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9601  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / National Palestinian Radio on: March 09, 2011, 07:45:08 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/08/npr-places-schiller-on-administrative-leave-over-okeefe-video/
 

NPR Stung!
9602  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Not going according to plan..... on: March 08, 2011, 05:32:08 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/08/meltdown-women-harassed-attacked-in-tahrir-square-during-international-womens-day-protests/

Not Jeffersonian.
9603  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Marriage and Family on: March 08, 2011, 05:04:32 PM
Vic,

Exactly what would he have to be "going through" to justify his behavior?
9604  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: March 08, 2011, 08:05:55 AM
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-03-06/worldwide-gender-gap-means-more-bachelors-in-asia/

"No country for young men."

9605  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Says All Middle East Oil Will Be Cut Off To the West" on: March 07, 2011, 05:35:28 PM
BREAKING: Iranian Official Admits Aiding Hezbollah, Says All Middle East Oil Will Be Cut Off To the West

Sepah News (the house organ of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard) reports:

    On Wednesday, March 2nd, Commander of the Basij organization, Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Naghdi spoke at a conference of specialist working groups of Basiji corps of engineers. “Seventy percent of the world’s fossil fuel reserve is under the feet of the soldiers of the Supreme Leadership and soon oil and gas fields belonging to Muslims, which is now in the hands of America will fall into the hands of the people; that will be the time when all those overlords will have sanctions put on them.” He added: “The enemy is heavily dependent on this energy and the events in the region has them quite agitated, this of course provides us with a hopeful future.”

    Naghdi added: “In combating the sanctions our engineers have achieved many impressive things which has clearly frustrated the enemy. And of course our engineers in the nuclear area were shining examples as they were faced with international powers which had colluded against us in preventing this project from going forward, but they did not succeed.”

    Naghdi admitted that the Basij militia was in fact instrumental in supporting Palestinians and the Hezbollah during the 22 day and 33 day wars and this has also sparked awareness among people around the world. He said: “Today Zionism is surrounded and it’s days are numbered. If we stay the course and carry out all plans as designed, the awareness that we have inspired will be the basis for the downfall of the overlords.’

    Underlining the importance of the changes taking place throughout the region and especially regarding Libya Naghdi claimed: “The Americans have installed their own agent there so that he resists; this then will be a reason for the U.S. to launch a military attack. They’ve always hated the idea of the oil being in control of Muslims, therefore they conspire against all those countries.” He added: “This military resistance in Libya resembles the atrocities committed by Saddam which in fact was America’s own set up as a part of creating the basis for total control over that country. Any action against Libya would be a stupider move than the stupidity of the invasion of Iraq. There are great men in that country and they will never allow their soil to be under American control for a single day. Should the U.S. attack any of the (liberated) countries, it will suffer a blow at the hand of all the nations of Islam.

    This decade is the decade of the people’s rule in our region, to push America out, destroy the Zionists; this of course adds to our responsibilities as we must protect and guarantee that all those people who have managed to free themselves, do not fall prey to the evil overlords.”

(Translation provided by “Reza Kahlili,” a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. A Time to Betray, his book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was published by Simon & Schuster on April 6.)
9606  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing Crisis Explained and Questions Answered on: March 07, 2011, 05:00:07 PM
FWIW, I think that's exactly the situation.
9607  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing Crisis Explained and Questions Answered on: March 07, 2011, 12:02:55 PM
Hey, thanks for lending your expertise.

Question: It is my belief that the market has a long way to go before we find the real bottom. Am I right or wrong in this?
9608  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: March 06, 2011, 06:52:00 PM
Loving Ya's analysis.  grin
9609  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: March 06, 2011, 03:12:04 PM
The concept of natural rights is utterly incompatible with islamic theology.
9610  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islamic tolerance alert! on: March 06, 2011, 09:31:53 AM
http://www.aina.org/news/20110304222016.htm

(AINA) -- A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George. There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the Church pastor Father Yosha and three deacons who were at church; some say they died in the fire and some say they are being held captive by the Muslims inside the church.

Witnesses report the mob prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. The army, which has been stationed for the last two days in the village of Bromil, 7 kilometers from Soul, initially refused to go into Soul, according to the officer in charge. When the army finally sent three tanks to the village, Muslim elders sent them away, saying that everything was "in order now."

A curfew has been imposed on the 12,000 Christians in the village.

This incident was triggered by a relationship between 40-year-old Copt Ashraf Iskander and a Muslim woman. Yesterday a "reconciliation" meeting was arranged between the relevant Coptic and Muslim families and together with the Muslim elders it was decided that Ashraf Iskander would have to leave the village because Muslims torched his house.

The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family's honor, which led the woman's brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin. The village Muslims blamed the Christians.

The Muslim mob attacked the church, exploding 5-6 gas cylinders inside the church, pulled down the cross and the domes and burnt everything inside. Activist Ramy Kamel of Katibatibia Coptic advocacy called US-based Coptic Hope Sat TV and sent an SOS on behalf of the Copts in Soul village, as they are presently being attacked by the mob. He also said that no one is able to contact the priest and the deacons inside the burning church and there is no answer from their mobile phones.

Coptic activist Wagih Yacoub reported the mob has broken into Coptic homes and has called on Copts to leave the village. "Terrorized Copts have fled and some hid in homes of Muslim neighbors," he added.

Witnesses said the mob chanted "Allahu Akbar" and vowed to conduct their morning prayers on the church plot after razing it.

By Mary Abdelmassih
9611  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 06, 2011, 09:20:43 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5835831-503544.html

Nine years ago, former Arkansas governor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee commuted the prison sentence of Maurice Clemmons, the man being sought by police in connection with the weekend murder of four police officers in Washington.

Huckabee's decision to commute Clemmons' sentence came "over the protests of prosecutors," according to the Seattle Times, which quotes an Arkansas prosecutor saying, "This is the day I've been dreading for a long time."

