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9851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Communicating with intellectually dishonest liberals on: October 28, 2010, 10:23:58 AM
I emailed Robert Wright this yesterday:

Islamaphobia?


Is her fear irrational?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/us/17cartoon.html

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

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

Mr. Fefer declined an interview request Thursday, citing “the sensitivity of the situation.” But in a letter to readers about Ms. Norris on Wednesday, he said that “on the insistence of top security specialists at the F.B.I., she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.”
9852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 28, 2010, 10:14:49 AM
“What is scary about this is that the U.S. dominance in high-performance computing is at risk,” said Wu-chun Feng, a supercomputing expert and professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “One could argue that this hits the foundation of our economic future.”
9853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 27, 2010, 11:05:20 PM
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.18a92e9878f71f90e7b491d0afd4b1a3.501&show_article=1

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

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

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

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

While critics in the United States accuse China of artificially undervaluing its currency to give exporters an unfair advantage, Beijing says Washington is foisting its economic woes on the rest of the world by printing more money.
9854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: October 27, 2010, 10:31:50 PM
Yeah, I figured it was a translation issue. As a gun nut, I was forced to point it out.  grin
9855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: October 27, 2010, 10:14:54 PM
There are stupid people and then there are smart people who choose to be stupid because it wins them approval they are seeking from certain others. Robert Wright is obviously trying for the latter. He isn't interested in facts. The information is easily available and obvious to anyone who wanted to spend 5 minutes researching the topic. His integrity clearly means less to him than his need for approval from the left. He isn't interested in logic or facts in this matter.
9856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Communicating with the Muslim World on: October 27, 2010, 08:29:23 PM
I forget, did Ann Coulter have to go into hiding after making an anti-gay statement? How many buildings are missing from the Manhattan skyline because of radical homosexuals? Gays tend to inflict lots of violence on their fellow gays, as well as fatal viriii, but but aside from some ugly anti-christian acts, tend not to harm the greater public, to the best of my knowledge.

Is this really that hard to figure out?
9857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton lost the bisquit after hiding the cigar on: October 26, 2010, 08:06:34 PM
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/top-general-says-bill-clinton-lost-code-for-nuclear-launch/article1768224/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The first time, he left it in the White House when he went to play a round of golf; the second time, in early 1998, aides turned the White House upside-down, and searched the president's clothes without finding them.
9858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 26, 2010, 01:59:38 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/g20-summit/5071299/Unhappy-China-bestseller-claims-Beijing-should-lead-the-world.html

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

"Unhappy China" is already into its second print run, while China's major web portals and social networking sites have their own "Unhappy China" forums.
9859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Emasculation of Men In Contempory Society on: October 26, 2010, 08:11:45 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/24/AR2010102403342.html?wprss=rss_world&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wp-dyn%2Frss%2Fworld%2Findex_xml+%28washingtonpost.com+-+World%29

Better get ready for carnivores in PLA uniforms.
9860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Emasculation of Men In Contempory Society on: October 26, 2010, 07:37:04 AM
I've noticed that the females of leftist americanus tend to be the larger, more aggressive ones when compared to the males.
9861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 25, 2010, 09:49:12 PM
Don't forget the environmental costs of rare earth elements for all the "green tech". As well the geo-political aspects, like what our Chinese friends are doing with their domination of REE exports.
9862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Emasculation of Men In Contempory Society on: October 25, 2010, 09:45:03 PM
I agree completely, and this has been going on for quite a while. With each generation, it seems to become more evident. If I can plug another website (I hope that is okay here, if not, please take the link down---I have no affiliation with them): http://artofmanliness.com/. Lots of great articles and a forum (community), but it tends toward the liberal side of things, so I don't spend much time there. Plenty of articles on manhood, old-style shaving, clothing, etc.

Do liberal males actually produce enough testosterone to be able to shave? Or is it more of a anthropological explanation of masculinity for liberals?
9863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2010 Elections; 2012 Presidential on: October 25, 2010, 08:20:00 PM
It looks like there is about five different felonies Tejada could easily be charged and prosecuted for, but like Michelle Obama's violation of election laws, they don't apply to dems or the New Black Panther Party.
9864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 25, 2010, 06:08:02 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/25/cbs-unemployment-situation-still-the-worst-since-the-depression/

Per CBS news, 22% unemployment in California. Think of how great that is for the environment!
9865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 25, 2010, 06:03:34 PM
As things continue to fail, you'll see Barry-O really start to decompensate.
9866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A re-militarized Japan? on: October 24, 2010, 11:20:16 PM
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20101024p2g00m0fp039000c.html

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

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

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

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

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

(Mainichi Japan) October 24, 2010
9867  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China: Yes we can! on: October 24, 2010, 10:57:02 PM
http://www.afpc.org/publication_listings/viewArticle/1064

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the first sign of hesitation, Mr Obama signalled to China that US policy is subject to intimidation. Each subsequent reversal has only emboldened Beijing. Much of the political leadership of China still seems to prefer co-operation over confrontation with the United States, and ties between the two countries have grown remarkably broad if not particularly deep. But hardliners in the Communist Party, and particularly in the PLA, clearly resent America’s influence in Asia and are growing more assertive by the year in their attempts to roll that influence back. Damage has been done to US credibility by this whole episode, but the Obama administration must stand by its initial pledge to send the George Washington to the Yellow Sea.  With tensions between Japan and China fast on the rise after the arrest of the Chinese trawler captain, there is no better time to send a message to America’s allies that US influence in Asia will not be compromised by China’s rise. 
9868  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I guess we know who calls the shots in asia now on: October 24, 2010, 09:49:54 PM
http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/category/asia/eap/

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

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

There was no official confirmation of the reports.

