Japan’s revised Q1 growth blows past expectations



TOKYO–Japan posted stronger-than-expected growth in the first quarter as a pickup in capital spending powered the world’s number three economy, but some economists warned that the recovery could be short-lived.

The 1.0 percent expansion in January-March — or 3.9 percent on an annualized basis — was sharply up from an initial estimate of 0.6 percent growth, according to the Cabinet Office figures.

The upbeat data is good news for Tokyo’s efforts to boost the economy, but household spending remains stubbornly weak as the Bank of Japan struggles to push up prices in a bid to end decades of deflation.

Despite wage rises at big firms and a tighter labor market, convincing people to splash out on consumer goods has been a struggle after Japan raised sales taxes last year to help pay down a huge national debt.

The rise hammered consumer spending and pushed the economy into a brief recession. Japan limped out of the red in the last three months of 2014 with Monday’s surprise figures offering some hope for better times ahead.

“The figures show the Japanese economy is gradually heading for recovery,” said Credit Suisse economist Takeshi Saito.

Corporate investment rose 2.7 percent from the previous quarter, well above an initial 0.4 percent expansion.

The growth figures were in line with the Bank of Japan’s assessment that the economy was on the upswing, and may delay any further central bank stimulus.

“At the moment, (the Bank of Japan) is less likely to introduce another round of monetary easing,” Saito said.

However, bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda has been forced to push back a timeline for hitting a 2.0 percent inflation target — a cornerstone of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to kick-start the deflation-plagued economy — although he insists that healthy price rises are around the corner.


Limits on ATV spectrum transfer


Jasmine Siu

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The broadcasting spectrum vacated by Asia Television’s termination can only be assigned to Radio Television Hong Kong or a carrier licensee, the Legislative Council’s panel on information technology and broadcasting heard yesterday.

This came after the Executive Council said in April that it would not renew ATV’s domestic free television license upon its expiration on April 1.

Communications Authority chairman Ambrose Ho Pui-him said the vacated spectrum available from next April 2 will continue to be used for broadcasting services, not for communications purposes. Three television stations are currently applying for a domestic free TV license, namely Fantastic TV, Hong Kong Television Network and Forever Top.

Fantastic TV was granted approval in principle in October 2013, but it has yet to be given an official license.

The authority has refused to disclose the progress of license applications despite the request of lawmakers at the panel meeting.

While all three stations are interested in taking up the spectrum freed up by ATV, it can only be assigned to carrier licensees, Ho said, adding the authority also needs to consider various factors.

These include provisions of the Telecommunications Ordinance, the authority’s statutory duties, the free television landscape, the 2007 Radio Spectrum Policy Framework and the policy views of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.

RTHK’s takeover of ATV’s analogue spectrum before its official shutdown in 2020 is “a contingency arrangement,” said the bureau’s permanent secretary, Susie Ho Shuk-yee.

“We’ve asked HK Television Entertainment, which said they have no plans to provide analogue broadcasting service,” Ho said. “For just five years, will there be an interested party? The appeal is quite limited.”

That said, the authority has yet to make a formal decision.

Last month, Television Broadcasts Limited expressed an interest in taking over ATV’s spectrum.

People Power lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen said the government should step up processing of the three free-TV license applications so they can apply for the vacated spectrum.

Meanwhile, IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok Nai-kwong criticized the lack of government consultation relating to its decision.

“RTHK has lots of spectrum, but its viewing rate may be even lower than ATV’s in some cases,” Mok said.

Jewish Federation Partners with Anti-Jewish Islamists for Good Cause


Habitat for Humanity does a great service to the community, by building homes for those who are in need but wouldn’t normally afford a decent place to live. No one can dispute this fact. However, when the group allowed radical Muslim organizations, earlier this year in Miami, to assist in the building, it tarnished Habitat’s good name. And to make matters worse, the Jewish Federation – presumably the Greater Miami Jewish Federation – joined in the process.

According to the ‘About Us’ page on the Habitat for Humanity website, “As a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry that builds with people in need regardless of race or religion, we welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.” By welcoming volunteers from all backgrounds, that must include radical Muslim groups associated with terrorism, because that is who Habitat embraced this past February in its second annual Habitat Interfaith Build Day.

The groups included Emerge USA, the Youth Coalition of South Florida (YCSF), and the most visible group at this year’s Interfaith Build, with its bright yellow shirts, ICNA Relief.

ICNA Relief is the main charity of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. ICNA has been involved in the financing of both Hamas and al-Qaeda and has used the web to promote a number of terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group that has been named to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government list of international terrorist organizations.

