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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Overnight music video - I Will Survive - The Pussycat Dolls

"Israel be warned" - Mel Gibson returns to Gallipoli, will star in Turkish director Serdar Akar’s new project.

Caption : "A trench at Lone Pine after the battle, showing Australian and Turkish dead on the parapet. In the foreground of this much published image is Captain Leslie Morshead (later Lieutenant General Sir Leslie Morshead) of the 2nd Battalion and on his right (standing facing camera), is 527 Private James (Jim) Brown Bryant, 8th Battalion, of Stawell, Vic. As a 60th Battalion ("daughter" or "pup" battalion of the 8th) Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS) Bryant was awarded the Military Medal (MM) in 1918

"Israel be warned" - Mel Gibson returns to Gallipoli will star in Turkish director Serdar Akar’s new project.(HD).World-renowned Australian actor Mel Gibson will star in Turkish director Serdar Akar’s new project “Çanakkale İçinde” (Within Çanakkale). Akar is known for his TV series “Behzat Ç” and films “Kurtlar Vadisi Irak” (Valley of the Wolves: Iraq), “Barda” and “Dar Alanda Kıa Paslaşmalar” (Offside). Gibson will play a British commander in the film about the Battle of Gallipoli. In 1981, Gibson also starred in another film about the battle called “Gallipoli.”
The film, which will bring audiences to 1915, centers on the heroism and dramas during the Battle of Gallipoli.
Hmmm...The film "Valley of the Wolves" has sparked mass hysteria in the Turkish community. But behind a classic battle between good and evil lies a dangerous agenda, writes EU parliamentarian Cem Özdemir in his review for SPIEGEL ONLINE. The movie’s goal: divide and provoke.The main theme of the movie is revenge (and maybe even the reason for the movie itself). The film follows a Turkish intelligence agent as he seeks to avenge the officers and restore their honor. This wouldn’t be so bad if the film didn’t portray the opponents of Turks and Muslims so brutally –- the bad guys in this black and white world are the Americans, the Kurds, the Christians and the Jews.This film portrays the Kurds of northern Iraq as puppets of the Americans and as a motley crew of dirty, cowardly soldiers with the exception of one soldier who (what else?) sides with the Turks. The Americans’ atrocities include attacking a wedding and killing the groom as well as a child –- in front of its mother of course –- before relishing in the torture of any survivors. The doctor who peddles organs is a Jew who selects his victims as if in a concentration camp before readying their organs for export to the US and Israel. Another traditionally dressed Jew with ringlets of hair (in northern Iraq!) leaves the area at the first sign of danger.  The list could go on. It’s hard to believe that the film is shown with no age limit in Turkey (but has an 18-and-over rating in Germany). The film makes Christians and Jews appear as repugnant, conspiratorial holy warriors hoping to use blood-drenched swords to expand or reclaim the empire of their god. Islam, naturally, is depicted as the opposite –- a religion of peace and mercy. The ostracism of suicide bombers could be seen as positive were it not such a blatant and simplistic portrayal of good and evil.
It’s too easy for director Serdar Akar to defend himself by referring to American war films that portray Asians as racist. He shows he has an agenda by using Soner Yalcin, who espouses a crude thesis on the infiltration of Jews in Turkey, as an adviser and to gain publicity.Hmmm....Perfect team for a 'Turkish' version of Gallipoli?"Fucking Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world… Are you a Jew?" Gibson — to male police officer during 2006 DUI arrest.Read the full story here.

18 premature babies killed in Syria’s Homs as power cut, Graphic picture appears on Twitter

 Warning extremely graphic 18 + Alleged picture of the facts here.

18 premature babies killed in Syria’s Homs as power cut.(BM).CAIRO: Activists in Homs have reported that at least 18 premature babies died on Wednesday at a local hospital after electricity was cut, causing their incubators to shut down.“The babies were in al-Walid Hospital in al-Waar neighbourhood near the dissident area of Baba Amr,” an activist told German press agency dpa.It comes as near continuous shelling is being maintained by the security forces of President Bashar al-Assad in the country, which has left hundreds of civilians dead over the past few days of shelling.At least 47 people have been killed on Wednesday morning in the country.“The security forces started to storm the al-Khalidiyeh, al-Inshaat, Bab Amr neighborhoods, targeting residential areas and hospitals,” Omar Idibi, spokesman of the Syrian opposition Local Coordination Committees, told dpa in Beirut.“Initial reports from inside Homs said 47 are killed and scores of people were injured and cannot reach the hospital,” he added.The government troops had arrested several injured people in the hospital where they were being treated, he said.
The BBC's Jim Muir, in Beirut, says Wednesday's death figures must be treated with caution. They apparently include the deaths of 18 premature babies, who died after hospital electricity cuts meant their incubators failed, he says.Read the full story here.

Boehner: Obama’s Attack On Religious Freedom ‘Will Not Stand’

Via LifeNews. . . Boehner promised the Energy and Commerce Committee will move ahead on legislation introduced by pro-life Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio to repeal the policy.
“I’m disgusted that the Obama administration would ignore the fundamental beliefs of our faith-based institutions and cram yet another mandate down our throats,” Chabot said in a statement Monday. “This shows blatant disregard for the religious liberty we enjoy as Americans. This crosses a clear line of conscience.”
However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney would not say whether Obama would sign or veto a bill to repeal the HHS mandate.
“Well, I think there’s a lot of speculation embedded in that question and I’m not going to go there,” he said. “We are committed, the president is committed, to ensuring that woman have access to contraception without any extra cost, regardless of where they work.”Read the full story here.

Germany - 'Fetih 1453' Turkish Conquest movie continues to anger Europe

Germany - 'Fetih 1453' Turkish Conquest movie continues to anger Europe.(HD).The upcoming Turkish movie “Fetih 1453” (Conquest 1453) has angered Christians in the German city of Cologne, with the Christian association Via Dolorosa boycotting the film. The association said Turks should be ashamed of what they did to Christians in the past instead of celebrating Istanbul’s conquest. The movie, directed by Faruk Aksoy, tells the story of Istanbul’s capture by the Ottomans during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II.“We advise every Christian not to watch this movie. We will distribute brochures in front of the cinemas and inform the Christians who would like to see this movie,” said a spokesperson for the group, adding that the Hagia Sophia was transformed into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest.The movie has also angered Greek viewers after it was released there in January. Greek weekly To Proto Thema described the film as “conquest propaganda by the Turks,” in a story published on its website. “The Turkish invaders present themselves as rulers of the world” and “[fail] to show the mass killings of Greeks and the plunder of the land by the Turks,” the piece said.
Read the full story here.

Clarity on the Iranian Threat to the US

                                                                    Sejjil 3 - Missile.

Clarity on the Iranian Threat to the US.(CC).Oil-rich, Islamist Iran says it is pursuing nuclear power for peaceful purposes--energy and cancer treatment. But the scale of the Iranian nuclear program--and the location of the underground Iranian reactors--only make sense if Iran's real purpose is to produce nuclear weapons.
Experts disagree about Iran's ability to produce an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Some analysts say Iran is close to or already capable of attacking the United States with an ICBM; others say Iran is several years or even decades away from having this capability.
Unfortunately, Iran doesn't need an ICBM to attack the U.S. homeland. Iran can use so-called scuds in buckets--seemingly civilian freighters flying flags of convenience--to strike U.S. coastal cities with ballistic missiles. The missiles can be fired from specially designed launch pads that on the outside look just like ordinary shipping containers. Such systems are readily available to nations and terrorists. Iran and its partner in proliferation, North Korea, have test-fired missiles from cargo vessels. There is no known defense against a sea-launched missile attack on a U.S. coastal city. (Nor is there any known defense against a sea-launched EMP attack on the U.S.--detonation of a nuclear warhead high above the country's heartland in order to destroy all computerized and electronic and most electrical systems.)
Iran isn't a run-of-the-mill tyranny. It isn't even a run-of-the-mill fascist dictatorship--like Franco's Spain, for example. Iran is a clerical fascist power that is overtly pursuing a foreign policy of imperialism, meaning, a policy that is aimed at radically altering the status quo, or power relationships among nations. History has shown that countries committed to imperialist foreign policies cannot be appeased. In the 1930s, the European powers learned this lesson the hard way by appeasing Nazi Germany. Not only did appeasement fail to preserve the peace; the policy made war inevitable--on Germany's terms.At a minimum, Iran intends to destroy Israel and to drive the U.S. out of the Middle East for once and all. At a maximum, Iran intends to destroy the U.S., too. Not for nothing has Iran's president mused openly about a "world without America and Zionism." The only truly meaningful deterrence against an anonymous and deniable atomic attack on the U.S. would be an iron-clad pledge by a U.S. administration to automatically obliterate Iran and other suspect nations should a nuclear device of any kind ever be detonated on or above U.S. soil. Barack Obama will never make such a pledge; he has been committed to nuclear disarmament and arms control since his undergraduate student days at Columbia University. Among Obama's Republican opponents, Newt Gingrich is arguably most likely to adopt a policy of meaningful deterrence, and to enunciate it in a way that will cause Iran to refrain from even thinking about plotting the ultimate terrorist strike on "the Great Satan."
ENDNOTE: In sharp contrast with U.S. policy, there can be no doubt that Israel has put in place fail-safe systems for the automatic obliteration of its enemies in the event of an atomic attack of any kind--direct or indirect--against the Jewish State. Read the full story here.

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 Japan 5.7 - 5.6 ; Equador 5.6 - 5.5 ; Tonga 5.3 ; Indonesia 5.1!More info here.

