Arabic European League: leader Dyab About Jahjah: "Indigenous Belgians who can't adapt to a multicultural society need to emigrate."
Sheik Osama al-Rifai, who raised the money for the Franklin, Mich.-based Syrian Sunrise Foundation, endorsed the creation of the Islamic Front in a Nov. 22 YouTube video. The front represents a merger of seven jihadist groups fighting Bashar al-Assad's forces. Many of them have ties to al-Qaida.
Hatem Abou Said, representative of ABG Al-Baraka Banking, asked Wednesday that Islamic banking be authorized in Italy.
The request was made at an Istud conference and was addressed both to legislators and to the Italian Banking Association (ABI).
"In early 2013," he said, "We asked the ABI to set up of monitoring committee alongside the economic and foreign affairs ministries and a representative of the Arab banking world that would look at Italian laws needing to be changed in order to authorize Islamic finance."
Islamic finance has "ethical rules and is based on a ban on speculation," Said said, explaining that it is for this reason that "it did not suffer negative effects from the enduring international economic crisis".
Islamic finance is already present in "over 75 countries, with activities growing by an annual 20-30%. It has been estimated that by 2020 total assets will be $6.5 trillion."
In Europe, he said, "some of the major markets have surpassed Italy by a great deal" as concerns the presence of Islamic finance, especially northern European countries - either through the so-called "Islamic banking window", bringing transactions into line with Sharia law, or through Islamic banking subsidiaries, especially in Gulf states.
Yeah, Italy, you are way behind the UK here.
"It is refreshing to see students standing up for their rights. And yet, something about modern students' demand for the right to protest, for the right to express their political views and grievances as they see fit, rings hollow. For over the past decade and more, students – or at least their representatives in the National Union of Students and various student unions – have become addicted to censorship, thinking nothing of expelling from their campuses views, newspapers and music they feel offended by."
h/t Dr. J
Alan Dershowitz, who has made much of his friendship and fireside chats with former Harvard Law School colleague U.S. President Barack Obama, said he now doubts his friend’s promise to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.
Speaking on the sidelines of Israel’s Globes 2013 Israel Business Conference, Dershowitz said, “Obama promised me in a personal conversation that Iran would not develop a nuclear weapon on his watch, and I believed him. Nonetheless, I am not sure that he can keep this. Therefore, Israel cannot outsource its security.”
In an interview with Israeli television presenter Ya’akov Eilon, Dershowitz said, “There is the potential for disaster in the deal with Iran; too much was given for too little in return. The White House told me that this is not true. I was told that it will be possible to reapply the sanctions by the U.S. alone. I am afraid of the music not the lyrics. Iran hears this as the end of the sanctions regime in exchange for which they have to give up nothing. If this ends by stopping the nuclear development, I’ll applaud Obama.
“The President told me that there’s a 50/50 chance of success or failure. I think that the chances of success are only 20%, the chances of failure are 40%, and the rest is uncertain. I think that no one knows whether Iran’s supreme leader has changed his mind and that he is prepared to eliminate the nuclear program. We don’t know if he just put up a smiling face.
“Another point that really scares me is that the supreme leader called Iran’s Jews and told them to stand behind the nuclear facility and to say that they support the nuclear program. This is a message to the Israeli prime minister that they will use Iran’s Jews as a human shield. The message to Netanyahu is – don’t dare use the military option.”
Just another leftist unhappy with Obama.
UK blogger Bruce Charlton
thinks our society is so fragmented it might be bad indeed:
In the UK, almost every vestige of segmentary organization (local government, the professions and trades, universities, societies and clubs) have been destroyed, or subverted and absorbed into the national government; and the national government has experienced the same with respect to the European Union.US blogger Mangan quotes Charlton but is more optimistic, at least for the new world:
Power and responsibility are dissociated. Spontaneous self-organization - gone. Autonomy - gone. Self-help - gone, crushed, illegal; to be replaced by dependence; demands for 'rights', subsidies, looking-after.
My sense is that it's quite different in the US. Survivalists are all over the place (at least on the internet), and whatever you think of them or of the possibility that they will need their stashes of guns, ammo, and bags of rice, they do illustrate the propensity for self-organization and taking action.My own take, from following the news, is that we look to Syria. True, there are far more Muslims there than in the West (although there might be a lot more by the time a collapse came) but Muslims have a very good formula for dealing with this type of thing: Islam, indeed, is built expressly for the purpose and comes with detailed instructions in the Koran.
Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna X
Thirteen Greek Orthodox nuns kidnapped Dec. 2 in Ma'aloula along with some young orphans are still in the hands of the Islamist group al-Ahrar Qalamoun. After the video released December 6 by al-Jazeera there has been no more news of the women, despite the speculation about their possible release as early as last December 9.
Contacted by AsiaNews, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch says it "does not have any news on the condition of the nuns and three young orphans from Ma'aloula." The last direct contact was brief phone call to the Patriarch of Antioch Youhanna X a few days after the kidnapping.
"Since then," said a source in the Patriarchate, "No one has been in touch with us and most of the news we read on the internet like the rest of the world. We have seen the video released by al-Jazeera, but we have no confirmation on the real condition of the sisters, nor the reasons for their seizure and we think that the video is unreliable and further investigation is required. "In the video the Ma'aloula sisters appeared in good health and denied having been abducted, but only brought to safety. The women were filmed wearing their religious clothing, but without the traditional crucifix."
Fierce fighting is being reported from the region of Qalamoun between the army and Islamist insurgents. The area which incorporates the small village of Yabrud is located about 50 km kilometers northwest of Damascus and is one of the most important strongholds of the rebels. In the mountainous area on the border with Lebanon, there are several predominantly Christian villages such as Sadad and Hofar fallen in recent months into the hands of Islamic extremists. Yesterday the army regained control of Nabak, Deir Attiya and Qara.
Idris is the most moderate thing on offer amongst the Syrian rebel leaders.
Salim Idris, the top Syrian rebel commander supported by the West, was run out of his headquarters in northern Syria over the weekend and fled to Turkey and then Doha after Islamist fighters took over facilities run by Western-backed opposition, US officials said Wednesday.
The Obama administration is still trying to determine the circumstances under which Islamist fighters in a group called the Islamic Front took over warehouses and offices belonged to the Supreme Military Council, or SMC, the moderate rebel umbrella group that coordinates US aid distribution, officials said.
"He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters," a senior US official said.
The US is urging Gen. Idris, who left Syria for Turkey then Doha over the weekend, to return to Syria, the officials said.
Two senior officials said the warehouses that were taken over by the Islamic Front appeared to contain a range of lethal and non-lethal equipment. The US and Britain announced Wednesday that they were freezing the delivery of non-lethal equipment into northern Syria.
US officials declined to comment on whether American weapons were in the warehouses. The Central Intelligence Agency has been providing small amounts of arms to hand-picked moderate rebels. Gen. Idris also receives weapons from other countries, including Saudi Arabia.
The warehouses also housed American-supplied trucks and communications gear.
Officials said the takeover of the facilities by the Islamic Front was the latest sign that the Western-backed opposition was weakening while religious opponents of the regime gain strength.
(Reuters) - Domino's Pizza (DOM.L), the country's biggest pizza delivery firm, should pay better wages if it is struggling to fill job vacancies rather than seeking a relaxation of immigration rules, said a British government minister.
The chief executive of Domino's British franchise, Lance Batchelor, told the London Evening Standard newspaper this week that his firm was struggling to find workers after a tightening of immigration rules.
Batchelor had appealed to the government to allow his firm to bring in unskilled workers from outside the EU, saying Domino's could hire 1,000 workers immediately.
"He should perhaps pay his staff a little more and then he might find it easier to recruit them ... He runs a profitable business, he should pay what the market demands," said Mark Harper, the government minister in charge of immigration.
"I don't think that we should import relatively unskilled labor from outside the European Union just so that he (Batchelor) can keep his wages low," Harper told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.
There is a good
review of this
book, which I have read myself, at PJ Media.
The author Stephen Jimenez, a gay man himself, has researched the background exhaustively. Most of this background involves methamphetamine dealing in Caspar, Wyoming area. It is clear that college student Matthew Shepard, a likeable enough young man himself, was dealing and was killed in 1998 by a cold-blooded psychopath over drugs. But if one chooses to get involved in drug dealing, one risks such encounters (see: Mexico).
