Saturday, February 4, 2012
Description: Written from 1265-1274, the Summa Theologica is St. Thomas Aquinas' greatest work. Originally written for the "instruction of beginners," time has shown that all believers can come to learn from this enriching book. Organized systemically for the clearest way of "setting forth" the "sacred doctrine," Aquinas addresses many of Christianity's most pertinent questions in this multi-volume work. The First Part of the Summa begins with the existence and nature of God, before moving to creation and the nature of man. The Second Part contains his examination of morality and law; it also provides his account of the theological virtues, the cardinal virtues, and the seven deadly sins. The Third Part, uncompleted due to Aquinas' death, treats the incarnation and the sacraments. Taken together, the three parts compose one of the most impressive works of Christianity. Indeed, countless people from many centuries have studied and learned from the Summa; it has been widely influential from Aquinas' own day to the present. Hence, those with a passing inquiry or a serious question, an existential concern or a philosophical problem, can learn much from reading and studying St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica.
CCEL Staff Writer
The following files were created directly from the original documents used to publish the hardcover book. You can read these directly from your browser by clicking on the PDF icon (), or you can save the chapters to your computer by right-clicking on the icon and selecting the "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" option. If your computer is not set up to read PDF files yet, then click here to download Adobe® Acrobat Reader®.
Muhammad's Own Words
Prophet of Doom was written to expose what Islam’s founder had to say about himself, his ambition, religion, and god. Before you use or criticize these quotes, please read this overview from the author. For those who are serious about the study of Islam, be sure to read the source material appendix, entitled Islam's Dark Past.
Maleficent: A forest of thorns shall be his tomb! Borne through the skies on a fog of doom! Now go with the curse, and serve me well! 'Round Stefan's Castle, CAST MY SPELL!
[Dark, towering clouds appear over the castle followed by lightning strikes. Huge thorns as thick as weeds burst out of the ground around the castle, cutting off Prince Phillip]
“These Thunderstones. You say they are repositories of ancient evil. And you have brought them here.”
The Warrior felt sweat bead at the top of his back.
He was not a cowardly man. He had killed a griffon barehanded, when he was too poisoned to lift an axe. He once stared a doomknight in its eyeless sockets before running it through. But these rangers had a different edge. Cool, peaceful waters, with an undercurrent of mean-like-a-snake.
So far they had fed him, led him through a deep forest filled with weird animals, and treated him like an honored guest. Then after walking all day, while building a fire for the evening, the Warrior idly mentioned that ear-splitting crack of Thunder. Over and over. When he and over a hundred other heroes had gathered with the Thunderstones, and together banished the Doom, evil incarnate, from his world. Was it a hundred heroes? Didn’t somebody say that? It was a chaotic day. A lot of people. A lot of them dead.
“No, look! It’s more like the stones brought me here,” he said. His voice hardly cracked at all. “Look, our world suffered under Doom for generations. We thought we were banishing him. We had no idea what would happen. We thought we were killing him. We had no idea our world was the prison where someone else put him. We didn’t know we were sending him here.”
Five glowering faces looked unconvinced. Two elves, a human—and two jaguars, of all things. What was with all these trained pets? He knew another ranger and hawk had gone hunting, but now thought that might have been a ruse. The Warrior guessed their likely positions in the trees above, based on sight lines. If it came to a fight, he probably wouldn’t fare as well as that time with the griffon.
A broad-shouldered elf, clutched his left hand suddenly, stifling a cry of pain. All eyes turned as he caught his breath, and reconstructed his stoicism.
The tension broke suddenly, like a unlimbered bowstring.
“Take a moment, Uilleam,” said a tall human woman, their leader. She put her hand on her forehead, whispered what sounded like a ritual prayer.
A few seconds later she turned to the Warrior and sheathed her long knife. “Please forgive our hostility, stranger. Your world’s Doom threatens us as well, on many fronts. You have only just arrived, but Doom has been here for much longer. Time travels strangely between worlds, it seems. We have seen his work already. He appears to be enjoy it,” she said with no apparent humor.
The Warrior had no idea how to respond to this turn. His heart still raced. His eyes still darted, gauging distance to the nearest tree for cover, and which elf he would tackle to shield him from the jaguars’ claws.
Everyone else in the clearing seemed to be past it. The woman took a seat around the bundle of tented sticks. “I am a poor storyteller, Warrior, but please sit with me. Let me try a troubadour’s trade while we wait for Marcas and Caitir to bring dinner.” The jaguars went to pacing around the clearing, sniffing at the grass. She waved to the other elf with brown shaggy hair still looking concerned at Uilleam. “Fetlock, get this fire started while I tell a story.”
The Warrior sat down dumbly too. He forced his toes to unclench.
