American Embassy Closed In Syria

Due to a recent surge in violence in Syria, the Administration of Barack Obama decided on Monday to remove U.S. diplomats from the country.

The State Department had requested that Syrian President Bashar Assad provide additional security at the American embassy, but the requests were not granted. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, will continue to work with the troubled country from an office in Washington, D.C., though the focus will be on working with opposition in the country to ensure a political transition.

A White House press release on Saturday denounced Assad’s recent surge of violence against Syrian dissidents:

We must work with the Syrian people toward building a brighter future for Syria. A Syria without Assad could be a Syria in which all Syrians are subject to the rule of law and where minorities are able to exercise their legitimate rights and uphold their identities and traditions while acting as fully enfranchised citizens in a unified republic. The United States and our international partners support the Syrian people in achieving their aspirations and will continue to assist the Syrian people toward that goal. We will help because we stand for principles that include universal rights for all people and just political and economic reform. The suffering citizens of Syria must know: we are with you, and the Assad regime must come to an end.

The decision to close the Syrian embassy comes two days after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. resolution condemning Syria’s crackdown on protesters. Many people say the country is on the verge of a violent civil war.

Canadian Man Arrested After Texting Staff ‘Blow Away’ Competition

A  Moroccan-born Canadian businessman is suing the Quebec provincial police force for $100,000 after being deemed a terror suspect for texting his sales staff.

Last month, in preparation for a trade show in New York City, Saad Allami, sales manager at a Canadian telecommunications firm, sent a text to his sales staff saying that he intended to “blow away” the competition, according to The Daily Mail.

Allami alleges that he was arrested with no prior warning and detained for more than a day while Quebec authorities searched his house. Some of Allami’s coworkers were also reportedly detained at the Canada-U.S. border and were questioned because of their ties to the suspected terrorist.  Following the man’s arrest, police officers stormed his home and informed his wife that they believed he was a terrorist.  A search of Quebec’s courthouse database found no references to him and Allami was released with no charges.

According to Onislam.com, Allami says he has no links to terrorist organizations or the Islamic movement and that police acted without any evidence or research. He is seeking $100,000 in damages from the Quebec provincial police force, one of its sergeants and the provincial government.

New Prepper Show To Air Tonight On National Geographic

A new television show that airs tonight on the National Geographic Channel will examine the lifestyles of American preppers who are getting ready for a number of catastrophic disasters.

“Doomsday Preppers,” which will premier tonight at 9 p.m. EST, follows the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who have made a conscious decision to prepare for the collapse of civilization and other disaster scenarios.

The show will allow viewers to glimpse into the life of one of eight preppers in each episode:

Megan Hurwitt, The Young Urban Prepper: Prepping to survive a catastrophic oil crisis.

The show describes Hurwitt as a metropolitan party girl living in Houston, Texas. She carries a compact “go bag” with her at all times that includes a compact mess kit, survival knife, compass, flint, pepper spray, family photos, as well as a few other hygienic essentials. In the first episode of the series, viewers will follow Hurwitt as she details her plan for evacuating Houston in the event of a doomsday scenario.

Dennis Evers, The “Godfather” Prepper: Prepping to hedge against hyperinflation.

With 11 children and a growing number of grandchildren, Evers is worried about the global chaos that would accompany hyperinflation. Evers and his family have turned their Colorado farm into a portrait of self-sufficiency and have trained themselves to work as a self-sufficient unit in the event of economic collapse.

David Sarti, The Hillbilly Prepper: Prepping for an EMP attack.

A HAM radio and communications expert, Sarti is described by the show’s producers as smart, knowledgeable, quick-witted and just straight-up funny. The emphasis of Sarti’s prepper philosophy, the show’s producers say, is what you can’t buy, you make.

Learn about other preppers on the show here.

The show is part of a growing number of prepper-related cable and alternative media programs. Similar shows include “Livin’ for the Apocalypse,” which featured Personal Liberty preparedness expert Peggy Layton in a TLC special last summer, and Glenn Beck’s “Independence USA,” which aired on GBTV last month and follows one family’s attempt to become prepared for anything.

 

Georgia Overturns Assisted Suicide Restrictions

On Monday, the highest court in the State of Georgia struck down a law that restricted assisted suicides, siding with a suicide group that said the law was a violation of free speech rights.

The Georgia Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling said the law violates the free speech clauses of the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions. The court’s decision means that four members of the Final Exit Network who were charged in February 2009 of helping a 58-year-old man with cancer die will not have to stand trial, according to The Associated Press.

