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11201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: October 15, 2010, 07:51:51 AM
In the US, the poor have lots of food and little activity. In China, their poor have little food and lots of physical activity. It's in the cities, with the new wealth and "American-like" lifestyles that you'll find obesity a problem.
11202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: October 14, 2010, 10:34:09 PM

China's cities are getting bigger. Vast apartment complexes rise from land cleared for rebuilding. There's a constant hum of construction cranes and motion across the horizon. China's middle class is getting bigger, better educated, better paid. Millions of new consumers flock to the new shopping centers, freed from the hard physical labor of their parents and grandparents.

All that change has consequences. The Chinese are getting bigger, too, and fast. "The New England Journal of Medicine" reports that 19 million people in China are now obese. And while the small percentage of overweight people here still falls well short of America's epidemic, China's rapid rate of increased obesity, 30 to 50 percent annually -- that's six million to 10 million more each year -- has alarmed health officials.

In the course of just a few decades, China has moved from being a society with a fear of periodic famine to one where the rapidly rising rate of obesity is a serious public health threat.

Dr. Mi Jie is a pediatrician who is studying the phenomenon.

DR. MI JIE, pediatrician (through translator): During the last 30 years of economic development, people's living standards have improved rapidly. Their lifestyles have changed enormously. More money means more food.

RAY SUAREZ: Dr. Mi is trying to convince parents that giving their children more food just because they can afford more food will eventually become a health burden for that child.

DR. MI JIE (through translator): Most obese children don't have an immediate health risk, but health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, will occur in 20 or 30 years, when they become adults, because health problems don't appear until adulthood. Parents don't see the problems. And they don't take action.

In fact, the traditional thinking in China is that children need to be fat, and that means the child is healthy and strong. This concept, of course, is wrong.

RAY SUAREZ: Western fast-food restaurants have become part of urban Chinese culture.

I just want to know what everybody's favorite food is at McDonald's.

CHILD: Hamburger. Coke.

WOMAN (through translator): The kids these days, they can eat whatever they want. When I was young, I was from a poor family, and we didn't have enough to eat. All we had were potatoes.

RAY SUAREZ: Paul French is the author of a soon-to-be-released book titled "Fat China."

PAUL FRENCH, author, "Fat China": They are extremely proud. And what we have here, of course, is a one-child policy, which is not enforced everywhere, but is still the norm.

So, now we have a generation coming through that not only have no siblings, but have no aunts and uncles. This has led to what we might term here the six-pocket syndrome, which is where every child, or little emperor, as they're known here, has two parents and four grandparents.

And those four grandparents and two parents don't really have anything to spend their money on except that child. So, they are lavishing that child. They are arguably spoiling that one child. And, of course, after generations of -- of not having enough, people don't want to say no to children. They want to give them everything. They want to let them enjoy the prosperity, rather than the austerity that they knew in their childhood.

RAY SUAREZ: According to the World Health Organization, between 5 percent and 10 percent of Chinese youth are now obese. Some of them make their way to the equivalent of a fat farm.

Here at the Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital, patients are not only introduced to healthier foods and daily exercise; they're also given traditional Chinese medical treatments, like acupuncture.

DR. SHI LIDONG, chief executive, Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital (through translator): With acupuncture, we want to control the appetite, the desire of eating, and so they won't feel very hungry. We use it to improve digestion and to break down the fat.

RAY SUAREZ: Dr. Shi Lidong is the hospital's chief executive.

DR. SHI LIDONG (through translator): The appearance of the body is not important to us. Our goal is to change their lifestyle, help them understand what to eat and what not to eat.

RAY SUAREZ: The parents of 19-year-old Ma Chanwang paid for his visit to Aimin. His goal is to lose 40 pounds. Now in his fifth day, he's already lost 15.

MAN (through translator): I started gaining weight when I was 8 years old. And I never stopped gaining. I like to eat deep-fried food, and I can't control my appetite.

RAY SUAREZ: As American-owned fast-food joints pop up around the country, they have been followed by another American cultural symbol: Weight Watchers. At Weight Watchers in Shanghai, program director Shan Jin works with clients to limit the amount of food at mealtime.
11203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 14, 2010, 07:42:51 PM

One of the famous definitions of insanity is repeating the same mistake over and over again while expecting a different result. Whether that’s a perfect definition is open to debate, but one thing is certain: it’s as accurate a description of the California electorate at this moment in 2010 as you could get.
11204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: How to cut government spending on: October 14, 2010, 07:28:12 PM


    Why are important projects now unaffordable? Decades ago, when the federal and state governments were much smaller, they had the means to undertake gigantic new projects, like the Interstate Highway System and the space program. But now, when governments are bigger, they don’t.

    The answer is what Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal once called demosclerosis. Over the past few decades, governments have become entwined in a series of arrangements that drain money from productive uses and direct it toward unproductive ones.

