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9851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: November 15, 2010, 10:16:49 AM

Right. Don't suppose anyone there remembers 10.8% unemployment of 1981-1983 while we used those 'tools' to 'unwind' the previously excessive, expansionary policies.  If we have those types of increases coming on top of this type of underlying unemployment, 12.5% unemployment looks possible to me in the aftermath of this fool's game.

**I think that's the best case scenario. I'm expecting Weimar Germany-like effects.**
9852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 15, 2010, 10:00:29 AM
Are those meth orphans self selecting victims?
9853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 15, 2010, 08:57:40 AM
You implied that law enforcement was failing because the war on drugs continued. I pointed out that like enforcing other laws, it's an ongoing process.
9854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 14, 2010, 10:29:14 PM

B. Interference with screening
i. Including physical contact $1,500-$5,000
ii. Non-physical interference $500-$1,500
iii. False threats $1,000-$2,000

C. Entering sterile area without submitting to screening $1,000-$3,000

E. Entering or being present within a secured area, AOA, SIDA,
or sterile area without complying with the systems, measures,
or procedures being applied to control access to, or presence or
movement in, such areas $500-$3,000
9855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 14, 2010, 09:54:57 PM

§ 1540.105   Security responsibilities of employees and other persons.

(a) No person may:

(1) Tamper or interfere with, compromise, modify, attempt to circumvent, or cause a person to tamper or interfere with, compromise, modify, or attempt to circumvent any security system, measure, or procedure implemented under this subchapter.

(2) Enter, or be present within, a secured area, AOA, SIDA or sterile area without complying with the systems, measures, or procedures being applied to control access to, or presence or movement in, such areas.

(3) Use, allow to be used, or cause to be used, any airport-issued or airport-approved access medium or identification medium that authorizes the access, presence, or movement of persons or vehicles in secured areas, AOA's, or SIDA's in any other manner than that for which it was issued by the appropriate authority under this subchapter.

(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of this section do not apply to conducting inspections or tests to determine compliance with this part or 49 U.S.C. Subtitle VII authorized by:

(1) TSA, or

(2) The airport operator, aircraft operator, or foreign air carrier, when acting in accordance with the procedures described in a security program approved by TSA.
§ 1540.107   Submission to screening and inspection.

(a) No individual may enter a sterile area or board an aircraft without submitting to the screening and inspection of his or her person and accessible property in accordance with the procedures being applied to control access to that area or aircraft under this subchapter.

(b) An individual must provide his or her full name, as defined in §1560.3 of this chapter, date of birth, and gender when—

(1) The individual, or a person on the individual's behalf, makes a reservation for a covered flight, as defined in §1560.3 of this chapter, or

(2) The individual makes a request for authorization to enter a sterile area.

(c) An individual may not enter a sterile area or board an aircraft if the individual does not present a verifying identity document as defined in §1560.3 of this chapter, when requested for purposes of watch list matching under §1560.105(c), unless otherwise authorized by TSA on a case-by-case basis.

[73 FR 64061, Oct. 28, 2008]
§ 1540.109   Prohibition against interference with screening personnel.

No person may interfere with, assault, threaten, or intimidate screening personnel in the performance of their screening duties under this subchapter.
9856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another misunderstanding about jihad.... on: November 14, 2010, 06:51:19 PM

I'm just one Muhammad There are millions of Muhammads out there. And I hope and pray the next one be more deadlier than Muhammad Atta!! (peace be upon him) commander of the blessed raids in NY and D.C. on 9/11.

**He must have missed Obama's explanation of what jihad meant.**
9857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 14, 2010, 02:18:24 PM
Privacy is already enumerated in the 4th, yes?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects (against unreasonable search/seizure)...

No. That did not protect anyone in Kelo (wrongly decided)

**Kelo wasn't a 4th adm. case. It was 5th Adm. (Takings clause, as in "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."I agree that in Kelo, using gov't power seizing private property on behalf of another private entity cannot be defined as for public use by any reasonable definition.**

and there was more privacy discovered in Griswold, Roe, and Lawrence decisions for examples than contained in the 4th.

**Those were directly related to consensual sexual behavior amongst adults, which I would agree tend to fall under a right to privacy recognized by society (Which is part of a two part test related to the 4th regarding a reasonable expectation of privacy), with an exception in Roe, where a fetus also has rights to be considered.**

  Can't speak for Crafty by I am saying a much greater right of privacy than the standard for which we require a search warrant.  I don't know the words but an assumption of privacy, to be left alone in the pursuit of happiness, until another compelling interest becomes greater.

Here is California law regarding a landlord entering a tenant's space:
Basically it says only in an emergency or other established, compelling reason.  Even though the landlord owns the place, the tenant has a right of privacy not based at all in protection from government search and seizure.  That right is codified in state law but comes from a pre-existing and presumed right of privacy.  Yes?

**No. Laws are structured to regulate interactions between citizens, such as landlords and tenants, while the constitution places limits on the powers of government.**
9858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 14, 2010, 01:51:27 PM
So we stop security screening at airports?
9859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: November 14, 2010, 01:22:53 PM

Chinese workers build 15-story hotel in just six days

**I wonder how far along we are on the WTC rebuild, 9+ years in.**
9860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The power of RAZAism on: November 14, 2010, 01:05:44 PM

California school has done a U-turn after it forced a student to remove an American flag attached to his bike, saying the Stars and Stripes could spur racial tensions on campus.

Cody Alicea,13, had been flying the flag on the back of his bicycle for almost two months to show support for veterans like his grandfather, Robert Alicea.

But just in time for Veterans Day, school officials at Denair Middle School told Cody he would no longer be allowed to display the flag, citing complaints from other students.
9861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 14, 2010, 12:48:08 PM
Well let's see, we already have Venezuela, Al Qaeda, and all sorts of other unsavory characters importing drugs, so having China do so would probably be as step up. As the video you appear to have not watched stated, addiction rates tend to remain at 1.3 percent whether drugs are legal, somewhat banned, or as illegal as they are today, so the source thereof doesn't appear to be particularly germane, except insofar as the monies collected are used to fund our enemies, does it?

**To me, that is the most compelling argument for legalization. I fear the social destruction of legalization, but even more, I fear that AQ or another entity could finance a nuke or nukes to detonate CONUS as the result of profits from illegal drugs.**

Again, if you had watched the video you'd have noted that youth rates of marijuana use goes down as they now have to purchase the drug from a regulated vendor--like booze--rather than ubiquitous school yard vendors. I think your other questions are as easy to dispose of, so perhaps you could do so for the class all by yourself and spare me from enumerating the obvious.

