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10551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 06, 2010, 05:54:48 PM
Smartest martial arts board on the planet!
10552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: October 06, 2010, 05:47:11 PM

I would guess than it is no coincidence her army of hacks are now throwing the Bamster_Billary ticket idea for 2012 into the trial balloon arena.

My thoughts exactly.
10553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: October 06, 2010, 11:06:29 AM
There is nothing stopping anyone who wishes to voluntarily write a check to the federal or state governments from doing so.
10554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar and American Freedom on: October 06, 2010, 10:43:39 AM
Yup. Part of the PLA's "Assassin's Mace" military doctrine.

According to the Pentagon’s 2007 Report on Chinese Military Power, “In 2005, the PLA began to incorporate offensive [Computer Network Operations] into its exercises, primarily in first strikes against enemy networks.”

Chinese military doctrine now includes what they call “assassin’s mace” (sha shou jian) programs which are asymmetric warfare strategies devised to take advantage of Chinese advantages in technology against vulnerabilities of potential adversaries. Cyberwar is first among equals among the assassin’s mace programs.
10555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 06, 2010, 09:51:20 AM
As stated repeatedly, I have no problem with "retail" policing, that is policing where probable cause goes before a judge, a warrant is issued, terms abided by, and so on. What I object to is wholesale privacy invasions such as tracking locational data, data mining, camera surveillance, etc. where harvested data is put together to establish probable cause rather than some prerequisite act being required to enable the invasions of privacy outlined above.

**Crimes, especially ongoing criminal conspiracies are often covertly structured to avoid scrutiny. By your standard, unless the mafia is leaving a body in your front yard, they should be ignored by law enforcement. Right?**

As to the scenario that's lead to this thread, I expect you are acquainted with instances where information provided by a snitch has proved to be false;

**Yes, which is why you INVESTIGATE any allegations made of criminal acts. This is why you are required to corroborate the information given by an informant and seek evidence of criminal acts to be presented to a judge to obtain a search/arrest warrant.**

 your pal Radley Balko has documented **You mean distorted/exaggerated/falsified**

a lot of instances where incorrect or overstated drug "tips" have lead to shooting injuries and deaths. Information, moreover, can also be wrong with no malevolent intent involved.

**Again, this is why you INVESTIGATE. People do supply incorrect information to police, sometimes with ill intent, sometimes by honest error. Either way, as as a LEO, you are morally/legally/ethically required to perform an investigation in a fair and impartial manner, which will ultimately be strictly scrutinized by a judge and jury.**

It really ought to take more that a few whispers to subject an American citizen to the kinds of scrutiny that can be unleashed these days

**It does. People that knowingly provide false information to law enforcement are usually criminally charged themselves. Major case investigations are costly in time, money and resources and all these are in especially short supply these days. They aren't undertaken lightly, and certainly not without corroboration of the initial complaint.**

, and it scares me greatly that the closeted Marxists at the helm today have access to surveillance tools that have been shown to have been casually applied by others.
10556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 06, 2010, 09:14:41 AM
Paul Krugman is the very embodiment of intellectual dishonesty.
10557  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: October 06, 2010, 08:19:05 AM
I would tend to think that a business that forbids it's employees from using lawful self defense would then take on liability for any victimization they might suffer as the result of the policy. I'm not aware of any caselaw to that effect, however.
10558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 06, 2010, 08:13:34 AM

The relevant aspects of the caselaw that I posted are that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public areas. Just as a cat can look at a king, so can a cop. Using technological devices to assist in viewing the subject in public areas is no different than an agency like the FBI using teams of surveillance specialists and aircraft to track a suspect's movements through public spaces.
10559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 05, 2010, 07:14:52 PM
Leroy Carlton KNOTTS.

No. 81-1802.

Argued Dec. 6, 1982.

Decided March 2, 1983.

Having reason to believe that one Armstrong was purchasing chloroform to be used in the manufacture of illicit drugs, Minnesota law enforcement officers arranged with the seller to place a "beeper" (a radio transmitter) inside a chloroform container that was sold to Armstrong. Officers then followed the car in which the chloroform was placed, maintaining contact by using both visual surveillance and a monitor which received the beeper signals, and ultimately tracing the chloroform, by beeper monitoring alone, to respondent's secluded cabin in Wisconsin. Following three days of intermittent visual surveillance of the cabin, officers secured a search warrant and discovered the chloroform container, and a drug laboratory in the cabin, including chemicals and formulas for producing amphetamine. After his motion to suppress evidence based on the warrantless monitoring of the beeper was denied, respondent was convicted in Federal District Court for conspiring to manufacture controlled substances in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the monitoring of the beeper was prohibited by the Fourth Amendment.

Held: Monitoring the beeper signals did not invade any legitimate expectation of privacy on respondent's part, and thus there was neither a "search" nor a "seizure" within the contemplation of the Fourth Amendment. The beeper surveillance amounted principally to following an automobile on public streets and highways. A person traveling in an automobile on public thoroughfares has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements. While respondent had the traditional expectation of privacy within a dwelling place insofar as his cabin was concerned, such expectation of privacy would not have extended to the visual observation from public places of the automobile arriving on his premises after leaving a public highway, or to movements of objects such as the chloroform container outside the cabin. The fact that the officers relied not only on visual surveillance, but on the use of the beeper, does not alter the situation. Nothing in the Fourth Amendment prohibited the police from augmenting their sensory faculties with such enhancement as science and technology afforded them in this case. There is no indication that the beeper was used in any way to reveal information as to the movement of the chloroform container within the cabin, or in any way that would not have been visible to the naked eye from outside the cabin. Pp. 280-285.
10560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 05, 2010, 05:48:20 PM
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Van Clark SHERMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 92-30067.


C. The district court admitted a videotape of the drug transaction which occurred on a mountain pass near Helena, Montana. Although Sherman wasn't present at the transaction, and therefore wasn't featured in the tape, he argues the surveillance violated the Fourth Amendment and the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986 (Title I). Sherman's Title I claim fails, because Title I doesn't regulate silent domestic video surveillance. United States v. Koyomejian, 970 F.2d 536, 540-41 (9th Cir.) (en banc), cert. denied, 113 S.Ct. 617 (1992). Such surveillance is, however, subject to the dictates of the Fourth Amendment. Id. at 541.

Although the parties frame the question as Sherman's ability to assert the privacy rights of his coconspirators who appear in the videotape, we don't decide the standing issue because we conclude none of them had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The transaction took place in plain view in a public place along a highway. Everything that was captured by the camera could just as easily have been seen by a person hiding in the trees where the camera was located. "Videotaping of suspects in public places ... does not violate the fourth amendment; the police may record what they normally may view with the naked eye." United States v. Taketa, 923 F.2d 665, 677 (9th Cir.1991); cf. United States v. Broadhurst, 805 F.2d 849, 855-56 (9th Cir.1986) (no reasonable expectation of privacy in translucent greenhouse, because activities are observable by planes and helicopters).
10561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 05, 2010, 05:06:44 PM
Please point out the part of the constitution that forbids police from surveilling suspects to determine if there is evidence of a crime.
10562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 05, 2010, 03:51:54 PM
**See, here is how it works: Law enforcement gets a tip to criminal activity. This tip is NOT probable cause. It may be valid, it may not. So you watch the suspects, looking for evidence of a crime or crimes. If you find sufficient evidence of a crime to reach the level of probable cause, you can THEN get search/arrest warrants.**

Four arrested; money, cash, vehicles, guns seized during drug raid

By Alex McRae

The Times-Herald

Weeks of undercover surveillance paid off Sunday afternoon when a raid on a Highway 16 East residence by members of the Coweta Crime Suppression Unit resulted in four drug-related arrests and the seizure of weapons, vehicles, cash and methamphetamine valued at $300,000, according to Maj. James Yarbrough of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office.

