Wednesday, 27 December 2017
Italy’s Heroes

by Gary Fouse

Having spent five years in Milan, Italy during my DEA career (1982-1987), I follow the events in that country and try to keep up with the language. Armed with my Firestick, I can enjoy TV shows and movies from around the world. Naturally, I enjoy the Italian crime shows. Along with Scandinavia, Italy is producing the best TV detective series. This week, I watched a two-part movie on Boris Giuliano (Full name, Giorgio Boris Giuliano), who was assassinated by the Mafia in Palermo in 1979. The movie is entitled, Trans-Atlantic Ties or  Un Polizotto a Palermo.

Giuliano's name was very familiar to me when I arrived in Italy three years later because he was one of the true heroes in Italy's fight against the Sicilian Mafia. I would like here to highlight not only Giuliano, but four other notable figures from that era in Italian law enforcement. The others are Rocco ChinniciGeneral Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, and prosecuting magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsalino. All were assassinated by the Mafia in Sicily between 1979 and 1992.

Giuliano left a comfortable position in Milan to return to his native Sicily in order to make a contribution in the fight against the Mafia. Back in Palermo, he became head of the National Police Squadra Mobile (Flying Squad), and aggressively went after the Mafia who were involved in heroin trafficking between Italy and America, the so-called Pizza Connection investigation, which also involved DEA and the FBI. Giuliano worked with both agencies and exchanged valuable information, which led to many high-level arrests and seizures of heroin. Unfortunately, as with the other three, Giuliano's courage and dedication were not matched by many of his superiors as well as many Italian politicians, most notably the Mafia-connected Giulio Andreotti, (who incredibly was prime minister of Italy three times as well as its foreign minister, interior minister and defense minister). As a result, many high-level Mafia figures arrested by Giuliano were soon freed for one reason or another.

As you can read in the link, Giuliano was gunned down by the Mafia in July 1979 as he was having coffee in a coffee bar near the Questura.

Rocco Chinnici was a magistrate in Palermo who created the Anti-Mafia Pool, which also consisted of other magistrates like Falcone and Borsalino to fight the Mafia. Unlike many at the time, he was not afraid to speak publicly about the Mafia. In 1983, he and two of his bodyguards were killed by a car bomb. Eventually, the Anti-Mafia Pool would bring forth the Maxi-Trial against the Mafia with almost 500 indictments (1986-1992). Most of these cases resulted in convictions.

Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa was a Carabinieri general when he was assigned to Palermo in May 1982. He had already achieved fame for his successes against the Italian terror group, Brigati Rossi (Red Brigades). He announced that he would attack the Mafia with the same vigor he had exhibited against the Red Brigades. In September that same year, he, his wife, and his police escort were ambushed and killed in their car by men on motorcycles. The entire country reacted in outrage.

Giovanni Falcone was also a native Sicilian who became one of Italy's most famous prosecutors for his determined campaign to fight  the Mafia. He was part of the Anti-Mafia Pool formed by Chinnici. His greatest success was the Maxi-Trial of Mafia figures which lasted from 1986-1992 and resulted in hundreds of  convictions.

Falcone was eventually transferred to Rome in 1991, but on a regular visit to Sicily in 1992 was murdered by a bomb placed by the side of the road as his car drove by. Also killed were his wife and three police escorts.

Paolo Borsalino, also a Sicilian, was a long-time friend of Falcone and fellow prosecuting magistrate. Like Falcone, he was part of the Anti-Mafia Pool created by Chinnici. Like Falcone, he was tenacious, and like the others was hampered by lack of resources, official corruption, and a lack of will on the part of others to support him. Two months after Falcone's death, Borsalino and five police bodyguards were killed by a car bomb in Palermo.

An Italian movie about the period between the deaths of Falcone and Borsalino is, "Borsalino: The 57 Days". Both that and the movie about Giuliano are very well made movies with top actors. They are in Italian with English sub-titles.

There are many others as well, but these five figures will be remembered by Italian historians. In a particularly violent time in the history of Italy, especially in Sicily, they put their lives on the line and died for a noble cause. Their deaths were met by outrage by Italians across the country including in Sicily. They shame others like Giulio Andreotti and those who were either corrupted or intimidated by the Sicilian Mafia.