In August 2006, ICNA Relief was the top donor and partner to Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan charity Al Khidmat Foundation (AKF), at the same time AKF took a delegation to Damascus, Syria to hand deliver nearly $100,000 to Hamas global leader Khaled Mashal. Mashal thanked the group and said Hamas would continue to wage “jihad” (war) on the “Zionist yoke” (Israel). ICNA Relief continues to work directly with AKF overseas.

Leading the ICNA delegation at the Habitat event was ICNA Relief Assistant Executive Director Abdul Rauf Khan. On Khan’s Facebook page, he has posted: dozens of official Jamaat-e-Islami videos and photos; two videos glorifying rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan; and a link to an anti-Semitic video labeling comedian talk show host Bill Maher, “Zionist Jew Bill Maher.” He also posted a dedication video to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and in August 2013, he participated in an event discussing the violence in Egypt and Syria while wearing a yellow shirt with a large Muslim Brotherhood ‘Rabaa’ logo on it. Both the Brotherhood and the logo have been banned by the Egyptian government for respectively being an institution and a symbol of terrorism.

Emerge USA is the brainchild of Khurrum Wahid, a South Florida attorney who has represented a number of individuals involved in terrorist activity against the United States. They include: Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was given a life sentence for being part of al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush, and Hafiz Khan, a Miami, Florida imam who shipped $50,000 to the Taliban specifically to murder American troops overseas. Wahid previously served as a legal advisor for the national office of the Hamas-linked CAIR, and according to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.

In 2014 and 2015, Emerge featured as a speaker at its annual benefit dinners Sayed Ammar Nakshawani. Nakshawani who is a follower of former Iranian terror leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has previously called for the destruction of Israel. In a speech he made, titled ‘Sayed Khomeini’s Quds Day,’ he states, “The shame in this world is that, if we put ourselves down to a two-state solution, we would allow a country which has broken 60 UN resolutions to have their own freedom of peace. It is barbaric that this Zionist state is allowed to continue.”

Representing Emerge at the Habitat event was Emerge co-founder and trustee, Saif Ishoof. Prior to getting involved with Emerge, Ishoof was the rally organizer and contact for the extreme anti-Israel group, March for Justice. While with March for Justice, Ishoof organized an event at the University of Miami, in October 2002, which labeled then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “the world’s longest standing terrorist” and Israel an “illegitimate state.” Ishoof said he was “outraged” that his former university would host then-senior advisor to Sharon, Raanan Gissin, referring to Gissin as “a mouthpiece of state sponsored terrorism.”

The other Islamist group at the Habitat event was the Youth Coalition of South Florida (YCSF). The Youth Director for YCSF is former CAIR official Cyrus McGoldrick. He has also worked with ICNA in the past. McGoldrick refers to supporters of Israel as “Zionist beasts,” and in July 2014, he tweeted: “Praying for Palestine today and everyday. Allah, either guide the oppressor ‘Israeli’ regime or give us the strength to destroy them.”

Under the leadership of McGoldrick, YCSF and the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), a radical mosque with a number of terrorist associations, teamed up for weekly youth and family events at ICBR. A co-founder of ICBR, Bassem Alhalabi, was charged with the illegal export of a $13,000 military thermal imaging device to Syria. Another co-founder, Syed Khawer Ahmad, was a web designer for Hamas in Gaza. One former imam of ICBR, Ibrahim Dremali, was placed on the federal “no-fly” list, and another, Muneer Arafat, admitted under oath that he was an affiliate of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Further, a member of the mosque, Rafiq Sabir, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Qaeda.

According to Emerge and the television station WSVN, also involved in the Habitat interfaith day was the Jewish Federation. If this is accurate, it is a travesty and embarrassment for the Jewish community. A photo found on the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami website depicts an individual wearing a yarmulke sawing wood with Saif Ishoof, the anti-Israel co-founder of Emerge. As well, a number of photos from the event show a smiling Tom Heyn, the rabbi of Temple Israel of Greater Miami, alongside Ishoof, ICNA’s Abdul Rauf Khan, and others.

In recent years, Jews have been all too willing to join “feel good” events which involve those who would wish them and their brethren harm. This was clearly the case, when it came to their participation in this year’s Habitat Interfaith Build Day. This may be due to either simple ignorance of facts or an intensely stubborn unwillingness to view their enemy as an enemy.

And Habitat for Humanity is supposed to be a Christian organization. Do its leaders not know what the associates of these Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are doing to their fellow Christians overseas? Are they willing to sell their souls just to build a section of a house?

The Jewish Federation and Habitat for Humanity must never again work together with Islamists, whose goal is nothing more than to cynically exploit these charitable endeavors in order to gain legitimacy – never again – no matter what the cause.

Any potential group to which they partner with must be carefully vetted, so that there is no chance of them unintentionally aiding and abetting the enemy.

