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9751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Drones Target Terror Plot on: September 28, 2010, 07:57:58 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703694204575518553113206756.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to discuss the current European terrorism intelligence with her European counterparts at a U.N. aviation security meeting this week in Montreal. "We are in constant contact with our colleagues abroad," she told a Senate panel last week. "We are all seeing increased activity by a more diverse set of groups and a more diverse set of threats. That activity, much of which is Islamist in nature, is directed at the West generally."
9752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: September 28, 2010, 07:45:11 AM
I said it years ago. When it is all said and done, we'll find out that Pakistan's ISI knew where OBL went from Tora Bora, and most likely helped him evade US forces.
9753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: September 28, 2010, 07:32:39 AM
"The Foxification of the henhouse".  rolleyes
9754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 09:57:27 PM
Here are basic principles that apply across time and culture:

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


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

Those who neglect history are doomed to repeat it.

As Crafty already pointed out, remember another country with a chip on it's should for past grievances, a wave of nationalist fever in it's population and a growing military looking to expand it's territory? Remember those who thought appeasement would bring them "peace in our time"?
9755  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 09:34:45 PM
JDN,

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

Send black ships into Hong Kong?

No, as I said before, we move the 7th fleet, which just happens to be patrolling the western pacific right now, to escort the Japanese Coast Guard as it patrols it's legally recognized territory. Then we see what moves China does or does not make.
9756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: September 27, 2010, 08:53:33 PM
http://pajamasmedia.com/claudiarosett/aliens-schmaliens-pakistan/

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

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

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

Reportedly, the Obama administration did nothing to stop Pakistan winning the chairmanship of the IAEA governing board. The U.S. sits on the IAEA governing board. But according to Reuters, U.S. officials nodded along, just as they did this past spring when Iran won a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Reuters reports : “No country opposed Pakistan’s nomination by a group of Middle Eastern and south Asian member states at a meeting of the IAEA governors.” Citing an anonymous diplomat who attended the session, Reuters reports that the choice of Pakistan was approved “by acclamation.”
9757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 06:28:38 PM
As I said before, we can't afford a trade war. I would send the 7th fleet to escort Japanese Coast Guard ships as they resume their patrols of their territorial waters. This would rock Beijing and the Sinohawks/PLA elements out of favor just as China's next generation of leadership sorts it's self out.

That can turn this win into a painful defeat for them that will moderate their aggressive behavior.

If this move were to turn this into a shooting war, now is better than later. Later, we will be weaker, later, they will be stronger.
9758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTH-China Imposes a Steep Tariff on U.S. Poultry on: September 27, 2010, 06:01:12 PM
Published: September 26, 2010

HONG KONG — Days after it flexed its economic muscle in a diplomatic dispute with Japan, China  continued to display a more assertive international economic policy on Sunday as it imposed steep tariffs on poultry imports from the United States.

China’s commerce ministry announced on its Web site that it would impose import tariffs on American poultry of up to 105.4 percent. It said the tariffs reflected the result of its own antidumping investigation, which looked at whether the United States was harming China’s poultry industry by exporting chicken parts for less than it cost to produce them.

The commerce ministry started the investigation less than two days after President Obama imposed steep tariffs on Chinese tires a year ago. Chinese officials have denied that the inquiry was in retaliation, but poultry is one of the few categories in which the United States runs a trade surplus with China, making it an ideal target for Chinese trade actions.

The tariffs are another example of China’s willingness to use its economic leverage when it feels it is being challenged. An official at one of Japan’s top traders in rare earth minerals said on Monday that there appeared to be no resumption in shipments to Japan, a result of a still-simmering dispute over Japan’s arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said traders were watching closely to see whether Chinese customs would start letting shipments through again. “China’s rising assertiveness on the international economic stage reflects its growing economic might and the self-confidence of its leadership, but is tempered by the realization that it faces many challenges in terms of its own development,” said Eswar S. Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell.

Carol J. Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the United States trade representative, said, “We are disappointed that duties are to be imposed and will be examining the determination for consistency with applicable rules.”

Quarrels over products as diverse as chickens and rare earth minerals might seem like minor spats. But they come against the backdrop of China’s vigorous defense of its currency policy, and its stepped-up activity in the World Trade Organization.
9759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The new East Asia world order on: September 27, 2010, 05:41:34 PM
http://taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2010/09/27/2003483895

EDITORIAL : The new East Asia world order

Monday, Sep 27, 2010, Page 8
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was no doubt pleased last week when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) offered his reassurances concerning the missiles China has aimed at Taiwan. Ma has repeatedly called on Beijing to remove the missiles if the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are to begin political negotiations.

However, a closer look at Wen’s remarks indicate little to be pleased about. It was not a policy statement, but merely an indifferent response to questions from a Taiwanese reporter.

As Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said, “will one day be removed” was so vague that it is meaningless.

Not that being more specific would have helped. Had Wen provided a date and timetable, removing the weapons would still be little more than a gesture. Analysts repeatedly point out that if the missiles are moved, they can easily be replaced if negotiations do not produce the desired results. And if China gets what it wants: It can deploy the missiles elsewhere, which makes Taiwan’s problem everyone’s problem since China has no shortage of territorial disputes.

Indeed, an incident last week reminds us of just this. Japan’s unsuccessful attempt to prosecute a Chinese fishing boat captain for colliding with two Japanese Coast Guard vessels in disputed waters off the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) is disturbing for many reasons.

First is Tokyo’s sheer ineptitude in the affair. Having detained the captain and announced plans to try him, officials abruptly reversed course when an enraged China threatened to block exports to Japan of materials essential to high-tech manufacturing. Apparently surprised by the fury of China’s response, Tokyo’s lack of resolve to pursue the case angered many Japanese, who described the decision as foolish and humiliating.

Another reason for alarm is the Chinese response, which, to give the Japanese some credit, was stronger than expected given that such incidents are hardly unusual. For Ma and others who seek to calm concerns about future relations across the Taiwan Strait, China’s treatment of Japan signals not just its growing power, but its aggression. For all the talk of soft power and denials of regional hegemony, China seems willing to use force to achieve its goals.

Most troubling about Japan’s humiliation, however, is that the force China used was not military. For those determined to see Taiwan obtain F-16s and other US military hardware for cross-strait defense, it is worth noting that Japan has plenty of military equipment, and thousands of US troops to operate it.

Another thing analysts have long said is that China’s military threat will ultimately be matched by its economic clout. As Japan’s largest trading partner, China wields immense power over its neighbors. Neither missiles nor any other form of conventional armament could begin to match the damage that could be caused to Japan’s already struggling economy were China to follow through on its threat.

The obvious effect in Taiwan of Japan’s Diaoyutais debacle will be to dampen enthusiasm for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration has pushed so strongly. Closer cross-strait economic ties will certainly make Taiwan more vulnerable to Chinese coercion, and warnings of this danger must be harder for the government to dismiss.

Yet the ultimate lesson may be for the DPP. Say what she wants about Wen’s remark, but Tsai too must be wary. China is increasingly the dominant force in the region and it must be dealt with. High seas bravura will not do. If the DPP is to be a viable political alternative, it must develop positions that will make a cross-strait relationship possible.
9760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China-Japan: Carbon-Based Confrontation on: September 27, 2010, 05:17:24 PM
http://blogs.forbes.com/jedbabbin/2010/09/27/china-japan-carbon-based-confrontation/

China’s claim to the “Diaoyu” islands is older – going back to the fifteenth century – and more urgent.  China’s economy and hell-for-leather military buildup makes it the fastest-growing consumer of carbon-based fuels.  Forget all the talk of China’s “green” economy: they are (at least) the world’s third-largest oil consumer, have for at least three years been opening coal-fueled power plants at the rate of about one every week, and one of the Chinese government’s principal goals is to expand their claims to oil and gas resources.  China was forced to shut down about 3% of their coal plants this year due to a coal shortage.  Energy demand continues to rise, unabated by environmental concerns.

