NOTICE

I'll be away for the holidays and resume my regular posting after that. Happy Christmas and New Year everyone!
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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Minority German Children Bullied by Muslims in Their Own Schools




Just published on YouTube is a shocking video of discrimination against German and Christian children in German schools. They are severely bullied by Muslim kids in a school where immigrant children are an astonishing 96 percent. Hardly anybody speaks to them, they become introvert. They are outcasts, not integrated into the schools of their own land.

The reporter investigating this shameful situation interviews a boy who tells her how he was chased and attacked for saying that he does not believe in God, and a girl who says she is regularly insulted for being a Christian and called "You shit Christian".

The problem is not addressed by the school staff or the education authorities. The teachers even refuse to talk to the journalist in the video.

Indigenous and Christian children then become fearful even of reporting that they have been bullied to the teachers, not knowing how they will react (maybe they'll be called "racist"?).

The school councillor interviewed in the video admits that this causes real problems in children, like academic failure and refusal to return to school, and yet teachers are afraid to discuss it openly and reproach the Muslim bullies, lest they come "under immediate general suspicion of being against foreigners": and that's obviously anathema to them.

Cultural Marxists and liberals prefer to let their children grow up shy and socially inept than to risk fomenting "xenophobia" by openly discussing this scandal. They seem to be prepared to throw even their kids under the bus.

Some families move away closer to a different school. Do native Europeans have to leave their homes and cities to make way for Muslim immigrants? Many British people choose to go and live abroad and not just for the climate. Is this the future of Europe, or lack thereof?

The last kid interviewed in the video describes his plans for the future thus: "Move away from here to where there are Germans living and where one is left in peace".

Germany's Family Minister Kristina Schröder aknowledged the existence of this issue of children being bullied in schools just for being German as part of "a growing tendency to violence stemming from a 'macho culture' among young Muslim men".

The problem was highlighted in 2010 in the city of Essen by the German TV channel Das Erste:
"They're not threatened with a knife every day. but the children of immigration background clearly have their way here," says the school principal. The female teachers have to deal with students saying "don't speak to her, she's just a German slut."

"When it's Ramadan, there's a state of emergency. The last time it went so far, that they spit in our food," says the home-economics teacher. "People always say that foreigners are discriminated, but here it's precisely the other way around." A Lebanese Arabic teacher says that the German way of living is very clearly being rejected by his students, the attitude is almost chic.

The German children respond with aggression or by over-adapting their behavior. In the playground you find them in the corners. Sebastian, an ethnic German 16 year old, feels bullied by the Muslim students, and is often involved in fights. Juli is a friend of the devout Saleh from Palestine. She calls herself a Muslims, which means: no parties, no alcohol, no sex.

The teachers try to respond t the situation with clarity and by upholding German laws and regulations, but also by mother-tongue classes and understanding for the Lebanese.


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Every 5 Minutes a Christian is Killed for His Faith

Every 5 minutes a Christian is killed for his or her religion somewhere in the world.

Yet, leftists, dhimmi media and assorted "intellectuals" say that the main problem is "Islamophobia".

From Zenit, Sociologist: Every 5 Minutes a Christian Is Martyred. Speaks of Emergency in Religious Discrimination:
ROME, JUNE 3, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A sociologist representing a European security organization says that the number of Christians killed each year for their faith is so high that it calculates to one martyr's life being taken every five minutes.

Massimo Introvigne of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported this data at a conference on Christian-Jewish-Muslim interfaith dialogue, which concluded today in Hungary. The conference was sponsored by the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union, and included a variety of high-level representatives from the three monotheistic religions, as well as political and social leaders.

Introvigne reported that Christians killed every year for their faith number 105,000, and that number includes only those put to death simply because they are Christians. It does not count the victims of civil or international wars.