  • Bill would give DHS broader control of cybersecurity, follows corporate-sponsored MIT study recommendations.(AP).By Madison Ruppert.In December of last year I covered a study conducted by MIT with the help of “advisers” from the exact corporations which would benefit from the implementation of the recommendations of the report, and now it appears that these ideas have made their way all the way to Capitol Hill.This bill, which is reportedly currently before Congress, would give the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) significantly more monitoring power of the cybersecurity practices of private industries and services which are supposedly part of the United States’ critical infrastructure.The details of the bill have yet to be released, and I have not even been able to track down a number for the legislation yet so I can actually read it (if anyone can help me out with this I would be quite grateful).The small portions of the bill which have been made public attempt to define which companies are covered by the bill, although it is hardly as precise as one might like.Furthermore, I find it laughable that any legislation is allowed to be kept from the public at all, although given that our current government refuses to even justify why they think they are able to murder Americans without charge or trial, this is hardly unusual.The companies which will be affected by the bill have systems “whose disruption could result in the interruption of life-sustaining services, catastrophic economic damage or severe degradation of national security capabilities.”As I’m sure you can tell, this leaves a lot of wiggle room, something which legislators and bureaucrats love because it allows them to exploit the legislation as much as possible without technically violating it.A recent article in the Washington Post claims that the bill is just going to allow DHS to inspect the computer systems and networks which fall under this jurisdiction in order to determine if they are sufficiently secured against cybersecurity threats.I’m not sure if DHS and our so-called Representatives are aware, but our own deadly drone fleets are infected with malware. Maybe they should worry about securing the most critical of government systems before beginning to impose themselves on private industries.If they can’t even manage to secure unmanned aerial vehicles or Pentagon networks, who in their right mind would trust them to tell private industries what to do when it comes to securing their networks?This bill would allow the DHS to actually require companies to upgrade their systems and improve security if they decide they do not meet their arbitrary standards.Read the full story here.

  • House panel advances Keystone pipeline plan.(Yahoo).WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A plan to fast-track the stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline was passed by a key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, as Republicans made yet another attempt to spur approval of the project that has become a major issue in the 2012 elections.The bill would wrest decision-making on the pipeline from the Obama administration and hand it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which would be compelled to issue approval permits quickly on the Canada-to-Texas project.But the plan would need to clear several more congressional hurdles, including getting through Democratic opposition in the Senate, before it could land on President Barack Obama's desk for approval.In a decision last month that pleased environmental groups, Obama blocked TransCanada's $7 billion project, citing the need for further review of its route as the line would have traversed sensitive lands and an aquifer in Nebraska.Republicans have made the pipeline a symbol of what they believe are unnecessary regulations that are stifling job creation and energy production in the United States.On Tuesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-20 to send its Keystone bill to the full House, where it will likely become part of a highway and infrastructure funding bill that House Speaker John Boehner wants to see passed this month.Republicans also have not ruled out trying to attach a Keystone provision to must-pass payroll tax-cut legislation."We're going to use all options, so we'll see," said Fred Upton, the Republican chair of the energy committee, who is also part of a joint Senate-House conference panel working on the payroll tax-cut compromise.On Tuesday, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch withdrew a proposal to link Keystone to the Senate's highway funding bill."It is absolutely tragic that the prime minister of Canada is now negotiating with the Chinese to take their oil because we're too stupid to allow a pipeline to go through," Hatch said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing.Max Baucus, the Democratic chairman of the powerful panel, convinced Hatch to withdraw his measure."The inclusion of Keystone would take down the bill," Baucus said, although he noted he strongly supports the pipeline.Read the full story here.

  • Iran: US, Israel vulnerable to counterattack.(JPost).The United States and Israel are in no position to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities because of their high susceptibility to retaliatory attacks from the Islamic Republic, a senior Iranian military commander said Tuesday.Iranian news agency Press TV quoted senior Revolutionary Guard official Brig.-Gen. Masoud Jazayeri as saying that both the US and Israel were aware of Tehran's ability to hurt them with its counterattack and therefore their threats lack credibility.The Tehran Times quoted Jazayeri as saying that Iran will continue to pursue its objectives without considering, what he referred to as, Washington's policy of "carrot and stick." The senior Revolutionary Guard official made the comments in response to remarks made by US President Barack Obama on Sunday in which he stated that diplomacy and not military action was the "preferred solution" to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.The White House announced tough new sanctions on Iran Monday, clamping down on the activity of the country’s Central Bank and those who do business with it.In an interview with NBC on Sunday Obama emphasized the goal is to resolve this issue diplomatically, while reiterating that he will not take any options off the table.Asked whether Israel had promised to give advance warning of an attack, Obama declined to reveal the content of diplomatic conversations but said, “We are going to make sure we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this, hopefully diplomatically.”Questioned on whether he supported such a strike, Obama responded, “I don’t think that Israel has made a decision on what they need to do. I think they, like us, believe that Iran has to stand down on their nuclear weapons program.”Read the full story here.

  • The Financial Crisis Of 2008 Was Just A Warm Up Act For The Economic Horror Show That Is Coming.(BS).The people out there that believe that the U.S. economy is experiencing a permanent recovery and that very bright days are ahead for us should have their heads examined. Unfortunately, what we are going through right now is simply just a period of “hopetimism” between two financial crashes. Things may seem relatively stable right now, but it won’t last long. The truth is that the financial crisis of 2008 was just a warm up act for the economic horror show that is coming. Nothing really got fixed after the crash of 2008. We are living in the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world, and it has gotten even bigger since then. The “too big to fail” banks are larger now than they have ever been. Americans continue to run up credit card balances like there is no tomorrow. Tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions of jobs continue to leave the country. We continue to consume far more than we produce and we continue to become poorer as a nation. None of the problems that caused the crisis of 2008 have been solved and we are even weaker financially than we were back then. So why in the world are so many people so optimistic about the economy right now?Just take a look at the chart posted below. It shows the growth of total debt in the United States. During the financial crisis of 2008 there was a little “hiccup”, but the truth is that not much deleveraging really took place at all. And since the recession “ended”, total credit market debt has gone on to even greater heights….So what does this mean for the future?Well, if a small “hiccup” in the debt bubble caused so much chaos back in 2008, what is going to happen when this debt bubble finally bursts?That is something to think about.Sadly, most Americans seem oblivious to all of this.If you go out to malls in the wealthy areas of America today, people are charging up a storm. In all, Americans charged a whopping 2.5 trillion dollarson their credit cards during 2011. Way too many people have already forgotten the lessons that we all learned back in 2008.Read the full story here.

  • Israel embassies preparing for Iran strike?(YNet).Preparing for Iran strike? Foreign embassies in Israel have recently started to formulate contingency plans to evacuate their citizens from the Jewish State in case of a missile attack on Israel.Senior officials in Jerusalem said that several diplomatic missions have shown great interest in preparing for various emergency situations, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.In the framework of the preparations for possible fallout in case of an Israeli strike on Iran, foreign diplomats stationed in Israel requested that the Foreign Ministry equip them and their family members with gas masks. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry has provided foreign embassies in Israel with a list of public bomb shelters across the country, as well as an instructional pamphlet in English produced by the IDF Home Front Command. Diplomatic officials deployed in Israel are particularly concerned about the possibility of a missile offensive on the Jewish State that would prompt thousands of Israeli citizens with foreign passports to seek evacuation from country. A senior European diplomat said that in such case, the European Union does not have the means to undertake a massive evacuation operation within a short period of time. Meanwhile, the Home Front Command is preparing to launch a two-day drill in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Wednesday. IDF forces, firefighters, police officers and Magen David Adom emergency services will be taking part in the exercise. Army officials said that heavy military and emergency vehicle traffic is expected in the city's Shimshon neighborhood during the day. The drill marks the latest in a series of Home Front exercises held in Israel in recent months. The Air Force will also be holding major maneuvers Wednesday, in the northern Israel Galilee region.Read the full story here.

  • 18 babies killed in Syria’s Homs as power cut.(BM).CAIRO: Activists in Homs have reported that at least 18 premature babies died on Wednesday at a local hospital after electricity was cut, causing their incubators to shut down.“The babies were in al-Walid Hospital in al-Waar neighbourhood near the dissident area of Baba Amr,” an activist told German press agency dpa.It comes as near continuous shelling is being maintained by the security forces of President Bashar al-Assad in the country, which has left hundreds of civilians dead over the past few days of shelling.At least 47 people have been killed on Wednesday morning in the country.“The security forces started to storm the al-Khalidiyeh, al-Inshaat, Bab Amr neighborhoods, targeting residential areas and hospitals,” Omar Idibi, spokesman of the Syrian opposition Local Coordination Committees, told dpa in Beirut.“Initial reports from inside Homs said 47 are killed and scores of people were injured and cannot reach the hospital,” he added.The government troops had arrested several injured people in the hospital where they were being treated, he said.Read the full story here.

  • Will China take Stephen Harper to task for Canada’s record on human rights?(Yahoo).It's expected that prime minister Stephen Harper will raise the issue of China's human rights record this week while meeting with government officials in the middle kingdom.But will China take Canada to task for its record on human rights?In an ironic twist, a First Nations group from British Columbia is asking the Chinese government to raise the issue with Stephen Harper.In an open letter to Chinese President Hu Jin Tao, the Yinka Dene Alliance, comprised of five First Nations communities in central British Columbia, suggest their human rights are being violated at the hands of the Canadian government."We are writing to you to request that you raise our human rights concerns with Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. We understand that you will meet with him in China this week. From previous public reports we know that Prime Minister Harper always challenges your country on the human rights record. Open dialogue around human rights is a very positive way to create change and we hope that you to hear our side of the story before this meeting occurs," notes the letter signed by Chiefs from the alliance's five first nations."Aboriginal communities in Canada live at the margins of society conditions. Recently the community of Attawapiskat was highlighted in the news for the extreme conditions with lack of housing, running water and sewage. Attawapiskat is one of more than 100 First Nations communities in Canada that face this reality. These conditions violate the adequate standard of living guaranteed by theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights."The letter, published on the group's website, includes examples of human rights abuses against Aboriginal people: it notes their communities' disproportionate incarceration rates and the high number of aboriginal women that have gone missing or were murdered. The letter also warns the Chinese government of the legal uncertainty associated with the proposed Enbridge pipeline and tankers project:"We have learned that Sinopec, and a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), are among the companies that have signed preliminary, non-binding agreements with Enbridge in relation to this pipeline. The Canadian government's hearing process to review the Enbridge project cannot be relied upon to provide certainty to project investors, because it does not respect our rights to our land," notes the letter."Investors should not place confidence in Canada's system to review oil pipeline projects until the underlying question of our land rights has been resolved."Read the full story here.

