Bodrum Harbour on the west coast of Turkey. Those who live here are not usually in need of welfare
The authorities in Germany and the Netherlands suspect that welfare fraud by well-off Turks is widespread. It works as follows: in Germany (or Austria, Switzerland, Holland or Belgium) one applies for welfare, as a needy citizen without resources. But in fact one has resources in Turkey--usually real estate or fixed assets.
Despite a stream of tip-offs from the public, such cases are rarely solved. It seems that in Turkey it is not a crime to apply for welfare while owning property and Turkish officials will not co-operate when European officials seeks to verify tips of real estate owned by welfare recipients in Europe. They refuse to release the records.
The Netherlands experimented with a technique of using an undercover policeman of Turkish ethnicity, who asked around in the well-to-do Turkish neighbourhoods--appearing totally Turkish--to discover who lived where. A few cases were solved this way but it was expensive and the information a bit shaky [I don't think it would hold up in an Anglo court: would it not be hearsay?]
Next the Dutch tried an ethnic Turkish intermediary who worked with Turkish lawyers. Within a short time they uncovered a man on welfare in the Netherlands who owned property in Turkey worth about €300,000. The modernization of the Turkish property records also made life much simpler.
Now Germany would like to try the same method. It is unclear if the cases are organized--whole gangs--or just individuals. It is clear that in these times of tight finances the governments are going to look harder. (Source, Die Welt, in German)
What I cannot understand is why the European do not bring diplomatic pressure to bear on Turkey to co-operate directly on property searches.
Bodrum Harbour on the west coast of Turkey. Those who live here are not usually in need of welfare
The father of a young hockey player who was sworn at by his coach would like some heads to roll.
report at The Financial Times:
UK ministers are under growing pressure to intervene against plans by the island of Malta to sell EU passports for €650,000, allowing buyers immediate rights of residency in all member states.That "no borders within the EU" stuff is not working out so well these days.
Several EU states already give wealthy foreigners a fast-track to citizenship on the back of a government bond or property investment. But the new scheme – due to be formally opened by the Maltese government later this month – is unique in offering an instant passport to approved applicants with no requirement to be resident in the country beforehand.
The UK’s own investor programme invites foreigners to make investments of £1m, £5m or £10m in gilts or British companies in return for permission to apply for permanent residence in five, three or two years, respectively. However, in order to qualify for this, applicants must not spend more than 180 days outside the UK each year.
Remember to add your faves in the comments, we'll run em all through Christmas.
BatB & Rocco G send us - Nordic Chamber Choir - O Magnum Mysterium
Anukem Jihadi sends us - Silent Night — Choir of St John's College, Cambridge
Cousin arlo sends us - Joy to the World Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Minicapt sends us - Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus
Part 1 of Reader Fave Carols is here.
Part 2 of Reader Fave Carols is here.
Legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young is hosting four benefit concerts in support of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in its fight against further oilsands development.
Proceeds from the concerts, to be held in January in Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary, will be donated to the band's legal defence fund.
The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation says Young has agreed to donate 100 per cent of ticket sales. Tickets go on sale starting Tuesday.
Canadian jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall will also perform on each of the dates.
December 9, 2013: Islamists burn buses, vandalize vehicles, block roads and let off crude bombs as they fight with the police. People get killed or seriously injured. Read just one account of a man trapped in a burning bus. Photos: bdnews24.com.
Justin's Happier Eid
Stephen Harper's Happy Eid.
Want Christian Votes? Here’s the Logical Christian Recipe Listen up, GOP U.S. and the Progressive Conservatives of Canada and Ontario. In a liberal dominate established continent where every aspect of law, order, education, entertainment and politics is so totally screwed up, that end of the world predictions seem more and more ‘logically’ forthcoming as in ‘is there any possible place morally worse that we could seek out?’, is it any wonder that official conservative parties are what they are, liberal shadows of populist climbers?
While the issue of gay sex and sodomy laws has long since been laid to rest in Canadian society, despite the repeal of sodomy laws in the United States, there are elements of US society that insist on pressing for the reinstatement of such legislation. Rick Santorum, a former Republican Senator and presidential candidate, condemned the decision handed down in Lawrence v. Texas maintaining “he did not have a problem with homosexuals, but a problem with homosexual acts”, “the right to privacy doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution”, and “sodomy laws properly exist to prevent acts which undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family.”
