Palestine Airlines back to skies with statehood goal

Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood... What we now call Al Qaeda is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. How did the World Trade Center fall?
Palestine Airlines back to skies with statehood goal.(HD)(Other).Palestinian Airlines is back in the skies after being grounded for seven years by deepening enmities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Regional director of the airline said this is part of the independent state. On May 9, Palestinian Airlines, grounded since 2005, resumed operations, starting with biweekly flights between El-Arish and Marka Airbase in the Jordanian capital of Amman. The new route means residents of Gaza no longer have to travel to Cairo, some 350 kilometers away, to board flights. El-Arish is an Egyptian coastal resort in northern Sinai, about 60 kilometers from Gaza. “We have started with flights from Amman to El-Arish and from El-Arish to Amman,” Palestinian Airlines Director-General Zeyad Albad told Agence France-Presse. “We are going to have flights from El-Arish to Jeddah [Saudi Arabia] soon, and we are trying to set up some new routes to Turkey and the [United Arab] Emirates.The airline hopes it will eventually turn a profit, but for now national pride and making life easier for the Gazans are more important, said regional director Azmi Samaan. “We want the Palestinian flag to continue flying,” he said in an interview at Marka Airbase, according to the Associated Press. “This is part of the independent state, to have an airline, no matter what it will cost us.” The carrier is a tiny operation, with just two 48-seat turboprop planes, two weekly flights and a borrowed hub in Egypt. The 15-year-old airline’s fortunes have been closely tied to the quest for a Palestinian state.But the airline was forced to suspend operations from Gaza after Israel imposed restrictions on the airport and then rendered it unusable by tearing up its runways and bombing it in 2001.Hmmmmm....Thanks to US taxpayer money from Obama?Read the full story here.

The New York Times and Janet Robinson’s $24 Million Exit Package

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Media companies will Cannibalize themselves like Palestinians.
( York Magazine has a lengthy, fascinating – yes, even tantalizing, if, like me, you follow the business side of media and were once a NYT Co shareholder – article in the current issue on the inside process by which Janet Robinson, the ex-NYT Co CEO, was forced out in December 2011. Fired, however, with a goodbye kiss of almost $24 million, which, according to the article, was “nearly half the company’s profits in 2011.” Writer Joe Hagen says he interviewed more than 30 people “intimately familiar with different aspects” of the Times’ business, none of whom would talk for attribution – not surprising, but then leaving the reader in the position of essentially having to take the reporter on trust.
It’s a heck of a good read, and I suspect pretty much true overall, whatever quibbles other insiders might have over the details. Particularly so in its insider accounts of conflicts between the family members for whom the Times is a career, the family members for whom it is a trust fund, and the public shareholders (who, in keeping with the traditional but still peculiar newspaper ownership structure in America, have non-voting or reduced voting shares compared to the controlling family – the traditional structure at the NYT, the old LAT, the old WSJ, etc., though much altered now). As the article delicately describes the trust-fund family members, most of them “have admirable if low-wage jobs as academics, novelists, musicians, and psychotherapists, but the money [from NYT Co dividends] also funded second homes and hobbies such as underwater exploration.” Which is to say, without the dividends amounting to a trust fund, the extended family looks much like the lower tier of the New Class, which is suffering these days, and not the upper tier, which is doing fine, thanks very much.
Overall, however, the business prospects of the NYT Co. look to rest on whether it can make its digital paywall approach stick or not. I think that’s unclear, but I have divided views. On the one hand, I doubt the quality of reporting and product can be maintained without a digital subscription stream, otherwise it just dissolves into online media outlets cribbing each other for fewer and fewer tidbits of hard information with more and more cheap opinion enveloping it (if one thinks this describes the Times now, imagine a Times reporting the news from Syria as though it were Yahoo’s Your Tango – whatever one’s objections to the Times’ narrations, and I have many, things could be much, much worse). On the other hand, I’m not sure people are willing to pay for it online; I’m not sure there is a mass audience that, if put to the choice, actually cares that much – it would be convenient to say, that’s because they object to the Times’ content, but I doubt it’s that, I think people just don’t care about paying for news, period. The article notes that part of the internal shuffle involved a battle in which the former web development head, Martin Nisenholtz, fought for a free-digital model, and lost out to Robinson. She then lost out to elements of the family and to Sulzberger’s new girlfriend. Against the big picture of newspaper companies, the insider fight looks like this:
In the era of Arthur Sulzberger Jr., when newspapers have flailed under new digital realities, the New York Times Company has shrunk dramatically. Once it was a wide-ranging media empire of newspapers and TV stations and websites, and even a baseball team, that was worth almost $7 billion; today it’s essentially two struggling newspapers and a much-­reduced web company, all worth less than $1 billion (for comparison, consider that the Internet music company Pandora is valued at almost $2 billion) … Over time, there was less and less for Robinson, and [family insider executive] Michael Golden, to manage. It was inevitable, say veteran Times executives, current and former, that the two would come into conflict as their respective portfolios disappeared and the struggle for influence over the tinier island of the New York Times came to a head.
bullshit. people paid for content on paper. they will pay for it online if it's worthy of their money. don't give the Times any credit. My family would gladly want a subscription if their news could be trusted. There simply are too many other sources... and I trust a multitude of sources more then I trust one.... and... I believe I just stumbled on how profits will come. Do you remember those Columbia records you could get in the mail? People would pay for subscriptions if the media were bundled together. Or say like cable TV.... no one would of paid for just CNN... but bundle CNN's biased reporting with a subscription to 100 other channels and there's the business model. Something for everyone... even if you don't like the media brown shirts.... and... oh shit... I really don't want to help these narrow minded short sighted people.

Google deliberately stole information but executives 'covered it up' for years

Google, pictured street-mapping in Bristol, has always claimed that it didn't know its software would collect the private information

( Google, pictured street-mapping in Bristol, has always claimed that it didn't know its software would collect the private information
Google is facing an inquiry into claims that it deliberately harvested information from millions of UK home computers.
The Information Commissioner data protection watchdog is expected to examine the work of the internet giant’s Street View cars.
They downloaded emails, text messages, photographs and documents from wi-fi networks as they photographed virtually every British road.
It is two years since Google first admitted stealing fragments of personal data, but claimed it was a ‘mistake’.
Now the full scale of its activities has emerged amid accusations of a cover-up after US regulators found a senior manager was warned as early as 2007 that the information was being captured as its cars trawled the country but did nothing.
Around one in four home networks in the UK is thought to be unsecured – lacking password protection – allowing personal data to be collected. Technology websites and bloggers have suggested that Google harvested the information simply because it was able to do so and would later work out a way to use it to make money.
The slow reaction of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to deal with the data theft is in direct contrast to the vigorous efforts of watchdogs in Germany, France and even the Czech Republic.
The fact that the Government was at the same time courting executives at Google opens up uncomfortable questions about its relationship with the company.
Last month a report by the US media regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revealed that the Google programmer who wrote the Street View software repeatedly warned that it collected personal data, and called for a legal and privacy review.
Yesterday he was named as Marius Milner, 41, a British software engineer from Hove, East Sussex, who now lives in California. He has pleaded the fifth amendment against self-incrimination and refused to answer investigators’ questions.
how data was stolen.jpg


OCTOBER 2006: Computer engineer Marius Milner devises software for Google Street View vans which captures private information from personal computers. He warns there are privacy implications and the company should consult lawyers.
MAY 2007: Google Street View launched in the US.