  • "Bold Alligator 2012" drills 20,000 troops on US East Coast for Persian Gulf action.(Debka). Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill. Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama ("I don't think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran") and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 ("The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.").Monday, Feb. 6, the US president ordered the tightening of sanctions by freezing Iranian assets in America and blocking the operations of Iranian banks including its central bank.US Rear Adm. Kevin Scott and Brig. Gen. Christopher Owens are coordinating the exercise over large stretches of coastal terrain in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida and Atlantic Ocean from the USS Wasp amphibian helicopter carrier. It is led by the USS Enterprise nuclear carrier with strike force alongside three amphibian helicopter carriers, the USS Wasp, the USS Boxer and the USS Kearsage. On their decks are 6,000 Marines, 25 fighter bombers and 65 strike and transport helicopters, mainly MV-22B Ospreys with their crews. Altogether 100 combat aircraft are involved.US naval officials insist that the exercise has nothing to do with Iran, but the scenario is a giveaway. A mechanized division from the fictitious hostile country of Garnet (Iran) has invaded its neighbor, Amber (Saudi Arabia), which has asked for coalition assistance to halt the enemy's northern advance. Garnet has already mined harbors (Hormuz) and established anti-ship missiles on its coastline.Coalition forces are required to develop strategy for defeating the enemy and carry the combat onto its (Iranian) soil. Hence, the preponderance of amphibian Marines in the exercise.Read the full story here.

  • Top U.S. senators see Egypt risking ‘disastrous’ rupture in ties with Washington.(AlArabiya).A trio of leading U.S. senators Tuesday warned Egypt that the risk of a “disastrous” rupture in ties had “rarely been greater” amid an escalating row over the planned trial of U.S. pro-democracy activists.Echoed by a bipartisan chorus of anger from U.S. lawmakers, Republican senators John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, joined by independent Joe Lieberman, also warned that U.S. congressional “support for Egypt -- including continued financial assistance -- is in jeopardy.”Washington currently provides some $1.3 billion a year in aid to its key Arab ally -- one of the biggest aid packages offered to any nation.“The current crisis with the Egyptian government has escalated to such a level that it now threatens our long-standing partnership,” the senators wrote in a joint statement.“There are committed opponents of the United States and the U.S.-Egypt relationship within the government in Cairo who are exacerbating tensions and inflaming public opinion in order to advance a narrow political agenda,” they said, according to AFP. “A rupture in relations would be disastrous, and the risks of such an outcome have rarely been greater,” the senators added.Egyptian justices have announced plans to put dozens of pro-democracy activists, including 19 Americans, on trial over alleged illegal funding to foreign aid groups -- a move that has clearly left U.S. lawmakers seething.The row has led some to openly question the crucial Egypt-U.S. partnership that has anchored America’s Middle East policy for a generation and helped keep the peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.Democrat John Kerry, influential chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, berated Egypt’s leaders for what he said was a “slap in the face to Americans who have supported Egypt for decades and to Egyptian individuals and NGOs who have put their futures on the line for a more democratic Egypt.”He accused unnamed figures of “engaging in a very dangerous game that risks damaging both Egypt’s democratic prospects and the U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relationship.”Republican Senator Lindsey Graham warned that U.S. aid to Egypt could be cut if activists end up being imprisoned.“If anybody goes to jail I think there’ll be a backlash you can’t contain,” Graham told reporters.Asked if that meant scrapping the aid Washington provides to Egypt, Graham replied: “Yes, I think very much at risk.”“The red line for me is incarceration. If any American or NGO (non-governmental organization) staff member is pre-trial confined or post-trial confined, that's just an absolute overreaction,” he added.There was anger in the House of Representatives as well, with congresswoman Kay Granger, who chairs a subcommittee on foreign appropriations, warning that “the harassment of Americans who are in Egypt trying to help build their democracy is unacceptable.”“Not one more dollar should flow to the government of Egypt until the secretary of state can assure the American people that this issue is resolved,” she said.Hmmmm........Come to think of it....How about the U.S. sale of 125 - M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt ?Read the full story here.

  • Turkey plans conference on Syria, says Assad dares not to use ‘Kurds as a card’.(AlArabiya).Turkey plans an international conference “as soon as possible” with regional players and world powers to solve the Syrian crisis, its foreign minister said on Wednesday.“We are determined to establish a broad-based forum to promote international understanding with all countries concerned” with the developments in Syria, Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised interview.The planned conference follows on from a series of conferences hosted by Turkey in 2011 to unite various opposition groups into an established coalition opposition movement.Davutoglu, who said that the Assad regime dares not to use Kurdish separatist groups as proxies and as a “card” against Turkey, added that Turkey’s prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, would discuss the situation in Syria in a phone call with Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev later on Wednesday.The conference could take place in Turkey or in another country but it must certainly be “in the region” and “as soon as possible,” he added.Turkey has been trying to create a “new roadmap,” on Syria.Later in the day, Davutoglu will fly to the United States for a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for further discussions on the Syrian crisis.He will also meet U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas Danilon and return to Turkey on Sunday, said a statement from the foreign ministry.Erdogan on Tuesday gave initial signs of a new initiative on Syria after China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution backed by the West and the Arab League to stop the months-long bloodshed.Hmmm.....We all know how 'concerned' Erdogan is about the Kurds.Read the full story here.

  • Maldives mob smashes Buddhist statues in national museum.(AlArabiya).Police said Wednesday a mob had stormed the Maldives national museum and smashed Buddhist statues, an act of vandalism which former president Mohamed Nasheed blamed on Islamic radicals. “A mob entered the museum yesterday (Tuesday). They smashed many statues. This included some statues of Buddha,” police spokesman Ahmed Shiyam told AFP.In an interview with AFP on Wednesday, Nasheed said a mob including Islamist hardliners had attacked the museum because they believed some of the statues inside were “idolatrous.” Islam is the official religion of the Maldives and open practice of any other religion is forbidden and liable to prosecution.Nasheed's resignation came after a small band of policeman mutinied on Tuesday morning and refused to obey an order to break up an anti-government protest where demonstrators were demanding the president step down.Islamist radicals had been used as part of the attack on his record in office, he said, referring to public statements alleging he was under the influence of Jews and was trying to bring Christianity to the Muslim nation.“They (the opposition) feared they had no chance in the election next year,” he said. “There is no reason why people should be toppling the government."Read the full story here.

  • Senior Iranian commander: Iran's Air Defense Fully Prepared to Repel Enemy Threats.(Fars). TEHRAN - A senior Iranian commander underlined that the country's air defense unit is fully capable of detecting and repelling all aerial threats. "Iran's air defense will give a tough response to any threat with its various ground-to-air missiles and weapons, most of which have been upgraded or manufactured inside the country," Commander of Northeastern Air Defense Unit Colonel Abdollah Reshadi told reporters on Tuesday. He added that Iran's air defense radar systems can easily detect cruise missiles and drones. In October 2011, Iran equipped its air defense units with advanced radars capable of detecting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Commander of Khatom ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli said at the time that Iran can trace and shoot down small UAVs over its airspace. Brigadier General Farzad Esmaeili also said that air defense units are closely monitoring overflights of foreign aircraft and are fully prepared to detect and shoot down unauthorized UAVs. Last week, Esmayeeli announced that the country's Armed Forces have launched new radar and missile systems with various ranges. Tens of radar and missile systems with various ranges have been manufactured and deployed in Iran's defense sector so far and new systems are on their way to join the defense network during the 10-Day Dawn celebrations, which began on February 1 to mark the 33th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Esmayeeli said last Wednesday. Iran has recently renewed and upgraded the weapons and defense systems of its air defense units. Late in September, Iran equipped its air defense units across the country with large numbers of the home-made Mersad Air Defense Missile System. Read the full story here.

  • Germany - 'Fetih 1453' Turkish Conquest movie continues to anger Europe.(HD).The upcoming Turkish movie “Fetih 1453” (Conquest 1453) has angered Christians in the German city of Cologne, with the Christian association Via Dolorosa boycotting the film. The association said Turks should be ashamed of what they did to Christians in the past instead of celebrating Istanbul’s conquest. The movie, directed by Faruk Aksoy, tells the story of Istanbul’s capture by the Ottomans during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II.“We advise every Christian not to watch this movie. We will distribute brochures in front of the cinemas and inform the Christians who would like to see this movie,” said a spokesperson for the group, adding that the Hagia Sophia was transformed into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest.The movie has also angered Greek viewers after it was released there in January. Greek weekly To Proto Thema described the film as “conquest propaganda by the Turks,” in a story published on its website. “The Turkish invaders present themselves as rulers of the world” and “[fail] to show the mass killings of Greeks and the plunder of the land by the Turks,” the piece said.Read and see (Trailer) the full story here.

  • IDF submarine fleet bans dual citizenship.(Ynet).The IDF now demands that new candidates for service in Israel's submarine fleet waive their foreign citizenship in order to join the elite unit. The demand to concede one's dual citizenship is made at certain IDF combat units and for posts requiring high security clearance. Submarine fleet recruits receive a notification stating they must renounce their foreign citizenships in order to qualify for the prolonged training, as part of their security screenings. Submarine fleet recruits who fail to complete the year-long training lose their foreign citizenships nonetheless.The recent move raised strong opposition among fleet reserve officers,who claim that the new requirement will limit the number of volunteers to the unit."This is absurd. Many excellent recruits hold a dual citizenship but wish to serve in an elite unit such as submarine fleet,"an ex-officer said. "In a country that fights for every recruit, especially for elite units, this demand should not be made. Soldiers serve for only a few years, and must not pay by losing the foreign citizenship that can be used later in life." Security officials say that in recent years there was a decline in number of units that demand a foreign citizenship waiver as part of the security clearance process. The criteria for receiving a security clearance are decided by the units, the Shin Bet and the National Security Council, according to the level of exposure to classified materials during one's service. In many combat units, candidates are required to declare any foreign citizenship, but not to renounce it. According to the international media, IDF submarines operate in foreign waters, far from Israel's borders. The IDF Spokesman's Office issued the following statement in response to the story: "For information security purposes, soldiers serving in certain IDF units are required to meet strict criteria". Read the full story here.

