Mexico gunmen kill American consulate staff

Mexico gunmen kill American consulate staff

By Julian Cardona Julian Cardona Sun Mar 14, 5:24 pm ET

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) – Gunmen in the drug war-plagued Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez killed two Americans and a Mexican linked to the local U.S. consulate, an attack U.S. President Barack Obama said “outraged” him.

An American woman working at the consulate in Ciudad Juarez, just over the border from El Paso, Texas, and her U.S. husband were fatally shot by suspected drug gang hitmen in broad daylight on Saturday as they left a consulate social event, U.S. and Mexican officials told Reuters.

A Mexican man married to another consulate employee was killed around the same time in another part of the city after he and his wife left the same event, a U.S. official said.

The U.S. official, who asked not to be identified, said it was not clear if the victims had been specifically targeted, and the motive for the attacks was unknown.

Bloodshed has exploded in recent months in Ciudad Juarez as the head of the Juarez cartel, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, fights off a bloody offensive by Mexico’s No. 1 fugitive drug lord, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman, at the worst hotspot of Mexico’s three-year-old drug war.

“The president is deeply saddened and outraged by the news,” said White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer. He said Obama “shares in the outrage of the Mexican people at the murders of thousands in Ciudad Juarez and elsewhere in Mexico.”

The U.S. State Department updated its warning on travel to Mexico to say it had authorized the departure of dependents of U.S. government personnel from consulates in Ciudad Juarez and five other northern border cities.

Nearly 19,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon came to power in Mexico in late 2006 and launched a military assault on the country’s powerful drug cartels, sparking a surge in violence that has alarmed Washington, foreign investors and tourists.

Most victims are rival traffickers and police, and to a lesser extent soldiers, local officials and bystanders. It is rare for drug gang hitmen to target foreigners.

“The Mexican authorities are determined to clarify what happened and bring those responsible to justice,” the Mexican Foreign Ministry said of Saturday’s attacks.

CHILDREN SURVIVE SHOOTING

The attack on the U.S. couple began with a car chase and ended in front of the main border crossing into El Paso, an area heavily patrolled by soldiers, local newspaper El Diario reported. The couple’s baby girl survived the attack.

The Mexican spouse was murdered in an upscale neighborhood of the city when gunmen boxed in his car with other vehicles and shot him, according to a local newspaper photographer who soon arrived at the scene. His wife, who was following in a second car, was unhurt, but their two children were wounded.

Calderon was already scheduled to visit Ciudad Juarez on Tuesday, his third trip there in a month, as he scrambles to find a way to deal with a surge in killings that 8,000 troops and federal police on the ground have failed to curb.

The drug war has killed more than 4,600 people in the key manufacturing city in two years, and constant scenes of bullet-ridden vehicles and bodies lying in pools of blood have prompted many middle-class residents to flee.

Across Mexico, drug war violence is at its worst level ever, and many U.S. students have heeded warnings not to cross the border this year for their annual “spring break” vacation.

A burst of drug gang clashes killed at least 27 people — including four who were beheaded — this weekend in or near the Pacific resort of Acapulco, one of many popular with spring breakers.

At least 13 were killed on Saturday and at least 14 on Sunday, police said, including nine men who were killed in a shootout and a young woman shot as she drove by in a taxi.

Obama voiced his support for Calderon’s drug war during a visit to Mexico last year, but the rising violence along the border with Mexico has become a big concern for Washington.

(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan; writing by Noel Randewich; editing by Catherine Bremer and Mohammad Zargham)

On Satan’s trail with Don Gabriele, the world’s most famous exorcist

On Satan’s trail with Don Gabriele, the world’s most famous exorcist

Richard Owen, Rome

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Father Gabriele Amorth said Pope Benedict XVI himself ?fully believes in liberation from Evil, because the Devil lodges in the Vatican.

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Father Gabriele Amorth

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“Are you afraid of the Devil?” The world’s most famous exorcist levels his gaze at me and then smiles.

“No, it is he who is afraid of me. I work in the name of the Lord. Poor Satan.”

Poor Satan?

“Oh yes. The Evil One shouts and makes noises, but we are made in God’s image, we have the Holy Trinity on our side. There is no need to be afraid of the Devil unless we give in to his temptations.”

Related Links
  • Four exorcisms a day. Yes, it’s a devil of a job
  • Extract from Memoirs of an Exorcist
  • How to perform an exorcism

We are in the infirmary of the Society of St Paul, the order of Father Gabriele Amorth, in the shadow of St Paul’s Basilica, Rome. The Vatican’s chief exorcist was taken to hospital last autumn with a blood infection and is now convalescing — “they found nothing serious”. Perhaps it was the Devil who laid him low. “Oh no — just an illness. He has more serious evil to perform.”

Father Amorth made headlines this week by suggesting that those who had “given in to Satan’s temptations” included paedophile priests and even some cardinals and bishops who paid only lip service to the Gospels.

The growing crisis over the clerical sex abuse now engulfing Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican, he said, was the work of Satan, who had even “infiltrated the Vatican corridors”.

Is the sex abuse crisis really due to the Devil? “Oh yes. All evil is due to the intervention of the Devil, including paedophilia.”

