"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pat Condell Unloads on European Journalists for Their Cowardly Attitude Toward Islam

Pat Condell is a YouTube commentator who speaks on a variety of subjects. He is one of the most clear thinking and articulate people in the world, and always worth listening to.

Here he talks about the Islamification of Europe being the root cause of the dramatically increased antisemitism there, and the cowardice of the press for refusing to admit it.

Watch video here.


Muhammad a Terrorist; Peaceful Muslims Misinterpret Islam - Son of Hamas

Mosab Hassan Yousef (middle) with interviewer Dr Alan Mendoza and
Rabbi Dov Kaplan. Picture: Nigel Sutton
Mosab Hassan Yousef made the controversial comments while speaking to an audience at Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue, in Norrice Lea, London, about his experiences of growing up in the West Bank as the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a top Hamas leader, before becoming a spy for Israel’s security service Shin Bet.

Security was stepped up for the visit of Mr Yousef, who was flown in from his home in the USA especially for the talk, with visitors required to show photo ID before entering the synagogue on Thursday last week.

In 2010, Mr Yousef published his autobiography, titled Son of Hamas, which revealed the story of how he became a Shin Bet spy after being arrested by Israeli forces, at the age of 17, over plans to attack Israeli targets.

He has since renounced his Muslim faith to become a Christian and received a standing ovation from synagogue members last week after he praised the “righteousness of the Jewish nation”.

During the talk, Mr Yousef told the synagogue audience: “Islamic ideology is the most dangerous thing humanity is facing. Islam is a problem. Look at how Muslims treat women, how Muslims treat animals. Look at Islamic sharia: if there is a thief they cut off his hands.

“Why do you think ISIS beheads people? They could shoot people but it’s inspired by Muhammad.

“I believe Muhammad is a terrorist and the terrorists are just following in his footsteps. Peaceful Muslims misinterpret Islam.”

Mr Yousef was interviewed by Dr Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society think tank, for the talk last week.

It was preceded by the screening of a trailer for The Green Prince, a film adaptation of Mr Yousef’s autobiography which premiered last year.

From the age of 10, Mr Yousef said he “hated everything Israeli” after his father was arrested and imprisoned by Israeli forces.

By the age of 17, he was preparing to enact his “revenge” on Israel, as part of the ongoing conflict between Palestinian and Israeli forces, but was arrested before managing to carry out an attack.

Sheikh Hassan Yousef
While in jail, he was contacted by Shin Bet agents and subsequently worked undercover for the security service between 1997 and 2007, helping to prevent dozens of suicide attacks and assassinations of Israelis, as well as exposing numerous Hamas cells.

Mr Yousef described his father as a “monster” and hit back at criticism of Israel’s killing of Palestinian civilians.

He added: “Israel has the right to defend itself and sooner or later the world will come to realise this.”

A spokesman for Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue said: “The synagogue and the interviewer Dr Alan Mendoza do not share Mr Yousef’s views on Islam. We would like to distance ourselves from his comments about Islam and the prophet Muhammad.” Wimps!

Eye-opening, Thought-provoking Interview With a Muslim Terrorist

TORONTO — A Tunisian scientist awaiting trial for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack on a passenger train near Toronto lashed out at the Canadian government in an interview, accusing it of “colonizing” Afghanistan.

In an interview with the National Post, Chiheb Esseghaier did not directly admit he had conspired to derail a Toronto-bound Amtrak train but neither did he deny it, and he said Canada had started a “fire” by sending troops to Afghanistan.

Chiheb Esseghaier - doctoral student, terrorist
Asked why he would want to harm Canadians, Mr. Esseghaier replied: “My aim is very simple: to give them a message. But the problem is that Canada, the Canadian government I mean, it don’t want to listen.”  So, the Canadian Government should listen to him and ignore everyone else in the world.

Colonization of Afghanistan

Calling himself a “victim of NATO colonization of Afghanistan,” the 30-year-old doctoral student depicted terrorism as the consequence of Canada’s attempt to — in his view —bring secularism to Afghanistan through military force.

His comments this week from the Metro West Detention Centre, where he is being held on terrorism charges, were the most expansive explanation he has given to date of his political and religious views and suggested a preoccupation with Afghanistan.

He raised the country repeatedly, referring to Afghans as “my brother and my sister” and condemning Canada for its role in the NATO mission to secure the nation from the Taliban and its Islamist extremist allies.

“You go to a land which is far away from you … You go with your army and you kill people and you took their land. And after that you cry out ‘terrorism, terrorism,’” Mr. Esseghaier said.

“You made the fire and after that you cry out ‘smoke, smoke.’ You, you made the fire. So then what is the solution? The solution is very simple: To stop the fire. Do you understand me? Hopefully you get my answer to your question.” Not so much!

Shown a transcript of the interview, two academic experts on extremism said Mr. Esseghaier’s comments were consistent with the mindset of a fundamentalist who seemed to put himself above the law.

Comparison to Christian anti-abortion activists

From my perspective, the views expressed … are very typical of the worldview of religious fundamentalists and very comparable to what one might hear from a strident anti-abortion activist coming from a Christian perspective,” said Prof. Lorne Dawson, co-director of the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society.

“We have the literalist reading of scripture and emphasis on the absolute dominion of God’s word, as revealed, over all things human in origin. There is little or no consideration given to the other gifts of thought and freedom of will also granted by God to humankind,” the University of Waterloo sociologist said.

Following an undercover RCMP national security investigation called Project Smooth, Mr. Esseghaier was arrested last April along with Raed Jaser, 35, a Toronto school van driver. They face terrorism and murder conspiracy charges. Mr. Jaser’s lawyer has denied the allegations.

Radicalized in Canada

Mr. Esseghaier allegedly became extremely devout after arriving in Canada as a student in 2008. He later traveled twice to an eastern Iranian city, Zahedan, known as a gateway for extremists heading to Afghanistan. He allegedly received training and the RCMP says he was acting under the direction of Al-Qaeda “elements” in Iran.

Esseghaier may have been heavily influenced by controversial Islamist Hamza Chaoui.

Chaoui has connections to radical Islamists.

He has preached at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu mosque (southeast of Montreal, Quebec) attended by Martin Couture-Rouleau, the Muslim convert who killed Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in October.

