Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hamas Prepares For Next War, Syria On The Brink, Massive Dirty Bomb Exercise, U.S. Continues To Poke China, Russia

Hamas paves road near Gaza border ‘to attack Zionists’

In recent days heavy construction equipment has been operating on the Palestinian side of the border, several hundred meters from the security fence. Construction work is taking place across from the Israeli community of Nahal Oz.

Former Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad said Saturday the road was intended “to create for ourselves convenient opportunities to attack the Zionist enemy.”

Israel security officials told the Ynet News website they were monitoring the road’s construction...Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday warned Hamas to rein in any attempts by Gaza terror groups to attack Israel, or “pay a heavy price,” after a rocket launched from Gaza hit near the town of Gan Yavne, outside Ashdod, causing neither casualties nor damage.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh dismissed the threat, asserting that an escalation of violence would ultimately hurt the Jewish state more than the residents of the Palestinian enclave.
Meanwhile, Hamas arrested three members of the Islamic Jihad suspected of involvement in the attack, according to the Haaretz daily.
“The enemy’s threats do not scare the Gaza Strip and do not scare the children of Gaza,” Haniyeh said, according to the Walla news site. “Gaza is able to build deterrence. A million people (across the border) panicked over one rocket. I believe they live under terror, rather than (the people of) Gaza.”

Israeli Air Force jets responded to Wednesday’s attack by bombing four terror targets in Gaza. The army said the rocket was fired by Islamic Jihad activists due to an internal dispute in the organization.
The projectile — a Grad missile — was located shortly after sirens sounded in the Lachish region and Ashdod.

Recently, calls for US ‘boots on the ground’ in Syria have gotten louder after ISIS captured a UNESCO World Heritage site in Syria, overran Ramadi in Iraq, and took credit for a suicide bombing in a Saudi mosque. 
The US is now reportedly looking at its options including sending so-called “spotters” to Iraq who will help to make US airstrikes more effective and meanwhile, uber hawks like Senator John McCain (who has himself had a bit of trouble shaking rumors that he was once photographed with the same ISIS forces he now wants to annihilate) saying that as many as 10,000 US troops are necessary to turn the tide. 

Indeed it appears as though President Bashar al-Assad is well on his way to losing control. We'll close with what we said last week:

As you can see, there are now plenty of excuses to put boots on the ground first in Iraq, and then in Syria. Put simply: if there was ever an opportune time to play the ISIS card on the way to ousting Assad and securing a route for Qatari natural gas to flow to Europe thus breaking Gazprom (and Putin’s) stranglehold, this is surely it. 

A massive simulated dirty bomb attack exercise is set to take place at the end of June in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Operation Northern Exposure will include over 1,000 Michigan National Guard soldiers and will be the first time in history that local authorities have worked with the National Guard.

According to, the drill will use a city landfill as the site for the simulated dirty bomb attack and a middle school for the “decontamination center.”
“The public may notice more military vehicles in the area, as well as helicopters bringing crews to and from the sites, but the general public won’t be impacted. Local officials said traffic in the area won’t be affected.”
Hoping to quell any public fears, Kent County Emergency Management Director Lieutenant Jack Stewart told WoodTV that, “It’s all off the beaten path. There are no public highways involved other than transportation to the site and away from the site.”
“They are even taking utility workers and getting them involved in what they are calling a dirty bomb scenario, or a nuclear radiation type of scenario,” reported Dahboo777 in a recent YouTube report on the training.

This massive dirty bomb exercise is yet another military/local law enforcement drill announced in the lead up to Jade Helm.
In the last two months we have seen literally over a dozen military drills either take place or be announced. This is happening at the same time as a huge amount of seemingly random (but possibly connected) military movements are being documented throughout the country.
A breakdown of reporting going back the last two months conclusively proves this.

On March 13th, Intellihub founder Shepard Ambellas detailed photos and documentation of nearly 40 U.S. Army soldiers, wielding training rifles and dressed in full combat gear, participating in an urban warfare style training drill just outside the Texarkana Regional Airport perimeter.