"We've been watching these suspects for a while," Yarbrough said, "Sunday afternoon it finally paid off. We're glad to get these drugs off the street."

Members of the Crime Suppression Unit had been watching the residence at 3395 Highway 16 E. in Sharpsburg for more than two months, according to Sgt. Pat Lyons of the CSU.

Three individuals resided at the home: Charles Robert Stroup, 46; Stroup's daughter, Kassandra Lee Stroup, 23; and Karen Lanell Cary, 37, described as Charles Stroup's girlfriend.

The surveillance began after authorities received an anonymous tip that led them to believe drug-related activities were taking place. Heavier than normal vehicle traffic was observed during the surveillance, and CSU officers were able to get a search warrant issued for probable cause before Sunday's bust and seizure.
10563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 05, 2010, 02:45:22 PM
**Oh look, a case that was initiated by a tip from the brits. No throwing out of the bill of rights or Jack Bauer antics required to make a case. I bet lots of surveillance by the FBI was involved, however.**

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Two Chicago Men Charged in Connection with Alleged Roles in Foreign Terror Plot That Focused on Targets in Denmark

Two Chicago men have been arrested on federal charges for their alleged roles in conspiracies to provide material support and/or to commit terrorist acts against overseas targets, including facilities and employees of a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005, federal law enforcement officials announced today. There was no imminent danger in the Chicago area, officials said, adding that the charges are unrelated to recent terror plot arrests in Boston, New York, Colorado, Texas and central Illinois.

The defendants charged in separate criminal complaints unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago are David Coleman Headley, 49, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, also known as Tahawar Rana, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI. The complaints remained under seal temporarily after the defendants’ arrests, with court approval, so as not to compromise further investigative activity.

Headley, a U.S. citizen who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006 and resides primarily in Chicago, was arrested on Oct. 3, 2009, by the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) at O’Hare International Airport before boarding a flight to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts involving murder and maiming outside the United States and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to that overseas terrorism conspiracy.

Rana, a native of Pakistan and citizen of Canada who also primarily resides in Chicago, was arrested on Oct. 18, 2009, at his home by federal agents. Rana is the owner of several businesses, including First World Immigration Services, which has offices on Devon Avenue in Chicago, as well as in New York and Toronto. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorism conspiracy that involved Headley and at least three other specific individuals in Pakistan.

Both men have been held in federal custody since each was arrested. If convicted, Headley faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for conspiracy to murder or maim persons abroad, while Headley and Rana each face a maximum of 15 years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.

On Oct. 18, 2009, JTTF agents executed search warrants in connection with the investigation at four locations: Headley’s and Rana’s residences on the north side of Chicago, Rana’s immigration business in Chicago, and a farm he owns in Kinsman, Ill., approximately 80 miles southwest of Chicago, which is used to provide halal meat for Muslim customers, as well as a grocery store in Chicago.

According to both complaints, since at least late 2008 until Oct. 3, 2009, as part of the conspiracy to murder and maim persons abroad, Headley allegedly identified and conducted surveillance of potential targets of a terrorist attack in Denmark on two separate trips to Denmark in January and July 2009, and reported and attempted to report on his efforts to other conspirators in Pakistan. As part of the conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism, Rana allegedly helped arrange Headley’s travels overseas and conceal their true nature and purpose to surveil potential terror targets overseas, and discussed potential targets for attack with Headley.

Headley allegedly reported and attempted to report on his overseas surveillance to other conspirators, according to the affidavits, including:

Ilyas Kashmiri, identified as the operational chief of the Azad Kashmir section of Harakat-ul Jihad Islami (HUJI), a Pakistani-based terrorist organization with links to al Qaeda. Kashmiri, who is presently believed to be in Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) region in northwestern Pakistan, issued a statement this month that he was alive and working with al Qaeda;

"Individual A" (who is identified as Individual A in the Headley affidavit and as Individual B in the Rana affidavit), who is associated with Kashmiri, as well as with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), another Pakistani-based terrorist organization;

an individual identified as "Lashkar-e-Taiba Member A" (LeT Member A), who has substantial influence and responsibility within the organization and whose identity is known to the government.

"The public should be reassured that there was no imminent danger in the Chicago area. However, law enforcement has the duty to be vigilant to guard against not just those who would carry out attacks here on our soil but those who plot on our soil to help carry out violent attacks overseas. I wish to express my deep appreciation to the FBI agents and other members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force for their extremely hard work on this matter," said Mr. Fitzgerald.

"The criminal complaints unsealed today have exposed a serious plot against overseas targets by two Chicago-based men working with Pakistani-based terrorist organizations.  Information developed during this investigation was shared with our foreign partners as we worked together to mitigate these threats. This case is a reminder that the threat posed by international terrorist organizations is global in nature and requires constant vigilance at home and abroad," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

"This investigation demonstrates the well-established relationships that we have with our law enforcement partners, both foreign and domestic. We work closely with state, local and federal law enforcement agencies in the United States, as well as with our overseas partners, to identify and disrupt threats here and abroad," said Mr. Grant.

According to the affidavits in both cases, Headley at times has claimed to be a consultant with or representative of Rana’s business, First World Immigration Services, but appears to perform little if any actual work for the business. In addition, Headley’s apartment in Chicago is leased to an individual who is deceased. Despite his apparent lack of financial resources and substantial employment, Headley has traveled extensively since the second half of 2008, including multiple trips to Pakistan and various countries in Europe. Postings to an internet group for graduates of a military school in the Pakistani town of Hasan Abdal (a group that refers to itself as "abdalians"), reflect that both Rana and Headley have participated in the group and referred to their attendance at that school.

The Denmark Project

Beginning in late 2008, Headley corresponded extensively with Individual A and LeT Member A regarding what they referred to in coded communications as the "Mickey Mouse Project," "mmp," and "the northern project," according to the affidavit. The Mickey Mouse Project allegedly involved planning for one or more attacks at facilities and employees of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper that in 2005 published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, to which many Muslims took great offense. In October 2008, Headley allegedly posted a message to the "abdalians" internet discussion group stating that "I feel disposed towards violence for the offending parties," referring to the Danish cartoonists and others who he identified "as making fun of Islam."

