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11301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 03, 2010, 07:51:21 PM
Wilders, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is a heroic figure. If the west is to survive, their warnings must be heeded.
11302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: October 03, 2010, 07:43:48 PM
If government spending is the solution, then create a government job that pays a million dollars a year for every unemployed person! Bingo, problem solved. Hey, it's worked out well for Zimbabwe.
11303  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 03, 2010, 05:31:37 PM
I'll state for the record that the economy will be much worse than it is now. Think double dip with an L-shaped bottom. We have a narrow window (The next two elections) to pull out of this death spiral.
11304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: October 03, 2010, 05:06:15 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does that mean we are all doomed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our economy and environment will be the prime beneficiary.

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

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

For more information contact J.B. Bird at the Jackson School,, 512-232-9623.
11305  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 03, 2010, 02:11:35 PM

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

Read more:
11306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: October 03, 2010, 02:07:55 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, knowing our current leadership, these Mexican loons will probably get time to complain in front of Congress, where Obama will promptly apologize for the United States selfishness in expecting Mexico to take responsibility for its own citizens.
11307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 03, 2010, 01:49:34 PM

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

11308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 03, 2010, 01:32:07 PM
Nope. It's tragic that lots of future horrors will happen because too many people were stupid enough to vote Obama into office. I just hope Taiwan, Israel and the US can survive.
11309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Movies on: October 03, 2010, 11:29:57 AM

Ruppert's truther screed.
11310  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: October 03, 2010, 11:10:12 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:
11311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NorKs, China and Obama's weakness on: October 03, 2010, 07:08:17 AM

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

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

The feebleness of Barack Obama's response both to that incident and the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel signalled the lack of Western political will to confront this aggressor regime. The West took refuge in the belief that China could rein in this errant Communist state. That is questionable. Mao's dictum that the relationship between China and North Korea was as close as "lips and teeth" no longer holds. China is wary of confronting Pyongyang, for fear of being publicly defied and losing face. The maverick regime continues to threaten South Korea, Japan, Singapore and US carrier groups in adjacent waters. Next month's G20 summit in Seoul could well provoke an act of aggression from Pyongyang, encouraged by proven Western impotence and eager to assert its reinvigoration by the newly secured succession of the third generation of what is now an undisguised hereditary monarchy.
11312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 11:22:13 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )
11313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 10:12:49 PM

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A South Korean officer said, "An (military) alliance (between South Korea and Japan) may be impossible. But both countries always need to maintain high-level friendly relations."
11314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 10:09:44 PM

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

**The PRC often refers to the US as "The hegemon".**
11315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: October 02, 2010, 05:29:56 PM
**From the far from conservative SF Chron.**

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

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

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

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

Read more:
11316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: October 02, 2010, 03:31:14 PM
Waiting for the vast majority of peaceful muslims to take to the streets to voice their support for the freedom of expression......

Yup, any time now.....

Hello? **tap-tap-tap** Is this thing on??........
11317  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: October 02, 2010, 03:24:37 PM
"TSA refuses to do the obvious thanks to political correctness."

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


U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division



June 2003


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any questions arising under these standards should be directed to the Department of Justice.
11318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 02, 2010, 03:13:55 PM
Amazing how hard it is to find a muslim leader in this country that doesn't have a connection to terrorist groups. Boy, if I didn't know that islam was a religion of peace, i'd think there was problem with the core theology or something..... 
11319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 02, 2010, 03:01:46 PM
Bolton was a diplomat. Just one that would not lick the boots of evil nations like the careerist state department mandarins and democrats insist upon doing.

America is teetering at a tipping point. We have a very narrow window in which to reverse the end of the American experiment. In 2012, we need an executive with the skillset to pull us out of the death spiral. I think the majority of Americans are seeing firsthand that no matter how you dress up an empty suit with inane slogans and fake greek columns, the office actually requires intelligence and competence.
11320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 02:41:30 PM
Joint Communique of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China

January 1, 1979

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

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

    The United States of America and the People's Republic of China will exchange Ambassadors and establish Embassies on March 1, 1979.
11321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 02, 2010, 02:32:42 PM
Listen to him discuss economics, he's just as sharp there as geopolitics. He'd eat captain teleprompter for lunch in a debate.
11322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mexico-US matters on: October 02, 2010, 02:21:02 PM
At this point in Mexico, it's worth a try.
11323  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Vote 'stache 2012! on: October 02, 2010, 02:08:05 PM

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

**Oh yes!**
11324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 02, 2010, 01:06:07 PM
Good news for bars and prostitutes!  evil
11325  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 11:46:57 AM

Taiwan formally declaring independence would absolutely trigger a war with China. The Taiwanese don't want a formal declaration. Our best strategy is to move to contain Chinese expansionism, show we are firmly supporting our allies like Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan and build closer military relationships with India and other nations not willing to live under "pax sinica".
11326  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / White house visitor raided by FBI on: October 02, 2010, 09:17:14 AM

Abudayyeh’s group, AAAN, briefly drew attention during the presidential campaign following reports that a foundation on whose board Obama served donated $40,000 to the group for “community organizing" in 2001. Conservative critics said the group and Abudayyeh have promoted anti-Israeli views. AAAN officials said the organization is strictly focused on local community issues and doesn’t get involved in international politics.