That’s exactly right, and Rauch’s book, Demosclerosis: The Silent Killer of American Government, remains just as timely as in the 1990s, when it came out.
11205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 14, 2010, 07:24:24 PM

A good police department would plan and train for this no matter if there was intel or not. It will be interesting to see if other cities do this drill as well, however.
11206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: How to cut government spending on: October 14, 2010, 06:45:10 PM

The democrats, doing for America what they did for Detroit!
11207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: October 14, 2010, 02:06:43 PM

Contrast and compare. Western civilization and islamic savagery.
11208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 14, 2010, 10:42:33 AM
Although not as constitutionally pure as a declaration of war, we have the congressional authorization to use force.

    Authorization for Use of Military Force
    September 18, 2001

    Public Law 107-40 [S. J. RES. 23]

    107th CONGRESS


    To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.

    Whereas, on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States and its citizens; and

    Whereas, such acts render it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to self-defense and to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad; and

    Whereas, in light of the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by these grave acts of violence; and

    Whereas, such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States; and

    Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore, be it

          Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


          This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force'.


          (a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

          (b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

                (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

                (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

    Approved September 18, 2001.

11209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tolerance and Diversity! on: October 14, 2010, 10:36:46 AM

“Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school children were taught to pray to that same Allah.

    The result is stunning: an unabashed exercise in Islamic dawa, the “call to Islam” and the manner by which the Brotherhood’s spiritual guide, Yusuf Qaradawi, promises that Islam will “conquer America” and “conquer Europe.” Qaradawi — wonder of wonders — is a trustee of the Roxbury mosque (although he is banned from the U.S. for sanctioning terrorism). As the video relates, “Dawa Net,” one Islamic organization that instructs on how to use the schools to inculcate the young, explains that public schools in America are “fertile grounds where the seeds of Islam can be sowed inside the hearts of non-Muslim students.”

Well, except for the icky girls. Cooties, and all. They were not allowed to take part in the “tolerance” indoctrination. Have to teach these girls how to show respect! And teach them a little about  the benefits of misogynistic subjugation in the Muslim world, right?

11210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 14, 2010, 09:37:33 AM
I have huge issues with this administration. In a sane world, Obama should only see the inside of the white house as part of a public tour. However, he is the elected president and thus has the lawful authority of that position as commander in chief of the US military.

You can have any reservations you want about his decisionmaking and ethics, of lack thereof, but I see no valid claim regarding the use of the military to make war on those who have made war on us. Were Barry to have airstrikes called in on Tea Party gatherings, then you would have a point.
11211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 13, 2010, 10:07:15 PM
No. There is a huge difference between someone engaging in war against the US and engaging in constitutionally protected speech.
11212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 13, 2010, 09:51:29 PM
Do you seriously think O-Barry would use the US military to target political opposition? If he was, do you think some sort of law would stop him?
11213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 13, 2010, 09:48:39 PM
  Section 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States
11214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 13, 2010, 09:36:46 PM
I remember Ariana when she was a conservative. I think her true allegiance is to being in the spotlight.
11215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 13, 2010, 09:34:24 PM
Let me know when Obama starts sending drones after Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck.
11216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: October 13, 2010, 09:06:57 PM
China's new prosperity has resulted in a big spike in obesity and obesity related diseases, including type II diabetes.
11217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 13, 2010, 08:58:18 PM
We had American citizens fighting for the Axis powers. Should they have a different status than anyone else were were fighting?

    *  Recruiter and ringleader of the New York-based al Qaeda cell, the Buffalo Six
    * Trained in Yemen as a terrorist
    * Communicated with Tawfiq bin Atash, a planner of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole
    * In 2001, he persuaded six followers to accompany him and train at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan

In 2001 Kamal Derwish recruited six young people into an al Qaeda "sleeper" cell of would-be terrorists popularly known as the Buffalo Six or Lackawanna Six. Like his recruits, Derwish was a native of the region of Lackawanna, New York on the shore of Lake Erie just to the south of Buffalo. Lackawanna is home to a community of approximately 3,000 Yemeni Muslims.

Born in Buffalo in 1973, Derwish, the son of a steelworker,  was taken by his family to live in Yemen when he was five. Soon thereafter his father died in a car accident. The boy was then sent to live with relatives in Saudi Arabia, where he was educated under the influence of the kingdom's fundamentalist Wahhabist sect of Islam. The Saudi government deported him to Yemen in 1997 because of his radical political activity.

Derwish returned to Lackawanna in 1998 and began giving lectures at a local mosque. He preached about the evils of listening to popular music, watching television, engaging in loose relations with women, and other behaviors forbidden by Wahhabism. He also made periodic visits to the Middle East. In 1999 he married in Yemen and thereafter returned to the U.S.

Reputedly a charismatic speaker, Derwish's fervor and passion for Islam attracted a small circle of young male disciples in Lackawanna. He persuaded six followers in particular -- Mukhtar Al-Bakri, Sahim A. Alwan, Faysal Galab, Shafal Mosed, Yasein Taher and Yahya A. Goba -- to make a pilgrimage to Afghanistan with him in early 2001. While there, they attended for several weeks an al Qaeda training camp where they were instructed in weapons use and terrorist tactics. During their stay, the camp was visited by the revered Osama bin Laden.

