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9901  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 02:12:42 PM
If it's not much of an issue at the moment (If), how long do we wait after it's determined to be an issue?

Do you see any problem requiring a telecommunication provider to able to comply to a lawfully issued title III warrant?
9902  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 02:03:31 PM
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T100927004334.htm

China to up patrols near Senkaku isles

Satoshi Saeki / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In New York last week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, "If Japan clings to its mistake, China will take 'further action' and the Japanese side shall bear all the consequences that arise."
(Sep. 28, 2010)
9903  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Well, who could have seen this coming? on: September 27, 2010, 01:50:03 PM
http://www.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/27_33.html

2 Chinese patrol boats spotted off Senkaku

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

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told reporters that 2 Chinese surveillance ships against illegal fishing have been spotted near Japan's territorial waters in the East China Sea.
9904  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 01:30:19 PM
As pointed out by various posters, China suffers from serious internal issues that threaten the power structure in Beijing. The chinese people do not believe in communism, they've seen it's failure firsthand. The communist party, in fact does not believe in communism either (Too bad our president and his cabinet do, but that's another thread). Slogans about a "worker's paradise" get nothing but scorn from the chinese masses. Beijing now uses the tragic chinese history of suffering at the hands of other nations to fuel a sense of grievance and nationalism. Japan, in paticular is a focus of this, especially given the real horrors inflicted on China by Japan not very long ago. Of course, the masses of dead chinese as the result of Mao have been sent to the memory hole.

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

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

You put out fires when they are small, you don't sit back and wait until the fire has gotten out of control because a small fire isn't worth the time and energy.
9905  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 27, 2010, 01:03:33 PM
**Do you think that if the feds will prosecute you for 30,000, they'll prosecute for 40 mil?**

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

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

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

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

According to the indictment, between 2005 and August 2008, Sims embezzled more than $30,000 in evidence that she was responsible for disposing of in accord with FBI rules and procedures. She allegedly made no effort to contact certain individuals to whom the various amounts of cash were properly to have been returned, choosing instead to keep the evidence for herself. The indictment alleges 10 different dates on which Sims signed 16 separate forms stating that various amounts of cash evidence, ranging from $2 to $2,790, had been "released" or "returned," when she had actually taken the money for herself.
9906  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 12:51:46 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6731EJ20100804

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

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

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

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

**snip**

China's growing might military might and rising defense spending have set alarm bells ringing around the region, particularly in Japan and Taiwan. It has repeatedly said its claims on the southern waters and island are indisputable.
9907  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 12:40:06 PM
The Japanese Self-Defense Force has quietly upgraded and improved it's military capacity for decades, but this has not spooked the other asian nations as US dominance and article 9 of the Japanese constitution remain in effect. A Japan that turns away from it's pacifist facade would send shockwaves through the region and actually empower Beijing's aggressiveness.
9908  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 27, 2010, 12:28:23 PM
Damming to you, looks like pretty weak tea to me.  If NOAA LEOs exceed their statutory authority regarding inspections, the the "fruit of the poison tree" doctrine applies and any evidence gathered is inadmissible in court.
9909  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 12:06:29 PM
Do you understand the impact of a re-militarized Japan on the rest of asia? The end of Pax-Americana would be profoundly destabilizing to the region.
9910  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 11:59:29 AM
http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/services/calea/

CALEA COMPLIANCE - SOME BASIC INFORMATION

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

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

9911  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 11:50:50 AM
More importantly, it’s not just mandating that already-centralized systems install a government backdoor. Rather, if I understand it correctly, the proposal would insist on a centralized (and therefore less secure) architecture for secure communications, as opposed to an end-to-end model where encryption is handled client-side. In effect, the government is insisting on the right to make a macro-design choice between competing network models for thousands of companies.