Chaoui was also the leader of a Muslim association at Laval University (Montreal). One of that association's members, Chiheb Esseghaier, is about to be tried on charges related to a plot to derail a Via Rail train travelling between Toronto and New York two years ago.

Islamic Law Above Canadian Law

While it is rare for someone awaiting trial to speak so candidly, Mr. Esseghaier is not represented by a lawyer and has been outspoken during his court appearances, often complaining about Canada’s “imperfect” system of “man-made” laws.

During the interview, he elaborated on his objections to being tried under the Criminal Code, saying he did not want to be judged by the same legal regime that allowed banks to charge interest and same sex couples to marry.

A train crosses a bridge near Jordan Station, Ont. Chiheb Esseghaier and
Raed Jaser are accused of plotting an attack on the New York-Toronto route
“You see Canada make lawful what God made unlawful, so that’s my point,” he said. When a reporter suggested there were a variety of interpretations of God’s will, Mr. Esseghaier said there was only one God and He had given His last revelations to the Muslim prophet Muhammad. “If you deny his last revelation, that means there is a problem.” 

Muhammad a fraud

There is a problem all right. Muhammad's revelations were not from God - they contravene and contradict most of the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

God sent His Son 2000 years ago to bring an end to the dispensation of Law and begin the dispensation of Grace; why would He send a minor player 600 years later to cause the earth to revert back to the Law? He didn't! The idea is absurd!

Victimization

He accused Canada of “killing people in Afghanistan, Muslim people, and everybody knows that the people of Afghanistan, they didn’t harm Canada in the whole history,” he said, without mentioning Afghanistan’s role as a safe haven for Al-Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks.

But Canada go and hurt Muslims in Afghanistan and they took their land and they kill them, and supporting Americans who kill women and babies,” he said. “And after that, what do they do, Canada? The Canadian government they start to cry out ‘terrorism, terrorism.’ Like someone, who make fire and after that he say ‘smoke, smoke.’”

Prof. Christian Leuprecht, a terrorism expert at Queen’s University and Royal Military College, was struck by Mr. Esseghaier’s sense of victimization, moral superiority and his black-and-white outlook. “That’s why they can be fed a radical discourse and end up moving to action, while most people don’t.”

Interview excerpt:

Q: Anything else you wanted to say?

A: I am victim of NATO colonization in Afghanistan, and now the colonizer want to judge his victim.

Q: But you’re not from Afghanistan, you’re Tunisian.

A: I am Muslim. They are my brother and my sister. We pray at the same time, we pray five times and we fast at the same time.

Q: So because you were resisting the ‘NATO colonization of Afghanistan,’ now they’re targeting you?

A: Me, they target everyone who is against their plan. So their plan is to colonize Afghanistan and me, when I was against them, so they put me in the jail.

Q: But aren’t you also in jail because you were planning attacks on train tracks and poisonings?

A: Look, the police they always, what they do is try always to make them victim and to make the other the ones who is doing the attack. They always do that. Me, as I said to you before, if you compare the army of thousands of soldiers and tanks, they are doing the colonization of Afghanistan, and you compare my case, which is just one person, so here it’s like you compare the earth with the seventh heaven.


• This is a partial transcript, edited for length.

Friday, January 30, 2015

There's No Justification for Racial Profiling! Or Is There...?

Don't know who wrote/compiled this, but it's worth reading.

This is all factually and historically correct - and verifiable.

Charles (The Hammer) Martel
... In 732 AD the Muslim Army which was moving on Paris was defeated and turned back at Tours, France, by Charles Martel.

...In 1571 AD the Muslim Army/Navy was defeated by the Italians and Austrians as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to attack Southern Europe in the Battle of Lapanto.

...In 1683 AD the Turkish Muslim Army, attacking Eastern Europe, was finally defeated in the Battle of Vienna by German and Polish Christian Armies.

This has been going on for 1,400 years and half of our politicians don't even know it !!!

If these battles had not been won we might be speaking Arabic and Christianity could be non - existent; Judaism certainly would be... And let us not forget that Hitler was an admirer of Islam and that the Mufti of Jerusalem was Hitler's guest in Berlin and raised Bosnian Muslim SS Divisions: the 13th and 21st Waffen SS Divisions who killed Jews, Russians, Gypsies, and any other "subhuman's".

A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they really feel that America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.

........Pause a moment, and reflect back. These events are actual events from history. They really happened!!!

Do you remember?

1. In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male.

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim males.

3. In 1972 a Pan Am 747 was hijacked and eventually diverted to Cairo where a fuse was lit on final approach, it was blown up shortly after landing by Muslim male.

4. In 1973 a Pan Am 707 was destroyed in Rome, with 33 people killed, when it was attacked with grenades by Muslim males.

5. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim males.

6. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim males.

7. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim males.

8. In 1985, the Cruise Ship Achilles Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim males.

9. In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim males.

10. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim males.

11. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim males.

12. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim males.

13. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers and of  the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim males.

14. In 2002, the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim males.

15. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by---you guessed---it was---a Muslim male.

16. In 2013, Boston Marathon Bombing 4 Innocent people including a child killed, 264 injured by Muslim males.


No, I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you?

So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. So, ask yourself "Just how stupid are we???"

Absolutely No Profiling!
They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret  agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old, Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males, alone lest they be guilty of profiling. Ask yourself : Just how stupid are we?"

Have the American people completely lost their Minds, or just their Power of Reason???

Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other stupid attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense...Oh, and don't forget the President and his Cronies and here at home, JUSTIN TRUDEAU.

As the writer of the award winning story 'Forrest Gump' so aptly put it, 'Stupid Is As Stupid Does'.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Biometrics - Paving the Way for the Mark of the Beast?

When you believe, as I do, that we are within 10 years of the beginning of the Great Tribulation, the advent of biometrics is just about perfect timing for the Mark of the Beast.

Man sues after being fired for refusing microchip in his hand


A man who believed his company's time-keeping scanners were the Mark of the Beast has won a lawsuit for forced early retirement.

In a hearing this week, the jury in Clarksburg, West Virginia, awarded Beverly Butcher $150,000 in compensatory damages, ruling he was forced to retire for his religious beliefs.