In 2003, Obama spoke at an AAAN-sponsored farewell dinner for Rashid Khalidi, a professor who was decamping from the University of Chicago to Columbia. During the 2008 campaign, the Los Angeles Times obtained a video of the event and reported that Obama lavished praise on Khalidi, who once served as a spokesman for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Other speakers at the event railed against Israeli policies.

Late in the 2008 campaign, Republican nominee Sen. John McCain attacked the Times for failing to make the video public. The newspaper said it obtained the video on the condition that it not be released publicly.

High-level contacts between politically active Arab-American leaders and White House officials have stirred controversy in the past after the activists became caught up in terrorism-related probes. In some cases, defense attorneys for those charged have sought to use their White House visits to undermine the prosecution’s assertions that the individuals were dangerous.
11327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: October 02, 2010, 09:13:58 AM

Terror Prevention: What a Difference a Day in September Made
posted at 7:05 pm on October 1, 2010 by J.E. Dyer

If you have the perspective of informed hindsight – if you knew what the intelligence was in the months before 9/11 – then the information about the latest mega-plot to attack Western targets, and the peremptory response being mounted to it, are a study in moral contrasts.

The moral contrast lies in what we were willing to do before 9/11 and what we are willing to do today.  The basis for comparison is strong:  the character of information that tipped us to the threat before 9/11 was the same thing as what tipped us to the threat being revealed this week.  Consider these passages from one of ABC’s earliest reports on the current plan against Europe and the US (linked by AP here):

    A senior US official said that while there is a “credible” threat, no specific time or place is known. President Obama has been briefed about the threat, say senior US officials…

    In testimony before Congress last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “We are all seeing increased activity by a more diverse set of groups and a more diverse set of threats.”

And this one from Newsweek (h/t AP again; link at top):

    For weeks now, as missiles from American drones have snuffed out their leaders and terrorized their recruits in the remote mountains of Pakistan’s North Waziristan area, Al Qaeda fighters have kept their spirits up by telling each other they were about to have their revenge. “It’s like they’ve just been waiting for news, as if they were all excited about something big about to happen in the West,” says an Afghan Taliban intelligence officer known to NEWSWEEK who operates as a liaison between his organization and Al Qaeda.

A credible threat; no specific time or place known; increased activity by multiple groups; terrorist operatives talking about “something big” that was going to be done against the West – that describes perfectly the organized information US and other Western authorities had to work with before 9/11.

What we did not have before 9/11 was a military occupation and a cooperative government in Afghanistan, a detention center for terrorists in Bagram, a detainee interrogation program, the agreements with dozens of nations to take preemptive action against terrorists, or the willingness on our part to repeatedly conduct military attacks on terrorists operating in other nations’ sovereign territory, even when the other nations object (as Pakistan is doing), and when the terrorists haven’t committed their atrocities against us yet.

Each one of these measures and agreements has been essential to identifying the particulars of the current plot and acting effectively to avert it.  In the absence of 9/11 itself, I cannot imagine Americans or other Western nations deciding to institute such measures or agreements.  Yet if we were not willing to occupy the territory used by terrorists, and detain terrorists, interrogate them, and attack them in their strongholds before they can pull their plans off, we would be talking this fall about smoking rubble and charred bodies in Europe instead of terrorists being killed and their plots defeated.

Actionable prior intelligence on terror plots doesn’t just happen.  The main things it takes are the things we weren’t willing to do – had no idea of doing – before 9/11.  The events of the past week have clarified that, with a starkness we haven’t seen for quite a while. Something Americans must not forget is that if we weren’t keeping the nexus of this effort overseas, the price we would be paying would not just involve taking hits from terror attacks.  Our people would be unwilling to simply do nothing and wait for the next hit.  We would be focusing “prevention” inward – with less of an operational effect, but nevertheless rapidly destroying the civil liberties that make it matter to be an American in the first place.

I have strong reservations about Obama’s heavy reliance on drone strikes, which perilously skirts an ugly, amoral cynicism.  In fact, I’m quite concerned about the direction he is taking our operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  But with the larger strategy of fighting this war forward, we must agree, if we want to keep our own freedoms and have the highest likelihood of preventing future attacks.  This war, started on George W. Bush’s terms, has had its “goods and others,” but it does ultimately represent the lowest cost of any alternative we have.
11328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An Open Letter to Stephen Colbert on: October 02, 2010, 08:28:01 AM

An Open Letter
September 24, 2010

Dear Stephen Colbert,

In preparing this open letter to you, I am literally fighting back the tears! It truly breaks my heart that so many people in positions of power and authority continue to make light of illegal immigration!

Are you aware of, and/or concerned with the fact, that American citizens and legal immigrants are murdered everyday by illegal aliens? Have you ever spent one second thinking about that?

In speaking to Congress today, do you think you would have prepared anything different if one of your love ones was murdered by an illegal alien? You think you would make fun of this illegal alien invasion if you lost a loved one to this crime?

What if your mother was shot in the head by an illegal alien? Do you think you could make that funny? What about your children? Would it be comical if your daughter or your son or your niece or nephew was lying in the street dead, shot in the head, by someone living in this country illegally?

Here’s a challenge for you Mr. Colbert. I challenge you to visit a Memorial Plaque in Los Angeles, California. The Plaque where my 17 year old nephew, Jamiel Andre’ Shaw II, was murdered on March 2, 2008, by a documented illegal alien gang member.

