Monday, September 30, 2013

List of 200 college campuses that cut adjunct hours due to Obamacare

9/30/13, "ObamaCare Employer Mandate: A List Of Cuts To Work Hours, Jobs," IBD, Jed Graham

"This year, report after report has rolled in about employers restricting work hours to fewer than 30 per week — the point where the mandate kicks in. Data also point to a record low workweek in low-wage industries
As of Sept. 25, our ObamaCare scorecard included 313 employers. Here's our latest analysis, focusing on cuts to adjunct hours at nearly 200 college campuses. The ObamaCare list methodology is explained further in our initial coverage; click on the employer names in the list below for links to supporting records, mostly news accounts or official documents.

We'll continue to update the list, which we encourage you to share and download into a spreadsheet to sort and analyze. If you know of an employer that should be on the list and can provide supporting evidence, please contact IBD at"...(List of institutions by state at link). via Mark Levin twitter

Violent, deadly rhetoric flows from democrat rulers. What about Tucson? Remember, 'Gabby opened her eyes?' Obama himself vetoed raising debt ceiling as a senator but speaks and does nothing to stop deadly terrorist rhetoric against mostly wimpy Republicans which children will emulate

US Sen. Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006. The left uses violent speech because they can't defend their ideas. The mostly wimpy Beltway Republicans are eager to give Obama whatever he wants. 

9/29/13, "Democratic Leaders' Explosive Words," Real Clear Politics, Carl M. Cannon

""What we're not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest—we're not going to do that," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer recently told CNN's Jake Tapper. "I believe the House Republicans are entirely responsible."

“One hundred percent?” Tapper asked incredulously.

“Yes,” Pfeiffer responded. “Absolutely.”

It’s hard to say which is worse: that so many prominent Democrats believe they aren’t responsible for any of Washington’s gridlock—or that they’d say these things anyway. Not all that long ago, a presidential spokesman using this language would be talking about murderers who hijacked airplanes or drove explosive-laden trucks into the barracks of U.S. Marines—not political opponents with differing notions about federal spending.

With suicide bombs going off daily around the world and funerals for the Washington Navy Yard victims still taking place, one might expect a modicum of rhetorical restraint from inside the White House. No such luck. For five years now, such metaphors have been the cudgel of choice for administration officials, along with their fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill and journalistic fellow travelers.

It all starts with President Obama, who routinely accuses Republicans trying to thwart his spending plans by putting “party ahead of country.” Last January, when talking—as Dan Pfeiffer was this week—about GOP insistence on trading spending cuts for agreeing to raise the nation’s debt limit—the president said he wouldn’t negotiate with those holding “a gun at the head of the American people.”

Joe Biden asserts Republicans are holding the country “hostage” with their spending stance, and in a 2011 meeting with congressional Democrats the vice president agreed with the suggestion that Tea Party groups were “terrorists.”

Among Democrats on Capitol Hill, it starts at the top, too.

Last week, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid compared Republican conservatives to “Thelma and Louise,” adding, “America will know exactly who to blame: Republican fanatics in the House and the Senate."

On the House side, such talk has long been a staple for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, whose default argument on fiscal or economic policy is to impugn conservatives’ patriotism. In 2008, she said it was “very unpatriotic” for Republicans to balk at a big bank bailout. Two years later, she lashed out at those resisting raising the debt ceiling: “Are these people not patriotic?”

Let’s stipulate that this type of talk obscures, rather than elucidates, the impasse in Washington. Let’s also stipulate, for the moment, that the leaders in both major political parties actually care about the country. So why has the budget process become an ongoing game of chicken?

Why do Republicans keep insisting on extracting concessions from Democrats in return for raising the debt limit, which, as Democrats point out, merely allows the government the legal authority to borrow money it’s already spent? Why do Democrats act as though refusing to negotiate on Obamacare is something to brag about?

Let’s start with the Republicans:

Almost universally, they consider the Affordable Care Act, which passed Congress on a party-line vote in 2010, a bad law. They believe the administration is prevaricating about its costs, and that its coercive aspects are anathema to a free people. Accordingly, many conservatives remain convinced the law is unconstitutional, regardless of the Supreme Court’s Talmudic finding to the contrary.

Republicans also can’t understand how the president can blithely announce a delay in the law’s business-related requirements while leaving the hated individual mandate intact. Republicans also point to public opinion polls showing the law to be unpopular with a majority of Americans.

Finally, they say that the GOP re-captured the House in 2010 in large part by promising to fight Obamacare. Many of these members come from districts that voted overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney, and they worry that if they do acquiesce to funding the thing, it’s likely they’d be knocked off in a Republican primary.

Some of those reasons are lousy—declining poll numbers is a particularly weak argument—while some are solid. None of them puts a rational person in mind of a suicide bomber, however, which brings us back to the Democrats. Why are they so adamant that they shouldn’t negotiate with Republicans?

Part of the problem is that Obama and his White House minions have no institutional memory. Obama recently told the Business Roundtable, “You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt being used to extort a president or a governing party and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and nothing to do with the debt.”

This claim is wrong. First of all, the president is asserting that defunding the Affordable Care Act is unrelated to the budget or the burgeoning national debt—but this is exactly what Republicans say motivates them: ACA-mandated spending increases Democrats won’t acknowledge.

Even if one buys the president’s argument that Obamacare isn’t strictly a budget issue, the debt ceiling vote has been employed for 40 years—usually by congressional Democrats—to get leverage on policy issues ranging from campaign finance reform to war in Southeast Asia.

But Democrats do have legitimate reasons for holding fast. One of them is that setting budget policy under the deadline pressure of the debt ceiling is bad governance. Why? Because Republican leverage hinges on risking a defaulting on the nation’s debts, which would scare the bejesus out of the world’s financial markets, harming—among other things—the U.S. economy.

Democrats also argue that what Republicans are doing is fundamentally undemocratic. The ACA was passed into law, and signed by a president. Since that time, Republicans have recaptured the House, true, but Democrats have retained their Senate majority in two subsequent elections. Moreover, a Democratic president was re-elected in a campaign in which the GOP nominee said he’d do away with Obamacare via executive order his first day in office.

So it’s not that the Democrats don’t have a valid point of view. To my mind, they have the stronger arguments, which is why all their loose talk comparing Republicans to suicide bombers is so dispiriting. But then, as Harry Reid said himself, this isn’t really about winning the argument—it’s about winning the next election cycle." via Instapundit

9/26/13, "Carney Admits Obama Used Same Logic As Today’s GOP to Oppose Debt Ceiling Increase," Washington Free Beacon

"Senator Obama voted against the debt ceiling increase in 2006 to make a point about “what he believed were wrong fiscal priorities of [the Bush] administration”."...