Posted on 12/27/2017 5:16 AM by Gary Fouse
Wednesday, 27 December 2017
2017 Was a Year of Amazing Advances for Humanity

Marian L. Tupy's list:

  1. February 6: The age of the bionic body – from robot hands, controlled by your mind, to electronic eyeballs, experts reveal 6 medical marvels introduced by new technology.
  2. February 6: Biologists help deaf mice hear again by inserting healthy genes into their ears – the work shows an ‘unprecedented recovery of inner ear function’ and could be used in humans.
  3. February 10: Computers turn medical sleuths and identify skin cancer – algorithm works as reliably as board-certified dermatologists, study shows.
  4. February 15: For the blind, an actual-reality headset – not just Star Trek fiction, a new visor from eSight is a lightweight, high-contrast vision system for legally blind people.
  5. February 17: Wyoming man receives ‘miracle’ face transplant 10 years after suicide attempt.
  6. February 18: Smartphones to become pocket doctors after scientists discover camera flash and microphone can be used to diagnose illness.
  7. February 20: Hope for millions as scientists discover multiple sclerosis treatment that can slow its progression.
  8. February 22: Life expectancy to break 90 barrier by 2030.
  9. March 2: Teenager’s sickle cell reversed with world-first therapy.
  10. March 3: Terminal cancer patients go into complete remission after groundbreaking gene therapy.
  11. March 3: UTA professor invents breath monitor to detect flu.
  12. March 6: Google’s artificial intelligence can diagnose cancer faster than human doctors – the system is able to scan samples to determine whether or not tissues are cancerous.
  13. March 8: The robot will see you now! Chat-bots that monitor symptoms will become more accurate and quicker at spotting illness than doctors.
  14. March 8: Scientists discover new state of matter called ‘Time Crystals’ – time crystals seemingly break the rules of normal time-keeping and potentially pave the way for quantum computers and quantum sensors.
  15. March 10: Scientists make progress toward engineering synthetic yeast – the work brings to six the number of yeast chromosomes that now can be synthesized, according to new research.
  16. March 13: More people could benefit from BRCA breast cancer drugs.
  17. March 14: Swedish men on target to be first to completely stub out smoking.
  18. March 15: Startup serves up chicken produced from cells in lab – ‘clean meat’ developers say it avoids towering costs of feeding, caring for livestock.
  19. March 15: The next innovation in shipping – Wind Power; Maersk launches trial run of tanker using rotating cylinders that can function as high-tech sails.
  20. March 18: An insect’s eye inspires a new camera for smartphones – a series of eyelets can make cameras much smaller.
  21. March 23: New rotavirus vaccine could prevent thousands of childhood deaths.
  22. March 24: Machines which detect cancer symptoms could be out in a year.
  23. March 27: Can tech speed up emergency room care? A New York hospital system tests a new way to use telemedicine, where E.R. doctors examine patients without being in the same room.
  24. April 2: Plastic-eating fungus may solve garbage problem.
  25. April 6: To handle electronic waste, freeze it and pulverize it – scientists say a new technique can make it more profitable to harvest metals and other materials from circuit boards in old TVs, computers and more.
  26. April 26: Artificial ‘brain in a dish’ is created in a world first: Breakthrough could shed light on conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
  27. May 2: CRISPR eliminates HIV in live animals.
  28. May 4: Scientists engineer baker’s yeast to produce penicillin molecules.
  29. May 5: Iceland drills 4.7 km down into volcano to tap clean energy.
  30. May 11: Scientists have created an exoskeleton to stop elderly people from falling.
  31. May 11: HIV life expectancy ‘near normal’ thanks to new drugs.
  32. May 17: Lab-grown blood stem cells produced at last – two research teams cook up recipe to make long-sought cells in mice and people.
  33. May 18: Antibodies from a human survivor define sites of vulnerability for broad protection against ebola viruses.
  34. May 18: Scientists look to skies to improve tsunami detection.
  35. May 22: World’s largest aircraft completes successful test flight.
  36. May 23: MIT researchers develop a moisture-responsive workout suit with live cells.
  37. June 1: ‘Instantly rechargeable’ battery could change the future of electric and hybrid automobiles.
  38. June 1: Extinct species of Galapagos giant tortoise may be resurrected.
  39. June 3: SpaceX successfully launches reused Dragon spacecraft for ISS resupply.
  40. June 3: ‘Liquid Biopsy’ passes early test in quest to find cancer in blood .
  41. June 13: Live antibiotics use bacteria to kill bacteria.
  42. July 3: This Silicon Valley company wants to ‘make better humans’ through biohacking.
  43. July 6: DNA from sharks that can live up to 400 years could hold the secret to a longer life.
  44. July 6: Robot wars – knee surgery marks new battleground for companies.
  45. July 9: Banks deploy AI to cut off terrorists’ funding.
  46. July 11: Scientists design a solar cell that captures nearly all energy of solar spectrum.
  47. July 17: Bananas – scientists create vitamin A-rich fruit that could save hundreds of thousands of children’s lives.
  48. July 22: This new material could let phones and electric cars charge in seconds.
  49. July 26: New artificial spider silk: stronger than steel and 98 percent water.
  50. July 28: Melanoma: – new, more effective drug steps closer.
  51. July 28: Could stem cells reverse the aging process)?
  52. July 28: Juvenescence AI to develop first compounds generated by Insilico’s deep-learned drug discovery engines.
  53. August 4: IBM storage breakthrough paves way for 330TB tape cartridges.
  54. August 28: Anti-inflammatory drug ‘cuts heart attack risk’.
  55. August 30: Trial raises Parkinson’s therapy hope.
  56. August 30: FDA clears first gene-altering therapy — ‘a living drug’ — for childhood leukemia.
  57. September 7: Shropshire farm completes harvest with nothing but robots; a world-first in automation.
  58. September 12: U.S. middle-class incomes reached highest-ever level in 2016, Census Bureau says.
  59. September 23: Newly engineered antibody could kill off 99 per cent of HIV strains.
  60. September 28: DNA surgery on embryos removes disease.
  61. October 9: Google is going to use experimental high-altitude balloons to provide internet in Puerto Rico.
  62. October 18: Dyslexia link to eye spots confusing brain, say scientists.
  63. October 29: Saudi Arabia to allow women into sports stadiums.
  64. November 13: Brain implant boosts human memory by mimicking how we learn.
  65. November 14: ‘Better than Concorde’ supersonic 1,687mph airliner to ‘revolutionize’ air travel by 2025 (link).
  66. November 15: The firm that can 3D print human body parts.
  67. November 15: US scientists try 1st gene editing in the body.
  68. November 15: US biotech unicorn steps up competition for BioNTech’s mRNA personalized cancer vaccine.
  69. November 24: Cancer breakthrough: Potential cure could be ready as early as next year.
  70. November 26: Diabetes drug ‘could be used to end agony of transplant rejection’.
  71. November 29: Expanding DNA’s alphabet lets cells produce novel proteins.
  72. November 30: Designer proteins—the new generation of HIV vaccines being put to the test
  73. November 30: Trees are covering more of the land in rich countries – the spread of forests is not always popular. But it is sure to continue.
  74. December 1: HIV breakthrough as cancer drug could hold secret to curing the virus.
  75. December 1: In Rwanda, drones deliver medical supplies to remote areas – such services help people in isolated regions – and could yield lessons for making shipments elsewhere.
  76. December 4: China rules aquaculture as fish output triples in decade.
  77. December 7: Bumper crops boost global cereal supplies in 2017/18.
  78. December 10: Democracy is far from dead – in 12 years, the share of the world’s people who live in ‘free’ countries has risen.
  79. December 11: Huntington’s breakthrough may stop disease.
  80. December 11: Tasmanian tigers aren’t extinct (or at least they won’t be for long!) – Scientists unlock mysterious creature’s DNA – and plan to clone it bring the beast back to Australia.
  81. December 13: Streetlights could be replaced by glowing trees, after scientists make plants shine in the dark.
  82. December 14: Haemophilia A trial results ‘mind-blowing’.
Posted on 12/27/2017 4:34 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 26 December 2017
The United Nations Blocks Reality on Jerusalem