An account of Yale officials harassing supporters of a Republican candidate for alderman at New Haven, whilst leaving Democrats in peace.
"Shabnam was like any other ordinary teenage girl, vibrant, full of life, excited to realize all of her dreams and yet underneath her smile, was an inner pain, a troubled soul, a deep despair. She witnessed the religious hypocrisy all around her and considered what her life would eventually become because of living in a male-dominated society. Reflecting on the destiny and fate of her life, Shabnam felt hopeless and trapped and decided to commit suicide rather than be another victim of female oppression. Like many other women in Iran had done before her, she set herself on fire, protesting against the dictatorship of the Islamic regime."
Read all about how this cartoon--drawn for a college paper after the University of Alabama had a bad game--caused a huge kerfuffle.
Andrew Bostom - a discussion of the canonical Islamic jihadism & Jew-hatred which animates the Palestinian/Iranian et al annihilationist jihad against Israel
This is the talk that Andrew Bostom gave at the JDL Chanukah Party.
An editorial titled “Satan lays a trap, this time in Johannesburg” in the Kayhan daily laid down the dangers to Rouhani of a chance meeting with the “head of the Great Satan government,” AFP reported on Sunday.
“Some domestic and foreign media outlets are using the funeral ceremony as a pretext to push Rouhani toward a meeting with the head of the Great Satan government,” according to the editorial board of the hardline paper.
Iran has not yet announced who will represent it at the funeral, which will be attended by heads of state and dignitaries from around the world.
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is the NGO of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. While it seeks to wear a moral mantle it claims from its 1947 Nobel Prize, in recent decades it has eschewed its values of peace and nonviolence and embraced unapologetically the world’s worst dictators and terrorist movements bent on genocide.
"Ontario is joining other provinces by stepping in to fill gaps left by the federal cuts to Canada’s Interim Federal Health Program. Along with other provincial governments, we will continue to call on the federal government to reinstate the federal program providing all refugee claimants health care coverage. In the meantime, we will send the federal government the bill to pay back what they owe.”
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
report about the knock-out game at Yale University, in New Haven, CT:
Kaplan and Dobuler [two residents] both expressed confusion over the assaulters’ motives. While there is a clear reason for “apple-picking,” the crime trend where people steal iPhones and iPods, it is less clear what a person would gain from punching a stranger in the face, Kaplan said.Still in denial? There is no motive so it can't be happening?
Kaplan also expressed doubt about whether the “knockout game” will become a serious issue in New Haven.
“I’m not sure whether the fear is coming from the students or the national media coverage,” Kaplan said
Sergeant Al Vazquez of the NHPD Detective Bureau shared residents’ concerns about media sensationalism. The best way to prevent further “knockout” attacks is to educate New Haven residents as well as the media, Vazquez said. He explained that the media helps perpetuate the trend by continually covering it.I wonder if the police would suggest that media stop covering it if it were white gangs attacking random blacks. Of course they wouldn't. There would be huge fuss and talk about hate crimes. Strange, isn't it? Not all criminals are equal, some are privileged.
h/t Dusk in Autumn
A reader brought this to my attention (the victim could be another black).
A gang of baby-faced thugs – including one aged just 13 – have been banned from two Birmingham neighbourhoods for throwing rocks at terrified passersby.
The schoolboy yobs struck fear into the hearts of law-abiding residents in Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green and laughed at the law despite being arrested dozens of times.
They also hurled racial insults at community members, vandalised buses and verbally abused other passengers.
None of the thugs was older than 15 and the youngest – 13-year-old Sajeer Khan – looked younger still on a West Midlands Police mug shot.
Now Khan, his brother Kabir, 15, and Hamza Shafiq, 14, have all been hit with three-year anti-social behaviour orders banning them from parts of Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green.
Hassan Hussain, also 15, was banned from the same areas unless he was accompanied by his father.
“I congratulate the bravery of the local community who felt empowered to make a change and reclaim their neighbourhood,” said Birmingham City Council’s safety boss, Coun James McKay.
A hijab uniform has been approved for Muslim officers by the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) in what's being called a proactive move.
The EPS has not received any requests for the uniform but they say they're looking to reflect diversity in the community and facilitate a growing interest in policing careers from Edmonton's Muslim community, said a news release.