Obama re-election helped GOP House Speaker Boehner:

12/8/12, "Once Boxed-In, Boehner May Finally Be Master Of The House," NPR, Frank James

"In a paradoxical way, Obama's re-election victory coupled with congressional Democrats adding to their numbers may have helped Boehner. Some of those wins came at the expense of the Tea Party, the conservative movement whose affiliated House members have been very willing to stand up to Boehner....

Despite complaints from conservative activists and bloggers, however, Boehner remains the most powerful Republican in Washington."


Comment: To clarify about landslide Nov. 2010 elections, it's very true most were elected to defund (not repeal, defund) ObamaCare. But they weren't elected by GOP efforts-they were elected by the Tea Party. The GOP didn't even want most of the people we gave them, hated having people who paid attention to voters. The GOP told them to shut up and sit down. The GOP House never once allowed an ObamaCare defunding measure to come to the floor. The gridlock thing mentioned in the article and and everywhere else is a charade by both political parties and the media. The GOP actually loves ObamaCare, has never wanted to repeal it since day one. The GOP has merged with democrats as junior members, loves all the same big government things the left does. They love Obama because he helped them beat the Tea Party in 2012 by allowing the IRS to be used against them. The TP was no threat to democrats, they only threatened the pathetic GOP. On the other side, when democrats spew violent rhetoric against imagined opponents, it gins up their base.


‘The EU will pay $250 billion for its current climate policies each and every year until the end of the century. For almost $20 trillion, temperatures will be reduced by a negligible 0.05C.’...Lomborg, UK Daily Mail

9/28/13, Met Office proof that global warming is still ‘on pause’ as climate summit confirms global temperature has stopped rising, UK Daily Mail, David Rose

"Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, said that since 1980, climate models had on average overstated the extent of warming by between 79 and 159 per cent.

‘This does not mean that there is not some global warming, but it likely means that temperature rises will be lower than originally expected. That fact makes alarmist scenarios ever more implausible.’

He added: ‘The EU will pay $250 billion [£166 billion] for its current climate policies each and every year until the end of the century. For almost $20 trillion, temperatures will be reduced by a negligible 0.05C.’...

“Pause has lasted since January 1997, not 1998, and 1997 was not a hot year.”

The global warming ‘pause’ has now lasted for almost 17 years and shows no sign of ending – despite the unexplained failure of climate scientists’ computer models to predict it.

The Mail on Sunday has also learnt that because 2013 has been relatively cool, it is very likely that by the end of this year, world average temperatures will have crashed below the ‘90 per cent probability’ range projected by the models.
These also provide the main basis for the sweeping forecasts of a perilous, hotter world in a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The graph above covers the period June 1997 to July 2013. It was drawn using the official Met Office ‘HadCRUT4’ monthly data for world average temperatures, and shows the lack of a warming trend.

It updates the chart The Mail on Sunday published a year ago, which first made the pause headline news and forced the IPCC to discuss it.

A footnote in the new report also confirms there has been no statistically significant increase since 1997."...


Bloated EU spends over $2 billion a year on self promotion including a 'broadcast channel,' has 44 'diplomats' stationed in Barbados

9/29/13, "EU's £2.4bn ad budget higher than Coca-Cola's: Huge amount revealed in new 'fiscal factbook' that also details how it has 44 diplomats in Barbados," UK Daily Mail, Steve Doughty

"The European Union spends more on advertising than the drinks giant Coca-Cola, according to a new analysis of how Brussels uses our money.

Its budget for promoting itself and all its works comes to £2.4billion a year. That compares to the £2.13billion spent in the same year by the soft drinks company on promoting its brand around the world.

The vast scale of the EU’s self-promotion was set down in a new ‘fiscal factbook’ designed to shed light on how Brussels spends the billions it receives from Britain and other member countries.

Small-scale bills highlighted in the report include £160,000 paid towards a yet to open fitness and rehabilitation centre for dogs in Hungary.

And on a larger scale the report details how the ambitions of EU diplomacy has seen 44 diplomats stationed in Barbados, one of Europe’s less-troubled trading partner nations.

It also points to some of the widely-known but often forgotten aspects of EU spending condemned as driven by political folly.

Among these is the annual budget of £150 million for ferrying MEPs and their staff between the European Parliament’s two headquarters buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg to appease politicians in Belgium and France. 

The EU Fiscal Factbook, published by the TaxPayers’ Alliance at the Tory conference, is likely to sharpen differences over Europe among the party’s MPs.
It comes at a time of deep anxiety over pressure from Ukip, which demands withdrawal from the EU.

The TPA’s founder Matthew Elliott said: ‘Britain’s contribution to the EU gets bigger every year.

‘That means bigger tax bills for families and too much of the money is wasted. Brussels also makes life difficult for British businesses with draconian regulations....

The Court of Auditors has refused to approve the EU budget for 18 successive years over concerns about mismanagement and fraud....

The European Commission has told EU members states they should contribute an extra £3.5billion to Brussels this year to meet unexpected ‘legal obligations’. 

The bail-out will bring EU spending this year to £126billion, 8.4 per cent up on the previous year....

Of overall spending, £44billion this year will go on the Common Agricultural Policy, the farm subsidy system often derided as the means by which France shores up its rural economy.
The CAP paid handouts of more than £250,000 each to 889 British landowners in 2011, and more than £1million each to 47 landowners. The report calculated the burden of EU regulation on the British economy at £124billion, or £5,000 for every British household.

The advertising budget included £15million on a Parliamentarium, opened in 2011 as a supposed tourist attraction, but described by critics as a ‘propaganda temple’.

The cost of EU advertising was calculated in 2008 by the Open Europe think-tank, and includes a broadcast channel, an opinion polling organisation, films and huge numbers of publications, funding for sympathetic pressure groups, and special publicity conferences." via Free Republic

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Sept. 28, 2013 higher than 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, DMI Center for Ocean and Ice, min. 15% ice concentration

9/28/13, Arctic Sea Ice Extent, DMI Center for Ocean and Ice. Thick black line denotes 2013, higher than 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012:

"Sea ice extent in recent years for the northern hemisphere.
                       The grey shaded area corresponds to the climate mean
                       plus/minus 1 standard deviation.