Minutes after Jamiel hung up the phone with his father Jamiel Sr., Jamiel was shot in the stomach and then shot in the head, three doors from our home.

Jamiel’s mother, U.S. Army Sergeant Anita Shaw was serving in Iraq when her son was murdered. Would you like to meet Anita, Mr. Colbert?

I challenge you to visit where Cheryl Green was murdered in Los Angeles. Cheryl Green was 14 years old when she was shot and left for dead by an illegal alien. She was riding her bike across an imaginary line that the illegal alien gang members told each other, “the next black person that crosses this line will die”.

Would you like to meet Cheryl’s mother, Charlene Lovett? I’m sure she could use a good laugh!

Maybe walking the streets of Los Angeles are not a challenge you would accept.

So, how about Arizona, Mr. Colbert? I challenge you to visit the place where Robert Krentz was murdered by an illegal alien. Robert Krentz was 58. He was a well-liked cattle rancher, working on his 34,000 acre ranch, when he and his dog were shot dead by an illegal alien.

These are just three of the American Citizens who I’m sure were not laughing when they were shot and murdered. Unfortunately, we have a long list of names of American citizens who were murdered by illegal aliens. Would you like to see their faces and meet their families?

As a matter of fact, there are tens of thousands of Americans across the United States of America who were murdered and left for dead by people who were never supposed to be in the USA! Many of these criminals have never been caught!

If you decide to accept this challenge, why not invite about 40 families who lost love ones due to illegal immigration, to come to your studio? Then, you can tell us all about your experience working on this farm. You can even tell us, “how bad your back was hurting when you were working with illegal aliens”. I wonder how many families would laugh and think that’s funny.

To be honest with you, I’m having a very hard time trying to understand why Representative Zoe Lofgren invited you, to speak on this serious issue! Perhaps she too thinks illegal immigration is a laughing matter! She seriously needs to be replaced!!

Call me Mr. Colbert if you accept this challenge, because I know my family would love a good laugh!!

Jamiel Shaw’s Angry Aunt!
Althea Rae Shaw
Los Angeles, CA
11329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 07:15:55 AM

'Smiling' China keeps bargaining chip / Recent actions have been conciliatory, but Beijing still holds 1 Japanese citizen

Seima Oki / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent

BEIJING--One Japanese citizen remains under lock and key in China, a diplomatic bargaining chip for the country, and in contrast to its release Thursday of three other Fujita Corp. employees and other recent conciliatory moves.

China's art of diplomacy, which stresses strategy, is quintessentially tough.

Some see the continued detention as a blatant retaliation against Tokyo. After the release of the three was reported, a Japanese source said, "When the collisions with the Chinese trawler happened near the Senkaku Islands, Japan held the captain [and released the crew]. China's trying to create a similar situation."

Chinese authorities said the three, who had been held on suspicion of trespassing in a military zone in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, were released after they wrote letters apologizing for their illegal actions. The country seems to be saying that if Japan accepts what it says, bilateral relations can begin to improve.

China's security bureau can detain suspects for up to six months. The decision to release the three on the 11th day of their detention and hold on to one is based on a delicate balance. While sending signals it wants to mend ties with Japan by releasing the three, China has kept firm hold of something it can use for leverage.

"China's gained a new bargaining chip ahead of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Belgium this month," a source familiar with Japan-China relations said. For China, accepting Prime Minister Naoto Kan's request to meet in Belgium and the release of the remaining Japanese citizen are cards it can play to win more concessions on issues concerning the Senkaku Islands.

With its recent actions, China has tried to show it has softened its hard-line stance over the incident involving the Chinese fishing boat. Immediately after Japanese authorities decided to extend the detention of the Chinese captain, China restricted exports of rare earths to Japan in an apparent retaliation. But by Tuesday, Beijing seemed to have partially lifted the restriction. Furthermore, demands by China's Foreign Ministry that Japan apologize and pay compensation over the Senkaku incident have decreased. The release of the three was in line with these conciliatory actions.

A diplomatic source said, "In the game of diplomacy, Beijing always tries to destroy its opponents' unity, to divide their power to create circumstances favorable to China."

In fact, politicians and the public in Japan are divided over whether the country should take a firm or conciliatory attitude toward China. Similarly, the Japan-U.S. alliance has been shaken under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government.

For China, the current situation in Japan is an easy one to shake up. The country's current "smile" is merely a show to prevent Japan from taking strong action and to encourage a conciliatory attitude. The softening of Beijing's position also aims to cool international opinion that China is a threat.

ASEM is an especially important event. The Chinese Communist Party seems to think Prime Minister Wen Jiabao should not face criticism at the meeting.

In Beijing, a source familiar with Japan-China relations said, "None of the exchange programs that the Chinese canceled have been revived. I wouldn't say China has softened its stance."

Indeed, China has not made any compromises about the core issue--its claim to the Senkaku Islands. While wearing a smile, Chinese fishery patrol ships have been stationed off the Senkaku Islands, and Beijing has moved steadily to settle and expand its claims in the East China Sea.