China’s claim to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands is serious, and not subject to compromise.  It is but one of several energy-based issues which could – and likely will – drive China to war.

My 2006 book, “Showdown: Why China Wants War with the US”  was unfortunately titled.  It should have been, “Why China Needs War with the US.” China must confront us in order to remove our protective barrier to its hegemony over its region.

China wants to avoid compromise because its aim in what it refers to as the “peripheral nations” is to assert hegemony: peacefully if possible, and through military confrontation if necessary.  With nations such as India, they can only bluff and bluster. With Japan and others, they can literally gain ground through intimidation if the U.S. remains supine.

China’s dispute with Japan meets two needs. If it can assert hegemony over the Senkakus, China can both expand its influence (and intimidate other regional nations) while gaining possession of badly-needed natural gas reserves. (The Senkakus, according to a report by GlobalSecurity.org  may have gas reserves sized at 1.6 trillion cubic feet and are expected to be a major source of production within ten years.)
9761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 04:58:18 PM
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T100926002139.htm

Captain's release doesn't bring expected result / Tense exchanges between Japan, China continue; intrusions into waters near Senkaku likely to increase

Hideo Kamata and Toshimitsu Miyai / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's administration believed that releasing the Chinese fishing boat captain would end this country's confrontation with China, but that expectation proved to be wrong as Beijing instead escalated its hostile actions.

The Chinese government has demanded an apology and compensation for the arrest of the captain, whose boat collided Sept. 7 with Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels in Japanese territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

After the Japanese government refused the demands, the Chinese government immediately released a counterstatement. The tense back-and-forth between Japan and China continues.

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshihiro Katayama said Saturday, "The Japanese side responded a little more maturely [than China]."

Katayama praised the decision to release the captain, who was arrested on suspicion of obstruction of the JCG's official duties. "It's not good for [Japan and China] to be locked in a dispute," he said.

However, the Japanese government was deeply shocked by China's unexpected demand for an apology and compensation.

"The Senkaku Islands are part of Japan's territory," a government source said. "What do they mean demanding an apology even though the arrest was in line with Japanese law?"

His remark reflects the optimistic view that spread through the Prime Minister's Office on Friday, when it was decided to release the Chinese captain. Officials thought the release would immediately lead to an improvement in Japan-China relations.

China's subsequent hard-line stance, however, revealed that Kan's diplomatic outlook was naive.

Government officials have voiced serious concern about future developments. One said, "After winning the release of the captain, China may try to further shake Japan, instead of stopping its attacks."

Intrusions by Chinese fishing boats into Japan's territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands are expected to escalate. JCG officials and other involved parties are concerned they will be unable to effectively patrol the area even if Chinese boats fish there illegally.

There is no sign China will stop its apparent retaliation over the arrest of the captain. For example, China has made moves indicating it will unilaterally drill in natural gas fields in the East China Sea.

In the gas field Japan calls Shirakaba and China calls Chunxiao, the Japanese government recently confirmed that what appeared to be an excavating drill was brought to the Chinese facility and turbid water was newly spotted around the gas field.


At a meeting Friday of the Liberal Democratic Party's Foreign Affairs Division, a senior official from the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said, "We continue to believe that drilling has likely been conducted."

The Foreign Ministry also China likely has begun drilling and has repeatedly asked China through diplomatic channels whether it is true.

In addition, four Fujita Corp. employees who were detained by Chinese authorities in Hebei Province have not yet been released, although officials of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing finally were allowed to meet with them Saturday.

Officials in the government and the Democratic Party of Japan are concerned about China's next steps.

"Now that we've given up the captain, who was our bargaining chip, we're afraid China will do anything it wants toward Japan," a source close to the DPJ said.

Kan said in New York on Friday: "Japan and China are important neighbors who have responsibilities in the international community. Both sides need to make cool-headed efforts to deepen their strategic bilateral relations."

But it seems his message has not reached China.
(Sep. 27, 2010)
9762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 27, 2010, 04:37:03 PM
Obama is only comfortable with the invocation of god's name when his pastor attaches it to "damn America!".
9763  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Shockwaves on: September 27, 2010, 03:22:22 PM
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2010/09/123_73580.html

Korea more vulnerable to China threats than Japan

By Kim Tae-gyu

China’s recent diplomatic victory over Japan makes Korean bureaucrats and corporations sweat since the former’s lethal weapon of rare metals against the latter is expected to work on Korea as efficiently as on Japan.

Late last week Tokyo released the detained captain of a Chinese fishing trawler, who was detained by the Japanese coast guard early this month while operating in the waters around a group of uninhabited rocky outcroppings in the East China Sea.

Although Japan has shown a very stern attitude on issues involving disputed territory, the country easily surrendered this time around as China reportedly halted shipment of rare earth elements although Beijing denies such maneuver.

“What if China adopts the strategy of stopping shipment of the materials to Korea amid bilateral political or economic disputes? We would be at a loss on how to deal with it,” said a Seoul analyst who asked not to be named.

Rare-earth elements refer to a collection of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table. They are indispensable in producing high-tech products or eco-friendly technologies such as electric cars, wind turbines and liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

Korea, home to the world’s top LCD manufacturers, does not produce them at all and depends wholly on imports to procure them. Last year, all of its 2,600 tons of demand were met by shipments from China.

The state-run Korea Resources Corporation (KRC) has set up a target of maintaining its reserves for the rare-earth metals at more than 1,150 tons by 2016 but its present storage remains at a mere 3 tons.

In this climate, Korea seems to have no choice but to rely on China, around 95 percent of which produces all supplies. The communist state even imposed a global export quota on them.

Industry watchers point out that Asia’s fourth-largest economy needs to generate a long-term plan of grappling with the aforementioned problems.

“Many Koreans tend to presume that they would need us just as much as we need them. However, the reality check shows a different result as amply demonstrated by the past disputes,” the analyst said.

“Have a look at the garlic case a decade ago. We were already not in the position to commission a tit-for-tat strategy against China and now there are the rare-earth elements. We need to do something to level the playing field but the hitch is that nobody seemingly knows how to do so.”

Midway through 2000, the former Kim Dae-jung administration jacked up tariffs on Chinese garlic from 30 percent to as high as 315 percent by 2003 in order to protect Korean farmers from cheap Chinese imports.

A week later, the Chinese government countered the move by banning imports of Korean handsets. Seoul immediately backed off by cutting the tariffs after quick negotiations.

Korea’s dependency on China has shot up since then as the latter became the No. 1 trading partner of the former during the first decade of the new millennium, nudging past the United States.
9764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 03:09:49 PM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jZwfAf5KJIxgndClonD3cKmh0PzwD9IG85NO0

BEIJING — China has stepped up customs inspections of goods shipped to and from Japan, slowing trade, logistics companies said Monday, amid a spat over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed islands.

Customs officers who usually look at 2 percent to 10 percent of goods in shipments began checking up to 95 percent this weekend, said employees of cargo companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen, a major port near Hong Kong. Customs officials gave no explanation for the change, they said.

"Normally it takes one or two days but now it's going to be about a week," said Mary Deng, an administrator for Shenzhen Hyun Young International Transportation Co. The company handles shipments of Chinese-made furniture, clothing and other goods to Japan.

