Thousands of people have signed a petition against an abstract light installation replacing the traditional Christmas tree in Brussels city centre.
More than 11,000 signatures have been gathered in the online petition and a Facebook page attacking the new feature has been launched.
Critics accuse officials of opting for the installation for fear of offending non-Christians, especially Muslims.
But the mayor’s office said it was part of a theme this year of “light”.
Traditionally, a 20m (65ft) pine tree taken from the forests of the Ardennes has adorned the city’s central square, the Grand Place.
This year, it has been replaced with a 25m (82ft) construction, though smaller real Christmas trees still decorate the square, a spokesman at the mayor’s office said.
The city’s website said the new “tree” was one of five “light” installations around the Grand Place this year, offering visitors the chance to climb to the top and enjoy “beautiful views” of the city.
Tourism councillor Philippe Close at the mayor’s office said the aim was to show off the “avant-garde character” of Brussels by blending the modern and the traditional, to produce something new and different.
‘Offensive’ Brussels hosts one of the most popular winter markets in Europe and many are worried that the contemporary construction is incongruous with the 17th-Century buildings that surround it, the BBC’s Maddy Savage reports from the city.
The light installation has even been nicknamed The Pharmacy by some who say the glowing cubes resemble the green cross symbol you find outside many chemists around the world. Continue reading this article
Muslim jihadists strangely brag that they love death more than life. It’s an odd philosophy, to say the least, but it does sort of fit with Islam’s headchoppy strategy of human relations and stems directly from Mohammed teachings.
The Koran (62.6) says, “If ye claim that ye are favoured of Allah apart from (all) mankind, then long for death if ye are truthful.”
More recently, Ayatollah Khomeini reaffirmed, “There is no fun in Islam.” Like we haven’t noticed!
Who else but Muslims could hate music, which is such a source of inspiration and cultural unity. Patriotic music was partially credited with the liberation of Estonia from the Soviet yoke in the documentary “Singing Revolution” in which one man said, “This singing together, this was our power.”
BAMAKO, Mali — Khaira Arby, one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians, has performed all over the world, but there is one place she cannot visit: her native city of Timbuktu, a place steeped in history and culture but now ruled by religious extremists.
One day, they broke into Arby’s house and destroyed her instruments. Her voice was a threat to Islam, they said, even though one of her most popular songs praised Allah.
“They told my neighbors that if they ever caught me, they would cut my tongue out,” said Arby, sadness etched on her broad face.
Northern Mali, one of the richest reservoirs of music on the continent, is now an artistic wasteland. Hundreds of musicians have fled south to Bamako, the capital, and to other towns and neighboring countries, driven out by hard-liners who have decreed any form of music — save for the tunes set to Koranic verses — as being against their religion.
The exiles describe a shattering of their culture, in which playing music brings lashes with whips, even prison time, and MP3 and cassette players are seized and destroyed. Continue reading this article
Demographic change keeps happening, as indicated by recent news from Silicon Valley and neighborhood: Asians have become the majority of workers in the San Francisco Bay Area’s tech workforce, an increase of more than 11 percent in a decade. There has been a corresponding decline of white workers as well.
What happened to those white tech workers? Sixty Minutes provided one answer in a 2010 segment which profiled once-comfortably middle class people who were running out of unemployment checks and were depleting their savings — a position which would have been unimaginable a couple years earlier.
It doesn’t help that experienced, over-40 workers are considered too old to fit into today’s hip young workplaces. The new advice for unemployed techies is to ditch the conservative interview suit and wristwatch, and adopt a younger look, according to Silicon Valley’s dirty secret: Age bias:
“I don’t think I would have been able to get this CEO job if I hadn’t shaved my head,” says Adams, who has founded eight venture-backed companies. He is now chairman of the company that hired him, mobile conference-call service Socialdial, and is fundraising for a new business. Adams has supplemented his makeover by trading in his button-down shirts for T-shirts, making sure he owns the latest gadgets, and getting an eyelid lift.
And why would companies need to hire older workers when Washington provides a plentiful supply of young H-1b employees from abroad? They are happy to be exploited in the hope of getting a permanent visa, and believe they deserve those positions, having been told they are superior.
Asian-Americans make up half of the Bay Area’s technology workforce, and their double-digit employment gains came from jobs lost among white tech workers, according to an analysis by this newspaper of Census Bureau data released Thursday.
The dramatic shift in the changing composition of the high-tech workforce represents a new generation of homegrown and imported workers drilled in science, technology, engineering and math studies. But the shift in workplace demographics — at least among tech companies — fails to reflect the gains of California’s Hispanic and Latino population, which lost ground in tech jobs along with African-Americans.
