Friday, September 30, 2011

Michael Coren On The Most Viscious Religious Terrorists Of All


No Hijab, No Peace: Analyzing the Rye Playland Incident

 Islamist Watch

by David J. Rusin • Sep 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

In a controversy sure to fuel the accommodation debate, 15 people were arrested on August 30 at Rye Playland, an amusement park in Westchester County, New York, following a melee that involved Muslims objecting to the prohibition of head coverings on certain rides. One young woman's refusal to remove her headscarf apparently led to altercations among Muslims, who then scuffled with security officials. Their legal cases have been adjourned until October.
Despite claims of discrimination, the park's rules on headgear are neutral with respect to faith and have a single goal. "It's a safety issue on rides. If it's a scarf, you could choke," explained Peter Tartaglia, Westchester deputy parks commissioner. Indeed, a Muslim woman was strangled to death last year in Australia when her head covering got caught in the axle of a go-kart.
Five reflections on the hijab fracas at Rye Playland:
  • Once again we see the no-win situation that often results when multiculturalism and safety concerns collide: enforce the appropriate dress code and risk accusations of bias, or loosen the rules and risk accusations of negligence. Other recreational venues, including an Australian water park and a Connecticut roller rink, have faced this same dilemma.
  • Claims that the headgear policy is selectively applied to discriminate against Muslims are undercut by an August 31 article in the Journal News. Describing how the park returned to normal the next day, it notes that two Jewish boys were asked to remove their yarmulkes prior to boarding a roller coaster. They did so without causing a scene.
  • Headscarves are not the only Islamic attire that could prove dangerous on fast-moving rides. Baggy garments, such as those worn by Muslim women photographed at Rye Playland, may require regulation as well.
  • Islamists have been known to orchestrate incidents for the purpose of gaining sympathy and concessions (e.g., the "flying imams"). With the Muslims' visit having been arranged by a chapter of the Muslim American Society (MAS), an Islamist group closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, this possibility must be considered. Especially curious: organizers had been told about park policy in advance, yet MAS fliers for the event made no mention of headgear restrictions, thus ensuring plenty of irate Muslims that day.
  • Behold the noxious influence of groups like CAIR on Muslim minds. "This all happened because we're Muslim," charged one of the attendees, demonstrating the Islamist view that anybody who says no to a Muslim must be a bigot. True to form, CAIR responded to the brouhaha by lamenting the "Islamophobia" that allegedly targets covered women.
Amusement parks should set rules based on what they believe to be necessary for the protection of their patrons. Tell Rye Playland (contact here) to keep putting safety first — and ignore those Islamists who put agitation first.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Story of Solyndra Video

Powerline blog

Posted on September 29, 2011 by John Hinderaker in Energy Policy, Obama Administration Scandals

The Story of Solyndra

Video is a powerful medium. This short video by the Institute for Energy Research may not tell you, as a sophisticated news consumer, anything you didn’t already know about the Solyndra debacle. But it is a powerful summary of the Solyndra scandal, especially for those who don’t follow the news obsessively. So I’d suggest you share it with your friends!

Mark Bonokoski & Nina Shea: Saudis export anti-Christian and anti-Jewish textbooks across the world


Jordan Sekulow on CBN Giving an Update on Efforts to Save the Life of a Christian Pastor in Iran

Official ACLJ

Norway: Muslims charged with forced marriage of 16 year old girl.

Sept 29, 2011 Un:dhimmi

More Multikulti madness from the frozen North (h/t Islam in Europe):

Four men have been charged with forcibly marrying a 16 year old girl to a 23 year old man. The marriage was carried out March 2009 in the Oslo suburb of Skedsmo. The girl’s family gave their blessings to the marriage.

The case against the men – aged 23, 44, 47 and 49 – is based on the girl’s statement. Dagbladet has learned that the four Iraqi defendants denied the charges.

According to prosecutor Olav Helge Thue the girl was forced to answer questions as part of a Muslim forced marriage ceremony. An imam, who has not been charged, conducted the ceremony.

Thue says that the girl was coerced using her young age and psychological ties to her family.

The girl told the police that she eventually made it clear she wanted out of the marriage. According to the indictment, she then faced serious threats from two of the defendants. The 23 and 47 year olds forced her to remain in the forced marriage by threatening her she’ll be excommunicated from her family, sent back to Iraq against her will, and with threats of murder.

This despite the fact that she asked for help to leave it.

This poor girl now at grave risk of being killed unless she can escape her community. Yet this nightmare forced marriage scenario is not from some benighted Islamic republic, but takes place in the present day, in what is supposedly one of the world’s most advanced societies.

And it’s no isolated incident.

All over Europe and the rest of the developed world, the importation of Muslim immigrants is translating into pockets of mediaeval Shariah law being transplanted into democratic, secular states, supposedly founded on tolerance, freedom and the rights of the individual. Forced marriage is rife.

But what rights does this girl have? The answer is, because of the mindbending logic of leftist multiculturalism (which promotes not integration, but ‘hands-off’ ghettoisation) and mass immigration from the Muslim World; exactly the same as she would have had in Baghdad or Fallujah. Which isn’t many, to say the least.

The Multikulti Time Machine – driving Norway (and the rest of the developed world) back to the seventh century – one victim at a time.

[Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)]

White House Bullys Ford Commercial - Michelle Malkin - Sean Hannity - 9-28-11


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Michael Coren Interviews Pamela Geller - Islamophobia Is A Lie


State Persecution in Great Britain

English Defence League 28 September 2011
By Tommy Robinson
Until I joined the EDL, I thought state persecution was something that happened in places like Russia, China or Iran, but it seems that I was wrong. It’s happening right here in Britain. Here is the truth about one man’s persecution. It was written whilst on remand for another trumped up, overblown charge. In Tommy’s own words, his persecution at the hands of the Police and of the British State.
Where did it start? When did it start?……….
After our first demonstration back in May 2009 in response to the appalling scenes during the royal Anglian homecoming parade, we decided to leaflet our disgust at what the council and police had facilitated.
I organised a protest in Luton town centre under the banner of the United People of Luton (UPL) calling for people in power to explain why the police and council had facilitated hostile individuals with known links to terrorist organisations to spit and hurl abuse at our soldiers.
The initial demo was very successful with about 500 in attendance. But still the police and council were silent on the matter and instead prosecuted normal citizens who reacted to the abuse from the group of Jihadists. We decided to call another demonstration but a week before our 2nd demonstration at the end of May the police visited 4 addresses in Luton one being my mother and fathers.
I was not at home at the time of the police visits so avoided arrest but 13 others were arrested and questioned on public order offences relating to the initial demo at the start of May. All 13 were given a bail date 3 months away with bail conditions banning them from Luton town centre for 24 hours a day 7 days a week?

Tommy Robinson
Does this sound familiar?
Police seem to be using this tactic quite commonly these days. I was not arrested so when we attended our second demonstration in Luton at the end of May a few of us decided to wear balaclavas.

    This was for two reasons:
  1. I had a warrant out for my arrest post the first demo
  2. Because some of the 13 who were arrested and banned wanted to attend the demo.