"If these numbers are not cried out to the world, if this slaughter is not stopped, if it is not acknowledged that the persecution of Christians is the first worldwide emergency in the matter of violence and religious discrimination, the dialogue between religions will only produce beautiful conferences but no concrete results," he stated.

Egyptian diplomat Aly Mahmoud said that in his country laws have been passed that will protect Christian minorities, for example, prosecuting those who give speeches that incite hatred and banning hostile crowds outside churches.

"However, the danger is that many Christian communities in the Middle East will die from emigration, because all Christians, feeling threatened, will flee," he said.

The diplomat suggested Europe prepare for "a new wave of emigration, this time from Christians fleeing the persecutions."

For his part, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chairman for the Russian Orthodox patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations, reminded that "at least 1 million" Christian victims of persecutions are children.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Sharia Police already a Reality in London




Five people so far have been arrested by the police in connection with the offences committed by the self-proclaiming "Muslim vigilantes" last weekend, including causing grievous bodily harm and public order offences.

The video above shows ordinary people on the streets of East London being confronted by Muslim vigilantes telling them that it is a "Muslim area" and "this is a Muslim patrol". They say: "No alcohol is allowed", "The Muslims patroling this area forbid evil, and alcohol is evil", forcing people to relinquish cans and bottles.

Other utterances are: "We don't care if you believe it or not", "We need to control this area and we need to forbid these people to dress like this and exposing themselves outside the mosque", followed by telling aggressively to a normally-dressed (i.e. without hijab) woman and man: "Remove yourself away from the mosque now, and don't come back. Do you understand?".

To another woman who retorted that she was appalled they shouted: "We don't care if you are appalled at all" and "Vigilantes implementing Islam upon your necks".

Despite "progressive" reporters and commentators' lame attempts to insinuate that this could have been a far-right's plot to inflame and divide public opinion on the issue of Islam, investigative journalist Ted Jeory has done his job and found out that Anjem Choudary, spokesman for the now proscribed Islamist association Islam4UK, knew the Muslim vigilantes group.

The Bishop of Rochester's warning in January 2008 that Islamism had turned "already separate communities into 'no-go' areas" is turning out to be true.

This should not surprise anyone who has even sporadically followed the news.

The group Muslims Against the Crusades (MAC) has long designated Tower Hamlets, an East London borough, as one of three areas - the other two are Bradford and Dewsbury, in Yorkshire, Northern England - where to establish three independent states or autonomous territories within the UK, medieval 'emirates' operating entirely outside British law, as testbeds for blanket sharia rule.

Those areas have been chosen because they are heavily populated by Muslims. MAC has been banned, but its ideas are flourishing in Tower Hamlets.

MAC said on its site, now removed:
We suggest it is time that areas with large Muslim populations declare an emirate delineating that Muslims trying to live within this area are trying to live by the sharia as much as possible with their own courts and community watch and schools and even self sufficient trade...

In time we can envisage that the whole of the sharia might one day be implemented starting with these enclaves.
Tower Hamlets Council, the area's local authority, is notorious for having been exposed as infiltrated by Muslim extremists, as has the Labour Party itself, which runs the council.

Tower Hamlets elected as its first directly-elected mayor Lutfur Rahman, an Islamist with ties to the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe, which controls the East London Mosque. This fact also should give an idea of the political propensities of the Muslim population that dominates this part of London.

In another twist of this shameful connivance between Labour and Islamism, last Spring the defeated London mayor candidate for the Labour Party, Ken Livingstone, gave an infamous speech promising to turn London into a “beacon” for the words of the Prophet Mohammed and pledging to “educate the mass of Londoners” in Islam. Andrew Gilligan, London editor of the Telegraph, reports:
[Livingstone said]: “That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet.” Mr Livingstone described Mohammed’s words in his last sermon as “an agenda for all humanity.”

