Thursday, 30 June 2016
Why We Can’t Connect the Dots to Prevent Jihad Attacks
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by Jerry Gordon (July 2016)

In the wake of the Orlando Pulse gay nightclub massacre that took 49 lives, injuring 53 others, a number of questions have arisen about why the FBI investigations of the perpetrator, Omar Mateen, didn’t prevent him from carrying out his homicidal jihad.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/30/2016 9:23 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 June 2016
Brexit: he who lives by direct democracy dies by direct democracy
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by Theodore Dalrymple

As soon as it was clear that, like bad students in a multiple-choice exam, the British population had got the answer wrong in the referendum about Brexit, it was only too predictable that efforts would be made to nullify the results.

For the fact is that plebiscites in modern European democracy are intended to be no different from what they were in Napoleon III’s time: they are not attempts at ­canvassing public opinion but at consecrating a decision already taken or an opinion already held by the elite and its acolytes. A petition to have a second referendum took five days to obtain three million signatories (including from 39,000 alleged residents from the Vatican City, which has a popul­ation of 800 people).

Members of parliament, 60 per cent of whom are in favour of Britain remaining in the EU, have threatened to block the Brexit.

The leader of the Scots nationalists, Nicola Sturgeon, who found it democratically unacceptable that Britain should leave the union on the basis of a 52 per cent vote, predominantly in England, to do so found it democratically acceptable that 4 or 5 per cent of the votes cast in Scotland should outweigh all the votes cast in favour of exit, for she said that Scotland had the right to prevent the Brexit.

There are intrinsic difficulties with plebiscitary democracy, of course, especially where, as in Britain but unlike Australia, there is no legal obligation for citizens to vote.

It is surely unwise, to put it no higher, for major political or constitutional decisions to be taken on the basis of 50 per cent of the votes cast plus one, which may constitute a small minority of the adult population. In this case, only three-eighths of the British adult population (or adult and adol­escent population, given the voting age) voted for the Brexit. And it is true there is no constitutional obligation on MPs to obey the ­results of the referendum.

But no such objection was raised before the referendum, which was thus accepted on all sides as a legitimate way of going about things. Indeed, Scots nationalists had to accept it as legitimate, for such a method is their only hope of achieving independence.

The honourable and perspic­acious thing to have done would have been to argue forcefully against a referendum as a method of deciding the question and therefore to call for massive or overwhelming abstention.

Had anyone done this, this ­objection post facto to the results would have been honest and consistent, and not just a matter of pique. But expecting probity from a modern politician is like trying to get milk from a bull.

Those who argue for another referendum claim that those who voted for the Brexit did not really know what they voted for, regret the financial turmoil they have caused and would vote differently tomorrow (there will be no day-after-tomorrow if they get the ­answer right).

But no one could have missed the warnings of financial turmoil in the event of a vote for exit: they voted for an exit despite the warnings, possibly because they apprehended that the ­so-called European project is a recipe for unreformable bureaucratic dictatorship.

Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair has said that now that the consequences of the vote are clear, there should be another ­referendum immediately. For this flea-brained man, four days is an historical epoch.

What we have now got is the worst of all possible worlds, a mad and intemperate quasi-democrat­ic way of deciding a question of profound importance with a strong temptation by an elite ­persuaded of its own ineffable ­wisdom and transcendent right to rule the country to annul the result because it doesn’t like it.

All votes are equal, but some votes are more equal that others. If the results are annulled, however, as they very well may be, many of those who voted for exit will feel even more despised and sidelined than they do already. Many no doubt will decline into apathy, but some may resort to direct action, meaning violence: for it is true that some of those who voted for the Brexit were motivated by the crudest resentments. Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.

The opposition Labour Party now has its own problems with ­direct democracy. Rather than letting the parliamentary party elect a leader, it changed its method of election to direct voting by the party membership and those who avowed online a sympathy for its general principles or goals (and paid $6).

What the party got, not surprisingly, was a fly-in-amber student radical circa 1970 who has turned out, not surprisingly, to be a disaster as leader. But if the same methods are used to elect another leader, it is likely that he will be re-elected, or someone very like him will be elected.