The day after our 2nd UPL demo I called the police to hand myself in. I was then called back by the officer dealing with the incidents and he informed me I no longer had to hand myself in. It was at this point the home secretary instigated a ban on marches in Luton for 30 days. The reason for coming to my mum and dads house was simply to ban me from the town centre!
There was a 3rd date put out for a UPL but was cancelled. On the date of the planned demo 200 Muslims had gathered in the bury park area of Luton and decided to attack police and hurl bricks and fireworks at them for no apparent reason. This can be witnessed on you tube here .
I was on my own driving through town and noticed a huge riot police presence near the entrance to Bury park area, when I was pulled over by a police car. I was driving my wife’s family car which was purchased direct from Vauxhall two years before. When I got out of the car I could hear explosions going off and could see missiles being thrown. I asked the officer what was going on and he said "nothing”.
I actually started to laugh and said your answer could not have been more ridiculous as it looked like a war zone in front of me. He just turned and said the last thing we need is "your lot” coming down here. In "your lot” I presume he meant the people who were opposed to the violent Islamic extremists who spat at our soldiers, call for death to the west, and were currently creating a war zone in the middle of the town?
At this point I was arrested – apparently for driving a ringed car? My car was impounded and I was held in the cells for 12 hours. Police then raided my mums house again, this time to look for number plates supposedly and guess what…..My car was fine and I was released without charge, but I had to collect my car which was in a compound 20 miles away from Luton and I was supposed to be going to centre parks with my kids that morning!
I realise now that this was only the beginning of police persecution against me in an attempt to silence me.
What we were starting was only going to increase.
The UPL quickly turned into the EDL, and I soon found there were thousands of people just like me who were sick and tired of our spineless politicians and senior police officers. Who were too scared to stand up for our culture or our human rights when faced with the threat of militant Islam.
It was February 2010 and I was at Luton airport travelling to Scotland for the first Scottish defence league demo. When I went to check in I was pulled in and held by special branch. When I got into the room I was told I was being arrested for racially aggravated public order and criminal damage!
As soon as I heard this I immediately though what an absolute stitch up, I was then taken to Luton police station where I asked to make a phone call. It was at this point the arresting officer said I was not allowed a call. I asked why and his response was ‘we are raiding houses linked to you’. I then said ‘criminal damage? What can you possibly be looking for and what house are you raiding?’
The criminal damage charge was for £30 damage to a door in a budget hotel In Sheffield I had stayed at 3 months earlier. The damage was not even for my door, but another entirely different door in the hotel. I thought this just didn’t stack up but soon it would get even more unbelievable.
A huge number of police raided my parents’ house (for the 3rd time since I had started organising demonstrations and I had not even lived with my parents for over 4 years). My parents are in their 50’s and 60’s and they entered the house basically ripping up everything searching through cupboards and wardrobes – for what exactly Because this was a criminal damage charge after all. They then packaged up my dad’s computer and laptop into evidence bags and took them back to the station.
Armed police then went and raided my house leaving my wife and children crying and petrified with the surrounding neighbours thinking they were living next door to Fred west! They then removed all electronic devices, mobile phones and computers and even and EDL t-shirt from my house and placed it into evidence bags and then released me on bail.
Whilst in custody I asked them why it had taken 3 months to arrest me and told them that they had planned these raids to prevent me attending the SDL demo. They said that was not the case and had been trying to locate my whereabouts for a while. Three days prior to this raid I was pulled over in my car by 3 police vans (this actually happens weekly since I started the EDL!). They asked me to get out of my car while they stripped and searched it. They would not provide me with a reason for the stop and search on my car.
I informed the police that the officers who had pulled me over had run my name through their system and if there was a warrant out for my arrest, then why didn’t they arrest me then? What they did was deliberately hold off my arrest for these fabricated charges until I was at the airport in order to stop me traveling to meet with some patriots of the SDL.
My bail date was set for the bank holiday weekend and was timed for the exact same date as the Bradford demo with my bail set in Sheffield. My bail conditions were that I could not meet with 3 or more members of the EDL?!?
At first I thought what had the EDL got to do with this arrest? But in fact the EDL had everything to with this arrest. The entire reason for these somewhat ridiculous heavy handed tactics was purely due to my involvement in the EDL.
When I spoke to my solicitor he could not quite believe what had happened and had the bail conditions listed in court within 48 hours. Guess what… they were dropped as the judge said they were totally irrelevant to the case.
Three weeks later guess what? The police dropped all the charges and returned all our possessions. I filed a complaint with the Independents Police Complaints Commission which is still to this day ‘pending’. I demanded to know how they gained a warrant to raid both my parents and my house on completely fabricated charges. My solicitor said in his entire career he had never heard of a police raid for supposed criminal damage, let alone one that involved nearly 40 police officers and an armed response team!
The police were clearly fishing for intelligence and wanted to intimidate my family and me.
A couple of months later I was awoken by the sound of the police smashing my door in yet again! This time I was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. The police also arrested my wife in front of our children. We were both taken to separate stations and held for ten hours in custody. Police seized any valuables (even my engagement ring) as they said I had financial irregularities between 2007 and 2009.
They then froze all of my bank accounts including business and left us as a family to live on a £250 a week restriction. In short if I spend more than £250 a week they will send me to prison. I researched this and these tactics are referred to as ‘disruption’ tactics. It has now been over a year and my family are still on the same restrictions, I am still on bail with no charge having been placed and they are financially crippling me. I cannot even have direct debits and this causes serious problems on normal things such as mortgage payments or car insurance.
All of the police actions around this have been to intimidate and target the EDL. The level of police harassment since the very first UPL demonstration has been quite unbelievable.
Last year a school friend of mine was arrested by the police, he was arrested in possession of 3 firearms and £140,000. I had been on a lad’s holiday with him a year before this arrest, and he had a holiday picture on display in his lounge with me in it.
His partner contacted me and what she then went onto tell me was truly unbelievable in spite of all the police harassment I had already received. Whilst this old school friend was on remand in prison the Serious Organised Crime agency (SOCA) had visited him in prison and offered him a deal? He could walk free if he provided a witness statement that the guns found in his possession were indeed mine! This is 100% the gospel truth – evidence of all these arrests with zero resulting in charges can be provided.
More recently I was arrested for an offence relating to a demo outside Luton council when a contingent of Euro MP’s came on an anti-EDL crusade, with the aim of calling all citizens who are concerned about their own culture being eroded violent racist islamophobes. This dross is pretty boring now. I was subsequently arrested and charged under section 4 of the Public Order Act. Again I had committed NO crime and surprise surprise… the bail conditions for this fabricated charge was that I do not attend any demonstrations within 10 miles of Luton!
On that very same day Lancashire police charged me with assault and the two forces had clearly cooperated as the bail conditions I was given for this second offence was that I cannot be involved in any EDL demonstration (removing my right to freedom of assembly – can you ever see them doing this to a Muslim extremist? – they would have lawyers queuing up to defend their human rights), I cannot use the internet, email or text message to participate in anything EDL related.
I went to Luton magistrates and pleaded not guilty to section 4. Then 6 weeks later I received a letter saying it was not in the public interest to pursue this case and guess what? The case was dropped. Are you noticing a bit of a pattern?
A short while after this the police raided my house again – I wish they would just knock it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper as it happens so bloody often. I was arrested for another ‘alleged’ assault. I pleaded not guilty and went to Luton magistrate’s court. Guess what? Yes you guessed it thrown out of court for lack of evidence. There are so many instances of this you might think I am exaggerating but these are all factual.
I have now just spent 8 days in Prison for breaching the bail conditions from the Lancashire police (a charge which again is fabricated and will not hold up in court) by attending the peaceful protest at Tower Hamlets. This is the 3rd time the police have restricted my democratic rights – have any Muslims had their rights restricted?
Anjem Choudry and his merry men turn up on Armistice Day burning poppies and shouting through the two minutes silence and yet they are still free to turn up at the 9-11 memorial and repeat the same disgusting behaviour, burning American flags and shouting obscenities through the service. Does this sound like a two tier legal system to you?
Government and the police can do what they like to white British citizens even hit them with police batons for attending peaceful demonstrations but Muslims extremists can march with faces covered at a time when there is a supposed marching ban in London. They can carry sticks, shout disgusting abuse and praise terrorists, wave the black terrorist flag of Jihad in London’s streets and the police are scared stiff to even touch them.
Now let me talk about my two circus like convictions earlier in the year which the press love to mention at every given opportunity (Football Hooligan). Bearing in mind what I have just explained about the police action towards me, have a think about this case and make your own mind up.
I was arrested outside Luton Town football stadium because apparently there was a warrant out for my arrest for an apparent assault which was laughed out of court as mentioned above. I was taken to the station, questioned about this so called assault and bailed for 8 weeks. I was at no time questioned about any football violence. I answered bail 8 weeks later and when I did this they then arrested me for supposedly being involved in football violence 8 weeks prior on the night they actually arrested me for something entirely different! If this was the case would you not think I would have been arrested for the supposed football violence on the night it happened as they had me in custody?
What was my crime that night? To have my hands in the air and shout the C word which I am not particularly proud about at a group of opposing fans who were goading Luton fans. In my charge sheet the crime which magically changed from a supposed assault in Luton (which I was arrested for) to leading a 100 man fight outside a football ground in the 8 weeks I was on bail.
So I was accused of leading a 100 man punch up – a 100 man punch up would be serious disorder so how many arrests did the police make, both on the night and since this serious violent 100 man brawl. That’s right 1 arrest – me! Was there any video footage of this huge brawl – No! In a world where everyone has a camera phone you would think a 100 people fighting right outside a football stadium would have found its way onto YouTube – No! Was I going to be able to get the chance to have a jury – No! They charged me with an offence which could only be settled in magistrates.
So there you go – I went to magistrates and was convicted of having my hands in the air and swearing. The police statement also said I was shouting ‘EDL, EDL’ get real why would I be shouting this at a Luton game. I received a ban from football for 3 years just another little inconvenience the police have managed to place on me, and I am banned from Luton town centre and bury park on a Saturday.
The arresting officer also wrote in his statement that he witnessed me fighting. He somehow did a u turn in court when interrogated by my defence solicitor and said that he did not see me fighting. A police officer lying in his statement in order to get me convicted – whatever next? You can see evidence of this u turn in an article by a Guardian journalist who sat in on the trial on this link
Now to the earlier conviction when the EDL counter protested the Muslim Extremist animals that burned the poppies through the armistice two minutes silence. The police happily facilitated these animals to burn poppies and hurl abuse through the two minutes silence shouting for our fallen heroes to burn in hell and worst. Again we have instances where an ex-soldier burns a Koran. Now I am not agreeing with the burning of a Koran but at the end of the day it is just a book? This guy was arrested and is now serving time at her majesty’s pleasure. What happens to the animals that burn poppies on the streets of London? That’s right a £50 fine which he refused to pay even though the scum bag gets £800 a month in benefits from tax payers. Two tier system in full view!
The terrorists were waving the black war flag of Jihad which is the same flag that the Islamic terrorist organisations have above victims like Ken Bigley before they severe their head. I just cannot understand why the police are so scared that they let these people walk through the streets of London waving terrorist flags. I decided to jump the barrier and pull down one of these flags. When I did this I was man handled by a number of police officers and one office actually smashed my head against the metal railings.
I was arrested for the incident and then at the station to my surprise they were arresting me for assaulting a police officer! When my solicitor asked for the CCTV footage he was told there was none but instead they had the statements from two officers which said I assaulted one of them. The protest happened on exhibition road, right outside an embassy in London with 40 of Britain’s most extreme Muslims, yet there was no CCTV? I personally saw police surveillance officers filming through hand held cameras but the police insisted there was no video footage.
I was actually concerned as I knew that my word against two police officers would not stand up in court and I would get a few years in jail for something I had not done. We contacted some of the film crews who were covering the event and to my relief ITV had filmed the whole incident which clearly shows the only thing I assaulted was a black terrorist flag.
I turned up at court with the video footage which the police conveniently did not have and guess what? Yes you know the case got thrown out of court and the assault charge was dropped. 2 months later Scotland Yard came back and re arrested me for the same incident but this time for public order (causing alarm and distress to the scum that were burning poppies). It looks like they were determined to get me on something and this time it was a charge which could easily be proven as the police man just had to say when I grabbed the flag I caused him alarm and distress. I was found guilty and give a fine 7 times larger than that of the extremist who burned the poppies. So pulling down a terrorist flag is 7 times worse than burning poppies – go work that one out…
Those two instances where the police have actually lied in statements in order to prosecute me for crimes I did not commit. It makes me wonder if they will get fast tracked in the police force if they nail ‘Tommy Robinson’ and try to put an end to the EDL. Well the EDL is far bigger than any one person.
Well the police persecution will go on and I know it’s nothing to do with the front line officers, many of which have told me off the record they agree with what we are saying and they are following orders from the top, which in the instance of the poppy burning etc. frustrates the life out of them.
It’s the political policing from top and to be honest it stinks. You could be forgiven for thinking we are in China not Britain and we have a police state. The only thing that has shocked me so far is that no one has planted anything on me such is the lies, persecution and attempts to disrupt and ruin everything in my family life.
At first they tried to intimidate me, then they tried to intimidate my mum and dad, then they arrest my wife, anything in order to break me.
Well you won’t break us, I wrote most of this statement with my head held high in Bedford prison C wing.
Edward Abbey once said ‘A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government’ and Sir Winston Churchill said ‘I see the damage done by the enemy but I also see the spirit of an unconquerable people’
The one thing I was thinking when in Bedford on hunger strike for the 8 days was that I miss my wife, I miss my kids and I miss Nandos..
Has it all been worth it? Of course it f*cking has!