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

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

An international investigation concluded that the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan was caused by a torpedo launched from a North Korean ship. Pyongyang has called the report a fabrication.
9869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / BooOOOOooooosh! on: October 24, 2010, 07:31:55 PM
http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/10/24/how-george-w-bush-destroyed-the-economy-in-only-eight-short-years/

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

The conventional wisdom among the denizens of the left is that George W. Bush took a surplus and destroyed the economy in only eight short years. The following illustrated story shows just how he pulled off this difficult task.
9870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama will make us all millionaires! on: October 24, 2010, 06:15:39 PM
Unfortunately, a loaf of bread will cost 500,000US.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/goldman-fed-needs-print-4-trillion-new-money

9871  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 02:30:18 PM
http://city-journal.org/2010/20_3_california-economy.html

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

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

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

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

What went so wrong? The answer lies in a change in the nature of progressive politics in California. During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city—as something to be sacked and plundered. The result is two separate California realities: a lucrative one for the wealthy and for government workers, who are largely insulated from economic decline; and a grim one for the private-sector middle and working classes, who are fleeing the state.
9872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 02:11:39 PM
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/23/business/la-fi-1023-caljobs-20101023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More pain is likely to come in government cuts.
9873  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 02:00:20 PM
The mountain west is far more attractive than CA. LA is well on it's way to becoming Detroit with palm trees. But you should should definitely not consider moving, JDN.
9874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: October 24, 2010, 01:55:48 PM
So, when it doesn't run on gas, it runs on coal. Wonderful.
9875  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: October 24, 2010, 01:24:46 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/24/wikileaks-documents-show-wmds-found-in-iraq/

Wikileaks documents show WMDs found in Iraq

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This isn’t exactly vindication of one of the arguments the Bush administration gave for invading Iraq, which was that Hussein had already begun stockpiling new WMDs and was working on nuclear weapons, but it is another vindication of the primary reason for restarting the war: Hussein and Iraq had violated the truce and refused to comply even after 17 UN resolutions demanding compliance.  Hussein never had any intention of abiding by the truce, for whatever motivations one wants to assign to him.  After the invasion, the US proved (through an armed-version of Wikileaks in Iraq’s diplomatic files) that the UN had allowed Hussein to grab billions in personal wealth by perverting the embargo in the Oil-for-Food Program, which would have given Hussein the means to fuel another WMD program as soon as the West withdrew from Iraq, and to restart Hussein’s dreams of pan-Arab dominance through military adventurism.  In the end, there were no good options.
9876  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 12:59:53 PM
http://www.chiefexecutive.net/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=59FD13C5177B40B0B2D3EBA9E4384572&AudID=F242408EE36A4B18AABCEB1289960A07

“Texas is pro-business with reasonable regulations,” one CEO respondent remarked, “while California is anti-business with anti-business regulations.” Another commented, “California is terrible. Even when we’ve paid their high taxes in full, they still treat every conversation as adversarial. It’s the most difficult state in the nation. We have actually walked away from business rather than deal with the government in Sacramento.”

 Click here to view the full chart

Best and Worst States for Business 2010

“The leadership of California has done everything in its power to kill manufacturing jobs in this state,” observed another CEO. “As I stated at our annual meeting, if we could grow our crops in Reno, we’d move our plants tomorrow.”

How is it that the nation’s most populous state at 37 million, one that is the world’s eighth-largest economy and the country’s richest and most diverse agricultural producer, a state that had the fastest growth rate in the 1950s and 1960s during the tenures of Democratic Governor Pat Brown and Republican Governors Earl Warren and Ronald Reagan, should become the Venezuela of North America?

Californians pay among the highest income and sales taxes in the nation, the former exceeding 10 percent in the top brackets. Unemployment statewide is over 12.2 percent, higher than the national average. State politics seems consumed with how to divide a shrinking pie rather than how to expand it. Against national trend, union density is climbing from 16.1 percent of workers in 1998 to 17.8 percent in 2002. Organized labor has more political influence in California than in most other states. In addition, unfunded pension and health care liabilities for state workers top $500 billion and the annual pension contribution has climbed from $320 million to $7.3 billion in less than a decade. When state employees reach critical mass, they tend to become a permanent lobby for continual growth in government.

Bill Dormandy, CEO of San Francisco medical device maker ITC, summed it up: “California has a good living environment but is unfavorable to business and the state taxes are not survivable. Nevada and Virginia are encouraging business to move to their states with lower tax rates and less regulatory demands.”
9877  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 12:52:33 PM
What are those California advantages? Crime, pollution, high taxes, lots of illegal aliens, high cost of living?
9878  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 12:37:01 PM
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/companies-270725-california-list.html

Fourteen more companies have moved either jobs or entire facilities out of California, bringing to 158 the number of companies shifting resources out of state in 2010, according to a list compiled by Irvine relocation consultant Joe Vranich.
9879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 12:34:09 PM
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/business/Cost-of-Living-Sucks-Everyone-Leaving-California.html

LOS ANGELES -- Mike Reilly spent his lifetime chasing the California dream. This year he's going to look for it in Colorado.