"The plot above replaces an earlier sea ice extent plot, that was based on data with the coastal zones masked out. This coastal mask implied that the previous sea ice extent estimates were underestimated. The new plot displays absolute sea ice extent estimates. The old plot can still be viewed here for a while."

"The ice extent values are calculated from the ice type data from the Ocean and Sea Ice, Satellite Application Facility (OSISAF), where areas with ice concentration higher than 15% are classified as ice.

The total area of sea ice is the sum of First Year Ice (FYI), Multi Year Ice (MYI) and the area of ambiguous ice types, from the OSISAF ice type product. The total sea ice extent can differ slightly from other sea ice extent estimates. Possible differences between this sea ice extent estimate and others are most likely caused by differences in algorithms and definitions. Some time in 2013 sea ice climatology and anomaly data will become available here." via Paul Homewood


9/29/13, "Arctic Ice Growing Fast," Paul Homewood, Not a lot of people know that

"Having effectively tied with 2009 for the highest minimum since 2006, Arctic ice extent is now refreezing, and is now well above the 2009 level, according to DMI.

NSIDC figures also show current extent to be 50,000 sq km above the same day in 2009. More significantly, it is within 10,000 sq km of the 2005 figure.

More at the end of the month." via Climate Depot


Sunday, September 29, 2013

New 2013 UN IPCC report says no strong science exists to connect humans to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or drought.

"The conclusions with respect to hurricanes and drought both represent a walking back from more aggressive conclusions reported in 2007."

9/28/13, Five Points on the IPCC Report (Wonky, Long),” Roger Pielke, Jr.

5. There is not a strong scientific basis for claiming a discernible effect of human-caused climate change on hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought.

This is a familiar conclusion to readers of this blog, so I won’t belabor it (more to come soon on this). Here is what the IPCC SPM [Summary for Policy Makers] says about each:

The conclusions with respect to hurricanes and drought both represent a walking back from more aggressive conclusions reported in 2007, and should not be a surprise to readers here, as that is what the literature says.”…via Tom Nelson


53% rise in new foreclosure cases on Long Island first 8 mo. of 2013 compared to same per. 2012 despite rising home values-Newsday

9/28/13, "Rising foreclosures hurt Island as nation recovers," Newsday, Maura McDermott

"New foreclosure cases on Long Island are spiking, even as the mortgage crisis fades in the rest of the United States.

Despite rising home values that suggest a housing rebound on the Island, lenders filed 12,271 initial foreclosure cases here in the first eight months of this year, a nearly 53 percent surge compared with the same period in 2012, according to data from real estate information firm LI Profiles, based in Brightwaters.
Nationwide the number of initial filings dropped 34 percent during the same period, national data provider RealtyTrac reported....

The share of Island mortgages in distress is more than double the national average, according to national data provider Lender Processing Services, of Jacksonville, Fla. In July, 8.2 percent of all homes with mortgages in Suffolk County and 6.1 percent of homes with mortgages in Nassau County were in the foreclosure pipeline, compared with 2.8 percent of homes with mortgages nationwide, LPS reported. LPS collects data from mortgage servicers. Its definition of foreclosure includes cases that have been referred to bank attorneys but not yet filed in court, as well as those making their way through the court system.

Experts say Long Island continues to struggle with foreclosures for a complex set of reasons. They range from New York's almost three-year foreclosure process -- tied with New Jersey for the longest in the nation -- to Long Island's riskier-than-average mortgage loans before the collapse of the housing market in 2008. Another factor: the region's difficulties in bringing back high-paying jobs. Nassau's median household income was $93,214 last year, a decline of nearly 7 percent since 2008, according to census data. In Suffolk, median income has dropped nearly 5.7 percent over the same period, to $86,334."...


Kenya al Shabab recruiter is free to operate within Kenya, says no such thing as 'moderate Muslim,' young al Shabab recruits may be beheaded if they try to escape-BBC

"The Kenyan authorities I spoke to said Makaburi and other radical clerics operate to the very limit of what the law allows and gathering the evidence to convict them is extremely difficult. The United Kingdom faces the same problem."

9/28/13, "On the trail of al-Shabab’s Kenyan recruitment 'pipeline'," BBC, Peter Taylor

"The armed siege at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi has focused attention on the al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabab. When the attack happened, the BBC's Panorama programme had been investigating the recruitment pipeline of young Muslims through Kenya to join the Islamist group in Somalia.

I meet Makaburi in a fly-infested room not much bigger than a cupboard, in Mombasa, eastern Kenya.

It is not a place you would expect to meet a radical cleric who describes himself as Kenya's number one target in the country's fight to disrupt al-Shabab's recruitment network.

Makaburi, whose real name is Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, was placed on a UN Security Council list which banned him from travel outside Kenya and froze his assets in 2012.

The indictment describes him as "a leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia," who has preached that "young men should travel to Somalia, commit extremist acts, fight for Al-Qaeda, and kill US citizens."

Makaburi makes no apology for his activities and believes they are justified according to his own controversial interpretation of verses in the Koran.

"There's no such thing as a moderate Muslim. The prophets did not teach us moderation in Islam - Islam is Islam," he said....

I met him quite openly at his home and travelled with him to a village where he prayed publicly in a mosque. Makaburi said accusations that he directly funds al-Shabab are false - but defended its right to use violence.

"Al-Shabab are using violence to stop their country from being invaded by people from outside," he said.

"It's not the right of America or any other country to interfere in what they believe in or how they want to run the country."

He took me to an Islamic boarding school just outside Mombasa where young Muslims, roughly between the ages of six and 10, some of whom are orphans, learn to memorise the Koran by heart, and are fed a particular interpretation of it by teachers who share the same views as Makaburi.
He proudly pointed out that his young son is one of its students....

I interviewed two young Kenyan al-Shabab recruits who had travelled through a network such as this one to join al-Shabab in Somalia. They did not wish to be called by their real names. They had been promised money for their families back home and a place in paradise as a reward for their commitment.

When they arrived in Somalia, their dreams of jihad and glory were shattered.

Ali said he was 13 or 14 when he travelled to Somalia. He described being forced to watch the beheading of a recruit who had tried to escape from the al-Shabab camp in Kismayo.

"His hands and legs were tied behind his back. They made him kneel down and then they took a very sharp knife, right in front of me, and slaughtered him.

"He was screaming, like an animal, the way a goat can be slaughtered."

It was a shocking warning to others who might contemplate running away. Ali was traumatised by what he saw and still has nightmares about the horror he witnessed....