A Short Thanks to My Followers

Just a quick Thank you to all the followers on my blog and to those who are not yet followers but do at times stop by to read from my blog.  I also want to thank my Facebook and twitter followers. You are the folks that make posting to my blog and to Facebook and Twitter much fun.

Thanks again


Dear Mr. Freeman


September 28, 2011 | Filed under Tea Party Movement | Posted by Rick Rice

A Tea Party member pens a letter to Morgan Freeman… and it’s good… damned good:

Dear Mr. Freeman,

My name is Ali Akbar. I’m a 26 year-old African-American small business owner and a tea party activist. I’m not writing to rake you over the coals in the way that many conservatives have done in the last 48 hours. Heck, I wrote a passionate open-letter refuting many of your claims already, but this is not that. This is an honest and standing invitation. I do believe that you are wrong in what you said about the tea party, but I would rather prove it to you than castigate you for your comments.

I also understand that your reflexive comments came from experience. You grew up in a different America than the one that I was blessed to be born into. We both grew up in the south, but I never saw ‘White Only’ signs. I’ve been called a name or two in my three decades, but racism has always been the exception in my life, not the rule, as it probably was in your youth. I understand your suspicion of conservative political movements. It is rooted in pain and fear and memory, and though I never saw the horrors of segregation that you did, we share that cultural heritage.

I’ve been a fan of yours all my life. From “Driving Miss Daisy” to “Lean on Me” to “The Shawshank Redemption,” I idolized you as a boy. Growing up without a father, you were one of the strong black men in my life who gave me a model to follow. Each of the characters you played had dignity and confidence. I tried to emulate the strength you projected. While many of my friends headed down the all-too-familiar path of drugs, unwed pregnancies and crime, I’ve striven to live a life with dignity, be an example for my brothers and make my mother proud.

My favorite of your movies was “The Power of One.” I must’ve watched it a hundred times, crying every time when your character Geel Piet was killed by the racist South African. Geel Piet was brave and heroic, even in the face of death, because he knew that the hate that killed him was a trifle in comparison to the love that PK’s anti-apartheid movement was spreading. It is with that spirit that I’m writing to you this morning.

I’ve attended dozens of tea party events. I’ve helped organize them, and I’ve even spoken at a few. The tea party is not what is often depicted in the news. It is people of all colors who are terribly concerned about the direction that America is heading. We don’t trust big government to make decisions for us. And we fear that the present administration’s spending is going to lead our country down a path to insolvency, much like what Greece is currently facing.

Your comments about the tea party have caused me physical pain. You’ve rekindled the old painful paradigm of Uncle Tom – that any black man who votes Republican is some kind of sellout. It’s not true. I work hard, pay my taxes, love Jesus, and I’m good to my family and community. In effect, your comments have stereotyped an entire group of people. And I know in my soul that you must regret that on some level.

