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10601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S.-China trade war feared on: November 07, 2010, 05:18:00 PM
U.S.-China trade war feared
In a visit to Miami, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui said trade sanctions aren't the way to deal with China's undervalued yuan.

The Chinese ambassador to the United States said Thursday that if legislation allowing the U.S. to seek trade sanctions against nations it believes manipulate their currencies becomes law, it will set off a U.S.-China trade war.

In one of the most direct statements to date from a Chinese official, Ambassador Zhang Yesui said, ``If the president signs it, it will create a trade war between China and the United States. A trade war will not be good for anyone sitting in this room.''

Zhang made his comments in Miami during a forum organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to discuss business opportunities in China.

Critics say China should allow its yuan to float to address China's huge trade imbalance with the United States. Keeping the yuan cheap, they complain, gives China an unfair competitive advantage, making the price of Chinese products low for U.S. consumers and U.S. goods more expensive in the Chinese market.

As criticism mounts during this electoral cycle that China's big trade surplus contributes to U.S. job losses, calls for action against China have intensified.

In late September, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 348-79 for a bill that would allow the U.S. to take into account currency undervaluation to calculate duties on Chinese imports. A similar measure is expected to be introduced in the Senate after the midterm elections.

Zhang said he hopes the Senate doesn't take up a bill and laments that the issue has become politicized. ``I know politics can be very cruel sometimes,'' he said.

``Congress says the exchange rate is the main cause of the trade deficit, that if the currency appreciates it will create more U.S. jobs,'' said Zhang, who took up his post in March after serving as the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations.

``Theoretically speaking, academically speaking, that's not right,'' he said. ``Maybe politically speaking, it's right.''

Since 2000, he said, U.S. exports to China have grown by 33 percent -- and that has created more jobs for U.S. workers. China, the ambassador said, is actively expanding its domestic market and retail consumer sales are expected to reach $2 trillion this year.

Zhang also pointed out that from 2005 to 2007, when the Chinese currency appreciated against the dollar by 21 percent, the Chinese trade surplus with the United States still increased by about 20 percent.

Any disagreements over the impact of the yuan on the trade imbalance should be solved through dialogue and negotiation ``as equal partners,'' he said.

But frustration over China's undervalued yuan is clearly growing, and for some, the time frame for negotiation is just about over.

Earlier this week Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called the Chinese currency issue ``the central existential challenge facing the world economy'' and urged the International Monetary Fund to exert ``leverage'' on China.

One of the most outspoken critics of China has been New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, who said he will push a sanction bill in the Senate.

While the House bill was being considered, Schumer said, ``China is merely pretending to take significant steps on its currency. This sucker's game is never going to stop unless we finally call their bluff.''

Schumer represents a state where some regions have suffered heavy job losses in recent years, and he points to outsourcing and unfair competition as the main culprits in the jobs exodus.

In Miami, Zhang spoke to a friendly crowd eager to hear about business possibilities in an economy that is growing at more than 9 percent a year. Last year, total trade between China and the Miami Customs District reached $3.9 billion, making China the region's fourth most important trading partner.

Read more:
10602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China leads backlash against US stimulus on: November 07, 2010, 11:13:45 AM

China leads backlash against US stimulus as risk of currency war, protectionism grows
China led an Asian backlash against US measure to boost an economic recovery which has stoked concerns that a flood of 'hot money' could destabilise regional economies.
10603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Moonbeam powers: Activate! on: November 07, 2010, 11:07:01 AM

California Pension Promises May Top Taxes by Fivefold, Milken Study Finds
By Michael B. Marois - Oct 19, 2010 11:22 AM MT

California, which has the largest U.S. public-pension fund, faces liabilities that may exceed its annual state-tax revenue fivefold within two years unless lawmakers rein in benefits, according to a study.

To keep their promises to retirees, the California Public Employees Retirement System, the biggest plan, the California State Teachers Retirement System, the second-largest, and the University of California Retirement System may have combined liabilities of more than 5.5 times the state’s annual tax revenue by fiscal 2012, according to the study released today by the Milken Institute. Levies are forecast to reach about $89 billion in the year that began July 1.

Debts to government retirees including those in California, the biggest state by population, have grown into a national crisis as pension plans strive to meet obligations to more than 19 million active and retired firefighters, police officers, teachers and other state workers. Fewer than half the plans had assets to cover 80 percent of promised benefits in fiscal 2009, according to data compiled for last month’s Cities and Debt Briefing hosted by Bloomberg Link.

“California simply lacks the fiscal capacity to guarantee public-pension payments, particularly given the wave of state employees set to retire” in future years, said researchers Perry Wong and I-Ling Shen in the Milken report. “Structural shifts, coupled with the financial design and the accounting practices of state pension funds, all point to the fact that reform is imperative.”
10604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The age of the dollar is drawing to a close on: November 07, 2010, 09:50:31 AM

As we now know, dollar hegemony was itself a major cause of both the imbalances and the crisis, for it allowed more or less unbounded borrowing by the US from the rest of the world, at very favourable rates. As long as the US remained far and away the world's dominant economy, a global system based on the dollar still made some sense. But America has squandered this advantage on credit-fuelled spending; with the developing world expected to represent more than half of the global economy within five years, dollar hegemony no longer makes any sense.

The rest of the world is now openly questioning the merits of a global currency whose value is governed by America's perceived domestic needs, while the growth that once underpinned confidence in its ability to repay its debts has never looked more fragile.

Already, there are calls for alternatives. Unwilling to wait for one, the world's central banks are beginning to diversify their currency reserves. This, in turn, will eventually exert its own form of market discipline on the US, whose ability to soak the rest of the world by issuing ever more greenbacks will be correspondingly harmed.

These are seismic changes, of a type not seen for a generation or more. I hate to end with a cliché, but we do indeed live in interesting times.
10605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 07, 2010, 08:44:38 AM
Free access to drugs, no government authority. Sounds like a Libertarian paradise.
10606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Japan won't be buying US treasuries for long on: November 07, 2010, 08:27:25 AM

Subprime Soothsayer Bass Says Japan to Default on Debt as Economy Unravels

Japan will be forced to default on its debt, Greece’s economy is “done” and Iceland is worse off than Greece, said J. Kyle Bass, the head of Dallas-based Hayman Advisors LP who made $500 million in 2007 on the U.S. subprime collapse.

Nations around the world will be unable to repay their debt and financial austerity in a country such as Ireland is “too late,” Bass said today at the Value Investing Congress in New York.

Japan’s economy may unravel in the next two to three years, and its interest payments will exceed revenue, he said. “Japan can’t fund itself internally,” Bass said.