With a house purchase near Denver in the works, the 38-year-old engineering contractor plans to restart his family's future 1,200 miles away from his home state's lemon groves, sunshine and beaches. For him, years of rising taxes, dead-end schools, unchecked illegal immigration and clogged traffic have sapped the allure of the place writer Wallace Stegner once described as "America only more so."

Is there something left of the California dream?

"If you are a Hollywood actor," Reilly says, "but not for us."

Since the days of the Gold Rush, California has represented a sort of Promised Land, an image that fair or not is celebrated in the songs of the Beach Boys and embodied in the stars that line Hollywood Boulevard. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls the state the "golden dream by the sea."

But for many California families last year, tomorrow started somewhere else.

The number of people leaving California for another state outstripped the number moving in from another state during the year ending on July 1, 2008. California lost a net total of 144,000 people during that period -- more than any other state, according to census estimates. That is about equal to the population of Syracuse, N.Y.

The state with the next-highest net loss through migration between states was New York, which lost just over 126,000 residents.

California's loss is extremely small in a state of 38 million. And, in fact, the state's population continues to increase overall because of births and immigration, legal and illegal. But it is the fourth consecutive year that more residents decamped from California for other states than arrived here from within the U.S., according to state demographers.
9880  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: October 24, 2010, 12:06:08 PM
http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2010/10/wages-of-wikileaks-understanding-iraq.html

The wages of Wikileaks: Understanding the Iraq war casualties
By TigerHawk at 10/24/2010 11:07:00 AM


Glenn Reynolds notes that the early revelations from the "Wikileaks" exposure of classified Iraq war documents do not actually reflect well on the political left. In particular, the documents reveal that The Lancet's two infamous studies on casualties in Iraq, curiously released in October 2004 and October 2006, respectively, grossly overstated the death toll from that war. This should not surprise us, insofar as the second such study (which claimed 600,000 war-related deaths in Iraq through the summer of 2006, or almost six times the 109,000 deaths through 2009 revealed by Wikileaks) was funded and promoted by George Soros, a fact that was ignored in virtually all of the press coverage back when it mattered. Thus Wikileaks has torpedoed a "fact" to which the "reality-based community" ascribed totemic significance. Sadly, even now the respectable mainstream media neglects to make the point. Probably because George Soros was behind the original propaganda which the media dutifully transcribed. If that were widely understood it might not reflect well on the profession of journalism.

Now, you might say that whether there were 100,000 excess deaths in Iraq or 600,000, it hardly matters insofar as both numbers are huge. Well, maybe not.

    And that’s leaving aside the argument about who actually killed the Iraqis, and whether more would have died under Saddam. Note also that this death toll is less than the number of people murdered in South Africa over the same period, and that even allowing for population differences, Iraq’s death toll is now lower.


The first really objective history of the Iraq war will have to wait until somebody who did not live through the propaganda around that war is old enough to write it. When that book is written, its main conclusion will turn on the path of Iraq and the greater Middle East in the years following the war, a story that has not yet unfolded. The discussion of the human costs of the war will be particularly interesting, however, because it will judge the competing claims of those who oppose the war -- that American and Coalition soldiers fought a dirty war that inflicted an unacceptably large number of civilian casualties -- and those who support it -- that civilian casualties were almost unbelievably low given the ferocity and duration of the counterinsurgency and in any case lower than the deaths attributable to Ba'athist rule over a similar number of years.
9881  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: October 24, 2010, 12:03:04 PM
http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/wikileaks_nails_the_wild_lancet_scare/

I’m not sure it’s what WikiLeaks intended, but its latest leaks reveal that the infamous Lancet paper which claimed the US-led liberation of Iraq cost the lives of 655,000 Iraqis in fact exaggerated the death toll by at least 600 per cent:

    The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq (over six years). These include 66,081 “civilians,” 23,984 “enemy” insurgents, 15,196 “host nation” (Iraqi government forces), and 3,771 “friendly” (coalition) forces. Some 60 percent of the total is civilian deaths.

And that’s leaving aside the argument about who actually killed the Iraqis, and whether more would have died under Saddam. Note also that this death toll is less than the number of people murdered in South Africa over the same period, and that even allowing for population differences, Iraq’s death toll is now lower.

Settle back and see if that’s how the ABC and Fairfax report these latest leaks.
9882  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: October 24, 2010, 11:54:50 AM
Note how the media ignores the WMDs found in Iraq and the debunking of the Lancet study in the WikiLeak document drop. Assange is a melodramatic douche. If the CIA or the UK's intel entities wanted him, they'd have him.
9883  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: california on: October 24, 2010, 11:09:08 AM
So all the businesses and productive citizens fleeing California are doing so for no reason?
9884  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Election Fraud Uncovered by Patriotic Citizens … Who Promptly Get Sued on: October 23, 2010, 12:46:20 PM
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/election-fraud-uncovered-by-patriotic-citizens-who-promptly-get-sued/?singlepage=true

Election Fraud Uncovered by Patriotic Citizens … Who Promptly Get Sued
Election watchers True the Vote have found disturbing amounts of fraud in Harris County, Texas. Rather than support their important work, the Texas Democratic Party (among others) is suing them. (And don't forget to join PJM's voter-fraud watch!)
October 23, 2010 - by Hans A. von Spakovsky

Talk about denial! A group of liberal activists is making the media rounds, assuring reporters and editors that election fraud is a fairy tale. Nothing serious, they assert, nothing to see here. Too bad for them that citizens in Houston, energized by the Tea Party movement, have formed a group called True the Vote. Their hard work has demonstrated that, in some parts of the country at least, our election system is still infested with problems.