**My internet connection is slow and after the DEA chart on heroin price and purity '80-'99, my browser crashed, dumping the cached video.**

While your at it, and in view of the stark questions you tend to ask, how 'bout you speak to the trillion dollars down the rat hole; the half million citizens incarcerated; the damage done to the 4th and 5th amendments by drug enforcement, including asset forfeiture; higher quality; lower price; all without any discernible impact on the rate of drug abuse. Name some other business with a record of abject failure where the authors of that failure would not be unceremoniously fired. How would you deal with such an unblemished record of unmitigated failure by any sane measure if it occurred anywhere other than in law enforcement?

**Let's look at the costs associated with the enforcement of other laws. We spend huge amounts investigating sexual assaults and murder, and yet rape and murder still takes place every year. Should we look at legalization of those as a way out of our costly, and seemingly unproductive wars on rape and murder? I reject your assertion that damage has been done to the 4th and 5th, and if it were, look to the courts, not law enforcement.**
9862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 14, 2010, 12:23:42 PM
Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die. Everyone wants to fly safely but no one wants to be screened. Getting searched by TSA is invasive. Getting processed by the FBI as part of a crime scene is even more so. When you are nothing but burned and shattered pieces of bone and tissue, you really don't have any privacy.
9863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 14, 2010, 12:16:15 PM
Privacy is already enumerated in the 4th, yes?
9864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 14, 2010, 11:51:56 AM
I think your assertion that self defense would be covered under the 9th is very viable, given it's historic recognition in common law. I think other commonly recognized rights within society and the legal system that weren't specifically enumerated in the bill of rights would be covered by the 9th. It's not something to do lightly, as once the pandora's box were opened, then every activist judge would reach into the 9th for gay marriage, gov't healthcare, guranteed income and every other leftist cause du jour.
9865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, & the US Dollar on: November 14, 2010, 11:41:36 AM
I can't see how we get to a gold standard without the dollar totally crashing and burning. Of course, we appear to be well into the process of doing just that.
9866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Gov't Motors Chevy Dolt on: November 14, 2010, 08:28:22 AM

George Will takes it apart.
9867  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 14, 2010, 08:19:51 AM
The problem is that there are no quick, easy, inexpensive, unobtrusive methods of screening passaengers and cargo.
9868  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / American Narcissus on: November 13, 2010, 09:28:54 PM

American Narcissus
The vanity of Barack Obama
Nov 13, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 10 • By JONATHAN V. LAST

Why has Barack Obama failed so spectacularly? Is he too dogmatically liberal or too pragmatic? Is he a socialist, or an anticolonialist, or a philosopher-president? Or is it possible that Obama’s failures stem from something simpler: vanity. Politicians as a class are particularly susceptible to mirror-gazing. But Obama’s vanity is overwhelming. It defines him, his politics, and his presidency.
9869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 13, 2010, 07:36:34 PM
It seems like a simple question. I'm not sure why it's so difficult to get an answer. Were China able to lawfully import tons of narcotics to the US for recreational consumption for pennies a hit, would we be better off? What would legalization look like? Do we enforce age laws regarding consumption? Should there be restrictions on driving, flying, operating heavy machinery? What would we enforce, if anything?
9870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 13, 2010, 05:28:54 PM
**Should we let China freely import opiates here, turnabout being fair play and all.....**

British and American merchants, anxious to address what they perceived as a trade imbalance, determined to import the one product that the Chinese did not themselves have but which an ever-increasing number of them wanted: opium. Before 1828, large quantities of the Spanish silver coin, the Carolus, flowed into China in payment for the exotic commodities that Europeans craved; in contrast, in the decade of the 1830s, despite an imperial decree outlawing the export of yellow gold and white silver, "only $7,303,841 worth of silver was imported, whereas the silver exported was estimated at $26,618, 815 in the foreign silver coin, $25,548,205 in sycee, and $3,616,996 in gold" (Kuo, p. 51). although the Chinese imperial governed had long prohibited the drug except for medicinal use, the "British Hong" (companies such as Dent, Jardine, and Matheson authorized to operate in Canton) bought cheaply produced opium in the Begal and Malwa (princely) districts under the auspices of the British East India Company, the number 150 lb. chests of the narcotic being imported rising from 9,708 in 1820 to 35,445 in 1835. With the British government's 1833 cancellation of the trade monopoly enjoyed by the East India Company, cheap opium flooded the market, and China's net outflow of silver amounted to some 34 million Mexican silver dollars over the course of the 1830s.

67th Foot taking [a] fort. [Clock on thumbnail for larger image/]

As the habit of smoking opium spread from the idle rich to ninety per cent of all Chinese males under the age of forty in the country's coastal regions, business activity was much reduced, the civil service ground to a halt, and the standard of living fell. The Emperor Dao guang's special anti-opium commissioner Lin Ze-xu (1785-1850), modestly estimated the number of his countrymen addicted to the drug to be 4 million, but a British physician practising in Canton set the figure at 12 million. Equally disturbing for the imperial government was the imbalance of trade with the West: whereas prior to 1810 Western nations had been spending 350 million Mexican silver dollars on porcelain, cotton, silks, brocades, and various grades of tea, by 1837 opium represented 57 per cent of Chinese imports, and for fiscal 1835-36 alone China exported 4.5 million silver dollars. The official sent in 1838 by the Emperor Dao guang (1821-1850) of the Qing Dynasty to confiscate and destroy all imports of opium, Lin Ze-xu, calculated that in fiscal 1839 Chinese opium smokers consumed 100 million taels' worth of the drug while the entire spending by the imperial government that year spent 40 million taels. He reportedly concluded, "If we continue to allow this trade to flourish, in a few dozen years we will find ourselves not only with no soldiers to resist the enemy, but also with no money to equip the army" quoted by Chesneaux et al., p. 55). By the late 1830s, foreign merchant vessels, notably those of Britain and the United States, were landing over 30,000 chests annually. Meantime, corrupt officials in the hoppo (customs office) and ruthless merchants in the port cities were accumulating wealth beyond "all the tea in China" by defying imperial interdictions that had existed in principle since 1796. The standard rate for an official's turning a blind eye to the importation of a single crate of opium was 80 taels. Between 1821 and 1837 the illegal importation of opium (theoretically a capital offence) increased five fold. A hotbed of vice, bribery, and disloyalty to the Emperor's authority, the opium port of Canton would be the flashpoint for the inevitable clash between the governments of China and Great Britain.
9871  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 13, 2010, 04:23:33 PM