  • Is your child a devout Muslim or a drug addict?(HD).By Burak.Bekdil.The cliché accusation against the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Islamist policies over the past decade has been an illusionary scenario that the party aims to “make Turkey a second Iran.”This column, since 2002, has repeatedly refuted that claim, instead, arguing that the AKP aimed to “make Turkey somewhere between what is today’s Turkey and what is today’s Egypt” in terms of visible – though not necessarily genuine – devoutness. Therefore, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s now officially proclaimed objective of “raising devout generations… which embrace our historic principles” is no surprise to this columnist.In response to criticism, Mr. Erdoğan asked: “Should we, instead, raise homeless drug addicts?” Sadly, in the prime minister’s world, a non-devout child is a homeless drug addict. But never mind.Mr. Erdoğan’s goal is problematic on two grounds. First, how should the prime minister describe devoutness? Is it simply “what I, the prime minister, understand of devoutness?” But would a lady who abstains from pork, does not wear a headscarf, prays five a day, fasts during Ramadan but drinks alcohol qualify? Or a man who does not drink alcohol but eats pork? Would a Muslim who observes all dietary prohibitions, prays regularly, fasts, has visited Mecca 10 times but cheats, steals and does injustice to others qualify? Who is authorized to judge? Which mortal could have the license to measure other people’s devoutness? How would the Muslim-meter respond to a query that spots no pork but finds immodesty? No alcohol but injustice? Or vice versa? And second, “raising generations that will embrace our historic principles” may be even more problematic. Which historic principles does Mr. Erdoğan want to raise generations to embrace? Military raids and the occupation of other nations’ lands? Making non-Muslims second-class citizens in occupied territories? Sultans with harems? Alcohol-drinking caliphs? Endless wars? Generations who wholeheartedly believe in the supremacy of the Sunni Muslim Turk? How, if Mr. Erdoğan’s declared social engineering works, would the devout generations who embrace our historic principles treat the not-so-devout generations who judge our historic principles in all objectivity? It’s not so hard to guess… It is precisely for these reasons why secular Turks have viewed Mr. Erdoğan and his ideology with deep suspicion.Read the full story here.

  • Qaradawi Meets Hamas Leaders, Predicts "Victory".(TIP).A Hamas delegation headed by the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of Gaza met Yusuf al Qaradawi, the highly influential Muslim Brotherhood theologian, in Qatar Saturday. In the love fest which followed, as reported on Qaradawi's website, "His Eminence also gave the people of Gaza and Palestine the good news that victory is near and at the door."Along with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the delegation included Yehya Al-Sinwar, a top security strategist, and his deputy Rawhi Mushtaha, recently released from long terms in Israeli prison as part of the prisoner swap. They invited Qaradawi to visit Gaza, where he could broadcast over Hamas's media outlet, al Aqsa TV. They also prayed that God would extend the Sheikh's life to allow him to pray alongside them in Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque.Qaradawi returned to Egypt from a long exile following the fall of President Hosni Mubarak last year to preach the Friday sermon in Tahrir Square. "A message to our brothers in Palestine: I harbor the hope that just like God allowed me to witness the triumph of Egypt, He will allow me to witness the conquest of the al-Aqsa mosque, and will enable me to preach in the al-Aqsa Mosque."In a 2009 speech before the Arab Spring Qaradawi was less optimistic and merely hoped to die fighting the Jews: I'd like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom."Hmmm.....All he needs is Obama having a second term?Read the full story here.

  • If Armenian 'Genocide' Proven, Turkey will Apologize, Bagis Says.(SI).Turkey's Minister for European Affairs and chief European Union negotiator Egemen Bağış on Saturday said if claims that the 1915 deportation of Anatolian Armenians constituted "genocide" could be historically and scientifically substantiated, Turkey would apologize for it.As a guest on "Talk to Al Jazeera," one of the most popular programs on the Al Jazeera English-language news station, Bağış responded to extensive questions regarding whether the Turkish government would recognize the 1915 incidents as "genocide."Bağış said: "If it is recognized as a reality approved both historically and scientifically, moreover, unanimously, then why not?" He noted that every nation has dark moments in its history, asking, "Would you be able to name a nation without any dark chapters or pains in its past?"He also noted that to prove if the incident amounted to "genocide" or not, first the disputed issue needs to be examined objectively. However, he said the Armenian government was not brave enough to confront its own history, as it refuses to disclose its historical archives.Recalling the Armenian government's rejection of a Turkish proposal to publicly discuss the archived documents from both sides and document every historian's discussion about the events and also their research, Bağış said, "Unfortunately, the Armenian government lacks the courage to accept this suggestion."Referring to a bill adopted recently by the French Senate that makes it a crime to deny that the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 in Anatolia amounted to genocide, Bağış said the bill was "null and void" for Turkey.Armenia claims the 1915 deportation of Armenians by the Ottomans was a genocide in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed and says the incident was an act of ethnic cleansing, wanting it to be internationally recognized as genocide. Turkey, which sees the allegations of genocide as a threat to its national honor, meanwhile, says the killings were not intentionally perpetrated to eradicate a particular ethnicity but were the result of the wartime conditions during World War I. Turkey also notes that both Muslim and non-Muslims died during the event.Read the full story here.

  • Prelude to a US-NATO Intervention?(AlexanderMunch).Russia and China have vetoed the UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria pointing to the existence of armed groups involved in terrorist acts including the killing of civilians. These armed groups have been involved since the outset of the "protest movement" in Daraa, southern Syria, in March 2011. The statement of Russia's envoy to the UN Viktor Churkin remains within the realm of international diplomacy. It does not mention who is behind these armed groups and the fact that NATO is supporting an armed insurrection. "Churkin said that resolution's Western co-sponsors had not included key proposals such as isolating the Syrian opposition from violent extremist groups or a call to arms for other states to use their influence to prevent such alliances". (Russia Today, February 4, 2012)Ironically, Russia's decision to veto the resolution is consistent with the report of the Arab League's Observer Mission to Syria, which confirms the existence of an "Armed Entity". Unexpectedly, however, neither Washington nor the Arab League, which commissioned the Observer Mission to Syria in the first place, have accepted the interim report presented by the AL Mission.  Why? Because the Mission --integrated by independent observers from Arab League countries-- provides a balanced and objective assessment of what is happening on the ground inside Syria. It does not serve as a mouthpiece for Washington and the governments of Arab states.  It points to the existence of an "Armed Entity"; it acknowledges that "armed opposition groups" including the Syria Free Army are involved in criminal and terrorist acts. Read the full story here.

  • Google's HUD glasses have been sighted.(CNet).The prototype for Google's HUD glasses has been seen, according to tech news site 9to5Google. And, supposedly they resemble Oakley's Thump glasses, which makes them look a lot like something the Terminator might wear.But, it's not just how Google's glasses look, their function also mirrors something out of the Terminator trilogy. In December, rumors spread that Google was finishing up a prototype on high-tech glasses known as wearable head-up displays (HUD) that could tap into Google's cloud-based location services and detail users' surroundings. The information would then appear as an augmented reality computer display. According to 9to5Google, these glasses can do all that and more. The glasses will reportedly have an extremely small front-facing camera with a flash to gather information and take photos, a navigation system that is used by head-tilting to scroll and click, I/O for voice input and output, and CPU/RAM/storage hardware nearly equivalent to a generation-oldAndroid smartphone. Read the full story here.

"Elf Steden Tocht" - "Eleven cities tour" - Holland Abuzz about 'Mythical' Skating Race

"Elf Steden Tocht" - "Eleven cities tour" - Holland Abuzz about 'Mythical' Skating Race.(Spiegel).The event hasn't been held for 15 years. But, this week, Holland is abuzz with anticipation that the famed "11 Cities Tour" might take place in the coming days. All that's needed are a few more cold nights before 16,000 skaters can take to the 200-kilometer course.The activity is reminiscent of a small Alpine town after a blizzard. Thousands of volunteers this week have grabbed their shovels and are frantically clearing away a thick layer of white stuff amid frigid temperatures. Even military troops have joined in the effort.
But the scenes are not from a mountain village buried by a heavy snowstorm. Rather, the massive army of helpers can be found in the Netherlands, where the entire nation is excitedly anticipating the prospect of a massive ice-skating event -- and one that hasn't been held for 15 years.
Called the Elfstedentocht, or 11 Cities Tour, the event follows a course almost 200 kilometers (125 miles) long through the extensive network of canals, lakes and rivers in Friesland, the Dutch province in the very north of the tiny country, passing through 11 towns in the region. And it can only be held when the ice along the entire track reaches a thickness of 15 centimeters (six inches).
"We have to be sure the ice is safe," Immie Jonkman, a board member of the Frisian Eleven Cities Association, which organizes the event, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "The ice on some parts of the course is really great. But, in other parts, it's really bad."The event, the brainchild of Willem "Pim" Mulier, was first held in 1909. But given the need for a long cold snap to create the necessary conditions, it has only been held 14 times since then. When it is held, though, it's a national event. While only 16,000 skaters are allowed to participate, there were some 1.5 million onlookers lining the route in 1997, the last time it was held. In 1986, Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander famously took part in the race."It's just a skating event," Jonkman said. "But there is something mythical about it."
That, it would appear, is an understatement. Thousands of volunteers swarmed onto the canals on Tuesday to clear away snow after organizers voiced concerns that the white blanket could be hampering ice formation. On Wednesday, some 50 soldiers joined them, focusing on an alternate route should weak ice along the preferred course not thicken sufficiently.Read the full story here.

Elfstedentocht 1963 Dutch.

Elfstedentocht 1986 Dutch.

Kremlin-owned NTV: Belarusian KGB recruited Norway’s neo-fascist mass murderer, Breivik’s “girlfriend” held rank of captain in Lukashenko’s secret police.