The country’s year-over-year gross domestic product was 2.4 percent as of June 30. It has the world’s largest public debt, approaching 200 percent of its GDP amid a 5.1 percent jobless rate. Consumer price fell by one percent in September and has been negative each month since May 2009, as deflation has taken hold.
10607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 07, 2010, 08:00:50 AM
So exactly what would be the costs for us of a trade war with China?

a) less trinkets
**China produces more than just trinkets. A very large percentage of our consumer goods come from China. A trade war will hurt lots of those already suffering and struggling to feed and clothe their families. As the dollar plunges downward, tariffs on chinese goods will make a tangible impact on our already declining standard of living.**

b) disruption of REEs
**Which tends to have a serious impact on high tech dependent nations.**

c) higher interest rates due to Chinese not buying our bonds?  (Is this inevitable anyway?)
**Higher interest rates may be inevitable, but let's try to avoid that, because if China stops buying our bonds and others do as well and the US loses it's AAA rating, the most likely result is the end of the USA as we know it.We need to maintain the status quo until we can unfcuk ourselves.**

d) what else?
**A struggling China may well decide to go for broke and move on Taiwan and other disputed territories, resulting in nothing good for asia or the rest of the world.**

10608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 07, 2010, 07:32:34 AM
The original quotes were in this thread.
10609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 07, 2010, 12:40:25 AM
I have said several times that the PRC no longer has a belief in communism, not even the party members. Nationalism, stability and an improved standard of living is what the chinese power structure offers now to the masses. They literally must run as fast as they can just to stay in one place to keep the majority of the population that is still living as their impoverished grandparents did compliant. Still, the chinese withstand suffering very few if any of us can't imagine, and the PRC has a massive internal security structure more than willing to machinegun protesters en mass. Put today's Americans in the conditions of the great depression and see how ugly things get in short order. We may well just find out.
10610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 07, 2010, 12:12:12 AM
FWIW IMHO your logic is as correct as it is naive.

It nice to know that you concede that my logic is correct;   smiley   albeit in you opinion naive.   huh
Still, it's better than being wrong and acting like Don Quixote, running off and discussing numerous but irrelevant evils of Islam. 
This topic is about voluntary arbitration or as you said and seem to prefer "whether the reality of it (arbitration) is voluntary."

But naive?
I presume you are inferring that some Muslim women are "forced" to participate in "voluntary" arbitration
leaving them at a disadvantage and therefore although you concede my logic is impeccable, reality is different?

OK, what do you suggest?  We, England and America are bound by our legal system.  Frankly, overall I
think it is pretty good.  What should we do?  I mean in a Civil matter (divorce for example) if both parties (on the surface) agree to voluntary arbitration, what can the police do? 
Or what can the courts do?  One person needs to file a complaint and if after the fact, there must be proof of coercion. Otherwise the answer is the court
can will and will do nothing.  Nor frankly should it.  Or everyone would complain after an adverse arbitration ruling. 

I further contend that if a woman/man is strong enough to file a complaint for coercion (a criminal matter) than surely they are mentally
strong enough to simply state that they prefer English Law versus voluntary arbitration under Sharia Law.  And then they will have the full protection
of that country's law, i.e. restraining orders if coerced or threatened and the fair distribution of property. 
And if any illegal action is taken against them, or if the law is not followed, the perpetrator will be arrested.  That is fair.
But if both parties voluntarily choose voluntary arbitration; the court is tied.  A crime (i.e. coercion) must be committed before the state can intercede.

So back to my question, given that arbitration is a legal part of the court system, and given that both parties together are allowed to choose the arbitrator, how do
you solve the problem of the arbitrator being biassed or the process being unfair?  Remember, in many matters, the arbitrator is going to being biased.  You
cannot simply do away with arbitration or prohibit one group from being the arbitrator just because they are biased.  The Church of England is biased on many matters as
are many other arbitrators biased for their own reasons.

Frankly, while I am sympathetic, Muslim women in divorce, inheritance or other civil matters have a much better deal in England and the US than women in many other countries. 
They have a choice; Sharia Court (voluntary arbitration); fast and efficient or they can choose the State's Legal System which is usually gender fair, albeit slow and expensive.

Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:

    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

    Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."


What isn't wrong with Sharia law?

To safeguard our rights there must be one law for all and no religious courts


    * Maryam Namazie
          o Maryam Namazie
          o, Monday 5 July 2010 14.18 BST
          o Article history

Gita Sahgal Gita Sahgal says there is active support for sharia laws because it is limited to denying women rights in the family. Photograph: Richard Saker

The recent global day against the imminent stoning of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiani in Iran for adultery is an example of the outrage sparked by the brutality associated with sharia law's penal code.

What of its civil code though – which the Muslim Council of Britain's Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra describes as "small aspects" that concern "marriage, divorce, inheritance, custody of children"? According to human rights campaigner Gita Sahgal, "there is active support for sharia laws precisely because it is limited to denying women rights in the family. No hands are being cut off, so there can't be a problem …"

Now a report, Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights, reveals the adverse effect of sharia courts on family law. Under sharia's civil code, a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's. A man can divorce his wife by repudiation, whereas a woman must give justifications, some of which are difficult to prove. Child custody reverts to the father at a preset age; women who remarry lose custody of their children even before then; and sons inherit twice the share of daughters.

There has been much controversy about Muslim arbitration tribunals, which have attracted attention because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act, making their rulings binding in UK law.

But sharia councils, which are charities, are equally harmful since their mediation differs little from arbitration. Sharia councils will frequently ask people to sign an agreement to abide by their decisions. Councils call themselves courts and the presiding imams are judges. There is neither control over the appointment of these judges nor an independent monitoring mechanism. People often do not have access to legal advice and representation. Proceedings are not recorded, nor are there any searchable legal judgements. Nor is there any real right to appeal.

There is also danger to those at risk of domestic violence. In one study, four out of 10 women attending sharia courts were party to civil injunctions against their husbands.

"In this way, these privatised legal processes were ignoring not only state law intervention and due process but providing little protection and safety for the women. Furthermore … husbands used this opportunity to negotiate reconciliation, financial settlements for divorce, and access to children. Settlements which in effect were being discussed under the shadow of law."

An example of the kind of decision that is contrary to UK law and public policy is the custody of children. Under British law, the child's best interest is the court's paramount consideration. In a sharia court the custody of children reverts to the father at a preset age regardless of the circumstances. In divorce proceedings, too, civil law takes into account the merits of the case and divides assets based on the needs and intentions of both parties. Under sharia law, only men have the right to unilateral divorce. If a woman manages to obtain a divorce without her husband's consent, she will lose the sum of money (or dowry) that was agreed to at the time of marriage.