''Open Fields.'' --In Hester v. United States, 96 the Court held that the Fourth Amendment did not protect ''open fields'' and that, therefore, police searches in such areas as pastures, wooded areas, open water, and vacant lots need not comply with the requirements of warrants and probable cause. The Court's announcement in Katz v. United States 97 that the Amendment protects ''people not places'' cast some doubt on the vitality of the open fields principle, but all such doubts were cast away in Oliver v. United States. 98 Invoking Hester's reliance on the literal wording of the Fourth Amendment (open fields are not ''effects'') and distinguishing Katz, the Court ruled that the open fields exception applies to fields that are fenced and posted. ''[A]n individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home.'' 99 Nor may an individual demand privacy for activities conducted within outbuildings and visible by trespassers peering into the buildings from just outside. 100 Even within the curtilage and notwithstanding that the owner has gone to the extreme of erecting a 10- foot high fence in order to screen the area from ground-level view, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy from naked-eye inspection from fixed-wing aircraft flying in navigable airspace. 101 Similarly, naked-eye inspection from helicopters flying even lower contravenes no reasonable expectation of privacy. 102 And aerial photography of commercial facilities secured from ground-level public view is permissible, the Court finding such spaces more analogous to open fields than to the curtilage of a dwelling. 103 

  ''Plain View.'' --Somewhat similar in rationale is the rule that objects falling in the ''plain view'' of an officer who has a right to be in the position to have that view are subject to seizure without a warrant 104 or that if the officer needs a warrant or probable cause to search and seize his lawful observation will provide grounds therefor. 105 The plain view doctrine is limited, however, by the probable cause requirement: officers must have probable cause to believe that items in plain view are contraband before they may search or seize them. 106 

The Court has analogized from the plain view doctrine to hold that once officers have lawfully observed contraband, ''the owner's privacy interest in that item is lost,'' and officers may reseal a container, trace its path through a controlled delivery, and seize and reopen the container without a warrant. 107   
9872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: November 13, 2010, 04:11:14 PM
Can anyone explain why the Chinese are so bitter about the end of their prohibition of opium? You'd think that they would have thanked the Brits, given how wonderful having free access to large quantities of addictive drugs was for them.
9873  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 13, 2010, 04:02:36 PM
Last point first:  My proposition is that amongst the unenumerated rates of the 9th are the right to privacy and the right of self-defense.

Private Open Fields:  Hypothetical:  I have private property which extends further than the human eye can see.  I am standing on the property where no one not on the property can see me.  Question presented:  Do I have privacy, or can the Feds, who presumably have a right to be in outer space, spy on me from outer space?  Or, can they spy on me from a drone?

Do you control the air space over your property? Could a private aircraft fly over and see you? Much like those celebrity weddings and the paparazzi flying overhead to try to get photos, or a news chopper trying for mystery missile footage, we have numerous aircraft photographing footage everywhere but restricted airspace. You've got both government and privately owned satellites with very detailed photographic equipment overhead constantly. The courts have upheld that using aircraft to spot marijuana grows on private property that couldn't be approached on foot was lawful, again open fields/plain view doctrines.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

**So, after decades of 4th amendment caselaw related to search and seizure, we're going to reach into the 9th amendment bag of tricks and create new privacy rights when the fourth has already clearly defined them? What would that look like? Do we reverse every conviction now? Explain how the missing blonde case would be different with your concept of privacy. The rapist didn't sign a release to be recorded by the hotel security cameras. Was his right of privacy violated?**

9874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 13, 2010, 09:54:14 AM

GM et al:

a) I would submit that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public sphere if there is no one in sight, yet this technology would invade that privacy.

**Just because you can't see someone, doesn't mean someone can't see you. A reasonable expectation of privacy can be said to exist in a place where someone exhibits an actual expectation of privacy that society recognizes as reasonable.**

Reasonable Expectation of Privacy (I) (podcast transcript)

Tim:  Hi, this is Tim Miller and Jenna Solari. We’re back again talking about a 4th Amendment search.  We discussed previously that the Fourth Amendment is triggered by a government intrusion into a place where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Now Jenna, you told me who a government agent was, now let’s talk about reasonable expectation of privacy.  Again, a government agent going into a place were one has a reasonable expectation of privacy triggers the 4th Amendment, correct?

Jenna:  Yes, that’s right.

Tim:  OK now, what’s a reasonable expectation of privacy?

Jenna:  Well, a reasonable expectation of privacy, or “REP,” can be said to exist in a place where someone exhibits an actual expectation of privacy that society recognizes as reasonable.

Tim:  Sounds like a two part test.

Jenna:  It is actually.  There’s a subjective component, and that’s that actual expectation of privacy.  So that would mean that someone actually believes that an item or an area has been concealed from public view. So, for instance, I’m in my hotel room and I want to have a private conversation with someone so I try to keep my voice low enough that I believe no one else can hear what I am saying.  But then there is that second part of the two part test you mentioned, the objective test.  Society has to agree that what I am doing to conceal something is reasonable, that I have taken appropriate steps to conceal something from public view.  For instance, I am in that hotel room and I actually think that I am keeping my voice low enough so no one else can hear me, so I have that subjective part satisfied.  But objectively, let’s say my voice is actually loud enough that someone can hear me out in the hallway where they have every right to be.   So if a federal agent just happens to be standing out in the hallway and unbeknownst to me my voice is loud enough that he can hear what I am saying, then I don’t have that objective expectation of privacy.  Society is not willing to agree that what I am doing is a reasonable way to keep myself from being overheard.  So I wouldn’t have any REP in my conversation.

Tim:  OK, well how about giving me some examples of how a person might exhibit an expectation of privacy that society is willing to accept as being reasonable.

Jenna:  OK, well, I think the simplest example would be if you have an item you want conceal from public view, put it in an opaque container.  Put it inside a suitcase or a backpack, or if you want to keep it in your car, put it in the glove box or the trunk where people can’t see it when they just happen to be walking by.  If we’re talking about your body, we know that people typically have the highest expectation of privacy in their bodies and in their houses.  So, let’s say you have a tattoo on your left bicep you don’t want people to see.  The best way to have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that is to put on a shirt that covers it up. Don’t walk around, you know, with a tank top on so the whole world can see your tattoo.  Things inside the body have an incredibly high expectation of privacy that’s recognized by the courts.  So, if you think of your skin as a giant container, everything within your body, like blood, saliva, urine -- you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in those things.  Putting something inside your house, for the most part, gives you a reasonable expectation of privacy in that item, that is unless again, you put it somewhere where the whole world can see it.  Let’s say you put it in your living room picture window where someone can see it from the street – then, again, society would not agree that you’ve taken reasonable steps to keep that secure from public view.  But if you put it away somewhere where people couldn’t see it, then you’d have REP in that item.  So things like that.

Tim:  Sounds to me like if you put it inside of a container or you cover it up, society’s probably going to give you an expectation of privacy.