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

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
9912  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 27, 2010, 11:37:19 AM
 
**That despite our treaty obligations, we would not provide military support to Japan in a conflict with China over the disputed islands.**

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


China sees Obama as weak, and thus the US as weak. Should we continue to allow this perception? That stability in asia post-WWII has been based on American power in the pacific. Japan's de-militarization is based on our promise of them being under our defense umbrella. Do you think Japan rebuilding it's military will be better or worse for asia, the rest of the world and us, or not? If Japan finds it's on it's own, what of Taiwan? What of the rest of the asia-pacific nations? What of America's allies globally? What's the message? America will defend it's allies unless it gets expensive or there is the possibility of casualties. Right?
9913  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 11:10:58 AM

http://www.askcalea.net/

Question: What is the purpose of CALEA?

Answer:

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

Question: Who must be CALEA-compliant?

Answer:

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

Question: What is "call-identifying information?"

Answer:

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

Question: What is "call content?"

Answer:

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

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

Answer:

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

Question: What CALEA responsibilities do telecommunications equipment manufacturers have?

Answer:

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

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

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

Frequently Misunderstood Questions

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

A: No. The petition does not raise the issue of encryption. That issue is already addressed by CALEA. The statute states that if encryption is provided by a telecommunications carrier and the carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the communication, it must decrypt the communications subject to an order for lawful interception. But if the encryption is provided by a subscriber or customer, the carrier is not responsible for decrypting the targeted communications.
9914  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Privacy on: September 27, 2010, 09:46:26 AM
What? Domestic al qaeda cells could no longer be sure their Skype conference calls are secure?  Outrageous!!!!   rolleyes
9915  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 27, 2010, 09:42:14 AM
OIGs in the federal government refer cases to the DOJ for prosecution all the time. This report makes no claim of criminal conduct, yes? Sloppy internal controls of money does not make a criminal case. Beyond the internal audit, is there any validated claim of criminal conduct by any LEO employed by NOAA?
9916  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: September 27, 2010, 07:30:17 AM
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.09/china.html

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

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


What's an energy-starved autocracy to do?

Go nuclear.

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

To meet that growing demand, China's leaders are pursuing two strategies. They're turning to established nuke plant makers like AECL, Framatome, Mitsubishi, and Westinghouse, which supplied key technology for China's nine existing atomic power facilities. But they're also pursuing a second, more audacious course. Physicists and engineers at Beijing's Tsinghua University have made the first great leap forward in a quarter century, building a new nuclear power facility that promises to be a better way to harness the atom: a pebble-bed reactor. A reactor small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for customers without billion-dollar bank accounts. A reactor whose safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. And, for a bona fide fairy-tale ending, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is labeled hydrogen.
9917  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom on: September 26, 2010, 10:19:44 PM
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.09/china.html

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

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


What's an energy-starved autocracy to do?

Go nuclear.

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

To meet that growing demand, China's leaders are pursuing two strategies. They're turning to established nuke plant makers like AECL, Framatome, Mitsubishi, and Westinghouse, which supplied key technology for China's nine existing atomic power facilities. But they're also pursuing a second, more audacious course. Physicists and engineers at Beijing's Tsinghua University have made the first great leap forward in a quarter century, building a new nuclear power facility that promises to be a better way to harness the atom: a pebble-bed reactor. A reactor small enough to be assembled from mass-produced parts and cheap enough for customers without billion-dollar bank accounts. A reactor whose safety is a matter of physics, not operator skill or reinforced concrete. And, for a bona fide fairy-tale ending, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is labeled hydrogen.
9918  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: September 26, 2010, 10:08:45 PM
China is also planning on building hundreds of state of the art nuke plants to create the electricity for all those green cars. Something you won't see any green advocates allowing CONUS anytime soon, something Thomas Friedman neglects to mention.

9919  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: September 26, 2010, 08:07:19 PM
Possible scenario. Russia has a cyberwar infrastructure. Of course, another nation-state could have covertly installed the virus in the Russian contractor's equipment.
9920  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 26, 2010, 02:40:42 PM
Prediction: China will do a bit of a gut check with us soon (again) just to gauge our response. It may be financial, it may be military. It won't (probably) escalate, but they will bump us.

China slaps anti-dumping duties on US chicken imports


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

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

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

The duties take effect on Monday, it said.