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the FBI and CIA began to find threads of evidence linking Derwish and his six followers to al Qaeda. For instance, intelligence agents learned that Derwish had received advanced weapons training at an al Qaeda camp, and that during the mid-1990s he had fought alongside Muslim rebels in Bosnia. The agents also became aware of communications between Derwish and bin Laden's son Saad, as well as between Derwish and Tawfiq bin Atash; the latter was one of the planners of the deadly 2000 terror attack against the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen.

On November 3, 2002, an unmanned CIA Predator drone flying high above the Yemeni desert unleashed a Hellfire missile at a car that was carrying Kamal Derwish, instantly killing him and four others. Also among the dead was Salim Sinan al Harethi (a.k.a. Abu Ali), the suspected mastermind of the U.S.S. Cole attack.
11218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: October 13, 2010, 08:18:04 PM
So, should we have to have a trial before we can send drones out to zap a haji? Should there have been a due process requirement before we shot down Yamamoto?
11219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: October 12, 2010, 10:02:55 PM

11220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Appeasement on: October 12, 2010, 11:54:25 AM

11221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: October 12, 2010, 11:32:17 AM

Hillary Rodham Clinton never met a political battle she didn't like. Until now.

Amid frenzied inside-Washington speculation about her political ambitions, the secretary of state is staying firmly on the sidelines. As Democrats and Republicans fight for control of Congress in next month's midterms, the former first lady and senator will be sitting it out, literally half a world away.

Clinton ran staff and reporters ragged during her 2008 Democratic presidential campaign. Now, barred by convention and tradition from partisan political activity as America's top diplomat, she is spending the weeks ahead of the Nov. 2 balloting doing administration business in Europe and Asia.

"I am not in any way involved in any of the political campaigns that are going on up to this midterm election," Clinton said last week.
11222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Koolaid turning bitter alert! on: October 12, 2010, 11:13:28 AM
The public is waking up and the Obama koolaid is turning bitter in many mouths.

Hope has turned to doubt and disenchantment for almost half of President Barack Obama’s supporters.

More than 4 of 10 likely voters who say they once considered themselves Obama backers now are either less supportive or say they no longer support him at all, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Oct. 7-10.

Three weeks before the Nov. 2 congressional elections that Republicans are trying to make a referendum on Obama, fewer than half of likely voters approve of the president’s job performance. Likely voters are more apt to say Obama’s policies have harmed rather than helped the economy. Among those who say they are most enthusiastic about voting this year, 6 of 10 say the Democrat has damaged the economy.
11223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 12, 2010, 11:04:03 AM,8599,2024090,00.html

On Sept. 29, the House of Representatives passed a bill with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans. It would punish China for keeping its currency undervalued by slapping tariffs on Chinese goods. Everyone seems to agree that it's about time. But it isn't. The bill is at best pointless posturing and at worst dangerous demagoguery. It won't solve the problem it seeks to fix. More worrying, it is part of growing anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S. that misses the real challenge of China's next phase of development. (See "Geithner: We Need to Toughen Up with China.")

There's no doubt that China keeps the renminbi, its currency, undervalued so it can help its manufacturers sell their toys, sweaters and electronics cheaply in foreign markets, especially the U.S. and Europe. But this is only one of a series of factors that have made China the key manufacturing base of the world. (The others include low wages, superb infrastructure, hospitality to business, compliant unions and a hard-working labor force.) A simple appreciation of the renminbi will not magically change all this. (See pictures of China's infrastructure boom.)

Chinese companies make many goods for less than 25% of what they would cost to manufacture in the U.S. Making those goods 20% more expensive (because it's reasonable to suppose that without government intervention, China's currency would increase in value against the dollar by about 20%) won't make American factories competitive. The most likely outcome is that it would help other low-wage economies like Vietnam, India and Bangladesh, which make many of the same goods as China. So Walmart would still stock goods at the lowest possible price, only more of them would come from Vietnam and Bangladesh. Moreover, these other countries, and many more in Asia, keep their currencies undervalued as well. As Helmut Reisen, head of research for the Development Center at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, wrote recently in an essay, "There are more than two currencies in the world."

We've seen this movie before. From July 2005 to July 2008, under pressure from the U.S. government, Beijing allowed its currency to rise against the dollar by 21%. Despite that hefty increase, China's exports to the U.S. continued to grow mightily. Of course, once the recession hit, China's exports slowed, but not as much as those of countries that had not let their currencies rise. So even with relatively pricier goods, China did better than other exporting nations. (See pictures of the making of modern China.)

Look elsewhere in the past and you come to the same conclusion. In 1985 the U.S. browbeat Japan at the Plaza Accord meetings into letting the yen rise. But the subsequent 50% increase did little to make American goods more competitive. Yale University's Stephen Roach points out that since 2002, the U.S. dollar has fallen in value by 23% against all our trading partners, and yet American exports are not booming. The U.S. imports more than it exports from 90 countries around the world. Is this because of currency manipulation by those countries, or is it more likely a result of fundamental choices we have made as a country to favor consumption over investment and manufacturing? (Comment on this story.)