“I am Isbeil Sioman, Lieutenant of the Middlemarch rangers,” she said in a sing-song voice. “The world you step on, we call Tala. The ground is the skin of our goddess, Bandia.
“Our kingdom, Caledron, has known peace and stability for over 900 years. Mind you, your home had no sole claim on violence and depravity. But in Tala, we weakened our evil. We drove their champions to the fringes of the world, where they still exist at all. And we live in the balance, building and growing in the good that came after.
“Removing evil, as you learned first-hand, is very hard. It comes at great sacrifice. Keeping it at bay is a matter of continuing the sacrifice. Evil still lurks outside of us, in the orcs and dragons and djinn. We cannot wholly control their discord. But it also spawns anew from inside each of us. And there, we have some power.”
She was getting warmed up now, beginning to recite more than talk, like a litany. “In concert with our sweet Bandia, our wisest priests and oldest treefolk developed the pacts of seven Virtues. These Virtues we hold dear: honor, craftsmanship, care, verdance, harmony, beauty, and peace. Together, they keep our spirits focused and pure.
“The Virtues are opposed by seven Curses: shame, sloth, neglect, decay, discord, horror, and hostility. When our minds and hearts turn from Virtue, the evils manifest, burning our bodies. Good Talans are weakened, and verily slain if we harbor evil in our hearts.
“Curses are not permanent, in Bandia’s grace. We can atone, purify our bodies. But the quick nature of the Curses prevents us from cosseting evil. The burning reminds us to keep it distant. You saw a glimpse when Uilleam hated you for releasing Doom,” she gestured to the broad-shouldered elf, now blowing on the sparks that Fetlock had started under the tinder.
She broke the litany. “Is this clear to you, Warrior?”
The Warrior had been lulled by Isbeil’s speech. She was skilled at creating a peaceful atmosphere. He noticed himself relaxed, less than a minute after being ready to flee for his life.
“Uh, yeah,” he said catching up. “Your goddess keeps you safe, but burns you alive if you disobey.”
Isbeil blinked. “What an interesting understanding,” she said slowly. She seemed to be trying to wrap her mind around the Warrior’s curt summary. “That is not entirely correct, but you field a unique perspective, Warrior. We think this might be part of why you’re here.”
“You see, in recent months, things have decayed. Dragons awake in the south. Rimefiends crawl down from their glacierhame to the north. The horrorwisps bring madness on the western wetlands. The outside evils have grown stronger, for reasons we did not grasp—until the likes of you showed up.”
The fire was catching on just as the sun began to set. Uilleam and Fetlock still hovered, in case the flame faltered.
“Some call you, and the others like you, harbingers of evil,” Isbeil said. “And you might well be. You are not shielded as we. If we welcome you, you can disrupt our way of life, as surely as your Doom has disrupted our Caledron. But I do not think this must be the case. I think you are saviors.
“We can fight. But our pact with Bandia doesn’t allow us to easily deal in the strife of war. As an otherworlder, you have no pact—not subject to our Curses. This will cause many Talans to distrust you, and the others like you here. As Uilleam demonstrated, even those with the best intentions can falter.” Uilleam smiled sheepishly at the Warrior.
“But you may also be our best weapon against Doom. So we are taking you to the capital of Caledron, Dun Ordha, to visit our Beloved King Caelan, and to receive an assignment to explore the evils of the world.”
“What? Don’t I get a say?” the Warrior blurted.
Isbeil gestured around the clearing. “Warrior, the world is lovely, and our people good. Would you not want to defend this?”
Fetlock spoke for the first time, “Honor may also suggest that for your part in releasing Doom, you might feel compelled to participate in the consequences of your actions.”
“Does everybody here talk like a scholar?” the Warrior thought.
But he said, “Okay. I’ll help if I can.”
“Good,” Isbeil seemed satisfied. “If the weather holds, we should make Dun Ordha tomorrow. When Marcas and Caitir return, eat as much as you like. We don’t want you to look skinny for your audience with the king.”
The Qinglong complex, built in 1388 (in the Ming Dynasty), consists of the Black Dragon Cave, Zhongyuan Buddhist Temples, Longevity Taoist Joss House, Ziyang Confucian College, Wish Sage Bridge, Lotus Flower Pavilion and so on. It is really a wonderful art masterpiece that skillful craftmanship make full use of the natural landform to create. Also it is a culture museum of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Chinese Protesters Shout ‘Down with the Chinese Communist Party!’ | Democracy & Human Rights | China | Epoch Times
Based on the NBC2 investigation, local election offices say they'll now request a copy of every jury excusal form where residents say they can't serve because they're not a citizen.