The Chinese Communist Party will open the fifth meeting of its 17th Central Committee on Oct. 15 to draw up the blueprint for the government after President Hu Jintao steps down in 2012. At such a time, the party wants to prioritize stability, and most diplomatic sources say Beijing will not make any compromises with Japan, as such actions could infuriate the Chinese public.
(Oct. 2, 2010)
11330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 06:58:02 AM


    * § 3301. Congressional findings and declaration of policy
    * § 3302. Implementation of United States policy with regard to Taiwan
    * § 3303. Application to Taiwan of laws and international agreements
    * § 3304. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
    * § 3305. The American Institute in Taiwan
    * § 3306. Services to United States citizens on Taiwan
    * § 3307. Exemption from taxation
    * § 3308. Activities of United States Government agencies
    * § 3309. Taiwan instrumentality
    * § 3310. Employment of United States Government agency personnel
    * § 3310a. Commercial personnel at American Institute of Taiwan
    * § 3311. Reporting requirements
    * § 3312. Rules and regulations
    * § 3313. Congressional oversight
    * § 3314. Definitions
    * § 3315. Authorization of appropriations
    * § 3316. Severability

§ 3301. Congressional findings and declaration of policy

(a) Findings
The President having terminated governmental relations between the United States and the governing authorities on Taiwan recognized by the United States as the Republic of China prior to January 1, 1979, the Congress finds that the enactment of this chapter is necessary—
(1) to help maintain peace, security, and stability in the Western Pacific; and
(2) to promote the foreign policy of the United States by authorizing the continuation of commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan.
(b) Policy
It is the policy of the United States—
(1) to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan, as well as the people on the China mainland and all other peoples of the Western Pacific area;
(2) to declare that peace and stability in the area are in the political, security, and economic interests of the United States, and are matters of international concern;
(3) to make clear that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means;
(4) to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States;
(5) to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and
(6) to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.
(c) Human rights
Nothing contained in this chapter shall contravene the interest of the United States in human rights, especially with respect to the human rights of all the approximately eighteen million inhabitants of Taiwan. The preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan are hereby reaffirmed as objectives of the United States.
11331  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 02, 2010, 06:46:44 AM

How has the TRA affected Taiwan and China?

In the last 30 years, Taiwan has evolved culturally, commercially, intellectually, politically and economically from a one-party dictatorship under martial law to a very vibrant democracy with a truly active and engaged press. Yet, I think it has been psychologically difficult for Taiwan to be gradually shunted aside. Despite this, whether it is due to the U.S. presence or the TRA itself, there has been a huge shift in how the Taiwanese think about their country and their relationship to China. Some people are more comfortable with Taiwan’s progress of cultural awakening, while some of Taiwan’s older generation will never give up the dream of a unified China.

Of course with the dramatic economic growth in China, Taiwan is now in a weaker economic position than ever before. There are hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese businessmen living in China, and there is very active cross-strait investment mostly from Taiwan to the mainland.

From China’s perspective, I think the country would have preferred if the United States had viewed Taiwan as a Chinese domestic issue. While, realistically, China can treat Taiwan in whatever way it sees fit, the country must take the United States into consideration due to the provisions established in the TRA. Despite some saber rattling in 1996 and an overall escalation in military tensions then, I think China has found a more reasonable counterpart in the Ma Ying-jeou Nationalist government in Taiwan.

Can the TRA continue to play a role for the indefinite future? What challenges do you foresee to the TRA as it relates to globalization and the economy?

In our recent Taiwan Conference, Ambassador Stapleton Roy stated, “Don’t touch the TRA unless you really know what you are doing, and if you really know what you are doing, you wouldn’t touch it.” I agree with his statement and while there are some issues with the TRA, I think it can serve to support conversations on a lengthy list of cross-border challenges. From the environment and human rights to international relations and terrorism, these issues require more cooperation among the United States, China and Taiwan than ever before, and the TRA will not stand in the way of that.

At the same time, I think the TRA does require the United States to do a bit more internal soul searching to better clarify its interests in relation to Taiwan and China. I think preserving peace in the Western Pacific should remain core to U.S. interests, and all other pieces of these important diplomatic relationships can be worked out within the context of that overriding concern.
11332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We already know the answer to this one on: October 01, 2010, 10:03:55 PM

Obama’s national security strategy, however, is to primarily focus on rebuilding the US. Indeed, in September, when China protested about a planned military exercise in the Yellow Sea with a US aircraft carrier, the US backed down rather than risk Chinese anger. And Obama didn’t do much to persuade Beijing that its ally, North Korea, was guilty of sinking a South Korean naval ship last March, killing 46 sailors.

In July, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton did take a legal stand against China’s bold claims to a set of disputed islands in the South China Sea, saying the claims must be resolved with multilateral diplomacy. But the US hasn’t done much about that since then.

President Clinton was tested by China in 1996 after it lobbed missiles near Taiwan. He sent two aircraft carriers into the area in a show of defense for the island nation, which China claims as its own.

But these days China sees the US as weak. The American economy is stagnant. Many of the top Obama officials, such as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, are leaving the administration. The president wants major cuts in the Pentagon. US forces began to leave Iraq this year, and Obama plans to start a US retreat from Afghanistan next year.

Since 2009, China has become more assertive in Asia. It recently told its neighbors that they are “small countries” while China is a “large country” – and that they should not expect an equal relationship.