True the Vote is composed entirely of volunteers — hundreds of them. They have pored over election records in Harris County, Texas, looking for signs of fraud. And they have found plenty. Indeed, their initial research into only a very small portion of the voter registration records has led them to ask the U.S. Justice Department’s Voting Section to conduct a federal investigation.

In a letter asking for an official inquiry, True the Vote discusses potential widespread forgery in voter application forms. For instance, it seems from the applications that someone suspiciously signs the letter “J” with a quirky “3” inside the loop. The “3” shows up in multiple signatures for different voters with the names Jenard, Jamark, Jamarcus, and Jones.

True the Vote reports that at least four noncitizens have been registered to vote in Harris County. The group provided Justice with the actual voter registration forms where applicants marked “NO” to the question: “Are you a U.S. Citizen?” The group also provided the voter registration numbers of these confessed noncitizens. Yes, astonishingly, Harris County registered them to vote anyway. They are now on the rolls and able to participate in the upcoming midterm elections.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 was supposed to stop this from happening. But this federal legislation is only as good as the Justice Department’s willingness to enforce it. If Harris County is registering noncitizens, then it is violating numerous provisions of federal law, including those that prohibit the registration of foreigners to vote in federal elections.

True the Vote uncovered other types of fraud as well. The group forwarded to DOJ seven voter registration forms with applicant names different from the signature name. For example: Ta’mackayn Harrison’s application was signed by “Bra Kelly.” Jason King’s was signed by “Jemma Noel.” Yet Harris County inexplicably approved all of these applications. Jason King, aka Jemma Noel, is now on the voter rolls in Houston.

The citizens group also found multiple registrations for individual voters. For example, True the Vote provided the Justice Department government documents showing that at least four persons, including Jose Gomez and Victor Nickerson, had registered to vote multiple times successfully.

These problems were found by True the Vote in just a small sampling of the county’s voter registration list. How many other, similar problems would turn up in a comprehensive review? Don’t forget: every vote counts. Which also means that every legitimate vote cancelled out by a fraudulent vote should be a concern to anyone interested in fair elections and protecting the right to vote.

This sort of thing can happen only when election officials flout Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires them to clean up their voter registration lists. But this Department of Justice seems to have no interest in enforcing these laws. In testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, DOJ whistleblowers Christopher Coates and J. Christian Adams revealed that Obama Justice Department political appointee Julie Fernandes instructed the Voting Section that no such cases were to be brought. That directive gives free rein to voter registration fraud. Bogus registrants can now cast a fraudulent vote with confidence that the election police are asleep.

For years, the far left has insisted that voter fraud really doesn’t exist, or at least that claims about it are overblown. In so doing, the left has willfully blinded itself to the truth. But the arrival of True the Vote is helping expose the lies of these election fraud deniers.

Its “Army of Davids” approach brings to bear hundreds of volunteers to spend hundreds of hours examining documents and searching for patterns, like the mysterious “3” that afflicts so many letter “J’s” in Houston, or finding vacant lots at the registered addresses of multiple voters. Moreover, it means hundreds will serve as election judges and poll watchers on election day. True the Vote is the election fraud denier’s worst nightmare, because the group is helping prove definitively that fraud is real and too often overlooked by election officials.

Houston has an ACORN-like group, Houston Votes, that harvests thousands of suspect voter registration forms. If some of the fraud uncovered by True the Vote was done by deputy registers working for Houston Votes, they should be prosecuted. And it won’t be too hard to figure out — every deputy registrar that roams the community must be approved by the clerk in Harris County and is issued an identification number. Bogus applications can, and will, be traced back to the particular registrars.

Of course, this may explain why True the Vote has been hit with a lawsuit by the Texas Democratic Party, an ethics complaint by Texans for Public Justice, and another lawsuit (for defamation) by Houston Votes and the Houston lawyer behind the voter registration drive that turned in multiple problematic registration forms (Harris County estimated over 7,000). That same organization has also sued Harris County — claiming the county is barred from correcting the voter registration problems!

So has the Eric Holder-run Justice Department acted on the evidence of electoral fraud gift-wrapped, tied in a bow, and delivered to them? No. He and his partisan retinue in the Civil Rights Division have instead reportedly opened up an investigation of True the Vote!

When early voting started in Texas, liberal blogs ran scandalous headlines that True the Vote had been targeted by the Department of Justice, and related that Justice officials have started interviewing voters about the behavior of poll watchers — something confirmed by a Justice spokesman. This is curious because it seems, through leaks, to inject the DOJ into the election directly. It is all the more curious given internal DOJ limits on election-eve actions. The DOJ’s own election crimes manual, Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses, states:

    Another limitation [on election investigations] affects voter interviews. Election fraud cases often depend on the testimony of individual voters whose votes were co-opted in one way or another. But in most cases voters should not be interviewed or other voter-related investigation done, until after the election is over. Such overt investigative steps may chill legitimate voting activities. They are also likely to be perceived by voters and candidates as an intrusion into the election.

The leaking of the information about DOJ’s investigation to a friendly liberal blog was even stranger, and more ethically suspect. And what a contrast between how quickly Justice announced it was investigating complaints made by the Texas Democratic Party about poll watchers, and DOJ’s complete silence about True the Vote’s request for an investigation of the voter registration fraud discovered in Harris County.