He praised the Prophet’s last sermon, telling his audience: “I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands its words and message.” He also promised to “make your life a bit easier financially. [or, to call things by their name, jizya in the form of welfare]”
Thank God he lost.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Hope Is a Theological Virtue

Theodore Dalrymple, in his excellent book Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , wrote in the year 2000 that the liberal elites at the BBC and other UK media were denying the reality of the British working class's degeneration in the previous few decades.

He describes what he saw in the downmarket seaside resort of Blackpool, in Northern England, which he had visited for the purpose fo writing an article commissioned to him "to describe the conduct of the people who go there for a weekend":
This sophisticated innocence has departed. Without the institution of marriage, mother-in-law and divorce jokes are pointless and passé. Fun now means public drunkenness on a mass scale, screaming in the streets, and the frequent exposure of naked buttocks to passersby. Within moments of arriving on the street along the beach, which was ankle-deep in discarded fast-food wrappings (the smell of stale fat obliterates completely the salt smell of the sea), I saw a woman who had pulled down her slacks and tied a pair of plastic breasts to her bare buttocks, while a man crawled after her on the sidewalk, licking them. At midnight along this street—with the sound of rock music pounding insistently out of every club door, and each door presided over by a pair of steroid-inflated bouncers, among men vomiting into the gutters, and with untold numbers of empty bags of marijuana on the pavement—I saw children as young as six, unattended by adults, waiting for their parents to emerge from their nocturnal recreations.
He recounts how, after the article's publication, he was accused by the mainstream media's intellectual elites of being a snob, and letters sent to these media outlets accused him of not understanding the working class "culture".

But other, unpublished, letters sent by the public were supportive of his position:
The liberal assumption, in this as in most things, is that to understand is to approve (or at least to pardon), and therefore my disapproval indicated a lack of understanding. But strangely enough, the letters that the BBC and the newspaper that published the original article forwarded to me—those they hadn't broadcast or published—wholly endorsed my comments. They were from Blackpool residents and from working-class people elsewhere who passionately denied that working-class culture had always consisted of nothing but mindless obscenity. Several writers spoke very movingly of enduring real poverty in childhood while maintaining self-respect and a striving for mental distinction. The deliberate exclusion of these voices from public expression provided a fine example of how the British intelligentsia goes about its self-appointed task of cultural destruction.
Since the time when Dalrymple wrote about his difficulty in breaking through the media wall on the subject of descent from self-respecting working class to underclass, the press and TV networks have repeatedly published images of events similar to the ones he described occurring at weekends in many other cities and towns across the country, and indeed even abroad, in places like Spain or wherever British holidaymakers can be found.

A single man armed with a pen, determined to expose a problem and indicate a solution, has had a lasting influence in showing a path that other mass means of communication followed.

It is just one of the numerous examples of how change can be easier than we sometimes think.

When I was a teenager in the 60s and 70s, the radical ideas of the Left seemed unrealistic and their goals unattainable. Now for them it's almost mission accomplished.

Things can turn around the other way just as easily as they did this way.



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Gates of Vienna Moved. Please Change Link

Due to Google-owned Blogger's decision to take it down twice within a single week, Gates of Vienna, one of the Counterjihad most historical and well-known blogs, has moved to this new address:

http://gatesofvienna.net/

The problem in a move like this, without possibility of redirecting, is that Gates of Vienna might lose its high Google rank of 6, with consequent loss of traffic. So, they are asking to change your links to the new one in order to minimize that negative effect.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Mental Illness and Violence

James Holmes, the accused Aurora, Colorado movie-theater shooter


Reading Ann Coulter's article Guns don’t kill people, the mentally ill do I felt a lot of sympathy for her position.

I attended University in Italy in the late '70s, and I studied psychiatry as part of my Philosophy course.

The anti-psychiatry movement started by British psychiatrist Ronald Laing, which denied the existence of mentall illness, claiming that the whole family of the patient is ill and the psychiatric patient is only the scapegoat of the family's disease, was then very influential.