"The headscarf was designed to be simple, unobtrusive, and easily removed," said police, and tests determined that it neither interfered with an officer's duties nor posed any risks to an individual wearing it.
The hijab also meets the requirements of Occupational Health and Safety, and the professional standards of EPS Dress and Deportment.
“Regardless of race, culture, religion, or sexual orientation, it is important that anyone who has a calling to serve and protect Edmontonians, and passes the rigorous recruitment and police training standards, feel welcome and included in the EPS," said Superintendent Kevin Galvin.
Harassed boyfriend jumped to his death after his girlfriend insisted on going into another clothes shop
An eyewitness said: 'He told her she already had enough shoes, more shoes that she could wear in a lifetime and it was pointless buying any more.
'She started shouting at him accusing him of being a skinflint and of spoiling Christmas, it was a really heated argument.'
Echoing Obama's Talking Points... Iran foreign minister says nuclear deal dead if U.S. passes new sanctions
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the Iranian nuclear deal would be dead if the U.S. Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not take effect for six months, Time Magazine said on Monday.
In a transcript of the interview, which was conducted on Saturday and posted online on Monday, Time said it asked Zarif what happens if Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not go into effect for six months.
Leftist Posh Boys and the Brown Exotic
There is a long tradition of posh Trotskyists/progressives condescending what they take to be the brown exotic. (Prince Charles, who's not a Trot, also indulges in this pastime with all things Islamic and Arabic; just as Sir Richard Francis Burton, another upper-class gentleman, did in the 19th century.)
Since the Left often indulges in what it calls 'class analysis', it can hardly fault me for my class analysis of the thoroughly middle class – and often upper middle class – nature of the Left (or, at least, of the leaders and theorists) over the years.
Hardline Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary today said two followers jailed for attacking non-Muslims “deserve a pat on the back”.
"A city that in 1950 was home to 296,000 good-paying jobs now desperately clings to a mere 30,000. However, it still has nearly 15,000 well-compensated government employees and nearly 30,000 government retirees to support with pensions and premium health care.
The city is so broke that services are breaking down. Response to a 911 call in a town with 11 times the murder rate of New York City is now 58 minutes, 47 minutes longer than the national average. That is if they even answer; 911 service goes out regularly, sometimes for up to 15 hours."
Residents in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, had already voiced their anger that 'Kasbah' stalls from the 99 per cent Muslim country would not fit with the spirit of Christmas.
The Israeli decision is more difficult to decipher. The simplest explanation is probably the best: given the chaotic nature of the public events around Mandela's memorial and funeral, the security risks for Israeli leaders may simply be too high in a country that has often been a conduit for radical Islamists. Yet it is also possible that Israel is aiming a diplomatic snub at the increasingly anti-Israel South African government.
James E. Miller writes:
Since 1957, the Canada Council for the Arts has been offering grants for artists who opt to jump through bureaucratic hurdles rather than devote time and energy to their line of work. Each year, the agency gives close to $200 million in grant dollars to applicants. This money doesn’t come strings-free. It is necessarily tainted with an expectation to create within the confines of “acceptable” statist doctrine. For example, the SummerWorks theatre festival in Toronto lost its $45,000 government grant in 2011.
According to the Fraser Institute, the Prime Minister’s Office “expressed its disappointment that the festival had chosen to present a controversial play about a Canadian terrorist.” It isn’t conclusive that the grant was pulled precisely because of the contentious performance, but an educated inference can be made.
The eco-terrorism group Animal Liberation Front took it upon themselves to free 10,000 minks from a fur farm in Sultan, Washington, back in 2003. On paper, this probably seemed like a no-brainer -- who would be against preventing a bunch of adorable furry animals from being euthanized and having their flayed corpses worn around by a Kardashian? But the reality is that the ALF dumped thousands of weasels, probably in their hundredth generation of domesticity, into the middle of an urban sprawl and then drove home to pat themselves on the back in between sips of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
"Income inequality" is the latest fad -- the "global warming" of economics -- in case you hadn't already noticed.
The Atlantic offers a somewhat balanced op-ed about raising the minimum wage will help solve this (mostly imaginary) problem.