And the Vatican? “Legions of demons have lodged there. The majority of those in the Vatican do good work. But Pope Paul VI talked about the ‘smoke of Satan’ infiltrating the Vatican as long ago as 1972. Satan sets out to damage the leadership of the Church — and of politics, industry and sport, for that matter.”

And although all manner of incidents, scandals and misdemeanours in Italy and abroad leap to mind as potential evidence of diabolical intervention, he declines to give examples. Father Amorth — or Don Gabriele, as he is universally known — has just published The Memoirs of an Exorcist, a book of interviews with Marco Tosatti, the Vatican journalist. In a style that is somewhat reminiscent of a medieval chronicle, he describes his often hair-raising experiences over the past quarter of a century in the front line against the Evil One and his minions.

Father Amorth, aged nearly 85, is honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists. He fought for the Resistance in the Second World War, took a law degree but then entered the Church. He began conducting exorcisms shortly after his ordination 60 years ago; in 1986 he was appointed by Cardinal Ugo Poletti, then the Vicar of Rome, as assistant to Father Candido Amantini, the chief exorcist, eventually succeeding him.

Now frail, he becomes animated as he describes his life-long struggle with demons who possess the bodies of their victims, at one stage spreading his arms wide to show me the length of one particular demon occupying the body of a woman he had “liberated”.

He talks to Lucifer and his demons, he says, and knows their names. On the writing table in his room he keeps pictures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, “who came into the world to fight the Devil and return us to God”. But the modern world, he says, has “given in to the Evil One. You see it in the lack of faith, the empty churches, the collapse of the family.”

“Compare the world of today to when I was a boy in Modena: families and parish communities were strong, women did not go out to work. Now they have to because one income cannot support a family. So young people are left to their own devices, they get into bad company, they have lost their roots and replaced them with the negative influences of television and the internet, or the occult.”

What about those who believe in neither God nor Satan? “The Devil is only too happy to take advantage of those who do not believe in his existence. It means he can operate with complete freedom, even inside the Church. He exploits lust and power.”

The Devil tries to reach all of us, Father Amorth adds, and “the possessed are those who listen to him most. Mind you, they are a minority. If you read my book you might get the impression the whole world is possessed, but I am describing a small number of cases, comparatively speaking.”

His claim to have carried out 70,000 exorcisms seems incredible. “But I was talking about the number of exorcisms, not the number of people exorcised. You often have to exorcise someone dozens, even hundreds, of times, and an exorcism ritual can take anything from a few minutes to several hours.”

Exorcism can only be done with the approval of the local bishop, usually after medical or psychiatric tests show no rational explanation for the symptoms, which include vomiting, violent headaches and stomach cramps but also superhuman strength, fits and extreme aversion to holy symbols. He is adept, he says, at distinguishing hysterics from the real thing. There are more women than men among the possessed, “but we don’t know why. There are various explanations: Satan taking revenge on the Virgin Mary, or using women as a means of reaching men. None of them is convincing.”

The possessed talk in languages they do not know, including ancient tongues such as Aramaic, the language of Christ. “Sometimes the language is incomprehensible. I once asked a demon what it was and he said, ‘Satanic language’.” The victims often react so violently to the ritual of prayers, incantations, holy water and the sign of the Cross that they have to be held or tied down while the priest touches the possessed person with his stole and places his hand on his or her head.

In many cases, he says, they vomit objects such as nails or glass. Father Amorth has a collection weighing two kilograms. “You get used to being vomited over. I once performed an exorcism on a woman who managed to hit me in the face with a stream of vomit from the other side of the room — physically impossible.”

The Devil, he says, is humourless but does sometimes play tricks. He and his demons speak through the victim, sometimes using their normal voice but sometimes in hoarse, raucous tones. He imitates the unnerving low growl for me. They are not, however visible, any more than angels are.

“Angels exist, and how, but they are not as depicted in art — they are pure spirit. We all have guardian angels. Demons are, of course, fallen angels who rebelled against God; that is why they are so intelligent, and so arrogant.”

He does not believe in ghosts, which are “an invention of the human mind”.

Father Amorth has no designated successor, and complains that even now the Church hierarchy does not take exorcism — or the Devil — seriously enough. But “the Lord has made use of me” and his example has inspired many other priests — as did the 1973 film The Exorcist, which although “exaggerated” was “substantially true”.

At his age does he still have the stomach for the battle with Satan? “Oh yes. I have work to do.”

National Coffee Party Day flops Anti-tea movement kicks off with miniscule crowds

 

National Coffee Party Day flops

Anti-tea movement kicks off with miniscule crowds



Posted: March 13, 2010
11:15 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Leading up to today’s “National Coffee Party Day” – the countrywide launch of a leftwing movement meant as an answer to the tea parties – a CNN article asked, “Will the Coffee Party rise to the scale of the Tea Party movement? Saturday is the first big test.”

If “scale” is indeed the measure by which the Coffee Party will be graded, however, today’s cup-o’-Joe kickoff has earned a resounding “F.”

Despite a news-media buildup over the past few weeks from CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Seattle Times and dozens of other outlets, the estimated 350 coffee houses hosting events around the country today welcomed mostly miniscule crowds.

Last year, the fledgling tea party movement scheduled nearly 2,000 gatherings on April 15, Tax Day. Over the summer, tea partiers packed health-care town halls by the hundreds, overflowing venues and leading to lines running around the block. On Sept. 12, the crowd of tea partiers that flooded Washington, D.C., was estimated into the hundreds of thousands, possibly topping 1 million.

