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10851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mystery missile launch? on: November 09, 2010, 12:40:54 PM

Mystery Missile Launch Seen off Calif. Coast
Military Mum on Nature of "Big Missile" Rising Out of Pacific - a Possible Show of U.S. Military Might
10852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 09, 2010, 12:19:46 PM
The crisis that threatens this country is the ethnic loyalties that trump American loyalty. Rewarding illegal immigration is corrosive to the rule of law. If "La Raza" is more important than America, then we are fcuked.
10853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 09, 2010, 09:36:02 AM
The ban on sharia in no way violates constitutional rights. It affirms constitutional rights by banning sharia's oppression of women/non-muslims.
10854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 09, 2010, 08:51:37 AM
Typical JDN. Tireless cheerleader for evil/anti-americanism. If this was the 1930's, you'd be a member of the german-american bund, no doubt.
10855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 08, 2010, 05:21:06 PM
**What? The magical Libertarian policy hasn't worked? This couldn't be right, could it?**

I don't think Mexico has enjoyed a libertarian moment since Europeans started recording history there in the 1500s, so I'm not sure what your point is, though your authoritarian streak certainly seems to chafe when libertarian principles are mentioned.

Mexico legalized possession of drugs for personal use and as Crafty pointed out, honest coverage of drug issues in Mexico often leads to people getting shot/decapitated, but as the shootings/decapitations seem to increase, I think a fair argument can be made that it hasn't worked. My personal experience seeing the real ugly consequences of the drug subculture cause me to chafe when I see simplistic sloganeering on the topic. I will add that the bulk of the substance related horrors I've seen are related to the legal drug, alcohol. I don't buy "Just legalize everything and all the badness will go away".
10856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California: The Lindsay Lohan of States on: November 08, 2010, 05:05:33 PM
Sacramento is headed for trouble again, and it shouldn't expect a bailout.
10857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dave’s Top 10 Reasons Why QE Won’t Help the Economy on: November 08, 2010, 03:46:42 PM

Dave’s Top 10 Reasons Why QE Won’t Help the Economy
November 4th, 2010
By David Goldman

10. No-one to whom banks want to lend wants to borrow.

9.  The kind of businesses that create jobs, namely start-ups, need equity rather than debt in any case.

8.  The Fed will flatten the yield curve out to five years, competing against the banks, reducing their profitability and their capacity to lend.

7.  The deflationary tendency in the US, such as it is, is mainly demographic: as the Boomers retire, they sell real assets (the US may have a 40% oversupply of large-lot family homes by 2020), and buy financial assets, just like the Japanese during their great retirement wave of 1990-2000 (which coincided with the lost decade). It has nothing to do with monetary policy which has been extremely lax throughout.

6. If you keep interest rate slow in the advent of an enormous retirement wave, then people will save more and spend less, because they expect to earn less income on their savings.

5. If you increase the inflation rate, prospective retirees will save more and spend less, because they expect to have less future purchasing power. That is the opposite of what the Keynesian short-term model predicts, namely that inflation prompts people to spend money (why keep it in the bank if its value is falling)? That’s the trouble with the Keynesian approach: it’s a blindered, short-term view of things. But some times the long-term, for example demographics and the retirement cycle, affects the short term.

4. QE has raised inflation expectations without causing much inflation: the price of insurance against inflation, e.g. TIPS and gold, has risen, while housing prices, wages, and so forth continue to fall. That’s the worst of both worlds. Rather than shift portfolios from “safe” assets like Treasury bonds into real assets, which the Fed hopes, investors may simply shift their portfolios into stores of value like gold and foreign currencies (which is precisely what I have been doing).

3. Inflation, as even the Fed will admit, helps some people and hurts others. The idea is that it will help more people than it hurts by forcing investors to buy real assets. The kind of inflation that QE is likely to cause will have an almost entirely damaging impacta on the US. In fact, the devaluation of the dollar and the rise in raw materials prices will hurt every American household and most American businesses; it will benefit Middle East oil producers, Vladimir Putin, Aussie mining companies, and all sorts of people who don’t live in the United States.

2. With 22% of the adult non-institutional population unable to find full-time work (according to the estimable Shadow Government Statistics website, no reduction in interest rates will persuade Americans to go back to the borrowing binge of the 2000s.

and Dave’s Top Reason why QE won’t work is:

1. It undermines the dollar’s world reserve currency role. That’s why gold keeps going up. If the US were Greece or Ireland, we’d be in front of the International Monetary Fund in sackcloth and ashes right now. But we’re the world’s only superpower, and the central banks of the rest of the world have to hold their reserves in dollars. Why? Because there isn’t enough of anything else (unless the price of gold were to go to $10,000 an ounce, which I doubt) and because they hate each other more than they hate us — at least for the moment. With Obama shrinking America’s strategic footprint and the Fed behaving like the neighbor whose septic tank overflows onto everyone else’s lawn, Washington is testing the world’s patience. It will have consequences.
10858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds on: November 08, 2010, 03:32:39 PM

(CNN) -- Twinkies. Nutty bars. Powdered donuts.

