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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: September 11, 2013, 06:32:35 AM
crafty -

The risk to Putin would have been more thorough UN inspections after the strikes.  At that time, a Russian link to the chemical weapons could have been discovered.  So, Syria (with Russian support) agrees to turn over the weapons.  Note - that does not state permit inspections before turning over the weapons.  Both Assad's father and Saddam Hussein received Soviet military aid.

Also, I don't think that Kerry's comment was a throw-away.  I think that he was urged to make that statement - and make it seem a throw-away. 
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: September 09, 2013, 04:40:18 PM
The Russian offer is a good way for Putin to get back those chemicals, delivery mechannisms and other agents that he and the USSR sent to Assad's father and to the late Saddam Hussein.  We would not want to find that a permanent member of the UN Security Council had been trading those items in violation of the 1993 UN Treaty - would we?
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 03, 2013, 05:38:57 PM
The whole point of Watergate was that not even the most powerful government official is above the law.  The first specified charge in Article II of the Articles of Impeachment alleged that Nixon, "acting personally and through his subordinates," violated the rights of citizens by causing "income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."

How soon they forget!
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comments from a federal grand juror on: May 31, 2013, 05:45:08 AM
Yesterday, I finished a one year term as a federal grand juror.  Every other week we would meet and review the cases presented to us by the US Attorney before any case could proceed to indictment and arrest.  It was a great inconvenience to my work.  It also interfered with my ability to participate consistently in this group.

Inside the jury room, I was impressed by the seriousness that some of “the lowest common denominator” jurors applied to their duty.  Everyone understood that we stood between an unjust indictment and the accused.  And many of the presumptive more highly educated (mainly teachers) were pushovers for government authority.  

Here are some thoughts.

1.  Every federal agent is called a special agent; but no one could explain to me why they are special.

2.  The federal government has defined for itself a huge amount of power; and it has assumed all of that power and then some.  The lip service paid to the Commerce Clause is scary.  Everything is now a federal crime as long as something used in the crime has been a part of interstate commerce at one time in its existence.  That includes a firearm or ammunition purchased legally in a private sale in your own State as long as that firearm or ammo was manufactured years earlier in another State. (When this applies to a convicted felon, there is not a lot of sympathy.  But when will it be applied to everyone?)  It also includes file sharing if the contents of the file were ever involved in interstate commerce even though the accused himself did not use interstate commerce to obtain the file.  The government's theory is that if an ISP owns a server in another State, that is a sufficient interstate nexus even if the user's packets never left the State. (Again, when this concept is applied to a person selling child pornography, it engenders little sympathy for the accused.  What happens when it is applied to someone sharing a political file?)There is no crime for which the Federal government cannot prosecute a person.  (For example, it is a federal crime to possess or brandish a firearm if that action would constitute another crime.)  The most cynical were bank fraud cases in which a lender makes a bad loan and then co-opts the federal criminal justice system to try and collect the bad debt via criminal prosecution by flyspecking a liar loan application.

3.  The federal government is devoting a lot of its resources to the apprehension and eviction of illegal aliens.  That was the largest group of cases that we heard.  But the southern border is like a sieve.  Unless that border is secured, there is no point to other reforms.

4.  I wonder what is intended for the new agency called Homeland Security Investigations.  Keep an eye on this agency because it seems to be popping up in a lot of different situations.  It was originally the new name for ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement).  But we encountered their “special” agents in more than just immigration and customs cases.

5.  Be very careful with your personal data.  The new growing crime is acquisition of your personal data by crooks who then electronically file false income tax returns under your data and receive large refunds sent to debit cards that they control.  They get your information from all sorts of different places including medical facilities.   They don't get the data from hacking computers.  They have people on the inside who are authorized to look at your data.  They are paid to record it and transmit it to the ringleader.  

6.  The IRS does not need a search warrant to invade your privacy.  To us, it was apparent that it was out of control months before the current scandal hit the media.

7.  HHS seeks to indict people and recover money on the basis of statistical samples from "audits" rather than actual proof of every fraudulent billing.

