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Saturday, February 25, 2012

MFS -The Other News - What the main papers don't say.

  Morning Posting.

  • Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity situation Fiiji 5.5 - 5.1 ; Russia 5.3 - 5.2 - 5.1 !More info here.
  • Two Americans, four Afghans killed on 5th day of Qur’an burning protests.(BM).Kabul (dpa) – Two foreign military advisors, reportedly United States nationals, were killed in a gun fight inside Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry on Saturday, as scores of Afghans took to the streets for a fifth day over the desecration of the Koran by US troops.At least four demonstrators were also killed in a day of violent protests across the country, officials told dpa.“Initial reports indicate an individual turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in Kabul City today, killing two service members,” NATO said.The Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed that “two international colleagues were murdered” inside the building, adding that an investigation was underway.Saturday’s incident came just days after two US soldiers were killed by an Afghan turncoat inside a military base in eastern Afghanistan.Local media said the latest casualties were also American, while the suspect shooter was thought to be an Afghan policeman. It was not immediately clear whether the shootout was directly related to the Koran burning incident.In the latest protests, at least four Afghans were killed and 51 others, including several policemen, injured during a demonstration in the northern city of Kunduz, an official said.Sayed Sarwar Hussaini, a spokesman for the police in Kunduz, said the protesters had tried to storm a United Nation’s office and the local police’s headquarters, but had failed to get inside.Read the full story here.More here.

  • More Stimulus Money Blowing in the Wind.(BG).By Scott G. Erickson.Then-candidate Barack Obama made many promises while on the campaign trail for the presidency in 2008; however, few remain as dubious as his declaration that an America under his leadership would see the creation of a robust “green” economy, ready to power America into the twenty-first century.Promising to create millions of “green” jobs, Obama stated during his campaign that, “We’ll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs that pay well, can’t be outsourced and help end our dependence on foreign oil.”So where exactly are all those “green” jobs?A Wall Street Journal investigation into the relationship between job-creation claims by the Obama administration and stimulus money targeted toward the development and expansion of our nation’s “green” energy sector has revealed an apparent disconnect between rhetoric and reality.Specifically, the Journal report focused on funds apportioned to companies developing renewable energy from with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). According to Section 1603 of ARRA, allocated resources should be dispensed to create jobs and renewable energy such as wind, geothermal, and solar, exclusive of oil and fossil fuel sources.Since the passage of ARRA, over $10 billion in stimulus funds have been distributed through the 1603 program, which expired in December 2011. According to the Obama administration, this has been a boon to America’s renewable energy sector.Money allocated through the 1603 program “has played a central role in the dramatic expansion of renewable energy generation in the United States, with energy generated from wind and solar set to double in the president’s first term,” a White House spokesman said to the Wall Street Journal.But where, again, are all those “green” jobs?Although recipients of 1603 funds claimed to have created over 100,000 jobs as a direct result of the stimulus money, little evidence exists to back those claims.In one example cited by the WSJ, Raser Technologies received a $33 million grant to develop a geothermal plant in Beaver County, Utah. In the year following receipt of the grant, Raser’s workforce dropped from 42 employees to 27.Raser subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection and now employs less than 10 individuals.Perhaps the example of Raser Technologies is an anomaly in an otherwise successful program? Perhaps not.Again, the WSJ found discrepancies in the stated amount of jobs “created” among 1603 recipients focusing on wind power development and actual employees still working in the field.Although nearly $5 billion was allocated to wind farm development, of the 7,200 workers employed at the height of construction only 300 remain employed today. It appears that whatever employment may have been generated through the 1603 program was often temporary at best.In fact, many of the jobs purported to have been created through 1603 funding were actually ancillary to the energy programs themselves. Many companies cited work in the fields of hospitality management and retail as jobs “created” through 1603 funding because the presence of renewable energy construction projects helped to sustain these industries within the local economy.This type of data manipulation undermines any attempt to accurately quantify the extent to which 1603 funding “created” jobs.As our nation’s unemployment rate continues to hover around 9 percent, with a more expansive underemployment rate of over 15 percent, common sense suggests that, insofar as job creation is concerned, the 1603 program has been yet another stimulus failure on the part of the Obama administration.Undeterred, however, President Obama has requested that Congress reinstall the 1603 program into the 2013 budget.Read the full story here.

  • U.S. Per Capita Debt Worse than Greece.(FB).U.S. per capita debt is larger than that of Europe’s most financially distressed countries, including Greece, a new analysis reveals.U.S. debt per capita is nearly $45,000, approximately 15 percent higher than that of Greece ($38,937), and more than double that of Portugal ($19,989).Republican analysts on the Senate Budget Committee calculated the figures using the most recent data available from the International Monetary Fund.Under President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget, U.S. debt per capita is projected to reach $75,000.As the Free Beacon noted on Wednesday, Americans born today will owe more than $1.5 million to pay off the national debt, which is currently about $16 trillion, and growing.Read and see the full story here.