For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.

His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food.

The premise held up: On his "convenience store diet," he shed 27 pounds in two months.

For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub's pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.

His body mass index went from 28.8, considered overweight, to 24.9, which is normal. He now weighs 174 pounds.
10859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 08, 2010, 02:38:01 PM

Judicial Mischief in Oklahoma?
November 8, 2010 3:09 P.M.
By Ed Whelan 

According to AP, federal district judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange today issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of Oklahoma’s recently adopted constitutional amendment barring Oklahoma state courts from considering or using international law or shariah law in deciding cases. Specifically, the judge’s TRO prevents the state election board from certifying that the amendment was approved by the voters (with support of 70%).

The judge’s reported order—I haven’t seen the text or any supporting opinion—strikes me as highly dubious. The plaintiff, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, evidently claims that the amendment stigmatizes Islam. It’s true that, among the different existing bodies of religious law, the amendment identifies only shariah law as impermissible. But that, I gather, is because advocates of shariah law make comprehensive claims to supplant civil law that no other body of religious law is seen to threaten.

Among other things, issuance of a TRO would generally require some determination that the plaintiff faces irreparable injury and is likely to succeed on the merits. I don’t see how either prong would likely be satisfied. Further, considerations of federalism ought to make a federal court very hesitant to interfere with a state’s election-certification process.

As I’ve previously indicated, I’m open to the possibility that a categorical bar on the use of international law or shariah law for any purpose might have some improper applications. It’s possible that a particular application of the state constitutional amendment might be preempted by federal law (statute or treaty) or even violate the federal Constitution. But any such claim is best pursued by a party in the context of an independently existing case.
10860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sullivan: The Coming Fiscal Catastrophe in the United States on: November 08, 2010, 01:53:07 PM

10861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: November 08, 2010, 01:21:56 PM

Economics 101

What worries me about President Obama is really one general issue: his very concrete enjoyment of the good life as evidenced by his golf outings, Martha’s Vineyard vacations, and imperial entourages that accompany him abroad, and yet his obvious distrust of the private sector and the success of the wealthy. Yet my discomfort here is not even one that arises from an obvious hypocrisy of, say, a Michelle on the 2008 campaign trail lecturing the nation about its meanness or her own previous lack of pride in her country, juxtaposed with her taste for the publicly provided rarefied enjoyments of a Costa del Sol hideaway at a time of recession.

No, my worries run deeper. Apparently, the president is unaware that after some 2,500 years of both experience with and abstract thought about Western national economies, we know that a free, private sector increases the general wealth of a nation, while a statist redistributive state results in a general impoverishment of the population. At the root of that truth is simple human nature — that people wish to further their own interest more fervently than the more abstract public good (e.g., why the renter does not wash the rental car, or why the public restroom is treated differently from its counterpart at home), and can be encouraged to invent, create, and discover which in turn helps the less fortunate, lucky, healthy, or talented.

Texas or California?

We all accept, of course, that the question is not one of a laissez-faire, unchecked robber baron arena, versus a Marxist-Leninist closed economy, but rather in a modern Western liberal state the finer line between a Greece and a Switzerland, or a California and a Texas.

In the former examples, the desire to achieve an equality of result through high taxes, generous public employment, and lavish entitlements destroys incentive in two directions — creating dependency on the part of the more numerous recipients of government largess, and despair among the smaller but more productive sector that sees the fruits of its labor redistributed to others — with all the obligatory state rhetoric about greed and social justice that legitimizes such transfers.

In the latter examples, an equality of opportunity allows citizens to create wealth and capital on the assurances that the incentives for personal gain and retention of profits will result in greater riches for all.

Neither Baron nor Insect

We in America more or less understood that dichotomy, and so neither idolized a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett with titles like count, lord, or baron, nor demonized them with revolutionary spite (i.e., “insect,” “enemy of the people,” or even “greedy” and “selfish”). Instead, we assumed that Buffett had enriched his investors and more or less could not possibly use all the vast billions he accumulated (he, in fact, lived rather modestly and much of his treasure will probably end up in the Gates Foundation). One way or another, it was worth having Microsoft Word with the expectation that the zillionaire Bill Gates’ shower is still no hotter than ours, and his private jet goes not much faster than our own cut-rate Southwest Airlines flights. All that seems simple enough — until now.

