Saturday, June 15, 2013

Egyptian Former Muslim: “The Goal of Islam is to Conquer the World”

Egyptian Nonie Darwish talks to Ann-Marie Murrell about Islamic rule in her home country & why Islamist will never stop until they have ‘conquered the world’. “I don’t care about ‘moderate Muslims’—there are enough radical ones to destroy western civilization & freedom.”
Nonie Darwish is an Egyptian-American human rights activist, and founder of Arabs For Israel, and is Director of Former Muslims United.
via PolitiChicks

State Legislators Urge Senators to Reject Gang of Eight’s Amnesty Plan

via: NumbersUSA
State Legislators for Legal Immigration, a group comprised legislators from 38 states, urged Members of the U.S. Senate to reject S. 744, the comprehensive amnesty bill. Penn. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, the founder of SLLI, wrote Senators on behalf of the group saying, “Simply put, states cannot afford to bear the additional budgetary burdens of amnesty through S.744…Congressional amnesty has not worked in the past and history is doomed to repeat itself here.”
The following are additional excerpts from the letter:
“Candidly speaking, the Gang of Eight’s amnesty legislation is out-of-touch with reality, a dereliction of duty and nothing short of a fiscal disaster for the states…While the title of S.744 implies enhanced ‘border security,’ this is nothing more than a smoke and mirrors attempt to deceive the American people.

“The Heritage Foundation recently estimated that amnesty comes with a hefty price tag of $6.3 trillion. This includes over 80 different types of welfare-based programs, at a nationwide cost of $900 billion a year. Municipalities across the United States will also have to sustain the increased cost of population-based services, including: police, fire and core infrastructure (roads and bridges). The cost of amnesty will ultimately be passed on through tax increases on hardworking Americans.
“S.744 also includes a provision for in-state college tuition for illegal aliens. Out-of-state students will be forced to pay a higher tuition rate, while foreign national illegal aliens will be granted a reduced price tag on education, subsidized by American taxpayers.

“Granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who broke the rule of law entering the United States is an attack on the American dream. Congress is crushing the American dream for those who are waiting in line to legally enter the United States. This legislation is offensive to legal immigrants and citizens of the United States.
“We respectfully urge you to represent American interests, not foreign interests, and vote NO on S.744.”
SLLI provides state legislators a forum for working together to demand full cooperation among our federal, state and local governments in eliminating economic incentives for illegal immigration and securing our borders against unlawful entry.
Writing on behalf of 56 Pennsylvania state legislators, Rep. Metcalfe also sent a letter urging Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators Robert Casey (D-Pa.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to represent American interests.

ICE Union President Tells Sens. Cornyn and Rubio that S.744 Weakens Interior Enforcement

via: NumbersUSA
Elected Officials Who...
  • Voted on the Motion to Invoke Cloture to Begin Floor Debate on S.744
    Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
June 11, 2013 -- Voted on the Motion to Invoke Cloture to Begin Floor Debate on S.744
A "Yes" vote on the motion supported moving the amnesty bill to the Senate floor.
A "No" vote on the motion was against moving the amnesty bill to the Senate floor.
Voted YES Count: 82
Voted NO Count: 15
  • Alexander (R-TN)
  • Ayotte (R-NH)
  • Baldwin (D-WI)
  • Baucus (D-MT)
  • Begich (D-AK)
  • Bennet (D-CO)
  • Blumenthal (D-CT)
  • Blunt (R-MO)
  • Boxer (D-CA)
  • Brown (D-OH)
  • Burr (R-NC)
  • Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Cardin (D-MD)
  • Carper (D-DE)
  • Casey (D-PA)
  • Chambliss (R-GA)
  • Chiesa (R-NJ)
  • Coats (R-IN)
  • Cochran (R-MS)
  • Collins (R-ME)
  • Coons (D-DE)
  • Corker (R-TN)
  • Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Cowan (D-MA)
  • Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Durbin (D-IL)
  • Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Fischer (R-NE)
  • Flake (R-AZ)
  • Franken (D-MN)
  • Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Graham (R-SC)
  • Hagan (D-NC)
  • Harkin (D-IA)
  • Hatch (R-UT)
  • Heinrich (D-NM)
  • Heitkamp (D-ND)
  • Heller (R-NV)
  • Hirono (D-HI)
  • Hoeven (R-ND)
  • Isakson (R-GA)
  • Johanns (R-NE)
  • Johnson (D-SD)
  • Johnson (R-WI)
  • Kaine (D-VA)
  • King (I-ME)
  • Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Leahy (D-VT)
  • Levin (D-MI)
  • Manchin (D-WV)
  • McCaskill (D-MO)
  • McConnell (R-KY)
  • Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Merkley (D-OR)
  • Mikulski (D-MD)
  • Moran (R-KS)
  • Murphy (D-CT)
  • Murray (D-WA)
  • Nelson (D-FL)
  • Paul (R-KY)
  • Portman (R-OH)
  • Pryor (D-AR)
  • Reed (D-RI)
  • Reid (D-NV)
  • Rockefeller (D-WV)
  • Rubio (R-FL)
  • Sanders (I-VT)
  • Schatz (D-HI)
  • Schumer (D-NY)
  • Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Tester (D-MT)
  • Thune (R-SD)
  • Toomey (R-PA)
  • Udall (D-CO)
  • Udall (D-NM)
  • Warner (D-VA)
  • Warren (D-MA)
  • Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Wicker (R-MS)
  • Wyden (D-OR) 
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
  • No
  • Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Boozman (R-AR)
  • Crapo (R-ID)
  • Cruz (R-TX)
  • Enzi (R-WY)
  • Grassley (R-IA)
  • Inhofe (R-OK)
  • Kirk (R-IL)
  • Lee (R-UT)
  • Risch (R-ID)
  • Roberts (R-KS)
  • Scott (R-SC)
  • Sessions (R-AL)
  • Shelby (R-AL)
  • Vitter (R-LA)
In a letter to Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), ICE Union President Chris Crane says the Gang of Eight's bill, S.744, is flawed because it places "new restrictions on interior enforcement." Crane writes that the bill would make the current situation worse and more hazardous and urges them to reject S.744 and instead focus on Rep. Trey Gowdy's (R-S.C.) interior enforcement bill and Rep. John Barrow's (D-Ga.) border security and interior enforcement legislation introduced in the House.