A Treatise on Government by Aristotle
Some scholars find the 2009 economic condition more troubling than that of the 1930s' Great Depression because debt in 2009 includes not only stocks but also millions of homes, property, local governments, and entire nations. Also, in contrast to the 1930s, the U.S. is now a debtor nation and more households in the U.S. are in far greater debt.h
January 8, 2011
Interesting facts about unemployment in America
By Avis Thomas-Lester, Published: February 2
A Northwest Washington nonprofit group that has provided legal and counseling services to domestic violence victims since 1997 announced this week that it will close its doors Friday, leaving staff scrambling to find replacement services for dozens of clients.
Washington Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE), at 14th and K streets, announced its closure Tuesday and attributed the move to hard economic times. But city officials and one of the agency’s co-founders said WEAVE was closing after losing two major grants because of concerns about possible mismanagement of the funds.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Statement on the January Unemployment Report | RNC: Republican National Committee | GOP
This morning Statistics Canada released–as it does on the first Friday of every month–estimates of employment and unemployment for the previous month.
As usual the headline number is the change in the number of employed, and the Agency’s press release announces that “Following two months of declines, employment rose slightly in December, up 18,000.“
But this masks as much as it reveals.
With today’s numbers the picture for 2011 is complete, and Statistics Canada is inviting a medium term look at some other facts that aren’t always highlighted and, in a couple of cases, missing.
1. Employment growth has only just kept up with the population, and in this sense has yet to recover from the recession
The economy recovered all the jobs lost during the recession at the beginning of last year, and at that point began to push beyond the peak of 17.2 million reached in October 2008 before things turned south. By the end of the year not quite 17.4 million Canadians held a job.
But all the employment growth since the low reached in the summer of 2009 has only kept up with the population, the fraction of Canadians working has hardly changed at all.
Here is the graph that traditionally leads the Statistics Canada press release.
But here are the same numbers expressed as a fraction of the working age population.
2. The situation for young people is not much better than two years ago, during the depth of the recession
Employment has not recovered for everyone.
Canadians in their prime working years (the 25 to 54 year olds) have just barely rounded the corner, but most importantly the situation for the young has not improved at all.
A quarter of a million 15 to 24 year olds lost their jobs between September 2008 and August 2009, but by the end of 2011 only about 15,000 were recovered.
All the job growth during the economic recovery has gone to those 55 years of age and older. Paradoxically this is also likely a sign of hardship, reflecting the need to work longer and postpone retirement decisions because of the havoc wrecked on savings and pensions by the financial meltdown.
3. Two missing facts
While Statistics Canada doesn’t highlight the youth employment numbers, it does not even publish the numbers for immigrants. You have to ask for it.
The immigrant unemployment rate was well above the national average the last time I asked, and I suspect that employment has not improved much since the recovery began.
Furthermore, it should always be remembered that today’s unemployment figures have nothing to do with the number of Canadians collecting Employment Insurance benefits, referring only to whether an individual is actively looking for a job.
At the onset of the recession the government made Employment Insurance benefits more generous, a decision that was important in supporting laid off workers. But this moment has passed, and besides only a small fraction of the unemployed receive benefits.
Statistics Canada knows the number of beneficiaries, but never presents it alongside the number of unemployed. It takes an extra effort to realize that there are 2 1/2 times more unemployed individuals than there are EI beneficiaries: last October 1.37 million Canadians were unemployed, but only 541,200 received benefits.
Jobs are not forthcoming; nor is financial support.
The managerial state has assumed responsibility for looking after everything from the incomes of the middle class to the profitability of large corporations to industrial advancement. This system . . . is . . . an economic order that harks back to Bismarck in the late nineteenth century and Mussolini in the twentieth: corporatism.
“Ron Paul is the only candidate with a serious plan to help Nevada with its pressing problems and make it number one in all the right categories, rather than a leader in housing foreclosures and joblessness. It reinforces the idea that Dr. Paul’s economic vision for America, based on returning authority to the people and the states, is the right prescription for our economic ills and indeed it can bring about lasting, sustainable prosperity,” said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton.
In 2000 and 12 the Feathered Serpent will fly,
and all our souls' dream visions come alive.
Through power of the One, two plus two sum
shines the light of the 5th World's Re-Creation.
Quintessence, 5th element, philosopher's stone
are realized when this movement is done.
In the 12th year of century Twenty-One,
the World Woman's magic dance is done.
New Zeus opposed Saturn at New Year will bring
the Fall of the Tower, Return of the King.
The shaking of Gaia opens the way
calling Heart Warriors into the fray.
As Candlemas fires stir hearts desire
the Dragon awakens from its lair,
And Anduril, Aragorn's sword of truth,
frees the Spirit King forsooth.
Dragon Fire rises 'neath Lenten Moon
tamed by the magic of Othala's rune;
Energy flows where attention goes,
we seek Love's kingdom, end of woes;
So the Light of the dawning Equinox Sun
raises the Serpent of Tenochtitlan.