So, again, what troubles me is that the president seems unaware of this old divide — that what allowed the pre-presidential Obamas, respectively, to make quite a lot of money as a legislator, author, professor, lawyer, or hospital representative was a vibrant private sector that paid taxes on profits that fueled public spending and employment or made possible an affluent literary and legal world. All that was contingent upon the assurance that an individual would have a good chance of making a profit and keeping it in exchange for incurring the risk of hiring employees and buying new equipment.

Grows on Trees?

Instead, Obama seems to think that making money is a casual enterprise, not nearly so difficult as community organizing, and without the intellectual rigor of academia — as if profits leap out of the head of Zeus. I say that not casually or slanderously, but based on the profile of his cabinet appointments, his and his wife’s various speeches relating Barack Obama’s own decision to shun the supposed easy money of corporate America for more noble community service in Chicago, and a series of troubling ad hoc, off-the-cuff revealing statements like the following:

As a state legislator Barack Obama lamented the civil rights movement’s reliance on the court system to ensure equality-of-result social justice rather than working through legislatures, which were the “actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.” To Joe Wurzelbacher, he breezily scoffed that “my attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” When Charlie Gibson pressed presidential candidate Obama on his desire to hike capital gains taxes when historically such policies have decreased aggregate federal revenue, a startled Obama insisted that the punitive notion, not the money, was the real issue: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.” And as President Obama, again in an off-handed matter, he suggested that the state might have an interest on what individuals make: “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

In other words, for most of his life Barack Obama has done quite well without understanding how and why American capital is created, and has enjoyed the lifestyle of the elite in the concrete as much as in the abstract he has questioned its foundations. Does he finally see that the threat of borrowing huge amounts to grow government to redistribute income through higher taxes risks greater impoverishment for all of us, despite the perceived “fairness”? That suspicion alone explains why those with trillions of dollars are sitting on the sidelines despite low interest, low inflation, and a rebounding global economy. In short, millions of profit-makers believe not only will it be harder to make a profit, but far less of it will remain their own— and all the while the president will deprecate the efforts of those who simply wish do well for themselves. With proverbial friends like those, who needs enemies?

Until that mindset changes and can be seen by the public to change, the recession will not so easily end.
10862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 08, 2010, 12:24:35 PM

A plausible point, but many other variables are present too.  For example, Taiwan (I have been there btw) has a coherent family culture and is a country of economic growth.

So rather than legalization, would developing the family and economy be a more effective policy? You have certainly noticed that Taiwan and Hong Kong are big on the rule of law and also have high levels of economic freedom, especially Hong Kong. I can say HK is one of my favorite places in the world.
10863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 08, 2010, 12:19:12 PM
So, unless the US legalizes all drugs, the problems with the narcos in Mexico will continue? Will Canada have to legalize all drugs as well?
10864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Drug law changes little for life in Mexico on: November 08, 2010, 11:37:11 AM
**What? The magical Libertarian policy hasn't worked? This couldn't be right, could it?**

Drug law changes little for life in Mexico

by Dennis Wagner - Jan. 10, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

AGUA PRIETA, Sonora - A few blocks from the municipal police station, on the morning after a cartel gunfight took four more lives in Sonora, drug dealers cruise the streets of La Zona Roja with cellphones in their hands.

Addicts in a local treatment center say these "carros alegres," or happy cars, bring crack cocaine to consumers with all the speed and reliability of a pizza delivery.

The happy cars are one more sign of Mexico's growing drug-abuse problem and serve as a backdrop to the government's decision in August to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of narcotics. When the measure was adopted, President Felipe Calderón and Mexico's Congress said they wanted to concentrate law-enforcement efforts on the ruthless cartels that are blamed for an estimated 13,000 deaths since Calderón declared a war on drugs in December 2006. Calderón also said decriminalization of personal-use quantities would thwart corrupt Mexican cops who sometimes shake down drug users for bribes.

The measure incited controversy from Mexico City to Washington, D.C. Legalization advocates suggested that America's closest neighbor and ally in the drug war had finally recognized the waste of filling prisons with non-violent addicts who need treatment rather than punishment. Drug-enforcement hard-liners warned that eliminating criminal charges for drug abuse would lead to increased public consumption and addiction, perhaps even spawning narco-tourism by Americans looking to get high legally in Mexico.

That the happy cars still cruise about Agua Prieta suggests that critics and supporters overestimated the law's possible effects, both on drug violence and the scourge of addiction.

The reform seems to have had more impact in the rhetorical war over drug decriminalization than it has on Mexican streets. Rather than claiming victory, legalization advocates say the new law may even make things worse because of the way it's written. Conversely, anti-legalization groups condemn the measure because it appears to legitimize drug abuse.