“It’s the new world — a world in which whites are not the majority,” said Jan English-Lueck, associate dean of the college of social sciences at San Jose State University, who is also co-founder of the Silicon Valley Cultures Project. “Other people are being displaced.”
The percentage of Asian tech workers grew from 39 percent in 2000 to just more than 50 percent in 2010 in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties combined, according to Census Bureau statistics.
At the same time, white workers saw their more than 50 percent majority of tech jobs in 2000 fall to nearly 41 percent, according to the numbers released Thursday.
African-American and Hispanic tech workers each saw slight decreases: Positions held by African-American tech workers fell from 2.8 percent to 2.3 percent; those held by Hispanic workers dropped from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent.
The Census Bureau changed the way it categorized some computer and related jobs in 2000, so the Mercury News analysis of the latest data was based on tracking the changes in categories that appeared both in 2000 and 2010.
Yolanda Lewis, president and CEO of the Oakland-based Black Economic Council, sees trouble in the increased importation of Asian tech workers.
Tech companies, Lewis said, “do not want to employ Americans. They import labor from overseas, pushing for H-1B visas. Check the job boards. They basically say, ‘H-1B Visa. Americans need not apply.’ For years, women, blacks and Latinos have been kept out of the tech job market. Now white men are being forced to train their replacements.” Continue reading this article
It’s hard to imagine how this situation can work out well, since defenders of Islam tend to be rather unforgiving fellows, not inclined to celebrate sexual diversity. They kill first, and repent at leisure, if ever. In theory, all Muslims are brothers in one big happy ummah, but in reality they whack each other for tiny doctrinal differences, and being gay is not ever close to being officially acceptable.
Plus, the orthodox Islamists must think that ideas like a gay-friendly mosque could only come from contact with the decadent west.
Two naturalized citizen brothers born in Pakistan were busted in south Florida for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, and authorities say there was no sting behavior on the part of the police. It will be interesting to learn the details of this plot — how the brothers’ plan was discovered and what they intended to blow up.
More Muslim immigrants who want to kill infidel Americans! Couldn’t we do without this particular gift of diversity by ending Muslim immigration?
Two Broward County brothers born in Pakistan were arrested after the FBI said they took part in a terrorist plot to use explosives against a U.S. target.
Two Pakistani brothers from Oakland Park have been arrested on terrorism charges, accused of conspiring to deploy explosive weapons against an American target, according to a federal indictment released Friday.
The brothers, 20-year-old Raess Alam Qazi and 30-year-old Sheheryar Alam Qazi, have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. They were arrested Thursday by the FBI and remain in custody at the Broward County Jail.
Between July 2011 and Thursday, prosecutors said, the pair provided transportation, money, lodging and other aid toward a plan to use a large-scale weapon somewhere in the United States. Federal authorities would disclose few details of the ongoing investigation Friday, declining to name the target of the alleged plot, or how close the plan was to fruition. Continue reading this article
Muslims murder in the name of their religion every day, yet we non-Muslims are supposed to believe the propaganda that they are victims of the cruel infidel world (to which millions flock as immigrants, for some odd reason). Citizens of the West have noticed their unmistakable hostility, despite the lies of the diversity-obsessed press.
Amnesty pest Congressman Luis Gutierrez (pictured) may be implanting the Democrat kiss of death on Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The Illinois Democrat recently heaped accolades upon Rubio, a Republican, saying his kindly immigration approach was “key” to getting more US government goodies for foreigners.
Making Rubio the poster boy of an ill-considered compromise with anti-sovereignty Democrats could easily make his political career a short one, if traditional Americans have anything to say about the matter. Rubio may well deserve a banana peel for his misguided efforts, but Rep Gutierrez should mind his own business.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is key to Congress enacting immigration reforms next year, Rep. Luis Gutierrez said Wednesday.
The Illinois Democrat, Congress’s most vocal proponent of immigrant rights, is trying to rally lawmakers behind the comprehensive immigration reforms that conservatives in Congress have blocked for a decade. In Rubio — a Cuban-American seen as presidential material in the Republican Party — Gutierrez hopes he’s found the GOP ally who can get a plan over the finish line.
“He’ll play a critical role — a necessary, critical role,” Gutierrez said. “He is a new voice of the Republican Party. He’s a youthful voice. And he was one of the first people who got it; he got it before the Nov. 6 — how should we call Nov. 6? — shellacking.” Continue reading this article
It’s so bad that even the famously fertile immigrants are having fewer babies. It’s normal for the birth rate to decrease during a long period of economic contraction, so the downward trend in births is an indicator that uncertainty about the future has caused many, both citizens and immigrants, to scale back family production.
A steep decline in births among immigrant women hard hit by the recent recession is the driving force behind the record low U.S. birthrate, according to the Pew Research Center.