Crane has already urged the entire Senate to oppose the Gang of Eight's legislation, but his letter today is in response to both Sens. Cornyn and Rubio's insistence that the border security provisions need to be strengthened while ignoring the interior enforcement provisions.
Crane writes:
It has come to my attention that you are both working on possible amendments to the Senate immigration bill in an attempt to address growing concerns about the bill's problematic security and enforcement provisions. I am concerned that the public commentary to date regarding your amendments has not included any mention of repairing ICE's dismantled enforcement authorities and practices.
No reforms to S. 744 will be successful unless interior enforcement concerns are addressed and resolved. Any plan is doomed to fail that does not empower ICE agents to enforce the laws enacted by Congress—and that does not put an end to the unlawful abuse of prosecutorial discretion by political appointees.

You can view the full letter here.

A new trend among Japanese teenagers called oculolinctus, also known as “eyeball licking,” or “worming

oped: WTF~Over...OMG in Japan Hari-Kari has become Eyebee~ thinks Japanese students have way too much eye on their hands..! *Just Shakes my Head*

gty close up eyeball thg 130614 wblog Experts Warn Eyeball Licking Trend Can Injure the Eye, Damage Sight
By Gillian Mohney

A new trend among Japanese teenagers called oculolinctus, also known as “eyeball licking,” or “worming,” is currently sweeping across the internet in videos and photos.
The bizarre trend has started popping up on Youtube, Tumblr and Twitter. The practice, in which teens show affection by licking their partner’s eyeballs, may have started with a scene in a music video released last year from the Japanese band Born, which features a dramatic slow-motion scene of oculolinctus.
But experts are concerned that even if oculolinctius is done sparingly or on a dare, it could have very real consequences. Dr. Robert Cykiert,  an associate professor in the department of ophthalmology at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said the surface of a healthy eye is normal mostly sterile, while the mouth is filled with bacteria and food particles.
“When you get licked on the eye, you’re transferring dangerous bacteria to the eye,” said Cykiert. “It’s a very dangerous trend, to say the least.”
Cykiert said transferring bacteria to the eye leaves people with a higher risk of contracting conjunctivitis or, more seriously, a corneal ulcer.
“[People] may have scarring of the cornea that can be permanent depending on the bacteria in germs … it may cause a perforation or hole to develop,” said Cykiert, who has had to give some patients with corneal ulcers a cornea transplant.

While Cykiert said he hasn’t seen evidence of “eyeball licking” in the U.S., he warns that teens should be wary of trying out the trend to prove their adoration as they can permanently damage their sight.
Instead, Cykiert suggests, “sticking with hand holding and kissing, stuff that’s been around for millions of years.”

Sarah Palin on U.S. Decision on Syria: 'Let Allah Sort It Out'

Sarah Palin on U.S. Decision on Syria: 'Let Allah Sort It Out' (ABC News)

WASHINGTON - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin criticized the Obama administration's decision to supply weapons to the rebels in the civil war in Syria today, arguing that the U.S. should "Let Allah sort it out" until there is a stronger leader in the White House.
"Militarily, where is our commander in chief? We're talking now more new interventions. I say until we know what we're doing, until we have a commander and chief who knows what he's doing, well, let these radical Islamic countries who aren't even respecting basic human rights, where both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, 'Allah Akbar,' I say until we have someone who knows what they're doing, I say let Allah sort it out," Palin said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference.
Earlier this week, the White House announced it confirmed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has used chemical weapons in the fight against its own people, and the Obama administration will provide more "direct support" to the Syrian opposition since the president's "red line" has been crossed. 

The White House said today that Obama discussed the civil war in Syria with European leaders in a teleconference Friday, and the issue is expected to dominate much of the conversation at the G-8 Summit in Northern Ireland next week.
Palin, speaking at the conclusion of the three-day Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference, also took a swipe at another speaker at the conservative forum, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who argued Friday that one of the reasons to support the Senate's immigration reform plan is because "Immigrants are more fertile."
"I think it's kind of dangerous territory, territory to want to debate this whole one race's fertility rate over another, and I say this from someone who's kind of fertile herself," Palin said. "I don't think that's where we want to go in deciding how will we incentivize the hardworking responsible families who want to live in the light, follow the law, become Americans, versus those whose very first act on our soil is to break the law? There are different ways that we can debate this."
As she warned the conservative crowd of "tyranny" in government, Palin said that the recent scandals involving the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency make the country feel "so Orwellian around here, you know, '1984.'"

Calling Washington, D.C. "one hot mess," Palin also doled out some advice to Congress, who she said should follow the lead of a young senator whom she backed in his 2012 race - Texas. Sen. Ted Cruz.
"You know what I wish Congress would do? If they would just for one week perhaps, put themselves on Cruz control, on Ted Cruz control," Palin said. "Just for a week and let's see where things go. I think we'd see some solutions."
Though she has often served as the butt of jokes on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," Palin joked about the frequency with which the comedy show makes fun of her, saying she's provided an ample amount of jokes and jobs for comedians.
"They should think of me as a friend. For a while there, I was providing more job security for the Tina Feys of the world and doing more for those employment numbers than Obama's ever done," Palin said.

The Constitution is worthless if we don't do everything we can to enforce it.