Kremlin-owned NTV: Belarusian KGB recruited Norway’s neo-fascist mass murderer, Breivik’s “girlfriend” held rank of captain in Lukashenko’s secret police.(OUTITW).As we suspected since last summer’s terrorist attacks in Norway, Russia’s NTV, which is owned by state-run Gazprom Media, reports that the Belarusian KGB recruited Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian neo-fascist and self-confessed mass killer, via his Belarusian “girlfriend.” Breivik met “Natasha,” or Marina as she is also known, during a March 2005 trip to Minsk. Belarusian opposition website Charter 97 carried the NTV story on February 6. The independent news source has sustained denial-of-service attacks, presumably from computer hackers in the employ of President Alexander Lukashenko’s secret police, while the website’s founder lives in exile in Lithuania.In early 2011, Novosti reported, he returned to Belarus where he received paramilitary training under the direction of an “ex”-KGB officer. At or possibly before this time, the Belarusian KGB dubbed Breivik with the codename “Viking.”Predictably, the Belarusian KGB denies any links to Breivik. Like the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), it was once part of the Soviet KGB, but retained its old name after the deceptive dismantling of the Soviet Union in December 1991.In an interesting twist, Norway’s Dagbladet newspaper interviewed Breivik’s 30-year-old ex-girlfriend Natasha, who now lives somewhere in the USA, married to a church organ player (!) and selling real estate.“I was charmed by the tall, strong Norwegian. He was well-dressed and lives in a good district of Oslo,” Natasha told Dagbladet. “We got in touch on the web, and it was interesting for me to meet him. Now it is unpleasant for me to think we had relationship with him,” she lamented. According to Natasha, Breivik was disinterested in Norwegian women since they are “ardent supporters of gender equality,” and, instead, hoped to find a “good housewife” from Eastern Europe. Her view of the Norwegian man later soured. “He was a chauvinist. I felt that he was not taking me seriously,” Natasha said.Dagbladet did not apparently question “Natasha” on her alleged service with the Belarusian KGB. If Rashetnikau’s allegation concerning her rank of captain is true, however, then this agent of a regime hostile to Washington is presently operating in the USA. All of this begs the question: Why would the Belarusian KGB recruit a neo-fascist from Norway?Read the full story here.

Video - Egyptian Salafi MP Causes Stir by Calling to Prayer in Mid Session, Parliament speaker: if you want to pray go to the Mosque!

Parliament speaker: I did not authorize you to do this. We have a mosque. You can call to prayer there.

Mamdouh Ismail: …I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah…

Parliament speaker: Mr. Mamdouh Ismail, when you finish calling to prayer, I will have to speak with you, because you have violated the protocol of this session.

Mamdouh Ismail: …come to prayer, come to success. Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar. There is no God but Allah.
Parliament speaker: MP Mahmdouh Ismail has violated the protocol of this session. He used the time given to him to call to prayer without asking my permission. There is a mosque where you can call to prayer. This hall is for talking. Don't you patronize us. You are no more Muslim than us. Prayer is no less important to us than it is to you.


Don't patronize us. I didn't permit you to speak again. If you want to pray, I won't stand in your way. Go ahead… Don't answer. This place is for discussion, not for calling to prayer.
Mamdouh Ismail: You listen to me…

Parliament speaker: This place is not for calling to prayer. If you want to call to prayer, excuse yourself… Go and call to prayer at the mosque. This is not the hour of prayer. You are a respected lawyer. Do you need all this attention from the media? Who are you addressing? All the MPs here want to pray. I did not permit you to speak again. Sit down! Sit down! I did not permit you to speak again. Sit down! Do not disrupt this session, or else I will take action against you. No, this is not in the constitution. Sit down, please. Don't disrupt this session. Are you more of a religious expert than all these people? Do not patronize your brothers in this parliament. Source: Memri.

Are Muslims Exempt from 'ObamaCare' Health Insurance Mandate?And why are Christians not?

Are Muslims "specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured,"?

No. This is a fictitious claim. There is no provision specifically exempting Muslims from mandated health insurance in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Neither the word "Muslim" nor the word "Islam" appears anywhere in the legislation (nor, in answer to those who keep asking, does the word "Dhimmitude").

  • Are any religious groups exempted from the mandate?

  • Yes. A paragraph on page 107 of the legislation provides for individual religious exemptions, though the language is non-specific with regard to particular faiths. Read carefully:
    (5) EXEMPTIONS FROM INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.—In the case of an individual who is seeking an exemption certificate under section 1311(d)(4)(H) from any requirement or penalty imposed by section 5000A, the following information [is required]:(A) In the case of an individual seeking exemption based on the individual's status as a member of an exempt religious sect or division, as a member of a health care sharing ministry, as an Indian, or as an individual eligible for a hardship exemption, such information as the Secretary shall prescribe.
    Similarly, page 128 states:
    "(A) RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE EXEMPTION.—Such term [i.e., "applicable individual"] shall not include any individual for any month if such individual has in effect an exemption under section 1311(d)(4)(H) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which certifies that such individual is a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) and an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect or division as described in such section.
    The above passage amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, of which Section 1402(g)(1) defines "a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof" as follows:
    (1) Exemption
    Any individual may file an application (in such form and manner, and with such official, as may be prescribed by regulations under this chapter) for an exemption from the tax imposed by this chapter if he is a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof and is an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect or division by reason of which he is conscientiously opposed to acceptance of the benefits of any private or public insurance which makes payments in the event of death, disability, old-age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care (including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act). Such exemption may be granted only if the application contains or is accompanied by—(A) such evidence of such individual’s membership in, and adherence to the tenets or teachings of, the sect or division thereof as the Secretary may require for purposes of determining such individual’s compliance with the preceding sentence, and
    (B) his waiver of all benefits and other payments under titles II and XVIII of the Social Security Act on the basis of his wages and self-employment income as well as all such benefits and other payments to him on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any other person,
    and only if the Commissioner of Social Security finds that—
    (C) such sect or division thereof has the established tenets or teachings referred to in the preceding sentence,
    (D) it is the practice, and has been for a period of time which he deems to be substantial, for members of such sect or division thereof to make provision for their dependent members which in his judgment is reasonable in view of their general level of living, and
    (E) such sect or division thereof has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950. As you can see if you waded through the legalese, the law sets the eligibility bar for religious exemptions quite high. According to a
    2009 report on, this language was originally meant to apply mainly to one religious group, the Old Order Amish, whose beliefs prohibit them from participating in public or commercial insurance. Members participate in a form of self-insurance per the language above requiring exempted sects "to make provision for their dependent members."
    Is it conceivable that strictly observant Muslims might be granted individual religious exemptions?
    I'm no legal expert, but I'll venture to say that sure, it's conceivable — provided such applicants are able to meet all the strict conditions set out above. It may be awhile before we know how that actually pans out, however, given that the provision mandating health insurance doesn't go into effect until 2014.
    At least two sources I'm aware of, and, have concluded it's unlikely that Muslims will be eligible for exemption.
    If the government can tolerate a religious exemption, then it must do so evenhandedly among religious believers with the same beliefs. This is sheer favoritism for a certain class of religions, or even for one religion,” wrote Marci A. Hamilton>, a professor and lawyer at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.
    It is highly unlikely though that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will grant equal permission to members of Christian and Jewish sects who will also face a serious moral dilemma when they are forced to purchase health insurance from providers that pay for abortions under the pretext of providing preventive care.
    ObamaCare’s religious conscience exemption clause embodies the change Brother O’s Bread and Circuses regime brings to the new America. While Brother O considers all religious groups equal, being nuanced, he recognizes that some groups are more equal than others.
    Hmmmm........So why are Christians forced to participate?Wouldn't that be against the Constitution?Read the full post here.More here.

    Rush Limbaugh: The Clint Eastwood “Halftime in America” ad should have sounded like this!

    Awesome video: Ronald Reagan's message to Israel

    In case you're wondering, that video is actually an edited version of Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech "A Time for Choosing." Like America at the height of the Cold War, Israel wants peace and is waiting for a genuine partner.

    HT: IsraelMatzav.

    New York Times Publishes Hit Piece Against US Constitution

    New York Times Publishes Hit Piece Against US Constitution.(NYT).The Constitution has seen better days.Sure, it is the nation’s founding document and sacred text. And it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world. But its influence is waning. In 1987, on the Constitution’s bicentennial, Time magazine calculated that “of the 170 countries that exist today, more than 160 have written charters modeled directly or indirectly on the U.S. version.” A quarter-century later, the picture looks very different. “The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere,” according to a new study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia. The study, to be published in June in The New York University Law Review, bristles with data. Its authors coded and analyzed the provisions of 729 constitutions adopted by 188 countries from 1946 to 2006, and they considered 237 variables regarding various rights and ways to enforce them. “Among the world’s democracies,” Professors Law and Versteeg concluded, “constitutional similarity to the United States has clearly gone into free fall. Over the 1960s and 1970s, democratic constitutions as a whole became more similar to the U.S. Constitution, only to reverse course in the 1980s and 1990s.” “The turn of the twenty-first century, however, saw the beginning of a steep plunge that continues through the most recent years for which we have data, to the point that the constitutions of the world’s democracies are, on average, less similar to the U.S. Constitution now than they were at the end of World War II.” There are lots of possible reasons. The United States Constitution is terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights. The commitment of some members of the Supreme Court to interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning in the 18th century may send the signal that it is of little current use to, say, a new African nation. And the Constitution’s waning influence may be part of a general decline in American power and prestige. In an interview, Professor Law identified a central reason for the trend: the availability of newer, sexier and more powerful operating systems in the constitutional marketplace. “Nobody wants to copy Windows 3.1,” he said. There are, of course, limits to empirical research based on coding and counting, and there is more to a constitution than its words, as Justice Antonin Scalia told the Senate Judiciary Committee in October. “Every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights,” he said. “The bill of rights of the former evil empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours,” he said, adding: “We guarantee freedom of speech and of the press. Big deal. They guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of street demonstrations and protests, and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. Whoa, that is wonderful stuff!” “Of course,” Justice Scalia continued, “it’s just words on paper, what our framers would have called a ‘parchment guarantee.’ ”Hmmm......Obama Blames “Founding Fathers” For Making It Difficult For Him To “Bring Change”But..."I will keep plotting".Read the full story here.