Interfaith with members of other religions is one thing. Interfaith with your enemies is quite another.

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

‘Just an Incredible Amount of Misogyny’


David Pakman (@dpakman) is the kind of Marxist subversive who hates God even more than he hates America. That is to say, he’s a Democrat. The controversial Pakman hosts a weekly radio/TV/podcast affiliated with the Marxist subversive Pacifica Radio network. Last month, Pakman interviewed Mark Potok, a leading official of an infamous anti-American terrorist group, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

(Why should we let the SPLC monopolize this cheap tactic of smearing political opponents by slapping pejorative “hate” labels on them?)

The subject of this interview was Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), a featured topic in the Spring 2012 issue of the SPLC’s magazineIntelligence Report. With a listing of Internet locations that included everything from pickup artist (PUA) sites to Reddit forums, the article suggested MRAs were a serious danger:

It’s not much of a surprise that significant numbers of men in Western societies feel threatened by dramatic changes in their roles and that of the family in recent decades. Similar backlashes, after all, came in response to the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, and other major societal revolutions. What is something of a shock is the verbal and physical violence of that reaction.

Really? The fact that the SPLC’s scaremongering coincided with the Obama re-election campaign’s “Republican War on Women” attack against Mitt Romney was a major clue to their political agenda. Yet few seem to recognize the connection between the Democrat Party’s electoral strategy and the recent resurgence of radical feminism. Because there is no reason to believe that “male supremacy” has become more oppressive in the past decade, we must suppose there must be some other motive for this renewed radicalism. When you realize that (a) Obama won re-election in 2012 with the widest “gender gap” ever recorded by Gallup, and (b) Hillary Clinton is the likely Democrat Party nominee for president in 2016, you must perceive the effort to gain a partisan advantage for Democrats as the most likely cause of this otherwise inexplicable surge of feminist activism. It’s not a conspiracy, just divide-and-conquer identity politics as usual for Democrats.

So when David Pakman interviewed the SPLC’s Mark Potok about the Men’s Rights movement, Potok confessed:

Well, to be honest, I was fairly oblivious to this whole world until we got a tip about a couple of websites that we began to look at. And it very quickly became apparent that there was a whole world of these websites; uh, as I say, the so-called man-o-sphere. Uh, these were websites that purported to be part of the Men’s Rights or Father’s Rights movement, which has some legitimate beefs, I think. But when you went in and started to look at what was actually on the sites, it was just an incredible amount of misogyny, an incredible amount of defamation of women. Uh, you know, one of the themes that runs through all of those websites, or certainly the vast majority of them, is the idea that women routinely lie about rape: that they claim they were raped in order to destroy men, to get advantages over men, and so on.

Hey, the SPLC just “got a tip” and suddenly discovered “an incredible amount of misogyny” on the Internet, which they never noticed, say, in 2008, when liberals were calling Sarah Palin the vilest things imaginable?


The dishonest hypocrisy of the SPLC is exceeded only by the dishonesty of their patented “links-and-ties” method of creating the artificial appearance of connections between persons and organizations which are not actually connected. For example, what is the connection between the 2011 suicide of James Ball (the lead “atrocity” cited in the SPLC article) and a PUA forum like Roosh V (featured in the SPLC’s listing of “manosphere” sites)? The answer: None whatsoever. And yet in order to create the appearance of large, scary, violent “War on Women” movement, the SPLC implied that there was such a connection.

Manufacturing non-existent dangers is an SPLC specialty, and Potok did not disappoint Pakman’s audience in this regard:

Uh, but let me say, first of all, that the real violence directed against women began, in a sense, in 1989, at an engineering school in Montreal, where a particular guy, Marc Lepine, murdered, if I remember, sixteen women: lined them up in a classroom and murdered them because they were engineers, they were the first engineering class at that University that had accepted women. And Lepine wrote explicity about how feminists have destroyed my life, and now I’m going to destroy their lives. Since then, we’ve seen a series of massacres, mass murders, directed at women.
The latest, of course, was last May in Santa Barbara, California, when a young guy named Elliot Rodger went on a rampage and murdered six people before killing himself. And this was all because, as he said, he was still a virgin at 22, he felt that beautiful blonde women owed him sex, and so on, and so on, and so on; he left a manifesto, a video manifesto.
So, what I’m saying is, yes, there has been this underlying, really, rage-filled reaction towards women for a good thirty years or so, now.