Yet many people actively tried to keep the truth from becoming known. It made such a good story! Of course, some of the drug world preferred to keep the story quiet for their own reasons. Jiminez notes, referring to June 2004:
I had been writing an investigative article about the murder as a freelancer for The New York Times Magazine. With the departure of head editor Adam Moss from the magazine, the story had been killed without explanation… Although his successors at the magazine commended my strong reporting and said they'd like to work with me on “something else,” I surmised that the story's politically sensitive content was the problem.In 2004 Jiminez was working with 20/20 co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas on the story. Sean Patrick Maloney, a gay New York attorney then acting as counsel for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, was perfectly honest about his intent to simply cover up the truth. Before the 20/20 show aired, he told the Jimenez and the other staff of the show:
“My worst fear is that you're going to tell us Matt was caught up in a drug ring with these guys,” he said delicately…This infuriated Jimenez, who was several years older and had been on the barricades for gay rights while Sloan was just a child. He did not show any anger, of course, but noted this in the book. He writes of how Sloan kept trying to get the story killed. But other gay activists were weighing in, some of whom also cared about the truth. He notes how Andrew Sullivan wrote:
Maloney's final words before we began filming the interview were to ask us to “please tread lightly. Matthew Shepard is to gay rights what Emmett Till was to the civil rights movement.”
If you're going to base a civil rights movement on one particular incident, and mythology about a particular incident, you're asking for trouble, because events are more complicated than most politicians or most activists want them to be…The lost story of the whole episode, it seems to me, is the extensive use of methamphetamine and what a dangerous, sordid world it is. There are suggestions that even some of the police did not want Jimenez to dig too far. Whether use of this drug is the new normal I do not know.
The 1.29-acre land comprising plot No 21 at Kundol in Saidpur municipality is a khas land, which is classified as cemetery of the Hindu community, according to official document of district land office.
Visiting the sight on Tuesday morning, it was found that some people were ploughing the occupied land of the cemetery in its east to cultivate potato there.
“Since my childhood, I saw Hindus bringing their dead to the cemetery for funerals. But local influential people engaged day labourers on December 4 to smash and remove old memorial tombs and occupy cemetery land,” said octogenarian Mohamed Amin, a resident of the area.
At the north side of the cemetery, Hindus built a spacious room for keeping bodies safely in case of natural calamity. Priests recite holy verses there during the funeral. During Tuesday’s visit, it was found that iron grills of windows and the door made of heavy iron bars of the room were stolen.
A century ago the murder of a British soldier in broad daylight in London would have been an act of war. In this post-imperial and post-everything age, an atrocity leads to a task force which produces a report which is then filed in a desk drawer by the undersecretary for something or other.
Like clockwork, the murder of Lee Rigby led to a task force and to a report. The report is 7 pages long. It’s possible to read it in much less than the twenty minutes that it took London police to respond to the murder in progress. You could even get through it a few times in real time while a Muslim convert who describes himself as a soldier of Allah saws away at a fallen Englishman’s head with no one to stop him.
No mixed sex skating. Men wear all black to show they are not being influenced by the West. The rink will allow Iranians to train for the Winter Olympics (but they might put on a rather drab show with Islamic rules in place).
...which is frankly beneath him, but on the other hand you do keep running into this, the notion that any advancement the human race has managed since that fateful day when stinking bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, "I am man!" must necessarily be leftist because, you know, progress. (This is of course a perfect example of the petitio principii fallacy.)
"The main problem, though, with Tomasky’s piece is that it conflates “conservative” ideology and disposition. Indeed, “conservatives,” if we define them as folks who are antagonistic to any change at any time for any reason, will find themselves eternally on the wrong side of history.
Let’s give it a shot: Union-run public school systems are dependably failing most of our children. Why have conservatives like Michael Tomasky supported these archaic institutions that destroy the future of our children?"
The United States has suspended all non-lethal assistance into northern Syria after Islamic Front forces seized headquarters and warehouses belonging to the opposition's Supreme Military Council (SMC), a US Embassy spokesman in Ankara said. The UK also announced a temporary delay in aid shipments.
An American official said humanitarian assistance would not be affected. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
A Syrian refugee works outside his tent during a winter storm in Zahle town, in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Fighters from the Islamic Front, a union of six major rebel groups, took control of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) bases at the Bab al-Hawa crossing on Syria's northwestern border with Turkey late on Friday.
Turkey shut its side of the border crossing, in Hatay province, due to a reported increase in clashes on the Syrian side, customs sources told Reuters. There was no immediate confirmation from Turkish officials. See also here.
These photos of the decaying Mark Twain Branch of the Detroit Public Library have an awful feeling.
Palestinian officials at an ATM in the Gaza Strip
As the biggest aid donor to the Palestinian territories, EU taxpayers pay a fifth of the salaries of teachers, doctors and bureaucrats in the small coastal territory, which has been governed by the Islamist group Hamas since 2007.
But following an investigation into how EU aid is being spent, the European Court of Auditors has found that large numbers of recipients are providing no public service.