The referendum, and the mess it has caused, is the consequence of the disregard of and ­disrespect for the delicate mechanism of the British constitution by a generation of politic­ians who thought they knew ­better. But he who lives by direct democracy dies by direct democracy; and a stable country has been utterly destabilised.

It is interesting to contrast the conduct of the Remain camp with that of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet after he lost a plebiscite on whether his term as president would be extended. The main ­difference is that the latter abided by the unwanted result.

First published in The Australian.

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Posted on 06/30/2016 7:06 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Thursday, 30 June 2016
ISIS in the Twin Cities
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Scott Johnson writes in City Journal:

On June 3, a Minnesota jury returned guilty verdicts against three Somali-Americans who disputed the ISIS-related terrorism charges brought against them by the office of United States Attorney for Minnesota Andrew Luger. Ten defendants were initially charged, but six had already pleaded guilty by the time the trial started. The Minnesota trial represents the largest such case ever brought in the United States, yet the news it generated has been obscured by the June 12 Orlando massacre. 

The case went to trial before Judge Michael Davis in federal district court in Minneapolis on May 9. Davis did an excellent job keeping the courtroom safe and the trial under control. Four or five visibly armed Department of Homeland Security officers patrolled the atrium of the federal courthouse. Officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms put bomb-sniffing dogs to work in the corridors. While family and friends of the defendants packed the courtroom, Davis enforced strict behavior protocols to prevent distractions and misconduct. These precautions proved their worth several times over. Tensions ran high. Early on, the brother of one defendant was found trying to smuggle scissors with six-inch blades into the courtroom. He had previously been observed photographing the elevators. He was banned him from the courthouse for the duration.

Waiting in the hallway to enter the courtroom one morning, I witnessed a young Somali girl in a hijab pounding on an older woman and cursing at maximum volume over and over, within 50 feet of the jury room. When the girl refused to desist, one of several plainclothes law-enforcement officers attending the trial took her to the floor and handcuffed her. And here I thought I’d seen it all. (The fight was between the mother of a cooperating defendant, who had pleaded guilty, and her daughter, a girlfriend of one of the defendants.)

Over three weeks, the jury heard a massive amount of evidence. Though I had followed the case closely, I wanted to take in the evidence with my own eyes and ears. I found it shocking. Defendants Mohamed Farah, Abdirahman Daud, and Guled Omar made up part of a larger group of young men from the Twin Cities who sought to leave the United States to join ISIS in Syria. When I say young, I mean high school and college age. One of their friends—Abdirahman Bashir—turned informant, while others made it to Syria without being detected or charged in the process. They are all first- or second-generation Somalis who appear to be talented and resourceful young men. They had social lives centered on local mosques. They are all observant Muslims and supplemented their education with Islamic studies. They wanted to live under the caliphate declared by ISIS. They yearned to wage jihad and to die as Islamic martyrs.

The group comes from Minnesota’s large Somali immigrant population, officially estimated at 40,000. The true number must be closer to 140,000. The United States attorney himself has used an unofficial estimate of 100,000 in an agreement he entered into with Somali community leaders. If Minnesota’s Somalians were a city, they would be Minnesota’s third-largest, after Minneapolis and St. Paul. Their numbers grow every year. In September 2015, the House Homeland Security Committee released a study of Americans seeking to join ISIS as foreign fighters. Minnesota, it turns out, sends more aspiring fighters to Syria and Iraq than any other state.

The heart of the government’s case was conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (by joining ISIS) and conspiracy to commit murder overseas (by fighting for ISIS). In the spring and fall of 2014, the defendants tried unsuccessfully to leave Minnesota for Syria. Farah was one of three Minnesota Somalis intercepted at JFK Airport on his way to Syria that November. He protested to the FBI agents who stopped him that he was simply on his way to vacation by himself in sunny Sofia, Bulgaria.

Continue reading here. Supplimental information at Powerline.

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Posted on 06/30/2016 6:58 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 30 June 2016
Islamist extremists hide huge stockpile of weapons near German mosque
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The stash was in a greengrocers - and in fairness in an urban area the setting could probably have equally accurately been described as 'near a launderette'. 

 From the Express

The weapons arsenal was discovered during a top secret raid by a SWAT team in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Local politician Ismail Tipi revealed details of the raid and warned of “the danger of fundamentalists”. 