Italy's democratic psychiatry school of Franco Basaglia of Gorizia's Psychiatric Hospital was very popular. The political slant in Basaglia's approach was that the mentally ill is simply someone who chooses not to conform and integrate, a victim of society or, more specifically, of the political powers who need to emarginate dissenters (and he wasn't talking just about the Soviet Union but of Western democracies too).

I remember even attending, with other university students, a meeting with the patients of Arezzo Psychiatric Hospital, run by another psychiatrist of Basaglia's school, Pirella. Meetings between the hospital patients and the general public were regularly organized. And in these hospitals, the patients were free to go in and out.

The whole idea then was that psychiatric patients had been oppressed and terribly mistreated, that they should not be locked up and that the chance of their being dangerous was risible.

What these movements achieved, as well as influencing the way people look at mental illness, was a profound reform of psychiatric institutions, with the release into "the territory" (the Italian term) or "the community" (the English jargon) of many people previously admitted into mental hospitals.

We are all now familiar with many cases in which some people with psychosis have become a very difficult burden for their families, who can't cope with them and repeatedly asked for them to be re-admitted to a hospital and treated. In some cases such mentally ill people have committed suicide or murders.

This could be the reason why a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, in which respondents were asked to apportion responsibility for the shootings that have taken place in Tucson, Ariz.; Aurora, Colo.; and Newtown, Conn. to various posssible choices of causes, reveals that
The second choice, selected by 82 percent as “a great deal” or “a good amount,” was “the lack of effective treatment for mental illness.”
The first choice was “parents not paying enough attention to what is going on in their children’s lives”, of which 83 percent said that was “a great deal” or a “good amount” responsible. Only 4 percent said “none at all.”

Guns only came in fifth, somehow vindicating Coulter's position, although the percentages were still high:
Tied for fifth place at 59 percent each was “assault and military-style firearms being legal to purchase,” and “the availability of high capacity ammunition clips.”
But the point is: is this scientifically founded?

Here I believe that, as much as the new psychiatric policies may have been failures, to find the right balance is extremely difficult.

There is a statistical fallacy which commonly confounds the issue here. The proportion of prison inmates who are mentally ill is rather high - some sources say almost 1 in 5 in the United States -, and according to a systematic review people with schizophrenia are about twice more likely to be violent than other people, but the proportion of psychotic people who commit violent crimes is extremely low: an Oxford Journals meta-analysis of 7 studies in different countries resulted in an estimate of 1 murder of a person unknown to the mentally ill individual per 14.3 million people per year.

The report concludes:
Stranger homicide in psychosis is extremely rare and is even rarer for a patient who has received treatment with antipsychotic medication. A lack of distinguishing characteristics of stranger homicide offenders and an extremely low base rate of stranger-homicide suggests that risk assessment of patients known to have a psychotic illness will be of little assistance in the prevention of stranger homicides.
We know that hindsight is easy, but prediction is a much harder business.

Psychotic killing of strangers is extremely rare, and rare events are difficult to handle statistically. Ben Goldacre explains it in his book Bad Science:
Let's think about violence. The best predictive tool for psychiatric violence has a ‘sensitivity' [accuracy in predicting correctly] of 0.75, and a ‘specificity' [accuracy in not over-predicting] of 0.75. It's tougher to be accurate when predicting an event in humans, with human minds and changing human lives. Let's say 5 per cent of patients seen by a community mental health team will be involved in a violent event in a year. Using the same maths as we did for the HIV tests, your ‘0.75' predictive tool would be wrong eighty-six times out of a hundred. For serious violence, occurring at 1 per cent a year, with our best ‘0.75' tool, you inaccurately finger your potential perpetrator ninety-seven times out of a hundred. Will you preventively detain ninety-seven people to prevent three violent events? And will you apply that rule to alcoholics and assorted nasty antisocial types as well?

For murder, the extremely rare crime in question in this report, for which more action was demanded, occurring at one in 10,000 a year among patients with psychosis, the false positive rate is so high that the best predictive test is entirely useless.