And the Dark Tower falls to the rising Star
of the Occupy legions' Avatar
While Grand Trine to Sun in Aries portends
bright new beginnings as hearts make amends.
Moon joining the Sun will open the way
for all to make merry in month of May.
Souls attuned in this Year of the Moon
see wishes fulfilled in the month of June.
Then Medicine Wheels of every clime,
begin to turn at Solstice time.
With cymbals, drums and flutes in tune
happiness rises with Midsummer's Moon.
The Phoenix alights in the City of the Sun,
as Mother Nature's work is done;
The 12 Tribe Nations of Inca awaken
to the way of Sol so long forsaken;
And great Europa will likewise resound
as the Song of the West makes its round.
The hearts of All Nations open too
as the light of Sol is reflected true;
So this White Horse Avatar Year will bring
a song that every soul can sing;
And 7th ray magic dance and play
on waters of Luna to show the way.
Liberty shines from her Island of Love
as hearts attune to the Sign of the Dove;
And the Green Dragon led by a Fair Lady's girdle,
brings power to the golden City of Myrtle.
The Crown Stone forgotten, chief of the corner,
is revealed now in grain fields, Gaia's rejoinder.
As the Stymphalian birds that shaded the Sun
give way to the glory of the One.
Then the Eagles return with the gay folk of old
calling Souls of all ages back to the fold,
And the Ring War ends in the halls of power
through gentle hands by wind and shower.
As Light and Love and Power unite,
the new Creation comes round right.
At Solstice the Feathered Serpent will fly
and all our souls' dream visions come alive.
- Steve Nelson
The police came from two sides. First, two officers walked into the Sawi Culture Wheel, Cairo’s most important cultural centre, and strutted through the crowd before telling the sound man that the music was too loud. A little while later, several more arrived by boat along the Nile, and actually forced the sound man to turn the mixing board off. Luckily, the amplifiers and drums on the stage were loud enough to keep the 850-strong crowd banging their heads in time to the music. Eventually (whether because of pleading by organisers or the need to respond to another call it was impossible to tell), the uniformed police left (though several not-very-well-disguised undercover cops remained) and the concert resumed at something resembling normal volume. Which is very, very loud.
Welcome to the world of Egyptian heavy metal, where sound, politics and corruption collide. Long the bane of respectable society, heavy metal has been popular in the youth-oriented Egyptian underground for almost two decades. But this was the first time the extreme form of metal known as death metal, with its distinctive “brutal” or growled vocals, had ever been allowed into the Sawi Wheel, a beautiful space in the Bohemian/expat neighbourhood of Zamalek whose owner Mohammed Sawi is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of Egyptian culture and politics.
But it wasn’t just the volume that brought the police. One of the headlining bands featured the 16-year-old son of jailed former Presidential candidate Ayman Nour. Only a week before, a government-sponsored mob had burned down the office of his “Tomorrow” (Ghad) political party, with his wife in it. Somehow she survived, only to be arrested by the police when they finally arrived and charged with arson for starting the fire that destroyed her husband’s office, and with it a lifetime of personal and family memories.
The government had already threatened Nour that his sons Shady and Noor, both among Egypt’s best young musicians, would be arrested for Satan worship because of their love of metal if he didn’t cooperate. Earlier in the day Shady’s mother, Gamila, had admitted to me how fearful she is whenever he has a show, that he’ll be arrested or worse. But she refuses to tell him to stop. “He needs to be normal, to have an outlet for the frustrations and pain he’s forced to live with,” she explained at her home, while Shady and his fellow band members primped and practised for the show.
If the show had been on a Friday, as was originally planned, Shady would have spent the afternoon at the mosque. “I love to spend three hours at the mosque for Juma [Friday afternoon collective] prayer and then play black metal for four hours in the evening,” he told me. But this was Thursday, and so the band had more time to prepare, strumming on guitars and working out last minute vocal harmonies on the living room couch, which remains, for now, a sanctuary against an outside world as depressing as it is dangerous for Shady and his family.
Shady is not unique in combining extreme music with a strong devotion to his faith. With its economy floundering, and the chances for democracy and development receding quickly in the twilight of Hosni Mubarak’s rule, young people are turning both to religion and to music to cope with the lack of opportunity. And judging by the number of veiled headbangers (the concert featured far more women, and particularly veiled women, than previous metal shows in Cairo) at the Sawi Wheel, it seems that they are turning to both at the same time.
Over the last two decades metal has become increasingly popular across the Muslim world, from Morocco to Malaysia, and almost every country in between. But not the “hair” or “glam” metal of bands such as Mötley Crüe or other MTV favourites. Instead, it’s the much harsher death, doom, goth, thrash and other extreme forms of the music that have earned a devoted following.