The court did not have overall figures on the size of the problem. But in one spot check, 90 of the 125 employees at the National Audit Institute of Palestine said they did not work. In another sample, 40% of civil servants were not working, EU auditor Hans Gustaf Wessberg, who led the inspections over the past 16 months, told a news conference.
The auditors looked into around €1 billion ($1.38 billion) of spending in the Palestinian territories between 2008-2012.
But a Commission spokesman said many people were prevented from going to work in Gaza, referring to the fragile security situation in the strip, and needed financial support. "If the Palestinian Authority is not paying these people, who is going to provide for them? If you have people running around without income, then of course, they are more prone to be taken by extremists," said Commission spokesman Peter Stano.
OTTAWA — Battered women are morally entitled to kill their abusive partners, even those who are passed out or asleep, says a respected University of Ottawa law professor.
So would the same apply to men?
OTTAWA - Canada Post will be phasing out door-to-door delivery in favour of community mailboxes as part of a new business model to try to stop bleeding money.
University degrees were first offered to women in the UK in 1878, but last night, stood in front of the London headquarters of Universities UK, which claims to be ‘the voice for UK universities’, it appeared that the fight for equality is far from over.
Standing in Tavistock Square on a freezing December night, over 100 campaigners and students gathered to protest against the "shame of gender apartheid" at universities.
The rally last night was purposefully held on International Human Rights Day and on the day of Nelson Mandela's memorial, to expose the fact that gender segregation is widespread.
Maryam Namazie, a researcher at the University of London and one of the organisers of the event, said that she has noticed a rise of Islamism across UK Universities that is not truly representing the views of most Muslims. She said: “In the UUK’s efforts to be inclusive they are encouraging sexism and endorsing discrimination.
“It's about free speech and its about Islamists imposing their rules and projecting women as symbols of chaos in society."
They seem to get short shrift on the blog. The
DM has photos of paintings of Downton Abbey characters as dogs and cats (but mostly dogs).
Left: A Dalmatian replaced Downton Abbey's Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, played by Elizabeth McGovern
The Centre for Inquiry Canada says this billboard design was rejected by Pattison Outdoor.
An atheist group is considering a human rights complaint after it says a billboard company refused to run its advertisements in Vancouver.
The Centre for Inquiry Canada created a billboard design depicting a smiling woman alongside a few phrases written in a biblical style.
“Jenn 13:1,” it reads. "Praying won’t help. Doing will." Below the group's name, the ad says: "Without God. We're all good."
Related: Praying helps people stay in control of their emotions and behaviour, according to a new study. People turn to prayer 'as a coping response to the high demands in life' and are rewarded with increased strength and ability to resist temptation, researchers said.
Previous findings have shown that when people try hard to control their emotions and thoughts, the risk of aggressive outbursts and binge drinking or eating rises.
Although the fact that prayer may make people feel better does not prove the existence of God, it does contradict the atheists' statement "Praying won’t help".
TORONTO - So, you say you're seeing a light at the end of the long, dark gas plant tunnel?
I have bad news.
It's an Ontario Northland ghost train coming at you.
And it's burning your dollars just as fast as the gas plants did.
Shutting down the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission is turning into the next $1-billion boondoggle.
Muhammad Farms has instructive information about the government’s plot to destroy black farmers, the secret waters of the great pyramid and why the government hates Cuba.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries, has released the latest edition of its annual "Islamophobia" report.
The "Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2012-September 2013" is a 94-page document purporting to "offer a comprehensive picture of Islamophobia, as it exists mainly in contemporary Western societies."
But the primary objective of the OIC—headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by dozens of Muslim countries that systematically persecute Christians and Jews—has long been to pressure Western countries into passing laws that would ban "negative stereotyping of Islam."
A group that has been pushing for the reinstatement of the controversial sex education curriculum that was dropped by the Ontario Liberal government after outrage from parents and family organizations has started a new campaign hoping to sway public opinion.
A coalition of groups spearheaded by the Ontario Physical Health Education Association (OPHEA) is trying to create public acceptance for the curriculum that was shelved in 2010 by running newspaper ads, hosting a website, and holding public meetings in an attempt to white wash the sex ed program.
The Forum Research poll provided exclusively to the Toronto Sun shows Ford’s approval rating remains at 42% — the same level it was last month after he admitted smoking crack cocaine and bought illegal drugs while in office.
“I’m pretty sure that Ford Nation actually believes most of these allegations and they don’t care,” Bozinoff said. “It is not like they are in denial.”... 33% said they would vote for the mayor in the 2014 election — those numbers were unchanged from the last Forum poll in November.