This is not a counsel of despair. There are things that can be done, and you can always try to reduce the number of actual stark cock-ups, although it's difficult to know what proportion of the ‘one murder a week' represents a clear failure of a system, since when you look back in history, through the retrospecto-scope, anything that happens will look as if it was inexorably leading up to your one bad event. I'm just giving you the maths on rare events. What you do with it is a matter for you.

Associated Press Bans the Use of "Islamophobia", "Homophobia" and Other Words



The major news agency Associated Press (AP) has recently decided to put an end to the use of "Islamophobia", "homophobia", "ethnic cleansing" and other politically charged words in its highly influential The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, generally called the AP Stylebook.

The book, annually updated, is a guide for style, usage, grammar, punctuation and reporting principles and practices used by reporters, editors and others in the US newspapers, news industry, magazines, broadcasters, public relations firms and so on.

Although not all publications use it, the AP Stylebook is regarded as a newspaper industry standard.

Therefore, the decision of making these changes, which will appear in the next printed edition that usually comes out in June, has particular importance.
The online Style Book now says that "-phobia," "an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness" should not be used "in political or social contexts," including "homophobia" and "Islamophobia." It also calls "ethnic cleansing" a "euphemism," and says the AP "does not use 'ethnic cleansing' on its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained."

"Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don't feel that's quite accurate," AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn told POLITICO.

"When you break down 'ethnic cleansing,' it's a cover for terrible violent activities. It's a term we certainly don't want to propgate," Minthorn continued. "Homophobia especially -- it's just off the mark. It's ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don't have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case."

"We want to be precise and accurate and neutral in our phrasing," he said.
This is an obvious improvement, since"homophobia" and "Islamophobia" are terms coined with the sole purpose of denigrating an opponent in a debate, as ad hominem attacks, and are devoid of any real meaning: they say more about the people who use them than about those they refer to.

Regarding "Islamophobia", David Horowitz and Robert Spencer have written a pamphlet on the word's origins that can be ordered or read for free online, entitled "Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future":
The U.S. is slowly but certainly accommodating the view that free speech, when it comes to religious (i.e. Muslim) matters, is suspect. We have come to this point, in large part, because of the growing success of the idea that any criticism of Islam is actually a pathology, rather than a legitimate exercise of free speech. It is, in other words, “Islamophobia.”

In their pamphlet, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future, David Horowitz and Robert Spencer document how the origin of the word “Islamophobia” is a coinage of the Muslim Brotherhood. They show how the Brotherhood launched a campaign, by ginning up “Islamophobia” as a hate crime, to stigmatize mention of such issues as radical Islam’s violence against women and murder of homosexuals, and the constant incitement of many imams to terrorism. The authors make the case that “Islamophobia” is a dagger aimed at the heart of free speech and also at the heart of our national security.
Regarding the political use of the suffix -phobia generally, it is interesting to note, as Peter LaBarbera does, how unequally and uni-directionally it is employed; *-phobes never belong to the dominant orthodoxy, but always to the class of those who dissent from it:
We at Americans For Truth, like our peers in the pro-family, conservative movement who stand in principled and faith-based opposition to the LGBT political and cultural agenda, do not “fear” homosexuals. We simply disagree profoundly with the normalization of homosexual behavior and the elevation of homosexuality and “gay” identity to “civil rights” status.

Of course, there are people who do fear homosexuals, but there are also people who fear conservative Christians. So isn’t it odd that “homophobia” (and “Islamophobia”) became mainstreamed in America’s media-driven lexicon, while “Christian-phobia” did not? (And now transgender activists, piggybacking off the semantic success of their homosexual allies, are pushing the equally dubious “transphobia” to advance their agenda.)