Jenna:  Yes, that’s right.

Tim:  Now, you know, a lot of kids nowadays have transparent book containers, book bags, and I think I know the answer to this, but can a child reasonably expect privacy in a transparent book bag?

Jenna:  No, and that’s really the whole reason behind it.  They’re required to carry transparent book bags, I assume, so that everybody can see what they have in there.  So, they really wouldn’t have any reasonable expectation of privacy in those things that are inside that book bag, because again, they are out there for the whole world to see.

Tim:  OK, well, you know, a trash can is a container.  Can I reasonably expect privacy inside my trash can?

Jenna:  That depends on where your trash can is, actually.  If it’s inside your house, again, things that are inside your house usually get the highest protection from the courts so, yeah, you’d have REP in your trash, inside your trash can while it is still in your house.  Now it gets a little different as the trash moves further from your house.  If it’s still close to the house -- let’s say it’s just inside your garage or maybe just outside your front door -- that’s on that area that we call curtilage, and we will talk about that a little later, you probably still have REP in that trash in your trash can.  It’s really when you put it out wherever collection takes place -- when you put it out on the street corner or the street in front of your house, what you have essentially done is told the whole world “I don’t want any of this any more.”  You’ve abandoned that property and said “I want the trash man to take it away.”  So, at that point you would not have any REP in that trash, even if you thought you did.  Even if you actually thought that was private until the trash man took it, at that point society says, “no, you’ve thrown that away so you don’t have REP in that anymore.”

Tim:  So, first, it has to be an actual expectation of privacy, and secondly, society has to recognize it as being reasonable.

Jenna:  Yes, sir, that’s right.

Tim:  OK, who can reasonably expect this privacy?  For example, you know, I’ve got a house, it’s my house.  I live there; I assume I can expect privacy inside my house.

Jenna:  Absolutely.

Tim:  Anybody else?

Jenna:  Sure, if you had overnight guests in your house, let’s say friends of yours or family members came to visit and you let them stay overnight.  Then you’ve essentially given them the run of at least part of your house. They have brought their private belongings in there and sort of established themselves in a room; they’d have REP inside your house.  Social guests who stay for an extended period of time or who come by your house pretty frequently -- maybe they keep things in your house or inside your garage -- they may have REP in your house to some extent.  I can tell you that people who wouldn’t have REP in there would be your commercial visitors, somebody who comes by just to sell you something or someone you invite just inside your front door maybe for five minutes at a time wouldn’t have any REP in your house.

Tim:  So my mom and dad coming to visit for the weekend, they probably have an REP inside my house?

Jenna:  Yes.

Tim:  However, the paperboy coming to collect the bill would not.

Jenna:  Right, the paperboy wouldn’t.  Or, let’s say the pizza guy, who just steps inside for a second while you go get some cash to pay him for the pizza, he wouldn’t have any REP inside your house.  He’s just that commercial visitor who stopped by for a few minutes.

Tim:  How about people who rent hotel rooms?  I guess the person who rents the room would have an REP inside that hotel room, would he not?

Jenna:  Sure, because it’s really -- our 4th Amendment protection isn’t limited to just houses as physical structures.  Really we are talking about dwellings, where people live, as least for some period of time.  So, that would include a hotel room.  And of course if you rented the room, you would have REP in the room. Someone else could, as well.  Let’s say you and someone else go on a trip and so that person is sharing a room with you.  That person has REP in there even if they weren’t the ones actually paying for it.  They have a room key, which means they have the right to exclude people.  They’re keeping things inside the room, so they would have REP in the room as well.

Tim:  OK, I’ve got a car.  I own that car; it’s my car -- I assume I have reasonable expectation of privacy in it.

Jenna:  Yes, you would.

Tim:  How about the passengers?

Jenna:  Mere -- we call “mere passengers” is what I think you’re referring to -- usually have no REP in the car itself.  And when I say “mere passenger” I mean, I’ve never borrowed your car, I don’t drive your car around, but at the end of work today I say, “Hey, Mr. Miller, can I grab a ride up to the front gate with you?” “Sure no problem,” you give me a ride up to the front gate.  I’m just a mere passenger; I’m just along for a ride, so I don’t have any REP in your car or in the glove box or in the trunk.  But I would retain REP in, say, I carry a briefcase and a purse from home to work every day.  So when I bring those things into your car, I would still have an expectation of privacy in my belongings, I just would not have any REP in your car.  Now, of course, it might be a little bit different if you shared that car with someone else -- a friend, a spouse or something like that.  Now that person might have REP in the car if they are authorized to drive it around or they use it a good bit.  But a mere passenger wouldn’t.

Tim:  OK, why make a big deal out of all this, I mean, who has the REP?  For example, suppose, I don’t know, Dillinger and I rob a bank. Dillinger owns the car, he drives the getaway car and we throw the guns and the money inside the trunk of Dillinger’s car.  The cops then search the car and find that evidence.  Can I get that evidence suppressed if the search is unreasonable?

Jenna:  No, actually, and as I understand it it’s Dillinger’s car, right?

Tim:  Right, yes.  

Jenna:  And you are essentially what we call a mere passenger, right?  You’re basically just hitching a ride away from the bank robbery?

Tim:  Check, I am just a mere passenger.

Jenna:  Ok, so then, no, it would be the same situation as when you give me a ride up to the front gate -- I can’t have any REP in your glove box or in your trunk, so when the police search the car and they find the evidence in that trunk, Dillinger could complain about that search because that is his reasonable expectation of privacy.  He could complain about whether it was reasonable or not.  You couldn’t, though, because you don’t have any REP in that area, and we call that “no standing to object.”  The only person who could object to the search is the person whose REP was intruded upon.

Tim:  So, if I had no standing to object, I couldn’t object to the search even if it was unreasonable.

b) This technology can also spy on us when we are on private property.

**Two related doctrines apply, Plain View and Open Fields.**

Plain View (podcast transcript)

Miller: Jenna, let’s get this straight. There’s no REP in what an officer can see, hear or smell from a place he or she rightfully occupies; correct?

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: And that’s Mr. Hunsucker’s analogy “right to be, right to see.” So, if I’m a cop, standing on a public sidewalk, looking into the picture window of 123 Main Street and see a plant that I know is marijuana, I’ve not triggered the 4th Amendment. Isn’t that correct?

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: Why is the marijuana plant not considered to be in plain view?

Solari: Well, because you’ve only established two out of the three requirements for plain view. You have to observe the marijuana from a place you have a right to be. You satisfied this requirement in your example. You made the observation from a public sidewalk. Second, the incriminating nature of the evidence (the marijuana plant you can see through that picture window at 123 Main Street) has to be readily apparent. You satisfied that requirement too. Through your training and experience as a police officer you know what marijuana looks like.

