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10651  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India on: August 02, 2008, 02:43:37 PM
I'm not sure a ground offensive from India might not be a good thing. It might force a reality check in Pak.
10652  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: August 01, 2008, 09:30:57 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/01/cbs-message-indicates-zawahiri-critically-wounded-possibly-dead/

Is Al Zawa-lumpy now a martyr? My fingers are crossed.....
10653  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libertarian themes on: August 01, 2008, 05:34:44 PM
Not really. Without googling the numbers, the number of people, cargo and vehicles crossing US borders daily is immense. Only a tiny fraction are searched under the border search doctrine. There is a compelling interest for the US government to control what enters and exits the United States. Also, very few nations you might be transiting to/from have a greater degree of privacy rights than the US, thus your "reasonable expectation of privacy" is very little, if any.
10654  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libertarian themes on: August 01, 2008, 03:07:28 PM
    http://news.cnet.com/
Police blotter: Laptop border searches OK'd

By Declan McCullagh
http://news.cnet.com/Police-blotter-Laptop-border-searches-OKd/2100-1030_3-6098939.html

Story last modified Thu Jul 27 05:30:52 PDT 2006


"Police blotter" is a weekly CNET News.com report on the intersection of technology and the law.
What: A business traveler protests the warrantless search and seizure of his laptop by Homeland Security at the U.S.-Canada border.

When: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on July 24.

Outcome: Three-judge panel unanimously says that border police may conduct random searches of laptops without search warrants or probable cause. These searches can include seizing the laptop and subjecting it to extensive forensic analysis.

What happened, according to court documents:

In January 2004, Stuart Romm traveled to Las Vegas to attend a training seminar for his new employer. Then, on Feb. 1, Romm continued the business trip by boarding a flight to Kelowna, British Columbia.

Romm was denied entry by the Canadian authorities because of his criminal history. When he returned to the Seattle-Tacoma airport, he was interviewed by two agents of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.

They asked to search his laptop, and Romm agreed. Agent Camille Sugrue would later testify that she used the "EnCase" software to do a forensic analysis of Romm's hard drive.

That analysis and a subsequent one found some 42 child pornography images, which had been present in the cache used by Romm's Web browser and then deleted. But because in most operating systems, only the directory entry is removed when a file is "deleted," the forensic analysis was able to recover the actual files.

During the trial, Romm's attorney asked that the evidence from the border search be suppressed. The trial judge disagreed. Romm was eventually sentenced to two concurrent terms of 10 and 15 years for knowingly receiving and knowingly possessing child pornography.

The 9th Circuit refused to overturn his conviction, ruling that American citizens effectively enjoy no right to privacy when stopped at the border.

"We hold first that the ICE's forensic analysis of Romm's laptop was permissible without probable cause or a warrant under the border search doctrine," wrote Judge Carlos Bea. Joining him in the decision were Judges David Thompson and Betty Fletcher.

Bea cited the 1985 case of U.S. v. Montoya de Hernandez, in which a woman arriving in Los Angeles from Columbia was detained. Police believed she had swallowed balloons filled with cocaine, even though the court said they had no "clear indication" of it and did not have probable cause to search her.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court said police could rectally examine De Hernandez because it was a border crossing and, essentially, anything goes. (The rectal examination, by the way, did find 88 balloons filled with cocaine that had been smuggled in her alimentary canal.)

Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall dissented. They said the situation De Hernandez experienced had "the hallmark of a police state."

"To be sure, the court today invokes precedent stating that neither probable cause nor a warrant ever have been required for border searches," Brennan wrote. "If this is the law as a general matter, I believe it is time that we re-examine its foundations."

But Brennan and Marshall were outvoted by their fellow justices, who ruled that the drug war trumped privacy, citing a "veritable national crisis in law enforcement caused by smuggling of illicit narcotics." Today their decision means that laptop-toting travelers should expect no privacy either.

As an aside, a report last year from a U.S.-based marijuana activist says U.S. border guards looked through her digital camera snapshots and likely browsed through her laptop's contents. A London-based correspondent for The Economist magazine once reported similar firsthand experiences, and a 1998 article in The New York Times described how British customs scan laptops for sexual material. Here are some tips on using encryption to protect your privacy.

Excerpt from the court's opinion (Click here for PDF):

"First, we address whether the forensic analysis of Romm's laptop falls under the border search exception to the warrant requirement...Under the border search exception, the government may conduct routine searches of persons entering the United States without probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or a warrant. For Fourth Amendment purposes, an international airport terminal is the "functional equivalent" of a border. Thus, passengers deplaning from an international flight are subject to routine border searches.

Romm argues he was not subject to a warrantless border search because he never legally crossed the U.S.-Canada border. We have held the government must be reasonably certain that the object of a border search has crossed the border to conduct a valid border search....In all these cases, however, the issue was whether the person searched had physically crossed the border. There is no authority for the proposition that a person who fails to obtain legal entry at his destination may freely re-enter the United States; to the contrary, he or she may be searched just like any other person crossing the border.

Nor will we carve out an "official restraint" exception to the border search doctrine, as Romm advocates. We assume for the sake of argument that a person who, like Romm, is detained abroad has no opportunity to obtain foreign contraband. Even so, the border search doctrine is not limited to those cases where the searching officers have reason to suspect the entrant may be carrying foreign contraband. Instead, 'searches made at the border...are reasonable simply by virtue of the fact that they occur at the border.' Thus, the routine border search of Romm's laptop was reasonable, regardless whether Romm obtained foreign contraband in Canada or was under "official restraint."

In sum, we hold first that the ICE's forensic analysis of Romm's laptop was permissible without probable cause or a warrant under the border search doctrine."
10655  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India on: August 01, 2008, 09:29:40 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/world/asia/01pstan.html?_r=2&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

August 1, 2008
Pakistanis Aided Attack in Kabul, U.S. Officials Say

By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON — American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan’s powerful spy service helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to United States government officials.

The conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack, the officials said, providing the clearest evidence to date that Pakistani intelligence officers are actively undermining American efforts to combat militants in the region.

The American officials also said there was new information showing that members of the Pakistani intelligence service were increasingly providing militants with details about the American campaign against them, in some cases allowing militants to avoid American missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Concerns about the role played by Pakistani intelligence not only has strained relations between the United States and Pakistan, a longtime ally, but also has fanned tensions between Pakistan and its archrival, India. Within days of the bombings, Indian officials accused the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, of helping to orchestrate the attack in Kabul, which killed 54, including an Indian defense attaché.

This week, Pakistani troops clashed with Indian forces in the contested region of Kashmir, threatening to fray an uneasy cease-fire that has held since November 2003.

The New York Times reported this week that a top Central Intelligence Agency official traveled to Pakistan this month to confront senior Pakistani officials with information about support provided by members of the ISI to militant groups. It had not been known that American intelligence agencies concluded that elements of Pakistani intelligence provided direct support for the attack in Kabul.

American officials said that the communications were intercepted before the July 7 bombing, and that the C.I.A. emissary, Stephen R. Kappes, the agency’s deputy director, had been ordered to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, even before the attack. The intercepts were not detailed enough to warn of any specific attack.

The government officials were guarded in describing the new evidence and would not say specifically what kind of assistance the ISI officers provided to the militants. They said that the ISI officers had not been renegades, indicating that their actions might have been authorized by superiors.

“It confirmed some suspicions that I think were widely held,” one State Department official with knowledge of Afghanistan issues said of the intercepted communications. “It was sort of this ‘aha’ moment. There was a sense that there was finally direct proof.”

The information linking the ISI to the bombing of the Indian Embassy was described in interviews by several American officials with knowledge of the intelligence. Some of the officials expressed anger that elements of Pakistan’s government seemed to be directly aiding violence in Afghanistan that had included attacks on American troops.

Some American officials have begun to suggest that Pakistan is no longer a fully reliable American partner and to advocate some unilateral American action against militants based in the tribal areas.

The ISI has long maintained ties to militant groups in the tribal areas, in part to court allies it can use to contain Afghanistan’s power. In recent years, Pakistan’s government has also been concerned about India’s growing influence inside Afghanistan, including New Delhi’s close ties to the government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president.

American officials say they believe that the embassy attack was probably carried out by members of a network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, whose alliance with Al Qaeda and its affiliates has allowed the terrorist network to rebuild in the tribal areas.

American and Pakistani officials have now acknowledged that President Bush on Monday confronted Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, about the divided loyalties of the ISI.

Pakistan’s defense minister, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, told a Pakistani television network on Wednesday that Mr. Bush asked senior Pakistani officials this week, “ ‘Who is in control of ISI?’ ” and asked about leaked information that tipped militants to surveillance efforts by Western intelligence services.

Pakistan’s new civilian government is wrestling with these very issues, and there is concern in Washington that the civilian leaders will be unable to end a longstanding relationship between members of the ISI and militants associated with Al Qaeda.

Spokesmen for the White House and the C.I.A. declined to comment for this article. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, did not return a call seeking comment.

Further underscoring the tension between Pakistan and its Western allies, Britain’s senior military officer said in Washington on Thursday that an American and British program to help train Pakistan’s Frontier Corps in the tribal areas had been delayed while Pakistan’s military and civilian officials sorted out details about the program’s goals.

Britain and the United States had each offered to send about two dozen military trainers to Pakistan later this summer to train Pakistani Army officers who in turn would instruct the Frontier Corps paramilitary forces.

But the British officer, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, said the program had been temporarily delayed. “We don’t yet have a firm start date,” he told a small group of reporters. “We’re ready to go.”

The bombing of the Indian Embassy helped to set off a new deterioration in relations between India and Pakistan.

This week, Indian and Pakistani soldiers fired at each other across the Kashmir frontier for more than 12 hours overnight Monday, in what the Indian Army called the most serious violation of a five-year-old cease-fire agreement. The nightlong battle came after one Indian soldier and four Pakistanis were killed along the border between sections of Kashmir that are controlled by India and by Pakistan.

Indian officials say they are equally worried about what is happening on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border because they say the insurgents who are facing off with India in Kashmir and those who target Afghanistan are related and can keep both borders burning at the same time.

India and Afghanistan share close political, cultural and economic ties, and India maintains an active intelligence network in Afghanistan, all of which has drawn suspicion from Pakistani officials.

When asked Thursday about whether the ISI and Pakistani military remained loyal to the country’s civilian government, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sidestepped the question. “That’s probably something the government of Pakistan ought to speak to,” Admiral Mullen told reporters at the Pentagon.

Jalaluddin Haqqani, the militia commander, battled Soviet troops during the 1980s and has had a long and complicated relationship with the C.I.A. He was among a group of fighters who received arms and millions of dollars from the C.I.A. during that period, but his allegiance with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda during the following decade led the United States to sever the relationship.

Mr. Haqqani and his sons now run a network that Western intelligence services say they believe is responsible for a campaign of violence throughout Afghanistan, including the Indian Embassy bombing and an attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul earlier this year.

David Rohde contributed reporting from New York, and Somini Sengupta from New Delhi.
10656  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: August 01, 2008, 09:14:08 AM
Interesting.

Are all marriages arranged in SA?

**Most all, if not all. Usually to a first cousin. No joke.**

Another question?  What is it about pets that attracts the women?  The association with status, money, or simply a conversation piece?

It sounds like women like the corruptive influence from the West.

**The wahabists are always on the lookout for corruptive western influences.**
10657  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India on: July 31, 2008, 03:01:43 PM
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-3307797,prtpage-1.cms

Al-Qaida tech used in Bangalore, Surat bombs
31 Jul 2008, 0021 hrs IST, Vishwa Mohan ,TNN


NEW DELHI: Al-Qaida may not have a presence in India but its footprint was visible in the bombs used in Bangalore and Surat, according to intelligence officials. ( Watch )

For the first time in India, Integrated Circuit (IC) chips were used to assemble bombs in Bangalore and Surat — a technique perfected by the Qaida-linked Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). Besides using the technique to bomb different places in Indonesia, JI — which aims to establish Islamic state in southeast Asia — has also exported it to Philippines where terrorists have used it effectively in a number of incidents. ( See Ninan’s cartoon )

Referring to the technique being put to use in India, intelligence officials said some local terrorists could have visited Indonesia for training via Bangladesh — a fact which the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police had first got wind of during interrogation of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives last year.

"Links of LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) with Al Qaida is not a secret, and this leads to strong possibility of linkages of their Indian modules with JI in southeast Asia," said an official, adding that the IC explosive device — similar to the ones used by JI — found in Bangalore and Surat had only confirmed the suspicion.

While the jehadis were successful in their first attempt to use IC explosive devices in Bangalore on July 25, they could not make a similar impact three days later in Surat, where the chips used in the bombs had some fault.

None of the bombs in Surat exploded, averting another disaster. "It indicates origin of consignments from two different places for Bangalore and Surat — even though it could be the handiwork of a single group using different terror modules," said a senior official of the National Security Guard (NSG) which has sent its forensic experts to Gujarat.

The bombs in Ahmedabad were, however, of a different make. Timer devices were used there and the design was strikingly similar to those used to bomb courts in three UP cities — Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow — in November last year and in Jaipur on May 13 this year. Incidentally, a group calling itself Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for all three attacks by sending emails to media organisations prior to the blasts.

"Different modus operandi followed in these three cities and in Bangalore and Surat should not be misconstrued as it being the handiwork of different groups," a senior intelligence officer said.

He added that the timing of operations in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat was an indication of meticulous planning and conspiracy by a single command structure from across the border which used different modules in different Indian cities comprising local contacts.

vishwa.mohan@timesgroup.com
10658  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 31, 2008, 02:54:45 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/31/hope-and-change-obama-loses-eight-points-in-four-days/

**This gives me HOPE the polls will continue to CHANGE!**  evil
10659  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: July 31, 2008, 08:43:25 AM
**Below i've cut and pasted from a large, well run Sheriff's Dept. policy on motor vehicle search/seizure.**

10. Motor Vehicle Searches

a) Generally, deputies do not need a warrant to stop and search a vehicle capable of being moved when there is probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is in the vehicle. This exception is allowed due to exigent circumstances created by the mobility of the vehicle and the diminished expectation of privacy.

 b) When probable cause exists, the following circumstances make a warrant unnecessary:1) The vehicle is moving. 2) The deputy has reason to believe that persons known or unknown may move thevehicle. 3) The vehicle has recently been moved. 4) It is impractical to post a guard while obtaining a warrant. 5) The probability exists that time or elements may destroy evidence. 6) It is an emergency situation in which the vehicle must be searched to save life,prevent injury to others, or prevent serious damage to property.

c) When an occupant of a vehicle has been taken into custody, the deputy may conduct a warrantless search of the passenger compartment where weapons or evidence of a crime may be located. The search may include glove boxes, receptacles, luggage bags, clothing, or other closed containers.