The key question is how these radical clerics are able to operate openly without being prosecuted.

In September 2012, Makaburi was charged with several counts of incitement for his part in the riots following Sheikh Rogo's assassination. He is currently on bail pending a trial.

The Kenyan authorities I spoke to said Makaburi and other radical clerics operate to the very limit of what the law allows and gathering the evidence to convict them is extremely difficult. The United Kingdom faces the same problem.

Their fear is that failure to stop radical clerics such as Makaburi will preserve the pipeline of young Muslims being recruited to al-Shabab."


19 Arizona firefighter deaths on June 30 not due to global warming, due to malfunctioning gov. radios, 33 min. communication blackout at crucial time, hapless gov. fire retardant plane didn’t know where to drop retardant-AP

9/28/13, Radio problems link to fire deaths,AP via MSN UK

“A three-month investigation into the deaths of 19 firefighters battling an Arizona blaze has cited poor communication between the men and support staff, and reveals that an air tanker carrying flame retardant was hovering overhead as the firefighters died.

The 120-page report found that proper procedure was followed and assigned little blame for the worst firefighting tragedy since the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001. All but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew died on June 30 while protecting the small former gold rush town of Yarnell, about 80 miles north west of Phoenix, from an erratic, lightning-sparked wildfire.

While maintaining a neutral tone, the investigation found badly programmed radios, vague updates and a 33-minute communication blackout just before the flames engulfed the men. Investigators did not consider whether better communication might have saved the men.

The report provides the first minute-to-minute account of the fatal afternoon. The day went according to routine in the boulder-strewn mountains until the wind shifted at around 4pm, pushing a wall of fire that had been receding from the Hotshots all day back toward them.

After that, the command centre lost track of the 19 men. The firefighters either ignored or did not receive weather warnings. They left the safety of a burned ridge and dropped into a densely vegetated valley surrounded by mountains, heading toward a ranch. The report states that they failed to perceive the “excessive risk” of repositioning to continue fighting the fire.

The command centre believed the Hotshots had decided to wait out the weather change in the safety zone. They did not find out the men were surrounded by flames and fighting for their lives until five minutes before they deployed their emergency shelters, which was more than a half hour after the weather warning was issued.

Without the guidance of the command centre, the men found themselves in a location that soon turned into a bowl of fire. The topography fostered long flames that bent parallel and licked the ground, producing 2,000-degree Fahrenheit (1,093-degree Celsius) heat. Fire shelters, always a dreaded last resort, begin to melt at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (649-degree Celsius).

As the flames whipped over the men, a large air tanker was hovering above. But perhaps because of an early miscommunication about where the Hotshots were headed, the command centre did not know where to drop the flame retardant, the report said.

“Nobody will ever know how the crew actually saw their situation, the options they considered or what motivated their actions,” investigators wrote.

Though the report points to multiple failures, investigators approached the incident “from the perspective that risk is inherent in firefighting”. They recommend that Arizona officials review their communications procedures and look into new technologies, including GPS, that might help track firefighters during chaotic situations.

The Arizona State Forestry Division presented the roughly 120-page report to the men’s families ahead of a news conference in Prescott.

When it began on June 28, the fire caused little immediate concern because of its remote location and small size. But the blaze quickly grew into an inferno, burning swiftly across pine, juniper and scrub oak and through an area that had not experienced a significant wildfire in nearly 50 years.

The fire ended up destroying more than 100 homes and burned 13 square miles before it was fully contained on July 10….

Some family members hope the investigation will bring closure. Others say it will do nothing to ease their pain.”…


The United States is in trouble because American media carries water for Obama, covers up his lies, worst is the NY Times-Seymour Hersh, UK Guardian

9/27/13, "Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media," UK Guardian, Lisa O'Carroll

"Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider. It doesn't take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist".

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don't even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends "so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would" – or the death of Osama bin Laden. 

"Nothing's been done about that story, it's one big lie, not one word of it is true," he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011....

The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

"It's pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama]," he declares in an interview with the Guardian.

"It used to be when you were in a situation when something very dramatic happened, the president and the minions around the president had control of the narrative, you would pretty much know they would do the best they could to tell the story straight. Now that doesn't happen any more. Now they take advantage of something like that and they work out how to re-elect the president.

He isn't even sure if the recent revelations about the depth and breadth of surveillance by the National Security Agency will have a lasting effect....

Holding court to a packed audience at City University in London's summer school on investigative journalism, 76-year-old Hersh is on full throttle, a whirlwind of amazing stories of how journalism used to be; how he exposed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, how he got the Abu Ghraib pictures of American soldiers brutalising Iraqi prisoners, and what he thinks of Edward Snowden....

He was hired by the New York Times to follow up the Watergate scandal and ended up hounding Nixon over Cambodia. Almost 30 years later, Hersh made global headlines all over again with his exposure of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib....

Hersh returns to US president Barack Obama. He has said before that the confidence of the US press to challenge the US government collapsed post 9/11, but he is adamant that Obama is worse than Bush.

"Do you think Obama's been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for. What's going on [with journalists]?" he asks.

He says investigative journalism in the US is being killed by the crisis of confidence, lack of resources and a misguided notion of what the job entails.

"Too much of it seems to me is looking for prizes. It's journalism looking for the Pulitzer Prize," he adds. "It's a packaged journalism, so you pick a target like – I don't mean to diminish because anyone who does it works hard – but are railway crossings safe and stuff like that, that's a serious issue but there are other issues too.

"Like killing people, how does [Obama] get away with the drone programme, why aren't we doing more? How does he justify it? What's the intelligence? Why don't we find out how good or bad this policy is? Why do newspapers constantly cite the two or three groups that monitor drone killings. Why don't we do our own work?

"Our job is to find out ourselves, our job is not just to say – here's a debate' our job is to go beyond the debate and find out who's right and who's wrong about issues. That doesn't happen enough. It costs money, it costs time, it jeopardises, it raises risks. There are some people – the New York Times still has investigative journalists but they do much more of carrying water for the president than I ever thought they would … it's like you don't dare be an outsider any more."

He says in some ways President George Bush's administration was easier to write about. "The Bush era, I felt it was much easier to be critical than it is [of] Obama. Much more difficult in the Obama era," he said.

Asked what the solution is Hersh warms to his theme that most editors are pusillanimous and should be fired.

"I'll tell you the solution, get rid of 90% of the editors that now exist and start promoting editors that you can't control," he says. I saw it in the New York Times, I see people who get promoted are the ones on the desk who are more amenable to the publisher and what the senior editors want and the trouble makers don't get promoted. Start promoting better people who look you in the eye and say 'I don't care what you say'.