Miller: So, what’s missing?

Solari: You have no lawful right of access. In your example, you haven’t explained that you have a warrant or any exception to the warrant requirement to actually enter or access 123 Main Street.

Miller: So, the plain view exception to the warrant requirement has three requirements. The officer must see the item from a place he or she rightfully occupies; it’s incriminating or evidentiary nature must be readily apparent to the officer; and, thirdly the officer must be able to lawfully access the evidence.

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: Is that right?

Solari: That’s right.

Miller: Now, in my example, I was lawfully present on the sidewalk when I observed the marijuana. How can I lawfully get inside 123 Main Street and make more observations?

Solari: Use what you’ve already seen and get an arrest warrant for the resident of 123 Main Street for possession of marijuana. Use what you’ve already seen through the picture window to go get a search warrant for that location. If you don’t have an arrest warrant or a search warrant, maybe there’s an exception to the warrant requirement that might let you inside. Maybe if you knock on the door you can get consent. If somebody runs inside whom you’re trying to apprehend maybe you can use hot pursuit. If the person inside 123 Main Street saw you looking through the picture window at his marijuana plant, grabbed it and made a dash for the garbage disposal, maybe you could use your probable cause coupled with destruction of evidence and use that exception to the warrant requirement.

Miller: The second requirement was that the evidentiary nature of the item must be readily apparent. That sounds almost like probable cause to me, correct?

Solari: Right

Miller: And based on training and experience, I think most officers can probably readily identify a marijuana plant.

Solari: Sure. I would think so. Readily apparent like you said means that the officer has probable cause to believe that whatever he or she is looking at is evidence of a crime - you can tell simply by looking at it. The officer has facts and circumstances made known to him, and those facts coupled with the officer’s observations, make the evidentiary nature of the object readily apparent. For example, let’s say officers are executing a search warrant inside 123 Main Street for a stolen television set. They know the resident’s a convicted felon and while their looking for the TV in places where they have a right to look, they see a handgun laying right there on the coffee table. Now obviously as a general matter, officers can secure firearms in a safe place during a search; however, in this case, there’s also probable cause to seize that firearm as evidence of a crime because the officers at the scene knows that a convicted felon in possession of a firearm is in violation of 18 USC §922 and of course that firearm does appear to be within the possession of a convicted felon.

Miller: Now finally, this third requirement is that the officer must have a lawful right of access.

Solari: Right and this is tricky. There’s a difference between lawfully present when the officer makes her observation and lawful access. Lawfully present refers to the officer’s position when she makes the observation. Lawful access refers to where she must be to actually put a hand on the item and retrieve it. So in your example, you were lawfully present on a sidewalk when you observed that marijuana through the picture window of 123 Main Street; however, you couldn’t actually lawfully put your hand out and touch that plant and seize it. You had no right of access.

Miller: Let’s assume I’ve got authority to be inside 123 Main Street where we saw that marijuana plant. Does that automatically allow me to go to the picture window and grab it?

Solari: Not necessarily. I’ve got to know what your authority is to actually access the room where you saw the marijuana growing. If you’ve got a search warrant to search 123 Main Street, then I’ll bet you’ve got authority to go search anywhere in that house where marijuana could be, so you’re probably going to get the plant then; however, if you knocked on the door and the owner let you in, but he refused to let you go any further than the foyer you still have no right of access to that plant you saw growing in the living room.

Open Field Doctrine Law & Legal Definition

The open field doctrine is a term used in criminal law to stand for the concept that anything plainly visible to the eye, even if it’s on private property, is subject to a search since it’s not hidden. Under this doctrine, consent to inspect the location is not required in order for a law enforcement officer to observe and report on things in plain view and include observations made. An open field is not an area protected under the Fourth Amendment, and there is no expectation of a right of privacy for an open field.

Is there no articulable principal of privacy here?  Is there no 9th Amendment right?

**The 9th (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.) would seem to me as not applicable, given that the above caselaw/doctrine comes from the previously enumerated 4th amendment.**
9875  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 13, 2010, 12:18:27 AM
The federal employees either directly employed as law enforcement officers, or support personnel are a very small percentage of that.
9876  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Bad Plan Poorly Disguised on: November 12, 2010, 10:32:28 PM

A Bad Plan Poorly Disguised
November 12, 2010 - 5:28am — europac admin
John Browne
Friday, November 12, 2010

With our economy sagging and our international clout waning, one of the few assets upon which the United States can rely is the confidence that the rest of the world has traditionally showered upon us. That confidence is the reason why the US dollar was elevated to global reserve status more than 65 years ago.

With so much riding on perception, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s recent statements denying the existence of a dollar debasement campaign could not be seen as anything less than foolhardy.

Responding to a critique made in a Financial Times opinion piece by former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Geithner asserted, " We will never seek to weaken our currency as a tool to gain competitive advantage or to grow the economy.” Instead, he attributed recent dollar weakness to the reversal of  “safe haven” capital flows that had been legion during the financial crisis but which have abated as the global economy has recovered.

One must scour the earth with great care to find an individual who would agree with Mr. Geithner on this point. It’s clear from myriad other actions that the Administration sees a weaker dollar as a panacea for our economic problems. The blatant misinformation relayed by the Treasury Secretary can only serve to further increase already high tensions at the G-20 summit now underway in Seoul, South Korea. 

Over at the Federal Reserve, Chairman Bernanke doesn’t talk about currency debasement. Instead, he extols the virtues of “pushing up inflation to levels consistent with our mandate.” He hopes that no one will understand that he is using different adjectives to describe the same action. With the possible exception of the New York Times editorial board, he is fooling no one.

Given that the Administration and the Fed are prepared to sacrifice precious credibility for the goal of currency debasement, many may assume that there is some benefit for America that would be derived from a weaker dollar. Unfortunately, there isn’t.

Advocates of a weaker dollar point to two claimed advantages offered by a falling currency.

First, and most obviously, proponents claim that cheap dollars would reduce the prices of US exports, making them increasingly competitive. That is partially correct. While lowering prices may help to spur sales in the short-term, it does not necessarily improve the long-term prospects of the seller.

Exporters (and all other businesses for that matter) that focus on selling on price competitiveness alone ignore other vital elements of the marketing mix, such as innovation, design, quality, delivery, and after-sales service. For example, Germany and Japan have developed world leading export volumes without relying on price as their primary advantage.

History shows that, over the medium- to long-term, a devalued currency leads to increased trade deficits. Furthermore, a currency debasement policy for the US dollar, still the world’s reserve currency, is bound to spark a climate of international competitive devaluation – a currency war – as each nation fights to protect its balance of trade. If not corrected, such currency battles lead all too easily to trade wars, and they, in turn, often result in armed conflict.