11. Vehicle Inventory Search: a) On July 6, 1976, the Supreme Court expressed four (4) reasons why police may inventory impounded vehicles:

1) To protect the owner’s property while it is in police custody.

 2) To protect the police and the municipal government from claims or disputes overalleged lost or stolen property.

3) To protect the police from the potential danger of thieves entering the vehicles and stealing firearms or drugs left therein.

4) To determine whether a vehicle is stolen and to learn the owner’s identity. b) When impounding any vehicle, a thorough search of the vehicle (to include the trunk) will be conducted. This search will include any and all containers, whether open or closed to inventory the contents. The contents of the vehicle will be listed on the reverse side of the impound sheet and signed by the tow truck driver.

12. Plain View Doctrine:a) When the deputy is lawfully on the premises, the deputy may make a warrantless seizureof property if it is immediately apparent that the property constitutes criminal evidence. b) The item seized must be immediately apparent as contraband or evidence of a crime. If the item must be moved or examined more closely, plain view doctrine does not apply.A search warrant will be required to move/seize the item. c) Except in cases involving exigent circumstances or motor vehicles, a plain view observation of contraband or evidence does not justify a warrantless entry into aconstitutionally protected area to seize the item.
10660  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: July 30, 2008, 11:17:55 PM
The quick answer is "it depends". The courts have ruled in the past that you have a lesser expectation of privacy for your vehicle than you do for a home. The mobility of a vehicle is a factor. The admissability of evidence seized in an inventory/tow depends on the court's view of the seizure of the car, contrasting "fruit of the poisoned tree" vs. "inevitable discovery".

Just because you demand a supervisor doesn't mean one will respond or honor your wishes.
10661  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Survialist issues: Hunkering down at home on: July 30, 2008, 05:23:24 PM
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/worst_case_scenarios/4275747.html

L.A. Quake Was Minor, but Is America Ready for the Big One?
By Erik Sofge
Published on: July 30, 2008
 
Spectators look at a Pomona, California, scene where bricks collapsed into an alley from an unoccupied building during a magnitude 5.4 earthquake on July 29th. (Photograph by David McNew/Getty Images)


Yesterday morning, Los Angeles dodged another bullet. The earthquake that originated near Chino Hills, roughly 35 miles east of downtown L.A., was powerful enough to rattle homes and damage a hotel near the epicenter. But with a magnitude of 5.4, it was classified by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as a moderate quake—one of 39 such events in the country this year. A moderate earthquake could pose a serious threat in some regions, particularly in places like New York City, where many brownstones were built more than a century ago. In Southern California, where seismic upheaval is practically routine, this quake left few signs of its passage.

“Engineered structures are meant to withstand a 5.4 earthquake,” says Jamie Steidl, a research seismologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Institute for Crustal Studies. “Even non-engineered, old, unreinforced masonry structures should still be okay. There’s lots of old stuff in Long Beach, and in some of these cities that have been around awhile—older brick buildings that aren’t reinforced. But at this magnitude, we’re not even pushing what the building code was 80 years ago.” The quake preparedness of Los Angeles was put to the test yesterday, but only barely.

The Chino Hills event, minor as it may have been, was a reminder of the United States’ earthquake vulnerability. In Japan and Mexico, researchers have developed earthquake early warning systems, which can detect seismic activity and trigger a sequence of automated responses. This is a frantic sort of race, since the waves created by an earthquake propagate at some 3 kilometers, or nearly 2 miles, per second. In Japan, where quakes tend to start in offshore subduction zones, some areas would have a minute or more to prepare for the worst. “There’s a whole bunch you can do in 60 seconds,” says Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). “Shutting off gas mains. Conditioning the electrical grid for what’s going to happen. In hospital situations, especially during surgery, there’s a lot you can do.”

So far, Japan’s early warning system hasn’t done very much—it failed to detect the country’s last two moderate quakes. But in the United States, the outlook is even worse, since no such earthquake early warning system exists, though some preliminary research is underway. “Right now, we’re just fiddling with the concepts,” says Jordan. “We’re not into operational testing, yet.” Coincidentally, says Jordan, a Caltech team reported that its experimental detection gear had been off-line when the Chino Hills earthquake hit.

Realistically, however, if the recent quake had been severe, closer to the 6.7 magnitude that the USGS says is almost certain to hit the state in the next few decades, an earthquake early warning system wouldn’t have helped. The quake simply occurred too close to Los Angeles, with the ground-shaking waves hitting the city in less than 20 seconds. That’s why most of the research into early warning is focused on the San Andreas fault, which can produce earthquakes as close as 40 km (25 miles) from L.A., or as far as 200 km (nearly 125 miles) south of the city. With enough distance, a system-wide alert becomes viable. “Think of an earthquake as a cascade of events,” Jordan says. “They can generate tsunamis, which take some time to hit. Fire following earthquakes, that’s one of the biggest problems you can have. So you get the firetrucks ready, the station doors open. If you know what is happening, you can begin to prepare for what is going to happen later in that cascade.”

As limited as an earthquake early warning detection might be, the potential benefits—particularly in Southern California—seem clear. “It’s something we should be pushing a lot harder than we’re pushing. And we’ve fallen behind other countries. We’ve been a little remiss, to be honest,” Jordan says. He believes a system could be up and running in California in five years, at the earliest. That’s assuming that government agencies like the National Science Foundation and the USGS greenlight additional funding for research. Unfortunately, Jordan thinks it could take a large disaster to make that happen.

In the meantime, the SCEC is helping to prepare for just such a disaster, with the United States’ largest earthquake drill. Scheduled for this November, the Great Southern California Shakeout will test the region’s response to a simulated 7.8 magnitude quake at the southern end of the San Andreas fault. Using supercomputers, seismologists have created a scenario that calculates where the most severe damage would occur, how many fires might be started, and how many lives could be lost. The event will include at least 5 million participants throughout the region, from schools and firefighters to agencies like FEMA. “In a recent meeting, the L.A. County Fire Chief told us, ‘We’ve never really thought this through,’” Jordan says. “A lot of the standard operation procedures wouldn’t apply. That’s what we learned from Katrina. A big enough hammer blow shatters the system. We want to make sure that when that hammer comes down this time, and it’s going to come, the system doesn’t break.”
10662  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: July 30, 2008, 04:49:24 PM
Current mainstream feminist and/or post-modernist leftist thought teaches that sex/gender are just "constructs". To dare suggest that there are concrete differences in the male and female brain is very un-pc, despite the huge amount of neuroscience that demonstrates this to be the case.
10663  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Survialist issues: Hunkering down at home on: July 30, 2008, 03:58:32 PM
**Moving out of SoCal is probably the best survival strategy, overall.**  evil

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage
10664  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 30, 2008, 03:11:42 PM
Eh, i'm a bit skeptical of the newsmax EMP article.
10665  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: July 30, 2008, 08:45:38 AM
http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0728hm.html

Heather Mac Donald
Math Is Harder for Girls
. . . and also, it seems, for the New York Times.
28 July 2008

The New York Times is determined to show that women are discriminated against in the sciences; too bad the facts say otherwise. A new study has “found that girls perform as well as boys on standardized math tests,” claims a July 25 article by Tamar Lewin—thus, the underrepresentation of women on science faculties must result from bias. Actually, the study, summarized in the July 25 issue of Science, shows something quite different: while boys’ and girls’ average scores are similar, boys outnumber girls among students in both the highest and the lowest score ranges. Either the Times is deliberately concealing the results of the study or its reporter cannot understand the most basic science reporting.

Lewin begins her piece with the mandatory mocking reference to former Harvard president Lawrence Summers’ suicidal speculations about why women are underrepresented on science and math faculties. She also manages to squeeze in a classic feminist trope for how our sexist society destroys girls’ innate abilities, invoking the infamous “talking Barbie doll [who] proclaimed that ‘math class is tough.’” Lewin implies that the new study blows Summers’ wide-ranging speculations on gender and math out of the water; all that holds women back from equal representation in MIT’s theoretical physics labs, it seems, is Mattel and other patriarchal marketers of gender myths.

On the contrary, Science’s analysis of math test scores only confirms the hypothesis that cost Summers his Harvard post: that boys are found more often than girls at the outer reaches of the bell curve of abstract reasoning ability. If you’re hoping to land a job in Harvard’s math department, you’d better not show up with average math scores; in fact, you’d better present scores at the absolute top of the range. And as studies have shown for decades, there are many more boys than girls in that empyrean realm. Unless science and math faculties start practicing the most grotesque and counterproductive gender discrimination, a skew in the sex of their professors will be inevitable, given the distribution of top-level cognitive skills. Likewise, boys will be and are overrepresented among math dunces—though the feminists never complain about the male math failure rate.

Lewin claims that the “researchers looked at the average of the test scores of all students, the performance of the most gifted children and the ability to solve complex math problems. They found, in every category, that girls did as well as boys.” This statement is simply wrong. Among white 11th-graders, there were twice as many boys as girls above the 99th percentile—that is, at the very top of the curve. (Asians, however, showed a very slight skew toward females above the 99th percentile, while there were too few Hispanics and blacks scoring above even the 95th percentile to compute their gender ratios.)

The Science researchers themselves try to downplay the significance of the two-to-one ratio for whites—the vast majority of students—on the grounds that it should produce a 67 percent to 33 percent disparity in male-to-female representation in math-dependent fields. Yet Ph.D. programs for engineering, they say, contain only about 15 percent women. Therefore, the authors conclude, “gender differences in math performance, even among high scorers, are insufficient to explain lopsided gender patterns in participation in some [science and math] fields.”

This reasoning is flawed, however, because the tests used in their study are pathetically easy compared with what would be required of engineering or other rigorous math-based Ph.D.s. The researchers got their data from math tests devised by individual states to fulfill their annual testing obligations under the federal No Child Left Behind act. NCLB has produced a mad rush to the bottom, as many states crafted easier and easier reading and math tests to show their federal overseers how well their schools are doing. The Science researchers analyzed the difficulty of those tests and found that virtually none required remotely complicated problem-solving abilities. That a gender difference at the highest percentiles shows up on tests pitched to such an elementary level of knowledge and skill suggests that on truly challenging tests, the gender difference at the top end of the distribution will be even greater. Indeed, between five and ten times as many boys as girls have been found to receive near-perfect scores on the math SATs among mathematically gifted adolescents, for example. Far from raising the presumption of gender bias among schools and colleges, the Science study strengthens a competing hypothesis: that the main drivers of success in scientific fields are aptitude and knowledge, in conjunction with personal choices about career and family that feminists refuse to acknowledge.

The same reality-denying feminists are itching to subject college science and math departments to gender quotas. They have already persuaded Congress to require university scientists to perform Title IX compliance reviews—a nightmare of bean-counting paperwork—covering everything from faculty composition to lab space. Misleading reporting like Lewin’s will only strengthen the movement to select cancer researchers and atomic engineers on the basis of their sex, not their abilities.

The Wall Street Journal, it should be noted, had no difficulty grasping the two main findings of the Science study: that “girls and boys have roughly the same average scores on state math tests,” as Keith J. Winstein reported on July 25, but that “boys more often excelled or failed.” That the New York Times, in an article over twice as long as the Journal’s, couldn’t manage to squeeze in a reference to the fact that boys outperformed girls at the top end of the curve should put its readers on notice: trust nothing you read here.

Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal and the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Her latest book, coauthored with Victor Davis Hanson and Steven Malanga, is The Immigration Solution.
10666  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 29, 2008, 10:59:25 PM
With the drop in oil, i'm worried the public will drift back into complacency on this issue.
10667  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: July 29, 2008, 10:29:35 PM
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-6615

HR 6615 IH

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6615

To provide for the transport of the enemy combatants detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Washington, DC, where the United States Supreme Court will be able to more effectively micromanage the detainees by holding them on the Supreme Court grounds, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 24, 2008


Mr. GOHMERT introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To provide for the transport of the enemy combatants detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Washington, DC, where the United States Supreme Court will be able to more effectively micromanage the detainees by holding them on the Supreme Court grounds, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Giving Inmate Terrorists More Opportunities (GITMO) Act of 2008’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

(1) The United States Supreme Court issued an opinion styled Boumediene v. Bush on June 12, 2008.

(2) Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the court’s majority opinion, held that foreign terrorism suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba have constitutional rights to challenge their detention in United States courts.

(3) This is an obvious effort on the part of the Supreme Court to micromanage the detainment and disposition of detainees in the War on Terror who are dedicated to destroying innocent people and the American way of life.

(4) The United States Supreme Court clearly needs increased opportunity to oversee the handling of the enemy combatants, as it has seen fit to take a greater role in managing the Global War on Terror, which is a duty previously exercised by the Executive Branch.

(5) There can be no better way for the United States Supreme Court to exercise its new self-appointed war powers than to house the prisoners whom it has taken a greater role in overseeing.

SEC. 3. TRANSPORTATION AND DETAINMENT OF ENEMY COMBATANTS.

(a) Transportation- The Secretary of Defense shall immediately transport all enemy combatants detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Washington, DC, where the United States Supreme Court shall hold the prisoners on the Court grounds, confined by adequate fencing.

(b) Shelter on Supreme Court Building Grounds- The Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the majority opinion in Boumediene v. Bush, is directed to provide shelter for the detainees outside the United States Supreme Court building, but on the building grounds. The Secretary of Defense shall provide guards to watch over the prisoners and shall implement a system to ensure that the prisoners receive the appropriate amount of food and water. Should the detainees need the use of restroom facilities, they shall use the facilities inside the United States Supreme Court building. The Chief Justice, if the Chief Justice so chooses, may perform the duties of Justice Anthony Kennedy under this subsection.

(c) Guard Duty- If any of the nine Supreme Court justices desire at any time to stand guard over the prisoners, or to provide the prisoners with their meals or water, or both, then the justices shall be permitted to perform these functions whenever they want.

SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT.