One day late in 1942, Kent and a couple of other songwriters called Kim Gannon and Buck Ram met up in a New York diner. Kent was still riding high on the previous year's "White Cliffs Of Dover", and Gannon had just scored a Number One hit for the Glenn Miller band with his lyrics for "Moonlight Cocktail" (I always love his wonderfully casual first line -"Couple o' jiggers of moonlight..."). "Cocktail" would prove to be the Number Two bestselling record of the year.
As for the Number One, that was Bing's "White Christmas", already the top tune on the hit parade and much on the songwriters' minds. Unlike his two dining companions, Buck Ram had yet to write a major hit, but he mentioned that, like Irving Berlin, he'd written a Christmas number. It had been back in the mid-Twenties, when he was at college and decided to send his mom a song about how much he missed her. He and Walter Kent were both Jews, and Kent gently joshed Ram for writing a Christmas song for a Jewish mother. Ram laughed and replied that, after all, it had taken a Jew to write "White Christmas".
Which was what had given him the idea to exhume his song about Yuletide homesickness. He produced a piece of paper from his pocket, and passed it across the table...
A sandwich shop owner endured eight hours of questioning by police and had his computer seized for three weeks – after making tasteless Nelson Mandela jokes on the internet.
Neil Phillips, who runs Crumbs in Rugeley, Staffordshire, says he was also finger-printed and DNA-swabbed after officers received complaints about what he insists were harmless gags.
In one online post, the 44-year-old wrote: 'My PC takes so long to shut down I’ve decided to call it Nelson Mandela.'
It's working: With one day left, it looks like we've kept the crazy Muslim out of the Hall.
Looks like KISS, Yes, Nirvana and Deep Purple are heading to Cleveland.
You can always tell when Kathy is guest-posting for Arnie...
The “Cat’s in the Cradle” scribe shocked everybody with his 1972 ballad “Sniper,” which doesn’t so much account Whitman’s rampage as it completely romanticizes it. The song is less about how Whitman killed 16 people and more about how nobody ever respected or paid attention to him. He even sings about how he hated his mother for ignoring him, which appears to be untrue. Chapin even describes the cops who shoot Whitman down as laughing about how they just killed a man, which was almost certainly not the case.
Megan Garber writes:
Start to investigate the politics of Autocomplete and you head down a road with a mind-boggling array of possible iterations. You can take a similarly forking path with Hillary Clinton (“evil,” “bi,” “communist”) and Joe Biden (“an idiot,” “a moron,” “from,” “dead,” “a dumbass”) and Ted Cruz (“an idiot,” “Canadian,” “crazy,” “a jerk,” “a moron”).
Search, click, site-surf (and then, should you choose, browse another site, and then another) … until you have gotten a synaptic education about the political wonderings and wanderings of your fellow citizens.
BEIRUT: Jihadist fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have executed a man in Syria's Idlib province after accusing him of blasphemy, activists said Monday.
"ISIL executed Ibrahim Qassum, a heating oil vendor, by shooting him in the head... on allegations of blasphemy, two days after their forces arrested him," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The people most threatened by ObamaCare have pre-existing conditions, meaning health problems that make it hard to get insurance. To sell ObamaCare, the president actually lied, claiming he would protect these people.
He even lied that his mother, Anne Dunham, a cancer victim, suffered because her insurer used the pre-existing condition excuse to drop her. The truth, revealed in a 2011 biography, is she had employer-provided insurance which paid her hospital bills until the end of her life.
Dear children: Pay no attention to Greenpeace.
They've been naughty this year. They're spreading lies about Santa Claus.
Likely an effort to please SA's Chinese Masters.
Dalai don't care cuz now his whites really are whiter.
h/t dr. J
George Smitherman latest to endorse Chow’s potential mayoral bid.
That's Olivia Chow standing shoulder to shoulder with one of Canada's leading scumbag Islamists, Zafar Bangash.
The EDF Energy London Eye has created a version of the iconic London skyline made from ice to celebrate the launch of the Frostival festive season at the London Eye in central London. The sculpture features all the famous landmarks such as the London Eye, Big Ben, St. Paulís Cathedral and Tower Bridge. Even the clock on Big Ben was given the correct time of completion, 5pm. Two ice sculptors started at 7am as the rush hour commuters made their way to work, chipping away at a block of ice measuring 20 feet long and 7 feet high, to sculpt the most famous buildings in London with the London Eye as the centre piece. The result of ten hours hard work was a spectacular frozen view of the capital. Picture: Doug Peters/PA
The head of the Home Office has ordered an investigation into shocking allegations that the Government gave tens of thousands of pounds to a notorious paedophile group.