    U.S. Gas prices could leap by up to 60 cents a Gallon

    U.S. Gas prices could leap by up to 60 cents a Gallon.(Yahoo).When Canadians head out on road trips this spring and summer, they can expect gas prices to take a bigger bite out of their wallets. But energy experts on this side of the border are divided over whether these hikes will be as high as U.S. motorists are bracing for.Media reports Monday out of the U.S. were suggesting gas prices could rise in some areas this spring by up to 60 cents per gallon (roughly equal to 15 cents per litre). But Calgary-based petroleum industry analyst Michael Ervin sees nothing to suggest hikes of that magnitude in Canada.Instead, he's predicting "modest" increases of about five to 10 cents per litre — "much much less than what we had become accustomed to seeing prior to the slump in the North American and global economy."But for analysts like Ervin, vice-president of the Kent Group in Calgary, there are a couple of factors that could mitigate against that increase this year.
    "One is that we're unlikely to see much in the way of change in crude prices between now and mid-year. "Another factor that could come into play is surplus gas in Europe, something Ervin sees keeping wholesale gasoline prices relatively depressed throughout the spring and summer.
    "As bad news as it is for refineries, given the spare capacity and low refiner margins, that does add up to good news for consumers."
    On the other hand, at, a website that gives consumers in Canada and the U.S. the chance to find the lowest reported gas prices in their communities, co-founder Jason Toews is expecting somewhat higher hikes in Canada later this year.
    "I think we're going to see a peak of around $1.40 in May," he said in an interview from Regina.
    The $1.40 price would represent an increase of almost 20 cents over GasBuddy's reported national average of nearly $1.22 per litre on Monday.Read the full story here.

    Homs Massacre: Should Assad Go?

    Homs Massacre: Should Assad Go?(Shoebat).More than 5,400 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March. The number of dead in Homs alone is now over over 200 and climbing. The Assad regime says terrorists acting out a foreign conspiracy to destabilize the country are behind the uprising, not people seeking to transform the authoritarian regime. He’s right, it was Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood that claimed responsibility in December 2011 for two suicide bombings in Damascus that killed 44 people.Yet, you have Israeli politicians like Moshe (Boge) Ya’alon telling Army Radio that the end of Assad’s regime could bring ‘relatively moderate’ Sunni elements into power, adding that he did not think radical Islam would take over the country if Syrian President Bashar Assad is ousted. Boge says that, “there could be different developments in such a situation, some of which could be positive as far as Israel is concerned, like a fissure in the Tehran-Damascus-Beirut-Hamas axis of evil… There’s a difference between Syria and Egypt,” says Ya’alon.
    Syria is not a trophy for Iran exclusively; Turkey is waiting in the wings, ever ready to control the entire region. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan has been urging Assad in Arabic, “Ya Bashar! Man dakka dukka.” In English, that means: “He who hammers will be hammered” or “what goes around comes around.” He reminded Bashar of what his father did when the Syrian army massacred 10,000 Sunnis in 1982; it will come back to hound him. Paradoxically and quite hypocritically, Erdogan neglects to confess the Armenian Genocide.It is no secret that Turkey has worked extensively with the Muslim Brotherhood and has set its sights on Syria. The Turkish Muslim Brotherhood Network, written last year by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, lays out an iron clad case for Turkey’s involvement in the Flotilla and its collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood.As the great Chinese warrior, Sun Tzu, famously said thousands of years ago, war is deception.The problem with the Islamic deception we’re seeing unfold in the Middle East today is that its targets appear to be more interested in responding with willful ignorance.Hmmmm.....No wonder Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi throws Fatwas at Russia and China.Read the full story here.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Overnight music video - London beat - I've Been Thinking About You

    Fox News’ Eric Bolling Test Drives Chevy Volt, Battery Runs Out Of Juice In Lincoln Tunnel After Only 25 Miles Two Days In A Row

    Fox News’ Eric Bolling Test Drives Chevy Volt, Battery Runs Out Of Juice In Lincoln Tunnel After Only 25 Miles Two Days In A Row.
    And it only costs $41,000!Source: FoxNews.

    Egypt MP delivers call to prayer, gets hushed by MB speaker "if you want to call for the prayer, go to a mosque."

    Egypt MP delivers call to prayer, gets hushed by MB speaker.(BM).CAIRO: As Egypt’s parliamentary session was in full swing, member of Parliament Mamdouh Ismail stood up in his chair and began reciting the call to prayer. He was silenced after 30 seconds by Speaker of Parliament Saad al-Katatny.
    Ismail, an Islamist MP, is one of the majority of conservatives who have taken up positions in the first post-revolution Parliament in Egypt.
    You are not more Islamic than we are and if you want to call for the prayer, go to a mosque,” said the speaker.Ismail was forced to sit down by fellow MPs after he became increasingly agitated by Katatny’s rebuke.
    It came as parliament held another day to discuss the ongoing security crisis in the country, hit by 5 consecutive days of violent clashes in downtown Cairo.
    The interior ministry, supported by a majority of parliament, claims it was only using tear gas against protesters, despite the growing evidence suggesting that rubber bullets, birdshot and live ammunition was also used on protesters.Read the full story here.

    From Brazil to Hurfeish: Meet the First-Ever Druze Lone Soldier

                          Fadi Abad Alhallik, the first druze lone soldier (Credit: Yedioth Ahronoth)

    From Brazil to Hurfeish: Meet the First-Ever Druze Lone Soldier.(IDF).The IDF currently has over 5,000 lone soldiers serving in its corps. Lone soldiers come from all over the world. There are French, English, American, Ethiopian, Russian, Canadian, Mexican, Australian and many, many others, but last week the IDF officially recognized the first-ever Druze lone soldier. Meet Pvt. Fadi Abad Alhallik:Fadi was born in Hurfeish, Israel, but in the fifth grade, he and his family moved to Brazil. Being raised in Brazil, he was not obligated to serve; however, just a few months shy of his 18th birthday, the IDF conscription age, Fadi decided to follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps by making Aliyah to Israel and voluntarily serving in the army. “I didn’t want to be different and I wanted to do my part for the country” says Fadi.Read ans see (Video) the full story here.

    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 New Zealand 5.3 ; Japan 5.1!More info here.

    • President Obama reverses position on Super PACs, team urges supporters to donate to Priorities USA.(NYDN). On second thought, President Obama would like that Super PAC money after all.The Commander-in-Chief is doing a 180 and asking top fundraisers to support an independent political action committee backing his reelection.The President has previously been a staunch opponent of so-called "super" PACs because they can spend unlimited amounts of cash to influence elections.But Team Obama argued Monday night that it cannot allow for "two sets of rules" in which the GOP presidential nominee benefits from "unlimited spending and Democrats unilaterally disarm."Republicans immediately seized on President Obama's reversal, calling the move "hypocritical.""This is a brazenly cynical move by Barack Obama and his political handlers, who just a year ago had the chutzpah to call outside groups a threat to democracy," Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, told The Associated Press.Read the full story here.

    • The Obama Doctrine: "Raid - Run and Announce".(Weeklystandard).By ElliotAbrams.Here is what it would look like: “I will undertake any military attack against our enemies, regardless of the risks and collateral damage, so long as it is over by the time I have to announce it.” Obama is leaning away from the old “two war” or “one and a half war” capabilities toward a new idea: American soldiers as raiders, undertaking one-day or one-hour attacks.the Obama approach requires dangerous revelations of exactly what is being done—or else the president gets no credit, looks wimpy, and might not be reelected.Not inspiring, you say? Obviously you’re one of the antediluvian defense types who wants a whole army and navy. That’s passé now. The new approach is raid, run, and announce .Read the full story here.

    • Our World: Obama's rhetorical storm.(Jpost).By Caroline B.Glick.The Obama administration is absolutely furious at Russia and China. The two UN Security Council permanent members’ move on Saturday to veto a resolution on Syria utterly infuriated the US’s President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice. And they want us all to know just how piping mad they really are.Rice called the vetoes “unforgivable,” and said that “any further blood that flows will be on their hands.” She said the US was “disgusted.”Clinton called the move by Moscow and Beijing a “travesty.” She then said that the US will take action outside the UN, “with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.”The rhetoric employed by Obama’s top officials is striking for what it reveals about how the Obama administration perceives the purpose of rhetoric in foreign policy.Most US leaders have used rhetoric to explain their policies. But if you take the Obama administration’s statements at face value you are left scratching your head in wonder. Specifically on Syria, if you take these statements literally, you are left wondering if Obama and his advisers are simply clueless. Because if they are serious, their indignation bespeaks a remarkable ignorance about how decisions are made at the Security Council.We only know three things for certain about Iran. It is getting very late in the game for anyone to take any military actions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran will not stop its nuclear weapons program voluntarily. And Obama will not order US forces to take action to stop Iran’s nuclear project.What remains uncertain still is how Israel plans to respond to these three certainties. The fact that Israel has waited this long to strike presents the disturbing prospect that our leaders may have been confused by the Obama administration’s rhetoric. Perhaps they have been persuaded that the US is on our side on this issue and that we don’t have to rely only on ourselves to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.But as the foregoing analysis of the administration’s very angry words on Syria and very sober words on Iran demonstrates, Obama and his deputies use rhetoric not to clarify their intentions, but to obfuscate them. Just as they will do nothing to prevent Assad from continuing his campaign of murder and terror, so they will do nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.Read the full story here.

    • Why I want to be the values-voice in the US Congress.(JPost).By Shmuley Boteach.In 2008 I was asked to be a national co-chairman of “Rabbis for Obama.” The position might have given me access to the leader of the free world and perhaps important leverage given his testy relations with Israel.But I declined the offer. Though I am inspired by President Barack Obama’s personal story and see him as an exemplary husband and father, I disagree with the Democratic president on too many issues. And now, in the same spirit, I have cast my yarmulke into the ring by declaring my desire to seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s ninth district where I live. I am now actively exploring the viability of my candidacy and my ability to integrate existing responsibilities into the considerable effort a successful candidacy will entail.Why would a rabbi run for Congress? Because the problems we’re seeing in our great nation are not caused by an economic downturn but by a values erosion, and I intend to be the values voice that Congress so desperately needs.The values that have dominated the American political landscape for decades are the American obsession with gay marriage and abortion, to the exclusion of nearly all others, which explains why our country is so incredibly religious yet so seemingly decadent. It’s time to expand the values conversation and policy agenda.Read the full story here.