The annual number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 dropped 8% in the U.S. from 2007 to 2010 to 64 births per 1,000, according to a report released Thursday by the nonpartisan Pew center. The U.S. birthrate peaked during the baby boom, at 122.7 in 1957.
Immigrant women, both legal and illegal, still have a higher birthrate than the U.S. population as a whole. Yet the rate for foreign-born women dropped 14% between 2007 and 2010, to 87.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, compared with a 6% decline for U.S.-born women, to 58.9 births. The birthrate plunged 19% for immigrants of Hispanic origin during that period; among Mexicans, the largest group among Hispanics, the rate plunged 23%.
“Latinos have been hit particularly hard by the recession, and the downturn in births is especially sharp for immigrants,” said D’Vera Cohn, co-author of the Pew study, which is based on analysis of data from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics. Continue reading this article
The latest addition to America’s war criminal rogues’ gallery is Bosnian Sulejman Mujagic, accused of murder and torture while an Army commander during the ethnic war in the former Yugoslavia. He was arrested in Utica, where 6500 Bosnians reside in one of the largest Bosno-settlements in the US.
ALBANY, N.Y. — A fugitive accused of killing one prisoner and torturing another after a 1995 battle in his native Bosnia has been arrested in upstate New York, federal authorities said Wednesday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Sulejman Mujagic, 50, of Utica now faces extradition at the request of authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he is charged with unlawful killing of the enemy and unlawful wounding and torture of a prisoner of war while commanding a platoon in the Army of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia.
Mujagic was fighting for a region that had seceded from the central government during the Bosnian war and attacked the prisoners from the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina after a battle on March 6, 1995, according to court documents. Continue reading this article
Two lame-duck Republicans, Senators Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison, floated a modified DREAM scheme, one with no path to citizenship, on their way out of town. See the wonky details on Sen Kyl’s website: KYL, HUTCHISON PROPOSE ACHIEVE ACT.
After an election in which the Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill are making overtures about immigration reform. House Speaker John Boehner says he’s sure he can make a deal next year with the White House on a comprehensive bill. A steady procession of prominent GOP leaders are warning that Republicans won’t win the White House again without improving their outreach to Latino voters. On Monday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) explained the problem this way.
“It’s really hard to get people to listen to you on economic growth, on tax rates, on healthcare, if they think you want to deport their grandmother. It’s very difficult to get people to listen to anything else you’re saying,” Rubio said. “So I think it’s critical. There’s just common sense involved here in terms of how you portray it. Policy matters, too, but rhetoric is important.”
A comprehensive immigration bill would tackle three problems: border security and workplace enforcement; a revamp of the legal immigration system; and the thorniest issue of all — what to do with the 11 million people already here illegally. Continue reading this article
Time listed a diverse crew of 40 for its annual award, not all of whom were even actual persons, including the Higgs Boson and the new Mars Rover. The inclusion of “Undocumented Immigrants” was one of the more controversial of this year, though other sketchy characters were also present, from Kim Jong Un to Sandra Fluke and Bashar Assad.
Certainly the Person of the Year title has never recognized positive qualities as much as media notoriety, such as Hitler and Stalin in the late 1930’s when their tendencies were known. (See wikipedia’s history with a list of mug shots though not covers.) Last year the winner was “The Protester” recognizing the Arab Spring and many other worldwide political movements, and in 2010 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was picked as a nod to the rise of social media.
A glance at the picture shows that the “Undocumented” are actually DREAMers, youngish people who claim not to be responsible for their good fortune of being transported to the US by lawbreaker parents. Nobody ever argues that children of bank robbers should be allowed to inherit the proceeds of dad’s ill-gotten gains, but DREAMers believe they are Special, and they demand maximum benefit for residing in stupid-generous America.
You can see the entire list of 40 with reader choices here. Mohamed Morsy, the Islamist President of Egypt, currently is leading with the largest number of positive votes, so perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood is a fan of Time magazine.
An invisible population stepped forward on June 15, 2012, to stake its claim to the American Dream. On that day, President Obama declared that certain undocumented immigrants — a group simply labeled “illegal” by many — would not be subjected to deportation, under broad-ranging conditions. Suddenly the logjam of immigration reform shifted, as more than 1 million undocumented young people who had been in the country for the past five years found themselves with new opportunities. What is more, the sympathies of other groups of people who have undocumented relatives — and thus are mindful of their plight — may have clearly shifted to a President on a campaign for re-election, as evidenced by the preponderance of Hispanic and Asian-American voters casting their ballots for Obama. Chastened by the results of the vote, the GOP has warmed to a legislative fix, increasing chances of comprehensive reform.
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