Using coded language, Rana, Headley, Individual A and LeT Member A allegedly have referred to this plot, as well as discussions of other targets, as "investments," "projects," "business," and "action," and have described their hopes for success both in terms of receiving religious awards, as well as getting "rich," "richer," and making "profit." Between August 2008 and Dec. 7, 2008, Headley sent multiple email messages from internet addresses located in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, the charges allege. On Dec. 7, 2008, just before traveling from Pakistan to the United States that same day, Headley alleged used one of multiple email accounts to store a detailed list of items for himself, which he titled "Mickey Mouse." Included on the list (contained in the affidavits) were the following items:

Route Design (train, bus, air)

Cross (Cover Authenticator)

Trade? Immigration?

Ad? (Lost Luggage) (Business) (Entry?)

Kings Square (French Embassy)


Counter surveillance (magic eye)


Security (armed)?

In January 2009, Headley traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Rana allegedly arranged portions of his travel. During the trip, Headley allegedly visited two different offices of the Jyllands-Posten — in Copenhagen and Arhus, Denmark. The Copenhagen office is located in Kings Square near the French Embassy. Headley falsely told Jyllands-Posten employees that he was visiting on behalf of First World Immigration Services, which he said was considering opening offices in Denmark and might be interested in advertising the business in the newspaper. While in Denmark, Headley instructed Rana to be alert for an email from a Jyllands-Posten sales representative, and to ask First World’s Toronto and New York offices to "remember me," in case a newspaper representative called. According to the complaints, Rana corresponded from Chicago with a representative of the Jyllands-Posten by email in which he pretended to be Headley.

After visiting Denmark, Headley traveled to Pakistan to meet with Individual A. During this visit, Headley traveled with Individual A to Pakistan’s FATA region and met with Kashmiri. Before returning to Chicago in June 2009, Headley sent his will to Rana and Rana responded by sending a coded message establishing a new email account, the complaint alleges.

In July and August 2009, Headley exchanged a series of emails with LeT Member A, including an exchange in which Headley asked if the Denmark project was on hold, and whether a visit to India that LeT Member A had asked him to undertake was for the purpose of surveilling targets for a new terrorist attack. These emails reflect that LeT Member A was placing a higher priority on using Headley to assist in planning a new attack in India than on completing the planned attack in Denmark. After this time, Headley and Individual A allegedly continued focusing on the plan with Kashmiri to attack the newspaper, rather than working with LeT, the complaint alleges.

In late July 2009, Headley traveled again to Copenhagen and to other locations in Europe, and Rana again arranged portions of his travel. When Headley returned to the United States, he falsely told border inspectors that he was traveling on business as a representative of First World Immigration, although his luggage contained no papers or other documents relating to First World.

After returning to Chicago in August 2009, Headley allegedly used coded language to repeatedly inquire if Individual A had been in touch with Kashmiri regarding planning for the attack, and expressing concern that Individual A’s communications with Kashmiri had been cut off. In early September 2009, Headley and Rana took a lengthy car ride during which they discussed the activities of the other individuals, including past terrorist acts, and Headley discussed with Rana five actions involving targets that expressly included "Denmark." In conversations with Rana and Individual A in August and September 2009, Headley indicated that if the "doctor" (alleged to be a reference to Kashmiri) and his people were unable to assist, then Headley would perform the planned operation himself.

In September 2009, after initial press reports indicated that Kashmiri had been killed in a drone attack in Pakistan, Headley and Individual A allegedly had a series of coded conversations in which they discussed the reports of Kashmiri’s death and what it meant for the projects they were planning. Individual A sought to reassure and encourage Headley, telling him, among other things, that "[t]his is business sir; these types of things happen." On Sept. 20, 2009, Headley allegedly told a family member words to the effect that he had spoken to Rana and they agreed that "business must go on."

In a Sept. 21, 2009, telephone conversation, Individual A indicated to Headley that Kashmiri was alive and "doing well." In a subsequent conversation on Sept. 30, 2009, Individual A again assured Headley that Kashmiri, whom he referred to as "Pir Sahib," was "absolutely all right" and had not gotten "married," which was code for being killed. Headley asked Individual A if it was possible to now have a meeting with Kashmiri and Individual A responded that Kashmiri "just today, was asking about you" (Headley).

According to the affidavit, Headley stated in conversations last month that he intended to travel to Pakistan in early October to meet with Individual A and Kashmiri, and he was arrested on Oct. 3 as he prepared to board a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan. During a search of Headley’s luggage, a memory stick was recovered that contained approximately 10 short videos of Copenhagen, including video focused on the Jyllands-Posten building in King’s Square taken both during the day and night, as well as a nearby Danish military barracks and the exterior and interior of Copenhagen’s central train station, consistent with the checklist he stored which mentioned "route design." In addition, Headley had an airline reservation, allegedly made by Rana, to fly from Atlanta to Copenhagen on Oct. 29, 2009.

The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by the Chicago FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, with particular assistance from the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police and the Department of Homeland Security.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Collins and Vicki Peters from the Northern District of Illinois, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint contains mere allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
10564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 05, 2010, 02:37:37 PM
Be sure to let me know when you come up with a valid argument.
10565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: October 05, 2010, 01:43:43 PM
Good thing we've secured that southern border..... 
10566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 05, 2010, 01:31:04 PM
Ok, you are are a LEO tasked with counterterrorism duties. A friendly european law enforcement agency tips you to a resident of your city. They believe that the individual in question is running multiple AQ cells in both the US and europe. They either do not have or are not willing to share the evidence that makes them believe this. How do you get a warrant to place this person under surveillance?
10567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 05, 2010, 12:43:56 PM,0,5787669.story

More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami.

State-issued aid cards have been used at hotels, shops, restaurants, ATMs and other places in 49 other states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, according to data obtained by The Times from the California Department of Social Services. Las Vegas drew $11.8 million of the cash benefits, far more than any other destination. The money was accessed from January 2007 through May 2010.

Get breaking news alerts delivered to your mobile phone. Text BREAKING to 52669.

Welfare recipients must prove they can't afford life's necessities without government aid: A single parent with two children generally must earn less than $14,436 a year to qualify for the cash assistance and becomes ineligible once his or her income exceeds about $20,000, said Lizelda Lopez, spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services.

Round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Sunday started at $419 — more than 80% of the average monthly cash benefit for a single parent of two on CalWorks, the state's main aid program.

"How they can go somewhere like Hawaii and be legit on aid … they can't," said Robert Hollenbeck, a fraud investigator for the Fresno County district attorney's office. "This is money for basic subsistence needs."

The $387,908 accessed in Hawaii includes transactions at more than a thousand big-box stores, grocery stores, convenience shops and ATMs on all the major islands. At least $234,000 was accessed on Oahu, $70,626 on Maui, $39,883 on Hawaii and $22,170 on Kauai.

The list includes $12,433 spent at the upscale Ala Moana shopping center, $3,030 spent at a group of gift shops next to Jimmy Buffett's Beachcomber restaurant on Waikiki Beach and $2,146 withdrawn from ATMs on the island of Lanai, home to a pair of Four Seasons resorts and little else.

"If it's on Lanai, that should trigger an investigation," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. "California taxpayers, who are struggling to keep their own jobs, are subsidizing other people's vacations. That's absurd."

