Archive for February 7th, 2008

‘Euros Accepted’ Signs Pop Up All Over New York

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

In the latest example that the U.S. dollar just ain’t what it used to be, some shops in New York City have begun accepting euros and other foreign currency as payment for merchandise.

“We had decided that money is money and we’ll take it and just do the exchange whenever we can with our bank,” Robert Chu, owner of East Village Wines, told Reuters television.

The increasingly weak U.S. dollar, once considered the king among currencies, has brought waves of European tourists to New York with money to burn and looking to take advantage of hugely favorable exchange rates.

“We didn’t realize we would take so much in and there were that many people traveling or having euros to bring in. But some days, you’d be surprised at how many euros you get,” Chu said.

“Now we have to get familiar with other currencies and the (British) pound and the Canadian dollars we take,” he said.

While shops in many U.S. towns on the Canadian border have long accepted Canadian currency and some stores on the Texas-Mexico border take pesos, the acceptance of foreign money in Manhattan was unheard of until recently.

Not far from Chu’s downtown wine emporium, Billy Leroy of Billy’s Antiques & Props said the vast numbers of Europeans shopping in the neighborhood got him thinking, “My God, I should take euros in at the store.”

Leroy doesn’t even bother to exchange them.

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Lawsuit After Abortion Survivor’s Speech Banned

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

The liberal education never ceases to amaze me as to just how low they can stoop.

A lawsuit has been filed against the school district in Rapid City, S.D., after a facilities manager refused permission for a community group to use an auditorium to feature the testimony of an abortion survivor.

“We just don’t like to encourage discussion of those types of issues in our facilities,” the lawsuit says one of the defendants, Ronald Mincks, announced. Mincks at the time was assistant buildings and grounds supervisor.

The dispute is over requests by members of the group Citizens for Life to be granted access to an auditorium for after-school events, just as other community organizations are allowed.

The action was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, a law firm that defends the right “to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding and litigation.”

“Pro-life groups shouldn’t be discriminated against for their beliefs,” said Byron Babione, senior legal counsel for the ADF. “They have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America.

“The equal access rights of Citizens for Life must be honored regardless of whether school district officials agree with the group’s message,” he said.

The complaint describes how school district policy, while allowing other community groups to use district facilities for a variety of meetings, twice denied Citizens for Life permission, expressly banning meetings with a religious purpose.

The complaint said Citizens for Life President Allen Carlson in August 2006 asked for permission for the group to meet at Dakota Middle School’s auditorium to host a meeting at which Gianna Jessen, a survivor of a saline abortion, would speak.

School officials rejected the request and then refused to comply with an open-records request for documentation about other groups that were granted permission to use the facilities.

Last June, the second request was submitted by Carlson. This time the proposed speaker was Joe Scheidler, national director of the Pro-Life Action League. In July, Carlson got a telephone call from Mincks, who refused the request.

“Carlson asked about filling out additional paperwork, or following other protocols, to obtain permission,” the lawsuit said.

“We would deny you anyway,” Mincks said, according to the lawsuit.

He said that was because Citizens for Life is “too controversial” for the district.

When Carlson asked Mincks to put the rejection in writing, Mincks told him, “This is something we don’t wish to put in writing,” the lawsuit said.

“School officials are not permitted to engage in viewpoint discrimination, nor can they continue to stonewall this group,” said Stephen Wesolick, an ADF-allied attorney who also is representing Citizens for Life.

Peter Wharton, the superintendent, told WND he couldn’t talk about the issue or explain his district’s facilities-use policy.

“What we’re doing is we’re conferring with counsel,” he told WND, “looking at what the next appropriate steps are.”

The district’s website, however, includes a large element of community participation in school events. In fact, it includes a section called Partnership Rapid City, in which such organizations as The Abbey Group, Black Hills Corp., Medical Associates of the Black Hills, Ivanhoe International Center, Casey Peterson & Associations, the Kahler Financial Group and others formally are recognized.