by Michael  Curtis

The most moving and eloquent words spoken in the UN General Assembly, the assembly of hypocrisy, incitement, and lies, were articulated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, after the UNGA on November 10, 1975  had passed the infamous Resolution 3379 that declared that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimimation."

Moynihan rose to declare that this is a lie which the UN has now declared to be a truth. A great evil has been loosed on the world. The U.S. did not acknowledge, it will not abide by, it will never acquiesce in this infamous act...the abomination of antisemitism ... has been given the appearance of international sanction."

Forty-two years later another candid U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has echoed the derogatory tone of his censure and rebuked the UN  for another infamous Resolution, asserting, "I am here to emphasize that the U.S. is determined to stand up to the UN's anti-Israel bias.

On December 21, 2017 at an emergency session the UNGA passed a Resolution, by 128 to 9 with 35 abstentions and 21 others who did not vote, implicitly referring to the declaration of President Donald Trump on December 7, 2017. In his statement Trump recognized that Jerusalem was the capital of the State of Israel, that the U.S. was planning to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and that the U.S. would support a two state solution if agreed to by both sides.

The UNGA disgraced itself once again when its new Resolution reaffirmed the thrust of previous Resolutions, nine, since November 1967. It affirmed  that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered  the character, status, or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are "null and void" and must be rescinded. It called on all states to refrain from the etablishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.  In effect it rebuked the U.S. which was told to withdraw its statement.

It has long been a disgrace in international politics that almost all the agencies of the UN  have no credibity and have been hostile places on any issue concerning  the State of Israel. Indeed, of the 93 UN Resolutions passed this year, 83 ( 86%)were directed against Israel. Nikki Haley forcefully explained that Israel can stand up not only for itself and its security, but also for freedom and human dignity in general.

However, this new UN vote is different in that it attacked the U.S.  for exercising its right, that all states have as sovereign nations, to make decisions of its own. Haley declared that the U.S. would not be told by outsiders where to put one of its embassies. Perversely, it is not the U.S. but the Palestinians and anti-Israeli forces who are throwing road blocks to Middle East negotiations, and causing a stalemate. Indeed, long time, 12 years in his 4 year term, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said he will not accept any U.S. plans for Middle East  peace, as the U.S. is no longer an honest negotiator in the process. Abbas has declared the UN vote is a victory for Palestine, and his UN envoy Riyad Mansou has delighted it is a massive setback for the U.S.