Coming: The New China
The real challenge we face from China is not that it will keep flooding us with cheap goods. It's actually the opposite: China is moving up the value chain, and this could constitute the most significant new competition to the U.S. economy in the future. (See "Five Things the U.S. Can Learn from China.")

For much of the past three decades, China focused its efforts on building up its physical infrastructure. It didn't need to invest in its people; the country was aiming to produce mainly low-wage, low-margin goods. As long as its workers were cheap and worked hard, that was good enough. But the factories needed to be modern, the roads world-class, the ports vast and the airports efficient. All these were built with a speed and on a scale never before seen in human history.

Now China wants to get into higher-quality goods and services. That means the next phase of its economic development, clearly identified by government officials, requires it to invest in human capital with the same determination it used to build highways. Since 1998, Beijing has undertaken a massive expansion of education, nearly tripling the share of GDP devoted to it. In the decade since, the number of colleges in China has doubled and the number of students quintupled, going from 1 million in 1997 to 5.5 million in 2007. China has identified its nine top universities and singled them out as its version of the Ivy League. At a time when universities in Europe and state universities in the U.S. are crumbling from the impact of massive budget cuts, China is moving in exactly the opposite direction. In a speech earlier this year, Yale president Richard Levin pointed out, "This expansion in capacity is without precedent. China has built the largest higher-education sector in the world in merely a decade's time. In fact, the increase in China's postsecondary enrollment since the turn of the millennium exceeds the total postsecondary enrollment in the United States."

The Benefits of Brainpower
What does this unprecedented investment in education mean for China — and for the U.S.? Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Fogel of the University of Chicago has estimated the economic impact of well-trained workers. In the U.S., a high school-educated worker is 1.8 times as productive, and a college graduate three times as productive, as someone with a ninth-grade education. China is massively expanding its supply of high school and college graduates. And though China is still lagging far behind India in the services sector, as its students learn better English and train in technology — both of which are happening — Chinese firms will enter this vast market as well. Fogel believes that the increase in high-skilled workers will substantially boost the country's annual growth rate for a generation, taking its GDP to an eye-popping $123 trillion by 2040. (Yes, by his estimates, in 2040 China would be the largest economy in the world by far.) (See portraits of Chinese workers.)

Whether or not that unimaginable number is correct — and my guess is that Fogel is much too optimistic about China's growth — what is apparent is that China is beginning a move up the value chain into industries and jobs that were until recently considered the prerogative of the Western world. This is the real China challenge. It is not being produced by Beijing's currency manipulation or hidden subsidies but by strategic investment and hard work. The best and most effective response to it is not threats and tariffs but deep, structural reforms and major new investments to make the U.S. economy dynamic and its workers competitive.

Read more:,8599,2024090,00.html#ixzz12A35Rai4
11224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Doing the decapitations Americans won't do..... on: October 12, 2010, 09:53:07 AM

Open borders kill.
11225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 11, 2010, 10:22:09 PM
Imagine the damage Barry and the lame dems will do after the election. Nothing left to lose.
11226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tick.tick.tick on: October 11, 2010, 08:05:19 PM

Not surprisingly, the virtual breakdown of the foreclosure system has created a political storm because it could threaten the liquidity of the banks, particularly the smaller ones.

Reports out of the US over the weekend are that up to 40 state attorneys-general, as well as members of Congress, plan to meet and will call for an across-the-board moratorium on foreclosures to sort out alleged irregularities in foreclosure documents submitted by the banks.

US courts are choked with cases where notes and mortgages were missing from bankruptcy mortgage claims, despite a clear rule that they should be attached. It seems the many mortgage originators which encouraged people to lie about their financial capacity when taking out loans, also didn't bother with the paperwork.

Put simply, some mortgages changed hands many times without the full chain of documents completed. Upon challenge, many companies have been unable to show they had the paperwork, leading to their cases being dismissed.

On September 27, the Department of Justice in North Carolina wrote to Ally Financial: ''This office has received information regarding Ally Financial/GMAC Mortgage's questionable preparation of documents to support home mortgage loan foreclosure actions. In particular, the information indicates that GMAC Mortgage employees routinely signed off on large numbers of affidavits without personal knowledge of the accuracy of the contents of the affidavits. The allegations of improper verification of affidavits are supported by sworn deposition testimony by a team leader of GMAC Mortgage's document execution team for foreclosures.''

The Washington Post reported a day later that millions of people were working their way through the US court system in the wake of the financial crisis. It described the foreclosure process as a system rife with shoddy documents, forged signatures and, according to some state law enforcement officials, outright fraud by lenders eager to rid themselves of bad loans.

The subprime collapse had already wreaked havoc globally as house prices began to fall and the loans became worthless, with millions of borrowers walking away from their obligations. This pushed property prices lower and resulted in the collapse of Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia, Washington Mutual and hundreds of smaller banks.

While it had a huge impact on the banking system in the US, it didn't destroy it, because lenders were able to foreclose or obtain possession of a property by evicting the borrower and selling it, albeit at a fraction of the loan.

