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9551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Paging Robert Wright on: October 30, 2010, 03:05:41 PM
9552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: October 30, 2010, 09:34:18 AM

The world’s monetary system is in the process of melting down. We have entered the endgame for the dollar as the dominant reserve currency, but most investors and policy makers are unaware of the implications.

The only questions are how long the denouement of the dollar reserve system will last, and how much more damage will be inflicted by new rounds of quantitative easing or more radical monetary measures to prop up the system.

Whether prolonged or sudden, the transition to a stable monetary system will become possible only when the shortcomings of the status quo become unbearable. Such a transition is, by definition, nonlinear. So central-bank soothsaying based on the extrapolation of historical data and the repetition of conventional wisdom offers no guidance on what lies ahead.

It’s amazing that there is no intelligent discourse among policy leaders on the subject of monetary rot and its implications for the future economic and political landscape. Until there is fundamental monetary reform on an international scale, most economic forecasts aren’t worth the paper on which they are written.

Telltale signs of future trouble aren’t hard to spot. Only a few months ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a chorus of other high-ranking Fed officials were talking about exit strategies from the U.S. central bank’s bloated balance sheet and the financial system’s unprecedented excess liquidity. Now, those same officials are talking about pumping more money into the system to stimulate growth.
9553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton prepares to jump from the SS Obamatanic on: October 30, 2010, 09:13:54 AM

WASHINGTON -- Democratic voters are closely divided over whether President Barack Obama should be challenged within the party for a second term in 2012, an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks Poll finds.

That glum assessment carries over into the nation at large, which is equally divided over whether Obama should be a one-term president.

A real Democratic challenge to Obama seems unlikely at this stage and his re-election bid is a long way off. But the findings underscore how disenchanted his party has grown heading into the congressional elections Tuesday.

The AP-KN poll has tracked a group of people and their views since the beginning of the 2008 presidential campaign. Among all 2008 voters, 51 percent say he deserves to be defeated in November 2012 while 47 percent support his re-election - essentially a tie.
9554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lines between dems/communists continue to blur on: October 30, 2010, 09:05:46 AM


It’s Come to This: Communist Party USA Openly Collaborates With Democrats
9555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Enemies on: October 29, 2010, 08:58:00 PM

By Charles Krauthammer
Thursday, October 28, 2010; 9:45 PM

In a radio interview that aired Monday on Univision, President Obama chided Latinos who "sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.' " Quite a uniter, urging Hispanics to go to the polls to exact political revenge on their enemies - presumably, for example, the near-60 percent of Americans who support the new Arizona immigration law.

This from a president who won't even use "enemies" to describe an Iranian regime that is helping kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. This from a man who rose to prominence thunderously declaring that we were not blue states or red states, not black America or white America or Latino America - but the United States of America.

This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends - not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution.
9556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New Spy Game: Firms’ Secrets Sold Overseas on: October 29, 2010, 08:29:51 PM

New Spy Game: Firms’ Secrets Sold Overseas
Published: October 17, 2010


For five years, Mr. Huang was a scientist at a Dow Chemical lab in Indiana, studying ways to improve insecticides. But before he was fired in 2008, Mr. Huang began sharing Dow’s secrets with Chinese researchers, authorities say, then obtained grants from a state-run foundation in China with the goal of starting a rival business there.

Now, Mr. Huang, who was born in China and is a legal United States resident, faces a rare criminal charge — that he engaged in economic espionage on China’s behalf.

Law enforcement officials say the kind of spying Mr. Huang is accused of represents a new front in the battle for a global economic edge. As China and other countries broaden their efforts to obtain Western technology, American industries beyond the traditional military and high-tech targets risk having valuable secrets exposed by their own employees, court records show.

Rather than relying on dead drops and secret directions from government handlers, the new trade in business secrets seems much more opportunistic, federal prosecutors say, and occurs in loose, underground markets throughout the world.

Prosecutors say it is difficult to prove links to a foreign government, but intelligence officials say China, Russia and Iran are among the countries pushing hardest to obtain the latest technologies.

“In the new global economy, our businesses are increasingly targets for theft,” said Lanny A. Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. “In order to stay a leader in innovation, we’ve got to protect these trade secrets.”
9557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 29, 2010, 05:25:20 PM

Remember the left's rules, when you cannot debate a point, call your opponent racist, sexist, homophobic or islamaphobic.
9558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Allah's special little apes and pigs on: October 29, 2010, 04:47:35 PM

January 26, 2005
Allah's special little apes and pigs
By James Arlandson

It has been bandied about in the media that Islamic fanatics shriek that Allah turned certain Jews into apes and pigs. Is this true?

If it is, where does this harsh polemics come from? Do they get it from the hadith (Muhammad's sayings and deeds outside of the Quran)? From later traditions? From thin air?

Sadly, fanatics get it from the Quran itself, in three different verses: 7:166, 2:60, and 5:65.

To show how, we follow a specific method of exegesis (detailed analysis of a text), where relevant. First, the historical context of the three verses is explained, so their meaning can be made clear. Second, the literary context of each one is described, so we do not take them out of context—a frequent reflexive reaction from Muslims. Third, we quote them from a reputable Muslim translator, not a Western one, so that the Muslims speak for themselves in their sacred book. Fourth, we explain the content of the verse itself, such as key words. Fifth, we compare them with a passage or two from the New Testament, so we can put Islam into a clear perspective. And finally we look at how fanatics use the verses.

Sura 7:166

The historical context of this sura (chapter) is Muhammad's persecution by his fellow Meccans before his Hijrah or Emigration from Mecca to Medina in AD 622. Still, despite this persecution, Muhammad seeks to demonstrate that his revelations are superior to the Torah and Moses, and this brings us to the literary context, which is far more revealing of the content of Sura 7:166 than the historical context.

After recounting the stories of various prophets, Muhammad comes to Moses (v. 103) and sketches out Moses' mission: he liberates the Children of Israel from the grip of Pharaoh (vv. 103—137); he encounters God on Mt. Sinai on which he receives the Two Tablets (vv. 142—147); and finally he confronts Israel's transgression in worshipping the golden calf (148—156). Now Muhammad turns to himself and asserts that the Torah (and the Gospels) describes himself and his Quran; he is now the one who commands people to do good and forbids them to do wrong; that is, he is the one who is rightly guided and who now fulfills and completes Moses (and Jesus).

Muhammad then recounts a legend—not found in the Talmudists—about Jews fishing or working on the Sabbath in a town that tradition says was located on the Red Sea (vv. 163—167). God made fish appear on the surface only on the Sabbath, never on weekdays. This tempted some Jewish fishermen to break their holy day of rest, ignoring their teachers' warnings. The Sabbath—breakers become so arrogant and deep in their violations that God addresses�them in the royal 'We':

7:166 But when even after this they disdainfully persisted in that from which they �were forbidden, We said to them, 'Become apes—despised and disgraced!' (Maududi)

The question is: should this verse be taken literally or metaphorically? That is, were these Jews physically transformed? This question is better answered in two later passages, chronologically speaking, in the Quran.