As one of the founders of the Moroccan metal scene, the Sorbonne-trained Reda Zine, explained to me: “We play heavy metal because our lives are heavy metal.” When you grow up in a region dominated by war, occupation and repressive political and social systems, blasting metal on your headphones becomes one of the only ways to drown out the harsh realities outside your window.
Even socially repressive countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan have growing scenes whose bands are producing increasingly professional music, even if they can rarely perform it publicly. Indeed, as far back as 1997, the Arab world had a metal-induced moral panic as Egypt, Iran and Lebanon experienced the first of the region’s “Satanic metal affairs”. Governments arrested fans and attempted to shut the scenes down by charging them with Satan worship (in Egypt, the Grand Mufti called for their execution if they didn’t “repent”). The repressive tactics forced the scenes back undergound but did not succeed in silencing them altogther. By 2003, Arab metal fans had the confidence to take a public stand. In Morocco the fans fought back, staging mass protests in front of the courthouse where their friends were being tried for satanism and soliciting the help of the European media to force the government to overturn the guilty verdicts.
Five years later metal was flowering once again across the region, as I found out in March 2007 when I visited the Dubai Desert Rock Festival, dubbed by fans the new “Mecca” of Middle Eastern metal. The 20,000 strong crowd epitomised the sense of community and solidarity that the metal scene brings to young people who find very little of either in their own societies.
Headlining at Dubai were the seminal hard rockers from Leyton, Iron Maiden. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson captured the mood of possibility when he told the crowd that “everybody is here. We have people from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Lebanon, Egypt, Sweden, Turkey, Australia, Wales, America, Canada, Kuwait. We have the whole world here tonight. . . . And we’ll be back.” So would my friend Marz, lead guitarist of the band Scarab, who, after declaring Dubai to be the future, went home and entered the battle of the bands to determine who would open the 2008 festival. He came in second; this year he’s expecting to win.
While Dubai offers freedoms unprecedented in the region (how many venues in the Muslim world feature 75-foot high banners for Durex condoms on each side of the stage, not to mention all the beer you can drink?), it is clear that there are shifts in perceptions right across the Muslim world. Government censorship is no longer such an issue because of the internet, and a growing number of religious leaders have adopted a more live-and-let live approach with even this extreme form of pop culture, provided bands don’t mix immoral or irreligious messages with the music.
As one young Iraqi Shia religious scholar explained it to me, “I don’t like metal; not because I think it’s haram [forbidden], but because it’s not my kind of music. But when we get together chanting and marching, banging our fists against our chests and pumping them in the air, we’re doing metal too.”
But this liberal attitude, though growing, is not ubiquitous. Many religious scholars still consider metal, and indeed most music besides chanting the Koran, to be irreligious if not anti-religious. But the theological justification for this opposition has always been weak. The Koran does not prohibit music, and the majority of the hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, used to justify banning it have long been deemed “weak” by religious scholars.
A new generation of Islamic activists, whose elders led the fight against the “Zionist invasion” and destruction of Egyptian culture that metal allegedly represented, has finally figured out, in the words of a 25-year-old Muslim Brother in Cairo, that “only when I’m ready to fight for everyone’s rights can I hope to have mine.” In fact, almost every religious activist I’ve met under 40 has answered an emphatic “Yes” when I’ve asked them if one could be both a metalhead and a good Muslim. I know many metalheads who pray five times a day, and even consider the music itself a kind of religious ritual.
Cairo’s Sawi Culture Wheel epitomises these changes across the Muslim world. Founder Mohammed Sawi is devoutly religious, yet has remained firm in his willingness to open his space to everything from debates over the role of women in the emerging Egyptian blogosphere to death metal concerts. When the police arrived at the metal concert, it was hard to figure out whether they had really received complaints about the volume (the concert was staged in the centre’s beautiful open-air theatre rather than its indoor auditorium), or were simply harassing the centre because of its reputation as a space of cultural and political mixing – always a threat to a sclerotic and corrupt regime like Mubarak’s.
Whatever the reason, for once the musicians won out over the police. The concert was a huge success: three hours of non-stop hardcore metal, indie rock and even “Screamo”, the genre combining death metal harshness with the touchy-feely elements of “Emo”, of which Shady Nour’s band, Your Prince Harming, are the world’s leading exponents.
The day before the concert Shady had sent out an email to his almost 1,000-strong list reminding people that the secret police would be there watching them and to make sure to behave themselves, and his fans clearly got the message. There was no alcohol, drugs, or serious fights at the show; instead, for a few hours at least, scores of young Egyptians had the chance to experience the joys and intensities of live rock ’n’ roll that most Westerners have long taken for granted.