But with question marks hanging over the legality of many foreclosures, the bomb could be about to go off in the US.

As Hugh McLernon at IMF, who has been an avid observer of the subprime crisis, said: ''The central question in any foreclosure is whether the person seeking foreclosure has the standing to ask for it. This is usually done by producing to the court the documents showing that the applicant made the loan and is entitled to the mortgage rights, including the right to foreclose and sell when the borrower stops paying interest.''

For McLernon, the answer is to change the legislation so as to dispense with the need to produce documentation, which is the ad hoc position so far adopted by the court system without legal authority. However, with elections looming in the US, the speedy passage of difficult laws will be difficult.

The alternative is to clog the courts and erode the fragile confidence in the US government and the US financial system. With such a mess bubbling away, the release of consumer sentiment figures, trade figures and US consumer prices is a sideshow to the true health of the US economy.
11227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: October 11, 2010, 07:59:21 PM

The Obama White House has been an echo chamber for the Soros-funded Center for American Progress from Day One — from bashing Fox News, attacking talk radio, and pimping “media justice” and the Orwellian Fairness Doctrine, to crusading for the government health care takeover using Astroturfed doctors and taxpayer-funded operatives installed in the health care bureaucracy.

Team Obama has gotten away with its left-wing myna bird routine. Until now.

Mimicking the Center for American Progress attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Soros suck-up-in-chief himself accused Republicans last week of benefiting from “money from foreign corporations” — which liberals claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling into political ads. Democrat clown prince Al Franken is leading a Senate inquisition against the Chamber. Endangered Democrat candidates across the country are dutifully parroting the line. From here in my home state of Colorado:

    Democrats are swinging hard at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for potentially spending foreign money to support Republican campaigns across the country, including Ken Buck in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race.

    The chamber has spent more than $400,000 in Colorado on ads attacking Sen. Michael Bennet, according to campaign-finance records.

    Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid called on Buck’s campaign to reject the chamber’s help and disavow the ads allegedly made with “tainted foreign money.”

    “Why won’t Ken Buck stand up against the practices of these shady special interests orchestrating attacks on his behalf?” Kincaid said.

It’s triple-snort-worthy to see the party that cries “RAAACISM” whenever conservatives question their shady foreign funny money suddenly sounding the alarm over non-U.S. campaign cash. Guess we are all “nativists” now, eh, President Obama?
11228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism: on: October 11, 2010, 07:52:24 PM
Beyond Nixonesque.
11229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 11, 2010, 06:01:49 PM
Eventually even the best juggler starts dropping things.
11230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: October 11, 2010, 02:03:26 PM
Lots of examples of bravery in Israel, many examples of people who chose to engage terrorists to protect others.
11231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / FBI terrorism stings on: October 10, 2010, 03:36:08 PM
**Should law enforcement engage in proactive terrorism investigations or wait to do post-blast investigations?**

The FBI concluded two sting operations in the last two days that culminated with the arrests of a pair of terrorism suspects who believed they would be blowing up buildings in Dallas and Springfield, Ill.

Although not connected, officials say the FBI and Justice Department had to coordinate the timing of the two cases so that arrests would not cause suspects to get cold feet with their intention to conduct their operations.

Today, shortly after noon in Dallas, FBI agents swooped in on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, who allegedly placed what he believed to be explosives in a car bomb near Fountain Place in downtown Dallas. Smadi, 19, a resident of Italy, Texas, is a citizen of Jordan and was in the U.S. illegally.

FBI agents became aware of Smadi on Internet chat rooms. According to an FBI affidavit filed by Thomas Petrokowski, head of a counterterrorism squad in the FBI's Dallas field office, "Smadi stood out, based on his vehement intention to actually conduct terror attacks in the United States."

Just 24 hours earlier, FBI agents in Springfield, Ill., arrested and charged Michael Finton with attempted murder, after he planted what he thought was a one-ton bomb outside Springfield's federal courthouse. Finton, aka Talib Islam, drove a van that he believed was carrying nearly a ton of explosives and parked it in front of the courthouse. Then, the FBI says, Finton "got out of the van," according to court documents and jumped into another car and dialed a cell phone to remotely detonate the bomb.

Finton's arrest was a sting operation, the explosives were fake. Finton was arrested and has been appointed a lawyer from the federal defenders office in Springfield. In Washington Thursday, David Kris, the assistant attorney general for the National Security Divsion, said of Finton's case, "Fortunately, a coordinated undercover law enforcement effort was able to thwart his efforts and ensure no one was harmed,"

Suspect Monitored on Internet Vowing Attacks

On chat rooms and jihadist Internet forums, Smadi consistently stated his commitment to attacks and violent jihad. According to the affidavit, after Smadi repeated these comments, an FBI undercover employee made contact with the young Jordanian and had about 10 communications with him. "During those interactions, Smadi made clear his intention to serve as a solider for [Osama] bin Laden and [al Qaeda], and to conduct violent jihad," according to the FBI affidavit.
11232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 10, 2010, 03:23:49 PM

IV. Why the Knotts/Karo Line Is a Reasonable One

Some readers may be thinking, “But wait, Knotts is wrong!” As a result, they may want the courts to do anything that helps limit Knotts or even plant the seeds of its overruling. That raises the more fundamental question of whether the future Supreme Court should stick with Knotts/Karo or adopt a different rule.

