria”. He said: “Most Muslims in this country are tolerant of Christians and believe in co-existence.”Last week two 18-year-old Muslims were convicted of criminal damage in east London after they painted over posters of a model advertising Lynx toiletries. One of the men had already been convicted of distributing homophobic stickers declaring a “gay-free zone”.Last month extremists declared parts of Waltham Forest a “sharia-controlled zone”, putting up posters banning alcohol, drugs and prostitution.Read the full story here.

  • Iranian Daily: Ankara Must Stop Being Hostile towards Syria.(Memri).The Iranian daily Jomhouri-ye Eslami called on Ankara to stop being hostile towards Assad's regime and to cooperate with Iran on the Syrian issue, and also to rethink the unfriendly moves it has recently taken towards Tehran. The daily reminded Ankara of Iran's and Turkey's shared interests, such as a united and sovereign Iraq and the opposition to Kurdish self-determination.Hmmmm.......Ahmadinejad pressuring buddy Erdogan?Read the full story here.

  • Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Syria - Obama regime sends ambassador to Syria.(HurriyetDaily).Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah condemned the crackdown on anti-government protesters in Syria on Sunday, saying there is "no justification for the bloodshed." Saudi Arabia has said it is recalling its ambassador from Damascus in protest against Syria's deadly crackdown on anti-government demonstrators.A statement from King Abdullah said the violence was "unacceptable" and called for it to stop before it was too late.It came hours after the Arab League issued its first official statement, strongly condemning the violence.On Sunday, more than 80 people died as the army launched assaults in eastern and central Syria, activists said.They said at least 50 died when soldiers, backed by scores of tanks and armoured vehicles, stormed Deir al-Zour during the dawn call to prayer.According to BBC, a man living in the city told the tanks had been withdrawn from the eastern city, but that residents feared they would come back.Twenty-six others were killed in Hula, near the city of Homs, including a 10-year-old boy. Deaths were also reported in Idlib in the north-west.The Local Co-ordination Committees, an activist group that documents and organises protests, said that after sunset, thousands of protesters poured onto the streets in towns and cities, including Damascus and its suburbs, Homs, Aleppo, and Latakia on the Mediterranean coast.Activists say at least 1,700 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands arrested since the uprising began in mid-March.Access to Syria has been severely restricted for international journalists and it is rarely possible to verify accounts by witnesses and activists.In a major escalation in international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad, King Abdullah declared on Sunday evening that his country had taken an historic decision despite all the support it had given Syria in the past.
"Any sane Arab, Muslim or anyone else knows that this has nothing to do with religion, or ethics or morals; spilling the blood of the innocent for any reasons or pretext leads to no path to... hope," he said in a statement broadcast by the Saudi-owned satellite channel, al-Arabiya."What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia," he added. "There are only two options for Syria's future: either it chooses wisdom on its own, or it will be pulled down into the depths of chaos and loss.""The kingdom of Saudi Arabia... demands an end to the killing-machine and bloodshed and calls for acts of wisdom before it is too late.""Syria should think wisely before it is too late and issue and enact reforms that are not merely promises but actual reforms," he concluded.King Abdullah sent Saudi troops in March to Bahrain as part of a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) force to help the country's Sunni monarchy crush anti-government protests led by the Shia majority. Saudi officials also criticised the decision to put Egypt's ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, on trial.Our correspondent says President Assad is now even more isolated.A US state department official said the Saudi monarch's statement was "another clear sign that the international community, including Syria's neighbours, are repulsed by the brutal actions of the Syrian government".Hmmmm......Yup that's why Obama send the US ambassador back to Syria?Read the full story here.
  • Related - Kuwait recalls its ambassador to Syria .Here.
                       - Bahrain recalls its Syria envoy. here.

  • Iran MP: Nuclear plant's launch delayed again.(Ynet).An Iranian lawmaker says the country's first nuclear power plant in southern port of Bushehr faces more delays because of money demands from Russia.The reformist Aftab daily on Monday quotes Asgar Jalalian, a member of the parliament's special committee on the plant, as saying that Iran has already paid at least twice the expected costs for the 1,000 megawatt plant. Russia's Rosatom is building the facility.Jalialian says the committee doubts the plant will come on line by August, as promised. In June, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the plant was finished and could begin generating electricity in August. "The project is complete, everything is tuned, and now it is a question for the engineers, when they can realistically turn on the switch," RIA quoted Ryabkov as saying."If this happens in the first days of August it will fully correspond with the prognoses and expectations of the Russian and Iranian sides." he said. The Bushehr plant has faced repeated delays, angering Tehran and fuelling speculation that Moscow has used it as a lever in diplomacy over Iran's nuclear program, which the United States and others say they fear is a front for weapons development. The 1,000-mw plant had been due to start producing electricity early this year, but those plans were thwarted by what Russia said was a pump problem requiring the removal of nuclear fuel that had just been loaded.Hmmmm.....Perhaps the Russians realised that a nuclear Iran isn't such a good idea after all, but you can as well earn some money while pretending?Read the full story here.

