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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Your Weekend Funny

Been there, done that:

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Holland: Professional 'Moderate Muslim' Turns Out to be Radical, Pro-Terrorist Jihadist

From Barry Rubin in Pajamas Media, June 17:
Mohamed Azahaf, a 28-year-old immigrant from Morocco, was hired by the east Amsterdam district to build trust between Muslims and non-Muslims there. But a journalist did some careful research to discover he’s a supporter of Usama bin Ladin, said Muslim women who didn’t wear “proper” clothing weren’t real Muslims, and even issued death threats against those criticizing Islamic doctrine. 
His response? Only after this was exposed publicly did he claim his remarks–never changed by him until that moment–didn’t represent his current views. The district council’s response? To defend him, though it’s starting to get worried.
But here’s the best part: After the murder of Theo Van Gogh, the filmmaker, by a radical Islamist, Holland’s queen met with several Muslims who supposedly represented the “real” views of the community opposing such violence. Azahaf was one of them. However, apparently she and everyone else didn’t know that Azahaf had already written that he supported the murder!...
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If the Majority of Muslims Are Peaceloving People, Do We Really Have Anything to Worry About?

Something to share with your as-yet-unenlightened friends and family:

If the Majority of Muslims Are Peaceloving People, Do We Really Have Anything to Worry About?

ON ONE SIDE of the debate, we have people who say, "The majority of Muslims are peaceloving people." The implication is that because of this, we can all just relax, because the growing presence of Muslim people in our midst is not a problem. On the other side, we have people who say Islam is a totalitarian, aggressive ideology that has already made inroads into Western countries with the aim of usurping our governments and replacing our laws with Sharia.

It's possible both sides are correct. Let me explain.

First of all, I think everyone can agree that there are a few dedicated jihadists who commit violence in the name of Islam. They are not "peaceloving people" by anyone's definition but their own. They may think of themselves as peaceloving because they think that once the whole world has submitted to the rule of Islam, the world will be at peace. But the methods they use to achieve that peace are car bombs, beheadings, and flying planes into buildings.

There are also a number of Muslims committed to forcing Sharia law on the world by rioting and the threat of riots. These are the ones who protest and riot when a Danish cartoonist publishes cartoons about Muhammad, for example. The ensuing riots killed 187 people. It is a violation of Muslim morality to draw Muhammad or to criticize him, and the violence intimidated many others in Western democracies into restraining themselves from re-publishing those cartoons, and in this way, the threat of violence enforced Sharia law on Western democracies.

Read the rest.
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Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee considers "Christian militants" a threat to US Govt

(She cited during a hearing of Islamic radicalization in prisons) the proverbial case of the man who blew up an abortion clinic and proposed that this was an attempt by Christians to undermine U.S. law that allows a woman to get an abortion. Then she went on to intimate that Christians opposing the current abortion laws were tantamount to trying to overturn the government.

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Palestine Sucks - Support Israel For The Gays

Stephen Crowder is brilliant in this piece.

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Amy Winehouse performs ‘fantastic’ show in Alcohol-Free Comeback


I pray to God Amy Winehouse can keep it together. She is one of the most talented musicians (she's not just a singer, she's a musician) I have ever seen in my life.

What do you think, guys? Babe of the Week?

From Yahoo News:
Amy Winehouse is proving her career is back on track after performing an impressive secret live set over the weekend.

The troubled singer has had problems with alcohol and drugs in the past and recently spent a week at The Priory clinic in London. Amy has been working on her new album for some time now and has decided to perform a series of shows across Europe in the next few weeks. On Sunday evening, the 27-year-old thrilled the crowd at the 100 Club in London with her sober and confident performance.

"Gone was the fragile, volatile and unpredictable Amy. She wasn't knocking back vodka on stage,” a source told British newspaper The Sun. "Amy was on fantastic form. She looked and sounded great. It was like one of her old performances.”

Amy - who has reportedly been banned from drinking alcohol while on tour – belted out a host of her biggest hits including Back to Black, Rehab and Valerie. She was so relaxed on stage during the show she even entertained the audience by cracking jokes in between songs about her eventful private life.

“She had the crowd laughing along with her gags, poking fun at herself and dad Mitch,” the source added. “She also threatened to flash her boobs and made a few jokes about her voluptuous look and ‘holidays’ in medical facilities."

Amy’s boyfriend Reg Traviss was there to cheer her on during her show. The film director has been dating Amy for around a year and the singer’s father is happy to see his daughter has found a reliable man.

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The difficult situation of Eritrean refugees in Egypt

“They are in great danger from their government, which is one of the most severe persecutors of Christians in the world, and if they flee in the hope of a better life elsewhere, they face imprisonment, kidnap, torture, rape, beatings and even death,” said Patrick Sookhdeo, the international director of the Barnabas Fund, which provides aid to persecuted Christians. In addition, some refugees have reportedly had their organs harvested.

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Blasphemous Floor Tiles

From Weasel Zippers:
A terrorist outfit targeted a bank in Islamabad on June 13 because its floor tiles and their design were strikingly analogous to the sacred name, Allah, and the bank did not change them despite complaints to its management....
More HERE at Daily India.

More about Allah in unlikely places HERE in this essay by Daniel Pipes: Nike shoes, the Burger King ice-cream swirls, and the Coca Cola logo.

Moslems see Allah being blasphemed in so many places. Pfffft.

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White House continues to press the border issue despite no sign from the Palestinians that they are willing to negotiate

From PJM:

These words were spoken by Binyamin Netanyahu in his photo-op with Barack Obama after their May 20 meeting:
…while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines — because these lines are indefensible…. Remember that, before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide. It was half the width of the Washington Beltway. And these were not the boundaries of peace; they were the boundaries of repeated wars, because the attack on Israel was so attractive.
So we can’t go back to those indefensible lines….
We’ve been around for almost 4,000 years…. We’ve gone through expulsions and pogroms and massacres and the murder of millions….
And now it falls on my shoulders as the prime minister of Israel…to work with you to fashion a peace that will ensure Israel’s security and will not jeopardize its survival. I take this responsibility with pride but with great humility, because…we don’t have a lot of margin for error. And because, Mr. President, history will not give the Jewish people another chance.
He reiterated the message to Congress on May 24 to ringing bipartisan applause. A subsequent poll revealed that 77 percent of Israelis oppose a withdrawal to the “1967 borders” (actually the 1949 armistice lines, devoid of any political significance).