Sura 2:65

The historical context of Sura 2:65, as far as this can be determined, sees the founding of the Muslim community in Medina, a year or two after the Hijrah. Muhammad works hard at reconciling his message with the earlier religion of Judaism—indeed, he sees himself as a reformer of both Judaism and Christianity. But the Jews do not receive his message for two major reasons: he is a Gentile, and his knowledge of the Torah is confused. But the polemics�have not yet heated up, at least not as much as�they will be.

Thus, the literary context of Sura 2:65, having as its background the fishermen's legend in Sura 7:163—166, says that if the People of the Book (Jews and Christians, but he deals mostly with Jews in Medina) believe in Allah, the Last Day, and do good, they will not suffer at judgment. However, Muhammad issues a warning against Sabbath—breakers. Allah through Muhammad addresses the Jews as 'you' and refers to himself in the royal 'We':

2:65 And you know well the story of those among you who broke Sabbath. We said to them: 'Be apes—despised and hated by all.'� 66 Thus We made their end a warning to the people of their time and succeeding generation, and an admonition for God—fearing people. (Maududi)

So the question, again, is—does this passage support the literal or figurative transformation of the Jews?

Modern commentators with the exception of Maududi explain that this transformation is a metaphor. For example, M.A.S. Abdel Haleem says in his notes in his Oxford University Press translation (2004) that it is a figure of speech. The radical Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, who was tried and executed for plotting to overthrow the Egyptian government, says that one does not need to be concerned with whether the metamorphosis was physical, for the Jews' minds and spirits fell into a beastly state. He is also honest enough to say, though, that the Arabic implies that it really happened physically, e.g. 'Be apes,' not 'be as or like apes.' Two commentators and apologists, Muhammad Yusuf Ali and Maulana Muhammad Ali, in both of their translations and commentaries, take it figuratively, inserting the softening words 'as' and 'like.'

But the hadith and earlier commentators believe that Allah transformed them literally. For example, Ibn Ishaq, an early and reliable biographer of Muhammad, takes the metamorphosis literally, and he has Muhammad calling the Medinan Jewish clan, Qurayzah, 'brothers of monkeys.' Medieval commentator Ibn Kathir references Ibn Abbas, Muhammad's cousin, who interpreted this metamorphosis literally, implying that Muhammad did too. The Iranian Medieval commentator Razi, widely respected even today, speculates that perhaps the 'accidents' or appearances of the Jews were changed, but they kept their mental awareness. Even the Medieval mystic and commentator Ibn Arabi says that the transformation, at its base, is real and not metaphorical, though he puts mystical spins on the verse.

Maududi the modern scholar agrees with the classics: 'In my opinion their bodies were transformed into those of apes, but their human minds were left intact in order to subject them to extreme torture.' He says of the Arabic wording: 'The words of the Qur'an . . . indicate that it was not a moral but a physical metamorphosis.'

More important than all of these is Muhammad. Did he take this transformation literally or metaphorically? A hint is found in v. 66. He needs to hold over the heads of his enemies (and the God—fearing people) this miraculous act and threaten them with the same punishment. It is a very special historical case designed to warn people. It must be seen as an object lesson, and in this case the objects are the literally changed Jews.

Also, Muhammad is constantly incorporating tall tales into his Quran, which too often make Jews look bad, such as the fiction about Moses and Khidir, a servant (so named in Islamic tradition, but not in the Quran). Khidir leads Moses around by the nose, so to speak, revealing to the baffled prophet the divine purposes of Allah (Sura 18:60—82). The clear message: Muhammad is better than Moses. Hence, a physical metamorphosis in v. 65 would fit with such passages that make Jews look bad.

Thus, it is Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad's cousin Ibn Abbas, the classical commentators, and Maududi, agreeing with Muhammad, who correctly interpret these verses, not the moderns.

Sura 5:60

The historical context of Sura 5:60 is difficult to pin down. It may have been revealed five to seven years after the Hijrah, or some scholars place it a year or two later. Whatever the exact timeframe, Muhammad's polemic against the Jews heats up, since time has elapsed after his Hijrah, and the confrontations have increased. In fact, he has expelled by now two major Jewish clans from Medina, the Qaynuqa and the Nadir; and if the later date of Sura 5 is acceptable, then he has beheaded around 600 male Jews of the Qurayzah clan. (For more information on these violent expulsions and this atrocity, see this article.)

Thus, the literary context of Sura 5:60, having as its background the fishermen's legend in Sura 7:163—166, sees Muhammad exhorting his Muslims not to take as allies those who ridicule his religion and make fun of it—whether they are People of the Book or unbelievers (v. 57). This verse reflects historical reality, for sometimes a few Jews and unbelievers would in fact make fun of his revelations. He then issues another warning, similar to the one in 2:65, against the Jews who are on the verge of being severely punished, just as the Jews in the past were, when they were transformed into apes and pigs. Allah is commanding his prophet to 'say' the following:

5:60 Say: 'Shall I tell you [People of the Book] who will receive a worse reward from God? Those whom God has cursed and with whom He has been angry, transforming them into apes and swine, and those who serve the devil. Worse is the plight of these, and they have strayed farther from the right path.' (Dawood)

The Jews are said to be turned into apes and swine for generally disbelieving in Muhammad's revelations—in this case warning them for resenting Muhammad and his Quran (v. 59). The wording of this verse differs from the previous two verses, for here Muhammad matter—of—factly reports that Allah was angry with certain ones, 'transforming' them into apes and swine; he does not give the command, 'Be apes!' This report should leave no doubt that Muhammad believed that this actually happened physically as a warning and an object lesson.

Finally, we can get a clearer perspective on Islam if we compare it with Christianity.

To begin with, Yusuf Ali in his commentary on Sura 5:60 is terribly mistaken when he compares the Quranic verse with Matt. 8:28—32, in which demons went into swine, after Jesus cast them out from two poor, possessed men. Jesus commanding demons to go into a herd of swine is far different from Allah turning Jews into apes and swine. But Yusuf Ali's comparison shows how far Muslim apologists will go in order to defend the ambiguities in their sacred book.

Next, Jesus calls Jewish religious leaders a 'brood of vipers' (Matt. 12:34) and 'snakes' and again a 'brood of vipers' (Matt. 23:33), but the differences between Muhammad's epithets and Christ's are profound.

First, on an historical and sociological level (setting aside theology), Jesus himself was a Jewish religious leader, beginning a new 'movement' within Israel, so he was dealing with his own community. Muhammad, on the other hand, was an outsider to Judaism, not a Jew, but a Gentile. Thus, an insider (Jesus) speaking emotionally to his own household is different from a stranger (Muhammad) storming into the house and forcing holiness onto the occupants.

Second, not even a wisp of a faint hint suggests that Jesus took his denunciation literally. He is simply following a tradition of prophetic denunciations found, say, in the Book of Enoch or in Elijah or the other prophets. After all, in Matt. 23:27—part of the literary context of 23:33—he likens the religious leaders to whitewashed tombs, but he does not believe that they literally are. Furthermore, in a gentler metaphor he refers to his people as sheep (John 10:14), but he does not believe that they literally are. Muhammad, on the other hand, indicates by his wording in Arabic and by the literary context that some Jews were actually and literally turned into apes and swine as a special punishment, to warn people. Thus, the original Greek in the Gospel of Matthew does not say, 'Be a brood of vipers!' Rather, Jesus uses a straightforward epithet, 'You brood of vipers!' The Quran, in contrast, says: 'Be apes!' as in 'presto—change—o!'