Georgia lawmakers adopted a law that bans people from publicly advertising suicide, in hopes of preventing assisted suicide in 1994. The law made a felon anyone who “publicly advertises offers or holds himself out as offering that he or she will intentionally and actively assist another person in the commission of suicide and commits any overt act to further that purpose.” Because Georgia State law does not expressly forbid assisted suicide, the court found that preventing advertisement for something not deemed illegal is a violation of free speech.

Voters in Oregon and Washington have legalized doctor-assisted suicide and Montana’s Supreme Court determined that assisted suicide is a medical treatment, but other States imprison people involved in assisted suicide.

 

In The Absence Of Left-Right Paradigm Is Ron Paul Mainstream?

By now, if Americans hear someone talking about that “kooky old guy with the bad foreign policy ideas” who is running for President, they immediately know that Republican candidate Ron Paul is the topic of discussion.

Though it is easy to write Paul off as a fringe candidate, given the establishment’s disdain for him and his zealous base of support, the philosophies he has abided by and encouraged for three decades are quickly and quietly becoming mainstream.

Fiat Money And The Federal Reserve

In 2009, End The Fed made its debut at No. 6 on The New York Times Bestseller List. Though Paul had been discussing the problems of fiat money and the Federal Reserve’s reckless economic policies for decades, his book brought the average American to the roundtable. In simple terms, Paul had broken down what the Fed does and why it is wrong. After the book was published, many people began to ask questions about the Federal Reserve; the political pressure has led to much progress in the way of increasing Fed transparency.

Last year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) was able to carry out the first-ever audit of the Federal Reserve due to an amendment added to the Dodd-Frank bill by Paul and Representative Alan Grayson (R-Fla.).

The audit was vehemently opposed by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the other banksters at the central bank. They lied and said that Fed transparency would devastate financial markets. Americans soon found out why Bernanke and his Fed counterparts so opposed the transparency: They had issued $16 trillion in secret bailouts since 2008 as the dollar continued to lose buying power.

Those who have followed Paul in recent years have undoubtedly seen videos of his harsh exchanges with Bernanke during House Financial Services Committee meetings. Paul was, it seems, the only Fed critic in the room back then. Bernanke, often schooled by Paul, usually sat, nodded, sometimes agreed and never seemed very worried.

But now, Paul is no longer the sole critic. Many other lawmakers are asking questions. Last week, Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, took Bernanke to task over the central bank’s failure to do anything but hurt the American people.

Support for a House bill calling for a more comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve (HR 459) has drummed up 199 co-sponsors, according to Campaign For Liberty.

Foreign Paul-icy

In a Nation of people desensitized by the fact that their Nobel Peace Prize-winning President repeatedly used drones to kill targets (sometimes American citizens) in foreign lands where the country is not at war, converted the once-covert SEAL Team Six into his own lethal public relations firm and declared his homeland a warzone by authorizing the detention of American citizens, it is no surprise that Paul’s foreign policy seems unorthodox. At some point, the idea that the President’s first and foremost foreign policy duty was diplomacy was lost (i.e., “Speak softly and carry a big stick”). It seems that for the past several decades the United States has taken to shouting while hurling twigs and stones at enemies abroad.

Paul’s foreign policy plan embodies a new (old) way of thinking: Work with countries until it becomes evident beyond the shadow of a doubt that they pose a real military threat to the United States, and then work with Congress and military officials to create the most effective plan of action.

An article by Pat Buchannan in The American Conservative sums up why any foreign policy plan but Paul’s may lead to the undoing of the United States:

Begin with South Korea. At last report, the United States had 28,000 troops on the peninsula. But why, when South Korea has twice the population of the North, an economy 40 times as large, and access to U.S. weapons, the most effective in the world, should any U.S. troops be on the DMZ? Or in South Korea?

… U.S. forces there are too few to mount an invasion of the North, as Gen. MacArthur did in the 1950s. And any such invasion might be the one thing to convince Pyongyang to fire its nuclear weapons to save the hermit kingdom.

But if not needed to defend the South, and a U.S. invasion could risk nuclear reprisal, what are U.S. troops still doing there?

When top brass military officials announced the new “military model” for the United States last month, they emphasized the need to ensure that the country is capable of fighting two wars at once. Recent developments, as Iran continues to kick sand and North Korea adjusts to its new leadership, do not look good for a nuclear superpower like the United States intent on hurling twigs and stones while shouting, even as other nuclear superpowers like China and Russia warn of implications.

