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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Meaning Of The "Cordoba Initiative" Behind the Ground Zero Mosque

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Germany Bringing In Turkish Police To Patrol Streets They Can No Longer Handle

Policing the Sharia Enclaves of Europe
The French have an official bureaucratic designation for these malignant urban neighborhoods: zones urbaines sensibles (“sensitive urban zones”), abbreviated ZUS. France has evolved a complex administrative regimen for dealing with these dangerous banlieues.

In English they are commonly referred to as “no-go zones”, highlighting the fact that white people — or at least non-Muslim white people — are not welcome within them. No one who enters such a zone can expect to be protected by the state. Often the fire brigade and ambulance services refuse to enter such areas without a police escort, and the police themselves stay away unless they have a compelling 1reason to go in — plus plenty of backup.Now Germany is bringing in Turkish police to patrol German streets cause they can't cope anymore.



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Timing is Everything

Photoblog:

Pilot ejects an instant before fighterjet crashes

Pilot Capt. Brian Bews ejects as his a CF-18 fighter jet plummets to the ground during a practice flight at the Lethbridge County Airport on Friday, July 23 for the weekend airshow in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. "He is alive and we believe right now that his injuries are non-life-threatening," Canadian Forces Capt. Nicole Meszaros told CBC News.







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Julian Bream
Bach Fugue in A Minor

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Steve Vai
I Know You're Here




Whispering a Prayer

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John Williams
Usher Waltz
(Nikita Koshkin)


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Lament of a Federal Reserve Wonk

Guest Commentary by Edward Cline:

A friend of mine, a retired banker, passed on to me the link to an astounding but not so shocking paper written by a senior economist in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia. Before joining the Federal Reserve in 2000, Kartik H. Athreya was an assistant vice president at Citibank in New York City (for only seven months). He received his Ph.D. in economics in 2000 from the University of Iowa, and his B.S. in economics from Iowa State University in 1993.

He taught a course, “Topics in Incomplete Markets,“ at the University of Virginia, in the fall of 2003.

As a senior economist at the Federal Reserve, Athreya has churned out several policy papers with titles like “The Growth of Unsecured Credit: Are We Better Off?,” “Equilibrium Models of Personal Bankruptcy: A Survey,” and “”Implications of Some Alternatives to Capital Income Taxation.”

Other papers of his, published or in-progress, include such scintillating subjects as “Consumption Smoothing, and the Measured Regressivety of Consumption Taxes,” “The Case for Direct Methods to Address CO2 Emissions and Other Negative Environmental Externalities,” and “Credit Exclusion in Quantitative Models of Bankruptcy: Does It Matter?”

No, it doesn’t. I have sampled some of these papers, and found them all to be rather contrived, artificial, and, in two words, certifiable snoozers. They are the typical effort of a bureaucratic non-entity attempting originality but only repeating the somniferous screeds of his countless colleagues and predecessors in Federal Reserve banks everywhere.

It is the kind of macro- and micro-economic writing that makes economics so dismal a science. It is devoting thousands of words, lines of equations laden with curious symbols, bewildering pie and graph charts, and jargon-riddled econo-babble to describe the probable causes, consequences and possible solutions surrounding a minuscule crack in a single engine piston -- when the whole vehicle has been totaled in a multi-car pile-up.

Which has been our economy at the hands of the Federal Reserve system for a very long time.

One wonders what passes for “peer review” to vet these studied but wholly busy-work analyses. I imagine it must be the academic equivalents of The Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, and the Monty Python troupe, kitted with a Ouija board and a case of Kentucky Bourbon, swapping turns to put their imprimaturs on such ethereal delvings and sorties into Platonic forms.

But the paper of Mr. Athreya’s that wins the prize for hubris and outright elitist condescension is the one originally brought to my attention. With egregious but semi-literate flair, it echoes the yearning of the Obama administration to control the Internet, to regulate speech and thought and to compel everyone to zip it and let the “experts“ talk. These people pose as our Platonic guardians and we are just cave-dwellers, fettered to the dank walls of work-a-day ignorance, who must rely on them to know what is going on outside. His paper has nothing to do with economics, real or whatever alchemy he practices. The paper is called “Economics is Hard: Don’t Let Bloggers Tell You Otherwise.”

The title alone should raise the hackles of anyone who now gets his news on the blogosphere and not from the MSM or from the Federal Reserve. Economics is “hard” if it is divorced from reality, reason, and language. It is quite easy and simple if one subscribes to the law of cause and effect. One could embark on a technical discussion of economics, provided one’s premises are valid and communicated to the layman.

Mr. Athreya opens with:

In this essay, I argue that neither non-economist bloggers, nor economists who portray economics —especially macroeconomic policy— as a simple enterprise with clear conclusions, are likely to contibute [sic] any insight to discussion of economics and, as a result, should be ignored by an open-minded lay public.
That is not calculated to win Mr. Athreya friends or to influence people. To whom should the lay public turn for advice on economics? Aside from himself, he mentions some obscure economists much later in his paper. But, he continues:

The following is a letter to open-minded consumers of the economics blogosphere. In the wake of the recent inimical crisis, bloggers seem unable to resist commentating routinely about economic events. It may always have been thus, but in recent times, the manifold dimensions of the inimical crisis and associated recession have given fillip to something bigger than a cottage industry. Examples include Matt Yglesias, John Stossel, Robert Samuelson, and Robert Reich. In what follows I will argue that it is exceedingly unlikely that these authors have anything interesting to say about economic policy.
Remember that these are not the words of a columnist writing for The New York Times or The Washington Post. You bought the paper and can take or leave a columnist’s opinions. This is the assertion of a functionary of the central bank, paid with the tax dollars of all those “open-minded consumers of the economics blogosphere.” I have news for Mr. Athreya: To judge by the content and caliber of his official papers, he is the least likely to have anything of interest to say about economic policy. After assuring readers that he is not being “mean-spirited,” he goes on.

Before I continue, here’s who I am: The relevant fact is that I work as a rank-and-file PhD economist operating within a central banking system. I have contributed no earth-shaking ideas to Economics and work fundamentally as a worker bee chipping away with known tools at portions of larger problems. It is precisely from this low-level vantage point that I am totally puzzled by the willingness of many who fearlessly and breathlessly opine about economics, especially macro- economic policy.
The worm doth protest too much. He’s just a “worker bee chipping away” at larger problems. I have not lately seen any worker bees chipping away at anything, except in an old Saturday Night Live skit. Buzzing about and alighting on flowers to collect pollen, yes -- but never mind his mixed metaphors. The lesson here is that anyone who boasts so strenuously of his humility is a person to be on guard against.

Mr. Athreya (humbly) considers himself to be a professional economist. He knows what it takes to talk about economics, because he must factor in so many elements and subjects to present “a very precisely articulated model that has been vetted repeatedly for internal coherence.”

Critically, it is one whose constituent assumptions and parts are visible to all present, and can be fought over. And what I certainly know is that to even begin to talk about the effects of unemployment, debt, deficits, or taxes, one has to think very hard about many, many things. Examples of this approach done right in the context of some of the topics mentioned above are recent papers by Robert Lucas of the University of Chicago, Jonathan Heathcote of the Minneapolis Fed, or Dirk Kreuger and his co-authors. Comparing, even momentarily, such careful work with its explicit, careful reasoning, its ever-mindful approach to the accounting for feedback effects, and its transparent reproducibility, with the sophomoric musings of autodidact or non-autodidact bloggers or writers is instructive. For those who want to really know what the best that economics has to offer is, you must look here. And this will be hard.
And it is very, very hard to write coherently about economics, never mind all those pesky autodidacts out there who presume to “muse” about the trillion dollar deficits, the costs of socialist legislation, and the abandonment of all pretense of a federal budget. They should stop writing about this stuff and leave it to professionals like Mr. Athreya to educate the public. Or to Bernard Bernanke. Or Tim Geithner. Or Barney Frank. Or Christopher Dodd. Or Henry Waxman. Or Nancy Pelosi, who wanted Obamacare passed first, and then we could all see its “internal coherence.” All sophomores. Nay, freshmen whose ignorance of economics and indifference to it know no bounds.