Huckabee distanced himself from Clemmons in a statement last night, writing that if Clemmons is found responsible for the murders, "it will be the result of a series of failures in the criminal justice system in both Arkansas and Washington State." Here's more from the statement:

    He was recommended for and received a commutation of his original sentence from 1990. This commutation made him parole eligible and he was then was paroled by the parole board once they determined he met the conditions at that time. He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him. It appears that he has continued to have a string of criminal and psychotic behavior but was not kept incarcerated by either state.

4620389Clemmons has a long criminal history that reportedly includes at least 13 felony convictions, and most recently had been in jail on charges of child rape. According to the Times, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison in 1990 for burglary and theft, when he was 18 years old; he had already been serving a 48 year prison sentence at the time, and faced another possible 95 years behind bars on separate charges. Huckabee reportedly commuted that sentence, pointing to the fact that Clemmons was just a teenager.

This is not the first time Huckabee, who is widely believed to be considering another presidential run, has faced questions tied to his intervention on behalf of a prisoner.

In 1985, a man named Wayne DuMond was convicted of the rape of a 17-year-old girl with a connection to then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. DuMond's sentence was set at life in prison, plus 20 years. In 1992, Clinton's successor in the Arkansas governor's mansion, Jim Guy Tucker, reduced that sentence to 39 years, making DuMond eligible for parole.

When Huckabee became governor in 1996, he expressed doubts about DuMond's guilt and said he was considering commuting his sentence to time served. After the victim and her supporters protested, Huckabee decided against commutation.

But in 1997, according to the Kansas City Star, Huckabee wrote a letter to DuMond saying "my desire is that you be released from prison." Less than a year later, DuMond was granted parole. He was later arrested for sexually assaulting and murder and was the leading suspect in a second rape and murder.

Huckabee's office denied that the governor played a role in the parole board's decision, but there was evidence to contradict that claim.

In 2007, Huckabee told CNN, "For people to now politicize these deaths and to try to make a political case out of it, rather than to simply understand that a system failed and that we ought to extend our grief and heartfelt sorrow to these families, I just regret that politics is reduced to that."
9612  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 06, 2011, 08:22:27 AM
http://patterico.com/2009/11/29/mike-huckabee-commuted-washington-murder-suspect/

11/29/2009
Mike Huckabee Commuted Washington Murder Suspect’s Prison Sentence
Filed under: Crime,Politics — DRJ @ 8:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The suspect in this morning’s murder of 4 Washington State police officers had his prison sentence commuted by Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee:

    “Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this morning of four Lakewood police officers, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

    Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

    “This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time,” Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.”

I think you can throw out those “Huckabee 2012″ bumper stickers. The Washington officials have some explaining to do, too.
9613  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 05, 2011, 08:22:42 PM
The above are four reasons I'll never vote for Huckabee for anything.
9614  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 05, 2011, 08:21:25 PM


Officer Gregory James Richards
Lakewood Police Department
Washington
End of Watch: Sunday, November 29, 2009

Biographical Info
Age: 42
Tour of Duty: 8 years
Badge Number: 135

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Sunday, November 29, 2009
Weapon Used: Officer's handgun
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Officer Greg Richards, Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Ronald Owens were shot and killed in an ambush attack while sitting inside a coffee shop in Parkland.

All four officers had just finished a call and went to the coffee shop to complete paperwork. Sergeant Renninger, Officer Owens and Officer Griswald were seated at a table, and Officer Richards was in line waiting to order coffee. The suspect entered the shop, walked directly over to the table where the three officers were sitting, drew a 9 mm handgun and shot Officer Griswald, killing her. The suspect then shot Sergeant Renninger, killing him.

After shooting the two officers, the suspect’s weapon jammed and he became involved in a physical fight with Officer Owens. During the struggle, the suspect drew a second weapon, a .38 caliber revolver and shot and killed Officer Owens. Officer Richards, hearing the shots, moved toward the suspect and became involved in physical fight with him. During the struggle, Officer Richards was able to shoot the suspect once in the torso, before the suspect was able to gain control of his weapon. The suspect then shot Officer Richards, killing him.

The suspect fled the location, prompting a two day manhunt. He was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer after the officer observed him near a stolen car. The officer attempted to take the suspect into custody, but the suspect refused to follow commands and attempted to flee, prompting the officer to fatally shoot him.

Officer Richards had served with the Lakewood Police Department for five years and had a total of eight years of law enforcement service. He is survived by his wife and three children.
9615  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 05, 2011, 08:20:16 PM


Officer Ronald Wilbur Owens II
Lakewood Police Department
Washington
End of Watch: Sunday, November 29, 2009

Biographical Info
Age: 37
Tour of Duty: 12 years
Badge Number: 121

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Sunday, November 29, 2009
Weapon Used: Handgun; .38 caliber
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Officer Ronald Owens, Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Greg Richards were shot and killed in an ambush style attack while sitting inside a coffee shop in Parkland.

All four officers had just finished a call and went to the coffee shop to complete paperwork. Sergeant Renninger, Officer Owens and Officer Griswald were seated at a table, and Officer Richards was in line waiting to order coffee. The suspect entered the shop, walked directly over to the table where the three officers were sitting, drew a 9 mm handgun and shot Officer Griswald, killing her. The suspect then shot Sergeant Renninger, killing him.

After shooting the two officers, the suspect’s weapon jammed and he became involved in a physical fight with Officer Owens. During the struggle, the suspect drew a second weapon, a .38 caliber revolver and shot and killed Officer Owens. Officer Richards, hearing the shots, moved toward the suspect and became involved in physical fight with him. During the struggle, Officer Richards was able to shoot the suspect once in the torso, before the suspect was able to gain control of his weapon. The suspect then shot Officer Richards, killing him.

The suspect fled the location, prompting a two day manhunt. He was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer after the officer observed him near a stolen car. The officer attempted to take the suspect into custody, but the suspect refused to follow commands and attempted to flee, prompting the officer to fatally shoot him.