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

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

The measures will apply for five years and follow up preliminary tariffs on the same products issued by the ministry in February.
9921  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How do you say "reset button" in Tagalog? on: September 26, 2010, 01:42:26 PM


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

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

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

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

The American embassy will find out how the "unfortunate" incident happened, she said.
9922  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China has an accurate view of Obama on: September 26, 2010, 11:35:01 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7017951.ece

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They thought Obama was weak and they were testing him,” said a European diplomat based in China.
9923  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China Hold on Metals Worries Washington on: September 26, 2010, 11:03:35 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704062804575510112116972510.html

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

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

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

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

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

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

Molycorp, Inc., the owner of a mine in Mountain Pass, Calif., that holds the largest, richest rare-earth deposit outside China, is currently looking to restart and expand production. Jim Sims, a spokesman for Molycorp, said the company was planning by mid-2012 to create a complete U.S.-based supply chain for some kinds of rare-earth magnets.
9924  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 26, 2010, 10:51:38 AM

"Wouldn't back them" means what?

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


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

**Really? You think that the islands that have been recognized as belonging to Japan by us since WWII should be conquered by China because China is willing to assert their ownership?Should Japan police the lands in it's jurisdiction and arrest violators of it's laws or not?**
9925  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 26, 2010, 09:58:44 AM
I don't think you are reading the piece or the links in the article closely enough, GM. This appears to be an instance of profit based policing where the enforcement arm is using the "profits" to pick up swag like cars and boats,

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


pay for international travel,

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

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

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

Probable cause is not required before they board a ship,

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

administrative judges who don't sound particularly neutral are used

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

oversight is lacking,

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


and means of appeal few and expensive.

**Any litigation is expensive.**


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

**I think the article was a shallow hit-piece with the typical law enforcement-bashing agenda based on hype and emotion rather than facts.**
9926  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 26, 2010, 09:20:00 AM
Robert D. Kaplan is a smart guy. I like a lot of what he has to say on geopolitics.
9927  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / While U.S. is distracted, China develops sea power on: September 26, 2010, 08:47:20 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/24/AR2010092404767.html

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

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

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

9928  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China pretty happy about it's control of rare-earth on: September 26, 2010, 07:57:57 AM
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-09/26/c_13530321.htm

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

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

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

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

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

However, China's rare earths output hit 120,000 tonnes last year, 97 percent of the world's total, according to a report by Marc Humphries, an energy policy analyst at the United States Congressional Research Service.
9929  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Captain's Release Sparks Furor in Japan on: September 26, 2010, 07:47:21 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704082104575515093333231112.html?mod=googlenews_wsj#

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

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

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

*snip*



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

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

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

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

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

9930  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dysfunctional Obama Admin on: September 25, 2010, 07:57:14 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2010/09/dysfunctional.html

 Dysfunctional

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[snip]

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

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

Sleep well, America.
9931  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / An imbalance that will shake the world on: September 25, 2010, 07:19:09 PM
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/China-30-Years-Since-The-Introduction-Of-One-Child-Policy-Millions-Of-Girls-Have-Disappeared/Article/201009415741661?f=rss

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

But in Wuxue's primary school something is amiss.

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

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

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

It is the worst example of gender imbalance in China, but a similar pattern exists across the country. The cause is an unintended result of the one-child policy: sex selective abortions.
9932  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 06:53:16 PM
Anyone here still think Obama didn't tell Japan that the US wouldn't back them? Anyone here think China won't continue to press their claim on the islands?
9933  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / True warrior mindset, true heroism on: September 25, 2010, 06:44:59 PM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j-VFgyNuLmja1XBHtLEwlvkOhj5gD9IF77V00

Wounded in Iraq, double-amputee returns to war

By TODD PITMAN (AP) – 1 hour ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At night, he dreamed of walking on two legs.

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

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

He assured them he was.

**Read it all**
9934  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Ready to lead from day one" Right Obama voters? on: September 25, 2010, 05:47:27 PM
**Wow, it's almost like he's trying to lose this war....**


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is focused on meeting its July 2011 deadline to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but it has no political strategy to help stabilize the country, current and former U.S. officials and other experts are warning.