I was glad that I served.  There are a lot of well-intentioned and hard working bureaucrats.  However, the power assumed by the federal government is all-encompassing.  We no longer have a real federal system.  We have a national government with a lot of subservient provinces instead of a federal republic of States.  When the feds need to bolster their stats, they reach into the State system and federalize a case.  And the States are only too happy to transfer the financial cost of these prosecutions to the Feds.

I'm not as concerned about the federal employees as I am concerned about the Congresses that have enacted all of these laws.  They all took oaths to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.  Now, the social contract seems to be ignored for the mere sake of expediency.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi, The Petraeus/Susan Rice affair; and related matters on: February 10, 2013, 06:06:39 PM
The knives are coming out against Brennan.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi, The Petraeus/Susan Rice affair; allegations of military misconduct on: December 27, 2012, 07:04:00 AM
It would not surprise me that these "leaks" are still another cover story to justify the decision not to respond. 

Whether or not the Benghazi facility was a consulate or a CIA operation is irrelevant to me.  Likely, it was used as both.  After all, Benghazi is the capital of the old province of Cyrenaica.  Also, it was a center of the resistance to Qaddafi.  The two "contractors" were killed at a safe house. 

Rather than devising these convoluted explanations, Occam's Razor says that this attack was launched on 9-11-12 as part of a coordinated effort in North Africa to remind the US that despite the death of UBL, the forces of the new al Qaidas have been dispersed but not defeated.  Benghazi was an easier target than Tripoli. This contradicted Obama's message at the Pentagon that morning.  The administration's quick response turned out to be wrong.  They persisted in the false narrative mainly for political reasons and because their polls disclosed that most Americans did not view this as a major election issue.  They went too far with Rice, but she was a perfect unwitting accomplice.  By the time the story began to unravel, it did not matter any more in the election.
7  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Nat Geo Documentary on the Dog Brothers: Fight Club on: January 24, 2008, 04:22:25 AM
You guys looked great in high definition!  The big difference in HD was seeing real blood versus Hollywood blood in the movies.  I noticed that the two anti-pack shrinks were from northeastern universities.

Since I do not participate in martial arts, I saw the program as a non-interested party.  I thought that it portrayed Dog Brothers in a very positive light.  The last two segments really pulled together the theme of the pack helping each other to progress in the discipline in order to be ready to defend land, food, family etc.  That theme made the eastern shrinks' criticism irrelevant since they seemed to be criticizing their own preconceptions of what they think you are rather than who you are.

However, the induction ceremony looked a little bit like the final scene in the original Star Wars movie without light sabers and without the princess in the low cut dress.    grin

The show is another good reason for the pack to be proud.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: January 24, 2008, 04:04:05 AM
Juniper reports earnings tonight.  Hopefully they will disclose how their MX series CESR switches are progressing.  The Juniper MX960 is the primary product in which the EZChip NP-2 is used.

The drop in price from 18 to current levels was caused mostly by a series of margin calls that hit some of the larger shareholders.  Etrade especially raised maintenance margins on the stock from 30% to 50, 60 or 70% in accounts that were heavily weighted to EZCH.  Some of the larger shareholders were hedge funds that began selling the stock to reduce exposure on all equities because they purchased a lot of their shares with borrowed funds.  Also, last Friday, Etrade's system caused a lot of selling after the ticker symbol change when it was not updated promptly.  The system called for 100% maintenance margin on EZCH; i.e., no margin allowed.  This prompted a number of holders to dump their shares on Friday morning thinking that they had margin calls.

EZCH reports earnings on February 11th.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: October 12, 2007, 06:21:27 AM
It will settle down now and consolidate for several weeks.  Q3 earnings will be announced around 15 November.  Expect some more action around that time.
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: October 11, 2007, 08:41:48 AM
LNOP just tripled the size of its total addressable market (TAM) with this announcement.

11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 11, 2007, 06:27:22 PM
Too bad the contributions weren't made in the form of toys.  evil
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: September 11, 2007, 06:25:14 PM
I know.  Build a fence and dig a ditch!  That'll work.
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: September 11, 2007, 06:21:26 PM
Hey crafty,

You like your LNOP? 