2008: Milner again warns two colleagues – including a senior manager – that personal data is being collected.

MARCH 2009: Street View launches in the UK.

EARLY 2010: UK data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner (ICO) launches inquiry into Street View.

APRIL 27 2010: Google denies collecting information, only to admit a few days later: ‘We have been mistakenly collecting samples of data from open Wi-Fi networks ... Quite simply, it was a mistake’.

OCTOBER 22 2010: Google admits: ‘In some instances entire emails were captured ... as well as passwords.’

NOVEMBER 2010: ICO secures formal undertaking that Google will improve data protection compliance but concludes any collection of personal data was ‘inadvertent’.

JANUARY to SEPT 2011: Google refuses four times to co-operate with US Federal Communications Commission, before finally giving some key information such as names of employees who created Street View software.

APRIL 16 2012: Google fined £15,000 by FCC after it found the company ‘wilfully and repeatedly’ failed to help with its investigation.

APRIL 30 2012: FCC report finds that rather than being ‘a mistake’ Google’s software was ‘intended’ to harvest information from networks.

MAY 27 2012: ICO indicates inquiry into Street View’s harvested data.
Yesterday at the family home, his stepmother said: ‘He has always had a love of computers, even from an early age I think. He is a brilliant mind.
'He got a degree from Trinity College, Cambridge. My husband is an elderly man. He is nearly 90 and he is rather distressed by this. We really don’t want to say any more.’
The report by the FCC attacked Google for inadequate oversight of Street View, and claimed it was planning to use the data collected for other internal projects.
A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office said it would examine what Google knew at the time and whether it breached the Data Protection Act.
But critics said the ICO was doing ‘too little, too late’, and pointed to its earlier report into Street View which concluded that any collection of personal data was ‘inadvertent’.
As Britain’s privacy watchdog was accused of being lily-livered in its handling of Google, regulators in the US and continental Europe confronted it head on.
In Germany Google was forced to stop filming for Street View owing to privacy concerns by Hamburg prosecutors, who opened a criminal investigation.
In France Google was fined £87,000 by the privacy regulator CNIL, the largest it had ever handed out.
In the Czech Republic Street View was banned in September 2010 after negotiations between Google and the authorities over privacy concerns failed.
A Tory MP said he would raise the issue of Google’s information gathering when Parliament reconvenes.
Robert Halfon said: ‘The FCC report seems to indicate that there is far more to it than an innocent mistake. Clearly what happened is unacceptable.
'Google created the privatised surveillance society by hoovering up our emails and wifi data. Google has some serious questions to answer.’
Concern about links between the internet giant and the Government have emerged in recent weeks, with the Daily Mail revealing that Tory ministers have met Google executives an average of once every month since the General Election.
Google Street View swivels around Parliament Square looking towards Big Ben. The bank of personal data collected could have been used by Google to develop new products
Google Street View swivels around Parliament Square looking towards Big Ben. The bank of personal data collected could have been used by Google to develop new products
Earlier this month Google was fined £15,000 by the FCC after it found the company ¿wilfully and repeatedly¿ violated orders to hand over information it requested while investigating Street View.
Earlier this month Google was fined £15,000 by the FCC after it found the company 'wilfully and repeatedly' violated orders to hand over information it requested while investigating Street View
This week Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will face the Leveson Inquiry to face questions about his links to another multi-national company, News International.
His special adviser Adam Smith was forced to quit after text messages were published by the inquiry showing his closeness to a News International lobbyist. Mr Hunt has also faced repeated calls to quit.
Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch said: ‘It appears Google deliberately and without remorse spied on people’s wi-fi networks and has now been caught trying to cover it up.
'The continued thirst of big-data companies for personal information is a serious threat to privacy and all too often consumers find themselves without redress when their rights are compromised.’
Cameron and Hunt attend Google executive's wedding
Cameron and Hunt attend Google executive's wedding
Guests of the Google bride: Close links between Google and the Conservative Party were on display this weekend at the society wedding of senior Google executive Naomi Gummer. Miss Gummer, a former political secretary to Jeremy Hunt, married Henry Allsopp, 38, in an Oxfordshire ceremony attended by Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, as well as the embattled Culture Secretary, who came with his wife and their two young children
Big day: Bride Naomi Gummer, 27, with her husband Henry Allsopp, who married in Chadlington, Oxfordshire this weekend
Big day: Bride Naomi Gummer, 27, with her husband Henry Allsopp, who married in Chadlington, Oxfordshire this weekend
A spokesman for the Information Commissioner said: ‘We are currently studying the FCC report to consider what further action, if any, needs to be taken.
Google provided our office with a formal undertaking in November 2010 about their future conduct, following their failure in relation to the collection of wi-fi data by their Street View cars.
‘This included a provision for the ICO to audit Google’s privacy practices. The audit was published in August 2011 and we will be following up on it later this year, to ensure our recommendations have been put in place.’
Google spokesman Anthony House said: ‘We have always been clear that the leaders of this project did not want or intend to use this payload data. Indeed Google never used it in any of our products or services.
‘Both the Department of Justice and the FCC have looked into this closely – including reviewing the internal correspondence – and both found no violation of law.’
yeah... but try to download a movie illegally and these guys get pissed

'Our friends the Saudis' ban use of English language and Gregorian calendar

(Carl)The Saudi government has banned the use of the Gregorian calendar in all official state and business dealings, according to a report in the local daily al-Watan. The Saudis have also banned government and private agencies and businesses from using the English language to answer phone calls or to communicate in general.
According to the report, all ministries and agencies must use only the Islamic calendar and the Arabic language.
Al Watan said the Saudi Interior Ministry believes that some ministries and agencies could “sometimes” use the Gregorian calendar when, for example, coordinating flight schedules with foreign airlines, but only on the condition that it is associated with the corresponding Hijri (Islamic) date.
Here is a useful calendar conversion chart for those of you planning to visit Saudi Arabia soon.(MORE)
I actually don't have a problem with this if it were not for the fact that the Arabs project this behavior on the Jews in Israel. The Jews should be able to demand Hebrew, but guess what... they don't

