Monday, January 10, 2011

Political Digest for January 10, 2011

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.

Spin goes both ways: Assassin's politics lean 'left wing, quite liberal'
While the evidence is that the murderer’s inchoate political thought—such as it was—was more statist than conservative, I think this is almost as silly as the immediate claims spread by leftists—before the facts were in—that he was a Tea Party member and/or an Afghan veteran. I think he is just a head case with vague and unformed political ideas. Using this to spin either side is as wrong as it was inevitable in both camps. ~Bob. Excerpt: "The Communist Manifesto" and Hitler's "Mein Kampf" were among the favorite reading materials of Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in today's fatal shooting that reportedly left six dead and gravely injured a U.S. congresswoman. Lougher, 22, listed those tomes among his favorites on his YouTube channel, in which he wrote that "conscience dreams" were a "great study" at his college, Pima Community College. One user on Twitter, Caitie Parker, wrote she went to high school, college and was in a band with the gunman. She said she hadn't seen him since 2007. Parker wrote of Lougher, "As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal and oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy."

A disgrace to nuts everywhere
Excerpt: The race is on to place Jared Loughner among conservatives and attribute responsibility for yesterday's murders to the political opponents of President Obama. It is a handy device to stifle resistance to the left. As you might expect -- see, e.g., "Don't Leave it to Cleaver: Last call" -- the folks at McClatchy News have pulled out all the stops. Fox News Sunday even hauled out Rep. James Clyburn, a cog in the wheel of the "Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at black congressmen" lie, to play his accustomed role. The evidence doesn't quite fit the first prong of the syllogism. More than anything else, Loughner appears to be victim of severe mental derangement. He appears to belong to the free floating assembly of nuts that inhabits a big country. Loughner is a disgrace to nuts everywhere, but I doubt that is a message we'll be hearing much of from other anyone other than the attorneys who end up defending him.

Daniel Hernandez, 20, May Have Saved the Life of Gabrielle Giffords
Excerpt: As Jared Lee Loughner was in the midst of shooting Ariz. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and other attendees at a public event in Tucson, a young congressional aide named Daniel Hernandez heroically rushed towards the gunfire, providing life-saving assistance to his boss and the other wounded. “You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown,” Hernandez told The Arizona Republic. “It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help.” Hernandez ran from person to person, checking their pulses. When he came across Giffords, Hernandez began applying pressure to the entry wound on her forehead. According to a hospital physician, Hernandez probably saved Giffords’ life.

The shame — and hypocrisy — of CNN
Excerpt: Yesterday’s horrific and senseless shooting of more than a dozen people in Tucson, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, provided a look into the biases of much of the American media — and it was not just an ugly sight, but a shamefully hypocritical peek as well, as Byron York points out. In the last public mass-murder shooting fourteen months ago at Fort Hood, the media spent the first few hours scolding anyone who suggested that it might be an act of terror or that Major Nidal Hasan’s religious beliefs might be relevant before every last fact was exposed: “The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions,” said retired Gen. Wesley Clark on CNN the night of the shootings. “We cannot jump to conclusions,” said CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell that same evening. “We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever.” I’m on Pentagon chat room,” said former CIA operative Robert Baer on CNN, also the night of the shooting. “Right now, there’s messages going back and forth, saying do not jump to the conclusion this had anything to do with Islam.”

Did Barack Obama Cause the Shootings Yesterday in Tucson?
More spin, but an important reminder that the heated rhetoric is on both sides. ~Bob. Excerpt: Did Barack Obama cause the shootings yesterday in Tucson? The media and democrats want us to focus on the nation’s “caustic political climate” after the tragedy yesterday. Maybe they should start with President Obama. He may be the worst offender.

Moonbattery: Surveyor Symbols Versus Targets
Excerpt: Moonbat propagandists have overeagerly attempted to exploit the tragedy in Tucson by accusing Sarah Palin of causing the incident when she allegedly marked Gabby Giffords for death with target symbols. Actually, Rep. Giffords was marked for electoral defeat with surveyor symbols, which are used to mark locations on maps.

Is Daily Kos involved in Arizona murders?
Excerpt: “My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now DEAD to me!! –eerie Daily Kos hit piece on Gabrielle Giffords just two days before assassination attempt.