Yes, the underlying rage-filled reaction that connects a 1989 event in Canada with a 2014 event in California is part of “a series of massacres, mass murders, directed at women” — except that Potok can’t even name a single example of this “series” that supposedly connects these two events, 25 years apart. If Elliot Rodger was a “copycat killer” inspired by Marc Lepine, he was the only such imitator. Yet, despite what Potok implies, there is zero evidence that Elliot Rodger ever heard of Marc Lepine. Here, go do a word-search on Elliot Rodger’s 141-page manifesto. Marc Lepine isn’t mentioned. Guess what else isn’t mentioned? Feminism.

The words “feminist” and “feminism” appear nowhere in Elliot Rodger’s manifesto because his massacre had nothing to do with feminism. Rodger’s rage wasn’t political, it was personal. The loser couldn’t get laid, and this was his revenge. As for the feminist claim that Rodger was influenced by “men’s rights,” I explained on my blog in May 2014:

The focus on “pickup artist” (PUA) culture as an influence on Rodger is probably misguided. As his manifesto makes clear, the Creepy Little Weirdo had been overwhelmed by resentment and a sense of failure since he was in middle school, and he didn’t start ranting on PUA forums until after he had already decided on his “Day of Retribution.” So he acquired from PUA culture a jargon (“Alpha males,” etc.) but this was not the source of his anger, nor did it exercise a determining influence on his actions.

The image of Elliot Rodger created by media myth-makers was a feminist fabrication. Crazy is not a political philosophy.

Hyping hate in order to exploit fear is the SPLC’s raison d’être, but it’s not as if feminists need more reason to hate and fear men.

stop going to #university and #college: Jerry Seinfeld: Comedians Say Don’t Go Near Colleges, Political Correctness Hurts Comedy


It sounds like Jerry Seinfeld agrees with Chris Rock that American college students have developed an allergy to good comedy. In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd, he had this to say:

“I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so pc.’ Hey, I’ll give you an example. My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city more on the weekends so you can see boys.’ You know, my daughter says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.”

When asked by Cowherd if knee-jerk offendedness hurts comedy, Seinfeld responded, “Yes, it does.”

One of the supposed benefits of college is being able to connect with a lot of other smart people, and having the chance to interact with experts, artists, musicians, and policymakers who are invited to speak or participate in events on campus. As a student at the University of Michigan, for instance, I was able to meet several fascinating characters, including ‘60s radical Bill Ayers and lolcats founder Ben Huh. I also chatted with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and listened to Rep. Ron Paul give an awesome campaign speech. I didn’t like or agree with all of these people, but the experience was deeply enriching, and that’s the entire point of college. That’s what you’re paying for.

How sad, then, that some students’ hostility to new or troubling ideas has comedians (understandably) convinced that campuses aren’t worth their time.

Brazil #university professor requests list of Israeli students, lecturers


The dean of the Federal University of Santa Maria in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil recently circulated a memorandum, requesting a list of Israeli lecturers and students studying in the institution. The dean gave the directive at the request of, among others, the Association of Solidarity with the Palestinian People of southern Brazil. The memorandum was stamped with the inscription “Freedom for Palestinians – boycott Israel,” but the university says the stamp was a forgery.

The controversial memo was sent by Professor Jose Fernando Schlosser, dean of post-graduate studies at the university. On May 15th he posted the document, which he signed, on the internet, as well as on the university’s bulletin board. “I ask you to urgently send us a list of Israeli students and lecturers in the graduate program”, the dean wrote

The dean did not specify in the document the reason he requested the list, but specified that this was done in response to the request of several bodies, including the student union, the teachers’ union, and the Association of Solidarity with the Palestinian people of southern Brazil.

The university confirmed the authenticity of the document, but argued that the stamp “liberate Palestine – boycott Israel” was forged and was not written by the dean. The university also claimed that the document constitutes a response to a request made in accordance with the law on the freedom of information. It was also noted that the police were contacted and asked to investigate the forgery. |The attorney general of the State of Rio Grande do Sul announced it is opening an investigation into the dean on the suspicion of discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, religion and national origin.

The university’s rector, Professor Paulo Afonso Burmann, strongly denied his university’s giving a hand to boycotting Israel and discriminating against Israelis. He added that the university never takes stands on historical international disputes.

Various media outlets in Brazil attacked the document issued by the dean, even accusing him of “a shocking act of anti-Semitism”, which constitutes a violation of the Brazilian Constitution which forbids racism. Articles in various media outlets claim that the purpose of creating a list with the names of the Israelis was to confiscate their courses and harass Israeli students and lecturers.

The Foreign Ministry said in response: “This is a very serious incident and the Brazilian embassy and the Israeli Consulate in Sao Paulo, along with the Jewish community, are acting immediately to address the ugly and racist initiative. The labeling of people and their blacklisting remind us of dark days of humanity’s history. We hope that the Brazilian academy will pull itself together and come out against this initiative “.