Beneath the lofty debate, cops, treatment counselors, government officials, researchers and addicts interviewed last month said there have been no discernible changes related to the new law.
10865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: ANY WONDER WHY CALIF. IS GOING BROKE? on: November 08, 2010, 11:26:30 AM
Floodplain Management California Foster Youth Help California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) California Fraud Division California Gambling Control Commission California Geographic Information Systems Council (GIS) California Geological Survey California Government Claims and Victim Compensation Board California Governors Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons California Governors Mentoring Partnership California Governors Office of Emergency Services California Governors Office of Homeland Security California Governors Office of Planning and Research California Governors Office California Grant and Enterprise Zone Programs HCD Loan California Health and Human Services Agency California Health and Safety Agency California Healthy Families Program California Hearing Aid Dispensers Bureau California High-Speed Rail Authority California Highway Patrol (CHP) California History and Culture Agency California Horse Racing Board California Housing Finance Agency California Indoor Air Quality Program California Industrial Development Financing Advisory Commission California Industrial Welfare Commission California InFoPeople California Information Center for the Environment California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (I-Bank) California Inspection Services California Institute for County Government California Institute for Education Reform California Integrated Waste Management Board California Interagency Ecological Program California Job Service California Junta Estatal de Personal California Labor and Employment Agency California Labor and Workforce Development Agency California Labor Market Information Division California Land Use Planning Information Network (LUPIN) California Lands Commission California Landscape Architects Technical Committee California Latino Legislative Caucus California Law Enforcement Branch California Law Enforcement General Library California Law Revision Commission California Legislative Analyst's Office California Legislative Black Caucus California Legislative Counsel California Legislative Division California Legislative Information California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus California Legislature Internet Caucus California Library De velopment Services California License and Revenue Branch California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board California Maritime Academy California Marketing Services California Measurement Standards California Medical Assistance Commission California Medical Care Services California Military Department California Mining and Geology Board California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts California Museum Resource Center California National Guard California Native American Heritage Commission California Natural Community Conservation Planning Program California New Motor Vehicle Board California Nursing Home Administrator Program California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board California Ocean Resources Management Program California Office of Administrative Hearings California Office of Administrative Law California Office of AIDS California Office of Binational Border Health California Office of Child Abuse Prevention California Office of Deaf Access California Office of Emergency Services (OES) California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment California Office of Fiscal Services California Office of Fleet Administration California Office of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Implementation (CalOHI) California Office of Historic Preservation California Office of Homeland Security California Office of Human Resources California Office of Legal Services California Office of Legislation California Office of Lieutenant Governor California Office of Military and Aerospace Support California Office of Mine Reclamation California Office of Natural Resource Education California Office of Privacy Protection California Office of Public School Construction California Office of Real Estate Appraisers California Office of Risk and Insurance Management California Office of Services to the Blind California Office of Spill Prevention and Response California Office of State Publishing (OSP) California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development California Office of Systems Integration California Office of the Inspector General California Office of the Ombudsman California Office of the Patient Advocate California Office of the President California Office of the Secretary for Education California Office of the State Fire Marshal California Office of the State Public Defender California Office of Traffic Safety California Office of Vital Records California Online Directory California Operations Control Office California Opinion Unit California Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) California Park and Recreation Commission California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) California Performance Review (CPR) California Permit Information for Business (CalGOLD) California Physical Therapy Board California Physician Assistant Committee California Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services California Policy and Evaluation Division California Political Reform Division California Pollution Control Financing Authority California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo California Postsecondary Education Commission California Prevention Services California Primary Care and Family Health California Prison Industry Authority California Procurement Division California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) California Real Estate Services Division California Refugee Programs Branch California Regional Water Quality Control Boards California Registered Veterinary Technician Committee California Registrar of Charitable Trusts California Republican Caucus California Research and Development Division California Research Bureau California Resources Agency California Respiratory Care Board California Rivers