Jared Lee Loughner – Is Mental Illness the Explanation for What He Did?
Excerpt: Clinical psychologist and writer Vaughan Bell has written a powerful piece, Crazy Talk, for Slate. Jared Lee Lougher, the suspect in the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the death of six people in Arizona, is clearly a disturbed young man – The Huffington Post rounds up a quick profile of the man, including his MySpace page and odd YouTube videos. As Dr. Bell points out, many media sources and comments online are already focusing on the idea that Loughner is schizophrenic, and that explains what he did, end of story. This is wrong. It is wrong scientifically, where excellent research shows that the link between mental illness and violence is minimal, and it is wrong socially, where naming a person as mentally ill then closes off a deeper explanation of what happened and why. For many, the investigation will stop there. No need to explore personal motives, out-of-control grievances or distorted political anger. The mere mention of mental illness is explanation enough. This presumed link between psychiatric disorders and violence has become so entrenched in the public consciousness that the entire weight of the medical evidence is unable to shift it. Severe mental illness, on its own, is not an explanation for violence, but don’t expect to hear that from the media in the coming weeks.

Jared Lee Loughner, suspect in Gabrielle Giffords shooting, had college Run-Ins
Excerpt: The 22-year-old suspect in the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others north of Tucson on Saturday was described by friends and former classmates as a loner, prone to dressing in black regalia of boots, trench coat and baggy pants even on the hottest days. Jared Loughner, who dropped out of Tucson's Mountain View High School in his senior year, was rejected for enlistment in the U.S. Army and got kicked out of Pima Community College last year. Tyler Ramsier, who attended Mountain View with Loughner in 2005, called him a "hater." "He was a goth-type," Ramsier said. "He was more of an outcast. I just saw him passing in the halls." Loughner, who lives with his mother in a modest north Tucson subdivision, had no significant police record and had been cited once on a minor drug charge that was later dismissed, court records show. But all of that changed last year, when Loughner had multiple run-ins with police at Pima Community College for causing disruptions in classrooms and the library, college officials said. His dispute with college officials led him to post a bizarre YouTube video declaring the college illegal under the U.S. Constitution and culminated in his suspension from campus.

Top US Federal Judge Assassinated After Threat To Obama Agenda
It was hardly a pro hit. Highly unlikely, but typical Russian thinking—that’s how they operate. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) report circulating in the Kremlin today states that the top US Federal Judge for the State of Arizona was assassinated barely 72-hours after he made a critical ruling against the Obama administrations plan to begin the confiscation of their citizen’s private retirement and banking accounts in order to stave off their nations imminent economic collapse, and after having the US Marshals protecting him removed. According to this SVR report, Federal Judge John McCarthy Rollwas the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona who this past Friday issued what is called a “preliminary ruling” in a case titled “United States of America v. $333,520.00 in United States Currency et al” [Case Number: 4:2010cv00703 Filed: November 30, 2010] wherein he stated he was preparing to rule against Obama’s power to seize American citizens money without clear and convincing evidence of a crime being committed. The case being ruled on by Judge Roll, this report continues, was about bulk cash smuggling into or out of the United States that the Obama administration claimed was their right to seize under what are called Presidential Executive Orders, instead of using existing laws. The Obama administration used as support for their claim before Judge Roll, the SVR says, the seizing of all American citizens’ gold, in 1933, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 6102, which was ruled at the time to be constitutional.

Mother of Christina Green, Slain in Arizona Shootings, Mourns Loss
Excerpt: [Christina] Green was the daughter of Dodgers baseball scout John Green and the granddaughter of former baseball manager Dallas Green, who won a World Series title with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980.

Two Great John Kass Columns
Chief of staff pick just another cog in the Daley machine
Excerpt: Yet what is truly amusing about the Bill Daley story is the reaction of the Washington media. They seem quite desperate to paint the Billy appointment as something it is not. They want it to be a symbolic move, one of Daley bringing Obama closer to the political center. It's a neat construction, quite explainable and reasonable, the kind of thing spinners put together and feed feeble-minded reporters on background, so that a favorable consensus may be reached. And once a consensus is reached, those who adopt it become zealots intent on hunting down the stray heretics.