Another 52 week high and closing high today.  I think that the company is close to placing the remainder of its secondary.  It has already sold 900,000 shares of the secondary to one private investor with a last name of Cheney.  The stock is up 50% during this placement.

Here are some more fundamental tidbits that I have discovered since my last post here.  The newly announced NP-4 chip will be cost competitive with ASIC's.  This is huge because it opens up the opportunity to move downspeed with cheaper,slower chips in other parts of the network.  It will be usable with any company's switch fabric.  It incorporates the physical layer on to the chip and includes many functions that now require additional chips in a linecard.  Market share in the target market is about 50% higher than any assumption out there.  The initial ramp will run through 2012.  It has design wins at Lockheed Martin, Motorola and with the Israeli government.

The more I learn about this company, the better its prospects look.  Gilder may have stumbled onto another big winner like QCOM at its zenith and EQIX.

14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Particular Stocks on: July 10, 2007, 01:10:48 PM
Cable is not true fiber to the home because the actual connection to the home is usually standard coax that you can buy at Radio Shack.

VZ (Verizon) FIOS is the major residential fiber to the home project out there at this time.  AT&T U-verse relies upon fiber to nodes and lower capacity connections from nodes to the home.  However, both systems rely heavily upon IPTV as the means to distribute digital and HD content.  BTW, VZ is deploying the JNPR MX960.  Remember that the MX 960 contains the EZChip NP-2.

MSFT is a big player in IPTV and is involved with AT&T.  Most new overseas TV developments involve IPTV.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Particular Stocks on: July 09, 2007, 11:01:26 AM
EZChip NPU's operate in line cards in the metro networks.  These cards are installed in switches that route traffic from the core networks, the big pipes between cities, to the netwroks that ring the various metro areas.  They are also installed to route traffic from the metro netwroks to the networks; e.g., enterprise networks, and other end users that exist at the other edge of the metro network.  Their appeal is their programmability which is very useful to the carriers in the metro because their functions can be adjusted to meet changing circumstances.

LNOP, the parent of EZChip is a fabless company.  Thus, war in Israel would not impact the company's ability to produce NPU's.  They are produced at Taiwan Semi and IBM.  The company backs up its intellectual property in several ways.  It does have operations here in the US.  They are mainly sales offices.

LVLT and Broadwing/Corvis focused more upon the core network.  There is not as great a need for lots of programmable switching in the core because there are not as many destinations for traffic as exist in the metro networks.  They can install ASIC's in the core more efficiently.  However, in the metro, the ASIC may not be as efficient because the carriers would need to replace them frequently as needs changed.  The NPU serves these needs better.

EZChip just announced a successful design of a 100gb NPU that should be ready for production in 2-3 years.

Revenues are expected to ramp seriously beginning in 2008.  A good stock to own in conjunction with EZChip is NETL.  They make a Layer 7 solution to overflow that occurs at that point.  The performance of that stock also gives the investor an idea of what to expect from LNOP.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Geo Political matters on: March 23, 2007, 05:56:44 AM
Hey guys, I do lurk here frequently.

I think the spoiling attack reasoning is a rather lame excuse.  Basically, Stratfor says that the US lucks into longer term good results even though it loses these short term battles/wars.

Iraq was designed to be a winning attack and a defeat to one state sponsor of terrorists.  Also, it was designed to be a geo-political thorn in the sides of the other troublesome nations of that region.  IMO, problems began with the public justifications for this war when Bush decided to use the UN.  Instead of being able to publicly define the war in terms of US national interests, the war had to be defined in terms of UN interests.  The only UN justification for toppling Saddam was the WMD's.  None of the prior UN Security Council resolutions really dealt with Saddam and terrorists even though he had long been a major state sponsor of many terror groups and had also offered safe havens for many other terrorists.