  • Harry Reid and Senate Democrats Are Holding Up 24 ‘Jobs Bills’ Passed By the House.(BG).With Gallup’s recent report that the U.S. underemployment rate now stands at a jaw-dropping 19 percent, Speaker John Boehner wants to know why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have yet to take action on the 24 jobs bills passed by the Republican-led House of Representatives. If the president really wants to get the economy moving again, maybe he’ll pick up the phone and call Senator Reid and ask Senate Democrats to get off their rear ends.Some political analysts believe Speaker Boehner’s comments may forecast the Republican Party’s congressional election strategy. According to Reuters, everywhere Speaker Boehner goes, he now carries in his left breast-coat pocket a four by eight card that lists the two dozen jobs bills that have passed the House but lay dormant in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Boehner’s card, says Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report, may presage a broader electoral strategy: “If they can demonstrate what they are for, they can rebut Obama’s charge that they are ‘obstructionists’ who aren’t for anything,” Gonzales said. “But we have to see to what extent Republicans are willing and able to follow this playbook.”All 242 House Republicans have been urged by leadership to flash these cards at Washington news conferences as well as town-hall meetings and campaign events back home.For his part, Sen. Reid has met Speaker Boehner’s jobs challenge with derision: Reid has called the Republican proposals “subterfuge” and said that cutting regulations would “make people sicker, our air dirtier and our food less safe.”“That’s what they’re doing to create jobs,” Reid scoffed a day after Boehner touted the jobs bills on a TV talk show.Speaker Boehner’s move to go on offense about jobs will prove critical in an election likely to center on America’s stagnant economic growth and persistently high unemployment numbers. Democrats need to win 25 seats to regain majority control of the House of Representatives.Read the full story here.

  • US preacher demands Obama act on “Muslim war against Christians”.(BM).American preacher Franklin Graham called on US President Barack Obama to act on the “war on Christians” in the Islamic world being conducted by Muslims.Graham, the son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, made the comments in response to the ongoing case against a 34-year Iranian pastor who is threatened with execution for his conversion to Christianity when he was 19-years-old.“There’s millions of Muslims out there that don’t agree with this — they’re wonderful people, Greta — but they’re under the system of Sharia law [that] they can’t get out from under because the law — the Quran — demands if a person leaves Islam, they are to be killed,” Graham told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.“They’re given a chance to recant . . . but if they don’t recant, if they don’t denounce their faith, like this man was told to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ, but he refused to do it. And so therefore, they’re going to hang him.“According to the court records, what we can determine, he never was a Muslim — his parents were Muslim and he [became] a Christian — I think it was at age 19 — and what they have charged him on is apostasy under Islamic law,” Graham said. “But since he hadn’t been a Muslim, they are going hang him anyway because his parents were Muslim.”The Fox News host then said that Obama and the US administration is unlikely they could do much to intervene in the pastor’s situation. Graham, however, disagreed.“The president could call for a prayer meeting at the White House. He could make a statement. We apologized to the Afghans because a Qur’an was mistakenly burned . . . and he apologizes to the Afghans after an Afghan soldier killed two Americans,” Graham said. But why doesn’t he speak out? He could. He could use the power of the White House to call pastors together at the White House and have a prayer meeting for this guy, but he hasn’t done it.”The statements haven’t gone over well in Egypt, where Christians continue to struggle to ensure full citizenship in the country.Read the full story here.

  • Muslim Judge Dismisses Assault Case; Muslim Perpetrator Caught on Tape and Confessed to Crime.(BP).By Diana West.Think you’ve heard it all? Think you’re shock-proof? Read the following report by on a recent trial in Pennsylvania in which an apparently Muslim judge (he states, “I’m a Muslim” while pronouncing his judgement) dismissed harassment charges against a Muslim defendant (despite witness and police corroboration) due to “insufficient evidence” while reading the riot act to the plaintiff for having “trashed the essence of [Muslims'] being” by dressing up as “Zombie Mohammed” for a Halloween parade. First Amendment? What First Amendment? This judge has a copy of the Koran on the bench.From the blog Opposing Views: By Al Stefanelli. The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet.The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death. Judge Martin’s comments included, “Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society. Judge Martin then offered a lesson in Islam, stating, “Islam is not just a religion, it’s their culture, their culture. It’s their very essence their very being. They pray five times a day towards Mecca to be a good Muslim, before you die you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca unless you are otherwise told you can not because you are too ill too elderly, whatever but you must make the attempt. Their greetings wa-laikum as-Sal├óm (is answered by voice) may god be with you. Whenever, it’s very common when speaking to each other it’s very common for them to say uh this will happen it’s it they are so immersed in it. Judge Martin further complicates the issue by not only abrogating the First Amendment, but completely misunderstanding it when he said,“Then what you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive. I’m a Muslim, I find it offensive. But you have that right, but you’re way outside your boundaries or first amendment rights. This is what, and I said I spent about 7 and a half years living in other countries. when we go to other countries it’s not uncommon for people to refer to us as ugly Americans this is why we are referred to as ugly Americans, because we are so concerned about our own rights we don’t care about other people’s rights as long as we get our say but we don’t care about the other people’s say”But wait, it gets worse. The Judge refused to allow the video into evidence, and then said,“All that aside I’ve got here basically.. I don’t want to say he said she said but I’ve got two sides of the story that are in conflict with each other.”And,“The preponderance of, excuse me, the burden of proof… “And,“…he has not proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that this defendant is guilty of harassment, therefore I am going to dismiss the charge”.Local ABC affiliate coverage here.Audio excerpts of the trial proceeding, including the judge’s ruling, here.Read the full story here.