If either the Secretary of Defense or any justice of the Supreme Court refuses to carry out their duties under this Act, then their respective department or court shall receive funding for the next fiscal year at half the level of funding appropriated for the current fiscal year, or until such time as the Supreme Court no longer desires to micromanage the prisoners who have sworn to destroy our way of life.
10668  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: July 29, 2008, 08:59:55 PM
**My reaction to the article below is "old news".**

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/7686896

China spying on Olympics hotel guests-US senator

Reuters
, Tuesday July 29 2008
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - China has installed Internet-spying equipment in all the major hotel chains serving the 2008 Summer Olympics, a U.S. senator charged on Tuesday.
"The Chinese government has put in place a system to spy on and gather information about every guest at hotels where Olympic visitors are staying," said Sen. Sam Brownback.
The conservative Republican from Kansas, citing hotel documents he received, added that journalists, athletes' families and others attending the Olympics next month "will be subjected to invasive intelligence-gathering" by China's Public Security Bureau. He said the agency will be monitoring Internet communications at the hotels.
The U.S. senator made a similar charge a few months ago but said that since then, hotels have come forward with detailed information on the monitoring systems that have been required by Beijing.
Brownback refused to identify the hotels, but said "several international hotel chains have confirmed the existence of this order."
Spokesmen at the Chinese Embassy in Washington were not available for comment.
Brownback, who staged an unsuccessful campaign for president this year, released documents that he said were notices to the hotels on Internet security. The authenticity of the documents could not be checked and portions were redacted.
One document said: "In order to ensure the smooth opening of Olympic in Beijing and the Expo in Shanghai in 2010, safeguard the security of Internet network and the information thereon in the hotels ... it is required that your company install and run the Security Management System."
Brownback said the hotels "have invested millions of dollars in their Chinese properties" and "could face severe retaliation from the Chinese government" if they refused to comply.
The senator called on China to reverse its policy, but said the hotels are advising guests that "your communications and Web site activity are not private" and that e-mails and Web sites being visited are accessible to local law enforcement.
More than two years ago, a U.S. House of Representatives committee held a hearing to probe U.S. firms' compliance with China's Internet censorship demands.
Brownback has been a critic of China on human rights issues and has been among U.S. lawmakers calling on President George W. Bush to boycott the Olympics opening ceremonies, largely to highlight allegations of Beijing's supply of arms to Sudan in return for oil. Those weapons have been used to carry out genocide in Darfur, according to China critics.
China has called human rights allegations nothing more than "noise pollution" and is hoping the Olympic Games will boost its international image. (Editing by Doina Chiacu)
10669  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: July 29, 2008, 08:15:12 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article4426139.ece

From The Times
July 30, 2008
Love, blackmail and rape – how al-Qaeda grooms women as ‘perfect weapons’
Deborah Haynes in Baladruz, Diyala
Read Deborah Haynes's blog: Inside Iraq

A woman pretending to be pregnant walks up to a hospital in one of Iraq’s most dangerous regions and blows herself up.

Minutes later a man, also laden with explosives, attacks the rescue workers who rushed to the scene in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. Thirty-two people are killed and 52 wounded.

The co-ordinated bombings that ripped through the town of Baladruz in May are one of twelve attacks involving thirteen women suicide bombers to strike Diyala so far this year – a huge jump, signalling a new tactic by insurgents. US officials suspect that al-Qaeda has built a network of cells that recruit women and turn them into killers.

Women are the perfect weapon in a country where it is frowned upon culturally for a man even to approach a woman without her husband or father in tow, let alone frisk her for weapons at one of the many checkpoints that are the bombers’ favourite targets. In addition, it is easy to hide a vest packed with explosives under the traditional Islamic robes worn by women in Iraq without drawing suspicion.

In total, there have been 24 attacks involving women suicide bombers since January, including four on Monday in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk that left scores dead. Al-Qaeda is “a very adaptive enemy”, a US Special Forces captain based in Diyala said. “They will try to use whatever works best for them to attempt to exploit whatever political or cultural restrictions we have.”

In the past, al-Qaeda fighters have used mosques to hold meetings and hide weapons, knowing that the US military will not raid religious buildings. “Now they’ve adapted to try to use female suicide bombers.”

The military believes that al-Qaeda employs a variety of tactics to get women to become suicide bombers. Some are easy prey because their husband or children have been killed or detained by US forces, said Captain Matthew Shown, the intelligence officer for “Sabre Squadron”, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, which is based in southeast Diyala.

Another method is for a member of al-Qaeda to marry a woman and then dishonour her in some way, such as letting someone else rape her. “This would leave her with no choice but to end her life,” Captain Shown, 34, said.

There are also reports of women being told that their husband or child will be killed unless they agree to become suicide bombers.

Eliminating the threat of female suicide attacks in Diyala is a priority for US and Iraqi forces, who began a large offensive yesterday across the province against al-Qaeda and pockets of Shia militias.

There have been a few successes. Last month Iraqi police arrested the alleged leader of the suicide cell that orchestrated the twin blasts on May 2 in Baladruz. Video footage of attacks on US forces was found at his home. Officers believe the material was used to indoctrinate female recruits.

The US military is also hiring women to stand alongside male guards at checkpoints to ensure that all women get a full body search.“It is not possible for males to search females. It is a cultural thing,” said Staff Sergeant David Schlicher, who works in civil affairs at Forward Operating Base Caldwell, a US camp in the middle of a much larger Iraqi army base in the desert in southeast Diyala. “So this closes that loophole.”

The woman guards will complement a workforce of about 80,000 men who are paid by the US military to protect their neighbourhood under a programme that encouraged many former Sunni insurgents to turn against al-Qaeda.

There are few female volunteers, however, just as there are not many women in the police and Army because it is not part of their culture.

The female bomb threat appears to be changing attitudes. In Baladruz, twenty-five women are due to start civilian guard duties this week, and an appeal has been made for another ten.
10670  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: July 29, 2008, 08:03:29 PM
Well, it appears that Stratfor and I agree that something has the Chinese power structure is acting like there is a major crisis looming. Their analysis is more sophisticated and nuanced than mine. If their actions start to affect international investment in China, they could be inducing a major crisis and normally Beijing isn't that stupid.

Something is going on behind the curtain, this much is true.
10671  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Blade Wounds by a Surgeon on: July 29, 2008, 04:16:23 PM
Is that an upside down Asp on your vest?
10672  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 29, 2008, 01:15:02 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-bolton26-2008jul26,0,4549608.story

One world? Obama's on a different planet
The senator's Berlin speech was radical and naive.
By John R. Bolton
July 26, 2008

SEN. BARACK OBAMA said in an interview the day after his Berlin speech that it "allowed me to send a message to the American people that the judgments I have made and the judgments I will make are ones that are going to result in them being safer."

If that is what the senator thought he was doing, he still has a lot to learn about both foreign policy and the views of the American people. Although well received in the Tiergarten, the Obama speech actually reveals an even more naive view of the world than we had previously been treated to in the United States. In addition, although most of the speech was
substantively as content-free as his other campaign pronouncements, when substance did slip in, it was truly radical, from an American perspective.

These troubling comments were not widely reported in the generally adulatory media coverage given the speech, but they nonetheless deserve intense scrutiny. It remains to be seen whether these glimpses into Obama's thinking will have any impact on the presidential campaign, but clearly they were not casual remarks. This speech, intended to generate the enormous publicity it in fact received, reflects his campaign's carefully calibrated political thinking. Accordingly, there should be no evading the implications of his statements. Consider just the following two examples.

First, urging greater U.S.-European cooperation, Obama said, "The burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together." Having earlier proclaimed himself "a fellow citizen of the world" with his German hosts, Obama explained that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Europe proved "that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."

Perhaps Obama needs a remedial course in Cold War history, but the Berlin Wall most certainly did not come down because "the world stood as one." The wall fell because of a decades-long, existential struggle against one of the greatest totalitarian ideologies mankind has ever faced. It was a struggle in which strong and determined U.S. leadership was constantly questioned, both in Europe and by substantial segments of the senator's own Democratic Party. In Germany in the later years of the Cold War, Ostpolitik -- "eastern politics," a policy of rapprochement rather than resistance -- continuously risked a split in the Western alliance and might have allowed communism to survive. The U.S. president who made the final successful assault on communism, Ronald Reagan, was derided by many in Europe as not very bright, too unilateralist and too provocative.

But there are larger implications to Obama's rediscovery of the "one world" concept, first announced in the U.S. by Wendell Willkie, the failed Republican 1940 presidential nominee, and subsequently buried by the Cold War's realities.

The successes Obama refers to in his speech -- the defeat of Nazism, the Berlin airlift and the collapse of communism -- were all gained by strong alliances defeating determined opponents of freedom, not by "one-worldism." Although the senator was trying to distinguish himself from perceptions of Bush administration policy within the Atlantic Alliance, he was in fact sketching out a post-alliance policy, perhaps one that would unfold in global organizations such as the United Nations. This is far-reaching indeed.

Second, Obama used the Berlin Wall metaphor to describe his foreign policy priorities as president: "The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."

This is a confused, nearly incoherent compilation, to say the least, amalgamating tensions in the Atlantic Alliance with ancient historical conflicts. One hopes even Obama, inexperienced as he is, doesn't see all these "walls" as essentially the same in size and scope. But beyond the incoherence, there is a deeper problem, namely that "walls" exist not simply because of a lack of understanding about who is on the other side but because there are true differences in values and interests that lead to human conflict. The Berlin Wall itself was not built because of a failure of communication but because of the implacable hostility of communism toward freedom. The wall was a reflection of that reality, not an unfortunate mistake.

Tearing down the Berlin Wall was possible because one side -- our side -- defeated the other. Differences in levels of economic development, or the treatment of racial, immigration or religious questions, are not susceptible to the same analysis or solution. Even more basically, challenges to our very civilization, as the Cold War surely was, are not overcome by naively "tearing down walls" with our adversaries.

Throughout the Berlin speech, there were numerous policy pronouncements, all of them hazy and nonspecific, none of them new or different than what Obama has already said during the long American campaign. But the Berlin framework in which he wrapped these ideas for the first time is truly radical for a prospective American president. That he picked a foreign audience is perhaps not surprising, because they could be expected to welcome a less-assertive American view of its role in the world, at least at first glance. Even anti-American Europeans, however, are likely to regret a United States that sees itself as just one more nation in a "united" world.

The best we can hope for is that Obama's rhetoric was simply that, pandering to the audience before him, as politicians so often do. We shall see if this rhetoric follows him back to America, either because he continues to use it or because Sen. John McCain asks voters if this is really what they want from their next president.

John R. Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option."
10673  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: July 29, 2008, 12:49:38 PM
Look, Ma, No Arms   
By Matthew Continetti
The Weekly Standard | Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Early in 2001, President Bush approved the export of arms to democratic Taiwan. At the time, Bush said the United States would do "whatever it takes" to defend its tiny, besieged Pacific ally. That was yesterday. Today, it's looking more like Bush was just kidding.

How else to explain the administration's recent decision to freeze $16 billion worth of the arms deals? Bush approved the sale of Patriot missiles, Apache helicopters, and submarines to Taiwan more than seven years ago. Since then Taiwan has also requested 66 F-16 fighter jets to replace its aging planes. The Taiwanese legislature has appropriated the money with which to buy the weapons. In some cases it has already even put down payments. In return, America has given Taiwan a whole lot of nothing.

On July 16, the head of Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy Keating, told an audience at the Heritage Foundation that the administration has concluded "there is no pressing, compelling need for, at this moment, arms sales to Taiwan of the systems that we're talking about." This must have been news to the Taiwanese government, which says the weapons are needed to defend Taiwan. And it certainly must have been a surprise to the authors of the Pentagon's annual report on Chinese military power, who have for the past several years noted the dangerous shift in the military balance of power between Taiwan and China.

Taiwan president Ma Ying-Jeou took office last May, pledging to improve relations between Taiwan and China while protecting his democracy's sovereignty. To that end, in recent months the two countries have resumed cross-strait talks, allowed direct flights between the mainland and Taipei, and pursued further economic integration.

Yet Ma also understands that he must negotiate from a position of strength. For the United States to renege on its commitments would weaken Ma's hand at a critical time. After all, his government is only a few months old and Beijing is no doubt searching for weaknesses. American self-doubt and lack of follow through--in effect, a lack of American resolve and confidence in Ma's government--may lead Chinese policymakers to think that they can act provocatively.

Beijing has already gotten away with a lot. China is a rising autocratic power that has suffered no consequences for its gross human rights violations and support for rogue regimes. The military buildup on the Chinese side of the Taiwan Strait continues uninterrupted. There are now more than a thousand Chinese missiles pointed at Taiwan. In the last decade the Chinese have deployed more than 300 advanced aircraft across the Strait. China has five ongoing submarine programs. A massive, underground nuclear submarine base was recently detected on Hainan Island.

China has reasons for its buildup. It is meant, among other things, to deter unilateral declarations of Taiwanese independence. The authors of the Defense Department's 2008 report on Chinese military power wrote, the "ongoing deployment of short-range ballistic missiles, enhanced amphibious warfare capabilities, and modern, long-range anti-air systems opposite Taiwan are reminders of Beijing's unwillingness to renounce the use of force." The greater the military imbalance between China and Taiwan, the more likely China is to use military force in a cross-strait dispute. This is another reason the deal is necessary. Taiwan requires arms to serve as a deterrent against the mainland.

Why the delay? The administration has provided only a series of excuses. First the deal was held up because Washington was displeased with Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian's pro-independence rhetoric. Now Chen is gone, replaced by Ma's quietist diplomacy. The new excuse is that fulfilling our end of the bargain would upset China on the verge of next week's Beijing Olympics. Even if this were the case, and it probably is not, the administration has to shoulder much of the blame. Its foot-dragging in years past helped produce this impasse (though Taiwan's then-opposition Kuomintang party was also a problem). And once the Olympics are over, and the weapons still have not been exported, expect the administration to say that it cannot fulfill its commitments to Taiwan because to do so may jeopardize China's participation in the North Korean denuclearization talks.
All of these excuses point to the actual reason for the delay: America's current Taiwan policy is motivated by fear. We are afraid of upsetting China and afraid, in turn, of what an upset China might do in response. And the consequence of this fear is a weakened position for the United States and its East Asian allies.