This bluntness only raised fears of confrontation, especially as China expands it naval reach. Japan now wonders if it can count on the US in a crisis. It is considering a boost in its military spending. Over the past decade, Japan’s defense budget has declined about 5 percent – while China’s spending on its forces has soared
11333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Movies on: October 01, 2010, 08:26:07 PM
He's a truther, and peak oil advocate.
11334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 30, 2010, 01:15:05 PM

Failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad bragged that he hoped to murder at least 40 innocent victims and would have attempted a second attack two weeks later if he hadn't been busted, the feds revealed today.

The evil terrorist wannabe also admitted watching "real time video feeds" over the Web to plan his botched blast at the Crossroads of the World, court papers said.

Read more:
11335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: September 30, 2010, 11:26:52 AM
Our very next cross-border op should be to seize Pakistan's nukes.
11336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: September 30, 2010, 11:25:01 AM

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Connect the Dots

...Al Qaida was/is reportedly planning a Mumbai-style attack against cities in Western Europe.

...The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is refusing comment. That's often a sign that the information is credible, and the spy masters are upset that someone blabbed before all the suspects could be rounded up, or the plot was completely foiled.

...Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal says a recent surge in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan is part of an effort to disrupt possible attacks in Europe.

...And the U.S. is also a potential target, according to ABC News and Britain Sky News.

But before you say this is nothing out of the ordinary, consider this unusual twist that might related. On Tuesday, federal, state and local law enforcement agents were stopping--and inspecting--all west-bound tractor-trailers traveling on I-20 out of Atlanta. At the height of the evening rush hour, no less.

A spokesman for the TSA told WSB-TV that the search was part of a "training exercise." But the station's investigative reporter, Mark Winne, learned from other sources that the inspections are part of a counter-terrorism operation.

Obviously, there's a big difference between an "operation" and an "exercise." Additionally, we've never heard of this type of drill being conducted on a major interstate highway, during rush hour, with participation by all levels of law enforcement. So, it sounds like something beyond training prompted that traffic jam on I-20 Tuesday afternoon.

But, before we connect that final dot, it is worth noting that the European plot apparently didn't involve large trucks or radioactive devices. The trucks being searched on I-20 west of Atlanta were screened with a radiation detector (and other devices), according to WSB.

Ultimately, we will defer to the experts on this one. If you're a security or law enforcement official who can shed a little more light on this operation, please drop us a line at, or Your confidentiality is assured.
11337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: September 30, 2010, 10:34:03 AM
Possible scenario. Russia has a cyberwar infrastructure. Of course, another nation-state could have covertly installed the virus in the Russian contractor's equipment.

Ralph Langner, a German computer security consultant who was the first independent expert to assert that the malware had been “weaponized” and designed to attack the Iranian centrifuge array, argues that the Stuxnet worm could have been brought into the Iranian nuclear complex by Russian contractors.

“It would be an absolute no-brainer to leave an infected USB stick near one of these guys,” he said, “and there would be more than a 50 percent chance of having him pick it up and infect his computer.”
11338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Patriot Act helped foil New York terror plot on: September 30, 2010, 07:40:54 AM
**Just a reminder**
Patriot Act helped foil New York terror plot
Examiner Editorial
September 30, 2009
President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act in 2001 after a hard-fought debate in Congress.

President Obama called New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to thank him for his efforts in thwarting a planned terrorist attack on the city's subway system, which counterterrorism experts describe as the most serious terror plot since 9/11. But Obama should have also thanked his predecessor in the White House.

The arrest and indictment of Najibullah Zazi on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction was made possible by the "roving wiretaps" allowed by the Patriot Act, which was signed into law in 2001 by President George W. Bush. "All the layers of defense President Bush set up after Sept. 11 are working," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., pointed out. The Patriot Act caused plenty of controversy, but it was key to the Bush administration's successful eight-year counterterrorism strategy that focused on disrupting terror attacks and thereby preventing the deaths of more Americans here at home.

Even the FBI's investigation into the 24-year-old airport shuttle driver began on Bush's watch. Agents tracked the Afghan native (and legal resident of the United States) when he traveled to the tribal areas of Pakistan last year, where he was allegedly taught how to make bombs by al Qaeda operatives. Nine pages of handwritten formulas for homemade explosives, fuses and detonators were later found on his laptop, e-mailed from an Internet account originating in Pakistan, court documents charge. This is exactly the kind of foreign communications the Patriot Act was designed to intercept.

After purchasing "unusually large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and acetone products from beauty supply stores" in Denver this summer, Zazi on Sept. 6 allegedly asked an unnamed individual to give him "the correct mixtures of ingredients to make explosives" before leaving acetone residue in a Colorado hotel room. Tailed by the FBI, he rented a car and drove to New York, where his fingerprints were reportedly found on batteries and a scale in a Queens home that law enforcement officials raided on Sept. 14.

Also indicted in the subway bombing plot was Queens imam Ahmad Wais Afzali -- who warned Zazi in a call intercepted by the FBI around Sept. 11 that he was under investigation, thus forcing officials to speed up the arrest. Again, this wiretap is exactly the kind of domestic communication the Patriot Act was designed to intercept in the effort to prevent new bloodshed.
11339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Don't kowtow to the Chinese on: September 29, 2010, 11:08:37 PM

Don't kowtow to the Chinese

    * Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor
    * From: The Australian
    * September 30, 2010 12:00AM

THE international community needs to engage Beijing in a web of rules and customs.

IS this the year that China's leadership lets us all know that it is determined not to abide by routine international norms but will use raw power to take whatever it wants?