Yet, heartfelt, eloquent, and humanly impressive as Netanyahu’s words to Obama on May 20 were, the latter reportedly responded afterward by going into a rage and shouting: “What the f—k was that?” Whether or not that’s accurate, Obama’s ensuing political behavior clearly manifests his attitude toward Netanyahu’s, and the Israeli people’s, acute concern about the territorial aspect of their security: total contempt.

That was evident at the G8 meeting on May 27, when Obama and all the other leaders present — except Canada’s Stephen Harper, who foiled the move — sought to include a mention of Israel’s 1967 borders in the meeting’s final communiqué. And it continues to be evident in the current flurry of diplomatic activity in Jerusalem and Ramallah, in which “the American officials [Middle East envoy David Hale and Middle East adviser Dennis Ross] are …promoting … Obama’s initiative to base renewed negotiations on the June 4, 1967, lines with agreed land swaps.”

In doing so, the U.S. is trying to head off the Palestinians’ aim to declare a state unilaterally at the UN in September. Although the U.S. is expected to veto the attempt in the Security Council, leaving the Palestinians with a nonbinding but still significant endorsement by the General Assembly, Obama is clearly unhappy about the prospect of such a veto. So, as an enticement to return to negotiations with Israel instead of the unilateral route, he’s offering the Palestinians what Netanyahu and the Israeli people consider to be Israel on a platter:  “negotiations” where Israel commits to indefensible borders in advance.
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Obamacare's Pitfalls: They Will Touch Every American

These pitfalls proliferate in the Health Care Reform Act, the bill that Pelosi so glibly told us would eventually reveal its specifics after it became law:



The specifics below will touch the vast majority of Americans in one way or another.

From Red State (hat tip to Conservatives on Fire):
Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income.

[...]

Like a lot of the poorly-designed, economic programs of this administration, this program will destroy more wealth than it ever gets around to actually transferring. The negative externalities of this proposal will be legion.....
Read the rest HERE. The specifics are disheartening, particularly for the middle class, as cited here:
This will also have a knock-on unemployment multiplier effect on the people who pave roads to new subdivisions. It will require fewer realtors and settlement attorneys to handle the decreased sales volume. Home values will adjust downward in reaction to the penalty tax that a homeowner has to pay to escape a current residence. This will lead to a downward pressure on tax assessments for residential property which will further complicate the efforts of state and local governments to run organizations such as schools.
According to GOP.gov:
This new ObamaCare tax is the first time the government will apply a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income. This new tax on home sales and unearned income and other Medicare taxes raise taxes more than $210 billion to pay for ObamaCare. The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income “destructive” and “ill-advised” and warned it would hurt job creation.
Under the Obama administration, middle-class America is well on the way to serfdom!

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Surprise, Surprise . . . Malaysians ready to demolish another non-Muslim house of worship

This barely rates a squib of a story in the local paper. Of course, it's not a surau, madrassah or mosque that's at risk of imminent demolition. "Ex-Hindraf Leader stops temple demolition", from The Star Online, 17 June:

MAKKAL Osai reported that former ISA detainee and Hindraf leader K. Vasantha Kumar managed to temporarily halt the demolition of six houses and the Kaliammal Temple in Kampong Telaga Cina in Bedong, near Sungai Petani.

Vasantha Kumar said the landowners had obtained permission from the court to demolish the 100-year-old temple and the six houses.

Read the rest at Jihad Watch.
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Wake Up

The band is Arcade Fire



Somethin’ filled up
my heart with nothin’,
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I’m older,
my heart’s colder,
and I can see that it’s a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We’re just a million little god’s causin rain storms turnin’ every good thing to rust.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.

With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’ to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’
With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am go-goin’

You better look out below!
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Frank Miller’s Holy Terror From Legendary Comics In September

Ex-Batman Writer Develops Graphic Novel of Revenge Against the Jihad

From Bleeding Cool:
This is what happens when a publisher hires Bob Schreck. You get Frank Miller.
When Bob was hired to head up Legendary Comics, the publishing subsidiary of Legendary Pictures, it was only a matter of time.
Originally Holy Terror was to be Holy Terror Batman by Frank Miller. But when DC fired Bob Schreck over the Batman pottymouth episode, that was not to be.
The main character was rejigged, renamed The Fixer, and now this revenge fantasy, thematically one man taking down those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, but no doubt having wider reference and meaning, will be published ten years to the month after that tragedy, by Legendary Comics. Frank Miller’s Holy Terror, in September, in hardcover for $29.99.

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HEY! Remember This From A Year Ago?

Has ANYTHING changed? For the better, I mean?

A YEAR!

Telegraph:

The stunning decline of Barack Obama: 10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in meltdown
By Nile Gardiner

The last few weeks have been a nightmare for President Obama, in a summer of discontent in the United States which has deeply unsettled the ruling liberal elites, so much so that even the Left has begun to turn against the White House. While the anti-establishment Tea Party movement has gained significant ground and is now a rising and powerful political force to be reckoned with, many of the president’s own supporters as well as independents are rapidly losing faith in Barack Obama, with open warfare breaking out between the White House and the left-wing of the Democratic Party. While conservatism in America grows stronger by the day, the forces of liberalism are growing increasingly weaker and divided.

Against this backdrop, the president’s approval ratings have been sliding dramatically all summer, with the latest Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll of US voters dropping to minus 22 points, the lowest point so far for Barack Obama since taking office. While just 24 per cent of American voters strongly approve of the president’s job performance, almost twice that number, 46 per cent, strongly disapprove. According to Rasmussen, 65 per cent of voters believe the United States is going down the wrong track, including 70 per cent of independents.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls now has President Obama at over 50 per cent disapproval, a remarkably high figure for a president just 18 months into his first term. Strikingly, the latest USA Today/Gallup survey has the President on just 41 per cent approval, with 53 per cent disapproving.