Turks claim Israel offered $6 million to settle Mavi Marmara

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This doesn't prove anything. We already knew Israel was trying to do anything to show regret without accepting accountability for murder. I thought it was stupid then... and obviously now we all see why. Israel didn't do anything wrong then, but was very worried about losing it's only Muslim so called ally. It was an act of desperation... and now we see how stupid the move was.
(Carl) A Turkish lawyer claims that Israel offered $6 million last month to settle claims related to the Mavi Marmara takeover in May 2010, and that Turkey declined the offer.
Ramazan Ariturk, one of several lawyers representing 465 victims and victims' relatives, said that the Israeli government had made a proposal to him through an intermediary foreign ambassador in Ankara just over one month ago.
He said the money would have been paid to a Jewish foundation in Turkey for distribution, and been followed by a statement of "regret" for the raid by the Israeli government.
"I told the ambassador I did not think the offer was appropriate or moral and also discussed the issue with the victims and their friends and they also stated that they could not accept this," Ariturk said.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry agreed with his decision, saying Israel should have contacted it directly, he said.
Ariturk declined to disclose the nationality of the ambassador or reveal the name of the Jewish foundation to which the payment would have been made.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry could not be reached for immediate comment, while Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declined to comment.
(Carl) While Regev would not comment, another Israeli government spokesman did:
However, a senior Israeli official who declined to be named said that Israel, having indicated last year that it was prepared to indemnify victims without accepting blame, had not renewed its offer.
(Carl) That report came just a day after a report that Turkey has indicted four senior Israeli commanders in the Mavi Marmara case, including former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and is seeking ten life sentences against each of them.
The probability of Turkey getting a hold of any of those four commanders is somewhere between slim and none.'d being a pussy work out for Israel

If Only the Left Would Abandon Israel

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(Ted Belman) Shaul Magid, professor of Jewish Studies at Indiana U, asks, "What if the Left Abandonned Israel?" and suggests that Israel would go to hell in a handbasket.  "Be careful what you wish for," he warns.
For him, the left are "basically liberal-minded and believers in civil rights and the rights of the oppressed -- at least in the abstract."  He suggests that the "messianics and revisionists" of the right, on the other hand, aren't.  Everyone believes in civil rights in the abstract.  It's when you deal with reality other considerations and values come into place.

I also believe in the "rights of the oppressed," but I differ with the left in that I see the Jews in Israel as the oppressed ones, not the Palestinians (at least, the Palestinians are not oppressed by the Jews).
We Israelis are oppressed by everyone, including the U.N., the State Department, the EU, and the Muslims, including the Palestinians.  We are oppressed by 60,000-plus rockets aimed at us by our immediate neighbors and by threats of annihilation.  And for what?  It's either because we exist, which the left and the Arabs think is a crime, or because we are "occupiers," which much of the world finds unconscionable.  They forget that UNSC Res. 242 authorized Israel to remain in occupation until she had recognized and secure borders.  They argue that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies, even though Israel is not occupying the land of another signatory to the treaty as provided therein.
But even if the Fourth Geneva Convention does apply, Israel's primarily obligation is to treat the people occupied humanely.  In this regard, 95% of the Palestinians are totally governed by the Palestinian Authority.  Nowhere in the treaty does it say that the occupier must end the occupation.  In any event, the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is fully set out in the Oslo Accords or 1995.  There is no suggestion in it that Israel must end the occupation without a negotiated agreement.  So spare me the crocodile tears about the "occupation."
The condemnation of Israel is based on the belief that the disputed territories are Palestinian.  How so?  They have never exercised sovereignty over said lands
The Arabs rejected the Partition Plan in 1948 that would have led to their sovereignty and invaded Israel instead.  For the next nineteen years the West Bank was under Jordanian control, and no one ever called for a Palestinian state.  In 1967, the Arabs were utterly defeated in a war they began.  As a result, the UNSC passed Res. 242, which does not require Israel to withdraw from all the territories. At the Khartoum Conference, the Arabs rejected Res. 242 and agreed on the three nos: no recognition, no negotiations, and no peace.  Arafat accepted Res. 242 because such acceptance was a precondition to entering the Oslo Accords, but he never agreed to its terms.  And now they reject negotiations.
Israel, on the other hand, can claim sovereignty over these lands, pursuant to the San Remo Resolution of 1919 and the Palestine Mandate of 1922 which granted the Jews  the right to reconstitute their homeland in Palestine and the right to close settlement of the land.  She can also claim sovereignty over these lands by virtue of a continuous presence in the land for 3,000 years, by virtue of 1,000 years of sovereignty, by virtue of acquiring the land in a defensive war, or by insisting that only the Jordan River would constitute secure borders.
Magid quotes Zachary Braiterman with approval:

I used to think that American Jews had the right and obligation to stake ideological claims in Israeli politics. I was wrong. I don't have anything to say. Legalize outposts? Go ahead. Beat the hell out of Hamas or Hezbullah? I won't object. Hit the Iranians? I hope you all know what you're doing, because the mess is yours if you make it, and there is not a lot that the American Jewish community will be (able) to do if things go south. Desecrate mosques, uproot olive trees, beat up a Danish demonstrator, pass racist legislation, muzzle criticism, harass people at the airport?
Each one of these complaints shows a profound ignorance of the law or the context. Each one can be rebutted to the satisfaction of a fair minded person.
Historically, the Zionism of Braiterman was the norm. Even given the less-than-charitable things Ben-Gurion had to say about the Arabs and the ways in which Israel treated its Arab population during times of conflict, the Zionist mainstream was committed to a humanistic and liberal ethos, even as it failed in significant ways.
This is true, but why did it fail?  Because the Arabs would have none of it.  And that's the point: why it is no longer the norm.  The Jewish left prefer to ignore the reality.  The Arabs are dedicated to destroying the Jewish state, in phases if necessary.  The charters of both Hamas and Fatah say so.  Sharia says so.  The incessant preaching of hatred says so.  The support for terrorism says so.  The unwillingness to compromise their maximalist demands says so.  Yet the left blame Israel for the lack of peace.