Mayor Rob Ford livid over Toronto Hydro building purchase - Hydro payed twice the going rate of a year earlier for a building it doesn't use.
The sign language interpreter used at Tuesday's memorial service for Nelson Mandela, and whose image was broadcast around the world as he shared a stage with world leaders including President Obama, was being called a "fake" by the Deaf Federation of South Africa.
Looking for answers in RCMP lawlessness in High River.
But Most Terrorists are Sock Monkeys!
Remember to put your faves in the comments, we'll run them through till the Big Day.
Guest sends us The Huron Carol
Rocco G sends us David Lovrien - Minor Alterations (Dallas Wind Symphony)
Anukem Jihadi sends us Boney M. - Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord
DMB sends us South Park Christmas carols
Part 1 of Reader Fave Carols is here.
Part 2 of Reader Fave Carols is here.
Part 3 of Reader Fave Carols is here.
Turkey rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten (yes, the EU has one!)
The European Parliament (EP)'s Turkey rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten said on Monday that Turkey would play an important role in the Europe's future.
"I am sure that Turkey will shape Europe's future," Dutch politician Ruijten told during a session where Turkey's report was discussed in Strasbourg, France.
Stating that Turkey had made progress in the fields of human rights and superiority of law Ruijten said that more reforms are needed in those fields.
Helene Flautre, co-chair of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), stated that the country's EU negotiation process has gained a big momentum when the Chapter 22 was opened under accession talks.
But there may be hope! Another report says: Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement about Turkey’s wish to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – a Eurasian political, economic and military alliance, which is seen as a rival alliance against NATO – was largely covered by the Russian media. Turkey has been an active member of NATO since 1952, but this latest request may signify Turkey’s gradual shift away from the West.
Mainstream Russian media organizations such as Ria Novosti, Itar Tass and İnterfax showed great interest in Turkey’s latest diplomatic initiative…
Drawing attention to Turkish foreign policy’s increasing dynamism, the reports see Turkey’s SCO membership as a greater probability than the realization of its bid to join the EU. From a different perspective, Russian television channels claimed that Russian leader Vladimir Putin was keen on forging unexpected alliances while they analyze Turkey’s aspiration to be a SCO member. However, other SCO members are likely to approach Turkey’s request with suspicion, news channel NTV predicted.
Bad for the USA.
A HARD form of multiculturalism that condones practices such as female genital mutilation is promoting a "fetish of diversity" and should be stopped, says a new report.
Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Peter Kurti also said governments should get out of the business of supporting the cultural, ethnic or religious components of identity.
"This determination to promote diversity has become an obsession that has driven "hard" multiculturalism beyond a concern to eradicate racial discrimination," he said.
"It has begun to cast doubt on the very legitimacy of the notion of a core national culture."
The first steps to establish a confidential court in London that would hear multimillion pound commercial disputes arising out of Saudi Arabia will be taken as early as next week.The UK, building on the admittedly long and venerable tradition of English jurisprudence, wishes to sell itself as “lawyer of the world”.
The Saudi-British Arbitration Centre will “promote commercial arbitration as an effective alternative to litigation”, a one-line mention in the chamber of commerce’s publicity about the legal conference on December 12 reads…
The MoU will also be signed by the chamber and the Saudi Chamber of Commerce, which has been leading the negotiations. Omnia Strategy, the law firm of Cherie Booth QC, wife of the former UK prime minister Tony Blair, will have a key role in setting out how the centre will be structured, according to people familiar with the situation. Omnia did not respond to a request seeking comment.
Highly confidential and top-level plans for the arbitration centre have been in train for at least a year, as first reported by the Financial Times.
If established, the centre could hear some of the most high-value and sensitive legal claims in the world.
Ontario Offically A Liberal Banana Republic - Executives fired at OPG, which is rife with nepotism and generous benefits
Ontario Power Generation is rife with nepotism, management “top-heavy,” and pays out “very generous” wages and benefits that are contributing to skyrocketing hydro bills, warns auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.
It was also the scene of a familial bloodletting worthy of The Godfather.
Lysyk’s searing report led to OPG firing its chief financial officer, its executive vice-president of strategic initiatives, and its internal audit vice-president.
Strap In Neighbors We're Nearing Detroit Velocity...
From the Globe
Overall, 62 per cent of OPG’s employees earned more than $100,000 last year, the audit found. The number of employees making over $200,000 has ballooned to 448 from 117 since 2003.