The weapons were found in a cold room of a greengrocer near a mosque. 

The state is the most populous state in Germany with nearly 18million people in the area, which includes Dusseldorf. 

He said: “According to my information, a weapons arsenal with war grade weapons was found in this search. The danger of fundamentalist Salafists who are ready to use violence arming themselves in Germany is very large. This secret raid finding this weapons cache makes this more than clear.”

Mr Tipi, who is said to have received death threats for his comments against jihadis, raised concerns sleeper cells are gearing up for a terror attack on Germany.  

“Through the weapons arsenal, the sleeper cells and militant jihadis can be armed with weapons and prepare for their likely attack. This is exactly what I have always feared. . . Politicians must speak clearly about this.If these fears are substantiated, we can assume that secret weapons arsenals are being set up for a big terrorist attack not only in Germany, but throughout Europe. It would be a dereliction of duty if we didn’t recognise this danger and find these weapons arsenals."

Security chief Hans-George Maassen said the BfV domestic intelligence agency had thwarted a number of attacks and has carried out exercises to prepare for terrorism. 

Three Syrian men were earlier this month suspected of planning large-scale attacks in Dusseldorf.

Mr Maaseen said the agency was also vigilant for potential lone-wolf attacks, self-radicalised individuals, and possible militants smuggled in under the cover of over one million refugees that have entered Germany over the past year. He said authorities had identified clear evidence against 17 individuals who had entered Germany disguised as refugees, and most were either dead or had been arrested. 

He said: ”We must keep a particularly close eye on this group of people.”

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Posted on 06/30/2016 4:06 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Thursday, 30 June 2016
Istanbul Bombers from Dagestan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
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Daily Sabah:

Police in Istanbul and Izmir conducted a series of raids on Thursday in various parts of the city as part of operations targeting Daesh terrorists, and detained at least 20 suspects following the Brussels-style attacks on Atatürk Airport which killed at least 41 people on Tuesday night. The nationality of suicide bombers was also revealed on Thursday.

Reports have said that one of the suicide bombers is from Dagestan region in Russia, while the others are from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Anadolu Agency, police raided 16 addresses in Istanbul's Pendik and Sultanbeyli districts on the Asian side, and Ba?ak?ehir district on the European side and detained 13 suspects, three of whom are reportedly foreign nationals.

In the Aegean coastal city of ?zmir, police detained at least nine suspects.

Meanwhile, Turkish security forces killed two suspected Daesh terrorists at the border with Syria, when they tried to illegally cross into Turkey and ignored warnings to stop.

According to security sources, the suspects were Syrians who were in contact with Daesh supporters Abu Ali and Mustafa Demir.

One of them was identified as Muhammad Arab, who was wanted by Turkey and listed in intelligence reports as a potential suspect who could carry out suicide attacks in the capital Ankara and southern Adana province.

Turkey strengthened security measures throughout the country following deadly shooting and triple suicide attacks on Istanbul's Atatürk Airport on June 28.

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Posted on 06/30/2016 5:24 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 30 June 2016
Muslim Arab Teen Hops Fence, Enters Random Home, Stabs 13-year-old Girl To Death in Her Bed
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NYTimes:

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian youth leapt over a fence surrounding a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and stabbed and killed a teenage girl on Thursday before he was killed by a resident, the Israeli military and the news media reported.

The assault in the settlement of Kiryat Arba was the latest in a series of violent attacks that began eight months ago and that have left over 30 Israelis dead. More than 210 Palestinians have also been killed, most while carrying out attacks or when thought about to do so.

June, however, has been a particularly deadly month.

The assailant was identified by Palestinian health officials as Mohammad Trayreh, 19, of Bani Naim, a sprawling town separated from Kiryat Arba by hills and a highway. He jumped over the settlement fence and walked to an isolated house where he stabbed the girl, identified by Israeli news reports as Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, in her bedroom. A photograph of the blood-spattered room was released by the Israeli military.

Mr. Tarayreh then stabbed one of the volunteer security officers at the scene before he was shot and killed. Ms. Ariel was rushed to a hospital, where she died. The security officerwas in moderate to serious condition, Israeli radio reported.