Fast forwarding into the middle of April, a report out of Big Springs, Texas revealed that a train full of military equipment and over a dozen helicopters had arrived in the town ahead of Jade Helm 2015.
Photographs taken in Corona, California a few days later added to the Jade Helm speculation after they showed a MRAP full of what looked to be U.S. Marines driving down the 1-15 freeway. “In broad daylight with not a care in the world”

On April 24th a shocking report on Intellihub News detailed armed troops seen confronting angry protesters in a “professional news package”of riot control training released by the military
“A massive buildup, a lot of movement and its undeniable at this point,” read the headline on April 25th after a convoy was seen in Oroville, California that stretched as far as the eye could see.
Moving into May, photographs taken in Indiana showed a massive military convoy heading down the freeway. The photos, taken by a concerned citizen, show the convoy heading west on I-70 for reasons unknown.
Two days later, video footage, this time out of Texarkana, Arkansas, highlighted a convoy of Humvees driving down the highway as well as a trainload of military vehicles that was seen shortly after.
In mid May, Intellihub reporter Alex Thomas published a detailed report that confirmed that the military was indeed training to take on the American people, this time in the form of domestic house to house raids

Literally the next day a new report, also by Alex Thomas, proved that Marines were actually practicing for the internment of American citizens.

On May 18th, a train full of hundreds of military Humvees was spotted, further revealing the increased military buildup across the country leading into Jade Helm 2015. The train was heading towards Cleveland for unknown reasons although a possible connection to planned upcoming protests had been mentioned.
This past week a massive military war game simulation called Raider Focus was announced. The war game will include the largest military convoy seen on the roads of Colorado since World War II.
On may 23th, Intellihub News reported on pictures sent to ANP that show a 1/4 mile long military train convoy near the Colorado Wyoming border.
Finally, a report published this week detailed a stunning propaganda move by the military involving a New Jersey school and the worship of the military on the streets of America. “As parents, teachers, and students looked on with joy, Marines from the Special-Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force landed helicopters on the baseball diamond of a New Jersey school.”
We are clearly seeing an undeniable buildup to a so far unknown event.
Many believe it may be to initiate martial law this summer but most likely the training and military movements are ramping up across the country because the powers that be know a collapse is imminent and are rushing to be ready to control the population when it finally happens.

While we are used to hearing of the 100s of "close encounters" between NATO and Russian planes,but, as reported by state news agency RIA - citing an anonymous source in Russia's armed forcesRussian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting "aggressively" in the Black Sea.

The source was quoted as saying that the U.S. destroyer Ross was moving along the edge of Russia's territorial waters and heading in their direction.

The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet," RIA quoted the source as saying.

Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country."

"Apparently, the Americans have not forgotten the April 2014 incident when one Su-24 practically 'blacked out' all of the electronics on board the newest American destroyer Donald Cook," the source said.

Russia's Defence Ministry was not immediately available to comment on the report.

Saturday's incident is the latest in a series of border surveillance confrontations between Russia and the West. Europeans, especially the Baltic states, have repeatedly sounded the alarm over Russian jets coming close to their borders.

The US is rotating several warships in and out of the Black Sea, where Russia's naval bases are located. The USS Vella Gulf, USS Ross, USS Truxton, and the USS Taylor – as well as warships from other NATO member states – were spotted in the a

This appears to be the first reported ship-to-plane 'encounter' and,
just as US and China tensions are escalating in the South China Sea, it
appears US and Russian military 'discussions' are shifting from words
and proxy-fighting.

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is willing to risk a war with China in order to defend  “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea. Speaking in Honolulu, Hawaii on Wednesday, Carter issued his “most forceful” warning yet, demanding “an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation” by China in the disputed Spratly Islands.
Carter said:   “There should be no mistake: The United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world.” He also added that the United States intended to remain “the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come.”
In order to show Chinese leaders “who’s the boss”, Carter has threatened to deploy US warships and surveillance aircraft to within twelve miles of the islands that China claims are within their territorial waters. Not surprisingly, the US is challenging China under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,  a document the US has stubbornly refused to ratify.  But that’s neither here nor there for the bellicose Carter whose insatiable appetite for confrontation makes him the most reckless Sec-Def since Donald Rumsfeld.