Related link: The Obama presidency increasingly resembles a modern-day Ancien Régime
There are an array of reasons behind the stunning decline and political fall of President Obama, chief among them fears over the current state of the US economy, with widespread concern over high levels of unemployment, the unstable housing market, and above all the towering budget deficit. Americans are increasingly rejecting President Obama’s big government solutions to America’s economic woes, which many fear will lead to the United States sharing the same fate as Greece.

Growing disillusionment with the Obama administration’s handling of the economy as well as health care and immigration has gone hand in hand with mounting unhappiness with the President’s aloof and imperial style of leadership, and a growing perception that he is out of touch with ordinary Americans, especially at a time of significant economic pain. Barack Obama’s striking absence of natural leadership ability (and blatant lack of experience) has played a big part in undermining his credibility with the US public, with his lacklustre handling of the Gulf oil spill coming under particularly intense fire.

On the national security and foreign policy front, President Obama has not fared any better. His leadership on the war in Afghanistan has been confused and at times lacking in conviction, and seemingly dictated by domestic political priorities rather than military and strategic goals. His overall foreign policy has been an appalling mess, with his flawed strategy of engagement of hostile regimes spectacularly backfiring. And as for the War on Terror, his administration has not even acknowledged it is fighting one.

Can it get any worse for President Obama? Undoubtedly yes. Here are 10 key reasons why the Obama presidency is in serious trouble, and why its prospects are unlikely to improve between now and the November mid-terms.

1. The Obama presidency is out of touch with the American people

In a previous post I noted how the Obama presidency increasingly resembles a modern-day Ancien Régime, extravagant, decaying and out of touch with ordinary Americans. The First Lady’s ill-conceived trip to Spain at a time of widespread economic hardship was symbolic of a White House that barely gives a second thought to public opinion on many issues, and frequently projects a distinctly elitist image. The “let them eat cake” approach didn’t play well over two centuries ago, and it won’t succeed today.

2. Most Americans don’t have confidence in the president’s leadership

This deficit of trust in Obama’s leadership is central to his decline. According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, “nearly six in ten voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country”, and two thirds “say they are disillusioned with or angry about the way the federal government is working.” The poll showed that a staggering 58 per cent of Americans say they do not have confidence in the president’s decision-making, with just 42 per cent saying they do.

3. Obama fails to inspire

In contrast to the soaring rhetoric of his 2004 Convention speech in Boston which succeeded in impressing millions of television viewers at the time, America is no longer inspired by Barack Obama’s flat, monotonous and often dull presidential speeches and statements delivered via teleprompter. From his extraordinarily uninspiring Afghanistan speech at West Point to his flat State of the Union address, President Obama has failed to touch the heart of America. Even Jimmy Carter was more moving.


4. The United States is drowning in debt

The Congressional Budget Office Long-Term Budget Outlook offers a frightening picture of the scale of America’s national debt. Under its alternative fiscal scenario, the CBO projects that US debt could rise to 87 percent of GDP by 2020, 109 percent by 2025, and 185 percent in 2035. While much of Europe, led by Britain and Germany, are aggressively cutting their deficits, the Obama administration is actively growing America’s debt, and has no plan in place to avert a looming Greek-style financial crisis.

5. Obama’s Big Government message is falling flat

The relentless emphasis on bailouts and stimulus spending has done little to spur economic growth or create jobs, but has greatly advanced the power of the federal government in America. This is not an approach that is proving popular with the American public, and even most European governments have long ditched this tax and spend approach to saving their own economies.

6. Obama’s support for socialised health care is a huge political mistake


In an extraordinary act of political Harakiri, President Obama leant his full support to the hugely controversial, unpopular and divisive health care reform bill, with a monstrous price tag of $940 billion, whose repeal is now supported by 55 per cent of likely US voters. As I wrote at the time of its passing, the legislation is “a great leap forward by the United States towards a European-style vision of universal health care, which will only lead to soaring costs, higher taxes, and a surge in red tape for small businesses. This reckless legislation dramatically expands the power of the state over the lives of individuals, and could not be further from the vision of America’s founding fathers.”

7. Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill has been weak-kneed and indecisive

While much of the spilled oil in the Gulf has now been thankfully cleared up, the political damage for the White House will be long-lasting. Instead of showing real leadership on the matter by acing decisively and drawing upon offers of international support, the Obama administration settled on a more convenient strategy of relentlessly bashing an Anglo-American company while largely sitting on its hands. Significantly, a poll of Louisiana voters gave George W. Bush higher marks for his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with 62 percent disapproving of Obama’s performance on the Gulf oil spill.

8. US foreign policy is an embarrassing mess under the Obama administration

It is hard to think of a single foreign policy success for the Obama administration, but there have been plenty of missteps which have weakened American global power as well as the standing of the United States. The surrender to Moscow on Third Site missile defence, the failure to aggressively stand up to Iran’s nuclear programme, the decision to side with ousted Marxists in Honduras, the slap in the face for Great Britain over the Falklands, have all contributed to the image of a US administration completely out of its depth in international affairs. The Obama administration’s high risk strategy of appeasing America’s enemies while kicking traditional US allies has only succeeded in weakening the United States while strengthening her adversaries.

9. President Obama is muddled and confused on national security

From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the War on Terror, President Obama’s leadership has often been muddled and confused. On Afghanistan he rightly sent tens of thousands of additional troops to the battlefield. At the same time however he bizarrely announced a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces beginning in July 2011, handing the initiative to the Taliban. On Iraq he has announced an end to combat operations and the withdrawal of all but 50,000 troops despite a recent upsurge in terrorist violence and political instability, and without the Iraqi military and police ready to take over. In addition he has ditched the concept of a War on Terror, replacing it with an Overseas Contingency Operation, hardly the right message to send in the midst of a long-war against Al-Qaeda.

10. Obama doesn’t believe in American greatness

Barack Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, and has made apologising for his country into an art form. In a speech to the United Nations last September he stated that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold.” It is difficult to see how a US president who holds these views and does not even accept America’s greatness in history can actually lead the world’s only superpower with force and conviction.

There is a distinctly Titanic-like feel to the Obama presidency and it’s not hard to see why. The most left-wing president in modern American history has tried to force a highly interventionist, government-driven agenda that runs counter to the principles of free enterprise, individual freedom, and limited government that have made the United States the greatest power in the world, and the freest nation on earth.