See for yourself the signs created by tea partiers, gathered together in one, big, colorful book produced to commemorate the most earth-shattering, grass-roots political awakening the U.S. has ever seen!

By contrast, Alex Pappas of the Daily Caller reports showing up to a Washington, D.C., coffee party at Peregrine Espresso in the Eastern Market area today, “only to find a small gathering of five activists huddled at a small table.”

   

 

A columnist for the Kansas City Star reports a better turnout in her city, counting about 40 attendees.

Huffington Post columnist Tamar Abrams claims to have attended a separate coffee party gathering in the nation’s capital led by anti-war activist Andy Shallal and CodePink founder Medea Benjamin and covered by a CNN camera crew.

About 50 people showed up.

Kansas City’s group and Abrams’ gathering, however, may be the exceptions to the rule – exceptionally large, that is.

According to numbers posted on The Coffee Party USA website, it appears most crowds numbered fewer than 20.

The San Francisco gathering lists 15 attendees; Blacksburg, Va., lists 6. The coffee party at Hyde Park in Chicago, where President Obama lived for years, apparently only managed three.

WND contacted The Coffee Party USA for more precise headcounts, but received no reply.

The organizer of a coffee party in Winston-Salem, N.C., however, told WND the website underestimated the size of his gathering, listing attendees at 18, while 28 actually signed in.

The coffee party movement got its start only a few weeks ago when documentary filmmaker Annabel Park felt frustrated both over the news coverage the tea parties were receiving and over a perceived lack of representation of her viewpoints in Washington.

“We need to wake up and work hard to get our government to represent us,” Park told CNN. “The health-care debate showed not only that we are a very divided country, but there’s something really wrong with our political process. We kind of got to see the innards of the political process and realize there’s something very broken. I think that’s what we’re responding to.”

Park was prompted to update her Facebook page as a way of venting her frustration:

“Let’s start a coffee party – a Red Bull party – anything but tea,” she wrote. “Let’s get together and drink cappuccino and have real political dialogue with substance and compassion.”

Despite the “anything but tea” comment, Park doesn’t want to see the coffee party chocked up as just an anti-tea party movement.

“It’s a response to how they are trying to change our government,” Park told CNN. “It’s their methodology that we are against. We may want some of the same things, but their journey is so alienating to us.”

After word of her call for a coffee party began getting out, Park was suddenly inundated with interview requests from major news outlets. After the articles hit the newsstands and cable television networks, her newly formed “Join the Coffee Party Movement” Facebook page generated over 140,000 fans.

Judging by the numbers that showed up for today’s events, however, the coffee in America is still a far weaker brew than the nation’s tea.

“They will make an effort to project this as the voice of a new ‘grassroots’ and ‘bipartisan’ political coalition,” commented Barry Willoughby, one of the leaders of a loose confederation in Florida calling itself the Naples Tea Party, in a Naples News opinion piece. “Does one really think the coffee party will receive a grassroots/bipartisan mantel that has forever eluded the left?”

Willoughby then quotes a comment made by Charles Martel on Red State: “The problem with this, and any other wannabe leftist tea party equivalent is this: The tea party began and has flourished because those involved felt – rightly – that they had no voice in our country today, that they were being ignored or outright mocked by government and the media. The tea party has given us back power and a voice.

“Any such group on the left is going to run into the very real problem that they already have a voice,” writes Martel. “The media, Hollywood, academia, basically the entire government – they’re all saying the same thing this Coffee Party will be saying. And the movement loses any motivation and drive right from the get go.”

Park, however, disagrees.

“Just like in the American Revolution, we are looking for real representation right now,” she said last week on CNN’s “American Morning.” “We don’t feel represented by our government right now, and we don’t really feel represented well by the media either.”

Even the Criminals of Climategate Avoid Gore

No wonder the CRU gang ignored Gore. He took their false work and falsified it some more.

Even the Criminals of Climategate Avoid Gore

 By Dr. Tim Ball  Wednesday, December 16, 2009

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”—Mark Twain

Twain’s observation is precisely the issue with the Nobel Peace Prizes given to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC are now completely discredited because the ‘scientists’ at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia controlled the data, the computer models and the press releases officially known as the Summary for Policymakers (SPM).

Their prizes were obtained for work deliberately falsified then used for policies that creates unnecessary hardship rather than peace. Equally disgraceful is how one prizewinner, Al Gore, distorted and falsified the distortions and falsifications of the other prizewinner, the IPCC.

Gore was already discredited, especially when his carbon footprint was found too big for his mouth. Other discredits include; the millions he made from his misdirection on carbon; failure to answer questions or participate in debate; character assassination of scientists who raised legitimate questions; the false claim that “the science is settled”, and failure to correct the major errors in his movieAn Inconvenient Truth”. Gore must have created a major dilemma for the IPCC and CRU.

A minor dilemma was the contradiction over projected sea level rise. The IPCC 2001 Report said, “Global mean sea level is projected to rise by 0.09 to 0.88 m between the years 1990 and 2100,”. The 2007 Report raised the lower projection to 0.18 m but significantly lowered the upper limit to 0.59 m. In his ridiculous movie, Gore predicted a 20 ft (6m) rise but gave no time frame. Recently he made the false statement that the Arctic ice cap is the size of the continental US. Wrong! That is the amount that melts and refreezes every year. Then he said it would be all gone in 5 to 10 years, but ice this year has already recovered what it lost in the last few years.