There is an assumption that those who attend sharia courts do so voluntarily and that unfair decisions can be challenged. Since much of sharia law is contrary to British law and public policy, in theory they would be unlikely to be upheld in a British court. In reality, women are often pressured by their families into going to these courts and adhering to unfair decisions and may lack knowledge of their rights under British law. Moreover, refusal to settle a dispute in a sharia court could lead to to threats, intimidation or isolation.

With the rise in the sharia courts' acceptability, discrimination is further institutionalised with some law firms offering clients "conventional" representation alongside sharia law advice.

As long as sharia courts are allowed to make rulings on family law, women will be pressured into accepting decisions which are prejudicial.

The report recommends abolishing the courts by initiating a human rights challenge and amending the Arbitration Act as Canada's Arbitration Act was amended in 2005 to exclude religious arbitration.

The demand for the abolition of sharia courts in Britain, as elsewhere, is not an attack on people's right to religion; it is a defence of human rights, especially since the imposition of sharia courts is a demand of Islamism to restrict citizens' rights.

Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not for beliefs and parallel legal systems. To safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and no religious courts.

Maryam Namazie is a rights activist, commentator and broadcaster and spokesperson of Iran Solidarity and One Law for All
10611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / OK with you, JDN? on: November 06, 2010, 10:56:39 PM

October 15, 2010
Sharia-Sanctioned Marital Rape in Britain -- And North America
Andrew G. Bostom
As reported in the UK Independent, president of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain, Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, has reiterated alarming comments made during a March, 2010 interview, sanctioning marital rape.

Sheikh Sayeed was in fact responding to an inchoate effort at modernizing the contracts which govern Muslim marriages in Britain. The good Sheikh, representing Britain's main Islamic Sharia court, the Islamic Sharia Council, promptly published a rebuttal of the contract, which included a statement on sexual abuse (page 6 here). He opined in the March interview:

    Clearly there cannot be any "rape" within the marriage. Maybe "aggression", maybe "indecent activity."

He further rejected both the characterization of non-consensual marital sex as rape, and the prosecution of such offenders as "not Islamic." Sheikh Sayeed, who came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1977, also brazenly expressed his Sharia-supremacism and accompanying disdain for Western, i.e., British Law, stating, make it exactly as the Western culture demands is as if we are compromising Islamic religion with secular non-Islamic values.

Sayeed re-affirmed these sentiments to The UK Independent:

    In Islamic sharia, rape is adultery by force. So long as the woman is his wife, it cannot be termed as rape.

Crowing with pride during his March 2010 interview, Sheikh Sayeed maintained,

    No other sharia council can claim they are so diverse as ours because other sharia councils, they are following one school of fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence]. Ours is diverse -we are hanafi, shafi'i, hanbali.we have Bangladeshi...we have Pakistani, we have Indian, we have Palestinian, we have Somali scholars on our board.

At present there are 16 main sharia courts around Britain, located in Birmingham, Bradford, and Ealing in West London. These institutions are "complemented" by more informal sharia-based tribunals-the think tank Civitas asserting that up to 85 tribunals currently exist  in Britain.

But for those who naively-and smugly-proclaim such phenomena are absent within the Muslim communities of North America, consider AMJA, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America. AMJA's mission statement claims the organization was, "...founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America...AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation's laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities."
In response to the specific query, “Is there a such thing as Marital Rape?,” the  AMJA issued fatwa #2982:

In the name of Allah, all praise is for Allah, and may peace and blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family. To proceed:

For a wife to abandon the bed of her husband without excuse is haram [forbidden]. It is one of the major sins and the angels curse her until the morning as we have been informed by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). She is considered nashiz (rebellious) under these circumstances. As for the issue of forcing a wife to have sex, if she refuses, this would not be called rape, even though it goes against natural instincts and destroys love and mercy, and there is a great sin upon the wife who refuses; and Allah Almighty is more exalted and more knowledgeable.

An ocean apart from Britain—now a recognized Western hotbed for “Islamic fundamentalism”—the same Sharia-sanctioned misogynistic bigotry prevails in a North American clerical organization openly advising US and Canadian Muslims.
10612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 10:39:30 PM
So the stealth jihad to impose sharia on the western world should be ignored? The victimization of women in the UK sharia courts there is no big deal to you?
10613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: November 06, 2010, 10:35:30 PM
What cards would those be?
10614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Let's see how uncivil this gets on: November 06, 2010, 09:21:37 PM

Indebted and Unrepentant
New York and California stand virtually alone against the rest of the country.
10615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 06, 2010, 09:05:30 PM
It could. It could here as well.
10616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: November 06, 2010, 08:47:00 PM   

Before World War I Germany was a prosperous country, with a gold-backed currency, expanding industry, and world leadership in optics, chemicals, and machinery. The German Mark, the British shilling, the French franc, and the Italian lira all had about equal value, and all were exchanged four or five to the dollar. That was in 1914. In 1923, at the most fevered moment of the German hyperinflation, the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mark was one trillion Marks to one dollar, and a wheelbarrow full of money would not even buy a newspaper. Most Germans were taken by surprise by the financial tornado.

"My father was a lawyer," says Walter Levy, an internationally known German-born oil consultant in New York, "and he had taken out an insurance policy in 1903, and every month he had made the payments faithfully. It was a 20-year policy, and when it came due, he cashed it in and bought a single loaf of bread." The Berlin publisher Leopold Ullstein wrote that an American visitor tipped their cook one dollar. The family convened, and it was decided that a trust fund should be set up in a Berlin bank with the cook as beneficiary, the bank to administer and invest the dollar.

In retrospect, you can trace the steps to hyperinflation, but some of the reasons remain cloudy. Germany abandoned the gold backing of its currency in 1914. The war was expected to be short, so it was financed by government borrowing, not by savings and taxation. In Germany prices doubled between 1914 and 1919.

After four disastrous years Germany had lost the war. Under the Treaty of Versailles it was forced to make a reparations payment in gold-backed Marks, and it was due to lose part of the production of the Ruhr and of the province of Upper Silesia. The Weimar Republic was politically fragile.

But the bourgeois habits were very strong. Ordinary citizens worked at their jobs, sent their children to school and worried about their grades, maneuvered for promotions and rejoiced when they got them, and generally expected things to get better. But the prices that had doubled from 1914 to 1919 doubled again during just five months in 1922. Milk went from 7 Marks per liter to 16; beer from 5.6 to 18. There were complaints about the high cost of living. Professors and civil servants complained of getting squeezed. Factory workers pressed for wage increases. An underground economy developed, aided by a desire to beat the tax collector.