That is too strong a conclusion just yet, but it has certainly been a year of rugged behaviour from Beijing, behaviour that we should study closely.

Consider, first, the contrasting cases of Stern Hu and Zan Qixiong.

Hu, you'll recall, is the Australian former No 2 for giant miner Rio Tinto. In July last year he was arrested, initially on charges of espionage. Later he was convicted of bribery and corruption charges. At the start the Chinese government wouldn't communicate with the Australian government over the matter. Later it barely conformed to the minimum requirements of the consular agreement between the two nations.

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We will never know if Hu was remotely guilty of anything. We do know that corruption is rife in China and Hu was the only foreign executive singled out by the Chinese authorities this way.

We also know the context. The Chinese were annoyed by the prices they were paying for Australian minerals and deeply furious that their bid for a big equity stake in Rio Tinto had failed.

Within Australia the reliable pro-China gang, centred on the Australian National University, but well represented in business as well, told us in effect to keep quiet and not protest against Hu's punishment. We were to protect the Chinese legal system, as though that were not among the most corrupt and politicised legal systems in the world.

Now consider Zan's case. Zan is a Chinese fishing boat captain. He was plying his trade in the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan considers these islands to be part of Japan and exercises normal control over them. China also claims the islands, as it does much of the maritime domain of northeast and Southeast Asia.

Zan's boat was approached by the Japanese navy. Now, all over the world, what does an illegal fisherman do if approached by a national coastguard? Universally, the fisherman runs away.

But in Zan's case, according to the Japanese navy, he rammed the Japanese vessel. That is akin to piracy and is certainly equivalent to criminal damage.

Zan was taken into Japanese custody. He was not charged with being in Japanese waters illegally but with offences arising out of ramming the Japanese ship. Many analysts believe the fisherman's actions were directed by the Chinese government as a deliberate way of testing the Japanese.

The Chinese reaction could not have been more different from the Australian response to Hu. There were no significant voices within China urging that Japanese legal processes be allowed to unfold.

Instead, the Chinese reaction was brutal and effective. Beijing cancelled high-level meetings with Japanese officials, including with the Japanese Prime Minister. Groups of Chinese tourists were prevented from visiting Japan. Four Japanese in China were suddenly arrested in what looked like preposterous charges of photographing Chinese military establishments. A high-level torrent of abuse was directed at Japan from Chinese government and media sources.

It was alleged that China banned temporarily the export of rare earth metals -- vital in much hi-tech gadgetry -- to Japan, though this was later denied.

Eventually the Japanese gave in and let Zan go, at which point the Chinese demanded apologies and compensation. Outraged public opinion finally forced Tokyo to reject this.

The Zan episode needs to be seen in the context of three other episodes this year where the Chinese have flouted well-established international norms.

One was the sinking of South Korean naval ship the Cheonan by North Korea, with dozens killed.

No serious analyst in the world doubts that the North Koreans torpedoed the Cheonan. Yet the Chinese refused, at the UN or anywhere else, to acknowledge Pyongyang's responsibility for the attack. Beijing's continued political investment in the Stalinist regime remains strong.

The second incident arose from the Cheonan sinking. The US and South Korea planned to hold joint naval exercises involving a US aircraft carrier off the coast of South Korea in the Yellow Sea. The Chinese demanded that these be moved, claiming, absurdly, that there would be a danger of US ships colliding with Chinese ships.

The implication is that Beijing can decide where international ships can sail, even if they are in indisputably international waters. The Americans, not wanting to take the focus off North Korea, moved the exercises to the east side of the Korean peninsula, away from China. But the Americans also promised they would be back in the Yellow Sea later this year.

Finally, there is the South China Sea. Beijing claims sovereignty over virtually all of the South China Sea. Various Southeast Asian nations claim the parts close to them. I urge you to look at a map to see just how preposterous Beijing's claim is, how far the South China Sea is from China.

At an ASEAN meeting this year, China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi furiously told the ASEANs that they were small nations while China was a big nation, and they should do as theywere told.

All this doesn't prove that China will behave with consistent aggression in the years ahead, but it sure doesn't prove the opposite, either.

Three prudent responses are obvious. One is to engage China in multilateral institutions so it is enveloped in a web of rules and customs. Another is for nations to have a clear idea of their individual bottom lines, beyond which they will not retreat.

And the third is for everyone to attend to their armed forces, so that a stable balance of power and deterrence are maintained.

Then the risk of fateful Chinese miscalculation is diminished. Pre-emptive capitulation, as some are now counselling, would be the worst policy for everyone.
11340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 29, 2010, 10:33:01 PM
**Note: Bill Gertz is well known for having lots of sources within the pentagon and other national security entities.**

Inside the Ring

By Bill Gertz


The Washington Times

6:38 p.m., Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Japan-China standoff

Tensions between China and Japan continue to rise even though Japan on Saturday released a Chinese fishing boat captain who was held for ramming his vessel into two Japanese coast guard ships near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

China recently deployed two armed patrol boats to waters near what it calls the Diaoyu Islands, and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday that the "law-enforcement boats" were sent "to maintain fishing order and protect safety of life and property of Chinese fishermen."

"We hope Japan stop* tracking and disrupting Chinese fishery law-enforcement boats," spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

Japan has made four diplomatic appeals to call off the patrols and has deployed six coast guard ships in the waters in the region.