Hopefully, True the Vote will not be deterred from its investigation of registration fraud by the seemingly coordinated attempts to intimidate it by the Justice Department, the Texas Democratic Party, and Houston Votes. Fortunately, the Liberty Institute has agreed to defend True the Vote from the specious claims being made against it.

Voter fraud practitioners should have something to worry about. True the Vote may be coming to a town near you soon. Though it is focused on Harris County for 2010, it plans to go national in 2011. The model it has developed is robust, effective — and to the chagrin of the wrongdoers — completely legal. After the congressional midterms, it will hold a nationwide summit of other citizens ready to start election integrity operations in the rest of the nation.

The country could use such dedication in 2012. The Obama Justice Department has demonstrated a shocking willingness to ignore laws protecting the security and integrity of elections. That should comes as no surprise given both the increasingly partisan approach to law enforcement undertaken by this Department under Eric Holder’s leadership, and the dogged determination of Holder’s ideological comrades who deny that voter fraud occurs, or that common sense measures like voter ID are needed.

In the great American tradition of self-reliance, citizen watchdogs across the country may stand watch in 2012. If the government proves incapable of protecting electoral integrity, the people can.

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org) and a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.
9885  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 23, 2010, 12:22:15 PM
Good thing we'd never put someone lacking experience and ability in a national leadership position.
9886  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Alert Radley Balko! on: October 23, 2010, 11:45:27 AM
**US Gov't uses Big Brother tactics on poor undocumented immigrants just trying to make a living.**

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/10/18/ST2010101806011.html?sid=ST2010101806011

Their surveillance effort captured more than 50,000 calls over six months, conversations that reached deep into Mexico and helped build a sprawling case against 43 suspects - including Mexican police and top officials - allegedly linked to a savage trafficking ring known as the Fernando Sanchez Organization.

According to the wiretaps and confidential informants, the suspects plotted kidnappings and killings and hired American teenage girls, with nicknames like Dopey, to smuggle quarter-pound loads of methamphetamine across the border for $100 a trip. To send a message to a rival, they dumped a disemboweled dog in his mother's front yard.

But U.S. law enforcement officials say the most worrisome thing about the Fernando Sanchez Organization was how aggressively it moved to set up operations in the United States, working out of a San Diego apartment it called "The Office."

At a time of heightened concern in Washington that drug violence along the border may spill into the United States, the case dubbed "Luz Verde," or Green Light, shows how Mexican cartels are trying to build up their U.S. presence.

The Fernando Sanchez Organization's San Diego venture functioned almost like a franchise, prosecutors say, giving it greater control over lucrative smuggling routes and drug distribution networks north of the border.

"They moved back and forth, from one side to the other. They commuted. We had lieutenants of the organization living here in San Diego and ordering kidnappings and murders in Mexico," said Todd Robinson, the assistant U.S. attorney who will prosecute the alleged drug ring next year.

The case shows that as the border becomes less of an operational barrier for Mexican cartels, it appears to be less of one for U.S. surveillance efforts. Because the suspects' cellphone and radio traffic could be captured by towers on the northern side of the border, U.S. agents were able to eavesdrop on calls made on Mexican cellphones, between two callers in Mexico - a tactic prosecutors say has never been deployed so extensively.
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Captured on one wiretap: a cartel leader, a former homicide detective from Tijuana, negotiating with a Mexican state judicial police officer about a job offer to lead a death squad.

Recorded on other calls: the operation's biggest catch, Jesus Quinones Marquez, a high-ranking Mexican official and alleged cartel operative code-named "El Rinon," or "The Kidney." As he worked and socialized with U.S. law enforcement officials in his role as international liaison for the Baja California attorney general's office, Quinones passed confidential information to cartel bosses and directed Mexican police to take action against rival traffickers, prosecutors say.

He and 34 other suspects are now in U.S. jails. The remaining eight are still at large.

Investigators say it is not unusual for Mexican cartel leaders and their underlings to move north to seek refuge, or place representatives in such cities as Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta to manage large deliveries of drugs. But the Fernando Sanchez Organization was more ambitious. It was building a network in San Diego, complete with senior managers to facilitate large and small drug shipments and sales.
9887  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / race-based justice on: October 22, 2010, 08:21:34 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/10/22/doj-sources-tell-wapo-yes-racial-politics-are-being-played-in-the-civil-rights-division/

DOJ sources tell WaPo: Yes, racial politics are being played in the Civil Rights Division

posted at 8:57 pm on October 22, 2010 by Allahpundit


A blockbuster, Breitbart calls it. Remember J. Christian Adams and the New Black Panther Party voting rights case? Thanks to Adams, the DOJ pursued a civil action against two Panther members for intimidating voters outside a polling place in Philly in 2008. The Panthers didn’t contest it and the DOJ won a permanent injunction — only to then drop the charges, seemingly inexplicably. Adams and a colleague claimed that the Department backed off because they didn’t want to pursue voting rights actions against minority defendants. DOJ higher-ups denied it. The Civil Rights Commission started investigating, and they eventually started splitting over what happened too.

