Dubai: They can build tall buildings and artificial islands, with lots of cheap foreign labour of course

City skyscrapers stand on the waterfront on Palm Jumeirah artificial island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Saudi Arabia: Fine for flying in female pilgrim with no male guardian

Violating female pilgrims will be denied entry and sent back on the same flight. (Reuters)

The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) warned airlines against transporting female pilgrims under the age of 45 without a legal guardian.

GACA said that violating airlines will be fined SR50,000 ($13,331), according to a report published in a local daily.

Violating female pilgrims will be denied entry and sent back on the same flight.

The airline will be fined and will bear the expenses for any violating passenger’s stay at the airport’s transit area until they are returned home.

According to a source, these warning instructions are issued annually by GACA to organize the operation of transporting pilgrims...


Elder of Ziyon: Saudi op-ed reiterates how evil Jews are

Nazi era sign reads: “Jews are not welcome in Behringersdorf”

Perhaps stung by the fact that Saudi Arabia and Israel have been on the same side in many regional conflicts, the official Saudi news agency Okaz published an op-ed to ensure that Saudi readers will never think warmly of Jews.

Written by Abdullah al-Sultan, the article touches on many of the classic manifestations of Arab and Muslim antisemitism, the bigotry that no “human rights” group wants to admit exists.

 Articles like this never have any negative repercussions. There are never any outraged letters to the editor or comments and the articles are never considered controversial in the mainstream Arabic press...


Fidel Castro says Mossad behind Islamic State

Older but still crazy after all these years

Cuban ex-president Fidel Castro lashed out at Israel, the United States and Europe on Monday, saying Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency was behind the radical Islamic State group and comparing NATO military representatives to the Nazi SS.

In a column published in Cuban state media, the father of the island’s communist revolution also attacked US Senator John McCain over United States policy in the Middle East, calling him “Israel’s most unconditional ally.”

“The world has seen no respite in recent years, particularly since the European Economic Community, under the strict and unconditional leadership of the United States, decided the time had come to settle scores with what was left of two great nations (Russia and China) that…had carried out the heroic deed of putting an end to the imperialist colonial order imposed on the world by Europe and the United States,” said the 88 year old leader.

He accused the West of “cynicism” and said the trait had become “a symbol of imperialist policy”...


ISIS claims to have beheaded American journalist Steven Sotloff

American hostage Steven Sotloff has reportedly been executed by jihadist terrorists. There was no immediate confirmation of the video.

The video reportedly warns governments to back off from "this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State".


The Pied Stripper of Canada

“Exotic dancers. They’re not exotic, and they’re not dancers,” explains comedian Ellen Cleghorne here.

“It’s like calling a pedophile an ‘exotic babysitter.’”

That joke popped into my head when I read about gay stripper “Mickey D Liscious,” who also worked with teenagers at a big Canadian charity, until word of his “night job” leaked out.


Worthwhile Saudi Initiative: Proposal made to dump Mohammed's stinking corpse in anonymous grave

Will Saudi Arabia MOVE the remains of Prophet Muhammad? Controversial plan for 'anonymous' burial to prevent the site itself being worshipped


Rallying against ISIS

Tarek Fatah reports on his visit to Norway, where citizens have been rallying against ISIS.


Is Jihad Un-Islamic?

So-called “Islamophobes” such as Bat Ye’or and others have been warning for years against the possible rise of a new Islamic Caliphate. They have been largely ignored and partly ridiculed for doing so.


Today's Multicultural Moment: Danish mosque declares support for Isis

A spokesman for the Aarhus mosque Grimhøjmoskeen has openly declared the mosque’s support of the terrorist organisation Islamic State, or Isis.

“An Islamic state will always be what Muslims long for, therefore we cannot help but to support the Islamic State.


Winooski, Vermont and the Dismantling of America's Values

Dennis Prager - As a talk show host, I have no choice but to keep up with what's happening in America and the world. I am therefore submerged in depressing and often angering fare.

Bacon To Be Declared "Hate Crime" By Barbara Hall
It is hard to read about and discuss the progressives who dominate American media and academia who morally equate Israel and Hamas; who describe America -- the most tolerant multi-ethnic country in the world -- as racist; and who characterize American universities as a "rape culture."


IS extremists ban sport, music and art at schools in favour of Satanic Sharia teachings

AN EDICT from the Islamic State has banned the teaching of music, social studies, artistic drawing, sport and philosophy from all schools in the IS-controlled city of Raqqa.

TDSB International Baccalaureate Program
The teaching of any religious studies that refer to Christianity has also been forbidden, along with any mention of Charles Darwin and natural selection.

Mathematical teachings may not refer to the earning of interest or be used to explain the electoral process and democracy.


Interfaith outreach initiative redecorates Columbus Churches

“It's certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.

Specifically, that passage of the Qur'an reads: "We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers."

h/t DS


Not By Obama's Yardstick They Haven't - Israel Intelligence Minister Says Middle East 'Armies' Created by U.S. ‘Failed’

Israel’s ministerial intelligence oversight chief recently charged that a string of American attempts to train and arm “moderate” militias and armies in neighboring states and entities have collapsed into the Mideast dust.


Standing up for basic rights

While progressives are using rights as a political attack weapon, we take a stand against violated charter rights for firearms owners.