Thus, because of the emphasis upon the UN and WMD's, the US entered this war with the public expectation that we were toppling Saddam to gain control of large stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.  You can recall the early media coverage of the war.  Any time the US approached what was thought to be a large WMD cache or factory, the media became all excited.  There, at last, was the ethical justification for toppling Saddam.  All of this went for naught because Saddam either had never replenished his chemical supplies from the Iran-Iraq war or he had already hidden them.  In either case, the absence of the WMD's undercut the credibility of the Bush Administration and tainted all of its other judgments about the war, the war on terror and, now, its entire administration.

Because we opted for the UN, the US was never able to emphasize the relationship of Saddam to the war on terror.  Bush elected not to emphasize the connections between Iraq and the 1993 WTC bombing.  He never emphasized the apparent close coordination in 1998 between Iraq's IIS and al Qaida before the embassy bombings.  The axis of evil came and went from the State of the Union, even more misunderstood and distorted by Bush political opponents than the famous 16 words that led to the Plame fiasco.

Iraq is not a spoiling attack.  It is a pre-emptive war.  Bush announced that doctrine on 1 June 2002 at that year's West Point graduation.  It was/is designed to draw and divert AQ resources away from the continental US and focus them on the US military in Iraq.  It ingeniously played upon the weakness of jihadi masculinity and their need to save face.

Iraq was also a pre-emptive strike against Iran.  Since 1979, Iran has been the leading state sponsor of terrorism in that region.  By transforming Iraq after we invaded Afghanistan, the US has geographically isolated Iran.  That is why Iran's little President continues to squeal like a pig and is actively seeking nukes.

However, since we used the UN justifications instead of our national interest, the US was pre-empted from accurately explaining to the public its own national security justifications for overthrowing Saddam.  The irony of being pre-empted from properly explaining a pre-emptive war should not be lost on anyone.
17  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Spammers on our forums on: October 29, 2006, 01:54:11 AM
The actual spam seemed to come from a guest user.  The professed user is not on the list of forum users.  Perhaps there is a way for guests to send personal messages without registering as a user.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: October 26, 2006, 06:49:32 AM
Compare this news wire story from today

with the following excerpt from the introduction to Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear.

"In late 2003, at the Sustainable Earth Summit Conference in Johannesburg, the Pacific island nation of Vanutu announced that it was preparing a lawsuit against the Envrionmental Protection Agency of the United States over global warming.  Vanutu stood only a few feet above sea level, and the island's eight thousand inhabitantswere in danger of having to evacuate their country because of rising sea levels caused by global warming..."

Of course, Crichton's critics claimed that he exaggerated the methods and goals of the environmental movement.  Did he?
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics and Stock Market on: October 25, 2006, 04:37:29 PM
craftydog -

The markets are sanguine because they view the worst case situation as gridlock.  That is not very much different than now for taxes.

I like your new improved forum.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 22, 2006, 04:24:24 AM
This has got to be the most overly-analyzed war in history!  Everyone is likely partly right and partly wrong in their assessments.  However, it should be remembered that a full political solution in the United States took about 20 years from the First Continental Congress to the final ratification of the Constitution by the 12th and 13th colonies.  There were two failed governmental systems before the Constitution, the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation.  Sixty-eight years after Washington began his second term as President, political factions in the South commenced another armed revolt against the central government.

Consequently, I do not understand why there is an expectation of quickly establishing a stable government, let alone a popularly elected one, in Iraq.  Our own history tells us not to expect stability in Iraq until at least 2011 and a stable governmental system there until 2023.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics and Stock Market on: October 22, 2006, 04:08:03 AM
Woof crafty,

Permanent tax cuts are DOA because even if the Republicans do not lose control of either house of Congress, they still will not have 60 votes in the Senate for cloture.  There will be a lot of capital gains realization in 2007 and 2008 as many investors opt to pay the 15% tax rate ahead of possible rate hikes if the Dems control Congress and the White House.  Coupled with the projected decrease in corporate profits in the second half of next year, the likely increase in selling pressure on all asset classes, stocks, real estate and commodities, increases the risk of negative economic and investment data.  Also, it will create another spike in Treasury revenues that will give the 2009 Congress the incentive to spend even more.

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