The failure to articulate what a post-American Afghanistan should look like and devise a political path for achieving it is a major obstacle to success for the U.S. military-led counter-insurgency campaign that's underway, these officials and experts said.



Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/06/16/96019/experts-us-has-no-long-term-political.html#ixzz0rAPDYoRF


http://townhall.com/columnists/MichaelGerson/2010/09/24/the_reluctant_warrior/page/full/

What comes across is a president deeply skeptical about the Afghan War, suspicious of the advice of military leaders and obsessed with finding exits and setting withdrawal deadlines. To a press or political aide in the administration, this must seem like the public relations sweet spot: Since Americans are conflicted about the Afghan War, won't they be reassured to know that the commander in chief is conflicted as well?

But a president has a number of audiences, including American troops, the allies who fight at our side, and enemies who constantly take the measure of our resolve. None are likely to be impressed by America's reluctant warrior.

The craziness of the process is not irrelevant. Future historians will study the Afghan policy review as a warning, not as a model. Obama's ambivalence has created a national security team in which arguments fester instead of ripen. The process revealed and widened divisions between civilian and military leaders, within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, between the National Security Council and the Department of Defense, and between American and Afghan officials. How can America's ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, possibly continue in his job, having accused President Hamid Karzai of being on and off his depression meds?

Obama eventually imposed the broad outlines of an outcome. But the assent he demanded did not create agreement or consensus. There is no evidence that past arguments -- particularly concerning the hardness of the July 2011 withdrawal deadline -- have ended.

The process was not only chaotic but highly politicized, with national security adviser James Jones criticizing the role of the "campaign set," which he also dubbed the "Politburo" and the "mafia." Obama himself tied the outcome of the policy review to political considerations. "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party," he reportedly told Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Cynics may regard this as typical. Actually, it is remarkable. It is the most basic duty of a commander in chief to pursue the national interest above any other interest. The introduction of partisan considerations into strategic decisions merits a special contempt.

The largest problem is the president's own ambivalence. "This needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan," Obama is quoted as saying. During his campaign for president, Afghanistan was the good war, the war of necessity, the war that had been ignored but must be won. As president, Obama's overriding goal is retreat. "Everything we're doing has to be focused on how we're going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint," Woodward quotes Obama. There can be no "wiggle room."

This attitude led to the president's decisive intervention -- a six-page memo designed to impose time and resource limitations on a reluctant military. Generals, of course, are not always right, as President George W. Bush discovered in the early years of the Iraq War. But are we supposed to be reassured that a president, of no proven military judgment, driven at least partially by political calculations, imposed a split-the-difference approach, only loosely related to actual need or analysis? A temporary increase of 30,000 troops coupled with a withdrawal deadline, it now seems, was an arbitrary compromise, not a fully developed military strategy. The armed forces were told to salute and make do. No wonder an Obama adviser complained to Woodward that the strategic review did not "add up" to the president's eventual policy.
9935  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Remarks to the Press from UNGA on: September 25, 2010, 03:30:43 PM
http://www.state.gov/p/af/rls/spbr/2010/147922.htm

Remarks to the Press from UNGA

Johnnie Carson
   Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs
Philip J. Crowley
   Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
New York City
September 24, 2010

QUESTION: P.J., EAP in Washington is telling us to ask you for any statement on the release of the Chinese captain by the Japanese. They keep deferring us back up here to you. They say, “P.J. will have something to say on it.”