So what’s this really all about?  Why does Washington care so much about a couple hundred yards of sand piled up on reefs reefs in the South China Sea? What danger does that pose to US national security? And, haven’t Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines all engaged in similar “land reclamation” activities without raising hackles in DC?
Of course, they have. The whole thing is a joke. Just like Carter’s claim that he’s defending the lofty principal of “freedom of navigation” is a joke. China has never blocked shipping lanes or seized boats sailing in international waters. Never.  The same cannot be said of the United States that just  recently blocked an Iranian ship loaded with humanitarian relief–food, water and critical medical supplies–headed to starving refugees in Yemen. Of course, when the US does it, it’s okay.
The point is, Washington doesn’t give a hoot about the Spratly Islands; it’s just a pretext to slap China around and show them who’s running the show in their own backyard. Carter even admits as much in his statement above when he says that the US plans to be “the principal security power in the Asia-Pacific for decades to come.” China knows what that means. It means “This is our planet, so you’d better shape up or you’re going to find yourself in a world of hurt.” That’s exactly what it means.
So let’s cut to the chase and try to explain what’s really going on, because pretty soon no one is going to be talking about Ukraine, Syria or Yemen because all eyes are going to be focused on China where our madhatter Secretary of Defense is trying to start a third world war.

Here’s the scoop: Washington has abandoned its China policy of “containment” and moved on to Plan B:  Isolation, intimidation and confrontation. In my opinion, this is why the powerbrokers behind Obama dumped Hagel. Hagel just wasn’t hawkish enough for the job. They wanted a died-in-the-wool, warmongering neocon, like Carter, who is, quite likely, the most dangerous man in the world.

The so called pivot is Washington’s “top priority”, which means that China’s unprecedented ascendency must be slowed and its regional influence curtailed. Thus, the dust up over the Spratly Islands will be used in the same way the US has used other incidents, that is, by demonizing China’s leaders in the media, by assembling a coalition that will publicly oppose China’s activities, by implementing harsh economic sanctions, by launching asymmetrical attacks on China’s currency and financial markets, by excluding China from critical trade agreements, and by inciting social unrest (color-coded revolution) through the support of dissidents living in China. These are the all-too-familiar signs of US meddling directed at “emerging rivals” who threaten US global hegemony. China now finds itself at the top of the list.

US powerbrokers know that bullying China involves significant risks for themselves and the world. Even so, they have decided to pursue this new policy and force a confrontation. Why? Why would they embark on a strategy so fraught with danger?
The answer is: They don’t see any way around it. They’ve tried containment and it hasn’t worked.  China’s growing like crazy and its regional influence threatens to leave the US on the outside looking in. Carter even admitted as much in a recent speech he gave at the McCain Institute at Arizona State University. He said: “We already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets…forging many separate trade agreements in recent years, some based on pressure and special arrangements…. Agreements that…..leave us on the sidelines.  That risks America’s access to these growing markets. We must all decide if we are going to let that happen.  If we’re going to help boost our exports and our economy…and cement our influence and leadership in the fastest-growing region in the world; or if, instead, we’re going to take ourselves out of the game.”

See? It’s all about markets. It’s all about money. Here’s more from Carter’s speech:  (The) ” Asia-Pacific…is the defining region for our nation’s future”… “Half of humanity will live there by 2050″ and that “more than half of the global middle class and its accompanying consumption will come from that region.”….”There are already more than 525 million middle class consumers in Asia, and we expect there to be 3.2 billion in the region by 2030…President Obama and I want to ensure that… businesses can successfully compete for all these potential customers. ….Over the next century, no region will matter more… for American prosperity.”
This is why the Obama administration is making a general nuisance of itself in the South China Sea. It’s so the big US mega-corporations will have new customers for their IPADs and toaster ovens.
For that, they are willing to risk a nuclear war.

The Republican Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul has announced a crusade against the Patriot Act, promising he will delay Sunday’s debate and force the expiration of controversial provisions that allow bulk spying on US citizens.
“I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program,” the Senator from Kentucky wrote in a statement on his presidential campaign website. “I am ready and willing to start the debate on how we fight terrorism without giving up our liberty.”