Nor does he understand why the Washington Post held back on the Snowden files until it learned the Guardian was about to publish.

If Hersh was in charge of US Media Inc, his scorched earth policy wouldn't stop with newspapers.

"I would close down the news bureaus of the networks and let's start all over, tabula rasa. The majors, NBCs, ABCs, they won't like this – just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that's what we're supposed to be doing," he says.

Hersh is currently on a break from reporting, working on a book which undoubtedly will make for uncomfortable reading for both Bush and Obama.

"The republic's in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple." And he implores journalists to do something about it."

9/28/13, "Not ONE word of official account of raid that killed Bin Laden is true, claims award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh," UK Daily Mail, Marie-Louise Olson

"A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist says that the official account of the raid which killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 is ‘one big lie’. Seymour Hersh, 76, said that ‘not one word’ of the Obama administration’s narrative on what happened is true.

In an interview with The Guardian published today, Hersh savages the US media for failing to challenge the White House on a whole host of issues, from NSA spying, to drone attacks, to aggression against Syria.

He said the Navy Seal raid that supposedly resulted in the death of the Al-Qaeda terror leader, Hersh said, ‘not one word of it is true’.

According to Hersh - who first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting - the problem is that the US media is allowing the Obama administration to get away with lying.

‘It’s pathetic. They are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama].’

The White House has refused to publicly release images of Bin Laden’s body, fuelling suspicion they are withholding information.

Although the White House said the corpse was immediately ‘buried at sea’ within 24 hours of his death in line with Islamic tradition, it quickly emerged that this was not standard practice. It has also been suggested that the White House has changed its story multiple times, according to

They initially claimed that pictures from the ‘situation room’ show Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton and the rest of the security team watching the raid live, when in fact there was a blackout on the feed.

Neighbours close to the Pakistani compound in Abbottabad also said they had never seen Bin Laden in the area.

Hersh said the American press spends ‘so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would’.

In his opinion, the solution would be to shut down news networks like NBC and ABC and fire 90 per cent of mainstream editors and replace them with ‘real’ journalists who are not afraid to speak truth to power.

‘The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple,’ he said." via Free Republic



Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sixty per cent of Syrian Christians have fled the country-UK Independent

9/25/13, "Syria crisis: In sacred Maaloula, where they speak the language of Christ, war leads neighbours into betrayal," UK Independent, Robert Fisk

"“We knew our Muslim neighbours all our lives,” Georgios says. He is a Catholic. “Yes, we knew the Diab family were quite radical, but we thought they would never betray us. We ate with them. We are one people.

“A few of the Diab family had left months ago and we guessed they were with the Nusra. But their wives and children were still here. We looked after them. Then, two days before the Nusra attacked, the families suddenly left the town. We didn’t know why. And then our neighbours led our enemies in among us.

It is a terrible story in this most beautiful of towns, with its 17 churches and holy relics and its great cliff-side caves. Now the fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra – a rebel group with links to al-Qa’ida – are surviving in the caves and shooting down at the Syrian soldiers in Maaloula’s streets with Russian sniper rifles. You have to run from house to house, and one bullet smashed the windscreen of a parked car scarcely 10 metres from the balcony on which Georgios was telling his awful story. Up the road, a mortar round – apparently fired by Nusrah men – has torn a hole in the dome of a church. The Syrian army says it has driven the Islamists from Maaloula, which is technically true; but to leave the town, I had to ride in the back of a military armoured vehicle. It is not a famous victory for anyone.

Not one of the 5,000 Christian residents – nor a single member of the 2,000-strong Muslim community – has returned. Maaloula is, almost literally, a ghost town. Only Georgios and his friend Hanna and a few other local Christian men who joined the “national defence” units to defend their homes, are left. At least 10 Christians were murdered when the Nusra militia began its series of attacks on Maaloula on 4 September, some of them shot – according to Hanna – when they refused to convert to Islam, others dispatched with a knife in the throat. And there is a terrifying historical irony about their deaths, for they were slaughtered within sight of the Mar Sarkis monastery, sacred to the memory of a Roman soldier called Sergius who was executed for his Christian beliefs 2,000 years ago.

Hanna says that before the war reached Maaloula this month, both Christians and Muslims agreed that the town must remain a place of peace. “There was a kind of coexistence between us,” Georgios agrees. “We had excellent relations. It never occurred to us that Muslim neighbours would betray us. 

We all said ‘please let this town live in peace – we don’t have to kill each other’. But now there is bad blood. They brought in the Nusra to throw out the Christians and get rid of us forever. Some of the Muslims who lived with us are good people but I will never trust 90 per cent of them again.”...

It is impossible, amid the bullet-whizzing streets of the town today, talking to armed Christians whose emotions are incendiary, to gather up the full – even accurate – story of the Maaloula tragedy. They say that the church of Mar Taqla has been badly damaged, the altarpiece smashed, Byzantine pictures destroyed, but even Syrian troops will not approach the monastery today. When they briefly tried to help some nuns return after the battle, they told me, Nusra snipers cut them down, many shot in the legs as they helped the nuns to run away....

The Nusra men seemed to take a perverse pleasure, not only in destroying Christian icons, but household beds and chairs, perhaps in a search for cash.

Even the exact number of deaths cannot be confirmed. But it is impossible to believe, after these sectarian wounds, that Maaloula can return as it was, a place of worship for Orthodox and Catholic but also, intriguingly, for Shia Muslims, many of them Iranians who used to visit the town to see its monasteries and Christian shrines.

A Syrian general tried to explain to me later that I was not witnessing a civil war, merely a “war against terror” – the stock government quotation – and that Syrians were not sectarian. “In Latakia, we have 200,000 Sunni Muslim refugees living among Christians and Alawites and there are no problems between them,” he said. This is true. And outside Maaloula, several civilians claimed that the Nusra forces which invaded the town – and which numbered 1,800 men, according to the Syrian army – also killed local Muslims.