They all have far more generous pensions than other public sector employees: OPG workers contribute just one-quarter of their pension costs. The rest are paid for by the OPG and, by extension, tax and ratepayers. At most recent count, the pension also has a $555-million shortfall.
Hillel International warned its Swarthmore College chapter that it cannot use the Hillel name if it flouts the international Jewish campus group’s Israel guidelines.
The Hillel student board at the Pennsylvania liberal arts college voted unanimously on Sunday to reject the Hillel guidelines for campus Israel activities. Swarthmore became the first chapter of the Jewish campus organization to declare itself an “Open Hillel” — part of a student movement that says its goal is to “encourage inclusivity and open discourse at campus Hillels.”
The Swarthmore Hillel student board’s resolution said the guidelines “privilege only one perspective on Zionism, and make others unwelcome.” The resolution said that Swarthmore Hillel “will host and partner with any speaker at the discretion of the board, regardless of Hillel International’s Israel guidelines.”
Swarthmore Hillel had said in a statement: “All are welcome to walk through our doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist.”
Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke makes the bold claim that one day computers will allow people to work from home and access their banking records.
Wait for it...
I am just back in from work, it's been a long day that ain't over yet. Thank K and Frau Katze and Black Mamba for holding the fort.
A day after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird confirmed Canada is extending its Arctic territorial claim beyond the area mapped by federal scientists, Putin responded Tuesday with a highly visible message to the Russian military.
“I would like you to devote special attention to deploying infrastructure and military units in the Arctic,” Putin was quoted saying in televised comments at a meeting of the Defence Ministry Board in Moscow. Russia requires “every lever for the protection of its security and national interests there,” Putin said for the cameras.
Who would win in a fight? Putin or Baird?
Rob Ford claims he was the target of a political vendetta by Toronto Police chief Bill Blair in new interview with Conrad Black
“The chief, I have an issue with, I think it’s political,” Mr. Ford told Mr. Black. “He wasn’t happy when I told people to find efficiencies.”
“I want to save money and I guess he disagrees with that.”
Rob Ford interviewed by Conrad Black h/t Mathew
Lance Batchelor, chief executive of Domino’s Pizza Group, claims his nationwide takeaway chain has 1,000 job vacancies. But he complained that British workers refuse to apply for work as drivers and cooks.
And he claimed the labour shortage was preventing the chain from expanding.
Mr Batchelor, 49, said: “We’re struggling to get enough employees. Since the immigration laws were tightened up two or three years ago, we are finding it harder to hire staff, especially in London and the south-east.”
I don't doubt his complaint but think what this means in the long term. Unless the migrants are going to leave at the end of their working career there are three possibilities.
In the next generation, the children of these migrants will also refuse to take such jobs. The children might rise about their parents' humble origins, becoming entrepreneurs or professionals: immigration win.
Or the children might be less ambitious but at least work and support themselves and their family: immigration break-even.
Or, the children might refuse to work at all, ending up on welfare. Lose.
Much depends on the type of immigrant. Some ethnicities just do better than others. But we should not kid ourselves with this business of “jobs the natives won't do”: either we severely cut back welfare or we will have to endlessly import such workers because the next generation won't do those jobs either.
Politicians and businessmen cannot be expected to think of the long term--why isn't anyone else doing so?
A Muslim group will march through Brick Lane on Friday to campaign against the drinking and selling of alcohol, which they say is “sinful” under Islamic law.
Members of The Shariah Project say drinking alcohol is “strictly prohibited” and hope to highlight the ills of alcohol with a rally after Friday prayers on December 13.
Spokesman Abu Rumaysah, 30, said: “There’s a lot of problems in the area like anti-social behaviour caused by drinking and a lot of the Muslims are involved in selling alcohol in their shops.”
He added: “The one who is not a Muslim is already going to the hell fire. The one who drinks or sells alcohol ... God can forgive if he mends his ways.”
Mr Rumaysah, who lives in Waltham Forest where the group is based, said hate preacher Anjem Choudary is one of its “mentors”.
h/t Iron Burka
First, a news report: Jermyn Street, an Arab-Turkish property fund, is to spend 400 million euros ($550 million) buying a luxury seaside hotel in Athens, the country's privatisation agency HRADF said on Tuesday.
The sale of the Astir Palace (pictured) is part of debt-laden Greece's privatisation plan to pay down debt and clean up the balance sheets of its bailed-out banks. Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund, which includes investors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey's Dogus group, submitted the highest of three bids, HRADF said.