On a visit to Taipei last week, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told reporters that he expected the arms sales will be approved. We hope he is right. Let's not forget, however, that the Taiwan Relations Act also gives Congress a say in the defense assistance provided to Taiwan. Should the White House continue to drag its feet, it will fall to Congress to speak out in support of a democratically. And the message Congress might deliver is simple: Who is served when America neglects her friends in a misguided effort not to offend her rivals?
10674  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 29, 2008, 12:41:57 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080728/ap_on_re_as/china_olympic_threats&printer=1;_ylt=AjSQwSsKPrBa4_m4MVu_COv9xg8F

Beijing cites numerous Olympic threats
By CHARLES HUTZLER, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jul 28, 7:26 PM ET

Just over a week before the Beijing Olympics, a militant Islamic group's claims of responsibility for bombings in China have fueled unease about security. The government has assured its people and the Olympic community that heavy security will ensure a secure games.

But its clampdown has smothered a broad array of groups, many with grievances against the government but without a history of violence.

Among the potential troublemakers Chinese security specialists have identified are Tibetan separatists, who staged occasionally violent protests last spring; members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and unemployed workers.

Stirring the latest concerns were videotaped threats purporting to be from an Islamic militant group. They surfaced last week in the name of the Turkistan Islamic Party — a group Chinese and Western terrorism experts say is an offshoot of a secessionist group from China's Central Asian frontier with ties to al-Qaida.

In it, hooded men stood in camouflage fatigues with Kalashnikovs and claimed responsibility for explosions in four cities in Western China in recent months, including two bus bombings last week in Kunming city that authorities said killed two people and injured 14.

One militant, identified by the Washington-based monitoring group IntelCenter as commander Seyfullah, warned athletes and spectators "particularly the Muslims" to stay away.

"Our aim is to target the most critical points related to the Olympics. We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely using the tactics that have never been employed," he said.

Chinese police immediately played down the threat, saying the explosions in Chinese cities claimed by the group were not the work of terrorists.

Still Beijing is being emptied of political critics, underground Christian organizers and ordinary Chinese who come to the capital to protest local government injustices.

Plainclothes security agents surprised rights campaigner Hou Wenzhuo at a cafe on May 30, putting a hood over her head and holding her in an undisclosed detention center for 17 days.

Among their chief concerns during interrogations, she said, were plans for a "human rights torch relay" organized by an exiled Tiananmen Square democracy movement figure and whether Chinese at home might get involved.

"The government is worried that this 'human rights torch' will detract attention from China" and the Olympics, Hou said. "They didn't beat me, but there are different kinds of intimidation."

Officials in charge of security have denied they are rounding up peaceful critics and have defended their actions as necessary, given global terrorism's scope and the publicity attacking the Olympics would bring.

To squelch any threat, Chinese leaders are mobilizing an army of security many times greater than previous Olympics — 110,000 police, riot squads and special forces, augmented by more than 300,000 Olympic volunteers and neighborhood watch members.

"Through all kinds of efforts and by relying on the support and cooperation from the international society and the general public, we are confident we can deal with all the threats and risks and challenges," Liu Shaowu, director of security for the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, said last week.

President Hu Jintao told fellow communist leaders over the weekend that "the task of hosting a safe Olympic Games is as heavy as Mount Tai and everyone shares the responsibility."

The hyper-charged security, however, has put some Western governments on edge, caught between a desire to cooperate on terrorism threats and concern about aiding the policing of peaceful dissent. U.S. and other European governments complain they have offered information but that Chinese police give little in return.

"The Chinese definition of security threat is pretty broad, and in the context of the Olympics, it encompasses anyone who might seek to 'disrupt' the games," Drew Thompson, director of China studies at the Nixon Center in Washington, said in an e-mail.

For the communist regime, "it's not about terrorism. It's about security," said one Western diplomat, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. "It's the current reason for expanding the entire scope of the police state."

Chinese and Western terrorism experts agree the threat from terrorist groups, particularly of the militant Islamic stripe, is real. Hardly a month has passed this year without the government reporting it had disrupted a terrorist plot. But with so much effort focused on Beijing, terrorists may be seeking more vulnerable targets.

"The chances of attacks on Olympic areas are very unlikely," said Rohan Gunaratna of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore. "But there could be attacks elsewhere in the run-up to the Olympics to spoil the mood of celebration."

Li Wei, director of the Center for Counterterrorism Studies, which has ties to China's spy agency, said his center has pinpointed five distinct threats: international terrorist groups like al-Qaida, the domestic version fighting to end Chinese rule in far western Xinjiang province, Tibetan separatists, the Falun Gong spiritual movement and ordinary people with grievances against the government or society.

While Li said the Tibetans and Falun Gong are not known for violence, radicals in their midst might lash out. Followers of Falun Gong, a meditation practice suppressed nearly a decade ago after drawing millions of followers, might turn to self-immolation, poisonings and other retaliatory acts if ordered by their leader, believed in hiding in the U.S., he said.

Groups fighting to end Chinese rule in Xinjiang, or what some Muslims call East Turkistan, are singled out as the most likely threat. A rebellion by the indigenous Muslim Turkic people, the Uighurs, has simmered for decades, with some fighting in neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan.

One group, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, was based in Afghanistan before the U.S. invasion and is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States. After its leader was killed in 2003, members reorganized into similar groups, including the Turkistan Islamic Party, and received training from al-Qaida in Pakistan's tribal area abutting Afghanistan, said Gunaratna and other terrorism experts.

Gunaratna estimates this hard core numbers around 100. Aside from its recent videotaped threat, the Turkistan Islamic Party released a statement in April calling for biological weapons attacks against China and has posted an Internet video guide on assembling a truck bomb, the IntelCenter said.

Commander Seyfullah's claim to have carried out recent explosions has raised doubts about the group's reach.

Police, cited by Xinhua, said the bus explosion in Shanghai in which three people died was caused by an oil fire and the Wenzhou explosion by a debt-ridden gambler, while there's no evidence to connect the Kunming bus bombings to terrorism.

"Although the Turkistan Islamic Party claimed that they were responsible, I personally think that it's all bluff and bluster," said Li, the counterterrorism expert.

Those explosions, Li and others said, were most likely caused by "lone wolves" — disgruntled individuals and the hardest threat to guard against. Li pointed to the bombing in a park at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics that killed one and injured 111 and was found to be the work of an anti-government extremist.

That "type leaves no clues but only a hot head," said Li.

___

Associated Press reporter Anna Johnson in Cairo contributed to this report.
10675  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 29, 2008, 10:22:30 AM
http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/07292008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/os_tour_de_farce_122049.htm

O'S TOUR DE FARCE
By AMIR TAHERI

July 29, 2008 --
TERMED a "learning" trip, Sen. Barack Obama's eight- day tour of eight nations in the Middle East and Europe turned out to be little more than a series of photo ops to enhance his international credentials.

"He looked like a man in a hurry," a source close to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said last week. "He was not interested in what we had to say."

Still, many Iraqis liked Obama's claim that the improved situation in Iraq owed to Iraqi efforts rather than the Gen. David Petraeus-led surge. In public and private comments, Obama tried to give the impression that the Iraqis would've achieved the same results even without the greater resources America has poured into the country since 2007.

In private, though, Iraqi officials admit that Obama's analysis is "way off the mark." Without the surge, the Sunni tribes wouldn't have switched sides to help flush out al Qaeda. And the strong US military presence enabled the new Iraqi army to defeat Iran-backed Shiite militias in Basra and Baghdad.

Nevertheless, in public at least, no Iraqi politician wants to appear more appreciative of American sacrifices than the man who may become the next US president.

Iraqis were most surprised by Obama's apparent readiness to throw away all the gains made in Iraq simply to prove that he'd been right in opposing the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. "He gave us the impression that the last thing he wanted was for Iraq to look anything like a success for the United States," a senior Iraqi official told me. "As far as he is concerned, this is Bush's war and must end in lack of success, if not actual defeat."

Even so, Obama knows that most Americans believe they're still at war with an enemy prepared to use terror against them. So he can't do what his antiwar base wants - declare an end to the War on Terror and the start of a period of love and peace in which "citizens of the world" build bridges between civilizations.

That's why Obama is trying to adopt Afghanistan as "his" war. He claims that Bush's focus on Iraq has left Afghanistan an orphan in need of love and attention. Even though US military strategy is to enable America to fight two major wars simultaneously, Obama seems to believe that only one war is possible at a time.

But what does that mean practically?

Obama says he wants to shift two brigades (some of his advisers say two battalions) from Iraq to Afghanistan. But where did that magical figure come from? From NATO, which has been calling on its members to provide more troops since 2006.

NATO wants the added troops mainly to improve the position of its reserves in Afghanistan. The alliance doesn't face an actual shortage of combat units - it's merely facing a rotation schedule that obliges some units to stay in the field for up to six weeks longer than is normal for NATO armies.

Overall, NATO hopes that its members will have no difficulty providing the 5,000 more troops it needs for a "surge." So there's no need for the US to abandon Iraq in order to help Afghanistan.

The immediate effect of Obama's plan to abandon Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan is to ease pressure on other NATO members to make a greater contribution. Even in Paris, some critics think that President Nicolas Sarkozy should postpone sending more troops until after the US presidential election. "If President Obama can provide all the manpower needed in Afghanistan, there is no need for us to commit more troops," said a Sarkozy security adviser.

Obama's move would suit Sarkozy fine because he's reducing the size of the French army and closing more than 80 garrisons. Other Europeans would also be pleased. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will soon face a difficult general election in which her main rivals will be calling for an end to "the Afghan adventure."

Today, with the sole exception of Spain (where the mildly anti-American Socialist Party is in power), pro-US parties govern Europe. These parties feel pressure from the Bush administration to translate their pro-American claims into actual support for the Afghanistan war effort. By promising to shoulder the burden, Obama is letting the European allies off the hook.

Obama doesn't seem to have noticed the European scene's subtleties. Despite his claim that he came to listen, he seems to have heard nothing of interest during his 10,000-mile trip.

Having announced his strategy before embarking on his "listening tour," he couldn't be expected to change his mind simply because facts on the ground offered a different picture.

In Paris, a friendly reporter asked the Illinois senator if there was anything that he'd heard or seen during his visit that might persuade him to alter any aspect of his polices. Obama's answer was clear: no.

Amir Taheri's next book, "The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution," is due out this fall.
10676  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 29, 2008, 06:04:31 AM
http://www.redstate.com/diaries/brianfaughnan/2008/jul/24/enthusiasm-for-obama-on-the-wane-2/

Sept/Oct is really when the polls start to matter.
10677  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 29, 2008, 06:02:05 AM
World Citizen Obama   
By Frank J Gaffney Jr.
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s single most illuminating statement in the course of a just-completed overseas tour was his self-description during the stop in Berlin as a “citizen of the world.”  Widely interpreted as nothing more than an innocuous expression of solidarity with his adoring, post-nationalist hosts, this declaration is actually just the latest indication that Senator Obama embraces a vision of his own country and its role in the world that should be exceedingly worrisome to America’s citizenry.
The appellation “Citizen” has a checkered past.  French revolutionaries used it  first to distinguish the common man from the reviled aristocracy, then to enforce their reign of terror on both.  Orson Welles entitled his classic film modeled on the life of William Randolph Hearst Citizen Kane – depicting an unscrupulous demagogue who, despite his privileged background, nearly obtained high elective office on a populist platform.

Now Citizen Obama uses a turn of phrase with no less troubling overtones.  The notion of world citizenship has become a staple of transnationalists who seek to subordinate national sovereignty and constitutional arrangements to a higher power.  They are working to replace, for example, our directly elected representatives operating in a carefully constructed system of checks-and-balances, with rule by unaccountable elites in the form of international bureaucracies, judiciaries and even so-called “norms.”

Citizens of the world can have their rights circumscribed or even eliminated without their consent.  For instance, in March the Organization of the Islamic Conference – what amounts to a Muslim mafia organization – demanded that the UN Human Rights Council (dominated by the OIC’s members) amend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The effect was to alter the foundational freedom of expression so as to prohibit speech that offends adherents to Islam.

World citizens embrace the idea that the United Nations and other multinational organizations are imbued with a moral authority not found in nation-states like ours.  When he was the Democratic Party standard-bearer, Senator John Kerry famously described American foreign and defense policy as only being legitimate when it passed a “global test” – in other words, approval by the international community.

Today, the Democrats’ incipient nominee subscribes to the view that, as he put it in Berlin, “The burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together.”  Global citizenship amounts to code for subordinating American interests to our putative responsibilities as a member of the international community.  The former can be pursued only to the extent our fellow global citizens – or, more precisely, their unelected, unaccountable spokesmen in Turtle Bay, Geneva, The Hague or other seats of “world government” – approve.

To further such a subordination of American power, the transnationalists have long sought to enmesh the United States in a web of treaties and institutions.  These include: the World Trade Organization (which now routinely rules against U.S. companies and economic interests while giving a pass to Communist China’s); the International Criminal Court (which has just established an ominous precedent for U.S. officials by indicting the sitting – albeit opprobrious – president of Sudan); and the Law of the Sea Treaty (described by its admirers as a “constitution of the oceans,” it assigns unprecedented responsibilities for control of the oceans and even activities ashore to international organs).

Of course, the notion that there truly is such a thing as an “international community” is a conceit of the transnationalists.  In practice, decisions are made by majorities usually dominated by the world’s authoritarians – Russia, China, the so-called “non-aligned” of the developing world and, increasingly, the Islamist states.  The subordination of U.S. freedom of action, let alone national security, to such a world citizenry is a formula for disaster.

A riveting insight into this reality was provided a few months back when the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre addressed a meeting in New Orleans, the scene following Hurricane Katrina of the forceful disarmament of law-abiding U.S. citizens.  Mr. LaPierre showed a video which included a chilling statement from a senior UN official to the effect that, while she understood Americans were reluctant to part with their firearms, they had better get used to being “citizens of the world” just like everybody else.

For many in Sen. Obama’s audiences, references to “global citizenship” must sound about as benign as his mantra about promoting “change we can believe in.”  It all has a sort of Rodney King-like quality to it:  “Can’t we all just get along?”

In fact, the terminology Citizen Obama uses reveals an attachment to a radical transformation of not just our foreign policy but of the nature of our country itself.  The “change” he has in mind could prove fatal to our sovereignty and constitutional form of government.