A customs agency spokesman denied that goods to and from Japan were targeted for increased inspections.

"China's customs agency monitors and inspects inbound and outbound products according to law," said the spokesman, who would give only his surname, Tao. "We have not increased the rate of inspections on Japan-related products."

**If you know China, you know this is their classic "fcuk you", done while shrugging their shoulders and smiling apologetically.**


Anti-Japan protesters hold war flags of the Japanese Imperial Army with "Japan get out" written on them during a demonstration near the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010. China has reiterated its demand for an apology from Japan over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain whose arrest plunged relations between the Asian neighbors to their lowest level in years.

**Cue the astroturfed protesters.**

Anti-Japan protesters hold war flags of the Japanese Imperial Army with "Japan get out" written on them during a demonstration near the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010. China has reiterated its demand for an apology from Japan over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain whose arrest plunged relations between the Asian neighbors to their lowest level in years.
9765  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 27, 2010, 02:52:43 PM
IG Investigators are federal law enforcement officers that answer to the IG of their respective agencies. They tend to have all the equipment, training and resources needed to do their jobs, and they federal employees take these investigations quite seriously. It's my understanding that the IG has the authority to impose policy changes in the agencies under it's jurisdiction.

I recently was in a law enforcement intel class with a intel analyst from the USPS OIG. She was quite sharp and used lots of cutting edge datamining and analysis software to target crooked postal employees for investigation/prosecution. Funny enough, she had many anecdotes about how the postal employee union saved the jobs of postal employees convicted of crimes by the OIG. I bet if you bothered to look at the postal union website there would be long article about how mean and unfair the USPS OIG is.

As a citizen, I want fair and impartial law enforcement. I also want commercial fishermen to obey the laws that regulate their industry.
9766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 02:28:40 PM
If this legislation works as CALEA has in the past, it's not a matter of bureaucrats building a backdoor into systems, just requiring the telecom provider to be able to comply with a title III warrant.
9767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 02:20:28 PM
So JDN,

What's the "mature" way to handle this new development?

9768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 02:12:42 PM
If it's not much of an issue at the moment (If), how long do we wait after it's determined to be an issue?

Do you see any problem requiring a telecommunication provider to able to comply to a lawfully issued title III warrant?
9769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 02:03:31 PM
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T100927004334.htm

China to up patrols near Senkaku isles

Satoshi Saeki / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent

BEIJING--The Chinese government has decided to regularly deploy its fisheries patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands in an apparent reaction to the arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain near the Japanese islets early this month, it was learned Monday.

It was anticipated that the administration of President Hu Jintao would intensify such patrols as a retaliatory measure against the arrest and detention of the captain.

The Chinese Agriculture Ministry said in a Sept. 20 publication for the fisheries industry that the government hereafter would need to increase and make permanent the activities of its patrol boats near the islands in the East China Sea, Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News reported Monday. The official in charge emphasized in the ministry's fisheries news that the action was designed to protect the safety of the country's fishermen and their assets.

According to sources, fisheries patrol ships No. 201 and No. 204 are currently in operation around the Senkaku Islands, territorial rights over which are claimed by both China and Taiwan.

The Agriculture Ministry operates the fisheries patrol ships, some of which are decommissioned navy ships. Two patrol ships began regular patrols in the South China Sea in April "to protect" the country's fishing boats and control the "illegal operation" of foreign fishing vessels.

Meanwhile in Tokyo, the Japanese government has decided to demand that the Chinese government pay for the damage caused to two Japan Coast Guard vessels by the Chinese fishing boat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said Monday.

"This is an important issue for the government, separate from the issue over whether such a demand is made shortly or sometime after the two countries' relations 'have cooled down,'" the top government spokesman said.

He thus did not make it clear when Japan will make such a demand.

The collisions, which took place on Sept. 7 in the Japanese territorial waters, have led to one of the worst diplomatic rows in years between Japan and China. There are no signs of an easing of tensions, despite the release of the captain in what was effectively a concession by Japanese authorities.

After the arrest of the captain, China intensified pressure on Japan, through such means as restricting exports of rare earth minerals and suspending ministerial-level talks.

In New York last week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, "If Japan clings to its mistake, China will take 'further action' and the Japanese side shall bear all the consequences that arise."
(Sep. 28, 2010)
9770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Well, who could have seen this coming? on: September 27, 2010, 01:50:03 PM
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/27_33.html

2 Chinese patrol boats spotted off Senkaku

Japan's top cabinet spokesman has confirmed the presence of 2 Chinese fisheries patrol boats in waters near the Senkaku Islands since last Friday. He says Japan is demanding that the Chinese vessels leave the area.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told reporters that 2 Chinese surveillance ships against illegal fishing have been spotted near Japan's territorial waters in the East China Sea.
9771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 01:30:19 PM
As pointed out by various posters, China suffers from serious internal issues that threaten the power structure in Beijing. The chinese people do not believe in communism, they've seen it's failure firsthand. The communist party, in fact does not believe in communism either (Too bad our president and his cabinet do, but that's another thread). Slogans about a "worker's paradise" get nothing but scorn from the chinese masses. Beijing now uses the tragic chinese history of suffering at the hands of other nations to fuel a sense of grievance and nationalism. Japan, in paticular is a focus of this, especially given the real horrors inflicted on China by Japan not very long ago. Of course, the masses of dead chinese as the result of Mao have been sent to the memory hole.

Beijing is forced to run as fast as it can just to stay in place providing a degree of improved standard of living and economic mobility to a still growing population. A Japan that distances it's self from the US and re-militarizes would be very beneficial for Beijing in empowering it's hawks and refocusing domestic discontent on the still very hated japanese.

Every time Beijing toes over the line and feels like it won, the more it builds to taking the next step until we end up in a real confrontation.

You put out fires when they are small, you don't sit back and wait until the fire has gotten out of control because a small fire isn't worth the time and energy.
9772  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 27, 2010, 01:03:33 PM
**Do you think that if the feds will prosecute you for 30,000, they'll prosecute for 40 mil?**

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/article_e66a9e39-149c-548d-86d3-68cfb9fb136f.html

HAMMOND | A former employee at the FBI office in Merrillville is facing federal charges that she allegedly embezzled more than $30,000.

Melissa L. Sims, 36, of Lowell, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Hammond on three counts of embezzlement and one count each of making false statements and witness tampering, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced Friday in a release.

Sims, who worked as an evidence control technician for the FBI in Merrillville from 1998 to 2008, is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 before Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry in U.S. District Court in Hammond. The case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago is handling the prosecution in the Northern District of Indiana.

According to the indictment, between 2005 and August 2008, Sims embezzled more than $30,000 in evidence that she was responsible for disposing of in accord with FBI rules and procedures. She allegedly made no effort to contact certain individuals to whom the various amounts of cash were properly to have been returned, choosing instead to keep the evidence for herself. The indictment alleges 10 different dates on which Sims signed 16 separate forms stating that various amounts of cash evidence, ranging from $2 to $2,790, had been "released" or "returned," when she had actually taken the money for herself.
9773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 12:51:46 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6731EJ20100804

Southeast Asian states, including the Philippines, have become worried by China's increasingly aggressive stance on the complex set of disputes in the South China Sea.

"We expect them to be responsible on what they do as we are. And I believe if we act in that way, there should be no issues," Captain Rudy Lupton, commander of the USS Blue Ridge, the command and control ship of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet based in Japan.

Last week, Chinese naval forces carried out drills in the disputed southern waters amid tension with Washington over security in the Korean peninsula and South China Sea.

Last year, there was a collision between sonar equipment being towed by a U.S. Navy warship and a Chinese submarine near Philippine waters.