Finally, at long last, WaPo decided to try to figure out what happened. Who’s right? Adams in asserting that there’s institutional resistance to using voting rights laws — which were, after all, passed in response to white abuses against blacks — against minority defendants? Or the higher-ups in insisting that the Panther case had nothing to do with race but merely with weak evidence? WaPo’s verdict:

    In recent months, Adams and a Justice Department colleague have said the case was dismissed because the department is reluctant to pursue cases against minorities accused of violating the voting rights of whites. Three other Justice Department lawyers, in recent interviews, gave the same description of the department’s culture, which department officials strongly deny…

    Civil rights officials from the Bush administration have said that enforcement should be race-neutral. But some officials from the Obama administration, which took office vowing to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement, thought the agency should focus primarily on cases filed on behalf of minorities.

    “The Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around,” said one Justice Department official not authorized to speak publicly, referring to the white Alabama police commissioner who cracked down on civil rights protesters such as Lewis, now a Democratic congressman from Georgia…

    Three Justice Department lawyers, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they feared retaliation from their supervisors, described the same tensions, among career lawyers as well as political appointees. Employees who worked on the [Ike] Brown case were harassed by colleagues, they said, and some department lawyers anonymously went on legal blogs “absolutely tearing apart anybody who was involved in that case,” said one lawyer.

    “There are career people who feel strongly that it is not the voting section’s job to protect white voters,” the lawyer said. “The environment is that you better toe the line of traditional civil rights ideas or you better keep quiet about it, because you will not advance, you will not receive awards and you will be ostracized.”

Adams wrote about the Ike Brown case for Pajamas Media here and here. It was brought in 2005 and marked the first time a voting rights action had been pursued against a minority defendant; as WaPo says, “Adams later told the civil rights commission that the decision to bring the Brown case caused bitter divisions in the voting section and opposition from civil rights groups.” Which is to say, apparently the institutional hostility to these actions inside the Civil Rights Division pre-dates Obama and his appointments. That’s how entrenched it is. As for the Panther case, WaPo reaches no formal conclusion but between those brutal quotes and the fact that legal experts are at a loss to explain why charges would be dismissed in an action where a default judgment had already been granted, you can draw your own conclusion. (Other officials told them that Holder was aware of the case but that the decision to drop the charges didn’t come from him.)

Not only am I amazed that they published this, I’m doubly amazed that they did it 10 days before a giant midterm. This is a “week after the election” story if ever there was one. Exit question: Second look at WaPo?

9888  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Decoupling: Alive and Well on: October 22, 2010, 07:53:52 PM
http://www.europac.net/commentaries/decoupling_alive_and_well

Decoupling: Alive and Well
October 21, 2010 - 6:07am — europac admin
By:
Neeraj Chaudhary
Thursday, October 21, 2010

While the US economy continues to weaken (see my recent commentary: Don’t Doubt the Double-Dip), many foreign economies continue to experience solid – even spectacular – economic growth. When the global economic crisis began in 2008, many forecasters doubted that the world economy could return to growth without the US consumer. But the world is learning what Peter Schiff has long predicted: that the US consumer is a drag on the world economy, not an engine for growth. As “decoupling” becomes more apparent, emerging economies are forming trade links among themselves, accelerating the process of decline for the United States.
 
To get a better understanding of how decoupling works, it helps to picture a train in motion. Together, the cars and engine travel together on the track. Now imagine that last car, the caboose, detaches from the rest of the train. At first, the caboose travels at nearly the same speed as the rest of the train. The distance between the two is hardly discernable. Over time, however, the car slows down as friction and gravity take their toll. Meanwhile, the engine powers ahead. The distance between the caboose and the train gradually becomes greater and greater, until finally the engine is gone from sight, leaving the caboose sitting idle on the track.
 
This process describes how many of the world’s economies are steadily pulling away from the United States. As trade links grow between countries far from our shores (such as those being solidified between Asia and South America), the distance between the United States and the rest of the world is becoming larger, and decoupling is becoming more and more pronounced.
 
While the US economy sputtered to a 1.6% growth rate in the 2nd quarter (Q2), many Asian countries rapidly pulled away, powered by trade with each other and the rest of the world. In Q2, China’s economy grew a startling 10.3%. Americans would be thrilled with growth half that rate. Asia’s second rising star, India, expanded by a solid 8.8%. The Four Tigers also posted excellent numbers: Hong Kong grew at a 6.5% clip, South Korea at a faster 7.1%, and Taiwan at 12.53% – while Singapore clocked an astonishing 18.8% growth rate! If that’s not decoupling, I don’t know what is.
 
These numbers are not likely to be a short-term phenomenon. Instead, I feel they represent a dramatic realignment in the pattern of global economic activity. Economies that have long enjoyed a trade surplus are now less likely to loan money to broke and bloated deficit economies such as the United States. Instead, they are now more inclined to consume their own production or trade with other exporting nations. Indeed, China is now the largest trading partner for several of the world’s major economies, including Japan, South Korea, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Russia, and Brazil. Slowed by the gravity of excess debt and the friction of increasing taxes and regulation, the American caboose is straining to keep up.
 
But the trend is not limited to Asia. All around the world, countries with sound economic policies are continuing to expand. In fact, despite the attention paid to the so-called PIIGS, several European economies are also showing signs of decoupling. Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, grew at 2.2% in Q2 – its fastest rate in over 20 years! Switzerland expanded by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter, while Sweden and Finland grew by 4.6% and 3.7% respectively. Even historically tumultuous Poland boasted a 3.5% growth rate. Predictably, this growth has whetted Europe’s appetite for imports, causing the EU to recently surpass the US as China’s largest export market.
 