To answer this, it help to see Knotts and Karo as examples of a recurring question of Fourth Amendment law: How to adapt the inside/outside distinction in light of new technologies? As I argue in this article, the inside/outside distinction is the basic building block of the Fourth Amendment. Surveillance of open spaces does not trigger the Fourth Amendment, while surveillance that breaks into enclosed spaces does. This dividing line ordinarily gives the government the power to investigate open spaces but not enclosed ones. The key question is how or whether to apply this line when technology changes: If technology allows greater surveillance, should the Supreme Court move the Fourth Amendment line accordingly? Karo and Knotts update the old line in a way that retains the basic inside/outside distinction. The cases look to whether the information collected reveals information about the inside of the home or what is happening outside, treating the locating device as a virtual person who either enters the home or stays outside it.

I think that’s a reasonable choice, as it aims for technology neutrality. It’s the basic approach I advocate in applying the Fourth Amendment to the Internet. It’s not perfect, of course. In my view, it should also be supplemented by statutory privacy laws to regulate the use of GPS devices, much like existing statutory privacy law presently regulates location information for cell phones. Statutory privacy laws have the advantage of flexibility: They could adopt a mid-level standard such as “reasonable suspicion” to regulate GPS surveillance and deter abuses, something that is much harder to get from the Fourth Amendment (which ordinarily requires a warrant).

Finally, if you reject Knotts and the inside/outside line, you need to come up with a replacement. It’s easy to say that you think the Fourth Amendment should regulate GPS surveillance. But it’s much harder to come up with a general view as to how the Fourth Amendment should regulate public surveillance and then situate the case of GPS within it. It’s not impossible, but it’s much harder. It’s especially difficult for a group of Justices to agree on another line that could operate with a reasonable degree of clarity in a range of cases over time. So while Knotts/Karo do not provide the only line the Court could follow, I think they do offer a reasonable one.
11233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 10, 2010, 03:11:59 PM
Law enforcement officers are empowered to do things that others are not. A non-LEO cannot serve a search warrant/arrest warrant or obtain a title III warrant to wiretap a suspects phone or drive a vehicle far in excess of posted limits legally.
11234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 10, 2010, 01:13:08 AM

Miller: How else might GPS be help to a law enforcement officer? I mean, could they track people with it?

Hodges: Yeah, and I think that’s the thrusts of where we want to go. And here’s how tracking works. Officers can take a GPS receiver and covertly attach it to a vehicle. The receiver is set up to at particular, pre-set, pre-determined intervals. It calculates its location and remembers it. That data is recorded and then later on the officers can download that information from the device, put it on a computer and display when and where the vehicle was. It can even show a vehicles particular route, speed and the life.

More sophisticated installations are going to have equipment that will immediately translate the location through a cell phone on another wireless connection and officers can stand back and live track the vehicle either through a notebook computer that receives a cell phone signal or I’ve seen set ups where officers back in their offices or maybe even cross country can all track the same vehicle at the same time and we call that live tracking.

Miller: It’s got to have some limitations; it can’t be all perfect.

Hodges: Nothings perfect and there are both technical and some legal implications. Now obviously the departments are going to have to obtain the equipment and I recommend that they get proper training from the manufacture on how to use it. There’s also a course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center called the Covert Electronic Tracking Program and you can go to the same FLETC website without the legal part and you can sign up for that course or get information about it.

Another limitation with GPS is that current technology requires that satellite antenna or the GPS satellite antenna be exposed, so it’s able to see the sky. If it can’t see the sky, it can’t get a satellite signal. If the receiver, or more accurately, if the receiver antenna’s at a place where it can’t do that like a parking garage or a heavily forested area then GPS won’t work or if it does it’s going to be severally limited.

Miller: There’s also there’s got to be some legal implications.

Hodges: There always is. It’s our friend the 4th Amendment that comes back again. It’s all about REP, reasonable expectations of privacy. I think the easiest way to look at this is to have somebody who wants to do a GPS installation and use it for tracking, that officer should ask himself or herself three questions. First, do I need to intrude into a REP area to get to the vehicle to install the equipment? Second question is do I need to intrude into the vehicle’s REP to install the equipment? And the third question is will the officer be tracking a vehicle as it moves into a REP area? So, if the answer to any of those three questions is yes, then we are going to need a warrant. If the answer to all three of those questions is no, then we don’t need a warrant.

Before we get too far into the details, let me say that this Podcast deals with federal law. State law can differ and some of the differences are outlined in that webpage article that we talked about earlier.

Miller: Well let’s take a look at that first question, location of the vehicle at the time of the installation. Tell me a little bit about that.

Hodges: Well you and Jenna Solari have covered this already in your 4th Amendment Podcast series. And the way it goes is this; if the vehicle is located in an area where there’s REP, such as on a curtilage, the officers are going to need a warrant to get into the REP area to install the equipment. On the other hand, if the vehicle is parked out on a public road, a parking garage or even a road in a gated community there is no intrusion into REP to get that to the um vehicle.