For several days, the Nusra gunmen held out in the wreckage of the Safir Hotel before taking to the caves. The Christians are now all refugees, some in the Christian Bab Touma district in the old city of Damascus, others in Lebanon. But some statistics, however loosely gathered, speak for themselves. Sixty per cent of the Christians of Syria are now believed to have fled their country." via Atlas Shrugs


Shellenberger and Nordhaus on occasion of 2013 UN IPCC report say US is global climate leader due to 35 yrs. of spending on alt. fuels, light speed reduction in coal use. Note denialism of NY'er Magazine article on alleged green world savior Tom Steyer, erroneous statements by McKibben about Germany, climate obstructionism of NRDC and Sierra Club

9/26/13, "Climate Skeptics Against Global Warming,", Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus

"What Conservatives Can Teach Liberals About Global Warming Policy"

"Over the last decade, progressives have successfully painted conservative climate skepticism as the major stumbling block to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Exxon and the Koch brothers, the story goes, fund conservative think tanks to sow doubt about climate change and block legislative action. As evidence mounts that anthropogenic global warming is underway, conservatives’ flight from reason is putting us all at risk.

This week's release of a new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report opens another front in the climate wars. But beneath the bellowing, name-calling, and cherry-picking of data that have become the hallmark of contemporary climate politics lies a paradox: the energy technologies favored by the climate-skeptical Right are doing far more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than the ones favored by the climate-apocalyptic Left.

How much more? Max Luke of Breakthrough Institute ran the numbers and found that, since 1950, natural gas and nuclear prevented 36 times more carbon emissions than wind, solar, and geothermal. Nuclear avoided the creation of 28 billion tons of carbon dioxide, natural gas 26 billion, and geothermal, wind, and solar just 1.5 billion.

Environmental leaders who blame "global warming deniers" for preventing emissions reductions point to Germany's move away from nuclear and to renewables. "Germany is the one big country that’s taken this crisis seriously," wrote Bill McKibben. Other progressive and green leaders, including Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Bobby Kennedy, Jr., have held up Germany's "energy turn," the Energiewende, as a model for the world. 

But for the second year in a row, Germany has seen its coal use and carbon emissions rise — a fact that climate skeptical conservatives have been quick to point out, and liberal environmental advocates have attempted to obfuscate. "Last year, Germany’s solar panels produced about 18 terawatt-hours (that’s 18 trillion watt-hours) of electricity," noted Robert Bryce from the conservative Manhattan Institute. "And yet, [utility] RWE’s new coal plant, which has less than a 10th as much capacity as Germany’s solar sector, will, by itself, produce about 16 terawatt-hours of electricity.

Reagan historian Steven Hayward, formerly of the American Enterprise Institute, noted in the conservative Weekly Standard earlier this week, "Coal consumption went up 3.9 percent in Germany last year. Likewise, German greenhouse gas emissions — the chief object of Energiewenderose in Germany last year, while they fell in the United States."

Emissions fell in the United States thanks largely to a technology loathed by the Left: fracking. From 2007 to 2012, electricity from natural gas increased from 21.6 to 30.4 percent, while electricity from coal declined from 50 to 38 percent — that's light speed in a notoriously slow-changing sector. And yet the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and most other green groups are working to oppose the expansion of natural gas.

Hayward and Bryce are two of the most respected writers on energy and the environment on the Right. Both are highly skeptical that global warming poses a major threat. Both regularly criticize climate scientists and climate models. Both men are regularly attacked by liberal organizations like Media Matters for working for organizations, the American Enterprise Institute and Manhattan Institute, respectively, that have taken money from both Exxon and the Koch brothers. And yet both men are full-throated advocates for what Bryce calls "N2N" — accelerating the transition from coal to natural gas and then to nuclear.

Arguably, the climate-energy paradox is a bigger problem for the Left than the Right. One cannot logically claim that carbon emissions pose a catastrophic threat to human civilization and then oppose the only two technologies capable of immediately and significantly reducing them. And yet this is precisely the position of Al Gore, Bill McKibben, the Sierra Club, NRDC, and the bulk of the environmental movement.

By contrast, there are plenty of good reasons for climate skeptics to support N2N. A diverse portfolio of energy sources that are cheap, abundant, reliable, and increasingly clean is good for the economy and strengthens national security - all the more so in a world where energy demand will likely quadruple by the end of the century.

Why then is there so much climate skepticism on the Right? One obvious reason is that climate science has long been deployed by liberals and environmentalists to argue not only for their preferred energy technologies but also for sweeping new regulatory powers 

for the federal government and 

the United Nations.

But here as well, the green agenda hasn’t fared well. Those nations that most rapidly reduced the carbon intensity of their economies over the last 40 years did so neither through regulations nor international agreements. Nations like France and Sweden, which President Obama rightly singled out for praise earlier this month, did so by directly deploying nuclear and hydroelectric power. Now the United States is the global climate leader, despite having neither a carbon price nor emissions trading, thanks to 35 years of public-private investment leading to the shale gas revolution. Meanwhile, there is little evidence that caps and carbon taxes have had much impact on emissions anywhere.

In the end, both Left and Right reject a more pragmatic approach to the climate issue out of fear that doing so might conflict with their idealized visions for the future. Conservatives embrace N2N as a laissez-faire outcome of the free market in the face of overwhelming evidence that neither nuclear nor gas would be viable today had it not been for substantial taxpayer support. Progressives seized on global warming as an existential threat to human civilization because they believed it justified a transition to the energy technologies – decentralized renewables – that they have wanted since the sixties.

The Left, in these ways, has been every bit as guilty as the Right of engaging in "post-truth" climate politics. Consider New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza's glowing profile of Tom Steyer, the billionaire bankrolling the anti-Keystone campaign. After Lizza suggested that Steyer and his brother Tom might be the Koch brothers of environmentalism, Steyer objects.  The difference, he insists, is that while the Koch brothers are after profit, he is trying to save the world.

It is telling that neither Lizza nor his editors felt it necessary to point out that Steyer is a major investor in renewables and stands to profit from his political advocacy as well. Clearly, Steyer is also motivated by green ideology. But it is hard to argue that the Koch brothers haven’t been equally motivated by their libertarian ideology. The two have funded libertarian causes since the 1970s and, notably, were among the minority of major energy interests who opposed cap and trade. Fossil energy interests concerned about protecting their profits, including the country's two largest coal utilities, mostly chose to game the proposed emissions trading system rather than oppose it as the Koch brothers did.

As Kathleen Higgins argues in a new essay for Breakthrough Journal, it's high time for progressives to get back in touch with the liberal tradition of tolerance, and pluralism. "Progressives seeking to govern and change society," she writes, should attempt to "see the world from the standpoint of their fiercest opponents. Taking multiple perspectives into account might alert us to more sites of possible intervention and prime us for creative formulations of alternative possibilities for concerted responses to our problems."