Assessment California Rural Health Policy Council California Safe Schools California San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission California San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy California San Joaquin River Conservancy California School to Career California Science Center California Scripps Institution of Oceanography California Secretary of State Business Portal California Secretary of State California Seismic Safety Commission California Self Insurance Plans (SIP) California Senate Office of Research California Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program California Small Business Development Center Program California Smart Growth Caucus California Smog Check Information Center California Spatial Information Library California Special Education Division California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Board California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) California Standards and Assessment Division California State Administrative Manual (SAM) California State Allocation Board California State and Consumer Services Agency California State Architect California State Archives California State Assembly California State Association of Counties (CSAC) California State Board of Education * California State Board of Food and Agriculture California Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) California State Children's Trust Fund California State Compensation Insurance Fund California State Contracts Register Program California State Contracts Register California State Controller California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) California State Disability Insurance (SDI) California State Fair (Cal Expo) California State Jobs Employment Information California State Lands Commission California State Legislative Portal California State Legislature California State Library Catalog California State Library Services Bureau California State Library California State Lottery California State Mediation and Conciliation Service California State Mining and Geology Board California State Park and Recreation Commission California State Parks California State Personnel Board California State Polytechnic University, Pomona California State Railroad Museum California State Science Fair California State Senate California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) California State Summer School for the Arts California State Superintendent of Public Instruction California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) California State Treasurer California State University Center for Distributed Learning California State University, Bakersfield California State University, Channel Islands California State University, Chico California State University, Dominguez Hills California State University, East Bay California State University, Fresno California State University, Fullerton California State University, Long Beach California State University, Los Angeles California State University, Monterey Bay California State University, Northridge California State University, Sacramento California State University, San Bernardino California State University, San Marcos California State University, Stanislaus California State University (CSU) California State Water Project Analysis Office California State Water Project California State Water Resources Control Board California Structural Pest Control Board California Student Aid Commission California Superintendent of Public Instruction California Superior Courts California Tahoe Conservancy California Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists California Tax Information Center California Technology and Administration Branch Finance California Telecommunications Division California Telephone Medical Advice Services (TAMS) California Transportation Commission California Travel and Transportation Agency California Unclaimed Property Program California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board California Unemployment Insurance Program California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission California Veterans Board California Veterans Memorial California Veterinary Medical Board and Registered Veterinary Technician Examining Committee California Veterinary Medical Board California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board California Volunteers California Voter Registration California Water Commission California Water Environment Association (COWPEA) California Water Resources Control Board California Welfare to Work Division California Wetlands Information System California Wildlife and Habitat Data Analysis Branch California Wildlife Conservation Board California Wildlife Programs Branch California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) California Workers Compensation Appeals Board California Workforce and Labor Development Agency California Workforce Investment Board California Youth Authority (CYA) Central Valley Flood Protection Board Center for California Studies Colorado River Board of California Counting California Dental Board of California Health Insurance Plan of California (PacAdvantage) Humboldt State University Jobs with the State of California Judicial Council of California Learn California Library of California Lieutenant Governors Commission for One California Little Hoover Commission (on California State Government Organization and Economy) Medical Board of California Medi-Cal Osteopathic Medical Board of California Physical Therapy Board of California Regents of the University of California San Diego State University San Francisco State University San Jose State University Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy State Bar of California Supreme Court of California Teach California University of California University of California, Berkeley University of California, Davis University of California, Hastings College of the Law University of California, Irvine University of California, Los Angeles University of California, Merced University of California, Riverside University of California, San Diego University of California, San Francisco University of California, Santa Barbara University of California, Santa Cruz * Veterans Home of California
10866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ANY WONDER WHY CALIF. IS GOING BROKE? on: November 08, 2010, 11:25:35 AM