Dear Proud American,

Take a long, hard look above...

These are the people who represent you... who represent America.

How does that make you feel?



Personally, it makes me feel sick.

This isn't the America I know and love. This isn't the America my ancestors staked their lives for.

Today, Big Government reign is enslaving our freedoms.

It can punish you for your political affiliation...

It can listen in on your personal phone calls, read your emails, spy on your every move without court authorization...

Big Government reign decides who lives, and who dies.

It can even kill you right where you stand, without trial.

Worst of all, it's so easy to get away with.

Take another look above... think about all they've gotten away with... all the blood on their hands.

Now let me ask you one last question - will you help me do something about it?

I can't stomach our "leaders" lying through their teeth one second longer. It's time to tell Congress enough is enough!

It's time to demand that Congress impeach this pack of corrupt, degenerate thugs, before it gets any worse. Because personally, I don't want to see what "worse" looks like...

Let's take a stand in favor of America's restoration. The America our forefathers built.

Sign Capitol Hill Daily's petition to impeach Barack Obama and help us put an end to the destruction of civil liberty once and for all.

The Constitution is worthless if we don't do everything we can to enforce it.



Martin Biancuzzo
Senior Political Analyst, Capitol Hill Daily

Judge blasts speech limits at Supreme Court building

oped: So the Justices at the Supreme Court feel they are above the law now? Maybe it is time to have hearings in Congress about a amendment to the SCOTUS ...Term Limits and be elected by the people vs Life Time appointments !

by: Bob Unruh 

A federal judge has blasted the Supreme Court’s plaza policy, which forbids people from being in “assemblages” or carrying signs that are intended to attract attention, declaring such limits in the shadow of the building where the First Amendment is supposed to be protected unconstitutional.
With hours, the Supremes bashed back, installing a new set of restrictive “regulations” specifying what can and cannot happen on the high court property including the plaza.

It was Judge Beryl Howell who wrote in an opinion this week that such limits – outlined in federal law and based on the “dignity” of the location – are unconstitutional and unenforceable.
“The absolute prohibition of expressive activity in the statute is unreasonable, substantially overbroad, and irreconcilable with the First Amendment,” the judge wrote. “The court therefore must find the statute unconstitutional and void as applied to the Supreme Court plaza.”
Constitutional attorney John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, said Howell’s “frank, no-holds-barred ruling affirming the Supreme Court plaza as a free speech zone throws a lifeline to the First Amendment at a time when government officials are doing their best to censor, silence and restrict free speech activities.”
Whitehead, author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,” said there are “many things that are repugnant to the Constitution right now – mass surveillance of Americans, roadside strip searches, forcible DNA extractions, SWAT team raids, civil commitments for criticizing the government, etc. – but this ruling at least sends a message all is not lost as long as we still have some members of the judiciary who understand and abide by both the letter and the spirit of the rule of law, our U.S. Constitution.”

However, the high court posted online an announcement that it now is imposing a regulation that bans activities on the court’s grounds or building such as picketing, speech-making, marching, vigils or religious services “that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to draw a crowd or onlookers.”
The notice said the plan has been approved by the marshal and approved by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Whitehead said the new maneuver to restrict constitutional rights is being researched.
“We’re going to go after it. We’re going to do what we can to challenge it,” he said.
The original case developed over the Jan. 28, 2011, appearance on the plaza by Harold Hodge. He stood quietly and peacefully in the plaza area wearing a small sign that proclaimed: “The U.S. gov. allows police to illegally murder and brutalize African Americans and Hispanic people.”
The Rutherford report said the plaza is a place where the public is allowed to gather and converse and is, in all relevant respects, like a public square or park where citizens have traditionally met to express their views on matters of public interest.

But police immediately approached Hodge and told him he was breaking the law. When Hodge refused to leave, he was arrested, taken to police headquarters and cited.
Later, the charge was dropped because Hodge fulfilled an agreement to stay away from the building for six months. But he later filed the challenge to the constitutionality of the special protection for the justices on the Supreme Court.
Rutherford Institute attorneys argued that absolute prohibition on speech and expression on the Supreme Court plaza is unreasonable and unnecessary to protect any legitimate governmental interest with respect to the court or its proceedings.

Rutherford noted that the message of Hodge’s sign was correct, citing statistics that show black males are more than one-third of prisoners in state and federal lockups, even though they make up only 10 percent of the population.
And beyond that, Hodge “has a right to be out there,” he said.
Whitehead said the whole idea of a zone without free speech violates the constitutional concept of being able to “petition our leaders.”
The court opinion says that the concept of limiting freedoms through a law advocating for the “dignity” of the courthouse was “repugnant.”
The judge said the limit at the Supreme Court was based on a similar earlier law that was used to protect the U.S. Capitol.
However, that law already was declared unconstitutional.
“Given that the challenged statute was rooted directly in the Capitol Grounds statute, which was ruled unconstitutional, and is clearly relevant here, the court takes judicial notice of this history.”
The opinion noted that attorneys are allowed to hold news conferences there, and court officials have approved commercial filming projects on site.

The judge said a decision on whether the location is a public forum or not wasn’t needed.
“Even if the court were to conclude that the plaza is a nonpublic forum, the absolute ban on speech set forth in [the federal law] is not reasonable and, thus, the court concludes that the ‘justifications for restricting … speech’ on the Supreme Court plaza simply do not ‘satisfy the requisite standard.”