Questions about the appropriate role of America in the world and how it conducts its relationships with foreign powers are, of course, essential topics in any presidential campaign.  That is particularly true at a moment when the United States finds itself engaged in a global war with a totalitarian ideology, Islamofascism, that has embedded itself in many allied countries and enjoys strong support from most of our foes.

It falls most immediately to Senator John McCain to highlight Citizen Obama’s radical answers to these questions and ultimately to U.S. voters to determine whether they want a global citizen in the White House or a president of, by and for the American people.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the founder, president, and CEO of The Center for Security Policy. During the Reagan administration, Gaffney was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, and a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator John Tower (R-Texas). He is a columnist for The Washington Times, Jewish World Review, and Townhall.com and has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, and Newsday.
10678  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India on: July 28, 2008, 08:47:20 PM
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24091819-2703,00.html

Fear grows over India car terror

Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent | July 29, 2008

TWO cars packed with explosives and bomb-making equipment were found yesterday in the Indian city of Surat, where 92 per cent of the world's diamonds are cut and polished, as fears mounted that jihadis have begun a campaign attacking targets of international significance.

Bomb disposal experts dismantled both bombs in cars that had been abandoned in the city, but officials said there was intelligence showing extremists were "trying to cause as much chaos and bloodshed as possible to further the cause ofjihad".

Anti-terror squads swooped on an apartment in an upmarket part of Mumbai, pinpointed as the origin of a 14-page manifesto issued by an organisation known as Indian Mujaheddin following the bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, in Gujarat.

Police said the apartment was rented to two Americans who had denied any involvement in the email, which, "in the name of Allah", proclaimed "the terror of death" and was sent to several Indian news channels.

Investigators are looking at the possibility that the Americans' personal computers were hacked to send the incendiary document, which analysts say gives the clearest indication yet of the thinking behind the wave of bomb attacks.

The document, written in English, insists Indian Mujaheddin is a home-grown organisation, and asks the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba organisation, which is close to Pakistan's ISI spy agency and linked to al-Qa'ida, not to claim responsibility for bomb attacks carried out in its name.

Indian intelligence experts believe Indian Mujaheddin is the al-Qa'ida-linked Students Islamic Movement of India in a new guise, rebadging itself as Indian rather than a puppet of the ISI.
10679  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizen-Police interactions on: July 28, 2008, 07:36:34 PM
If your car is a traffic hazard, waiver or not it's getting inventoried/towed. Pre-printed waiver or not, what happens to the car of an arrestee will be determinded by dept. policy. Also search incident to arrest applies.
10680  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 28, 2008, 07:30:11 PM
Crafty,

I'm hoping i'm right, though if I were betting i'd tend to put my money on us not acting until it's too late.  cry
10681  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: July 28, 2008, 09:52:15 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5420514

U.S. Headed for 'Heightened Alert' Stage
Exclusive: Major Events on the Horizon Prompt a Surge in Anti-Terror Efforts

By PIERRE THOMAS
July 28, 2008—

Government officials have been quietly stepping up counterterror efforts out of a growing concern that al Qaeda or similar organizations might try to capitalize on the spate of extremely high-profile events in the coming months, sources tell ABC News.

Security experts point to next month's Olympics as evidence that high-profile events attract threats of terrorism, like the one issued this past weekend by a Chinese Muslim minority group that warned of its intent to attack the Games.

Anti-terror officials in the U.S. cite this summer and fall's lineup of two major political parties' conventions, November's general election and months of transition into a new presidential administration as cause for heightened awareness and action.

This is what the Department of Homeland Security is quietly declaring a Period of Heightened Alert, or POHA, a time frame when terrorists may have more incentive to attack.

According to drafts of government memos described to ABC News, the period would run roughly from this August through July 2009.

During this time, homeland security analysts will be asked to redouble efforts to study terrorism leads. And a number of agencies will be asked to review emergency response plans to a variety of attacks, from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to biological weapons.

Officials also are being asked to make sure they are prepared for all contingencies during the transition from the Bush administration to that of the next president.

In a recent interview, FBI director Robert Mueller told ABC News of his concerns for homeland security.

"When you have a series of events like this which are very public, where you have a number of people that are congregated together, we take additional precautions," he said.

"That means identifying, focusing on the intelligence that's available and scrutinizing it to pieces and running it to ground, to putting in place the precautions to assure the particular events go according to plan and free from terrorist attacks," he said.

At the moment, the nation's public threat level will remain at yellow, or "elevated," but not orange, or "high."

The reasons: There are no specifics indicating an attack on the U.S. is imminent, and U.S. officials do not want to be accused of trying to inject themselves into the presidential campaign.

"That's a balancing act," said Jerry Hauer, former Homeland Security official and ABC News consultant. "They really have to focus on these events and this critical time we're going through as a nation, but they have to be very careful about the public message to not make it look political or like they're fearmongering."

Government officials point to the Sept. 11 attacks, which happened just nine months into a new administration, and the Madrid train bombings, which were carried out just three days before Spain's 2004 general election.

They say history suggests a need to take potential threats seriously -- especially in the very near future.
10682  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 28, 2008, 12:15:14 AM
'US talks to Iran to legitimize attack'
Jul. 27, 2008
Yaakov Katz , THE JERUSALEM POST

Recent talks the United States held with Iran are aimed at creating legitimacy for a potential attack against Iranian nuclear facilities, defense officials speculated on Sunday as Defense Minister Ehud Barak headed to Washington for talks with senior administration officials.

Barak will travel to Washington and New York and will hold talks with his counterpart Robert Gates, Vice President Dick Cheney, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Officials said it was likely that President George W. Bush would join the meeting between Barak and Hadley. On Wednesday, Barak will fly to New York for a brief meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.

Barak's departure to the US came as IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi returned to Israel on Sunday from a week-long visit to the US as Mullen's guest. Ashkenazi held talks with Cheney, Hadley and other senior officials with a focus on the Iranian nuclear program.

"There is a lot of strategic thinking concerning Iran going on right now but no one has yet to make a decision what to do," said a top IDF officer, involved in the dialogue between Israel and the US. "We are still far away from the point where military officers are poring over maps together planning an operation."

In recent weeks, Mullen has said publicly that he is opposed to military action against Iran which would open a "third front" for the US military which is currently fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Barak's talks in the US come a little over a week after the Bush administration sent its number three diplomat to Geneva to participate in European Union talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

The move led to reports that the US was changing its isolation tactic vis-à-vis Iran but Israeli defense officials speculated Sunday that the move was really a ploy to buy international support in the event that Bush decides to attack Iran in his last months in office.

"This way they will be able to say they tried everything," one official speculated. "This increases America's chances of gaining more public support domestically as well as the support of European nations which are today opposed to military action."

Diplomatic officials have speculated that the Iran-US talks were also connected to the presidential elections.

According to the IDF officer, the frequent meetings between Israel and the US in recent weeks - Mullen was in Israel in June - is a sign of the strong ties between the two countries as well as the mutual interest both take in different regional issues such as Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and Syria.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331116435&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
10683  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Asia on: July 27, 2008, 05:23:10 PM
http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USSP23014220080727

India on alert after two days of bombings kill 46
Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:12pm EDT
By Alistair Scrutton and Bappa Majumdar

NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) - India's major cities were put on high alert on Sunday, with fears of more attacks after at least 40 people were killed in two days of bombings that hit a communally-sensitive western city and a southern IT hub

At least 16 small bombs exploded in the Indian city of Ahmedabad on Saturday, killing at least 39 people and wounding 110, a day after another set of blasts in Bangalore killed a woman.

A little known group called the "Indian Mujahideen" claimed responsibility for the Ahmedabad attack on Saturday. The same group said it carried out bombs attacks that killed 63 people in the western city of Jaipur in May.

It is unusual for any group to claim responsibility, but India says it suspects militant groups from Pakistan and Bangladesh are behind a wave of bombings in recent years, with targets ranging from mosques and Hindu temples to trains.

"The entire nation, including major metro cities in India have been put on high alert and they have been asked to step up security in vital installations," a home ministry spokesman said.

In New Delhi, police used loudspeakers and distributed leaflets in crowded market places, warning people to watch out for unclaimed baggage and suspicious objects. Police guarded Hindu temples in the eastern city of Kolkata.

There were two separate series of bombings in Ahmedadad, the first near busy market places. A second quick succession of bombs went off 20 to 25 minutes later around a hospital, where at least six people died, police said. All were detonated with timers.

"I came with my two children to cheer up my mother admitted to hospital," said Pankaj Patel, whose son Rohan and daughter Pratha were killed at Ahmedadad hospital. "They were laughing when the blast occurred. Now they are dead."

Two doctors were killed in the hospital in a blast in which at least one bomb was tied onto a gas cylinder. Charred motorcycles and bicycles were shown outside. TV showed victims writhing in pain and covered in blood on hospital floors.

The other bombs were in Ahmedabad's crowded old city dominated by its Muslim community. Many were packed into metal tiffin boxes, used to carry food, and packed with ball-bearings. Some were left on bicycles.

Police found three other unexploded bombs in Ahmedabad on Sunday, local media said.

Ahmedabad is the main city in the communally sensitive and relatively wealthy western state of Gujarat, scene of deadly riots in 2002 in which 2,500 people are thought to have died, most of them Muslims killed by rampaging Hindu mobs.

Both Ahmedabad and Bangalore are in states ruled by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and are among the country's fastest-growing.

Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi is one of India's most controversial politicians, accused of turning a blind eye to the Gujarat riots.

MUSLIM BACKLASH?

Some analysts say there is evidence of local Muslim groups, for years seen as unaffected by the rise of global Islamist militancy, of taking up violence against India, where they are a poor and often neglected minority. They may be getting training and financial backing from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

"Over the last few years, the dissatisfaction among Indian Muslims has hitched onto the wagon of the global/regional jihad," said C. Uday Bhaskar, a security analyst and former director of New Delhi's Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.

"If you have 150 million Muslims in India, only 0.0001 percent of that figure would mean a militant nucleus of 15,000 people."

Police raided one house in Mumbai where they believe e-mails from the Indian Mujahideen were linked, local media reported.

India's home ministry said on Friday it suspected "a small militant group" was behind the Bangalore attacks, while some police officials suspected the blasts could be the work of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

Some IT companies in Bangalore, known as India's Silicon Valley, were increasing security after bombs went off there. Each bomb had a similar explosive force to one or two grenades.

The city is a prominent software development centre and is also home to a major outsourcing industry.

(Additional reporting by Rupam Jain Nair in Ahmedabad; Editing by Bill Tarrant)
10684  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 27, 2008, 11:58:39 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article4406814.ece

From The Sunday Times
July 27, 2008
Sleaze scuppers Democrat golden boy

Gotcha: Senator John Edwards, whose wife has cancer, has been caught in a sex scandal that ends his vice-presidential hopes

Sarah Baxter in Washington
SCRATCH John Edwards off the list of potential vice-presidential candidates. The former White House contender, who had been hoping to get the nod from Barack Obama, is in the midst of a full-blown sex scandal.

Every supermarket shopper knows that the preternaturally youthful former senator for North Carolina may have fathered a love child with a film-maker while Elizabeth, his saintly wife, is dying of cancer. There are sensational new details on the National Enquirer website, although most of the media have done their best to ignore them.

The tabloid magazine cornered Edwards, 55, leaving a Los Angeles hotel where Rielle Hunter, his alleged mistress, and her baby were staying, at 2.40am last Tuesday. He ran down a hallway and dived into the men’s bathroom. A hotel security guard confirmed the encounter. “His face just went totally white,” the guard said.

The story has been bubbling away for months, but so far there has been not a word about it in the mainstream newspapers, even though Edwards was John Kerry’s running mate in 2004 and has been tipped for a prominent job in an Obama administration – if not vice-president, then attorney-general or antipoverty tsar.

Edwards volunteered recently: “I’m prepared to consider seriously anything, anything [Obama] asks me to do for our country.”

He can stop waiting by the telephone. News of the “gotcha” rapidly circulated on the internet via the Drudge Report and has been buzzing on the blogs. The Enquirer’s story appears to be well sourced.

According to the magazine, Edwards arrived at the Beverly Hilton on Monday at 9.45pm after attending a meeting on homelessness in Los Angeles and was dropped off at a side entrance. Two rooms were allegedly booked for Hunter in a friend’s name.

Edwards emerged hours later and was confronted by journalists from the Enquirer. His usual spokesmen and defenders have scurried for cover behind a wall of “no comment”, while the details of the story have gone unchallenged.

Even so, Tony Pierce, editor of the Los Angeles Times, issued an edict to the paper’s own bloggers to stay off the subject. “Because the only source has been the National Enquirer, we have decided not to cover the rumours or salacious speculations,” he wrote.

Mickey Kaus, a blogger for Slate magazine, leaked the memo. He noted: “This was a sensational scandal that the Los Angeles Times and other mainstream papers passionately did not want to uncover when Edwards was a formal candidate and now that the Enquirer seems to have done the job for them it looks like they want everyone to shut up while they fail to uncover it again.”

The New York Times has not deigned to touch the story, although it recently ran thousands of words on a relationship between McCain and a female lobbyist, which appeared to be based more on innuendo than fact.

Byron York, a conservative journalist, finally broke the silence in The Hill, a reputable, non-partisan congressional newspaper. “The media looks down on the National Enquirer but you look at the Edwards story and say, ‘Wow! There appears to be a lot of knowledge there’. It is darned fishy,” York said.

Edwards appeared at a press conference on poverty in Houston shortly after the Enquirer story broke. All he would say was: “I don’t talk about these tabloids. They’re tabloid trash and just full of lies.” There was no explicit denial.

York believes sympathy for Edwards’s wife may partly account for the media blackout. “She’s a very high-profile wife and she’s suffering from cancer. But if the story is true, this was going on when he was running for president.”

If Edwards is the father of Hunter’s child, he may also be responsible for an elaborate cover-up which would call into question his political integrity as well as his fidelity. An aide to Edwards had previously claimed via a lawyer that he (the aide) was the father.

Hunter’s existence was first mentioned by Newsweek in 2006, when the magazine claimed that the little-known film-maker had been commissioned by the millionaire candidate to make behind-the-scenes web videos of his presidential campaign after they “met in a New York bar”.