After the show the crowd, composed of Cairo’s denizens of the night (like characters in an Anne Rice novel, Egypt’s metalheads tend to feel more comfortable walking around at night, when their long hair and graphically violent T-shirts attract less attention and taunts), melted back into the darkness. Some returned to their homes in bourgeois neighbourhoods like Zamalek; but others, including some of the musicians, took much longer cab rides back to Cairo’s extremely poor and conservative working-class neighbourhoods like Nasr City, where they live in tiny apartments with extended families and have to practise their music amid the din of innumerable small workshops and the sometimes limited patience of parents and siblings.
For now Muslim metal still exists in the liminal space on the margins of acceptable cultural expression. What the concert at the Sawi Culture Wheel confirmed, however, is that growing cadres of young Muslims are using the metal model to construct new identities that defy both the stultifyingly official cultures of their homelands and the vacuous blandishments of de-sacralised globalisation.
If metalheads and activists ever come together the way popular music, politics and religious faith merged in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the US and the anti-Communist youth movements of Eastern Europe, they will present a challenge to the Muslim world’s decaying autocratic regimes that just might prove unstoppable.
When it comes to outright driving of the Danes out of the city where an object of their national pride was born, things take a very nasty turn. Incompatibility of the two mentalities and ideologies threaten to grow into an open confrontation. The authorities of Denmark are ignoring the issue at their own peril.
Had Rasmussen apologized, there may not have been riots in the embassies and repeated attempts to kill the author of the first cartoons Kurt Vestergor. Perhaps the relationship between the native Danes and immigrants from Muslim countries would not have strained to the limit. The government also blessed the immigrants for the idle life on benefits. According to various estimates, up to 40 percent of all benefits in the country are paid to Muslim immigrants.
However, we cannot say that Muslims are the only ones to blame. The Danish government remained silent about this issue for years and toyed with the Islamists. Former Prime Minister of Denmark and now NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has allowed hosting the "World Chechen Congress" in Copenhagen with militant emissary Akhmed Zakayev as a guest in the days of the tragedy of the "Nord-Ost". The Danish authorities also sluggishly reacted to the preaching of Islamic nature heard from some houses of worship.
Also read: Slowly and surely, Europe rises against Islam
Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian media recently were filled with reports of street war between the youth of the "white" and immigrant areas in the streets of Copenhagen, Malmo and Oslo. The police claimed that the fights have to do with drug traffickers arguing over the territory. However, few Danes (as well as Swedes and Norwegians) believe this.
As for the police chiefs of the island, they acknowledge the sharp rise in crime, but are not willing to comment on a possible ethnic or religious background of the incidents. "I have no idea why criminals check the name on the mailbox before they rob a house," said a police spokesman. His subordinates, apparently, are more talkative, albeit they wished to remain anonymous.
"Many young criminals openly admit that they want to make Volmese their own. Last year there was a case where a Danish family home was subjected to vandalism and theft several times a week, until finally, they decided not to come home and left. Many of robberies resemble vandalism and terrorism, and look like revenge or threat. Everybody knows about it, although the government continues to hide it well", the policeman said.
Once Andersen named island Fyn where Odense is located, the "Garden of Denmark." Today, however, the city does not match the romantic description. According to the Internet portal Bt.dk referring to police sources, immigrants from Muslim countries conduct targeted attacks nearly exclusively at the indigenous population. "If your last name is Hansen or Nielsen and you live in Odense, especially in the area of Volsmese, the risk of being robbed is several times higher than that for those with foreign last names," says the Danish website.
» BELGIUM: Daughter of Right Wing leader, Filip DeWinter, dons a bikini and a headbag in a new campaign against Islamization Bare Naked Islam
This campaign will be launched in Antwerp on 6 March. Numerous members of parliament of the French, Austrian, German, British and South African extreme right will be present. The senator Anke Van dermeersch, former Miss Belgium, is organising the event.
Filip DeWinder, leader of Vlaams Belong discusses growing Islamization of Belgium
» BELGIUM: Daughter of Right Wing leader, Filip DeWinter, dons a bikini and a headbag in a new campaign against Islamization Bare Naked Islam
Judging by the ACLU's double standard, secrecy is warranted if exposure might reveal voter fraud. On the other hand, if exposure puts marriage supporters at risk for harassment by radical activists...well, then, that's okay.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Capricorn: Jan. 20 - Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 - March 11
Pisces: March 11- April 18
Aries: April 18- May 13
Taurus: May 13- June 21
Gemini: June 21- July 20
Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20
attracts good luck and fruitful blessings,
serpent holder, lofty ideals,
a seeker of peace and harmony,
doctor of medicine or science, natural-pathic,
adds, increases, joins, or gathers together
poetical, inventive nature, expanding qualities,
seeks higher education and wisdom,
overseer, supervisor of work,
fame - either grand, or completely misunderstood,
longevity, aspirations of healing the ills of man,
architect, builder, reaches for the stars, figuratively and literally,
tax assessor, or levys taxes,
astrological talents, intuitive,
large family indicated, but apt to be separated from them when young,
the number twelve holds great significance,
foresight and good fortune to benefit from hard times,
has secret enemies in family or close associations,
many jealous of this subject,
notable father, apple of father's eye when young,
high position in life expected [depending on aspects] highest fame and legend comes after death
feelings of granular, wise, genius mentality,
likes to wear clothing of vibrant colors, and plaids in particular,
receives the favor of those in authority.