Megid complains:
The unspoken merger of the messianic and neo-revisionist right, coupled with the politicization of the haredi has given rise to an increasingly uncompromising ethnocentrism and, arguably, a redefined Zionism.
True enough.  But by characterizing the new Zionism as "ethnocentric," Megid is opening up a can of worms.  He is embracing the canard that Zionism is racism.  He is arguing against the Jewish particular in favor of universalism or multiculturalism.  Those values might be appropriate for America, though I prefer the melting pot to multiculturalism.  In fact, so do most Americans and Europeans.  Multiculturalism has proven a failure, and its bitter fruits have yet to be realized in full.
Megid regrets that Israel was not able to "attain a balance necessary for its rightful place as a society among the nations of the free world."  But why must Israel be like everyone else?  Why can't it remain a pumpernickel in a store of white bread?  Besides, Israel is in the Middle East, which is not part of the free world.  The Arabs are barring Jews and Christians from Arab countries.  In Egypt and Nigeria and elsewhere, they are killing Christians and burning churches.  No multiculturalism for them.  No universalism for them, except when Islam dominates the world.
While the Jewish left embraces the Muslim Brotherhood at home and abroad -- and, I believe to America's detriment -- Israel prefers to keep her distance from the forces which are bent on destroying her.  In order to defend herself, she must embrace her ethnicity, not eschew it.
I accept that many Jews who embraced the Zionism of their youth "understand quite well and are deeply informed -- not only about the political realities but about the underlying history of the conflict."  But so are the Jews who embrace the new Zionism.  The difference being that the former want Israel to be a state of all its citizens rather than a Jewish state.
The latter apparently is too Jewish for them.
In the end, it's not about old and new Zionism, but rather about survival.  The left wants Israel to give in to the demands of the Arabs and the international community in order to survive, though history does not support this belief.  The right believes that doing so would lead to Israel's destruction.  The right prefers peace through strength.

Anyone left in the left who isn't dealing with these issues is in denial.

Obama -Funded Palestinian Authority To Announce Formation of Unity Government With Terrorist organisation Hamas.

Obama -Funded Palestinian Authority To Announce Formation of Unity Government With Terrorist organisation Hamas.(TOI)(other).Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to announce the formation of a new Palestinian unity government, Israel Radio reported on Saturday. The two will commence consultations for establishing a joint government on Sunday, and within ten days they will announce its foundation. Hamas leader Osama Hamdan said Fatah and Hamas representatives will meet in Cairo this week to discuss the composition of the government and the date Mashaal and Abu Mazen will meet. In an interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper, Mashaal said that the events in Syria have affected relations between Iran and Hamas and Hezbollah but did not specify how. He confirmed that the Hamas leadership left Damascus and is now dispersed between several countries. Mashaal called on the US earlier on Saturday to stop hindering reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.Hmmmm....Will Obama keep ignoring the will of Congress and keep funding terrorists with Taxpayer money?Read the full story here ....Also ...(other) news.... Obama has just unified himself with Hillary Clinton's testicles which said in pubic hair to kill the Jews behind the Tree of the Jews.

Libel Laws Force JC To Lie

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(Hurry Up Harry) Here’s an apology in today’s JC:
On May 13 2011, we published an article entitled “Pears funded charity which hosted jihadist” which related to the Pears Foundation, a charity called Forward Thinking, and an individual called Tafazal Mohammed.
We have since accepted that Mr Mohammed is not a jihadist and have apologised to him, the Pears Foundation and Forward Thinking for this error. It follows that there was no basis for linking Forward Thinking’s director, Mr McTernan, to any jihadist. We apologise to Mr McTernan for the distress caused.
This is a lie.
The entire purpose of Forward Thinking is to advance the cause of jihadist groups from the Middle East. Have a look through our archives, and you’ll see.  In particular, these three items.
Forward Thinking is run by Oliver McTernan – an ex-Catholic priest whose interests include having sex with women and helping jihadist groups which want to kill Jews.
I was told an interesting story by a prominent pro-peace individual who had spoken on platforms with Forward Thinking. He stopped when it became clear to him that this was not simply an organisation which supported peace talks with Hamas. It actually supported Hamas, itself.
The problem with British libel laws is that it allows public figures and those engaged in high level political campaigning – like Oliver McTernan – to force small poor, small circulation newspapers to withdraw allegations which are transparently and demonstrably true.
Because if you sue – particularly on a “no win no fee basis” – it will almost always be cheaper to settle than to fight to trial: even if you win.
Claimants know this. They therefore routinely fire off letters before action, with the sole intention of preventing critical coverage of their activities. The worse you behave, the greater the opportunity to cry “libel” when your conduct is reported.
This is “Lawfare”: the use of litigation by supporters of extreme and vicious politics to advance their disgraceful cause.
ah... but obviously they can't do the same for a not for profit blogger. I guess Harry got 'em

Jon Stewart In 2000 Interview: “I Would Say I’m More Of A Socialist”

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Do you think he would want to increase the freedoms for people around him? Think about it

Obama wants Israel to have illegal immigrants from Hezbullah just like the US has

(Carl) wondes what they'll think of this in Arizona or Texas. The US State Department has slammed Israel for its treatment of asylum seekers.
The report, entitled 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, stated that though the government has ceased the practice of immediately returning African asylum seekers arriving via Egypt, it "continued to deny many asylum seekers individual refugee status determinations, which impacted their ability to work or receive basic social services, including health care."
The reports says that Israeli law allows most asylum seekers access to temporary asylum, however, refers to complaints regarding accessibility to the system and reports of discrimination.
Citing United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data, the report says that out of 4,603 new asylum applications submitted during 2011, the government rejected 3,692, approved one and, 6,412 remained pending.
The US also viewed negatively government officials' use of the term "infiltrators" to refer to asylum seekers, as well as officials who directly associations asylum seekers with the rise in crime, disease and terrorism. Interior Minister Eli Yishai was specifically flagged as an instigator.
Meanwhile, as the report was released, Yishai reiterated his views, telling channel 10 that "all infiltrators must be imprisoned, with no exceptions," and that the state must transmit a message to them all, that Israel does not accept them.
Just think: The United States Obama administration wants Israel to be just like the United States, and have Hezbullah agents infiltrating as 'refugees' from Africa, just like the US has Hezbullah agents infiltrating from Mexico.
If you think that last statement is an exaggeration, consider this from YNet.
The report says that while Israel's laws "provide for the granting of temporary asylum and the government has established a system for providing temporary protection for most asylum seekers, there were complaints about the system’s accessibility and reports of discrimination."
The current laws, the report added, "Allow the Ministry of Interior to reject applications without appeal even at the registration stage, and exclude 'enemy nationals' from receiving asylum. The regulations fail to establish an independent appeal process."
You got that? The mean, bad Israelis exclude 'enemy nationals' (like 'Palestinians,' Syrians and Iranians) from receiving asylum. Oh the horror! /sarc
And look what everyone else gets:
While "recognized refugees receive social services, including access to the national healthcare system," the report noted that the government does not provide asylum seekers with public social benefits such as health insurance.
The report does, however, mention that in 2011 Israel granted temporary protection to refugees, primarily to Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers, and at times to asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, and Somalia.
They get access to the national healthcare system. Hello - we have socialized medicine here. So what does it mean to say that we don't provide them with health insurance? Many Israelis have no healthcare beyond the national healthcare system. Why isn't the State Department worried about them?
Sorry but this report is ridiculous. There's no reason Israel has to provide benefits that are going to encourage more people to come here illegally. Every country has the right to protect its own borders. And thank God our leadership does not include Obama.
If Israel... and the United States just let everyone in... then there would be no incentive to come at all... because it would be a huge ghetto hell. It's disgusting to cry bigotry at people that everyone says they hate... but we all know they are just jealous because the Jews take care of their own... which is something everyone else doesn't. You don't help people by reinforcing their poor values within your own borders.