Butcher worked at Consol Energy in West Virginia until he complained Consul's biometric scans for time and attendance violated his Christian beliefs, according to the Associated Press.

The Exponent Telegram reports Butcher wrote to his employers, asking to be exempt from scanning his left hand.

Rev 13:15-18 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead; and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

A letter in the lawsuit "discussed the vendor's interpretation of Chapter 13, Verse 16 of the Book of Revelation contained in the Bible; pointed out that the text of that verse references the Mark of the Beast only on the right hand and forehead; and suggests that persons with concerns about taking the Mark of the Beast 'be enrolled' (meaning, use the hand scanner) with their left hand and palm facing up. The letter concludes by assuring the reader that the vendor's scanner product does not, in fact, assign the Mark of the Beast," according to The Exponent Telegram.

When the company refused to compromise with Butcher, he was forced into early retirement.

The jury found Butcher had sincere religious beliefs and had properly informed his employer.

The $150,000 is for salary, pension and court costs.


Company in Sweden preparing to microchip everyone

The chip allows employees to open doors and use the photocopier
without a traditional pass card
Want to gain entry to your office, get on a bus, or perhaps buy a sandwich? We're all getting used to swiping a card to do all these things. But at Epicenter, a new hi-tech office block in Sweden, they are trying a different approach - a chip under the skin.

Felicio de Costa, whose company is one of the tenants, arrives at the front door and holds his hand against it to gain entry. Inside he does the same thing to get into the office space he rents, and he can also wave his hand to operate the photocopier.

That's all because he has a tiny RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, about the size of a grain of rice, implanted in his hand. Soon, others among the 700 people expected to occupy the complex will also be offered the chance to be chipped. Along with access to doors and photocopiers, they're promised further services in the longer run, including the ability to pay in the cafe with a touch of a hand.

On the day of the building's official opening, the developer's chief executive was, himself, chipped live on stage. And I decided that if was to get to grips with this technology, I had to bite the bullet - and get chipped too.

The whole process is being organised by a Swedish bio-hacking group which was profiled by my colleague Jane Wakefield recently. One of its members, a rather fearsome looking tattooist, inserted my chip.

First, he massaged the skin between my thumb and index finger and rubbed in some disinfectant. The he told me to take a deep breath while he inserted the chip. There was a moment of pain - not much worse than any injection - and then he stuck a plaster over my hand.

Before trying my chip out, I wanted to know more about the thinking behind it. Hannes Sjoblad, whose electronic business card is on his own chip and can be accessed with a swipe of a smartphone, has the title chief disruption officer at the development. I asked him whether people really wanted to get this intimate with technology.

"We already interact with technology all the time," he told me. "Today it's a bit messy - we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn't it be easy to just touch with your hand? That's really intuitive."

When I tested my chip, I found that it was not all that intuitive - I had to twist my hand into an unnatural position to make the photocopier work. And while some of the people around the building were looking forward to being chipped, others were distinctly dubious. "Absolutely not," said one young man when I asked him if he'd sign up. An older woman was more positive about the potential of the technology but saw little point in being chipped just to get through a door.

But Hannes Sjoblad says he and the Swedish Biohacking Group have another objective - preparing us all for the day when others want to chip us. "We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped - the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip." Then, he says, we'll all be able to question the way the technology is implemented from a position of much greater knowledge.

I've returned to Britain with a slightly sore hand - and a chip still under my skin which has my contact details on it. Not that useful, but no doubt more sophisticated chips will soon replace wearable technology like fitness bands or payment devices, and we will get used to being augmented. All sorts of things are possible - whether it becomes culturally acceptable to insert technology beneath our skin is another matter.

Neanderthals - Incest, Interbreeding and Possibly Pedophilia

Neanderthals liked to keep it in the family with DNA sequencing of an ancient toe revealing long-term inbreeding amongst a Siberian-based population.

The sequencing results, published today in the journal Nature, also reveal Neanderthals, early modern humans and a sister group to Neanderthals, Denisovans, met and reproduced in the Late Pleistocene between 12,000 and 126,000 years ago.


Alan Cooper, a professor at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, says the study "completely rewrites what we know about human evolutionary history". I know it's not just me, but almost every real find in paleontology completely rewrites evolutionary history. That means that evolutionary history, as we know it, has always been wrong. Consequently, there is no good reason for us to believe that they've got it right now; the next discovery will rewrite it again and again.

"We now have a reasonably definitive picture of the mixing and matching of [hominin] groups through time," he says.

And according to Cooper, the research reveals that "everyone is bonking everyone else … it's quite impressive". Impressive is a curious word to use hear, but maybe I don't want to know why he used it.

First author of the paper Kay Prufer, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany says the findings are based on DNA extracted from a toe bone found in the Siberian cave where the first Denisovan fossils were discovered in 2008.

The toe bone belonged to a Neanderthal woman who they estimate lived about 50,000 years ago, he says, adding that DNA analysis shows the woman's parents were very closely related.

"We conclude the parents of this Neanderthal individual were either half-siblings who had a mother in common, double first cousins, an uncle and a niece, an aunt and a nephew, a grandfather and a granddaughter, or a grandmother and a grandson," the researchers write.


Reason for extinction?

Prufer says the analysis shows this inbreeding was not a rare event.

"The parents were very closely related, but even if you ignore that [DNA analysis shows] … the past parents of the parents were related," he says.

Prufer says the inbreeding suggests the Neanderthal population was quite small or fragmented and this may have played into their demise.

"Of course if you have a small population size you begin to move into the danger zone [for extinction]," says Prufer.

Cooper, who was not involved in the study, agrees: "If you are breeding with your uncle, your population is on the way out. The fact this group has been doing it for a while suggests it was in decline."

Or, maybe they evolved into gays and lesbians. That would bring a quick end to a civilization.

Reconstruction of Denisovan face
Interbreeding across species

As part of the study, the international team also compared genomes of Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern-day humans.

Previous research has shown that while Neanderthals contributed to the genetic heritage of all modern populations outside Africa, Denisovans contributed exclusively to populations in Southeast Asia and Oceania.

However Prufer says the analysis reveals the picture may be more complex.