The Supporters

Paul’s supporters are generally Americans worried about the future of their country. The candidate’s supporters are young, old, wealthy, poor, left, right or sideways.

The “Paulbots” who scan the Internet for stories about the candidate and liberty-threatening issues, commenting on forums and leading discussions about the dire state of the Nation are one type, probably those most responsible for the 76-year-old’s massive Internet presence.

Another group of supporters are the Constitutionalists, the group that can be taken as a whole or broken into subsets. Some of these people are vehement defenders of the 2nd Amendment, some are States’ rights activists and some just want to live in peace, knowing that the Federal government does not have the authority to tell them how to behave or how to care for themselves.

And still, there are some Paul supporters who are just coming around, possibly out of self-preservation. Speaking on CNBC, Pacific Investment Management (PIMCO) co-founder Bill Gross said that Federal Reserve policy has affected his thinking in a peculiar way: He has become “a little Ron Paulish.”

“Both parties basically have followed a policy that hasn’t promoted long-term investment in the United States and I think ultimately we need to produce things as opposed to paper,” he said, before continuing that policy change is very important no matter who is elected.

Paul may have no chance of winning the nomination, but for his supporters it may be enough to know that the debate has changed around his ideas. And it’s possible Paul will find himself in or near the White House even if he does not secure the nomination. A recent report by The Washington Post indicates that he and favored-candidate Mitt Romney may be willing to work together if either of them secures the Nation’s highest office. Only time will tell what long-term impact Paul’s ideas, or the absence of his ideas, in American politics will mean for the Nation.

 

 

 

Roseanne Barr Seeking President For 99 Percent

If Donald Trump and the Republican field have not already made the 2012 Presidential election feel like a circus for some Americans, they will likely change their minds with the announcement that a new candidate is seeking nomination via the Green Party: Roseanne Barr.

Though the television personality probably will gain little traction in the race, she says she is running for the 99 percent, according to The Daily Mail.

“The Democrats and Republicans have proven that they are servants – bought and paid for by the 1 per cent – who are not doing what’s in the best interest of the American people,” Barr said.

Barr is best known for her portrayal as a wise-cracking, blue collar mom on the television show “Roseanne” in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She currently operates a 46-acre macadamia nut farm in Hawaii.

“I will barnstorm American living rooms,” Barr explained in a candidate questionnaire submitted as part of her Green Party application package obtained by The Associated Press. “Mainstream media will be unable to ignore me, but more importantly they will be unable to overlook the needs of average Americans in the run-up to the 2012 election.”

The Green Party’s presidential nominee will be selected at a convention in Baltimore in July.

Reporter Arrested On Capitol Hill

Throwing aside the First Amendment Wednesday morning, lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill directed police to arrest a documentary film crew that was attempting to film a hearing on fracking, a controversial method of drawing natural gas from the earth.

The Huffington Post reported Wednesday morning: “Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Gasland” was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Fox and his crew had joined other media in the Rayburn building on Capitol Hill to record the hearing by a House subcommittee on Science, Space and Technology, led by Representative Andy Harris (R-Md.), a vocal proponent of fracking. Police reportedly arrested the filmmaker at the request of House Republicans who said he lacked the proper press credentials.

House Democrats have criticized the Republican decision.

“I have served in the House of Representatives since 1992, and I had the privilege of chairing the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. In all that time, I cannot recall a chair of any committee or subcommittee having ever ordered the removal of a person who was filming a committee proceeding and not being disruptive, whether or not that person was accredited,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). “The proceedings of the House are open to the public because we are the People’s House.”

Fox also released a statement reading, in part:

 

The First Amendment to the Constitution states explicitly “Congress shall make no law…that infringes on the Freedom of the Press”. Which means that no subcommittee rule or regulation should prohibit a respectful journalist or citizen from recording a public hearing. This was an act of civil disobedience, yes done in an impromptu fashion, but at the moment when they told me to turn off the cameras, I could not. I know my rights and I felt it was imperative to exercise them. When I was led out of the hearing room in handcuffs, John Boehner’s pledge of transparency in congress was taken out with me.

 

Fox is charged with unlawful entry, his court date is set for February 15.