In fact, Palestinian leaders refused to meet with Vice President Mike Pence who had planned in December 2017 to visit Bethlehem and the Nativity Church, as part of the Palestinian policy to refuse the discuss the future of the region with the US. Their action is not only discourteous to the U.S. but a deliberate rebuke to Pope Francis who called in his Christmas Message for prayers  that "the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties (Israel and Palestinians) and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached."

Naturally, the opposition to Trump's declaration came from many countries not generally regarded as peace loving powers or shining examples as protectors of what the UN Resolution called "the unique spiritual, religious, and cultural dimensions" of Jerusalem. Prominent were Venezuela, a world center for illegal drug trafficking, which claimed the U.S. threatened world peace and that the world was not for sale; Syria, still involved in its brutal civil war;  Yemen, where more than seven million are at risk of starvation, helped draft the anti-US Resolution; and North Korea so concerned with the Holy City that it forgot to set off another ballistic missile on the day of the UN vote.

Yet, it is saddening that among the 128 votes for the Resolution were western democracies, including 22 of the 28 EU countries: France, UK, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as Russia, China, and Iran. The opposition nine embraced Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Micronesia, and Togo, as well as the U.S. and Israel. The 35 abstentions included five EU  states and other normally U.S. allies such as Australia and Canada. Those who did not vote might have feared U.S. warning of funding cuts to them.

Ambassador Haley fought gallantly against the UN Resolution, nonbinding and largely symbolic though it is, as Moynihan did in 1975, and informed UN members that the US was taking names and "we will remember when we are called on to once again make the world's largest contribution to the UN." Since 1994, the US has given over $5  billion to Palestine in bilateral economic assistance, security assistance, and humanitarian assistance. It funds almost 30% of the UNRWA budget.

In this there are problems in implementing the Trump policy. A good part of  US aid funding is appropriated by Congress for particular countries and issues. Unilateral cuts to a specific country are not easy, because they may be related to specific packages in countries. There are in fact different, really three, aid streams; military and security assistance that goes to governments; development aid for those in need and for fighting poverty; and humanitarian aid. One dilemma is that it is difficult to cut development aid, because of both the recent decline in commodity prices in developing countries, and the stuggle of those countries with Ebola.

The US as Haley has said is responding. The Trump administration has already issued warnings about other activities of the UN or individual countries. Because of the actions of Saudi Arabia in blockading  food, water, and medecine to Yemen,  the US  threatened to cut aid to the country. In 2011 UNESCO, the first UN agency to do so,  decided to accept Palestine as a full member, though there is no Palesinian state. The US and Israel both froze anuual funding to UNESCO. US law prohibits funding any UN agencies that recognize Palestine as a state. Now in December 2017, the US followed by Israel announced it will withdraw from UNESCO.

Ambassador Haley has made clear that the Trump declaration on Jerusalem  has not harmed the peace process, but like a good detective has recognized the obvious. Interestingly, the US has been in a similar situation more than thirty years ago. The UN Security Council on August 20 1980, voted Resolution 478, 14 to none with the US abstaining, condemning the Israeli declaration that Jerusalem was Israel's "complete and united capital." The then Secretary of State Edmund Muskie in the Clinton Presidency responded it was another proof of the unbalanced and unrealistic UN texts on Middle East  issues. The Resolution was a disruptive attempt to dictate to other nations. It  did nothing to advance the cause of peace. The continuing problem is that the UN is singing the same discordant tune over and over again. For the US it is time to change partners and advance.

The international uprising against the Trump statement antipated by the usual suspects did not take place, or was far more muted than they proclaimed. The opposite may be occuring.

Guatemala 's President Jimmy Morales, an evangelical Christian, and TV personality, plans to follow the intentions of President Trump and move his country's embassy to Jerusalem. Both the Czech Republic and Costa Rica are considering similar action. And hyprocisy will have its day. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, has unilaterally without negotiations, called for East Jerusalem to be the capital of the Palestinan state. Turkey has announced, in spite of its involvement present war on the Kurds, that "with God's permission," the day is "close" when Turkey will open an embassy in that Palestinian state. So much for the UN condemnations of decisions altering the "character, status, or demographic composition of the Holy City."

Posted on 12/26/2017 6:45 AM by Michael Curtis
Tuesday, 26 December 2017
Mohammedan Mob Forbids Wearing of Santa Hats in Indonesia but Dons Santa Hats - indeed Santa Costumes - for Propaganda Jihad Against Jews in Israel

In Islam, expediency rules.  

Whatever furthers the Jihad, the struggle to make Muslims dominant and/ or  to enforce sharia compliance, is permissible.  In Indonesia Muslims rule, so the most pious Muslims then strive to force full sharia compliance: Muslims ought not to wear Santa costumes.  But in so-called 'palestine' - that is, in Muslim-occupied Judea and Samaria - Muslim Arabs who during Christmas time, when the eyes of the infidel world and its media are focused on Bethlehem, use this time to wage jihad against the Jews, don Santa Claus costumes so as to further the propaganda aspect of their jihad... to subliminally suggest  - via the widely-promulgated images of these faux Mohammedan Santa Clauses, these wolves in sheep's clothing - that the Jooooz are attacking Santa, Christmas, Christianity.  