Democrats forgot something when planning tax increase
Excerpt: With the state billions upon billions in debt, and the political leaders raising taxes, borrowing billions more and not making any substantive spending cuts, we've reached a certain point in our history. The tipping point. Taxes grow. Employers run. The jobs leave. High-end wage earners have the mobility to escape. What's left are the low-end workers who are stuck here. "I think we're very close to the tipping point," said John Tillman, head of the anti-tax Illinois Policy Institute. "The tipping point will come when the exodus of businesses and the jobs they represent grows so big that the tax increases won't make up for the revenue losses." Tillman said he's coming out with a study this week that will show Illinois is the third-worst state as far as economic refugees leaving for tax relief in other states. What Tillman and others argue is that the Democrats aren't about to disappoint their true constituents. So they don't cut, they tax. (If you live in one of the fiscal-disaster states—Illinois, California, New York—you might want to look at your escape plan, because the entitlement riots will start there first. ~Bob.)

What to do about the Carol Moseley Braun conundrum
For those not tuned into Crook County politics here in Illinois, Braun is the former one-term US Senator, who has emerged as the unity black candidate for Mayor of Chicago. I guess that makes Rahm Emanuel the unity white candidate, though it would create a flash fire if anyone in the media talked about a unity white candidate the way they comfortably accept and report on the racist idea of a unity black candidate. God help Chicago. ~Bob. Excerpt: It's not enough to have a black female mayor in Chicago; she would have to be capable of doing the job….. Many people, especially women who once did, would like to like Braun. Many will never get beyond her disappointing six years as the first, and still only, African-American woman in the United States Senate. And, sadly, the new candidate Carol looks a lot like the old one, still trying to coast on charm. Braun's famous charm alone wasn't enough to get her elected in 1992. Hope helped. It was the hope of voters — black, white, male, female — who saw in her a symbol, and who in pursuit of a symbol overlooked her flaws. She wasn't prepared on the issues? She answered tough questions with a platitude, a shrug and that smile that could melt steel? She'd grow. She'd learn. (Boy, does that sound familiar about another black symbol from Chicago? ~Bob.)

Relax, liberals. William Daley is your friend
Excerpt: President Obama drew cheers from Wall Street when he chose William Daley, a veteran Chicago pol who most recently has been closely identified with the financial industry, as his new White House chief of staff. But the appointment caused heartburn on the Left because in 2009, almost exactly a year before the 2010 midterm election, Daley came out against Obamacare, fearing it would lead to an electoral disaster for his fellow Democrats. The Left is dismayed that the guy they thought would be the most reliably liberal president ever to sit in the Oval Office has installed such a man as his gatekeeper. The Sunlight Foundation's Paul Blumenthal noted, for example, that Obama "once told a meeting of bankers that he was 'the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks.'... Picking Daley would send the message that the pitchforks -- normal people -- matter less than the continued flow of campaign donations from the uber-wealthy." Moderation of Obama's political associations would be welcomed in this corner, but don't expect that to result from Daley's arrival at
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The president once again showed his unwillingness to unmoor himself from Chicago's corrupt political culture. Obama has a history of obeisance toward Daley's brother, Richard, Chicago's mayor, and has rained tax-paid federal manna on Chicago. In November, the Department of Transportation issued a press release gloating that $800 million in federal subsidies have now gone to the 10-year-old O'Hare Airport Modernization Project -- Mayor Daley's chief preoccupation and great white whale. That's more than any airport reconstruction project has ever received in the nation's history.

David Limbaugh: Pelosi tells one more tall tale about Obamacare
Excerpt: Can you imagine the sheer audacity of outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sermonizing that repealing Obamacare would do "very serious violence to the national debt and deficit"? This is the woman whose four-year tenure as speaker saw the national debt explode from $8.67 trillion to $14.01 trillion. She's the lady who boasted, "Deficit reduction has been a high priority for us. It is our mantra, pay-as-you-go." Such is the state of Pelosi's credibility that even 19 of her Democratic colleagues voted against her for speaker. When it comes to a wide spectrum of issues, I'm not sure which planet Pelosi and her ilk of liberals inhabit, but the Obamacare fiasco takes their otherworldliness to another level altogether -- and that's being charitable because it assumes they're innocently unaware of how wrong they are. Everyone knows that with Obamacare's government-mandated increases in demand and in government control over prices, shortages and rationing are inevitable. (That's either why they've established their little bureaucratic boards or their excuse for establishing them; the boards will ultimately dictate decisions concerning choice of care -- including, dare I say it, end-of-life care.)