Consequently, no reputable priest or pastor or scholar today in Christianity ever discusses whether these Jewish religious leaders were actually turned into snakes and vipers—or whether the common people were turned into sheep. However, in Islam today, scholars discuss this sort of transformation precisely because of the Arabic in Suras 2:65—66, 5:60, and 7:163—166, and because of the literary context of each passage indicates an actual, physical metamorphosis.

This brings us to the last and most important point. All of the discussion over whether the transformation was literal or figurative, according to the moderns or the earlier commentators and Maududi, is really academic, for the terrorists and non—violent fanatics shriek that the transmogrification dehumanizes Jews today—a replay of Nazi propaganda.

At the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque in Gaza, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris, employee in the Religious Affairs Ministry in the Palestinian Authority, uses the Battle of Badr (AD 624) as a rallying cry for his fellow jihadists to fight the Jews, who are the descendants of apes and pigs.

Then came the great battle of Badr, where the Muslims grew stronger. This brought the third stage of dealing with the Jewish existence in Al—Madina. We have tolerated you for a long time — you offspring of apes and pigs! We have tolerated you for a long time.

The Imam of the Al—Haram mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abd Al—Rahman Al—Sudayis, explained in one of his sermons:

Read history and you will understand that the Jews of yesterday are the evil forefathers of the even more evil Jews of today: infidels, falsifiers of words, calf worshippers, prophet murderers, deniers of prophecies . . . the scum of the human race, accursed by Allah, who turned them into apes and pigs . . . These are the Jews — an ongoing continuum of deceit, obstinacy, licentiousness, evil, and corruption . . .

At the same link, Sheikh Muhammad Al—Saleh Al—'Athimein said in a sermon at the Great Mosque in Al—'Unayza, Arabia:

O Muslims, the Jews are treacherous and deceitful people over whom lies the curse and anger of Allah. They permitted what Allah forbade, with the lamest of excuses; therefore, He cursed them and turned them into apes and pigs. Allah sentenced them to humiliation anywhere they might be . . . .�

Note how the Sheikh draws the inference for today: 'Allah sentenced them to humiliation anywhere they might be.' This means the Jews of today.

Finally, it is not all bad news in the Muslim world. The editor of an Egyptian weekly condemns�an exhibit that placed the Protocols of the Elders of Zion next to the Torah. The 'circles' are the ideologues and journalists who present the Middle East conflict by using Medieval anti—Semitic legends:

[These circles] do not flinch from disseminating, espousing, and publishing all the legends that were common in medieval Europe in order to justify Europe's persecution of the Jews because of their monopoly in financial activity and money—lending, one of which was the 'matza of blood' that the Jews [allegedly] prepare on Passover from the blood of a gentile child. These circles disseminate among Muslims the perception that all the modern Jews are the offspring of the Jews who violated the word of the Prophet Moses, whose prayer Allah then answered and turned [the Jews] into apes and pigs. [These circles also say] that the Jews are responsible for their forefathers' crime, the crucifixion of Jesus. They embraced, and still warmly embrace, the stupid book 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' fabricated by the advocates of the Czarist tyranny in Russia to arouse hatred of the Jews because many of them were participating in revolutionary activity against the [Czarist] empire.

However, in another place in the article the editor still believes that the Palestinians are oppressed, while the Israelis are the oppressors, so the positive article goes only so far.

Can the Islamic world be reformed? It seems that (semi)moderate voices like this Egyptian editor's are rare. But the liberation of Iraq, as well as of Afghanistan, is encouraging. Maybe in a few decades when (or if) a free press soaks the dry ground, we will hear more moderate views, and maybe they will prevail.

Jim Arlandson (PhD) teaches introductory philosophy and world religions at a college in southern California. He has published a book, Women, Class, and Society in Early Christianity (Hendrickson, 1997).�
9559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Where did muslim get the idea that non-muslims are pigs and apes? on: October 29, 2010, 04:35:42 PM

YUSUFALI: Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who disbelieve, among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings.
SHAKIR: Surely those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book and the polytheists shall be in the fire of hell, abiding therein; they are the worst of men.

YUSUFALI: As to those who turn (for friendship) to Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,- it is the fellowship of Allah that must certainly triumph.
PICKTHAL: And whoso taketh Allah and His messenger and those who believe for guardian (will know that), lo! the party of Allah, they are the victorious.
SHAKIR: And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant.

YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport,- whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but fear ye Allah, if ye have faith (indeed).
PICKTHAL: O Ye who believe! Choose not for guardians such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not take for guardians those who take your religion for a mockery and a joke, from among those who were given the Book before you and the unbelievers; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah if you are believers.

YUSUFALI: When ye proclaim your call to prayer they take it (but) as mockery and sport; that is because they are a people without understanding.
PICKTHAL: And when ye call to prayer they take it for a jest and sport. That is because they are a folk who understand not.
SHAKIR: And when you call to prayer they make it a mockery and a joke; this is because they are a people who do not understand.

YUSUFALI: Say: "O people of the Book! Do ye disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that hath come to us and that which came before (us), and (perhaps) that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?"
PICKTHAL: Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers?
SHAKIR: Say: O followers of the Book! do you find fault with us (for aught) except that we believe in Allah and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed before, and that most of you are transgressors?

YUSUFALI: Say: "Shall I point out to you something much worse than this, (as judged) by the treatment it received from Allah? those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into apes and swine, those who worshipped evil;- these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!"
PICKTHAL: Shall I tell thee of a worse (case) than theirs for retribution with Allah? (Worse is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen and of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine, and who serveth idols. Such are in worse plight and further astray from the plain road.
SHAKIR: Say: Shall I inform you of (him who is) worse than this in retribution from Allah? (Worse is he) whom Allah has cursed and brought His wrath upon, and of whom He made apes and swine, and he who served the Shaitan; these are worse in place and more erring from the straight path.

YUSUFALI: When they come to thee, they say: "We believe": but in fact they enter with a mind against Faith, and they go out with the same but Allah knoweth fully all that they hide.
PICKTHAL: When they come unto you (Muslims), they say: We believe; but they came in unbelief and they went out in the same; and Allah knoweth best what they were hiding.
SHAKIR: And when they come to you, they say: We believe; and indeed they come in with unbelief and indeed they go forth with it; and Allah knows best what they concealed.

YUSUFALI: Many of them dost thou see, racing each other in sin and rancour, and their eating of things forbidden. Evil indeed are the things that they do.
PICKTHAL: And thou seest many of them vying one with another in sin and transgression and their devouring of illicit gain. Verily evil is what they do.
SHAKIR: And you will see many of them striving with one another to hasten in sin and exceeding the limits, and their eating of what is unlawfully acquired; certainly evil is that which they do.

YUSUFALI: Why do not the rabbis and the doctors of Law forbid them from their (habit of) uttering sinful words and eating things forbidden? Evil indeed are their works.
PICKTHAL: Why do not the rabbis and the priests forbid their evil-speaking and their devouring of illicit gain? Verily evil is their handiwork.
SHAKIR: Why do not the learned men and the doctors of law prohibit them from their speaking of what is sinful and their eating of what is unlawfully acquired? Certainly evil is that which they work.

YUSUFALI: The Jews say: "Allah's hand is tied up." Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth. But the revelation that cometh to thee from Allah increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah doth extinguish it; but they (ever) strive to do mischief on earth. And Allah loveth not those who do mischief.
PICKTHAL: The Jews say: Allah's hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so. Nay, but both His hands are spread out wide in bounty. He bestoweth as He will. That which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them, and We have cast among them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection. As often as they light a fire for war, Allah extinguisheth it. Their effort is for corruption in the land, and Allah loveth not corrupters.
SHAKIR: And the Jews say: The hand of Allah is tied up! Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out, He expends as He pleases; and what has been revealed to you from your Lord will certainly make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; and We have put enmity and hatred among them till the day of resurrection; whenever they kindle a fire for war Allah puts it out, and they strive to make mischief in the land; and Allah does not love the mischief-makers.

YUSUFALI: If only the People of the Book had believed and been righteous, We should indeed have blotted out their iniquities and admitted them to gardens of bliss.
PICKTHAL: If only the People of the Scripture would believe and ward off (evil), surely We should remit their sins from them and surely We should bring them into Gardens of Delight.
SHAKIR: And if the followers of the Book had believed and guarded (against evil) We would certainly have covered their evil deeds and We would certainly have made them enter gardens of bliss

YUSUFALI: If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: but many of them follow a course that is evil.
PICKTHAL: If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct.
SHAKIR: And if they had kept up the Taurat and the Injeel and that which was revealed to them from their Lord, they would certainly have eaten from above them and from beneath their feet there is a party of them keeping to the moderate course, and (as for) most of them, evil is that which they do


YUSUFALI: When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."
PICKTHAL: So when they took pride in that which they had been forbidden, We said unto them: Be ye apes despised and loathed!
SHAKIR: Therefore when they revoltingly persisted in what they had been forbidden, We said to them: Be (as) apes, despised and hated.
9560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I blame Juan Williams on: October 29, 2010, 04:13:19 PM

The couple chose an idyllic resort in the Maldives as the perfect place to renew their marriage vows and pledge everlasting love.

But their happiness has turned to humiliation after the wedding video was posted on YouTube and subtitles disclosed that their "Islamic blessing", which was conducted by a hotel employee in the native Dhivehi language, was in fact a stream of insults.

"You are swine. The children that you bear from this marriage will all be bastard swine. Your marriage is not a valid one," he intoned as the couple held up their hands in prayer, blissfully unaware of what was being said.

Dismissing them as pork-eating "infidels", the employee went on: "You are not the kind of people who can have a valid marriage. One of you is an infidel. The other too is an infidel and, we have reason to believe, an atheist who does not even believe in an infidel religion.

"You fornicate and make a lot of children. You drink and you eat pork. Most of the children that you have are marked with spots and blemishes."

Several other staff members were present at the ceremony but said nothing. One appeared to be stifling a laugh.

The "celebrant", identified as Hussein Didi, made reference to bestiality and "frequent fornication by homosexuals". Close inspection of the official-looking document in front of him reveals it to be a copy of the staff employment regulations.

The video was shot by hotel employees who can be heard sniggering in the background and debating whether or not the bride is wearing a bra. "Don't look at the breasts!" says one as the bride leans over in her white wedding gown to plant a coconut palm. "My beard has gone grey watching those things. I have seen so many of them now that I don't even want to look any more when I see them."
9561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I had forgotten about this..... on: October 29, 2010, 03:58:24 PM

9562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / When the dems talk about their "ground game"..... on: October 29, 2010, 03:49:33 PM
THIS is what they mean:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Chicago (and Pennsylvania) Way

According to political legend, John F. Kennedy didn't really know he'd won the 1960 presidential race against Richard Nixon until he received a late-night phone call from Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

"Mr. President," Daley intoned. That greeting told JFK that the Chicago Democratic machine had worked its magic, voting enough tombstones and "ghosts" to put Kennedy over the top in Illinois and into the White House.

Fifty years later, Democrats are still up to their old tricks. As Chuck Goudie of WLS-TV reports:

An Illinois county election official says that thousands, and potentially hundreds of thousands, of voters who are expecting a ballot sent to them by mail may be disenfranchised.

Chicagoan Rosia Carter is one of 404,000 registered Illinois voters who recently received vote-by-mail requests that were sent by the Illinois Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

"By the time I filled it out and sent it in, my vote would not get counted," Carter said.

She and others called the I-Team when they noticed the return address is not their local election official but instead a PO box for the organization. IDCC officials claim they are entering ballot request information into their own database before sending the mailings on to election authorities who then mail voters the ballot.

The Lake County clerk received a shipment of 500 ballot requests from the IDCC Tuesday. By law, her office has two days to process the ballot requests. The problem is, Thursday is the deadline for election officials to get the ballots out.

IDCC told the clerk that another 1,500 ballot requests are headed to her office, which, she says, may not give her enough time to process all the ballots, potentially disenfranchising voters.

Carter and others who contacted the I-Team are furious that their vote may also be thrown out because the IDCC put the registered voters' wrong birthdate on the form.

"My birthdate is wrong," said Carter. "That means it doesn't match the election board of commissioners' records."

In case you're wondering, a spokesman for the IDCC told WLS they used their organization's post office box as a return address to "better track the process and make sure there are fewer problems." And apparently, he said it with a straight face.

But the potential for political chicanery doesn't end with the potential disenfranchisement of thousands of voters. As Erick Erickson of Red State postulates, the Dims could simply rush to a (friendly) federal judge and demand an extension of submission times and tabulating periods so that "every vote counts." When that happens, the Democrats can tap into a pool of thousands of additional votes. It won't elect (or re-elect) a president, but it could be enough to sway hotly-contested Senate races in Illinois.

The remedy for conservatives is simple. Turn out in such huge numbers that it becomes impossible for Democrats to steal the election. But in the blue states, that's easier said than done. Besides, if the machine can't conjure up enough votes on election night, there's always Step Two in the Democratic playbook. Flood the zone with lawyers and start recounting until you achieve the desired result.

If you can, make a last-minute donation to Mark Kirk or Bill Brady, or volunteer some time for their campaigns. They need all the help they can muster in defeating their opponents--and the Democratic machine.
ADDENDUM: And oddly enough, a similar scandal is unfolding in Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, where Democratic incumbent Patrick Murphy is in the fight of his political life. Hundreds of voters in the district were warned that their votes might not count unless they returned an enclosed absentee ballot to a post office box in Bristol, Pennsylvania. The box was controlled by Murphy's campaign manager, who then "re-mailed" the ballots to the local election board.

As National Review has learned, there was a sudden surge in Democratic absentee ballots in the district last week, and many were mailed in identical, pre-labeled envelopes. Local GOP officials say some of the suspicious ballots were post-marked as far back as August, suggesting they had been held by a third party--perhaps the same individual who controlled the P.O. box where they were mailed? You know, the same guy running Murphy's re-election bid?