Mr. Athreya further on in this bewildering paper attempts to draw an analogy between ignorant bloggers writing about the disastrous consequences of Obamacare and other socialist/fascist legislation (such as President Barack Obama taking over the financial markets today), and hypothetically criticizing seismologists for not being able to predict natural disasters.

These are, of course, the Tsunami in East Asia, and the recent earthquake in Haiti. These two events collectively took the lives of approximately half a million people, and disrupted many more….However, neither of these events was met by (i) a widespread condemnation of seismology, the organized scientific endeavor most closely “responsible” for our understanding of these events or (ii) aflurry [sic] of autodidacts rushing to offer their own diagnosis [sic] for what had happened, and advice for how to avoid the next big one. Everyone understands that seismology is probably hard enough that one probably has little useful to say without first getting a PhD in it.
Not a valid analogy, to be sure. Every blogger knows that human actions in the way of trades, contracts, and criminal behavior are observable, and that the movement of tectonic plates is not observable or even predictable. That’s why bloggers did not rush to condemn seismologists, but do rush to speak when Obama destroys another chunk of the private sector. But, Mr. Athreya will have none of that. He insists that bloggers have Ph.D.’s and do course work before inking their pens or touching their keyboards. But then, he’s not addressing bloggers so much as he is those who read them.

So far, I’ve claimed something a bit obnoxious-sounding: that writers who have not taken a year of PhD coursework in a decent economics department (and passed their PhD qualifying exams), cannot meaningfully advance the discussion on economic policy….Many of those I am telling you not to listen to will more than successfully be able to match wits, in any generalized sense, with me. This is irrelevant. The question is: can they provide you, the reader, with an internally consistent analysis of a dynamic system subject to random shocks populated by thoughtful actors whose collective actions must be rendered feasible?
Or rendered coherent? Or comprehensible? Any blogger with half a brain could match wits with His Humbleness because most of them don’t make a career of writing obfuscating treatises that leave laymen cross-eyed and popping headache pills. This essay is written from only one coherent, comprehensible premise: That “amateur” economists should keep still and let the “professionals” do the writing, talking and educating. It’s “hard work,” you know. Mr. Athreya spent years studying economics and got his Ph.D., and now any random bastard can come along and clutter up the landscape with his non-university-gotten ditherings and discourses. It isn’t fair.

Mr. Athreya concludes:

As a result, my hope is that the broader public will ask for a slightly higher bar when it comes to economics, rather than self-selecting into blogs that merely confirm half-baked views that might have been acquired from elsewhere.
Government wonks come a dime a dozen, but I have rarely encountered one with the depth of arrogance and the ingrained sense of entitled elitism as Athreya‘s. This is what such creatures, high in Congress, and low in the faceless cubicles of the Federal Reserve Banks, think of Americans. We are just passive vassals of the state, hungering for enlightenment and waiting for him to show us the way and to answer our questions.

A “higher bar”? Mr. Athreya should discover Ludwig von Mises, Lord Acton, Henry Hazlitt, Frédéric Bastiat, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams, for starters. Any one of them will give him a genuine sense of humility, and teach him just how fighting, arguing, and writing for freedom is such hard and unremitting work.

Crossposted at The Dougout
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Gateway Pundit:

Breaking: Anita Moncrief to File FEC Charges Against Obama Administration
Posted by Jim Hoft on Friday, July 23, 2010, 4:41 PM

ACORN whistle-blower Anita Moncrief held a press conference today at the Right Online Convention in Las Vegas. She announced today that she will press FEC charges against the Obama Administration for the campaign’s illegal coordination with ACORN during the 2008 election.



Anita also rolled out her new website Emerging Corruption. The website will focus on fraud and corruption in ACORN and affiliated groups. Anita already posted the Obama Donor List on the website as promised.

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Michele Bachman

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Uncle Ted: We believe everyone who wants to harvest all the bounties of America should also be willing to fully embrace American heritage and customs and assimilate into America.

At The Waahington Times:

NUGENT: Dear Mexico …
American dream is attainable for those who share our values
By Ted Nugent
5:58 p.m., Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bienvenido. Welcome. As the November elections draw nearer, political campaigns most assuredly will heat up and become more tense and filled with rancor. As with any election, you have to dig for the truth.

Immigration is one of the key issues at the forefront of the campaigns. Just as it has done to the law passed in Arizona, the Democratic machine will work overtime once again to demonize conservatives and the Republican Party as jingoists, racists, anti-civil-rights, anti-immigration, anti-minority and even anti-Mexican. I know, as I previously have been the target of its vicious personal lying attacks and smear campaigns straight out of the playbook of Richard Andrew Cloward, Frances Fox Piven and Saul Alinsky. Soulless.

Such attacks, of course, could not be further from the truth, but telling the truth has never been a plank in the political platform of the Democratic Party. If Democrats ever told Americans the truth about what they truly believe, the Democratic Party would cease to exist by tomorrow.

Rest assured, just as the Democrats lie to Americans, they also will lie to you. They will claim on one hand that they are your liberators. They will say anything, make any promise to get your support. Yet on the other hand, what they won't tell you is that once they have garnered your support, they ultimately will work to enslave you and ruin your families with Fedzilla programs and dollars that will destroy you and your families, much like the corrupt, abusive Mexican government you risked your lives to escape.

If you doubt this, look at what the Democrats have done to black America over the past 50 years. What once was a proud, strong people now lies in ruin because of Fedzilla programs designed specifically to enslave and destroy instead of liberate and build. Amazingly, black Americans still overwhelming vote for Democrats. Be wise and learn from their mistakes.

Conservatives greatly respect the work ethic, family values, diversity and independent spirit of the Mexican people. We harbor no ill will toward anyone because of race, creed, color, sex or ethnicity. We value hard work and judge people on their character.

Conservatives want to see people of Mexican descent reach their full potential in America. We are not satisfied with seeing anyone remain on the bottom rung of the ladder of success. We believe that through hard work, sacrifice and commitment, the American dream remains vibrant and within the grasp of anyone willing to work hard and reach for it. We also believe in less government, lower taxes and more freedom. As President Reagan once said, government isn't the solution, it's the problem.

We believe in immigration reform, although we do not believe in granting amnesty to those who have violated our immigration laws to get to America. We understand why people want to come to America but do not believe granting amnesty is a smart move.

Conservatives believe there should be an easier and simpler process for Mexicans to work in America legally and be part of the American experience. We do not believe anyone should have to live in the shadows.

Just as in Mexico, American conservatives believe one of government's most important roles is securing our nation. We must know who is coming into America and believe all individuals desiring to enter America should be subject, at a minimum, to a health and criminal background check.

American conservatives believe in protecting our borders and legal immigration. Mexico has immigration laws and rightfully protects its southern border with Guatemala, and America also has a right and responsibility to protect its borders.

A common language is vital to achieving the American dream, and thus conservatives believe learning the English language is a core component of achieving the American dream. Failing to learn the English language inhibits your ability to climb the ladder of success.