The trend also extends to producers of the single most important commodity in the world: oil. According to the Department of Energy, the US imports over 60% of its oil consumption; however, new production is increasingly being diverted to international markets, leaving our country vulnerable to 1970s-style shortages.
 
In the 1st quarter of this year, Saudi Arabia exported more oil to China than it did to the US. With a new growth market for its petroleum, Saudi Arabia is estimated to grow 3.9% this year. Russia grew at a rate of 5.2% in Q2, largely for the same reason. China is now believed to be Iran’s largest trading partner, according to some sources. And although the United States remains Venezuela’s largest trading partner, China’s nearly insatiable demand for oil has catapulted it into 2nd place for trade with this oil-exporting nation.
 
Whether you are looking at ASEAN, OPEC, or the EU, it is clear that decoupling is the order of the day. The world economy is rebuilding itself with China as its engine and hub. This is the essence of decoupling, and until recently, it was thought by many respected figures to be impossible.
 
In the old days, it was said that when the United States sneezed, the rest of the world caught a cold. This time, they might just excuse themselves and move to the next car.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Please feel free to repost with proper attribution and all links included.
9889  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: October 22, 2010, 07:17:43 PM
Note: The Glock 26 is a semi-automatic handgun, not a revolver. I very good one, I might add.
9890  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thorium! on: October 22, 2010, 05:58:07 PM
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/next-generation/the-truth-about-thorium-and-nuclear-power?click=pp

Three to four times more plentiful than uranium, today's most common nuclear fuel, thorium packs a serious energetic punch: A single ton of it can generate as much energy as 200 tons of uranium, according to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carlo Rubbia. In the mid-twentieth century, some U.S. physicists considered building the nuclear power landscape around thorium. But uranium-fueled reactors produced plutonium as a byproduct, a necessary ingredient for nuclear weapons production, and uranium ended up dominating through the Cold War and beyond.

Thorium could recapture the lead if a Virginia-based company called Lightbridge (formerly Thorium Power) fulfills its promise. Lightbridge was founded on the vision that the existing fleet of nuclear reactors would continue to function for decades to come, so its proprietary nuclear fuel assembly—which features a small amount of uranium surrounded by a blanket of thorium—is designed to work in light water reactors, the most common variety in service worldwide. The company is also developing an all-metal fuel capable of incorporating thorium. "This is like going from leaded to unleaded fuel for your car—the operation [of the reactors] is the same," says Seth Grae, Lightbridge's CEO.
9891  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 22, 2010, 05:22:18 PM
Our salvation, no matter what China does or does not do, is to get back into a free market, innovation based economy. Cut corporate taxes and watch foreign investment flood in. It is an utter shame that right now, it's easier to start up a cutting edge tech company in China rather than here. If we do not reverse this and other trends, our best option in the future will be as a tourism destination for wealthy asians.
9892  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Potential Gubernatorial Game-change in CO on: October 22, 2010, 03:46:03 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2010/10/22/the-tancredo-surge-colorados-best-hope-for-defeating-hickenlooper/

We Coloradans already know that Democrat gubernatorial candidate and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper doesn’t think much of folks outside his liberal metropolitan jurisdiction. Now, it’s documented on video. My friend and fellow Colorado resident Michael Sandoval at National Review has the scoop on Hickenlooper’s public contempt for “backwards” rural Colorado residents — which he shared with a left-wing interviewer late last year.
9893  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: October 22, 2010, 03:19:58 PM
Believe me, I in no way want us to continue our destructive spending habits. We MUST address it immediately. However, until we get our feces coagulated, we had better not make things worse with a neo-Smoot-Hawley act.
9894  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 22, 2010, 11:06:05 AM
Doug,

It doesn't seem to vary much from the threads found here.
9895  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: October 21, 2010, 11:07:55 PM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/10/congressman-keith-ellison-d-muslim-brotherhood-likens-resistance-to-islamic-supremacism-as-racism.html

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Muslim Brotherhood) likens resistance to Islamic supremacism to racism
Ellison.jpg$13,350 from the group that wants to destroy the West from within


As I noted in December 2008, when it was first revealed that Ellison's Hajj was paid for with $13,350 from the Muslim American Society:

The Muslim Brotherhood "must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." -- "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Brotherhood in North America," by Mohamed Akram, May 19, 1991.

What does that have to do with Congressman Ellison? Everything. The Muslim American Society paid for his Hajj. And what is the Muslim American Society? The Muslim Brotherhood.

"In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation's major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members." -- Chicago Tribune, 2004.
9896  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: October 21, 2010, 11:03:55 PM
Ellison, like Obama is anti-american first.
9897  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 21, 2010, 10:31:42 PM
Of course, that would never happen now.

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/10/muslim-who-spoke-at-pro-khomeini-conference-and-threatened-columnist-named-to-homeland-security-advi.html

Mohamed Elibiary was one of the speakers at a December 2004 conference in Dallas entitled "A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary," Ayatollah Khomeini. When Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News called him on this, he threatened Dreher, telling him: "Expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe."

Fox Guarding Henhouse Alert: "Secretary Napolitano Swears in Homeland Security Advisory Council Members," from the Department of Homeland Security, October 15 (thanks to Jeff):

    Washington, D.C. - Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in three new members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) during her latest tri-annual meeting with HSAC, which took place at DHS headquarters this week. The HSAC is comprised of experts from state, local and tribal governments, emergency and first responder communities, academia and the private sector who provide recommendations and advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security on a variety of homeland security issues.