Tuesday, November 2. 2010
California state agencies


California Academic Performance Index (API) California Access for Infants and Mothers California Acupuncture Board California Administrative Office of the Courts California Adoptions Branch California African American Museum California Agricultural Export Program California Agricultural Labor Relations Board California Agricultural Statistics Service California Air Resources Board (CARB) California Allocation Board California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority California Animal Health and Food Safety Services California Anti-Terrorism Information Center California Apprenticeship Council California Arbitration Certification Program California Architects Board California Area VI Developmental Disabilities Board California Arts Council California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus California Assembly Democratic Caucus California Assembly Republican Caucus California Athletic Commission * California Attorney General

Those are just the As. The rest are below the fold.

California Bay Conservation and Development Commission California Bay-Delta Authority California Bay-Delta Office California Biodiversity Council California Board for Geologists and Geophysicists California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors California Board of Accountancy California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology California Board of Behavioral Sciences California Board of Chiropractic Examiners California Board of Equalization (BOE) California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection California Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind California Board of Occupational Therapy California Board of Optometry California Board of Pharmacy California Board of Podiatric Medicine California Board of Prison Terms California Board of Psychology California Board of Registered Nursing California Board of Trustees California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians California Braille and Talking Book Library California Building Standards Commission California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education California Bureau of Automotive Repair California Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair California Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation California Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services California Bureau of State Audits California Business Agency California Business Investment Services (CalBIS) California Business Permit Information (CalGOLD) California Business Portal California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency California Cal Grants California CalJOBS California Cal-Learn Program California CalVet Home Loan Program California Career Resource Network California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau California Center for Analytical Chemistry California Center for Distributed Learning California Center for Teaching Careers (Teach California) California Chancellors Office California Charter Schools California Children and Families Commission California Children and Family Services Division California Citizens Compensation Commission California Civil Rights Bureau California Coastal Commission California Coastal Conservancy California Code of Regulations California Collaborative Projects with UC Davis California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth California Commission on Aging California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation California Commission on Judicial Performance California Commission on State Mandates California Commission on Status of Women California Commission on Teacher Credentialing California Commission on the Status of Women California Committee on Dental Auxiliaries California Community Colleges Chancellors Office, Junior Colleges California Community Colleges Chancellors Office California Complaint Mediation Program California Conservation Corps California Constitution Revision Commission California Consumer Hotline California Consumer Information Center California Consumer Information California Consumer Services Division California Consumers and Families Agency California Contractors State License Board California Corrections Standards Authority California Council for the Humanities California Council on Criminal Justice California Council on Developmental Disabilities California Court Reporters Board California Courts of Appeal California Crime and Violence Prevention Center California Criminal Justice Statistics Center California Criminalist Institute Forensic Library California CSGnet Network Management California Cultural and Historical Endowment California Cultural Resources Division California Curriculum and Instructional Leadership Branch California Data Exchange Center California Data Management Division California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission California Delta Protection Commission California Democratic Caucus California Demographic Research Unit California Dental Auxiliaries California Department of Aging California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control California Department of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS) California Department of Community Services and Development California Department of Conservation California Department of Consumer Affairs California Department of Corporations California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation California Department of Developmental Services California Department of Education California Department of Fair Employment and Housing California Department of Finance California Department of Financial Institutions California Department of Fish and Game California Department of Food and Agriculture California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) California Department of General Services California Department of General Services, Office of State Publishing California Department of Health Care Services California Department of Housing and Community Development California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) California Department of Insurance California Department of Justice Firearms Division California Department of Justice Opinion Unit California Department of Justice, Consumer Information, Public Inquiry Unit California Department of Justice California Department of Managed Health Care California Department of Mental Health California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) California Department of Personnel Administration California Department of Pesticide Regulation California Department of Public Health California Department of Real Estate California Department of Rehabilitation California Department of Social Services Adoptions Branch California Department of Social Services California Department of Technology Services Training Center (DTSTC) California Department of Technology Services (DTS) California Department of Toxic Substances Control California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets) California Department of Water Resources California Departmento de Vehiculos Motorizados California Digital Library California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Program California Division of Apprenticeship Standards California Division of Codes and Standards California Division of Communicable Disease Control California Division of Engineering California Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control California Division of Gambling Control California Division of Housing Policy Development California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement California Division of Labor Statistics and Research California Division of Land and Right of Way California Division of Land Resource Protection California Division of Law Enforcement General Library California Division of Measurement Standards California Division of Mines and Geology California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources California Division of Planning and Local Assistance California Division of Recycling California Division of Safety of Dams California Division of the State Architect California Division of Tourism California Division of Workers Compensation Medical Unit California Division of Workers Compensation California Economic Assistance, Business and Community Resources California Economic Strategy Panel California Education and Training Agency California Education Audit Appeals Panel California Educational Facilities Authority California Elections Division California Electricity Oversight Board California Emergency Management Agency California Emergency Medical Services Authority California Employment Development Department (EDD) California Employment Information State Jobs California Employment Training Panel California Energy Commission California Environment and Natural Resources Agency California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) California Environmental Resources Evaluation System (CERES) California Executive Office California Export Laboratory Services California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo) California Fair Political Practices Commission California Fairs and Expositions Division California Film Commission California Fire and Resource Assessment Program California Firearms Division California Fiscal Services California Fish and Game Commission California Fisheries Program Branch California
10867  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 08, 2010, 11:22:24 AM
When you fly into Taiwan's main airport (Taoyuan) there is a large sign in both Chinese and English warning you that possession of illegal drugs is punishable by death. Funny enough, Taiwan has a very low rate of drug addition.
10868  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: November 08, 2010, 11:04:37 AM
Rich people don't take their money and store it in vaults so they can swim through it like Scrooge McDuck. They invest it and spend it, which creates jobs for the non-rich.
10869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 08, 2010, 11:01:35 AM
lawlessness - Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Lawless \Law"less\, a.
     1. Contrary to, or unauthorized by, law; illegal; as, a
        lawless claim.
        [1913 Webster]
              He needs no indirect nor lawless course. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Not subject to, or restrained by, the law of morality or
        of society; as, lawless men or behavior.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Not subject to the laws of nature; uncontrolled.
        [1913 Webster]
              Or, meteorlike, flame lawless through the void.
        -- Law"less*ly, adv. -- Law"less*ness, n.
        [1913 Webster]
10870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: November 07, 2010, 08:37:41 PM

Check out the charts. Outside my area of knowledge, but it doesn't look good.
10871  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama acknowledges decline of US dominance-in India on: November 07, 2010, 05:36:04 PM

Obama acknowledges decline of US dominance
TNN, Nov 8, 2010, 01.14am IST

MUMBAI: Implicitly acknowledging the decline of American dominance, Barack Obama on Sunday said the US was no longer in a position to "meet the rest of the world economically on our terms".