On June 24, 1922, right-wing fanatics assassinated Walter Rathenau, the moderate, able foreign minister. Rathenau was a charismatic figure, and the idea that a popular, wealthy, and glamorous government minister could be shot in a law-abiding society shattered the faith of the Germans, who wanted to believe that things were going to be all right. Rathenau's state funeral was a national trauma. The nervous citizens of the Ruhr were already getting their money out of the currency and into real goods -- diamonds, works of art, safe real estate. Now ordinary Germans began to get out of Marks and into real goods.

Pianos, wrote the British historian Adam Fergusson, were bought even by unmusical families. Sellers held back because the Mark was worth less every day. As prices went up, the amounts of currency demanded were greater, and the German Central Bank responded to the demands. Yet the ruling authorities did not see anything wrong. A leading financial newspaper said that the amounts of money in circulation were not excessively high. Dr. Rudolf Havenstein, the president of the Reichsbank (equivalent to the Federal Reserve) told an economics professor that he needed a new suit but wasn't going to buy one until prices came down.

Why did the German government not act to halt the inflation? It was a shaky, fragile government, especially after the assassination. The vengeful French sent their army into the Ruhr to enforce their demands for reparations, and the Germans were powerless to resist. More than inflation, the Germans feared unemployment. In 1919 Communists had tried to take over, and severe unemployment might give the Communists another chance. The great German industrial combines -- Krupp, Thyssen, Farben, Stinnes -- condoned the inflation and survived it well. A cheaper Mark, they reasoned, would make German goods cheap and easy to export, and they needed the export earnings to buy raw materials abroad. Inflation kept everyone working.

So the printing presses ran, and once they began to run, they were hard to stop. The price increases began to be dizzying. Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 Marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 Marks. "If you want to save money," he was told, "and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time."
10617  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 07:44:16 PM
Remember, CAIR leaders have stated:

    “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith but to become dominant.”  ~ Omar Ahmad

    “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future…” ~ Ibrahim Hooper

Any jews that have said anything like the above, JDN?
10618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 07:35:03 PM
Last time I checked, there was no jewish version of a stealth jihad to impose sharia law on the western nations. Do you know of anything similar from  jews? Again, why should American judges enforce religious law?
10619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Muslim organization applauds Oklahoma anti-shariah law on: November 06, 2010, 01:38:31 PM
AIFD PRESS RELEASE: American Muslim organization applauds Oklahoma anti-shariah law
November 5, 2010
American Islamic Forum for Democracy

SQ755 protects the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause and the rule of One Law

PHOENIX (November 5, 2010) - Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) issued the following statement regarding the passage of Oklahoma's State Question 755.

"As Muslims dedicated to modernity, reform and our one law system in the west and in the United States, AIFD applauds the people of Oklahoma for passing State Question 755 and making "the legal precepts of other nations or cultures" off-limits to Oklahoma courts and specifically denying the use of Sharia Law.

The issue is simple. As Americans we believe in the Constitution, the Establishment Clause, and our one law system. SQ755 reaffirms the First amendment to the Constitution and prevents the Establishment or empowerment of a foreign legal system like the specific shariah legal systems implemented in many Muslim majority nations and in western shariah courts seen in places like Britain.

By filing a lawsuit, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has wasted no time in proving once again that they are unable to stand behind public declarations that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and our one law system supersede and are preferable to a sharia law system. They are using the American cover of religious freedom to try and knock down a simple law that prohibits the domination of one religion over others.

SQ755 is not about religious freedom or minority rights. It is about the inviolable sanctity of the U.S. constitution and our country's foundational belief in a legal system based in one law that is based in reason and individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The law has no impact on the personal practice of Islam or the personal interpretation of "shariah" (God's law to a Muslim), but rather SQ755 focuses on shariah as a total legal system that the people of Oklahoma wanted to make clear shall not be used or respected systemically in deciding law in Oklahoma. CAIR's assertion that it is akin to France's ban of the hijab or personal head covering for women is absurd. There is no evidence that this law prevents any of the personal manifestation of the practice of Islam or the use of personal religious principles in arguing law based in reason in state or federal court. Shariah as a legal system can just not be used as prima facie evidence in court.

SQ755 also thus prevents the establishment of separate shariah or Islamic courts in Oklahoma. As we have seen in Britain, Islamists have transformed the British arbitration system to the point that they are operating upwards of 85 shariah courts now. These courts are mostly operated out of mosques in Britain. While they claim that the courts are voluntary, as Canadians voiced loudly in their rejection of shariah courts, these groups exploit tribal pressures and coercion within Muslim communities in order to circumvent the one law and one legal system of Britain and western nations. It is naïve and ignorant to believe that such courts are purely "voluntary". Just ask many of the women who get pressured through them and pressured to stay "out of western un-Islamic courts."

CAIR's lawsuit proves that they are part of an Islamist establishment in America that do not and will not believe in the separation of mosque and state and that they promote the ideology of political Islam. This ideology is based in a belief in the supremacy of Islamic legal systems and is often a conveyer belt toward radicalization. CAIR shows once again that they are part of the problem not the solution.

To those who say "Why Oklahoma?", we say "Why not Oklahoma?" The Oklahoma precedent and example is important. It has already showed CAIR's hand and where they place shariah law in relation to the Constitution. CAIR flippantly states that the law is not necessary. By implying that Islam and shariah are inseparable they demonstrate a willful denial of the internationally pervasive draconian shariah law systems around the world in places like Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia to name a few, and how academically clear the legal system of shariah law is. Note should be made of how CAIR's response to SQ755 does not address any of the harms instituted against Muslims and non-Muslims around the world in the name of shariah law.

AIFD and most reformist Muslims believe a ban on shariah courts is necessary to protect the rights of the individual and in particular the rights of women."