Though we believe you should be proud of your heritage, conservatives also believe if you want to immigrate to America, you should embrace our values, traditions and history just as our great-grandparents did when they arrived at Ellis Island 100 or more years ago. We believe everyone who wants to harvest all the bounties of America should also be willing to fully embrace American heritage and customs and assimilate into America.

Because of the Obama administration's continued endorsement of wrongheaded economic policies, America is going through tough economic times. Unemployment is high, economic growth is stagnant, at best, and government spending and debt are out of control. These are not favorable economic conditions for Americans or anyone else wanting to work in America.

You have a choice. Embrace the political party that believes in enslavement or embrace the political party with policies that promote greater individual liberty and freedom. That's not just your choice, but the choice of Americans.

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Great Moments in the History Of Islamic Fiqh (Jurisprudence)

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Sacred War Sabre Rattling

Newsmax:

N. Korea Vows Nuclear Response to US Drills
Saturday, 24 Jul 2010 08:14 AM

North Korea vowed Saturday to respond with "powerful nuclear deterrence" to joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises poised to begin this weekend, saying the drills amount to a provocation that would prompt "retaliatory sacred war."

North Korea routinely threatens war when South Korea and the U.S. hold joint military drills, which Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal for an attack on the communist North. The latest threat comes amid increased tensions on the divided peninsula over the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship that Seoul and Washington blame on Pyongyang.

The allies' defense chiefs announced earlier in the week they would stage the drills to send a clear message to North Korea to stop its "aggressive" behavior. Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed in the March sinking of the Cheonan, considered the worst military attack on the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

North Korea vehemently denies any involvement and says any punishment would trigger war.

On Saturday, North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission — headed by leader Kim Jong Il — backed that threat up by promising a "retaliatory sacred war" against South Korea and the U.S. for what it called a second "unpardonable" provocation after wrongly accusing the North in the Cheonan incident.

"The army and people of the (North) will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises," the commission said in a statement carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.

A day earlier in Hanoi, a North Korean spokesman for the delegation attending a regional security conference warned the drills would draw a "physical response" from Pyongyang.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said no unusual North Korean military movements were detected.

The nuclear-powered USS George Washington supercarrier is already docked in the southern port of Busan for the military games set to begin Sunday. In addition, the U.S. keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea to deter against aggression, a presence that Pyongyang cites as a key reason behind its drive to build nuclear weapons.

"The more desperately the U.S. imperialists brandish their nukes and the more zealously their lackeys follow them, the more rapidly the (North's) nuclear deterrence will be bolstered up along the orbit of self-defense and the more remote the prospect for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula will be become," the commission statement said.

The U.S.-South Korean military drills are to set to run through Wednesday, with about 8,000 U.S. and South Korean troops on some 20 ships and submarines carrying out exercises in the East Sea.

The drills also involve some 200 aircraft, headlined by four U.S. Air Force's F-22 "Raptor" stealth fighters.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Wednesday, after visiting the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, that the U.S. would slap new sanctions on the North to stifle its nuclear ambitions and punish it for the Cheonan sinking.

On Friday, the European Union said it, too, would consider new sanctions on North Korea.

The North's Foreign Ministry also said Saturday that Pyongyang will further strengthen its nuclear deterrent and again mentioned "powerful physical measures" in response to the U.S. military provocations and sanctions.

North Korea "is prepared for both dialogue and war. It will remain unfazed by military threat and sanctions," KCNA quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

In Hanoi, South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan called Saturday on the international community to take strong measures against North Korea's provocations, Yonhap news agency reported.

Clinton and a North Korean official traded barbs Friday over the sinking, the military drills and the imposition of the new U.S. sanctions. North Korean spokesman Ri Tong Il said the tensions showed the need to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the armistice signed at the end of the Korean War.

Clinton said the U.S. is willing to meet and negotiate with the North, but this type of threat only heightens tensions. She added progress in the short term seems unlikely.

"It is distressing when North Korea continues its threats and causes so much anxiety among its neighbors and the larger region," she told reporters. "But we will demonstrate once again with our military exercises ... that the United States stands in firm support of the defense of South Korea and we will continue to do so."

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PolitiZoid: "Money For Nothing"

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Daisy Khan, Wife of Ground Zero Mosque Imam: "The Building Came to Us ... It Was Struck By A Plane"




Notice she says, "It was struck by a plane."


Not that it was struck by one of the jets that were used, by Islamic Jihadists, to attack the World Trade Center.


Instead, it was just passively, "struck by a plane."


As Pamela says, "The callousness toward the pain and grief this has caused millions is radically intolerant. The unmitigated gall is .............. breathtaking.

"The Building came to us"

What sick piece of work.

It came to them because it was condemned by the city after it got damaged by pieces of a plane crashing into it on 911.

Is that the "divine hand" she is talking about?

Can't most people see just from that statement how deceitful and evil she is?

911 was a "divine act" then according to her.

Funny how her and her husband are hiding their jihad in plain sight. It is right there in front of us.
Just many refuse to see it.

Like in Mars Attacks: "we are your friends....we come in peace"....
"


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Netherlands: Paintings Depicting Pigs Pre-Emptiveley Removed From Hospital to Avoid Offending Muslims


From Weasel Zippers:

LEERDAM, 23/07/10 - Three paintings depicting pigs have been pre-emptively removed from a hospital in Leerdam because they might offend Muslims.

One patient, not actually himself a Muslim, made a complaint about the paintings because he wanted to avoid Muslims having confrontations with the pigs. The leadership of the healthcare institution, the Linge Polyclinic, thereupon decided to remove the paintings immediately, Algemeen Dagblad newspaper reports.

The artist, Sylvia Bosch, is astounded. “One week earlier, I had an e-mail from the clinic saying that they were getting nice reactions. After a single complaint, they had to be taken away immediately.”
The Linge Polyclinic has stated that the pictures were removed because “all visitors must feel comfortable in the institution”
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Feminists Who Fight Against Islam's Abuse of Women

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Why Photography Bullying is Illegal, and You Don't Have to Take It

Why Photography Bullying is Illegal,
 and You Don't Have to Take ItWe've previously covered how, despite camera ubiquity, amateur and journalistic reports of police, security guards, and other authority figures of varying legitimacy intimidating harmless photographers continue to pop up. Popular Mechanics explains why this harassment isn't just wrong, but illegal.
Instances of such intimidation—misguided at best, but often outright thuggish—occur anywhere from shopping malls to public streets, and often go down when citizens attempt to document an arrest or other police action. And while Popular Mechanics' Glenn Harlan Reynolds notes that mall cops may have a legal basis for asking you to put your camera away, public property (such as any sidewalk, street, or municipal area) is always fair game.
Why Photography Bullying is Illegal,
 and You Don't Have to Take It
Reynolds cites Bert Krages, an attorney specializing in photography law (very cool!), who explains "The general rule is that if something is in a public place, you're entitled to photograph it." And there's nothing in the the Patriot or Homeland Security acts that says otherwise, contrary to what a misinformed officer might try to tell you. You snapping a pic of a police traffic stop is no more a privacy violation than a wide-eyed tourist photographing a Times Square Sbarro.
But what about terrorism? Still not an excuse. As Bruce Schneier, head of security technology for British Telecom points out, the notion that terrorist conspirators photograph their targets is an overblown one: "Look at the 9/11 attacks, the Moscow and London subway bombings, the Fort Hood shooting—no photos." Rather, Reynolds argues, a camera in the hand of every pedestrian can only serve to foil potential plotters.
Why Photography Bullying is Illegal,
 and You Don't Have to Take It
If you or someone you know is menaced by police who claim you're breaking the law by merely hitting the shutter, Reynolds advises to—politely—ask what legal authority they have to stop you, and to speak with a supervisor. But the only permanent fix will be an emphasis on educating guards and police, or the type of legislation recently introduced by Congressman Edolphus Towns.
Taking photos through your ex-girlfriend's window is still very, very illegal, however.