For Rep. Fred Upton and congressional Republicans, there’s no clear path for attacking EPA regulations
Excerpt: After the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could determine whether greenhouse gases posed a danger to society, no one was surprised that the agency quickly decided that yes, emissions like CO2 do pose health risks and thus can be regulated through the Clean Air Act. After that, the EPA went ahead with issuing rules aimed at regulating greenhouse gases for large-scale emitters like coal plants and paper mills. But now Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has promised to challenge the EPA rules. One possible option Upton has mentioned several times is the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Passed in 1996, the CRA provides recourse for Congress to review, and if needed repeal, bureaucracy rules. It’s an expedited process, filibuster proof, and the minority in the Senate can introduce it. “We are not going let this administration regulate what they have been unable to legislate,” said Upton earlier this week when asked about the CRA. But since there is a 60-day window in which Congress can act that begins the day rules are published, the only EPA regulations that would be subject to congressional review are the ones that the agency announced on December 23, 2010. (The two year delay of implementation “compromise” mentioned in this article is almost worse than the regulation itself. A “delay” doesn’t remove the authority or validity of the regulation, and it couldn’t then be repealed by the CRA process as it would be longer than 60 days from publishing. The courts made a huge error in allowing unelected regulators to write, promulgate, rewrite, amend, and enforce regulations without specific affirmative votes in Congress and approval by signature by the President. If regulators can do this because it is “good for us,” why can’t they dictate what foods we are allowed to eat and in what quantities? Perhaps we should all do morning PT in front of our homes, too. Whadda ya mean, you don’t want to get up that early? Get out there, you lazy slug, this is good for you and the sun will be up any minute now! The step from “allowing” to “requiring” is very short. Beware of beancounters. Ron P.)

Egypt's Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as "human shields"
Some good news from Egypt where a lot of Muslims got the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside. From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife. “We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea.

"Slaughter the enemies of the religion of God with your hands": Muslim website contains addresses of Coptic churches, bomb-making instructions
But not everyone got the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Jihad Watch reader M.S. kindly alerts us to this Muslim website, Al-Mojahden Electronic Network, which contains addresses of Coptic churches, prayers for and exhortations to the slaughter of the perceived enemies of Islam, and bomb-making instructions. Feel the love.

Rape victim: Girl gets a year in jail, 100 lashes for adultery
Excerpt: A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus. The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long. The girl claimed that she became pregnant soon after and went to King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces in an attempt to carry out an abortion. She was eight weeks’ pregnant then, the hospital confirmed. According to the ruling, the woman will be sent to a jail outside Jeddah to spend her time and will be lashed after delivery of her baby who will take the mother’s last name. (Don’t bother me with this—I’m still trying to figure out why some people are Islamophobia. ~Bob.)

Shariah Adoption Laws: Incompatible with American Law and Society
It’s incompatible with freedom and all liberals claim they hold dear, but PC trumps all. ~Bob. Excerpt: Yesterday’s Washington Post’s feature story, “Muslim orphans caught between Islam and the West“– about Muslim orphans who cannot find adoptive homes because of Islamic law– highlights once again the incompatibility of shariah with U.S. law and societal norms. The heart-wrenching story explained the tragedy of Muslim children from war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq who cannot be permanently placed with American families, even if they are lucky enough to be resettled in the U.S. as refugees. The reason is shariah (Islamic law), which states in unequivocal terms, “Adoption is unlawful in Islam when it means giving a child one’s own name; a share of one’s estate division, and so on.” [Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveller), Book K, “Trade,” section k28.4 (pg. 450).] As the Post story pointed out, the Islamic prohibition on permanent legal adoption of Muslim children even by Muslim families is based primarily on the supreme importance of blood lineage for purposes of inheritance within Islam. That doctrine explains why Muslim children cannot be adopted by Muslim families, but does not address the ban on adoption by non-Muslim families.

Israeli Foreign Minister Says Turkey Beginning to Look Like Iran on Eve of 1979 Islamic Revolution
Excerpt: In my opinion the only thing holding back Turkey’s Islamist government are the army generals who are staunch defenders of Ataturk’s secular principles.