The action seeks an order banning future discrimination by the district as well as attorneys’ fees and “nominal damages” for the alleged violations of the First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association and free exercise of religion.

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American Woman Jailed in Saudi Arabia for Sitting With Man at Starbucks

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

The ever so-called “tolerant” Saudis continue to show their true colors.

A 37-year-old American businesswoman and married mother of three is seeking justice after she was thrown in jail by Saudi Arabia’s religious police for sitting with a male colleague at a Starbucks coffee shop in Riyadh, according to a report in The Times of London on Thursday.

Yara, who does not want her last name published for fear of retribution, was bruised and crying when she was freed from a day in prison after she was strip-searched, threatened and forced to sign false confessions by the Kingdom’s “Mutaween” police, The Times reported.

“Some men came up to us with very long beards and white dresses. They asked ‘Why are you here together?’. I explained about the power being out in our office. They got very angry and told me what I was doing was a great sin,” recalled Yara, who wears an abaya and headscarf, like most Saudi women.

The men were from Saudi Arabia’s Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, a police force of several thousand men charged with enforcing dress codes, sex segregation and the observance of prayers.

Yara says she was interrogated, strip-searched and forced to sign and fingerprint a series of confessions pleading guilty to her “crime,” the Times reported.

Yara was visited yesterday by officials from the American Embassy, who promised they would file a report.

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Syria Acquiring Russian Rockets at ‘Furious’ Pace

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Continue to keep your eye on the Middle East. The Muslims won’t rest until Israel is wiped off the face of the earth.

JERUSALEM – Syria, aided by Russia and Iran, in recent months has been furiously acquiring rockets and missiles, including projectiles capable of hitting the entire state of Israel, according to Jordanian and Israeli security officials speaking to WND.

A Jordanian security official said one of the main reasons Damascus did not retaliate after Israel carried out its Sept. 6 airstrike inside Syria allegedly targeting a nascent nuclear facility was because Syria’s rocket infrastructure was not yet complete.

The official said after the Israeli airstrike, Syria picked up the pace of acquiring rockets and missiles, largely from Russia with Iranian backing, with the goal of completing its missile and rocket arsenal by the end of the year. The Jordanian official said Syria is aiming to possess enough projectiles to fire over 100 rockets into Israel per hour for a sustained period of time.

“The Syrians have three main goals,” explained the Jordanian official. “To maximize their antitank, antiaircraft and ballistic missile and rocket capabilities.”

According to Israeli and Jordanian officials, Syria recently quietly struck a deal with Russia that allows Moscow to station submarines and warboats off Syrian ports. In exchange, Russia is supplying Syria with weaponry at lower costs, with some of the missiles and rockets being financed by Iran.

“The Iranians opened an extended credit line with Russia for Syria with the purpose of arming Syria,” said one Jordanian security official.

“Russia’s involvement and strategic positioning is almost like a return to its Cold War stance,” the official said.

Both the Israeli and Jordanian officials told WND large quantities of Syrian rockets and missiles are being stockpiled at Latakia, Syria’s main port on the Mediterranean Sea, as well as at Syria’s Tartus port, another major port area south of Latakia and north of Damascus.

Syria’s new acquisitions include Russia’s S-300 surface-to-air missile defense shield, which is similar to the U.S.-funded, Israeli engineered Arrow antimissile system currently deployed in Israel. The S-300 system is being run not by Syria but by Russian naval technicians who work from Syria’s ports, security officials said.

New ballistic missiles and rockets include Alexander rockets and a massive quantity of various Scud surface-to-surface missiles, including Scud B and D Scud missiles.

Israeli security officials noted Syria recently test-fired two Scud-D surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 250 miles, covering most Israeli territory. The officials said the Syrian missile test was coordinated with Iran and is believed to have been successful. It is not known what type of warhead the missiles had.

In addition to longer range Scuds, Syria is in possession of shorter range missiles such as 220 millimeter and 305 millimeter rockets, some of which have been passed on to Hezbollah.

Original Link.