You could easily fill ten large books with examples of abuses of the tendentious term “homophobia” and its derivative, “homophobe,” in the same-sex debate. Advocates of homosexuality and foes of biblical sexual morality would never allow themselves to be categorized and caricatured as “phobes” — our friend John Biver posits the Secular Left as “morality-phobia” HERE — yet they pretend that somehow “homophobia” objectively describes opposition to homosexuality. That’s because to far too many homosexual advocates, the end justifies the means, and the “gay” cause advances when its critics are cynically and falsely cast as hateful and fearful creeps.

We will have more on this story. For now, it is gratifying to see AP make a move toward neutrality, objectivity and fairness in its coverage of homosexuality.
It's extremely telling that Associated Press decided to drop both "Islamophobia" and "homophobia" simultaneously, because their origin and usage as denigratory terms, free-speech attacks and thought-policing instruments are remarkably similar.

It is really good news that someone in a position of influence in the media has started taking notice. And it is not the first time:
First the Associated Press announced that it would continue using “Illegal Alien” instead of “Undocumented American”, “Accidental Border Crosser” or “Beautiful Dreamer” on the grounds that it was well… technically accurate.

...The Associated Press is not taking a conservative position here, but we have reached such a point of cultural decay that fact-based positions that derive their grounds from reason and proof are already innately conservative. Or as George Orwell put it, “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

The left’s counterattack on behalf of homophobia is already irrational, even from the standpoint of their own interests, because it communicates mental problems when the goal is to communicate bigotry.

Slate argues that homophobia is just like arachnophobia. The argument is wrong on a number of levels. The most simple level where it’s wrong is that the subject under discussion is not even fear. It’s dislike. The Guardian and several other media outlets have churned out pieces arguing that dislike of homosexuality is primarily motivated by fear. But that’s an opinion and the very argument testifies to a news media that is hardly able to distinguish fact-based reporting from opinion-mongering.

Finally there is something Orwellian about describing political or religious views in terms usually employed for mental illness. It skips past discussing what people believe or do to claiming intimate knowledge of their motives and passing judgement on their sanity. It’s reasonable for the AP to opt out of such heavily politicized and inaccurate language that claims to report on the state of mental health, rather than the state of events.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

France to Hire Imams for Prisons to Fight Spread of Jihad Ideology

Sharia for France signs



The government of Hollande in France is planning to hire dozens of full-time imams for French prisons.

The rationale behind it is to promote "integration" and freedom of worship, and for that goal the Imams will teach Islam classes to the inmates.

60 prisons in France already have their own imam, and 60 more will get that in the next two years, according to The Two Cities, the journal of the French Department of Prison Administration.

“We have to make sure that religion and worship take place, but that these also respect the values and laws of the Republic,” Justice Minister Christine Taubira explained.

How the teaching of Islam can help the prison population or anybody else "respect the values and laws of the Republic" is anyone's guess. It looks to me like the French government, if its intention really is to curb Jihadist ideology, is scoring an own goal, probably due to the unfounded, almost incredibly naive belief that "true Islam" is peaceful. Naivety that could be easily cured, given that Qu'ran copies are easy to find and buy, so people can find out what Islam is from the horse's mouth. Unless Taubira thinks that the Imams she employs are going to ignore Islam's holy book in their classes.

Here is a taste:

“… Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left.” — Quran 2:193/189

"As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help." - Quran 3:56

The predictions of people who truly know Islam, in this as in all other cases have yet again proved right.

In the highly informative post "Muslim Demographics And Effect", adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book Slavery, Terrorism & Islam: Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat (Amazon USA), (Amazon UK) , The Muslim Issue offers this:

"Islam’s Effect On Society At 2%-5%

"At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs."

As predicted, with Muslims now making up 10% of the French population (at 6-7 million people the most numerous minority), the Jihadist ideology is dangerously spreading among prison inmates.