I would add that most federal cases hold that there is no REP in ordinary driveways leading up to a residence, but I would certainly recommend an officers speak to their AUSA before doing an warrant less installation on a vehicle that’s parked in an owners driveway.

Miller: Okay, let’s look at that second question, now REP on the vehicle.

Hodges: Right. In some cases all the GPS tracking equipment can be installed on the exterior of the vehicle and we’re not having to intrude in the vehicle’s interior or the trunk or taping into the vehicle’s wiring. In that case there is no intrusion into a REP area because there’s no REP as to the exterior of a vehicle. If officers do have to go into interior of the vehicle or the trunk or tap into the vehicle’s wiring, they we are going to have an intrusion into a REP area and then a warrant is going to be required.

Miller: Now you told me that you can use this GPS system to actually track the vehicle. Correct?

Hodges: That’s right.

Miller: Talk to me about this, this third issue location of the vehicle in terms of where it might move.

Hodges: Now, federal law does not require a warrant to GPS monitor a vehicle as it moves over public roads and highways. If you are going to go tracking in public roads or highways I should say if you’re going to track in a REP area then a warrant is required. Usually this last factor isn’t very important in GPS tracking and that’s because GPS doesn’t work indoors and most REP areas for a vehicle is going to be in some covered area like a garage or a large warehouse complex. If you get into RF tracking that would be a different matter but we’re not talking about RF tracking today, we’re just talking about GPS.

Miller: Okay, you covered a lot of information. Can you, can you review these three questions please?

Hodges: Yep, I think that’s a good idea. First question is do I need to intrude into a REP area to get to the vehicle to install the equipment? Second, do I need to intrude into the vehicle’s REP to install the equipment; and third, will the officer be tracking the vehicle as it moves into a REP area? And again the math on this is pretty simple. If the answer to all of the questions is no, then under federal law I don’t need a warrant. If the answer to any of the three questions is yes, then I am going to going to need a warrant.

Miller: Hey, does Title III wire taps have anything to do with this tracking device?

Hodges: Tim, it doesn’t. In fact, Title III specifically excludes tracking devices from its coverage.
11235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 09, 2010, 08:30:28 PM
So how will this all play out?
11236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 09, 2010, 12:57:02 PM
Can you remember when California was a place people wanted to move to rather than escape from?
11237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Coming of the Fourth American Republic on: October 09, 2010, 11:50:06 AM

Long and very much worth reading.
11238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: October 09, 2010, 11:42:39 AM
Civilian trials for terrorists failing? Gee, who could have seen this coming??
11239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: October 09, 2010, 10:29:34 AM
Obama and the dems move us another step towards being a banana republic.
11240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 09, 2010, 10:01:01 AM
11241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An Inevitable Slide for Americans’ Standard of Living on: October 09, 2010, 09:44:40 AM

America’s standard of living could turn out to be the main casualty of the debt crisis. For a decade, the middle class made up for stagnant incomes by getting ever deeper into debt. Without housing wealth to tap, a bout of inflation is one of the few alternatives to a decade of austerity.
11242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: October 09, 2010, 09:35:01 AM
The consequences from the U.N. or the Obama Administration will be what?

**The same China faces for seizing Japanese islands. The same Iran faces for building nuclear weapons to use on Israel and the US.**
11243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: October 08, 2010, 09:55:49 PM
Barack Obama has awakened a sleeping nation
Gary Hubbell
Aspen Times Weekly

Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to America in the last 100 years. Truly, he is the savior of America's future. He is the best thing ever.

Despite the fact that he has some of the lowest approval ratings among recent presidents, history will see Barack Obama as the source of America's resurrection. Barack Obama has plunged the country into levels of debt that we could not have previously imagined; his efforts to nationalize health care have been met with fierce resistance nationwide; TARP bailouts and stimulus spending have shown little positive effect on the national economy; unemployment is unacceptably high and looks to remain that way for most of a decade; legacy entitlement programs have ballooned to unsustainable levels, and there is a seething anger in the populace.

That's why Barack Obama is such a good thing for America.

**Read it all!**
11244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 08:47:07 PM

Key Findings
There is no silver bullet for thwarting terrorist attacks. Few of the terror plots thwarted after 9/11 were disrupted using a single, clearly identifiable method. Many of the plots were discovered through a combination of happenstance, allowing authorities to take advantage of what were, in essence, lucky breaks; diligent police work; foreign law enforcement cooperation; civilian-provided intelligence; and other means, none of which can be clearly identified as having been the most critical to thwarting an attack. Since it is difficult to determine objectively what has prevented terrorist attacks since 9/11, attempts to state definitively which piece of information or counterterrorism measure led to the disruption of a given terrorist network or plot must be treated with a degree of skepticism.
Post-9/11 counterterrorism measures—including the PATRIOT Act and amended FISA surveillance provisions, unlawful combatant designations, indefinite detentions, and the use of torture techniques—have been instrumental in thwarting attacks in only a small number of cases. There has been considerable speculation that post-9/11 counterterrorism provisions have been instrumental in preventing many or all of the terrorist attacks thwarted since 9/11.3 This report finds,