Elizabeth Warren Listed as 'Woman of Color' by Harvard Journal in 1993

(Breitbart News) has uncovered exclusive new evidence that in the spring of 1993, three years before Harvard Law School first publicly stated she was “a woman of color,” Elizabeth Warren likely made that claim while teaching at Harvard, and at approximately the same time the faculty was considering her for a tenured position. Warren, now running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, told Politico as recently as May 15 that she had “no idea” why a Harvard Law School spokesman called her a “woman of color” in a 1996 Harvard Crimson article and a 1997 Fordam Law Review article. However, a 1993 issue of the Harvard Women’s Law Journal suggests that she knew very well indeed.(MORE)
Fauxcahontas How!

Rape Conviction Overturned When Supposed Victim Recanted — What About the Civil Damages Award?

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John David Galt(Comment):
When an innocent accused person finds it in his best interest to plead guilty (or no contest), any person or system that regards that plea as "voluntary" is sick.
This is why we need a blanket ban on plea bargaining. Every defendant who is bullied into giving up his day in court has been cheated by the system, whether he did the crime or not.
(....why yes they do!) 
(You see how the feminists have been controlling the issue?)
The Los Angeles Times reports:
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has reversed the 2002 rape and kidnapping conviction of former Long Beach Poly football standout Brian Banks.
Banks, now 26, was wrongly convicted of the charges based on the testimony of Wanetta Gibson, an acquaintance.
Gibson testified that Banks raped her on the Poly campus. Banks said the encounter was consensual.
Rather than face a prison term of from 41 years to life, Banks accepted a plea deal that [led to his spending 5 years in prison].
Gibson sued the Long Beach Unified School District, claiming the Poly campus was not a safe environment, and won a $1.5-million settlement.
Nearly a decade later, Gibson contacted Banks on Facebook, met with him and admitted that she had fabricated the story.
The AP account adds a twist:
According to documents in the case, she met with Banks and said she had lied; there had been was no kidnap and no rape and she offered to help him clear his record.
But she subsequently refused to repeat the story to prosecutors because she feared she would have to return a $1.5 million payment from a civil suit brought by her mother against Long Beach schools.
She was quoted as telling Banks: “I will go through with helping you but it’s like at the same time all that money they gave us, I mean gave me, I don’t want to have to pay it back.”
It’s not clear whether she ultimately did repeat the story to prosecutors, or whether the prosecutors got her admission some other way. In any event, I assume that — absent some statute of limitations barrier (a subject on which I’m not knowledgeable) — what’s left of the $1.5 million will indeed have to be paid back. (Thanks to Robert Dittmer for the pointer.)
This, by the way, raises again a difficult problem with he-said-she-said rape cases, where civil liability is available. I suspect that in a typical such case, one factor that cuts in the prosecution’s favor is “Why would she lie?” A defendant has ample reason to lie by saying that nonconsensual sex was actually consensual — his liberty is at stake. But a complainant in many cases has much less reason to lie by saying that consensual sex was actually nonconsensual; sure, in some situations there might be possible motivations for lying, but they are usually not nearly as strong as the defendant’s motivation.
Yet when the complainant can get millions of dollars in damages, either from a rich defendant on an intentional tort theory, or from some other entity — such as an employer or a school district — that could be held liable on a negligence theory, the complainant now has lots of reason to lie. Of course, this by no means that such a complainant will be lying, just as the defendant’s incentive to lie doesn’t mean that all defendants who testify that they’re innocent are lying. But it does, I think, make the defense’s case stronger and the prosecution’s case weaker.
The jurors don’t know for sure who’s telling the truth. But once they know that the complainant has a potential motive to lie, they’ll be less inclined to believe her — and at least to conclude that there’s a reasonable doubt about whether she’s telling the truth. If you were a juror and the evidence against the defendant besides the complainant’s testimony was weak, wouldn’t you be influenced by evidence that the complainant has a possible financial motive for making up the charges?
What to do about this, though, is not clear. Even if negligence liability against employers, school districts, and others for crimes by their employees or on their property is cut back — some people have argued that it should be — a victim could still sue a rich defendant, or even an upper-middle-class defendant who has some assets that could be seized. If someone physically attacks you, you’re entitled to get compensation from him. But this very possibility makes it harder to criminally prosecute rapists. I don’t know of a good solution to the problem, absent perfect lie detection technology or pervasive recordi

Flashing Headlights to Warn Oncoming Drivers of a Speed Trap = Constitutionally Protected Speech

So held a Florida trial court judge, and he wasn’t the first — I think I’ve seen this in a few cases, but the one for which I have a citation is State v. Walker, No. I-9507-03625 (Williamson Cty. (Tenn.) Cir. Ct. Nov. 13, 2003)
Whether this is the right answer is not clear. It’s a special case of warnings to hide one’s illegal conduct because the police are coming — though here done by a stranger rather than by a lookout who’s in league with the criminals — and that in turn is a special case of what I call Crime-Facilitating Speech (see 57 Stan. L. Rev. 1095 (2005)), which is to say speech that conveys information that makes it easier for people to commit crimes or to get away with crimes. The Supreme Court has never squarely confronted this question.
When I’ve blogged about this in the past, some people have argued that flashing headlights should be protected because it’s encouraging legal behavior (slowing down) rather than illegal behavior, but I don’t think that can dispose of the issue: Many lookouts do the same, e.g., when a lookout warns would-be robbers to abandon their plans because a police car is driving by.
For an interesting similar question though one that doesn’t involve encouraging people to temporarily act legally), this story:
An advocate for immigrant and civil rights has started using text messages to warn residents about crime sweeps by a high-profile Arizona sheriff.
Lydia Guzman, director of the nonprofit immigrant advocacy group Respect/Respeto, is the trunk of a sophisticated texting tree designed to alert thousands of people within minutes to the details of the sweeps, which critics contend are an excuse to round up illegal immigrants.
Guzman said the messages are part of an effort to protect Latinos and others from becoming victims of racial profiling by sheriff’s deputies….
What’s the First-Amendment-relevant difference, if there is one, between this and a lookout who alerts criminals when the police are coming? (Assume that the lookout isn’t getting a share of the loot, but is just helping his friends avoid getting locked up.) Should it matter, as one expert who’s mentioned in the article suggests, whether Ms. Guzman’s real goal is preventing lawful arrest of illegal immigrants (as opposed to preventing racial profiling, assuming such profiling is unlawful)? I think there may indeed be a difference between such revelation of facts to the public and individualized communications to a small group of criminals, and I don’t think it should turn on jury inferences about the speaker’s true purpose; my article discusses the question at length. But in any event it’s helpful to think about what the difference might be.