Egypt's Sufis thrive despite attacks

oped: side note: Ambassador Stevens was practicing Sufis while in Libya

In this Tuesday, June 4, 2013 photo, Egyptian Sufi Muslims perform Hadra as they celebrate Moulid inside the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine in Cairo, Egypt. The hadra is an Islamic act where attendees perform dhikr, a ritual of supplication that often includes recitation of God’s 99 names in Islam. Depending on the particular Sufi order, it can contain elements such as singing, dancing and music. Egypt’s roughly 15 million Sufi Muslims say their places of worship are under threat by rising radicalism. They say that since the country’s 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, shrines held sacred to them have been attacked by hardliners who deem them heretical and idolatrous. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's Sufi Muslims say their places of worship are under threat by rising radicalism, as shrines sacred to them are coming under attack by Islamist hard-liners who deem them heretical.
Sufis follow a mystical philosophy of Islam that has traditionally been popular in Egypt, with some 15 million people in the country of 90 million belonging to dozens of Sufi orders. Sufis say the figure is likely even higher since many who practice it are not registered with orders.
But many of their practices are denounced by ultraconservative Salafis who follow a more literal interpretation of Islam. In particular, hard-liners point to Sufis' reverence for saints and holy men and for the shrines where they are buried. Salafis and other hard-liners consider such reverence as idolatrous. And with hard-liners emboldened and given a freer hand since the 2011 fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, attacks on shrines have escalated. 

The Secretary-General of the Union of Sufis in Egypt, Abdullah al-Nasser Helmy, says more than 100 attacks against shrines have taken place across the country in several Nile Delta provinces, the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria and northern Sinai Peninsula where radical extremists are active.
In the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweyid, for example, extremists bombed the shrine of the saint who gives the town its name. The tomb was not totally destroyed, so a few months later, they bombed it again. In other places, shrines have been defaced or damaged.
"Egypt is being severely affected by the Salafi ideology, which is hard-line and forces women to wear the face veil," said Helmy, expressing fears that extremists want to do away with all tombs related to prophets and religious figures.
Amr El-Mekky, an official in the Salafi Nour Party, said his party is against such attacks. "This is not the way of dealing with different people," he said. "We criticize anything like that," he said, adding that all Salafis should not be painted with the same brush.

Sufism is rooted in the focus on one's soul, nurturing it through prayer and dhikr, a ritual of supplication that often includes recitation of God's 99 names in Islam. Whirling dervishes who spin and pray with their hands stretched upward until they are lost in worship are also associated with Sufism.
One of the most popular Sufi rites is the mawlid — a mass celebration to mark the birthdate of a saint. There are some 120 such commemorations a year in Egypt alone, with some Sufis traveling across the country and camping outside mosques and shrines for the occasions. The food they make is available for all to eat and their circles of worship open for all to join. As with many of Egypt's antiquities and ancient sites, many of the country's Sufi shrines are dilapidated and neglected by the government.
Sufism, which first appeared in Egypt in the 9th century, is popular among leading sheiks in Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's oldest seat of learning based in Cairo.
Some Sufi parties emerged after the country's uprising, though Sufis have largely stayed on the peripheries of politics while Islamists plunged in to dominate politics. Salafis are now the second largest bloc in the interim parliament, after the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt's president, Mohammed Morsi, is a veteran of the Brotherhood.

Helmy says Sufis are concerned that the new government and Salafis are slowly trying to encroach on mosques and force out moderate scholars.
Still, he says it is not in the nature of Sufis to be politicized or be consumed by worldly problems.
"Sufis only tremble from God's majesty, though they are being fought by the current government," Helmy said.
Here's a gallery of images from AP photographer Hassan Ammar showing Sufi practices, rituals and places of worship in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Expect more attacks on foreigners in Afghanistan, warns deputy commander

By Amie Ferris-Rotman
KABUL (Reuters) - The international community in Afghanistan, recently hit by two high-profile attacks on aid organizations, should brace itself for more Taliban violence in the coming months, the deputy commander of foreign forces said.
"I think we should expect (the Taliban) to attack international forces and internationals more generally," Lt General Nick Carter, Britain's top soldier in Afghanistan, said in an interview late on Friday, referring to the summer months.
Combat troops from NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are preparing to leave Afghanistan by the end of next year, ending a costly and increasingly unpopular war launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. targets.
"There's definitely a sense that the Taliban would like to appear to compel the international community's withdrawal, and certainly ISAF's withdrawal," said Carter, who leaves Afghanistan next month to become head of the British Army.
"That chimes with an obvious narrative."
British troops in the first Anglo-Afghan war, in 1842, were slaughtered en masse as they withdrew in what is Britain's biggest military defeat in history.
Afghanistan has been beset by violence in recent weeks.

A coordinated attack on the International Organisation of Migration in Kabul killed at least three civilians and injured four foreign aid workers. The Red Cross headquarters in the eastern city of Jalalabad also came under attack, the first such incident in the 26 years it has worked in the country.
Several foreign organizations in the capital have received more targeted threats than usual over the past week, senior officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Violence aimed at non-military foreign organizations, especially those which help Afghans, came as a surprise to the international community.
The Taliban made no mention of such targets in its annual spring offensive announcement, vowing only to start a campaign of suicide attacks on military bases and diplomatic areas.
Insurgents this week besieged Kabul's main airport for four hours before being killed, and a Taliban suicide bomber detonated explosives in front of the Supreme Court, killing at least 17 people.
Plans are still on track to hand over the remaining security responsibilities to the Afghan security forces "within the next week or so", Carter said.
Afghan security forces lead in 89 percent of operations, with foreign forces still in combat along much of the border with Pakistan and in pockets around the country, including Helmand province, a bastion of the Taliban.