Hunter, a former aspiring actress, was paid $114,000 (£57,000) for her work. Months later, a writer on The Huffington Post website wondered what had happened to the videos, which had vanished from Edwards’s campaign site. The headline read, “Edwards mystery: innocuous videos suddenly shrouded in secrecy”.

As the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination gathered pace in October last year, the Enquirer claimed that Hunter was the candidate’s mistress. “It’s completely untrue. Ridiculous,” Edwards said. “I’ve been in love with the same woman for 30 years.” Two months later the magazine revealed that Hunter, a 43-year-old divorcee, was six months pregnant.

The story took a bizarre turn when she claimed that Andrew Young, a long-time aide to Edwards and a married family man, was the father of her child. Young’s lawyer acknowledged his paternity.

Hunter moved from New York to the same gated community in North Carolina as Young and his wife and young children, raising speculation that he was really her minder. Young has not commented on the latest allegations.

The National Enquirer may publish photographs corroborating Edwards’s presence at the hotel this weekend. A reporter for The Washington Post said yesterday: “To be quite honest, we’re waiting to see the pictures. That said, Edwards is no longer an elected official and he is not running for office now. Don’t expect wall-to-wall coverage.”

The Clinton Connection

Roger Altman, who has a controlling stake in the National Enquirer, is a former official in Bill Clinton’s administration. Some wags believe the magazine poured resources into the love child story to scupper John Edwards’s chances of beating Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination.

Were the latest revelations timed to finish him off as a potential running mate? Despite the rumours, it is not likely. Few people think Clinton is still on Barack Obama’s shortlist.

David Perel, the Enquirer’s editor-in-chief, said the magazine’s parent company had “nothing to do with the editorial side, which I run”.

“We stayed on the story,” he said. “We did it the old-fashioned way with lots of legwork. We did what the [big] news organisations used to do. We knocked on doors, ran down leads and talked to people.”
10685  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: July 27, 2008, 10:43:29 AM




July 25, 2008, 7:45 a.m.

It’s America, Obama
A modest dissent to the citizen of the world.

By Victor Davis Hanson

What disturbed me about Barack Obama's Berlin speech were some reoccurring utopian assumptions about cause and effect — namely, that bad things happen almost as if by accident, and are to be addressed by faceless, universal forces of good will.

Unlike Obama, I would not speak to anyone as “a fellow citizen of the world,” but only as an ordinary American who wishes to do his best for the world, but with a much-appreciated American identity, and rather less with a commonality indistinguishable from those poor souls trapped in the Sudan, North Korea, Cuba, or Iran. Take away all particular national identity and we are empty shells mouthing mere platitudes, who believe in little and commit to even less. In this regard, postmodern, post-national Europe is not quite the ideal, but a warning of how good intentions can run amuck. Ask the dead of Srebrenica, or the ostracized Danish cartoonists, or the archbishop of Canterbury with his supposed concern for transcendent universal human rights.

With all due respect, I also don't believe the world did anything to save Berlin, just as it did nothing to save the Rwandans or the Iraqis under Saddam — or will do anything for those of Darfur; it was only the U.S. Air Force that risked war to feed the helpless of Berlin as it saved the Muslims of the Balkans. And I don't think we have much to do in America with creating a world in which “famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.” Bad, often evil, autocratic governments abroad cause hunger, often despite rich natural landscapes; and nature, in tragic fashion, not “the carbon we send into atmosphere,” causes “terrible storms,” just as it has and will for millennia.

Perhaps conflict-resolution theory posits there are no villains, only misunderstandings; but I think military history suggests that culpability exists — and is not merely hopelessly relative or just in the eye of the beholder. So despite Obama’s soaring moral rhetoric, I am troubled by his historical revisionism that, “The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love.”

I would beg to differ again, and suggest instead that a mass-murdering Soviet tyranny came close to destroying the European continent (as it had, in fact, wiped out millions of its own people) and much beyond as well — and was checked only by an often lone and caricatured US superpower and its nuclear deterrence. When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was no danger to the world from American nuclear weapons “destroying all we have built” — while the inverse would not have been true, had nuclear and totalitarian communism prevailed. We sleep too lightly tonight not because democratic Israel has obtained nuclear weapons, but because a frightening Iran just might.

When Obama shouts,

Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don't look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?
it is the world, not the U.S., that needs to listen most. In this regard I would have preferred Sen. Obama of mixed ancestry to have begun with “In the recent tradition of African-American Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice,” rather than the less factual, “I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city.”

I want also to shout back that the United States does stand for the rule of law, as even the killers of Guantanamo realize with their present redress of grievances, access to complex jurisprudence, and humane treatment — all in a measure beyond what such terrorists would receive anywhere else. It is the United States that takes in more immigrants than does any country in the world, and thus is the prime destination of those who flee the miseries of this often wretched globe.

American immigration policies are humane, not only in easy comparison to the savagery shown the “other” in Africa or the Middle East, but fair and compassionate in comparison to what we see presently accorded aliens in Mexico, France, and, yes, Germany. Again, in all this fuzziness — this sermonizing in condescending fashion reminiscent at times of the Pennsylvania remonstration — there is the whiff of American culpability, but certainly not much of a nod to American exceptionalism. Politicians characteristically say to applauding audiences abroad what they wish to hear. True statesmen often do not.

In terms of foreign affairs, I think Americans will finally come to vote for a candidate, who with goodwill, a lot of humility, and a little grace, can persuade the world that universal moral progress, freedom, and material prosperity best advance under the aegis of free markets, constitutional government, and individual freedom, rather than for someone who seems to think, in naïve fashion, that these are necessarily shared and natural human practices, or are presently in force outside the West — or will arise due to dialogue or international good intentions.

 — Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTAzZWIwOWYzMTg1YzkyOTllODM2YmU0OTdjZGVhNjg=
10686  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: July 27, 2008, 10:02:09 AM
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24078316-25837,00.html

Rebels could win Pakistan's nuke haven

Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent | July 26, 2008

A CRISIS meeting of Pakistan's new coalition Government has been warned that it could lose control of the North West Frontier Province, which is believed to hold most of its nuclear arsenal.

The warning came yesterday from the coalition leader, who, although he is part of the new Government, is regarded as having the closest links to al-Qa'ida and Taliban militants sweeping through the region.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman bluntly told his colleagues: "The North West Frontier province is breaking away from Pakistan. That is what is happening. That is the reality."

This came just days before new Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's scheduled meeting with US President George W. Bush to discuss al-Qa'ida and Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan.

Reports last night said Maulana Fazlur Rehman, regarded as having unparalleled insight into the mood of the three million tribesmen in the NWFP, and leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, was backed in his assessment by members of the coalition Government from the Awami National Party, which rules in the province's capital, Peshawar.

They, too, told the meeting of jihadi militant advances throughout the province, with their influence extending to most so-called "settled areas", including Peshawar.

Yesterday, the army was reported to have abruptly ended an operation in the Hangu district, close to Peshawar, after threats by militant leaders.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the ANP members blamed the worsening situation on "President (Pervez) Musharraf's eight-year policy to deal with the issue through the barrel of a gun, and the alliance with America".

The crisis meeting resolved to pursue dialogue with the jihadis, a policy derided by US and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

It also declared itself to be implacably opposed to US or other forces entering Pakistani territory to deal with the growing jihadi militancy.

Analysts in Islamabad believe the warning about the situation in the NWFP will prompt renewed concern about the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking in Australia, suggested the restive border region was the source of a surge in Taliban-related violence in Afghanistan, and said Pakistan needed to do more to prevent attacks.

"We understand that it's difficult, we understand that the North West Frontier area is difficult, but militants cannot be allowed to organise there and to plan there and to engage across the border," Dr Rice said.

"So, yes, more needs to be done."

Al-Qa'ida's operational commander in Afghanistan, a 53-year-old Egyptian named Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, was interviewed on Pakistani television yesterday and claimed the organisation's strength in Afghanistan was growing so rapidly it would "soon occupy the whole country".

He claimed that "the morale of our fighters in Afghanistan is very high and they are putting up a tough fight against US troops".

He also claimed responsibility in the interview for a terrorist attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad.

The fact of the interview, as much as what he said, is seen as indicating an important new stage in the crisis.

"The bad guys are even popping up and giving television interviews: that's a reflection of what's happening," one foreign diplomat in Islamabad said last night.

A leading think tank warned this week about the Taliban's use of a media strategy to exaggerate their strength and undermine confidence in the Afghanistan Government.

The International Crisis Group says the administration and its backers must counter this propaganda if they are to defeat an insurgency "that is driving a dangerous wedge between them and the Afghan people", in a report entitled Taliban Propaganda: Winning the War of Words?

The Taliban now publicise their messages, warnings and claims of battle successes through a website, magazines, DVDs, cassettes, pamphlets, nationalist songs, poems and mobile telephones.

Audacious tactics such as the Kandahar jailbreak last month and the April assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai show that the intent is to grab attention.

"The result is weakening public support for nation building, even though few actively support the Taliban," the report says.

It says the international community should also examine its own actions, adding the benefits of military action are outweighed by the alienation they cause.

"The Taliban is not going to be defeated militarily and is impervious to outside criticism," the ICG says.

"Rather, the legitimacy of its ideas and actions must be challenged more forcefully by theAfghan government and citizens."

Additional reporting: AFP, AP
10687  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: July 27, 2008, 09:47:53 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/2461830/Killing-for-religion-is-justified,-say-third-of-Muslim-students.html

Killing for religion is justified, say third of Muslim students
A third of Muslim students in Britain believe killing someone in the name of religion is justified, a new poll claims.
 
By Patrick Sawer
Last Updated: 1:00AM BST 27 Jul 2008

The survey found that extreme Islamist ideology has a profound influence on a significant minority of Muslims on campuses across the country.
The findings will concern police chiefs, the security services and ministers, who are struggling with radicalisation among Muslim communities.
The YouGov poll was conducted for the Right-wing think tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion, at 12 universities, including Imperial College and Kings College London. It also found:
40 per cent support the introduction of sharia into British law for Muslims
a third back the notion of a worldwide Islamic caliphate (state) based on sharia law
40 per feel it is unacceptable for Muslim men and women to mix freely
24 per cent do not think men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah
a quarter have little or no respect for homosexuals.
Although 53 per cent said that killing in the name of religion was never justified, compared with 94 per cent of non-Muslims, 32 per cent said that it was. Of these, 4 per cent said killing could be justified to "promote or preserve" religion, while 28 per cent said it was acceptable if that religion were under attack.
There was also sympathy for the view that Muslim soldiers in the Armed Forces should be allowed to opt out of operations in Muslim countries, with 57 per cent agreeing.
The report's authors found that Islamic societies on campus, operating under the umbrella of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, exert a strong influence on many of Britain's 90,000 Muslim students. A quarter of them belong to Islamic societies and their views are often more extreme.
While three-fifths of society members said that killing in the name of religion was acceptable, an equal number of non-member Muslims said it was never justified. The security services have identified Islamist activism at universities acts as a possible "gateway" to violent extremism. Several terrorists and sympathisers began their extremist careers on campuses.
The authors of the report, "Islam on Campus", lay much of the blame for extremism among Muslim students on the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which seeks to build a worldwide Islamic state.
YouGov polled 600 Muslim students and 800 non-Muslim students at universities with a high number of Muslims.
10688  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: July 27, 2008, 09:30:12 AM
http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/01152008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/smearing_soldiers_265875.htm

SMEARING SOLDIERS
By RALPH PETERS

January 15, 2008 -- THE New York Times is trashing our troops again. With no new "atrocities" to report from Iraq for many a month, the limping Gray Lady turned to the home front. Front and center, above the fold, on the front page of Sunday's Times, the week's feature story sought to convince Americans that combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan are turning troops into murderers when they come home.
Heart-wringing tales of madness and murder not only made the front page, but filled two entire centerfold pages and spilled onto a fourth.

The Times did get one basic fact right: Returning vets committed or are charged with 121 murders in the United States since our current wars began.

Had the Times' "journalists" and editors bothered to put those figures in context - which they carefully avoided doing - they would've found that the murder rate that leaves them so aghast means that our vets are five times less likely to commit a murder than their demographic peers.

The Times' public editor, Clark Hoyt, should crunch the numbers. I'm even willing to spot the Times a few percentage points (either way). But the hard statistics from the Justice Department tell a far different tale from the Times' anti-military propaganda.

A very conservative estimate of how many different service members have passed through Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait since 2003 is 350,000 (and no, that's not double-counting those with repeated tours of duty).

Now consider the Justice Department's numbers for murders committed by all Americans aged 18 to 34 - the key group for our men and women in uniform. To match the homicide rate of their peers, our troops would've had to come home and commit about 150 murders a year, for a total of 700 to 750 murders between 2003 and the end of 2007.

In other words, the Times unwittingly makes the case that military service reduces the likelihood of a young man or woman committing a murder by 80 percent.

Yes, the young Americans who join our military are (by self- selection) superior by far to the average stay-at-home. Still, these numbers are pretty impressive, when you consider that we're speaking of men and women trained in the tools of war, who've endured the acute stresses of fighting insurgencies and who are physically robust (rather unlike the stick-limbed weanies the Times prefers).

All in all, the Times' own data proves my long-time contention that we have the best behaved and most ethical military in history.

Now, since the folks at the Times are terribly busy and awfully important, let's make it easy for them to do the research themselves (you can do it, too - in five minutes).

Just Google "USA Murder Statistics." The top site to appear will be the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics. Click on it, then go to "Demographic Trends." Click on "Age." For hard numbers on the key demographics, click on the colored graphs.

Run the numbers yourself, based upon the demographic percentages of murders per every 100,000 people. Then look at the actual murder counts.

Know what else you'll learn? In 2005 alone, 8,718 young Americans from the same age group were murdered in this country. That's well over twice as many as the number of troops killed in all our foreign missions since 2001. Maybe military service not only prevents you from committing crimes, but also keeps you alive?

Want more numbers? In the District of Columbia, our nation's capital, the murder rate for the 18-34 group was about 14 times higher than the rate of murders allegedly committed by returning vets.

And that actually understates the District's problem, since many DC-related murders spill across into Prince George's County (another Democratic Party stronghold).

In DC, an 18-34 population half the size of the total number of troops who've served in our wars overseas committed the lion's share of 992 murders between 2003 and 2007 - the years mourned by the Times as proving that our veterans are psychotic killers.