Of the nearly $12 million accessed in Las Vegas, more than $1 million was spent or withdrawn at shops and casino hotels on, or within a few blocks of, the 4.5-mile strip. The list includes $8,968 at the Tropicana, $7,995 at the Venetian and its Grand Canal Shoppes, and $1,332 at Tix 4 Tonight, seller of discount admission for such acts as Cirque du Soleil.

Although many Las Vegas casinos block the use of welfare cards in ATMs on gambling floors, more than $34,700 has been spent or withdrawn from the ATM at a 7-Eleven in the shadow of Steve Wynn's new Encore casino and a couple of blocks south of Circus Circus.
10568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 05, 2010, 12:16:27 PM
The dem's class warfare is boosting investment..... overseas. Anyone notice that Steve Wynn has moved most of his company to asia?
10569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax hikes to drive a second collapse? on: October 05, 2010, 09:13:29 AM

Congress left Washington without addressing the massive tax hikes that will come at the end of the year as the tax-rate reductions of 2001 and 2003 expire.  Absent action on Capitol Hill, those increases will take $4 trillion out of the economy over the next ten years — and even if the lower tax bracket reductions get extended, $700 billion of capital will get redirected from the private sector to Washington.  How will that impact economic growth in the US?  Peter Ferrara argues that it will create not just a double-dip recession, but a second economic collapse — one worse than what we experienced in 2008.
10570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: October 05, 2010, 08:07:33 AM

This chart by Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy examines likely options for the long-term cost of carrying the debt held by the public if investors begin to demand higher interest rates.   This chart compares the Congressional Budget Office Alternative projection of net interest costs, which incorporates likely policy changes while assuming that the interest remains constant at just below 5%, with these same projections at long-term interest rates of 6% and 7%.  At an interest rate of 6%, the interest cost of the debt balloons to 59.8% of GDP by 2084, at an interest rate of 7%, this cost more than doubles to 136% by 2084.

United States debt is primarily held short-term, and had long-benefitted from low interest rates due to its level of security relative to other sovereign debt
10571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / My kinda rabbi ! on: October 04, 2010, 06:51:01 PM,7340,L-3963762,00.html

New halachic study says seducing enemy agents for the sake of national security is 'going above and beyond' and an 'utmost mitzvah'
10572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Price of Tyranny on: October 04, 2010, 11:27:30 AM
China, like S. Korea worries about the flood of refugees from the collapse of the NorKs.
10573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 04, 2010, 10:25:48 AM

Old Media Buries the Lede — Communists and Socialists Dominated ‘One Nation’ Rally

I’ve always liked getting to the heart of the matter—something the activist old media has no interest in doing during this election cycle.

November 2 is a mandate on whether America will remain a country based on the Constitutional values of Liberty and freedom, or whether we are headed to the dregs of communism and socialism embraced by the American left and its Democrat Party. Too extreme you say?
10574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 04, 2010, 07:37:52 AM
I should just let Doug answer these questions.
10575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 03, 2010, 09:38:16 PM
Because most US consumers are desperately trying to pay down debt rather than purchase goods as they watch their retirements and home values implode. There is a contraction in normal economic activity due to the atypical situation we find ourselves in today, thus we won't see the classical inflationary pattern right now.
10576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Enter Thorium, the New Green Nuke on: October 03, 2010, 08:35:01 PM

Published in 1958 under the auspices of the Atomic Energy Commission as part of its Atoms for Peace program, Fluid Fuel Reactors  is a book only an engineer could love: a dense, 978-page account of research conducted at Oak Ridge National Lab, most of it under former director Alvin Weinberg. What caught Sorensen’s eye was the description of Weinberg’s experiments producing nuclear power with an element called thorium.

At the time, in 2000, Sorensen was just 25, engaged to be married and thrilled to be employed at his first serious job as a real aerospace engineer. A devout Mormon with a linebacker’s build and a marine’s crew cut, Sorensen made an unlikely iconoclast. But the book inspired him to pursue an intense study of nuclear energy over the next few years, during which he became convinced that thorium could solve the nuclear power industry’s most intractable problems. After it has been used as fuel for power plants, the element leaves behind minuscule amounts of waste. And that waste needs to be stored for only a few hundred years, not a few hundred thousand like other nuclear byproducts. Because it’s so plentiful in nature, it’s virtually inexhaustible. It’s also one of only a few substances that acts as a thermal breeder, in theory creating enough new fuel as it breaks down to sustain a high-temperature chain reaction indefinitely. And it would be virtually impossible for the byproducts of a thorium reactor to be used by terrorists or anyone else to make nuclear weapons.

Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the ’50s through the early ’70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the ’60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors — in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century.
10577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 03, 2010, 08:12:39 PM
The market isn't entirely rational, and is still overvalued due to various attempts to keep things overinflated. Home prices are still very overvalued. Most states are deep in the red and would be coming apart at the seams were it not for the federal money infusions. We are still coasting on wishful thinking and illusion as we continue to run up the national credit card and worsen the consequences when the card gets cut up.
10578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 03, 2010, 07:51:21 PM
Wilders, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is a heroic figure. If the west is to survive, their warnings must be heeded.
10579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 03, 2010, 07:43:48 PM
If government spending is the solution, then create a government job that pays a million dollars a year for every unemployed person! Bingo, problem solved. Hey, it's worked out well for Zimbabwe.
10580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 03, 2010, 05:31:37 PM
I'll state for the record that the economy will be much worse than it is now. Think double dip with an L-shaped bottom. We have a narrow window (The next two elections) to pull out of this death spiral.
10581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: October 03, 2010, 05:06:15 PM

Of peaks and valleys: Doomsday energy scenarios burn away under scrutiny

By Dr. Scott W. Tinker, Op-Ed for the Dallas Morning News, June 25, 2005

As senators debate the national energy policy, many are aware of the hype surrounding "peak oil." A Web search of the phrase turns up an array of experts who believe that a pending peak in world oil production will soon lead to global economic collapse.

The sun is setting on the oil era, but that doesn't mean we're doomed. In their rosier scenarios, experts predict sky-high gasoline prices that will crush oil-dependent economies, such as the U.S. In their darker forecasts, they say people won't be able to obtain food, heat their homes or live securely during a period of global famine and resource wars.

All of this might be entertaining were it another Hollywood film, but it has become almost a subculture (and cottage industry). For those who wonder whether the global production of oil will peak and begin to decline someday, the answer is yes.

The greater question: Should you care? Although talk of peak oil has rightfully focused global attention on the need to find alternatives to oil, the absolute peak of world oil production is an issue of supply and, in many ways, irrelevant. Unlike the 1973 oil embargo, when high prices were the result of an OPEC-orchestrated supply cut, high prices today largely reflect demand-supply imbalance. The global demand for conventional oil has outstripped, or soon will, the global capacity to supply conventional oil.

Does that mean we are all doomed?

While the shock value of doomsday peak oil predictions is entertaining, it is far more important to recognize the reality of high global energy demand and begin to seek solutions – such as the energy policy being debated in the Senate – that could help mitigate the supply-demand imbalance. Solutions abound but will take planning and coordinated investment.

In 1956, geophysicist M. King Hubbert correctly predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s. He incorrectly predicted that world oil would peak in 1995. What he missed was that advances in technology would allow producers to extract oil from known fields far beyond the technology capacity of his day.