Once troops withdraw, NATO's role will move to a support mission to strengthen the 352,000-strong Afghan security forces.
Carter stressed that developing Afghanistan's fledgling air force in the years following the withdrawal was crucial.
"Horizons have to be tangible and I think it's very reasonable to talk about the Afghan air force being fielded by 2018 or 2019," he said.
(Editing by Ron Popeski)

Germans accuse U.S. of Stasi tactics before Obama visit

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger speaks during a session of the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament in Berlin, about a neo-Nazi group that had been on a nationwide ten-year killing spree, November 22, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
By Noah Barkin 

(Reuters) - German outrage over a U.S. Internet spying program has broken out ahead of a visit by Barack Obama, with ministers demanding the president provide a full explanation when he lands in Berlin next week and one official likening the tactics to those of the East German Stasi.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman has said she will raise the issue with Obama in talks next Wednesday, potentially casting a cloud over a visit that was designed to celebrate U.S.-German ties on the 50th anniversary John F. Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech.
Government surveillance is an extremely sensitive topic in Germany, where memories of the dreaded Stasi secret police and its extensive network of informants are still fresh in the minds of many citizens.
In a guest editorial for Spiegel Online on Tuesday, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said reports that the United States could access and track virtually all forms of Internet communication were "deeply disconcerting" and potentially dangerous.
"The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is," she said.
"The suspicion of excessive surveillance of communication is so alarming that it cannot be ignored. For that reason, openness and clarification by the U.S. administration itself is paramount at this point. All facts must be put on the table."

Markus Ferber, a member of Merkel's Bavarian sister party who sits in the European Parliament, went further, accusing Washington of using "American-style Stasi methods".
"I thought this era had ended when the DDR fell," he said, using the German initials for the failed German Democratic Republic.
Opposition parties have jumped on the issue, keen to put a dampener on the Merkel-Obama talks and prevent them from boosting the chancellor as she gears up for a September parliamentary election in which she is seeking a third term.
"This looks to me like it could become one of the biggest data privacy scandals ever," Greens leader Renate Kuenast told Reuters.
Obama is due to land in Berlin on Tuesday night, hold talks and a news conference with Merkel on Wednesday and then give a speech in front of thousands at the Brandenburg Gate.
It is his first trip to the German capital since he passed through in 2008 during his first campaign for the presidency, giving a speech at the Victory Column in the Tiergarten park that attracted 200,000 adoring fans.
Five years on, Germans are still enamored of Obama: a poll last week showed 82 percent view him favorably.

But his failure to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison, extensive use of drones to kill suspected al Qaeda militants and the latest revelations about the secret surveillance program, codenamed PRISM, have tempered enthusiasm.
According to documents leaked to the Washington Post and Guardian newspapers, the program gave U.S. officials access to emails, web chats and other communications from companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Skype.
Obama has defended it as a "modest encroachment" on privacy and reassured Americans that no one is listening to their phone calls.
But U.S. law puts virtually no eavesdropping restrictions on the communications of foreigners, meaning in theory that Washington could be delving into the private Internet communications of Germans and other Europeans.
Peter Schaar, the German official with responsibility for data privacy, said this was grounds for "massive concern" in Europe.
"The problem is that we Europeans are not protected from what appears to be a very comprehensive surveillance program," he told the Handelsblatt newspaper. "Neither European nor German rules apply here, and American laws only protect Americans."
(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

Russia questions Syrian chemical weapons evidence

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister says the evidence put forth by the United States of chemical weapons use in Syria apparently doesn't meet stringent criteria for reliability.
The Obama administration said this week that it will give lethal aid to Syrian rebels in light of evidence that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons in the country's civil war.
In Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that the material does not include guarantees that it meets the requirements of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He said the organization specifies that samples taken from blood, urine and clothing can be considered reliable evidence only if supervised by organization experts from the time they are taken up to delivery to a laboratory.
The OPCW is the autonomous body for implementing the international Chemical Weapons Convention that went into effect in 1997. Its website says Syria is one of six countries that have not signed or acceded to the convention.
A spokesman for the organization, based in The Hague, Netherlands, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Lavrov, after meeting with his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino, scoffed at suggestions that Assad's regime would use chemical weapons now in light of its apparent growing advantage against the rebels.
"The regime doesn't have its back to the wall. What would be the sense of the regime using chemical weapons, moreover at such a large scale?" he said.
Russia has blocked proposed U.N. sanctions against Assad's regime and acknowledged last month that it has contracted to supply advanced S-300 air-defense missiles to Syria. But President Vladimir Putin and other officials say the policies do not constitute overt support for Assad.

Big U.S. Companies You Might Not Know Are Religious

<p>               Customers stand in line for a Chick-fil-a meal at the chain's restaurant in Wichita, Kan., on Wednesday. Aug. 1, 2012. The crowd was buying meals to show their support for the company that's currently embroiled in a controversy over same-sex marriage.   Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared Wednesday national "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day." Opponents of the company's stance are planning "Kiss Mor Chiks" for Friday, when they are encouraging people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country and kiss each other. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying)

4. In-N-Out, the California-based burger chain is beloved for its commitment to fresh ingredients and its secretive "special menu."

flickr/saschopohfleppIt is also well known for the citation of Bible passages printed on the chain's cardboard cups, containers and wrappers.

The company does not address religion or the passages on their website. Company spokesman Carl Van Fleet told USA Today in 2005 that the founders' son Richard Snyder instituted the practice. "He told me, 'It's just something I want to do.'"

5. Alaska Airlines passes along an inspirational notecard with an Old Testament passage with your breakfast.

flickr/as737700Fly aboard Alaskan Air and you're likely to get some bible passages along with your in-flight breakfast.

Each breakfast tray comes with an inspirational notecard printed with a passage from the Old Testament, a company tradition dating back several decades.

Salon columnist Patrick Smith took issue with the notecard, and received this message in response from the Seattle-based company: "The quotes have application across many Judeo-Christian beliefs and are shared as a gesture of thanks which reflect the beliefs of this country’s founding as in the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, Pledge of Allegiance and every U.S. coin and dollar you handle. Alaska Airlines is an international carrier with very diverse customers, and we have no intentions of offending anyone or their beliefs. An overwhelming majority of our customers have indicated they appreciate the gesture, and those who don’t are not forced to read it."