UN renews rights chief Pillay without consultations on her record at View from Geneva

GENEVA, May 14, 2012 — After Ban Ki-moon’s announcement today that he supports a two-year extension for rights commissioner Navi Pillay, a non-governmental watchdog group says that the decision was made — pending the UNGA’s rubber stamp — without due public consultation or a healthy discussion of her four-year record on the job.
“A global and high-profile position that makes demands of transparency and accountability from the world’s governments should set an example for others,” said Hillel Neuer, an international lawyer and director of the Geneva-based UN Watch. “But we didn’t see that today.”
According to UN Watch’s study of Pillay’s record from 2008 to 2010, there are concerns about her ability to prioritize the most urgent situations. While the second part of the study, concerning 2010-2012, is likely to reveal improvements, the data from Pillay’s first two years as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights show as follows:
• UN Watch examined all statements by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay published on the UN website between September 2008 and June 2010.During this period, Ms. Pillay failed to address most of the world’s worst abusers.
• She made no statement on the human rights situations of 146 countries. She failed to voice any concern for victims in 34 countries rated “Not Free” by Freedom House—meaning those with the worst records, and the most needy victims.
• She failed to criticize another 50 countries rated “partly free” and 63 countries rated “free.” Among the countries not criticized: Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mauritania, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
• Ignored Iran: Ms. Pillay failed to issue any public statement in response to the well-documented violence against demonstrators in Iran following the June 2009 presidential elections. Her first comment appeared three months after initial reports and video evidence of government-backed paramilitary forces arbitrarily arresting, beating and killing protestors were released. Moreover, her call on the Iranian government to “release those detained for peaceful protest, to investigate reports of their ill-treatment, and to ensure respect for human rights” was made only as part of her traditional opening speech at the UN Human Rights Council session in September 2009. She did not give a press conference and chose not to issue a dedicated statement on the matter.
• Soft on Gulf: In an “unprecedented effort to engage” with the Arab countries, Pillay made a 10-day tour of the six Arab countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) from April 17, 2010 to April 26, 2010. Public statements during or in reference to this tour were largely positive and benign. While the High Commissioner did raise some human rights concerns, the discussion of human rights situations in those countries was largely muted. In instances when Pillay raised a human rights concern, she favored praising the country’s progress over naming recorded abuses or highlighting ongoing violations.
• Ignored Mounting Abuses in Syria: During this period, the Syrian government continued to repress minorities and restrict freedom of expression and assembly despite promises of greater transparency by President Bashar al-Assad. In July 2010, the military trials of two renowned human rights lawyers, Haytham al-Maleh and Muhanad al-Hasani resulted in sentenced convictions for criticizing the Syrian authorities on human rights grounds. In March 2010, Syrian military stormed the home of and detained Kurdish leader Abdel Hafez Abdel, and detained journalists, bloggers and writers for exposing government abuse and corruption. However, the High Commissioner did not respond to any of these events, and over the course of her tenure, did not make any public comments about the state of human rights in Syria.

Black Eyed Peas star Will.I.Am copters into climate change conference

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(American Thinker/Donald Douglas) alerts us to this eye opening story about Will.I.Am.:
The dude flew 286 miles in a private helicopter, touching down at Oxford's University Parks, and then rode an "environmentally-conscious bike" over to the Radcliffe Observatory
"Climate change should be the thing that we are all worried and concerned about as humans on this planet, how we affect the planet, our consumption, and how we treat the place that we live in."
According to the Daily Star newspaper, he spent an hour meeting with climate expert Myles Allen, before travelling to Taunton, Somerset, to carry the Olympic torch.
Professor Allen told the newspaper: "The irony didn't escape everybody. But he's committed to the issues and he's written songs about it."
"A better understanding of the problems is probably more important than whether Will flies a helicopter from London to Oxford."(MORE/Hypocrisy)

Haaretz exclusive: Organizer of Gaza flotilla sought assistance from Assad's office