Now, in a more bizarre twist, we learn Gore’s claim about the Arctic ice came from another scientist, Dr. Wieslav Maslowski. The professor then claimed Gore misquoted him, but his prediction was published in a Danish journal.

The problem is they’re both wrong, but that is the pattern of the climate issue. Lies on lies on lies create the tangled web Sir Walter Scott predicted when you practice deception.

But Gore doesn’t stop. There are academics and scientists lining up to provide him with more false information. He incorrectly claims Antarctica and Greenland are melting. Maybe he got the Antarctic idea from the false research produced by some at CRU that Antarctica is warming.

And he is still at it with incredibly stupid comments. On the Conan O’Brien show of 11/12/09, he said the temperature in the mantle, the deep layer immediately below the crust, is several million degrees just two kilometers down. This is many times hotter than the Sun. It is truly frightening to think this man was one step away from the Presidency, no wonder Clinton didn’t support his presidential run.

The CRU gang had to know what Gore was presenting in his movie and speeches, yet I am unable to find any direct reference to him in their emails.  When they occur it is in outsider emails. I am unaware of any public comments by CRU people about Gore’s work; it appears they studiously avoided him. You must be bad when the criminals avoid you.

Gore says the emails “don’t change established conclusions.” “These private exchanges between these scientists do not in any way cause any question about the scientific consensus.
Well he got that completely wrong too but it’s not surprising because he misinterpreted their original work. Maybe he is relying on another academic source. Trevor Davis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research at the University of East Anglia
says, “There is nothing in the stolen material which indicates that peer-reviewed publications by CRU, and others, on the nature of global warming and related climate change are not of the highest-quality of scientific investigation and interpretation. CRU’s peer-reviewed publications are consistent with, and have contributed to, the overwhelming scientific consensus that the climate is being strongly influenced by human activity.”

What planet is this Davis on? Besides the clear evidence of criminality there is also the deliberate falsification of the science and perversion of the scientific publication and peer review process. His statement shows a complete lack of understanding of the email content and climate science. Like Watergate the problems of Climategate are compounded by the cover-up and nobody does it better than universities. Davis began with his condemnation of the leaks when first disclosed, but he had no problem with leaked emails he obtained about funding and provided to the CRU gang.

Of course, they were bringing in massive amounts of funding and that apparently bought Davis’s support. I watched funding create disturbing behavior and biases throughout academia.

No wonder the CRU gang ignored Gore. He took their false work and falsified it some more. Of course, they couldn’t denounce him because they might expose their own corruption. Together they achieved only one success by disproving the adage that there is honor among thieves.



Bob (Nick) Nicholson
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Constitution Butchers: Stop Pelosi’s Slaughter House

Lead Story

Constitution Butchers: Stop Pelosi’s Slaughter House

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 13, 2010 10:11 AM

Meet Constitution-butchers Nancy Pelosi and Louise Slaughter.

Cleaning House…by bloodying it:


Photoshop exclusive: Big Fur Hat at iowntheworld.com and Applecross Media

Via Doug Ross:

In the Slaughter Solution, the rule would declare that the House “deems” the Senate version of Obamacare to have been passed by the House. House members would still have to vote on whether to accept the rule, but they would then be able to say they only voted for a rule, not for the bill itself.

Thus, Slaughter is preparing a rule that would consider the Senate bill “passed” once the House approves a corrections bill that would make changes. Democrats would thereby avoid a direct vote on the health care bill while allowing it to become law!

Constitutional attorney Mark R. Levin asks, “They’re going to present a rule, issued by her committee as chairman, that says that the House already adopted the Senate bill when we know it didn’t?”

U.S Constitution, Article I, Section VII, Clause II.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively…

According to Levin, James Madison himself gave special care and attention to this clause in the Constitution.

Levin: And do you want to know why? Because this clause goes to the heart of this Republic.

This clause goes to the heart of how our representative body, that is Congress, makes laws. And so I want you to [observe] how particular the Framers were… They have to pass a Bill to present it to the President…

This is one of the most exacting clauses in the Constitution.

And, to the best of my knowledge, which extends over three decades, no Congress has previously tried to institute policies without actual statutes.

Here we have the President of the United States and Congressional leaders actually talking about the possibility of a brazen and open violation of one of the most fundamental aspects of our Constitution and Republic! How we actually make laws!

Let me be as clear as I know how. If this is done, this will create the greatest Constitutional crisis since the Civil War. It would be 100 times worse than Watergate.

…It would be government by fiat… meaning there would be no law… the mere discussion by officials in this government is such a grotesque violation of the actual legislative function of Congress [that it] puts us… at the brink. At the brink.

This is why we conservatives revere the Constitution. This is why we stress the Constitution’s words have meaning and historical context and must be complied with. Because otherwise we have anarchy, which leads to tyranny.

This is a crucial lesson for those of you who… aren’t sure what your beliefs are, or if you have any beliefs. Or aren’t sure if you even care. We have an effort underway by the one of the most powerful chairmen in Congress, the woman who heads the Rules Committee, …openly discussing gutting Congress. Gutting Congress.