Earlier this month, the House passed the bipartisan USA Freedom Act which would provide new limits on the NSA data collection. It would do away with Patriot Act’s controversial Section 215, but give phone companies the responsibility of maintaining phone records that the government could search.
“Last week, seeing proponents of this illegal spying rushing toward a deadline to wholesale renew this unconstitutional power, I filibustered the bill. I spoke for over 10 hours to call attention to the vast expansion of the spy state and the corresponding erosion of our liberties,”Paul said in a statement on Sunday.

The Senate is being called back on Sunday just hours before the midnight deadline.
“Tomorrow, I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program,” Paul vowed.

Paul who is looking to run for the presidency, also issued a series of short statements on his Twitter page and website.
"There has to be another way. We will find it together,'' Paul tweeted. "I do not do this to obstruct. I do it to build something better, more effective, more lasting and more cognizant of who we are."

And on his website, Paul said that he has objected to "the illegal spying of the NSA on ordinary Americans'' for several years.
"The callous use of general warrants and the disregard for the Bill of Rights must end,'' he said in his statement. "Forcing us to choose between our rights and our safety is a false choice and we are better than that as a nation and as a people.''

The “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” (USA PATRIOT) Act was adopted in October 2001, six weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks. Its most recent extension was in 2011.
Several provisions of the Patriot Act are expiring – “sunsetting,” in government parlance – on May 31. Among them is the notorious Section 215, authorizing bulk collection of Americans’ data, which a federal court ruled illegal earlier this month. According to government officials, it has been used almost 200 times per year.

Other provisions set to expire June 1 enable the government to conduct “roving wiretaps” of suspects who switch phones, or spy on “lone wolf” individuals who are not affiliated with an international terrorism organization. FBI director James Comey has called those tools “essential,” while Attorney General Loretta Lynch argued they were “vital and uncontroversial” tools used to “combat terrorism and crime.”

Critics blasted the Freedom Act as an inadequate check on government’s mass collection of Americans’ data. Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.) described it as a “step in the wrong direction by specifically authorizing such collection in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), an outspoken opponent of NSA’s bulk spying programs, said that President Obama could end the illegal surveillance with an executive order, if he wanted.
Why doesn’t he stop it? What’s he waiting for? He started it on his own, he should stop it…I’ve asked the president repeatedly to stop the program,” Paul told CBS’ This Morning. As for the data collected by the NSA under Section 215, “I think the information was collected illegally and should be purged,” Paul told Fox & Friends.

In a 10-hour filibuster on May 20, Paul effectively ensured the House would go into recess before the Senate could debate USA Freedom Act. The Senate subsequently rejected both the Freedom Act and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempt to pass a two-month extension of the Patriot Act.

By Friday, however, the New York Times was backing the expiration of Section 215 and other Patriot Act provisions. The editorial board even praised – after a fashion – Edward Snowden, calling him a “whistleblower” and saying his revelations “prompted the Obama administration to start a review of intelligence gathering techniques and vow to reform the program. They also led lawmakers, for the first time, to have a meaningful exchange of views about domestic surveillance.”
There is no question that the federal government should have broad authority to investigate terrorism threats and suspected spies operating in the United States,” the NY Times editors wrote, “but not at the expense of meaningful judicial review.”
According to a senior official who spoke with reporters at the White House, the NSA has a team on “hot standby”, preparing to begin shutting down its spy servers at 4 PM on Sunday. “Rebooting would take about a day, the official said, and would entail going back to the telecommunications providers and obtaining a court order,” reported the New York Times.
About that time, the Senate will be holding an extraordinary session called by Majority Leader McConnell. Roll call votes may start by 6 PM. In case the Senate passes the USA Freedom Act, or even McConnell’s proposed outright extension of the existing Patriot Act, the NSA could “resume operations without disruption,” according to The Hill.

Also see:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

More Quakes Near Japan

Third earthquake in one week hits Japan, no tsunami warning or reports of damage - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Another earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.4 and a depth of 13.4 kilometres, has hit off the Izu Islands in Japan this morning following Saturday's 7.8 earthquake, according to United States Geological Survey (USGS).

There was no immediate tsunami warning following the quake.

Saturday's earthquake which struck off the Japanese coast, geologists said, shook buildings in Tokyo and set off car alarms.