This story has to be seen, with its attendant pictures, in order to grasp the extent to which Islam is governed by sheer expediency, and the depth and perverseness of the types of deceit that Muslims naturally and frequently engage in.

"Palestinians Dressed as Santa Claus Clash With Israeli Forces in Bethlehem".

That ought to be - "Wolves in Sheeps' Clothing: Muslims in Santa Costumes Attack Jewish Soldiers in Bethelehem in Judaea". 

'Palestinian protestors (sic: Muslim rioters - CM), some festively dressed as Santa Claus (sic: "some wearing Santa Claus costumes to fool western useful-idiots into siding with their genocidal Jew-hatred" - CM) have clashed with (sic: rather "provoked and attacked" - CM) Israeli security forces (Jewish Israeli law enforcement officers and soldiers- CM) in Bethlehem (sic: that should be - "in Bethlehem in Yehudah" - CM), a day before the beginning of Christmas celebrations in the West Bank city revered as the birthplace of Jesus (sic: 'in the city in historic Judea in the land of Israel where Jesus was born" - CM).

'Holding Palestinian flags, the demonstrators, who gathered at an Israeli military tower to protest against (with the claimed excuse of protesting against - CM) U S President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, were pushed back by the soldiers who also used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the protest (sic: to repel the mob attack - CM).

'There have been regular protests (sic: riots - CM) by Palestinians and pro-Palestinian groups across the Middle East (sic: by local Muslims and by other Muslims of assorted ethnicities in many places - CM)  since Mr Trump announced his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem earlier this month.

I hope he hurries up and makes the move.  And then surrounds it with US marines charged with shooting to kill any mohammedan mobster that tries to attack it. - CM

'Defying the United States on Thursday, the UN General Assembly (sic: The UN General Assembly, dominated by the Islamintern and its fellow-travellers, Muslim and non-Muslim Jewhaters and America-haters, Useful Idiots, and outright cowards - CM) approved a resolution calling for the United States to drop its December 6 recognition of Jerusalem - a city revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians (sic: the Jews' central and most important historic and religious site, which is of significance to Christians because Jesus the Jew preached and died and was resurrected there, but to which Muslims - for whom it is in fact of negligible significance - lay exclusive claim in order to spite both Jews and Christians - CM), as Israel's capital.

'Resident of Bethlehem (sic; Muslim squatter in Jewish Bethlehem - CM) Mohammad Al-lahham said the Santa costumes were worn to send a message to Palestinian (sic: local Arab mostly-Muslim - CM) children.

"Our message is a message to the children of Palestine (sic: Muslim children in and around Israel; whenever one hears the word 'Palestine' in a Muslim mouth one must bear in mind that such speakers always mean all of historic eretz Yisroel; and that our Mohammed Al-Lahham would envisage either an Arab Islamic state of "Palestine' in which there were no Jews at all, all the Jews having been either driven out - as Muslim Jordan drove out and then kept out all Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem, when Muslim Jordan seized the heart of the City in 1948 - or else killed; or else in which there was an oppressed minority of Jews forced to live as Dhimmis, to be tormented at will by their rapacious and capricious Muslim overlords. - CM) that Papa Noel (Santa Claus) comes to the displaced and suffering people to give the gifts children of Palestine are deprived of", he said.  "Today we are dressed like Papa Noel to give gift which is the resistance on our land".

In other words, this vicious Mohammmedan supremacist has appropriated - stolen, or perhaps, kidnapped and taken hostage? - Santa Claus, for the purposes of Jihad; physical jihad and propaganda jihad.  HIs audience is not only those pickled-in-Jewhatred cradle-Muslim 'children of Palestine', who can be seen aplenty on MEMRI, in Hamas and Fatah kiddy TV shows, or in youtube clips produced by their proud Muslim parents, waving knives, chirping in childish voices their desire to murder Jews; it is also the empty heads in the Western world who are only too eager to buy the mohammedan theatre of victimhood, and whose latent antisemitism is sweetly titillated by the image of poor dear Santa Claus being mistreated by the evil weapon-toting Joooo. - CM  

"A message to the children of Palestine is that we are on the path to freedom, to [get] Jerusalem.  Papa Noel distributes gifts and the occupation distributes bombs today. (Nonsense-and-lies; the bombs are the suicide bombs that Muslims exploded, over and over, amongst the Jews of Israel, choosing especially to target locations where there were women and young children; it is the bombs that Jihad Armed Camp Gaza fires indiscriminately into civilian-inhabited areas of Israel, and which fail only because of Israeli cleverness and preparedness. - CM).  These are the bombs that the Israeli occupation is distributing today, at Christmas."....