Taking Photos In Public Places Is Not A Crime: Analysis

Too many officials think taking photos is a crime. Here’s why they’re wrong.

By Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Illustration by Rui Ricardo
Today, most people walk around with a camera of some sort in their possession. Point-and-shoots, DSLRs and tiny video cams--not to mention cellphones--have become ubiquitous. And yet it seems that in many public locations, security officials are touchier than ever about letting people actually use those cameras. Our guardians of public safety often have the idea that shooting pictures in public places might be a precursor to some sort of terrorism. It's an understandable concern, but misguided. I believe there is a good case to be made that having lots of cameras in the hands of citizens makes us more, rather than less, safe.

Here's how bad it has gotten: Not long ago, an Amtrak representative did an interview with local TV station Fox 5 in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station to explain that you don't need a permit to take pictures there--only to be approached by a security guard who ordered them to stop filming without a permit.

Legally, it's pretty much always okay to take photos in a public place as long as you're not physically interfering with traffic or police operations. As Bert Krages, an attorney who specializes in photography-related legal problems and wrote Legal Handbook for Photographers, says, "The general rule is that if something is in a public place, you're entitled to photograph it." What's more, though national-security laws are often invoked when quashing photographers, Krages explains that "the Patriot Act does not restrict photography; neither does the Homeland Security Act." But this doesn't stop people from interfering with photographers, even in settings that don't seem much like national-security zones.

Tennessee law student Morgan Manning has compiled a list of incidents in which individuals were wrongly stopped. Cases like that of Seattle photographer Bogdan Mohora, who was arrested for taking pictures of police arresting a man and had his camera confiscated. Or NASA employee Walter Miller, who was stopped for photographing an art exhibit near the Indianapolis City-County Building and told that "homeland security" forbade photos of the facility. More recently, a CBS news crew was turned back from shooting the oil-fouled gulf coastline by two U.S. Coast Guard officers who said they were enforcing "BP's rules."

Unfortunately, Manning notes, although such hassling is generally illegal, it's hard for the average citizen to get redress in court--how do you calculate the value of deleted snapshots or photos never taken in the first place?

As the examples above demonstrate, it's a problem that stems as much from cluelessness at the bottom of the chain of command as from heavy-handedness at the top. The officers who crack down on photographers no doubt believe they are protecting public safety. But evidence that photography might be useful to terrorists is slim. According to security expert Bruce Schneier, head of security technology for British Telecom, terrorists don't typically photograph targets in advance. "Look at the 9/11 attacks, the Moscow and London subway bombings, the Fort Hood shooting--no photos," he says. "I'm not seeing a whole lot of plots that hinge on photography." On his blog, Schneier advises: "If you're harassed, it's almost certainly a law enforcement official, public or private, acting way beyond his authority."

Not surprisingly, police tend to be particularly sensitive about being photographed themselves. And many of the cases cited by Manning involve officers discouraging citizens from filming them while they go about their duties. Though one can understand their skittishness, the fact is, our ability to document the actions of public officials is an important freedom, one that can serve as a check against abuses.

Police and prosecutors in Maryland have been taking a particularly hard line. In one case, motorcycle rider Anthony Graber left his helmet cam on while he was pulled over by a state trooper. A grand jury indicted him on several violations of the state's wiretapping laws. If convicted on all charges, Graber could face up to 16 years in prison. In alleging that the GoPro video camera on Graber's helmet constituted a "surreptitious" wiretapping device, prosecutors are making the claim that a person recording his own arrest is violating the police officer's right to privacy.

This is the sort of thing you might be tempted simply to toss in the crazy file. But, in fact, this is one of the comparatively few issues that could merit a new federal civil rights law. Under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Congress is empowered to pass laws protecting civil rights against infringement by state and local officials, and that seems to be what's happening here. A clear federal law would limit cases, like Maryland's, in which local officials use their power to harass those who might keep an eye on them. Passing such a law would make us all safer.

Even in potential terrorism cases, the presence of lots of ordinary folks carrying cameras actually enhances public security. In the hours after the failed Times Square car-bomb attempt, officials searching for clues didn't just look at their own security-camera footage, they also sought out home movies shot by tourists.

So what should you do if you're taking photos and a security guard or police officer approaches you and tells you to stop? First, be polite. Security people have tough jobs and probably mean well. Ask them what legal authority they have to make you stop. (If you're in a public place, like a street, a park, etc., they have none; if you're in a private place, such as a shopping mall, they may have a basis for banning pictures.) Krages advises those hassled by security guards to threaten to call law enforcement. If it's an actual police officer who's telling you to stop shooting, ask to speak to a superior. And remember--you never have a legal duty to delete pictures you've taken.

More importantly, we need better education among security guards and law enforcement. In Britain, the country's police chiefs' association is attempting to educate officers about the rights of photographers. So far, nothing like that has happened in the U.S., but it should. Trying to block photography in public places is not only heavy-handed and wrong but, thanks to technology, basically useless. With the proliferation of cameras in just about every device we carry, digital photography has become too ubiquitous to stop. Let's have a truce in the war on photography and set our sights on the real bad guys. Who, it seems, don't carry cameras anyway.

Popular Mechanics contributing editor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, author of An Army of Davids (Nelson Current, 2006), teaches law at the University of Tennessee and blogs at Instapundit.
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Hey Guys! I Turn 49 in November! I'm going to throw a party and to attend you only have to pay half of what you would to attend Obama's!

Sun Times:

Price to attend Obama's birthday bash: $30,000
July 23, 2010

BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist
$$$$$: Happy Birthday, buddy!

Sneed hears real estate mogul Neil Bluhm is tossing a private birthday party here for President Obama, who turns 49 on Aug. 4.

• The shocker: The dinner invite to the Barack bash at Bluhm's home requires a $30,000 donation to the Democratic National Committee!

• The stunner: Obama is also scheduled to be in town Aug. 5 for a fund-raiser at the Palmer House for U.S. Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias, who is hoping to capture Uncle Rocky's old seat.

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Men In Black

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We Live In Interesting Times. . .

The Doors
Strange Days



People Are Strange

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Doobie Brothers
Without You


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TANCREDO: The case for impeachment

Washington Times (h/t Will) :

Obama has violated his oath of office over immigration
By Tom Tancredo
5:57 p.m., Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eleven years ago, like every citizen elected to serve in Congress or any person appointed to any federal position, I swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic."

I've always thought it significant that the Founders included domestic enemies in that oath of office. They thought liberty was as much at risk from threats within our borders as from outside, and French political thinker and historian Alexis de Tocqueville agreed with that warning.

In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the greatest threat to our nation was clear - and foreign. While Islamic terrorism still represents the greatest external threat to America and American lives, the avowed program of the Obama regime has changed the picture in a fundamental way.

For the first time in American history, we have a man in the White House who consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. That's why I say the greatest threat to our Constitution, our safety and our liberties, is internal. Our president is an enemy of our Constitution, and, as such, he is a danger to our safety, our security and our personal freedoms.