6. You may still find a Book of Mormon alongside the Bible in your Marriott hotel room.

AP PhotoMarriott Hotel founder John Willard Marriott was a devout Mormon who held leadership positions within the church at the same time he was building his hotel empire.

While Marriott passed away in 1985, his religious legacy has lived on within the family-run hotel chain, which is known for sometimes putting the Book of Mormons along with Bibles in hotel rooms.

The company also recently announced that it would no longer offer pay-per-view

7. JetBlue founder David Neeleman was featured in a book titled "The Mormon Way Of Doing Business"

REUTERS/Lucas JacksonJetBlue's so-called "homesourcing"— the relocation of its phone reservation system to 700 stay-at-home workers based in Salt Lake City — provides a hint to its CEO's religious roots.

Founder and CEO David Neelman, a devout Mormon father-of-nine, once traveled to Brazil as a Mormon missionary, according to a 2002 USA Today profile.

And it's a big reason Neeleman prioritizes customer service. "My missionary experience obliterated class distinction for me," he said to author Jeff Benedict in "The Mormon Way of Doing Business." "I learned to treat everyone the same. If anything, I have a disdain for the upper class and people who think they are better than others."

8. Interstate Batteries includes references to the glory of God alongside its products in its online mission statement.

flickr/handtrucksentryInterstate Batteries speaks to its own religious identity in its mission statement.

According to the company's website, the mission is "to glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products, and distribution services."

Former Company President Norm Miller was recognized last year by Dallas Baptist University for "his strong Christian leadership at Interstate Batteries as well as in the

9. The Trijicon sight pictured here has a coded reference to Bible verse John 1:7

flickr/dshaboyWeapons-sight maker Trijicon made waves in 2010 when an ABC Nightline investigation found that the company had inscribed coded biblical references on high-powered rifle sights used by the U.S. military.

Military officials told ABC they were unaware of the inscriptions, which violated U.S. military rules banning the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Michigan-based company at the time acknowledged the codes and told ABC that the practice started under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.

10. Hobby Lobby sued the government on religious grounds over being required to provide emergency contraception.

AP Photo/Ed AndrieskiHobby Lobby, a national chain of roughly 500 arts-and-craft stores in 41 states makes the company's religious beliefs quite clear.

The company's first mission statement is "Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles," according to its website, and ends with, "We believe that it is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, we trust Him for our future."

Since 1997, the company has run full-page religious ads in every newspaper in which they advertise for holidays including Easter and Christmas.

The company unsuccessfully sued the government over a government mandate requiring that they cover emergency contraception for employees due to the founder's religious beliefs.

11. ServiceMaster's core commitment is to "honor God in all we do."

flickr/lkbmServiceMaster may not be a household name, but several of its brands — which include Merry Maids, Terminix and American Home Shield — are.

Former Minor League Baseball player Marion E. Wade founded the company in 1929 and worked to incorporate his "strong personal faith and a desire to honor God in all he did," according to the Service Master website.

This translated into the company's "foundational commitment" to "Honor God in all we do."

12. Mary Kay founder Mary Kay Ash attributed her success to her company's commitment to God.

Youtube/ScreengrabIn a 1997 interview Mary Kay Ash, founder of the cosmetics behemoth of the same name, attributed her company's success to the choice to "take God as our partner."

She expounded on these views in her biography, "Mary Kay: You Can Have it All," where she stated, "God has blessed us because our motivation is right. He knows I want women to be the beautiful creatures he created.''

The religious bent has caused controversy from some of the company's salespeople, who have said it promotes a cult-like environment

13. Texas based grocery chain H.E.B's Vice Chairman runs a Christian retreat center.

flickr/rutloH.E.B., a grocery-store chain with hundreds of stores in Texas and Mexico, grew from a single-family owned store opened by Florence Butt in Kerrville, Texas in 1905.

Company Vice Chairman Howard E. Butt Jr. is also a self-described "spiritual reformer," who joined with Rev. Billy Graham in the 1950s to create "spiritual programs for business professionals." He left his full time role at the company to become a preacher at Graham's advice, and now oversees the administration of "Laity Lodge," a Christian retreat center in Texas.

H.E.B. stores used to be closed on Sundays and prohibit the sale of alcohol until 1976, when a new president changed the rules.

14. Curves founder Gary Heavin is an outspoken Christian and supporter of conservative and religious causes.

Wikimedia CommonsCurves gyms are nationally known for creating a men-free environment where women of all shapes and sizes can work out.

It's lesser known that the company's founder Gary Heavin, is a born-again Christian who has garnered criticism for conservative political views and donating to anti-abortion causes, according to a 2004 Houston Chronicle profile.

Heavin acknowledged there has been some business "fallout" from his views, which prompted some members to cancel memberships.

15. The founder Tom's of Maine is a Harvard Divinity school graduate who emphasizes his faith in his business.

Wikimedia CommonsTom's of Maine, a natural products retailer best known for its toothpaste, is not that outwardly religious. But its founder Tom Chappell is an active Episcopalian, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School.

Chappell discusses his path from divinity school to business CEO in his book, "The Soul of a Business: Managing for Profit and the Common Good." While at the school, a professor recommended that he treat his business like a ministry, so that's what he did.

It has worked its way into Tom's mission statement, which says it exists, in part, "To help create a better world by exchanging our faith, experience, and hope."

16. Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz says his Jewish faith motivated him to sever ties with a Chinese factory.

flickr/paparainTimblerland CEO Jeff Swartz is well-known for his commitment to promoting corporate social responsibility.