  • Spain: Pakistani Refugee Calls for Koran to be Banned.(IVE).A Paki living in Spain named Imran Farasat has launched a petition calling for the Koran to be banned. He has sent it to numerous government officials, ministries and organisations.The Koran is a major threat to the free society of Spain. A book which clearly offers a message of jihad, killing, hating, discrimination and vengeance for that reason cannot be compatible with the Spanish system in any sense. It is a book totally contrary to what the law and constitution of Spain say. And it is inciting hatred and violence in our country. Farasat is a Pakistani citizen with legal residence in Spain as a political refugee. He has his own blog called World Without Islam. It's mostly in Spanish but there is some material in other languages, including English.Read the full story here.

  • Canada - Maid of the Mist replacement Hornblower talks future plans, its Canadian connection.(Yahoo).When Niagara Parks Commission awarded the lease for its boat tour operations to a California-based Hornblower Canada, many started wondering about the company that will soon be ferrying passengers through the Niagara Gorge.Hornblower Canada replaces Maid of the Mist Steamboat Company, the Canadian-run, American-owned ferry service that has operated at the base of the Falls since 1846. The new tour boats are scheduled to start running in 2014.Reader reaction indicated that many felt the Parks Commission should have given the new contract to a Canadian company, even though the Glynn family of Lewiston, NY, has owned Maid of the Mist since 1971.On the phone from the San Francisco headquarters, Hornblower spokesperson Tegan Firth hoped to clarify some of those details."The parent company is based in California, but Hornblower Canada is a Canadian company," she told Yahoo! Canada News. "The vessels will be Canadian vessels and all of the economic benefit, all of the taxes we pay, all of the people we employ are Canadian.""One of the things we're trying to do is make sure that we [are] going to return a fair economic benefit to [Canada] and to the community and that's really important for us," she added. Janice Thomson, chair of the Niagara Parks Commission, said they evaluated each bid based on a set of criteria that included everything from safety, ticket pricing and innovation, to the lease amount payable to the commission.A team of outside evaluators scored the criteria and verified the sustainability of each bid. Hornblower came out with the highest overall score. Thomson addressed criticism that the contract should have gone to a Canadian company by noting that Maid of the Mist was also owned by an American parent company, so the new situation would be no different. She added that the commission awarded the contract to the bid that would "offer the best value to Ontarians.""It's a company that's obviously going to hire Canadians because the business happens in Canada, so the employees will be from the area and all the materials they use in the course of their business are going to be sourced in Canada," she said.Firth said the company's first step is to modernize the tour infrastructure all the way through, from upgrading the ticketing service to building a mobile website that people can access through their smartphones.The new 599-passenger vessels will also be designed to accommodate different types of cruisers, with more seats for those who want to enjoy the view from a more comfortable vantage point, "dry zones," and an enhanced viewing deck for the more adventurous.Hornblower's expansion into Canada follows the 32-year-old company's recent move toward America's East Coast. In 2008, Hornblower Cruises began operating ferries to New York's Statue of Liberty and Ellis Islands.Read the full story here.

  • Foreign ‘hands’ attacking Islam, region, says Saudi King.(BM).CAIRO: Foreign and “unnamed hands” are targeting Islam, the Islamic world and Arabs in the recent events in the region, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah said.The king, who was giving a televised address Friday night to a conference of prominent Saudis, did not name any country in particular.But Saudi officials have used similar terms in recent weeks to suggest a connection with Iran, a Shia country at odds with Sunni Saudi Arabia.“There were hands that are known to you all … behind what has happened in the Arab world, regrettably targeting Islam and the Arabs,” he said.Sunni Saudi Arabia is wary of the wave of Arab Spring uprisings, particularly in nearby Bahrain, where a Shiite majority is demanding greater rights from its Sunni rulers.However, the king said that the kingdom strongly backs the uprising in Syria and supports all action against Syria’s President Bashar Assad.It is not the first time leaders in the region have referred to “unnamed hands” being behind events on the ground. In Egypt, the military junta has numerous times accused “invisible hands” of being behind the violent clashes in the country in recent months.Hmmm.......And who has forgotten the king's call "To cut of the head of the snake"?Read the full story here

1 comment:

  1. That case in Pennsylvania is beyond appalling!

    Clearly, we are reaching the point that it should be clear to ALL that Islam is getting preferential treatment in the United States.


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