About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD's mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at

Media contact:

office 602-254-1840
10620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Video: Rubio gives GOP address, calls 2010 the Republican “second chance” on: November 06, 2010, 01:18:12 PM

If you want to see why Democrats feared Marco Rubio so much that they tried to stick a knife in the back of their own candidate to stop him, this video demonstrates just how powerful a figure he will become with a national platform on which to speak. The GOP may not have had a speaker like Rubio since Ronald Reagan, excelling at both the message and the mechanics of oratory — and even Reagan didn’t have this kind of compelling backstory. Rubio reminded listeners of his origins from a people exiled from their birthplace because of their desire for freedom, and the dream of a better life that is a “sacred duty” for this generation to deliver to the next, not to mortgage from the next generation for our own exploitation.
10621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 01:08:08 PM
Irfan Aleem v. Farah Aleem, No. 108, September Term 2007
HEADNOTE: The Court declines to afford comity to the Pakistani talaq divorce. The
alleged Pakistani marriage contract and the Pakistani statutes addressing the division of
property upon divorce conflict with the public policy of Maryland and the Maryland courts
will not afford comity to such contracts and foreign statutes.
10622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 06, 2010, 01:03:00 PM

The China powder keg: JOHN HUMPHRYS on a nation that's either on the edge of becoming THE superpower - or exploding into anarchy

10623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 12:29:36 PM
Once there is an agreement to arbitrate, the ruling of the arbitrator is enforceable by the power of the state, yes? Should we as a society have the secular state enforcing a codified law based on a religious text?
10624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?) on: November 06, 2010, 12:13:09 PM
In reading a variety of foreign writers thoughts on America, the only ones who really seemed to get us were Indian.
10625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: November 06, 2010, 12:04:27 PM
China tees up G20 showdown with US

By Alan Beattie in Washington, Geoff Dyer in Beijing, Chris Giles in London

Published: November 5 2010 06:56 | Last updated: November 5 2010 19:03

China has curtly dismissed a US proposal to address global economic imbalances, setting the stage for a potential showdown at next week’s G20 meeting in Seoul.

Cui Tiankai, a deputy foreign minister and one of China’s lead negotiators at the G20, said on Friday that the US plan for limiting current account surpluses and deficits to 4 per cent of gross domestic product harked back “to the days of planned economies”.

“We believe a discussion about a current account target misses the whole point,” he added, in the first official comment by a senior Chinese official on the subject. “If you look at the global economy, there are many issues that merit more attention – for example, the question of quantitative easing.”

China’s opposition to the proposal, which had made some progress at a G20 finance ministers’ meeting last month, came amid a continuing rumble of protest from around the world at the US Federal Reserve’s plan to pump an extra $600bn into financial markets.

Officials from China, Germany and South Africa on Friday added their voices to a chorus of complaint that the Fed’s return to so-called quantitative easing would create instability and worsen imbalances by triggering surges of capital into other currencies.

Tim Geithner, the US Treasury secretary, has proposed using what the US refers to as current account “guidelines” to accelerate global rebalancing, partly as a way of changing the debate away from simply pressing China to allow faster appreciation in the renminbi.

But on Thursday and Friday, governments focused instead on the global impact of the Fed’s action. “With all due respect, US policy is clueless,” Wolfgang Schäuble, German finance minister, told reporters. “It’s not that the Americans haven’t pumped enough liquidity into the market,” he said. “Now to say let’s pump more into the market is not going to solve their problems.”

Pravin Gordhan, finance minister of South Africa, a key member of the emerging market bloc, said the decision “undermines the spirit of multilateral co-operation that G20 leaders have fought so hard to maintain during the current crisis”, and ran counter to the pledge made by G20 finance ministers to refrain from uncoordinated responses.

The US Treasury declined to comment on Friday.

Experts say the mood has soured since the G20 Toronto summit in June and worry that unless the summit can patch up differences on trade imbalances and exchange rates, the outlook for international economic agreement is poor.

Ousmène Mandeng of Ashmore Investment Management and a former senior International Monetary Fund official, said: “The G20 will also have to show [in Seoul] it can work on the issue or its very existence will be in question.”

In recent weeks, there had been some hints that China was favourable to the idea of current account targets. Yi Gang, a deputy central bank governor, said China aimed to reduce its surplus to 4 per cent of GDP in the medium-term

But Mr Cui’s comments suggest that China’s senior leaders have decided to reject Mr Geithner’s proposal. “We believe it would not be a good approach to single out this issue and focus all attention on it,” he said.

Separately, the deputy foreign minister also had a stern message for European leaders, warning them not to attend next month’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Liu Xiaobo, an imprisoned Chinese democracy activist.
10626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Smackdown from China on: November 06, 2010, 08:02:55 AM

China has curtly dismissed a US proposal to address global economic imbalances, setting the stage for a potential showdown at next week’s G20 meeting in Seoul.

Cui Tiankai, a deputy foreign minister and one of China’s lead negotiators at the G20, said on Friday that the US plan for limiting current account surpluses and deficits to 4 per cent of gross domestic product harked back “to the days of planned economies”.

“We believe a discussion about a current account target misses the whole point,” he added, in the first official comment by a senior Chinese official on the subject. “If you look at the global economy, there are many issues that merit more attention – for example, the question of quantitative easing.”

China’s opposition to the proposal, which had made some progress at a G20 finance ministers’ meeting last month, came amid a continuing rumble of protest from around the world at the US Federal Reserve’s plan to pump an extra $600bn into financial markets.
10627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 09:43:48 PM
I can't find a transcript where the FBI intercepted Joe Agosto bragging that Harry"Mr. Cleanface" Reid was on his payroll.
10628  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 08:05:45 PM

An interesting primer on Nevada politics and the "g-sting" scandal.
10629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Covert Entry Search Warrants on: November 05, 2010, 07:16:34 PM

Covert Entry Search Warrants (podcast transcript)

Solari: Hi. This is Jenna Solari from the FLETC Legal Division. I’m here today with Mr. Keith Hodges, also from the Legal Division to talk to you about some more legal tools for your investigative tool box. Mr. Hodges, let’s talk about covert entry search warrants as provided in the USA Patriot Act. Now I’m pretty sure I’ve also heard these referred to as sneak and peek warrants. Can you start us off with a little background about these?

Hodges: Sure. The USA Patriot Act amended or added a lot of provisions to the US Code. One of the amended provisions was 18 US Code §3103a concerning procedural requirements when executing search warrants. Now you remember from your training that after you execute a search warrant we have to leave a return. The amendment permits officers, with a magistrate’s approval, to delay providing a return on the results of a search. Covert entry warrants have been around for a long time and the value of the Patriot Act is that it now provides specific statutory authority to use them.

Solari: Well I think you’ve already given me a little bit of a preview, but how specifically does a covert entry search warrant differ from a regular search warrant?

Hodges: That’s a killer question. Covert entry warrants are exactly the same as a regular warrant, except that with a covert entry warrant, the officers request, and the magistrate can authorize, a delay in providing a return to the subject of the search and that return as we’ve already said, advises the subject of the search that a search was conducted and if evidence is taken from the search, what evidence was taken. Now, the officers still have to convince a magistrate there’s probable cause to search and they must still execute and serve a return. But the main difference of a covert entry warrant and a traditional search warrant is that there’s a delay in providing a return to the target of the search.

Solari: Well it seems like that the provision then would be primarily useful in an investigation where the officers don’t want to tip off the subject of the search.