U.K. Government: ‘Don’t Mention Islamic Extremists’

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

The U.K. continues down the road to becoming an Islamic nation.

The Government has drawn up a controversial phrasebook on the language of terrorism and is insisting civil servants no longer blame fanatical extremism on Islam, for fear of upsetting the Muslim community.

The new counter-terrorism guidelines suggest that phrases such as “Islamic terrorist” and “jihadi fundamentalism” are too inflammatory and imply that all Muslims explicitly are responsible for extremism.

Instead the leaked Home Office document advises Whitehall bosses that they refer to violent extremism and criminal murderers or thugs to avoid any link between Islam and terrorism.

However, the war on terror handbook has provoked an unfavourable response from people claiming the Government are bowing under the pressure of political correctness.

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Mystery Deepens Over WMD Documents

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

How the classified military documents from Iraq, which named the coordinates of where the Army suspected weapons of mass destruction to be hidden, ended up in an Arabic translator’s apartment on Hoyt Street in Brooklyn, is clear.

Not likely to be known anytime soon is what, if anything, the army contractor did with the documents.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, which is prosecuting the case, appears to have little direct evidence that Noureddine Malki passed information on to the insurgency, either during his time in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, or upon his return to America in 2005. But it has raised the possibility that he may have done so. The government has said Malki regularly called phone numbers connected to insurgents and took bribes of at least $11,500 from Sunni tribal leaders.

The government, prosecutors wrote in one court filing, could “establish that the defendant had an opportunity to provide stolen classified information to anti-coalition forces.”

Original Link.

Grand Jury Sought in Case of Baby in Biohazard Bag

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

This case just blows my mind. These people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

Charges in the case of a baby born alive, but dropped into a biohazard bag and concealed on the roof of an abortion clinic in Florida 18 months ago, are overdue, and a grand jury should be asked to investigate, according to a pro-life organization.

The call was issued by Operation Rescue, whose chief, Troy Newman, said that although another case against the same abortionist has been resolved with her guilty plea to practicing medicine without a license, nothing has been done on the case involving baby Shanice.

“[Belkis] Gonzalez and her associate, Siomara Senises, were involved in the death of a baby born alive in July 2006 at a Hialeah, Fla., abortion clinic, which is now closed,” said a statement from Newman’s Operation Rescue organization.

“That death was discovered when an anonymous call was made to the police, who discovered than an infant was born alive during a late-term abortion, placed in a biohazard bag, and tossed onto the roof of the abortion clinic by Gonzalez in order to avoid detection,” the group said.

“The mother of the dead baby girl, who was named Shanice Denise Osborne, has since come forward and corroborated the story,” OR said.

However, despite the ongoing investigative work, no charges have yet been filed in the case.

“Baby Shanice’s murder case has dragged on for a year and a half without progress,” Operation Rescue said. “That is unacceptable. We encourage the public to contact the prosecutor and ask for a grand jury to investigate Gonzalez and Senises for the death of Shanice Denise Osborne.”

The organization listed a telephone number and e-mail address for the prosecutor on its website.

The group said a separate case involving Gonzalez recently was resolved, with her change of plea to guilty to practicing medicine without a license. This involved a series of incidents at a Miramar, Fla., clinic.

Operation Rescue said by pleading guilty, Gonzalez avoided trial, and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to no longer work in the medical field.

“However, according to a source that wishes to remain unnamed, that clinic continues to operate under the supervision of Gonzalez’s 23-year-old daughter, Natali Vergara,” Operation Rescue said.

“They’re kind of representative of this abortion underworld,” Newman told WND. “They’re so interested in the money, they’ll literally to anything and everything to perform these abortions.”

The arrests for the Miramar case resulted from a tip supplied to Miramar police by a pro-life investigator. Gonzalez and Senises allegedly allowed men to conduct abortions when they did not have medical licenses, instructed at least two other unlicensed workers to conduct duties such as dispensing medication that required licensed medical personnel, and even ordered unqualified employees to help with abortions.

Original Link.