The French police recently arrested a young man who was preparing attacks on synagogues in Paris and had become a militant Muslim in his prison cell.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Grandma Scares Away Store Robber with a Gun




What happened in a convenience store in Milwaukee confirms the view of those who want the Second Amendment upheld, that guns, yes, can be used to commit crimes but they can also be essential to prevent and stop them.

I'm on the fence on this, I can see the merits of both positions. And I can see that to let the state (and the criminals) be the only ones in possession of weapons requires an enormous amount of trust in that state.

Ernestine Aldana, a 48-year-old grandmother working in the shop, being threatened with a knife by a robber, responded by pulling out a gun and pointing it at him. He got scared and ran away.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Media Double Standard for Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party

The New York Post on Monday reported on an alleged link between Occupy Wall Street and a New York City couple arrested for being found in possession of an array of weapons, a bombmaking explosive, instructions to make bombs and 'The Terrorist Encyclopedia' in their Greenwich Village apartment.

http://m.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/bombmaking_in_the_village_LoRDqNzP02SDZyfC1pLVXN

The couple are Morgan Gliedman, daughter of a prominent doctor, and Harvard graduate and alleged Occupy Wall Street activist Aaron Greene. Sources told the paper that people who know him say he has 'extreme' political views.

Occupy Wal Street has denied the purported association, which the NYPD told The Daily Mail they are still investigating.

http://press.nycga.net/2012/12/31/nypd-media-reports-attempt-to-link-ows-to-crime-again/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2255609/Morgan-Gliedman-Aaron-Greene-junkies-terrorists-police-say.html?ITO=socialnet-twitter-mailonline&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=socialnet-twitter-mailonline

The couple's apartment in which the police found weapons and explosives is near the flat where two rich young men accidentally blew themselves up in 1970 while making a bomb for the far-left group Weather Underground.

Bloggers have expressed concern that, in view of the left-wing bias in the mainstream media, this story will not be given the extensive and balanced coverage it deserves.

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2013/01/01/bomb-arrest-a-test-for-the-media/

The ABC network did not even mention the alleged link of the arrested with Occupy Wall Street, although it had last July wrongly accused a member of the Tea Party of a mass killing, for which it later apologized.

http://m.newsbusters.org/blogs/scott-whitlock/2013/01/02/abc-skips-occupy-connection-terror-case-falsely-smeared-tea-partier-

The connection between Greene and OWS is still under investigation, not an entirely unreasonable assumption, given the violent propensities of some of the movement's elements.

The Tea Party, on the other hand, despite media's strenuous efforts, were never found guilty of any violent act.

As Human Events puts it:

'But the founding principles of OWS, the concept of illegal 'occupation' to compel attention to its agenda, inevitably corrupted the enterprise, and attracted people with even more vigorous plans for compelling the attention of the public.

'It's not just a minor stylistic difference that the Tea Party crew was law-abiding and tidy - it goes to the heart of who they are, what they want, and how they regard the rest of the American public. That's why the media's fervent search for Tea Party violence never turned up the kind of story they resolutely ignore when it emanates from their once-beloved, now-forgotten Occupy crew.'

http://www.humanevents.com/2012/12/31/occupy-wall-street-organizer-busted-for-possession-of-mostly-peaceful-bomb-components/


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

From Atheist to Agnostic

I was an atheist for almost my entire life. I could not believe that God existed, so that's how I described myself.

I believed in Christianity as an ethical system, so I would call myself, as the great Oriana Fallaci, a 'Christian atheist', expression which has simarities to 'secular Jew'.

I have recently realized things that cast serious doubts on my previous way of thinking.

The moral validity of Christianity was in no question before and is in no question now. But it is the issue of the existence of God which is not so simple as I mistakenly believed.

Science in itself is too limited to provide evidence to prove or disprove it, as I've always known, although Newton himself, for example, made God part of his theory as absolute time.

But, paradoxically, it is not the content of science, namely what is inside it, that gives us an indication here, but rather its limits, what is outside it.

Science's laws of nature can explain many of its phenomena and have the potential to make us understand even more.