Their study shows gene flow from Neanderthals to Denisovans indicating interbreeding between the two groups.

The Denisovan DNA also contained genetic material from an "unknown archaic human that lived a million years ago", says Prufer. Oh, yes, I remember him. He was Archie the Archaic! (No, I haven't been drinking!)

He says this "unknown archaic human" could be Homo erectus, but further analysis is needed to determine its origins.

Ancient human relative's DNA puzzles scientists

Prufer says by comparing the genome of the various hominin groups, researchers will also be able to pinpoint the "defining changes" in genome that genetically make modern humans.

Their work suggests the proportion of Neanderthal-derived DNA in all people outside Africa is about 1.5 to 2.5 per cent.

I know some people that definitely have more than 2.5% Neanderthal in them.

Modern day New Guinea man with Denisovan facial characteristics
'Complicated and messy'

Cooper says the findings show evolution works in a "complicated and messy fashion".

"And when you try and reconstruct evolutionary history by looking at modern genetic data you get it completely wrong," he says.

Now that's a startling statement from a scientist. Sounds like a Creationist talking. Is the interpretation of genetic data wrong, or is evolutionary history as we think we know it completely wrong. Well, we have just proven above that evolutionary history has been and undoubtedly still is completely wrong.

While the work is "very convincing" Cooper says it is unlikely to be the final version of evolution. Ya think?

"Five years ago we didn't even know of the existence of the Denisovans," he says.

"It is an incremental process [but] these discoveries are really changing how we think about human evolution."

Cooper says the sequencing of the genomes also opens up the possibility to "identify what bits of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA survive in us and what they might be doing".

Maskirovka - How The Russians Stole the Crimea


Russia's annexation of Crimea last year caught almost everyone off guard. The Russian military disguised its actions, and denied them - but those "little green men" who popped up in the Black Sea peninsula were a textbook case of the Russian practice of military deception - or maskirovka.

At a cadet school in the southern suburbs of Moscow, Maj Gen Alexander Vladimirov heaves two enormous red volumes off his bookcase and slams them down on the table. "My Theory and Science of Warfare," he says, beaming. "It's three times longer than Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace!"

Vladimirov, vice-president of Russia's Collegium of Military Experts, is an authority on maskirovka - the hallmark of Russian warfare and a word which translates as "something masked" or "a little masquerade".

"As soon as man was born, he began to fight," he says. "When he began hunting, he had to paint himself different colours to avoid being eaten by a tiger. Really? From that point on maskirovka was a part of his life. All human history can be portrayed as the history of deception."

No, I don't think so. Maybe all Russian history can be portrayed as deception.

Vladimirov quotes liberally from the Roman general Frontinus and the ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu who described war as an eternal path of cunning.

But it's Russia, he tells me, with unmistakable pride, that has over the centuries really honed these techniques to perfection.

The Battle of Kulikovo Field, 1380
Artist: Jacobi, Mavriki Petrovich (1906-1938)
One of the most famous examples is the Battle of Kulikovo Field in 1380, when the young Muscovite, Prince Dmitry Donskoy, and 50,000 Russian warriors fought against 150,000 Tatar-Mongolian soldiers led by Khan Mamai. It was the first time the Slavs were fighting as a united army - Russia against the Golden Horde.

"The fighting was very tough, but we eventually triumphed thanks to one regiment hiding in the forest," says Vladimirov. "They attacked ferociously and unexpectedly and the ambushed Tatars ran away."

But that was just a start. Vladimirov reels off some more recent legendary battles in which Russia outfoxed its enemies, with flair and cunning.

There was the Jassy-Kishinev operation of August 1944, which featured dozens of dummy tanks as well as whole Red Army divisions sent in false directions to throw the Germans off the scent.

And that came just after Operation Bagration in Belorussia had dealt Hitler's troops a devastating blow.

"It was clear the military skill of Soviet leaders outclassed the Germans," Vladimirov says. "Our generals decided not to go the easy way along the road but through the swamps! That way they attacked the rear of the German forces. That's mastery for you! All throughout Bagration, there were colossal examples of maskirovka involving thousands of tanks and troops. After that the war was practically over."

Out of 117 divisions and six brigades, half were destroyed and the rest suffered 50% losses - half a million Germans died there.

Soviet troops cross a pontoon bridge at the Western Bug in July 1944,
as part of Operation Bagration
Surprise is a key ingredient in maskirovka and the clandestine forces which occupied Crimea last February certainly delivered that.

Pyotr Shelomovskiy, a Russian photojournalist, was there as they arrived. He had rushed down to Crimea expecting tensions to arise after Ukraine's Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country - and on 24 February he watched local pro-Russian activists building a small barricade on the square outside parliament.

"They started brewing tea and distributing drinks. Some journalists, myself included, were allowed to take pictures," says Shelomovskiy, "and that was it for the night."

Or so he thought. But in the small hours, unmarked military trucks drove up filled with heavily armed men.

"They ordered those demonstrators to lie face down on the ground - until they realised they were on the same side," says Shelomovskiy. Then they made them carry ammunition into the parliament.

He was told this story by the activists the next morning. "They didn't really understand themselves what was going on," he says.

The troops which had arrived in the dark, as if by magic, with no insignia on their olive-coloured uniforms, were soon nicknamed "little green men".

"We know now these guys were Russian special forces," says Shelomovskiy. "But no-one said so at the time."

Soldiers, who were wearing no identifying insignia and declined to say whether
they were Russian or Ukrainian, patrol outside the Simferopol International
Airport, February 2014
Denial is another vital component in maskirovka. At a press conference a few days later Vladimir Putin coolly batted away awkward questions about where the troops came from.

"There are many military uniforms. Go into any shop and you can find one," he said.

But were they Russian soldiers? Poker-faced, the president said the men were local self-defence units.

One of the "little green men" - Russian soldiers without insignia
spearheading the 2014 annexation of Crimea
Five weeks later, once the annexation had been rubber-stamped by the Parliament in Moscow, Putin admitted Russian troops had been deployed in Crimea after all. But the lie had served its purpose. Maskirovka is used to wrong-foot your enemies, to keep them guessing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his visit to the Crimean port
of Sevastopol on May 9, 2014
Maj Gen Gordon 'Skip' Davis, in charge of operations and intelligence at Nato's military HQ in Belgium, admits it took him and his colleagues some time to figure out the "size and the scale" of the troop reinforcement which was "continuously denied by the Russians".