**snip**

China's growing might military might and rising defense spending have set alarm bells ringing around the region, particularly in Japan and Taiwan. It has repeatedly said its claims on the southern waters and island are indisputable.
9774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 12:40:06 PM
The Japanese Self-Defense Force has quietly upgraded and improved it's military capacity for decades, but this has not spooked the other asian nations as US dominance and article 9 of the Japanese constitution remain in effect. A Japan that turns away from it's pacifist facade would send shockwaves through the region and actually empower Beijing's aggressiveness.
9775  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 27, 2010, 12:28:23 PM
Damming to you, looks like pretty weak tea to me.  If NOAA LEOs exceed their statutory authority regarding inspections, the the "fruit of the poison tree" doctrine applies and any evidence gathered is inadmissible in court.
9776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 12:06:29 PM
Do you understand the impact of a re-militarized Japan on the rest of asia? The end of Pax-Americana would be profoundly destabilizing to the region.
9777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 11:59:29 AM
http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/calea/

CALEA COMPLIANCE - SOME BASIC INFORMATION

Pursuant to CALEA, industry is generally responsible for setting CALEA standards and solutions. Unless a party files a special petition pursuant to CALEA section 107(b), the Commission does not get formally involved with the compliance standards development process. CALEA also does not provide for Commission review of manufacturer-developed solutions. Entities subject to CALEA are responsible for reviewing the Commission's regulations and analyzing how this regulation applies per their specific network architecture.

A telecommunications carrier may comply with CALEA in different ways. First, the carrier may develop its own compliance solution for its unique network. Second, the carrier may purchase a compliance solution from vendors, including the manufacturers of the equipment it is using to provide service. Third, the carrier may purchase a compliance solution from a trusted third party (TPP). See CALEA Second Report and Order at para. 26. To contact TPPs, carriers may conduct an Internet search using such key words as "CALEA compliance" and "CALEA compliance help," or any combination that will yield a display of TPPs.

9778  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 11:50:50 AM
More importantly, it’s not just mandating that already-centralized systems install a government backdoor. Rather, if I understand it correctly, the proposal would insist on a centralized (and therefore less secure) architecture for secure communications, as opposed to an end-to-end model where encryption is handled client-side. In effect, the government is insisting on the right to make a macro-design choice between competing network models for thousands of companies.

**Uh, no, not according to the first article you posted.**

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
9779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 11:37:19 AM
 
**That despite our treaty obligations, we would not provide military support to Japan in a conflict with China over the disputed islands.**

Maybe we should rattle the sabers?  Send our fleet to encircle the island?  I'm sure the average American would support millions/billions of dollars lost, possible lives lost, at minimum an economic war, just to "defend" a disputed island on behalf of Japan but claimed by Japan, China, and Taiwan.   huh


China sees Obama as weak, and thus the US as weak. Should we continue to allow this perception? That stability in asia post-WWII has been based on American power in the pacific. Japan's de-militarization is based on our promise of them being under our defense umbrella. Do you think Japan rebuilding it's military will be better or worse for asia, the rest of the world and us, or not? If Japan finds it's on it's own, what of Taiwan? What of the rest of the asia-pacific nations? What of America's allies globally? What's the message? America will defend it's allies unless it gets expensive or there is the possibility of casualties. Right?
9780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 11:10:58 AM

http://www.askcalea.net/

Question: What is the purpose of CALEA?

Answer:

The purpose of CALEA is to preserve the ability of law enforcement to conduct electronic surveillance in the face of rapid advances in telecommunications technology. Further details can be found at H.R. Rep. No. 103-827, 103d Cong., 2d Sess.(1994), reprinted in 1994 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3489

Question: Who must be CALEA-compliant?

Answer:

All telecommunications carriers as defined by Section 102(Cool of CALEA.  Basically, this includes all entities engaged in the transmission or switching of wire or electronic communications as a common carrier for hire.

Question: What is "call-identifying information?"

Answer:

Section 102(2) of CALEA defines call-identifying information as "dialing or signaling information that identifies the origin, direction, destination, or termination of each communication generated or received by a subscriber by means of any equipment, facility, or service of a telecommunications carrier."

Question: What is "call content?"

Answer:

Defined in 18 U.S.C. 2510(Cool it is an intercept "when used with respect to any wire or electronic communications, includes any information concerning the substance, purport, or meaning of that communications."

Question: What is a "safe harbor" under CALEA?

Answer:

Section 107(a)(2) of CALEA contains a "safe harbor" provision, stating that "[a] telecommunications carrier shall be found to be in compliance with the assistance capability requirements under Section 103, and a manufacturer of telecommunications transmission or switching equipment or a provider of telecommunications support services shall be found to be in compliance with Section 106 if the carrier, manufacturer, or support service provider is in compliance with publicly available technical requirements or standards adopted by an industry association or standard-setting organization, or by the FCC under subsection (b), to meet the requirements of Section 103."

Question: What CALEA responsibilities do telecommunications equipment manufacturers have?

Answer:

Under CALEA, a manufacturer of telecommunications transmission or switching equipment and a provider of telecommunications support services shall, on a reasonably timely basis and at a reasonable charge, make available to the telecommunications carriers using its equipment, facilities, or services such features or modifications as are necessary to permit such carriers to comply with the assistance capability requirements and the capacity requirements.

The FBI has implemented a reimbursement strategy that will allow many telecommunications carriers to receive CALEA software at no charge for certain high priority switching platforms. Under nationwide right-to-use (RTU) license agreements, the Government pays for the development of CALEA software solutions for certain high priority switching platforms. This allows carriers to receive CALEA software at a nominal charge for equipment, facilities, or services installed or deployed now and in the future.

To date, the FBI has signed agreements with AG Communications Systems, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nortel Networks, and Siemens AG for technical solutions developed to meet the assistance capability requirements of CALEA.  When considered in total, these agreements result in software solutions being available for the vast majority of law enforcement's priority, pre-January 1, 1995 switches.

Frequently Misunderstood Questions

On March 17, 2004, we published a press release regarding our joint petition.

Q: Does the petition for CALEA rulemaking propose to apply CALEA to all types of online communication, including instant messaging and visits to websites?

A: No. The petition proposes CALEA coverage of only broadband Internet access service and broadband telephony service. Other Internet-based services, including those classified as "information services" such as email and visits to websites, would not be covered.

Q: Does the petition propose extensive retooling of existing broadband networks that could impose significant costs?

A: No. The petition contends that CALEA should apply to certain broadband services but does not address the issue of what technical capabilities those broadband providers should deliver to law enforcement. CALEA already permits those service providers to fashion their own technical standards as they see fit. If law enforcement considers an industry technical standard deficient, it can seek to change the standard only by filing a special "deficiency" petition before the Commission. It is the FCC, not law enforcement, that decides whether any capabilities should be added to the standard. The FCC may refuse to order a change in a standard on many different grounds. For example, a capability may be rejected because it is too costly. Therefore CALEA already contains protections for industry against paying undue compliance costs.


Q: Did law enforcement ask the FCC to curtail its usual review process to implement the petition?

A: No. Law enforcement asked the FCC to give the proposed rulemaking expedited treatment. Such treatment is often requested and granted when urgent matters are brought to the FCC's attention. Some FCC rulemaking proceedings can take years to complete. Law enforcement believes expedited treatment is warranted in this case based on evidence that terrorists, criminals, and/or spies are already exploiting the networks of broadband communication providers to evade lawful electronic surveillance.

Q: Is Law enforcement trying to dictate how the Internet should be engineered to permit whatever level of surveillance law enforcement deems necessary?