95% of BBC Viewers say Multiculturalism Doesn’t Work

I wonder which beheading was their first clue. Or maybe it was the bombings? The riots? The child rape gangs?


5 Non-Muslims Who Know More About Islam than the Caliph of the Islamic State

They call themselves the Islamic State. They claim to be the restorers of the caliphate, the ones who have finally fulfilled the most cherished aspiration of jihadists and Islamic supremacists the world over. They declare their intention to govern their domains solely and wholly by Islamic law, acting swiftly and ruthlessly to end any practice that does not conform to that law. They repeatedly proclaim their piety, ascribing all their victories to Allah and submitting themselves in all things to his will.

Yet despite all this, Western leaders, the mainstream media, and much of the public are certain of one thing: the Islamic State has nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with Islam.

So many people tell us so...


Obama keeps his eye on the ball

It's been clear for months that President Barack Obama is already in retirement mode.

He is closing in on 200 golf games since becoming president.

He regularly skips his briefings.

He's disengaged from files, making only grudging statements about national crises.

Then an American citizen, James Foley, was beheaded by the terrorist group called the Islamic State, or ISIS.

It was a shocking message of defiance and violence directed at the United States, a direct political and military challenge.

But Obama didn't interrupt his vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. He didn't go back to the White House situation room to meet with his generals or the CIA.


Saudi arrests 88 of the usual suspects in alleged al-Qaida cell

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it has arrested 88 men who are suspected of being part of an al-Qaida cell that was plotting attacks inside and outside of the kingdom.

The announcement Tuesday comes amid the advance of the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria, which has prompted Saudi Arabia to take harsher measures against sympathizers who could threaten the kingdom's stability.


Young jihadists are twisted, evil and clueless

Back in 2002 American journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by an Islamist gang.

Before he was murdered he was forced to "confess" that he was a Jew. Pearl had been eager to tell the Pakistani story, the Islamic story, to build bridges and bring peace. He was, if anything, on the political left. Not that different, in fact, from the recent tragedy of James Foley.

I mention this because of one of the people who kidnapped Daniel Pearl was from my hometown in England. He was raised in London with the health service, toleration, police protection, human rights and wealth. Great wealth, in fact, because he attended the local private school -- my parents didn't have that sort of money and I went to the state school.

Young jihadists are twisted, evil and clueless - But devout, don't forget devout...


Somali officials say U.S. struck where al Shabaab were meeting

(Reuters) - An air strike by U.S. military forces struck an area where leaders of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked militants were meeting, intelligence sources said on Tuesday, but it was unclear whether any insurgent commanders were killed.

The strike prompted rumors among Somali government officials that it had targeted al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and other leaders who were suspected to have been at the location, but there was no confirmation they were hit.

If he were killed, it would be a major victory against the group.


Iranian cleric issues fatwa against the Internet

A prominent hard-line Iranian cleric has denounced high-speed mobile Internet and 3G services as “immoral and unlawful.”

Last week, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi said 3G mobile services are against sharia law and violate “human and moral norms.”

He cautioned Iran’s information ministry against providing 3G mobile service before the technology is “purified” of its “negative features” to ensure “moral and psychological security” for users.

“The Western technology is like muddy and unsanitary water,” the senior conservative cleric told the Tehran Times on Sunday. “Water is the lifeblood, but when it gets murky and unsanitary it must be purified.”


Saudi court jails imam for Eid sermon glorifying violence that wasn't officially religiously condoned Saudi violence

RIYADH — A court in Riyadh sentenced an imam to five years in prison after he was convicted of glorifying takfirist (accusing others of apostasy) organizations in a sermon he delivered more than a year ago, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.

The imam, whose name was not disclosed, was found guilty of inciting against the state through “glorifying” takfiri organizations and leaders of Al-Qaeda in the sermon to worshippers who gathered for Eid Al-Fitr prayer in August 2013.

He was also convicted on the grounds of exploiting Friday prayers to spread extremist ideas.

Today's Whopper... Iran and Islam not associated with violence: Rouhani


Ricky Gervais prompts furious online backlash after blaming the victims of celebrity iCloud scandal

He makes a valid point.


"They said you must never refer to that again, you must never refer to Asian men"

"And [the] other response was to book me on a two-day ethnicity and diversity course to raise my awareness of ethnic issues."


Foreign medical grad finds Ontario system tough to crack

"Anupam Apu is good enough to be an immigrant but not a doctor.

He is one of more than 6,000 international medical graduates in Ontario dealing with the daily frustration of knowing their chances of becoming practising doctors are slim to none.

The 36-year Bangladesh native thought that when he ticked the box for general physician as a preferred career on his immigration application, he would have a chance to continue in his field.

But both Apu and his wife, Homayra Ferdous, also a medical graduate from Bangladesh, soon found the deck was stacked against them because of the limited number of international medical graduates certified annually for medical residency positions in Ontario.

...Augustine’s dismay with the current system of certifying foreign-trained doctors follows an announcement earlier in the week in which the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario reported the highest number yet of international medical graduates being certified for full practice or residency.

But Augustine noted the college failed to mention the majority of the 200 provincially funded residency positions are going to Canadian students who trained abroad and returned to launch their careers, which she said was never the program’s intent."

Leave it to the Star to leave out the little things...