Civil servants are trawling through decades’ worth of files to look for any evidence that the Home Office once funded the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which openly campaigned to legalise child sex.
Hundreds of South Asian workers rioted in Singapore late Sunday after being enraged by a fatal road accident, leaving 18 people injured and police vehicles burnt in the city-state's worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years.
A police statement said the disturbance started in the congested Little India district when a 33-year-old Indian man was killed after being hit by a private bus.
Police said about 400 people on the scene began rioting, attacking the bus as well as police vehicles after officers responded to reports of a commotion.
Ten policemen, four civil defence staff and the bus driver and conductor were among the injured, but none were seriously hurt, officials said.
A total of 27 South Asian workers were arrested on charges of rioting, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison plus caning, police said.
I can't wait for the Mecca's first Pride Day.
Translation: What do YOU know about immigration and immigration policy?
[The ad] urges readers to find out more in a book whose title translates as "Immigration and Cover-ups: An Objective Report From a Distorted Era".
Swedish journalist and priest Helle Klein described the ad as "racist" and urged Dagens Nyheter to apologise for publishing it. Journalist Alexandra Pascalidou also suggested on Twitter that the ad amounts to "racist propaganda" and that it is filled with "distorted facts".
Dagens Nyheter's editor-in-chief, Peter Wolodarski, defended the newspaper's decision to publish the ad, saying it has a "generous advertising policy" and that the ad in question kept "within the framework for what we could accept".
h/t Vlad Tepes.
“I heard my mother and sister singing circumcision songs ... & joking that a man marrying an uncircumcised wife is a big scandal"
Kenya - Man beats mum for chiding his uncircumcised wife
He took the matter personally and unleashed terror on the duo, seriously injuring them. He claimed that he took drastic decision after they became too much and insulted him. “They made fun of my wife and began teasing and insulting me for not being man enough to force my wife to undergo the cut,” he said.
As a reader, the mother of four children, and an author, I want my kids to love to read and to approach reading as joy and nourishment. The following five works of fiction do not encourage and inspire the love of reading in children. They’re terrible books for kids. If you make your children read these they will develop a loathing for reading that will last their whole lives and may possibly poison their very souls. Let’s see why.
And they called it Jihad Love...
No I guess they'll never know...
How a young Mo really feeeels...
Except they honour killed Marie, the slut.
Graphic Video - Syrian Islamists Adapt Modern Technology: Use Machinegun To Behead Captive - "Allahu Akbars" Abound
In a newly published video, made by an organization identified with Al Qaeda, terrorists proudly demonstrate what they call "the fastest way to behead Alawites."
A captive is seen kneeling, his hands tied behind his body and his eyes covered with cloth. In front of him is a pickup truck equipped with a heavy machine gun. A member of the Islamist organization points the gun to the victim's head and fires, as cries of "Allahu akbar" are heard.
French history textbooks rewritten to be more Islam-friendly.
A 2011 liquor store attack in Baghdad
Gunmen attacked 12 liquor stores in Baghdad on Saturday, killing nine people, police said, the latest in a series of assaults on alcohol sellers in the capital.
The attackers approached the stores in SUVs and shot dead people inside shops and supermarkets and wounded two. Police said most of the victims were members of Iraq's Yazidi Kurdish minority who tend to staff alcohol stores.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Shi'ite Muslim militias, who warn against practices they see as going against their strict interpretation of Islam, are believed to have been behind assaults on liquor stores and cafes earlier this year.
Armed men raided a luxury jewellery store near the iconic Place Vendôme in Paris, making off with luxury watches worth some €800,000 ($1 million), a source close to the investigation told AFP on Thursday.
The robbers brandished handguns and threatened the shop's employees, the source said.
France has seen a series of robberies at upscale jewellery stores in recent months, including a brazen attack in which axe-wielding men stole high-end watches worth hundreds of thousands of euros from a Vacheron Constantin store, also near the Place Vendôme.