Because of these advances, the shape of the oil production curve is not really a peak at all, but more of a bumpy mesa. If there is an important "peak" of oil, it actually occurred in the early 1980s, when oil consumption as a percentage of total global energy topped out just shy of 50 percent. That has declined today to about 40 percent, a trend that has been remarkably consistent and un-shockingly boring.

Dr. Hubbert can be excused for incorrectly forecasting the impact of technology, but today's forecasters should know better. They often claim that oil supply is made worse by modern enhanced oil recovery techniques that drain reservoirs faster. In fact, the reverse is true. The combination of higher energy prices and advanced technology will continue to extend the life of conventional oil supplies via enhanced oil recovery processes.

So what are the realistic near-term alternatives to conventional oil?

Most experts recognize that the age of conventional oil will fade during the 21st century. Energy demand in Asia and other developing regions will continue to outpace supply and keep oil prices high and volatile. Fortunately, price and technology will allow for production of heavy oil, tar sands and shale oil, whose combined global reserves far exceed those of conventional oil, as well as coal liquefaction and gasification, improved gas-to-liquids technology and alternatives to oil led initially by conventional and unconventional natural gas.

The challenge of natural gas is not resources, but deliverability. As liquefied natural gas ports are permitted and built, natural gas will become a global commodity and help reduce issues of deliverability that have caused price volatility. Natural gas, combined with other non-coal sources of fuel, will likely surpass oil as a percentage of total global energy consumption between 2015 and 2020. This crossover already happened in the U.S. around 1994.

If no substitute for oil existed, the world would indeed be in for an energy shock, and possibly an economic collapse. Fortunately, that is not the case, but investment must start today. U.S. energy policies must be aggressive, focus on efficiency and conservation measures and lead the world in a smooth transition to an unconventional-oil, clean-coal, natural-gas, nuclear and emerging-energy-supply future.

Our economy and environment will be the prime beneficiary.

This is not a shocking prognosis, but rather a boringly achievable one.

Dr. Scott Tinker is Texas state geologist and director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences, where he holds the Allday Endowed Chair. His e-mail address is

For more information contact J.B. Bird at the Jackson School,, 512-232-9623.
10582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 03, 2010, 02:11:35 PM

Gas Is Going To $5 A Gallon, Consumer Spending Is Dead, And House Prices Will Fall Another 20%

Read more:
10583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: October 03, 2010, 02:07:55 PM

Mexican Mayors: Stop Deporting All These Mexicans, They’re Too Violent and Dangerous!
posted at 10:38 am on October 3, 2010 by Cassy Fiano

In what may be the most snort-worthy post I’ve read recently, Mexican mayors are actually complaining about Mexicans being deported back to Mexico… because they’re too dangerous and violent.

Well, yeah. That’s why we don’t want them here. Because they’re criminals.

    conference in which the mayors of four Mexican border cities and one U.S. mayor, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, gathered to discuss cross-border issues.

    Ciudad Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes blamed U.S. deportation policy for contributing to his city’s violence, saying that of the 80,000 people deported to Juarez in the past three years, 28,000 had U.S. criminal records — including 7,000 convicted rapists and 2,000 convicted murderers.

    Those criminal deportees, he said, have contributed to the violence in Juarez, which has reported more than 2,200 murders this year. Reyes and the other Mexican mayors said that when the U.S. deports criminals back to Mexico, it should fly them to their hometowns, not just bus them to the border.

    But critics in America say the Mexican lawmakers are simply trying to pass the buck to the U.S. and its taxpayers. They say the Mexicans should take responsibility for their criminals, who are putting both Mexican and American lives in danger.

It’s especially snort-worthy considering that open-borders extremists have recently been spouting ridiculous drivel about how calling illegal immigrants illegal is leading to loads of anti-immigrant violence. Reality, of course, is that violent crimes committed by the poor, sweet, victimized illegal immigrants far outweighs any anti-Latino violence imagined by the amnesty advocates.

And this is, of course, Mexican officials trying to put the blame on the United States instead of taking responsibility for their own citizens. Yes, a large number of these Mexican illegal immigrants are, in fact, criminals, and oftentimes violent criminals at that. That’s why we don’t want them here. That’s why so many Americans want to get tough on immigration — starting with securing the border. You’d think Mexican officials would understand this, considering Mexico’s own strict immigration laws. Could this have anything to do with the Reconquista mindset encouraged by Mexico’s own president?

Speaking of violent Mexicans, Green Room blogger Director Blue reports on another tragic American death at the hands of Mexicans. David and Tiffany Hartley were jet skiing on Falcon Lake, and rode over to the Mexican side to take pictures of a Spanish mission. They were chased by Mexican boats, where Tiffany’s husband David was shot in the head and fell into the water. When she went back to retrieve his body, the thugs held a gun to her head.

    Tiffany Hartley told deputies she and her husband David were jet skiing near the town of Old Guerrrero. Hartley told investigators her husband was shot in the head and killed. She says she was forced to leave his body behind as the gunmen fired more bullets at her.

    … Hartley did tell authorities after the shooting she got help from a man on shore. The Good Samaritan told deputies he saw the Mexican boats chasing her into US waters. CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to the man who stepped up to help Tiffany in those first terrifying moments after her husbands murder.

    The Good Samaritan wants to remain anonymous because he fears for his life. He was on the west side of the lake. He goes there once a week, but for some reason he went twice this week.

    For him it was just another day on Falcon Lake. The sky was clear, and there were people out having fun. Then, out of the blue he saw a jetski being chased by a boat. Everything would change for the Good Samaritan when he heard Tiffany Hartley rushing toward him. As she sobbed she told him her husband had been shot.

    “She could see the gunshots wounds to his head. His brains were falling and he was not breathing,” he said. The man tried to console her. She told him she and her husband David had gone to old Guerrro on the Mexico side of the lake to take pictures of a Spanish mission.

    “Three boats approached them, waving guns talking in Spanish,” he said. “They got scared, spooked then they heard the gunshots going on. She could see they were hitting the water and the water was coming up at them. [A]ll of a sudden she sees her husband flying off.”

    Tiffany told him she turned around to go take care of her husband, but two pirates went after her jetski. One pirate held a gun to her head. Once he left she tried to pull her husband body onto her jetski but she didn’t have the strength.

    She told the Good Samaritan she made an agonizing decision. She left her husband behind because she could see a pirate charging towards her. Her story is forever imprinted in his head.

Authorities believe this was the work of pirates working for a drug cartel, who have often been robbing boaters at gunpoint. This is the fifth violent incident at Falcon Lake in five months, with the worst obviously being David Hartley’s murder.

Why would we want to keep these kind of violent criminals in United States territory? The stance of the Mexican mayors would be understandable if we were abandoning violent American criminals in Mexico. But we aren’t. These are Mexican citizens, meaning they were Mexico’s problem. Americans are already shouldering the burden of harboring Mexico’s worst criminals. These violent criminals are Mexico’s responsibility.