“Gasland” trailer below:

Washington State Lawmakers Fight Federal Assault On Citizens

The Tenth Amendment Center has championed a bill introduced by a group of Washington State legislators that condemns the unlawful detention of U.S. citizens and lawful resident aliens under the National Defense Authorization Act.

The bill, introduced by State Representatives Jason Overstreet (R-Blaine), Matt Shea (R- Spokane Valley), Vincent Buys (R-Lynden), Cary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee) and David Taylor (R-Moxee), is called the Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act (HB 2759). It prohibits “any State employee, member of the Washington National Guard or any agent of a corporation doing business with the State” to cooperate in the Federal detainment or investigation of a U.S. citizen or resident alien. Though the bill acknowledges the danger of terrorism, it concedes protecting Americans cannot come at the expense of their Constitutional rights:

It is indisputable that the threat of terrorism is real, and that the full force of appropriate, and constitutional, law must be used to defeat this threat. However, winning the war against terror cannot come at the great expense of eviscerating the unalienable rights recognized by and protected in the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Washington. Indeed, undermining those constitutional rights serves only to concede to the terrorists’ demands of changing the fabric of what has made the United States of America a republic granting the greatest number of people the greatest amount of liberty, justice, security, opportunity, prosperity, happiness, peace, and good ever known or experienced by humankind throughout the history of the world.

The Tenth Amendment Center, a champion of States’ rights, is encouraging U.S. citizens throughout the country to ask their State legislators to introduce similar legislation to tie the hands of the Federal government.

Research: Silver Kills Cancer

Alternative medicine experts have, for years, talked about the benefits different compounds containing silver can have on the human body; new research says that silver may also combat cancer cells.

Lab tests have shown that silver is as effective as the leading chemotherapy drug in the treatment of cancers and may have fewer side effects. Results from the study at the University of Leeds, published in Dalton Transactions, show that particular silver compounds are as toxic to cancer cells as the platinum-based drug Cisplatin, which is widely used to treat a range of cancers.

The crucial difference between silver and Cisplatin, though, is that silver is thought to be much less toxic to healthy human cells and, in some cases, can be beneficial. Silver is currently used for its antiseptic and antibiotic properties in bandages, wound dressings and water purification filters in many countries.

Dr. Charlotte Willans, who is leading the study, said: “As many are unfortunately aware, chemotherapy can be a very grueling experience for the patient. Finding effective, yet non-toxic drugs is an ongoing problem, but these preliminary results are an important step in solving it. Our research has looked at the structure which surrounds a central silver atom. This ‘shrubbery’ is what determines how reactive it is and what it will interact with. Our research has used different types of these ligands to see which is the most effective against cancer cells.”

Feds Raid Wrong Massachusetts Apartment

A Fitchburg, Mass., woman and her 3-year-old daughter fell victim last week to the product of increasingly militarized and invasive tactics used by police officers throughout the United States.

At 6:04 a.m. last Thursday, just before her alarm clock was set to go off, Judy Sanchez was awakened by pounding at the door of her apartment, according to CBS Boston.

Looking to the door, Sanchez saw a terrifying sight.

“I just happened to glance over and saw this huge chainsaw ripping down the side of my door,” she said. “And I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Within moments, the chainsaw had ripped her front door to pieces and a team of FBI drug raid agents swarmed her apartment.

“That’s when I heard the clicking of a gun and I heard ‘FBI, get down!’, so I laid right on down.” She said. “And they said get your dog, so I got her and at the same time I am laying in her urine because she did pee on herself at the same time.”

Sanchez laid on the floor for 35 minutes, with her daughter screaming for her in the other room.

The raid was the result of a two-year investigation of the occupants of the apartment 2F in the building. Sanchez resides in 2R.

“The looks on their faces when they knew they got the wrong door was priceless,” she said. “They looked at each other dumbfounded.”

The Feds realized their mistake and arrested the suspect next door; Sanchez said she could not believe that the botched raid was the result of a two-year investigation.

The Feds later apologized.

“For me it felt routine apology, it felt like just a regular, ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Here’s the phone number for your landlord to get reimbursed for the door, have a good day.’”

Glacier Shrank Because Of Theft

Humans may, after all, be responsible for the retreat of glacial ice, though not via global warming.

Police in Chile have arrested a man on suspicion of stealing five tons of ice from the Jorge Montt glacier in the Patagonia region to sell as designer ice cubes in bars and restaurants, according to The Guardian.

The officers intercepted a truck in Chile last Friday that contained what they believe was more than $5,000 worth of illicit ice allegedly bound for bars and restaurants in the capital, Santiago.

The driver is charged with theft, and authorities are considering adding violation of national monuments to the charge.

Jorge Montt, part of the Bernardo O’Higgins national park, has retreated by half a mile a year, making it one of the world’s fastest-shrinking glaciers, according to scientists. Greens have regularly used the glacier to help prove the case of global warming.

Gingrich May Contest Florida Primary

Newt Gingrich is reportedly contesting the Florida primary results because of a Republican National Committee rule that says there can be no winner-take-all State primaries prior to April 1.

The Gingrich campaign is demanding that Mitt Romney split the 50 delegates that he won in the State based on percentage, according to a Fox News report.

The RNC sent a warning to the Republican Party of Florida stating that a winner-take-all States could not have a primary until April 1, but says it has no further authority to intervene unless Gingrich files a proper contest to the results.

Romney had a double-digit victory in Florida, gaining 46 percent of the vote to Gingrich’s 32 percent.  Rick Santorum received 13 percent of the vote, and Ron Paul finished with 7 percent.

Research Proves Hand Washing, Prevention More Effective Than Vaccination

If a flu pandemic were to spread throughout the United States, researchers at the University of Michigan say that masks and hand hygiene — not vaccines — could cut the spread of the illness by up to 75 percent.

The study’s researchers directed students at the University of Michigan to wear surgical masks and practice good hand hygiene in residence halls for flu prevention, said Allison Aiello, associate professor of epidemiology in the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

The study took place during flu seasons from 2006 to 2007 and 2008 to 2009. During the two flu seasons, the researchers recruited more than 1,000 students in residence halls. The students were assigned to groups who wore masks, wore masks and practiced hand hygiene, or did neither. They were monitored for the presence of flu symptoms or the flu. The group that did both reported far fewer flu-like illnesses than the other two groups.

“This means masks and hand hygiene may be a good measure for preventing transmissions in crowded living quarters,” said Aiello. “In a pandemic situation where compliance may be significantly higher than in controlled studies, masks and hand hygiene together may have even higher preventative implications?”

The study’s researchers said that vaccines would likely be unavailable in a pandemic situation, and personal hygiene and prevention would likely be the first line of defense. However, research published in The Lancet last year provides statistics that may actually reaffirm the importance of the University of Michigan study. The article says that the trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV) — which accounts for about 90 percent of flu vaccines given in the United States — had only 59 percent effectiveness in healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 65 when there is not a pandemic.

During a pandemic, vaccines may actually contribute to the spread of illness, according to Dr. Eleanora I. McBean’s 1977 book Swine Flu Expose in which she writes of the influenza pandemic of 1918: “The flu of 1918 was caused by the conglomeration of diseases which the sinister variety of vaccines brought on. Practically everyone in the world had been propagandized into submitting to all the vaccine that were invented –the surplus stock left over from World War I which was the first war in which all the vaccines were used. The vaccinated got the flu and the unvaccinated didn’t. I was one of the unvaccinated and I didn’t get the flu. I didn’t see an unvaccinated person who got the flu.”

Soros: Romney, Obama The Same

Billionaire investor George Soros in an interview with Reuters last week pointed out what many conservatives have been afraid to admit to themselves as the Republican Presidential primary drags on: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama really aren’t that different.

“Well, look, either you’ll have an extremist conservative, be it Gingrich or Santorum, in which case I think it will make a big difference which of the two comes in,” he said. “If it’s between Obama and Romney, there isn’t all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them.”

Soros went on to say that he believes Romney would have to have Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum as a Vice President to really make much of a conservative impact. He said he does, however, believe that Romney will change tax policy in the favor of wealthy Americans.

Report Analyzes Terrorism Trends

A new report by the Homeland Security-funded National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism (START) details trends in terrorism and other crimes throughout the United States from 1970 to 2008.

The report finds that during the 38-year span, about one-third of all terrorist attacks occurred in five metropolitan U.S. counties.

The largest numbers of events were clustered around major cities:

  • Manhattan, N.Y. (343 attacks)
  • Los Angeles County, Calif. (156 attacks)
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla. (103 attacks)
  • San Francisco County, Calif. (99 attacks)
  • Washington, D.C. (79 attacks)

Though the report says that most terror events took place in major metropolitan areas for the time period, it concedes that terrorism events spurred on mostly by “domestic actors” contributed to terrorism trends in more rural areas:

 

While large, urban counties such as Manhattan and Los Angeles have remained hot spots of terrorist activities across decades, the START researchers discovered that smaller, more rural counties such as Maricopa County, Ariz. – which includes Phoenix – have emerged as hot spots in recent years as domestic terrorism there has increased.

 

The researchers defined a hotspot as a county that experienced more than six terrorist attacks over the time period examined. The report also breaks down the terror activity by geographical regions and found that areas are usually prone to specific types of terror attacks, “For example, Lubbock County, Texas, only experienced extreme right-wing terrorism while the Bronx, New York, only experienced extreme left-wing terrorism.”

As for trends over time, the researchers said that the 1970s were dominated by extreme left-wing terrorist attacks, but they believed far left-wing terrorism in the United States is almost entirely limited to the 1970s with few events in the 1980s and virtually no events after that. They blamed far-right groups for the largest number of attacks in the 1990s and said single-issue attacks were dispersed across the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

The report categorizes terrorists in the following ways: extreme right-wing, extreme left-wing, religious, ethno-nationalist/separatist and single issue.

Congressional Insider Trading Bill Gains Amendments, Support

Senator Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) introduced on Tuesday amendments to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act that the lawmaker says would bring an end to the revolving door between Federal employees and companies seeking Federal loans.

“These amendments are recognizing what the authors of these bills have been discussing, that people should not profit off of their involvement in government. They shouldn’t profit off of special relationships. They shouldn’t profit off of special knowledge they gain in the function of serving the people,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

Paul said that the bill should apply to the current Presidential Administration, “…I don’t believe people who are multimillionaires and billionaires should use the apparatus of government as was used in the loans that were given to Solyndra by someone who is profiting off of their relationship and ties to the President, profiting off of people who used to work for these companies now, who are now employed in the administration and using these connections to get taxpayer money to go to private individuals.”

The bill, which would put provisions in place to end Congressional insider trading, has had healthy support in the Senate; and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) plans to bring a version of STOCK to his chamber later this month.

Ron Paul Likely To Score Delegates

The Ron Paul Presidential campaign was reported to have largely ignored playing a key campaign role in Florida’s Republican primary, but has followed a strategy that will likely pay off this week.

According to The Christian-Science Monitor, the champion of liberty will likely win more delegates to the 2012 GOP convention this week than Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. In fact, the news outlet says, Paul likely will have more delegates than the two combined.

As his rivals were embroiled in a battle for Florida’s winner-take-all delegates, Paul continued a strategy which many pundits have labeled as odd.

Paul has made visits to Nevada, Colorado and Maine in an effort to garner support in the caucus States. The candidate says he is happy with the outcome of his strategy.

Linda Bean, heiress to Maine outfitter L.L. Bean, said she supported Paul last Saturday as the candidate made a campaign swing through the State.

On Tuesday, as the Florida primary was under way, Paul was actively campaigning in Colorado.

Does The Muslim World Still Want Salman Rushdie Dead?

In 1989, a novel penned by British Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie caused Iran’s then-supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s declaration of a fatwa­ — a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar — calling “good Muslims” to assassinate the author. Now, more than two decades after the novel’s publication, the Islamic community is still up in arms over The Satanic Verses.

Rushdie’s novel has been cited by critics as one of the author’s most galvanizing works. Set in a modern world filled with destruction, mayhem and miracles, the novel begins with a brutal terror attack on a London-bound airline flight. After the plane explodes just over the English Channel, two opposing antagonists fall to Earth: Gibreel Farishta, India’s biggest star, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in 15 years. When the two wash up on the snowy sands of an English beach, Rushdie’s fiction draws on metamorphoses, dreams and revelations to lead the reader to opposing views of good and evil.

The Islamic world vehemently opposed Rushdie’s novel, which was characterized by members of the Muslim faith as an irreverent depiction of the prophet Muhammad. The title of the novel refers to verses originally included by Muhammad in the Quran, in which the prophet discussed three female deities, contradicting the Muslim monotheistic beliefs held today. Muhammad later redacted verses that mentioned the deities and said that Satan had deceived him into including the verses, according to scholars. It is unclear, though, how long the deities remained a part of the Muslim faith.

Muslims were angered not only because the title of Rushdie’s novel pointed out an alleged contradiction in their faith, but also because he offers some subtle and some very evident criticisms of the Muslim faith throughout the novel.

As a result of the Islamic backlash, the novel was banned in 12 countries (India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela and Pakistan), and Rushdie was forced to live under constant police protection in the United Kingdom. In 1989, the U.K and Iran broke diplomatic ties over the ordeal.

Last week, at Asia’s largest literary festival in India, the author was expected to address the crowd via a video link, after deciding not to travel to the country in person following several death threats. The video, however, was cut by the owner of the hotel where the event was hosted after being urged to do so by Indian officials.

“There are a large number of people averse to this video link inside this property. They have threatened violence,” Ram Pratap Singh, owner of the hotel at which the festival was held, told the large crowd. “This is necessary to avoid harm to all of you.”

The country’s unwillingness to allow Rushdie to be heard has now sparked a torrent of new Muslim-centric controversy against the author. On Tuesday, Iran used IRNA, its state-run media outlet, to reiterate the Muslim world’s distaste for the author. The “special report” cites a press conference given by India’s Press Council chairman Markandey Katju, who referred to the Booker Prize-winning author as a “substandard and poor writer.”

In closing the piece, quoting a portion of Katju’s rant against Rushdie, the Iranian state-run media takes a swing at the Western world: “Since the overwhelming number of Indians are deeply religious, unlike in the West where the hold of religion has considerably weakened, care must be taken in India not to insult any religious figure directly or indirectly.”

Rushdie, who now resides in New York, concluded after the debacle in India that traveling to the literary event may not have actually put his life in danger. On Jan. 21, the author said in a Twitter post: “‘Rajasthan police invented plot to keep away Rushdie’ I’ve investigated, & believe that I was indeed lied to. I am outraged and very angry.”

It was reported that Iranian officials ended the call for Rushdie’s death in October 1998. But some people have wondered whether Iran’s recent growing tensions with the West and recent reports of the country’s alleged attempts and willingness to kill targets on U.S. soil will lead to a renewal of the author’s Islamic death sentence.

War Rhetoric Heating Up

U.S. officials say that Iran, in response to mounting tension from the West, is prepared to launch terrorist attacks within the borders of the United States.

According to The Washington Post, National Intelligence Director James Clapper Jr. said in a recent prepared testimony that the alleged Iranian plan to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington, D.C., represents a growing willingness from top Iranian officials to authorize attacks against the United States.

The assessment was delivered during the U.S. intelligence community’s yearly overview of the Nation’s top perceived security threats.

As the aggressive rhetoric toward Iran continues to come from U.S. officials, high-ranking members of the Islamic Republic are pushing back through the country’s state-run media. A recent story in IRNA, quotes Iran’s National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili saying that the West is not afraid of nuclear activities in the country, but rather of Islamic thought.

“Global arrogance is angry with Iran’s prominent role in the Muslim world,” he said.

As the tensions heat up, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported that military and Washington sources have said that the Administration of Barack Obama has “secretly ordered US air, naval and marine forces to build up heavy concentrations on two strategic islands – Socotra, which is part of a Yemeni archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and the Omani island of Masirah at the southern exit of the Strait of Hormuz.”

According to the intelligence and terrorism site, up to 100,000 U.S. troops will be present in the region by early March.

PayPal Founders Throw Money To Paul Campaign

Co-founders of the online payment company PayPal, which is currently owned by eBay Inc. have reportedly donated funding to Endorse Liberty, a Super PAC supporting Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

According to Reuters, the PAC announced on Tuesday that PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Luke Nosek and Scott Banister threw in money alongside Internet advertising veteran Stephen Oskoui and entrepreneur Jeffrey Harmon, who founded Endorse Liberty in November.

“Too often in this country we learn things the hard way … With its unsustainable deficits, government spending is heading down the same path. Men and women who want freedom and growth should take action. A good place to start is voting for Ron Paul,” Thiel said in a statement.

Endorse Liberty has reported spending about $3.3 million promoting Paul by setting up YouTube channels, buying ads from Google and Facebook and StumbleUpon and building a Web presence.

 

Gingrich: Will Not Debate Obama With Reporters Moderating

Newt Gingrich said on Monday that if he were the Republican Presidential nominee, he would skip any debate against Barack Obama that was to be moderated by reporters.

“As your nominee, I will not accept debates in the fall in which the reporters are the moderators,” Gingrich said at a rally in Pensacola, according to MSNBC. “We don’t need to have a second Obama person at the debate.”

The line falls in step with Gingrich’s repeated assault on the media who first attacked him over his marital infidelity and questioned his conservative ideals.