    • Homeland Security Lexicon: You’re All ‘Militia Extremists’ Now.(PJM).Love the Constitution? Hate government regulations? New DHS "lexicon" brands you a "militia extremist.".A recently published “lexicon” distributed to thousands of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) targets citizens concerned about their Second Amendment rights and the steady encroachment of the federal government, categorizing such as “militia extremists.”The “lexicon,” marked Unclassified/For Official Use Only (FOUO), is dated November 10, 2011, and was sent out by email to law enforcement and homeland security agencies on November 14 by LaJuan E. Washington of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis.We have exclusively posted the DHS “lexicon” here.Its definition of “militia extremists” states:
    (U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who facilitate or engage in acts of violence directed at federal, state, or local government officials or infrastructure in response to their belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms and is attempting to establish a totalitarian regime. These individuals consequently oppose many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership), and often belong to armed paramilitary groups. They often conduct paramilitary training designed to violently resist perceived government oppression or to violently overthrow the US Government. (Page 2 of 3, emphasis added)So what drives militia extremism according to DHS now is “belief that the government deliberately is stripping Americans of their freedoms.” It is demonstrated by opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations, (particularly those related to firearms ownership).” Would writing about those topics (as I am now) fall under “facilitation”? On its face, it’s hard to see how it could be excluded under DHS’s broad definition.But not only does the “lexicon” target constitutionally protected activity, it specifically targets groups based on race, namely “black supremacist extremists” and “white supremacist extremists.” I have absolutely no problem targeting groups promoting violence based on racial supremacist ideology, but if DHS is going to proscribe the use of such terms and promptly turn around and use such — while in the same breath targeting private citizens for exercising their constitutional rights and freedom of speech in violation of DHS’s own standards — needless to say, that’s a serious problem.It bears mentioning that an earlier incarnation of the DHS lexicon was the subject of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress for its targeting of “alternative media” and its shockingly broad definition of the “patriot movement.” A DHS spokesman later claimed that the “lexicon” was sent out prematurely.Which raises the question of why these various “lexicons” published by the federal government exist in the first place.Read the full story here.

    • Armenian Americans urge Obama to fulfill campaign pledge.(NAZ).Armenian Americans expressed strong concerns regarding Clinton’s remarks on the Armenian 'genocide'.Members of Congress and the Armenian Assembly expressed strong concerns regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the Armenian 'genocide' at a town hall meeting last week, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).In a dear colleague letter circulated today, Congressmen Adam Schiff and Robert Dold, sponsors of the Armenian 'genocide' resolution, urged Members to join them in sending a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on the Secretary to “disavow her ill-considered statement.”Expressing surprise and dismay about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s recent remarks on the Armenian 'genocide', the Assembly sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting swift action.“Secretary Clinton’s response is untenable and requires immediate remedy. Mr. President now is the time to fulfill your campaign promise and unequivocally affirm the Armenian 'genocide',” the Assembly wrote in its letter. “There is no debate about the historical fact of the Armenian 'genocide',” Reps. Schiff and Dold told the Assembly.“Raphael Lemkin, a Holocaust survivor who coined the term genocide and worked tirelessly toward the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, invoked the Armenian experience as a prime example of genocide,” continued Schiff and Dold.“We welcome this bi-partisan initiative to set the record straight,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We urge human rights activists from across the country to make sure that their Member of Congress signs this important letter to Secretary Clinton,” added Ardouny.Read the full story here.

    • Hollywood Urges Obama to Pardon Killer.(NewZeal).By: Cliff Kincaid.On top of the campaign to pressure New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to release terrorist killer Judith Clark from prison, the far-left is asking President Obama to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, an American Indian activist who was convicted of the execution-style murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams.February 4 has been declared “International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier,” who was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment.A group working for Peltier’s release, in an email to its supporters, says, “Several high-level meetings (some with Administration officials) are expected to occur in Washington, D.C., in early 2012.” No officials were named, however.The campaign has the support of actor Danny Glover, whose film company, Louverture Films, has taken up the cause of freeing the convicted killer. The Glover company, which has received over $19.7 million from the Marxist regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, is involved in the publicity campaign for “Wind Chases the Sun,” a film that glamorizes Peltier.Another Danny Glover project, “The Black Power Mix Tape,” features former Communist Party activist Angela Davis.While the chances of an Obama pardon of Peltier may seem far-fetched, support for Peltier does exist in the “progressive” ranks of the Democratic Party. Reps. Maxine Waters and John Conyers have been among dozens of left-wing Democrats who had asked President Clinton to give clemency to Peltier.Interestingly, Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, had been a Peltier supporter when he was a left-wing congressman from California. He signed a congressional letter asking President Carter to give clemency to Peltier.The “Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights” was launched on December 18, 2011 on Alcatraz Island and will conclude in Washington, D.C. on May 18, 2012. “I plan on being in Washington on May 18,” Glover said. However, he did not say if a visit to the White House or Congress was on his agenda.Hmmmm....While you guys are busy.....why not ask for the release of Pollard as well?Read the full story here.

    • Catholic League Poised To Go To War With Obama Over Mandatory Birth Control Payments.(CBS).Donohue Says 70 Million Of His Voters Ready To Alter Presidential Election. Catholic leaders upped the ante Monday, threatening to challenge the Obama administration over a provision of the new health care law that would require all employers, including religious institutions, to pay for birth control.As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, it could affect the presidential elections.Catholic leaders are furious and determined to harness the voting power of the nation’s 70 million Catholic voters to stop a provision of President Barack Obama’s new heath car reform bill that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-producing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees.“Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue.Already Archbishop Timothy Dolan has spoken out against the law and priests around the country have mobilized, reading letters from the pulpit. Donohue said Catholic officials will stop at nothing to put a stop to it.“This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions, and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets,” Donohue said.Read the full story here.

    • Turkey - Erdoğan fuels ‘secret agenda’ debate.(HD).An issue held against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) by those who are uneasy about its Islamist roots is that it has a “secret Islamic agenda” it will activate once the environment is ripe. Government officials have always denied this vehemently, of course, saying they should be seen simply as just another conservative party.But it was Prime Minister Erdoğan himself who has fueled the “secret agenda” debate now. He did this with a speech to party members in Parliament last week, where he indicated that as a conservative party they wanted to raise not just conservative but also religious generations in Turkey. His remarks received rapturous applause from AKP deputies, but the response from secular quarters was hardly surprising. For them Erdoğan had let the proverbial cat out of the bag with remarks that amounted to a “confession.” “What if I don’t want my kid to be conservative and religious?” decried well-known columnists like Hasan Cemal and Can Dundar. Undoubtedly Erdoğan also provided fodder for the anti-Islamic European right wing with these remarks. Behind the consternation was the fact that Erdoğan appeared to be suggesting the desired conservative and religious generations should be raised by means of the state apparatus in general and the education system in particular. Erdoğan’s remarks also contradict what he said in Cairo last year, where he told a local network that individuals did not have to be secular but states had to be so in order to stand equidistantly to all beliefs. As it turned out, Erdoğan did not stand behind those remarks, perhaps because of the anger they caused among Egyptian Islamists and their Turkish counterparts.Read the full story here.

    • Tactical Vs. Strategic Raid - going for strategic change by attacking enemy leadership.(Imra).The lesson to be learned is that while the majority of the IDF's air, land, and sea forces deal with the enemy's defense layout, destroy rocket launchers and their operators, and target civilian infrastructures, the potential for a strategic change during war lies in operations directed against the enemy's leadership, and in the case of Lebanon, indirectly against the Lebanese government....Today, the IDF is able to execute a difficult, large-scale raid deep into enemy territory.The IDF is establishing a Depth Corps, but the difference between a tactical raid and a strategic raid remains unclear even after the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast LeadThe IDF is establishing a Depth Corps. The command will unite the IDF's special forces units – Sayeret Matkal (special ops), Shaldag (air force commandos), Shayetet 13 (naval commandos), and 669 (airborne SAR) – into a unified command for special ops far from Israel's borders. The report raises the debate as to the status of the raid in the IDF.In general, the raid has been an aspect of combat operations since the beginning of armed conflict. It is mostly applied in offensive battles because its execution requires a concerted effort and many resources at the expense of defensive preparations.Decades ago, Liddell Hart wrote in "Thoughts on War:" "Decisive success in war is possible only through surprise, and surprise has to be a combination of several complex delivering a blow at an unexpected moment, from an unexpected direction, or concentrating unexpected strength in the blow." These words still ring true.A raid deep in the enemy's defense layout is an exceedingly intricate and challenging operation that demands special weapons and transportation. It must be comprised of soldiers and commanders with proven courage, tenacity, creative thinking, survivability, and especially, the capacity to exploit sudden opportunities.When is a raid considered strategic? It is strategic when its purpose is to exploit a major weakness in the enemy that can change the course of the war. In other words, it is strategic when it has the effect of shuffling the cards and creating a new reality.One of the most complex challenges facing commanders and staff officers is to identify an opening that can alter the direction of a campaign, or the opposite—to invite grave danger. In combat, the name of the game is spotting opportunities and threats.Hmmm........May God protect them all.Read the full story here.