Officer Owens had served with the Lakewood Police Department for five years and had a total of twelve years of law enforcement service. He is survived by his daughter.
9616  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 05, 2011, 08:18:42 PM


Sergeant Mark Joseph Renninger
Lakewood Police Department
Washington
End of Watch: Sunday, November 29, 2009

Biographical Info
Age: 39
Tour of Duty: 13 years
Badge Number: 23

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Sunday, November 29, 2009
Weapon Used: Handgun; 9 mm
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Greg Richards, and Officer Ronald Owens were shot and killed in an ambush style attack while sitting in a coffee shop in Parkland.

All four officers had just finished a call and went to the coffee shop to complete paperwork. Sergeant Renninger, Officer Owens and Officer Griswald were seated at a table, and Officer Richards was in line waiting to order coffee. The suspect entered the shop, walked directly over to the table where the three officers were sitting, drew a 9 mm handgun and shot Officer Griswald, killing her. The suspect then shot Sergeant Renninger, killing him.

After shooting the two officers, the suspect’s weapon jammed and he became involved in a physical fight with Officer Owens. During the struggle, the suspect drew a second weapon, a .38 caliber revolver and shot and killed Officer Owens. Officer Richards, hearing the shots, moved toward the suspect and became involved in physical fight with him. During the struggle, Officer Richards was able to shoot the suspect once in the torso, before the suspect was able to gain control of his weapon. The suspect then shot Officer Richards, killing him.

The suspect fled the location, prompting a two day manhunt. He was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer after the officer observed him near a stolen car. The officer attempted to take the suspect into custody, but the suspect refused to follow commands and attempted to flee, prompting the officer to fatally shoot him.

Sergeant Renninger had 13 years of law enforcement experience, five with the Lakewood Police Department and eight with the Tukwila Police Department. He is survived by his wife and three children.
9617  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 05, 2011, 08:17:19 PM


Officer Tina G. Griswold
Lakewood Police Department
Washington
End of Watch: Sunday, November 29, 2009

Biographical Info
Age: 40
Tour of Duty: 14 years
Badge Number: 101

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Sunday, November 29, 2009
Weapon Used: Handgun; 9 mm
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Officer Tina Griswold, Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Greg Richards, and Officer Ronald Owens were shot and killed in an ambush style attack while sitting inside a coffee shop in Parkland.

All four officers had just finished a call and went to the coffee shop to complete paperwork. Sergeant Renninger, Officer Owens and Officer Griswald were seated at a table, and Officer Richards was in line waiting to order coffee. The suspect entered the shop, walked directly over to the table where the three officers were sitting, drew a 9 mm handgun and shot Officer Griswald, killing her. The suspect then shot Sergeant Renninger, killing him.

After shooting the two officers, the suspect’s weapon jammed and he became involved in a physical fight with Officer Owens. During the struggle, the suspect drew a second weapon, a .38 caliber revolver and shot and killed Officer Owens. Officer Richards, hearing the shots, moved toward the suspect and became involved in physical fight with him. During the struggle, Officer Richards was able to shoot the suspect once in the torso, before the suspect was able to gain control of his weapon. The suspect then shot Officer Richards, killing him.

The suspect fled the location, prompting a two day manhunt. He was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer after the officer observed him near a stolen car. The officer attempted to take the suspect into custody, but the suspect refused to follow commands and attempted to flee, prompting the officer to fatally shoot him.

Officer Griswold had served with the Lakewood Police Department for five years and had a total of fourteen years of law enforcement service. She is survived by her husband and two children.
9618  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Nothing to see here" on: March 05, 2011, 05:37:45 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/261379/arid-uka-s-gratitude-mark-steyn?page=1

March 5, 2011 7:00 A.M.
Arid Uka’s Gratitude
Multiculturalism says he’s as German as Helmut and Franz. Except he’s not.


According to Bismarck’s best-known maxim on Europe’s most troublesome region, the Balkans are not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Americans could be forgiven for harboring similar sentiments after the murder of two U.S. airmen in Germany by a Kosovar Muslim.

Remember Kosovo? Me neither. But it was big at the time, launched by Bill Clinton in the wake of his Monica difficulties: Make war, not love, as the boomers advise. So Clinton did — and without any pesky U.N. resolutions, or even the pretense of seeking them. Instead, he and Tony Blair and even Jacques Chirac just cried “Bombs away!” and got on with it. And the Left didn’t mind at all —  because, for a modern Western nation, war is only legitimate if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever war you’re waging. Unlike Iraq and all its supposed “blood for oil,” in Kosovo no one remembers why we went in, what the hell the point of it was, or which side were the good guys. (Answer: Neither.) The principal rationale advanced by Clinton and Blair was that there was no rationale. This was what they called “liberal interventionism,” which boils down to: The fact that we have no reason to get into it justifies our getting into it.

A decade on, Kosovo is a sorta sovereign state, and in Frankfurt a young airport employee is so grateful for what America did for his people that he guns down U.S. servicemen while yelling “Allahu akbar!” The strange shrunken spectator who serves as president of the United States, offering what he called “a few words about the tragic event that took place,” announced that he was “saddened,” and expressed his “gratitude for the service of those who were lost” and would “spare no effort” to “work with the German authorities” but it was a “stark reminder” of the “extraordinary sacrifices that our men and women in uniform are making . . . ”

The passivity of these remarks is very telling. Men and women “in uniform” (which it’s not clear these airmen were even wearing) understand they may be called upon to make “extraordinary sacrifices” in battle. They do not expect to be “lost” on the shuttle bus at the hands of a civilian employee at a passenger air terminal in an allied nation. But then I don’t suppose their comrades expected to be “lost” at the hands of an army major at Fort Hood, to cite the last “tragic event” that “took place” — which seems to be the president’s preferred euphemism for a guy opening fire while screaming “Allahu akbar!” But relax, this fellow in Frankfurt was most likely a “lone wolf” (as Sen. Chuck Schumer described the Times Square bomber) or an “isolated extremist” (as the president described the Christmas Day Pantybomber). There are so many of these “lone wolves” and “isolated extremists” you may occasionally wonder whether they’ve all gotten together and joined Local 473 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves and Isolated Extremists, but don’t worry about it: As any Homeland Security official can tell you, “Allahu akbar” is Arabic for “Nothing to see here.”
9619  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Hezbollah-Mex narco connection? on: March 05, 2011, 03:50:47 PM