National Bank, Greece's biggest lender, will get 300 million euros of the purchase price with the remaining 100 million going to the government. Tourism is the first industry to have recovered from Greece's recession with the country expecting a record number of visitors and tourist revenues this year.
Next, from a piece in the NYT, discussing the dismal demographic situation as the birth rate hits rock bottom and people emigrate:
The Greeks are in a struggle for survival…Deaths are outnumbering births, people are leaving the country, and the population is aging so fast that in a few decades Greece may be unable to produce enough wealth to take care of its people and may cease to be a viable nation state.This being The New York Times, they neglect to mention the hundreds of thousands of migrants, legal and illegal, mostly from the Middle East and Africa, many Muslim. At this rate, the country will be unrecognizable in a couple of generations.
Michalis Papadakis, professor emeritus of statistics and social security at the University of Piraeus noted that 2011 was the first year in which the number of Greece’s residents dropped (with deaths exceeding births by 4,671). According to the European Union’s statistical service, in 2012 deaths in Greece outnumbered births by 16,300, while 44,200 more people left the country than moved to it.
Marilena Kapidaki, an obstetrician, says that among her clients, people who married usually decided to have children but appeared to be limiting themselves to one child. “I would not be surprised if the fertility rate has dropped even further during the crisis,” she says. The latest statistics, from 2011, showed a fertility rate of 1.4 in Greece, well below the 2.1 needed to replenish the previous generation. “A lot has changed since 2010,” Dr. Kapidaki says.
Shot in the dark of night [in southern Kazakhstan], the video sheds light on a nomadic tradition that is rarely seen in the open. At first, the shaky camera reveals only the occasional blurry image, providing no reasons for the piercing cries of a woman, the barking dogs, and the giggles and harried conversations taking place in the background.
But then, an unseen male gives a clear directive: "Make sure she puts her right foot forward when she is stepping into the home for the first time." Doing so, superstition holds, ensures a happy and prosperous family life.
Once under the light, a young woman in a red dress gets her first look at her abductors, and future family members. "Don't hold me! Why are you holding me? Why are you talking to me like this? I want to leave," she says. "What are you talking about? I will leave. Why? Why?"
Her efforts to flee futile, she is ushered kicking and screaming out of the kitchen, through a dark hallway, past a prepared dinner table, and into a back room.
There a group of men and women of various ages take turns trying to force upon her a white scarf -- the traditional symbol of an accepted marriage proposal. When the offer is demonstratively refused, the group employs various methods to change her mind. She is pushed and pulled, slapped, screamed at, and gets in a hair-pulling wrestling match with one of the younger women in the group.
"That is it! This [marriage] is going to happen!" shouts one woman. "We are going to make you wear this white scarf anyway."
"Why are placing obstacles in the way of your own bright future?" a male voice asks. "You should be ashamed of yourself!" scolds another, while a woman warns: "Don't make us upset."
"No, no, no!" the young woman insists. "I'm not going to sit, I won't stay in this house. I'll leave. Let me go!"
But her pleas fall on deaf ears: "No one is letting you out from this house."
First part is dark…skip to 1:50
I just LOVE multiculturalism!
“This whole week is about Barack Obama,” said Limbaugh. “That’s what the script is. (…) It’s all about him assuming Mandela’s place” and “assuming the mantle of world leftist leadership.
“It’s a second inauguration if you will,” Limbaugh continued. “Obama is now the conscience of the world. The torch has been passed whether Mandela knew it or not.”
“The drive by media is literally having orgasms over Obama shaking hands with Raul Castro,” Limbaugh said. Meanwhile, he reminded listeners, “There’s an American citizen who’s been sitting in a Cuban dungeon for months now.”
More than 1,000 viewers have complained about 'excessive' coverage of Nelson Mandela's death on BBC services, including some who grumbled about a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys being interrupted.
The BBC has defended the extent to which it featured the death of the former South African president, a major news item which led bulletins around the world.
By today the corporation had received 1,350 complaints about too much coverage across its news services, with some saying the emphasis had reduced the coverage of severe weather across the UK that day.
The BBC has defended its coverage and said Mandela's death was of 'considerable interest' to audiences in the UK and across the rest of the world.
Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok is caught on live TV complaining about the funeral with Defense Minister Vlastimil Picek in parliament on Friday.
When Picek reminded him that President Milos Zeman might be unable to fly because of a knee injury, Rusnok reacted with a vulgar term and then, addressing his companion by the Czech equivalent of "dude", said: "I'm dreading that I will have to go."