At this point, there's no proof that Congressman Murphy was involved. Officials with his campaign insist that no ballots sent to the post office box were discarded or tampered with.


9563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: October 29, 2010, 03:34:22 PM
I am amazed the economy hasn't come roaring back with all the new taxes and regulation.....  rolleyes
9564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with intellectually dishonest liberals on: October 29, 2010, 02:00:09 PM
I emailed Robert Wright this yesterday:


Is her fear irrational?

A cartoonist in Seattle who promoted an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” last spring is now in hiding after her life was threatened by Islamic extremists.

The cartoonist, Molly Norris, has changed her name and has stopped producing work for a local alternative newspaper, Seattle Weekly, according to the newspaper’s editor, Mark D. Fefer.

Mr. Fefer declined an interview request Thursday, citing “the sensitivity of the situation.” But in a letter to readers about Ms. Norris on Wednesday, he said that “on the insistence of top security specialists at the F.B.I., she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.”

No response thus far. I sent this today:

Keeping in mind the news today, would you feel afraid to get on a plane with a package mailed by a muslim? If you did, would that be an irrational fear?
9565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islamophobia in action! on: October 29, 2010, 01:50:28 PM

I wonder if Robert Wright would feel nervous getting on a plane with a package mailed by a muslim.....
9566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Our turn on: October 29, 2010, 12:29:53 PM
9567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 29, 2010, 12:22:16 PM
Yup. She is more valuable as a pundit rather than a candidate.
9568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eric Holder Was Unavailable for Comment on: October 29, 2010, 11:54:05 AM

Eric Holder Was Unavailable for Comment

Remember when Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was ridiculed for saying headless bodies were being found in the desert? Well, now they're turning up in the Phoenix area. It's curious how the Democrats aren't running against her this election cycle. They obviously realize what a losing issue they support. Speaking of losers, has anyone seen Eric Holder lately?

    The gruesome case of a man who was stabbed and beheaded in a suburban Phoenix apartment has police investigating whether the killing is potentially the most extreme example of Mexican drug cartel violence spilling over the border.

    Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy's body was found Oct. 10 in a Chandler apartment -- his severed head a couple feet away. One man suspected in the killing has been arrested, and a manhunt is under way for three others.

    Detectives are focused on whether the men belong to a Mexican drug cartel, and they suspect that Cota-Monroy's killing was punishment for stealing drugs. The brutal nature of the killing could be designed to send a message to others within the cartel.

    "If it does turn out to be a drug cartel out of Mexico, typically that's a message being sent," said Chandler police Detective David Ramer. "This person was chosen to be executed. It sends a message to other people: If you cross us, this is what happens."

    Decapitations are a regular part of the drug war in Mexico as cartels fight over territory. Headless bodies have been hanged from bridges by their feet, severed heads have been sent to victims' family members and government officials, and bags of up to 12 heads have been dropped off in high-profile locations.

    More than 28,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers to battle the cartels in their strongholds.

    If the suspects in the Arizona case belong to a cartel, the crime could be the only known beheading in the U.S. carried out by a drug cartel, said Tony Payan, a political science professor at the University of Texas at El Paso who has done extensive research about border violence.

    The killing could also affect the immigration debate in Arizona. Supporters of the state's controversial immigration law frequently cite this type of violence as reason to crack down on illegal immigrants. The decapitation victim and the suspects were all illegal immigrants.

    Republican Gov. Jan Brewer drew criticism this year for claiming that headless bodies were being found in the Arizona desert as she sought to bolster her argument for immigration reform. She later backtracked on those claims, but said such violence in the broader border region is cause enough for alarm.

    The killing has unnerved residents in the neighborhood and apartment complex where Cota-Monroy was killed.
9569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 29, 2010, 11:45:17 AM
Agreed. Gingrich is damaged goods. We need someone with a comparable intellect, but without the personal baggage. Someone who can survive the MSM vetting and Alinskian attacks.
9570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Just bought it today on: October 28, 2010, 09:24:40 PM





In the words of Harvard economist Niall Ferguson, the United States is “an empire on the edge of chaos.” Why? Glenn Beck thinks the answer is pretty simple: Because we’ve turned our backs on the Constitution.

Yes, our country is financially broke, but that’s just a side effect of our broken spirit, our broken faith in government, the broken promises by our leaders, and a broken political system that has centralized power at the expense of individual rights.

There is a lot of work ahead, but we can’t move forward until we first understand how we got here. Starting with the American Revolution, Glenn takes readers on an express train through 234 years of history, culminating with the Great Recession and the bipartisan recklessness of Presidents Bush and Obama. It’s the history lesson we all wished we’d had in school. (Did you know, for example, that FDR once made a key New Deal policy decision based on his lucky number?)

Along the way, you’ll see how everything you thought you knew about the political parties is a lie, how Democrats and Republicans alike used to fight for minimum government and maximum freedom, and how both parties have been taken over by a cancer called “progressivism.” By the end, you’ll understand why no president, no congress and no court can fix this problem alone. Looking toward them for answers is like looking toward the ocean for drinking water— it looks promising, but the end result is catastrophic.

After revealing the trail of lies that brought us here, Broke exposes the truth about what we’re really facing. Most people have seen pieces of the puzzle, but very few have ever seen the whole picture—and for very good reason: Our leaders have done everything in their power to hide it. If Americans understood how dire things really are, they would be demanding radical reform right now. Despite the rhetoric, that’s not the kind of change our politicians really believe in.

Finally, Broke provides the hope that comes with knowing the truth. Once you see what we’re really up against, it’s much easier to develop a realistic plan. To fix ourselves financially, Glenn argues, we have to fix ourselves first. That means some serious introspection and, ultimately, a series of actions that will unite all Americans around the concept of shared sacrifice. After all, this generation may not be asked to storm beaches, but we are being asked to do something just as critical to preserving freedom.

Packed with great stories from history, chalkboard-style teachable moments, custom illustrations, and Glenn Beck’s trademark combination of entertainment and enlightenment, Broke makes the case that when you’re traveling in the wrong direction, slight course corrections won’t cut it—you need to take drastic action. Through a return to individual rights, an uncompromising adherence to the Constitution, and a complete rethinking about the role of government in a free society, Glenn exposes the idea of “transformation” for the progressive smokescreen that it is, and instead builds a compelling case that restoration is the only way forward.
About the Author
Glenn Beck, the nationally syndicated radio and Fox News television show host, is the author of six #1 New York Times bestsellers: An Inconvenient Book, The Christmas Sweater, Glenn Beck’s Common Sense, Arguing with Idiots, the children’s version of The Christmas Sweater, and The Overton Window. America’s March to Socialism is available now from Simon & Schuster Audio or downloadable from Simon & Schuster Online. He is also the author of The Real America and publisher of Fusion magazine. Visit
9571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cargo cult on: October 28, 2010, 05:14:31 PM

The "rich" have the magical money tree.
9572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: October 28, 2010, 04:43:54 PM
When I say invest in metals, I literally mean guns, ammo and canned food.
9573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: October 28, 2010, 04:13:43 PM
I'll happen fast and it will rock the world.