The uninhabited islands are located south of Okinawa, which has administered the islands since the 1800s, not including the period when the U.S. military occupied Okinawa at the end of World War II.

China has demanded an apology from Japan for the detention of the fishing boat captain, and Tokyo has asked China to pay for repairs to the one coast guard ship that was damaged.

Beijing has claimed the incident that began Sept. 7 violates its sovereignty and asserted that Japan cannot enforce its laws near the Senkakus because the island chain belongs to China.

U.S. intelligence agencies have stepped up surveillance of the Senkakus and are closely monitoring the rising tensions over the dispute.

The strike group led by aircraft carrier USS George Washington is currently under way in waters close to the disputed islands and could move closer if shooting breaks out.
11341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 29, 2010, 08:58:11 PM

Sunday, September 26, 2010
Today's Reading Assignment

..from Robert Kaplan, the national security correspondent for The Atlantic, and a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Writing in today's Washington Post, he notes that China is using our "distraction" in the Middle East to become a great naval power. From his op-ed:

China has the world's second-largest naval service, after only the United States. Rather than purchase warships across the board, it is developing niche capacities in sub-surface warfare and missile technology designed to hit moving targets at sea. At some point, the U.S. Navy is likely to be denied unimpeded access to the waters off East Asia. China's 66 submarines constitute roughly twice as many warships as the entire British Royal Navy. If China expands its submarine fleet to 78 by 2020 as planned, it would be on par with the U.S. Navy's undersea fleet in quantity, if not in quality. If our economy remains wobbly while China's continues to rise -- China's defense budget is growing nearly 10 percent annually -- this will have repercussions for each nation's sea power. And with 90 percent of commercial goods worldwide still transported by ship, sea control is critical.

The geographical heart of America's hard-power competition with China will be the South China Sea, through which passes a third of all commercial maritime traffic worldwide and half of the hydrocarbons destined for Japan, the Korean Peninsula and northeastern China. That sea grants Beijing access to the Indian Ocean via the Strait of Malacca, and thus to the entire arc of Islam, from East Africa to Southeast Asia. The United States and others consider the South China Sea an international waterway; China considers it a "core interest." Much like when the Panama Canal was being dug, and the United States sought domination of the Caribbean to be the preeminent power in the Western Hemisphere, China seeks domination of the South China Sea to be the dominant power in much of the Eastern Hemisphere.

While Kaplan's central thesis is clearly correct, there are a few faults in his analysis. First, the "niche" capabilities he describes are useful for (potentially) limiting American naval forces in China's desired spheres of influence, but they do not add up to a true, global maritime power. To achieve that status, Beijing needs a blue water navy, built around carrier battle groups and other force-projection assets. True, China will have carriers by the end of this decade, but it will take even longer to develop the trained pilot cadre and ISR support needed to support their naval power thousands of miles from home.

However, Beijing's initial focus is the South China Sea and adjacent waters, stretching from Australia to Japan. In that region, China's growing naval power is already a menace, and the U.S. seems to have no credible response, beyond attempts at engagement. More disturbingly, the size of our Navy continues to shrink while more ships and subs join the Chinese fleet. That development alone gives Beijing a powerful incentive to pursue an aggressive maritime strategy, fueled by 10% annual increases in defense spending.

Not long ago, Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued that the U.S. could afford to retire some of its aircraft carriers, claiming that we were "over-matched" against potential adversaries. Obviously, that analysis is a bit short-sighted when it comes to China. Before he retires in a few months, someone might ask Dr. Gates about his over-matched theory regarding the PLAN and its expansion program.
11342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 28, 2010, 02:53:25 PM
WWII. We returned control of them to Japan in 1971.
11343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China blames US for dispute with Japan on: September 28, 2010, 10:18:04 AM

September 28, 2010
China blames US for dispute with Japan
William R. Hawkins
Though the Chinese fishing boat captain detained by Japan after ramming two coast guard boats returned home over the weekend, tensions remain high between Beijing and Tokyo. The underlying dispute over the islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan continues. Both countries claim ownership from ancient times, but Japan has made the stronger enforcement effort. China claims it will step up its patrols around the islands, so future clashes are likely. The islands are 240 nautical miles southwest of Okinawa. At stake is control of the surrounding East China Sea, its oil and mineral resources and trade routes.

The day after the Chinese captain was released, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times editorialized that "Coolness Towards Japan Should Remain." It stated

    Japan needs to be given a clear message that irresponsible policies have consequences. The Japanese public also needs to be clear that China should not be trifled with. China's 1.3 billion people have no intention of overwhelming the Japanese public in sentiment, but 100 million Japanese certainly should not try to overwhelm the Chinese people.

A Global Times "editor's choice" commentary by two Chinese scholars September 27 blamed the United States for the crisis because Washington gave a weak Tokyo the courage to confront Beijing. Liu Jiangyong, deputy director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University, wrote,

    The incident cannot be seen as an isolated dispute between Japan and China. The American shadow is obvious. It is the US military support that drives the hard-line stand of Japan against China.

    Even though the US transferred control [of the islands] to Japan [after World War II] , that doesn't mean the islands are the Japanese territory. So there is no legal foundation to support the [US-Japan Security] treaty's application to the Diaoyu Islands. It is the US that has made the Diaoyu disputes more complicated and caused it to become an obstacle to a healthy Sino-Japanese relationship

Ni Lexiong, a professor at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, went further in his argument,

    The background to the incident is that the US has been provoking China and taking advantage of conflicts between China and its neighbors to contain China recently.