As Left and Right spend the next week slugging it out over what the climate science does or does not tell us, we would do well to remember that science cannot tell us what to do. Making decisions in a democracy requires understanding and tolerating, not attacking and demonizing, values and viewpoints different from our own.

Conservatives have important things to say when it comes to energy, whether or not they think of it as climate policy. Liberals would do well to start listening." via Tom Nelson


Among comments: Two exchanges, one in which Michael Shellenberger again notes obstructionism of Sierra Club and NRDC; another from a Minnesota resident responding to the notion that wind turbines in the Dakotas and solar from the Southwest can power the entire US:

"Sure, I get it. But the U.S. today isn’t 1970s Europe. Heck, Europe today isn’t 1970s Europe! I’d like to think we can move from nuclear retrenchment to renaissance in both places. Next generation reactors are promising, but not ready for prime-time. Maybe there’s more going on in other countries like China to give us hope. But since we’re not there yet, I’m not sure it’s helpful to frame nuclear/gas vs renewables as an either/or contest. Technology tribalism can only get you so far. 

By Daniel Roberts on 2013 09 26"

Reply by Michael Shellenberger:

"I agree with you. We are in favor of all the low-carbon energies, including renewables. It’s the Sierra Club, NRDC and much of the rest of the environmental movement that is against the two technologies that avoided 36 times more emissions than renewables.
By Michael Shellenberger on 2013 09 27"


Second exchange, response by Minnesota resident re: wind and solar:


"There’s enough wind in the Dakotas alone to power the entire US… and there’s enough sunshine in 100 miles by 100 miles of the southwest to do it all over again. Even if we don’t aim for 100% renewables… 70 or 80 percent is easily within reach… especially with the help of hydro and enhanced geothermal for base load supply.

We can do this people… just have to set our political affiliations aside and get to work.

By Jon Silvester on 2013 09 27"


"Jon, the problem is that the wind in the Dakotas, and the sunshine in the Southwest, simply aren’t there all the time. I live in southern Minnesota, not far from the Buffalo Ridge that’s full of windmills for power. There are plenty of times that the wind just isn’t turning them. The 100-square-mile plot you speak of in the Southwest will run afoul of not only maintenance issues with blowing dust, but also environmentalist objections to destroying habitat for whatever bugs and weeds they can get their hands on to stop the project.

And then there’s the reality that electricity does not work well for many uses we have for energy. For example, nobody in the northern part of the country - you know, where it snows regularly and often - heats with electricity, simply because it’s too expensive compared to natural gas. Then there’s the electric car, which is making great strides, but is nowhere near what many users like me need: the ability to go 300 miles on a charge at 70 MPH with an SUV-load of people and stuff, then be ready to do it all over again in 15 minutes, indefinitely. And there are even harder problems: an electric-powered replacement for light aircraft is a much longer ways off."...

By Jay Maynard on 2013 09 27"


Comment: Thanks to the authors for giving us a voice for at least a few minutes. Not mentioned is the global CO2 number which is said to be the problem. Assuming for the moment that human CO2 is killing the planet, China is the only country that can do anything about it. Everyone knows it, the numbers are public. US CO2 has plunged over many years (as the authors kindly note) and is now dwarfed by China's CO2. Nothing the US government can do at this point will significantly lower global CO2. The US gov./political class knows this but is enacting additional strict measures anyway against a population in a permanently depressed, part-time economy. 


Victims in four attempted North Carolina murders in June 2013 were selected because they were white-AP/CBS

9/25/13, "Greenville Wal-Mart Shooter Picked Victims By Race,", GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP/CBS Charlotte),

"an who shot four people near a Greenville Wal-Mart in June picked out his victims because they were white, according to several indictments handed down against him.

Lakim Faust had more than 100 rounds of ammunition when he started shooting at people who were standing outside at a law firm and a shopping center in June, authorities said.

A grand jury indicted Faust on 14 charges Monday, including four counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Faust, who is black, picked out his victims based on their race, according to the indictments. The documents didn’t specify why Faust wanted to shoot white people, and police have not talked about why he picked out his targets. Earlier reports had indicated that Faust was  shooting “indiscriminately.”

Police said Faust’s first victim on June 21 was an insurance adjustor in the parking lot of a law firm. He then crossed a five-lane highway and shot three more people in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart, investigators said.

Three of the four people wounded in the shooting suffered permanent and debilitating injuries, according to the indictments. Details of those injuries were not specified.

Faust, 23, was shot by police. He recovered and is now in jail.

Police seized computers and documents from Faust’s home that showed he had a plan for the attack and wanted to shoot a large number of people, investigators said." via Instapundit


Dreams of Her Father in Kenya: Father of two year old child in Kenya offered himself to Muslim terrorists if they would spare children, but they lined him up and shot him along with kids-UK Daily Mail

9/27/13, "Revealed: How hero father died in Kenyan mall massacre after offering himself as a hostage to save lives of group of children," UK Daily Mail, Sarah Malm

Mitul Shah and daughter
"A British man who offered himself as a hostage to save the lives of a group of children was today described by colleagues as a 'born leader'.

Mitul Shah, 38, a sales executive from London attempted to strike a deal with the terrorists, replacing children with himself, a heroic act which gave several victims vital time to escape.

The selfless father did not get through to the gunmen and was shot alongside a number of children in the Kenyan tragedy, leaving behind his wife and two-year-old daughter.

Today his employers, the cooking oil company Bidco Oil, and his work colleagues spoke of their grief at his loss.... Mr Shah, who was born in April 1975 in North London, held dual British and Kenyan citizenship....

Mr Shah, who leaves a widow, Rupal, and daughter Sarai, was killed moments after he was helping 33 children taking part in a TV cooking contest on the roof of the Westgate centre in Nairobi. The event was being sponsored by his company."...via Free Republic


Prime real estate in central Reykjavik, Iceland, given at no cost to a foreign-financed Muslim mosque

"But now that the Reykjavík mosque project has been given the go-ahead, Tamimi's group has changed its tune and now admits that foreign donors will be paying for the mosque's construction costs after all."...(Are they opening up any new churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia?)

9/27/13, "Iceland to Get its First Mosque,", Soeren Kern

""The Muslim Association of Iceland now admits that foreign donors will be paying for the mosque's construction costs. The former mayor of Reykjavik says he believes it is outrageous for the city to give Muslims a site at no cost at a great location in the center of the city, and asks why political and feminist groups are so tolerant of a religion that he says degrades women."