This, combined with weak leadership both at home and abroad against the backdrop of tremendous economic uncertainty in an increasingly dangerous world, has contributed to a spectacular political collapse for a president once thought to be invincible. America at its core remains a deeply conservative nation, which cherishes its traditions and founding principles. President Obama is increasingly out of step with the American people, by advancing policies that undermine the United States as a global power, while undercutting America’s deep-seated love for freedom.

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Revealed: Weiner’s In-Laws’ Secret Muslim Brotherhood Connections

From PJM:

Was Huma Abedin — wife of Anthony Weiner and deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton — unaware that her mother was reported as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? Did Western media miss what has been revealed in several Arab newspapers and left secret in American government circles?

Al-Liwa Al-Arabi (translated here) claims to have leaked an extensive list, partially published by Al-Jazeera and several other major Arab newspapers, that includes Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, in the Brotherhood’s secret women’s division — known as the Muslim Sisterhood or International Women’s Organization (IWO).

Information about the IWO can readily be found at the Muslim Brotherhood’s official website. An excerpt from its goal, translated from the Arabic, states:
The Women Organization’s goal, in accordance with the Muslim Brotherhood rules, is to gain and acquire a unified global perception in every nation in the world regarding the position of women, and the necessity of advocacy work at all levels in accordance with the message of the Brotherhood, as written in Women in Muslim Society, and the rearing of women throughout the different stages of life [emphasis added].
The Egyptian paper Al-Dostor revealed that the Sisterhood includes 63 international members across 16 different countries — a claim confirmed by the Arab Center for Studies, headed by researcher Abdul Rahim Ali.

Neither Huma nor any major Western media outlets even mention this bit of common knowledge in the Arab world.

But there is more. Also confirmed by Arab sources is that Huma Abedin has a brother who works at Oxford University named Hassan Abedin. Oxford, which has long been infiltrated by Islamists who founded the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS), has Huma’s brother listed as a fellow and partner with a number of Muslim Brotherhood members on the Board — including al-Qaeda associate Omar Naseef and the notorious Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi. Both have been listed as OCIS trustees. Naseef continues to serve as Board chairman.

In 2009, Qaradawi’s role within Oxford and the Muslim Brotherhood was championed by the notorious Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi of Al-Nahda – a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate now active in Tunisia. OCIS has even presented an award for great scholarly achievement to Brotherhood member Shaykh Abd Al-Fattah Abu Gudda, whose personal history goes back to the Brotherhood’s founder, Hasan al-Banna.
Even the Sunday Times acknowledges that the cradle of Islamic jihad — Al-Azhar University — actively attempts to establish links with OCIS, where Huma’s brother serves.

Was Huma unaware of all this as she accompanied Hillary Clinton to the Dar El-Hekma women’s college in Saudi Arabia? Huma’s mother is co-founder and vice dean at the college and an active missionary on issues regarding Muslim women.

Another member listed as belonging to the Sisterhood mentioned by Al-Jazeera is Suheir Qureshi. Alongside Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was brought in due to her connection with Huma, Qureshi spoke on issues of women in Muslim society. An Arabic news report of what happened during Hillary’s visit stated that:
Suheir Qureshi spoke of how elated she was of Hillary’s historic visit…. Saleha Abedin spoke after Suheir Qureshi and beamed in the presence of Secretary Clinton. Saleha’s speech preceded the former first lady’s. Then Hillary stood. She donned a broad smile as she approached the podium….Clinton started with a strong word and she spent a long time complimenting Dr. Saleha Abedin regarding her daughter. Hillary explained that Huma holds an important and sensitive position in her office. She ended her speech by speaking of Saleha Abedin’s daughter (Huma), that a person must be happy if mentioned in a positive light but there is no happiness that equals the compliment given to children in front of a parent [emphasis added].
It is sacrilege in Islam for Huma’s mother to accept the reality that her daughter is married to a Jew. Yet neither Saleha nor Huma’s brother Hassan denounces her marriage to Weiner, especially when it was considered null and void by some of the highest authorities on Islamic Sharia rulings.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Lenny

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Daughters of What American Revolution?

This morning I attended the Graduation Ceremony for my Nephew and Niece. A woman from the Daughters of the American Revolution was there to make a short speech and present some awards.


When she was announced I stood up, clapping and cheering loudly, as I was happy to see that this organization, dedicated to teaching about the Founding of the United States of America, was still doing it's thing in our schools.


But, much to my consternation, this is the content of the woman's speech:
"I have been studying about the Native Peoples of the land on which we stand, specifically, the people known as the "Mojave Indians". I don't know why they were called the Mojave Indians, but I did learn that they used to roam this land, looking for water, and living in different places all the time. 


And, this is why we are here today."
I am not exaggerating, nor demeaning the woman, to say that this was the entire intellectual content of her speech. It is not verbatim, but it is as close as I can recall. This is really what the "Daughter of the American Revolution" said.


There was nothing about the American Revolution, nothing about the Founding Fathers, and nothing about the development of the Constitution of the United States, nor, even, the Bill of Rights.


Just the message that, "we are here today" because some nomads a long time ago used to roam this land looking for water.


I don't know what could be stupider, or more overtly and backhandedly racist, or more vacuous, or more degenerate, or more obliterating to our culture, than to perpetuate such idiocy in our schools.
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Breaking: Roads Closed Near The Pentagon - Local News Is Reporting a Five Pound Bag of Amonium Nitrate Was Found in a Backpack and Detonated By Police


Early this morning, a suspicious vehicle was found in the bushes near the Pentagon, on the north side and near Fort Myer.

One person, a naturalized Ethiopian citizen, has been taken into custody.

Local news stories indicate that a five-pound bag of ammonium nitrate was found in or near the vehicle - in a backpack. Officers are patrolling the woods with machine guns, and a loud boom is expected any moment when the bomb squad moves in to detonate the device.

A notebook containing threatening words was also found. The words include "Al Qaeda" and "Taliban."

The MSNBC story is HERE. However, much of the information provided here is coming from live coverage via my local TV news.

A news conference is pending as I type this post.

Update: The device has been detonated. The situation is ongoing and fluid.