There’s already plenty of groupthink among American blacks. Over 90% of us vote Democrat with religious regularity, and we have been doing so for over fifty years. For a short time, I was one of them. I realized a few years ago that the Democrats’ promises of equality bestowed by government wasn’t working and will never work. I came to believe that redistributionist policies with the goal of social justice was essentially creating a new plantation within the federal government. Scraps might be thrown our way, but dependence on the plantation would be the inevitable result.

Over half a century since we started voting for Democrat policies, blacks in America are worse off than before. Black Americans are more likely to get involved with drugs, go to prison, and die younger than our white counterparts. Over 70% of our children are born out of wedlock. Our abortion rate has never been higher. There are two explanations for these results. 1) Blacks are an inferior race and can’t take care of themselves. 2) Despite the best of intentions, the government has created and implemented “social justice” policies that promote perpetual dependence. I choose to believe the latter. Therefore, I have become a Republican.

Mr. Freeman, I’m not asking you to adopt my political views. You’re in your seventies, and a political shift is not in your future. I’m reaching out to you because…

I suggest you read it all and pass it on. Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Freeman will read it… and respond.

Via Pradheep Shanker.

Mark Bonokoski & Lorrie Goldstein: The Gubment's Blowin Smoke Up Your ...


Geert Wilders' Acquittal: An Important First Step for Free Speech in the Netherlands

Legal Project Blog
by Debra L. Feuer • Sep 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm

On June 23rd, the Amsterdam District Court acquitted Dutch MP Geert Wilders, bringing to a close a nearly two-year ordeal. The decision was a clear victory for Wilders who had faced both fines and imprisonment for charges of "group defamation" and "incitement to hatred and to discrimination" on the basis of religion and race under article 137c and 137d of the Dutch Penal Code (DPC).
"I am delighted with this ruling," said Wilders. "It is a victory, not only for me, but for all the Dutch people. Today is a victory for freedom of speech."
Wilders is right. The verdict is a win not only for him, but also for free speech generally. The Dutch court—and the Dutch Supreme Court that set important precedent—protected free expression in the face of a censorial "hate speech" statute. At the very same time, this case is a perfect example of the dangers and pitfalls of such "hate speech" laws, demonstrating that while these provisions remain in force, Holland has a way to go to re-claim free expression—as do other European Union countries with such laws.
On their face, DPC 137c and d severely constrict free expression. DPC 137c imposes a penalty on a person who "publicly…deliberately expresses himself" in a way that "insults a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief…." Relying on the legislative history and a Dutch Supreme Court's 2009 opinion,[1] the court significantly narrowed the scope of the provision, drawing a line between insults that the statute prohibits and those it does not. The court said the law penalizes a person for insulting religious groups based on their characteristics, but not for insulting them by criticizing their religion or behavior. Accordingly, critiques or insults of Islam, the Koran, or the behavior of Muslims are permissible, notwithstanding the statute.
Similarly, regarding DPC 137d, the provision penalizing incitement to hatred or discrimination, the court held that the provision targets speech that incites hatred or discrimination against people but allows criticism of religion. The court found that many of Wilders' statements criticized religion, and not people, and therefore were not prohibited under the statute.
The court explicitly interpreted the law in favor of freedom of expression; it said that although the incitement prohibition imposes some limitation on free expression, the legislature intended to maintain free expression as much as possible.
A significant aspect of the case concerned charges under DPC 137d for statements that Wilders made that the court found were against people, but that the court nevertheless ruled permissible under the statute. The court protected these largely because it found a heightened level of protection for speech made in the context of political debate—at least when made by a public official. The court even protected remarks that it considered discriminatory, provocative, or on the edge of being "criminal" because they were in the context of public debate. In fact, the court suggested that the more vehement the debate, the greater the protection: "there is more room for the freedom of expression in situations when it is a more vehement debate.…in those cases utterances may even offend, shock or disturb." The court seemed to agree with Wilders that he was engaging in political advocacy, fighting the ideas of a cultural movement, and not impugning the human dignity of a religious group.
Nevertheless, this case highlights the danger of "hate speech" laws. The court's opinion left open many questions about the reach of the Dutch penal provision. Free expression is protected in the context of public debate—but what constitutes public debate? What, if any, protection is afforded to expression outside the scope of public debate? To what extent is the free expression of non-politicians protected? These vagaries obviously put a deep chill on expression in Holland—and other countries that have such laws—with individuals censoring themselves for fear of facing criminal penalties for their expression.
Moreover, the court engaged in an inquisitorial review of each of Wilders' individual statements and depictions, to determine whether or not it crossed the line under the statute. Although the court ruled in Wilders' favor on each and every one, an ordinary person without Geert Wilders' resources might be loath to risk that level of scrutiny of their words—with the possibility of jail time for a miscalculation.
Significantly, this case highlights how these "hate speech" laws are open to abuse for political ends. Wilders' ordeal took place in the context of the rising popularity of the Party for Freedom, which he founded and leads in the House of Representatives. Some perceived this to be a politically motivated case, and to suffer from judicial bias. The prosecution never wanted to bring the case—characterizing Wilders' expression as part of the public discourse on Islam. The courts insisted they proceed (which a court could do under their system). Wilders' lawyers successfully requested a new panel of judges after one of the judges disparaged Wilders' exercise of his right to remain silent, and another judge allegedly met with a witness to influence him against Wilders. The prosecution ended its case by reiterating its earlier plea for a full acquittal. Fortunately, the new court panel acquitted Wilders.
The case exemplifies how, under the "hate speech" and group insult laws in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, politically motivated prosecution can punish political adversaries and deter them from expressing their views. Such abuse is one of the most troubling consequences of criminalizing insulting expression, rather than penalizing only actions that physically harm or threaten a person.
Providing political background on Wilders' case, Daniel Pipes said: "the PVV is libertarian and mainstream conservative, without roots in neo-Fascism, nativism, conspiricism, antisemitism, or other forms of extremism." Pipes described Wilders as "the country's leading politician." Yet, due to the prosecution, Wilders was unable to engage fully in representing his constituency—he was busy defending his case for up to three days of every week. He could have been fined thousands of Euros and jailed for over a year. "Due to threats against his life," said Pipes, "he always travels with bodyguards and incessantly changes safe-houses. Who exactly, I wonder, is the victim of incitement?"
Mark Steyn has highlighted how political actors can apply "hate speech" laws unfairly, to punish and suppress ideas and individuals they oppose. Yet they rarely apply those laws to expression by their allies, or by those whose views don't trouble them as much—regardless how incendiary such expression may be. Steyn pointed out that Wilders' "movie about Islam, Fitna, is deemed to be 'inflammatory,' whereas a new film by Willem Stegeman, De moord op Geert Wilders (The Assassination of Geert Wilders), is so non-inflammatory and entirely acceptable that it's been produced and promoted by a government-funded radio station."
The Wilders decision affirms free speech in the Netherlands when it comes to political discourse. The court significantly limited the extent to which DCP 137 prevents officials from engaging in robust commentary in the public policy arena, even if the message is offensive. Wilders was brave enough to speak his mind, and to defend himself in court against the threat of criminal punishment, with the aid of supporters like the Legal Project. And he eventually prevailed. Yet the implications for the free speech rights of non-politicians or expression outside "public debate" remains a matter of speculation, and DCP 137 seems likely to continue casting a chilling pall on free speech until it is overturned or more thoroughly eviscerated. Wilders' acquittal, and the fact that even the prosecutors were loathe to proceed in the case, may indicate that tides are shifting, and that Dutch society wants to be free discuss public issues even when it comes to Islam. We at the Legal Project certainly hope so—and will continue working toward that end.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TURBAN BOMBS: The latest trend in Muslim suicide bombing gear

| Author: | Filed under: Jihad this! | Leave a comment »

To all civilized nations of the world: It’s no longer good enough just to ban burqas. ALL Ragheads (Muslim men) AND Bagheads (Muslim women) must be barred from going anywhere in public because their headgear has a high probability of being wired with explosives. KABOOM!