Aren't editors supposed to ask tough questions on feature stories? Are the Times' editors so determined to undermine the public's support for our troops that they'll violate the most-basic rules of journalism, such as putting numbers in context?

Answer that one for yourself.

Of course, all of this is part of the disgraceful left-wing campaign to pretend sympathy with soldiers - the Times column gushes crocodile tears - while portraying our troops as clichéd maniacs from the Oliver Stone fantasies that got lefties so self-righteously excited 20 years ago (See? We were right to dodge the draft . . .).

And it's not going to stop. Given the stakes in an election year, the duplicity will only intensify.

For an upcoming treat, we'll get the film "Stop-Loss," starring, as always, young punks who never served in uniform as soldiers. This left-wing diatribe argues that truly courageous troops would refuse to return to Iraq - at a time when soldiers and Marines continue to re-enlist at record rates, expecting to plunge back into the fight.

Those on the left will never accept that the finest young Americans are those who risk their lives defending freedom. Sen. John Kerry summed up the views of the left perfectly when he disparaged our troops as too stupid to do anything but sling hamburgers.

And The New York Times will never forgive our men and women in uniform for their infuriating successes in Iraq.

Ralph Peters' latest book is "Wars of Blood and Faith."
10689  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 27, 2008, 08:54:27 AM
"In the video released this week and dated July 23, TIP leader Commander Seyfullah warned China of more explosions to come.
"Our aim is to target the most critical points related to the Olympics. We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely using the tactics that have never been employed," he continued"

**Rather than a nuke, this makes me think of radiological dispersal devices (dirty bombs). Bioweapons seem much less likely, despite having been specifically mentioned by "Commander Seyfullah".

Question: Are the bombings in India part of an "Asian campaign" by al qaeda, having their losses in Iraq now entering global consciousness?**
10690  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 27, 2008, 08:46:24 AM
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gs7lUkxBUCG_S2sfv-rSUJibzLtg

Chinese separatists' Olympics threat 'credible': US analyst
1 day ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A Chinese Muslim separatist group's threats to launch attacks during the Beijing Olympics are credible, a US expert said Saturday, after the group claimed credit for several recent bus bombings in China.
Although Chinese officials earlier Saturday denied that the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) was behind the bus bombings in Shanghai, IntelCenter director Ben Venzke pointed to a TIP video showing how to make a truck bomb as evidence that the group has the capacity for serious attacks.
"At this point in time we believe that, based on the TIP's demonstrated ability to conduct bombings and the apparent opportunity TIP believes the Olympic Games presents in terms of targeting and striking a blow to China, that the threat is credible and should be taken seriously," Venzke said.
Venzke, whose company monitors extremist threats around the world for private clients, on Friday released a transcript of TIP's latest video claiming credit for a pair of bus blasts that killed two people Monday in Yunnan province, and a bus explosion in Shanghai in May that killed three.
Chinese officials quickly rejected the claim, denying that TIP, an ethnic Uighur group which seeks to break off part of China's heavily Muslim Xinjiang province into an independent East Turkestan homeland, had caused the explosions.
"We have noticed media reports about the claims, but so far no evidence has been found to indicate the explosions were connected with terrorists and their attacks, or with the Beijing Olympics," a Yunnan public security official was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.
"The (May 5) blast was indeed deliberate but had nothing to do with terrorist attacks," Cheng Jiulong, deputy head of Shanghai police, told Xinhua.
But Venzke says the threat is likely real.
"Questions remain as to exactly what the TIP capabilities are in the eight cities they have threatened and whether the group has the ability to conduct a sustained campaign during the Games or one or two large-scale attacks."
According to global intelligence analysts Stratfor, TIP is another name for the ethnic Uighur Islamic Party of East Turkestan (ETIM), a group labelled a terrorist organization by both the United States and China.
In the video released this week and dated July 23, TIP leader Commander Seyfullah warned China of more explosions to come.
"Our aim is to target the most critical points related to the Olympics. We will try to attack Chinese central cities severely using the tactics that have never been employed," he continued
.
"While Seyfullah's claims appear greater than reality, they cannot be entirely dismissed, nor can the potential for further transportation infrastructure attacks against China," Stratfor said in an analysis on its website.
TIP's video says the group is willing to use biological weapons in an attack, and Venzke said that specific threat cannot be discounted. But, he added, TIP so far lacks a "demonstrated capability" to use biological weapons.
IntelCenter said it had a video made by TIP showing how to wire a truck with a bomb and another showing a suicide bomber preparing for an attack.
Venzke also noted that senior Al-Qaeda figure Ayman al-Zawahiri has made reference several times to the Uighurs' fight for an East Turkestan homeland
"While not yet on the level of attention focused on places like Somalia, Sudan, Algeria and other major theaters, al-Zawahiri's references do firmly place the jihadi efforts in East Turkistan in the mix of important jihadi fronts," Venzke said.
10691  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 05:10:17 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/china/article4406836.ece

From The Sunday Times
July 27, 2008
Islamist bombers target Olympics
Michael Sheridan Far East Correspondent

A MILITANT Islamic group has threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics with suicide bombers and biological weapons and has claimed responsibility for a string of fatal bombings and explosions in China over recent weeks.

In a video released by IntelCenter, a terrorism monitoring group, a bearded man identified as “Commander Seyfullah” is seen reading a declaration of jihad against the Olympics and warns athletes and spectators, “especially Muslims”, to stay away.

It was issued by a group calling itself the Turkestan Islamic party. The group may be allied with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – designated a terrorist organisation by the US, China and several other countries – which seeks independence for the Muslim Uighur people of China’s far west province of Xinjiang, which Uighur separatists call East Turkestan.

“Commander Seyfullah” said the group was responsible for three bombs last week on buses in the city of Kunming, which killed two people, and for two bus bombings on May 21 in Shanghai, which killed three.

The group said it also bombed a plastics factory in southern China and claimed involvement in an attack on police in the city of Wenzhou using explosives on a tractor, both on July 17.

Some of these incidents had been attributed to criminals, local grievances or accidents.

IntelCenter said that in an earlier five-page communiqué the group had promised to unleash suicide bombers against the Olympics and told Muslims that the use of biological weapons would be religiously justified.

The Chinese authorities have mobilised more than 100,000 troops and police to guard the Olympics and have imposed draconian security restrictions in every city where events will take place.
10692  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 04:33:12 PM
Plausible I suppose, but in that it has not been done here in the US or Europe, do you think the Chinese Muslim Fascists have the ability to go nuke?  My sense of things is that they are at a lower level.

**Under most circumstances, I'd tend to agree. Bill Gertz disclosing NEST's presence strikes me as a huge story that seems to have slid under the radar and alters my assessment. Gertz has great sourcing from the nat'l security structure and I don't recall him ever being substantially wrong on a story like this. NEST couldn't be there without the approval from the highest levels of the USG and I can't see Washington willing to take this risk without very good reason. I very much doubt that ETIM has it's own nuclear capability. Still, western China borders the loose nuke center of the universe.**

My sense of things is that playing up the Isalmo-fascist issue becomes  a way for China to neutralize the usual US complaints and bleatings when they are their usual oppressive totalitarian selves.

**True, China seized on "terrorism" as a cover for business as usual right after 9/11. The fact that China is openly discussing terror threats to the Olympics to the degree it is strikes me as significant. Admitting there is a serious threat harms China's "face" at a time when the whole world is watching. The whole motivation for hosting the Olympics is to present the "new China" and promote it's strength and modernity. Having to admit to a serious threat to internal security at this time makes the power structure in Beijing very unhappy. Again, something not done lightly.

One other aspect to keep in mind. AQ has a history of grafting it's global jihad onto muslim struggles that were originally non-religious, ethno-nationalistic in origin. I'd cite the "Alqaeda-ization" of the Chechen independence movement in the 90's. I'm willing to bet this is a factor in what is occurring with the ETIM today. Keep in mind that the terrorists that hit Beslan were majority Chechen, but included arabs recruited for the jihad operation.** 
10693  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 09:40:48 AM
The incident with the Qantas jet has me wondering about Ramzi Yousef's "Oplan Bojinka". Connected? I'll be waiting to see if this was metal fatigue or an IED.
10694  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 26, 2008, 09:30:03 AM
Very gracious.  Forward!  GM?

GM:

You make very good points, but as best as I can tell still do not reach my central doubt about your hypothesis-- can Islamic Fascism really become a big enough threat to internal Chinese control to the piont wherein it will suit Chinese govt purposes to cease and desist the activities you so well describe in order to ally with the US against Islamic Fascism?  Just what is it that we can offer them?

**If China and the US are working together to the degree that we have NEST there, and the first letter being "Nuclear" in the NEST acronym, then there is most likely good intel that has both governments very worried. Modern China has been described as "An ocean of gasoline just waiting for a spark". A nuclear detonation would certainly provide more than enough.

Imagine for a moment there was a nuclear weapon detonated in China. Even if not one victim was American, the impact would shake us and the rest of the world to a degree never seen before. Think of all the ships leaving Chinese ports daily with cargo containers headed for ports like Long Beach, CA. Keep in mind al qaeda's stealth navy and their M.O. of using cargo containers for human smuggling. Anyone think global trade wouldn't rapidly grind to a halt? Rather than 9/11 shutting down the airlines, this would crash the global trade infrastructure. China would very rapidly fracture and now we have to wonder which PLA neo-warlord has China's nukes under control. Does this spur N. Korea into a paniced invasion of the south or does the NorK state crumble, resulting in an epic humanitarian crisis along with China's chaos? What other problem cascade from this?

I know this much, our current housing/banking crisis would pale in comparison to the economic crisis that would stem from such a scenario.**


I'm thinking the solution will include (in no particular order)

a)  strengthening the dollar; higher interest rates, lower corporate tax rate
b)  price stability, reducing govt meddling in the economy
c) allow the market to do its work in responding to higher energy prices
d) eliminating/reducing taxes on alternative forms of energy
f)  drilling for oil
g) I know some like nuclear, but ever since the "experts" here in CA tried building a reactor on an earth quake fault I have a hard time trusting them
h) cultural sedition  grin

**If you've seen the Christmas sales in Shanghai in December as Santa Claus stands on the sidewalk in front of McDonald's and Starbucks as Nike wearing teens clad in NBA team shirts walk by as they listen to Mandarin hip-hop on I-pods, well then we're doing well in that area.**



10695  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 08:03:16 PM
Into Africa   
By Roger Kaplan
The Weekly Standard | Friday, July 25, 2008

Close on the heels of the latest sham election in Zimbabwe, the International Criminal Court announced last week that it is seeking the arrest of the president of Sudan on charges of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. As Africa notches up more failures on the long road out of colonialism, a new pseudo-colonial power--China--is busily engaged in getting exactly what it wants out of the continent. The implications for the kind of political and economic evolution likely to unfold in Africa are significant.

Until about 20 years ago, China's interest in Africa consisted mainly of encouraging Marxist revolutionary factions. Lately, however, that interest has taken a decidedly economic turn. China is in the market for most of Africa's products and is selling its own there as well. Once a major oil exporter, China became a net importer of oil in 1993 and is now dependent on imports for half its oil and natural gas. To meet this need, it has diversified its sources, in particular making deals with most of Africa's oil-producing states.

Just in the past three years, Beijing has signed energy deals with Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, and Sudan. Its investment in Sudan's pipeline and refinery infrastructure, valued at between $3 billion and $5 billion, is mind-boggling in such a poor country, but it is not unusual for the energy industry. China bought a stake in a Nigerian offshore field two years ago for $2.5 billion and promised to invest the same amount in further exploration and development.

China has huge investments in Algeria, with whose government it is also cooperating on the development of nuclear energy, and Angola, which this spring overtook Nigeria as the continent's largest producer of oil.

Chinese investment in Africa took off exponentially in the early 1990s. So did China-Africa trade. According to the Nigerian economist Adama Gaye, trade between China and Africa reached the $10 billion mark in 2000 and is likely to reach $55 billion this year. If it reaches $100 billion in 2010, as Gaye thinks likely, it will surpass both American and French trade with Africa. The continent's other major trading partners are India (growing) and Britain (not growing).

Significantly, Nigeria's then-president Olusegun Obasanjo, once a U.S. favorite, said last year that this would be the Chinese century, and he encouraged Africans to stay with the leader. There is no question China's mix of authoritarianism and rapid economic development is tempting to states whose political and economic institutions are fragile and whose relations with the liberal West tend to be ambivalent.

Not that the United States has been absent from African affairs. On the contrary, the Bush administration has supported huge increases in African exports to the United States (through the tariff-ending Africa Growth Opportunity Act) and U.S. investments in Africa (through the State Department's Overseas Private Investment Corporation), as well as debt relief initiatives, development aid in agriculture, and programs to combat disease and keep children in school. The Bush administration has encouraged African development more seriously than any of its predecessors, and it has insisted that prosperity is more likely to endure if accompanied by the spread of the institutions that sustain free societies, rather than the authoritarian model China promotes.

Which will be the ascendant influence? Chinese consumer goods are becoming ubiquitous in Africa, as elsewhere. "Made in China" clothes, personal and commercial vehicles, and electronics are widely available, and Chinese fast-food is even catching on. High level trade and investment delegations on multi-country tours are almost banal, while the annual "China-Africa Forums" are becoming more important in terms of deal-making than the Francophonie summits that France sponsors. Chinese assistance includes the deployment of thousands of doctors to fight tropical and infectious diseases.

The Chinese contribute hospitals, schools, and roads--they are building the trans-Maghreb highway across Algeria, for example, on which travelers ride in Chinese-assembled buses. Although as recently as a few years back Peugeot was the dominant car in West Africa by far, Japan's Toyota and Korea's Hyundai, both assembled in China, and China's own Chery Automobile will soon overtake it.

Prestige follows power. "Confucian Centers" are promoting Chinese language study in 16 countries, while "Confucian Institutes" in partnership with local universities have been established for advanced study of language and management in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and South Africa. Scholarships are offered for university study in China. Chinese radio broadcasts in several languages compete with the popular programs of the Voice of America, the BBC, and RFI.

China's military role on the continent has grown in importance. Equipment and advisers have been sent to Congo (Kinshasa) and Angola, and there were reports in 2003 that firms fronting for the People's Liberation Army were smuggling weapons to Sierra Leone and Liberia during those small West African countries' catastrophic diamond wars, into which Ivory Coast, beset by its own north-south sectional and tribal problems, was drawn.