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Poll finds there's more support for Jews living in Judea/Samaria

According to the poll, there's also less support for negotiations:
According to the results of a public opinion survey presented on Thursday at the 21st conference of Judea and Samaria Studies at the Ariel University Center of Samaria, about half of Israel’s citizens who are not residents of Judea and Samaria (47%) would not accept evacuations of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The survey also found that 20% of Israel’s citizens are prepared to evacuate a few illegal communities, while only 12% of Israeli citizens are willing to evacuate a small number of communities in exchange for ending the conflict with the Arabs.

The number of those citizens who are prepared to evacuate a large number or all the communities in Judea and Samaria has gone down from 27% in 2010 to 14% today. Only 5% of Israelis are ready to evacuate all the communities and return to the 1949 armistice lines, found the survey.

The survey also found that most Israelis no longer believe in the political process. A large majority of those polled (64%) believes that Israel’s accepting the solution of “two states for two peoples” would do nothing to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict, or would only briefly prevent it from escalating.
There you have it. Many Israelis have woken up and recognized the taqqiya behind the PLO's motives, and even how concessions only make things more dangerous for Israelis and easier for jihadists. That's a show of understanding realism.
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This Week On The Gathering Storm: Midnight Rider!

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, hosted by WC and Always On Watch. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time, for 30 minutes.

The call-in number is 646-915-9870.

Callers welcome!

Our scheduled guest this week is Midnight Rider.

Listen to the June 17, 2011 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, live or later, by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
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Hey Damien! Cheers My Friend!



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Weather Report
Black Market

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Big Brother Bedfellows

Washington Post:


NSA allies with Internet carriers to thwart cyber attacks against defense firms
By Ellen Nakashima, Updated: Thursday, June 16, 7:37 PM

The National Security Agency is working with Internet providers to deploy a new generation of tools to scan e-mail and other digital traffic with the goal of thwarting cyberattacks against defense firms by foreign adversaries, senior defense and industry officials say.

The novel program, which began last month on a voluntary, trial basis, relies on sophisticated NSA data sets to identify malicious programs slipped into the vast stream of Internet data flowing to the nation’s largest defense firms. Such attacks, including one last month against Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, are nearly constant as rival nations and terrorist groups seek access to U.S. military secrets.

“We hope the . . . cyber pilot can be the beginning of something bigger,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said at a global security conference in Paris on Thursday. “It could serve as a model that can be transported to other critical infrastructure sectors, under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security.”

The prospect of a role for the NSA, the nation’s largest spy agency and a part of the Defense Department, in helping Internet providers filter domestic Internet traffic already had raised concerns among privacy activists. Lynn’s suggestion that the program might be extended beyond the work of defense contractors threatened to raise the stakes further.

James X. Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a civil liberties group, said that the pilot is “an elegant solution” to the long-standing problem of how to use NSA’s expertise while avoiding domestic surveillance by the government. But, he said, any extension of the program must guarantee protections against government access to private Internet traffic.

“We wouldn’t want this to become a backdoor form of surveillance,” Dempsey said.
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posted by midnight rider at permanent link# 7 Comments

Barack -- "Shovel ready wasn't as shovel ready as we thought."

Mitt -- "I'm also unemployed."


Both are fucking idiots who have no idea what the 20+ million un/deremployed in this country are dealing with every goddamned day.

Mitt Romney to voters: ‘I’m also unemployed’

By Holly Bailey

It's a line that's sure to come back to haunt Mitt Romney.

At a campaign event in Florida today, the 2012 Republican frontrunner met with a group of unemployed workers who talked about their challenges looking for jobs in the struggling economy.

After they concluded, the former Massachusetts governor suggested he should tell his own "story," according to the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny.

"I'm also unemployed," Romney replied, with a smile.

The comment was clearly meant to hint jokingly at Romney's bid for the presidency, but it was also an odd statement coming from a candidate whose financial situation is so far removed from his audience's. A former head of Bain Capital, Romney is said to be worth at least $200 million--wealth that has enabled him to concentrate on running for president full time for the better part of the last five years.

But Romney's audience was in on the joke. According to Zeleny, the group "chuckled" along with Romney, with one man asking, "Are you on LinkedIn?"

The former governor replied, "I'm networking. I have my sight on a particular job."

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

This indie book sounds tasteless

There's a new indie comic book coming out - a horror thriller, apparently - called "Graveyard of Empires" and it sounds like morally equivalent idiocy set in Afghanistan:
On sale now from Image Comics is Graveyard of Empires #1, the 32-page first chapter of a new limited series set against the war in Afghanistan. Created by Mark Sable (Unthinkable) and Paul Azaceta (Amazing Spider-Man, B.P.R.D.: 1946), the story is a prodigiously researched and unflinchingly violent depiction of what life is really like for American troops in this 10th year of war in Afghanistan, but with one critical difference: zombies, an undead threat that forces the Marines and the Taliban to work together to stop a common enemy.
What?!? I'm sorry, but I think there's a fine line to be drawn in the sand, and I wouldn't be surprised if the US army in real life would frown upon this premise. Especially the Navy Seals who conducted the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan. Why, even the timing isn't good, coming several weeks after the Taliban tyrant was finished off and sent to hell.

The writer, Sable, said that:
Part of the reason Paul and I awe so passionate about this comic is that there is a real dearth of war comics, particularly those covering modern conflicts. That's surprising for a number reasons. One, comics has an amazing tradition of dealing with war, from Captain America to Blazing Combat and beyond. Because of how quickly and cheaply comics are produced, they can deal with war in real time, and bring an immediacy that no other fictional medium can.

The lack of modern war comics even more disturbing because we're in two (or more) wars right now. I suppose that reflects a broader cultural problem - so few are asked to sacrifice that moat of us don't feel the pain that war brings.

What's been nice about the reaction to the book so far is that there does seem to be a hunger for this type of book. Even the criticism so far has been from those who were expecting a straight war comic, rather than a military/horror conflict. Out of 32 pages in the first issue, only a couple deal with zombies.
His statement obscures a more challenging question - whether critics were turned off by the notion that the US military and the Taliban would work together against even a science-fiction enemy.