The Book of Genesis tells how Joseph was the 11th of Jacob's 12 sons and Rachel's firstborn. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, yet rose to become the most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. When famine struck the land he brought the sons of Israel down to Egypt, where they were settled in the Land of Goshen.
One clear sign of America’s social unease is found in the constant refrain that our current economic condition has poisoned the well for the middle class in the United States. That theme has long been a favorite of American labor leaders, who have wrongly claimed that the great improvement in the quality of life of the middle class during the twentieth century was due to the ability of union leaders to secure high wages and stable jobs for their employees. In his recent speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, President Barack Obama made the same argument. There he announced in no uncertain terms that the “defining issue” of our time is how to rescue the fragile economic position of the American middle class, which he defined in the broadest possible terms.
Instead, during these times of frantic budget cuts, politicians should make employment less costly and flexible.
Not likely. Companies, unlike the government, can't create cash at will. Any money they give to workers has to be obtained by cutting jobs, reducing employee benefits, or slashing other expenses that happen to be someone's income. Net stimulus: zero.
Economists generally agree that increases in the minimum wage cause unemployment even when the economy is prospering—something it has not been doing for the last year and a half. David Neumark, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, estimates this rise will destroy some 300,000 jobs among teens and young adults.
If you're a minimum wage employee, your job will pay more, but only if it still exists. These days, most companies are scrutinizing every position on the payroll to make sure it's worth the cost. Raise the toll, and some employees will find they are no longer valuable enough to make the cut.
That would help in some obvious ways. Higher prices would mean bigger profit margins on every sale. Bigger profits would mean more jobs. More jobs would mean more workers buying new American cars.
But anyone can see that raising prices wouldn't work, because it would dry up sales. If American consumers were willing to pay more for American cars, dealers would already be charging higher prices. This is such an obviously boneheaded idea that no one would ever dream of doing it.
Making things public:atmospheres of democracy
5 See also
6 Box Office
8 External links
Then, liberals destroyed the group-rate, "no frills" private insurance plans allowed under Romneycare (i.e. the only kind of health insurance a normal person would want to buy, but which is banned in most states) by adding dozens of state mandates, including requiring insurers to cover chiropractors and in vitro fertilization -- a policy known as "pandering to lobbyists."
For more on "pandering" and "lobbyists," see "Gingrich, Newt." (Yes, that's an actual person's name.)
A governor can't order the IRS to start recognizing tax deductions for individual health savings accounts.
A governor can't repeal the 1946 federal law essentially requiring hospitals to provide free medical services to all comers, thus dumping a free-rider problem on the states.
It was precisely this free-rider problem that Romneycare was designed to address in the only way a governor can. In addition to mandating that everyone purchase health insurance, Romneycare used the $1.2 billion that the state was already spending on medical care for the uninsured to subsidize the purchase of private health insurance for those who couldn't afford it.
What went wrong with Romneycare wasn't a problem in the bill, but a problem in Massachusetts: Democrats.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Diehl begins with a highly critical account of a Fox News host and Governor Rick Perry’s hard-hitting but flawed account of contemporary Turkey.
The former said of Turkey — in Diehl’s view, a “mostly accurate but extremely one-sided description” — that since an “Islamist-oriented party took over . . . the murder rate of women has increased 1,400 percent. Press freedom has declined to the level of Russia. [Prime Minister Recep Erdogan] has embraced Hamas, and Turkey has threatened military force against both Israel and Cyprus.”
Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released a rather grim forecast for the nation’s budget deficit and economic future:
The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday predicted the deficit will rise to $1.08 trillion in 2012.
The office also projected the jobless rate would rise to 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and to 9.2 percent in 2013.
These are much dimmer forecasts than in CBO’s last report in August, when the office projected a $973 billion deficit. The report reflects weaker corporate tax revenue and the extension for two months of the payroll tax holiday.
A rising deficit and unemployment rate would hamper President Obama’s reelection effort, which in recent weeks has seemed to be on stronger footing.
If the CBO estimate is correct, it would mean that the United States recorded a deficit of more than $1 trillion for every year of Obama’s first term.