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Mumbai, he said, "I do think that one of the challenges that we are going face in the US, at a time when we are still recovering from the financial crisis is, how do we respond to some of the challenges of globalisation? The fact of the matter is that for most of my lifetime and I'll turn 50 next year - the US was such an enormously dominant economic power, we were such a large market, our industry, our technology, our manufacturing was so significant that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms. And now because of the incredible rise of India and China and Brazil and other countries, the US remains the largest economy and the largest market, but there is real competition."

"This will keep America on its toes. America is going to have to compete. There is going to be a tug-of-war within the US between those who see globalisation as a threat and those who accept we live in a open integrated world, which has challenges and opportunities."

The US leader disagreed with those who saw globalisation as unmitigated evil. But while acknowledging that the Chindia factor had made the world flatter, he said protectionist impulses in US will get stronger if people don't see trade bringing in gains for them.

"If the American people feel that trade is just a one-way street where everybody is selling to the enormous US market but we can never sell what we make anywhere else, then the people of the US will start thinking that this is a bad deal for us and it could end up leading to a more protectionist instinct in both parties, not just among Democrats but also Republicans. So, that we have to guard against," he said.

He pointed out that America, which once traded without bothering about barriers put up by partners, could not promote trade at its own expense at a time when India and China were rising. "There has to be reciprocity in our trading relationships and if we can have those kind of conversations - fruitful, constructive conversation about how we produce win-win situations, then I think we will be fine."
10872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S.-China trade war feared on: November 07, 2010, 05:18:00 PM
U.S.-China trade war feared
In a visit to Miami, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui said trade sanctions aren't the way to deal with China's undervalued yuan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:
10873  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China leads backlash against US stimulus on: November 07, 2010, 11:13:45 AM

China leads backlash against US stimulus as risk of currency war, protectionism grows
China led an Asian backlash against US measure to boost an economic recovery which has stoked concerns that a flood of 'hot money' could destabilise regional economies.
10874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Moonbeam powers: Activate! on: November 07, 2010, 11:07:01 AM

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

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

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

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

“California simply lacks the fiscal capacity to guarantee public-pension payments, particularly given the wave of state employees set to retire” in future years, said researchers Perry Wong and I-Ling Shen in the Milken report. “Structural shifts, coupled with the financial design and the accounting practices of state pension funds, all point to the fact that reform is imperative.”
10875  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The age of the dollar is drawing to a close on: November 07, 2010, 09:50:31 AM

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

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

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

These are seismic changes, of a type not seen for a generation or more. I hate to end with a cliché, but we do indeed live in interesting times.
10876  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 07, 2010, 08:44:38 AM
Free access to drugs, no government authority. Sounds like a Libertarian paradise.
10877  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Japan won't be buying US treasuries for long on: November 07, 2010, 08:27:25 AM

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

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

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

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

The country’s year-over-year gross domestic product was 2.4 percent as of June 30. It has the world’s largest public debt, approaching 200 percent of its GDP amid a 5.1 percent jobless rate. Consumer price fell by one percent in September and has been negative each month since May 2009, as deflation has taken hold.
10878  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 07, 2010, 08:00:50 AM
So exactly what would be the costs for us of a trade war with China?

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

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

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

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

10879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 07, 2010, 07:32:34 AM
The original quotes were in this thread.
10880  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 07, 2010, 12:40:25 AM
I have said several times that the PRC no longer has a belief in communism, not even the party members. Nationalism, stability and an improved standard of living is what the chinese power structure offers now to the masses. They literally must run as fast as they can just to stay in one place to keep the majority of the population that is still living as their impoverished grandparents did compliant. Still, the chinese withstand suffering very few if any of us can't imagine, and the PRC has a massive internal security structure more than willing to machinegun protesters en mass. Put today's Americans in the conditions of the great depression and see how ugly things get in short order. We may well just find out.
10881  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: November 07, 2010, 12:12:12 AM
FWIW IMHO your logic is as correct as it is naive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:

    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

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


What isn't wrong with Sharia law?