Several heists took place during the Cannes Film Festival in May, including one at the Carlton Hotel in which jewel thieves made off with $1.4 million in jewels that were due to be loaned to movie stars.
A challenge to our beliefs - Today, many young whites in England are barely literate and have trouble with simple arithmetic
Depressing news about black students scoring far below white students on various mental tests has become so familiar that people in different parts of the ideological spectrum long ago developed different explanations for why this is so.
But everyone may have to do some rethinking, in light of radically different news from England.
Just shortly in from work, with more work ahead of me this evening. Thank Frau Katze and Black Mamba & K for holding the fort and please enjoy the carols. Don't forget to add your suggestions in the comments.
Osumashi sends us - Oh Come, Oh come Emmanuel by Joan Baez
Clink sends us - Andy Williams - O Holy Night
TedBopp sends us - What Do Bad Girls Get by Joan Osborne
Richard Romano sends us - Sleeves Christmas Song
Soundofmusak sends us Alex Lifeson - Drummer Boy
Part 1 of Reader fave Carols is here.
Add your fave in the comments and we'll run em through the Big Day.
Sharia has invaded all aspects of American life. It has crept in like a slow moving fog, and clouded the vision of anyone who has eyes to see. Texas Wesleyan University in Ft. Worth, a Methodist affiliated university, has fully submitted to sharia.
Under the guise of "interfaith" outreach, the University has created an Islamic specific prayer room facing the Ka'ba Shrine in Mecca. There is nothing interfaith about this prayer room.
The word "interfaith" is a lie, and would allow anyone to think that the room would be open to all students, including Christians. Never does "interfaith" mean anything but non-Christian activities, namely New Age practices.
Today, the word "interfaith" can be directly translated to mean Islam, with full sharia compliance.
"Politically correct" article on the prayer room from university newspaper here.
Today In Pallie Kids TV: Nahoul The Psycopath Bee Freaks Out At The Prospect Of Negotiations With The Dread Zionists
Meet "Stuart Little":
Someone just emailed this to me:
It is impossible to let this day pass without recognizing the passing of one of the greatest people our world has ever known.
Nelson Mandela will be primarily remembered for his greatest material accomplishment, courageously freeing his country from oppression against tremendous opposition. For this, he will always be a hero to his people. But Mandela's universal legacy – the endowment he leaves all people - is the metaphysical triumph of optimism, grace and humility as essential elements of courage. He demonstrated this throughout his struggle for South African equality, and for the remainder of his 95 years with us.
Canada had the great fortune of his presence three times through his life. As educators I’m sure we can all remember the images of 46,000 Toronto elementary school children chanting his name, over and over again, on a visit to Skydome in 1998. What is not often remembered is that just hours later, in what is presumed to be an unrelated event, Toronto experienced a rare earthquake, measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale.
I’m sure we can all appreciate the lessons he gave us throughout his life; lessons we are all the richer for having received.
We will never forget him.
Anne Sada, President
Just to be clear:
When Pat Robertson says that Haiti was struck by an earthquake because they practice voodoo, that's crazy talk.
But somehow, the mere presence of Nelson Mandela somehow caused the movement of tectonic plates, according to this impeccably credentialed, highly educated elite progressive. Come on! That's just good science, you hicks!
This graph displays the mean of the Math, Science, and Reading test scores from the OECD's 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment. American scores are red, white countries are blue, East Asians countries are yellow, Muslim countries are green, and Latin American countries are brown.
So, Asian Americans outscored all large Asian countries (with the exception of three rich cities); white Americans outperformed most, but not all, traditionally white countries; and Latino Americans did better than all Latin American countries. African Americans almost certainly scored higher than any black majority country would have performed.
Note: The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in member and non-member nations of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading. It was first performed in 2000 and then repeated every three years. It is done with view to improving education policies and outcomes. The data has increasingly been used both to assess the impact of education quality on incomes and growth and for understanding what causes differences in achievement across nations.
A California county has banned a veteran employee from criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because a coworker who overheard the criticism was offended.... Mooney’s attorneys noted that this edict is an odd one considering Mooney’s claim that the office environment is replete with pro-Obama paraphernalia. She noted that her coworkers openly wore Obama campaign attire to work at election time as well.
"It's just my simple opinion that the flag should only be lowered to half-staff for Americans who sacrificed for their country," Clark told CNN affiliate WHNS.