Interesting to note the high number of disciplinary actions against "foreign trained" doctors from a 2000 to 2009 study. "Foreign Trained" doctors account for 33 per cent of disciplinary actions over that period.

This chart, from a Maclean's article is even is even more damning.

I note Apu says his medical degree is recognized in England.

Scandal of the failing foreign doctors who demand right to sit GP exams a staggering SIX times

More - Incompetent foreign doctors who can't speak English are putting NHS patients at risk


Allen West: NY Met plans to stage anti-Semitic opera

 In the opera, the terrorists are presented as heroic freedom fighters, who have been forced by Jewish and Zionist oppression to take extreme actions – and what could be more extreme (and brave!) than pushing a wheelchair-bound senior citizen overboard?

In the opera’s libretto, there are passages that defame the Jews as a people. For example, the principal terrorist says, “Wherever poor men are gathered, they can find Jews getting fat. You know how to cheat the simple, exploit the virgin, pollute where you have exploited, defame those you cheated, and break your own law with idolatry.”


ISIS in Southeast Asia

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (C) witnesses Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (L) and her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa (R) sign documents during a ceremony in Nusa Dua in the resort island of Bali on August 28, 2014. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Canberra and Jakarta settle their intel rift, as jihadi recruiting grows.

ISIS is attracting followers from Muslim communities across the Asia-Pacific. In Indonesia, radical groups have declared support for the Islamic State in Jakarta, Surakarta and other cities. In Malaysia, police say they have arrested 19 ISIS-inspired militants planning attacks against pubs, discos and a Carlsberg brewery in and around Kuala Lumpur. Australia estimates that 150 of its citizens are now fighting with ISIS in the Middle East, with 15 Australians among the dead, including two suicide bombers.

In the face of this threat, governments need to broaden avenues of cooperation. So it's good news that Indonesia and Australia have finally ended a feud that started last November with Edward Snowden's revelations that the Australian Signals Directorate tried to tap the phones of Indonesia's President and his top advisers, including the first lady, for 15 days in August 2009.

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Art exhibition at top London gallery branded racist for using black actors dressed as slaves

Exhibit B, by South African artist Brett Bailey, features a semi-naked woman with shackles around her neck

A new art exhibition at one of Britain's top galleries has been branded racist for using black actors dressed up as slaves.

Exhibit B, by South African artist Brett Bailey, features live performers including a black man in a cage and a semi-naked woman with shackles around her neck.

An online petition calling for the show to be axed has been signed by 6,000 people since it was launched last week.

Community activists are also drawing up plans for a demonstration over Exhibit B outside the Barbican.

It is set to take place at the Barbican between September 23 and 27 - and those at the art centre have defended the exhibition, despite the accusations of racism.

Already seen in various European capitals, the work has attracted criticism, particularly in Berlin, where it caused fury among anti-racism campaigners, who questioned the authority of a white director to tackle the story of black exploitation...


Small animals see the world in slow motion, or why your puppy is so hyperactive

New research indicates that smaller animals, such as birds, dogs, and human children, perceive the world at a higher frame rate than the rest of us. As a result, these smaller animals may live life in a permanent state of Matrix-like bullet time, where everything around them appears to be moving in slow motion.

This is explained evolutionarily by the need for smaller animals and insects to avoid larger, but slower, predators.

This perceptual difference, according to research by Trinity College Dublin (TCD), is caused by the differing “maximum rate of temporal information processing in the visual system.” As you’re probably aware, the human visual system has a fairly slow rate, capable of perceiving around 10 individual images per second, with perception of change extending to around 100 fps. According to the TCD researchers, animals with smaller bodies and higher metabolic rates have a higher rate, with the inverse also being true...


Pakistan: Express Tribune op-ed on the attack on Pakistan TV headquarters

Pakistan protesters

After the failed attempts on Saturday to storm the president and prime minister houses in Islamabad’s red zone, both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri had been waiting all day on Sunday for the umpire to raise his finger (meaning the dismissal of the batsman on the pitch, Nawaz Sharif). Perhaps both have forgotten that in such situations the umpire usually himself moves forward to establish his own empire — but who is here to learn from history. And then the attack on the headquarters of PTV took place and we know what happened after that.

The PTI president, Javed Hashmi, was brave and sensible enough to warn his party colleagues of possible violence and of the path that Imran Khan was leading them all down on. For his candour, Mr Hashmi was shown the door by Imran Khan, which reflects the dictatorial manner in which the party is run.

Then take the case of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief minister who has been away from his province for the past 20 days to participate in the Islamabad sit-in. It seems that the Taliban are filling in for him: a C-130 cargo plane was shot at Peshawar airport when it came in to land on Sunday night.

Regardless of these developments, apparently better sense is not prevailing — both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri have not only entered into a blind and blocked alley but are also trying to force the whole nation into that black hole.


Fresh Clashes Break Out in Pakistan

Pakistani protesters help carry their injured colleague to an ambulance during a clashes near prime minister’s home in Islamabad. (source: AP)

ISLAMABAD—Fresh clashes between antigovernment protesters and police broke out in the Pakistani capital's government quarter on Monday, a day after the military warned the administration of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif against "further use of force" to quell the spreading unrest.

Pakistan's military also deployed armed soldiers around government buildings, checking the protesters' advance on the prime minister's official residence as darkness fell in Islamabad.