“CANADIAN JEWS BATTLE ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA” by Fern Sidman

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

For the 4th consecutive year, anti-Israel apologists and propagandists will be convening at the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada for a three week event (Feb 3-19) called Israel Apartheid Week. As in years past, the major objective of this smear campaign is to impugn and excoriate the Jewish State as a racist entity, as well as organizing symposiums to further an agenda of academic boycott and BDS (boycott, divestments and sanctions) against Israel. Through a series of cleverly crafted gross distortions of facts, outright lies and half-truths, the organizers of this event which include the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Women in Solidarity with Palestine and the Arab Law Students Association have couched their flagrantly fraudulent and incendiary rhetoric in academic and intellectual terms in order to gain credibility. One of the groups participating in Israeli Apartheid Week is the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War, which obtained its place in historical infamy by traveling Egypt in March of 2007 to attend a conference intended to forge closer links between the international antiwar movement and Islamic resistance groups, including several on Canada’s terrorism list.

Speaking of “ethic cleansing and exile of Palestinians” by Israel, the purveyors of this patently false claim seek to demonize Israel with incessant accusations of establishing an “apartheid” state similar to the model of South Africa. They cite the construction of the Israeli security wall, built by Israel to reign in Palestinian terror organizations such as Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad. While they seriously question Israel’s right to exist and the Jewish character of the state, it is apparent that they justify the Hamas led daily Kassam rocket attacks into southern Israeli towns such as Sderot as a legitimate means to an end when it comes to liberating “Palestine” from the hands of the “occupiers”.

Many of the attendees and speakers at the vast array of conferences and lectures include anti-Zionist Jewish activists, including prominent members of the International Solidarity Movement and open supporters of Hamas. The use of the term “apartheid” as applied to Israel is featured ubiquitously in their literature, their web site and in their verbiage in order to indoctrinate the already sympathetic academic community into believing that Israel is the ‘bogeyman’ of the Middle East. Israel is taken to task, literally raked over the proverbial coals for its “intransigence” when it comes to negotiating land for an ostensible ‘peace’, while denying Israel the right to defend herself against the overwhelming predilections of her enemies to obliterate her.

One of the featured speakers will include notoriously anti-American and anti-Israel professor Ward Churchill, former professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who has written extensively on the subjects of genocide, ecocide and colonization as it pertains to Native Americans. In July of 2007, Churchill was dismissed from his position at the University of Colorado on grounds of academic misconduct; specifically plagiarism, fabrication and falsification.

On Monday evening, February 4th, the Ryerson University Library was the site for the opening event entitled “Introduction to Apartheid”, led by Saron Ghebressellassie, a student agitator and supporter of Angela Davis and the United Black Students at Ryerson. Outside the library building, a passionate group of Jewish activists from the college community along with local Toronto residents staged a raucous demonstration against the event calling on the organizers to stop supporting terrorism against Israel and America. Signs saying “Stop the Child Abuse” focused on the recruitment of Palestinian children as suicide bombers, while other signs exposed the event organizers as providing succor for wanton terrorism.

Toronto Jewish Defense League leader, Meir Weinstein organized a contingent of 40 JDL members who called this event a well orchestrated propaganda show and subterfuge for blatant anti-Semitism. “There is no distinction between anti-Zionism and the hateful epithets of classical anti-Semitism” said Weinstein. “Many of the people attending tonight’s lecture are Hamas supporters and members of the new Black Panther Party, both of whom do very little to hide their hatred of Jews and Israel. Just as Holocaust denial is an attack on the credibility of Jews, so is this event. What makes this event morally reprehensible and very dangerous, is that it takes place within the confines of the world of academia; bestowing upon it a purported legitimacy and credibility, while the speakers assiduously avoid launching verbal attacks on Jews as individuals as it is now considered politically incorrect.” “The bottom line”, continued Weinstein, “is that Israel has a right to exist, it is the eternal homeland of the Jewish people and we don’t need the world’s approval to exist as a nation. Our right to this land was established by our G-d in our Torah and that is our legitimate deed, now and forever.”

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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