  • Woman assaulted for smoking on the street in E Turkey during Ramadan.(HurriyetDaily).A woman was attacked by two people for smoking openly on the street during Ramadan in the eastern province of Erzurum on Saturday. She had to take shelter in a nearby men’s dormitory building and call the police for help.The incident happened on Esat Paşa Yokuşu Street in the Yakutiye district before iftar, the evening fast-breaking meal. The woman, identified by her initials Z.B., works for an international company. She lit a cigarette on the street while walking with her boyfriend, identified as İ.M. when two people, identified as M.Y. and B.G., approached them, saying, “Put out your cigarette. You are shameless.” Z.B. answered: “I might not be able to fast. I might have chosen not to fast. Why does this matter concern you?” After this reply, M.Y. and İ.M. allegedly advanced toward the couple.Assaulted by the two and seeing that a crowd was gathering, the couple took shelter in a nearby men’s dormitory building and called the police. Police had a hard time calming down the crowd and taking the four to the police station. There were small clashes between the police and an angry crowd that had gathered on the street. All four people involved filed complaints about each other and were freed after their statements were taken.Hmmmm......Will tourist in Turkey soon be assaulted for smoking?Read the full story here.

  • Residents of world's tallest tower to break fast according to floor.(HurriyetDaily).A religious fatwa is issued for the residents of the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, saying residents living on higher floors should break their fasts later than those on lower floors during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.Dubai's top cleric has said people living on higher floors of the city's Burj Khalifah tower are required to break their fasts later, since higher floors receive sunlight for a few more minutes while the sun sets on the ground floor, reported Monday.Mohammed al-Kubaisi said residents living above the 80th floor were to break their fast two minutes later than the designated "iftar," or fast-breaking time, for Dubai, while those living above the 150th floor were to wait for three minutes before eating.Burj Khalifa, the current record holder for world's tallest tower, was completed in 2010 and stands 828 meters high with 163 residential floors.Read the full story here.

  • Shaykh Muhammad Hassan: There is no compulsion in religion, but.....(TranslatingJihad).Egyptian Shaykh Muhammad Hassan, who is one of the most popular and well-known Islamic clerics in Egypt and even throughout the Islamic world (there is even a campaign in Egypt to try to get him to run for president), emphasizes in this video that apostates from Islam must be killed. He argues, interestingly, that this does not conflict with the principle of no compulsion in religion, because no one is forced to enter Islam (or so he says). However, after they choose to enter Islam, they cannot be allowed to leave it. He contends that this is akin to treason, and every country in the world punishes treason by death. This is a very common argument from Islamic clerics and others who try to defend the killing of apostates, and take on the impossible task of reconciling this with the Western ideas of freedom of religion and conscience.
This video was originally aired on the Egyptian satellite station al-Nas, on Muhammad Hassan's program entitled "Ahadith an-nihaya," (Sayings of the End). I don't know the original air date that this clip was taken from, but it appears to have been some time in 2008. The YouTube clip I pulled it from was posted 28 July 2010. My English transcript follows:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “It is not permissible (to shed) the blood of a Muslim who witnesses that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, except for one of the following three conditions: (First), the life for the life…” This means the killer is killed. But you are not the one who kills him, and neither am I the one who kills him. But the competent legal authority is the one who is responsible for this. Otherwise, Muslim society would descend into chaos, with everyone killing whomever he wanted whenever he wanted. No—blood is sacred; blood is sacred. “It is not permissible (to shed) the blood of a Muslim who witnesses that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, except under three conditions: (First), the life for the life…” The Almighty said: “In the law of equality there is (saving of) life to you, o ye men of understanding” (Qur’an 2:179). “In the law of equality there is (saving of) life to you, o ye men of understanding.” “The life for the life”—the killer is killed. The punishment of Almighty Allah is carried out upon him.
“(Second), the married person who commits adultery”—I will return to him (later) Allah-willing, in another of the signs.
“(Third), the one who abandons his religion, and separates himself from the community.” The hadith is in both of the Sahihs (i.e. Bukhari and Muslim). “The one who abandons his religion, and separates himself from the community.” Islam does not compel anyone to enter it. This (concept) needs to be firmly established. Islam does not compel anyone to enter it. No. There is no compulsion in religion. But rather we preach (Islam) in truth, mercy, propriety, and humility. Whoever says after the preaching—whoever says after (receiving) the preaching and the call (to Islam), “No, I will not enter this religion.” We say to him, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Truth stands out clear from error. We recite the saying of Almighty Allah, “Let him who will believe, and let him who will disbelieve” (Qur’an 18:29). We recite the saying of Allah Almighty, “You have your religion and I have my religion” (Qur’an 109:6). Beautiful. This is after the preaching and the call (to Islam).
But if he enters Islam of his own free will and choice, he does not have the right to leave the religion of Allah whenever he wants, to shake the foundations of Muslim society. No, he does not have the right. Absolutely not. But he does have the right, after having (Islam) preached to him, to say, “I will enter” or “I will not enter this religion.” But to enter it just to leave it whenever he wants? No. This is something which is unacceptable in the religion of Almighty Allah. Show me a constitution anywhere on earth which grants this for its citizens. But rather whoever comes out against the constitution of any nation is accused of treason. Everyone familiar with treason knows that the penalty is death. So what do you think about the one who betrays the religion of Allah Almighty, the one who betrays Allah and His Messenger? “O ye who believe! Do not betray Allah and His Messenger, nor knowingly betray your trusts” (Qur’an 8:27).Hmmmm......Constitution : "the fundamental political principles on which a state is governed, esp when considered as embodying the rights of the subjects of that state".Read and see the full story here.
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