however, that the law enforcement techniques, detention and interrogation procedures, and legislative measures adopted after 9/11 demonstrably contributed to thwarting attacks in only five cases, or less than one-sixth of the total number of foiled attacks. The fact that intelligence and law enforcement officials often closely guard specific details of counterterrorism investigations makes it impossible to definitively claim that the use of techniques and legal provisions enacted after 9/11 has not contributed significantly to a larger number of post-9/11 counterterrorism successes. It is also critical to note, however, that there has been little clear evidence demonstrating that they have. In March 2009, for example, FBI director Robert Mueller stated that roving wiretaps had been obtained 147 times after 9/11.4 However, authorities identified roving wiretaps as having been used to disrupt only one terrorist plot.

Counterterrorism investigations leading to thwarted attacks have drawn heavily on traditional law enforcement techniques. A plurality of the post-9/11 terrorist plots were disrupted using traditional law enforcement techniques—specifically physical surveillance, undercover agents, and confidential informants—to obtain information on terror suspects and their attack plans. Though in some cases these techniques have been modified to take into account new developments in communication technology (e.g., monitoring internet chat rooms and jihadist websites), the techniques employed in the majority of thwarted attacks have been in keeping with those used in criminal investigations before 9/11.

Citizens’ vigilance and luck have played a fairly significant role in thwarting attacks. In approximately 21% of the cases examined, civilians’ proactive involvement (either through direct action or provision of intelligence) and simple happenstance that worked to the authorities’ advantage were significant factors in plots being discovered or disrupted. This does not suggest that direct or indirect civilian action can or should be relied upon as a means of thwarting attacks. Nor does it imply that successful counterterrorism is primarily a matter of luck. It does, however, underscore the complex range of factors and circumstances that contribute to preventing attacks and the danger inherent in uncritically reducing counterterrorism successes to an explicit validation of any one policy or tool.

International cooperation remains vital. In several cases foreign intelligence and law enforcement cooperation—including the provision of intelligence and making arrests—was instrumental in dismantling terror plots. Though this is hardly a new phenomenon, Umar Farouk Abdumutallab’s use of international transfer points to reach his final attack site highlights the increasing importance of international cooperation when terrorist conspirators live, plan, and operate in multiple international jurisdictions where the United States might have a limited presence or reach. Cooperation has also become especially important in light of the fact that terrorists increasingly conspire to attack targets in the United States and abroad simultaneously, as with the attempted liquid explosives attack and Dhiren Barot’s multiple international plots. This trend underscores the importance of making real-time communication and deconfliction of national and agency priorities paramount.
11245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 08, 2010, 08:25:49 PM
The president's new plan for Afghanistan:

1. Cut and run.

2. HuhHuhHuhHuh

3. PROFIT!!!!!
11246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 08:22:33 PM

A lot of seriously bad people get arrested as the result of traffic stops for very minor traffic offenses. If you look at the stats for wanted felons arrested every year, state troopers tend to have the highest rates. Not because of special units that chase wanted felons, but sheer numbers of traffic stops. The more contacts, the better your odds of grabbing someone who really needs to go into custody. Dirtbags tend to not maintain their cars, stolen vehicles often have certain tell-tale signs as well. So living in a place where the local cops do lots of traffic tends to deter the criminal element from that area.
11247  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: We the unorganized militia on: October 08, 2010, 08:06:27 PM
An armed and trainedpopulation can make a big difference.
11248  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: We the unorganized militia on: October 08, 2010, 07:55:19 PM
Note that Mumbai type attacks have been tried many times in Israel. Aside from the schoolchildren at Ma'alot, it's hasn't turned out well for the hajis.
11249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: October 08, 2010, 07:50:30 PM
I can tell you that as someone that has spent the vast majority of my adult life working in some aspect of the criminal justice system, the vast majority of men and women in law enforcement are good people who go out to do the right thing for the right reasons.
11250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion on: October 08, 2010, 07:46:14 PM

Iraqi Sufis donate to Hamas, boast of jihad activity in Iraq

Sufis applaud Hamas' jihad

Many times over the years, when I have pointed out that all the orthodox Islamic sects and schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach the necessity to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers, people have countered by invoking the Sufis, whom they believe to be entirely peaceful and devoted to a wholly spiritualized form of Islam.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, and has never been the case, as Andrew Bostom showed here: Sufis from al-Ghazali to the present day have taught the necessity of jihad warfare, and have participated in that warfare. Here is more evidence: Iraqi representatives of the Naqshabandi Sufi order meet with Khaled Mashaal of Hamas, praise his jihad, donate jewelry to him, and boast of their own jihad attacks against Americans in Iraq.

"Hamas Leader Khaled Mash’al Meets with Iraqi Terrorists and Accepts Their Women’s Gold," from MEMRI, January 22 (thanks to Andrew Bostom):
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