    • 'Israel to ask for military facility in Cyprus'.(JPost).Israel will ask Cyprus to station Israel Air Force fighter jets at a military facility on the island, news reports in Cyprus reported on Tuesday.According to the reports, Israel will make the request during Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Cyprus later this month. It is unclear if the request will be to station a permanent presence on the island or to establish a base that can provide logistical support for the IAF during operations in the region.It is possible that Israel is seeking to establish a base in Cyprus to be able to more effectively protect the growing number of gas fields it is discovering in the Mediterranean Sea.According to the report in the Famagusta Gazette, the talks are currently at an “exploratory stage” regarding the possibility of using the Andrea Papendreou airbase in Paphos, in southwest Cyprus. The base reportedly used to host Greek F-16s.Last month, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Cypriot counterpart Demetris Eliades signed two agreements aimed at bolstering defense cooperation between the countries. The agreements were signed during Eliades’s visit to Tel Aviv. The possibility of establishing the base in Cyprus, reportedly came up during their discussions.Israel and Cyprus already enjoy close ties. The Cypriot Air Force sent fire extinguishing planes to Israel to help put out the Carmel Forest fire last year and in 2009, Cyprus stopped a cargo ship suspected of carrying Iranian arms.Hmmm.....Turkish PM Erdogan going in to orbit in 3....2.....1?Read the full story here.

    • Europe - A scary thought.(KV). Mary-Ellen Synon in her latest: Merkel forgets Germany's history: 'Austerity not inflation gave us Hitler'. Murray recommends that readers should study the record of Heinrich Bruning, predecessor of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor. They could discover 'the real reason for Germany's descent into Nazism.''Monetarist fetishists have helped to circulate a pernicious falsehood that the Weimar uber-inflation caused the rise of Hitler.''The wild inflation storm occured in 1924. The Weimar economy recovered from it.''The Nazis came to power only in 1933, as an immediate consequence of the deflationary spiral that resulted from what Mr Wolf [commentator Martin Wolf, in an earlier article] refers to aptly as the "catastrophic austerity" introduced by Bruning.'As Mrs. Synon notes, Greece is now sufffering from policies of similarly "catastrophic austerity".And then a thought occurs to Mrs. Synon: The three top people now forcing this catastrophic austerity on the eurozone are Angela Merkel from Germany, with its history of national socialism, ECB president Mario Draghi from Italy, with its history of fascism, and IMF chief Christine Lagarde from France, with its history of collaboration with Nazism.Read the full story here.

    • Iran Unveils Several Military, Technological Achievements.(Fars).Iran on Monday unveiled 21 new home-made achievements and projects in defensive and technological fields.The projects were unveiled on the occasion of the Ten-Day Dawn, celebrating the victor of the Islamic Revolution back in 1979. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that nine production lines have been inaugurated, which include those for advanced laser-guided systems of a cannon type, guiding systems of an anti-armor missile, a warning apparatus of a laser defense system meant to protect sensitive and important areas in the country, three advanced radars and a powerful microwave lamp. He added that eight other products including thermal cameras, laser systems, air-defense, and electronic communications for submarines were delivered to Iran's Armed Forces. Vahidi also noted that four research projects in the field of electronic warfare have been completed, which will enter the phase of industrial production in the near future.The minister reiterated that the achievements would considerably increase Iran's defense powers.Hmmm.....That powerfull microwave lamp will help to throw popcorn at the great Satan.Read the full story here.

    • Armenian Genocide denial - No power can arrest a Turkish minister, says Bağış.(HD).Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış has declared a Swiss probe into his denial of Armenian genocide claims to be "null and void" for him, daily Hürriyet reported today.  "I know of no power that could arrest a Turkish minister," Bağış said. "If need be, I'll go back to Davos and say it again."  Bağış had previously refused to comment on the matter but nevertheless answered reporters’ questions at the airport ahead of a scheduled visit to Belgium. "Obviously this is at the initial probe stage right now. There isn't any official documentation on it that has reached me yet. We have fought for the freedom of speech, we are fighting for it, and we will fight for it," Bağış said."I hear they're trying to confirm whether or not I said those words," Bağış said. "Let them waste no time. I said it, and I repeat it today. I will repeat it again when I'm asked in future visits to Switzerland." Read the full story here.

    • Opposition being silenced in Turkey.(WP).Many in Washington have been debating whether Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) could be a model for the Arab Spring , as our neighbors in the Middle East aspire to get rid of totalitarian regimes and become true democracies. But the reality in Turkey makes clear that the AKP model does not hold. On Nov. 9 I visited the Silivri prison where hundreds of journalists, publishers, military officers, academics and politicians are being held. Trials were opened in 2007 on charges that an ultranationalist underground organization had plotted for years to overthrow the government. Many of those indicted have been detained for years without trial. There has not been a single conviction to date. Justice is at stake — and, so far, has been flagrantly denied. At work is an insidious attack on the rule of law by Turkey’s governing party. These trials could have been an occasion for Turkey to achieve a much-needed catharsis for correcting past wrongs, but they have been turned into instruments to silence the opposition and suppress freedoms.Among those being held are eight opposition members of parliament. Turkey’s high election board declared that these people were qualified to stand for elections, and all won seats in parliament. That they are incarcerated violates their rights under Turkish law as elected representatives of the people. A universal norm of the rule of law is that one is innocent until proven guilty. Another is that evidence leads to the arrest of a suspect. In today’s Turkey, however, people are treated as guilty until proven innocent. One gets arrested; then authorities gather evidence to establish an infraction. Presumed guilt is the norm. Sadly, all opponents of the government are viewed as potential terrorists or plotters against the state. The AKP is systematic and ruthless in its persecution of any opposition to its policies. Authoritarian pressure methods such as heavy tax fines and illegal videotaping and phone tapping are widely used to silence opponents. Even more disturbing is the AKP’s claim that such things are being done in the name of democratic progress. The latest government target is the primary vestige of our democracy, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which I lead.It all boils down to this: In today’s Turkey, when one criticizes the justice system, one is prosecuted. When one appeals to the courts, one is penalized. But here is why I stand behind my words: I have the right and duty to be critical of all that is wrong in my country. It is my inalienable right to point to injustices and to ask for justice. If the courts are not performing their duty, one can, and should, stand up and say so. I do not ask for forgiveness. Rather, I want my own immunity as a member of parliament to be lifted so that I can be tried in a court for all to witness the outcome. Righteousness is the ultimate immunity. Turkey today is a country where people live in fear and are divided politically, economically and socially. Our democracy is regressing in terms of the separation of powers, basic human rights and freedoms and social development and justice. Citizens worry deeply about their future. These points are, sadly, reflected in most major international indexes, such as Human Rights Watch, which rank Turkey quite low in terms of human rights, democracy, freedoms and equality.Tactics such as oppression, preying on fear and restricting freedoms can help sustain a government’s rule for only so long. Never in history has a government succeeded in ruling permanently through authoritarian measures. Oppression does not endure; righteousness does. Turkey will be no exception.Hmmmm......Obama's 'buddy' Erdogan.A man is known by the company he keeps.Read the full story here.

    • Video - Maldives President Resigns Amid Public Protests.(RN).Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed resigned on Tuesday, following weeks of public protests over his controversial order to arrest a senior judge. The announcement came as soldiers fired rubber bullets and clashed with police officers who were defying a presidential order to end a protest against what they perceive as illegal orders by authorities.Read and see the full story here.

    • Google and Facebook pullout content in India.(E24/7).Internet giants Google Inc and Facebook removed content from some Indian domain websites on Monday following a court directive warning them of a crackdown "like China" if they did not take steps to protect religious sensibilities.The two are among 21 companies ordered to develop a mechanism to block material considered religiously offensive after private petitioners took them to court over images deemed offensive to certain communities.Two cases have been brought by individuals against internet companies in India, stoking fears about censorship in the world's largest democracy."(Our) review team has looked at the content and disabled this content from the local domains of (Google) search, Youtube and Blogger," Google spokeswoman Paroma Roy Chowdhury said.At the heart of the dispute is a law that India passed last year making companies responsible for user content posted on their websites, and giving them 36 hours to take down content if there is a complaint.Last month, the companies said it was not possible for them to block content. Google's Roy Chowdhury declined to comment on what had since been removed, and a Facebook representative said only that the company would release a statement later.A New Delhi lower court hearing one of the cases, a civil suit brought by a scholar, told the companies on Monday to put in writing the steps they had taken to block offensive content, and submit reports within 15 days."Microsoft has filed an application for rejection of the suit on the grounds that it disclosed no cause of action against Microsoft," a spokesperson for the company said. "The matter is sub judice and no further comments can be given."That suit was brought by scholar, Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasm, who runs a website called that gives answers to moral questions.Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft have appealed in the Delhi High Court against a separate criminal case successfully brought by journalist Vinay Rai.Read the full story here.

    • Monsanto Forced Out of UK by Activists.(PA).By Anthony Gucciardi.
      NaturalSociety.It has been a truly rough week for Monsanto. After being slammed with a lawsuit by concerned farmers over their GMO crops and thrown out by China, now the corrupt juggernaut is being thrown out of the United Kingdom. In an unprecedented announcement, Monsanto announced a major departure from the UK due to “intense opposition” to genetically modified foods from activists.As a result, the company is now closing its genetically modified wheat growing operation based in Cambridge. Monsanto officials even went on record stating that the move was a result of opposition against their own ‘Frankenstein Foods’.Furthermore, the company is even looking to liquidate their GMO crop facilities based in Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. Monsanto is making a run for it, and food good reason. Nations have been openly voicing their opposition against the biotech mammoth, with officials and individuals nationwide taking a stand. France is one of many nations to call out Monsanto’s crimes, citing health concerns among the many reasons to reject Monsanto’s GMO crops.India has also joined the conglomerate of nations directly opposed to the agricultural corruption brought upon by bloated biotechnology giant Monsanto, declaring legal action against the corporation for a crime dubbed ‘biopiracy‘. Peru even went as far as to pass a monumental 10 year ban on genetically modified foods.It seems that the United States officials are among the few who still swear allegiance to Monsanto, even allowing their genetically engineered hormone RBGH to run rampant in the U.S. despite being banned in 27 nations. Shockingly, the synthetic hormone (RBGH) is actually created using molecules and DNA sequences that are a result of molecular cloning. Are U.S. officials truly convinced that Monsanto’s GMO crops are truly safe, or does it have to do with the fact that many Monsanto employees are at the heart of the U.S. government? Read the full story here.

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