Invest in metals. Guns, ammo and canned food.
9574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dollar at Risk of Becoming 'Toxic Waste': Charts on: October 28, 2010, 12:00:11 PM

The dollar's slump could get far worse if the dollar index takes out last year's low, Robin Griffiths, technical strategist at Cazenove Capital, told CNBC Monday.

"If the (dollar index) takes out the low that was made roughly a year ago I really think that will not only encourage more sales, it will cause a little bit of minor panic," Griffiths said. "A year ago it was deemed too cheap, if it goes any lower than that it's actually become toxic waste."
resumed its recent downtrend Monday in the wake of a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations at the weekend. The meeting failed to yield a definitive agreement on currencies, putting selling pressure on the greenback.

"The dollar is being trashed, we've actually had effectively devaluation of about 14 percent in the last two months," Griffiths said.
9575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama’s “Enemies” List Includes You on: October 28, 2010, 10:49:30 AM

Obama’s “Enemies” List Includes You
posted at 12:44 pm on October 27, 2010 by Howard Portnoy

Are Americans who oppose the policies of the Obama administration enemies of the president and by extension the state? Obama seems to think so. In a shocking audio clip captured at The Blaze, the president can be heard telling an unidentified interlocutor that

    f Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’ … then I think it’s gonna be harder. [Emphasis added]

So much for the antiquated notion that the president of the United States is elected to serve all Americans, and not just those who voted for him or accept his current views.

In a separate address to an audience in Rhode Island, Obama made a similarly outrageous statement. Drawing upon his tired “car in the ditch” metaphor for perhaps the ten thousandth time, he told voters that now that progress has been made[!],

    we can’t have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.[Emphasis added]

At least the president deserves credit for openly admitting that he views those in opposition to his policies as second-class citizens. During the year-long debate on health care reform, he forced the Republican minority in Congress to “sit in the back,” refusing to entertain even one of their ideas, then accused them of obstructionism when he couldn’t cobble together enough votes from his own party to get the bill using approved measures.

When George W. Bush sat in the Oval Office, opponents of his policies obscenely burned the president in effigy, then excused their actions by claiming that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Now we are told by no less than the president himself than even peaceful dissent is a no-no. Disconnect, anyone?

Cross-posted from Libertarian Examiner. Follow me on Twitter or join me at Facebook. You can reach me at or by posting a comment below.
9576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Communicating with intellectually dishonest liberals on: October 28, 2010, 10:23:58 AM
I emailed Robert Wright this yesterday:


Is her fear irrational?

A cartoonist in Seattle who promoted an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” last spring is now in hiding after her life was threatened by Islamic extremists.

The cartoonist, Molly Norris, has changed her name and has stopped producing work for a local alternative newspaper, Seattle Weekly, according to the newspaper’s editor, Mark D. Fefer.

Mr. Fefer declined an interview request Thursday, citing “the sensitivity of the situation.” But in a letter to readers about Ms. Norris on Wednesday, he said that “on the insistence of top security specialists at the F.B.I., she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.”
9577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 28, 2010, 10:14:49 AM
“What is scary about this is that the U.S. dominance in high-performance computing is at risk,” said Wu-chun Feng, a supercomputing expert and professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “One could argue that this hits the foundation of our economic future.”
9578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 27, 2010, 11:05:20 PM

Rampant issuance of dollars by the United States is saddling China with "imported inflation", Chinese commerce minister Chen Deming was quoted as saying by state media on Wednesday.

"Given the current situation, companies have thought ahead and prepared for exchange rate fluctuations as well as an increase in labour costs," Chen said, according to the state-run China Business News.

"But because the issuance of dollars is out of control, and international commodities prices are continuing to rise, China is confronted with imported inflation, which has created major uncertainties for businesses," he said.

The comments came ahead of a meeting of the US Federal Reserve next week at which the central bank is expected to announce additional stimulus measures.

While critics in the United States accuse China of artificially undervaluing its currency to give exporters an unfair advantage, Beijing says Washington is foisting its economic woes on the rest of the world by printing more money.
9579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: October 27, 2010, 10:31:50 PM
Yeah, I figured it was a translation issue. As a gun nut, I was forced to point it out.  grin
9580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: October 27, 2010, 10:14:54 PM
There are stupid people and then there are smart people who choose to be stupid because it wins them approval they are seeking from certain others. Robert Wright is obviously trying for the latter. He isn't interested in facts. The information is easily available and obvious to anyone who wanted to spend 5 minutes researching the topic. His integrity clearly means less to him than his need for approval from the left. He isn't interested in logic or facts in this matter.
9581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: October 27, 2010, 08:29:23 PM
I forget, did Ann Coulter have to go into hiding after making an anti-gay statement? How many buildings are missing from the Manhattan skyline because of radical homosexuals? Gays tend to inflict lots of violence on their fellow gays, as well as fatal viriii, but but aside from some ugly anti-christian acts, tend not to harm the greater public, to the best of my knowledge.

Is this really that hard to figure out?
9582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton lost the bisquit after hiding the cigar on: October 26, 2010, 08:06:34 PM

The U.S. government's procedures for launching nuclear missiles are supposed to be airtight: the codes for unleashing the atomic might of the world's largest superpower are kept locked in a briefcase carried by an aide who accompanies the president at all times.

The codes for opening the briefcase, in turn, are inscribed on a plastic card carried by the president.

So what if that precious piece of plastic – nicknamed “the biscuit” in the bizarre jargon of the Secret Service – goes missing?

That's exactly what happened in 2000, during the administration of president Bill Clinton, writes General Hugh Shelton, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

According to the Daily Telegraph and several other media outlets around the world, General Shelton's new memoir, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior, reveals that no one could find the codes for several months in 2000. An aide finally admitted they had been lost.

“The codes were actually missing for months,” he wrote. “That's a big deal – a gargantuan deal.”

Perhaps more surprisingly, it may not have been the first time Mr. Clinton misplaced the free world's most important set of numbers.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Patterson, one of the people tasked with toting the briefcase during Mr. Clinton's presidency, wrote in his own book seven years ago that the forgetful POTUS misplaced the card – which he apparently kept in his pants pockets with his credit cards – on two occasions.

The first time, he left it in the White House when he went to play a round of golf; the second time, in early 1998, aides turned the White House upside-down, and searched the president's clothes without finding them.
9583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 26, 2010, 01:59:38 PM

On the eve of the G20 summit in London, "Unhappy China" has stirred debate about whether China should have a greater role on the world stage. Although the country will soon overtake Japan as the world's second-largest economy, China is not included in the G8 and is a second tier member of the G20. Beijing has little influence in the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund and is highly vulnerable to changes in the value of the dollar.

"We still feel suppressed because we are sometimes condemned or criticised by the western world," said Zhang Xiaobo, the book's publisher.

The five authors of the book advocate a tougher line against China's enemies, including punishment for President Nicholas Sarkozy of France, who met the Dalai Lama last year. The book takes a robust view of Western criticism of China's behaviour in Tibet. "You can start a war if you have the guts, otherwise shut up!" it says.

Another passage reads: "If China stood as the world's top country, it would not act like the United States, which has been irresponsible, lazy and greedy and engaged in robbery and cheating. They have brought economic recession to the whole world."