***

And it indeed appears to be unprecedented. Mark Tapscott at the Examiner:

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have never before been asked to pass legislation by “deeming” it approved under a House rule instead of following the process required by the U.S. Constitution in which they actually vote on the proposal itself, according to a senior aide to House Republicans.

The procedure – dubbed by critics as the “Slaughter Solution” – is the brain-child of House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, who, at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, is trying to fashion a rule that would allow the House to move toward passage of a health care reform bill without a recorded vote on the Senate version.

Like the Senate, which adopted its health care reform measure on Christmas Eve, the House passed its version last year. But there are major differences between the two measures, especially concerning federal funding of abortions. The Senate version includes billions of dollars to fund new health care clinics that would offer abortion services. The House bill was passed only after Rep. Bart Stupak’s amendment barring federal funding for the procedure was included.

Slaughter’s approach would bring to the House floor a reconcilliation bill to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of health care reform with the rule deeming the House to have approved the Senate version. The GOP aide, who requested anonymity, said a search of the House archives failed to reveal any previous use of the Slaughter Solution.

***

Reminder: March 16 in Washington DC – The People’s Surge against the Demcare cramdown.

Time: March 16, 2010 from 9am to 6pm
Location: Cannon House Office Building
Street: Independence Avenue SE and New Jersey SE
City/Town: Washington, DC

***

Update: Obama pollster says shut up and take your medicine. You will like it.

Update: A massive rally to stop the Demcare cramdown in Minnesota turned out thousands, reports Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

For A List Of All Representatives go to

http://michellemalkin.com/2010/03/13/constitution-butchers-stop-pelosis-slaughter-house/

Islamists Respond to Terror Cases with Denial

Islamists Respond to Terror Cases with Denial

By Sid Shahid

As homegrown terrorism grabbed headlines at the end of 2009, Islamist pressure groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society (MAS), and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) felt the need to look as if they were responding forcefully. However, all they offered was spin and denial of the very radicalism that they themselves have helped breed.

First we witnessed the typical smokescreen that attempts to paint Muslims as victims. For example, in a November 6 press release commenting on the Fort Hood massacre, Mahdi Bray of the MAS Freedom Foundation strongly condemned the actions of Major Nidal Hasan, but quickly segued into warnings about an anti-Muslim backlash: “Let us be cautious, however, in drawing conclusions based on the ethnicity of the perpetrator of this tragic incident. … The perpetuation of negativity in such instances often unwittingly serves as an equally unnecessary exacerbation of the atmosphere of hate, violence, and Islamophobia under which the Muslim community already exists.”
Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director of CAIR, played a victim card of his own on November 15. Participating in a discussion on TV One’s “Washington Watch,” Hooper asked, “Why can’t the killer at Fort Hood just be a crazy guy? Don’t take it out on American Muslims because you’re upset about another issue.” He then claimed that CAIR had received death threats since the shooting. “Are those terrorist threats or is it only a terrorist threat if a Muslim does it?” he added.
More obfuscation followed the terror-related arrests of five Virginia Muslim men in Pakistan, as self-appointed Islamic spokesmen could not bring themselves to acknowledge fully the roots of radicalization taking place among America’s Muslims. For example, at a December 9 press conference about the detentions, Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, did grant that a “problem” exists in the Muslim community, yet he remained in complete denial about its source: political Islam (Islamism). Particularly illuminating is Awad’s statement that there are no “similarities or connection,” ideological or otherwise, between the disappearance of the jihadist Somali youths from Minneapolis and the jihadist young men from Virginia. He was succeeded at the podium by MPAC’s Haris Tarin, who did little more than pay lip service to the “problem” by calling for better Muslim community relations with law enforcement.
The Islamist stage show continued two days later. Speaking to reporters at the mosque that the young men attended, Mahdi Bray proclaimed: “We are determined not to let religious extremists exploit the vulnerability of our young children through slick propaganda on the Internet. We are sending a message loud and clear that those days are over when we don’t respond. We are going to be active, proactive.” However, Bray’s denial — or intentional avoidance — of Islamism was most evident when, according to AFP, he “acknowledged that the emotions of young Muslims were stirred by ‘injustices’ they see unfolding in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Then, on December 17, barely more than a week after admitting to a vague radicalization “problem,” CAIR opened up the victimology playbook once more with an e-mail blast excerpting, among other things, a Salon.com article from December 14 entitled “The Allegedly Growing Domestic Muslim Threat.” The piece sarcastically minimizes the danger of radical Islam to the U.S. and instead pins the blame on American foreign policy in the Middle East.
As expected, none of these so-called leaders addressed Islamism as a real and thriving movement or recognized the fuel of anti-Americanism that perpetuates it. How could they? If they did, they would have to concede their own complicity in its spread. So they dissimulate.
Without addressing political Islam, anti-radicalization efforts like the one announced by CAIR at the December 9 press conference are mere public relations ploys. Worse, declaring that problems within Muslim-majority countries are the sole result of American policies is not only factually inaccurate, but dangerous. It should be no surprise that when such unqualified anti-Americanism is fomented by Islamists with deep pockets, some community members like Nidal Hasan crack under the pressure.
The contrast between the above groups and truly moderate Muslims was especially pronounced in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre. Moderates such as Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), were out front on the fact that Hasan’s actions had been motivated by his Islamist ideology. Jasser and other leading anti-Islamists consistently were featured on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and elsewhere, calling Hasan what he is: a radical Islamist.
Real anti-radicalization efforts from the Muslim community require a balanced perspective that integrates our faith with our American citizenship. One can debate U.S. foreign policy, human rights abuses abroad, and democracy-promotion without poisoning the minds of Muslims and creating a childish and artificial barrier that separates them from the Western world — thus forcing men like Nidal Hasan to choose between being a proud American and a proud Muslim.
Of course, CAIR, MAS, and MPAC are not likely to change. That is why the time has come for true American Muslims — along with politicians and the mainstream media — to stop promoting and legitimizing Islamist groups in the United States as “Muslim civil rights organizations.” They are anything but.
Sid Shahid is the director of research and publications for the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). He can be reached at sid@aifdemocracy.org. This article was sponsored by Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