MR. CROWLEY: Well, as we had stated yesterday, we were concerned that this was an issue that had the potential to escalate. I think Jeff Bader yesterday talked about the strong nationalist fervor that had been generated both on the Chinese side and the Japanese side, so we are gratified that the situation has been resolved. It was something that the Japanese Government assured us that would be done within accordance of their legal process and international law. This was a Japanese decision to make, and we’re just hopeful that with the release of the ship captain, tensions will recede and the countries in the region will get back to normal business.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Just one Japanese question. Is this – I mean, maybe that Prime Minister Kan’s – his new cabinet is criticized by the other side, opposite side of the party – I mean the – this compromise means that Japan lost diplomatic – diplomatically with the Chinese – I mean this kind of chicken game, people (inaudible) chicken game. Don’t you think that this kind of criticizing (inaudible)?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, as we – we think this is a proper outcome. And we had discussed this with the Japanese. It came up, as we said, in the meeting that the Secretary had with Foreign Minister Maehara yesterday. We had some low-level – lower-level conversations with the Chinese as well, and we sensed that there was a desire on both sides to resolve this soon. We think this is the right decision. It’s how mature states resolve these things through diplomacy . And we think this is in the interest of the two countries and the interest of the region. Obviously, there are some underlying issues that have been triggered by this episode. The United States continues to support freedom of navigation in the region, and we will continue to emphasize that. Obviously, we have an important meeting that’ll be going on today involving the ASEAN countries and you’ll be seeing a communiqué that comes out of that meeting.

QUESTION: Regarding to the Clinton and Maehara discussion, was there any indication from the Japanese side of this possibility to release him?

MR. CROWLEY: This is a decision for – that Japan has made, and I’ll defer to the Japanese Government to explain its reasoning. But obviously, we believe that this will significantly reduce the existing tension. We think it was a proper decision for Japan to make.
9936  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: September 25, 2010, 02:39:48 PM
Perhaps the Iranians see this as a ideal time to gain advantage from negotiations while dems still control congress. I'm sure China isn't the only nation-state to recognize the current state of US weakness.
9937  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 25, 2010, 02:32:35 PM
http://www.economist.com/research/economics/alphabetic.cfm?letter=T#tragedyofthecommons

Tragedy of the commons

A 19th-century amateur mathematician, William Forster Lloyd, modelled the fate of a common pasture shared among rational, UTILITY-maximising herdsmen. He showed that as the POPULATION increased the pasture would inevitably be destroyed. This tragedy may be the fate of all sorts of common resources, because no individual, firm or group has meaningful PROPERTY RIGHTS that would make them think twice about using so much of it that it is destroyed.

Once a resource is being used at a rate near its sustainable capacity, any additional use will reduce its value to its current users. Thus they will increase their usage to maintain the value of the resource to them, resulting in a further deterioration in its value, and so on, until no value remains. Contemporary examples include overfishing and the polluting of the atmosphere.
9938  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 25, 2010, 02:26:52 PM
so who's gonna miss a couple fish?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/02/AR2006110200913.html

The paper, published in the journal Science, concludes that overfishing, pollution and other environmental factors are wiping out important species around the globe, hampering the ocean's ability to produce seafood, filter nutrients and resist the spread of disease.

"We really see the end of the line now," said lead author Boris Worm, a marine biologist at Canada's Dalhousie University. "It's within our lifetime. Our children will see a world without seafood if we don't change things."

The 14 researchers from Canada, Panama, Sweden, Britain and the United States spent four years analyzing fish populations, catch records and ocean ecosystems to reach their conclusion. They found that by 2003 -- the last year for which data on global commercial fish catches are available -- 29 percent of all fished species had collapsed, meaning they are now at least 90 percent below their historic maximum catch levels.

The rate of population collapses has accelerated in recent years. As of 1980, just 13.5 percent of fished species had collapsed, even though fishing vessels were pursuing 1,736 fewer species then. Today, the fishing industry harvests 7,784 species commercially.

"It's like hitting the gas pedal and holding it down at a constant level," Worm said in a telephone interview. "The rate accelerates over time."

Some American fishery management officials, industry representatives and academics questioned the team's dire predictions, however, saying countries such as the United States and New Zealand have taken steps in recent years to halt the depletion of their commercial fisheries.