Residential buildings swayed for around a minute as the quake built in intensity around 8:30pm (9:30pm AEST).

The epicentre was 676 kilometres below the Earth's surface and was centred on a remote spot in the Pacific Ocean around 870 kilometres south of Tokyo, the USGS said.
Yoshiyuki Sasamoto, who runs a traditional guest house on Chichijima, one of the closest inhabited places to the epicentre, said the shaking had been violent.
"Initially a weaker quake hit and it stopped. Then the big one came. It was so strong that I couldn't stand still and couldn't walk," he said.
Both runways at Narita Airport, the main international gateway to Tokyo, were temporarily closed while inspections were carried out. Trains in Tokyo were also temporarily halted and a football match in the city was briefly suspended.
There were no reported anomalies at any of the region's mothballed nuclear power plants.
Saturday's rattle was the second sizable shake Tokyo had this week, after a much less powerful, but far shallower, earthquake hit close to the capital on Monday.

On Friday, a volcano in the far south of Japan erupted, spewing a huge column of ash high into the sky and forcing authorities to evacuate the island on which it sits.

The eruption caused no injuries and no damage was reported, but it served as yet another reminder of the volatile geology of the country.
Japan sits at the meeting place of four tectonic plates and experiences around 20 per cent of the world's most powerful earthquakes every year.

Powerful Quake (7.8) Strikes Near Japan, U.S. Preparing For War On China, Russia, 'Religious Hypocrisy' And The NYTimes

Strong earthquake hits off Japan coast - BBC News

A powerful undersea earthquake south of Japan has shaken buildings in Tokyo.
The US Geological Survey said the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centred 874km (543 miles) from the Japanese capital, at a depth of almost 700km.
It struck at 18:30 local time (11:30 GMT). Buildings in the capital swayed for almost a minute as the quake built in intensity, AFP news agency says.
There are no reports of serious damage or casualties. No tsunami warning has been issued.

A powerful and extremely deep earthquake struck a group of remote Japanese islands and shook Tokyo on Saturday, but officials said there was no danger of a tsunami, and no injuries or damage were immediately reported.
The offshore earthquake struck off the Ogasawara islands at 8:24 p.m. at a depth of 590 kilometers (370 miles), Japan’s Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.8 and a depth of 678 kilometers (421 miles).

But the temblor was powerful enough to rattle large parts of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Buildings swayed in Tokyo and stopped some train services in the city, and there were reports that parts of the capital were without power.

The meteorological agency did not issue a tsunami warning because the quake struck so far beneath the earth’s surface. Deep earthquakes usually cause less damage at the surface than shallow ones.
Yoshiyuki Sasamoto, who runs a traditional guest house on Chichijima, one of the closest inhabited places to the epicentre, told NHK the shaking had been violent.
“Initially a weaker quake hit and it stopped. Then the big one came. It was so strong that I couldn’t stand still and couldn’t walk,” he said.
There were no reported abnormalities at any of the region’s mothballed nuclear power plants.

The United States is preparing for a possible war against China and Russia aimed at preventing the collapse of the Western banking system, an American political commentator and activist says. 
Michael Billington, Asia editor for the Executive Intelligence Review and author of Reflections of an American Political Prisoner: the Repression and Promise of the LaRouche Movement, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.
On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter warned China to stop developing man-made islands in the South China Sea, vowing that the United States would not stop patrolling international waters and airspace in the Asia-Pacific region.
“There should be no mistake, the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as we do all around the world,” Carter said at the US military’s joint base at Pearl Harbor.
Billington said China’s attempt to build islands in the South China Sea is “not that unusual” since the Philippines and Vietnam are also doing the same.

“The point that has to be made is that the Chinese, like the Russians, are very, very clear that the United States and their NATO allies are in a war mobilization, preparing for war on Russia, preparing for war on China,” Billington stated.
“There’s a general recognition growing that the driving force for this war is the utter collapse of the entire Western banking system,” he added.

“And the view from London and Washington and New York is we have to go to war, we cannot allow this BRICS alliance between Russia, China, India, South Africa and most of Latin America creating new financial institutions to take away our ability to loot the resources in the developing sector,” Billington noted.
“So they are going for war,” he stressed.
Washington accuses Beijing of undergoing a massive “land reclamation” program in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea, and says China’s territorial claims of the man-made islands could further militarize the region.