Hodges: Jenna, that’s exactly its value. If officers immediately execute a return, the subject will know he is the target of an investigation. And when that happens, the defendant will have a chance to destroy evidence that was not discovered, and he may tip off his criminal partners, flee the jurisdiction, threaten witnesses or otherwise possibly jeopardize the investigation.

Solari: Well that makes sense then. Now why the nickname, why have some commentators called covert entry warrants sneak and peeks?

Hodges: I’ll tell you it’s not necessarily an inaccurate description. A covert entry warrant comes in two types. In the first type, agents can enter the target’s home, look around, take pictures, go through files, hop on the computer to look at emails or data, and make copies of what’s seen. The scope of their looking around will be based on the facts in the affidavit and what the magistrate approves. In this type of covert entry warrant, the agents are not authorized to seize anything. So, a sneak and peek is not a bad way to characterize this type of covert entry warrant. In the other types of covert entry warrants, the officers are specifically allowed to seize evidence that’s listed in the warrant.

Solari: Well now how would the officers know which type of warrant they have? In other words, how do they know whether they can seize evidence?

Hodges: Well it depends on whether the officers asked the magistrate to seize evidence, and the justification provided to the magistrate that requested the cover entry warrant. Now a magistrate can authorize a delay in return notification if reasonable cause is shown that providing immediate notification of the search will have an adverse result. If that’s all that’s shown, in other words, all the officers have is reasonable cause; the officers can only get a sneak and peek. They can’t seize evidence. If however it’s shown that there’s a reasonable necessity for a seizure of evidence, then the magistrate can authorize not only the entry and a delay in the return, but also the seizure of evidence.

Solari: Alright, well let’s back up one second. You just said that if the agents can show a potential adverse result from notification then they can get a sneak and peek warrant. Now what is an adverse result, and could you give me some examples?

Hodges: Sure. That term is defined in 18 US Code §2705. An adverse result means that if the officers provide an immediate return after execution of the warrant that immediate return might endanger someone’s life or physical safety, or it might cause flight from prosecution by the bad guys notifying their confederates, it may result in the tampering or destruction of evidence, or result in the intimidation of potential witnesses, or otherwise seriously jeopardize an investigation or unduly delay a trial. This provision that provides us the authority to delay giving notification is a really valuable tool and if you think you’re going to go in and you need to execute a search warrant especially, a sneak and peek just to look around, and don’t want to tip off the confederates this is the tool to use.

Solari: This sounds like a great tool. Now how long the return could be delayed?

Hodges: Well for as long as the judge decides, and the statute also allows for extensions. It all depends on what facts are provided to the magistrate and what the magistrate decides to do.

Solari: Alright, so again just sort of grounded in reasonableness I guess. Now because this provision is in the USA Patriot Act, there’s gotta be a catch, so is it fair to say that this search warrant, this sneak and peek, has to somehow be connected to a terrorism investigation?

Hodges: Well as you well know, many Patriot Act provisions are terrorism-related, but not this one. While certainly useful in terrorism investigations, covert entry warrants can be used whenever officers can articulate an adverse result and the judge approves the covert entry warrant. It doesn’t have to be a terrorism investigation.

Solari: So just to be clear then, a magistrate could under the right circumstances approve a covert entry warrant in a fraud case that has nothing to do with terrorism?

Hodges: Yes, exactly. For example, if I have a probable cause that Joe is engaged in a fraud scheme with several other persons and that evidence of that scheme is located in his house, I might request a covert entry warrant to look around to determine the scope of the fraud, who are the actual or future fraud victims, where the proceeds of the fraud are being concealed, and very importantly, who the co-conspirators are. By using the covert entry warrant, I can see the evidence without tipping off criminal associates and causing them to flee or destroy evidence.

Solari: That’s a really powerful tool. Now in some public reporting, we’ve had people argue pro and con certain provisions of the Patriot Act. I think I’ve heard these warrants actually described by some of the people on the con side as nothing more than legalized burglary. Can that fairly be said to be an accurate description of sneak and peek warrants?

Hodges: I kind of like it, but I would tend to emphasize the word “legalized,” which would further mean there is no burglary; and I have read those claims and there are three things that opponents to covert entry warrants want to ignore. First, while the statutory provision wasn’t codified until 2001, these warrants have been around and used by the courts for a long, long time. Secondly, I think the operative word in “covert search warrant” is warrant. Like any search warrant, it has to be approved by a magistrate and supported by probable cause. And as we discussed earlier, the only difference between a covert entry and garden variety search warrant is that an immediate return - that immediate notification after execution of the warrant - is not required and the notification can be delayed. And finally is that for a covert entry warrant to be useful, the search has to be conducted when no one’s at home. The fact is there’s never been a requirement that a person be at home when a search warrant is executed.

Solari: That makes sense to me. These covert entry warrants appear to be an extremely useful tool for law enforcement officers, it seems they come in especially handy at the beginning of an investigation by not jeopardizing what comes later - like you said by tipping off confederates.

Hodges: Well I agree. Now, of course, with a garden variety warrant which requires an immediate return, the investigation can be severely impaired because the suspects know that officers are investigating. Covert entry warrants prevent that from happening. In addition, in complex cases with many defendants and wholesale concealing of evidence at various locations, these warrants can be used to ensure that all the defendants are identified and all the evidence is found. And again I like to remind folks of a couple things. First, it does not have to be a terrorism-related investigation; it can be for general crimes. Secondly, there two different types of covert entry warrants; one is a straight sneak and peek when you get to go in and look around, the other type is that you are actually allowed to actual seize evidence. And lastly, it’s the magistrate judge who is going to decide whether or not you get a sneak and peek. And so if you need a sneak and peek or a covert entry warrant, we need to include that in the affidavit and specifically tell the judge that that’s what you want, how long you want a delay for, and to articulate your reasons for that.

Solari: Well thank you Mr. Hodges for outlining for us the provisions and requirements of covert entry a/k/a sneak and peek warrants. I really appreciate that. Those of you out there who want to listen to some other of our podcast can find them at our website which is located at
10630  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 06:51:09 PM

When the Mob Museum opens in mid-2011, I'll be looking for what is omitted.

Will it include the roughest period of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's life, when mobsters dubbed him "Cleanface"?

Will it include graphic photos of Anthony Spilotro's brutal murder, when his family still lives in Las Vegas?

Will it be a paean to Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, the longtime mob mouthpiece? Or will he be a bit player, despite taking the lead to create the museum and preserve the old courthouse/post office?