For example, Swartz moved to sever the company's ties with a Chinese factory where human rights violations were allegedly occurring despite the fact that it took a hit to the shoe making company's bottom line. Swartz attributed his motivation to his own personal Jewish faith in a 2008 Fast Company profile.

"I can't show you the scripture that relates to the rights of a worker, but I can show you text that insists upon treating others with dignity," he said. "It says in the Hebrew Bible one time that you should love your neighbor as yourself, but it says dozens of times that you shall treat the stranger with dignity."

17. Meetings at fast food chain Carl's Jr's start with the Pledge Of Allegiance and a prayer.

AP PhotoCarl Karcher, who founded the company, was a committed Catholic who funded Catholic charities, and started a tradition of saying the Pledge of Allegiance and having a prayer before meetings that persists to this day, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The company's current CEO, Andy Puzder, was a close friend of the deceased Karcher, and shares the same religious convictions according to The Orange County Register.  

8. Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) owns The Los Angeles Galaxy and a variety of other companies. Its founder Phil Anschutz is a prominent Christian activist.

Getty ImagesPhil Anschutz owns a massive array of businesses, ranging from sports teams like the LA Galaxy, to the oil companies that originally made his family's fortune, and the Coachella music festival. 

Anschutz is a large conservative donor whose political and religious leanings make it through to his businesses. He's the owner of conservative publications The Washington Examiner and The Weekly Standard, and has funded family friendly and Christian leaning films like The Chronicles Of Narnia.

He's supported controversial legislation, like Colorado's Amendment 2, which reduced gay rights protections and was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court.

No injuries in Reno plane collision at air races

oped: Wow amazing...obviously a well built aircraft to land successfully after major damage to the tail...also Kudos to the aircraft pilot for his skills !

This June 13, 2013 photo provided by the Reno Fire Department shows a Czech-built military training jet sitting on the runway at Reno Stead Airport after it collided with another plane and suffered tail damage. The pilot was forced to make a belly landing during safety training for the 50th National Reno Air Races in Reno, Nev. Neither pilot was injured. The airport 20 miles north of Reno is the site where a pilot and 10 people on the ground were killed in a crash in September 2011. (AP Photo/Reno Fire Department, Chief Michael Hernandez)
Associated Press/Reno Fire Department, Chief Michael Hernandez - This June 13, 2013 photo provided by the Reno Fire Department shows a Czech-built military training jet sitting on the runway at Reno Stead Airport 

RENO, Nev. (AP) — One of two Czech-built military training jets that collided in midair while practicing for this fall's National Championship Air Races in Reno had to make a belly landing on the runway with no wheels, but neither pilot was hurt at the airport where 11 people were killed during the finals competition in 2011.
One of the L39-C Albatros manufactured in 1974 suffered tail damage and had to set down with the landing gear retracted at Reno Stead Airport about 5 p.m. on Thursday, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The other one built in 1980 landed without incident on another runway, he said.
The former military planes used to train fighter pilots touched while practicing maneuvers on the race course during a pylon racing seminar that teaches air safety to pilots who want to fly Sept. 11-15 at the 50th annual national championships.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the incident, Gregor said Friday.
Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association, said emergency crews and volunteers responded quickly to the accident.
"All systems and emergency response were exactly as planned and trained," he said in a statement. "These pilots did an outstanding job of managing their aircraft after the incident."

Houghton said the pilot pulled out of his first approach after the collision and circled before coming in a second time without the landing gear.
"When he landed wheels up, it (the plane) sustained quite a bit of damage to the undercarriage," he told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The airport 15 miles north of Reno is the site of a September 2011 race crash that killed a pilot and 10 others on the ground and injured scores more when a World War II-era, P-51 Mustang going in excess of 500 mph crashed near the grandstand.
During the competition, pilots fly wingtip-to-wingtip as low as 50 feet off the sagebrush on an oval path around pylons, with distances and speeds depending on the class of aircraft.
Both planes involved in Thursday's mishap were manufactured by the Prague-based Aero Vodochody, an aircraft company established in 1919, a year after the independent Czechoslovak Republic was formed. The company built MiG-15 aircraft during the Cold War era and later the supersonic MiG-19 and MiG-21.
The names of the pilots were not released. The plane built in 1974 is registered to CSC Enterprises Inc. based in Wilmington, Del., and the one in 1980 to Darryl K. Christen of Houma, La., FAA records show.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Enough with John McCain,Bill Clinton and the Obama Admin re: Syria et al


Ok I am going to be more Mr. Nice guy...taking off the proverbial gloves...John McCain and Bill Clinton along with Barack Obama want to involve the US in the Syrian Conflict....the question becomes why?...Well let us count the ways...hello did not Bill Clinton involve us in the 'Bosnia Fiasco' to sidetrack us from his impeachment hearings about his numerous scandals including Monica ?
I really don't understand John McCain's support of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, unless they have some dirty little secrets on him...John must address this issue!

What really ticks me off though is any US involvement in the Syrian Conflict will lead to WWIII ! ...we need to stay out of this and allow Russia to control this situation, it is their mess not ours!...The rebels are the same rebels who killed 4 Americans in #Benghazi thats right the 'Muslim Brotherhood'...who have taken over Libya,Egypt and are working on Syria ,with the assistance of non other than the Obama administration. Whats next Jordan,Turkey and Iran? I left out Saudi Arabia because they are the financiers of 90% of all Muslim Brotherhood actions...and fyi they pump oil out of the sand at $2.00 per barrel and charge the world $100 per barrel...not to forget Western Companies gave them the equipment and knowledge to retrieve the black gold...and then they use the money to attack those who brought them out of the 7th century...go figure ...By the way Obama turned his back on the student movements in Iran and Turkey who want help from the US to oust the Mullahs,Imams and Clerics who are  oppressing them and their freedoms...  ya know simple things like choice of religion/ social culture of the normal venue, not a 7th Century Theocracy that Islam dictates under Sharia Law!