The book is the latest sign of growing Chinese nationalism, a trend that became highly visible during the riots in Tibet last March.

Spurred on by the government, Chinese nationalists vented their anger at the depiction of Tibet in the West and at the protests over the Olympic torch passing through Paris and London.

Meanwhile, the recent confrontation between America and China over the harassment of a US surveillance ship in the South China sea and Beijing's proposal that the dollar should be replaced as the global reserve currency, have shown China's potential for greater military and economic power.

"Unhappy China" is already into its second print run, while China's major web portals and social networking sites have their own "Unhappy China" forums.
9584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Emasculation of Men In Contempory Society on: October 26, 2010, 08:11:45 AM

Better get ready for carnivores in PLA uniforms.
9585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Emasculation of Men In Contempory Society on: October 26, 2010, 07:37:04 AM
I've noticed that the females of leftist americanus tend to be the larger, more aggressive ones when compared to the males.
9586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 25, 2010, 09:49:12 PM
Don't forget the environmental costs of rare earth elements for all the "green tech". As well the geo-political aspects, like what our Chinese friends are doing with their domination of REE exports.
9587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Emasculation of Men In Contempory Society on: October 25, 2010, 09:45:03 PM
I agree completely, and this has been going on for quite a while. With each generation, it seems to become more evident. If I can plug another website (I hope that is okay here, if not, please take the link down---I have no affiliation with them): Lots of great articles and a forum (community), but it tends toward the liberal side of things, so I don't spend much time there. Plenty of articles on manhood, old-style shaving, clothing, etc.

Do liberal males actually produce enough testosterone to be able to shave? Or is it more of a anthropological explanation of masculinity for liberals?
9588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 25, 2010, 08:20:00 PM
It looks like there is about five different felonies Tejada could easily be charged and prosecuted for, but like Michelle Obama's violation of election laws, they don't apply to dems or the New Black Panther Party.
9589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 25, 2010, 06:08:02 PM

Per CBS news, 22% unemployment in California. Think of how great that is for the environment!
9590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 25, 2010, 06:03:34 PM
As things continue to fail, you'll see Barry-O really start to decompensate.
9591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A re-militarized Japan? on: October 24, 2010, 11:20:16 PM

Security situation around Japan getting more severe: Kan
Prime Minister Naoto Kan delivers a speech as he attends the inspection parade of the Ground Self-Defense Force at Asaka base on Oct. 24. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Sunday the security situation around Japan has become more severe, given North Korea's missile and nuclear developments, as well as China intensifying its marine activities.

While attending the inspection parade of Ground Self-Defense Force at Asaka base in Tokyo and referring to China's military enhancement, Kan said, "We need to keep a posture that enables us to cope with various situations effectively."

"In order to build a truly effective defense capability, we will compile an outline of a new defense program by the end of the year that will meet future needs," he said.

He also showed willingness to enhance the Japan-U.S. alliance and promote activities to improve international security.

(Mainichi Japan) October 24, 2010
9592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China: Yes we can! on: October 24, 2010, 10:57:02 PM

This situation was further complicated when a North Korean midget submarine sank a South Korean corvette on March 26, 2010, killing 46 sailors. In the aftermath, Washington and Seoul announced a series of naval exercises to demonstrate resolve in the face of North Korean aggression while China refused to condemn the attack. It was initially reported, on June 1st, that those exercises would take place in the Yellow Sea, which separates China and South Korea, and would involve the USS George Washington, the most advanced aircraft carrier in the US Navy. However, as China repeatedly announced its “resolute opposition” to any carrier-led exercises in Yellow Sea, the military drills were repeatedly delayed. The George Washington had traversed the Yellow Sea as late as October 2009 with no protest from Beijing, but suddenly Communist Party of China mouthpieces were filled with op-eds from hawkish PLA generals warning Washington about drilling in the Yellow Sea.

Weeks passed and the standoff became a diplomatic game of chicken: would President Barack Obama send the George Washington into the Yellow Sea, or would he give Beijing a veto over US freedom of action in the Pacific?

First, Mr. Obama tried to split the difference, hosting exercises led by the George Washington in the less contentious Sea of Japan, off Korea’s eastern coast. However, the move was interpreted by allies and enemies alike as a cessation of American authority in Asia and an embarrassment to South Korea, which had gone on record insisting the George Washington would stand by its side in the Yellow Sea.

The message carried particular salience in the capitals of Southeast Asia, where tensions with China are fast on the rise.  After years of an effective Chinese charm offensive, many East and Southeast Asian nations have become alienated by hardening Chinese territorial claims in the Pacific. The South China Sea, where island chains such as the Spratlys and Paracels are disputed by China and Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Phillipines and Taiwan, has become a particular flashpoint.

China has arrested hundreds of Vietnamese fishermen in recent years. It has elevated its claim in the South China Sea to a “core issue” on par with Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet. Wary capitals in the region have been snapping up military hardware and drawing nearer to Washington. Even regional heavyweight Indonesia, which has stayed above the fray and does not claim any islands in the South China Sea, recently took up the defense of its ASEAN allies at the United Nations, stating China’s claim “clearly lacks international legal basis.” Secretary Hillary Clinton did the same on July 23 at the ASEAN Regional Forum, insisting “freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the South China Sea” were in America’s “national interest.” Beijing is still outraged that the U.S. has waded into the South China Sea imbroglio.

But Mrs Clinton’s stand risks being undermined by Mr Obama’s provocative weakness in the Yellow Sea. After weeks of coyness, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell announced in August that the George Washington would take part in scheduled military exercises in the Yellow Sea in the coming months. James Steinberg, deputy secretary of state, told China it had no one to blame but itself: "China is suffering the indignity of exercises close to its shores, and though they are not directed at China, the exercises are a direct result of China's support for North Korea and unwillingness to denounce their aggression."  However, the administration again changed course on August 20th, when a military spokesman announced the George Washington would not participate in September’s exercises, adding only that it “would operate in the waters off the Korean peninsula in future exercises.”

From the first sign of hesitation, Mr Obama signalled to China that US policy is subject to intimidation. Each subsequent reversal has only emboldened Beijing. Much of the political leadership of China still seems to prefer co-operation over confrontation with the United States, and ties between the two countries have grown remarkably broad if not particularly deep. But hardliners in the Communist Party, and particularly in the PLA, clearly resent America’s influence in Asia and are growing more assertive by the year in their attempts to roll that influence back. Damage has been done to US credibility by this whole episode, but the Obama administration must stand by its initial pledge to send the George Washington to the Yellow Sea.  With tensions between Japan and China fast on the rise after the arrest of the Chinese trawler captain, there is no better time to send a message to America’s allies that US influence in Asia will not be compromised by China’s rise. 
9593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I guess we know who calls the shots in asia now on: October 24, 2010, 09:49:54 PM

South Korean media reported Sunday that Seoul and Washington have called off plans to hold a major joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea this month.

Yonhap news agency quoted government sources as saying the exercise involving a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has been postponed to avoid tensions on the Korean peninsula during the upcoming G20 summit in Seoul.

There was no official confirmation of the reports.

The Chinese government has fiercely opposed the deployment of the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington in the regional waters.