"The projection is way too pessimistic, at least for the United States," said Steven Murawski, chief scientist for the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "We've got the message. We will continue to reverse this trend."
9939  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 25, 2010, 02:18:18 PM
TITLE 16 > CHAPTER 70 > § 5008
Prev | Next
§ 5008. Enforcement provisions


(a) Duties of Secretaries of Commerce and Transportation
This chapter shall be enforced by the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Transportation. Such Secretaries may by agreement utilize, on a reimbursable basis or otherwise, the personnel, services, equipment (including aircraft and vessels), and facilities of any other Federal agency, including all elements of the Department of Defense, and of any State agency, in the performance of such duties. Such Secretaries shall, and the head of any Federal or State agency that has entered into an agreement with either such Secretary under the preceding sentence may (if the agreement so provides), authorize officers to enforce the provisions of the Convention, this chapter, and regulations issued under this chapter. Any such agreement or contract entered into pursuant to this section shall be effective only to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriations Acts.
(b) District court jurisdiction
The district courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any case or controversy arising under the provisions of this chapter.
(c) Powers of enforcement officers
Authorized officers may, shoreward of the outer boundary of the exclusive economic zone, or during hot pursuit from the zone—
(1) with or without a warrant or other process—
(A) arrest any person, if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that such person has committed an act prohibited by section 5009 of this title;
(B) board, and search or inspect, any fishing vessel subject to the provisions of the Convention and this chapter;
(C) seize any fishing vessel (together with its fishing gear, furniture, appurtenances, stores, and cargo) used or employed in, or with respect to which it reasonably appears that such vessel was used or employed in, the violation of any provision of the Convention, this chapter, or regulations issued under this chapter;
(D) seize any fish (wherever found) taken or retained in violation of any provision referred to in subparagraph (C);

(E) seize any other evidence related to any violation of any provision referred to in subparagraph (C);
(2) execute any warrant or other process issued by any court of competent jurisdiction; and
(3) exercise any other lawful authority.
(d) Additional powers
(1) An authorized officer may in the Convention area—
(A) board a vessel of any Party that reasonably can be believed to be engaged in directed fishing for, incidental taking of, or processing of anadromous fish, and, without warrant or process, inspect equipment, logs, documents, catch, and other articles, and question persons, on board the vessel, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the Convention, this chapter, or any regulation issued under this chapter; and
(B) If [1] any such vessel or person on board is actually engaged in operations in violation of any such provision, or there is reasonable ground to believe any person or vessel was obviously so engaged before the boarding of such vessel by the authorized officer, arrest or seize such person or vessel and further investigate the circumstance if necessary.
If an authorized officer, after boarding and investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that any such fishing vessel or person engaged in operations in violation of any provision referred to in subparagraph (A), the officer shall deliver the vessel or person as promptly as practicable to the enforcement officers of the appropriate Party, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

(2) When requested by the appropriate authorities of a Party, an authorized officer may be directed to attend as a witness, and to produce such available records and files or duly certified copies thereof as may be necessary, for the prosecution by that Party of any violation of the provisions of the Convention or any law of that Party relating to the enforcement thereof.
9940  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / China/Japan/US timeline on: September 25, 2010, 12:00:25 PM
http://articles.cnn.com/2010-09-24/politics/us.china.japan_1_diaoyu-senkaku-east-china-sea?_s=PM:POLITICS

While the United States hasn't taken an official position on the claims to the islands, they are considered part of Japan based on U.S.-Japan security treaties.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters Thursday the United States "would fulfill our alliance responsibility" if the conflict escalated.

Though analysts don't think the current tension will escalate and draw in the U.S. military treaty obligations, the agreements add murkiness to an already muddy territorial dispute.

It also puts the United States in the uncomfortable position of trying to stand by its closest ally in the region, Japan, while not irritating China, a growing power that the U.S. needs for a variety of political and economic issues.

"We're watching that tension very, very carefully," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters at the Pentagon ."Obviously we're very, very strongly in support of our ally in that region, Japan.

Both China and Japan have raised the issue with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. On Thursday, during talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Clinton urged Japan to resolve the dispute through dialogue, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

**So, on Thursday SecDef Gates and Adm. Mullen articulate to the global media the US defense treaty with Japan. Obama then meets with Japan's Prime Minister Kan in NYC on the China/Japan standoff. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100925a4.html

   

**Suddenly, Japan reverses course and the local Japanese prosecutors drop the charges on orders from Tokyo**
. http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100925p2a00m0na006000c.html

Decision to release Chinese boat captain made in Tokyo: sources

The decision to release the captain of a Chinese fishing boat involved in a collision with Japan Coast Guard patrols boats was a political decision made by the Japanese government and not by the Naha District Public Prosecutors Office, as it has been publicly announced, according sources close to Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
9941  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 11:20:23 AM
http://www.panorientnews.com/en/news.php?k=442

Beginning with the Japanese scene, this event is guaranteed to fuel the rage of the right, which will become even more intense in denouncing the "treason" of the DPJ.