Barack Obama is one of the most powerful presidents this nation has seen in generations. He is powerful because he is supported by large majorities in Congress, but, more importantly, because he does not feel constrained by the rule of law. Whether he is putting up the weakest possible defense of the Defense of Marriage Act despite the Justice Department's legal obligation to support existing law; disenfranchising Chrysler and GM bondholders in order to transfer billions of investor dollars to his supporters in the United Auto Workers; or implementing yet a third offshore oil-drilling moratorium even after two federal courts have thrown out two previous moratoriums, President Obama is determined to see things done his way regardless of obstacles. To Mr. Obama, the rule of law is a mere inconvenience to be ignored, overcome or "transcended" through international agreements or "norms."

Mr. Obama's paramount goal, as he so memorably put it during his campaign in 2008, is to "fundamentally transform America." He has not proposed improving America - he is intent on changing its most essential character. The words he has chosen to describe his goals are neither the words nor the motivation of just any liberal Democratic politician. This is the utopian, or rather dystopian, reverie of a dedicated Marxist - a dedicated Marxist who lives in the White House.

Because of the power he wields over budgets, the judiciary, national defense and even health care, his regime and his program are not just about changing public policy in the conventional sense. When one considers the combination of his stop-at-nothing attitude, his contempt for limited government, his appointment of judges who want to create law rather than interpret it - all of these make this president today's single greatest threat to the great experiment in freedom that is our republic.

Yes, Mr. Obama is a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda. We know that Osama bin Laden and followers want to kill us, but at least they are an outside force against whom we can offer our best defense. But when a dedicated enemy of the Constitution is working from the inside, we face a far more dangerous threat. Mr. Obama can accomplish with the stroke of his pen what bin Laden cannot accomplish with bombs and insurgents.

Mr. Obama's actions, not just his words, show the threat he poses. A level of government deficit spending unheard of since World War II and trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see represent an unacceptable threat to our economic security and our children's future. Mr. Obama could be the first president to guarantee that the next generation of Americans has a lower standard of living than their parents.

Mr. Obama's most egregious and brazen betrayal of our Constitution was his statement to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that the administration will not enforce security on our southern border because that would remove Republicans' desire to negotiate a "comprehensive" immigration bill. That is, to put it plainly, a decision that by any reasonable standard constitutes an impeachable offense against the Constitution. For partisan political advantage, he is willfully disregarding his obligation under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution to protect states from foreign invasion.

There is no higher duty of the federal government and our elected representatives than to protect our nation from invasion. Multiple reports and testimony before Congress by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials have stated that a porous border with Mexico is "a path" terrorists will use if they can. Some would-be terrorists, including at least one associated with Hezbollah, already have. Recent reports of contacts between Hezbollah and Mexican drug cartels make it all but certain that terrorists intent on destroying us will come across our southwestern border. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for the administration to do everything in its power to keep Americans safe. Our safety is not a bargaining chip for another amnesty - or for any other political objective whatsoever.

Mr. Obama's refusal to live up to his own oath of office - which includes the duty to defend the United States against foreign invasion - requires senators and representatives to live up to their oaths. Members of Congress must defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Today, that means bringing impeachment charges against Mr. Obama.

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Newsmax:

Congressional Approval at 11 Percent
Friday, 23 Jul 2010
By: Jim Meyers

Congress ranks dead last out of 16 institutions rated in a new Gallup poll — just 11 percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, an all-time low.

That figure is down from 17 percent in 2009 and is one point lower than the previous low, recorded in 2008.

Gallup’s 2010 Confidence in Institutions survey found that half of Americans now say they have “very little” or “no” confidence in Congress, up from 38 percent last year and the highest for any institution since Gallup first asked this question in 1973.

The military is the highest-rated U.S. institution — 76 percent of those polled said they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the military — followed by small business (66 percent), the police (59), the church or organized religion (48), and the medical system (40).

Other poorly rated institutions include big business and HMOs, at 19 percent, and organized labor (20 percent).

The poll also found that only 36 percent of Americans have confidence in the presidency, down from 51 percent in June 2009 but higher than it was in 2008, the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency, when the figure was 26 percent.

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Suicide Bomber Hotline


NEW HELP FOR OUR SUICIDE BOMBER FRIENDS

GERMANY OFFERS HOTLINE FOR RADICAL MUSLIMS
DON’T SET OFF THE BOMB WITHOUT SAYING GOOD-BYE
by
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.

If you are a Muslim suicide bomber in Germany and have second thoughts about carrying out your mission, we have good news for you.

You can call the suicide bomber hotline at 0221/792-699 and receive immediate advise from trained advisors.

The hotline is called HATIF, meaning “telephone” in Arabic and has been set up to provide guidance to Muslims who want to abandon the jihad against all non-believers.

“The primary goal of HATIF is to prevent violence in the name of Islam,” states the German Federal Constitution Protection Office.

A spokeswoman for the German domestic intelligence agency says that all callers will be granted absolute anonymity and that no tips will be related to counter-terrorism units or law enforcement officials.

The amount of money that the German government has set aside for this unique endeavor remains a mystery – - also unknown is the number of employees standing by to take the incoming calls.

“Our program is an offer for those who want to leave extremism behind,” one program official told the Associated Press. “Once we find out what their needs are, we will develop the program accordingly,” she said. The program will also reportedly help family members and friends of people who have come under influence of extremists.

“We know that in almost all of these groups, there are people who want to leave, but it is not easy to get out of such an environment,” saya Peter Neumann, an expert from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence in London. “Therefore it is great that Germany makes this offer even though this definitely won’t lead to the end of radical Islam in Germany.” Neumann also mentioned that no such program exists anywhere else in Europe.

There are approximately 36,000 Islamist extremists presently in Germany – - many are considered to be potentially violent.

The Muslim population in Germany has climbed to 4.3 million, making Muslims account for 5.2 per cent of the country’s population.

The new government service is offered in Arabic, Turkish, and German.

Those who do not wish to call may receive help and discouragement by sending an e-mail to hatif@bfv.bund, or by visiting http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/en/index_en.html

After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV / Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution) has clearly intensified its efforts to look into Islamic extremism and Islamist terrorism.

In view of the extensive threat posed by Islamist terrorism, we would like to address all fellow citizens – especially those of the Muslim faith – and ask you for your assistance:

■Do you know of any planned acts of violence or terrorist attacks?
■Do you know anybody who is involved in the planning of acts of violence or terrorist attacks?
■Do you know of anybody being recruited for such planning?

Your hints can be of great significance for us and may save human lives. You can contact us under the following phone number:

+49-221-792-3366

This hotline is staffed 24 hours a day.

Monday to friday from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., callers can be attended in Turkish or Arabic. Confidentiality is granted.

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The Volokh Conspiracy:

Obama Campaign Adviser Participated on JournoList

Jared Bernstein, chief economist for Vice President Joseph Biden, served in 2008 as an economic adviser to the Obama campaign. At the same time, he was a member of JournoList, the controversial progressive email list.

Bernstein’s bio at Politico, which appears not to have been updated since 2008, states: “He is an economic adviser to the Obama campaign.”

He was known to many for his regular appearances on the financial channel CNBC. His primary employer in 2008 was the Economic Policy Institute, a pro-labor progressive think tank, but according to his bio when appointed to the Obama-Biden Administration, he also was a member of the Panel of Economic Advisers of the Congressional Budget Office.

Reached today at the Office of the Vice President, Bernstein revealed that his position with the Obama campaign was as something called a “surrogate.” “I was not paid by the campaign,” he explained. “They would call me from time to time to represent their positions, that side of the debate.”

Asked when he left JournoList, Bernstein replied, ‘‘I think I left the list around the time I came here.” Bernstein was announced as Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to the Vice President-elect on December 8, 2008.