Religion and Representation
Excerpt: This increasingly the face of religion in America — fluid, fluctuant, questioning, nonconformist and in many cases unaffiliated. That’s why a report this week by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life about the religious composition of the 112th Congress caught my eye. According to the report, the unaffiliated (atheists, agnostics, the unchurched, uncommitted, etc.), at 16.1 percent of the population, is the largest religious group in America without representation in Congress. (Six members, about 1 percent, did not specify a religious category.) For perspective, there are almost two-thirds as many unaffiliated people as there are Catholics in this country and nearly as many as there are Baptists. Their number is more than twice that of Methodists, and more than nine times the numbers of Jews or Mormons. Yet, no unaffiliated representation. Why? (Because it is safer for politicians who are non-believers to claim a religion. One can discard it if it becomes a liability. See Obama, Barack. ~Bob)

With The Integrity Of An Alley Cat In Heat
Excerpt: Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and I mean REALLY on the other foot, the Democrats are all of a sudden the big conciliators who are demanding bipartisanship. How bloody nice of them? Isn’t it marvelous how the Democrats who treated the Republicans like crap when they held the majority in the Senate and the House, all of a sudden don’t want to be treated the same way they treated the opposition? I distinctly remember Obama telling John McCain that the election is over. We won. You Lost. Get over it, at a televised White House meeting that was “supposed” to be bipartisan. I also remember Pelosi and Reid EXCLUDING all of the Republicans from any participation in writing the IMPORTANT Bills no one had time to read before they were brought to the floor for the final vote. But, now that these Democrat Sad-Sacks are in the minority in the House, Pelosi and these other Liberal Bad-Actors want to be included. And how about Senators like Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who now champions the REPEAL of Obamacare that SHE VOTED FOR, because she comes up for reelection in 2012, and knows that she voted AGAINST the will of her own constituents, who by a margin of 71% are against Obamacare?

Restoring the Social Order
Liberal spending to reward union voters will soon undo any gains. ~Bob. Excerpt: Conservative ideas are responsible for the two great urban-policy successes of the last quarter-century: the breathtaking drops in crime and in welfare dependency since the early 1990s. You’d never know it from members of the opinion elite, however, who have rarely recognized these successes, much less their provenance. So let’s recapitulate an epic battle about the foundations of social order, a battle that had not just a clear winner but also a clear loser: the liberal policy prescriptions for cities that many opinion makers and politicians still embrace. New York has been at the center of this battle because so many of the bad ideas that wreaked havoc on cities hatched there. Fortunately, so did many of the antidotes.

When Three Becomes Two: 'Tis the season
From the forwarded message: I follow Ashleigh's Blog "When Three Becomes Two". Ashleigh's husband, a Marine, was killed in Afghanistan. Ashleigh can't go through this alone. She needs support. Read her thoughts and you'll get a glimpse into the unimaginable pain endured when 'Three Becomes Two'. Excerpt: Some think I'm better, but I'm not. I'm completely broken. I smile on the outside to hide that I'm crying on the inside. The fairytale that I had is gone, and now like everyone says "I'm living their worst nightmare". And can I say I hate hearing that? It just makes me feel even worse to know that no one wants any part of my life which is understandable since I don't want it either, but I don't need it vocalized. I'm not trying to be rude it just hurts.

The First Megaton is the Hardest
Excerpt: When the United States tested nuclear weapons on home turf in the 1950s, it wasn't exactly a top secret operation. In fact, word of the impending test was often listed in newspapers and discussed on the radio. Among the 30,000 residents of the growing little city of Las Vegas, news of an impending test drew the curious up onto their roofs. From there they could look across the sixty miles of desert that separated the town from the buildings, bunkers, towers, and huge expanses of impressively barren ground that made up the Nevada Test Site. Even at such a distance, the blasts were sometimes astonishingly bright, and since several were held in the hours right before dawn, more than one witness was quick to compare the momentary glare of the expanding fireballs to the glow of the rising sun (though the test site was west of Las Vegas, so it would have been a bit hard to actually get the two mixed up). A few seconds after the flare of light, a shivering rumble would pass through the ground. Residents were able to make a fair assessment of the relative strength of the weapons being tested by the way in which their household goods were rattled. They got plenty of practice. Even in 1951, the first year the United States made use of the Nevada Test Site for nuclear weapons, the place was kept extremely busy with an even dozen explosions. Starting at the end of January, five bombs were dropped in a period of just ten days. All of the bombs were exploded in open air, and the largest was a good 25% larger than the weapon that had leveled central Hiroshima. Some observers, unsatisfied with the rooftop view, drove out of town and climbed up into the mountains for a clearer look. 6,500 Army troops, who were marshaled in the desert to conduct maneuvers while observing the blast, got an even better look. By all accounts, it was quite a show. (On the theory that one should always keep an eye on what the other side is doing, I drop in on the Daily Kos on occasion to see what they have going. And sometimes there is stuff that's not directly Far Left, subversive, anti-American, etc. Below is a current article that I found very interesting, and somewhat worrisome. --Del)