The following paragraph says:
The zombie element of Graveyard of Empires sneaks up on the reader in a startling fashion not unlike the way vampires suddenly appear in the middle of the film From Dusk 'Till Dawn. Prior to their arrival, Sable and Azaceta spend a great deal of time developing the grim setting and violent characters that populate both sides of the war. Among them, a new commanding officer whose hopes of endearing himself to his entrenched troops are slim-to-none; an opium-abusing Explosive Ordinance Disposal specialist, driven to drugs by the stress of dismantling bombs; a treacherous Afghan cop; a mutinous American sniper; a Female Engagement Officer whose job is to work with the grotesquely oppressed women of Afghanistan; and an Afghan surgeon forced by the Taliban to implant bombs inside of people. It's after we get these people that Sable lowers the zombie boom on them.
So let's see if I have this right: they acknowledge/allude to Afghanistan's Islamic shariah oppression of women (or do they?), but damage all that with ridiculous ideas like a drug-addicted bomb-disarmer, and a US sniper who's mutinous, which could mean he's willing to desert. And then Sable's own press comment continues with:
While there will be more horror in the next few issues, we don't plan on losing sight of the very real people on both sides of the conflict. As a plot device, zombies serve to do something that would otherwise be inconceivable - force US Marines and Taliban to cooperate against a common threat. Metaphorically, the zombies represent a force not unlike the Taliban. A foe with inscrutable motives that doesn't seem to need to eat or sleep, and no matter how many you kill...they just keep coming.

We hope the horror aspect will tempt readers who might not otherwise try a war book, while fans of military fiction will finally find the comic they've been waiting for.
Whether fans of horror thrillers would try a war book, I don't think fans of army fiction are going to appreciate the idea of the US army and the Taliban working together, no matter how bad those zombies are in comparison with the Taliban. Mainly because, as seen in that panel on the side, the zombie there appears to be spawned out of a dead US soldier. And even if there's some zombies turning up spawned from the stiffs of Taliban terrorists, it doesn't counteract the bad taste left by the idea of the good guys teaming up with the terrorists. Certainly not after the amazing victory achieved in the past month.
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USActionnews:

Mexican diplomat attacks protester at Mexican Consulate mobile ID center for illegals at US school

Police had to be called when a Mexican diplomat attacked a protester at the mobile Mexican Matricula Consular ID center set up on a school property in San Juan Capistrano, CA .

From Jerry McConnell

The Santa Ana, CA, Mexican Consulate set up a mobile Mexican Matricula Consular ID center on UNITED STATES PUBLIC SCHOOL PROPERTY- Capistrano School District at the Adult English Language Development Center located at 31351 Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, CA . The fee is $27 per matricula consular application.

When the Minutemen arrived at the Capistrano School District Adult School there was a hub of activity. A mobile Mexican Consulate center was in full swing.

Legal resident Mexicans have U.S. issued green cards, for identification.

Mexican Nationals in the U.S. ILLEGALLY do NOT have a green card and therefore need a Mexican matricula consular identification card – matricula means: of a like group and consular means: from a consulate.

Mexican Consulate Mobile Matricula Consular Center

ID applicant hides his face

The Mexican consulate ID being issued on US public school property:

Mexican consulate ID application forms

After the Minutemen had been on site for about an hour and a half, the mobile center was shut down.

Once Minutemen began to observe and report, documenting and photographing, the Mexican Nationals no longer ventured forth to the center and many, who had been in attendance, left the mobile center.

MEXICAN DIPLOMAT TELLS MINUTEMEN – LEAVE!

Mexican diplomat running ID for illegals at US school

The Mexican diplomat, above, would not give us her business card nor her name.

The Mexican diplomat, above, approached the Minutemen as the Minutemen were peacefully strolling about – on United States public school property – observing and taking photos of the event.

Minutewoman - peacefully assembling on public school property

The Mexican diplomat repeatedly said, “This a private event for Mexicans only…You cannot be here…I am telling you nicely as I do not want to call the police . Please leave.”

Minutemen assembled on U.S. school property

Minuteman Project National Rally Spokesman Raymond Herrera said to the Mexican diplomat, “No, we will not leave. We are guaranteed freedom of assembly under OUR Constitution.”

I said to the diplomat, “The U.S. should adopt Mexico ’s immigration policy.”

“Oh,” she agreed. ” Mexico has a very good immigration policy.”

The Mexican diplomat was particularly vexed by our photographing of the event. ” DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS,” she commanded repeatedly.

Minutemen stated that in the USA, we have the right to photograph in public.

“No, you cannot take photos,” she insisted. Herrera and the diplomat then entered into a lengthy discussion in Spanish.

Suddenly the door above opened, and the Mexican diplomat, came out yelling. The photo above is just before she lashed out.

To our utter amazement, the diplomat started to strike out at the Minutewoman! We were in a state of shock. As she yelled, she struck across the Minutewoman’s lower right jaw and lip, several times.

Mexican diplomat attacks protester - diplomatic immunity

The Minutewoman above, in her left hand, used her sign as a shield, while pulling her camera back from the assaulting Mexican diplomat.

Ten minutes after the assault the Minutewoman still had a “stinging” sensation on her lip and jaw area.

POLICE ARRIVE

Police arrived after the assault.

The police said they had been called by the consulate as they had reported that the Minutemen were inside the building yelling and pushing about. We never entered the building and had been quietly moving outside, on school property.

Herrera spoke with officers then requested they interview the diplomat.

Per the officer’s request, the diplomat came forward.

“They must leave,” she said to the officer. But the officer replied, “No, this is a public school and they can be here.”

The diplomat then said that we must stop photographing them.

“Ma’am,” the officer informed her, “You are in a public area and they can photograph.”

The officer then asked her, “Do you have the paperwork to use this facility.”

“Yes,” she replied.

“I would like to see it,” the officer said, “I don’t have the paperwork with me,” she said back to him.

“I would like to see your identification,” the officer said.

“No, you can’t,” she said to the officer. The officer at this point followed her inside of the building.

“I have no identification with me. I did not drive, “she finally said as the officer pursued the issue. At this point, the door shut and the officer remained inside of the building.

After the officer spoke with the diplomat, he returned to his vehicle and spoke on his cell phone for about 15 to 20 minutes.