One question that has arisen in the last week is how closely JournoList members, not only discussed how to shape the news to advance the fortunes of Barack Obama, but coordinated with the Obama campaign. Jared Bernstein’s position as an unpaid adviser and surrogate shows that there was at least one direct link between JournoList and the Obama campaign.

Bernstein’s serving on the Economic Advisory Panel of the CBO is less worrisome, though it appears to violate Ezra Klein’s first rule for JournoList:

At the beginning, I set two rules for the membership. The first was the easy one: No one who worked for the government in any capacity could join.
It would appear that Bernstein’s presence on the list violated Klein’s first rule, since he met the test of working “for the government in any capacity.”

Yet note Klein’s careful wording here. People who worked for the government in any capacity couldn’t join, but could they stay on the list if they took a government job after joining?

Were there other campaign advisers or part-time government officials who participated on JournoList?

UPDATE: Here is an example of Bernstein’s humorous political writing at the Huffington Post.

2D UPDATE: I have an anonymous source who has shown me an email thread that appears to be from JournoList. From his search of the JournoList archives, he believes that Bernstein’s last direct email to the list was on December 5, 2008, a charming farewell sent 3 days before he was introduced as Biden’s chief economist. Indeed, months later there were several emails to the list from members who wondered how to contact Bernstein.

I hope to have a lot more in the next few days.

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Does This Bomb Make My Butt Look Big?

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American Thinker:

Can He Be Stopped?

By David Solway

The single most important question for Americans today is as simple as it is inescapable: Is it possible to block and reverse Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of American society to resemble a soft-power, European socialist state (or worse) before the damage he does to his country is irreparable? Waiting until 2012 when his first term is completed may bring, in a different domain and with certain obvious adjustments, something like the catastrophic results which the film 2012 [1], based on the prognostications of the Mayan Long Count Calendar [2], lividly portrays. For the smug and incompetent leadership of an enigmatic president is starting “progressively” to look like a bad movie with real-world effects. And 2012, at least according to the dread Calendar, is the year when everything goes to pieces.

Of course, it must be acknowledged that Obama began his political career more as an effect, or the symptom of a malaise, than as a cause or the malaise itself. After all, the American people put him where he is, intuiting in Obama an embodiment of their own regrettably facile and unexamined aspirations and an untutored drive to renovate the past. But the effect has now been transformed into a cause in its own right and the symptom has become the infirmity. Consequently, many of those who ensured Obama’s accession to power are presently experiencing a severe case of elector’s remorse.

For there can be little doubt any longer that the United States is now governed by a rogue administration, founded not on the Constitution but on lies, one broken campaign promise after another and attempts to ignore or scamper around the principles of the Fathers. We are observing an establishment that is unwilling to defend the nation’s borders from drug cartel violence and illegal immigration, forcing unread bills through Congress in the dark of night, embarking on a socialized medicine program it cannot afford and which has not worked wherever else it has been tried, plunging the nation into bankruptcy with misnamed “stimulus spending,” unsustainable entitlements and exponential debt, refusing to drill safely on land to reduce its dependence on foreign oil supplies, utterly incapable of dealing with cataclysms like the Gulf oil spill, touting an impractical, premature and ruinously exorbitant Green Energy policy, considering cap-and-trade legislation when it has become undeniably clear that Global Warming research is a profoundly unsettled and perhaps even a false science, scrubbing all reference to Islamic terror from its official documents and pursuing a foreign policy that might accurately be described as geopolitically suicidal. Quite a list, but unfortunately an accurate one.

This is an administration that could just as well have been put in place by America’s most relentless enemies. It is headed by a president with deep roots in a neo-Marxist social movement and associational ties with a host of disreputable characters. This is a president who has embarked on a diplomatic approach of appeasing the country’s despotic competitors and adversaries, with whom he appears to have more in common than with the majority of his own countrymen. Accompanied by his friends, officials, cabinet choices and hand-picked adjutants (aka “czars”), he appears intent on circumventing the rule of law on the one hand—whether considering amnesty for illegal aliens or refusing to prosecute electoral violators like the Black Panthers, guilty of voter intimidation—and on the other hand activating civil law where it does not apply, as in moving to grant civil trials to confessed jihadists or according Miranda rights to captured terrorists.

Read more »

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Al-Arabiya Director Calls Nuclear Iran ‘Most Dangerous Threat That is Facing Our Region in 100 Years’

CNSNews:

By Adam Cassandra

Writing in the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, general manager of Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV, said that a nuclear Iran would seek to dominate the Gulf States in the Middle East and said he supported a military attack against Iran before it produces nuclear weapons.

Al-Rashid was writing in support of statements made by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the United States Youssef Al-Otaiba, indicating approval for a U.S. attack on Iran. The U.A.E. deputy foreign minister, Tareq Al-Haidan, later said that the ambassador’s comments "were taken out of context.”

“(W)hat is truly wrong is the reluctance of our politicians to express their opinions and concerns towards the most dangerous threat that is facing our region in a hundred years,” Al-Rashid wrote.

While recognizing that Iran may not attack the Gulf States with nuclear weapons, Al-Rashid says that Iran, “would certainly seek to dominate them, and perhaps take over a number of Gulf States, in the knowledge that no major power in the world will dare to interfere as they are protected by their nuclear arms.”

Al-Rashid speculates that Iran will not attack Israel because the Israelis would respond by “burying them with a hundred nuclear bombs, wiping them off the map, while still having an arsenal of hundreds of nuclear bombs.”

Al-Rashid also says Iran will not attack the United States with nuclear weapons because America is too far away and would similarly respond with overwhelming nuclear force.

Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado on July 6, a reporter from The Atlantic asked Ambassador Al-Otaiba, “Do you want the U.S. to stop the Iranian nuclear program by force?” The ambassador responded, “Absolutely, absolutely.”

"I think it's a cost-benefit analysis," the Washington Times quoted Ambassador Al-Otaiba as saying. "I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion … there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what."

"If you are asking me, 'Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran?' my answer is still the same: 'We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.' I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the U.A.E.," the ambassador said.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the Middle East … and I will tell you that in my meetings with various leaders in the Middle East, there isn’t one of them that isn’t focused on Iran,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said at the Washington, D.C., premiere of “Countdown to Zero,” a movie about nuclear proliferation.

In audio of his speech, obtained by CNSNews.com, Kerry said, “There isn’t one of them in either the Gulf States, or Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, other countries, that hasn’t said that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, that they feel compelled for their defense to go down that road. So it is patently clear that a world free of nuclear weapons, countdown to zero, is a world that does not pass through Tehran’s nuclearization.”

Kerry further said, “It’s not just that Tehran would abuse it’s nuclear power to project its own agenda, but it is also the fear that as other nations proliferate, any terrorist group then has greater target of opportunity in order to get a hold of nuclear fissile material.

“And I’m sure it’s in the film, though I haven’t seen the film, but Osama bin Laden makes it patently evident that it is a goal of al Qaeda. In fact it is a jihadist holy duty to secure a nuclear weapon,” he added.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton recently told Human Events that he would advise President Obama to preemptively attack Iran’s nuclear program.

“We have the capability unambiguously to stop the program,” Bolton said. “I think the Israelis can stop it, but I think we could do it a lot better.

“One thing that’s important to understand, that the Obama administration manifestly does not understand, is that even an Israeli attack against the Iranian nuclear program would be supported in the Arab world,” Bolton said.

“It would be supported by the Arab states of the Persian Gulf region. It would be supported by Egypt and others who don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons any more than the Israelis do,” he added.

“The UAE totally rejects the use of force as a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue,” according to Al-Haidan. "The UAE, at the same time, believes in the need of keeping the Gulf region free of nuclear weapons.”