CBO Director Doug Elmendorf told reporters that Congress will have to make important choices this year regarding the supercommittee trigger and tax policy that will have huge effects on the deficit.
While unable to recommend choices, Elmendorf said that addressing the deficit sooner rather than later is easier.
The deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010 and $1.3 trillion in 2011. The largest deficit recorded before that was $458 billion in 2008.
CBO had forecast an 8.5 percent unemployment rate for the end of 2012 in its August report. It now expects the jobless rate to be higher and to still be at 7 percent in 2015.
The higher unemployment numbers are due to lower economic growth than previously estimated. Gross domestic product for 2011 is now estimated to have grown 1.6 percent in 2011, down from the 2.3 percent forecast in August. CBO a year ago had predicted 3.1 percent growth for 2011.
The outlook for 2012 has also worsened. GDP is forecast to grow only 2 percent this year, compared to a previous estimate of 2.7 percent.
Budget cuts from the August debt deal and projected tax increases set to kick in when the Bush tax rates expire at the end of the year, will “restrain economic growth this year and significantly restrain growth in 2013,” according to CBO. But it says the fiscal prudence will help growth in the out years.
Under the CBO’s projections, total Federal Debt would rise to $21.7 trillion under 2022. However, because of the assumption that the CBO operates under in making these types of projections, it’s likely that the actual debt will be significantly higher absent serious and large cuts in the size and scope of government. For example, the CBO assumes that all of the Bush Tax cuts will be allowed to expire on December 31, 2012 and will not be extended or renewed at any point thereafter. Politically, that is simply not going to happen. The Obama Administration has already said that it wants to extend the cuts for everyone earning less than $250,000/year while Republicans want to extend the entire package, however that dispute gets resolved it’s rather obvious that the cuts will be extended in some form. The CBO also assumes that Congress will not act yet again to pass the so-called “Doc Fix,” which prevents Medicare reimbursements to physicians by 30%. Congress has passed that fix every time it’s needed as a matter of course, and it’s unlikely that they are going to change that any time soon, or that they are going to risk large numbers physicians dropping out of Medicare. The report also assumes that Congress will not continue to makes at adjustments to the Alternative Minimum Tax to prevent it from applying to even more middle class taxpayers. Again, that’s a fix Congress has routinely passed and its not realistic to think it won’t happen again. Finally, the report assumes that Congress will not touch the sequestration cuts that were part of August’s debt ceiling deal, but there are already signs of bipartisan support for modifying the cuts to defense spending. In other words, the CBO’s deficit estimates are overly optimistic because it doesn’t factor political reality into the equation. If all of these mesuares are taken by Congress, the 2022 would inccrease to $29.2 trillion.
Peter Suderman expands on this point:
Now, it’s true that current law, and thus CBO’s “current law” baseline, calls for us to tax even more, and to cut some hundreds of billions in spending on physician payments out of Medicare: But that’s because current law assumes that we’ll cut payments to physicians by nearly 30 percent in a few months, despite years of both parties supporting overrides to such cuts. And it assumes that tax hikes, including allowing the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was originally designed to hit just 55 very wealthy earners, will eventually hit half the country (meaning much of the middle class)—something neither party is going to support.
As is now common, liberal wonks are pointing to the baseline scenario as evidence that we don’t really have a deficit problem. After all, Congress just has to follow current policy in order to keep revenues nearly in line with expenditures. But even forgetting about the country’s historical inability to raise tax levels substantially above 20 percent of GDP, there’s simply no plausible near-future political environment in which this happens. It’s a cute fantasy designed to comfort those who don’t want to cut federal spending.
And ultimately, it’s the increases in spending that kill us: “If that rising level of spending is coupled with revenues that are held close to the average share of GDP that they have represented for the past 40 years…”, the CBO says, “the resulting deficits will increase federal debt to unsupportable levels.”
The more worrisome part of the CBO forecast, though, are the GDP and unemployment numbers, which are largely in line with the forecasts we’ve seen from the Fed and private analysts. It portends a future of a near-stagnant economy that would be in danger of being pushed into yet another recession by any number of possible events beyond the control of anyone in Washington, whether its an international crisis, more trouble in the Eurozone, or a spike in energy prices that sends shockwaves through the economy. With employment already near 9% and likely to stay there for two years or more, another recession would be disastrous, with unforeseeable political consequences. Thanks to our long term debt issues, there isn’t a whole lot that Washington can do in the way of direct stimulus — both massive new spending and a massive new tax cut (without spending cuts) seem out of the question right now. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates near zero for years now, and apparently plans to continue doing so through 2014. It’s hard to see what else there is left to do other than let things work themselves out. Of course, that’s never the answer politicians want to hear.