Moreover, these angry sentiments are unlikely to be confined to the usual suspects, because many ordinary Japanese too will be left with a sour taste in their mouths over the government's handling of this matter. Many will feel that releasing the captain and citing the future of "Japan-China relations" smacks of pathetic weakness.

It certainly doesn't help that Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara have been overseas at this critical juncture, and so are unavailable to provide leadership or any convincing public explanations.

It would not be surprising if the next public opinion polls show a significant drop in support for the cabinet.

In fairness, the DPJ inherited a political posture from their predecessors which argued that "no territorial issues exist" in regard to the Senkaku Islands. With this as their starting point, Tokyo was poorly prepared to respond to Chinese (and Taiwanese) demands.
9942  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 11:07:21 AM
http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2010/09/24/did-japan-cave-to-china-too-soon/

Japan has been deemed overwhelmingly the loser in the strange game of chicken that’s been escalating between Beijing and Tokyo over the past week — at least judging from a sampling of the immediate vitriolic reaction toward Tokyo in the virtual world.

In the seconds after Japan announced it would release the Chinese ship captain who has been in Japanese custody, Tokyo’s decision was lambasted as weak and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan as unable to govern.

“This nation really does not have foreign policy and has no ability…it’s a shame that [Japan] easily gave up their last cards. They [Chinese] are shaking us up badly,” moaned one person on Twitter. Another said more simply: “How do you say ‘cave’ in Chinese?” Yet another tweeted: “Due to the DPJ, democracy and the notion of a nation’s sovereignty are about to be lost. I’m amazed to see their inability to govern. They’re worse than the LDP which was in power before.”

Ever gentlemanly, an official from the Osaka prosecutors’ office said at a hastily called press conference Friday afternoon: “We decided it was inappropriate to continue the investigation while keeping the suspect in custody any further, considering the future of the Japan-China relationship,”

The government’s decision may be good for tourism and business ties between the two countries, but the jury’s still out on how it might knock the DPJ’s popularity rankings — and Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s.
9943  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 10:55:35 AM
http://blogs.forbes.com/gordonchang/2010/09/24/chinas-new-economic-warfare/

The Japanese are in fact the world’s largest consumers of rare-earth minerals.  But they have been stockpiling the minerals—and working on technologies to recycle them—to protect against supply disruptions.  Toyota, which depends on these minerals in the batteries for its hybrids, reportedly possesses a one-year supply.

The United States, however, has not been so careful, letting the Chinese using predatory pricing to make American mines uncompetitive.  As a result, there is almost no domestic production of rare earths in the United States.  So Beijing’s cut off of the minerals to Japan highlights America’s critical vulnerability.  Due to this almost-complete dependence on foreign sources, Molycorp is now looking to reopen its Mountain Pass mine in California and there is growing pressure on Congress to authorize the much-needed stockpiling of strategic minerals.

Yet there is a far more important lesson to be learned here.  The West had assumed that China could be integrated into the global system of commerce and, once so enmeshed, it would become benign.  Yet nine years after the accession to the World Trade Organization, Beijing appears not to have been constrained by its participation in global trade.

During this period, China has become economically powerful, and now, it is using that power to achieve geopolitical goals—in this case to demand from Japan territory over which it has exceedingly weak legal claims.  So whatever we may think about free trade or open borders, we have to remember that every economic advantage we extend to China gives its leaders one more tool to advance their geopolitical goals.

“Taking into account the impact on our citizens and Japan-China relations, our judgment was that it would have been excessive to prolong the investigation and his detention,” said Toru Suzuki, deputy public prosecutor at a press conference today.  Until now, Japanese authorities had insisted that the prosecutor would make a decision based only on the facts of Captain Zhan Qixiong’s conduct.