The second, and more compelling, argument for Washington to pursue currency debasement is that a devalued dollar would wipe out large amounts of dollar debt. This amounts to a huge subsidy to debtors at the expense of savers, and no one owes more than the US government. 

When measured against the standard basket of currencies, the US dollar has fallen by some 30 percent over the past decade. However, most of those currencies are also depreciating in real terms. So what is real? Most likely, precious metals’ prices, discounted somewhat to allow for investor speculation, represent an absolute measure. Silver has risen by some 56 percent in the past 10 months. Gold has gained some 30 percent this year, and some 400 percent over the past decade!

So if we assume a conservative 40 percent devaluation of the US dollar over the past ten years, our current $13.4 trillion federal debt is equivalent to an only $8 trillion liability in 2001 dollars – the rest is just inflation. The $189 trillion of unfunded obligations to Social Security, Medicare, government pensions, etc. would appear as $113 trillion a decade ago!

It is clear that a debased currency suits the US government, but what of Americans? The 40 percent devaluation equates to a 40 percent tax on every holder of US dollars, rich and poor alike. It has hindered, rather than encouraged, consumer spending. It forces Americans to make do with less, purchase shoddier products, and deal with inferior service. Sometimes it’s hard to perceive slowly ebbing living standards, but take a look around and think whether you feel richer than a decade ago.

If dollar devaluation becomes too pronounced, Washington threatens to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs: namely, the dollar’s reserve status. If that were to happen, a global financial crisis of staggering intensity would surely erupt, the resolution of which would not favor the United States.

Whether or not it is openly acknowledged, the US government is pursuing a policy of great risk that offers no reward at the end of the tunnel. It’s the worst of all possible worlds. Wise investors will reduce still further their exposure to US dollars and debt, while increasing their allocations to precious metals, key commodities, hard currencies, and emerging markets. Wise governments are already doing so.

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.
9877  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 12, 2010, 09:11:41 PM
The more data you gather, the more analysts you need to turn the data into intel to be disseminated. Were a drone to fly over you, and no one views it, would that matter? Again, it goes back to "reasonable expectation of privacy". In the public sphere, you don't have it.
9878  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: November 12, 2010, 05:15:53 PM

On another front, what, if anything stops the Feds from using this on us?

Money, personnel.
9879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Top dems: Obama doesn't know what he's doing on: November 12, 2010, 05:01:31 PM

Anyone surprised to hear this?
9880  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / How heavy is his backpack? on: November 12, 2010, 03:53:27 PM

Heavy Backpacks Strain Kids' Spines
Study Shows Book-Filled Backpacks May Lead to Back Pain in Children


Heavier backpack loads were also associated with increased curvature of the lower spine. Half of the children had a significant spinal curve even with the 18-pound backpack. Most of the children had to adjust their posture to adapt to the heaviest, 26-pound backpack load.

The amount of back pain reported by the children also increased as backpack load increased. At the heaviest load, the average pain score was nearly 5 out of 10 for the children.

Researchers say the results show heavy backpacks cause compression of the spinal discs and increased spinal curvature that are related to the back pain reported by children.

In the study, children wore the backpacks with the straps over both shoulders, but researchers say the spinal curvature could be even worse if the backpack were carried over one shoulder as many children do.
9881  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Chiropractic for children? on: November 12, 2010, 01:12:46 PM
Did she say why he is suffering the misalignment? Have you consulted with his pediatrician about this?
9882  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Change the "V" to a "D" on: November 12, 2010, 12:54:01 PM

During its time with us, our 2011 Chevy Volt tester consumed energy at the rate of 39.0 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles when in electric-only mode and averaged 31.1 mpg in gas engine assistance mode. We paid an average of $0.31 per kilowatt-hour of electricity and $3.31 per gallon of 91 octane swill, so the magic of arithmetic tells us that each one of the Volt's miles driven on electricity cost us more money than if it'd simply consumed gasoline instead. That's due in part to our high electricity rate - had our rate dropped to $0.24 per kilowatt-hour, we'd have reached parity on a cost-per-mile basis between electrons and dinosaurs.
9883  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Case of the Vanishing Blonde on: November 12, 2010, 12:32:32 PM
That is some outstanding investigative work. Very nice!
9884  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Chiropractic for children? on: November 12, 2010, 12:25:00 PM
What did your chiro say?
9885  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Law Enforcement issues on: November 12, 2010, 12:02:57 PM

A Child’s Death in No-Man’s Land
Few parents fret over the prospect of their child getting shot in the backyard. What kind of a place must it be where they do?
November 11, 2010 - by Jack Dunphy

For a five-year old boy, there are few events in life that can bring such sublime flights of anticipation as Halloween. Yes, Christmas is up there, with the season’s lights and decorations and promise of long-wished-for presents. And birthdays, too, have their attractions. Along with the gifts comes the advantage of being an entire year older, and what five-year-old boy doesn’t dream of finally attaining the maturity and exalted status of a six-year-old.

Aaron Shannon Jr. won’t see his sixth birthday. On the afternoon of Halloween, as he counted down the minutes to nightfall and the adventure of trick-or-treating, he was shot and killed in his backyard. He was wearing his Spider-Man costume when he died.

Most parents fret over the hazards of Halloween: the strangers, the traffic, the effects of big sugar on little bellies. Few parents fret over the prospect of their child getting shot in the backyard. What kind of a place must it be where they do?

Such a place is the neighborhood around 84th Street and Central Avenue, in South Central Los Angeles, where Aaron lived and died.

A visitor to Los Angeles might arrive at LAX and drive east on Manchester Avenue for twenty minutes or so and then turn north on Central Avenue, where, miles in the distance straight ahead, he would see the gleaming steel and glass towers of downtown.  On clear afternoons, as it was on Halloween, the setting sun reflects off those buildings to create a brilliant tableau, but the visitor would note that the scenery on either side of Central is far less spectacular: drab storefronts, modest apartment buildings, and a few neighborhood churches. The visitor wouldn’t detect any significant differences between the east side of the street and the west side.

But there is a huge difference, one that is well known to all who live and work in the area. Aaron lived on the west side of Central, in a neighborhood claimed by a particular street gang. Another street gang claims the territory to the east of Central, and when members of each gang cross that great divide into the other’s turf, they almost always do so in search of trouble.

Police claim that on the afternoon of Oct. 31, two members of the gang from the east side of Central Avenue crossed that invisible boundary hoping to settle the score for an earlier shooting. They walked down the alley behind Aaron’s house looking for targets and, on seeing people in a backyard, one of them raised a pistol and opened fire. Aaron’s grandfather and uncle were struck in an arm and a leg, respectively, and survived. Aaron, little Spider-Man, was shot in the head and never had a chance. Police say no one in the family belonged to a gang.