After he hung up, he met with us. He said the consulate did not have paperwork but that he had spoken to the individual who had granted the use of the school. He said that we could continue to assemble on the school property.

He appeared sympathetic about the Minutewoman assault, but said the Mexican Consulate staff had diplomatic immunity.

No rule

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Breitbart:

Russia, China warn West against Arab interference

Russia and China oppose outside interference in the unrest in the Arab world, the two presidents said on Thursday in a declaration, as the West seeks their support for increasing pressure on Syria.
"The sides believe that the search for settling the situation in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa should take place in the legal field and through political means," said the declaration signed by Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao.

"Outside forces should not interfere in internal processes in the countries of the region."

Rather, the conflicts should be solved by "launching broad national dialogue about rebuilding stability and social order and the promotion of democratic and economic reforms," the statement said.

The two presidents also expressed concern over the situation in Libya, calling for an end to hostilities between the forces of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and the rebels.

Russia has said it opposes the UN Security Council adopting any resolution on Syria, risking a major dispute with the West over the response to the crackdown on Syrian protestors.

China has backed Russia's cautious stance although, as is customary, it has allowed its fellow permanent UN Security Council member to do most of the public talking on the issue.

Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich confirmed in Moscow that Russia "as before" was opposed to a UN Security Council resolution on Syria.

"This position, as you know has been set by the president and it remains unchanged," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

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NBC:

Possible Al-Qaida Hit List Targets Specific Americans

An al-Qaida-linked website has posted a potential hit list of targets that include names and photos of several U.S. officials and business leaders, calling for terrorists to target these Americans in their own homes, NBC New York has learned.

The FBI has sent out a new intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies, warning that this new web-based threat, while not a specific plot, is very detailed. The bulletin said the list includes leaders "in government, industry and media."

The FBI has notified those individuals who are named.

NBC New York will not identify them or their companies. The list includes Wall Street firms, political leaders, leaders with think tanks and contractors who do business with the military.

The websites contain 40 specific names, 26 of them with photos attached, and they call for posting home addresses. One jihadist called for sending package bombs to any listed address as just one possibility.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment.

The FBI is calling the list of names the most detailed web-based al-Qaida-linked threat since Osama bin Laden was killed. The list has also been discussed on another al-Qaida-linked web forum.

The concern is a lone actor could try to use the specific information for a plot.

The FBI letter says the information on the overseas websites "is aspirational and it's unknown if the threat will progress beyond these discussion forums."

These specific postings follow calls by Adam Gadahn -- al-Qaida’s American-born communication chief -- for individual attacks.

Officials are concerned the list has been shared on numerous jihadist sites.

“What’s scary about this is how specific the individual information is,” said former New York State Homeland Security Director Michael Balboni. “What you don't know is, when does aspirational become operational in cases like this, involving a possible lone actor here inspired by a website.”

The FBI memo stresses al-Qaida and its supporters have a history of making web based threats with little result.

“Part of this is a necessary precaution. You don’t want to scare people,” Balboni said. “But there is much more specific, individual targeting than we've seen before.”

Since bin Laden was killed, intelligence officials have been working to track terrorists and monitor possible plots. Experts say fear of a homegrown or isolated actor remains a concern.

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And, Just In Case You Thought We Were At War With The Muslim World ...

... we find out it was Barzini all along:

Russia, China warn West against Arab interference

Russia and China oppose outside interference in the unrest in the Arab world, the two presidents said on Thursday in a declaration, as the West seeks their support for increasing pressure on Syria.
 
"The sides believe that the search for settling the situation in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa should take place in the legal field and through political means," said the declaration signed by Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao.
 
"Outside forces should not interfere in internal processes in the countries of the region."

Rather, the conflicts should be solved by "launching broad national dialogue about rebuilding stability and social order and the promotion of democratic and economic reforms," the statement said.

The two presidents also expressed concern over the situation in Libya, calling for an end to hostilities between the forces of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and the rebels.


 Russia has said it opposes the UN Security Council adopting any resolution on Syria, risking a major dispute with the West over the response to the crackdown on Syrian protestors.
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Newsmax:

Bin Laden Deputy Zawahri Takes al-Qaida Reins
Thursday, 16 Jun 2011 07:16 AM

DUBAI - Veteran militant Ayman al-Zawahri has taken command of al Qaeda after the killing of Osama bin Laden, an Islamist website said on Thursday, a move widely expected following his long years as second-in-command.

Bin Laden's lieutenant and the brains behind much of al Qaeda's strategy, Zawahri vowed this month to press ahead with al Qaeda's campaign against the United States and its allies.

"The general leadership of al Qaeda group, after the completion of consultation, announces that Sheikh Dr. Ayman Zawahri, may God give him success, has assumed responsibility for command of the group," the Islamist website Ansar al-Mujahideen (Followers of the Holy Warriors) said in a statement.

The bespectacled Zawahri had been seen as bin Laden's most likely successor after the man held responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington was shot dead by U.S. commandos in Pakistan 45 days ago.

His whereabouts are unknown, although he has long been thought to be hiding along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The United States is offering a $25 million reward for any information leading to his capture or conviction.

Former U.S, intelligence officer Robert Ayers said Zawahri was "a man lacking in charisma, a pale shadow of bin Laden".

"He's a grey bureaucrat, not a leader who can energise and rally the troops. The only thing his promotion will accomplish is to elevate his priority as a target for the U.S."

Sajjan Gohel of Asia-Pacific Foundation security consultants said Zawahri had been in practical charge of al Qaeda for many years, but lacked bin Laden's presence and his "ability to unite the different Arab factions within the group".

Others see a more accomplished figure.

London-based journalist Abdel-Bari Atwan, who interviewed bin Laden in 1996, said Zawahri was the "operational brains" behind al Qaeda and was respected in part because, he said, he had been bin Laden's chosen deputy.

"He managed to transform al Qaeda from being a small organisation focused on expelling U.S. interests from Saudi Arabia into a global organisation. The men he brought to al Qaeda from his own Egyptian Islamic Jihad group proved to be the instruments that drove al Qaeda's international push."

Believed to be in his late 50s, Zawahri met bin Laden in the mid-1980s when both were in Pakistan to support guerrillas fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Born to an upper-class Cairo family, Zawahri trained as a doctor and surgeon.