But there are three moments which require an enormous leap of faith in the NON-existence of God to believe that science can ever explain them.

These three moments are: the origin of matter, life and consciousness.

Science can understand pretty well what happens after those key moments, but it cannot explain them.

In successive posts I'll deal with these further, but for the moment I want to report how Melanie Phillips, in her book The Book Turned Upside Down, describes her conversation with Richard Dawkins in 2008 following a public debate between him and John Lennox.

'I asked Dawkins whether he believed that the origin of all matter was most likely to have been an entirely spontaneous event. He agreed that he did think so. I put it to him that he seemed therefore to be arguing that something could be created out of nothing - which surely runs counter to the scientific principles of verifiable evidence that he tells us should govern all our thinking'.

Think about it: people who do not believe in God usually adduce as reason how we have never experienced anything with God's attributes.

But the alternative theory, that matter, ie something, arose from nothing, also describes an event that we have never experienced.

Atheism activists and scientific triumphalists, of whom Dawkins is the most famous, misleadingly portray this conflict about the existence of God as one between the rational believers in evidence-based theories (as they, the atheists, modestly consider themselves) and the irrational, superstition-bound theists.

But the reality is entirely different. The question of whether the universe had a Creator or emerged from nothing is one which can be answered, either way, ONLY with reference to, and belief in, an entity or event of which we have absolutely no experience.

Both our senses and evidence here do not help at all.

It is a work in progress but for the moment, not being able to choose one or the other explanation, I call myself agnostic.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Obama's Fiscal Cliff Is Permanent

America will be on a fiscal cliff no matter what agreements are reached between Democrats and Republicans.

The damage done by the Obama administration to the economy is too deep to be saved by last-minute deals.

Tax increases on the rich have virtually no impact on the reduction of the US national deficit, and are imposed for ideological, not practical, reasons.

The type of measures that could be most effective, reducing public spending, are exactly what Obama does not want to do. He did not pursue that policy in his first term and is unlikely to do it now, after being re-elected.

The Democrats, as they have done many times before (http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/51958#When:22:20:54Z), make promises that they will not maintain, in order to deceive Republicans and lead them to make concessions.

Harvard professor and chairman of the Economics Department at Harvard University Greg Mankiw explains why this policy of tax increases on the rich will not solve the debt problem and will only lead to more, never-ending tax hikes:

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-neverending-quest-for-more.html?m=1

He also explains why taxing 'the rich', which is already done anyway since one third of their income is taken in tax - despite the media's generous coverage of unenlightening anecdotes about unrepresentative cases of tax avoidance -, cannot mathematically solve the problem of the government's overspending on entitlements. So the choice can only be between drastically reducing the welfare system expenditure or increasing taxes on the middle class (Mankiw obiously does not consider the possibility of robbing the rich of all or most of their money, although Obama and his comrades might):

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/business/on-middle-class-tax-rates-too-much-wishful-thinking.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0

The current policy is lunacy and Obama has dragged American economy into a vicious, self-perpetuating circle of ever-increasing poverty and on a road to communism not through revolution but by stealth, piecemeal, a bit of redistributive tax hike at a time.

Africa Energy Consumption Growing Fastest in the World

The continent of Africa, home to 15 percent of the globe's population, has the fastest-growing energy consumption in the world.

http://m.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2013/0101/Africa-s-energy-consumption-growing-fastest-in-world

This is part of the explanations of why attempts to reduce carbon emissions are irrational and destructive.

If you exclude Third World countries from restrictions in their use of fossil fuels, as the Kyoto Protocol does, even by the calculation of those who believe in anthropogenic global warming you have no impact whatsoever on the reduction of warming.

If, on the other hand, you impose those restrictions on developing countries as well, the effect on global warming is minimal, merely delaying it by something like 5 years, while there is no question that you deliver a blow to the world's poorest nations' possibilities of economic development.