    The Diaoyu Islands incident could be seen as a direct result of the recent series of Sino-US confrontations, from US-South Korea joint military drills to the US challenging China's core interests in South China Sea. Facing these provocations, China has to respond in defence, which inspires surrounding countries such as Vietnam, India and Japan to challenge China

    Logically Japan should intensify political and military cooperation with China; unfortunately, it turns to the US politically and militarily.

Direct talks between President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jaibao at the United Nations last week fell flat. China seems confident that it can bully both the U.S. and Japan. Washington needs to demonstrate to Beijing very quickly that the balance of power has not shifted away from the democratic alliance in Asia if future confrontations are to be deterred.
11344  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 28, 2010, 09:37:30 AM
Well, this is MSLSD, which a whopping 12% of the public turns to for news.  rolleyes
11345  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Drones Target Terror Plot on: September 28, 2010, 07:57:58 AM

WASHINGTON—In an effort to foil a suspected terrorist plot against European targets, the Central Intelligence Agency has ramped up missile strikes against militants in Pakistan's tribal regions, current and former officials say.

The strikes, launched from unmanned drone aircraft, represent a rare use of the CIA's drone campaign to preempt a possible attack on the West.

In this July 8, 2010 file photo, Pakistani paramilitary troops took position on a hilltop post in Khajore Kut, an area of Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region.

The terror plot, which officials have been tracking for weeks, is believed to target multiple countries, including the U.K., France, and Germany, these officials said.

The exact nature of the plot or plots couldn't be learned immediately, and counterterrorism officials in the U.S., Pakistan and Europe are continuing to investigate. There have, however, been multiple terror warnings in recent days in France, Germany and the U.K.

"There are some pretty notable threat streams," said one U.S. military official, who added that the significance of these threats is still being discussed among counterterrorism officials but that threats of this height are unusual.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to discuss the current European terrorism intelligence with her European counterparts at a U.N. aviation security meeting this week in Montreal. "We are in constant contact with our colleagues abroad," she told a Senate panel last week. "We are all seeing increased activity by a more diverse set of groups and a more diverse set of threats. That activity, much of which is Islamist in nature, is directed at the West generally."
11346  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: September 28, 2010, 07:45:11 AM
I said it years ago. When it is all said and done, we'll find out that Pakistan's ISI knew where OBL went from Tora Bora, and most likely helped him evade US forces.
11347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: September 28, 2010, 07:32:39 AM
"The Foxification of the henhouse".  rolleyes
11348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 09:57:27 PM
Here are basic principles that apply across time and culture:

There is NEVER a power vacuum in human affairs. There are those on top, those on the bottom and those in motion in either direction.

In this case, China sees a weakened America with a weak, inexperienced leader who at the worst will send letters harshly condemning China's actions. Sadly, their perceptions are spot on. There is an old chinese saying that says "Kill the chicken to scare the monkey". Make a public display of your power, make an example of a chosen victim to get others to recognize that they could be next. Japan is the chicken today, and the rest of asia, us and the rest of the world are to get the message of who is dominant in eastern asia these days.

Those who neglect history are doomed to repeat it.

As Crafty already pointed out, remember another country with a chip on it's should for past grievances, a wave of nationalist fever in it's population and a growing military looking to expand it's territory? Remember those who thought appeasement would bring them "peace in our time"?
11349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 09:34:45 PM

You did note that the other asian nations are watching this closely and don't seem real happy with how things are looking, right? Without us, what exactly will Japan do?

Send black ships into Hong Kong?

No, as I said before, we move the 7th fleet, which just happens to be patrolling the western pacific right now, to escort the Japanese Coast Guard as it patrols it's legally recognized territory. Then we see what moves China does or does not make.
11350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: September 27, 2010, 08:53:33 PM

Along those same lines, here’s a far more urgent reason — even if less juicy than the vision of a UN envoy for aliens —  to ask whether the Obama administration is doing anything at all to mind the mess at the UN shop in Vienna.

At the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, as 2010-2011 chair of the IAEA’s governing body, UN member states have just picked an envoy of …wait for it …. Pakistan.

Yes, that’s right. Pakistan: the country that not so long ago brought the world the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation bazaar, the country that spawned the Taliban and continues to breed jihadi terrorists, the country that holds out its hand for billions in aid while pouring resources into the ability to produce yet more nuclear weapons. Behold, Ladies and Gentlemen, with crisis upon us over the Iranian nuclear bomb program, the North Korean nuclear bomb, and rumblings of a further proliferation breakout —  from Venezuela to East Asia to the Middle East — the IAEA’s prime decision-making body, its 35-member governing board, as of today is chaired for the next year by one of Pakistan’s longtime nuclear insiders, Ansar Parvez of Pakistan.

Reportedly, the Obama administration did nothing to stop Pakistan winning the chairmanship of the IAEA governing board. The U.S. sits on the IAEA governing board. But according to Reuters, U.S. officials nodded along, just as they did this past spring when Iran won a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Reuters reports : “No country opposed Pakistan’s nomination by a group of Middle Eastern and south Asian member states at a meeting of the IAEA governors.” Citing an anonymous diplomat who attended the session, Reuters reports that the choice of Pakistan was approved “by acclamation.”
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