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maryam Namazie is a rights activist, commentator and broadcaster and spokesperson of Iran Solidarity and One Law for All
10882  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / OK with you, JDN? on: November 06, 2010, 10:56:39 PM

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

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

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

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

Sayeed re-affirmed these sentiments to The UK Independent:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An ocean apart from Britain—now a recognized Western hotbed for “Islamic fundamentalism”—the same Sharia-sanctioned misogynistic bigotry prevails in a North American clerical organization openly advising US and Canadian Muslims.
10883  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 10:39:30 PM
So the stealth jihad to impose sharia on the western world should be ignored? The victimization of women in the UK sharia courts there is no big deal to you?
10884  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: November 06, 2010, 10:35:30 PM
What cards would those be?
10885  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Let's see how uncivil this gets on: November 06, 2010, 09:21:37 PM

Indebted and Unrepentant
New York and California stand virtually alone against the rest of the country.
10886  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 06, 2010, 09:05:30 PM
It could. It could here as well.
10887  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: November 06, 2010, 08:47:00 PM   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So the printing presses ran, and once they began to run, they were hard to stop. The price increases began to be dizzying. Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 Marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 Marks. "If you want to save money," he was told, "and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time."
10888  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 07:44:16 PM
Remember, CAIR leaders have stated:

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

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

Any jews that have said anything like the above, JDN?
10889  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 07:35:03 PM
Last time I checked, there was no jewish version of a stealth jihad to impose sharia law on the western nations. Do you know of anything similar from  jews? Again, why should American judges enforce religious law?
10890  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Muslim organization applauds Oklahoma anti-shariah law on: November 06, 2010, 01:38:31 PM
AIFD PRESS RELEASE: American Muslim organization applauds Oklahoma anti-shariah law
November 5, 2010
American Islamic Forum for Democracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

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

Media contact:

office 602-254-1840
10891  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Video: Rubio gives GOP address, calls 2010 the Republican “second chance” on: November 06, 2010, 01:18:12 PM

If you want to see why Democrats feared Marco Rubio so much that they tried to stick a knife in the back of their own candidate to stop him, this video demonstrates just how powerful a figure he will become with a national platform on which to speak. The GOP may not have had a speaker like Rubio since Ronald Reagan, excelling at both the message and the mechanics of oratory — and even Reagan didn’t have this kind of compelling backstory. Rubio reminded listeners of his origins from a people exiled from their birthplace because of their desire for freedom, and the dream of a better life that is a “sacred duty” for this generation to deliver to the next, not to mortgage from the next generation for our own exploitation.
10892  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 01:08:08 PM
Irfan Aleem v. Farah Aleem, No. 108, September Term 2007
HEADNOTE: The Court declines to afford comity to the Pakistani talaq divorce. The
alleged Pakistani marriage contract and the Pakistani statutes addressing the division of
property upon divorce conflict with the public policy of Maryland and the Maryland courts
will not afford comity to such contracts and foreign statutes.
10893  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 06, 2010, 01:03:00 PM

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

10894  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sharia 101 on: November 06, 2010, 12:29:36 PM
Once there is an agreement to arbitrate, the ruling of the arbitrator is enforceable by the power of the state, yes? Should we as a society have the secular state enforcing a codified law based on a religious text?
10895  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India and India-afpakia (and China?) on: November 06, 2010, 12:13:09 PM
In reading a variety of foreign writers thoughts on America, the only ones who really seemed to get us were Indian.
10896  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: November 06, 2010, 12:04:27 PM
China tees up G20 showdown with US

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The US Treasury declined to comment on Friday.

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

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

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

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

Separately, the deputy foreign minister also had a stern message for European leaders, warning them not to attend next month’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Liu Xiaobo, an imprisoned Chinese democracy activist.
10897  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Smackdown from China on: November 06, 2010, 08:02:55 AM

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

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

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

China’s opposition to the proposal, which had made some progress at a G20 finance ministers’ meeting last month, came amid a continuing rumble of protest from around the world at the US Federal Reserve’s plan to pump an extra $600bn into financial markets.
10898  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 09:43:48 PM
I can't find a transcript where the FBI intercepted Joe Agosto bragging that Harry"Mr. Cleanface" Reid was on his payroll.
10899  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: November 05, 2010, 08:05:45 PM

An interesting primer on Nevada politics and the "g-sting" scandal.
10900  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Covert Entry Search Warrants on: November 05, 2010, 07:16:34 PM

Covert Entry Search Warrants (podcast transcript)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solari: Well thank you Mr. Hodges for outlining for us the provisions and requirements of covert entry a/k/a sneak and peek warrants. I really appreciate that. Those of you out there who want to listen to some other of our podcast can find them at our website which is located at
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