These hilarious photographs, believed to date back to 1914, are the original cat memes - or LOLcats (or LolKatzen) - a term first recorded in 2006 to define an image created by combining a humorous shot of a cat with amusing text above or below.
Reader comments are negative however, suggesting the animals must have been clamped to get them into these poses and the photos retouched.
Radical cleric Abu Qatada
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada told a Jordanian court on Tuesday he was not guilty of terrorism charges and challenged its authority to try him under the terms of his extradition from Britain five months ago.
Appearing in court in brown prison fatigues, Abu Qatada said the presence of a military judge in the panel of three judges violated the agreement under which he was flown back to Jordan in July after many years of legal battles in Britain.
Relatives of Abu Qatada leave the secure military court
While in Britain he was convicted and sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to life imprisonment for conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks against U.S. and other targets inside Jordan. He is now being retried on those charges.
"I have been prevented from defending myself for a long period, and God knows that I am innocent," said Abu Qatada, saying that the charges against him were fabricated.
Abu Qatada's brother, Mohammed arrives at the hearing
"There has been a betrayal of the agreement under which I have come. There is now a military judge - this is the first betrayal by you. I have come to be tried by civilian judges," said the Islamist cleric, whose real name is Mahmoud Othman.
"This court is a betrayal of the agreement and I don't recognize it," he said.
His lawyer Ghazi Thuneibat called for Abu Qatada's release, saying his client's rights had been violated by the presence of a military judge. But prosecutor Fawaz al-Atoum said Jordan's state security court law allowed for military tribunals in cases of terrorism.
The only way to understand what is happening to America in our time — and for that matter, in Europe since World War II — is to understand the Left.
And one way to understand the Left — and its enormous appeal to many decent people — is to understand what it learned from World War II and the Nazi experience. The lessons people draw from history go a long way toward explaining how they view the world and how they behave.
Unfortunately, virtually everything the Left learned from the unique evil known as Nazism has been wrong.
Every year, Canadian kids write letters to Santa, and he writes back — with a little help from his trusty “elves” at Canada Post.
You just have to address your letter to: “Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada,” along with the postal code “H0H 0H0.”
Cute, right? It’s a little thing, but it speaks to the fact that Canada considers the North Pole and its environs part of its sovereign territory.
Great Leader Kim Dong Wynne's 5 Year Plan Marks Another Milestone - Kellogg's Plant Closing 500 Jobs Lost
All hail the great leader, the Liberal government's green energy fiasco has made Ontario too expensive for businesses to operate.
Thank you Great leader!
TDSB caught stealing your tax dollars... again - gave senior staff $1 million in raises despite provincial wage freeze: audit
An external audit of the finances of the Toronto District School Board has found the board paid more than $1 million in raises to senior staff since 2010 that violate a provincial call for a wage freeze for all public sector employees.
Seriously this place has to be burnt to the ground, bulldozed, nuked, the grounds sown with salt, then paved over and rebuilt from the ground up.
Conservative MPP Doug Holyday poses with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford along the parade route.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford drew mixed reactions as he strolled down Lakeshore Boulevard during the annual Santa Claus parade in his home territory of Etobicoke, Ont. on Saturday.
Thousands turned out for the parade, and not even the latest allegations of drug use and gang ties could keep Ford away. The scandal-plagued mayor was shut out of last month's parade in Toronto.
Stopping for the usual swarm of photos and to shake hands, Ford walked alongside the parade route tossing out candy canes to excited children.
“Havana is like Pompeii and Castro is its Vesuvius.” – Anthony Daniels
Almost every picture I’ve ever seen of Cuba’s capital shows the city in ruins. Una Noche, the 2012 gut punch of a film directed by Lucy Mulloy, captures in nearly every shot the savage decay of what was once the Western Hemisphere’s most beautiful city.
So I was stunned when I saw the restored portion of Old Havana for the first time.
It is magnificent. And it covers a rather large area. A person could wander around there all day, and I did. At first glance you could easily mistake it for Europe and could kid yourself into thinking Cuba is doing just fine.
“The touristy parts of Havana are lovely,” said a friend of mine who has been there many times and returned home with a Cuban wife a few years ago. “But if you get out of the bubble and look at the places the tourist busses don’t go, you will see a different Havana.”
That’s for damn sure.
I walked toward the center of town from the somewhat remote Habana Libre Hotel and found myself the only foreigner in a miles-wide swath of destruction.
Classic Totten, lots of pix and good writing.