The museum's creative director, Dennis Barrie, doesn't have all the answers yet. He doesn't know whether "Cleanface" will be part of the museum or how Spilotro's murder will be portrayed, although he assured me Frank Rosenthal will be included. Of course, it would be really odd if Rosenthal (a Goodman client) wasn't featured, since he and Spilotro were our city's leading mob figures in the '70s and '80s.


When the final decisions on what's in and what's out are made in April, I bet the Spilotro photos are in, and Cleanface is out.

Reid has said many times that the period in the late 1970s, when he was receiving death threats and was suspected of corruption, was the worst time of his life. In 1979, wiretaps were released of an eight-hour secret meeting in a Kansas City basement where Sicilian mobster Joe Agosto told Kansas City mobsters about the skimming at Las Vegas hotels and gossiped about local notables. Nicknames were used and there were references to Cleanface and Mr. Clean. "I gotta Cleanface in my pocket," Agosto said.

Reid, the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, was Cleanface. But was he corrupt? Nevada gaming officials hired outside investigators, who, after a five-month investigation, concluded Agosto was bragging. But the moniker stuck. Google Cleanface and one of the first items up references Harry Reid.

A video of a Gaming Commission meeting in which Rosenthal screams at Reid and claims Reid somehow betrayed him exists, but I doubt that ends up in the museum either.
10631  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 05, 2010, 06:34:18 PM
Covert/delayed notification search warrants as well as covert entries to install title III wiretaps are legally authorized acts.
10632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 05, 2010, 05:22:39 PM
Felony prosecution, imprisonment. In my state, some years back a retired state trooper was elected sheriff. He decided that he wanted to target some local alleged drug dealer with illegal wiretaps. The illegal taps were discovered, the sheriff was prosecuted and went to prison as a result. In Nevada, some years back, a NDI Agent and a DEA agent were discovered by other DEA agents engaging in illegal wiretaps. They were prosecuted and convicted of violating the federal wiretap statutes.
10633  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: November 05, 2010, 05:15:32 PM
Funny, hearing german spoken or english with german accent elicits all sorts of unhappy WWII images with me as well.
10634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 05:08:53 PM
The Kansas City mob has older and deeper hooks.
10635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 04:41:01 PM
Funny that the polling tended to show them in a dead heat, then Reid wins by a much larger margin.
10636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 05, 2010, 04:35:24 PM
The tea party isn't hip and cool, like Jon "I'm afraid of being identified as jewish" Stewart or Snooki.
10637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 05, 2010, 04:31:42 PM
Education is a local level issue. We need to explain to the public that the money that comes from the Dept. of Ed is actually the money taken from them, run through Washington and then a much smaller portion comes back to them. If you get DC out of the equation, you'll actually have more money for your local schools. There are roles for the federal gov't, education isn't one of them.

Anything said about social security will be used to panic seniors. So the other option is to keep Obama in office for a second term and really end social security when our economy is utterly destroyed.
10638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It's all Rahm's fault! on: November 05, 2010, 01:45:30 PM

Under the Obamabus.
10639  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 05, 2010, 01:43:04 PM
Right now, it's best to not discuss entitlements until after 2012. We have hard choices to make and an economy to rescue, if possible. We start by making major cuts to the federal government. Dept. of Education, Energy, NEA gone. Anything not required for national security, borders. Gone. Defund NPR and not one penny for Obamacare or the states. We can salvage the dollar if we demonstrate that the US is serious about fixing these issues. Obama won't triangulate. He doesn't have it in him.
10640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Don’t need a Weatherman to know Obama’s not happy to see Bernardine Dohrn pop he on: November 05, 2010, 12:55:27 PM
Don’t need a Weatherman to know Obama’s not happy to see Bernardine Dohrn pop her head up again
By Jim Treacher | Published: 12:39 PM 11/05/2010 | Updated: 12:55 PM 11/05/2010

Here’s the “former” radical, explaining to Newsclick India why you’re the crazy one:

Read more:

#Invalid YouTube Link#

10641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 12:51:14 PM
Here I was thinking Reid won because of vote fraud.
10642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 05, 2010, 11:51:29 AM
If you as a peace officer were to breach into an area covered under "reasonable expectation of privacy" without legal authorization, you open yourself up to criminal prosecution and civil liability.
10643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / O-Barry's India trip on: November 05, 2010, 09:53:19 AM

As the president hits India this weekend, he will find it is still George W. Bush country. Tunku Varadarajan on an alliance that Obama has allowed to wither on the vine.

Barack Obama’s visit to India, starting Saturday, may offer him some small respite from the drubbing that has made this week the nadir of his political life; but if he’s looking (a la Elizabeth Gilbert/Julia Roberts) for some Eastern salve for his battered soul, he isn’t going to find it in Mumbai or New Delhi. Obama will encounter a hospitable people, of course: Indians are never unkind to their guests. Why, they’re even stripping coconuts from trees that line a path he’s scheduled to walk down, lest a hard nut ping him on his un-turbanned head. But he will find little of the spontaneous warmth and genuine bonhomie that was lavished on George W. Bush when the latter visited India in 2006.

Two years after Bush’s departure from the White House, India is still Bush Country—a giant (if foreign) Red State, to use the American political taxonomy. By that I mean that the political establishment and much of the non-leftist intelligentsia still looks back with dewy-eyed fondness to the time when India’s relations with the United States flowered extravagantly under Bush. It wasn’t just a matter of securing a mold-breaking nuclear deal with Washington; it was a case of India dealing, for the first time in the uneven history of its relations with the United States, with an American president who saw India as a partner-in-civilization.

Bogged down in health care and bailouts at home, and in “Afpak” abroad, Obama has let the alliance with India wither on the vine. This has frustrated India deeply, especially as a perception came to grip New Delhi that some of Obama’s neglect was payback to India for its closeness to his predecessor. India pushed back hard and furiously at Obama’s early, tone-deaf attempt to foist Richard Holbrooke on the Indian subcontinent as some sort of “Kashmir czar,” and New Delhi has returned, to a noticeable extent, to the pre-Bush method of dealing with America: watch first, and closely; trust later, and sparingly. It is remarkable how an alliance that had seemed so electrifying—indeed, one that had all the hallmarks of a “paradigm shift” in international relations—has been so quickly squandered.
10644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 05, 2010, 09:41:20 AM
Sharia? What Sharia?
by  Robert Spencer

As Sharron Angle, Newt Gingrich and others have started making Islamic law (Sharia) part of the national debate, and Oklahoma actually moves to outlaw it, there is a new attempt to confuse the American people about the nature of the threat we face. It’s a large-scale mainstream media effort to deny both that there is any attempt to bring Sharia to the United States, and that Sharia is anything to be concerned about in the first place. Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence of attempts to establish the primacy of Islamic law over American law, and much to indicate that Sharia is anything but benign.