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(haaretz) The organizer of one of the flotillas to the Gaza Strip sought assistance from the office of Syrian President Bashar Assad, requesting it facilitates their departure from the Syrian port at Latakia.
Ths request came to light through the disclosure of emailed correspondence between former British MP George Galloway, who heads an organization called Viva Palestina, and Bouthaina Shaaban, who serves as media adviser to Assad.
What do you think about the leaked emails from Assad's media adviser's account? Follow on Facebook and share your views.
The correspondence, which was obtained by Haaretz, was leaked following an attack by the hacker group Anonymous.
Galloway, who is identified with the extreme left in Britain, served as a member of the British parliament until May 2010. A former member of the Labour Party, he was thrown out in 2003 in the wake of his attacks against party chairman and then-prime minister Tony Blair, and his opposition to the war in Iraq.
Galloway has for many years carried on close contacts with dictators and extremist elements in the Arab world. In the late 1990s, he was closely linked with Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, the Assad regime in Syria, Hamas in Gaza and the Iranian regime.
In July 2011, at a time when Assad was perpetrating massacres of his own people, Galloway was interviewed on Hezbollah's al-Manar network, where he heaped praises on the Syrian president. "Bashar Assad wants reform and change, to realize the aspirations of his people," he said in the interview, which was quoted in the official Syrian news agency Sana. "They are trying to pressure Syria and President Assad because of the good things that he did, such as supporting Palestinian and Lebanese resistance and rejecting to surrender to Israel."
In January 2009, Galloway founded the Viva Palestina organization, which began to organize aid flotillas to the Gaza Strip. The Shin Bet security service describes the organization as being "pro-Hamas" and assesses that Viva Palestina activists are involved in the transfer of funds to Hamas.
Galloway is considered persona non grata in several countries. In March 2009, Canada refused to permit his entry, stating that his organization was aiding Hamas in several ways, including the transfer of funds. In January 2010, Galloway was deported from Egypt following a visit he made to the Gaza Strip in the course of which members of his organization clashed with Egyptian soldiers at the Rafah border crossing, leading to the death of an Egyptian policeman. Egypt has since then refused to permit his entry into Gaza from its own territory.
On August 11, 2010, Galloway wrote to Bashar Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban, who is considered to be one of the closest aides to the Syrian president. In an email message that bore the subject heading "IMPORTANT - private and confidential," Galloway asked Shaaban for Syrian help in organizing the aid flotilla to Gaza.
"I am writing once again to ask for Syria's co-operation although I do not doubt it for one moment. Syria is as I have often said is the last castle of Arab dignity," Galloway noted. "This convoy sets out simulataneously [sic] on September 18th 2010 from London, from Casablanca and from the Gulf. The London and Gulf columns of vehicles would like to converge on Latakia and sail from there to Al Arish."
Galloway listed the organizations that would be taking part in the flotilla, including IHH, the Turkish group that organized the flotilla to Gaza in May 2010. "It is intended that the vehicles and passengers should sail to Al Arish on board the Mavi Marmara, which as you know is owned by IHH," he wrote. "If His Excellency the President Bashar al Asad and his government can accept this proposal in principle perhaps you could nominate partner organisation(s) and individuals with whom my colleagues could liaise about the practical details?"
Galloway informed Shaaban that the two members of Viva Palestina responsible for the flotilla were Kevin Ovenden and Zaher Birawi. The Shin Bet charges that Birawi is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. He lives in England, where he engages in intensive anti-Israeli activity. Birawi has been linked to the organizing of past convoys and flotillas to the Gaza Strip. Ovendon is a far-left British activist who was aboard the Mavi Marmara in the May 2010 flotilla to Gaza.
Three days later, Shaaban sent an emailed response to Galloway in which she expressed enthusiasm for the idea. "God bless your amazing efforts and I will be honored to be part and parcel of it and to be the catalyst for my country too," she wrote. "You will find me happy to put my time and energy to help with this most important cause of the Twenty First Century."
Galloway responded in another email, in which he wrote, "I knew that I could rely on you and the last Arab country in this historic endeavour. Can I respectfully request that you task officials in Damascus and Latakia to make contact with my comrades in advance of your arrival back to Syria?"
The flotilla ultimately sailed from Latakia on October 18, 2010 and arrived in Al Arish three days later, and from there continued in a land-based convoy comprising dozens of vehicles and hundreds of activists to the Gaza Strip. The entry into Gaza by Galloway and 16 others was denied by the Egyptian security services, although the convoy itself was permitted to enter following talks between the Egyptian and Syrian governments.
The following is the original correspondence between George Galloway and Bouthaina Shaaban:

Sent: Sun 15/08/10 6:30 PM
Fwd: VivaPalestina5 convoy to Gaza
Your Excellency dear Ambassador and honourable lady Dr Shaaban,
Assalam o Aleukum.
Thank you for your beautiful reply. I knew that I could rely on you and the last Arab country in this historic endeavour.
Given the shortness of the time (we leave London Casablanca Doha on September 18th, and these three columns joined by big contingents from Turkey Jordan and Lebanon hope to sail from Latakia aboard the Mavi Marmara between October 5-7th) can I respectfully request that you task officials in Damascus and and Latakia to make contact with my comrades in advance of your arrival back to Syria?
I remind you they are Kevin Ovenden and Dr Zaher Birawi
This would be very helpful to us.
I hope you are enjoying your travels and have a safe journey back to Damascus.
With all my good wishes,
Yours fraternally
George Galloway
Sent: Sat 14/08/10 12:05 PM
Re: IMPORTANT - private and confidential
Dear George
Thank you very much for your email which I was delighted to receive. God bless your amazing efforts and I will be honored to be part and parcel of it and to be the catalyst for my country too. I am now abroad for about 10 days and expected to be back in Syria on August 24. If we can touch base then and get further details about what is really required and from whom in more details you will find me happy to put my time and energy to help with this most important cause of the Twenty Firtst Century. I hope you are following my writings in Counter Punch. Take care and God bless you and your efforts.
As ever
On Wed 11/08/10 3:05 PM , Ayesha Bajwa <> wrote:
Your Excellency Dr Bouthaina Shaaban
Special Advisor to President Bashar al Asad
President of the Syrian Arab Republic
By e-mail
Your Excellency, dear Dr Shaaban
I hope this letter finds you well. Please be assured of my warmest fraternal greetings always. I am writing on behalf of Viva Palestina whose world-wide family of solidarity organisiations and registered charities will soon be setting out for beseiged Gaza again with our fifth convoy of aid. You will recall the outstanding assistance
afforded us in Syria on previous occasions over the last period. I am writing once again to ask for Syria's co-operation although I do not doubt it for one moment. Syria is as I have often said is the last castle of Arab dignity. My only regret is to have to ask for your help again.
This convoy sets out simulataneously on September 18th 2010 from London, from Casablanca and from the Gulf. The London and Gulf columns of vehicles would like to converge on Latakia and sail from there to Al Arish. The Casablanca column hopes to join us in Al Arish and we hope all three columns - hundreds of vehicles strong – will enter Gaza through Rafah without hinderance.
The aid on board the vehicles will be 50% medical equipment and 50% educational, construction and other aid.
The organisers of the convoy are Viva Palestina UK, Viva Palestina USA, Viva Palestina Arabia, Viva Palestina Malaysia, Viva Palestina Ireland, the Turkish NGO IHH,the International Committee to break the Seige on Gaza, Kia Ora - the Viva Palestina sister organisation in New Zealand, Viva Palestina Australia, Viva Palestina South Africa, Viva Palestina Spain, Viva Palestina Italia, and Viva Palestina France.
It is intended that the vehicles and passengers should sail to Al Arish on board the Mavi Marmara, which as you know is owned by IHH.
If His Excellency the President Bashar al Asad and his government can accept this proposal in principle perhaps you could nominate partner organisation(s) and individuals with whom my colleagues could liaise about the practical details? The liaison from our side would be Mr Kevin Ovenden and Mr Zaher Birawi of Viva Palestina UK (as we believe 2 is enough).
In any case please convey my respect and my admiration to His Excellency the President.
With all good wishes
George Galloway

Man who beheaded, ate fellow passenger on Greyhound bus in Canada wins bid to leave grounds of mental hospital