If you don’t live in Los Angeles — and perhaps even if you do — chances are you hadn’t heard what happened to Aaron Shannon Jr. But no matter where you live, if you follow the news at all you’ve surely heard of Oscar Grant, the man shot and killed in Oakland, California, by a BART police officer in the early morning of January 1, 2009. Grant’s death sparked rioting in Oakland, as did the outcome of the prosecution of the officer who shot him. Johannes Mehserle was charged with murder but a jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter and he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Both the verdict and the sentence were well within the law and entirely foreseeable, yet they nonetheless brought outraged cries from those quarters where such cries have come to be expected. And accompanying the outraged cries were the looting and vandalism which, alas, have also come to be expected.

On Nov. 5, the day Mehserle was sentenced, demonstrators gathered outside the Criminal Courts Building in downtown Los Angeles (the trial had been moved from Alameda County on a defense motion for a change of venue). Many held signs adorned with a simple message: “I am Oscar Grant.”

If you were to listen to those who protested on behalf of Oscar Grant, you might have the impression that the greatest threat to any black man in Oakland — or Los Angeles or any city you choose — is posed by racist cops itching for an excuse to gun him down. But about seven people are murdered each month in Oakland, nearly all of them young black men shot by other young black men. And yet as those bodies pile up no one marches, no one shouts, no one seems outraged in the least by the carnage.

On Nov. 6, a candlelight vigil was held at the LAPD’s 77th Street police station in memory of Aaron. Less than a hundred people attended, judging from the brief video report shown on the local news. There was no screaming, no hysterics, not even calls for vengeance against the two men accused of killing Aaron. And there most certainly was no mob rushing off to the nearest Foot Locker store to help themselves to the latest models from Nike. And if the two men accused of murdering Aaron somehow manage to beat the case or bargain for a reduced sentence, that too will be greeted not with outrage but rather with sad resignation.

I don’t begrudge Oscar Grant and his family the sympathy they’ve received. His death was indeed tragic and, whatever his faults, he left behind people who loved him. But of all those people demonstrating outside the L.A. courthouse in his name, I doubt a single one of them could have told you who Aaron Shannon Jr. was.

And that’s something to scream about.

“Jack Dunphy” is the pseudonym of an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not reflect those of the LAPD management.
9886  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Perhaps more bowing is needed? on: November 12, 2010, 11:29:39 AM

Obama fails to get G-20 to scold China for what Obama is doing with QE2

posted at 10:12 am on November 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

For years, the US has protested China’s policy of keeping the value of its currency artificially low to boost exports and gain a competitive edge over domestic production throughout the West.  Until recently, the US had a coalition of allies at the G-20 to stand firm against the manipulation of the yuan.  However, much to Barack Obama’s shock, they’re not as interested in scolding China for manipulating its currency while the Obama administration has done the same with its second round of “quantitative easing”:

    Leaders of 20 major economies on Friday refused to endorse a U.S. push to get China to let its currency rise, keeping alive a dispute that has raised the specter of a global trade war amid criticism that cheap Chinese exports are costing American jobs. …

    The biggest disappointment for the United States was the pledge by the leaders to refrain from “competitive devaluation” of currencies. Such a statement is of little consequence since countries usually only devalue their currencies — making it less worth against the dollar — in extreme situations like a severe financial crisis.

The AP report takes six paragraphs to explain why the G-20 essentially laughed in Obama’s face:

    The crux of the dispute is Washington’s allegations that Beijing is artificially keeping its currency, the yuan, weak to gain a trade advantage. But the U.S. position has been undermined by its own recent policy of printing money to boost a sluggish economy, which is weakening the dollar.

    The G-20′s failure to adopt the U.S. stand has also underlined Washington’s reduced influence on the international stage, especially on economic matters. Obama also failed to conclude a free trade agreement this week with South Korea.

Yes, it does make it difficult to get allies in an effort to stop China from manipulating its currency to gain advantage on exports when we’re explicitly doing the same thing ourselves.  The G-20 didn’t do much before now anyway to fight back against China, but at least they gave the effort lip service.  With the Obama administration attempting to undermine the Eurozone on exports, even that modicum of support has evaporated.

The G-20 just delivered a big message to Obama, which is that American leadership on economics is sailing away on the QE2.  Did he get the message?  Not exactly.  Obama tried to spin this into some sort of victory, saying that “sometimes we’re going to hit singles” rather than home runs.  This was neither; it was a whiff.

As the AP makes clear, it was a bad omen, and perhaps the echoes of a larger disaster:

    The dispute over whether China and the United States are manipulating their currencies is threatening to resurrect destructive protectionist policies like those that worsened the Great Depression in the 1930s. The biggest fear is that trade barriers will send the global economy back into recession. A law the United States passed in 1930 that raised tariffs on imports is widely thought to have deepened the Great Depression by stifling trade.

Instead of a Smoot-Hawley on tariffs, we may get a currency war that ends up having the same effect.  The US just threw gasoline instead of water on those embers.  We’ll have to rest our hopes on the equanimity and good sense of the Europeans and pray they don’t follow suit.
9887  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The 20 Cities With The Most Underwater Homes on: November 12, 2010, 11:00:42 AM

The scariest number for anyone invested in the real estate market is this: 23.2%.

That's the record-high share of mortgages that are now underwater, as estimated by Zillow.

Negative equity is the prime factor driving a record number of mortgage holders into delinquency. Delinquencies will lead to foreclosures, which will drive down home prices, creating more negative equity -- a very dangerous cycle.

In some parts of America, a gob smacking percentage of homes are underwater. In Las Vegas, for instance, four out of five mortgages are now underwater.
9888  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Chiropractic for children? on: November 12, 2010, 10:55:08 AM
Did he suffer some trauma? What's the origin of the misalignment?
9889  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 12, 2010, 10:47:15 AM

Obama's groveling and bowing are just a visible indicator of his incompetence as president. If you've bothered to watch you've seen that he did indeed bow.
9890  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Authorities on Lookout for 2 Men Seen Videotaping D.C. Subway Station on: November 12, 2010, 10:40:26 AM
Authorities on Lookout for 2 Men Seen Videotaping D.C. Subway Station

Published November 12, 2010

| Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Metro has circulated an internal memo asking employees to be on the lookout for two men seen videotaping the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station.

An internal memo says the individuals were "attempting to videotape inconspicuously, by holding the camera at their side, between their chest and waist." Metro was alerted by a rider who took a picture of the men last week while they were sitting on the train.