China's diplomatic support for the regime in Khartoum is well known as a result of Western efforts to broker peace among the many contending Sudanese clans and tribes. Lately Beijing, concerned to avoid criticism of its embrace of brutal regimes in the run-up to the Olympic Games, has pressured Sudan to cooperate with the deployment of a U.N.-African Union force to protect people in the war-torn Darfur province from tribal militias, some of which Khartoum has armed and supported.

It is worth keeping in mind, however, that civil wars have raged in Sudan practically without interruption since independence in 1956, and China, building its influence in the country, made no effort to stop them. Beijing's official position has been that the "situation in Sudan is an internal affair," as one Chinese foreign minister said. Although wars between the Arab north and the black south officially ended in 2005, the government of Omar al-Bashir is showing little inclination to respect the share-the-oil part of the U.S.-brokered peace agreement. Khartoum has spent some of its revenue from oil on Chinese arms, reinforced by Chinese military personnel.

Meanwhile, the violence in Darfur, which began with the revolt of Muslim tribes in the western province and led to brutal counterinsurgency campaigns, recently blew back into Khartoum. One of the many Darfuri armed groups sent a motorized column into Sudan's capital, where it was decimated--quite possibly with direct Chinese help. J. Peter Pham, a professor at James Madison University and a fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies who reported last year on the Chinese military association with Sudan, notes that when you provide a regime with $100 million worth of supersonic fighter jets, you must really intend for that regime to survive.

Darfur crisis watchers and activists are well aware that the people they are trying to protect in that disaster zone (a quarter of a million killed, two million displaced) are attacked from the air as well as on the ground. Meanwhile, a congressionally mandated report dated October 2006 had already put at anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 the number of Chinese soldiers in Sudan, lightly disguised as petroleum engineers and construction workers.

Sudan's complexities, however, are unlikely to becloud China's keen sense of its own interests. In the Horn of Africa, for example, Pham points out China has sold a billion dollars' worth of arms to both sides in one of the continent's many underreported conflicts, the one between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Beijing bet heavily on Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, but if or when the southerners go back to the hills to fight for their independence (and their oil), it may well be with arms supplied by China. Until then, Bashir's indictment by the International Criminal Court can only strengthen the Chinese hand to the degree it increases the president's diplomatic isolation.

Arms, too--specifically a shipment of three million AK-47 rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars--are at the center of the latest episode in the long and warm relationship between China and Zimbabwe. The shipment, on the An Yue Jiang last April, was by no means unusual, but dockworkers in Durban, South Africa, refused to unload it for the overland part of its journey.

The good relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe have been strained by the crazy rule of Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, which has wrecked a once-flourishing economy, murdered opposition activists, shut down a vigorous independent press, and now is forcing tens of thousands of refugees across the border into Botswana and South Africa, leading to deadly riots. Under these conditions, sending arms right in the middle of a presidential election that the ruling clique was determined to brazen out (Mugabe openly stated he would not allow the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to come to power) strained even the old-comrade ties that have made South African president Thabo Mbeki reluctant to criticize Mugabe.

It is of course quite possible that the days of strongmen like Mugabe are numbered anyway. In the meantime, however, the An Yue Jiang's cargo reportedly arrived safe and sound in Harare, having transited through Mozambique. Will Chinese president Hu Jintao give some stern advice to Mugabe, as he did in June to the Sudanese vice president?

During violence in Kenya last winter sparked by flawed elections, China's People's Daily (the organ of the ruling party) editorialized that "Western-style democracy is not suited for Africa." However, passing through Washington last month, Kenya's prime minister, Raila Odinga, sharply criticized Mugabe and called free elections imperative in Zimbabwe.

If an American presidential candidate did the same--if, without injecting himself into Zimbabwe's or Sudan's or any other country's internal politics, Barack Obama or John McCain made it clear the United States dislikes the kinds of political regimes China promotes and enables--Africans would surely take note. Indeed, in a campaign year unlike any previous one, Americans themselves might notice.

Roger Kaplan is a writer in Washington.
10696  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 07:49:48 PM
http://www.tnr.com/story_print.html?id=06d65840-0997-482e-a84d-b09b61a7b0e5   
 
No Country for Young Men
China's testosterone problem.

Mara Hvistendahl,  The New Republic  Published: Wednesday, July 09, 2008



Mike Fiala/AP
At Tiananmen Square for National Day.
Over the last decade, they cropped up in cities throughout China, tucked into raucous markets or along forgotten side streets, their interiors smelling of musty canvas and crammed with bounty for aspiring young soldiers: illicit weapons shops with names like ARMY GOODS STORE and GUNCOOL. For a few thousand yuan--a few hundred dollars--assault rifle-like air guns await in dirty back rooms, along with fatigues, bulletproof vests, kneepads, long underwear, camouflage t-shirts, rucksacks, bandoliers, helmets, helmet sleeves, walkie-talkies, and two-liter CamelBaks. Once outfitted, China's militiamen organize into clubs--Guangzhou Fight Men, Shanghai Band of Brothers, Tianjin Seals--and storm remote lots or abandoned warehouses, shooting at each other with pellets, to stage what they call "war games." The term belies the seriousness participants assign the activity: The more established clubs have dedicated battlegrounds whose surrounding trees are nailed with DANGER signs.

In gun-happy America, this hobby might not rise above the level of eccentricity; but, in China, where most weapons are illegal, it requires a special degree of passion. Beijing periodically cracks down, and clubs sometimes disappear overnight. In a round-up last year, Beijing cops seized 3,400 guns and knives used in war games. Still, the government can't seem to quash the urge among Chinese twentysomethings to unleash a few rounds. The headline on a recent Shanghai Weekly article explains the games' appeal in unusually apt Chinglish: URBAN BATTLE: A VERY MAN ACTIVITY.

The macho violence spurting forth through outlets like war games is a growing trend in Chinese society--and China's one-child policy, in effect since 1979, is partly responsible. The country's three decades of iron-fisted population planning coincided with a binge in sex-selective abortions (Chinese traditionally favor sons, who carry on the family line) and a rise, even as the country developed, in female infant mortality. After almost 30 years of the policy, China now has the largest gender imbalance in the world, with 37 million more men than women and almost 20 percent more newborn boys than girls nationwide.

By the time these newborns reach puberty, war games may seem like a quaint relic. In the 2020s, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher Zheng Zhenzhen, estimates in a People's Daily interview that 10 percent of Chinese men will be unable to find wives, which could have a huge impact on Chinese society. Historian David Courtwright suggests in Violent Land that sexually segregated societies in the United States--frontier towns flush with unmarried men, immigrant ghettos in early twentieth-century cities, mining camps--are behind our propensity toward violence. The immigrants and westward migrants who shaped early America, Courtwright says, were largely young single men, who are-- today as well as then--disproportionately responsible for drug abuse, looting, vandalism, and violent crime. A long-term study of Vietnam veterans in 1998 may explain exactly why: The subjects' testosterone levels, which are linked to aggression and violence, dropped when they married and increased when they divorced. Eternally single men, by extension, maintain high levels of testosterone--a recipe for violent civil unrest.

The one-child policy was instituted in an attempt to hamper the wild growth of the Chinese population. But, in the process of plugging one hole, the government may have left another open. The coming boom in restless young men promises to overhaul Chinese society in some potentially scary ways.

 

Lianyungang, a booming port city in a Jiangsu province economic belt, is ground zero for some of these changes. According to the China Family Planning Association, it's the city in China with the most extreme gender ratio for children under four--163 boys for every 100 girls. One sunny Saturday morning at verdant Cangwu Park, I count six boys and three girls bouncing on the inflatable castle. Near the ice-cream stand are a dozen sticky-faced kids, seven boys and five girls, feeding pigeons. The children running after kites adorned with Olympics mascots and China's Shenzhou VII spaceship: three and two. The drivers of the cheerful little tanks circling an electric track: three and one.

These numbers work fine on the playground, but, for China's many match- making services, they may prove troublesome. At the Good Luck Marriage Introduction Agency, in a town a few hours' drive west from Liangyungang, two whiteboards mounted on the wall advertise the age, height, and income of available singles. On the day I visit, founder Tao Hui, a fortysomething woman with a bouffant, is watching soap operas in her sweatpants. She hasn't felt the shortage yet, she says. On the whiteboards, a few dozen nameless men line up nicely to a few dozen nameless women. For now, many in the early wave of surplus men are marrying younger women.

"We'll see real problems in eight or ten years," Tao predicts. Her 17-year- old son, she assures me, has good prospects. But she already turns away a lot of single males from outlying villages with no money or education. "If they're ugly and can't find work, there's nothing I can do. No one wants them."

Preliminary returns from the first generation of population-controlled kids suggest how all those unwanted men might fill up their time. Over the past decade, as the boys hit adolescence, the country's youth crime rate more than doubled. In December, Chinese Society of Juvenile Delinquency Research Deputy Secretary General Liu Guiming told a Beijing seminar that today's teens were committing crimes "without specific motives, often without forethought."

The Chinese government--which, policy-making blunders aside, hardly wants a population of hopeless, volatile men under its rule--has been vainly trying to undo the damage. At a symposium on the policy last August, family-planning commission head Zhang Weiqing said the gender ratio harbors a "hidden threat to social stability." In February, officials publicly debated the timeline for phasing out stringent population planning targets, citing the gender ratio along with a rapidly aging population. "In the past, everyone thought we didn't have a problem," says Gu Baochang, a demographer at Renmin University in Beijing. "Now they're starting to pay attention."

In the meantime, the government is adopting a softer tone in its propaganda. The red characters painted on village walls throughout the countryside have evolved from the 1980s slogan YOU BEAT IT OUT! YOU CAN MAKE IT FALL OUT! YOU CAN ABORT IT! BUT YOU CANNOT GIVE BIRTH TO IT! Now they read: IMPLEMENT FAMILY PLANNING FOR THE GOOD OF ALL CITIZENS. And, recently, the government added BOYS AND GIRLS ARE BOTH TREASURES. In 2003, it unveiled the Care For Girls program, which gives stipends to parents of girls in some provinces.

But, as Chinese couples make more money, fertility is naturally declining-- meaning that today's bachelors will form an even larger proportion of China's future population than officials expect. Wang Feng, a sociologist at the University of California-Irvine who's part of a group of scholars advocating phasing out the one-child policy, says the outlook is grim: "Each successive birth cohort is going to be smaller. When younger cohorts get smaller, you have fewer females. It's a double whammy."

 

Online, many Chinese are worried--about the safety of their daughters, the marriage prospects of their sons. Others--presumably the boys themselves--meet the problem with ominous boasts. As one predicted last year on the portal Tianya: "Our national ability to pick up chicks will reach heights unparalleled in human history."

And still others are coming up with more practical outlets to exploit China's new cadre of unstable young bachelors. Two years ago in Nanjing, Jiangsu's capital, businessman Wu Gang opened the Rising Sun Anger Release Bar in a cheap hotel near the bank of the Yangtze River. The bar featured staples of Chinese entertainment like big-screen karaoke and plates of sunflower seeds but also a central catwalk where, for 100 yuan ($15) per minute, customers paid to assault the waiters, single young migrants from poorer cities to the north. If a customer preferred, his victim would dress in drag. Men "are under too much pressure," Wu explained to me one day, as the waiters high-kicked Pepsi bottles in the storeroom. "They need a way to release it."

Mara Hvistendahl is a writer based in Shanghai.
10697  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China vs. Islam on: July 25, 2008, 07:41:16 PM
1.  I supect our military plans for victory too.

**Sure, but the US wishes to preserve the post WWII pax americana that has allowed for the economic growth and freedom that has developed in many asian nations. China's envisioned pax sinica would not be nearly so benign.**

2/3.  Agreed.  Note that we too sold to the pre-Taliban to bleed the Russians.  The Chinese govt can be more ruthless in these things because it is a totalitarian state.
4/5.  Again, because it is a totalitarian state, it can be more ruthless.  Does it really need to fear the Chinese Muslims to the point of giving up the joy and "benefit" of helping world-wide Islamic Fascism bleed us? 

**The threat from jihadist 5th generation warfare combined with WMD technology holds the potential for the destruction of the nation-state as a viable entity.**

FWIW I see the Chinese as having some very weak links in their chain:
1) its' banking system is a tremendous house of cards,
2) due to the one child policy, its demographics are quite unusual.  The few will be supporting the many.

**It is specifically due to the demographic instability resulting from the one child policy that almost absolutely ensures that China will deliberately engage in a war or wars as a means to correct the gender imbalance. If this is the case, I'd rather have them pointed towards the 'stans rather than India or us.**

3) it has turned itself into a toxic dump with utterly unsustainable environmental policies
4) apparently there are tremendous social pressures

**Both 3 and 4 tend to support my conclusion stated above.**


10698  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Cooties in Training on: July 25, 2008, 07:24:19 PM
Funny enough, Cal POST didn't have a site or publication I could find on Bloodborne pathogens, but Cal OSHA has this:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/adultfilmindustry.html  evil

There are actual links to useful information that would apply to a martial arts school.

Another useful site:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/iipp.html


10699  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Cooties in Training on: July 25, 2008, 05:18:41 PM
In a training environment, the adoption of infection control/blood borne pathogen protocols as used at a law enforcement training academy. I'd cut and paste their policy and procedures related to the training environment and injuries that occur while training, including exposure to blood.

I bet California POST has a nice program drawn up with your tax dollars worth looking at.
10700  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 'America Alone' on: July 25, 2008, 05:08:12 PM
Quote
Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago.

I find that statement ridiculous. A few generations ago, many houses had no running water, electricity, or access to basic services. It's comparing apples to oranges.

The thing that irks me about the article is that it somehow equates material possessions with quality of life. The tone is one of "Get over it "poor" people. You own stuff, so be happy."

Owning a bunch of crap doesn't mean that your neighborhood isn't gang and drug infested or violent, lacks quality social services, and is a just plain horrible place to live. Detroit, Compton, New Orleans' 9th Ward, the Appalachians, all horrible places where people own stuff and their lives suck. Please... rolleyes


Isn't it better to be "poor" in American than to be poor throughout most of the world? If we examine the gang and drug infested areas in urban America, what policy solution do you advocate that hasn't as of yet been attempted?
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