Chinese naval warships of South China Sea Fleet

“China knows that every military offensive against them since the time of the British opium war came through the South China Sea,” Billington said. “So they are concerned.”
He said the Chinese have repeatedly offered to “the South-East Asian nations to work jointly on the development of the resources, which have been soundly rejected by the Filipinos, who are functioning as absolute puppets of Obama’s war plans, and in fact, turning their islands into a massive US military base.”
He went on to say that there is "no reason for this confrontation" between the United States and China “other than the fact that Obama wants a war, rather his controllers in London and in Wall Street want a war, and Obama will do it if he is not removed from office.”
“The US is already using the Philippines as a military base for war. This can be stopped, it must be stopped, but it’s going to have to be stopped here in the United States,” Billington emphasized.

A conservative media-watchdog on Friday blasted The New York Times for publishing an “offensive” Virgin Mary image, but refusing earlier this year to publish Charlie Hebdo’s controversial depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.
The image was published in Friday’s Arts section and shows artist Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” painting. The artwork depicts the Virgin Mary covered in elephant feces against a pornographic background.
The Times had previously declined to publish the Charlie Hebdo magazine cover, contending the newspaper “normally” does not “publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities.”

Calling the Virgin Mary painting “offensive,” the Media Research Center’s Newsbusters blog said the newspaper’s willingness to publish one image, but not the other was an example of “religious hypocrisy.”
“So why does Ofili’s dung-clotted Virgin Mary get a pass?” Newsbusters asked.
A representative for the Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze Friday afternoon.

Russian Navy jets forced a US Navy ship into the eastern Black Sea after it was noticed heading into Russia's territorial waters.
Russian Navy Su-24 jets forced US Navy destroyer USS Ross to go into neutral waters in the Black Sea, a source in Crimea's security forces told RIA Novosti.
The US Navy ship was noticed heading directly toward Russian waters after leaving the Romanian port of Costanta. The incident comes on the same day as fugitive Georgian ex-leader Mikheil Saakashvili's appointment as governor of Ukraine's Black Sea-bordering Odessa region.

"The ship's crew acted provocatively and aggressively, which caused alarm among operators of monitoring stations and Black Sea Fleet ships carrying out assignments in the Black Sea. Scrambled Su-24 attack jets demonstrated a readiness to forcibly suppress border violations and defend the country's interest," the source said.

According to the source, Russian Black Sea Navy ships are constantly monitoring Russian territorial waters and are ready to suppress any violations.

NYT runs dung-caked Mary painting again, won’t run Muhammad cartoons

The hypocrisy is stark and absolute: “Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities” — unless it offends a group that is not committing mass murder and threatening more over such images. This is, as I wrote yesterday, still more mainstream media canonization of the assassin’ veto. The mainstream media is signaling that terrorism works: threaten to kill us, and we will do what you want. That will only bring more terrorism.

“NYT’s Artistic Display of Religious Hypocrisy: Runs Offensive Virgin Mary Painting Once Again,” by Clay Waters, Newsbusters, May 29, 2015:

The New York Times’ hypocrisy regarding displays of “offensive” religious imagery runs unabated, as shown in a Scott Reyburn article in Friday’s Arts section on the sale of Chris Ofili’s controversial painting “The Holy Virgin Mary,” which shows the Virgin Mary clotted with elephant dung against a porn-collage background — and accompanied by a photograph of the offensive work.
Yet when the paper refused to reprint a cartoon of Muhammad that appeared in the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that resulted in the January 2015 massacre of 12 magazine staffers, it offered this smug, cowardly justification:
Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.

Not fear of violent reprisal, but fear of “causing offense.” So why does Ofili’s dung-clotted Virgin Mary get a pass?…

Because no one will kill you over it.

Also see:

U.S. says China's island-building erodes security; Beijing angered | Reuters

Baltimore Has Descended Into A State Of Lawlessness - And More Cities Will Soon Follow

European Citizens Much Better Informed About Obama's Trade Deals than Americans