Vince Li's beheading victim Tim McLean is seen in a photo taken from his personal page. By now,  Li was supposed to get out for some fresh air. The man who beheaded and cannibalized another man on a Greyhound bus in 2008 was given the privilege months ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO(nydailynews) tasty white boy... the other white meat
WINNIPEG, Manitoba - A man who beheaded and cannibalized a fellow passenger on a Greyhound bus in Canada won his bid to leave the grounds of the mental hospital where he is being kept, a criminal review board ruled Thursday.
The Criminal Code review board said Vince Li's treatment team may grant him short escorted trips into the central Canadian city of Selkirk, Manitoba. The review board said the passes will start at 30 minutes and increase incrementally to a maximum of full days.
Li was found not criminally responsible for the July 2008 death of Tim McLean, a young carnival worker who was sitting next to Li on a bus near Portage la Prairie.
The board said the passes should only be granted if Li's treatment team believes his condition is stable and that it would be "appropriate and safe for him to leave the locked ward." He will have to be escorted at all times by a staff member and a security officer.
"It's terrible. It's disgusting," Nadine McLean, the victim's stepmother, said Thursday after she learned about the decision. "It's kind of a waste going to the review board every year when he's going to get whatever he asks for."
Carol DeDelley, the victim's mother, also called it unacceptable and vowed to continue her efforts to fight the law dealing with people found not criminally responsible.
"My son died this way to shed light on the issue," DeDelley told reporters. "I'm not stigmatizing mental issues. If he's doing well in a controlled environment with regularly administrated medications leave him there ... but freedom for him? I don't think that should ever be an option."
The passes can be issued starting May 24.
Li was initially confined to a locked wing of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, but in 2010 was given the right to escorted walks on the hospital grounds.
Li's psychiatrist said the 44-year-old has responded well to treatment and asked the review board earlier this week to let Li take trips into town.
McLean had his eyes closed and was listening to music on his headphones when Li, a stranger who was sitting beside him, suddenly stood up and started stabbing him. As the bus stopped and horrified passengers fled, Li carved up McLean's body and ate portions of it.
A judge was was told at Li's trial four years ago that Li was an untreated schizophrenic.
As part of this year's review, Li's psychiatrist, Dr. Steven Kremer, described Li as a model patient, who has shown no security risks and who has participated in treatment programs and taken up odd jobs at the hospital.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced he asked officials to review the Criminal Code section dealing with people found not criminally responsible. He said public safety must come first.
Li emigrated from China in 2001 and worked menial jobs in Canada.

2 new books are questioning Islam’s origins

Media_httpsiwsjnetpub_hebrf(h/t @WarpedMirrorPMB)(WSJ)Mr. Holland finds that much of the Quranic imagery associated with Muhammad's Qurayshite opponents—generally referred to as idolators—does not tally with the Quran's supposedly Arabian provenance. For example, the idolators are condemned for slitting the ears of their livestock or exempting certain cattle from having to carry a load. Such details are puzzling, as Mr. Holland shows: "Mecca, a place notoriously dry and barren, is not, most agronomists would agree, an obvious spot for cattle ranching—just as the volcanic dust that constitutes its soil is signally unsuited to making 'grain grow, and vines, fresh vegetation . . . fruit and fodder,' " as mentioned in the Quran.

...In a view that Mr. Holland takes forward from Wansbrough and his disciples, Islam was born not in the deserts of Arabia but in the borders of Syria-Palestine, a region that had long been devastated by plagues and wars—the usual precursors of apocalyptic scenarios and millennial hopes. The Qurayshites may not have been Meccans but Arab tribes that had grown rich on Roman-Byzantine patronage. Far from being illiterate (as the biographies claim, with a view to emphasizing the Quran's miraculous character), Muhammad was a sophisticated man who "laid claim to traditions of divine inspiration that were immeasurably venerable," knowing full well what he was about.

The religion he founded began as a classic millennial cult comprising Jews, Christians and Arabs driven by an apocalyptic belief in the end of the world, with Jerusalem as its original focus. The early caliphs of Islam, who saw themselves as God's vice-regents, were both heirs and beneficiaries of the same millennial expectations—long entrenched in the region's culture—that surface in the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation, as well as in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The purely Arabian provenance attributed to Islam and its prophet were later inventions by pious scholars who tried to curb the power of the caliphs by using the memory of Muhammad, with its iconic moral authority. The empires of the caliphs are long gone, but the sunna of the prophet—his custom and example—endures.
—Mr. Ruthven is the author, among other books, of "A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America" (2003). "Encounters with Islam," a book of essays, will be published this month.
One can't help but feel that this is an attempt to re-establish Israel as the home of Islam. Suspect at best

Facebook's Zuckerberg Sold 30 Million Shares Before IPO

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Image representing Mark Zuckerberg as depicted...
Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has sold 30.2 million shares and director Peter Thiel has sold 16.8 million shares of the social-networking company, according to securities filings published late Tuesday.
The sales confirm plans detailed in a prospectus before Friday's $16 billion IPO. Zuckerberg sold 30.2 million shares at a price of $37.58 for gross proceeds of $1.13 billion; Thiel sold 16.8 million shares for gross proceeds of $633 million. Facebook insiders had told prospective shareholders of their plans in an S-1 filing last week.
facebook hypocritical? facebook double standards? nah!

FBI quietly forms secretive Net-surveillance unit.

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FBI quietly forms secretive Net-surveillance unit.(CNET News).The FBI has recently formed a secretive surveillance unit with an ambitious goal: to invent technology that will let police more readily eavesdrop on Internet and wireless communications.

The establishment of the Quantico, Va.-based unit, which is also staffed by agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency, is a response to technological developments that FBI officials believe outpace law enforcement's ability to listen in on private communications.
While the FBI has been tight-lipped about the creation of its Domestic Communications Assistance Center, or DCAC -- it declined to respond to requests made two days ago about who's running it, for instance -- CNET has pieced together information about its operations through interviews and a review of internal government documents.
DCAC's mandate is broad, covering everything from trying to intercept and decode Skype conversations to building custom wiretap hardware or analyzing the gigabytes of data that a wireless provider or social network might turn over in response to a court order. It's also designed to serve as a kind of surveillance help desk for state, local, and other federal police.Here's the full text of the FBI's statement in a Google+ post.
One person familiar with the FBI's procedures told CNET that the DCAC is in the process of being launched but is not yet operational. A public Justice Department document, however, refers to the DCAC as "recently established."
The FBI has disclosed little information about the DCAC, and what has been previously made public about the center was primarily through budget requests sent to congressional committees. The DCAC doesn't even have a Web page.
"The big question for me is why there isn't more transparency about what's going on?" asks Jennifer Lynch, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group in San Francisco. "We should know more about the program and what the FBI is doing. Which carriers they're working with -- which carriers they're having problems with. They're doing the best they can to avoid being transparent."Hmmmm......."The most transparant Admin EVAH".Read the full story here.
EFF is a front for Palestine. That is what is lacking transparency here. They might be right about some issues and they are worth paying attention to, but it is important to know their primary purpose is to create a shield for terrorist activity (of course they call that freedom fighters). The @JIDF for example is very familiar with many of their crowd. Good rule of thumb... if it is related to Harvard and rubs shoulders with Jillian C York, you know (a) that person is probably informed and worth paying attention to (b) you can't trust them. Complex ain't it?

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