For now, you would be wise to avoid getting into a taxi with a Muslim driver. You never know.

Muslim Extremists in Nigeria Kill Christians in Two States

Compass Direct News

Five dead in Niger, three in Kaduna after attacks the past two weeks.
Muslim extremists bent on ridding Nigeria’s volatile middle region of Christianity killed five Christians in Niger state on Thursday (Sept. 22) and three others the previous week in the north-central state of Kaduna, including a 13-year-old girl, sources said.

Suspected militants from the Boko Haram Islamic sect in the Niger state town of Madala went to shops owned by Christians at a market at about 8 p.m., ordering them to recite verses from the Quran, eyewitnesses told Compass. If the Christian traders were unable to recite the verses, the gunmen shot and killed them, they said.

The sound of the gunshots compelled Christians to call police in nearby Suleja, and officers arrived to find five Christians had already been killed. Richard Adamu Oguche, a spokesman for the Niger State Police Command in the state capital of Minna, confirmed that five Christians had been killed.

He told Compass the attack was linked to members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect who have recently bombed Christian sites.

Killed in the Madala market attacks were Sunday Emmanuel, John Kalu, Uche Nguweze, and Oliver Ezemah. The identity of the fifth Christian was not immediately known as witnesses could not identify him.

Kaduna Slaughter
Suspected Muslim extremists killed three Christians in a Sept. 17 midnight attack on a Christian community in Kaduna state, sources said.

In guerrilla style typical of recent Islamic extremist attacks in northern Nigeria, about 15 gunmen stormed three houses in Ungwan Rana Bitaro village in the Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna, leaving three dead and eight wounded.

“Three houses were attacked by the attackers before they retreated into surrounding bushes,” a resident of the village told Compass by phone. “When the Muslims came, they brought out the members of these families and started shooting them and cutting some of them with machetes. The sound of gunshots forced us out of our houses, and we took to our heels since we could not fight armed men when we do not have arms like them.”

Killed were Monday Hassan, 55, his 13-year-old daughter Godiya, and his 35-year-old nephew, Istifanus Daniel. The eight who sustained injuries received treatment at Kwoi General Hospital.

A medical staff member at Kwoi General Hospital who requested anonymity confirmed the village residents’ account.

“Most of the victims brought to the hospital had gunshot wounds and machete cuts,” the hospital worker said. “Some of them with more serious injuries have been referred to the Kafanchan General Hospital.”

Dr. Danladi Gyet Maude, Jaba chief and an area Christian community leader, said the attack was reported to police.

Kaduna city police also confirmed the attack and the number of casualties, with officials saying they have ramped up the search for the attackers. Aminu Lawan, spokesman for the Kaduna State Police Command, said police have begun investigating and officers are on the trail of the assailants.

“Three persons were killed, and some others were injured as a result of the attack, but we have drafted our men to the village with a view of arresting the perpetrators,” Lawan said.

The murders follow similar Islamist attacks on Christian communities in Kaduna state’s Fadiya Bajju, Ungwan Yuli and Ungwan Yaro villages. The attack at Ungwan Yaro and Ungwan Yuli left no casualties, but many were injured. The assault at Fadiya Bakut village in Bajju district left two persons dead.

The attack on Ungwan Rana Bitaro village brings the death toll in Kaduna state to five Christians in three weeks (see, “Muslim Extremists from Niger Help Kill Christians in Nigeria,” Aug. 31).

The recent guerrilla attacks by Muslim extremists in southern Kaduna state have also been typical of assaults on Christian communities in Bauchi and Plateau states.

Amid this spate of attacks, reports from Internet activist group Wikileaks have surfaced indicating a mosque in the city of Kaduna, commonly known as Yahaya Road Mosque, runs an Islamic school where Muslim teenagers are allegedly trained to become terrorists; most of those trained in the mosque, according to the Wikileaks report published in Nigerian media Sept. 4, are allegedly members of the dreaded Islamic sect Boko Haram.

Nigerian newspapers have quoted Wikileaks as reporting that U.S. Embassy personnel found Muslim teenagers were being indoctrinated with hate theology against Christians and Western nations, particularly the United States and European countries.

Mosque leaders deny it. Alhaji Garba Ibrahim, chairman of the management committee of the mosque, issued a statement to media in Kaduna on Friday (Sept. 23) asserting that it was unfortunate that Wikileaks portrayed the mosque as hypnotizing students with Islamic extremism and organizing them to do violence.

“Ordinarily, this ought not to bother us in view of the source of the information, the United States, leader of the Western nations against Islam and Muslims, but for the records, and to reassure parents and government of Kaduna state, the report is nothing but a tissue of lies,” Ibrahim said. “It was curious that a mosque situated in … a neighbourhood of serving and retired top public officers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, would undertake unlawful activities unnoticed except to the eyes and ears of the American Embassy.”

Ibrahim said the school was opened in November 1979 after approval from the state government with a curriculum designed by an Islamic association known as the Association for the Propagation of Islam.

“The mosque’s management, however, invites Nigerians to visit the place of worship and see things for themselves, rather than being cowed by the malicious American report, which has strengthened our faith and commitment to observe and propagate the tenets of Islam within the sharia [Islamic law] and laws of our country,” the statement said.

Boko Haram Attacks
The Madala attack last week was Boko Haram’s fourth such assault in Niger state this year, including a July 10 bombing of the worship center of the All Christian Fellowship Mission in Suleja that killed three Christians.

Nineteen members of Boko Haram are on trial in Abuja in connection with the bombings of Madala and Suleja churches. Apart from the attack on the Christians and their churches, these militants are also on trial for the bombing of the United Nations office in Abuja that resulted in the death of 23 persons.

Boko Haram, which has declared a jihad on the government in a bid to impose a strict version of sharia on the country, reportedly formalized links with Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb last year. Sharia is already in force in 12 northern states, where Christians are supposed to be exempt but are often compelled to comply by various sectors of society. Borno state, where Boko Haram has its base, is one of the states implementing Islamic law.

Dr. Abdulateef Adegbite, secretary-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, has said Muslim leaders do not support the activities of Boko Haram.

Nigeria’s population of more than 158.2 million is divided between Christians, who make up 51.3 percent of the population and live mainly in the south, and Muslims, who account for 45 percent of the population and live mainly in the north. The percentages may be less, however, as those practicing indigenous religions may be as high as 10 percent of the total population, according to Operation World.

If You Needed Proof The Solyndra Scandal Has Legs..


If you needed any proof that the left thinks the Solyndra scandal has the potential for serious harm, then look no further: it’s here. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wants you to know that it’s really Bush’s fault.


Now, this is how it works. Back during the Bush administration, they backed a loan program for energy companies. Initially, Solyndra didn’t qualify for consideration. So they lobbied, and got the rules rewritten to allow them to apply, and did so.

So everything that happened after that was obviously Bush’s fault.

What Milbank doesn’t want you to know is that yeah, Bush let them apply. But gave them no special consideration. In fact, they even were denying Solyndra the loan guarantees right up until the last day of the Bush administration.

And once the Obama administration took over, things turned around radically. Solyndra’s rejected application was overturned, and they were granted a loan guarantee. This was done in spite of numerous career bureaucrats saying “hey, they don’t qualify — their business plan sucks! We’ll just be pissing away our money!” And it was even done in violation of existing law — the obligations to the federal government were subordinated to certain private investors (by a wild coincidence, some of Obama’s biggest donors), which is kinda sorta illegal.

What the Bush administration did was the equivalent of someone pulling some strings to get a guy a job interview. The connections got the guy in the door, but it’s up to him to get — and keep the job. And that was done by the Obama administration — who rigged the interview and made sure he got the job.

But that doesn’t matter; it all started on Bush’s watch, which means that even though the Obama administration worked so hard to overturn the rejection and push the loan through, they’re not as much to blame as Bush is.

Do you really think the liberals would be trying so hard to slough some of the blame off on Bush, if they didn’t think this was really, really, really bad?