The U.S. and South Korea have been holding a series of joint military exercises as a warning to North Korea after the sinking of a South Korean warship.

An international investigation concluded that the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan was caused by a torpedo launched from a North Korean ship. Pyongyang has called the report a fabrication.
9594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BooOOOOooooosh! on: October 24, 2010, 07:31:55 PM

How Bush Destroyed the Economy In Only Eight Short Years
posted at 2:50 pm on October 24, 2010 by directorblue
[ Economics ]   

The conventional wisdom among the denizens of the left is that George W. Bush took a surplus and destroyed the economy in only eight short years. The following illustrated story shows just how he pulled off this difficult task.
9595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama will make us all millionaires! on: October 24, 2010, 06:15:39 PM
Unfortunately, a loaf of bread will cost 500,000US.

9596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 02:30:18 PM

Joel Kotkin
The Golden State’s War on Itself
How politicians turned the California Dream into a nightmare

California has long been a destination for those seeking a better place to live. For most of its history, the state enacted sensible policies that created one of the wealthiest and most innovative economies in human history. California realized the American dream but better, fostering a huge middle class that, for the most part, owned their homes, sent their kids to public schools, and found meaningful work connected to the state’s amazingly diverse, innovative economy.

Recently, though, the dream has been evaporating. Between 2003 and 2007, California state and local government spending grew 31 percent, even as the state’s population grew just 5 percent. The overall tax burden as a percentage of state income, once middling among the states, has risen to the sixth-highest in the nation, says the Tax Foundation. Since 1990, according to an analysis by California Lutheran University, the state’s share of overall U.S. employment has dropped a remarkable 10 percent. When the state economy has done well, it has usually been the result of asset inflation—first during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, and then during the housing boom, which was responsible for nearly half of all jobs created earlier in this decade.

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, the state has fared even worse. Last year, California personal income fell 2.5 percent, the first such fall since the Great Depression and well below the 1.7 percent drop for the rest of the country. Unemployment may be starting to ebb nationwide, but not in California, where it approaches 13 percent, among the highest rates in the nation. Between 2008 and 2009, not one of California’s biggest cities outperformed such traditional laggards as New York, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia in employment growth, and four cities—Los Angeles, Oakland, Santa Ana, and San Bernardino–Riverside—sit very close to the bottom among the nation’s largest metro areas, just slightly ahead of basket cases like Detroit. Long a global exemplar, California is in danger of becoming, as historian Kevin Starr has warned, a “failed state.”

What went so wrong? The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.
9597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 02:11:39 PM

Joe Galvez, 43, was hit with a double dose of government cuts. He lost his job with the Los Angeles County Public Works Department in 2007 and hasn't been able to find steady work since. And, he said his son's high school is so strapped for funding that it has asked parents to donate money for school supplies.

"It's gotten so bad that schools are reaching out to the parents," said Galvez, a single father of three who collects scrap so he can come up with rent for the family's Baldwin Park home. "It's bad, man."

Cities across the state have taken stringent measures to balance their budgets, said Eva Spiegel, a spokeswoman with the League of California Cities.

Oakland laid off 80 police officers and delayed pothole repairs. Fullerton laid off 14 police officers and three firefighters, cut library hours and closed restrooms at several parks. Oceanside laid off 28 police officers and three firefighters, closed a swimming pool and a recreation center and eliminated the city Bookmobile.

"Decreasing sales tax revenues and decreasing property tax revenues mean that a lot of cities have had to do some belt tightening," Spiegel said.

Overall, the state's unemployment rate remained stuck at 12.4%, one of the highest in the nation. The state lost a net 63,600 jobs in September. Local governments shed 32,400 jobs, according to the monthly report from the state Employment Development Department released Friday.

The agency said 13,300 jobs were lost in construction, manufacturing shed 2,000, and even the usually dependable health and education services sector lost 13,600.

More pain is likely to come in government cuts.
9598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 02:00:20 PM
The mountain west is far more attractive than CA. LA is well on it's way to becoming Detroit with palm trees. But you should should definitely not consider moving, JDN.
9599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 24, 2010, 01:55:48 PM
So, when it doesn't run on gas, it runs on coal. Wonderful.
9600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: October 24, 2010, 01:24:46 PM

Wikileaks documents show WMDs found in Iraq

posted at 1:30 pm on October 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

In this case, the surprise isn’t the data but the source.  Wikileaks’ new release from purloined files of the Department of Defense may help remind people that, contrary to popular opinion and media memes, the US did find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and in significant quantities.  While the invasion of Iraq didn’t find huge stockpiles of new WMDs, it did uncover stockpiles that the UN had demanded destroyed as a condition of the 1991 truce that Saddam Hussein abrogated for twelve years (via Instapundit):

    An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.

    In August 2004, for instance, American forces surreptitiously purchased what they believed to be containers of liquid sulfur mustard, a toxic “blister agent” used as a chemical weapon since World War I. The troops tested the liquid, and “reported two positive results for blister.” The chemical was then “triple-sealed and transported to a secure site” outside their base. …

    Nearly three years later, American troops were still finding WMD in the region. An armored Buffalo vehicle unearthed a cache of artillery shells “that was covered by sacks and leaves under an Iraqi Community Watch checkpoint. “The 155mm rounds are filled with an unknown liquid, and several of which are leaking a black tar-like substance.” Initial tests were inconclusive. But later, “the rounds tested positive for mustard.”

Some of these discoveries have been known for years.  To the extent that the media covered these at all, these finds were generally treated as long-forgotten leftovers that somehow never got addressed by the Iraqi military in twelve years of UN inspections.  That, however, disregards completely the kind of totalitarian state that Hussein had imposed on Iraq, up to the minute that circumstances forced him into his spider hole in 2003.  Had Saddam Hussein wanted those weapons destroyed, no lower-ranking military officer would have dared defy him by keeping them hidden.  It would have taken dozens of officers to conspire to move and hide those weapons, as well as a like number of enlisted men, any and all of whom could have been a spy for the Hussein clique.

That would have had to have happened a number of times, not just once, organically arising in the ranks.  And why create a vast conspiracy of defiance to save the weapons that Saddam Hussein liked the most while Hussein himself complied with the UN?  Why not a conspiracy to just remove Hussein and his sons and let the military run the country instead?  Obviously, Hussein wanted to keep enough WMDs to use as terror weapons, not against the US, but against Iran in the event of an invasion from the east.

This isn’t exactly vindication of one of the arguments the Bush administration gave for invading Iraq, which was that Hussein had already begun stockpiling new WMDs and was working on nuclear weapons, but it is another vindication of the primary reason for restarting the war: Hussein and Iraq had violated the truce and refused to comply even after 17 UN resolutions demanding compliance.  Hussein never had any intention of abiding by the truce, for whatever motivations one wants to assign to him.  After the invasion, the US proved (through an armed-version of Wikileaks in Iraq’s diplomatic files) that the UN had allowed Hussein to grab billions in personal wealth by perverting the embargo in the Oil-for-Food Program, which would have given Hussein the means to fuel another WMD program as soon as the West withdrew from Iraq, and to restart Hussein’s dreams of pan-Arab dominance through military adventurism.  In the end, there were no good options.
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