The police, which had been at the forefront of resisting the protesters over the weekend, retreated to the edge of the government quarter.

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Al-Arabiya op-ed: Punish Saudis who misbehave abroad

Two Kuwaiti lawmakers have called for revoking the passports of any Kuwaiti who harms the country’s reputation abroad amid embarrassing reports about Kuwaiti travelers making a nuisance and a spectacle of themselves in public.

In a news item appearing in a Gulf paper, Nabeel al-Fadl was quoted as saying that the interior minister should look seriously at those Kuwaitis tarnishing the country’s image abroad. Another member of parliament, Abdul Hamid Dashti, also called for a debate on this subject.

Social media has brought to our attention various types of behavior best described as not in harmony with Islamic or Arab traditions. Though only a minority may be involved, their actions grab the attention of the press in foreign countries and cast a blanket accusation against all.

Among the issues brought up in the Kuwaiti case, which by the way are applicable to other Gulf states, are examples of a Kuwaiti female tourist using flip flop sandals to hit her children in public, young people tampering with fountains and people throwing empty plastic bags and cans and other litter everywhere they go...

* * *
Western countries are only now just barely speaking of revoking passports for the head-choppers.  In a globalized world, old concepts of “freedom” may eventually become out of date.


French court upholds nuclear ban on Muslim engineer

A French court Monday upheld a ban on a Muslim engineer from accessing nuclear sites, citing his links with militant networks but his lawyer said it was a case of Islamophobia.

The 29-year-old working for a firm subcontracted by energy giant EDF had been granted access to nuclear installations as part of his job throughout 2012 and 2013.

But in March 2014 the man, who cannot be named according to French law, had his pass to enter the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power station revoked.

Officials said he had links with a jihadist terrorist group and that he was in touch with an imam involved in recruiting youngsters to fight in Iraq.

A court in the north-eastern town of Chalons-en-Champagne upheld the ban saying the management could prevent those “undergoing a process of political and religious radicalisation” from accessing sensitive sites...


John Wesley Hardin Weeps - If You Can't Kill A Man Who Needed Killing, Then What CAN You Do?

Somehow, I'm beginning to suspect that Justice is carried out differently in Scotland than anywhere else in the civilized world.

"I never killed anyone who didn't need killing."
"A father who was blinded in one eye during a confrontation with a thug who stole his son's iPhone has today been jailed for six years for stabbing him to death during the attack. 
Derek Grant, 38, pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide of Patrick Bradley, 29, a serial offender described in court as 'a man of violence'.
Grant was blinded in one eye during the savage battle when Bradley stabbed him through the left eyeball.
It emerged that the victim, who had a lengthy criminal record, had already been jailed for knifing someone in the eye.
After sentence was passed at The High Court in Livingston a member of Grant's family branded the outcome 'a farce'.
The woman, understood to be Grant's wife added: 'That guy was an animal.' 
Grant and three of his sons were originally charged with murder after Mr Bradley robbed his 19-year-old son Jordan - a politics student - at knifepoint."
I REALLY Needed Killing!
I find it perversely weird, in what is so obviously an open and shut case of self-defense, could ever have been prosecuted as a murder, and then a knuckle headed judge makes the victim serve six years!
Patrick Bradley most assuredly needed killing.
He really DID! The world is a better place because he's not in it! The sun will shine slightly brighter tomorrow because it's not shining on him.

Maybe England isn't sleeping, but she is instead in a full blown coma?

More at the Daily Mail

The judge's own words: “It's clear you were prepared to be met with violence, or at least the threat of violence, and went armed to meet it."

And so? Your point would be... what... hishonor?


No future in seeking freedom, China warns residents of Hong Kong

A pro-democracy campainger is detained by police Credit Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Beijing has warned pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong that anyone striving for independence or a deviation from socialist values “will not have a political future”.

Li Fei, secretary-general of the body that sits at the top of China’s parliament, issued the warning after Beijing announced that it, and not Hong Kong islanders, would choose the candidates for the 2017 election of chief executive of the former British colony.

Members of the legislative council and protesters heckled, waved anti-Beijing placards and were eventually removed from the hall where Mr Li was speaking. Despite the dissent, he did not shy away from underlining Beijing’s resistance to loosening its grip. Anyone who aspired to “Hong Kong becoming an independent political entity or [to] change the socialist system will not have a political future”, he said.

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Robert Spencer: UK to force returning jihadis to undergo “de-radicalization” program

This absurd idea is based on the British government’s fundamental and unshakable assumption that Islam is a Religion of Peace, and that jihad terrorists are misunderstanding and misinterpreting it. So all that needs to be done is teach them the true, peaceful Islam, and all will be well, right?


Asylum seekers or welfare? Swedish election breaks immigration taboo

A sapling stands in front of blocks of flats in the Taby suburb of Stockholm June 10, 2014.

(Reuters) - A Swedish anti-immigration party is likely to score its best ever general election result this month, as a growing number of voters question the cost of the country’s open door asylum policy.

Opinion polls show that a majority in Sweden, where 16% of the population is foreign-born, still backs the liberal regime which over the decades has welcomed refugees from Chile and Yugoslavia to Somalia and Syria.

An absolute political consensus in support of the policy, however, is no more in a nation divided over record numbers of asylum seekers as Sweden’s cradle-to-grave welfare system comes under strain.

