Archive for September 18th, 2008

Starving Palis? Think Again!!

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

British left-wing activist Lauren Booth unwittingly shows both her own and Pali governments hypocritical side in this interview versus the corresponding media photo.

The British left-wing activist arrived in the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave as part of the dozens of ‘Free Gaza’ activists who set out on two boats from Cyprus last month with the intent of “breaking” the Israeli naval blockade imposed on the Strip. Booth is one of the 10 activists who chose to remain in Gaza while her companions set sail back to Cyprus. Since then she has been stuck in Gaza, unable to exit through Israel or Egypt. …

She spoke of the situation in Gaza and said, “Yesterday, I visited mothers of children under the age of five. Nutrition here has deteriorated threefold over the last two years because it is impossible to bring food through the crossings. Unemployment has risen, so people can’t even afford to buy what food there is left.“

When asked about Israel’s right to respond to incessant attacks emanating from Gaza, Booth evoked Holocaust-related rhetoric. ”There is no right to punish people this way. There is no justification for this kind of collective punishment. You were in the concentration camps, and I can’t believe that you are allowing the creation of such a camp yourselves.”

“The Palestinians’ suffering is physical, mental and emotional,“ she went on, ”there is not a family here in which someone is not in desperate need of work, shelter or food. This is a humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur.“

But just prior to the interview, here is a photo of her buying things in a local store. Check out the shelves…

Starving Palis?

Original Link.
Link to Photo.

Previously Unknown Mozart Work Found in French Library

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

For the music lovers among us, I thought this was an interesting find.

PARIS — A French museum has found a previously unknown piece of music handwritten by Mozart, a researcher said Thursday. The 18th century melody sketch is missing the harmony and instrumentation but was described as important find.

Ulrich Leisinger, head of research at the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria, said there is no doubt that the single sheet was written by the composer.

“This is absolutely new,” Leisinger said in a telephone interview. “We have new music here.”

“His handwriting is absolutely clearly identifiable,” he added. “There’s no doubt that this is an original piece handwritten by Mozart.”

The work, described as the preliminary draft of a musical composition, was found by a library in Nantes in western France as staff were going through its archives. Leisinger says the library contacted his foundation for help authenticating the work.

“It’s a melody sketch so what’s missing is the harmony and the instrumentation but you can make sense out of it,” he said. “The tune is complete. It’s only one part and not the whole score with eight or twelve parts.”

“One can really get a feeling of what Mozart meant although we do not know how he would have orchestrated it.”

The city is planning to hold a news conference on the find later on Thursday.

There have been about 10 Mozart finds of such importance over the past 50 years, he said. If sold, the single sheet would likely be worth around $100,000.

“The fact that an entirely new sheet shows up is extremely rare,” he said.

The sheet was bequeathed to the library by an autograph collector in the 19th century and was catalogued back then as part of the library’s collection, he said.

But it was later “entirely forgotten,” essentially becoming lost to scholars for more than century, and was only rediscovered by the library as it re-catalogued its archives in recent years. It was unclear what happened to the library’s 19th century catalogue.

Circumstantial evidence, including the type of paper, suggests Mozart did not write it before 1787, Leisinger said. Mozart died in 1791.

Mozart was interested in church music and at that time was planning to become the choir and music director of Vienna’s main cathedral, although he died before he could take up the post.

In all, about 100 such examples of musical drafts by Mozart are known about. Many are notes for works that he went on to complete.

But the rediscovered sheet is the “draft for a piece that Mozart did not work out for what ever reason,” said Leisinger.

The sheet appears also to have been examined in the 19th Century by Aloys Fuchs, a well-respected autograph hunter who collected works from more than 1,500 different musicians. Fuchs wrote “authenticity of this present handwriting of W.A. Mozart is confirmed,” in an annotation dated Aug. 18, 1839, in Vienna.

Original Link.

Terrorists Threaten London Attacks if Brits Continue Raids on Terrorist in Pakistan

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

LONDON — Pakistan’s new civilian president Asif Ali Zardari has flown to London for “crisis talks” with Prime Minister Gordon Brown to deliver what his aides call “a blunt warning” which has raised “serious concern” among Britain’s intelligence chiefs, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Zardari will demand that Britain’s SAS units must stop their “seek and kill” operations across the Pakistan border. The units are spearheading a new hunt for Osama bin Laden along the 1,500-kilometer border with Pakistan.

Zardari claims so far hundreds of “civilians” have died in the operations. He intends to tell Gordon Brown the continued attacks will “almost certainly” lead to new attacks on London by al-Qaeda. He has also indicated that if the attacks persist, Pakistan’s army “may well have to defend our own sovereign territory.”