But if Nato was taken by surprise, the historian and journalist Anne Applebaum was not.

"I knew immediately what it was because it reminded me of 1945. It looked so familiar," she says.

"With Crimea I got a bizarre sense of deja vu, because bringing in soldiers who weren't really soldiers - that was what the NKVD did in Poland after the war. They also created fake political entities which nobody had seen before, with fake ideologies already attached to them… It's a game of smoke and mirrors."

After Crimea came the war in eastern Ukraine. Officially there are no Russian troops or little green men fighting there either - only patriotic volunteers who have gone to the region on holiday.

But there is growing evidence of Moscow's intervention in the separatist conflict including a mounting toll of Russian soldiers killed in action.

In August Russian TV showed footage of water and baby food being loaded on to lorries heading for Ukraine's war zone. The Russian government called this humanitarian aid but many were more than a little suspicious. Nato already had plenty of intelligence about Russian air defence and artillery forces moving into Ukraine.

Maj Gen Davis calls the first convoy "a wonderful example of maskirovka" because it created something of a media storm. TV crews breathlessly followed the convoy, trying to find out what was really inside the green army trucks which had been hastily repainted white. Was this a classic Trojan horse operation to smuggle weapons to rebel militias? And would the Ukrainian authorities allow the convoy in?

The Russian humanitarian aid convoy - a classic case of maskirovka?
Lorries part of a Russian humanitarian convoy are parked not far from a checkpoint at the Ukrainian border some 30 km outside the town of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky in the Rostov region, on August 20, 2014.

"All the while at other border crossing points controlled by the Russians - not by the Ukrainians - equipment, personnel and troops were passing into Eastern Ukraine," says Davis. He sees the convoy as a clever "diversion or distraction".

The fog of war isn't something which just happens - it's something which can be manufactured. In this case the Western media were bamboozled, but the compliant Russian media has also worked hard to generate fog.

Ukrainian novelist Andrei Kurkov says he is constantly amazed by what he calls "the fantasy and imagination of Russian journalists". One of the most lurid stories broadcast on a Moscow TV channel claimed that a three-year-old boy in Sloviansk - a town in eastern Ukraine with a mostly Russian-speaking population - was crucified... for speaking Russian.

The TV report is still online. A blonde woman, her voice choked with emotion, tells a serious-looking Russian news reporter that the three-year-old child was nailed to a wooden notice board in front of his mother and died in agony. The mother she alleges, was then tied to a tank and dragged through the streets until she died. She adds that she is risking her life by talking but wants to protect children against Ukrainian soldiers who behave like beasts and fascists.

"The lady claimed she'd witnessed this horrible story in Sloviansk," says Kurkov. "But then she mentioned the name of the square where it happened and this square doesn't exist in Sloviansk. There's no such place."

As Kurkov says, the story doesn't stand up. It emerged that the woman eyewitness had a history of filing false police reports and her own parents said they thought she'd given the interview for money.

The elements of maskirovka

Surprise
Kamufliazh - camouflage
Demonstrativnye manevry - manoeuvres intended to deceive
Skrytie - concealment
Imitatsia - the use of decoys and military dummies
Dezinformatsia - disinformation, a knowing attempt to deceive

TV and the digital world are awash with similar reports. A group of Kiev journalism students who set up a website to expose fake stories say some approaches are more sophisticated than this, mixing truth and falsehood to produce a report that appears credible. But even an incredible story may serve to confuse, and create uncertainty.

Peter Pomerantsev, who recently spent several years working on documentaries and reality shows for Russian TV, argues that Russian state media are not just distorting truth in Ukraine, they go much further, promoting a seductive nihilism.

"The Russian strategy, both at home and abroad, is to say there is no such thing as truth," he says.

"I mean, you know, 'The Americans are bad, we're bad, and everyone's bad, so what's the big deal about us being a bit corrupt? You know our democracy's a sham, their democracy's a sham.'

"It's a sort of cynicism that actually resonates very powerfully in the West nowadays with this lack of self-confidence after the Iraq War, after the financial crash - and that's what the Russians are hoping for, just to take that cynicism and then use that in a military environment."

Of course, every country uses strategies of deception. Churchill famously said: "In wartime, truth is so precious she should always be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies." The Americans call such tactics CC&D - concealment, camouflage and deception.

So what sets Russia apart? Maj Gen Skip Davis argues Western forces are sometimes economical with the truth but says they don't tell outright lies: "We are talking about denial of information - in other words, not confirming facts - versus blatantly denying. Saying, 'No that's not us invading, that's not our forces there, that's someone else's.'"

But what about the false information that propelled Britain and the US into war with Iraq? Few would now deny that the facts on WMD were massaged in a maskirovka-type way. The word Davis keeps coming back to is "mindset". He insists maskirovka has become a modus operandi for Russia itself.

"I think that there is an alignment between what probably started out as military doctrine, but now is much more a part of state policy and there's an alignment between the strategic down to the tactical level in terms of the mindset of maskirovka."

This perception is nothing new for Russia's neighbours. A decade ago Andrei Kurkov predicted recent events in Ukraine in his book, The President's Last Love. He writes in Russian and most of his books are on sale there but this one was stopped at the border.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands guard at a Ukrainian National Guard
position on the border  checkpoint near Novoazovsk, Donetsk region, August 2014
"Putin is one of the main characters," he says. "In this book he promises the Ukrainian president that he will annex Crimea and cut the gas supply and lots of other things that later became reality - this is the reason why the book is banned."

Isn't it uncanny that he managed such accurate predictions?

"I don't think it was difficult - somehow when you live in a not very logical world, when the logic of absurdity prevails and the players don't evolve - it's actually quite simple."

Maskirovka: Deception Russian Style was broadcast as part of the Analysis series on BBC Radio 4 - listen to the programme on BBC iPlayer or download the podcast.