Note well that sly and probably whining invocation of a festival for which, as a pious Muslim, Mr Lahham would in fact feel boundless contempt.  Mr Lahham is a Muslim.  Mr Lahham surely knows all about shirk, and not assigning partners to Allah, and therefore, despises Christmas, which involves the celebration of the birth of the incarnate Word of God; as a Muslim he is supposed to view the few Christians left in Bethelehem as people to be despised, abused, exploited, never befriended, though they are temporarily useful in the furtherance of the Jihad against the Jews.  I would bet good money that Christmas is not something he himself cares two hoots about.  He is merely making use of Christmas, as he makes use of Father Christmas/ Santa Claus, for propaganda purposes, for the Jihad. War is deceit. 

Click on the link and look at the pictures.  

Only those Infidel observers with attention spans greater than that of a gnat will bear grimly in mind, as they examine those pictures, other images: the image of the Christians' Santa Claus depicted with bound hands ready to be beheaded by Islamic State jihadis, as recently spread abroad by Islamic State propagandists, and the reports of furious Islamic denunciations of the wearing of Santa costumes for fun or for commercial purposes, in Indonesia, and understand what is really going on when Mohammedan mobsters in and around Bethlehem of Judaea get themselves up in Santa costumes before going out a-rioting. - CM


Posted on 12/26/2017 4:49 AM by Christina McIntosh
Monday, 25 December 2017
Christmas Day Supplementary Quiz Questions


Merry Christmas to all of you who read at NER.

If you have an idle moment or two you may care to try to answer some, or all, of my quiz questions. As usual, all the answers have something to do with Christmas. The answers to the ten questions I ask below all have something in particular to do with today.

You can find the first twenty-one questions in this quiz here at NER and the five questions posted on the last Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, also here at NER.


(1)   According to his friend William Stukeley, this person “...went into the garden, & drank thea under the shade of some appletrees...”. Who was he and when was he born?

(2)   “This is the Record of John” is not about the compiler of this quiz, but is an Advent text from St. John’s Gospel set for solo countertenor, or tenor, alternating with a full chorus. Who set it to music and when was he baptised?

(3)   Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi ruled from 15th of February in AD1775 to his death on the 29th of August in AD1799. What did he rule, by what name and regnal number is he better known and, most importantly, when was he born?

(4)   Johann Georg Palitzsch saw something first. What did he see and when did he see it?

(5)   This AD1953 Christmas song was written by Joan Javits (the niece of Senator Jacob K. Javits) and Philip Springer and the singer most associated with it originally recorded it with Henri René and his orchestra in New York City in the July of that year. What was the song called, who was the singer and when did she die?

(6)   In an African war a shell was fired that contained a food item and not gunpowder. What was the war, where was the shell fired, what did it contain and, most importantly, when was it fired?

(7)   The Scottish authoress of “The ewe-buchtin’s bonnie” and the well-known “And werena my heart licht I wad dee” is famous for her poetic songs and her ‘Household Book’. What was her name, how is it usually styled and when was she born?

(8)   The discoverer of Saturn’s rings released the discoverer of Titan, a moon of Saturn, successfully. What are the discoverers called, what was released and when was it released?

(9)   He wrote "Makar's Dream" and he explored spirituality all through his rebellious life. Who was this Russian and when did he die?

(10)  Crème Valaze, that probably included herbs from the Carpathian Mountains, made her name. Who was she and when was she born?





Posted on 12/25/2017 7:23 AM by John M. Joyce
Monday, 25 December 2017
Behold, A Child is Born

Madonna and Child with Saints in the Enclosed Garden by Robert Campin (between circa 1440 and circa 1460)

Posted on 12/25/2017 5:08 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Sunday, 24 December 2017
Quiz Extra

Just a little something extra for the fourth Sunday in Advent, also Christmas Eve.

You can find the first twenty-one questions in this quiz here at NER.

Remember, it's all about Christmas.


(1)  When were carols first sung in churches and who introduced them?

(2)  Traditionally, when does one add the kings, the wise men, to one’s model nativity tableau?

(3)  Which national post office was the first to release a Christmas stamp, and when did it do so?

(4)  Who wrote “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” and what is it better known as today?

(5)  What has a ‘welkin’ to do with herald angels?



There'll be more tomorrow if my internet connection holds together.

Answers, as usual, on Twelfth Night.



Posted on 12/24/2017 1:05 PM by John M. Joyce
Sunday, 24 December 2017
Homeland Security: PA Gunman Who Attacked Police Was Terrorist Brought In By Chain Migration

The Department of Homeland Security describes the shooting spree in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which took place on Friday, as “a terror attack.” The gunman opened fire and targeted police in several locations in the city.

Posted on 12/24/2017 5:43 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 23 December 2017
Halal school meals ban could be challenged in court

From the Burnley Express

 A move to ban unstunned halal meat from Lancashire schools could be delayed or overturned after the threat of a judicial review was made to Lancashire County Council. Councillors in Lancashire voted in October that in future any halal meat served in schools must be butchered from pre-stunned animals, with the exception of poultry. The ruling on beef and lamb was due to take effect when the council’s meat supply contract was renewed this month. However, there is a three month period from the time that Full Council made their decision in late October for any party which disagrees with the decision to apply for a judicial review.