It should be lowered at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, he said, but not at home.
The flag in his department was lowered over the weekend to honor a fallen law enforcement officer and for Pearl Harbor Day. But it will stay up Sunday, he said.
"I have no problem lowering it in South Africa in their country but not for our country. It should be the people who have sacrificed for our country."
A spokesman for the department said the sheriff cannot be disciplined.
"He's not breaking a law. It's his decision. And I support the decision of the sheriff," Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said.
Protesters in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, toppled the city’s main statue of Lenin on Sunday and then pounded it into chips with a sledgehammer as a crowd chanted and cheered. The destruction of the statue was a cathartic moment in the biggest day of demonstrations so far against President Viktor F. Yanukovich’s turn away from Europe.
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians filled the streets of Kiev on Sunday, first to hear speeches and music and then to fan out and erect barricades in the district where government institutions have their headquarters.
Carrying blue-and-yellow Ukrainian and European Union flags, the teeming crowd filled Independence Square, where protests have steadily gained momentum since Mr. Yanukovich refused on Nov. 21 to sign trade and political agreements with the European Union. The square has been transformed by a vast and growing tent encampment, and demonstrators have occupied City Hall and other public buildings nearby. Thousands more people gathered in other cities across the country.
Live blogging and more coverage at RFE/RL. Twitter feed for #Ukraine here.
UK: Labour leader Ed Miliband's polling guru says voters' anti-immigration views make him “depressed”
Labour leader Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband was last night accused of displaying contempt for voters after his polling guru said their anti-immigration views made him “depressed”.
James Morris made a series of scornful remarks after holding a focus group meeting intended to help the party devise Election-winning policies on the issue.
Morris, a key member of the Labour leader’s strategy unit, dismissed the views of those present as “fill jobs with Brits”.
His outburst reflects tensions among Miliband’s team over immigration. The party is haunted by claims that the last Labour Government was responsible for mass immigration from Eastern Europe – and divided over whether Miliband should take a stronger line.
The liberal views on immigration of many of Labour’s frontbenchers are not shared by most voters.
Each immigrant costs the taxpayer up to £8,350 a year in healthcare, education and benefits bills, according to official government figures.
Home Office analysis shows that imposing a £200 annual NHS (National Health Service) charge on immigrants from outside Europe when they enter the country would deter thousands from travelling to Britain in the first place.
This will result in British residents gaining up to 1,000 jobs a year which would otherwise have been taken by foreign workers, the Home Office said.
The deterrent effect of the health levy is also expected to save the state up to £60 million a year in public services, such as schools, medical care, and welfare spending which would no longer be needed.
The estimates emerged in a report on the government’s Immigration Bill, which has been produced in an attempt to stop migrants travelling to Britain to take advantage of free healthcare, education and a generous benefits system.
h/t Martin for this video: UKIP "Send them back" row
Check out the Motion Device Kickstarter campaign.
Auxiliary Bishop at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East Luqa al-Khoury declared war on the Syrian rebels by calling on the Christians to carry arms to defend Syria and its its churches and monasteries.
“Our men are ready and their fingers are on the trigger,” he warned the rebels.
“I urge every Christian man capable of carrying weapons to defend Syria and its churches and monasteries that are being vandalized by armed groups,” Khoury said in remarks published in Az-Zaman newspaper on Saturday.
“We will not stand by idly,” the cleric stressed.
He also noted that the men are “waiting for instructions from the Patriarchate,” but stressed that “we will wait for two days, not more, until we start acting.”
Christian places of worship are being subject to attacks by Syrian rebels, drawing international condemnation against the vandalism of religious sites.
'Mother Jones’ own living wage calculator found that the amount it was paying its fellows [was] substandard'
The primary takeaways were that these purported liberal publications were hypocritically practicing the labor exploitation that they denounce in corporate America...
Oh, and Sharknado 2 is in the works as we speak.
The symptoms are as follows: The sufferer cannot pass a bookshop, or even an establishment that might have a few books for sale, without entering and buying a book. He spends far more on books than he ought or than his income can bear; he reads books arithmetically but accumulates them geometrically, so that there is a kind of Malthusian crisis in his house that will be solved only after his death, when his widow sells them en masse. (Practically all bibliomaniacs are men.)