A decade ago questioning the policy of granting refuge to those fleeing oppression and war was almost taboo, even though a sizeable number of Swedes have long believed that it is too lenient. Now high unemployment, declining welfare and worsening standards in schools have helped to put the debate center stage in the election campaign.

In August, center-right Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, facing defeat in the Sept. 14 vote, broke an unwritten rule among mainstream parties of supporting the policy unreservedly. The cost of receiving new asylum seekers, he said, would leave little room for more spending on boosting jobs and improving schools.

“The Prime Minister has confirmed it - the election is a choice between mass immigration and welfare. You choose on Sept. 14,” Jimmie Akesson, leader of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, immediately tweeted after Reinfeldt’s speech.

Opinion polls give the Sweden Democrats around 10% support - almost double their showing four years ago - and they could become the third biggest party in parliament behind the favorites, the center-left Social Democrats, and Reinfeldt’s struggling Moderates...


Netanyahu to UN: Don’t bash Israel, fight Islamists

The United Nations should focus its attention on combating Islamic radicalism instead of “automatic Israel bashing,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting US congressmen on Monday.

“We’re closely following the events on the Golan Heights where al-Nusra [Front] terrorists have kidnapped UN peacekeepers,” Netanyahu told Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), according to a statement released by the Government Press Office.

Al-Nusra Front fighters took control of the Quneitra crossing between Israel and Syria last week and subsequently took Fijian peacekeepers hostage, and attacked Philippine UNDOF soldiers.

The Filipinos, occupying two UN camps, fought the rebels on Saturday. A first group of 35 peacekeepers was then successfully escorted out of one camp by Irish and Filipino forces in armored vehicles.

The remaining 40 peacekeepers were besieged at the second camp by more than 100 gunmen who rammed the camp’s gates with their trucks and fired mortar rounds. The Filipinos returned fire in self-defense, Philippine military officials said.

“What we see is that al-Nusra, Hamas, Hezbollah — backed by Iran, al-Qaeda and these other terrorists groups are basically defying all international norms, breaking them whether in Lebanon, in Syria or in Gaza,” Netanyahu said...


Baghdad’s orchestra offers harmony to city crying out for peace

Rehearsals for the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra

From the first notes of the national anthem, it was clear this performance was about something more than music.

In a city besieged by barbarian hordes, who view musical instruments as blasphemy and concerts as profane, listening to Iraq’s National Symphony Orchestra was an act of dignified defiance.

For more than 850 people, who packed the National Theatre in Baghdad, the sounds of Elgar, Liszt and Stravinsky were a chance to forget the daily drumbeat of car bombs and suicide attacks, which have once again become the city’s unwelcome soundtrack.

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Evening photo: Woods in Scotland

Peter Cairns’ photograph of woodlands in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park won the Wild Woods category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014.

(from Photos of the Day at The Financial Times)


Germany to arm Kurds


via Tammy Bruce


Iran and its sudden defense of the Kurds

Peshmerga fighters fire cannon towards Islamic State positions during heavy clashes in Duz-Khurmatu, Iraq on August 31. (epa/JM Lopez)

Tehran wants to dominate the area to protect its influence in Baghdad

We must not underestimate the significance of the Iranian government’s initiative to provide military help to Iraq’s Kurds who suddenly found themselves confronting the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Before analyzing the Iranian stance and the motives behind it, we must re-narrate what happened after the Iraqi city of Mosul fell into the hands of ISIS and after alarm bells were sounded following news that it appeared that ISIS forces, not the Baathists, defeated the troops of outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Meanwhile, as Baghdad fortified its defenses in preparation for the battle, ISIS surprised everyone by heading north towards the country’s Kurdistan region! The second surprise was the defeat of the Peshmerga forces, known as a traditionally strong militia.

It turned out that years of Kurdish relaxation, particularly following the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime 10 years ago, affected these Peshmerga forces as they are no longer as competent as they used to be. If it hadn’t been for the U.S. military’s quick air force intervention, terrorists may have succeeded in seizing major Kurdish cities...

Iraqi Shi’ite militia fighters celebrate after breaking a long siege of Amerli by Islamic State militants, September 1, 2014.

Related news: Iranians play role in breaking IS siege of Iraqi town: (Reuters) - Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shi’ite militiamen paraded through Amerli on Monday, a day after breaking the two-month siege of the northern town by Sunni Islamist militants.

The scenes in Amerli and the surrounding area of Suleiman Beg offered a window into the teamwork among Kurdish fighters, the Iraqi army and Shi’ite militias and into Iran's role in directly assisting their campaign against Islamic State (IS) forces.

An Iranian adviser to Iraqi police was spotted on the road near Amerli and Kurdish officers spoke of Iranians advising Iraqi fighters on targeting the Islamists...


Why is Modern Art so Bad?

For two millennia, great artists set the standard for beauty. Now those standards are gone. Modern Art is a competition between the ugly and the twisted; the most shocking wins. What happened? How did the beautiful come to be reviled and bad taste come to be celebrated? Renowned artist Robert Florczak explains the history and the mystery behind this change and how it can be stopped and even reversed.

h/t W


With Mexicans Comes Mexican Culture - Like Political Corruption on a Level You Cannot Possibly Imadgine

I know, it's not all just tasty taco recipes and reasonably priced 16-year-old hookers.
Sometimes there is a downside to Mexican immigration.