"A worthy successor to a great predecessor. We ask God to grant you and your soldiers success for the victory of Islam and Muslims and to raise the banner of religion," a contributor to another Islamist militant website, As-Ansar, said in a posting.

In a video message posted on the internet on June 8, Zawahri said al Qaeda would continue to fight.

"The Sheikh (bin Laden) has departed, may God have mercy on him, to his God as a martyr, and we must continue on his path of jihad to expel the invaders from the land of Muslims and to purify it from injustice," Zawahri said.

Zawahri called this year's Arab uprisings a disaster for Washington because, he said, they would remove Arab leaders who were the corrupt "agents of America".

He also pledged allegiance to the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar, calling him "Emir of the Believers".

The pledge, which repeats one made by bin Laden in the 1990s, was seen by analysts as an attempt to shore up al Qaeda's alliance with the Taliban, which sheltered the Arab-led group until U.S. attacks on Afghanistan in 2001 ended Taliban rule.

Western powers have demanded the Taliban cut all ties with al Qaeda.

"Today, and thanks be to God, America is not facing an individual or a group ... but a rebelling nation which has awoken from its sleep in a jihadist renaissance challenging it wherever it is," Zawahri said.

Among some Egyptians there was disdain at the news.

Karim Sabet, 34, a director of an oil and gas startup firm, said he was not surprised by the announcement.

"He's been the loyal no. 2 forever. Zawahri seems even more of a mad man than Osama was, and he'll want to prove himself by going on the attack soon. Another devil killing in the name of Islam. Disgusting."

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Organs of people killed by euthanasia being 'harvested for transplant surgery in Belgium'?

" ... a high proportion of deaths classified as euthanasia in Belgium have involved patients who have not requested their lives to be ended by a doctor?"


A quarter of all lung transplants in Belgium are from people killed by lethal injection
A quarter of all lung transplants in Belgium are from people killed by lethal injection

From the Daily Mail:

The organs of people killed by euthanasia in Belgium are being harvested for transplant surgery, a report revealed yesterday.


A quarter of all lung transplants in Belgium are from people killed by lethal injection. 


The study, led by Dirk van Raemdonck a surgeon from Leuven, found doctors preferred lungs taken from those who die through euthanasia as they are in a far superior condition to those from people killed in accidents.


The paper showed about 23.5 per cent of lung transplant donors and 2.8 per cent of heart transplant donors are killed by euthanasia.


Mr Van Raemdonck insisted doctors were acting within Belgian guidelines on euthanasia, which was legalised in 2002.


All of the donors had given their consent.


The report showed ‘donors were admitted to hospital a few hours before the planned euthanasia procedure’. 


They were given the lethal injection, died and then used for organ retrieval.
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Humpday Blues

Freddie King
Ain't Nobody's Business

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

$115 a Barrel Oil is Too Cheap

It's too cheap, at least according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Millions of Americans would disagree.

The Iranian state news website quoted Ahmadinejad on oil's value on Friday while attending an international petrochemical exhibition in Iran:

"Oil at $115 dollars a barrel in today's market is a deceiving figure, oil is a strategic commodity and should find its real value."

This week the contract price for crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange ended on a record close of $116.69 dollars a barrel on Friday. It had earlier reached an all-time record peak price of $117 dollars earlier in the day. Some predict that oil will reach $150 a barrel this year.

Higher crude prices will cause even higher gasoline prices in the coming days and weeks forcing higher food and consumer goods costs and pain at the gas pumps for millions of Americans.

- Originally posted on Food and Fuel America.
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Obama: Constitution doesn't apply to me because I am special .. besides IT'S NOT OPEN HOSTILITIES

Don’t you know kinetically released energy is not war action?

Read this monumentally entitled excuse from a president who now makes Jimmy Carter the BEST CASE of the way history will regard him.

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Iranian Police To Launch Dress Code Enforcement Campaign; Ayatollah: Unveiled Women More Dangerous Than Evil Animals


Hossein Zadeh, a senior official in the Iranian police, said that last week’s rape attacks on women in a park in the city of Khomeynishahr, in central Iran, would not have happened if the women were properly dressed and veiled.
Majid Abhari, advisor to the Majlis committee for society issues, said that 60% of Tehran’s residents violate the Islamic dress code.
The Iranian police said that on June 15 a campaign to enforce the dress code would be launched.
Ayatollah ‘Alam Al-Hodeh, a prayer leader in the city of Mashhad, said in his June 10 Friday sermon that women who are unveiled and wear tight clothing are more dangerous than evil animals.
You know, he's got a point. Look at all the trouble this woman has caused.


Lindsay Lohan
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Far Out


From Yahoo News:
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have been studying the effects of psilocybin, a chemical found in some psychedelic mushrooms, that's credited with inducing transcendental states. Now, they say, they've zeroed in on the perfect dosage level to produce transformative mystical and spiritual experiences that offer long-lasting life-changing benefits, while carrying little risk of negative reactions.

The breakthrough could speed the day when doctors use psilocybin--long viewed skeptically for its association with 1960s countercultural thrill-seekers--for a range of valuable clinical functions, like easing the anxiety of terminally ill patients, treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and helping smokers quit. Already, studies in which depressed cancer patients were given the drug have reported positive results.

The Johns Hopkins study--whose results will be published this week in the journal Psychopharmacology--involved giving healthy volunteers varying doses of psilocybin in a controlled and supportive setting, over four separate sessions. Looking back more than a year later, 94 percent of participants rated it as one of the top five most spiritually significant experiences of their lifetimes.


More important, 89 percent reported lasting, positive changes in their behavior--better relationships with others, for instance, or increased care for their own mental and physical well-being. Those assessments were corroborated by family members and others.

"I think my heart is more open to all interactions with other people," one volunteer reported in a questionnaire given to participants 14-months after their session.
Another participant in the study told researchers:
"I'm not afraid to die anymore".
But, if you want a really important recommendation, check this out:
"I feel that I relate better in my marriage," wrote another. "There is more empathy -- a greater understanding of people, and understanding their difficulties ..."
That must be some real good shit.

For your listening pleasure.

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