The Reykjavík City Council has approved a building permit for the construction of the first mosque in Iceland.

The mosque will be built in Sogamýri, an upscale district near downtown Reykjavík on a highly desirable plot of land that was granted to Muslims free of charge, courtesy of Icelandic taxpayers.

Members of the city council -- which is led by Reykjavík Mayor Jón Gnarr, who identifies himself as an anarchist -- say they hope the prime location will make the mosque a prominent landmark in the city.

Critics of the mosque, however, say the project is being financed by donors in the Middle East who are seeking to exert control over -- and radicalize -- the growing Muslim community in Iceland.

Although reliable statistics do not exist, the Muslim population of Iceland is estimated to be approximately 1,200, or 0.4% of the total Icelandic population of 320,000. Most Muslims in Iceland live in the capital Reykjavík, where they make up about 1% of the total population of 120,000.

The Muslim community in Iceland may be small in comparison to other European countries, but its rate of growth has been exponential: Since 1990, when there were fewer than a dozen Muslims in the country, their number has increased by nearly 10,000%. Much of this growth has been due to immigration, but in recent years native Icelanders have also been converting to Islam in increasing numbers.

Currently there are two main Muslim groups in Iceland: the Muslim Association of Iceland, which has around 500 members, and the Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland, which has some 300 followers.

The former group is run by Salmann Tamimi, a Palestinian immigrant who considers himself to be the voice of moderate Islam in Iceland; the latter group is run by Ahmad Seddeq, a firebrand preacher from Pakistan whose activities are allegedly being financed by Saudi Arabia.

Although both groups pertain to Sunni Islam, they have been openly fighting with each other for many years over who should be the rightful representative of Islam in Iceland.

In 2000, Tamimi -- whose group meets at a make-shift mosque on the third floor of an office building in downtown Reykjavík -- submitted an application to obtain a free plot of land from city authorities to build the first purpose-built mosque in Iceland.

Not to be outdone, Seddeq -- whose group meets at a make-shift mosque in an old concert hall near the Reykjavík airport -- submitted his own application for free land to build a competing mosque.
City officials responded by saying there should be only one mosque and that it should be shared by both groups. "Obviously we won't be allocating two lots for mosques at this point and we find it natural for them to cooperate on the construction of one mosque," Páll Hjaltason, the chairman of Reykjavík City's Urban Planning Council, told the newspaper Fréttabladid.

Seddeq said he was open to the idea of sharing one plot of land, but Tamimi, who submitted his application first, would have none of it. Instead, Tamimi lashed out at Seddeq, accusing him of extremism, fanaticism and oppression in the name of Islam.

"Our application is completely different from theirs," Salmann said in an interview with the newspaper Fréttabladid. "This is like asking the national church to be with the Jehovah's Witnesses."
Tamimi sought to undermine Seddeq's group by accusing it of being financed by Saudi Arabia. At one point, Tamimi called the police to report members of Seddeq's group, accusing them of misunderstanding the peaceful nature of Islam, and saying that he feared that Muslim extremists were attempting to gain a foothold in Iceland.

Tamimi also sought to assure the Reykjavík City Council that -- unlike Seddeq -- his mosque project would not be financed by foreigners and thus would not be promoting extremism.

"If we are going to have a mosque, it must be done according to local considerations," Tamimi said in October 2010. "As soon as you lose sight of the source of funding you lose control of what happens subsequently. The experience of other countries teaches that it is wise to reject large foreign investments in religion. Such investors are much more likely to import their own countries' traditions and not adapt to the traditions in their host country."

In the end, city officials sided with Tamimi, whose mosque project was formally approved on September 19. After more than a decade of bickering, construction of Reykjavík's first mosque is expected to begin in early 2014.

The cost of building the 800 square meter (8,600 square foot) mosque -- which will include a prayer hall, community center and library, as well as a nine-meter (30 foot) minaret -- is expected to exceed 400 million Icelandic Krona (€2.5 million; $3.3 million).

But now that the Reykjavík mosque project has been given the go-ahead, Tamimi's group has changed its tune and now admits that foreign donors will be paying for the mosque's construction costs after all.

During a newspaper interview on September 19 -- conducted just a few hours after the mosque project was approved -- Sverrir Agnarsson, a convert to Islam who is chairman of Tamimi's group, the Muslim Association of Iceland, was asked how the mosque would be financed.

"We have received numerous promises," Agnarsson said. "We are mostly seeking funding from individual foreigners. We have a right to get support from the collective funds of Muslims [the Ummah, or the worldwide community of Muslims]. We are doing all of this in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice to guarantee that all the money coming to us is received legally, and is not associated with any terrorist organizations," he added.

The idea that foreigners are financing the spread of Islam in Reykjavík does not sit well with many Icelanders.

One of the most vocal opponents of the mosque project has been the former mayor of Reykjavík, Ólafur F. Magnússon. In an article he wrote for the newspaper Morgunbladid, Magnússon laid out his position:
It is a matter of grave concern that it seems to be no problem for Muslims in Iceland to finance such a mosque here in Iceland with money from 'Muslim/Islamic promotion organizations' abroad. They could receive financial help from organizations that want to increase Islamic influence in Iceland as well as in other countries. This can be dangerous for our national culture and safety.
Magnússon also said why he thought it was wrong for foreign organizations to be financing the construction of mosques in Iceland:
Islam is a religion with the goal to eliminate all other religions and to expand all over the world, the West, the Nordic countries…and now even Iceland. The experience in the Nordic countries shows that Muslims are not adapting to society. This has become a huge problem, in Malmö [Sweden] for example. The other day, a mosque was to be built on Trondheim [Norway], but the Norwegian authorities canceled the project because some Saudi Arabian organization was to finance the whole thing.
Although he is not opposed to the mosque per se, Magnússon believes it is outrageous for the city to give Muslims a building site at no cost at a great location in the center of Reykjavík. He also asks why political movements and feminist groups in Iceland are so tolerant towards a religion that he says degrades women.

Part of the answer may be found in the political make-up of the Reykjavík City Council, which is led by the upstart Best Party, a so-called joke party that was propelled into office in 2010 as a backlash against establishment parties in the wake of Iceland's banking collapse in 2008.

The Best Party -- a semi-serious far left party that is home to anarchists, atheists, surrealists, punks and poets -- is being led by Jón Gnarr, a stand-up comedian whose stated political aim is thoroughly to upset the established order in Reykjavík. Critics say the new mosque represents a big step toward achieving Gnarr's objective." via Free Republic