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Posted on 06/30/2016 5:13 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Thursday, 30 June 2016
Law Enforcement Sources: Gun Used in Paris Terrorist Attacks Came from Phoenix
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Judicial Watch:

One of the guns used in the November 13, 2015 Paris terrorist attacks came from Phoenix, Arizona where the Obama administration allowed criminals to buy thousands of weapons illegally in a deadly and futile “gun-walking” operation known as “Fast and Furious.”

A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, “off book,” Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm. Federal agents tracing the firearm also found the Phoenix gun owner to be in possession of an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.

The investigative follow up of the Paris weapon consisted of tracking a paper trail using a 4473 form, which documents a gun’s ownership history by, among other things, using serial numbers. The Phoenix gun owner that the weapon was traced back to was found to have at least two federal firearms violations—for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic—but no enforcement or prosecutorial action was taken against the individual. Instead, ATF leaders went out of their way to keep the information under the radar and ensure that the gun owner’s identity was “kept quiet,” according to law enforcement sources involved with the case. “Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.

It’s not clear if the agency, which is responsible for cracking down on the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, did this because the individual was involved in the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. An ATF spokesman, Corey Ray, at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters told Judicial Watch that “no firearms used in the Paris attacks have been traced” by the agency. When asked about the ROI report linking the weapon used in Paris to Phoenix, Ray said “I’m not familiar with the report you’re referencing.” Judicial Watch also tried contacting the Phoenix ATF office, but multiple calls were not returned.

The ATF ran the Fast and Furious experiment and actually allowed criminals, “straw purchasers,” working for Mexican drug cartels to buy weapons at federally licensed firearms dealers in Phoenix and allowed the guns to be “walked”—possessed without any knowledge of their whereabouts. The government lost track of most of the weapons and many have been used to murder hundreds of innocent people as well as a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, in Arizona. A mainstream newspaper reported that a Muslim terrorist who planned to murder attendees of a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas last year bought a 9-millimeter pistol at a Phoenix gun shop that participated in the ATF’s Fast and Furious program despite drug and assault charges that should have raised red flags. Judicial Watch has thoroughly investigated Fast and Furious and has sued the Obama administration for information about the once-secret operation.

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Posted on 06/30/2016 4:55 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Bleeding Israel
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by G. Murphy Donovan (July 2016)

Hillary Clinton has a lot going for her in 2016. Among her primary assets we might list genitals (aka “first woman”), Bill’s and Barack’s coattails, pastel pant suits, felons, feminists, plus sizes, dependents, gender benders, hyphenated minorities, and anti-Semites.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 12:29 PM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Another Sabitri
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by Dilip Mohapatra (July 2016)

Shuffling of boots of the security men

on the hospital's cobble stoned courtyard

where the national flag is to be hoisted

on the Republic Day  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:52 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Hijaz
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by Brandon Marlon (July 2016)

Heat dements rival sheikhs intent on a gymkhana
to determine superior breeding among stables;
shaded by canopies and awnings,
tastemakers rate every caracole and gambade,  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:47 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Entropology:
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by James Como (July 2016)

This rabbit hole is ours, we the guild

who write ‘sonnets’ with a fifteenth line,

and hip-hop a waltz to four-four time,  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:42 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
A Bare Day
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by Bibhu Padhi (July 2016)

The last sleep was long.

Was it sleep at all?

A mere drama of rest  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:38 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Among Love’s Turnings: Two Poems
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by Evelyn Hooven (July 2016)

MORNING SONG

 

Waking, crossing

This threshold

While you sleep there,  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:34 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Jamshid the Persian and Waraka the Arabian in the Indian Court of Harshavardhana
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by A. Human Being (July 2016)

January 11, 630 AD: Kanauj, The Harsha Empire, Central Bharata (India)

Once upon a time in the far off land of Bharata, east of Arabia, lived a great king named Harshavardhana, who was known far and wide for not only having united north India and being crowned Maharaja at the young age of sixteen, but for ruling the citizens of this vast land with great justice and wisdom.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:28 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Gotham City, Zone III, 2085
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by James LePore (July 2016)

When the brain chip was invented and put into use that was the beginning of the end. They’re probably listening to me right now as I write this. If not, their key-word engine will alert them to me very quickly, probably before I’m done typing.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:23 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Kosti’s Ramón
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by Richard Kostelanetz (July 2016)

For my friend Tere (Gonzalez Minguez).