‘Are Liberals, Atheists More Evolved than Conservatives?’

‘Are Liberals, Atheists More Evolved than Conservatives?’

By James Lewis

National Geographic asks this profound question in a first screen headline on its website. By “evolved,” they say they mean “biologically evolved,” although, curiously, the original researcher used the wrong kind of IQ measure for the biological component of intelligence.

Actually, liberals and conservatives are members of the same species, which makes the word “evolved” rather curious. One might think that homo sapiens might even be capable of turning into either a liberal or conservative, depending upon one’s life experience.

But what about IQ differences between liberals and conservatives? It’s an odd question, in a way, since almost all educated people before the 20th century in Western countries were conservatives. Today’s conservatives revere such intelligent people as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson, Confucius, Abraham Lincoln, Adam Smith, Nobelist Milton Friedman, William Buckley, and thousands of others. Patrick O’Brian’s novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic wars are filled with supremely intelligent people, with nary a Leftist among them. Nor any atheists, for that matter. So National Geographic‘s vast, unfathomable ignorance is showing, as it does so often these days.

IQ is basically a test of the ability to be schooled. That’s how it started out in France with Alfred Binet — as a way of assessing French schoolchildren who were selected by their teachers as being “très intelligents.” That’s also how it’s ended up after a hundred years of research: as a good correlate of educational capacity. IQ doesn’t predict street smarts or (obviously) political success on Capitol Hill. It’s a useful measure sometimes, but pop journalists should stay away from it. Or they should at least listen to people who actually know something about it. IQ can’t even discriminate among the smartest folks because it loses accuracy at the top of the curve. And there are kinds of intelligence that it doesn’t ever measure.
The National Geographic headline is therefore characteristically absurd, but it’s also typical of the cultural Left today — and of its hopeless cravings to validate itself as being smarter, better-educated, and of course, more compassionate than those conservative throwbacks to a brute past. Somehow the Left always needs to boast, and like any other compulsive boaster, it is compensating for its own feelings of inferiority. I suspect that that’s the real inner nature of the Left: Most of its followers worry about their personal adequacy in life.
And somehow liberals never get to the most obvious question, which is: Why has the Left ended up killing 100 million people in the 20th century, according to French Marxist historian Courtois and his team? That’s the real question the Left must always be made to answer: Why does its blind “idealism” and its unquenchable power-craving lead to such disastrous results, over and over again? Why does the British medical system have patients parked on gurneys in dirty hallways? Why are their waiting times for life-saving operations so much longer than ours? Why does Prime Minister Gordon Brown advocate using your organs after you die without your permission?
Genuinely educated people are appalled by Obama’s Medi-Grab program, which is utterly nonsensical medically, scientifically, and fiscally. It’s the mind-locked members of the Left who love this thing. It could kill the best medical system in the world.
But let’s get back to IQ for liberals and conservatives. The National Geographic claim is typically childish, obviously written by a pop journalist who hasn’t ever studied IQ. But so, it seems, was the original “research” she cites. Look at her little article if you like, where other, better researchers are quoted frankly expressing their doubts about the bizarre claim she chose to headline. The original “research” should never have been published, given the errors that are laid out right in the National Geo article. This piece of bizarre pseudoscience therefore goes right along with the politicization of a formerly respectable magazine.
Even their justly famous animal photos now look photoshopped — they’re faked to look a lot more colorful and spectacular than the animals and plants they show. Their current photos all have large swatches of primary colors, which rarely appear in nature. Nature uses bright colors in bird feathers, for example, but usually sparingly, not all over the place. Red-breasted robins are not red all over. (That changes somewhat in tropical birds, but even there, bright colors are rarely uniform across large parts of the body.) To me, it looks like National Geo makes up its own colors, just as it makes up its own facts.
National Geographic has simply joined the P.C. media mob, and its credibility is paying a price. I would not believe a word in it today — not without running it through the wonderful real-science database PubMed. There you can find truthful science still. Conservatives should always use PubMed (free, online, more than 15 million abstracts from real science journals). Never, never use the corrupt and ignorant media for any scientific evidence. They are worse than useless, specializing, as they do, in disinformation.
As for IQ — as a lifelong teacher, I don’t ever complain if my students have good IQs. Smart students can be a joy to have in classes. But there’s a certain kind of student who scores well on IQ who drives me up the wall. It’s the mentally fixated student, the one who’s made up his/her mind about most of the world, which he or she may know nothing about. Such a student can no longer learn anything that doesn’t fit the locked-in template. He or she eventually may make a dreadful and even destructive bureaucrat or politician. He or she can no longer think with an open mind. In the old liberal arts colleges, such a student would have flunked his or her classes for mental fixedness.
Mental fixedness (especially in a false ideology) has nothing to do with IQ. But it can coexist with a respectable IQ. Want examples? How about Karl Marx? Friedrich Engels? Richard Wagner? V.I. Lenin? Pol Pot? Philosophers like Paul de Man and Martin Heidegger?
And yes, the President of These United States.
High-IQ people can do astonishingly evil things for ostensibly benevolent reasons. FDR was a piker compared to the really bad characters of history, but it is now believed by economic historians that his good intentions ended up extending the Great Depression, not shortening it. That means that more Americans living years longer in penury and misery. Jean-Paul Sartre was famous as a philosopher, but he ended up being a hugely influential supporter of both Stalin and Mao during their worst years. Mao Zedong killed some 40 million of his fellow Chinese. Stalin lectured on the topic of linguistics (which he knew nothing about), but that’s not what’s important. It’s his murderous reign of terror that’s important. Genghis Khan may have been a genius. Alexander the Great and Napoleon were smart enough. They left the world after millions of innocent died to satisfy their grandiose narcissism.
Popular satirists have known this for centuries. The first satires about “intelligent” but idiotic scholars and their oddities go back to the Greeks and Romans. Socrates himself was the subject of a comedy by Aristophanes. The very first philosopher in Western history, Thales of Miletos, was laughed at in Greek folklore for wandering around on a pitch-dark night to observe the stars and falling into a ditch. Some Greek peasants are probably laughing at that old joke right now. That’s 6th century BCE.
Churchill’s famous “bloody-minded professors,” who used the Western media to defend murderous tyrants in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, were some of the brightest in Britain. British intelligence services were deeply penetrated by them. They were indeed bloody-minded, and knowingly colluding with mass murderers. It’s pretty disgusting, but it’s true, as Paul Johnson explains in great detail in his classic history, Modern Times.
Today we see exactly the same dreadful pattern of misbehavior among the same type of professors. I know a scholar who carries a picture of Che Guevara in his briefcase, like a small devotional shrine. He is totally mind-locked. I wouldn’t trust him to run a hot dog stand, much less a university. But there he is.
William F. Buckley, no slouch himself in the verbosity department, famously observed that he would rather be governed by the first hundred names in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard University. Me, too.
High-IQ dummies are all over the place, and people who are totally mind-fixed after graduating from the most famous schools have their fingerprints all over great disasters of history. Alexander the mass-murderer brought Aristotle along on his murderous campaign to India. Plato traveled to counsel the Tyrant of Syracuse (in ancient Sicily) and ended up — suprise, surprise! — making a mess of things. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a truly evil human being in his personal life — having babies with his mistresses to be thrown away or left at orphanages — and inspired two centuries of destructive Leftist myth-making.
High IQ is no guarantee of goodness. It’s not even a guarantee of common sense, or of genuine intelligence outside a few limited parts of life. It’s no protection against evil.
And it certainly doesn’t guarantee intelligent or honest articles in the National Geographic.