Of course, knowing our current leadership, these Mexican loons will probably get time to complain in front of Congress, where Obama will promptly apologize for the United States selfishness in expecting Mexico to take responsibility for its own citizens.
10584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 03, 2010, 01:49:34 PM

Contrast and compare the crowds. What you won't see on the MSM.

10585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 03, 2010, 01:32:07 PM
Nope. It's tragic that lots of future horrors will happen because too many people were stupid enough to vote Obama into office. I just hope Taiwan, Israel and the US can survive.
10586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Movies on: October 03, 2010, 11:29:57 AM

Ruppert's truther screed.
10587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: October 03, 2010, 11:10:12 AM

Do you have a source?  My information shows that Whitman received a letter from Social Security Administration questioning the validity of the submitted social security number; period.  There is no mention or warning in the letter that "no action should be taken against the lady or be fired by Ms Whitman because that would be a violation of the lady's rights". 

Lawyers said an employer's obligation upon receiving a no-match letter from the Social Security Administration is to check their own records for typographical or other errors, inform the employee that the records do not match and tell the employee to correct them.

"There is no additional legal obligation for an employer to follow up or respond to SSA with new information," said Gening Liao, a labor and employment attorney at the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, which defends immigrants.

Liao added that it is "very important that the employer does not take adverse action against the employee" merely based on a letter from Social Security.

Nor was Diaz under any obligation to pursue the matter, Liao said. Correcting a mismatch is "primarily for the benefit of the employee," she said, to make sure they can collect all the benefits due them for their work.

The attorney for Diaz Santillan has not said whether the Whitmans' former housekeeper received a mismatch notice. Social Security's notice to employees says the letter "does not, in and of itself, allow your employer to change your job, lay you off, fire you or take other action against you."

Had Whitman questioned Diaz's legal status after Diaz presented documents when she was hired, Whitman again would have exposed herself to discrimination violations.

"Not only is (accepting the documents) all the law required her to do, but there's a counterbalancing anti-discrimination law that keeps her from probing further or demanding different documents," said Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington.

Read more:
10588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NorKs, China and Obama's weakness on: October 03, 2010, 07:08:17 AM

World Vision has calculated that in the 1990s the regime's Marxist agricultural policies killed two million North Koreans, with fresh graves being raided for flesh by starving people. Concentration camps have killed another 1.5 million. Women prisoners are tortured and sold as sex slaves; babies are either forcibly aborted or delivered and then smothered, or have their throats cut. These details will probably be familiar to you, because you will have seen them denounced on the many demonstrations against the regime organised by the professional protesters of the British left - will you not?

Any interpretation of the inner workings of the Pyongyang regime is necessarily largely speculative. The armed forces could field 5.8 million men if they invaded South Korea, bolstered by the largest stocks of chemical and biological weapons on the planet. In 2006 North Korea carried out a successful nuclear test and has continued to develop its nuclear capacity. In April 2009, much Western derision was directed against North Korea because of the supposed "failure" of its Taepodong-2 missile test. That mockery was misdirected: the missile's 2,000-mile flight was twice as long as any preceding effort and it impressed Pyongyang's ballistic missile customers in Iran, Syria and elsewhere.

The feebleness of Barack Obama's response both to that incident and the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel signalled the lack of Western political will to confront this aggressor regime. The West took refuge in the belief that China could rein in this errant Communist state. That is questionable. Mao's dictum that the relationship between China and North Korea was as close as "lips and teeth" no longer holds. China is wary of confronting Pyongyang, for fear of being publicly defied and losing face. The maverick regime continues to threaten South Korea, Japan, Singapore and US carrier groups in adjacent waters. Next month's G20 summit in Seoul could well provoke an act of aggression from Pyongyang, encouraged by proven Western impotence and eager to assert its reinvigoration by the newly secured succession of the third generation of what is now an undisguised hereditary monarchy.
10589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 11:22:13 PM

Finding the Achilles' heel of China
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian B.Raman, China, worldview 8:33:00 AM

Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao addresses reporters during a news conference in Athens October 2, 2010. China offered on Saturday to buy Greek government bonds in a show of support for the country whose debt burden triggered a crisis for the euro zone and required an international bailout. (-Reuters Photo )
by B.Raman

(October 03, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The war of nerves and words between China and Japan over the ownership of the Senkaku Islands (the Chinese call it the Diayou Islands) in the East China Sea continues despite the Japanese release of the Captain of a Chinese fishing trawler whom they had arrested on September 8,2010, for criminal trespass into the Japanese territorial waters around the Japanese-administered islands.

2.The Chinese are yet to release one of the four Japanese employees of a construction company whom they had arrested apparently in retaliation for the Japanese arrest of the fishing trawler's Captain. The abrupt Japanese release of the Captain after having initially given evidence of its intention to prosecute him followed the Chinese arrest of the four Japanese employees.

3.Rightly or wrongly, this has given rise to a perception in Japan that its Prime Minister Naoto Kan has let himself be bullied by China. The whole incident as it has been handled by the Kan Government has been seen by sections of the media and public in Japan as a humiliation of Japan by China.As if this perceived humiliation is not enough, Bejing is insisting that before the relations between the two countries could be normalised, Japan should apologise for the "illegal" arrest of the Captain and for his "wrongful" detention.If Mr.Kan concedes this demand, it would amount to his admitting indirectly that the group of islands is Chinese and not Japanese territory.

4.There is disappointment in Japan over the failure of the Barack Obama Administration to come out strongly in support of Japan in this war of nerves with China. The US recognises the Senkaku as Japanese-administered since 1972, but has not recognised Japanese claims of sovereignty over the Islands. At the same time, there is no denial of the interpretation that the protective provisions of the US-Japan security treaty cover the Senkaku islands too.

5. The Japanese were hoping that the US would come out as strongly against Chinese machinations in respect of the East China Sea islands as Mrs.Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, did in respect of the South China Sea islands during her intervention at a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Hanoi earlier this year. Surprisingly and inexplicably, the US has contented itself with statements merely calling for a peaceful resolution of the Sino-Japanese differences.

6. Attention has not been drawn by analysts to the blatant double standards in Chinese diplomacy as seen from its policy towards India on the Kashmir issue and its policy towards Japan on the Senkaku issue. The Chinese have been saying that the recent changes in favour of Pakistan in their stance on Kashmir is an individual issue which should not be allowed to have an impact on the over-all relations between India and China. But, they have refused to treat the arrest of the Chinese Captain by the Japanese as an individual issue which should not affect the over-all Sino-Japanese relations.

7. They have made the entire Sino-Japanese relations a hostage to this single issue. They have allegedly stopped the export of rare earth elements to Japan on which the Japanese high-tech industries are dependent. They have suspended high-level contacts between the two countries. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao declined to meet the Japanese Prime Minister when the two were in New York last week for the UN General Assembly session. Beijing has discouraged its tourists from visiting Japan. It has cancelled the visit of Japanese delegations to the Shanghai Expo.

8. The only factors that have acted as a check on the Chinese bullying of Japan are Beijing's uncertainty over the implications of the US-Japan security treaty in so far as the Senkaku group is concerned and fears that if Beijing continued to over-react it might provide fresh oxygen to Japanese militarists.