« « “The nightmare has been made real”

Let Us Never Forget!


John Robson On The European Economic Meltdown


"The White Man is the Woman of the World"


Michael Coren & Bill Donahue: Anti-Catholicism The Last Acceptable Prejudice


Monday, September 26, 2011

100,000 Christians Have Left Egypt Since March: Report

(AINA) -- The Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations (EUHRO) published a report today on emigration of Christians from Egypt, saying that nearly 100,000 Christians have emigrated since March 2011. The report, which was sent to the Egyptian cabinet and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), warned that this emigration has been prompted by the escalating intimidation and attacks on Christians by Islamists.

"Copts are not emigrating abroad voluntarily," said Naguib Gabriell, the director EUHRO, "they are coerced into that by threats and intimidation of hard line Salafists, and the lack of protection they are getting from the Egyptian regime."

According to the report, the majority of Copts have emigrated for the US, with some 16,000 settling in California, 10,000 in New Jersey, 8000 in New York, and 8000 in other American states. Nearly 14,000 have gone to Australia, 17,000 to Canada, and 20,000 to the Netherlands, Italy, England, Austria, Germany and France.

EUHRO warned that emigration of Christians out of Egypt will threaten its demographic makeup and national economy. "Copts constitute a strong pillar in the economy." said Gabriel, "Copts who are leaving their homeland are not prompted by their need for work, as they are from the professional and business class, but from fear of the hard line Salafists."

Attacks on Copts and their religious institutions have spread fear, according to Gabriel. Recent attacks included the killing of Coptic youths in Moqattam (AINA 3-9-2011) and Embaba (AINA 5-8-2011), cutting-off the ear of a Copt, (AINA 3-26-2011), attacks on churches (AINA 3-5-2011), as well as preventing the governor of Qena from occupying his post because he is Christian (AINA 5-3-2011)."

The EUHRO report noted that Coptic emigration escalated since March 19, 2011, after the constitutional amendments in Egypt and the escalation in Salafist attacks on Copts and their intention to implement Hudud laws (Sharia based punishments, which include capital punishment by sword/crucifixion, stoning, amputation and flogging).

"Salafist clerics, who gained political influence after the January 25 Revolution, have become emboldened," said Gabriel, "calling Copts Dhimmis who have to pay the jizya (tax paid by non-Muslims to the state) because they are not first class citizens and can never enjoy full citizenship rights, or obtain sensitive posts."

On September 12, Yasser Borhami, Head of Alexandria Salafists, accused Christians on a popular TV show of being "Infidels, who live in darkness, because they are away from Islam." His interview enraged Copts "who regarded it as a licence to kill the Christians by inciting Muslims," said Coptic activist Wagih Yacoub.

EUHRO filed a complaint against Borhami with the Prosecutor General, accusing him of "defaming a heavenly religion," which is against the constitution and which would "endanger social peace."

Gabriel sees a parallel with the Christian emigration from Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. "After the massacre of the congregation of Our Lady of Deliverance Church on October 31, 2010, and other attacks in Iraq, the ratio of Iraqi Christians went down from 8% to 2%. In Palestine to just .5%, and in Lebanon from 75% to 32%."

"If emigration of Christians, who constitute nearly 16% of the Egyptian population, continues at the present rate, it may reach 250,000 by the end of 2011," said Gabriel, "and within ten years a third of the Coptic population of Egypt would be gone."

According to Gabriel Copts see a dark future awaiting them in Egypt, especially because neither SCAF nor the government is taking any measures to curb the Salafist violence. "They should bring to justice those criminals who attack the Copts and their churches, instead of letting them get off Scot-free."

He called on SCAF to pull the reins in on Salafists and to clearly announce that Egypt is a democratic, secular state, based on equal citizenship for all Egyptians.

By Mary Abdelmassih

Why Palestinians Want This Video Removed

Redemption 1948

When Muslims Are More 'Radical' than 'Islamists'

by Raymond Ibrahim
Pajamas Media
September 22, 2011

What are the differences between the traditional Muslim and the so-called "Islamist"? As words dealing with Islam continue to morph and multiply, it is important to differentiate, for there are real, if subtle, differences.
A recent Arabic talk show on Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak's trial sheds some light. The question was whether Mubarak, in the sight of Sharia law, should stand trial and be punished for, among other things, selling gas cheaply to Israel—or, as popularly portrayed, traitorously giving away Egypt's precious resources to its mortal enemy.
Two Islam authorities debated. Taking the controversial position—that Mubarak should not be condemned—was Sheikh Mahmoud Amer, leader of Ansar al-Sunna, or, those who imitate prophet Muhammad's way of living, which, of course, is what traditional Muslims—literally, Sunnis—have always done. His opponent, arguing that Mubarak deserves to be tried without mercy, was famous Islamist lawyer Montaser al-Zayyat (who most recently professed his "love" for Osama bin Laden).
Sheikh Amer, representing traditional Islam, stressed two points to exonerate Mubarak: 1) Dealing with the enemy (in this case, Israel) is permissible according to Sharia; Muhammad himself often appeased his infidel enemies, including Jews, when to his advantage, "for"—as the Sheikh quoted Muhammad—"war is deceit"; 2) According to Sharia, the only justification for deposing a ruler is if he becomes an infidel; if he is unjust, violent, and tyrannical to his Muslim subjects, that is not reason enough.
In fact, the Sheikh's position is very much in keeping with Sharia: Muslims—particularly their political leaders—are permitted to deceive and dupe non-Muslims, including by playing the role of appeaser, when circumstances call for it; moreover, even Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri admits that Islam's jurists are "unanimously agreed" that "it is forbidden to overthrow" Muslim rulers, even if they are "cruel and despotic," whereas "it is obligatory to wage jihad against" rulers found to be "apostate infidels" (The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs. 121-122, 129).
It's interesting to note, then, how "Islamists," such as Zayyat, who appear tenacious of upholding Sharia, sometimes advocate positions that actually contradict it. To understand this phenomenon, one must first understand "Islamism"—a hybrid abomination of sorts, whereby the better principles of Western civilization are absorbed and rearticulated within a distinctly Muslim paradigm. For instance, the Western stress on human freedom, human dignity, and universal justice, is, for Islamists, transformed into a stress on Muslim freedom, Muslim dignity, and Muslim justice—all, naturally, at the sake of the infidel.
So while the Islamist maintains traditional hostility for infidels, he may exhibit a Western sense of "humanitarianism" to fellow Muslims, evoking things like their "human worth" and "dignity." Zayyat, for instance, repeatedly accused Mubarak of "robbing the people," "betraying the people," "torturing the nation's sons," "denying sons from their mothers and fathers"—language as alien to the traditional Muslim mentality as it is familiar to the Western. Similarly, Islamists influenced by the Western notion of "nationalism" tend to Westernize Islam's notion of Umma, as when Zayyat talked sentimentally about how "the Umma has a right" over Mubarak.
As Sheikh Amer indicated, however, traditional Islam—born of the deserts of 7th century Arabia, and so, ever pragmatic—makes clear that the authority, the sultan, can be as ruthless as necessary with Muslims—Western concepts of fairness and equality be damned. Moreover, the nationalist element evoked by Zayyat is non-existent in Islam proper: Umma originally meant "community" (and in Koran 6:38 is even used to describe communities of animals).
These discrepancies were summed up towards the end of the show, when the traditional Sheikh exclaimed: "I say to Mr. Montaser al-Zayyat that you will be asked on Judgment Day about these claims you're making—that he [Mubarak] took money and was a Zionist traitor. I am here telling you what the prophet said and what the prophet did [that it is permissible to deceive the enemy and that the ruler is above censure], and here you're talking nonsense?!"
Lest it appear that Islamists are more "humane" than traditionalists, it should be kept in mind that the other—the non-Muslim—is viewed by both groups as the infidel enemy. In fact, whatever subtle differences may exist, the similarities between the Islamist and Muslim are many. Thus, while the traditional Sheikh and the Islamist argued over Mubarak's fate, there was never disagreement over two points—enmity for Israel and Jews, and the permissibility of using deceit to undermine them.
Raymond Ibrahim, an Islam specialist and author of The Al Qaeda Reader, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Hamas Founders Son: "A Palestinian State Will Bring War to the Region"

The Muqata Blot
Sunday Sept 25, 2011

The "Green Prince" known by his real name as Mosab Hassan Yousef, the oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founder and leader of the terrorist organization Hamas -- addressed Chabad in South Florida last week:

During his visit to South Florida, the 33-year-old Yousef spoke last Wednesday to more than 500 people during an appearance in Weston sponsored by the Chabad of Weston and the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation. On Thursday, he addressed two Chabad of Downtown audiences in Miami.