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe

Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe

By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press Writer Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press Writer Sat Mar 13, 11:40 am ET

DUBLIN – It often starts as a voice in the wilderness, but can swell into an entire nation’s demand for truth. From Ireland to Germany, Europe’s many victims of child abuse in the Roman Catholic church are finally breaking social taboos and confronting the clergy to face its demons.

Ireland was the first in Europe to confront the church’s worldwide custom of shielding pedophile priests from the law and public scandal. Now that legacy of suppressed childhood horror is being confronted in other parts of the Continent — nowhere more poignantly than in Germany, the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands, Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be touched next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like their American cousins.

“You have to presume that the cover-up of abuse exists everywhere, to one extent or another. A new case could appear in a new country tomorrow,” said David Quinn, director of a Christian think tank, the Iona Institute, that seeks to promote family values in an Ireland increasingly cool to Catholicism.

Quinn noted that stories of systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse circulated privately in Irish society for decades, but only moved aboveground in the mid-1990s when former altar boy Andrew Madden and orphanage survivor Christine Buckley went public with lawsuits and exposes of how priests and nuns tormented them with impunity.

Floodgates opened for Irish complaints that have topped 15,000 in this country of 4 million. Three government-ordered investigations have shocked and disgusted the nation, which has footed most of the bill to settle legal claims topping euro1 billion (nearly $1.5 billion).

“A lot comes down to: When does that first victim gather the courage to come forward into the spotlight?” Quinn said. “It seems to take that trigger event, the lone voice who says what so many kept silent so long. That’s basically happening now in Germany. It could happen next in Spain, Poland, anywhere.”

In January, an elite Jesuit school in Berlin declared it was aware of seven child-abuse cases in its past and appointed an outside investigator, Ursula Raue, to seek testimony. Within weeks, she had gathered stories of long-suppressed woe from more than 100 ex-students abused by their Jesuit masters, and from 60 molested by parish priests.

“I always thought that at some point the wave would reach us,” said Petra Dorsch-Jungsberger, a commentator on Catholic affairs and retired University of Munich communications professor.