Only thing new there is the media attention.
9620  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Decline and Fall of the US Navy on: March 05, 2011, 09:24:53 AM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2011/03/todays-reading-assignment.html


Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Today's Reading Assignment

..Mark Helprin, writing in today's edition of The Wall Street Journal, on the continued decline of our Navy--and the potential consequences. Among his observations:

With the loss of a large number of important bases world-wide, if and when the U.S. projects military power it must do so most of the time from its own territory or the sea. Immune to political cross-currents, economically able to cover multiple areas, hypoallergenic to restive populations and safe from insurgencies, fleets are instruments of undeniable utility in support of allies and response to aggression. Forty percent of the world's population lives within range of modern naval gunfire, and more than two-thirds within easy reach of carrier aircraft. Nothing is better or safer than naval power and presence to preserve the often fragile reticence among nations, to protect American interests and those of our allies, and to prevent the wars attendant to imbalances of power and unrestrained adventurism.

And yet the fleet has been made to wither even in time of war. We have the smallest navy in almost a century, declining in the past 50 years to 286 from 1,000 principal combatants. Apologists may cite typical postwar diminutions, but the ongoing 17% reduction from 1998 to the present applies to a navy that unlike its wartime predecessors was not previously built up. These are reductions upon reductions. Nor can there be comfort in the fact that modern ships are more capable, for so are the ships of potential opponents. And even if the capacity of a whole navy could be packed into a small number of super ships, they could be in only a limited number of places at a time, and the loss of just a few of them would be catastrophic.

[snip]

As China's navy rises and ours declines, not that far in the future the trajectories will cross. Rather than face this, we seduce ourselves with redefinitions such as the vogue concept that we can block with relative ease the straits through which the strategic materials upon which China depends must transit. But in one blink this would move us from the canonical British/American control of the sea to the insurgent model of lesser navies such as Germany's in World Wars I and II and the Soviet Union's in the Cold War. If we cast ourselves as insurgents, China will be driven even faster to construct a navy that can dominate the oceans, a complete reversal of fortune.

As we noted in a previous post, signs of our naval decline were on display in recent weeks, as the Libyan crisis began to unfold. Instead of sending a warship to rescue American citizens from that country (as the British did), the U.S. hired a commercial ferry. One reason: there was only one U.S. warship in the Mediterranean at the time, although a carrier battle group and an amphibious group were only three days away, in the Red Sea. Those assets have since re-deployed to the Med.

We neglect our Navy at our own peril. A few years back, the Royal Navy, which ruled the waves for centuries, held a review of the fleet. The Queen was there, along with most of Britain's senior defense officials. Wags said the only no-show was the British fleet; the largest vessel that passed in review that day as an oiler.

America's Navy hasn't reached that point--yet. But in an era when federal spending must be reduced, it is very easy to say we have "no peer competitors" (to use Dr. Gates's phrase) and use that as an excuse to downsize the military. A modern Navy is expensive to build and expensive to operate. Yet, it represents an essential investment, not only for the United States but for the west as a whole.

Did we mention that China is currently building five fleet carriers which will join the PLAN by 2020? Beijing is building a Navy for the future, while ours continues to decline. We've been down this road before (think Japan in the 1930s) and paid dearly for our mistakes. The next time, we may not be as lucky.
9621  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: American History on: March 04, 2011, 08:34:00 PM
You might want to send a copy to the white house.
9622  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: March 04, 2011, 03:51:28 PM
Well, I think we should kill Ka-daffy. No as far as nation-building though.
9623  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: March 04, 2011, 01:12:23 PM
"Are they noticing?"

No.
9624  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: March 04, 2011, 01:11:21 PM
http://investigation.discovery.com/videos/solved-cell-phone-tracking.html

**A quick tutorial on cell phone location technology in the US. From what I understand, China's domestic security structure would use cell tracking technology to supplement what they use now, not making much difference in the overall capacity of the state to reach out after any dissidents.
9625  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: March 04, 2011, 12:21:47 PM
With an intention of figuring out how to get away with doing this in the US,  highly placed anonymous sources who regularly read this forum for its penetrating insight, have asked us to see if we can ferret out GM's response to this development  cheesy

That technology has been here a long time.  rolleyes
9626  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Embrace the jihad on: March 04, 2011, 07:49:42 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/03/AR2011030305531.html?hpid=topnews

Obama administration prepares for possibility of new post-revolt Islamist regimes

By Scott Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 4, 2011; 12:00 AM

The Obama administration is preparing for the prospect that Islamist governments will take hold in North Africa and the Middle East, acknowledging that the popular revolutions there will bring a more religious cast to the region's politics.


The administration is already taking steps to distinguish between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in government. An internal assessment, ordered by the White House last month, identified large ideological differences between such movements as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda that will guide the U.S. approach to the region.

"We shouldn't be afraid of Islam in the politics of these countries," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal policy deliberations. "It's the behavior of political parties and governments that we will judge them on, not their relationship with Islam."
9627  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GB 3/3/11 on: March 03, 2011, 05:03:14 PM
1. Van Jones still a communist douche.

2. Police unions should take a long, hard look at whom they are allied with.

3. Radicals like VJ use mainstream groups to hide their radical agendas.
9628  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 03, 2011, 04:03:40 PM
ccp,

He could calmly espouse any position. He reminds me of the Japanese pop stars that are just computer generated voices/images.
9629  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: March 03, 2011, 02:41:59 PM
It seems to me that the Mitt-bot can be programmed to advocate any political position needed.
9630  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Here is the factual support on: March 03, 2011, 11:36:00 AM
Gotta admit, "Real bullets outperform bean bags every time".

In and of itself, that's a true statement...   smiley

But is it also true...

"Border Patrol Agent Terry and the BORTAC team were under standing orders to always use ("non-lethal") bean-bag rounds first before using live ammunition."

Seems like a story (rumor without factual support) traveling fast across the internet with no substance so far.

http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_681d29cf-845a-5aea-9f34-3837d70b8a31.html

Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show.

And an illegal immigrant wounded in the gunbattle who is now the only person in custody linked to the slaying contends he never fired a shot, according to FBI search warrant requests filed in the U.S. District Court in Tucson.

The documents provide the most detailed version yet of what happened in the deadly gunbattle Dec. 14 in Peck Canyon, northwest of Nogales.

The documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight.

Border Patrol officials declined to answer questions about protocol for use of force, citing the ongoing investigation.

But Terry's brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It's a policy that doesn't make sense to Kent Terry.

"You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags - I don't get it," Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. "It's like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. ... These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own."

On the night of the deadly encounter, agents were trying to apprehend at least five suspected illegal immigrants. One agent, using thermal binoculars, spotted two men carrying rifles. When the group came close, at least one agent identified himself as police and ordered the men to drop their weapons.

Here's how the rest of the events are described in the FBI document:

"When the suspected aliens did not drop their weapons, two Border Patrol agents deployed 'less than lethal' beanbags at the suspected aliens. At this time, at least one of the suspected aliens fired at the Border Patrol agents. Two Border Patrol agents returned fire, one with his long gun and one with his pistol.

"Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot with one bullet and died shortly after. One of the suspected illegal aliens, later identified as Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, was also shot."

The search warrants were requested to examine fingerprints and a hair sample from Osorio-Arellanes, who was one of four men arrested that night near the shooting scene. The other three arrested, illegal immigrants from Mexico, have been cleared in connection with the crime and deported back to their home countries.

Osorio-Arellanes has not been charged in connection with the fatal shooting. He has been charged only with illegal re-entry after deportation and is awaiting a May 10 trial. The FBI document represents the first time his name has been included in a public document related to the shooting.

Two days after the shooting, Osorio-Arellanes agreed to talk to FBI agents. He was traveling with four others that night, all of whom were armed, Osorio-Arellanes told investigators, according to the document.

"Osorio-Arellanes stated that he had raised his weapon towards the Border Patrol agents, but he did not fire because he realized that they were Border Patrol agents," the search warrant says. "At this time, he was shot."
9631  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Longhorns 17, Badgers 1 on: March 03, 2011, 11:22:16 AM
http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/longhorns-17-badgers-1.html

Longhorns 17, Badgers 1

Please pardon this brief departure from my normal folderol, but every so often a member of the chattering class issues a nugget of stupidity so egregious that no amount of mockery will suffice. Particularly when the issuer of said stupidity holds a Nobel Prize.

Case in point: Paul Krugman. The Times' staff economics blowhard recently typed, re the state of education in Texas:

And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78 percent of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average.

Similarly, The Economist passes on what appears to be the cut-'n'-paste lefty factoid du jour:

    Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

    South Carolina – 50th
    North Carolina – 49th
    Georgia – 48th
    Texas – 47th
    Virginia – 44th

    If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.

The point being, I suppose, is that unionized teachers stand as a thin chalk-stained line keeping Wisconsin from descending into the dystopian non-union educational hellscape of Texas. Interesting, if it wasn't complete bullshit.

As a son of Iowa, I'm no stranger to bragging about my home state's ranking on various standardized test. Like Wisconsin we Iowans usually rank near the top of the heap on average ACT/SAT scores. We are usually joined there by Minnesota, Nebraska, and the various Dakotas; Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire...

... beginning to see a pattern? Perhaps because a state's "average ACT/SAT" is, for all intents and purposes, a proxy for the percent of white people who live there. In fact, the lion's share of state-to-state variance in test scores is accounted for by differences in ethnic composition. Minority students - regardless of state residence - tend to score lower than white students on standardized test, and the higher the proportion of minority students in a state the lower its overall test scores tend to be.

Please note: this has nothing to do with innate ability or aptitude. Quite to the contrary, I believe the test gap between minority students and white students can be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status. And poverty. And yes, racism. And yes, family structure. Whatever combination of reasons, the gap exists, and it's mathematical sophistry to compare the combined average test scores in a state like Wisconsin (4% black, 4% Hispanic) with a state like Texas (12% black, 30% Hispanic).

So how to compare educational achievement between two states with such dissimilar populations? In data analysis this is usually done by treating ethnicity as a "covariate." A very simple way to do this is by comparing educational achievement between states within the same ethnic group. In other words, do black students perform better in Wisconsin than Texas? Do Hispanic students perform better in Wisconsin or Texas? White students? If Wisconsin's kids consistently beat their Texas counterparts, after controlling for ethnicity, then there's a strong case that maybe Texas schools ought to become a union shop.

Luckily, there is data to answer this question via the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP is an annual standardized test given to 4th and 8th graders around the country to measure proficiency in math, science, and reading. Participation is fairly universal; if you've had a 4th or 8th grader in the last few years, you're probably familiar with it. Results are compiled on the NAEP website, broken down by grade, state, subject and ethnicity.

So how does brokeass, dumbass, redneck Texas stack up against progressive unionized Wisconsin?

2009 4th Grade Math

White students: Texas 254, Wisconsin 250 (national average 248)
Black students: Texas 231, Wisconsin 217 (national 222)
Hispanic students: Texas 233, Wisconsin 228 (national 227)

2009 8th Grade Math

White students: Texas 301, Wisconsin 294 (national 294)
Black students: Texas 272, Wisconsin 254 (national 260)
Hispanic students: Texas 277, Wisconsin 268 (national 260)

2009 4th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 232, Wisconsin 227 (national 229)
Black students: Texas 213, Wisconsin 192 (national 204)
Hispanic students: Texas 210, Wisconsin 202 (national 204)

2009 8th Grade Reading

White students: Texas 273, Wisconsin 271 (national 271)
Black students: Texas 249, Wisconsin 238 (national 245)
Hispanic students: Texas 251, Wisconsin 250 (national 248)

2009 4th Grade Science

White students: Texas 168, Wisconsin 164 (national 162)
Black students: Texas 139, Wisconsin 121 (national 127)
Hispanic students: Wisconsin 138, Texas 136 (national 130)

2009 8th Grade Science

White students: Texas 167, Wisconsin 165 (national 161)
Black students: Texas 133, Wisconsin 120 (national 125)
Hispanic students: Texas 141, Wisconsin 134 (national 131)

To recap: white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.

Perhaps the most striking thing in these numbers is the within-state gap between white and minority students. Not only did white Texas students outperform white Wisconsin students, the gap between white students and minority students in Texas was much less than the gap between white and minority students in Wisconsin. In other words, students are better off in Texas schools than in Wisconsin schools - especially minority students.

Conclusion: instead of chanting slogans in Madison, maybe it's time for Wisconsin teachers to take refresher lessons from their non-union counterparts in the Lone Star State.

****
Update: a few emails complaining that I focused on NAEP 4th and 8th graders, and didn't address Krugman's "point" about Texas dropout rates. I would note that "average state dropout rate" (non-controlled for ethnicity) is as uninformative as "average state ACT/SAT." Some research suggests Hispanic students, for example, tend to have higher dropout rates than black students despite performing marginally better on standardized tests. But still, the level of Texas dropout rate claimed by Krugman (38%+) is rather disturbing, and it does seem rather odd that somewhere between 8th and 12th grade Texas students are attacked by an epidemic of stupidity.

So I decided to investigate.

Mr. Krugman (please note - I don't call anyone "Doctor" unless they can write me a prescription for drugs) doesn't mention where he gets his dropout statistic from. I suspect a database somewhere in his lower intestine. So I endeavored to find most detailed / recent / comprehensive state-by-state dropout table, which appears to be this 2006-7 report from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Event Dropout Rates for 9th-12th graders during 2006-7 school year:

White students: Texas 1.9%, Wisconsin 1.2% (national average 3.0%)
Black students: Texas 5.8%, Wisconsin 7.8% (national 6.8%)
Hispanic students: Texas 5.6%, Wisconsin 5.2% (national 6.5%)

White and Hispanic Texas students indeed seem to dropout at a higher rate than their counterparts in Wisconsin, although in both cases (a) the difference is not statistically significant; and (b) in both cases, both states are significantly below the national average. Among black high school students, Texans have significantly lower dropout rates than their national cohort and Wisconsinites. Black high school students in Wisconsin have significantly higher dropout rates than national.

Your first question is probably, "why do the union teachers in Wisconsin hate black students?" Sorry, can't help you there, I'm stumped too.

Your second question is probably, "why are these number so discrepant with the 30% dropout numbers I've always read?" The reason is these are event rates, representing the probability a kid will drop out in a specific year. For cumulative dropout rate, you would have to compound; for example if the 1-year dropout rate is 10% the 4 year survival would roughly be 0.9^4 =~ 65%.
9632  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The price of sharia's blasphemy laws on: March 02, 2011, 06:00:31 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/02/haunting-video-assassinated-pakistani-christian-cabinet-minister-on-why-he-defied-threats-on-his-life/

Haunting video: Assassinated Pakistani Christian cabinet minister on why he defied threats on his life

posted at 4:16 pm on March 2, 2011 by Allahpundit


This makes two Pakistani officials murdered in two months for the “crime” of opposing the country’s blasphemy laws. The first, Punjabi governor Salman Taseer, was gunned down in January by one of his own security people. Who, naturally, was then treated as a hero by Pakistan’s many, many jihadi sympathizers.

Taseer was a liberal Muslim; Shahbaz Bhatti was a Catholic, which made him both a blasphemer and an apostate. He was a marked man and he knew it only too well, as Nina Shea vividly recounts at The Corner:

    He had waged a strong campaign — inside the government as a minister and outside it in cooperation with human-rights groups — for the repeal of the country’s draconian blasphemy law, which mandates the death penalty for insulting Islam. The 42-year-old was a Roman Catholic, the government’s only Christian minister, and the longtime head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, a non-governmental organization promoting national unity, interfaith harmony, social justice, and human equality…

    Death threats were a constant in Bhatti’s life for many years. He once told me that he had never married because he did not think it would be fair to a wife and children to subject them to this concern. His work was his life: At the end of each day, he left his government Cabinet office and headed over to his office at the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, where he continued to help Pakistan’s persecuted minorities until late into the night.

    “I personally stand for religious freedom, even if I will pay the price of my life,” he had said when he received the USCIRF award. “I live for this principle and I want to die for this principle.”

A pamphlet left at the scene named Bhatti in connection with the blasphemy laws and claimed responsibility for Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Punjab. The second video below shows what they did to his car; this graphic photo from Getty will give you an idea of what they did to him. It’s the first video, though, that’s unforgettable — recorded four months ago, even before Taseer’s assassination, a weary Bhatti contemplates his fate. So sure was he of being murdered, in fact, that he left instructions with friends to send this clip to broadcasters when the inevitable deed was done. He reminds me of Franz Jagerstatter, another devout Catholic who resisted monsters knowing full well what the consequences would be. Jagerstatter is already on his way to sainthood; I assume the process will begin for Bhatti sooner rather than later.

The fact that he spent years working for human rights but only recently felt compelled to record a postmortem testimonial tells you everything you need to know about where Pakistan is these days. Hitchens marveled just yesterday at how “sick” our relationship with this sickening country is; the only silver lining in withdrawing from Afghanistan will be that we can stop pretending that we’re impartial as between India and this cancer on the region. Which won’t be much of a comfort to India: The weaker and more insane Pakistan gets, the more fissile material they pile up, and the more a horrendous outcome — a suicide bombing on a global scale — seems all but assured. I’m not sure there’s any way out.



9633  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / GB 3/2/11 on: March 02, 2011, 05:01:43 PM
1. "Perfect Storm" Borders, Jihad, economic collapse and others ills gathering to destroy the US.

2. Economic Warfare. Beck discussed the DoD report on the 2008 economic collapse, as seen in the political economics thread.

3. Beck pointed out socialist indoctrination in a textbook.
9634  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eric Holder: Black Panther case focus demeans 'my people' on: March 02, 2011, 07:39:32 AM
http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0311/Eric_Holder_Black_Panther_case_focus_demeans_my_people.html

Eric Holder: Black Panther case focus demeans 'my people'

Attorney General Eric Holder finally got fed up Tuesday with claims that the Justice Department went easy in a voting rights case against members of the New Black Panther Party because they are African American.

Holder's frustration over the criticism became evident during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing as Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) accused the Justice Department of failing to cooperate with a Civil Rights Commission investigation into the handling of the 2008 incident in which Black Panthers in intimidating outfits and wielding a club stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia.

The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.

"Think about that," Holder said. "When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia, which was inappropriate....to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people," said Holder, who is black.

Holder noted that his late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone Jones, helped integrate the University of Alabama.

"To compare that kind of courage, that kind of action, to say some Black Panther incident is of greater concern to us, historically, I think just flies in the face of history," Holder said with evident exasperation.

In a series of questions and comments earlier in the hearing, Culberson insisted that race had infected the decision-making process. "There’s clearly overwhelming evidence that your Department of Justice refuses to protect the rights of anybody other than African-Americans to vote," the Texas Republican said. "There's a double standard here."
9635  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Shoot like a warrior.... on: March 01, 2011, 08:47:22 PM
....For all of your days.

9636  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glen Beck and related matters on: March 01, 2011, 08:01:08 PM
Kinda like BHO.
9637  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Today's GB 3/1/11 on: March 01, 2011, 05:13:12 PM
1. The US is exporting inflation around the world, causing instability.

2. The International Socialist Organization and the AFL/CIO Wisc. have seemingly merged.

3. Van Jones is still a communist douche.
9638  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 01, 2011, 12:13:23 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/28/financial-terrorism-suspected-in-08-economic-crash/

Evidence outlined in a Pentagon contractor report suggests that financial subversion carried out by unknown parties, such as terrorists or hostile nations, contributed to the 2008 economic crash by covertly using vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system.

The unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that “a three-phased attack was planned and is in the process against the United States economy.”

While economic analysts and a final report from the federal government's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blame the crash on such economic factors as high-risk mortgage lending practices and poor federal regulation and supervision, the Pentagon contractor adds a new element: “outside forces,” a factor the commission did not examine.

“There is sufficient justification to question whether outside forces triggered, capitalized upon or magnified the economic difficulties of 2008,” the report says, explaining that those domestic economic factors would have caused a “normal downturn” but not the “near collapse” of the global economic system that took place.

Suspects include financial enemies in Middle Eastern states, Islamic terrorists, hostile members of the Chinese military, or government and organized crime groups in Russia, Venezuela or Iran. Chinese military officials publicly have suggested using economic warfare against the U.S.
Michael G. Vickers, assistant secretary of defense for special operations, said the Pentagon was not the appropriate agency to assess economic warfare and financial terrorism risks. (Associated Press)Michael G. Vickers, assistant secretary of defense for special operations, said the Pentagon was not the appropriate agency to assess economic warfare and financial terrorism risks. (Associated Press)

In an interview with The Times, Mr. Freeman said his report provided enough theoretical evidence for an economic warfare attack that further forensic study was warranted.

“The new battle space is the economy,” he said. “We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems each year. But a relatively small amount of money focused against our financial markets through leveraged derivatives or cyber efforts can result in trillions of dollars in losses. And, the perpetrators can remain undiscovered.
9639  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2008: Were we pushed? on: March 01, 2011, 09:22:38 AM
http://www.scribd.com/doc/49755779/Economic-Warfare-Risks-and-Responses-by-Kevin-D-Freeman

Economic Warfare.

9640  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam the religion and theocratic politics on: February 28, 2011, 01:42:49 PM
Abu Khaled, a Jordanian jihadist who fought in Iraq with the insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, suggested that Al Qaeda would benefit in the long run from dashed hopes.

“At the end of the day, how much change will there really be in Egypt and other countries?” he asked. “There will be many disappointed demonstrators, and that’s when they will realize what the only alternative is. We are certain that this will all play into our hands.”

Michael Scheuer, author of a new biography of Mr. bin Laden and head of the C.I.A.’s bin Laden unit in the late 1990s, thinks such enthusiasm is more than wishful thinking.

Mr. Scheuer says he believes that Americans, including many experts, have wildly misjudged the uprisings by focusing on the secular, English-speaking, Westernized protesters who are a natural draw for television. Thousands of Islamists have been released from prisons in Egypt alone, and the ouster of Al Qaeda’s enemy, Mr. Mubarak, will help revitalize every stripe of Islamism, including that of Al Qaeda and its allies, he said.

“The talent of an organization is not just leadership, but taking advantage of opportunities,” Mr. Scheuer said. In Al Qaeda and its allies, he said, “We’re looking over all at a more geographically widespread, probably numerically bigger and certainly more influential movement than in 2001.”
9641  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China on: February 28, 2011, 01:39:33 PM
I don't want Huawei anywhere in the US, in any way.
9642  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 28, 2011, 01:37:04 PM
Bwahahahahaha!





Not going anywhere near snopes.
9643  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 28, 2011, 09:41:53 AM
My wife hates Cokehead Barry and looks forward to helping vote him out in 2012.
9644  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU on: February 28, 2011, 09:35:39 AM
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=84759

Not by my reading of the EO above. You're the one with the JD, you tell me.
9645  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU on: February 28, 2011, 08:50:59 AM
We have abundant casus belli to reach out and put an end to Ka-daffy. We should have long ago.
9646  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 28, 2011, 08:48:26 AM
And yet you weren't offended by Obama's self-admitted cocaine use, 20 years with a racist Rev. (Friend of Col. Gadaffi, to boot) and home purchased through a convicted felon.....
9647  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Breaking: Iran Has Several Military Bases in Libya on: February 28, 2011, 07:11:32 AM
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/breaking-iran-has-several-military-bases-in-libya/

Breaking: Iran Has Several Military Bases in Libya
According to an inside source, the military collaborations between Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the Gaddafi government date back to 2006.
February 27, 2011 - by 'Reza Kahlili'


In an interview today on the Al Arabyia news network, an informed source within the Revolutionary Guards Corps revealed that Iran has several military bases in Libya.

The source, who requested anonymity due to his sensitive position within the Guards, elaborated further that the Iranian military bases are located mostly along Libya’s borders with the African countries of Chad and Niger. From there, he said, the Guards actively smuggle arms and supply logistical assistance to rebellious groups in the African countries.

According to this source, Guards enter Libya under the guise of oil company employees. Most of these companies are under the control of the Revolutionary Guards.

The source, who is a colonel in the Guards, added that Gaddafi and his government are quite aware of these activities and have even signed joint contracts with those Iranian oil companies so that the the Guards can enter Libya without any trouble.

The colonel stated that with the current unrest in Libya, over 500 Guards  have been unable to evacuate and are under orders to destroy all documents.

According to this source, the military collaborations between the Revolutionary Guards and the Gaddafi government date back to 2006.

It is important to note that Nigerian officials recently confiscated an Iranian arms shipment destined for Gambia. The weapons included mortars, rockets, and shells for anti-aircraft guns and were hidden in containers marked building materials. Nigerian officials have accused a suspected member of the Guards and a Nigerian of illegally importing arms and have set the trial for later this year.
————–
Also read: “Endgame in Libya? Gaddafi’s ‘nurse’ to leave Tripoli”

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. A Time to Betray, his book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was published by Simon & Schuster on April 6.
9648  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU on: February 28, 2011, 07:06:37 AM
You'll have to stretch the definition of freedom/democracy pretty far to describe what will happen with the MB/other jihadists in charge.
9649  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 28, 2011, 07:04:20 AM
"I honor his previous historic accomplishments, but 1994 was 18 years before 2012, and his feat of sweeping congress has now been repeated.  I honestly see him as a policy developer, spokesman and strategist,  not the nominee or the President."

Exactly.
9650  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A First-Hand Report from a ‘Jasmine Rally’ in Shanghai on: February 27, 2011, 10:02:31 PM
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/first-hand-report-from-a-jasmine-rally-in-shanghai/?singlepage=true

A First-Hand Report from a ‘Jasmine Rally’ in Shanghai
Will the wave of change sweeping the Middle East spread to the Far East and hasten political reform in the world’s largest unelected dictatorship?
February 27, 2011 - by John Parker


In mid-February, as the anti-authoritarian wave sweeping the Middle East continued to gather momentum, a Twitter user using the account name of Shudong posted a tweet announcing that “Jasmine Revolution” rallies would be held on February 20th in every large city in China, and announced that the details would be posted later elsewhere. This information was indeed posted as promised, apparently on the U.S.-based website Boxun.com; it called for rallies to be held on the 20th in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Nanjing, and other major cities around the country, and repeated every seven days thereafter, until such time as the organizers’ concerns were met.

According to a translation posted on the China Digital Times website, which often reports on dissident and other pro-democracy activities, the Jasmine organizers cited a number of grievances as the reason for their action, including:

    * corruption (“a government that grows more corrupt by the day…”)
    * high inequality (“Why is it that in just the last few decades China has gone from being a country with the smallest gap between the rich and the poor to one with the largest?”)
    * high inflation (“The excessive printing of currency is recklessly diluting the value of the people’s wealth.”)
    * lack of judicial independence (“we are resolute in asking the government and the officials to accept the supervision of ordinary Chinese people, and we must have an independent judiciary.”)
    * the one-party system itself (“China belongs to every Chinese person, not to any political party…. The Chinese people’s thirst for freedom and democracy is unstoppable”.)

Interestingly, the “freedom and democracy” language was a direct quote from China’s current premier, Wen Jiabao, and acknowledged as such. Premier Wen spoke those words during a remarkable CNN interview last year, where he appeared to support the idea of political reform, triggering speculation of a rift within China’s top leadership over fundamental political issues. On the morning of February 26th, in an action that seemed clearly timed to pre-empt the second weekly Jasmine Rally (scheduled for the afternoon of the 27th), Wen conducted a highly unusual web chat with Chinese citizens, in which he promised to address a number of the grievances raised by the Jasmine Rally organizers, including taming inflation, runaway property prices, and environmental damage. This chat was heavily covered by Xinhua, the Chinese Communist Party-controlled news service, but tellingly, no mention was made of political reform.

It was unclear whether this extraordinary chat was instigated by Wen himself, or by China’s top leaders as a whole. Regardless of which is the case, the lack of any similar action by President Hu Jintao was very conspicuous. This was consistent with Hu’s reputation: his unwillingness to consider even the most timid political reforms has been duly noted by China’s people, who have begun referring to him in sardonic Internet postings as “Hu-barak” or (more recently) “Hu-ammar Qaddafi.” These appellations are partly a response to the Chinese regime’s pervasive Internet censorship, which has cracked down heavily on postings that mention the fallen Arab dictators by name.

Unfortunately, the Wen chat was only the nice-guy public face of Beijing’s response to the Jasmine Rallies — the mere suggestion that its top leaders could end up like Hosni Mubarak appears to have given the CCP a serious case of the vapors, and its response was strikingly disproportionate to the actual act which triggered the rallies. Within hours of the first postings, according to Chinese sources cited by CDT, police were requesting server logs to hunt down “Shudong,” who had posted anonymously. Detentions of several top dissidents soon followed, while others were put under house arrest. CCP goons even threatened to rape the wife of one dissident, according to technology blogger Jason Ng. Ng also cited claims on some websites that the army had been issued live ammunition to deal with the protests.
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