    The new members include: former New York City Police Commissioner and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton, who will join as vice-chair to former CIA and FBI Director Judge William Webster; Massachusetts General Hospital Director of Police, Security and Outside Services Bonnie Michelman; and Freedom and Justice Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Elibiary. [...]
9898  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: October 21, 2010, 10:24:05 PM
I like Juan Williams. As far as liberals go, he not a bad guy. He actually will concede a point now and then.

As far as moderate muslims go, here is a good example of one we invited into the pentagon:


Anwar al-Awlaki - the radical spiritual leader linked to several 9/11 attackers, the Fort Hood shooting, and the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an airliner - was a guest at the Pentagon in the months after 9/11, a Pentagon official confirmed to CBS News.

Awlaki was invited as "...part of an informal outreach program" in which officials sought contact "...with leading members of the Muslim community," the official said. At that time, Awlaki was widely viewed as a "moderate" imam at a mosque in Northern Virginia.

At the same time, the FBI was also interviewing Awlaki about his contacts with three of the 9/11 attackers - Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al Midhar and Hani Hanjour - who were all part of the crew of five that hijacked the American Airlines jet that hit the Pentagon.

In the days after 9/11, Awlaki told FBI officials he remembered meeting al Hazmi but recalled little else about him. It is believed Awlaki met both al Hazmi and al Midhar in 2000 when Awlaki was the imam at a mosque in San Diego. Awlaki later moved to Northern Virginia and al Hazmi was seen at the Virginia mosque as well. However, there are scant details about Awlaki’s actual contacts with al Midhar and Hani Hanjour.

In 2001, the FBI did not share this investigative information with the Pentagon, but officials say there was no reason to - Awlaki was not a suspect and was not believed to be connected to the 9/11 attacks. Instead he was viewed as a valuable liaison to the Muslim community and a potential investigative source. As one official put it, "he was a much different guy back then."

Still, it's not clear what kind of vetting or background check was done by the Defense Department before Awlaki was allowed into the building.
9899  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 21, 2010, 10:14:08 PM
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124740579

Hemmed in by mountains and the sea, Wenzhou’s land shortage forced its inhabitants into trade. Now, it’s China’s capital of capitalism. Ninety-nine percent of all business in the city is private sector, according to Wenzhou government statistics.

And those entrepreneurs have been phenomenally successful: Last year, one in every three Chinese tourists overseas was from Wenzhou and one-tenth of China’s luxury cars ended up in this city of 8 million.

Nowhere is the Wenzhou love of making money — and flaunting it — more apparent than the city’s only Louis Vuitton store. As soft Muzak chimes in the background, brand-conscious shoppers finger the $300 key rings and ogle the leather bags.

“We all like LV (Louis Vuitton) for bags, since everyone knows this brand,” says a man who identifies himself as Mr. Wu. He does a quick inventory of his wardrobe: bag by Louis Vuitton, shoes by Gucci, stripy cotton sweater by Paul & Shark with a $600 price tag. “Very expensive, but it’s worth it,” he adds, beaming in a self-satisfied manner.

Mrs. Jin is more sniffy about Louis Vuitton. “It’s too vulgar nowadays,” she says dismissively. “The streets are awash with it. I prefer Chanel, it’s more elegant.”
Millionaire

Chen Wenda started a lighter-parts factory at age 18. Two decades later, the millionaire owns a shoe factory, a wine business, real estate interests and a soccer team. He started the wine business to appeal to the brash, high-rolling millionaires of Wenzhou, where Chen says people like to flaunt their wealth more than in any other place in China.

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

One 30-something millionaire, Chen Wenda, is aiming to cash in on the famed Wenzhou flashiness with his wine cellar stuffed full of Chateau Lafite and Petrus.

His trajectory follows a typical Wenzhou path. In 1988, at age 18, he started a lighter-part factory. Then he diversified. Now he has a shoe factory, an import-export business, a wine business, real-estate interests, and for the past two years, his own personal soccer team, which costs him half-a-million dollars a year. He describes the Wenzhou way of making money.

“I set up businesses and drop those that don’t make money, like the lighter-part factory. No one puts their eggs in one basket,” he explains.

“In Wenzhou, every single person does real estate. Everyone is pushing up the prices of buildings. We dare to do stuff. We’re not scared. And everyone wants to be their own boss,” he says.

These days, one in every ten bottles of wine drunk in China is guzzled in Wenzhou, as an accompaniment to deal-making. But Chen says the businessmen here are too busy making money to bother with the niceties of wine drinking.

“If they think that wine is too sour, they might add Coke to make it go down smoothly. If that’s what they want to do, that’s fine,” he adds. “I don’t see the need to emphasize European wine culture. Wenzhou people are too busy to do all of that. They have to meet people and do business.”
9900  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: October 21, 2010, 08:21:12 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/6584906/China-turns-to-Adam-Smith.html

Smith’s first masterpiece, the Theory of Moral Sentiments, has been translated into Chinese for the first time, and Chris Berry, professor at Glasgow University, where Smith wrote the book, will next week deliver lectures on it at Fudan University in Shanghai.

China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao, has said he often carries the work – which preceded his more famous work The Wealth of Nations – in his suitcase when he goes abroad. Prof Berry said the earlier book emphasised the importance “not only [of] their material prosperity but also their moral welfare”.

**Anyone think Barry-O will flip through a chapter or two between golf sessions? Me either.**

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