This time it's serious!
Court Docs: Texas Democrats Accused of Using Cocaine to Buy Votes

Over the course of the investigation, agents met with the two women who told the agents that they had received the cocaine from the campaign manager who is only identified on court records as campaign worker 1 and then gave it to the voters. The women also told the agents that they gave cocaine to voters during the school board election in Donna ISD in addition to cash, beer, cigarettes, and marijuana. 
Political corruption primarily by democrats in South Texas has been exposed by federal agencies, shedding light into other cases of vote buying, contract rigging by school boards, bribery money laundering, and other criminal cases. 
Eight months ago, Donna ISD School board president Alfredo Lugo hanged himself after federal agents arrested another group of "politiqueras" for buying votes using cash, beer and cigarettes and the school board was mentioned.
One of the public figures to be  exposed in recent years is former Hidalgo County Sheriff, Lupe Trevino, who is preparing to serve a 5-year-prison term for taking money from a Mexican drug lord and depositing the cash into his campaign funds. 


A Life Based on ‘Crossing the Street’

Once vibrant and diverse, black culture has devolved into something disturbingly conformist and stunted. Despite criticism from his "brederin," England's Don Letts has always stepped over the artificial racial boundaries drawn around music, film, fashion and taste.


Saudi suspends labor visas for nations worst-hit by Ebola

Women of the group “Peace Mothers” hold placards to raise awareness for the Ebola in central Monrovia on September 1, 2014. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia has stopped granting visas to workers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries worst-hit by the deadly Ebola virus, the labour ministry announced Monday.

The “preventive measure” is based on “directives from the foreign and health ministries to avoid” the spread of Ebola to the kingdom, the official news agency SPA reported.

The virus, for which there is no treatment or vaccine, has claimed 1,552 lives out of 3,069 reported cases -- 694 in Liberia, 430 in Guinea, 422 in Sierra Leon and six in Nigeria, according to latest figures from the World Health Organisation.

Saudi Arabia made a similar decision in April when it announced the suspension of visas for Muslim pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia.

The hajj annual pilgrimage, the world's biggest Muslim gathering, draws two million people to Saudi Arabia each year, including many from the West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. This year it falls in October...


Greenfield: Obama’s Miserable Failure

It was always obvious what Obama’s supporters wanted. They weren’t willing to settle for a Hillary, just another politician who would punch the clock, deliver tepid speeches and push their leftist agenda.

They wanted someone larger than life. A head made for Mount Rushmore and a body that would be cast in statues across the country. Speeches meant to be studied in classrooms for the next hundred years.

They compared him to JFK and Reagan. He was treated as the icon that his backers wanted him to be. His election was supposed to be a watershed moment in American history...


U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq -- I am sure the Islamic State is terrified

Smoke billows from the town of Sulaiman Pek during clashes between Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga troops and Islamic State (IS) militants, August 31, 2014.

(Reuters) - The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on “an unimaginable scale,” with a view to holding perpetrators to account.

"We are facing a terrorist monster," Iraq's human rights minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, told the U.N. Human Rights Council which adopted a resolution tabled by Iraq and France at an emergency sitting of the 47-member state forum in Geneva.

Kurdish peshmerga forces celebrate as they take control of Sulaiman Pek from the Islamist State militants, in the northwest of Tikrit city September 1, 2014.

The Council aims to send 11 investigators, with a total budget of $1.18 million, to report back by March 2015.

Islamic State, which declared a “caliphate” in June in parts of Iraq and Syria under its control, has been cited as a major security threat by Western governments since posting a video in August of the beheading of U.S journalist James Foley.

The Sunni militants have driven more than 1.2 million people from their homes this year, the United Nations says. At least 1,420 people were killed in sectarian violence in Iraq in August alone, U.N. figures showed on Monday.

U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri said there was “strong evidence” Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and allied groups had carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, sexual abuse and torture in Iraq.

“The reports we have received reveal acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale,” she said...

Related: Islamic State poses global threat, Iraqi minister says


Photo of French pupils draws ‘racist’ backlash

The controversial Education Ministry photo. Photo: Sophie Brändström/Education Ministry

The French government has firmly rebuked scores of “racist” comments left on an education ministry Facebook post which shows a back-to-school scene with mostly non-white children. The image has elicited a furious online debate.

It’s a seemingly innocent enough photo: eight healthy, well-dressed and cute kids stand in a row at school in a Facebook posting with information for parents anxious over the start of the new school year.

But the image, which shows a majority of black children and one clearly visible white child sparked a flood of racist comments - as well as an avalanche of anti-racist responses.

The tone of many of the 1,000-plus comments - not including those deleted by the government - became so harsh the Ministry of Education stepped in and denounced the “abusive and racist” character of some threads.

“This page is a place of positive and constructive dialogue about school and is not a political forum,” the ministry said.

Among the mountain of comments that have accumulated in the post since it went up on Thursday were those from Facebook user Mike Plusultra who tapped into the fear that France is being overrun by immigrants.

“I don’t think this photo is very representative of French schools: What the heck is the white kid still doing there? Oh, I just heard he’s from Kosovo. The future of France, the replacement of the population is well underway,” he said...

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Note: as of Monday, Sept 1, 3:30 pm Pacific Time, the Facebook photo was still there with dozens of comments and over 900 “likes.”