A: No. Law enforcement does not seek the power to dictate how the Internet should be engineered or even to decide how broadband communications networks should be engineered. As explained above, CALEA already allocates those decisions to industry and any resulting capability disputes between industry and law enforcement are decided by the FCC. Moreover, the level of surveillance is not an issue raised in the petition, is not within the scope of CALEA, and is not decided by law enforcement. Based on a statute known as "Title III," before a law enforcement agent or officer is permitted to engage in lawful electronic surveillance, he or she must seek an appropriate court order from a judge or magistrate. Only if a judicial order is issued can the lawful surveillance take place, and the level of surveillance is prescribed by the order.


Q: Does the petition ignore the letter or spirit of CALEA's "information services" exemption by seeking to apply CALEA to such services?

A: No. The petition notes that CALEA contains a definition of "telecommunications carrier" that is different from and broader than the definition of that term in the Communications Act, which governs most FCC actions. The petition therefore asks the FCC to decide the scope of CALEA coverage based on the CALEA definition, not the Communications Act definition. As a result, some carriers classified as "information service" providers for purposes of the Communications Act would be simultaneously deemed "telecommunications carriers" for purposes of CALEA.

Q: Would the petition force carriers to decode data that might be encrypted?

A: No. The petition does not raise the issue of encryption. That issue is already addressed by CALEA. The statute states that if encryption is provided by a telecommunications carrier and the carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the communication, it must decrypt the communications subject to an order for lawful interception. But if the encryption is provided by a subscriber or customer, the carrier is not responsible for decrypting the targeted communications.
9781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 09:46:26 AM
What? Domestic al qaeda cells could no longer be sure their Skype conference calls are secure?  Outrageous!!!!   rolleyes
9782  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 27, 2010, 09:42:14 AM
OIGs in the federal government refer cases to the DOJ for prosecution all the time. This report makes no claim of criminal conduct, yes? Sloppy internal controls of money does not make a criminal case. Beyond the internal audit, is there any validated claim of criminal conduct by any LEO employed by NOAA?
9783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: September 27, 2010, 07:30:17 AM
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.09/china.html

Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom
Explosive growth has made the People's Republic of China the most power-hungry nation on earth. Get ready for the mass-produced, meltdown-proof future of nuclear energy.
By Spencer Reiss

China is staring at the dark side of double-digit growth. Blackouts roll and factory lights flicker, the grid sucked dry by a decade of breakneck industrialization. Oil and natural gas are running low, and belching power plants are burning through coal faster than creaky old railroads can deliver it. Global warming? The most populous nation on earth ranks number two in the world - at least the Kyoto treaty isn't binding in developing countries. Air pollution? The World Bank says the People's Republic is home to 16 of the planet's 20 worst cities. Wind, solar, biomass - the country is grasping at every energy alternative within reach, even flooding a million people out of their ancestral homes with the world's biggest hydroelectric project. Meanwhile, the government's plan for holding onto power boils down to a car for every bicycle and air-conditioning for a billion-odd potential dissidents.


What's an energy-starved autocracy to do?

Go nuclear.

While the West frets about how to keep its sushi cool, hot tubs warm, and Hummers humming without poisoning the planet, the cold-eyed bureaucrats running the People's Republic of China have launched a nuclear binge right out of That '70s Show. Late last year, China announced plans to build 30 new reactors - enough to generate twice the capacity of the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam - by 2020. And even that won't be enough. The Future of Nuclear Power, a 2003 study by a blue-ribbon commission headed by former CIA director John Deutch, concludes that by 2050 the PRC could require the equivalent of 200 full-scale nuke plants. A team of Chinese scientists advising the Beijing leadership puts the figure even higher: 300 gigawatts of nuclear output, not much less than the 350 gigawatts produced worldwide today.

To meet that growing demand, China's leaders are pursuing two strategies. They're turning to established nuke plant makers like AECL, Framatome, Mitsubishi, and Westinghouse, which supplied key technology for China's nine existing atomic power facilities. But they're also pursuing a second, more audacious course. Physicists and engineers at Beijing's Tsinghua University have made the first great leap forward in a quarter century, building a new nuclear power facility that promises to be a better way to harness the atom: a pebble-bed reactor. A reactor small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for customers without billion-dollar bank accounts. A reactor whose safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. And, for a bona fide fairy-tale ending, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is labeled hydrogen.
9784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom on: September 26, 2010, 10:19:44 PM
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.09/china.html

Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom
Explosive growth has made the People's Republic of China the most power-hungry nation on earth. Get ready for the mass-produced, meltdown-proof future of nuclear energy.
By Spencer Reiss

China is staring at the dark side of double-digit growth. Blackouts roll and factory lights flicker, the grid sucked dry by a decade of breakneck industrialization. Oil and natural gas are running low, and belching power plants are burning through coal faster than creaky old railroads can deliver it. Global warming? The most populous nation on earth ranks number two in the world - at least the Kyoto treaty isn't binding in developing countries. Air pollution? The World Bank says the People's Republic is home to 16 of the planet's 20 worst cities. Wind, solar, biomass - the country is grasping at every energy alternative within reach, even flooding a million people out of their ancestral homes with the world's biggest hydroelectric project. Meanwhile, the government's plan for holding onto power boils down to a car for every bicycle and air-conditioning for a billion-odd potential dissidents.


What's an energy-starved autocracy to do?

Go nuclear.

While the West frets about how to keep its sushi cool, hot tubs warm, and Hummers humming without poisoning the planet, the cold-eyed bureaucrats running the People's Republic of China have launched a nuclear binge right out of That '70s Show. Late last year, China announced plans to build 30 new reactors - enough to generate twice the capacity of the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam - by 2020. And even that won't be enough. The Future of Nuclear Power, a 2003 study by a blue-ribbon commission headed by former CIA director John Deutch, concludes that by 2050 the PRC could require the equivalent of 200 full-scale nuke plants. A team of Chinese scientists advising the Beijing leadership puts the figure even higher: 300 gigawatts of nuclear output, not much less than the 350 gigawatts produced worldwide today.

To meet that growing demand, China's leaders are pursuing two strategies. They're turning to established nuke plant makers like AECL, Framatome, Mitsubishi, and Westinghouse, which supplied key technology for China's nine existing atomic power facilities. But they're also pursuing a second, more audacious course. Physicists and engineers at Beijing's Tsinghua University have made the first great leap forward in a quarter century, building a new nuclear power facility that promises to be a better way to harness the atom: a pebble-bed reactor. A reactor small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for customers without billion-dollar bank accounts. A reactor whose safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. And, for a bona fide fairy-tale ending, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is labeled hydrogen.
9785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: September 26, 2010, 10:08:45 PM
China is also planning on building hundreds of state of the art nuke plants to create the electricity for all those green cars. Something you won't see any green advocates allowing CONUS anytime soon, something Thomas Friedman neglects to mention.

9786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: September 26, 2010, 08:07:19 PM
Possible scenario. Russia has a cyberwar infrastructure. Of course, another nation-state could have covertly installed the virus in the Russian contractor's equipment.
9787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 26, 2010, 02:40:42 PM
Prediction: China will do a bit of a gut check with us soon (again) just to gauge our response. It may be financial, it may be military. It won't (probably) escalate, but they will bump us.

China slaps anti-dumping duties on US chicken imports


Agence France-Presse
First Posted 17:01:00 09/26/2010

BEIJING – China will levy anti-dumping duties of up to 105 percent on imports of US chicken products, the government said Sunday, in a move likely to ratchet up trade tensions between the two nations.

"The US chicken industry has dumped broiler products into the Chinese market and caused substantial damage to the domestic industry," the commerce ministry said in a statement on its website.

The duties take effect on Monday, it said.

China will slap anti-dumping levies of over 50 percent on up to 35 US chicken broiler exporters including Tyson Foods Inc, Keystone Foods LLC, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation and Sanderson Farms Inc, the statement said.

Levies of over 105 percent will be placed on imported chicken broilers, a type of chicken raised specifically for meat production, from all other US producers, it said.

The measures will apply for five years and follow up preliminary tariffs on the same products issued by the ministry in February.
9788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How do you say "reset button" in Tagalog? on: September 26, 2010, 01:42:26 PM


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100926/ap_on_re_as/as_philippines_us_inverted_flag

MANILA, Philippines – The U.S. government said Sunday it made an "honest mistake" when it displayed an inverted Philippine flag — which wrongfully signified that the Southeast Asian nation was in a state of war — in a meeting hosted by President Barack Obama.

The Philippine flag was displayed upside down behind President Benigno Aquino III when leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations met Obama in New York on Friday.

"This was an honest mistake," U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said in a statement, adding, "the U.S. treasures its close relationship and close partnership with the Philippines."

The American embassy will find out how the "unfortunate" incident happened, she said.
9789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China has an accurate view of Obama on: September 26, 2010, 11:35:01 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7017951.ece

An independent survey of Chinese-language media for The Sunday Times has found army and navy officers predicting a military showdown and political leaders calling for China to sell more arms to America’s foes. The trigger for their fury was Obama’s decision to sell $6.4 billion (£4 billion) worth of weapons to Taiwan, the thriving democratic island that has ruled itself since 1949.

“We should retaliate with an eye for an eye and sell arms to Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela,” declared Liu Menxiong, a member of the Chinese people’s political consultative conference.

He added: “We have nothing to be afraid of. The North Koreans have stood up to America and has anything happened to them? No. Iran stands up to America and does disaster befall it? No.”

Officially, China has reacted by threatening sanctions against American companies selling arms to Taiwan and cancelling military visits.

But Chinese analysts think the leadership, riding a wave of patriotism as the year of the tiger dawns, may go further.

“This time China must punish the US,” said Major-General Yang Yi, a naval officer. “We must make them hurt.” A major-general in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Luo Yuan, told a television audience that more missiles would be deployed against Taiwan. And a PLA strategist, Colonel Meng Xianging, said China would “qualitatively upgrade” its military over the next 10 years to force a showdown “when we’re strong enough for a hand-to-hand fight with the US”.

Chinese indignation was compounded when the White House said Obama would meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, in the next few weeks.

“When someone spits on you, you have to get back,” said Huang Xiangyang, a commentator in the China Daily newspaper, usually seen as a showcase for moderate opinion.

An internal publication at the elite Qinghua University last week predicted the strains would get worse because “core interests” were at risk. It said battles over exports, technology transfer, copyright piracy and the value of China’s currency, the yuan, would be fierce.

As a crescendo of strident nationalistic rhetoric swirls through the Chinese media and blogosphere, American officials seem baffled by what has gone wrong and how fast it has happened.

During Obama’s visit, the US ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, claimed relations were “really at an all-time high in terms of the bilateral atmosphere ... a cruising altitude that is higher than any other time in recent memory”, according to an official transcript.

The ambassador must have been the only person at his embassy to think so, said a diplomat close to the talks.

“The truth was that the atmosphere was cold and intransigent when the president went to Beijing yet his China team went on pretending that everything was fine,” the diplomat said.

In reality, Chinese officials argued over every item of protocol, rigged a town hall meeting with a pre-selected audience, censored the only interview Obama gave to a Chinese newspaper and forbade the Americans to use their own helicopters to fly him to the Great Wall.

President Hu Jintao refused to give an inch on Obama’s plea to raise the value of the Chinese currency, while his vague promises of co-operation on climate change led the Americans to blunder into a fiasco at the Copenhagen summit three weeks later.

Diplomats say they have been told that there was “frigid” personal chemistry between Obama and the Chinese president, with none of the superficial friendship struck up by previous leaders of the two nations.

Yet after their meeting Obama’s China adviser, Jeff Bader, said: “It’s been highly successful in setting out and accomplishing the objectives we set ourselves.”

Then came Copenhagen, where Obama virtually had to force his way with his bodyguards into a conference room where the urbane Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, was trying to strike a deal behind his back.

The Americans were also livid at what they saw as deliberate Chinese attempts to humiliate the president by sending lower-level officials to deal with him.

“They thought Obama was weak and they were testing him,” said a European diplomat based in China.
9790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China Hold on Metals Worries Washington on: September 26, 2010, 11:03:35 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704062804575510112116972510.html

In the newest issue of Joint Force Quarterly, a professional military journal published by National Defense University, Navy Reserve Lt. Cdr. Cindy Hurst, a research analyst in the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., wrote that "China appears to be holding an unlikely trump card" through its dominance in the rare-earth element industry.

"The country's grasp on the rare-earth element industry could one day give China a strong technological advantage and increase its military superiority," she wrote.

The Department of Defense is completing a study to identify the potential national security risks of rare-earth material dependency. Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said a full report drawing on input from a number of government agencies will be released next month.

"It is a highly charged topic," she said, adding the Pentagon is seeking to separate "fact from fiction to ensure we continue to protect the interests of both the warfighter and the taxpayer."

In parallel, U.S. lawmakers have begun probing the national-security implications of rare-earth supplies. The House Committee on Science and Technology's investigations panel held a hearing this year on the issue, and on Thursday, the committee began marking up a bill that would encourage the U.S. government to hedge against rare-earth shortages by collecting more data on potential supply and identifying alternative materials.

Rep. Bart Gordon (D., Tenn.), chairman of the committee, said he was concerned about the United States being "held hostage" when it came to access to raw materials for new technology.

Molycorp, Inc., the owner of a mine in Mountain Pass, Calif., that holds the largest, richest rare-earth deposit outside China, is currently looking to restart and expand production. Jim Sims, a spokesman for Molycorp, said the company was planning by mid-2012 to create a complete U.S.-based supply chain for some kinds of rare-earth magnets.
9791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 26, 2010, 10:51:38 AM

"Wouldn't back them" means what?

**That despite our treaty obligations, we would not provide military support to Japan in a conflict with China over the disputed islands.**


So?  I too think this was the proper outcome; Japan handled it poorly.

**Really? You think that the islands that have been recognized as belonging to Japan by us since WWII should be conquered by China because China is willing to assert their ownership?Should Japan police the lands in it's jurisdiction and arrest violators of it's laws or not?**
9792  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 26, 2010, 09:58:44 AM
I don't think you are reading the piece or the links in the article closely enough, GM. This appears to be an instance of profit based policing where the enforcement arm is using the "profits" to pick up swag like cars and boats,

**I think a maritime law enforcement agency would need cars and boats. Take home cars for federal investigators are not uncommon, as they are often on call 24/7.Would you rather taxpayers fund leases for the vehicles?**


pay for international travel,

**Federal agents travel internationally, sometimes a lot depending on what they do and the cases they are working. Again, if money from fines isn't used, then taxpayer dollars or the national credit card takes a hit.**

while almost half of the $96 million in fines levied are unaccounted for.

**Don't you think that if there was any evidence of criminal misconduct, there would be a referral from the IG to the DOJ for prosecution? It looks like another federal agency with less that sterling accounting practices, which tends to be how things work everywhere in the USG.**

Probable cause is not required before they board a ship,

**It isn't required for US Customs and Border Protection, or the US Coast Guard either. By federal statute, the USCG can board any vessel in any body of water that the US has jurisdiction over, including a lake or river in the middle of the CONUS. If I recall correctly, this has been challenged in the courts and the federal courts have upheld these laws.**

administrative judges who don't sound particularly neutral are used

**I can tell you from personal experience with administrative judges on a state level that they have been more defense oriented than the typical judge in a criminal court. Admin judges are used all over the country at various levels of government. What evidence do you have to show that these judges tend to favor the NOAA ?**

oversight is lacking,

**You are referring to an IG's report, that provides oversight.**


and means of appeal few and expensive.

**Any litigation is expensive.**


While I'm certainly not arguing for overfishing, I do think a what sounds like a corrupt and poorly supervised agency needs a big dose of transparency and accountability, and fear this instance serves as a model for what we can expect in similar instances where transparency and lack of accountability combined with a profit motive are allowed to take root in enforcement agencies.

**I think the article was a shallow hit-piece with the typical law enforcement-bashing agenda based on hype and emotion rather than facts.**
9793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 26, 2010, 09:20:00 AM
Robert D. Kaplan is a smart guy. I like a lot of what he has to say on geopolitics.
9794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / While U.S. is distracted, China develops sea power on: September 26, 2010, 08:47:20 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/24/AR2010092404767.html

Whereas an island nation such as Britain goes to sea as a matter of course, a continental nation with long and contentious land borders, such as China, goes to sea as a luxury. The last time China went to sea in the manner that it is doing was in the early 15th century, when the Ming Dynasty explorer Zheng He sailed his fleets as far as the Horn of Africa. His journeys around the southern Eurasian rim ended when the Ming emperors became distracted by their land campaigns against the Mongols to the north. Despite occasional unrest among the Muslim Uighur Turks in western China, history is not likely to repeat itself. If anything, the forces of Chinese demography and corporate control are extending Chinese power beyond the country's dry-land frontiers -- into Russia, Mongolia and Central Asia.

China has the world's second-largest naval service, after only the United States. Rather than purchase warships across the board, it is developing niche capacities in sub-surface warfare and missile technology designed to hit moving targets at sea. At some point, the U.S. Navy is likely to be denied unimpeded access to the waters off East Asia. China's 66 submarines constitute roughly twice as many warships as the entire British Royal Navy. If China expands its submarine fleet to 78 by 2020 as planned, it would be on par with the U.S. Navy's undersea fleet in quantity, if not in quality. If our economy remains wobbly while China's continues to rise -- China's defense budget is growing nearly 10 percent annually -- this will have repercussions for each nation's sea power. And with 90 percent of commercial goods worldwide still transported by ship, sea control is critical.
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The geographical heart of America's hard-power competition with China will be the South China Sea, through which passes a third of all commercial maritime traffic worldwide and half of the hydrocarbons destined for Japan, the Korean Peninsula and northeastern China. That sea grants Beijing access to the Indian Ocean via the Strait of Malacca, and thus to the entire arc of Islam, from East Africa to Southeast Asia. The United States and others consider the South China Sea an international waterway; China considers it a "core interest." Much like when the Panama Canal was being dug, and the United States sought domination of the Caribbean to be the preeminent power in the Western Hemisphere, China seeks domination of the South China Sea to be the dominant power in much of the Eastern Hemisphere.

We underestimate the importance of what is occurring between China and Taiwan, at the northern end of the South China Sea. With 270 flights per week between the countries, and hundreds of missiles on the mainland targeting the island, China is quietly incorporating Taiwan into its dominion. Once it becomes clear, a few years or a decade hence, that the United States cannot credibly defend Taiwan, China will be able to redirect its naval energies beyond the first island chain in the Pacific (from Japan south to Australia) to the second island chain (Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) and in the opposite direction, to the Indian Ocean.

9795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China pretty happy about it's control of rare-earth on: September 26, 2010, 07:57:57 AM
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-09/26/c_13530321.htm

BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's regulation of its rare-earth minerals industry protects the environment, prevents over exploitation of the its resource, and promotes the development of new energy industries across the globe, experts say.

Rare earths have become increasingly important in the manufacture of new energy products like electric-car batteries, wind turbines and other sophisticated products including flat-screen monitors, missiles and aerospace alloys.

The exhaustion of China's rare earths would be a major blow to the world's green energy industry, so China must regulate to curb excessive and disorderly mining of the non-renewable resource, the latest edition of the Xinhua News Agency's finance magazine - Economy & Nation Weekly - quoted Lin Donglu, secretary general of the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, as saying Sunday.

China's regulation of its rare earth industry includes reducing export quotas, cracking down on illegal mining and smuggling, no further issuing of mining licenses and the imposing of production caps.

The time is right to form an international competition mechanism for the rare earth industry to ensure sustainable development of new energy technologies, Lin said, noting that China's rare earth reserves accounted for one third of the world's total in 2009.

However, China's rare earths output hit 120,000 tonnes last year, 97 percent of the world's total, according to a report by Marc Humphries, an energy policy analyst at the United States Congressional Research Service.
9796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Captain's Release Sparks Furor in Japan on: September 26, 2010, 07:47:21 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704082104575515093333231112.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#

The sudden Friday release also touched off an unusually intense political firestorm in Japan, with the media and opposition politicians hammering Prime Minister Naoto Kan's government for handling the incident in a way that seemed to portray Japan as weak and succumbing to pressure from China.

The Chinese government demanded on Saturday that Japan apologize for the incident, suggesting that China's steady intensifying actions against Japan over the past two-and-a-half weeks—from curbing diplomatic exchanges to scaling back commercial activity—may not abate. "China of course has the right to demand Japan apologize and make compensation,'' Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a Chinese-language statement.

Japan's foreign ministry issued its own sternly worded statement rejecting the plea. "The demand by the Chinese side for apology and compensation is completely groundless and is utterly unacceptable for Japan," that statement said.

*snip*



Japanese government officials, including Mr. Kan, denied any political influence on the prosecutors' decision, but local media said there was no doubt that the issue was settled in a political decision with national-government input.

"To begin with, prosecutors are not authorized to determine what kind of 'future Japan-China ties' is desirable," the Nikkei Shimbun, Japan's leading business daily, said. The Mainichi Shimbun shared this view in its editorial, saying it was "odd" for the prosecutors to refer to "diplomatic considerations" in releasing the captain and that it contradicted the government stance that the issue would be handled in accordance with the law.

Meanwhile, the Asahi Shimbun said, "It must be a high-level political judgment by the Kan administration." The paper's editorial also said, "In the first place, did the Kan government forecast the possible reaction of China and how to conclude the issue when it decided to arrest the captain?"

"It cannot be helped if the weakness of the DPJ's diplomacy is pointed out," it said. "It should reflect on it seriously as a bitter lesson."

The Japanese papers' criticism was echoed by opposition-party members on NHK, the public broadcaster. "What message did Tokyo send to other Asian nations which have territorial disputes [with China]?" said Nobuteru Ishihara, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, the largest opposition bloc. He added that the decision would also confuse Japan's coastguards who are out in the sea on duty. "What should they do if China again illegally enters our territorial waters?"

9797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dysfunctional Obama Admin on: September 25, 2010, 07:57:14 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2010/09/dysfunctional.html

 Dysfunctional

Thanks to Bob Woodward's forthcoming book, we know the Obama Administration was seriously divided (some would say dysfunctional) in developing their strategy for the Afghan War. According to Mr. Woodward, the President avoided mention of "victory" in crafting a plan for prosecuting the conflict, focusing instead on getting out of the conflict and handing it over to the Afghans.