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 Daily Mail:

Saudi man chains his son in the basement for six years because he is 'possessed by an evil female genie'
By Michael Theodoulou



A Saudi man has been chained in a basement apartment for more than six years because his father believes he is possessed by an evil female genie.

"When he has fits he has convulsions and his entire body twists and his eyes become completely white,' said the father of the 29-year-old man who has been identified only as Turki.

'Then the voice of a woman can be heard coming from him.'

When Turki first began behaving bizarrely, his father took him to local Muslim clerics to recite the Koran over him.

'But most of them became scared when they heard the female voice telling them that she was a royal jinn (genie) and that no-one can exorcise her unless Turki dies,' his father said.

One cleric advised him to shackle his son’s arms and legs in chains and read the Koran to him.

'We did this. My son became quiet but is totally unaware of what is happening around him. He does not talk and is now unable to harm anyone,' Turki’s father told Arab News, an English language Saudi daily.

But genies, or jinn, in Islamic theology can be much more sinister. Some are good, others bad.

A Saudi family last year took a 'genie' to court, accusing it of theft and harassment.

The jinn was said to have terrified the children by throwing stones, stealing mobile phones and speaking in male and female voices.

Turki lives in a tiny, two-room basement apartment with his impoverished mother and her three other children in the holy city of Mecca. They survive on £150 a month from social security.

His parents divorced before he was 'possessed'.

Turki’s father claimed he himself was afflicted by a jinn at the age of nine and suffered for more than four decades until it was exorcised by a cleric.

'I used to see a woman who would at times appear very beautiful and at times extremely ugly,' he said.

On some occasions she was 'surrounded by fire' and on others appeared 'with animal limbs'.

A Saudi human rights activist and professor in Sharia (Islamic law) who visited Turki found him to be in a 'semi-coma'.

Muhammad Al-Suhali said Turki 'did not know what was going on around him. He could not eat, drink or use the toilet without the help of others'.

The professor added that when started to read some Koranic verses, Turki became furious and shook until he nearly fell out of his bed.

'When I stopped reciting, he became quiet again but was distant and unaware of what was happening,' Suhali told Arab News.

He praised Turki’s young wife for staying with him despite his frightening condition.

Suhali called on Saudi Ministry of Social Affairs to provide the family with better accommodation and to include Turki in its social security programme.

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No Mosque at Ground Zero

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Daily Times:

US asks India not to make Headley’s disclosures public

NEW DELHI: The United States has expressed displeasure over the string of public statements made by Indian officials about what Mumbai attacks’ suspect David Headley supposedly told his Indian interrogators, including the alleged role of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the 26/11 attack.

Senior Indian officials, including Home Secretary GK Pillai and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, have claimed over the past week that Headley, a Pakistani American, had revealed that the ISI had a direct role in the Mumbai attacks.

However, official sources said the US Justice Department has conveyed to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government through diplomatic channels that the statements made by Headley should not be made public, as he had not been convicted by any US court yet. The US officials expressed concern that public discussions about Headley’s revelations could adversely affect his case in the US. The Indian government has been willingly leaking out the evidence against Headley over the past few weeks in an effort to step up pressure against Pakistan. “The Americans are especially annoyed with GK Pillai for making an affirmative statement last week that Headley had confirmed the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in the 26/11 attacks from beginning to the end,” the sources said. iftikhar gilani

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Pakistan's/ISI Involvement in Mumbai

Times of India

Pakistan Navy frogmen trained Kasab, other terrorists: Headley

NEW DELHI: In yet another indication of the involvement of Pakistani establishment in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, LeT operative David Headley has corroborated the statement of lone captured terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab that the terrorists got training from Pakistan Navy.

During his interrogation, Kasab confessed that the ten terrorists, including himself, who attacked Mumbai received training of swimming and underwater diving from the Pakistan Navy's frogmen.

A frogman is someone who is trained to dive, swim and combat.

"The role of frogmen was confirmed by Headley when the Indian investigators interrogated him in the US last month," an official said.

This is being seen as another clear indicator of the Pakistani establishment's involvement in the planning and execution of the Mumbai terror attack, which claimed 168 lives.

Home secretary Gopal K Pillai had recently said that the ISI was "literally controlling and coordinating the (Mumbai) attack from beginning to end".

Pakistani-American Headley, currently in American custody, was interrogated by a team of National Investigation Agency.

Officials said that the Indian investigators so far have no plan to interrogate Headley's accomplice Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani origin Canadian citizen, as his involvement in the Mumbai attack conspiracy was limited to providing finance.

"If necessary we may interrogate Rana also, though we have no immediate plan to do so," an official said.

Headley has also told his interrogators that the Pakistani intelligence agency had paid Rs 25 lakh to LeT to purchase a boat which terrorists used to travel from Karachi to the Pakistani maritime boundary, where they hijacked an Indian fishing boat 'Kuber' to reach Mumbai.

Headley also identified through voice sample test two ISI officers believed to be constant contact with the terrorists who carried out the 60-hour attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008.

Officials said Indian investigators have information that ISI chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha had met one of the handlers of the Mumbai attack, Sajjid Mir, who is currently in a Pakistani jail.

"All this information have been shared by India with Pakistan through the multiple dossiers given to it," the official said.

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Telegraph:

Right-wing group clashes with Muslims in Luton
Scores of police had to break up clashes between members of the right-wing English Defence League (EDL) and Muslims in Luton town centre on Thursday.

By Stephen Adams
Published: 12:27AM BST 23 Jul 2010

Trouble flared after Kevin Carroll, 41, lost at appeal at Luton Crown Court to overturn a conviction for using threatening behaviour at an earlier demonstration.

Up to 80 officers had to keep a group of Carroll's supporters, chanting 'EDL', separate from opposition protesters.

During the violence objects including ashtrays and a knife were thrown.

Carroll had objected to Muslim demonstrators who had shouted abuse at British soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, during a homecoming parade in the town in March last year.

They had shouted "British soldiers go to hell" and called them "butchers of Basra".

Carroll verbally retaliated, swearing at the protesters and singing "bin Laden's mother is a whore".

He was charged and subsequently convicted of using threatening words and behaviour likely to to cause fear harassment and alarm. He was given a conditional discharge.

Following his failed appeal, he told a crowd of supporters that people like him were being "treated like enemies of the state".

He said: "Thank you patriots and people of our great democracy for supporting me.

"God Bless our Troops, God save the Queen."

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SkyNews:

Taliban Chief Greets Times Square Bomber
Adam Arnold, Sky News Online

New footage has emerged showing the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad meeting the leader of the Pakistani Taliban

It shows Shahzad and Hakimullah Mehsud shaking hands and hugging sometime before the failed attack in New York in May.

During the video, Shahzad's voice is also heard.

He says: "Today, along with the leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Hakimullah Mehsud and under the command of Amir al-Mumineen Mullah Mohammed Omar Mujahid (may Allah protect him), we are planning to wage an attack on your side, inshallah."

Last month, in a statement read out in a US court, Shahzad admitted receiving training in Pakistan about how to "wage an attack" in America.

The 30-year-old defendant admitted: "How to make a bomb, how to detonate a bomb.

"I asked them (the Taliban) for some cash because I only had - my cash was like $4,500 that I had with me when I was leaving.

"And I asked for some more cash because I had to do the whole operation here."

Shahzad tried to detonate a car bomb in a Nissan Pathfinder on May 1, but the device failed to go off and caused no injuries.

The defendant, who was born and raised in Pakistan before moving to America to study and eventually taking US citizenship, was arrested days after the attempted bombing.