The county council has now revealed that it has been served with legal papers from the Lancashire Council of Mosques which effectively puts it on notice that a judicial review could go ahead unless the matter is resolved. Ie, until the Muslims get things to their liking.

County Coun. Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We are due to put on hold the new contract for supply of halal meat to schools.

The Council of Mosques said the decision would “only serve to increase Islamophobia and anti-Semitism”.


Posted on 12/23/2017 11:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 23 December 2017
Hundreds Storm Coptic Church in Egypt

From the Wall Street Journal and the Malay Mail

CAIRO—An Egyptian Coptic Christian diocese said Saturday that hundreds of Muslim demonstrators had assaulted one of its churches.

The diocese in Atfih said the incident in Giza just outside Cairo took place after Friday prayers when demonstrators gathered outside the building and stormed it. The diocese said the Prince Tawadros church had been used for almost 15 years and had applied for a licence under a law passed last year meant to ease permits for new churches.

The demonstrators chanted hostile slogans and called for the church’s demolition, the statement said. They destroyed the church’s contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.

It also said the wounded were transferred to a nearby hospital but didn’t elaborate.

Posted on 12/23/2017 11:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 23 December 2017
DA: 'No doubt' that Harrisburg gunman was targeting police ~ FBI probing possible terrorism

From the Pittsburg Post-Gazette and The Hill

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A prosecutor says there’s “no doubt” that a gunman who fired at police in several locations in Pennsylvania’s state capital, wounding one of them, was targeting police officers.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico says 51-year-old Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty fired at a capital police officer shortly after 4 p.m. Friday and later at a state trooper, wounding her. Mr. Marsico says both officers were in marked vehicles.

Mr. El-Mofty was killed during a shootout with local and state police. Authorities say he was armed with two handguns. The trooper struck is “doing well” and expected to make a full recovery.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said Friday that the investigation would determine any potential links between the shootings and terrorism, according to ABC News. Marsico said that El-Mofty had recently returned to the U.S. from a trip to the Middle East. . . but the motive for the attack isn’t yet known. Marsico asked for information from the public about Mr. El-Mofty. 

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are probing whether (the) string of shootings in Harrisburg, Penn., on Friday constituted an act of terror

Posted on 12/23/2017 10:52 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 23 December 2017
Beyoncé Studies

by Theodore Dalymple

The musicology department of Copenhagen University is to offer a course on the music of Beyoncé. It would be fun, it said.

I think it is probably true that most readers of the Review have limited knowledge of Beyoncé; but to judge by the number of entries on Google devoted to her, she is 25 per cent more important than Hitler ever was, and three times more important than Lenin. Whatever you might think of her music, then (assuming you think anything of it at all), she and her music are clearly important as a phenomenon.

Popular culture is clearly an important subject of academic study, especially in an age like ours in which it fills people’s minds, moulds their opinions, shapes their ambitions and daydreams, and affects their behaviour. No sociologist (or social historian of the future) could afford to disregard popular culture.

There is another way to study culture, however, and that is sub specie aeternitatis, from point of view of what is intrinsically meritorious or valuable. Not everything popular is bad, of course, but not everything popular is good. We do not study Shakespeare because he was popular in Elizabethan London, so that we may find out about the mentality of Londoners four and a half centuries ago. We study Shakespeare because his speaks both beautifully and profoundly to all subsequent ages, and perhaps to any conceivable age. We study Victorian melodrama not because it was good, but because it tells us something about Victorian society and its mentalities.

These two ways of, or reasons for, studying culture are different, though they may sometimes overlap a little. Such are the trends in modern universities, however, that the two ways and reasons are increasingly elided.

The first trend that accounts for this elision is purely intellectual. Philosophical relativism, the denial that there is any objective basis for judgments of worth or value, has become almost an orthodoxy in humanities departments. And if there is no real difference between good and bad, why go to the trouble of studying the difficult when the easy is, by definition, just as good?

The second trend is the commercial imperative under which universities now operate. To put it crudely (and as academics now often put it themselves), they need bums on seats. What better way to get them there than to ‘study,’ as if academically, what the students already know and like, and to flatter them into believing that their taste is impeccable?

The University of Copenhagen needed twenty applicants to make its study of Beyoncé commercially viable. It immediately received eighty.

First published in Salisbury Review.

Posted on 12/23/2017 6:57 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 23 December 2017
He Left His Bomb in San Francisco
Another convert convinced that the highest act of devotion in Islam is mass murder. He's not crazy. It is.  AN FRANCISCO (KGO) --

Officials have stopped a man who they say was plotting a terror attack in San Francisco over the holidays. The 26-year-old reportedly stated that "Christmas was the perfect day" for a terror attack in San Francisco and "did not need an escape plan because he was ready to die."