To be fair, there are always sharp disagreements in policy formulation at the highest levels of American government. Put a collection of massive egos in the White House Situation Room, and sparks are bound to fly. And that can be a good thing, giving the Commander-in-Chief access to alternate points of view and policy options that may not immediately come to mind. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was Attorney General Robert Kennedy who first suggested a naval quarantine, while members of the Joint Chiefs urged military action. Ultimately, the quarantine convinced Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev to back down, and the showdown ended without a nuclear conflict.

But the environment described by Mr. Woodward goes well beyond a healthy debate. President Obama dismissed the military's request for 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, telling Defense Secretary Bob Gates (and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) "I'm not doing 10 years"..."I'm not doing long-term nation-building"..."I am not spending a trillion dollars."

Worse yet, Mr. Obama appears to view the conflict only in political terms. In a meeting that included Republican lawmakers, Obama told South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham "I can't let this be a war without end and I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."

Let that sink in for a moment, and consider it's impact on the War on Terror, or whatever the administration is calling it these days. No wonder that so many officials were glad to talk to Bob Woodward; while the White House claims that Mr. Obama appears decisive and analytical in the book, it's equally clear that members of his team can't stand one another, and are attempting to distance themselves from a likely policy failure, with enormous implications for our long-term national security.

But the bad news doesn't end there. Mr. Woodward's latest volume also raises serious questions about the administration's ability to deal with terrorism here at home. From the Washington Post preview of the book:

A classified exercise in May showed that the government was woefully unprepared to deal with a nuclear terrorist attack in the United States. The scenario involved the detonation of a small, crude nuclear weapon in Indianapolis and the simultaneous threat of a second blast in Los Angeles. Obama, in the interview with Woodward, called a nuclear attack here "a potential game changer." He said: "When I go down the list of things I have to worry about all the time, that is at the top, because that's one where you can't afford any mistakes."

Yet, in his same conversation with the journalist, President Obama bragged about our ability to "absorb" terrorist attacks here at home, claiming they make us stronger. We haven't read the Woodward book, but the comment does beg an interesting, two-part question: What does Mr. Obama view as the most important element of his strategy, and doesn't his rush to get out of Afghanistan increase our threat here at home?

With the departure of our troops from that region, Al Qaida will have greater opportunities to plot and train, dispatching more terrorists to carry out attacks on U.S. soil. President Bush understood the nexus between Afghanistan and potential strikes on our homeland, but Mr. Obama's position is stunning short-sighted. In the name of party unity, he's willing to make a short-term exit from Afghanistan, even if means a greater risk here at home.

There's also the matter of formulating (and executing) a coherent, domestic counter-terrorism strategy. It's hardly reassuring that many of the same officials battling over Afghanistan are also in charge of keeping the homeland safe.

And, their dysfunctionality couldn't come at a worse time; testifying before Congress today, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Counter-terrorism Chief Michael Leiter said the recent spike in "home-grown" terrorist attacks is indicative of an evolving threat. In fact, Mr. Leiter described them as the "most significant developments in the terror threat to our homeland since 9-11." From the ABC News report on today's testimony:

"Groups affiliated with al Qaeda are now actively targeting the United States and looking to use Americans or Westerners who are able to remain undetected by heightened security measures," Mueller said. "It appears domestic extremism and radicalization appears to have become more pronounced based on the number of disruptions and incidents."

[snip]

Leiter told the committee. "The attack threats are now more complex, and the diverse array of threats tests our ability to respond, and makes it difficult to predict where the next attack may come.

For those brave enough to connect the dots, the narrative goes something like this: our national security "team" is badly dysfunctional, and pursuing a strategy in Afghanistan (at the direction of the Commander-in-Chief) that is likely to fail. Our rapid exit from that conflict will give Al Qaida more opportunities to plan new attacks, recruiting Americans--and other westerners--who are more difficult to identify and apprehend before they strike. Meanwhile, the menace from these terrorists is growing, and senior officials charged with keeping us safe are the same ones leading our policy in Afghanistan.

Sleep well, America.
9798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An imbalance that will shake the world on: September 25, 2010, 07:19:09 PM
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/China-30-Years-Since-The-Introduction-Of-One-Child-Policy-Millions-Of-Girls-Have-Disappeared/Article/201009415741661?f=rss

The town of Wuxue in southern China looks normal enough. Pedicabs ply its narrow streets; hawkers sell steaming bowls of rice noodles to passers-by.

But in Wuxue's primary school something is amiss.

In one classroom of white-washed walls and wooden desks a group of seven-year-olds learn to pipe on the bamboo Chinese flute. Of 40 students just nine are girls.

Next door, another class practice their calligraphy, copying down hieroglyphs in neat rows. Once again, most of the children grappling with their pencils are boys.

The little girls of Wuxue are not being denied an education. Rather, they simply don't exist. According to official statistics, for every 100 girls there are 197 boys.

It is the worst example of gender imbalance in China, but a similar pattern exists across the country. The cause is an unintended result of the one-child policy: sex selective abortions.
9799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 06:53:16 PM
Anyone here still think Obama didn't tell Japan that the US wouldn't back them? Anyone here think China won't continue to press their claim on the islands?
9800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / True warrior mindset, true heroism on: September 25, 2010, 06:44:59 PM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j-VFgyNuLmja1XBHtLEwlvkOhj5gD9IF77V00

Wounded in Iraq, double-amputee returns to war

By TODD PITMAN (AP) – 1 hour ago

ASHOQEH, Afghanistan — When a bomb exploded under Dan Luckett's Army Humvee in Iraq two years ago — blowing off one of his legs and part of his foot — the first thing he thought was: "That's it. You're done. No more Army for you."

But two years later, the 27-year-old Norcross, Georgia, native is back on duty — a double-amputee fighting on the front lines of America's Afghan surge in one of the most dangerous parts of this volatile country.

Luckett's remarkable recovery can be attributed in part to dogged self-determination. But technological advances have been crucial: Artificial limbs today are so effective, some war-wounded like Luckett are not only able to do intensive sports like snow skiing, they can return to active duty as fully operational soldiers. The Pentagon says 41 American amputee veterans are now serving in combat zones worldwide.

Luckett was a young platoon leader on his first tour in Iraq when an explosively formed penetrator — a bomb that hurls an armor-piercing lump of molten copper — ripped through his vehicle on a Baghdad street on Mother's Day 2008.

His Humvee cabin instantly filled with heavy gray smoke and the smell of burning diesel and molten metal. Luckett felt an excruciating pain and a "liquid" — his blood — pouring out of his legs. He looked down and saw a shocking sight: his own left foot sheared off above the ankle and his right boot a bloody mangle of flesh and dust.

Still conscious, he took deep breaths and made a deliberate effort to calm down.

A voice rang out over the radio — his squad leader checking in.

"1-6, is everybody all right?" the soldier asked, referring to Luckett's call-sign.

"Negative," Luckett responded. "My feet are gone."

He was evacuated by helicopter to a Baghdad emergency room, flown to Germany, and six days after the blast, he was back in the U.S.

As his plane touched down at Andrew's Air Force Base, he made a determined decision. He was going to rejoin the 101st Airborne Division any way he could.

For the first month at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Luckett was bound to a wheelchair. He hated the dependence that came with it. He hated the way people changed their voice when they spoke to him — soft and sympathetic.

He wondered: how long is THIS going to last? Will I be dependent on others for the rest of my life?

At night, he dreamed of walking on two legs.

When he woke, only the stump of his left leg was there, painfully tender and swollen.

His family wanted to know, is this going to be the same Dan?

He assured them he was.

**Read it all**
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