No Debt Limit Expansion Without Spending Cuts!
Excerpt: Every Republican member of Congress should sign the following pledge, being promulgated by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform: "I promise not to vote for any expansion of the federal debt limit unless it is preceded or accompanied by significant cuts in federal spending." We all know that the reason the federal government debt is exploding is the reckless spending policies of the Obama administration. From the time George Washington took the oath of office to the time Barack Obama did, Washington borrowed $9 trillion. Since Obama took office, two years ago, we have borrowed almost $5 trillion more! Domestic discretionary spending (non-defense) has risen by an astonishing 41 percent in two years!!! Welfare spending, primarily Medicaid, has gone up by 54 percent in two years!!!! We must roll back these increases. (It is not increases in Social Security -- 14 percent -- or Medicare --16 percent that are the problem).

Christian 'Slaves' in Southern Sudan Voting for Independence from Arab North
Excerpt: “This is the end of Arabisation, the end of Islamisation,” he said in the village with its mix of thatched, mud-brick and concrete homes.
Lengthy lines of voters formed at polling stations all over southern Sudan on the first of a seven-day independence referendum which was the main plank of a 2005 peace deal ending a north-south civil war. Two decades of all-out war pitting the mainly Muslim and Arab north against the mostly Christian and animist south – termed Sudan’s second civil war between the two sides — cost two million lives.

The Growing Worldwide Persecution of Christians
Excerpt: BratislavaEurope hesitates with expressions of solidarity, as if the killing of Christians in the world was not worth noticing. Those words were stated today to the News Agency of the Slovak Republic by the chairman of the non parliamentary party Conservative Democrats of Slovakia (CDS) and former interior minister Vladimir Palko, who attended the rally in support of the persecuted Christians in Bratislava. The event had been arranged by Young Conservative Democrats of Slovakia, which is a youth movement of CDS. “The motive is the increasing persecution, even killing of Christians all over world. Since we announced this event, several dozen Christians have been killed in Nigeria, 21 Christians in Egypt on New Year’s Eve, and many other incidents. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that this problem is acute,” Palko pointed out.

Lowering the Black Flag of Jihad
Excerpt: As most readers will remember, last year on November 11th — Remembrance Day — Muslim zealots gathered in London to burn poppies and insult British troops. The English Defence League mounted a counter-demonstration, and Tommy Robinson was arrested after he leapt a barrier and grabbed a black jihad flag from one of the demonstrators. The Black Flag of Jihad is more than just a declaration of Muslim faith. It is Mohammed’s battle flag. Throughout the history of Islam it has been displayed or flown whenever the mujahideen sally forth to behead the infidels. Suicide bombers record their last videos with the black flag in the background. Terrorists behead their captives for the camera while standing in front of the black flag. The Black Flag of Jihad is a declaration of war. Those thugs who carried it that day in London were committing sedition and treason against the British state. Tommy Robinson should have been given an official award for his heroic behavior, and the thugs burning the poppies should have been arrested.

Will Australian Glasses Make Beer-Drinkers Hopping Mad?
Excerpt: They have been slaughtered in Sydney, massacred in Melbourne and annihilated in Adelaide, but the revenge of the Aussies is coming – and its first target is all those celebratory pints we’ve been drinking. Last week, even as David Cameron hailed England’s Ashes triumph, his Government was engaged in a sinister legislative manoeuvre that could see the traditional British pint usurped by the lesser Australian schooner. Packing about two-thirds of a regular pint, the schooner owes its popularity Down Under to Australian drinkers’ fear of their beer getting warm in the sunshine. It doesn’t have a regulation size, though, and tends to be smaller where the climate is hotter. Logical enough, if you don’t mind all those extra trips to the bar. But for traditionalist Britons, having only narrowly seen off the European Union’s attempts to ban the pint, the schooner represents a new order of menace.

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