Yousef, who was born in Ramallah in the West Bank, said Israeli soldiers severely beat him when he was 17-years-old. Soon afterward he was contacted by the Shin Bet to spy for Israel and imprisoned for 16 months to "not arouse suspicion."

He said during his time in prison he saw Palestinians torturing other Palestinians. Hamas wanted to know who gave information to the Israelis, Yousef said. Hundreds were tortured and 16 were killed. Not one had a relationship with Israel, he said.

Yousef said he asked himself, "What is the difference between Israeli soldiers and the Hamas military wing?" He said, "For the first time I started to question the reality of the movement my father established."

Yousef said he eventually came to see that Israel was not the enemy. "We are the enemies of ourselves," he said. "Our leaders sent us to death for their own reasons and they still do. They care about their bank accounts and their positions. They lie to you on a daily basis for their selfish gain."

During a question and answer session following his talk in Weston, Yousef said, "There should have been a Palestinian state 50 years ago if the Palestinians wanted a state." Instead, he said, "they wanted to destroy Israel."

The establishment of a Palestinian state now will "destroy the dreams of the Palestinian people. They think they will be free. A Palestinian state will bring war to the region and the Palestinians will be the first to pay that price."

Why Illegal Immigration Matters

Sultan Knish blog

The last round of Republican debates has brought the issue back to the fore, even though some hosts and pundits have warned the party not to get sidelined by discussing illegal immigration. But the question is does it matter?

Republicans in the last few years have begun surrendering values issues to focus on economic issues, but illegal immigration is not a values issue. It's not even simple a law issue-- it is an issue of basic economics.

The social safety net is undermined by demographics and uncontrolled spending, but the arrival of large numbers of people with large families who work off the books is a major load. It's a major load in the UK and through Europe. It's a major load here.

There are two diametrical responses to this problem. Some form of legalization, whether it's full amnesty or a path to citizenship or a special status for migrant workers. Or enforcement.

The problem with the variations of the first approach is that it is attempting to tame the problem without actually addressing it. Illegal immigration exists because employers want cheap labor and because illegal immigrants want access to a First World economy and its social safety net.

Amnesty or a path to citizenship does nothing to address either problem. Employers will still want cheap labor and illegal immigrants will still keep coming. A path to citizenship will legalize some of them, but that will do nothing for the overall problem.

Migrant workers gives employers access to cheap labor, but only temporarily. Liberal activism is sure to regulate any migrant labor and price it above that of illegal aliens-- and that puts us right back to square uno. On top of that giving millions of people access to a vast country in which they can easily vanish, or just make their way to sanctuary cities, can't be described as securing the border.

In Europe, temporary workers eventually became permanent citizens. That is how Germany picked up so many Muslims. Europeans have learned that if you let someone in, they're going to stay. So again all the middle of the road alternatives lead back to the same place. The illegals become legalized and demand for illegal labor remains high.

Illegal immigration is less of a problem than it used to be when our economy was thriving, but it's still a major issue. And the heavy load on social services at the state level is bringing down already burdened state economies, which will have to be bailed out all over again.

Some state governors have chosen enforcement, but Texas governors have traditionally not been in favor of strong enforcement. They do have to win elections, and so does the Republican party. The last time a Texan was in the White House, it took a revolt from his own party to avert immigration reform. And here we are again with a major unsolved problem in the headlights.

Enforcement remains widely unpopular and that's not at all surprising. The America of today is much more a country of immigrants than it used to be, and even for many conservatives, deportation is a non-starter. Which just leaves tightening current border security, which can mean anything from talking about building a wall to sending up some drones to help the border patrol spot one out of a thousand crossers. Mostly it means nothing at all.

Deportation isn't all that unfeasible, but few politicians are ready to accept the political risk of it. Republicans are still courting the Latino vote, and while there's more diversity and division within the Latino community on illegal immigration than conventional wisdom would have it, it still tends to lean in favor of some form of legalization.

That leaves us with the current state of the situation where the government occasionally pretends to enforce the law, and the public pretends to nod approvingly. But at the same time, failing to address the problem makes the long term prospects for American economic and political viability fairly dim.

Americans don't think in terms of cultures anymore, they think in terms of systems anymore, which makes it hard to formulate a compelling argument against illegal immigration. If people from a failed state move here, then they're exchanging one political system for another, which means that once they cast their vote, they're Americans. Of course it doesn't work that way.

The American system is its own culture, but it is also shaped by the cultures of immigrants. Move enough of Mexico to the United States, and the United States will be a lot more like Mexico. It's an indisputable truth that hardly gets addressed. There are good things that will come of that, but more bad ones, considering that Mexico is a failed state with a political culture that is as unworkable as it could possibly be.

The economics of the situation are even worse. Incoming immigrants are unskilled manual labor in a country which is already short of manual unskilled jobs. Latino employment has increased and unemployment has decreased even in the middle of an economic recession. The actual off the books numbers would be even worse.

The Northeast and the West Coast have been bleeding jobs for years. Texas has been picking up jobs and 40 percent of that job growth has been to illegal immigrants. 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrants, legal and illegal. Of those 93 percent were not US citizens.Native born American employment in Texas has actually fallen by 5 percent.

Those numbers do come from a decidedly biased source, but they're not all that hard to believe. And they set up a much larger problem. The liberal approach has been to move us to a European style economy with high taxes, a welfare state, natives that have three degrees and no jobs, while the jobs go to immigrants. Add on the bubbles to provide a temporary prosperity before a recession sets in and the picture is complete.

Clearly this isn't working. Bubbles and cheap labor paid for with expensive social services don't work. Neither does going into hock to pay for spending which will eventually come due. After inflating the cost of labor, illegal immigrants are a loophole that allow many businesses to cut costs at a high price. The high price comes due when the cost of a social safety net that native workers can't afford to maintain is realized.

Then add on crime rates. There's no reason for illegal immigrants to work off the books and there's no reason why off the books labor shouldn't be criminal. Smuggling drugs pays better than being a busboy. So does stealing and stripping copper. We have some job growth in mining, but there's plenty in illegal mining too.

Immigration reform advocates say that legalization can fix the problem, but as long as Mexico is a bleeding wound and its economy is tethered to money sent home by immigrants, there's no reason to believe that's the case. We can't legalize everyone and so long as the demand remains, the supply will be there. It's the drug war all over again.

We have a high cost of labor, some of which goes to a social safety net, which employers would like to bypass. Liberals want the safety net, but they also want the illegal immigration.

Republicans who adopt this contradictory reasoning are defending the indefensible. We can have the social safety net or illegal immigration, but we can't have both. So long as the social safety net makes illegal immigration appealing to employers and illegals, then illegal immigration is here to stay. And the added cost of illegal immigration to a social safety net which they take from, but do not pay into, will bring down the social safety net.

We can deregulate everything, in which case Americans will be left with no jobs and no social safety net. Or we can regulate everything, which would mean an expensive social safety and some jobs, or we can keep trying for a halfway solution. But no solution that does not address this problem is even worth talking about.