9. In a statement before the Japanese Parliament on October 1, Prime Minister Kan said: "The rise of China has been remarkable in recent years,but we are concerned about its strengthening defence capabilities without transparency and accelerating maritime activities spanning from the Indian Ocean to the East China Sea. The Senkaku islands are an integral part of our country, historically and under international law.Good relations with China - Japan's largest trading partner - are vital to both countries, but China must act as a responsible member of the international community. Japan needed to adopt more active foreign and defence policies to deal with uncertainty and instability that exist in areas surrounding our country."

10. His statement followed remarks by China's Foreign Ministry spokesman the previous day urging Japan to "stop making irresponsible remarks and safeguard the larger interests of bilateral relations with concrete actions". The spokesman, Jiang Yu, said: "We are willing to resolve our disputes through friendly negotiations but the Chinese Government's and people's will and resolve are unswerving on issues involving China's territorial integrity and sovereignty."

11. The regional "uncertainty and instability" consequent upon China's over-assertiveness in matters relating to territorial disputes should be of concern not only to Japan, but also to India, Vietnam and the Philippines. India's concerns over its long-pending border dispute with China and over the stepped-up Chinese support to Pakistan in the nuclear field and in the construction of road and rail infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan are legitimate. So are the concerns of Vietnam and the Philippines regarding the Chinese intentions and capabilities in the South China Sea.

12. The perceptions and concerns of India, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines relating to China should bring them together to discuss among themselves as to how to counter the over-assertiveness of China without creating a confrontational situation and without damaging the positive dimensions of their respective bilateral relations with China. Their discussions among themselves should cover the strong as well as the weak points of China--- the strong points against which they should protect themselves and the weak points which they could exploit.

13. An editorial carried by the Chinese Communist Party controlled "Global Times" on September 21 under the title "Finding the Achilles' Heel of Japan" (annexed below) said: "Provoking China comes with a heavy price tag. Finding Japan's soft spot will help end its hostile policies against China during its rise."

14. There is a need for India, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines to find the soft spots of China. Pakistan could turn out to be one such soft spot. India knows Gilgit-Baltistan and the Chinese-controlled Xinjiang better than the Chinese. North Korea, where a new leadership is emerging, could be another. The Japanese know North Korea as well as the Chinese do. India, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines should make overtures to the new, emerging leadership in North Korea and help it to free North Korea of its linkages with China and develop its prosperity. This is the time for India to seriously consider establishing contacts with the new North Korean leadership and invite Kim Jong-Un, the heir-apparent to Kim Jong-il, to India.

15. New Delhi's Look East policy as it has evolved till now has over-focussed on our relations with the ASEAN. The relations with the ASEAN countries continue to be important. It is time to give an East Asia dimension too to our Look East policy.

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )
10590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 10:12:49 PM

China seeks to neutralize Japan-U.S. security treaty




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photoA Chinese navy Kilo-class submarine cruises in waters near the Okinawa main island. (THE DEFENSE MINISTRY)

A rapid buildup of nuclear weapons by China and its apparent determination to restrict United States forces' access to the western Pacific is threatening to transform the balance of power in East Asia.

Tensions in the region were demonstrated at a meeting of the foreign ministers of Japan, China and and South Korea in Gyeongju in South Korea on May 15.

Though the main topic of the meeting was the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, a testy exchange between the foreign ministers of Japan and China showed strategic concerns simmering below the surface.

Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told the Chinese representative, "Among the countries that possess nuclear weapons, only China is increasing its nuclear weapons."

This angered Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Without turning on his microphone, he said, "There is nothing to justify being told such a thing by Japan, which is protected by the U.S. nuclear umbrella." He then started to leave his seat.

Wednesday will mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the revised Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, but China's increasing military assertiveness is raising questions about the continuing efficacy of Japan's defense strategy.

China is estimated to have about 400 nuclear warheads, a fraction of the more than 5,000 warheads held by the United States. China has declared that it will not use its nuclear weapons for preemptive strikes.

"We continue to maintain the minimum-level nuclear capabilities that are required for the safety of our country," said Ma Zhaoxu, director-general of the Information Department of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

But, despite the soothing words, China is quietly transforming its long range nuclear capabilities. New missiles include the Dong Feng 31A, an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 14,000 kilometers.

The shorter range Dong Feng 21C missile has Japan well within its range and a new type of anti-ship ballistic missile can pursue vessels at supersonic speeds.

China is also constructing underground bases for nuclear missiles in mountainous areas in Henan and Shanxi provinces, aimed at protecting them from preemptive strikes.

The missile development is a vital part of an emerging "anti-access" theme in Chinese military strategy aimed at preventing U.S. aircraft carriers from advancing into sea areas near China in the case of a stand-off between the two countries over Taiwan.

"If we place U.S. aircraft carriers and U.S. bases in Japan within the range of our missiles, the U.S. fleets will not be able to enter the western Pacific freely. As a result, we will make the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty ineffective," said a source close to China's military.

Submarines are another important pillar of the anti-access strategy. In recent years, China has developed state-of-the-art Song-class and Kilo-class submarines with quiet propulsion technologies that make them difficult to detect.

The new technology has allowed much more aggressive deployment. The Chinese military has told U.S. military officials that two Chinese submarines are permanently stationed in waters near the United States.

In October 2006, a Chinese Song-class submarine surfaced about eight kilometers from the U.S. aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk near Okinawa Prefecture.

The U.S. ship had been unaware of the Chinese submarine's presence and was within the range of the Chinese submarine's torpedoes.

The Chinese navy flexed its muscles again in April this year, when a fleet of 10 vessels, including two Kilo-class submarines, passed between the main Okinawa island and Miyakojima island.

A Chinese helicopter came within about 90 meters of a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force's escort warship during the incident.

The Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told a delegation of Japanese Self-Defense Forces' officers in Beijing on June 11 that the passage was part of a training exercise and was not a violation of international law.

"Though the Self-Defense Forces' reconnaissance planes frequently come to (air space over) the Yellow Sea (between China and the Korean Peninsula), the Chinese military forces are not obstructing them. We hope that the Japanese side do not watch us too closely either," Liang said.

However, a military source in Beijing said the maneuver had a more profound motivation: "The passage was made to demonstrate to Japan and the United States the improvement in China's anti-access capabilities in the East China Sea."

According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, Chinese destroyers have been detected near Miyakojima island and Okinotorishima island five times since 2008.

One of the Japanese officers present at the meeting with Liang said, "We felt that China has established superiority and that Chinese naval power is already greater than Japan's."

Chinese military officers say that China's military buildup is focused on Taiwan.

The primary target of its increasing strategic assertiveness is not Japan but the United States, which has been selling weapons to Taiwan. But China recognizes that accidental clashes with Japan in the East China Sea may be a side effect of the policy.

When Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with then Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Japan in late May, he proposed re-establishing a hotline between the leaders. The hotline had not yet been set up and the Chinese side appeared to have gone cold on the idea.

At the same meeting, the two leaders agreed to improve other crisis management mechanisms to deal with confrontations at sea.

Meanwhile, the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in late March raised questions about Japanese and South Korean security cooperation. The Japanese government was slow in responding to the incident and did not ask to participate in the investigation into the causes of the incident.