She credited heavy German media coverage of the latest Irish abuse scandal — a November report into decades of cover-up in the Dublin Archdiocese involving approximately 170 priests — with inspiring similar soul-searching in Germany.

“Once the door had been opened, then many others felt they were able to step up and say: That happened to us too,” she said.

In recent weeks, new German abuse claims have surfaced on a near-daily basis and spread to Pope Benedict’s Bavarian heartland and the Regensberg boys’ choir long directed by the pope’s brother. Benedict was Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger of Munich from 1977 to 1982, and questions now focus on what role, if any, the pontiff, played in handing pedophile priests to new parishes rather than to the law.

A Swiss abbot said in an interview published Saturday that 60 people have reported being victims of abuse by Catholic priests in Switzerland.

Abbot Martin Werlen of the Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln told Swiss daily Aargauer Zeitung that the allegations were reported to the Swiss Bishops Conference, which is investigating them.

The Vatican on Saturday denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland, and contended he has long confronted abuse cases with courage.

In separate interviews, both the Holy See’s spokesman and its prosecutor for sex abuse of minors by clergy sought to defend the pope.

“It’s rather clear that in the last days, there have been those who have tried, with a certain aggressive persistence, in Regensburg and Munich, to look for elements to personally involve the Holy Father in the matter of abuses,” Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio.

It’s inevitable that all bishops of the day, including Ratzinger, handled abuse complaints against priests in-house, said the Rev. Fergus O’Donoghue, editor of the Irish Jesuit journal Studies.

“The pope was no different to any other bishop at time. The church policy was to keep it all quiet — to help people, but to avoid scandal. Avoiding scandal was a huge issue for the church,” he said. “Of course there was cover-up,” he added. But worse was “the systematic lack of concern for the victims.”

In the Netherlands, a former Catholic boarding-school abuse victim is leading a campaign for accountability. Bert Smeets, 58, has formed Mea Culpa, a victims group that has collected testimony from hundreds of abuse victims and is mulling a class-action lawsuit against the Dutch church.

The church has apologized to the victims and set up an inquiry headed by a former government minister, a Protestant. Smeets dismisses that effort as “a typical Vatican cover-up.” He said the pressure on the church came from aggressive investigations into abuse in Ireland and the U.S.

In other predominantly Catholic areas of Europe, child-abuse scandals have tarnished individual priests and even a Polish archbishop, but have not mushroomed into a mass movement. In Spain, more than a dozen priests have been convicted of child abuse in recent decades and two potentially larger-scale cases are attracting attention.

Ireland was until relatively recently the most enthusiastically Catholic country in Europe. Its half-dozen seminaries exported priests worldwide. All but one of those seminaries is closed now, illustrating the rapid falloff in Mass attendance as the economy has advanced and secularism has spread.

Quinn, the Dublin think-tank director, noted that a few Irish dioceses are openly warning that they’re struggling to pay bills stemming from abuse claims. In the southeast diocese of Kells, the archbishop’s house has had to be remortgaged.

“The church is asset-rich but cash-poor,” Quinn said, noting that it’s the biggest property owner in Ireland but has comparatively little cash in the bank. He said the Vatican, too, has less money on tap than resides in the endowment fund of a typical top-tier U.S. university.

___

Associated Press Writers Melissa Eddy in Berlin, Ciaran Giles in Madrid, Nicole Winfield in Rome, Monika Scislowska in Warsaw and Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, contributed to this report.

No matter what side of the AISLE you’re on, THIS is FUNNY. It all depends on how you look at some things….

No matter what side of the AISLE you’re on, THIS is FUNNY. It  all depends on how you look at some things….

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogy researcher in southern California, was doing some personal work on her own family  tree.

She discovered that Congressman Harry Reid’s great-great uncle,  Remus Reid, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.  Both Judy and Harry Reid share this common ancestor.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows in   Montana   territory:

On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: ‘Remus  Reid, horse thief, sent to  Montana   Territorial  Prison 1885, escaped  1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught  by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.’
 

 


So Judy recently e-mailed Congressman Harry Ried for information  about their great-great uncle.

Harry Reid

 

 

 

 

Believe it or not, Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical  sketch for her genealogy research:

“Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.  In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective  Agency.  In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

NOW THAT’s how it’s done, Folks!

That’s real POLITICAL SPIN

very interesting statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization.

This article was pulled from the “Investor’s Business Daily.”  It provides some very interesting statistics from a survey by the United Nations International Health Organization.
Percentage of men and women who survived a cancer five years after diagnosis:
U..S.            65%
England       46%
Canada        42%

Percentage of patients diagnosed with diabetes who received treatment within six months:
U.S.            93%
England       15%
Canada        43%

Percentage of seniors needing hip replacement who received it within six months:
U.S.            90%
England       15%
Canada        43%

Percentage referred to a medical specialist who see one within one month:
U.S.            77%
England       40%
Canada        43%

Number of MRI scanners (a prime diagnostic tool) per million people:
U.S.            71
England       14
Canada        18

Percentage of seniors (65+), with low income, who say they are in “excellent health”:
U.S.            12%
England       2%
Canada        6%

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want “Universal Healthcare” comparable to England or Canada .

 

Moreover,
it was Sen. Harry Reid who said, “Elderly Americans must learn to accept the inconveniences of old age.”
SHIP HIS ELDERLY ASS TO CANADA OR ENGLAND

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