But since immigration and the social safety net are both popular, then politicians can't point out that you can't really indefinitely combine both. Most Americans of both parties will choose the social safety net over illegal immigration, but they won't get that choice. And that's the real problem.

The last time we had this debate over the cost of cheap labor and its importance to certain sectors of the economy at the expensive of native jobs, it ended in a civil war. Slavery was just one means of getting cheap labor. The full moral and economic cost of slavery is incalculable. It nearly destroyed America. And the price of illegal immigration may end up being even higher.

Does illegal immigration matter? Absolutely. Are we likely to seriously address it? Unlikely. The issue is wrapped up in race and in the hypocrisy of corporations who donate to the Republican party but oppose immigration reform, and corporations who donate to the Democrats and support the social safety net, both of whom leave a mess that everyone will have to clean up.

As long as Mexico remains a pipeline for cheap off the books labor, and as long as a social safety net increases the cost of domestic labor-- the problem will remain crying out for a solution.

Obama $8 Billion Solar ‘Betamax’ Undercut as China Backs Rival Technology

By Ben Sills - Sep 20, 2011 1:57 PM ET

U.S. government’s $8 billion bet on solar energy that would pave the deserts with mirrors risks following the Betamax into the technological wilderness because of Chinese backing for a cheaper system.

The Department of Energy guaranteed loans to six plants that will reflect sunlight to boil water for making electricity, aiming to kick-start commercial projects. Four of those, and a third of $26 billion pipeline encouraged by U.S. aid, may switch to standard photovoltaic panels that generate a charge directly from the sun, said Brett Prior, a solar analyst at GTM Research.

The cost of generating power with panels plunged about 37 percent in the past year as Chinese factories cut prices, pushing three U.S. makers including Solyndra LLC into bankruptcy protection in the past quarter. Germany’s Solar Millennium AG (S2M) walked away from a $2.1 billion U.S. loan guarantee last month and ditched thermal devices for a cheaper photovoltaic system.

“If Solar Millennium, a major developer that has the technology, can’t do it with a loan guarantee, then it’s not clear who could,” Prior said in a phone interview from Boston.

While the developers of some of the U.S. guaranteed projects said they are sticking with mirror-based devices, a switch by others will drain momentum for the technology and shift engineering jobs President Barack Obama aims to create in the southwestern U.S. to the panel plants of eastern China.

Congressional Probe

Congress is probing White House support for Solyndra, with some lawmakers saying loan guarantees were given without a thorough vetting of the Fremont, California-based company, one of many solar-equipment makers in the U.S., Germany and Japan that were weakened by the same Chinese competition. Solyndra wasn’t in the solar thermal business, focusing instead on photovoltaics.

Tiffany Edwards, an Energy Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on the competing solar technologies.

Photovoltaic, or PV, panels have benefited from tumbling costs. That in turn fueled demand and allowed manufacturers such as China’s Suntech Power Holdings Co. to boost capacity and cut prices for use in fields and on rooftops.

In contrast, thermal developers are struggling to raise money for what are typically custom-designed plants erected in deserts on a utility scale, taking years to design and build. They employ more workers for construction and maintenance than plants using panels.

Betamax Moment

Solar thermal, at least in the U.S., is approaching a tipping point that recalls the defeat of Sony Corp.’s Betamax format to the rival VHS in the videotape war of the 1980s, said Lee Clements, a fund manager at Impax Asset Management Ltd.

“It’s like VHS versus Betamax,” Clements, who co-manages about 2.4 billion pounds ($3.8 billion) in clean-technology investments, said in a phone interview. “You’ve seen a big snowball effect” as cheaper prices fuel more demand for panels.

The biggest losers may be the industrial giants such as General Electric Co. (GE), Siemens AG and Toshiba Corp. (6502) that make turbines for both traditional and solar-thermal power plants. Several have acquired stakes in the last two years solar-thermal equipment makers.

Siemens bought Solel Solar Systems for $418 million in 2009. This year GE acquired a minority stake in ESolar Inc. for $20 million and got an exclusive license to sell the California company’s technology. ABB Ltd. (ABBN), the world’s biggest power-grid supplier, agreed to buy 35 percent of Novatec Solar with an option to acquire the rest of the German company in March.

Like the Betamax video recorders that offered better picture quality for a higher price, solar thermal plants are more valuable than PV because they can store power and send it to the grid after the sun sets.

Heat Storage

Thermal plants use an array of technologies each aimed at running a conventional steam turbine. Some have curved mirrors to focus the sun’s heat on pipes carrying water or synthetic oils, and others employ flat mirrors to bounce the radiation to a boiler atop a tower. The latest systems divert the excess heat of the afternoon into vats of liquid salts and then tap them during the evening to keep the generators running.

“The big thing with solar thermal is storage,” Cedric Philibert, a solar analyst at the International Energy Agency, said in a telephone interview. “It’s cheap and it’s very effective.”

The value of the technology will spur installations of plants generating 147 gigawatts by 2020 compared with about 1.3 gigawatts today, and it may be competitive without subsidy at peak times, the IEA estimates.

Cost Reductions

“That’s fairly optimistic,” said Jenny Chase, leader of a team of solar analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “I don’t think solar-thermal will ever be able to compete with photovoltaic” on cost.

Solar-thermal developers that offered cheaper power than PV two years ago trimmed the cost of their power by 3.5 percent since then to 27 cents per kilowatt hour, Chase estimates. That compares with a plunge to 17 cents today for PV.

The point of government loan guarantees “is to foster innovation, and you can’t foster innovation by building whatever’s cheapest,” said Chase. “You’ve got to take a risk that the private sector isn’t willing to take.”

Developers already switched seven projects with about 3.2 gigawatts of capacity to solar panels, Prior said. Others are sticking with mirror-based systems. Abengoa SA (ABG) said its 250- megawatt project for the Mojave desert will continue with thermal technology. Nextera Energy Inc. (NEE)’s Genesis thermal project is fully permitted and under construction.

Thermal Write-off

NTR Plc, the Dublin-based owner of Tessera Solar, last month wrote off 42.4 million euros ($58.5 million), its entire investment in solar-thermal, after selling two U.S. projects to developers who opted to dump the technology.

The solar-thermal business “has not been successful to date in securing third-party funding, which was always essential for it to commence high-volume manufacturing,” NTR Chief Executive Michael McNicholas said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The U.S. developers most prone to switch to panels are those that have slated 1.6 gigawatts of plants using the most- established solar-thermal system, which lines parabolic mirrors up in troughs, Prior said. The picture differs outside the U.S.

In Spain, where fixed subsidies protect solar thermal from competition from PV, some 24 trough plants with about 1.45 gigawatts are being built, according to New Energy Finance.

India has approved 470 megawatts of generators, though the relatively low fixed price it offers may make it difficult for developers to find financing, New Energy Finance said in an Aug. 3 report. Indian plants will earn the equivalent of 24 U.S. cents a kilowatt-hour compared with 29.1 euro cents (40.2 U.S. cents) in Spain.

BrightSource Project

BrightSource Energy Inc., the solar-thermal developer planning a $250 million stock offering, already decided against using trough technology. Its former Chairman John Bryson is Obama’s nominee to lead the Commerce Department. Founder Arnold Goldman built the world’s first commercial trough plants in the Californian desert in the 1980s. They’re still working today.

Backed by investors including Morgan Stanley and Google Inc. and a $1.6 billion U.S. loan guarantee, BrightSource is trying to prove a technology it calls the power tower. That uses mirrors arranged in concentric circles to focus the sun on a central column.

“We were able to drop costs down significantly,” Chief Executive Officer John Woolard said at an Aug. 29 briefing at the site. “Ivanpah is the culmination of two and a half decades of work and thinking around solar.”

Solar Millennium shares plunged 67 percent since announcing on Aug. 18 that it was switching to PV panels instead of using its own parabolic mirrors for the first 500 megawatts of the Blythe project in California, set to be the world’s largest solar plant. Spokesman Hans Obermeier said the company is also considering switching technologies for its other trough projects.