Beijing has—once again—learned intimidation works.  Who will be its next target?
9944  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 10:44:58 AM
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100925p2a00m0na007000c.html

The captain's release came as a surprise to some Japan Coast Guard officials and sparked criticism that it could result in confusion over the handling of similar incidents in the future. At the same time, a Coast Guard official commented: "It must have been tough for public prosecutors to have to make an unnatural decision like that."

On Sept. 7, when the initial decision to arrest the skipper was made, two unofficial meetings were held by the Japan Coast Guard and related government bodies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice. But on Sept. 24, when prosecutors decided to release the skipper, no meetings were staged and it was not until after 2 p.m. that the Japan Coast Guard was notified of the decision. Watching television broadcasts announcing the move, Coast Guard members were angered, with one commenting that Japan had "bowed to pressure." Another disappointed member added: "It made me want to resign from the civil service."

"The case for obstruction of official duties was formed under the direction of public prosecutors. This has set a bad precedent," one official Coast Guard official commenting on the release said. The official became calmer when hearing about public prosecutors taking Japan-China relations into consideration, and said, "The Japan Coast Guard investigation has been proven appropriate. I guess public prosecutors decided to take the responsibility by making a point of referring to Japan-China relations." Still, the official described the release as "a regrettable outcome."

Following the move to release the Chinese captain, the Japan Coast Guard received a flood of telephone complaints from people asking why the skipper had been released without punishment. By 7 p.m. on Sept. 24, some 60 calls had been fielded. One caller reportedly stated, "I've never complained to a public office before, but I can't let things go this time." However, when officials explained that the issue was in the hands of public prosecutors, many callers were reportedly understanding, and instead started praising the Coast Guard, saying they wanted it to continue to clamp down on offenders.

When questioned in a news conference shortly after 5 p.m. on Sept. 24 whether the issue had been dealt with "solemnly in accordance with laws," Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Sumio Mabuchi stated he had "no particular thoughts" about the decision to release the captain.
9945  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 25, 2010, 09:52:42 AM
Because if the fines don't hurt, it's just the cost of doing business.
9946  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Criminal Justice system on: September 25, 2010, 09:21:56 AM
I guess we should just stop enforcing laws related to fishing? It's not like there is a global problem with overfishing, right?
9947  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 09:07:45 AM
http://www.businessinsider.com/states-us-china-exports-2010-9

The relentless pressure on both countries to expand their exports is threatening to create a trade war between the US and China.

Congressmen, feeling the populist pressure from voters back home, have approved a new bill that would place import duties on Chinese goods, if they don't revalue the yuan. The bill has yet to be passed by the House or Senate.

But if the U.S. government enters into a tit-for-tat trade war with China, it's likely the Chinese will respond. And that could hammer U.S. companies that export to China.

We've evaluated the states, using data from the U.S. China Business Council, that export the most to China, and companies that might get crushed in each if a trade war commences.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/states-us-china-exports-2010-9#ixzz10YAwZu3r
9948  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 25, 2010, 08:44:01 AM
My money says Japan folded after the US told them that we don't have their back. This win by China will encourage more aggressive moves by them. Japan has a serious loss of face and has to re-examine it's entire national security structure as a result of this.
9949  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Which Malik Shabazz Visited White House? on: September 24, 2010, 09:51:26 PM
http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/2010/09/24/which-malik-shabazz-visited-white-house-in-july-2009-mr-president/

Which Malik Shabazz Visited White House in July 2009, Mr. President?
by Andrew Breitbart

In May 2009, the Obama/Holder Justice Department dropped charges in a voter intimidation case against Malik Shabazz, a leader of the New Black Panther Party, despite having already won a summary judgment against him, and his New Black Panther Party colleagues King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson who were video-taped outside polling place in Philadelphia intimidating voters as they arrived on election day, 2008.  In July 2009, when Congress began looking into the matter, someone named Malik Shabazz visited the private residence at the White House.
9950  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Last Best Hope on: September 24, 2010, 06:19:38 PM


The Last Best Hope
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