Paula Bolyard writes:
The first question from President Mandela was: “So, Mr. Hammond what were you doing in the years of struggle?”
“I was fighting people like you, sir.” I answered.
Nelson Mandela laughed and reached out his hand saying: “I’m so pleased to meet an honest white man! Every other white has told me how they always supported me and opposed apartheid. I wondered how the National Party stayed in power for over 40 years!"
“Well, Mr. President, make no mistake, I was not fighting for apartheid. I was fighting against communism and against terrorism.”
At this the president declared that “apartheid was the greatest evil in history of the world.”
“I cannot agree Mr. President, that prize has to go to your friends and supporters, the communists. Secular humanist, communist regimes have killed well over 160 Million people during the 20 th Century. That’s not 160 Million people killed in war by invading armies. That’s 160 Million people killed by their own governments: secular, socialist states.” (...)
And so the conversation went. At one point Nelson Mandela expressed his surprise that we wanted to “restrict the rights of women” by opposing abortion. I responded: “Mr. President you are questioning the Christianity of people who 40 years ago justified apartheid. I tell you, sir, it will not be 40 years from now and people will question your humanity for legalising abortion. (...)
At the end of the hour, Nelson Mandela stood up and told us that we could now take our pictures. I did not mean to be rude, but we honestly hadn’t even thought about that: “No thank you,” I said. He turned mouth agape in apparent shock. Perhaps we were the first delegation to meet with him who didn’t want to have pictures taken with him. I then hastened to add: “But, we would like to pray for you.”
“No! No! That’s very private and personal.” I pretended not to hear and put a hand on one shoulder while Rev. Soon Zevenster placed his hand on the other shoulder. We prayed that the Lord would not grant Mr. Mandela any peace until he did what he knew what was right..."
Guess what happened next?
Hammond handed Mandela a book by Dr. James Kennedy and they parted on friendly terms, Mandela assuring Hammond that he would was always responsive to the concerns of his constituents. “However,” said Hammond, “the next week senior investigators of his Revenue Service began a 7 year Audit of our mission and family!”
Last week the Telegram newspaper in St. John’s published a column entitled “Some truth about fracking wouldn’t hurt,” written by an oil and gas engineer from Calgary named Syd Peters.
It was a devastating personal confession by a fracking industry insider who said he had spent 28 years polluting the environment across the U.S. and western Canada, and then “coercing landowners” and “silencing” towns to keep the industry’s dirty secrets. “This is what is coming to Newfoundland if fracking is allowed,” he wrote.
Except there is no oil and gas engineer from Calgary named Syd Peters.
Sometimes it's the little things that make it clear just how off the rails a government has become.
Sure, the main thrust of Ontario's new long-term energy plan is bad enough. Residential rates are going up 42% over five years.
We're reminded big government disproportionately discriminates against the little guy. The average monthly bill will increase from $125 to $178.
A video has surfaced from the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria advocating the systemic genocide of Shi'ite Muslims for allegedly "damaging Mohammed's legacy" in perpetrating their beliefs.
Seems Mo did a pretty good job himself.
When Barack Obama awarded media mogul Oprah Winfrey the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 20, many conservatives objected, citing her recent suggestions to a BBC interviewer that opposition to the president's policies is racially motivated and that many in America treat the president with "disrespect ... because he is an African-American." Winfrey is entitled to her opinion, and even if she is wrong about important matters, that alone would not preclude her from receiving the Medal of Freedom. But there is a reason to oppose her being recognized with the award Harry S. Truman created on July 6, 1945, to honor those who have "made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Wilders to Pope Francis: Contrasts Papal Ecumenism, With Jew/Infidel-Hatred of Current Sunni Pope Al-Tayeb
"I analyzed recent statements and actions by the two most recent Catholic Popes, Benedict XVI, and his successor, the current Pope, Francis. I further contrasted their ecumenical words and deeds with the overt, canonical Jew-hatred espoused by their Sunni Muslim counterparts, Al Azhar University Grand Imam Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. March, 2010), and his successor, the current Grand Imam of Al Azhar University, Ahmad al-Tayeb."
SABEEL Ahmed, whose brother Kafeel drove the burning jeep into the Glasgow Airport terminal building, has been accused by detectives in India of recruiting young people to a terrorist group