Germany Pegida: Leader Kathrin Oertel Quits Protest Group

The new leader of Germany's controversial Pegida anti-Islamisation group Pegida has resigned a week after her predecessor

Kathrin Oertel had become the public face of Pegida
after her predecessor stepped down
Kathrin Oertel appeared on TV last week and had become the public face of the movement after Lutz Bachmann stepped down.

A photo of Mr Bachman posing as Hitler had been published and he had made disparaging comments about refugees.

Four other leading figures in the group have resigned alongside Ms Oertel.

One of the five told Bild newspaper that they had resigned because of Mr Bachmann's continuing influence and the role of a separate, sister movement in Leipzig known as Legida.

Placard at Pegida protest in Villingen-Schwenningen
Slogans such as "Truth instead of lying press" have been criticised
as harking back to the Nazi era
Thousands of supporters have joined Pegida marches in several towns and cities in recent weeks, especially in Dresden where the movement began. The name stands for "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West".


A critical moment for Pegida - by Jenny Hill, BBC News Berlin

Kathrin Oertel's strikingly pencilled eyebrows have probably attracted more comment here than her political opinions.

But she has tried to take Pegida mainstream. She has distanced herself from the more radical Leipzig branch of Pegida.

She recently appeared on a German TV talk show, Pegida's first major TV appearance, to demand dialogue with the political establishment.


A government minister has now, controversially, met Pegida supporters to discuss their concerns. But those supporters, not to mention the leadership, have wildly divergent opinions.

Some believe there's no place for "foreigners" in Germany. Some are right-wing extremists. Others just want a public debate about immigration.

And, without strong and consistent leadership, it is that lack of cohesion that, critics predict, will prove fatal for this movement.

Hostile Messages

The growth of the movement around Germany has prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other political leaders to warn of the dangers of intolerance and racism.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned of the damage that Pegida's "xenophobic and racist slogans and placards" were having on Germany's image abroad. One slogan, "lying press", is seen as harking back to the Nazi era. It was used by Adolf Hitler in 1922 and later by his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

After news of the resignations was leaked, a statement appeared on Pegida's Facebook page (in German), in which the group accused the media of "falling over themselves with all sorts of news".

"The fact is, Kathrin has resigned from her post as spokeswoman for the time being. This is because of massive, hostile messages, threats and the disadvantages she has suffered to her career," the statement read.

Right, and the four other people who left; what about them?

It was not about personalities, but about the cause, it added.

Ms Oertel had become well known in Germany after appearing on the widely watched Guenther Jauch talk show on 19 January.

The Leipzig, or Legida movement may be a good thing in that it should attract all the neo-Nazis. Pegida needs to dissolve completely and re-invent itself as a political movement like Front National in France. They need to bleed-off the extreme, right wing-nuts and move into a political path. The marching has accomplished its purpose in getting attention; now it is time to do something constructive with that energy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Society's Rejection of Christian Lawyers

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has struck down a decision by the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society to deny graduates of British Columbia's Trinity Western University the right to practise law in the Maritime province.

The Christian university had asked the court to review the society's decision to deny accreditation to its graduates. It argued the law society overstepped its jurisdiction and failed to comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge heard the case in December and rendered a 139-page decision in less than two months.

"What one person sees as having the strength of moral convictions is just sanctimonious intolerance to another," Justice Jamie Campbell wrote.

"As with a lot of things, it depends on perspective."

Campbell said the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society exceeded its authority in trying to exclude Trinity Western students.

"The extent to which NSBS members or members of the community are outraged or suffer minority stress because of the law school's policies does not amount to a grant of jurisdiction over the university," Campbell wrote.


'There is nothing illegal'

Campbell said there would be nothing to prevent someone who has similar religious and moral beliefs as those espoused by Trinity Western to get a law degree from another university and be free to practise in Nova Scotia.

"People have the right to attend a private religious university that imposes a religiously based code of conduct," he wrote.

"That is the case even if the effect of that code is to exclude others or offend others who will not or cannot comply with the code of conduct. Learning in an environment with people who promise to comply with the code is a religious practice and an expression of religious faith. There is nothing illegal or even rogue about that."

The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society decided last April to impose a ban on articling students from Trinity Western University until it dropped a requirement to have students sign a community covenant. That agreement requires students to promise they won't have sex outside heterosexual marriage.

The society argued the agreement represents unlawful discrimination against gays and lesbians under the charter and violates the province's Human Rights Act.

A number of groups intervened in the court action, including the attorney general of Canada, the Christian Legal Fellowship and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.

'There is much to consider'

The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society said Wednesday it is assessing its next move.

 "We appreciate that Justice Campbell dealt with this matter very quickly and comprehensively," Tilly Pillay, the president of the society, said in a statement.

"We are analyzing the decision and will review it with our legal counsel before we can determine what the next steps might be. There is much to consider."

Last month, the British Columbia government revoked its support for the law school, saying the university can't enrol students in the program because of the "uncertainty" over approval by the B.C. Law Society.

Trinity Western University has said it will also take legal action against the Law Society of Upper Canada in Ontario, which voted against approving the law school.

Meanwhile, law societies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut have decided to accept Trinity Western's graduates.

Congratulations Trinity Western and well-done NS Supreme Court for that utterly sane decision. Glad somebody's not overwhelmed by the gay lobby.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

19 Year-old German Woman, 38 weeks Pregnant, Stabbed and Burned Alive in Honour Killing

Coroner removing the burnt bodies of 19 year-old Maria and her unborn baby
By Theodore Shoebat

Two Muslim Turks in Berlin, Germany, took a pregnant 19 year old girl named Maria, stabbed her in the stomach, then covered her whole body in gasoline, set her on fire and watched her burn to death. They then covered her charcoaled body with leaves (pine branches) and left.

I did a whole video on this gruesome murder:

Watch video

This is what the report from one English speaking media outlet tells us:

Two men were arrested after a heavily pregnant 19-year-old woman was burned to death in a Berlin wood and one has confessed to the crime, police said Saturday.

One suspect is the ex-boyfriend of the victim and the other is his friend, a police spokeswoman said. Both suspects are also 19.

The victim was stabbed numerous times in the abdomen and burned alive late Thursday in the eastern Berlin district of Adlershof.

Walkers found the body Friday morning near a woodland path when their dog started barking and acting strangely.