More articles on the topic:
Education Ministry deletes racist posts after school photo goes online

French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

(Getting a lot of media attention for something in French).


U.S. forces carry out operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia

(Reuters) - U.S. military forces carried out an operation on Monday against al Shabaab militants in Somalia, a U.S. Department of Defense spokesman said.

"We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

No further details about the operation in the African country were immediately available.


Filipino force defied UN commander's order to surrender in Golan crisis

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine military said Monday that a U.N. peacekeeping commander in the Golan Heights should be investigated for allegedly asking Filipino troops to surrender to Syrian rebels who had attacked and surrounded their camp.

Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he advised the 40 Filipino peacekeepers not to lay down their arms, and they defied the U.N. peacekeeping commander's order. Instead, they staged a daring escape from the Golan camp over the weekend, ending a tense, dayslong standoff.

h/t RM


Homophobia row as BBC cuts Doctor Who lesbian kiss scene with lizard woman to avoid offending Asian audience

Controversy: Madame Vastra (above - played by Neve McIntosh), shared a lesbian kiss with her wife in the episode but it was later cut for Asian audiences

The BBC cut a controversial lesbian kiss scene from Doctor Who to avoid offending audiences when it was screened in Asia.

Ten million British viewers have now seen the erotically charged encounter between lizard woman Madame Vastra and her human wife Jenny Flint since it was first shown on BBC1 last Saturday.

But Corporation chiefs insisted on cutting the scene from the episode, called Deep Breath, when it was broadcast across Asia the next day...

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I presume this another of case of “Asian” being a euphemism for “Muslim,” not that I personally would care much for the scene myself.


A fleet of fancy with sails aflutter: Magnificent historical vessels set off along south coast for London in annual Tall Ships Regatta

Story and more photos at the Daily Mail.


Nigeria records another Ebola case in oil city, 16 cases in total

A female Immigration officer wearing a facemask and gloves checks a passenger's passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, August 11, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

(Reuters) - Nigeria has a third confirmed case of Ebola disease in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, bringing the country’s total confirmed infections to 16, with around 200 people under surveillance, the health minister said on Monday.

A doctor in Port Harcourt died last week after treating a contact of the Liberian-American man who was the first recorded case of the virus in Africa’s most populous country. That raised alarm that Ebola, which looked on the verge of being contained in the commercial capital, Lagos, may flare up again elsewhere.

Patrick Sawyer, the first case, came in from Liberia, then collapsed at Lagos airport on July 20.

The shift to Port Harcourt shows how easily containment efforts can be undermined. Nigeria's government acted quickly at the end of July, setting up an isolation ward and monitoring contacts closely. But one of Sawyer’s contacts in Lagos avoided quarantine and traveled east to Port Harcourt...


Thousands rally in London against rising anti-Semitism

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis addresses London's anti- anti-Semitism rally Sunday, August 31, 2014.

UK Jewish community pulls together to say religious discrimination is not only a Jewish problem, but a British problem

LONDON – A year after his gala installation as British chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis told a crowd of up to 4,500 that he could not have foreseen needing to rally against anti-Semitism.

In response to the rise of recorded instances of anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom, Sunday’s rally was held outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

“We demand zero tolerance of anti-Semitism,” Mirvis said. After the murder of the three yeshiva students in the West Bank, “little did we realize that anti-Semitism would reach high levels around the world and here in the UK as well”...

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They are also calling for an end to Islamophobia, but the only mentioned Islamic organization in attendance is the Quilliam Foundation.

The photos (at least those in the Times of Israel) show no Muslims at all.  I rather suspect the turnout of Muslims was not large.


Putin Goes Postal

Uncharacteristically, Putin has now made not one but three fatal errors.

First, in an epic miscalculation, he waited much too long to send in his forces. He gave Poroshenko the chance to demonstrate to the world that the pro-Russian rebels could not win on the battlefield without Russian assistance. Had Putin intervened earlier, he could have claimed that the rebels would have won anyway and he was just hastening the result to save lives. Now, he cannot escape the world’s condemnation as an invader and occupier.

Second, Putin has grossly misread the sentiment on the ground in Eastern Ukraine. As the brilliant Russian journalist Anna Nemtsova reported:

“All we really care about is that nobody bombs our homes, our schools and kindergartens,” Lyudmila Zakharenko told The Daily Beast on the central square of Sloviansk, which was once the center of pro-Russian rebel resistance. Most residents there switched their opinion from pro-Russian to pro-Ukrainian once the rebel forces were pushed out of town.

In other words, if Putin does take Eastern Ukraine he’ll face a situation far worse that what he saw in Chechnya at the start of his presidency: the domestic population will not support him, and rather than a ragtag group of terrorists Putin will face a determined nation army with widespread international support. What’s more, he’ll be fighting close to the borders of several NATO member states who will be outraged. Meanwhile, Russians will become more and more alienated from him, just as they did during the worst moments of the war in Chechnya.

And finally, Putin has badly misread his own people. As hundreds of Russian soldiers have started disappearing in Ukraine and numerous secret funerals have been staged in Russia, a backlash against Putin’s cowardly, secret war is starting to emerge. The families who have lost their sons are not remaining conveniently quiet, but rather are speaking out and demanding answers.