Characteristic of the media campaign was a Saturday Religion News Service story by Omar Sacirbey, which asserted that “no one in Oklahoma, Michigan or anywhere else is calling for Shariah — including and especially Muslims.” Sacirbey quoted Ibrahim Hooper of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – without noting, of course, CAIR’s status as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding case, the jihad terror convictions of various former CAIR officials, or the Islamic supremacist statements made by Hooper and CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad. Hooper said: “This is another right-wing fantasy that started on the hate blogs and worked its way into the mainstream media. Where is the evidence of the takeover?”

The RNS story goes on to cite as evidence the New Jersey judge who declined to charge a Muslim with sexual assault on his wife because under Sharia, a woman may not deny sex to her husband at any time under any circumstances. This remarkable introduction of Islamic law into American jurisprudence was overturned, leading those who would dismiss the threat of Sharia to claim that its spread in the U.S. is simply a matter of one lone example. Unfortunately, there are more.

There have been successful attempts by Muslim workers at meat packing plants in Nebraska and Colorado to force their employers to restructure the work schedule to give them special breaks at times for Islamic prayer. These efforts initially met with protests from non-Muslim workers, who complained to no avail that the special breaks given to Muslims forced the non-Muslims to work longer hours, and thus discriminated against them. The result? Muslims in these plants have special privileges that other workers do not have – in accord with the privileged status Muslims enjoy over non-Muslims in Sharia societies.

Another example of Sharia insinuating itself into American life are the footbaths that have been constructed in airports and schools for the ablutions prescribed before Islamic prayers. Imagine the outcry if holy water fonts were being placed in airports for Catholic travelers – but Islamic footbaths have been dismissed as non-religious, on the pretext that anyone can use them. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a non-Muslim tried.

Yet Sharia, claims Jehan S. Harney, an Egyptian-American filmmaker writing in the Huffington Post, “is simply the rules that govern the lives of Muslims from daily prayers and fasting to inheritance. Sharia does not -- and never will -- apply to non-Muslims.”

Harney doesn’t mention the Christian women who have been threatened and sometimes even killed in Iraq and elsewhere for not wearing the Islamic headscarf. Nor does she mention the elaborate superstructure of Sharia laws governing the conduct of non-Muslims in Islamic societies, and mandating for them a second-class status that deprives them of basic rights. Just this week, Catholic bishops have been meeting in a synod to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East. Reports on the status of those Christians noted that they routinely face job discrimination (in accord with the Sharia provision that non-Muslims must not hold authority over Muslims) even in states where Sharia is not fully enforced; they have immense difficulty getting permits to build new churches (which is forbidden by Sharia); and converts from Islam must always live under the threat of death (in accord with Sharia’s death penalty for apostasy).

Eventually Sharia advocates will attempt to bring even those elements of Sharia to the U.S.: there is no form of Sharia that does not contain them. But if the mainstream media has its way, Americans will sleep on as those advocates continue to work.

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad (both from Regnery—a Human Events sister company) and most recently coauthor of Pamela Geller’s The Post-American Presidency (Simon & Schuster).
10645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 05, 2010, 09:37:08 AM
The constitution emerged from judeo-christian civilization, but our legal system is secular in nature. Judges should only concern themselves with the constitution and the laws of this nation when rendering a decision. If someone wants to live under sharia law, they need to leave the US. If someone wants to live under another judicial system, they need to move to where that system is the law. Enough of those that come here to subvert this country and the leftists that see nothing wrong with the subversion.
10646  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Coexist-explained on: November 05, 2010, 07:36:40 AM
10647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Whoops! on: November 05, 2010, 12:06:20 AM

Solyndra Inc., the high-flying solar panel maker once touted by President Barack Obama as a model for a green energy future, said Wednesday it has scuttled its factory expansion in Fremont, a move that will stop the company's plans to hire 1,000 workers.

Solyndra said it will also close an existing factory in the East Bay. That will leave the company with one Fremont factory, a new plant visible from Interstate 880.

The moves mean that instead of having 2,000 workers in Fremont, Solyndra will cap its work force at 1,000, which is about the current level. Solyndra also will, over the next several weeks, eliminate 155 to 175 jobs in Fremont. That includes 135 contract employees and 20 to 40 full-time workers, said David Miller, a Solyndra spokesman.

The company seeks to slash production costs amid fierce competition from rival manufacturers in China and the United States.

"Solar has become incredibly competitive," Miller said.

The factory retrenchment adds to what has already been a tough year for Solyndra.

"Solyndra is facing the heat," said Shyam Mehta, an analyst with GTM Research, which tracks alternative-energy markets. "Many higher-cost solar manufacturers are doing well. It's alarming for Solyndra to be cutting back when others are expanding."

The company's fortunes sparkled in September 2009, when the Obama administration announced $535 million in taxpayer loans to finance construction of a new solar-equipment

In December 2009, the company filed for an initial public offering of its stock expected to raise $300 million. In May, Obama toured the Solyndra facilities in Fremont.

The company's fortunes dimmed soon after. In June, Solyndra canceled its IPO, and the following month its chief executive officer, Chris Gronet, quit. Brian Harrison, a former Intel executive, took over as CEO.

**Read it all.**
10648  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. dollar printing is huge risk -China adviser on: November 04, 2010, 08:36:45 PM

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Unbridled printing of dollars is the biggest risk to the global economy, an adviser to the Chinese central bank said in comments published on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve unveiled a new round of monetary easing.

China must set up a firewall via currency policy and capital controls to cushion itself from external shocks, Xia Bin said in a commentary piece in the Financial News, a Chinese-language newspaper managed by the central bank.

"As long as the world exercises no restraint in issuing global currencies such as the dollar -- and this is not easy -- then the occurrence of another crisis is inevitable, as quite a few wise Westerners lament," he said.

As an academic adviser on the central bank's monetary policy committee, Xia does not have decision-making power but does provide input to the policy-making process.

The Federal Reserve launched a fresh effort on Wednesday to support the struggling U.S. economy, committing to buy $600 billion in government bonds despite concerns the programme could do more harm than good.
10649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Watching QE2 on: November 04, 2010, 08:33:32 PM
I really feel sick. It's like being in a slow motion car wreck, waiting for the final impact.

Tell me I'm wrong and these people know what they are doing.
10650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: November 04, 2010, 08:20:08 PM
I feel that there was a lot crooked shiite that went down in various races and the candidacy of Murkowski was just one example. It seems that AK is operating like Huey Long's Louisiana.
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