The first suspect was arrested a few hours later. The two suspects are charged with murder and termination of a pregnancy.

They are to be brought before a court Saturday.

Notice how this report never mentions the fact that the murderers were Muslims, and one of them was given the name of “Muhammad” in one German report in order to protect his identity.

According to the German publication, Kopp Online, the Muslim who stabbed and burned her, named Muhammad, was Turkish and demanded that the girl get an abortion. When this did not happen, he and an accomplice burned her alive.

Is it any wonder why so many Germans want mass-deportation of Muslims?

Just yesterday I got into an argument with a deacon who is teaching that the Europeans who want mass deportation of Muslims are “un-Christ like.” I told him that numerous Church Fathers and other ancient Christian theologians, such as Firmicus, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Robert Bellarmine, Francisco Vitoria, and others, all believed that heretical and dangerous ideologies need to be outlawed.

From a German web-site, translated by Google:

The 19-year-old native of Berlin-Lichtenberg and was about to give birth. In her lungs combustion residues were closed during the autopsy, which proves that she was still alive when she was burned. 

German courts will recognize now that honor killing is deeply rooted among immigrants from the Islamic world and accepted there. Exactly one year ago was a German-Afghan who stabbed his pregnant girlfriend, was in front of the Wiesbaden district court and received an Islamic discount.

The judges found, the offender “had been due to its cultural and religious backgrounds in a predicament.” It’s called the migrant bonus. If I, as an ethnic German, were to stab a pregnant Turkish woman, I would get a higher sentence than a Turk who stabs a very pregnant German. I am now in my own home as German – judicially sanctioned – a second class citizen.

This is exactly what brings the demonstrators of PEGIDA now in masses on the streets. Our media lies boldly claim that there is no Islamization and talk about the alleged Islamisation. We take all considerations of the practices of our oriental immigrants.

In Turkey, honor killings in pregnant women after studies at the University of Izmir today are as common as eggs in German households. And in many Islamic countries – such as Jordan and Pakistan – in fact there are no penalties for honor killings.


Globally, I found 90 percent of honor killings take place in Muslim families. By giving discounts for oriental honor killings to justice, we encourage the offender. That is a fact. Yes, there is a discount Islam in German courts. Islam reduces any case, the criminal responsibility in Islamic murderers .

In Afghanistan last month:

A pregnant girl, whose face was badly burnt by acid, has been found dead in the southern province of Helmand, an official said on Monday.

Police spokesman Maj. Farid Ahmad Obaid told Pajhwok Afghan News the body was recovered a ruined house in Bashran area late on Sunday. The victim’s identity is yet to be established.

The Bost Civil Hospital director said the victim was 17 years old and was pregnant. Nisar Ahmad Barak added the girl was stabbed before being attacked with acid.

Human rights official Bilal Ahmad Sadiqi condemned the incident and said neither Islam nor humanity allowed such barbaric acts.

He asked security organs to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The girl was probably killed by her family, he believed.

But whoever did it can be forgiven by a family member, then there can be no prosecution.

Monday, January 26, 2015

John Kerry's Sappy Press Release on the Death of Saudi King Abdullah

Ezra Lavant
The Sun

When Margaret Thatcher died in 2013, the U.S. sent no senior dignitaries to her funeral. Next to Winston Churchill, Thatcher was the most consequential prime minister the U.K. had in a century, and she was an indispensable ally to the U.S., in the Cold War and the first Gulf War too. But the only representative from Barack Obama’s administration was the local ambassador.

John Kerry and the late King Abdullah
Various retired American officials attended, including Hillary Clinton. But, like Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger, she was no longer in office. It was an Obama snub.

Just like two weeks ago at the great Paris march in defiance of the Muslim terrorist attacks in that city. Forty-four world leaders attended; Canada sent a cabinet minister. But from the Obama administration: just the local ambassador.

Why? Why did Obama snub the U.K., by some measures the greatest U.S. ally? Why did Obama snub France, America’s first ally?

Contrast those diplomatic slights with the shocking press release issued by John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, upon the death of Saudi Arabia’s dictator, King Abdullah last week.

“This is a sad day. The United States has lost a friend, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and the world has lost a revered leader,” the press release started.

A revered leader? A theocrat, a fascist, a dictator for life, whose government financially and morally bankrolls Muslim terrorism around the world? A polygamist with an estimated 14 wives, plus countless mistresses? A tyrant whose country still stones to death women for the Shariah crime of being raped; where gays are hanged; and this very week a man was being whipped – 1,000 lashes, 50 lashes at a time to keep him alive enough to receive them all – for the crime of blogging on a website called “Free Saudi Liberals”?

Oh yes. Kerry went on. And on. “King Abdullah was a man of wisdom and vision. I loved my visits with him as a senator and as secretary.... He was so proud of the kingdom’s journey, a brave partner in fighting violent extremism who proved just as important as a proponent of peace… Teresa and I send our condolences to the family of King Abdullah and to the people of Saudi Arabia and the region.”


Saudi Arabia is amongst the least-free countries in the world. Women have few civil rights – not just banned from voting (as is everyone) but banned from driving, banned from even going out without a male “guardian”.

Saudi society can get pretty racist too, living off the avails of millions of foreign indentured workers, often other Muslims, who have no civil rights and are routinely abused. Like China, Saudi Arabia is an enthusiastic practitioner of capital punishment, including by sword. Unlike China, most people executed in Saudi Arabia are foreign workers, including some female housekeepers accused of “witchcraft”.

It is a profoundly sick country, ruled by thousands of “princes” – pampered millionaire layabouts, the mathematical outcome of four generations of polygamous marriages. Most of the princes don’t work – work is for dirty foreigners, who actually operate the oil rigs. The princes’ expertise is how to spend that oil money, whether it’s on foreign prostitutes, foreign race cars or foreign casinos. Those things are “haram” – forbidden under the country’s Shariah law. But that’s the thing about oil money: it buys a lot of hypocrisy.

It also buys plenty of friends in U.S. politics. Not through bribes. But through the promise of a rich retirement. It’s a Saudi custom to donate millions of dollars to U.S. presidents after their term in office, for their presidential libraries, foundations or other retirement make-work projects. It’s the Saudi pension plan for U.S. presidents.