People really need to do their diligent homework and research on who and what Islam is all is definetly not a Disney Movie about romantic Arabian Nights...start here and continue your own research before condemning those who have taken the time to do the research and understand the problems:

UpDate The Life and Times of Muhammad..Prophet,Man,King or Myth? 


Teenager, 15, Executed By Islamist Rebels in Syria 


Hello wake-up call: 

Egypt says citizens free to join fight in Syria


CAIRO (AP) — A senior official in Egypt's presidency said Thursday that Egyptians are free to join the fight in Syria and will not be prosecuted upon return amid increasingly public calls by leading clerics for Sunni Muslims to back the rebels there with firepower.
In a response to an Associated Press question about the government's stance on citizens going to fight alongside Syrian rebels, Khaled al-Qazzaz said that "the right of travel or freedom of travel is open for all Egyptians," adding that the state was taking no measures against anyone who goes to fight in Syria. He underlined that Egypt seeks a political solution to Syria's conflict and warned of the danger of it becoming a "regional war."
The comments by al-Qazzaz, a foreign affairs adviser to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, come at a time when clerics have stepped up calls for Sunnis in the Arab world to go to Syria to fight the regime in response to the Lebanese Shiite guerrilla group Hezbollah's overt intervention backing the Syrian military against rebels.
The calls have hiked fears that Syria's civil war will slide deeper into sectarian conflict and that foreign jihadis will take an even greater role in the rebellion. The presence of non-Syrian extremists, some with al-Qaida links, among the rebels has made the U.S. and its allies reluctant to send weapons to the rebellion.

Speaking in a meeting with foreign journalists, al-Qazzaz dismissed worries that Egyptians who fight in Syria could return home as hardened jihadis, even as extremists in the northern Sinai Peninsula continue to wage assassinations and attacks against the police and military there.
"We don't consider them a threat," al-Qazzaz said. "We have a controllable situation in Sinai ... We do not have a situation of returning jihadists."
He said that after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat and U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak, Egypt no longer takes part in the CIA's "extraordinary renditions" program, in which Mubarak's government helped detain suspected Islamic militants as part of the U.S.'s war on terror. The program raised allegations of illegal kidnappings and torture of suspects.
"We are no longer a center for rendition, or punishing Egyptians for what they do in other countries," he said.
It is not known how many Egyptians have gone to fight in Syria — and al-Qazzaz said he did not have figures. But organizations from Egypt's ultraconservative Salafi movement are believed to help organize movements for Egyptians who want to join the fight. Islamist websites have reported that up to several dozen Egyptians have been killed while fighting in Syria the past two years, though the number has not been independently confirmed.

The conflict, now in its third year, has killed nearly 93,000 people, according to new figures released by the United Nations.
Earlier this month, influential Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, urged Sunnis everywhere to join the fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"Everyone who has the ability and has training to kill ... is required to go," said al-Qaradawi, a popular television cleric who is based in Qatar. "We cannot ask our brothers to be killed while we watch."
A group of Muslim clerics, including al-Qaradawi, met in Cairo on Thursday and said it was a religious duty to back the rebels through whatever means possible.
The meeting underlined "the duty of jihad to support our brothers in Syria, with spirit, money and weapons, and all forms of jihad aimed at rescuing the Syrian people from the crimes and killings by the sectarian regime ... everyone according to his ability," hard-line Egyptian cleric Mohammed Hassan said, reading a statement from the group. He said Iran and Hezbollah's support for Assad "against our people in Syria is considered a declaration of war on Muslims in general."
A delegation of clerics then met with Morsi at the presidential palace on Thursday. The Egyptian president plans to attend a large rally in support of the Syrian opposition at Cairo's stadium on Saturday, which has been organized by the senior clerics.
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, is also calling on people to aid Syrians.

The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, is also calling on people to aid Syrians.
"We call on Arab and Islamic people to stand by their Syrian brothers — those who remain in the country or were forced to flee to other neighboring countries. We should not be unjust, surrender them or let them down. Religion, manhood and chivalry require that we be by their side and support them financially and morally," the group's statement said.
Among the most well-known Egyptians to have died in Syria is a 27 year-old named Yusif Mehrez, who was killed in the western city of Aleppo. Local media carried pictures of him kissing his mother's hand at the airport before flying to Syria to help fight alongside the rebels. A number of videos have also appeared online, purporting to show Egyptian men fighting in Syria. In one video an Egyptian man carrying a rocket-propelled grenade swung over his shoulder is shot by Assad's soldiers during a battle.
The fighting in Syria has turned increasingly sectarian and the largely Sunni Muslim rebels appear to be outgunned by Assad's military, which is backed by Shiite Iran and Russia. It has escalated from a local uprising into a civil war. The rebels, backed by Sunni states Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, are fighting against a regime that relies on support from Assad's Alawite community, as well as Shiites aided by Iran and Hezbollah.
International efforts to forge a round of peace talks have stalled, including an attempt by Egypt's president to find a solution to the crisis through a so-called Islamic Quartet that includes Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Al-Qazzaz said that Egypt is looking for a regional solution backed by the international community, and that a political solution is needed. He described what is happening there as "an act against humanity."
"The more we fuel this conflict with weaponry and soldiers, it turns into a regional war," he said.
The hard-line Salafi Nour Party also says Egyptians should be free to help Syrians in combat.
"Egypt, after the revolution, cannot stop anyone doing that because they are not going to upend the legitimacy of a government or carry out terrorist attacks. This is a revolution," said Amr el-Mekky, assistant to the party's chairperson for foreign affairs. But he underlined that any fighters who return home must respect Egyptian law.

Ok Rant over bottom line in my opinion: