Nobel Laureate Al Gore purchased a $9 million mansion in the luxurious hills of Montecito, California, recently, and with the exception of the Los Angeles Times and Fox News, America’s media couldn’t care less.
You think it might be because the Gore-loving press wouldn’t want people to consider the possibility that all of his global warming hysteria was really about lining his wallet and not saving the planet?
Formulate a response to that question as you look at what all that money the former Vice President is making off of spreading this myth can buy ):
Sweet, wouldn’t you say? (Readers are encouraged to view more pictures of this fabulous estate here .)
Certainly not bad for a guy who supposedly  was worth between one and two million dollars in 2000.
Were the “Always Fascinated by the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” press interested?
According to LexisNexis, apart from the Los Angeles Times that broke  this story last Wednesday, and Fox News’s Sean Hannity who spoke about this on consecutive nights last week, America’s media were totally mum.
Why might that be?
You think Gore’s adoring press don’t want folks to know how much money he’s making off this scam?
Before you answer THAT question, consider what the Nobel Laureate told  Congress last year as the House was deliberating cap-and-trade legislation:
AL GORE: Every penny that I have made, I have put right into a non-profit deal, Alliance For Climate Protection, to spread awareness of why we have to take on this challenge. And Congresswomen, if your, if, if you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you do not know me.
Now, imagine for a moment there were actually journalists still in America and not advocates pretending to be journalists.
A former Vice President who last year told a House committee he was putting all of his earnings into a non-profit company to “spread awareness of why we have to take on” global warming a year later buys a $9 million mansion with six fireplaces, five bedrooms, and nine bathrooms for him and his wife.
Don’t you think SOMEBODY should have reported it other than Fox News, the LA Times, and conservative bloggers?
Where’d the money come from? Was this purchased by his non-profit corporation, and if so, how does he get away with that?
Did he sell some of his Google or Apple stock?
And how about some questions about how green the house is? Are there solar panels and windmills to power this facility? If not, what are their plans?
Forgetting all of that, if the Clintons, Bushes, or Cheneys bought such a place, do you think the media would cover it, at least as a human interest story?
For over three years, Gore’s adoring press have followed virtually every move he’s made since becoming the voice of global warming.
He buys a STUNNING villa as the unemployment rate stands at almost 10 percent and Americans are struggling to regain their footing after 2008′s financial crisis, and the media are suddenly disinterested in him?
On exactly which planet, be it cooling or warming, does THAT make any sense?
More reading concerning Gore’s investments:
- Media Ignore Al Gore’s Financial Ties To Global Warming 
- Al Gore Getting Rich Selling Global Warming Hysteria With Media’s Help 
- Gore Admits Financial ‘Stake’ In Advancing Global Warming Hysteria 
- Investment Group Puts Millions In Green Companies Gore Has Stake In 
The Israeli human rights group, Gisha, has taken the Israeli government to court in an effort to force Israel to reveal information on the import controls through which Gaza is being held under siege.
Rules that allow the importation of cinnamon but not coriander might seem arbitrary and it’s unlikely that further documentation from the Israelis will show otherwise. But there does appear to be a sadistic logic at work here. Nothing more effectively reinforces a sense of powerlessness in a population than for the minutiae of everyday life to be under the constant, arbitrary and callous control of an invisible and inaccessible power. This is the logic and practice of subjugation. It is an exercise in the crushing of human will.
Gisha’s director, Sari Bashi, says she is no security expert, “but preventing children from receiving toys, preventing manufacturers from getting raw materials – I don’t see how that’s responsive to Israeli security needs.”
And she says that some of the prohibitions appear to be absurdly arbitrary: “I certainly don’t understand why cinnamon is permitted, but coriander is forbidden. Is there something more dangerous about coriander? Is coriander more critical to Gaza’s economy than cinnamon? This is a policy that appears to make no sense.”
She argues that if there is a logic behind such decisions, the military should reveal what it is.
Now, after several months’ waiting, the state has given its response to the court, in a written submission, seen by the BBC.
It throws a small pool of light on the process behind the blockade.
The overall rationale is set out, in bold type: “The limitation on the transfer of goods is a central pillar in the means at the disposal of the State of Israel in the armed conflict between it and Hamas.”
The Israeli authorities also confirm the existence of four documents related to how the blockade works: how they process requests for imports into Gaza, how they monitor the shortages within Gaza, their approved list of what is allowed in, and a document entitled “Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip – Red Lines” which sets out the minimum calorie intake needed by Gaza’s million and a half inhabitants, according to their age and sex.
This paper was however, the state insists, just a draft power-point presentation, used for “internal planning work”, which “never served as a basis for the policy of the authority”.
But while the first three documents promise a great deal of detail, that detail is not delivered.
In each case, the state argues that disclosure of what is allowed in and why would, in their words, “damage national security and harm foreign relations”.
I have tremendous admiration for John Mearsheimer’s intellectual courage, but I think he is mistaken to use the expression “new Afrikaners” to describe the people who will excuse anything Israel does.
During my years in southern Africa, I met plenty of Afrikaners who opposed apartheid, people like the great cleric Rev. Beyers Naude and the novelist Andre Brink. The poet Breyten Breytenbach spent 7 years in the apartheid prisons for trying to organize an underground resistance. Mearsheimer’s expression suggests a tribal unity among Afrikaners that never completely existed, and disregards the contributions of these remarkable people and others.
Also, equating apartheid with Afrikaners lets a lot of other people off the hook. Many among the English-speaking 40 percent of the white population were careful to distance themselves from the regime’s worst excesses, but they made little real effort to change a system that gave them the highest standard of living in the world. Further up the chain of command were the large mining houses, such as Anglo-American and DeBeers, who said they favored change but in fact did nothing.
And, elsewhere, the CEOs of the big Western banks and corporations continued to lend and invest in apartheid all the while claiming they had nothing to do with the system’s more unsavory features. It was not until resistance inside the country grew, along with Boycott Divestment Sanctions in the rest of the world, that the regime and its supporters realized they had to negotiate.
John Mearsheimer has quite rightly identified a group of people who will go through strenuous intellectual contortions to justify Israel’s land-grabbing and violence. I just wish he would find a different name for them — maybe “the Israel Apologists”?
Gaza – Israeli forces reportedly opened fire at two recently deported Palestinians attempting to transit through the Erez crossing, in northern Gaza on Tuesday.
The pair said they were attempting to return to the West Bank after having been deported last week in accordance with an Israeli military order defining them as “infiltrators.”
Ahmad Auda Abu Shallouf said he was trying to reunite with his wife and four children. “I am ready to stand trial in an Israeli court. Let them try to prove that I represent a threat to Israel’s security but if they fail, let them shoot me dead and send me back to my children,” he said. The second deportee, Muhammad Sha’ban, said his family “desperately” needed him and he wished to return to them.
An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma’an that Israeli forces “identified a number of suspects” approaching near the Erez crossing and “acted in order to distance [them].” The representative said warning shots were fired, and that the army is not aware of any damage or injury caused during the incident.
Israel maintains a buffer zone along the Gaza border, to which Palestinian access is forbidden. The no-go zone is the site of weekly protests against the confiscation of an estimated 30 percent of arable land.
Both deportees are married to Palestinian women with Israeli citizenship.
On 13 April, Israel’s expanded definition of an “infiltrator” took effect under military order number 1650. The new order defines any and all persons residing in the West Bank without Israeli permission as “infiltrators” who can be removed without court proceedings. Since the order was implemented, four Palestinians with identity cards registered in Gaza were taken from their homes, the streets, or hospitals, and expelled to the Gaza Strip.
At least one man successfully appealed the move and was returned to his family in the Palestinian town of Yaffa, inside Israel’s Tel Aviv. A Beersheba man and a freed prisoner from Tulkarem were also expelled.
The Hamas government has refused entry of the men into Gaza, saying deportation is not an option, and that they should be returned to their families.
When their apartment in Hebron was broken into on Saturday May 1st, the international solidarity activists stationed there said they have strong evidence that it was the Israeli military that carried out the illegal robbery.
They say that they were suspicious that this was not a regular robbery because laptops, video cameras, and flash drives were stolen – but not cash and credit cards that were left in the apartment. Similar items were taken by the Israeli military when they twice raided the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)’s office in Ramallah in February of this year.
ISM activist Beatrice Smith said, “It seems likely that this was Shin Bet [the Israeli Intelligence Service]. Our neighbours have told us twice in the past week or so that soldiers have been coming up to our apartment when we’re out and they’ve been looking through the windows. If it was a normal robber, why would they have left cash and credit cards, but taken USB sticks and memory cards? This person wanted information, not money”.
The robbery follows a recently released affidavit from Shin Bet to the Israeli High Court of Justice. In it, they admit that they have been keeping close surveillance on ISM activist Bridget Chappell, seemingly for the past several months.
Smith says, “It is clear from the surveillance and arrest of our activists, from the previous raids on our office in Ramallah, and now from the break-in here in Hebron that the Israeli authorities are determined to do all they can to stop us working here. They know that we’re non-violent, but they are scared because they don’t want the outside world to know what they are doing here. Anybody who comes here to bear witness to the occupation is a threat to them”.
Residents in the Edmonton area neighbourhood of Lessard are opposing a plan by Muslims to convert a failed strip mall into an Islamic school and mosque.
The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) paid $5.2 million earlier this year for the two-story, 160 unit Lessard Mall and plans to renovate the building for a variety of uses, including a school, mosque, day care, youth centre and retail businesses.
The facility is rundown and mostly vacant, with only three small businesses in the two-storey structure.
However, some Lessard residents think that MAC’s plans for the site will lead to traffic congestions and insists that is the reason they are opposing the proposal.
“The issue was never, ever, about faith or about certain beliefs. Not at all. The issue is purely civic and neighbourly,” said Safwat Girgis, the author of the petition told CBC news.
MAC spokesperson, Ali Assaf, told the Edmonton Journal that his group chose the location because there was a need for an Islamic centre and school in that part of the west end.
He acknowledges the project will bring in more traffic to the neighborhood but disputed residents’ estimates that 700 vehicles could show up at one time.
“I think it will accommodate that many with the parking lot we have,” Assaf told the Journal.
“Any time a school goes up anywhere there is always concern no matter who is doing it. People don’t like traffic and that around their homes.”
President Barack Obama Monday renewed US sanctions on Syria for a year, accusing Damascus of supporting what he called “terrorist” groups and pursuing missile programs and weapons of mass destruction.
There had been no expectation that Obama would lift the measures, but the renewal came at an especially sensitive time in often tense US-Syria relations, despite efforts by the administration to return an ambassador to Damascus.
The United States has also recently accused Syria and Iran of arming Hezbollah with increasingly sophisticated rockets and missiles, which it says are undermining stability in the region.
Obama said in a message to Congress renewing the sanctions imposed by former US president George W. Bush in 2004, that the Syrian government had made “some progress” in suppressing the infiltration of foreign fighters bound for Iraq. But he added that its “continuing support for terrorist organizations and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”
Obama also called on Syria to demonstrate “progress” in the areas that Washington says justify sanctions, to allow them to be lifted in future.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the risk of sparking a regional war if he supplies long-range Scud missiles to Hezbollah. “President Assad is making decisions that could mean war or peace for the region,” she told a pro-Israel group. Her remarks followed claims by Israeli President Shimon Peres in April that Syria was supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles. But Syria has dismissed the accusations and warned Washington against taking Israel’s claims seriously.
Some US lawmakers have seized upon the accusations to argue against any rapprochement between Washington and Damascus.
In February, Obama nominated career diplomat Robert Ford as the country’s first ambassador to Syria in five years, but his appointment has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.
Bush declared a national emergency regarding Syria on May 11, 2004, and imposed economic sanctions over charges it was a state sponsor of terrorism. They were extended in 2006, tightened in 2007 and renewed the following year.
Monday’s action marked the second renewal of the sanctions regime by Obama.
Job interviews for the position of imam at mosques in Israel are conducted not by senior clerics but by the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, a labour tribunal has revealed.
Sheikh Ahmed Abu Ajwa, 36, is fighting the Shin Bet’s refusal to approve his appointment as an imam in a case that has lifted the lid on Israel’s secret surveillance of the country’s Islamic leaders.
At a hearing last month, a senior government official admitted that 60 undercover inspectors were employed effectively as spies to collect information on Muslim clerics, reporting on political opinions they expressed in sermons and relaying gossip about their private lives.
Sheikh Abu Ajwa took his case to the tribunal after the Shin Bet rejected him three years ago as the imam of a mosque in Jaffa, next to Tel Aviv, despite his being the sole candidate. He was told after a security clearance interview that his views were “extremist” and too critical of Israel, even though an imam is not officially defined as a security-related position.
“During one interview with the Shin Bet, they told me they had been collecting information on me since I was 15,” Sheikh Abu Ajwa said.
“I am the first imam ever to challenge the Shin Bet’s role in our appointments. It’s important to win a precedent-setting ruling from the courts to stop this kind of interference.”
Michael Sfard, a human rights lawyer representing Sheikh Abu Ajwa, said that, as far as it could be determined, no similar vetting of rabbis took place before their hiring.
“This sort of surveillance relating to a non-security position like an imam comes straight out of the era of the Stasi police in East Germany or the McCarthy period in the United States,” he said.
The traditional independence of the local Islamic authorities was removed at Israel’s creation in 1948, when the government confiscated almost all waqf property — endowments of land and property used for the benefit of the Palestinian Muslim community — removing the main source of income for clerics, the Islamic courts and charitable services.
According to experts, as much as a fifth of Palestine’s cultivated land was waqf property before 1948. Israel passed most of it to Zionist organisations like the Jewish National Fund or sold it to developers.
Responsibility for hundreds of mosques, cemeteries and other holy sites, meanwhile, was handed either to the religious affairs ministry or to Islamic boards of trustees appointed by the government.
Today, most imams and all Islamic judges must submit to a security clearance interview before being awarded a state salary.
Israel’s Arab minority, one fifth of the population, have long charged that many of its Muslim leaders are little more than government placemen, whose Islamic learning takes second place to their co-operation with the authorities.
Sabri Jiryis, a historian of Israel’s early years, has noted that the boards of trustees repeatedly rubber-stamped government decisions to sell off Islamic property to developers. Most notoriously Jaffa’s board approved in 1971 selling an Islamic cemetery in Tel Aviv on which the Hilton hotel was built.
Sheikh Abu Ajwa said: “In Jaffa, the government appointed many clerics because they had proved their loyalty, though not to other Muslims. They sold off our property — but you can’t sell what belongs to Allah.”
Jaffa, which was once the commercial capital of Palestine, today has a population of nearly 50,000 residents, of which two thirds are Jewish and the rest Muslim.
The sheikh has been preaching at the seafront Jabalya mosque, one of six in the town, since he was 19, making him reportedly the youngest person to serve as an imam in Israel’s history. He qualified as an imam at an Islamic college in the Israeli Arab city of Umm al Fahm in 1998.
The local community universally backed him as the new imam when his predecessor retired three years ago, but he cannot be officially recognised, and is ineligible for a salary, without the interior ministry’s approval.
As part of his application, he was interviewed by a Shin Bet officer named “Dror” who, he said, waved at him a folder of confidential information collected by undercover inspectors. “We will decide who is the next imam,” Dror told him, according to Sheikh Abu Ajwa. The sheikh was asked mainly about his political opinions and demonstrations he had attended.
The Shin Bet’s assessment, revealed to the tribunal, was that Sheikh Abu Ajwa’s appointment “may jeopardise security and peace in Jaffa”. In addition, the agency told the Haaretz newspaper that the sheikh “has had a long involvement in hostile activity, which manifested itself in incitement against the state and its Jewish citizens”.
Sheikh Abu Ajwa said this was a reference to his position as the leader in Jaffa of the popular northern wing of the Islamic Movement. Its leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, has raised the hackles of Jewish officials both by running a campaign warning of Israel’s intentions to take over the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem and by promoting a boycott of parliamentary elections.
The head of the Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin, warned in 2007 that his agency’s role was to prevent any activities, including democratic ones, that worked against the interests of a Jewish state.
Yaakov Salameh, the head of the religious minorities department at the interior ministry, told the tribunal last month that his inspectors collected information on Muslim religious leaders, including rumours about their private lives, such as whether they had had an affair or beat their children. The information was then handed to the Shin Bet, which assessed whether they were suitable to be appointed.
Mr Sfard said it was an “extraordinary” admission, given that under Israeli law the criminal records of candidates for religious appointments could only be considered if the applicant agreed to the information being handed over.
David Baker, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office, which is responsible for the Shin Bet, refused to comment on whether the appointment of rabbis followed the same procedures as those for imams.
Sheikh Abu Ajwa observed that many rabbis, particularly those in the settlements, said “very extreme things but no one spies on them. In fact, they have full government support.”
He admitted he was outspoken in his sermons, but said he had never broken any laws and never advocated violence. “I talk about our Palestinian identity and criticise the policies of the state in its treatment of us as a minority,” he said. “These are very sensitive things that they want to prevent us from talking about.”
During one Shin Bet interview, he said, he had been told: “We know everything about you, we are always watching you.”
The goal of such interviews was often to recruit Muslim clerics to become informers themselves, he added.
Israeli soldiers invaded an area in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, leveled the Al Dahniyya mosque and uprooted farmlands on Tuesday at dawn. Local sources reported that the mosque was leveled to the ground after several armored military vehicles and bulldozers invaded Rafah.
Also in Rafah, soldiers uprooted farmlands near the Yasser Arafat Airport east of Rafah. Several military bulldozers and armored vehicles bulldozed farmlands and opened fire at random in Al Dahniyya area. The vehicles, originally stationed at the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) military post, advanced 800 meters into the area and placed sand hills.
Also on Tuesday at dawn, a group of fundamentalist settlers torched the main mosque of the Al Lubban Al Shariyya village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The settlers attacked the mosque approximately at 3 A.M., rounded up several copies of the Holy Koran in one place and set them ablaze. The fire caused excessive damage to the property of the mosque, including its ceiling, its fans and walls. Its 450 square meters of carpet and eight air conditioners were burnt also.
This is the third mosque to be torched by the settlers this year as the settlers torched a mosque in Yasuf village near Salfit and another mosque in Huwwara town, near Nablus.
Photo credit Maan Images/Wissam Nassar
… According to the town’s mayor, Jamal Daragma, this is not the first time the village was targeted by settlers: “In the past they also smashed windows, uprooted olive trees, damaged houses and property. At least once a week settlers come in, riot and harm the village.”
The town is located next to three Israeli settlements: Shilo, Ma’ale Levona, and Eli. Contacted by AFP, the Israeli occupation army could not immediately confirm or deny the report.
On April 14, a mosque in Huwara near Nablus was desecrated by settlers who scrawled Hebrew graffiti and a Star of David over the walls. Two cars were also torched during the incident.
In December, settlers vandalized another mosque in the northern West Bank village of Yasuf, torching Muslim holy books and spraying hate messages in Hebrew. The incident triggered clashes between villagers and Israeli occupation troops. Israeli police arrested youths from the settlement of Yitzhar, but no one was charged.