Which would be worse: that Kerry’s grotesque love letter reflects his true feelings, or that it’s just another U.S. politician thinking of his retirement? Maybe a journalist might ask the same of Obama, who has cut short his state visit to India, the world’s biggest democracy, to rush to Saudi Arabia.

Or, perhaps Kerry is just sucking up to President Obama who revered the Saudi King to the point of bowing low to him, even as President of the US, something he would not do to Queen Elizabeth.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Argentine Journalist Flees for His Life After Threats

The first journalist to report on the death of an Argentine state prosecutor, who was investigating the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, arrived in Israel on Sunday after fleeing the South American country.

We reported that story here last week.

Damian Pachter, who also holds Argentine-Israeli citizenship, said he had "quickly" fled Argentina fearing for his life following threats to his security.

"I'm leaving because my life is in danger. My phones are tapped," Pachter, a journalist with the Buenos Aires Herald,  told the website Infobae.

The website carried a photograph of Pachter, wearing a cap and carrying sunglasses, at the airport before he boarded an Aerolineas Argentinas flight.

Damian Pachter arrives in Israel
Telam, an Argentine state-run news agency, reported that the initial flight was bound for neighboring Uruguay.

"I'm going to come back to this country when my sources tell me the conditions have changed. I don't think that will be during this government," Patcher told Infobae.

State prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment late on January 18, a gunshot wound to his head and a 22 caliber pistol by his side along with a single shell casing.

He had been scheduled to appear before Congress the following day to answer questions about his allegation that President Cristina Fernandez conspired to derail his investigation of the attack.

His death and a storm of conspiracy theories around it have rocked Argentina.

Argentina suspects rogue agents from its own intelligence services were behind Nisman's death.

The government says Nisman's allegations and his death were linked to a power struggle at Argentina's intelligence agency and agents who had recently been fired.

Argentine courts have accused a group of Iranians of planting the 1994 bomb, which killed 85 people.


Nisman had claimed that President Fernandez opened a secret back channel to Iran to cover up Tehran's alleged involvement in the bombing and gain access to Iranian oil needed to help close Argentina's $7 billion per year energy deficit.

Fernandez's government called the accusation absurd. 

Think You've Had a Tough Winter so Far? You Haven't Seen Anything Like This


Don't tell that to the people of Oymyakon, Russia - the coldest permanently inhabited settlement on Earth. Though it's situated just one degree north of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, average January temperatures in Oymyakon are nearly 20 degrees colder — below 50 degrees Celsius. 

Now is that below -50 deg C, or 50 deg C below? You can tell I used to  be a weatherman.

Not to be mistaken for Walmart

It's that extreme cold that motivated New Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple to travel to Oymyakon last winter. Unsurprisingly, people in the village were not in a particularly happy mood.

"The village, to be honest, was kind of depressed," he said. "There was a lot of drunkenness, and people were not as welcoming as I would have thought." 

How likely, Amos, is it that any of those people wanted to be there? And, why are they there, it's not like it's great farmland? I doubt that there are many golf courses.

Wonder if it's self-serve? Looks like it with steps leading up to a window.
Photographing the village was a "nightmare," according to Chapple, who had difficulties finding willing subjects — people would scurry to and from buildings, usually with their face in their hands to stay warm. He instead worked to find subjects by following around local animals.

"It's very desolate, and very very isolated, said Chapple. "The trip there really made that clear. It's absolutely deserted tundra all around.

"A bit more intense than I'd imagined."

Wonder if they have fur-lined seats, or if you have to bring your own?
Intensity aside, Chapple returned home to New Zealand with some amazing shots. Grab a mug of hot cocoa, and take a look through our gallery. You might even be able to feel the chill through your screen.

One thing is for sure, despite the drunkenness and lack of hospitality, these people are a long way from Hell.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Davos, Switzerland: Kerry Urges Plan to Tackle Causes of Terrorism

Keyword here is 'urges' plan. He doesn't have one, but he wants someone to come up with a plan.

US secretary of state tells Davos conference more must be done to tackle extremism

US secretary of state John Kerry leaves the stage after addressing
the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
US secretary of state John Kerry has called for an ambitious international plan to combat the underlying causes of terrorism.

In a lengthy address to the World Economic Forum in Davos which focused on conflict in the Middle East, Pakistan and Africa, Mr Kerry said the threat of terrorism was a global menace, with terrorist groups looking to expand.

“It seems that terrorists are now competing with each other for recruits and perpetrating evermore macabre crimes,” Mr Kerry said.

‘The overt message was equally simple. Growth is up, unemployment is down and we did it by engaging in a constructive northern European manner with the troika.’

“Eliminating the terrorists who confront us today actually only solves part of the problem. We have to do more to avoid an endless cycle of violent extremism, a resupplying on a constant basis. We have to transform the very environment from which these movements emerge.”

And just what do you mean by that? Eliminating extremism from Islam is to eliminate Islam. Just ask Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He also announced he would travel to Nigeria, a country which has been racked by attacked by Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

Terrorism and the need for a collective response to the threat of radical Islam was a central theme of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which finishes today in the Swiss resort.

Addressing delegates on Friday, the Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi said his country had received increased support from Western countries and from Iran in fighting Islamic state.

“I have received quite sizeable (amounts of) ammunition free of charge. And we have been promised deferred payments on some arms sales to Iraq, ” Mr al-Abadi said, referring to Western countries.

Iran had also sent Iraq arms and ammunition without requesting immediate payments, the Iraqi premier said. 

Funny how having a common enemy can bring two former enemies together, like I said yesterday.

Despite tensions between Tehran and Washington, Iran has been aiding Iraq in the fight against Islamic State, though Mr al-Abadi said that no Iranian soldier had fought on Iraqi soil.

The US has been leading air-strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria since September.
The threat of extremist groups was also addressed by French president Francois Hollande in a speech to the World Economic Forum in which he called on the world’s biggest corporates to participate in the fight against terrorism, by taking action against money laundering and trafficking.

Speaking on Friday, President Hollande also highlighted the role that technology and internet companies could play in ensuring that “illegal content” was taken off the web, saying governments could not fight terrorism on their own.