He pleaded guilty in June to carrying out the attack, and admitted attempting to establish contact with the Taliban while on a 2009 trip to Pakistan.

He also told the New York court that he considers himself "a Muslim soldier".

Shahzad said he sought and received five days' training in explosives before returning to the US in February to carry out the bomb plot with funding from the militant group.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 5 and faces life in prison.

video here

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Survive Escape Resist Evade

Yahoo:

Former inmate recalls daring escape from Auschwitz


NOWY TARG, Poland – With every step toward the gate, Jerzy Bielecki was certain he would be shot.

The day was July 21, 1944. Bielecki was walking in broad daylight down a pathway at Auschwitz, wearing a stolen SS uniform with his Jewish sweetheart Cyla Cybulska by his side.

His knees buckling with fear, he tried to keep a stern bearing on the long stretch of gravel to the sentry post.

The German guard frowned at his forged pass and eyed the two for a period that seemed like an eternity — then uttered the miraculous words: "Ja, danke" — yes, thank you — and let Jerzy and Cyla out of the death camp and into freedom.

It was a common saying among Auschwitz inmates that the only way out was through the crematorium chimneys. These were among the few ever to escape through the side door.

The 23-year-old Bielecki used his relatively privileged position as a German-speaking Catholic Pole to orchestrate the daring rescue of his Jewish girlfriend who was doomed to die.

"It was great love," Bielecki, now 89, recalled in an interview at his home in this small southern town 55 miles (85 kilometers) from Auschwitz.

"We were making plans that we would get married and would live together forever."

Bielecki was 19 when the Germans seized him on the false suspicion he was a resistance fighter, and brought to the camp in April 1940 in the first transport of inmates, all Poles.

He was given number 243 and was sent to work in warehouses, where occasional access to additional food offered some chance of survival.

It was two years before the first mass transports of Jews started arriving in 1942. Most of the Jews were taken straight to the gas chambers of neighboring Birkenau, while a few were designated to be forced laborers amid horrific conditions, allowing them to postpone death.

In September 1943 Bielecki was assigned to a grain storage warehouse. Another inmate was showing him around when suddenly a door opened and a group of girls walked in.

"It seemed to me that one of them, a pretty dark-haired one, winked at me," Bielecki said with a broad smile as he recalled the scene. It was Cyla — who had just been assigned to repair grain sacks.

Their friendship grew into love, as the warehouse offered brief chances for more face-to-face meetings.

In a report she wrote for the Auschwitz memorial in 1983, Cybulska recalled that during the meetings they told each other their life stories and "every meeting was a truly important event for both of us."

Cybulska, her parents, two brothers and a younger sister were rounded up in January 1943 in the Lomza ghetto in northern Poland and taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her parents and sister were immediately killed in the gas chambers, but she and her brothers were sent to work.

By September, 22-year-old Cybulska was the only one left alive, with inmate number 29558 tattooed on her left forearm.

As their love blossomed, Bielecki began working on the daring plan for escape.

From a fellow Polish inmate working at a uniform warehouse he secretly got a complete SS uniform and a pass. Using an eraser and a pencil, he changed the officer's name in the pass from Rottenfuehrer Helmut Stehler to Steiner just in case the guard knew the real Stehler, and filled it in to say an inmate was being led out of the camp for police interrogation at a nearby station. He secured some food, a razor for himself and a sweater and boots for Cybulska.

He briefed her on his plan: "Tomorrow an SS-man will come to take you for an interrogation. The SS-man will be me."

The next afternoon, Bielecki, dressed in the stolen uniform, came to the laundry barrack where Cybulska had been moved for work duty. Sweating with fear, he demanded the German supervisor release the woman.

Bielecki led her out of the barrack and onto a long path leading to a side gate guarded by the sleepy SS-man who let them go through.

The fear of being gunned down remained with him in his first steps of freedom: "I felt pain in my backbone, where I was expecting to be shot," Bielecki said.

But when he eventually looked back, the guard was in his booth. They walked on to a road, then into fields where they hid in dense bushes until dark, when they started to march.

"Marching across fields and woods was very exhausting, especially for me, not used to such intensive walks," Cybulska said in her report to Auschwitz as quoted in a Polish-language book Bielecki has written, "He Who Saves One Life ..."

"Far from any settlements, we had to cross rivers," she wrote. "When water was high ... Jurek carried me to the other side."

At one point she was too tired to walk and asked him to leave her.

"Jurek did not want to hear that and kept repeating: 'we fled together and will walk on together,'" she reported, referring to Jerzy by his Polish diminutive.

For nine nights they moved under the cover of darkness toward Bielecki's uncle's home in a village not far from Krakow.

His mother, who was living at the house, was overjoyed to see him alive, though wasted-away after four years at Auschwitz. A devout Catholic, however, she was dead-set against him marrying a Jewish girl.

"How will you live? How will you raise your children?" Bielecki recalls her asking.

To keep her away from possible Nazi patrols, Cybulska was hidden on a nearby farm. Bielecki decided to go into hiding in Krakow — a fateful choice they believed would improve their chances of avoiding capture by the Nazis. The couple spent their last night together under a pear tree in an orchard, saying their goodbyes and making plans to meet right after the war.

After the Soviet army rolled through Krakow in January 1945, Bielecki left the city where he had been hiding from Nazi pursuit and walked 25-miles (40-kilometers) along snow-covered roads to meet Cybulska at the farmhouse.

But he was four days too late.

Cybulska, not aware that the area where she had been hiding had been liberated three weeks before Krakow, gave up waiting for him, concluding her "Juracek" either was dead or had abandoned their plans.

She got on a train to Warsaw, planning to find an uncle in the United States. On the train she met a Jewish man, David Zacharowitz, and the two began a relationship and eventually married. They headed to Sweden, then to Cybulska's uncle in New York, who helped them start a jewelry business. Zacharowitz died in 1975.

In Poland, Bielecki eventually started a family of his own and worked as the director of a school for car mechanics. He had no news of Cybulska and had no way of finding her.

In her report Cybulska said that she was haunted in the years after she left Poland by a wish to see her hometown and to find Jurek, if he was alive.

Sheer chance made her wish come true.

While talking to her Polish cleaning woman in 1982, Cybulska related her Auschwitz escape story.

The woman was stunned.

"I know the story, I saw a man on Polish TV saying he had led his Jewish girlfriend out of Auschwitz," the cleaning lady told Cybulska, according to Bielecki.

She tracked down his phone number and one early morning in May 1983 the telephone rang in Bielecki's apartment in Nowy Targ.

"I heard someone laughing — or crying — on the phone and then a female voice said "Juracku, this is me, your little Cyla," Bielecki recalls.

A few weeks later they met at Krakow airport. He brought 39 red roses, one for each year they spent apart. She visited him in Poland many times, and they jointly visited the Auschwitz memorial, the farmer family that hid her and many other places, staying together in hotels.

"The love started to come back," Bielecki said.

"Cyla was telling me: leave your wife, come with me to America," he recalls. "She cried a lot when I told her: Look, I have such fine children, I have a son, how could I do that?"

She returned to New York and wrote to him: "Jurek I will not come again," Bielecki recalled.

They never met again and she did not reply to his letters.

Cybulska died a few years later in New York in 2002.

In 1985, the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem awarded Bielecki the Righteous Among the Nations title for saving Cybulska. The institute's website account of the escape and its aftermath is consistent with Bielecki's account to The Associated Press.

"I was very much in love with Cyla, very much," Bielecki said. "Sometimes I cried after the war, that she was not with me. I dreamed of her at night and woke up crying."

"Fate decided for us, but I would do the same again."

more photos here

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