Having produced appropriate book-art homages to Guillaume Apollinaire (known to his friends as Kostro) and to Nathanael West (commonly called Pep), among others, I’d like to do likewise by another modern writer to whom I am increasingly sympathetic—the Spaniard Ramón Gomez de la Serna (1887-1963), known even to strangers only as Ramón.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:16 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
The Waning Age of Accidental Saints
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by Joe Bissonnette (July 2016)

"Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon ‘em.”  Twelfth Night

It is the most memorable line in the play, placed in the mouth of the least attractive character, the puritanical Malvolio whose name means ‘ill will’. But it is in our response to Malvolio that Shakespeare turns the screw.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 8:09 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Shakespeare’s House of Cards: An Anniversary Celebration
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by David P. Gontar (July 2016)

On March 10, 1613 the renowned English playwright William Shakespeare bought for 140 pounds a dwelling place in Blackfriars, London. This innocent act perplexes a few renegade antiquarians who ask, Since the gentleman retired to Stratford-on-Avon in that self-same year of 1613, where he spent his sunset years from 1613 to 1616, how and why did he acquire a London residence when, presumably, he was just vacating one?  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:57 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Latest North Korean Missiles Tests Raise Questions about Missile Defense
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by Jerry Gordon (July 2016)

On May 6, 2016, a panel was held on “Naval Aviation - Today and Tomorrow,” at the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. There, Admiral William "Bill" Gortney, retiring NORAD Commander, raised the matter of how "hot the Korean Peninsula" has become. He was concerned about threats from missile and nuclear testing by North Korea.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:51 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Where is the American Muslim Babe Ruth?
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by Norman Berdichevsky (July 2016)

On December 22, 1942, just a year from the attack on Pearl harbor, an ad was placed in The New York Times expressing the devotion and patriotism of loyal German-Americans to the United States, and their determined opposition to Nazi tyranny and the cold blooded extermination of the Jews of Europe and the barbarities committed against other peoples that was corrupting the soul of the German people expressed by the words “We utterly repudiate” every thought and deed of the Nazis.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:46 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
The Sunni-Shia Divide and Islam’s Puzzling Origins
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by Emmet Scott (July 2016)

In my Impact of Islam (2014) and Guide to the Phantom Dark Age (2014) I argued in some detail that Muhammad was a fictitious character conjured to life by the Umayyad Caliphs in the late seventh century in order to justify and legitimize the Arab usurpation of the Persian Sassanid Empire.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:41 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
The Ethnic Turks of Germany, Or “We Didn’t Expect That”
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by Hugh Fitzgerald (July 2016)

The Turks were the first large group of Muslims to move into Western Europe, beginning in the early 1960s, when Turkish men were brought to Germany as Gastarbeiter (“Guest Workers”) at the time of Germany’s boom or “economic miracle.”  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:37 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Playing It Straight: The Gay Response to Islamic Terror
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by Timothy D. Lusch (July 2016)

One could be forgiven for being mystified by the response of the LGBT community following Omar Mateen’s history making massacre in June. The response, of course, inhered in the usual pledges of solidarity and cyber support, calls for cross cultural unity, and the ever popular accusations of homophobia (accusations that ring hollow after evidence emerged that Mateen may have been gay).  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:32 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Brexit: Keep Calm and Carry On
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by Conrad Black (July 2016)

The immediate reaction to the Brexit vote in the international media and financial markets illustrates again the complacency and vacuity of the governing elites of the West. There was never any reason to imagine the Remainers would win on the basis of the piffle that David Cameron brought back from Brussels.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:26 AM by NER
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Hyphenated America
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by G. Murphy Donovan (July 2016)

“It’s always good to be underestimated.” – Donald Trump

Matters of form, not substance, are the things that get Donald Trump in trouble with the media and the establishment in 2016. Trump has not mastered the Orwellian arts; empty words, doublespeak, vacuous promises, and cluelessness.  more>>>

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Posted on 06/29/2016 7:22 AM by NER
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