Both MI6 chief John Scarlett, whose agents are part of the cross-border operations, and Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, whose responsibility is defeating all terrorist attacks on the UK, are to seek “urgent clarification” of Zardari’s position.

The president officially is in Britain to see his daughter, Bakhtawr, who is taking a political science degree at Edinburgh University. But his schedule has been specially rearranged for the crisis meeting with Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Scarlett and Evans are also expected to attend.

The details of a controversial cross-border attack, which has led to the meeting, have been pieced together by MI6 agents in the border region. To study their report, Brown broke off from his presentation for the Labour Party annual conference next week, which may decide his own position as Britain’s leader. A growing number of his MPs have publicly called for him to face an election challenge.

The cross-border attack was launched on the third day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on the small Pakistani mountain town near the border with Afghanistan.

The MI6 report contains a vivid description of what followed as the villagers were lighting their stoves for breakfast before a day of fasting for Ramadan.

Original Link.

Morgan Stanley Scrambles to Find Buyer

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Another financial institution is on the brink of disaster.

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley topped the list of major financial firms scrambling to find a buyer, while central banks rushed in $180 billion of extra liquidity to calm panicked stock and money markets.

Morgan Stanley was in deal talks with U.S. regional banking powerhouse Wachovia Corp and the negotiations have advanced to a more formal stage, a source familiar with the firm’s plan said.

The No. 2 U.S. investment bank, whose shares are down 50 percent this month, has also approached Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp about boosting its stake in Morgan Stanley, the source said, following a $5 billion investment late last year.

HSBC Holdings was named by CNBC as another potential bidder for Morgan Stanley, but a person familiar with the matter said the bank “is not interested.”

Morgan Stanley and larger rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc, the largest surviving independent Wall Street investment bank, are facing concern that the credit crunch could constrict the short-term funding they’ve traditionally relied on. The deposit base of a commercial bank could be a more stable alternative.

Morgan Stanley shares were down 8 percent in early trading, but the cost of insuring its debt against default fell.

“Morgan Stanley is in merger talks with Wachovia, a move that would make more sense if Morgan were seeking synergies rather than seeking safety,” Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York, said in a research note. “Wachovia, after all, has huge option ARM exposure through Golden West, and option ARMS are shaping up as this year’s subprimes.”

Original Link.

“Government Without God Means People Without Freedom” by Paul Dean

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Confusion continues to abound when it comes to the issue of church and state. The bulk of that confusion concerns the meaning of the word “establishment” in the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment and the implications of said clause. The First Amendment reads thusly: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” That sounds simple enough.

The intention of the founders and the obvious meaning of the “establishment clause” is that the government may not establish a state church or force anyone to engage in religion or religious practice. The clause does not mean that people have the right not to hear others talk about religion nor does it mean that government proceedings must be free from religious observances. It simply means that the government may not force anyone to do anything religiously speaking.

Moreover, while the “establishment clause” must be affirmed with all vigor from a biblical perspective for a free society, not only does the clause not prohibit God-talk in the public square, but government must be grounded in the reality of God and what He has to say. Liberty and justice for all cannot be sustained apart from a commitment to biblical principles.

On the other hand, the “free exercise clause” guarantees to people the right to worship as they see fit without fear of their worship being outlawed as long as they don’t incorporate dynamics into their worship that would harm or hinder the freedom of others. Of course, other rights that have to do with public discourse are guaranteed in the First Amendment as well. These rights include freedom of speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and the petitioning of the government.

And yet, these rights are increasingly being ignored today because God is being ignored in the public square. In a recent interview with Michael Johnson, Senior Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund on “Calling for Truth,” we talked about the fact that the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. However, there are numerous cases across the country where people’s First Amendment rights are being violated. Johnson highlighted a few of these. For example, “in ‘Baumann v. City of Cumming,’ a sixty-eight year old, Georgia man was denied his right to free speech, charged, jailed, and convicted without due process of the law for distributing religious tracts on a public sidewalk. In ‘The People of the State of New York v. Raven,’ two Christians attempted to share their faith peacefully at a so-called ‘Gay Pride’ event in El Mira, New York. They were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for exercising their free speech and religious freedom in a public venue. In ‘Commissioned II Love v. Yarbrough,’ a Christian student organization at Savannah State was booted off campus for engaging in foot washing or ‘harassment’ according to university officials. The case continues in court after a federal judge refused to grant the university’s motion to dismiss.”

Original Link.