The FBI arrested Everitt Aaron Jameson, who is a tow truck driver and lives in Modesto. According to a handwritten letter obtained by the FBI, Jameson also referred to himself as Abdallah adu Everitt ibn Gordon.

Jameson appeared in court Friday, but did not enter a plea.
The 26-year-old is charged with attempting to supply support to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically the Islamic State. According to FBI documents, he posted and liked pro-ISIS and pro-terrorism content on Facebook.

The suspect reportedly picked the Pier 39 location because he "had been there before and knew it was a heavily crowded area." He added that it would be easy to "funnel" people into an area where he could inflict casualties.

The documents cite an FBI informant who said Jameson was inspired by the New York terror attack on Oct. 31, when a man drove into a crowd and killed eight people, and the deadly 2015 shooting in San Bernardino.
Posted on 12/23/2017 5:02 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 23 December 2017
Controlled explosion follows terror raids in Sheffield and Chesterfield

From local newspaper The Star

A controlled explosion has been carried out following the terror raids in Sheffield and Chesterfield earlier this week. The Army Bomb Disposal Unit was yesterday brought in to carry out the explosion to safely dispose of material found at a flat above the Mermaid Traditional Fish Bar in Chesterfield. The North East Counter Terrorism Unit said the blast took place at a safe location nearby and nobody was evacuated.

Officers arrested four people on Tuesday after raiding the property in Chesterfield and four others in Sheffield, including Fatima Community Centre in Burngreave.

All four remain in custody, and police have been given until Christmas Day to decide whether to charge or release the suspects, or to apply for more time to quiz them.

Posted on 12/23/2017 2:41 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 22 December 2017
Melbourne CBD attack: Alleged Flinders Street driver Saeed Noori rambled about Allah and ASIO

From the Age

Flinders Street driver Saeed Noori rambled about Allah, Australia's spy agency ASIO and the mistreatment of Muslims in the hours after the attack, police say. Police revealed more on Friday afternoon about what the 32-year-old drug addict told them as investigators continue to search for a motive behind the rampage.

It comes as Mr Noori was discharged from hospital and into police custody, where he is set to spend the night before being formally interviewed by homicide detectives on Saturday. He has not yet been charged. 

Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said police have not ruled out terrorism, but the only clue that suggested a possible link was what Mr Noori told investigators in St Vincent's Hospital on Thursday night. The alleged attacker not only spoke about mistreatment of Muslims, Mr Patton said, he also referenced Allah and ASIO.

"We haven't ruled out terrorism and we continue to explore it. I've said that from the outset, but it's about not jumping to conclusions. It's about exploring the evidence and the evidence will ultimately take it where it does and if that means it's a terrorist event, so be it,"

ASIO had nothing in its intelligence holdings on Mr Noori, Mr Patton said. It would almost be easier to explain, Mr Patton said, if it were a clear-cut case of terrorism. 

"I don't have an issue with saying this is an act of terrorism if we establish that it is. It would be easier to come out and say that straight up. But that's not the case at this stage. We don't have sufficient [evidence] to justify that," he said. "How do you try and get into someone's head to understand what would cause them to commit such a horrific act? If that means in two days, two months, two weeks or whatever, we get some shred of evidence that shows us this was a terrorist attack, we don't shy away from that and we charge them. . . "

Three people remain in a critical condition, the worst of whom is an 83-year-old man from Northcote in Melbourne's north. The four-year-old South Korean boy from Hoppers Crossing remains in a stable condition.

Mr Noori arrived in Australia from Afghanistan at 18 in 2004 before becoming a citizen in 2006. . . came to Australia as a refugee through the "normal refugee programs", not via a people-smuggling operation.

He spent recent years in Melbourne's northern suburbs, far removed from the heartland of the city's Afghan population in the outer south-east. He regularly walked home from the hospital where he received treatment for his mental illness.

Who was the man in the red shirt? A bearded man arrested after he was found with knives in his backpack in the aftermath of the Flinders Street car rampage has been cleared of any connection to the attack. The second arrest prompted a wave of speculation on social media that the two men were acting together, leading to even more conjecture that the incident was a terrorist attack. It turns out, however, that the 24-year-old man appears to have been yet another mobile-phone wielding bystander – who also happened to be allegedly carrying knives and marijuana.

Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters in a late-night press conference that the man was seen filming the incident so his bag was searched as part of "routine policing", leading to the alleged discovery of the weapons and drugs. He had in a bag three knives, and he was taken into custody to determine whether he was in fact connected with the incident," Mr Patton said.

After reviewing footage of the incident, police decided that the driver was the only person in the car and that it was likely he was acting alone. Mr Patton said that no relationship had been established between the man in the red shirt and Mr Noori. "It may well be that person is exonerated from any involvement in this in the end, and that is probable at this stage."

The man has since been released and is expected to be charged on summons with possessing cannabis and possession of a controlled weapon. 

Posted on 12/22/2017 10:59 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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