The alert comes just after the recent arrest of a Northern Virginia man in a sting where he videotaped two Metro facilities for what we thought was going to be an attack on the system.
9891  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sources: Al Qaeda eyes more Mumbai-style attacks on: November 12, 2010, 09:54:46 AM

Hamburg, Germany (CNN) -- Al Qaeda is still planning Mumbai-style attacks in Europe, with the United States also possibly being targeted, counter-terrorism officials in Europe and the United States tell CNN.
9892  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 12, 2010, 09:48:24 AM
I question growth agenda #4 as well.
9893  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 12, 2010, 08:35:48 AM
Who could have foreseen that his presidency would be such a disaster?
9894  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CHINA, “Thanks for the Jobs Uncle Sam, But We’ll Pass On the Inflation” on: November 11, 2010, 09:40:48 PM

Emerging Market Mania:

CHINA, “Thanks for the Jobs Uncle Sam, But We’ll Pass On the Inflation”

The US re-opened formal trade with China in 1971.

This, in turn, kicked off two major trends:

1.     The US’s economic shift from manufacturing to services (mainly financial)

2.     The dramatic rise in Chinese quality of life

In plain terms, the US began shifting manufacturing jobs offshore. Charting the full impact of this trend on US employment is difficult. However, Robert Scott, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, estimates that between 2001 and 2008 2.4 million American jobs were lost as a result of increased trade with China alone. Bear in mind, this doesn’t account for the jobs lost in the 30 years from 1971 to 2001.

As for our shift to a financial services economy, consider that from 1970 until 2003, financials’ market capitalizations as a percentage of the S&P 500 rose from less than 5% to 22%. Over the same period, financials’ earnings as a percentage of the S&P 500’s total earnings rose from less than 10% to 31%.

Put another way, by 2003 nearly one in every three dollars of corporate profits came from the financial sector.

Meanwhile, China was experiencing an unprecedented level of growth thanks to our renewed trade: Chinese per-capita income doubled from 1978 to 1987 and again from 1987 to 1996.

In those 20 years, more than 300 million Chinese ascended out of poverty with accompanying dramatic changes in lifestyle, professions, and diet: between 1985 and 2008, average Chinese meat consumption more than doubled from 44 pounds to 110 per annum.

So here were are in 2010 and the US and China are now butting heads in a major way. The US (debtor, consumer, declining empire) wants to devalue the Dollar and export inflation to China. China (creditor, producer, rising empire) doesn’t care for this arrangement as its hurts profit margins at Chinese companies, increases food inflation (food is a higher percentage of income for the average China compared to the average American), which in turn means civil unrest.

How this situation plays out will determine the monetary and financial trends for 2011. Already we’ve begun seeing financial warning shots between the two super powers. Have a look at the timeline:

-April-October 17: Geithner vilifies China, calls it a currency manipulator

-October 17: China issues surprise interest rate hike

-October 20: Geithner says world currencies are in “alignment.”

-November 3: Bernanke announced QE 2

-November 8-9: China says QE 2 “imperils” emerging economies and calls US Dollar as reserve currency “absurd”

-November 8: Geithner backtracks from former call for balanced trade

-November 10: Fed announces QE 2 details

-November 10: China hikes bank reserve requirements

This dynamic is the, and I mean THE, key issue for ALL financial markets moving forward. The US Fed wants Dollar devaluation. China doesn’t. How this conflict is resolved will determine the fate of stocks, commodities, bonds, even the US dollar.
9895  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Digital Weapons Help Dissidents Punch Holes in China's Great Firewall on: November 11, 2010, 09:38:21 PM

The curt knock on the door of his hotel room woke Alan Huang with a start. He looked at the clock: 5:30 am. Huang had been in Shenzhen, China, for only a few days; who could be looking for him at this hour? He groggily undid the lock—and found a half-dozen police officers in the corridor. The cops were there, they said, because the 37-year-old software engineer was a follower of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. It was December 1999, and the Beijing government had outlawed the sect just months earlier.

In fact, that’s why Huang had left his home in Sunnyvale, California, to come to Shenzhen. A Chinese computer programmer who had long ago emigrated to the US, Huang was back in China to protest the government’s jailing of thousands of his fellow practitioners. He hadn’t expected to join them.

Huang ended up packed into a cold cell with 20 other men, sleeping on the floor in shifts and forced to clean pigpens every day. Huang’s wife, back in California with their 3-year-old daughter, was terrified. After a very long two weeks and the help of a few American politicians, Huang and two other US-based Falun Gong practitioners who had accompanied him were released. “I got lucky because I was a US resident,” he says. “Others were not so lucky.”

It was Huang’s first experience with prison, but not with Communist Party repression. When he was an electrical engineering student at Shanghai’s Fudan University in the 1980s, Huang marched in the pro-democracy protests that roiled China. But the heady days in the streets came to a bloody end when the government sent tanks into Tiananmen Square. Huang wasn’t arrested, but some of his acquaintances disappeared. And he was shocked by the way the government’s ensuing propaganda barrage convinced many Chinese that the protesting students were themselves to blame for the bloodshed. Disillusioned, Huang left China, got his graduate degree at the University of Toronto, and moved to Silicon Valley in 1992. He spent most of the 1990s quietly living the immigrant-American dream, starting a family and building a career. Along the way, he also became one of the Bay Area’s hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners, leading study sessions and group exercises. So when Beijing launched its crackdown on the sect, it felt to Huang like 1989 all over again: The government was brutalizing a peaceful movement while painting its adherents as dangerous criminals. This time, he was determined to fight back. His aborted trip to China and frightening weeks in jail only left him more resolute. “My experience told me that the persecution was more severe than what we can imagine,” Huang says in accented English. “I felt I needed to do something.”
9896  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 11, 2010, 09:13:29 PM

9897  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / o-BOW-ma on: November 11, 2010, 07:39:21 PM

9898  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 11, 2010, 07:27:03 PM

President Obama bows to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
9899  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: November 11, 2010, 07:24:05 PM

Translator for Obama: "Tia na zhe shuang xie zhen ku".

Hu Jintao responds "Cao ni ma."
9900  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Time blames hyperinflation on tea party on: November 11, 2010, 02:31:13 PM

If hyperinflation arrives, Time Magazine wants its readers to know who the real culprits are.  It won’t be the federal government that hiked annual spending by 38% in three years and began running trillion-dollar deficits.  It won’t be the Congress that kept raising debt limits to allow for that spending spree.  And it won’t be the Federal Reserve that, in desperation over the government’s spending and debt spree, began printing money to artificially keep interest rates low.  No, the real culprit will be the political movement that opposes all of the above, according to The Curious Capitalist:
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