The Cheonan's sinking, which the international investigation blamed on Pyongyang, was a stark reminder of the military power of North Korea. The reclusive country has up to 180,000 special military troops, weapons of mass-destruction, ballistic missiles, and submarine capabilities, all of which threaten both South Korea and Japan's security.

Japanese officials are pushing for greater cooperation with South Korea on security issues but the response from the South Korean side has often been unenthusiastic.

There is a strong resistance in South Korea to establishing a military alliance with Japan because of the friction resulting from Japan's occupation of the Korean Peninsula. There is also concern about China's opposition to such an alliance.

Nevertheless, there is an understanding among some in the South Korean military of the two country's common interests.

A South Korean officer said, "An (military) alliance (between South Korea and Japan) may be impossible. But both countries always need to maintain high-level friendly relations."
10591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 10:09:44 PM

   5. Neither should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region or in any other region of the world and each is opposed to efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.

**The PRC often refers to the US as "The hegemon".**
10592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: October 02, 2010, 05:29:56 PM
**From the far from conservative SF Chron.**

Lawyers said an employer's obligation upon receiving a no-match letter from the Social Security Administration is to check their own records for typographical or other errors, inform the employee that the records do not match and tell the employee to correct them.

"There is no additional legal obligation for an employer to follow up or respond to SSA with new information," said Gening Liao, a labor and employment attorney at the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, which defends immigrants.

Liao added that it is "very important that the employer does not take adverse action against the employee" merely based on a letter from Social Security.

Nor was Diaz under any obligation to pursue the matter, Liao said. Correcting a mismatch is "primarily for the benefit of the employee," she said, to make sure they can collect all the benefits due them for their work.

Read more:
10593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: October 02, 2010, 03:31:14 PM
Waiting for the vast majority of peaceful muslims to take to the streets to voice their support for the freedom of expression......

Yup, any time now.....

Hello? **tap-tap-tap** Is this thing on??........
10594  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: October 02, 2010, 03:24:37 PM
"TSA refuses to do the obvious thanks to political correctness."

**No, TSA refuses to do it because of the DOJ.**


U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division



June 2003


In his February 27, 2001, Address to a Joint Session of Congress, President George W. Bush declared that racial profiling is "wrong and we will end it in America." He directed the Attorney General to review the use by Federal law enforcement authorities of race as a factor in conducting stops, searches and other law enforcement investigative procedures. The Attorney General, in turn, instructed the Civil Rights Division to develop guidance for Federal officials to ensure an end to racial profiling in law enforcement.

"Racial profiling" at its core concerns the invidious use of race or ethnicity as a criterion in conducting stops, searches and other law enforcement investigative procedures. It is premised on the erroneous assumption that any particular individual of one race or ethnicity is more likely to engage in misconduct than any particular individual of another race or ethnicity.

Racial profiling in law enforcement is not merely wrong, but also ineffective. Race-based assumptions in law enforcement perpetuate negative racial stereotypes that are harmful to our rich and diverse democracy, and materially impair our efforts to maintain a fair and just society. (1)

The use of race as the basis for law enforcement decision-making clearly has a terrible cost, both to the individuals who suffer invidious discrimination and to the Nation, whose goal of "liberty and justice for all" recedes with every act of such discrimination. For this reason, this guidance in many cases imposes more restrictions on the consideration of race and ethnicity in Federal law enforcement than the Constitution requires. (2) This guidance prohibits racial profiling in law enforcement practices without hindering the important work of our Nation's public safety officials, particularly the intensified anti-terrorism efforts precipitated by the events of September 11, 2001.

I. Traditional Law Enforcement Activities. Two standards in combination should guide use by Federal law enforcement authorities of race or ethnicity in law enforcement activities:

    * In making routine or spontaneous law enforcement decisions, such as ordinary traffic stops, Federal law enforcement officers may not use race or ethnicity to any degree, except that officers may rely on race and ethnicity in a specific suspect description. This prohibition applies even where the use of race or ethnicity might otherwise be lawful.
    * In conducting activities in connection with a specific investigation, Federal law enforcement officers may consider race and ethnicity only to the extent that there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality or time frame, that links persons of a particular race or ethnicity to an identified criminal incident, scheme, or organization. This standard applies even where the use of race or ethnicity might otherwise be lawful.

II. National Security and Border Integrity. The above standards do not affect current Federal policy with respect to law enforcement activities and other efforts to defend and safeguard against threats to national security or the integrity of the Nation's borders, (3) to which the following applies:

    * In investigating or preventing threats to national security or other catastrophic events (including the performance of duties related to air transportation security), or in enforcing laws protecting the integrity of the Nation's borders, Federal law enforcement officers may not consider race or ethnicity except to the extent permitted by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Any questions arising under these standards should be directed to the Department of Justice.
10595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 02, 2010, 03:13:55 PM
Amazing how hard it is to find a muslim leader in this country that doesn't have a connection to terrorist groups. Boy, if I didn't know that islam was a religion of peace, i'd think there was problem with the core theology or something..... 
10596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 02, 2010, 03:01:46 PM
Bolton was a diplomat. Just one that would not lick the boots of evil nations like the careerist state department mandarins and democrats insist upon doing.

America is teetering at a tipping point. We have a very narrow window in which to reverse the end of the American experiment. In 2012, we need an executive with the skillset to pull us out of the death spiral. I think the majority of Americans are seeing firsthand that no matter how you dress up an empty suit with inane slogans and fake greek columns, the office actually requires intelligence and competence.
10597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 02:41:30 PM
Joint Communique of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China

January 1, 1979

(The communique was released on December 15, 1978, in Washington and Beijing.)

   1. The United States of America and the People's Republic of China have agreed to recognize each other and to establish diplomatic relations as of January 1, 1979.
   2. The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.
   3. The United States of America and the People's Republic of China reaffirm the principles agreed on by the two sides in the Shanghai Communique and emphasize once again that:
   4. Both wish to reduce the danger of international military conflict.
   5. Neither should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region or in any other region of the world and each is opposed to efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.
   6. Neither is prepared to negotiate on behalf of any third party or to enter into agreements or understandings with the other directed at other states.
   7. The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.
   8. Both believe that normalization of Sino-American relations is not only in the interest of the Chinese and American peoples but also contributes to the cause of peace in Asia and the world.

    The United States of America and the People's Republic of China will exchange Ambassadors and establish Embassies on March 1, 1979.
10598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 02, 2010, 02:32:42 PM
Listen to him discuss economics, he's just as sharp there as geopolitics. He'd eat captain teleprompter for lunch in a debate.
10599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: October 02, 2010, 02:21:02 PM
At this point in Mexico, it's worth a try.
10600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Vote 'stache 2012! on: October 02, 2010, 02:08:05 PM

This morning he waded further into the subject, telling me he's "very seriously" contemplating a White House run in 2012 and that he's begun consulting with high-level campaign operatives to discuss feasibility and logistics.  Bolton cited what he described as President Obama's failures, the "wide open" Republican field, and the knowledge and experience he could bring to the table as the primary factors that sparked his interest in running

**Oh yes!**
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