Key corruption probe targeting President Erdoğan’s son dismissed

Former Prime Minister and now President Erdoğan

The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office has ruled that there are no legal grounds for the prosecution of 96 suspects, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan, who were accused by prosecutors of bribery and corruption in the Dec. 25 investigation.

“By naming the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey as the leader of an [illegal] organization and labeling him ‘then-prime minister’ in the summary of proceedings, those who prepared the investigation showed that they attempted to remove the government by force or prevent it from doing its duties completely or partly, under the disguise of a legal probe,” prosecutors İsmail Uçar, İrfan Fidan and Fuzuli Aydoğan said in the non-prosecution verdict on Sept. 1...

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Well, that’s convenient for the new president! I am sure it all completely legitimate, of course.


Libyan government says it has lost control of most Tripoli ministries

(Reuters) - Libya’s government said it has lost control of most ministries and state institutions located in Tripoli after rival armed groups took over the capital.

Last month, senior officials and the elected parliament moved to the remote eastern city of Tobruk as an alliance of armed factions led by forces from the western city of Misrata took control of Tripoli, having expelled a rival group.

Libya is descending into anarchy as former rebels who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 have turned their guns on each other as they seek to set the country’s political agenda and control its vast oil reserves.

“We announce that most ministries, institutions and state bodies in the capital Tripoli are out of our control,” the government said in a statement late on Sunday. Armed groups had prevented staff from entering some government buildings, it added.

All ministries, the state-oil National Oil Corp (NOC) and central bank are located in the capital.

The persistent violence has not affected oil production but traders have said ownership of the oil might be subject to legal challenges if the Misrata forces take control of the central bank, where crude revenues are booked.

The new forces controlling Tripoli, some with Islamist leanings, have refused to recognize the Tobruk House of Representatives, which has a strong liberal and federalist presence...


In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist

From the Dept. of Insane and Dangerous Overreactions to Fictional Threats:

A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle school has been placed on leave and—in the words of a local news report—"taken in for an emergency medical evaluation" for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace's Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, according to news reports from Maryland's Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future.

h/t LRC


Tweet of the day


Marking the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II

German President Joachim Gauck is to join his Polish counterpart, Bronislaw Komorowski, on the Westerplatte peninsula in Gdansk on Monday, for the main ceremony to mark the beginning of World War II.

The two heads of state are to place candles at the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in the battle that marked the outbreak of the war, before laying a wreath at the memorial to the defenders of the Polish coast at Westerplatte.

In keeping with the spirit of friendship between the two former foes, Gauck and Koromoski are also to take part in discussion session with a group of students.

Fighting breaks out

The fighting began in the early hours of September 1, 1939, when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein fired on the Polish fort of Westerplatte. The first battle of the Second World War quickly ensued.

The attack on Poland by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime led Britain and France to declare war on Germany two days later...


Islam did this

‘I don’t feel guilty’: Single surviving Beslan terrorist unrepentant 10 years after tragedy

'You made deal with Devil': Letters to Beslan terrorist


Media Diversionary Tactics in Ferguson and Gaza

We hear a lot from the media about Israel’s disproportionate response to attacks from Hamas, but it may be time to focus on the media’s own disproportionate response to certain events.
The media’s current focus on the shooting of a black teenager by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri seems also designed to divert attention away from the big picture.

The story provides an opportunity to shift the spotlight away from a number of other stories that reflect badly on the current administration—the failure of Obama’s Iraq policy, the inability to control the southern border, the IRS scandal, the President’s serial vacations, and the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

One might justifiably conclude that much of the media attention to Ferguson is fueled by ulterior motives...


Saskatchewan contractor laid off Canadians, retained TFWs

A large electrical contractor in Saskatchewan is being investigated by the federal government over allegations it laid off dozens of Canadian electricians while keeping temporary foreign workers on the job.

Natalie Cranston was one of about 800 electricians working for Alliance Energy on the expansion of the Agrium potash mine in Vanscoy near Saskatoon.

The young woman is one of 58 Canadian workers who were laid off in May.

"It wasn’t a happy day," she told CBC’s iTeam.

She’s upset that she was forced to go job hunting while 30-40 TFW electricians were still employed.


"Once, there was a boy on the bus and everyone had sex with him"

The bus driver who has raped 12 little boys (and doesn't think he's done anything wrong: Why thousands of Pakistani children are falling prey to paedophiles

'I'm going to look for a good wife who's read the Quran and prays,' he says. 'A good, respectable woman. Religion is very important because I'm Muslim.'

That, however, hasn't stopped him from attacking boys. 'What can we do?,' he whines. 'We know it's totally against Islam. God doesn't like it. But we're helpless against our desire.'

Last I checked Pakistan was No. 3 as a source nation for immigrants. Thanks Mr. Government.


Pakistan PM: I will neither resign, nor go on leave

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with parliamentary leaders on Moday, September 1, 2014. Check out the garden gnome with the huge white beard and orange turban.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif re-affirmed on Monday that he would neither resign, nor go on leave with pressure mounting as anti-government protests in the capital extended into their 18th day.

Addressing a meeting of parliamentary leaders of all the political parties in the National assembly at the PM House on Monday, the premier assured that he will not let any one set a precedent in the country where a few people hijacked the mandate of millions.

“We have rule of Constitution here and we will no allow any one to abrogate it,” said Nawaz...


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